Friday 3 December 2021

Vampire the Masquerade - V5 - Session Ninety Five - 'Personal Agendas' (Part One)

I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.
Our chronicle is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to bring them back under Camarilla control. Over a year of plotting allowed the coterie to gain control of two North-Eastern Baronies and a large part of a third. Now they are moving on to the final stage of their campaign and have their eyes on taking over the entire city, either directly or by proxy.
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. There are however a list of potential triggers listed before the introduction. I've also used actual photographs to represent some characters which I'll give acknowledgements to at the end if I've any idea who they are.
The introduction to this campaign, the first story and all the other parts can be found at the following links and are in chronological order. If you'd prefer a summary of each session rather than read everything then there's a more detailed link page HERE as well as links to the first episode of each story in the blog sidebar.
Chronicle One - 'Infiltrate L.A.' 
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThree, and Four
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Gather'
Story Three Continued - 'Becoming Baron' - Part SixSeven and Eight
Chronicle Two - 'Foothold L.A.' 
Solo Session - 'Hostile Takeover'
Story Four - 'Countdown' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Five - 'The Missing Chantry' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Anaheim Assassination'
Story Six - 'A Meeting of Barons' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Seven - 'The Carmelita Situation' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eight - 'The Blount Sisters' - Part One and Two
Story Nine - 'Blood Money' - Part OneTwoThreeFour, Five and Six
Story Ten - 'Anathema' - Part One and Two
Story Eleven - 'Predators and Prey' aka 'The Blount Sisters' - Part Three
Story Twelve - 'Aftermath' - Part One and Two
Story Thirteen - 'The Messiah Complex' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Three - 'Incursion L.A.'
Story Fourteen - 'The Rant'
Story Fifteen - 'Ties of Blood' - Part One and Two
Solo Session - 'A Gathering of Roses'
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
Story Nineteen - 'The Marius Contracts' - Part One and Two
Story Twenty - 'The MacNeil Protocols' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty - 'The MacNeil Protocols' - Part SixSevenEightNine and Ten
Interlude Session One - After Griffith Park
Interlude Session Two - Divide and Conquer
Interlude Session Three - On the Brink of War
Chronicle Four - 'Conquest L.A.'
Story Twenty One - 'Veni, Vidi, Victor' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty One - 'Veni, Vidi, Victor' - Part Six, and Epilogue
Story Twenty Two - 'The Unbound' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Story Twenty Three - 'The War Council' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Interlude Session - Recon
Story Twenty Four - 'Resistance' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - Damage Limitation
Interlude Session - The Killing Spree

The PC's
Michael Tomassio - Toreador, 'Baron of the North East'
Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah, 'Constable'
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Fixer'
Hope Romero - Gangrel, 'Census Taker'
Mr Hertz - Nosferatu, 'Seneschal'

The Storyteller
Garreth - Everyone else...

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.

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. Where particular NPC's have a mention in a faction profile you will be able to reach it by clicking on their name or faction beneath their picture.

Trigger Warnings for This Session: Blood (Obviously).

The full extent of the Camarilla's infiltration of Los Angeles has been uncovered by the Anarchs and they have removed two of it's most significant power players in a most brutal manner. With open warfare now a very real possibility, Kelvin Wee, a highly regarded Camarilla negotiator has agreed to meet with Baron Michael Tomassio. This is to be a preliminary discussion in order to debate the possibility of a diplomatic meeting between representatives of the Anarchs and the Camarilla.

If such an agreement cannot be reached then both factions will go to war...

Scene One - The Succubus Club, Hollywood
Dillan Fitzgerald - Malkavian
Architect and Designer
In repayment of a debt between them, Marius has given Michael access to both his kindred designer, Dillan Fitzgerald and Aegis Construction in order to complete his Succubus Club. Michael has been keen to ensure that the club is completed promptly as he intends it to be the location of the meeting between the Anarchs and Camarilla representative's, if he can get Kelvin Wee to consent to such that is.

You're not sure exactly how much of Marius's money that Dillan spent on your club but it was definitely considerable.

The club has three levels above ground and two below with a set of offices above the highest floor containing offices and meeting rooms for the clubs owners. There is also a secret sub basement containing a number of day-rooms and a secure entrance into the Nosferatu warrens below Hollywood. The club itself has a mixture of open spaces containing dance floors and bars as well as a myriad of side rooms, alcoves and nooks where guests and patrons can have private assignations. Each floor is also shielded acoustically from the others so that each can have it's own musical theme.

Externally there are three carparks, though one of these is a private one for management and special guests. The entrances are monitored by advanced detection systems that automatically log vehicles license plates so that important guests can have parking spaces reserved for them in advance. There's even a helipad on the roof though this is unlikely to get much use, even in Hollywood.

Security is provided by a state of the art camera system that records both externally and internally. There are a number of quite intentional blind-spots where those in the know can engage in whatever illicit activities they desire without being observed, spread around the five floors.

The entire club somehow manages to feel both spacious and intimate at the same time. The only slight disadvantage is that due to it's size and number of both hidden and obvious bars that it does require a considerable amount of staff.

Given the 'buzz' around the grand opening you are reasonably sure that the kindred VIP's hopefully arriving for your diplomatic meeting will be barely noticed and will certainly have no shortage of feeding vessels.

A brief conversation with Baron Abrams has resulted in a promise that he'll ensure the presence of some minor celebrities at the clubs opening. He seemed to find Michael's idea of hiding the meeting in the chaos of such a public event to be inspired, though he has also pointed out to Michael that he may need to bring in extra security for his domain to compensate.

Daniel had some additional ideas about security for the club. Specifically, he didn't like the idea of there being areas free from surveillance. Though he understood the necessity of keeping the mortal and unaware members of their security staff from observing kindred activities, he wanted to be able to ensure that he was left with no unexpected problems to 'fix' in those areas.

Michael gave him permission to have installed a separate system to monitor these locations. The plan was to have a self contained surveillance room with no connection to the standard security from where these areas could be monitored. By keeping the two systems isolated from one another he could both observe the activities of any kindred using the dark corners for feeding and make sure no accidents occurred while also ensuring that the 'normal' security personnel saw nothing that might require them to be eliminated.

Though Michael still had some moral qualms about the covert surveillance he understood the necessity of doing so.

With the club as prepared as was possible, it was now time to meet with the Camarilla representative, Kelvin Wee.

Scene Two - Awaiting an Escort
Lyko Wu - Ventrue
Chinatown, Downtown
Though within Marius's Downtown Barony, Chinatown was controlled by Lyko Wu and his two childer Han and Yuan Ling. Marius had granted him the domain as his feeding ground on the condition that Marius's own business interests within the area were protected. This suited Lyko just fine, especially as he also received a small percentage of these businesses profits in return.

Chinatown was also the residence of Mr Hertz, a Nosferatu accountant and ally of the coterie, who managed the legitimate and criminal accounts of the Blood Dragons Triad gang who implemented the will of Lyko Wu.

Hertz had met with Lyko very soon after he had been granted the feeding ground by Baron Walker. The Nosferatu knew how to show the proper deference to those in power having dealt with dangerous criminals as both mortal and kindred. 

In return for his financial expertise, Mr Hertz also had the protection of the Triad gangs and Lyko himself. Mr Hertz's driver, Zhi Baxter, who also lived in Chinatown was also under their protection. Hertz was paid his standard two percent cut of the profits made from his laundering activities, a pittance compared to the kind of money that he was making for them, but more than enough for his humble needs.

Fortunately for the coterie, this meant that one of their number had inside knowledge of the area that were entering as well as the respect of it's more dangerous residents.

Dion, Michael's driver and agent of the Ventrue power-broker Fiorenza Savona, was at the wheel of Michael's subtly armoured car. Michael was accompanied by Vin as bodyguard while Mr Hertz and Daniel were in a second vehicle driven by the more stable of Daniel's two ghouls, Andrew.

Weapons of Different Era's - Mr Hert's Luger and  Vin's Smith & Wesson Model 460

Daniel had his full compliment of concealed weapons, while Mr Hertz was armed with an old but well maintained Luger in a shoulder holster. Vin had his trusty two-handed machete within it's scabbard beneath his jacket and a Smith & Wesson Model 460 in a shoulder holster. His shotgun was in a bag at his side along with several drums of solid slug ammunition. Michael had instructed Vin to leave the weapon in their vehicle. The meeting would be tense enough without adding any additional provocations.

Vin's Personal Weapon - Two-Handed Kukri
Vin's machete had a strange gem in it's pommel that he had acquired after assisting the Tremere with relocating their Chantry within Downtown. Since installing the 'Heart of Eliza' to his weapon the blade had never needed sharpening, keeping it's edge no matter what it sliced through. It also felt lighter and more balanced in his hand than any such weapon had the right to.

Vin was more than confident in his ability to protect Michael from any immediate dangers. In most circumstances, Daniel acted as Michael's bodyguard due to his wider range of subtle offensive and defensive skills. However in these circumstances Vin had elected to protect Michael personally. If anything went wrong during this meeting then the violence would certainly be explosive and bloody. In this area Vin and Hope were the preferred option. Hope's short-fuse ruled her out in these circumstances and she had instead been tasked with keeping their own barony secure in the absence of the rest of the coterie.

Marius Walker - Gangrel
'Fixer' and Baron of Downtown
Before leaving Pasadena, their convoy was to gain two extra vehicles as Marius had offered to escort them through his domain to Chinatown. Michael had correctly ascertained that it wasn't an offer that he could really refuse, but had phrased his acceptance in such a way as to make it seem like a choice he had made without external pressure.

Michael knew that Marius wasn't a kindred that you wished to appear weak when dealing with. It was a game of status that all kindred played and Michael was very good at it. He had dealt with Marius since their first night in the city and probably knew how to gauge his moods and whims better than any kindred outside of the Gangrel's own inner circle. He had, in fact, negotiated his way out of situations that would have almost certainly have proven fatal to a less politically savvy kindred. Michael had correctly ascertained that Marius enjoyed their 'games' far too much to put an end to them on a whim. Michael used this knowledge sparingly, but effectively.

Marius's escort, as expected, consisted of two vehicles. Marius was being driven by Eleanor 'Ellie' Moreno, another agent of Fiorenza Savona who had replaced Michael's driver Dion in the role.

Dion had been compromised by Marius's psychotic ghoul Victoria and so had been 'given' to Michael instead. Dion had proven himself to be useful and his occasional reports to Fiorenza on the coteries activities was  a small price to pay for his skills as a driver. 

The second vehicle was driven by Yukio, Marius's second most trusted ghoul, a surprisingly cheerful individual considering her primary role was killing Marius's enemies. Her three passengers were Kesara, Nessa and Ria Perez, collectively known as 'The Circle'. 

These kindred acted as Sweepers for Downtown. Their status as Marius's own grandechilder was only slightly sullied by the fact that their sire, and Marius's own childe 'Talon', was significantly out of favour with him. Somehow this particular childe of Marius had so far avoided the usual fate of disappointing their sire, namely diablerie.

On arrival, one of the Circle, Ria, left the car and handed Michael a wooden box. "Leanna said that you ordered this for tonight. She's currently working on your second request. All being well it should be available before any meetings negotiated this evening." Ria was the oldest of the three sisters and generally considered to be their leader, if they could be said to have one.

Leanna - Duskborn
Blood Sommelier
Vin moved in closer. He was well aware that Michael often had Leanna make mixtures of rare wines and vitae as gifts but still wasn't happy about people handing things to his Baron without him looking inside first. He was also well aware that all three of these sweepers were capable killers of kindred. Seemingly noticing his agitation, Ria made a play of opening the box, in as ostentatious a manner as possible.

Vin inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement of the gesture and got a subtle smile in return. "I thought we were all friends here?" said Ria to Vin. "The one thing has nothing to do with the other." He replied. Michael chose to ignore the exchange. Vin knew what he was doing and in the area of preventing trouble via intimidation he had few rivals.

Michael, to whom appearance was very important, noted that Ria wasn't sporting her usual short, blonde hair and had it long and dark, presumably it's natural colour and length. She was also out of her usual combat style clothing, instead wearing a stylish jacket. "The hairstyle suits you, as does the outfit." Said Michael. Ria seemed pleased with the compliment. "Neither are very practical for my usual duties..." she replied. "...but Marius didn't want me turning up to something this important looking like I was ready to start a war..."

Detecting weaknesses via empathy and observation were specialities of Michael. He was surprised to find that vanity was one of Ria's as he would have guessed that to be a flaw of Kesara's. He filed the information away in case it might come in useful later.

The base beverage of the wine was a Kweichow Moutai 50 Year Old Baijiu to which Leanna had added blood of a complimentary flavour and resonance. She was undoubtedly the best Blood Sommelier in the city and though her prices were exorbitant, the result was invariably well worth the price. These were Michael's preferred gifts when meeting other kindred of importance.

Scene Three - Chinatown
Chinatown at Night
Downtown L.A.
The meeting was to take place in the Red Dragon restaurant and hotel, a place known by the kindred to be the current base of both Lyko Wu and the Blood Dragon Triads. The business was bought by Marius some twenty years ago after its previous owner, one Wong Ho, mysteriously disappeared, leaving the restaurant to his daughter Kiki, who subsequently sold it to Marius. Lyko Wu gained the location as part of the transition negotiations when Marius granted Chinatown to him as his own domain.

What was less well known was that Kiki's father was assassinated by the so-called 'Kindred of the East' and that she had signed over the restaurant to Marius in payment for protecting her from the same fate. She remains as a blood doll in Marius's herd to this day where she is indeed 'protected', though perhaps not in the manner that the spoilt heiress would have liked.

Michael's vehicles rode in front until the border between Pasadena and Downtown, where Marius's vehicles took over.

Upon entering Chinatown, all those whose job was security noticed that there was a a considerable Triad presence on the streets. The Blood Dragons were accompanied by Triads from a different gang, presumably these were from the gang that gave their loyalty to Kelvin Wee. A carpark near Club Glaze, a Chinatown establishment still owned by Marius, had an area cordoned off for the groups vehicles to park in. 

Logo of The Red Dragon
Chinatown Restaurant
The Red Dragon itself had only minimal parking space and this was currently being utilised by Kelvin Wee and his guards.

The group drew considerable attention as they made their way towards the meeting place and the number of gang members increased as they drew closer. Marius had chosen to remain at Glaze as he wasn't invited to the meeting anyway, but The Circle continued their escort duties until they reached the Red Dragon. From there the three sisters blended into the crowd, they would only interfere if called upon.

Vin and Daniel noticed that several groups of Triads had followed Marius's sweepers into the crowd. Vin nudged Daniel and nodded in that direction. Daniel indicated that he too had noticed. He hoped that no treachery was planned as Daniel had witnessed Kesara, Nessa and Ria taking out an heavily armed, armoured, and military trained gang without taking as much as a scratch.

An attractive Chinese woman that the coterie hadn't previously encountered, met them in front of the location. She introduced herself as Zhou Meirong, hostess of the Red Dragon restaurant then escorted them to a private entrance. 

Daniel and Vin dropped into place behind Michael and Mr Hertz as their guide gestured to a pair of guards to allow the party access. The woman carried herself with confidence and a natural air of authority that indicated one used to wielding power. Daniel was sure that she wasn't kindred, though he surmised she could easily be a ghoul.

Zhou Meirong - Ghoul of Lyko Wu

Vin was surprised that they hadn't been asked about weapons or even searched to see if they were armed. He knew Daniel was armed, though his weapons were concealed. On the other hand, only a blind fool could fail to notice Vin's armament and the Brujah doubted that any of these people were idiots.

Vin felt somewhat reassured by this. If their hosts planned treachery then surely they would have tried to minimise the groups ability to defend themselves? They hadn't even checked the wooden box that Michael carried.

As they made their way up the staircase within the private entrance, Daniel kept careful note of any security precautions they passed. There were security cameras monitoring the stairs but he could see no other defences. As they passed the first floor, Daniel noted several triad gang members just inside the doorway from the two different gangs. He detected a slight tension. The Blood Dragons seemed less than happy about having to share their turf with these rivals, even if it was only short term.

The second floor was obviously residential in nature. Their destination was the third floor, the entrance to which was guarded by Han and Yuan Ling, Lyko Wu's childer and bodyguards.

"Kelvin Wee is waiting for you inside." said Han as he opened the door for them. His brother Yuan said nothing.

Scene Four - Kelvin Wee
Kelvin Wee - Ventrue
Camarilla Negotiator
Kelvin was sat behind a desk in a luxurious meeting room decorated with Chinese tapestries and paintings of considerable quality and age. He rose as they entered.

He stood just over six feet tall and was well built, but muscular not overweight. He was dressed in a tailored suit and seemed to place great emphasis on his physical appearance and public face.

Behind him stood a pair of guards with swords at their back, though appeared to be carrying no other weapons. Daniel noted that both were mortal, though like their escort, could have been ghouls. They stood like statues, the only movement came from their eyes which locked upon the coterie the moment they entered.

Those with supernatural senses scanned the room for any occult defences that might be in place. Though Vin lacked the ability to detect the occult supernaturally, he was experienced enough in it's practice to be able to detect the paraphernalia required for it's use. Neither he, nor Daniel, saw any indication of such. The only thing of interest noted by Daniel was that the room once had security camera's within but these had been removed. Quite recently in fact.

"A gift..." began Michael, placing the wooden container with the blood wine within upon the table and opened it reverently. Kelvin examined the bottle carefully. "One of Leanna's creations?" he asked, though Michael was sure he already knew the answer. Michael confirmed that he was correct.

"I don't believe in celebrating prematurely..." said Kelvin. "...but hopefully we can share a drink should this meeting conclude to both our satisfactions."

Vin and Daniel had mirrored the positions of Kelvin's guards. Mr Hertz stood to one side.

Kelvin indicated a seat opposite him at the table. "So what is it that you have come here to propose?" asked Kelvin.

Michael thanked the Camarilla representative for consenting to meet and then began.

"The current situation isn't ideal for either your side or mine. Los Angeles is in disarray and despite being an Anarch I much prefer order to chaos. If we cannot come to some form of accord then the situation will only get worse. Already there have been skirmishes between both of our forces. Masquerade breaches are becoming a daily occurrence and there is only so much I can do to cover these up. At this point it is more a matter of when the Second Inquisition return, not if, and if you think that their presence in Los Angeles would not spread to San Jose and then San Francisco then I fear you are being spectacularly optimistic."

The Young Bloods - Unbound Ghoul Gang
Michael detected a surprised reaction from Kelvin when Michael had indicated that it was he who had covered up the breaches of the Masquerade. As Kelvin said nothing, Michael took this as a sign that he should continue.

"The Second Inquisition are not the only vampire hunters we need to concern ourselves with. The Unbound ghouls who call themselves the Young Bloods have been operating in both my city and yours and I have evidence that they have done so at Vannevar's encouragement. I'm sure we are both aware that mortal hunters of kindred are a weapon that invariably turns upon the wielder..."

Kelvin paused for a moment before replying.

"If what you say is true then Vannevar's attack seems to contain several examples of extremely poor judgement. Though some might say that given historical failures in that area that any attack upon L.A. is an idea that might be best left as theoretical. Unfortunately that is a failure of Vannevar's that cannot be undone and we must deal with what is, not what retrospectively we would wish undone."

Vannevar Thomas - Ventrue
Camarilla Prince of San Francisco
All present could detect the scorn that entered Kelvin's voice whenever he mentioned the name Vannevar. That this negotiators personal agenda was not in line with that of the Prince of San Francisco was evident. Now Michael just needed to find out exactly what he did want. For now he decided to add another piece of information to the mix that could be used to further cast doubt on Vannevar's position.

"As a courtesy, I should also inform you that I have intelligence regarding a Sabbat incursion into this general area. An incursion that we would have dealt with had our resources not been diverted to prevent Prince Vannevar's vanity driven attempt upon the city. In short, while we fight amongst ourselves, the Sabbat wait and watch for the moment that we weaken ourselves sufficiently for them to take out both us and you."

Michael noticed that Kelvin showed no surprise at the mention of the Sabbat. Apparently he was aware of their designs upon this region of America. He did however seem to become more focussed whenever any mention of Vannevar was tied to a mistake or wider potential danger to the Camarilla.

Daniel noticed that the two guards behind Kelvin weren't as motionless as he first thought.

Their postures subtly changed in conjunction with Kelvin's moods. Tensing and relaxing as their master did. It was as if they had no personality of their own and were merely extensions of his will. Vin seemed to have also observed this as Daniel noted that his hand had slid to the handle of his weapon at one particular moment of tension.

Mr Hertz was a veteran of such negotiations and was observing the exchange with interest. In his opinion, Kelvin Wee's concerns were with his own political future. He had met such individuals in the Camarilla before. Their role was simply a stepping stone to the next, and they would happily step on anyone that got in their way. It seemed that Vannevar was, in Kelvin's eyes, just such an obstacle.

Sara Anne Winder - Ventrue
Ventrue Primogen of San Francisco
Hertz was also sure that Kelvin wasn't someone who led from the front. He saw himself as a power broker who would be repaid in favours by those he elevated. That meant that he had a replacement for Vannevar in mind. In his opinion the most likely candidate was Sara Winder, the current Ventrue Primogen of San Francisco.

Having decided that enough blame had been put upon Vannevar for now, he decided to change tack slightly. It was one thing for Kelvin to agree with him in order to undermine the Prince, but he still needed to see the strength of the Free States lest he support another with exactly the same goals. Broadly speaking, Michael would support a Camarilla takeover of Los Angeles, but with him at the top, not some upstart Ventrue with poor impulse control.

"I can understand why the Camarilla might desire the takeover of a city they once held, but surely they can see that historically this is no longer a viable option. Don Sebastian ruled by force and was destroyed. LaCroix attempted to impose his will on the city and was also destroyed. Understand that I am not making threats, I am simply pointing out that history has a habit of repeating itself. Even if you succeeded in the short term, this city would become a rallying point for every Anarch in America. Even a single surviving Anarch would draw others. Every night would be a battle to maintain your dominion, so much effort would be spent on keeping control that any resources you gained would be expended almost immediately. You would gain, nothing..."

Michael could tell that his argument mirrored Kelvin's own thoughts on the matter.

'The Camarilla'
"I merely negotiate on behalf of the Camarilla in order to facilitate the best outcome for my masters within the Inner Circle..." began Kelvin. " role is an advisory one. I can make recommendations but such a matter needs to be agreed by the significant powers within your own city and the Prince of San Francisco and his Primogen Council. If I arrange for these representatives to journey here for such a summit, can you guarantee both the presence of the necessary members of the Anarch Council and the safety of the Camarilla members whose presence is necessary to make such a summit's conclusions become implemented?"

Michael was reasonably sure that he could keep his side of the bargain as he had already been authorised by the council to do exactly that. He was also sure that Kelvin was vastly understating his level of influence. Michael concluded that Kelvin wished for Vannevar to be embarrassed in front of both his own Primogen council and the Anarchs.

"Who exactly would need to be present from San Francisco?" asked Michael, already sure he knew the answer.

As he had expected, Kelvin's list included himself, Vannevar Thomas and his Seneschal Suzanne Rochelle and the members of the Primogen Council. This meant that Luna Demian, Mirko Mirkonen, Kokopell Mana, and of course Sara Anne Winder would also be present. These last four were the Primogen representing the Tremere, Gangrel, Nosferatu and Ventrue respectively. Such important kindred would also have significant entourages for both protection and their personal needs.

"It would seem fitting that the Anarch representatives also number seven then." replied Michael. "I suggest myself, Isaac Abrams, Louis Fortier, Marius Walker, Gary Golden, Harvey Caplan and Gloria Martinez. Between them they represent the majority of the Anarchs opinions. Are we agreed?"

Kelvin agreed as Michael had presumed he would. The next question was where.

"I have a perfect location that should suit both sides." said Michael, with a smile. "I presume you are aware of the succubus Club?"

The latter part of the meeting dealt with some finer points and a guarantee of a cessation of hostilities on both sides. Now it just remained for Michael to convince the Anarchs of the benefits of such a summit.

"Shall we have that drink now?" suggested Kelvin.

Scene Five - Glaze
San Francisco at Night - Camarilla Domain
As Marius was already in Chinatown, he seemed like a convenient first kindred to meet to discuss the viability of what Michael had already agreed. Michael also wished to see what he knew of the Primogen that were now heading to the city. On the way, the coterie discussed what they had learned.

It was certain that Kelvin Wee's agenda for the future of San Francisco didn't include Vannevar. This meant that he had another candidate in mind. They would need to get more information from their allies and information sources, but by far the most likely option was the Ventrue Primogen, Sara Anne Winder.

Michael didn't really like dealing with Marius as he had unapologetically used and manipulated the coterie several times in the past. He was also aware that they had been initially sent to L.A. by the Camarilla which gave him some leverage over them, though he had never yet used the information against them, Michael still disliked the fact that the option was available to him.

Michael skimmed through the messages on his phone to find the door code to Club Glaze which changed periodically.

No sign or logo indicated that the double doors lead anywhere of importance. You either knew about the club or you didn't. Were someone, or weren't.

After entering the six digit code, the heavy-duty double-doors opened with a mechanical sound of bolts retracting. The long entrance corridor contained two security guards but they made no attempt to search the guests. Club Glaze was fairly exclusive and knowledge of the door code was considered sufficient to indicate that you were welcome.

The club itself had a large square bar in it's centre and four triangle shaped ones in the corners with the gaps between being dance-floor. There were some seats around the outside but Michael knew that the real areas of comfort were on the upper floor balcony accessed by a stairway flanked by security guards.

"I'm here to see Marius." stated Michael. "I presume he's expecting us..." The guards stepped aside without saying a word. "I thought so..." said Michael as he climbed the stairs, followed by Vin, Daniel and Mr Hertz.

Yukio - Bodyguard, Ghoul of Marius
Local celebrities mingled with the criminal elite of Chinatown on the upper balcony. One of the areas was cordoned off though Yukio's presence as security indicated that Marius was within. With a smile, Yukio opened the heavy curtain and the coterie entered.

Marius was sat in one corner, his arm around a pale looking young lady. Several other women, all young and beautiful were also spread around the various seats and tables within. Most had the languid look that indicated that they had been fed upon recently.

"Go have a dance, get yourselves a drink, I'll send for you when I need you again..." said Marius as he dismissed the herd of blood dolls.

Vin had stayed outside with Yukio. She had been the first of Marius's ghouls that he had met upon his arrival within the city and they still spoke occasionally. Their main topic of conversation was usually centred upon interesting ways to kill people, but they also shared information on security threats to their respective baronies. "Know anything worth sharing?" asked Vin. "You first..." replied Yukio

"You convinced Kelvin, then?" asked Marius though it was more statement then question. "The summit is on." replied Michael. "What do you know about Vannevar?" Marius's opinion of Vannevar was as low as the coterie expected.

Suzanne Rochelle - Toreador
Seneschal to Prince Vannevar Thomas
"Vannevar is an idiot, protected by political favours and friends in high places. If he had to handle a problem on his own he'd fuck it up ninety nine times out of a hundred. Most of those political friends are only his through Seneschal Suzanne Rochelle. What a kindred as beautiful, intelligent and resourceful as her is doing fucking that fool is a mystery to me..."

Michael got the impression that he liked Suzanne Rochelle, but considered her association with Vannevar as a weakness of character. He had noticed that Marius was susceptible to the charms of powerful, attractive or just interesting female kindred and tended to give them far more leeway in his dealings than he would normally be willing to do. His relationships with Vera Vignes, Therese and Jeanette Voerman and Velvet Velour to name but a few, led some credence to this theory. He was not sure yet how to use this information to his advantage but would give it some thought.

Mr Hertz then interjected. "One presumes that you are also familiar with the Gangrel Primogen, Mr Mirkonen?"

"Mirko's there in case anything goes to shit. He's only nominally a Camarilla supporter so many of our clan were surprised when he stayed after Xaviar declared the Gangrel to no longer be Camarilla. I think he was enjoying hunting the Kindred of the East too much too leave. The Parks of San Francisco are considered his. A few ill advised attempts by ambitious kindred were made to take them when he no longer had Clan support within the city, he destroyed them all of course. He's not flashy or fast, but can both deliver and withstand enormous damage. In modern parlance he's a tank."

San Gabriel Mountains - Night View

"Gustavo Morales will certainly be around somewhere if Mirko is. Both Morales and Mirkonen are just the kind of infantry you need when the situation degenerates into open warfare. I almost had them in the mountains but they'd riddled the area with traps. Slowed me down just enough for them to get away. Tricky bastards those pair..."

That Marius has a begrudging admiration for them was obvious as he seemed more amused than angry that they managed to get the drop on him with their boobytraps. Though all present doubted that his amusement would stop him destroying them if necessary.

"I have a lot to organise." said Michael. "So I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your evening..."

Having already been authorized by the Anarch Council to begin the negotiations, convincing them to cooperate with the suggested summit was a mere formality.

Interlude - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Isaac Abrams - Toreador
Baron of Hollywood and San Fernando
There will probably be more kindred in Hollywood tomorrow evening than have ever been in one place in the history of the Free States and that includes the Rants. It has been made clear to all the invited guests that refreshments will be provided at the meeting but that any 'snacks' required previous to that will need to be bought along by the kindred themselves. Fortunately kindred of such experience have no shortage of blood dolls and herds of their own and given the potential for breaches of the masquerade, all attendees have agreed.

Isaac has 'requested' that Marius and Louis provide sufficient security personnel to protect his domain from any external interference. Given the circumstances it was difficult for them to refuse, despite the potential to weaken their own baronies. In an unusual alliance between the usually antagonistic pair they have made it known that any attempt to take advantage of either of their domains will result in an 'equivalent response' from both of them.

The ceasefire has generally held though Vannevar's forces have lost two small bases in an attack which is being attributed to the Sabbat. Near to the second incident, a mass grave was discovered that matches the Sabbat's methodology of mass embraces. A number of individuals who failed to dig themselves out have been quietly put to Final Death, driven far too insane from their experience to be any use as information sources. A team of Marius's has handled the disposal, Louis Fortier footed the bill.

This mass site was just North of Baron Tomassio's domain which has caused Vin, Hope and Daniel some concerns.

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 is going to get interesting, very quickly...

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

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Michael Tomassio is represented by Matt Bomer, 'Vin' is Scott Adkins, Dr Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope is Deborah Ann Woll, Mr Hertz is Charles Dance, Dillan Fitzgerald is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lyko Wu is David E Collier, Marius Walker is Tony Curran, 'Dion' is Clark Gregg, Kesara Perez is Eiza Gonzalez, Nessa Perez is Summer Glau, Ria Perez is Amanda Tapping, Leanna is Leeanna Vamp, Zhou Meirong is Wing Mi, Kelvin Wee is Rich Ting, Vannevar Thomas is Bryan DeChart, Sara Anne Winder is Saoirse Ronan, Yukio is Jamie Chung, Suzanne Rochelle is Amelia Rose Blaire and Isaac Abrams is Gary Oldman.

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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