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 all of the sessions so far on the main Providence by Night page.
This week’s update uses an extended Memoriam as a de facto Prelude for Spencer (Tony, Nathan, and Beth had more traditional Preludes, and recaps of these will be posted when the main narrative gets to a decent stopping point; Spencer’s Memoriam is being posted now because the frame ties into current events in the chronicle). Take a trip back to Spencer’s heady days in Los Angeles, followed by his really dark days in Los Angeles, setting up his association with his current entourage/musical collaborators, who followed him to Providence.
Memoriam – Missing – January 27-28, 2015 and 2007-08
Spencer called for a pickup from one of his entourage and headed to a downtown nightclub to feed, ignoring the Prince’s warnings that neonates are not allowed to feed downtown. A guy’s gotta eat, right? And the storm didn’t leave him many other options. Spencer located two women on the dance floor and quickly won them both over with his charm and looks. Satisfied, Spencer returned to his beach house haven. Once there, Spencer revealed to Aditi his plan for the coterie to renovate the warehouse at the heart of their domain to a club. She was over the moon with excitement at Spencer’s announcement.
The next evening, Spencer turned his kitchen table into a makeshift drafting table and starts planning out the future interior of the coterie’s club, Quintessence. Aditi, watching over his shoulder, pointed out that a lot of the themes on Spencer’s idea board match his descriptions of Club Theta. Spencer’s mind wanders back eight years to his nights in Los Angeles …
It was 2007 and Los Angeles was home to a family of wayward Tremere. They had so far escaped destruction at the hands of the Pyramid, but the threat of discovery was constant. Apollo, a Tremere Anarch, had held the Barony of West Los Angeles for three years after wrestling it from the Camarilla-loving Louis and contending with a crazy Malkavian out in Santa Monica. This night was a celebration for the Chantry at Club Theta. Spencer listened as Apollo explained to the gathered Kindred that he was very close to discovering a way to break the bonds of blood that enslaved all Tremere. A hush fell over the crowd and murmurs of wild gossip began, to be replaced by a celebratory blood orgy featuring a few mortal “guests.” Spencer took the opportunity to speak with his sire, Hathor. Hathor explained that she lived in constant fear that Vienna would someday send in an enforcer or perform some ritual to end the little family that Apollo had put together. Spencer acknowledged her concerns and asked for additional details regarding Apollo’s plan. But Hathor stated that such news was like a fine wine and had to be savored. Spencer would have to wait for the big reveal like everyone else.
Spencer then met up with his friend Ochumere, a lovely transplant from a collapsed Barony in Oregon, and the two left the excitement and made their way back to the converted dormitory that the Chantry called home. They fell asleep in each others’ arms, but Spencer woke up alone. He made his way through the dorm and into the courtyard, passing a mystical white marble orb used to practice Auspex. No one was anywhere to be found. Spencer retraced his steps back to Club Theta and tried the door. It yielded easily and Spencer rushe up the staircase, only to find the hall empty. Evidence of the previous night’s festivities was absent, save for blood stains on the carpeting. Spencer soaked the blood up and mixed it with a bit of his own in a silver chalice and drank deeply. But the ritual didn’t work – the blood was mortal after all. Spencer was descending the staircase when he finally noticed. Large piles of ash and chains were strewn across the floor in front the windows. Drapes were torn from their rods, lying piled in the corners of the room. Spencer wept, understanding the implications. His family was gone.
Over the following months Spencer tried to hold onto what was left of his home, but was always alone. One day, the power in the dorm went out – no one had been paying the bills. Another day, a local gang made its way into the dorm and left their tag in the courtyard, just meters from where Spencer had been sleeping. He was furious and ran into the courtyard. He saw the familiar marble orb, but this time it was jet black and covered in flames. Spencer resisted his Beast’s call to flee and forced himself to approach the orb. Suddenly, the flames winked out, leaving only a small obsidian sphere. Spencer gathered it in his jacket and spirited it away.
Over the next few months, Spencer was in a bad place. Living on the streets and hunting the homeless didn’t suit him. Winding down an alley, Spencer collapsed and was overcome with grief and hunger. He started weeping uncontrollable tears, the blood streaking down his face, and blood pooling around newly-formed holes in his palms. The alley door opened. Golden light and magnificent music spill out of the portal. “Hey man, are you alright?” asked a tall, broad-shouldered young man with track marks running down his arms. The man introduced himself as Artemis and beckoned Spencer to come on up, promising some delivery pizza.
Spencer complied and the two took an “Employees Only” door in the back of a convenience store, up some stairs and into a cramped studio apartment shared by two other people: a tan woman with a short bob and a well-dressed, pale fellow. The group of three friends explained that they had moved to L.A. to try to make it in the music business, and were actually looking for another roommate. But they were having troubles because they usually slept all day and worked all night. Spencer proclaimed that this arrangement suited him very well.
A year later, Spencer woke with a start, noticing that something was different. Something had snapped and no longer did the curse of the Warlocks chain him to Vienna. He didn’t understand how it was possible, and he didn’t care. Things would be all right for once in his unlife …
Spencer looked up from his newly-completed handiwork. Plans for the coterie’s new Domain litter the kitchen table. Spencer descended the stairs into the basement and removed a small wooden box from underneath his bed. He opened it and stared into the polished obsidian sphere, taking in the streaks of impurities that formed a small triangle. Spencer smiled to himself as he noticed a small crack subtly separating the apex of the shape.