Providence by Night – City of the Dead (Session 21)

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. This week’s update, which wraps up the first “season” of Providence by Night, sees the coterie hand a captured Anarch leader over to the Prince. The coterie get the chance to request rewards, and we get the chance to see what they might be up to a few months hence. What do their choice of favors, and who it is they care about, say about our neonates? Or does it not say much of anything about our players upon this stage, for are there any choices they can make that can, ultimately, save them from themselves?   Session 21 – City of the Dead – April 1, 2015 Spencer arrived on the scene  of the coterie’s victory in a white cargo van and the coterie piled into the back, which had been emptied of its normal cargo of speakers and DJ equipment. The Gangrel Kate, who had aided the coterie at Beth’s invitation, joined the group heading to the Yacht Club and was quite nervous at being be in a confined space when almost all of the other occupants were virtually strangers. Nathan was solemn, eyes darting back and forth between the equally nervous fledgling Trent and the inert body of his sire, the Brujah Anarch Rachael, on the floor. Spencer, being his typically socially insistent self, used the commute to formally introduce himself to Kate and immediately brought up his clan ties while Beth assured her that Spencer wasn’t a typical Tremere specimen. Nathan listened as Trent continuously questioned the particulars of his new existence as well as the location of Carrie. The van arrived at the waterfront followed closely by Ventrue Caoimhe’s motorcyle and Brujah Deputy Don Coyote’s now beat-up two-door. The Kindred assembled with the Deputy tossing Rachael’s body over his shoulder while they moved towards the Prince’s yacht. Beth, having recognized Kate’s anxiety, paused with her as the others moved off, mentioning that she had thought she would feel bad at having killed someone, but that instead her mind felt more clear than it had in the last decade. Kate was surpriesd to learn that draining the biker after the firefight that night was Beth’s first time, and indicated that the two needed to have a talk – but not now. As the group approached a 100-foot luxury yacht crewed by sailors in white hats, short shorts, and kerchiefs, the city’s Sheriff, Tatyana, impeded their progress on the gangplank when she noticed Trent, the unknown element in the group. Tony and Spencer were able to convince the Sheriff that she should stay her desire for the fledgling’s summary execution since he did technically help them to recover Providence’s most wanted. As the procession wound up the staircase to the main deck, Spencer and Tony glimpsed a figure applying makeup in side room. Upon the top deck, the Coterie encountered majesty. The Prince of Providence Jerome Solomon stood with his court and offered hospitality to his guests while Nosferatu Seneschel Gregor loomed over the Neonates. Pleased with the Coterie’s adherence to his Right of Destruction, the Prince asked what the Coterie had brought him. Don Coyote lowered Rachael’s torpid body to the deck and stepped aside.  Jerome considered the Anarch at his feet and waxed poetic about the benefits of the Camarilla’s rule. Rules were what kept the Kindred safe from the torches of Inquisition. “In fact,” the Prince stated, “I believe that you have already met with some of the fabled Second Inquisition.” The Prince asked the Coterie to consider the Chicago Blood Accords decreed earlier that year. The Accords were established to protect the species from outside threats to all Kindred and was (surprisingly) proposed by a Sabbat Archbishop. The Prince then polled the members of the coterie for guesses for how long they believed it would last. Five years? Three years? The full seven-year term? The Prince seemed mildly amused by their responses. “I see we have quite the group of optimists” the Prince remarked to Caoimhe before giving his own assessment: The Camarilla will abide by the Accords and would until they had sufficient reason not to, while fully expecting the Sabbat to discard the Accords at any moment.  The Anarchs, however, blatantly fought their own best interests to keep hidden, could not be trusted.  The Prince then got down to business and startled the group by immediately demanding to hear what sort of boon each sought for their work that night. Don Coyote asked that the Brujah be recognized in Providence with a seat on the city’s Primogen. Spencer supplied that the Deputy would make an excellent member of the Primogen, but was informed in no uncertain terms that the Prince would make up his own mind about who would sit on his counsel. Caoimhe petitioned for permission to “renovate” part of downtown and the Harpy shared a moment with Beth as they both knew that the Black Box, currently under the thumb of the Toreador Patrick, would soon under new management. Spencer recognized his moment to ask for the Right of Progeny. But before Caoimhe’s silent protest could be noticed, the Prince consented “as long as the Tremere Primogen accepts your candidate”. Tony, seeing value in being visible in some aspects while invisible in others, submitted himself for a court position. The Prince, Seneschal, and Sheriff exchanged glances and Jerome welcomed his new Keeper of Elysium.  Kate, who had long lived as a snowbird, asked for Domain in Washington Park. The coterie recognized that the Gangrel’s new demesne was immediately adjaent to their own shared hunting grounds – although different members of the coterie probably had different opinions about that. Beth, realizing that a longstanding problem for the coterie remained unaddressed, petitioned for the Prince’s aid in revitalizing the coterie’s Domain – which, of course, would have to start with the quashing of the mobsters exerting power there. The Prince assured the Malkavian that this was also in Clan Ventrue’s best interest and that one of his retainers would soon contact her with ideas and, more importantly, a line of credit. Trent just wanted to live. The fledgling had no idea what was going on other than his fate was on the line. Nathan, who was visibly disturbed by the proceedings, omitted that he “had to think about it” when asked about his boon. The PI was subsequently tasked with showing the ropes to Trent and helping the fledgling understand the night to night intricacies of unlife. And with a slight nod from Prince Solomon, Tatyana drew her sword and decapitated Rachael. The Anarch’s head rolled off the side of the yacht and plunked into the Providence River and her body slumped on the deck. Nathan looked even paler than usual as the Kindred were dismissed. As the group made its way off of the boat, Spencer was able to slip away to investigate the stateroom that he had noticed earlier. Beyond the door, a man was heard screaming “No!  Not again!  Please, someone help me!” Spencer opened the door to find a man cowering in a corner and the Carla, mouth dripping with blood, looming over him. The Tremere stood dumbfounded as the Giovanni approached him. “Have a pleasant evening,” Carla stated plainly in broken English as she slowly closed the door. Screams penetrated the otherwise still night. Spencer left, helpless to intervene. *** Several months later, Tony posed as a janitor in the Biltmore, tracking the comings and goings of Kindred in his new position of Keeper of Elysium. The Nosferatu noted his chauffeur as he left a letter for him with the concierge containing tickets to the “Hartford Orchestral Performance.” Tony attended the performance in his private box seat and towards the end the orchestra departed the stage leaving a single individual playing Chopin on the piano. The performance ended and a long time after the audience had left, the performer remained on stage lost in a musical reverie. Tony approached the figure and Prince Elsa of Hartford smiled. Tony eyed the manuscript on the stand. Someone of Elsa’s talent usually memorized a piece. She didn’t need the music, but it was there. Tony sat next to her on the bench and learned his first scale. *** Beth explained to Tracy that she had discovered a way for Tracy to remain ageless like Beth without becoming a vampire and without the risk of the blood bond diluting true emotions. Tracy exclaimed that it was wonderful and offered Beth a gift of a necklace containing a vile of Tracy’s own blood. Beth was repulsed by the gift and Tracy recognized her error a moment too late. Before the two could reconcile, Beth’s doorbell rang. Beth answered the door to find an old woman. The professor looked closer and recognized the greatly aged form of Dorothy from the Athenaeum. “Master Kevin has left us before our work could be finished. Will you help us to understand the great mysteries of the universe?”  Twice shocked, Beth made no promises about continuing to ghoul the members of Kevin’s inner order, but only stated that she would look into helping the mortals. *** Spencer assigned Conrad an essay on Auspex and did his best to prepare his friend for the next step.  Spencer later opened a small package to find a cassette tape and thinking it might be a demo album, he popped it into the deck to be greeted by a familiar voice.  “My darling Spencer. You have so much more in your future than you could ever realize.  I see a home, a family. Gains and also some loss. But always the music is strong. You have a destiny in which you will lead our family into freedom. I saw this all and that’s why I chose you.  Others have worked to break our chains but you must pour the foundation of a new home.”  Tears of blood ran down Spencer’s cheek as his sire’s voice echoed through the halls of Quintessence. End Season 1

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