Winds of Change

Down the Rabbit Hole
In which the Coterie interrogates the girl that is both a vampire and a mother.

From the notes of the Nosferatu informer, Jaydan.

July 30, 2008

I hope you appreciate the trouble I went through to get these to you. One of their crazies has got the Evil Eye, and I know he’s going to find me. Besides this whole thing gives me the creeps.

The group returned from their various outings to the Yacht. Incidentally I have confirmed that the robbery of the Mel Fischer Museum was Sabbat related. I caught sight of the perps leaving on foot, but they disappeared before I could track them. Rasputia was too spooked to follow, she whinned too much for me to properly shadow them, probably because they were shadowing me. It’s not paranoia when you are just another monster that can hide in plain sight, it’s a survival instinct. Anyway, when I saw their cars arrive I tailed them to the yacht. Once their I got into my hidey hole and started listening to the info. Jeez these people are dense, I keep wondering if I could just insinuate myself back in the group, but I’d rather not deal with the hassle.

Anyways, the juicy part is coming up. So they hear a knock at the door, and their pet Rambo, oh I’m sorry, I meant Gangrel gets his gun and the ghouls and goes for the door. To his surprise, no one’s there. Being a Nos’, I knew it wasn’t Ding-Dong-Ditch, so I waited to see what happened. Sure enough, the bozo in the rumpled suit gives a look around and spots a girl no one else could see. When he sees her, and grabs her she cries out. She says she needs their help, she was kidnapped, yadda yadda yadda. So they keep an eye on her, they ask her a couple of questions that don’t go anywhere, and then the French woman puts the wammy on her. She probably coulda built a whole new memory for the girl, but what she did do was unravel someone else’s mental mojo. Wonder who did that, oops, guess it’s not my job to question.

So, the girl starts spilling the beans. Some weird shit, she’s taken in by the cops, she’s put in a little room with her buddies from the streets. Then they seperate them, and she doesn’t see them again. She’s given a blood transfusion (some sci-fi Embrace?) and tortured, experimented on and raped, all this post-mortum. She’s in there for months of this shit. She only sees three people on the regular. Some Freudian doctor, a shadowy woman, and a young man with a surfer cut and some book in his hand. I think I’ve met this kid at court, seems like nice guy, wonder why he’d get mixed up in crazy shit like that. But who knows, we Sewer Rats just show our monster on the outside. The girl also talks about getting pregnant and having a baby after the transfusions began.

Now here comes the weird shit, they pull all this info out of the girl, way too much for my comfort, thank you very much. Then they ask her how she got out, and she claims she crawled out through a three inch drainage pipe in the floor! The creepy thing is that I’ve heard something like that before. There was this one gathering in New Orleans when I heard of one of ours, or I thought he was one of ours, who learned that kinda shit in the circus. Said he could fit into any place his hand would fit. Like that guy on X-Files who ate people’s livers to live forever. Tell me that wasn’t someone’s clever way of breakin’ the Masq., right? Anyway, they get all this out of her, let her go shower off and giver her some blood. The Mr. Wrinklesuit gives her this whole heart to heart about being a blood sucking monster.

After that they lay low till sundown. The next night they go out hunting, amazing how none have done what the Prince suggested, getting a herd and sticking with it. Well, the she-male did, but he/she had it before. Anyway, they creep around downtown looking for the right kinda target when Lando(Wasn’t that the guy from Star Wars?)finds some chick behind one of the strip clubs. He sneaks up all calm like, but as soon as he sinks his fangs in he goes Jaws/Cujo apeshit! He starts growling and tearing at this woman’s neck, riding the frenzy hard. De La Croix, the french Lasombra drops a curtain of darkness on the area, and I don’t get to see much of what happens next. Hank, their “Gangrel Rambo,” tells the girl to meet them back at the car and he gets ready to go himself. Things probably would have worked out for them if that douche of a Scourge, O’Rourke, hadn’t stepped out of the strip club with his cronies at just the wrong moment.

I lose track of De la Croix, but Dowd looks like he’s ready to fight. Instead, when the shit goes down, he speeds lie a demon past O’Rourke and his bitch-boys and tackles Lando just as he comes slinking out of the shadows. He gets him in some high school wrestling move, and drags him growling and screaming away from O’Rourke. That’s when one of O’Rourke’s boys asks about the girl, who they hadn’t seen, and gets a knuckle sandwich from his boss for the trouble. After that things settle down and I decide to tail the others. Something sneaky goes down, and they all meet back at the boat to head out. I stow away, and that’s where we are so far. I gotta keep this stuff written down, ‘cause there’s no way I’m going to remember it all when I gotta turn it over to the boss. We’ll see where the boat takes us tonight I guess.

View
Go Ask Alice
In which the Lunatics go through the looking glass, and the archons investigate possible Sabbat activity.

My master bade me watch them, and so I did. For several nights now they have been investigating the area, looking for clues to something. Like most Kindred they are devisive, each with their own plans, their own aims. That is their weakness, within my master is strength, her court is loyal, her servants true. This night they awakened early, two of them, the mad ones woman and man left the boat and met with my master’s fool and the reeking lunatic. They drove northward, beyond the islands where I dare not follow. The others awakened later, they met, they plotted, they drove north as well. I did not follow, but I waited, and when they returned I watched them from the brick building called, the Custom’s House. When they returned I had failed in my duty, as a burglary had occured near their communal haven. The master punished me for my failure.

The madmen exited the sputtering VW bus. They were in the parking lot of a large stadium, with well kept lawns and shrubbery. Here and there are cars parked throughout the parking lot, none quite so obnoxious as the bus itself. They move quickly to the entrance, no one else seems to be outside the building. Was the Call corret, had it been misinterpreted? The door is unlocked, so the four slip in quietly. Inside the smell of rot is overpowering. Each of the dead men squints into the darkness as their senses become heightened. The hallway is empty for quite a while, and then they meet a frantic young man in bunny slippers. In place of one of his eyes is one of those gimmick plastic eyeballs that bobs and turns as he moves his head. The blood around the eye socket is fresh, and has stained his shirt. He appologizes, but he simply cannot help them, he’s late!

The four continue and find others, eventually they find their way into the stadium proper. It’s rotting hulk shows the highwater mark of flooding, and obvious structural damage not taken care of his Hurricane Andrew, a decade or more ago. The local government uses it for storage occaisionally, or even to put up municipal workers in times of need. The whole thing has been decorated in a wild homage to Lewis Carroll’s classic Wonderland books. The crowd around them is dressed in costumes ranging from the lame to the elaborate. Somewhere two twins that look as though they have Down’s Syndrome spout nonsense poems at each other. In the distance someone is batting the Jaborwok with his Vorpal blade. All is strange, all is madness.

The four from the Keys mingle nervously. There is a buzz through the crowd, an uncomfortable air of expectation. An improptu tea party, with cups and kettles full of blood, sets up in the middle of the crowd. Two of the four, the man with no memory, and the woman that was a man chat with a cat, then a hare, then a hatter, all quite mad. Then the trumpets sound, the boy with the bunny slippers and the googly eye announces the coming of the Queen and King. The crowd falls into silence as a crimson and imposing figure steps forward, her King and consort gently snores from his tiny throne, center stage. The lights dim, darkness floods the stadium, a blood red light illuminates the imposing Queen and sleeping King. Warnings and prophecies, the coming of the Queen, the Moon Beasts, the rising of the dead, a great storm to drown them all in blood.

The figure departs, the crowds disperse. The four return to the VW bus, and putter at maniac speeds back to the Isle of Bones.

Meanwhile, the Archons do their job. Aaron and Giselle are not happy to be working together, neither fully trusting the other with full disclosure. Aaron taps his contacts in the local police. Recent aquaintences he’s met through local charity events. Newspaper articles are researched by Giselle’s ghouls, using the internet and other devices too esoteric for their Mistress to comprehend. All information points to the upper Keys. Something is moving in, or getting resteless up there. Disappearances, break-ins, fires, vandalism, gang activity, and cemetaries disturbed. Aaron, Giselle, and Hank ride north to investigate. They find symbols and implements that point to the Sabbat. Later this is reinforced by one of Lando’s visions. They find all the ingridients for a Sabbat creation rite, a mass Embrace of kidnapped victims, who are then buried alive and forced to dig their way out.

When they return, they find the Malkavians have returned. Lando and Ms. Hurtz relate their experiences to the others, facts are shared. In addition, the Mel Fischer Museum has been robbed. Artifacts from a nearby Spanish wreck have been taken. Items that the coterie knows are important to the Don’s plans, a map and a coin that may lead a lost Papal relic. Returning to Giselle’s yacht, the two groups compare notes, and are startled by a knock on the cabin door. Hank and the ghouls, guns in hand go to answer it, but when they open the door no one is there. Lando senses something is amiss, and he uses his heightened perceptions to detect the intruder. A waif of a girl badly injured and pale. When confronted the girl introduced herself as Sandy. She begins her story crying, and ends it with two shocking revealations. First that she had escaped from a military base on the island where she had been turned into a vampire. The second was that while inside, after she had been turned, she had given birth to a child.

To Be Continued…

View
Reflections in a Shattered Mirror, Part 2
In which Mr. Dowd meets his maker.

Meditation XVII By John Donne From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623), XVII:

“Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris” translation- “Now this bell, tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.”

“Perchance, he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.”*

INTERLUDE

In a dark hallway, in a bomb shelter long unused, somewhere on Truman Annex, Key West. Two men stand in a darkened room studying each other intently. The first man is older, bearded, a silver tipped cane supports him, his right eye glows like a baleful flame. The other man is younger, his features non-descript, his voice, his dress, unremarkable. The younger man speaks.

“Don? Is that you?”

“You have forgotten me so easily my boy?”

The young man pauses, “Yes, and no. Seeing you, seeing you I remember. What happened to them, my pack?”

“It is best you do not remember,” the older man sniffs the air, “you’ve brought the others with you. It is too soon for us to meet. Though,” and the older man smiles, “you can tell your friend the Sheriff that I know he is here, and that when his wife died there was much screaming.”

Down the hall Dowd steadies himself, his teeth gritted, his eyes narrow. Absently he readies his weapon to fire.

“Why, why did you kill them?” the younger man asks.

“It was necessary, they knew too much. Have you forgotten everything?” The old man shakes his head, “It has perhaps been too long since you have seen her. Your grandsire, your queen will set you on your course.”

Dowd creeps slowly down the hallway, his boots nearly soundless as he rounds the corner he flips on the flashlight attached to his barrel. Standing before him in the beam of light is a man he has not seen in over fifty years. The man responsible for his life, or unlife and the deaths of his entire town. With trained percision he squeezes the trigger the barrel of his gun aimed directly at the man’s head. The sound of gunfire pierces the silence of the room, the smell of cordite is everywhere, the older man, the Don stands unwounded.

“Sheriff Dowd, have you learned nothing?”

The sign read “Welcome to Murk Hollow. Population: 600” A ‘47 Cadillac stopped at the edge of town, inside it’s spacious interior where four figures. After a brief pause the engine roared to life again and tore down the country road and onto Murk Hallow’s humble Main Street. The car once again came to a stop in front of the town’s small gas station. The driver cut the engine and four figures stepped out, three women and one man. The woman were an odd sight in this rural town, two dressed well in coutre travel outfits in understated dark tones, the third was an amazon with a cloud of platinum blonde hair above a statuesque body. The last passenger to step out was a tall man of indeterminate age with brown hair, also too well dressed for their current locale. The man scanned the area, head and shoulders held high, his nose wrinkled in distaste.

“Quaint, isn’t it. I forgot how much I detest the South.” The man’s voice is nasal, with a hint of a well-hidden Bostonian accent.

“Do you hear that?” the amazon asked in a husky tone.

“I hear nothing.” the third woman wore her dark hair short topped with a fashionable hat, she was flanked by a the third woman who bore a striking resemblance to her, but who remained silent and watchful. She was dressed in man’s suit, her right hand was under her jacket on the left side.

“That’s because there’s no sound, nothin’ sweety. A town like this, a few hundred people and it’s not so late at night, there should be a few lights on, a few people around. I don’t even hear dogs barkin’.” The Amazon gave a long look up main street and shivered. “Somethin’s not right here.”

“That may be the case Ms. Hurtz,” the man spoke up, “but we are duty bound to investigate. If those savages within the Sabbat have done something to the people of this town than for the sake of the Masquerade we must stop them.” He turned and strode into the gas station, warily he moved about searching for any evidence of what had happened there. Soon he found the wreckage of the register smashed across the wall behind the front counter, and streaks of blood nearby. As the others joined him in searching the wreckage they heard a noise from the back of the shop. A muffled cry and thumping against a barred storage room door.

He’d been out for hours, maybe longer. There was a blood caked to his face where the man had smashed him into the glass behind the front counter. He should be hurting, he gently reached for his scalp, there was a wound there, but small, like he’d had a weeks’ time to heal. He was hungry, he wondered if it was morning yet, he’d just had dinner before the man had attacked him. Sheriff Henry Dowd, Hank to his friends, stood slowly in the darkness. He stumbled a bit, knocked over a few boxes, he must be in the store room at the station. He tries the door, locked, he gives it a kick, must be barred too. Then he hears a noise, his ears were always good, but now, now it was like his hearing had been turned up like a radio. He could hear people outside now, they were talking about something, he couldn’t quite make out. A man and a couple of women, maybe another waiting outside by the sound of the idling engine. He began shouting for help!

“Who is it? Who’s in there?” the man’s voice from outside.

“My name’s Dowd, I’m the town Sheriff. A man attacked me and Harry, must of locked me in here, is Harry out there?”

“No sign of him, sir,” the Bostonian again, “are you alright, we’re going to get this door open for you.” He waves two of the women over, De la Croix and her ghoul.

“I’d be much obliged, I don’t suppose you’ve got something to eat, I’m starving.”

“We’ll see when we get you out of there, now please step away from the door, my colleagues will dislodge it.”

The two dark haired women make short work of the door, pummeling it from it’s hinges. For the first time Sheriff Dowd’s blocky features and graying red hair become visible. His skin however is pale, well beyond the previous rural Floridian tan he had once sported.

“Much obliged,” he nods to the man and women and takes stock of the wrecked store. The others give him a moment to collect himself before speaking. Mr. Burridge introduces himself first, and makes introductions for the others. After a short discussion the others reveal to the Sheriff that he has likely been turned into one of the Kindred, Embraced they call it. The Sheriff, to his credit, takes this in stride and decides to check out his town. The others follow slowly, fanning out across Main Street looking for any signs of life, of which there are none. Similar displays of stores and homes violated, blood stains, and wreckage. Their is a blood curdling roar from the far end of town, where the Sheriff has just found his marriage bed covered in gore, his wife no where to be found.

As the strangers gather together back at the car, they’re prepared to call it a loss, to move on to the next town in hopes of finding the Don and his fiendish Sabbat. That is when the bell tolls, and the strangers turn toward the little church steeple in the center of town. The coterie moves to investigate, they enter the church slowly, the lights inside have been cut, the only visible light streaming in through the stain glass windows along the back of the church and behind the alter. Giselle, the lead woman with the dark hair and aristocratic features moves in first. She shifts her sight, calling on her blood heritage to invert the light and the darkness. To her eyes the church becomes well lit as every shadow becomes bright light, and the wan light streaming in through the windows becomes long shafts of darkness.

She looks up, scanning the pews, the altar, and then she sees it. The body of a man, crucified upon the church’s large cross at the rear of the building. She moves quickly to investigate, the man is not breathing, grabbing it with both of her hands she pulls it from the wall. She brings it gently to the floor behind the altar, the man, obviously the small town’s priest begins to gasp and twitch. He mutters something beneath his breath, a prayer. He gestures with his head, his eyes, pleading her to come closer, to hear his words. She bends closer to hear him speak, he whispers, “Hungry, so hungry, her children. The old wolf, the stalking lord, he is her herald…he touts the coming of our Queen!” With this last he pulls his hand free of it’s restraint, the nails through his wrist tearing tendons, flesh and veins. He grabs her neck and pulls her close with inhuman strength fangs flash in the darkness and she can feel him drinking greedily.

Outside the others are searching the grounds. The Sheriff, never a deeply religious man finds himself unable to approach the churchyard, unable to bear the cold wrath of the simple steepled church. He decides he’d be of better use armed, he makes for his office nearby, there locked away should be his old .30-06 Garand. While the others search the church for whoever has been ringing the bell he makes a beeline for the office. Once inside he hears the bell again, but focuses on the task at hand. He finds the rifle, his keys stolen from him in the attack, he smashes the glass case and grabs the rifle, his hand is not even scratched. He pulls out boxes of ammunition and begins loading it as the bell continues to toll.

Behind the church Mr. Burridge and Ms. Hurtz have found a mass grave dug in the town’s small graveyard. A long low trench recently covered in soft black earth. As they watch the dirt parts and and a tattered figure pulls herself free. The woman stumbles to her feet, caked in dark earth she looks around bewildered. She turns toward the two Kindred at the edge of the graveyard,her eyes begin to glow balefully in the darkness as more earth shifts behind her. Several more figures unearth themselves scrabbling with broken fingernails and pale limbs. Each begins to moan, the hunger has struck them. Some have eyes that glow in that same crimson spark deep within shadowed eye sockets. Burridge and Hurtz back slowly away, moving towards the front of the church, Hurtz reaches into her handbag pulling out a small caliber revolver with antique scrollwork.

Inside the church Giselle struggles with the crucified priest. He has pulled his second hand free and is using all of his strength in his struggle against the Archon. Summoning up the strength of her blood she pulls free of his grisly embrace and stands. Kicking him swiftly, she takes a few steps back and summons tendrils of darkness as her sire had taught her. Willing the darkness into solid form, tentacles shoot from the darkness grabbing the priest by the wrists and pulling him into the air. Dusting herself off the tentacles appear as bright ribbons of misty light to her inverted night sight. She smiles as the priest begins to scream, being stretched to his limits by the darkness itself. “That will teach you a lesson little man.” She laughs as she steps out into the night, the priests screams rising to sudden crescendo as she steps out into the muggy Floridian night.

Outside the three Kindred gather close, shambling closer are the townspeople, newly turned vampires hungering for their first taste of blood. One, a woman lurches forward quickly and grabs Giselle, smelling the blood from her recent tussle with the mad priest. The woman clamps down on her with strength born of desperation and instinct. The two struggle while Burridge and Hurtz try to fend of more of the fledglings. De la Croix’s ghouls bolts for the car, the others turn in horror as the car goes careening through the streets and towards the end of the street. It turns there, accelerating towards the group, and the vampire woman attacking her mistress. She hits the creature dead on, sideswiping a number of others that have pulled themselves from their graves.

“Kill them my children, and your queen shall reward you greatly!” a man’s voice shouts from across the street. Burridge and Hurtz turn toward the voice, the man smiles at them, his left eye catches a glint of moonlight, his right begins to glow with the same crimson light as the fledging vampires now streaming from the cemetary. “You should give up now, these lands were granted to me long before you drew your last breath.” Suddenly a shot rings out, the mans head jerks back as he stumbles a few steps backward, and then looks upward and down Main Street toward the Sheriff’s office.

On the roof Sheriff Dowd cocks his rifle, and squints down the iron sight at the older man’s head. He takes another shot, the mans head jerks again, but he looks up, totally unharmed. Not even a mark, the Sheriff can almost see him smile.

The ghoul brings the car around in a wide arc, carving donoughts into the dust. She rolls over several more of the vampire townsfolk as she comes to a stop in front of her mistress and the others. The three vampires quickly hop into the car as the ghouls guns it to the Sheriff’s office. Dowd tries one more shot which goes wide before abandoning the battle. He takes the stairs down from the roof by twos and is in front of the building as the Cadillac comes barreling up, engine roaring. He takes one last look down Main Street at the town of Murk Hollow, his home for many years. His next movement takes him into the back seat and the car speeds off.

The Present

The Don smirks at the two vampires before him. “My Queen will arrive soon, but we cannot tarry long. Soon enough we will be able to face eachother childer, soon enough.” With that he fades from view, his form growing translucent until he is completely gone. Dowd and Lando search the room before catching up to Jayden and Hurtz in the hallway. Outside a cloud of darkness has settled on one of the back streets of Bahama Village. Within, Giselle De la Croix speaks with her son, dead and undead since the French Revolution. What secrets their conversations hold are a tale for another time.

To Be Continued…

View
Reflections in a Shattered Mirror
In which Mr. Griffin finds himself adrift in time.

In the darkness his eye glows brightly crimson. The man that is unto him, like a father. An island of stability in a life lost to the tides of time. He smiles and wolfish pride beams. He winks, and the light goes out.

Bruno stands before his Don dressed in a disheveled brown suit, fedora, and suspenders. His hat is clutched in his hands now, his fingers pick at it with nervous apprehension. His queen, his grandsire is nearby, he can feel her enormous presence pressing on his thoughts, swirling them with images of many lives, many guises. The Don is dressed impeccably, though his clothes are too old, too out of date to be considered dapper. He holds about him the air of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a killer in the Court of the Queen with Burning Eyes.

“Do you remember what I’ve told you, will you remember it still when the time comes?” the old man sighs.

“Yes my lord, I will make her majesty proud. Her august plans will bear glorious fruit this night.”

“And now you are speaking as one of her courtiers,” the elder chided, “soon you will forget yourself, and we will have to find another to bring our plans to fruition.”

“No my lord, I jest…er it was only a joke.” The shift in the younger man’s accent is swift, subtle, his shoulders square his eyes grow cunning. The elder smiles, quite proud of the work that has been wrought on one so young. The Don turns and cocks his head as if listening for a faint noise.

“She is ready for us, her Majesty will see you now. Remember, bow, be humble, be courteous, and meet her eye only when it is asked of you.”

“I will make you proud my lord,” and the younger man smiles. The Don preens and sets his shoulders, he raises his face in a haughty manner and opens the double doors behind them. The younger man, Bruno, looks up briefly as they enter the room he catches the Queen’s eyes briefly, he is breathless when he whispers, “My God, her eyes, they shine!”

Bruno, Roxy, Tony, Fast Eddy and the Strega have gathered together as a pack in an old brownstone in downtown St. Louis. It’s the thirties, Prohibition is in full swing and all over town, hidden bolt holes and speak easies pour liquid sin for those eager for it’s lethean release. Inside the brownstone a pack of Sabbat, foul renegades to some, freedom fighters to others, gather to foment chaos. Through abhorrent rituals, and unheard of solidarity among the undead, the Sabbat have carved a niche within the world of the Kindred that has made them little more than bandits and monsters. That said, there are few freedoms these post-human creatures do not enjoy. After pouring their blood in a chalice, and intoning the blessings of Caine, first of their kind, they drink and share the Vaulderie. With their ritual observance of loyalty to each other and the Sabbat done, they get down to business.

“The plan is to figure out when the Bumpansano family is making the drop, then defeat the security long enough to get in, get the loot and get out.” Bruno crossed his arms across his chest surveying his new pack.

Fast Eddy spoke first, “What’s in it for us, and what’s in the box?”

“Don’t matter what’s in the box doll. Anyway, you’ll get your cut, you always do. Whadda you care?” Roxy stepped forward next to Bruno and put her hand through his arm. The two had run together in a previous pack, and Bruno was sweet on her, even if Roxy only feigned loyalty, it suited her purposes just fine. Fast Eddy grumbled in reply, absently he created the sound of a whip crack nearby. Roxy scowled, and almost looked hurt, almost. The Strega spoke next.

“What will the security being like?” her Itlaian accent jumbling her words.

“That’s your job, you and Roxy,” he patted the Ventrue’s rump with familiarity, “you two girls go use your feminine wiles to rustle up some dirt on the place. Find out when the drop’s being made and what the security’s like. We’ll work on getting some wheels and some lead. Go find a Bumpansano button man, and try not to lose your heads.” He gave Roxy another bump on the tush and she let loose a girlish giggle, only the Strega noticed the look of hate in her eyes.

“What about me boss?” the question came from a big palooka with close set eyes, under one thick black eyebrow, and a chin like an anvil.

“You stay with me Tony, me an’ Fast Eddy might need the muscle.”

At the Hollywood Bowl bowling alley, in a back hallway near the lavatories two women, one gorgeous moll and a hag that looked like an eager friend stood comfortably close to a mook by the name of Big Johnny Padrone. Big Johnny was in charge of the door to one of the hottest speak easies in all of St. Louis. Big Johnny was a bruiser, and on his way to becoming a loyal button man of the Bumpansano family. He worked security for a number of their interests, which was a cushy job since peace broke out between them and the Panetti family. Big Johnny had not made his bones yet, but it would just be a matter of time before the Family swore him in by the code of Omerta. For now, he was sweet talking these two dolls, correction, one doll and her friend, who with enough booze could be made bearable.

“So, you two ladies want a drink?” Big Johnny smiled what he hoped was his most charming smile. The two women exchanged a glance and giggled.

“Oh we’d love one.” They tittered again. Big Johnny’s smile widened,dames. The trio went inside, the jazz was pounding, dancers were cutting a rug on the sawdust covered floorboards, a pulse thrummed through the crowd, the two women could feel their hunger growing. Johnny took the ladies to the bar, one on each arm. Frank the barman grinned and bobbed his head to the music.

“What’ll it be ladies?” then aside, “Hey Johnny, ain’t you supposed to be at the door?”

“I got Rocco to cover,” Big Johnnyy beamed, “I gotta coupla thirsty ladies here in need of refreshment.” The girls tittered again, Big Johnny was meltin’ in his shoes. “Like the man said, ‘What’ll it be?’”

“Red wine, whatever you got,” said the friend, her voice sounded slightly accented, maybe Italian.

“Oh no, no guest o’ mine is drinkin’ that swill. Frank, send a bottle of the good Italian stuff over to the table, we’re takin’ the booth in the back.”

At the table Johnny lets the ladies sit first, and then he slides in next to the one he thinks is real hotsie totsie. Frank brings the wine, and Johnny’s usual, scotch on the rocks. The pretty one, Johnny for some reason cannot remember the dame’s name, leans in close and snuggles up to him. She looks him in the eye, and asks him about his work. He smiles, he stutters, he’s not quite sure he can tell her. She presses, oh boy does she press, Big Johnny feels about two feet tall besides this dame. This is a lady, for sure, no nameless broad has ever made Big Johnny’s heart race like it is now, and this lady just wants to know what a big strapping man like him does. So he tells her, he tells her everything with just a little push. He tells her security details, he tells her what time it’s gonna go down, he tells her every detail he knows about tomorrow night’s drop. That’s when she asks if he’d like to take her and her friend some place more comfortable, and Big Johnny feels that he must be the luckiest man this side of the Mississippi.

In the alley down the block Big Johnny’s ideas of what lucky is, are about to change dramatically. The two women who’ve been nuzzling him and canoodling him all the way down the block pull him into the alley, for what Big Johnny thinks is gonna be a good time. It is, for them. As soon as they are out of sight the plain face of the second girl, the quiet one with the Italian accent, melts away into something monstrous. Like a witch out of a children’s fairy story, her nose is long and warty, her hair thin wisps of white blowing in the night wind, and her face is a monstrous mockery of a woman’s. She opens her mouth revealing a snarl of yellowed fangs and a darting pink tongue, she battens onto his throat and he lets out a little cry. The other, a woman he still feels a deep emotional need to please, she presses a finger to his lips, and looks deep into his eyes.

Quiet now honey, just let us get a drink, we’re awful thirsty.” Then she licks her lips and smiles, revealing big, white fangs. She sinks them into his wrist, and the bliss, the pleasure, the oblivion that overtakes him is like nothing any other woman has ever given him. He’s sweating and panting when they pull away, mouths dripping crimson. The one, Roxy, was that her name? She smiles and wipes a fingertip slowly around the edge of her lips, she catches him watching and gives him a wink.

“Was it good for you to sugar?” Before he can answer she catches his eye and tells him to stand still, be quiet, and listen. There is nothing more he can do, but do exactly as she asked. As he stands there wide eyed in mute horror she tells him exactly what he’s going to do to help her. Later when he wakes up in a hotel across town with only the vague memories of a hot night with two ladies he smiles and starts to get dressed, trying in vain to remember any details of the night of his life.

Bruno, Tony and Fast Eddy meet up with the ladies later at the brownstone, they head to the red light district looking to feed on those that would not be missed. A few mortals die, a few more come close to it. One poor pair of college boys, out for a night on the town meet a few girls that turn their heads, one of them after daintily feeding, leaves them with the vague memory of a homosexual experience between the two friends. This act, of which neither will speak, haunts their dreams for years to come.

The next night the Sabbat sit in a stolen vehicle in an alley across the street from the First National Bank of Missouri. They watch as an unmarked truck trundles up to the rear delivery entrance. They wait maybe twenty minutes while men unload several bags, a security guard makes his rounds around the building twice in this time. Ten minutes after the truck leaves Tony moves quickly across the street, checking over his shoulder for anyone watching. He hides in the shadow of the building as the security guard comes around the corner, the man can barely utter a cry of surprise as Tony with superhuman speed and strength smashes him bodily into the brick wall. A few bricks are dislodged, the man crumples to the ground without a sound. Tony hauls him up and takes a bite, ‘waste not want not’ his mom always said. After depositing the body behind a nearby dumpster he waves across the street to his pack.

At the back entrance it is the duty of the Strega to invisibly infiltrate the bank and find and neutralize the remaining guard. Shaping her will she summons a swarm of rats to move ahead of her through the bank and find the guard. The rats scurrying and squeaking before her run over themselves to find the man, which they do, in an inner room quietly smoking and nursing a luke warm coffee. There’s a noise and he turns, he catches a brief glimpse of a woman, a hag more accurately. As she tackles him to the ground he screams and his gun goes off. He catches the woman in the torso, she jerks, but makes no other reaction, as if he’d just pinched her. She grabs his head, squeezing it with inhuman strength. All around him is the chittering of dozens of rats.

The others hear the gunshot and come rushing in. Roxy stays behind to watch the back entrance. Fast Eddy and Bruno head for the vault, while Tony rushes to help the Strega with the guard. As Tony reaches the two he spies the Strega straddling the guard her hands smacking his head against the hard tile flooring, the guard struggling against the hag’s monstrous strength. In one swift movement Tony brings his fist down onto the man’s head and hears a sickening crack. The man’s face collapses like a rotten melon, and the chittering of the rats reaches a fevered pitch. Tony catches up with Fast Eddy and Bruno, while the Strega leaves them to keep watch with Roxy, licking the brain matter and blood from her fingertips as she goes.

At the vault Fast Eddy has already lived up to his name and cracked the combination. Inside, as promised are two fat duffel bags of cash and a row of safe deposit boxes along the back wall. A little bit of jimmying and the box is open. The three grab the loot and make for the back entrance. As they do they hear the girls shouting from outside, someone must of heard the gunshot or the pack may have set of an alarm. Outside the girls are growing restless, the sound of sirens is fast approaching, they have only minutes before the police arrive. The men make it to the car, Tony hopping in the driver’s seat. It takes them a few minutes to make sure they are not being followed before they turn and head for the bridge across the river and into East St. Louis. There they are to meet their contact at the abandoned Menlowe Meats plant.

The factory was closed during the first few years of the Depression, its forlorn windows are broken in places boarded up in others. The entire structure embodies the sense of loss and hardship that marked the worst parts of its’ time. Painted on the side of the building and across one set of double doors are the words, “HERE THERE BE MONSTERS!” The pack enters cautiously, Tony takes a place near the door, Tommy gun in hand. The others array themselves about the plants’ main floor looking fearfully into the darkness. A voice from above beckons them, “So glad to see you’ve made it, do you have the box?” The faintly accented voice belongs to the Don, Bruno’s boss and the direct commander of the pack. His right eye glows balefully in the darkness like a distant mars.

“Yeah boss, we got it. What about the other loot?” Bruno inquires.

“Take it, it’s yours, all of it, only the box matters. Bring it to me.” the Don motions for Bruno to join him on the catwalk above the main floor. Bruno makes his way up the stairs gingerly. The Don awaits him, hand outstretched. When Bruno hands him the box, the Don opens it and smiles.

“Excellent my boy, excellent. Did you open the box before bringing it here?”

“Sure boss, we got curious, Roxy says the papers in there are an old Spanish map and part of the manifest for some ship called the..the Santa Anna. Is it worth something?”

“You have no idea,” the old man scowled, “Roxy, and which one is she?” Bruno points her out, and the Don asks her to join them on the catwalk. Roxy comes forward with alacrity, expecting to be commended for her smarts. The Don continues, “Ah my dear, so it was you who translated this?” And he holds the documents up for her to inspect.

“Yeah, that was me, I got high marks in my classes at school, my mom always said that I coulda…” She is stopped before she can say any more as the Don grabs her throat in his vise-like grip. Bruno attempts to dislodge the Don, but he is unable to stop the Don from slashing her face with his bestial claws. The others rush the stairs quickly to aid their packmate, Bruno to his credit jumps between the Don and Roxy, kicking her back towards the others and pushing the Don back.

“Why?” he screams.

“She knows too much, they all do, who’s side are you on? Don’t you remember the mission?” The Don snarls and rushes Roxy again, slashing her once more, grievously wounding her. There is little else her packmates can do to help her as other vampires now rush forth from hiding, or the doors to the exterior. The last thing any of them see is a woman appearing from the darkness, cold regal features turn towards them as she urges the other vampires on to kill the pack. Just before she is torn apart by two younger, stronger Cainites the Strega sees the cold woman’s eyes and despairs at their radiant madness.

*

End of part one, return soon for part two, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

View
Strangers in the Night
In Which the Coterie Meets Allies and Enemies Alike

We resume with the coterie standing over the torporous form of the Eel in a quadruplex on Duck Avenue. Hurtz makes a call to Ms. Edna with news of Eels capture. Edna tells them to stay put until a cleanup crew arrives to “sanatize” the scene and pick up the body. Afterwords the coterie heads to the La Concha to report on their success to the Prince. At the front desk they are given a key card to room 514 where they are to meet the Prince. Once inside the room, a two room suite in fact, they are asked to wait in the first room until the Prince has finished with her current appointment.

Inside the Prince’s private chambe the Prince is in the midst of repaying a boon owed to an old Nosferatu aquaintance. The boon involves her allowing the former ally’s childe to make a haven within the city. The neonate, Jadan, has the voice and eyes of a lovely young woman, but that is all that remains of her former beauty. As with all Sewer Rats the curse of their clan has warped and deformed her features into a monstrous visage. To cover for her deformity, and lack of skill at hiding it with Obfuscation, she wears a hoody jacket and veil, giving her an exotic or eccentric look, rather than horrific. Finished with explaining the rules of the city to the whelp, the Prince dismisses her curtly.

In the outer room Jadan meets the coterie, taking a measure of them in a polite exchange of empty pleasentries. When the others are called into their meeting with the Prince, Jadan heads for the street where her ghouled Belgian shepherd, Rasputia awaits her. In the Prince’s chamber Lando proudly informs the Prince of their success, to which the Prince graciously grants the coterie license to lair and hunt within her city. De La Croix asks the Prince if she is familiar with the initials, “E.W.” to which the Prince replies, “no.” The Prince as usual plays her cards close to her vest, and leaves the assembled Kindred feeling as if there is yet more going on than they are aware of. When dismissed the coterie makes for the street and is discreetly followed to Club XS, which occupies the former theatre building behind St. Pauls Episcapol church on Eaton, a block off Duval St.

After a short walk the coterie enters the club where Hurtz performs, and helps to manage for the Giselle, who is partial owner. Meeting in the 2nd floor office, music pounding at the door walls, the group discusses their current situation. Dowd suggests tracking down the Nosferatu, Jadan, to aid them in spying on the Prince. New in town, she should have few loyalties, and may be useful to the coterie. Giselle mentions the picture in the house on Duck Ave., and the initials, “E.W.” The group strongly suspects the Prince of foul play, but has yet to collect any evidence of foul play. Unbeknownst to the coterie, at that time Jadan is invisibly eavesdropping on their palaver. With nothing more to say the group splits up to find the Nosferatu. Returning to the La Concha, Dowd and Lando find a way to track down Jadan. They follow her trail, and find that she had followed them into the XS. One of the bouncers reports seeing a woman fitting her dress and build catching a cab heading uptown.

With no clue of where to look the coterie splits up to search new town and old town seperately. Lando and Hurtz search downtown, starting in Bahama Village, while Giselle and Dowd head towards up town, by way of the cemetary. Eventually Lando and Hurtz catch sight of Jadan entering the Green Parrot, unseen by the mortal patrons. Lando, who’s supernatural sight has allowed him to pierce the veils of several vampires in the past activates his own Obfuscate discipline, and passes unseen into the bar. Careful to avoid being seen, Lando surprises Jadan near the back of the bar, only to be threatened himself by Rasputia, her ghoul shepherd. Lando explains that his allies would like to speak to Jadan in private, and perhaps offer her a job. Jadan consents and Lando contacts the others. They decide to meet back at Giselle’s yacht, near Front St. and the Sunset Pier.

As soon as the group comes together, just outside the old Custom’s House a wave of paranoia washes over them. All but Giselle are affected, and feel as if someone, or something is watching them. Hurtz gathers her cloak of shadows around the group, but drops the veil from herself. She continues up the dock, surrounded by her now invisible companions. Heading toward the boat she she’s a small black child staring out to sea. Her hackles raising she asks the boy if he’s lost, and he admits he cannot find his parents. Feeling kidness towards the boy, she offers to take him to the office, and the boy agrees putting his small hand in hers as they walk towards the office of a nearby hotel. On the docks the boy shouts after someone going around the corner, he tells Hurtz he believes it was his mother. They make haste to the end of the dock, just around the corner of the hotel and see a well dressed black man and a gorgeous younger woman.

The man smiles broadly, and thanks Hurtz for finding his son. He walks up Hurtz offering to shake her hand, and thank her for her kindness. She is barely able to notice the man’s Hatian accent when he catches her eye. She feels herself stiffen, as the man’s golden, snake-like irises lock with hers. The man shouts something in Creole patois, that Giselle understands as, “look out for her friends.” The boy still holding onto Hurtz’s hand turns leering into the darkness around them, his hands growing into taloned claws. The woman, who Dowd noticed had been closing her eyes, opens them revealing glowing scarlet eyes. She whispers something and a bilious green flame ignited in her palm. Lando drops his veil and grabs the “father,” and attempts to wrestle his gaze away from Hurtz’s. He’s successful, but the man fights back, keeping the two locked in a struggle against each other.

At the same time, Giselle summons shadowy tendrils to grab the woman from the group, using the tenebrous tentacles to grapple and crush the woman. Dowd, uses his superhuman celerity to get behind the “mother” and slashing her twice across the back of the neck, flaying the skin from her spine. Meanwhile Jadan watches as the boy begins to fade from view, becoming a translucent image upon the dock. She charges the boy, tackling him to the ground, as she shouts a command to her dog to attack. The fight with the boy is brief, but brutal though he nicks her with his claws, slashing her face, it’s the only hit he gets in before her brutal strength and loyal hound take him out of the fight. While Jadan is fighting the boy, and Dowd is occupied with the woman something huge rushes out of the darkness. With an inhuman howl the thing rushes Dowd, pummeling him from behind with nobby fists ending in bone spurs sharp enough to rend flesh. The thing is almost 9 feet tall, and built like a gorilla, but it’s flesh is covered in slick ropy muscles and chitin.

The fight does not go well for the monster or his allies. Giselle uses two of her shadowy tentacles to attack the beast, while the other two continue to hold the struggling black woman. She uses two of the tentacles to sweep the monster off his feet, and uses her Dominate discipline to command the thing into inaction. With the creature downed and helpless, Dowd turns and begins to eviscerate the creature with his claws. Struggling with the “father,” Lando manages to pull him from the dock and the two fall into the water. Jadan finishes with the child, and turns still flushed from combat to help the others. Giselle is about to use her mind trick on the woman as well, but the woman points her finger and invokes some foul curse. Giselle can do nothing but cower and whimper as she sees the face of her dead son, rotted and ruined staring at her from nearby. Before the witch can do more Dowd is upon her, and finishes her off quickly. With nothing left to do Hurtz calls the Sheriff again to inform her of the tussle. Lando pulls himself up the dock, having lost the man in the water. When Jadan looks over her shoulder however, she notices that the boy is no where to be seen.

The group decides to leave the cleanup to the local Kindred authorities, and tries to track the boy down. Following his blood trail and then using her dog, they track him to the end of Bahama Village and into the fenced off, and abandoned bomb shelters at the edge of Truman Annex. Lando moves quickly to follow with Jadan hot on his heels. Hurtz and Dowd send word to the authorities and Giselles link to the Justicar, while Giselle keeps an eye out behind them. She summons a patch of darkness to obscure herself and watches the streets intently. Meanwhile inside Lando follows the patter of small feet through dusty low-ceilinged hallways which eventually leads him into a musty room. Inside a man stands leaning on a cane, his bearded face obscured by shadow. As Lando steps into the room, the man turns, his right eye gleaming red in the darkness. “Come to me my boy,” he says with a slight spanish accent, “it has been too long since we have seen you.” There is little Lando can do to resist, he hears the man’s voice like a sirens call, and cannot help but move quickly to his side.

Outside, staring out from her cloud of darkness Giselle spots a young man across the street, just between two buildings. She is unable to discern his features save for a sort of wound on one side of his face. She moves closer to get a better look at him, and she notices that the man is staring straight at her. They make eye contact and he draws a sword from his belt and salutes her. Unnerved, as no one should be able to pierce the supernatural darkness she has summoned about herself, she moves yet closer. As she comes close enough to see him, she is shocked as she recognizes his ruined features. His only reply to her obvious recognition is to say, “Hello mother.”

View
The Most Dangerous Game
In which the coterie becomes intangled in the plots of Bone Island's resident undead.

Author’s note- Any resemblance to people real or fictional, is meant as an homage. Also the first half of this post actually took place during the previous session. When the Sheriff appears the second session ended, when the PCs speak with the Sheriff marks the beginning of the 3rd session, but it looks better here for dramatic purposes.

The coterie makes its’ way by land and sea to Key West. All goes well except for an attempt by Dowd to feed on a hispanic prostitute in Florida City. Successfully luring her into his car, he finds a quiet location to feed. When he bends down to drink from the veins in her neck he is repulsed by the crucifix on her neck. Unceremoniously pushing her to the curb, Dowd leaves the mainland hungry. Meeting up in Key West the group relies heavily on Ms. Hurtz local knowledge, and contacts. The group attempts to find one of the Princes’ lackeys, a mad vampire known as The Lance. Often found on the street corners of Duval Street, reading aloud from 1984, and warning of dire conspiracies. The Lance was a boisterous, but innocous link to the Prince, and her ever present eyes and ears on the night time streets of downtown Key West.

Near the famous Bull & Whistle bars the coterie is approached by a pale young man in a tank top and sporty street clothes. He introduces himself as Patrick O’Rourke, Key West’s Scourge (a position appointed by the city’s Prince to thin the ranks of unwelcome vampires), and asks the coterie bluntly to join him in a nearby alley. Once their the group is flanked by his two ghouled thugs, and O’Rourke begins asking the coterie members their clan and business on the island. Hurtz, who recognized O’Rourke, and knows full well his obnoxious attitude, offers that the group is looking to meet the Prince and introduce themselves, as is custom. O’Rourke ignores “her” and continues to prod the group for their identities and clans. When Lando admits he does not know his clan, O’Rourke gets right in his face and begins to not so subtley provoke him. A fight ensues, in which the coterie quickly subdues O’Rourke and his cronies with non-lethal force. As O’Rourke is knocked unconcious into the side of a steel dumpster the city’s Gangrel Sheriff (another appointee of the Prince, not conected with the mortal authorities), Ms. Edna appears in the alley to sort things out. * Ms. Edna greets Hurtz, who shares connections with the Sheriff among Key West’s gay community, but asks for a swift explanation for the altracation. After it wass explained that O’Rourke began the fight, Ms.Edna, fully aware of the Brujah’s short temper, told the coterie to meet her at the top of the La Concha hotel in two hours. There they could meet the Prince and explain themselves more fully. Memebers of the coterie take this time to feed on various drunks and tourists downtown. Luring them with promises of money, drugs, or illicit relations. When all have been fed the coterie meets up in front of the La Concha and take the elevator to the top floor. There in the abandoned upstars bar they meet the Prince of Key West. Emmaline DuVeaux, Prince of Key West gives them a cold reception, greeting them with little interest she learns their names and clans. When asked what their business is in Key West, Hurtz interjects that they are her guests and are here after having conducted some sect business on the mainland. She also warns the Prince of the increasing number of Sabbat in Miami, and the coteries run in with the monster on the cargo ship.

The Prince explains that the coterie, except for Ms. Hurtz who is already an accepted Key West resident, are allowed to stay only three days in the city and must then leave. They are not to feed from city residents and are to restrict their feeding to tourists or homeless. They are strongly cautioned not to feed from diseased vessels or spread disease among the residents of Key West. It is also explained to them that all local Kindred have cultivated safe feeding stocks to feed from, called herds, and it is suggested that they make use of Ms. Hurtz herd exclusively. At this point the Prince makes an offer to Lando, who has admitted his the mystery of his past. If Lando will give her a sample of his blood, she can use her Thaumaturgy (a type of blood magic unique to her clan), that she can determine the strength of his blood and the clan to which he belongs. Lando, unaware of the power a Tremere has over blood, freely offered it in return for answers to his lost past. He was told to return at midnight the next night, and answers would be given for the price of an unnamed favor.

After their meeting with the Prince, The Lance, who had been in attendance greeted his clanmate Ms. Hurtz and invited her and Lando to meet with a vampire the local Malkavians refered to as “The Eldest.” Feeling a supernatural pull to the Eldest’s location in an abandoned bomb shelter behind the airport, the two agreed to meet him there. The Call, as members of Clan Malkavian call the supernatural connection they share was felt by both Lando and Ms. Hurtz. The group traveled to Flagler, near Key West High School, where they were drawn to a side street that lead to the entrance of Little Hamaca park. They entered the park, which closed at dusk through an open gate, and then had to crawl under a security fence to access the overgrown bomb shelter. They could feel themselves being watched by unseen eyes, and were greeted at the entrance by a ragged and toothless bum.

Once inside The Lance lead them through a series of darkened corridors to a candle lit room where a wiry old man sat mumbling to himself in a foreign language. When he became aware of their presence the Lance, and Finn another local Malkavian who had the smell and appearance of one of the city’s numerous homeless, introduced Lando and Ms. Hurtz. The Eldest, whom Finn and the Lance now addressed as The General spoke to all within his presence of a coming storm, and the rising of the dead. He warned Lando to beware of his past, and to beware the turning of the wyrm and the coming of the time of thin blood. Then the ancient vampire dismissed them, as they left the sounds of screaming and howling in some ancient tongue echoed through the dark halls. The Lance warned them not to speak of the General to the Prince or any other, and to heed the prophecies of the Eldest.

The next night Lando met with the Prince and she revealed his clan and generation. She told him he was a Malkavian of the ninth generation of vampires decended from Caine. For this answer she asked the prince of a boon from Lando, a favor that he would complete for her. On the rooftop of the building next to the La Concha where the coterie has once again met the prince a monstrous creature alights next to the Prince. It has skin as grey as stone, a demonic horned head, and batlike wings. It whispers something to the Prince and they over hear the word “worm.” The Prince looks to Lando and tells him that she has found a sufficient task for him to pay her back. He and his allies must track down a nefarious Kindred known alternately as the Eel, or the Worm. If the coterie can capture this Kindred alive, Lando’s debt will be paid and the Prince satisfied as to the coterie’s loyaties.

The Prince turns the group over to her Sheriff, who will inform them of the Eels crimes and any information that the Sheriff posseses. She informs them that the Eel has murdered three victims within the city, in their homes. That each victim was exsanguinated, and that each was safely locked within their home with no signs of forced entry. Tonight a fourth victim has been found, and a cover up was being conducted. The coterie would be given the address of the latest victim, and access to her home. Once there they could try and find a way to track the Eel down. The group was given an address to a quadruplex on Duck Ave, in an area known as the Smurf Village, for its’ mushroom shaped houses.

Once there Lando entered first, hoping to catch a psychic impression left by the killer. Searching through the house he caught sight of wet foot prints in the bathroom leading up the stairs of the house. The footprints were dirty, and smelled of sewage. When he came to the second floor he could see that the tracks lead into the bedroom. Opening the door and moving into the room he touched the bed, suddenly he was lying in the bed. There was something standing over him, blurry at first, but as it drew closer in the darkness he could see its’ puckered slimy skin. It’s face drew closer, he could smell the foul odor of stagnant water and sewage, he could see the creatures’ human eyes set above a face with no nose and a mouth like a lamprey’s. The creature moved quickly forward and bit his throat, and then Lando was back in himself standing at the foot of the bed.

Calling the others in they scoured the house for clues. While Lando, Hurtz, and Dowd were up stairs, Giselle searched the humble living room and kitchen downstairs. In one corner on an end table was a photo of a woman, the woman was in no other photos in the house and was standing next to a man dressed in the circus garb. The man was thin and bald, and had one of his arms bent back around his shoulder and around the shoulder of the woman in the picture. The picture was signed, “To Elise, a beautiful fan! -E.W.” As she was studying the picture Giselle heard a squelching sloshing sound coming from the bathroom. Drawing the shadows of the room around her Giselle backed into a corner and watched as a twisted, slimy, hairless man came out of the bathroom dripping water as he went. His eyes were dark pools of shadow and unreadable, but his mouth was that of a lamprey, ringed with teeth. She saw the thing stop, and look in her direction, it stared intently at something very near her. As she watched the creature moved forward and picked up the picture the Archon had been studying moments before.

Upstairs Dowds inhumanly keen ears picked up the sounds of movement downstairs. Using all of his skill, he stealthily made his way down the stairs to engage the stranger. As he did Giselle drew on the power of her Lasombra heritage. She created six tentacles of darkness and used them to grab the thing. It wriggled and writhed as the tentacles tightened their grip on him. Suddenly its flesh began to run and slide like wax, it shifted attempting to free itself from the six shadowy tendrils holding it in place. Working quickly Lando and Dowd worked to take the thing out. After battering it with his fists Lando found it to be an exercise in futility as the things flesh was so soft it absorbed much of the force. Dowd was slightly more successful using his Protean enhanced claws to hamstring the Eel. When finally it looked as if the Eel might escape his shadowy bindings, Lando staked him through the heart with a broken chair leg. The battle finished the coterie stood over the torpid body of the Eel, considering their next step.

View
A Monstrous Discovery
In which the Coterie discovers a horror in the hold of a ship.

The Coterie awakens the next night aboard the yacht. With still no further posts from their benefactor, the group decides to pursue the Archbishop’s assigned mission. At this point the coterie questions Lando’s credentials, asking him of his clan, his past, his capabilities. Lando reveals that his answers to all of these questions are as much a mystery to him, as to the coterie. He has been searching, for several decades now for clues to his past identity and has kept copious notes that lead him here to Miami, and in fact to the Omni Mall. With this revealation, and some lost history “herself,” Ms. Hurtz vowed to aid Lando in discovering his past. After their talk the group began gearing up with guns and armored vests stored aboard the yacht in case of pirates. Armed and ready, the coteries sets out for the docks.

With Lando in the lead using his Obfuscate discipline, and Ms. Hurtz providing cover for the others the group made their way to the Port of Miami. Once there they received a text with the name of the ship and its dock number. “Pier 23, the Siren,” was all the text said. Dowd at this point decides to find a spot to snipe from to provide cover fire to the coterie should something attack them on their way to the ship. The coterie then waited for the ship to unload and most of the crew to head out on shore leave. With the majority of the crew gone the PCs watched as a group of sailors made their way onto the ship to unload some additional cargo from the hold. Lando shadowed this new group and listened as they struggled below deck with a large shipping container, when suddenly all hell broke loose. The doors to the shipping container burst open, and a monsrout claw, the width and height of two men slashed at the sailors. Something from within the container roared and the rest of the sailors fled as the thing clawed its way through a cargo port on deck.

What came into view in the moonlight was a horrible mass flesh, neither man nor animal. The thing was as large as an elephant and hungry for blood. It swiped at the sailors on deck as it struggled to pull its’ gargantuan bulk upward. Thinking quickly Lando ran to one of the local cargo cranes, climbing it swiftly and disabling the operator. He then was able to move the thing through trial and error over the ships hold, where the monstrousity was beginging to pull itself free. At the same time, through the scope of his sniper rifle, Dowd sighted the monster and made ready to fill it’s head with .308 rounds. Squeezing the trigger he took a couple of shots, hitting the creature in the head, but barely wounding it. Just before the monster succeeded at pulling itself up, Lando dropped a huge cargo container on the creature’s head. There was a roar, a crash and then silence. Soon dockworkers were rushing down to the ship, and the sound of sirens could be heard approaching. Once again the coterie retreated the DelaCroix yacht.

Once there the received another drop from the Justicar. The mission had been a trap, the lines of communication had been compromised. DelaCroix and her group were to leave town immediately for their next mission. Included was a picture of the target they were to investigate, Ms. Hurtz recognized her at once. It was a picture of the Prince of Key West, a most dangerous game had begun.

View
Baptized in Blood and Fire
In which the coterie is formed by the crucible of blood and fire.

The night begins as Archon, Giselle DelaCroix, her aide-de-camp, the Malkavian drag queen “Vagina Hurtz,” and their enforcer Hank Dowd are tracking down a known member of the Sabbat. They’ve followed him to the abandoned Omni Mall in downtown Miami. Here they follow a Nosferatu Antitribu through an entrance in the darkened parking garage attached to the mall. Little do they know, they are being shadowed as well, by a vampire in search of his mysterious past. They are helped by their shadow to gain entrance when he utters an overheard password to the guards on the otherside of a barricaded doorway. Once inside the party impersonates a Sabbat pack and are lead through an inhuman gallery of torture and monstrous excess.

They drink from a fountain of blood, and watch as Archbishop Fabrizia Contrariz officiates over a blood bath, a gory Sabbat ritual. Fading into the background with the help of Ms. Hurtz’s control of the discipline Obfuscate, the coterie prepares to make a swift exit from the ensuing orgy of blood. Just before they leave their bluff is called by the Archbishop who calls for the Ductus of each pack to step forward and be presented a mission by the Archbishop herself. Their shadow reveals himself, as no coterie member wishes to press their luck and confront the Archbishop directly. Posing as the pack Ductus, Lando, the coterie’s mysterious shadow steps forward and receives a mission from Contrariz. Meanwhile Dowd, still under the Cloak of Gathering formed by Hurtz, uses his tape recorder to gather as much intel as possible on the personal missions given to each pack Ductus. As human captives are lowered on chains into the frenzying crowd of Cainites below, the coterie finds it prudent to make a hasty retreat.

Once outside the party is confronted by Lando who reveals his own mastery of the Discipline Obfuscate. The coterie convenes on DelaCroix’s yacht at the nearby marina. On the way Dowd makes an information drop at secure location and waits for contact. Without further intel the group decides to cautiously pursue the mission assigned to them by the Archbishop. The mission was to attack a ship containing incoming Camarilla Kindred. Being that the Coterie are really working for the Camarilla, the group planned to rendezvous with their possible allies and falsify an attack. Worried that it could be a trap the group makes sure to go armed and wary.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.