Saturday, 14 December 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Session Fifty Six - The Southern Solution (Part Two)

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 chronicle is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to bring them back under Camarilla control. After a year of plotting, the coterie now controls the three North-Eastern Baronies and has successfully weakened several others. Unfortunately other Barons have used the chaos they have created to consolidate their own positions.
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. If you'd prefer a summary of each session rather than read everything then there's a more detailed link page HERE as well as links to the first episode of each story in the blog sidebar.
Chronicle One - 'Infiltrate L.A.' 
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
Chronicle Two - 'Foothold L.A.' 
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 OneTwo and Three
Story Seven - 'The Carmelita Situation' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eight - 'The Blount Sisters' - Part One and Two
Story Nine - 'Blood Money' - Part OneTwoThreeFour, Five and Six
Story Ten - 'Anathema' - Part One and Two
Story Eleven - 'Predators and Prey' aka 'The Blount Sisters' - Part Three
Story Twelve - 'Aftermath' - Part One and Two
Story Thirteen - 'The Messiah Complex' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Three - 'Incursion L.A.'
Story Fourteen - 'The Rant'
Story Fifteen - 'Ties of Blood' - Part One and Two
Solo Session - 'A Gathering of Roses'
'The Southern Solution' - Part One

The PC's
Player controlled characters
Michael Tomassio - Toreador, 'Baron of the North East'
Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah, 'Constable'
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Spymaster'
Hope Romero - Gangrel, 'Census Taker'
Mr Hertz - Nosferatu, 'Seneschal'
The SPC's
Storyteller controlled player allies
Priya Haynes - Gangrel, 'Sweeper'
Carla Doyle - Gangrel, 'Sweeper'
Orla Riviera - Gangrel, 'Sweeper'
Rosalind Perkins -  Thin-blood, Alchemist

The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested, but be warned that the page is usually several stories ahead of the most recent write-up and may contain some spoilers. 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 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.

'Amethyst' - Caitiff
The Banu Haqim, Daniel has successfully sabotaged the relationship between David Geduld, Baron of Torrance and Amethyst, Baron of Santa Ana. This was accomplished by framing David for attacks against Amethyst and other Los Angeles baronies and then leaking information to mortal authorities about the weapon used.

He then manipulated Amethyst into believing an attack against Allison Maller, Baron of Anaheim and Steve Booth, Baron of Long Beach under a flag of truce was her only hope for victory. Unfortunately her forces had already been reduced considerably without her knowledge and the attack was an abject failure that neither her, nor her diminished forces were to survive.

This has however, left the entire South of Los Angeles in chaos and Daniel has offered the services of his baron as a neutral negotiator to help those effected to reach an amicable solution. Michael has taken on the task at Allison and Steve's request though he has let Daniel know that some forewarning would be appreciated should he ever have a similar idea in the future. Allison Maller and Steve Booth have both requested that any meeting take place in a Pasadena Elysium and is hosted by Michael Tomassio due to his barony being unconnected and therefore neutral and due to his past record as a facilitator.

Scene Nine - Chaos in the South
Hugo Snyder - Autarkis Brujah
The Southern baronies of Los Angeles are in a state of disarray. Amethyst has been destroyed attempting to ambush Steve Booth, Baron of Long Beach and Allison Maller, Baron of Anaheim while they were meeting, supposedly to discuss a peaceful resolution to their difficulties. There is some confusion around how this was accomplished due to the superior capabilities of Amethysts forces, but the rumour-mill seems to attribute it to the abandonment of her by fully half of her kindred followers and the disappearance of Hugo Snyder's mercenaries.

David Geduld was driven into the warrens below Torrance, on the run from federal investigators and the forces of Steve Booth, led by the second of Steve's gangrel hounds, Bilal Yang. They instead found a pile of ash, his torn apart clothing and some of his personal belongings in a blood smeared section of the sewers. It is suspected that the sewer dwelling, Nosferatu diablerists known as the Voiceless Ones may have claimed yet another kindred victim. The scene certainly had all the hallmarks of their 'work'

Vinicius, the only remaining member of Hugo Snyder's mercenaries has joined with the four remaining Gangrel from Amethyst's forces and based themselves at the distribution hub in Huntington, previously acquired by Amethyst as her base within that barony. They have made no claims on the barony of Huntington but will definitely need to be dealt with by anyone who wanted the area for themselves. Vinicius has taken over the assets of Hugo's group and is therefore, more than self sufficient, for the time being.

'Rose' - Caitiff
Currently Missing
Rose and Zipper have disappeared and are presumably in a back-up haven somewhere within Santa Ana after several of Steve's less reliable followers were sent to Amethyst's Santa Ana HQ to locate them and failed to return. All four were found quite dead when a more competent follow-up team was sent to investigate their absences. One of the thin-bloods had been killed via stab wounds to the back while a second had their throat slit rather neatly, also from behind. The remaining pair had been Caitiff. One had been killed by concentrated weapons fire and the other appeared to have been shot, then held down while some-one sawed off their head with a hacksaw that was found nearby.

Harvey Caplan is currently running both docks after Steve's kindred seized control within a few days of the final death of David Geduld being revealed. The remainder of David's forces under the Ventrue Michael Broadhurst, have fallen back to a compound in Palos Verdes Estates that was formally the home of David Geduld. Fortunately for them, there is no official paper-trail linking it to Geduld and so they are safe there from federal investigators. It is also a fortress and they have been using it as a base from which to harry and inconvenience Steve's kindred whenever possible. 

The Gangrel sweepers of Torrance, Kellan and Logan, have disappeared into the urban wetlands surrounding the Madrona Marshes along with the three Caitiff who Geduld had apparently put under their care. Logan has appeared briefly to meet with Hector who has provisionally negotiated a 'We don't fuck with you if you don't fuck with us' agreement. It's unlikely to last but at least it's one less threat for Steve to deal with immediately. Of course the additional problem is that it's quite difficult to move Gangrel once they decide an area is theirs.

David Geduld - Ventrue
'The Oratory' as some are now calling the Gangrel information network has spread the rumour, which now is a fact as far as LA's kindred are concerned, that Geduld was responsible for the death of Tom Weaver and Edward Vignes and had gotten some ideas above his station. They have also been discussing the fact that a few barons who believed that Michael Tomassio's coterie killed Vignes and drove out Vera probably owe them an apology...

In a completely unrelated matter, FAT Larry has been told to get in touch with you as the new location for his business empire is so close to the border between Downtown and Pasadena that Marius has told him he needs to get your permission or "Move a mile, one way or the fucking other..."

Storytellers Note - That was a bit of a monologue, but quite a lot happened in the previous 'solo' session.

Michael has also been informed by Daniel that he had to make several arrangements while eliminating Amethyst as a threat which may complicate the negotiations. Firstly, Allison Maller wants no objections if she expands her Anaheim borders into the now baron-less Santa Ana. She doesn't necessary want it all, but should she wish to acquire some 'real estate' across the border she expects this to be already agreed before any other deals are made. This was the price for her aid in spreading the rumours necessary to draw attention to Geduld's alleged part in the scheme.

Mary - Autarkis Gangrel
'Mother' of the Children of the Wolf
Secondly, Marius Walker, L.A.'s resident 'Fixer' wants a meeting before the negotiations begin and a seat at the table when the actual meeting occurs. Daniel believes that he wants to ensure that the Gangrel that helped the overthrow of Amethyst don't suffer any repercussions.

As he and his childe Mary arranged for them to eliminate Hugo's mercenaries and for the other Gangrel of her barony to be unavailable it would be bad for his reputation should he subsequently abandon them. The bulk of Marius's price in boons had been paid for with Amethyst's final death, though Daniel was still unsure about what she had done to raise his ire.

Thirdly, Steve is looking for David Geduld and expects no objections should he find him and destroy him. Fortunately this particular agreement has been rendered null and void by the discovery that Geduld has met his final death. Steve is however actively pursuing Geduld's followers with varying degrees of success which is likely to complicate negotiations for a peaceful solution.

Realising that the longer he left before scheduling the meeting the more a violent escalation was likely to occur, he arranged for all parties to be present seven evenings from now. This would give him time to arrange some preliminary meetings so as to ensure that he knew the attentions of all present before they were in a room together. He was also aware that the order in which he arranged these meetings would also have political ramifications. He dismissed Daniel and Vin and set himself to the task of navigating the quagmire that he had been left to deal with.

Storytellers Note - Daniel's plan was quite literally... "Amethyst needs to die, Geduld as well. Then Michael and Hertz can sort out all the political fallout and other shit..." Out of character he then amused himself by annoying Michael's player with encouraging phrases such as "Well I've done my bit..."

Interlude - Too Many Barons
Reuben Hart - Ghoul of Mr Hertz
Leader of 'The Apostles' Gang
Diplomacy was of course Michael's forte but this particular meeting was going to be very important. Not only did he need to resolve the situation in order to maintain his useful reputation as an influencer amongst the Anarch's, he also needed to ensure the result advanced the coteries own, long-term goals.

Vin had been ensuring that his own people were well trained in the event of conflict and Mr Hertz had turned the Apostles gang into a highly efficient and well armed, money making machine. Combined with the deterrent of having four Gangrel Sweepers patrolling his borders, Michael's own barony was fairly secure. They were all well aware however that they needed to ensure that baronies that may become a threat in the future were kept weak and disorganised. Those that couldn't be dealt with in this way at the very least needed to have their attentions diverted away from activities in the North East.

Both Allison Maller and Steve Booth were of course mandatory invites to the meeting as they had requested it. Marius Walker had already made an invite as part of the payment for his assisting of Daniel and given the number of unaligned Gangrel in the contested domains would probably have been invited anyway. Neighbouring barons opinions would also need to be considered as it was likely they were already sizing up weakened and baron-less areas for potential expansion. This meant that Louis Fortier, Hank Boyd and Gloria Martinez would need to at least be given the option of attending. This then raised the issue that inviting Hank Boyd, Baron of the Crypt's Sons to a meeting without also asking Jesus Ramirez or some other representative of El Hermandad to attend, might look like a political snub. Despite having no need to breathe, Michael sighed, this was going to be a juggling act of epic proportions.

Daniel sent his ghouled investigators into Torrance to keep an eye on Gedulds remaining forces now under the command of David's former Seneschal, Michael Broadhurst. He warned them to stay at a safe distance but he wanted advance notice of the comings and goings of this rogue element, just in case. The small army of street people under Vin's control had also been dispersed throughout the whole of the South with orders to watch over certain key areas and report back should there be any obvious unusual activity.

Scene Ten - Henrique 'Hank' Boyd
Henrique 'Hank' Boyd - Brujah
Crypt's Sons Baron
Michael was unsurprised to find that all those kindred he had noted as being 'interested parties' had began to make overtures about invites, though some had been less subtle than others. Now he needed to feel out their opinions and personal schemes so he could ensure that he entered the official meeting with the deck already stacked in his favour.

A call to Victoria to arrange a meeting with her 'Fixer' boss had resulted in an appointment for the following evening so he decided to meet up with Hank of the Crypt's Sons first as they already had established a good relationship based on mutual respect.

Vin and Mr Hertz accompanied Michael to an informal meeting with Hank at his ranch where the Crypt's Sons Baron engaged in the more legitimate aspects of his business ventures. Michael first forewarned Hank that there would be a member of El Hermandad at the meeting as well as Gloria Martinez who was an ally of theirs. He explained that this wasn't in any way a reflection of his own loyalties but rather a necessity based on the geography of Los Angeles. Hank understood the political necessity but told Michael that he wouldn't allow himself to be ganged up upon. He also stated that if any additional territory was to be distributed to the neighbours of the Southern baronies that he wouldn't be happy if El Hermandad ended up with "More than their fair share..." Michael assured him that he would ensure that everyone was given a fair hearing.

'Priss' - Brujah
Granted Crypts Sons Domain
He was also now sure that Hank's priority for the meeting was the expansion of his domain and as Steve Booth's barony of Long Beach shared the closest border to the Crypt's Sons, this would need to be handled carefully. While the barons were talking, Vin had took the opportunity to see what the general feeling amongst the other Crypt's Sons Brujah was.

Though he was quite infamous amongst kindred for his brutal methods of problem resolution, he was still respected by his own clan and could often extract useful information through a combination of unsubtle questioning and intimidation. He discovered that the large number of kindred within the Crypt's Sons territory was stretching the masquerade even with how common violence was within Central Los Angeles. This confirmed what Michael suspected about Hank needing to expand. He also discovered that Priss was becoming more vocal in her requests for a larger domain and was currently too useful for Hank to keep denying indefinitely.

Before they left, Mr Hertz let Hank know that he was still looking into the issue of a stranger buying up property within his domain that he had enquired about. The Nosferatu told him that he was right to be concerned as whoever it was had been making a considerable effort to cover their tracks. This had made the task a little more complicated than it had first seemed but he was making progress.

Storytellers Note - This was a subplot introduced for Mr Hertz, that I put on hold when his players real life necessitated him missing a few sessions.

Scene Eleven - 'Damsel'
'Nines' - Brujah
De facto Anarch Baron
Talking to Hank had also bought another idea into Michael's head. Given the amount of Brujah barons, advisers, and no doubt bodyguards, who would be present at the meeting, perhaps a neutral member of that clan might be a useful addition.

Nines would probably have been the best candidate to keep order amongst his clan-mates but given his current feelings about Michael, would be likely to be more of a hindrance than a help on this occasion. Damsel on the other hand was still an admirer of both Michael and Daniel and might be persuaded to take on the task.

Storytellers Note - Nines sees Michael as one of the kindred who has been directly responsible for certain key Free States institutions being undermined. The carving up of the formally neutral territory known as the 'Barony of the Angels' for one.

After picking up Vin, Daniel once more adopted the guise of driver and took Michael and the hulking Brujah to 'The Last Round' bar in Downtown. Michael had been hesitant at first to include Vin as his reputation for the infliction of violent final death was occasionally counterproductive to negotiations as it tended to put other kindred on edge. However, given that Nines wasn't exactly part of the Michael Tomassio fan-club currently, he felt like the extra muscle might come in handy. He'd have liked to bring Hope as well but as she had expressed a desire to be left to her patrol duties for a while he had decided to respect her wishes.

'Damsel' - Brujah
Anarch 'Den Mother'
The music was too loud for Michael's tastes, the bar was the very definition of a dive and that was without even commenting upon the smells of sweat and stale beer. Still, he was here now so might as well get on with it.

Vin panned across the patrons of the bar, pausing at each kindred just long enough for them to be aware that he wasn't there socially and then stationed himself where he had a good view of the bar. Daniel nodded briefly at the Brujah he'd had a difference of opinion with on his last visit. The debate had turned into a brawl and then back into a debate when it turned out that Daniel was much better at both of those things than his opponent had realised. Damsel had thought the whole thing rather amusing though Nines Gangrel right-hand man, Skelter had been less than pleased. Michael caught Damsel's eye and began to walk over.

"You here to see Nines?" Asked Damsel, a vague hint of concern in her voice. "Actually..." Replied Michael. "...I'm here to talk to you. If there's somewhere a bit quieter where we can converse?" Damsel nodded, smiled and then walked over to one of the downstairs booth's which she subtly and diplomatically cleared of patrons. "You pair, fuck off, I need this booth...yes, now..."

'The Last Round' - Downtown
Nines Crew, Base of Operations
Daniel moved closer so as to use his enhanced senses to eavesdrop on the conversation. Vin meanwhile noted that several of the Brujah in one corner were engaged in an arm wrestling contest and were obviously using supernatural abilities to both intimidate their opponents and enhance their strength. Figuring that Michael would be his usual talkative self, Vin decided to see if this was something he could use to occupy the time.

"As you know..." began Michael. "...the South of LA has become a chaotic mess lately and some of the barons have asked me to host a meeting to see if we can resolve the whole situation without anymore bloodshed." Damsel made no comment, so he continued. "Given the amount of Brujah in attendance I thought it might be a good idea to have a member of your clan there who is a neutral party so as to ensure fairness. Yours was the first name that sprang to mind..."

"So you don't want me there just to slap people who get out of line?" She laughed after she made the statement but Michael decided to answer the question anyway, just in case. "Not unless it's absolutely necessary..." Replied Michael. "...It's more that I want a respected member of the Brujah clan there so I, as a member of a different clan, don;t overlook their needs." It was obvious that Damsel liked the idea of being a member of her clan with such a reputation but swiftly covered it up with a scowl and a change of subject.

"Sure, why not. At least it's a change of scenery. Maybe if I like the place, I might spend a bit more time there..." She then punched Michael in the arm which he was unsure how to react to so simply smiled. Fortunately the uncomfortable moment was interrupted by the sound of splintering wood from outside the booth.

Vin had noted that the arm wrestling contest between the Brujah seemed to have no restrictions on discipline use. Mental disciplines were being used for psychological manipulation, while strength and endurance was also been increased by applications of vitae. Vin won his first two contests with a combination of raw physical power and a stare that few could hold for more than a few seconds. His third opponent decided that a verbal attack was a viable tactic and asked Vin what it was like being "The bitch of some Toreador..."

Damsel and Michael emerged from their meeting to find Vin standing over another Brujah whose forearm had been neatly snapped at the half-way mark and whose hand was a pulped mess. The table they had been using had a crack down the middle which gave a good indication of the force used. "Problem?" asked Michael. "I don't know..." said Vin before looking his opponent in the eye. " there?" Damsel chose to interrupt and spoke to one of the other Brujah. "Beck, running his mouth again?" The other contestant confirmed that was the case, while Vin somewhat surprisingly helped up the floored kindred by his remaining good arm. Deciding that he really needed to spend more time trying to understand Brujah as a clan, Michael gathered his coterie and they returned to their own barony.

Interlude - More Bang for Your Buck
'Fat' Larry - Fence and Arms Dealer
The minor issue with 'Fat' Larry was quickly resolved as Michael granted him the right to operate within his domain in exchange for preferential consideration on his firearms prices. Traditionally they bought their higher end weapons through the arms dealer 'Mercurio' but Michael didn't really trust him despite him dealing with them fairly up to now.

Mr Hertz had discovered, via his accounting expertise, that Mercurio's legitimate business enterprises were in fact a subsidiary of the Aegis group of companies and that included the legal side of his arms dealing. This connection to Marius was another concern but it did explain why the Gangrel's security teams were all ex-military and exceptionally well armed. The Nosferatu had learned that Mercurio also supplied Louis Fortier's army of ghouls with their body armour and weaponry. This put the ghoul Mercurio in the notable position of being exceptionally well protected and connected. If Michael could reduce the knowledge that Mercurio had of his capabilities by obtaining gear through another source then all the better.

Michael and his coterie were under no illusions about their chances in a direct confrontation against some of the better equipped barons, but fortunately the most dangerous of them were either allies or neutral towards them. For now at least.

Scene Twelve - Marius 'The Fixer' Walker
Victoria - Ghoul of Marius
Personal Assistant and Psychopath
Marius's ever present ghoul assistant Victoria, led them to their scheduled meeting with 'The Fixer' who was waiting in the living area of his large, open-plan penthouse apartment. As expected, his main concern was with the now leaderless Gangrel who were scattered across the baronies of Southern LA.

Michael was aware that Daniel had, via Marius, arranged for the Gangrel amongst Amethyst's forces to abandon her. This was on the condition that they weren't held responsible for any dubious activities that they had undertaken under their previous leaders orders. Vinicius had also destroyed the gang of Hugo Snyder at the 'request' of Marius's childe, Mary. Mary was leader of a group of Lilith worshipping Bahari Gangrel and was obviously someone that Michael and his people wanted to keep on the right side of.

After some preliminary negotiation it became clear that Marius required that the various Gangrel packs be each given either feeding grounds of their own or employment within any newly created baronies. Given that Gangrel made excellent sweepers and census-takers and were notoriously self sufficient, Michael and Daniel were reasonably sure that they could make that work. This was fortunate as Marius had given them the distinct impression that his position on the matter was none negotiable.

Marius Walker - Gangrel
LA 'Fixer' and Baron of Downtown
He did however state that as his responsibilities were expanding, that he would soon require more domain and so he intended to expand his territory outwards. It wasn't lost upon the coterie that the territory he was talking about would mean that he would more or less control what was once the Barony of the Angels. Michael suspected that this had been his intention all along.

This other plan of Marius's would require more effort than relocating a few Gangrel as it would require getting kindred to surrender recently acquired territory. They may see it as preferable than going to war over it but the coterie was sure that if they gained domain during the negotiations over the South then they might be easier to persuade. In order to get them onside, Marius offered to help them with another issue they were facing.

Michael Broadhurst, the Ventrue who was using Geduld's former home was going to be a stumbling block to dividing up that particular barony. The home was a virtual fortress and the Brujah under Broadhurst's control were seasoned fighters. Marius suggested that power to that area could be interrupted in such a way that the back-up generators would also fail. The sewer dwelling horde known as 'The Swarm' could then infiltrate the building through the sewers and "Remove any resistance..."

Michael Tomassio - Toreador
Baron of the North East
Michael Tomassio said that he still hoped for a diplomatic solution and that he couldn't condone such a massacre. A brief moment of eye-contact between Marius and Daniel however, clearly indicated that the Banu Haqim would most definitely bear it in mind as a solution. Trying a different tack, Daniel suggested that inviting the Ventrue to the meeting might make him more amenable to negotiation.

The fact that it would also make him easier to assassinate was of course Daniel's intention. A slight smile showed that this had also occurred to 'The Fixer' himself. Daniel's baron however seemed to take the suggestion at face value.

Storytellers Note - Michael's player is currently maintaining his characters high Humanity through carefully managed 'plausible deniability' and just plain, not asking how things got done, lol.

With yet another of the attendee's motivations and desires now known to him, it was time to meet Steve Booth and see what his intentions were. While he and Mr Hertz weighed up the political problems, Vin and Daniel began to consider how to deal with any problems should it all go hideously wrong...

To be Continued in 'The Southern Solution (Part Three)'

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'm still unsure how the coterie is going to manage this political juggling act as they still have several barons to feel out before the actual meeting. Having some advance knowledge of everyone's motivations was a good idea but as I was expecting them to skip straight to a meeting I had to wing a lot of this...well...almost all to be honest...

This story should be wound up during the next session where we'll see if all their hard work was for nothing or if they manage to somehow keep all the various elements happy while still advancing their own agenda.


Portions of the materials are the copyrights and trademarks of White Wolf Entertainment AB, and are used with permission. All rights reserved. For more information please visit

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 Matt Bomer, 'Vin' is Scott Adkins, Dr Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope is Deborah Ann Woll, Mr Hertz is Charles Dance, Amethyst is Paula Patton, Hugo Snyder is Mahershala Ali, 'Rose' is Thylane Blondeau, David Geduld is Zachary Quinto, Reuben Hart is Ray Liotta, Henrique 'Hank' Boyd is Michael Clarke Duncan, 'Damsel' is Irina Delnova, Victoria Anne is Lilith May and Marius Walker is Tony Curran. 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...

Friday, 6 December 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Solo Session - The Southern Solution (Part One)

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 chronicle is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to bring them back under Camarilla control. After a year of plotting, the coterie now controls the three North-Eastern Baronies and has successfully weakened several others. Unfortunately other Barons have used the chaos they have created to consolidate their own positions.
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. If you'd prefer a summary of each session rather than read everything then there's a more detailed link page HERE as well as links to the first episode of each story in the blog sidebar.
Chronicle One - 'Infiltrate L.A.' 
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
Chronicle Two - 'Foothold L.A.' 
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 OneTwo and Three
Story Seven - 'The Carmelita Situation' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eight - 'The Blount Sisters' - Part One and Two
Story Nine - 'Blood Money' - Part OneTwoThreeFour, Five and Six
Story Ten - 'Anathema' - Part One and Two
Story Eleven - 'Predators and Prey' aka 'The Blount Sisters' - Part Three
Story Twelve - 'Aftermath' - Part One and Two
Story Thirteen - 'The Messiah Complex' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Three - 'Incursion L.A.'
Story Fourteen - 'The Rant'
Story Fifteen - 'Ties of Blood' - Part One and Two
Solo Session - 'A Gathering of Roses'
The Storyteller
As Everyone Else...
The PC
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim - Spymaster and 'Fixer'
The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested, but be warned that the page is usually several stories ahead of the most recent write-up and may contain some spoilers. 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 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.

With the Southern baronies increasingly at odds with one another, and Huntington already in the hands of Amethyst, Baron of Santa Ana, Daniel has decided that something needs to be done to prevent further expansion.

With an alliance between Amethyst and David Geduld, Baron of Torrance an open secret and the bordering barons looking to their own concerns, the likelihood of Amethyst gaining control of the entire of Southern Los Angeles is now a very real possibility.

Daniel knows that his own Baron will not sanction a preemptive action to interfere so has decided to take independent action as he did previously to prevent Amethyst's proxy Tom Weaver from taking Anaheim. The stakes are however much higher this time, as both David Geduld and Amethyst are far more ruthless and intelligent than the now destroyed Tom Weaver.

Sofia Rivera - Toreador
Daniel knows that he will need considerable bait to lure out Amethyst and will also need to provoke her into some form of premeditated assault if he is to justify her destruction. Both are far easier said than done.

With his plan of action being unlikely to be popular with Michael Tomassio, Baron of the North East it is fortunate that Michael is currently somewhat occupied with a Toreador 'Dancer' named Sofia that he met at the recent gathering of his clan. Hope Romero, census-taker, sweeper and Daniel's normal 'partner in crime' has become more withdrawn since the destruction of her sire by her own hand so is unlikely to pay any attention to his activities.

The final two coterie members of significance, their enforcer Vin and the Nosferatu accountant Mr Hertz are focused upon expanding the coteries criminal connections into Glendale and Burbank and are therefore also thoroughly occupied. This means that he should be able to implement his scheme without interference from his own allies.

Firstly though, he needs to gather as much information as possible.

Storytellers Note - Daniel's player enjoys the investigative aspect of role-playing so expect a lot of that as I usually indulge that aspect when I run solo sessions for him.

Scene One - The Huntington Gangrel
Orla - Gangrel 'Sweeper' for North East LA
Formerly of Huntington Beach
Orla and Carla, who now work as 'Sweepers' for the North-East baronies were originally residents of Huntington Beach. They were in fact the only survivors of the purge of the kindred there by forces suspected to be under the direction of either David Geduld or Amethyst, possibly both. Daniel hoped that they could give him some insight into the methods used.

The Banu Haqim was curious about what had made five kindred so afraid that they'd all hunkered down together considering that all that had occurred were five murders of ghouls. The two gangrel explained that the five murders that looked like serial killings were the ones that made the newspapers but that these weren't the only attacks upon their assets. There were also car accidents, drug overdoses, muggings gone wrong and other deaths with apparently mundane explanations. These happened over the period of a month during which the entire support network of the Huntington Beach kindred was eliminated or crippled. Daniel had a begrudging admiration for the method utilised though he refrained from telling that to Orla and Carla.

Carla - Gangrel 'Sweeper' for North East LA
Formerly of Huntington Beach
He was also curious about the arrangement that Steve had made with Amethyst just before it was rendered irrelevant by the aforementioned attacks. He was informed that the arrangement was that Amethyst would be allowed limited use of the Long Beach dockyard through Harvey,the Ventrue who ran it for Steve, in exchange for bringing Huntington under her protection. The kindred there would be unaffected in terms of domain and feeding rights though would be expected to show Amethyst due respect. A route was to have been arranged through Huntington and Long Beach once the agreement was finalised. Of course as the agreement was rendered pointless this was never actually done.

This then led Daniel to ask how exactly the meeting to discuss the arrangement had been made. The nature of the meeting might give him some insight into potential weaknesses he could exploit. he was to be disappointed however. They had met where Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and Long Beach's territories met, though technically they were within Long Beach's domain. The location was an old warehouse, abandoned but functional.

Meeting Location
Abandoned Long Beach Warehouse
Unfortunately he learned very little of use. The participants had simply met at the agreed location with a pair of guards each, made the arrangements and then left separately. At the time it seemed to be fairly amicable. In Orla's opinion where they had met was so close to the border that Amethyst had no tactical information to gain there that she couldn't have acquired by other simple means.

Unconvinced that such an attack could have been orchestrated without some intelligence gathering on Gedulds part he asked if any warning signs had been noted, even in retrospect. Disappointing there had apparently been none. The attacks had begun without warning,the subsequent ones came out of nowhere, and were systematic and spectacularly efficient. Daniel was less and less convinced that Geduld was the one responsible. Such a patiently and subtly organised campaign which was then implemented with overwhelming force had all the hallmarks of Amethyst. With this in mind he asked if there was any way to definitely tie the attacks to Geduld. He was un-surprised when the answer was no.

Scene Two - Alonzo
Alonzo Guillen - Autarkis Nosferatu
Ancient Hollywood Warrens
Alonzo was an Elder Nosferatu who Daniel had first encountered when he had discovered his haven in a cave in the hills of Pasadena. Even by Nosferatu standards, Alonzo was hideous in appearance though Daniel had never judged him and they often met up simply so he could give the obviously lonely elder some company.  Though their relationship had started off in a somewhat rocky manner they were now friends in the traditional sense of the word.

Alonzo was fairly apolitical but was an invaluable source of information on the goings on within Los Angeles and was more than happy to share what he knew with Daniel, and rarely asked anything in return. Though the Banu Haqim always offered payment, the few favours Alonzo required were usually fairly inconsequential.

The approach to Alonzo's haven was as secure as ever, requiring the navigation of a number of heavy gates and portcullis's. Each one was open as he approached but he could hear the heavy clang as Alonzo's creatures closed them behind him.

The Nosferatu's haven was a vast open-plan room, deep below Hollywood. It contained an extensive library whose books, Daniel noted, were now on shelves rather than scattered in piles. His laboratory where he experimented upon his vermin companions had a number of breeding pits within and large glass tubes filled with a misty red liquid. three larger tanks contained humanoid occupants and Daniel decided it would be best not to ask what he was creating within them.

Eula - Alonzo's Guardian
Along one wall was hundreds of cages, many containing rats of various sizes. The cages were open as usual and creatures scurried in and out of a network of pipes and tubes leading to the rest of the network and the outside world, spying and observing for their master. The large pit in the rooms centre that normally contained the gigantic tentacled monster that was Alonzo's pet, which he had named Eula, was currently empty. He had recently adapted her home so she could wander the tunnels around his haven and ensure that no intruders strayed too close.

"So which kindred's business are you planning on interfering with this time, young one?" Asked Alonzo with a grin that revealed a mouth full of jagged and misshapen fangs.

When asked about the Huntington attacks, the Nosferatu confirmed that though only the serial killer story gained any media attention, there were dozens over the month before the purge there. He also told Daniel that there had been no particular pattern and that if the victims hadn't all been pawns of the Huntington kindred then no connection might ever have been made. On the subject of the trench-knife used in several of the attacks, Alonzo had a little more insight. He knew of two kindred that favoured such a weapon. One was the Brujah 'Lex' of Therese Voerman's commando coterie and the other was a Torrance Gangrel named Logan Velez.

'Trench' Knife - Suspected Murder Weapon
Logan was, according to Alonzo allegedly out of LA doing a job for David Geduld. When he heard this, Daniel immediately concluded that this 'Logan' had been lent to Amethyst to help with her campaign against the Huntington kindred. It would be typical of her to use an agent from another barony in order to keep her own hands clean. As Alonzo was apparently aware of much of the comings and goings within the city, Daniel decided to see what else he might know. Specifically had there been any significant movement by kindred forces from Torrance skirting Longbeach to get to Huntington or Santa Ana.

Alonzo was aware of no movements of note other than the Gangrel 'census-takers' from the various baronies who relayed information with one another and did so regardless of personal allegiances or disputes between their barons.

Hector O'Neill - Gangrel
Census-Taker of Long Beach
He then reeled off a list of the names of those Gangrel that he knows for certain have met. He did however point out that they were doing so before the current troubles as per the agreement with Marius at the Gangrel's 'Gather'.

Alonzo mentioned Zakaria Barrera of Anaheim who Daniel planned to speak with later when he visited Allison Maller. The two Crypt's Sons who performed the task were Ian Fletcher and Lewis Wheeler who the Nosferatu referred to as City Gangrel. He also commented somewhat cryptically that "At least these are Anarch ones, not the nasty sort...". Hector O'Neill of Long Beach, the coterie had already met though the other name, Bilal Yang meant nothing to him. Alonzo knew of four Gangrel who worked for Amethyst in Santa Ana, and of course, now also Huntington but the two census-takers were Fiona Galindo and Gilbert Brandt.

Of those in Torrance, the name Logan Velez had already been mentioned though there was another named Kellan Best. Alonzo also mentioned Owen Frazier of Whittier and Marco 'Joey' Joseph of West LA but doubted they'd have information on the domains that concerned Daniel. Daniel mentally ordered the names based on whether they might be sources of information or potential threats. Sure that he now had all the information on this particular subject, he changed tack to discussion of the activities of Harvey who ran the port for Steve Booth. Unusually, considering he was of Clan Ventrue, Harvey seemed to be held in high regard by Alonzo.

Harvey Caplan - Ventrue
Granted Long Beach Docks as Domain
As the Nosferatu pointed out "He treats everyone based on the value of their business, not whether their clans are considered high or low. In fact he couldn't care less about clan politics as long as your currency is negotiable."

This confirmed what Daniel had heard about Harvey. He was said to be highly efficient and most considered him easier to deal with, than Geduld's people in the docks in Torrance. Alonzo also told Daniel that Harvey was at the meeting with Amethyst and Steve, an unusual occurrence as he rarely leaves the docks except for meetings with kindred who are powerful enough that he has to go to them to negotiate deals. He also doesn't seem to have a home in the traditional sense, so must have a haven in the docks somewhere.

Daniel then queried just how important a kindred would have to be to get Harvey out of his dockland domain. Alonzo was only aware of two such meetings recently, one had been an arrangement with Marius via Victoria and the other was with Baron Fortier via Mariel St. John, Both of those meetings were at the respective bases of these two very powerful Barons. Daniel made a note that any plan that required getting Harvey out of the docks would have to be reconsidered.

Louis Fortier - Ventrue
Baron of West LA
Alonzo was also aware that Harvey travelled in a three car convoy and generally switched which car he used. He wasn't exactly paranoid but had been a gangster for a long time and knew the dangers of such a lifestyle, very well.

Other snippets that Alonzo had picked up were that Amethyst was yet to replace Cade Shepherd in the role of Seneschal. It's his opinion he was just a mouth-piece anyway. He also knew that Geduld and Amethyst had been at Club Zombie at the same time but as this was a club under Fortier's protection, going there on a spying mission was likely to result in his final death. Baron Fortier reacted to anything that he considered to be an insult with predictably fatal consequences.

Thanking Alonzo for his help, he proceeded to his second appointment of the evening. A meeting with another Nosferatu, this one was the computer expert Eric Moore. After handing over a considerable some of cash he was given maps, building plans, some passcodes and lists of security equipment acquired legitimately by Gedulds companies and that had been fitted to his main security centre in the docklands.

After sifting through the information he had gathered, he decided that he had the basics of a plan in mind. However to accomplish it, he would most definitely require the aid of Allison Maller, Baron of Anaheim.

Scene Three - Allison Maller
Allison Maller - Brujah
Baron of Anaheim
Daniel's first port of call the following evening was to be Allison Maller whom he had anonymously helped to fend off, and then destroy Amethyst's proxy Tom Weaver. Though he had kept his identity secret at the time, his presence at the Rant with his Baron Michael allowed her to discern his true allegiances. Though he made no demands of her for his assistance at the time he is hoping that her gratitude will extend to some minor help he needs to implement his scheme.

Daniel put on some baggy clothes, a hooded top and borrowed a car from the dealership acquired recently by the coterie and managed by one of Mr Hertz's gang lieutenants. He concealed some weapons in the vehicle but chose to remain unarmed himself in case he was searched by Allison's own guards.

Out of habit he took an indirect route to her warehouse headquarters and utilised his usual counter-pursuit precautions. Once at the building she used as her base, he parked close enough for a quick getaway but hopefully far enough away so his vehicle wouldn't be associated with Allison. As his previous reconnaissance had revealed that the security guards at the 'warehouse' were either ghouls or blood-bound servants and were well aware of their leaders undead status he decided not to waste time with any additional subterfuge.

Tom Weaver - Brujah
"I'm here to see the Baron of Anaheim. Tell her that the friend who definitely wasn't at the Weaver ambush is here to see her..." The guard pointed at a camera mounted over the entrance to the compound. "Look directly at that, then wait while I fetch some-one." As he walked towards the main building he signalled to a nearby guard and then spoke to someone on his radio. By the time the head of the mortal security had rounded the corner, Daniel found himself the focus of four armed guards undivided attention.

The guard returned a few minutes later with a kindred that Daniel recognised from the Rant as one of Allison's few surviving followers. The new arrival introduced himself as Zakaria, and Daniel recognised that as the name of the one Gangrel from Allison's gang. The rest of the kindred under her control were, as far as Daniel was aware, of clan Brujah. Daniel was then led inside the building, up a flight of stairs to a second floor and from there to an office containing Allison and four others. Three of the others were Brujah that he recognised from the Rant, the fourth he had never seen before. "I presume you are here to call in the debt we owe you for your help?" Said the Baron.

Zakaria Barrera - Gangrel
Allison's Bodyguard
"Actually, No." said Daniel. Much to the surprise of those present. "However, I would like to discuss something with you but you are under no obligation to help if you don't wish to. Though I do believe it will benefit us both." Curious about this distinctly unusual, for kindred at least, negotiation style, Allison bid him take a seat and dismissed the other kindred with the exception of the Gangrel, Zakaria who remained standing in the corner. He was, it seemed, Allison's bodyguard. "If you would allow me a little preamble first?" Began Daniel. When no objection was raised, he continued.

Storytellers Note - Daniel's player is well aware of the kindred principles of Prestation and the trading of boons but tends to prefer to build more personal relationships via roleplaying with those he deals with instead. He believes that in the long run these create better bonds between him and those he deals with than trading one boon for another.

"I was impressed with your operation when I was last here in Anaheim..." Began Daniel. "...but it was obvious that with the backing of Amethyst, Tom Weaver would eventually prevail and in my opinion that would do the rest of LA no good whatsoever." Allison agreed with his assessment and told Daniel that she had, like many kindred in the city, quite liked Tom and that it was unfortunate that a bitch like Amethyst had gotten her fangs into him. Daniel could tell that she was being genuine. "Michael, my own Baron..." continued Daniel. " rare amongst vampires in that he wants the best for all kindred and I have found myself caught up in his vision. Unfortunately, until all kindred are of a like mind, someone needs to be willing to make the difficult decisions that he is morally unwilling to."

Marius Walker - Gangrel
Baron of Downtown and LA 'Fixer'
Daniel also mentioned that he had come into Michael's service while doing a favour for his previous employer, Marius Walker and that it was this chance meeting that had first exposed him to Michael's dream.

Allison seemed surprised when he mentioned that he had worked for LA's Fixer but he couldn't discern whether the knowledge worked in his favour, or against it. Deciding that it was too late to worry about the consequences of the revelation he continued to extol the virtues of Michael's goal hoping that Allison would see that his objective in the South wasn't self serving.

"You make your baron seem slightly naive..." Interrupted Allison. "...yet he has stood between Nines Rodriguez and Marius Walker when they were in dispute, and has allegedly killed an Archon as well as firing the first shot that signalled the beginning of the end for the Cross Rebellion."

Mi-ka-il - 'The Dream'
Daniel countered this by pointing out that Michael's belief in his own dream was strong enough that he was willing to fight for it as long as his personal moral code wasn't contravened. "That, I imagine, is where you come in?" asked Allison, though Daniel sensed the question may be rhetorical he nevertheless replied. "I do have a plan, yes. Though it will be easier to implement with some minor assistance from yourself." The Baron of Anaheim indicated that she had some input of her own.

"You are aware that many of the Barons consider Amethyst's borders now encompassing Huntington as broadly in line with the now defunct agreement she made with Steve Booth?" Daniel did know that there had been no objections raised but was interested to see what Allison had heard. She revealed that Louis Fortier, Baron of West LA had stated to several of his allies that he saw no issue with her expanded barony. She was also aware that El Hermandad's focus was North rather than South due to their current disagreement with their former allies in Covina.

Jesus Ramirez - Ventrue
El Hermandad
It seemed that an unlikely alliance between the kindred of Covina and the Gangrel who controlled 'The Wilds' was growing in strength. Jesus Ramirez, defacto Baron of El Hermandad's domain in Salvador Garcia's absence had met with Covina's leader, Tabatha Mayer and had been less than satisfied with the results, especially as one of the Gangrel of the Wilds Pack had been present with Tabatha's blessing. Though this information was interesting in it's own way, Daniel could see no way of turning it to his advantage so filed it way for future investigation.

"I think the most likely scenario is that Amethyst will manipulate Geduld into doing the bulk of the dirty work to bring about Steve Booth's downfall as Long Beach's Baron. Then she'll take advantage of his weakened forces to rest control from him." He took Allison's silence as agreement. "From there it's only a matter of time before she turns her attention back to Anaheim and rolls right over you." He had decided that honesty was the best policy in these circumstances as he imagined that Allison was under no illusions about her chances in a straight fight.

David Geduld - Ventrue
Baron of Torrance
"You make your point very well, Daniel." Agreed Allison. "So how can I help? but I warn you that if it's martial in nature then I don't think my five kindred will be much help against Amethyst's twenty or Geduld's fifteen. Nor would I waste their un-lives in such a futile endeavour." Daniel however had something more subtle in mind. Firstly he laid out his plan in broad terms before letting Allison know what help he needed.

"If you recall the ambush you perpetrated against Tom Weaver's forces you know that a high calibre sniper rifle was used. It is my intention to plant that weapon in David Geduld's main security office and then let the authorities know so the events are connected. That should both occupy Geduld and, if Amethyst's sources are as competent as I think, tie him to an ambush of her own forces." He paused for a moment to let that sink in. "I then need you to subtly spread the rumour that it was Geduld who helped you in Anaheim, not me. I do appreciate however that may undermine your status a little with the other barons."

Zipper - Caitiff
This didn't seem to bother Allison as much as Daniel thought it would. She then told him that considering the current state of affairs in South LA, her lifespan as a Baron was likely to be quite short so she was willing to take the risk. She then instructed Zakariah to drop the rumour subtly into any conversations he had with the Gangrel from other baronies that he met on his patrols.

"My other issue is that I'm reasonably sure that Geduld has spies in Steve's gang so I can't spread the initial rumour via his barony." said Daniel. Allison then gave him some useful intelligence that might change that particular presumption. She informed him that 'Zipper', real name Marc Perleman, from Amethyst's camp was seduced and then embraced by the beautiful Rose specifically to gain access to his computer skills. He was, according to Allison's sources, an expert hacker and electronic engineer who Amethyst used for information gathering and surveillance. It was entirely possible that he was capable of obtaining all the intelligence that Geduld had needed and that Amethyst had simply passed it on. After some consideration, Daniel had to admit that it was a far more plausible explanation than David Geduld getting a spy within the extremely loyal gang of Steve Booth. "Do you happen to know anything else that might help?" asked Daniel.

Hugo Snyder - Brujah Mercenary
As it happened, Allison had been keeping a close check on her neighbouring Barons and had detailed knowledge on the amount of kindred under each's command.

Amethyst was of course her primary concern as she had been funding Tom Weaver, who up until his Final Death had been Allison's major rival. She was also well aware that she might well attend to the matter personally in the future. Amethyst currently had twelve kindred under her direct control as well as the five members of Hugo Snyder's kindred mercenaries and Hugo himself. As well as Rose and 'Zipper' who were not really combat orientated, the twelve others under her control were roughly split between Brujah, Caitiff and Gangrel. All were well armed, well trained and had proven to be more than competent at enacting their Baron's will.

Vinicius Santos - Gangrel
Hugo Snyder Mercenary
Hugo's people were a different level entirely however. Veteran's of many war-zones as both mortals and kindred they had changed the balance of power in domains all over the world. They had access to state of the art military equipment, transport and were experienced working as a team. The only wild card amongst them was Vinicius, the only none Brujah of the group who was reputed to be an expert tracker in both urban and wilderness environments as well as a brutal killer. Whereas the others relied on tactics, Vinicius was more akin to a Berserker.

Geduld had slightly less kindred working for him. The majority were Brujah though there were a couple of Gangrel, a handful of Caitiff and a Ventrue named Michael Broadhurst who was somewhere between a Seneschal and a general lackey. Allison was aware through contacts of Zakaria's that Geduld had a tendency to look down on the Caitiff within his domain and had apparently delegated them to the two Gangrel who patrolled his borders. His snobbery also extended to ghouls who he considered more trouble than they were worth. Though other kindred in his domain had their own ghouls, Geduld preferred to blood bond without the long term commitment of having to feed a ghoul once a month.

"So if your operation is a success..." concluded Allison. "...No one will object to my Southern border extending into Santa Ana?" It was phrased as a question but Daniel was well aware that it was in fact the price for her help. "I don't see why not." Replied Daniel, before leaving.

Scene Four - Final Preparations
Andrew Francis - Ghoul of Daniel
Security Specialist and Investigator
Daniel tasked his Ghoul Andrew with contacting their Nosferatu hacker contact and obtaining any information on 'Zipper'. Daniel presumed that those of skill within the same field of expertise would be more than likely to be aware of each other. He wanted to know just how good Zipper was and if he was indeed capable of providing the intelligence that Geduld and Amethyst seemed to have access to at will. If he did, this saved Daniel from having to rout out a spy that probably didn't exist and could instead concentrate on counter surveillance.

Daniel's other ghoul, Keith was told to adopt his street person persona and go and keep on eye on the security headquarters of Geduld's in which he planned to plant the incriminating rifle. He was to take note of number of personnel, shift change times, security precautions and anything else that might help ease the Banu Haqim's infiltration attempt.

Now equipped with new information, Daniel decided to return to Alonzo with a few follow-up questions.

Being now sure that it was indeed Logan who had killed five of the mortal assets of the Huntington Beach kindred, he considered leaking that information to sow dissent amongst the Southern allies lined up against Steve Booth. Alonzo pointed out that the potential downside to that was the mortal authorities also may become involved with the potential of revealing the existence of kindred involvement.

Issac Abrams - Toreador
Baron of Hollywood
Alonzo then revealed that he had discovered that several of the barons had started to make a point of claiming the areas beneath their domains as also being under their control. Presumably the use of the sewers in the plots surrounding the Cross Rebellion, the Barony of the Angels and the presence of a number of kindred groups within had made some barons conscious of the potential of a threat from below. Issac Abrams on the other hand had reiterated his policy that he didn't care what the Nosferatu in the Hollywood Warrens did as long as they accepted that he was the authority in that domain and didn't wander around the all...

This was of some concern to Daniel who often used the sewer network to enter domains unobserved when he didn't really want to have to ask permission. "You wouldn't happen to know any rarely used ways through the warrens to the dockyard in Torrance would you?"

The knowledgeable Nosferatu went to a cabinet along one wall containing a large number of rolled up maps and bought one over. He weighed down each corner and began to make several notes on it as well as trace several routes in a coloured pencil. "The safest routes for unobserved travel are unfortunately also those in a state of disrepair." Said Alonzo indicating a route that hadn't existed on the map till he'd sketched the corridors and rooms himself.

The Voiceless Ones - Nosferatu
"Also, the whereabouts of the three cannibalistic creatures from the Barony of the Angels known as the Voiceless Ones is currently unknown. Abandoned and derelict areas may be of some appeal to them so I'd recommend caution." Daniel then enquired about how much of a danger they might be. Alonzo was not reassuring. "They like warzones which pretty much describes the South. Their preference is for chaotic locations from which they can grab an unsuspecting kindred whose disappearance can be blamed on the warring gangs, rather than them. They'll happily live on kine or creatures in between kindred meals though."

Daniel pointed out that there were other areas in Los Angeles that answered those criteria, such as the increasingly disputed area between Covina, El Hermandad and the Wilds. "Oh, they won't head into the Wilds. No-one's that stupid after what they did to the those thin-bloods..." Replied Alonzo. Daniel then listened carefully as the Nosferatu returned to the subject of the many options for below ground routes through Torrance to his chosen destination.

Eric Moore - Nosferatu - In Bertram's Haven 
Once Alonzo was finished talking Daniel then asked him if he knew a Nosferatu called Eric Moore. "Bertram's new recruit? Yes, a very talented and ambitious young fellow." Daniel commented that he seemed unusual amongst kindred in that he seemed to favour monetary payment over boons and favours. This was however no surprise to Alonzo "According to Bertram he is saving up sufficient funds to acquire the resources he needs to set up on his own as apparently theft is not always an option. He is currently helping Bertram to update his knowledge on the rapid advances of computer technology and in return he has been given access to the facilities beneath Venture Tower. Why the curiosity?" Daniel told Alonzo that he might need some technological assistance and was wandering if Eric was up to the job. "I doubt that Marius would allow Bertram to give him access if he wasn't quite talented." Responded Alonzo. Daniel took that as a 'Yes'.

Alonzo wanted to know if Daniel had changed his plan as he seemed to be asking questions with a significantly different emphasis from before. Daniel told him that he was "Fine-tuning..." but that the initial part of the plan was still to drive a wedge between Amethyst and Geduld by planting an exceedingly 'hot' weapon on Geduld.

Alonzo warned him to be careful when involving mortal authorities as this plan could have the same potential problems of revealing the presence of kindred that his earlier idea to frame Logan did. Daniel promised to be careful before giving a parting wave to Eula as she emerged within the pit at the centre of Alonzo's home.

Daniel couldn't swear to it but he suspected from the movement of several of the tentacles that she was waving back. It could, of course, have just been his imagination but something about that monstrosity of tentacles and teeth made him think that it was far more intelligent than Alonzo's occasional guests gave it credit for.

Scene Five - Infiltration
Keith Chang - Ghoul of Daniel
Former Vigilante
Keith Chang had returned from his reconnaissance of the location selected by his regnant for the framing of David Geduld with some useful information, though not all of it was particularly encouraging. The building was manned twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and was protected by wide-angle security cameras on each corner. He had taken a number of photographs and even a cursory check revealed that there were no blind-spots.

His spy also revealed that the building contained administration offices as well as areas for the security people and judging from the people coming and going at shift changes was more or less full of people near to these times.

Once all the security were allocated their duties and set about their tasks the building contained mainly just office workers and the buildings own security staff. Daniel decided to make his way to the facility so as to arrive just after the nine in the evening shift changeover. The other two shift changes were rejected as one was during the day and the other was a little too close to dawn for comfort.

Keith also mentioned that the guards were all well armed but those working at the building itself didn't seem to utilise any form of body armour. Though this was useful to know, for Daniel's plan to be successful, discovery was not an option.

Obfuscate - Unseen Passage
Kindred Discipline
Though Daniels supernatural abilities to obfuscate himself were excellent, he was well aware that they had no effect on electronic devices. This meant that he would need to also need to do something about the security footage which he hoped was stored in the building somewhere and not transmitted to an external server. He then phoned his other ghoul and asked him to see if any of his hacker contacts could provide him with something that would delete or otherwise scramble any recorded footage.

Andrew contacted Daniel some time later to inform him that he could be provided with a small flash-drive that when plugged into the system would bypass any security measures and scramble everything on the hard drive. It would unfortunately also cost him five grand. Daniel made a mental note to obtain some more locum hospital shifts as hiring 'consultants' was beginning to eat into his own funds.

Storytellers Note - I have no idea if such a device would work but it was a cool idea in a cinematic way so I decided it would...probably...

After picking up the innocuous looking device and retrieving the incriminating weapon and the used shell casings from there hiding place, Daniel then acquired another vehicle from Mr Hertz in case the first one he had utilised was recognised. Daniel liked to describe himself as 'careful' and 'systematic' though his fellow coterie members would have replaced these terms with 'Paranoid' and 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder'.

With the partially disassembled gun in an innocent looking shoulder bag, Daniel drove to the edge of David Gedulds, Barony of Torrance, and then entered the sewer system via an entrance specified by Alonzo. He was wearing dark clothing and carrying his usual collection of weapons. Though not being discovered was crucial to his plan, he also had to consider that shooting his way out might still be necessary.

Storytellers Note - The character is very confident of his abilities, however the player has also rolled eight dice for a stealth test and failed to get a single least twice...

The Sewer Network of Los Angeles
As he entered the dark underground network he used his abilities to fade even further from view and as he moved forward he also made no sound. Heightened senses strained to their upmost he made his way carefully to his destination. Alonzo was correct about the precarious nature of some of the areas he had to navigate but they were of little consequence to a kindred as dexterous as Daniel. The few gaps he reached were a simple matter for him to leap across using other supernatural talents and he was making excellent progress. Then he detected movement ahead.

In Daniel's opinion there were at least three people ahead of him and they seemed to be moving with confidence as he heard not a single missed footfall. However it was, they were comfortable in their environment and moving at a considerable pace. Daniel's curiosity almost got the better of him but after a moment he decided his mission was more important as the noises moved further away and finally disappeared.

After waiting a moment to ensure that they hadn't doubled back, he continued on his way. The rest of the journey was uneventful and he eventually reached the exit point specified by Alonzo. After first using his senses to see if there was any-one above, he emerged from the sewer network into an alleyway near to his destination. A quick perimeter sweep indicated that nothing had changed from the information gathering phase of the operation so he waited until the time he had designated as his optimum time for entry.

As he waited, certain other ideas came to mind. the security cameras were sophisticated and well placed but were pointed down towards the ground and covered nothing above the approaches to the lowest floor. There were also quite a lot of windows which, from where he was at least, like the locks were fairly standard.

The side entrance that Keith had noted didn't appear to be able to be opened from this side and Daniel presumed that it was a fire exit and probably alarmed. Moving closer he slid behind a large shipping container and mentally calculated the distance from the top of it to the first floor of the security building. He was now convinced he could make the distance though there were no obvious points along the wall for him to grab hold of. He then had another idea.

Blood Sorcery
'Clinging of the Insect' Ritual
He had received some basic training in Blood Sorcery from the Tremere at the Consolidated Chantry of Los Angeles. This was arranged by Marius walker as payment for his services in a number of recent operations. The fact that he had been manipulated into their implementation by the aforementioned Gangrel seemed to not matter to Marius and had rewarded him for his service regardless. Amongsts the basic rituals he had been taught was one that the blood magicians called the clinging of the insect which enabled the caster to cling to walls like a spider.

Lacking a vial in which to mix his blood he was forced to use a tin can he found on the floor. The spider that the ritual also needed took a little longer to located but eventually he found one. Once the ritual was complete, Daniel drank the mixture of his own blood and crushed spider bits and resolved that next time he'd make sure he had the basics with him.

Tremere Laboratory
Testing the success on the nearby container before risking leaping at the building that was his target he was pleasantly surprised that his first attempt at blood sorcery outside of a thaumaturgical laboratory had been a success. Invisible, silent and now with the ability to cling to walls, he climbed up the nearby storage container and with a burst of enhanced strength covered the distance and found himself fixed to the wall, a good metre above the security cameras.

Deciding that neutralising the security cameras was a good first objective, he scaled the walls to the fourth floor, skilfully picked the window lock. A moment before entering he noticed a management type walking down the corridor so moved to the side and allowed them to enter the elevator and leave. Something about them seemed familiar and rather than take the risk of them being a kindred with supernatural talents he decided to keep to his plan of an undetected infiltration.

The plans provided for him by the Nosferatu hacker, Eric Moore were correct and he found the server room fairly quickly. The lock on this door was of superior quality to the one on the window but he nonetheless bypassed it swiftly and after checking he was alone went inside.

Security Room - Geduld Security HQ
Storytellers Note - It was at this point that we both realised that Daniel doesn't have a single dot in Technology.

After some trial and error, Daniel eventually worked out which of the many computers was connected to the main server and inserted the tiny drive into it. Within a few moments the camera's displays began to break up and the hard drives on all the systems went into overdrive. Hoping that he had utilised the device correctly he left that floor via the window and moved down to the floor below. Delayed slightly as he waited for the toilets by whose window he was entering to become vacant, he then made his way stealthily onto the other areas of that floor.

Four people were in the canteen area next door, two were in uniform, and two in civilian clothes. The two in security guard uniforms were drinking coffee and seemed in no hurry to leave so Daniel resigned himself to waiting for an opportunity to make his move.

His obfuscating abilities were formidable but worked by effecting the minds not actually camouflaging his body. Therefore a door opening and closing on it's own would break the illusion and reveal himself to those present. As soon as the area was empty, Daniel slipped through and headed for the armoury.

The door to the armoury had both traditional locks and a key-card access panel. Not wanting to risk liberating a card from one of the guards, he decided to pick the locks and hoped that he didn't need a card as well. Luckily it seemed that the traditional looks were a back-up of some kind, and once he'd picked all three he gained entry. Quickly reassembling the rifle, he placed it in one of the lockers present which seemed to be unused and then departed before he could be discovered. As he left he noticed an office that was apparently for the Head of Security. He then had yet another idea.

Once more bypassing a set of locks he removed two shell casings from the bag in his pocket and put the remainder into the bottom draw of the security chief's desk. He then decided that this was an ideal place from which to make his anonymous tip and rang the tip-line of the recently formed federal task-force that was currently investigating organised crime in Los Angeles. Slightly concerned that for once everything seemed to have gone exactly as he planned, he left the way he'd entered and made his way once more into the sewer network.

Captain Atkins - Ghoul of Michael
Liaison with FBI Task Force 
Other than a slight detour around three sets of tracks he discovered along the route, his journey back to his car was uneventful.

Wanting to make sure that the weapon wasn't located by Geduld's security before the task force discovered it, Daniel contacted Michael's ghouled police contact Captain Atkins, who was also on the task force and asked him to ensure that the tip-line was checked immediately as "There's something very interesting on there that you'll want to look into immediately."

He also wanted to know how easy it was for a shell casing to find itself into the evidence locker of an old investigation. Firstly the assassination of Edward Vignes who Daniel had shot in the head with that same weapon and secondly the massacre in Anaheim. Seeing another high profile success on the horizon and yet another boost for his career, Frank told him that it would be no problem at all.

Knowing that he would now have to sit back and see what the result of his interference was, Daniel sent his ghouls to observe the comings and goings of Amethyst's allies in Huntington beach. The next phase of his plan would depend entirely on the reaction of Amethyst to the news that Geduld was potentially involved in the assassination of her agent, Tom Weaver. Hopefully David Geduld would be too busy trying to fend of an FBI investigation to come up with an adequate explanation to his ally.

Hopefully the shit was about to hit the fan. Daniel wasn't to be disappointed.

Interlude - Scandal
Edward Vignes - Ventrue
Former Baron of Pasadena
Thanks to several leaks to newspapers, online news sites and television channels the reporting of the investigation into Gedulds businesses was spread far and wide. The weapon discovered had been linked to what the press had referred to as 'The Anaheim Massacre' as well as the assassination of popular Pasadena businessman, Edward Vignes. Geduld was attempting to use his political contacts to avoid questioning but these were merely delaying tactics. Ultimately he'd either have to submit to an interview or disappear. Being a vampire he would almost certainly have to take the second option.

Within the kindred community the fallout was even worse. Former allies of Edward Vignes who had suspected that the coterie of Michael Tomassio was responsible for his destruction now had to face the fact that the Toreador Barons denials of involvement may well have been the truth all along. There was also a significant loss of face for David Geduld with the kindred of LA as his reputation as an efficient baron was in tatters. What else could one think about a baron who had drawn the attention of the FBI to his operations. Those Kindred who dealt with him via his dockyard were frantically withdrawing their operations and diverting them to the docks within Long Beach before they too were caught up in the investigation.

The rumours previously circulating between the Gangrel sweepers of the baronies about Geduld's involvement in the events at Anaheim now seem oddly prophetic and many of the LA kindred have a newfound respect for the Gangrel's 'Oratory' as an information source. It also had taken very little research to discover that Amethyst was very, very unhappy with the situation indeed.

Scene Six - Steve Booth
Steve Booth - Brujah
Baron of Long Beach
With a wedge driven between the barons of Torrance and Santa Ana, Daniel decided to risk a visit to Steve Booth, baron of Long Beach to see if the scandal had affected his barony in any other way.

As Steve had closed his borders when he first came under siege by Amethyst and Geduld, Daniel decided to simply wait at the border of his domain and hope that one of his border patrols investigated his presence. As he had met very few of Steve's people he didn't want to risk a violent confrontation if one discovered him entering the barony uninvited.

Communicating with his own ghouls while he was waiting he discovered that Amethyst's new base in Huntington was inhabited by Hugo Snyder's mercenaries. Of the kindred present there, only one seemed to leave the area with any frequency. As well as patrolling the borders, he periodically headed North West from the domain. Where he went however the ghouls didn't know as Daniel had told them to observe the distribution hub and not to take unnecessary risks. Daniel asked them to see if they could safely get a photo of the roaming kindred so he could see if he could be identified. Keith had already anticipated the request and sent him the one long-range and slightly blurry photograph that he'd felt safe to take. The Banu Haqim recognised them as Vinicius, Hugo's Gangrel tracker. Daniel's curiosity would have to wait however as he recognised Steve's right hand man Hector approaching.

"I imagine the matter must be of some urgency if you're hanging around the border of our domain?" Said Hector. "It's lucky that the two of my people that noticed you contacted me first or you might have had a pair of over zealous Brujah here instead..." Daniel confirmed that the matter was indeed very urgent and Hector told him to leave his own car where it was, get in his jeep and he'd escort him to Steve.

Steve had wisely abandoned his usual meeting place of the porch outside his beach-house and was now holding court inside with the shutters firmly closed. As they entered Daniel gestured for silence and wrote a message on a piece of paper. "Amethyst's people using surveillance, House probably bugged, can we speak outside?" Steve got up and nodded towards Hector and two of the Brujah guards. "It's a nice night...lets go for a walk..." Hector had dropped into place a few feet behind and the two Brujah were walking parallel to them further along the beach.

Long Beach at Night
"We've been concerned about you..." Said Daniel. "...and with the new drama going on in the South I thought you might reconsider our offer of help?" Steve laughed. "Yeah, things have changed a whole bunch. Amethyst wants a meeting with me and Allison to discuss Geduld..."

"You know she can't be trusted, right?" said Daniel. Steve explained that he was dubious about Geduld being involved in either Anaheim or Pasadena but that he wanted to know what Amethyst had to say before he made a decision. "Of course Hector already has a theory. Don't you Hector?" The Gangrel laid out his theory. He believed that Amethyst would offer a truce that she knew Allison couldn't afford to turn down, if only to buy herself some time. She would then more than likely offer to join with Steve to take out Geduld and share the spoils between them. "..and then later destroy you all and take the entire South?" added Daniel. "Well...yeah..." Hector continued. "...but we could do with some time as well. The Caitiff and Thinbloods we inherited are months away from being any use in a fight..."

"You've considered that the meeting itself might be an ambush?" posited Daniel. Hector and Steve had both decided it was a possibility so had specified that the meeting be in the warehouse within their territory where the last one had been.

This meant that despite the meeting itself only being attended by the three barons and a pair of guards each, that they could have the rest of their useful people stationed nearby to counter-attack if there was trouble. Daniel knew that all Amethysts kindred were armed with armour piercing and incendiary rounds, or shotguns loaded with dragons-breath and had high-end body armour. His concern was therefore that even in that situation her people would come out victorious as her own borders weren't far away either. Realising that neither Allison or Steve could afford to turn down even the vague possibility of a truce he decided that dissuading them wasn't worth trying. He instead asked if Steve minded him joining his back-up teams.

Steve could see no problem with that so agreed and informed him that the meeting was to be held the following evening. Before leaving he asked if they were aware of the movements of a Gangrel from Hugo's squad called Vinicius. "I know of him..." replied Hector. "...he does a patrol then every few days he skims the outskirts of Whittier and heads North West towards Downtown. Fucks knows what he's up to though..."

Deciding that the movements of one of Hugo Snyder's key players was worthy of investigation he rang Victoria and asked if he could have a few minutes of Marius's time to discuss "A Gangrel he might know..." He was surprised when Victoria told him that he could see him immediately. The downside was that this usually meant that Marius knew what was going on and had an angle of his own to throw into the mix.

Scene Seven - 'The Fixer'
Victoria Anne - Ghoul of Marius
Personal Assistant
Victoria was there at the private elevator to Marius's quarters as he arrived and was escorted straight there. Despite one or more of Marius's people usually being milling about his living room, this time only Marius himself was present. Victoria poured herself a drink and took a seat and gestured for Daniel to do the same. "I hear you've been busy interfering again?" asked Marius getting straight to the point. Presuming that he already knew exactly what had gone on and his own part in it, Daniel also got straight into the reason for his visit. "I decided that matters in the South were moving in a direction which didn't help the coteries long term goals so I've decided to divert everyone's attention somewhat. On that subject I wander if you know what a Gangrel called Vinicius is doing wandering about LA."

"You're not planning on assassinating him are you?" asked Marius "I'm only interested as my childe Mary might be a little upset if you were to do so. He is of the Bahari you see and she thinks of them all as her children..." Daniel revealed that he was simply hoping to reduce the assets that Amethyst had at her disposal and was curious about one of her hired mercenaries leaving her new domain alone. If the reason was simply personal and not part of some grand scheme of Amethyst's then at least that was one less worry. "You know that Amethyst is almost certainly planning to eliminate Steve and Allison at that meeting and then recruit the leaderless remains to take the entire South?" Said Marius in a matter of fact tone.

Fiorenza Savona - Ventrue
Camarilla Power Broker
"Of course that isn't going to be great for Los Angeles at all, though she does have all the makings of an efficient Prince I suppose. It's almost like she has the backing of someone who would rather have her as Prince than Michael. Has Fiorenza been in touch with him recently I wonder, perhaps she has found a more suitable candidate?"

Daniel knew Marius well enough now to know when he was having his buttons pushed to get a reaction but decided he might as well bite. "Steve can't stop her, Allison is just trying to hang on to what she has, and I'd need Amethyst's forces cut in half to be able to make enough of a difference to destroy them if she goes in for the kill at that meeting." Having risen to the bait Daniel awaited the response. He didn't have to wait long.

"Vinicius's loyalty is to the Bahari first and Hugo second. If Mary asked him to he would eliminate Hugo's so called 'Death Squad' leaving Huntington undefended." If Vinicius was competent enough to kill five Brujah toe to toe, Daniel was glad that his ghouls hadn't gotten too close. "The Gangrel amongst her own forces could be persuaded that participating in any assault was not in their best interests as long as I had the assurance of the other barons that their previous allegiances would not be held against them." "Deal" said Daniel, a little too enthusiastically for someone in a negotiation. "Your price?"

"A major boon from yourself, of course." Began Marius. The next statement was however a complete surprise. "That boon I will consider paid in full if Amethyst has met her final death before the dawn after that meeting." Marius had a policy against acting against barons directly, mainly because that was a good way to lose business when they were his major customer, but this was very close to crossing that line. Deciding that further enquiries into why Marius wanted the baron of Santa Ana destroyed would gain him nothing, he left without further conversation. Besides which, dawn was rapidly approaching and Daniel needed to get to his haven.

Scene Eight - A Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim
The competent members of Steve's kindred followers had gathered their best weapons together and waited further enough away from the warehouse to remain unnoticed in anticipation of betrayal. They were reasonably sure that Amethyst's own forces were across the border doing exactly the same. Allison had taken no such precautions as with a mere five kindred under her command she needed the remaining three, who were not with her as guards to stay to protect her barony, such as it was.

Better prepared this time, Daniel had a vial of his own blood and an unfortunate spider at the ready and once again enacted the ritual that allowed him to climb like an insect. He then made his way to the top of the warehouse, Sniper rifle in hand and found a gap in it from where he could view the meeting below. He had three incendiary rounds left and these were the first three in the magazine of the replacement Barrett .50 cal provided for him by Yukio several months ago. He was also obfuscated and completely silent as he also monitored the surrounding terrain for the approach of any uninvited guests.

Mary - Gangrel
'Mother' of the Children of the Wolf
Vinicius returned to the distribution hub in Huntington, weapons loaded and fully ready to implement the will of the 'Mother'. She had admonished him for his association with mere killers as she had pointed out that "The dead learn nothing, only pain teaches...". She had also informed him that there were four other Gangrel within Amethyst's domain who knew nothing of the Dark Mother and that required a teacher. This is a role that his faith demands that he should have adopted, leading them either into enlightenment or helping them to perfect their predatory natures through pain and conflict. She had then given him a clear choice, prove his faith or never enter her presence again.

Keane and Ivo were decapitated by pointblank shots from an Ithaca Mag-10 shotgun loaded with solid slugs before they even realised that Vinicius wasn't his usual self. As Dinis entered the room with supernatural speed, alerted by the noise he caught the third slug in the chest. He staggered to his feet just in time for the full cylinder of a Model 500 revolver to reduce his head to pulp.

Amilcar and Hugo entered, expecting to see anything but their own gang member standing over the three decapitated bodies of the Brujah he'd sent to their final deaths. The Gangrel dropped both his guns as razor sharp claws extended from his fingertips. As the two remaining Brujah raised their own weapons, Vinicius leapt at Amilcar, ripping his head from his shoulders and hurling the rapidly decaying body at Hugo.

Vinicius Santos - Gangrel
Bahari, Disciple of Mary the 'Mother'
The leader of the squad expected the obviously insane Gangrel to take advantage of his moment of weakness but no attack came as he pushed his comrades corpse aside and staggered to his feet. The Gangrel was standing waiting for him, fresh, self-inflicted wounds across his chest. "I have something to teach you before your end..." said Vinicius, his voice full of religious fervour.

Hugo lasted longest of all, but only because Vinicius intended for him to do so.

Back at the warehouse, Steve Booth had arrived together with Hector and another Brujah, Allison was with Zakaria and a Brujah called Eliot, and Amethyst had a pair of guards with her. It seemed that all the barons had bought two guards rather than the specified guard and an adviser. Given the circumstances this was hardly surprising.

Amethyst - Caitiff
Baron of Santa Ana
Amethyst spoke first. She began to talk about the crimes of David Geduld against the other kindred of LA, how mistakes had been made and how they could still come to an amicable agreement. From his perch Daniel couldn't hep but think that Amethyst was being unusually vague, not her usual direct self. He had profiled her extensively leading up to this operation and it occurred that she was stalling for time. A sideways look at her watch seemed to confirm his suspicion and he turned the scope of his rifle towards the border of Amethyst's domain. As he suspected, pairs of armed and armoured kindred were advancing on the position. He could see four groups in total so it seemed that Marius had indeed been able to divert a large proportion of her forces. The haphazard nature of their approach indicated that they were expecting others to be joining them. Daniel knew that this wouldn't be happening.

As Amethyst's forces charged forward, both her guards in the warehouse drew guns from beneath their jackets. Daniel took careful aim at the Baron of Santa Ana's head and pulled the trigger. The first of his three armour piercing, incendiary rounds removed her head in spectacular fashion. The first of her guards had already began to fire at Steve but Hector had already moved to defend his friend and baron. The resilience for which Gangrel were infamous saved him from anything but superficial damage as he hurled himself at the first shooter and brutally tore out his throat. Allison's bodyguard had engaged the second of her guards as her other companion shielded her with his body and drew his own weapon.

Hoping that Steve's own people had heard the gunfire, Daniel dropped into the warehouse and warned the others that assault teams were on there way. Hector and Zakaria had dispatched their respective targets in brutal fashion. Daniel, who had seen Hope fight, was now fairly blasé about the kind of mess that an angry Gangrel left in their wake. Hector had retrieved the destroyed guards firearm and tossed it to Steve who already a weapon drawn but also equipped the second.

The first team to reach the warehouse were evidently expecting only token resistance as Daniel decapitated another with an explosive rifle shot. Zakaria had also retrieved a dropped gun and fired it at the group engaged by Daniel. The second of Amethyst's teams attempted to flank the group and were greeted by Daniel in the same manner as the first, with a carefully aimed head-shot.

Storytellers Note - Daniel has an ability called 'Unerring Aim' which when activated treats any target as stationary and renders them unable to roll to dodge or defend. He uses it a great deal...

The two Gangrel despite having different barons had become a quite effective fighting team as they fell upon the first group of attackers as the rest of those present opened fire at the second. Steve Booth unloaded both his guns and then in a blink of an eye appeared toe to toe with the enemies. A savage punch, it's strength increased exponentially by supernatural means, pulverised an attackers chest. As the survivors pulled back, Steve's forces finally arrived and mopped up those who were left, taking there superior weapons for themselves. "We need to pull back." Said Allison. "Amethyst has far more kindred than this..."

"Not any more..." Interrupted Daniel. "...arrangements have been made..."

Michael Tomassio - Toreador
"You did what now?"
With the threat of Amethyst now eliminated and Geduld on the run there were now four baronies with only two barons within them. Their neighbouring barons must surely be turning their attention Southwards now, looking for weaknesses, knowing that neither Steve or Allison could hold that amount of territory against an attack. With their neighbours including Louis Fortier, the Crypts Sons and El Hermandad this could easily cause them even more problems.

Daniel suggested that a meeting might be necessary. Perhaps situated in a barony a fair distance away that had no stake in the matter. One that had an experienced negotiator as it's baron who had a track record of resolving such problems.

"Perhaps Michael would be willing?" suggested Allison and Steve, almost simultaneously. "What a good idea." Said Daniel. "I'd never have thought of that..."

He also thought that this might be a good time to contact his baron and explain all the agreements and deals he'd already made to get this job done. He was sure that he'd be overjoyed...

To be Continued in 'The Southern Solution (Part Two)'

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...

Had to wing most of that one. Fortunately I don't think it showed too much. I also need to redo the relationship map and the baronies map...again...

Due to how the player left things, I've decided to extend this story into a second part. This second part will not be a solo session but rather be centred around just how the coterie sort out the many loose ends that Daniel has left.


Portions of the materials are the copyrights and trademarks of White Wolf Entertainment AB, and are used with permission. All rights reserved. For more information please visit

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Dr Daniel Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Sofia Rivera is Eliza Dushku, Harvey Caplan is Harvey Keitel, Louis Fortier is Eduardo Verastegui, Marius Walker is Tony Curran, Jesus Ramirez is Javier Bardem, David Geduld is Zachary Quinto, Hugo Snyder is Mahershala Ali, Vinicius Santos is Liev Schreiber, Andrew Francis is Ray Stevenson, Issac Abrams is Gary Oldman, Keith Chang is Daniel Dae Kim, Captain Atkins is Michael Chiklis, Victoria Anne is Lilith May, Amethyst is Paula Patton and Michael Tomassio is Matt Bomer. 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...
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