Campaign of the Month: May 2013

The Dark Queen of the West

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green


Persons of Interest: Westin Snopes, James Spence, Marie Brey

After waking for the night, Westin secrets the coin into a locked antique box inside a locked case in his Gallery, activating the alarm system to make sure it’s as safe as possible. He also spends a half hour meditating in his Gallery before departing. (Composure 4 & Wits 2 & Meditation Room:Gallery 3)

{Meditation – Westin : Composure & Wits ( & Meditation Room:Gallery). Pool of 7}

//Meditation was Exceptionally Successful! & 1 to Westin’s next roll to avoid Degeneration!

Soon after sunset, Westin arrives outside of a coffeeshop inside The Loop, barely escaping the affectations of his driver, Chad Nesbit, who had happily offered to drop his boss off, not once complaining that it was a Sunday. Westin steps inside and is greeted by a flood of warmth, as one often experiences when coming off of a freezing street into a small building packed with living beings. Glancing around, he notes James and Marie sitting together, both in servicable clothing. For James, his is a leather jacket over a t-shirt and jeans.

Marie is sitting, sipping at a esoteric smelling tea that seems quite soothing. James, on the other hand, has opted for a coffee that looks so complicated the barista had to make it twice to get it correct.

Marie notices Westin at the coffeeshop’s entrance, sets down the tea cup, and waves. She turns to James, “It looks like it’s time to work out the details of curing Joe’s wayward flock. I do hope that they’ll be reasonable.”

“Indeed, I feel like I’m a little under-informed about this whole situation,” He brings his voice low so the approaching Westin can’t hear, “But, it’ll be worth it to get our hands on that coin. I can’t wait to see the look on the guys’ faces.”

Marie matches his low tone, “I know we’re supposed to trust Joe, but what if he’s just using us to determine the coin’s value? Namely because he knows what we are?”

“It’s very possible that’s what he’s doing, and I can’t say that I blame him. I want to know more about it too. But once we get into whatever we’re doing, we can’t afford to distrust each other. I don’t think Joe’s… associates will be very friendly. He has the coin and we have information, so there’s no reason for any of us to betray the group yet. We need each other.”

James turns to Westin, “Welcome, good to see you again. I would’ve ordered you a drink, but I can barely keep track of what I drink.”

After Westin joins us at the table

Keeping his voice low, James will get straight to business, “So Westin… what exactly are we doing?”

Westin walks in wearing comfortable jeans, an old button-up, a worn leather jacket, and an old brown fedora. Quickly spotting James and Marie, he walks over and takes a seat.

“That’s all right, James, I probably wouldn’t be able to stomach anything they sell here. Given my dietary restrictions, and all.” He coughs uncomfortably into his sleeve as a waitress passes. “As for what we’re doing – that’s a good question. Joe wasn’t any more specific with me than he was with you, but it sounds like some of my fellow Carthians have been talking about Fight Club, if you get my drift. Well, either that, or they’re leaving a trail of…you know…a mile wide.” He shrugs. “Joe gave us an address – I’d vote for scoping it out and figuring out what’s going on before we make any moves. Before we do that, though, I think it might be a good idea to get a general idea of each other’s…capabilities. Don’t you?”

Marie takes a sip of tea for a moment to think and nods, “Alright. I’ll get the ball rolling. My abilities focus on Fate, Time, and Prime. As of right now, that means I can shield myself from harm, bend a social moment to work in my favor, sense the odds of a given situation, and unweave existing spells.”

“Well, lets see… I’m not the greatest at it yet, but my skills lie with the physical nature of the universe. My skill’s categories are called – so I’m told – Forces, Prime, Space, and Mind. I can manipulate light and energy, I can See the energies of the universe, I can get a sense of my surroundings, and I dabble in manipulating the mind. I am also fairly adept at improvising with my magic.” James pauses for a breath, “What about you Westin? We showed you ours, and I’m curious just which stories about vampires are accurate.”

“Manipulation of light could come in quite handy if things go south…” Westin nods thoughtfully. “Well, I can call upon extra reserves of strength and agility in need, and recover from any injury within minutes so long as I am well-fed. You already know from experience that I can manipulate the emotions of others to my own benefit.” He frowns. “We’ll need to be extremely careful with this bunch, though. I’ve known even young vampires who can grow knife-like claws, kick down steel doors, or bend the minds of others with a word. Oh, and I don’t know if either of you is packing, but bullets don’t make much difference without vital organs to pierce. Your best bet against one of the Kindred is some kind of blade – an ax, a knife, or a sword if you can get one. But the only things any of us really fear are fire and sunlight.”

“I don’t know how much is legitimate and how much is hollywood, but are there any devices or gadgets, like a UV flashlight or something, that actually exist? Or is it more of a mystical connection to the sun, rather than a physiological one, that makes it burn?” James smiles at Westin apologetically, “Sorry if it’s offensive to be compared to Blade. Also, where do you get a sword at 8 o’clock at night?”

Westin chuckles. “No, that’s quite all right. Blade’s famous. Honestly, it never occurred to me to try and find out. I’ve never experienced any discomfort around fluorescents, but maybe I just haven’t had a big enough dose. Given the nature of my existence, though, I’d guess it’s mystical. Might have to experiment with that one of these days.” He shrugs and smiles. “We could swing by my condo – I’m afraid I didn’t think to bring it. I’d rather things not get violent, you know?”

Marie leans in. “Westin, how would you suggest we go about convincing the young ones? I’m assuming they’ll respond better to strength than logic, but since James and I aren’t supernatural body builders, what might make them listen to us?”

“Well, it’s hard to say without knowing more about what they’re doing. If they’re…overeating, I guess…force may be our only option. But you mentioned that you had some talent for manipulating social moments, and I do as well – we may be able to convince them that further misbehavior will bring down the wrath of their elders.” Westin thinks for a moment. “Does one of you have a lighter? James, if you could make that light trick you pulled with your cell phone work on flame, I guarantee we can put the fear of God into them if they get hostile. Just, uh…warn me before you try it.”

“I think that we should hope for non-violence, but I think that with you twos’ persuasive skills, and a little bit of showing off, we can convince them that we’re not worth fighting if it came to that. Unfortunately, the most I can do with my skill is control a flame, but not change its intensity.” James fishes around in his pocket and pull out a zippo. “This won’t do to much, unless I use it to light the building on fire.” James half-heartedly laughs.

“Let’s not rule that option out just yet.” Westin regards James with complete seriousness. “Anyway, I think you’re right. Peace for our time, and all that. Just in case, though, I came prepared to cover our exit.” Westin opens his jacket surreptitiously to reveal a sizable dagger awkwardly stuffed partway into his inside jacket pocket – from end to end it’s just over a foot long. “That ought to help me buy us some time if we need to run.” He leads the group outside to his waiting car. Chad is annoyed that he has to bike home, but takes it in good humor.


Fifteen minutes later, the Licoln finishes circling the Green looking for a decently safe parking spot. As they begin stepping down North Segwick, they begin to feel like they’re being watched. Approaching the 900 block, the feeling only intensifies. As they approach Building 911 from across the street, they see that the structure seems extremely run down, even by the standards of this neighborhood. There are a good number of homeless persons that seem to have bedded down for the night in huddled masses around the stoop leading up to the apartments. A man in a long trenchcoat stands by the doorway, a cigarette held loosely in his mouth. In the red glow cast from the burning embers, his skin seems extremely pale.

{Observation – Westin : Wits & Streetwise ( & Firearms). Pool of 4} {Observation – Marie : Wits & Streetwise . Pool of 2} {Observation – James : Wits & Streetwise . Pool of 4}

In the flickering streetlight, Westin spots what might possibly be the gleam of a shotgun barrel, appearing several inches shorter than the legal length for a carried weapon of that type.

As the smoker lifts the cigarette from his lips to hack something loose from his lungs, James spots what appears to be a long sheathed knife on the man’s thigh.

Marie, on the other hand, studies the way the man carries himself, and notices that from his posture, there seems to be a bulge in the hip pocket of his trenchcoat with a wooden pistol grip barely visible.

James picks up the pace slightly to get in the lead, passing the building they are looking for and crosses the street, heading into the alley next to the building. Keeping his voice down, “Looks like the guard out front is pretty ready for a confrontation. I thought we’d either look for a side entrance, or at least see what we could find out about the place with our… extra senses.” He looks at Westin, “Can you tell if he’s… more than human, just by seeing him like that?”

Westin follows James’ lead, with Marie in tow.

“He’s not one of mine, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m pretty sure that was a sawed off shotgun under his coat, though, so the back door sounds good to me.” Westin looks around. “Or maybe a fire escape? Anyway, if you two want to do the Second Sight bit, I’ll watch your backs.”

As he begins scanning the alleyway for trouble, Westin spots a nearby fire-escape with a missing security door. The metal looks serviceable enough, showing a few oval-shaped dings of bright metal against the otherwise black and rusted metal. From around the corner, he hears booted steps crunching against the light snowdrift that has collected around the base of the building. They seem to be headed for this alley.

{Unveiling Resonance – James: Intelligence & Occult: Apartment Building. Pool of 6}

Almost unwittingly, James’ eyes begin to well with power, taking on a soft blue glow. As he gazes on the apartment building, the framework of it begins to shift and mutate, it’s exterior walls almost falling away to show the heart of the structure. The heartbeat of the building is slow and sickly, pulsing erratically at times – the pulsing of the buildings off in the distance on the Gold Coast, on the other hand, are strong and regular. As the building fails to pulse with the vibrancy of life, so does it pulse weakly with heat energy and electricity. All of the heat, what little of it there is, seems to be congregated on the lower floors, while James watches the electricity course to a single apartment on the upper floor.

As James’ vision turns upwards, the building seems to be rotting away from the apartment consuming all of the electricity. The bricks have turned black, crumbling, and seem to be spreading their sickness throughout the building, bleeding the life and color from them. The cold permeates this area strongly, stinging James’ eyes as he looks on it. The walls around the apartment pulse weakly, but the apartment itself seems devoid of all life and essence.

As quickly as it had come to him, his vision snaps back to normal, leaving him blinking, staring at the intact apartment structure in the cold dim light of a nearby streetlamp.

James shakes his head, dropping his voice into a whisper, “I think I know where we need to go, but sounds like the guy is coming the way. Can one of you glamor or charm him or something, and convince him to go away? I could maybe do something to handle him, but I don’t think it would be very… subtle.”

Westin nods. He walks to the entrance of the alley, attempting to time his arrival to square off against whoever comes around the corner. Augmenting it with his Willpower, he radiates Awe.

{Awe – Westin: Presence & Expression & Majesty ( & Willpower): Incoming Guard. Pool of 8}

Seeing Westin about to intercept the guard, Marie casts Momentary Flux to see the result of the interaction and possibly warn Westin and James.

{Momentary Flux – Marie: Wits & Investigation & Time: Incoming Guard. Pool of 5}

Marie’s eyes take on a glossy white sheen, almost as though her irises simply melted away into her eyes, and James notices a buildup of energy around her, feeling a slight tingling around his watch. She steps forward into the future, tracing the line of fate that Westin had chosen by walking towards the corner of the alley. There are a number of flashing, confusing images, but one image stays with her: an image of Westin slumped against the wall with a handle protruding from his chest.

As her irises flood with color, Marie cries out to Westin, causing him to pause momentarily, looking back at her with dark and smoky eyes straight out of a 1940’s romance film.

His look is interrupted by a blur as something wheels out from around the alleyway corner, almost too fast to see. There’s a flash of metal that slams into the brick of the building right where Westin would have been if he had not stopped at Marie’s cry. Attached to the knife is the guard from the front of the building, the whites of his eyes now visible and stained with red. He seems suprised and taken aback that Westin was not impaled on his dagger, and then makes the mistake of meeting Westin’s gaze.

The hand holding the cracked dagger slowly lowers to his side as the man begins to stammer an apology without managing to get any words out.

Assuming an air of wounded pride, Westin says, “Come now, have you nothing to say for yourself? Attacking strangers in an alley!” His gaze never leaves the man’s eyes. “That’s quite a fine knife you have…can I see it?” He extends his hand.

The doorman stares at his feet, holding the knife out, handle first, to Westin. It’s seems to be an overcompensating knife, large and sporting some wicked looking serrations. “Thought you were casing the joint… wanted to get a drop on you… protect them.”

{Revelation – Westin : Manipulation & Persuasion & Majesty : Doorman. Pool of 7}

The man’s eyes take on a slightly red, glossy tint, and he sways in place, before his mouth begins moving of it’s own accord. “My employers, the four of them, have been living here for a year now. They’ve been bringing in the destitute and poor to help bring them off the street. They attract a lot of vagrants, and they seem to be doing pretty well, because they don’t seem to come back after the first visit.” He pauses for breath. “There’s this one girl, she’s pretty stacked, and fit, if you know what I mean. She’s the one who pays the bills, as well.”

He gives the impression that the four of them are currently up in the apartment, and that there is unopposed entry through the front door and up the fire escape. That said, his eyes begin to regain some of their color and he backs slowly out of the alley, disappearing into the Chicago winter.

Westin pockets the knife and watches as the man leaves, then turns back to the others. He slumps a bit in sheer relief.

“Thanks for the warning, Marie. I think you saved me some serious pain.” He grins at James. “Sometimes. I sure hope so.”

“I vote for the front door, but both ways have their merits. I just prefer to confront problems head on.”

“Sounds good to me. If we sneak in, and get caught, obviously we aren’t supposed to be there. But if we go in through the front…” James strokes his chin for dramatic effect. “If we go in the front, they might just believe that we’re not worth messing with.”

“I agree. They’re vampires, so they’ll know at least some of us are there no matter what,” Marie looks around at the others. “You know. Humans.”

“Let’s kick it down, then.” Westin says. “No point standing around; I wouldn’t want you two to catch a chill.”

James shivers, “Sounds good to me.” Hes start heading towards the front and slow down, “Oh right.” James proceeds to fill the others in on the readings he got with his Supernal Vision. “Almost forgot about that part, um, Westin, why don’t you lead the way?”

Westin nods, takes a deep breath, and checks to make sure he can pull his dagger at a moment’s notice before leading the way across the street and toward the entrance. If unopposed, he will march right on in through the front door.

As they step through the unguarded doorway, they find themselves stepping over a sprawled bum just inside the doorway. The air seems colder inside the building than out, but the man seems to be so outside his own mind that he doesn’t notice, not even shivering as you step over him. The air only gets colder as James, Marie and Westin ascend the stairs. They find themselves confronted with a savagely warm light coming from an open apartment, with the sounds of a TV blaring through, clashing harshly with the metal rock station on the stereo. It is barely possible to hear the TV advertising a series of upcoming music events. Westin takes a quick peek inside and sees one of the vampires lounging on the couch. A further two are carving something up in the small kitchenette. He notes a shadow flickering from one of the further interior doorways.

{Control – Westin : Composure & Resolve. Pool of 8. You feel the tension wash over you, your combative urges seeming to decrease.}

Westin feels his Hunger growl at the sight of the other vampires but he manages to wrestle it into submission. They seem to be relatively unaware of the group’s presence.

James puts a hand on Westin’s shoulder, “Looks like this is the place, if you’ll just give me a moment…” James shuts his eyes and begins to eminate warmth, a bit of steam rising from his body in the chill air. Suddenly, there is an inaudible snap in the air and the heat dissapears as rapidly as it came. His eyes open with a faint blue glow, in which one could almost make out the reflection of a blueprint. James can ’see’ the four aforementioned vampires marked in various locations, and he notes a further oddity in the bedroom – something that seems to be a large sarcophagus.

{Unseen Shield – James : Gnosis & Forces. Pool of 5. You feel somewhat distant from the world. & 2 Armor.}

{Spatial Map – James : Space & Int & Science. Pool of 7. A transparent overlay of the current floor and the one below slides over your vision, which is slightly disorienting.}

James turn to Marie, “You might want to armor up as well.” Making air quotes while saying “armor”.

“Will do,” she responds. Marie will cast Fortune’s Protection before walking in.

{Fortune’s Protection – Marie : Composure & Athletics & Fate. Pool of 9. Marie suddenly does not have a bad feeling about this…}

{Control Sound – James : Gnosis & Forces & Willpower. Pool of 5 & 3.}

Once everyone is ready to enter the room, James begins whispering under his breath while seeming to turn invisible dials in mid-air. His voice seems to mimic that of the television, and as it’s volume decreases, so does the volume of the TV. The radio squawks as it flickers briefly to a 50’s noir detective theme song before dimming as well. On that cue, the three enter the apartment.

The Vampire’s reaction is mixed – The one watching TV proceeds to curse, get onto his feet and begin hitting the set – one of the ones in the kitchen stiffens up, glances back at Westin, eyes fully black, lets out an unholy shreik and leaps through the kitchen window into the alley outside, sending a cold chill spiralling through the apartment, accompanied by a small swirl of snowflakes. Three sets of eyes lock onto the people who just walked into the apartment.

“So here’s a joke,” Westin says, with a condescendingly indulgent smile usually reserved for impertinent students. “A Carthian and his two favorite Mages get jumped by a ghoul in an alleyway while working under orders from the Prefect himself. Isn’t that hilarious?” He meets the eyes of the three other Kindred in the room, attempting to assess their responses to the invasion of their haven, and to his statement.

{Judge Reaction – Westin : Manipulation & Empathy. Pool of 3.}

He gets the feeling that the first Vampire’s bristles with anger, perhaps aided by the fact that his fist slowly clenches, ripping the front frame of the television as it closes.

The second Vampire seems to be genuinely laughing, as though the joke were somehow humorous to her.

The third seems calm, at least at the surface, but her eyes widen a bit, betraying an inner fear.

“He’s right you know… not a very nice way to greet a couple of folks here on business.” James tries to take an easy stance, hiding the fact that he’s nervous as hell.

The second one steps forward her voice smooth like honey, but wavering. “It’s not very nice to barge into someone’s home unannounced. Glass houses and all, lets put that behind us? What business do you have here?”

The first man growls. “Who cares. Lets make them regret coming in here.”

“No need to get unpleasant, we don’t want to be here any more than you want us here… Not to mention it hardly counts as barging in when the door is wide open,” James attempts an easy smile while spreading his hands. “My friend here does speak the truth.” James looks towards the window that the fourth tenant left through, “As your friend apparently knew. We just have a message for you.”

Not wanting to provoke the irate vampire any further, Marie chooses to try and fast-talk their way out of a fight rather than using magic.

{Fast Talk – Marie : Manipulation & Empathy: Feared Vampire. Pool of 5.}

Her focus narrows on the Vampire who seems to be rather afraid and begins to speak to her about her experiences growing up, spending time with the tree-huggers and sharing genuinely fascinating details with the other woman, distracting her from the rest of the goings on in the room.

The woman who seems to be in control of the small group throws a sly smirk at James. “What’s your message? That your darling Prefect doesn’t like how we’re doing things? Oh, he wouldn’t. He’s stuck in the past. No, the new order will change how we are perceived in the natural order of things. Rohet is seeing to that already.” She throws a glowering look at Westin. “It’s not too late to come join us, dearie. Collins is not long for this world.”

Unruffled, Westin draws his dagger, thinking that while it’s not the best way to avoid a fight, it is the best way to survive one. Then he waits to see the effect of James’ and Marie’s words. He feels the intense stare of the male vampire boring into him, and can sense the tension as the Beast begins to brace itself.

“The Nose-weasel offers you promises,” Westin says. “Promises from the depths of the Undercity, whatever those are worth. Let me make you a counter offer: toe the line, and you will be forgiven; continue as you are, and you will meet then sun as violators of the Masquerade. That’s a promise you can take to the bank.” With his voice he attempts to convey that he is not threatening them, but trying to protect them.

{Convincing Argument – Westin : Manipulation & Persuasion: Vampires (x3). Pool of 4.}

The man allows a feral smile to spread across his face, baring his fangs. The women seem to be a bit less sure of their former position, the feared one more-so.

He meets the gaze of the third vampire, the silent one, and strikes with Entrancement. “Do you have nothing to say? Surely you can see the folly of defiance here.”

{Entrancement – Westin : Manipulation & Empathy & Majesty: Feared Vampire. Pool of 6.}

The third girl takes one look at Westin and almost swoons. “H-he… makes a good point… Rohet can’t protect us against all of the other families… Nor can he protect us from the sun… maybe the Masquerade is for the best after all? We cannot be eternally vigilant, not during the day, and during the day they will hunt us, if we are feared…” She takes a few cautious, wobbly steps towards Westin. “I think we should listen to him..”

The male vampire shrieks out, “MARCIA! You bastard!” He lunges forward at Westin, swinging the shard of metal from the TV frame wildly.

{Attack – Male Vampire : Strength & Brawl: Westin. Vs. Defense (3).}

The Westin steps outside of the Vampire’s wild swing, catching only the most glancing of blows off his jacket. The Vampire wheels, roaring in anger, facing Westin, leaving James at his side.

The second woman continues to laugh jovially at Westin. “You think your rhetoric is flawless, don’t you? Your precious little Prefect has no power here!”

James throws down the magical gauntlet. “Hey, I said we just wanted to talk…”

{Influence Electricity – James : Forces & Gnosis Willpower (x2): Hostile Vampires (2). Pool of 5.}

Notes: James Spends 2 Mana to Reduce the Paradox. Paradox Score: 2 (Gnosis), adjusted to 1 chance die

{Paradox Roll – James: 1 chance die: Result: 0 Paradox}

James extends his hand out to the broken television, his hand shimmering blue. There’s a large buildup of noise, a high pitched whine that grows with intensity over a few seconds, followed by a loud flash. One of the capacitors in the television explodes, sending two arcs of electricity arcing out to strike the two antagonistic vampires. Their eyes glow blue for a brief second as you hear their skin begin to sizzle. The television flies backwards, smashing into the wall, and the lights resume their original brightness.

The leading Vampire lets out a gasping yelp, seeming quite shocked at James’ impertinence. ‘Robert, see to it that these two are dealt with!’

The male Vampire staggers, then hisses and leaps at James, swinging with his fists.

{Attack – Male Vampire : Strength & Brawl: James. Vs. Defense (3 & 2).}

The Vampire swings out with his left hand, his open palm causing James to dart to his right, stepping directly into the path of the Vampire’s supernaturally fast right hook, catching him right in the gut. 1 Point of Bashing Damage – James

“Oof… Sonofa…” James grits his teeth while preparing to go toe to toe with a vampire. James attempts to step back out of the reach of the vamp who struck him, shielding himself with his arms while he casts another spell.

“Your friends have turned against you,” Westin says to his newly Entranced servant. “You’d best stop them before they get hurt.” He squares off with Robert, the enraged male Vampire. “As for you, back off my humans!” He lunges forward in a classic fencing maneuver, sacrificing his defenses to strike a deadly blow.

{Assault – Westin : Strength ( & 2) & Weaponry ( & 4) & Dagger ( & 1) & All Out Attack ( & 2) & Vitae Strength ( & 2) & Willpower ( & 3): Robert. Pool of 14 (Lethal Damage).}

{Notes: Westin expends 1 Vitae and 1 Willpower, and loses his Defense until his next turn.}

Westin launches himself at Robert, dagger extended fully, his Beast adding additional momentum to his leap. Westin crashes into the enranged Vampire with his full weight, bull rushing him backwards towards one of the apartment windows. As Westin’s knife tears a hole in Robert’s heart, Robert tears a hole in the glass window, and again through the security bars of the apartment window, wrenching the metal with a horrified shriek. He is thrown through the window with such force that his back strikes the fire escape railing with a sickening crack, denting it and sending him flipping over the side, spiralling arterial blood as he falls to the alleyway below.

With the Beast raging in Westin’s ears, he feels a sudden wave of weariness and exhaustion come over him, forcing him to lean against the shattered window, where he can see Robert’s broken and shattered body on the crisp snow below, blood slowly corrupting the ice crystals in the dim illumination of the broken streetlamps. The Beast howls with glee.

“You utter bastard!” The woman cries out, producing a small holdout revolver from somewhere and pointing it at the back of Westin’s head. Westin’s Entranced servant leaps forward, grabbing her arm and causing the gun to go off, burying a bullet in the bricks next to Westin’s head, sending a wave of deafening pain to everyone in the apartment.

While summoning his inner strength, James yells to Marie, “If you happen to have a little extra luck to throw around, it wouldn’t hurt!”

“I’m on it!” Marie shouts to James, barely able to hear his request for aid, focussing on casting an improvised luck spell on him while staying out of the line of fire. (Improvised “Bestow Exceptional Luck” (Bestows 9-again for a scene )

{Bestow Exceptional Luck – Marie : Fate ( & 3) & Gnosis ( & 1): Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 4.}

James notes that Marie eminates a flash of warmth, almost like a glow, before returning his attention to the gun pointed in the direction of his friend. This seems like a pretty terrible idea, he thinks to himself.

{Kinetic Blow – James : Forces ( & 2) & Gnosis ( & 3) & Willpower ( & 3): Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 8.} Converts Bashing damage to Lethal damage.

Notes: James Spends 1 Mana to Reduce the Paradox. Paradox Score: 2 (Gnosis), adjusted to 1 die*

{Paradox Roll – James: 1 die : Result: 1 Paradox}

James feels the energy build up for the spell as he has every time before, this time swirling and concentrating around his right knuckles. However, unlike before, before the spell begins to settle, he feels it start spiraling out of control, looking to leap at a different target. He reaches out subconciously with his very essence and lashes the power to his wrist, feeling as though Robert slugged him again. 1 Point of Resistant Bashing Damage – James

{Tussle – James : Strength ( & 2) & Brawl ( – 1) & Willpower ( & 3) : Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 4 (Lethal Damage).}

James attempts to tussle with the vampire, stepping forward as she struggles with her former underling. His memory tugs at him, bringing him brief flashes of some of the great boxing fights, some of which he’s never seen, but remembers vividly. Drawing inspiration from Ali versus Foreman, James jukes left underneath the barrel of the snubnose revolver, throwing a quick jab with his left hand into her gut, causing her to double over slightly before bringing his right hand, simmering with bound magical energy, in a fierce uppercut, releasing the spell in a lash of kinetic energy on contact with her chin.

He feels a number of bones groan and crack – her jaw, and his hand hurts like he punched a brick wall, but the woman arcs upwards, revolver tumbling through the air like Robert did seconds earlier, until they both strike the ground with disparate thumps.

James looks in disbelief at the vampire he just knocked off her feet. Clutching his hand and breathing hard as the adrenaline from the assault starts to wear off, he looks over to Westin, “Holy crap!”

Westin blinks in surprise. “Thanks, James – that’s a heck of an uppercut you’ve got!”

He then looks down at the Vampiric crew’s leader warily. “Are you ready to go quietly?” He asks her. “Or do you want to join Robert in the long sleep?”

{Intimidate – Westin : Manipulation ( & 2) & Intimidation ( – 1) & Circumstance Bonus ( & ?): Ex-Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 1 & ?}

The woman begins to shake, water welling in her eyes even as the skin around her jaw begins to purple and swell. She spits a sharp tooth onto the floor – one of her fangs. Her speech comes out slurred, as she is apparently speaking through a broken jaw: “Vewwy weww… I ssubmiit. Wwe underesstimated you, and you have beaten uss.”

She remains passive, curled up on the floor of the floor, whimpering.

Still panting just a little, James looks to the others, “Well, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

“I’m going to have to use that spell more often,” Marie mutters, stepping forward and looking around the room. She notes a that while the snow swirls into the apartment, it seems to pile in front of the open door leading to the bedroom.

James attempts a weak smile. “Now what Westin?”

She nods at James’ question to Westin “Right. Do we just leave them here?”

Feeling the sudden burden of leadership, Westin doffs his hat and runs a hand through his ruffled hair. He think for a few seconds, and then reaches a decision – he pulls out his phone and dials Joseph Collins.

Westin apprises Joe of the situation, and then puts him on speakerphone.

“Well done, Westin. I would appreciate if you would make like a good Shepherd and ensure my sheep do not stray again. If you feel they may stray, it might be that they encountered a Wolf instead of a Shepherd.” There is a a low gutteral sound from the other end of the line, followed by an abrupt hang up from his end.

“Well, I guess that clears that up.” Westin says. “I suppose you two ought to search for any leads to Rohet with this one’s help. Right?” He gestures to the entranced Vampire, who smiles happily at the attention. She sidles over to James and Marie, happily indicating that she’d gladly assist them in tearing apart the residence if necessary.

Westin then kneels down next to the crew leader and gently takes her hand. “Now you need to convince us that you won’t stray – I wouldn’t want to have to tell Joe that I was less than thorough here.”

{Revelation – Westin : Manipulation ( & 2) & Persuasion ( & 2) & Majesty ( & 3): Ex-Gun-toting Vampire (vs. Composure & Blood Potency). Pool of 7}

The woman smiles at Westin, her lips curling upwards. “You know that I won’t stray. I just watched you and your pets murder my partner and enthrall his companion, after running off our doorman. Not even Rohet could protect me against you. We were unaware that Collins had such… formidable resources under his control.”

Coming off the adrenaline high and realizing for the first time what’s actually just happened, James finds it all a little overwhelming. “Hey, um… I think she gets the picture, she’ll be good from now on I’m sure.” James looks at her, moving a little woodenly, “Won’t you?” James begins to nervously fidget as he realizes that he really doesn’t want to be there any more.

“You two. Uh huh. How long is she going to be…helpful if you’re not around?” Marie crosses her arms and walks over the window. “And with one left, we need to be sure they’re all on the same page.”

Westin watches the Vampire’s eyes as she speaks, trying to decide if she is lying.

{Revelation – Westin : Manipulation ( & 2) & Empathy ( & 1) & Lies ( & 1): Ex-Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 4}

Her eyes, as dark as they are, glimmer with amusement – Westin gets the distinct impression that she feels like she’s toying with him. Thinking back, her words seem to be laced with sarcasm. As he thinks, he faintly detects a slight increase in the color around her jaw, the skin taking on a bit more of a pink hue.

Seeing James’ attitude shift really brings the situation home to Westin as well. He looks down at the broken jaw of the Vampire, and at the blood on his knife, and suddenly his shoulders sag as a wave of emotional exhaustion sweeps over him. He stands and turns to face Marie.

“Sorry. I’m just…a little too used to this kind of thing. And to taking charge. Feel free to overrule me.” He sighs and looks around for something to wipe his knife off on. “I wouldn’t worry about that one, though,” he says, waving to the Entranced Vampire.

Marie looks from Westin to the vampire leader and puts her hands up in assent, “You do what you have to. I can wait. I’m just saying that it would be nice to have you around in case the other’s entrancement wears off in the middle of the search. I’m allowed to be a little paranoid after this whole mess.”

“Fair enough. She’ll be mine for at least a little while longer. Still, if would make you more comfortable…” At last he finds a dishrag and begins to clean his knife. Then he addresses the Entranced Vampire.

“Go and get Robert, or whatever his name is, out of the snow. Put him somewhere the sun won’t find him.”

“Gladly!” The girl dashes out of the room, clomping down the stairs barefoot. A few minutes later, a sound of scraping metal can be heard from in the alleyway. Taking a peep outside, there is a bloody path through the snow that eventually gets lighter before it disappears from sight.

“Hey Westin, can we talk for a minute?” James gestures over to the kitchen.

As he walks over, he begins muttering under his breath, before slowly turning to the last remaining vampire and pressing his finger to his lips before breathing out in a whisper. There’s a brief glow of the air that comes out of James’ lips.

{Control Sound – James : Gnosis ( & 3) & Forces ( & 2): Ex-Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 5}

The air around the Vampire seems to thicken, and the snow swirling through the room travels through it much more slowly.

Keeping his voice low, just in case, James leans in to Westin, “What now? Can that Robert be dead? I don’t know how actual vampires react to knives. If not, then did we accomplish anything other than pissing these guys off? And if so, don’t we still have the same problem?” James thinks for a moment, “And who was the one that ran off?”

Westins nods and joins James.

Westin smiles grimly. “It’s hard to actually kill a Vampire, but he’ll sleep for a few weeks at least. I’m starting to think that we mostly just pissed them off.” He points down at the crew leader, watching them from the floor with amusement. “She’s just waiting for a chance to kill us or run. And the one that rabbited is probably on its way to Rohet this very minute. And I think Joe wants us to…” He looks down at the knife, and then back at James. “You may end up wanting to step outside while I finish this. It could get messy.”

James considers a moment before nodding, “Nah, I’ve got your back. I don’t have the stomach to do the deed, but we don’t need to let another one of them get away. They’ll be after all of us.” He pauses for a moment, before gesturing to the leader.

Westin grimaces. “I wish I had less stomach for it.” He looks over at Marie, where she stands by the window. “Any suggestions, Marie? Any strategems?” He speaks in earnest, hoping for a way to avoid bloodshed.

Marie walks from the window to Westin and James. “I do have one idea, though it may be a bit far fetched,” she begins in a whisper. “Before their leader heals up entirely, give her the option to provide directions to Rohet. If she agrees, the entranced one can verify her directions are accurate. If we find Rohet, then she’s branded a traitor to him and is forced to take Joe’s protection anyway. Win-win.”

“That’s better than my plan,” Westin says. He presents the wounded vampire with her choice: give up Rohet’s location and plans, or burn like paper.

After Westin steps in and begins laying out his plan, James and Marie see a list of what appear to be screen-names on the refrigerator, all under the header of ‘Hunter-Net’. Nine of the names are scratched through, but the tenth is yet unmarked – ‘musicman64’.

Westin finishes his explanation, and notes that the woman’s jaw has almost completely healed. She weighs her options briefly, before nodding. “Very well – you drive a hard bargain, Carthian. I have no desire to burn. The last I met Rohet was in a small sub-basement accessed on an alley off of West Chicago Ave, by the Tribune. Do what you will, but don’t let me burn. There’s some money in the bedroom if that’s what you’re into.”

“I guess we’ll have to see how true your story is, first, won’t we?” Westin says, brandishing his dagger with the casual ease of an expert fencer. “So you’d better hope that your entranced companion returns soon – otherwise, you’ll be all out of lifelines.”

She smiles – although it seems a bit uneasily, truth be told. Tense minutes go by and Westin’s new companion comes tromping through the door, tracking snow everywhere before wiping her bare feet on the carpet. Her blouse is stained red with fresh blood, including the tips of her long hair which easily pass her shoulders. “Well, that’s done and taken care of. I’ve stuck him somewhere the sun won’t shine.” She smiles coyly. Listening to Westin’s explanation and inquiries, she sits on the back of the couch, tapping her lip with a fingernail.

“I’m pretty sure that’s right. I remember there being a late-night foodtruck outside the Tribune, and the driver was quite delicious – you know, like food that is really bad for you? Definitely that kind of good.” Her eyes almost glaze over, allowing Westin to see her Beast staring out at him. “Don’t know if she’s blood-bound, though. Hard to say. I think she just likes working for him because it’s anarchistic. Same reason she steals things.” She shrugs.

Westin gapes at the blood covered vampire. “Hold on, back up a second,” he says. “What exactly did you do with Robert?”

She looks at Westin, cocking her head to the side. “I dumped his body in the Sewer – the manhole was a bit stuck, but I levered it off and down he went. The sun won’t find him down there, trust me.” She laughs.

“I don’t know much about this Rohet character, but he sounds like the type that wouldn’t be happy to have one of his goons come and tell him that she told the enemy where is, is he?” James pauses to go over that sentence in his head. “Yeah, that was right,” he mutters to himself. Looking back to Westin, “Is that about right?”

Marie’s jaw drops. “I hope vampires don’t have to breathe… Um, I have a question,” Marie points at the refrigerator. “Is that a hit list?”

Marcia looks into the kitchen. “Yeah, that’s about right. Almost complete. Just one more to go, if I remember it correctly.” The collapsed vampire hisses, but she continues. “Yeah – we got that from Rohet at his safehouse. Some of them were a bit tricky, but we’re doing good works. Necessary to the cause.”

“If you tell us everything you know about the people on that list and why Rohet wants them dead, it would help us all greatly,” Marie states. “And where we can find musicman64.”

Marcia looks quizzically at Marie. “If I knew where to find Musicman, his name would be scratched off that list as well. All I know is they were troublemakers, and Rohet wanted them dead. We happily obliged him.”

“Hunternet…I wonder how many of the rumors about them are true.” Addressing Marie, he says, “They’re monster hunters. According to the stories I’ve heard, some of them have…powers of their own.” Then he turns back to the Crew leader.

“So, what else has Rohet had you up to? I’d start coughing up answers before your friend makes you unnecessary.”

{Inquisition – Westin : Manipulation ( & 2) & Intimidation ( – 1) & Situation Bonus ( & ?): Ex-Gun-toting Vampire. Pool of 1}

The woman on the floor begins flexing her hand, opening and closing one finger at a time. “Oh, you know – odds and ends. A few errands here and there. Nothing terribly important.”

Marcia speaks up. “What do you mean? What about all of the arti-” Marcia suddenly falls silent, her eyes glassed over.

Westin’s eyes take on a hard, hungry aspect. “What artifacts?” When he steps closer to the crew leader this time, he’s not brandishing the knife casually – his hand grips it with a clearly deadly intent. “You’ve got one chance to explain yourself. Then I stab someone for the second time today. And I’ll leave you for the sun to find – bet on that.”

The leader begins laughing, her eyes twinkling with delight. “Oh, they’re little things, bits and bobs that Generations have discovered over the years. Some we pass along to Rohet, others get stored in a warehouse…” She smiles, sickly sweet, her voice taking on a honeyed aspect. “Some we break – ” she cracks her knuckles for the aural emphasis, ” – just so people don’t go and discover detrimental things about our history.” She shrugs. “Marcia doesn’t know where the drop locations are, sweet little thing. At least, she doesn’t anymore.” Another coy smile. “But I bet you’d love to find out, wouldn’t you, darling. A whole lifetime’s worth of research. All in Rohet’s care. Don’t you think you’re playing for the wrong side?”

While Marie and Westin are grilling the Vampires about HunterNet, James stalks off to poke around some more in the apartment.

{Investigation – James : {Wits( & 2) & Investigation( – 3): Apartment. Pool of 1 Chance Die}

He wanders into the bedroom and stops immediately. He notes an ancient sarcophagus located in the center of the room, surrounded by a number of smaller wooden coffins. The lid on the sarcophagus is closed, and it appears to be covered in worn hieroglyphics.


“Uh, guys?” James calls from the next room. “Please tell me that vampires sleep in coffins, and that’s what I’m looking at in here.”

Ignoring James for the moment, Westin looks at the taunting crew leader, considering what she has told him.

“You,” he says after a few moments, “Have misjudged me.” With that, he focuses his will and attempts to bind her to him with Entrancement.

{Entrancement – Westin : {Manipulation( & 2) & Persuasion( & 2) & Majesty( & 3) & Willpower ( & 3): Crew leader. Pool of 10 Dice}

Her look of defiance wavers slightly, and Westin can feel a pressure building up, fighting him off. Suddenly, her defiance melts away and the pressure dies off. “Apparently so… It’s been a while since I’ve felt someone so… strong.”

Marie turns to the leader now that Westin has her under control. “Now then…we need the artifact warehouse location and the drop points.” She glances at Westin, “This sounds like quite an undertaking for an isolated group. It’s got to be worth looking into at some point after we find Rohet, which reminds me…the vampire that escaped is still on his way to him.”

The woman with the no-longer-broken jaw smiles at Marie. “Sorry darling, but I don’t know the location of the warehouse – I just make drop offs down in the sewer nearby. I’m not the curator – no. Just a little old errand girl.” She smiles sweetly.

Remembering James, Marie calls, “You found a coffin?” and goes to search for the room he’s in.

“Over here Ma— Andromeda!” James calls Marie over to the room with the coffins. “What do you make of this?” He gestures to the Sarcophagus, “Do you think we should be worried?”

James brings his voice to a hushed whisper, “I don’t know what the plan is here, but I have the feeling that these Vampires are the type to hold a grudge. What are we going to do with them, once we get the information we’re after?”

In the midst of James silence, the three smartphones chirp out a pleasant tone in unison, indicating the arrival of a new text message.

“You two stay right here, and play nice.” Westin says to the other Vampires. Then he turns to follow Marie into the other room.

“Andromeda? Since when is your name Andromeda?” He looks down at his phone just as he steps into the doorway. “And why does Ghengis Khan have my cell number? Did you guys just get…” He looks up and sees the sarcophagus. His eyes go wide. He shoves the phone back into his coat pocket and, forgetting all else, begins examining the sarcophagus.

{Investigation – Westin : {Intelligence ( & 1) & Academics ( & 2) & Anthropology ( & 1) : Sarcophagus. Pool of 4 Dice}

Westin pours his attention over the Sarcophagus. His hands hover almost imperceptibly over the surface, soaking in every detail. It seems extremely worn, and made rough by improper handling. At best, Westin places it as Egyptian, though any writings on it are too faded to be read. The lid shows signs of repeated openings.

“Since I remembered that we have our ‘mage’ names.” James makes air quotes as he says ‘mage’. “I’m Hermes, nice to meet…” He extends his hand before he realizes that the gesture is futile, having lost Westin to the Sarcophagus. “I’m just going to step back in the main room to keep an eye on our new… friends. Let me know id you need a hand.” James steps out of the room with the coffins to be able to see the two vampires, and what Westin is doing.

“Ghengis Khan…” Marie mutters, opening her phone. “Oh, he’s a friend Westin.” Marie will text back, ‘Specifics? -Andromeda,’ then put it away as she realizes that Westin is analyzing the sarcophagus. “What do you think? Could someone be in there?”

“Hard to say, but it’s definitely been opened recently, and probably more than once.” Westin says, never taking his eyes off the maltreated artifact. He then glances around the room at the other coffins, checking to see if any of them show signs of historical value. “Let’s bring our new friends in here and see what they can tell us.”

As the enthralled Vampires are tromped into the room, Marie’s phone lights up. ”? I sent this to Hermes. Are you with him? I found a practitioner. I’ll bring him by the apartment later, unless you have a better idea. – Ghengis.”

Marie texts back, “Your text went to everyone here with a phone-A.”

As Westin poses his questions to the girls, it becomes clear that only the leader knows anything about the sarcophagus. “Yeah – we picked that one up in a truck hijacking. It was destined for the Field Museum or something.” This strikes Westin as odd, as he hadn’t noticed any Egyptian artifacts destined to arrive at the Museum for some time. “Haven’t opened it – Rohet told us not to. He was very explicit, and you don’t disobey Rohet. It’s Egyptian or something. Old. We were going to drop it off tomorrow night. That was when we were told to move it. It’s really heavy, too.”

She looks around the room. “But that’s the only thing of value in here – there’s a thousand dollars in that coffin.” She indicates with a long finger. “But that’s it. We just sleep in here, nothing more.” She shrugs.

“Maybe you haven’t opened it, but someone has…” Westin says, turning back to the sarcophagus again. He examines the lid more closely, attempting to gauge when it was last opened, and how it was forced.

{Investigation – Westin : {Intelligence ( & 1) & Academics ( & 2) & Anthropology ( & 1) : Sarcophagus. Pool of 4 Dice}

Westin pours over the Sarcophagus, examining the wear. As far as he can tell, it seems to have been opened recently, but he doesn’t notice any pry marks on the outside – just scuffing, as though the lid had been slid off to one side.

“Well Westin? What do you say we call Joe up and have him send some muscle over to pick this up? Then it’s up to you what to do with…” James nods at the two enthralled vampires. “After that, I think we’re about done here?”

“You’re probably right, more trouble could be on the way.” Westin says to James. He furrows his brow, thinking furiously, addresses the crew leader again. “But how the heck did you get this thing up here? It must weight a solid ton!”

The crew leader shrugs. “It’s amazing what a few well motivated and well fed vampires can do. Supplement that with a few ghouls you don’t mind trampling, and some wretches, you can get just about anything done.”

Westin grimaces. Turning back to James and Marie, he says, “I don’t suppose either of you knows a way to make stone lighter? I’d really like to get this back to my Gallery for examination if it’s possible.”

“I know that isn’t one of my skills, doesn’t seem like Andy’s style either.” James thinks for a moment, “But you DO work in a museum, just convince Joe that it’s better to take it there for safe-keeping.”

“Sorry Westin. James is right.” Marie shrugs helplessly.

Westin sighs. “All right then. Fair point – I just hope it doesn’t go anywhere in the meantime.” He snaps a picture of the sarcophagus on his phone and texts it to Joe with the message, ‘Found something Rohet wants. I’d like to take it home with me for study, but it weighs a literal ton. Please help?’

“Ja-Hermes, Andromeda, I know you want to see this through, but I’d like to settle things up with our friends here privately. Would you two mind stepping downstairs and making sure the coast is clear?”

Westin’s phone lights up. ‘Twenty minutes. Transport has been arranged. You owe me. – J’

“Done.” James waits for Marie and heads out into the hall.

Marie nods and follows James.

Westin is left alone in the apartment with the two lady vampires, the radio playing softly in the background. Marcia runs a long finger across the top of it, licking her lips. “I wonder what’s inside…”

Once the mages are gone, Westin will usher the Entranced Vampires out of the bedroom and away from the artifact. As they leave, he puts his hand on the shoulder of the first vampire he Entranced and whispers in her ear, nodding toward the crew leader as he does.

“She’s jealous of you,” he whispers. “I think she plans to kill you. Get her first.”

{Composure – Marcia}

Marcia looks coolly at her crew leader and Westin can see both her Rage and her Beast struggling to burst through the surface, playing havoc with her complexion – her face takes on a wicked and dark aspect. Her eyes betray years of subjugation and abuse at the hand of her crew leader, and Westin can feel a tension in the air, and the tension releases as something snaps. Suddenly, Marcia is across the room, hands locked around the other’s throat. There’s an almost bestial, albeit choked, roar through her tears, and the struggle takes the both of them through the couch in a splintering of wood.

The crew leader gets the upper hand, rolling Marcia around onto her back where she beigns to rain powerful blows about her head. A near miss shatters the flooring beside her head as her Beast begins to take over.

Westin steps up around the destroyed couch after the two have been at it for some time and the intensity has died down somewhat – hair has been torn out and strips of flesh laid bare – the smell of old blood filling the air. He takes one look at the crew leader’s torn clothing before driving down his dagger with all his might.

{Staking – Westin : Strength ( & 2) & Weaponry ( & 4) & Dagger ( & 1) & Location Damage – Heart ( & – 3): Crew Leader. Pool of 4 (Lethal Damage).}

The dagger strikes home, blood spurting out of her back with a small sigh, and she collapses to the side, her body prone and unmoving, color draining from her face as Westin notes she slides into Torpor.

Below Westin, Marcia looks up at him meekly, her Vitae clearly spent, her once attractive skull now all but caved in. As Westin bends down, she manages a broken smile as her features begin to freeze in place, her fangs either cracked or missing – “You saved me…”

{Coup De Grace– Westin : Strength ( & 2) & Weaponry ( & 4) & Dagger ( & 1) : Crew Leader. Pool of 7 (Lethal Damage).}

Her eyes go dark as Westin’s blade opens up her stomach, locking her body into a state of Torpor as well.

Minutes later and down some stairs, James and Marie see a flatbed truck packed with men in jump suits – they’re brawny looking, and are taking little precaution against the cold. The truck screeches to a halt in front of the apartment, skidding a bit on a patch of ice. James and Marie watch as the crew begins unloading a forklift from the truck, as well as passing out sledgehammers to one another.

Marie’s phone lights up, and though she hates taking it out in the cold, she notes it’s from Ghengis as well. “That’s…odd. Is he getting these as well?”

“Hermes, didn’t they get here a little fast, or am I being paranoid?” She takes a step back to turn inside the building. “Maybe we should ask Westin if this is how it works.”

Both James and Marie note that there comes a sound from the alleyway similar to an alleycat being chased by a large dog, but the sound abates quickly.

Westin vaguely is aware of the sound of footsteps in the hallway and a clanging from the alleyway outside before a large quantity of bricks flies into the apartment. He glances up, seeing a sizable hole in the wall and an even more sizable man standing beyond with a sledgehammer in his hand. The look on his face is cold and immobile.

“What? Who the hell are you?” Throttling his bloodlust, Westin nervously fingers his dripping dagger. He keeps his eyes on the stranger, ready to leap into action.

The man looks like he is ready to speak before smiling and closing his mouth as the remainder of the brick wall begins to crumble away, revealing several other men dressed similarly, dismantling the exterior apartment wall with sledgehammers. Westin feels a light tapping on his shoulder – when he wheels with his dagger at the ready, it stops abruptly with a clink on a metal clipboard. It is being held by a thin, reedy looking man in a suit, wearing dark wraparound sunglasses. “Ah Westin… I am going to need you to sign on the bottom here, indicating that you have requested this retrieval. It contracts your debt officially, et cetera, etcetera… I won’t bore you with the details.” A quick flash of a smile and a flourish of a pen and an ancient looking contract is presented to Westin. “Do try not to murder our retrieval team like you did these poor girls, mm? Good help is so hard to find.”

From behind the reedy man, a group of men storm into the room with battery powered reciprocating and drywall saws and begin attacking the walls of the apartment violently. Westin can vaguely hear the sounds of a forklift moving in the alley.

Were Westin capable of feeling the physical effects of being startled, his heart would be in this throat. Instead, he just feels that same emptiness he always feels when he notices an emotion missing. Grimacing, he signs the form.

“I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced,” he says. “Although you seem to know me.”

The same quick smile, followed by an insistent tapping of the pen against the clipboard. “I am Joe’s… accountant. I make sure all of his affairs are in order. You may know me as Seveat Ochillo – I have been around for a while, and have protected our dear Mister Collins more times than he is aware. And if you serve him well, I may extend my protection to you.” Tap. Tap. “But now, we have business to attend to, no? The men already have your address.”

The Sarcophagus ends up getting carted out into the night, with Marie, Westin and James splitting up to end the night – promising to meet the next night, after Marie and James meet with their cabal.

End of Scene

Comments

Marie notices Westin at the coffeeshop’s entrance, sets down the tea cup, and waves. She turns to James, “It looks like it’s time to work out the details of curing Joe’s wayward flock. I do hope that they’ll be reasonable."

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Indeed, I feel like I’m a little under-informed about this whole situation,” He’l bring his voice low so the approaching Westin can’t hear, “But, it’ll be worth it to get our hands on that coin. I can’t wait to see the look on the guys’ faces.” James will turn to the approaching Westin, “Welcome, good to see you again. I would’ve ordered you a drink, but I can barely keep track of what I drink.”

After Westin joins us at the table

Keeping his voice low, James will get straight to business, “So Westin… what exactly are we doing?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

(Before Westin gets to the table)
Marie matches his low tone, “I know we’re supposed to trust Joe, but what if he’s just using us to determine the coin’s value? Namely because he knows what we are?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Before Westin arrives

“It’s very possible that’s what he’s doing, and I can’t say that I blame him. I want to know more about it too. But once we get into whatever we’re doing, we can’t afford to distrust each other. I don’t think Joe’s… associates will be very friendly. He has the coin and we have information, so there’s no reason for any of us to betray the group yet. We need each other.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Before arriving, Westin will hide the coin in a locked antique box inside a locked case in his Gallery, and activate the alarm system to make sure it’s as safe as possible. He’ll also spend a half hour meditating in his Gallery before departing. (Composure 4 + Wits 2 + Meditation Room:Gallery 3)

Westin walks in wearing comfortable jeans, an old button-up, a worn leather jacket, and an old brown fedora. Quickly spotting James and Marie, he walks over and takes a seat.

“That’s all right, James, I probably wouldn’t be able to stomach anything they sell here. Given my dietary restrictions, and all.” He coughs uncomfortably into his sleeve as a waitress passes. “As for what we’re doing – that’s a good question. Joe wasn’t any more specific with me than he was with you, but it sounds like some of my fellow Carthians have been talking about Fight Club, if you get my drift. Well, either that, or they’re leaving a trail of…you know…a mile wide.” He shrugs. “Joe gave us an address – I’d vote for scoping it out and figuring out what’s going on before we make any moves. Before we do that, though, I think it might be a good idea to get a general idea of each other’s…capabilities. Don’t you?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Meditation was Exceptionally Successful! +1 to my next roll to avoid Degeneration!

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Marie takes a sip of tea for a moment to think and nods, “Alright. I’ll get the ball rolling. My abilities focus on Fate, Time, and Prime. As of right now, that means I can shield myself from harm, bend a social moment to work in my favor, sense the odds of a given situation, and unweave existing spells.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Well, lets see… I’m not the greatest at it yet, but my skills lie with the physical nature of the universe. My skill’s categories are called – so I’m told – Forces, Prime, Space, and Mind. I can manipulate light and energy, I can See the energies of the universe, I can get a sense of my surroundings, and I dabble in manipulating the mind. I am also fairly adept at improvising with my magic.” James will pause for a breath, “What about you Westin? We showed you ours, and I’m curious just which stories about vampires are accurate.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Manipulation of light could come in quite handy if things go south…” Westin nods thoughtfully. “Well, I can call upon extra reserves of strength and agility in need, and recover from any injury within minutes so long as I am well-fed. You already know from experience that I can manipulate the emotions of others to my own benefit.” He frowns. “We’ll need to be extremely careful with this bunch, though. I’ve known even young vampires who can grow knife-like claws, kick down steel doors, or bend the minds of others with a word. Oh, and I don’t know if either of you is packing, but bullets don’t make much difference without vital organs to pierce. Your best bet against one of the Kindred is some kind of blade – an ax, a knife, or a sword if you can get one. But the only things any of us really fear are fire and sunlight.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I don’t know how much is legitimate and how much is hollywood, but are there any devices or gadgets, like a UV flashlight or something, that actually exist? Or is it more of a mystical connection to the sun, rather than a physiological one, that makes it burn?” James will smile at Westin apologetically, “Sorry if it’s offensive to be compared to Blade. Also, where do you get a sword at 8 o’clock at night?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin chuckles. “No, that’s quite all right. Blade’s famous. Honestly, it never occurred to me to try and find out. I’ve never experienced any discomfort around fluorescents, but maybe I just haven’t had a big enough dose. Given the nature of my existence, though, I’d guess it’s mystical. Might have to experiment with that one of these days.” He shrugs and smiles. “We could swing by my condo – I’m afraid I didn’t think to bring it. I’d rather things not get violent, you know?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Ready to roll out. Westin will volunteer the use of the Lincoln – he’ll send Chad home on his bike, of course. Plan: Scope out the area, looking for evidence of vampire activity and try to figure out what trouble the local crew is causing.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Westin, how would you suggest we go about convincing the young ones? I’m assuming they’ll respond better to strength than logic, but since James and I aren’t supernatural body builders, what might make them listen to us?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Well, it’s hard to say without knowing more about what they’re doing. If they’re…overeating, I guess…force may be our only option. But you mentioned that you had some talent for manipulating social moments, and I do as well – we may be able to convince them that further misbehavior will bring down the wrath of their elders.” Westin thinks for a moment. “Does one of you have a lighter? James, if you could make that light trick you pulled with your cell phone work on flame, I guarantee we can put the fear of God into them if they get hostile. Just, uh…warn me before you try it.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Just got back from Minnesota last night, so i’m back on schedule. Post is forthcoming.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I think that we should hope for non-violence, but I think that with you twos’ persuasive skills, and a little bit of showing off, we can convince them that we’re not worth fighting if it came to that. Unfortunately, the most I can do with my skill is control a flame, but not change its intensity.” James will fish around in his pocket and pull out a zippo. “This won’t do to much, unless I use it to light the building on fire.” James will half-heartedly laugh.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Let’s not rule that option out just yet.” Westin regards James with complete seriousness. “Anyway, I think you’re right. Peace for our time, and all that. Just in case, though, I came prepared to cover our exit.” Westin opens his jacket surreptitiously to reveal a sizable dagger awkwardly stuffed partway into his inside jacket pocket – from end to end it’s just over a foot long. “That ought to help me buy us some time if we need to run.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//James is ready to go do… whatever it is they’re going to do.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will pick up the pace slightly to get in the lead, pass the building they are looking for and cross the street, headed into the alley next to the building. Keeping his voice down, “Looks like the guard out front is pretty ready for a confrontation. I thought we’d either look for a side entrance, or at least see what we could find out about the place with our… extra senses.” He’ll look at Westin, “Can you tell if he’s… more than human, just by seeing him like that?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin follows James’ lead.

“He’s not one of mine, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m pretty sure that was a sawed off shotgun under his coat, though, so the back door sounds good to me.” Westin looks around. “Or maybe a fire escape? Anyway, if you two want to do the Second Sight bit, I’ll watch your backs.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will shake his head, and say in a whisper, “I think I know where we need to go, but sounds like the guy is coming the way. Can one of you glamor or charm him or something, and convince him to go away? I could maybe do something to handle him, but I don’t think it would be very… subtle.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin nods. He walks to the entrance of the alley, attempting to time his arrival to square off against whoever comes around the corner. Augmenting it with his Willpower, he radiates Awe (and hopes to avoid having James or Marie in the area of effect).

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Seeing Westin about to intercept the guard, Marie casts Momentary Flux to see the result of the interaction and possibly warn Westin and James.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Marie will turn to James and whisper, “I can’t believe that worked!”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Assuming an air of wounded pride, Westin says, “Come now, have you nothing to say for yourself? Attacking strangers in an alley!” His gaze never leaves the man’s eyes. “That’s quite a fine knife you have…can I see it?” He extends his hand.

//Contingency plans:

  • If the man remains peaceful, Westin will attempt to use Revelation to learn what the Vampires have been doing, how many they are, what powers they possess, and how best to enter the building.
  • If the man does all that is asked, Westin will try to get him to leave peacefully.
  • If the man seems unwilling to help, or becomes hostile, Westin will try Entrancement before resorting to his dagger.
  • Otherwise, Westin will do whatever James and Marie think is best.
December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will openly gawk at Westin during this whole exchange, “Well, that sure beats my little light show. Does that work on Vampires as well? It could come in handy inside…” He’ll look back to the front of the building, “Well I suppose it’s now or never, do we sneak in? Or should we try the bravado approach, now that there is no one in the way?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin pockets the knife and watches as the man leaves, then turns back to the others. He slumps a bit in sheer relief.

“Thanks for the warning, Marie. I think you saved me some serious pain.” He grins at James. “Sometimes. I sure hope so.”

“I vote for the front door, but both ways have their merits. I just prefer to confront problems head on.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Sounds good to me. If we sneak in, and get caught, obviously we aren’t supposed to be there. But if we go in through the front…” James will stroke his chin for dramatic effect. “If we go in the front, they might just believe that we’re not worth messing with.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I agree. They’re vampires, so they’ll know at least some of us are there no matter what,” Marie looks around at the others. “You know. Humans.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Let’s kick it down, then.” Westin says. “No point standing around; I wouldn’t want you two to catch a chill.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will shiver, “Sounds good to me.” He’ll start heading towards the front and slow down, “Oh right.” (James will fill the others in on the readings he got with his Supernal Vision). “Almost forgot about that part, um, Westin, why don’t you lead the way?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin nods, takes a deep breath, and checks to make sure he can pull his dagger at a moment’s notice before leading the way across the street and toward the entrance. If unopposed, he will march right on in through the front door.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will look to the other two, “The apartment we want is upstairs I think, lets find a way up.” James will start to head in a direction that looks like there might be stairs (preferably away from the open door and blaring music).

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//I’ve been told out of character, that that loud apartment is actually the one that we want, so ignore my last comment :P New comment coming.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will put a hand on Westin’s shoulder, “Looks like this is the place, if you’ll just give me a moment…” James will cast the following spells:

Unseen Shield (Gnosis 3 + Forces 2) – +2 armor
Spatial Map (Space 1 + Int 4 + Science 2)

James will turn to Marie, “You might want to armor up as well.” He’ll make air quotes while saying “armor”. (James will try to use Spatial Map to get a feel for how many people are in the next room, if he can).

Once everyone is ready to enter the room, when we walk in, I want to cast Control Sound (Gnosis 3 + Forces 2 + 1 Willpower) on the stereo and tv to reduce the sound and enhance our entrance.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Will do,” she responds. Marie will cast Fortune’s Protection before walking in. She readies The Perfect Moment in case they vampires are up for conversation.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“So here’s a joke,” Westin says, with a condescendingly indulgent smile usually reserved for impertinent students. “A Carthian and his two favorite Mages get jumped by a ghoul in an alleyway while working under orders from the Prefect himself. Isn’t that hilarious?” He meets the eyes of the three other Kindred in the room, attempting to assess their responses to the invasion of their haven, and to his statement. (Manipulation + Empathy?)

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“He’s right you know… not a very nice way to greet a couple of folks here on business.” James will try to take an easy stance, hiding the fact that he’s nervous as hell.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“No need to get unpleasant, we don’t want to be here any more than you want us here… Not to mention it hardly counts as barging in when the door is wide open,” James will attempt an easy smile while spreading his hands. “My friend here does speak the truth.” James will look towards the window that the fourth tenant left through, “As your friend apparently knew. We just have a message for you.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Not wanting to provoke the irate vampire any further, Marie chooses to try and fast-talk their way out of a fight rather than using magic.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Unruffled, Westin draws his dagger, thinking that while it’s not the best way to avoid a fight, it is the best way to survive one. Then he waits to see the effect of James’ and Marie’s words.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“The Nose-weasel offers you promises,” Westin says. “Promises from the depths of the Undercity, whatever those are worth. Let me make you a counter offer: toe the line, and you will be forgiven; continue as you are, and you will meet then sun as violators of the Masquerade. That’s a promise you can take to the bank.” With his voice he attempts to convey that he is not threatening them, but trying to protect them. {Manipulation + Persuasion?}

He meets the gaze of the second vampire, the silent one, and strikes with Entrancement. “Do you have nothing to say? Surely you can see the folly of defiance here.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//James will wait for the vampire’s reply, he doesn’t want to get in the way of Westin’s mojo.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//They threw the first punch…

James will throw down the magical gauntlet. “Hey, I said we just wanted to talk…”

//James will cast influence electricity to draw the power from the electronics in the room (or a wall socket, as per the book if you prefer) and direct a jolt at the raging vampire. Forces 2 + Gnosis 3, and he will expend two points of mana to mitigate the possibility of a paradox.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Oof… Sonofa…” James will grit his teeth while preparing to go toe to toe with a vampire. This seems like a pretty terrible idea, he’ll think to himself. James will attempt to step back out of the reach of the vamp who struck him, shielding himself with his arms while he casts another spell.

//Kinetic Blow (Forces 2 + Gnosis 3 + Willpower 3) – spending 1 point of mana against paradox, and he will attempt to mitigate a paradox by soaking the damage, if any.

James will then attempt to tussle with the vampire, using a willpower point on the first attack, and another if the vampire shows signs of serious injury.

While preparing, he’ll yell to Marie, “If you happen to have a little extra luck to throw around, it wouldn’t hurt!”

//Unless he drops below 4 health or some other event happens, James will scuffle with the vampire.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Your friends have turned against you,” Westin says to his newly Entranced servant. “You’d best stop them before they get hurt.” He squares off with Robert, the enraged male Vampire. “As for you, back off my humans!” He lunges forward in a classic fencing maneuver, sacrificing his defenses to strike a deadly blow.

//Strength 2 + Weaponry 4 + Dagger 1 + All Out Attack 2 + Vitae Strength 2 + Willpower 3 = 14 dice of lethal damage. Westin expends 1 Vitae and 1 Willpower, and loses his Defense until his next turn.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I’m on it!” I shout to James and focus on casting an improvised luck spell on him while staying out of the fight myself. (Improvised “Bestow Exceptional Luck” *)

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin blinks in surprise. “Thanks, James – that’s a heck of an uppercut you’ve got!”

He then looks down at the Vampiric crew’s leader warily. “Are you ready to go quietly?” He asks her. “Or do you want to join Robert in the long sleep?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will look in disbelief at the vampire he just knocked off their feet. Clutching his hand and breathing hard as the adrenaline from the assault starts to wear off, he’ll look over to Westin, “Holy crap!”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Still panting just a little, James will look to the others, “Well, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” He’ll attempt a weak smile. “Now what Westin?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I’m going to have to use that spell more often,” Marie mutters, stepping forward and looking around the room. She nods at James’ question to Westin “Right. Do we just leave them here?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Feeling the sudden burden of leadership, Westin doffs his hat and runs a hand through his ruffled hair. He think for a few seconds, and then reaches a decision – he pulls out his phone and dials Joseph Collins.

Westin apprises Joe of the situation, and then puts him on speakerphone.

“Well done, Westin. I would appreciate if you would make like a good Shepherd and ensure my sheep do not stray again. If you feel they may stray, it might be that they encountered a Wolf instead of a Shepherd.” – this followed by an abrupt hang up from his end.

“Well, I guess that clears that up.” Westin says. “I suppose you two ought to search for any leads to Rohet with this one’s help. Right?” He gestures to the entranced Vampire, who smiles happily at the attention.

Westin then kneels down next to the crew leader and gently takes her hand. “Now you need to convince us that you won’t stray – I wouldn’t want to have to tell Joe that I was less than thorough here.”

//Westin uses Revelation {Manipulation 2 + Persuasion 2 + Majesty 3 = 7 dice versus Composure + Blood Potency}

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Coming off the adrenaline high and realizing for the first time what’s actually just happened, James will find it all a little overwhelming. “Hey, um… I think she gets the picture, she’ll be good from now on I’m sure.” James will look at her, moving a little woodenly, “Won’t you?” James will begin to nervously fidget as he realizes that he really doesn’t want to be there any more.

//I realized that this is all very new territory for James, and mortal combat isn’t something he’s used to :P

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“You two. Uh huh. How long is she going to be…helpful if you’re not around?” Marie crosses her arms and walks over the window. “And with one left, we need to be sure they’re all on the same page.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin watches the Vampire’s eyes as she speaks, trying to decide if she is lying. {Manipulation 2 + Empathy 1 + Lies 1}

Seeing James’ attitude shift really brings the situation home to Westin as well. He looks down at the broken jaw of the Vampire, and at the blood on his knife, and suddenly his shoulders sag as a wave of emotional exhaustion sweeps over him. He stands and turns to face Marie.

“Sorry. I’m just…a little too used to this kind of thing. And to taking charge. Feel free to overrule me.” He sighs and looks around for something to wipe his knife off on. “I wouldn’t worry about that one, though,” he says, waving to the Entranced Vampire. “She’ll be mine for at least a little while longer. Still, if would make you more comfortable…” At last he finds a dishrag and begins to clean his knife. Then he addresses the Entranced Vampire.

“Go and get Robert, or whatever his name is, out of the snow. Put him somewhere the sun won’t find him.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Hey Westin, can we talk for a minute?” James will gesture over to the kitchen.

//Contingent upon Westin joining James:

James will cast control sound over the last remaining vampire in the room, attempting to dampen the sound around her.

{control sound: gnosis 3 + forces 2}

Keeping his voice low, just in case, James will lean in to Westin, “What now? Can that robert be dead? I don’t know how actual vampires react to knives. If not, then did we accomplish anything other than pissing these guys off? And if so, don’t we still have the same problem?” James will think for a moment, “And who was the one that ran off?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westins nods and joins James.

Westin smiles grimly. “It’s hard to actually kill a Vampire, but he’ll sleep for a few weeks at least. I’m starting to think that we mostly just pissed them off.” He points down at the crew leader, watching them from the floor with amusement. “She’s just waiting for a chance to kill us or run. And the one that rabbited is probably on its way to Rohet this very minute. And I think Joe wants us to…” He looks down at the knife, and then back at James. “You may end up wanting to step outside while I finish this. It could get messy.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

James will consider a moment before nodding, “Nah, I’ve got your back. I don’t have the stomach to do the deed, but we don’t need to let another one of them get away. They’ll be after all of us.” He’ll pause for a moment, before gesturing to the leader.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin grimaces. “I wish I had less stomach for it.” He looks over at Marie, where she stands by the window. “Any suggestions, Marie? Any strategems?” He speaks in earnest, hoping for a way to avoid bloodshed.

//If Marie has no suggestions, or supports removing the threat:

Meeting the eyes of the crew leader, he walks up to her – knife at the ready. He stands over her and looks down with the sharp smile of Beast – he’s on the edge of hunger, and the thought of bloodshed sets his teeth on edge. He speaks softly, hoping that Marie and James cannot hear him. “So, you have a choice. On the one hand, the True Death. On the other, blood bondage to me, maybe forever. Which do you choose?”

//If she does have some ideas, disregard the above.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

(In reply to Westin’s comment about being possibly overruled) Marie looks from Westin to the vampire leader and puts her hands up in assent, “You do what you have to. I can wait. I’m just saying that it would be nice to have you around in case the other’s entrancement wears off in the middle of the search. I’m allowed to be a little paranoid after this whole mess.”

(To answer Westin’s request for ideas) Marie walks from the window to Westin and James. “I do have one idea, though it may be a bit far fetched,” she begins in a whisper. “Before their leader heals up entirely, give her the option to provide directions to Rohet. If she agrees, the entranced one can verify her directions are accurate. If we find Rohet, then she’s branded a traitor to him and is forced to take Joe’s protection anyway. Win-win.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//to the first:
“Fair enough.” Westin says.

//To the second:
“That’s better than my plan,” Westin says. He presents the wounded vampire with her choice: give up Rohet’s location and plans, or burn like paper.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Awesome pictures!

“I guess we’ll have to see how true your story is, first, won’t we?” Westin says, brandishing his dagger with the casual ease of an expert fencer. “So you’d better hope that your entranced companion returns soon – otherwise, you’ll be all out of lifelines.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin gapes at the blood covered vampire. “Hold on, back up a second,” he says. “What exactly did you do with Robert?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I don’t know much about this Rohet character, but he sounds like the type that wouldn’t be happy to have one of his goons come and tell him that she told the enemy where is, is he?” James will pause to go over that sentence in his head. “Yeah, that was right,” he’ll say to himself. Looking back to Westin, “Is that about right?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

(After entranced vampire answers Westin about Robert) Marie’s jaw drops. “I hope vampires don’t have to breath…Um, I have a question,” and points at the refrigerator. “Is that a hit list?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//James will grab the note if Marie doesn’t after we’re done with this conversation about it.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

(Marie asks that last question of the entranced vampire)

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“If you tell us everything you know about the people on that list and why Rohet wants them dead, it would help us all greatly,” she states. “And where we can find musicman64.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Hunternet…I wonder how many of the rumors about them are true.” Addressing Marie, he says, “They’re monster hunters. According to the stories I’ve heard, some of them have…powers of their own.” Then he turns back to the Crew leader.

“So, what else has Rohet had you up to? I’d start coughing up answers before your friend makes you unnecessary.”

//Manipulation + Intimidation + Situational Bonus, if any

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

While Marie and Westin are grilling the Vampires about HunterNet, He’s going to poke around some more in the house.

//Investigation + Wits probably

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Uh, guys?” James will call from the next room. “Please tell me that vampires sleep in coffins, and that’s what I’m looking at in here.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin’s eyes take on a hard, hungry aspect. “What artifacts?” When he steps closer to the crew leader this time, he’s not brandishing the knife casually – his hand grips it with a clearly deadly intent. “You’ve got one chance to explain yourself. Then I stab someone for the second time today. And I’ll leave you for the sun to find – bet on that.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Ignoring James for the moment, Westin looks at the taunting crew leader, considering what she has told him.

“You,” he says after a few moments, “Have misjudged me.” With that, he focuses his will and attempts to bind her to him with Entrancement.

//Manipulation 2 + Persuasion 2 + Majesty 3 + Willpower 3 = 10 dice

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Marie turns to the leader now that Westin has her under control. “Now then…we need the artifact warehouse location and the drop points.” She glances at Westin, “This sounds like quite an undertaking for an isolated group. It’s got to be worth looking into at some point after we find Rohet, which reminds me…the vampire that escaped is still on his way to him.” Remembering James, Marie calls, “You found a coffin?” and goes to search for the room he’s in.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Over here Ma— Andromeda!” James will call Marie over to the room with the coffins. “What do you make of this?” He’ll gesture to the Sarcophagus, “Do you think we should be worried?”

//Once Marie gets closer.

James will bring his voice to a hushed whisper, “I don’t know what the plan is here, but I have the feeling that these Vampires are the type to hold a grudge. What are we going to do with them, once we get the information we’re after?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“You two stay right here, and play nice.” Westin says to the other Vampires. Then he turns to follow Marie into the other room.

“Andromeda? Since when is your name Andromeda?” He looks down at his phone just as he steps into the doorway. “And why does Ghengis Khan have my cell number? Did you guys just get…” He looks up and sees the sarcophagus. His eyes go wide. He shoves the phone back into his coat pocket and, forgetting all else, begins examining the sarcophagus.

//Int 1 + Academics 2 + Anthropology 1

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Since I remembered that we have our ‘mage’ names.” James will make air quotes when he says mage. “I’m Hermes, nice to meet…” He’ll extend his hand before he realizes that the gesture is futile, having lost Westin to the Sarcophagus. “I’m just going to step back in the main room to keep an eye on our new… friends. Let me know id you need a hand.” James will step out of the room with the coffins to be able to see the two vampires, and what Westin is doing.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Ghengis Khan…” Marie mutters, opening her phone. “Oh, he’s a friend Westin.” Marie will text back, ‘Specifics? -Andromeda,’ then put it away as she realizes that Westin is analyzing the sarcophagus. “What do you think? Could someone be in there?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Hard to say, but it’s definitely been opened recently, and probably more than once.” Westin says, never taking his eyes off the maltreated artifact. He then glances around the room at the other coffins, checking to see if any of them show signs of historical value. “Let’s bring our new friends in here and see what they can tell us.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Very odd, given that Egyptian artifacts would fall under his direct authority. Hrm…

“Maybe you haven’t opened it, but someone has…” Westin says, turning back to the sarcophagus again. He examines the lid more closely, attempting to gauge when it was last opened, and how it was forced.

//Intellect 1 + Investigation 2 + Artifacts 1

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Well Westin? What do you say we call Joe up and have him send some muscle over to pick this up? Then it’s up to you what to do with…” James will nod at the two enthralled vampires. “After that, I think we’re about done here?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“You’re probably right, more trouble could be on the way.” Westin says to James. He furrows his brow, thinking furiously, addresses the crew leader again. “But how the heck did you get this thing up here? It must weight a solid ton!”

//Westin, in accordance with his Vice, kind of wants to take the Sarcophagus home with him, leaving Joe out of it.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin grimaces. Turning back to James and Marie, he says, “I don’t suppose either of you knows a way to make stone lighter? I’d really like to get this back to my Gallery for examination if it’s possible.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“I know that isn’t one of my skills, doesn’t seem like Andy’s style either.” James will think for a moment, “But you DO work in a museum, just convince Joe that it’s better to take it there for safe-keeping.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Westin sighs. “All right then. Fair point – I just hope it doesn’t go anywhere in the meantime.” He snaps a picture of the sarcophagus on his phone and texts it to Joe with the message, ‘Found something Rohet wants. I’d like to take it home with me for study, but it weighs a literal ton. Please help?’

“Ja-Hermes, Andromeda, I know you want to see this through, but I’d like to settle things up with our friends here privately. Would you two mind stepping downstairs and making sure the coast is clear?”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“Done.” James will wait for Marie and head out into the hall.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Marie texts back, “Your text went to everyone here with a phone-A.”

(In response to making stone lighter) “Sorry Westin. James is right.”

Marie nods and follows James. (Upon seeing the men) “Hermes, didn’t they get here a little fast, or am I being paranoid?” She takes a step back to turn inside the building. “Maybe we should ask Westin if this is how it works.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Upstairs, obviously. Westin attempts to incite combat between the other vampires. He will probably end up needing to roll to avoid degeneration after this, since he is plotting to kill them.

Once the mages are gone, Westin will usher the Entranced Vampires out of the bedroom and away from the artifact. As they leave, he puts his hand on the shoulder of the first vampire he Entranced and whispers in her ear, nodding toward the crew leader as he does.

“She’s jealous of you,” he whispers. “I think she plans to kill you. Get her first.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

“What? Who the hell are you?” Throttling his bloodlust, Westin nervously fingers his dripping dagger. He keeps his eyes on the stranger, ready to leap into action.

//Westin holds his action, I guess, waiting to see what the man does or says.

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

Were Westin capable of feeling the physical effects of being startled, his heart would be in this throat. Instead, he just feels that same emptiness he always feels when he notices an emotion missing. Grimacing, he signs the form.

“I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced,” he says. “Although you seem to know me.”

//If James and Marie come upstairs.

“It’s all right, guys. They’re on our side.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Sorry I’ve been absent, been very busy with a friend visiting me. James doesn’t really have anything else he wants to accomplish in this scene, so you can either put words in his mouth, or finish up the scene.

James will shoot a text back to Genghis, “Tomorrow works for a meetup.”

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
 

//Sorry for my absence as well. I came down with some kind of Martian bio-engineered death cold last week, but I’m feeling much less awful now.

Westin has nothing more to do or say there. He just wants to get back and start examining that sarcophagus. Of course, he’ll ask the Mages for the honor of their presence – at least partially in case there’s something nasty in there, but also as magical advisers, and because they found it first.

//Also, since Westin is acting Greedily here, even though the Sarcophagus could well hold a monster or a curse or something, does he regain a Willpower?

December 19th 2010 - Cabrini Green
Rase Cidraen Rase Cidraen

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