Vampire: The Endless Waltz
Episode 4: Live by the Sword – Part 3
Now aware that Natalia Kerkoft had her ghouls break into the office at the museum to steal the briefcase (and whatever was within it), Dimitri and Thessaly were ordered by Patrick Falken to go and meet with the Invictus Lady so that might discover the identity of the ghoul so that they can better understand Natalia’s interest in the Chairman and the Astra Zeneca laboratories. Patrick instructed the two to go to the manor house of Fletcher Moss in Didsbury, a region of Manchester that falls into the domain of Natalia Kerkoft, the so called Duchy of Kerkoft. Patrick instructed them to go to the court of Kerkoft with a gift, under the guise that they are seeking the acceptance from the Court of Kerkoft for Patrick Falken’s election campaign. The gift that Patrick has been holding onto for just the right moment is a small music box dating from the time of Louis the 13th.
Meanwhile, still in the form of a small black cat, Kane made his way into the Buddhist temple. First he leapt up to the fir escape, clambering up to find a way inside via an open window. Once in and timing his movement, Kane was able to make his way back down within the building. At times he had to wait for a person to go by and open a door, but eventually he reached the temple. Incense and chanting emanating from the temple, monks sat cross legged before images and statues contemplating. Kane slinked in, his cat form keeping close to the walls and sniffing the air. The Beast, so close to the surface, made Kane growl. There was a vampire close by.
Kane made his way towards the back of the temple. The smell of burning herbs and spices were unable to mask the faint smell of death that his feline nose could detect. He found a door, it was closed, but after a number of jumps his cat paws were able to twist the door handle and he discovered a staircase leading downwards. The smell was now slightly stronger. Kane headed down into the dark.
At the bottom of the stairs Kane found a corridor that led into the dark. His cat eyes were able to discern his surroundings from what little light there was. He made his way down into the bowls of the building, passing rooms filled with crates of cheap imports. But there was one room that was different. He crept into the room, the door being ajar, and he found a small chamber where a strange figure stood over a cauldron. The room was cast in a red glow and the figure, slender, skeletal and dark skinned, loomed over the cauldron. Blood was bubbling and all about were hung scrolls of some oriental dialect. Behind the figure was the sword and fan that had been taken that night. Kane looked upwards and on the ceiling could see three figures moving, strange dead beings that appeared stitched together, clinging to the ceiling.
Dimitri and Thessaly, in Dimitri’s Porsche 911, approached the fenced estate of Fletcher Moss. At the gates they pressed the buzzer and were admitted in. The Porsche crunched up the gravel road to the Georgian manor house. A number of cars were parked outside and at the front of the house a valet parked the car for Dimitri. The ghoul butler of the house asked for their names and blood lineage and then proceeded to lead them into the main entrance hall of the house. There in the hall a number of Kindred were gathered chatting, including some recognisable faces, Lady Tabbitha Gao, Robert Woking and of course Annabel Barbican.
Before Thessaly, Annabel asked if Dimitri was here to finally confess what happened to Jacob Lewis and finally join the Invictus and prove his worth. Dimitri denied any knowledge of what she was talking about. Then Annabel turned on Thessaly. Thessaly had been given more striking and impressive clothes by Dimitri to wear for this meeting. Annabel just looked the Nosferatu up and down and sneered, unimpressed by this change in presentation. But then, to their surprise it was Lady Gao who came to their rescue. As the harpy in the city with the highest status she immediately humiliated Annabel, pressing the fact that until she had the honour of hold the title of Lady of the Dynastic House of Kerkoft that she should remember her place and treat guests appropriately or else the very honour of the Invictus would be sullied. Annabel hissed at the Dimitri and walked off but not before Dimitri had the chance to pat her on the ass, leading to Robert having to restrain her and dominate her mind to prevent a very costly breach of courtly etiquette.
Thessaly, Dimitri and Gao sat on a sofa awaiting for their turn to be called to see Kerkoft. Gao, now acutely aware of Thessaly’s ability of foresight, mentions that she is not the only seer present in the house of Kerkoft. There is another, a Rachel Witten, apparently a member of the Circle of the Crone. Thessaly said she did not know her, nor was she aware that there were Acolytes offering services to the Invictus. The butler then returned and we led further into the manor house.
Before the dark figure in the basement Kane kept rigidly still, watching it’s every move, listening to each syllable of the invocation. But then it stopped moving, the figure with its arms outstretched. It loomed forward and gracefully pointed towards where Kane was stood in the dark. It asked for him to come forward and reveal his true form. Kane obliged and shifted form and met the cold dead eyes of the vampire. It stood up, shorter than Kane, and presented itself as Tetsuro, of Clan Nosferatu and of the Burakumin bloodline. Tetsuro went on to explain that he was simply recovering the items that were rightfully his family’s, items stolen over a hundred years ago by Kerkoft. However their recovery has only occurred now after determining the most auspicious time to do so. Kane revealed that by some means Kerkoft had also known of this moment to break into the museum. Tetsuro asked Kane to tell his superiors that the items were now lost and in return Tetsuro would allow Kane to leave, alive, so long as they were both committed to bringing Kerkoft down. To seal the pact the Burakumin extended a long talon into the cauldron of blood and using it inscribed a tattoo onto Kane’s arm.
At the manor house, in the dining room, Thessaly and Kane were presented to Lady Natalia Kerkoft. With Natalia were a number of ghouls and behind her was sat a woman wearing a pendant in the shape of a bull’s head. This was Rachel Witten. The butler presented the gift to Natalia who then went on to explain that she would support whomever won the Carthian election, but that she would look kindly upon Falken as he has given her a wonderful gift.
Leaving the dining room Dimitri and Thessaly remained at the house, taking the time to speak to those Invictus who care to talk to them. Dimitri then spotted the ghoul, and after a few minutes was able to find a moment to speak to him. His name was Gyle, and worked for one of Kerkoft’s construction companies, Dimitri’s powers of the blood loosening his tongue.