Kapre Aswang

Session 19

Meetings and Greetings

Added a slight correction that when they were throwing debris off the Kelvin Grove to New Market bridge last session they should have heard them splashing into water below. The creek seemed to have risen two to three meters in the time they spent at Chandra Ultavi’s place.

Having done that we fast forward to the character’s driving away from a student apartment block on the north edge of Kelvin Grove, having found zombies but no sign of Mrs Nagey.

Belinda decides to take them up the hill, past where they saw the scavengers earlier rather than risk going through new territory. On the way through the intersection Saul spots a watcher on the roof which his hand to his ear as if talking into a phone or walkie talkie or something. Belinda speeds up as much as she can, but the debris and stuff on the road makes it harder to maintain speed. She slows rather than risk an accident, and there is no sign of pursuit.

About half way through Paddington her caution pays off. A bloody zombie carrying a dismembered arm lurches out into the road ahead. Belinda runs it down. The others are fairly chill, no one suggests they stop.

In the back seat Saul considers the rituals he just learned by Absorbing fragments left from the Black Priest’s soul. To summon a Shadow Servant he needs a quantity of low grade, entropy aligned magical material to use as ink. Vampire blood will do. Saul muses about using a pint from Isobella, “She owes us one.”

Home Safe

About three hours before dawn the characters slow down at the entrance to Belinda’s street. It looks like their neighbours have been busy. This end is now blockaded with cars in similar fashion to how Evan closed the other end the day before. The sentry gets in one, starts it and backs it aside to make space for Belinda to drive their SUV through.

Inside there are now many more cars lining the street. The front yard on one side of the good samaritan house is piled with solar panels, sheets of tin and fencing materials. The yard on the other side has partially dismantled cars, tools, and other durable supplies.

An Interview with Isobella

The character’s pull up outside Belinda’s house. Anthony is keen to talk to Isobella quickly so they can use the last couple of hours of the night, so While Saul, Belinda, and Evan unload Chandra’s solar panels and batteries etc, Anthony heads inside.

Quentin is awake in the kitchen, not being on guard so much as making sure someone in the house is awake and aware. He tells Anthony that Isobella woke, but that she is still weak after prolonged exposure to the rent, and goes with him downstairs to talk to her.

Isobella answers their knock, she’s sitting up in bed looking weak. She thanks Anthony for saving her, asking if the rent is still open. He says it is and she looks concerned, asks how things are in the world outside. Anthony says its not good out there, mentions that they just came back from Ultavi’s house, and that the rent there is sealed, but Ultavi seems to have hidden within it. Isobella is surprised to hear there was a rent there at all (“I’ve been to her house…”). She says Ultavi does come from a strange bloodline, indian necromancers who turned to vamperism.

Isobella seems concerned about the approaching dawn, asking if the room is secure. Anthony reasures her it is secure here in the basement, and “You’re welcome to have Quentin tell people they come down here on pain of bullets.”

He mentions Isobella’s weakness. She says it is from exposure to the rent after being drained. I’m sure in here she mentions it was Garouche who got her, but she indicates she should recover in a few days, “with Quentin and Curtis’s assistance”. She says she could recover quickly if could get some ritual materials with which to resummon her familiar. Anthony mentions that her house was trashed, but if she wants to draw up a list of materials they can take Quentin or Liam over to pick some up. Isobella thanks him and asks after Erin, seeming remorseful at having left her behind during the attack. Anthony says they’d glimpsed her hunting in the valley. Isobella, “well she seemed a capable girl, she should be fine.”

Isobella asks how secure the location in general is, saying she’s heard from Qeuintin that its a regular suburban street. Anthony may have muttered under his breath about paranoid vampires, but mentions they’ve been meaning to check out the army barracks at Enogra. She interested, asks if any vampire stronghold survived, mentioning the Prince’s mansions in Hamilton and Balmoral, and his training facility in Tingalpa. When told the Prince’s Hamilton mansion is trashed (A: “you mean the one with all the smoke and sirens and explosions…”), she mentions that the senior members of the Court of Brisbane have a few drop points where they can leave messages for each other, especially if on the run, in the CBD, Toowong, and at the Airport. Anthony mentions that blood brothers are in control of the city. She says they’re bad news, Blud Oth, a gang of neo-nazi vampries from Melbourne who serve the Sabbat, that there will be six of them but you’ll only see one or two of them at a time, and that you have to kill them all to get rid of them.

Anthony: “Oh but in good news the Black Priest is dead…” Isobella is amazed and delighted. Anthony, and Evan (who has come downstairs) are casual. “He had an accident with a machete”

Even asks Isebella if she could examine the bone lance that he got from the Black Priest’s church. She agrees, and while Evan goes to get it Anthony goes upstairs to get ready for a quick trip out again before dawn.

Saul pops his head in: “G’day, just letting you know I’ll need some of your blood soon, a cup or so will do.” Isobella looks at him worried like, “You’re not… hungry are you?” Saul assures her it’s for something else and she hesitantly agrees.

When Evan returns with the lance Isobella is horrified, shrinking away as he waves it near her. She says it’s definitely a Tsmicie item, made from powerful vampire bones. She says it’s evil, mentions a vampire taboo called diablore and that the lance may possibly made from the Prince of Zhou’s remains. She seems to be scared of the lance, advising Evan to put it away “wrapped in silk and salt” until she’s stronger and can deal with it properly. Evan agrees, telling her he’ll put it in the garden shed.

Return to Isobella’s

Anthony is keen for a quick trip before dawn. Saul stops Evan on the way out into the garden, “where you going with that?”

Evan: “She said should hide it.”

Saul: “You could keep it in the car.”

Evan: “Guess I’ll keep it with me then, seems like it’ll do damage to vampires.”

Anthony: “Because it’s a big stick…”

Evan: “But one possibly carved from the Prince…”

The climb back in the car with about two hours left before the black sun will rise for the fourth time. The moon is still absent from the sky. Anthony drives this time, while Belinda tries to use Domain Dreaming to split her conciousness between Tree and real world in an effort to sense how Lisa is going. She’s unsuccessful but builds up to Release Level two as they head north toward Enoggra.

Driving out of Bardon they get the familiar prickling of their spirit sense that warns of zombies out among the quiet houses, but as they go down over Ithica creek and up the hill toward Waterworks road it gets quiet again. Approaching Waterworks road they see backhoes parked among the rubble where they’ve been tearing down houses on the south side of the road. Event style chain link fencing has been errected on the north side of Waterworks road and there is an light armoured vehicle sitting square across the intersection ahead.

Anthony slows to a halt. The chaingun turret of the LAV is not pointed in their direction, but there is a man in camouflage gear sitting in the gunnery position, looking their way. Another man, also in camouflage but carrying a torch walks around the side of the LAV and waves them forward.

Inside the SUV Anthony, Saul, and Belinda rais Spirit Sight. Both of the army dudes seem to be human. Anthony idles drives carefully up to where the torch bearer beckons and pulls up. He wind’s down the window, “Well… It’s been a rough few days…”

The army man starts a spiel, but, sweeping his torch light across the interior of the SUV spots the the characters uzi’s, shotguns, and body armour. “Err… Are you seeking refuge?”

Anthony: “Oh thank god. Are you saying the army is still going?”

Army dude: Yeah… but what the hell?!?"

Evan (without missing a beat): “We’re doomsday preppers.”

That seems to break the ice with the army dude, whose name turns out to be Andy. While his mate up in the LAC turret keeps watch over the area he talks to the characters. Confirming that the Enoggra barracks is taking in refugees, but warning them that they would have to give up there guns, and that the base isn’t taking in anyone who has “been bitten”.

Andy proves quite friendly, seems to be impressed with the character’s apparent self reliance, especially when the characters say they’re familiar the infected, (there are both bullet holes in, and blood splattered over the SUV). He says the base has pushed out to the main roads on all sides and that ‘the commander’ has ordered the demolition of the houses on the far sides to open out a killing field in case of zombie attack.

He says the base is well armed, equipped, and supplied, “Even got our own reservoir for water!” He admits that they’re out of contact with the government, or even their superiors in the armed forces. “It’s like they were all the first to get sick.” He says the chaos of the long night was rough, “but the Commander stood up and pulled us all together. He even dragged in some units from Amberly, and he’s got us operating as the Combined Brisbane Forces.”

Evan chuckles: “The Can’t Be Fucked?”

Andy doesn’t seem offended. He encourages them to join up and tells them the Commander (Colonel Kirby) has plans to train up a militia of volunteers. Andy seems to think the characters would do well in it. He doesn’t seem to think much of the average refugee they’ve been getting, but says if the characters join they’d be able to get issued guns again. With just a couple of days of training he reckons they’d and be able to join in Search and Recovery efforts (which sound suspiciously like looting).

He asks them where they’re from and Anthony tells him Samford Valley, says the characters had heard a rumour that the Enoggra base was operational and are checking it out for a larger group of survivors. Andy seems impressed, but warns them they’d have to get their people here soon. After reorganising the CBF have only just started clearing and evacuating the suburbs immediately around the base and they’ve got refugees pouring in. He seems to think the base can hold about ten thousand people (it is huge), but says that with three thousand personnel on site and two thousand refugees received already it’ll probably only be a couple of days before the Commander cuts off the intake, “And once the gates are closed that’ll be it!”

Anthony tells Andy they should be back in a day or so with their people, says its madness out there, mentions meeting some weird folk out toward Kelvin Grove. Andy gives them an assessing look. He advises them to stay away from the city.

“Few some sorties over the riots in the long night. The things we seen… They’re not human…”

He reassures that characters that the Commander is determined to screen and kill out any blood suckers who try to sneak into Enoggra among the refugees, that he’s making every refugee line up in the sun each morning to get their days rations and supplies.

“When you come in,” he tells them. “Make sure it’s during the day. You’ll get a far better reception then.”

Saul, with fourth level vampiric taint, is well aware that the Black Sun is only a forty minutes or so from rising. Anthony brings the conversation with garrulous Andy to a friendly close, saying they’d better head back to their people in Samford. Andy waves cheerfully as the characters drive west on Waterworks road, along the army’s perimeter fence.

At the next major intersection they find a similar set up, just with a GWagon this time parked in the middle. The army dude there greets them, saying Andy radioed ahead about them. He waves as Anthony turns carefully south away from the base.

Home Again

With the sun getting closer they head back toward Bardon. Belinda relaxes in the passanger seat, using Domain Dreaming again, and this time succeeding. Using Spirit Sight from the Tree her conciousness is able to catch a glimpse of Lisa. The wife of Dave the pig hunting werewolf tour guide is napping in the front seat of her own four wheel drive. It looks like she’s pulled up in the middle of a wide open paddock and has a riffle across her lap. Using Mind’s Reach Belinda establishes gestalt with sleeping Lisa: “It’s Belinda. Don’t ask, just come to the house and avoid the army barracks.”

The character’s pull back into Belinda’s street with ten or so minutes to spare. Saul dashes inside:

“You guys can unload this time”.

Inside Quentin is still up. He says Isobella has already retired for the day. Anthony asks him if a Colonel Kirby was a known vampire contact. Quentin doesn’t recognise the name. He says that the Prince tended to keep key high level humans in thrall rather than micro manage. He also mentions that Negis helped with government liasons.

Saul asks Quentin if Isobella is really down. Quentin says she sleeps early and wakes late, which jibes with their memories of her turning up well after dark. Saul goes and gets some mundane paint to practice drawing ritual sigils.

Finished unloading Evan asks: “Are we gonna talk to our guys about moveing to Enoggra?”

Anthony: “Saul can’t go for at least two days and Isobella won’t get through the door. Although, given what the Private said, they’re likely to be at our door within two or three days anyway…”

Saul: “Be interesting to see what happens when they come to our house…”

They pretty much decide against telling their neighbours about the base surviving I think.

The Fourth Day – Morning training and Retrieving goods

Saul holes up in a dark room practising his ritual calligraphy.

Evan spends the morning trying to “train” the sentries by sneaking up to them with a bedsheet over his head in an effort to prevent the sun blistering his skin (vamp taint 2).

Belinda, Anthony, and Liam drive over to Isobella’s house to retrieve her ritual supplies.

Before she left Belinda makes sure to tell Clara, (over breakfast with the kids?) to expect Lisa’s arrival. Telling her to interrupt Saul if she gets there before the other awakened get back.

Amazingly though the trip is uneventful. They find Isobella’s house still trashed and unoccupied. With Liam deactivating some wards on her ritual room they get the goods and get back successfully.

On the way back they do bump into a family of humans who’ve broken down. The radiator is steaming, and the harassed looking middle aged man who seems to be the father of the family asks if they know anything about cars. He says they’re trying to reach Enoggra, having heard a rumor the army is holding it safe. Anthony confirms Enoggra is safe and advises the man to take a new car that someone else has abandoned rather than try to repair his old one.

Man: “Isn’t that… Illegal?”

Anthony: “It’s all about expedience.”

Man: “But how do we start it?”

Anthony, (pointing to a house with a car parked in front of it): “Kick in the front door, find the keys, start the car.”

Belinda (smiling): “It’s the new world!”

Dashing Hopes

Back at Bardon, as they’re unloading their haul a young woman crosses hesitantly from the samaritan house toward them. She was one of the prisoners they rescued from the Black Priest’s church and Anthony’s face falls when he sees her. “Oh fuck,” he mutters before turning to her with a gentle smile.

Woman: “I was just wondering… Our families… You said you’d try to save our families?”

Anthony: “I have some bad news. We got in, but it seems… When the Angel came down all the people inside must have died.”

Woman (crying): “Really?”

Anthony: “Some of the vampires ran off, but the people who were inside…. They were like the others in the church…”

Woman: “Oh god. I was afraid, but I so wanted to see my father again.”

Anthony: “When we’re in the city we’ll do what we can, but it’s not looking good…”

Activities around Home

Anthony escorts the grieving woman back to the samaritan house. With the leadership of Garry Choi and the others the community of survivors is starting to work well together. They’ve got old style latrines set up down in the back gardens and are starting to divide up the labour. Most of the survivors are out as a work crew while those who remain behind are cooking, hauling away the shit, looking after children, or dismantling things the scavangers have hauled in.

It’s still a very civilian looking affair however. Anthony spends the spends some time teaching anti-zombie techniques using a brush hook. Evan uses tools and materials the scavengers have brought in in the workshop they’ve set up next door to put together some spears and resize some short brush hooks into reach three weapons. He also invents a pole saber type weapon by fixing machete blades to a medium length shaft of wood. He uses Call the Sap a few times to ease the process and improve the quality of the materials he’s working with.

Saul keeps practicing his rituals.

Belinda spends some time on her back deck, relaxing in a chair reading one of Isobella’s occult texts with a tall glass of water beside her. She tests the photosynthesis side effect of Petal Fall Hair, finding that it is invigorating, but not as hearty as an actual meal.

At some point Anthony puts his 10mm handgun and spare clip into storage. Belinda swaps her kitchen knife for a parang. Evan replaces the two uzi clips he gave away with ones from the house’s stores.

Lisa Arrives

Mid afternoon a battered looking four wheel drive with ’Dave’s hunting tours’ emblazoned on the side passes through the sentry’s blockade. Directed to the samaritan house she approaches the active people:

“Is Belinda or any of those guys around? I really need to talk to them.”

Anthony greets her: “Glad Belinda got into contact with you.”

Lisa: “Thought that was a dream. I’m glad… But Dave’s dead.”

She tells them that the Glass House Boys (the werewolves north of Brisbane) have gone insane. That some of their kinfolk have turned or partially turned into werewolves, and that they’ve started abducting the kinfolk and families of lone wolves and outliers. This is how Dave died, holding them back so she could get away. The claw marks and blood splatter on her four wheel drive seem to bear this out.

Lisa says that it’s taken her two days to get to Brisbane from Kilkoy:

“It’s bad out there. Everywhere’s full of people who fled the city and there’s infected, and people are running out of food, and the locals are starting to push back. There’s murder and chaos everywhere. I couldn’t think where else to go, remembered Dave said you were some kind of weird Gaia blessed type of wolves, and going to the suburbs is not something the Glass House Boy’s would expect when the whole city seems to have emptied out. I’ve got to warn you though… They’re probably still chasing me.”

Evan: “Fuck off!”

It’s more a expression of surprise than a directive and the others assure Lisa she’s welcome, asking how far behind, and when she last saw her pursuers. She doesn’t know. The last time she physically saw them was as she was fleeing the farm, (she shot and ran one over on her way out), but as wolf kin she’s sensitive to spirits and she’s had the feeling for the last two days of being watched and followed.

“I only managed a couple hours of sleep.”

She looks shattered. They take her into Belinda’s house and put her to bed upstairs before helpfully unloading her car. In the process they discover she was carrying two .308 hunting rifles, a ten gauge pump action shotgun, a (highly illegal) .300 sig assault rifle, a big carton of boxes of ammunition, and a hastily packed bag of clothes, food, and water.

Afternoon Activities

Belinda does some more photosyntesis.

Anthony goes out with a scavanger crew, working on stripping houses from two streets over.

Evan inspects the samaritan house, reinforcing doors and windows. He also warns people,

“If you hear howls then get everyone indoors. Barricade yourself in and get on the roof with the rifles and let us know.”

Curtis seems to understand that Evan means werewolf trouble. The other survivors maybe not so much. A rumour starts going around that there’s a group of bandits out there using imitation wolf howls to communicate.

Saul wakes Lisa after she’s had a couple hours rest. He gets some more detailed descriptions from her of the Glass House Boys, how many (about three packs with six or seven wolves in each), where they lived, who their leaders were, etc. I’ll do this up as another info page when I can.

After an few hours of hard work Anthony coopts a couple of samaritans with electrical know how (maybe one of the uni students). He gets them installing some of the solar panels and batteries they took from Chandra onto Belinda’s house. It’s a pretty dodgy job, with second hand wires and taped up joins etc but they get the panels bolted (directly) on and the inverter spliced in.

Nightfall, day 4 – The first Bestowal

Saul aproaches Quentin about an hour after dark.

Saul: “Need to talk to Isobella about some pretty personal things. Not interested in harming her.”

Quentin assures him that vampires are pretty old and morally flexible. Saul says he just needs some blood and to establish a connection…

Quentin: “You’re not talking about Vinaculum?”

Saul: “…no. Not the blood bond, just a connection.”

Quentin says he’s pretty sure Isobella will want a chance to study it first, but shows Saul in.

Isobella is well enough now to sit up in bed. With some assistance from Anthony (offers to heal damage done) Saul is fairly easily able to persuade her to give him a cup or so of her blood, which they do.

She does indeed want to see Bestowal demonstrated before receiving a mark herself. Cold bloodedly she suggests her armless servant Curtis as a subject. Saul indicates he’d prefer to mark Quentin, and Quentin indicates he is willing.

Isobella agrees. Saul bestows the first Mark from the Awakened of the Tree. Faced with a choice at the last minute of exactly where to put it Saul touches Quentin’s armpit. A pattern of shadowy roots grows down across Quentin’s skin from out of his pit hairs. The connection is made.

Having noticed that Saul and Evan are both a little uncouth when persuading, Belinda and Anthony take them aside to teach the basics of expression. With his newly enhanced intellect Saul is able to grasp the fundamentals (gains dot 1 expression). Evan… will need some more time (“Eh fuck it whatever”).

Headed out again – Toowong

Over dinner the characters discuss what they should do next.

Saul seems in favour of a quiet night at home, (he’s got rituals to cast and servants to summon), but he’s amenable to a trip.

Making a trip to scout out to Wivanhoe comes up. Lisa didn’t come down past the dam, having instead travelled through Caboolture, and then south until blocked at the Strathpine river (bridge down) and having to backtrack north and slightly west again and come in through Samford valley.

Anthony is in favour of heading out to Tingalpa to see if the Prince is holed up there, but it’s on the south side of the Brisbane river, as is the Prince’s Balmoral mansion. The Story Bridge is the only crossing that they know is still up and they’d have to get through the CBD, Blud Oth territory, to get to it.

They decide on a trip to Wivanhoe via the Toowong drop off, and load into the trusty armoured SUV. Evan is now carrying one of the pole sabers he made that afternoon. It’s on the back seat next to him, along with his bone lance, chain saw, machete, kukri, shotgun, uzi, and gods know what else.

Traveling south from Bardon to Toowong is uneventful. The roundabout near the cemetary where they picked up Charlotte a couple of days ago is dry, if muddy, where it had been a couple of meters under water last time they were there.

The drop point they want to check is at the business centre post office, a post box which senior members of the court had keys to. Driving carefully into the business area they see Toowong tower is still standing, if seemingly abandoned. It’s quiet, but Spirit Sense is registering the prickly of zombie, or other supernatural presences on the edge of their awareness.

Their headlights sweep over a teenage boy with eyes that gleam like a cat’s standing by a bus stop halfway down Sherwood road. Spirit Sight reveals the (weak) scarlet core and veins of a vampire even as the kid turns and sprints towards the old grocery store. Belinda speeds up, swerving into the carpark after him.

Malevolent anticipation of violence grows in the car. Anthony starts building his Petal Fall aura. Belinda raises Mind’s Reach. Saul starts building his Shadow Cloak. Evan looks at the other three as if they’re wasting Essence, while he tries to decide which of his plethora of weapons to actually use.

The vampiric teenager is running toward a cluster of four or so vans and delivery trucks parked in front of the grocery store. An academic or office worker looking man with early balding is loading cartons into the back of one of the vans. Spirit Sight reveals him to be a ghoul, although the flush of vampiric power in his flesh is very weak.

Teenage vampire: “Pete! Pete! There’s people.”

The ghoul puts down the carton he was carrying and walks out from behind the van, raising his hand to wave and to shield his eyes from the glare of the SUV’s head lights. He’s carrying a heavy baseball bat slung over his shoulder with a jury rigged guitar strap.

“Hey there!” he calls softly. “Are you after some food?”

A different vampire emerges from the grocery store onto the walkway behind and above him. This one looks like a teenage girl, maybe eighteen or nineteen years old in appearance and dressed in punk clothes. She’s carrying a length of heavy pipe, and squints as if looking through the glare of the headlights and frowns at what she sees. There are torch lights bobbing around behind her within the grocery store itself.

“Who are you people?” she calls.

Inside the car Belinda prepares to floor it, while the other’s ready their weapons. But Evan sticks his head out the window.

“We’re friends of the Prince!” he yells,.

The girl’s face lights up: “Have you heard from him!?”

The character’s look at each other. Anthony leans out his window.

“No,” he says. “But we have spoken with Isobella recently.”

The girl (mouth twisting): “Well we’re not real high up or anything, so I’m sorry if I’ve done something wrong, but I’ve got over two hundred people safe back at Indro if Miss Scholar wants to tell me what we should do with them. If it’s food you’re after you can have some. There’s more here than we can take.”

Saul notes the licence plates and details of the vans. Over Mind’s Reach he asks: What are we doing?

Belinda: Want to help them?

Evan: Worth it to help them.

Anthony: We help them go back, then tell their two hundred about the army barracks and warn the vamps to hang with us…

Saul: Don’t think the vamps’ll want to abandon their herd though…

The girl stares at them, starting to look impatient:

“Yo! You want some or not?”

Anthony: Well should we kill them then?

Saul: Nah. Let’s warn them about the army.

Anthony puts down his gun and gets out of the car. The other’s follow suit, they walk forward to say hello and help carry stuff. The teenage girl vampire introduces herself as Ivy, and the teenage boy vampire as Zach, the older ghoul as Pete, and the others from inside the grocery store with names I haven’t made up. All the others are carrying makeshift bludgeoning weapons similar to Ivy, Zach, and Pete, bar one, who was carrying a shotgun and also a weak ghoul.

While they’re working Anthony tells Ivy: “I’ll give you a heads up. The army at Enoggra are taking in refugees, but they’re marching them all out during the day.” He doesn’t mention the character’s own survivor colony at Bardon.

Ivy stares at them several times while they’re working: “I don’t mean to be rude, but… youse are kin arn’t you?” They assure her they are.

After they mention they’re headed south she tells them that the Indooroopilly bridge is up, and the Centenary Highway bridge down. She warns them that the area south of the river is swarming with zombies, and increasingly with gangs of feral gangrel. She says gangrel like it’s an expletive, and then with a glance at Zach , “not that they’re all bad”.

The characters finish helping, taking the opportunity to load up their SUV too, especially with some alfoil for blocking out windows. Ivy invites them back to Indro so they pull out of the parking lot after the vans and follow the convoy south.

Indooroopilly Stronghold

In the valley between Toowong and Taringa the convoy pulls up. They idle, lights off, while a mob of fifty or sixty zombies stagger across the road ahead, flowing from the Toowong side toward St Lucia. In their SUV the characters follow suit, and the mob passes without incident.

The rest of the trip is uneventful. Soon enough they’re pulling onto the ramp up into the top level of the Indooroopilly shopping center’s multi story carpark. The lower levels have been fenced off or barricaded. All plate glass windows facing the outside have been reinforced with plyboard and timber. The head of the ramp is also barricaded. The people standing guard there (humans all) pull aside the middle section to allow the vehicles through. As they pass the characters spot one rifle leaning against a wall close to the guards, but mostly they seem armed with bludgeoning weapons.

The convoy backs up to the doors leading into the upper area that used to be a cinema. Turns out Ivy has converted the theatres into storage for dry goods. After the characters help her people unload Ivy and Zach take them downstairs. The food court is one massive communal space, teeming with survivors. In the main part of the shopping centre the shops to the side of each gallery have been divvied up with hanging blankets and canvas to make separate dwellings for families etc. This is repeated on the two levels below, creating the the overall impression of a massive, jury rigged fire hazard crawling with people.

It’s dark, and somewhat smelly. Ivy explains that after her group’s house was overrun (“St Lucia’s a write off”) they fled to the shopping center as it was the biggest, most most solid building in the area. They found people there already, and more kept turning up.

She shrugs: “You can’t just turn them away.”

She pretty much implys that she’s revealed the existance of vampires to at least some of the survivors, but has a difiant, “let them have done better in the situation we were in” type attitude.

While talking and touring Anthony has, moderately discretely, raised Spirit Sight (is he still rocking the hat?). Out of all the people he’s laid eyes on Ivy and Zack seem to be the only vampires,and he only spots five ghouls, most of whom were either on the scavenging expedition or standing guard outside. Spirit Sense is remarkably calm here inside the center, with no trace of werewolf or zombie, but perhaps a hint of another vamp somewhere within.

When asked how she came to be in charge Ivy shrugs and says she’s older than she looks and used to being in charge, (I actually had her claiming to have been turned in the 70s but that’s my error, she should have just claimed an extra decade not four).

The characters raise the possibility that the survivors may want to seek refuge with the army and Ivy seems amenable. She doesn’t seem to see the Indooroopilly survivors as her property, or as a resource for providing blood.

“People are people.” She shrugs, “they’ll do what they think best for them. It is pretty dark in here, and the sanitation bad. I can see why some will want to go.”

When asked what she’d do for sustenance if most of the survivors leave she laughs:

“We’re not like those high society types, used to having hundreds of blood dolls and big mansions. Been living the last ten years in a share house with just three or four friends for support. We know how to live cheap.”

This attitude jibes with what Saul has remembered from the info Quentin gave him about the vampires of the city. An Ivy Purcel, a weak brujah, was mentioned as leader of ‘the St Lucia rabble’. They seem to have been a group of anarchists turned as part of an earlier Sabbat attempt to invade the city, and given a chance by the Prince to swear allegiance to the Camarilla and live quietly.

She asks about the roads to the north and if the characters would help with transport. There’s some talk about where to get hold of trucks or buses. It seems that during the long night buses stopped coming to the station outside. Raiding the council depot at Toowong is suggested.

We end the session with Anthony intending to gather the survivors within the building and make a speech, outlining the chance to flee north to the army barracks, and saying that whoever is willing should be ready tomorrow night when he and his friends will arrive with trucks to get them there. We’ll do the actual speech making next session though

Thanks for reading :)

Next – Info dump: Wolves of Beerburrum



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