Tuesday, 1 January 2013

[actual play] Vampire the Requiem - The Two Thrones

Episode 2: Bloody Mary


Part 4


The next day, and the ghost had not haunted them, so Tristan assumed the ghost was bound to the apartments and to the shard of the mirror he had taken to the club (and where he had left it). Tristan decided that the best place to get everything sorted out was Elysium, as there might be someone there who knew the best way to get rid of a ghost.

At Elysium Tristan and Galen met up and tried to ignore the politics and rumours of the gathering, and sat and chatted with Tristan’s sire, Spokesman Rain. Rain to them to a private booth and they discussed the issue of the killer and the ghost. Rain was not too knowledgable on the subject, but found the issue of the blood sorcerer important and would see what he could find out.

The two also got a chance to speak with Constable Ihram, who made use of his skills of Obfuscate to speak with the privately.


Later at Tristan’s club, Galen and Tristan met the Constable out in the back alleyway, where Ihram produced a iron box. He asked for them to put the mirror shard inside. Once done, he had them drive him to a old house in Rusholme, and there in the dingy, damp basement he had some sort of ritual space prepared. All around there were jars of various foul liquids and items. Galen was sure he saw one containing what looked like thumbs. The table at the centre of the room was prepared and had a circle of salt about it. Ihram took the box and from it took the mirror shard. He look at it, using his command of Auspex and noted the name Mary, and the hedge of thorns. He then used a prepared incense and holy water to cleanse the shard.

Ihram suggested that while the ghost was indeed angry, it was lashing out at random, and that they should find the reason for the man’s death in order to set his soul free. Tristan mentioned the mirror and the bloodline, and Ihram suggested that they find out who the next victims could be and put an end to this.

Tristan returned to the apartment and quickly looked around, hoping to not provoke the ghost. It was as he was looking through some family albums that he found a family tree and also a picture of the dead man with his two cousins. The photo was of their home, and on the back was the address. It was some sort of large family home outside of Manchester towards the north.

Tristan and Galen decided it would be best to go the next night, with more hours of darkness to use. They did not know if they were in fact too late. They drove as soon as they could to the manor house, going from the suburbs and the well lit streets to the dark of the woods and winding roads of gravel. They could see the house as they drove closer, and that there were lights on.

Parking outside they approached and knocked on the front door but got no reply. They knocked again, and then rang the bell. There was still no reply. They then  walked about the house and to the conservatory, which the door to was unlocked. They entered, and there in the doorway from the conservatory to the living room was a body. Again his eyes were gone and a pool of blood was about him. Tristan and Galen looked about but then heard a car approach. They went and hid in the amongst the plants in the conservatory and waited.

The door was opened and they saw a man in a long coat and with shoulder length hair come into the house. The beast stirred and Tristan and Galen struggled to stay came and ignore their Beast’s fear. The man saw the body and seemed upset to see the man dead. He then called out for the other brother and walked about the house and then upstairs.

From the direction of the kitchen another figure walked into the living room. They had a tattered coat on, and long claw like finger nails. They looked up, listening for the footsteps of the vampire. There then came another knock on the door. The strange being hid in the living room.

There was a crash of glass as the the front door was broken into and unlocked. Three men, wearing hats and all weather coats came in. One brandished a machete, another a shotgun, and the other a stake. They stalked about and found the body. They seemed confused and split up. As one headed upstairs and the other to the other side of the house, one was left in the living room. He stooped down to look at the body, only to have his neck broken by the hidden being. Galen and Tristan watched as the killer set off to the other side of the house.

There was a crash and bang from upstairs, and then some moments later the vampire returned. He was clearly shaken and had a gun shot injury to his arm. He came into the living room and could see the second body. He was confused and turned to see the last remaining hunter in the doorway. The man’s body fell and behind him the killer stood. Their long hair covering their features.

The vampire rushed at the long hair figure, and they crashed around, grappling, only for him to be pinned up against the wall. The stranger snarled and bit down into the neck of the vampire, blood jetting onto the clean walls, and in a short amount of time he too was dead.

The raggedy looking being came over to the two bodies and knelt down and put a palm to the sticky blood. Getting it up they then approached the mirror over the fireplace and smeared the blood upon it while saying ‘Blood Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloo...’

The mirror shattered. The ritual was cut short and Galen stood having thrown the rock at the mirror. The being screamed, scrambling at the mirror shards, and then, looked at Galen and growled.

Galen fled, as fast as his legs would take him, and as fast as his preternatural speed would allow. But Tristan looked on as the being moved like a black brush stroke of oil paint, and sped after Galen. Tristan got up, grabbed a nearby shovel, and gave chase.

Part 5

Galen stopped dead as the strange figure stood before him. It was so fast! It lashed out, and Galen stumbled back. A jagged stake of gnarled wood ripped through Galen's chest, tearing flesh apart. Whincing in pain Galen balled his fists and fought back. His punches did little to rattle the snarling monster, who replied with puncturing stabs, the feeling as if the weapon was literally rending his soul apart.

Tristan ran towards the fight, levelled the spade he had picked up, and like a spear, he rammed it into the shadowy attacker from the mirrors. There was a wet sucking sound as Tristan pulled the shovel from the guts of the creature, followed with what had to be some of its guts and entrails. In retaliation, the figure spun about with the bloody stake, looking to impale Tristan in the chest.

Galen now saw his chance. Tristan had ducked the attack, and now Galen grabbed the figure, pinning their arms to their sides. They struggled against Galens vitae enfused strength, but the hold would not break, and Galen let the Beast rid his senses, and his teeth extended. Tristan saw and opening, and flicking the shovel about, hacked down at the creature's leg, severing it just below the knee. Blood jetterd out in thickspurts and the night was filled with the roar of pain. For Galen, his Beast joined in, and he clamped his teeth down around it's neck, drinking in the vitae and chewing ragged chunks from the nape of the neck.

The hideously injured being from the mirrors broke free and stumbled, falling on the gravel of the drive of the house. Galen pounced on it's back, pinning the figure down, and Tristan stood back, watching, not wanting to get in Galen's way. Galen drank, and drank, the figure squirming as he wasted away to nothing. It was in those last moments that something caught Galen's attention.

Before Galen he could see the figure of an old friend from his mortal days. They had died due to cancer, and now, in this vision they stood before him, their skin covered in lesions and sores. And they spoke, but it was like they were talking in the wind. 'All die, and sinners must burn'. Galen grinned and drank dead. His Beast took into the victim's soul, his powers of Auspex blossoming. Tristan felt sick, as part of own wretched soul scratched at the cage of his body. He knew what he saw, no matter the reason, was wrong. He dry heaved.

Galen had used the spade and broken the body up into pieces and placed it in the kitchen furnace. Constable Ihram arrived with his Bailiffs, and together the house was cleaned up. Stories were fabricated and bodies moved. Ihram listened and questioned them, and accepted their version of the events, but warned Galen of repeating such a vile crime. But Galen kept one thing from the events - the gnarled thorn. And now with his new eyes he could see that some sort of mystical mask hid it's try form, that is was some dagger or silvery wood.

Episode 3: The Fire Rises

A month had passed. In that time Galen had taken it upon himself to take a ghoul. Tristan and Galen were also pondering how to gain the support of Judex Peter Hawkin's of the Invictus, seeing it as an opportunity to finally take down the Ventrue Priscus, Vicountess Natalia Kerkoft.

It was a full moon, and that Friday many of the Carthian's and the Ordo Dracul had been invited to a gathering in the UMIST main building. The old Victorian university building was to play host to a showcase of Kindred physiology.

The way into the univeristy and to the lecture hall was guarded by ghouls, and up in the high halls of the university they wore their official garb. The ghouls of the Dragons wore the dark blue robes of their order, while the ghouls of the Night Doctors wore full enclosing leather masks, with polished surgical steel eye pieces and mouth grills.

In the lecture hall were many of the high ranking and respected Carthians, along with some old and new faces from the Ordo Dracul. However it was still difficult to know if they were not just Carthians. Such was the secrecy they maintained.

One familiar face was Chuck Taylor. And American Gangrel who was once part of a coterie with Tristan. He was a figure head amongst the more violent Carthians, running a sort of dojo-come-fight club, under auspices of the Night Doctors.

The head of the Dragons,  Zahred Zilber, announced that tonight was a chance to learn what the Carthians and Ordo Dracul had in common, and t
o showcase some of their research.

The first display was by Doctor S. He wore a similar mask as his ghouls, and thick black gloves with his white lab coat. They wheeled in a stretcher with a body bag. On the lab bench they placed the bag, and unzipped it to reveal the emaciated figure of a naked vampire in a state of torpor. It was bound in chains. The doctor explain that the vampire was a mindless drauger, and that they would being showing the regenerative properties of Homonous Lupine blood - Werewolf blood. His work had shown, that if such blood was delivered to the required areas, by slow injection, that regeneration of the body parts was possible, without inducing a state of frenzy. Once the experiment was complete the drauger was beheaded and questions began.

The second display, similar in nature to the first. A dragon perform a form of organ replacement on a ghoul. The ghoul, strapped to a table, had their kidney removed, and replaced with one that was dessicated. It was then shown that the application of a vitae derived alchemical salve initiated the regenerative properties of the vitae within them, in such a way that made dessicated organs a viable method of replacement.

For all it was an enlightening and gruesome evening.