Providence by Night – How To Save A Life/Ready to Go (Session 16)

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, we explore some personal interactions with Spencer and Beth. Taking things a bit out of order, we pop back in time a few days to see how Spencer and Beth work together to protect the newly-arrived Tremere Ochumere. Then the narrative resumes immediately after the events of the Salon, as Spencer deals with misbehaving ghoul Conrad, and Beth makes a big decision while overcome by the horror of what she is.   Session 16 – How To Save A Life/Ready to Go – March 15-19, 2015 (Note: The beginning of this session occurs before the events of Session 15; the second half occurs immediately after. Both feature only Spencer and Beth.)

Spencer decided to take Caoimhe’s warning about the unrecognized status of his friend Ochumere seriously. However, obtaining this would require the blessing of Spencer’s Primogen, Reiss. Spencer was on far from good terms with him – and Reiss was reported to be out of town. But Spencer remembered that one Elysium, many nights ago now, Beth seemed to have gotten along with Mr. Reiss quite well, at least on a professional level. Spencer beseeched the Malkavian for assistance, and she agreed to contract the Tremere Primogen on Spencer’s behalf. The two composed a message and some nights later, Spencer, Ochumere, and Beth received an invitation to attend to the Reagent at the Warwick Chantry. They arrived at the chatry in Spencer’s sports car, a feeling of unease and being in the wrong place heavy in the air. Auspex-enhanced sight revealed the many wards surrounding the dilapidated Masonic Lodge and also a single open archway through those wards. The three Kindred entered the building and descended a Jacob’s ladder staircase at the end of the hall. Beth realized that it was identical to the warded staircase at the Providence Athenaeum. Reiss dominated the room below, leaning against a stone alter while swirling a stemless wine glass filled with a dark liquid. Reiss chastised Spencer in front of his friend and fellow Coterie member about his conduct in public. And his feud with Tremere Whip Kevin. Seeking to draw Beth into the conversations, Reis made allusions to being an educator with misbehaving students and invited Beth’s opinion on the matter. Beth commisserated as best as she could, watching as Reiss circled Ochumere like a predator, stopping to stroke her hair. It came down to brass tacks. Reiss imparted that if he had wanted Ochumere accepted, it would have been done. Likewise, if he had wanted her gone, the Blood Hunt would have already begun. So, as with so many vampiric arrangements, it came down to how much of a boon Spencer was willing to owe. An agreement was reached, and Spencer quickly left with Ochumere in tow. But Reiss bid Beth to remain and asked her to consult on some early Mesoamerican script that Reiss admitted were beyond his abilities or her sire’s earlier unsatisfactory attempts. Beth agreed to the terms trading access to the text for her annotations on the matter. But, a nerve touched by Reiss’s earlier conduct, asked one additional thing: that Reiss leave Ochumere alone. The Tremere smiled. Of course he would. Conrad had been a bad boy.  “How could you do this?” Spencer spat at his mortal friend. Conrad stuttered, helping his friend out of his gory outfit and into a purple unicorn t-shirt that he had picked up from a late-night convenience store. Conrad finally admitted that he had been on the darkweb ghoul forum again when member using the alias “Charlie Brown” had tipped him to an event where he stood a good chance of winning a sip of vampire blood. “He said that it should be only older vampires there, so I didn’t think that you would be there to see,” Conrad admitted. Spencer noted the shame in his voice and the two climbed into his car to drive back to their Newport beachhouse.  “What were you hoping to achieve?”  Spencer demanded. “You know that you could have been killed if I haven’t interfered!” Many minutes of silence passed before Conrad found the courage to speak again. “I want to be like you! You were amazing and I’m ready for the next step!” Spencer considered this, comparing the desires of Conrad with the requirements of Camarilla society. He knew that he was already in deep with local Tremere and getting Ochumere acknowledged was still not a sure thing. But he had already shown his hand by intervening for Conrad during the Salon. “Okay,” started the Tremere.  “If it is really what you want, we shall begin your internship, effective immediately.” Conrad was ecstatic and listened as Spencer detailed what he knew about Kindred society, pausing slightly on the Third Tradition. Spencer also explained everything that he knew–and probably more than he should have–concerning his Coterie’s unlives. The two arrived at the haven with more than a tinge of anticipation. * * * Beth’s night had been horrific. She was feeling overwhelmed by the lack of humanity on parade at the Salon. Spencer was the only member of her coterie that had not previously displayed overt monstrouness and, after Spencer’s homicidal display, she was now also convinced that even her own coterie were universally terrible people. Still overwhelmed when she got home, Beth called up Tracy (despite the ungodly hour) and asked if she could come over for a talk. The cardiologist agreed and soon arrived at Beth’s home and haven. Beth caught her mortal girlfriend in a tight embrace that caused the worried tension to melt away from Tracy’s shoulders. “I want to show you something,” Beth explained, leading Tracy down the stairs to her basement. “This is where I actually sleep,” Beth began. “The bed, the room upstairs. It’s just for show. And you.”  Tracy looked around the finished basement, noting the bricked-over windows, a desk covered in copies of ancient-looking papers, a mini-fridge, and a stone slab resembling a hospital table. “We’ve never been able get get lunch since we got back together. And I know you’ve been getting anxious over why I’ve avoided having you spend the night. I am… I believe the colloquial term for what I am is vampire.” Beth waited as Tracy digested the information. “I accept that you believe you are a vampire, but we’ve been through a lot and this isn’t a deal breaker for me.” Beth sighed and began a detailed explanation of why she was actually a real vampire, but Tracy simply nodded along to placate Beth. Tracy, implying that perhaps this was a previously-undisclosed fetish, asked if Beth drank blood and offered her wrist. Beth, horrified at the thought of feeding from the woman she loved, turned it away. Beth offered more explanations and bits of proof (healing wounds, extending fangs) but, lacking any overt disciplines, was unable to convince the highly rational Tracy. Beth opened up to Tracy about the Beast and Beth’s certainty that she was a monster and would inevitably succumb, but what would have been a difficult topic under any circumstances was made nigh impossible by the barrier of unbelief.  Ultimately, Beth offered up that, when the sun rose, she would die again, and would not return to life until the following evening, but cautioned Tracy not to call an ambulance or contact anyone. The two lay together in the basement until the sun stole Beth’s consciousness. But Beth awakened alone. As Beth rose before the setting of the sun, she was able to see its light through the open door out of the basement. As Beth stirred, a trembling Tracy descended the stairs, armed with a frying pan. Upon seeing Beth “alive”, Tracy sprinted into her girlfriend’s arms and they shared another embrace. Beth warned Tracy that there were “people” who would take exception to Tracy knowing about their world of darkness, the same ones who’s actions had caused Beth to despair the night before. Tracy assured Beth that, together, they could fight these metaphorical demons, both internal and external. “And for the record, the fangs are cute.”

End Session 16

End Session 15


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