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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Hello~ boys and ghouls!

So, introduction. After dabbling in Mage The Awakening, me and my group started a Vampire The Requiem chronicle, and we have recently finished our first story.

Been meaning to storytell it for a little while now, and tonight I figured was actually a good time for it.

So sit down, relax, and prepare to listen to a tale of vampires, crazy elders, ridiculous social dice rolls, and crazily competent ghouls.
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And without further ado, let's hear the setting.

The game starts about 2 decades past a violent Carthian coup that was pulled off via costly mass-embrace tactics, early-adoption of internet communications, and a willingness to ruthlessly violate every social standard and law set in place by the Invictus at the time.

It then established a series of 'Directorships' for positions like Internal Affairs (essentially the Sheriff with a fancy title), Human Resources, Inter-Domain Communications, etc. to cement its control, and used its population majority to create the foundation of its rule of law.

As it is now, two decades later, all but one of the Directorships remain in Carthian hands, the Invictus has been reduced to a small Inner Council and its membership's fledglings, and the Lancea Sanctum and Ordo Dracul remain lingering at the edges appropriating occult resources from each other as non-violently as they can due to their small numbers.

Law is decided by 'voting blocs' formed from coteries of a minimum of five vampires, one member of which acts as a representative to the council for the parish (about five modest settlements in close driving distance). In practice this is overwhelmingly skewed to the Carthians due to their population advantage, allowing them to create multiple voting blocs that collude with one another on important safety issues but squabble over fine details and resource allocations. The smaller Covenants tend to, in practice, be a single voting bloc. Invictus has repopulated itself to have two, which collude, and the Circle of the Crone is small enough to have no representation at all.

As you can imagine, this situation is... dangerous.
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And what poor souls are going to be caught in the middle of this dangerous situation, you might ask?

Let's meet them!
Our group was:

- Vortigen, a church militant Ventrue of the Lancea et Sanctum with some deadly sword skills, a zealous disposition, a magnanimous personality, a bit of a biting sense of humor, and also a humorous lack of tech skills.

He also looks like Kotomine Kirei of Fate/Stay Night fame.

- Alex Rose, Vortigen's smartass Ghoul who is the owner and manager of their night club, the Bomb Shelter, a refurbished, actual bomb shelter. Also a former ranger, an adept of all modern forms of entertainment, has contacts in most useful things you could think of, and is dangerously genre savvy.

He is good with guns. But is not a gun nut. And put rails on a Mosin so he could add a scope to it. Then bolted a bipod to it.
And then proceeded to let it gather dust as it was never used in the entirety of the first campaign.

His player also gave our GM many a headache because he wanted to play a Humanity 0 vampire.

- Fiorenzo Severin, casanova Daeva of the Ordo Dracul, skilled student of politics, well learned in social interactions, and a pleasant fellow all around. Also more than capable of turning the rest of the group gay for him.

- Miles Sullivan, a very nondescript and plain Mekhet also of the Ordo Dracul. Knows a lot of people, gets around, likes to hide in plain sight. Usually, no one ever notices he's there until he points it out. And then he's quiet, and we forget he's even there.
Until he does his stealth magic and produces great results.

- And Rodrigo Ibn Ibram, of the Taifa of the Invictus, a newcomer to the parish. Traditionalist, respectful and proper in social interactions, and keeping in his standards of elegance and poise at all times.
Until he gets mad, that is.

Has an old Ghoul butler, Ishmael, that's served his line for generations, also insanely competent and a tad scary.

He's also filthy rich.
Another player here, Fio makes lesbians gay for him.
Hello there, I am the player of Fiorenzo, as the name field would suggest. I will answer all questions related to my character.

It is late November 2012.

Augustgrad, Louisiana, which has a harbor in the southern wetlands which is
being rapidly encroached upon by the deteriorating environment. It was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and is only slowly recovering its former prosperity The harbor city has a population of about 13,380 inhabitants as of the last census, but four more 'cities' to the north of a combined population total of 138,920 inhabitants as of last census combine into a parish of the state.

The parish has a large number of universities, and is a haven for a large amount of illicit black
market operations like drug production and weapons smuggling to and from Mexico. The local operators are being pressured by the foreign cartels.

The coterie was brought together by a messenger of the parish's recently appointed 'Director of Internal Affairs'.

The two members of the Ordo Dracul are present because the 'Director' is a member of their Covenant, and has selected them for the task at hand personally.

The Lancea Sanctum vampire and his ghoul are present because the original incident occurred within a block of what is de facto his territory.

The Invictus foreigner is present because of favors owed to the Director, inherited from his sire; one of those favors is being called in.

The 'original incident' in question was a very thorough, very deadly arson that took out two apartment complexes on the same street as Vortigen and Alex's property.

Everyone inside those two buildings died.

No survivors.
It was all over the news.

But if it were just that, the Director Of Internal Affairs wouldn't have called all out.
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The group meets in an abandoned church at the edge of Augustgrad, in a mostly desolate and empty neighborhood.

Everyone's a little fidgety as we've been kept waiting for little over a minute since showing up. A beautiful red haired woman in business casuals (a Kindred, as the Beast told us) is sitting on top of the altar and filling her nails, apparently waiting for one of us to frenzy from impatience.

After some quiet bitching of Alex at his regnant in regards to how they'll be kept waiting, and some prompting from the vampires, she finally seems to notice we're all there and she leaps into the middle of us to begin her explanation.

Incidentally giving Alex quite the view of her shapely bottom.

She brings up the elephant in the room by finally addressing the arson.
After noncommittally joking it was the job of Hunters, much to Vortigen's annoyance, she explains exactly what she wants us to do, as an uncomfortable stench begins to spread in the room.

Investigate the incident and bring her the culprit, alive or undead, as such might be.
She shoves a paper into Vortigen's hand and ends the topic with the tip of investigating the hurricane ruins first.

At this point, Alex has spent most of the discussion staring at her ass.
I should also note that we were running our entire campaign with the latest rules that we had, including the leaks of the upcoming Vampire rules update.

While Vortigen fiddles with his phone to try and record her number (and ends up letting Alex doing it after the latter taps his shoulder), the rest of the group takes the time to ask further questions of the Director.

Fiorenzo inquires about the presence of any political players on the stage. As it happens, the Circle of the Crone counselor had some dogs that were being raised a few blocks from the site that were found slaughtered.

As Rodrigo questions the why of dirty hillbilly pa - erm, a Circle member being involved, this triggers an exchange of opinions that end in the following lines by respectively, Fio, Vort, and Rodrigo:

> "NEVER underestimate politics on any level, it's a fatal mistake in the Danse Macabre after all."

> "When you are caught in the Danse Macabre, you either dance and move, or fall and are trampled."

> "And the Danse cares not which one."

After this, Vortigen offers the group hospitality for the night, Rodrigo calls Ishmael, and the vampires (except for the Director, who vanishes without a word) hitch a ride to the Bomb Shelter and get acquainted with each other en route while Alex goes ahead.

Vortigen lays down some rules to follow while on his domain, and the car reaches a seemingly empty parking lot with a single bouncer standing by the main entrance of the underground club.

After greeting him, he opens the hatch and Vortigen leads the vampires down as their senses are assaulted by rather loud music.

The first thing they notice when they get down is that everyone seems to be wearing dresses and tunics.
In fact, it looks like they landed in the middle of a renaissance fair. If it weren't for the music and the lights.

Vortigen then remembers it's Dark Souls week.
This confuses Rodrigo more than the other two.

As soon as Vortigen hits the spotlight, a familiar voice comes over the loudspeakers.

"Alright people! Put your hands together for someone special! The maniac with a sword taller than your average Basketball player! The crazy man that abhors technology! The one! The only! VOOOORTIIIIIIGEEEEEEEN!"

Vortigen responds by grandiosely spreading his arms as the crowd goes wild to that and the announcement of half-priced drinks.

Rodrigo silently thanks God for Ishmael's personality, and the group goes up and enters the VIP-est room in the club as a guard holds open the door for them.

Alex's office.

As soon as the door closes, the noise just stops. The group takes in the well stocked bar, the large desk, the ginormous plasma screen, the two fridges, one marked "Vort", and the black leather seats, and make themselves comfortable.

Alex closes the blinds of the windows that show the dance floor, and on Vortigen's prompt, dims the lights, and begins.

After showing a background of a meadow with a badly drawn sun with a smiley on it, Alex runs a power point and lists the info we have.

> The two buildings were structurally sound
> Officially there were only 20 people in there but bones are still being taken out of the ashes
> One of them had a meth lab

The group begins to deliberate on this, and consider the mexican cartels pushing their product into the parish might be related.

We have 3 leads:

- The ruins across the street, which are still being checked by the police

- The Katrina ruins mentioned by the Director

- The list of dealers that depended on that lab

We decide to take the route of least resistance and go and investigate the Katrina ruins, but not before the vampires heading down to the club for a drink.
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While Alex makes a sandvich for himself, the vampires go out hunting.

Leading, Rodrigo approaches a group of seriously enthusiastic and plastered fans who are starting to be bothersome rabble rousers and manages to convince them we have some Estus Flasks in a back room.
Whatever it is Rodrigo is talking about? They are convinced it's going to be good. And so 4 of the group follow Miles, Vortigen and Rodrigo.

Fiorenzo decides to go for a solo hunt and tries to convince the girl that's left to have a one night stand.

The dice explode. Fio's player gets no less than 6 successes.

This girl doesn't even like anal, but she doesn't even complain as Fiorenzo does her in all three holes.
Her screams are heard past the sound proofed wall of the private room.

This was the least of Fio's astounding social monster skills, which over the campaign earned him the title of Swagmaster Fio.
So, just checking, anyone following the story, or am I just a horrible storyteller and should stop?
Following. Do continue.

Alright. Let me eat something and I'll pick up the pace, as I've been rather slow until now.
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After spending the night in the club and waking up, the group stashes up on weapons in Alex's armory. I use this chance to point out that Alex is wealthy enough to own a mancave.

With Alex driving his car, we make our way to the muddy, gloomy, ruined districts that were prey to the destruction caused by Katrina.

Some reconnaissance allows us to identify 3 buildings that seem to be in mostly reasonable conditions.
Reasonable, by hurricane ruins standards, that is.

Two damaged apartment blocks and a somewhat ruined church in opposite directions rise almost proudly over the desolation, collapsed buildings, husks of cars and houses, and flooded streets.

The group advances with Alex taking point with an MP7 sub-machine gun, with Vortigen and the others following close behind. Drawing near the apartment blocks, we send our trusty Mekhet to scout ahead.

Miles' recon and parkour skills reveal what looks like weed plantations on top of the apartment blocks, and we decide to check them first.

After some deliberation, Fiorenzo and Rodrigo head to the one of the left, with Alex and Vortigen heading down to the one on the right, with Miles keeping check on the surroundings from the rooftops.

With all their inherent swag and conspicuousness, Fiorenzo and Rodrigo dauntlessly make their way into the apartment block.
Miraculously, they manage to not be spotted until a time when they find two armed men lounging around. Their first idea for engaging them? Activate Awe and try to talk through it.

This does not work as well as they hoped, and they end up in a firefight.

Does it still count as a firefight if one of the involved pulls out claws and brutalizes one of them? Because that's basically what happened.

With one of them dispatched, Fio and Rodrigo interrogate the other thug on who is behind the weed operation. He does not have much to tell them, as he's just paid to watch the diesel generators, but he does mention an interesting tidbit about a tattooed man living in the church who comes down to the operation from time to time.
And that this poor chap's name is Carlos.

Intimidation based interrogation finished, they break Carlos's arms and drag him back with them.

It should also be noted that Rodrigo punctuated the occasion with gratuitous spanish and complained about a shot ruining his suit.
I will note that the arms were broken because he was starting to struggle.

Back to Vortigen and Alex, the pair manage to sneak into their respective apartment building without much trouble, despite the former not being entirely used to the idea of "stealth".

Coordinating their movements with hand signs that showed some familiarity, if not experience, they come up to the stairs that lead up. The building is completely silent. They decide to go up.

Vortigen draws his massive zweinhander and takes point up the stairs. After taking a larger step over a hole in the middle, Alex follows and attempts to go over the hole as quickly as possible.

His foot gets gripped by a skeletal hand midway, and Alex almost falls down the hole.

Alex reacts before even catching his breath, and rams the butt of his shotgun (he had switched to it when we entered the building) down on the face with predatory shining eyes that is looking up at him.
In response, it growls and just grasps ALex's foot harder, now with two hands. Vortigen wastes no time and pushes the end of his sword down the hole, stabbing it and causing it to cry out in pain. As it tried to recompose itself and Alex tried to release his foot, Vortigen brought his sword up and then slashed at it, completely severing its arm.

With an howl of agony, the beast disappeared into the shadows beneath, and Vortigen and Alex rushed up the rest of the way up the stairs.
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Vortigen and Alex proceed through the hallways with doubled paranoia and care. They are in a hallways with 4 apartments. Heading for the closest one, they go in. What they find is a very moldy place, a bedroom covered completely in blood, and a leg that looked like it'd been chewed through.
Finding nothing of interest, they leave that room as soon as possible and head for the one across the hall.

They find the door locked, and Alex decides to try his lockpicking skills as Vortigen stands guard. The lock clicks open easily enough, but almost immediately something heavy slams against it and a muffled feminine voice cries out.

"Go away!"

Vortigen and Alex look at each other.

"Should we?"

Vortigen's response is to go to the door and suggest the person behind it to stand clear, because he will open it.

There is a sound of something not particular heavy reinforcing the barricade, and Vortigen charges the door. It cracks, but holds for that single charge, and the person inside cries for us to stop and don't let it inside.

Alex promptly informs her that whatever it is, it's under the floors, and they are there to kill it.
The voice, that Alex can now tell has a pitch that marks its owner as young, or at least younger than him, tells them to hold on.

The door opens.

(So as it turns out, we are all anime nerds. Sue us.)

Standing before them, is a dirty and malnutritioned Charlotte Dunois from Infinite Stratos.


Because we can, that's why.
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Our GM is kinda into the moeshit ain't he?
oh god that gif

She is brandishing a broken chair leg piece while not looking entirely sure she knows how to use it. Alex asks if they can come in, and she shakily lets them inside.

As he and Vortigen walk inside, respectively wearing full riot gear in addition to their visible weapons, they look the picture of "here to kill a monster".

Door closed, they take a few minutes to ask her a few things. What they learn is not comforting.
The beast they met earlier has apparently been around the area a few days now, and it that time, several people from other buildings have gone missing until it set its sights on this one.

They used to be four. Then it was just her, and the man across the hall. She did not know his name, because apparently he didn't want people to overhear.

Alex puckers up, decides to tell her the man's fate and asks her if she anywhere to go.

Not anymore, she says. She and everyone else on this side of the barricade were just trying to get by. At this point, Alex notices that she's actually only old enough to be in high school.

He proceeds by asking her if she knew what was being made around here. No idea, her job was only to fix the generators.

Questions asked, Alex fixes her seriously. He takes a look at Vortigen and nods, and then he tells her he's not leaving her here, and asks her if she wants to stay at their place while she gets her feet under her.

Charlotte seems a little unconvinced by their getup and inquires to their reason for being there.

Vortigen:"... to find something out, you could say."

Alex:"Well...to be honest? Someone burnt down a building right across the street from where I live. I got a hint from someone that the ones responsible were around here."
"I was coming here to find out who ordered the hit. But that don't matter anymore. Or at least...not right now."

Charlotte:"Wearing SWAT gear?"

Alex:"National Guard actually. *c*"

Vortigen:"You missed the point, I think."

Charlotte: "... oh! Oh, it is National Guard..."
Alex: "Yep. ^_^"

Yes, Alex is crazy enough to speak with emoticons. And it somehow works.

Sounding a little hopeful, but still doubtful, Vortigen and Alex guarantee her there are no tricks in the latter's proposition.
Alex and her shake on it, and Charlotte finally introduces herself to the both of them.

Pleasantries over, Alex puts on his game face and cooks up a plan to get the thing lurking around. Vortigen asks if this is a crazy plan, a genius plan, or a reckless plan.

"You know me boss. Which one do you think?"

Emptying his armor of stuff Charlotte has no idea where he was keeping it on the kitchen counter, he handles her a flare gun, two flares and flash cotton and instructs her on how to use them.

Alex and Vort's mild snark on her not being sure if she can use them properly does not exactly reassure her.

Alex then asks to borrow the sharp piece of wood she first had, which confuses her a little. He hands it to Vortigen.
Then he says he has no intention of letting that thing get to the unarmored of the group, and puts a knife to his now bare arm. He looks at Vort and the latter nods.

Then Alex makes a long cut on the back of his arm and another on his palm and pumps said arm to get them bleeding.

Needless to say, this startles Charlotte a bit.

At that, Vortigen hears shuffling and wild steps beneath the floor and warns Alex.
He asks Alex to cover him for a minute and Charlotte not to look, and goes over to the kitchen counter. Taking out a chain of trinkets, he crumbles a silver coin over the stake and enacts an improvised Theban Sorcery on it.

The Holy Stake of Amoniel hums with a deadly presence and the might of angels.

Preparations finished, Alex prepares to head out and head out the apartment as Vortigen stays behind and protects Charlotte until Alex needs the backup.
Vortigen simply states that what Alex is about to do is suicidal, but Charlotte cheers him on.

He then turns back, blinks and smiles at both of them.
And because you need to spout a cliche before doing something stupid and suicidal.

"Rangers lead the way."

Then he rushes out the door.

Turns out there was no need for Alex to go down the stairs, because the beast that could've once been a man, face and hands caked in gore, has come up instead.
And regrown the arm it lost.

Alex manages to get initiative, and charges it with vitae boosted strength. It manages to dodge as Alex curses at it, and then it replicates Alex's tactic with unnatural speed, barreling over him and knocking him to the ground.

It is now on top of Alex, trying to bite his face off.

Vortigen yells out for Charlotte to get back to the wall and activates Celerity. Covering the hallway in little more than a second, he drives the stake into the beast's exposed back. The empowered stake goes straight it, tearing through bone in ways that are blatantly unnatural with a crunching sound.

Alex sees its eyes go wide with agony...
Before it falls into dust on top of him.

They weren't exactly expecting that.

Neither was Charlotte, who they find staring wide-eyed at the scene from the end of the hallway.
After being all reassuring and brotherly, Alex manages to convince Charlotte to not ask anything now, and promises to explain later, but warns her of what she might learn.
She agrees, and Vortigen just sighs in exasperation.

The three buckle up and go on to check the rest of the building before leaving.
As soon as they open the next door, Alex and Vortigen almost regret doing so. The stench is almost unbearable, and after looking at the ample amounts of bloodstain, they quickly close it. Charlotte gags behind them.

Alex goes to check the next apartment alone. The scene is much similar, except he can tell it's older. The third apartment, on the other hand, is covered in bloody notes. Notes on shipments, all at least a few weeks back, most addressed to one of the more urban areas of the parish, the city of Nantes. Alex commits the addresses to his Eidetic Memory.
Charlotte says it was a Chavez who lived there, and Alex recognizes the name as a dealer of no great importance that's been having unusual success with his product lately.

The three head down. The basement is all that's left to check. Alex goes and insists Vort and Charlotte remain behind.
Going down the hole on the stairs and making his way through makeshift holes, he makes it into the basement proper.

The tac light of his gun reveals the dry blood on the walls and the piles of bones on the floor, some of them with rotting flesh on them. Enough bones to have belonged to at least a dozen people. Alex finds a wallet belonging to a major pusher for the mexican drug cartels before he vanished, and scrams.

The group gathers again outside.

Miles was doing some roof stuff, and ended up gathering some interesting samples. Fiorenzo and Rodrigo are dragging their captive through the muck and out into the street after breaking his arms, with Rodrigo complaining about it ruining his suit. And Vortigen and Alex are coming out of the apartment with Charlotte guarded between them.

Vortigen tells the vampires Charlotte probably saw more than she should, and tells them to stay away from her as to not shake her. And she, as Alex told her, is avoiding eye contact.

After a minor disagreement over Miles trying to talk to Charlotte, Vortigen gets the vampires into the back seat of the car while she rides shotgun next to Alex. They share in vague terms what each group saw and learned, and speculation happens among the group as to the nature of the monster Alex and Vort fought.
Miles's muddy remembrance of having read those things hunt in groups sends alarm bells off in Vortigen's head as he recalls what Santo said about the basement.

They reach the club, and Alex takes Charlotte to his living quarters, while the vampires take Carlos to the "Guest Room".

Alex*, not Santo. Santo's the nickname of Alex's player.

Also, it's late and I'm dead tired so I'm going to stop here and resume this tomorrow. Hope the thread still exists in about 6 hours or so!
Nice story time
Anyone have any questions on the setting, characters, or some behind the scenes stuff?
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Picking up from where I left off yesterday!

As Alex gets Charlotte acclimatized, the vampires get to interrogation. After tying up Carlos with duct tape and strapping him to a char, they debate on how to best wake him up. Suggestions of poking his broken arms are had before Alex drops by to make sure he won't die in the next minutes, and Miles takes it upon himself to start pouring water over him to simulate drowning.

Needless to say, he wakes up screaming. Thankfully, his mouth is duct taped.

After some derpy uses of Mesmerize that only really tell us he thinks the tattooed man he mentioned before, Finch, is a monster, we conclude he's probably talking about the supposed Crone counselor, and Fiorenzo takes charge of the interrogation by using Awe.

Rodrigo basically turns homosexual for Fio, while Miles and Vortigen simply have mild feelings of 'stupid sexy Fio'. Our Daeva then activates Confidant on Carlos, which makes him look up to him as though he's staring at the face of salvation.

Fiorenzo politely asks him where Tony, who Carlos mentioned before, is picking up his drugs. Carlos looks quite exalted and willing to answer, like he's looking at the greatest friend he ever had. Who previously broke his arms.

Tony's job is to have the stuff delivered to Finch, who then does something weird to it before they replant it on the roof, and them distribute basically everywhere, especially Nantes, where it sells the highest.
Also, the church we saw at the ruins? Finch lives there.

Carlos then complains about the pain, and Vortigen goes look for some painkillers. Fiorenzo just decides to give him a vitae, and Carlos trusts him implicitly that drinking from his open wrist is a good idea!

He is now 160% more Fiorenzo's bitch.

And to top things off, Fio also makes him a Ghoul.
Huzzah it's back
I must note that Fiorenzo is the youngest of the coterie. He's still testing the waters, in effect.

Couldn't leave the story hanging. I'm just glad the thread hasn't been buried.
I'll continue updating over the day, so pucker up for the rest of this!


As Miles shares his findings of herb samples and Fiorenzo un-duct-tapes Carlos, Rodrigo heads up to make a private call from the office's secure line. He has a little chat with Ishmael to tell him they'll be spending the night at Fio's place following his offer, and warns him to rein in his territorial tendencies due to the newest Ghoul.

Rodrigo leaves soon after with Fiorenzo and a giddy Carlos, who is now in Vinculum to Fio after a few pints of vitae. Miles asks Alex what his plans for Charlotte are. He shares a little of his past as an orphan before Embrace, and offers his help if needed before vanishing like he was never there to begin with.

Vortigen heads down to his study to check the sample Miles brought, while Alex busies himself making a luxurious meal for him and Charlotte.

After an hour of fruitless research in occult books and annotations, Vortigen finds a lead in probably the last place he expected to see it: in one of his encoded texts, bereft of instructional materials, on Theban Sorcery, describing a rite considered heresy.
It is referred to as 'the Harvest of Slaves'. It explains the traces of blood the test test gives when he brings his tongue to the substance, as rather than taste like ash, it is... sweet. The ritual is one that infuses the blood of a vampire, mystical attributes included.
Further analysis on the laboratory in the study reveals nothing else of note except the surprisingly high quality of the herb, as far as marijuana goes.

Pondering on this, Vortigen decides it's probably a good idea to share this information immediately.

Well, as it happens when he gets back up Alex informs him the rest of the vampires have already left. Vortigen decides to just bring up the matter the following night, and Alex invites Vort to join him and Charlotte for dinner.

He takes his usual seat at the table that is now full of food, where a glass of wine and a newspaper are already waiting for him. Vortigen does not have good news to share, however. Alex tells Vortigen to wait for Charlotte before explaining, and they come to an agreement to tell her about what lies behind the Masquerade.

She comes in fresh out of the shower and dressed in baggy clothes way too large for her. After some conversation and a few jokes from Vort and Alex to lighten up the mood, she sits down and just tears through the incredibly delicious food, relieving years of hunger, with Alex refilling her plate every time it runs close to empty. Charlotte's happy face and expressions of enjoyment are so cute they make Alex melt inside and almost give Vortigen the impression that his heart restarted.

Teasing at how much she ate is had, and she honestly thanks them both for this.

The table has been emptied when Alex turns somber.

"So, I'm guessing you have questions?" he asks as he sips his beer.

She seems a little surprised we are in fact going to tell her. And after making it perfectly clear that after opening this door, there will be no closing it, Vortigen and Alex begin to tell her of what lies behind the Masquerade, the true face of the World Of Darkness.
She takes it in without hesitation, but looks increasingly uncomfortable, even avoiding Vortigen's gaze as we touch on the powers of vampires. Then she asks how Alex can heal if he's not a vampire.

Alex :"You see, my boss here and I have a very special relationship."
"In short. I'm his bitch."

Charlotte: "You're gay?"

Alex: "...Sometimes I'm not sure myself?"
"Its a weird thing really."

Alex: "I'm what you would call a slave. A thrall. A Vampires play toy."
"I gotta say though, I got lucky with the one that picked me up. I could have ended up much MUCH worse."

Vortigen: "..."

Alex: "Yes this is payback for all the times you insinuated this to the staff. Just so you know."

Vortigen: "... the good book says, a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye."

Charlotte can't help but hold back giggles.
At this point humor is practically a Touchstone for most of the party.

Alex properly explains what a Ghoul is, and Charlotte says she'll pass on the "drinking vampire blood" bit. More explanations on Vinculum and the Embrace follow as Alex and Vortigen trade words and slightly confuse her with the terminology.

"So... he's a vampire, you're his servant, and there are more vampires out there doing things like making the thing that attacked us?"

Affirmative answer, and she asks if we're going after it.
Vortigen answers with a long winded answer explaining that they are no heroes, and Kindred are nothing but monsters, but monsters with role and purpose, supposed to keep Humanity away from the darkness, but whomever is responsible has overstepped that role -
And Alex interrupts him by saying he means "yes".

Then Charlotte asks if she can help.

Vortigen and Alex just blink. Then agree she has more steel in her than either of them took her for having. And after making sure she fully understands what she's getting involved into, Vortigen welcomes her help and staying there, and they shake on it.
He briefly explains the larger situation to Charlotte and then her and Alex up on his latest discovery,

Namely that there is a vampire treating pot with vitae and planning to acquire an army of loyal rug addicts by inducing Vinculum with the marijuana. He also knows blood sorcery. And is possibly a Draugr.
Lovely times are obviously inbound for everyone.

Alex says he'll get looking around for the drug shipments during the day and he and Charlotte retreat for the night, with him insisting she take the bed while he sleeps in the couch.

Before they leave, Vortigen warns Charlotte to tell the other vampires that he made her his Ghoul in case they ask. The last thing she wants is for them to want to kill her or erase her memories to uphold the Masquerade.

Or worse yet, take a liking to her.

During the way, Alex goes around his contacts, confirming that yes, there has been a great deal of further imports from the Mexican drug cartels, and that they have some local growing operation, the products of which are selling like hotcakes, especially among the upper class.
He also gets a few guns and ammo to teach Charlotte how to shoot while reminding himself to not walk in on her while she's changing again.
during the day*

Damn typos.

When the coterie gathers again, Vortigen and Alex share their discoveries while a powerpoint with pictures of Finch's church, the ruins, drug plantations, and inappropriate Mexican stereotypes runs through the projector in the office. Alex shares his theory of the arson site being orchestrated to hinder production of the local drugs and decrease the resistance in pushing the vitae pot forward.
Miles was apparently already aware of most of this, as his solo investigations after leaving last night revealed.

Group updated on the situation, we call the Director on speaker phone to tell her what we've found so far. She picks up sounding quite chipper.

[Hellooo, my minion. Minions. How many of you can hear this?]

She then asks what we've got, a question which Alex takes the liberty of answering in quite the summarized fashion.

"Mexicans, Mexicans EVERYWHERE!"
[... damn Mexicans.]

She recognizes the Ghoul who was staring quite longingly upon her bottom, and we put the jokes aside to tell her what's up. She seems unconvinced of a connection between the Larvae (as she identifies the monster Vort and Alex fought while chastising us for not being able to name it) and the weed. The group retorts with the location of Finch and the larva murder pit close to the plantations.
She still doesn't seem entirely convinced but tells us to go ahead if we're so certain, but we'll be without her support for this night.

After Vortigen's zealous determination and Alex's insistence push the agreement of the other vampires (with Rodrigo having a bit of cold feet), jokes about our Final Deaths are spurred by the Director, and Miles accidentally tells her to go to torpor and stay there due to a badly worded elegant goodbye, we arm ourselves and are on our way to confront Finch in his home ground.
Bad things are going to happen and I like this

After bitching how this will ruin his suit, Rodrigo calls Ishmael to pick them up in "the Escalade", only to hear that the other car had its tires slashed. Rodrigo tells him to prepare for uninvited guests and hangs up, and soon after the car is brought around by Carlos, as giddy as ever, who tells them to get in because he has a weird van that's been following him at about a block of distance.

Alex ejects Carlos off the driver's seat while Rodrigo starts cursing in spanish at Carlos's stupidity. This also upsets Fiorenzo a little, who does not take the treatment of his ghoul well. Rodrigo is still sounding extremely pissed, and he has to resist frenzy.

Our GM makes him roll for it, and he barely manages to avoid frenzying.
He slams the door of the car as he enters and, in his own words, "barely keeps himself from drawing his claws and ripping Carlos a new asshole, auditory canal, and urethra".
Carlos was asking for it. Just saying.
Lay off of it Rodrigo. You know damn well how Carlos ended up.

Yeah... well, we'll get to it eventually. I need to be off for a while, and when I come back I'll continue.

What comes next involves car chases, bad excuses, and hilarious consequences.
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I have returned!
Okay, so what happens is this:

As Alex begins driving, we hear car honks about half a block of distance from us, and Alex begins to speed up to try and lose the pursuers in traffic. The streets are cluttered with parked cars, and it was raining earlier, so Alex has minimal room to maneuver wet floor to account for, but he drives with the care of one who does not give a crap for damaging the car he is on or others'.

The plain black van doesn't let up, and speeds after us.

Fiorenzo gets a hold of Alex's SMG and misses a shot at its tires as Alex tries to shake it off with a sharp turn which it unfortunately follows. The chase continues. Mile's thrown knife rebounds off the side of it, but Fio finally manages to hit it.
The bullet punch right through the hood and the van comes to a screeching halt as it slides along the streets and finally crashes into a parked car.

Alex slows and comes to a stop a short distance away, and he and Vortigen go to check it. Meanwhile, people on the streets are running up and down and away from the scene when they notice the crazies with the guns and swords. Climbing out of an SUV. Those with enhanced senses can tell numbers are being dialed and phones hit. Alex and Vort continue, with the intent of grabbing at least one for questioning, while Rodrigo says he'll take care of the attention they're getting.

Rodrigo activates Awe, drawing everyone's attention, and then tries to make it seem as though they were making a film.

"Fuck, I think the stuntman got hurt!
Come on, we need to get Jim out of there! Shit!"

This works about as well as you'd expect it to.

But Fiorenzo comes to the rescue with his own Awe. He tries to defuse the situation by claiming self-defense. This does not convince the frantic onlookers not one bit, especially considering Rodrigo's half-baked attempt at an excuse.
He decides to change tactics.

Meanwhile, Vortigen and Alex open the van's door. The airbags are deployed, with the driver's face smashed into the airbag and the guy by his side also unconscious. They find a man cowering in the back, and upon opening the back door, proceed to drag him out and shove him in the direction of and into their car, a sword very close to his neck.

Fiorenzo then ALSO activates Nightmare, and everything and everyone in the street stops with their eyes drawn towards him, distasteful and creeping malaise coming from him.
His player rolls an exceptional sucess.


In that moment, Fiorenzo Severin of Clan Daeva is the most horrifying thing to ever darken these people's lives. People hang up their phones and put them away, desperately, mid-call in one case, tremble in unbridled horror and are stunned into silence.

The group takes the chance to get in the car and Alex drives off, more than a little creeped out himself.

After the vampire's unsuccessful attempts to intimidate his objective and his boss's identity out of the flustered man and realizing he had been quite obviously controlled by high-level Dominate, Alex, while driving, manages to calm him down with expert use of tact and a completely calming attitude and learn that the last thing Andrew (as he revealed his name being) remembers is being at the St. John's Baptist church for evening mass.

Alex then tells him to close his eyes and pay the least attention possible to their voices as he thanks Uncle Sam for the course in Hostage Rescue.

The group heads for the St. John's church, just off the main street of this particular area of town. Fiorenzo, Rodrigo and Miles decide to go incognito and check it out while Vortigen and Alex remain in the car with Andrew.

Vortigen and Alex agree to just let Andrew go after wiping his memories, and after taking a bit of blood from him to get himself on a full tank, Vortigen hypnotizes him with Mesmerize to make him forget what happened this night, the group, and orders him to go home carefully. He does so and walks off in a trance.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo and Fio wait at the front door after knocking with no results, as Miles sneaks through the rooftoops. Miles parkours his way up to the belltower to enter from there, while the other two search for another way in. In going down the belltower, Miles bangs his head against the bell a little, and does not manage to turn off his enhanced senses on time as the ringing almost makes him fall off.

Getting inside the decorated, old-looking, mostly empty church, Miles finds a safe in one of the back rooms. He proceeds to unlock it and take all the monetary offerings in dollars bill from it and stuffing them into his underwear before going to open the main doors for the other two. The three stooges find precisely nothing suspicious in the church.

Calling Alex to come up with the car, the coterie (plus two ghouls) speeds out of the scene just as they begin to hear the police sirens and head to the wetland ruins of Augustgrad, driving recklessly through the busy traffic in the narrow streets and amid poorly lit neighborhoods.

Reaching the Katrina ruins again, the group heads for the church with Alex taking point and Vortigen covering the back, with the unarmored vampires, Rodrigo and Fiorenzo, in the middle, while Miles goes ahead to scout. The group advances as Miles reaches the top of a building with good visibility, finds nothing, and warns the group via a throwing knife with a note tossed at an electric post. Alex mutters something on the lines of "goddamn chinese electric batman".

The group stops as they hear irregular sloshes in the muddy terrain out of sync with their steps. Fiorenzo hears a brawl with hissing and growling happening down an alley, and Alex goes to check, though half the group follows him. What he finds is the surreptitious scene of a wild dog apparently mauling someone under it in the muck.
Alex attempts to shoo it away to no avail, and then resolves shooting it. Then it turns its attention to him and heals before his eyes, as the person it was assaulting rises and Alex realizes it's another larva.

Fio calls for Roddy and Vort, Alex essentially shoots off the legs of the larva from under it and the dog tries to take the chance to escape. Fiorenzo grapples it and stops it from leaving as Vortigen rushes into the scene.
Alex then finishes off the larva, turning it into a riddled mess of bullets and viscera, right up until it collapses to dust with a hiss, and while Fio reinforces his hold, the dog bites into his arm and struggles.
Vortigen covers the distance between him and the dog in a heartbeat and almost literally cleaves through it, nearly severing its body in half as it howls into Fiorenzo's arm and dies instantly from the shock.

"OFF, FOUL BEAST!" Vortigen exclaims, prompting a mental facepalm from Alex.

Alex comments it was probably not a good idea to kill it given it was biting into the larva.
Vortigen looks to Alex.
Then to his bloody sword.
Then to Alex again.

"... in hindsight, you may be right."

Noticing its blood smells like Vitae, Vortigen takes a taste and safely identifies Gangrel in there. Then Rodrigo peeks his head in the alley asking what the fuck happened. Vortigen sums it up and Rodrigo suggests the dog was probably Finch's, which sets off a few questions amid the group. Miles signals the group from a rooftop and gets on the phone with Alex, and warns everyone of the sounds of more ghoul dogs and larvae fighting all over the place. After strategizing on their options, we all opt to just take the chance and rush to the church.

As soon as the group approaches the block of the cathedral, everyone is assaulted by an ill feeling. The vampires' Beasts riles up and protests at the approach, and whatever irrational impulse at the back of Alex's mind refuses just as much. We all manage to suppress the urge to steer clear of this area, but we clearly feel the power of whatever has laid claim to this place, hindering our every action.
We walk up to the large cathedral doors, this crumbling edifice of United States history looming over us, and we can't help but feel we're walking into the lair of the beast. Vortigen and Alex each take a door, and on three, begin to push as Fiorenzo and Rodrigo support them.

The flooded floors, crumbling walls, missing stained glass and holes in the roof for moonlight to pass all seem completely devoid of presence.

We slowly walk in in a spread formation and begin to look around. And that's when Alex looks over his head with his tac light, and he and Fiorenzo notice a number of black... dots, hanging from the ceiling.

Dots. Dots and fuzzy, gleaming pairs of red eyes opening in the dozens.
A massive bat swarm is hanging over all of our heads.
just got back and I'm glad this is still alive

Literally everyone curses, and the bats shriek, dropping off their perches and rapidly flapping their little wings in an attempt to escape up. Through the belltower, which Miles was just coming down from.

Alex is the first to react, and shoots the cloud twice in quick succession, managing to fell an incredible amount of the swarm before it can make its escape, and a great number of bats fall to the ground, disintegrating into ash.

Rodrigo makes a pointless attempt to grab one before they fly away, and Vortigen settles with glaring at them as if it will make them come down.

Fiorenzo makes an attempt to Majesty the bats into staying for tea and biscuits with Awe.

They are immediately drawn to look at Fiorenzo mid-flight.

Of course, this means they can't look at where they are going. And smash into the wall(s) rather violently.

Glad to see you still following!


The bats recover from the daze of the impact fast enough that we don't get to anything else to them and then begin to gather before the shattered altar, all the way at the end of the aisle. The form they begin to take is discernibly humanoid. Everyone dashes behind cover except for Fiorenzo, who stays in the open, and the bat cloud takes the huge and ragged form of a pale, hairy, terribly masculine and heavily tattooed vampire wearing nothing but a pair of ripped jeans. His wounds from the portion of the swarm that was killed are healing. He hisses, looks us all over, then corrects his posture and focuses on Fio.

Fiorenzo offers him greetings as he trades Russian expressions with Alex, who is butchering the language terribly from behind his cover, and then introduces himself in English with a heavy Russian accent as Argus Finch.

Fiorenzo seems surprised to find the renowned art patron Argus Finch at such a place. Rodrigo has no idea how we went from drug dealer to art patron. Vortigen and Alex just lower their weapons at Fio's suggestion.
After Fio apologizes for possible misunderstandings Finch asks if we're here to exterminate the pests. We offer a rough overview of the initial reason that brought us here, and he looks irritated as he mentions the burning of his next crop. That tidbit causes Alex and Vort to perk up, and he then adds to not know the why, but the who. Before he can continue, he sniffs the air, then the burden the place was putting on our actions is lifted as he allows us to stay there, adding we're about to have visitors.

Before I get to the fight, I'd just like to note something.

> Makes an escaping bat swarm come back
> Stops a boss fight
> Makes him our ally

Fiorenzo Severin is best Daeva.

We hear loud crawling from outside over the walls of the cathedral. Finch extends claws from his feet and hands, and everyone else readies their weapons. Rodrigo extends his own claws, Fiorenzo pulls out his pistol, Miles readies some throwing knives, and Vortigen and Alex stand back to back with sword and shotgun, respectively, at ready.

Four larvae leap in from the windows at the group and attempt to barrel us over. One manages to knock down Finch, and Fio, Vort and Alex stumble back from their charge.
Alex proceeds to stick both barrels of his shotgun to the chest of the one right in front of him, shoot, and then sweep over to attack the one that struck Vortigen. With Dragonsbreath rounds.

Those of the group that were looking at the fire manage to avoid going into frenzy. The larvae don't.

All four of them begin to utterly freak out in every way possible, howling in terror (and in two cases agony) and attempting to literally climb their way back up the walls.

"Yeah that's right! RUN! YOU CAN'T FACE THE BURNINATOR!!!"

We take the occasion to try and brutalize them. Miles throws a knife at one running away, but it goes wide, Vortigen leaps at one and delivers a vicious cut that makes it stumble off the wall, Rodrigo holds his ground as the one that struck him runs, and Finch's opponent refuses to get off of him, but Fiorenzo dives and bites down on it, draining its vitae. And he continues to drain it, as it trashes in his and Argus's combined grasp, growling in ways that do not sound human at all... until its body twitches and goes feeble in silence before falling gradually into dust, as Fiorenzo is overwhelmed by the euphoric feelings of Diablerie. Not one notices except for Argus.

In the chaos, the two of the beasts escaped and one lies vulnerable at Vortigen's feet. He grins manically and decapitates it, making it crumble to dust as well. Meanwhile, Alex aims his flare gun outside through one of the whole in the ceiling and fires.

The result is almost immediate, with hows of fear, and screeching and running all coming from outside.

When the dust settles, we inquire to Finch if he knows who the master of the larvae is. He is... less than helpful in giving a straight answer, but he ends up saying that he only knows one of the Invictus is r.esponsible. He tells us to come back in three hours for an answer, presumably to divine the culprit through Cruac, and tells us to get out. We insist further, but he will explain nothing until the perpetrator is dead, except that he is trying to undermine his business.

Then Rodrigo is more than a little rude to Finch, and proclaims he "wants in" on the drug deal. This stuns everyone a little, including Finch, who is just... staring at him.

Fio takes charge of the situation by using Awe and Confidant on Rodrigo and telling him to leave the matter alone.
He rolls another exceptional success on the Confidant roll.

"Stupid goddamn sexy Fio" is all Rodrigo's player can say in return as the rest of us is still stunned by the fucking social monster.

We leave the place.

Once we've left his territory.
And are several more blocks away besides.
Alex takes Fio off to the side, turns on his phone's music at its loudest, and whispers into his ear.

"I'm going to need your help to kill Argus."
Is that it?

Fiorenzo mulls over his options and his position. Then decides that Finch spreading the news of his Diablerie is not something he wants to happen, and agrees. Alex explains the plan, involving Fio distracting him for a minute while Alex can hit him with something he has up his sleeve. Fiorenzo consents, then Alex mouths off something to Vortigen about having an idea and needing to scrabble to build it, and goes off on his own after his regnant's acknowledgement.

Fio engages Vort in some conversation regarding a vampire's perception in his marked territory, and the two eventually join Miles and Rodrigo's speculation on the loose ends of the case and the coterie share their views on Finch and recent events. While this is happening, Alex is fiddling with his secret project when he gets a call from his younger sister. They end up not really talking about much and just teasingly messing with each other over the phone, but the distance there is very noticeable. After ending the call, Alex goes back to work, and roughly twenty minutes later, he joins the rest of the group on the remains of the building where they decided to wait for Finch to be done.

Alex's uneasiness is see-through and he goes out with Fio to debate, before coming back and declaring that he is going to kill Argus Finch.

Immediate reactions are mixed, but no one really raises any objections so long as we get the information first, given the greater picture. Then he shows what he's been working on. His shotgun now has what looks like a metal plate held to it with a bit of rope and sealed with wax. On the metal plate is a stake.
Alex made a damn stake thrower which he is planning to use to put a stake through Finch's heart before killing him. Which should work. Unless it explodes in his hand. He asks Vortigen if he could reinforce it just to be on the safe side, and tells the rest of the coterie that their role in the plan is simply to pretend they know absolutely nothing.

Nah, it's just pretty late over here and my pace is crawling to halt. Gonna update a few more times, then go to bed and try and resume it tomorrow with a hopefully quicker pace. I've been spending too many words on detailing events.
ok, It was taking a while was all

Vortigen hesitates to go forward with the plan for a moment, despite Fio claiming he has a cover story ready to justify not bringing him to the Director, and Vortigen having more than a few reasons for wanting him dead as far as he's concerned.

In the end, he determines Finch must be eliminated and gives the plan his blessing. He then takes care of enhancing Alex's stake gun with Theban Sorcery.

The end result can basically be described as the Holy Stake Of Amoniel in gun form. Except better and deadlier in every way. The Holy Stake Of Amoniel MK 2 is then given back to Alex, and we wait for the three hours Finch specified to make our way back to the cathedral again.

Fiorenzo leads the way, casually activating Awe and making his amazing presence seep out and draw the attention of everything close by.

Finch meets up, mouth dirtied by blood, and shares that he found the bitch. According to him, the one behind the larvae is a female Ventrue living in Nantes. Fio manages to get Confidant on him, and asks him what his feud with this particular draugr is. Visibly more comfortable with Fiorenzo, he shares his doubts of her being a draugr at all, and tell him the larvae have been busy at work killing his growers and distributors, while he suspects her other minions were responsible for burning his facility. There is far too much strategy in her actions for her to be just a mindless beast, he says.

As he's been speaking, Alex has been behind him aiming his stake launcher. And as he's about to say something regarding us going to Nantes tomorrow, Alex finally finishers prepping his shot and fires.

His hand snaps up faster than even the eye of a Kindred can track, with a thunderous roar, the shotgun fires and the unnaturally strengthened stake drives through Finch's heart with the ease of a scalpel through paper.

Vortigen then decapitates Finch, and the group gets their cover story together. Our story remains the truth until we meet Finch for the first time, when he gives us the info and tells us he can probably find out more about the "ventrue bitch" using a ritual. We waited him out and when we came back he frenzied on us and had to defend ourselves, and in a misjudgement of his strength Vortigen unfortunately decapitated him.

Alex takes a credit card out of Finch's pants, and brings them and the stake to dispose of. Then the group heads back to the car to find Carlos gone, and one of the doors torn off and discarded on the side of the road.

Fiorenzo is rather understandably upset at this.
And this is where I'll stop for tonight, unfortunately.

Continuing this tomorrow! Hopefully. It the thread doesn't get buried.
Gonna bump before going to bed.

a man can hope.
Rodrigo's player here. Upset is an understatement.
Yep, upset is DEFINITELY an understatement
Bumping with a small update before I have to leave for business! I'll only be back at night to continue, but this should keep it alive until then, I hope.


The coterie (plus hypercompetent stealth protagonist ghoul) search around for clues. Then Rodrigo has what can only be described as an investigative epiphany.

He kneels down in the ground, crawls along the tire tracks until he reaches the vehicle. Once there, he inspects the closed doors, gets in, then sniffs around the inside. He grabs a random hair from the back seat, and licks it, before letting it go, and crawling out the open door. He then crawls along the ground some more until he reaches the door, once there he sniffs it as well, and takes a very good look at its edges.

He then stands up and declares. "I've pieced it together!"

"After we left, Carlos remained in the car and watched over it. Once there, he farted three times, he tried to leave the vehicle in order to escape the stench, but could not recall how to open the door. He then ripped it out of its hinges in his desperation to escape the disgusting fart stench. Completely forgetting about his duties to his Master."

"Fio, you need a better Servant. Let us leave."

Everyone is rendered silent by his deduction. Fiorenzo glares at him. Vortigen just stares.

"What? It makes perfect sense!"

But not just any stare, oh no. A look so flat, so smooth, so utterly pristine in its absolute lack of vertical deviation.... it makes the Great Plains look like the Himalayas.
It is the look of a man who has to explain to his paraplegic and delusional daughter her dream of a becoming a ballerina will never come true.

At that, Miles leans down and screams from the rooftop.

"Worry not! I have it!"

He then goes to the edge of the wall and screams down.

"He was there! From there something went 'ublaaaargh!' and he was all like 'Ugynaaa!' so everything went 'uga buga buga!' Look under the car! He should be hiding there! I can see the tracks from here!"

Vortigen can't find it in him to say anything.

"... That's just stupid." Rodrigo says.

> Pot, meet kettle

Alex looks under the car, despite himself.

"He's not here! *c*"

At this point Fiorenzo just starts hitting his head against the car.

After that, Vortigen and Alex reorganize ideas. What they can get is that someone ripped off the door, forcibly dragged him out without killing him judging from the lack of blood, and then drove away with him, if the other set of tires says anything.

And with that I'll leave for now ladies and gentlemen! Later!
Dramatic failures can be hilarious.
Hell to the yes on that.
Bumping because I just got home but still have a significant amount of things to do before resuming the storytelling.

We shall return to our regularly scheduled airing of Blood And Smoke: Burning in a few hours. Until then.
Shit's going to go DOWN in the upcoming scenes~
I admit that 5 or 6 hours wasn't exactly what I was thinking when I said we'd return to this in "a few hours", but hey. Look. My kitchen... was very messy after dinner.

Moving on!


Finding that Carlos's phone has been discarded a short distance away during the aggressors' escape (using a lost children GPS app), and since the sun is soon to rise, we decide to call it a night. With heavy hearts (well, mostly Fiorenzo, if I'm totally honest, and a lot more than anyone else), the group go into the car, grab the torn off door and hold it in place, and get on their way.

We drop off Miles, who wraps up the huge wad of cash he got earlier and mails it to the Orphanage of St. Philomena in Boston before going to sleep. Fiorenzo has his conscience weight down on him and reflects on his treatment of Carlos and on his negligence by letting him get kidnapped, before retreating for the night. Alex and Vortigen go back to the club and Rodrigo takes the car to Ishmael to repair before going to sleep in the park, under the ground, for the night for precaution's sake.

Vortigen reads a little to relax before heading to bed (or I guess, coffin) as well. Alex zombies out of the shower before collapsing on his bed and taking advantage of the warm and huggable that is just right there.

His 'pillow' murmurs in her sleep, slowly becoming aware of odd warmth against her that is usually never there, and finally blinks her eyes open and turns around to notice exactly what is clinging to her...

Vortigen slips into sleep to the scream:

Rodrigo honestly didn't give much of a shit. If anything he was glad Carlos was gone, at least until later...
Fuck yes you gave a shit then, a full blown FEAR FRENZY shit.

Guys, guys!
*<* Spoilers.


As the next night falls, Vortigen rises from the sleep of the dead, and immediately notices something smells off. Alex's scent isn't as strong around as it usually is by this time...

Exiting his quarters, he makes a closer inspection around the club and only finds the usual scents. At this hour the place hasn't opened for the night crowd yet and seems uncharacteristically silent, even through the sound proof walls of this part of the Bomb Shelter. He exits his quarters and goes to look for Alex in his office, wondering if he found something out. When he gets there, the office is locked, and he does not smell Alex in there or hear him. And upon unlocking the door, he does not see him either.

Finding this somewhat queer, he heads in. The first thing he notices are many notes scattered all over Alex's large desk, among them reports of finances and locations of Finch's operations. At the top he sees a graph showing the scariness level of many things. It goes something like this, from least scary to most:

> Vort's mullet--> Rabid Larva--> Fio--> Rotten sandwich--> Clowns

Vortigen's hand twitches and he pockets the graph.

Lastly, there is a message waiting for him which reads

"Ran out of patience. Went to the marshes to see if I could find Carlos, daylight should give me an edge. Took Charlotte with me, felt like its a good way to get her feet wet (Marshes, feet wet. Geddit? =3). Should be back before you are up to read this, but meh, traffic can be terrible. Remember to check your phone."

Vortigen checks his phone. He has one several text messages that make up a sizable amount of text, a lot of pictures, and a voice message. He starts with the text.

>Followed the tracks. Found an abandoned truck. Blood in it, likely Carlos'. Followed foot trail farther into the marshes. And found something curious. Finch has been set up here, maybe for years. I do not know why it is only being brought to attention now, possibly something to do with politics, or he pissed off the wrong people, not sure. Will move farther into the marshes.
>Got shot at. Professional assassin, a Vet. Managed to beat him without getting significantly hurt. Got that he was hired by someone in Nantes. Charlotte is fine. Found a weird altar, no idea what its for other than sacrifice, lots of pictures following. Also a tree spontaneously combusted for not apparent reason, sending pictures of that too.
>Three sets of tracks leading in, three leading out, Carlos nowhere to be found.

Gears begin turning in Vortigen's head as he considers all of this, possibilities and theories clicking in and out of place but no hypothesis reached due to the number of blanks.

Following are pictures of a stone altar covered in coagulated blood. Quite a lot of them, from many different angles, enough that Vortigen can piece the whole thing together from them. And pictures of a burnt tree.

After studying the photos in detail, Vortigen's occult knowledge allows him to piece together the main picture surrounding the images.

The altar was sacrificial, meant for a form of pagan demon.
Given the evidence, something to do with fires.
Lots of fire.
If the body was not there, it was either burned to ash, or possessed in some way and used by the abomination to leave.

This just got a lot more personal for Vortigen. Vowing mentally to bring the filthy heretics and whatever abomination they have wrought to justice and reduce them to nothing, he sighs heavily and clicks to play the sound message.

Once the message starts playing, Vortigen hears pained grasps.

> /Hey boss...I dun goofed. We were followed, likely from day one./
There are the sounds of pained panting before a sharp intake of breath.

> /They got Charlotte, and I'm not doing much better. The Director might've a leak, don't know how high up. Be careful, trust no on-/

The speech is interrupted by a pair of shots and the sound of the phone clattering to the ground, and a third shot rings out a few moments later. There is some clattering, then the sound of even breathing. Vortigen is then informed that the message is at an end, and that he can press 1 to listen to it again.

Vortigen's eyes widen and he sluggishly presses 1 as he tries to process what he heard.
The message is exactly the same, of course.

Speed dialing Alex only has Vortigen hearing to the voicemail telling him he knows what to do.

Vortigen clenches the phone so hard in his hand that it almost cracks, then runs to Alex's quarters.

Finding them empty, he barrels down to his study and then back, collecting items among the way. Several doors and door hinges are cracked or otherwise damaged in his haste to get around, as a sinking anxiety rushes in his head despite the lack of any agitation in his lifeless chest.
Back in the office, Vortigen lays down a piece of Alex's clothing, a paper with his full name on it, and a silver cross.

Then Vortigen falls to his knees and prays to Amoniel and Longinus.
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The revelation comes to him, as his will and sacrifice and the mounting rage all mingle together.

He receives a dreadful vision of Alex being cremated alive, mostly dead as he struggles with a bullet in his head, and then his life being snuffed out. Vortigen all but feels it.

And then he flips his shit and takes it out on the office floor in a near supreme-sorrow-and-wrath-powered frenzy.

Later, when Fiorenzo and Miles arrive and enter the office, Vortigen is sitting on Alex's chair with a brooding look, papers are still scattered across the desk, and there is a rather conspicuous crack in the middle of floor. Like someone beat it so bad it broke. And then bled on it.

He fills in the two, printed photos and voice message included, letting a fair bit of venom spill out of his voice as he declares there will be a heavy toll to pay for this. Fiorenzo and Miles declare their intention to help him with it. Vortigen accepts their aid and thanks them with his face still set in an expression of stone.

Rodrigo, as it happens, is absent due to an Invictus meeting called on short notice, and the three vampires present call up the Director to request a personal meeting where they can catch her up on things.

The Director picks up, sounding quite grumpy we're calling her so early, though it pales in comparison to Vortigen's mood. Fiorenzo manages to convince her we killed Finch on accident when he hunger frenzied on us, and she complains about politics and having enough to deal with with all the fires. At the insisting of a face to face meeting she says she'll send someone with a location for us in an hour and hangs up sounding very cheerful all of a sudden.

Fearing the worse from her words, Vortigen turns on the TV to a local news channel.

The news are what's to be expected from the implications of arsons. Buildings all over the parish, either very run down, or shockingly high scale, being burned down to their foundations. Hopeless firefighting. Multiple murders in Augustgrad earlier in the day, to pile up on top of it.

A seemingly unimportant stabbing of a drug dealer by a masked madman in broad daylight, on a busy city street.

Miles and Fiorenzo are beginning to think they should've stayed in New York and New Orleans, respectively.

While waiting for the Director's courier, Vortigen looks over Alex's messages again. He does it multiple times before something that hadn't occurred to him before comes to mind.
What about Charlotte?
She might still be alive. He ponders on this and wonders what Alex would've wanted.

He comes to the conclusion, that maybe Alex wouldn't ask him to save Charlotte. But he would've wanted her to be safe.
Vortigen reaffirms his resolve and silently vows to take Charlotte back from whomever has her. He owes Alex at least that much.

After her mousy little messenger appeared, we were given an address, and headed there immediately. It led us to a small apartment with missing name plates and worn away paint, where she was, past the unlocked door, sprawled on the couch, watching a television with a goddamn antenna.

Fio finally recognizes the Director as Dr. Mariah Hein, who flatly says she's surprised someone read the paper. Then Fiorenzo informs her that we know the larvae master to be a female ventrue living in Nantes.

Turns out, there are only two of those. Olivia Stanislav, of the Inner Circle of the Invictus, and her childe.

Fiorenzo asks "Madame Director Hein" how we should proceed. She smiles at that, and tells him to start by not calling her Hein.
The same smell we all noticed when we first met her and we can also feel here starts to get worse.

Vortigen moves the conversation forward by telling her of Alex's death, the leak on her side, and the demon summoning ritual associated with fires. She asks him if he's sure Alex is dead. He confirms rather
annoyed, stating he divined it, and she tilts her head and asks him if he did it twice. He scoffs at her disturbing lack of faith and the topic continues.

At this point we have multiple incidents and leads all connected to Stanislav or that could lead to her in some way. We know the who, but not the how or the why.

That, Director Hein says, is up to us to find out, by bringing Stanislav to her, alive. Or undead. Well, basically, in any state that she can talk and has not faced Final Death. Unlike Finch.

She also really hates cleaning up messes, so she asks we have the discretion of not wholesale slaughtering our way to her. Not being able to slice and dice as he pleases until he gets to her annoys Vortigen but he lets it go and the gathered vampires begin to figure out to to get to her.

The solution they come up with is of course to organize a party using Rodrigo's massive resources and get her there!
Well, if they get his approval that is.

When we question her about the demon and the fires, she tells us to deal with it if we have a lead, tells us to work things out for the party plan amongst ourselves. Vortigen manages to talk her into letting her be the one to kill Stanislav in the end if she is sentenced to Final Death, to compensate for Alex's death, and she then leaves.
.... well, this is embarrassing, I've gotten confused with my own notes of the sessions. Erm... update in a sec!
No worries. Just keep posting when you can. I'm really enjoying the story.
>He is good with guns but not a gun nut
I'm guessing you are trying to say he uses guns but he believes they should be banned, I mean be subject to "common sense regulations". You may as well say he only enjoys guns ironically.
>Put's rails on a mosin so he can mount a scope
Enjoy trying to work that hex bolt.
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I did not see
>bolted a bipod to it.
That is the cherry on the cake of retardation. I'm guessing you and your friends only have knowledge of guns from first person shooters.
Rodrigo here, Alex's player is actually a rather well informed firearm man. I also hunt and shoot for fun. It's actually rather funny what he did.
Right, so I think I've managed to piece it all together!


After the meeting with the Director, Fio, Miles and Vort go back to their own places for the night, as they figure they won't get much else done that night without Rodrigo.

The next night, the coterie reconvenes at the Bomb Shelter, and Rodrigo is brought up to speed on Alex's death and the info he got, and on what we talked about with Hein. Rodrigo listens carefully and looks a little surprised at the mention of Stanislav. See, the Invictus community in the parish right now isn't exactly large, so everyone in the Covenant was there last night. Including our target and her childe. He did not seem to notice anything odd about them, however, which makes us suspicious. But Rodrigo insists that if one of them really is a Draugr, they did not look it.

After that, we breach the subject of the party. Rodrigo doesn't seem entirely convinced by the prospect, finding it extremely presumptuous for a newcomer Invictus to expect an Elder to come to his party. We each suggest other options, from waiting for her to organize a party and get ourselves invited, to getting someone of higher standing than us, such as Director Hein, to host it instead.

Then Fiorenzo remembers what month it is, explains he's Jewish of birth and suggests we organize a good Vampiric Hanukkah Bash.

This would've just been a funny moment if it weren't for the fact that Rodrigo saw her proudly display a Star Of David back at the meeting. And so, it's settled! We're throwing a vampire hanukkah party!

In the end, Rodrigo decides to just buy a place for the party, since he's going to need one to host events in the future anyways, and calls Ishmael to start taking care of it. Moving on with matters, Vortigen suggests getting backup from the Lancea et Sanctum, since what's causing the fires also concerns them as a sworn enemy. That, and he hopes to get the help of another Theban Sorcerer to divine where they might find the demon, given that Vort's own skills at Divination are a little... lacking.

However, there might be some sort of pattern to the fires that can help with that, and as the group looks over the locations and the data they have, Fiorenzo notices something quite interesting. The patterns on the sacrificial altar Alex found roughly match the shape formed by the arson sites on the parish map.

Marking the map with red, Fiorenzo manages to deduce the places where the next few fires might be, including one that will happen this night, which the group might able to reach a few hours from dawn, if the arsons keep the same pace.
I actually rolled the Occult roll for a chance at a Dramatic Failure to get a beat. Roll 20 was insanely contrary.
Bump before class
Sorry I stopped without warning last night guys, sleep overcame me.
Updating before going to have lunch.


Vortigen gets more than a little worked up following the discovery of this information, and starts pushing for the group to go and deal with it right now. Rodrigo objects with the argument that it's really not a good idea for 4 vampires to go face a demon made of fire unprepared. Vortigen says he doesn't know if it's made of fire and they go back and forth multiple times between this before Vortigen turns to Fiorenzo and asks him just how far away the next arson site is.

Fiorenzo just sighs and activates Awe. And then tries to activate Confidant on Vortigen.

Allow me to reiterate. Vortigen has been on the brink of a frenzy the entire night, and Fiorenzo is going to try and dissuade him from going vengeful rampart zealot by trying to manipulate his emotions.

Due to Vortigen's rather obsessive emotional state and unflinching mind of steel at the moment, Confidant fails gloriously and Fiorenzo has been left with trying to defuse a very dangerously minded combat specialized vampire using only logic and his activated supernatural charisma.
Not feeling like risking it, Fiorenzo decides to go for a low blow by trying to convince Vortigen how much better it would be to bring the same pain and terror Alex felt to the Demon by going in completely prepared and not even let it hope for things going its way.

Even then, it is only thanks to his magnified powers of convincing that Fio manages to give Vort pause. He relents and concedes to do things their way, much to the daeva's relief.

Then Fiorenzo gets uppercutted as Vortigen threatens him to never use Alex against him like that ever again.

After a few tense moments in which Fio nearly frenzies and Rodrigo restrains Vort and almost hysterically tells everyone to calm down, Fio acknowledges that might've been a little too much.

Fiorenzo and Vortigen fortunately agree to no hard feelings for that.


While I am no user of guns, the players of Rodrigo and Alex KNOW what they are doing with their guns.


What was that people were saying earlier about the railes, scope and bipod being the cherry on the cake of retardation?


The internet. A resource so great, that so few are willing to use. ^(TTwTT)

So, the next night, when everyone has cooled off a little, Miles and Rodrigo go estate hunting, and Fiorenzo and Vortigen drive to the local sanctuary of the Spear in the former's tiny, compact Fiat, which we dub the Vampopemobile.

The local local Sanctum has its official congregation in plain sight, where it is needed the most. Wealthy and bloated Nantes.

Vortigen takes his sword-cane and Fio brings a knife hidden on his person just in case, and once they get to the humble building that stands out in the middle of the flourish of Nantes, Vort brings them to the back, where one of the Bishop's ghouls, an old priest, usually is.

The priest answers the knock on the back door and after Vort identifies himself as Inquisitor Vortigen, childe of Doctor Mark Richards, the old man ushers them inside.

Vortigen asks to see the Bishop, and the old priest informs them that while he can set up a meeting, the Bishop has been of quite ill humor lately due to the recent fires, and he's been ordered to handle personally all less-than-important matters. Vortigen then informs him that their business is of dire importance to the fires and the Bishop will want to hear them out.

After 10 minutes on the phone, the priest shakily tells them that the Bishop is on his way, with his entourage.

20 minutes later, we hear a van pulling up, and several sets of feet dropping into the pavement, moving towards the church.

Fio and Vort immediately note the presence of two other Kindred, and the church doors are opened by the the two accompanying these fellow hunters, who then step aside, as though honor guard. They have shotguns at their sides.

In walk a brown haired woman in business casuals, hair done up tightly and carrying a clipboard and sporting the most permanent aloof expression Fiorenzo has ever seen. And a young Mexican man in the white ceremonial robes much more at home in a place such as this.
Meet Bishop Joseph and his personal assistant, Mary.

After the usual ceremony that such cases prompt, the Bishop greets Vortigen like an old friend, making an off-handed note to him still using that name. It has been a while since they've actually talked to each other.
Vort introduces Fiorenzo, and then explains that they've deduced the fires are the work of a demon invoked by a pagan blasphemer.

The Bishop does not like the news, as is to be expected. We show him the photo evidence that led Vortigen to his conclusions. The Bishop's secretary confirms the hypothesis after an analytical look, and he orders Vortigen to deal with it on the double. We explain our analysis of the demon's attack patterns, and convince him to lend support from the Lancea with whatever materials on demons they have and armaments we require, within reason. We leave after deciding Vortigen will call Mary later to tell her exactly what we need.

Back in Alex's office the two groups catch up with other. It's about midnight.

Miles and Rodrigo's (even though it was mostly Ishmael who did the job) party place hunt was successful. They found a place and signed the deal already. It's an old french style mansion, very upscale, with real crystal chandeliers, a large enough ball room for the planned party, a nice basement, and a good amount of discreet entrances and exists.
Basically, it's perfect.

The group begins to list out the gear optimal for their demon hunt, and after offering his requests, Fiorenzo leaves for his place on his Fiat saying he has things to think about. The remaining three vampires continue their discussion.

And that's when the phone rings. But not just any phone.

The secure phone, the one Alex saved for special matters.

Vortigen races to the phone and picks up the call.

A voice distorted beyond recognition from the other end tells him to put it on speaker. Vort does so, then asks who this is and how they have this number. A short, clipped declaration that he doesn't need to know that makes Vortigen raise his voice to heavily rebuke whoever is on the other side of the line.


There is some silence, distorted breathing, muffled mumbles, and then the voice is replaced by another, lighter in tone, but still unrecognizable.

"Ummm, t-this is... I ahhh, I mean.... well..."

Very hesitant words make their way out of the phone before there is a sharp intake of breath and the voice tells us in a rush to go to Rodrigo's storage in Nantes before it hangs up.

Vortigen, seething with cold rage, tells Rodrigo to bring the car around He phones Ishmael, and soon afterwards, the three vampires are speeding their way to Nantes. We get there fast. Faster than we probably should, but the police has more than speedy cars to worry about.

We arrive at the lot. It looks completely empty as far as we can tell, but the storage unit we need is very obvious once we look.

The lock is undone and it has a post-it on the door. The note says

"A gift for you. - D.T."

Before Rodrigo can do anything, Vortigen shoves open the unit with a growl.

What we find is an empty space. Well, empty except for the man in his pajamas chained to a chair, his mouth covered in duct tape.
A phone is taped to his left thigh.

It begins to vibrate.

Vortigen pulls it off the man's leg, puts the call on speaker, and asks "D.T." what this is supposed to be.

Rodrigo just looks very confused and asks him "Excuse me, sir, why is there a man in his pajamas' in my unit?"

The heavily distorted voice on the other end apologizes for the interruption earlier, ignores their inquiries, and tells them that what they are looking at, is the Ghoul of Stanislav.

There is a logical explanation as to how this happened that bypasses Deus Ex Machina.

But to understand it it, we need to back. So let's unwind a little, go back to the fateful day Alex died, and watch it, from his perspective. :3

It's the afternoon. Alex calls Charlotte over and tells her they're going on a field trip to wrench a man from the certain iron jaws of death.

So, after inquiring about her gun skills, telling her he just needs her as backup, and giving her a new phone with Angry Birds on it, he rushes out of the office to the Alexmobile!
Charlotte follows behind in a daze.

The pair makes its way to the wetlands, to where Alex lost track of Carlos. Alex stops the car and gives Charlotte her very own Glock 22, then turns the car to follow the very prominent set of car tracks deeper into the wetlands. The terrain gets harder to transverse and the foliage thicker as they follow.

Roughly after 10 minutes of following the tracks, they find the abandoned vehicle of Carlos' kidnappers.

The car is empty, and they can't hear any other living beings around. Some investigation reveals that the car was left there this morning, they had at least two people in there other than Carlos, and he might've struggled, as there was blood on the seats. There are also some footprints leading further into the wetlands and marks of something being dragged along.

After hiding the car, Alex and Charlotte follow the trail.

THEIR car. I meant they hid the car they came in.

Anyhow. They both slosh along the marshes, being really loud despite trying to sneak as much as possible.

Charlotte stops and recognizes the direction as leading to the old refugee camp she was in at one point before they were ran out by men with guns who began to spread concrete around. Like the bit right in front of them.

Proceeding, they find rubble where there was probably once a building, burn scarring present in some parts. Checking his notes, Alex realizes this was one of Finch's sites. He messages Vort the info and they get a move on and continue.

As they advance, Alex reassures Charlotte she's doing fine and starts to tease her. She's about to answer, when -

A nearby tree trunk explodes. Into fire.

Alex throws himself and Charlotte down on the muck in reflex and looks around for the assailant. A few moments pass before they rush to cover and Alex tries to discern where the shot (if that was a shot) came from. A few minutes pass while nothing happens, and no one appears. So Alex decides to step out of cover for just a minute.

He promptly gets shot at the torso, but thanks to expending vitae to reinforce his body, he barely feels it. Knowing that the sniper is then going to move away, he opens fire in the general direction of the shot with his MP7.

A scream of pain is his reward, and he tells Charlotte to stay put while he advances. The assassin isn't going anywhere though.
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The assassin yields, Alex patches him up to make sure he won't die, and after a little 'convincing', he spills the beans. He's been tracking the group since we left the church where we first met with Director Hein, and was indirectly hired by "some old bitch in Nantes" to get rid of us. He doesn't reveal anything else significant.

Alex tries to convince him to forget about this job, and the old man (he looked pretty old once Alex removed his mask) proves to have brass balls by asking (and convincing!) Alex to bribe him for it. Then he leaves with the money in exchange for quitting the job, relating he got Alex despite a tough fight, and laying low for a while.

(pic related, Alex's player took to calling him Zaeed)

Alex helps Charlotte up from where she was still in the muck and prepares to move on. She asks if Alex shouldn't have taken the chance to ask about Carlos.

"Already forgot abou- OcO

Well, that was quite silly of him.
See? No body really cares about Carlos.
Except Fiorenzo, which is sad.

Putting that little mistake behind them, Alex tells Charlotte to hide and be mission control for him on the phone while he goes ahead by himself. If something happens to him, she's to run, drive back to the club, and wait for Vortigen to wake up. For the duration of operation 'Take back the sticky sock', Alex will be 'Absolute Cookie', and Charlotte will be 'Control'.

Her bewilderment at the choice of codename notwithstanding, they get on with the plan.

Further ahead, Absolute Cookie finds a tarp covering something. And three tracks each left by one person on foot leading away from the place. Trying to follow one of the tracks shows they extend quite a fair bit, and he turns back to see what's under the mystery tarp.

He finds the blood and ash covered altar.

After taking lots and lots of pictures of it, Absolute Cookie gets a message from Control telling him to check the news. At least three arson attacks and one murder in Augustgrad since morning.

Alex judges operation 'take back the sticky sock a failure', messages what he's found and all the pics to Vort, then meets back up with Charlotte and they both return to the car.
On the way, he stops to take pictures of the damn exploded tree and also sends them to Vort.

After both of them drive back to the Bomb Shelter and get cleaned up, Alex gets to think.

And that is when he has the glorious idea of pretending that he is dead so he can move more freely and work to get to the bottom of things from the shadows!

He takes the time to explain to Charlotte what they will be doing. And gives her the option of joining in with him or staying home with nothing but a VERY emotionally distraught vampire with tendencies to violence to stand between her and other vampires.

Not giving the girl a lot of choice there.

Alex then sets the stage and makes his fake death sound message.
HAHA that's great

Alex hesitates to send the message, but does so anyways. And almost immediately afterwards, guilt seeps in.

He and Charlotte get in the car and drive off, as he tries to swallow the guilt.
Do continue! The story hasn't ended yet, and we are craving under the effects of curiosity!
Holy shit I'm not the only person reading

Sorry, had a Dark Heresy session tonight and was kinda busy up till now!


Driving into Nantes, Alex calls over his contacts to get fake IDs and repaint his car, rents a motel room for a couple of days, gets some cheap supplies, and disguises him and Charlotte with a make up kit. Then they drop by Burger King for lunch, and Alex also takes a cardboard crown and wears it on his head to meet with his contact in the Black Market, Mouse.

Upon meeting them, Alex asks him for a trench coat. Mouse complains about several incidents that shall never be again be mentioned or expanded upon, but begrudgingly lets him borrow his.

At the motel, Alex tells Charlotte to go and order some take out.
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Then Alex puts on the brown trench coat, the mask he bought at the dollar store, and a bowler hat.

He goes out and tells Charlotte to not wait for him but leave some because he will likely be hungry when he comes back.
As he leaves, he pulls out a fresh notebook and a pencil and writes down on it.

"The city, weighed too heavily by its sins, sinking down into the muck, sucked up by the blood of all those who gave their lives to build it. Spilling their sweat and tears and blood by the buckets, dreaming of a better future for their children...and how have we repaid them? With the mocking laugh of creatures that drink of their descendants as if they were cheap wine from a box. Today, they get revenge, today there will be retribution. Today, Rorschach will clean the streets. One scumbag at a time."

Looking the perfect part of Rorschach, Alex goes to find a drug dealer and politely question him on the new product that has been all the rage lately.

And by politely question, I mean very slowly and agonizingly start to ball-crush him when said drug dealer attempts to lie to his face about it.
This gets him a lot more talkative and informative than before.

He sells the product which he gets from Augustgrad to dumbfuck schoolkids, as he so eloquently puts it. That isn't enough for Rorschach, but all the guy knows is that it's some bitch whose name he doesn't know that supplies the drug. He does know where to get it however.

Alex keeps putting pressure on his family jewels and furiously questions him on the details of the business. He whimpers in response, and as he tries thinking about it, his eyes go blank.
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Thug pulls a knife on him, and Alex angrily knocks his head against a wall, throwing him unconscious. He pilfers the guy's pockets of money and drugs and ties him up with straps of his own shirt before kicking him awake. And then resumes the polite questioning, with a knife to the dealer's balls, and makes it very clear he WILL bring him to where he wants to go, and he WILL not try to pull another fast one unless he wants Rorschach to make him curse the day the plastic broke when his parents fucked.

This causes him to cave. And start sobbing.

Alex makes him walk ahead of him to the place where he picks up the drugs, and starts narrating in a gruff voice as he fills out his journal.

"Made contact with a drug dealer. The poor scumbag has no idea how thoroughly he has been used. Little more than a fly struggling at the cocoon spun by a spider. A perfect example of what is gradually happening to everyone that lives in this poor diseased bitch they call a city. Will have to see if I can get any more use out of him, and then decide what to do with him. It might be a kindness to end his suffering...then again, he likely won't survive long if left to his own devices...but is that a risk I can take?"

The drug dealer leads him to an old hoops court, where he usually gets the product at night, on Tuesdays. That is still a few days from now. Not good enough.

Even so, the guy claims to not know anyone else who has the drugs. Alex grabs him by the scruff of the neck, brings him to an alley close to a main street and pushes him against a wall.

"Last chance to tell me of someone else I can talk to. Think real hard now."

He starts shouting for help for all it's worth.

He dodges Alex's deck to the chin and people begin to shout. Alex trips him, pulls out the guy's phone, calls 911. He mouths off the name of the street, then simply says "someone has been stabbed". He drops the phone without finishing the call.

Alex gets on his face.
"If you speak of this to ANYONE. ANYONE whatsoever. I will come back, and finish what I started."

He then stabs the knife into his gut.

"That's yours."

Then he runs off into the alley.

After taking the bowler hat, the mask and the trench coat off, and spending some time getting himself un-lost from the unfamiliar alleyways of Nantes, Alex makes it back to the motel.

While eating, he updates Charlotte on what he learned (minus stabbing) and after uncertainly determining that the pot Alex brought is the same as Finch's, they speculate that maybe the old vampire had a partner in this.

Family talk comes up, which is a matter Charlotte doesn't really want to talk about. Alex apologizes, and the conversation steers off of her family specifically as Alex laments he doesn't really know how to do family himself, Charlotte points out how he helped her, and feelings are had, the talk ending on a hearty laugh of Alex's for Charlotte's belief in him.

Seeing she kinda wants to help instead of just sitting on the motel all day, Alex asks if Charlotte would like to see how a drug dealer interrogation is like, to which she affirms, saying he could use the help.

They hop into their beds to catch a few winks of sleep before going out again.

As night falls and certain individuals begin to wake from their sleep, Alex again suits up as Rorschach but wearing a different set of clothes underneath, and with
Charlotte in tow, goes back to prowling the alleys.

He makes another journal entry as they leave.

"Ran into slight problem. Druggie grew a spine, called attention. Worthless little jackal. Coming back out to prowl the night, will need to establish myself as a new wolf in town. Worried that the cub might get snapped up before she has a chance to grow her fangs. Only time will tell. For now, will head back out into the guts of this wretched place, see if I can make it just a little less dark by taking out the clouds that hang over it. I can feel it, this is the time to strike, while they are still fat and complacent, sure of their victory and invulnerability."
Well, and that's where I'll leave this story for tonight. Tomorrow, finish explaining how Rorschach's stalking of the Nantes nights led him to the Stanislav ghoul.
God I like the insanity of this group.
So do I, it's fucking AWESOME! We are crazy awesome in every sense of the phrase.

Alex prowls the streets, aggressively questioning drug dealers. Probably scaring Charlotte a bit with his scarier side.

He finds a few people worth punching. They don't tell him much, except where he can find other people worth punching to get better information. He thanks them by wrecking their phones and dumping them in trashcans, and then follows the trail to better people to punch.
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Santo, is this all totally legit what you just did? Holy fuck man!
Yep, he did that like nothing else.


After finding a hidey hole where drug dealers and addicts congregate, Alex puts Charlotte on lookout from the high ground and then waltzes in to the place. Well, more like to a locked door where they ask him for a password.

Rorschach... does not require passwords.

He kicks the door open so hard it splinters, smashes his way through the junk pile behind it, and greets the scum inside.

"Open Sesame."

There are 4 very nervous thugs with knives and one with a revolver inside, all of them probably hopped on on something. Alex gives them 5 seconds to talk before their friend with the gun gets shot.
In response, someone says to shoot him.

A drug dealer getting a shotgun round to the chest, druggies showing they know nothing, an annoyed call to 911, and a threat to keep quiet later...

Alex meets back up with Charlotte and they scram. She looks at him like he did something incredibly stupid and tells him that being nicer to people will probably work better.

Taking off the mask and switching coats but keeping the bowler hat, they find another hidey hole and Alex decides to try and follow Charlotte's advice.

With the aid of a little street smarts, a very convincing argument, and a few bribes, it works surprisingly well! The old guy in charge of the place gives him a list of dealers for the Vitae Weed and adds that supply's been going unsteady due to the fires.

Later he cross-checks the list and Finch's notes on his operation with the locations of the fires. Some matches, but a lot of unrelated arsons, as well.

He considers calling Vortigen with the intentions of updating him and asking what he was able to make out of the altar...
Remembers he's pretending to be dead and leaves it be.

Then they turn in for the night.

They spend most of the next day resting, and at night Alex goes to get the fake license plates, IDs and his car, now painted an all too common gray.

Further snooping around that night as Rorschach brings Alex to determine a promising location among the addresses he got before.
The next day, they head there, determined to get to the bottom of this.
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>dollar store mask
Really good story up until this fail. Rorschach clearly wore a fedora, and his mask was far better than a Scream or Burger King mask. But this story is cool enough that I'll keep reading, even if thematic consistency has just gone out the window.

And props for keeping the thread alive for four days. Achievement unlocked.
Not a vampire, a ghoul~ And think of this as a breather episode for what's to come.
Okay, I'll discard semantics and not be That Guy in pressing the matter. This is a pretty sweet story after all.
Thank you, that means quite a bit to us. We try our hardest to have fun, and it apparently shows in the story.

Alex and Charlotte park a short distance away from the place and keep watch over it with binoculars for a while. The address they want is a four room apartment on that building. Unfortunately, this is a relatively well-policed neighborhood.

After some fruitless debating on Charlotte's part for an option other than "sneak in and shoot kneecaps to get out if I'm caught", Alex convinces her to just go with that plan and he moves in while she waits at the car.

Choosing to take only a silenced pistol with him, and notably not wearing the Rorschach mask, Alex approaches the building from the alley, looks for an way to enter along the fire escape stairs with no success, and slips inside by entering an open window on the first floor.

After sneaking past a camera on the top of the stairs, Alex makes it to the second floor, where he knows the apartment he's looking for to be. Of course, this leaves him the dilemma of finding out which of them he's looking for specifically.

Some very attentive investigative work and ridiculous perception has Alex realize that the apartment on the right, further to the front of the building where the elevator would be, has some very faint smudges from a great deal of dirt that was tracked in and cleaned off the wood floor in the hall.
He also sees a sliver of some paper right under the door, just out of the way... which on further careful investigation appears to be what was once a joint of some kind.

A slight whiff causes some mild and very familiar craving. Yep, smells like vitae.

Alex pockets that, picks the lock of the apartment, and immediately notices there is a pair of shoes at the entrance. Somebody's home. Well, at least he doesn't have to worry about someone kicking him with shoes if he gets caught.

Sneaking about, one door reveals a room characteristic of mildly upper class wealth. Even has a poker table. Alex takes the nice (and expensive) watch someone left there, puts the Rorschach mask on, and moves on.

The whole place smells kinda like cigarette smoke.

Kitchen's mostly empty. But it looks like someone just made a sandwich. Alex continues, and finds the bedroom.

There, turned away from him, is the guy at his desk, eating that sandwich and scribbling away at paper.

Alex walks up to him and puts him on a chokehold, intent on knocking him out. He struggles like a beast though, contesting the hold. The whole scene would be vaguely reminiscent of a rape sequence if pants were down.

In the end, he manages to break off the hold and very menacingly pick up a pen from the desk. Which he tries to stab Alex with. He fails. Then Alex tries to grapple him again.

This goes on for longer than necessary, really.

Alex thinks it's best to change tactics. He pulls out his pistol and threatens the guy to stop. That gets him to freeze in his tracks and dropping the pen...
Before rushing Alex with a rage.

That earns him a leg fucked up beyond all recognition, but he still manages to deck Alex quite hard on the jaw.

Before he can do anything else, Alex just shoots him again, in the other leg, and almost kills him from the shock of utterly fucking up that limb too.

Well, that magically toughened skin didn't really halt the bullets that much.

In a bit of a rush, Alex uses a portable medkit to stabilize him, then cuffs him and sets about to plundering the place of anything that might prove useful.
The first thing he loots is the sandwich. And it's a damn good sandwich.

Then he goes over the desk. What he finds, are a bunch of financial lovelies and an interrupted report.

The financial lovelies in question are a number of tax forms, none of them this guy's. He was doing taxes for someone else. Specifically, the taxes for a certain Stanislav estate.
These documents are off to a pile at the side.

Meanwhile, the thing he was working on just now? The payment for "Zaeed"'s little job. So basically, Alex interrupted the old man assassin getting paid.
There is also an envelope with a few thousand dollars in one of the drawers, which Alex pockets with the intent of getting to Zaeed later.

Would be a shame to lose a perfectly fine future employee.

Alex makes another sandwich for himself and then calls Charlotte to come up on the fire escape. He then starts rummaging through the rest of the guy's stuff. He finds:

- A plasma TV
- Uncashed checks
- Plenty of money hidden in drawers and between books
- A few bags of the vitae weed


> The Stanislav account numbers
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>No can of Beans
>No toast

Alex commits the numbers to memory (why hello there, Eidetic Memory merit, you're so lovely) and Charlotte gets up there, he takes off the mask, goes down through the stairs (keeping his hat over his face so the camera doesn't see him), and pulls his car over to the entrance.

Then he carries down the TV to his car. Brings it around to the alley, goes back up, and wraps the ghoul accountant in a blanket, goes down the fire escape stairs with him, and puts him in the trunk.

He gives Charlotte the keys of the accountant's car, and they drive off.
And stopping for the night, more tomorrow!
Saving bump
I guess this'll be the WoD general for my purposes.

Just wanted to swing by /tg/ because I'm going to be running my first WoD game sometime this month (Requiem), but I'm not really sure in what way to prepare and write it up. I'm by no means new to GMing and preparing for games, but writing for D&D, Paranoia or even CoC seems like it would be very different to writing for WoD, given the emphasis on fluid storytelling, social interaction, player freedom, and playing scene-by-scene that can jump around with gaps of different lengths and different lengths of scenes (in terms of time)?

Also, important NPCs. Do I stat them as I would a player character, or just note relevant stats exclusively? Should they have the same number of points in their character as suggested in character creation for a player character of their age and influence?
Bumping out of hope.

Just a bit of guidance or advice would be appreciated.

This sounds like a question for my GM. I'll see if I can him in here to share in his experience.

My GM isn't online right now, but I'll offer my own two cents on the matter of NPCs.

If you feel it's necessary to properly represent them, don't let yourself be restricted by the stating of player characters when making them. Important NPCs, especially in a supernatural splat like Vampire, are often much more old and experienced than the players characters, and that should show if they are so by a significant margin. A vampire with significantly high blood potency will almost always have accumulated skill and powers greater than those the PCs have access to to start with.

This applies for enemy NPCs as well. Maybe you'd think to shy away a little from giving them powerful stats, but do remember that you have a whole group working together against them, and the playing field will likely be even. The challenge should be real, but not impossible. Good writing and description of the encounter can really help towards the feeling of tension too.

Also, social interaction is important, especially in Vampire The Requiem, where cloudy and treacherous politics can hang over a lot of things.
Okay, you want help GMing Vampire. This brings me to my first question: Are you doing it in person/over skype, or on a chatroom? Because those are two very different experiences.
In person. Four, possibly five players, with fairly different goals, but think I have a good idea of how I'm going to link them together, and keep their stories related.
Okay, I will admit I don't have any experience running Vampire in person. So the best advice I could give you is the following:

1) Create the NPCs you think they could potentially interact with ahead of time. Just a little thing, names and and affiliations and bare bones 'has these combat-relevant stats and these disciplines at this level, plus a Blood Potency and humanity of [blank]'.

2) Give them a somewhat open-ended goal to focus on initially and let their personal plots unfold before you. If they aren't taking the initiative, feel free to prod them along a bit. Once their plots are out there, compare them to any competing or complementary plots by the NPCs you made earlier and... watch the fireworks.

I give special note to the second point, given our second "arc" of VtR was brought upon solely by the PCs.

Player-spurred plots can be quite fun.
Damn, this thread has been up for what? Six days? Is that a record or something?

I have my buddies from the game and the people following to thank for covering the fact that I have a low attention span and am taking so long to storytell this!

Speaking of which, I should resume it.

So, after looting the Stanislav accountant's apartment, Alex decides to put the account numbers and data he memorized to good use. By which I mean, he robs Stanislav blind and puts it all into his own accounts.

Then him and Charlotte leave the accountant's nice car over at Mouse's as thanks for the help with the IDs and stuff. And they go to rent out a large-ish storage area (in the same area as Rodrigo's, though he doesn't know that yet), where Alex can peacefully and calmly interrogate their prisoner.

Some research on the area lets Alex find out that Rodrigo also has a storage unit in the area. So he changes the plan.

He waits until night, then breaks into Rodrigo's storage unit, and leaves the unconscious and restrained accountant ghoul there with a listening device on him.

And that brings us back to the vampires, who are finding themselves rather stumped at this development.
Except for Vortigen, who is flipping his shit and yelling at the ghoul in the brink of frenzy, because he smelled Alex's blood on him.

They pick up up the call, and D.T. (for the sake of simplicity let's call him that when narrating solely from the vampires' point of view) informs them that the poor chap they have here is the Ghoul of Stanislav.

Questions are again answered with his usual "that is something you don't need to know", but upon hearing Vortigen now yell into phone demanding answers, he goes quiet for a second before giving yet again the same answer and soon hanging up.

And then Vortigen rips the tape from the ghoul's mouth and begins interrogating him on the spot, while being rather rough about it.

And by rough, I mean nearly choking him a couple of times and sticking his gloved fingers into those really bad wounds on his legs.

He ends up confessing he set a hitman on us (Zaeed), and how the original arson next to the Bomb Shelter was his fault, and rather pathetically begs while explaining he's just an accountant. Who bashes some heads every once in a while, but still just a damn accountant.

And then he starts screaming for a doctor. While Rodrigo gets Ishmael to bring the car in to take him to club, Vortigen slashes his wrist and lets the accountant drink a little of his vitae to heal, because no way this guy is dying before he's done with him.

The accountant reaches up to the vitae like an addict.
It's a look Vortigen remembers from when Alex was hurting and desperate too.

They drive off to the club, unbeknownst to the fact that Alex was watching them from the rooftop of a nearby building.
Oh players on a rampage are glorious
You have no clue how right you are.
Just wait. Just wait...
I will also say I've been following this thread since inception and I'm quite impressed with the longevity of the thread.

Even if I've had to wait almost a week for the whole story which is still not complete.

But I'm all about the story, so let's see this conclusion!

Well, after calling Fiorenzo with the news that we got Stanislav's associate and getting said associate comfortably installed in the 'guest room', we wake him up by dumping a bucket of cold water over his head.

The vampires really seem to love waking up people that way.

Vortigen immediately sets to interrogating him with an agreement that more hurting really shouldn't be necessary if he complies.

About a week before, his boss started "cleaning house" as he put it, and they started to get short staffed. Apparently burnt a few people to death at the time for intimidation purposes. Finch's name doesn't ring any bells except that he thinks he's a vampire.

He claims to not know of any link between Finch and his boss. Fiorenzo accuses him of lying, and he suddenly gets antsy. Then each vampire threatens him in a different way to see if he starts spitting it out.

Vort picks up a scalpel. Rodrigo a power drill. And Fiorenzo threatens to rape him.
Miles is just sitting back looking amused.

The guy looks like he really wants to tell and just get out of this with all his body parts.

Vortigen exposes his options to him.

Tell them everything.
Be tortured into telling them everything.
Be Mesmerized into telling them everything.
Or be targeted by Confidant to tell them everything.

He picks the 5th option, and starts trying to bite his tongue off.

Vortigen and Rodrigo pry his jaw open (his tongue is still attached, fortunately), and the former immediately Mesmerizes him. Naturally the interrogation goes smoother from there, with Vort asking him questions under hypnotic scrutiny. As before, when we were interrogating him back at Rodrigo's storage unit, there is a recorder running.

The information we get... is not as helpful as we would like, honestly.

He knows that Finch had a marijuana growing operation, and that Stanislav was not pleased with him, possibly for personal reasons. And that's about it. He's not even sure if it was his Stanislav that directed the attack on Finch, nor does he even have any idea what a larvae IS.

Rodrigo also makes a fool out of himself on recording by comically misremembering the name of Olivia Stanislav's childe when we decide to ask the accountant about it. And his answer is simply "I did not know the boss had a kid".

We're starting to wonder for how long this guy has even been a ghoul. Seven years turns out. And he was really only used for accounting purposes.

Then the phone that was on him starts to ring, and when we pick up D.T. chimes in from the other side of line asking us if we'd care to share some of what we've learned, given the questioning of the asset has been fruitful.

Fiorenzo cuts the recording and puts the call on speaker.

Not very polite banter is briefly exchanged and D.T. questions our willingness to return his gesture of good will. Sighing, Vortigen begins to relay what they got out of him, hoping that D.T., suspicious as he is, might be able to shed some light on them. And just upon recounting the fact that Stanislav wanted him dead, D.T. illuminates us by proving us with the rather useful piece of info that he stopped giving her her cut of the vitae weed.

As D.T. so deduced from her finances. Until Finch stopped sharing, that is.

And that's when things got uppity and she likely started working to destroy and sabotage Finch's operation. Her reason for getting a cut in the first place doesn't seem clear, but D.T. suggests she likely helped develop the method. Or maybe she helped with the start-up.

One way or another, quid pro quo, D.T. demands to hear what we know of Stanislav herself.

We tell precisely this: she's an Elder, from the Invictus, possibly Jewish, tried to have us all killed, has one known Childe, and is known to attend parties.
And likely has Carlos.

D.T. tells Fiorenzo to not hold a lot of hope for Carlos.

Vortigen takes advantage of the change of subject to ask something he's been meaning to.

Vortigen: "... maybe not for Carlos."
"But for someone else."

Rodrigo: "The other one? The girl you took in?"
"Is she with you?"

D.T.: "What's it to you?"

Vortigen: "... She is under my protection."
"I owe it to her."
"And him."

D.T. doesn't sound completely convinced. Why does a vampire care for a simple human?

While Fiorenzo starts feeling glum at remembering Carlos and his failed experiment in regnantdom, Vortigen explains to D.T. how there's more to Charlotte than that, and how he must protect her, for it is something he owns to Alex.
(Oh the irony)

Vortigen questions if Stanislav isn't D.T.'s target as well and tells him they have a plan to get her. Humored, D.T. says he may have an idea of where she might be. But he knows that Stanislav has a tendency to make a little extra profit by human trafficking.

At Vortigen's urging, D.T. tells them to go to a pier in Augustgrad where the shipment of the night is going out, handled by a group of mexican smugglers from a drug cartel. Before he hangs up, Vortigen asks him what "D.T." stands for.

"... You may call me Deep Throat."

Vortigen would find that infuriating, but they have more important issues.

Rodrigo calls the car and Vortigen puts the Stanislav accountant to sleep and shoves the guy's socks into his mouth to make sure he won't try to bite his tongue off again. Fiorenzo, brooding, says he's staying to keep a watch on the prisoner since he has some things to think about.

Rodrigo chooses that precise time to make an inappropriate and very badly worded joke that reminds Fiorenzo of his treatment of Carlos and his subconsequent failure with him.

He frenzies on us.
To clarify, I asked for a Frenzy check on this, thinking I'd succeed in the roll. Best Failure EVER!

Fio immediately charges at Rodrigo, the Beast fully intent on removing the offender that awoke it.

It takes Miles and Vort grappling Fio with all they have and Rodrigo struggling to push him back to restrain Fiorenzo properly, shove him against a wall, and cuff him behind a structural metal pole. And in the time it took to do that, Fiorenzo all but tore open Rodrigo's throat with his fangs and drained a significant amount of blood.
He is now struggling against the cuffs unmindful of the damage it does to himself, roaring and growling, and trying to break free.

While Fio screeches and howls in what only very vaguely resemble cries of failure, Miles rushes to get a blood pack to Rodrigo, which manages to help him somewhat.

Fio continues to struggle against the cuffs and we start to hear them creek. Miles, Rodrigo and Vort take the little time they have to love the accountant ghoul out of the room, and Vortigen manages to pacify the frenzied vampires somewhat before they lock the iron door of the room and leave him there.

To clarify, he pacified him with Mesmerize, after a failed first attempt. They still got out of there like they were running from a wave of fire.

Miles locks the prisoner in another room, and Vort sends Rodrigo to Alex's office to get more bloodpacks for him while he calls Ishmael from his phone and asks him to hurry to the club.
Actually, he did rip out my throat.

I got better.

Once everyone's on board (minus Fio), Ishmael breaks some speed limits to get us to the pier. Miles's recon does reveal a couple of Mexicans pulling shipments out of the water.

Vortigen leads the group composed of him, Rodrigo and Miles to them.

And after announcing what a lovely place this is to wash away blood, he charges with his sword at the one closest to him, riding the rage and power of the Beast. Miles and Rodrigo are stunned but follow in his attack.

The mexicans, also stunned as they are, miraculously manage to not get hit, and one particular crazy among the three mexicans manages to shoot Vortigen in the face with a .45 before running away like a little girl.

Vortigen pursues the running dealer while Rodrigo eviscerates his target with his claws and sucks him completely dry, and Miles slashes the legs of the remaining one from under him, causing him to fall over.

That poor mexican now has two vampires hanging over him, very interested in asking him some questions.

Vort reaches his prey and hunts it down on shallow water. He drags him beneath the waves by the leg, chokes him with bare hands, and then drives his blade up the unfortunate man's body from crotch to throat. His blood spills out and taints the waves in red.

He doesn't resist and dips down to drink, but ends up vomiting a lot of sea water.

As the kill sets in, Vortigen feels his Humanity slipping between his fingers.
He uses vitae to heal the damage to his body, and although he no longer feels the wound, its superficial aspect does not change. Vortigen takes a Bane. Hinder him they may not, but his wounds shall remain open and visible until he sleeps.

Vortigen walks back to Rodrigo and Miles interrogating the remaining smuggler, who has no idea why they're asking him about human traffic for the sex trade. Apparently they just do weed. Vort checks the crates they were moving, looking kind of out of it, and finds nothing but weed and bubble wrap.

Asking about the girl gets us nothing. Lots of people do flesh trading around, but he's not one of them. Under the pressure of three vampires mostly yelling at him for a location, he does point out that the guys on the other side of the broadwalk smuggle illegals in. They wear hats. Impossible to miss.

Miles checks their presence there and confirms. Mexicans with hats on the other side of the broadwalk, pulling crates from the water.

As thanks for his help, Vortigen drains the smuggler dry of blood. And thinks nothing of it.

Miles goes in all stealthy and knocks them all out without any of them realizing he's there before dropping. The three start rummaging through the crates. What they find are some very exhausted and water logged in a few of them.

But no sign of Charlotte.

Miles wakes up one of the knocked out guys by submerging his head underwater and has words with him. But he's never heard of any blondes before. All they do is ship illegals in.

Despite looking, they don't find anything else in the area that would point them to Charlotte. They prop up the knocked out smugglers against a wall and leave them there, but Vortigen has a pang of consciousness looking at the thin, tired looking immigrants.

He goes to a convenient nearby ATM to retrieve some cash. And notices an odd discrepancy in the account, fruit of someone withdrawing and adding funds, and adding a particularly large amount in the last day.
This baffles him greatly, and he pockets the transactions extract while still looking a little confused.

And so, Vortigen goes around and distributes some money among the immigrants, ushers a simple wooden cross into the hands of a particular desperate looking one, and does all of this while looking like he's been shot in the face.

Rodrigo having disposed of the bodies from earlier, the three vampires return to the Bomb Shelter while considering the reason D.T. cheated them.

We return to the club and decide to give Fio a little longer to cool off from frenzy. Instead we install ourselves in the office and try to call D.T. through the phone he left us to get some explanations.

The phone rings. And rings. And rings. And rings.
And we are informed that the owner of the number we are calling does not have a voicemail set up.

A second attempt ends in much the same way, and Rod, Miles and Vort decide it's better to just go down and see if they can get anything else out of the ghoul.

Then the phone rings for them.

Vortigen accepts the call and puts it on speakers. D.T. answers in a bit of an... odd and slurry tone to his voice.

D.T.: [Oi oi oi! Sorry abou' that. Had it on vibrate on my butt-cheek, didn't feel it.]

Vortigen: "... I... wha -"

D.T.: [Vibrate.]
[Fail'd to hear.]

*Vort massages his temples*

"You used us."

D.T.: [Hu? When?]

Vortigen: "Charlotte wasn't there."

D.T.: [Wasn't she?]
[Then were was she?]

Vortigen: "You wanted to get rid of those men, didn't you?"

Rodrigo: "The docks you bastard. She wasn't there."

Vortigen: "... Don't play games with me."
"You answer me that, D.T.."

D.T.: [Oh games! Okay I got this one! I spy with my little eye. Something that starts with 'C'. Can you guess?]

It gets weirder.

As Vortigen, Miles and Rodrigo keep insisting and progressively lose their patience (mostly Vortigen), as D.T. can't seem to say anything with context and keeps throwing the conversation off the rails into increasingly bizarre tangents.

Now, see, after helpfully pointing the vampires in the direction of the mexican drug dealers he so wanted to get rid of, Alex found himself a little frustrated remembering Vortigen feeding vitae to that freakin' accountant ghoul of the Stanislavs. He was also a little vitae-drained after subduing said ghoul.
So he got to thinking, and had just the most brilliant idea!

And so, Alex decided to go get himself high on Vampire Pot! :D

This had expected results.

Which leads us back to him talking on the phone with the vampires while high as a kite.
...Santo, you glorious bastard.

The vampires realize this only after hanging up and accepting a return call from D.T., as he starts to (with much effort on his part) talk about Finch and Stanislav and oh so eloquently comments on how strong and really good shit the weed he's smoking is.

D.T. half manages to spew out something about the drug suppliers he's looking for being really elusive, but when he starts to trail off again, Vortigen gives him 10 seconds to say something useful or he'll hang up.

D.T.: [Eeeh...I uh...what I mean is...Oh running low on battery...Oh man right! ItssuperimportantthatyouknowCharlotteis- ]
*beep beep beep beep beep beep*

And with that, he leaves us for the night.
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After some time pondering on how to kill D.T. in the most painful way possible (mostly Miles and Rodrigo), the three vampires are called on the phone by Fiorenzo, who at this point has calmed down and asks them to come down so he may explain to them some things that he kept from them.

We come down, free Fiorenzo of his restraints, and he has a short and honest conversation with us about his bloodline.

And so it turns out that Fiorenzo is not just a Daeva, he is a Nelapsi. A bloodline whose usage of blood upon wakening is greater the stronger the potency of their blood. For that reason, their numbers are low, and they take the Second Tradition very seriously.

Fiorenzo considered Carlos his preliminary experiment before siring an actual childe, but it was his own lack of care for Carlos that caused him to be kidnapped.
Well, luckily for him, one really seems to really mind his bloodline!

In fact, Vortigen approaches him to ask if he holds regret. Off course he does,utb Vortigen reassures him, with the phrase

"Rejoice, Fiorezo Severin. You have learnt from your mistakes."

And stopping here for tonight, I'm a about to fall to the side so sleepy I am. More tomorrow, so keep the thread alive by bumping guys!
This thing finally got archived so if it dies (perish the thought!) all is not lost
Bumping before bed.
Yay, this is an accomplishment for the group as a whole.

The typos in this post due to sleepiness annoy me greatly. Ah well, moving on.
Glad to hear the thread's been archived though!

So, we tell Fio what we've been up to while he was busy raging, and Vortigen asks the other three to see if they can get anything else out of the Stanislav ghoul before we turn him in to Director Hein.

Vortigen calls Mary AKA Laconic Lady Monotone with the list of the gear they need, and she says she'll send us a pick up location soon after

The rest of the vampires haven't had any luck with the accountant. Fio's Majesty has done its job, but he's not willing to say anything else about Olivia Stanislav or what she's planning.

(And while that happened, internally, Fiorenzo was considering how he broke Carlos's arms and did this to him before making him his Ghoul and what the hell is wrong with him.)

Fiorenzo calls Hein to tell her about our guest, who says she'll send someone to pick him up, and Vortigen receives the message detailing the location of the supplies from the Lancea as on the other side of the street.
It lives another day

It's a really big and really heavy crate. With Fio's help, Vort takes it to the office and then they open it to inspect the contents.

Four one gallon jugs of holy water, some hand axes and short blades, numerous little trinkets such as silver crosses, four somewhat flame-retardant suits, and fairly new looking scrolls written in Latin, likely with knowledge on demons.
If only Vortigen's Latin wasn't completely rusty.

The group arms themselves. Miles takes a few of the axes to use as throwing weapons, each of the vampires takes one of the short blades (though Vortigen will keep using his zweinhander), and everyone equips one of the flame retardant suits.

Miles suggests we split the water into smaller glass bottles. So we each take several Holy Water Molotovs.

In the lack of a holy hand grenade, these will have to do.

Rodrigo also fills up a holy water sprinkler.
No, I'm not kidding.

Small correction here, the group doesn't arm themselves, but they do sort out all the equipment they'll need for the demon hunting. Daylight hours are getting close, and next night shall be the time for it.


Hein's guy comes by soon and takes away the ghoul accountant, and Vortigen suggests the other vampires stay at the Bomb Shelter for the night so they can leave immediately next sun down. Everyone consents.

And while all of that was happening, Charlotte was dealing with an Alex that was a high as a kite.

By dealing, I really mean trying not to shove him off the rooftop in growing irritation as he shows himself loonier than a moon rabbit. But, not all is just Alex getting on her nerves and talking nonsense, and they end up having some slivers of deep and actually meaningful conversation about family and how each of them feels about certain things.

Alex talks a bit about his family member and grumbles about the nasty fight he had with his idiot brother a while ago, before the conversation leads to how he met Vortigen. In his own words
"Some kids got kidnapped. I found out where they were, went in to get their asses out. And almost got killed. Vort came along a little while after that and it was either shifty miracle cure or bleed out in a warehouse buried in shit. I took option A."

And then it turned out the cure was addictive, though Vortigen having a sense of humor and a stronger sense of justice kinda struck a good chord with him.

Charlotte talks just a bit about her life after the hurricane, and one specific friend that went missing a few years back. Alex promises to help find her, before he trails off again in his weed high.

Charlotte drags him to bed. Bad idea.
He ends up dragging her with him, snuggling and just start snoring, and despite the squirming, Charlotte is forced to stay the night like that.

Alex wakes up the next morning to Charlotte telling him he didn't let her out of bed at all, while snuggled up to her.

He freezes. And then hastily snaps and lets go so quickly he falls off the bed and then starts squirming and muttering incoherently about how he didn't mean to and he's so very sorry and he's going to the special hell. It takes Charlotte a moment to understand how he took that.

Charlotte: "We didn't have sex, you pervert!"
"You got high and fell asleep and got all clingy."

This just makes Alex deflate in relief. In fact, he probably expressed his relief at little too much, because he kind of offended Charlotte with how strongly he reacted.

And then it devolves into a discussion. Well, more like Charlotte protesting defensively because she interpreted that he just doesn't consider her attractive at all, and then getting more defensive when Alex affirms the contrary and digs himself a deeper grave every second by being indecisive on his answer.

Then the cleaning lady knocks on the door and tells them to bring their "activities" down a notch.

Leaving that embarrassing incident that shall never be mentioned again behind them, Alex returns to searching the streets for information. He finds a very helpful gentleman at the drop-off site marked in his list as being in the Nantes park, who after a brief chase, some coercion, and a little bribe, tells Alex to look for a guy named Noses at the bowling alley.

Noses runs the bowling alley. And it turns out his nickname is actually pretty faithful to his appearance. Is that a nose or a potato?

Nevertheless, Alex approaches him, and they both retreat to the office to discuss business.

Pretending to be there on his employer's behalf to secure a direct line to the product Mr.Noses and his own higher ups are selling, a little politeness and street-savvyness on Alex's part, combined with another bribe, gets the guy invested enough to consider the proposition.

Noses, however, drives a hard bargain. Buuuut, with a little of poking and bribery, and throwing some of the drugs Alex has on him in, he accepts the deal and writes out the address Alex wants for him.

The address is for one of the warehouses in an old industrial sector near the river, about five miles west from Nantes.
The river that empties out past Augustgrad.
Things are going to go NUTS after this.

Inquiring for info, Alex learns that said factory is still kinda working in a semi official capacity as a fish processing facility, but yield has been low cause of pollution and other stuff, so business hasn't been booming. Shouldn't have a lot of people there, if any.

Plans cooking in his head, Alex returns to the motel to make a plan of attack and prepare for a few purchases he's thinking of making...

Night falls, and the vampires are planning while looking over the location of tonight's fire in a map. An old factory by the river, at least partly used in fish packing back when that industry wasn't being ruined by pollution in the Gulf.

Then the phone rings.
Vortigen wordlessly picks it up and puts it on speaker.

D.T.: [Figured you'd be up about now.]
[You still looking for Finch? Or at least his last intact place of operations?]

Vortigen: "... first of all, are you no longer high enough to look like a crushed tomato upon falling?"

D.T.: [Who knows? they make buildings pretty tall nowdays. eh?]

Vortigen: "... you sound composed enough."

And out of the goodness of his heart, D.T. has an information to give us. That being the location, name, and general status of the last warehouse where Finch was growing and storing his product. Of course, this turns out to be the place the vampires are going demon hunting tonight.

D.T. confirms that the other warehouses were burned to the ground, alongside all the unrelated arsons. At this point, Vort just decides to lay out the cards on the table.

Vortigen: ".... That warehouse is going to burn tonight, and with it all proofs that Stanislav was ever involved with Finch, most likely."
"Unless we get there before what is going to cause the fire."

At that, D.T. declares he will head out and meet us there. Vort asks how we'll know it's him.

D.T.: [*Chuckling* "Oh...trust me...you'll know]

Vortigen: "... your words do not fill me with trust."

D.T.: [I will descend upon them with the fury of a Valkyrie. I shall light the skies on fire with my very presence as I- ]

And then we hear a loud smack on the other side of the line interrupt him.

D.T.: [Agh goddamit! I was just about to get to the good part!]

And then he argues a bit with someone on his side that we can't hear about apparently giving away too much, and he hangs up saying he'll bring fire extinguishers.

Vort, Fio, Miles and Rodrigo get on their way, curious to meet their mystery informant.

When we get there, it stinks of old fish to the high heaven.

Vortigen: "Well this certainly smells fishy."
And then he looks around for Alex to see his reaction to the pun... and is reminded he's gone. Rodrigo tells him it was a horrible joke anyways.

We look around for D.T. a bit and not seeing anyone, decide to proceed by ourselves. Miles unlocks the chain on the gate in 6 seconds and we all go in, weapons drawn. There isn't a lot to see inside. Buildings that look deserted, a mostly empty parking slot...

Though we do smell something from between the main building and one of the storage areas.

It smells like burnt pork. As if the fish wasn't enough.

The vampires start running in the direction of the smell. Between the buildings is an open warehouse, and two freshly cooked bodies, still sizzling and burnt skin crackling from the heat.

The demon is at the place already.

Miles picks up the pistol left on the ground by one of the charred corpses. Vortigen tells the others to go ahead and buy him time, falls to his knees, and begins to activate his Theban Sorcery, chanting while holding on to an amulet.

... we hear a scream, and smell flame.
And a sharp, jagged giggle rises over the screaming.

Fiorenzo runs inside the warehouse and leads the charge into the breach.

Focusing past the stench of fish inside the warehouse, Fio, Rodrigo and Miles see someone standing on the concrete, just watching yet another person burn alive.
He's wearing jeans and a hoodie, and is visibly shaking. And a lighter is in his hand. Fiorenzo asks him if he is the responsible for the fires.

No answer. The guy just keeps sobbing. And laughing, simultaneously. The hackles of the Beast rise inside all of the vampire suddenly, a sense of familiarity and fright spreading in them, though they've never felt this before.

Fiorenzo: "What ARE you?"

Hearing Fiorenzo's voice makes the man freeze.

He slowly turns around. The vampires recognize his face in the darkness.

It's Carlos, eyes hollow with sleep deprivation and mania.

Carlos hardly acknowledges Fiorenzo with a soft "boss".

Fiorenzo can hardly believe his eyes, and desperately asks Carlos if he was forced to do this.

In response, Carlos starts yapping about how it might've started that way, but then he learned things. Been told things. A lot of things. He says, as he seems to talk to his hands. The lighter is still in one of them.

Rodrigo warns Fiorenzo that Carlos is gone.

Carlos moves his head as if listening to something, and starts to say it's telling him something right now.

Fiorenzo clenches the pistol in his hands and convinces himself that Carlos is no longer his Ghoul. At Rodrigo's shout, he opens fire.

His shot goes completely wide from the trembling of his hand and the gun jams in the process. Luckily, despite the fact that just got shot at, the crazy is not responding, and Miles takes the chance to throw an axe at him that buries itself in his shoulder. And the Rodrigo smashes a silver cross into his face with a palm strike, which breaks Carlos's nose and knocks him flat on his ass.

He shouldn't get up from that. But he starts to laugh again.

His voice is a little messed up from the broken nose.

"... why weren't you there, boss? Why weren't you, huh? Was I just some toy for you? Was that it? Cause that other guy... that guy. Yeah."
"He got treated like fuckin' royalty, you know?"

His attempt to sit up is rapidly culled by Rodrigo kicking him in the throat and reminding Fiorenzo this isn't Carlos anymore.

And it is then that the voice coming out of it actually ceases to be Carlos.

> "No. -Now- it is not."

The body rises from the floor and opens the lighter right in Rodrigo's face.

He frenzies and starts to scream his fear out and running away from the fire. He nearly barrels over Fiorenzo, who dodges his claws with supernatural speed, and then keeps running outside.

Now there are only Miles and Fiorenzo in the warehouse alongside a crazy person with a lighter. Or rather, whatever it is that's talking through that body, now sounding rather amused.

> [Ah. Vampires.]
Miles: "Oh hell."
Fiorenzo: "WHAT are you? What have you done to Carlos?!"
> [The meat is still here.]
> [You may call me Amy. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, good sir.]

And as the abomination pulling the strings of the meat puppet introduces itself, that name sends alarm bells down Fio's brain.

Fiorenzo:"GOETIC DEMON?"
> [Ahh... I see you recognize me. A scholar then? I must thank you fro this.]
>[I no longer need to fight the meat's spirit]

Fiorenzo questions the demon on who it was summoned. It answers rather amusingly that it was humans, of course, and it couldn't care less for the reason why.
And then it says something surprising.

> [.. for your actions, I will grant you a boon]
> [If you will leave this place]
> [How does that sound?]

Corruption rears its ugly head in Fiorenzo's retort.
"What kind of boon?"

Miles asks between gritted teeth what Fio is doing.

> [I can grant you secrets. Your action here will allow me to grant you... oh, political blackmail material, maybe]
> [If that is your inclination]
> [Or perhaps you are of a more academic sort?]

Fio's conflict stops him from answering right away and gets him to pause and think.

He decides to activate Awe.

Fiorenzo's radiating charisma all but makes him shine in the dark warehouse. The demon is staring at him very intently now.
Alas. Were it so easy.

> [Ahh... I feel you now]
> [I am not negotiating]
> [But I still need an answer]

And it is at that precise time that Miles and Fio hear footsteps approaching very rapidly, pounding the concrete ground.

The demon is distracted by Fiorenzo and does not notice the approaching figure as it yells, all but already on top of him.


Vortigen rushes into the scene, sword in hand, divine light around him, a mane of wild hair flowing behind, and attacks the demon.

His sword cleaves its host in two before it can even respond.

But then does anyway as it falls.
>[... oh God damnit.]

Everything is silent for a moment, but then the air starts to visibly haze, A LOT, just as Rodrigo returns intent on ripping Carlos a new one.
The Beast SCREAMS to run away, inside each of the vampires, as the air grows burning hot.

They bolt like comets from inside the warehouse, just as it screams behind their heels and erupts into explosive flame that consumes the entire building in a flash.

Vortigen: "Quiet!"
Fiorenzo: "A DEMON just exploded the fucking building."
Vortigen: "I don't know if it's dead yet, so compose yourselves!"
Rodrigo: "...How the hell does a demon die!"
Vortigen: "Dead, banished, take your pick!"
Rodrigo: "Is that not somewhat of a contradiction!"
Vortigen: "Just get ready!"

The flames start to spread, and very ominous and wretched laughter starts to make itself heard.
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223 KB
223 KB JPG

The vampires draw back from the spreading fire and a monstrous voice that is less that and more an abomination against sound echoes wrathfully against the night sky.


And then a 15 feet tall abomination with scales and armor and blade forms out of the fire and steps forward looking not happy at all.

So, when faced with a fire demon ready to burn them to ashes, naturally the vampires start bickering.

Rodrigo: "RUN!"

Vortigen: "No damn you! We need to stop it here, BEFORE it deals anymore damage!"

It holds its sword up in both hands.



Vortigen: "You WILL support me!"

And that is the time. Than an honest to god. Tank on blades. Comes roaring out of the skies. Playing Ride of the Valkyries so loud the vampires can't hear themselves think.

Fiorenzo Severin: "WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?"
Vortigen: "What?.."
Rodrigo: *starts rambling in Spanish and cursing everything*
Miles: *speechless*

Even Amy is distracted for a moment. As a helicopter circles around the inferno. Its side door open. And Rorshach leans out of it with an assault rifle.

"EAT LEAD YOU SON OF A WHORE!" *fires with extreme prejudice*

So, Alex got a helicopter. The reason he got a helicopter, is that it was a compromise between him and the GM.

Alex wanted to get a .50 cal rifle. And this would have been absolutely game-breaking with his shooting skill and marksmanship abilities. We're talking 'With a few rounds of aiming and the element of surprise, Alex stands a solid chance of putting an elder vampire into Torpor' type of game breaking. So Alex settled for a helicopter. But not just any helicopter.


Of course, its been modified so that the pilots can be accessed through the place the passengers are. Now, if you were to say that this is actually impossible, and anyone that makes such a call is an idiot who has no knowledge of how the helicopter works, or how it was built, etc etc ad infinitum.

You'd be right.

But we still did it. Why you ask?

Because we can, that's why.

The burst of assault fire bites into the demon's armor and actually makes it stagger a little. It glares at the helicopter.

Seeing the daring attack, Fio, Miles and Rodrigo go against the Beast's better judgement and ready themselves for combat behind Vortigen as he too prepares to attack.

Miles: "... Goddammit Vort, heaven better have a place for for all of us once we are done with this fucker"
Vortigen: "Ha. Maybe."
Fiorenzo Severin: "Gehenna too..."
Rodrigo: "I just want you all to know this before we all die."
Rodrigo: "I blame Vort for this."

And the demon is not happy at the man with the gun in the helicopter (which has no guns of its own) which just shot it.
It lets out a wretched howl as flames gather in its mouth and launch out like napalm towards the helicopter.

Amazingly, whomever is flying manages to to avoid the worst of it, but it ends ups trailing sparks as it circles around. Below it, the flames continue to burn intensely and spread unnaturally.

Fio, Miles and Rodrigo take its distraction as a chance and throw bottles of holy water at it in succession. When the first one breaks against it, the water melts its body and damages its cohesion, and it suddenly hisses in agony and turns to the source of the attack. The second bottles hits it without pause, and it howls in pain again.
It focuses all of its attention on dodging the third bottle that comes flying, but it pellets against it nonetheless and causes extensive damage to it, such that its body begins to look close to falling apart where it was hit.

Reeling from the pain, the demon takes note of Vortigen as it advances against it.
File: 1378702925128.jpg-(38 KB, 800x600, FSN slash.jpg)
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With zealous resolve and infused with divine strength, Vortigen proceeds to engage in swordfighting with a 15 foot tall fire demon.

In a flurry of attacks, Vortigen's blade smashes against its multiple times, and it actually seems to feel the force behind each blow as it struggles to parry.

Before the zweinhander strikes home, and what shouldn't have even been a painful strike, actually is.
The demon staggers back and hisses.

No blood is spilled, and the blade feels hot to hold on to, but Vortigen's rage lets him hold it.

D.T. once again opens fire while very loudly complaining at the demon for ruining the paint on the helicopter.

The bullets tear right into it once more, bringing it to its knees, supporting its weight with its blade.
Then the maw of hell opens, and its flames intrude upon the world once more, great flames spewing in the direction of its closest targets.

Vortigen calls upon the powers of Resilience to protect himself and holds his ground against the hellfire, shielding the other three vampires from it. Despite his unnatural resilience and the flame retardant suit, it burns him. But he manages it, despite the napalm searing his skin like wood, opening wounds that will not heal without great effort, and scars that will not heal, across his entire body.

Fiorenzo throws another bottle at it. It hits it squarely in the face, and it howls. But it refuses to go down. It tries to stand up, its one remaining eye of coal glaring at Fiorenzo.

Miles's bottle also hits it, and the smell of molten metal fills the air as the water sears the demon. It is back on its knees, glaring defiance.

Rodrigo's final bottle meets its target, and it falls forward onto the ground at Vortigen's feet, still struggling to rise, even as its blades dissolves away.

It glares at Vortigen, who stands burnt but firm and with the Beast demanding retribution, daring him. Judging him.
He cares not for its judgement. For he is damned already, and the only one who absolve him of it is God. Vortigen raises his sword high above his head, and then brings it down with a roar.

The sword strikes its head, and it shatters violently, spreading whiffs of flame around it.
Only 42 posts till autosage. I suggest you guys sage your replies unless meant to bump
>Suggests saging
>Doesn't sage
Was on page 7 or so.

I guess I better use longer posts and try to wrap this up soon then.


D.T. yells at someone to turn the Ride Of The Valkyries off. The demon has fallen. The vampires can hardly believe they're all still standing. But the flames continue to burn. The flames explode upwards and almost catch the helicopter, which is forced to rise to avoid them. The group figures the hiss starting to rise is not a good sign.

And as the structure reaches the very roots of its foundation in flame that might as well be chemical fire, the hissing grows into a full blown laugh, and the moon that was out tonight grows dark.

Vortigen is the first to yell at everyone to start running this time. The chopper hanging above moves in their direction and the back boarding ramp is brought down. D.T. is shouting at everyone to move. The vampires don't need to be told that.
As soon as all are inside, it starts rising before the boarding ramp can even close. The person in a hoodie flying it doesn't even heed D.T.'s shouts to get it in the air and just does it. Very quickly.

The ground shakes below them. Really loudly, like thunder. From the factory, we see light.
The entire factory collapses into the ground like a sinkhole.

And there is not just one demon climbing out of that hellhole. Many wretched black forms rise from it, and the panic starts to spread among the group as it hits them that this was the last location in the pattern.

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