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Oct. 30th, 2011

Chapter XVIII: Feudal Ties

Friday, November 12
[1 day of down-time, Nov. 11]

Sean proposes to the Coterie a plan for their new domain:
-Increase the feeding modifier to positive by attracting more indigent/homeless population, with more secure places for them to live on the streets; use these homeless as eyes & ears and a form of passive security, thereby offer feeding rights to neonates: selling territory as a premiere feeding ground for visiting and less powerful Kindred.

The Coterie debate and discuss Sean’s plan of establishing an ‘All Night Soup Kitchen for the homeless’ non-profit company, to encourage homeless & vagrants to move into their domain, thereby enriching the feeding options.  Sean also asks Lemuel to offer his legal skills to establish this fake a non-profit as his contribution of service to the Coterie.

Later:
The Coterie receive a phone call from Angelique, Vidal's ghoul, informing them that they are summoned to a private event at the Maison de Ville, a hotel in the Upper French Quarter, there they are to be formally granted their new Domain in front of Vidal’s Inner Circle.

The Coterie plan on a Harvest theme party to announce their new domain in the Kindred world, they begin by investigating how to attract Blood Dolls to their inaugural fete. Lemuel investigates and finds information in his criminal case files for a group of fetishists called the Sycophants of De Sade, a 'Hellfire Club' involved in several homicides with occult themes.

Sean goes online to boards dedicated to pseudo-vampire clubs and blood dolls, [exceptional success] and sets up a meeting at a club named Loft 523 on Saturday the 13th at 11pm.

Sibylle decides to contact Sundown, the After Hours King, to consult on their Domain party.
 
Midnight, Maison de Ville Hotel, upstairs private banquet room.
The Coterie arrive, have their respective vehicles valet parked, are ushered upstairs to a private banquet room by a pair of mentally dominated bellhops. The Coterie notice that the entire hotel is vacant, except for a few hotel staff, which appear mechanical in their movements and reactions.

In a large, elegantly appointed room are congregated:
-Seneschal Maldonato [suspicious aura]
-Sheriff Donovan
-Primogen Isadora ‘Pearl’ Chastain [angry]
-Primogen Miss Opal [distrustful]
-Primogen Coco Duquette
-Primogen Hurst [envious]
-Regent Antoine Savoy [hateful]
-Hierophant Nathaniel Blanch

Both Sean and Janus use their preternatural senses to read their auras. After formal introductions, in which the Coterie members kiss the hands or signet rings of the Inner Circle, Pearl Chastain invites Sean to ‘tea’ at her public haven at 9pm Saturday, to introduce him to the NOLA Invictus. Blanch invites both Sibylle and Agnes to a formal gathering of the Crone at a future date. After formally receiving their domain, and the Coterie swearing fealty to Vidal, they are treated to a group of humans in an adjacent lounge. There they continue to socialize, with the exception of Savoy, who excuses himself and leaves.

2:45AM
After leaving the hotel, and as they are vehicles are being valet to them, the Coterie are attacked by a group of human thugs with Uzi’s and machetes. The Coterie manage to kill all but one of them,  who manages to escape, but not before Sibylle’s uses her power of Cheval on him; she later over hears him having a conversation on a public phone, and is able to pick up a phone number and a male voice.

After leaving the Coterie call Donovan and inform him of the attack. Donovan asks them to dispose of most of the bodies. The Coterie discover that many have bite marks throughout their bodies, having been fed upon by some Kindred.
 
End of Session.

Oct. 16th, 2011

Chapter XVII: Territorial Claims

Saturday, November 6, 2010
11PM to Midnight
The Coterie of the Resurrectionists discuss the death of former Ghoul-turned Kindred, Miranda Green. The Coterie make plans to reconvene at the shared Haven on St. Claude at 1am.
Agnes and Toby, her ghoul, return to her home in the Metairie where Agnes summons her Herd (schedules a ‘healing session’). She feeds on her Herd for the next 3 hours.
Meanwhile, Sean and Sibylle, along with Moira and Janus, go to their new territory to feed. There they notice that feeding has become increasingly difficult (-5 to feeding rolls). Janus leaves, to feed on his newly established Herd [Sick-homeless-hospital patients] at Tulane University Hospital (diseased patients; capped by his Humanity: Presence + Empathy + Auspex bonus).

1AM
Coterie meet at the Haven on St. Claude. Sean tasks Antonio to beef up security at their shared Haven (security rating has dropped from 5 to 2).

Moira awakens Malcolm from Torpor in his coffin upstairs. She tells him the events that transpired over the past week, also informing him that Sean destroyed Miranda, along with the rest of the Coterie. Malcolm accuses Sean of giving the Final Death without the Prince’s sanctioned Blood Hunt. He leaves.

2AM
Janus helps Antonio survey security of the shared Haven, discovers stacks of security disks with recordings of how Malcolm embraced Miranda while possessed by the Strix; while soon after the spirit jumps into Miranda’s newly embraced body who drives a wooden stake into Malcolms heart, puts him in his coffin and seals it (the recording shows a blurry form for both Malcolm and then Miranda after she is embraced, making identification difficult but possible within the context of the evidence). Subsequently, Sean calls the Sheriff and informs him of the evidence on the disks.

Donovan informs the Coterie that they have been granted an audience with Seneschal Maldonato at 7pm the following evening.
Moira pays for data recovery ($1,500) on broken disks to be delivered virtually on Sunday afternoon.

2-3AM
Sibylle and Sean go hunting & find that gangbangers are terrorizing and vandalizing their new territory; they find 1 group of 4 gang members tagging and spray painting graffiti on business and homes. They confront the taggers, shoot one of them in the leg and tell them “there is a new management in town.”

Sean attempts to mimic graffiti marks using Nosferatu sigils to proclaim the territory as theirs.
Meanwhile, 3 gangbangers attack Sibylle; 2 manage to stab her with knives. The supposed leader stabs her in the shoulder.

5:30AM
Janus and Moira locate a potential site for the Coterie’s new shared Haven. It is a large brick office/warehouse structure with a ‘For Lease’ sign.

Janus goes to ground inside Laura’s Escalade; tasks her to contact the leasing company for info on the new haven.
Moira contacts her covenant, the Lancea Sanctum, and obtains permission to sleep in the Sanctum’s communal Haven (secret panels located under the confessional boxes of St. Alphonsus Church. Sean meanwhile spends the day at his mortuary while Sibylle enters Markus’ body, possessing it.

Sunday, 7th of November.
7PM
The Coterie gather at Perdido House for their audience with the Seneschal. Malcolm confronts the Coterie, accusing them of destroying his progeny. Maldonato finds favor with Sean after review of the evidence on the retrieved security discs. The Seneschal admonishes the Coterie to be more careful with these type of security recordings, as they could pose a Masquerade breach if stolen by mortals of vampire hunters. He tells them that encrypting the information is safer but still no guarantee against Masquerade violations.

Sibylle contacts Lemuel by phone to establish a Living Trust for Maria Santos, Fausto’s last mortal descendant living in the United States.

Montage Scene
Time frame: Sunday, Nov. 7th through 10
Objective: Establish command and security of our new Domain & Haven in Tulane-Gravier District .

Sibylle-“Work with Sean as dream & nightmare to subvert the collective will of our Domain” [Success]
Janus- “Work with Moira to infiltrate & worm our way up the hierarchy and infrastructure of the Buddha Boys gang” [Exceptional Success]
Moira- “Establish a new shared Haven while working with Lem to ensure the secrecy and security of our new haven (also using Dominate 3)” [Success]
Toby- “Doing Agnes’ bidding” [no rolls made-success]
Agnes- “Increase security of her private Herd through her private Haven as well as helping patrol our new Territory to establish our control” [Success]
Sean- “Establish our reputation and our game name as dreams & nightmares of Tulane-Gravier District” [Exceptional Success]

End of Session

Sep. 18th, 2011

Chapter XVI: Retribution of the Nemesis

Saturday, November 6
7-8PM

Janus finds GPS signal for Markus, locating him on Hennessy & Canal Street in Mid-City.

Agnes goes to a local Vodoo shop, buys some herbs and gris-gris bags that may aid her in battling the Strix spirits. While the Coterie obtains holy water to bless their weapons. Agnes sends text messages by cellphone to advice the rest of the Coterie of her plans.

Moria, who is member of the Sanctified of New Orleans, investigates how to contact the Santified priest Father Marrow. She goes to St. Alphonsus, the old Irish Catholic parish church. She meets him there through a mortal priest who guides her to one of the confessionals. Father Marrow tells Moira she is invited to join the Dark Mass at midnight, where she can make her formal request for a blessing of her weapons. She must bring a mortal to drink from.

9PM
Agnes and Toby drive to Loyola University, where they locate the university chapel, steal a large metal spear from the statue of St. Michael the Archangel. Meanwhile, Sibylle goes off to feed solo in the Coterie's territory of Tulane-Gravier. She discovers that hunting for prey is now more difficult than 3 days ago (-4 to all feeding & hunting rolls). Sean and his ghoul Antonio rendezvous at the Haven around this time.

10PM
The GPS points to an abandoned Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery on Canal Street. They find a large storage wharehouse with over 20 dead, heavily decomposing bodies, ranging from a few days to some being dead for weeks. The bodies range in age and race.

Sean uses his skills as a lockpick to open the padlocked outer metal door. As they search the wharehouse they hear laughter coming from above, it is a female laughter. Then they hear the large metal door close with a bang and then the sound of the lock. Sean, Antonio, Toby and Agnes run down to the main door to find it locked from without. Agnes grows her root-like Protean claws, tears open the metal door and they issue out. They find that Markus, Sibylle's ghoul is standing almost naked outside, he holds a kerosine pail which he has doused around him. A few yards away they see the figure of Miranda floating down from the grain silo. Her presence triggers the Taint of the Predator in the Coterie and they sense that she is now a vampire; however, they do not seem to sense if she is more or less powerful.

Inside the wharehouse Lem and Moira climb to the rooftop skylight, trying to ascertain what is happening outside.

Miranda, now a vampire, uses her new found dread powers of Nightmare on Toby, who is the first to fall, struck by madness and terror. Agnes, growing her Protean claws, which she had Toby douse with a vial of holy water, attacks the form of Miranda.

Moira jumps down, breaking her fall on some pipes, finally landing atop Markus, who stands immobile, while Lem also begins to scale down some metal gutters.

Antonio, now wielding the metal spear of Longinus, jabs and strikes Miranda. In that instant the spirit possessing Miranda jumps into Antonio, who now turns the spear on Agnes, impaling her leg into the ground. Antonio, now possessed, uses Nightmare on Agnes, and she falls as Toby did. Moria moves to attack Antonio while Lem decides to standby after pulling Anges unconscious body to safety.

The spirit jumps back into Miranda, uses her dread powers on Moira, and drives her temporarily insane, but not unconscious. Sean pulls out  his firearm and dousing it with holy water, shoots at Miranda's form multiple times, one hit almost severing her arm off. 

Finally, as Miranda's body screams in agony, she collapses to the ground. Sean, uses his preternatural vision, sees that Miranda's form is no longer possessed. Miranda's body begins to slowly decompose and she meets her Final Death.

End of Session.



Chapter XV: The Birds of Dis, part 3

November 3
4:20AM
Agnes and Sibylle go to see the child-Crone Baby Jane at the Bayou St. Jean, taking with them a male child. After giving the abducted child to elder, she tells them one of her servants will lead them to the gate the following sunset.
The Coterie, back in the city, hunt and feed before going to ground (Feeding modifier for new territory -1). Janus calls his friend Jane, who lives in Chicago, who may know something of these spirits.

Sunset, 7pm
Agnes and Sibylle meet a young man with black hair and a black suit, his appearance is disheveled and he has a vacant look to his eyes. He does not want to exchange names but tells the Crone pair that they can call him Johnnie. They all drive back to the city in Agnes’ Caddy.

Agnes feeds on two street punks. One surprises her, pulling a Glock 17 on her. Using her Protean Claws she attacks him, drinks from him until he is unconscious. She decides to chase the second, finding him and also drinking from him until he passes out.


Rules for Humanity Cap
Build your Dicepool, then add bonues; apply your humanity cap, subtract any penalties, add your supernatural bonuses = Dicepool for social related rolls (Empathy, Persuasion, Socialize)
For social feeding rolls the duration is usually 1 hour.

9PM
The Coterie rejoin after feeding for the night, they all schedule by cell phones to meet at local St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Markus and Miranda are instructed to stay behind and patrol the vicinity of the haven.

The Coterie are all now gathered at the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. Johnnie tells them all to follow him, he walks down a grassy path, down a row of barrel-vaulted tombs...

After a few minutes they notice that the sky is in a state of twilight or dawn, as if time has stopped; the clouds overhead seem to pass by at increased speeds, as if a heavy storm is brewing. They all sense that they are no longer in the mortal world. They also feel that their Beasts have grown calmer...

They enter a small marble mausoleum; steps leading down into the ground. Emerging in a dark tunnel they slowly begin to notice small yellow reflective bird-like eyes staring at them, at first dozens of reflective eyes, then hundreds of bird-eyes watch them.

The Coterie speak to the owl spirits who who can barely be heard through a loud rush of wings, the voices tell them that they know not why their brethren are in the world of the living, possessing bodies, a world they lost interest in millenia ago. However, they warn them that the fate that destroyed the Kindred of ancient times may be revisited upon them in the modern nights if they do not induge their kindred. At times the spirits speak as a chorus, at others as a cacophony of hoots and beating of wings, almost incomprehensible. One voice seems to rise above the rest, and it tells them that their kind fears only 3 things: fire, sunlight and ‘holy things.’ The first will trap it, the second will force it dormant, while the third will harm or possibly destroy them. But the voice offers a warning: if they share these secrets with the rest of the Kindred world the Strix will revisit the doom they brought upon the Kindred 2,000 years ago.

Returning to the surface of the cemetery, the Coterie emerge to discover 3 days have passed. It is exactly 3AM on Friday, November 5 according to their cellphones.

Janus decides to call his friend Jim McMahon, a werewolf he knew in Chicago. Jim eventually calls him back, but doesn’t offer his aid.

Sean calls Rosabelle on his cellphone. She agrees to come and meet them at the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone at 4am. Rosabelle tells them she was not able to discern any weaknesses for the bird-spirits. However, she tells Sean her skills as a medium can be available to the Coterie for an exchange of boons. Sean invites her to join their Coterie, but Rosabelle tells him she wishes to remain independent of NOLA politics.

Quarter after 5AM
Sean returns to Callahan Mortuary, his private haven. Agnes and Toby return to her old Victorian in the Metairie. Sibylle gets a room at a cheap hotel in the Tulane district along with Janus, Laura & Moira also get rooms in the same  hotel.


Saturday the 6th, Sunset.
Coterie rejoin at their shared Haven, they meet about 1 block away at 6:20PM. Video surveillance at the haven reveal that Miranda attacks and abducts Markus, then drives away with him in his own car. Janus hacks GPS on Markus’ cell (50 minutes, extended roll). Sean calls the Sheriff, who tells them that a priest at St. Louis Cathedral can talk to him about “blessing a holy weapon.” Sean meets Father Dominic, a priest, and asks him to bless his gun. The priest gets nervous, calls NOLA PD. Sean confronts the cops who come to investigate the priests report, he uses Monstrous Countenance to cower them after he fails to pick pocket the lead officers report book. As the two cops cower on the ground he takes the report book, makes note of the cops badge numbers and plate number of the cop car.
Moira, overhearing Sean, decides to call the Sanctified Kindred Father Marrow.

Around 7PM
Meanwhile, Janus hacks the GPS signal for Markus' cellphone, locating it on Hennessy and Canal Street in Mid-City.
Agnes goes to a local Vodoo shop, buys some herbs and gris-gris bags that may aid her in battling the Strix spirits.

Sep. 4th, 2011

Chapter XIV: The Birds of Dis, part 2

November 2, 9PM
Perdido House
It is time to meet Sheriff Donovan. The Coterie arrive at Perdido House, most coming in Agnes' Caddy, Moira drivers her motorcyle, Miranda, Janus' ghoul, stays at the Haven for guard duty. Angelique escorts the Coterie to the Prince's board room, where Seneschal Maldonato and Donovan are waiting. Sibylle gives her report on what they know about the Strix.

Donovan informs them that Fausto has been sentenced to the final death. Fausto wants to make a private confession to us before that, and the Prince is willling to grant him this wish. Fausto said (to Donovan) that he cannot recall the previous five years.

The Coterie, sans ghoul Toby Jones, are taken up to meet with Fausto. He gets 15 minutes with the Coterie. Fausto is chained to a chair, facing a heavily metal shuttered window.

Fausto requests a favor from the Coterie. If they do it, he will tell them where his secret cache of treasure is. He wants us to make sure his descendant will lack for nothing--her name is Maria Santos and she is an artist in the Metairie district.

Sybille agrees to this, and says that anyone who hears what Fausto says will also be bound by this oath. Agnes stays.

Sean is leaving, but wants to convince Moira to come with him (those in the room with Fausto now are Sean, Moira, Lem, Sybille, and Agnes--Janus is out (Jeremy is not here), Toby is waiting in a different part of Perdido House (Matt is finishing a test). Sean is trying to engage Moira in Social Combat to convince her to come with him.

Moira and Lem both leave with Sean.

Fausto tells us that under his tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 there are jewels worth a fortune along with two jars of mystically preserved Vitae from a very powerful elder.

After their time with Fausto, the Coterie are escorted back to the Prince's board room. The Coterie tell Maldonato about how Fausto had bargained with information he had gathered from some Kindred who were posing as members of the Agonists Bloodline (or real Agonists)--that there were three sleeping bodies possessed by the Birds of Dis, as he calls them--and presumably one spirit has escaped her immortal prison.

9:45PM
Moira requests of Angelique to use the Prince's library for esoteric research on the Striges, and the request is granted by Seneschal Maldonato. The Coterie are escorted to the 7th floor to research what they can on the Strix. The library takes up most of the floor, and is top to bottom books on shelves, any rare and precious.

Sean finds a book mentioning the word "Strix"--which means an owl, "a bird of ill omen and doom." They learn some other supernatural details on spirits and otherworld beings who can possess human and unliving bodies. They also discover the name "Isobel and her twin sister Rosabelle"-- (and phone number) written in the margins of one book on ghosts. Apparently they are Kindred mediums who know a lot about spirits and ghosts.

The Coterie spend several hours researching in the Prince's private library.

Just before they leave, the Coterie ask Maldonato if they can hunt in their newly claimed domain yet. He says yes, but since it isn't officially ours yet, other vampires may still be hunting there. The Sheriff suggests that they may have to enforce their tenurial rights against other Kindred feeding there.


Near Midnight, near St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

The Coterie hear the sounds of a late Jazz funeral in the cemetery of St. Louis No. 2. They decide to investigate as they drive through their newly acquired domain. They stop adn break into groups to patrol. Sybille and Agnes patrol one section, and Lem goes with Sean. Moira initially starts with Sean and Lem, but she splits off. While patrolling Sean see's a ghost. She identifies herself as Isobel, sister of Rosabelle. When Sean introduces Lem, only then is Lem able to see her materialized form.

Sean tells Isobel about the Strix and asks Isobel if she knows anything. She says her sister may know, but Rosabelle will want something in return. She will go talk to twin and see if she is willing to talk to them. Rosabelle meets with Sean and Lem shortly after the meeting with her ghostly sister. She offers to trade boons for knowledge on these spirits (if she can find it is of use to them).

Sean converses with Lem about Lem's Embrace and the night his fiance was murdered. Sean is searching his memory banks to try and figure out who mights have sired Lem (based on Lem's description).

1AM
Agnes and Sibylle feed at Tulane Medical Center [Agnes feeds on a dying patient, gains 2 points morphine-tainted blood]. Sybille feeds through her usual seduction, then they head to Louie Armstrong Park.

1:30AM, Armstrong Park
The Coterie see a lone figure on a bridge and feel an overwhelming urge to run away [rolling for Predators Taint]. Agnes gets two successes she resist the urge to flee in fear.

Sean, using his supernatural senses [Auspex 2] reads the figure's aura as "suspicious" and "pale."

They approach the vampire. He has a vagrant look--only wears a blanket, no shoes. They see his face--he is sublimely beautiful, long black glossy hair, facial tattoos, piercing hazel eyes. He speaks to them in a foreign language, but he can understand some English, and French a little better. He is Native American--belonging to the Choctaw tribe.

As they converse with the newly awakend elder, they see a human limb sticking out of the soft-turned soil--others see more like a pile of bodies. The elder says their blood does not satisfy him. He needs Kindred blood. He asks for the blood of the Coterie members and promises not to hurt them. He wants to know what time and year it is, too--he cannot remember things. Sybille, Sean, and Agnes give him their Vitae.

He then asks to read their minds. When he does, they can also read his--we see flashes and images of his land and people being attacked, by what appear to be the Spanish Conquistadores.

The elder calls himself Samoset. He shares that he can gain sustenance from the soil of Armstrong Park somehow. He killed people because he could see their evil intentions "they were murderers, rapists, with evil intent in their hearts." He buried them, even though he did so poorly. The Coterie invite Samoset to their haven, sensing the possibility of a powerful elder they can have on their side; he marvels at the modern world and the Coterie take the time to instruct him on modern conveniences like cellphones, TV and electricity.

2:25AM
A scantily clad pretty black girl shows up at the door to the haven. She is not invited in but eventually she enters from upstairs, somehow managing to get the the second floor bedroom with ease, she then comes down the stairs. She says "You did not accept me inside you, you rejected me, so now we'll punish you if you do not appease us..." her breathing appears shallow, raspy, as if some sickness is inside her. The Coterie are pretty certain she is one of the Strix. She gives us until tomorrow night to willingly accept this offer.

3:15AM
Sybille, Moira and Agnes leave the haven on an errand for the Crone Baby Jane, (to get steal a child to bring to the elder). They decide that this offering could help them discover what Baby Jane knows about the Strix's weaknessess. They drive north to the Bayou St. Jean. Meanwhile, Sean and Lem try to recruit Isobel and Rosa's help, setting up a time to trade for valuable information on spirits.

Aug. 14th, 2011

Chapter XIII: The Birds of Dis, part I

Early morning of November 2  (right after the events of the Grand Ballo)

3AM
Fausto is revealed by Agnes to be the costumed Rex, who’s body is torpid after the 3 witches destroy Daniel.
Sean messages Agnes by cellphone text, he wishes to meet the coterie at the Absinthe club at 3:45AM. Meanwhile, Sibylle keeps one of the captured witches under her supernatural power of Majesty (the one who goes by the name of Julie-Julia).
Donovan, Sheriff of New Orleans, asks if the Coterie is up to the challenge of interrogating the female witch. He decides to take Fausto’s torpid body to Prince Vidal for summary judgement. Shortly near 4AM Sean arrives at the club in his black hearse with his ghoul Antonio.
As Donovan leaves he tells the Coterie to interrogate the witch then to meet him at Perdido House the following night at 9PM.

4AM
The Coterie return to their shared haven. Miranda confirms with Agnes that Malcolm has returned to their haven after he fled earlier. When they arrive they find a piece of yellow note paper on the refrigerator door:

***
WE are The Striges, The Nemeses, The Owls, The Birds of Dis
My lineage:
I am all of this.
I am none of this.
Today, I am a fat man. I disgust myself. The shirt on my chest can barely contain my girth.
I’m sweating. The sweat smells of garlic, oregano. The breaths I take are labored, great squealing
wheezes. I taste vomit. My esophagus is starting to break down—I cough up bits of
throat tissue every time I bring up a mouthful of spit and phlegm.
Before this, I was one o f Them. Beautiful, hungry for blood,
green eyes, red hair, a thousand-mile stare. Skin the color of skim milk. I wore her for a long time.
Before her, I squirmed into a skinny, rat-bitten man who slept on the streets.
Before him, I wore the skin of an old woman, rolls of puckered flesh hanging off of
bad bones, bones that were pitted and brittle long before I took them for my own.
Before her, before him, before her, before him…
I was never these people. Not really. I don’t know their minds. I only know their skin,
their organs, their skeletons. Each just a cheap suit, a snug costume. A happy masquerade.
I don’t know who I am or what I am. And I would have it no other way.

***


They search the haven but do not find Malcolm. Upstairs they find that Miranda, his ghoul, has been locked inside Malcolm’s lead-lined coffin. She tells them that Malcolm seemed normal but withdrawn, then when she least suspected it he grabbed her and threw her into the coffin then sealed it. She does not know where he is.


Near 5AM
Malcolm is sighted in the French Quarter on Bourbon Street. Shortly after Sibylle returns Julie to her home in the Bayou St. John. The other 2 witches seemed skeptical of Sibylle returning their sister, but they welcome her back, incredulous that the vampires have let her live.

It is revealed by one of the them (the leader named Marie Laveau, who claims direct descent from the famed Voodoo Queen of New Orleans of the same name) that Fausto used his supernatural powers to trick them into becoming addicted to his Vitae, which they are all still withdrawing from.
Meanwhile back at the haven Sean, Antonio and Moira return with Malcolm after a confrontation with Natasha Preston, a member of Antoine Savoy's inner circle.

As they prepare to go to ground, Malcolm informs then he plans to greet the dawn…

Night of November 2nd, All Souls Day (Día de Los Muertos).
Early evening, 6PM

Sibylle decides to make contact with her covenant to see if they can offer any guidance on these happenings, they inform her that a powerful Crone lives in the Bayou St. Jean, about 1 hour north of the city. Sibylle decides to take Agnes, a fellow Crone, to visit the elder…

The Coterie awaken from their day-sleep to find that Malcolm is standing in front of the door to the haven, apparently unharmed by the daylight. Shortly after, a ghoul named Toby knocks on the door, he informs them that he is looking for Agnes Theriot, that he's jonesing for her special protein shakes. He wears a football jersey with the logo of the LSU Bayou Bengals. Seans tells him she'll be returning soon.

As they introduce each other Malcolm turns on his Coterie, attacking them; Sean, Moira & Toby, Agnes’ ghoul retaliate, subduing Malcolm and putting him in his coffin upstairs. As they put him inside the coffin Malcolm’s mouth opens and a black, shadowy being leaves his body, then his body quickly goes into torpor. The black birdlike spirit then tries to take possession of Sean, but is repelled, flying away into the night.

8:45PM
Agnes and Sibylle return from visiting the Crone elder who calls herself Baby Jane. The briefly share what happened.
Antonio is given the night off by Sean as reward for services rendered. He decides to indulge in his private necrophilia fetishism. The Coterie prepare for their visit with Sheriff Donovan at Perdido House to exchange what information they have gathered from Malcolm and the witch Julia.


End of Session.

Jul. 16th, 2011

Chapter XII: The Gran Ballo Masquerade

November 1, The Feast of All Saints, sunset

As the characters rise from their day-sleep they are summoned to Perdido House by Seneschal Philippe Maldonato at 7:30pm. Angelique informs the Coterie that the Seneschal wants them to serve in the role of security at the Gran Ballo, the annual masquerade ball hosted by Prince Vidal for New Orleans Sanctified.
 
***
 
Side Scene:
The Prelude of Lemuel Bryce, RIP July 20, 2010

Lemuel Bryce was a young and rising star in the NOLA DA. The Bryce's of Baton Rouge comes from a long line of legal prosecutors. It is no surprise that his family were well connected and had helped their favorite son to obtain an appointment as junior prosecutor in the New Orleans Distric Attorney's office. One sultry July evening, as he walks home from one of New Orleans most exclusive bistro’s in the Garden District, he and his fiancé are held up by gangbangers. In the course of the robbery a stranger orders the death of his soon to be bride, and in a blur of movement Lemuel’s world is forever changed.

Over the course of the next few months Lemuel discovers that he was no longer human. The touch of the sun burned his skin almost to the bone, food and drink no longer satisfied the insatiable hunger deep in his belly. He soon came to the attention of Sheriff Donovan, who brought him to Maldonato. The Kindred, as he soon learned they called themselves, did not know who transformed him into the creature he now was.  But the fledgling was too highly placed in the DA’s office to simply “disappear.” Maldonato reasoned that the young vampire had to be groomed, taught and used as an invaluable resource in NOLA's legal sphere. Soon Lemuel discovered that his Humanity was fraying at the corners of his former moral code; he continued his practice, taking a leave of absence from the DA's office. He was now as defense attorney, representing criminals and other unsavory clients whom no other attorney wants to represent, meeting with his clients only at night, whether in jail or nearby restaurant or bar. Eventually Maldonato decides its time to see if Lemuel has what it takes to survive the Gilded Cage of the Kindred jungle. He soon tasks the vampire Sheriff of New Orleans with placing Lemuel in a Coterie to instruct him in the ways of the Kindred and to be taught its Traditions.
This is a test of sorts for the Coterie selected, Maldonator reasoned.

So Lemuel begins his new journey into the predatory world of the Kindred, with a new found determination to find the ones who were responsible for his fate and those that took the life of his fiancé...
***
Perdido House, 7:30pm
The Coterie arrive at Perdido House, bodyguards escort them to the main conference room on the 5th floor. Angelique, the Prince’s mortal aid and ghoul greets them and ushers them into the Prince's boardroom. Seated at the head of the table is Seneschal Maldonato.

He informs them that the Gran Ballo is the Prince’s annual Masquerade party for prominent members of the Lancea Sanctum Covenant. It is a celebration, like Mardi Gras, for indulging in all sensual appetites. The location is maintained a secret and not revealed until one hour prior to Midnight.  He wants the Coterie to assist Sheriff Donovan in ensuring the safety of all guests and of the humans (and blood dolls) who are to be served as repast. Maldonato then introduces 2 Kindred: Mr. Lemuel Bryce, a tall, handsome blonde and green eyed Caucasian in a slightly disheveled business suit; Moira, a short, dark haired woman of Middle-Eastern race.  Once the new Kindred are introduced the Coterie feel their Beasts rise [Predators Taint rolls succeed].

Both, he says, are to be made members of their Coterie at the Prince’s request. The Coterie confers and decide to allow the neonates admission provisionally. In exchange the Seneschal informs them that accepting them to their Coterie will gain them even further support from the Prince. The Coterie take this as their opportunity to inform Vidal, through Maldonato, that they desire to exchange their ‘boons’ to obtain the as yet ‘unclaimed’ hunting territory of Tulane-Gravier (with Sean Callahan saving his boon for possible later use). He tells them he will inform the Prince of this and to claim this section of the city as their own.

The Coterie leave and spend some time feeding and obtaining costumes for the Gran Ballo party.

Agnes selects a gown in the style of 19th century antebellum plantation lady with mask.
Janus selects a more conspicuous black ninja costume with a white neck tie.
Sibylle picks an extravagant gown of silk and feathered mask all in crimson.
Lemuel, the newest member, elects to wear a simple business suit with a plain black mask.
Daniel decides on a formal tuxedo with a Phantom of the Opera half-mask.
Malcolm selects a plain black suit with mask.

Club Absinthe, Bywater district, 10:30pm

The Coterie receive a phone message from Donovan. The Gran Ballo will be held at Club Absinthe, a large warehouse nightclub in the Bywater district near the river front. The Coterie arrive and begin to inspect the club which is primarily constructed of timber and corrugated tin on the exterior. Inside the club is more elegant; it has been decorated in the sumptuous fashion of Louis the XIV’s Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Scattered throughout the club are original oil paintings of nobles and ladies in French court dress. One in particular, hanging over the main bar, depicts Augusto Vidal in 18thcourt dress flanked by two pale figures.




Shortly after 11pm costumed mortals and blood dolls, who are to be served as refreshments, are ushered in. Gus Elgin, the Nosferatu Master of Elysium, checks a list of invited attendees. Around midnight the Sanctified Kindred begin to arrive. Many are difficult to identify in their costumes and masks [everyone succeeds in their Predator’s Taint rolls].

As the party comes to full swing Agnes begins to notice that several human women are not being fed from. She has Janus check with Elgin who confirms that they may not be on the guest list. Agnes, following her intuition, approaches the 3 women. The lead, a tall Quadroon girl, calls herself Marie, her friends introduce themselves as Julie (Julia to her mates) and a blonde haired Samantha. All three make veiled threats to Agnes that something is going to go down...

Agnes follow one of the suspicious human women into the restroom and overhears her speaking into her cell phone, "It seems they're all here. I haven't seen him." Agnes approaches her and talks to the young women. They say they're with a guy by the bar who is wearing an elaborate King of Mardi Gras mask and that she's not worthy to meet him, but that he's a part of all of us, in a way. This sounds suspicious to her. They also ask Agnes if her dress is flammable, which seems suspicious.



 Agnes alerts Daniel and they approach the masked Rex, but Janus texts us them that he is incredibly angry, so they approach Donovan and Gus instead and tell them what they've heard and what Janus told them. Donovan wants Daniel and Agnes to go with him to approach Rex, and as they go Donovan tells them to take Janus instead. 

Daniel and Malcolm go to talk more to the girls. Sybille checks out emergency exits. Lemuel checks on fire extinguishers, spots one near an exit and decides to retrieve it just in case.

Malcolm drinks from Marie and then sees visions around every vampire--ghostly shades of his kills. He starts screaming, almost as if in frenzy. Julie, the one from the bathroom, says something unintelligible and snaps her fingers--flames erupt around Daniel. He goes into frenzy (Rothshreck).

As chaos errupts the group moves into melee to confront Rex. Agnes moves for the fire extinguisher behind the bar. Lem aims the one he's holding at Daniel, putting the flames partway out. Sybille entrances one of the girls, who were dispersing, attempting to leave the bar. Rex is reaching out for Donovan and Janus--Janus is dodging, using his preternatural reflexes--Donovan successfully steps back out of reach. Janus gets hurt as the touch of Rex seems to wither his arm. Lem keeps dousing Daniel. Two of the girls are approaching Lem from behind, who has almost extinguished the flames on Daniel (and overcome his own Rothshreck in the process). Then Lem sees as Daniel erupts in flames again.

Daniel immolates, meeting a painful, horrifying final death...
 
The other two females escape. Rex's eyes turn reflective, and in an instant a large black shade in the shape of a winged owl hovers over him, it quickly rushes into Malcolm's body, who turns, his eyes similarly reflecting light, and vanishes out into the night with at his heels...

End of Session.

Jun. 13th, 2011

Chapter XI: Hunters of the Long Night


Halloween Night, October 31, Sunset (6:15pm)

The Coterie awaken from their daysleep to find their haven disturbed. The night prior Sean and Agnes each decided to attend to personal matters, so they each go to ground in their own respective private havens. Janus, who awakens first, finds a torn piece of paper, apparently part of a bible tract. On it is written an address. There is no sign of Miranda or Laura and there are bloodstains on the living room floor.

On the bible tract is written “End is near for you and your foul nest of demons. The Righteous Fury of our Lord will be upon you.” On the piece of paper is an address for an old Baptist church in the Bayou St. John that was condemed for demolition after Katrina [Janus rolls 18 successes, 6 rolls, 60 minute search on Investigation].

The Coterie leave messages with Agnes and Sean on their cellphones and decide to act quickly, hoping to save the lives of their ghouls before it’s too late. They take Laura’s Escalade and drive to the address. There they discover that the main door to the church has been forced open. Inside, amidst broken pews and mildewed carpet Janus’ preternatural senses pick up the familiar odor of Laura’s blood. On the main pulpit is a blood-spattered cellphone, its caller ID shows a call made to Malcolm. Malcolm recognizes the scent of his ghoul's blood.

8 pm.
As the Coterie investigate the church the cellphone suddenly rings. An elderly male voice says, “Come to the Spanish Plaza at 10pm. Do not be late. We will exchange your Renfield whores and the fat black man for one of you. Fail to come and we’ll kill them all.” Janus decides to consult with Sheriff Donovan. Donovan tells them that these abductors may be Vampire hunters. The bible tract is published by a group called ‘The Tribulation Militia of the Long Night.’ He advises them to proceed with extreme caution.

10 pm.
As the appointed time nears, the Coterie decides to arrive early, reconnoitering the area for a possible trap. They notice nothing out of sorts. Near the Spanish Plaza is the ferry that takes passengers and commuters to Algiers. As they inspect the area they notice that 3 individuals make their way from the boarding area to the plaza. Two are black men in military fatigues; one is a smaller white female with close-cropped dark hair.

As the three round the large, well lit fountain, Malcolm’s cellphone rings and the same voice answers, “Our members will take one of you, and in exchange bring you to the ferry. Once boarded we will release your vampire slaves.” The hunters cautiously approach, as they do Sibylle uses her preternatural presence [Majesty discipline] to force a parlay and reduce the incidence of an all-out fight. She is able to keep the hunters from attacking, but she can read that they want to capture all of them.



Malcolm consults with his companions, and decides he is going to give himself up. He walks over to one of the hunters, who tie his hands behind him with a thick plastic zip-tie. The hunters and Malcolm walk back to the ferry boat. As they walk they see that their ghouls are waiting by the ferry, and all are released with their hands tied in front (their hands are covered by jackets). In a few minutes the ferryboat beginsits commute south to the district of Algiers. While the boat is en route, Janus decides to pursue. Using his preternatural agility and speed [Celerity] he swims to the boat, boards it and using his preternatural senses [Auspex] he spots the hunters gathered outside an old '76 Buick, near the front of the ferry. As he inspects the scene he fails to go unnoticed [failed stealth]. Two of the hunters move in towards him just as one of the ferry boat’s security observes the armed humans. The security guard calls out to the hunters to drop their weapons, as they turn to fire on the guard. Gunfire is exchanged.

Janus’ takes advantage of the distraction, moving quickly [still using Celerity] to the vehicle; however, the trunk being locked he decides to get into the car, finding the keys he starts the Buick, hits the gas pedal. The vehicle plunges into the muddy waters of the Mississippi and disappears. 


11:35pm.
The shootout at the Algiers Ferry results in the hunters being rounded and arrested by NOPD and local Coastguard. Meanwhile, Janus extracts Malcolm from the trunk of the vehicle, both swimming to Algiers.

Shortly after Midnight.
The Coterie meet up at their haven. Malcolm instructs Miranda to go to the local NOPD station to make a police report of being kidnapped by the hunters.

2 am.
At the police station Miranda files her report, claiming she was kidnapped, describing and identifying the humans who captured her. She is interviewed by police officer Brown. Sibylle also instructs her ghoul Markus to make a report at the station, he is interviewed by a young black female (Detective Jones).

3:20 to 5:45 am.
Sibylle heads to Mid-City to hunt [Seduction feeding 2x: Manipulation + Persuasion (seduction) in Mid-City -3= 4 successes). Meahwhile, Malcolm arranges, with approval by the Coterie, to have all 3 hunters committed for a psychiatric treatment, coordinating the transfer of the hunters through Sheriff Donovan. His Maker Dr. Ortega, of the Malkavian bloodline, writes the legal paperwork to have them hospitalized on a 72 hour psychiatric hold. She has the hunters transferred to her asylum at St. Roch. She subsequently questions them using physical and medical means to extract information.

End of Session.

May. 17th, 2011

Chapter X: Masques in Elysium

Downtime, October 12 through 28th

Over the course of several weeks the Coterie take time to heal wounds and make contacts in the Kine and Kindred world, culminating in an invitation to Elysium. Janus, despite drinking the blood of Prince Vidal to awaken him from torpor, still requires more diseased blood to heal from the injuries he sustained from the attack on the Belial's Brood Kindred.

Over the course of these nights:

• Malcolm Han makes calls to his medical associates inquiring on obtaining supply of diseased blood for Janus [1 hour, 15 successes]
• Malcolm obtains leads to his Sire, Dr. Ortega, who is afflicted with the Malkavian condition, who informs her progeny that his Coterie may feed in her territory, St. Roch Asylum
• Esmeralda offers Janus invitation to feed from several of her sick patients, in return for obtaining humans afflicted with mental derangements—Coterie rejects offer
• Agnes makes arrangements for Janus to feed from a family of 5 living in a Metairie housing project, all are quarantined with tuberculosis. Permission to feed in Metairie is granted after the Coterie formally petitions Prince Vidal for feeding rights for one night, in abscentia Philippe Maldonato, Seneschal, grants permission for Janus to feed
• Big Momma informs the Coterie that the Agoniste bloodline is in New Orleans and wishes to make contact with them. She arranges a meeting in a home on Magazine & Josephine St. in the Garden District
• The Coterie visit the home where the Agoniste reside and exchange letters of introduction, including a special request by Talbot, leader of the bloodline that each member of the Coterie reply with a handwritten biography. All the Coterie members write their stories
• After meeting with Talbot, Genevieve & Theodora of the Agoniste bloodline, Sean sets up a meeting between them and Prince Vidal through Seneschal Maldonato. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 23
• Sybille casts Crúac divination the night prior to the meeting to discern if the Agoniste are who they say they are, resulting in auspicious auguries for Coterie and ghouls
• The Coterie receive a formal invitation from Gus Elgin, the Master of Elysium, to attend the All Hallow’s Eve Masquerade in City Park
• The Coterie plan on obtaining or making costumes in the theme of Phantom of the Opera



Midnight, October 29th, into Saturday, October 30, Elysium
City Park New Orleans

The Coterie arrive shortly after midnight, having fed prior. The Coterie wear costumes and masks, some elaborate, some crafted by their own hands. The gathering of Kindred at Elysium centers around the bandstand of City Park. Big Momma arrives on a horse carriage pulled by 6 powerfully built, almost naked Creole men. The Coterie notice about 2 dozen Kindred, some familiar, some unknown. After an hour of mingling, the Nosferatu Gus Elgin summons the invited Kindred to gather at Popp's Bandstand. A mortal jazz band inside the temple plays [all under the effects of Majesty]. 

The Coterie notice Antoine Savoy and his inner circle staring in their direction. Savoy's followers are dressed in the fashion of Louis XIV's court of Versailles. One in particular, a tall and muscular kindred named Reynaldo Gui, dressed more casually as the infamous privateer Jean Lafitte, approaches the Coterie. He verbally confronts the Coterie, and Agnes Theriot answers the challenge [she engages in Social Combat with Gui].

After a few rounds of verbal attacks, Reynaldo wins; Agnes is visibly cowed and shamed. However, Sean decides not to let the bully walk away victorious. A few more rounds of verbaly parrying with Sean victorious. He wins the Edge.



Shortly after 3AM Gus Elgin again summons the attending Kindred to the bandstand. Seneschal Maldonato emerges out of the shadows inside the temple to make a proclamation: "For faithful service to our domain, and for bringing to justice those who have flaunted the Three Traditions and our sacred laws, the Coterie of the Innocents is hereby awarded this special honor..."

Maldonato approaches each member of the coterie and gives them a small wooden mahogany box. Inside each box is an antique Spanish gold doubloon, minted the year Vidal was embraced [1701] and bearing the profile of  Phillip V, first Bourbon king of Spain. The doubloon, he says, can be exchanged for a single boon. Maldonato also announces that henceforth the Coterie is awarded a place in Vidal's domain [1 dot of City Status: Hounds].

After the announcement the Kindred return to their danse & scheming, mingling again among various cliques. While mingling a member of Primogen Isadora's circle delivers a brief message to the Coterie. A beautiful young boy dressed as a page congratulates them, and thanks them for being instrumental in her rescue. He bows and formally tells them that the Primogen grants them a collective boon.

Apr. 27th, 2011

Chapter IX: Bloodhunt on the Brood

Prior to the Story:

After 5 years of torpor, Daniel Franklin consolidates his property management business throuh his mortal relation Victor, his nephew who runs Franklin Holdings LLC. He reestablishes control of the company with his nephew as chief operations officer. He meets with Victor in the early evening and they discuss the direction of the company in the aftermath of Katrina.

Victor is a mortal, 26 years old, son of Daniel's sister Stefanie Franklin.

Unbeknownst to Daniel while he was in torpor, Victor bought land and various condemned properties, including a housing project.
 
Monday, October 11, Sunset, 6:35pm:
The Coterie meets at the haven on 1203 Ursuline Street to discuss the various roles and duties for individual members. The consensus is:

-Daniel is to serve as treasurer and manager of the coterie's collective resources
-Sibylle is to serve as wing-man and occultist
-Janus is to be in charge of haven security
-Malcolm is the coterie's scientist and researcher on Kindred physiology
-Agnes is to be in charge of special projects for the coterie as a whole
-Sean is to serve as liason to Prince Vidal

Over the next couple of hours the coterie breaks up to pursue individual agendas and to go feeding. Daniel and Agnes decide to acquire cellphones at a local Best Buy, and subsequently to recover Agnes' vintage Caddy from an impound lot in Matairie.

Sean tasks his ghoul Antonio to acquire a cellphone for him. Sean then heads to Mid-City to go feeding on his new herd. Sean's herd consists of vagrants and vagabonds whole dwell in this part of New Orleans. He poses to his victims as a mysterious benefactor [Feeding: Subterfuge + Wits: each roll represents 1/2 hour of hunting. Dicepool modifiers: +1 for Herd, -3 for hunting in Mid-City, -2 for selective feeding: no drunks or drug users]. After an hour of feeding Sean meets up with Antonio who gives him a 'smartphone' and is given 2 Vitae by his Regnant.

Janus takes the time to unlock/hack a Blackberry cellphone that Daniel has stolen from one of his victims while feeding.

Malcolm and Miranda go shopping for a new motorcycle, a BMS Roadliner.

9PM.
After Errands & Feeding TM, the Coterie reconvene at the haven where they receive message from NOPD Inspector Lebreaux that they are to meet him in one hour at a Kindred club called Sangreal in the Tremé district. Sangreal is a fetish club which serves a strict "invitations only" clientele.

10PM.
The coterie meets with the Kindred Inspector and obtain information on the whereabouts of Agnes' son (and Maker). Bobby is with his maker a Belial's Brood vampire named Acheron.  Their brood is nesting and hunting in the vicinity of Lakeside Shopping Center in Jefferson Parish. Per Lebreaux several exsanguinated bodies have been found in the area, all with visible puncture wounds; a clear violation of the Masquerade. While at the club they are invited to feed from two blood dolls, who go by the names of Alice and Dorothy

Midnight, Lakeside Shopping Center,

Jefferson Parish.
The coterie drive north in Agnes' Caddy. While searching for clues they find the bodies of two teenage girls in a nearby house. It appears that the outlaw brood of vampires is becoming increasingly careless in their feeding. As the coterie hone in on the leader, they find clues leading to the multi-level parking structure adjacent to the shopping mall. There they find a faint trail of blood to a seemingly abandoned van on the structure's 4th level. As they approach the van they are ambushed.

Over the next few seconds the Coterie battle the diableriest coterie. Sean has his arm severed by the leader Acheron, but manages to use his sniper rifle to bring him down after he attempts his escape, (determined not to let him escape twice). Janus lies in torpor after failing to clear his jump in attempting to pursue the fleeing leader. Agnes, with the aid of Sibylle manages to subdue and drain her son to his Final Death.

2AM.
The Coterie drive to Perdido House with the torpid body of Janus and the two remianing Brood vampires they have captured. There they are escorted by Donovan and the Prince's bodyguards to the rooftop, where the outlaw vampire leader and his bood-mate are tied with chains to metal flagpoles, both facing east to await the dawn...

Donovan escorts the Coterie out of the Prince's public Haven, telling them that their efforts will be fully reported to the Prince. He also informs them that due to the clues discovered by them they have located the torpid body of the missing Invictus Primogen, Isadora D'Avignon. He tells them that they had chained the torpid body under a basement of a nearby abandoned house, with clear evidence that they had tried to diablerise her.

After returning to their haven some of the Coterie decide to hunt in order to heal from the wounds inflicted earlier.

End of Session.
 

Apr. 11th, 2011

The Prince's Tenurial Domains & The Elysium


“God has ordained the Damned to prey upon the living, not the dead”

-Augusto Vidal

While every piece of dry ground within Vidal’s domain is subject to his laws, two specific types of locale—parks and cemeteries—stand apart from other areas of the Big Easy in several important ways. First, in keeping with tradition, Vidal has decreed that burial sites may never be the personal domain of any vampire. The Damned may frequent the city’s necropoli to their dead hearts’ content, but no Kindred has ever held “feeding rights” to any graveyard. Furthermore, any vampire caught defacing or otherwise blaspheming the final resting place of a Christian will be dealt with as though he had committed a religious infraction.

Vidal has also applied a similar type of discretionary exclusion to city parks: No vampire has “rights” to any public patch of greenery in his domain. Vampires are welcome to feed there, but the responsibility of maintaining the Masquerade (and of resolving any disputes that arise from two Kindred dealing with the Predator’s Taint in a park) rest solely on the shoulders of the Kindred in question.

The park areas officially “protected” by Vidal’s decree include the following:
• Audobon Park (located by the river on the western edge of Uptown)
• Behrman Memorial Park (across the river in Algiers)
• City Park (the fifth-largest urban park in the country)
• Coliseum Square (in the Lower Garden District)
• Crestmont Park (in the suburb of Metairie)
• Fair Grounds Race Track (in Esplanade Ridge)
• Jackson Square (in the French Quarter)
• Lafayette Square (in the Central Business District)
• Louis Armstrong Park (just outside the Quarter)
• Pontchartrain Park (just south of the lake that bears its name)
• Privateer Park (a smaller park nestled in the north of Gentilly)
• Washington Square Park (inside Faubourg Marigny)
• Woldenberg Park (in the French Quarter, on the riverside)

Prince's Elysia
A complete list of the locations Augusto Vidal has declared Elysium:
• Perdido House (the Prince's public haven & court)
• 1850 House
• Antoine’s
• Cabildo
• French Market
• Galatoire’s
• Hotel Monteleone
• Hotel Villa Convento
• Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House
• LeMonnier Mansion
• Maspero’s Exchange
• Napoleon House (Savoy's court)
• Omni Royal Orleans
• Presbytère
• Preservation Hall
• City Hall
• Civil War Museum
• Contemporary Arts Center
• Hotel Storyville
• Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Center
• Medical Center of Louisiana
• New Orleans General Hospital
• New Orleans Museum of Art
• New Orleans Public Library
• Ogden Museum of Southern Art
• Old Spanish Custom House
• Orpheum Theater
• Pitot House
• Tulane University Hospital
• Ursulines Convent
• World Trade Center & Spanish Plaza
• Certain Catholic places of worship, such as St. Louis, St. Alphonsus & St. Patrick’s Cathedrals

The Laws of the Principality of New Orleans

First Tradition: the Masquerade
Vidal holds to the first tradition firmly, but in a city like NOLA, steeped in the supernatural and birthplace of Voudoun and rich in Roman Catholic mysticism, this tradition is relatively easy to maintain. Essentially, no vampire may reveal to anyone ‘not of the blood’ their true nature. In NOLA, however, ghouls are counted as ‘of the blood’ for purposes of the Masquerade, unlike in some other principalities. Additionally, during Mardi Gras, the Prince relaxes the First Tradition to allow Kindred more free rein to feed and ‘indulge’ their baser instincts (in keeping with the Roman Catholic traditions of Carnival).

-Domain: Vampires holding territory as Regents are responsible for maintaining the Prince’s laws and the Traditions in their assigned Domain. Any violations are to be reported to the Sheriff or one of his Hounds.

Second Tradition: Progeny and the Custom of Tutelage
Vidal takes the Second Tradition very seriously, and very literally. He does not enforce a blanket ban on the creation of progeny, though all who seek to sire a childe must first gain his permission to do so. He does, however, strictly enforce the notion that the sire is responsible for the actions of the childe. Until the childe is released to be her own Kindred, the sire suffers equal consequences for anything she may do—up to, and including, Final Death for sufficiently severe violations. To make matters even more hazardous, the sire cannot decide on his own when to release the childe from his tutelage. Just as he must petition the Prince for permission to create, so too must he petition for permission to release.
(Vidal often delegates this decision, which he considers to be of lesser import than permission to sire in the first place, to others of his court.)
This involves a combination Lancea Sanctum/Catholic prayer ceremony, which includes the symbolic christening of the newly released childe with a bit of Kindred Vitae. Only after this has occurred is the sire freed of responsibility for the childe’s actions.
Unlike most other Princes, however, Vidal interprets the sire/childe relationship in the other direction as well. The sins of the father are, in truth, visited upon the childe in New Orleans. Until the childe is released, she suffers the same punishment as her sire does for violating the laws of the domain, just as he suffers should she transgress.

Third Tradition: Amaranth
Officially, Vidal’s word on the matter of diablerie—or on slaying another Kindred in any fashion—is firm and inviolate. Kin-slaying is punishable by Final Death, pure and simple.

The Prince’s Laws

Deference & Presentation - Vidal and his policies are strict indeed on these particular customs. Vidal expects lesser Kindred to acknowledge his station, and the station of other high-ranking inhabitants of the city. Vidal also demands strict adherence to the custom of presentation. Officially, any newcomer even passing through New Orleans is required to appear before the Prince and request permission to stay or to feed. On a practical level, however, Kindred staying less than a few nights (particularly during Carnival season) are somewhat exempt from this rule, if only because not even Vidal and his people can possibly discover and keep track of them all. Anyone who remains long enough to be discovered by the Kindred community at large, however, had better present herself at the earliest available opportunity— and ignorance of the custom or of how to locate the court is not an excuse. Presentation can be at Elysium or Perdido House.

Confession & Absolution – All Kindred who permanently dwell in the Prince’s Domain must offer confession for transgressions and sins to their Father. Those who willingly confess their sins are to be given penance (which may also involve punishment for particularly egregious sins). For minor offences the Prince offers absolution without punishment. Traditionally all Kindred must offer confession at least once per year (on Ash Wednesday). The Prince may delegate Elders of the Lancea Sanctum to listen to confession when the Prince is indisposed.

Crime & Punishment

Minor Infractions - Crimes such as poaching another’s territory, dealing with enemies of the Prince, refusing to participate in mandatory court functions or religious ceremonies, failing to present one’s self to the Prince after several nights in the city, or moving against the interests and pawns of important Kindred (and similar violations) are considered minor infractions of the city’s laws. Penalties are commensurate with the crime and may involve simple reparations, loss of domain or title, public chastisement, physical mutilation severe enough to take nights or weeks to heal, and, on occasion, even partial Vinculums. Repeated offenses draw more severe penalties and may eventually result in banishment from New Orleans. More and more often of late, Vidal frequently has been allowing his Sheriff Donovan to bestow these lesser sentences, rather than involving himself in “minor” issues.

Civil Infractions
- Civil infractions include conspiring (rather than just dealing) with the Prince’s enemies, deliberately avoiding presentation or otherwise attempting to hide from Vidal’s notice for great periods of time, violating the laws of Elysium, inflicting the Vinculum on an unwilling Kindred without legal cause, destruction of a vampire’s haven or killing another vampire’s ghoul.
Vidal takes these matters extremely seriously. On very rare occasions, a perpetrator might get off easy, with nothing more than a complete Vinculum and loss of substantial influence, but Vidal is this merciful only when the lawbreaker is someone extremely useful to have around, or when he would make powerful political enemies by handing down more severe penalties.
Under most circumstances, the perpetrator is either banished from New Orleans or, if the crime was particularly heinous or the result of repeat offenses, execution.

Religious Infractions - Vidal considers these far more serious even than civil crimes. Because he believes the Traditions were handed down by Longinus—and thus, indirectly, from God— he considers breaking those Traditions tantamount to sinning against God himself, (and he is the head of the Lancea in NOLA). These are violations of the 3 Traditions: breaking the Masquerade, siring a childe without Vidal’s express permission, abandoning a childe who has not been formally released, killing another vampire in any circumstances other than a legally declared blood hunt or last-ditch self-defense, or committing diablerie under any circumstances are all religious infractions. Vidal also considers defacing a church or practicing witchcraft to be religious violations, but he has not, to date, been able to enforce this interpretation with any regularity.

The Prince of New Orleans reserves only one punishment for those who flout the laws of the divine, and it’s the same traditional penalty that has existed for centuries: Final Death by the Sun and burning at the stake.

Apr. 4th, 2011

Chapter VIII: New Alliances

Sunday, October 10, 2010.
Early evening.
As the Coterie adapt to the changes of post-Katrina New Orleans, realization dawns on our characters that while the Kine world looks relatively the same, much has changed in the Gilded Cage of Kindred politics. After 5 years of torpor they are informed by their faithful ghouls that much has changed in New Orleans after the ill-fated hurricane. Antonio, who has kept abreast of Kindred politics, (through contact with Sean’s Sire) informs them that many Kindred still remain missing, such as the Primogen Isadora D’Avignon and the Morbus elder Siegfried Stigson, (Janus’ Sire) who’s riverboat ‘Algiers’ sank into the bottom of Lake Ponchartrain. Savoy still rules the French Quarter, but has been enforcing feeding rights more diligently over the last few years, granting feeding ‘nights’ to his most loyal subjects. Vidal still rules, (and remains awake) but has expanded his influence to control both temporal and spiritual domains.

As the Coterie acclimate themselves to the changes wrought by 5 years of torpor, they decide collectively to find their shared haven near Armstrong Park. They leave St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, finding that the shotgun house is in dismal shape and has been condemned and slated for demolition in 3 weeks. Inside the haven they find that most of value has been looted; however, their secure crawl-spaces are relatively intact, except that the sophisticated electronic security systems are no longer operable. After inspecting their haven, the coterie decide to go out and feed.

Agnes and her 'son-Maker' Bobby head west of Mid-City by foot and locate a convalescent home by the name of Elysian Fields. They select a frail elderly couple, but Bobby loses himself in a feeding frenzy, killing both residents before abandoning his mother and fleeing into the night.

Babette, now going by her new alias ‘Sibylle’ gives her ghoul Marcus instructions to re-establish communication with one of her nightclub contacts. She then also heads to Mid-City to hunt.

8pm-9pm.
Janus, finding his choice of feeding peculiarities ever more scarce, decides to take drastic measures and carjacks a New Orleans Fire Department paramedics ambulance. He lets Malcolm feed off one of the EMT’s and decides to drive the ambulance back, offering the second EMT to Sean. Janus also feeds his sickly ghoul Laura some of his infected blood and re-establishes his mystical hold over her.  The trio concoct a plan whereby they impersonate the unconscious EMT’s and use the ambulance radio to respond to emergency calls in order to assist Janus hunt for diseased blood.

10pm.
Marcus returns to the haven and tells Sibylle that the Nosferatu Sundown has arranged a personal meeting with her at one of his nightclubs called ‘Le Bon Temps Rouler,’ or simply known as Bon Temps, a Yuppie night club catering to the Kindred in the Central Business & Warehouse District (CBD).

Meanwhile, Sean, cloaked by his powers, along with Malcolm & Janus, impersonating EMT’s, respond to a call at a nursing home in Bonnabel Place, west of Metairie. They see a crime scene investigation in process, with several NOPD cruisers and detectives cordoning off the bungalow of one of the residents. As they disembark the stolen ambulance their Beast’s rise as the Predator’s Taint gives warning. One of the detectives is not human.
Noticing the characters, one of the detectives flees the crime scene, to be followed by a cloaked Sean. He happens to overhear him talking on his cellphone and decides to offer introductions. The detective is a Kindred by the name of Peter Lebeaux, who serves the Sheriff in protecting the Masquerade. Managing to keep his Beast in check, Lebeaux tells Sean that it is poor form to impersonate law-enforcement officials as both police and fire departments are under the purview of Sheriff Donovan. He informs Sean that he can arrange to inform the Sheriff that the Coterie may wish to serve him in protecting the Traditions and laws of the Masquerade.

11pm.
The Coterie meet at the shared Haven after their nocturnal feedings and Sean presents his discovery of the Kindred working within the NOPD. The general consensus is to align themselves with Donovan and to serve the Prince. Later, as Sean contacts the Sheriff by phone, a meeting is set-up at 3am so that the Coterie can meet the Prince for the annual Confessional, (which is compulsory). Sean, Janus and Malcolm decide that not having been sated on enough blood they should go hunting again in Mid-City. This time Laura drives her white Escalade, and Malcolm’s ghoul Miranda decides to come along.

Sibylle and Marcus leave temporarily to meet with the Nosferatu god-father of the New Orleans nightclub scene.

3am. Perdido House.
The Coterie drive to the Prince’s brooding Gothic office tower. Inside, the Prince’s bodyguards promptly usher them to the 7th floor. They are taken to the Prince’s private chapel. In the anteroom the Coterie are told to wait. The room is exquisitely appointed with antiques and paintings of religious figures, (some which are recognized by the characters as original masterpieces by Goya and El Greco).  Angelique, the Prince's mortal servant greets them and explains the etiquette of the confessional. It is annually attended by all Kindred who reside permanently in New Orleans. The Kindred are to confess any sins or violations of the vampire Traditions, and in exchange the Prince offers absolution, a ritual that harkens to the Roman Catholic Sacrament of confession.



Each character is individually brought into the chapel to make their confession to the Prince, whom they are told, is to be addressed as Prince-Bishop or ‘your holiness.’ The chapel is a Boschean-nightmare of murals depicting dark angels battling demonic beings. Dominating the chapel is a twelve foot statue of a Roman Centurion holding an iron lance wet with fresh human blood. Directly before the herculean marble statue, sitting on a baroque throne on a raised dais, is the Prince. He is in the full crimson regalia of a Lancea Sanctum Bishop. With the power of his hypnotic gaze each makes their private confession and are given their penance…



An hour later the Coterie leave Perdido House and they decide to gather some human prey for Big Momma at a gay after-hours club called Napoleon’s Itch. They find 3 suitable Creole/Quadroon mortals to bring her, and within the next hour are at her antebellum Greek Revival mansion in the lower Garden District. After making their offering the Coterie enter into a pact with the corpulent Nosferatu Primogen: the Coterie will collectively establish a choice herd for Miss Opal, in exchange she will deliver to them information on how to contact the scholars of the Agoniste Bloodline.

End of Session.

Mar. 17th, 2011

Chapter VII: The Cult of the Roaring Serpent & Fausto's Great Betrayal

Thursday, January 27
Evening.

The coterie decide to feed as they awaken on the eve of New Orlean's carnival season. The streets of New Orleans begins to steadily fill with revelers who pour into the city seeking the ecstatic catharsis the Big Easy is famous for--and which culminates with Mardi Gras. Its makes hunting for a vampire easy, but not for the coterie, who are relegated to feeding in the Mid-City district of New Orelans.

Sean informs the rest of his companions that he has to attend to his Maker. After several hours of hunting for blood the characters reconvene at their shared haven in preparation of finding Agnes' Sire, who they were told is part of an outlaw cult in the abandoned Blackwood Farm plantation. Around 10 pm they leave in two vehicles--Agnes driving her vintage sky blue Cadillac El Dorado and Laura driving her more modern Cadillac Escalade. Fausto agrees to accompany the coterie. They arrive shortly after midnight, taking several rural backroads.



As they reconnoiter the grounds they realize that the old plantation is abandoned and boarded up. No signs of human habitation can be found except for vandalism and much graffiti. After inspecting the grounds they decide to enter the seemingly empty antebellum mansion. The interior appears as abandoned as the exterior, except the coterie discover bloodstains on the floors and walls, including over 2 dozen dead bodies in several of the upstairs master suites. The clothes of the human victims looks to have been pilfered of all valuables and cash. The bodies are riddled with puncture marks which the predators didn't even bother to lick in order to erase evidence of their feeding, (a clear breach of the Masquerade).

Downstairs, on the ground floor, Daniel discovers that behind the grand sweeping staircase there are stairs leading down into a basement. From upstairs they can smell candle wax and the coppery tang of human blood. The group decide to descend single row. As they enter the large cellar they witness a half naked vampire with his cleanly shaved bald head to the floor, as if listening to something. In the center of the room stands an antique cast iron bathtub filled with fresh and clotted blood. Above the antique tub, hanging upside down by a chain and leather harness, is a human girl, naked and bleeding from various cuts. The room is covered in small votive candles, the cloying smell of candle wax mingles with human blood and vampire Vitae. The bald vampire stands and as he does the Beast inside the opposing Kindred stirs as their Predator's Taint takes hold.



The Coterie face off with the coven's leader. They soon discover that near the back of the cellar are two other vampires feeding. One is appears to be in his early 30's, similarly shirtless and in dirty, torn jeans. Agnes calls out the name of her son "Junior." She runs to him. Next to him is a female vampire oblivious to the scene. Junior stands up, a vacant and frenzied look on his face...

The scene breaks into the chaos of melee as the Coterie battle the debased Kindred. The female vampire flees, driven away by fear. Bobby holds Agnes tightly, but unknown to her he prepares to sink his fangs into her; however stops as he sees the mesmerizing form of Babette. Janus draws his Japanese short sword against the powerfully built coven leader as Sean vanishes by the power of his obfuscation. Daniel decides to fire his already drawn firearm. Malcolm also fires his weapon as everyone now engages the renegade vampires in combat...

Daniel has fled after the leader drives him off with his preternatural powers of Nightmare. Sean reappears, combating the leader along with his faithful ghoul Antonio, who is quickly paralyzed with fear. Meanwhile Malcolm decides that he is more effective pistol-whipping his assailant than attempting to fire it due to his gun's powerful recoil...

Agnes and her Maker-son reunited become of the focus for the infernalist leader, who turns his fury against her; however, sensing he has expended too much Vitae, vanishes through the power of Obfuscation. With Agnes' son subdued and the other two vampires fleeing, the coterie take time to inspect the cellar. They find that some form of blood ritual was being performed and discover a strange alter of mud, human hair and dried blood in the shape of a snake. Human bones have been placed before it in some form of offering. Upstairs Daniel soon finds that the female vampire is about to sink her fangs into him, but is deterred when Fausto seemingly appears from nowhere, grapples the female and snaps her neck. Her body quickly begins to decompose and in minutes is nothing but ashes...

The coterie search the entire mansion, not finding anything of value. Agnes' son falls to his knees, confessing to horrible acts, crying vampire tears for his innumerable crimes. No soon is his confession over that he stands as if heeding the summons of his own Maker, "I come to you Acheron, my Master and Maker" as he runs outside to find him. Janus and Agnes give chase and eventually capture him and subdue him to ensure he does not escape.

An hour later the coterie are driving back to the city with Agnes' son in the trunk of her Caddy. They all return to New Orleans and go to ground. There Fausto offers to use his powers of Dominate to ease the troubled mind of Agnes' son and Sire. The Coterie go to ground as dawn approaches.


Friday, January 28.
1st day of Carnival.
Revelers fill the streets of New Orleans. Crowding much of the French Quarter. Some of the coterie leave to hunt, taking advantage of the surplus Kine food supply. As they seek their prey each begins to receive a phone message that they are summoned by Antoine Savoy. They are to meet him at the Toulouse Street Townhouse by 1am.

The meeting with Savoy is tense. Savoy questions them about Rafael Pope and why they have not yet found his torpid body. He seems incredulous and mistrusting of the Coterie's responses. Not an hour later Savoy dismisses them with little explanation.

As the Coterie return to the shared Haven paranoia creeps in. Was the meeting a trap? Does Savoy know that Pope/Fausto has awakened? As they contemplate their choices Fausto offers them a deal: go to ground for a month in a secret vault at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. There Fausto explains he maintains a private haven that is warded magically against scrying or supernatural detection. After agreeing to go to ground they leave instructions for their ghouls to leave New Orleans for a few months until they are summoned back.



3am.
The Coterie meet at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 to prepare to go into torpor for a month, hoping this will remove them from the radar of Savoys displeasure. Fausto's mausoleum is large enough to hold one dozen bodies. It is exquisitely carved of Italian marble and safely secure with no windows to the outside. Inside the mausoleum the characters are each interred into a funerary vault, which are sealed by Fausto. He promises them that they should awaken soon and that they will need to awaken him last as he is the eldest among them...

After what seems to be a indeterminate amount of time the characters experience their torpid bodies troubled by strange dreams and nightmares. The characters awaken briefly to feel their vaults filled with sea water, as if their bodies have been cast into the sea, but they soon drift back into torpor...

Time crawls again in ensuing lapses of darkness and dreams. When they are awakened they are disoriented and starving for blood. As they regain their senses, they see around them the unconscious bodies of humans they have fed from. The characters, now sated, find Antonio, Miranda and Laura among the humans inside the mausoleum. The ghouls have brought them 3 mortals to feed from and a medical chest filled with plasma. They are told that they have been in torpor, not for a month, but for 5 years. Antonio, Sean's ghoul, tells them that the year is 2010--early October 2010 to be precise. Inspecting the mausoleum the characters discover that Fausto's tomb lies empty.

End of Session.

Feb. 19th, 2011

Chapter VI: Fausto Awakens into the Modern World

Wednesday the 26th of January:

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 restaurant.



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.

Feb. 5th, 2011

Portraits of the Damned: Siegfried Stigson (Son of the Wanderer)



Kindred rumors:

- Siegfried is Clan Mekhet of the Morbus Bloodline (True)

- He is prominent member of the Ordo Dracul

- Siegfried worked with a sect of Ordo Dracul who infiltrated the Nazi Party in Sweden

- Siegfried owns the riverboat 'Algiers,' sometimes hosting decadent parties for members of his Bloodline (True)

- He has only Embraced twice in his Requiem

- Siegfried carried out the Blood Hunt of Prince Vidal for Rafael Pope in 1853

Jan. 17th, 2011

Chapter V: "Goeth, Rival Fear"

25th January, Tuesday
Early evening:

Just days before the grand festivities of Mardi Gras, the Innocents decide on a plan to return to the Metairie cemetery and locate the tomb of Rafael Pope. Agnes, now initiated into the Covenant of the Circle of the Crone by Babette LaQuam, shares information she has gathered on Pope, namely that the Great Liar was taught Crúac by an old crone in the Bayou St. Jean shortly after he arrived in New Orleans. As the coterie make their plans Babette, attended by Agnes, decides to use her blood magic to divine possible outcomes; giving her the impression of a strong link between the torpid vampire in the metal box with the tomb of Pope. In the ritual bowl she uses to cast her auguries she sees a serpentine phrase formed in blood: "est vir qui adest" (which translates from Latin to "It is the man who is here"). Before leaving they inspect the note written by Pope's ghoul, Cliffton Hewes, which reveals more clues hidden at the statue of Lady Grief.


Shortly later they arrive at the cemetery and they all head to inspect the statue of Lady Grief. Through strong premonitions Sean decides to light a candle inside the small iron lantern, then places it on the hand of the statue. The lantern then flares brightly as a beam projects 40 yards in the direction of a nearby mausoleum. As the coterie inspects the tomb they realize that the pediment bears the inscription, "Quid est Veritas" which translate to "What is Truth?" On the center of the mausoleum door is a small marble block with the bas relief of a key etched on it. Agnes successfully pries out the stone block to reveal a small piece of parchment tied with human hair. Daniel pulls out the parchment, and opens it to find an old iron key, along with a message in a fine script: I am Goeth, Rival Fear. Malcolm shares that perhaps Pope shares a connection with the German story of Dr. Faustus, a magician who made a pact with the Devil for immortality.

The coterie then heads to the mausoleum which purportedly contains the torpid body of Pope. They locate the small mausoleum which has carved above the stone door "Goeth Rival Fear". On the center of the mausoleum's door is a key-hole. As Daniel is about to insert the key a voice from above interrupts the coterie. "Tsk, tsk, about time..." says Vincenzo.

From behind four ghouls appear, all armed with double-barrel shotguns, aimed at the coterie. Sean activates the powers of his blood to vanish from plain sight. The ghouls maintain their aim, waiting for Vincenzo to give his order. Babette uses the powers of Majesty to subdue two of the ghouls to her side. At this Vincenzo drops to the ground and orders fire.

The remainder of the scene is a chaos of gun fire as both groups face off. In the melee Vincenzo manages to use his powers of Dominate to tell Daniel to give him the key, but not before Sean (invisibly) opens the stone door.

Sean, reappearing inside the mausoleum, engages Vincenzo in gunfire, joining the others as the face off continues. In seconds the coterie collectively manage to defeat Vincenzo. Malcolm, taking advantage of this opportunity, grapples the paralyzed Vincenzo, intent on diablerizing him. Acting quickly, Sean attempts to pull Malcolm off the torpid body of Vincenzo, but in mere seconds, the body withers to dust as he meets the Final Death. Meanwhile Babette, using her ritual blood magic, discerns a vital secret from one of the ghouls: Vincenzo and his ghouls are working for a powerful Elder by the name of Gabriel Hurst.

Malcolm is furious at being robbed of his prize; Vincenzo's soul escapes. The coterie concentrate their attacks on the remaining two ghouls. As the conflict ends all but one of the ghouls are dead. Sean decides to offer the last ghoul his Vitae, just as he is about to die. The Nosferatu makes a bargain with the ghoul--servitude in exchange for the Blood. The ghoul accepts the bargain.

The coterie find the key in the dust covered clothes of Vincenzo and they open the padlock sealing the metal trap-door. They find a subterranean shaft with strange runes etched upon the lip of trap door, a rusty metal ladder leads down. Upon further discussion the coterie debate if it may not be prudent to leave the tomb, feeling drained of Vitae.


End of Session.

Jan. 11th, 2011

Portraits of the Damned: Baby Jane



Kindred Rumors:

- Baby Jane was Embraced as a child during the cholera epidemic of 1796

- Baby Jane is one of the most powerful practitioners of Crúac blood magic in the South

- Baby Jane makes her territory in the swamps of Bayou Saint Jean d'Arc, which is located about an hour south-east of New Orleans proper

Jan. 9th, 2011

Portraits of the Damned: The Baron Cimetière



Kindred Rumors:

- Cimetière is a powerful Houngan of the vodoun faith

- Cimetière is of Clan Nosferatu

- Cimetière came to New Orleans from Saint-Domingue (Haiti) after the slave revolt of 1791

- Cimetière worships the mythic figure of Baron Samedi, and that Samedi himself raised him from the dead in St. Domingue

Jan. 3rd, 2011

Chapter IV: The Legend of the Great Liar & the Box is Opened

18th January, 2005
Dusk:
As the sun sets the Innocents Coterie gather around their shared haven to discuss what secrets they have gathered on the torpid Kindred known as The Great Liar:

- In the earliest nights of his Requiem Pope was a traveling performer in the Old Country. He put nighttime children shows using a so-called magic lantern to tell fairy tales, often involving a performing minstrel leading children from a village, a giant wolf, a dancing bear, and a large death-like figure in robes.

- After leaving the Sanctified, Pope spent some time roaming outside New Orleans with a sect known as the 'Confrérie de Belial' and that he made a pact with a demon.

- Before Pope was Sanctified he was a Dragon, but left the Order to work as a spy for the Followers of Longinus. The Dragons would not take him back (Sean's contacts in the Nossie Network believe this rumor is false).

- Rafael Pope managed to become immune to the Vinculum. His blood had bound over half a dozen Kindred to him, but he couldn't be bound himself.

- Pope was over 200 years undead when he went to ground, but his blood was so powerful he couldn't drink from Kine anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After sharing what rumors they have gathered, the coterie decides to host a pirate themed costume party at the appropriately chosen pub 'La Fitte's' on Bourbon Street. The poster for the party heralds, "Doctor Illuminatus, Storyteller, One Night Only." There they gather a host of Kine, and using the powers of Domination, send them to make a proclamation outside the home where Prince Vidal publicly holds court. During the costume party Sean decides to light the lantern from the statue of Lady Grief, and they witness strange shadowy images appear on the walls. One image in particular reveals to Sean the precise tomb where Pope is interred. The coterie goes off to feed and reconvene the next evening.

Later in the Night:
Siegfried calls the Coterie and is informed by Janus that they have awakened Pope. He quickly hangs up.


19th January,
The following night, Siegfried calls again, sensing something is not right, and through the power of the Blood compels Janus to confess the truth: they have not awakened Pope. Malcolm takes the cellphone away from Janus and smashes it, fearing he will reveal more.

Sean leaves, fearing that Siegfried will come calling, not feeling safe in the shared haven, and decides to uncover the hidden red metal box and tries to open it. After several unsuccessful attempts he receives a call from his coven-mates, and they decide to gather at an abandoned house in the Garden District to open the box. Agnes Theriot manages to open the box, after many failed attempts, (with the aid of Daniel Franklin). The contents is revealed to be the limbless, desiccated torso of a torpid vampire.

They decide to feed it large amounts of vitae over the next 5 nights, which the torpid vampire seems to hungrily absorb; however, after 5 nights of continuous feeding the torso looks no different than when initially discovered.

24th January (Monday)
Early Evening:
On the eve of the upcoming Mardi Gras, The Innocents decide on a plan to purchase a sniper rifle, return to the Metairie cemetery, along with the box containing the torpid vampire, and set up an ambush near the tomb of the Great Liar.

End of Session.

Portraits of the Damned: Nathaniel Blanch, Hierophant of the Circle of the Crone



Kindred Rumors:

- Blanch is a rival of Baron Cimetière, but would never dare oppose him openly

- Blanch hold the highest rank in the Covenant of the Circle of the Crone

Portraits of the Damned: Donovan, Sheriff of New Orleans



Kindred rumors:

- Donovan serves Vidal with fanatical devotion and is blood bound to the Prince

- Donovan hates members of the Circle of the Crone, seeing them as degenerate pagans

Portraits of the Damned: Coco Duquette, Primogen of the Mekhet Clan

Tags:

Portraits of the Damned: Isadora d'Avignon, Primogen of the Daeva



Kindred rumors:

- Isadora sometimes goes by the name of Pearl for her extremely fair features

- Isadora was Embraced in the Old World by a nobleman who styled himself the Marquis d'Avignon, both fled the Terror of the French Revolution for the safety of the French Colonies

- Isadora, or Pearl as she is called in the Halls of Elysium, is the Primogeniture of the Deava Clan (True)

- Isadora was blood bound to the previous ruler of New Orleans: Maria Pascual

- Isadora claims the lower Garden District as her hunting grounds, to hunt in this ward one must obtain her direct permission (True)

Portraits of the Damned: Phillipe Maldonato, Advisor to the Prince & Seneschal of New Orleans

Portraits of the Damned: Augusto Vidal, the Prince-Bishop of New Orleans



Kindred Rumors:
- Vidal is the leader of the Lancea Sanctum in NOLA

- Vidal was of Spanish nobility, and was Embraced during the Seven Years War between France & Spain (1756)

- Vidal fears Torpor, he has remained active in the Requiem for over 300 years; he currently seeks an heir to rule before the Fog of Eternity claims him

Portraits of the Damned: Gabriel Hurst, Primogen of the Ventrue

Portraits of the Damned: Antoine Savoy, Lord of the French Quarter



Kindred Rumors:

- Savoy is a prominent member of the Lancea et Sanctum

- Savoy claims he was Embraced in the early 1700's

- Savoy claims himself protector of black, Creole and vodoun culture & Kindred

- Savoy holds open court to all Kindred once per month, inviting all those of the Blood to his court

- Savoy & Cimetière are allies

Jan. 2nd, 2011

Chapter III: Night at the Metairie Cemeterie

17th January, 2005
Shortly after Witching Hour (12:35am):
The Coterie, (recently christening themselves 'The Innocents') heads north to the Metairie cemetery to follow the clues from the note written by Cliffton Hewes (CW), and to find the tomb of Rafael Pope. Laura drives her new silver Escalade along with Agnes to the cemetery, arriving shortly after the others. The characters enter the cemetery by scaling the old wall near the entrance gate.

The Coterie decide to break into the main cemetery offices, where they find a map of the cemetery, including the Sherah Israel and the location of the statue of Lady Grief (an old Civil War era tomb). As they approach the Jewish section they find some homeless camp which they drive off.

Soon they find a short stone bird-bath pedestal with a green bronze dish, ringed with numbers, like a clock (a sundial?). The pedestal marks the tomb of one 'Josef Meil, 1923-1984'. They get their bearings consulting the note, searching for the statue of Lady Grief. They find the statue, and that the statue holds an old iron lantern (perhaps the same lantern mentioned in the note?). Death energies are strong, as if the ghost of Lady Grief herself is present.

Following the clues from the note they discern the possible location of Pope's tomb, and meet up the Daeva Babette. They find the vicinity of the tomb is heavily patrolled by Vincenzo's crew of loyal ghouls. Sean uses his powers to vanish from plain sight and follows Vincenzo into his town car; driving secretly with him to a meeting at a home in the French Quarter.

As dawn approaches, the Coterie reconvene at the shared haven near Armstrong Park, (an old shotgun house situated on Ursuline & St. Claude) where Babette uses her blood magic to divine possible future events. She receives 3 strong images: 1) The Innocents stand before Savoy disgraced, having failed to find & return the torpid body of Pope, 2) You stand before Prince Vidal rewarded, showing evidence of destroying Pope, 3) You all awaken Pope and under his secret tutelage, become powerful in the secret knowledge he imparts.

End of Session.

Nov. 8th, 2010

Chapter II: The Box

The following night, the neonate Coterie decides to follow the lead proposed by their proclaimed patron Antoine Savoy, the Lord of the Vieux Carre, (French Quarter). They head north to the Metairie where they meet with Janus' maker Siegfried. He welcomes them aboard his casino-riverboat The Algiers. He tells them that they are to meet 2 other new members of their Coterie at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The coterie heads to the cemetery and there see that 2 interlopers are attacking 2 vampires. They face off as the Beast within each notices the presence of other undead predators, (Predators Taint).

As the coterie faces off the attackers, they quickly realize that the humans are ghouls; attacking the 2 vampires that Siegfried sent them to meet. After a brief melee one of the ghouls lies torn nearly in half by Janus' Japanese sword while the other is being fed upon by a Nosferatu neonate. After the conflict, as well as after they vampires gain control of their Beasts, introductions are made. The two new vampires introduce themselves as Sean, a Nosferatu of the Invictus, and Agnes, a Gangrel of the Circle of the Crone.

After securing the box, which they inspect carefully, they decide to convene to a more secure location in fear that other attackers will show up. They decide to meet at the funeral home owned and operated by Sean, located south in the Garden District. They also decide to take with them the ghoul they captured to interrogate him. After a few hours of good cop/bad cop interrogation he confesses he works for a vampire named Vincenzo. He and his fellow ghouls were asked to obtain the box and bring it to Vincenzo.

After some deliberation they decide to contact Vincenzo (the ghoul gives them his phone number) and set up a hostage negotiation: return the ghoul to Vincenzo in exchange for information. They set up the location at Audubon Park in the west section of the Garden District at midnight. 'As the coterie arrives early to scout the location they realize that Vincenzo appears to have also sent advance scouts: a pair of werewolves who apparently work for the vampire. Eventually Vincenzo arrives and exchanges words with the coterie. The hostage negotiation seems to go without any physical conflict.

Later in the night, after the coterie leaves the park, Sean follows the Lincoln towncar as it leaves. Vincenzo shows his ruthlessness when he drives off in his town car. The car suddenly stops and deposits the hostage ghoul's body on the road, killed by a bullet in the head. Sean does not tell his companions immediately. Shortly after they leave they return to meet with Siegfried at the riverboat where Janus is offered a female to feed from (who is infected with early stages of Malaria).

End of session.

Oct. 20th, 2010

Chapter I: A Secret Meeting

15th January, 2005

Near the Witching Hour:

The characters, who are recently acquainted with each other, are summoned to a secret meeting with a vampire elder who styles himself "the Master of the French Quarter." Antoine Savoy, a prominent leader of the Lancea Sanctum, has requested that the neonates (the PCs) agree to form a select Coterie. He promises them his patronage, as well as the Prince's protection, and most importantly, a Boon, if they will perform an important task for him: find a box and locate a vampire who has gone to ground in torpor.

The characters meet Savoy at the Napoleon House, one of his many properties in the French Quarter. The neonates agree to form a Coterie together and agree to perform the duty requested. They are told by Savoy that they each have been chosen in part because of their Makers. According to Savoy, each of the neonate's Makers were also part of a Coterie that sought to bring this fanatical member of the Lancea to justice in 1853. According to Savoy, Rafael Bishop who a prominent member of the Lancea, taught secret blood rituals to the pagan followers of the Circle of the Crone, something strictly forbidden. At the time the city of New Orleans was experiencing a plague of Yellow Fever that killed nearly 11,000. The character's Makers, who at the time styled themselves as "The Sanguine Krewe" were able to track Rafael Pope, but subsequently lost him in the Bayou Sauvage, northeast of the city, (along with the box he had stolen).

Savoy exacts a promise from the newly formed Coterie that they must follow & obey the Three Traditions, and quizzes them on these to his satisfaction. He then gives the characters a lead: they are to meet one of the leader of the Sanguine Coterie aboard The Algiers, a casino riverboat on Lake Pontchartrain, north of the the Metairie. There they are to meet this Elder on the following night between 10PM and Midnight.

Oct. 17th, 2010

Prelude: The Plague of 1853

What has come before...

Rafael Pope became a Priest of the Lancea Sanctum in the early 1800's. He was ordained in this city. He served as a confessor in this city for almost forty years. For a time, he even served the Bishop as a "confessor for the unwilling." Pope had a remarkable ability to get people to talk, to make people comfortable, to motivate and inspire them. For a time, he walked with a bloody coterie of paladins, battling the enemies of Longinus and patrolling the city's boundaries. Pope had become adept with several rituals of Theban Sorcery.

In 1850, Pope threw all that away. First he withdrew from his duties into study — study of non-religious texts, study of contemporary pseudoscience and study of magic outside the dark miracles of the covenant.

Eventually he withdrew from the covenant completely, rejected his titles and his status, and became an itinerant preacher in the city. Pope appeared routinely at Elysium, spouting modified scripture and quoting from the works of new mortal spiritualists while wearing what was left of his Sanctified frock. For years, he was pitied as a fallen paladin, driven senile by his attempt to rationalize his faith. Among the Kindred of New Orleans he acquired the moniker of "the Great Liar."

But as Pope drifted further away from the roots of Sanctified faith he became more attractive to non-conformists and the passionately obtuse. Neonates in search of direction studied at his feet, pleased with the personal attention he offered. A small coterie of Acolytes adopted Pope as their prophet. Soon Pope was gone from Elysium. He did all of his mentoring in private now.

For a year, Pope's cult was rumor. The Sanctified didn't take it seriously because no serious Kindred were among its membership. But eventually word started to circulate that Pope was teaching what he knew of Theban Sorcery to his followers, many of whom were Acolytes or former Acolytes of the Circle of the Crone.

The church of the Santified couldn't tolerate it. In 1853, during the worst of a devastating plague of Yellow Fever, they called an unofficial Blood Hunt(with or without the approval of the Prince), promising protection and praise for any Sanctified who brought in Pope intact for a formal trial. If, however, Pope was destroyed, the church would absolve the guilty party of the crime.

Pope's blood cult quickly disintegrated. Most of his followers were little more than curious sheep in search of a flock, unwilling to stand between the Liar and the Spear. A few devoted followers, however, agreed to hide Pope beneath a house in the city. Under pressure from the Lancea Sanctum, however, even their loyalty unraveled.


Oct. 13th, 2010

City of the Damned New Orleans: St. Louis No. 1


  Human Tourist: "Are there even any vampires in New Orleans? I thought they all drowned after Katrina. "
  Local Vampire: "Vampires do not drown. Because we do not breathe."

                                                                   - True Blood


This Livejournal page is dedicated to our Actual Play game sessions for a Vampire the Requiem role playing game chronicle. Set in modern nights New Orleans, (2005) the game chronicles the exploits and nocturnal Requiems of a young Coterie of Kindred, (calling themselves 'The Innocents'). This chronicle takes its name from one of the most distinctive Gothic landmarks of New Orleans, St. Louis Cemetery Number 1. New Orleans is well known for its historic above ground necropoli, and this one in particular plays a prominent thematic role...




The game makes regular reference to the following Vampire the Requiem game source books:

Vampire the Requiem
World of Darkness Rulebook
City of the Damned New Orleans
Ghouls
Damnation City
The Blood
Mythologies





Inspirational literary sources for this chronicle:

Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned 
by Anne Rice

The Southern Vampire Mysteries, (aka Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

American Vampire by Stephen King

Fevre Dream by G.R.R. Martin

Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist




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