New York : Vampire

Chp 11: New colleagues, new lands
And a broken little Missus

The council meeting went well, maybe even too well… if you count Invictus dominance with a spice of freedom a win. Councilor Alfonso “Tesoro” Bassani did really well at choosing his colleagues and going for the moderate choices – no Murders asides from blood hunts; no Embraces without approval; the Faith would be free, opening doors for Circle; and the Lands would be distributed by Councilors’ decision in each own Borough. And that was the headache for the Councilor we all care about. He had to get new lands for the Circle, which most likely meant he would have to take some from Bishop Irvin Nickel, or find a way to redistribute so that the space would be the same. And to make matters worse, Councilor Bassani pushed a bit too much, as Miss Elizabeth “Vi” Mangano returned changed, just like Master Bertram Thung, barely speaking and muttering how she would join Circle under Miss Alina Gilbert. A lesson taught, but does such a person actually learn it? This will probably weigh on his conscience.

There was an additional problem for the young Coterie – they were tresspassing for last week in no longer their lands, as they were traded for votes to Miss Judy Gonzalez and Master Gus “Gus” Redmond. They decided to check out Miss Mangano’s casino – she was preparing to open it next week and so it would have made perfect place for them. The Kindred headed to check whose land it was, and no wonder, it belonged to the Bishop. Dragon Mister Daniel Milton had to leave as he got a call for a new task from his Guild. The task turned out to be a wonderful opportunity of cooperation, as Dragon Madame Lilian Luna has introduced him to Dragon Mister Walter Alistair McClanahan – a Childe of hers who recently joined the Guild and so it was just perfect to get more weight on making sure Councilor Bassani didn’t do anything reckless for them, as well as both Dragons could benefit from making research together.

After a bit of getting to know each other, the scientists headed out back to Coterie, Mister McClanahan bringing gifts to other Coterie members – silver brass knuckles for Councilor Bassani, sticky explosives with smart detonator for Master Alex Coleman, new cat claws for Miss Marry “Dusk” Lee, and some accessories for Miss Mangano. The ladies were not there but the rest of Coterie greeted the new mate well, asides from few moronic remarks from Master Coleman, but nobody can blame him for being so deep in dirt. Everything went even more smoother when Mister McClanahan volunteered to map out the current Manhattan lands and help out with distributing them. He and Master Coleman went on to do that, while Councilor Bassani and Mister Milton got a meeting with Honourable Alder Wesley Wilkins. Seeing how the young Italian wisely chose the allies last time, the meeting went very smoothly, although there was a bit of uncertainty what to do with Law Enforcement, as Councilor Bassani didn’t want to make it so that there was just one Sheriff like in the old times – he still wasn’t fully turned to Invictus. After that the Gangrel decided that he needed another meeting with Master Marcus Allen, especially because in Councilor Bassani’s mind he should have went more with the Rotgrafen, as they both were Circle believers and the Dragon couldn’t join there due to his recent endeavors.

When the Coterie returned back to the park, the matters became a bit more pressing as Masters Redmond and Gonzalez came to make sure the Neonates left their lands. After a small but stressful exchange, the Coterie complied and left for Manhattanville – one of the few completely unclaimed lands in Manhattan. In the past, everyone marked their territory and if someone didn’t, they didn’t actually have a claim on them, so the young Kindred believed it to be a possible new home. To be more sure of safety, Circle Masters offered to cast a couple of rituals to check for possible dangers or unwelcome denizens. Dragons, not being believers, had to leave for their own business. Thinking on what could they do, Mister Milton told Mister McClanahan about the metal dog they encountered and showed the few sketches he made. They decided to talk with the Mage to see when they could get their hands on it. Alas, no luck was to be had there, as he simply said that the body was with the expert he knew and also told of the meager findings in that cave, how the energy was waning for some reason. Mister McClanahan saw it unsafe to venture into Necropolis, but Mister Milton was willing to risk it for another trip down there to find out more.

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Cacaphony #3

Secrets time

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Chp 10: They never died
A flick in a granary and a flick in a park

Miss Elizabeth “Vi” Mangano was in a really deep trouble – the little girl, Miss Alina Gilbert, in fact, only was setting up Miss Mangano to lead her to Daeva’s sisters to torture and kill all three of them. But the heroine’s paranoia must have prevailed, as she created a masterful distraction by making a huge auto accident and “dying” there. Or so did the local newspapers say the day after that. At least the reporters were mindful and made sure Miss Mangano got more attention by getting her charming photos out in the city.

The next meeting of the young Coterie was very heated due to that. Master Alfono “Tesoro” Bassani got into contact with Miss Gilbert and managed to negotiate the deal – Miss Mangano had to only kill one of her sisters and suffer for that, and that would be the end of it. Without doubt, that was not taken well by Miss Mangano, and most of the Coterie. Masters Alex Coleman and Mary “Dusk” Lee started pitching in ideas how to get rid of the little girl, but Master Bassani was much more careful and actually conscious of his political position and acting smart – the Nosferatu after all did ally with him for his Council position. Dragon Mister Daniel Milton meanwhile sat there, stuck between two sides – neither solution resulted in a good end for Coterie for him. And Miss Mangano had a bit more pressing event as she also had to fake her death properly – she did not do the necessary things by that day, and now the solemn unlife of Kindred has finally caught up to her. So the Coterie split up in three ways: Miss Mangano went off to deal with her things, Master Bassani traveled for another talk with Miss Gilbert, and the rest visited Miss Vera Weber to find out more about Nosferatu leadership changes – but not before Masters Bassani and Coleman brawled for a bit as each was furious with other.

The trio wasn’t very lucky – they only found out that Master Bertram Thung wasn’t humiliated the first time and so he got ousted from power and replaced by none other than Miss Gilbert, and she was using this conundrum as a way to push her dominance and strength. She also had some sort of powerful patron behind her, which is why was she was the one to do so, which gave more basis for Master Bassani’s fears in the eyes of others. This made the situation even more hopeless, at least in the Dragon’s eyes – Master Thung was out of the game, and taking down Miss Gilbert was wrong too due to future repercussions. Nevertheless, Masters of the trio thought they could sway Master Thung to their side, and, reluctantly, the Dragon agreed to join them and helped in finding his address – a granary in the edge of city. The place seemed abandoned and eerie, but the Mekhets easily noticed that they were not lead to a trap. The Dragon decided to wait for a moment, expecting Obfuscate, while the Masters went upstairs. They found the Nosferatu watching a movie on Netflix, completely disinterested of his visitors and his surroundings, asides from the fear of threat. However, Miss Lee must have hit a nerve as she immediately got scared of him and ran out of the granary. The Dragon, seeing through her eyes what happened, climbed up to sort out the state of mind of Master Thung. What he saw was more than enough to realize that this served as his banishment, or retirement house, depending on who would you ask. He was really out of the game.

When the Coterie meet up again, they found out that Master Bassani couldn’t do much either – it was either what he dealt or Miss Mangano’s death. Masters Coleman, Lee and Mangano got even more riled up about taking out Miss Gilbert, with Miss Mangano saying she could do it on herself if she had a way to getting to the little girl, trying to get that info from Master Bassani, or suggesting straight up clash of the whole Coterie. Unfortunately, the new Councilor managed to blunder in by lying about how he had her number, which led to more and more inquisitive questioning of others, including even more meddling from Miss Mangano’s Majesty, until the critical mass was reached when it was realised that Master Bassani knew about her “patron”. The Gangrel then chose flight instead of answering and tried to run away as other Masters scrambled to catch him. The Dragon meanwhile was between immovable object and unstoppable force – he wanted to know more, but Master Bassani was also his lifelink if he wanted to achieve anything in Invictus. In the end he chose to do nothing and just tried to dig the information from his mind, but it was not his day – the mind of Master Bassani’s was completely shut. It was a very erratic chase, with the Mekhets trying to catch Master Bassani and failing to make a hold, while the Daeva decided to unhinge herself fully and continue swaying him to her.

It all ended when Master Bassani decided to stop toying and just transformed into raven and flew away. Master Coleman tried throwing dagger at the raven and Miss Mangano continued her shouting, but nothing helped them. The Coterie separated brooding, each with different reasons to dislike the other suggestions. The Dragon tried suggesting probably the last way of involving as little of blood as possible – Miss Lee was capable of changing her appearance, so he thought that a Ventrue or someone else with strong mind powers could force Vi into thinking she was doing the torture and having mental scarring, with her and Miss Lee acting that out to make it more real, although the Dragon easily understood the holes in his plan, and so it didn’t seem to catch on much traction. He just hoped that this wouldn’t drag him in too much.

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Cacaphony #2
More after elections

in secret blocks ;)

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Cacaphony
After the election

Cacaphony messages are in the secret blocks ;)

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Chp 9: How to win a Council position

And so after dealing with the Necropolis’ Monster and getting out alive, but scarred, the intrepid Coterie of Hell’s Kitchen sat down in their park to work on the last two people they were actively planning to sway to their side: the judgemental Miss Rebecca Diaz of Lance, and the rich Mister Ellis Arnold of Invictus. The Mister was first on the list, and he was the harder target for the Neonates, as the elected leader, Master Alfonso “Tesoro” Bassani of Circle of the Crone, had already blundered in his first lesson of Negotiations – never agree to first deal. But all is well, or so they thought, as Miss Elizabeth “Vi” Mangano managed to charm the Mister for a dinner, and get him to vote for the Leader of Free Faith, assuming that he became the political advisor. Not much is known how the private evening passed, as Miss Mangano didn’t show up personally the night after. Who knows, maybe a new love is blossoming in this world of unlife.

Having that sorted out, Dragon Mister Daniel Milton of Invictus Guild of Researchers joined Miss Mary “Dusk” Lee in spying on the Lance’s Miss, as she was working her job of tempting men and then punishing them for falling to said temptations. The Coterie got a small lead on a Kine called Pete, who was one client of hers who didn’t have to pay, and Miss Diaz didn’t think of doing any slight to the man. A bit of Dragon’s money to some mystical Hackerman and a cup of coffee, and suddenly a whole sheet of information of the Kine was in the hands of Kindred. It would have been all perfect if not for a slight problem – the unsuspecting Kine slept in New Jersey, where no Kindred has even called from if it foolishly ventured there. Not having proper mortals to do the job, and also upon finding out that the Lance’s lass had people about whom she cared more, thanks to the Mister Milton’s Auspex, the Neonates grasped at straws and just sent in their Leader to talk to her, eye to eye, and force her to vote for him. The Beasts’ clashed, the Threats exchanged and in the end it all finished in a big fuzz of… nothing. Miss Diaz cowered and agreed to Master Bassani’s threat of hurting Pete, but he left as Miss Diaz’s bodyguard arrived to check why she was getting harassed. The rest of the group was disappointed at Italian’s naivete, but at least something was done.

During that time the Coterie got into a bit of trouble as they tried to feed together. Unluckily for them, they found a pair of junkies, already high on something, and Miss Lee’s Beast was a bit too hungry, resulting in her sticking to woman’s neck. The Coterie’s Enforcer Master Bassani tried to pull her apart, but apparently it was not the day for him, as Miss Lee easily overpowered him. The fact that Miss Mangano cared too much for her dignity and didn’t maintain proper hold with Majesty didn’t help either, as the man of the pair jumped in to protect the girl. Lots of awkward talks and decisions later, two dead bodies lain in front of the Kindred and Dragon Mister had to call up for help from his colleagues and collected the bodies as research material. The Kindred were fed, but not without grievous repercussions for some.

Finally, the vote came to Manhattan. Yet a disaster struck Miss Mangano’s household! Apparently she overdid her charms on the Master Bertram Thung of Necropolis, and now he sent people after her sisters. But a little Nosferatu girl ran up to Miss Mangano, as she was entering the theater with Coterie, to warn her about this. The Daeva was fully trustful of the Nosferatu, and she seemed so to the Dragon’s mind too, although it was a bit coincidental, that she was as much the little Monster as her Sire who tortured her. And so both Master Wilhelm Olson and Miss Mangano drove off with the girl to save them. Meanwhile the rest of the Coterie entered the theater and were greeted by Judex Greg Lamb of Invictus and a Rotgrafen who were documenting all entrants, who were the Borough leaders and who were just spectating. As expected, Judex Lamb was ready to write down the Dragon as the leader of Hell’s Kitchen, and he was surely surprised upon hearing that this fell to Master Bassani.

The theater hall filled and the meeting started with Judex introducing the first candidate Lord Herbert Brewer of Invictus, and the speeches of each candidate followed – next was Master Bassani, and after him the Bishop Irvin Nickel of Lance, who looked very frail and aged, if that could be said about Kindred, and Master Vincent Logan, also of Lance. And then the voting began in probably the most archaic form of it, echoing back from at least Greek democracy times – most likely a Rotgrafen invention. Two clay pots were brought in, one filled with stones of four colors and another empty. Everyone took a single stone corresponding to one candidate, and threw it into the next pot, ‘casting the vote’ for his choice. After all the votes the pot was spilled and stones counted. The Lance members were easily and closely third and fourth, showing probable division in the religious covenant. It was just a matter of comparing Lord Brewer’s and Master Bassani’s votes, but those who were precounting the votes as they were cast were already a bit unruly, expressing discontent at the fact that Lord Brewer managed to fail his bid for Council position and was defeated by the young Master. The evening ended abruptly as visibly angry Judex explained how Master Bassani was to go to Council meeting and after which another District meeting would be called to decide for things for which Council wouldn’t decide. Of note to the Coterie were three votes: Miss Vera Weber flip-flopped for a bit by the pot, but eventually drew Master Bassani’s stone. Miss Diaz didn’t think so long, but she voted for him too. And Mister Arnold didn’t hold his word and instead went for his Liege, Lord Brewer.

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I always was a cat person
A battle in the Necropolis

Dusk was glad to have a normal girlchat with Vera Weber. “And she is a Nosferatu. I know one pink-haired Daeva, who is more intimidating than she is. Maybe I was wrong about them”, – she thought.

But then Dusk remembered Gus and shivered. “Well, it is better not to let my guard down”, – she reminded to herself.

The cars stopped at a warehouse, where they found creepy stairs going down.

“I think we are going to open jaws. The is just one question: will it bite us or not”, – she heard Wilhelm telling to Vi.

A meeting with Mr. Bertram wasn’t very pleasant. They got one more job to do. Well, it is hard to say ‘no’ to the boss of Nosferatu at his living room… There were some strange killings in the Necropolis. They found just some ashes of the killed. That was strange alone, but even stranger was that one survivor had different kind of injuries. Bites.

Dusk tried to get some answers but Mr. Bertram wasn’t very useful. “Is he playing with us? But what would be the reason?” – Dusk thought. She couldn’t believe easily that somebody or something could kill such strong vampires in their own home and wouldn’t be caught and severely punished.

As always, Vi started to cause some problems. “Why she just can’t shut up? What she is thinking talking like that with such an influential Nosferatu?!”, – she thought.

She was relieved, when Vi left the room. Dusk closely watched Mr. Bertram, when she talked, but there weren’t any signs that he had any plans to punish them for Vi’s behaviour.

Some Nosferatu brought two urns with ashes and Mr. Milton did THAT thing. Everything was getting even more confusing and frightening.

Suddenly, there were shouts and noise. “It broke free!”. What “it”?

Well, in a few minutes she got her answer, when this “it” was running to them. A big strange creature was insanely quick. “Is it a metal… dog??”

-Allan “Marker” Parks took Wilhelm’s arm and painted something. After few seconds Wilhelm was as fast as this creature. Dusk was invisible and it seemed, that their enemy didn’t notice her presence. Wilhelm was fighting and Dusk tried charged hoping that one sneaky attack will solve everything. It didn’t.
-
She wasn’t a fighter but Daniel and Vi were even more pathetic. Then she had that strange vision in her head and exactly knew were to strike to kill it. Dusk missed again. “I have to train more, if I want to survive until Xmas”, – she thought and suddenly felt a piercing pain. That thing BIT her!

It was not fair, she tried to survive so hard and one brave deed will be the end of her?
-
Dusk was very glad to see an ugly face of a Nosferatu and his axe. He killed IT. IT was dead and SHE was alive. That was a surprise.

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Wilhelm comes back to Vi

The dark shadow was still playing at the corner ofVi’s eye. She was holding down to herself. Weak and sad. She did not know how much time has passed and already thought that she’ll just collapse here, once the sun comes up.

The door of the apartment opened andWilhelm entered the room. He went about and sat down. He has spoken very little since his death. His face almost always of cold sorrow.

“I forgive you.” he said. The words startled her. This was the first time he addressed her first.

“That’s, that’s” she couldn’t find her voice after the horrors she has just seen, but managed to finish the sentence “kind of you.”

He looked at her. “Want to talk? You know that I’ll keep everything between the two of us.”

“I’m fine” she stood up and pretended to be herself again “just shocked after all the events we’ve had tonight.”. Trying to cheer the atmosphere she conjured the classical music in the background.

“These past several nights, have indeed been strange. I’ve h… drank today.” he still couldn’t just say hunted easily.

“Drank blood or alcohol?” she asked confused, not used to Wil starting conversations.

“Blood. Alcohol tastes ugly now. Who could have thought that something can taste that bad.”

“Hopefully you didn’t leave the person dry, did you?” she asked worried, that now she won’t only need to control herself, but look after him.

“You don’t need to worry bout him. He’ll live.”

“Good, I’m scared to think that will happen when your beast gets loose, I, I..” she looked at her hands “won’t be able to stop you, like you stopped me.”

He smiled. “Thanks, but… you have bigger things to worry about than me. I’ll take care of myself.”

She smiled, all the worries aside, she kept him alive after all “Sorry for being a terrible sire so far. Welcome to world of kindred. Oh, and of course 3 main rules of Masquerade are: to never let mortals see that you are, to not embrace others” she paused and flickered a smile“ I failed that one, but think it was a right choice.” she paused for few seconds remembering.
“Oh, and the last one, don’t eat another vampire.”

“Yeah. Alright.” he nodded, although it didn’t seem like he heard anything new from her at this time.

“Wilhelm, you don’t seem interested, have you heard about this before?” she asked while the music in the background started getting faster and lower tones.

He turned to her. “I’ve been around you for quite a long time. Seems quite obvious, doesn’t it? All three basically roll into self preservation. If mortals know – they’ll kill you, so don’t. If you breed too much, it will be hard on the first one, so don’t. And killing each other get’s us killed, so don’t. Sounds obvious.”

Vi seemed pleased with an answer “How did it go hunting? Do you need coaching on how to do effortlessly?” she asked.

“I’ve seen you do it a hundred times… “ he shook his head. “Really, you have more important things to worry about. Like Tesoro. Or that dude who’s messing with your family.”

“That dude can’t be removed easily right now, so it will have to wait. Also, I’ve actually already reserved a meeting with Ms. Weber to help Tesoro for tomorrow 22:00. Or did you have in mind something else instead of the vote?” Vi asked.

He shook. “Nah. It seems that if he wins without sacrificing too much – we’ll be a force in this city.”

“Yes. By the way, how is your blood addiction after embrace? Do you still want vampire blood or is human one satisfactory?”

“I don’t feel the craving anymore. I remember how well it tastes, but I try not to dwell on it.”

She smiled and clicked her fingers while correcting her hair which dropped on the eyes “So you prefer not to be attached anymore?”

“The craving, it clouds the mind. I’d prefer not to have that. When in the day you’re torn in your own head between wanting to open you up to reach for the blood and knowing that you have to be protected. I’d rather not feed that temptation.”

“Ah, sweetheart.” she went in and hugged the bearlike man.

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Reborn yet broken
The night after the Wilhelm's embrace

The room was dark with only strays of moonlight coming through the closed curtains. Silence was interrupted only with quiet sobs of a girl, sitting on a chair next to the bed.

Vi felt completely lost, she just saw her companion murderer by indirect family of hers and she couldn’t do anything about it. She has never in her life felt so useless. The sorrow deepened when she though of that she had done to bring him back. She made Wilhelm a monster, one like she was, without asking him. She used the opportunity of his walk to collect thoughts, but it didn’t work so far.

She didn’t know how could she forgive Tesoro for doing this, but strangely Vi couldn’t hold anger either as she didn’t control her beast fully at times too. After all, it took her full 3 years to be brave enough in her control to come back home.

Vi looked at her bloody hands and realised that she hand’t even though before now on that had she done to Wil. She had him mind controlled like a puppet just not to cause any problems to her and not inform to dad. It seemed such a good idea back then, but now it looked just low and selfish.

Despair deepened when she though of that was to be. She just broke one of the only Masquerade laws, her family plans got completely screwed by some douchebag Invictus, she failed to get stupid votes for the upcoming election and she couldn’t even fucking control few damn stupid coterie members from not killing each other.

Sobbing she didn’t notice until now that the room become way colder. Vi swiped her eyes from the tears and raised her head. Everything seemed normal, the bed was a mess and the room was deadly quiet with only the electronic clock shining 4:13 on its tablet.

She snickered for being so ridiculous, but at that moment she noticed that the shadow below her was lengthening. Vi blinked, not believing what she was seeing, then suddenly the top formed a beastly head and a creepy murmur was released from it.

With a terrified yelp from her mouth she fell from the chair. Vi started crawling backwards, even though the shadow was normal again, but the smell of blood was in the air and some strange quiet laugh, like from behind the wall, was audible to her from all the sides. The sounds stopped with a phrase of that she though was “You’ll never be powerless again”.

The silence that followed was even more scary than the incident, because Vi had no idea if it’d return at any moment. She hugged her knees to her chest and cried, and cried…

At that moment she was just a simple girl in her twenties lost in her life with no meaning or proper means, but that was soon to change.

shadow.jpg

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Secrets and Politics

The night started off on a bad note. Vi and the others were trying to help some sort of Lancea guy by killing the Bishop. They said he was possesed by demons or some shit like that. But in order to do that, they needed help from our friend the “Magician”. And he wanted us to investigate some spooky magic powers that come from under the city. So basically this whole thing was a shit show from the very beginning.

While Vi went out to visit some old sewer bum, I stuck around with the rookie – Lee. Her plan was to go and read some fucking books.. Needless to say, this plan fucking sucked, so I just went around town minding my own business.

A few hours later I got tired of waiting, so I checked up on Lee. To my surprise, she was using the computer, not reading some boring books! So I tried to help her. Though I guess she wasn’t really happy, since I cared more for the girls in the ads than the actual papers Lee was going through. Anyway, she dug up a name of some journalist prick that was behind a lot of sewer cases, so we decided to boot.

The next evening we went to the journalist’s house, where Vi tried to use her sharp tongue to get us inside.This did not work out well for us – the prick just slammed the door right in front of us! But before I could bash that shitface into the ground we noticed that Lee was missing. Something was up, so we decided to wait nearby our car.

A few moments later Lee showed up with a laptop – she had snuck into the house while we were arguing with the douchebag.. The rookie has some balls, I’ll give her that. Though we were greeted by a password protected screen. Fuck. But before we could do much, we saw some bum approaching us. Vi said it was the bum she talked to the night before. Then the poor bastard got surrounded by a fuckton of bees and fell to the ground. I quickly remembered some crone ritual that had a really similar effect, but I did not know how to stop it. So we all just sat in the god damn car until the poor bloke died. What a way to go..

Afterwards Vi had a discussion with the mage, she was certain that the underground magics involved vampires (even though I thought that was a bit of a stretch). The mage dude seemed to have known that, which begged the question of why the fuck did he need our help in the god damn first place…

Regardless, he agreed to help us. He showed some spell that would uncover an invisible person and we were all happy and sang songs to the occasion. No, wait, we didn’t really fucking care. We still needed to find the bloke. That was a job for the Crone. The gals were convinced that they would help – killing the Bishop is indeed something the Circle has dreamed for a long time…

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