Providence by Night – Down With the Sickness/Shadow (Tony’s Prelude)

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 is a look into the past, as we see how Nosferatu Tony came to be a creature of the night. Note that Tony’s prelude (and the preludes for Nathan and Beth that will be posted in the next two weeks) were played out in traditional fashion, at the start of the chronicle. Tony’s prelude was played out in two short sessions, so there’s a break in the middle to switch to a different title song.

Tony’s Prelude – Down With The Sickness/Shadow – Summer 2014

Tony Castiglionni, a loner working in the IT Department of Rhode Island Hospital, was counting down the final minutes of his shift when his manager, Dylan, asked him to come in over the weekend to finish up a project. Tony begrudgingly agreed, then clocked out and went to an awkward Friday night dinner with his friend Matt. Matt was late and Tony received terrible service before calling it a night. He bought a consolation six-pack on the way home and spent the rest of the evening in his apartment. 

That night, Tony had a weird dream where a strange, dark-haired woman he had encountered at the bar was necking him. She crooned, “Do you think I’m pretty?” He awoke with a fevered start, his skin oily and his hair loose. Terribly hungry, he made himself a large helping of pasta. But the food caused a terrible reaction, and Tony began vomiting blood. Terrified, he ran outside and collapsed in the street. A concerned woman approached and something inside took over Tony. He sprang from the ground and sank his teeth into her, drinking until there was nothing left, then running wildly into the night.

Tony came to his senses feeling better than he ever had before. Trying to recreate the feeling, he snorted bath salts, but they did not seem to have any effect. Finally realizing (or admitting) that the source of his ecstasy was blood, Tony returned to the hospital and used his credentials to gain access to a supply a whole bagged blood. He made off with a bag, consuming it before going to sleep in the server room.

Newly-embraced vampire Tony Castiglionni awoke to an incredible stench permeating the server room of the Rhode Island Hospital. Keeping to the shadows, he snuck out the back, drawing a terrified reaction from a homeless man as he strolled along the river. Tony rested on a park bench until he was unexpectedly greeted by his supervisor, Dylan. Dylan grasped Tony and passionately kissed him before transforming into the strange dark-haired woman from the bar and Tony’s dream the night before. Tony was repulsed, entranced, and confused as the the person’s visage morphed into that of a hideous corpse-like creature.

“Do you still think I’m pretty?” the creature inquired. Tony’s heart did flips as he tried to reason out his strange attraction to the creature. She then passed her makeup compact to Tony so he can behold what he has become. His fingers were bony and of odd lengths. His right eye was large and bulbous while his left was small and squinting. One ear had cauliflowered while the other had grown to a sharp point. His mouth opened to reveal a cavern of crooked teeth and his nose was arched and broken. Tony loses control again, absconding into the night, eventually tearing his way into the vagrant who had fled at the sight of him minutes earlier.

Hours later, Tony lay in a drainage pipe. He was covered in blood, his favorite hoodie and his nice work khaki pants ruined. Wandering deeper into the pipe and then through the sewers, Tony encountered another of the terrible-looking creatures. This one introduced himself as Nick. Tony agreed to follow Nick, and the pair motored away through the murky liquid in a small aluminum fishing boat. Nick made a stop at a gurgling pit to add a bit of his blood to the mix before ushering Tony to a sunken amphitheater lit with stage lights and ringed with old red-fabric theatre seats. A tall, well-dressed figure stiffly loomed toward Tony.

The figure introduced himself as Mr. Densch and Tony recounted his story.  Densch explained that their society had certain rules – rules which the creature named Bianca had broken when she sired him. Tony was scolded for his sloppiness in draining two mortals in frenzy in as many nights. The idea of favors and accountability was impressed upon Tony, Tony was told that he was being given the chance the correct the blunder that Bianca made by trying to leverage Tony’s IT position to assist in gaining control of Rhode Island Hospital. Tony’s mission was two-fold: mirror the Nosferatu computer network on the Hospital’s own server and discover a way to skim blood from the institution without alerting the mortals. With the help of a toothy engineer named Phillip, Tony had to accomplish this feat in two weeks or his unlife was forfeit.  The sins of the father….

End Tony’s Prelude

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