Providence by Night – A Matter of Trust (Session 10)

Welcome to Providence by Night, the continuing recounting of our tabletop Vampire: the Masquerade chronicle. Providence by Night is a low-powered, “street-level” game featuring a group of very new vampires adjusting to unlife in Providence and the vampiric condition. You can read the whole story so far on our main Providence by Night page.

In this week’s update, the coterie continues their investigative activities. With his highly-placed ally back at the station, Nathan’s visit to the Providence PD pays more dividends this time, turning up a lead on an existing investigation and a new possible Masquerade breach. Tony’s interview with the visiting Nosferatu Justicar takes a political turn. And the trail being followed by the coterie leads to a disturbing figure … or does it?

Session 10 – A Matter of Trust – January 29-30, 2015

Nathan awoke to find several missed calls and a voicemail from Captain Mahonne telling him to get down to the station. Nathan complied and he was waved into Mahonne’s office by Sergeant Brown. Mahonne apologized to Nathan for the delay, explaining that it had been very busy lately at the station, with the storm and lots of officers called in. Mahonne also admitted that a super-grisly murder case had popped up to the top of the que. Nathan noted a file on the captain’s desk detailing an eviscerated salt-and-pepper-haired man identified as Joseph McDonald. In a photograph, McDonald’s organs and blood adorned the wall of his house and displayed the message “HARPY SALON MARCH 18 AT ‘BOX RSVP”. Turning his attention back to Nathan’s interest, Mahonne mentioned that Sergeant Brown did find a report of a missing pizza delivery employee named Jason Black who left in the middle of his shift with no notice. Mahonne continued that “it’s not an unheard of thing for someone with a McJob to quit in the middle of it, so didn’t bear much of a look until you called in.” Apparently, the delivery driver’s mother had made the report and had been told that “we usually don’t process a missing person report until at least 24 hours have passed (not an official procedure, as you know, but we’ve been swamped!).” Mahonne continued and Nathan absorbed the details. “Anyway, Sergeant Brown has no idea that a wallet was returned to us just now. Someone picked it up from a snowbank on Benefit Street this morning and brought it over. I didn’t think good Samaritans were still a thing, huh? Again, I normally wouldn’t have bothered, but it had some frozen blood on it. Wouldn’t have even noticed but it thawed next to a stack of dead-tree copies of reports and stained them red!  Anyways, I open up the bill fold and what do I find? A pizzeria nametag! I don’t think that this is coincidence, Nate,” Mahonne postulated. 

Nathan examined the wallet, which contained the nametag, about six dollars, and a driver’s license for a William Tucker of Transit Street. The captain asked Nathan how he knew about the pizza boys in the first place. Mahonne editorialized that he didn’t like asking questions that he didn’t know the answer to, but stated that he needed to find out who had been ordering pizzas late last Friday night. Nathan feigned ignorance and informed Mahonne that he’d been busy himself with a job running security at a new nightclub opening soon. This piqued Mahonne’s interest and Nathan asked more about the mob and their involvement in the area.  Mahonne reminded Nathan that knowing when to “play ball” was in his best interest. Nathan convinced Mahonne that the captain didn’t need to look into the identity of the club’s new owners, so long as Nathan kept the Providence PD informed on any blatant criminal activity in the area.

Tony met the Coterie members at the warehouse. He handed each member the phones he had been working on, explaining that the phone themselves were encrypted and ran an encrypted messaging app that should keep the Coterie’s communications more private. Tony attempted to explain his process more technically, but ended up frustrated with the “I.T. 101” questions and instead related the information he had learned from his homeless contacts. Nathan, learning of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club patch Tony described from one of the homeless men’s scavenged clothing, thought back to the gang that had roughed up patrons at the District bar the prior spring.

When the two were talking, Tony ‘casually’ mentioned his supply of bagged blood, which prompted Nathan to ask if that sort of thing actually works. Tony affirmed that it did and Nathan stated that they might have business to discuss if Tony could supply him with a food source. Tony then departed for another appointment.

Nathan and Spencer discussed whether Tony can be trusted. “You know Spence, what do you think about Tony?” Nathan begins.  “I just can’t put my finger on that guy.  He’s just not… human.” Spencer stammers that, until crossed, he always seemed to see the best in people. Or vampires.

Nathan and Spencer decided to follow up on the Nathan’s new pizzeria nametag lead and drove over to Wickenden Street in Spencer’s newly repaired sportscar. They ordered a pie, and engaged the tired-looking cashier about Billy and if he was working tonight. The cashier asked if Spencer and Nathan were friends with Billy, and later revealed that Billy had left in the middle of his shift – something very unlike Billy – and that his last delivery was for 135 Benefit Street. The two Kindred thanked the cashier and Spencer left a memorably large tip. After a quick recon of the pale yellow house, Nathan dropped off the pizza at the police precinct and he and Spencer went their separate ways for the remainder of the night.

Tony arrived at the Promenade apartments at the appointed hour wearing business casual. He was met by a small and silent servitor-thing who beckoned him in. Classical music and tasteful art decorated the open-floor-plan apartment. Tony noticed Nosferatu Justicar Warwick across the hall in a pleasant, masked visage; no sign of Caine’s curse on the clan was visible.  They sat on the couch and the servitor began to mull the blood that Tony had brought with him as a gift for his host (he had read somewhere that people bring wine to house parties). The Justicar said that the Nosferatu were valued because the Camarilla considered them useful, but they could always move higher. Warwick asked Tony what he thought about the Nosferatu taking a leadership role in the Camarilla at large. Tony began to speak about the merits of controlling from the shadows, citing the successes of Seneschal Gregor and Primogen Kurt Densch, but quickly changed his tune after reading Warwick’s reaction. Warwick continues that in his time as Prince of Providence, he had failed, but was pushed higher because of that to his current position. The Justicar went on to describe the tenure of the current Prince, Jerome Soloman, as “adequate.” Warwick explained that in order for the the Nosferatu to move up in the Camarilla, clans had to be laid low and sacrifices had to be made. “Do you think really think that it was a coincidence that the location of the Vienna Chantry was leaked just as the Tremere were beginning to challenge the Ventrue?” Tony supposed not and started to become a bit uncomfortable, getting the get the feeling that the questioning was going two ways. The Justicar asked for Tony’s assistance, but avoided discussing the attempt on his unlife any further. Tony agreed to drop the subject, leaving him without anything to report to the Coterie from his exclusive interview

The following evening, Spencer, Nathan, and Tony arrived outside the pale yellow house at 135 Benefit Street, noticing a foul smell, strange weeds growing in the yard, and, through a window, a tall, seated figure silhouetted against the warm glow of a television set. The trio climbed the stairs and the door swung open before Nathan could finish knocking. A weird, fleshy monster scrambled from behind the door and up the stairs, drawing the Coterie’s gaze to the seated figure watching premium cable. The Tzimisce Casmir Babbit stood, welcomed its guests, and offered them blood from a corpse being propped up by the fleshy horror. Introductions were made and Nathan got to the point, asking about the pizza boys. Casmir made no secret that he used them. It explained that, without invitation, the merchants of cheese approached his domain demanding payment for an unsolicited trencher of grease. “This happened repeatedly, so of course I suspected an attack, but conscious of the Traditions, I was quick and discreet with my actions, for I had my devilish things to plot.” Further discussion revealed that the devilish things to plot included his latest fan theories for a Game of Thrones. Tony’s interests get piqued, but Nathan redirected the conversation back to more pertinent matters. A discussion ensued and Casmir professed that it was a firm believer in the Traditions and offered a boon to find whomever sent attacks on its Domain.

End Session 10

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