Sirens wail closer as the characters look at each other in the corpse strew silence of a geebung pub. They decide to escape in the same direction Saul went, over the back fence. Horrified pub goers crowd the retail strip across the street where Belinda’s four wheel drive is parked so the characters slope off the other way into the industrial shadows. Anthony uses some common sense to get people neatened up and looking somewhat tidyer (rather than bloody, heavily injured and bitten survivors of battle. Donald uses his street smarts to bring them out a suburb or two away, they get a taxi and go home to Bellinda’s place, bringing Evan with them.
Back home they dump their incriminating clothes in a big bucket of bleach and discuss burying them with the corpses in the back yard. Then they go to bed. and find themselves at the Tree.
It’s Evan’s first time at the tree in a merged and self aware state. Saul is also there and able to tell them he’s holed up behind some palettes in an industrial shed in geebung sleeping off his state of perfect introspection.
The awakened started with the intention to keep their reserve over twenty points so the Tree will grow faster, but once all was done they went down down a bit further than that.
Friday (22nd july)
Saul (back up to third level vampiric taint) spends the day hiding in an industrial shed, with a stack of palettes hiding him from workers on one side, and the shed’s thin tin wall sheltering him from the sunlight beating down on the other.
The other characters discover there is nothing about a pub massacre on the news. Anthony cautiously goes to pick up Belinda’s car, discovering that the pub is closed but the police have already gone and repairs are underway. The pub’s front window is smashed out and there is other damage he doesn’t remember any of them causing.
Belinda and Donald go to work as if nothing is wrong.
Donald gets messages from old friends looking to score off him this weekened, some mentioned that Hillary seems totally freaked out, insisiting he’s away on a trip. They ask if anything’s going on between them.
Belinda receives a package from a bicycle courier, perfectly timed as she’s coming out of the office tower to get lunch. The message contained is written on gilt edged vellum. It reads:
“Belinda [such and such] and company.
It would appear that you or your master has been lax with our time honored traditions.
If it is your pleasure to remedy this breach present yourselves to door [blah] at the ”/wikis/Performing%20Arts%20Center/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Performing Arts Center this Night at 9pm."
Friday Night – Getting Ready to Attend the Invitation
As soon as the sun sets, Saul tries to find and warn Stix that the gun stuff went bad and that Stix might be in danger from the Fat Man. But he can’t find his old mate at the first couple of places he looks.
Donald borrows Anthony’s gun.
Evan, despite being officially dead and having no wallet or drivers license, borrows Belinda’s car (the sedan) and drives to pick up Saul.
Donald asks Saul what hurts vampires, thinking (botch) that it’s silver. Saul replies, “fire I guess”.
Evan takes them to bunnings. There, using Belinda’s credit card, he purchases a chainsaw, a machete, an axe (a big one), and a bottle of kerosene. He decants some of the kero into plastic drinking bottles and makes sure he’s got his zippo lighter handy.
Donald toys with the idea of filling a knapsack sprayer with petrol and hiding it under a great coat. Like a (relatively) sane person he discards that idea.
Driving into the city they discuss what to say if this meeting will be with the rumored vampire rulers of the city. Donald brings up that Dave saw them as werewolves while the R-Zee’s saw them as vampires. Saul suggests they want to give away as little about their true nature as possible, and that they want to claim the R-Zee’s attacked them, stress that they were just defending themselves.
The awakened park on the street a few blocks toward the bridge from the performing arts center. Evan decides (or is persuaded) to leave the chainsaw in the car but tries the hide the full length machete down his pants and the plastic water bottles filled with kerosene in his pockets.
Walking over they notice the Performing Arts building is quiet and dark. There are suited guard’s on the perimeter which the humans walk past blindly. Saul activates spirit sight and notices the pulse of some kind of supernatural warding or look away effect on the building which doesn’t seem to target them.
The ring the bell of the door at back of building which they were told to attend.
Suited guards open the door, greeting them politely. Donald enters first, and the metal detector set into the door’s frame buzzes. The guard’s carefully explain that the arts center is an elysium, no weapons are allowed. He offers to hold onto anything Donald is carrying to give back when he leaves. Donald hands over the gun and submits to a frisking. Saul does the same with his gun, and the guards are quite professional, making no comment about his supernaturally green eyes, green pointed ears and veined skin. The guards have a bit of a grin with each other however when they see Evan’s machete and kero bottles. They take them too.
A foppish, well dressed man greets them, “this way please”. In him Saul sees the pulsing crimson core and spreading network of veins that indicates a vampire, probably one much stronger than the R-Zee fledglings. The gentleman leads them down through the building via service corridors and behind the scenes areas to the backstage of a small underground half round theater. He indicates that the characters should walk onto the semi circular stage. They do so, sensing much more powerful vampiric presences behind the blinding glare of the footlights.
On the Stage
“What the fuck is this shit?” Saul asks the room, squinting against the glare. An Irish voice laughs, “good to see you’ve got balls!”, and the lights dim. There are a few groups of people in the fifty seat seating area, each sitting fairly well away from the other.
In the middle, as if sitting on a throne is a big fair featured man with the irish accent, (a powerful vampire). Behind him, on his left is a lean but muscular man with dark eyes and dark curly hair, Saul’s spirit sight reveals the wolf in him. Also behind the Irishman, on his right, stands a tall slavic looking man (powerful vampire) with neatly combed hair, a nice suit and a very upright demeanor.
In the wing of seating to the character’s left a bald and ugly old chinese man (powerful vampire) gives them a hard stare. He has a statuesque red haired woman on one side (vampire, less powerful but still strong), and a statuesque black haired woman on the other (not a vampire, but flushed with diffuse vampiric power in the same way Erin had been).
To the right an aesthetic looking woman (powerful vampire) sits alone. Several rows behind her and to one side sits the Fat Man (human), who gives the smallest smile of recognition to Saul before returning to a blandly impassive expression. He has a laptop open in front of him.
The prince introduces:
Himself, “I’m Ruairc O Ruairc, The prince of this city. But you can call me Rourke, or even Rick if you have to”).
The werewolf behind him, “Caibre Tiobraide but he’ll answer to Tio", (the werewolf smirks).
The slavic looking vampire, “Mikael Verneti, my O’Baliff”.
The chinese vampire, “the esteemed Ehr Zhou”.
The ascetic looking vampire, “the lady Isobella Yasly, a scholar and my consultant.”
The prince leans forward giving them a hard stare. “Now where is your master? Why has he not come to face me for his transgressions?”
Evan pokes Donald to do the talking.
Donald: “We don’t have a master”.
The Prince, after exchanging a glance with Ehr Zhou: “Well what of your bloodline then? Who was your sire?”
Evan: “My… dad? What?”
The Prince: “Oh aye, Caitiff is it? So you’re babes in the woods?” “Well what I really want to know is – how the fook are you walking around during the day?”
The Prince, laughs: “I’ve tried that lad, it does not work.”
Saul: “we… don’t know… only recently discovered that we have… changed.”
The Prince calls Ehr Zhou and the scholar over to confer. Saul, (with his +2dice from active spirit sight) doesn’t hear much, but Donald (using auspex) catches from the scholar “thin bloods?” and from Zhou “aberrations!”
The scholar (Isobella) makes an offer to the prince to take the characters under her wing.
“to study” she says, and, “they’re already living in my territory.”
Zhou protests, “If she is granted such access then I should be too”.
“Are you sure you don’t just want to collect them?” the Prince asks Isobella,
and to Zhou, “Is it not the same for you?”
Zhou formally petitions to be given custody of the characters
Isobella argues against it, “… into his clutches and they’ll never come out.”
She appeals to the Fat Man but he holds up his hands, “Just here to represent Konstances’ interests”.
Finally the Prince slaps his hand on his knee, “Enough”, and to Zhou, “Bring her in then. Do it here if you must.”
Zhou nods to his red haired attendant, she goes away up their isle and out one of the theater’s doors.
Zhou’s red head comes back leading a shuffling human girl. To Saul’s spirit sight she looks human, but with something extra human about her that he recognizes as being the same as his own psychic talent (before it was changed by his death and merging with an aspect of the Tree).
The moment the human girl lays eyes on the awakened standing on stage her eyes roll back in her head. She collapses into a visionary fit at the head of the aisle.
“You will know them by the awakening!”
“Shine the Black Sun! Shine the Red Moon!”
“The Time of Thin Blood is upon us!”
“The Wild Ones have Come, those who eat Heart’s Blood!”
“The Elders will Rise!”
“Death will Flood the Streets!”
The Prince seemed to be considering, Mikael very serious, the werewolf alert, Zhou outraged, and the scholar not looking at the characters at all. She stared after the psychic being carried out Isobella’s white knuckled grip snapped the back off of a theater chair.
Argument over Fate
“Kill them,” Zhou urges the prince.. “Cut off their heads!”
Coming back to herself the scholar argues against, “I’ll take responsibility for them”, “stand in as their sire”, “even more important that we study them, to see if it has anything to do with what we guard against.”
The arguing continues. Saul sees that the werewolf is back to being amused, not seeming to care about the outcome of the squabble but instead is focused on the Prince in a similar way to that in which Zhou’s lady companions focus on him. The meticulously dressed Mikael however is almost grinding his teeth, while the Fat Man is eating a snack bar and looks faintly bored.
Evan pipes up to the Prince: “What if we were to offer our services directly to you?”
The Prince: “I’ve no great interest in keeping retainers, I’ve got my own things going on.” and “I’m also presuming you mean service in this modern sense don’t ya, contracts and such, you don’t mean proper old oaths of vassalage or swearing yourself direct.”
Saul, to the Prince: “What if we were to leave the city?”
The Prince: “Now you’re here I’d at the least want to keep my eye on you, at least for a little while. Whatever the outcome you’d stay at least a turn of the moon.”
Evan: “But we could offer our services directly. You could give us guns… There’s this guy called ”/characters/the-black-priest" class=“wiki-content-link”>the black priest and this gang. We could…"
The Prince: “Oh aye, but that’s not your job now, is it. There’s the matter of your transgressions against me, of the Blood you’ve spilled in my city. I’ll tell you now, those poor mislead waifs will get just as much a chance as you will. And if there’s killing to be done it’ll be my O’Bailiff, or Tio here who do the taking of heads.” Looking directly at them, "Its been a while since Tio’s had a decent hunt.
Tio grins wolfishly.
Evan: “What if I offered my service. Would you let the rest go if I offered myself, personally, to you?”
The Prince’s eyebrows go up, he gives the unstable tradie a long slow look over. “Well now lad. I’m not sure you’re understanding just how seriously I take the oaths you’re offerin. You swear yourself to my service like that and I’ll have you so far up my arse it’ll be a hundred years before you find your way out.”
Evan realizes the Prince is quite serious.
The Prince shares a smirk with his werewolf who’s now sniggering aloud, then: “But by all means if you want to be our bum boy be my guest. It won’t change your friends’ situation one iota.”
Then to all the awakened: “You’ve spilled blood on my territory. You’ve broken the traditions in my Domain. What’s it going to be? Will you be taking up Isobella’s generous offer? Or will Zhou get to see Tio take your heads right now in here?”
The character’s agree to the scholar’s oversight if it’s for a temporary time, with an eye to leaving the city afterwards.
The Prince agrees that they can see how it goes for “a moon, say four weeks”. He calls over to the Fat Man, “Is that being agreeable with your lads?”
Fat Man looks up from his laptop, “”/characters/konstances-ulir" class=“wiki-content-link”>Konstances is agreeable."
Zhou protests, but leaves in a huff.
The Fat man gets up and leaves in a different direction.
The Prince: “Well now I’ll leave you with Isobella. She’ll instruct you on the traditions and the ins and outs of high society. She’ll be responsible for you, which means its her word on which you live or die.”
The Prince goes on: “Best you be getting Mikael’s number. He’s my Bailiff, and you need to understand this. You do not kill those of the Blood. That’s my boys’ job. You hear anything about the dark priest, you ring Mikael. These gang waifs give you problems, you ring Mikael. You have any problems at all, you ring Mikael. You’re getting a chance because you didn’t know any better. We’ll be talking with yon ignorant waifs, they’ll be getting their chance too. You see any kindred, you be polite. Keep your hunting discreet. Oh and I wouldn’t be entering chinatown at all if I were you, or Zhou will have your head, my word or no.”
He leaves with a hearty wave and his arm over the shoulder of his wolfish boon companion.
The characters turn to Isobella, who seems distracted still glancing in the direction Zhou’s psychic was taken away. She tells them she will visit them at their home at 7pm the next night, that they must all be there, and not to kill anyone between here and there. They exchange phone numbers and she hurries out after Zhou’s group.
The characters see the foppish vampire who led them in standing on the stage waiting for them. He leads them back out the way they came in, through backstage passages etc. He introduces himself, “Glad to see you will be joining high society. I am William Negis, the Keeper of Elysium. Watches as ”/wikis/the%20guards/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>the guards politely (or at least in a friendly manner) hand back the guns, machete, bottles of kero, and Evan’s zippo lighter. Then Negis stresses, “If you ever need refuge you can come here. This building is safe haven. No vampire may attack on the grounds of Elysium on pain of the Prince’s wrath. You can call for justice from here.”
The characters leave and find their car (chainsaw still on the back seat). They drive home.
Friday – Midnight
At Belinda’s house the characters say goodnight to each other, then meet up at the Tree.
There is less absorption this night and more amelioration of instability combined with some judicious healing of injury.
Except for Evan who still has the full human instability from his traumatic merging plus vampiric instability from absorbing the R-Zee fledgling’s soul fragments – He assimilates essence to gain his first dot in innate powers, the power for heartwood aura to affect a damage soaking transformation.
Donald replies to his mates’ texts, saying he laying low. To the one who mentioned that Hillary is freaking out he says he’s pranking her.
A new Housemate
Saul goes out looking for Stix, eventually finding him drinking down the park. Talks to him about how shit went wrong with the guns and the Fat Man might not be happy. Gets the story out of Stix about how he came to have connections to organised crime, (working off old drug debts). Invites Stix back to live in Belinda’s house for a while. Stix agrees and they head back.
Evan is quite snide and hostile to Stix, “you stink”, “do you even know what a shower is,” etc. Then, in private, he insists that Stix would or should know how to find the dark priest, “homeless people have their ears to the ground,” ignoring Saul (who was homeless himself until a few weeks ago) explaining that Stix probably has no idea vampires even exist.
Donald is more accepting, “Oh did you pick up Stix?”
Donald goes a Visiting
On the way up he ducks into an orderly’s room, grabs a uniform and a bag of saline, before going past the nurses’ station into Erins room.
She’s asleep, torso and neck swathed in bandages and with a morphine drip in her arm. There are three other patients in the room with her. Donald stares for a bit, suprised it was so easy to get to her. If the morphine setup had been the click for more type she probably would have died then and there.
Her case notes are at the end of the bed. Reading reveals: She had two surgeries, and needed many stitches, but is recovering very quickly. She was given O negative blood as her type couldn’t be matched (type 5 abnormality). Her uncle is listed as her next of kin, (Christopher McArthy). There is a note in her prognosis sheet saying, “do not discharge”.
Two doctors of record are listed. Donald recognizes one as a fellow who worked at his hospital some time ago, an irritating man but a good practitioner.
He hesitates again about waking her, realizing that she might react badly to the sight of the man who slashed her down with a broken beer bottle, and worried about the response of the other patients, etc, who seem oblivious at the moment but probably wouldn’t remain that way if she started screaming.
Swapping Erin’s morphine drip for the bag of plain saline and hooking it into the bed Donald wheels her, bed and all, out to the nurses station. He waves the case notes at them, “scheduled for some scans”, gets a brief, complacent nod in response, and wheels Erin away, down to the lifts.
He takes her over to the infectious control ward, telling the nurses on station there, “patient to be isolated as a precautionary measure, due to abnormality in her blood results.” The nurse checks Erin’s record coming to the note about blood type just as phone rings. Tells Donald room six available as she turns away to answer.
Donald wheels Erin inside, hooks up her saline drip, locks door (since it is infection control) and walks back to the nurses’ station. “She’s to have a visitor later, could you ring down to the front desk so they know she’s here”. Gets a distracted response but as he walks away hears the nurse pick up phone to make the call.
Once well away Donald rings Evan, finds him eager to interrogate. Donald decides to hang around the hospital by fitting in among the work being done.
Evan goes a Visiting
Evan borrows one of Belinda’s cars again and (still without ID) drives down to the rbh. Goes to the front desk as directed by Donald to get logged in as a visitor for the infectious unit. But he botches his manipulation check, “I’m…. her brother!” Luckily, although suspicious, the nurse is distracted for a moment by someone walking by who she calls out to about some other matter. Evan slips away, blending into the crowd.
He rings Donald, “maaaaate that was a stupid idea, just tell me where to go”. Much frustration, (more botches), ensues as the (still quite unstable) tradie tries to navigate the mega-hospital’s streets and buildings. Finally he gets up to the right ward and talks his way in.
Alone withErin, who’s now been off morphine drip for about an hour, he wakes her up. “Hi there! How are you?”
She’s still dopey, and a suspicious street kid. “Who are you? I don’t talk to cops.” A rather long, and circular conversation develops between Evan and the confused gang leader, “Who are you?” “Are you a cop?”. Evan first claims that he was there that night, saw the pub fight and is worried about her. Then that his cousin is a friend of Rob’s. Then that his cousin is a runaway child who might have tried to join Rob’s gang, and that he’s worried and searching for her. All the time asking, what happened, what’s going on, who the dark priest is, etc, while appealing to common interest, “they burned down our pub,” which later becomes, “they burned down my pub!”.
In the process he gets (several times) the story about how she sought help from some “monsters” to try and get Rob free from the dark priest’s influence, only for the monsters to betray prove a worse threat, “I asked them to talk to him and they brought guns! They’re monsters. They shot ”/characters/rob" class=“wiki-content-link”>Rob!"
Evan assures Erin that Rob survived and is doing fine, that eveyone’s doing fine, and gets out of her (again, several times) the story of how the dark priest corrupted the gang by exploiting Rob’s interest in the occult, performing witches sabbaths for them, anti masses featuring addictive and empowering blood wine sacrament. How he turned Rob into a vampire, Rob turned his lieutenants, his lieutenants each turned their chosen, and those found they were too weak as vampires to turn others.
Evan focuses Erin on the dark priest even more. Insisting that the characters, the “monsters”, were in league with the dark priest, his minions sent against Rob, and claiming that Evan’s brother was a policeman trying to find and stop the priest.
Erin is even more confused by this, but still quite dopey. She tells him (several times), how the dark priest always came to them at their club house in the abandoned football ground at zillmere, and that she didn’t know where he goes. That Marie would relay the priest’s orders during the day, and how Erin was worried about the girls Marie took away for some unknown purpose from which they did not return.
Erin mentioned that the dark priest was very persuasive, “you’d do anything he told you while he was in the room with you,” and that she thought he might be doing the same thing to other gangs, possibly on the south side? She told Evan the dark priest’s aim was to take over the city. She didn’t recognize the names Isobella, Rouke, or Zhou when Evan put them to her.
And so, after many loops around the morphine merry-go-round Evan decided he’d gotten as much out of her as he could. He left the hospital, and Donald left too.
A Shiver of Power
Early afternoon. Saul in the house, Donald and Evan in the car feel distant power released, domain power like their own but different in trait. Can’t remember which character(s) sensed it most clearly but they were able to sense that the power was far away to the west (like out in the range) and that it tasted of molten stone and burning ash, a release several levels higher than the characters are currently able to achieve.
Evan decides to swing by bunnings again on the way home. He sets up a trade account in Belinda’s name and purchases: a roll of barbed wire, several bundles of wooden stakes, a steel door frame, and several metal brackets.
Evan spends the afternoon taking the house’s front door off its hinges and removing the frame so as to replace it with the metal one. Then reinforcing the door itself with metal braces, (somehow).
Saul eats an early meal with Stix, and settles him into a room downstairs to watch tv and drink so that he’ll be out of the road when Isobella comes around.
Saturday Evening – Their ‘Responsible Party’ Visits
Isobella turns up at 7pm sharp with two bottles of wine. She rings the doorbell and waits politely to be invited inside. Finding the Belinda’s wine glasses she pours for each of the characters. She cuts her wrist and drips some of her own blood into each glass before allowing the cut to heal. “First things first, to satisfy the worry warts the Prince commands that I place you under vinculum”.
She explains that blood bonding is similar to the way the R-Zee’s were bound to each other and to the dark priest by his sacrament rituals. Tells them that there are three levels of blood bond, and that the Prince has forbidden her taking theirs to the third.
After some hesitation the characters drink. Essence flows into the Tree, and they each feel a rush of affection and warmth toward Isobella, as well as the temptation of their malevolent souls to shrug this coercion off. Evan and Donald spend an essence to shrug it off, raising to release level one, (which Isobella seems to watch in fascination). Saul, Anthony, and Belinda allow the vinculum to remain, resisting the temptation to resist.
- Isobella outlines the 6 traditions of vampire Society:
- Do Not Expose the existance of the Blood (vampires).
- Obey the Prince (of the domain you are in).
- Do not Sire progeny without permission, (“but are you even capable of this I wonder?”).
- You are Responsible for your progeny, (their sins are yours but you can destroy them on a whim).
- Present yourself to the Prince on entering a city, (seek permision to pass through or stay).
- Do Not Kill others of the Blood, (seek justice from the Prince).
Isobella explains that if they break the traditions the Prince will hold her responsible. Donald asks if he’d punish her in their stead. She explains that yes, he’d kill her, if she were unwilling to kill the offender herself, (then she smiled).
She places a case on the table and opens it, revealing phlebotomy kit and sample bags, asks for hair and blood samples. Evan and Donald (not blood bound) refuse in horror. Anthony and Belinda politely demure (“not part of the deal made with the Prince”) using mundane will power to resist the urge of the blood bond to be helpful to her (rather than pulling power to break the bond completely). Saul gives her a hair sample.
Evan (presumably drunk on the blood wine) asks Isobella, “what can you do for me bitch? Can you help me reduce my vampiric instability?” Isobella, very interested: “Oh? What is that?” Evan starts to explain, but presumably remembering they were trying not to reveal their true natures, halts and becomes defensive and (slightly more) hostile in the face of Isobella’s oh so interested inquiries.
- Seemingly satisfied for now Isobella, after some half hearted attempts to bargain information on vamire teritories for more samples, gives them a sketchy rundown of the city:
- Ashgrove, Bardon, & Red Hill are her territory, (do not hunt).
- Ascot, Hamilton, Bulimba, & Hawthorne claimed personally by the Prince, (Can pass through, but do not hunt, do not linger).
- Valley & Sunnybank belong to the Letch (ie Ehr Zhou – he allows vampires into the Valley to patronize his blood brothels but not to hunt, she advises characters not to set foot anywhere in his territories for fear of their lives
- CBD, Southbank, Spring Hill, & Milton are all neutral territory, (may not claim or exclude, be polite, keep hunting discreet).
- Do not spill blood on Mount Cootha, (a treaty between Prince and the Lunatics).
- There are rabble out toward the airport and refineries
- There are rabble in among the students of St Lucia, (adivses against associating with them).
- The Gold Coast is a separate domain, must present to Prince Konstances at casino on entry, (warns that its a more lawless place, and the casino not a true elysium).
Donald asks if she means the R-Zee’s when she says rabble. Isobella says, “no, those are Sabbat scum”. Leads to an explanation of the Sabbat. She says they’re a loose organisation of misguided idealists and anarchists who are manipulated via religious ceremony and cult dynamics to do the bidding of the elders of certain bloodlines who wish to attack the rule of law and good order.
She mentions that the Prince is remarkably lenient in giving the remaining R-Zee fledgelings a chance to join “proper society”, but that that’s one of the features that makes him good to work with, and that if the R-Zee’s mess up they’ll be killed.
She takes her leave, making an appointment to see them again at 7pm tuesday night, “you must all be here”.
Midnight at the Tree
Stix, sleeping in the house, contributes essence to the Tree.
The awakened do more wound healing and amelioration, again except for Evan who gets his first domain dot power (spirit sight).
Evan finishes door, starts stringing coils of barbed wire along the top of Belinda’s back fence. She makes him take them down as its both illegal and guaranteed to make the neighbors complain. He spends the rest of the day digging the start of a deep trench along her side of the fence, (will require ongoing efforts), which he intends to line with sharpened stakes and turn into a pit trap.
Saul gets the number off Stix’s for his organised crime contact. Using a new name (Rudie?) he makes an appointment to meet the Fat Man, which requires some back and forward calls, and running downstairs to get Stix to verify him. With appointment set for 1pm tuesday Saul gets $1,000 cash from Belinda, and another $500 cash from Donald.
Anthony’s daughter calls, arranges to meet for coffee the next day, “thought we should catch up”.
Evan realizes that, although his declared dead status means he can’t get his ID reissued, or go into the bank, he can still try the login to his net banking service. He tries it and it works. He immediately siphons the daily limit ($5,000) from his account into Belinda’s to “pay her back”. He’s completely unworried about taking money from his own grieving widow and child, “fuck ’em”, convincing himself he must of hated his son anyway to have named him Blue. Decides he’s going to drain $5,000 every day until the account is empty.
Some judicious wound healing and more amelioration.
Saul can now go out during the day without the sun charring his flesh.
Even Evan drops some instability – starting on his vampiric instability, still leaving the huge whack of human instability gained during his death and awakening alone.
Belinda returns to work, spending one half of the day attending duties and underlings, and the other with her office door closed, searching for financial activity or other clues that might lead to her husband. Manages to make a little progress but nothing in the way of definitive leads.
Donald returns to work, normal day there.
Anthony has a pleasant coffee morning with his daughter who seems genuinely happy to see him, and somewhat oblivious to his rejuvenation, “that was good”, “I’m glad you’re so well now”, “we should catch up more often”, etc.
Evan goes around the neighborhood looking for work, (unsuccessfully). Digs more trenches. Drains another $5,000 from his wife’s account.
More amelioration, but the reserves are swelling and the Tree growing slightly faster.
Donald goes to work, attends anger management classes.
Belinda goes to work, progresses her investigation a little more.
Stix goes panhandling, after first borrowing $20 from Saul for the bus fare, (when he returned that night happy from a good day he actually managed to return Saul the stake).
Saul goes to the Pub
Fat Man affects surprise to see him, “using a different name?”, greets him heartily and asks what he can do for Saul.
Saul says the guns were good, but does the Fat Man have any of them shooters like you see in the movies? Fat Man says can’t do Uzis or assault rifles or things like that, “the laws you know, supply’s too restricted”, but suggests shotguns instead.
When Saul says they’d be too long and hard to aim the Fat man is, “nah – saw ’em off, load em with shot and blow shit apart!” Offers to sell at $200 a pop, especially if Saul and his friends were to visit the casino down the gold coast some time soon…
Saul nods happily, asks if there any special ammo for the supernatural folk. Fat man says there is, but it’s real expensive, $20 per bullet, sheds of the people who make it tend to burn down you know. He checks that Saul means the night time folk not the hairy folk and Saul agrees, “yeah the suckers”.
They shake hands on a deal for 5 shotguns, 12 nine mm special rounds, 2 boxes of ordinary nine mill rounds, and 3 boxes of shotgun shells. The Fat Man mentions that some of the shotguns might come already sawn off, and Saul agrees that’d be alright.
Fat Man says since the prince is aware of Saul and company now they can’t really risk meeting like this again. He’ll send a lad to deliver the goods on Friday.
Saul holds out for cash on delivery. They part on friendly terms.
Tuesday Night – Isobella’s Second Visit
The doorbell rings at 7pm. Once again, Isobella, with wine bottles in hand, politely waits to be invited inside. Donald: “We shoulda had a barbecue. We shoulda had a barbecue on the porch!”
Once again Isobella pours the wine and doctors it with her own blood, “for all the good it will do”. The characters drink. Evan and Donald resist again while Isobella watches intently. Belinda raises power to resist as well, and her malevolent soul wipes away the first level of blood bond as well as resisting the second. Anthony and Saul accept the second level of blood bond.
Evan is somewhat belligerent, “What can you do for me? Can you help me help me improve my celerity?”
Isobella’s eyebrows shoot up: “I thought you claimed you didn’t have a master?”
Evan: “We don’t.”
Isobella: “Then how have you trained in ”/wikis/celerity" class=“wiki-page-link”> Celerity?
Evan: “We got it when from those…” breaks off on noticing some of the rather urgent shushing motions the other awakened were making.
Isobella, looking at him intently: “Why isn’t your aura black?”
Isobella: “How did you learn Celerity?”
Evan: “I, I just learned of it. I don’t have it. I was asking for you to train me in it.”
Isobella: “Then how do you even know what celerity is?”
Evan: “I… am a Scholar!”
The awakened ask Isobella more questions about vampire society.
Saul asks how far the Prince’s dominion extends. She says up as far as the sunshine coast, and down as far as logan, but that an upstart had recently claimed the gold coast for himself and Rouke hasn’t challenged that claim.
Isobella describes the gold coast as a haven for outcasts and rogues, saying it has links with the Giovanni. When Donald asks who the Giovanni are she says they’re a young bloodline, a clan who chase mercantile profit, “not good ”/wikis/Camarilla/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Camarilla".
Leads to what the Camarilla is. Isobella describes it as the bastion of well ordered society, source of the traditions, and of official recognition of the claims of princes to dominion, giving a way for conflicting princes to arbitrate.
When asked if places like ipswitch and regional towns have princes and vampires she shakes her head with a sneer saying they’re too small to be significant for High Society.
Asked if there is a ruler at state or federal level shakes her head no, princes are as high as it goes. She says Sydney is held by a strong camarilla prince, and that adelaide is camarilla as well, but admits that melbourne and perth are dominated by the sabbat. Mentions that Rourke and his baliff were sent from europe fifty years ago by the camarilla council to hold brisbane. That even though Zhou had been in the area much longer he’d shown no interest in being Prince.
Asked where all the other vampires were she is dismissive, saying she doesn’t believe in keeping childer around, that Rourke also kept a small, very tight knit household. She said Zhou had perhaps a dozen vampires in his collection, all weaker than himself, along with assorted ghouls, blooddolls, thralls, etc. She handwaved the others as rabble or very minor powers and such.
Asked what bloodline Zhou is of she says Nosferatu – an old but unfortunately ugly line of descent.
Asked what bloodline Mikael is of she says Ventrue – a very old line obsessed with stability and political power, “very good Camarilla”.
She brought out her collection kit again, asking if anyone willing to donate. Donald, Evan, and Belinda (all free of the blood bond) refuse. Anthony of the massive willpower resists the bond’s (now much stronger) impulse to help and serve and refuses, again without breaking the actual bond. Saul donates both blood and hair samples.
Isobella departs, making another appointment for 7pm the next tuesday night.
The Tree at Midnight
Saul and Anthony each draw on the power of the Tree and break the vinculum’s hold on them.
That’s where we end this monster session – thanks for reading :)
The Tree is at Level One. It has grown 18 out of 20 points needed to achieve next level. It has 11 raw essence, and 8 essence worth of soul fragments in its reserve.
Thanks for reading :)