Session played: January 24 of 2010
The armies of the fourth crusade are converging on Oppidum, ready to depart to La Serenissima and from there sail to its destiny, a destiny that was going to be discussed by the master puppeteers that lurked in the darkest corners of the republic capital, and of course any elder or kindred that wished to attend and discuss.
The vampires in Oppidum only cared about getting more powerful in their comfy nests, finding this new political race uninteresting they went on with is usual unlifes. However, fate had another plans for them…
Lucius Theofanis received with utmost curiosity a message from Nikita of Sredetz, clanmate and bishop of the Crimson Curia, whom armed with knowledge of the religious conflict between the young Tzimisce and the Archbishop of Nod, proposed an interesting alliance in which the young preacher would travel to observe and try to thwart Narses purposes as much as possible, to later being rewarded with support for his incipient young cult. Needles to say, the former choir boy agreed.
In the dark underbelly of Oppidum Kek Amir arrived to his “office” to find two Setite warriors and somebody sitting on his chair, it was Qufur Am Heru, champion of Set, who informed the local representative that there was intentions to make Egypt a target of the crusade, and that would worsen the wounds of the clans in its homeland, hence he was tasked to avoid the slaughter, by any means necessary… and making as much new “friends” as possible.
The calm of the owl nest in Reiter’s lands was broken, for two Gangrel were coming to meet him and they were no other than his sire and the elder Prana; they shared with the landlord the plight of Constantinople the Great, the city was besieged by enemies and the crusade could go through their lands and strike a victorious blow against the menaces to the “dream”. Since for unknown reasons the elders weren’t welcome in La Serenissima they needed someone trustable to assist, and who better that one of the lore masters of the clan.
Not far from those lands Alice was receiving a message, or better said a plea for help, help to preserve the dream that she shared of the beautiful Constantinople. Without need for anything else, she departed to gather the coterie and inform them of their new mission.
Aurel Phuri Dae couldn’t been caught more off-guard, his sire manifested in front of him and raised his awareness for a danger looming over the gypsy people, the crusade could stomp over the few lands they were able to secure in Croatia, and he was the only one close enough to derail the slaughter.
All of them graciously converged and plotted a common course that would satisfy their mutual requirements, avoiding Egypt and Croatia while providing help to Constantinople, and granting an adequate chain of supply for the christian forces. With that issue settled, they sailed to La Serenissima. The magnificence and luxury of the city welcomed them as they arrived to one of the private Giovanni peers; leaving behind his partner Marco Alliagro in company of his aunt they headed to Prince Narses court.
Upon arrival to the court they were greeted with one of the city customs, a small teenage girl pinned gorgeous scented blue blossoms on their lapels, as homage to life, god and prosperity, only Alice refused to partake of the custom. Inside the court they were received by the prince’s chamberlain and childe Guilelmo Alipandro (old acquaintance of Lucius) and again managed to avoid bursting into laughter when hearing the prince voice; the prince welcomed them (even Lucius), and warned against any breach to the traditions or his hospitality and customs, with that said he designed his chamberlain as arbiter for any kind of issues that could arise during the discussions.
Discussions… madness would’ve been a better description, each speaker that took the center of the amphitheater started its argument without hopes for attention, but some of them managed to get enough of it.
Tomasso Brexiano of spanish clan Lasombra vehemently called for a direct and fast attack to Palestine, crushing the infidels that were threatening the heart and soul of christendom, no matter how many losses the crusaders suffered. Unfortunately for him a small and perfectly timed amount of Alice’s Dementation made him burst out and decries everything that wasn’t christian, picturing pagans, muslims, peasants and anything not of noble birth together, his position was badly damaged.
Arnaud Mynatt, Toreador representative of the Court of Love called for a measured route, one that would stop in few cities and leapfrog through Mediterranean islands allowing the crusaders to arrive freshened, healthy and ready for battle
Anna Sgorina a byzantine envoy asked the audience to help in protecting the dream, the beauty and glory of Constantinople, where other crusades disrupted her city activities, she was hoping that this one would help them protect the jewel of the East and make the coexistence of vampires and mortals even more close. Dismissed as another lunatic, attendants barely paid any attention to her, much to Alice’s dismay.
Lanzo Von Sachsen a germanic Ventrue descendant from Hardestadt, asked for an attack to Egypt a currently weak link in Muslim defenses, a strike that would allow them to split Islam in half and then recover the holy land, attacking two diminished forces. Kek Amir’s disciplines made him confused and stutter enough to weaken his argument.
Khadijah Saadeh another Lasombra was hastily catalogued as a Malkavian, for her call was to stop the madness and cease the crusade; proceeding would only deepen the wounds that were opened in the second city, splitting the world in irreconcilable factions.
Eluf Johansen a Brujah elder instead suggested a land route, one that would take longer but could replenish forces by forced recruiting along the way, and also maintain a strong line of supplies and a combat ready army, needless to say Aurel Phuri Dae used his Chimerstry to make him appear as a lunatic worse than any Malkavian elder.
>>> Overseer: Please edit any mistakes and omissions about disciplines applied against spokespersons. My memory is not what it used to be ;-).
As the arguments vented and became colder a recess was declared, and everyone enjoyed the labyrinthine spaces of the court to build alliances and betrayals. Alice used Malkavian Time to share the coterie’s route with her clanmates, and get help to strengthen their cause; in other place Kek Amir had the intent to toy a little more with Von Sachsen, but to his dismay the targets was now wearing a protection against his crafts… Who could’ve detected his actions, and worse, counter them?
When Alice was walking back to one of the assembly rooms she felt a weird foreboding, just split seconds before feeling her skin being pierced and her senses departing. While she felt a poison taking hold of the last part of her mind, her friends found her; with help from Lucius they took out of her body the poison and saved her unlife. With dawn approaching and unable to return to Oppidum they had to resort to Marco Alliagro for resting safely during the day.
The next night they were walking to report the incident, but found that another vampire wasn’t as lucky as Alice; a Ventrue ancillae that had a strong commitment to lead the crusade through Egypt died leaving behind a dried body, with ashes in his eye sockets and mouth.
Lanzo Von Sachsen’s aide was killed with a poison, one extremely difficult to brew and whose unique ingredient was a flower that growth abundantly in Lucius Theofanis lands, or at least, that was the information provided by Anna Sgorina; an ingredient whose blossoms were now delicately placed on the lapels of all members of the coterie.
An assassin was on the loose breaking the tradition of destruction, and the only persons in the room with the poisonous flowers adorning their vestments were the coterie, as angry eyes turned upon them they realized that they were going to be responsible for the Ventrue’s death, or better, they had been framed for it.