Friday, 14 June 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Session Thirty Two - A Meeting of Barons (Part Three)

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. Now with a barony of their own it's time to consolidate their position and then plan their next move.
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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.
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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. If you'd prefer a summary of each session rather than read everything then there's a more detailed link page HERE.
'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 OneTwoThree, and Four
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Gather'
Story Three Continued - 'Becoming Baron' - Part SixSeven and Eight
'Foothold LA' Chronicle
Solo Session - 'Hostile Takeover'
Story Four - 'Countdown' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Five - 'The Missing Chantry' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Anaheim Assassination'
Story Six - 'A Meeting of Barons' - Part One and Two

The PC's
Phil as Michael Tomassio - Toreador Baron of Pasadena
and Hope Romero - Gangrel Scourge
Tom as Johnny 'Roach' West - Malkavian Seneschal
and Marie - Clan Carna Occult Advisor
Dave as Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah Sheriff
Matt as Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim 'Fixer'

The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested. There's also some minor 'house-rules' HERE that have occurred as we went along.

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. Anything covered via player handouts will also be in blue as they're written in the same style as introductions and the like. Where particular NPC's have a mention in a faction profile you will be able to reach it by clicking on their name beneath their picture.

Introduction
Michael Tomassio, the Baron of Pasadena had been nominated at a meeting of the barons neighbouring Downtown to meet with the members of the rediscovered chantry of Maximillion Strauss and ensure they were not a threat to the Free States. Though he has been assured by their new Regent that the seven members of the chantry will keep their politics within he has also discovered that the Gangrel 'Fixer' Marius Walker has already offered them significant benefits that seriously undermine any leverage the barons have against them. He now needs to decide just what he's going to tell the other barons.

Scene Seven - The Countess
Marius's Roof Garden Temple
With a few hours of night left Michael decided to make his way to the Neillson library to which he had access and do a little research on the Tremere Houses, their chantries and to see if he could glean any insights into Marius's allegiances based on the temple he had within his roof garden.

He hoped that a little more information on Marius might enable him to predict his aims with a bit more accuracy. Daniel meanwhile visited the library within the gallery and began to read up on the history of the Brujah and other clans at Carthage in order to help with his cover identity.

Storytellers Note - Daniel's player wanted the first dot in the Ruins of Carthage Loresheet, 'Clan Historian' to help when pretending to be a Brujah. He figured that waffling on about Carthage was pretty much all you needed to blend in with other Brujah...I mean, well, he's not far wrong to be fair...

The Neillson Library
Beneath Hollywood Cemetery
Michael contacted Hope to accompany him to the concealed horde of information beneath Hollywood Cemetery. He noted that for some reason that when he had first been introduced to the hidden facility that Victoria had taken Marius's pet ghoul killing machine Yukio with her so presumably the Cemetery held some dangers that he wasn't aware of. He also sent one of Vin's 'girls' to keep the caretaker company while he was there as that seemed to be standard procedure. The location was within the domain of the Baron of Hollywood, Isaac Abrams so he also did him the courtesy of informing him he was going to be briefly in his territory. Mentally noting how even the simplest of tasks become complicated due to kindred politics, he headed to the Library. The trip was uneventful as expected, the caretaker Romero was already occupied with his guest and the cemetery was as quiet as you'd expect in the very early hours of the morning.

The Library Crypt Key
Leaving his scourge Hope to secure the entrance he made his way beneath the crypt and into the lobby area before the portcullis that sealed off the library area. His occult adviser Marie had assured him that the wards protecting this place would pretty much liquefy any unauthorised attempt at entry so he carefully placed his hand in the recess along the wall and felt the familiar sting as the blood lock sampled his Vitae. The haze that always obscured the view within faded and the heavy gate raised silently into a gap in the archway above. He was somewhat surprised to find that the library had another guest already doing some research within. Though he presumed that others had access this was the first time he'd encountered another within.

An attractive, well dressed woman was sitting at a desk with a selection of dusty leather bound tomes piled up around her and an ancient manuscript spread open between them. She looked up as Michael entered, nodded in acknowledgement of his presence and then carried on with her reading. Not wishing to disturb her, Michael gathered a number of volumes on ancient temples and religions and attempted to discover the relevance (if any) of Marius's private temple above his haven. After a futile search through references to mortal religions his curiosity got the better of him and he introduced himself to the other occupant.

Countess Visconti - Brujah
Brujah Idealist
"Good evening, allow me to introduce myself, I'm am Michael Tomassio of the clan of the Rose, Baron of Pasadena." The woman turned in her chair and made her own introduction. "...and I am Countess Visconti, If such titles mean anything amongst our kind, of Clan Brujah..." Michael whose main experience of clan Brujah representatives was Vin and a selection of leather jacketed thugs managed to hide his surprise. "...I'm doing some research on the differences between early Brujah philosophies and how they've adapted due to modern sensibilities." Michael couldn't help but notice that she was very beautiful indeed though had to admit that the snob in him had also been impressed by the title "To be quite honest I'm attempting to find documented evidence to prove my point in a debate with an acquaintance of mine. I'm correct of course, but it never hurts to have a transcript of an ancient Brujah's written word to agree with you." "and what brings you here?"

Not wishing to explain in too much detail his real reasons for his own research he stated that he was merely taking advantage of a few spare hours to get some reading in on subjects that interested him. He also noted that she didn't seem to have bothered with either occupying Romero or bringing a bodyguard. "Well its been nice meeting you Michael, but dawn approaches and I need to get back to my haven." He bid the countess, good evening and with that she left, leaving Michael alone in the library. He was also aware that he himself needed to get a move on so he put back his research and retrieved Hope before making his way back to the gallery.

Scene Eight - The Baron of Santa Monica
Therese Voerman - Malkavian
Baron of Santa Monica
Conscious of how the smallest detail had political implications the first issue that Michael had to deal with was who he informed of the results of his meeting with the blood mages of the chantry and in what order.

Currently the most politically dangerous to offend were Therese Voerman and Louis Fortier so his first visit would need to be one of the two. Deciding that Louis Fortier would probably be the easiest to talk to due to their past relationship he concluded that he could get away with visiting Therese first. He also had to admit that the Baron of Santa Monica was the one he was most keen on avoiding the wrath of.

Usually Roach dealt with her though the last time he'd been sent to negotiate with her in reference to the 'Daniel' issue the deal he'd gotten was seriously one-sided. It was more than likely that his fear of Therese was enabling her to make demands rather than make deals. Besides which, Roach was busy establishing their Elysium and integrating the resources of the many gangs they'd absorbed throughout Pasadena into their own 'Apostles'. As this provided much of their income currently Michael deemed this a far better use of his time.

Deciding that he didn't want his driver Dion reporting his every movement to Fiorenza he instead took Daniel with him to act as chauffeur. He also had the added benefit of routinely planning entry points and security weak spots in any location he entered. This of course meant that as well as ways in, he generally also knew ways to get out, quickly.

Storytellers Note - I now routinely decide on the security systems, physical defences and watchmen of anywhere Daniel's player takes his character as I know he's going to ask...

Playing the role of chauffeur and bodyguard Daniel parked the Baron's covertly armoured car in the private car-park of the night-club and opened the door for Michael to get out. He then dropped into position slightly behind him and began to observe the surroundings for any potential threats but could see nothing other than the occasional wannabe mortal hard-man that would be no threat to either of them.

Charlie 'Chick' Abbott - Banu Haqim
Baron Voerman's Scourge
As they entered the club Daniel noticed the other member of the Banu Haqim within the city leaning against the bar and nodded at her in acknowledgement. The leader of Therese's commando coterie, Lee arrived and indicated to Michael that Therese was ready to see him and also made it clear to Daniel that his presence was not required. Not wanting to make too big an issue of the situation Michael told Daniel to wait downstairs while he had his meeting. This suited Daniel just fine as he wished to speak to his counterpart within Therese's organisation anyway.

Charlie Abbott, or 'Chick' to her friends guided Daniel to a relatively quiet corner of the club though it was still an area from which both could observe the elevator to Baron Voerman's private office. Daniel was curious about where the rumour about another Banu Haqim being in LA that had drawn him to the attention of his sire had originated from but disappointingly Chick had no idea. The rumour had simply filtered back to her through her own information network and she had investigated herself based on it. Of course the reward had also interested her.

She offered to make enquiries on the issue if he wished but pointed out that it might threaten the cover story of him being Brujah that she'd established for him if she suddenly started asking about a rumour that she herself had only recently debunked. This potential problem had already occurred to the doctor and he agreed with Chick that at the moment maintaining his cover was more important. They then continued to make small talk as their respective Barons spoke upstairs.

Ellie-May 'Lee' Li - Toreador
Commando Coterie Leader
Lee accompanied Michael to the lobby in front of Baron Voerman's office but she waited outside rather than accompany him within. Therese of course got straight to the point. "Any progress?" Michael relayed the agreement that he'd obtained pertaining to their neutrality as well as the concession that within the chantry they could do as they pleased. As he had no way of enforcing such a demand to the contrary it seemed unwise to labour the point and anyway almost all of them had seemed to be in favour of a mutually beneficial deal. As Therese was already aware that the coterie had Camarilla sympathies Michael felt no need to hide the fact that in his opinion the majority of those within the chantry would be open to Camarilla rule within Los Angeles.

"Well that should quieten Mr Rodriguez's desire to do something drastic or at the very least smooth over his concerns. However, I believe you said 'almost all'? That implies some dissenting voices?" Michael admitted that the leader of the House Tremere faction was quite ready to aggressively defend the chantry from any attack and from what he'd learned of her that would be quite messy for all concerned.

An aggressor within the faction was definitely a factor to be monitored but Michael was quick to add that she had gone with the majority decision eventually. Baron Voerman was of the opinion that any mention of Alannah and her temper might be best left out of the briefing he gave to the other interested parties and Michael concurred.

Marius Walker - Autarkis Gangrel
After a moment's consideration he decided it would be best to inform her of Marius's interference rather than have her find out about the omission at a later date. "I feel I should also inform you that my own visit was preempted by one from Marius Walker. He talked as if the area granted him by Fortier was in fact his own domain and that the chantry therefore fell within his influence."

If Therese was in any way surprised by this revelation it didn't show. "He offered them considerable motivation to see him as the dominant power in the area. Enough in fact that they may rather quickly find themselves owing him a significant number of boons."

Therese smiled rather unnervingly before replying. "Their relationship has been souring since he delegated the problem with his childe's missing portrait to yourselves rather than dealing with it personally. Fortier thinks he's getting too powerful and sees ulterior motives in everything he does."

The smile continued as if she was privy to some joke that he wasn't a part of. "What you choose to tell the Baron of West LA is of course your own concern. As far as I'm concerned everything within the chantry is as satisfactory as we could hope for." The smile abruptly disappeared. "If that is all, you may leave." As it didn't sound like a request Michael left the office where the awaiting Lee guided him back to Daniel.

With the fist meeting having gone fairly well, Michael decided that next on his list would be Baron Louis Fortier.

Scene Nine - The Baron of West Los Angeles
Mariel St John - Ventrue
Mistress of Baron Fortier
Knowing Baron Fortier's fondness for correct etiquette Michael contacted him via what was effectively his Seneschal, Mariel St John to arrange a meeting. As his coterie was in many ways responsible for her elevated position in Fortier's hierarchy of mistresses she obliged. She was also aware that this was news that her Baron would want sooner rather than later.

As Mariel now organised the Baron's social schedule in the same way that Catherine Du Bois ran his household it was a simple matter for her to move a few appointment's around and get Michael in to see the Baron almost immediately. After extending his gratitude, Michael informed Daniel that his skills as driver and security would be needed once more.

Despite having examined the mansions security precautions on his previous visit the Banu Haqim acting as driver went over them again as they were escorted through the gate and into the house. Once again he had to acknowledge that Catherine certainly knew how to keep her Baron and herself safe from harm. The only point he noted was that the security guards seemed to be rotated between internal and external posts. This annoyingly meant that complacence wasn't a factor he could exploit.

The meeting it seemed was going to be with Baron Fortier and the head of his household security, Catherine Du Bois. Catherine was well known as the kindred who 'keeps the home fires burning' for Louis and had effective control over his army of ghouls and his herd of blood dolls.

Catherine Du Bois - Ventrue
Mistress and Childe of Baron Fortier
She was also infamous for running a very special out-call service for a select clientele who appreciate, and pay well for, unique experiences. Her stable of stunning debauched beauties of both sexes provided entertainment on a level of excitement that only the very wealthy and very bizarre can appreciate. The favour this had accorded her within both mortal and kindred spheres of influence had in many ways cemented Fortier's position as one of the most powerful barons in Los Angeles.

As Michael began his report on the success of his meeting with the new occupiers of the Tremere chantry within Downtown, Daniel perused the area as surreptitiously as possible. The confidence both Louis and Catherine had was palpable and even despite the hint of arrogance, in Daniel's experience kindred with that level of self assurance usually had good reason for it.

If they were to fulfil Michael's mission to take Los Angeles for the Camarilla they might well have to remove Fortier permanently and that was a prospect that the Banu Haqim didn't see happening without a lot of planning.

As Michael was carefully avoiding mentioning Alannah of House Tremere's outburst at the meeting he'd had, Daniel noticed Catherine lean in and whisper something into Baron Fortier's ear. Daniel was capable of enhancing his senses to supernatural levels and clearly heard her say "Ask if they mentioned Marius's visit..." Unfortunately without Roach to relay telepathic messages between them he had no way of pre-warning Michael that the question was incoming.

Louis Fortier - Ventrue
Baron of West Los Angeles
"I've been informed that the chantry was paid a visit by our mutual friend Marius. Did the mages mention this at all?" "I'm sure..." replied Michael "...that they've had a number of visitors." The impression on Fortier's face clearly indicated that he wasn't satisfied with the answer and Michael immediately realised that it could have been interpreted as overly flippant. "I meant no offence..." Said Michael, swiftly backtracking. "...I merely meant that it may have been purely curiosity on his part. I'm sure many within Los Angeles are as concerned about this new chantry as we ourselves are." Fortier then addressed Daniel directly "You were once in the employ of the Gangrel. Do you think it was a casual visit to say hello?" It was clear from the tone that Baron Fortier believed nothing of the sort. "I couldn't speak to his intentions, Baron..." replied the doctor "...I wasn't part of his inner circle. I was as you said merely an employee."

"It's possible..." Interjected Michael "...that he was involving himself directly due to him being left out of the meeting. I understand that he isn't a Baron but then neither is 'Nines' and he got an invitation." It had become clear to Michael that there was no argument that would persuade the Baron that Marius's intentions were anything but sinister so he tried a different approach."I haven't been Baron for long but I am aware that his personal code precludes him attacking Barons directly and I'm sure he doesn't want a war with some-one as powerful as you regardless."

Tara - Brujah (Deceased)
Former Baron and Prince of San Diego
Fortier was however still not convinced "The last person of influence to start to covertly gather allies and accumulate power in the Free States was Tara of San Diego, she then declared herself Prince, I would not see another usurper take power here." Marius had never struck Michael as a kindred who had his eye on the position of Prince but saying so at this point might easily be construed as him taking sides so he kept the opinion to himself. Instead he selected a middle path. "The situation can be monitored and perhaps his ambitions can be checked?" Michael could tell that the prospect of a war was something that Fortier had no desire for despite certainly having the resources for one, though worryingly he didn't get the same impression from Catherine.

"As you say, the situation can indeed be monitored. We appreciate you taking on this task on behalf of myself and the other baronies. Is it your intention to inform all the other interested parties personally?" The Toreador confirmed that he believed it was a matter of courtesy to let those from who he had been given the task know the results. He was then informed by Louis that he was due to meet Jesus Ramirez of El Hermandad this very evening and that he would pass on the information to him personally saving Michael a journey. Being politically savvy enough to know that the offer was going to be difficult to refuse he accepted as gratefully as he could manage and then having nothing more to discuss left to make the next visit he had planned.

Scene Ten - 'Nines' Rodriguez
The Last Round, Downtown
Nines Haven
Daniel had decided that as they were going to be driving through a somewhat less prosperous area of that they needed to make some attempt to blend in. Michael might have been less swift to agree to the plan if he'd realised that it involved playing Hip Hop through their cars stereo with the bass turned up full. The bar was, from the outside, exactly as Michael had been expecting for the area through which they'd travelled. Daniel pointed out the possibility that it was nicer on the inside but as Michael countered "I wouldn't get your hopes up..."

The bar was a dive. As far as Daniel could tell the barman was mortal as were a couple of the patrons but the majority of those lounging around were in his opinion kindred. The Brujah that Michael knew as 'Damsel' was engaged in an impassioned debate which seemed to mainly consist of her shouting loudly and threatening violence. As Michael approached he got what appeared to be a genuine smile and was reminded of Roach's childish taunts implying that she'd become a little enamoured of him. "He'll tell you..." Michael found himself the centre of attention as Damsel involved him in her debate "...This fucking idiot thinks that the Camarilla 'has merit' as a concept. He should be ashamed to call himself an Anarch..."

Damsel - Brujah
Nines Crew
Other than a security camera pointed roughly in the direction of the entrance, Daniel could see nothing that counted as a security precaution. Of course the fact that the building had a large quantity of armed Brujah within was probably adequate enough of a defence during the hours of darkness at least. The relatively cramped interior would also make any form of combat relying on speed and manoeuvrability difficult but would definitely favour the hard-hitting bar-room brawling style preferred by many Anarch's of the Brujah clan.

As he completed his assessment of Nines bar he noticed that Michael had successfully dismantled Damsel's verbal sparring partner with a combination of skilled debate, superior knowledge of the subject matter and the other kindred realising he was in very real danger of having the shit kicked out of him by Damsel herself. "Well that told him, 'bout time we had an Anarch baron who actually talks like an Anarch...not that I needed the help of course." Michael confirmed in his least patronising tone that he was sure she'd have won the debate without his assistance but that he couldn't talk any more right now as he had to go and see Nines. As he made his way up the stairs indicated he noticed that Damsel appeared to be going for round two of the argument but this time she didn't involve him.

Skelter - Gangrel
Nines Crew
Skelter was waiting inside the upstairs bar area just inside the door. He had a shotgun and a handgun in an unusual shoulder rig barely concealed beneath a military style jacket but seemed in no hurry to obstruct Michael's passage to Nines himself who was leaning casually against a wall in one corner. Daniel found himself a corner from where he could see the whole area and the door and if anything was even less impressed with the security on this floor.

"They've agreed to abide by the Anarch rules when outside the chantry and not to bring any of their problems from inside, with them when they do." Michael summarised "They have no plans to upset the status quo and effectively are Autarkis Kindred obeying Anarch rules when out and about." Nines was satisfied with the explanation though Skelter wanted to know if there was "Anything to worry about?" Michael decided not to mention about Alannah as that would just cause the exact trouble that he'd spent so much effort to avoid so merely repeated what he'd already told Nines.

Skelter put it to Nines that they still needed to keep an eye on the chantry so they could see who if any-one the kindred within chose to visit. Nines okayed the plan but warned Skelter to be careful when operating in Marius's territory as he was already "On the offensive for some reason..." Skelter was well aware of what his fellow Gangrel was capable of as he had attended the clan 'Gather' that had occurred earlier in the year. Though he didn't mention what he'd learned about Marius's visit to the chantry Michael also counselled caution.

'Nines' Rodriguez - Brujah
De-facto Anarch Baron
"So Michael, did you speak to Damsel?" enquired Skelter with a big grin on his face. The Toreador confirmed that he'd been dragged into a debate with her and another kindred in the bar. Skelter then did a passable impression of Damsel talking about Michael before referring to her as his 'Fan Club'. "Very impressive.."countered Michael "...have you thought of going on stage as an impersonator?"

Both Nines and Skelter were clearly amused by the situation and Michael played along but secretly he was somewhat concerned about what might happen if Damsel discovered that his dedication to the Anarch cause was less genuine than she thought. 'A woman scorned' would no doubt be an inadequate description for her ire in those circumstances.

With Nines crew now kept in the loop it only remained to inform the Crypt Sons leader 'Hank'. Having never dealt with him before other than his brief conversation at the meeting he had no mutual contacts to arrange a suitable rendezvous and mentioned this to Nines.

Fortunately Nines himself offered to set one up for him and made a phone call while Skelter wrote down the address on the back of a slightly soiled beer mat. Michael handed the beer mat to Daniel, thanked all there and left. Damsel was fortunately too occupied in yet another debate to waylay him as he departed.

Scene Eleven - The Crypt's Sons Baron
The address was of a house in a neighbourhood deep within the Crypt's Sons domain. This particular home was at the far end of a wide street that ended in a large open area with houses on all sides. Many of the side roads were blocked with parked vehicles and alleyways and side entrances to houses were blocked by fences, gates or debris. This meant that any approach via vehicle had only one way in and one way out.

As Daniel drove to the address they'd been given he observed that because of the haphazard lay-out there were a number of ways for an individual to sneak in. He could also see men with assault rifles and SMG's on a number of roofs and at various look-out points along the street who had a good view of the road and a number of other potential approaches. Bypassing the mortals amongst these watchmen would be fairly simple though it was likely that many would be kindred which opened the possibility of some possessing supernatural senses.

The specified house had it's driveway blocked by two cars parked across the frontage. As they approached the two cars pulled back enabling them to park on the drive which Daniel did. As he pulled in front of the house the two cars pulled in behind them effectively blocking them in. Committed now, Daniel opened the car door for Michael and followed him through the front door past two gang members openly carrying weapons. Once inside another hulking figure carrying a blackened shotgun directed them through the house to a kitchen area at the rear.

Seated at a dining room table was Henrique 'Hank' Boyd, Baron of the Crypt's Sons and de-facto gang-leader of the mortal criminal network that shared their name. Half a dozen armed gang members were in the room with him who Daniel presumed must all be kindred. Michael took the seat offered him while his Banu Haqim bodyguard and driver stood by the kitchen entrance where he could see both the way in and keep his eye on the room. "Well?"

Henrique 'Hank' Boyd - Brujah
Crypt's Sons Baron
Michael gave Hank the same version of the events at the chantry that he'd given Nines in that he omitted both Alannah's outburst and Marius's visit. "I'm surprised you came personally..." said Hank "...I expected to get the news third hand or via some expendable messenger." Michael pointed out that he considered omitting Hank when he'd informed all the others in person would have been disrespectful in the extreme. He had as much right to know the results of a meeting he'd been present at as any other baron there. Hank leaned back in his chair and seemed to relax somewhat, Daniel noticed that the guards seemed to become more at ease as soon as their leader had done so.

"I'm used to Ventrue, Toreador and the fake philosophers of my own clan looking down on me like I'm some kind of Caitiff..." stated Hank in a tone that clearly indicated to Michael that he was sick of it "...So the fact that you came down here to my domain and told me one to one what went down took me by surprise a bit." He laughed in a seemingly genuine manner and a moment later several of the others present followed suit. "So one Baron to another I appreciate the show of respect." The sentiment seemed genuine and Michael began to realise that despite the brutal reputation of Hank and his gang that their leader did seem to have a code of his own that he would stick to. Not wishing to overstay his welcome and reasonably happy that he'd managed to generate at least a modicum of good will, Michael and Daniel left they way they had came and headed back to the gallery.

Epilogue
Victoria Anne - Ghoul
Personal Assistant to Marius
As far as Michael was concerned the work and the danger had paid off with dividends. He had once again cemented his reputation as not only a kindred with a talent for diplomacy but as an individual who could get things done. The blood mages within the chantry were potential allies in his long-term plan to take Los Angeles for the Camarilla and he's managed to deal with some of the most powerful of Los Angels Barons without making an enemy or having to pick a side. They'd also managed to accomplish all of this with no-one any the wiser that Daniel was in fact Banu Haqim not Brujah.

With the mission complete, Daniel's thoughts returned once more to the issue of who exactly had betrayed his presence in Los Angeles. He decided to see if Marius had made any progress in the investigation on his behalf but manage once again to get Victoria instead. Presuming that Marius's ghoul knew pretty much everything that he was involved in he enquired if she knew if he'd had any success.

"I'm afraid he's dealing with that matter personally as it involves pulling in favours from those who wont deal with a mere ghoul." Daniel was reasonably sure that no-one in LA considered her a 'mere' anything so it looked like the enquiries were being made further afield. "As soon as he's back from San Diego I'll give him a prod for you." Knowing not to push his luck, Daniel thanked her a moment before she hung up on him.


To be Continued in 'The Carmelita Situation' - Part One

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...

I was planning on 'hand-waving' a lot of the reporting in to the Barons but one of the players wanted to roleplay approaching the different barons in different ways as he planned on not telling them all entirely the same story, lol.

Another wanted to tactically assess all their havens to look for weaknesses in case he had to deal with them at a later date. This meant an extra two PC session occurred...it actually turned out far more interesting than I expected and I'm always happy to indulge reasonable player requests for roleplaying opportunities.

Acknowledgements
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, Countess Visconti is Elizabeth Hurley, 'Chick' is Lena Headey, 'Lee' is Bai Ling, Marius Walker is Tony Curran, Damsel is a cosplayer called Irina Delnova, Skelter is Vin Diesel, Hank is Michael Clarke Duncan and Victoria is Lilith May. 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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