Sean Callahan arranges to dispose of one of Janus' victims at the crematorium of his funeral home:
Callahan & Sons Mortuary
Est. 1850 AD
In exchange for this service Sean asks a boon of Janus, to be repaid on a later date.
Around 9pm Savoy summons the Innocents to meet him at the Toulouse Street Townhouse
in the French Quarter. The coterie are to meet him at midnight. In the interim the young coterie decide to return to the tomb of Rafael Pope and to explore the tunnel below the mausoleum. The coterie decide to meet there in two groups.
Once at the mausoleum they find that it is undisturbed. Inside, the air is clogged with brick dust. The round Gothic windows are just spots of purple moonlight in the walls. They throw huge, X-shaped shadows onto the floor, but offer almost no light.
There is no body in the mausoleum. No coffin. Instead, the walls are lined with a half-dozen metal urns. The ceiling is painted midnight blue and studded with glass stars. The floor is made up of huge squares of dark slate… and a black metal trapdoor held to the floor with a studded iron padlock the size of a fist. After the coterie unlock the trapdoor they begin to descend into the bowels of the tomb to find a narrow inner chamber with a vaulted ceiling; the floor covered in mud and pools of stagnant water. A smaller passage leads out, which upon exploration reveals 3 medium sized clay pots sealed with wax. Each contains brittle parchment scrolls written in an unknown language. They also find large amounts of Spanish doubloons and silver and gold jewelry, much encrusted in precious stones. In the main chamber is a mummified and linen wrapped corpse, desiccated and nearly brittle with age. The corpse clutches over its face a plain ivory mask. Nothing can pry it apart, thick, yellowed nails grasp the mask. Janus uses his preternatural vision to see if the body or mask reveal anything--upon examination it reveals that the mummified corpse is a Kindred in torpor. The coterie decide to take the torpid vampire, along with the clay jars, to their haven.
An hour later, at the haven, they bring the body inside, looking for a place to hide it from sunlight. No sooner do they move the body near the presence of the metal box containing the anonymous torpid torso, it jerks with sudden movement. The vampire's taut eyes are just slits cut in papery skin. It drops the ivory mask; the lips are peeling cellophane. His flesh is shrunken over axe-like hipbones and fallen between fragile ribs. His neck snaps, his flesh cracking, when he cranes his neck back and stretches his long serpentine fangs. He takes to the body in the box like a ravenous lover, hoisting the body by its burnt shoulders and cradling it against his face, biting the carotid. Nothing can pry them apart...
Seconds creep by and the corpse's skin begins to lighten, almost glow, with new color. It begins in his chest and travels down arms and legs. Veins go red then spill over, soaking in and turning his paper hide to flesh tones. His scalp darkens with stubble. Still sucking at the body's throat, his lips working at the flesh, the vampire looks past his brow at the characters. Eyes that are bright red with ravenous frenzy. His flesh smoothed as the body's flesh dries and splits. He doesn't stop.The vampire continues to drink past the ashes in the body's veins to the smoke in its soul...
Malcolm picks up the seemingly discarded ivory mask. The vampire staggers; drunk on the stolen Vitae. He stands covered in the shreds of linen wrappings, languidly inspecting the characters; too glutted on blood to speak. After a few seconds of silence the vampire speaks,
"What is the year and how long have I slept?" What are your names?"
The characters share that it is the year 2005 and that he has slept for centuries, close to 200 years. He introduces himself as Fausto
, although he shares that he vaguely remembers being called Rafael Pope before he went into torpor. He thanks them, perhaps believing that the characters planned to reawaken him. The characters stand perplexed; clearly not having planned for Pope 'aka Fausto' to reawaken. They convene and decide that it is best to keep their appointment with Savoy, lest he suspect what has happened.
Midnight, The Toulouse Street Townhouse:
The characters drive and have their vehicle valet. They meet with Savoy who informs them that they are to find the body of Pope at all costs, to bring the body to him. The characters inform Savoy they will do as he asks, but they will need more time. Savoy admonishes them that time is short, as Carnival is upon the city and Mardi Gras will occur in days. Savoy also informs them that they are to present themselves before Prince Vidal tonight. He informs them that he expects them no later than 3am at his offices in Perdido House
, located on Perdido street, across from City Hall, in the Central Business District. Savoy further informs them to be at their best behavior as Vidal of late appears unhinged with paranoia, and he would hate to see the Prince's ire directed at the coterie. Savoy has arranged for a limousine outside Galatoires
2 AM on the 12 floor office suite of Perdido House:Perdido House
is a historic 20 floor office building built in the early 1900's. One of New Orleans earliest high rises, it would dominate the architectural landscape of the Central Business District for close to 40 years. Tonight it is dwarfed by taller more impressive office towers. Perdido House stands as a visible symbol of Vidal's power; it is the place where he often holds court, and where all of New Orleans Kindred go to seek audience with the Prince. In a large boardroom that overlooks the bend of the Mississippi River, the coterie gather to meet Prince Vidal. The room still retains its Art Deco style, wall sconces and teak-wood wall paneling. Sitting upon a high-backed, ornate throne at the far end of the mahogany conference table, the room is ringed with over a dozen armored SWAT bodyguards, each bearing face shields and heavy rifles. It is clear to the coterie that Vidal is indeed an elder gripped with fear. A dark haired female attendant in tailored business suit escorts the characters to the far end of the board room. They are asked to introduce themselves and reveal to Vidal their names, clan and coven affiliations. Vidal then summons Donovan
, his Sheriff, to introduce himself to the coterie. With the Sheriff of New Orleans as witness, each is asked to swear a feudal oath to Vidal that they will obey his laws, the Three Traditions, and the safety of his domain. They each kiss the prince's ring, a bishop's ring with a large ruby, and he departs.
After the meeting they are escorted by the female assistant, who leads them down on the antiquated elevator to the 7th floor, which opens into a vaulted ceiling library room. The library is filled with rare and precious antiques, most of which are manuscripts and books. The characters see first original editions of Don Quixote
, original folios by William Shakespeare, (such as Twelve Night, Midsummer Nights Dream
and the Tempest
) an original Gutenberg Bible
, and among many others, colorfully (and disturbingly) illuminated manuscripts that depict the teachings and life of Longinus, founder of the Lancea et Sanctum
. After discovering the name of the assistant, who is goes by the name Angelique
, the characters are offered a selection of mortals to drink from. While they socialize, some of the characters notice that their repast is being scrutinized by several strategically placed security cameras.
3am, driving back to Bourbon Street:
The characters debrief the events of the meeting with Vidal, the awakening of Fausto/Pope and what they should do. They decide to follow Angelique's lead on finding Agnes' Maker; deciding to meet with Miss Opal
, who is also affectionately known to Clan Nosferatu as "Big Momma." Arriving at her public haven in the lower Garden District, the characters present themselves to the elder Primogen. Big Momma's haven is an old Greek Revival mansion, with overgrown gardens choked with Spanish moss and dilapidated with age. A young quadroon
woman greets them, ushers them into Big Momma's private boudoir. Upon entering the darkened room they see a grotesquely and monstrously obese hairless woman with long black claws. She speaks in an easy manner, almost with motherly affection. Her voice changes modulation, from affectionate and charming to disturbingly deep. She greets each with warm affection, her body exuding a powerful, almost cloying stench. The characters each introduce themselves to the elder Primogen and ask for the information promised. Miss Opal tells them that Agnes' Maker dwells about 2 hours west of New Orleans, on an old plantation that was abandoned about 15 years prior. The estate, called Blackwood Farm
, is now the enclave of a band of Kindred outlaws who flaunt the rules of Vidal and terrorize the local residents.
Agnes, now possessing the knowledge of where to find the one who Embraced her, drives back the coterie in her vintage 1976 Caddy. As they drive, they notice a flurry of falling snow. Within an hour the streets are covered in an inch of fresh fallen snow. It has not snowed in New Orleans for 20 years. Arriving at the haven they see that Fausto has been entranced by modern inventions, particularly the television and computer. Within a matter of hours he has remembered all the languages he spoke before going into torpor--English, French, Spanish and his own native Italian.
Finally, in an exchange for tutelage, (and perhaps thirsty for the promise of power) Fausto promises to teach the young coterie his supernatural secrets--all but one of the characters deciding to drink the potent Vitae of the newly awakened elder...
End of Session.