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V20: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora (Actual Play)

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  • V20: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora (Actual Play)




    The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora is a Vampire: The Masquerade Chronicle using V20 and material from Vampire: The Masquerade Revised, Dark Ages: Vampire, and Victorian Age: Vampire. The focus of the game is on a Conspiracy of Elders that met in the dying days of the Anarch Revolt and have members in both the Camarilla and the Sabbat that find themselves blown together again by the winds of fate in 2012…or perhaps the machinations of puppeteers of far greater age than they. While the focus of the game is in 2012 in the home base of Prague, Czech Republic, the opening of the story is in 1483 Bohemia as they undertake a simple but important mission from the Anarch Revolt leaders to deal with the increasing connection between the Elders of the East and West, specifically the machinations of the Tremere. More is at stake, however, than defending a simple castle, as our protagonists will discover.

    Like my other games Balance of Shadows and The Eastern Question, The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora will be told mostly in character journals, with commentary by me (and possibly players) to fill in the gaps. Followers of other game journals would recognize Eleanor has the same player as Gwen from Geist, Šárka has the same player as Natalie from Geist, Rosabella has the same player as Alexia from Geist , and Diego has the same player as Doc from Geist. Most also have Scion characters on the off chance someone reading this is following those as well.

    The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora has been roughly 3 months in being put together. Several meetings have taken place, hours and hours if not days worth of research has been done. Locals to Prague have been sought for advice, maps consulted, names played to get the right sound on sites such as Forvo.com, nearly 100 pictures culled from the internet just for this game, and book after book of classic Vampire: The Masquerade and Dark Ages material consulted, even 1st edition/2nd edition/VDA material not seeing real use for inspiration. In other words, about par for the course for one of our new chronicles these days

    Some material will deviate from canon, but generally only where I think it makes a better game. Carlak is not Prince of Prague in this WoD, and Vasily is not the fop described in World of Darkness 2nd. I am mainly using Vampire, though I am also using material from Kindred of the East and Mummy the Resurrection. Werewolves exist, but are not those of Apocalypse, similarly Mages are out there but not using Willworkers. Prague is a Diplomatic hub nominally Camarilla and with a Camarilla Prince but with a Sabbat Bishop representing them and a handful of independent Cainites. It is one of the two cities in the world some intersect meetings can easily take place in (the other being San Francisco)

    Metaplot wise, the Schismatic Assamites are in the Camarilla (it’s a major plot point as it happened in Prague) and Gangrel lack official representation, though a great many remain in the Camarilla. Malkavians have “caught” Dementation and the Week of Nightmares has happened, though I am going on the high end of remaining Ravnos in the world (there are still more than the largest Bloodline). The Ahrimanes and Tremere Antitribu are gone. A new Regent has not been appointed and the Sabbat are trying to forestall a civil war. The Anarch resurgence is also taking place as per V20 and West Cost USA is largely Anarch dominated outside the “sister” Diplomatic Hub of San Francisco. I will be posting my history of Prague about the time we make the jump from 1483 to 2012.

    I invite you to join us. Please feel free to read and enjoy entries, and take inspiration from and steal ideas, be they plot, characters, or events. Feel free to make comments or ask questions about what is going on…though some may be answered via PM if they might spoil my players. As with other games, some of the players may haunt the thread a bit as well, and give their two bits or answer questions (though no one is being required to do so).

    Below is our cast, circa 1483. You will note Masquerade Paths rather than those of Dark Ages: Vampire are used. This was a deliberate decision made due to the relatively short nature of the 1483 segment (estimated around 5 sessions). Rather than change systems for how Morality works, we just decided to keep the Masquerade system since that would be the bulk of the campaign (though some Paths are obviously unavailable in the era). Note several will change Morality, Demeanor, even Nature as the years pass.

    Mary Eleanor Grey
    Childe of Patricia of Bollingbroke (Tyler)
    Clan: Brujah
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: English
    Concept: The Power Behind the Throne
    Nature/Demeanor: Director/Visionary
    Picture 1, Picture 2

    Eleanor was a British Noblewoman destined for the Church after the death of her husband. Her strong convictions caught the eye of Patricia of Bollingbroke, who embraced her on a nostalgic trip through her homeland. Eleanor is a shadowy manipulator who tends to work behind the scenes, particularly concerned with the status of women.

    Eleanor will eschew the Anarchs and join the Camarilla long before the 21st Century, unknowingly following in the footsteps of her Sire in doing so.


    Šárka Vlasáková
    Childe of Elizabetha
    Clan: Followers of Set
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Path of Sutekh
    Nationality: Bohemian (Czech)
    Concept: Femme Fatale
    Nature/Demeanor: Celebrant/Fanatic
    Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Pronunciation

    Šárka was a born to the Hussites in Tábor the year the town was founded. Her rebellious streak, along with her cunning and charisma, brought her to the attention of a Setite involved in the Church of the Black Magdalene. Šárka jumped eagerly into her status as a Vampire, eager to bring enlightenment and willing to do whatever it took for her Sire and her Sire’s Dark Master…even aiding the Anarchs.

    Šárka will mellow considerably over the Centuries, returning to Humanity as a moral compass and becoming less a Fanatic more a Sybarite. Her messages to her allies will echo in the night, encoded as a Numbers Station airing off an on for most of the 20th Century.


    Jocelin de La Forêt
    Childe of Rhun de Tintagel
    Clan: Gangrel
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Path of the Beast
    Nationality: French
    Concept: Perfect Predator
    Nature/Demeanor: Celebrant/Thrill seeker
    Picture

    Jocelin was a French hunter from a minor noble family who found himself the hunted when his sire came across him. Introduced into Clan Gangrel, Jocelin traveled Europe, even learning at the feet of Arnulf, before joining the Anarch movement.

    Jocelin will remain in the Anarchs as they become the Sabbat, disdaining the Camarilla calls to hide his nature. Thus he will be among the founding Country Gangrel Antitribu. He will join the Black Hand at its foundation, becoming a feared Remover by the 21st Century and follower of the Path of Orion.


    Rosabella Orfanelli
    Childe of Giovanni Pallazzini
    Clan: Malkavian
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: Paplini (Italian)
    Concept: Former Ghoul Master Thief
    Nature/Demeanor: Eye of the Storm/Survivor
    Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3

    Rosabella was a ghoul and trained thief for a Roman Malkavian. After years of flawless performance and showing exemplary promise, Rosabella was embraced. Her greatest achievement was stealing a major Cainite artifact for her now-Sire, though she understands little of the significance of it now. When her Sire joined the Anarchs, Rosabella followed. Rosabella has an unkempt appearance and a power-object fixation with her doll.

    Rosabella follows her Sire and joins the Camarilla after the revolt. While she picks up Dominate like most Malkavians, by the 21st Century she is among those infected by Dementation.


    Diego Alarico Esparza Vargas Águilar
    Childe of Theophano
    Clan: Toreador
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: Castilian (Spanish)
    Concept: Artiste With a Shadowed Past
    Nature/Demeanor: Survivor/Bon Vivant
    Picture

    Diego was a Spanish born Catholic in Muslim Toledo. Thanks to his father and uncle, he grew into a fine swordsman and bladesmith. Thanks to his mother, he grew into a just leader of men. An extreme likeness between Diego and his cousin Juan Carlos resulted in a Cainite competing with Theophano confusing his targets and Embracing the wrong cousin. Diego knew only that Theophano looked very pleased with herself after he awoke from her Embrace. Now Diego is setting out with a new group of Anarchs to lend leadership and steel to the revolt.

    Diego remains in the Camarilla through the 21st Century, even spending some time as an Archon though he currently has no such status. He remains a respected Elder in the Clan.


    Krzysztof Józef Władysław Tęczyński
    Childe of Razkoljna
    Clan: Tzimisce
    Bloodline: -
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Path of Bones
    Nationality: Polish
    Concept: Dark Occultist
    Nature/Demeanor: Thrill Seeker/Curmudgeon
    Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Pronunciation


    Krzysztof was the third son of one of the most powerful noble families in Kraków. Originally trained for the church, he found himself more interested in the various mysteries of the city. One such investigation lead him to Wawel Hill, lair of the legendary dragon. Instead, he found Razkoljna, Prince of Kraków. Impressed by his intellect and calm in the face of his doom, she Embraced him…and not long thereafter, he and his siblings killed and consumed her, joining the Anarchs. Such is the way of things sometimes.

    Krzysztof’s Koldunic Mastery would help contribute to the spread of the Ritae, and he would become a Priscus of the new Sabbat on the Path of the Scorched Heart. He also battled Poland’s enemies, and his conflicts with first Nazis then Communists would make him a lot of enemies…

    Edit: Here is our Cast in 2012

    Mary Eleanor Grey
    Childe of Patricia of Bollingbroke (Tyler)
    Clan: Brujah
    Bloodline: -
    Sect: Camarilla
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: English
    Concept: The Power Behind the Throne
    Nature/Demeanor: Director/Visionary

    Šárka Vlasáková
    Childe of Elizabetha
    Clan: Followers of Set
    Bloodline: -
    Sect: Anarchs
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: Czech
    Concept: Femme Fatale
    Nature/Demeanor: Bon Vivant/Gallant

    Jocelin de La Forêt
    Childe of Rhun of Tintagel
    Clan: Gangrel
    Bloodline: Country Gangrel Antitribu
    Sect: Sabbat, Black Hand
    Title: Remover
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Path of Orion
    Nationality: French
    Concept: Perfect Predator
    Nature/Demeanor: Thrillseeker/Celebrant

    Rosabella Orfanelli
    Childe of Giovanni Pallazzini
    Clan: Malkavian
    Bloodline: -
    Sect: Camarilla
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: Italian
    Concept: Former Ghoul Master Thief
    Nature/Demeanor: Thrillseeker/Survivor

    Diego Alarico Esparza Vargas Águilar
    Childe of Theophano
    Clan: Toreador
    Bloodline: -
    Sect: Camarilla
    Title: -
    Generation: 7th
    Morality: Humanity
    Nationality: Spanish
    Concept: Artiste With a Shadowed Past
    Nature/Demeanor: Survivor/Bon Vivant

    Krzysztof Józef Władysław Tęczyński
    Childe of Razkoljna
    Clan: Tzimisce
    Bloodline: -
    Sect: Sabbat
    Title: Priscus
    Generation: 6th
    Morality: Path of the Scorched Heart
    Nationality: Polish
    Concept: Dark Occultist
    Nature/Demeanor: Scientist/Curmudgeon

    There is our cast. I would expect an update of journals and recaps about every two weeks. While I am not going to put words in anyone’s mouth, based on past experience you are mostly likely to hear accounts from Eleanor, Šárka and Diego. I don’t really have experience to know about Jocelin, but I would not anticipate journals from Rosabella or Krzysztof.

    I’ve got a couple backgrounds coming up very shortly


    Onyx Path Moderator
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    This is my mod voice. This is my goth voice.
    [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

  • #2
    OK let’s start with some backgrounds. I don’t have them for everyone, but I have a background for Eleanor, Jocelin, Diego and a capsule background for Šárka. I actually have more for Šárka (that’s just the first paragraph) and a decent amount for Krzysztof, but that information takes place between 1483 and 2012, mostly in the 20th Century, so you will see more on her and some on him then. As a reminder these are backgrounds not anything that occurred in actual play.

    From here, Session 1 was the past Friday and Session 2 will be two weeks from then, so Journals will probably go up right before or right after, depending on the timing of those who turn in journals. Looks like I have two already. But here get to know our Conspiracy a bit. (for the record, I am using Conspiracy as the version of Coterie, Pack, Gang, Kamut or whatever with Cainites from multiple sects).


    Eleanor Grey, Brujah


    Mary Eleanor Grey was the first child born to Lady Katherine Percy andSir Edmund Grey, who became 4th Baron Grey de Ruthyn the same year Mary was born. For the first five years of her life, Mary was doted on by her mother, though her father paid her little to no attention. When she was six a son was born to Sir Grey and Lady Katherine. With the birth of Anthony, Mary became more of an afterthought and largely ignored until she was ten.

    She was trained to manage a household and comport herself as a lady, but her mother and her tutors never failed to remind her that she was only as good as the marriage she made. She was to bring prestige to the family and raise their stature at court by making a good match. Her own interests were inconsequential.

    By the time Mary was fourteen she was resigned to her parents’ plan for her though she argued against it at every opportunity. When she was brought before Ralph de Cromwell, 3rd Baron of Cromwell she was horrified as the man was older than her own father. Cromwell’s wife had passed away the year before and as he had no issue, his title and lands were in danger of passing to his nieces. The marriage was quick and Mary was Lady Cromwell within a fortnight of meeting the Baron. Perhaps it was melodramatic, but Mary felt as if her soul was withering from the moment the priest declared them man and wife. Cromwell did his best to get Mary with child, but his advanced age worked against him.

    Before Mary’s sixteenth birthday she was widowed. As the second wife of the Baron, she gained nothing from his passing and remained at Tattershall Castle only due to the kindness of Maud and Joan Stanhope, Cromwell’s nieces.

    Mary remained at Tattershall until her father recalled her in 1464 when he became the 1st Earl of Kent. Despite her status as a widow, Mary was once more useful to her father as a commodity to secure connections among the peerage of England. After the relative freedom of Tattershall, Mary chafed under the demands of her father and after three years at court declared a desire to join the church. Considering he had other daughters, her father allowed her to travel to Waltham Abbey. Mary was allowed to come and go as she learned the ways of the Canoness Regular. However, the instruction provided by the church left Mary feeling once more like she did not fit. In all her lessons she was reminded that as a woman, she was less worthy and more open to sin than man. Mary found that the more she learned, the less she believed. She argued with the friars and sisters that taught her trying to show how flawed their logic was. When she realized that direct arguments would only alienate the people around her she began to work out the best ways to make them see things her way.

    Mary discovered she had a way with people. She’d always considered herself an amiable person and her appearance was pleasant. Utilizing both traits and a bit of quick thinking, Mary began making subtle changes in the way the abbey ran. While not the main purpose of the area, she soon had the market town showing signs of success and prosperity. Her methods were praised and she made sure she appeared outwardly humble, attributing the success to either the friars or God as she knew quite well the men in the area would never accept that a mere woman could have come up with the innovations in the area.

    After a few short years Mary grew bored of the idyllic life in Waltham Abbey. Using all the skills she’d learned at court and in the early days at the Abbey, Mary managed to garner a request to visit Canterbury in Kentwith one of the sisters and two friars. She wasn’t sure what she would do once they reached the monastery, but she toyed with the idea of slipping away and taking the small fortune she’d accumulated over the years to the coast and securing passage out of England. She wasn’t sure if she could leave, but it was an exciting fantasy if nothing else.

    Almost from the moment they left Waltham Mary felt as if she was being watched. She told herself that was nothing more than flights of fancy or paranoia but she couldn’t shake the feeling. When the small band of travelers were attacked just inside Kent’s boarders she promised she would always listen to her instincts if she made it through the night alive.

    Mary Grey died that early spring night in 1474, but when her eyes opened she felt as if the world had changed. Once her initial panic and thirst subsided she was able to focus on the woman that sat with her. She introduced herself as Patricia Bollingbroke and explained that Mary was now one of the Kindred. She was needed to help fight a war among the Kindred to determine how the vampires would deal with humans now that the inquisition caused so much havoc. Mary was completely unfamiliar with combat, but after Patricia assured her that she would be judged on her merits rather than her gender she agreed to accept Patricia’s teachings.

    In order to make a break with her mortal life Mary started going by her middle name Eleanor. She hid away the majority of her fortune so it would be available to her once the war was won, but kept a respectable amount to purchase supplies as needed. Patricia taught Eleanor everything she could about fighting, stealth, and tactics. Working together and on her own, Eleanor found a modicum of success as one of Patricia’s soldiers. Among her compatriots, Eleanor was given the moniker Eleanor the Grey. She never told her allies her surname, but given her tendency towards wearing the color grey she easily accepted it.

    Since her embrace, Eleanor stayed away from England. She was focused on the task at hand and Patricia gained her unwavering loyalty almost from the beginning. However, she hoped to return to England someday. While Patricia declared she would never return, Eleanor was determined to go back and make sure some people, particularly her father, knew a woman was just as good as a man in all ways. She’d never be a commodity to be traded for stature, or less than a man ever again.


    Šárka Vlasáková, Follower of Set


    Šárka was a born to the Hussites in Tábor the year the town was founded, 1420. Her rebellious streak, along with her cunning and charisma, brought her to the attention of a Elizabetha, a Follower of Set involved in the Church of the Black Magdalene (and herself childe of the infamous Setite Mastermind Count Jocalo) in 1441. Šárka jumped eagerly into her status as a Vampire, eager to bring enlightenment and willing to do whatever it took for her Sire and her Sire’s Dark Master…even aiding the Anarchs. She was thrown headfirst into the Anarch revolt along with her Sire after the Order of the Black Magdalene became targeted by the Inquisition and the (possibly too convenient) death of a Lasombra ally of her Sire.


    Jocelin de La Forêt, Country Gangrel Antitribu


    3eme juillet, 1429
    Tonight, I leave I had planned on going in a few days, but with my father called off in a dispute, there couldn’t be a better time. This way I’ll have a few extra days before the hounds are sent out. My father would never consent to me leaving to join La Pucelle d'Orléans. “I have no horse for you” he says, as if I knew how to fight on a horse. I’m better off on the ground, as a bowman, but apparently, that’s shameful to our name. I’ve heard the talk of guardsman - the knights quake in their metal boots at the sight a well-shot grey-goose. Perhaps I am the ungrateful son he names me; the only thing I regret is taking along Tarasque, but I could scarcely leave behind my best friend. Everything is prepared, we leave at nightfall.

    6eme juillet 1429
    This whole adventuring thing is not quite what the old troubadors would have one believe. Not that I expected it to - I’m not that romantic. So far, Tara and I have done well enough by ourselves. The fire at night keeps the animals at bay, except for the ones caught by my arrow or Tara’s teeth. Soon enough, we will reach Orleans, and join with La Pucelle’s forces there.

    juillet 1429
    I... I don’t know what has happened. There was something, a monster in the night, an attack, I don’t know. My bow was at hand, but it came so fast, faster than I expected. I got to my knife, and got a hit in, but it never slowed down. It was some sort of feral human thing, and try my hardest, I was powerless against it. I was bleeding from a dozen places when it sank its teeth in my neck and I remember nothing else. I woke up, covered in blood fresher than my own, mutilated bodies strewn about the hut I found myself in, Tara whining just outside.

    1429
    Father Bayard would tan my hide for being so sloppy as to not properly date and categorize these writings, but I no longer know anything resembling what the date is. I only presume that it has not reached year’s end and circled back round to summer in the time I’ve been drifting in and out of it. I fear that something happened in that attack, something that turned me into a monster. Perhaps it was a demon that moved on to possess me. I sleep in the day, wake at night, so hungry then I remember little until I wake again, covered in blood, further away from the lands that I know. Even Tarasque has abandoned me, with cause I suppose. I flew into a rage at his growling, once, and when I regained myself he was gone.

    L’hiver 1429
    The winter months have come and I suppose they are a blessing. Since the sun itself has turned on me, a shorter day means more time... time for the hunt and trying to figure out what is going on. It has become harder and harder to even remember how to write these words. The hunt, and being full, are really all that matters. For now, I am full and calm-ish, a rare state.

    L’ete 1431
    2 winters have passed since I was attacked by the demon, so it must be sometime in the year 1431. I look back over what I have written here - the bloodspattered pages, the rips and the crude handwriting and am slightly ashamed of what I became then. It is clear that the demon bestowed upon me a gift, to become something more than human, but in my lack of understanding I nearly transformed myself into something more like an animal. I am calmer now, and have decided to at least make the effort to my facilities intact, that I may also be more than an animal.


    L’automne 1431
    I have learned to form my hands into claws and my teeth have sharpened, to give me the natural weapons that a mere human does not have. Yet I force myself to think, in my stalking, in my attacking, to move beyond the instinctual tactics of a beast into the thoughtful motions taught by my father. My speed is beyond human abilities but not beyond human thought, so I must plan even further ahead than I might have before. With these gifts the demon has given me, I can gladly accept the restrictions placed. I travel after the sun goes down, searching to see if there are any other like myself, blessed by the demons of the night.

    3 l’hiver est passe
    I have finally found another. Or, I suppose, he found me. Arnulf, he says his name is, of clan Gangrel. He also says I am of clan Gangrel, and as the one to find me, he has the job of teaching me of our ways, an apprenticeship of sorts. There is apparently an entire society of us, sons of Cain who feed on blood and fear the sun and its fire. I am content to have found companionship of others similarly elevated, and to have found a teacher, as well.

    L’automne, 4
    Arnulf has taught me many thing. Eventually, he says, I will be able to change form entirely, not just form claws for myself. And the speed and strength I’ve gained are just the beginning. With forever to improve, there seem to be no bounds on the power I now possess. For now, he teaches me the rituals of our clan, and the stories of our past.

    L’ete, 5
    Arnulf finally considers me ready to introduce me at a gathering. To be fair, the only time we’ve had word of one nearby, that I know of, was shortly after he found me. I know now that I was completely unprepared for that, and so it wasn’t even really an option. However, we have heard word of a local gathering in a few weeks, and we have begun to make our way towards it.

    Le printemps, 6
    My time with Arnulf has been a continuation of the wandering I began after the attack. He has begun teaching me Czech, to better communicate with him and with some of his associates. We have not met any of these associates yet. I get the feeling I am the cause of that, but hopefully soon I will have progressed enough he would not be ashamed to have me as an apprentice. I have passed my most recent test - he has taught me about how to create servants, called ‘ghouls’, that have some taste of our power, to carry out our will in the daytime. I have created one of my own, a peregrine. I have named it Perceval, which seems to amuse Arnulf.

    L’hiver,9
    Arnulf and I have parted ways for now. I am accepted, officially, as a member of the clan, and he believes it is time for me to use what I have learned to make my own way for awhile. We have made plans to rejoin after 3 winters, but for this year, my time is my own. I have decided to return home and add to my ghoul pack - I would feel much more comfortable with an alaunt from home than of the hounds I’ve seen running about here. Perhaps even one of Tara’s get...

    L’automne, 11
    I ran across a pack of vampires on my path back east. I did not manage to best their leader, but fought well enough that they welcomed me to their circle and revealed their intentions. They shared a similar philosophy which has intrigued me greatly. It concerns our rightful place as premier predator. Even among clan Gangrel, too many that I heard speak at the gather clung to their humanity, the morality that they were born with the first time. We are better than that, above that. These that I ran with for awhile understood this. They had gathered to prey upon a pack of Lupines that had invaded their territory and invited me to join. It was the most alive I had felt yet. They shared their ideas, their knowledge of the Disciplines we shared. We drifted apart, after their purpose was complete, but they have given me much to think about.

    L’automne, 12
    It has come time to find my way to the meeting place with Arnulf. I feel I have learned much in the time I have been away - I feel he will approve. However, I know he still has much to teach me. Also, he promised to introduce me to others, ones that I might make allies of, allies outside the clan even.

    L’ete, 20
    Arnulf and I have met and split and met and split a few times since last I wrote. I have been introduced to quite a few of our folk this last wandering. Currently we are visiting a Tzimisce friend of his, a scholar out of Poland. He seemed a fairly odd man, very focused on his work. Very learned however.

    Le printemps, 25
    It has come time to part ways yet again. This time, Arnulf has apparently decided that it is past time to keep close tabs on me - we make no future plans to rejoin after a set amount of time. He has shared with me a way of getting in contact with him, and made sure I understand how to receive such communications from him.

    L’hiver, 53
    I have recieved a message from Arnulf, via his usual channels. Apparently he has need of me to go to Tabor, in Bohemia. There I will meet other fellows and given a task to hold a castle and possibly a particular relic for our mentors. I should just manage to make it in time.


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    [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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    • #3
      Diego Águilar, Toreador

      My tale begins, much as any other of the time.

      I was the first and only born child to a merchant family in Toledo. My father was a master swordsman, my uncle a master blacksmith. My mother was the master of the house. I lived an enjoyable life as a child, often waving sticks as a little swordsman with my cousin Juan Carlos beside my uncle’s forge. Juan Carlos was my mother’s brother’s son, but as his father was a bread maker, he often came to watch the swordplay. Oddly we always favored each other, so much so that only our family could tell us apart. I always found it odd that people were confused by our likeness while beasts seemed to know us instinctively. This led to many mischievous moments where we claimed to be the other and confused passersby. Sadly it also led to an unfortunate incident with the butcher’s dog. The monstrous beast was always quite happy to see Juan Carlos, though he rankled quickly at my approach. My cousin enjoyed the fiend’s attentions while I was reviled to even be within sight of it. One evening, we visited the aging man to trick him into giving us a double order of his meats. We were, as I said, mischievous. Nonetheless, I knocked at the door as Juan Carlos happily skipped back through the market. The butcher opened the door and I asked for my order. He looked confused but turned to go and gather my things. Just as he stepped aside his demon hound lunged for me. Caught off guard, I could do nothing but grow wide-eyed as the mongrel threw aside my basket and began viciously snarling and barking, no doubt summoning more of his Unholy minions. The frail old man moved with startling speed as he swatted the mongrel with his apron and that was all the distraction I needed. Once safely up a tree across the market, I vowed never again to cheat the butcher.

      As we grew older, Juan Carlos and I trained in the proper use of a sword. I was also conscripted by my uncle to learn how to hammer the blade. You see, my father and uncle sought to develop in me the ability to create and wield the finest steel in all of Toledo. It was an admirable goal, though I had my own secret passion as well. I enjoyed working with my father and my uncle, but my desire was to use my hands to create masterpieces on canvas, not on the anvil. There was no future in painting, or so my father had said many times whenever anyone mentioned the artists of the market. I knew my father would never understand my love of the arts. I wanted to be fulfilled. It did not matter to me that I could not become rich. However I would never convince him that such a life could be rewarding. But neither could I refuse my own need to create art. Shamefully I hid my extremely limited paints, homemade brushes, and roll of canvas under my bed. Late at night, I would paint images from my mind by the light of the moon. I knew from my father’s teachings that I should use both hands so that I would never be unable to paint (or handle a sword). This yielded some rather interesting paintings. I hesitate to say quality paintings however. I progressed well, both in swordsmanship and smithing, though my painting lagged behind. To keep in practice, Juan Carlos and I would publicly spar in increasingly flamboyant ways. We were foolish as always, but it was an exciting time. My father was pleased of my abilities and my uncle allowed me to fill several of his last minute commissions.

      It was during this time that I began to interact with more of the Muslims and Jews in our area. At fifteen, I was already a man but I had been somewhat sheltered from religious debate as a child. We were of course Catholic, but I cannot in good faith claim to be a good Catholic. Because we were seen as somewhat neutral, my family was not shunned by the ruling Muslim culture. We were also treated fairly, something for which my mother was always fearful. As I delivered packages for my uncle, I learned of several other smithies in the area. I saw for the first time with understanding the wonder and craftsmanship of a Damascene Blade. The textured steel fascinated me given how hard it remained. I could not speak Arabic, but all the shops I delivered to could speak at least broken Spanish. Given this situation, I could not understand or participate in the mistreatment of the Jews. How could I hold a people beneath me when I myself was treated as everyone else? I found that many of the Jewish children, like all civilized children, pretended to be swordsman. One day after my deliveries, I asked a group of them if they would like to learn to use a sword? Wide eyed, the three who spoke proper Spanish nodded vigorously. I had nothing else to do that afternoon and playing with children hardly seemed a terrible use of my time. So we found them sufficient sticks and I began some very rudimentary motions. A moment later, a man called out from behind me in Arabic. I could not tell exactly what he was saying, but I could understand he was angry. Then in a rather guttural Spanish he spat something unnecessarily impolite about the Jewish children. I tried to keep my wits about me, but my displeasure grew with each butchered word. I tried to remind him that these were simply children but he drew his steel and pointed it at me. I had to fight every ounce of my being not to react to this. He said to me very slowly that the Jews should have no such fantasy as to best a Muslim with a sword. Thinking quickly and seeing several Muslim children nearby, I asked if they would like to learn as well? They of course smiled immediately. I believe I further angered the man, but other people from the market spoke with him and convinced him to lower his sword. I found more sticks and went back to playing with the children.

      Five years later, those children became my entourage of market security. A few more Catholic children joined in before it was over so I commanded a small band of swordsmen which were hired by the market. I suspect this may have been to keep us from considering any unwanted alternatives, but it suited us nonetheless. I had made my father proud and my uncle a bit more established as he furnished the additional blades. Sadly, I made my mother very worried. She doubted any thief would surrender to us and that a skirmish would ensue. Rarely did something like this actually happen, but we lived for it when it did. I had no love for murder as many feared swordsmen of which I had heard tales. I taught those same values to my students. We called ourselves Thalatha Msarat, which they assured me meant the Three Paths. We worked in shifts, with each group consisting of one swordsman from each of the three groups. I was honored to have several of my students selected to be city guards. Between the deliveries for my uncle, teaching new students to keep up the ranks of Thalatha Msarat, and my own shifts, I was a busy man.

      It was a good life, but again I felt the artist’s pangs to create. At twenty four, I was essentially middle-aged, though I kept myself in wonderful shape with the sword training. I knew that for me it was now or never. I spoke with the artists of the market as often as I could and even studied with them a few times. My painting developed now as my smithing had before it. I was very much a beginner but the chance to openly paint was thrilling. Because I was only able to paint at night, I was still somewhat limited but one of the artists introduced me to the most beautiful woman I had ever met. Her accent was intoxicating, though I could not place it. Her soft eyes seemed to caress me as we spoke for hours. In a few short nights, Lady Theobold seemed like an old friend. She was fascinated with my abilities both as a budding artist and a capable smith. My belief in treating all fairly always brightened her lovely face anytime it came up. She showed me a few techniques in my painting which I could never have learned on my own and while I was still only learning, I could see real progress in my work. My life was only beginning to become exciting however.

      A few times when I walked Lady Theobold out to the community stables, I could hear a horse waiting out of sight in the darkness, but once or twice I spotted a hooded rider tending both horses. The last time, the wind blew the hood back and I saw the rider’s face. She would have been beautiful but for her eyes. As striking as Lady Theobold, but far darker, this woman’s eyes were empty. The only sense I gained from her was that of hunger. Had I been more religious, I would have crossed myself in the moonlight. As it was, I returned to my house and bolted my doors. I was never quite sure what to make of this woman and when I asked Lady Theobold of it, she demurred and skillfully changed the subject. That night would be the last time I saw Lady Theobold for nearly a month. I had grown quite fond of her company and was terribly saddened when she did not return. Throwing myself into my painting, I completed several abstract works depicting my loss and the empty pit in my heart. This was rather exhausting given the sleep I lost in the process. To make matters worse, Juan Carlos, overly fond of drink by this point, had taken to pretending to be me at night in some bizarre jealous rage. I found myself assuring old friends and honored clients that I had not in fact been out drunkenly walking the market the previous evening. My overly tired face did not help prove my story. Just when I was preparing to go after Juan Carlos myself, the sightings stopped. I was quite relieved until another week past without any sign of Juan Carlos. My mother came to me one evening and said that no one had seen Juan Carlos at this house or around the market. That night I was preparing to go in search of my cousin when there was a knock at my door. I rushed to answer it, expecting to see Juan Carlos smirking at the trouble he’d caused. Instead, Lady Theobold stood before with a very concerned look on her lovely features. She rushed inside and closed the door before I could even invite her in. I thought perhaps there was trouble for her as well and said as much. However she waved off my concern for her and explained that she had feared for my wellbeing. Word of a missing swordsman matching my description had reached her the night before and she came to determine if I had indeed been lost. I explained that Juan Carlos had gone missing and as it happened I was about to go in search of him. A pleading look entered her eyes as she explained she believed she may know who took Juan Carlos. I was distraught as she laid blame for this act upon the rider with the hungry emptiness in her eyes. What was more disturbing was that Lady Theobold suspected the mysterious woman took Juan Carlos believing he was I. My mind reeled as I suddenly believed it my fault my cousin was missing. Lady Theobold asked that I go to my family on the morrow and let them know that I would be leaving to find my cousin, but also to find the one who took him. She also asked that I make arrangements with the market, as she wanted to me honest with me, that I would not be coming back for a very long time. All this was assuming I would willingly come with her, to become hers, and work as her guard and student. I tried to stumble through a thought as my confusion was overwhelming before she drew me in and kissed me deeply before adding, that perhaps I would be more than those to her as well. Cannon volleys fired in my mind. At that moment, I wanted to do whatever I could to make Lady Theobold happy. Gathering myself before I began professing my undying love or some other equally embarrassing gesture, I agreed on the condition that I let my parents know I would not be returning. As much as I wanted to be with Lady Theobold, I could not torment my family as Juan Carlos’ loss was doing currently.

      The next day I greeted the sun to speak with my parents. I told them my plans to find the one responsible for taking Juan Carlos but that to do so, I needed to join the employ of a foreign benefactor. My mother, ever wise to my schemes, asked if my benefactor happened to be the beautiful woman seen leaving my house near dawn weeks ago. I admitted that she was indeed but that she had information on finding Juan Carlos. I also explained how it seemed our likeness caused the mishap and that I was actually the one targeted for the abduction. I stated that I was honor-bound to find my cousin, one way or another. Mother was not happy with what she called brash foolishness, but my father stood by my honor. I left the key to my house with them and kissed my mother goodbye. I next went to the market to let them know the Thalatha Msarat would be carrying on without me. I met with the men and told them the training and patrolling was up to them now. I had to go on a new adventure.

      That evening, I came to the spot Lady Theobold instructed, only to find a note tacked to a tree with a ship schedule and a hand written note instructing me to take the horse to catch the ship. I am still ashamed of how hard I drove that poor horse, though it was magnificent. I recognized the ship’s name to be Greek, but not speaking anything other than civilized Spanish, it meant little to me. I arrived as they will pulling the gangplank in. I nearly crushed a deckhand as I pushed the horse to make the jump. We landed on deck though I believe the horse was terrified as his legs almost seemed to wobble as I climbed off. Several of the crew were less than pleased with me, but I asked for Lady Theobold and they immediately relented. I was taken below decks where I found a lavishly appointed chamber and Lady Theobold lounging on a layer of what I guessed were pillows sown from Oriental silks. Her smile made me forget how much trouble it had been to get there. I felt as if my whole being was meant for nothing else than to keep her smiling at me. There was a different look in her eyes tonight than I’d seen before, though I was unlikely to realize it at the time. She stood and seemed to glide over to me and again pulled me into a passionate kiss. Her lips danced against mine for what seemed like hours before she slid down my neck. I felt her hands slip around my back and she held me close. Then I felt an overwhelming rush of pleasure as my senses seemed to instantly extend beyond my comprehension. At some point, I blacked out from the sheer ecstasy of the moment.

      When I again opened my eyes, a full day had passed and I felt within me a hunger like nothing I had ever experienced. Lady Theobold was at my side, a smile creeping back to replace a worried look on her face. She said she was not sure if I had survived since I took so long to awaken. I was confused when she said survived, but the hunger was fraying my concentration. I said as much as delicately as I could manage. Her cheer returned fully as her laugh filled the chamber. After several summoned servants lay happily sleeping at my feet, I felt less savagely hungry though I was horrified at what I had just done. Theophano, as she now asked me to call her in private, very gently explained my new existence to me. As she had been there to force me to stop drinking at the right moment, I had not killed any of the servants and they would be up and happy come morning when I, with Theophano, would be fast asleep. I suspect Theophano employed judicious use of Presence that night as I cannot understand how else I was able to remain so calm. She gave me a proper education in the ways of the Kindred and explained that there was a conflict going on in those nights which she was being drawn into and thus needed someone like me to help her. This Anarch Revolt became the backdrop of my entire Neonate period. When I was not protecting Theophano or fighting minions of the Elders or both, Theophano made sure that I continued to work with my talents as a smith.

      Nearly four decades later, I have learned I am being deployed into a newly minted unit of the revolution. Theophano is less pleased by the presence of a Lasombra, though I am simply honored I will get to meet a childe of the great Patricia of Bollingbroke, if not the woman herself. The other members of this unit, for some reason they call it a pack, are of less known lineage and history, but I look forward to supporting the cause as Theophano does. And of course, I realize that this is a test to see how I can handle myself with other vampires without my Sire there to get me out of trouble. I intend to do nothing less than honor Theophano with my performance. And now, we are to leave. Long live the Revolution!

      (as a note Theobold was the alias Theophano was using at the time, he changes the name on Embrace to her actual name, in case that was unclear)

      Comments and Questions welcome. Stay tuned for session #1 Journals where Krzysztof says to Rosabella , “Your Sire dresses very well. You dress like a beggar. You should kill him.”


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      [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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      • #4
        OK, finally time for some journals! As a reminder, we do journals by listing individual character logs. We will probably stick to mostly the same order, and I recommend if you don’t care to read all of em find someone whose voice you like and follow theirs.

        This time we have four journals, Diego, Eleanor, Jocelin and Šárka. Hopefully we will have at least 2 per session, maybe keep having four we will see. Diego has a pretty thorough recap so I put his first, so any points in later journals lighter on context will make sense. Also, Jocelin favors nicknames and Eleanor initials, so full names in the first helps. Eleanor’s journal focuses on the other characters but still recaps, Jocelin’s is mostly a recap, and Šárka’s starts with an analysis of the others before moving into recap mode. I hope you enjoy them, and I will have more comments after the journals. But let me allow the Conspiracy to speak for themselves.

        Session I


        Diego’s Dairy

        Jan’s Rest Inn
        Tabor, Bohemia

        17 April 1483

        According to Theophano, my written Czech is atrocious so I will be writing journals in the language of the land for practice. And to be perfectly honest, the thicker ink and sub par quills available here make writing in my Spanish Calligraphy overly time consuming and wrought with frustration. Thus I will make due and perfect my penmanship. To the point, as the dawn grows nearer I remain intrigued with my current situation. My beloved sire has left me in the company of the most interesting Cainites. But I should begin before she left me.

        Theophano briefed me during our carriage ride into the city. We were traveling to Tabor in Bohemia to meet with Patricia of Bollingbroke and a band of her contemporaries, as well as a newly formed pack of vampires to which I would join. While our sires had specific intentions, our goal was of a more secret nature. She did not know all the details but I was led to believe wholesale slaughter was not in the cards. For this, I was grateful. My sire was less enthused by the expected presence of the Lasombra Lucian and his childe, of whom we did not know. I received several warnings about the Magisters, such that I realized my sire was truly concerned for my unlife. I quietly noted this but outwardly I assured her I would be fine as always. After all, most Lasombra I knew were also from Spain. In this, I at least knew where I stood should a fair fight begin.

        We arrived shortly before ten o’clock as Theophano had rather brutishly forced me to awaken before my usual time. The Jan’s Rest Inn was far from the dank hovel I secretly feared it might be. We were shown to the upper floor, which was apparently reserved specifically for our uses. Señora de Bollingbroke apparently spared no expense, surprising for a woman noted for her efficiency, but who am I to question the gift of comfort? To Theophano’s delight, we found no Lasombra awaiting our arrival. A rather cold woman stood next to our host dressed in men’s pants and tunic, all in matching grey. Her sword hanged from her belt and her well kept boots had seen many nights. A loud finely dressed Italian man stood in conversation with anyone who would listen as he gestured wildly, as if already quite excitable. Behind him stood a slave girl holding a rag doll whom knew of no other being in the room save the Italian man. A large, foreboding man with tremendous hands stood to one side in well-tended riding leathers. Strangely he carried no visible weapons though he watched the room with a combatant’s eye. An oddly shaped, robed figure stood protectively behind. Nearby, a fanged man without weapons stood next to a behemoth of Hell’s invention. The monumentally large beast sat sniffing the air. The man looked more accustomed to the rural areas, but carried himself with enough presence I recognized a likely warrior. That he felt the need to constantly bear his fangs was an inscrutable decision. Finally, two women entered that I at first assumed were the tardy Lasombra. One was dressed in more leather than I believe I have seen outside of a Tannery. However the exotic spices I detected covered the smell of the leather in a very enticing way. The other was dressed more as a woman with some standing outside the nobility. This woman spoke first, introducing herself as Elizabetha, a Follower of Set. She announced that Lucian and his childe from the Cainite Heresy were inexplicably waylaid so she was sending her own childe in place of the Lasombra. I could see Theophano resist the smile tugging at her lips, though Patricia’s sidelong comment about unexpected Setites to the woman in grey was also noted. The leather-clad Setite introduced herself as Šárka Vlasáková before our Brujah host called the meeting to order impatiently. Wasting no time, she introduced the woman in grey as her childe, Eleanor Grey. I suspect she is the rumored Eleanor the Grey I have heard of through the random Anarch encampments we have visited on the way here. Theophano introduced herself before smiling to me. I removed my hat and bowed as I introduced myself. Eleanor seemed annoyed with my flourish. The loud Italian introduced himself next, giving his name as Giovanni Pallazzinni of Clan Malkavian. He then indicated his slave girl was his childe, one Rosabella Orfanelli. She seemed to fawn over the slight moment of attention from her sire, but offered nothing on her own behalf. Though Giovanni described her as quite the Master Thief, her actions spoke more of a smitten child. It was rather embarrassing but I knew better than to judge a Malkavian by her frailty. The other two men not introduced were apparently not sponsored by their sires. They spoke briefly between themselves with some familiarity, but before I could gain a sense of these men, Patricia moved ahead without another look at them.

        Our sires would be traveling to a newly claimed headquarters in Prague. Meanwhile, ghouled mounts were already waiting for us in the stables. It was not our task to assist our sires, but to venture to Hrad Černá Hora. There we would employ the servants and soldiers as we saw fit while we held the castle from the unnamed Usurper said to be dispatched to the area as well as any forces he may command. We were to retain control of the area and subdue the pawn of the Ventrue until a larger force came to permanently secure the locale. Once the Anarch forces controlled the castle, we were to leave Hrad Černá Hora to them and rejoin our sires in Prague. After we received our orders, Patricia turned from us and with our sires in tow, left us to decide how we would proceed.

        Given this moment, our silent compatriots finally made proper introductions. The larger of the two declared himself Krzysztof Tęczyński, sorcerer of Clan Tzimisce. Suddenly I understood the sobriquet of Fiends far more clearly. Krzysztof spoke and carried himself with the air of nobility. The fanged man introduced himself plainly as Jocelin de La Forêt with less disdain than Krzysztof. His French accent was surprisingly clear despite the fangs. He did not introduce his Hell beast and I did not feel the need to inquire after it. The Tzimisce found no purchase in delicacy as he gruffly stated to Rosabella that her sire dressed very well, while he allowed her to dress like a beggar. His summation of the situation was that she should kill him. The look on her face was neither one of horror nor revulsion but more shock and confusion. Krzysztof demanded to know where they found her clothing, to which Rosabella admitted they belonged to “someone that no longer needed them.” I suggested that perhaps we could find a tailor in the city beneath us. Oddly, Šárka asked if any of us would be offended if she wore a Nun’s habit? Curiously, I believe she meant this to be in response to my comment about a tailor. As a group we agreed that it was a non-issue. Before Šárka could continue with her line of thinking, the Tzimisce commanded his misshapen monk, Gerwazy, to find a tailor and bring him to us. The cloaked figured nodded eagerly and made away, proving to be far more fleet of foot than his posture would suggest. Šárka swiftly commented to Krzysztof that it was good to have another sorcerer as she is apparently of some magical talent. Being somewhat uneducated in the ways of magic, I asked what we should expect from this Tremere? Šárka suggested they could hurl fire from their hands but confessed to be ignorant of our pack mate’s style of sorcery. Suddenly from somewhere below in Tabor, I heard a blood-curdling scream. I realized that we had apparently found our tailor. I felt as though I should seek penance for scourging the man. To this, Krzysztof made a few noncommittal utterances before returning to the previous topic and informing us that the Tremere had stolen something from them, to which I assumed he meant his clan. He concluded his statement with the intention to take back that which had been stolen. There was no question in his voice on this matter. Gerwazy returned presently with our horrified tailor as the room fell silent. I asked that he prepare Rosabella proper clothing. The need was not specifically mentioned for a thief, but I believe he understood by my description. Nearly chocking on his words as he continually looked back to the ghoul, he asked when the work should be completed. I told him by the next evening and handed him enough coin to ensure his services. The poor man gladly took his leave and bolted back to the assumed safety of his home.

        With very little option or time for small talk, I suggested we visit the stables to inspect the ghouled horses. Šárka, apparently more familiar with the local environs, pointed out that we could secure any provisions tonight and leave tomorrow evening as she knew of a lodge we could safely reach by dawn to spend the day. Stopping then, I inquired if everyone could ride a horse. When all responses were in the affirmative, I felt better. Glancing around, I noticed several blades so I asked if I could inspect them. Šárka had a rather exotic dagger which I believe was for more ceremonial uses, but she assured me it would cut. Next I examined Eleanor’s long sword. It was plain and well used, but also well cared for. Foolishly I next asked Rosabella for her blade. She handed me the sword with no attention to proper handling of the steel. I drew the weapon from its filthy cloth wrapping and stopped short. It looked as though whoever the Malkavian stole this blade from used it to hack down trees in the rain. There were nicks along the edges, the whole length looked as though it had never seen a polishing rag, and there were even patches of surface rust. Before I could stop myself, I demanded to know where she got this blade. When she referenced the same “someone that no longer needed it,” I held my tongue, for at that moment it was far sharper than the pitiful weapon I held in my hands. Gathering myself as I wished to not start off on the wrong foot, I stated that I would need to find a blacksmith that I might make use of the forge. Krzysztof bellowed for Gerwazy once again, but Šárka quickly intervened. The ghoul was visibly dejected; however the Setite seemed rather determined to prevent further torment to the merchants of the area. She bid me wait as she went to change. When she returned she wore a full habit. We easily found a well appointed forge and Šárka used the shadow of the Cross to grant me access. A few hours at the forge allowed me to properly return the disgraceful blade to worthy steel. With that accomplished, I felt as though Theophano would be proud. The Setite accompanied me back to the Inn where I drew the newly hammered weapon and presented it to Rosabella. Though I did not mention it, I noticed the Malkavian seemed at first confused, then amazed, and finally shocked at her own appearance in the blade’s reflection. She thanked me in earnest before quickly sheathing the blade once again. Krzysztof’s words echoed in my mind as I pondered how a creature that, with proper bathing and a cadre of groomers, could be quite lovely was left to wallow in poverty and ignorance. Perhaps she is bound by a particularly potent Blood Oath. I may give too much credit to Giovanni. Rosabella may believe her doll speaks to her and says that her sire is the Messiah. Who can say? I must learn more in case there is some assistance I can lend the girl to regain her will. I would be remiss if I pledged my sword to fight the tyranny of the Elders and their Ventrue lackeys, yet turned a blind eye to one already set on the same path. Whether the chains are iron or velvet, slavery is still the tool of the so called Warlords.

        These things I must ponder.


        Traveler’s Lodge
        Jihlava, Bohemia

        18 April 1483

        Dawn’s approach decided for us our next move so we each retired to our own room for the day. I cannot say the bed was overly comfortable, but it was more than passable. However, when I awoke Šárka was wearing a different habit and was heading down the stairs with an air of annoyance. Glancing around, I realized everyone else was already outside. Quickly I gathered my things and rushed after the Serpent rather sheepishly. Perhaps Theophano had been correct about being more disciplined with my slumber.

        Steeds of the Blood are indeed an interesting concept. Our horses are strong, quick, and seemingly tireless. Tonight, we also learned they are valuable warhorses. Jocelin rode at the fore with the unsaddled mount of the Adversary on one side and Šárka the other. A rather beautiful falcon flew above us. Rosabella, Krzysztof, and Gerwazy filled the center while Eleanor and I took charge of the rear guard. The Gangrel’s feral eyes and the Setite’s disturbing tongue allowed them a better vantage to lead our caravan. My own heightened senses were enough to allow me a better sense of the group in case we were somehow separated. Several hours outside of Tabor, Jocelin and Gerwazy drew our attention to an unusually tree-shrouded clearing ahead. Jocelin noted spikes along the road and I agreed it seemed a proper site for an ambush. With a bit of effort, we spotted the highwaymen amongst the brush as they lay in wait. Forewarned, the bandits not only lost the element of surprise, but suffered from it as well. I was interested to see how the others fought. Would they be content to merely incapacitate or would there be wholesale slaughter? In the case of Gerwazy, I had little doubt but the others were a question. Our Master Thief and suspected abattoir rode in first. Oddly Jocelin was the one to use the forest cover to his advantage. Rosabella has apparently never been out of the cloister of the city. She rides well enough but for one who specializes in stealth, she seemed to miss the point. Riding headlong into combat, she stabbed one of the brigands but was likewise lanced with the force of her mount. The obvious leader, a man wearing the best armor, stood behind the others looking equally as confused as I by the Malkavian’s charge. Before any plans for counterattack could gain purchase in his mind, Jocelin dove off his steed and presented an immediate test of strength. Very quiet and unexpressive while at peace, the Gangrel had a look of serene bliss on his face as he entered battle. The Frenchmen lashed out at the bandit, intending to rend flesh and armor alike when his Heaven-barred Hound leapt for what I assume was a similar reason. That or the beast showed its true malicious nature and turned on its master. Either way, Jocelin bashed the beast unconscious, though he missed the bandit entirely. Krzysztof rode into the clearing but held back from entering the melee. Eleanor drove her steed full ahead and laid her target low with one swing of her sword. The head rolled next to the bandit facing Šárka, though he seemed completely unaware. I glanced around and realized though mildly wounded, the man could do naught but stare at the entrancing serpentine gaze of our Setite Nun. Looking back to check on the Tzimisce, I recognized concentration to be significant. I followed his ember-like gaze and watched in startled fascination as the bandit burst into flames. Rosabella, attempting to call upon the strength of her blood and skills, turned ghostly transparent but her original target and the flaming bandit were closing on her. I rode and finished off the bandit upon which she began her assault. The other was still burning so I assumed he would either put himself out or fall to the flames. Meanwhile, Gerwazy dismounted, unleashed a monstrous battle cry, and then charged the bandit leader. Oddly this man seemed unmoved by the disturbing display and sidestepped the ghoul. With two of the five bandits down, the highwaymen stood no chance. Our combined attacks ended with silence in the shrouded wood.

        Jocelin moved to his fallen beast and I expected he would finish the cur for its apparent mutiny. As he knelt down, he strangely looked as though he might try to assist the monster but instead stabbed it with his terrible claws. I moved closer and offered my sword as it would be a faster and cleaner kill. The Gangrel looked at me with a mixture of confusion and frustration but declined my offer. Krzysztof confused me further by accusing me of cruelty to animals. I simply wanted to end the beast’s suffering. Even the condemned deserve a swift ending. However Jocelin roused the somewhat pitiable creature to my astonishment. We confirmed Rosabella was still able to travel and we rode on. Still comfortably before daybreak, we arrived at the lodge of which Šárka spoke. Either the establishment has no name or the shingle has rotted away. I write this now from my room in a lodge that is more what I expected in Tabor. But as we shall take our leave at dusk, I doubt this riding quilt they call a mattress will burden me terribly.


        Guest Chambers
        Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

        20 April 1483

        Our initial journey east is complete. We have arrived at the castle two nights ride from Jihlava. Blissfully, there occurred nothing of any concern on the first night out of the unnamed lodge. Leaving Bohemia behind, I found this Moravia quite beautiful. We were met by the servants at the gates and they have welcomed us as lords. It was rather pleasant. Then we retired to our guest quarters just in time to miss the dawn.

        Realizing that we would need every advantage available, I suggested our apparently unambitious thief look for secret passages when I was again moving about. It seemed like something useful for her to do and as a child I had heard stories of ancient castles filled with such enhancements. I suppose I was a bit hopeful.

        In the meantime, I interviewed the Major Domo and determined the humans know very little. They are neither aware of our true nature nor the reason for our presence. At best, they assume it has something to do with the massing of Bohemian troops looking to take Moravia back from the over-extended Hungarians. Given the Ventrue intervention in the Hungarian War as they and the Tremere call it, this assumption is close enough to the truth to satisfy. I would tell Krzysztof the soldiers would gladly fight with our forces in the Omen War, but I think it safer for them to simply follow my command. With that thought in mind, I looked in on the soldiers but found Eleanor testing their steel. They were capable though none could best the Brujah. During those few moments, I saw for the first time a sparkle of something other than cold steel in Eleanor. Afterward we walked the battlements of the castle to gain a better idea of our vantage points. Though my companion was mostly silent, she was still pleasant company. We shared a wonderful view of the area while the moon broke free of the clouds. I noted an area of shifted rock and collapsed earth out near the bridge, as if there had been some sort of cave in. I turned to mention my findings to Eleanor but I stopped as the reality of the moment struck me. The moonlight played over us, casting Eleanor’s features in its shifting silver light. While strategically useful, I could not help but notice I was standing atop a castle, staring at a beautiful countryside panorama, with a lovely woman. Ironically, a sound to my right drew my attention as we found Jocelin on the battlements with us. He had no doubt come seeking proper vantage points as well. Rosabella came rushing up the stone steps then with excitement on her expressive face. She had in fact found my secret passage.

        Gathering Šárka and Krzysztof, we made our way into the cellar. I found it odd that so many casks of beer were stored instead of wine. Šárka informed us the region produced a great deal of beer, that the castle produced its own and in this quantity was a mark of pride for the inhabitants. The secret passage was more a forgotten hallway as Rosabella had actually slipped past an ancient door blocked by beer casks. Gerwazy moved one with no sign of difficulty and we were able to enter without issue. Looking around it was obvious the castle had been constructed over the top of another, much older structure. There were passages leading out to the church, another which I determined to be the collapsed tunnel I noted on the battlements, and one which seemed to open into a chamber behind the rubble of the collapse. Glancing around it looked as though we were the first beings to walk these halls for several centuries. Krzysztof estimated closer to a millennium, which meant these tunnels existed long before anything else yet standing in the area. As we moved deeper into the open passage, we found a language on the walls which was not even Slavic. Krzysztof and Šárka both recognized something about this strange script, but could not translate immediately. The Tzimisce noted it resembled Babylonian while Šárka thought she remembered seeing it in a Setite temple. The best guess either could manage was that it was a warning of some kind. That led us to question what else was buried in these tunnels, but with a pending Tremere invasion, we had little option to spend the necessary time clearing the area. Once again Krzysztof concentrated and summoned a being of rock from the bare earth. He tasked the Elemental with clearing the passages while returned to our preparations.

        With one less complication for us to plan around, I returned to the inhabited portion of the castle. Three of the servants caught my interest as I moved past, so I entertained them a bit while discreetly feeding as well. Once I finished with the ladies, I sought the soldiers. Unsurprisingly I found Eleanor already with the men. We decided to work together with them for instruction and possible tactics. I felt like it was productive. I am amused to note that while Eleanor is most definitely my superior in brute force, I am easily her better in matters of finesse when it comes to a sword. I believe the differences will serve the men well should they manage to survive this incursion.

        Now I feel dawn breaking so I shall retire.


        Eleanor’s Log

        Dearest Patricia,

        I do hope this missive finds you well and your journey to Prague has been a successful one. My own journey has been enlightening, and though the connections are tenuous given how new they are, I believe this alliance will be fruitful.

        I shall endeavor to share my observations of the Pack you have thrust upon me.

        After you and your compatriots left us, the others were able to feel one and other out to an extent. K is arrogant and most forthright. He shows a distinct disapproval for R, who is little more than a street urchin. Given the state of her attire He remarked that she should kill her sire as he was well clothed while she looked the part of a beggar.

        Unsurprisingly she was unable to fathom why such action should ever be considered. She fawns over the man as if he were the Second Coming.

        However it is a weakness that while obvious is also easy to exploit. I had my doubts that K would be willing to travel with her in such a state, thus I suggested that to reflect well on her master she obtain more worthy garments. D gave his support to the idea and K. immediately ordered his vassal to obtain the services of a tailor.

        S seemed a bit out of sorts with the vassal’s methods. But she did mention that Tabor was her home city so perhaps she merely wished to play hostess. Who can say?

        I find using R’s obsessive affection for her master to make her bend to my will repugnant. That she prostrate herself to a man such as that – one that would see himself clothed in the finest silks while she dresses in rags – it is abhorrent. I will endeavor over time to cure her of such worship, but it must be subtly done or she will run back to him and the Pack will be without a scout.

        I do not have a good sense of J just yet. He is a quiet observer and says little though I get the impression he finds great amusement in the interactions between K. and R. I did expect great things out of his fighting ability and I am not sure if I am putting too much stock into the reputation of his clan.

        During a small altercation with brigands on the road to Çerná Hora, J hit his own hound rather than the highwayman they were both attacking. Still he managed to handle the brutes fairly well, but hitting the beast was not a stellar first impression. I will endeavor to reserve judgment until I see more of his fighting capability.

        It would seem R has little to no outside experience in battle as well. She is accomplished in the art of Obfuscation yet she rode straight into the thick of battle to attack with her newly tempered sword rather than sneak in undetected.

        Considering the injuries she suffered I’m sure she’ll learn quickly, but it was most surprising.

        Thus I am left with the two potential turncoats. I realize you were generally pleased to discover the master of shadows would no longer be joining us, I cannot help but feel this was a most convenient action. We have no one’s word about what occurred other than S and her sire. I do not trust her for that reason alone. She has been quite pleasant and her prowess in battle is intriguing as it is most economical. I believe she holds the Holy See in as much contempt as I do. She is wise to travel in the manner she does, though as we saw on the road not everyone will step aside or think twice about accosting a Nun. Still, her manipulations of the Church and the reverence the general population has for the Holy Sisters is laudable.

        The Artisans made a wise choice when they sent D to join us. He is charming but not overly so. He is willing to help in any capacity. If you had not suggested he may be in the service of our enemies I would never suspect he had anything but the Pack and the Movement’s best interests at heart. I am on my guard, but I will confess I find him to be a suitable ally for the time being.

        Çerná Hora is currently calm, as all battlefields are before the blood begins to water the land. I have familiarized myself with the battlements and selected a few soldiers to be my favored for the brief amount of time we shall be here. They will benefit from my instruction and shall know without a doubt that a woman can be just as capable as they. When they return to their homes my lessons shall remain with them and they shall teach their children. A quiet revolution in one small town, but it is a start.

        R has found something in the catacombs of the castle. She took us to an area under the cellar where there was a great deal of writing. S and K said it was a warning, but neither could read it effectively. K copied it into a small journal while S said she recognized the writing from a temple. K also said no one had been in the catacombs – foundations of an earlier construction really – in at least 700 years. I have to wonder if these catacombs and that warning has anything to do with why the sorcerers are coming here. No matter, my duty is to see they do not gain hold of the castle and they will not.

        The hour grows late and I can see the sky lighten. I take my leave and will send these pages to you as soon as I can.

        Verum in honore et aequalitate,

        Eleanor


        Jocelin’s Journal

        16eme avril, 54

        I did manage to make it on time, in fact. I arrived to a deafeningly quiet town, which clearly dreaded the gathering of my fellows. We had a quick round of introductions from those who had arrived with their sires before the elders moved off to discuss their own plans. We have spent much of the night re-outfitting La jeune Mendiante to Le Savant and L’Espagnol’s specifications. From what I have seen, my new pack will be formidable enough. I know of Le Savant’s capabilities in the realm of magic, and his hulking servant has many uses, at least if what you require is brute strength. La Pucelle anglaise, L’Espagnol and La jeune Mendiante all carry steel with familiarity, so I presume are at least somewhat competent with its use. I am not certain of our Serpent’s battle abilities, but with our kind it does not do to judge based on appearance. Hopefully we will come across some battle before we are truly tested. It would be good to know our capabilities before we face the demon Tremere.


        17eme avril, 54

        Well, I have gotten that wish as well, though if anyone failed such a test it was I. After sighting the feeble trap, I unsheathed my claws and proceed to charge in afoot, the rest of the pack on horseback. My first swing knocked Tara unconscious, as he jumped into the fray alongside me, though I did manage to turn my claws to keep from seriously injuring him. I later managed to get one swing in, but on the whole was quite disappointed in myself. No one has been overly recriminating however, though L’Espagnol did seem particularly pleased with the abuse Tara received at my hands. I don’t think he cares for hounds very much. Our Pucelle anglaise had a fine showing, slaughtering a bandit with a single blow. The rest performed admirably, though our jeune Mendiante did take some nasty blows. La Serpent took her own cues from her clan’s namesake - while she did not ride in a blaze of steel as the others did (barring Le Savant and his fire), her mesmerizing gaze trapped one as she fed from it at her leisure. Much more economical with the blood at least. I grow more confident that our task was placed in the proper hands with every night. Now, if only I can cease tripping over my own feet.


        19eme avril, 54

        We spent the next night in travel, and have finally arrived at our destination, Hrad Černá Hora. I began my night becoming more familiar with the surrounding landscape, feeding my hunger from the beasts of the wild. It is less fulfilling, but if we are to be in a possible siege situation, I do not wish to harry our human cattle before necessary. Other than that, I have settled into watching from the battlements - I have the best vision in the dark, so it seems only rational. L’Espagnol and La Pucelle anglaise joined me on the ramparts for a time, taking stock of our fortifications and the lay of the land. La Serpent spent some time in the chapel, while La jeune Mendiante looked into the dark places of the castle, to secure it from stealthy entry, and found some sort of writing. It definitely intrigued our scholars, but after being shown the extent of the tunnel system, and seeing that there was no way in or out there, I lost interest and resumed my watch from the walls.


        Šárka’s Transmissions

        Sweet Elizabetha

        Thus far we have been successful. As I write this, we have arrived at Hrad Černá Hora and set up our base. The trip has been mostly uneventful, but I am on my guard.

        Our allies are unusual, but not as violent as I had feared given the darker turn I hear some Anarch packs are taking. In fact I have not found them distasteful at all.

        Eleanor Grey the Brujah comes by her name honestly. Like her Sire she dresses as a man and as a Cavalier. She clearly favors the color grey and wears a great deal of it. I confess I find her behavior rather fetching. She is pretty enough but the way she carries herself is very intriguing, I hope to get to know her better. She is strong and confidant, and like most of the Zealots a competent fighter, even given Jocelin a run for his money. She seems to have a good mix of combative skills and a keen mind, which is certainly a good thing. I look forward to seeing her fight again for a variety of reasons. I am unsure what her “cause” is as I am given to understand Brujah usually have a “cause”. I am sure it will reveal itself in time; Zealots are rarely subtle about that. I am not simply going to assume it is the same as her Sire.

        Jocelin de La Forêt the Gangrel is a Frenchman, and not I confess what I expected. Unlike nearly everyone else I am unsure if he is a noble or commoner, he shows signs of both. He travels with a Hawk and Dog, but seems to require neither to be competent. Because of an unfortunate accident in combat I have not seen his dog really fight yet, but it is among the biggest dogs I have ever seen. It could give a wolf a run for its money. I have not seen him Shapeshift yet but I have seen him demonstrate the more basic effects of the Protean discipline. Jocelin is not very talkative, and I feel I know less about him than anyone else, but that’s how things work with Gangrel I think. He seems, at least, less contemptuous of civilized folk than many of the Animals are, which is a good thing I think. Helps him get along with the others anyway.

        Rosabella Orfanelli the Malkavian was not quite what I expected. She wore rags, clung to a doll, and worshipped her Sire, as you saw. Her bizarre behavior continued. She apparently ran naked around town at one point before we left, just invisibly. She is apparently fearless to the point of endangering herself in battle, attacking in plain sight rather than utilizing Obfuscate, which I am given to understand is her specialty. Still her curious nature has paid dividends for us. She is skilled enough with Obfuscate to try to disappear in plain sight, later we will see if she is competent enough to succeed. In the meantime I am hoping her childlike demeanor does not prove a liability, though she reminds me of some women I have met raised entirely in the church at least a little in her unfamiliarity with dealing with “outsiders.”

        Diego Águilar the Toreador is much like Spanish men were described to be. Handsome, arrogant, romantic and cocksure. He also seems to dislike dogs a great deal. I think he hails from Toledo or, failing that, was trained there. He seemed eager to show his skills as a smith and seemed to do a good job repairing Rosabella’s sword, and did well enough in combat. He is apparently a blacksmith, which I did not expect but he seems to take pride in it (and pride in a lack of fear of Fire). I will say as Toreador go he was remarkably friendly and not at all condescending to any of us. He may be playing us, but seems sincere enough. That may be a warning sign in itself of course, but I suspect he simply wants to expand his contacts beyond that of his own Clan. That is respectable enough a goal I think.

        Krzysztof Tęczyński the Tzimisce is, well, a Tzimisce. He is a fellow student of Sorcery, practicing his own Clan’s tradition of magic, which seems to lend itself to Elementalist displays. He has remarkably little patience for people or behaviors he deems to be beneath him, and clashes openly with Rosabella. I think a lot of his contemptuous talk about her goes over her head though. I will note he seems to lack his clan’s obsession with fleshcrafting. At least…I assume he did not take effort to make himself look the way he does. I considered asking him to make my nose less prominent…but if he is untalented in that, I suspect he would take it as an insult or at least become defensive. I don’t like the idea of making a Fiend defensive. Still I think I have generated a small amount of respect in him. Small.

        I think ultimately Eleanor may be most receptive to understanding the woman’s role in unlocking the divine. I will turn the key for her, as she will for others. Rosabella has a long way to go, as she must see herself as something other than Giovanni’s doll. Diego does not seem to hold women in low esteem for a Spaniard (having a female Sire probably helps) so I think he will be receptive as well. Jocelin is an enigma here. Krzysztof will have to be convinced he is not divine himself first, I suspect. He is either farther on the road than I, or has a very long way to go. I am hopeful these Vampires will join me on the road to Enlightment and casting off the chains selfish gods have clamped upon them.

        It took us two nights to reach Černá Hora. The trip only had one event of note, a group of bandits attempted to rob us a few hours out of Tábor. We for the most part made short work of them. Rosabella was perhaps a bit overconfident, this being her first battle, and rode out ahead and was badly hurt. I managed to incapacitate on bandit with Set’s gifts, while the others dealt handily with the rest. Krzysztof demonstrated the ability to make them combust, similar to the abilities the Tremere allegedly have. You were correct his…assistant was a Szlachta, and apparently useful for more then just terrorizing my townspeople. I still have not gotten a good look at it. Anyway, I think Rosabella learned from her mistakes and we went on without serious trouble.

        I know, I know Tábor is not mine. But I remain possessive of her. Anyway.

        The trip was otherwise quiet, and there was none of the descending upon villages and tearing out the throats of desired vessels some packs had stooped to. I speculate there will be some clashing between packs like mine and packs like those in the future.

        We have spent a full night in Hrad Černá Hora now. I have subverted two of the maids in the castle for my needs. If the others continue to be self-sufficient I have my eye on a downstairs maid to subvert as well. That will keep me well fed. They have taken to the concept of the need of union with the feminine for divine understanding, as even Set needed my great-grandsire Maatkere and, in the parable I tell, Jesus needed Mary Magdalene. And in our unions, they take their own first steps. Some revelations will, of course, have to wait.

        Eleanor seemed to like feeding on, and sparring with the soldiers, and Diego dallied with some maids as well. Jocelin has been keeping watch and done his hunting out of doors. Rosabella and Krzysztof hunted in Černá Hora itself, but only after some fascinating incidents. I do not know who they hunted, but I know finding out could be important, as knowing a Cainites favorite food is important to understanding them. I make the sacrifice of unions with women to teach them their important role in taking steps toward the divine, as they have very important roles to play.

        Feeling a little giddy from feeding, I set about ensuring any passing Inquisitors or soldiers frightened by our natures could not use the sacraments in the church against us. While we were hunting or otherwise occupying ourselves Rosabella was exploring the castle and found an older structure beneath the castle. It was in poor condition, but she wisely fetched us and drew us there. The structure was quite old. Krzysztof placed it at roughly seven centuries ago to have last been visited. I confess a twinge of jealousy at the wisdom he possesses, though to look in his eyes is to see he may have already paid a high price. There was a message, a warning Krzysztof said and I agree, in a language that resembled Babylonian but was not. I know I have seen such writing in a temple before but unsure of where. Krzysztof made a copy of it though and said he would study it. It remains to be seen if he will be receptive to assistance from a Serpent. There were also three paths caved in under the Castle, well two under the Castle and one under the church on the grounds. One path seemed to just be to a room or rooms while one (under the church) seemed to go to an exit Diego spotted outside (also caved in). The third path did not have a terminus we could find. Krzysztof summoned an Elemental of some sort with a Koldunic Ritual and set it to digging the collapsed chamber. Then he and Rosabella slipped off to Černá Hora to feed on the peasants there.

        For the record, Krzysztof’s magic does not seem to tap into the Western Lands or Amenti. I hypothesize it is drawn from the world of living spirits not the world of the dead. There was a certain union between his magic and the earth around this cellar though, one that made me feel an involuntary chill as he smiled with satisfaction and his ritual ended. This will require more examination. I am not one to criticize of course. To one ignorant of our legacy and due, funneling the energy of the Underworld into the living may seem like a crime.

        Diego seemed surprised that the cellar where the hidden doorway to the ruins was contained a lot of beer. Krzysztof noted that we were in Eastern Europe and should expect it to be common. I am proud my homeland produces much of Set’s holy drink.

        It is a new night. The maids have received a homily and I have received their offering. Let us see what progress Krzysztof is making.


        End Session I

        Quite a group eh? Few notes.

        Patricia of Bollingbroke can be found in Children of the Inquisition, Chicago by Night (Both Editions), Transylvania Chronicles II: Son of the Dragon and Clanbook: Brujah Revised among other places. Theophano gets brief mention in Clanbook: Toreador Revised by her childe, Katherine of Montpellier. Note Patricia's suspicion of her comes largely from the fact Theophano is a well established and respected Toreador with more reason in her mind to support the Camarilla then the Anarchs.

        Černá Hora (the town) is at the foot of a hill beneath Černá Hora Castle. As they are both called Černá Hora there is some room for mixup (This is made worse by the fact they are not the only places in the Czech Republic called Černá Hora, or even the only such places with a castle). Here is a picture of the area, circa 19th Century.

        Normally I have combat pretty dangerous, and Morality checks for killing, even in self-defense (as per the rules, though I knock a bit off the difficulty for self defense) but the bandits were designed as an introduction to combat in the WoD system (as most players have not played it in 8-10 years), and the upcoming battle with the Tremere would (probably) be a lot less forgiving then five human guys, and I did want to throw them straight to the wolves. Rosabella won initiative by some margin and charged in before any of the more combat focused PCs could, and was somewhat beat up.

        Poor Jocelin botched two or three times that one combat scene, all on decent to higher dice pools, including an attack roll and a medicine roll on his hound. I had him accidentally backhand and KO Terrasque rather then one shot kill his ghoul in his first attack in the campaign.

        Krzysztof uses Koldunic Sorcery, the Way of Fire version in V20 and Guide to the High Clans. Player thought they were cool and figured he could use the powers more freely in 1483 then 2012 so went for that path first. (I allow the earlier powers in Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy as alternate power options, but I don’t see him bothering with those). He used Elemental Savior (Level 5 Koldunic Ritual from Sins of the Blood) to summon the Elemental. Most other abilities used should be fairly familiar. It's probably worth noting too Jocelin has permanent fangs as a flaw. Also, Krzysztof seriously has huge hands. Look at the picture. It may not be surprising but Diego has Heavy Sleeper and Phobia: Dogs, which his player accentuated on his own.

        As a footnote on Krzysztof, his player noted he (Krzysztof) now believes Elizabetha eliminated the Lasombra to put Šárka, a ringer, into the party, and believes the reason lies with the message under Černá Hora Castle. As Šárka had seen such writing before, and suggested showing it to Elizabetha, clearly she was sent to have the PCs fetch something dangerous. Of course Krzysztof is not one to put personal safety ahead of the pursuit of knowledge, is going along with it despite the fact it is “probably a trap.”

        Well, that covers session 1. Comments and questions welcome.


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        [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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        • #5
          Hello folks. No update yet, but I have one journal in hand and two at least are being worked on.

          I got a PM asking for clarification, and based on the idea that if someone asks others don't know either but are not asking, I thought I'd post the clarification as my initial post was clear to me but I knew all the facts and may not have expressed clearly or failing that, concisely. I have a problem with concisely sometimes.

          The Focus of Conspiracy will be on a modern Masquerade setting. What you have read, and will read in the next week, are part of the extended group prelude taking place in the past. This is essentially assumed to have happened already; outside something truly boneheaded where I cannot save the PC without breaking immersion (which I do not expect at all, the group is not in the habit of such) no PC can actually die in the Prelude (though they can lose morality or virtues, and one so far has). The Prelude is also rather railroaded for my usual running preferences. Like a lot of introduction/origin stories it will run in just such a way. When we hit modern (I am still estimating 5 sessions of prelude, but will have a much better idea after next Friday's session) the Players will be handed the proverbial keys to the kingdom and their PC will be able to do anything they want, and more like my Geist game they will drive the action with plot hooks supplied by me.

          The focus of the story is a Conspiracy of Elders who had certain events in the past which had a major impact in their unlife and where they shared certain difficult experiences and survived because of relying on each other. Then, after weighty centuries of ennui, events thrust them to a new place together shaking up their routine, and they see old faces and hear familiar voices just like when they were mere Neonates facing difficult odds in an ancient castle. Suddenly while not exactly young again their blood flows as it has not in centuries. The band is back together. But to make that more meaningful, I am playing though some major events of the proverbial band being together the first time. I could always then take a year off or so and have us start playing again, but that might be too much immersion Anyway the game will be more recognizably Masquerade in a few sessions as the power bloc enters Prague as a group for the second time over five centuries after the first, and deals with conspiracies, mystery, awakening ancients and secrets filled ancient holdings of the children of Caine.


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          [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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          • #6
            We have character journals for Diego, Jocelin, Šárka and Rosabella this week. Couple comments before we dive in, for various reasons Eleanor, Diego, and Rosabella’s players got to the game varying degrees of late, which is unusual. But it may come out in that it is a few beats before they show up in Jocelin or Šárka’s journals. Also, compared to how I run Masquerade, things take a little bit of a turn for the fantastic here. Such is the nature of the Omen War and Tremere/Tzimisce magic. I plan for Masquerade to be less crazy…at least except when the shit hits the fan. Anyway, let’s see what our protagonists have gotten themselves into…

            Session II

            Diego’s Diary

            Guest Chambers
            Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

            21 April 1483

            Tonight has been extremely peaceful. I have walked the battlements again to let the area firmly display in my mind. I also enjoy the sight of the castle and town below gently bathed in the silver moon light.

            Krzysztof summoned another Elemental from the earth to clear the rubble in our secret tunnels. There is a portion of a room cleared which our sorcerers believe will aid them in their magics. Šárka is quite excited by this. I am not entirely sure Krzysztof is capable of excitement. Eleanor has spent her evening with several of the soldiers. I do not think she is feeding on them so regularly, though I suspect she may be looking to convert them to her cause. If I surmise correctly, her particular cause is the freedom of the feminine from the shackles of the masculine oppression. It is a worthy goal and one which I believe my mother would stand behind proudly. I believe Šárka pursues a similar goal, though her methods are vastly different than those of the Brujah. Jocelin was out most of the evening, though I believe he was scouting the surrounding area. The Gangrel is unlikely to remain within the confining walls of Hrad Černá Hora for no reason after all. And while I harbor no ill will toward the Animal, the presence of his diabolical abomination was not missed. I believe Rosabella is sneaking around the castle looking for other secrets...that or trying to find the treasure.



            Guest Chambers
            Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

            22 April 1483

            Tonight we faced the might of Clan Tremere and were triumphant, however I feel as though I have lost something. Ironically, what I feel is nothing. I am not making sense, so I will explain the events to better illustrate my point.

            Before I awoke, Jocelin took to the skies and spotted a small caravan of carriages and riders. He apparently drew quite near as the information I was given upon my waking were of startling numbers. Both carriages were driven by humans, with three others on horseback. Two of these mercenaries carried matchlock rifles similar to the handgonnes wielded by Patricia, but with rumored better range. Inside the first carriage were two creatures of unassailable evil. Krzysztof labeled them Demon Bound; human shells with true demons trapped within and forced to serve the Tremere which created it. The shells ignite into a sort of controllable molten form. Given that knowledge, I found I was somewhat less keen to view Jocelin’s hound in the same light I previously had. In the second carriage, two Gargoyles equipped with five magic burrowing stakes each flanked the Tremere, herself carrying two magic stakes of a different kind. Krzysztof called the burrowing stakes “Shafts of Belated Quiescence.” If they pierced the skin of an opponent, the tip would snap off and burrow through the body until it found the heart. For vampires, this would be the same as a stake through the heart. For those not of the Blood, however it would be quite fatal. That the Gargoyle servants carried ten total of these magic sticks did not please me. However the “Splinter Servants” which the Tremere carried on her person were more disturbing yet. These stakes were magically given life, with their only purpose or goal being to stake its target through the heart.

            Šárka had called down a dense fog over the area just before I rose for the evening. After I was briefed with the most current intelligence, we decided to further hinder both sight and thrown stakes by summoning wind and rain. I must admit that seeing Šárka ascend to the battlements, speak commandingly in her foreign tongue to the sky with arms ever rising, and then the heavens weep and howl at her behest; it was rather exhilarating. My fondness for beautiful women atop the battlements of well appointed castles grows nightly.

            Our plan was to quickly remove the humans while Krzysztof trapped the second wagon in a circular wall of magma. I have already learned never to question the limits of sorcery. This would remove the Gargoyles, the stakes, and the Tremere from the first wave of our assault. We knew the Gargoyles could fly above the expected wall but it would take at least a few moments. This would hopefully give us enough time to deal with the Demon Bound without immediate concern of mystic wood. Once the demonic servants were removed, we could concentrate upon our target and her guardians. That was our plan and on the surface, it was a sound strategy.

            As the second carriage cleared the river crossing, we struck from the cover of weather. The humans could not resist our ambush giving Krzysztof the precious seconds needed before his wall of magma erupted from the earth. Somehow, the Tremere was ready however and used the brief moment to stab one of her Splinter Servants into Eleanor just before the wall roared into place. Fortunately, the sorceress was not as practiced at hurling stakes as casting spells. The wooden menace entered her breast but did not completely impale the Brujah. But before we could rejoice, the beast tore arms and legs loose from the main shaft and began trying to plunge itself deeper into Eleanor’s chest. Gerwazy charged forward and ran a human through with his vicious bone spike for an arm. I engaged the mortal Eleanor had not yet dispatched but he again proved resilient. Just then Jocelin’s hound, I suppose I really should learn its name, attacked and slaughtered the wounded man. With that obstacle removed, Eleanor ripped the animate stake from her breast and threw it into the magma wall. It was then that the first of the Demon Bound emerged. Jocelin stepped forward and ravaged it with his bestial claws while Gerwazy likewise descended upon it. Still the smoldering menace stood until it faced my steel. I was aware of the heat coming from my blade for several moments after, as it glowed orange at the tip. One of the Gargoyles flew above the magma wall as we predicted. Krzysztof used a power that seemed to cook the guardian as I could feel the heat radiate out. Unfortunately, with his monk’s hood off Gerwazy looked much more threatening than any of us, so the Gargoyle used one of its stakes on him. He was still up so I assume the borrowing wood did not move quickly. The second Gargoyle and Demon Bound entered the battle at once, with the Demon Bound attacking me. Its wide swing was a simple matter to duck under. Before it could react, Rosabella attacked from the cover of her Obfuscate. The hound, miscalculating the Demon Bound’s height, leapt over its target and into the magma wall. It was not killed, though I suspect the damage will not be nearly so quick to shrug off. The mercenary still inside the magma wall apparently lost his head to panic as he tried to leap over the wall. Sadly, he did not nearly clear his jump and perished with a disturbing wail. Krzysztof summoned another Elemental which attacked the Demon Bound as well. Eleanor, now quite agitated, finished the demon off. With the ground opponents destroyed or unconscious, Jocelin drew his bow and fired on a Gargoyle. The enslaved creature dove to the side at the last moment, dodging the projectile before launching another stake at Eleanor. This happily missed its mark as another Earth Elemental burst through our side of the magma wall to attack. Gerwazy rushed it as a viable target while the earthen creature launched a rock-encrusted hand at me before glancing at Gerwazy. Rolling to the side, I swept back and cleaved into its stone mid-section, quickly gaining its attention again. Gerwazy is a hardened combatant and loyal soldier. He already carried several grievous wounds and yet he fought on almost gleefully. When the Szlachta next struck the Elemental, the rock giant leveled a devastating riposte. I feared the ghoul would not withstand more strikes of this nature. Jocelin, having drawn attention to himself by firing on our airborne adversaries, only just avoided yet another mystic stake. Krzysztof sent his Elemental through the magma wall after the Tremere with a bellowed command. However the Usurper apparently drew inspiration from her henchman’s failure. With what could only be benefits of the Blood, the Tremere leapt into the air and tightly grasped one of her Gargoyle servants. Ignoring the Elemental, I snatched a discarded stake and hurled it into the vampire-laden Gargoyle. Unfortunately I too and not practiced at throwing mystic weapons as the Gargoyle did not react. Krzysztof, now more urgently, blasted the Tremere with another wave of heat. Behind me, I heard the odd slapping sound of wet stone from Šárka’s attack before Jocelin’s hound again attacked and crumbled the beleaguered Elemental. Gerwazy, still spoiling for carnage, followed my lead and launched his own stake into the Gargoyle. His missile attack seemed more accomplished than mine though I certainly welcomed a more practiced hand at that moment. Eleanor joined Jocelin in drawing her own bow. The archers took aim and released in match step. Frustratingly though both arrows struck their mark, neither found purchase in the stony Gargoyle hide. As they each notched another shaft, the Tremere motioned back; Gerwazy screamed in agony and fell to the ground writhing in pain. His skin, already horrific to behold, grew red like the flesh of a scolding victim. Krzysztof returned fire, literally, igniting the fleeing Gargoyle. The punishment we inflicted finally took a toll as the flaming slave and its escaping master crashed into the local church. I took blood from one of the breathing humans while Rosabella inscrutably vanished. One Gargoyle remained and it abandoned the fight against us in favor of collecting its master. The archers again let fly their missiles. But only one hit its target, still with no apparent damage as the winged statue flew on. Šárka cried out for Krzysztof to drop his wall. Once it fell, she quickly looted the Tremere’s scorched carriage. Both archers and remaining sorcerer fired again upon the Gargoyle. The combined strikes brought low the rugged creature before it could reach the church. Krzysztof again called to Gerwazy but turned to realize his ghoul was unable to move through the pain. Annoyed, the Fiend turned with determined flourish and stormed down the path into town. Most of us followed as we were not assured of our victory as yet.

            Approaching the broken and smoldering house of worship, we found Krzysztof kneeling over the unconscious Tremere. Though scorched and battered, she was strikingly beautiful. I found this confusing. The Tzimisce cradled her limp form almost tenderly before reverently absolving her of her sins. With his next disturbing act, Krzysztof plunged his fangs into the Tremere and took her Heart’s Blood. I turned away before it was finished and started moving back to the wounded higher up the road while Rosabella stayed and watched the whole event. I wanted to be disgusted with her morbid curiosity. I wanted to be angry with Krzysztof’s literal hunger for revenge. But as I looked over the bodies and the ash of the fallen, I realized that something had broken within me. I felt nothing for the deaths inflicted nor the damage wrought. This should have sickened me. Yet there seemed to be a void where that sense of disgust would normally form.

            I returned to the castle in silence. While Šárka waited for the Major Domo to help translate the Hungarian letters, I stood again atop the battlements. Alone and adrift in my own thoughts, I was surrounded by solitude. It was not nearly so comforting as I had imagined. Even the beautiful face of the moon hid behind the breaking clouds above. I was truly alone for the first time since my Embrace and I did not have my wonderful Sire at hand to comfort, console, or even critique me. Before I could delve deeper into my rather shadowed self-reflection, Šárka summoned us to explain the contents of our bounty.

            When I descended the ramparts, I realized Šárka had provided Gerwazy with a much needed physician’s touch. Though he would need significant time to recuperate, the Szlachta would live to fight another evening. Krzysztof seemed momentarily surprised that Gerwazy lived, but said little of it. Again, I understand how the Fiends come by their sobriquet. But I digress. The letters were informing and disturbing militarily. One was to an Ardan of Golden Lane. The only real information we could discern about this Tremere was that he was a master Alchemist from Coeris. A hidden letter warned of Czibor the Left Handed. He was a suspected Infernalist. As if we needed proof, part of the belongings Šárka removed from the carriage was a book in Latin bearing his inscription. This book was a list of infernal names and information on the demon in question. According to Krzysztof, this Czibor was breaking the Code of Tremere by working with instead of controlling demons. I could see little difference in the two options. With the research completed, Šárka brought several mugs of an enticingly scented beer. I had already downed half my mug before she got to the explanation that it could actually get us drunk. I was sad to learn that she did not have a great quantity of this magic elixir. Though I did happily take that which Rosabella could not finish. The Setite promised to make more, but it would take a month. I understood, thanked her for her generosity, and finished in silence. After having my first beer in nearly four decades, I withdrew to the battlements once again. There I remained in silent contemplation for several hours.

            I realize what has befallen me, of course. The gift bestowed upon me by my parents so many decades ago, the spark which so delighted Theophano...that which the scholars call Humanitas. I have lost some portion of it. And yet as the words flow from the quill, I know it to be a lie. I did not lose this precious treasure. Rather I sacrificed it unwittingly to this cause we all find ourselves supporting. Perhaps this is how Krzysztof and Jocelin came to forsake the ways of mortals in favor of more specialized morals. I can now easily see how some of these battle-hardened packs fall to such monstrous depravity. If in one battle I spot my own decline, what terrible price was paid by those Cainites who have fought the war? In the end, will they believe our victory worthy? Or will the cost outweigh their gains? I have a better understanding of what Krzysztof meant when he said something had been taken from them. Now my fight must also be to maintain my soul’s treasure.

            My thoughts grow philosophical so I know the beer is working and the sun is nearing the horizon. I shall leave off here lest I begin scrawling atrociously weepy poetry into the brightest hours of the day.



            Guest Chambers
            Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

            23 April 1483

            Tonight my sleep was interrupted by a raging thunderstorm. I wondered as I slowly rose for the evening if this was merely a coincidence or if the storm was sent by forces angry over the loss of the Usurper Terézia. As I dressed, it occurred to me that in future battle plans we should simply plan to knock out the humans and continue to send Cainites into torpor as I have before. If death is absolutely needed, I should call on Jocelin and Krzysztof or Gerwazy and Jocelin’s hound. The rest seem to hold to their mortal ways as well, though last night seemed to have no effect on them. Perhaps I was simply more humane than my associates from the beginning. No matter, last nights events have proven the need for me to strengthen my resolve, fight back against the erosion of the Beast, and not let my heart grow cold.

            Realizing my philosophical mood from the morning had not faded with the beer, I moved to hear the news of the evening. I learned that several of the servants have fallen ill since we arrived, but most of them are slowly regaining their strength. I visited each of them which I believe lifted their spirits. The last thing we need is our daylight guardians turning on us. As I ventured out among my peers, I learned that the ritual room in the secret tunnel had been fully cleared the night before while I sat brooding on the battlements. Šárka seemed very excited by this, but then she is skilled in the mystical arts. As the fury of the storm grew to a frenzied pitch, there came a pounding on the door. Eleanor brought her five favored footmen while the rest moved to cover the portal. Krzysztof decided to “greet” our visitors. In the drenching rain stood eight figures with a small wagon. The lead merchant introduced himself in a heavy Italian accent as Vendramino Giovanni and asked to speak to the Voivode of the castle. I immediately rested my hand on the hilt of my sword as I knew the Giovanni to be no better than the Tremere. Theophano had known many Cappodocians before my time and regaled them as marvellous teachers and lore keepers. The Giovanni led a murderous campaign during the first nights of my Embrace and winnowed their parent clan to extinction before I had ever met one of the vaunted scholars. To stand in the presence of one such ungrateful wretch tested my recently shaken foundation. I noted with some confusion the five heavily armored soldiers seemed strange somehow, though I could not take the time to discern anything about them with such a betrayer to the Blood in my sight. Astonishingly, Rosabella appeared when she heard this Vendramino speak and was quite happy to learn he hailed from Florence. He asked to enter for the night to avoid the storm, though I had little idea why a vampire with two servants and five armored soldiers would be concerned with the rain. Though shocked, I had no outward reaction when our Voivode allowed the stranger in. The Giovanni was travelling south to Brno in search of several countrymen, though I suspect he meant other Clanmates. When introductions were made, I introduced myself as Swordmaster Águilar. I believe my tone and posture informed the Cainite of stolen vitae where he stood with me. The others returned to what they were doing, while I remained near Krzysztof even as they retired to the library. He offered the service of his necromancy in exchange for hospitality, though Krzysztof chose information instead. Rosabella lost interest quickly and again vanished to do whatever it is she does when not given instruction. I must remember not to question the motives of the Lunatic. Eleanor moved in and out of the library, reminding me of the nuns I once witnessed in a nunnery. Had I not known better, I would perhaps say she was the wife of whatever royalty owed the castle. Jocelin returned to his window gazing once we determined there would be conversation and not combat.

            Throughout the evening, we learned of a group of Inquisitors, eight in total, active to the north and led by a Brother Karl. Three carried blades known as Crusader Swords. I had heard of such things during my childhood but never in any good light. The Giovanni spoke of these weapons with true respect, much as many Cainites discuss using fire. While I did not give the Giovanni any room to leverage, I was immediately fascinated by the prospect of such a blade. At the mention of Inquisition, Šárka asked of the Lasombra and his childe which we expected in Tabor. The Italian noted that both Lucian and Camilla were killed by the Inquisition. Šárka fell silent once again. Continuing on in this vein, the Giovanni spoke of Assamites assisting Anarchs in southern Wallachia. Likely because of this, a group of Tremere were also moving south, but not specifically here. Šárka and I remained in the library with the Giovanni and Krzysztof. I to guard our Tzimisce, she to pilfer information. I admit that I listened carefully, not to necessarily learn the magic they discussed but more to augment my own understanding of the hidden world. Vendramino was as equally versed in Tzimisce etiquette as I, though he did make one error. Never offer a Fiend anything he has not asked for. Krzysztof overlooked this failure as he was engaged in scholarly discussion.

            Now we have again retired to our rooms. I have much to consider given the battle map described by the Giovanni. And I really must remember to ask Jocelin what he calls his four legged companion. But for now, I must end before the menacing rays from above force me to slumber.


            Jocelin’s Journal

            Le 21ème du mois de avril, 54
            Now that was a glorious fight! The night had begun as the one before, as I watched on the walls, but before long, a caravan through the woods appeared. I gathered the others before I went out scouting properly, which turned out well, as La Serpent summoned a bank of fog to hide my falcon form from the Tremere. I was not noticed, and managed to get an accounting of their numbers and some idea of their armament. The Tremere traveled with 2 Gargoyles, 5 humans and 2 demons bound into human flesh. They also carried strangely prepared stakes. I did not know what to make of them, but thankfully La Serpent and Le Savant did. One preparation gave the stakes a life of their own, enabling them to keep up an attack on us until broken. The other (in much greater quantity) would take advantage of a penetrating wound to burrow itself into the heart. With these in mind, La Serpent called up a great wind - it would make our shots incredibly difficult, however no one wanted to risk a burrowing stake.

            Our plan was brilliant - we snuck quietly up to their wagons and Le Savant began the fight by calling up a harrowing wall of fire, blocking the Tremere and her Gargoyles inside. The Tremere did manage to catch wind of our arrival, and got off a living stake at La Pucelle anglaise. Otherwise, our first blow was resounding - we slaughtered the human retainers that were outside the wall of fire. Le Savant still had targets in the Gargoyles that flew up above the wall of flame, and La Serpent held a human in her gaze, leisurely feeding to refill what she had spent, but the rest of us earthbound had to wait until the bound demons showed themselves. The first was laid out the moment he took a step from the wagon, as we held ourselves in readiness. The second did get a chance to miss L’Espagnol, but was quickly taken down himself, as our numbers were boosted by an earth elemental Le Savant had thought to summon. Sadly, Terra missed his charge at the demon, and slammed into the wall of flames. He shook it off, though and charged back into the fight as the Tremere sent an elemental of her own bursting through the wall.

            I turned my attention to the Gargoyles - La Serpent and the ghouls could handle the single elemental left on the ground. My shots did not affect it much - one went wide and the rest were glancing, not penetrating its tough hide. My compatriots were much in the same boat, unfortunately, except for Gerwazy, who managed to get a solid hit in, returning one of its own stakes. The Tremere, possibly sensing the tide of the battle, boosted her strength to jump straight up, catching herself on one of her Gargoyles. From that vantage point, she boiled the blood of poor Gerwazy, who fell. It was a last gasp however, as Le Savant finished off the Gargoyles with some incredibly willful bursts of fire.

            After that it was simply a matter of cleanup. One human remained alive, the one trapped under La Serpent’s gaze. L'Espagnol had begun replenishing himself from it once the earthbound opponents were dealt with. It was finished off, and I followed Le Savant to the church where the Gargoyles had fallen. The fall had finished them all off, and so Le Savant set himself to the task of draining her blood and power to make it his own. It was mesmerizing. Next time, when Le Savant is less set on retrieving his clan’s stolen property, I shall be the one to consume our foe’s power. I might have to challenge La jeune Mendiante, as she appeared quite taken with the process, though from the other’s reactions, she is the only one inclined.

            I returned to the battle field, to replenish my own stock on less heady fare, though still more tasty than my animal feasts. La Serpent had stayed behind, searching through the wagon to find anything of note. She also had patched up Gerwazy. He would not be fit for battle anytime soon, but he would pull through. Terra will need less time, a week or two before she is properly on her feet and prepared for another brawl.

            The Tremere’s notable possessions were all writings, a letter and a book in Hungarian, and another in Latin. They got the major domo to read out the letter - blackmail material of an alchemist of the Tremere, or some such. The book in Latin was Infernal Names, concerning the summoning and bargaining with demons and their ilk. I believe our sorcerers will be studying these documents, at least as much as they can, not being familiar with the Hungarian tongue either.

            Once the sorcerers had sated their knowledge-lust, La Serpent brought out a surprise for us all - beer she had brewed herself, that had the power to effect even we Cainites. We all took part, L’Espagnol most fiercely perhaps. The fight seemed to unnerve him somehow, probably regrets concerning the killings that many fall prey to. Or perhaps he is concerned over a lack of regrets. It would benefit him to embrace our predator nature, feeling sorry over slaughtering our proper prey is a weakness that can all too easily be taken advantage of.

            For now, a storm is unfolding, and I should rise to see how much of a watch I can keep inside its raging.


            Le 22ème du mois de avril, 54
            The storm continued raging all night. There was not in fact much of a watch for me to keep, though there is some hope that no real threat could make its way unscathed through the torrents. Some one was, however, as the night was interrupted by a pounding, resonating through the castle. La Pucelle anglaise directed the soldiers about the doors, but allowed le Savant to take the lead of greeting our guests. La Serpent made an appearance in her nun’s habit, while I and La jeune Mendiante melted into the shadows.

            La jeune Mendiante removed herself from the shadows shortly however, as it became evident that our guest was an Italian. He went by the name Vendramino Giovanni and was apparently familiar with the Tzimisce’s laws of hospitality, as he made full use of them in speaking with Le Savant. In the end, Le Savant welcomed him to the castle, and agreed to allow him, his two human-appearing companions and 5 hooded, unnaturally still warriors to stay until the following night. We retired to the library to speak away from the ears of the mortals in the castle.

            He offered his necromantic services in exchange for shelter, but since we had no bodies for said arts, he instead brought us news of the surrounding areas. To the north there was an inquisitor group, led by a wild-eyed man called Brother Karl. They apparently have 3 consecrated blades amongst them. They might make something of an interesting fight.

            Le Savant and this Giovanni then proceeded to talk shop, of their magical arts. The rest of us began to disperse a bit - however L’Espagnol, who was quite perturbed at this Cainite’s presence, stood nearby, so I felt safe in leaving Le Savant in the company of this stranger. I returned to keeping watch as I could. Terra made rounds with me and I believe I finally made headway on my clan’s power to connect with mortal beasts. It will certainly make coordinating with Terra and Perceval that much easier at least.


            Šárka’s Transmissions

            Sweet Elizabetha

            Our mission as a team has been as far as I can tell a rousing success. My personal mission to bring the others more in line with Set’s teaching has been mixed. I discussed the early points of enlightenment with Eleanor, but did not seem to make much headway. But I get ahead of myself, and the “important” part of the mission has been completed.

            The 20th was quiet. The two upstairs maids are completely under my power now, and they were eager to bring up the girl from downstairs who took her first steps. At the beginning of tonight she too came fully under my power. The look in people’s eyes the moment it occurs is both addictive and glorious. But I am still getting ahead of myself. Only two were completely under my control the 20th, and much of the evening was Krzysztof’s Elemental clearing out the downstairs room. I examined it with him and found it was a ritual room of some sort. Once cleared I realized it would serve well for our rituals, though not as well as it would the Arabian style of Sorcery most commonly practiced by the Assamites, Dur-An-Ki. It was, and is, however impossible to tell if the room was made by an Assamite. Creating the Elementals is apparently draining for Krzysztof. He had to feed badly after making the ones recently.

            The following night Joss spotted the Tremere approaching. It was five men and two carriages, with 3 men on horseback and two driving carriages. I invoked the Breath of Set to call down a fog while Jocelin turned into a hawk and flew down to investigate. Krzysztof took a definite interest in my magic. Set was with me as I drew the power easily from the Western Lands. Should I take this as the god’s blessing of our endeavor? I was never superstitious, but…

            Joss came back and reported his observations. Under the Shroud of Set’s Cloak he was unseen, but did not know how to interpret much of what he saw. Krzysztof and I, however, did. There were ten total opponents; the Tremere had two Gargoyles in her carriage, and there were two Demon-Bound in the other. Krzysztof knew more of the Demon-Bound than I did, as well as the Gargoyles. Apparently the Demon-Bound are Demons bound into soulless living human bodies and used as shock troops. They are dangerously hot to the touch but not tactically potent nor flexible in powers. Gargoyles are extremely strong and tough, and can be enhanced with Thaumaturgical Rituals. Krzysztof claimed they were actually Cainites, which sounded strange to me. So she had four monsters more notable for physical prowess than anything else.

            More disturbing were her (it was a her, it turned out) enchanted stakes. She had two with her she could animate to attack known as “Splinter Servants” and the Gargoyles each had five “Shafts of Belated Quiescence” according to Krzysztof. These latter stakes could break off pieces into the body to stake a target long after the battle was over. It was an intimidating force.

            Eleanor and Diego joined us after the briefing. We chose to ambush the Tremere, with me calling down rain and wind to further aid us. Being the child of the god of storms has advantages. While we dealt with the humans, Krzysztof would call a wall of magma around the Tremere’s wagon, cutting off her and her stakes from us. Yes, a wall of magma. We would then deal with the Demon-Bound then the doubtlessly airborne Gargoyles. Eleanor and Joss are good enough archers, though neither specialized. The hope was that their accuracy could overcome the wind being used to protect us from their stakes. Krzysztof would use waves of heat to drain the blood of the Gargoyles and Tremere should she emerge from the magma.

            His other option was apparently to open a volcano under them. Frightening! Fortunately, I pointed out the Tremere would be utterly destroyed and her booty lost with her.

            Krzysztof summoned a second Elemental of Earth, and did a ritual to place several spirits inside his Szlachta, Gerwazy, to empower him. Apparently his “Koldunic Sorcery” is all about Spirits. I called the rain and wind with more effort than the fog but it came quickly enough to cover our approach.

            The battle was brutal and short. Krzysztof’s magma walls cut off the Tremere, but not before she sensed danger and sent out one of her animate stakes. My comrades cut down the human riders and I paralyzed one before any could act. None actually had a moment to raise a weapon against us in the conflict, which was good as two had some of the new “matchlock rifles” with them.

            The Tremere’s horrific creations were another story. The stake impaled Eleanor but did not penetrate her heart. She tore it out and threw it into the magma wall. The Demon-Bound were overwhelmed quickly by Diego, Eleanor, Jocelin, Rosabella, Gerwazy, and Terrasque, though the hound once again managed to overestimate a jump and injured himself on Krzysztof’s wall of molten doom. While the Demon-Bound were easy enough to dispatch, the Gargoyles were not.

            They threw many stakes at us. One hit and injured Gerwazy right off, the others generally missed thanks to quick reflexes and the winds carrying the wrath of the god of storms. In time the Tremere leapt from the magma to a Gargoyle, her strength apparently enhanced. They attempted to escape, but everyone threw stakes, fired arrows, and caused huge bursts of flames in Krzysztof’s case on them. Eventually they fell one by one, the one carrying her falling through the roof into a church in Černá Hora, though not before she boiled Gerwazy’s blood, grievously injuring him.

            Oh, she also summoned an Earth Elemental. Apparently she can do so much faster than Krzysztof can. It had no significant impact on the battle however; my packmates bringing it down quickly after the last Demon-Bound fell.

            When it was over, Krzysztof ran to the church to claim her blood. Rosabella followed, fascinated, while Jocelin went to be sure no other surprises were to be had and Eleanor returned to the castle. Diego did as well but he seemed quite troubled. In retrospect, this was the perfect time to teach of how pain leads to power through Set, but I was green-eyed rushing for the occult treasures this woman had. I hope I did not fail Diego in not setting him on the path then.

            Before I did that, though, remembering what Krzysztof said about the stakes so I went to the barely moving Gerwazy Krzysztof left behind and dug the piece of the stake out with my dagger, which Diego was kind enough to rate as “would cut” in Tábor. Oddly, despite saving Gerwazy and returning him to the castle, Krzysztof did not appear to care. He regarded him neutrally when he returned. I was not out to collect a boon or anything but I expected…elation in a small sense perhaps? At least not the loss of an investment? Still it may not matter, Gerwazy’s wounds are grave, and it may be months before he can fight again.

            I am sure you skimmed all that and want to see what the Tremere had. Most were in Hungarian none of us could read. There was a book the Nominis Inferni that was in Latin I could read. It appeared a catalog of demonic names and areas of influence, with tips on summoning. The majordomo could read some of the letters, but not many. One was from a Terézia (our consumed Tremere, apparently) warning Arden of Golden Lane (an Alchemist famous enough even I have heard of him, so much Alchemy of course coming from Set’s realm) of the machinations of one Czibor the Left-Handed, a Demonologist of the Tremere who, according to Krzysztof, broke the Code of Tremere or was believed to have. The Nominis Inferni was his book. The implication was given that he may have set up Terézia to die. He certainly benefited from Arden not receiving the messages.

            There was another book in Hungarian, I could not read it neither could the majordomo.

            That night I broke out my cask of Typhon’s Brew, and we all enjoyed the beer that could tickle the senses even of Cainites. I proudly announced I had not only blessed it with magical properties but also brewed the beer myself. Rosabella drank less, but Diego drank quite a bit. If I thought we would be here longer I would brew more myself here, but I doubt we will remain here a month. I would not mind having that long to convert the others though. What a grand force for Set we could be. They would find that they need not abandon their goals to coil with me beneath his banner. Surely, the one who consumed Apep and stole his power would be a nice enough analogue for them. I need to remember that homily for Krzysztof.

            Tonight has been unrelentingly stormy. When the maids joined me and I took full possession of the third girl’s heart, I spent an undue amount of vitae to fully revel in the rolling booms of thunder and flashes of lighting with my servants. With my hungers slaked and my acolytes unconscious, I went downstairs to find we were having a visitor despite, or as it turned out because of, the atrocious storm.

            Krzysztof, our least socially able packmate elected to greet him. I held back in my habit, while Rosabella and Jocelin lurked in the shadows and Eleanor, Diego, and the guards stood ready. It was an Italian man who identified himself as Vendramino Giovanni. He traveled with two assistants who were either humans or ghouls (I am unsure which) and five zombu (in face concealing helmets). Their stillness was something of a giveaway.

            After some coded talk, Vendramino adjourned to the library with us. He was clearly well versed in Tzimisce courtesies. Vendramino offered his necromantic skills in exchange for his being put up due to the storm, though we had not collected bodies for such. I hope to grow powerful enough we have no need for Giovanni for necromantic arts, but I am not there yet. He mentioned Inquisitors traveling about lead by a “Brother Karl” who were dangerous. I asked about the Lasombra Lucian, and he confirmed Lucian and his childe Camilla were slain by Inquisitors. I am sure you had nothing to do with that, my sweet. And if you did, don’t tell me.

            After that, Vendramino and Krzysztof talked shop about Necromancy. Well, Vendramino talked and Krzysztof listened, mostly. Eleanor was in and out, Rosabella despite her initial enthusiasm to meet a countryman eventually grew bored and wandered off while Jocelin returned to guarding at the windows. Diego remained with the pair, only giving the barest required courtesy.

            My heart was full of freely and worshipfully given blood, and the cacophony of my master echoed outside. I decided to confront Eleanor, asking about her interests, religion, and her “cause.” To my initial delight, she proved interested in the plight of women and felt that the church was very fallible and in no way a true spiritual authority. I eagerly, perhaps too eagerly, began to discuss my own faith, and suggested that union with the feminine was a key to divinity, though I stopped short of offering.

            I fear I ultimately failed. She proved delighted enough to debate but did not really seem to believe what I was saying. I will continue to work with her. She has an open mind, and it is my hope she will come around to our way of thinking. What glory a charismatic woman like her could bring Set!

            I have meditated more on the pack. Krzysztof is a capable sorcerer, but puts himself in a leadership role despite being, to put it bluntly, badly unqualified. He is polite, but not charismatic or even very likable though he has grown on me somewhat. I think Diego or Eleanor would be better. He is, however, a sorcerer without peer and my superior in the mystic arts. For now. Diego was cocksure until the battle, since when he has been muted. He has smiled his handsome smile less, and as I sit writing listening to Krzysztof and Vendramino chat (and taking notes, if this seems rambling I am multitasking) he broods, watching Vendramino clearly hoping the Graverobber will make some false move that he may strike him down. I wonder if Gerwazy’s grievous injuries weigh on him more than I thought, or if it is something else. Eleanor is all I expected. Even now she walks around as if she owns the castle and Krzysztof is simply the man who thinks he does. I suspect she may be right. Jocelin and Rosabella remain enigmas. Jocelin performed far better against the Tremere than the bandits. Perhaps adversity brings out his best. He has proven a capable and reliable scout and warrior. I still don’t understand Rosabella, she remains very childlike yet knowledgeable about odd things to know about Cainites. At least she performed better this time.

            It is time to put down my pen. More information will come in time.

            I love thunderstorms.


            Rosabella’s Ramblings


            Author's notes: Cilice is the name of Rosabella's doll, Rosabella comes from a cult that lives in an underground castle underneath Rome and takes care of the cult leaders (clan of Malkavians), Rosabella was
            taught to read and write so that she could be used to steal secrets and parchment from the educated citizens of Rome, her "master" is her sire who is also a cult leader, and the misspelling of the names of other people's characters is completely intentional.


            I made a dress for Cilice today from the blue cloth hanging on a wall. She really likes it and danced in a circle around me which made me laugh so hard one of the kine ran from the room we were in. These
            kine called servants are strange in this castle. They sleep away from us and are always washing and washing and washing and washing. Then there are the soldiers outside the castle and they sleep in a building called the barracks with their swords like the soldiers in my Rome, except these only do two things: watching and waiting or watching and walking. The soldiers here are very boring compared to the soldiers in my Rome -- no chasing other kine around the streets or dragging away screaming kine or killing screaming kine or drinking that brown stuff they call ale. Nope, just watching, always watching.

            The rats in this castle are so small that I have trouble catching them. It was easy to catch rats in my Rome but they were a lot bigger and slower which makes them easier prey. Playing "catch the rat" isn't as fun with just me and Cilice. Cilice can't catch anything. I chased and stalked my prey until Josalin, who was not playing, caught my rat and ate it and ended the game--I lose again. I think I will take one of my sisters with me the next time I leave home, then we can play more games then just "catch the rat" and "angry soldier" and Elanor told me I couldn't play "angry soldier" any more.

            Cilice tells me that there is a passage in the walls that the soldiers cannot get to, but I can't find it no matter how long I look. Then while I was searching, a fire appeared on the road below the castle which was really scary but also interesting, so I went to investigate with Cilice. When we got there, we saw the other cainites were there and they were fighting these monsters in the sky and then a cainite I had never seen before burst from the middle of the fire and Kristoff ate her. I didn't know I could eat another cainite, I'll have to ask my master why he didn't tell me I could do that. Diago told me that Kristoff can gain power from eating other cainite but said he didn't want to do it. That confuses me, but as my master told me, many things will confuse me now that I am away from home.

            The village below the castle is so quiet. But the kine are easy to drink from as they are almost all asleep in their houses and the doors are locked so no soldiers can see what I'm doing. Cilice likes one of the small vessels, but I told her that we could not keep the girl because Kristoff would probably eat her too and she looks too much like my sisters so I don't want him to eat her.

            I do miss all my brothers and sisters, it feels so cold and empty in the castle without their warmth and constant mumbling in the dark. But at least I still have Cilice and she promised me she would never leave me and my master said he will never take her from me while I'm away, so I am happy. The end.


            End Session II

            Ok, time for some metagame comments.

            Yes, Krzysztof diablerized Terézia in a church with a hole in the roof for moonlight to fall in. Rosabella for her part will, her player noted, be less childlike in the present, but she is just out of her shell now.

            Eleanor, Rosabella, and Diego all had to make Humanity checks for, you know, ambushing and killing the hell out of a Tremere and her whole entourage. I actually lowered the difficulty (-2, to 6) because none of them killed anyone themselves except Demon-Bound or Elementals. Eleanor and Rosabella passed Diego failed his roll. Šárka had to roll for passing up the chance to try to corrupt Diego in an obvious moment of weakness, but passed. Krzysztof managed to avoid making a Path check by leaving his ghoul Gerwazy to die in the road and not asking anyone to help him. Šárka did, but not because of him. Gerwazy should have had to make a Humanity roll, I was not thinking about it at that point since he was dying in the street.

            I don’t know what Jocelin’s player did to her dice to earn rolling as many botches as everyone else combined, but it must have been horrible.

            I’ll note Camilla is obviously not the infamous Prince of Rome. Also, FYI Gerwazy is pronounced Gervazy, and Czibor is ZEE-bor.

            Šárka uses Akhu, from Blood Sacrifice, namely the Path Breath of Set (Weather Control in V20). That is her primary Akhu Path. The “Magic Beer” she made was Typhon’s Brew, a level 1 Akhu ritual also from BS. It can get vampires drunk, and every quart can give a ghoul a blood point (vampires have to drink a gallon for a blood point, and one point makes a gallon, and it can’t blood bond people.) The plans for her and Akhu in modern day are almost disturbing how Akhu can be used to maintain ghouls and a blood supply.

            Šárka also has Sanctifying Kiss and Sweet Blood Merits from Guide to the High Clans, which the latter has her blood tasting like wine (and being undetectable in it, as well as tasty to vampires) while the former lets her smear a sheen on her lips to pass enough blood to bond someone (but not a full point) by kissing them on the lips. This is how she Blood Bound the maids without feeding them blood…and the roll to detect the taste of blood is covered by the fact it tastes like wine, which Šárka often drinks. You can blame Krzysztof’s player for that combo.

            Krzysztof used his Way of Fire of course from V20, and the rituals Elemental Savior and Merging of the Souls from Sins of the Blood. Terézia for her part mostly used Elemental Mastery and Path of Blood against the PCs. The Ritual to create Demon-Bound is in Blood Magic; the other stuff is in V20. Krzysztof did drop to 6th generation by diablerizing Terézia.

            Vendramino Giovanni’s name is a nod to a cool Transylvania Chronicles AP I read. It is not the same character as the AP had, however, so if it is familiar it is NOT the same person, merely a shout out. His other purpose was (outside a potential Giovanni contact for the group) that he had the Ritual Resurrection of Stirred Blood (GttLC) in case someone was stuck in Torpor after the Tremere fight.

            Oh, and Arden of Golden Lane can be found in Transylvania by Night and Transylvania Chronicles IV: Dragon Ascendant.

            We have 2 or 3 sessions left till we start the main leg of the game. As such, I am going to drop some of the handout material on the week between our every two week updates so you have at least as much of an idea of the PCs are walking into as they do. Next week will be the history of Prague as the Conspiracy knows it, paying special attention to the fact a lot of info comes from their knowledge/perspectives

            Hope you enjoyed, comments/questions welcome


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            • #7
              Hello folks, about a week from last post and a week till our next installment, in the meantime I thought I'd give some campaign info. First and foremost, we have one more session in 1483 after the past session, so there will be two more journal sets from there (next Thursday and the one two weeks later) for a total of four. We have about half the posse with 2012 "versions" of themselves written out and I suspect most if not all of us will have that done next Friday. Then the game shifts to the machinations of Elders who find themselves thrown together again after 500 years...the premise the game was sold on.

              This is the history of Prague from a Vampiric Perspective as the PCs know it. It is influenced by what Sect and Clan the PCs are, so info pertaining to the Brujah, Followers of Set, Gangrel, Malkavians, Toreador, and Tzimsice is given a little more freely, both facts and rumors, while the actual machinations of, say, the Nosferatu, Tremere, Ventrue, and Cappadocians is deliberately left very vague and mostly from an outside perspective. Names are bolded when they first appear, to make later referencing either (and scrolling up to remind oneself who the fuck that was faster).

              A Cainite History of Prague

              The modern Czech Republic stands in the middle of something of a battlefield in Cainite society. It stands between two traditional territories of strength for the Ventrue Clan, while the Tzimisce Clan, a great power in the East, managed to get its toehold into Bohemia. Prague, while a Tzimisce bastion in ancient nights, has proven to be a battlefield of different sorts. This is the history, as best you know. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is as close as you could hope for.

              The area now called Prague has, as far back as anyone recalls, been inhabited by a powerful Tzimisce called Shaagra. Shaagra was said by the Tzimisce to come with the first mortals to inhabit the various cities that would become part of the greater city. In time, as is common with such potent creatures, she found herself drifting in and out of sleep.

              During one of her long sleeps, Prague became inhabited by several Cainites. A number of Brujah called Prometheans, who sought to rebuild Carthage, inhabited the area under the watch of a powerful Brujah named Ecaterina the Wise. The churches were under the control of a Cappadocian called Garinol Cappadocious, the Ghetto fell under the watchful eye of the Nosferatu Josef Zvi, and the Tremere’s foremost Alchemist Arden of Golden Lane set up shop. This was around 1200, and also the time the Eastern Lords Ventrue, as they were known, sent Rudolf Brandl from Austria to become Prince.

              The biggest event of Brandl’s tenure was the embrace and rise of the former Crusader Christof Romuald. Romuald worked to counter the machinations of local Tzimisce, working at times with Garinol, though he disappeared and was believed killed in the collapse of a castle in Prague battling Tzimisce (assumedly Shaagra’s) forces, though he seems to have resurfaced in America.

              Brendl was not only a lackey of the Eastern Lords Ventrue, but also in collusion with the kings of the Premysl line that ruled Bohemia. He sought to balance the needs of the kings and his patrons, but after only ruling a few years, ran afoul of the locals instead.

              Prince Brendl demanded Josef Zvi open Prague’s ghetto to feeding. When Zvi refused, he sent assassins to kill the Nosferatu. They failed, and when he awoke the next night Zvi was in his chamber, and murdered him before he rose. Zvi then became the Prince of Prague.

              Josef Zvi was Prince for over 700 years, more than any previous Prince save perhaps Shaagra. While many hoped (or feared) a Prince from the Low Clans would devastate Prague, this did not occur. Those hoping it would become a haven for the Low Clans were also proved mistaken. However, the Nosferatu became feared as a powerful force in the city, a facet that remains true tonight, even if some consider Zvi a traitor for not using it to create a better power base for the Clan.

              Shaagra’s activity during that time is more mysterious. It is assumed sometime during this time the horrific Little Tailor of Prague, one of the Sabbat’s most feared and demented special operatives, was Sired, but that remains as much a mystery as what precisely Shaagra was up to.

              Zvi’s first challenge came quickly, in the form of the Lithuanian expatriate Pagan Malkavian Ąžuolas. Ąžuolas sought to make the city a Pagan haven, while Zvi wished to keep things running as usual. Ultimately Ąžuolas found himself unable to best the Nosferatu Clan, and acquiesced to a place as Primogen, with the negotiation that he hold the right to examine and exterminate any Malkavian who enters the city if they “work for the wrong gods”. It is unknown who if anyone Shaagra backed at this time, but rumor had it she influenced Zvi all through his career, or so the Tzimisce generally believed, so likely him. Ąžuolas retains his privilege to this night.

              The Anarch revolt hit Prague hard. Ecaterina the Wise fell in with the Anarchs while Zvi backed the Camarilla. Arden during this time moved on to Ceoris to act as it’s master for the Tremere, and Garinol had vanished fleeing the Giovanni…leaving catacombs filled with the hungry dead to defend his research. Some fighting began to spill over into Prague as more and more Anarch leaders began to move operations there, until the Camarilla followed them. Ąžuolas demanded the fighting in the streets stop. It did not.

              No one actually remembers what happened after that. Most of the Cainites fighting awoke the next night disoriented and in seemingly random locations, with only a few nightmarish memories. Many more vanished. Prague ceased to be a battlefield after that.

              Things got back to normal after the Convention of Thorns. Ecaterina the Wise left to join the Antitribu, while Josef maintained his hold. The Prometheans were now lead by Ecatrina’s childe Ferdinand Černý, who apparently had no major break with his sire and was rumored at the time to have Sabbat ties. The Gangrel established their first respected Primogen when Milov Petrenkov, the Gangrel Inner Councilor and Camarilla founder, left his childe Łucjan to oversee interests. Despite expectations to the contrary, Łucjan and Ferdinand became friends and political allies…and something of a thorn in the side of Zvi.

              For her part, Shaagra’s sinister influence seemed to recede, but her shadow never seemed to fall off of the Nosferatu. The Tremere also seemed to thrive despite Tzimisce influence, though the Ventrue were never able to really reestablish themselves in the city. Few things could get Černý and Zvi united quite like a Ventrue power grab.

              During this time, another native found his way back home to Prague. Vasily Marek had left to study architecture in Paris, and returned as a childe of François Villon. Despite apparently having a difficult relationship with then Prince of Paris (and Camarilla Founder) Raphael De Corazon, Vasily Marek rose in the Camarilla and Toreador Clan, one of Villon’s many successful childer.

              Prague remained relatively stable until World War II. Early in the conflict, a group of Nazi flamethrowers with perhaps a little too much information on how vampires work found Josef Zvi defending the ghetto of Prague and incinerated him. Not long after, the German Ventrue Conrad von Sturden became Prince. Von Sturden was no Nazi but was unafraid to use them to advance Cainite causes…and old slights.

              He was Prince of Prague almost a week before he disappeared. The Nosferatu have never confessed to his disappearance, nor have they taken pains to deny it. Brandl was no longer the shortest-lived Prince of Prague.

              Unfortunately, the Nosferatu were unable to organize themselves. Zvi’s loss hit them hard, and the Tzimisce claim that sometime in the Russian shelling of the city, Shaagra perished, which they account for the lack of Nosferatu organization. Always pawns, they chuckle.

              The Brujah of the Brujah Council rode the wave of Communism into Prague. A powerful Russian Brujah named Andrei seized on the lack of Nosferatu organization and the Princedom. He brought powerful Brujah with him; an older Russian Brujah named Mikhail Petrenov and a Hungarian embraced Partisan named Gyula Vég. Petrenov became Seneschal, Vég Sheriff. While a Promethean like much of the Brujah Council, Ferdinand Černý quickly found himself on the outs with the Prince, and replaced as Primogen with a Russian lackey of Andrei named Boris.

              Prague under Andrei was organized, if stifling to some. The Nosferatu established a pattern of a Jewish Primogen and Gentile Whip, but failed to re-gather their strength. The Ventrue, kept weak by different forces, were driven completely from the city by Andrei. Many Toreador left, leaving Vasily Marek the most prominent and only mover and shaker of the clan in the city.

              When communism fell, contact with the Brujah Council suddenly stopped. Andrei returned to Russia to investigate, leaving Mikhail Petrenov as acting Prince. It was then that a second revolution happened. Vasily Marek, with his Velvet Revolution ties, made a pact with Ferdinand Černý to overthrow the Council Brujah. Vasily got Łucjan and the new Nosferatu Primogen Ehud (the third Primogen in 40 years) to look the other way, and Ferdinand got Gyula Vég to switch sides. Ąžuolas was asleep at the time. They attacked Mikhail and Boris, and they and their close allies vanished before the night was done. Vasily Marek became Prince and Ferdinand Černý, perhaps wisely, chose to simply return to his old job as Primogen.

              As for Andrei, he vanished in Russia never to be heard from again.

              Vasily Marek soon spoke of a need for a new kind of city, one he had dreamed of where members of all thirteen clans, and two new ones, could work together to make essentially a new Second City. He had another of Villon’s childer Annabelle-Marie Chappell fly in from the United States (where her own childe had nearly killed her after going Sabbat) to back him up as Toreador Primogen. He made it known members of the Sabbat or Independent Clans who followed the Traditions would be allowed to move in the city so long as they appointed a Bishop responsible for them. The Sabbat, seeing an advantage to having a way to deal with and spy on the Camarilla agreed. Before long a handful of Independent vampires were in the city.

              The Cappadocians and Salubri no longer existed, so Prince Marek offered rewards for their writings…and promises to protect them should any survivors find their way to him. So far he has had no takers, despite rumors of Salubri in the Sabbat.

              Vasily’s claims and desires had detractors. Łucjan remains a little skeptical of this “dream” and of course, the Tremere see no value to finding the writings of the Soulsuckers. The Giovanni basically said “good luck with that.” The Tremere Primogen András spoke out against Prince Marek. Łucjan became less vocal a critic when, after Xavier lead a large number of Gangrel from the Camarilla and their status fell Prince Marek stated he would not permit the removal of the Gangrel Primogen position, citing Łucjan’s defense of Prague’s borders from creatures of the forest. Vasily Marek also allowed some Ventrue to return to the city. A respected, and (allegedly) safely unambitious Ventrue named Hienrich Von Weiss, the childe of an old enemy of von Sturden stepped in and became Primogen.

              Then al-Ashrad, the leader of the Assamite Sorcerers and representatives of a faction of Assamites who had broken away from Almut and the ancient child-demon Ur-Shulgi requested a meeting with the Inner Circle in Prague. Vasily Marek hosted a gathering made possible by his city, and his status grew as al-Ashrad’s Assamites joined the Camarilla. As a sign of good faith, he appointed the Bulgarian Assamite Vizier Yordana Georgieva his Seneschal, and Gyula Vég took the Kurdish Sorcerer Tajdîn as one of his Hounds. The awakening of Ąžuolas during the time of the negotiations caused some concern but the old Malkavian seemed a benign influence.

              With that, András was removed as regent, and to many Cainites surprise the old Tremere Arden of Golden Lane came from Austria to observe the integration of the Assamites and take over as Regent and Primogen.

              Not everything has gone the Prince’s way, however. In addition to the resurfacing of the ancient Tremere, Raphael De Corazon send his childe Emmanuel Derosiers to the city to observe Vasily Marek’s progress, and Derosiers has no interest in allowing Vasily Marek’s dream that rivals his sire’s to take hold. However, in either an act of prediction or perhaps luck, Vasily’s summoning of Annabelle-Marie resulting in her arriving in the city, and being appointed Primogen, a week before Derosiers did, who arrived fully expecting the position being older and better connected than any other of Prague’s Toreador. Derosiers was made Chappell’s Whip, and has not forgotten the insult.

              Additionally, one of the first meetings of Xavier with Gangrel he was withdrawing from the Camarilla was at the mysterious “Protean Forest” Gangrel often visit, and which seems a problematic source of Lupines, less than an hour from Prague on foot. Vasily (wisely) made no call for Gangrel to avoid the place, though, and the Tremere have taken an interest since then.

              Following the abrupt death of the previous Keeper, an expatriate of Bucharest named Ruxandra became the new Keeper of Elysium days after arriving in the city. Her private one on one meeting with the Prince, rumors of descent from the infamous Antitribu Arianne, and being the sole surviving Toreador from that city’s upheaval with the fall of communism resulted in more than a little paranoia. Her good (and, rumor has it, intimate) relations with Lasombra Bishop Feliciana María Gómez y Álvarez and Marek’s refusal to discuss her appointment did not help matters.

              The arrival of Carlak, the former Brujah Justicar, also did not help the stability of the city. Carlak was from Prague, but had served the Camarilla for a long time. He and Prince Marek immediately clashed, and like Derosiers he was made Whip of his clan, a state seen as less of an insult due to Ferdinand’s age.

              It was thus no surprise when the first major assassination attempt occurred. While there was more than one witness, accounts vary as to what happened. Many whisper, however, that Vasily Marek showed some mastery of unsavory Disciplines like Chimerstry, Dementation and Vicissitude in fighting off his attackers. What is not in question is that Prince Marek stood over his fallen attackers in a battle form similar to that worn by the Tzimisce. András demanded Vasily’s linage be tested. However, the demanded Blood test, done by Arden himself as well as the internal test by Tajdîn on his blood both revealed he was in fact Villon’s childe, so for now the Tremere merely grumble. Who was responsible for the assassination attempt remains unknown…some whispers point to Derosiers, Carlak, András even Łucjan, though it remains unproven who was responsible.

              The local Sabbat have not been without their own issues. One of the two local covens, The Nosferatu Antitribu lead Tatterdemalions, was discovered to be infested with Infernalists. This was some embarrassment to the Sect, given the Tatterdemalions gained some prestige for uncovering some of Garinol Cappadocious’s secret tunnels; especially when some of the Tatterdemalions tried to blame the Tremere for their corruption, as well as implying the local Camarilla Nosferatu and Tremere were riddled with Infernalists. The Inquisitor, a Salubri Antitribu known as The Margrave (famous for his angelic Warrior Salubri armor) wished to continue the auto-de-fé into the Camarilla, but stronger forces in the Sabbat kept him in check. Fortunately for Bishop Álvarez, her own Pack Priest, the Tzimsice Corneliu Dalca, was the one who discovered the crimes and that cast their Pack The House of Whispers into a better light, getting ad cautelams stating their innocence, and the Inquisition elected not to push the investigation into Camarilla Kindred in this tense situation. The next Pack to move in, The Sacred Band from England, has a good reputation in the sect and Bishop Álvarez hopes it will cast the local Sabbat in a better light with the sect. Of course, the recent arrival of the troublemaking American band Natural Born Killers, each less than a decade undead, has Álvarez worrying again.

              As Marek’s star rises in the Camarilla, concerns mount among conspiracy theorists and enemies sharpen their knives. Then six powerful elders over five centuries old each entered the city as a single power block. What affect this would have on the politics of Prague not even cunning Ąžuolas can predict.
              --


              Couple notes, one the only major deviation from Canon outside adding my own stories and NPCs is, as noted earlier, Carlak is not Prince, and Vasily is not a Brujah hating fop. I'll also note Ruxandra is not the Transylvanian Nosferatu Ruxandra. Same name, different woman.

              Well that gives you some backstory on the Prague the group is walking into. Everyone got their own list of NPCs they had heard of/met, but those will be put up in two parts later between session recaps. In two weeks we will have PC information thumbnails, like in the first post, with the 2012 Conspiracies Titles, Natures, Demeanors, Moralities etc all updated to present. But next week will be character journals and third part of the story, where it all comes crashing down.

              Comments and Questions welcome.


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              • #8
                OK it’s time for our next installment of The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora. Journals from Diego, Eleanor, Jocelin and Šárka. A word on Eleanor’s Journal…Eleanor’s Journal actually covers sessions 2 and 3, since her player did not have time to do one last time. So hers will be winding a bit in time from the other three. Also, for reasons that will be clear when you read the others, Eleanor’s journal only covers a little over half session 3; the final battle for was not covered. I think that is it, so I will turn it over to the Conspiracy…

                Session III

                Diego’s Diary

                Guest Chambers
                Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

                26 April 1483

                The last three evenings have been blissfully uneventful, as evidenced by my lack of entry. I gladly trained with the men while Eleanor chided them for falling for my feint or missing a parry. I realize she wishes only two things for these men; to survive and to learn that a woman can be a strong leader. However, faulting a mostly untested footman for not outwitting me in a contest of steel...I believe she may ask too much. That it was sometimes three against one was simply to make it worth my time.

                When their work schedule and my training would allow, I nibbled on my three favored maids. I had not taxed myself since our last battle but I did enjoy their ecstatic bewilderment. As I gently sampled their vitae like a special reserve, their moaning sighs and seeking hands pulled me closer to their warm, soft features. I admit this pleased me. Though I made sure to take only as much as would return the next evening, sadly my enjoyable evenings were again cut short.

                Tonight I was awakened gruffly just hours after dusk as Krzysztof pounded his gigantic fists on my door like a hammer and anvil. Disoriented at being roused so unacceptably early, I staggered to the door. Using it to keep myself uptight, I blinked at the Tzimisce standing before me. Without any context, he pronounced his dark missive. “They are coming.” With that he stalked away, leaving me to ponder in my sleep-addled mind what he could possibly mean. As true consciousness settled over me, I realized with a start that our next offensive was at hand. I quickly dressed and moved to the library as that seems to be our current planning chamber. I suspect Krzysztof enjoyed that.

                Rosabella stood with dirt on her face and knots in her hair as I entered. Krzysztof stood by without any consideration of her while Jocelin kept watch. Eleanor entered just after and I asked Maria, one of my favored servants, to bring us a comb as she passed. I thanked her for the assistance then gave the tool to the Malkavian. Rosabella seemed pleased that I gave her a gift, but obviously had no idea as to how it was used. I tried to give her minimal instructions, thinking she was just not remembering, but she had no concept of the device. Eleanor stepped in and showed her how to tame her wild mane of golden brambles. I believe the Brujah’s inclusion of possible notice from our thief’s sire may have gotten through moreso than any other part of the conversation. Eventually Šárka arrived with additional troop movements.

                We faced 50 Hungarians soldiers hauling a disassembled siege tower. Due to the ongoing mortal conflict and the current Hungarian occupation of the area, this unit had the right to garrison the castle as part of the standing treaty. I realized immediately what looked to be a Ventrue play to flush us out of our fortifications. It would have been a wonderful plan, if we were fools. I felt strongly that I could talk our soldiers into fighting against the letter of the treaty simply by admitting that we did not wish any “filthy Hungarians” in the castle. I actually have very little animosity toward the Hungarians, but a nationalistic pride runs through these downtrodden lands, that such fervor gives succor to the wounds of occupation. Were our soldiers Cainites, I would have simply said “manipulating Ventrue,” and all aggression would be justified. But I digress. Šárka ascended the battlements and again called forth the anger of the skies. While I am still quite unenlightened in any form of sorcery, I suspect watching a beautiful woman command the very elements from atop such a fortification as this; it will never fail to inspire. As we deduced these were not the leaders of any save their own number, they must have orders. Rosabella became lucid from her near torpid state at the mention of retrieval. She immediately threw off all of her clothing before running head long into the downpour, still carrying her doll. We all glanced at each other for a moment in silent disbelief before continuing. Jocelin, being of sound mind and fit body, became a mighty bird of prey and soared out of the castle to scout and spy upon our coming enemy.

                The Gangrel returned first. The crest and heraldry described indicated Alfred van Liebanoff and his two childer. Liebanoff hailed from the Holy Roman Ventrue though his rumored potency is similar to my own. Krzysztof claimed he is very strong with the Presence Discipline. A known tactic is to summon anyone he can spot who seems like a commander to him, which removes a potent obstacle to his victory. While I detest myself for admitting this, it is a sound strategy.

                Our Lunatic returned at last from her mission with a bundle papers. Though she was soaked, the papers were only marginally wet. I had no idea how she managed this feat. She remained nude and dripping until Krzysztof complimented her for a job well done. Rosabella took the compliment as if she was granted land rights, then inspected her doll and happily redressed. Though we were skeptical at her previous determination that she was capable of retrieving anything, the thief proved her worth. She absconded with the Ventrue’s marching orders. They were to take our castle before Count Rustovich led our reinforcements in from the East. The orders were very specific in spelling out that the Tremere unit from the South was led by Czibor the Left Handed. The Ventrue was told that if he failed and our reinforcements arrived with us still in the castle, Czibor would reward him with Final Death. More than ever, I had no intention of leaving our castle.

                Because the Venture led a Hungarian force, he was bound by that role. The rules of engagement would bring him here and force him to garrison the castle by treaty or seize it. However it would have to be in that order. I assembled the men in the modest armory. Standing on an empty crate, I explained our situation. An unsavory group of Hungarians were coming to lay unrighteous claim to that which was rightfully theirs. We all had the option to capitulate; allow the rapacious villains to have their way with the castle and subsequent countryside just as they had until this point. Here I paused and looked each man in the eye as I dropped from my crate and moved among them until I stood at the rear of the chamber and drew my steel. Or we could fight. For our families, our land, our honor, and our freedom! As I spoke, I recalled the attempt on Theophano and my voice rose with the fury I felt then as now. The men roared their answer with a raging fire in their eyes. This castle was indeed protected.

                Shortly, a messenger arrived with orders requiring us to surrender the castle. We debated briefly in private upon our answer. Krzysztof and I supported giving our response to the negative in the most coarse way. I realize this was not at all diplomatic but in the end calmer heads prevailed. Eleanor entered the conversation with a quill and a put upon sigh, laying out the most polite rejection response I have personally ever seen. As she finished, the Brujah scolded Krzysztof and I as we could not react outside the bounds of etiquette yet expect our foe to do so. This was integral in keeping our plan intact. She was, of course, correct. I must remember to bottle my anger until such time as I can unleash it or channel it properly. Working through the Major Domo so the Ventrue would not have even a description of us, we submitted our answer. As a group, we moved to the watch tower, careful to remain out of von Liebanoff’s sight. Just as we planned, the Hungarians mobilized their forces only moments after the messenger arrived. The possible threat of sappers came up so, after explaining to Rosabella what a sapper was, we loosed her on the castle walls. I heard her happily mumbling about Capture the Sapper in much the same way as she talked about her “game,” involving catching a rat. We had also mentioned trying to take some of the Hungarians alive. I did not know how keeping them alive and playing with them might work for our Malkavian. We could easily see the now assembled siege tower approaching but we waited until they were too close to mount a tactical retreat. Even though Jocelin sent his hound to assist our Lunatic (I still do not know the name of his dog, damn me why do I never think to ask?), I followed along as well. Rosabella did indeed find the sappers tunneling under the wall. I arrived just as Krzysztof launched a blast of heat into the tower, drying the rain-soaked timbers. Rosabella squatted over a patch of earth listening silently. When we approached I could also hear the sound of movement under the soil. However I believe we were not stealthy enough as the sounds ceased soon thereafter. Our thief looked displeased with the dog and myself and grumbled about having to start the game over. By this point, our soldiers had nocked their bows and were exchanging heavy fire with the Hungarian forces. Krzysztof‘s gout of flame ignited the siege tower, sending men over the sides of the burning tower. With that, I noticed the archers had ceased. We returned from the castle walls to find the men in the bailey and our Tzimisce atop the battlements. Being careful not to be seen at first, Krzysztof stepped to the edge of the rampart and completed his spell. A tremor shook the area as a volcano opened beneath the commanding Ventrue.

                Unsurprisingly, the Hungarian forces broke ranks and fled into the night. The Fiend turned and screamed so that the men could hear him, “God does not want your kind in Moravia!”

                With that, we quickly went in search of survivors among the retreating soldiers. Krzysztof and Jocelin surveyed the battlefield while we chased down our prey. I captured two before the end of the night, feeding until they fell unconscious and bringing them back into the castle. Rosabella, thinking this was a much more entertaining game, returned with two men as well. Our prisoners were tied together and held under guard. The nameless childer of von Liebanoff were destroyed in the eruption while the Ventrue himself was overcome by the Red Fear and disappeared into the countryside. Many of the soldiers were killed or wounded by our archers and many more by the volcano. Five of our soldiers were wounded, though none mortally. Šárka tended them and all were expected to make full recoveries. With that, we had won.

                Now we must simply prepare for the coming of Czibor the Left Handed and his Tremere forces.
                I must leave off here as I can already feel the sun sapping my strength.


                Guest Chambers
                Hrad Černá Hora, Moravia

                27 April 1483

                I rose late in the evening, as is my way and spoke briefly with the pack. We planned to keep the morale of the men high in anticipation of the coming fight. I also admitted that I have an issue waking in the early evening. I do not know what happened during my Embrace, but I wanted them to know I was not lazy, I simply cannot get out of bed. Krzysztof made mention that he knew about Latin lovers. I had no idea what he meant, but I gladly took the compliment. Eleanor rode into the village to get a pig for the feast we were planning for the men. Jocelin send his hawk to the East so we could get an update on our reinforcements.

                Again I gathered the men. They were in good spirits and the wounded were not becoming infected which helped the general mood as well. I told them the story of last night would be one for their grandchildren. The story of twenty five men loyal to their land, who triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds and saved the castle they swore to protect. The pride on their faces told me what I needed to know. I boosted their spirits further by reminding them that God Himself assisted them so it must be ordained that the Hungarians stay away from this castle. There they pledged their swords and their lives to each other and the castle. With that I invited them to the feast we would hold in their honor. Their cheer tore through the castle as though from a force twice the size they defeated the night before.

                When I returned, Krzysztof stood with a strange look on his face and Jocelin’s hawk returned with a message attached. Eleanor and Šárka returned and I assume Rosabella was there as well, but I cannot see through her Obfuscate to know for certain. Apparently a magical messenger arrived bearing ill omens unto the Tzimisce. The message sent by hawk from Count Rustovich’s Commander gave the make up of our reinforcements. A Koldun in the group guaranteed multiple Vozhd and Szlachta, as well as other Cainites and mortal soldiers. They were due to arrive in two nights. Krzysztof said the Tremere were due to arrive in two nights as well. We had no way of knowing which might arrived first. Not wishing to gamble with the lives of my pack or the soldiers, I asked about the ability for flaming arrows and boiling oil. Sadly the castle was not that well appointed. Our Brujah and Setite immediately returned to the village. When they returned several hours later, they brought another twenty able bodies, pitch, oil...the ladies are quite skilled at getting what they want; or in this case, what I want. Jocelin became ever more vigilant along the ramparts.

                Eleanor and I spent the rest of the evening training and preparing the men. There is indeed much work to be done.


                Makeshift Hut
                Forest Floor, Somewhere between Moravia and Bohemia

                28 April 1483

                I must record these thoughts before anything else can happen. I have little time before the sun rises, but I am useless to Jocelin in trying to construct a shelter for us. Thus I will use this time to write and stay out of the way. Fortunately he has Krzysztof and Rosabella to lend a hand.

                I was awakened early so that I would be of some use before the battle. Jocelin and his hawk were keeping constant watch over the entire area. Unfortunately the only forces he found were those of the Czibor. Eight robed figures led eight Gargoyles and one hundred soldiers. They were moving impossibly fast for a force their size. We had no way of expecting such magics, even from the Usurpers and our surprise did not steady the men.

                The forces held just out of our range and a single robed figure slipped up to our walls. Czibor lowered his hood and somehow cast his voice into the courtyard. Though he knew very little about us, he pompously instructed us to leave. He even offered to allow us to escape unharmed if we would simply get out. Czibor additionally informed us that something significant was indeed within the castle walls, but it was not us. Rosabella asked a reasonable question about how he was doing this, though when he responded to her, we all fell silent. The foul sorcerer directed all other statements specifically at Krzysztof. He asked if we would wisely take his offer to freely retreat. Eleanor, Jocelin, and I looked at Krzysztof in unison and turned down our thumbs. We would not bend a knee to an Infernal Usurper this evening nor any other. Krzysztof nodded, a look of what might have been appreciation on his features before he denied the Tremere his offer. Czibor warned us of the consequences then left us to prepare. The other robed Tremere had formed a pentagram and were obviously invoking their power but we could not determine toward what end.

                Thinking quickly, I assembled the ensorcelled stakes we salvaged from the battle with Terézia, as I later learned the fallen Tremere’s name to be. We needed to disrupt any ritual that required that many Usurpers. Gerwazy, Rosabella, and myself each hefted a magical shaft while I coordinated with the men to make ready their bows. Counting Eleanor and Jocelin, we could field twenty seven veteran archers and another twenty untested. This would have to be enough.

                While I hoped our initial attack would be fruitful, it was actually a distraction to allow Jocelin’s hawk to take flight and bring better information to Count Rustovich’s forces. Our archers launched their volley as we hurled our stakes into the diabolic Tremere. All three stakes struck their mark, but instantly fell to dust. Arrows rained down upon the group, but I noticed something forced them aside as they neared Czibor. I continued the assault by our archers as I could see the Tzimisce army moving in. We did our best to distract the Tremere, but as the first Vozhd broke through the treeline, the seven robed figures left Czibor in the pentagram and began moving through their army.

                I ordered the pitch lit and that immediately affected the soldiers and Tremere alike. Sadly though I believe it merely delayed what was to come. The soldiers not hit by the arrows seemed to ignore our assault, instead waiting for the monsters coming through the trees. A calamitous roar roiled and shifted from the direction of the Tremere’s soldiers. At first I thought perhaps they had indeed opened a doorway into Hell. Then I caught the scent of flash powder. They were cannoneers! The Tremere fielded one hundred cannoneers with which to face an army of Tzimisce creations. I could but blink for a few moments as I beheld the carnage. While a few of the Tremere fell in battle, several of the Vozhd went down with no more than just a touch by several of the Usurpers. Many others were torn to pieces by the lead shot of the handgonnes being leveled. The Szlachta fared even worse against these better armed foes. The armor they wore meant nothing to the attacks they faced.

                Czibor remained in his pentagram so Krzysztof attempted to summon another volcano. Somehow Krzysztof’s magic failed and Czibor looked back toward us impatiently. Krzysztof cast a few other attempts, but grew frustrated. Then the treacherous Usurper made an occult gesture. A strange sound drew my attention behind us. In the bailey appeared a creature taller than a fine stallion at the head. It looked as though it’s flesh was disgustingly supple and horrible wings spread from its back. Before we could truly comprehend what we say, Czibor spoke to us again, insulting all Tzimisce then said something about Lambach being his actual target. I have no idea why Krzysztof would have to do, but that is what Czibor intimated. The Fiend was visibly angered but sent us to deal with the demon. I called for the fire arrows to be turned on the creature. Gerwazy returned with every bladed utensil he could carry from the kitchen. Krzysztof tried once more to affect Czibor as his Szlachta hurled a meat cleaver at the Tremere as well. Apparently his magical senses prevented Czibor from noticing the phsyical object as Gerwazy struck his mark, burying the cleaver into the Usurpers skull. I moved to the stairs as the men fired into the bailey, but the demon half jumped, half flew up toward the battlements. Having no intentions of letting this beast savage my soldiers, I leapt off the battlements and met the demon midway, sinking my blade to the hilt. The blood that splashed back on me was frighteningly hot and black as the pitch the men fired. I had little chance to consider it as the demon returned my strike, racking me with its claws while it still made it up to the battlements. I was badly wounded but I refused to yield to a demon sent by a cowardly Tremere. The rest of the pack joined the fray once I rolled to the side. Eleanor and Jocelin finished it off. Just as I regained my footing, I lifted my gaze to find eight gargoyles with battle axes.

                I sliced into the first Gargoyle I could reach, just before I am hit as well. I heard another impact behind me and turned to see Eleanor fall from a cleaving axe wound. Šárka froze one stone guardian before it could converge on the fallen Brujah. Gerwazy finished off the Gargoyle thanks to Eleanor’s original assault. Before I could land another strike, Krzysztof managed to summon his volcano in the same area Czibor previously hid with his Obfuscate. Suddenly the ground shook violently, seemingly with no connection to the explosive assault Krzysztof wrought. In an instant, we all ceased our combat. Gargoyles were dazed in mid air and even Czibor clutched his head in resistance. I know as I fell against the ramparts before I could steady myself. My mind reeled and images and thoughts ran as though water through a sieve. I thought everyone I knew, every bit of Kindred Lore I could recall, every discipline...NO! I forced out whatever intruder sieged my mind. I knew only that some thing had awakened and I had an incredibly strong urge to go down and find whatever it was that awaited. Regaining some sense of control, I noticed the caved in tunnel looked clear from the earthquake. I alert the others as Šárka scooped up our torporous Brujah. Gerwazy stood looking at us as though we were mad until I pointed out the tunnel. The men had fled with the attack of a demon. Krzysztof bellowed for his Szlachta to get the books we took from Terézia’s carriage. He met us in the tunnel and we helped move the last of the rocks blocking our escape.

                The tunnel opened into the woods so Jocelin led the way back in the direction of what he said was Prague. The moment we entered the woods I realized I was completely useless. We continued on as quickly as we could and still keep Eleanor with us. Gerwazy switched out with Šárka as the night wore on. We stayed to the wood as the road would be far to easy to spot us and we still had no idea from what we were fleeing. We stopped short as several of us heard a female voice chanting...then others joining in. Jocelin, Rosabella, and myself went to investigate. As I said, I am useless in the wilderness and that combined with my injuries meant I did not sneak as much as walk slowly behind a tree. A painted women of the woods wearing a hooded cloak and rams’ horns, called me forth in a language I did not understand. I responded in Czech as I hoped that would be an easily language to match. She understood though did not believe I was harmless. She ordered more of her women to search me as she feared I might be an Inquisitor. I could not help my amusement at that thought, but I welcomed their search as I knew I had nothing to hide. Satisfied, their mistress demanded to know why I was there. I apologized for interrupting and then explained that I..no, damn I am a fool. I admitted that we were fleeing the attack on the castle because something awoke that wanted to eat us. I have no idea why I decided to tell her the complete truth but it seemed to serve me well. She declared that I would have to surrender four nights’ worth of blood. I was not completely naive enough to just over my blood however so I requested to know what purpose my blood would serve. She informed me that I would spend my blood in place of her followers and it would be sacrificed in their ritual. I accepted her terms as I had no concern for her keeping her followers efficient. With that, they held to their word and allowed me to leave as I came.

                I returned to the pack just as Krzysztof declared I must be dead and they should continue without me. I corrected him as I entered the clearing. He suggested rather pointedly that next time I leave the information gathering to the stealthy ones. I believe he has a very valid point. With that we continued onward to the Northwest toward Prague, according to Jocelin. I will be eager to get out of these woods. Seeing Theophano again will be wonderful as always, but I am filled with shame. We have failed our mission, lost one of our members at least temporarily to torpor, and were forced to flee from ...what? I still do not know. But I will find out.

                Now I must huddle with Rosabella in this strange tent.


                Eleanor’s Log

                My Lady,

                Nearly a week has passed since my last communication. Two nights after I sent the runner J spied a convoy heading towards our location. We had little more than an hour to plan our strategy which was ambush rather than allowing them to close on our position. I feel this was a wise move as there were no real injuries to speak of save K’s servant and he shall recover. Our enemies were not quite what I expected. I realize the Sorcerers use Gargoyles as their bodyguards and did expect their presence but I hadn’t anticipated the cursed demon bound .

                This convoy was clearly the advance guard. Only one with any true power was among them. It was mostly mortals and the demon bound. The two gargoyles provided a challenge as they were difficult to hit and they had implements that would burrow to cause not only discomfort but if left unchecked could render one such as us useless. We managed to avoid those cursed missiles, though I did have the misfortune of dealing with a splinter servant. Luckily it was easily destroyed before it caused me more than the most minor discomfort.

                K’s mastery over the elements was displayed with great flair during this altercation and he was successful in exacting his retaliation for what he calls a theft from his clan. The Sorcerer will not be an issue for anyone else.

                J proved without question that my earlier concerns for his battle prowess were unfounded. Everyone is entitle to an off night after all. I do believe his hound is cursed though. The creature hurled itself into the magma K rose around the Sorcerer in its zeal to attack at its master’s order.

                I would be remiss if I did not mention S’s contribution to the ambush. She provided cover for our attack through a mastery over the weather I had not suspected she had.

                I should note that though I felt some smattering of remorse over the necessity of taking the lives of our enemies, Diego seemed most troubled by the situation. I’m not sure if it was the killing, the ambush itself, or K’s ruthless dispatching of his Sorcerer, but something did not sit well with our Artisan.

                After the battle which bled into the village, I returned to the castle for sustenance. S had not followed us to the village, instead she gathered several important documents from the convoy and tended to K’s Servant’s wounds. Thanks to her he will survive. When K returned he seemed surprised at this, though not displeased.

                The documents S recovered gave us more insight into the Sorcerers we are dealing with and I am not pleased by the knowledge. One book was written in latin, a language several of us are familiar with. Its contents related to the names of demons, the type of information needed to summon the fell creatures. It truly does not matter how firm your faith in the Creator is, most intelligent beings realize that bargaining with demons will eventually lead to ruin. Apparently at least one Sorcerer is not an intelligent being.

                The other book and the letters S retrieved are written in Hungarian which none of us speak. The Major Domo for the castle speaks a little Hungarian and he translated the letters as best he could. The book is too complex for his skills thus it will travel with us when we leave here in order to make sure we learn its secrets. One of the letters was from the now dispatched Sorcerer to an Alchemist of some repute – Arden of Golden Lane. She warned of the plots laid by a fellow Sorcerer with the moniker of The Left Handed. He is a demonologist and according to K he has broken the Sorcerers’ own code in dealing with the demons. I believe we all suspect that this man sent the fallen Sorcerer to her death as he must have suspected our forces would be in residence already. Her entourage was impressive, but as we proved, no match for a solid Pack.

                To celebrate our successful actions that night, S opened a cask of her own special brew. D was most taken with the ale, and I too found it pleasant. It has been many years since I tasted anything quite like it. I believe our enjoyment pleased S. I must admit I am warming to her. She does not seem to have ulterior motives in her presence with us, nor does D. I remain vigilant, but I suspect it is unnecessary.

                The following evening we had a visitor. Perhaps summoned by S’s machinations with the weather, a storm raged that made J’s usual watch much more difficult. He did not see our visitors until they arrived and requested entrance. K took charge as lord of the manor. I suppose it is his right as this land is closer to his realm than the others, except for S, but as she appeared in her Habit and did not object to K’s actions the rest of us did nothing. R hid in the shadows until our visitors were revealed to be Italian. At which point she was happy to attend them and ask about her homeland.

                Our visitor introduced himself as a member of a younger clan formed of speakers of the dead. D took an instant dislike to him while I merely felt suspicious. He said all the right things, however and K offered him hospitality. I took over the duties as lady of the manor in order to make sure our visitor’s retinue were appropriately housed and under guard. What so many forget is the lady of the manor truly holds the power. The lord would know nothing of what occurs in his household if not for his lady. Returning to this role, even for a night was like slipping on a favored pair of gloves, though I truly doubt K or the other men had even an inkling of what I did during their talks. Slipping in and out of the library I was able to glean knowledge without looming as D did.

                Our visitor warned that a group of Inquisitors were spied to the north led by one known as Brother Karl. The force had three consecrated Crusader swords – I believe we will do everything we can to avoid them. He also told us the Sorcerers were moving in the south, so I suspect our next group of enemies to come from that direction.

                S asked about the master of shadows she replaced but our visitor only knew that the pair were killed by the Inquisition. He corroborated the story put forth by S’s companion. I did not see any recognition of S in our visitor’s eye so I have a hard time believing they worked out the exchange beforehand.

                Our visitor left the following night with no ill will caused among our Pack. I admit I am surprised, but pleased K’s offer of hospitality did not allow an enemy within our gates.

                S and I have engaged in an ongoing friendly debate over the past few days as she has tried to show me the light of her beliefs. She is devout to her god Set though she believes women to be of equal stature among this faith. She seems to suggest that a union with the feminine is the true path to enlightenment. As I said, I have enjoyed our debate a great deal though I am not inclined to change my own beliefs. It is not the Creator I do not believe in but the man-made church that claims to speak in her name. Still the discussion is an enjoyable past time.

                I have noticed however as our talks have continued, S seems to be focusing her attention upon me to some extent. She has taken to wearing her leathers as we speak. If she were a man I would say she was attracted to me. In all actuality my instincts say she is attracted and I am appalled to realize I have never thought such a possibility existed. While I never read the writings of Plato and Plutarch, I do remember Cromwell discussing the wicked ways of the ancient Greeks with his compatriots. If men could have an attraction to one and other why should women be denied the same interest? I will have to consider this more fully as I find my short sightedness disturbing and a bit infuriating. I would be curious for your opinion on this matter as you are longer lived than I and may have some insight.

                As I began this missive J alerted us to an approaching force. I set aside my quill to prepare for battle and have returned to share our continued success.

                The force J witnessed was led by a Patrician and his two childer. We learned their identity after J and R scouted their column under the fog and rain S called forth. The Patrician’s orders were sent by the Swordbearer and he demanded the Patrician take our position before our own reinforcements arrived. According to the papers R absconded with, the Left-Handed was in transit to our castle and the Patrician would not be in a good position should he not complete his mission before the Sorcerer arrived.

                As an aside, I am beginning to wonder exactly what R’s purpose with her Master is. She says she’s a thief, a gatherer of information, but she seems to be most comfortable in the absence of clothes. She does not comport herself as a polished mistress – she seems to have no concept of basic hygiene other than as something she must consider for His sake. When she was charged with scouting the coming force with J she stripped before disappearing and completing her task. Then when she returned, she waited for acknowledgement or praise for her findings before deigning to dress once more. I find it most odd.

                J and R’s scouting proved invaluable for our strategy session and we quickly came up with a plan. A group of fifty soldiers and the three Patricians intended on laying siege to our castle. We would allow them to get close though we wanted to stay out of the Patrician’s line of sight as he tends to compel his enemies to come out to him rather than remaining in a defensible position.

                The Patrician did follow the conventions of battle. He sent a messenger with his terms for surrendering the castle – which the current treaty between Hungry and Moravia says we should do but considering who the orders come from, of course we declined. K and D wanted to send a very coarse, pointed refusal but I convinced them to follow diplomacy and composed as polite yet firm a refusal as possible. We did not want them to become enraged and not act as we expected them to or our own plan would not be as effective.

                We tasked R to search for sappers attempting to burrow past our walls to gain entry into the castle. She decided this was a lovely game and immediately focused. J sent his hound to assist and after some time D also moved to join the hunt. They successfully kept sappers out of the castle but I believe R was disappointed they were unable to actually capture one.

                K, S, J, and I remained on the battlements. Our soldiers were effective as bowmen and though five were injured the Patrician’s army lost twelve men during the first few volleys. Once the siege tower was fully functional and moved towards the walls K set it aflame. Soldiers jumped off to avoid the flames only to find their own injuries from the fall.

                While the men on both sides of the battle grew nervous over the sudden firestorm, few broke ranks. S tended to our wounded while I shored up our soldiers’ confidence. In the penultimate action of the battle K moved into the open and raised his hands in a dramatic fashion. Underneath the Patrician and his childer a volcano erupted – the magma rolling, scorching everything in its path. K boosted the men’s morale as he bellowed over the battlefield “God does not want you in Moravia!”

                The Patrician’s childer were lost and he ran as the danger posed by the flames was too much for his beast to handle. The enemy soldiers were in disarray and scattered. We left the castle and engaged in a delicious hunt. R and D returned from the hunt with two unconscious soldiers we could question at our leisure.

                The next night S and I went into the village to secure a roasting pig for the soldiers and to spread the rumor that the village was saved from the Hungarian occupation by divine intervention through the volcano. When we returned we learned our previous visitor sent a message to K warning of a large force led by the Sorcerers coming our way. While we knew it would happen thanks to the orders R stole, I am not sure we expected it so quickly.

                The battle is coming in two days so I will attempt to be brief in order to make sure this missive reaches you expediently. Dawdling over what to share with you has done me no favors as I now have little time for finesse. I can only hope this reaches you and will not be intercepted.

                We shall prepare as best we can. S and I have convinced another 25 men to join our soldiers from the village. While that is still only half the force the Sorcerers bring it is better than what we had. The men are heating oil to use if the soldiers breach the walls, and we are working to produce plenty of arrows coated in pitch to set them aflame. In order to work against the eight gargoyles the Sorcerers bring. There are eight Sorcerers as well, and we suspect one of them is The Left-Handed.

                J has sent his hawk to our reinforcements to learn when they will arrive. From what he has learned it is a race to see who arrives first. I can only hope our reinforcements are as strong a force as we are led to believe.

                The only way to enter battle is with the surety of victory so I will not give in to the fear that we may be out numbered. We shall be victorious, our mission will be completed, and soon I will join you in Prague. Until then.

                Verum in honore et aequalitate,

                Eleanor


                Jocelin’s Journal

                Le 25ème du mois de avril, 54

                It has been good to be part of a pack again, strange as these packmates are, and it has provided some interesting battles. We had another 2 days of waiting and hunting, but then our enemies presented themselves. It was a preliminary force, not our true foe, consisting of roughly 50 soldiers and a handful of Ventrue, along with some siege equipment. I spotted them a few hours away, and descended to find the rest of the pack. I found Le Savant in the library, told him the basics of what I had seen, and we split off to find the rest of them. I found La jeune Mendiante, naked, exploring the passageways below, by crawling along the ceiling, apparently. I told her we were gathering in the library, and continued to find La Serpent. She was in her leathers, examining the ritual room Le Savant had uncovered. Upon hearing the news, she offered to slow the approaching men by causing a great downpour. It seemed like a good plan, and I left her to it as I returned to the library myself.

                Once I had shared with all what I had seen, we made plans as to the defense of the castle. Le Savant brought up that the Hungarians have mortal law on their side. However, with some prompting, we could incite the troops of the castle to flout that law. That was to be the job of L’Espagnol and La Pucelle anglaise. Meanwhile, La jeune Mendiante and I were to scout and get a better idea of for who and what cause these soldiers were marching. Once the idea of scouting was explained to her, La jeune Mendiante immediately shed her clothes and dashed off towards to camp. I transformed into my falcon form and took to the skies. I was not as invisible as I might have wished, but managed to avoid any true danger. There was a Ventrue of about our potence, and his 2 childer. I noted his crest, though I did not recognize it. When I returned however, the others recognized it as belonging to an Alfred von Leibanoff. La jeune Mendiante managed to steal the orders they carried. Von Leibanoff was to take the castle before we were reinforced, in preparation for the another, larger force of Tremere, including Czibor.

                The battle that followed was mostly Le Savant’s. Taking to the field would have been foolhardy when we owned the castle walls. La Pucelle anglaise and I stood with the men, directing arrow fire. La Serpent exhorted the men to continue the fight, with words of God and faith, while healing some of the arrow wounds they received. La jeune Mendiante and L’Espagnol, along with Terra, patrolled the inside of the walls, listening for sappers attempting to tunnel in underneath them. They found one, and sat to wait until he broke through. La jeune Mendiante was quite intent on her game of Catch the Sapper. Unfortunately, L’Espagnol and Terra gave the game away as the sapper grew nearer the surface and he retreated to try again elsewhere. They had managed to find him again, when he was interrupted by Le Savant’s work.

                As I said, the battle was mostly his. Initially he moved against the siege tower. Allowing them to spend time constructing and moving the tower, before it had gained the walls he sent out a blast of heat to dry the wood, then followed up by two gouts of flame and the top and bottom of the tower, trapping those on it, and forcing them to leap out. When we were almost finished fighting for the night, he seemed to come to some decision, and summoned a spout of molten rock from the ground under the Ventrue. The morale of the soldiers broke and the army scattered into the woods. Sadly, La jeune Mendiante was cheated of her prey yet again, as the sapper scattered with the rest. We gave chase however, drinking our fill, and bringing prisoners back with us. Now it remains to prepare for the larger Tremere force headed our way.


                Le 27ème du mois de avril, 54

                The day after Von Leibanoff’s attack we spent in preparation, though we did not know who we were truly to fight. We had received warning of the Tremere force - a large army of mortals, some 20 Gargoyles and a number of Tremere. In light of this foe, La Pucelle and La Serpent gathered men and supplies from the town below, to bolster our forces. La jeune Mendiante brought in some of the shield placements, in cause the gate was breached. We also sent a message out via Perceval to our reinforcements. Their response gave us an idea of their numbers, and also their arrival, which put them arriving at just the same time as Czibor and his army.

                As it turns out, Czibor actually arrived a few hours ahead of our reinforcements. It turned out our warnings were a bit exaggerated - there were only 8 Gargoyles, 100 mortals and 8 Tremere. He spoke to us from afar. Earlier, Le Savant had told us of a spell like this, where the caster could hear everything from the area he sent the message, so I was careful to remain quiet while he taunted us. He offered to allow us to run, with cryptic warnings about what would happen if we began bloodshed at the castle. Le Savant turned him aside, stating that the land was Tzimisce land and would not be given up on demand. At this, the Tremere left us be, as they began a ritual to prepare themselves for the arriving reinforcements.

                We sent Perceval out with new numbers to the approaching Tzimisce, and in the meantime, attempted to disrupt the ritual of the Tremere. Under the cover of an arrow volley, we all threw the leftover burrowing stakes at the Czibor’s underlings. All that is except for Le Savant, who attempted to open another fount of molten rock beneath their formation. We were all unsuccessful - Le Savant’s attempt at magic fizzled as Czibor countered it, and our stakes disintegrated as they hit their targets. My Beast growled within me, but I forced it into submission by strength of will. Trapped as I was inside the walls, with no one around me but my allies, it was not the time to let it run free.

                La Pucelle and I brought out our bows, and fired upon the Tremere with lit arrows. We both hit, though the effect was still fairly minimal. We were still better off than those firing upon the Gargoyles, who seemed not to be effected by either piercing or fire. Le Savant tries for another volcano, which is again waved away by Czibor. This apparently angered him, as a demon appeared suddenly in the bailey - 7-feet tall, with large rubbery bat wings. Le Savant tries once more, as Gerwazy throws a kitchen cleaver at Czibor. The volcano is dispelled, but the cleaver strikes home, and the Tremere disappears from sight.

                In the meantime, we were quite occupied with the demon that had appeared inside the walls. La jeune Mendiante and L’Espagnol got first blood, as I swung ineffectually at it from an awkward angle. However, it swung back to take a chunk of our Espagnol. We all managed to get take our own pieces of it in response and it fell. There was little time to spare there, as shortly thereafter, the Gargoyles flew to join us on the walls.

                Again, we struck a good first blow, but it left openings for their response. La Pucelle fell under one’s axe. Gerwazy avenged her, as we moved to cover her fallen form. We continued to fight, La Serpent freezing one with her gaze, while Le Savant attempted one more time to open up a volcano near where Czibor disappeared. This time, it succeeded, and the earth shook with emergence of the molten rock. This was enough to wake... something beneath the castle that began clawing through my mind and demanding I come to it. This was the true foe of the night, one that we had no way of defeating. It shuffled through my memories of my sire, of Arnulf, of all the vampires I’d known, and vampiric powers and lore I’d learned. Through force of will I shoved the intruder out of my mind, and we made our way out of the area. La Savant sent Gerwazy off to find the books we were to retrieve from our first target, while we made our way to the tunnel that we had noticed earlier, which had been uncovered by the shakings of the earth.

                We managed to escape the elder vampire, leaving the Gargoyles, and, with any luck, Czibor, behind to its mercy. I led us through the woods, as we headed towards Prague to rejoin with Arnulf and the others’ sires. La Serpent and Gerwazy took turns carrying La Pucelle. We wanted to get as much distance as we could, not knowing what sort of range and powers the woken vampire had.

                We got sidetracked at one point when we heard a group of women chanting. La jeune Mendiante, L’Espagnol and I snuck over to see who was doing the chanting. L’Espagnol managed to get himself caught by what turns out to be a gathering of pagan Cainites, in the midst of an invocation to their goddess. They searched him, believing him to be an inquisitor, but when it became clear that he was not an inquisitor, and also not in danger, I snuck back to the others. The pagans had apparently demanded a blood tribute in repayment for the interruption, which L’Espagnol had given freely, not thinking it unjust or particularly dangerous for him.

                We continued on, only stopping an hour or so before dawn, to give us time to build shelters for the others. With the assistance of the others, I managed to build suitable lean-tos so that the others would make it through the day. I sunk into the earth to wait out the sun myself.

                Now we must find ourselves suitable mounts. La Pucelle needs care, and all of us wish to leave this place as far behind us as possible. As soon as we are all up, I shall call us any horses in reach, and we shall ride for Prague.


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                [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                • #9
                  Šárka’s Transmissions

                  Dearest Elizabetha,

                  The past three nights have been quiet. I have been staying well fed from my sweet maids, and have been trying to learn more about the ritual chamber. It is quiet, peaceful, and dark beneath Černá Hora, very much to my liking. I have considered feeding down there, but my bed is very soft.

                  I have had regular debates with Eleanor, who seems to enjoy them. Eleanor is a very strong and commanding woman. I think when she comes to see my way of thinking we will make a good team. I find myself thinking about it often. You need to try to spend some time with her when we arrive in Prague. On a whim I wore my leathers last time she and I spoke. They flatter me more than the habit. I begin to wonder if something is wrong with me.

                  I had the breakthrough to try and begin translating some of the writing, but my meager books are not the best for doing so. I doubt I will get very far before we have to leave, as I have to go paragraph by paragraph. At least my duties here have kept me in practice and my command of Akhu is increasing nicely.


                  Sweet Elizabetha

                  We have repelled our first siege. The so-called Holy Roman Ventrue Alfred von Liebanoff and his childer brought Hungarian forces that outnumbered us two to one. However, they underestimated us greatly. I slowed their advance by calling upon the elements and breathing the Breath of Set, while Diego and Eleanor rallied the men. Rosabella and Jocelin crept into their camp, the latter in hawk form, and scouted them out. Rosabella found papers showing they were to seize the castle before Count Rustovich’s forces arrived. Von Liebanoff was being backed up by Czibor the Left-Handed, the Tremere we read about in Terézia’s information. He is apparently bringing forces to bear in time. There was a not so subtle warning about failing Czibor included.

                  I would be remiss in not noting Rosabella removed her cloths to sneak out and presented her findings in the altogether before dressing, waiting until after I praised her to dress herself. I begin to wonder if she had a…baser secondary function for Giovanni.

                  They had a siege tower, and when they tried to get us to back down we kindly warned them to leave. Diego, Rosabella, and Jocelin’s work watching for sappers paid off…twice. Rosabella seemed terribly disappointed they did not capture any, but I would call warding them off a success. Krzysztof, for his part, waited until they assembled and raised their tower before incinerating it with his fire magic. He caught first the top and then the bottom aflame, forcing men to jump off. When they did not back off, Krzysztof became sufficiently irritated to raise a blast of lava in the middle of their camp. They broke ranks at that point. Most of us went out of our way to run down escapees for food or information. Von Liebanoff survived and escaped, but both his childer perished in the lava.

                  While many of us were jubilant at our victory, I could tell Krzysztof was concerned. Czibor casts a shadow over him. The next battle will be difficult.

                  In the meantime, my flock awaits.


                  E

                  Hrad Černá Hora is lost. Our battle with Czibor began uphill and difficult, and things only got worse. Now we flee for our lives through these deep dark woods. I have never been in such a place when not traveling from city to city. It is dark and it is cold, and there are no doubt Lupines here. Eleanor is in Torpor. I have been carrying her for hours, trading off with the grievously wounded Gerwazy. My arms hurt. I want a bath. I’m scared. I’m also worried about her.

                  We passed a couple nights preparing for Czibor as we could. Eleanor and I went to Černá Hora to drum up recruits for the castle, and nearly doubled the guard. Eleanor appealed to their patriotism, I to their faith. We make a good team. Diego worked with them to train them. Jocelin kept an almost constant vigil and Rosabella…did whatever the hell she does. She has an unfortunate penchant for nudity.

                  Czibor came, all right, with more than double our doubled guard, eight Tremere, and eight Gargoyles. Krzysztof apparently expected more Gargoyles, though it is possible seeing Czibor’s style more were waiting in the wings.

                  I suppose that should have been funny. I don’t seem to be in a mood of good humor.

                  Diego and Eleanor gave a pep talk to the men, Eleanor making vague promises of reward for a good battle. I was sort of proud of her for that. Meanwhile, Czibor and Krzysztof seemed to argue awhile puffing their chests and generally acting like men do. Some things don’t change when one becomes a vampire. Krzysztof tried some of his magic, which Czibor dispelled. While Czibor was trying to make Krzysztof seem impotent, he was not actually doing anything offensive either. Krzysztof was stalling, however, and it appeared to pay off when Count Rustovich’s reinforcements arrived.

                  Unfortunately, the Tremere were ready. Their soldiers leveled those awful Matchlock rifles and cut down the Szlachta as they charged. Several of us threw our shafts of belated quiescence at the Tremere that disintegrated when they hit them. The Gargoyles flew in with axes and spears, and we saw them shrug off fire and arrows easily. The Tremere kept their Koldun from casting, and groups of Tremere put their hands on the Vozhd boiling their blood. Rustovich’s forces were falling quickly, and Czibor just looked up passively at us.

                  Then he was almost knocked down when Gerwazy hit him in the face with a cleaver.

                  Czibor staggered and was enraged. He said some magic word and a Demon appeared in the Bailey. Not one of those Demon Bound things but an actual Demon. It had eight eyes, goat’s horns, wings, and claws. Fortunately, we did not have soldiers down there so it did minimal damage hunting around. We drew it up to us, and out combined attacked felled it, but not before it badly hurt Diego and Eleanor, both of whom sort of crumpled when they were hit, though neither went down.

                  Then Czibor signaled and four Gargoyles broke and flew at us. It was terrible. Eleanor hit one, but hacked her with a two-handed axe and she fell. Diego took another solid hit even as he hit one, but managed to remain standing. I felt my Beast rise when Eleanor fell….I saw red. I wanted to attack but I struggled to maintain control. Gerwazy helped when he crushed the creature. I paralyzed a Gargoyle with my gaze, but then all hell broke loose.

                  First the castle shook. Then something started sifting through our memories, to see what Cainites we had met, what disciplines we had etc. Then it started calling us down below. The Gargoyles were particularly dazed, and even Czibor was taken off guard by it. Then Krzysztof accentuated the severity of our situation by barking an order that we all needed to leave. Now. Diego pointed out the path he noticed a few days ago leading out looked clear, due to the shaking earth. It seemed our best bet there were too many foes outside the gates, including Czibor. Krzysztof sent Gerwazy down to fetch the materials Terézia left and we all made our way to the tunnel, trying to shut the creature out of memories and resist the call. We managed to make it out, with our stronger members moving some remaining rock, and fled into the wilderness.

                  The woods were dark, and every direction seemed the same. Cooler heads prevailed…I know Jocelin had an idea of where to go…good to have a Gangrel when you are lost in the woods. I think Krzysztof and Rosabella assisted him, I was distracted by Eleanor, who I foolishly thought I could wake up somehow away from the violence.

                  We only had one encounter before making camp, a couple hours later. We heard what sounded like chanting, and Diego, Rosabella, and Jocelin went to investigate. Apparently it was a group of female pagan vampires conducting a ceremony. Rosabella and Jocelin hid well Diego…didn’t, and was apparently brought before the women. He apparently talked his way out of undue punishment for disrupting the ritual, but had to provide vitae and delayed out continuing on. Rosabella for her part seemed very, very amused Diego had inadvertently reveled himself. I am not sure why…Diego has been a perfect gentleman to all of us, showing deference without showing weakness to the men, and flirting enough with the ladies to remind us he found us pleasing without seeming awkward. Perhaps Rosabella took personally his rudeness to Vendramino? It is impossible to guess the mind of a Malkavian.

                  We made camp, with Jocelin overseeing and Rosabella and Krzysztof assisting. We should be safe from the sun, so long as no one discovers us. We are surrounded by woods on all sides so it seems unlikely. Jocelin seems confidant he knows where we are in relation to Prague, and that we are headed in the right direction. I hope so.

                  I realize it would have been more practical to leave Eleanor, and if I were to bring her, to take secretly steps toward binding her in a blood oath to seize advantage of the situation. I am making poor decisions regarding Eleanor, and I am not comfortable thinking about why. I believe there may be something wrong with me.

                  I hope we survive and I am able to simply keep this as a reminder of these troubles. If not I have addressed to the dead drop on the outside, maybe if our remains are found someone will deliver it and not worry about the fact it is in Old Egyptian. I hope it does not happen that way.

                  We need to get through this.


                  End Session III

                  Well as you see, Černá Hora Castle was lost. Just who the Enigma of Černá Hora is will remain mysterious for now. Czibor’s fate is similarly a mystery. I should note that Count Rustovich did not actually appear, just his armies.

                  Only one Morality check this time, Šárka had to make a test for not trying to blood bond Eleanor when she could easily have snuck two drinks in there at least. Everyone had to make at least one Frenzy check from the frustration of the Tremere siege, and Krzysztof and Šárka each had to make a second, Krzysztof when directly taunted by Czibor, Šárka when Eleanor fell.

                  In the battle, the Tremere utilized Matchlock rifles against the Szlachta (against which their armor was useless) and Cauldron of Blood against the Vozhd, with each Tremere activating it more or less at once to do more aggravated then even the Vozhd could deal with. The Gargoyles were suped up from Rituals from the Dark Ages Storyteller’s Companion, making them nearly fireproof and nearly arrow proof. In a system as lethal as vampire it is always a little scary to do a big battle like this, so I made sure their weapons could not do aggravated so that the worst they could do was put PCs in Torpor. The Demonic Creature could do aggravated, but I assumed the PCs would focus fire on it and bring it down quickly…. which is essentially what happened. The Enigma was “scheduled” to awake when things looked really bad for the PCs or (less likely) really bad for the Tremere. With Eleanor down and Diego and Gerwazy (who was still badly injured from the battle with Terézia) barely standing it seemed like a good time. Czibor was using Countermagic to keep Krzysztof shut down (he had 2 more dice in his pool) but both sides wound up burning willpower. I should note Czibor was actually knocked to the ground by Gerwazy, which lead to cheers around the table.

                  When the Enigma of Černá Hora woke, it tried to call down all the Cainites in the castle I announced it was reading the PCs memories and commanding them to come down to it. I allowed them to spend 1 Willpower to resist either or 2 to resist both, for a number of turns equal to their Willpower. Needless to say, they needed to get out fast. While he was sort of hobbling, Gerwazy was sent for the books and such as he, being a Szlachta, was unaffected by any of this. The Gargoyles, I ruled, being weaker minded were actually briefly stunned. Needless to say, our protagonists are low on Willpower now.

                  The PCs met a handful of surviving Lhiannan (I kept them alive an extra Century) but while Diego did rather poorly on Stealth he did amazingly well on his role to convince them not to harm him, so escaped the encounter with 4 BP spent.

                  So our PCs are on their way to Prague. I anticipate next session will see them make their way there…I have a few encounters for their trip planned beyond just the Lhiannan, which should lead to more Morality tests. With Eleanor, Diego and Gerwazy badly hurt I assume they will be avoid combat whenever possible, but who knows. So come back, if you would, for the conclusion of the Prologue of The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora in two weeks. In the meantime, next week I’ll be putting thumbnails like the ones I had for them in the OP for the Conspiracy in 2012…including their new Natures, Demeanors, Titles, Sects, Moralities etc. Three of them will be on new Moralities and about three are changing Natures (not quite the same three but close). Of course, they will be split between the Camarilla, Sabbat, and Independents by then as well. I’ll also be including some other information, such as what sorts of Influences they command.

                  In the meantime, as always, Comments and Questions welcome.


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                  [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                  • #10
                    For your “filler” I have decided to expand upon what I posted two weeks ago and post a handful of the important vampires in Prague. Everyone got a list of 13 Vampires they had heard of and might be acquainted with, generally at the top since the PCs are newcomers who have mostly heard of those near the top. The Camarilla got 12 of the same 13, only the Whip for their own Clan. The Sabbat got 12 of the same with each other, the first four Camarilla, then all the known Ducti (including the Bishop), Pact Priests, and Templars in the city. The 13th was the fellow Hand member for Jocelin and a Cainite from the past for Krzysztof.

                    For my players, there could be mild spoilers here insofar as everyone’s NPCs are listed. You may want to avoid reading them, but as nothing is here at least one Player has not read they are mild at worst.

                    Vasily Marek, Prince of Prague Clan: Toreador

                    Vasily Marek was a talented architect from Prague. Marek traveled to Paris, where he was embraced by François Villon. After returning to Prague he quietly remained there designing Cathedrals and Castles throughout Europe. While not originally policial, when most of the Toreador left after World War II he allied with Ferdinand Černý to eject the Council Brujah and became Prince himself.

                    Tonight Vasily Marek remains prince, boosted by his role in the addition of the Assamite Clan to the Camarilla. He seeks a city where all Clans can contribute their talents to making the city unique.

                    Yordana Georgieva, Seneschal of Prague Clan: Assamite (Vizier Caste)

                    Yordana was among the Bulgarians who converted to Islam and as such were considered by some elements worthy of inclusion in the Children of Haqim. Others were horrified. Still, Yordana remained a competent and capable agent for the Clan in Europe. When the Assamites wanted some white members at the conclave with the Camarilla, Yordana was assigned to attend…and remain to keep the Western Kindred with a positive face for the Clan.

                    Yordana is very popular in Prague. The Harpies absolutely love her, and rumors have placed her romantically with several Cainites, including Annabelle-Marie Chappell. Yordana seems all business most of the time, though, which only makes her more intriguing.

                    Ruxandra, Keeper of the Elysium of Prague Clan: Toreador

                    Ruxandra’s history is unknown. What is known is she left Bucharest following the fall of Communism there and migrated to Prague. She was the sole surviving Toreador and one of the very few surviving Cainites in the unrest that followed. She had a private meeting with Prince Marek and was permitted to stay and, given there were few Toreador in town, given the role of Keeper of the Elysium.

                    Ruxandra is beautiful but cold. She tends to bother Kindred, especially high humanity Kindred. Rumors range from her being a serial killer to a childe of the notorious Antitribu Arianne to being the lover of the Bishop. It is inadvisable to ask her about them.

                    Gyula Vég, Sheriff of Prague Clan: Brujah

                    Gyula was a Hungarian Communist Partisan embraced by a Council Brujah as the Idealist Brujah faction cemented their influence over many Communist groups. Gyula proved a cunning agent in Undeath as life, though few were prepared when he changed sides to support Prince Marek rather then his erstwhile benefactors.

                    It is said people respect Gyula, but do not trust him. Gyula comes off as a thug and a bully, but his cunning has never left him, and he is often underestimated. Gyula is always on the winning side.

                    Tariq, Assamite Primogen Clan: Assamite (Vizier)

                    Tariq is a younger Arab, and has never known poverty. However, he nonetheless had an inquisitive mind, and was often unsatisfied with what he learned at Arabic universities, traveling to England, America, and the Czech Republic. This lead to his Embrace by the Vizier Caste. When the Assamites entered the Camarilla, he volunteered to return to Prague, a city which he remembered fondly for its beauty.

                    Tariq plays the role of the playboy. Generous, friendly, and handsome, he seeks to change the minds of Western Cainites who think the Assamites are all mindless killers. He is, however, terrified of events in Iran, and the consolidation of the monster in Almut. He only hopes the Camarilla can stop the Monster in the Throne there.

                    Ferdinand Černý, Brujah Primogen Clan: Brujah

                    A childe of the notorious Ecaterina the Wise, Ferdinand was a fixture in Prague from the Renaissance. Often a rival of Josef Zvi, he made sure the Brujah presence in Prague was unforgettable after Ecaterina departed for the New World. He found himself with cross purposes of his fellow Idealists in the Brujah Council, however, and acted against them to install Vasily Marek as Prince.

                    Ferdinand is more than happy to play devil’s advocate, but that’s because he enjoys a debate with zest! Always true to himself, Ferdinand is a Cainite every visitor to Prague remembers. Right now, he seems content to lay back and watch the dust settle, but when he chooses to exercise his keen wit, everyone will know.

                    Łucjan, Gangrel Primogen Clan: Gangrel

                    A childe of Milov Petrenov, Founder of the Camarilla, Łucjan has long been a supporter of the sect, almost since the very beginning. Seeing Łucjan’s capabilities and his own Clan’s weakness in the city, Milov left Łucjan there to better his Clan’s place there. Łucjan organized the Gangrel as a defense force against the occasional Lupine or Crypt Thing, and and their status rose.

                    Tonight Łucjan is concerned though. The Gangrel have left the Camarilla, seemingly replaced by the Assamites. Tariq has been eager to offer Łucjan assistance but he does not realize he is sabotaging what Łucjan feels is the Gangrel’s best chance to prove themselves. Or perhaps, Łucjan muses, that is the idea.

                    Ąžuolas, Malkavian Primogen Clan: Malkavian

                    A Lithuanian Pagan Priest, Ąžuolas left his lands that were rapidly falling to Teutonic Knights and their Ventrue backers for Prague, a city he heard had a Pagan underground. It did, if less than he hoped. Still, he settled there and worked to keep pagans from disappearing from there…and apparently Prince’s from sleeping soundly.

                    Ąžuolas demands the right to meet and judge every Malkavian to enter the city. He almost always finds them acceptable, but has slain a rare few. His voice on the Cobweb is unmistakable, and Malkavians sometimes hear snippets of sermons. It’s actually worse when he is in Torpor.

                    Ehud, Nosferatu Primogen Clan: Nosferatu

                    Ehud was a scholar of the Talmud, like his father. And like the Jews mysterious protector, Josef Zvi. His knowledge, and skill at acquiring it, brought him to the attention of Clan Nosferatu. He accepted his fate without flinching, and set about making the best of it. He remained aloof with the infighting after the death of Josef Zvi, and was eventually made Primogen because he was the only the factions objected to least.

                    Ehud seeks to help the Nosferatu regain the organization they once had under Josef Zvi. However, the more he digs up about those days, the less he likes it. In fact, recent discoveries have made him a little paranoid…

                    Annabelle-Marie Chappell, Toreador Primogen Clan: Toreador

                    Annabelle-Marie led a charmed life. Too pretty and talented for lesser men. Too pretty to die. Too talented to die. She became a Vampire by François Villon, and eventually made her way to New Orleans to establish herself in the New World. After Atlanta fell to the Sabbat and her childe and lover nearly consumed her, she was quick to flee back when invited by Prince Marek.

                    Annabelle-Marie sings better then she paints, and she paints very well. She models better then she sings, and she sings very well. Annabelle-Marie leads the good unlife surrounded by music and beauty, but she wonders if threats such as her errant childe may come back to haunt her…or if the danger lies closer.

                    Arden of Golden Lane, Tremere Primogen and Regent Clan: Tremere

                    Arden of Golden Lane was the foremost Alchemist of House Tremere. Embraced into the House, he excelled in Prague, and was assigned to Ceoris as a tougher assignment. He kept the keep defended until the 19th Century, where he spent time as Primogen of Vienna before returning to Ceoris. Now events with the Assamites call him home.

                    Arden Lane, as he often calls himself now, is calm but careful. Never power hungry as Tremere go, he has nonetheless proven himself time and time again. He sees no reason things will be different now. Indeed, he is not even sure the Assamites joining is a bad thing…

                    Hienrich von Weiss, Ventrue Primogen Clan: Ventrue

                    Hienrich von Weiss was an Austrian Aristocrat in the 19th Century, when he was embraced into the Ventrue Clan hoping for some new blood to challenge the Tremere in their home territory. Hienrich proved himself very sociable, poised and never rude, but at the same time not really advancing the Ventrue Clan’s interests, though he was good at smoothing things over with the Tremere. Seeing this, the Clan sent him to Prague to see if he could improve the Blue-Bloods reputation there.

                    Hienrich has regular card games with Ferdinand and the Tremere Whip András, He gets along with Vasily and Emmanuel Derosiers both. In fact, he is integrated nicely. The question is what will he do with it?

                    Carlak, Brujah Whip Clan: Brujah

                    Carlak was Brujah Justicar for many years, after his Sire Dmitra Ilyanova retired. As Justicar, Carlak found himself clashing frequently with the Brujah Council until their disappearance. Then he retired recently and returned to his home city . Once there, however, he and Prince Vasily Marek took an immediate dislike to each other.

                    Out of respect, Carlak has been given the title of Whip, but the former Justicar is not satisfied. He did not come to Prague seeking power, but as he gets along with no one in power and has allies on the Inner Circle and among the Justicars, he may be the only one capable in his mind of running the city.

                    Emmanuel Derosiers, Toreador Whip Clan: Toreador

                    Emmanuel has always been a man of taste and sophistication. No one could create a wine like Emmanuel. No one could arrange a garden line Emmanuel. Of course, no one but the finest of the Toreador Clan could embrace Emmanuel. Raphael De Corazón brought Emmanuel into the Undead, and they had the opportunity to glory in his perfection. One day he was sent on a mission, to insure a Slav Toreador running a city with his own vision does not detract from that of his sire, for you see that would not do.

                    However this barbarian brought some woman in to be Primogen, and expected him to be content with being the Whip. What a fool this man is. Anyone can build a building. He must learn to respect the glory that is Emmanuel’s Sire’s dream…and is Emmanuel.

                    Marjeta, Malkavian Whip Clan: Malkavian

                    Marjeta was a pagan priestess in heavily Christian Prague. Always watching out for her flock, she was increasingly concerned until a mysterious man came to her and bid her not be afraid. He introduced himself as Ąžuolas, and said he wished her to help him protect the children of the gods from the Christians. She agreed and has served him since. Marjeta acts as Primogen when he sleeps, and while he is awake tends to the local pagan community, which has grown since Communism fell.

                    Marjeta is quiet and unassuming, and often mistaken for a Toreador or maybe Tremere. She is gentle, and only kills when the voices tell her to.

                    Feliciana María Gómez y Álvarez, Bishop of Prague and Ductus Clan: Lasombra

                    Feliciana is old by American standard but a childe to the Sabbat of Europe. Embraced a couple hundred years ago, Feliciana managed to achieve some recognition while seeming as harmless as possible. This skill set served her well for awhile, making men and women fight for her smile, but as a leader she found her ability to rise past Bishop made difficult by the Sabbat’s rather dangerous promotion system. Still, she was placed in Prague to be “safe.”

                    The matter with the Tatterdemalions however have made things difficult, and the arrival of the Natural Born Killers has kept things from becoming calm. Feliciana clamps down as she fears whispers she cannot control the situation in Prague. And her charms may not bail her out this time.

                    Corneliu Dalca, Priest of the House of Whispers Clan: Tzimisce

                    Corneliu is third generation European Sabbat, and about the age of his Ductus. While Capable with Vicissitude, Corneliu found value in the more social disciplines and has become something of a charmer. Feliciana and Corneliu made a good team, and the House of Whispers formed around the smooth talkers. Corneliu has some interest in the Koldunic history of the clan, but has been two wrapped up in Politics to give it dedicated study.

                    It was Corneliu who discovered the activities of the Tatterdemalions, and he agonized over whether to turn them in to the Inquisition, knowing their presence would weaken his pacts hold. Ultimately he chose to do so, but is unconvinced he made the right decision.

                    Gavriil, Templar of the House of Whispers Clan: Salubri Antitribu

                    Gavriil was a simple peasant who showed tourists around Greek ruins for petty amounts of cash. He was embraced by a Salubri Antitribu and suddenly found himself with purpose. With help from Corneliu, he researched his clan best he could, even interviewing some Elder Tzimisce. It was the Salubri Antitribu called The Margrave, however, which truly affected his quest.

                    Gavriil discovered the Salubri Warriors apparently could take the aspects of Archangels, and was there when The Margrave found the armor of one of their warriors. Gavriil rededicated himself Gavriil and began seeking anything the Warriors may have left behind on how to dedicate themselves…though his next meeting with The Margrave was when The Margrave put him on trial for Infernalism.

                    Jude Hill, Ductus of the Sacred Band Clan: Brujah Antitribu

                    Jude was a gay leatherman in the 70s who was embraced by the Queer Nomadic Pack the Sacred Band. When their Ductus died in a raid in East Germany in the 80s Jude was a natural for the new Ductus. Under his leadership, the Sacred Band eclipsed the Mattachine as the Sabbat’s premier gay pack.

                    Jude himself looks out for gay men in places where they tend to be persecuted, and often this means Eastern Europe. He has set up a “base” in Prague to retreat to when matters become…difficult.

                    Glory, Priest of the Sacred Band Clan: Toreador Antitribu

                    Glory was a 6’2 drag queen in New York, who was embraced by a member of the Queens of Mercy at a show in Montreal. While not originally francophone or even Canadian, he had affected a French accent and tended to pass himself off as French Canadian. After conflict with the Queen’s Ductus Sebastian Goulet, Glory left to see where his long legs would take him.

                    Ultimately they brought him around members of the Sacred Band. Glory found himself quite pleased by the Band’s general attitude and appreciation for leather, and fit right in. In time he even found himself as Priest. How about that?

                    Trevor, Templar of the Sacred Band Clan: Brujah Antitribu

                    Trevor was a good friend of Jude Hill in London, and went some of the same social establishments he did. When the Sacred Band lost several members in a battle in East Germany, the newly minted Ductus returned home and embraced his drinking buddy. Trevor took to unlife well, eventually becoming a Templar.

                    Trevor pretty much looks out for Jude. While they get along very well Trevor has become a little jealous of how Glory (to whom he has a very high Vinculum) fawns over Jude. This has made him a little snippy around Jude at times, which them both being Brujah probably won’t go anywhere good.

                    Harry Hammer, Shikari of the Black Hand Clan: Assamite Antitribu

                    “Harry” is the oldest current member of the Sacred Band, having been embraced in England in the 1960s. Originally embraced because of his military experience in Vietnam as an "adviser" to US forces, Harry had…differences…with his Sire and they went their separate ways. Harry was with the Mattachine before helping to found the Sacred Band.

                    Harry did not leave the Sabbat like many Assamite Antitribu when the curse broke, and upheavals in the Hand did destroy him. Despite his Nome de Guerre, he does not use a hammer, and has never been seen with one.

                    Marcel Martin, Ductus of the Natural Born Killers Clan: Brujah Antitribu

                    Marcel was a taxi driver in Pennsylvania when he was embraced by his ride. Deciding this was his chance to become a badass, he consulted several vampire movies and tried to pay attention during the speeches given, which were about this Kain guy he faintly remembered from a video game. Marcel instantly knew he would be the new Raziel.

                    Marcel found a pack with a Lasombra manipulator as their leader and challenged them, and somehow to his surprise won the Monomacy duel. The other members clearly feared him, however, as most of them left the pack, but Marcel managed to gather a new Pack. Pack at the ready, Marcel headed to Europe, where a bunch of ancient stuff is. Remembering Blade II, he decided to set up in Prague first.

                    Nicolai, Priest of the Natural Born Killers Clan: Tzimisce

                    Nicolai, or Nathan as he was known in pot smoking circles, was a man who appreciated good weed. He was having a particularly epic moment while talking to some strangers when one of them impressed embraced him. The next morning Nicolai (as he now calls himself as it sounds more vampiric) he discovered he could craft flesh, so he made his penis too large for him to actually stand. Since then he has gotten better at it.

                    Eventually a “visionquest” lead him to a Vampire named Marcel, who unlike a lot of other Sabbat, had a vision. He would go to Europe, find some ancient stuff, and become all-powerful. This suited Nicolai, who liked the idea of becoming all-powerful. Marcel made him Priest, as he was the only one who seemed to know any Ritae.

                    Corinne Clan: Ravnos

                    Corinne was a Ravnos Krzysztof met while working against the Nazis. Having taken exception to their imprisoning Roma in concentration camps, she lead a small band of fellows in raids using her substantial Animalism and Chimerstry, killing several Nazis on both sides, coordinating with Krzysztof. Unfortunately, Nazi sympathetic Tzimisce caught wind of the alliance and followed her after meeting with Krzysztof and tried to force creation rites on her and deformed her. She swore revenge on her attackers and Krzysztof.

                    She has mellowed a bit (and gotten her face fixed) since then, but still does not trust Krzysztof though she is not actively seeking revenge. Krzysztof has heard, however, she is in Prague with her Sire Silva and another Ravnos or two. Her activities are unknown.


                    It goes without saying but feel free to steal any of these folks you want. If something is unclear you may want to scan for them in the Prague History...most non Sabbat appear there as well, and some Sabbat do (mostly House of Whispers.)

                    OK, well next week we finish the 1483 segment of the story, in which Krzysztof tells Rosabella “You are angry. I am proud of you.” In two weeks we will have the new thumbnails, which should honestly be a better place for reading purposes as it should have them right before the first session they apply, not the session before they apply. Comments and Questions welcome.


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                    [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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                    • #11
                      It’s time for the conclusion to our Prologue for The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora. Our heroes…well…protagonists make their way to Prague. But there are many encounters between here and there…

                      Session IV

                      Diego’s Diary

                      Dusty Cellar Floor
                      Hrad Cyril, Bohemia

                      29 April 1483

                      I begrudged no one when Rosabella cast off our shelter this evening. It was not pleasant being awake so soon after dusk, but we had little choice and no time for amenity. Jocelin led the way while we carried Eleanor’s lifeless form. As we skulked through the woods, several of us noticed something flying toward us from above. Rosabella disappeared behind a tree, we all obscured ourselves as best we could, and Jocelin hid Eleanor before sinking into the earth with a smirk. I counted us lucky when twelve Gargoyles flew over as if in marching formation. They were heading back toward Hrad Černá Hora with a sense of urgency. Very briefly, I felt a pang of guilt for letting them march to their fate. But almost as quickly, I remembered they would kill us on sight even for trying to warn them. Thus my conscience was clear and we moved on, this time along the path. The twenty Gargoyles we originally heard about were now behind us so we held less fear of the skies; at least those ahead.

                      After only a few hours had passed, perhaps when I would normally awaken, we spotted a cart drawn by two horses and accompanied by two horsemen. I could smell the rot of bodies, so we were understandably cautious. Rosabella remained clothed this time and dashed into the woods. When she returned, she drew a crest which she had seen from the trees. I was unaware of the imagery, though it seemed vaguely familiar from a story Theophano once told me. Krzysztof recognized the seal of the Lamia immediately and determined there was likely a Cappadocian in the cart they protected. He also noted that they may possess the ability to raise our Brujah from her slumber. We decided to chance it.

                      Though not one to be social as a rule, our Tzimisce led the interaction as he spoke the same Polish tongue as the Lamia. I worked out enough to know they were talking about raising Eleanor and something about the fee. Krzysztof agreed to the deal and the woman in hooded chain mail laid her bare hand over Eleanor’s heart. Šárka, normally not one to involve herself physically, stood by as if coiled and ready to strike at a moment’s notice. I stood near so I could try to calm Eleanor should she become “excitable.” Such was not to be, however as when the Lamia removed her hand, our pack mate simply opened her eyes as from daily rest. Krzysztof informed Eleanor that she must carry out a service for the warrior women before us. The bewildered Brujah looked to the Lamia, who spoke in Polish again but then switched to Latin. Mogra, as we learned her named to be, gave the Brujah a slip of parchment. I again heard the name Lilith but I was only slightly aware of the Latin words. Eleanor quickly read off the words but even I knew they were incorrect. Mogra gave her more instructions before she turned to leave. Krzysztof warned them of the Tremere to the southeast as well as the Giovanni to the south. They seemed appreciative, even in their muted demeanor.

                      I turned back to see Šárka offering meekly to allow Eleanor to feed. I made no mention of it, but I cannot say such a sight would be unpleasant to behold. With the Lamia on their way, we continued until we came to a silent village where we intended to feed. The others did well enough, though I am no thief and I was beginning to feel the dizzying distraction of hunger. The first cottage I tried to enter had a weak door frame, however they also employed a second latch. Thinking I had overcome the lock, I casually pushed on the door. The splintering of the rotten wood awakened the inhabitants and embarrassingly, I had to run into the darkness so as not to be captured. As I circled back to the other side of the village, Jocelin and Rosabella greeted me with looks of exasperation. I am not the wilderness hunter nor the urban thief. These things are not how I survived the nights of this War of Princes. The Gangrel wasted no more time on me to go and gather horses, while our Lunatic continued to stare at me...actually in much the same manner Krzysztof often stares at her. I suppose this is fair. Krzysztof and I hunted on the quiet edge of the village while we waited. This worked out much more to my advantage. Several families will be very tired at sunrise, but I was able to drink my fill without endangering my sleeping vessels.

                      Jocelin summoned more horses than we would need. Leaving the steeds loose to help cover our escape, we rode the horses hard to make an abandoned castle before dawn. We were told this castle was a stop over for travelers but it seemed strange that this layout spot would be empty. Rosabella disappeared to investigate and Jocelin sent his dog for additional scouting. I did think, while not in the heat of battle, to inquire with the Gangrel as to the name given to his hound. While I am no more thrilled with the beast than I was, I can no longer refer to it as a demon. In fact, the wound in my chest forbids it. He graciously introduced me, from several steps away to Tara when the hound again returned. Rosabella returned shortly thereafter with news of a room with belongings, but no owner. Tara informed his master that there was someone around but he could not determine where. Just then, a skeleton with eyes appeared near a broken staircase and warned us to leave the castle. Not having a Necromancer available, I worried somewhat until someone pointed out that the skeleton used modern Czech. The castle and anything belonging to it were far older than the terms or style of language used in this warning. Eleanor realized the skeleton was actually a proper use of the Chimerstry power.

                      I led the way forward at that point, and called out to whoever that we had no time to find alternate shelter for the day, please let us be as we meant them no harm. An obvious Nosferatu appeared and apologized for the mistake. He introduced himself as Cyril and claimed he was not aware we were Cainites. Rosabella became elated at having found someone else with her powers of stealth. She babbled happily with the Nosferatu about Obfuscate and all the wonders it would allow. At one point, Cyril turned back to us and added that there was also a monastery further up the path that often shelters travelers. Once we were in agreement that we wished only to avoid the deadly rays of the sun, and Cyril would not try to attack us in our sleep, Eleanor made a proposition. I could not hear all the details but the Brujah would share the sleeping quarters with this Cyril at first light. Though I acknowledged nothing, I could sense a change in Šárka. Perhaps it was merely the prolonged effects of a wound which nearly ripped me in twain, but I thought I saw a flicker of green reflected in the Setite’s eyes. We had civil discussion before working out spaces to sleep. Cyril gave Eleanor instruction before dawn. Now we are settling in.


                      Traveler’s Room
                      Convent of St. Agnes, Bohemia

                      30 April 1483

                      We awoke unmolested and Cyril seemed quite pleased overall, though Eleanor looked like the cat who stole the fish. We took our leave of the generous Nosferatu once they roused me. Our goal was to reach the Convent of St. Agnes, which Cyril informed us of last evening.

                      Rosabella and I were rear guard as we moved at an average pace. Cyril led us to believe this was not a hard ride so we saved the horses. Suddenly the Malkavian stopped her mount, mid-stride. The seemingly pointless delay irritated Krzysztof instantly, but I circled back and asked what was wrong. She looked at me after a moment and said she was told to stop fighting within the city. The confusion on her face and emphasis on being told suggested an outside entity, though the Tzimisce immediately deduced our Lunatic was now hearing voices. As she seemed well enough, I convinced Rosabella to continue riding. Once we caught up with the others, we found a discussion of women’s pockets...which I must admit I do not believe I had ever seen before meeting Šárka.

                      Once the convent came into the view, Šárka suggested that even though I was unwashed and wounded, I should speak with the nuns. While I had no problems with this idea, I did have to wonder why I would be best for this. When I asked as much, she smiled slightly and said that I was charming and handsome; even though they were nuns, they were also still women. I thanked the Setite for the compliment. Had I a heartbeat, I would have blushed. Arriving well before dawn, I pulled my tattered clothing together as best I could to cover my wound and knocked on the massive oak door. We had but a short time to wait before three nuns greeted us. I explained to them that we were wary travelers and learned this could be a place we might find shelter. Without any further explanation, the nuns invited us in and set about tending our horses. The apparent Mother Superior bid us follow her. I stole a glance at Šárka and she nodded knowingly. We followed the nun to the four extra rooms they had available. Krzysztof and Gerwazy took the nearest one, while Šárka and Eleanor quietly entered the next. Jocelin and his animals picked the third door, which meant Rosabella and I were left with the last. I was not concerned about sharing a room with the Malkavian as we had spent the day together under sticks and leaves before this. Though I was unsure how the nuns may view such a combination. However as I entered the room, Rosabella immediately curled up in the corner on the floor as if that was her place. I do not think I like her sire. The more I see of her learned reactions, the more I believe this cult she belonged to was actually a twisted band of slavers, or worse. I took the bed as it seemed to be of no use to her. Now I believe I will make good use of it.


                      Hora Brána
                      Prague, Bohemia

                      1 May 1483

                      This has not been one of my better nights.

                      I awoke impossibly early from a very comfortable if modest bed when Eleanor slapped me to get my full attention. She was angry, so much so I could tell she was only just withholding her seething rage as I stumbled to my feet. Her clipped words were each a dagger unto themselves as her tongue stabbed them through her lips. The Malkavian priest of the convent was apparently using his position and powers to break the spirits of the nuns, and likely worse. While I was, and am still, completely against such actions, my Brujah and Setite pack mates were more violently against such. Even Rosabella was visibly livid. She raved about how you do not treat your ghouls this way. Krzysztof, unsurprisingly was unmoved and felt that wasting time with this would be just that. Additionally, he felt it foolish to engage in aggression within a convent while Inquisitors were known to be in the area. Jocelin sat silently petting Tara.

                      When the ladies moved to confront the priest, we found him along with eight nuns approaching in the hallway. Introducing himself as Father Gregory, he welcomed us. I could not help notice the nuns all looked … broken. Haunting emptiness filled their hollow eyes and they moved always with an eye toward the movements of their master. I remembered beaten animals reacted in a similar way. Father Gregory invited us to sup from his willing servants and be welcome. Wanting to cause as little conflict as possible, I tried to keep the conversation going along so we could leave and ride on to Prague. Then Eleanor asked rather pointedly how the priest treated his herd. His response was rather damning. Through brief discussion, we learned the Malkavian was apparently a pagan priest and his actions toward the nuns were some form of misplaced aggression against the Inquisition. His comment was that his treatment befitted how they treated his people. It sounded fairly cowardly to me, tormenting innocent nuns instead of fighting the Inquisition, if even indirectly. Šárka pointed out, while Eleanor silently grappled with her Beast, that these women were not Inquisitors. His response was inexcusable and I shall not sully the page by scribing it here.

                      However, his lack of remorse and blatant disregard for individual freedoms too strongly fanned the flames of rage within our Brujah. Her fury unleashed, she lunged for the offending Malkavian. Sensing this eventuality, I had moved closer to Eleanor and when the Beast took hold, I leapt in front and tried to subdue her murderous instincts. I feared for her Humanitias as I still mourned for my own. Wishing to save the Brujah from a similar torment, I hoped to end this struggle before it took root. Unfortunately, the nuns were apparently also bound to Father Gregory under the Blood Oath. The mortals moved to attack us with untrained fists. Šárka lashed one with her tongue before she could attack Eleanor. Rosabella had very skillfully moved unnoticed and was almost behind Father Gregory. Before she could launch her sneak attack the priest Obfuscated and like Rosabella, was beyond my ability to locate. Our thief became violently upset with the loss of her target and launched into a tirade. The remaining nuns chose targets, three ineffectually flailed on Jocelin with the remaining four attacking Eleanor. Neither were injured. However the Beast within a Brujah is mighty and when she turned back toward me, her eyes did not reflect the thought and compassion of the human Eleanor once was. With raw hatred and savage power, my pack mate broke free of my feeble grasp and hurled me across the hallway into the ancient stone walls. I slid to the floor with the dust and crushed rock as Rosabella surrendered to the Blood Rage as well.

                      Just as I tried to stand, a gust of frigid wind filled the corridor, the bitter cold biting at the nun’s flesh. When I regained my footing, I realized Krzysztof controlled the wind and intended it to drive the mortals away. Šárka used the distraction and leveled her golden-eyed stare at Eleanor. Our Brujah froze, though rage remained evident upon her features. I tried then to frighten the nuns away, however I suspect it was less frightening coming from the one who was just tossed like Rosabella’s rag doll. Šárka wisely used the chaos in an attempt to led Eleanor out of the wind and thus away from the rather stubborn nuns. Jocelin narrowed his eyes and as he stepped forward, Krzysztof grunted at Gerwazy. Between the Gangrel and the Szlachta, the nuns fled. Rosabella had run down the corridor in search of her prey. She came back shortly, still appearing annoyed but more herself. Šárka released Eleanor and immediately plied her with soothing words. With the nuns and Father Gregory gone, the only target Eleanor could attack would have been me. I was prepared for this, in as much as one can be prepared for a Brujah to unchain her Beast upon oneself. As luck, and I like to believe loyalty, would have it, the Beast fell back below the surface and allowed Eleanor to take control. She had no words for me, only a menacing glare before she and Šárka walked back down the corridor to be chastised by Krzysztof. Rosabella, on the other hand, had no such qualms with expressing her displeasure and berated me all the way back to the horses. While I was frustrated with them both, I understood their irritation. And I accepted this burden as I felt I had spared them a tragic experience. Finally back with the horses, this disastrous intervention was over. We gladly made for Prague.

                      There were few travelers out and we made good time on the road. As we came over the final hill, I could see Prague in the distance. However there was a group of riders, many armored, roughly half way between ourselves and the city gates. Of the eight riders, I noticed three priest’s robes, two riders in leather armor, and three more in proper chain mail. As I considered these men, I was struck by a sensation I immediately identified as True Faith from previous rumors. Their leader turned and considered us for a moment also. As I watched his gaze fall on Krzysztof and Gerwazy, we heard his cry of, “DEMONS!” They turned their steeds and charged.

                      We knew these were the Inquisitors of which we had been warned. Wishing to lead with a plan instead of repeating our sins at the convent, we hesitated for mere moments. Krzysztof opened a volcano on the road ahead of the charging holy warriors as a distraction so we could evade into the night. Rosabella and I led our horses off the road and we bolted through the darkened woods. The others followed behind as we pushed our mounts to out run the Inquisition. The others maintained a steady advantage, but either my horse was a proper Catholic or my luck had run out as my lead dwindled by the step. The warriors not thrown from their horses surged forward and I have no doubt planned to overtake me. Given I still had not had time to heal my wounds from Czibor’s demon, I knew I had a grim, if short, future to look forward to. Then to my amazement, Rosabella reared her steed from a blind row of trees and galloped alongside in what was the most foolish, nay insane rescue I could imagine. She grabbed me with a strength I did not realize she possessed and set me on her horse. The three crusaders ignored my now empty horse and continued on toward us. Embarrassingly I must weigh far more in death than I did in life. As soon as I was firmly planted behind my Malkavian savior, our mount lost the fire within. I drew my sword defiantly. If tonight I was to suffer Final Death, I would do so in glorious battle and hopefully allow my pack enough time to get away. The first blade missed me completely while the second finished the destruction of my tunic. I tried to determine where the third assault landed when I heard a yelp from ahead of me. I glanced back at Rosabella. The crusader must have landed a blow with his damnable holy weapon, as the Malkavian’s side was splayed open and singed. This same crusader advanced upon us again. This time I realized he was there and sliced off his arm just as his horse burst into flames. The sudden fire sparked something back to life in our own steed and we thundered back into our pack formation. The priest pulled up on his horse and simply watched as we pushed our mounts hard into the city.

                      An unknown Cainite obviously in the grip of the Red Fear shrieked past us as we reached the Charles bridge. We could see and hear signs of fighting deep into the city, though most of the vampires we found immediately seemed to be afflicted with a strange madness. We have watered the horses below and entered this gate tower to gain a vantage of the city. We will need to find our sires soon. But the race to Prague was won.


                      Eleanor’s Log

                      Patricia,

                      It is quite possible I will see you in person and have no need to send this missive, however, I cannot be certain, as at this point nothing truly seems certain. I woke from the sleep of Torpor only hours ago. We lost Çerná Hora when a Kindred much more powerful than any of our number woke from the long sleep, though I cannot say what the catalyst was that caused the cessation of his or her slumber. I was indisposed at that moment. I must say it is only thanks to the burgeoning loyalty of my pack that I am able to write to you now.

                      The battle came as expected, but we did not anticipate the flintlock rifles that cut through our reinforcements, nor the power of the Sorcerers to decimate the war machines created by the Fiends. As suspected, the Left-Handed led our attackers. He set a demon upon us but we destroyed it. However Diego and I did not come out of the fight unscathed. When the gargoyles attacked I had little chance of avoiding their powerful blows. Still even though I was a hindrance, when my pack felt it necessary to flee they took my inert form with them. I will not forget that loyalty.

                      When I woke S was hovering over me. Her face was a welcome sight though I was confused by my surroundings. K explained in a very succinct manner what occurred at the castle and told me the stranger in our midst was the reason I once more walked the earth of my own free will. He made a deal with a Lamia – M. – that required I perform a ritual to honor Lilith in return for my mobility. I considered this for a moment, but truly – Adam’s first wife, his equal in all things – why would I not perform the ritual? I immediately said the words M gave me but based upon the expression on her face I did not say something correctly. She told me to attempt the ritual once more after I recovered from my wounds.

                      We warned M of the Giovanni that traveled through the area and she thanked us for the knowledge before she and her companions continued on their way. J then led us to an abandoned castle which often housed weary travelers. When we arrived the hour grew late and we were in need of shelter. No one was visible in the castle but before we could make our way to the darkness of the cellar a skeleton appeared and warned us away. The skeleton was an illusion, something created from the Rom disciple Chemistry. I was intrigued by the possibilities almost immediately. D and K called out to our hidden Rom that we meant no ill-will and would not bother him as long as we received the same courtesy. Almost immediately our Magician appeared and he was not a Rom after all but a rather pleasant Nosferatu. R wished to stay and talk about his illusionary powers but as none of us had anything truly unique to teach him he declined. Still, as I said, I could see great potential in the power, thus I offered the one thing I doubt many of our Nosferatu brethren receive from others – company without rancor or disgust. Before I slept C shared his vitae with me and shared the basic secrets of Chemistry. I shall remember him fondly.

                      Tonight we continued our journey to Prague with the intention of stopping at a convent that C said was known for offering sanctuary to weary travelers with few questions about themselves. Along the way R began hearing voices – one voice actually – that told her to stop fighting in the city. As we were currently not fighting nor in a city we ignored the order and continued on our way.

                      At the convent D spoke to the nuns as he has a most pleasing appearance and demeanor. Even nuns can be charmed after all. We were welcomed inside and offered the four spare rooms available. K and his servant took one while J and his animals took another. D and R took the other room. S and I took the last room. She offered to share her vitae with me but as I was not attempting to gain anything from her nor have I determined what my feelings for her are I declined. I am still considering this attraction she has for me and determining exactly what I wish to do about it. I will complete this missive later – for now I must rest.


                      I lost control of my temper and my beast almost immediately upon waking this evening. I should feel guilty about this but I cannot. R came to us soon after I woke in a state of agitation. She’d stumbled onto another of her clan posing as a priest. He has horribly used the nuns in the convent leaving them with little will of their own. I abhor such abuses no woman should be used in such a manner. Nor will such actions do a thing to reform the Church into something worthy of our Creator. S was nearly as angry about the priest’s actions as I. We fetched the others – I may have been overly abrupt with D but he wakes so slowly. I was impatient and desired nothing more than to make this false priest answer for his actions.

                      The Priest came to us with his broken nuns in attendance. He introduced himself as Gregory and offered for us to feed as we chose. He readily admitted to his deceit and even seemed proud of it. He was not trying to reform the church, but rather was seeking revenge on the inquisition by harming the nuns. I lost control. I freely admit it, but I wished for nothing more than his destruction. And D got in my way, delaying me just long enough to allow Gregory to disappear. When I regained control the nuns were gone and so was one of our horses. J recalled the horse but sadly it returned with an empty saddle. I promise you, Patricia, I will bathe in Gregory’s blood before my nights are at an end. He treated those women worse than cattle – I will not let such actions go unanswered.

                      K was rather annoyed by my actions but I care not. I would confront Gregory again without hesitation. D explained before we began our journey again that he felt I would lose a part of myself if I ‘d succeeded in my plan to destroy Gregory. Something tells me I will lose a modicum of D’s respect if he truly understood that I would feel no remorse over the loss of one such as Gregory. Men – be they mortal or Kindred – like that do not deserve life of any nature.

                      We continued our journey but before we arrived in Prague we came upon the band of Inquisition we were warned about. K called upon a volcano to rise in front of them when they turned to attack us. The number we were against dwindled under the magma flow but the ones left were accomplished riders. We made for an alternate gate into the city, but D’s mount lagged behind to the point that R worried for his safety and turned back to retrieve him. She was injured in the process but her injuries spurred D on and he removed the offending inquisition knight’s sword arm just as K set the knight’s horse aflame. We made it to the gate and now after dodging the fires within the city and the maddened kindred we will finish a rest in the gate tower before I make my way into the city to find you. I hope I shall find you safe and successful in your tasks.

                      Verum in honore et aequalitate,

                      Eleanor


                      Jocelin’s Journal

                      Le 28ème du mois de avril, 54

                      We have continued our flight to Prague. The creature from Cerna Hora does not seem to have followed us, however, our caution did serve us well, as the remaining Gargoyles reported flew over our path, shortly into the night. I hid La Pucelle in the brush, before sinking down into the earth myself, while La jeune Mendiante vanished, Le Savant and L'Espagnol found their own cover, and La Serpent called up a fog before turning into her namesake and curling up into a hollowed log. It proved sufficient to confound the passing Gargoyles and so we continued on our way.

                      After a time, we noticed sounds of a cart approaching along the road. La jeune Mendiante disappear to scout it out before it was upon us and was shortly back with a description of the crest they bore. She did not recognize the Medusa's head symbol, but Le Savant did. It was the crest of the Lamias, those protectors of the Cappadocians. He also recalled that their clan possessed a ritual that might restore La Pucelle to us. We decided to treat with them and so we moved to meet them on the road.

                      Their leader was named Mogra. She did not speak Czech but thankfully she and Le Savant did share a language. I believe it was Polish. I attempted to follow along as best I could, though I only managed to get the barest gist. There were pleasantries shared, then negotiations over the price of the ritual. Le Savant agreed to her price and so La Pucelle was awakened. Apparently the agreed upon price was for La Pucelle to perform a ritual herself, an offering to Lilith. She was quite willing, once she came to enough to figure out where she was and why. She attempted to perform it immediately, but failed, most likely thanks to her still-serious wounds. The Lamia was not put out by this, and suggested that later would be perfectly acceptable.

                      There were no more incidents before we reached the town. All of us fed to repletion, as I summoned the nearby horses to carry us onwards. We pushed the unfortunate beasts hard, but they proved up to the ride, and we made it an abandoned castle I knew from my travels. It was both more and less inhabited than I recalled - the standard collection of travellers that I might have expected was nowhere to be seen, though both Terra and La jeune Mendiante detected signs of supernatural inhabitance. This detection was confirmed when a moving skeleton appeared to warn us away.

                      It turns out a Nosferatu named Cyril had taken the castle as his own, as we found when Le Savant made a general announcement that "we wouldn't bother them so long as they didn't bother us". He was quite genial once he realized we were fellow Cainites. La Pucelle was quite intrigued by his use of the illusory skeleton and spent the night in the Nosferatu's company in exchange for being taught the ways of illusions. Hopefully they will serve her well.


                      Le 29ème du mois de avril, 54

                      We continued to Prague upon our awakening. Cyril told us of a convent midway between the castle and our destination, one that asked few questions of travellers. He'd heard that other vampires had used it as a safe waystation on journeys such as ours. Though it was a casual ride away, we again pushed our horses so as to have time to find shelter should the convent prove unsafe. The ride was uneventful, save for an odd episode La jeune Mendiante had. Apparently she recieved a message from someone unknown to her, that we were to 'stop fighting in the city'. Since we weren't currently, we thought little of it.

                      The convent was all that was promised - the nuns showed us to chambers with no questions. La Serpent and La Pucelle accepted one chamber, Le Savant and Gerwazy another. L'Espagnol looked to join me in mine, though after a glance at Terra, he instead joined La jeune Mendiante, and Terra and I had a chamber to ourselves.


                      Le 30ème du mois de avril, 54

                      It was lucky the last entry was so short - my waking rituals were interrupted last night by a rather distraught jeune Mendiante. She had found another Cainite, there in the convent, and caught him at abusing the nuns. La jeune Mendiante was rousing the troops, so I set aside my writings and joined the others. I found La Pucelle and La Serpent both quite angered and La jeune Mediante was more passionate than I'd seen her, storming around, muttering something about inefficiency. Le Savant seemed merely pleased at this display of emotion.

                      While we were discussing plans, the Malkavian approached and introduced himself as Gregory. Our conversation further incited La Pucelle, and she succumbed to her Beast. Excited to finally have a fight, after fleeing for so long, I popped my claws and moved into position. The cowardly Malkavian vanished, as he sent his flock of nuns at us. L'Espagnol grabbed La Pucelle, while La jeune Mendiante cursed loudly in Italian, frustrated at losing her prey. The nuns served their purpose in slowing us down, but were quite ineffectual otherwise.

                      L'Espagnol's control over La Pucelle was short lived. She tossed him into the wall, but otherwise managed to hold herself from hurting us or the nuns. La Serpent took over where he left off, affixing La Pucelle with her gaze. I attempted to shame the coward into revealing himself, though it was a laughable attempt. La jeune Mendiante finally gave in to her own Beast, though she mastered herself enough to remove herself from the fight.

                      Le Savant had called up a fiercely cold wind and the rest of us frightened away the nuns while La Serpent held La Pucelle. When the nuns had all gone, their backbone mostly having disappeared with their master, La Pucelle managed to get a hold of herself, and La jeune Mendiante returned to her senses and the room. We left together, to find that he had made off with one of our horses. I called it back to us and it returned riderless. I offered to track him, but the others were inclined to continue on to Prague, which was probably wise considering the wounds we were still suffering, though not nearly as satisfying as the chase would have been.

                      When we finally got within sight of Prague, we encountered one last impediment. The Inquisitors we had been warned of finally showed up, blocking our path. As much as I would have relished a fight with them, we were in no state to fight, and so Le Savant called up another volcano between us and them. A few of the Inquisitors lost control of their horses, but enough remained to provide a serious threat. We raced for a different gate, putting plenty of distance between us, save for L'Espagnol, who lagged behind. La jeune Mendiante circled back to retrieve him, pulling him bodily onto her own horse and riding again for safety. It was costly for her, as she took a blow from one of the blessed swords in the process, but between L'Espagnol's sword and Le Savant's fire they broke away and we left the Inquisitors behind.

                      As we reached the bridge, La jeune Mendiante received another message concerning fighting in the city. As we watched, parts of Prague went up in flames, and a Rotschreking vampire charged past us into the night. It certainly was an interesting welcome to the city...


                      Šárka’s Transmissions

                      E

                      Busy night. Right after breaking camp and moving North, several of us heard Gargoyles. Twelve of them, as it turns out. We managed to hide ourselves, and the torpid Eleanor. Jocelin took care of her. He Earth Melded, Rosabella Obfuscated, and I turned into a snake and hid in a hollow log. The other’s made do. Fortunately, the Gargoyles passed over us without noticing us. I believe they were headed for Černá Hora.

                      A short time after that we found it safe enough to travel along the road keeping near tree cover. On the road we came across some Lamia guarding a wagon, which contained bodies from the smell of it, no doubt hiding a Cappadocian or two. Krzysztof spoke to the lead Lamia, Mogra, in Polish…she was apparently a Balt, and her first greeting was unintelligible to us. I’d never met a Balt before. Apparently they were traveling to Thessalonica. Krzysztof made a deal to have them wake Eleanor…she had to do some sort of prayer to Lilith. After being awakened she tried to immediately and screwed it up. But Mogra was apparently patient, and told her to later. Krzysztof warned them about Vendramino Giovanni in Brno. They warned us about Brother Karl. Keep hearing about him, hope we don’t meet him.

                      Eleanor was confused why were not in the castle. She took it as well as a Brujah could. The feeling I had when her eyes opened…I know there is something wrong with me, but I no longer care. When I lie with Eleanor, it will not be duty to Clan or God, but for myself.

                      I’m sorry, Elizabetha, but it is how I feel. You cannot convince me lust played no part in my selection. I will bring her to Set’s cause, but that will not be why I lie with her.

                      We stopped at a small village of little import. We fed, with Diego causing some ruckus. He is handsome, but he is not stealthy. When we finished, Jocelin summoned us seven horses, and we made off for a ruined castle travelers sometimes visit.

                      We found no travelers, just a Nosferatu with Chimerstry. The Nosferatu tried to frighten us off with illusionary Skeletons. It was strange. Then he realized we were Cainites. Seeing himself outnumbered, he was as gracious a host as he could be. Eleanor apparently wanted to learn Chimerstry enough to sleep with him. I was jealous, but contained my beast.

                      All of us but Eleanor are in the basement now. It is nice and dark. I hope I will have another entry.


                      Elizabetha

                      The trip has gone remarkably smoothly compared to yesterday. Nothing worthy of note and we reached our next stop, a convent, without a problem. Rosabella did have an odd freakout at one point but such is to be expected of Malkavians from time to time.

                      The convent is nice and quiet. Only seen two nuns, the ones that met us. I assume more are here. With four rooms, I took one with Eleanor. I asked for it without thinking.

                      Inside I tried to casually invite her to share vitae. Casually if it were a whim, not as if I had daydreamed about it on the road. She declined, kindly, but said nothing more. We slept.

                      She would never have resisted me if I had my oils and had not been wearing the same clothes for three days.


                      Elizabetha

                      Things have gone badly. It turns out the convent was controlled by a Malkavian, who broke most of the nuns with mental disciplines and torture, including sexual torture. Rosabella had risen early and gone exploring, and found him with the nuns. I was taking my time dressing as Eleanor was watching me, so I was not out before Rosabella returned. She was upset…apparently more at poor treatment of thralls than the horrors taking place on general principal. Eleanor and I, however, were enraged. I fetched Krzysztof, she Diego. Jocelin was around.

                      Krzysztof was proud of Rosabella for being angry; it was odd.

                      Anyway, we convened and Eleanor and I decided he needed to be dealt with. I corrupt nuns for ultimately their own good, but it is to teach them to cast aside their shame and embrace their roles and sexual brides who can bring enlightment though their divine forms. This was purely to harm their psyche. He came with eight nuns and greeted us warmly as fellow Cainite visitors. He apparently knew Vicissitude as Krzysztof complimented him on his use of it. Eleanor and I confronted him and he noted they provided aid to the Inquisitors so he was “redeeming” them. Things got heated, and despite Krzysztof’s attempts to defuse the situation Eleanor frenzied and launched herself at him. Jocelin also moved in, and the Lunatic commanded the nuns to defend him. I paralyzed one with my tongue, saving my gaze for Eleanor’s inevitable turning on the nuns, and just as Eleanor was about to attack him Diego grabbed her. The Malkavian, Gregory, seized upon this moment to Vanish. Krzysztof wore down the nuns with cold wind and Gerwazy and Jocelin frightened them into running. Apparently Rosabella had vanished and was moving to attack him from a hidden position when he vanished, which caused her to frenzy in sheer frustration. I will be truthful, the Beast welled up in me more then once especially when I saw their eyes. This was not freedom, this was pulling their chains tighter. Eleanor broke free and threw Diego aside like a sack of flour, but I caught her with the Eyes of the Serpent. It was particularly difficult with her in frenzy. When the nuns had fled I released her and she regained herself. Apparently out of pure will Rosabella had managed to force herself away long enough to calm. We had killed no innocents, but Gregory had escaped.

                      We discovered he stole one of our horses, but Jocelin summoned it back. Sadly Gregory was wise enough to dismount before then. Jocelin offered to track him, but we wanted to reach Prague by nightfall, so we left as quickly as we could get our meager equipment together.

                      I hope to hand this to you in Prague. Hopefully this will be the last report I need to write.


                      Ahoj Ahoj Ahoj

                      Skupina Charlie Echo Romeo November Alpha Hotel Oscar Romeo Alpha

                      Text Text Text Text

                      Začít

                      Do you remember our last trip to the Charles Bridge? We had left that awful convent and only after seeing Prague over the hill did we realize Brother Karl was between us and the city. Rosabella had told us something big was happening but I am not sure if any of us grasped what. Ąžuolas has never been exactly subtle has he?

                      I remember when we saw Karl and his group, Krzysztof used that volcano power from Koldunic Sorcery to spook their horses, and of the eight I think it was three lost their mounts. That was a run.

                      Diego I am not sure how you staved off frenzy as frustrated as you no doubt were. We should have checked your horse for lameness, or a thrown shoe, or something. I’ve seen your horsemanship enough to know the blame was not yours Karl and his agents caught up fast I am afraid…fortunately Rosabella put you on her faster horse, at quite a cost if I recall correctly…you were laid up as long as Diego or Eleanor.

                      Ah my sweet, sweet Eleanor, short as our fuses were by then I suppose it is best we did not return in time to see Krzysztof light up that Knights horse with flame. You can still do that right Krzys? Between Diego’s thrust and your fire that Knight was quite crispy, wasn’t he? And making Karl’s horse panic too? A triumph.

                      Oh how beautiful you are in the moonlight, Eleanor. It will be so good to see you again. It has been too long. Indeed, to see us all. We are still meeting on the Charles Bridge that we crossed together in 1483 into Prague, correct? Has it really been 529 years to the day we last crossed that bridge? Where does the time go?

                      I look forward to seeing all of your again. Ahoj.

                      Konec Konec Konec
                      Konec Konec Konec


                      End Session IV

                      We had our first two Frenzies tonight. Dealing with Gregory, Eleanor and Šárka had to make several checks. Eleanor (being Brujah and unable to spend Willpower) Frenzied on her second (passed the first when she got news, Frenzied at Gregory’s self-righteous bullshit). Šárka made three checks (news, bullshit, escape), but had to spend Willpower on the second. Rosabella had to make an easier Frenzy check when Gregory escaped, but managed to nearly botch and Frenzy anyway. She willpower dumped to run away. Obviously Eleanor and Šárka had to make more rolls due to their background. If Šárka's reaction seemed strange, remember she truly believes she helps nuns when she corrupts them (hence Sutekh not Typhon Path). Gregory's was not a path to enlightenment through degradation, just degradation.

                      I’ll mention Gregory was never stated to be pagan, though I can see where Diego got the implication. In fact, he was trying to “defend” vampire kind.

                      The Covenant was designed to be a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, at least for those on Humanity. If they walk away and leave Gregory that is a Humanity check. If they kill Gregory, that calls for a Humanity check. Leaving the Nuns would call for a slightly harder Humanity roll for Eleanor, killing Gregory a slightly easier Humanity roll for her (+1/-1 diff). As it turned out, Gregory was able to make his roll for Vanish (not an easy roll for him) and managed to roll high on initiative. He was very lucky…I did not expect him to live. I will note Krzysztof was annoyed at the PCs for attacking (he was showing hospitality, this was needlessly making an enemy and wasting time) but was unable to intervene to stop them due to being on the Path of Bones…preventing Gregory’s death would have been a check. Instead there was heavy sighing after some basic attempt to talk them down. (Totally IC of course)

                      OK, how that I have covered the Frenzy and Morality checks, the encounter with the Lamia lead to the requirement someone (Eleanor accepted the charge, since it was over her) would invoke a paean to Lilith at a later time. She awoke Eleanor using the Mortuus Path. They were of course, put partially in case someone was put in Torpor. Also, if the PCs were especially interested in targeting an Elder for Diablorie there was obviously a very important Cappadocian in the wagon. Wisely the PCs decided fighting four Lamia and at least one Cappadocian was a bad idea. The Encounter with Cyril was to be my last hurrah at enjoying the fact the PCs had nearly no Auspex (Just Diego with 1). Won’t last…in modern Rosabella and Krzysztof have 6 Auspex, Šárka and Diego have 4 at start. Rosabella sneaking ahead, however, took advantage of the fact that Cyril had no Auspex himself.

                      The messages Rosabella got were on the Cobweb, from Ąžuolas. For what happened in Prague, see the Anarch revolt section of the history above.

                      Given being low on Willpower and less good on Blood (and Eleanor and Diego wounded), it was perhaps wise the PCs evaded Karl. I called for contested Strength or Charisma + Ride rolls, with pulling ahead 5 being required to escape. Diego, for his part, was the best horseman of the group…and he rolled poorest by a huge margin. Consistently. This after he rolled badly to sneak into a village…granted that was on a smaller pool. Still, he managed to take his dice turning against him very well. Ultimately he was rescued by Rosabella who was rolling a smaller die pool then he was with better results. Krzysztof’s intervention helped. Humorously, Gerwazy rolled way better then Krzysztof to escape…the player role-played calling his ghoul back to help him.

                      A few things were noted for folks downtime at the end…

                      -Eleanor felt an odd compulsion to embrace three dark haired, dark eyed women over the 500 years. Details left to players. These women invariably became Bahari, and always occasionally called her “little hen” the same thing Mogra did. While these were always impulsive she never had any backlash from the Cainites even in stricter places.

                      -Rosabella (and her Sire) found little luck plying their thieving skills against Ventrue, who seemed to know where she was (at least indirectly) and always seemed prepared for her. Mind reading suggests they just knew, and did not even necessarily know why.

                      -Krzysztof, having diablerie veins, had some of his blood stolen by Tremere near the end of the war, in theory so he could be hunted later (did not happen, he ran off with the Sabbat). He does not know where that blood is now. Also, Czibor still seems to have some hold over him, due to his consuming Terézia’s soul that was marked.

                      -Gregory escaped, planning vengeance. Eleanor (among other things) took the Vengeance flaw focusing on Gregory. This was elective, she got points as per unlike the above.

                      Next week we will have the updated thumbnails for people, reflecting their 2012 selves. Also some information on what Disciplines and Influences they favor to give you a better idea what they are up to. Then the next week modern session 1, then the next week 3 of the 6 500 year downtimes. I hope you enjoyed the Prologue of The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora. We did and look forward to the modern sandbox Elders game this Dark Ages Neonate game shall now bloom into.


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                      • #12
                        It’s time for your regular between sessions post. This time we will have an updated version of the thumbnails we had post #1, and then some very brief information on what they have been up to, then some information on their general Discipline preferences and Influence preference, followed by the stats of a couple as of the end of Session 5.

                        Mary Eleanor Grey
                        Childe of Patricia of Bollingbroke (Tyler)
                        Clan: Brujah
                        Bloodline: -
                        Sect: Camarilla
                        Title: -
                        Generation: 7th
                        Morality: Humanity
                        Nationality: English
                        Concept: The Power Behind the Throne
                        Nature/Demeanor: Director/Visionary

                        Šárka Vlasáková
                        Childe of Elizabetha
                        Clan: Followers of Set
                        Bloodline: -
                        Sect: Anarch
                        Title: -
                        Generation: 7th
                        Morality: Humanity
                        Nationality: Czech
                        Concept: Femme Fatale
                        Nature/Demeanor: Bon Vivant/Gallant

                        Jocelin de La Forêt
                        Childe of Rhun of Tintagel
                        Clan: Gangrel
                        Bloodline: Country Gangrel Antitribu
                        Sect: Sabbat, Black Hand
                        Title: Remover
                        Generation: 7th
                        Morality: Path of Orion
                        Nationality: French
                        Concept: Perfect Predator
                        Nature/Demeanor: Thrillseeker/Celebrant

                        Rosabella Orfanelli
                        Childe of Giovanni Pallazzini
                        Clan: Malkavian
                        Bloodline: -
                        Sect: Camarilla
                        Title: -
                        Generation: 7th
                        Morality: Humanity
                        Nationality: Italian
                        Concept: Former Ghoul Master Thief
                        Nature/Demeanor: Thrillseeker/Survivor

                        Diego Alarico Esparza Vargas Águilar
                        Childe of Theophano
                        Clan: Toreador
                        Bloodline: -
                        Sect: Camarilla
                        Title: -
                        Generation: 7th
                        Morality: Humanity
                        Nationality: Spanish
                        Concept: Artiste With a Shadowed Past
                        Nature/Demeanor: Survivor/Bon Vivant

                        Krzysztof Józef Władysław Tęczyński
                        Childe of Razkoljna
                        Clan: Tzimisce
                        Bloodline: -
                        Sect: Sabbat
                        Title: Priscus
                        Generation: 6th
                        Morality: Path of the Scorched Heart
                        Nationality: Polish
                        Concept: Dark Occultist
                        Nature/Demeanor: Scientist/Curmudgeon


                        The Conspiracy continued to support the Anarchs through the end of the Revolt in 1493. Afterwards they went their own ways, though they kept in contact and occasionally call upon each other for help. Eleanor and Šárka would begin an affair in the fires of the revolt which continued off and on through the centuries, burning hot and ebbing low only to heat up again. Their last meeting was in the 1880s. Jocelin and Krzysztof worked together quite a bit in Sabbat activities. As for the Conspiracy as a whole, while they remained in touch through the ages, never were more then three at the same place at the same time…until now.

                        Eleanor returned to the Camarilla’s fold with the bulk of her Clan. She spent most of her time in central Europe, between Germany and Italy, except when her homeland of England had a female ruler. Eventually she settled in Copenhagen for a while. She occasionally found herself compelled to embrace dark haired and dark eyed women, who inevitably became Bahari, because of a deal made with one of the members of the fading Lamia bloodline. Eleanor retained her ties to her Humanity.

                        Šárka went to Egypt when the Revolt ended and remained there until around 1600, where she returned to Tábor. She eventually left for Yugoslavia after the events of Prague Spring. When radio was invented, Šárka began a numbers station broadcast which would warn her allies of threats and offer clues she cultivated from her contacts. Šárka eventually found herself drifting back to Humanity as she began to value her own pleasures over her convictions.

                        Jocelin joined the Sabbat, and eventually the Black Hand, after being vouched for by Aajav-Khan himself. He would become a terrifying Remover and eventually move on to the Path of Orion after a meeting with its founder. Jocelin traveled all over Europe, rarely remaining in one place for long. With the vanishing of many Assamite Antitribu in the hand there is room to move up, though he is too apolitical to set his sights on something like Seraphim.

                        Rosabella would move to Budapest, founding her own cult of thieves. She acquired three ghouls she would keep as her own retainers, as she had been for Giovanni. She found the Ventrue Clan seemed to have mysterious insight into her comings and goings, however, so she eventually learned to tread carefully around them. With the rise of Communism she found herself traveling through Western Europe rather then remain in Hungary. Rosabella retained her Humanity.

                        Diego supported the Camarilla at the convention only to feel betrayed by it’s conclusion. He wandered Europe heading east and touching base with the Pack until he wandered to Persia, where he decided to stop running and made his way back across Europe. While he rejoined the Camarilla and even spent time as an Archon, he retained some Anarch sympathies and some of his works of art were unflattering to the sect. Diego held tight to what Humanity remained within him.

                        Krzysztof joined the Sabbat at the conflicts end, aligning himself with his Clan. He helped spread the Ritae across the sect, but returned to Poland where he spent most of his time. World War II saw a great deal of activity from the Tzimisce, as he fought first Nazis invading his homeland then Communists. It was around this time he shifted from the Path of Bones to the Path of the Scorched Heart, not being much of a Necromancer. Recent events have made Kraków less hospitable for him. Krzysztof is competent in Vicissitude, but rarely uses it for long term changes, looking much as he always did.

                        Modern Preferred Disciplines (not a complete list, but those they are especially potent in or seem to prefer)
                        Eleanor: Celerity, Dominate, Potence, Presence
                        Šárka: Akhu, Auspex, Presence, Serpentis
                        Jocelin: Animalism, Celerity, Fortitude, Protean
                        Rosabella*: Auspex, Dominate, Obfuscate, Potence
                        Diego: Auspex, Celerity, Fortitude, Presence
                        Krzysztof: Auspex, Dominate, Koldunic Sorcery, Vicissitude

                        *during the downtime where she had the XP to spend, Rosabella had Dominate in clan and Dementation out of Clan. As she did not buy any Dementation in the prologue and wanted to get the best value, she bought all the Dominate she could see wanting for the whole campaign and plans to buy Dementation in game. It will probably rocket ahead of Potence.

                        Where there are high-level powers some selections were telling. Eleanor went with Paralyzing Glance for Presence, while Diego went for Love and Absent Sway and Šárka went for Temptation. Rosabella got Oberon’s Grail for Dominate while Eleanor got Obedience. Krzysztof went for Cipher for Auspex while Rosabella went for Telepathic Communication. No Discipline Techniques in common at present, though everyone but Eleanor and Rosabella has some.

                        Areas of Influence (we do Influence larp-style)
                        Eleanor: Church, Underworld, Business
                        Šárka: Media (esp Radio) Street (esp prostitutes and teen/20s backpackers) University
                        Jocelin: Transportation/Travel
                        Rosabella: Underworld
                        Diego: Artists, Industry/Manufacturing
                        Krzysztof: Occult, Medical

                        Languages varied from 4 (Rosabella) and 7 (Jocelin and Eleanor) then 8 (Diego) to 13 (Šárka) and 14 (Krzysztof). Everyone in the group speaks Czech and French, and everyone but (ironically) Rosabella speaks Latin as well as English. Rosabella can make Academics rolls to understand Latin but that is not her strong suit…

                        I had request for character stats, so here is what I have easy access to, namely Šárka and Rosabella. If any players want to post their stats feel free but it is hardly required. I will note everyone got several free abilities, notably AK: Hometown (at the start) AK: Prague, and AK: One other place for free, as well as a dot of Clan Knowledge both at the beginning and the jump and either Camarilla Lore, Sabbat Lore, or more Clan Knowledge. Everyone got Native language and Czech at the start (Šárka also got Slovak since Czech was her native) and got a total counting those two of their Int+Aca after the jump. Rosabella has Former Ghoul as a 0 point Merit as it was 1 point in the past but no longer has a game effect so she was refunded the point. Note too Šárka and Krzysztof are frontloaded with Rituals, as both had a lot of time to research and cast rituals during the downtime. We paid for a group Occult Library partially to make this possible. Šárka has Haven 5 but technically only paid for the 5th point of it...I let people use Haven to buy a nicer Haven then they can afford with Resources, but only have to pay for the difference. Šárka's underground communications and ritual bunker would cost 5 Resources to own, she has 4, so she dropped the downtime XP on a 5th Haven.

                        Šárka Vlasáková


                        Šárka Vlasáková
                        Clan: Followers of Set
                        Concept: Femme Fatale
                        Sect: Anarchs
                        Generation: 7th
                        Nature: Bon Vivant
                        Demeanor: Gallant

                        Strength 2
                        Dexterity 4 (Lithe)
                        Stamina 3

                        Charisma 5 (Smooth)
                        Manipulation 4 (Persuasive)
                        Appearance 4 (Bad Girl)

                        Perception 4 (Discerning)
                        Intelligence 5 (Cunning)
                        Wits 4 (Bon Mots)

                        Alertness 2
                        Athletics 1
                        Awareness 1
                        Brawl 3
                        Empathy 4 (Emotions)
                        Expression 2
                        Subterfuge 4 (What You Want to Hear)

                        Craft 2
                        Etiquette 2
                        Larceny 3
                        Performance 1
                        Stealth 3

                        Academics 4 (History)
                        Investigation 2
                        Law 1
                        Medicine 2
                        Occult 5 (Egyptian)
                        Politics 2
                        Technology 1

                        Diplomacy 1

                        Brewing/Distilling 2
                        Ride 1
                        Vamp 5 (D&S)

                        Area Knowledge: Belgrade 1
                        Area Knowledge: Prague 1
                        Area Knowledge: Tábor 2
                        Clan Knowledge: Setite 3
                        Cryptography 1
                        Research 1
                        Theology 2

                        Allies 3
                        Clan Prestige 1
                        Contacts 2
                        Generation 5
                        Haven 5
                        Herd 3
                        Influence: Media 5
                        Influence: Street 4
                        Influence: University 2
                        Resources 4
                        Retainers 4

                        Akhu 6
                        Auspex 4
                        Presence 6
                        Obfuscate 2
                        Obtenebration 1
                        Serpentis 6

                        Conscience 3
                        Self-Control 4
                        Courage 4

                        Humanity 7
                        Willpower 10

                        Extra Discipline: Akhu 5
                        Language: Latin, Old Egyptian, English, Akkadian 2
                        Natural Linguist 2
                        Sanctifying Kiss 2
                        Sweet Blood 1

                        Dark Secret: Tábor 1
                        Enemy: Callista ab-Sacmis 2
                        Phobia: Heights 2
                        Tic/Twitch 1

                        Akhu 6
                        Breath of Set 5
                        Divine Hand 1
                        Ushabti 1

                        Rituals:
                        1 Inscribe the Book of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Seal the Gates of Blood
                        Typhon’s Brew
                        2 Call of the Hungry Dead
                        Eldritch Beacon
                        Dreams of Duat
                        Insight
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Opening the Gate
                        Opening the Mouth
                        3 Eyes of the Grave
                        Linked Soul Elixir
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Part the Veil
                        Prepare Canopic Jars
                        Puppet
                        Scorpion Sending
                        4 Din of the Damned
                        Dismemberment of Osiris
                        Eyes of the Dead
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Severing Sand
                        Summon Sebau
                        5 Awaken the Quiet Heart
                        The Becoming
                        Blessed Communion
                        Cadaver’s Touch
                        Dismembering the God
                        Lesser Trigger
                        Mark of Despair
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Peek Past the Sound
                        Portrait Link
                        Resurrection of Stirred Blood
                        Veil that Bars Eternity
                        Warding Cippus
                        6 Chill of Oblivion
                        Grasp the Ghostly
                        Greater Scrying
                        Greater Trigger
                        Hybrid Mummy
                        Milk of Set
                        Milk of Set
                        Servitor Sending

                        Discipline Techniques
                        Weigh the Heart (Auspex 3 Serpentis 5)

                        Advanced/Alternate Disciplines
                        Presence 6: Temptation
                        Serpentis 6: Aspect of the God

                        Languages: Akkadian, Arabic, Croatian, Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Latin, Old Egyptian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak

                        Shared Backgrounds:
                        Domain 5
                        Domain-Security 5
                        Herd 5
                        Occult Library 5




                        Rosabella Orfanelli

                        Rosabella Orfanelli
                        Clan: Malkavian
                        Concept: Master Thief
                        Sect: Camarilla
                        Generation: 7th
                        Nature: Thrillseeker
                        Demeanor: Survivor

                        Strength 3
                        Dexterity 6 (Light Touch)
                        Stamina 2

                        Charisma 2
                        Manipulation 3
                        Appearance 3

                        Perception 6 (Attentive)
                        Intelligence 2
                        Wits 3



                        Alertness 4
                        Athletics 1
                        Awareness 2
                        Empathy 3
                        Intimidation 2
                        Leadership 2
                        Streetwise 3
                        Subterfuge 6

                        Crafts 3
                        Firearms 2
                        Larceny 6
                        Melee 3
                        Performance 6
                        Stealth 6 (Shadows)
                        Survival 1

                        Academics 1
                        Computer 1
                        Finance 1
                        Investigation 4
                        Law 4
                        Medicine 1
                        Occult 1
                        Politics 1
                        Technology 1

                        Malkavian Time 3
                        Thrown 2

                        Ride 2
                        Slight of Hand 3

                        Area Knowledge: Budapest 1
                        Area Knowledge: Prague 1
                        Area Knowledge: Rome 2
                        Camarilla Lore 1
                        Clan Knowledge: Malkavian 2

                        Allies 2 (Nosferatu)
                        Generation 5
                        Information Network 2
                        Influence: Underworld 3
                        Resources 4
                        Retainers 3
                        Status 1

                        Auspex 6
                        Dominate 6
                        Obfuscate 6
                        Potence 1

                        Conscience 2
                        Self-Control 3
                        Courage 5

                        Humanity 5
                        Willpower 6


                        Extra Clan Discipline: Potence 5
                        Benevolent Blood 1
                        Former Ghoul 0
                        Language 1: French

                        Paths and Rituals:
                        None

                        Discipline Techniques:
                        None

                        Advanced/Alternate Disciplines
                        Auspex 6: Telepathic Communication
                        Dominate 6: Oberon's Grail
                        Obfuscate 6: Conceal
                        Obfuscate 6: Gemini's Mirror
                        Obfuscate 6: Mask of Janus

                        Languages: Czech, French, Hungarian, Italian

                        Shared Backgrounds:
                        Domain 5
                        Domain-Security 5
                        Herd 5
                        Occult Library 5


                        Edit: Made it all one giant-ass column because the 3 columns looked terrible and was hard to read.

                        Next week is session 5, the introduction to modern. Where the Conspiracy meets on the Charles Bridge again for the first time in 529 years, and wonders just why Rosabella is wet. In two weeks we will get the first three downtime journals. Looks like it will be Eleanor/Šárka/Jocelin, as they are about the same length, then next time Rosabella/Diego/Krzysztof as Rosabella’s is half the length of any of the first three, Diego’s will probably be over twice the length of any of the first three if not as long as them put together, and Krzysztof’s is about half the length of Rosabella’s. I also thought about doing it Camarilla then Sabbat/Independent, but it looks like Camarilla would be about twice the total length that way, so splitting by rows.

                        Comments/Questions welcome

                        ETA: Link to post with pics of ghouls from later in the thread. Some spoilers at beginning of post, but pretty minor ones Link
                        Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 11-25-2013, 07:53 PM.


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                        • #13
                          It’s been over 500 years (or two weeks, depending on your POV). Let’s see our Conspiracy now, in 2012. Diego, Eleanor, Jocelin and Šárka have thoughts to share with you.


                          Session V


                          Diego’s Diary


                          Conspiracy Suites
                          Prague, Czech Republic

                          30 April 2012

                          Tonight has been like a homecoming and I am so very happy. Some of the more mystically oriented call this Walpurgis Night. It is a night of magical significance. It is also significant for being the last time we stood on this same bridge together. My pack...er Conspiracy as they call multi-sect groups now... The Camarilla cannot handle the Sabbat reference of a pack. Truly it is embarrassing how myopic “we” have become. Either way, the coterie of Anarchs which once fought together over five centuries ago has reunited this night.

                          We met as discussed on the Charles Bridge, though this time we each came with our own retinue. I was reminding the girls that Krzysztof would likely bring something not at all human with him, so try not to stare. As I turned back I had to stop short, realizing we had arrived. Šárka stood waiting with a smile at the center of the bridge in a black leather jacket, matching leather pants (which I both enjoyed and admired), and a well worn t-shirt. Krzysztof lumbered up from behind and to her left, wearing what I believe was the same overcoat and hat I last saw him in. He stood alone, his elephantine hands casting massive shadows. Eleanor seemed to emerge from a drifting fog bank to my left in her signature dark grey suit, Eli and Prudence as well as another very handsome man following behind. Her cold eyes softened as soon as she beheld Šárka, Krzysztof, and myself. Jocelin slipped up behind Šárka to her right, his fangs still glinting as he smiled. He wore a tailored shirt, though it was not tailored for him. The fine linen was unbuttoned perhaps a bit more than it should have been, but he struck a rugged pose nonetheless. Perceval perched overhead while Tara walked next to his master. Also a house cat wound its way past the still gargantuan hound and circled my feet. Lastly, Rosabella wandered up to my right, three lovely ladies of her own in tow. Though, these women seemed to be more keeping track of her instead of her leading them. Also Rosabella seemed wet, though her raggedy dress did not. Krzysztof, of course, made some mention of it and the Malkavian, of course, seemed confused. It was as though we were never apart.

                          Introductions followed, given all the new faces. I presented Fiona, Leona, and Triona to the others. Fiona smiled, Leona curtsied, and Triona played with the cat. The gloriously beautiful man with Eleanor was Gabriel, and how fitting he should be named after an angel. Jocelin confirmed for me that this was in fact the same Tara which I shied away from years ago. Rosabella introduced her sisters to us, though I’m not sure if she means that literally or if this is yet another part of her mental corruption. Valentina, a very toned, raven-haired, olive-skinned woman, seemed to have leash duties for Rosabella. The rosy-cheeked, bespeckled, bookish girl was Monalisa, though thankfully her smile was more cheerful than that dreadful smirk of her namesake. And last came Agatha, a pale, unassuming girl with an untarnished, natural attractiveness. Other than Valentina, I have no idea if these women have special duties, though I suppose we will all find out more as the nights pass.

                          Next we moved to examine our palace. Along the way, we past a hiker’s hostel. Šárka pointed it out to us and gave each Conspirator an odd plastic keycard. She said it would open her secret haven beneath her hostel. We were all very impressed and appreciative. As we arrived at the Tuscany Palace, a beautiful young woman ran up from Hradčanské Square and embraced Krzysztof. Not only did he not kill her for touching him, he seemed to tolerate her affection; accepting it, if very distantly. She was flawless with hair the color of a starless midnight, skin as smooth and as pale as marble, eyes so deep I felt vertigo, and lips so full...obviously someone had increased his abilities with Vicissitude. As we all looked on, our blinking filling the thunderous silence, she released him before he grunted an acknowledgement. I made mention of her looking different that I had expected. Before even Krzysztof could respond, she smiled at me as if she’d known me almost as long as her master and informed me that she had previously been a large man with a bone sword for an arm. How could this be?! Even with Krzysztof’s undoubtedly advanced knowledge of Vicissitude, how could Gerwazy become this stunning creature. My shock must have shone on my face for she laughed for a moment before our Fiend introduced Theodosia Zantosa. As he never specified, I had to assume this was his new servant. I felt that I should probably mourn Gerwazy. But then I realized that he probably went out in a gore-spattered orgy of carnage, just as he would have wanted. I think I shall like Theodosia. Also, Šárka introduced the golden haired Dane waiting outside as Annika Nørgaard, she served as the Setite’s main assistant. Annika tried to bring a little attention to herself as possible, that made me want to keep an eye on her.

                          The palace was a beautiful work, though it possessed all the modern mortal amenities. After we could survey the floors, I intended to make sure it possessed all the immortal amenities as well. We discussed sleeping quarters and eventually agreed that we should all be together, so we selected a wing of interconnected suites. Leona made some mention of Conspiracy Suites. I’m not sure what she was referencing, but I liked the name. We all chose our suite, with Rosabella choosing based on the size of the closet. At first, I was impressed with her decision, then she informed me she would sleep there where it was quiet and dark. When I asked about the rest of the actual room, she waved her hand and said something about how Valentina could have it. I looked at the ghoul in confusion, but she had no answer either. Once we had our rooms, Krzysztof performed one of his Koldunic rituals and awakened the spirits of the palace. He declared he did not have time to bother with opening doors. As he finished, the doors opened for all of us. Next he asked that we gather all our retinue as he had no intention of doing this more than once. With everyone present including Luc, Jocelin’s human retainer, and three more of Šárka’s ghouls, the Koldun warded all the entrances to the palace. Perhaps when the Setite can focus on more than Eleanor we will learn the names of her other servants. After all these years, I suspect now Šárka has more than an infatuation with Eleanor. That is sweet though the two beauties together is a work of art which could inspire or cripple a man, depending on his bent. Perhaps I will be lucky enough to learn which it will be. But I digress. Our thief received a message on her phone just after we started moving through the palace. She became very excited due to a vampire movie being filmed in nearby Vyšehrad, another local castle. We had to convince the Malkavian that now was not the time to rush off. One of Šárka’s ghouls mentioned offhandedly dropping acid while we moved through the palace. I was appalled that she was so unconcerned for the well being of the estate. Based on the rather sardonic look I received, I assumed I misunderstood something and thus let it go. Meanwhile, Šárka tapped a cask of her beer so we drank while I noted structural changes we would need to make throughout the palace. Jocelin may have appreciated this gesture even more than I, as he commented that it was not yet even Christmas. Rosabella showed a disturbing cruel streak while we explored, by almost sitting, causing a chair to move out for her, then moving quickly mock sit again. Eventually Krzysztof chastised her for it, but then she just went to torment a door out of sight. I made a list of the various materials and tools I would need so that the girls could place the order in the daylight hours. There was still the task of presentation and I suggested that we all go together, always politically appearing as a single bloc. The others agreed and Eleanor suggested that we send them a message so more Primogen would be in attendance. I asked Leona to deliver the message to Elysium that we intended to arrive tomorrow evening. She came back shortly with a message asking us to wait until tomorrow night, when the Primogen could properly assembly. This was acceptable to everyone so we simply used the time to settle in more. We also discussed Šárka removing our hearts and giving us magical protection against fire. How could anyone really say no to such an offer? She and Eleanor left before dawn to spend the day in Šárka’s hidden lair. It was quite romantic really. I hope my supplies are delivered soon, as I am anxious to get started truly making this place our own.

                          I should note, I’ve changed my dating practices. The Gregorian calendar will do but also I shall date the writings based on the date at the start of the night, not the date at dawn. I’ve been told that was very confusing to those whom receive my letters. But for now, I believe I shall discover how well I enjoy this king sized bed filled with slumbering redheads.


                          Conspiracy Suites
                          Prague, Czech Republic

                          1 May 2012

                          This evening was quite refreshing. And perhaps a bit unnecessary, but it was great fun.

                          Once Fiona coaxed me out of bed, I went shopping with Rosabella and Valentina in search of proper Elysium attire. For the Malkavian which saved my unlife, I found an appropriately attractive dress to make her look innocent and hopefully be underestimated. While we were out, I noticed a suit that I knew immediately would make Krzysztof look even more intimidating than normal. Plus it would get him out of the same set of clothes he’s worn since before the Italian discovered the New World. I have some experience in men’s sizes so I used my best judgment. He was appreciative, in his own way, and even accepted the gesture as it made him more frightening while meeting with the most powerful vampires in the city. I was proud that it fit him as I imagined.

                          We entered Elysium together as planned. Šárka wore a very traditional Egyptian outfit, which at first she looked ridiculous in, to be honest. She explained that it comforted some Camarilla to find a Setite appearing as they expect them too, even if they never dress that way normally. Krzysztof, while not actually objecting, pointed out his disappointment in coddling the Camarilla dogs. She then used some of her own Blood Sorcery and took on a more regal demeanor as well as changed the color of her hair from coal dark to vibrant red. The outfit together with the completed change was quite spectacular. Had we not known the Setite before, I doubt many of us could have identified her as Šárka. I’m not sure at that point if Krzysztof approved or simply found it best not to return to the topic. Several of our ghouls and Prudence accompanied us, though Valentina did have to check her weapons at the door. She is heavily armed for ...well anyone really. The Seneschal, Yordana, greeted us and asked if we would have any specific concerns to be addressed. As there were none, she bid us wait while she informed the Prince of our arrival. We had a brief wait before she returned and led us to see Prince Vasily. Vasily gave us his vision of the city and let us know that we seemed to embody some of the more lofty ideals of his vision. He was well versed in the Sabbat as he knew more about Krzysztof’s position than I did and was very polite and courteous, though I would expect no less from a successful Toreador Prince.

                          Vasily led us into a specially prepared room to meet the assembled Primogen Council as well as the Sheriff, one of his Hounds, and surprisingly two resident Anarchs. I spoke at least briefly with all present in the respected gathering. Anna Belle was warm and welcoming. Unlike other cities aware of my past, there seemed to be no backhanded compliments, which I liked. Tariq was surprised when I addressed him in proper Arabic. He was very pleased to make my acquaintance and even discussed the possibility of commissioning works of art. I like that very much. As I worked my way through the Council, I noticed that Krzysztof, either out of spite or in an earnest attempt at civility, spoke at some length with Ardan of Golden Lane. Eventually I came to the Anarchs as Krzysztof was leaving them. Eleanor approached about the same time. Erica Storm and Jean-Claude, Brujah and Alexanderite Ravnos respectively, were the representatives of the local Anarchs. I jokingly feigned annoyance at losing my audience when Eleanor confirmed her Sire. They were both attractive in different ways and for very different reasons. Jean-Claude was apparently only present in an advisory role and it looked as though Erica may need such. He gently touched her shoulder at different points in what I suspect was a reminder to reign herself back in if she began to get outside of her talking points. I think we all may have some minor interest in the Anarchs, though for different reasons than in most cities. What I have seen in the extremely short time here is a city that doesn’t immediately need changing. I’d like to think it will continue to be that way. Next I moved on to a very tall, rocky skinned woman with wings. Petra was a very flirtatious Gargoyle; I admit, I was intrigued. She explained how she earned her freedom and now the Tremere no longer try to kill her and she returns the same favor. Apparently she was concerned that I was trying to manipulate her as she rather abruptly warned me not to do anything to get the Sheriff unhappy with me. She had no desire to have to hurt me. Though I believe she was being sincere, the echo of a threat was definitely there. Still, I am intrigued.

                          While not everything will be this simple, it was nice to be honestly welcomed into a city. That it is this city only makes the sensation all the sweeter. But now I feel the sun ascending, so I should end here before I collapse ...and awaken to Triona frantically scolding me for sleeping in the chair. Again.


                          Eleanor’s Log

                          from: Eleanor <Grey@cineritious.co.cz>
                          to: Clayton <Harbridge@cineritious.co.dk>, Josephine <Baines@cineritious.co.uk>
                          date: Tues, May 2, 2012 4:34am
                          subject: we have arrived
                          mailed-by: cineritious.co.cz


                          Hello My Dears,

                          As you are aware we have arrived in Prague and the tedium of settling in has begun. Unsurprisingly, Gabriel has this well under control, including already having the email set up. I am enjoying this program he has found for me. The cheeky bastard said he couldn’t abide reading my email any longer as and I quote “you type like your hands are cut off”. Yes, I did consider allowing Prudence to dispense one of her lighter punishments for the insolence, but I was feeling generous. After all he brought me this present and now I don’t have to bother with that ridiculous keyboard.

                          I do wish you both could have joined us for our reunion on the bridge. On the anniversary of our original journey into the city we met and followed a similar path, though of course there were decidedly fewer flaming bodies this time. Is it wrong that I am slightly disappointed by this turn of events? No matter, I was with my pack once again. D has not changed in the preceding years, he is still as effusive and charming as he ever was, and this time he was accompanied by three ladies – sisters with a great deal of loyalty to him unless I have lost the ability to read people. I had forgotten I’m sorry to say just how large K is. His servant Gerwazy is no longer with him and without that towering beast one can truly see how massive K’s stature truly is. J, much like D, is as he ever was. Seemingly easy going with little to say until it is necessary. He has a new companion, though steadfast Terra is still with him as well. He’s branching out though, now he has a cat as well as a man – I was quite surprised. I am not certain but I rather believe R is more mad than she already was. She has a minder now, one of her servants who apparently keeps her from going too far astray, though she was unable to keep the woman from ruining what I believe was a designer shift by playing in the river before our reunion. Which brings me to S. It has been far too long since I saw her, and though I maintained my dignity, I was truly pleased to be in her company once more.

                          The palace is quite large, there is room for each of us to have plenty of privacy but shall have living quarters along the same hall as well. Safety in numbers of course. K has expanded his magical knowledge, which is completely unsurprising. The fact that he used this knowledge to animate the furniture of the palace is a bit surprising. However, his explanation – that he doesn’t have time to waste on doors does make sense for him. Gabriel is delighted at the novelty of a “Disney Palace”…I have no idea what he is talking about. Eli thinks the exact opposite. R took great delight in tormenting the furniture until K scolded her. I believe she merely went to a different part of the palace to continue her torments away from K’s disapproving gaze. Still she remained clothed and relatively clean throughout this night so I believe there has been some improvement in her sense of self.

                          D has taken up architecture and interior design in the years we’ve been separated. He led us on a short tour of the palace in order to determine which modifications would be needed and where we would like our quarters to be. R selected a room and then proceeded to claim the closet as her private haven. Leaving the room to her minder and the other two.

                          S will have quarters in the palace but along our initial walk to our new domicile, she pointed out her other home. We each have keys to access the main area where she houses her radio equipment. Later in the evening after we chose to take our leave she showed me her inner sanctum and provided me with an additional key for this area. I have tasted of her once more and feel restored. When she drank from me it was clear she felt the same. It is so good to be with her once more! Her generosity showed itself in several ways last night. First she provided beer to us all, as J pointed out, it wasn’t even Christmas. Given the smile he gave, I would say he was quite delighted with the treat. She also offered to do certain special rituals to enhance our personal protections once time allowed. Upon waking this evening she did one of these rituals on me – if it hadn’t lasted so long I would say it was quite erotic, but after the first hour of stillness under a dripping ice block…well, Gabriel joined us to provide some distraction, but it was not an entirely pleasant way to spend the hours. I had just enough time for the ritual to be completed before it was necessary to prepare for our meeting with V.

                          S pandered to stereotypes by looking as if she was an extra in one of those Mummy movies that were so popular a few years ago. Still after altering her hair color it would be difficult for those in power to know her once she is in her own clothing once more. Returning to the palace we found the rest of our companions dressed appropriately and ready to make an entrance. R’s minder would of course accompany her as Prudence accompanied me. D’s ginger trio went along with us though the rest of our retinue remained where they were. We were causing a stir already I’m sure, no reason to add the others to the gossip and speculation.

                          The meeting went well though V’s ideas about an utopian existence within the city…it’s a lovely idea, and one that has merit, but somehow I have my doubts that he has the necessary buy-in from all the city’s inhabitants. We shall see.

                          After our meeting we were received by the council and one or two other players within the city. Patricia is still respected among the anarchs. The sheriff dropped hints about the pack possibly working with him to clear up a few issues from time to time. I will have to investigate further. While we are no one’s lackeys, assisting him could be mutually beneficial and allies are always good to cultivate. Tonight we shall meet with K’s bishop and hopefully gain a better idea of the landscape within the city. It would do well to have greater understanding before planning any short term moves.

                          Keep me appraised on your current projects. Just because I am not looming over your shoulder does not mean I do not wish to be informed.

                          Verum in honore et aequalitate,

                          Eleanor


                          Jocelin’s Journal

                          Le 30ème du mois de avril, 583

                          And so, 529 years to the day we first stood on that bridge, we have met there again. It is good to be with the pack again after so long. We had grown in number, in both Cainites and servitors. L’Espagnol and la jeune Mendiante both had a trio of ghouled women at their backs, and la Pucelle had a pair of gentleman, one apparently acting as a ‘bodyguard’, though I certainly hope that she has not let her prodigious skill become so disused as to need physical protection from a ghoul. La Pucelle also brought a childer, by the name of Prudence. Luc had arrived in early, to set up the office and his apartment, however, I had not thought to bring him to this meeting.

                          It did very much seem that, other than our number, not much had changed - la jeune Mendiante was dressed in rags, le Savant was dismissive of her, L’Espagnol was afraid of Tara, la Serpent was in leather and la Pucelle was in her gray. We talked for awhile on the bridge, reconnecting, before heading into town, towards our den. I was glad that no one had seemed intimidated by my crescent. I had made no attempt to hide it - it is rather important for my pack to understand what I am - but I had been somewhat worried that our Cam fellows would balk at the clear evidence of it.

                          On the way to our den, la Serpent pointed out her own den, and gave us a strange key that would give us access to the outer level, in case of emergency. It is apparently underground, which makes it even better, in my mind. It was good of her, as I always appreciate having a second bolthole. This one is even, according to la Serpent, safe against ghosts, though I have not had too much of a problem with them.

                          At some point on our trip over, la jeune Mendiante received some sort of message, apparently from her Nosferatu contacts. According to this message, there is a vampire movie being shot at a nearby castle. When she heard, nothing would do for her but to go visit it immediately. We managed to talk her out of it, promising to check it out some other time however. I shall have to arrange for Luc to come with us when we do - he does so love his vampire movies. It also occurs to me that I should have him get me one of the portable telephones. I have never worried about it before, as I have only ever needed it to get in touch with him, and that has rarely been pressing enough to necessitate carrying one around. But it appears that some few of the pack have them, so perhaps it would be a useful way to remain in contact over distances.

                          When we arrived, le Savant performed one of his rituals, that would animate the usually inanimate objects of the den. He informed us this was his plan for each night. It was somewhat disconcerting, to have the doors open as one got to them, the chairs move so that they were not in the way until needed and so forth. I presume I will get used to it. I presume also that la jeune Mendiante will as well - she spent a large amount of time taunting the house, beginning to sit, then not sitting, then doing it over again. Le Savant objected to this treatment of the spirits he had awoken, so, after patting the chair gently to indicate she meant no disrespect, she moved to another part of the house and began to do a similar thing to one of the doors, out of his sight.

                          In the meantime, I and the others made a tour of the place. We had been met there by a ghoul of la Serpent and one of le Savant’s. Quite the change from Gerwazy, she did manage to give L’Espagnol a start when she claimed to have been a ‘large man with a sword arm’ at one point. I don’t believe she was telling the truth, but who knows? La Savant knows many strange things, perhaps he decided a different vessel would be more useful. She is certainly more... interactive.

                          In the course of our explorations, we decided we would all have rooms on the same wing and floor, for the safety of numbers while sleeping. We chose the first floor as our base and also decided to cast wards on the outer doors, against ghouls and Cainites. To allow ourselves and our ghouls access despite the wards however, we did need to have them here, so I called Luc over and la Serpent called in another set of her ghouls, another trio of young girls. I wonder if all mortal girls come in trios now? Strange... though I suppose there was the one that met us here, and le Savant’s ghoul is alone, so perhaps not.

                          We had much time to continue exploring the den, as le Savant took a number of hours to finish all the warding required. It is quite the place, as it used to be the Italian Embassy. I was quite certain there would be a suitable room to continue Luc’s training in arms if necessary. I think I will still prefer the office be elsewhere, as I would not want any strike aimed for us specifically to fall on Luc. I will make sure there is a room for him here however, if he should find trouble aimed at him. La Serpent did offer to remove our hearts, or perform a ritual called Chill of Oblivion. Both are tempting offers, and when there is time, I will probably take her up on it. Less reason to fear fire is always good, and I will rarely turn down any advantage, especially such a one as a missing heart.
                          We settled into our den quite nicely, though la Serpent and la Pucelle chose to spend the day in la Serpent’s bunker, though only after sharing a barrel of la Serpent’s delicious beer with us. It was quite the treat, it not even being Christmas yet. Next I believe we meet the Cam powers in the city, so that the others might check in, and la Serpent, le Savant and I might make ourselves known, as especially considering the pack, we do not really wish to come to blows over something as simple as our unannounced presence.


                          Le 1ème du mois de mai, 583

                          The night was indeed mostly spent meeting the Camarilla leaders. L’Espagnol had managed to clothe la jeune Mendiante properly. I wore gloves, for while I want the pack to know what I am, I have no such inclinations towards the entirety of the Camarilla presence in the city. La Serpent had on a very Egyptian outfit, apparently living up to the Cam’s ideas of how a Setite should look. Though, as she pointed out, it does lead to some underestimating, and an inaccurate description. She even performed some of her clan’s magic to turn her hair red , and give herself a slightly different bearing. Anyone who saw us only tonight would be hard pressed to truly identify our leather-clad Serpent.
                          Our party consisted of the six of us, along with Prudence, and also Terra, l’Espagnol’s triplets and the ghoul that acts as la jeune Mendiante’s keeper. We were welcomed at Prague Castle by the Seneschal, who asked our purpose there, and then left to retrieve the Prince. We did not have to wait long, before the Prince appeared and l’Espagnol introduced us all. It was not a terribly long interview. The Prince seemed quite pleased with us - he seemed to have some great vision for the city, where all Cainites might live and work together, regardless of sect and clan, and we are somewhat of a prime example of such a thing. He also wanted to find out how le Savant wanted relations between our sects to run, as he is now the ranking member of the Sabbat in the city. Le Savant assured the Prince that he had no interest in becoming the new leader, or even liaison in the city, and that such relations should continue as before.

                          After the interview, he invited us to speak with some of the Primogen of the city who had gathered. I did speak with Łucjan, their Gangrel Primogen, though I felt no need to engage the others. He asked if I would be interested in running with any hunts they had - I was somewhat surprised at the invitation, but accepted. I do enjoy a good hunt, and it will be good to get an idea of their strength. He gave me some names of our clan members who dealt with some of the intriguing aspects of the city - Borislav, who is their lead hunter of the Lupines and Roxie, who is in charge of their part in learning about the Protean forest, which I had heard stories about. There was also a Tremere, Milena, who was interested in the Protean forest. I shall be interested to test my hunting skills against Borislav, and to speak with these others about what they know concerning the forest.
                          After speaking with Łucjan, I kept to myself, watching the company. The rest of the pack made further rounds, L’Espagnol in particular making sure to speak with everyone there, including the Sheriff and his Gargoyle, as well as a pair of what proved to be Anarchs. When we approached they had been telling stories of Patricia, la Pucelle’s sire, so they were seemingly fairly well informed about us. They do not appear to be a threat to us, at least currently, merely here at the request of the Prince, and interested in hearing what we know of Cainite history.


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                          • #14
                            Šárka’s Transmissions

                            Ahoj Ahoj Ahoj

                            Skupina Tango Alpha Bravo Oscar Romeo Alpha Mike Alpha Lima India Echo

                            Text Text Text Text

                            Začít

                            The Pack is together again. We met on the Charles Bridge that we had last visited 529 years ago. It was good to see everyone. The bridge has more statues now.

                            Eleanor was in a grey tailored suit and stiletto heels, and stirred me from the moment I laid eyes on her, as she always does. I wanted to taste her vitae very much. She had three people with her, her “bodyguard” Eli and her childe Prudence Weston, as well as another man I did not know named Gabriel. She still is surrounded by beautiful people and I suspect relations are still not platonic with her ghouls…not that I can throw stones, of course. Eli is not a bad man but anything that can threaten his mistress will be beyond his ability to deal with. She seemed pleased to see me, and I was to see her. Our initial gaze held a little longer, but she maintained her dignity (and I would not think of compromising it in public) and watched everyone somewhat distantly, but not without affection. She has not changed a bit.

                            Jocelin, however, had somewhat…he was dressed in a more…I hesitate to say civilized manner as that would be rude to him but I will say more in line with modern expectations. He still seemed to want to show some chest hair, leaving his shirt slightly unbuttoned and he still has his…fang problem. He had his hawk and hound when he showed, and added a cat to his retinue sometime in the past…500 years. He was not the least bit hostile to anyone, Camarilla or no, but I am pretty sure we all saw his crescent moon tattoo, as he made no effort to hide it. Jocelin seems to still be a very direct but quiet person…granted most Gangrel are. The Sabbat apparently did not change that, but then the Sabbat are often fairly direct as a sect, at least compared to the Camarilla. I am perhaps foolish to feel safer in the presence of a Remover, but I do.

                            Rosabella had not changed much, unfortunately. She was dressed, which was expected but I had concerns given her previous penchant for nudity. She was still dressed in rags, however, and looked like she had been in the water. She had three women…ghouls apparently…with her who were quite fetching. One of them…Valentina her name was I think…seemed tasked with keeping track of Rosabella. Despite being the master she was still very much kept track of by her ghouls. I fear Rosabella may be a little hopeless, or at least massively codependent. She barely seemed aware a long period of time had passed. I wanted to ask if she had been “Infected” by the Dementation Discipline like many of her fellows, but I was a little concerned I might confuse her. She sort of stood absently while her ghouls paid attention to the proceedings.

                            Diego was impeccably dressed, as is his way. He had with him three identical Irish girls. I had heard of them, as they had been his ghouls for some time. Diego was quite pleased to see everyone, and was, along with me, among the more affectionate toward everyone. Diego has always had a passionate nature. Part of his charm, really. I am not exactly sure what to think of his triplets, I would assume he kept them around for more than their beauty and red hair but then…he is still a Toreador. Only two seemed terribly functional, I assume the third has…other uses. He also still has his fear of dogs, and Krzysztof still has his contempt for his fear of dogs. He did not suggest killing Tara at any point this time, however. Diego had long been the heart and conscience of the group, and it seems he will continue to fill that role, even as it may irritate Eleanor or Krzysztof for him to do so.

                            Krzysztof was…Krzysztof. Is there any other way to describe it? He wore a long coat and top hat, and came alone. He looked over all of us with his usual detached air, but I sensed he was pleased to see us. He wasted little time in making a few pointed comments to Rosabella, just like always, and she completely either ignored him, missed the comment, or both, just like always. I sometimes forget just how large Krzysztof is. Without Gerwazy standing behind him, he towers over us, especially Jocelin and Rosabella. While I had heard he had abandoned his cold Necromantic path, it certainly was not displayed in his demeanor. Krzysztof seems unchanging like stone…I don’t even think he had altered himself with Vicissitude, as some of his fellows are prone to doing.

                            Me I had my black leather jacket and black leather pants…pretty different from what I wore coming in back in the day but close as I could get given my leather tends to be of the jacket and slacks variety not armor. Leather boots, no leather shirt, wore the Black Flag/Meat Puppets West Berlin flyer shirt that goes with my jacket.

                            We talked awhile. I embraced my fellow Kindred. Not Rosabella too closely as she was strangely wet. None of her girls were wet. What was going on with that? I feared to ask. We decided to head to the Tuscany Palace to get our things set up. On the way I proudly pointed out the nearby Rajská Zahrada hostel where my lair was. I gave everyone a key card to the first underground level where this transmission equipment is. I do want them to have a safe haven if the Palace is compromised, and the Cippus’s range extends to all layers of my lair even into the hostel.

                            I have my lair set up so the first level is predominantly all my transmission, scrambling, and coding equipment set up, as well as a series of rooms some of my selected girls I feed on use as (comparatively) more private bedrooms and where I store my beer. I’ll have to take them down and show them my relays...they may be a bit old fashioned and clunky but I like them, and I am pretty sure they are too big to move at this point. The bottom level only Eleanor, I, and my personal ghouls (and you, of course) can access. It has my ghouls personal rooms, my Blasphemy Shrine and statue of Tawaret. And of course my personal library and bedchamber which is...everything I hoped it would be, really. My bed is quite huge, enough for a number of people. Anyway. The palace is ostentatious and beautiful, but I feel safer in my hard walls and dim lights of my lair. I even find the hum of machinery soothing.

                            When we entered the Palace Krzysztof first did a short ritual to animate the spirits of the place...which caused doors to open for us, chairs to move to be sat on, etc. This proved entirely too much for Rosabella, who was fascinated. She showed her cruel streak by attempting to torment the chair by starting to sit then moving and starting to sit until Krzysztof scolded her, at which point she began with the door insted. Annika was at the palace already when we arrived, along with a very peculiar (but attractive) woman named Theodosia Zantosa who was Krzysztof’s ghoul. We walked around the palace and decided on a series of rooms on the second floor (or as Eleanor and Brittany call it the first floor. Brits are odd) which were to the inside. While doing this we decided to have Krzyzstof ward all the outer doors...he agreed to ward them against Ghouls and Cainites, but we had to bring our ghouls here. I called Shatina, Marie-Hélène and Brittany to come, and Jocelin called his ghoul Luc. Luc looked remarkably normal to be Jocelin’s ghoul, and was surprisingly handsome. I suspect their relationship is not platonic, or perhaps I am merely hoping. Would the fangs not get in the way? I should not ask him, but I am very curious.

                            I should note while we all picked bedrooms on the same hall, Rosabella chose a walk in closet in a room as her own while her ghoul Valentina took the bed in the actual bedroom. They put a fold out bed in the closet. I wonder how much of her bizarre behavior at this point is Giovanni’s fault and how much is her peculiarity. Were it Krzysztof I would assume it was paranoia, but Rosabella is just strange.

                            While Krzysztof spent the next two hours warding the doors, we all chatted some more. Everyone was quite fascinated by the animate doors and furniture. Brittany made some reference to LSD Diego humorously misinterpreted. Theodosia…well I have long considered myself something of a sybarite. I prefer multiple partners when feeding or engaged in carnal pleasures, as you know and don’t believe in limiting my partners or myself. Theodosia still scared me a little. Not only was she rather casual about some innuendos with disturbing implications, she was rather free to discuss her uses of Vicissitude. Nearly everything was an innuendo with that woman. On the other hand, she was very sweet to Krzysztof, and he tolerated her small displays of affection without irritation. He did not reciprocate, mind, but he tolerated. She was actually sweet with him. Eleanor’s ghouls kept their cool fairly well, and Diego’s were fascinated by the animating spirits.

                            I noted I could cast a working, Chill of Oblivion, on my fellows, with the trigger to have it go off if they caught fire. I think everyone was interested short perhaps Krzysztof who likely had some Koldunic defense to use instead. On the other hand he was always been rather cavalier about fire. Fortunately my lair has a refrigerator and freezer and some ice. I was careful to point out there were of course major downsides. I thought of offering to cast Mark of Despair in a few rooms of the Palace, but as I don’t have any blood of innocents on me, it seemed an awkward item to ask for right after getting back together. Especially with Diego there. I’ll have to explain the donor need not be harmed.

                            There was also talk of removing hearts. Diego, Rosabella, and Jocelin still have theirs in their chests, unless the Black Hand has a particularly good trick. I won’t be able to help with that until the 20th, though. Between that and getting more beer ready that is going to be a long night. Fortunately I removed Eleanor’s long ago and Krzysztof’s a few years ago. Oh, and speaking of beer I had two barrels ready to provide libations for the gathering. Jocelin commented it was not even Christmas and he got his beer.

                            Once that was done, Diego set about seeing what repairs and improvements he needed to make, while Rosabella went looking for more furniture to torment. Krzysztof went to the library. I had other plans.

                            I brought Eleanor to my lair, showing her all I had laid out. We descended to the underground rooms and I, wanting to share my best, lined up Annika, Brittany, Marie-Hélène, and Shatina for her to choose from for our dinner to share. She picked big-eyed Brittany, who changed into some lingerie while I showed her around the downstairs and gave her a keycard. Then Eleanor and I shared a Linked Soul Elixir and fed on Brittany, who kept her dignity as well as she could while being feasted on by two beautiful vampires…which is to say not at all. Once she loudly passed out (and I checked to be sure her pulse was stable, of course) Eleanor and I retired to the upper part of the bed. It had been a long time since I had feasted on her hot Brujah blood or become physically intimate with her, and a century of lost time was made up for long after sunrise.

                            Don’t be jealous, my dear. Eleanor and I go way back. Never doubt your own importance to me.

                            This evening rather than having Eleanor dress immediately I had her lie out to cast Chill of Oblivion on her and the Lesser Trigger to have it go off if she catches fire. She called her ghoul Gabriel to have him bring her appropriate cloths for the meeting with the Camarilla bigwigs, and spent the next five hours under a large piece of ice being subjected to the working. She fed a little from Gabriel in the process, who I had allowed down. I found some of my girls to feed on and spared my ghouls; Brittany was looking a little pale and was somewhat light headed anyway. After a shower we got ready…Eleanor in another of her fine suits, and me in one of those Egyptian outfits I sometimes wear to Camarilla functions. It makes them so happy, and they seem disappointed when I dress like a normal person.

                            We all met at the place. Krzysztof made sure I was aware of his disgust for playing to the tastes of Camarilla Cainites, and Eleanor and I noted it helped lead to their underestimation of me. Also, their descriptions of me invariably involve Egyptian clothes or jewelry I rarely wear…at least I rarely wear such jewelry over my clothes. Most of us were dressed pretty much as we were on Walpurgis…I being the main exception, along with Rosabella as Diego forced her to wear a nice dress rather than her wet rags of the previous night (Had she been swimming in the river or something?). Jocelin wore gloves…best not advertise he is a remover to a bunch of doubtlessly nervous Camarilla Kindred. We set off with only Prudence, the redhead trio, and Rosabella’s ghoul Valentina in addition to we six…Prudence needed to be presented, Diego seems inseparable from his girls and apparently Rosabella would wander off without Valentina to keep an eye on her. Upon arrival, I took on the Aspect of Set the King, improving my poise and turning my hair as red as Diego’s triplets’.

                            We met Yordana, the Seneschal, just inside Prague Castle. I had heard a lot of women found her pleasing, and she in person did seem so. She dressed in a masculine fashion like Eleanor, but not in a suit so much as vest and bowler. Certainly it will be worth seeing what all the fuss was about. She was very polite to us, and asked us if there was anything the Prince should prepare for before we entered. We said no, and she had us wait.

                            We had a short interview. The Prince, a rather handsome fellow much like Diego, laid out his vision for the city. Prince Vasily seemed quite interested in us staying, unlike most Princes I have dealt with. Vasily said our Coterie fell in line nicely with his vision for the city. Apparently there is little interaction between the Sabbat and Camarilla in any real sense, they mostly just cohabitate. And the Setites apparently also keep to themselves. Our Coterie having Sabbat, Camarilla and a Setite is apparently in line with his vision. He went on about his dream a lot. It really seems a driving force for him. I suspect he may be insane, but my attempt to read his heart was cloudy. The presentations went on fine. If we made him nervous, he did not show it.

                            Afterwards, he invited us to meet some of the Primogen who were interested in talking. We entered the room and the eight Primogen were there, along with the Sheriff, a very feminine looking Gargoyle with the Sheriff, the Seneschal, and two other Cainites I did not recognize. I made a point of speaking to Yordana again, bringing up kissing as you know well I am prone to doing. Despite her immediately acquiring her interest in doing so, I avoided placing myself in a position where she could without scrutiny. Better to have her intrigued, thinking about it. Most Presence is too obvious to use around Cainites, but the art of Temptation tends to be subtle enough to get away with. I had not thought about it till we chatted but Yordana and I are both European women in traditionally non-European clans, so we have that in common. The Assamites seem more male dominated than the Setites though…probably Islamic influence

                            Eleanor went out of her way to speak to her Primogen Ferdinand whom we had all met before, the Sheriff, and the two Cainites, who turned out to be Anarch Emissaries (Who Vasily invited no less. Strange.). Jocelin made contact with Łucjan and they had a remarkably civil looking conversation considering their different sects. Rosabella just talked to Ąžuolas who still scares me. He was frightening enough five centuries ago. Diego made a point of speaking to all the Primogen and the Anarchs, and Krzysztof had a slightly tense but not unfriendly conversation with the Tremere Arden as well as the Anarchs. I probably should have spoken to the Anarchs, but they seemed somewhat suspicious of me and I was quite happy talking to Yordana. They apparently had some idea who we were and found us rather interesting.

                            Oh Diego also seemed to have a somewhat flirtatious conversation with the Gargoyle, Petra, which was a little strange. I mean I suppose I had never thought about it. She was certainly…larger than Diego.

                            We have returned now. I suspect we will see the Sabbat soon, but probably not tonight as we don’t want to be stuck on Petřín Hill with strange Sabbat at sunrise. But we will see. Take care. Ahoj.

                            Konec Konec Konec
                            Konec Konec Konec



                            End Session V


                            As you can see, not too many red-letter events. No Morality or Frenzy checks…those should become less common now but more impactful when they happen. Eleanor and Šárka became Blood Bound to each other again the first morning together…their bond had fallen to the two drink level after not really seeing each other for over 110 years, but it was renewed with gusto. For the record, Jocelin and Krzysztof do have a Vaulderie rating, though they did not take the Vaulderie that session and each has a Vaulderie with several other Cainites.

                            Šárka’s outfit on the bridge was deliberately intended to look like something you would see on a page of Vampire 1st or V20. Trying for a Bradstreet-esque iconic look. In this case with a picture of a photocopy of a concert flyer on a black shirt.

                            Pretty much all the assistants were bought as Retainers. Eleanor has two ghouls and a childe Šárka has 4 ghouls. Jocelin has 3 animal ghouls and 1 human ghoul, Rosabella has 3 ghouls, Diego has 3 ghouls, and Krzysztof has 1 Revenant. Gerwazy was assumed to have died over the downtime, his XP was transferred to Theodosia.

                            Eleanor, Šárka and Krzysztof have their childer, though their childer are mostly bought as allies with the exception of Prudence so they can't just boss them around they can use them when needed for some amount of help. Šárka has 3 bought as Allies (Marian Krauth, Amálie, Draženka Šabalj) while Eleanor has two (Clayton Harbridge, Josephine Baines), and as noted Prudence Weston is a Retainer. Šárka also has Contacts with the Court of Miracles, though that is largely for stuff for her Blood Magic or information,and are in Alexandria Egypt. I generally suggested childer in Prague be bought as retainers and those in other cities who can be of less direct help allies... Clayton is in Copenhagen Denmark, Marian and Josephine are in London England, Amálie in Tábor Czech Republic, Draženka in Zagreb Croatia. Krzysztof has a childe in Warsaw Poland as an Ally, Jaromir. Eleanor, Šárka and Diego have other childer not bought with backgrounds.

                            Powers used…Krzysztof does not know Thaumaturgy, but I gave Koldunic Sorcery a small handful of Thaumaturgy rituals…only those recommended in Guide to the High Clans. Krzysztof similarly used Sentinels of the Haven, a Koldunic Ritual found in Guide to the High Clans. As for Šárka’s hair turning from black to red and her manner changing, that was her activating the Set the King aspect of the Serpentis 6 power of Aspect on the God from Guide to the Low Clans. Finally, Chill of Oblivion, used on Eleanor, was based on the Necromancy ritual which appears in V20 and Guide to the Sabbat imported as per Blood Sacrifice, and Lesser Trigger was used for “When on Fire” with that Ritual being in Lair of the Hidden (Šárka has a similar trigger on her, and Krzysztof has a Lesser Trigger of “when hit by Sunlight” for Refuge of the Thirsty Grave from Guide to the High Clans.) The doors now have Wards vs. Kindred and Wards vs. Ghouls on them. Šárka used the discipline technique Weigh the Heart (Clanbook: Followers of Set) on Vasily and Yordana, but only got their natures, Visionary and Soldier, due to mediocre rolls.

                            Rosabella has the Information Network Background from Clanbook: Nosferatu due to her close relationship with the Clan (reflected also by her Allies Background).

                            Most of the game was interaction between the characters and ghouls. The meeting with the city bigwigs came at the very end. A number of details were glossed over, including Krzysztof’s discussion with Arden, which was surprisingly cordial.

                            In a week the first three character downtimes. It currently looks like that will be Eleanor, Šárka, and Jocelin, with in two weeks Rosabella, Diego, and Krzysztof. This being due to the fact the former three are about the same length, but Rosabella’s is half their length, Krzysztof about half hers, and Diego’s is expected to be much longer. This could be subject to change if Diego’s is dramatically shorter than expected, but it will probably go first row then second row assuming his is the longest.

                            Comments and Questions welcome.


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                            • #15
                              Ok time for the first three downtimes, as it is the off week. Due to sizes of the backgrounds, I am doing them in order by clan, so this week are Eleanor, Šárka, and Jocelin, and in two weeks will be Rosabella, Diego and Krzysztof. Eleanor, Šárka and Jocelin are close to the same length, while Rosabella and Krzysztof are notably shorter and Diego is notably longer so it lines up well. Eleanor’s will be a timeline, Šárka a3rd person account, and Jocelin a 1st person account.

                              Eleanor Grey, 7th Generation Brujah of the Camarilla

                              Eleanor Timeline

                              1493 – Did not attend the Council of Thorns on Patricia’s advice. Did her best to lay low.

                              1517 – Wittenberg, has delightful conversations with Martin Luther

                              1530 – Returns to Tábor and spends time with Šárka while assisting in the founding of Černá Hora Brewery.

                              1545 – Left Šárka after hearing of the Council of Trent. Inserted herself into the life of one of the council fathers. Her involvement helped to cause delays in the various decrees by the council and she remained a shadowy figure in the Council until it was over in 1563.

                              1564 – Return to England after Elizabeth has been in power for a couple of years.

                              1568 – Slips into Spain to assist with the Low Countries revolt against Philip (who she really dislikes) then returns to England with Damiana her first childe.

                              1570 – Maneuvers several situations thanks to an entrepreneurial ghoul to allow her to retake her mortal home of Tatershall in England. Her ghoul, Charles Seys was one of Queen Elizabeth’s privateers. Utterly devoted to her, Charles made the Queen, and Eleanor, very wealthy. He retired from privateering as he grew older. His trips to sea would keep him from Eleanor for too long at a time so he was unable to keep his youth. He died at Tattershall in 1583.

                              1603 – Leaves England and returns to Germany, Damiana chooses to stay in England. They keep in touch through the occasional letter.

                              1618 – Leaves Germany after the Thirty Years War began, returns to Vatican City.

                              1640 – Meets a young priest (a Diaconate) and starts a slow corruption.

                              1650 - Ghouls the priest and leaves Vatican City for Wittenberg

                              1660 – Accepts a role within the Camarilla (Servire?) to deal with a small uprising of anarchs posing as clergy in Madgeburg in Saxony. Leaves the position behind within two years, still doesn’t like the Ventrue as a whole, but one or two aren’t so bad.

                              1700 – Travels to Sweden after hearing rumor of Gregory the Malkavian Priest but loses the trail almost as soon as she arrives. She meets Mariette in the city of Zurich. She’s little more than a street urchin and when she tries to pick pocket Eleanor’s ghoul Clayton he catches her. Eleanor stops him from punishing her too harshly and embraces her before a week has gone by. She has no idea what possessed her to do it but attempts to take the responsibility of a childe seriously. Mariette chafes at the imposed rules of the Camarilla and the Masquerade. Though Eleanor believed they’d formed a strong friendship, Mariette flees Zurich only a year and a half after her embrace. Eleanor has not seen her since.

                              1702 – Returns to England upon Queen Anne’s rise to the throne. Enjoys a brief period of rest at Tatershall. Clayton take’s control of Eleanor’s interests and increases her holdings. He consults her in all decisions but becomes the public face of the Grey fortune.

                              1714 – After Queen Anne’s death, Eleanor once again leaves England. She travels for a while, spending a short amount of time in France.

                              1718 – Makes her way to Copenhagen where she settles, and gains influence within Camarilla society.

                              1750 – Embraces Clayton, following all the appropriate traditions in gaining permission from the Prince for his embrace. He remains with her and continues to act in her interest though he diversifies into his own areas as well. Clayton leans more towards academic and religious interests than financial and political.

                              1767 – 1817 - in Torpor. Wakes in 1817 to find Clayton has amassed a strong standing within the Camarilla community of Copenhagen and continued to expand their business holdings, particularly in the area of shipping.

                              1838 – Returns to England after Queen Victoria takes the throne. She retains Tattershall and gains a residence in London near Whitechapel as well. Transitions into London’s Camarilla society with ease and after witnessing the poverty and criminal activity in the Whitechapel area begins to take control of several thugs and brothels in the area. She meets Josephine Baines in one of the brothels just after being beaten by a customer. Takes her on as a ghoul and makes sure she gets a decent education to assist Eleanor in her affairs.

                              1847 – Receives word that Gregory may be in America. Leaves Clayton in charge in Whitechapel and makes for America with Josephine. Instead of finding Gregory she reunites with her sire Patricia, now going by the name Tyler. They witnesses a dramatic brawl in Atlanta between abolitionists and landowners. One of the abolitionists was a local and very passionate in his defense of the other abolitionists and their cause. Eleanor convinced him to join her and made him her ghoul. Josephine did not care for Eli as he reminded her too much of the men she serviced in Whitechapel, but she put up with him since Eleanor seemed taken with him.

                              1850 – Returned to England.

                              1880 – Petitions Mithras for permission to embrace Josephine, reunites with Šárka during her years in London.

                              1894 – Meets Lady Prudence Weston during a ball. Eleanor watches her as Prudence navigates her way through her debut season in society. She observes the courting game and realizes very little has changed since she was first put up for marriage. Truly not considering what she’s doing, Eleanor strikes up a friendship with Prudence and embraces her within fortnight. She’s lucky enough not to be punished for embracing her without permission.

                              1901 – Queen Victoria dies and King Edward takes the throne. Eleanor closes her home and returns to Copenhagen with Eli, Clayton, and Prudence. Josephine chooses to stay in London to handle their affairs.

                              1901 - 1904 Work with a coterie of kindred to remove Arminta Jorgensdatter. Her heavy handed approach to leading the city is very different from previous princes and Eleanor and Clayton chafe under her rule. In her place the coterie maneuvers Gangrel Rekke into power. Rekke is a native Dane and is not interested in lording over others, merely stabilizing the area for Kindred and Mortals alike. She builds a strong Primogen council – removing Arminta’s strongest supporters.

                              1901 – 1940 – Working together Clayton, Eleanor and Eli expand the legend of The Grey – a shadowy organization with ties to weapons dealing, smuggling, prostitution, racketeering and other illegal activities. Eleanor and Clayton have used The Grey as a moniker for their darker business affairs since the 18th century, but with the improvements in communications and trade routes the need to extend the organizations reputation is more evident. Prudence takes on more responsibility as she learns about the businesses and allows Clayton to spend more time on his own scholarly pursuits.

                              1940 – 1945 – Continue to work through the black market and assist in the mortal retaliation against Nazi occupation in Copenhagen. The Nazis’ treatment of the Jews, the Aryan ideal, and the fact they moved into Eleanor’s chosen city enrages her. During this time Prudence also begins to learn more about the art of torture and disturbing delights of sadomasochism. Her transition to the Path of Lilith concerns Eleanor slightly as she knows Damiana and Mariette also chose to follow that path.

                              1958 – Visits one of Copenhagen’s lesser known museums, the Hadassah Gallery – for the introduction of collection owner Isaac Denker’s previously unknown son, Gabriel Klien. The young man is handsome, charismatic, and after talking with him Eleanor is convinced he is not who he says he is. He has Mr. Danker’s complete confidence and seems to have a genuine interest in the priceless art found in the museum. Eleanor is fascinated by the way he manipulates the guests at Denker’s party with nothing more than his wits and charm. She makes sure to gain his attention and over the next three weeks receives his confidence and learns more about him. She ghouls him after learning he’s very familiar with the activities of The Grey throughout history and brings him into the fold.

                              1960 – Returns to London. Clayton remains in Copenhagen. Not pleased to find Anne Bowsley in charge of London instead of Mithras, whom she’d had a great respect for. Queen Anne is just another annoying Ventrue. Eleanor doesn’t care for Anne very much, especially her stylings as Queen rather than Prince. She had great respect for the mortal Queen Anne, the Ventrue is not worthy in her mind. She and Prudence don’t stay very long.

                              1962 – Returns to Copenhagen.

                              1969 – Man on the Moon – even in Denmark people are dreaming of the possibilities of space travel. Eleanor can’t fathom it, but Gabriel is eat up with the idea. He researches and suggests different business ventures to invest in. Eleanor gives him leave to invest a modest sum in whatever ventures he sees fit, on the condition that he explain them thoroughly. The reason “It’ll get us into space!” isn’t good enough.

                              1990 – Learn of Baba Yaga’s awakening and the loss of the Brujah in Russia. Not too bothered by the loss of the Ventrue but concerned over the Brujah and Toreador elders. Not entirely sure what can be done in Baba Yaga decides she’s interested in more than just Russia.

                              1991-2000 – Through the ups and downs of Eastern Europe’s break from communism, Eleanor keeps an eye on the political and business climate in hopes of gaining more influence. Politically she doesn’t get as involved as she once might have - figures she’ll wait until things are more stable and will not require as close a watch. On the business front, both under the table and above, Gabriele and Eli make great strides towards extending the legitimate business endeavors and the Grey’s power base as well.

                              2012 – Hearing from her original pack mates that they intend to reunite in Prague, Eleanor decides she’s been in Copenhagen long enough and it’s time to get away for a while. Clayton stays behind as he is most comfortable in the city. Prudence chooses to go with Eleanor, Gabriel and Eli. They’ve bought up several properties through proxies – it will be interesting to see how they enjoy Prague.


                              Šárka Vlasáková, 7th Generation Follower of Set of the Anarchs

                              The decade after the events at Černá Hora were good for Šárka, and she continued to cultivate her talents of Serpentis and worked closely with her paramour, Eleanor Grey. During this time she removed her and Eleanor’s hearts and placed them, together, under the foundation of a building where Jan’s Rest Inn had been…the place she and Eleanor met. However, the Anarch victories were fewer and farther between, and while the pack had some success, in time they simply ran out of options.

                              Šárka did not attend the Convention of Thorns herself. The news that came from it was not good, but was not unexpected. She met Diego Águilar after the Convention in Bratislava and there sitting on a broken wall he told her what happened.

                              After the Anarch Revolt, Šárka hit an emotional low. Her relationship with Eleanor and being swept up in the Anarch cause had given her passion, but when the Pack broke up she found herself despairing. She attempted to create a powerbase and with her paramour helped found a beer company called Černá Hora after the place her Pack had made it’s stand, and in that very village, in 1530; but even that distraction could not stave off her despair. In 1548, a couple years after her lover traveled to Trent, she traveled down into Egypt, where she disappeared for over half a century.

                              In fact, Šárka found the Egyptian branch of her clan, especially the Elders, not very accepting of the European Setites, considering them degraded and too far from Set’s teachings. However, others noted her proficiency with Akhu and took her under their wing. In fact the leader of the Fire Court Neferu did take some interest in her and Šárka only escaped a Blood Bond due to her mutual bond with Eleanor Grey. She eventually found other tutors as well, and spent time in the Court of Miracles, mastering truly arcane rituals of Akhu. Among the women of the Court of Miracles she also became an adherent of Tawaret…while still honoring Set much of her devotion shifted to the hippo goddess. Even so, she yearned for her homeland. In the dying days of the 16th Century, Šárka returned to Europe, to Tábor, and went to sleep.

                              Once she awoke, she tracked down her Pack, now numbering among both the Camarilla and the Sabbat. She also began her tradition of mailing them two gallons of beer every Christmas. Šárka also “defended” Tábor from other Cainites, consuming two different Toreador who tried to establish territory there. She also sired a number of childer, who predominantly stayed in Eastern Europe, though some traveled beyond. Šárka traveled between what is now Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

                              Šárka did make an extended appearance in Victorian London in the 19th Century. There she made contact with her Clan mates Sullivan St. James and Isobel. She also made some allies such as the Samedi John Gray and renewed her relationship with her paramour Eleanor Grey. She also Sired Marian Krauth, one of her recent childer. This was the last extended period of time she spent with her beloved Eleanor.

                              By this time Šárka had become something of a sybarite. While she still observed the tenants of her Clan they were not the guiding force of her life. Many of her desires and needs were very human. She also retained her interest in music and became fascinated by the growth of styles of music and recordings of it…and has maintained some knowledge of it throughout the 21st Century, though her influence is mostly restricted to getting airplay especially in Europe.

                              Thus Šárka became fascinated by Radio, and by the end of World War I she found a way to keep in touch with her allies in the form of Numbers Stations. Various allies began to receive pads in the mail at first and later sealed inside their Christmas beer delivery, along with broadcast frequencies. And a couple nights a week Šárka descended into her basement and read off a list of numbers and phonetic characters, indicating the recipient, page, and a message that can only make sense to that recipient. Šárka’s Numbers Station has existed for over 90 years, and is among many whose precise goal is widely speculated upon. It vanished during the Czech revolutions but was back within weeks, and enthusiasts wonder if the new government just took over the old station. They have no idea a 500 year old Vampire is sending messages to equally ancient allies. And some of those allies wonder if some of Šárka’s messages to other recipients go to more ancient allies still.

                              Her web of contacts in radio grew, and she cultivated allies in both sects, including the Sabbat Bishop Mavis Fitzpatrick who was from her own clan (and who she unsuccessfully tried to bring back into the fold). Mavis had similar interests in music on the other side of the pond, and they had an odd working relationship into the 30s, which not only included music but that both had retained their humanitus among kin who sometimes regarded it as weakness. Mavis helped get her caught up on the Jazz scene, and Šárka repaid her in 1998 when Mavis rose from torpor after going to sleep when World War II started by doing the same.

                              Šárka consolidated power in Communist Czechoslovakia as she always had, with seduction. She made great plans for a huge headquarters in Prague as a bomb shelter she designed from Tábor with the help of a recently widowed wife of a communist official named Amálie, whom she eventually embraced. She used her connection to powerful families to build the sprawling multilayer structure beneath Prague and have it essentially be forgotten “in reserve” for nuclear attacks that never came.

                              Šárka spent some time in Prague, some time in Tábor, and some time in Bratislava until the Prague Spring in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Šárka overestimated the staying power of many of the reforms, and when the soviets moved in she fled, staying in Belgrade. By the time she fled, she had left her childe Amálie to take care of Tábor and remotely see to her interests in Prague.

                              Šárka fled to Yugoslavia, the homeland of her Croatian Sire Elizabetha. In Belgrade, Šárka became caught up in the cult of personality of Josip Broz Tito, the President of Yugoslavia. She wound up becoming involved in the party circuit of the top brass of Yugoslavia, cultivating many important contacts and spreading her transmission empire, resuming quickly her messages, this time from Belgrade to Amálie. Marian, Elizabetha, and the Conspiracy. She also became taken with one of the daughters of a Croat communist party official who had, along with his wife, become her lover. After taking him into sending his daughter to be educated in France (as part of Tito’s increasing interest in building Western connections) Šárka took Draženka Šabalj as her personal assistant and eventually embraced her, and was delighted her blood had the same wine-like taste Šárka’s does.

                              Meanwhile Šárka’s influence was felt back in Northern Europe via her influence on Radio North Sea International, which she influenced though various means partially through Marian and had as a back up antenna for broadcasting in the north. While Šárka eventually intended to create a series of pirate radio stations throughout the world in international waters, by the end of RNI’s run she had given up on the project. A second similar ship in the Mediterranean had been destroyed by Libyans, and countries were getting more savvy to the broadcasts. Still, her compatriot’s messages occasionally came though RNI for a while as well as Šárka’s voice, and Eleanor got a few romantic dedications to “My Sweet Elle” over RNI.

                              Šárka was blocked from Embracing Tito by more powerful figures in the city, and when he died she was devastated. She was pleased a few years later by the Velvet Revolution and made contact with Amálie to begin setting up her bases of power in her homeland. While less pleased by the breakup of Czechoslovakia she did not consider it a major loss given Austria and Germany were no longer in a place to invade her homeland so the consolidated power was less necessary. What she was unprepared for was the breakup of Yugoslavia.

                              Šárka expected Yugoslavia’s transition to democracy to be much like her homeland…she underestimated the ethnic hatreds stewing there given the Bohemian Czechs, Moravian Czechs, and Slovakians got along comparatively well. The wars quickly cost her every bit of influence she had in the government, and nearly resulted in her death. Šárka never forgave the Serbs as a people, though she was wise enough to regard them as individuals rather than become part of the problem herself. She and Draženka fled into Zagreb where her Croatian contacts were. Šárka eventually left Draženka in charge of her operations in the former Yugoslavia such as she had left and returned to Tábor, where she found herself having something of a spat with Amálie who felt somewhat abandoned and jealous of the beautiful dark eyed Draženka. Šárka eventually ended the infighting and spent quite a bit of time sulking in Tábor, upset by her childer being at each other’s throats (possibly egged on by Marian) and the breakup of Yugoslavia. The last time she saw such violence she was walking the Path of Sutekh not Humanity, and was shaken. She had a (very short) Torpor during this time.

                              When she awoke she decided to move away from her childer for now and go back to Prague, always a favorite city of hers. She did not leave Tábor immediately however. Amálie had ensured her underground temple and broadcasting center was intact, and Šárka set up a Youth Hostel on top of it called Rajská Zahrada (Garden of Eden) which she expanded from there into two in Prague and others in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and has starting trying to get some in Croatia. She solicited Krzysztof Tęczyński’s help in getting a few items for her laboratory she needed in exchange for removing the Fiend’s Heart. With the help of a street savvy Danish backpacker named Annika Nørgaard Šárka established the Rajská Zahrada as safe places and particularly attractive places for female backpackers by funding access to birth control and sometimes even abortion access within, as well as protection. Having wandered Eastern Europe for some time Šárka felt a bond with these girls, who were often near or at the age Šárka herself was frozen in, though a 15th Century twenty-one year old woman was different physically and emotionally from a 21st.

                              Šárka was in the process of corrupting her second Ghoul, a Belgian itinerate Indie musician named Marie-Hélène Beaumont when word came the Conspiracy was looking at coalescing again. Šárka used her (and Amálie’s and Annika’s) contacts in the city to help her old pack move in, and began helping them acquire territory and Herd in the city. She took two additional ghouls, first an American girl named Shatina Smith then just before the arrival of her cohorts she began the whirlwind seduction of the British Brittany Hall. Then, exactly 529 years from the night, Walpurgis Night, her Pack had ridden onto the Charles Bridge, she met them there again. The six were one once more.


                              Jocelin de La Forêt, 7th Generation Country Gangrel Antitribu of the Sabbat and Remover of the Black Hand
                              A/N: year = y ~ journal date = d is y - 1429 ~ d

                              Le 25ème du mois de décembre, 176
                              And here I thought I would have not be celebrating le Réveillon or la Fête des Rois again. However, La Serpent has found word of my place here in Paris, and sent me 2 gallons of her magicked beer. If I am careful, it might last me all the way through until la Fête des Rois. Even aside from her brew, it is good to hear from her again - I have not heard from any of the pack, save Le Savant, since before the Convention of Thorns. She sent news of the others, as well, at least of their continued existence as she knew it last. I find myself missing that pack more than others I have been in; it was a well-made pack. Perhaps it will have purpose again.

                              Le 15ème du mois de août, 236
                              Apparently I have been doing something quite well. Jalan-Aajav has taken note of me, and sponsored me for entry into the Black Hand. I have avoided too much ‘advancement’ in the ranks of the Sabbat these past few years; I am quite content with my vagabond existence. However, with the Black Hand comes the opportunity to sharpen the skills I might otherwise never acquire. They would ask of me nothing more than to hunt targets that are a danger to others, too strong or well-placed for any other to reach. This, I can do. This, I was born to do.

                              Le 21ème du mois de juillet, 238
                              My initial trials and training are complete. The trials are to be secret, so I cannot give them description here, but I feel duly tested and found in good form. The training was intense in itself - my head is bursting with new languages, new tactics, new ways of gathering information and of keeping my information from being gathered. Aajav-Khan stood with me as my parrain, an honor I hope to live up to, as I received the crescent mark of the Black Hand and said the words binding our purposes together. And now the hunt begins.

                              Le 27ème du mois de juin, 280
                              Ah, the foolishness of mortals - these soldiers do not even put up the fight that I follow them for. Their tres raisonnable Swedish commander has led them through an entire winter in Russia, while their plus tres raisonnable subcommanders dropped their food and supplies at the first hint of backbone from the Russian troops. This has become almost too easy; the hardest part has been making sure I don’t feed off a soldier that is victim to the illnesses that follow them, I have no desire to risk it being something in their thin blood. Perhaps I shall turn aside and go after some of these Cossacks. At least they’d be a slightly more challenging hunt.

                              Le 11ème du mois de novembre, 365
                              I have arrived back home to find that the esprit de révolution has beaten me back. The king has been killed by some body of peasants, and these same peasants are rampaging through the nobility and even each other in a desire to eradicate any reminders of their former position. I find myself wondering what others of the pack think of this trend. Le Savant would look down upon it, I am certain. La jeune Mendiante may not have even noticed. I do not know what L’Espagnol and La Serpent might think, but I imagine La Pucelle approves. Her cause was mainly for women, but surely, with the peasant class being raised to such heights, women cannot but follow... what am I saying? I know better than that. Men are jealous of power, especially power recently gained. Even these peasant men who know the feeling of being of lower class will not hesitate to push their wives and daughters into that same position, now that they have an upper hand.

                              Le 8ème du mois de septembre, 426
                              Well, this adventure is finally ended. After months of bombardment by the large guns of my countrymen and their strange British bedfellows, this last day was true fighting - a proper assault, fighting hand-to-hand from fortification to fortification. The despair and waiting of the defenders which I had fed upon nightly was finally over. I believe the Russians will find their policy of defense at all costs to be foolish. Regardless, I think I shall leave this conflict, possibly to find a safe place to rest for a time.

                              Le 21ème du mois de novembre, 466
                              I met an interesting man last night. Lord Wilkshire was my contact in the area for my last removal job and we spent probably as much time discussing philosophy as we did discussing the job. I have been feeling unsatisfied with my Path - there was much emphasis on our Beast and bestial natures, while I feel that, as we do have our old human capacities for thought and consideration, we should strive to make use of both, to be better than either. Lord Wilkshire shares these thoughts, and has founded his own path, a path of stalkers and hunters, whose prey are those vampires who deny or fully succumb to either side of our natures. According to his Path, both Beast-ridden and high humanity vampires are dangers to our kind, and those vampires who have achieved the Golconda state are even worse. We are the height of evolution, he says, and we should take care that our childer and our fellows are strengthening, not weakening our place in the world. What he has said has struck a cord; I shall have to consider it deeply.

                              Le 9ème du mois de septembre, 485
                              Another war has overtaken my France; these mortals and their conflicts. This one looks to encompass all of Europe. Germany, this time, intrudes into the French lands. In ways alien and strange to me, the mortals have managed to beat them back. I had my usual fill of the nighttime battlefield, stalking the soldiers in their camps, taking my country’s toll of their flesh. This last night, I found many more French soldiers than could have been able to arrive in one day, so I decided to stalk a Frenchman for information rather than blood. He told me a “miraculous” plan of their general, to use these taxi things in number to convey troops from Paris to the battle lines. Not so much different from a cavalry reinforcement, I suppose, but with all he was describing it became clear than my ideas of the battlefield and mortals’ toys were outdated. Having appeared to the man as an avenging angel, I persuaded him to come with me - I would ghoul him, and have him teach me of these new toys and weapons. Perhaps also I would begin to amass what amounts to power in mortal society through a mortal servant. I have neglected that area of the hunt for too long, I think.

                              Le 14ème du mois de juin, 511
                              Perhaps now the mortals will finally stop laughing at their drôle de guerre and begin living up to their promises. The Germans have again taken it on themselves to invade French lands, and our soi-disant allies were taken unprepared it seems. Their hopes of time were crushed by these planes that the Germans used to quickly take over Belgium, ensuring that the slow pace of troop gathering taken on by our allies. Attardé, arriéré, lourd - that has apparently been the theme of these ‘Allies’ all around. Slow to respond, slow to react, slow to gather. The man de Gaulle shows some backbone, and my countrymen did manage to make some stands, once it was mostly too late. They made good use of the landscape, like proper hunters, to cost many enemy lives, but in the end, they had taken my Paris. At least the Germans did not manage to push us into some sort of unification with the British. The so-called leaders of did manage to keep that shred of dignity.

                              Le 4ème du mois de octobre, 560
                              My latest human servant has outlived his usefulness. He finds it difficult to understand the new mortal toys, the new ways of business. I offered him the same test I gave my first servant - if he could wound me in the slightest in a duel, he would be made a proper childer of mine, and raised to become my true partner. He failed this, as did the first. Perhaps not unexpected - I did not choose them for their prowess in battle, though I did train them to defend themselves somewhat against any enemies that might try to wound me through them. These two times have been the only times I have regretted my lack of that standard Cainite feature, the ecstatic bite. I would have wished to give these two servants a more... pleasurable end at least. As it was, I killed them quickly, and drained them only once they had died. It is time to return to Paris, and hunt for a new servant.

                              Le 19ème du mois de decembre, 560
                              I have finally found a suitable replacement. I decided to look into a younger crowd, with the hope they would retain their love of toys for longer. I was stalking a particularly promising student in business to find he has very strange tastes in entertainment. I did not even have to lure this one with visions of power or promises of money; when he saw a glimpse of my teeth, he immediately guessed I was a vampire, and all but begged to come along with me. He began to spout off some wild theories that are apparently mortal’s current beliefs about Cainites - he will be worth years of entertainment for me just retelling all he has read about ‘vampires’, I think. I gained other valuable information on this stalk. I know my fellows frequently kept herds of mortals for their consumption, but had never counted on having that luxury, the pain of my bite making it infeasible. But I followed this boy Luc into a club that not only seemed to worship this idea of vampires they have, but also, believing the bite to be painful, long for it. It is something to think about, should I ever have need of a herd of mortals.

                              Ok there are our first three downtimes. I think they show the PCs focus very well. Eleanor’s is businesslike and to the point, Šárka’s dwells more on present and recent history then past, and Jocelin’s is a series of major wars and conflicts.

                              The three Bahari embraced by Eleanor were due to the paean to Lilith she recited for Mogra. She was overwhelmed by the urge to embrace…and somehow nothing negative ever happened for it. You will note she tended to return to England when she had powerful female monarchs. Černá Hora is a real beer company today, and the events surrounding Radio North Sea International were certainly interesting (and there may have been more going on then generally known, if you believe stories in espionage circles). And if you run any sort of horror or espionage game and don’t know what Numbers Stations are you owe it to yourself to find out. Arminta Jorgensdatter is in Victorian Age: Vampire, Mithras is in several places but most notably London by Night and has an update in Children of the Night under Monty Coven. Lady Anne is in a number of supplements most notably Children of the Night, Nefru and the Fire Court are in Giovanni Chronicles III: The Sun has Set, The Court of Miracles is in Cairo by Night, Jalan-Aajav is in a lot of places notably Children of the Inquisition and Children of the Night, and Lord Wilkshire is in Chaining the Beast. I worked with Jocelin’s player on including some of the big names in the Sabbat that were included, and there was some brisk conversation among the group over email as these were written so we had an idea what each other were doing with our downtime that may affect the others.

                              Oh, Sullivan St. James, Isobel, John Grey and Mavis Fitzpatrick are old PCs from different games (and players). Sullivan was, in fact, a Baali masquerading as a Follower of Set, but that is a story for a different time.

                              As an aside, and I will mention this after next session’s journals as some folks skip the non AP parts, we have pictures for all characters in the actual play and almost all those in the downtimes. As such while I lack time to put up all ~120 pics we have for the game, I can put up some for folks mentioned people want a visual reference for. I also can scare up a few more pics of most PCs in case those in the OP are not enough for you. Let me know what might help you envision events described.

                              Next week session 6. Our heroes meet some Sabbat and go out onto the set of a vampire movie being filmed at Vyšehrad castle, the site of a major battle with a potent Tzimisce long ago. Surely, nothing bad will come of that. It’s mostly more role-playing as our protagonists continue to learn about things in Prague, but hopefully you will enjoy it all the same. Comments and Questions welcome.


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                              [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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