Friday 9 August 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Session Forty - Blood Money (Part Three)

I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.
Our campaign is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to search for ways to once again bring the Ivory Tower to dominance under the pretence of being disillusioned neonates looking for the freedom of the Anarch way of life. Now with a barony of their own it's time to consolidate their position and then plan their next move.
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.
'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 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 One and Two

The PC's
Player controlled characters
Michael Tomassio - Toreador, Baron of Pasadena
Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah, Sheriff
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Fixer'
Hope Romero - Gangrel, Scourge
Mr Hertz - Nosferatu, Mob Accountant
The SPC's
Storyteller controlled player allies
Johnny 'Roach' West - Malkavian, Seneschal
Marie - Clan Carna, Occult Advisor

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.

Despite a slight issue created by the unknowing infiltration of one of the more vindictive of Los Angeles kindred's places of business the coterie has some new clues from which to work. They have discovered that their quarry has found himself a distinctive and beautiful woman as a blood doll which has given them a target to locate who hopefully is less experienced at evasion than Marcel is.

This and their other discoveries has moved them several steps closer to retrieving the millions embezzled from Camarilla accounts that they have been tasked with retrieving.

Additionally, one of Mr Hertz's earlier discoveries has led them to believe that the embezzler they seek has also for some reason been a regular visitor to a sleazy sex-shop in Hollywood called the 'Sin-Bin' that is to be their next port of call.

Scene Nine - The Sin Bin 
'The Sin Bin'
While Michael spent his evening with a notable Los Angeles socialite names Anastasia Talbot who he hoped might know of this mysterious woman whom Marcel emery had latched onto, Daniel had been tasked with visiting the Sin-Bin and talking to the manager there. He had also been instructed to take Roach with him as he was the most skilled of the coterie at discerning whether some-one was telling the truth or not. Roach of course didn't really want to go so was being awkward.

Mr Hertz had been undertaking his own investigation but had to admit that he had reached a dead-end and would have had trouble progressing without the more hands on methods of the coterie to which he'd been directed by Fiorenza Savona. The fact that the time and resources of a supposedly Anarch Baron was able to be effectively commandeered by a member of the Camarilla made it obvious to the Nosferatu that he and a significant number of his coterie must be agents of hers.

Chicago by Night - Under Camarilla Rule
He presumed that after her success with undermining other cities and bringing them back to the Camarilla fold that a similar project was being implemented within the Anarch Free States. The idea intrigued him as he was at heart a puzzle solver and the mundane money laundering he was engaged in for the Chicago Camarilla was becoming utterly tedious. It occurred to him that a successful retrieval of the missing funds would give him some political leverage to request a new assignment.

Roach was perched upon his tatty chair on the fire-escape as usual and was smoking a large joint and was making life difficult for Daniel by constantly finding excuses to delay their trip to Hollywood. Currently he was insisting that he needed to finish his spliff despite the fact that Daniel had watched him roll it while they were talking and he was yet to even light it.

Hollywood by Night - Barony of Isaac Abrams
Finally losing his patience the Banu Haqim dragged the Malkavian to his feet by his collar and virtually dragged him downstairs. He immediately regretted the decision as Roach used his telepathy to transmit Taylor Swift songs directly into Daniel's mind.

To make matters worse they weren't even the original songs which would have been bad enough as Daniel hated pop music but deliberately out of tune versions sang by Roach himself. Being too tired to concentrate on blocking out the noise, Daniel resigned himself to an annoying trip into Hollywood.

The area of Hollywood containing the 'Sin Bin' is a perfect example of the sleaze and depravity that is the flip-side to the glamour that Hollywood would prefer to show the world. The sign on the door proudly proclaims the peep shows and pornography but doesn't mention the prostitution that you are also aware takes place there. Enquiries with your kindred contacts have revealed that the prostitutes there are often made available as blood dolls to those without the budgets to avail themselves of the services provided by Catherine Du Bois and Velvet Velour's more exclusive menu's.

Daniel noted that the entrance was being observed by a state of the art security camera that some-one had attempted to disguise by inserting it in a shitty looking exterior casing. The lens was however a giveaway to some-one with the assassins knowledge of security systems.

The interior is no better than the exterior. A sleazy looking gentlemen is behind a counter with an open door leading to an office area behind him. Racks of magazines and dvd's are closely packed alongside an interesting variety of sex aids and interesting outfits in a variety of materials. A sign against the back wall proclaims the location of the 'peep show' above a stairway going downwards. A heavier duty door in one corner is labelled 'private' and a casually dressed but heavy set man is seated on a fold-up chair nearby that creaks when he moves. You would imagine that the less legal services are provided through there.

Daniel watched the guard and as he straightened his jacket he could see that the 'casual' guard was anything but and was armed with a Heckler and Koch MP7 in a multi-purpose ambidextrous holster secured to his belt at the hip. The distinct hilt of a KM2000 German army issue combat knife could be seen on his opposite hip. The precautions were completed by a form fitting bullet-proof vest whose outline Daniel could see under his sweatshirt.

The MP7 seemed to be the current weapon of choice for Marius's security personnel which confirmed that they were in the right place. Daniel presumed the weapon choice was due to the fact that it was exceptionally good at punching through body armour and was quite compact.

The sleazy balding man, in a cheap suit behind the counter addresses you as you enter. "Can I help you with any particular needs this evening?"

Flynn Boyle - Sin Bin 'Manager'
Daniel noticed the slightly odd look in the Malkavian's eyes when he was observing a person with senses other than the mundane so presumed despite his lack of interest in their mission that he was at least doing what had been asked of him. "We have some questions..." said Daniel getting straight to the point. "...and Victoria told us you'd be cooperative..." Both Daniel and Roach concluded quite quickly that the Manager of the Sin Bin, Flynn Boyle was an utter sleazeball whose main claim to fame seemed to be an encyclopedic knowledge of every attractive man and woman in any form of media and the ability to acquire any form of pornography ever created whether it was legal or not.

The payments listed on the statement obtained by the accountant Mr Hertz as 'Private Services, Misc.' that came to exactly one hundred and fifty dollars and appeared mainly on Friday and Saturday nights were for 'private dances' which was Mr Boyle's code for prostitution. Flynn was somewhat scornful of Marcel as he explained that for one fifty the customer only got half an hour and that the full hour for two fifty was a better deal. Marcel Emery had regular 'private dances' with a native american stripper called Kerri but the Sin Bin manager remembered him in particular due to an incident that happened during one of his early visits.

One of the Sin Bin's 'Performers'
He went what Flynn referred to as "fucking ape-shit" when he tried to pass a random girl in an outfit off on him as Native American, the difference was apparently quite important to him and he seemed to have an uncanny knack of telling them apart. Daniel doubted that the manager had put much effort into the subterfuge as he had more than likely presumed that it was a preference based on fantasy rather than any other need.

Roach confirmed that the man was telling the truth and they both were reasonably sure that the Ventrue Marcel's feeding restriction must mean he could only feed off of people of native american origin. Presumably they must also be female though that may have simply been personal preference on his part. They then showed him the picture of the woman who their prey had picked up at Glaze. "Well, well...I'm not surprised we don't get many visits anymore if he's bagged himself an actual model." He paused momentarily as if distracted before continuing.

Shauna Jones - Blood Doll
'Actress' and Model
Roach later revealed that every time Flynn Boyle mentioned or thought of a woman he also immediately imagined himself engaged in various sex acts with them. Daniel thought himself lucky that Roach in a rare moment of consideration hadn't chosen to share the images with him. He was also happy that he'd taken Roach with him and not Hope as she'd have probably have ripped the managers head off by now on general principle.

"Well, part time model. Her names...err...give me a moment...Jones...Shauna Jones, tried her hand at acting but she's got all the talent of a rock in that area I'm afraid. I'm sure she get's plenty of interviews but she's apparently not keen on what most Hollywood auditions require of the beautiful but talent-less." It seems that Flynn's encyclopedic knowledge of attractive young man and ladies in the entertainment industry might be of some use after all. "She did a commercial for some hairspray that never took off about a year ago. A couple of 'glamour' shoots for magazines, a bit tame for my tastes, all the interesting bits were covered up, I mean what's the point of that? you might as well look at an underwear catalogue..." Daniel mentally changed 'probably' to 'certainly' in regards to the likelihood of Hope having straight-up murdered Flynn by now.

"Did some hostess work at a couple of clubs, you know the kind of thing, pretend your interested in them for long enough to get them in buying drinks and then onto the next one. I know the agent for the agency she last worked for, they kicked her off for turning down work. He said she was one of these wannabes who thinks she's better than she is though that might have been because she wouldn't fuck him. I'll ring them for you if you like?..."

Pacific Palisades at Night - Los Angeles
He moves into the back office to make the call leaving you alone in his shop with the exception of the guard in the corner. A few minutes later, Flynn emerges from his office and hands you an envelope with an address written on the back. "She's apparently moved from the flat she was living in, current address is an apartment in Pacific Palisades, which is seriously up market. Looks like she's found herself a meal ticket...maybe she decided to put out for once..."

Daniel nodded noncommittally, slipped the manager a few hundred dollars for his help and then left along with Roach. Roach declined a lift back with Daniel claiming he had some "Business to deal with..." and then wandered off. Happy to not have to share a car with the Malkavian twice in the same evening he made no attempt to persuade him otherwise and left alone.

Leanna - Duskborn
Mistress of Blood Dolls
'Anastasia' had turned out to be a fairly wasted evening for Michael though she had said she's let him know if the saw the girl in the photo anywhere. Having some time to spare he decided to give Leanna a try. Though primarily in charge of managing Marius's herd of blood dolls she also paid close attention to the blood dolls and blood bound of many if the other kindred in Los Angeles. This was mainly due to her offering a useful service in re-writing the memories of such for kindred who wanted rid of toys they got bored with but didn't wish to cause them any particular harm.

Leanna was also unable to help particularly other than being reasonably sure that she wasn't a ghoul or blood doll belonging to anyone else which meant that she had probably been picked up by Marcel as the barman in Glaze had claimed rather than being a 'gift' from any kindred of significance in LA. Stopping long enough for refreshments and a pleasant chat, Michael then returned to the gallery in the hope that the Sin Bin had been a more productive visit for his colleagues.

Scene Ten - Confessions
Club Confession - Venus Dare, Manager
Once together again the coterie compared notes. They now had a name and location for the mysterious blood doll which should make her easy to find and hopefully she could lead them to Marcel. Daniel set his ghoul Andrew to investigating the address specified while Mr Hertz looked into the financials to see who was paying the bills.

With some evening left Michael decided to visit Club Confession to see if they could get any information out of Venus on who exactly Marcel and Shauna had a meeting with at her club. Daniel went along as driver and bodyguard.

As usual they entered via the VIP entrance using their 'special' membership cards and made some enquiries with the staff about whether Miss Dare was available for a meeting. The barman indicated that he'd check but he had been told she'd be busy for an hour or so and wasn't to be disturbed. This meant that they'd need to hang around for a while which was inconvenient as the club was carried and they hadn't bothered to reserve a room or booth.

Turning his supernatural charisma up to full and dropping effortless into his pale and interesting artist persona he usually favoured when seduction was his purpose, Michael used his formidable abilities in this area for the slightly mundane purpose of finding somewhere to sit down.

He noted a group of ladies who seemed to be having a Bachelorette Party. Either that or the police uniform in LA had changed radically over the weekend. He noticed a single empty chair which he helped himself to before somewhat shallowly attempting to seduce the whole table. Daniel kept his eye on Michael but figured he wasn't in a great deal of danger currently and began his usual hobby of looking for holes in places security. After about an hour had gone by one of the staff came over to inform Michael that Venus could spare him a few minutes and Michael made his apologies and left with seven phone numbers that he'd probably never ring.

Venus Dare - Ghoul of Marius
Storytellers Note - It helps that Michael's player gets to roll fourteen dice to seduce some-one...

They were escorted to Venus's office on the upper floor by one of the door staff though he waited outside rather than escort them in. As they entered Miss Dare was emerging from a side room of her office buttoning up a blouse over an outfit that indicated that she had been indulging her dominatrix sideline with some-one in the dungeon room adjacent to where she worked. A leather clad male figure could be seen hanging upside-down from the ceiling. "He's not going anywhere so I can spare a few minutes, Michael. What can I help you with?"

Daniel showed Venus the picture on his phone while Michael indicated that Victoria believed that Marcel and Shauna had met another kindred in one of the clubs private rooms recently. He also admitted that Victoria wouldn't disclose their name. "Victoria is very keen on keeping things on a professional basis..." admitted Venus "...and would probably rather it didn't become common knowledge who is and isn't having meetings in private rooms."

David Geduld - Ventrue
Baron of Torrance
Michael was afraid that this would be the answer but Venus continued. "However it wasn't exactly a secret meeting. Plenty of kindred saw them come and go as it was a busy night for the private rooms so though I couldn't tell you that their meeting was with David Geduld, Baron of Torrance I'm sure there were plenty who could." It occurred to Michael that Victoria knew full well that Venus would tell them who the meeting was with and he wondered what she had to gain from them knowing. Filing that away as something to worry about later he thanked the club manager and dominatrix and left her to continue 'entertaining' her guest.

Meanwhile, back at the gallery Andrew and Mr Hertz had discovered that the apartment that Shauna Jones lived in had been paid for using a credit card in the name of some-one called Hugo Lawson. Mr Hertz was currently working on finding more information on this new name but was reasonably sure it was a false identity created to conceal Marcel Emery's spending once he realised he'd been tracked to Los Angeles.

With the only really solid information they had to investigate being the address of Shauna they decided to make that their next port of call.

Scene Eleven - Shauna Jones
Dion was given the task of driving Michael and Daniel to the apartments where they were both to begin the search for Shauna. As he left, Michael also contacted his Scourge Hope with the location in case they needed back-up.

The apartment complex turned out to be luxurious in the extreme with it's own lower level for parking and three substantial floors each containing merely two apartments. The lobby contained a single man sitting at a desk.

Daniel was sure that he was a quite ordinary guard come concierge as he seemed to have all the security awareness of a rock. Presumably his primary duties were to get visitors to sign in and out with perhaps the occasional security patrol but compared to some of the military personnel he'd had to deal with recently he should be little trouble. After a brief discussion about how exactly they were going to gain entry, they decided that pretending to be a potential employer might be a good ruse though they'd need to improvise a little as they currently had no idea which of the six apartments was Shauna's.

Currently only one of the car park spaces contained a vehicle, a brand new, bright yellow Porsche, and that was for apartment five so Daniel decided to investigate that one first. If it turned out to be the correct one then Michael could attempt to gain entry with a bit of subterfuge via the guard in the lobby.

The building was childsplay for Daniel to scale from the outside having balconies for each set of rooms and significant ornamentation on the outer walls and he quickly climbed up to the top floor. As only one of these was occupied he hoped that he was about to examine apartment five rather than six. Hope meanwhile had assumed the form of a Raven and after circling the area first, landed on the railing a moment after Daniel vaulted over it and watched him crouched stealthily by the outside door.

Hope in Raven Form
Protean - Metamorphosis
The Banu Haqim's acute senses could hear the heavy breathing of some-one sound asleep within though the view into the room was obscured by heavy blackout blinds drawn in front of the glass balcony doors. Daniel turned and noted the bird sitting on the railing with it's head cocked to one side observing him intently but chose to ignore it and tested the door, finding it locked. Picking it was a simple enough matter and he carefully slipped inside.

The main room was fairly open plan and as there was no sign of any-one within it Daniel began a stealthy search of all the rooms except the one from which he could hear breathing. The bathroom showed signs of both male and female occupation having grooming aids for both sexes. The spare bedroom of the two was quite interesting because as well as also having heavy blinds they had been fixed to prevent them being opened and closed. Daniel began to suspect that Shauna had a kindred guest staying there with some regularity as basic precautions had been taken to prevent sunlight being allowed into the room accidentally. Also quite telling was that it looked like some-one had been sleeping under the bed rather than in it. Carefully opening the final room he entered silently and observed the woman within was indeed Shauna, before backing out and messaging Michael to make his way up.

Michael Tomassio - Toreador
"You know you want to..."
Hope hopped into the room and flowed back into humanoid form and was a little irritated that Daniel didn't seem more surprised with her grand entrance. Michael meanwhile had pressed the buzzer on the lobby door below and attracted the attention of the guard within. As the guard returned to his desk to retrieve the booking in ledger he asked Michael who exactly he was and who he needed to visit. Michael had no intention of identifying himself and instead casually asked the guard to lock himself in the toilet and slide the key under the door back to him which he promptly did.

Storytellers Note - In character, none of the PC's know that Michael has dominate and presume that peoples eagerness to obey him is actually due to his presence. He also has the 'Irresistible Voice' Amalgam power so doesn't need to make eye-contact to get dominate abilities to work which helps with the deception.

Michael had no abilities in the area of stealth whatsoever as the concept that anyone wouldn't want to be noticed was completely alien to him so he took off his shoes before entering the apartment as this was the best he could do. Deciding that there was little subtle way of starting the questioning of a sleeping woman whose apartment you'd broken into, Daniel slipped his hand over her mouth as he woke her.

Marcel Emery - Ventrue
The panic was evident in her eyes as Michael leaned over and used the full force of his entrancement abilities to convince her that they weren't there to do her any harm. Something about his voice made her believe him instantly and as Daniel removed his hand from her mouth she made no attempt to scream though she had started to cry.

"I thought you'd come to kill me...Marcel said that if the others found out I knew about them that's what would happen." Michael queried what she meant by 'others. "Other vampires of course..." The three kindred exchanged glances with one another, Marcel was either very careless or had planned on disposing of her very soon. This was also a decision that they might have to make themselves but both Hope and Daniel knew that Michael would never approve the murder of an innocent even if the masquerade was endangered. The aforementioned Michael meanwhile was busy questioning the young woman who was unnaturally keen to please the man who she had only met five minutes ago as he first attempted to confirm and clarify the information they already had.

She explained that she and Marcel had indeed met some-one in a downtown club. "We met a friend of his in a club in Downtown, David? I think, they were talking about a business investment but I got the impression it was on someone else's behalf. They actually drank wine there, first time I think I'd seen Marcel actually have a drink." Shauna's next comment confirmed what Victoria had implied and Venus had seconded. "The club? I don't remember the name, it looked like a church, the music was a bit rocky for my tastes but it had private rooms upstairs."

Gloria Martinez - Brujah
Baron of Whittier
Michael hoped this was merely a business opportunity and didn't mean that David Geduld was involved in the embezzlement as that would create a whole new set of problems for them. Michael asked her to continue with any information on meetings that Marcel had taken her too.

"We met a Miss Martinez in Whittier. That was a bit odd, it was a charity thing, investing in school projects. I didn't think Marcel was into that kind of thing at all but I think that was for someone else as well. She didn't seem keen on the idea and Marcel asked me to step outside for a while so I'm not sure what happened." As Michael already had a favour to do for Gloria Martinez it occurred to him that he might be able to arrange a meeting about that matter and then find an opportunity to ask her about Marcel. Shauna had no other information on meetings other than been taken to a "Cheesy looking club with plastic skulls and stuff" which was undoubtedly Fortier's 'Club Zombie' but she hadn't been allowed downstairs for that one at all. The kindred present were well aware that ghouls and kine weren't allowed into the vampire only part of the club so she would have little to tell them about it.

All that remained was to discover what she knew about the movements of their target Marcel Emery. "Oh yes. He stops here sometimes but he has his own place in Beverly Hills. I can give you the address if you like?"

Dion - Ghoul
Michael's Driver
As the others had suspected, Michael would hear of no plan that involved Shauna's untimely demise.  He told her to gather together some essentials as they needed to move her somewhere "For her own protection." He contacted the watchmen at his home and haven and told them that they would be expecting a 'guest' and that they would need to ensure that she didn't endanger herself by doing anything like going out, or making phone-calls and implied to them that she was effectively on 'Suicide Watch'. Hope left via the balcony as she flowed back into avian form while the others left through the currently unguarded lobby. Daniel ensured that his hood was pulled up so now one could identify him as some-one who had left the apartment without actually arriving there.

Once they had the girl secured Michael left Dion to ensure that his instructions were followed and then they picked up Vin in anticipation of visiting the suspected haven of their prey. If there was any likelihood of trouble then Vin was about the best deterrent they had available.

Scene Twelve - Marcel Emery
Protean - 'The Only Way to Fly.'
Marcel's house was a single level but expensive looking detached home on the end of a row of about a dozen homes. The windows were equipped with shutters but this was the only sign that a kindred might live or have lived there. A raven landed in a dark spot concealed from view and Hope emerged a moment later. Daniel pointed out that there had been room in the car. "True, but flying is cool." was the Gangrel's retort.

Daniel reminded Hope of the strategy they'd used when they'd run down the kindred poacher in Pasadena.  Nodding his agreement, Daniel slipped around the back to examine the rear entrance while Michael waited by the front door with Vin and Hope standing just out of sight. Daniel skilfully bypassed the two locks on the back door and entered the property ready to ambush any-one attempting to escape. Once in position he sent a message to Michael who knocked on the front door hoping to drive some-one into the Banu Haqim's waiting arms.

Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah, Coterie Enforcer
By Michael's third attempt, Daniel was reasonably sure that no-one was in the properties ground floor and the only other place within the property to search was a cellar that was locked from the outside with several new and sturdy locks so he let the others in. As Daniel picked these locks as well, Hope offered to take point as in her words Daniel was "Only dangerous at a distance..." referencing several recent problems that the assassin had solved via a high calibre sniper rifle.

Vin was staying close to Michael in case there was an ambush of some kind and had slid his machete from it's scabbard in preparation. Michael noted that Vin's new found aptitude for business and politics had in no way been at the expense of his deadlier skills and the blade he habitually carried was evidence enough of that.

Daniel gestured theatrically to the open door and Hope curtsied badly before making her way down the stairway into the cellar. Though it was a close call who out of Hope and Vin was the most dangerous, Hope definitely had the edge in resilience thanks to the signature abilities of her clan.

The basement had at one point been a games room of sorts but someone had recently pushed everything to one side and placed a futon style bed in one corner, presumably this was where Marcel slept through the daylight hours. A skeleton was chained and nailed spreadeagled across the bed with a large wooden stake hammered through the rib-cage where the heart would have been. On closer examination the spine had been cut through at the neck at some point afterwards, decapitating the unfortunate individual, the fangs within the skull indicating that they had once been kindred. However had decided to end the unlife of who was presumably Marcel Emery had been very thorough indeed.

As the others searched the basement haven for anything that might be a clue, Daniel examined the point of impact where skull had been severed from spine. The weapon looked to be something heavy like a cleaver but with a slight curve to the blade. Given the damage to the wood beneath it had clearly been wielded by some-one with significant strength. When he'd finished his examination, Hope reached over picked up the skull and smashed the fangs and other teeth to powder along with much of the jaw.

Though not particularly prominent, Hope didn't want to leave any evidence that might scream 'Vampire' to an investigator. She also removed the stake and chains. Hope's examination of the stake had revealed a heavy, cylindrical piece of metal driven into a hollowed out section in the rear of the hardwood stake, presumably to give it added weight. The wood had been machine sharpened to a point and grip had been added. All in all it was a professional tool designed to do a particular job very well indeed.

While looking around, Daniel noticed that a square patch of plaster on the wall seemed to be a very slightly different shade to the rest. A quick scan of the rooms dimensions and features led him to believe that a vent of some kind should be there. It occurred that such a vent would make a good hiding place if you put something in there and then plastered over the hole. He turned out to be correct.

Behind the plaster was a small but robust safe locked with key and combination but neither was much of a deterrent to the skills and strength currently in the room and so it was soon unlocked. The safe contained three bundles of hundred dollar bills adding up to ten thousand dollars per bundle, five credit cards in different names, two burner phones of which one was still in the box and a business card for an investment firm called Maynard Finance with an address in Downtown's business district.

It looked like with the death of their quarry and Shauna exhausted as an information source that their only chance for success was if the safe held some clue about where to look next for the money. It seemed like they were going to need the help of Mr Hertz once more...

To be Continued in 'Blood Money' - Part Four

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 suppose having the guy they're looking for be found dead so they have to start all over again was a bit of a dick move but at least I left them some clues...

I had planned all along to make the job more complicated but had left the order of their discoveries largely to chance as I didn't want them to feel like they were on rails. The only event I'd aimed to be last was discovering the body of what may or may not be Marcel Emery which rather neatly happened at a perfect time to end this particular session.

Mr Hertz's player is available next session so there will be a little more accounting related problems than I normally include in a story, 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, Charles Dance is Mr Hertz, Shauna Jones is Ashley Callingbull, Leanna is Leeanna Vamp, Venus Dare is Sophie Howard, Gloria Martinez is Ariadne Artiles and Dion is Clark Gregg. 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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