Burden of Ages

1498: Reliquary

My most gracious lord.

As per your request I departed from Milan few minutes after the six chariots, those that carried away the reliquary and the documents. It’s with great sorrow that I have to inform that many items have been stolen.

On the second day of travel, and a short time before sunset the convoy stopped, they signaled a blockade with their horns, I sneaked through the top of the trees and watched as Cipriano and Lotario descended to remove from the road the trunk of a fallen tree; astonished I noticed a particular lack of efficiency in their movements, and a remarkably different way of bearing themselves.

Then, all hell broke lose… The musketeers caught on fire without apparent cause, and without the telling of a heretic spell; also the drivers fell down by arrows of Varangians, as my later recollection would show.

By then the alert was nigh, the second and fourth chariots spitted fire with their weapons, but also were engulfed by fire that laid waste to their gunpowder reserves, too natural for a warlock spell and also when the sun still haven’t set. These fires made the two chariots explode, which in turn killed all the horses.

In that moment, contrary to the orders given to them, the Red Order knights descended from the berserker’s chariot, deploying all the four Barghests and the black smoke curtain, whom also fell down to the arrows of the Varangians; the three knights found their death by the hands of awoken Athanatoi. Yes my lord, I’m using the term correctly for my blessing allowed me to witness the proper telling.

Only the knight from my order ran to the third chariot, surely with the purpose of destroying the reliquary but he didn’t reach his target, apparently he was also poisoned by the arts of the attackers. All the other members of the entourage fell down to unknown magic, that didn’t left a trace that I’d be familiar with.

The Varangians and a group of animated golems then proceeded to sack the convoy and took away the reliquary and the less valuable documents, you were correct as they didn’t check the hiding places of the most valuable documents.

They ran away to the nearest river where a Drakkar with latin sails awaited them, sadly even your horse was unable to pursue them and they left me far behind, reaching the coast I interrogated some peasants and got an accurate description of a bigger ship they rendezvoused with, of which I’m including a drawing according to the witnesses description.

With this letter I included two of the arrows, and shards of glass I recollected from the windows and lanterns, as per your usual request. I left the documents for safekeeping by the order in Ferrara, and I’m now on my way north, looking for the ship, eager to report its port of destination.

Devotionally yours,

Paride.

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1493: Legacy of Thorns

Many factions arrived to the Convention of Thorns, the clans fractured and also banded heralded many changes…
- The Brujah, Malkavian, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue clans were together as the Camarilla.
- The Nosferatu and Ravnos clans arrived as independents.
- The Giovanni and Setite clan arrived as a Traders Guild.
- The Assamite, Gangrel, Lasombra and Tzimisce clans were members of the Anarchs.

Careful orchestration allowed the member of the coterie to redefine the allegiances of others, and bring useful clans to their fold, at the end of the Convention the groups were banded differently…
- The Brujah, Gangrel, Lasombra, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue clans are now together as the Camarilla.
- The Assamite and Ravnos clans left as independents.
- The Giovanni and Setite clan stay as a Traders Guild.
- The Tzimisce are now the only full clan member of the Anarchs.

The screams, bloodshed and fires of Silchester are now behind. But everything has a price, and the coterie paid a high one, for two of their eldest members faced its final death, Alice Geenfamilienaam and Edward Elric were lost forever.

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1486-07-30: Vienna's Allegro

Session played: June 20 of 2011

It is now the year of the lord of 1480.

With the solid purpose of making their city more secure, the coterie invests in a new outer wall, even farther that the actual inhabited area, in order to protect any further development.

The alliance with the mages in the lighthouse bears another fruit, in the form of a new design of wall delivered by the sorcerers, one able to withstand and retaliate against cannons fire.

It is now the year of the lord of 1486.

The coterie is invited to a gathering of elders to talk about the anarch revolt situation, not by lord Hardestadt host of the meeting but by one of his associates, Cybele the Malkavian, who graciously informs them that despite their condition they’re required.

Aurel Phuri Dae and Andrew Wiggin set on one of the carriages modified by Alice, ten days before the meeting in order to arrive three days before, on that same day Edward Elric arrives through the portals of the Tremere chantry.

After regrouping they present themselves to prince Lotharius of the Tremere clan, who greets them and warns them that the slaying of any local citizen would cause a blood hunt against the perpetrator. They’re taken to a local housekeeper for vampires that lodges them inside a hidden room of one of the old wall’s turrets.

In this room they carefully verify the security, through Aurel’s Animalism and Edward’s gargoyles, Auspex and Thaumaturgy, their careful search brings to light an odd parchment hidden inside one of the bricks… written by Kemanet son of Constancia, daughter of Japheth, son of Cappadocius. The letter states his hopes that Amenostles remembers the hiding place and is able to join him in Brixen, his next stop running from the Giovanni pogrom… the coterie leaves no trace of the original bricks and take for themselves the letter.

After this, Andrew Wiggin meets with an old member of his clans, a promethean that is glad to talk about Carthage during the rest of the night, while Edward Elric verifies the possible escape and access routes around the meeting place.

On the next night they take separate ways.

Edward Elric seeks out for gathering places of vampires, in his search he locates a place run by Syliam, a Setite that provides music, refreshments and privacy for a good price. In this place he meets Finneas, the Ventrue sheriff of the city that jokingly regrets that the foreigner has already presented himself to the prince.

Guided by a rat, Aurel Phuri Dae takes to the sewers, he gets to know some entrances through the walls, while exiting one of the tunnels his Auspex allows him to detect the local scourge, of the Toreador clan, who is extremely surprised of being detected.

Andrew meets again with the Promethean, arriving in the middle of a heartened argument between the Brujah elder and one Radu, prince of Bistritz, after the Tzimisce prince throws a handful of fless to the other elder and leaves the square, Andrew closes in and begins to sell the concept of Mestre as an Elysium city, with a banking future for many elders.

Edward is surprised by a kiss to the cheek given by Camilla Banes, a regular of Syliam’s place, who joins the conversation and allows the Tremere to delve into some of the embarrassing secrets of the local sheriff, which the Setite carefully prods. The situation is driven to madness by Camilla who makes the local vampires vacate the place and leaves in the company of Edward.

In the square another Brujah joins Andrew and the Promethean, Altamira a True Brujah, and elder of the clan joins them and gives few credit to the ancillae’s idea of Mestre as an Elysium. Suddenly his position changes and starts to give not only interest but also offerings for support.

Aurel Phuri Dae encounters Durga Syn, elder of his clan, whom informs him that she’s there following a thread of destiny, one in which she is unable to see him, one in which another seal of Gehenna will be broken.

While witnessing how Camilla makes a random peasant be lynched by a mob, Edward is informed via telepathic command of an imminent attack over the city, he shares the information with Camilla who decides to take another path to safety. While he walks to the chantry he meets Hassam al-Banif and Ileanna, who is now ready to assume vampiric life on her own, and even has taken a new name to drive her through the night; she’ll be known as Marianna Giovanni. They two also fall back to Hardestadt side after knowing of the attack.

Aurel and Andrew retreat to the safety of the walls, while Edward arrives at the war room of the chantry; in there he’s greeted by Oktav, fifth circle, sixth level and warmaster of the chantry. While gathering information the room fells silent as Meerlinda and Etrius enter the room, accompanied by no other than Tremere itself.

The war is on, Vienna shall prevail.

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1202-05-14: Venetian withered flowers

Draft in progress

Session played: April 18 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. Amidst accusations of foul play, the hidden masters are now trying to concur in a common destiny for the mortal forces.

  • The coterie was able to convince the prince and his chamberlain of their innocence, but publicly were still hold as suspects, that would lower the guard of the true assassin and allow them to find it.
  • With Isabel Giovanni’s Auspex applied to the corpse and the dagger left embedded in Alice they had enough clues to pursue the assassins.
  • Alice’s use of the Malkavian Time granted them with the visit from another Malkavian, one that told them that a peanut held all the truths they needed.
  • Viktor Reiter used his Animalism to summon enough rats to carpet St Marks plaza and asked them for help in finding a curious smell grafted to the peanut.
  • Guided to a warehouse in another corner of the city they managed to stop an assassination attempt on Anna Sgorina’s unlife; when confronting the culprit he died withering and rotting in front of them.
  • Lucius Theofanis way of spirits allowed him to detect someone fleeing the place, someone with enough Obfuscate to be invisible, nonetheless they started to pursue this shadow.
  • After cornering the shadow they attacked just to find that they were lured by a diversion, one created by someone with Quietus, the clan of the prey was now revealed.
  • Lucius Theofanis received a poisonous dart on his buttock, and without hesitation ripped his own flesh apart flaying it beyond their friends.
  • In the shooters nest they found a contract written in arabic to assassinate Lanzo Von Sachsen’s aide.
  • When arriving to share their findings, they noticed that Tomasso Brexiano was staked from behind and was being hidden from view in his quarters, his sword missing.
  • In time they stopped the second aide from Lanzo Von Sachsen to kill him with the stolen sword.
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1202-05-13: Venetian flowers
The tradition of destruction has been breached, was the coterie guilty of that?

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.

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1056-11-21 Spicy Water
Fearing a renewed faith.

Session played: December 06 of 2009

The water of the stoup at the local church has been imbued with faith, so the younglings get dragged by Lucius Theofanis to seek an explanation.

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1056-11-20: A covenant of sorts
Strength lies in numbers

Session played: November 22 of 2009

The War of Ages reveals itself to the eyes of the fledglings, and with the voice of one of its players.

Events brief:

  • Alice talked a long time with Hepleto through a vision, and is delighted to play “slap hands”, the alias that he uses for the “War of Ages”.
  • Kek Amir received through Telepathy the location of tablets depicting part of the travels of Set, but now only has two of the set of three.
  • Viktor Reiter was dominated by the Prince into controlling his paranoia.
  • Fabrizio inscribed in vampire blood runes in the back of the Prince’s throne and above it.
  • Someone died inside the throne room without leaving any psychic trace. Neither Varna Kratlofk nor the new Brujah were able to perceive anything in a particular spot.
  • There’s a secret exit from the throne room that Prince Basileo Timaeus was unaware of, and leads to the northern river.
  • Through Aurel Phuri Dae illusions, Hepleto told them about their options in the “War of Ages” fight or die, like it or not.
  • Prince Basileo Timaeus confided his trust in them, because being new vampires it was difficult for them to maintain allegiances hidden from him.
  • Marco Alliagro strengthened the wards around the throne room.
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1056-11-17: Heavy weights
The war of ages knocks on oppidum's doors.

Session played: November 16 of 2009.

As the fledglings began to deal with the influx of foreigners, ancient powers reveal their involvement in the issue.

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1056-11-15: Exodus
An influx of outsiders becomes an annoyance for the fledglings, but also serves as cover for a foreign power positioning itself in the city.

Session played: November 2 of 2009

The years have been kind to the fledglings, who are receiving more freedom each passing day, maybe a little more than desirable…

Lucius Theofanis was pondering his next gospel lecture when one of the servants announced that a couple of serfs were requesting an audience, he immediately greeted them as the custom of his clan required, they informed him that during the last weeks a group of armed people established a camp in the southern part of the fief, this people stole livestock and produce from the fields, so his sire servants were requesting the help of the landlord.

After dismissing the serfs, the youngling descended into his sire’s chamber, who was conducting a vivisection in its lab table, facing the interruption of its job it gave orders to the young Tzimisce to take two Szlachtas and deal with the situation.

Half an hour later Lucius Theofanis arrived at a group of three huts that made the intruder’s camp, and sent one of the Szlachtas to deliver a warning “leave now for you’re trespassing”, when the intruders dismissed the ghoul the fledgling walked to the door and delivered the warning again, but was also dismissed. He proceeded then to exert justice in his clan way, he awakened his Zulo Shape and ripped away the roof of the hut, inside one of the intruders fainted, the second screamed and curled in one corner, and the third froze in there stuttering; for they all three were looking at a 2.5m demon whose torso towered above the wood walls and was throwing away their roof.

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1050-06-21: Into Kranôs lair
After the agressive negotiations the fledglings have the dubious honor of escorting an elder.
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