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  • Running the Convention of Prague

    I'm going to be doing a Chronicle centered around the Convention of Prague soon and was wondering if anyone wanted to help me figure out how to flesh the event out. Basically, our heroes are invited as delegates to the Convention despite being not very obvious ones (neither Princes or Elders, possible Anarch sympathies). Obviously, the assassination of Hardelstadt is going to be a central event that even the players know will happen but anything else is up in the air. Possibly including the players trying to prevent or help along the attack.

    Some ideas I'm playing around with:

    1. The PCs will acquire information that the Camarilla is actually responsible for the Second Inquisition, Hardelstadt actually feeding them massive amounts of resources while keeping them "decided" on not releasing the information to the public. He wnats to eliminate half of the vampire race and leave only the rich Camarilla loyal half. It was his actions and Nosferatu pawns that gave the NSA Schrek.net and all of its profiles on Kindred (minus the ones that would actually hurt him).

    2. Theo Bell is unaware of 1# for most of the event and the assassination of Hardelstadt is an unplanned suicidal action.

    3. Tyler is going to be present and possibly will "finish off" Hardelstadt after he's weakened.

    4. There will be a lot of Anarchs there due to Hardelstadt wanting to "bring them in the fold" with bribes and using the Section Inqusition as a rallying point. I'm not sure what celebrities among them will be there but some are undoubtedly there just to make a scene, no matter how dangerous that is (and Hardelstadt will kill them once they leave--not violating sacred hospitality).

    5. The Banu Haqim's representatives will obviously be present and possibly Montano.

    6. The PCs may kill or help Jan Pietrzsoon escape as he falls into Torpor practically at their lap.


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

  • #2
    I'm a sucker for Hardelstadt, so I personally like to think he kind of pissed Theo Bell on purpose to kill him and serve as a martyr for the enhancement of the Camarilla in these hard nights (maybe the SI got out of control, again (since he was there in the first), and he already feels the Beckoning dragging him down. But, that kind makes him look too good and in control too so.... not too unbiased.

    Well, I don't remember many famous Anarchs beyond Garcia, Smiling Jack, Rodriguez or Isaac Abrams, and Lugoj maybe could be nice... But yeah, this is the sort of event where everybody is there. Hell, even crazy old Vykos could. Although he/she probably wouldn't, unless it had a new penis to throw at Harderstadt. There might have some Ministers (more Setites than Ministry I imagine), and they could try to have the other part of the clan inside the Camarilla, or be up to no good. I even wonder which Tremere would be there too.

    Using the Loresheets of the Promise of 15XX (Cults of the Blood Gods) and Convention of Thorns, and Family Reunion (Cults of the Blood Gods), could give some fun insights as to what could occur, I think.

    There could always be the presence of Becket, Anatole and Lucita too, although some are missing or even dead, but who knows. It might be undercover after all.

    Depending of what the PCs want, there should be a Point Pool for something of a Project they are trying to achieve in the Convention. Be it through deals, favors, sway of opinions, speeches, etc.. So, if they want a new clan in the sect, or out of it, this could be it, and each dealing the characters have could further this, and of course there is an opposition. And who knows, Camilla Banes could be "alive" (or some surrogate) and having crazy visions that lead to a mystery to be solved during the event.

    Of course, in the end, it could be a Convention of Thorns revamped. Almost like a distorted echo of what it was. With old rivalries coming up that must be stopped by the PCs, guests that didn't appear but were seen near (search quest?), hunters or even Sabbat/Anarch packs looking to cause trouble (probably rogue, since the event supposedly isn't supposed to be attacked by any sect), some secret that one of the important Cainites seems to be holding that another one needs for it might be important..... the setting is pretty fun and blossoming with courtly intrigue.


    Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

    -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

    Comment


    • #3
      1. My view of Hardelstadt the Younger is that he was once Jurgen the Honorable Warrior, the Defender of the Weak, and what the Ventrue were supposed to be. He was then brainwashed, broken, and twisted into everything he used to despise. Sadly, I think there's little to incorporate that into things. But there is some irony that the Neonate Jurgen would probably find Theo Bell the kind of warrior he'd be proud to serve with and much more like him than who he became.

      2. Having the Followers of Set delegation blown up by the Assamites during the Convention seems like an excellent event to incorporate the players into. It might also help draw them into the Anarchs as it'll be probably clear that the Banu Haqim killed them and the Camarilla doesn't care. They've been given a choice between the FoS and BH joining and chose the latter. They just chose to do it in the nastiest way possible.

      3. I doubt the Sabbat have been invited but I wouldn't be surprised if Lucita was there in secret, Regent or not, though if she's not then I could see Montano inviting her as his plus one and shielding her from reprisal.

      4. Many Elders being absent due to the Beckoning is also something interesting to explore.
      Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-27-2021, 10:03 PM.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        The (relative) absence of Elders is something really nice, because the stakes are still the same, but the figures representing them aren't. So even representatives hold power, and even PCs could be that, and they could in turn have less or more petty motives, plans, and rivalries. Nothing represents vampire politics more than making a deal or even alliance with a hated foe. And the Convention of Prague seems ripe for that!
        I'm digging your ideas. And I'm gonna run Transylvania Chronicles in the future, so I'm always wondering 'how was the Convention of Thorns' and other big vampire events.


        Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

        -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

        Comment


        • #5
          I’ve been thinking about running the same. I don’t know how much use my plans will be to you due to my slightly diverged metaplot, but I’ll throw it in here to see what you can use. These are only early notes.

          This is intended for characters with some experience and status, who will get a chance to move up and affect Kindred politics and history at a larger level. As well as net some benefits for themselves if they play their cards right. They may well acquire some very powerful enemies too.

          Setting:

          The Gangrel never left. That seemed mostly driven by Xaviars fit of pique anyway, not any real political aims. If something that big hinges on such a personal issue, players should be involved, in my opinion. There has been no Family Dinner among the Giovanni, (yet) and the second Inquisition (SI) has played out differently.

          It was the Sabbat that set the SI off. Where preserving the masquerade is a top priority of the Camarilla, from the top down to nearly every single member and allocated vast resources, the Sabbat had only the Kings and Queens of Shadow. What is more, they had a party line that Kindred should not fear Kine or discovery, and a lot of shovelheads who believed it. Over the last decades, the number of recording devices in the population has increased exponentially, until nearly every Kine always carries a high-def camera. Not to mention targeted ads, surveillance, etc. The amount of resource the Sabbat were allocating to masquerade preservation became simply insufficient by a degree of magnitude.

          So the Sabbat set the SI off, and have gotten by far the worst of it. Cities have been purged and the rank-and-file losses have been unspeakable. The SI as a result has a much better understanding of blankbodies physical capabilities and advanced abilities, but far less understanding of the more subtle Camarilla and its infiltration of mortal institutions. The Sabbat has basically disintegrated, bar a few third-world strongholds.

          As a result of the growing success of the SI, and what has happened to the Sabbat, most elders that remember the original burning times have gone deep into hiding or torpor. They believe they know whats coming and will burrow deep. This is a group that overlaps very highly with the most politically powerful and active Elders.
          The convention is also being run under enhanced security, especially IT and electronic. This and the sudden withdrawal of large sections of the politically active elders mean that many participants have sent proxies, often selected with understanding of modern technology and information security as a high priority criteria. There will be far more neonates present and actually holding power than ever before. With their elders scrutinizing them afterwards, of course.

          Characters will be approached by their sires, grandsires or even older members of their line to be representatives.

          With the collapse of the Sabbat, and the rise of the SI, many independents who have previously been able to play both sides against each other are suddenly feeling exposed, and hanging together rater than being hung separately by the SI is seeming like a much more attractive proposition than before. No less than four clans want admission to the Camarilla.

          Issues being considered are:
          • A justicar ex miscellania. A justicar representing bloodlines and unaffiliated individuals have been up several times and not been adopted. This time it may be different.
          • A coordinated response and policy towards the SI. It is likely that characters with security background and an understanding of current information technology will get a shot at being heard here.
          • Policy towards the Anarchs. The anarchs have tried to move into cities purged by the SI. They have far less resources and influence than the Camarilla in terms of keeping the Masquerade and have in many cases come to grief. While sympathy is in limited supply among kindred, it does feed the SI more and more information. The Anarchs have no real structure or leadership to approach. What is to be done?
          • There are several previously Sabbat cities that have been purged of Kindred, including major ones. Careful Kindred may be able to stay below the radar here. Or not. In any case, they are unlikely to stay unclaimed for long. A policy must be established.
          • A worldwide bloodhunt on all Ravnos. The Ravnos have irritated the influential members of the Camarilla for centuries. Due to their current circumstances, this may be a good opportunity to get rid of them for good.
          • Expanding the Camarilla with more clans. The Inner Circle desire to expand their power and control of the Kindred. They want to expand the Camarilla. Individuals do not want their powers and influence too diluted however, and want a conservative and slow expansion. So while seven is a good number, so is nine. It would take a lot for more than two clans to be admitted at this time.
          • A candidate period for new clans. No full clan has joined the Camarilla since the founding. It is felt that a thirteen-year probationary period may be fitting for new admissions, to minimize disruption.
          The clans that want to join are:

          The Lasombra. “The Sabbat project has shown itself to be unworthy of our further support.”

          Sticking to a failing project is for losers. The Camarilla is clearly a more useful tool in the current situation. The Lasombra will deign to grace them with their presence. Their problem is, no-one likes them, they are arrogant and manipulative. They can’t really do humble “we were wrong” and don’t seem able to shake the attitude that they are doing everyone a favor here. A lot, or even most of them are on Paths. Their relations with their antitribu are poor. Support: They do however have the strong support of Montano, who would dearly like to join the clan together again. Under him, obviously. And Montano is effectively an inner circle member.
          Below the surface: The Kings and Queens of Shadow has done most of the work here, and secretly they are talking very actively with the Lasombra Antitribu. While they have been described as “tend to share and trust each other more, being all outcast together” they are still Lasombra, and they have much better relations with the antitribu. They plan to double-cross their brethren, and join the antitribu, talking with them pretty much the entire portfolio of the clans money, temporal power and influence. The larger antitribu will then petition for admission as a full clan, they have been Camarilla for a very long time, after all. (The players should get a chance to see that coming and maybe influence it)

          The Assamites. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

          They petition to join much as in the V20 meta. Support and opposition: The Tremere is a very hard no on them. The Nosferatu and Gangrel consequently are yes, its almost like they carry a grudge of some kind. Surprisingly the Assamites have some very old boons to call in from the Brujah.. “Shoulder to shoulder in the last battle of Carthage” still carries a lot of weight. The other clans see the advantages of breaking the Tremere monopoly on blood sorcery, but are cautious of the Assamite reputation as diablerists.
          Below the surface: The Banu Haquim has dirt on a lot of the Elders who have hired Assamites up through the years. (It is unlikely they have anything on the characters). The Warriors are willing to go quite a bit further than the Camarilla realizes to get their way. Could be unfortunate.

          The Setites. “We would like to take you up on your standing invitation. Ssss. Er, quickly please.”

          Things have not gone well for the Setites. At all. Due to the Cohort of Wepwawets feuding with the Society of Leopold they have had the heaviest losses to the SI outside of the Sabbat. And the SI may learn much of the more subtle side of the kindred from them. In addition, the have the Assamite problem, only far, far worse. As White Wolf said “They were utterly, totally wrong” After five thousand years, the Dark Father, Bastard of Caine is rising. (Background to that is from the “Set and Osiris” thread)
          .
          Support and opposition: In their favor, they have the strongest legal case, with an open invitation that has been standing for a very long time. And while kindred cheat as a matter of course, they cannot be seen to cheat, especially in a setting as public as this. Also the Sisterhood of Sekhmet has influence. Against them is the fact that no-one actually wants them. No one wants to clasp the serpent to their bosom.

          Below the surface: the Setite delegation knows the truth about the True Vessel, its location and their Eternal Night project. Yes, theirs. See the Giovanni. They will trade everything they know about it.

          The Giovanni.We would be a very strong asset and bring no liabilities.”

          The promise of 1528 is coming to an end and the Camarilla is the only power standing. It can be expected to cast about for a new external Kindred enemy. And there is the SI problem. Approaches to the Ashirra has not been encouraging. Better in than out.
          The Giovanni pitch is simple. Necromancy would bring an entirely new dimension to the struggle against the SI. They have been maintaining the masquerade reliably on their own, and the Cappadocians was a long time ago. And they have vast resources and holdings, far more than the Camarilla suspected. They would be an exceptional asset and have no particular enemies or liabilities. That the Camarilla know of. They could be regarded as the odds on favorite.

          Under the surface: The Giovanni has long been treating their minor families like shit, while having little idea of how large and powerful they have grown. The Pisanob, Milliners, Dunsirn and Putanesca have long been planning to put the bite on the Giovanni. (Milliners have done a lot of the organizing, despite every single one being a neonate.) This conspiracy has been mediated and nurtured by an exceptionally old Cappadocian, Japeth, and the Harbingers of Skulls including Japeths childe Unre. Japeth intends to diablerize Augustus himself, taking his Sires place. Each head of the minor families separately plan to let the ancient methuselah confront Augustus and then step into the rubble to claim the hearts blood of one or both. Unknown to all of them, most of the Harbingers are torpid Cappadocians being ridden by elder wraiths who despise all Necromancers. They will betray Japeth, Unre and everyone else at the most opportune moment.
          This entire fireworks chain of betrayal will touch off the moment it looks like the Giovanni are going to ally with the Camarilla. The lesser families will start things a bit prematurely rather than let the Giovanni gain the Camarilla for an ally. (May be action and physical confrontations for players here.)

          Below even that, there is a deeper abyss. There is an item called the True Vessel. The Giovanni believes it contains the blood of Cappadocious/Lucian. And that it would allow Augustus to complete the diablerie of Cappadocious. In reality it contains the mortal blood of Augustus and it lets the wielder influence Augustus. The Samedi had it for a while, and used it to ensure that they were shielded from the Giovannis purge of Cappadocians and other Necromancy using bloodlines.
          Now the Setites hold it again. They have been using it to plant a plan in Augustus head, The Endless Night. It will wreck their enemies, the mummies totally. Beyond that… Bring down the Shroud so that the moon runs as blood, and the sun rises black in the sky, and unclean things will boil up from the ground. It turns out, something else was influencing them, making this essentially suicidal plan seem like a good idea.

          “There will come a time
          when an Elder Darkness will stir
          deep below a city which has forgotten
          and will surprise the Elder, its children.
          Of these signs, you will know,
          the Dark Father, bastard of Caine,
          will awaken, and drink deep of blood
          sacrificed to it”

          -The Book of Nod.

          After five thousand years, Typhon, bastard of Caine has just about finished eating the soul of the laughing, redheaded storm god that diablerized him at the fall of the Second City. And the serpent of the abyss will rise in the body of Sutekh. And the Endless Night is his plan.
          (Typhons soul may have been busy behind the shroud. May have become a Onceborn. May be behind Dis Pater. Maybe gave the Iovians knowledge of Necromancy to bait the hook for Cappadocious.)

          This is what has the Setites panicking. And they will trade the knowledge. This is a ticking clock for later, not something the players can do anything about at the time.

          Also in the background, the SI is planning the raid on Vienna. The Dragon rises, Saulot has been sowing dragons teeth. All the diablerized Salubri are gnawing their way back through the souls of the Tremere. Saulot will claim the head of the entire clan. The enforced loyalty and blood bonds to the seven was probably his idea. But Tremere himself can still surprise with his ruthlessness even now, and plan to scorch the head of the clan to the ground rather than let Saulot have it. The SI raid on Vienna is his design, and he is still the only mage that can turn off every single ward and protection in the chantry. As well as severely impede the powers of the Council of Seven.
          The players should have the opportunity learn about the impending raid and decide whether to warn the Tremere or let it go ahead. If they warn the Tremere, the more public the occasion the more the Tremere will owe them.

          Participants:

          Druga Syn, the oldest surviving Ravnos.

          Most Ravnos who survived the Week of Nightmares were members of Sabbat packs who could restrain and protect them. On the ground Sabbat packs have taken the brunt of the SI. As a result Ravnos are now fewer in number than most bloodlines. Many would like to take the opportunity to get rid of the Ravnos for good. Durga Syns primary reason for attending is to stop the motion of declaring a worldwide blood hunt on the Ravnos. She will do anything for that. A secondary objective would be to see the Justicar ex miscellania pass and get a Justicar friendly to the Ravnos in place.

          Theo Bell.
          Theo Bell plans the assassination of Hardestadt. Players should get a chance to be involved.

          Hardestadt.
          Hardestadt is attending, dominate-riding the body of a fleshcrafted double. While he has lent the body some of his resilience through the use of the Draught of Endurance power, A successful attack will likely reveal that the body is not that of a Venrue elder. Unless it is struck with something sufficiently violent to make destruction believable.

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