Friday 21 June 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Session Thirty Three - The Carmelita Situation (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 campaign is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to search for ways to once again bring the Ivory Tower to dominance under the pretence of being disillusioned neonates looking for the freedom of the Anarch way of life. Now with a barony of their own it's time to consolidate their position and then plan their next move.
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.
'Infiltrate LA' Chronicle
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThree, and Four
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Gather'
Story Three Continued - 'Becoming Baron' - Part SixSeven and Eight
'Foothold LA' Chronicle
Solo Session - 'Hostile Takeover'
Story Four - 'Countdown' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Five - 'The Missing Chantry' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Anaheim Assassination'
Story Six - 'A Meeting of Barons' - Part One, Two and Three

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

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

As I have written out introductions and dialogue for certain NPC's and some location descriptions I'll post these more or less as I wrote them so they'll be in a 'reading to the group' style and they'll also be in blue so you can tell them apart from the more traditional write-up sections and occasionally an obscure Malkavian premonition will turn up in purple. If I think something needs a bit of out of character explanation then those will get a storytellers note that will helpfully be in red. Anything covered via player handouts will also be in blue as they're written in the same style as introductions and the like. Where particular NPC's have a mention in a faction profile you will be able to reach it by clicking on their name beneath their picture.

Session Handouts

Having reported back to the barons surrounding Downtown with the agreement he has reached with the blood mages of the new Tremere Chantry, Michael is once more free to return to his personal schemes.

Storytellers Note - This session will make more sense if you've read this solo session HERE. But it's not essential.

Scene One - The Carmelita Situation
Victoria Anne - Ghoul of Marius
Personal Assistant
Michael, you receive a call from the number you have logged as 'Aegis Acquisitions' which more often than not means it's either Marius or Victoria ringing. On this occasion it's Victoria and as usual she's straight to the point. "Baron..." "...Two things, firstly did the slut wrangler Leanna ring you about Heather?"

The fact that Leanna referred to herself as a 'Shepherdess' and Victoria used a variety of less complimentary things spoke volumes about how each considered the importance of her role in the grand scheme of things.

Michael confirmed that Leanna had informed him that she had gotten herself into a little trouble and wouldn't be at work for a few days. Figuring that Victoria would be the one dealing with any problems he decided to see if she'd let him know what had happened to Heather, purely out of curiosity.

"It isn't something that can be traced back to her employment but if you really wish to know, She got into an altercation with several would-be muggers. Apparently Yukio's training combined with a lack of understanding of the potential of Marius's blood within her made her response more effective than was strictly necessary" Michael who was already convinced that Marius was a lot older than he claimed could see how the vitae might effect a ghoul differently if they were fed more potent blood.

Storytellers Note - The rules for ghouls in V5 are a bit basic at the moment so I use some from previous editions to supplement them. To summarise I allow ghouls the dot specified in the V5 rules (highest discipline possessed by their master) and one dot in either Potence or a different physical discipline if their master possesses one (so Fortitude or Celerity). Some SPC/NPC ghouls of lower generation regnant's also have additional benefits.

Heather Taylor - Ghoul of Marius
Blood Doll
"They're quite dead which is fine but there are other complications to deal with based on the methods, location, etc. Trying to explain how a girl who weighs about eighty five pounds soaking wet managed to punch one man's head off and turn another's one hundred and eighty degrees the wrong way is bad enough but she utilised another 'gift' that's much harder to explain so the whole scene needed to be sanitised." There was an audible sigh before Victoria continued "It's a fairly standard clean-up but I could have done without the extra work.

"Secondly, we have had an unexpected communication from Carmelita." "She is returning to LA in a day or so and has specifically requested you act as liaison for her as you did previously. I have explained to her that given your new position as Baron of Pasadena and our arrangements with one another being complete that it wasn't a 'demand' we could make" "She was however quite insistent and as she's on Marius's list of kindred I'm not permitted to tell to fuck off I thought a conversation on the subject might be in order." "Thoughts?"

Michael had been impressed with Carmelita the last time they'd met and had been in communication with her about matters relating to his lineage so was quite keen to meet her again. Of course he was also aware that despite it being something he actually desired it was still possible to make it seem like he was the one doing Victoria the favour.

Carmelita Neillson - Toreador
Archaeologist and Archivist
He could however pick up the irritation in her voice along with a hint of menace, she definitely didn't like being in a position where another person was calling the shots. He could also sense that her ire was not aimed at him. "I'm more than happy to assist you by acting as a liaison." stated Michael emphasising the fact that he was doing her a favour and figuring that it was going to be worth a minor boon at the very least. "Do you have any details yet?"

"Irritatingly she's yet to provide me with the specifics, though you will need to provide your own security as I can't spare Yukio or...the other one..." As one thing Michael wasn't short of was kindred who could act as security this wasn't going to be an issue for him at all and he said so."Thank-you Baron..." Michael couldn't help but notice that she didn't sound quite so sarcastic when using the title this time "As soon as Miss Neillson deigns to pass on the details to me I'll let you know but you should have a few days to prepare at the very least." After exchanging the usual some-what one-sided goodbyes, Michael began his preparations.

Of his three primary options for bodyguards he was concerned that Carmelita might find Vin a little unsophisticated and Hope somewhat unsubtle which left Daniel. He was definitely the best conversationalist, most presentable and had only caused one incident that needed cleaning up whereas both Vin and Hope were prone to creating bloody messes with worrying frequency.

Scene Two - Uninvited Company
'In Case of Emergencies'
Michael contacted Daniel about his requirements and explained briefly about Carmelita and her job as an archaeologist and archivist for the Camarilla. Though he didn't anticipate trouble there was always the possibility that a renowned kindred such as Carmelita might be a target for an Anarch with a problem with the Camarilla should they learn of her presence within the city.

Michael knew that she extended access to her libraries and museums sometimes even to Anarchs and Autarkis kindred if they proved to be responsible individuals but it was still possible that some-one may take offence to her sect allegiances.

Daniel equipped himself with the preferred weaponry he carried when the business was subtlety which in this case were his 10mm Colts and his Karambit knives. As they were utilising Michael's covertly armoured car he stashed a few more choice items in the secret compartment within the boot, just in case, before dressing himself in a style somewhere between his own and the expected appearance of a bodyguard.

Van Nuys Airport at Night
A few days pass by before the details are forthcoming. It seems that Carmelita is returning with the items you acquired from the museum all those months ago and wishes to place them within the Neillson Library below Hollywood Cemetery which is the closest such facility to the area to which they hold significance. You are to meet Miss Neillson at the private airport Van Nuys which has been chosen for it's proximity to Hollywood being located just North of the Hollywood Hills. This particular airport has a number of Fixed Base Operators there, one of which is ran by a 'friendly' kindred happy to allow their services to be used.

Storytellers Note - A fixed-base operator (FBO) is an organisation granted the right by an airport to operate at the airport and provide aeronautical services such as fuelling, hangaring, tie-down and parking, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, and similar services. I figured that kindred wanting access to airport facilities but wishing to avoid the main terminals would be likely to utilise such places.

Isaac Abrams - Toreador
Baron of Hollywood
Daniel did some research on the airport layout, location within the facility of this particular FBO and gained as much general information as he could on potential routes in and out should a quick getaway be necessary. Meanwhile Michael informed the Baron of Hollywood, Isaac Abrams that he would be in the area briefly knowing that he was a stickler for correct protocol and that the airport fell within his domain.

You meet the landed aircraft at a large warehouse belonging to one of the fixed base operators with facilities at the airport. The Aegis Acquisitions logo is discreetly paced in the corner of the sign declaring the building to be the property of 'Desmodus Aviation'. Carmelita is waiting for you at the bottom of the planes steps holding a medium sized metal case. "Michael, so glad you could spare the time to indulge my need for an escort. Who is your companion?"

Michael introduced Daniel as his driver and security as well as his clan as being Brujah rather than Banu Haqim. "You're surprisingly well turned out for an LA Brujah" commented Carmelita in a way that led them both to believe she had her doubts about the information. "Not all of us fit the stereotype of leather clad thugs." countered Daniel though he did so politely. "May I take your case?" He asked, gesturing to the metal suitcase she was carrying. Daniel put the case in the cars boot before returning and opening the doors for the Baron and his guest.

The San Fernando Valley At Night
"Unfortunately my plans have changed slightly. I have need to speak to several members of a group who refer to themselves as the 'Brujah Idealists' based in Laurel Canyon in the San Fernando Valley in reference to these artefacts before I deposit them in Hollywood. If you have no objections of course?" Michael of course had no objections and indicated she should give the address to Daniel and he'd take them there directly. "So, Michael, what's been going on in the 'Free States'? Anything worthy of note?"

Michael spoke to her of the Crypt's Sons rebuilding of their domain which had turned the Barony of the Angels into such a tinderbox, a few relatively minor events around the city and of course the reemergence of the chantry of Maximilian Strauss and it's new inhabitants. This latter subject was of much interest to her especially once Michael mentioned it's museum and libraries. Knowing that Carmelita usually dealt with Marius while she was in the city he also mentioned that he had made his own offer to the chantry and that this and his exclusion from a meeting of local kindred had made the situation between Louis and Marius quite tense of late.

Fiorenza Savona - Ventrue
Power Broker
With the local news covered, the conversation turned to Fiorenza's involvement in their business in Los Angeles. Michael hoped to gauge their 'sponsor' a little and hoped that Carmelita would have some useful insight. She was, in fact surprisingly candid on the subject.

"Fiorenza has took an interest in this project to take Los Angeles mainly as a potential for additional sources of revenue and political power. She's moving her way up the Ivory Tower at a rate that is worrying some of her...competitors. She'll keep just enough involvement to take the credit for some of the success but not enough to get the blame should you fail. She's very good at walking that line." She then asked a pertinent question. "Have you got a babysitter?" Correctly presuming she meant Dion he confirmed that they'd been given a 'liaison' who seemed to be little more than a spy to report on their activities to Fiorenza. Her reply was somewhat reassuring.

"That's standard procedure, everyone she has her eye on gets one, how they're treated tends to be reflected in how she deals with you. Where her predecessors focused on vampire politics, Fiorenza believes the key to Kindred longevity lies in the manipulation of the living." Michael mentally filed this away as a useful insight "Not sure why she bothered bestowing one on Marius though, his pet psychopath has a talent for neutralising such inconveniences and Fiorenza is well aware of the Fixer's available resources. He's been avoiding an interview with me for as long as I can remember." Michael couldn't help but wonder what dealings the Ventrue and the Gangrel had had in the past. Before he could make further enquiries he was interrupted by his bodyguard.

Bulletproof Cadillac Escalade - Interior
Michael's Vehicle
Daniel who was constantly on the lookout for anything unusual or a potential threat had become aware of a pair of cars that had been following them since the airport. As one dropped back the other moved forward and they were always within sight of one or the other. One car contained four individuals, the other five and he was reasonably sure they were armed.

Not wishing to unduly alarm his passengers he first began to utilise some subtle evasion techniques in order to confirm his assessment. Once he was sure he did indeed have a tail he let the pair of Toreadors know. "We appear to have some unwanted followers. What do you want me to do about it?" Michael knew that Daniel was more than proficient enough to deal with multiple mortal attackers and even other kindred when necessary but given the stated number of adversaries decided that evasion was better than confrontation but referred to Carmelita as she was the interested party in the matter.

"Several ancestors of the Brujah the items originally belonged to have been making enquiries about them since the announcement at the museum. This would normally be no issue...however these particular Brujah are Autarkis and have developed something of an ancestor worship fixation on them." "I had hoped there liberation from the museum would have ended their search but apparently they're more resourceful and determined than I thought" "Can your driver lose them or alternatively dissuade them from their pursuit? I have no wish to have a 'conversation' with them here"

Michael passed this onto Daniel who confirmed he'd do what he could.

The pair of cars behind them had some skill at pursuit and given his desire to avoid the attention of the authorities, Daniel's options were limited so he instead decided to lure them somewhere a little less public in order to open up his options somewhat.

Luring them in the opposite direction from his intended destination he diverted to a less busy part of town and then swerved down a narrow alleyway with the lead car closing the gap behind as it realised they'd been made. Daniel let his passengers know that things might be about to escalate and drew one of his 10mm Colt handguns from it's custom holster and laid it to one side as he bought down the drivers side window. Michael quickly texted his location to his Gangrel scourge Hope in case they needed reinforcements though he doubted she'd reach them in time.

The narrowness of the alleyway removed any room for the pursuer to manoeuvre as Daniel carefully gauged the relative distance between the two vehicles, mentally calculating the shot he was about to make. With an almost casual economy of movement the assassin leaned out of the window and put a single shot into the front tyre of the vehicle behind without any seeming effort.

The high calibre round combined with the speed of travel and uneven road surface caused the tyre to explode as the driver wrestled to keep control and failed. The rearmost vehicle ploughed into the incapacitated car in front of it as it skidded sideways wedging itself across the narrow street they had been lured down. Daniel closed the window and replaced his weapon in it's holster before addressing his kindred cargo. "Pursuit neutralised. Destination still the same?"

Storytellers Note - Best dice roll the player has ever made...

"That will be fine." replied Carmelita while Michael gave their destination address to Hope just in case. She then spoke to Michael. "Your driver has many talents it seems?" Michael was as impressed as Carmelita was by the uncannily accurate shot from a moving vehicle but attempted to sound as casual as possible when he replied. "He has a variety of skills I thought might come in useful..."

Interlude - The Beckoning
Stéphanie Mayoux - Toreador
Infamous Harpy and Descendent of Helena
Storytellers Note - The note I refer to in the next paragraph is probably vaguely mentioned somewhere in the last thirty or so write-ups or I forgot completely to mention it because it was a 'between sessions' conversation...

As they resumed their journey, Michael enquired about the message he'd sent to Carmelita some time ago in relation to his feeling of a vague mental pull that seemed to sometimes give him the urge to travel as if it was pulling him to another place. This along with doubts about what he'd been told by his sire about his lineage had been distracting him from his goals for quite some time and he'd hoped that the renowned historian Carmelita might know something that would help him. Apparently his conduct during her last visit to Los Angeles had been impressive enough for her to put some effort into the task on his behalf.

"I found your choice of cipher for the message particularly amusing and based on that and your assistance last time I looked into the issues you mentioned. Am I okay to discuss the issues mentioned in the presence of your colleague? I'm sure his senses are acute enough to hear us even from where he currently sits." Michael's curiosity outweighed his caution on this occasion and he asked her to continue.

Madame Guil - Toreador
Former Justicar, Fate Unknown
"The feeling you've described is very similar to the 'beckoning' experienced by some elders though typically such urges begin at ninth generation at the outside, of course based on the name you gave me to look into in conjunction with your own lineage then it's entirely possible that that's exactly what you're feeling." Michael had paid very little attention to thoughts of generation as it was something his sire never discussed. "How much do you know of your kindred ancestry?"

This was also a matter his sire discussed with him very little and despite his curiosity about the reverence she had been held by those they'd encountered he had been discouraged from making his own enquiries. This discouragement had been compounded by the blood bond his sire held over him before their separation.

Stéphanie Mayoux, your sire is a childe of the Countess d'Adhemarhe, herself a childe of Madame Guil who can trace their own history back to Helena...yes...THAT Helena, currently active again in Chicago, if you believe such rumours that is. It's possible that your sires connection to the former Justicar Guil and the rumours of Guil's defection to the Sabbat may have made her wary of sharing her lineage during the Sabbat's activities at the time." She paused to let those revelations sink in for a moment.

Helena - Toreador Methuselah
Childe of Minos
"She is no longer so shy however, if she ever was that is. Stéphanie is once again making a name for herself in one Elysium after another across the cities held by the Camarilla." Michael found himself uncharacteristically at a loss for words so simply let Carmelita continue without interruption. "If my research is correct, which of course it is, your sire is of the eight generation, making you ninth and unfortunately close enough to the ancient ones to feel the call, if only barely."

"What makes this all the more interesting..."concluded the Toreador historian " that I'm reasonably sure that the recommendation to Fiorenza that you be part of this enterprise to re-take Los Angeles in the Camarilla's name came from a kindred indebted to your sire. It's almost as if she had personal reasons for wanting you to be based in Los Angeles for some time..."

Storytellers Note - Yes I've made him more powerful but generation is less a factor in V5 and there are considerable downsides too such as distractions from the Beckoning and a much higher chance of him becoming a target for diablerie should it become common knowledge. Also I have long-term plot related wasn't done on a whim I can assure you.

Scene Three - The Brujah 'Idealists'
'The Brujah Idealists' Compound
Laurel Canyon, San Fernando Valley
You arrive at the address given you by Carmelita. It is a large but fairly normal looking mansion house though it does appear to be part of a compound like structure. To Daniel's more security conscious eye a number of precautions can be seen including an alarm system, some security cameras and a few inconspicuous security guards.

Compared to most kindred havens you've observed recently however it is quite lightly protected though as you hadn't heard of them until now it's possible they just don't have any real enemies to warrant sophisticated defences.

Keeping his keen senses at full alert, Daniel left the vehicle first and opened the door for his passengers. Once they had safely exited the vehicle without anything untoward occurring or any apparent dangers rearing their heads, he opened the trunk and retrieved Carmelita's case.

You are allowed access to the compound through a fairly normal but sturdy gate protected merely by an intercom with which to request entry, opened by a fairly ordinary looking gentleman in the standard jacket and trouser uniform of a security guard. 

Countess Andrea Visconti - Brujah
The guard is armed with a handgun but the shoulder holster is buttoned down as if trouble is not expected. You are escorted by him into the main house through a set of double doors into a reception room.

As Daniel entered the reception he informed their security guard escort that they had been followed and that he would need to keep a look out for anything unusual. He also asked him to check in with any other guards to see if anything was going on now or could be seen around the perimeter that might arouse suspicion. As the guard did as he was asked, Daniel kept count of the amount of responses and put the security complement at ten men, two of which seemed to be senior based on the manner of their confirmations.

After a while one of the doors opens and a stunningly attractive woman leans around the doorway "Sorry to keep you waiting, Sir Ralph had an absolutely preposterous theory on class systems which Dr Shiraiwa was debunking in the most halfhearted way imaginable, I swear if I wasn't here to point out the flaws in both of their arguments it would have gone on forever, please, come in" With that she disappeared back into the room. Carmelita shrugs "They're always like this but they do have considerable knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. I'll do the introductions, it'll save time"

Sir Ralph Hamilton - Brujah
Sir Ralph Hamilton is tall, slim and aristocratic looking, with greying hair which he brushes straight back. He has piercing eyes and pale skin is dressed conservatively, in the most current European style of suit. His piercing gaze is however somewhat disconcerting. Professor Gregory Habersohn in contrast is the perfect picture of an elderly professor, he seems thoughtful and speaks slowly and deliberately. Dr. Takuya Shiraiwa is of Japanese appearance, average height, is slightly overweight and has black hair which is scraped back. He is dressed all in black.

The final one of the group, the lady who greeted you at the door is Countess Andrea Visconti. To call Andrea a great beauty is an understatement of the highest order, she has accentuated her figure and classic features with stylish, expensive designer clothing and skilfully applied makeup. As you have already observed she speaks loudly and vivaciously with a directness that you imagine could easily catch an unprepared debater off-guard.

"So Carmelita, what can a Professor, a Doctor, a Countess and myself do for you?" Asked Sir Ralph. In response Carmelita retrieved the case from Daniel and placed it upon the table and opened it up to reveal a number of stone icons held in place by moulded inserts. "Any idea why any-one would be willing to kill over these?" Both the doctor and the professor showed considerable interest as Carmelita listened intently to their conclusions.

Professor Gregory Habersohn - Brujah
The other two only gave them a cursory glance before returning to their seats. Daniel meanwhile slipped into a corner from where he could observe everyone in the room and the entrance as well as listen to what was said.

Several of the stones had flecks of red on them which appeared to be paint though considering the vampiric connection could easily have been congealed blood. On closer examination it was confirmed that it was a paint pigment which between them they identified as being commonly used a mere two centuries ago, give or take a decade or two.

The language seemed to be Spanish but it was an antiquated form and given the wide use of the language didn't narrow it down as precisely as they would have liked. As they discussed geographical areas associated with the Brujah, Daniel chipped in with several pertinent observations of his own based on his extensive research into the clan history. Though not of the clan himself he had decided that he needed considerable knowledge on the history of Clan Brujah and it's significant events and notable kindred in order to maintain his cover story as being one of them rather than the Banu Haqim he actually was. Sir Ralph's response to the intrusion by 'the help' was sarcastic in the extreme but the others seemed more intrigued by his input than in any way offended.

Dr. Takuya Shiraiwa - Brujah
The two 'Brujah Idealists' who are discussing the artefacts with Carmelita seem to have come to some conclusions that apparently match the archaeologists own theories that the items are far older than the museum suspected and that rather than being individual pieces are part of a larger stone tablet albeit with many pieces missing. The existing pieces seem to be part of a set of instructions for locating a tomb of some description but where it is is impossible to determine without the rest of the stone pieces. Given the sudden desire of this other group to obtain these sections it's entirely possible that they possess some of them themselves.

Storytellers Note - It's worth mentioning that when Daniel's player asked for the first dot of the Ruins of Carthage loresheet I told him he'd need to do a bit of research to cover it. He actually had about a dozen pages of notes which in session led to a long debate between him and me (mainly as Sir Ralph) which though a fine bit of roleplaying will be summarised in this write-up rather than detailed explicitly.

Daniel a moment later interjected once again, this time voicing the possibility that the tablet had been taken as a trophy rather than actually created by the Brujah themselves. In his opinion the few pieces of language that had been deciphered were in a flowery and poetic style rather than the more philosophical style one would expert from 'their' clan, that and the decoration bought the Toreador to mind rather than the Brujah.

Dr. Shiraiwa agreed as he surmised that just because the Brujah that this cult worshipped had it, didn't mean it was his, merely that he possessed it. Daniel added that there were many examples of cultures where the Brujah had coexisted with other clans which Shiraiwa confirmed. Many of which, Shiraiwa pointed out had not ended amicably.

On a roll, Daniel began to list many examples in order to further illustrate his point as well as to annoy Sir Ralph who he had decided was a patronising prick. The Countess also began to warm to this particular argument and on closer inspection of the pieces they possessed added her doubts that they were associated with their own clan. In fact Daniel's enthusiastic input had drawn both the Countess and Sir Ralph into the debate (though for very different reasons) which had taken them further than would have been accomplished with merely half of them involved. As the debate became somewhat circular in nature Michael summarised the conclusions they'd made and seemed to gain a consensus.

Firstly, the tablet despite being possessed by followers of a Brujah elder might have been created by another clan despite what the aforementioned followers believed. Secondly, if it was a map to a kindred tomb of some description then it could easily be of a different clan. Thirdly they were missing a significant number of pieces whose location was unknown but were necessary to complete the 'map'. Fourth and perhaps most critical at the moment was the fact that they would not be the only ones searching for the missing pieces and these others seemed quite determined. Carmelita added that her own research into the pieces they currently possessed indicated that they had been discovered by a mortal treasure hunter and it was only luck that there significance had been discovered so there was no trail to follow there as the site from which they'd been taken had been thoroughly investigated already.

As Michael was still attempting to work out just who might be amicable to the Camarilla taking back Los Angeles he decided to gauge the mood of the four Brujah present by bringing up the subject of the 'Anarch Free States'. The Professor had the same viewpoint as Daniel that there were good and bad amongst the Anarchs and that they could go either way depending on who gained power and who was removed.

The Countess was clearly the advocate for the Anarchs amongst the idealists but Michael suspected that she may have taken this view purely as it directly opposed that of Sir Ralph who was clearly pro Camarilla in every sense. Dr. Takuya Shiraiwa was guardedly in favour of the Anarchs but Daniel could see that his heart wasn't in the more violent aspects of Anarch culture despite his support. The Banu Haqim doubted he would harm another kindred unless perhaps his very existence depended upon it.

Though Sir Ralph pointed to the clear superiority of an organised structure like the Camarilla it was pointed out that many great cultures had been exterminated by outside interference due to having too great of an inward focus. Daniel pointed to Carthage as a perfect example of a system that had created great kindred and kine due to their symbiotic relationship yet had fallen to another force due to it's belief in it's own superiority. Daniel found himself enjoying the debate and could see the appeal in victories on an intellectual field of combat rather than a physical one but had to admit he'd be happier stabbing Ralph in the heart about now than arguing further.

Having learned all they could Carmelita indicated that they should be leaving now to continue with their quest and Michael agreed. Daniel made time for one parting barb at the Idealist's leader Ralph before dropping in behind the two Toreadors. Liaising with the watchman that he'd spoken to earlier he was informed that a dark SUV had passed the front of the compound twice and was now parked nearby. It was of course possible it belonged in the area but as he'd been asked to keep a look out he had done so. Daniel gave his thanks to the guard and loosened his jacket to enable easy access to his guns

As you leave you spot one of the tailing cars occupants observing you from across the street from within a different vehicle. It appears your enemies have found you once more...

To be Continued in 'The Carmelita Situation' - 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...

This was in all honesty originally written as a solo session due to only one player being available for a couple of weeks and then when it became apparent I had two I broadened the scope slightly. I did warn Daniel's player that it was a Michael heavy concept initially but that he'd have more to do in the second half.

I in fact turned out to be completely wrong as I had no idea just how much effort he'd put into learning the history of the Brujah clan so the 'Brujah Idealists' scene ended up with a much higher level of 'Daniel' involvement that I ever expected. Considering most of his interaction with strangers is usually stabbing them it caught me a little by surprise. But it's these unexpected twists that make being a storyteller so much fun...well...imo at least, lol.

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Michael Tomassio is represented by the actor Matt Bomer, Johnny 'Roach' West is quite obviously Kurt Cobain, 'Vin' is the actor Scott Adkins, Dr Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope is Deborah Ann Woll, Marie is Eva Greene,Victoria is Lilith May, Heather Taylor is Liz Vicious, Carmelita Neillson is Salma Hayek, Isaac Abrams is Gary Oldman, Stephanie Mayoux is Emily Beecham, Countess Visconti is Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Ralph Hamilton is Pierce Brosnan, Professor Gregory Habersohn is John Hurt and Dr. Takuya Shiraiwa is Masi Oka. Everything else is from vampire related folders and searches and is as far as I know is all of the 'fair use' variety. If there's something that you feel should be attributed to some-one then feel free to let me know and I'll happily add an acknowledgement...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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