Friday 6 January 2023

Vampire the Masquerade - V5 - Session One Hundred and Twenty Three - 'Chronicle Five' (Introduction)

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 over four years of plotting, one of their number is now leader of the Anarch Council of the Free States and the rest have privileged places within the Anarch hierarchy.
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
Story Twenty Five - 'Personal Agendas' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Twenty Six - 'Strange Bedfellows' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive and Six
Story Twenty Seven - 'The Fiorenza Sanction' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Twenty Eight - 'Hunters Hunted' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Story Twenty Eight - 'Hunters Hunted' - Epilogue
Solo Session - 'The Salubri Tome'
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Part SixSevenEightNine and Ten
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Epilogue
Galerie Sanguine - 'San Francisco'
'Anarchs' -  ZeroOneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Five - 'Blood Cults of L.A.'

'The Cast' - Past and Present
This Sessions PC's are...
Michael Tomassio - Toreador, 'Baron of the North East'
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Sherlock'
Mr Hertz - Nosferatu, 'Accountant'
Vincent Ghast - Brujah, 'Constable of the North East'

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. Introductory pieces that I read to the group are in Blue. 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).

Storytellers Note - This session was effectively a 'Session Zero' for the next Chronicle to inform the players what had been happening in the city in the aftermath of the Lubbock incident.

Sir Matthew Lubbock - Toreador
With the increased powers granted him by the Anarch Council, Michael Tomassio has set about fixing the damage inflicted upon the Free States by the vengeful Toreador Methuselah, Sir Matthew Lubbock.

Lubbock's few remaining agents were hunted down by Marius's childer, even as Michael led the attack upon the Methuselah's stronghold. Their destruction was as thorough as one would expect from the brood of 'The Fixer' and no trace has been left of their presence. The likelihood that many were also diablerised has been quietly ignored, given the circumstances.

Similarly, Michaels charismatic presence and personal leadership of the counterassault on Lubbock's fortress, had Nines and his followers so eager to purge their city of this foe that there were no survivors amongst their enemies once they had finished. Michael has expressed his regret at the wholesale slaughter, but nonetheless understood the strong feelings of the Anarchs who followed him back into the mansion and has therefore not admonished any involved for their zeal.

Only one of Lubbock's agents was unaccounted for. The mysterious individual, known only as 'Verus', who had escorted Michael to his meeting with Lubbock had not been found amongst the destroyed. Perhaps he was now no more than dust, though none amongst the attackers remember being involved in their destruction, and none of Marius's childer have claimed the kill at the locations of their own purges of Lubbock's agents.

'Verus' - Clan Unknown
The Last of Lubbock's Agents
Michael had very little information about this ‘Verus’ who guided him to his meeting with Sir Matthew Lubbock. The coterie did however have a portrait of him painted by Michael that gave them a good idea of his facial appearance. The only other information that Michael could provide was that his accent was English, though he also detected a hint of an Italian. It’s possible he was of Italian origin but had spent significant time in the United Kingdom.

As for his physical appearance, he was about 5’8”, athletically built and walked with "...military bearing..."

Zipper and Eric had also drawn a blank. Facial recognition had failed to pick up anyone who looked like Michael’s painting anywhere in L.A. either before or after the battle. Traffic cameras had drawn a blank too. In Eric's words "Either this fucker was destroyed or he’s the sneakiest bastard ever, cuz we can’t find him…"

Those of Marius’s brood that they had managed to speak to had given them other pieces of information gained while infiltrating Lubbock's organisation. The accuracy of these was questionable, but it’s all they had. The fact that some of these pieces of information were contradictory was also somewhat unhelpful.

"Sir Matthew Lubbock bought him to L.A. from somewhere in Tunisia"
"Lubbock loaned him from some Gehenna Cult of ancestor worshippers"
He previously worked for another ancient whose service he left after they "Disappeared during World War II"
This other ancient might have been his sire.
"He was definitely Ventrue…"
"He was Toreador, of that I’m sure…"
"Brujah…must have been…"
He was said to have seen "Two millennia of warfare…"
"Sometimes he used old words for tactics. Latin? Some old shit like that…"

All things considered, it wasn't a lot to go on.

The Changing Face of the Free States
Nines has compared Michaels attack to the purging of the Camarilla Prince Don Sebastian by Salvador Garcia, an act which led directly to the creation of the Free States.

Though Salvador Garcia's followers have been less than happy with the comparison, Nines has also stated that despite all his power and influence, Don Sebastian was no Methuselah and therefore Michaels willingness to sacrifice himself was, if anything, even more worthy of praise. Amongst the more philosophical Brujah this is the current 'hot' debate and has split the cities Brujah more or less down the middle, with Nines and Damsel's supporters on one side, and Garcia's on the other.

Ammaarah Weaver - Tzimisce
Hollywood Fleshcrafter
Those individuals with appearances altered to serve Sir Matthew Lubbocks 'needs' have had their appearances restored by Ammaarah Weaver, a Tzimisce who was allegedly once part of the Sabbat, who is currently under Isaac Abrams protection and Victoria, Marias's most favoured ghoul. 

The recovered children have had their memories subtly altered in order to remove both the trauma and anything that might indicate the presence of kindred. Those whose homes can be traced have been returned with plausible cover stories, those who could not have unfortunately had to be placed in care.

Though their elimination had been suggested by some, Michael has spoken against this course of action, and the kindred involved have chosen to take his lead.

"If we were to casually dispose of these victims of Matthew Lubbock, then we become no better than he himself. Are we not meant to be better than the Camarilla? Kindred who fight for what is right, not dictated to by the whims of ancient monsters?"

Christopher Houghton has quietly faded into the background once more and is rumoured to be under Isaac's care. The Baron of Hollywood has also made it clear that the fate of Christopher is no-one's concern but his and that he will take any interference in this matter, very personally indeed. 

Christopher Houghton - Toreador
Presumed to be in Torpor
Inexplicably, the memory of Christopher's presence is fading far more rapidly from the minds of those involved than the passing of time can logically account for and many are even having trouble recalling his name. Michael however is quite unaffected...

Salvador Garcia's presence within the city has created some issues with the balance of power as with two of his three surviving childer also with their own Baronies, he effectively has three votes on the Council. However his takeover of the former Crypts Sons domain has not gone as smoothly as he would have liked which has lessoned the impact of this advantage.

Before his arrival, several other Barons pushed their boundaries into this territory and have been reluctant to give up the feeding grounds that they claimed. Barons Harvey Caplan and Louis Fortier as well as the Lasombra of 'The Shades, led by 'Priss', have all made inroads which they are refusing to surrender. Though Garcia holds the central portion of this domain, and it's Eastern border is mostly secure being adjacent to the Barony of Gloria Martinez, he has still lost considerable potential feeding grounds. Even some of his Eastern flank has been eroded as the newly independent group known as 'The Liberated' have pushed against the line that was traditionally considered their border.

Though confrontations between the Baronies forces have been minimal, it is only a matter of time before a Final Death occurs and plunges the area into a full scale war. Michael's careful diplomacy is currently keeping a lid on this but most consider it merely a matter of time before this is no longer sufficient.

The Thirteen Baronies of L.A.
Baron Fortier - West L.A.
Catherine Dubois's fall from favour has equalled the playing field between Baron Fortier's three Mistresses for the first time in decades.

Catherine is attempting to regain her place at her sires side, but Elena and Mariel are doing everything in their power to elevate themselves in Louis's eyes. Fortier has made it clear to them that he will not tolerate acts of sabotage that impact upon his Barony, but outside of that broad prohibition has made no other edicts.

Fortier seems to be keeping neutral and also appears to be enjoying his childer and adopted childe's newfound motivations. He has divided his domain roughly into three and has granted each of his mistresses the authority to act in his name within these defined areas. As long as their efforts keep expanding the power and resources of West L.A. he seems content to let them fight it out while reaping the benefits.

Louis Fortier - Ventrue
Baron of West L.A.
The one area in which he still takes sole responsibility is the defence of his expanded Western border against the attempts by Garcia's forces to retake it.

Fortier's skills as a battlefield commander are second to very few, and he has pre-empted every attempt by Salvador Garcia to reclaim ground.


*Mr Hertz*
Hertz has also been looking into the business ventures of other kindred Barons within L.A. He has shared certain conclusions about some of them.

Though Fortier has indeed split his territory in three, the split isn't exactly equal, and is partially based on interests that Catherine and the others already controlled. It is his opinion that eventually Mariel and Elena would need to ally, in order to gain any meaningful victory over Catherine, in the absence of any external influences that is...

Baron Abrams - Hollywood
Isaac Abrams - Toreador
Baron of Hollywood
His name cleared by Michael Tomassio, Isaac Abrams has rebuilt his Hollywood interests to far beyond their previous levels. Having inherited a portion of the financial resources that Matthew Lubbock had put into taking Isaac's empire for himself he has begun an aggressive expansion into new technologies like never before, his passion for the movie world seemingly rekindled.

Though the Ventrue power broker Fiorenza Savona seized the majority of Lubbock's assets, those already invested in Isaac's empire and others were beyond her reach.

Isaac has also allowed several kindred of the Hecate to reside within his domain, and they have based themselves at the former Giovanni mansion stronghold, which they have begun to rebuild.

The head of this group is one Zane Giovanni, though at least four other Hecate also reside within the mansion. So far they have kept their activities within the confines of their own stronghold so little is known of their motivations or activities.

*Mr Hertz*
The media industry is basically off-limits now, not that Hertz cared much for it anyway. Karen and Isaac are actively cooperating in business ventures now, whereas it seems that Marius's only involvement is financial, though the numbers involved are considerable, it isn't 'hands-on'. Marius's focus seems to currently be on logistics and construction.

Hertz has also used his familiarity with Fiorenza to make some subtle enquiries into the scope of her newly acquired assets. He has discovered that there was somewhat of a scramble by interested parties and associates of Lubbock, to grab what they could of his vast, though unfocussed wealth. Fiorenza has retained the majority of the resources that she was in the process of converting to more easily negotiable means, though much of the rest was out of her reach. Without Lubbocks looming presence as a driving force, the money invested in attempts to take over the businesses of the kindred powers within L.A. has, somewhat ironically , ended up in the hands of the very businessmen he was trying to undermine. This has certainly assisted Baron Fortier, as well as Isaac, and possibly Marius too.

Baron Anatos - Burbank
Karen Anatos - Gangrel
Baron of Burbank
Isaac has recently met with Baron Anatos of Burbank, herself a multi-media mogul, to discuss cooperating, rather than competing with one another.

The two ageless icons of cinema have discovered that they have much in common and this business relationship shows all the sign of going from strength to strength. With Karen Anatos already cooperating with Marius on similar ventures this makes the media empires of L.A. pretty much insurmountable by any other interested entities.

Karen Anatos has recently been acting as host for the Waelkyrige, or simply Valkyries, a group of female Gangrel. The leader of the Waelkyrige is an ancient Gangrel named Brunhilde, who is also rumoured to be the sire of Karen Anatos. Though Brunhilde is apparently not present, she is certain to be aware of the Valkyries visit.

These four visitors have created quite an impression with the local Anarchs, tall, blonde and dressed to kill in the latest European Anarch fashions as they are. They are finding California much to their liking, and are having little trouble gathering a group of men and women (and vampires) interested in the old Viking ways.

*Mr Hertz*
It is Hertz's opinion that Karen Anatos's next logical move is to take over or create a social media platform. He only mentions it as, in his opinion, that might be something that you might want to put her off due to the profound potential risks to the Masquerade. Though Isaac's influence might be a mitigating factor.

Baron Gary Golden - The Warrens
Gary Golden - Nosferatu
Baron of the Warrens
'Gorgeous' Gary Golden has taken on the title of Baron and has formally claimed the Warrens below the city as his domain and though primarily based beneath Hollywood, he has expanded his influence considerably in every direction. Most of the Barons have let this slide as they care little for what goes on below their domains.

Barons Garcia, Maller and Martinez have all made attempts to minimise any encroachment but the war to hold onto the Crypts Sons turf has left all but Allison with minimal resources to spare.

As has become her usual approach to problems in the last six months, Allison has simply laid out her terms for a peaceful outcome, and the consequences should her terms not be met. Gary Golden is apparently currently pondering Allison's terms, though what these are is known only to Allison and Gary.

The Warrens below the Barony of the Angels, created by Marius for Nosferatu who wish to avoid pledging themselves to a specific Baron or Gang, have kept their neutrality, enforced as it is by 'The Swarm'. Though many saw the forces of the so-called 'mistress of the swarm' as an effective deterrent to any expansion by Gary Golden, they have seemingly come to some kind of arrangement.

Tilly Kelly - Gangrel
'Mistress of the Swarm'
Quite how each of the three Gangrel factions who serve the Swarm Mistress, and the Nosferatu of the Warrens know where each's influence ends is known only to them. These borders do however seem to be well defined, and honoured. For now at least. The areas kept clear for the werewolf Tribes below Downtown known as The Bone Gnawers and The Uktena are also avoided. Their territories were clarified long ago by Marius and he has shown no sign of wishing these terms altered. Regardless of agreements, they are quite capable of defending themselves and are therefore given a wide berth by the kindred of The Warrens.

Alonzo, who resides in the most ancient section of the Hollywood Warrens is in theory under Gary, but is effectively independent.

*Mr Hertz*
As far as Hertz can see, Gary's has no source of income outside of whatever tribute the beggars and dregs below the city pay to him. His primary weapon is blackmail, which he uses to influence mortal institutions, though there is a limit to the scope of this. Financially, Mr Hertz doesn't consider Gary as a threat or rival, as long as you don't let him get hold of anything he can use against you...

The Barony of the Angels
Marius hasn't attended a Council meeting since stepping down as Co-Warleader of the Anarch Council. Instead, the principle faction leaders within the Barony have been taking it in turns to take his chair, allegedly with Marius's blessing. None of the other Barons have complained...probably because they see Marius's absence as a blessing rather than a curse...

These 'leaders' have also began to have meetings between themselves, presumably so as whichever represents them at the Anarch Council can speak for them all. This 'Downtown Council' in theory consists of seven kindred though for practical purposes this number is five. 

These are Lyko Wu of Chinatown, Vanessa Rubeus, Regent of the Consolidated Chantry, Priss of 'The Shades', Nines Rodriguez of Skid Row and Quinn, eldest childe of the Mistress of the Swarm who enforces the neutrality of the areas 'Warrens'. A seat is left available at these gatherings for 'The Nameless One' who rules Koreatown, but he has never yet made an appearance and 'Mary' of the Bahari, who has also shown no interest in joining any of these gatherings. Nonetheless, as a courtesy, their seats are kept available.

'The Nameless One' and 'Mary', Potential Downtown Council Members

‘Nannie’ Gray, a recent addition to Priss's forces has been frequently seen in Hollywood with members of the Giovanni family who have reclaimed their former base of operations there. It now seems likely now that she was supporting Priss as a hired mercenary and has now changed employer. As her loyalties were always to the Hecate, this has surprised few.

Quinn - Gangrel
The Downtown Warrens
Nines Rodriguez took Marius's seat first, followed by Lyko Wu, Priss, Vanessa Rubeus, then Quinn before rotating back to Nines. At his most recent appearance Nines has insisted on the reinstating of the 'Rants' in order to ensure that the Anarchs of the city can still have their say and to prevent the Council becoming isolated from the kindred they are meant to represent. It was difficult to refuse such a request without confirming the very thing that Nines was subtly accusing the Barons of.

A suitable location is currently being sought out, and security considerations are under discussion. The Barons have collectively decided that as this is a matter that potentially could effect any of their domains and is primarily a matter of scouting a location and organising security that this is a job for the Arbiters own investigator, Daniel.
Mr Hertz has no doubt that the Barony of the Angels is still effectively a Downtown ruled by Marius or one of his proxies, in practical terms at least, as all the powers within pay tribute to him in some way. His own base of operations, whether he's resident there or not, is still slap bang in the middle and he has shown exactly zero signs of relinquishing his grip on any of them. Though 'The Fixer' may be gone from L.A. the majority of the time, his organisation still has considerable power that they can wield in his name. If anything, his control is increasing, not diminishing.

The Wilds
Myranda Maria - Gangrel
Baron of The Wilds
The area within the mountains identified as a possible Sabbat base has been found abandoned.

The hung, drawn, quartered and decapitated body of a kindred thought to be Sebastian Bradley, the Caitiff that the Anarchs hoped would lead them to the Sabbat was found at the mine entrance. presumably having been 'reward' for his mistakes. The area had been heavily booby-trapped but fortunately this resulted in only a few superficial injuries to the investigators. The skilled trackers of 'The Circle', found most of these devices and only a few overzealous Gangrel who surged ahead triggered any. Fortunately the unnatural resistance of the Gangrel Clan saved these unfortunates from Final Death.

The corpses of many missing persons including campers, park officials, sex workers, transients, migrant workers and other victims had been discovered. Their drained bodies were left in such states of mutilation and degradation that even some of the most hardened Gangrel who found them were sickened by the sight. Many had been staged in obscene scenes, presumably for the Sabbat's amusement. Some mass graves were also located and those 'shovelheads' who had failed to dig themselves out were cleansed along with the rest of the evidence of kindred activity.

Subsequently, The Wilds Pack have expanded their domain to encompass the San Gabriel Mountains and have declared it as their own. Given that the area has little in the way of resources, no-one has disputed the claim and several Gangrel Packs have been given large tracts as feeding grounds on the condition that they also defend them. This also effectively makes them responsible for protecting Los Angeles from incursions from the Camarilla who now control San Jose.

The San Gabriel Mountains at Night

The Pack's experiences during the expulsion of Lubbock's forces from their territory has bought a return to their militant attitude about respecting their borders and they have become, if such a thing was possible, even more aggressive in their dealings with outsiders. Myranda has informed all the Free States Anarchs, via their Barons, that they have been granted free passage through the expanded domain of the San Gabriel Mountains as long as they stick to the main roads and paths and avoid careless feeding. However, should they stray from the paths then they are to be considered intruders and will be dealt with accordingly.

Tabatha Meyer - Brujah
Seneschal to Baron Myranda Maria
She has neither confirmed, nor denied, her packs involvement in a number of disappearances involving kindred travelling to and from San Jose. Invariably her response is something along the lines of "...If they stayed on the path they would have been safe..."

There has been considerable movement between the 'temple' of Downtowns Bahari, and The Wilds, This has been via Gloria Martinez's Barony, this being the shortest route between the two areas. Specifically via The Pamona Freeway, or California State Route 60. You have discovered, via Allison, that this has been agreed with Baron Martinez as long as no detours are taken.
*Mr Hertz*
Mr Hertz has already ensured that any routes you may wish to use through The San Gabriel Mountains have been pre-approved and confirmed in order to prevent any misunderstandings, as what exactly is a 'main road or path' is somewhat open to interpretation. His meeting was with Tabatha Meyer, a Brujah and former leader of the Covina Barony. She is now the primary contact for anyone wishing dealings with The Wilds.

The Liberated
Amara Martins - Duskborn
Baron of 'The Liberated'
True to his agreement during an Anarch Council meeting, Marius had made available several Duskborn experts in the field of Alchemy to ensure the Liberated were better prepared against their then Camarilla and Sabbat enemies and apparently hadn't rescinded this edict before vacating the city. Despite the current absence of these threats, Leanna still occasionally visits this domain to teach useful skills and methodologies to those with the innate talents necessary to utilise them, though the exact terms of this arrangement are unknown outside of Amara's closest advisors.

Meanwhile, the Duskborn and Caitiff of 'The Liberated' have severed many of their ties to Gloria Martinez and Allison Maller stating their desire to 'forge their own path'. Some within now talk of Amara Martins as the spiritual successor to Jenna Cross, though Amara herself is careful to publicly distance herself from such comparisons, behind closed doors it is rumoured that the reality is much different.

This has had the knock-on effect of making the other Baronies reluctant to accept Duskborn or Caitiff residents in case they are 'spies' for Amara and the Liberated, which has in turn increased The Liberated's desire for complete independence as their membership increases.

Baron Allison Maller is attempting to soften this attitude as she is apparently concerned about 'The Liberated' having only one regular outside contact, and that being an agent of Marius. It is also known that several prominent duskborn were, and may still be, in 'The Fixers' debt. She has therefore been unusually generous with support and is the only Baron with which The Liberated willingly meet, outside of Council meetings.

*Mr Hertz*
Mr Hertz has no idea whatsoever what is going on in this area, but has noted that any day-drinkers among Amara's people would give her a considerable advantage in business that need watching during the day.
Daniel is equally in the dark about activities within the Liberated's territory as they seem to have no primary base of operations to investigate. Like Hertz he also likely has concerns about Amara's access to Day-Drinkers...but for very different reasons...

Harvey Caplan - The South Coast
Harvey Caplan - Ventrue
Baron of the South Coast
Harvey has increased the prices of his dockyard services to kindred by a considerable margin citing increases to his own costs in the areas of security and logistics.

His business relationship with Marius has also soured, possibly as Baron Walker recruited The Water Rats as an 'Oratory' pack within a few nights of Harvey evicting them from the South Coast for what he believed to be an unforgiveable act of betrayal. Though most agree that he had every right to punish them in some way, the fact that recent events portray the gangs actions as understandable, even necessary given the circumstances, has some of the cities kindred believing that Baron Caplan overreacted.

Regardless of this, Marius has moved the majority of his port logistics and shipping assets to The Port of Hueneme, to the West of Simi Valley and Santa Clarita, both of which are protectorates under The Downtown Barons protection. How much control he has over the port is debatable, given the strong military presence there, but it could be considerable considering it's proximity to areas nominally under his influence.

Vinicius's 'Hunters' have also moved many of their operations to Hueneme which has further impacted upon Harvey's defensive capabilities, which he has now had to compensate for from his own resources. Harvey is blaming Marius for the circumstances resulting in his price increases, while Marius agents insist that their operations didn't relocate until after the price hike, and did so because of it.

The Port of Hueneme at Night
*Mr Hertz*
Harvey Caplan has definitely taken a hit in terms of manpower and resources, and Mr Hertz is of the opinion that the timing of both Baron's Walker and Voerman's partial withdrawal from using the Port of L.A. smacks of a coordinated effort to weaken the South Coast.

What they would gain isn't immediately apparent to him outside of the mundane economic benefits of breaking Harvey's monopoly. The Port of L.A. is still much more convenient and Hertz doesn't like the idea of disrupting his 'imports' by changing supply routes. His advice has been to pass any extra costs onto the end user and just pay Harvey's inflated prices...for now...

The Port of Hueneme
The port of Hueneme is the only deep water harbour between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area and is the U.S. Port of Entry for California's central coast region.

It serves International businesses and ocean carriers from the Pacific Rim and Europe. The Port of Hueneme ranks among the top seaports in California for general cargo throughput. The niche markets that Hueneme serves include: the import and export of automobiles, fresh fruit and produce. Its unique positioning near the Santa Barbara Channel has also made the Port of Hueneme the primary support facility for the offshore oil industry.

Gata, 'The Cat Lady' - Gangrel
The Port of Hueneme
As an official port of entry into the United States and being adjacent to a Navy Base, the facility maintains a high level of security including monitoring those entering and leaving the port complex.

Aegis's expanded logistics division has been heavily investing in container ships of various sizes and has began to build several support facilities within the area. This investment has been welcomed by local authorities as when complete these facilities will bring close to six thousand new jobs to the area.

*Mr Hertz*
*A news story about the area caught Mr Hertz's attention.*
A volunteer group has special permission to feed feral cats that take care of rats at the port. The group manages the cat population to keep it at about 250 and feeds them three times a week at different locations around the port property. Once a month, volunteers trap cats that are new to the colony, take them to a 'spay and neuter clinic' to be sterilized, given shots to prevent feline diseases, and get their right ears clipped so they can be identified. The cats are then returned to where they were found and allowed to live out their lives.

Hertz suspects that this is an attempt to remove one of the primary kindred methods of spying on the domains of others, namely vermin.

Gloria Martinez - Whittier, 'The Sisterhood'
Baron Martinez has started to refer to 'El Hermandad' as Whittier once more, though most kindred are calling the domain 'The Sisterhood' and Garcia's, 'The Brotherhood'. The fact that the majority of the kindred within Gloria's domain are male, has seemingly made no difference to the rest of L.A.

Of Garcia's two childer in the Free States she is the biggest supporter of her sire in the areas of both manpower and supplies. 

*Mr Hertz*
Hertz analysis of the situation is that as long as a supply route exists between Gloria and Garcia that the war could go on indefinitely, though Gloria is likely to need Allison's help if she wishes to continue funnelling weapons and the like to Garcia. Even in the USA one needs to take care when transporting weapons, especially illegal ones, and to do so is not cheap.

Allison Maller - Anaheim
Allison Maller - Brujah
Baron of Anaheim
Allison has, now that there are no external threats to her domain to consider, after three long years finally taken total control of all assets formally belonging to her destroyed rivals Tom Weaver and 'Amethyst'. She has also successfully completed a number of projects that her rivals had began but that their Final Deaths meant they had failed to complete. Allison now has money and resources far in excess of her needs and is now, arguably the most powerful of Garcia's brood, in economic terms at least.

Despite this her support for her sire Garcia has been mainly political in nature as she seems less willing than Gloria to antagonise the four Baronies currently in conflict with The Brotherhood, especially as she shares a considerable border with Harvey Caplan, Baron of the South Coast. It seems that now she has had a taste of peace and stability she has no desire to become engaged in yet another war of attrition. Especially considering how close she came to defeat during previous similar conflicts.

Some unconfirmed rumours that Allison has met with Harvey at their domains border at least twice are being spoken of by the two domains sweepers. It is possible that a non-interference agreement is being discussed, though this may be completely unfounded rumourmongering.

That she would join her sister and sire in battle should outright war break out is not in doubt. Though it is likely that she would do so reluctantly given her past experiences.

*Mr Hertz*
Hertz has informed you that he has approached Allison to offer his financial assistance in properly utilising her newfound wealth. She is currently considering his offer but it is the Nosferatu's opinion that the answer will eventually be no.

Salvador Garcia - El Hermandad (The Brotherhood)
Salvador Garcia is currently holding the central portion of the former Crypts Sons domain with minimal effort, though regaining control of the outer reaches of it has proven difficult. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, Garcia seems to be enjoying himself considerably.

Though a diplomatic solution may yet be possible, the kindred involved are only likely to consider it if they believe it is the only path to victory or survival and that moment is still a long way away. Garcia's forces are all battle-hardened, experienced, guerrilla fighters to whom conflicts like this are second nature.

Valeria - Brujah
Childe of Salvador Garcia
He has also been joined by his eldest childe Valeria.

Valeria is an Iconoclast of Italian origin, and a prominent figure of the Anarch Movement in Southern Europe.

As of the turn of the millennium, she was resident in Marseilles, but has moved to Los Angeles to support Garcia believing that the future of the Free States should be in the hands of Salvador Garcia and not those who follow watered down versions of his doctrines. 

She apparently finds the idea of an Anarch Council intriguing but has her doubts about whether it's the best way forward for the Free States...

Her own followers are trickling into the city via various methods, and such reinforcements may be indictive of a planned 'push' by Garcia to reclaim lost territory.

*Mr Hertz*
Hertz is actively avoiding poking his nose into a warzone involving seven different Barons and has advised Michael to defer such investigations to Daniel if he really wants to know.

Therese Voerman - Santa Monica
As usual, the upheavals that effect the rest of the city have seemingly bypassed Santa Monica entirely and the business interests of Baron Voerman have continued as if nothing happened. She, like Marius, is spending an increasing amount of time outside of Los Angeles and so is less concerned about anything that doesn't specifically impact upon their own domain.

It is worth noting however that some of her business interests have began to appear in the Santa Monica Mountains area, a part of the city that up until recently was considered a no-go area due to the presence of the Black Furies Lupine Tribe. Specifically she has started using routes through it to transport goods to the The port of Hueneme where she has recently opened a warehouse from which to ship items to her various 'Asylum' club franchises.

The Asylum - Santa Monica
This is another blow to Harvey Caplan's monopoly on kindred port activities as Therese's Asylum clubs give her access to tremendous amounts of cash, much of which is now being invested elsewhere.

Therese has allowed Daniel unrestricted access to Santa Monica if he is visiting Chick, though still expects to be informed if he's doing anything else there. The Barons may have decided 'officially' that the Arbiters 'Sherlock' may go where he wishes, but the political reality is somewhat different.
Chick has offered to teach you a ritual known as 'One with the Blade' whenever you are ready, she has also been teaching you much of the lore of the Banu Haqim.

Chick was as good as her word and Daniel has learned a great deal of Banu Haqim lore from her over the last few months
*Mr Hertz*
Therese's businesses are, much to Hertz's surprise and as far as he can tell, completely legitimate and are funded by the vast amounts of cash that flows through her Asylum franchises. She has expanded into other areas of the hospitality industry such as hotels and high class rented accommodations.

The North East
The kindred of L.A. are now routinely referring to Pasadena and Glendale as a single entity, namely the North East Barony and consider San Fernando to be a protectorate of it. Though technically speaking the area is part of Hollywood, very few Anarchs now see it that way, particularly as Baron Abrams routinely leaves any decisions regarding it's inhabitants to Baron Michael Tomassio. This state of affairs suits the Brujah Idealists perfectly as Michael is seen as a far more progressive kindred than Isaac and considerably less demanding of his subjects.

Vin has already began to make moves on the areas sex trade and Mr Hertz has also relocated some of the Apostles across the border to look for 'business opportunities'.

Monique Kim - Toreador
Chinatown Madam
*Mr Hertz*
Hertz has some concerns about Vin's associates in the cities sex trade as he seems to be more and more intertwined with the organisations of 'The Blossoms' in Downtown and Monique 'Creamy Jade' Kim in Chinatown.

The Galerie Sanguine
The first franchises of the Galerie Sanguine have launched with moderate success in all locations. Cai Arias who is currently managing the Hollywood branch has turned out to be surprisingly good at picking up on new trends in order to get ahead of the curve. Success has yet to go to his head but it's probably only a matter of time.

The San Francisco branch is also going well, with only some minor initial drama to complicate matters. Fortunately this bit of notoriety has actually helped as the Camarilla of that city were apparently in the mood for something to break the monotony. The Harpies, and the new Keeper of Elysium, have been most supportive of the kindred artists utilising the gallery. As these are the vampires who decide what's 'in' and 'out', Art has become the new benchmark for style and status, with fashion trends still being important, but being pushed somewhat into second place. For now at least.

Tara Kearney - Brujah
Baron of San Diego
The other two new branches in Chicago and San Diego are also doing well, though are experiencing some minor difficulties as avoiding kindred politics within these two cities is impossible. San Diego's issues are mainly in the area of avoiding the attention and ire of the increasingly mercurial Baron Tara Kearney who seems to distrust everyone with equal measure and is the sole individual of power and influence worth mentioning.

Chicago on the other hand has too many active factions for one to remain neutral without making everyone your enemy. Unfortunately sides have to be picked and each decision comes with it's own consequences. It is only a matter of time before those responsible for the gallery will have to pick their allies and by default gain their enemies...

Michael's Cult
Michael's inherited blood cult has shown no signs of fading in it's dedication to him. Unravelling their implanted directives and altered memories has proven to be impossible, implanted as they were by an ancient with abilities far beyond any possessed by the Anarchs of Los Angeles.

Nine survived the purge of Lubbocks followers and the subsequent return by Michael to the mansion, and these have been recruiting others, though have been relatively subtle in doing so. The group now numbers twenty and it is rare to find less than half near whichever of the coteries interests Michael is currently utilising. Their 'leader' if they can be called that, was heavily wounded in their assault of Lubbock's childe, and it seems that the others see this, in some strange way, as a sign of this individuals devotion. In the absence of any orders from Michael, it is Alma who directs their recruitment activities, confined to a wheel chair as she is, recruits are bought to her for assessment. What happens to failed candidates would need some looking into, but it's likely that Michael doesn't really want to know.

Getting rid of them would seem to be impossible without ending their lives, and there are now enough of them that something needs to be done with them. But what?


Storytellers Conclusions
I sometimes 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....

That should be enough plotlines to keep them going for a while...and Cults have barely even been mentioned...yet...

Song Lyrics
Also, The quote in the header is from the following song on the off-chance any-one is interested...


Further Acknowledgements
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 Matt Bomer, Dr Daniel Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Mr Hertz is Charles Dance, Sir Matthew Lubbock was Michael Douglas, 'Verus' is Armand Assante, 
Armando 'Nines' Rodrigues is Luis Carazo, Ammaarah Weaver is Stefani Germanotta, Catherine DuBois is Margot Robbie, Elena Gutierrez is Emmanuelle Vaugier, Mariel St John is Kate Moss, Louis Fortier is Eduardo Verastegui, Isaac Abrams is Gary Oldman, Fiorenza Savona is Jamie Lee Curtis, Karen Anatos is Christina Hendricks, Gary Golden artwork by Vetarmora, Tilly Kelly is Anna Paquin, Marius Walker is Tony Curran, Lyko Wu is David E Collier, Vanessa Rubeus is Leila Lunatic, 'Priss' is Sofia Boutella, 'The Nameless One' is Gary J. Tunnicliffe, Quinn is Oliver Parker, Myranda Maria is Shannyn Visceral, Tabatha Meyer is Michelle Rodriguez, Amara Martins is Indira Varma, Harvey Caplan is Harvey Keitel, Gata 'The Cat Lady' is Angela Molina, Gloria Martinez is Ariadne Artiles, Allison Maller is Chloe Grace Moretz, Salvador Gracia is Antonio Banderas, Valeria is Elsa Pataky, The Voerman sisters are Whitney Moore and Whitney Moore, The Blossoms are Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs, Monique Kim is Viann Zhang Xinyu and Tara Kearney is Melissa Rauch.

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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