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[WIR] Beckett's Jyhad Diary - The Big book of Metaplot

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  • Some thought I have on the sequence of events.

    For some of these chapter the Second Inquisition does not appear to be an issue, as Paris, London, Venice, and Vienna have not fallen to mortal hunters. It also begins after 9/11 and parts of it occur as the Gehenna War is ramping up.

    Chapter 1 - Carna's Rebellion; Events happen early enough to motivate Beckett to run around for most of the book as he searches for the McGuffin of the Book of the Gravewar.

    Chapter 2 - A Split City; This occurs directly after the previous chapter.

    Chapter 3 - Shadows Coalesce; Pinning this down precisely is difficult. However, it does happen early in the narrative because the book references Vitel frequently later. For example, Beckett and Talley travel around Haiti together in Chapter 11.

    Chapter 4 - The War Across Dixie; This one is oddly difficult to place. However, it does occurs after Shadows Coalesce. Beckett travels to Birmingham to meet with Fatima Al-Faqadi. Why he is seeking her is not disclosed.

    Chapter 5 - London Calling; Because Beckett is still looking for Fatima we know this chapter follows the previous. However, an unknown amount of time may have passed between The War Across Dixie and London Calling. Also, the last passage in this chapter occur during Chapter 13. Notably, London has not fallen to the SI.

    Chapter 6 – Schism; Based on Beckett’s notes to his ghoul we know this chapter also follows the last. Again, time may have passed between the events depicted in the two chapters. Notably, Paris has not fallen to the SI.

    Chapter 7 - The Anarch Freefall; This chapter details the events before The Blood Matures and after after Carna’s Rebellion. That is probably all that we may definitively determine. There is little else here to nail it down time wise.

    Chapter 8 - The Blood Matures; The actions of this chapter – Beckett talking to people as compared to the notes from Netchurch – follow closely on the previous chapter.

    Chapter 9 - The Spark of Civil War; Because Beckett gets his jet back – the one Lutica “borrowed” in Chapter Two – we know this chapter occurs after A Split City. But we do not know how much time passes. The events of the chapter do occur across a short period of time, probably a single night. This is also the only chapter with a specific year, of 16 after the death of the real Regent in 2001. That places this chapter in 2017… almost a decade after the fall of Paris, London, Venice, and Vienna. These might be some of the final events of the book.

    Chapter 10 - Hands of Darkness; This chapter closely follows the last one.

    Chapter 11 - The Dead Walk; There are few definitive ways date to Beckett’s adventure in Haiti except is occurs after Chapter Three and his deal with Vitel. The last scene in the chapter has Hesha is available to run around tombs in Egypt.

    Chapter 12 - Planting the Eye; (White Wolf should not have named two female, Muslim vampires Fatima/Fatimah – I confused the one with the “h” for the one without). The first portion of this chapter witness Beckett in and around Detroit and Ann Arbor. The second half occurs inside Cairo (the Egyptian city, not the Sabbat vampire). It would be a short trip from Chicago to Detroit or Ann Arbor. So, the first half of this chapter may shortly after the events of the second chapter. Perhaps the encounter with Portia/Helena rattled Beckett enough he sought Hesha Ruhadze and Eye of Hazimel for protection. A time jump occurs and the action moves to Egypt. Further, Lucita is available for adventures. She would probably be too busy campaigning for Regent, or acting as Regent, to run off to Egypt. So it may occur before The Spark of Civil War (and she told Beckett where she stashed is jet).

    Chapter 13 - The Freedom of Libertatia; Beckett receives his letter from Coven-Mithras, detailed in Chapter 5, while in the city of pirate vampires. Also, this occurs 6 months after the events of London Calling.

    So it may go;
    Chapter 1 - Milwalkee
    Chapter 2 - Chicago
    First half of Chapter 12 – Ann Arbor and Detroit
    Chapter 3 – Washington D.C.
    Chapter 7 – Greater L.A.
    Chapter 8 – Greater L.A.
    Chapter 4 – Birmingham and Atlanta
    Chapter 5 – London
    Chapter 6 – Jordan and Paris
    Most of Chapter 11 – Haiti
    Second half of Chapter 12 - Cairo
    Final part of Chapter 11 - Cairo
    Chapter 13 – Madagascar
    Chapter 9 – Mexico City (2017?)
    Chapter 10 – Montreal

    Comment


    • There are a few references to the Second Inquisition spread throughout the book, though nothing that indicates the kind of large scale upheaval and hunt that such a thing should entail. Not too surprising since V5's biggest change had to be written into it later. I wouldn't be surprised if there's "missing pages" and we'll get a Beckett's Jyhad Diary entry later on detailing the SI--perhaps in their book.

      Some things that are included, though are Jan being worried about the NSA and references to various groups monitoring our (anti)heroes.

      But I am of the mind that Lucita is not going to be Regent. Mostly because I do believe the Old Sabbat Order is going to collapse in-universe and Clan Lasombra in particular so it's a terrible time to be that sect/clan's savior. We also know Vasantasena (V5) joins the Anarchs and Camarilla with all the Humanity following Malkavian Antribu (so two? *rimshot*) and thus clearly her plan to redeem the Sabbat through Lucita has failed.

      We also know Talley is believed to have killed her (CBN5E), possibly because she was opposed to the Camarilla deal.

      I'm almost certain she survived but given for that rumor to have even begun, she's not sitting pretty in the new Sabbat capital of Montreal. My inclination is the final bit with Enoch's Tomb and the Lasombra Antediluvian is also the last event as that is an event that will certainly help contribute to the Lasombra defection/Civil War.

      The thing is, according to this, the Old Sabbat ("Classic" Sabbat?) were functional up until 2017 and the Gehenna War is ramping up so when the "New Sabbat" (Scary Blood Gods) replaces the old older. This is going to be probably going on "now" or even later in the timeline because there's enough of the Old Sabbat/Classic Order as of 2018 to create the Chicago by Night Lasombra deal.

      The end of the Sabbat as we know it (And I feel Fine) is going to happen in the last couple of years at most.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-24-2019, 02:01 AM.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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      • Chapter Eleven: The Dead Walk

        Beckett decides to go to Haiti, specifically Port-A-Prince on the clues of Okulos who direct him toward a piece of the Shaal Fragment. This is post-Earthquake Haiti and even then, White Wolf's version of it has been a battle ground between Followers of Set, Serpents of Light, Samedi, and Lasombra Antitribu.

        Beckett is both excited to head back to Haiti and nervous because he's ticked off a Serpent of Light there named Jean Francois. There's a hilarious line here, "I was a different vampire then, more compelled to insult my hosts." This chapter is primarily about Beckett's desire to investigate the Samedi bloodline.
        There's an equally amusing moment where Beckett is revealed to have put his password in hi e-mail address. Apparently, the Camarilla blames the Samedi for Haiti's ruinous condition, which is ridiculous. Anatole also gives a short mention that Beckett should avoid getting into debt to Lucius Sejanus--seconds after Beckett mentions booking a lavish hotel room on his dime.

        Talley then shows up and proceeds to shock Beckett. I always love Talley's interaction with the various characters because he's such a gleefully amoral character but has his own quirky code of ethics (that he's every bit as hypocritical on as most Kindred). He makes a dramatic entrance as well, popping out of the shadows like Marcus Vitel did at the Lincoln memorial. Talley isn't here at the behest of Marcus Vitel but actually another employer that Beckett comments on with his shifting loyalties.

        We then get a set of clippings about the abduction of 110 children by mysterious forces before Papa Emanuelle meditates their return. 98 of the children are returned with 12 others said not to be and the kids all traumatized, mentioning the "bokor's zombies." They're not really keeping the Masquerade well down here as Beckett suggests.

        Beckett makes a deal with Stephanie Pisanob and this puts him in touch with Baron Samedi, who is loosely allied with the Followers of Set against the Serpents of Light. Which is fascinating because you'd think it'd be the other way around.

        The meat and potatoes of this chapter is where Beckett interviews Baron Samedi. It's kind of hilarious that there's a very good reason why Beckett can't just get an answer to "Where did your bloodline come from?" Baron Samedi is a liar and changes his story three or four different times during their discussion. Sometimes he claims the Samedi are Nosferatu, sometimes he says they're Cappadochian Inferiors, and other times he goes with the idea they're one of the Drowned.

        Beckett and the Baron talk about how the Samedi are at war with the Serpents of Light. Talley, being the Sabbat cheerleader, says they'll be crushed but the Baron says they're not at war with the Sword of Caine. They're just at war with a single Antitribu Bloodline, not the entire Sabbat, though.

        Talley is the treacherous piece of crap we all know and love him to be, so during their meeting he kills Papa Emanuelle. Beckett is as surprised as anyone with this "Scorpion and the River" story but is able to negotiate his survival even as he's encouraged to leave the country as quickly as possible. It's moments like these that make me glad I mentally cast Aiden Gillen as Talley. Not because he's a particularly badass looking man but he's got that "charming betrayer" thing down pat.

        The chapter ends with Beckett traveling all the way to Egypt in order to investigate The Temple of Lazarus with Hesha. I wasn't aware those two were on friendly terms but they uncover an ancient tomb with 30 staked vampires, one of which rises and proceeds to be destroyed after devouring a couple of ghouls. Sadly, it seems to have entered wassail over the centuries. Beckett is then told to leave the Temple alone because everything inside belongs to the Setites in a letter from one of Lazarus' children.

        Adventure Hooks

        There's a lot of interesting story hooks about Haiti and the Samedi. It's an environment that could be good for a long term campaign or a relatively short excursion. Unfortunately, it is a place that has suffered a relatively recent horrible disaster and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable depicting the situation there.

        Finding out the origins of the Samedi Bloodline is an interesting story and I have to admit, I like the idea of them being a Clan rather than a Bloodline. The likelihood of them being such went down ith their membership in the Hecata, though.

        I am fascinated by the possibility of who or what is buried in the Temple of Lazarus, though. I feel like them being used as diablerie fodder by the Setites is the least interesting use for them, though.

        Thoughts

        I feel like Bart Simpson says it best regarding Talley.



        I like all the various origins for the Samedi bloodline and the possible uses for them in game. Baron Samedi being a pathological liar and showman are things that work well for him being a mysterious NPC. I also like how he dresses "normally" at home and only puts on his terrifying clothes when he's about to do a performance. Nice touch.

        I'm surprised they didn't comment on the massive influx of undead from the Shadowlands following the whole "nuclear destruction of Enoch" thing that was the basis for Hunter: The Reckoning. However, I suppoe that's pretty damn hard to put into a story even if it does have a bunch of zombies in it.
        Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-25-2019, 01:06 PM.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • Chapter Eleven: The Dead Walk notes

          1. Talley will defend his shifting loyalties by saying Vitel isn't an Antiribu and a traitor but this is bullshit. Not only is Vitel a greater enemy of the Sabbat than most but he'll also send Talley to secure the Camarilla deal later. Furthermore, Talley confessed to Theo Bell in the Clan Novel Anthology that he thought the sects were bullshit. My personal opinion of Talley is that he has NO ideology and that's why he's lasted as long as he has. By always claiming to follow orders, he's actually very good at navigating the various conflicts among those with real life ideologies--when he's actually got no loyalty to any sect or superior. The dude is a freelancer who appears as a die-hard follower and that's a very good display as to why he's so good at what he does.

          In short, he's a good example why Nature and Demeanor are different in V:TM.

          2. There's an amazingly hypocritical statement from Lucita where she says that Beckett is lucky Talley didn't sell him out because, "the number of antitribu he's responsible for murdering is obscene." Given that Lucita has killed a staggering number of Sabbat Lasombra over the years including her sire, an Archbishop, and two Pack Leaders in the Clan Novels alone--this is incredibly rich. Also a sign her loyalty to the Sabbat isn't great.

          3. Lucita also sadly says not to let Lunatics get too close, which implies she and Anatole have had a falling out. I assume it was over her defection to the Sabbat as a follower of the Road of Heaven is probably not going to like the Sabbat's overtly Satanic ideology. Even if a lot of Sabbat seem to miss that all the pseudo-Catholic rituals are meant to be ironic. Anatole is the kind of guy who just would not be down with her becoming one of Caine's Chosen and I think that's an interesting twist for her character.

          4. The Serpents of Light being unable to get any help against the Samedi says a lot about the Sabbat that they're unlikely to help one of their ranks in a war over who controls a group of mortals in a single country. I'm still surprised the Samedi are allied with the Followers of Set, though. The Serpents of Light, at least theoretically, love their mortal relations and hate that the Setites are nothing more than a bunch of fake gods who want to lead them down roads of damnation as well as horror. The Serpents of Light are more like allies of convenience with the Sword of Caine.

          5. The Samedi also talk about how they're building an army of zombies to protect themselves from the Serpents. These aren't just rotting corpses but also drugged and dominated mortals. Really, you could argue that it applies to ghouls as well. After all, they are completely enslaved servants to their undead masters. Lucita comments on the fact that the Cappadochians were much better at physically animating zombies than the Samedi themselves so there actually is a sign that there's a connection there.

          6. I like how the Drowned are slowly being built up over all the chapters. It's a much more organic way of creating the idea that they've always been in the setting rather than something that is just being sprung on people. I also like the "rising tide" joke even if it's playing on their name a bit too much. Even with the fact the Drowned are supposedly non-13 Cainites, there's also the theory that they are just a bunch of Gangrel, Follower of Set, and other bloodlines that migrated to the New World long ago.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-25-2019, 05:00 PM.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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          • The upcoming chapters in Africa and the mutability of the Blood makes me think that the Samedi are indeed the Infitore but maybe not solely, if that makes sense at this point.

            Ive always loved the Samedi so this chapter was goldust to me.

            EDIT: If the Series have the Lazerene Cappadocians and the True Brujah in a historic alliance then my God their are sitting on a powerhouse in Egypt

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            • Chicago by Night is now available for backers!

              Woot!

              Edit: Oh cool fact, I'm now proofreading the Clan Novels for Crossroad Press. Now part of the system.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-25-2019, 02:53 PM.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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              • This is another solid chapter and an entertaining read as well. It tonally reminds me of the 1988 Wes Craven film, Serpent and the Rainbow. I suspect the name of the Serpents of Light bloodline actually comes from the title of that film.

                Also, perhaps oddly, once Talley shows up and he and Beckett are off adventuring around Haiti the narrative made me think of the worst possible remake of those old Bob Hope – Bing Crosby “Road to…” With Beckett in the roll of Hope and Talley in the role of Crosby. That is to say, they make for an oddly engaging pair as they travel around and explore the devastation of the Haitian countryside. Beckett does not sufficiently question what Talley is doing in Haiti and why the notorious assassin should want to follow a Noddist scholar around. This again points to the fact Beckett uses Wisdom as his dump stat.

                Originally posted by BJD, page 182
                I visited the country during the slave revolt of 1803; I was a different vampire, more compelled to insult my hosts.
                @CTPhillips and I (and Lucita and Talley and Vykos and Bell and Anatole) turn and stare at the camera like we are characters on The Office.

                The eventual scene of Beckett and Talley with Baron Samedi is great. The Baron cuts an intriguing, compelling, and unsettling figure. With his use of Mask of a thousand Face he might look like anyone. I kept expecting the Baron to go full Dr. Facilier. After all, he does have friends on the other side.



                Then Talley has to ruin everything by cutting off a guy’s head - just when I was thinking I might get a Beckett adventure where he is a vampiric frog. However, that does continue a trend of women saving Beckett’s life. A woman is instrumental to his survival here, possibly in Washington D.C., at Castle Dracula, at the Inconnu castle, Lucita more or less saves him in Montreal, and so forth.

                At its best the chapter straddles a narrow line of a misery tour without exploiting the misery. Haiti is a country familiar with suffering – this was particularly true in the years following the earthquake. Yet the chapter never feels exploitive. Compare that to the takeaway of the chapter on Chechnya in the Camarilla book – that was pure exploitation. Haiti could be considered equally welcoming to vampire – the higher the misery index for human the more welcoming a place it is for vampires. Particularly in place where the Masquerade is weak to the point of non-existence. Fortunately, the writers of this chapter handled the subject reasonably manner well.

                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                Talley isn't here at the behest of Marcus Vitel but actually another employer that Beckett comments on with his shifting loyalties.
                Originally posted by BJD, pg 196
                If he has a philosophy beyond “just following orders,” I’ve yet to witness it.
                I think @CTPhillips and Beckett’s reads on Talley are very close. Talley is loyal to Talley, to the money or boons he is paid, and the letter (but not spirit) of whatever contract he has at the moment. There is a reason no one (aside from Beckett) ever invites him for socializing or to parties.

                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                Baron Samedi being a pathological liar and showman are things that work well for him being a mysterious NPC.
                The Baron is less a pathological liar than a creature good at sleight of hand and speed chess. He would not be able to help his lies if he were pathological about it. It is probably that mentality that kept him and the Samedi existing. For example, he lets his guard down a bit to meet with Beckett and Talley and Talley murders one of the Baron’s lieutenants. You have to stay nimble to survive in the World of Darkness. The Samedi are also likely Cappadocians that survived the Giovanni purge without going into the Underworld. But I would be surprised if he did not have contacts among the Harbingers of Skulls. As I said, he has friends on the other side. The Samedi, through the Baron, apparently have close ties with the Drowned Legacies – he apparently knows what is coming with them.

                Further, that the Samedi are aligned – if not allied – with the Setties probably relates to a pair of things. One is that the Baron probably cultivates a great deal of chaos in the local politics to keep the enemies of the Samedi off balance – who is aligned with who changes frequently. What does not change is the Baron’s goal of keeping the Samedi surviving despite limited resources and small numbers. Secondly, if the Samedi are Cappadocian survivors (basically anyone who did not enter the shadowlands) then they will have a connection to Lazarus, who has connections to the Settites. Vampire politics is a daisy chain of con-artists trying to work one another.

                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                Lucita also sadly says not to let Lunatics get too close, which implies she and Anatole have had a falling out.
                I took this less as her having a falling out with Anatole than Lucita being Lucita – rather callow and cavalier even after a thousand years of know the man. Again, the time timeline of BJD is flexible – this chapter may or may not occur after Lucita is thrown into the race for Regent. Lastly, even if Anatole tries to be a moral person the Road of Heaven is not a thing by V5.

                The ending section with Beckett, Hesha and Okulos in a tomb in Egypt – including the “oh crap” moment – is funny and interesting. There is no end to the chains of death, mystery, and malice.
                Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 07-25-2019, 04:58 PM. Reason: Baron Samedi made me do it.

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                • Well the Roads and Paths are still in-universe even if not out of it yet. It's very possible we'll see them return as Loresheets or just as Cainite religions.

                  That's just my speculation, though.

                  Good use of Doctor Fallacier, though.


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                  • I think one reason the samedi have allied with the followers of set against the cobras, is because the cobras are trying to pose as Voudons if I recall my lore correctly. The Samedi likely want to be the only cainite conduit to the Loa for the mortal populace.
                    Last edited by Vendrin; 07-25-2019, 11:28 PM.

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                    • As a Samedi fan from way back to 2nd Edition this chapter was pure bliss for me. I can't wait to see what they have cooked up for them as part of the Hecate.

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                      • Originally posted by Vendrin View Post
                        I think one reason the samedi have allied with the followers of set against the cobras, is because the cobras are trying to pose as Voudons if I recall my lore correctly. The Samedi likely want to be the only cainite conduit to the Loa for the mortal populace.
                        ^This.

                        Two groups could have a lot in common, and still be at each others' throats. Indeed, that commonality can breed conflict, as they compete for the same resources, in this case both temporal and spiritual. At least with the Followers of Set, the Samedi might consider that they're not after the same things the Samedi are, and thus they have more to gain than to lose by collaborating.

                        It's like if one group of vampires decided to join forces with some werewolves (probably Black Spiral Dancers) against a different group of vampires. It's kind of silly to cite "shouldn't it be the other way around?" when we KNOW how many ways vampires can and do conflict with one another, even if they have more in common than a vampire does with a werewolf. Sure, the werewolves are also dangerous (which means collaborating with them is not necessarily smart either), but... [Insert Jyhad Bullshit here].


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                        • The Dead Walk ranks as one of the chapters I had the most fun writing.


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                          • Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                            The Dead Walk ranks as one of the chapters I had the most fun writing.
                            It shows, as a Samedi fan I thoroughly enjoyed it.

                            The Samedi are one of those bloodlines I always worry aren't going to make it from edition to edition as there's always been an undercurrent from some parts of fandom that they serve no purpose, that the Nosferatu, Harbringers and Giovanni fill their niche already.

                            I think that does them a disservice as a Loa influenced bloodline, with historical links to the Cappadocian purge have a lot of story potential. Saying that I've liked them since the very start, before the Cappadocians were even a thing.

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                            • I don't use the Samedi that often but this chapter is pretty much what I always wanted for them.

                              Like the Daughters of Cacophany, I always want more than just a cool concept for my bloodlines.

                              I like hearing their history and how they relate to the main Clans.

                              This is all the information I needed to incorporate them into my games.


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                              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                I don't use the Samedi that often but this chapter is pretty much what I always wanted for them.

                                Like the Daughters of Cacophany, I always want more than just a cool concept for my bloodlines.

                                I like hearing their history and how they relate to the main Clans.

                                This is all the information I needed to incorporate them into my games.

                                It was long a sore spot with me that the Salubri Antitribu never had any discernible impact on metaplot. In hindsight, maybe futility was the point, that history had left them behind and they were too stubborn to acknowledge it.

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