Friday, 22 February 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Solo Session - The Gather

I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.
Our campaign is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to search for ways to once again bring the Ivory Tower to dominance under the pretence of being disillusioned neonates looking for the freedom of the Anarch way of life. Having made a few allies unsuspecting of their greater goal they have decided that in order to gain influence they need to acquire a barony of their own.
The now obligatory warning bit - Unlike my other RPG write-ups this one will contain swearing, sexual references and other references that might offend. If you can't tell the difference between real peoples opinions and grown-ups role-playing predators who crave blood then this probably won't be for you. I've also used actual photographs to represent some characters which I'll give acknowledgements to at the end if I've any idea who they are.
The introduction to this campaign, the first story and all the other parts can be found at the following links and are in chronological order...
'Infiltrate LA' Chronicle
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThreeFour
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThree, Four and Five

The Storyteller
Garreth as Everyone else...
The PC
Phil as Hope Romero - Autarkis Gangrel
The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested.
As I have written out introductions and dialogue for certain NPC's and some location descriptions I'll post these more or less as I wrote them so they'll be in a 'reading to the group' style and they'll also be in blue. If I think something needs a bit of out of character explanation then those will get a storytellers note that will helpfully be in red...

Gangrel - Independent Clan
With the recent Sabbat incursion into Los Angeles by a small team of four kindred, the Gangrel who were their initial targets have called a 'Thing'. A Thing, also known as a Gather, are special meetings unique to clan Gangrel to get up to date on the internal workings of the clan as well as earn a hierarchy spot inside the clan but sometimes to inform others of even greater threats.

Once begun, these gathers usually involve the rites demonstrating status to decide on leadership for the meeting. The rites can take days to accomplish, and must be redone for every Gather, as no two will have the same Gangrel meeting under the same circumstances. Once the hierarchy for the Gather is established, the business at hand can be dealt with. However, a Thing rarely lasts more than a few days or at most week.

As a member of Clan Gangrel Hope has received her own invitation to the event courtesy of Marius 'The Fixer' Walker.

The Gather - Day One
Scene One - The Clan Gathers
The Gangrel pack controlling the Wilds have temporarily opened their borders to the Gangrel of Los Angeles and some surrounding areas in order to discuss a recent incursion by the Sabbat revealed by the coterie of Michael Tomassio and the fact that they appeared to be mapping the havens of kindred residence as well as meeting locations. As it is mainly the Ferals who live in the outskirts of the territories it is they who need to be on the alert for such incursions.
The location for the gather is a vast underground cave complex beneath the Wilds that is surprisingly empty and most suspect that it is one of the lairs of Nicodemus that has been vacated of 'occupants' before your arrival. A couple of portable generators have been set up and one is powering up several lights recently added to the complex presumably to aid any not gifted with supernatural senses while a second is powering several large refrigeration units that one of the gangrel you pass on the way in describes as 'the buffet'. Some of those there have various creatures with them which are mostly the usual dogs, wolves and hunting birds.

Some thirty-five to forty Gangrel have attended but you imagine as many have come out of curiosity about this rare meeting as are concerned about Sabbat intrusions. There have already been some minor scuffles as old enemies settle unimportant disputes and differences with neighbours from bordering baronies that had been left to fester for some time. Marius had already briefed you on some of the significant individuals who would be there.

Even in the presence of his own clan Nicodemus has covered much of his bulk in a large cloak but even hunched over as he is he's still some seven and a half feet tall and half a dozen faintly red glowing eyes can be seen within one side of the hood. One of the younger licks strays to close and a long arm with strange spiky hairs along the back emerges from the cloak, picks him up by the throat before almost dismissively tossing him thirty feet across the cavern into the wall. After that only Marius and Nicodemus's own pack approach to speak to him as apparently he deigns to speak with no others.
Lola, Samael and Lezabel - Gangrel of the Wilds Pack

All of the other members of the Wilds Pack are there as you'd expect this being their domain as well as the Goodwins who were rescued from their own basement by the coterie, a couple you are told are Walter and Millie Gaspars who are 'farmers' in the kindred sense of the word like the Goodwins and a powerfully built black man who seems to command some respect from the youngsters who you imagine must be 'Skelter' who is Nines Rodriguez's right hand and primary enforcer. There are also a few small groups from surrounding areas that seem happy to simply observe presumably invited as their territories border Los Angeles.
Marius points out a group milling around together in one corner. "The weaselly looking fucker in the middle is 'Baker' one of Garcia's up and comers, he'll probably pick on some-one he thinks will up his reputation but I doubt he's stupid enough to pick a 'name' so I'd be careful as it might be you. Especially as you were at the event we're primarily here to discuss and will have to speak at some point, if he interrupts feel free to fuck him up but don't kill him unless he won't stay down. Of course the reverse applies too. The other kindred think we're incapable of restraint, but if we were these things wouldn't work" "The rest might step-up if he wins, not if he loses though as he's already established as their 'top dog' if you excuse the expression" "After that challenge some-one if you wish, even if you might lose a good showing against a superior opponent can also gain you a reputation. Of course if they beat the shit out of you without breaking a sweat then that's a different matter"

Scene Two - The First Challenge
Bryce Goodwin - Gangrel
Baron of Simi Valley
Hope decided to check in with the Goodwins as she hadn't had a chance to speak to them since the events at their farmhouse where her and the rest of the coterie had rescued them from their captors. Bryce and his wife seemed to have recovered from their ordeal and introduced Hope to the Gaspars whose own ghouled retainers had been assisting them to maintain their farm as their own help had been brutally slaughtered by the Sabbat.

When speaking of the dead family Bryce showed genuine emotion and she could see that he felt their loss dearly which Hope found reassuring somehow as a sign that it was possible for their kind to still keep a grip on their own humanity. Bryce asked her if she was also to speak on the subject and she confirmed that she was. He also confessed that having to admit he'd been caught so easily was a difficult thing to admit in front of his peers but was reassured by Hope who told him "It was no fault of theirs as they were outnumbered and ambushed". However before she could talk further she was disturbed by one of the other attendees who was running his mouth off.

Marius turns out to be correct about the challenge though 'Baker' doesn't even wait till you're called to tell your tale, speaking to one of his comrades loud enough for all to hear "If this is one of the kindred who fought the Sabbat then they can't have been much of a threat..." His circle of allies laughs a little too loudly and many others turn to see your reaction.

'Baker' - Gangrel
El Hermandad
Hope gave the weaselly looking gobshite a dismissive glance before turning back to the Goodwins. "It's fortunate it was us who found you as I wouldn't rate this ones chances..." she gestured in the direction of Baker as she said it and then stepped towards him. Several of his own group formed in a rough semi-circle behind him as several other nearby observers completed the circle behind her. She popped each of her claws in turn, then cracked her knuckles beckoning him on but made no move herself as she stared him down. Perhaps goaded by her stare or mistakenly believing she was afraid to fight him he moved forward and took a swing which she batted aside casually before slicing deeply into his attacking arm with the other.

Taken aback by the ease with which she had countered his attack, he unleashed his own claws with little effect as she tore deeply into his chest and stomach as her own relentless onslaught caused him to stagger back, stumble and hit the ground hard. Several of his wounds began to close as he healed the damage with his own vitae and he got back to his feet with considerable less confidence than he'd shown earlier. As she licked his blood from her claws she turned to the watching crowd "I wonder what will effect his street cred more, bowing out or getting knocked down again?". Looking down at his own wounds and his opponents lack thereof he turned and walked away. With the victor decided the gathered crowd wandered off to observe the other contests going on as if nothing had happened.

Scene Three - Helter Skelter
Skelter - Gangrel
Nines Crew
Skelter brushed passed Samael as he was about to be challenged and the Wilds Pack member spoke to his back as he walked away "Where the fuck you going?". Skelter who had already defeated three challengers gestured to the large fridges, pulled out a large bag of blood and drained it completely before returning to the notoriously violent pack member. Samael looked at the canvas bag that contained his extensive collection of close combat weapons as if about to select one before moving in a blur towards Nines right hand man as the equally fast Gangrel punched him in the face as he arrived, ducked a counter and took another head shot which missed as Samael punched him in the floating ribs cracking several.

Hope watched the fight along with several interested parties as the two equally matched men fought with very different styles. Skelter fought with a precision that could only come from extensive martial arts training and from the techniques used she imagined he must have a military background of some kind. Sameal was far less technically proficient but seemed to have a slight edge in strength and speed which more than made up for the difference in training. It was also obvious from the way he fought that he was self taught but no less deadly for that.

There was a brief break in the action as both men stepped back to take stock of each other, wounds closing and bones resetting as they did before they attacked each other once more. The observing Hope began to believe the fight was edging towards Samael's favour but at the rate they were burning through vitae they'd both beat each other into torpor before that occurred.

Lezabel - Gangrel
The Wilds Pack
Evidently the fighters came to the same conclusion and as one stepped back and walked away in opposite directions making the battle a somewhat anti-climatic draw. Other than an informative lesson in their fighting styles Hope also concluded that Skelter had been playing with his earlier opponents so as to make them not look foolish as given what she'd seen he could have finished them much more quickly.

Somewhat surprisingly several contests are not ones of strength but of Oratory as old Gangrel tales of clan dignitaries, famous events and ancient legends of the clans founder are recited with various degrees of success and you have to admit that Lezabel of the Wilds pack has tremendous talent in that area as does Myranda though the wilds pack's apparent leader also dominates in several ritual combats as well. You begin to understand why she's in charge of her seeming elders with her mix of inspired leadership and brutally efficient fighting style. Marius was nearby listening to a young looking Gangrel girl relaying one of many versions of the story of how the the Justicar of Clan Gangrel, Xaviar had withdrawn the clan from the Camarilla. 

Once it was completed Marius walked away though Hope remained to listen to a kindred covered in tattoos of viking runes telling a tale of Brunhilde, also known as Brynhild, the leader of the Valkyries, a group of female Gangrel descended from the ancient Einherjar in service of The All-High, and whose duty was to enforce the will of the ancient methuselah.
As the story ended she returned to the main cavern just in time to see a challenger walk over to Marius who dismissively shattered his jaw and then stepped over him and carried on walking as if nothing had happened. Evidently he had none of Skelter's desire to allow weaker opponents to save face.

Scene Four - Lupus Vs. Canis
Two female Kindred named Orla and Carla who have travelled here from Huntington Beach are obviously discussing you as they keep looking in your direction. One tosses a coin and after revealing its result the larger of the two 'Orla' heads over to you. "Baker is weak and stupid, care to test yourself against some-one whose neither?"

Hope accepted the challenge as she was "Hoping Baker wasn't all that was on offer..." Orla shifted into the form of a large dog-like creature, something close to a Hyena but she couldn't identify the breed at all. Keen to show off her own abilities she took on her wolf form and the two Gangrel in animal form began to slowly circle one another. As the dog bounded forward the wolf sidestepped and took a chunk out of the dogs side with her teeth before leaping back to avoid the counter-attack. Orla shifted back to her humanoid form as the wound in her side began to mend itself and extended her own feral claws.

Deciding to stay in animal form, Hope pounced on Orla slashing and biting with claw and fangs though took several deep cuts in return, before backing away a moment to heal as her opponent took the opportunity to do the same. Several more attacks and counter attacks occurred and this time Hope was wounded in a manner almost mirroring her first attack on Orla though she still had the better of the exchange.

Sensing the battle edging in her favour she dropped her beast form and forced her wounds to bind together once more before smiling at her challenger and giving her a cheeky wink though internally she was fighting the urge to frenzy due to the amount of blood she'd expended during the combat. After another close fought exchange Orla raised her hands in submission and bowed out as her friend Carla bought over two bags of blood handing one to Hope and the other to Orla. It seemed that not every Gangrel was as bad a loser as Baker had been.

Scene Five - Arachnophobia
As the evening goes on the hierarchy seems to have been broadly decided with Marius defeat of any challenges being so casual as to leave little doubt about his status though it's no surprise to any present that the monstrous half-arachnid Nicodemus has no takers. Without any preamble Marius walks into the centre of the cavern and beckons to Nicodemus "I suppose we should get this over with..."

Nicodemus - Gangrel Elder
Wilds Pack
What unfolds from the cloak is one of the most hideous creatures you've ever seen. Some eight and a half feet tall standing upright, covered with an external exoskeleton like layers of armour, which has strange spiky hairs like a tarantulas over much of the surface. 

Six long thin arms like extra legs extend from his back each ending in a dagger like spike and his own arms are long and tipped with claws dripping with a green ichor. The right side of his face is a mass of arachnid eyes while the left contains a single entirely human looking one which is somehow more disturbing. The mouth is more or less that of a spiders and you can't imagine anything on which he feeds surviving long especially as these are also dripping with the same foul substance as his claws.

Marius moves with a speed that is difficult to follow and weaves between surprisingly precise attacks from multiple clawed limbs before darting in with thunderous blows from fists which seem to have little effect on the armoured carapace. Nicodemus's few impacts are extremely powerful but also seem ineffective as each Gangrel's raw power competes with the others supernatural levels of resistance. 

As the fight wages on Marius extends his fingers into foot long razor sharp claws of some black bone like substance and begins to carve deep grooves into the exoskeleton faster than Nicodemus can heal as he retaliates by launching a mass of the spiked hairs in a cloud far too dense to dodge which catches several bystanders who immediately drop to the ground, foul poison dripping from the wounds as their own packs rush to their aid.

Hope was suddenly glad she'd picked a space from which to view the epic combat that was on the opposite side of the cavern from where the deadly cloud had ended it's flight.

Storytellers Note - I asked her player where they were standing at the fights beginning.

Both combatants take a step back and as Marius expels the projectiles from his body and black blood flows to seal the wounds as the poison seemingly has no effect on him whatsoever, Nicodemus's bony carapace begins to reform with a sickening cracking sound. Both fighters seem to be waiting for the other to move but it is the arachnid who moves first leaping across the gap like an obscene jumping spider as Marius rolls beneath slicing deeply into it's abdomen. 

As they both face each other once more Nicodemus inclines his head slightly in what seems to be a gesture of respect and makes a noise which it takes some time to identify as laughter before turning and skittering spider-like into a side cavern. Apparently it has decided to settle for second place in the hierarchy on this occasion. Just before the monstrous creature leaves the cavern you can't help but notice that his cloak is handed to him by the gangrel he'd previously hurled into a wall and this time he gets a nod of acknowledgement rather than shattered ribs.

Hector O' Neill - Gangrel
Steve Booth's 'Bro'
With the contests ended Marius and Nicodemus are declared leaders of the gather with Myranda just behind. Skelter, Lola, Samael and a Gangrel you'd never heard of before called Hector O'Neill who you're informed is one of Steve Booth's 'bro's' are broadly speaking just behind Myranda. You have carved yourself a position just behind these others with Lezabel of the Wilds Pack with the rest being free to fight it out amongst themselves tomorrow evening should they think it matters. Later Marius informs you that if Lezabel used her wolf pack in these contests she'd be closer in rank to Myranda as her grasp of pack tactics was the best he'd ever encountered.

With the night now drawing to an end and dawn approaching many of the Gangrel begin to seek shelter. Having never been to such an event before and never properly educated on the protocol by her own sire Hope wasn't sure what the sleeping arrangements were. Several of the assembled ferals transformed into mist and blended into the ground while others left the cavern network perhaps to find locations to spend the day known only to them. Several had found corners, alcoves, side passages or clear areas and curled up under blankets or into sleeping bags evidently trusting the mortal security provided outside by Marius and Skelter to keep watch during the day. Marius appeared at her side still wearing the punctured shirt that Nicodemus had filled with poisonous spikes. "Just pick a spot Hope, you'll come to no harm here." Reassured she found a quiet unoccupied corner and felt the weariness that signalled the coming of day...

The Gather - Day Two
Scene Six - Sabbat
Marius Walker - Autarkis Gangrel
Hope awakened in the cavern as many others were rising and helping themselves to blood bags from the fridges. The contents of 'the buffet' had been significantly reduced by the multiple violent challenges the previous day and Hope theorised that if the 'Thing' continued to a third day it would need stocking up.

It did however seem unlikely to last that long as there was seemingly only one major topic to discuss. Marius was standing talking to Lezabel who was explaining something to him in an animated fashion and he seemed to be politely paying attention, nodding periodically. After a few minutes she left to speak with Myranda as Marius moved to talk to a group of Gangrel she didn't know by name but who she had been informed had arrived here from San Diego.

A few at the bottom of the pecking order settle their places in the pack order before Marius calls the meeting to what passes for order amongst the ferals. "The Sabbat made a move on the city in 2004 and got the shit kicked out of them. Apparently they have short memories for kindred" This raises a few laughs and several howls. "Fortunately it looks like their first lot of scouts have been dealt with. Bryce who you all know and Hope here will give us a first hand account to cut through the bullshit you might have heard then we'll decide what to do about the bastards. Then we'll deal with any other matters afterwards"

The Sabbat
Bryce laid out the details of the ambush which had resulted in him being prisoner in his own basement, forced to watch the staking of his wife and their feeding of him with animal blood so as to utilise him as a source of vampiric Vitae for which they all apparently had the taste. He also told of the massacre of the ghouled family who took care of the farm as well as their six year old daughter. At this point he was interrupted by one of Bakers group who expressed his scorn at becoming attached to "some worthless kine...".

Bryce who had obviously cared for the mortals and objected to their being described as worthless leapt from the stage and brought the heckler crashing to the ground before smashing his head hard into the stony floor of the cavern with both hands. The sound of bone cracking would have no doubt indicated a fatality to a mortal and wasn't exactly a minor inconvenience to a kindred. The crumpled individual wisely stayed down as Bryce returned to the stage only scrambling to his feet once his attacker began to continue with his tale, this time he sensibly allowed the speaker to finish. Bryce finished with his opinion that the Sabbat had been merely advance scouts and that a larger invasion could easily be again on the cards. With this he stepped down and Marius indicated that Hope should take his place and begin.

Sabbat Gangrel
Received Final Death
Hope informed the gathered crowd that she and had been directed to investigate the farmhouse by the Toreador Michael Tomassio for whom she patrolled the borders of his territory along with three other kindred of his coterie. She made vague mention of the map as it had been mentioned to Marius but at the Toreadors request didn't speak of the suspected kindred havens that it had also contained in addition to kindred meeting places. She then explained that there had been bomb making diagrams and electronics salvaged to make timers and the like for those weapons they created and judging from what she had seen they would have been able to create an impressive number of IED's easily capable of harming or destroying a kindred. There was then a "How the fuck do you know?" from somewhere in the crowd. Hope responded that she had served in the Gulf War doing exactly the job of locating such devices so if any-one knew it was her. The directness and confidence of the answer seemed to satisfy any doubters and she continued.

She also stated that she agreed with Bryce's opinion that they may have been scouts as one of their number (a thin-blood) had attempted to play the role of victim but was discovered and destroyed before he could do any harm with an explosive device he had hidden somewhere in LA. The mention of thin bloods prompted several grunts and negative comments from the crowd as evidently they didn't have a great reputation with many present.

Gangrel - Animalism
Hope concluded that they all needed to be on their guard and were obviously stronger united than divided considering the potential harm that could have been caused if the plot hadn't been foiled at their hands.

After some questions and a few arguments it's eventually decided that regardless of their gang allegiances that the gangrel present will keep each other informed of any suspect movements in their domains so their barons and baronies can unite against any large-scale Sabbat incursion. As Marius has the best network of the Gangrel there and also is considered neutral it's decided that he'll have his own agents act as liaison's between the disparate groups and pass around any information that might be pertinent regardless of personal allegiances. For the notoriously disorganised Gangrel Clan this is a significant move.

Hope noticed that the Wilds pack had begun to spread out amongst the crowd including the hulking form of Nicodemus which probably meant one of them was about to take a turn. She was of course quite correct.

Scene Seven - Thin-Bloods
Myranda - Gangrel
The Wilds Pack - Leader
Myranda is given leave to speak and once in control of the 'stage' raises the subject of thin-bloods poaching in the territories of others which is in her opinion becoming less a minor irritation and more a complete disregard for others domains. She points out that she generously gave them not one but two warnings before 'dealing with the issue' and informing their leader Jenna of their intention to deal more proactively with the issue should it reoccur. She puts forward her point eloquently using all the skills she demonstrated when displaying the oral traditions of the clan on the first day of the gather. 

Many of the gangs present agree and several have had similar problems in their own domains. The blame is laid on so many of them being in so small a place namely the pier, having havens without attached feeding rights or living in the domains of others who forbid poaching and their inability to feed in Santa Monica itself due to the Baron Therese Voerman having any who did chased out or if caught killed or beaten into torpor by her coterie of recruited scourges. 

Despite this reasonable explanation the general consensus unsurprisingly is that the thin-bloods need to be taught their place and many representatives of their baronies state quite clearly that their barons will not tolerate poaching including the Long Beach Baron Steve Booth according to one of his enforcers Hector O'Neill. A few however seem less concerned as long as introductions are made and permission is asked though these are in the minority.

Marco 'Joey' Joseph - Gangrel
Louis Fortier's Scourge
A Marco 'Joey' Joseph who is seemingly a glorified hit-man for Louis Fortier is of the opinion that their relative lack of individual power means that in small numbers they're no issue and it's easier to give a small number some leeway than having to go through the effort of hunting down and killing them all. This pronouncement is greeted with several jeers from the more hard-line ferals there and Hope soon realised that a unified agreement on the matter is not going to happen and even if it did all their barons would have to agree and that seemed like an improbable scenario.

When there was an appropriate pause Hope spoke and as she had performed well in both the challenges and had shown a talent for oratory during her passionate retelling of the events with the Sabbat there were no objections to the interruption. She pointed out that while Michael was keeping order in Pasadena due to the lack of a baron that it was possible that some minor feeding rights may in the future be granted by him to Jenna's people which could go someway to alleviating the problem. 'Joey' expressed his agreement though Hope was careful to point out that she believed that it was a decision each barony needed to make for itself so as not to antagonise any of those hardliners present who might see it as her speaking on Michael's behalf.

It does seem however that more gangrel end the debate anti thin-blood than pro thin-blood. As the arguments begin to drown out any coherent debate Marius steps in and calls for silence. "We have a little time left and I'd rather not extend this gather to a third night if we can avoid it so is there any other business of importance?" Marius then fielded several other minor issues of borders between domains, disputed feeding grounds and the like giving each gangrel enough time to make their point but keeping them on track when a controversial point showed no sign of being agreed upon. Of the points discussed the only one Hope thought warranted mention to the coterie was that Hector who seemed to feel comfortable speaking on Steve Booth's behalf had gained the pledge of the Huntington Beach Gangrel to aid them against any incursion by David Geduld of Torrance.
David Geduld: Baron of Torrance, Steve Booth: Baron of Long Beach

With no further points raised many of the Gangrel had begun to leave while there was still sufficient time to reach their own havens with the San Diego group having gone much earlier. While she still had a chance Hope sought out Orla and Carla and exchanged what passed for pleasantries amongst Gangrel which basically amounted to complimenting each others ability to fight and expressing their desire to do so again. Nicodemus had emerged from the side passage where he had based himself and no other kindred had been foolish enough to enter and expressed his firm desire that it was now time for everyone to fuck off.

Marius indicated that Hope should help herself to some of the blood that was left before attracting the humanoid arachnid's attention and gesturing to the remaining equipment in the now almost vacant complex. Nicodemus nodded and then scuttled backwards into the shadows as the mortal guards entered and removed the recent additions from the lair.

As the last of it was taken outside Marius indicated to Hope that it was now time to leave also and headed to the fairly narrow entrance-way to the complex of caves. As her guide pulled a large stone disc from one side and slid it across the entrance she couldn't help but notice the cavern behind begin to flood with swarms of insects, some of which were of a size that could only indicate a long-term diet of kindred vitae.

To Be Continued in 'Becoming Baron' Part Six

In Conclusion
I like to do a round-up of how the session went in these features but if you couldn't give a shit what I think then feel free to skip this bit...

Solo sessions provide a number of challenges but this is the second one I've done during this campaign (well third if you count the two hours before a session I spent with Roach's Player Tom) I did a bit better this time, I think.

Originally the 'Gather' was just going to be something that happened in the background whose consequences would be gradually felt by the players. Then one of them had a Gangrel character and I could think of no thematic reason why they wouldn't be invited so I had to flesh the events out a bit and include the character Hope in them enough so it wasn't like me just reading the player a story. I've therefore complicated my own life by added another half a dozen plot threads...oh well...

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Hope is Deborah Ann Woll, Skelter is Vin Diesel and Marius is Tony Curran, Steve Booth and Carna artwork is taken from the VtES trading card game. Everything else is from vampire related folders and searches and is as far as I know is all of the 'fair use' variety. If there's something that you feel should be attributed to some-one then feel free to let me know and I'll happily add an acknowledgement...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Session Eighteen - Becoming Baron (Part Five)

I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.
Our campaign is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to search for ways to once again bring the Ivory Tower to dominance under the pretence of being disillusioned neonates looking for the freedom of the Anarch way of life. Having made a few allies unsuspecting of their greater goal they have decided that in order to gain influence they need to acquire a barony of their own.
The now obligatory warning bit - Unlike my other RPG write-ups this one will contain swearing, sexual references and other references that might offend. If you can't tell the difference between real peoples opinions and grown-ups role-playing predators who crave blood then this probably won't be for you. I've also used actual photographs to represent some characters which I'll give acknowledgements to at the end if I've any idea who they are.
The introduction to this campaign, the first story and all the other parts can be found at the following links and are in chronological order...
'Infiltrate LA' Chronicle
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThreeFour
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThree and Four

The PC's

Phil as Michael Tomassio - Toreador
and Hope Romero - Gangrel
Tom as Johnny 'Roach' West - Malkavian
and Marie - Clan Carna
Matt as Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim
Dave as Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah

The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested.

As I have written out introductions and dialogue for certain NPC's and some location descriptions I'll post these more or less as I wrote them so they'll be in a 'reading to the group' style and they'll also be in blue so you can tell them apart from the more traditional write-up sections and occasionally an obscure Malkavian premonition will turn up in purple. If I think something needs a bit of out of character explanation then those will get a storytellers note that will helpfully be in red...

Storytellers Note - This session was about eight hours in duration so this write-up is fairly long. I also gave them two sessions worth of XP.

The discovery that the the coteries neighbours the Blount sisters were diablerists and possibly serial killers was going to have to be a problem for another night as they had a more immediate issue to resolve.

The money they required for their legitimate expansion came from the recreational substances distributed by coterie member Roach and their expansion in this area had bought them into conflict with a mortal gang with considerable resources.

The Malkavian decided the best way to resolve this was to acquire a gang of his own and had ghouled the leader of the Line 20's a gang in downtown that were being pushed out of existence by kindred sponsored rivals. Now a little more reconnaissance would seem to be in order to decide upon the best way of making his new enemy go away...permanently...

Scene Seventeen - Know Your Enemy 
Reuben Hart - Ghoul
Line 20's Leader
Realising that if their plan succeeded they'd have more than enough resources and if it failed then they'd have more pressing concerns Roach contacted Fat Larry and used some of his remaining capitol to acquire twenty bullet-proof vests and an equivalent number of firearms so as to equip enough of the gang to stand a better chance against 'Reaper's own forces once he'd decided exactly where best to hit them.

Reuben Hart the leader of the Line 20's had told Roach that persuading the rest of his people that the move was in their best interests might take a little time and as the equipment he'd ordered would take a few days he decided to spend the time with a little surveillance.

Recruiting two of the bums from the herd of Vin who most looked like a pair of junkies and changing his outfit to match theirs he decided to play the role of customer and see if their were any weak links in Reaper's distribution network. The Malkavian then made a circuit of the campus and surrounding area making small purchases as he went and attempted to engage any of the dealers who might have loose lips into conversation.

It was a long shot and as expected the more serious dealers had no intention of passing the time with a junkie and the weaker ones were apparently too afraid of their boss to make small talk. He did however discover that his sources estimates were somewhat off as a lot more of the corner dealers were professionals than he'd been led to believe with the weaker, unwilling ones being a definite minority.

With no obvious weaknesses discovered he decided to implement the second part of his expansion and see about creating a drug route for his increasing requirements of narcotics.

As the airports were under the control of kindred of significant influence that Roach had no desire to get involved in at this stage he decided he'd need to use one of two major ports he was aware of that were under kindred control. The first belonged to the Ventrue baron of Torrance, David Geduld who controlled the port of Los Angeles and the other to Steve Booth, the Baron of Long Beach whose territory included Long Beach harbour. Long Beach harbour was managed for Steve Booth by a Ventrue called Harvey who kept things running smoothly for the laid back Steve in exchange for a small percentage and feeding rights.

Scene Eighteen - The Baron of Long Beach
Jenna Cross - Caitiff
Thin-Blood Baron
Had their drug operation been under the control of the Toreador Michael it's possible they would have gone to David but as it was under the overview of the Malkavian he decided the more relaxed Steve might be easier for him to deal with. Not wanting to go off without at least some background information Roach decided to pay a visit to Jenna Cross and her thin-bloods to see what they knew about Steve and also ensure that the chat she'd had with his ally Michael when he had been forced to lure her from her office as they dealt with a Sabbat bomber (whose target selection had been somewhat their fault) hadn't caused any ripples in his long term plans.

Jenna confirmed that Steve Booth had a condo on the beach, just east of the harbour which may or may not be his haven but was definitely the place to find him of an evening as the nearby beach apparently had the best surfing conditions. As far as she knew he was content with his domain though defended it's borders against intruders like most barons. It was however common knowledge that his neighbours in Torrance had their eyes on Long Beach harbour as possessing both would give him a lot of economic potential and power. Deciding that if surfing was Steve's thing it might be a good way to curry some favour he found himself a surf shop on the permanently open pier and bought himself a surfboard and some shorts. Roach who had many repressed memories due to mental trauma suffered in the Vietnam war was never quite sure whether the thoughts in his head were real recollections or delusions so he thought it might be a good idea to see if he could actually it turned out not only could he surf, but he was actually quite good at it.

Storytellers Note - So the Malkavian put on some shorts, went surfing and got a success on every dice he rolled so we decided he could surf. I gave the player a free specialisation in surfing, I mean it's not like it'll come up that often, but I felt the moment needed commemorating lol.

After purchasing a bike rack for his surfboard from the same shop he decided to take a ride down to Long Beach to see if he could negotiate a deal to smooth the way for his drug shipments. Other than an unfortunate tendency to wobble when taking corners his motorbike skills weren't bad either and he was soon at the border of Steve's domain. Almost immediately after crossing the border a pair of kindred on dirt bikes began to flank him as he made his way to Steve's beach condo though the going became a bit tricky as he reached the actual beach due to his particular bike not being a great choice for riding over sand.

Steve Booth - Brujah
Baron of Long Beach
Intercepted on the way in by the two dismounted bikers he was escorted to the front of a building with heavy-duty shutters over the windows though they were currently open. A fairly relaxed beach party was going on and Roach's mystical sight could detect a mixture of kindred, ghouls and mortals. Sprawled out on a bench on the front deck of the beach-house was a tall handsome, well built man with short, blonde hair who was undoubtedly the Long Beach baron Steve Booth chilling with two ghouls. The two kindred who had followed him to the house were nearby but seemed content to let the newcomer get on with his business. Roach pulled up a chair, lit up joints for himself, Steve and the two nearby ghouls before getting straight to the point. "I'd like to bring a shit-load of drugs through your harbour..."

After what was possibly the most relaxed negotiation in kindred history Roach and Steve came to terms about the use of the docks and permission to cross his turf. "Harvey runs the docks for me. If I tell him it's cool he'll sort your shit in and out no drama. Any 5.0 aggro you chill yourself, If I have to get my dudes involved the deals off and you and the rest of your grommets get rag-dolled, yes?" Steve seemed confident that the kindred running the harbour on his behalf could be trusted with the financial side of the operation because as he said  "Harvey gets his cut, He'll make sure I get mine".

David Geduld - Ventrue
Baron of Torrance
The Malkavian also broached the subject of the barony of Torrance and on this subject the surfing Brujah was marginally less relaxed. "Yeah, Got some neighbour issues at the moment, Davey Boy in Torrance is pushing his luck. Might have to call up the bros in Huntington Beach and straighten his shit out if he does anything stupid." The conversation then ended abruptly as Steve noticed one of his Bro's heading towards the surf and grabbed his board. Still confident after his first attempt Roach grabbed his from the bike and joined in.

Storytellers Note - I have a feeling this might become a thing. I suppose I better watch 'The Lost Boys' again as reference material.

All eyes were on their leader who was undoubtedly an expert surfer so the Malkavian's much poorer performance this time went unnoticed. He then spent a quite enjoyable evening relaxing with Steve and his Bro's before checking back in on Reuben's progress on his way back to the haven, using his 'appearing from nowhere' trick in order to reinforce any doubts that the gang leader might have had about the reality of the previous night. While there Roach got a status report before feeding Reuben his blood a second time. With things going rather well he returned to the gallery to wait for the various threads of his scheme to weave together.

Scene Nineteen - A Gift From Sophia
Sophia Bartholomew - Toreador
Sophia Bartholomew arrives at the gallery accompanied by a short, muscular woman who you presume is a bodyguard of some description based on her manner. "I'd like to speak to Mr Tomassio or one of his associates if he's unavailable?"

Lisa rang through to Michael's office to inform him he had a guest and upon hearing it was Sophia briefly checked to make sure he was suitably attired and headed down to meet her. Roach who had decided to give himself this night off was relaxing in his usual spot above the rear fire escape though he was quite capable of using his enhanced senses to hear any conversations going on downstairs so stayed where he was. Michael made the usual introductions and expressed his pleasure at seeing her once again.

"I understand that the task you recently performed was primarily a matter between you and Mariel but as you indirectly provided a service for myself also, I'd like to show my gratitude in a more tangible manner." "If you can allow my delivery people entry to you loading bay I have a few items for you." Three men in overalls began to unload two large shipping crates of the kind used for transporting paintings, several other boxes of varying sizes and a single narrow case that they seemed to be taking particular care of. "There are some paintings of mine that you may exhibit or sell as you wish and some work of several of my 'brothers'. They indulge their creative desires but have no desire to exhibit their work. I thought perhaps you might make some use of them?"

Roach's curiosity got the better of him and he decided to have a look at what exactly the artist of the Bartholomew family had bought with her. Her own works consisted of a total of nine paintings, six of which were landscapes, two were more abstract pieces and there was also a single cityscape and were all extremely high quality work. However it was the work of her brothers that interested the Malkavian.

Amongst the works were three elaborate carvings of mythical creatures, a dozen statues of different coloured glass which were mostly naked male and female figures and a pair of stone sculptures depicting a man and woman. Both were separate works but intertwined when placed together. Though all were impressive technical pieces to Roach's unusual senses the glass statues all seemed very slightly wrong as if the sculptor saw proportions very slightly differently to normal and he began to see none-humanoid features appear upon them the longer he stared though to Michael they looked perfectly normal. It was however the stone statues that were to trigger the Malkavians abilities as a seer.

Portrait of Michael
You see the woman in the stone sculpture gasping for breath as a thin cord is tightened around her neck, the man screams as needles pierce his flesh and in both visions the killers face is the same. Though you've never met him you are sure that this is the face of Archibald Bartholomew's childe George and the figures immortalised in stone are carved images of two of his victims.

Oblivious to the Malkavian, Sophia continued talking to Michael and reached for the single portrait case "This is however a personal gift" The parcel contained an impressive portrait of Michael and was in his opinion one of the best of her works he'd ever seen. Thanking her profusely they chatted for a few minutes longer and then she departed with her bodyguard. While they had been talking Roach had taken the glass and stone statues to one of the side rooms of the exhibition hall and made a display of them with the stone statues at the centre and the nine glass creations in a rough circle around them. Seemingly pleased with his creation the Malkavian returned to his usual spot while Michael worked out where in his office would be the best place to put up the painting of himself.

Scene Twenty - Marie
Marie - Clan Tremere
House Carna
As Sophia leaves another woman arrives who can only be described as stunning. Tall and elegant with dark hair who wanders in as if she owns the building. 

The woman walked through the gallery straight to the security door barring entrance to the private offices upstairs and seemed somewhat irritated that there was no-one waiting to grant her entry. As Michael asked what the stranger wandering around his gallery wanted she informed him she was here to see a "Mr West." This threw Michael for a moment as he had never actually heard Roach referred to by his real name and had quite frankly never bothered to ask what it was. "I am here to enhance the protection of your home on a more...metaphysical level. Marius sent me on Mr West's request" The Toreador then made the connection between the conversation he'd had with Roach about needing wards to protect the galleries private areas in light of the kindred they'd released from imprisonment at the Vignes hands and the name. "I'll show you the areas we need protecting and then leave you to it if that's acceptable?" "Oui" was the only answer he received.

After giving her the promised tour and then leaving her to her own devices Michael asked Roach to come to his office to discuss what they were going to do about the map of the suspected havens of the kindred of Los Angeles. Michael's initial plan was to make a copy of the map and transfer only some of the information on it so it appeared that only the obviously known kindred meeting places and locations had been discovered by the Sabbat. This would give them a tactical advantage should they move against another barony.

Roach suggested however that as they now knew that only the coterie and the now very dead Sabbat were aware of the maps existence that they should keep it completely a secret. Enough information existed to prove what the kindred had been without needing further collaboration and the map would be a much more valuable tool if as few people as possible were aware that they had any knowledge of their rivals havens. It might even work as a tool to unite the remaining baronies together at some point in the future which would put them one step closer to restoring the Camarilla to power. The one problem with Roach's plan was however that Michael had already let Marius know about a map with his own bases on it but he hadn't mentioned any other details. Roach wasn't overly concerned about this as in his opinion if asked they could just say that those were the only locations indicated and they needn't mention the notebook of names at all.

Marius Walker - Autarkis Gangrel
Occasionally Prone to Overreaction...
Michael was somewhat concerned about the idea of deceiving the notoriously dangerous Gangrel 'Fixer' but conceded that Roach's plan would give them the best chance of accomplishing their long term goals. As the Malkavian opened the door to leave he almost walked into Marie who was standing just outside. "I couldn't help but overhear your interesting conversation...perhaps we should talk?.."

It soon became apparent that Marie had heard every word of their plotting and knew that they were Camarilla agents, had a map of the havens of LA's kindred and were keeping important information from their Mawla who was also broadly speaking her employer and protector. It soon became clear that her price for keeping this information to herself was the large quantities of blood she required to perform her rituals and also some protection. Though she already had one such protector given what she had in her possession more would be even better. Michael agreed in principle to an 'arrangement' but wanted more details about what exactly she possessed that was so important.

Carna - 'The Princess Witch'
House Carna
Marie explained that after the collapse of the Clan Tremere structure more commonly known as 'The Pyramid' the clan had split into three main houses and she was affiliated to one known as House Carna. The item she possessed was a copy of a tome said to be used by her house founder to sever her blood bond and that it was sought after by other houses of the Tremere who wished to destroy it.

In short in return for their pledge to help her keep this item safe she would keep their secrets to herself and assist them with magical wards far more powerful than those she normally crafted for 'clients'. Realising that their agreement was effectively based on blackmail she decided to show her commitment by starting on the more powerful magical protections immediately. The only slight stumbling block was that any wards or protective magics that intersected with the coteries library were immediately undone by the spirits they'd inherited that were bound to the volumes within so the sorceress placed those nearby more carefully.

Storytellers Note - Their occult library is haunted....for reasons unlikely to be explained any time soon...

Unsure whether they'd gained a new ally or a new problem Roach decided to return to an issue that he at least could do something about namely the removal of the rival to his drug empire.

Scene Twenty One - Don't Fear the Reaper
Twenty bullet-proof vests and the equivalent number of firearms and ammunition for the same had been delivered as promised by 'Fat' Larry and Roach delivered them to the gang he now controlled. He instructed their leader Reuben to ready an appropriate number of his men and to ensure at least one of them was a lieutenant he could trust. They were to make themselves ready so when he called they could assist him to remove his enemy and take-over his organisation for themselves. He also took the opportunity to give his ghoul a third drink of his own blood thus bonding the gang leader to himself.

Hope Romero - Autarkis Gangrel
Deciding that the time for subtlety was over he obtained the number of the Gangrel Hope who was employed patrolling the borders of their territory and had been so helpful in dealing with the recently encountered Sabbat. Hope was of course more than happy to assist once she learned that their target was a rapist who dealt drugs to teenage girls. Vin was of course up for anything that involved mindless violence but unfortunately Daniel was unavailable having found it necessary to do some work in his identity as a surgeon so as to stock up on the supplies of bagged blood which were his primary source of sustenance. Roach informed them all that he'd arranged a meeting with this 'Reaper' at a remote location in the Pasadena wilderness that was mainly used by Vin to practice shooting things somewhere out of the way. It was there he hoped his gang would be able to eliminate the opposing one with the kindred there to assist. "I presume you're planning an ambush then?" asked Hope. There was a slight pause, "I am now..." was the Malkavian's reply.

Roach had prepared the large abandoned warehouse unit at the specified location with graffiti that indicated that this was the Line 20's actual base and had parked his old van that they had used for transportation within it as temporary cover. Several of the gang were concealed in a forested area nearby in order to cover any retreat and also to secure a weak point in the fence surrounding the compound. The rest were waiting within to ambush the hopefully surprised enemy gang who Roach imagined would be coming in force despite any agreements they'd made about the meet-up. Vin and Hope were also concealed by the tree-line but were positioned to assault the Reapers gang from the rear as they approached the ambush site.

As he was expecting treachery Roach wasn't surprised when more or less the entire of the Reapers gang turned up in a dozen vehicles, nor when Reuben's lieutenant Jevonte informed him that half a dozen men were approaching the building from the rear in a flanking manoeuvre predicted already by Hope. What was of more concern was that the force outnumbered them by at least ten and were better armed. Of course what they didn't have was a Brujah or a Gangrel.

Bullets from over a dozen weapons from within shredded the first of Reapers men and as his flanking force ran forward alerted by the sound of gunfire the majority of those were cut down by Jevonte's force concealed in the woods. The survivors of the gang lieutenants ambush made an attempt to return fire but had no cover to speak of and found themselves pinned down, losing another three of their number.

Those survivors of the opening salvo retreated from the warehouse as others gave them covering fire losing several more as rounds struck them in the back. Though the initial onslaught had been one-sided the enemy had overcome their initial shock and were taking up firing positions with better cover. Some were firing sporadically from behind the warehouse doors which were of little threat but others using their vehicles as cover had better lines of sight to the gang within. Jevonte had finished off the initial flankers but more of the gang were circling the building and were approaching the weak point at the rear. It was time for the Malkavian to play his two trump cards.

The van had been positioned to shield a prepared escape route so it was impossible to see from the main entrance and Roach commanded his own gang to pull back while he gave covering fire, unloading his assault rifle over the barrier without even looking. Once his mortal allies had disappeared from sight he himself vanished from view as he signalled for Vin and Hope to make their presence felt. The circling group of the rapist and murderers gang found themselves caught in a crossfire from those Line 20's in the woods and those withdrawing from the building and were shredded from two directions. The first those using their own cars as cover knew that they weren't alone was the wet splat as Hope's shotgun removed ones head soon followed by a fully automatic shotgun wielded by Vin emptying it's twenty round drum into those who turned to investigate.

As the amount of firepower heading in his direction reduced considerably due to the noisy assault from the two kindred, Roach emerged under the cover of his cloaking disciplines and circled around the interior wall. As a result of his abilities the one foolish scumbag who had moved into the building to investigate had only a second to register his surprise as a man in a purple t-shirt appeared from nowhere and shot him neatly through the forehead before stepping back into the shadows and fading from sight. As their weapons emptied both shotgun wielding vampires dropped their firearms and closed to melee range. Potence enhanced fists from the Brujah killed three as Hope hacked a pair to death with a fire axe she somewhat worryingly kept handy for just such a situation.

Panic fire caught the pair and inflicted several superficial wounds as Vin flipped a car over which stood between him and his next victim while the Gangrel extended vicious claws from her fingertips slicing out two throats and inflicting a horrendous eviscerating wound on a third target. Point blank range, fully automatic weapon fire struck Vin centre mass but wasn't enough to significantly damage the unfeeling, undead flesh of the brawler whose counter-attack hit with such force that the shooter's upper body disintegrated in a shower of blood and viscera. Amongst the remnants of his decimated gang the tattooed and heavily muscled form of the self styled 'Reaper' tried to bring some order to his now terrified men without success. As Vin ripped off a car door to get at a fleeing victim, Hope instead had set her self the task of dealing with their leader.

Hope casually sliced through the reapers groin and up through his stomach with protean crafted claws before finishing him off almost dismissively and turning her attention to the rest. Now caught up in the thrill of the chase she bought down one of the three survivors, tore out his throat and then dragged another to the ground, losing control for a moment she ripped him apart not even bothering to feed until there was little left but fragments of flesh and splinters of bone. Correctly assuming that the sole survivor of the massacre was the last thing on her mind currently the Brujah pursued him as he attempted to out-distance his relentless pursuer.

Roach had given the gang the location of one of the many properties the coterie had acquired from the Vignes estate and informed Reuben and Jevonte to head there in anticipation of moving the rest of the gang to Pasadena. He also wanted to ensure there were no mortal witnesses to the blood bath his fellow kindred had carried out. Acquiring what car keys he could from the carnage the Malkavian began to move first vehicles and then bodies into the bullet ridden building before setting the whole thing alight. When Vin returned to the gallery an hour later where a simple nod indicated that the last of Reapers men had failed in his getaway attempt. Roach of course had no desire to know the details, merely that all loose ends were now cleaned up.

Reuben Hart, the new leader of the Line 20's had already started to relocate his gang to the properties provided by Michael and had sent men to salvage what they could of their vanquished rivals operation and round up any of his victims in case they could be utilised by his own gang. Material assets were also taken including stockpiles of weapons and drugs as well as retrieving the few remaining useful assets of his own operation but the task was still in it's early stages.

For only the second time Marius visited Galerie Sanguine and for once was accompanied by neither Victoria or Yukio. It was no surprise to Roach that he strolled through the wards created by Marie as he had suspected she would have created them so he could pass through as she was still significantly reliant on him for protection though the reason for his visit was of more interest. After extracting himself from his ghoul Heather who expressed her pleasure at seeing him both vocally and physically he made his way to their upstairs meeting room. As usual he dispensed with any pleasantries. "Another busy night I hear?" Of course it wasn't really a question.

Louis Fortier - Ventrue
Baron of West LA
Roach confirmed that they'd been forced to deal with a rival to their operations but had cleaned up after themselves as usual. Marius continued. "It seems that Baron Fortier is as prone to flights of fancy as the mortals of Downtown and has managed to get caught up in the legend of the seemingly unkillable Santiago Francisco." Roach had a fair idea of where this was going but kept silent in case he was mistaken. "He has therefore hired me to find him and kill him as he believes he is the only thing stopping the gangs under his control from dominating West Los Angeles and the rest of Downtown." He paused briefly and the Malkavian got to see the rare sight of an amused Marius "This is especially ironic as both you and I know he doesn't how exactly should we go about resolving this situation?"

Roach assured Marius that Santiago Francisco would never be heard of again even as a rumour as the Line 20's were now under new management. "Actually..." interrupted Marius "...perhaps it would also be beneficial if the Line 20's also ceased to exist. Perhaps a re-branding might be an idea?". Roach had already been considering renaming the gang and also had some ideas about who to use them to bring even greater profits than simple drug dealing. While he was musing the future the Gangrel 'Fixer' tossed a pouch onto the table in front of the pondering seer. "That is your percentage of the contract on the now deceased Mr Francisco." He slid his hand over it as Roach leaned forward "If we are agreed on the terms I specified of course?". Already planning how to spend the substantial pile of cash in front of him the deal was agreed and the Line 20's under Santiago Francisco ceased to exist. The Apostles under Reuben Hart however had just become a major player in the criminal activities of Pasadena appearing almost as if from nowhere.

There will be a Solo Session 'The Gather' Before this story is Continued in 'Becoming Baron' - Part Six

In Conclusion
I like to do a round-up of how the session went in these features but if you couldn't give a shit what I think then feel free to skip this bit...

This was a long session starting at 4ish in the afternoon and at about 11.00 in the evening I offered to finish it another time but as no-one apparently needed to get up in the morning we finished up, continuing to about 1.00am next morning. I gave them two sessions worth of experience points as we'd used up two sessions worth of my prepared material, lol.

The next session will be a solo outing for Phil's secondary character Hope. As events in a previous session had made the Gangrel decide to have one of their clan meetings known as a 'gather' or 'thing' and she is one of that clan it made no sense for it to happen completely in the background without her being involved. I therefore expanded it into a full stories worth of material. Don't worry though, the further adventures of the coterie will appear on the blog soon after that.

A few people have asked about the Relationship maps I use. Here they are.

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Michael Tomassio is represented by the actor Matt Bomer, Johnny 'Roach' West is quite obviously Kurt Cobain, 'Vin' is the actor Scott Adkins, Dr Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope is Deborah Ann Woll, Marie is Eva Greene, Sophia Bartholomew is Sophia Myles, Jenna Cross is Rhona Mitra and the Blount sisters, Steve Booth and Carna artwork is taken from the VtES trading card game. Everything else is from vampire related folders and searches and is as far as I know is all of the 'fair use' variety. If there's something that you feel should be attributed to some-one then feel free to let me know and I'll happily add an acknowledgement...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.
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