Friday 24 February 2023

Vampire the Masquerade - V5 - Session One Hundred and Twenty Eight - 'A Plague of Blood' (Part Five)

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.'
Story Thirty - 'A Plague of Blood' - Part OneTwoThree and Four

'The Cast' - Past and Present
This Sessions PC's are...
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Sherlock'
Hope Romero - Gangrel, 'Census Taker'
Mr Hertz - Nosferatu, 'Accountant'

The Storyteller
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: Drug Use, Sex Trade
Other Possible Triggers: Blood, Disease (Plague)

Hope and Daniel have defeated one of the kindred responsible for spreading the new plague around the city. Though they were too late to save the apparently unwitting mortal allies of these kindred, much of what they have discovered has led them to believe that they probably weren't saving.

They have retrieved many boxes of files, and the corpse of the kindred plaguebearer they destroyed, and now they intend to investigate the rest of the warehouse.

Scene Twenty One - Supply and Demand
The Amateur Movie Set and it's Aftermath
Someone had set up an improvised film studio in the back of the warehouse. 

Digital film cameras were mounted on tripods pointing at several beds soiled with blood and other fluids. Shackles, ropes and other medieval looking restraints were on a nearby shelf. A nearby office had been converted into a basic but adequate area for editing the resulting productions.

The area also contained equipment for copying DVD's as well as electronic storage devices. Master copies of many of the films line a shelf along one wall, sorted alphabetically by the names of their 'stars'. A catalogue of lives destroyed by greed, lust and a complete indifference to the fate of their victims.

It seemed certain to Hope and Daniel that had the mortals survived, they would probably have executed them themselves anyway.

Various Drug Paraphernalia
Drug paraphernalia similar to that found in 'Dreads' warehouse was also present, presumably to keep the victims of this foul trade compliant during 'filming'. It was also likely the place where the woman in the film viewed by Daniel, earlier in their investigation, had died.

Piled up nearby were several canisters of gasoline, oily rags, lighter fluid and other tools of the amateur arsonist. It seemed likely that 'Dreads' death had spooked his fellow smugglers and they sought to destroy the evidence of their connection to him.

A quick look at the files and documents discovered clearly showed that there was far too much information to search through quickly. Extracting what they needed to know would take some time.

However, even to a casual observer the files contained enough evidence of people trafficking, and drug dealing, to guarantee a conviction for even the most incompetent prosecutor. Unfortunately those who had most to fear were now dead. Not to mention the small matter of the inevitable connections to kindred that their reveal would bring.

Brother Pestilent - Nosferatu Plaguebearer
Hope had another problem.

The battle with their enemy, who had called himself 'Brother Pestilent', had forced her to draw considerable amounts of vitae from her system, and she could feel the Beasts whispers within become louder. The merest provocation might be enough to drive her into frenzy, and the only target near enough to satiate her thirst was sure to be Daniel.

To complicate matters Hope gained next to no sustenance from mortal blood, instead requiring kindred vitae. She had minimised this problem by recruiting a duskborn alchemist who could 'thicken' the vitae of other duskborn sufficiently to sate her hunger. A small number of kindred volunteers donated their vitae in return for a haven, and Hope's protection. The arrangement suited all concerned, but unfortunately they were based back in Pasadena, and that was a long way away. Despite the dangers that came with talking about kindred matters on a mobile phone network, for the Second Inquisition watched for such things, she had little choice.

"Rosalind? I'm in trouble, I need you to work your magic on some blood and do it quickly. Then meet me somewhere neutral. Probably the Barony of the Angels. Can you do it?""

Rosalind Perkins - Duskborn
Rosalind Perkins, duskborn alchemist, could detect the tension in Hope's voice and so was careful with her reply. "I can do it, but it won't be as potent as the stuff I usually prepare. That takes time, and it doesn't look like time is something we have, but it'll stave off the hunger log enough to get the good stuff ready. Where exactly do you want me to meet you?"

Hope thought about this for a moment. In her brief employment with Marius, four years ago now, she'd learned the locations of many safe houses, bolt-holes and semi-legitimate homes that Marius rented to kindred newcomers to the city for surprisingly reasonable fees. She sent the address of one to Rosalind, then spoke to Daniel.

"I need the car..."

Daniel didn't ask why, He was reasonably certain that he knew the answer, though he did remind her to put some clothes on. Fortunately one of the dead mortals was roughly her size, and having been killed by a blow to the back of the head, hadn't bled much on the blouse.

He also had a call to make. Michael Tomassio, Baron of the North East and Arbiter of the Anarch Council, had a ghoul who worked in the L.A. police force. Franklin Atkins, now Captain Atkins, whose career had greatly benefitted from the information that had been passed to him, was always happy to help. Especially if the information helped him on the way to his next promotion.

"Frank? It's Daniel. I have some information for you..." Frank listened as Daniel listed the locations where 'gang rivalries' had broken out, emphasising that the dead had "...killed each other in an internal dispute of some kind..." and had connections to people smuggling, the sex trade, violent pornography and drugs, amongst other crimes. Frank knew the drill, having received tipoffs from the coterie before.

Captain Franklin Atkins - Ghoul
Ghoul of Michael Tomassio
"...and let me guess. There will be some evidence missing, but looking for it will be pointless. I guess it was taken by the remaining gang members and we'll never find it?" queried Captain Atkins, though the question was clearly rhetorical. "...and when am I likely to discover this carnage?"

"Give me an hour." replied Daniel.

Meanwhile, Hope had reached the safehouse and was pleased to see that it was still much as she remembered it. Finding a location shielded from observers she waited for Rosalind. She arrived fairly promptly with a cooler containing several containers of dark red liquid.

"It's not my best work..." she admitted. "...and Christian and Gemma weren't exactly overjoyed about the impromptu blood-letting, but they didn't complain too much. They've made the hotel fairly comfy now, and I don't think they want to find an alternate place to live...."

Hope was barely listening as she drained the three containers dry, and began to feel herself once more.

Back at Carlton Logistics, Daniel had rolled up the decaying corpse of the kindred they'd fought in a rug in the office, and after a bit of a squeeze, managed to fit it in the trunk of the mortals car. The documents he put on the back seat. Realising that the mortals van had a human sized dent in the side, he realised that he'd need a little help. Mr Hertz was happy to assist.

Fifteen minutes later, the car was being driven away to one of Hertz's auto shops, where the Nosferatu's gang members were under strict instructions to lock it away and stay the fuck away from it. They completed their task in the nick of time as Captain Atkins and several FBI task force vehicles passed them on the way to the scene.

Reuben Hart - Ghoul
Ghoul of Mr Hertz
Hertz made sure that the vehicle was locked away, and the entire workforce in that particular location were warned of the extreme consequences that would apply to anyone who ignored this directive. The van meanwhile had been thoroughly cleaned and the damage repaired. Hertz saw no need to destroy a vehicle that could still be of use, though his auto shop technicians removed any connection to it's former owners and gave it a respray. He then delegated the task to the leader of the Apostles gang, his ghoul Reuben Hart. He had more important things to do than babysit a car with a corpse inside.


Hertz then returned to his current project. A shopping mall with kindred adaptations that had been conceived of several years ago by the Malkavian 'Roach'. Hertz had coerced a designer who was desperate to keep their kneecaps, but who had considerable gambling debts with the Apostles gang, into doing some redesign of the less practical of Roach's ideas.

The main expense had turned out to be the kindred sections below the main building. The foremost expert on designing kindred friendly structures and havens was another Malkavian named Dillan Fitzgerald. Like many of Marius's agents and operatives, Dillan was free to work on private projects as long as they didn't interfere with those of 'The Fixer' himself. Unfortunately this made the available time of Mr Fitzgerald both difficult to claim and very, very expensive to purchase.


While waiting for news from Hope, Daniel flicked through the list of names they'd acquired from the warehouse of the people smuggler and pornographer, known as 'Dreads'. The locations listed included a free clinic a few miles away. It was as good a place to start as any.

Interlude - The Unseen
Flynn Jacobs - Gangrel
Pack Leader of 'The Unseen'
Flynn Jacobs, Leader of the Gangrel Pack known as 'The Unseen' due to their talent for infiltration and assassination, watched Marius, and his ghoul Victoria, carefully from the corner of the warehouse. 

Technically speaking he worked for 'The Fixer' now that Xaviar had been destroyed, but he still didn't trust him particularly.

His pack had, in part, been created as a weapon to quietly remove Marius should Xaviar's eldest childe move against his own sire. Though he had never done so, to Flynn's knowledge at least, the fact that Xaviar had considered it a possibility was enough for Flynn.

'Precious' Beaumont stood at his side. She was the youngest member of the pack, both physically and chronologically, and was her pack leaders lifeline when it came to technology. Jacobs was archaic in the extreme, and surveillance in the modern world had moved on, so Precious handled this side of things on his behalf.

"We might as well get this done..." she said. "...he knows we're here."


'Precious' Beaumont - Gangrel
'The Unseen' Gangrel Pack
Marius watched the recorded footage on Precious's laptop impassively. One of the advantages to working for the owner of a billion dollar company, she thought, was that you got access to some pretty cool gear.

The footage showed several kindred, all Gangrel, held in cages in an arena of sorts. Primitive dispensers on the outside gave them access to just enough blood to stave off torpor, but still ensured that frenzy was the likely result of any negative stimuli. Other kindred bet on the outcomes of the battles and occasionally pitted themselves against their prisoners.

These fights were heavily biased in favour of the jailors, and once the battles were complete the frenzied Gangrel were restrained with loops of steel cable on long poles. Cables were looped around necks, arms and legs and the unfortunates were dragged back into their heavily secured cages. 

"It's definitely one of the kindred Fight Clubs." added Precious. "I thought the Circulatory System bitch was lying, But her information was what's next?"

Marius closed the laptop. "You did well. Maintain your watch and let me know if they change location."

"You didn't answer the question..." prompted Flynn. "What are we going to do about nine of our clan locked up in cages like dogs while a load of assholes take bets..."

Marius's facial expression quietened Flynn immediately, and Precious found herself looking for the fastest way out of the area while simultaneously being rooted to the spot. The leader of The Oratory was obviously as angry about the situation as they were, perhaps more so. 

"I need to speak to Spiculus. Tell him it's urgent..."

New York at Night - Current Location of Marius Walker

Victoria nodded. "I believe he calls himself 'Ike' now. I'll contact his agent in New York, but he's not going to be easy to persuade. Last time you met the you didn't exactly part on the best terms and his personal assistant finds me objectionable..."

"Do what you can..." he replied. "If I have to kick down the doors I will, but for now we'll try diplomacy. I'm not keen on going to war with the immortal gladiator, not if it can be avoided that is..."

Victoria doubted this would go simply, but Marius had obviously made his decision.

Scene Twenty Two - The Clinic
Hope had returned to Daniel slightly better fed, wearing a clean change of clothes provided by Rosalind, but still in a less than hospitable mood. Her own background had made her highly intolerant to any abuse of women, as many men had found to their cost. The evidence that many of Dreads victims had been forced to partake in violent pornography, and the further evidence discovered at Carlton Logistics still played on her mind. She and Daniel had killed four of those responsible, but she was sure that there were others out there in need of punishment.

The clothes she was wearing also happened to belong to Rosalind, and she and Hope had very different styles of dress. At least the dress would help her to blend in a little with Daniel.

Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim
Surgeon and 'Fixer'
Daniel too had tidied himself up a little, well, a lot actually. He always carried a spare set of clothing and his medical credentials as both came in useful. He was slightly concerned that despite cutting away the excess flesh, and cauterizing the wound caused by plaguebearing kindred, it still itched slightly. The hurled fire-axe had been smeared with the creatures own infected vitae, and having seen the effects of the plague on other kindred, Daniel had no desire to be it's next victim.


The clinic had clearly seen better days. A steady flow of unfortunates were coming and going, guided by a harassed looking nurse and her assistant, both of whom were clearly in dire need of some sleep.

Daniel exchanged a few pleasantries and then broached the subject about patients that might have made their way to the clinic. The nurse seemed like she wanted to help but was obviously far too busy to check through the clinics records.

"Perhaps I could help out for a few hours, while my assistant has a look through your files?" It was of no surprise to Daniel that she leapt at the suggestion.

For a surgeon of Dr Daniel Matthews skills and experience the complaints of the patients at the clinic were child's-play to diagnose and treat. He cleared a nights backlog of minor infections, wounds, and common maladies in a couple of hours and helped himself to a couple of blood bags while he did so. His own supply had been seriously depleted by recent events and he considered them to be fair payment for the few hours sleep the nurses had managed while he took over their duties.

Hope Romero - Gangrel
Borrowed from Rosalind 
Hope's knowledge of hospital procedures wasn't even close to Daniel's so she made little progress with the records. Once Daniel joined her they managed to cross-reference a few more names from 'Dreads' lists, to references to a medical trial. After clearing a few more patients who had appeared while he investigated the clinics records, he gently woke one of the sleeping staff and asked them about this 'trial' that many had signed up for.

"Oh that? Yes, a lot of our less fortunate patients have opted for that..." she then handed Daniel a leaflet. " return for a blood sample, and trial of some new flu vaccine, they'll give you three meals a day, 100 dollars and a place to sleep for the duration of the trial."

"We've had no complaints so I guess it's working out for them?"

Daniel and Hope exchanged a knowing look. Both had a feeling that the offered vaccine was neither prevention nor cure, but in fact something far more deadly.

"Do we have enough time to visit this 'trial' place, or is it a job for tomorrow?" enquired Hope.

Storytellers Note - Actually this question was aimed at myself. I decided that there was enough time to visit the next location, mainly because I wanted their characters to have more information available to open up their options for the subsequent night.

"It's not far..." replied Daniel. " we might as well look at it now..."

Interlude - An Eternity of Servitude
Victoria Anezka - Ancient Ghoul
Personal Assistant and Psychopath
Victoria disliked pandering to the demands of others, with the exception of Marius of course, and so having the terms of her meeting with Spiculus's ghoul laid out in such a non-negotiable manner had been somewhat irritating.

Quintus was even more ancient that Victoria, having been ghouled in the first century. He had been gifted to Spiculus by the Emperor Nero as a mortal and had served him loyally for two millennia. He considered himself superior to all other ghouls, and if truth be told, most vampires, based on his age and the manner of his appointment to his role. 

Victoria sat in the meeting room of a legitimate sporting business headquarters owned by Isaac 'Ike' Griffiths, as Spiculus was now known. She had now waited for nearly two hours past the time of her scheduled appointment. Quintus was no doubt delaying his arrival on purpose. She passed the time by coming up with inventive ways of torturing him to death. Had he known why she was smiling when he eventually deigned to meet her, he might have been more polite.

"Miss Anezka, I apologise for the delay, but I have many important duties to perform and your presence here quite slipped my mind." began Quintus, with no small amount of scorn. "I understand that the Wolf Spider wishes to discuss matters that he considers important with Mr Griffiths. However if I am to arrange a meeting then you will have to convince me that they are as important as he thinks..."

Victoria met her opposite numbers gaze and was pleased when he failed to hold eye-contact for more than a moment. Older he might be, but she considered him inferior to her in every other way. It was time to teach this fool that age meant nothing when compared to intelligence and a superior force of will.

Isaac 'Ike' Griffiths - Brujah
Spiculus, the 'Immortal Gladiator'
Mr Walker has discovered that one of Ike's Fight Clubs is ignoring the guidelines of it's founder, and that several of his own clan are bearing the brunt of their dishonourable methods. He would like to resolve this in a manner as mutually satisfactory as possible...

"...and if I choose not to arrange such a meeting?" interrupted Quintus with a sneer. 

Victoria smiled as she replied. "I don't deal in hypotheticals. You will arrange this meeting because if you fail to do so your omission will be directly responsible for starting a war between Marius and Spiculus. This war, even if your employer wins, which is no means certain, will destroy in nights what took him centuries to build. Of course this will mean nothing to you as you will never see it's conclusion..."

"...and what makes you think that I wont see this through to the end?" asked Quintus, feelings of doubt entering his mind for the first time in centuries. He couldn't put his finger on exactly what it was, but something about Marius's ghoul made his skin crawl.

"Because my dear, should I not leave this meeting with a satisfactory reply, my instructions are to slit your throat before I go..."

Victoria watched his bravado and confidence drain away. It was clear that he believed her. This was fortunate as she would have taken great satisfaction in carrying out her threat. She guessed that he would now attempt to twist the narrative to make it look like he wasn't the weakling she'd made him appear. She was, of course, quite correct.

She quickly sent a message to Yukio, who had driven her here tonight, that she would be ready to be picked up in a few minutes. Almost on cue, Quintus made his decision.

"I will arrange this meeting..." he stammered, before gaining a little self control. "...but not because of your threats, but rather that my master will want to investigate these claims for himself and see what evidence you have to back them up." Victoria stood up and offered her hand to Quintus, who took it reluctantly. "I'm glad we could come to an accord." she said, squeezing just hard enough to make Quintus wince slightly, her pleasant tone in direct contrast to her earlier threats.

Within minutes she was back in the covertly armoured vehicle in which she'd arrived. Yukio, Marius's second oldest ghoul was in the driving seat. "Are we at war?" she asked

"No..." replied Victoria. "Well...not yet, anyway..."

Scene Twenty Three - The Trials
Abandoned Factory Unit - The South Coast
The location specified in the leaflet received at the clinic was a factory unit which seemed to be abandoned. Unusual as the nurse had told them that they had referred patients here as recently as a week ago.

The loading bay doors were chained shut and all the windows had heavy gauge steel welded over them to form bars within that were mere inches apart. There were no alarms, no security cameras, nothing. 

The main door had been welded shut from the outside but the joints shattered as Hope put her shoulder to it. Daniel entered, weapons drawn but there was no need, the building was devoid of activity.

The stench of death hit them both as soon as they entered. Something unpleasant had occurred here.


A dozen medical gurneys with attached I.V.'s lined one wall. All had some form of restraints either intrinsic to their construction or, in some cases, added later. They were stained with blood, urine and excrement.

Opposite was a laboratory of sorts that looked more like the lair of some mad scientist. Next to it were some fridges like those used in hospitals to store samples. However the worse smell was coming from several large, wheeled refuse containers in the far corner.

The Plaguebearers Laboratory
Daniel moved towards the fridges, They contained, vials and bottles inside which were what appeared to be bodily fluids. Some were labelled with names, dates and times, others had had these removed.

The refuse containers were filled with corpses and medical waste. It looked like at least twelve bodies had been discarded within. Half a dozen bloated rats were feasting on the corpses, but unlike most vermin they showed no fear of them and made no attempt to scatter, merely continuing to chew on the flesh and bones within.

"Next time you take me somewhere..." commented Hope. " better smell nice and have no dead things in it, or I'm not coming..."

Now Daniel had some time to consider the scene, he begin to notice some details that had escaped him initially.

Firstly, The gurneys had curtains between some of them, seemingly separating them into sections. The gurneys in each section had different varieties and quantities of excreta upon them indicating that, perhaps, there were different strains of virus created here. Of course to be sure, he'd have to have a closer look.

The first section reminded him of conventional, though extreme, illnesses that he had encountered over the years. At least judging by the various stains on them, that was. The next section however was quite different.

These gurneys were soaked in every form of internal waste imaginable, and a few that escaped even his keen eye, They also reminded him of his unfortunate wartime encounters with gangrene and other conditions where a loss of blood supply caused body tissues to die. Both the smell, and the mess, reminded him of the kindred that Hope had despatched earlier and who gave him the wound in his shoulder.

Medical Gurney with Restraints
Though horrific, it was hard to imagine that this strain would suit the enemies needs. The creature Hope despatched, while undoubtedly a useful soldier, showed none of the signs of insanity, frenzy and loss of control that would be fulfil their enemies desired effect of causing chaos within kindred communities.

The last section was the most interesting.

Though all the gurneys had restraints on them, these had multiple, and several looked like they'd been torn from their mountings and then subsequently reattached. The stains on these were also, in the main, blood, from what he could surmise, these were caused in the following ways.

Firstly, there was blood, skin and other signs of attempted escape on the restraints. He'd worked in many medical facilities over the years and are therefore was well aware of the immense physical strength that would be required to escape from such bondage. Yet it appeared that several victims had, though for how long was still a mystery.

Secondly, many of the blood stains corresponded, very roughly, to areas of the human body where blood vessels were close to the surface and where haemorrhaging would be most likely to occur.

Thirdly, and possibly of most concern, is that his years as assassin as well as doctor had given him an insight into the differences between mortal blood, and the same once it left a kindreds body. In short, at least two of these last set of victims were likely not mortal. Of course to be one hundred percent sure, he'd have to taste some. He sensibly decided not to do that, and instead took samples by more traditional means.

Something Hidden Below?
Hope, like Daniel, had the ability to see beyond the mundane, and while Daniel was concentrating upon the physical clues, she couldn't help but feel, for want of a better word, anxious. Something terrible happened here, and she was sure that sorcery of some kind was involved. 

She also find herself drawn to a certain area of the floor. The feeling got stronger, the closer she approached. 

The concrete floor had cracked in several places. The epicentre showed all the signs of a powerful and precise impact and the hole was about the size of a fist. She got the uncomfortable feeling that something had slept below, something that needed access to natural ground.

Meanwhile, Hope had another worrying thought. "We know a few kindred who use animals as spies and the like. Hertz, Alonzo, some of packs in The Wilds, right? So I'm not sure we should leave those rats in the dumpsters to wander about. Just in case..."

As Daniel approached their location, one leapt from the pile of bodies and made a dash for a gap in the warehouse wall. Not sure whether this was primitive survival instinct or an impulse guided by an external mind, Daniel put a round through it's back. Coagulated blood, already filled with decay began to seep from the wound, yet the rat kept on moving. This time he aimed more carefully and blew it's brains out. Disconcertingly it ran another few feet before it realised that it was dead. The rest were significantly easier to kill and both Hope and Daniel began to have doubts about whether they were anything more than vermin who had discovered a free meal.

"If the authorities find this place they'll have a fucking field day." observed Hope.

Once more they needed the help of Mr Hertz.

Johnny 'Roach' West - Malkavian
Missing, Presumed Destroyed
The Nosferatu who ran the majority of the coteries illegal activities had access to many criminal contacts, as well as his own gang 'The Apostles'. He'd inherited them from former coterie member known as 'Roach' who had disappeared over a year ago, but had expanded their activities considerably since then. Roach had mainly been interested in soft drugs such as Cannabis and it's variants, while Mr Hertz saw anything that could turn a profit as a viable option. Their Baron Michael forbade anything in the area of the sex trade and modern slavery, though had no issue with prostitution in general, so Hertz had a lot of room to manoeuvre when it came to crime.

Specifically Daniel needed the files and samples to be boxed up and moved somewhere more viable to work on, and for detailed photographs to be taken of all the equipment. He then needed an unfortunate accident involving fire, to make the whole scene go away.

Fortunately, Mr Hertz knew many people who were happy to do the job. Well maybe not 'happy' to, but willing if the price was right. the Nosferatu could be very persuasive if he needed something done.

Fortunately the coterie now had access to an impressive selection of samples, notes and other, currently, incomprehensible scribbles. Though these would need some time to wade through, along with the files gathered previously they should, hopefully, find some tangible clues within.


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....

Before the next session the players will be given a massive handout containing information they've accumulated from a variety of sources. Some of it will, of course, be complete bollocks as we wouldn't want to make it too easy for the players now would we?

As for this session, well, it went roughly how I was expecting, but the players were fairly tired from real world activities, like work so it was a fairly tight session. I've therefore included some world-building background material as interludes to make the write-up a bit more substantial.

The players enjoy the interludes, so hopefully other readers will too.

Song Lyrics
Also, The quote in the header is from the following song, should any-one be 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, Johnny 'Roach' West is Kurt Kobain, Vincent 'Vin' Ghast is Scott Adkins, Dr Daniel Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope Romero is Deborah Ann Woll, Marie is Eva Green, Mr Hertz is Charles Dance, Sofia Rivera is Eliza Dushku, Captain Frank Atkins is Michael Chiklis, Reuben Hart is Ray Liotta, Flynn Jacobs is Brian Cox, 'Precious' Beaumont is Zoey Deutch, Victoria Anezka is Lilith May, Isaac 'Ike Griffiths aka Spiculus the immortal gladiator is Jason Statham and Yukio Hayashi 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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