Vampire: The Endless Waltz
Episode 5: The Price of Blood – Part 2
Kane, Dimitri and Thessaly had spoken to who they wanted to at the Circle Club and so were now ready to leave and go and find Nails and his gathering within the canals beneath Manchester. Spokesman Rain had a Nosferatu act as their guide, a woman with one side of her face hideously distorted and bulbous. She led the coterie into the staff area of the club, through the kitchens and down into the lower levels where the beer barrels and alcohol was stored. It was darker and damper here, with the slight smell of rat piss. The Haunt led them to a yellow rusting safety cabinet and dragged it from the wall, revealing and old steel door. She unlocked it and beyond was absolute darkness and the sound of water lapping against stone. The Haunt motioned for them to follow, but it was obvious once the door was shut behind them that there was no light and only Thessaly and the Haunt were trained in the blood such that they could see in the dark, but Dimitri and Kane could not. So Thessaly took Dimitri’s hand and Kane shifted form to that of a small mangy cat so that he may see using his animal eyes.
All four walked in the darkness, careful not to fall in the canal. The stench was thick but their dead bodies ignored it. They turned down many routes, and crossed over the canal where they could. But behind them both Nosferatu sensed that they were being followed. Thessaly could see in the dark what looked like a man in a long coat and top hat. The other Haunt made her way forward and spoke to the others. ‘They are the Gentlemen and we must honour them.’ She slit her wrist with the sharp nail of her finger and let a few drops of vitae hit the stone pathway. She then led the group onwards. Thessaly looked back to watch the figure sniff at the blood and she could see that the man’s hat looked like tall ears and the man’s face looked like that of an enormous bat. The shuffled on quickly.
They cam to a part of the canal that had been drained and they stepped down onto the canal bottom. They continued walking and soon there could be heard the sounds of people talking and jeering. A faint light could be seen emanating from the passageway. On the walls were the rotting fragments of posters from years ago.
In a large chamber was a doze or more individuals gathered. One was sat on an office chair. It was Nails. The chamber was illuminated by a pile of glow sticks, orange, green, blue and red hues casting garish shadows on the walls. One wall was decorated with a scene of Venice. But the painting was faded and crumbling.
The guide brought the coterie forward and presented them to the Mayor of the Sewers, Nails, who recognised Thessaly. Kane was still in his cat form and did not shift form. Nails ignored the issue. On Nosferatu present came forward, his face lacking cheeks and so his teeth were completely visible. He ridiculed the guest from above and asked if they enjoyed being with the beasts. Another of the Kindred in the chamber was sat up on the side, looking at the scene of Venice, muttering the lyrics to Madonna’s ‘Holiday’.
Nails knew why they were here. Thessaly explained what Falken wanted to bring to the city, but Nails could not see how that helped since Reinhart had offered a new political system that would mean the Nosferatu would finally have more of a say in the running of the city. Though he did not like Julia and the Daeva, he liked the Nosferatu Priscus, Mother Amanda Heath less. But Thessaly pressed that Patrick was offering more regular voting of Priscus and Covenant seats, and that Julia’s answer would lead to chaos which the Invictus and Lancea Sanctum would take advantage of. She also went on to say that it would seem as if the Ordo Dracul were in league with the Invictus, and Nails asked if this related to the events of the Prefect’s death and the accusations made toward Lauren Esten. However Nails had not come across any Dragons.
From the otherside of the chamber boomed another, a classic looking Nosferatu, his ears pointed, his skin pallid and his hair all gone. He was dressed in fine clothes and a long coat. Nails introduced him as Councillor, Lord Ralph Kendall, Miester of the Guild of Secrets. The Lord asked what proof they had of the Ordo Dracul were within the city, or working for the Invictus or even been involved in the death of Prefect.
With Nails left to ponder his vote, but given reassurances that the voting would be more frequent they stopped for some time longer to converse with the other Kindred there. Some Thessaly recognised as being Acolytes, others were of clan Gangrel and so Kane had seen them when out patrolling his domain, meeting them at the borders. Lord Kendall took them to one side and asked them more about their theories, knowing that they had been to the Court of Kerkoft. He asked what they knew of Julia Reinhart, the Invictus and the Ordo Dracul. Knowing that they did not have firm evidence of any connection Kendall let slip that there had been some suspicious gatherings at a junk yard. In fact the same one that Kane had been to around a month ago. With this mentioned Kane shifted form and presented himself, asking what it was about the junk yard that made it suspicious and why Kendal was telling them? He said that there were others who did not want the Carthians to fall, at least not to Kerkoft.
After being led out of the canals to Ancoats, coming out near a retail park, the giant Toy’R’Us logo illuminating the streets. The noticed that they had received numerous text messages and a voice message. They were to go to the Urbis building immediately to see the Chairman. The caller was Chamberlain Odans.
Arriving at the Urbis centre and being led to the top floor office they met the Chairman the Chamberlain and Dr Hugo Emris Auldwyn. The Chamberlain introduced the doctor and said what the doctor had to say for them was a matter of utmost urgency and kept secret.
In another room the coterie and Hugo sat down. The doctor was dressed in a tweed suit and had a jutting chin, short hair and large glasses. He spoke in a plumy voice. He introduced himself as a doctor with a speciality in physiology from Oxford. He came across as very self important. He required for them to track down a car, and he handed over a license plate number. He required that all of the car’s contents be recovered or destroyed. He also needed the driver to be found, a Dr Tobin, who worked at the Astra Zeneca labs in Alderly Edge. It was 5 hours ago that the car had been taken outside the labs, and on the CCTV the attacker was obviously Kindred.
Hugo left the coterie to discuss what they would do. The car had not been dumped or found by the police yet, and so they had to cast the net wider. Kane contacted Priscus Kollins of the Gangrel and asked if he could find out about the location of the car ad that he would owe him a minor boon if it was found. Thessaly contacted Nails and asked him the same favour. With that done the group then decided to head to the junk yard, hoping that their suspicions would be confirmed, and that the car would be found there, along with the missing Dr Tobin.
Arriving at the junkyard the coterie approached cautiously. Kane took on his raven form and surveyed the area, landing upon a pile of rusting metal before the guard dogs. He summoned up his Beast and spoke to the creatures, calming them and setting them to sleep. Dimitri and Thessaly found a hole in the fence and made their way in. Thessaly took the chance to consult the aether and in a pool of rain water she scryed, looking for signs and portents. She felt the energy of the location surge through her and with her heightened sense of hearing she could hear the murmuring of chanting from below. She led the others to covered sheet of metal that covered an entrance to the underground chamber. There they quietly crept down and could hear a number of voices chanting. Words about God, blood and Dracula could be heard.
They carried on further forward, realising they were in some old basement of a building that had once stood here. In a pit stood Liza Smith, the Mekhet child of the Priscus Stewart. She was naked save for a robe and her hands were in a burning brazier as others stood about watching. Another, who they noticed was referred to as Kogaion, was reciting verse from a book. They also spotted Lauren Esten and Zahred Zilber. The truth was now plain to see for the coterie. They were all members of the Ordo Dracul and they were witnessing some form of ritual.
The ritual paused as Zahred got up. He looked at the Kogaion, questioning this method of chrysalis. The Kogaion just sneered back, saying that one as young as Zahred would not understand. But Zahred was not so easily repelled. He announced before all of them that he himself was in fact inducted into the covenant by Lisette herself and that the Kogaion has allowed his own selfish goals to blind both himself and the Dragons of this city. With that Zahred drew from the brazier a white hot poker and plunged it through Liza Smith, the vampire turning to dust before their eyes. The other Dragons about looked on in horror and awe. ‘For too long you have been without a true guide, seeking out enlightenment from exhausted sources. I can show you the knowledge that you seek!’