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Chronicles of Darkness: The Golden Eagle (Actual Play)

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  • Originally posted by Baroness Nerak View Post
    Luciano got an exceptional success to resist flipping out from the werewolves. He is kinda badass. And yeah, Izzy is fun
    Shame Alla's player does not journal...Her thoughts on the British empire and on Cyprus last session were hilarious.

    I just love the reaction to personalities like hers and Terry's - even for supernatural creatures of the night, there is a certain kind/degree of crazy that even they aren't ready to take in stride.


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • Yeah it's fair.

      I have actually stopped the game from everyone laughing at one of Izzy's rants. I guess supernatural powers don't make you immune to that.


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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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      • There was a mystery to solve on the train. Espianage and spy vs. spy. But now we are on the open sea.

        Pirate Battle? Pirate Battle!

        Session L


        Marek’s Thoughts


        21 July 1924

        We parted company with Christina, who continued on the train to Vienna. The rest of us got on a boat headed for Cyprus. Specifically, Nicosia. Piedad and Iris continued to follow us, though Iris pointed out that she was just headed for Cyprus and wasn’t necessarily following. Piedad was. And as it turns out the boat ride was just as “interesting” if not more so than the train ride to Zara. It started out with an Italian military vessel following us for a short while. Iris, who can “hear” radio waves, said that the Italian vessel was offering us protection from Ottoman pirates, for a fee of course. The captain of our ship declined the offer and the military vessel moved off. Some people thought that the offer of protection for a fee was suspect, so the idea that we would then run into pirates backed by the Italians was brought up.

        Later in the evening an unnatural fog rolled in. Fearing trouble Tatiana asked Alla to speak to Izzy about getting rid of the fog if she could. Turns out that she could, and a strong breeze came up and moved a good bit of the fog away. The fog moving revealed an Ottoman pirate ship off our starboard side. They were closing with us and transmitting to our captain over the radio. Iris did not specifically tell us what was being said. She simply asked if we were ready for trouble. When we assured her that we were, she said okay and apparently transmitted her own message to the pirates. They did not like what she had to say and continued heading our way.

        Tatiana and I could see the deck of the other ship from where we were and realized that among the number of pirates on deck were two Pure werewolves. It appeared that the pirates on deck had rifles and the ship was armed with several cannons. Their intentions were clear so Lizette took the initiative and had one of the cannons flip around and fire at the deck of their own ship. I think it left them appropriately scared. After that Tatiana and Alla jumped from our vessel to theirs. Tatiana was carrying Wolfram and Alla took Laszlo. I probably could have jumped across and met them in hand to hand combat, but decided that I just wanted to shoot them. So, I collected my rifle and took out one of the pirates that looked like he was giving orders. Always take out the command structure first.

        I was able to see the deck of the pirate ship clearly thanks to Wolfram’s powers. He had enabled a gift that made his body glow really bright. Lizette then made a second cannon shoot at the pirate ship’s deck. There was a lot of shouting in Italian on the Ottoman ship, which confirmed ideas that the pirates were connected to the Italian military ship we had already passed.

        After taking out an officer I decided to change targets and start shooting at the Pure. I wounded one. Laszlo then hit that same man with one of the cannons from the deck. That man is strong! The Pure then turned around and hit Laszlo in turn. Around that time Wolfram got hit by some gift that looked an awful lot like something I’ve seen Autumn Courtiers doing. So, we figured out that there was an invisible Autumn Courtier hiding out on the ship dishing out injury. I think one of the rifleman shot Laszlo, but it didn’t seem to do him much in the way of harm. It looks like our newest packmate can shrug off some injuries as well as wield cannon as weapons. I think he is a good man to have on our side.

        Alla kept up the attack on one of the Pure while Lizette threw a grenade in the midst of the riflemen. That in and of itself is a good reason to not bunch up together during a fight. Especially if you are fighting Lizette. Wolfram then set one of the Pure on fire with his pyre flame gift. He didn’t seem to pay much attention to the fire though because he then went on to attack Tatiana. The proof of how badly hurt he was came up the next moment when I put a bullet into that Pure werewolf and brought him down. Laszlo, still wielding the cannon, then renewed his efforts against the remaining Pure and managed to kill him with his last swing.

        Lizette switched tactics after the riflemen spread out and started shooting at them with her Tommy gun. I managed to spot a Claimed on the other boat, briefly, before he turned into a wave of water. Same trick that Greta can do. But briefly is all I needed and I shot him. He had to use his gifts to shrug off the injury and smoke started pouring out of him. After that several riflemen started firing at me and I had to pay attention to getting out of the path of their bullets before I could renew my attacks on the Claimed. Unfortunately, that brief respite is all the Claimed needed to turn into a wave and knock Wolfram, Laszlo and Tatiana into the water, as well as himself. Laszlo could not swim, but Wolfram was good enough to swim over to our new packmate and help him stay afloat.

        While that was going on Alla managed to find, in a general way, where the invisible Changeling was. I think she tracked the other person by the scent of blood or their heartbeat. Whichever method she used worked. I believe that she managed to hit the Changeling at least once before she turned her sights on the rifleman that was firing at Lizette. I think she also noticed the grenade that Lizette was about to throw near the Changeling’s position. So, Lizette threw her explosive and definitively hit the invisible person, as the blood and viscera will attest to. As my packmates were doing their best to thin the ranks of pirates I was doing my best to help them in the endeavor. I took out another rifleman before I turned my attention to our friends in the water. I lowered a lifeboat to my packmates and raised it back up so they could continue the fight on our vessel. Several of the riflemen again tried to shoot me but missed or their guns jammed. I assumed that the guns jamming was Lizette’s handiwork. As it turns out, while all the fighting was going on the Claimed man had summoned skeletons to crawl up onto the deck of our ship. Tatiana then managed to grab the Claimed in a hold and tried to intimidate the man into calling off his skeletons. She succeeded in scaring him. He turned into water again and fled without doing what was requested of him.

        The skeletons managed to climb onto the deck about the time that I got the lifeboat back on board. Wolfram and Laszlo climbed on board while Tatiana simply jumped into the fray. Lizette for her part changed tactics and grabbed her chainsaw, attacked a skeleton and easily brought it down. At this point Lizette was pretty badly hurt. The riflemen that had been plaguing me had also been taking shots at my slight packmate, but they managed to hit her. I think part of it was due to the fact that I am able to move sooner than she is and have a better chance at avoiding the shots.

        The men with the jammed rifles switched to pistols and continued to try and kill us. Wolfram used his gifts to take one out in short order. While he was focusing on the men, Piedad and Tatiana were focusing on the skeletons and doing a good job of it. I killed the remaining pistolman on the pirate ship with a well-placed shot just as Laszlo was taking out the last skeleton on our ship. Tatiana then grabbed a rope, tied it off and jumped back over to the pirate vessel. It had drifted closer during all the fighting. The rest of us used the rope to get over to the pirate ship and we started searching for anything interesting. And interesting is what we found. We managed to come across some documents, written in Italian, that Iris said were rather incriminating to some parts of the Italian military. It turns out that the four supernatural individuals hired some ex-Italian Navy men and decided to go pirating in the waters off Cyprus. After some discussion, we agreed to turn the documents over to the British consulate on Cyprus and let them deal with the fall out. If we turned them over to the Italian government, it is likely that some well-meaning individual would try and address the issue but then get shut down by someone higher up in the command structure. Turning the documents over to a neutral party may work better to get the corruption in the Italian military dealt with. After we finished searching the pirate ship we secured it to our own and started to tow it to shore.

        Following the altercation with the pirate ship several things happened. Wolfram used what gifts he could to heal Lizette, who was badly hurt from the gunfire. Laszlo, who was also hurt pretty bad, managed to heal on his own it seems. At least he was no longer as badly wounded in the few minutes that passed after the fight. Once we were sure that he was okay Tatiana and I gave Laszlo the first of his lessons in hand to hand fighting. Laszlo already had a pretty good grasp of the basics, but I think he made some definite improvement in the course of our lessons on the deck. I will admit that fighting him in hand to hand can be a little disconcerting at first. Laszlo is not a very big man physically, but he seems to be much more of a threat than his physical form would indicate. The feeling of threat doesn’t match with what your eyes see, so it can be a bit off putting until you get used to it. Once you get used to it though it is easier to focus on the fight itself. Laszlo used that sense of threat to his advantage in the beginning of the lesson. He is well aware of how he is perceived, which is a good thing. He can use that to good effect in an actual fight, and he’ll be better able to defend himself physically after we’re done with him.

        Our next stop is the city of Nicosia on Cyprus. I suppose we’ll see if the island has any more adventures for us to tackle. Either way it will be interesting, I have not been to Cyprus before.


        Tatiana’s Conversations

        Be quiet volchonok, I am trying to sleep.

        Yes, I know that the sun is out.

        Because I have been awake all night for three nights! Besides, the sun is warm and comfortable with the sea spray, and there is not much to do on a boat.

        I am sure the old pirate ship is much less comfortable.

        That is true, I could curl up in a more comfortable way in Urshul form and safely, on the other boat. But it is covered in blood and stinks of the Pure.

        “Reminding me of a good fight” does not help me sleep, volchonok.

        It was a good fight though, was it not?

        I am sorry I left you behind on our boat, but jumping over to theirs was the only way to fight properly.

        I know Marek and Lizette did not, but I am not Marek or Lizette, to be also to shoot across boats, or make the pirates own cannons fire on them.

        Alla and I could only care so many, and it is good we took Laszlo and Wolfram. I do not think Alla could have taken the second werewolf on her own, and I fight better one on one.

        That was her fighting the invisible one, foolish volchonok. I imagine she could smell the blood as well, once Lizette’s grenade injured them.

        Yes, well, Sin-Eaters cheat. He was like Greta, this enemy Sin-Eater, with the wave crashing and the disappearing into water. And yet, in the water, I still grabbed him and frightened him into fleeing.

        Do you do this just to anger me, volchonok? Is it because you think I am too sleepy to fight you? It is true, he did not do as I told him and get rid of the zombies. It is not as if they were hard to tear apart, anyway.

        The riflemen hurt Lizette, not the zombies. Wolfram made them bleed from everywhere for that.

        What?

        I did not hit the Pure with a cannon, foolish volchonok, because my teeth are better. And because I am not a giant like Laszlo.

        He was already drowning, it is good he dropped the cannon, or Wolfram could not have dragged him to the boat.

        He did fight well, our newest pack member. And he will fight better - he will be here soon for a lesson in fighting, now that you have ruined my nap.

        Yes, volchonok, that means we cannot go for a run. Also, we are on a boat. We will land soon, and finish this business of Connie’s. Then we will run.


        Lizette’s Plans

        Pirates of the Mediterranean

        Nicholette DuBois entered the cabin where Lizette Étoile was working. Wolfram had gone on deck since the Gremlin was, well, a Gremlin and as much as he loved her he knew sometimes it was a little safer to have a wall or two between them. Nicholette, however, was curious to see the Wizened work.

        Lizette was adjusting her chainsaw and cleaning it. She wore functional pants and her bra as she sat at her small desk disassembling the chainsaw with small quick hands. She still had bandages from the two rifle shots she had taken, and visible on her chest. The writer let her eyes wander to the solid biceps just visible under her firm green skin. She was a distracted by the taut muscle till Lizette spoke.

        “It is good you remained below decks with Connie and Izzie, hein? It was dangerous up there.”

        “And who all…what all…did you fight up there?” Nicholette tilted her head a bit.

        “Well as you know, as we all know because Iris knows Italian, some elements of the navy wanted protection money. She had a radio…somewhere she used to eavesdrop. The Navel ship tried a protection trick, so when we blew them off a pirate ship showed. It was an old Ottoman ship like the British and Italians captured at the end of the war. Fortunately the weapons were mid-last century. Rather nasty cadre of people on there though…Two Werewolves, a Changeling and a Sin-Eater. And a bunch of men with rifles and zombies.” Lizette spoke as she worked.

        “Of what sort? Like Tatiana or Marek? Like you or Dearbháil?”

        “The werewolves…,” she untwisted a tight screw, “were Predator Kings, a tribe of Pure, the unfriendly werewolves, we had not run into. As opposed to the comparatively friendly werewolves who are called Forsaken, like Tatiana or Marek. I don’t really know anything about the Predator Kings otherwise. As for the Changeling…,” she paused to squint into the chainsaw, “No clue, he or she was invisible, and by the time the second grenade landed there was not enough to really identify. Autumn Court like me, though, based on the Contracts they were using.”

        “So what did you do?” She watched the bicep flex as Liz lifted the chainsaw.

        “Well I turned the cannons of the ship on the ship itself. That was fun. Unfortunately they unloaded two. Tossed a couple grenades over there that really created some mayhem…took out the Lost over there. And used the Thompson a bit when the ship finally got close enough. It’s better than their nineteenth century rifles, but they had a lot of rifleman.” Lizette winced slightly and carefully put it down.

        “But…what about the undead?” Nicholette pointed to a stain on the saw.

        “Oh, them. They came up as they were summoned by a Sin-Eater and scaled the side of the craft. The chainsaw took care of them.” The Gremlin paused. “It is almost as if the chainsaw it was made to kill the undead.”

        “Ah. Well what about the werewolves, Tatiana and Marek? They were fighting too?” Nicholette paused as she watched the Inventor. Tatiana and Marek were both attractive people too. Maybe she should hang around their rooms too…

        “Ah, Tatiana jumped across carrying Wolfram. She made a charge for the Werewolves, and did very well. She helped Wolfram with one, Laszlo with the other. Then she fought the Sin-Eater. Marek was on my boat, I had a harder time following what he was doing, but he was clearly sniping enemies on the other side. I am sure he was shooting werewolves then their rifleman. Then probably the Sin-Eater. Hard to say, it was a man pointing a gun, hein?” The Gremlin shrugged.

        “No less heroic I am sure.” Nicholette dark eyes sparkled. She could not see Lizette roll her brilliant yellow ones. She turned slightly back to the writer. “Not charging into two werewolves head on heroic, but I would not imply Marek is not heroic, I suppose. “ She picked up her rag and wiped her hands. “Now Wolfram was, he was also fighting a Werewolf despite not being one, as well as hexing the rifleman shooting and me and pulling Laszlo out of the water when he needed help. He got knocked in by the Sin-Eater too.”

        “How was he doing that?” She leaned on the doorframe.

        “Ah, turned into a wave? We have seen Greta Hess do it. Sin-Eaters they have strange powers.” Lizette rose and carried the chainsaw to her bag. “Tatiana grappled him, but then he vanished to a different part of the water, which Greta has also done. Anyway…Alla mostly fought the other fae and humans, and Laszlo charged into the werewolves with Tatiana and Wolfram. Anything else you want to know?” The Gremlin pulled a shirt on.

        “Ah, Lazlo. He hadn’t seem to notice me. Didn’t seem to be the ‘ignore the help’ sort of person.”

        Lizette shrugged and sat on the bed. “You are not really his type. And he gets kinda fixated. I would not take it too personally. I doubt he is putting on airs. At least I presume. Went to his head fast if so.” She grins.

        “Maybe not. Just some ignore me, others don’t. You, Christina, and Wolfram don’t, for instance. Fenric is enthusiastic and Tatiana is nice. On the other hand, Dacian and Dearbháil tried to avoid having me near them.”

        The Wizened shrugged again. “I don’t know what they are thinking. But I do know I am taking a nap for a bit. Be sure you are ready, we will arrive in Kyrenia before sunrise, and it’s not even nightfall yet.”

        Nicholette smiled, “Sweet dreams Liz. Dream of mayhem.” And she stepped out into the hallway. Watching the Gremlin, she nearly bumped into Isobel as she stepped out. The Mage harrumphed.

        “You two were not eating anyone in there were you?”

        “No…No?” The writer looked surprised.

        “Ah probably a piece of cheese. Nonetheless, I have my eye on you.” The Obrimos gave her a sharp look. She then suddenly changed to a smile and chuckled merrily as she continued on her way.

        Nicholette shook her head. “That woman has been in a confined space too long.”

        End Session L

        Lizette did not affect any of the rifleman’s weapons. Marek could dodge bullets, and had a good enough Defense several had chance dies to hit him, and that lead to some Dramatic Failures. For her part the rifle seems Lizette’s natural enemy, she once again took heavy damage from them. Her defense is very very high, and I am using the Hack where Fae can boost defense against a single attack by their Wyrd for one glamour per attack, but she cannot dodge bullets, and while the Wyrd thing helped she was still hit a couple times. Wolfram spent most of the rest of his Plasm healing her with Mending the Mortal Coil.

        We had to determine rules for picking up a Cannon and beating people with it. That was fun.

        The Pure were Predator Kings, the Sin-Eater was a Bonepicker Prey and the Changeling was an Autumn Court Wizened.

        There were, apparently, some who used sized ships from the Ottoman Empire near the end of the war for piracy. There were accusations against the Italians for doing so opportunistically, but more individuals than all the way to the top. It seemed a good place for a side combat to blow off some steam.

        Winding up next couple session, probably. See you then! Comments and Questions Welcome.


        Onyx Path Moderator
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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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        • Considering all the different supernaturals you were listing on the pirate ship, I was starting to think you were setting up a rival team/nemesis.


          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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          • Vent0: Heh, Not a bad idea, but nah. This time.

            It’s the end of the line. The group is in Cyprus, now it’s time for an auction, and an old familiar face.

            Session LI


            Marek’s Thoughts

            22 July 1924

            We arrived in Nicosia without incident. There was interesting conversation on the bus ride to the hotel, but nothing bad or out of the ordinary happened. Izzy and Alla were discussing my Kindred pack mate’s feeding preferences. Then somehow the conversation turned to whether or not it would work, as an emergency measure, to turn Alla into a bottle or some other object. I think the idea was to protect Alla from the sun should the need arise. None of us were sure if that would work and Alla did not seem keen on trying it out. I don’t blame her.

            The hotel was very nicely appointed. I suppose I should not be surprised by now. After we arrived we met up with Connie and Agrippa to discuss the auction tomorrow. They wanted to know if we had any interest in bidding with her on some of the artifacts. It seemed like just about everyone was okay with that plan of action. Interestingly it seems that Iris also came to this auction to bid on the same artifacts that Agrippa and Connie are interested in.

            Later this evening Tatiana and Alla went out looking for a gambling establishment. I think Alla was looking to feed. Tatiana was going along for the fun, and possibly to start a fight. This is Tatiana after all. Anyway, the two went out looking for a gambling place and ended up running into Piedad. The werecat joined my pack mates and they all went in search of their desired destination. They ended up finding one and went in to enjoy themselves. As could be predicted a fight broke out. I think someone tried to pick Tatiana’s pocket and Alla spotted it. A fight ensued. Tatiana enjoyed herself, as did Alla and Piedad. The latter apparently ducked under a table and came out the other side as a large cat. Not subtle at all, but it worked at sowing chaos. Alla also took the opportunity to feed from the pickpocket. Again, not the most subtle activities those three could have come up with, but they seemed to have fun and they did not get caught. That was the important thing.

            **** **** ****

            23 July 1924

            We went for a preview look at the artifacts that Agrippa wanted to bid on. And as it turns out they are very similar to the ones that we saw before in Paris. The cultural influences were different, but they seemed to have the same kind of mechanical workings that the other ones did. So, they are related somehow, we just don’t know the details. I could tell that the others interests were peaked, as was mine. Those artifacts were made by the same people that built the Eagle. Their devices can do amazing things. We just happened, or Jamal just happened, to know how to make the Eagle work. We don’t know what the purpose of the other artifacts is or was. The only thing we know for sure is that they can harness a great deal of power and release it if prodded in the right way. We met with Dana, who happened to be at the auction for the same reason we were, after the viewing and she shared our opinions that the artifacts were of a similar make to the others, but had different regional influences.

            After we talked to Dana we got a message from Nicolette that Iris wanted to talk to us. So the group of us went over to speak to her. She, as noted before, was also interested in the artifacts. She flat out told us that she wanted to work with us to acquire the objects. She wants to use the artifacts to see how they were made and possibly find a way to fight the “Custodians”, as she calls them. The metallic/mechanical creatures that we fought on both trains call themselves the Custodians of the world. Apparently they try and influence events in the way that they think they should go. They wanted us to find the Eagle before, or at least make sure we were strong enough to take it for ourselves. I’m not sure what their purpose on the Orient Express was. The custodian, in human guise, tried to get into our cars on the train, that much is known. We just don’t know what his purpose was. He wasn’t the most talkative guy. Iris said that she is on the side of free will, of allowing mortals to do as we will. Nice sentiment. Not sure if she doesn’t actually have a hidden agenda, but nice sentiment nonetheless.

            Like I said, Iris told us that she wanted to get her hands on the artifacts so that she can figure out how they work and what they do in an effort to fight the Custodians. She also said that working with the artifacts would be dangerous because it would attract the attention of said Custodians. She said that she would need to do a little work, move to another safe location and continue the work, and so on. She implied that it would not be safe for us to keep them at our residence because the Custodians could find our place and attack us there. She wanted to take the artifacts with her. We said that we would talk to the others about her plan and get back to her.

            After Alla woke up, shortly before the auction, the whole pack discussed Iris’s idea. To say that not everyone liked the idea was an understatement. We came up with a few ideas on what to do with the artifacts. One idea was to get the artifacts for ourselves and betray Agrippa and Connie in the process because we would keep them. Another idea was that we could get Connie’s approval of our plan to get the artifacts for ourselves. This would only alienate Agrippa, and leave Connie on our side. It was brought up that Alla could talk to Connie about things and see if she’d be willing to go against her sire. The last option was that we acquire the artifacts like planned, with Agrippa, and just plan to keep them at our residence. Agrippa could look at them as she pleased, but we would keep them safe at our house. Then later down the line, if and when Agrippa’s interest in the artifacts waned, we could give them to Iris to look at herself.

            We decided on the later idea in the end and went to talk to Iris about it before the auction started. She seemed disappointed but understood. We had already made arrangements to bid with Agrippa and if we betray her now we are making an enemy out of an elder vampire. That would not be wise on our parts in any wise. While some of us were talking to Iris, Alla went to go talk to Izzy. The British mage was also here to bid on the items in question. I think Alla got her to agree not to bid against us on the specific artifacts that we were looking at. It doesn’t seem that Izzy was all that invested in them anyway. Which worked out well for us.

            At the auction this evening Iris started out bidding aggressively against Agrippa, but eventually gave way to the elder Kindred’s final bid. There were not any other really serious contenders for the artifacts. So, in the end we won. We managed to talk Agrippa into letting us house the artifacts and she can come and look at them at her leisure. All around I think things turned out pretty well. We managed to get the artifacts. We can talk to the people that are studying them to see if they discover anything interesting, and no strange weather phenomenon happened while we were in Cyprus. All in all a good day.


            Tatiana’s Conversations

            We are going a boat again, yes.

            Oh hush volchonok. It is taking us home this time.

            Yes, we have finished our business, despite the foolishness.

            For some reason we did not think the artifacts Agrippa got all of us to come help her get would be powerful enough to be dangerous for her to have. We had to wait until we saw them, and Iris told us so to think this.

            It is true, volchonok, and good that at least they did not want to betray Constancia.

            Because Iris said pretty words. I do not know.

            Oh no, we decided not to, because if we just do what we said we were going to, Agrippa will get bored of them, so then maybe we can let Iris look at them, to help her fight the robots.

            The ones like she fought on the train and like the one we fought on the train, back when we got the Golden Eagle. They like trains, it seems.

            Well, volchonok, she says so, that she will use them to fight robots.

            I would rather Izzy had the statues, because that would be the most interesting. But it was Connie who asked for our help to retrieve them for Agrippa, so...

            We did have fun that first night on the island, it is true.

            It was not my fault! He picked my pocket. I am sure that means he deserved getting thrown into a table by Piedad and drunk from by Alla.

            Well, I couldn’t just let the others try to hit Piedad because she helped me get my wallet back.

            That is true, volchonok, not many were able to hit her even when they tried, not after she turned into a big cat.

            Which one? The tall one, or the one with the companions?

            Oh. He looked at me funny.

            We were there because Alla wanted to hunt at an illegal gambling den.

            I do not ask questions such as why to most of our packmates, except when they wish to put Connie in danger. It just sounded like more fun than waiting until I was tired and falling asleep. Or helping Lizette and Wolfram put bombs in their room.

            That we will, volchonok, that we will. Once we get off this boat we will have much fun. Perhaps we will even get our new packmate to run with us.


            Lizette’s Plans

            The Morning After

            “It’s not really fair, is it? We only get another day together?”

            Lizette Étoile looked out the window to the streets of Cyprus. Their hotel room was extravagant, but that just made it more fragile and dreamlike that she was even here with her love. The sun had dawned, and people were going to work. The Gremlin had barely slept.

            “We use the time we have.” Dana Barlowe had not gotten up yet. Looking at her small green lover as she wistfully looked out the window. “It’s our day to make of what we wish. If you want to spend most of it in here, fine, but I insist on going out for meals.”

            Lizette’s face broke out into a genuine smile. “I suppose you have talked me into it. Been here long enough to have an idea of where the best food is?”

            Dana let out a chuckle. “Not really. Only arrived from Lebanon. Your French authorities are very interested in the site outside Tyre by the way. “ A smile.

            “Ah, were you followed?” Lizette looked out the window a bit more searchingly.

            “Not far, and I am accustomed to losing pursuers.” Dana lay on her stomach and turned to look away from the smaller woman. “I notice you have been with a man since we last met.”

            Lizette turned to her sharply. “Ma foi! You are not getting jealous too, are you? I thought our rules precluded concerns about such.”

            Dana’s gaze turned back. “No no, it’s fair. Maybe a little, but I shouldn’t be. Wolfram, I am guessing?”

            “Ah, Oui. He and Christina are, as a couple, my lovers. “ Yellow eyes fall back on Dana. “They and you, of course.”

            “Of course.” She smiled at the Wizened. “They and you and the bairn, must have their hands full.” Dana watched the girl closely. Lizette nodded, then raised her chin.

            “Did you know Iris was coming? It’s interesting we run into both of you at once again.” The green woman hopped down from the window.

            “No, and had I known I would have either not come or not arrived openly. Well, unless I knew you were coming, in which case I would have anyway.” The Immortal gave a charming smile to the Gremlin. “More convenient to examine the artifacts here, but I could have in Tyre. “

            “She made a plea to have us work with her over Agrippa, citing the ‘custodian’ we fought on the train.” The Gremlin walked over and sat on the bed. “Talked about their grand plans and manipulations, and how she fights them. All a plea to get her the artifacts, of course.”

            Dana smiled wickedly. “Of course.”

            “Were the things she was saying true though? I mean, about the custodians thing.”

            “Ah, probably. We discussed some before. I just wonder what ancient culture built it all, set it into motion. Because it is all spiraling out of control.”

            “Laszlo said he did not detect anything from her, and he apparently usually does.” She reached over and took the Eternal’s hand.

            “And how does Laszlo do that?”

            “He is a Begotten, some kind of fear creature.”

            Dana laughed. “Oh one of those. Your life is about to get more interesting.”

            Lizette gave a fairly worried look. “I am not sure how I should feel about that.”

            “At risk of ruining my mystique by giving a straight answer, Begotten are defined by two things. One, they think they understand how the world works, becoming confused and angry when their mythology falls flat, and two they are hungry all the time and have to punish which gets…exciting.”

            “Ah I see. I have noted the hunger at least, though he is fairly easygoing.” The Wizened paused to think. “Do you think we did the right thing, sticking with Agrippa unless or until we let Iris have the artifacts?”

            Dana looked thoughtfully at her lover. “I am not sure there was a right thing there. I mean Agrippa is an elder vampire. You don’t anger them unless you have a good reason, and keeping Iris’s control at arm’s reach is good. On the other hand, Agrippa is an elder vampire, so you are handing a weapon to an ancient parasite. And Iris does not double-cross without some reason in her mind. Unfortunately, she is the most paranoid person I have ever met, and I know a lot of vampires.”

            Lizette nodded. “So are we going to try the Greek place?” Dana nodded, and she moved to pick up her shirt.

            “Oh that girl traveling with you, the au pair. Nicolette. Where did you find her?” Dana cocked her head.

            The Gremlin turned around.” Oh, she showed up at the house a few weeks ago. Oddest thing. She knew all about us, knew about our work. She wants to travel around with us, get ideas for her book. Hauls her typewriter everywhere and won’t let anyone touch it. Seems to be doing no harm. Good au pair, though Dearbháil and Dacian were kind of rude to her. You have seen her, haven’t you?” Yellow eyes locked on Dana.

            She shrugged it off. “Yes, in traveling around the Levant, I have noticed her in the shadow of greatness several times. Such a pretty girl is hard to miss, and such a pretty girl traveling with luminaries and carrying a typewriter is even more visible. Just be careful, I think she has some history with Iris.”

            “Ah, Iris seduced her on the Orient Express.”

            Dana nodded. “Well, watch her just in case then. But I am sure having an au pair has been and will continue to be useful. And she at least knows how to survive in less than hospitable climbs. I have seen her in the Valley of the Kings even.”

            “The trip on the Express it was interesting. There was even a murder on the Orient Express. Sort of. I shall explain.” Lizette smiled.

            “A murder on the Orient Express? How novel. I look forward to it. Your trips always seem interesting.” Dana’s smile back was charming.

            “They are! We even fought pirates on the boat on the way here!” Lizette winked.

            Dana kept smiling, shaking her head. “I definitely need to hear all about it.”

            “Are you sure you can’t come with us, love? Back to the chateau?” Lizette let slip a pleading look.

            “Sorry love. I ducked out of business in Baghdad in order to look into the Tyre find. I need to get back and continue my work, after this and a meeting Damascus with some artifact hunters. I promise I will come visit you within the next year, when I am done in Mesopotamia, so don’t worry.” Her smile was encouraging.

            The Gremlin did pause, turning to glance at Dana a moment before pulling her trousers on. “Oh, how did you know I have been with a man?”

            Dana bit her lip, gazing at her lover several moments debating before a shrug and rolling onto her back and murmuring.

            “Oh, nothing…”

            End Session LI


            Not much else to share. The raid on the gambling hall was totally the players doing. It was funny. I will miss Peidad, and Izzy. They will show up again, I am sure.

            One year later, it is August of 1925, and the group finds themselves once again (or for the first time, in Laszlo’s case, traveling to Vienna. Join us then, in just two weeks for us. Comments and Questions welcome.


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            • Originally posted by Baroness Nerak View Post
              “Oh, how did you know I have been with a man?”

              Dana bit her lip, gazing at her lover several moments debating before a shrug and rolling onto her back and murmuring.

              “Oh, nothing…”
              Duh duh dunnnn!


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              • Someone may have read that closer than most of the group, I see.


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                • August 1925. The Jazz age rolls on, as does the lives of our cast. The Charleston is the rage, The Roaring 20s roar. Let’s check in.

                  Only Lizette covers any downtime. Bit of a doozy for her.

                  Session LII

                  Marek’s Thoughts

                  13 August 1925

                  The pack was invited to dinner at the Bellarose residence today, so we all met up there. It was interesting to see Liselle and Clara after so much time. They have not changed much. Liselle is still as curious as ever. The dinner itself went well. Our hosts were kind enough to have raw meat for the Uratha guests, which was appreciated. They are friends with Marie after all, so they probably take into account dietary restrictions for her frequently. During dinner Tatiana regaled the group with tales of her exploits working as a mercenary the past year or so. Liselle was obviously interested in my pack mates’ adventures, while her sister’s eyes just seemed to get bigger and bigger as the story went on. I’m not sure if she disapproved or was just shocked. She did not say anything afterwards.

                  There was also talk about movies, silent verses “talkies,” and stage theater. Alla was more than happy to discuss her work on an upcoming film that involves dinosaurs. I think. Liselle got very interested in that and happily debated the whole sound issue with anyone that would talk to her about it. Some people like silent films with the words on cards and music played over the action. Others liked the idea of movies where you could hear the actors and actresses speak. Someone argued that “talkies” would expand the audience of movies since those that are illiterate can still enjoy the medium. I didn’t have much of an opinion either way. I don’t make it out to the theater very much at all. I haven’t been to the movies with my pack mates or my family. My family lives in a small down, so there are no theaters near them. Nor would they be able to afford to go. I send them money regularly, but can’t send too much without it looking suspect. To them I am just a courier after all.

                  After the frivolous talk of movies and theater was over a more serious matter was brought up. Apparently a friend of Liselle’s, Martinique Duchumps, has disappeared. She is a ballet dancer that moved to Vienna. Liselle lost contact with her friend and has become worried about her. She called the police and pretended to be Martinique’s mother in order to get them to at least knock on her door. They did so and no one answered. So, Liselle asked us if we could look into this matter for her. Liselle wasn’t sure if Martinique got caught up in something political or not. Her boyfriend is a Communist, who is apparently rather vocal in his beliefs. Liselle kept calling him a “red ragger.”

                  Marie, who had also been invited to this dinner, was interested in looking for Martinique as well. The only problem for her was that she would need to request time off work to go traveling. I believe that Wolfram took care of that matter though. He talked to Marie’s boss at the hat shop and explained that a friend of hers has gone missing, and it would be inappropriate for us to look for the missing girl without having someone who knows her along for the ride. Marie is that person. He eventually agreed and gave Marie some time off.

                  Things will only get more interesting after we get to Vienna. From what I’ve heard things have gotten rather tense in the city due to Fascist and Communist disagreements. There is also a World Zionist Congress coming to the city in the near future, to discuss the homeland of the Jewish people. It was explained to me that some Jews believe that they should create a Jewish homeland in which to live, while others do not want to give up their national identity over their religion. Then there are some people in Vienna that don’t want Jews there at all. I do not understand the sentiment. Why does it matter how or why people worship God? There is no right or wrong way to do it, they’re just different. I suppose it boils down to people being afraid of what is different and then doing stupid things in their fear. Fear never fails to make people do foolish things. In some cases fear can be good. During war fear can make you more cautious and keep you alive, but there is such thing as too much fear. Too much fear can make you act in foolish ways or make it so you don’t act at all. Neither are good. So, I’m assuming that it is fear that making some people in Vienna want the Jews to leave.

                  Before we leave for Vienna I thought it would be prudent to check with some of my contacts and see if there was anything going on in Vienna that I needed to be aware of. I didn’t learn of anything directly related to the issues we’d discussed, but did find out that the infamous thief Gerard sent the police in the city a letter saying that we would steal a priceless work of art on the night of the 18th of August. I suppose this would lead to a larger police presence in the city. That may or may not work to our advantage.

                  The last thing that we need to do before we go to Vienna is call Gunter, Christina’s brother, and see if he minds if we stay at his estate just outside the city.

                  **** **** ****

                  17 August 1925

                  Getting into Vienna was an adventure by itself. The roads were packed with people coming in to go to the Convention or the protest, so Lizette had to get creative in driving into the city. She ended up cutting people off, driving on the sidewalk and generally ignoring any and all driving laws or practices. But we ended up relatively safely at Martinique’s apartment in the Bohemian district. We found the door to the apartment locked, so Fenric let us in with his lockpick and a little skill. Once inside we found the place rather messy. It looked like someone had searched the apartment without any thought of covering up their actions. There might have been signs of a struggle, but to be honest it was hard to see anything definite, at least in the main room. In the bedroom I found a small blood stain on the floor near the bed, and the bed looked like someone had been pulled out of it. The linens just didn’t look like they do when a person gets out of bed themselves. Our theory is that Martinique was pulled out of her own bed and possibly injured in the struggle. It was not a bad injury, if the blood was in fact from that incident.

                  We found the scents of several people in the apartment. One man had been in the living room and the bedroom, presumably the boyfriend. Two other men have been through the entire place. Our assumption is those trails belong to the kidnappers. Other women have been in the apartment but not the bedroom, and one of them was a werewolf. Wolfram also used his gifts to determine that there was what he called a “death stain” in the apartment but that it predated when Martinique lived there. We’re guessing that a previous occupant died there.

                  Things of note that we found:

                  Jewelry and cash were not taken. This was not a robbery. Whoever broke in was looking for something specific, but unfortunately this is no way to find out exactly what they found, if anything.

                  Martinique had a habit of going to the same theater every Saturday night. There are ticket stubs in a drawer. There is also a ticket stub for an orchestral performance that was fairly recent.

                  There are two different brands of cigarettes in the drawer. Presumably one for her and one for Christopher.

                  There is an address on a slip of paper in the drawer.

                  There is food still in her refrigerator, so she was not planning on going anywhere for any extended time frame.

                  After the mundane investigation of the apartment was done we moved on to more mystical means to find answers. Lizette “read” the front door to see what the last thing that it “saw” was. Turns out that the last person that left here was Christopher. He apparently came looking for Martinique, didn’t find her, and left, locking the door behind him. She read something else and came up with the information that two men had entered the apartment. At least one of them was wearing black and red, Royalist colors, and an armband with the Royal insignia on it. After that Wolfram used his own gifts to “read” the door and was able to get several pieces of information:

                  Martinique was carried out of the apartment by the same man that tossed her apartment.

                  She was abducted about one and a half weeks ago at night.

                  Christopher was the last person at the apartment, and that was about a week ago.

                  We got physical descriptions of the two women that have visited the apartment in the past.

                  We decided to split up at that point. Tatiana was going to talk to the Communists. Laszlo and I were going to talk to the werewolves, while Wolfram and Lizette checked out the theaters and any ballet companies.

                  So the two of us went to the café that serves as a meeting place for the Uratha in town. On our way there though we noticed a few interesting things. First, there were people, all wearing black shirts sitting at the café across the street. It is possible that they are Royalists. Another interesting thing was that we saw Zvezdana watching the café that we were heading towards. She spotted us at the same time that I spotted her and she started moving away. I was tempted to follow her but decided against it at that moment. Given how our lives work I figured that we’d run into her again at some point while we were in town. When we got to our destination we found the Krieger was not there so we left a message for him that we needed to talk. We also discovered while we were there that the werewolf that had been at Martinique’s apartment had also been at the café recently, within three to four days. This was a good sign as it said that the woman is likely not Pure. If she is, she has a lot of guts.

                  While we were out I checked with an acquaintance of mine to see if anything interesting was going on in town besides the obvious. He said that there was a group of saboteurs in town called the Black Swan. They are apparently a group of women that operate sometimes in Austria and Yugoslavia. I’m not sure what it means yet but the information was interesting. It will be interesting to see what they have planned, if anything, in town. I thanked Stutter for the information and we went on our way. Stutter is obviously not his name. I don’t know it. He is a friend of Hans’. Hans introduced him to me sometime back as a good informant in town. The man feigns a stutter when he talks to the police or in the presence of anyone that he doesn’t know personally. I’ve heard that the police have pretty much given up trying to get information out of him because it takes so long for Stutter to finish one sentence, not to mention a detailed account of something. With me though he speaks normally, for which I am grateful. His feigned stutter is a rather good, if somewhat annoying, tactic.

                  Tatiana went out in search of Christopher. She looked at a bar that is known to host Communists as the majority of the clientele. The man was not there but does frequent the establishment. Tatiana left a message for him, asking him to give her a call. She gave the name of one of the hotels in town for him to contact her at. She also managed to find out that Martinique was in a ballet troupe called the White Swans. Interesting considering the presence of the Black Swans in town. Then after she left the bar, she went to the hotel that she named and reserved a room. She did not want Christopher, who is a Communist and supporter of the people, to call the number of Gunter’s estate and talk to a servant. It would not look very good for us and may lower his opinion of us considerably. A good idea all around.

                  While the rest of us were trying to get information on Christopher or mystery werewolves, Wolfram, Fenric and Lizette went to the theater that Martinique had frequented so much in the past. They found the place locked, so they let themselves in. In their search of the place they found papers written in Cyrillic but not Russian. The last time we found papers in non-Russian Cyrillic we had problems finding someone to translate it. Perhaps we will have better luck here.


                  Tatiana’s Conversations


                  Yes, volchonok, we will be making our den here.

                  The others will be well able to defend our territory here in Vienna, especially with Lizette’s large guns. But I don’t think Christina’s brother would appreciate you calling his home our territory.

                  It is true, he did agree we could have our Hedge connected to it. I did not say it wasn’t part of our territory.

                  Yes, volchonok, it will be harder for you to mark our territory if we spend the visit here. You are welcome to ride back with the others.

                  I know, Lizette drives like a madwoman in this traffic. I am just saying, you don’t have to stay here.

                  Bah. The others will probably fuss and fret and say someone must stay with me. And even if I am alone, I will still be fine. The Pure do not come here without cause.

                  I must be here because Christopher would probably not talk to us if he thought we were aristo.

                  Christopher is... were you paying attention at all, volchonok? Marie’s friend is missing. Christopher is her mate.

                  Yes, the communist.

                  Eh. Marie likes him. Being a communist makes him foolish, not useless. It is not as if he is one of the ones in charge, with their broken promises and self-serving lies.

                  I do not know why he left town, volchonok. We will ask when he returns. Possibly he went for allies. Possibly he was blackmailed into leaving by the fascists.

                  The ones who have his mate, of course.

                  Wolfram was showed the one who did it by the door, and he was dressed as the bartender said these fascists are.

                  Perhaps there will be a fight. I will talk to the others first, probably, and see if they found anything.

                  Marek and Laszlo went to speak to Krieger, to see if he knows of the missing girl’s werewolf friend. Wolfram, Lizette and Fenric went to visit the theatre she went to often. I believe they will be looking for the White Swan ballet company when they are back with Alla.

                  Because that is the company the other communist said she danced for.

                  It will be some time before they are back, with all the traffic. The riots were getting worse and tomorrow is the day that thief has said he will steal something, so it is unlikely that the traffic is better.

                  No, volchonok, it is not time to run. It is time to look for information. We will find her soon, then we will run.


                  Lizette’s Plans

                  17th August 1925

                  So a lot has gone on since I last wrote. I think it was the Murder Mystery on the train when I last did. Life gets in the way. And life finds a way. I got PWP.

                  Since my last entry I have become a Mother.

                  Amélie Étoile was born April 30th, 1925. She’s two and a half months. She is a healthy and inquisitive girl, like her mom. I hope she will be taller. I will admit it was a surprise…the Kind are not known for anything approaching a high birthrate…it’s unusual. And we were not even sure The Eagle would allow a pregnancy to proceed. That data point is covered. I need to get around to telling Jamal Ruhadze, though any experimenting is right out. She can see my ears though, she wants to touch them all the time. Anything else remains to be seen.

                  I of course do not know for certain who is the father. There are, of course, theories. Wolfram is my lover, but I could have been with another man, or a Faerie woman with Contract of Mirrors. It’s a big mystery. This did not stop Christina from going downright arctic at the news. Maybe because I told her I did not think I could get pregnant. She slowly warmed though, and when I had a girl and there was no chance I bore Wolfram’s Eldest Son, she is almost back to how she was. Wolfram will always be the greatest tension between us, I think.

                  Nicolette has been invaluable. And strange, but mostly invaluable. She takes good care of Amélie, and Regina is eager to too, though we are careful to never claim they are sisters. Strangely Nicolette privately claims (after I put the question off with contempt) Wolfram cannot be Amélie’s father, as she and I were sleeping together at the time Amélie was conceived so it must have been something that happened while I was out. This is entirely untrue. I have never shared a bed with Nicolette (yet, she is a charming girl who puts herself in a position to be easily seduced, and not just by me. I know Wolfram hasn’t been with her, but I wonder about Marek or Tatiana.) , I was sleeping with Wolfram at the time, though he was not the only person I slept with, it’s just Nicolette was not one, and I had no unfortunate encounters.

                  Still, people come to conclusions. I suspect Wolfram will never again be on Mademoiselle Théière’s Christmas list.

                  It’s been…an adjustment, and I was in a wheelchair for awhile. (note to self: If you have more kids be sure to build the ultimate wheelchair before you…WAIT NO ROCKET CHAIR before you get immobile. With machine guns. Mayhem!) But I am Lizette and SCIENCE FINDS A WAY!

                  Dana did visit, as promised, in June, stayed about a month. She promised to see me again before Christmas. She has a couple children herself, and noted she should “at least visit them.” While in private I got the longest lecture of family planning I have ever heard, and she left…gifts…of that nature. I was troubled by her note that if I settled down to an easy career of child rearing she would end our relationship. Not because she disapproves exactly, but because she says we would have nothing in common. I noted we both had daughters, but she said if there was one thing she was massively unqualified to speak as, it was a good mother. And she said she respects a woman’s decision to focus on raising her family, and she can be friends with women like that and would be with me, but that is not the sort of woman she is interested in being intimate with. So there is that, I guess. Does not matter, I am a modern woman. I will find balance. And good staff. Good staff helps a lot.

                  So the other night the Bellerose sisters Clara and Liselle invited us to dinner. Clara looked very pretty. We had a lovely evening, and Alla spurred some animated talk about movies. Clara wanted Talkies, because she liked songs in movies. Liselle was fascinated by the idea of dinosaurs in movies, hearing Alla discussing The Lost World. So it became songs vs. dinosaurs somehow, with the possible song while being eaten by dinosaurs.

                  But then we discussed Martinique DuChamps. Martinique is a ballet dancer, friend of Liselle’s, though nearer Clara’s age. She had a boyfriend, Christopher Harg, a “Red Ragger” as Liselle kept saying. But the Bellerose’s are well to do, so she would. Says the little green lady who has servants taking care of her baby in a big house. Anyway, He had gone to Vienna, and she had gone to be with him, but stopped writing. Liselle impersonated her mother on the phone to get the police to check, but they apparently just knocked on the door. Could we go and look in on her? Of course.

                  There was some question if she and Christopher lived together. Clara was certain not, and Liselle believed so. You would hardly believe Clara was the one going to Sapphic salons, but I am uncertain she fully grasps everything going on. Then again, she pointedly never brings Liselle, even as she is coming of age. It was suggested (I forget by which Bellerose, or maybe it was Tatiana) that this could be a good and (possibly) safe hunt for Marie to try out. Tatiana talked to her while Wolfram spoke to her boss, and he agreed she could come. Not that we should have to get his permission.

                  We went home and I gave the passenger plane the once-over and we headed out the day after the next, after I spent the last full day with Amélie after checking the plane. We arrived in Vienna on the 17th. The same day the World Zionist Congress opened, as it turned out.

                  We settled in at Gunter Esterházy’s Estate, though he was not there. I set everyone up with mounted machine guns for their room. Safety first! Laszlo was not enthusiastic. We were not there long before we set out for town to look in on Martinique. Alla stayed behind since the sun was out and we needed the lay of the land.

                  I wonder how Amélie is doing? I should call.

                  Okay she is fine, where was I?

                  Ah, driving was really fun. Vienna is full of people with the Zionist Congress and every Fascist and Monarchist for miles around coming to protest. I went up sidewalks, over ramps, and zig zagged into and out of traffic. I wish I had my little green car from Paris, it is much more heavily modified and has the Vickers. It was still easy to lose the police in the city. I should ask Gunter if I can modify one of his cars. Sidewalk driving is easier than they say, people always get out of the way.

                  Though really, let’s not kid ourselves here. A flying car would be ideal. The question is rockets on the back or bottom. Or why not both. Rocket up, then out. And Vickers on the top, because of course Vickers on the top why wouldn’t you? And something to drop bombs on the bottom. Like a plane. That is a car. Or something. You know, I am starting to feel like I am reinventing the wheel here. Maybe I should be improving planes instead. Combining cars and planes. Yes. Perhaps by the 21st century, they will consider differentiating cars and planes to be silly and foolish.

                  Mayhem!

                  Anyway, we arrived at her apartment. Fenric picked the lock. The apartment had been ransacked, searched. Wolfram found a death stain, but it preceded Martinique. The Werewolves found several scents, including a female werewolf, but only Martinique and two men, one of whom was almost certainly Christopher the other was almost certainly a kidnapper, went into the back rooms. They both got some familiarity with the scents. I spoke to the door and figured out Christopher (almost certainly) had arrived and gotten in the door, but it was after Martinique was taken. I also got a description of the kidnapper (almost certainly) who was from a monarchist organization of some kind from a drawer. We found tickets to a theater, and one to an orchestral performance. But the theater had been a regular visit. Also, napkin from a café nearby.

                  We split up. Wolfram, Fenric and I went to check the theater. Tatiana and Marie went to check the café we found the napkin from. Laszlo and Marek went to check with Krieger and the werewolves. Wolfram and I found the theater, but it was closed and empty, but not abandoned. Wolfram used his powers to search it some but needed light, but he managed to turn the lights on and unlock the door. Once it was unlocked Fenric and I carried him inside. He found some papers in Cyrillic, but it turned out not in Russian. Fenric looked at them but could not read them. There was a side office the papers were in, not the main.

                  Marek checked in with the bar the Werewolves would be at, but they were not there. He left a message for Krieger to call us. The female Werewolf who had been in Martinique’s house had been there, which was a good sign. Tatiana went to the café, and found some communists there. Christopher was less radical in the sort of Leninist murdery sense, but was all about redistribution of wealth. She also found Martinique worked at a ballet company called The White Swan. Christopher had been in Belgrade and would be returning any day now. Tatiana was cunning enough to know not to leave a number for Christopher at a bourgeoisie house servants might answer at, so got a room at a nearby hotel.

                  We met back, and Marek noted he knew of a group who conducted sabotage and occasional Mayhem in the area called the Black Swan, rumored to be mostly or all women. And that seems to be finally giving us a piece to connect other pieces with. But the sun will soon set, so we (Tatiana aside) went to get Alla before we going further. It’s time to set back out for Vienna, and I am ready to drive.

                  Mayhem!

                  Wait, let me call and check in on Amélie one more time first…

                  End Session LII

                  First, reminders:

                  Clara Bellerose first appeared in the first Paris story, where she tried to (literally) pick Lizette up at the theater, and Lizette speaks of her a lot. In the last story, she and her sister Liselle were sheltering the Werewolf Marie who had fled the clinic where she had had an abortion, killing the doctors. The group, (mostly) bonded with the Sisters Bellerose. Neither is supernatural, though at this point Liselle is not a Ceremonial Magician probably because of Dacian’s interference. Zvezdana is the Dancer/Romancer Fairest Spring Courtier from the train last story, who fled. Krieger was the (hot) Forsaken resistance leader in Vienna from the Vienna story. Think that is everyone.

                  Wolfram used Industrial Oracle and Lizette Contracts of Animation to gather clues. And the Werewolves of course used their noses. Werewolves have a huge effect on any mystery scenario, let me tell you. They have stood out as much or more for their senses as anything else.

                  I don’t…think…anything else is opaque, but if it is Comments and Questions are welcome.


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                  • Ha! I knew it (it being that Lizette was pregnant as of the last post).

                    I'm just wondering what complications will arise here - I doubt a simple abduction will last long against the group.


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                    • Good on ya. ^_^

                      As for Complications, they certainly came up last session. Suddenly there is more going on, and more they know they don't know. More old faces show up, from Maximilian and Lizbet to Amethyst and Krieger.


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                      • Let’s check back with the group in Vienna. They are looking for their swan even still.

                        No Lizette this time, but she should be back next. Enjoy the Werewolves perspective.

                        Session LIII


                        Marek’s Thoughts


                        17 August 1925

                        As it turns out the documents that Wolfram and the others found are written in Serbian. I could make out what language it was, but was unable to read it myself. We will need to find someone in town, that we trust, to read them for us. I am curious to see what they say.

                        After we had all met up we decided to go talk to the White Swan dance troupe and see if they know where Martinique is. Getting there was a hassle though. The crowds were rather thick due to the convention and protests in town, so we ended up having to shoulder our way through the people to get to the theater. Once there we met up with the White Swan dancers. They said that Martinique had called them about a week ago to let them know that someone had tried to take her and that she was going to hide. She did not tell them specifically where she was going to go though. The dancers were convinced that the Fascists had something to do with Martinique’s attempted kidnapping. They suggested that we talk to Christopher and said that he might know more. They gave us the name of a café that he frequents. I believe this was the same café that Tatiana went to earlier and left a message for the wayward Communist.

                        It was obvious that while they were answering our questions they were holding something back, so Alla used one of her gifts to persuade one of the dancers to be more forthcoming. I think she made it so the dancer would see her as a close friend or confidant, so she would speak more freely. And it worked. The dancer that had been doing most of the talking, Lea, said that Martinique may be in Sarajevo. She wasn’t positive, but thought that was a possibility. She also said that our wayward dancer had stayed with Amethyst while she was in town. I suppose that I should not be surprised that Amethyst was in town. She is well traveled. It was interesting that our missing dancer would have stayed with the spy though. It made me think that there was more to Martinique than meets the eye. We found out later that I was right.

                        While we were questioning dancers, Tatiana was waiting at the hotel just in case Christopher or Krieger got in contact with her. As it turns out Krieger sent one of his people, a woman named Emma, to talk to Tatiana. Emma, from her scent, is the werewolf that had been in Martinique’s apartment. She revealed that Martinique was definitely associated with the White Swan, and may be linked to the Black Swan as well. She also said that the White Swan dance troupe was associated with a Communist group called the Comintern. It was suggested that the Fascists had something to do with Martinique’s disappearance since the young dancer is so heavily involved in Communist matters. So, my pack mate decided that she wanted to see if she could find out any information from the local Fascists. To that end Tatiana and Emma went to a bar where they found members of that group. They started a fight with the Fascists but made sure to leave one of them conscious so he could be questioned later. They brought the remaining man to Martinique’s apartment and interrogated him about the dancer’s disappearance. He told them that it sounded like an Italian Fascist named Ludovico may have taken Martinique. He tends to go after prominent Communists, and if she was associated with someone that stood out she may have been targeted by him. The ladies were warned that Ludovico’s men are all heavily armed with guns. After they got what information they could out of the man they let him go. Then Emma and Tatiana talked things over. Emma also believed that Ludovico may be connected to a local Invictus vampire. She thought that he may have blood bound humans that work for him.

                        Meanwhile the rest of us found the club that Amethyst was singing at. She was up on stage when we walked in. She acknowledged us with a nod and eventually made her way over to us after her song was done. When we told her that we wanted to ask her about Martinique she ushered us backstage near the dressing rooms so we could talk in private. When asked, she confirmed that some of the White Swan dancers are a part of the Black Swan group. Apparently, they have been busy. They have helped to take down governments, and had run afoul of an Italian Count. The Black Swan were involved in the assassination of a local politician in Italy, which drew the Count’s ire. This Count was the same Italian Fascist that Tatiana and Emma found out some information on. It seems that the Black Swan had gone to the Count’s property and rescued several girls who’d been given to the Count. They sabotaged several vehicles on their way out and fled with the girls. So, it seems that Martinique was kidnapped by the Count’s men, but she managed to get away from him and went into hiding. According to Amethyst the dancer laid down several false trails before disappearing.

                        Tatiana showed up at the club while we were talking to Amethyst and she was shown to the backstage area where we were. We all caught up on what was going on. Due to the possible involvement of the Kindred in Martinique’s disappearance we weren’t sure what had actually happened. We weren’t sure if the dancer had actually escaped and went into hiding, or if she had been “influenced” by a Kindred’s gifts and set out to do what she was told to do. After discussing things for a while longer we then decided to split up again to find out more information. Tatiana and Emma were going to talk to Krieger while the rest of us went to talk to Maximillian, Alla’s Kindred friend. He is something of an information broker and we figured if anyone knew who in the Vampire community Ludovico was connected to it would be him.

                        We met Maximillian above a very fancy restaurant in a VIP room. He verified that Ludovico has ties to the Invictus, but suggested that we not talk to the man’s Kindred allies/keepers. His reasoning was that if we made it known that we were looking for Ludovico and then at a later date he showed up dead, they would come to us first with questions and accusations. So, we agreed to not tell anyone that we were looking for the Count. Maximillian also suggested that if we did anything to the Count that we should make it look like he got caught up in the violence surrounding the Fascists and Communists. He is involved in all of that after all. It’s not a stretch to think that he may get in over his head and become a casualty of the fighting.

                        Maximillian said that he would look into Ludovico’s whereabouts but wanted a favor in return. Of course. He asked that Alla talk to Lisbette, the Eupraxius, and lend her a hand. He did want us to tell her that he had sent us. I’m assuming that is so she knows that she owes him a favor as well as us. So, we went to go talk to the young Kindred. It turns out that she had a rather mundane problem that she needed help with. She was trying to set up a salon in five days, but things kept falling through. She was partially convinced that someone in town was sabotaging her efforts to put together her first salon. To say that Alla was interested in helping the younger vampire was an understatement. She got very excited about the idea of helping with a salon and started brainstorming on the spot. She came up with the idea of bringing in entertainers from outside of Vienna and using a space that Lisbette already owns to host it. I think they decided on doing a haunted house kind of theme and inviting ghosts that we know to “haunt” the salon for the evening. It was all very elaborate, but Alla seemed to be enjoying herself immensely.

                        While we were planning a party Tatiana and Emma went to go find Krieger. Emma led them to the basement of a boarded-up library. Krieger was down there working on something. They filled him in on what we were looking into and what we’d found out. He agreed that Ludovico would be a problem, but talked the ladies out of doing any sort of recon at his warehouse. If they were spotted by anyone then it would alert Ludovico that we were looking into his affairs. If they killed the guards that spotted them, then Ludovico would just know that someone was looking into his business but not necessarily who it was. In either case he may choose to pack up his operation and leave Vienna for now. We need him to stay put. It is likely that he has kidnapped other women that will need to be freed.

                        Krieger also said that there was an Uratha in the Black Swan. She is a Hungarian woman that does not live in Vienna. He was not sure if this woman was in town or not.

                        Also of interest to Krieger was Gerard, the thief that announced that he would be stealing something tomorrow night. Krieger said that Gerard specifically contacted the Pure and told them that he would be stealing something of theirs. Krieger was interested in contacting this thief and planning with him on what he was going to steal from the Pure. He asked Tatiana if any of us knew Gerard. She said that she did not know who he was but that I had mentioned him to the group when we got to town.

                        When we all met back up again at the hotel we traded news. I said that I could take a look at Ludovico’s property. I am good at getting in and out of places unseen, so figured I would be the best person to do some recon. We also discussed that when we do go after Ludovico that we cannot leave any evidence that it was us that was there. We could either get in and get out with any possible captives and leave the place standing, or we could get anyone out that needed freeing and burn the place to the ground before we left. Fire would cover up any physical evidence that might get left behind. And we could leave some clues to make it look like the Communists made their displeasure with him known.

                        Once we had finished discussing things we, minus Tatiana who stayed at the hotel, went back to the estate and found a surprise waiting for us in the form of a book. Apparently, a veiled woman, who from the description was actually Amethyst, came by while we were out and dropped it off for us. The book she gave us was a copy of T.S Elliot’s “The Wasteland.” She left a note that said it might come in handy in the future. The thought that occurred to me, and I believe the others, was that she had an identical copy of the book and could therefore leave us coded messages with the book being the key. I’m not certain that is what she left the book for, but she is a spy so it makes sense. I guess we’ll see what the future brings.


                        Tatiana’s Conversations

                        What now volchonok? It is nearly dawn and we have been gathering information all night.

                        Of course I knew that Emma intended on fighting through the sentries. Why do you think I volunteered to go with her?

                        I knew because she is a reasonable werewolf, when you get around all the flirting. To be fair, if she wasn’t Uratha...

                        Bah. Yes, volchonok, she is Uratha, so yes, volchonok, I will not be thinking these things. She can still be a friend. And it will be good to have a local ally working with us.

                        Pshaw. There is no need to be the best at sneaking when you just kill anyone who finds you.

                        No, volchonok, I am not going now. For one, I already told you I am tired. For two, I am not foolish enough to go alone into the fortress of the enemy. For three, I do not wish to make Krieger’s life more difficult.

                        It will make it difficult to go after this count. Yet again, Lizette’s wish to explode everything may provide the answer however. It is difficult to tell that a werewolf killed your minion if your minion has exploded into little pieces.

                        No, we are not worried about the Italians coming after us. But this Italian count is allied with the vampires, and Krieger does not want to have to worry about the vampires as well as the Pure.

                        Thieves? Oh no, he is not worried about thieves. He is thinking this thief might be an ally, since he specifically told the Pure he would be stealing from them.

                        It is confusing, volchonok, because it is stupid human politics. But the thief has nothing to do with the kidnapping. The count had Martinique kidnapped because she and her Black Swan comrades killed a different Italian.

                        She is also in White Swan as well, but that is not a politics thing, it is a dancing thing.

                        It was Amethyst who told the others of Black Swan and the killing thing. The fascist only told us that the man who kidnapped her probably worked for this count.

                        Yes, volchonok, it was fun encouraging the fascist to talk. It is amazing how much people are willing to tell you when their feet do not reach the ground.

                        I doubt the others got the fat vampire’s help by lifting him up off the ground. Not even Marek is that strong. Perhaps Laszlo...

                        No, he did it because of favors trading, probably. That is the vampire way.

                        Helping the young foolish vampire with a party, it seems. Alla was very excited.

                        Oh, volchonok, I don’t try to understand our packmates, especially about vampire things. I do not know why we care whose he is, if we are not going to ask them to care him to heel. They probably have a reason. I prefer fighting him anyway.

                        Yes, she has escaped.

                        We will fight him because he may have kidnapped others. Also, she might not have truly escaped, but rather was let out with because she was mind controlled.

                        Yes, Emma said they do those things. Alla can do things much like that.

                        Probably Alla can fix it, if Martinique was mind controlled. Or perhaps killing the one mind controlling her would fix it.

                        Next? Sleep. Tomorrow we will try to find Gerard, decide how to attack the count and see if Martinique or her mate respond to the messages we left. Oh, and probably do party things.

                        No, we will not be running. There is far too much to do already. Perhaps later. For now, I sleep.

                        End Session LIII

                        Okay, familiar faces…Lizbet is the Daeva Invictus of the Eupraxus Bloodline who originally had Constancia and other Circle of the Crone members working for her. Maximillian Nostras is an Invictus Ventrue of the Macellarius they dealt with previously as well, killing is errant childe. Amethyst Trevelyan is of course the Silent Sin-Eater who died on the Orient Express last story. I think that covers everything.

                        Emma is a Storm Lord. Came up in session but not journals.

                        I think that covers it, but if anything is unclear comments and questions are welcome


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                        • The group meets a new contact, and learns more of the players in the area, including possibly making contact with Martinique. But can they trust this mystery woman? Can they trust Martinique? When one is neither Fascist nor Communist, they may find themselves walking a fine line.

                          Alla’s Player had to miss as she was under the weather.

                          Session LIV

                          Marek’s Thoughts

                          18 August 1925

                          So today had an interesting start. A messenger dropped off a coded letter from Amethyst. At least it had references to page numbers in the book that she gave us, so we’re assuming it’s from her. Wolfram figured out the code and we read the message. According to the spy there is a German singer named Magdalena Von Ackerman that knows where Odile is. Since Odile is a reference to Swan Lake, we’re assuming that is referring to Martinique. It was also mentioned in the note that Magdalena has been tied to a number of powerful people over the years and is aging really well. Possibly supernaturally so. Not that it makes any difference. If she has information that can help us, and she doesn’t betray us, that’s all that really matters. The rest is just academic curiosity.

                          After we translated the message we decided our course of action for the day. Tatiana, Marie and I were going to do some recon around Ludovico’s warehouse while Laszlo, Lizette and Wolfram went to talk to Magdalena. Tatiana thought that Emma might be interested in the warehouse so she called Krieger’s associate and arranged for her to meet us at the hotel. When Tatiana called, Emma was in the process of watching tensions rise between the Communists and Fascists. Apparently both groups are now armed and violence may break out soon. Though apparently scouting out Ludovico’s warehouse seemed to pique her interest and she headed over to meet us. When we were all together we transformed into wolves and ran along the rooftops to get to our destination. It was quicker and more discreet than running through the streets.

                          On our way to Ludovico’s warehouse we came across an interesting scene. There were some Hungarian Fascists guarding a warehouse near the docks and they were watching a group of Russian Communists unload crates and move them into their own facility. To me it looked like the Russians were moving framed artwork. The Hungarians for their part were trying to talk themselves into messing with the Russians, so Tatiana took action. She started helping the Russians unload their truck and generally showed off how strong she was to deter the Hungarians from doing anything. I stood back and watched just in case the Fascists tried anything. Plus, it was amusing to watch Tatiana intimidate the Hungarians from across the way.

                          Tatiana talked to the Russians about Ludovico and they warned her that he was a dangerous man and apparently treats women badly. Though they were not so much concerned for Tatiana since she can obviously take care of herself. They also told her about something that may be going down at a bar called Dockside later this evening. It seems that there is going to be a fight later, and the Russians thought that Tatiana might be interested in getting involved. As it turns out we may be trying to work that into our plans for later, so it is fortuitous that we got that information.

                          When we finally got to Ludovico’s warehouse we discovered several interesting things. It appeared that there was an old man sitting out by the front door with a rifle across his knees. It looked like something from the war. There were also two children playing with a dog and the old man was watching them. In reality the old man wasn’t really old. He just appeared that way. His scent was way off for an older man. He could be wearing make-up or using some sort of gift to appear older than he is. The children and dog were all spirits donning guises to fool any who wandered past. To the casual observer the warehouse is guarded by an old grandfather who is distracted by watching the kids. In truth, the warehouse is pretty well guarded from the outside.

                          We kept walking past Ludovico’s warehouse and made our way behind our target location so we could scout the place out. We discussed our plans. Emma was all for attacking the warehouse and made it look like she was planning just that with Tatiana in Russian. Marie doesn’t speak Russian so she was under the impression that Emma was going to have her lead the assault on the building. Marie for her part was getting more and more nervous, so I took pity on her and told her that Emma was just messing with her, and that we were not actually going to be attacking in that moment. It did come up that the warehouse was very likely a trap. Marie questioned the wisdom of attacking the building if we knew they were expecting us. We countered that it was best to spring the trap if we know it’s there. The question did come up what would we do if the guards had silver weapons. I offhandedly mentioned that if that was the case I would just take them out from a distance with my rifle. Emma thought that this was funny. She asked why I would use a gun and I explained that it was a hobby. I was not going to get into my alternate identity and profession with her. I don’t know her that well, and Reznick is not someone that just anyone gets to know about or meet. From that point on Emma referred to Marie and I as the soft ones. I was not especially happy with this appellation, but I am well aware of my capabilities when it comes to violence. Those that meet me in combat would not call me soft.

                          Given the supernatural nature of protection the warehouse has, as well as someone on the roof, we decided to get the rest of the pack involved with the raid. They at least have spirits on their side. There’s no way of knowing what else they have at their disposal, at least the group we had at the time couldn’t find anything more out. So, we went back to the hotel and played snooker for a while. Emma continued to tease Marie, this time with the cue, making innuendos and implying that she was a virgin. This continued until Lizette called to let us know what they’d been up to. Eventually Marie claimed a headache and retreated upstairs.

                          So, the other group got as close to the hotel that Magdalena was staying at as they could with the car and then made the rest of the trip on foot. En route they came across a minor inconvenience. A group of men stepped in Laszlo’s way and proceeded to try and intimidate him into leaving the city. Apparently, they have something against Jews. Laszlo for his part simply took hold of a pin that one man was wearing on his jacket and crushed it between his fingers like it was made out of soft clay. He handed the mangled piece of metal back to the man and the group graciously let Laszlo and the others past. The look on the faces of the antagonists was probably priceless. I’m sorry that I missed it.

                          Once they got to the hotel they met up with Magdalena in the lobby. The woman herself was apparently very beautiful and both Lizette and Wolfram seemed to be rather smitten with her. Before they even got to the room, Magdalena asked if any of them were armed. Lizette admitted that she was and readily handed her weapons over to the woman we don’t know. Lizette doesn’t hand her weapons over to just anyone. Magdalena seemed to just be interested ensuring her own safety, but it seemed strange that my packmates would seemingly trust this woman so readily. Anyway, after the weapons were turned over they went up to her room. The place was an absolute mess but her things were undamaged so it is likely that she is just messy and that her room had not been tossed. They discussed the fact that they were looking for Martinique, who possibly goes by Odile. Magdalena seemed to know who they were talking about. Ludovico also came up in conversation, related to Martinique’s attempted kidnapping, and Magdalena was interested when it was mentioned that we had plans to go against the Italian Count. Magdalena is particularly opposed to the man and was keen on seeing him dealt with. After being assured that we only had Martinique’s best interests at heart she said that she would do her best to put our group in contact with the dancer. She said that she would let us know when and where we might meet Martinique once she had things set up.

                          It wasn’t that much later when she called the house and said that she had set up a meeting between Martinique and us tomorrow at 1 pm at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Sarajevo. When Lizette called, she let us know what Magdalena had said and what she was planning on doing before she came over to the hotel. Her plan was to make some shaped charges so we could get through one of the walls with minimal damage to the surrounding buildings. When they arrived at the hotel Lizette said that she’d heard on the radio that riots had started in town between the Fascists and Communists. We had heard the same thing on the hotel radio while we were waiting for our packmates to arrive. This was causing many of the city’s police force to leave their posts at museums around town and go deal with the rioting. This left an environment suitable for Gerard to get in and out with whatever he planned to steal.

                          After we all met up at the hotel we went upstairs to plan our next moves. Wolfram mentioned that he could use a gift called Boneyard to “look” inside the warehouse and see what kind of defenses they had and if there were any captives present that we needed to be concerned about. We planned that Marie would guard Wolfram while he did this. Laszlo and I would sneak up to the back and make a hole in the wall and go in that way. Meanwhile Lizette, Tatiana and Emma would be coming down the main street laughing and acting drunk, like they’d just left a bar. If luck was with us Tatiana might get some of the folks from the Dockside bar to follow us to a create a distraction at the front door. So, we decided to go with that for now to get a better idea of what we were up against, though we modified the plan slightly. I would guard Wolfram while he did his thing. We would then report back what he saw to the rest of the group. So, we went back to the warehouse district and Wolfram and I snuck up on Ludovico’s building. My packmate used his Boneyard gift to see inside. He said that there were several armed guards by the front door as well as what looked like a weaponized forklift. Then suddenly Wolfram felt the presence of another Claimed’s Boneyard go up over the building and his own power go down. As soon as Wolfram came back to himself we both got away from the warehouse as quickly and quietly as we could.

                          When we met back up with the others we changed our plans slightly to take into account the new information. We decided that if they had Boneyard up then sneaking up from the back would be moot since they would know that we were coming. So, we decided to all approach from the front in the guise of a rowdy bar hopping crowd looking for some fun. Right now we’re just waiting for it to get dark enough so that Alla can join us for the raid. It should be a good fight.


                          Tatiana’s Conversations

                          No, volchonok, you should not come.

                          It was luck you were not seen the first time! Anywhere that has spirit guards has someone to summon and control such things.

                          I do not know what manner of being this Italian count has. Perhaps a Pure. Perhaps a magician. Perhaps something else.

                          Well, we know they have a Sineater, since Wolfram was kicked out of his Boneyard by someone reclaiming the territory.

                          Bah. He will mostly be a problem as a witness, as he will likely get away. He might be able to control that forklift.

                          You are learning, volchonok. Yes, a forklift is a machine like a car, but this one has been improved in the ways Lizette improves things, Wolfram said. Lizette will try to control it instead, in which case things will be much different. If she cannot, Laszlo is very good at breaking things.

                          Other problems? Well, there might be vampires, since we will be attacking at night. There were a large number of men with guns. Who knows? Perhaps they are our mirrors and there will even be another Beast.

                          No, volchonok, we will not let Lizette merely explode it, not without checking for any captives. We are trying to rescue them, after all.

                          No, Marie’s friend is not there. We will go talk to her tomorrow, the others arranged it with the singer. But there may be others. This count is a cruel man, by all accounts, and pursues women to force them to be with suitable men, apparently.

                          The Leninists at the dock were fairly helpful. That is where I came up with the plan to use the brawl at Dockside as a cover for the attack on the count.

                          No, volchonok, I am not Red now. But I will help Red against Black any day. I did not like the way those Hungarians were eyeing the art the Russians were carrying. Or the Russians themselves.

                          Yes, that is why I helped carry large boxes. I thought also they might know of Gerard, if they were moving art around the city.

                          They were from elsewhere, so no. But, as I said, they were helpful regarding the count.

                          What singer?

                          I mentioned a singer?

                          Oh, yes, that the others arranged to talk with Marie’s friend through. Of course I remember. No, it was not the purple Sineater. She did tell them of this German singer who knew where Marie’s friend was. Apparently this singer very much hates the count, so was willing to help.

                          Lizette and Wolfram did seem smitten with her. She is probably very pretty.

                          I have had enough of singer spies. They are welcome to her.

                          Bah. Hush you.

                          No, volchonok, I am not too distracted by Emma. She is Uratha.

                          Yes, she was flirting outrageously. That does not mean she is intending to do anything. It is safe flirting.

                          Perhaps I have found a twin I knew naught about. I will miss her company. She has the best ideas.

                          I am sure she has ideas about running. We did our running earlier though. For now, you will stay in away from the fight, and take care not to get the attention of their spirit controller. We will run later, once this is dealt with.


                          Lizette’s Plans

                          Allo Allo! Christina!

                          Yes How is Amélie?

                          Wonderful! Can you put her on the phone?

                          Ah, well if she is asleep…

                          Oh, no, I am fine. Et toi?

                          Bon…Oh, um, Communists and Fascists, Ballerinas and Anarchists. It has been exciting.

                          Oui…Martinique, the girl we are seeking is alive. Well, we are fairly certain.

                          Yes. Are you familiar with Count Ludovico?

                          Mmm hmm. Mmmm hmm

                          Well to less powerful women he is apparently dangerous. Glad has he never given you trouble. We are looking into his interests. Know of any?

                          Carvelli? Noted, will pass it along.

                          No.

                          No.

                          What can you tell me about the White Swan? Ballet Company.

                          Good to hear. Yes it was a nice facility. I am sure they are well respected. What about the Black Swan?

                          No.

                          It’s okay; you are a respectable woman. They are saboteurs. Possibly connected. Or it could be a red herring. What?

                          I have some familiarity with Swan Lake, but only what I have absorbed being around people far more cultured than myself.

                          Oh you are too kind.

                          Well either way we are raiding a warehouse tonight, got a few hours till then, so I wanted to ask about Amélie. You know how it is. And how is Regina?

                          Ah I see. Excellent. As long as she is actually helping.
                          She thinks so, does she? Well we will keep correcting her, I suppose.

                          Oh no I couldn’t possibly, I mean we have a raid on the warehouse in the next several hours like I said. I…

                          It would be nice to hold Amélie.

                          Misses Mommy, does she?

                          Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. I…

                          …I can get back here in time. Hold on let me drive to the house where the Trod is. See you soon. Goodbye.

                          End Session LIV

                          Magdalena Von Ackermann is indeed an Immortal, though her precise nature is unknown. If she is a spy, her masters are similarly blurry.

                          The backdrop of the struggle in Vienna at the time got a lot of play. Laszlo managed to use his rote action Strength + Intimidation pool well. Fed the Gremlin anyway.

                          Okay think all is well explained. Next session is a big battle. Comments and Questions welcome.


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                          • Sorry about the off week. Missed a session due to vacation, and that was around coming home time so everything was crazy. Got the recap tonight though.

                            Mostly one big fight. Note Wolfram’s player had to miss due to work issues.

                            Session LV


                            Marek’s Thoughts

                            18 August 1925

                            After the sun went down the fun began. We as a group went to the bar that the Communists from the port suggested would be fun later on, and found out that they were right. There was a big fight between Communists and Fascists. We lent our aid to the Communists, because of the two groups I would rather support them than the fascists any day. The fight was fun. The Russians, with our aid, had a distinct advantage which they used. We eventually moved our part of the fight down the street to the warehouse district. We “fought” one another, trading realistic looking blows here and there, as we moved closer to Ludovico’s warehouse. When we arrived at the warehouse we just went for the frontal assault. Outside this time was a rather large man and three dogs. Again, the dogs were actually spirits. Lizette used her machine gun and made short work of the man. The rest of us took care of the spirits. One “dog” landed a hit or two on me, but didn’t really hurt me. After they were taken care of Laszlo worked on taking the door down. While he did that I assembled my rifle just in case it was needed inside.

                            Once inside things got more interesting. There were several people inside, both upstairs and down, including a vampire on the second floor catwalk. Tatiana ran inside and leapt up to meet the vampire in combat. She hurt him pretty badly and he fled, presumably out a window. I then moved inside taking position behind some boxes so that I would have cover. Then the enemy Claimed controlled the forklift and made it shoot fire at the front door. Those in front, including Alla, Marie, Laszlo and Lizette, took the brunt. Laszlo and Lizette were immune to the fire so it did nothing to them. I can’t say the same for the others. Alla was hurt, but managed not to panic when she was set on fire. Marie was also hurt, but not too badly. I thought that she handled herself well. This was her first real fight after all.

                            Up on the catwalk Tatiana went after a man with a rifle, killing him in moments. I took out a second rifleman a moment later. Meanwhile Laszlo focused his attention on the forklift. He managed to block the flamethrower so it could not hurt anyone else. He then proceeded to attack and damage the machine. The other riflemen, deciding that Laszlo was a big threat, all fired at our newest packmate. He bore it pretty well, but I could tell that he was starting to feel the pain. Lizette found four riflemen grouped together near the stairs and decided that what was most needed in that location was a grenade. It exploded and hurt the riflemen. Laszlo, probably tired of being shot at, lifted what was left of the forklift and threw it at the same four riflemen. They did not survive the combination of Lizette and Laszlo’s attacks. Unfortunately the enemy Claimed decided that Laszlo was a threat and used a gift to throw the forklift back at him. Tatiana decided then that the forklift just had to go and jumped down and proceeded to finish tearing it apart. The Claimed wasn’t done and used his gifts again to throw a large crate at Tatiana. She shrugged off the injury and jumped back up to the second floor. I borrowed Tatiana’s gift and jumped up there after her. Alla followed.

                            Upstairs there were two rooms that had people in them. Each room had two individuals. The first room that we assaulted had two vampires in it. Tatiana and I attacked them. I went after the man with claws and Tatiana went after the man with the gun. Between the two of us we killed both Kindred in pretty short order. They got a couple hits in on us, with claws and the gun, but in the end they couldn’t stand up to us. In the other room the remaining vampire jumped out a window before we could set our sights on him. I assume that he did not fancy his odds against two werewolves. The remaining person was a ghoul. Alla kept him from escaping since he had seen her face. He had to go. The vampires were Invictus, and we couldn’t have them reporting back that Alla had been involved in a fight that killed several of their number. Tatiana killed the ghoul in short order.

                            Meanwhile, downstairs Lizette, Laszlo and Emma went down the first floor hallway. They ran into several men, probably ghouls. Lizette used her last grenade on a group of three. The enemy Claimed was also downstairs as our packmates discovered when he used a gift to instill fear. Emma finished off some of the ghouls that Lizette had hurt with the grenade. One man with a machine gun tried to shoot Laszlo and Emma, but missed them both. There was also a spirit of hatred downstairs. My packmates eventually took it out despite the fear effect. Lizette was focusing on the enemy Claimed. She shot him repeatedly with her gun eventually killing him. At least temporarily. It should take him a while to come back from that. About a day if Amethyst was any indication. Or maybe it was with the next sunrise. I should ask Wolfram. It was a good fight overall. Lizette and Laszlo bonded over “mayhem” and we were all satisfied with a job well done.

                            After both groups had dealt with Ludovico’s men we found a locked room and freed three Russian girls. Tatiana assured them that we were there to help them and found out that they were in town to support their comrades with the Communists. Russia also had a bad winter, which is part of the impetus for them leaving. They also wanted to support their friends here in Vienna. Unfortunately for them Ludovico saw them and decided that he wanted them for himself, so he kidnapped them. I’m assuming that he targets Communist girls since he is himself a Fascist. I personally do not believe that the innocent should be held against their will. So, I was happy to help free those girls and weaken Ludovico’s hold in Vienna. The man needs to be taken down a peg or two.

                            After the fight was over Lizette rigged the warehouse to explode. My packmate is rather skilled with explosives, so she had the whole building wired and ready to go in just a few minutes. The lot of us stepped a safe distance away and Lizette pushed the plunger. I will admit, the explosion was impressive. The charges were set in such a way that Ludovico’s building coming down wouldn’t affect any of the surrounding warehouses. Our goal was not to set the whole warehouse district on fire, just the one building.

                            Marie and the three Russian girls went back to the hotel with Tatiana, while Emma went back to Krieger to report on what happened tonight. All in all I think things went pretty well. All of us that had been injured were able to heal our wounds in pretty short order. It looked like clay filled in Laszlo’s injuries, while the werewolves among us just used our natural healing to take care of any cuts or bullet wounds. Luckily Lizette was not wounded during the fight. Without Dearbhail we have no dedicated healer, so if Lizette, or anyone else without a healing ability, is injured they must endure the wounds until they heal naturally over time. Wolfram has some healing abilities but it is very difficult for him to use that gift, especially on other people.

                            **** **** ****

                            19 August 1925

                            We are on our way to Sarajevo. Had a few things to take care of before we could leave though. First thing that happened before we left was Amethyst called to make sure that we were alright. She assumed, correctly, that we were involved in the explosion at the warehouse. She was vague in her speech, so I was vague as well. I assured her that everyone was fine. The only thing that I asked of her was to keep an eye out on the fallout from the warehouse explosion. If anyone interesting takes a notice, or anything in particular happens as a result of the fire I want to know about it. The police will be involved, but that is to be expected. The fallout that I’m most concerned about is the Kindred’s interest in the whole thing. They lost several of their people. I just want to make sure that they don’t know that Alla was involved in any way. Things could become politically untenable for her in this city if they suspected her involvement. Amethyst said that she’d keep her eyes and ears open and I thanked her for it.

                            After that we left to go to the airport. We had a bit of an interesting time with local police officers. The officers wanted to search the plane before we left to make sure that nothing stolen was on board. Apparently, Gerard stole something pretty valuable last night and the police are on the lookout for the item and the thief. They were also interested in why our airplane had weapons mounted on it. In the end, we let Fenric do the talking. As Alla’s ghoul he has certain gifts, like hers, that allow him to make people amenable to doing things for him, or generally be nice to him. So, he used that gift and explained to the officers that we had no stolen items and the mounted guns were perfectly legal. They seemed to buy it and left us alone to board the plane. Now, we are headed for Sarajevo. Should be an interesting trip.


                            Tatiana’s Conversations


                            Yes, volchonok, I know you do not like the flying machine.
                            Bah. There was no chance the man could make us not fly.

                            Yes, Fenric did have to use vampire magics to get him to let us go. Really, it saved him from being knocked about more than anything.

                            It would have been bad if he had made us not fly, foolish volchonok. We need to speak with the dancer, the swan woman.

                            Because... I don’t know. To make sure she is not mind controlled perhaps? She is not kidnapped, and we dealt with the count.

                            It was a good fight, yes.

                            I tried to tell you about it earlier.

                            I know you were distracted. You are a very distractible volchonok.

                            Bah, as if it were the fairy land’s fault that you get distracted at every good smell.

                            I do like talking about good fights. I almost thought it was not going to be.

                            Well, the fascists at the Dockside were only human, after all, and were cowed very easily. I would have left soon even if we did not have a warehouse to assault.

                            Oh, you meant the fight at the warehouse?

                            Ah! Alright, alright, volchonok. That was a good pin, I have taught you well.

                            It went like this: first, we fought a trio of spirits, and one human guard. They were nothing we couldn’t handle quickly, so we did.

                            Tough ones. I do not know what kind, I did not stop to ask. They took on the forms of dogs though.

                            After that, Laszlo broke the door down. It gave them time to set up and all, but it also gave Marek time to build his gun.

                            Yes, volchonok, it is inconvenient for our alpha to have to build his weapon each time, but he can scarcely carry it around town.

                            Yes, a human thing. Anyways, I got the jump on their vampire, and he ran like a small child for his mother. The ghouls were cleaned up by the other - Lizette threw a grenade and Laszlo threw a forklift.

                            It worked well until the Sineater threw it back.

                            Bah, no, the Sineater was not that strong. He used Sineater magic to do it from far away. He also used Sineater magic to make it spray fire.

                            Well, Lizette and Laszlo are immune to fire, so that was alright. Alla had some troubles, but she was alright eventually. It was better after Laszlo stood in the way of the fire, and then after he threw it away.

                            I broke it. I did not want it to keep being thrown around. It could do nothing to stand against me, of course.

                            Then we split up. Alla and Marek jumped up after me - the others couldn’t reach. Marek couldn’t either, but he borrowed my Gift for jumping.

                            It was more fun, up there. We could smell and hear three vampires and one ghoul, but one of the vampires ran away after we started the fight. He ran away before he saw Alla though, so it was alright.

                            The ghoul also tried to run, but he had seen Alla, so we stopped him.

                            Of course the vampires could not stand against us! Marek took down the one playing at soldier, I took the businessman down.

                            He was very fast, for a businessman! Impertinent volchonok.

                            They found some to fight. The Sineater, for one. A few ghouls, and what Emma said was a hate spirit.

                            I don’t know. There was many bullets though.

                            The girls were downstairs with Lizette, Laszlo and Emma. They did not open the door til I got there though, so I was able to reassure them with proper Russian.

                            Human things, volchonok, human things. They were Communists, in town to support their comrades. Also because it has been a bad winter, back home in Russia. That you can understand, yes? Even the beasts know of hard winters, though what is hard sometimes differs between our species.

                            It is true, we are not having a hard winter.

                            No, that does not mean we can go for a run. We still have business to attend to. Just because we have exploded a warehouse doesn’t mean it is time to run. Later, volchonok. Later.


                            Lizette’s Plans

                            19th August 1925

                            Post Battle Summary for conflict at the Warehouse 18th August 1925:

                            The Siege of Count Ludovico’s Warehouse was successful, no fatalities on our side, short term or long term.

                            The initial assault on the doors went well. There were three Spirits disguised as dogs and an armed mortal. The Werewolves made short work along with Laszlo. I shot down the mortal. Laszlo smashed the door.

                            The first room had a total of six armed mortals. Five behind cover and one on the catwalks above, along with a kindred with long claws and one hell of a beautiful feat of engineering. A forklift with a flamethrower, scythe blades, spikes, and armor. The Sin-Eater on the guardian’s side turned it on and attacked us with flames, which upset Alla but she managed not to panic. My Elemental Contract with Fire helped. Laszlo rather heroically charged in and blocked the tube of the flamethrower while Tatiana leapt for the rafters, where she drove off the vampire with a single blow, and cut down the human. Marek was shooting at the gunners, and I threw a grenade at them, as their rifles were tearing Laszlo up. Having been shot by rifles myself, I wanted to make them stop shooting Laszlo. He deserves better. He eventually lost his patience and hurled the great device into the shooters, whose cover was positioned around the stairs. Having already been wounded by my hand grenade, they could not cope with the machine.

                            Laszlo gave me a thumbs up and declaration of “Mayhem!” which was berries! Mayhem buddies!

                            Of course, then the Sin-Eater threw the forklift at him because he is an asshole. If it wasn’t bad enough that they tried to kill us with a forklift he used it as a projectile. Then started throwing remaining crates. Laszlo was pinned under it at the time, a brief problem for one of his lifting ability, so they threw them at Tatiana.

                            He was probably running low on ectoplasm as the throwing stopped. We split into two groups, one being Tatiana, Marek and Alla the other being Laszlo, Emma, and myself. Maria watched the door.

                            Tatiana’s group ran into three vampires and a ghoul. One vampire fled before they were even seen. Two were in a room they made short work of, with Alla blocking the way out. We ran into some sort of black spirit with flowing red eyes and knife hands, a couple ghouls, and the Sin Eater. Emma pointed out the room most of those were in and I threw in a grenade rather then let them ambush us, which took a lot of the fight out; the Spirit was still aggressive but I dealt with it, albeit as the last one standing. Laszlo wounds were filling with clay, like Sin-Eaters do with ectoplasm. I charged around and opened up with my Tommy Gun on the Sin-Eater, who was very badly hurt from the outset, even with Ectoplasm. We made short work of him from there. He was terrifying looking, and he we were all shaky, but I filled the air with bullets, first the Sin-Eater, then the Spirit.

                            I think all our ears were ringing from my machine gun fire. In addition to drum set in front of the gun, I had a large one on my back, so I could spray the area, and I was walking fire a great deal. Between that and grenades I felt like I was pretty effective. Mayhem!

                            Though I need to make myself resistant to fear before fighting a Sin-Eater again.

                            We rescued three women, all Russian, all communists, from the warehouse before I set it to blow. We will get them somewhere safe and see what they know about Ludovico. It feels good to help people. Especially when it involves explosions! Mayhem!

                            Today we head for Sarajevo. The whole thing with Gerard had the police jumpy, but Fenric smoothed it out. Time to meet our mysterious swan.

                            End Session LV

                            I specifically did research to find that yes, they had forklifts. And yes, they tried to kill them with a forklift. I’m terrible.

                            Time is short and I am behind, but if you have Comments or Questions they are welcome. I may not answer until after the weekend though.


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