Providence by Night – Lawyers Guns and Money (Session 14)

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 shifts from the opening of the coterie’s new club to their efforts to deal with two gangs who have made competing claims to that club, the right to deal there, and even the club’s other profits. Faced with a biker gang and the well-established mob, the coterie’s efforts do not exactly go as planned …

Session 14 – Lawyers Guns and Money – March 14-16, 2015

The two Brujah – Nathan and Don Coyote – approached the mortal biker handcuffed to a light pole near the front of Quintessence. Nathan noticed that he had really laid a beating on the Outlaw dealer earlier in the night, and a few patrons were starting to rubberneck at the scene. Don Coyote disappeared for a minute and then returned in a maroon sedan. Nathan and Maurice loaded the prisoner into the back seat before the Deputy and the ghouled doorman spirited the gang member away.

As the party at the club wound down, the coterie met up to dissect the night, including inquiries from their fellow Kindred about access to Quintessence on later nights, and the fight between gang members that Nathan had ended. Tony reported that fellow Nosferatu Nick had approached him about the Nos wanting to frequent the club, but Beth objected to a suggested response from Tony that she thought would have essentially turned Quintessence into a secondary haven for Tony’s entire clan. Tony, still entranced by his earlier encounter with Toreador Marie Claire, insisted that she was so radiant that she should be allowed unlimited access, in the process taking a pointed shot at Providence’s other Harpy, who also served as the coterie’s Shadow. Beth returned the bag of pinkish drugs that she had seen dropped when Nathan entered the earlier fight. The Malkavian seemed none-too-pleased with Nathan, who was then forced to explain what had happened with the fight, including his history with the Outlaws and the possibility that his sire, Rachael, was running the gang. Spencer argued that Rachael should be blackballed from the club because one of her gang was involved in the fight, but the conversation was interrupted when Nathan received a message from Don Coyote.

Following the Deputy’s prompt, Nathan, Tony, and Beth traveled to the VFW post on Winter Street, leaving Spencer behind to finish closing up the club. When they arrived at Post 172, Nathan immediately spotted the stolen sedan from earlier that night. The coterie found the post unlocked, and descended the stairs to find a bar area decorated with faded patriotic ephemera. They also found Maurice and Coyote’s right-hand man, Tex, and several of Tex’s ghouls, who for all the world appeared to be (and, it turns out, were) members of the Post. The vampires and ghouls stood watch over the captured Outlaw, who was now handcuffed to a sturdy wooden chair. Don Coyote emerged from behind a pair of saloon-style doors, wiping blood from his forearms with a dirty dishcloth. “I told you I’d wait for you, Nathan.”

Tony and the Brujah quietly discussed how to handle the biker’s interrogation. Beth wanted to depart, rather than stick around for what seemed destined to turn into a torture session. But Nathan asked that she stay so that she could use her ability to read emotions to help assess any responses provided, and Beth reluctantly agreed.

Tony and Nathan began a good cop/bad cop routine to soften the captive up. Early in the questioning, Nathan realized that the biker was looking a notably better than he had looked a few hours ago, but shook the feeling away. Under Tony’s questioning, the biker revealed that the Outlaw Motorcycle Club was indeed back in town and had chosen Quintessence as a premiere spot to sell drugs. Nathan took his turn in asking where the Outlaws were currently based, but the biker instead berated Nathan, stating that he had “laid him out really good during their last scuffle”. Nathan’s mind reassembled the words a few times before recognizing the biker as the leather-clad man who he had chased down an alley last summer. A chase that had ended with a two-by-four to Nathan’s head.

Nathan’s mind flooded with rage as the consequences of that encounter surged up from his memory – his meeting with Rachael, his transformation into a vampire, the misery of his continued existence. Beth, Tony, and the rest watched in horror as the Beast took hold of Nathan – and Nathan took hold of the still-laughing biker. The Brujah casually lifted up the biker, chair and all, and smashed him into the wall. Repeatedly. The building cleared as the raging Nathan turned his only clue to the whereabouts of his sire into a dark red smear on a wall decorated with the memories of dead heroes.

The following night, the coterie avoided each other and any discussion of what had transpired the night before. At Quintessence, Spencer aided Conrad in setting up for his set. Tony met up with Nick, and at Tony’s suggestion the two vampires broke into the apartment of a member of the mob that had been threatening the coterie’s club. What had started as a simple theft of blood and property turned darker when Tony accepted Nick’s suggestion that they simply kill the mobster in his sleep – and then set fire to the apartment on their way out to cover their tracks.

Beth visited the Providence Athenaeum, and got the newcomer’s tour from an attendant named Dorothy. During the tour, Beth’s sight revealed what appeared to be an infinite staircase descending into an impossibly placed room – a staircase that seemed to be simply ignored by all of the other patrons, as if they didn’t even realize it was there. However, her sight also revealed the working of familiar blood sorcery – the same ward patterns that had surrounded the haven of Kevin, the Tremere whip. The same wards that had badly burned Spencer. It was no surprise, then, when Kevin – who had originally suggested that Beth join the Athenaeum – appeared to engage discuss matters. The vampire spoke openly about how Beth might be able to iad the Tremere in the future, and receive access to hidden knowledge for her efforts.

Nathan had awakened still at the VFW post, which appeared to have been shut down during the day, the gruesome remains of his actions last night still spattered on the walls and floor. Nathan grimly mopped up puddles of coagulated blood. He dropped the Outlaw’s remains in a dumpster, doused them with hard liquor, and set the whole mess ablaze. He went back to his apartment, and collapsed in a depressed stupor.

The following night, Nathan awoke to find a message from his ‘pal’ Bruno, who related that “Lieutenant Johnny” from the Providence mob had agreed to a meeting that night at the Red Fez on Peck Street. Nathan cleaned up and relayed this information to the rest of the coterie. They all arrived at the appointed time, sliding into a large booth that at the back of the restaurant. The lone, middle-aged gentleman with a crisp dress shirt and sharp green eyes welcomed the group. He explained that he spoke on behalf of the current head of the Providence mob, who was unfortunately occupied with a sting in prison. Johnny praised the group’s entrepreneurship, reiterating the mob’s demands for an immense cut of the club’s revenue. Tony, for his part, sought to throw the mobster off his game with some awkward conversation. Beth made a case that the mob sought access to a potentially lucrative drug market at the club, but instead of offering to pay for that access, were seeking a cut of the club’s revenue that would put it out of business, leaving the mob with nothing. Nathan pointed out that the mob’s only take the night before had been given to them by Nathan, who had taken it from the Outlaws – the mob wasn’t even able to keep a rival criminal element out of the club. But the made man was unrelenting in his demands, blowing off what he described as a schoolmarm and a failed cop who should know better than to go against the mob – the coterie would pay or face the consequences. However, Johnny said that, as a courtesy, he would give the group until the end of the month to come up with the cash, and would not apply a penalty for the group’s failure to come to the mob before opening a business in their territory. The mobster then left, kindly informing the waitress that the coterie’s tab for the night was on him.

End Session 14

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