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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.