Arcanum

Arcanum Renaissance Special: The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Played on the 8th and 9th of July 2015

All hail Gloriana!

November 17, 1602, England. On the 44th anniversary of our Glorious Queen Elisabeth’s ascension to the throne, sir Robert Cecil, a dutiful minister and the Secretary of State to Her Highness’ government joins forces with his older half-brother, Sir Thomas Cecil, 2nd Baron Burgheley to absolve the Queen from her miserie after the treacherous’ Essex’s execution.

So be invited, noble guests, to the Burgheley family seat in the humble Burghley House, Cambridgeshire, where the host and his dame, the Lady Dorothy Cecil nee Neville, will be entertaining Her Royal Highness for a fortnight. Many noble and learned guests have been confirmed to attend, among them Her Royal Highness’ first cousin twice removed, the dame Arbella Stuart, sir Christopher Hatton the younger, councillor Francis Bacon, doctor John Dee, Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland and Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp with their families and many others glorious guests for listing of whom no paper holds enough space. Rumours have reached our ears that envoys of the Scottish king James VI, the Queen’s cousin, will also present themselves to pay their respects to our Divine Queen.

Deer hunting, bear baits and dog baits are going to be held at court, together with hawking, tennis and jousting tournaments. As Her Grace finds herself partial to such entertainments, this magnificent occasion will be marked by a performance of the much acclaimed Admiral’s Men, who will present “Dido, Queen of Carthage” by the renowned Christopher Marlowe, on the 10th anniversary of it’s publishing.

[derpina 24/07/2015]

It was year 1602. Having completed her research on Loch Ness, Bianca came to Boston to become the new Regent and resolve a problem with the local river. Her meeting with the former head of the chantry was, however, interrupted by Caspar, unexpectedly arriving at her door in the company of his new acquaintance, Anthony, whom he had rescued from a mob of furious villagers accusing him of witchcraft.

Eventually, the reconciliation of old friends led to emptying the former Regent’s stash of alcoholic blood, as a result of which Bianca’s new apprentice became indisposed, and Caspar could solidify his quite unwanted friendship with Anthony, now convinced that the Brujah is depressed and requires urgent intervention.

As it turned out, Anthony, suspected to be a Giovanni or a Malkavian, was not a witch, but he did posses a peculiar ability to speak with spirits, thanks to which he gained knowledge of a mortal ploy which had gotten him in trouble. With the aid of Bianca and Caspar, one of the schemers sent after the kindred was apprehended and forced to confess, shedding more light onto the matter.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Stepano were visiting Lady Seren, the Malkavian baroness of Gloucester, to whom the vampire got indebted during the Convention of Thorns. There, they became acquainted with Lady Hesper, a Ventrue matron taking care of her mortal descendants, and her ever busy ghoul, Tobias.

During a pleasant evening of discussing marriage and the bad influence of poets, the topic eventually changed to politics, and the two visitors were informed that they are to accompany the baroness to a party organized by half-brothers, Robert and Thomas Cecil, to celebrate the 44th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne. During the celebration, the kindred Duke of Amber (childe of Prince Mithras, acting in his stead during his absence) was to announce the new baron of Norwich, as the barony had been empty for a number of years, and a handful of kindred were looking forward to take the prestigious position.


Once at the party, Marcus, until then accompanied by Hesper, was surprised to find Bianca, who had been invited to meet her new Pontifex, and Caspar, who was smuggled in by Anthony, pretending to be the Prince’s secret agent. While the latter disappeared in the crowd, and Hesper excused herself to find her family, the old team caught up on past events and promptly split to mingle with the other guests and exchange gossip pertaining to local politics – the execution of the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, the event’s gracious hosts and other more and less noble persons present at the party.

While Bianca was on the lookout for the Pontifex and Caspar was having a conversation with two learned gentlemen, Marcus accidentally found another old friend, Dermont, who appeared at the party disguised as a Ventrue neonate, Germaine, and was just enjoying a pleasant talk with Hesper’s granddaughters – to her immediate discontent.

As the party progressed, it became apparent that among the kindred, there were two major parties struggling for the barony – the Toreadors and the Ventrue – and that the execution of Essex may have something to do with their competition for influence in Avalon, as the Earl was rumored to be a Toreador man. Pooling their intel, the team learned that one of the candidates for the barony was lord Oswyn Blackwell, Hesper’s sire, while the Toreador remained unknown.

Meanwhile, Bianca found herself a new acquaintance, Alistair, who was all too interested to hear about her occult research in Loch Ness, even being as kind as to supply her with necessary occult terms to discuss the phenomena – a fairly unusual feat for a random interlocutor. Overhearing the conversation, Marcus stepped in, and recognizing the man to be a ghoul, politely asked Bianca to dance, unbeknownst to the mildly scandalous scene that was about to unravel in a matter of minutes.

Caspar also decided to join the dance floor, being invited by Lady Seren who benevolently taught him the local dances to “prepare him for the Toreadors,” as if she knew who would be his next dance partner. Luckily for him, the Brujah quickly got a hold of the English dance style and was able to awe the ladies with his prowess.

As the tune ended, Alistair, moving swiftly through the crowd, and tailed by the ever watchful Hesper, followed a man who was just about to leave the room. Harsh words were exchanged, although few were heard by those who did not stand sufficiently close to the scene. The last remark, however, was enough to catch the attention of eavesdropping kindred: “Don’t embarass yourself. A Jewish hedge wizard can never become a Hermetic master.”

Shortly after, the display of Dido, the Queen of Carthage, written by Christopher Marlowe and performed by the Admiral’s Men, was announced, and nobody spoke of the incident, as the commentaries on the play dominated the conversations afterwards. Caspar, knowing his Brujah nature and the history of his clan, chose to opt out and left the room before the spectacle to take a walk outside, wary not to cause an unnecessary scene.

Meanwhile, Bianca was accosted by the very same man whose remark caught kindred attention before, one doctor John Dee, not surprisingly looking much younger than one would expect, studying his biography. Having quizzed her on the local politics and other matters, the man left as soon as he appeared, and Bianca was swiftly intercepted by Marcus and Hesper who had been vigorously debating lord Oswyn’s chances for the barony and were curious as to the mysterious man’s identity.

Caspar, having fed in the gardens, was approached or, to be precise, meat balled, by Anthony, who found out that the treacherous woman he was looking for was currently frolicking with Thomas Cecil in one of the bedrooms. Guided by his sense of justice – and an opportunity for blackmail – he nagged Caspar to interrupt the scene, but to no avail.

When that plan did not quite work out, Anthony chose to secretly procure the item which, as he claimed, had been stolen by the woman and, with Caspar’s permission, hid it in Bianca’s carriage to transport it back to Boston. However, concerned about Bianca’s reaction, Caspar chose to inform her of the trouble, temporarily leaving Anthony with Marcus and Hesper.

Suspecting the kindred to be a Malkavian, Marcus peeked at his aura, which showed a myriad of colors changing in a rapid pattern, as well as something menacing poking through the backdrop of irritation, discouraging the elder from further annoying his now confirmed clanmate.

While Caspar and Bianca were discussing possible solutions, Hesper was informed that her youngest granddaughter, Joy, disappeared with one of the young actors. Despite the rush, by the time she found the girl, the deed had already been done, and the matron could only scold the girl’s recklessness, at which point Joy bolted out of the room. Enraged, Hesper sent Tobias to find her and moved on to check on her remaining relatives for whom she had been dutifully arranging good matches.

As the evening was drawing to a close, Bianca made a deal with Anthony, promising that if he returned the stolen item to its owner, she would do something to help Caspar with his depression, to which the Malkavian readily agreed.

Finally, it was time for the Duke to announce the new Baron, and all the kindred present flocked to one of the smaller rooms to hear the decision. Being in a bit of a rush, Marcus left Stepano and Bianca to talk with two innocuously looking mortal gentlemen, and joined Hesper at the gathering, hoping for a favorable verdict.

As the Duke was about to announce that, following a compromise between the interested parties, the new Baron would be a Ventrue, a commotion started at the door, as the two men who had previously conversed with Stepano tried to enter, temporarily delayed by Bianca who wanted to avoid a masquerade breach.

As it turned out, one of the visitors was the Prince’s personal envoy, and the other, no longer innocuously looking, turned out to be the Prince himself. The crowd parted immediately and dropped to their knees as Mithras walked towards his childer. “The new baron will indeed be a Ventrue,” he confirmed, with his gaze seeking out a man standing in the corner. “Step forth, cousin…” he said, and beckoned Dermont to approach.

And thus, accepting the dubious reward, Dermont took the oath, saying a quiet farewell to his anonymity as countless congratulations began pouring in.

[Epilogue]
Before the party was over, Hesper learned that neither Joy, nor her ghoul Tobias were to be found, the latter apparently having disappeared with one of his kindred dance partners. To make matters worse, her decision to marry one of her granddaughters to a son of John Dee, a Tremere, damaged her sire’s reputation, which eventually cost him his post. Luckily, the remaining two marriages, that of her third granddaughter and grandson were more fortunate.

Back in Boston, Caspar and Bianca found out that the item stolen by Anthony was a necklace appropriated by the woman in question against her husband’s will, thus preventing his soul from finding peace. The Malkavian returned it to its rightful owner – the man’s illegitimate daughter, and announced that he would be leaving on a journey to Istanbul…

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Chapter 2 Interlude: What happens in Vyšehrad
Sinead and Riina's adventures in Tzimisceland

[tibert]
Riina moved to Prague from Pardubice after the tragic death of her childe, Mikulaš, to seek solace and counsel from her clanmate, Josef, and the Cappadocians Garinol and Serena. Meanwhile, Sinéad arrived to the city, and, having been acknowledged as an acquaintance by Riina, was allowed to stay as long as she wished.

While Riina and the Cappadocians sought reasons for the spectacular failure of her Embrace, Sinéad established her presence in town; she also took the habit of visiting Riina at the library, trying to socialise and glean stories of the city and its inhabitants, present and past. For Riina, such talks became a welcome distraction from ever-present grief and guilt.

Sinead seemed inspired by the stories of old Prague and, after much wheedling, managed to convince Riina to consider exploring the ruins of Vyšehrad, where the Voivode of the West and his son, Velimir, had been buried during the Night of Fire. Feeling that she had nothing to lose (except perhaps a journey to Cappadocia), Riina agreed to ask Josef for consent; as an elder and clanmate, she got a tentative permission, though she had to pledge to do anything in her power to protect the people of the Jewish ghetto from whatever might emerge from the disturbed ruins. Garinol and Serena, warned about the expedition in advance, leave town to visit an old friend – Balthasar.

After gathering enough supplies, not the least important being a band of well-fed mortal misfits from Prague, Sinéad and Riina set camp near Vyšehrad. They left appropriate orders to mortals to wait and found an entrance to the caves underneath the castle, from where they planned to make their way into the castle proper.

The caves at first appeared spacious and manageable, though damp; the breach through which Riina and Sinéad had entered was caused by running water, connecting with an underground stream. The two companions decided to follow the river, which grew wide and strong, soon engulfing them completely. Sapped of their strength and drenched, Riina and Sinéad eventually found their way to an entrance to what soon proved to be an extensive system of caves. Unfortunately, the strong current swept away their torches, depriving them of their source of light. Fortunately, Sinéad, ever creative, devised a solution – she conjured a cage filled with soft-glowing fireflies. Thus equipped, the adventurers entered the labyrinth.

Soon enough, they found the first cave-dweller – a strange, goat-sized chitinous creature, closely resembling a black mantis. The critter did not seem hostile, but rather curious at the light source in Riina’s hand. To divert its attention, the illusory lamp was left behind, devoured by the cave-dweller. Equipped with a new source of light, Riina and Sinéad carried on throughout the maze, encountering more of the strange, insect-like animals, and losing their lamp again; the creatures themselves seemed to progressively become bigger in size, as well as more numerous. The adventurers eventually arrived at a spacious chamber, where perhaps hundreds of the beasts nested. They managed to distract them by releasing some of the remaining fireflies from the lamp, which left them with but a dim, pale light.

And so Riina and Sinéad ventured farther into the empty corridors and eventually fell asleep, wary of what could greet them when they awoke again. And so it happened that the next evening they found themselves not quite alone in the poorly-lit corridor – another strange creature was lounging nearby, looking at the adventures curiously. The beast was unlike those they had encountered before – graceful and sleek, it much resembled a cat, though its smooth, scaly skin was more akin of a snake; it seemed intelligent and friendly, and after examining its “guests,” set out to lead Riina and Sinéad through the dark tunnels as if it knew them by heart. The kindred followed the creature until they spied a soft light in the distance, which turned out to be another cavernous chamber, this one filled with glowing egg-like orbs. When Riina, fascinated, tried to touch one of them, the creature retaliated swiftly, attacking though not persisting after the Nosferatu had retreated, never having intended to anger the creature.

After a while, the feline creature stirred, obviously unnerved at a distant sound. It let out a call and stood at the entrance to the chamber, listening intently. After a while, Sinéad and Riina heard it too – the sound of chitinous limbs scraping and clicking against stone. The Graceful One (as Riina dubbed it) readied for a fight; the adventurers followed, intrigued. It turned out that the graceful One, joined by its companions, was indeed waging a battle against the mantis Riina and Sinéad joined the side of the cat creatures, though the chitinous carapaces proved to be hard to break, and the hulking critters surprisingly agile and strong. Riina was wounded, and Sinéad decided to retreat – they have both abandoned the battlefield as well as their remaining source of light. Alone and in the darkness, they made slow progress and finally succumbed to yet another bout of enforced sleep.

On the third night of the expedition, Riina and Sinéad woke up battered and tired, but they walked on relentlessly, having nothing to lose. Riina handed Sinéad one of the stakes prepared for the journey, just in case the adventures would lose themselves in the maze, ant the Nosferatu, wounded in the fight earlier, would feel the pull of frenzy drawing near. On the same night, however, the two companions sighted light in the all-encompassing darkness. Having followed the glow with renewed hope, they arrived at the end of the tunnel, where they found an ornate wrought-iron gate, decorated with spindly openwork of ankh crosses and floral motifs, closed shut. Framing it were twin fires, lighting the room, burning seemingly without fuel and rising from decorative vases at the sight of the gate warningly.This time it was Sinéad who succumbed to curiosity and, having burned herself on the flames, lost her mind to frenzy. Only Riina’s strength and resolve kept her from getting lost in the tunnels they had left behind.

After some consideration, as well as an appeal to the host to let the weary travellers inside, Riina decided to try and pry open the gate, which might have been relatively easy for the Nosferatu, but would have been impossible for mortals or even some Kindred. Thus, after many tribulations, Riina and Sinéad entered the infamous Vyšehrad Castle. They ascended to the dungeons underneath the keep, and as they were blindly exploring the old cells (finding nothing but a few old bones and rotten pieces of wood), they felt the castle lurch and move. Worried that the foundations would not hold, they sped up the stairs; indeed, any further exploration would have been inhibited by gravel and rubble blocking many of the corridors. The only bounty Riina managed to recover was a curious, out-of-place piece of cloth found on one of the metal pats on the way to the ground floor of the Castle.

With the first floor blocked off, they slowly, methodically made their way to the corridors on the ground floor, where they, to their astonishment, found traces of fresh interference – a breach in the thick wall of the keep. Someone had obviously been there not hours before they reached the exit. Riina and Sinéad quickly surmised it was probably the source of the quake they had heard perhaps an hour before. The hole led outside, to the moonlit plain stretching before the Castle – they followed the traces of a solitary, prowling figure, who seemed driven by only one thought in mind – indeed, when they tracked the unknown entity to the camp where they had left the well-fed, full-blooded misfits of Prague, they found a site of carnage and whatever, or whoever, broke out of Vyšehrad was long gone.

Later, when Riina relayed the strange, convoluted tale to Josef, the Prince seemed pensive and relieved that the city was left undisturbed by the newly awakened individual (which was what Riina feared might have happened while she and Sinéad were delayed at the Castle). Nobody could know for sure who it was that exited Vyšehrad that night, but Sinéad was convinced (and Riina hopeful) it was the Tzimisce heir Velimir, who had been missing since the Night of Fire centuries before. Still, no matter whether that is true or not, whoever it was is still at large, free to do as they please…

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. Father II.
A summary post for the seventh game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

In which our heroes get to ponder on the sins of the fathers, the end of the world as they know it and whether the world does, as a matter of fact, run in circles.

(pending)

[tibert]

The game’s afoot!

Our noble warriors arrive to Lisbon for different reasons – some to spy, some out of curiosity, some are summoned.

Some – and here by “some” I mean Marcus – come to take the long-coming revenge on those who used and humiliated them in the most hilarious atrocious way possible.

Rumour is Rainerio Claudio del Sannio himself – a Lasombra elder supporting the Anarch cause and Marcus’s old flame – will visit the city. And you know what they say about Setite rumours, right?

And so Bianca and Riina arrive as Caspar’s guest, while Sinead and Marcus follow separately. Marcus takes on the guise of Claudius the Fool – an insipid, mild man with an uncanny knowledge of ancient cities.

Meanwhile, Kindred of all clans (except the Tremere; and Assamites, of course; ok, and the Cappadocians; well, the Salubri are dead and gone anyway; and so are the Baali) meet to discuss pressing matters – the rising tide of the Anarch revolution, the changes that are about to come, the strange and clandestine dealings of the Ventrue…

And the distant past, the old hurts that still cast a shadow on the relations between various clans, as well as the secret history of Kindred. There is also open talk of sedition against the Antediluvians, supposedly invincible, and yet at the time of the meeting, two of them have already been toppled. Perhaps there is hope for more?

After the meeting, when several of the clan delegates have already departed from Lisbon, Marcus shows his true face to his friends, who agree to help him hunt down the traitorous Raine.

Later, on the same night, a powerful storm breaks out, wreaking havoc upon the city; amidst the lashing rain and howling wind that bring destruction wherever they unleash their anger, a ship arrives at the harbour. The passengers escape the tempest quickly abandoning the ship, while a certain Nosferatu, looking for shadows of the Lasombra in the city, calmly observes the spectacle. She soon boards the mysterious ship, just to look around, really, and discovers that the ship came from Rome; it probably carried Regulus’, the local Lasombra representative, childe – Francesca.

Riina accidentally picks up a silver dagger and takes it to the meeting, where it’s decided that the knife will be planted in the chamber of the Ravnos representative…

[koala]

… tempted by one and only Sinead, who convinced her that the representative in evil incarnate – a wicked man who brought a curse of Caine upon her. Not that she is complaining about that part, but his intent has to be malicious! She intends to spoil his plans and feels that this is time to take action. If only the manhunt for Raine did not stand in her way…

[tibert]

The ploy, however, quickly gained a life of its own – as the missing dagger was found in the chamber of the Ravnos representative, his patron, the Ventrue Olivier, came under suspicion of plotting against the city and acting as a spy for the incoming invasion.

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. Father.
A summary post for the sixth game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

(pending)

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. Old Friends, Old Debts II.
A summary post for the fifth game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

(pending)

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. Old Friends, Old Debts.
A summary post for the fourth game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

(pending)

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. The Dream of Vienna II.
A summary post for the third game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

Ash dances in the air above the burned, molten mess that was a peaceful village but a week before. The land seems restless.

The citizens of Vienna go on about their matters.

Waters flows in Danube.

The Eastern wind blows.

(koala)

As mentioned before, Riina wasn’t quite herself when she came back. She was terrifying and ugly (not that she isn’t normally…). She had this crab-like shell which made terrible noises when she was trying to move. Crab-Riina (let’s call her Crabiina) told us it’s a gift from a friend. Nice friends she has, doesn’t she?

And so we chased off to Vienna to anounce a presence of Tzimisce in the area. Despite being hot news nobody was really shocked (and by that time Sinead gathered being harbinger of doom isn’t a cool job, because nobody really pays attention). It turned out the Tremere have already started preparing their defence by locking themselves in the Chantry, sending the Prince to far away lands and ordering Bianca to take care of moving books from Otto’s library into city one and guarding two of three of their clanmates, new arrivals, who didn’t fit into Chantry. Bianca carried the news to Marcus’ humble abode, where TFG was gathered.

Crabiina was overjoyed to move to the library, Sinead less so. While Marcus&Company headed for the monastery, Sinead dawdled a bit with intention of feeding. Her streak of bad luck didn’t end and accidentally she scared a priest, who concluded there are monsters in the city. As a result Karl Schrekt got embraced… but this is a completely different story.

The Tremere who weren’t performing a ritual – namely Demetrius and Johanna – were packing up the books, which caused Crabiina’s outrage. The furious little crustacean didn’t allow any text to be moved, as brother Otto wished for them to stay! How could those pesky Tremere think of disregarding Brother Librarian’s will?

The ruckus caused by Crabiina stalled the situation long enough for Sinead to catch up. Redheaded Thug has met Johanna in the garden and instantly befriended her and decided she is the most kind and lovable creature in Vienna and whole Roman Empire, but the beautiful friendship was not given to them. As they moved to from Kloisterburg to Vienna, something was off… Marcus felt danger and went to check it… Bianca went to check on gates to the city under the shape of night bird… and we went inside. Wild display of Tzimisce magic turned the place into death trap. The team barely escaped alive, Riina and Sinead both were badly burned.

It turned out Riina’s old friend, Veri of Tzimisce, wanted to have revenge on Tremere Johanna and Demetrius. She has burned the village to draw attention and when she met Riina in there, she explained her plan and demanded to not interfere or die. TO make sure her companions won’t suspect anything, she turned her into Crabiina, knowing that curse of Nosferatu does not allow powers of Vicissitude to last for long on their body.

Then she has infiltrated the city and smuggled her henchmen to help her perform her deed. They locked off exits from the library and when their victims entered the building, set it on fire. Veri has fought Demetrius and put him down while fight between Riina and Sinead with help of Veri’s minions finished Johanna. Then she escaped the building.

Riina explained the situation to hte group when they met after the fire. Despite Marcus’ and Sinead’s grudge, she allowed to leave unharmed because of Caspar’s and Bianca’s will. She has left Vienna next evening, wishing to never come back.

But that is not the end of the story. The Ventrue had huge gathering and a party attended by TFG and by Prince Lotharius. Nobody expected him to be stabbed by one of servants, who was apparently controlled by Tzimisce Veri…

Soon after Sinead left Vienna and moved to Prague.

(pending)

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Chapter 2, The Rising Tide. The Dream of Vienna.
A summary post for the second game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

On the banks of Danube rises the city of Vienna, for centuries now a constant on the changing map of Europe. A lonely island among a sea of chaos, changing and yet unchanged, it is a true haven for all those who dwell therein.

(koala)

Oh, what a glorious day, spent in the dungeon once used by the Prince Valerianus of Vienna himself… The evening was almost as good as the day, with Marcus looking for traces of his long-gone Prince, Caspar being not amused and Riina… Riina being interested in a new arrival, whom was just uninterested in getting to know her better. Wild chase happened once again. The arena wasn’t as spacious as the last time, therefore it was a short and tragic endeavour.

Bianca wasn’t locked up, as she was member of a ruling Clan of Vienna and was tasked with digging through our little magpie’s belonging (and changing some of them’s locations, but shhh, it wasn’t a theft!). After concluding she isn’t dangerous, but dashing, Bianca went to release her friends, including newly aquired one, from detention.

After being released we learned of great many things that happened during that short period of time, including the Prince of Vienna, Lotharius, to be busy and mad and Ventrues swarming in the city. There were other peculiar events going on, for example, a volcano erupted in a village not far from the city. Normally we wouldn’t bother, but if we’re being asked to investigate on behald of Prince of Vienna…

And so we left the city and reached the village in question, which was, as mentioned before, quite thoroughly erupted by a volcano, covered with lava and generally burned to the ground with exception of a single wall. Someone was barbaric enough to put a graphiti on it. A foreigner, I tell you, we couldn’t understand it. Bah, we couldn’t wash it off, it was burned into the stone! Riina was exceptionally outraged by it and chased to the forest shouting something about oaths being broken.

So scouted the area and waited for her, but when she came back she wasn’t quite herself…

(pending)

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Chapter 2. The Rising Tide.
The first game of the second chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

30th April 1444, Wien. The candle flickers on the table, next to an antique vase filled with lavender. You sit there, ponderously, reminiscing. For many of you this is where it started, though “it” is often an entirely different thing.

The shadows of those no longer around seem to hover somewhere in the distance. Metaphorically… And literally as well.

(pending)

Tibert [28.05.15]:

Letters form Marcus reach the rest of the TFG, urging his allies to come to his assistance on the 30th of April. Riina, as a Nosferatu, was apparently granted safe conduct to the city.

(koala)
And so Caspar, Bianca and Riina appear at Marcus’ humble abode to his surprise, they ponder on who might have played a trick on them and if it is a trap. Mystery solved itself after another knock on a door. This time it’s Otto the Librarian accompanied by Maria, the Malkavian of Prague. They learn that Cappadocius has been diablerized by Augustus Giovanni and the Clan has fallen to their own bloodline, along with its secret stronghold Ercyries.

Their reunion is interrupted by another arrival, although this time it’s a grim one. Brother Joachim tells them of his struggle to warn his Clan of dangers from the ones that they trust the most and a way to restore his memory. His journey did not end well and there he is, a ghost over a fireplace, speaking from the Shadowlands. He died on the hands of the Assamites, who gave him a profecy of his Clan demise.

When Ghost of Friend Past disappeared, Otto announed his departure from the city and left the library in TFG’s care, instructing him which books are to remain in a monastery and which can be moved to the city library (founded by Marcus to commemorate his deceased Sovereign). After explaining rights of property to our brave friends, he left, and so did Marcus&Company.

While the Company was discussing property rights, somebody was actively trying to violate them (by their opinion) or execute them (by her opinion) and be awesome. Sinead O’Kearney entered the monastery and tried to procure the books commisioned by the Ventrue Prince of Munchen (I tell you, good lord, it’s the truth!). She has procured the books in question (It’s not my fault the Librarian wasn’t there! I was told to hurry, I guess I was late… but you can’t blame me for that) and left the workshop through the window just to face Marcus, Bianca and Riina. Luckily for her, they were so preoccupied with the books she was carrying they let her slip.

And so the chase started Wild chase it was. WIld indeed. One might think a whole hell broke loose. There were owls and bears running after redheaded thug, mad horses being stolen, trees uprooting themselves and laughing, and Caspar finding a tavern to hide in. The tavern happened to be the one Sinead was hiding in as well, so she was got cornered. RIina&Company tried to reason with her, but by accident door to her room were splintered and the trees weren’t helping as well. Damn unlucky, wasn’t she?

And when they arrived to conclusion, Sheriff of Vienna appeared to check what is this fuzz about and invited them for a night in a Secret Tremere Detention Room.

Wild chase, wasn’t it?

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2014 NYE Arcanum Special: The Tales of Toulousse
A summary post of the last game of the first chapter of Book II, and all that happened within

This game consisted of three separate Tales: Where the Wild Roses Grow, Dark Wings, Dark News, The Ivy Prince

(pending)

Tibert:

A terrible storm breaks out during Bianca, Kaspar, Marcus, and Raine’s travel to Marseilles, and the ship sinks, along with the mortal crew, and the team gets separated – Marcus and Bianca stay together, clinging to Riina’s box, Kaspar ends up on a rocky shore alone, while Raine is forced to spend a day on the bottom of the ocean, and then emerges close to Narbonne.

Soon, Marcus and Bianca, who found shelter near the shore, set off to look for the nearest town, dragging the box with them, and they manage to reach the nearby road. Marcus takes the form of a woman, and under pretence of two damsels in distress – Brunhilde (Bianca) and Helga (Marcus) – they manage to convince a passing knight, Venclav Gustaf, to assist them in their journey. They learn that Gustaf is a mortal noble, one of the two sons of the , and that he is following the trail of the lady of his heart – Emmeline (who is like a rose), and wants to inquire about her at the court of the Queen of Love in Toulouse – Isouda. “Brunhilde and Helga” decide to accompany him there.

When Marcus and Bianca arrive in Toulouse, the harvest festival is just coming to an end. They seek audience with the Queen of Love, and during their meeting with Isouda they are offered a boon in exchange of a small task – convincing three kindred to consider attending a celebration hosted by the Queen. They also enable Gustaf’s meeting with the Queen.

Meanwhile, Kaspar finds himself alone on a beach and manages to find a cave and spend the day there. Having lost his equipment, including his sword, in the sea, and getting separated from the rest of the team, he is alone and aimless. He manages to communicate with the local animals and follows Bianca’s trail and he arrives to Toulouse, where his ruggedly good looks catch the attention of Marie, a noble lady seeking a thrill of walking alone at night. Young and impressionable, Marie is immediately drawn to Kaspar and – not without help from the Brujah – promptly falls in love after learning of his terrible fate at sea. She offers to get him to a blacksmith who would replace Kaspar’s lost sword.

When they arrive to the smithy, it turns out that the blacksmith – Oakheart – is Kindred, something Kaspar suspected from Maria’s description of a surly misanthrope oddball he supposedly was. The blacksmith chases Maria away and, at Kaspar’s inquiry about swords, duels briefly with the Brujah and wins. Oakheart and Kaspar conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Bianca and Marcus, who after the visit to the local Setite architect, Meire, learn that the blacksmith is one of the kindred who did not respond to the Queen’s invitation. Oakheart becomes irritated with his guests, declines the invitation and throws them all out, Kaspar included. It turns out Oakheart really was a surly misanthrope oddball, with a penchant for rampant misogyny and frenzy.

After a couple of days, the team is joined by Rainerio, who trailed Bianca to Toulouse. He was aided on his journey by Jean, a friendly priest of Narbonne, affiliated with the Lasombra. Raine lost the letters from Raven to the waves, and, now aimless, seeks to at least assist the TFG in reaching Marseilles, from where he plans to go back to Spain and then Portugal. Upon arriving to Toulouse three days after Bianca and two after Kaspar, he learns of the Queen’s favour, and decides to help in achieving he boon.

With Oakheart unwilling to budge, the team decides to try the other two invited kindred. Maximilian the Tremere is easily convinced by a prospective meeting with Bianca, while Raine and Kaspar set a meeting with the new, reclusive Lasombra ambassador to Toulouse – Marcello. They arrive to his mansion outside the city, and it turns out the ambassador is an older, blind man, posing as feeble and reclusive, but being (un)surprisingly informed about the comings and going of the city. He flat out refuses to attend the party, but Kaspar with the help of the brilliant Brujah diplomacy, manages to strike a bargain – if Oakheart concedes to come to the party, Marcello will also attend, but if the blacksmith does not attend, Kaspar will have to kiss the Lady Bernadette.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Bianca stay at the inn and encounter a depressed Gustaf, who has already talked to the Queen, but it turned out his love – Emmeline – died not long ago. He also resolutely claims that he liked Helga much more than Marcus. Bianca and Marcus decide to take him out on a brief bender, but he gets awfully drunk in the process. After reuniting with Kaspar an Raine, they discuss how the matter of coercing Oakheart to attend. They decide to backtrack, and ask the Seneschal, Louise, who points them to Johann, a local Nosferatu.

Next evening, Raine and Marcus investigate the church which is supposed to be Johann’s favourite haunt, but the only person they encounter is Lady Bernadette – a woman dressed like a knight, with dual swords strapped to her belt. Raine speaks to her and she recommends Meire’s brothel as a possible alternative as to where to look for the Nosferatu.lls them about the Old Guard – six Kindred left over from the reign of the former Queen of Love in Toulouse, Escarmonde; they learn that, other than Oakheart, Meire (the Setite) also counted among that number, along with the German Nosferatu Johann, the sculptor Nevea, Il Dottore (a Cappadocian), and the elusive Pepe.

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