Arcanum

The Tales of Prague
A Welcome to Bohemia - the adventures of TeamPrague in Book I, collectively

Welcome to Prague, the city of crossroads. Here it stands in the shadow of the Vyszechrad castle, a place blending Slavic and German, east and west, not only in the cultural and national sense, but also in the much more volatile world of Kindred politics.

Prague, the heart of Bohemia. A city serving as an unnamed frontier of the Holy Roman Empire. A centre for both culture and commerce, where many roads lead to and from in these nights. An ancestral ground of the Tzimisce. A new crown jewel of the Ventrue. A city of learning, one of the few havens of the Prometheans of Old Carthage. A multicultural city of many names and stories.

And here you are.

Finally, you have arrived. Your road was long and full of twists and turns, but somehow you have found yourself here, looking from the top of a hill on this city that teems with life. Lights flash and voices echo in the distance. The promise of warm hearth, warm blood and the bustle of a city draws you in. Your old life has finished and you truly have nowhere to go. Will you find what you are looking for here, in those cobbled streets? Or is it just another insignificant step on your way?

Will this be the end of your exile? Is the helping hand you are so desperately searching for already reaching out to you somewhere inside those walls? And, truly, can you be certain as to what you are even looking for?

Is it an end or a beginning?



The shadows come to dance my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord. The shadows come to stay my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord…



Soon.



(pending)

(pending)

Tibert:

There was amulet-hunting, party-plotting, chess-playing, and bear-hugging involved.

Amicus was lovely, but destined to die, as he was Bianca’s true love. The Ventrue Prince was a grand prick, but that’s ok – the Tzimisce voivod and his son were much more fun anyway.

It all started when Bianca was issued the task of retrieving a certain amulet for the Prince. Alexandrio, who introduced himself as a Setite intending to settle in the city, and Runko, who arrived from Kraków and sought to introduce herself to the Prince before visiting the voivode, were tasked with helping the young Bianca in her bid to retrieve the artefact.

It all went to hell when Runko left with Alyss, though – there was a, ah, a natural disaster and an execution (on Alexandrio). The Tremere were at fault, as always.

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Chapter 1: Blood & Honour
A summary post for the first chapter of Book I, and all that happened within

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

  • * *

And so a long journey is in front of you. It starts innocently enough, just at the monastery gate, leading you through ceremonies of death, life and a road that seems to go on and on. Shall you ever arrive at the destination foretold? Who knows…



Having succeeded in the first of the tests the elders of Vienna set in front of them, the Team was asked to perform a second service — this time specifically for the Prince. They were to give testimony of what they have discovered to Vienna’s Tzimisce neighbour and Elemer’s master – so little and so much. Taking an opportunity to ask the locals about the road on a social gathering of the local kindred in Werner’s tavern, the protagonists felt more or less prepared for what was to come. Or so they thought.

The road to Soprom was rather uneventful, except for one chance meeting on the road; a Lasombra lady, Roxanne, whom they would later see staying in Vienna, was spotted by them on the road near the castle. Otherwise, the visit was interesting and eventful, but not fatal. The team had a chance to see more than a little bit of Tzimisce magic, get acquainted with a local pitchfork-wielding mob after brother Joachim’s flawless attempts at diplomacy and see Marcus get cursed by an unknown perpetrator.

On their way back, however, they were not so lucky and had the misfortune of coming across a site of a small skirmish in the Tzimisce-Tremere war. Taking under their wings a mortal survivor of the battle, a girl who introduced herself as Angela, they went on their way warily, dodging patrols and making unlikely acquaintances: a Gangrel warrior named Anna and her merry band of mercenary misfits, with whom Caspar partied at the inn on the way — all night long and into the next evening. Showing a surprising affinity for the wild, a newfound trait some connected to his unfortunate Amaranth experience, Caspar adopted a small female bear further on the way, after the team slaughtered it’s parents — the risks of lying to sleep in bear caves being that the bears may return before the dawn and you will find them sitting on your face the very next night, you see. In this particular instance the team preferred not to cuddle with the creatures and, after some difficulties, slayed the mama bear, papa bear and the bear boy, leaving only the bear girl, whom Caspar took, giving her his new favourite female name: Anna.


[Derpina 17/06/2015]

The envoy was dead, and the blame rested with the inhuman creature who had dwelt in the woods and who had died for its transgressions. One would suspect, there was nothing more to be done. However, the proof had to be delivered to the injured party, and who would be better suited for the task than a group of curious neonates?

Thus,sir Caspar, accompanied by Marcus and brother Joachim, set off to Hungary to meet with Count Kalman Apafi a Soprom, and show him that his dear servant died as a result of an unfortunate accident and nothing more. Whether that explanation was true, or merely factual was none of the group’s concern.

Equipped with new clothes, horses, a cart, and funds for the journey, the adventures left towards the wilderness. The journey was long and difficult, especially in inclement weather, thankfully, however, the younglings had managed to gather a handful useful hints from more experienced travelers, and thus may have avoided a few common mistakes.

During the trip, they revised the guidelines they had received from Abbot Marius and Prince Valerianus: do not lie, do not make assumptions, do not ask unnecessary questions, show respect and if possible, stay no longer than three nights. They also arduously studied a book of etiquette generously lent them by the Abbot.

However, once in the Count’s castle, the neonates could not help but be in awe. Corridors that seemed to lead to where one wished to go, talking bookcases – one of them mean and one friendly, a fire that did not burn, maids that offered them blood? Who would have imagined!

The Count himself was also a man to behold. From his scalp rose small branches that looked like a crown of a tree. Having introduced themselves, the adventurers met the Count’s wife, Anika, his son, Lorinc, and the priestess, Brennan – everybody most courteous and polite.

The most unpleasant moment happened when the Count sat down to examine the team’s testimony, seeking proof of it in Caspar’s memories. He did not seem completely satisfied, but if there indeed was a reason for that, it remained unspoken.

To make the night more pleasant, Lorinc then took the group to a nearby village where a festival was taking place. Caspar, well versed in the art of seduction, helped the princeling find himself an appropriate company, and then followed suit. Meanwhile, brother Joachim, who not only dressed like a friar, but also spoke German, outraged the villagers who began to chant and light up torches. Lorinc’s assistance was needed, and having convinced the crowd to disperse, he took the guests back to the castle. There, a friendly sparring match took place between Lorinc and Caspar, during which the men earned each other’s respect.

Later that night, the visitors were invited to see the gobelins created by the Lady of the castle. As she explained, they depicted visions she had, but seldom understood. In her kindness, the Lady offered each of the adventurers a gobelin of their choosing, and thus, Caspar received an image of the man who became the monster from the woods, Marcus asked for an image of Prince Valerianus, and brother Joachim decided to rely on his intuition and chose a random image that pleased him.

Towards the end of the night, the count and his priestess recalled the group and offered them to see a feat of magic. Thrilled by the prospect, Caspar and Marcus agreed to go, and were rewarded with a view of a ritual that took place in the castle’s shrine and then, a visit to a cave that first filled with blood, and then showed them visions of burning cities they did not and would not know for centuries to come.

On the last night, an unfortunate event happened. Following a day of strange dreams, the team members awoke thirsty, and none of them was as thirsty as Marcus, whose bleeding wounds gave him no relief. Invited back to the meeting hall of the castle, he could not resist the temptation of the fountain filled with blood. Urged by his thirst, the Malkavian lurched forward and kept drinking until the beastly hunger let go of him, to his utmost embarrassment.

Thankfully, it appeared the Count had a greater problem at hand. It would seem something damaged the magic protection of the castle, and it was high time for the team to depart…

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Introduction: The Patrician
A summary post for the introductory chapter of Book I, and all that happened within

“Welcome, welcome, m’lord! Welcome to my humble abode! Would you like something to drink? No? Here, let me find you a chair….”

“It’s such a great honour, m’lord, to have you here, in our small haven. I cannot start to express how big an honour it is that you would see fit to visit your humble servants so soon after arriving… indeed, on the very second night! If there is anything at all that we could do to serve m’lord bi-”

“Ah, yes. Yes, of course. I shall provide all the information necessary to further m’lords agenda… whatever that agenda may be… and let me just say: it will be a pleasure. For truly, it will.”

“It is a good time for our little town… which, I believe, can no longer be truly called little, no. A prosperous merchant town… Yes, Leopold III Babenberg, the kine ruler, tries to make it into a capital of a mortal realm. Just look at the harbour and all the merchandise that comes through here every month… enough, I am sure, to build him a seat worth of a king… and, of course, if that happens, HE will also move there, no doubt about it.”

“Ah… yes. Him. Yes, he’s still here, the Usurper, and my father’s blood is still on his hands, red as ever. Oh, m’lord, how good you are now here. With you around He will have to watch his steps, carefully, oh yes, very carefully. It makes me wistful… I carry still with me the memory of free Vienna… And the hope that it shall become so again, one day…”

“As for Him… Oh, yes, there are many things I can tell you, m’lord…”



In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.

What happened to Elemer?
You have visited the Sheriff, Werner Von Laudau, and on his advice talked with the missing envoy’s lover, Maria, and her husband, Mark.
You have seen glimpses of the world around your sanctuary.
And you have evaluated your trust in those around you.
Or have you?
On the second night, the riddle waits at the gate.



The Introduction for TeamVienna was a tale of murder most foul and the subjectivity of truth. Herein were introduced our protagonists: Marcus, a former hermit and monk, who, after his brutal and unexpected embrace was abandoned in the woods, only to fight shelter at the Cappadocian-Benedictine monastery near Vienna; Joachim, a Benedictine monk, scholar and medic, who came to learn from a Master of his road, the abbot Marius; Caspar, a Brujah scholar and warrior, who came to the city with a message to his brother-in-blood, Eric; and Michael, a young crusader, embraced by Eric in the Holy Land and freshly (end prematurely) returned from the first Crusade.

This was the team who was tasked by the Prince of Vienna, Valerianus, to find out who or what was responsible for the death of the Tzimisce ghoul diplomat, Elemer, in exchange for the right to remain and obtain the feeding rights in his prestigious and safe domain.

The ensuing adventures consisted of, among other things, Marcus and Joachim pretending to be saints sent by God Almighty to bring the relief of a confession to one of the main suspect’s household, of the team meeting a few seedy individuals and being tricked by an ugly stable boy, of Caspar visiting a wooden hunting estate in a forest near Vienna and of much feasting and getting to know the people in the monastery where many of the future events would take place.

The team was not of one mind on the matter of the murder, nor on the Prince’s offer; still, they conducted a seemingly successful investigation into the matter, finding out that the direct cause of death of the envoy was an ancient, feral Gangrel — the so called “Monster in the Woods”, as they dubbed him — even if the circumstances in which the man found himself near the kindred’s lair remained unclear and suspicious to their eyes.

Unfortunately, this revelation, made by Caspar and Michael, who decided to investigate the Ashen Wood of which they heard disturbing tales, led to the demise of the latter. Young Michael perished in the fight with a foe whose ability far outmatched his own; and yet he managed to buy Caspar enough time to finish off the weakened foe, so his sacrifice was not in vein.

The Cappadocian Abbot, Marius, who was a dear, old friend of Eric’s arranged for the body of the deceased to be returned to a respectable state and for a sublime funeral ceremony to be held for his memory, with his body burned and his ashes scattered afterwards.

Soon after the funeral the Abbot’s other kindred guest, Simon the Seeker, left the city and our heroes faced the difficult task of dealing with the consequences of their findings.


[Koala]

How could it come to this! An envoy murdered in a beautiful city of Vienna! Nobody knew who nor why has fulfilled the malevolent deed, but the Prince was furious, I tell you!

Coincidentally, a group of mischievous misfits has just entered the city. As jolly as inexperienced and spirited, we gladly took the Prince’s offer to solve the case. We used all means necessary, including travelling saints!

Just remember, there are no monsters in the forest!

Alas, poor Caspar, losing his nephew to something nonexistent…

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