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Historical Chicago Chronicle

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  • Historical Chicago Chronicle

    Hello! I have recently begun an online Vampire chronicle set in Chicago. I haven't run Vampire since the early 2000s but have been enjoying the recent resurgence that started with V20. While I prefer V20 to V5 I have greatly enjoyed the V5 Chicago by Night and have adapted it for my campaign. The PCs have created an ancilla coterie that is active in Chicago from the 1860s to 2020. This will enable me to run stories both in the past and present in Chicago and experience events such as the Great Fire to Under a Blood Red Moon. The PCs are Charles, a Ventrue and childe of Lodin who runs a security firm in 2020, Lewis, a Tremere who controls a bloodbank in 2020 and has become a recluse, James, a Gangrel private detective, Leon, a Ravnos social influencer, Aoife, a Toreador gambler, and Quentin, a Malkavian who has Anarch sympathies and runs free medical clinics in the city. The players have created 2020 and 1863 versions of their characters thus far. With the interest in the new Chicago books I thought this might be a good area to post session recaps as well as generate ideas for stories set in both the past and present of Chicago.
    Session 1, Chicago 2020. The coterie met to discuss rumors that the Lasombra would be sending a delegation to Chicago to negotiate entry into the Camarilla.No decision was made. The Ventrue Charles brought up the lack of a Ventrue and a Tremere on the Primogen and suggested the coterie fill the gap.

    Before anything was decided the coterie learned that the Tremere Lewis' bloodbank had been robbed. Investigating the scene they encountered the Brujah Sheriff Damien who was concerned about a threat to the Masquerade. Using clues at the scene the coterie discovered the robbers were working for the "One Eyed King." Through their efforts as well as granting a minor boon to the Nosferatu Wauneka the coterie was able to send a message to the One Eyed King (known as Olaf) to set up a meeting the following night.

    The next evening the coterie was shocked to discover that the One Eyed King was a scarred, disfigured but still alive Lodin, one time Prince of Chicago and the sire of Charles. Believed dead for 27 years the deposed Prince asked the coterie if they were there to swear fealty to him once again as they had done in the past..

  • #2
    I like it, I'm a fan of Lodin myself and he has never died in a game I run. Even with the time away his knowledge of Chicago will be extensive. Hope you post more as the game progresses, and welcome to the boards.


    • #3
      Chicago by Night 2nd ed was the first Chicago book I read so I was used to the idea of him being dead. It wasn't until I got the Chicago Chronicles that I really enjoyed his first edition storyline with all of his childer. In my old Chicago game I ran years ago based from Forged in Steel I did eventually have him die while running Under a Blood Red Moon but I am enjoying his V5 storyline now.


      • #4
        Session 2 recap:

        Chicago, 1863. The coterie meets for the first time in the home of Maxwell, Prince of Chicago. Along with James O'connor the Ventrue Lodin and his childe Charles presented themselves to the Prince. Lewis aka Zarlock the Magnificent (a stage magician), Aoife (Zarlock's assistant), and Leon (actor) provided entertainment to the guests, both kindred and kine. Departing the party the coterie noticed a mystical effect on the city environs as much of the vegetation was wilting and a sense of unease permeated the city. Lewis visited the mortal bookseller Paris who revealed the effect was infernal in nature, with historical ties to the Brujah clan after trading the information for a vial of Lewis' blood. The rest of the coterie tracked the effect to its origin point in the Confederate prison camp outside the city where 5 sigils were hidden. Destroying the sigils the coterie retired for the evening with some members having contact with other members of their clans. Aoife engaged in premeditated murder in the camp, endangering her humanity and causing potential future problems for the group...


        • #5
          Session 3 Recap;

          Chicago 1863. The coterie meets for dinner to compare notes. The Gangrel James does not attend the meeting. During the meeting Lodin drops in to offer his friendship and aid. A discussion occurs as to whether Maxwell is involved in the suspected infernal Brujah magics affecting Chicago. Lodin relates legends of the Brujah and their reputation for demonic sorcery in the times of Carthage. Lodin is concerned there may be a threat to the Masquerade if Maxwell is involved.

          The Brujah Procet sends Zarlock a request for a meeting soon. The coterie investigates the prison camp again. While there Quentin is recognized by a former friend, Aoife encounters the ghost of the man she murdered, and the coterie meets the Toreador Annabelle who seems to be making inroads to using the prison camp as a hunting ground. Annabelle reveals she is the grandsire of Aoife, and wishes to have Leon involved in Chicago theater. Continuing to investigate at the camp the coterie locates an underground chamber where a teenage has been brutally slain in ritualistic fashion. A journal left behind indicates there are at least 3 people involved in the conspiracy, references Carthage, and a powerful dark, black man being behind the altar and magicks affecting Chicago. The coterie resolves to use their resources to monitor the camp for the next week.


          • #6
            Session 4 Recap:
            Chicago 1863. While waiting to see what their surveillance of the camp reveals the coterie attends to individual matters. The Gangrel James travels the Goblin Roads outside of Chicago and encounters strange beings that may be of the spirit world. The Ravnos Leon auditions for a play and ends up killing a fellow actor who tried to kill him so he could have the part for himself. Zarlock the Tremere created a warding circle against ghouls for the Brujah elder Procet in return for information on the history of the Zealots. While there Procet engaged Aoife to bankrupt a local gambling hall in return for a minor boon. The Malkavian Quentin established a relationship with a young boy named Jason Newberry at the behest of Madame O'Leary and determined that the boy has sociopathic tendencies. Finally Charles of Clan Ventrue began introducing himself to other members of kindred society in the city at the behest of his sire Lodin.

            Reuniting the coterie visited the gambling hall and learned it was under the auspices of a local Toreador, Sir Henry Johnson. Sir Henry invited James to participate in a fighting ring he was establishing. Aoife decided to learn more of Sir Henry's history from Maria and Annabelle, her clan elders. Zarlock worries that there may be a Baali infernalist in the city based on his research..


            • #7
              Session 5 Recap;
              Chicago 1863. The coterie continues to visit Sir Henry's gambling hall while debating how to bankrupt it. James wins his first prize fight organized by Sir Henry and is shown where the business safe is located.

              Alerted by their spies at the prison camp that the hidden altar is in use the coterie returns to confront the infernalists. The infernalists are overcome by the coterie. Two of the three cultists commit suicide while the last is prevented from doing so. Charles dominates the prisoner into answering questions. The prisoner identifies Maxwell, Prince of Chicago as the man responsible for the rituals affecting Chicago. A clear answer is clouded when Zarlock tests the prisoner's blood and determines it is not Brujah blood in his system but rather that of a 4th generation Toreador. Quentin shares that Madame O'Leary of the Malkavians had been raving about the machinations of the Pale Wolf and Lady of Roses. With the coterie fearful of accusing the Prince of infernalism or falling under the sway of a methuselah they decide to confide in Charles' sire Lodin as to the correct course of action...


              • #8
                Session 6 recap;
                Chicago 1863. After consulting with Lodin about the captured ghoul that seemingly indicts Prince Maxwell as an infernalist the coterie decides to kill the captured ghoul and observe events going forward as they do not believe they can overthrow the Prince at this time as well as hoping to avoid the attentions of the Toreador methuselah that is involved with the mystery.

                After debating how to ruin Sir Henry's gambling hall the coterie decides to alert him to the threat he is under from Clan Brujah. Deciding discretion is the smarter move Sir Henry closes his establishment. With the aid of the coterie Sir Henry closes his club with style and shares some of the proceeds from the last few nights. While not bankrupting the establishment Procet agrees that the intent of his task has been met and rewards Aoife with the minor boon that was promised.

                Lodin confides in Charles that he believes the coterie will be an asset in the future when he eventually will attempt to overthrow Maxwell and take Chicago for himself. As the 1860s continue each coterie member works to further establish themselves in Chicago whether as businessmen, gambler, artist, or laying the groundwork for a future Tremere chantry..


                • #9
                  Session 7 Recap:
                  Chicago 2020. The coterie confronts Olaf, the One Eyed King at Quentin Finch's free clinic. Recognizing him as Lodin, Quentin pledges loyalty while other members offer friendship, silence and neutrality regarding his survival. Charles is unnerved when he hears Olaf address some of his mortal servants by the name of his childer, including Charles. Quentin uses Spirit's Touch and sees scenes that confirm Olaf is Lodin. After Olaf and his escort depart the coterie debates what action to take. Charles feels his sire is now insane and most likely needs to be eliminated. Others feel neutrality is the best move especially if Olaf chooses to fight against Prince Jackson to regain the throne. The other option is to observe Olaf's operations and see if he is sincere in his stated desire to be secure in Chicago but not become Prince again. Deciding nothing tonight the coterie return to their havens. Charles finds the corpse of his mortal replacement in his haven, with a note fom Olaf stating he could never be replaced...


                  • #10
                    The next few sessions deal with The Sacrifice from Chicago by Night.

                    Session 8 Recap:
                    Chicago 2020. The coterie decides to launch surveilance/infiltration ops against Olaf's domain to see what they can learn about his current circumstances. Afterwards the coterie are recruited by Damien, Chicago's Sheriff to escort a delegation of visiting kindred arriving at O'Hare airport tomorrow night on behalf of Prince Jackson. The coterie suspects the delegation will be made of Lasombra. A dossier is included that identifies 3 potential troublemakers, the thin blood Flyboy who claims O'Hare airport, the Anarch Gengis, and the Nosferatu Crook. Charles and Aoife visit Flyboy at the airport and intimidate him into not interfering with the delegation's arrival. Tracking down Gengis via Quentin's Anarch contacts the coterie members agree to each owe Gengis a minor boon in return for his compliance in leaving the delegation alone despite his baiting of Charles. Leon and Aoife enjoy the punk atmosphere before the coterie departs to contact Crook...


                    • #11
                      Session 9 Recap
                      Chicago 2020. The coterie continues their prep for the arrival of the visiting delegation by visiting the Nosferatu Crook. Aoife used her Presence to entrance Crook and ensured that he would not interfere the next night. The following night the delegation arrived, one man and one woman of Clan Lasombra. The woman Sierra was pleasant while her blood brother Malenkov was rude and abrasive. Aoife hosted them at her haven while Charles provided security via his company. Aoife also seduced (or was seduced herself) Sierra. Leon and Lewis also remained. Leon cast the ritual Wake With Evening's Freshness before retiring for the day. Mid afternoon he was awoken by one of the security guards who had captured a man that was trying to spy on the delegation's resting place. Upon waking the next evening the coterie learned via Lewis' use of Auspex and Thaumaturgy that the man was a ghoul who was working for a Gangrel neonate from Gary named Snowman. Snowman and his coterie want to capture the delegation for unknown reasons. Additionally the coterie learned that Malenkov's ghouls attempted to take their master away during the day "for his protection" but were prevented by Charles' security team. With this new information the coterie prepared to escort the Lasombra to the Succubus Club to meet with Prince Jackson at 2100.


                      • #12
                        I'm now current with the current status of the chronicle with this post. Ran the first larger sized combat encounter for my players. Had to do a quick refresher earlier today. I think we have one more session after this one to resolve The Sacrifice storyline. After that the next storyline will jump back in time to 1925 to include the gang warfare between Capone's outfit and the North Side Gang. Once that story wraps we will head back to 2020 to deal with some of the shakeup dealing with the Lasombra request to join the Camarilla.

                        Session 10 recap.
                        Chicago 2020. The coterie escorted the delegation out of Aoife's haven. Before reaching the street several members danger sense were triggered, leading them to believe there was trouble outside. Using Unseen Presence Quentin exited the building and determined that the Gary coterie was prepared to ambush them using a hijacked bus. While Quentin was prepared to run interference the coterie exited the building under cover of the ritual Donning the Mask of Shadows. Unfortunately Malenkov and his ghouls were still visible, and were attacked by members of Charles' security team. Malenkov turned into shadow form and fled. Reacting quickly Charles and Aoife killed the team and hid the bodies in Aoife's haven for disposal later. Meanwhile Quentin, along with the Ravnos Leon subdued two members of the Gary coterie for questioning, Quentin using Dominate and Leon employing Horrid Reality. Aoife and Lewis used Spirit's Touch on the security team and saw what appeared to be Charles dominating them to attack the coterie and delegation. Aoife's eidetic memory provided enough information so they could determine that someone was impersonating Charles. The coterie departed the area with Charles using his influence with the police to muddle the incident for mortal authorities. The coterie also found a burner phone on the Gary kindred. At the Succubus Club the coterie members engaged with several kindred such as Malkavian Primogen Jason Newbury, Toreador Primogen Annabelle, Maldavis and Anita of the Anarchs, Regent DuSable of the Tremere, the Toreador Portia, and Prince Jackson. Newbury was severely agitated that the Lasombra delegation (now just Sierra Vab Burrace) had arrived and was vehemently against their presence in Chicago. Sierra announced Clan Lasombra's desire to join the Camarilla. Prince Jackson continued to engage the the coterie's services to interact with Sierra, who was hidden while the Prince determined a course of action. While this was occurring the phone from the Gary kindred rang. The voice on the other line demanded an update. Quentin recognized it as belonging to his Primogen Jason Newbury, who implored him to kill the Lasombra. Quentin said he would try. The coterie spoke with Sierra about why the Lasombra wished to join the Camarilla as opposed to the Anarchs, and whether or not they could adjust to the enemy sect. Sierra requested they hand a letter over to Prince Jackson. Returning to the upstairs Elysium, Quentin informed Jason that he was unable to kill Sierra and that Charles carried a letter from her to the Prince. Trying to calm the Malkavian down, Aoife used Spirit's Touch on Newbury and verified that he was behind the Gary coterie's attack. When Newbury confronted Charles over the letter, Charles dominated him into accompanying them to see the Prince and confessing his plot. After doing so, Newbury frenzied and attacked Charles, wounding him with a bite attack. Quentin quickly staked his Primogen and the Prince had him taken into custody over Quentin's request to have the Malkavians deal with their rogue Primogen. Quentin sensed an opportunity to change the dynamics of his clan due to his Primogen's strange behavior this evening...


                        • #13
                          So Lodin is actually back in volume 5? At first glance I thought you were adding him on your own. Why is he unable to heal his wounds after a couple decades? The way I run Lodin nowadays is basically Harvey Specter from Suits. I would wonder why Helena didn't help him recover, he was the perfect puppet with a dozen 8th gen childer controlling most aspects of Chicago and a few other Kindred under his control as well as Chicago's Police force. Really Once Helena woke and Menele kept napping it was curtains for Chicago Brujah. Critias and Damian (IF she even noticed him) have basically 0 chance once Helena shakes off the effects of her Torpor. With control of Chicago's Toreador, Ventrue, AND the Tremere Helena can't really be opposed anymore.

                          Does she blame Lodin for something? Did she feel he had lost his way so much, she tossed him over for a chaotic situation where she didn't control the Prince and Lodin's kids squabbled? Maybe I'll have to check out the Wiki pages, I see Lodin stayed about the same in V5, losing a little on disciplines. I should really listen to the muffin labs review.

                          Sounds like you guys are going strong, hope you keep having fun. If we get some kind of super cyber Monday sale I'll pick up Chicago 5th edition.

                          Edit: I should say for awhile it was Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (don't judge me: )I based Lodin on but someone mentioned Harvey somewhere, probably here and thanks to pandemic boredom I've been rewatching suits and it works. Such a good show the first few years.
                          Last edited by Vamps Like Us; 07-13-2020, 03:33 PM. Reason: Edit to give credit


                          • #14
                            Yes, Lodin is in the V5 Chicago book. They don't really explain why he is still scarred but I think it is due to his current mental status in 2020 and his desire to remain hidden. Few would look at Olaf and see Lodin. The Chicago book is definitely worth picking up!


                            • #15
                              Session 11 recap;

                              Chicago 2020. The coterie continue to take part in discussions between the Lasombra envoy Sierra and Prince Jackson over the Keepers desire to join the Camarilla. The coterie is split down the middle as to whether admit the Clan of Night. During a break Quentin discusses the future for the Malkavians in Chicago with Bronwyn, the oldest clan member in the city. In exchange for alliance between the two, Bronwyn will support Quentin becoming Primogen for their clan as long as they can ensure they do not lose their spot on the council. Bronwyn agrees to this despite Quentin's sympathies towards the Anarchs.

                              Prince Jackson eventually sarcastically demands Sabbat elders as the price for the Lasombra to join the Camarilla and Sierra accepts, with the added provision that she must sacrifice her missing blood brother Malenkov. If she succeeds in capturing him the Prince will call for a vote among the city's kindred the following night on the Lasombra petition.

                              Sierra requests the coterie's aid to capture Malenkov. The coterie agrees in return for each member being owed a major boon from her. Using their resources the coterie prepares a trap for Malenkov with Aoife using her Presence to Summon him to her and Sierra. When Malenkov arrives his ghouls are dispatched by Quentin and he is staked as Lewis, Leon, and Aoife use Presence, Thaumaturgy (Movement of the Mind & Splinter Servant) and Chimeristry to overwhelm him.

                              The next evening Quentin tips off the Anarchs as to where they will be bringing Malenkov in for the vote. The coterie and Sierra refuse to release Malenkov to them. At the vote Quentin speaks for Clan Malkavian and votes yes, acceding to Bronwyn's position despite his reservations. Charles speaks for the Ventrue and votes yes as well. The Tremere vote no after Lewis and DuSable discuss how they will need to work together to regain the Tremere's political standing in the city as the Lasombra now represent another rival in the city to the chantry. Aoife lobbies the Toreador to vote yes which Annabelle does. With the Gangrel and Nosferatu voting yes as well the Brujah and Banu Haquim's no votes is not enough to prevent the Lasombra from being welcome in Chicago as long as they bounty is paid. Sierra beheads Malenkov and is welcome to the Camarilla. The coterie has earned boons from both Sierra and the Prince, leaving them well positioned for future events.

                              Next session will begin the 1920s storyline.