Etheric Laboratories - Making grim horrors


Changeling the Lost : Character Generation and Films
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kris_ether
 So which film for a next week (Monday 9th) Changeling Character generation session/Changeling movie inspiration? Choose just two.

Poll #1601502 Which movie for Changeling session

Which Movie

Hellboy 2
1(16.7%)
Pan's Labyrinth
0(0.0%)
Labyrinth
2(33.3%)
Neverwhere (TV series)
0(0.0%)
Mirror Mask
0(0.0%)
Howl's Moving Castle
0(0.0%)
Carnivale (HBO Series)
1(16.7%)
Casanova (Heath Ledger Film)
0(0.0%)
Francesco da Mosto's Venice (TV Series)Series
2(33.3%)
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
0(0.0%)
Stardust
0(0.0%)
These are just the films that Sam and I have so other suggestions are welcome.

A World of Darkness
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kris_ether
 


A World of Darkness

 The Terrifying Tale of James Magnus


Monday 2nd of August, 8:30 pm - Midnight
 

Vampire: the Endless Waltz - Episode 7 part 1
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kris_ether

Vampire: The Endless Waltz

Episode 7: Knight of the Long Knives Part 1

Following the events of the previous night, Kane awoke to find himself in the bathtub. His clothes were still ruined from where he had been staked and he was hungry. Very hungry. There was a knock at the bathroom door and he heard Karl, Dimitri’s ghoul, ask if it was OK to come in. Kane get his Beast in check, and allowed Karl to come in, who told Kane that Dimitri had asked him to feed Kane so that he would be sated until the herd they had called arrived.

Meanwhile Thessaly was once more at her desk in the icy cold of her run down house in Salford. She was trying to make some sense of the documents she had recovered from the asylum. Just what the hell were they researching? What were they testing on the patient there? And why the hell were the Ordo Dracul there? She had many questions.

There was a knock at the door, and Thessaly felt her Beast squirm. Whoever was there was powerful. And right now was not the best time to be spotted with stolen documents. It could even be the Ordo Dracul. Thessaly quickly moved to hide in one of the cupboards and listen out. There was another rapping at the door and she heard a familiar voice as the door open. It was Dr Auldwyn. The one person she really didn’t want to see.

She headed up stairs and greeted the Dr. He was dressed in his typical tweed suit and bow tie, and took out a pocket handkerchief and dusted a chair off before sitting. He asked Thessaly what happened at the asylum, asking why she had left and who had broken in. He also asked about the missing documents. Thessaly lied, saying that she didn’t know where the documents were, and that they more than likely were with those who broke in. She told him of the Ordo Dracul and of Lauren Esten, who Hugo remembered was in fact being hunted for by the Myrmidon. In light of all this he asked Thessaly to keep quiet about the break in, and that he would call on her services again considering she had left her post at the asylum.

Kane, now having fed and healed a little, took a call from the Constable, Ihram. They needed his presence at a house in the suburbs. The address was the same one he had in the message from his sister.

Arriving at the house, with Dimitri who had driven them there in his Porsche, they saw that the house was in fact a police crime scene. At the front door was Ihram, and it was simple to presume that the officers working the case were ghouls.

Going into the house with Ihram, Kane and Dimitri were hit by the stench of blood. The house was a squat. It was filled with junk and rubbish. But worse yet was the kitchen. Sat in a chair, bloodied and bruised and pale and gagged, was the body of Kane’s sister. She had been drained of blood from multiple cuts. But no bite marks. It was a shocking scene to see her like this in such a terrible place. Even Dimitri was disturbed by the scene.

But there was more. Ihram gave Kane a portable DVD player and four tarot cards. The cards were ‘The Final Judgement’, ‘The Four of Cups’, ‘The Devil’ and ‘Temperance’. They then watched the DVD. On it they saw Kane’s sister, alive, struggling with her bonds as a knife could be seen in shot. There was a voice and it said;

“You’ve gambled with life now twice. First you gamble as mortals. You were born. Then you gambled again and were reborn. And now you keep on gambling. Every day the world has the odds stacked against you. And now you have gambled against the odds and lost. Give up. Give up your crusade, give up on the election, plug the plug on it, stop gambling with more that you can afford. Admit to all that you have lost. That, or next time you come to the table make sure you have a full house or a royal flush. Or maybe play with a different deck.”

 It was Ihram who was also able to answer Kane’s mystery regarding the vampire who he rescued from the hunters. Apparently she is the first vampire in some time to bear a symbol that has only been seen on members of the Brood. Ihram suggested that the coterie be careful and on the look out for these vampires, as the Brood is an even greater threat to the city and had only just been eliminated from city 5 years ago. Taking the cards, the DVD and one of the knives used to kill his sister, Kane left, shifting form and flew to Thessaly’s house. Dimitri left with little else to left to follow up clues on Zahred Zilber at his Ascension Club. Dimitri was hoping that he may get a chance to speak to Zahred Zilber; however, this did not happen. But in the heaving club Dimitri did spot someone go into the VIP area with a mortal. It was Lauren Esten. Rather than alert her Dimitri called his sire, Spokesman Rain.

 

Almost two weeks pass, and on Friday the 17th of December the coterie is gathered again by Patrick Falken. In the last two weeks Thessaly had made some progress with researching the history of the Kitab Si’lat. Kane had been looking for more clues to the death of his sister.

Patrick Falken thanked the coterie for their service, and that he only one more thing to ask of them. He asked them all of their opinion of the election and if they believed that he would win the election. He then asked if there is anything that they truly wish to have. Kane of course wanted more influence within the Carthians and a chance to find his sister’s killer. Dimitri asked for more influence within the Carthians and control of the Ascension Club (which had been taken by the Myrmidon) while Thessaly wanted more guarantees for the Circle of the Crone and access to any texts that may be of use to her grandsire.

Patrick Falken explained the election process. He told them of the Rite of the Puppet King. This ritual of blood magic tied would bind the election ballot box to all those who were taking part in the election. If the ballot box is tampered after the ritual and before the count then all of those taking part in the election would feel it. However, there is another lesser known ritual that can be used on the ballot papers, called the Rite of the Thousand Fangs. This ritual would be able to alter the vote on the ballot papers. It would be this ritual that Patrick Falken would have used on the ballot papers. But for this to work he needs the help of Thessaly, and also the entire coteries cooperation.

The coterie deliberated and concluded that they would help fix the election for Patrick, in exchange for the things he promised.

Patrick gave them the location of the printers where the ballot papers were being prepared. The election would take place on the 21st of December, the longest night. So the coterie had only 4 days to act. However, that night would not be one as they had a prior engagement with the Circle of the Crone. That night was the night of the Winnowing ritual.

Driving up to a farm on the hills about Manchester the coterie could see the flames from numerous torches and a bonfire that illuminated the gathering. The nearby field was filled with vehicles, while the farm yard had been taken over by the Acolytes and turned into a small market. There were numerous wares on sale, animals, herbs and those Acolytes who are selling their services.

Thessaly’s sire, Adam, greets the coterie, and thanks Dimitri and Kane for coming and they are honoured guests. He asks that they wait, and perhaps try the blood that has been provided, while he and Thessaly speak to Magus Gregor.

In the warm of the kitchen of the farm house Magus Gregor spoke to Thessaly with regard to her sacrifice to the gods in penitence for her act of diableri. Thessaly had agreed to embrace another, so that she could understand the cycle of life and death better and bring another into the fold. For this Thessaly had chosen someone to embrace, a young man called Eric who was part of her mortal coven. Thessaly had chosen him as he wasn’t that knowledgeable of actual magic, making him the perfect student and easy to manipulate. Eric had been brought to the farm with the coterie, but under the pretention that it was some form of Wiccan festival.

The main event of the Winnowing was the Four Seasons, a play that demonstrated to the Acolytes the cycle of life and the roles of the Acolytes within it and within the covenant. On stage masked Acolytes performed the play and human sacrifices were brought out. There was blood and fire and screams, and Thessaly had to restrain Eric.

 


Masquerade to Requiem
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kris_ether


      So the third rpg that I ever bought and ran was Vampire: the Masquerade 2nd Edition Revised. It was a revelation to me. Buffy was on TV and Angel had also just started to be shown. I had also just seen the first Blade film. So really the right mix for a geeky 16 year old with goth inclination. Previously I had run Star Wars 2nd Edition revised and D&D Classic 18th edition.

      Vampire blew my mind. First up the ease of the system, compared to D&D, and the similarity to West End Games D6 system. But really it was the setting. Centuries old conspiracies, various variations of undead, and of course all this wrapped up in a dark modern setting. I was hooked.

     Now lets be honest here. The first Vampire chronicle I ran was filled with cliches. Oh man where to begin. It was set in San Francisco, it played up to every clan stereotype going. There was some Mayan temple. Some form of blood demon. Hey I was 16! I'm allowed blood demons froma Mayan temple near the Golden Gate Bridge!

     When I finished playing Vampire I started on Mage: the Ascension, and by this point I had gotten out of my system all the typical tropes. Thank the gods! But that is not to say that I forgot about Vampire. I now wanted to run the game set in the UK. And I was also battling the issue of Clan vs Camarilla. I was trying to figure out why the hell a vampire would really always follow the line set by the Clan. Surely the needs of the Camarilla were more important. I was really beginning the question the very heart and soul of the political setup of the game, and the way it had been presented. I wanted more conflict, but my understanding of these things was limited. I guess that is where mage came in with the Traditions and sub Traditions and crafts. I realised that this type of political landscape is what I need in Vampire.

      Then I picked up the Player's Handbook and in there was absolute gold. A section dealt with Clans and it started along the lines of 'You can choose your friends, and not your family'. I think it even gave an example. Such as 'It is the will of Clan Brujah' and the response being 'Yeah what ever. Fuck off!'

      So while I cooked the setting for Vampire Manchester (my Mage chronicle taking place in that setting), and started to think more and more about factions, and factions within factions.

      And then something happened. Gehenna and Vampire: the Requiem.

     Requiem had me sold with just four things. More factions, less clans, clan bloodlines, no more generation. Finally a setting could be a balance of all these Covenants, and without any being considered the bad guys (something I love hate about Mage: the Ascension by the way). With less Clans clan actually becomes more important as they become larger power blocks, and well formed bloodline rules made bloodlines respected, and feared, rarities.

     So without much effort my Vampire: Masquerade Manchester setting became a Requiem setting.

    I'm now going to summarise what I like about what Requiem changed.
  • Gothic Punk no more - It was fun to begin with but after a while there is only so much you can take. The mood of the game becomes too much of a joke. Requiem's Modern Gothic better reflects the world we live in now. It's like the difference between watching Batman (Tim Burton), and The Dark Knight (Chris Nolan). Both great but one is more relevant to our times.
  • Covenants - OK I love the Camarilla. I love the Sabbat. But there comes a time where being on one side or the other becomes tiring. The way Requiem did away with that and allowed for cities to be a fine balance of power between 5 (or more) groups, while removing the idea of cities being constantly under siege/at war, made the issues for each city individual. So what if two cities have both got Invictus Princes. The problems facing each are different. One may have a Carthian uprising to deal with while the other in fact needs his Carthian allies, and Lancea Sanctum allies, and Crone allies, and Ordo Dracul allies, to defeat an incursion of VII. In one fell swoop Covenants redrew the scale of the game to local politics, where being a member of a Covenant doesn't mean you have immediate allies half a world away.
  • Clans - Choosing clans was a bitch. So many choices made character generation tiresome. Now you know what you are getting when a player says, 'I'm a Gangrel', is a particular type of vampire. Unlike when a player would being choosing between the quite similar Brujah and Gangrel of Masquerade. But with small numbers of clans comes better roleplaying. Now you cannot just assume all Gangrel are exactly the same. You are encouraged to break the mould and bring something new to the Clan.
  •  Bloodline rules - Bloodlines are something a player can in fact create or join. Plus a Bloodline is something that can be emphasized in game as part of a character's heritage. In Masquerade the amount of Clans would make Bloodlines seem unimportant.
  • Generation gone - Generation was great. It gave a sense of lineage (some thing that the importance of bloodlines reinstalls). But it also made players slide to the inevitable hungry hippos game of munching on elders, just to score more power. The blood potency rules still allow this, but of course now that you can increase in power without going that route, munching on elders is now a major faux pas, and a wonderful short cut to power, rather than a necessity.
  • Theban Sorcery + Cruac and Coils - I love these things since it adds another layer to Vampiric power. It means you can play character like the old school Tremere with out actually all being the same fucking clan. Once more it removes the need to diablerize just to get the kewl powerz! Instead just join the Covenant you like (or steal from them!)
      Things I miss. The original Vampire: the Dark Ages setting but really, all things considered, you just have to deal with the Crone, Invictus and Lancea Sanctum and their associated internal factions and heresies and pretty much all the clans from Dark Ages can be represented as a Clan/Covenant/Bloodline combo.So there are the things that sold me Requiem. Hope it is of interest.

Add some character(s) to your game
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kris_ether


   
Roleplay games require characters. Characters for your players. But also characters for your players to interact with. These are the cast of the show. These are you allies, enemies and those just passing by. Now as the Storyteller of the game how do you deal with this cast, which can range from just a half dozen for some stories, or scenes, to over 20 or 30? How can we keep all those characters in our heads without either a) going mad or b) turning into Johnny Depp?

            The thing is it is all a matter of scale and importance. Some characters need elaborate histories while others just need a few lines of description. Some need a whole host of stats while others just need a suggestion on how powerful they are in the actions that they get involved in.

            Let’s work from the top down then.

            At the top, are, after the player characters, the other main stars of the game. These characters are critical to the story, and to the plots that they engage in or even instigate. For this reason these characters need the most detail, both in terms of stats and background. We need to understand their motivations, their hopes, their fears, and just how far they are willing to go to see their plans come to pass. It is by being able to answer these questions, and determine their game stats that we now have some idea of the personality that is required to live through these actions and decisions. After all only a certain type of personality is able to commit to these types of actions and goals. And of course in turn they will only have certain stats. It’s a lot of hard work, and of course you want each of these key characters to be different, but the pay off is big. These characters will stand out and are the signature of your game, and will be instantly remembered by your players. You now it had worked when you begin to describe who they spot on a video screen and before you have finished one of the players respond with “Oh great it’s that fucking bitch!” Job’s a good ‘un!

            So what little things can you do that make these characters stand out? You have elaborate backgrounds, well thought out motivations, and stat lines. Well there are their physical descriptions. Now it is so easy to fall into using certain clichés here. All Daeva vampires become sooooo beautiful, sooo sexy. But really the best thing you can do is to make these descriptions fit with their backgrounds. The mundane is not boring, it is believable. And it is also the canvas upon which the more interesting character traits stand out. Too many strange and unique traits become confusing. More useful is when the players can hear a clicking of a case and next see a person who is known for always flicking open and closed a pocket watch. A vampire who smokes is also interesting and means that you can use the smell of that character’s cigarettes as a storytelling device. It’s these quirks that sell a character. Now quirks don’t just have to be physical traits, they can be psychological. Perhaps the character prefers certain colours, or always buys the same newspaper each day at a certain time.

            So let’s move down the ladder. Characters at the mid and lower levels of importance require a decreasing amount of detail. But just because they don’t have character backgrounds that cover every detail of their life, or have complete stat lines, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have character. Not all taxi drivers are all the same. This means that even the pedestrians have quirks.

            But why should they have quirks? Why should you try and have each character stick in the player’s mind? Well in may turn out through the course of a game that even lesser characters become important and these quirks are what make once unimportant, stat free, background less, characters memorable. They suddenly remember where they met that homeless guy, or that cop who reads Shakespeare.

            There are other tools for making characters memorable and stand out. We have mannerisms and their voice. Something that I have seen is that all bad guy characters can end up being the same type of Saturday morning cartoon villains. Deep voices. Menacing stares. Now not all of us are good at mimicking accents. Some of us are just not that confident. But still making the effort to at least describe the manner in which they talk, and their mannerisms (another clue to the personality of the character), makes these characters memorable.

            Now we can even apply this on the fly for characters that we need at a moment’s notice. All need is a few seconds to note down a few descriptions for each trait; Physical Description, Personality, Mannerisms, Quirk. Now for the time being you don’t need to note anything about their background but if this character is worth using again it is worth going back to these notes and expanding these.

            With our cast of characters ready what do we do in play to manage them? Well you know those quick notes for on the fly new characters? That can be applied to characters that have already been written up. We can think all characters in terms of a few descriptions for each of those categories. This means that in our head is a summary of each character, and we can then refer to their full notes if we need details. These summaries can be written down on flash cards and kept on hand if, God help us, we have to deal with many characters at once being spoken to by the player characters. Having to jump between personalities is not easy but the trick for you and the players are these short summaries. If they are memorable to the players then they will be memorable for you.

 

            So there you go, my hints on playing characters, and really how to make a cast of individuals rather than cookie cutter Saturday morning bad guys.

 

            Next up will be some of my opinions on the games I have played. What things I have run, how I have run them, what things worked, what didn’t, and what I have still to run.


Vampire - The Endless Waltz
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kris_ether


Vampire: The Endless Waltz


 


Episode 6: Dancers in the Shadows  Part 2


 


      Following the issue with missing ghoul Kane headed down to the loading bay of the shopping centre while Dimitri informed Patrick Falken of the issue and that he will try and and get everybody to leave before there are any more problems. Meanwhile Thessaly was still at the hospital for the insane and was breaking into filing cabinets.
     In the loading bay Kane and the other vampires and ghouls on security discovered the missing ghoul. He had been burnt to death. Splitting up they went looking for the reason why. But things just got worse as the other vampire soon went missing. Kane and a ghoul found blood stains and then his body, hidden away. He had been staked and beheaded. There was also a van that looked suspicious and Kane was certain he could see containers in there that looked like it was a bomb. Kane then watched as the ghoul on look out was consumed in flames. Kane hid and watched the hunters kill the ghoul with the flamethrower. Kane could barely keep the fear in him down, taking the shape of a raven and flew away before regaining his composure.
      Dimitri had just got the guests to leave, and the drugged up Annabel Barbican taken to a taxi. But he was confronted in the club and before the other Kindred still present. Patrick's rival, Julia Reinhart, demanded to know what was going on. However, Dimitri was not taking any crap, and knowing he had the support of those guests still present, just said it was his party and would do what the hell he liked. Julia, seeing how she had no command of the situation, stormed off, leaving Dimitri to go and find Kane.
      Thessaly opened the cabinets and found files on medical blood experiments, Astra Zenca drug trials, autopsy reports on Kindred, and also files stolen from the Ordo Dracul, and information taken from the Sanctified and Acolytes. She read through some and grabbed what she could, noting a CD that bore the same code as the piece of arabic manuscript they found in Dr Tobin's abandoned car. It was just in time as she spotted issues with the security cameras. Some one was burning them out with flares. And that some one was Lauren Esten and her Ordo Dracul friends. Thessaly acted quickly and made an escape, knowing the main entrance to the wing was blocked off, she found an old laundry chute and escaped through the boiler room of the hospital.
      In the loading bay of the Great Northern shopping centre, Dimitri and his ghoul Karl, watched as the hunters made their escape, they took the vans with them, knowing that the party above was over and they had lost their opportunity. Dimitri then noticed the other ghoul security come out of hiding as the vans left, and a strange raven that flew over their heads, Dimitri's and then went flying off following the  van.
      Kane arrived at an old metal working factory near the canals and so he approached, his form offering him the element of surprise. Inside the hunters were removing the explosives from the van. But also the leader of the hunters mentioned that their contact had better have some more information on when to hit the bloodsuckers next. Within the factory there was also a cage which held a bloody and battered woman. She was clearly a vampire who had been captured and the leader of the hunters was questioning her, before beating her again.
      Kane landed down on the factory floor and shifted back to human form, before shifting to his cat form. Playfully he tried to get the attention of the hunters, before making such a distraction by which he could steal the key to the cage off the table. With the key in his mouth he once more made his way to cover and shifted back to his human form. He had a plan. Kane had earlier contacted the Constable about the hunters, and that a police strike team would be there to apprehend the men on grounds of terrorism. Kane waited.
     There was then a commotion as the police stormed the factory. Gas grenades were fired in, giving Kane the cover needed to get to the cage and release the female vampire. But as he did so Kane was shot in the back by one of the hunters. Undeterred by the shotgun slug Kane opened the cage and released the woman he launched herself at the hunter and tore his throat out. Kane Grabbed her and they fled, just in time as the entire factory went up in flames.
      On the streets Kane and the woman hid in an alleyway, the police helicopters had not been able to track them. Kane called Dimitri to get picked up as it was an hour before dawn. But as Kane put the phone down he felt the pain of a piece of wood being rammed through his chest. The woman turned on him and sneered. "Thanks for the help". Dimitri arrived to find the body of Kane left behind some rubbish bags. Dimitri removed the stake and fed Kane some of his blood.
      Meanwhile Thessaly tried to put the clues together. She was researching in her haven, the cold of winter not affecting her. There she learnt more about the daemon Si'lat, about the book the Kitab Si'lat, the myths of the Tremere, and wondered how all this linked to the Ordo Dracul, the Coil of Blood, stigmata and the Lancea Sanctum.


 


Changeling: The Lost - Players please read
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kris_ether

From the White Wolf Wiki, the most complete White Wolf reference

Changeling: The Lost logo

 


Changeling: The Lost is the fifth game for the new World of Darkness, published by White Wolf. It was announced via an advertisement in the back of Promethean: The Created, and was released in August 2007. Like the main three games (Vampire, Werewolf and Mage), it is a re-imagining of one of the original World of Darkness games - Changeling: The Dreaming - but it radically departs from it's predecessor. It is heavily inspired by traditional stories of the Fae and other tales of abduction, encompassing everything from cautionary fairytales told to children to modern-day urban legends and UFO stories.




 




 

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- Follow the Links to get ideas so we can do a character design session
- Also remember you will be playing experienced characters so you will have lots of room for customization 


Vampire: the Endless Waltz - Episode 6 Part 1
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kris_ether


Vampire: The Endless Waltz


Episode 6: Dancers in the Shadows Part 1



Following the events at the labs and the junk yard the coterie had revealed what they had discovered to Patrick Falken and Chamberlain Odans, who both advised that with respect to the issues with the Ordo Dracul that they should continue as if they were not aware of them. Instead they should lure them out and their Invictus allies. As for the traitors to the Carthians, Lauren Esten had gone to ground and was currently being sort out by the Myrmidon so that she could be questioned over the events of the Prefect’s death. As for the final death of Jacob Lewis as Kane’s hands, the issue was to be brushed under the carpet by Patrick Falken, Kane having previously revealed this issue to him.


It was December now and the nights were getting very long, the perfect time for any real chaos to occur within the ranks of the Kindred. Kane awoke and met with Constable Ihram in a church grave yard to discuss the issue of the Ordo Dracul and Lauren Esten. Lauren had still not been found and Kane was ordered to keep an eye out. Kane then received a call from an old work college who said that he had just met Kane’s sister and that she was in the city and she had been looking for him as it had been some time since they had last spoken or seen him.


Following this meeting Kane headed to the Great Northern centre where Club Hangman’s was located, and where he would meet Thessaly, Dimitri, Patrick, Spokesman Rain and a few others to discuss last minute preparations for the following night’s party. Happy with the arrangements Patrick congratulated Dimitri and the others before they were interrupted by Dr Hugo Emris Auldwyn. He wanted to meet with Thessaly, and in a curtained off area he asked if she, being a member of the Crone and so with not real ties to the party tomorrow, would go to the asylum and keep watch over a patient and observe him. He needs someone to watch and she will be compensated by the Chairman. But he also wishes for Thessaly to give her insight on the man, her knowledge and skills being of use.


The next evening Thessaly arrived at the Cheadle Hulme Hospital, a psychiatric centre and the former Manchester Asylum. It was a dark and imposing red brick Victorian building, and the rain only made it seem more sinister. She had been given by a ghoul of Hugo’s a uniform and access cards, and a map, that would lead her to the hidden research wing maintained by him. She walked through corridors that at this time of evening were now fairly empty. The odd orderly wheeled a patient to their room, another patient would be walking about, barely noticing her presence. As she got nearer to the west wing she noticed an empty recreation room. It was dark and then the TV blinked on. The screen was just static. It blinked off. Then on again, and from down the corridor Thessaly could hear someone moaning. She went to look, and on a bed, almost forced into the mattress, was a man, his eye wide open looking straight up. He turned to look at Thessaly and spoke.


‘One who stands in the helm of shadows and the cloak of nightmares. He is seeking his name, the fallen angel, the bringer of pandemonium, he shall take your souls and lay them bare to the beast. The crows circle and blood will seep from the land and he shall rise!’


The man then went quiet and Thessaly watched as shadows cast by the tress outside, like fingers, fell across his body and then, by some manner, began to creep closer to her. She stepped back and cast a circle of protection. The shadows backed off and all went quiet once more. Thessaly hurried on to the dining hall.


Back at Club Hangman’s the party was just getting started. Dimitri had got there early and was dressed up in a smart McQueen suit and a Venetian mask. The other Kindred present were also smartly dressed, some more than others, and they too wore masks for Dimitri had said the party was also a masquerade party and also his death day party.


Eventually the club was filled up, and Kane and Dimitri conversed with Priscus Neils of the Daeva, the Myrmidon, Chamberlain Odans, Spokesman Rain, some of the neonates and ancillea of the Carthians. A few punkish Kindred turned up at the doors, but were soon turned away by security. They were anarchs, those Carthians willing to go to extreme measures for a change in power. But then one person arrived who caught the attention of Dimitri, Annabel Barbican. It seems that the Invictus had taken his bait and accepted his invitation. He proceed to talk to her and to the Chamberlain, exchanging biting remarks until the Chamberlain reminded Annabel to be more courteous in the presence of their host. Kane then received a voice message from his sister. She said that she needed to see him and gave him an address that was located in the suburbs. Kane ignored it and continued with the party.


It was now that Dimitri hatched his plan, and offered her one of the nicest of the herd to feed on that night. Unknown to her, Dimitri had drugged the man with morphine. He took Annabel to one of the curtained areas and privately watched as she fed on the drugged man. Soon she too was feeling the effects. But before Dimitri could carry out his insidious plan, Patrick Falken had arrived and Dimitri had to present him to the gathered Carthians.


Meanwhile Thessaly had made her way to the secret underground hospital rooms. Accessed from a false freezer door the underground hospital wing was a dim and dark place. It was damp and cold, and deadly quiet. Gone were the mad ramblings of the patients from above. As she made her way down the corridor Thessaly passed a number of empty rooms and then came to the office from which Dr Hugo worked, his laboratory and a room with a large steel door. Within Thessaly could see a padded room, stained with damp and blood and bile. On the walls were things written in blood. Dr A, Dr R, Dr H, and tallies next to them. There was also the name Williamson, and one word that was new to Thessaly. Tremere.


Suddenly at the view hatch her eyes met those of another. His eyes were yellow, his pupils fully dilated. She could see little of his face and so a conversation began. The man spoke of strange things, of experiments, elixirs, his father (who he did not name), and of the things waiting in the shadows. Thessaly could see from his aura that he was quite mad, but also truthful.


Back at the party Dimitri introduced Patrick, first thanking everyone for coming and attending the party, his death day party, and of for showing their support for Patrick. With the pleasantries over Dimitri return to the curtained booth to find Annabel still intoxicated. It was now that he committed his perverse act.


Meanwhile Kane was in the club and over the radio he had heard that one of the ghouls on security in the loading bay below was not responding. Something was not going to plan.



Dimitri and Annabel
nosferatu by bloomyicons
dimitri_z
((As requested: what went on behind the curtain at the party.))

I take a look around - Patrick's mingling with the crowd, sweet-talking. All eyes are on him; no one notices me slip to the back of the room. The two ghouls are still guarding the closed curtain, stationary and not speaking a word. "Stay here," I instruct, "and don't let anyone past, you got it?" Both of them nod, almost in unison. I sweep back the drapes, stepping into the makeshift tent.

Annabel is feeding again, though lazily. The young man (I forget his name) half-awake yet seemingly unaware of the vampire clamping her mouth around his wrist. A trickle of blood leaks onto the chaise-longue. Otherwise his neck and arm are covered in bites, dark and congealed. The fresh blood is inviting, but I already fed on someone earlier. Besides, I don't want to get fucked on morphine. If you'll excuse the pun...
So I sit down next to Annabel, and she acknowledges me with a slight moan of satisfaction as she pulls away from the guy's wrist.

"Annabel. You alright?" I inquire, wondering how messed up she still is. When I touch her thigh and she doesn't react, I get my answer.
She looks up at me, eyes misty. "...Dimitri. Yes. I feel much better now..."
"Do you?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.
"Yes, yes... I feel just - perfect. You have..." she gestures to the boy, now passed out again, "good taste." She finds her joke quite amusing, and giggles.
"I know. You're glad you came to the party, then?"
Annabel nods. "Yes."
"I'm glad, too." My fingertips stroking delicately, the cool flesh of her leg. This time, she notices.
"And what does that mean?" She asks the question flirtily, coyly.
"Oh, nothing. You just look very beautiful tonight." I bite my tongue a little. Not that Annabel's not beautiful, she's just a vindictive bitch. Though it's hilarious that she doesn't seem to recall how much she hates my guts. If I can push her this far...
Surprisingly, she just smiles. "Thank you..."
My lips poised over hers. "If I didn't know better..." I wait for the slap to my face. It doesn't come.

Annabel's tongue curls forward, "Oh, I don't think you do..." Another giggle. Well. This is pretty hilarious...
I take a chance, and our mouths meet. She doesn't hiss, fight, or scream. Just purrs, and it's the sickest joke I've ever made, but I kiss her like we're mortal. Like she's one of the girls I pick up to feed on, or like the girlfriends I had before I was turned. She doesn't realise that I'm laughing for all the wrong reasons. She joins in.
Her hands pull off my jacket, then tease at my shirt buttons. She tugs at them, and I freak out. "This is McQueen," I snap, and she laughs again. I take the liberty of unfastening the buttons, so I'm shirtless, and she rakes her fingernails over my chest. I can't believe how wasted she is. Jesus Christ.
I hear feet outside the curtains, not close, but still. The ghouls are still stood in place. I'm aware that people might miss me; if this is going to go down, it has to be fast. "You want it this way?" I ask her, unhooking my trousers. Hell, I'm asking.
Annabel's hands are under the hem of her dress. Her underwear is purple lace, and drops to the floor around her heels. She kisses me hard. "Why not?" Fair enough. Is this too easy? Probably.

It lasts fifteen minutes. It's forced and cold, but I get some kind of twisted pleasure out of watching her practiced expressions of lust. They're sketched on her face like shadows, she can't feel anything. The harsh contrast between her regular, ice-queen demeanour and feigned passions. She's soft as putty underneath me, and I smirk thinking of her high-and-mighty falsehoods. Weak as a kitten, and it's fucking priceless.
Afterwards, she stretches out on the chaise-longue, eyes closed, the drug still in play. I feel as though I wasn't even here. I dress, and wonder if she's going to pull up her underwear. When she decides to move, that's what she does.
I don't know what to say. Normally I have Karl to usher chicks out of my room. I can't send her out like this.
"I should get back to the party," I explain. "If that's OK."
"Mmm," she replies, flicking her tongue over her lips. Tugging on the sleeve of the guy she was feeding on. "He'll keep me company." She's still laughing. I leave her to it.

Vampire: The Endless Waltz - Elections are Coming!!!
virtual adept
kris_ether

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