Monday 27 July 2020

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Solo Session - The Marius Contracts (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
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'
Story Sixteen - 'The Southern Solution' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Seventeen - 'The Baker Disappearance' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eighteen - 'Inevitable Betrayals' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Marius Contracts' - Part One

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.

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. His background as an assassin is also difficult to explore in a group setting.

Garrick - Brujah
The current talking point across the kindred of L.A. is that an Emissary for Tara, Baron of San Diego has met his final death during a duel at the fight club of Issac 'Ike' Griffith. Apparently Garrick had been neglecting his assigned tasks to fight at the Brujah only fight club where he had gained a reputation as an effective but ill-disciplined fighter.

It seems that he inexplicably challenged one of the clubs newer members to a battle to destruction and despite warnings of the consequences by club organiser Ike, and attempts to dissuade him by the challenged party, refused to withdraw the challenge. 

His opponent, a well known and respected Brujah philosopher, and 'The Last Round' regular, named Daniel, from the group of domains collectively known as the North-East baronies, seemingly destroyed the impetuous emissary with a single decapitating blow. The Brujah present have been joking that it was a toss-up between who looked the most surprised at the success of the attack, Daniel or Garrick...

Messages to the Barons of the Anarch Free States from Tara have indicated her disappointment at the final death of Garrick, though have also contained her assurances that there will be no retaliatory measures as she is satisfied that his own foolishness was responsible. The identity of Garrick's replacement has apparently yet to be decided upon though there is certainly no shortage of ambitious San Diego kindred who would like the job.

Scene Eight - Vannevar
Marius 'The Fixer' Walker - Gangrel
Baron of Downtown
Having reported his success in the assassination, concealed within a justifiable destruction, to Marius, Daniel has been offered a second, and possibly more dangerous task.

"Excellent. Has that scratched your itch or would you be up for another job?" Daniel indicated that he'd be more than happy to take on another assignment.

"Three kindred have taken over a mountain retreat in the San Gabriel Mountains, near Santa Clarita. They are held up there with half a dozen guards, most of which are going to be ghouls or blood bound mortals. It is my belief that they are a recon party for Vannevar Thomas, Prince of San Francisco who have managed to sneak past the Anarchs of San Jose who are meant to be on the look out for such things, but that is another matter."

Daniel nodded and indicated that Marius should continue.

Vannevar Thomas - Ventrue
Prince of San Francisco
"Understand, I have no personal objections to Vannevar and his ambitions, but a wholesale move by him towards the Free States would be inconvenient for me at this time. The efficient removal of such a team would almost certainly make him reconsider any hasty moves for a while at least. 

The problem is that Vannevar and myself one another and it's possible that he might discern my methods in conjunction with any assault." 

"I do however understand if this is possibly a political avenue you'd rather avoid or that the odds may seem unfavourable and would hold you in no less regard if you wished to back out now. If I am forced to eliminate them personally then I shall do so and deal with the consequences..." "They'll be there for another four days, five at the most so you at least have some preparation time if you'd like to do some recon before making a decision."

"They'll no doubt be well equipped and given their mission will be on the look out for other kindred. As before you may name a reasonable price should you succeed."

"It's going to take a fair bit of planning and you are asking me to take on odds of fifteen to one, so I'd therefore require a major boon in return..." Marius agreed, then offered any assistance he could give as long as it couldn't be traced to himself. "Plans to the building would be a useful start." stated Daniel and was unsurprised when Marius slid a set over to him.

Daniel was, of course, instantly suspicious of Marius's motives and his excuse for involving a third party seemed spurious at best. The Gangrel 'Fixer' had access to some of the most experienced killers in Los Angeles, not to mention a private army and one of the most feared shock and awe weapons in the city in the form of his childe's blood crazed force known as 'The Swarm'. Still, the chance to gain a major boon from Marius was too good an opportunity to pass up, in spite of his misgivings.

Scene Nine - Insider Knowledge
Gangrel Baronies - Under Marius's 'Protection'
Daniel was sure that the initial reconnaissance on which Marius was basing his information would have been done by the Gangrel of either Simi or Santa Clarita. Both these Baron-less domains were under Marius's protection and geographically close to the location of Vannevar's spies. The problem with soliciting their aid was that Marius had hired Daniel for expressly the reason of minimising any connection to himself. 

The other likely candidates for the recon were the three Gangrel sweepers known collectively as 'the Circle' and Daniel had no desire to deal with them at all. The one he had met had been condescending and arrogant with a superiority complex that was almost tangible. He doubted her sisters would be any more amiable.

After rejecting those ideas he decided instead to speak to one of the baronies sweepers Priya and her ghoul Abbigail. Both had worked for the Camarilla before in both recon and assault teams and had even spent time in the service of an Archon, so it was possible that they might be familiar with other teams methods. Fortunately both were quite forthcoming.

Priya - Gangrel and Abbigail - Ghoul of Priya
Priya began. "Patrols will be in pairs at the very least, to minimise the chances of mental abilities being used to effect their minds or cloud their memories." Abbigail then interrupted. "They'll be trained to resist psychic assault anyway if they're valuable ghouls, though a powerful enough kindred will still be able to punch straight through those." As Daniel had no such abilities this wasn't particularly relevant to him, but was worth remembering for future reference.

"What about weaponry?" Was Daniel's next question.

"Depends on the mission. If they expect to have to worry about other kindred they'll go with high calibre, or high cyclic rate, both if they can. If they're operating in public, then handguns, probably suppressed. If however they're out of the way like you say then expect Assault Rifles, SMG's, the works basically." "Body armour for the ghouls, too." added Abbigail. "Close combat weapons will be heavy bladed. No point trying to stop a kindred with a pen knife.

San Francisco by Night
This was pretty much what Daniel was expecting. As he liked to kill with either precise head shots from a distance or quick and deadly blade strikes up close this shouldn't be a problem, unless something went wrong of course. "Did Marius give you any idea of clan?" asked Priya. Daniel had to admit that he hadn't.

"The leader will be Ventrue, for sure." Stated Priya. "Vannevar's a fucking snob, he doesn't think any other clan is capable of taking control of anything." "The other two will be Brujah, more than likely. San Francisco is light on Gangrel and Vannevar doesn't trust them after Xaviar dragged so many of them away from the Camarilla, even less now they're turning to the Anarchs in such high numbers. He's not keen on Nosferatu either. Like I said, a snob..."

Daniel then enquired about who amongst the notable kindred of San Francisco might be likely to assist Prince Vannevar. As Priya spoke, Daniel became more and more surprised at just how few of them seemed to be willing allies of the Prince of San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park - Gangrel Domain
"Mirko Mirkonen is about the most potent Gangrel in San Francisco. He was even offered the position of Archon and turned it down, but he's a berserker, not a scout. He's also one of the main reasons that the Kuei-jin couldn't hold San Francisco when they tried to take it from the Camarilla, so he's not really one to be ordered about."

"He's now the de-facto Primogen of the Gangrel in the city but doesn't use the title as you'd expect. He's been reinforcing his domains with any Gangrel he can smuggle into the city so Vannevar wouldn't want to owe him a favour anyway." She paused briefly and Daniel got the impression that Priya had a certain amount of respect for Mirko and possibly knew him better than she was making out.

She then continued. "Kokopell 'The Kachin' Mana is the Nosferatu Primogen and she's closer to Vannevar's rival Sara Anne Winder so it's unlikely she'd be helpful anyway if she could avoid it. Sara would, as you'd expect, use any request for help as an excuse to undermine the Prince and strengthen her own position. This more or less would limit him to using his own loyal followers."

Mirko Mirkonen, Kokopell 'The Kachin' Mana and Sara Anne Winder

Daniel didn't like to make presumptions, despite the logic behind what he had been told. Vannevar might be a typical Ventrue, but you didn't stay Prince by failing to use what assets you had available. Gangrel made good scouts and if this Ventrue had access to any, he'd certainly use them if he could. Though he did have a feeling that if there were members of Clan Gangrel in the recon team that Marius would have known and mentioned it. Priya interrupted his musing.

"This lot must have come through San Jose and that's tricky, San Jose has experienced trackers and seasoned fighters. Brujah, a few Gangrel and some Nosferatu I think. Means this team has decent skills or a lot of resources. There's also a heavy Tremere presence in San Francisco so you can't rule out sorcerous assistance either. The Tremere Regent, Luna Demian is more interested in research than politics.

"Maybe they skirted the area completely." suggested Abbigail. "Or used the Pony Express? Vannevar certainly has the resources to pay for their services."

Interlude - The Pony Express
The Pony Express was founded by an enterprising group of Ventrue ancillae in response to the Camarilla's abandonment of electronic communications in the aftermath of the Second Inquisition. Recognising the need for a method of coordinating intercity communication across the sect, the group's founder, Elliot Praxton, assembled a group of like-minded Ventrue to found what Praxton deemed, 'The Pony Express.' 

The Express is a system of physical couriers that crisscross the nation using various modes of transportation ranging from muscle cars and unremarkable sedans, to boats, planes, and helicopters. Agents of the express in each city include Kindred and their ghouls who may be permanent fixtures of that domain, or move from city-to-city in a circuit. They operate a dizzying array of blind-letter drops, secret meets, and other anonymous forms of communication that they use to "collect the mail" in each domain. This mail ranges from heavily-encrypted flash drives to old-fashioned physical correspondence.

The Cabbie - Kindred Transporter
Express drivers are culled from the ranks of Gangrel still loyal to the Camarilla and an ever-increasing pool of young Ventrue and other ambitious Kindred. Drivers brave the perils of the open road, handing off their packages to other drivers at pre-arranged drops or occasionally making long-hauls with particularly sensitive information. Anarchs, Lupines, and the Inquisition stand in their way, but they get the mail through, never taking the same route twice, and always covering their tracks. Working 
for the Express is dangerous on the best of nights, but it is vital to the Camarilla’s survival and Praxton pays extremely well. Always the innovator, Praxton also operates a clandestine passenger service for "special" clients. 

Though an independent operator, the kindred known as 'The Cabbie' does deliveries for the Pony Express throughout Los Angeles. It's status as an Anarch domain deprives the organisation of the influence it would normally have in a Camarilla held city, so the cabbie is utilised as he has his own protection in the form of his employer, Marius 'The Fixer' Walker. Marius has also been known to loan out Gangrel under his influence to the pony express on a job by job basis and a number have become permanent employees of the organisation.

Scene Nine - Insider Knowledge (Continued)
"I wont ask why you're so interested." Said Priya. "But be careful. Vannevar has had his eye on L.A. for a while now and the main thing getting in his way was the twelve strong kindred coterie in San Jose. If he's found a reliable way of bypassing that defence then it's only a matter of time before he considers rolling in and declaring Praxis."

Daniel had heard the name of Vannevar but knew very little about him, he also had no information on the kindred of the Baronless domain of San Jose. He decided that he needed to rectify these holes in his knowledge as soon as this job was done as it seemed that both could potentially cause problems for the coterie in the future.

After thanking the pair for their help Daniel returned to his own haven and took stock of his weapon options ready for some recon of his own the following night. Obviously suppressed weapons were a priority and he carefully stripped down, maintained and then reassembled his custom pistols. Then he did the same to both his bull-pup sniper rifle and his M4, before sharpening all his knives to a razor edge. Though his plan for the next night was merely observation he was also prepared in case things went wrong.

Scene Ten - The San Gabriel Mountains
On the slim chance that Vannevar's forces were slipping into the city to feed, Daniel allocated his two ghouls the task of looking into any patterns of missing persons cases that might indicate a feeding pattern.
Keith Chang and Andrew Francis - Ghouls of Daniel Matthews

He loaded up his car with a number of back-up weapons in case he needed a fallback position and then drove as near to his target location as was practical. As his baron had recently obtained a significant chunk of San Fernando as part of his domain, this made a convenient starting point. Daniel recalled enough of his military training to make moving through the wilderness fairly simple and his heightened senses were turned to their maximum on constant alert for danger.

Basic Perimeter Security
As Daniel reached what he believed to be the effect patrol perimeter for the forces he was aware of, he noticed something on the ground. Concealed alongside one of what passed for pathways in the heavily forested area was a trip-wire. It led to a mechanism designed to fire a shotgun shell, presumably to alert whoever set it to potential trespassers, as it was pointed into the air rather than towards the wire. On the lookout for similar devices, the Banu Haqim continued.

A few minutes later he heard activity from ahead. It was difficult to estimate distance but in his opinion they were about a mile away. He altered course to intercept but intended only to observe their path and attempt to ascertain how regular their patrols were. As Priya and her ghoul Abbigail had theorised, they were indeed patrolling in pairs. They were quite openly armed with M4 Carbines, equipped with a variety of military accessories, including night vision and were wearing body armour of a high standard. Daniel also noted that they were armed with heavy bladed combat knives. 

They moved like professionals and were presumably ex-military or former security personnel. Concealed as he was by his own supernatural gifts of Obfuscation the pair were completely unaware that they were being watched as they moved. Interested to see if their route was consistent, Daniel made himself comfortable and waited to see if they returned by the same route. About an hour later they returned the way they had came. 

Making a mental note of both their timing and probable patrol route, the assassin slipped past them and moved closer to the target location.

As he moved he noticed another device designed to indicate intruders. This one was far more sophisticated however. It consisted of an infra-red beam and receiver connected to some form of radio transmitter. This had been far better concealed than the previous item he'd discovered. As he checked for other such devices he heard the approach of a second security patrol. This focus on the second group was unfortunate as he missed a detail that might have been significant.

Storytellers Note - Unfortunately the player utterly failed several rolls that will have consequences in the future. Just so you don't think everything went his way...the previous picture might, perhaps be a clue...

Repeating his earlier observations of the first team, he discovered that this pair were similarity equipped, though had a shorter patrol route. Presumably as they were closer to the mountain retreat that served as their base. Daniel calculated that he would have enough time to circle the retreat itself before he'd need to head back to his vehicle and still have enough time to return to his haven before dawn. 

The Mountain Retreat
The mountain retreat had a single guard by the front door, which seemed to be somewhat lax given the previous precautions taken by the pairs of mercenaries making the patrols. A moment later Daniel observed a sniper on the balcony above the door. He was armed like the others though his weapon seemed to have a different sight. The Bana Haqim's hope for a method of sniping the homes occupants was foiled by the fact that all the windows were shuttered. 

He concluded that he'd need to get as many of the houses occupants outside as possible so he could eliminate as many as possible, hopefully leaving the house lightly defended and relatively unoccupied by targets. As he was musing the possibilities, he noted that someone from inside had opened the front door and was conversing with the guard. Though he couldn't be one hundred percent sure, he suspected that they were kindred. Deciding he'd need another night of reconnaissance to confirm patrol routes, Daniel quietly withdrew, skilfully avoiding both patrols as he did so. 

Scene Eleven - Responses
Daniel was pleased to discover that both patrol routes seemed to be consistent and so he could at least rely on the exterior teams acting in a consistent manner. His concerns now moved to their response times and how vigorously they reacted to a detected threat. With this in mind he concocted a simple but efficient test.

Daniel selected an IR sensor that was positioned between the two patrols and some distance from the house. He also ensured that there was adequate hiding places in clear view of it's location to which he could fall back. He then broke the beam, moved into his previously located lookout position and awaited the response.

Three teams approached the location from different directions, the two patrols and a third group of three, presumably dispatched from the main building. They converged on the target area carefully and at full alert and then instigated a thorough and professional search. Daniel listened intently to see if he could pick up any more information but the conversation was specific to the particular situation with one minor exception. One of the patrol team members was complaining about the sensors being placed too low and therefore were being triggered by none humanoid movement. A moment later he was admonished by one of the three members of the team from the house, presumably the leader.

This tall man who was armed with an SMG and had what looked like a cleaver sheathed at his waist, spoke abruptly. "You know full well that it's not just mortals wandering through the woods that we're on the alert for so the sensors stay where they fucking are. You have a problem with that then speak to Mrs Charles about it..." The hasty apology indicated that this 'Mrs Charles' was evidently not someone to be trifled with.

Fairly satisfied that luring teams to specific locations was simple enough, Daniel followed one of the patrols as it returned to it's normal duties. He learned little new other than that the patrols seemed to report in to their base about every thirty minutes.

With a plan beginning to form in his mind, the Banu Haqim returned to his car to prepare for an assault on these scouts of Vannevar the next night.

Scene Twelve - No Plan Survives...
Creating a device on a timer to trigger one of the infiltrators surveillance devices was relatively simple as his sire had used such things for a variety of purposes and had passed on some of those skills to his childe.

Daniel made a detour to the secret armoury in the sewers beneath Michael's gallery where their more dangerous and illegal weapons and military ordnance were kept. Both Vin and himself were habitual collectors of any useful weaponry that they could salvage from engagements with enemies and had amassed a deadly but admittedly eclectic selection of equipment. Vin had moved some of his own gear to his secure haven beneath the brothel that he ran for the coterie but the explosives and heavier weapons remained. By this point they had racks of shotguns, handguns and cheap copies of assault weaponry acquired from various enemies but anything of note was stored separately and taken particular care of.

The Coteries Secret Armoury
'The Good Stuff'
The Banu Haqim retrieved both the bull-pup 50. cal sniper rifle he'd acquired from Marius's ghoul Yukio and one of the M4's they'd purchased from the arms dealer Mercurio. All his ranged weapons were, of course, suppressed.

He also loaded a bag with a number of claymore mines and grenades that he and the Gangrel Sweeper Hope had retrieved from the Second Inquisition base they had assaulted earlier in the year. 

Storytellers Note - Always bear in mind that any weapon you give to an NPC could easily end up in your players hands, so plan ahead, lol. If they get too cocky just throw an enemy with high level Fortitude at them or an obfuscated one that they don't see coming. The third dot Fortitude power 'Defy Bane' is particularly annoying to any player who loaded up on dragons-breath rounds...

As prepared as possible, Daniel entered the forested and rugged terrain and moved to intercept the first of the two patrols. First blending into the shadows and then cloaking any sound of his passing, the assassin stealthily followed the first team to what he had calculated was the furthest point along their route from their base of operations.

Emerging from the woodland, he drew a suppressed pistol in each hand and neatly put a bullet through the back of each of the men's skulls. After taking a moment to remove both corpses from the path, he quickly concealed the bodies and moved towards the second team, though he took a small amount of blood from each of the dead to replenish the vitae he was using to fuel his supernatural abilities. The second team shared the fate of the first.

With the chance of him being disturbed now greatly reduced, he located one of the sensors that he'd intentionally activated on the previous night and set up his timer. He then booby-trapped the area with claymores and grenades and headed directly to the house to see how many of the guards would be lured away by his deception.

As the timer hit the thirty minute mark, Daniel's improvised device broke the IR beam. Within mere minutes three men emerged from the building and headed into the woods. A loud explosion seemed to indicate that the next stage of his plan had also succeeded.

The guard on the door reached for his radio. Presumably this communication was from someone within the house or, more irritatingly, it could be from a survivor of the explosion. He also noticed that the sniper on the first floor balcony of the house had dropped into a firing position and was scanning the forest.

With the enemy strength now cut almost in half, Daniel waited for a moment before continuing his attack, hoping that more of the team would emerge from the property to investigate.

Scene Thirteen - ...Contact With the Enemy
A kindred in tattered and burnt clothing emerged from the forest at considerable speed, his flesh was undamaged though his mouth and chest were smeared in blood. Daniel could only presume that he had fed on the mangled remains of his mortal guards in order to heal himself.

Anxious to avoid allowing them the protection of the house the Banu Haqim took aim and used his high calibre rifle to shoot the supernaturally fast kindred in the head. At this relatively close range the shell removed their head in a spectacular shower of blood, brains and skull fragments. As Daniel switched his aim towards the sniper on the balcony, he was forced to duck back into cover as the area in which  he was hidden was riddled with automatic weapon fire.

Switching to his M4, Daniel returned fire. Though his accuracy was superb, the snipers cover blunted much of the onslaught and as far as the assassin could see, he had only wounded them superficially. Realising that his current position was now becoming dangerous, he took the risky move of heading towards the main building itself. The branches and leaves between him and his attackers was next to useless against the incoming rifle rounds and Daniel was struck multiple times.

Using precious vitae to heal his wounds, Daniel fired as he moved and was satisfied to see the sniper dive into the cover of the house. Hearing several shuttered windows open and the sound of breaking glass he braced himself for more gunfire a she reached the corner of the building. Deciding that picking the lock on the side door was unnecessary under the circumstances, Daniel ripped it open with a burst of vitae enhanced strength. Unfortunately the buildings defenders had anticipated this move.

The force from several shotgun blast knocked him backwards. Reacting quickly he rolled to one side and threw a grenade into the corridor via the open door. After the detonation, he moved to enter the house. However it seemed that the Banu Haqim weren't the only kindred capable of moving with speed and stealth. A discovery he made as a heavy blade was driven into his back with supernatural strength. Evidently another of the recon teams kindred had decided to enter the fray.

With his reserves of vitae almost exhausted and his hold on his humanity already eroded by his actions over the previous year, Daniel lost his cool for the first time since his sire had betrayed him. Drawing his own sword he grabbed the arm of his attacker and severed it at the elbow before grappling them to the ground in an uncharacteristic display of brute force, over skill. Unable to resist the voice of the beast and falling to the inherent desire to taste the blood of other kindred, Daniel tore out the Brujah's throat and began to drink. Now surrendering completely to the beast, he drained them dry, and then continued to drink until even their soul had been consumed.

Storytellers Note - ...and now I have to read the section on the dice penalties for being Humanity 4...

The realisation of what he had just done was pushed to the back of his mind as he saw an expensive but practically dressed woman emerge from the front door of the house and make a break towards the forest. Presumably this was 'Miss Charles'. the Ventrue leader of the group.

Daniel covered the fifty metres between himself and his prey in a second and drove his sword through their neck, though failed to sever head from body. Using the last of their strength the Ventrue turned around and attempted to make eye-contact with their attacker. Having been neutralised in this way by a previous Ventrue quarry, Daniel was ready for the attempt to dominate his mind though the force of will necessary to resist them was almost beyond him. Now aware that her enemy was able to resist her mind control, she defaulted to more mundane means and drew a gun from within her jacket and shot her assailant in the stomach. 

As the rounds thundered into his body he drew back his arm and began to hack off her head. she ran out of bullets before Daniel ran out of strength and the third blow messily, but successfully decapitated her.

With his primary targets neutralised, the assassin entered the house to hunt down their remaining mortal followers. They didn't last long.

It took Daniel another couple of hours to drag his various victims back to the house and once all were within, started a fire that should destroy as much of the evidence as possible. He then headed back to his car and then to Downtown to report his success and claim his reward.

Victoria - Ghoul of Marius
Psychotic P.A
Victoria stood by Marius's collection of swords, absentmindedly cataloguing which would be the best for skinning some-one alive, when Marius himself entered his office. "You wish to discuss Daniel, I Imagine?" asked Marius. "The assault on Vannevar's people, was incredibly sloppy by his usual standards." observed Victoria, getting straight to the point. "Rushed, one might say, which is unlike him..."

"He's committed the act of Amaranth three times in less than a year. That and his clans natural inclinations are allowing the beast to exert it's influences. The beast is not subtle, it knows only that it wants..." the 'Fixer' paused as Victoria seemed like she had something to add. "It would be unfortunate to lose such an asset to a preventable problem." She stated, knowing that she was taking the conversation in what for another might be considered a dangerous direction.

"My secrets are mine and mine alone." Marius's tone had an edge to it, something that his most loyal assistant was rarely on the receiving end of. "You think I should share them with every kindred who is unable to control their impulses?" Marius exuded an intense predatory aura that he usually concealed through arcane means. The fact that he had allowed it to slip, indicated to Victoria that this was not the time to push this particular conversation.

Yukio - Ghoul of Marius
Enforcer and Assassin
"I was merely suggesting that you might consider it an option in order to preserve a useful and plausibly deniable asset..." said Victoria, sensibly backtracking."...even you yourself have admitted his usefulness." "I'll give it some thought." replied the Gangrel. The ghoul wisely decided it was time to leave.

As Victoria left the room, she found Yukio lurking nearby. She had quite obviously been eavesdropping "You raised the one thing we're not meant to discuss?" Victoria nodded, before replying. "It's one of three things, actually, but yes...I don't like wasting useful tools, especially if  it's preventable with a minimum of effort." She then continued. "But in fact I only hinted, I didn't say the name."

"Why?" asked Yukio, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"Because..." Stated Victoria, as if talking to a particularly stupid child. "...If I'd have mentioned the Children of Osiris, he'd have killed me on the spot..."

To be Continued in 'The MacNeil Protocols' (Part One)

In Conclusion

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

Well, the player made a complete hash of this one but he survived so I guess that's something. Unusually I'm going to include a player opinion in this bit, just for clarity and to show it's not just me who thought the plan was a bit rubbish, lol.

"I can blame bad dice rolling for my lack of resources at the end but in essence it was an undeveloped strategy. What I should have done, was trap the bodies of the outer patrols and allowed the radio call in to pass. That would have drawn a larger number of reinforcements to the traps. I could have then considered triggering one of the alarms and ambushed survivors  before moving on the house. I should also have taken one of the radios to monitor their communications."

After some discussion with the player we've decided to tie the mess he made of it into a development of his character. A realisation that his humanity is slipping and that he needs to do something about it. So now I have another set of sub-plots to write and integrate... sigh...

Still. I'm all for character development and redemption arcs so we'll see what happens.

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 Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Garrick was Bob Sapp, Marius Walker is Tony Curran, Vannevar Thomas is Bryan Dechart, 'Priya' is Gabrielle Union and Abbigail is Jessica Alba, Keith Chang is Daniel Dae Kim, Andrew Francis is Ray Stephenson, Victoria is Lilith May and Yukio is Jamie Chung.

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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