Ultimate New York By Night

Entertaining Guests

Entertaining Guests

::Albrecht to Warehouse 9 after dropping Buchanan off – still shaken by the encounter with Orion but eager to check on his guest.::

::Al strides into his haven, giving Rutgar a cheery smile:: Rutgar, how is our new quest acclimating to life here?

::Rutgar returns his master’s smile, his barely contained excitement held in check only through decades of observing social decorum at all times:: Master, he was angry at first and struggled against the chains – in time though, and after a small meal, he calmed. ::Excitement starts to creep in the edges of his voice:: He asked questions about you, master. He asked about this crafting you spoke of before – I told him of your faces. ::Rutgar’s voice drops to a whisper:: He seemed to understand what I spoke of and became quiet.

::Albrecht nods throughout Rutgar’s report, a grin spreading across his face once more at the bit about understanding:: That is excellent Rutgar – we may have much to learn from this guest. ::Albrecht makes towards the lab – humming A Lonesome Night:: Humm – Milan, is our Rose regaining her bloom? I should like to introduce our guests to one another tonight.

::The pair stand silently together as the hatch opens to the lower levels – when the last bolt slides into place Rutgar responds:: She has recovered her wits – though she is crying out for blood. I am sorry to say that after providing for the young man I am at critical levels. I fear she will slide back into that ‘torpor’ business soon if you don’t hunt for her master. ::Rutgar takes a moment to put his words into order:: As far as the tissue samples – they appear to be dead yet are not decomposing. That is a good sign – when Milan and yourself have found the time to feed, phase two will be ready for you.

::Albrecht takes in this lukewarm news and proceeds straight towards the fiends ward:: Evening Sharpbone, I am sorry it has taken me so long to see you but other patients. You understand I’m sure. Either way, you were going on earlier about the issues of Milan and the blame falling on the Nosferatu. I would like to clear the water for you in that regard.

::The Tzimisce opens his eyes – a cold analytical mind seeps from behind the orbs as he silently takes in Al’s words:: First I am a Nosferatu ::Al warns the patient and takes off his mask for a brief moment – the Fiend is completely unfazed by what he sees:: I have taken extreme measures to combat our curse. The other Nosferatu do not appreciate my research or effort yet, but in time they will. Milan issue relates to them ::The man stiffens at this remark – as though his worries are coming to life:: Calm – the Nosferatu asked me to, well its best if I just show you. ::With a gesture – Rutgar begins wheeling the bed across the hall – the door opening to what could only be called a mirror image save one difference. With the barrier removed the pained breaths of Milan can be heard in the sterile air.:: The Nos do not have her, I do, at their request. ::The Fiends eyes widen – his situation has shifted to the unexpected:: You however, you are a gift. I sadly can not allow you to leave until my obligations to the Nos are fulfilled, but in time I trust we will come to understand one another. At that time you will be free to go – in the mean time Milan is a major focus of my research. If my sires stories are true – I could share her. ::Al lets the suggestion linger in the air::

::Sharpbone lies motionless on the bed – strapped down by chains. Time seems to pass by ever so slowly, then he speaks:: Interesting – the Nos do have Milan. Granted the situation is a complex and strange one. You are right to study and work to better your vampiric condition – though working with ::Sharpbone gestures as best he can with his bound hands at Al’s face:: human flesh is a step in the wrong direction. ::The fiend lies back on the bed and speaks no more – but the interest is clear in his voice::

::Rutgar and Al wheel Sharpbone back to his room and lock both patients in – Albrecht is clearly thinking and looks at his watch ((1:00)):: Humm the night is still young – Rutgar the meeting with the Nos and Roses is tomorrow. I don’t need to tell you that they have dirt enough to bury us all ::gestures to Milan’s room:: I’m going to head out and keep an eye on them again – see that they are not double crossing us. I’ll be home before five – see if you can get Sharpbone to loosen up.

::Rutgar nods but worry is written on his face as well:: Master, the Milan girl is quiet malnourished now and Sharpbone is still healing as well. When do you think the next opportunity to hunt will be? ::Al shakes his head:: I don’t know friend, but I will see to it as soon as matters cool down for a moment. The Nos at too much of a threat now to just ignore them and see to our baser needs. ::The two give their goodbyes and Al heads off into the night::

((It is not too much later that Albrecht has worked his way into a empty room in a small apartment complex nearby to the Nosferatu Warrens entrance))

Log Entry – XX/XX/XXXXNYC Firefighter Museum

1:45 A.M. – The streets are still and no movement as yet – the fire station doors have remain closed.

2:12 A.M. – Slight movement behind the building – muffled metallic clang.

2:29 A.M. – The gate keeper crosses the street and seeing no one heads off into the night.

2:45 A.M. – Hard to tell features, but it appears some shovel heads have approached the warrens. Perhaps fiends asking the Nos if they have any info about the disappearance of a clan mate.

3:02 A.M. – “Homeless” kindred comes back around and after some discussion a small light flares to life briefly. The light glints off the shovelheads faces oddly – probably fiends or ferals.

3:27 A.M. – The doors open to darkness and the three shovelheads head back down the street without pause.

3:36 A.M. – Doorman comes by again, cocks his head strangely like Twat sometimes does.

((A large gap appears in the records as this point – stained deeply in red))

4:32 A.M – Surveying the scene all seems clear, doorman is gone. Need to get out of here.

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Buchanan's Journal #4
“If you can dream - and not make dreams your master”

What a difference a day can make – or in this case 48 hours. Although I still think we’re being led by the nose by others instead of leading.

We’d been told to stay together and stay near the phone, which we did for a tense two days. Then finally Victor Cadiz called and summoned us over to the Rose’s Haven. When we got there the place was crawling with security – kine security at that – in slick suits, shades and earpieces. Feeling like extras in a Matrix knock-off, we headed inside only to be informed that one of Cristophe’s favorites, Milan, was missing and that the Nos were the favorites as kidnappers.

Now, since we need her Old Man on our side to smooth the path for an Elysium at Carnegie hall, this wasn’t good news. Nor was Cristophe’s foaming at the mouth and readying for war with the Fugly Clan. Still, I talked him out of having us snatch a Nos as revenge and into having a sit-down meeting with their representative to see if the feud between their Clans could be resolved in a more civilized fashion. At that point, we left and went back to my Haven to regroup and ready for talking to the Nosferatu.

(Seems that feud traces back to his predecessor, Veronica, who was a right Thatcher and no mistake. Seems she had a Nos “put down” as Cris so indelicately put it. A Nos who had been his girl Eleven’s lover and thought he’d be a Rose until Veronica started playing the usual back-stabbing games that keeps our Kindred in the dark ages while the kine go to the Moon. My word, what a sorry bunch we are.)

Next thing we knew, we’d been summoned to the Faustian Syndicate with a hurry-up-and-pronto. When we got there it was to find still more heavy kine security – in sharper suits and with even more heavily armored SUVs. The reason for their presence soon became apparent as Victor introduced us to none other than bloody Jaffar himself, the very Grand Vizier to George Senior’sAladdin and current Sabbat prince of New York!

I thought we were “properly f-ked, Tommy” but no – old Jaffar ups and congratulates us on helping preserve the peace and tells us that I have been given the title of “Special Arbiter for Sectarian Diplomacy for New York City”. Apparently the Syndicate thought that mouthful up. Meandering, magical, multi-minded morons.

Still, a title with both Prince’s names behind it – so of we jolly well trot back to the Nos warren and relate the glad tidings to their liaison Twat. He was pretty sarcastic at first, calling me out for abandoning my integrity and doing a deal with the Sabbat. But I explained that Jaffar’s involvement was Cadiz’ doing rather than mine and he agreed to the meeting, while denying that his Clan had Milan.

So…I decided to “risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss” and offered the Nos a new deal: back my play when it came and if I rose high enough I’d make sure they were given a new Elder position: Elder of the Underground. It would only be acknowledging what everyone already knows, after all – but people, being people, do like the obvious of their accomplishments acknowledged. He didn’t quite agree – but then he didn’t utterly disagree either.

Which leaves us on the proverbial cusp, waiting for this parlay to take place in the back storage area at one of SpYttE’s gigs in a couple of nights. Darwin’s beard, I hope it goes well. And I’m hoping against hope that the daft lass Milan went off on a shopping spree or something and will wander back unharmed on her own, because while if she turns up the meeting still has to happen on the orders of the two Princes, if she turns up dead I’ve a feeling everything will go to hell in a hand basket.

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To pluck a Rose - ::slice:: She loves me. ::slice:: She loves me not.

To pluck a Rose – ::slice:: She loves me. ::slice:: She loves me not.

((The night after Milan’s abduction – Warehouse 9))

Rutgar: ::Shaking Albrecht:: It’s time to wake master – I have the girl tied down but she is starting to come too.

Albrecht: ::Rising stiffly from his mortuary chamber:: So Milan is up then – you did not let her get in your head? Good good. Lets see what I have to work with them – set up the camera for me if you would.

((The pair start to create a drastic change in the lab: The lights are turned off and a bloody red glow radiates from a eerie lantern, Albretch is quickly disguising his identity – putting on rugged leathers strapped down with blades, and Rutgar is dutifully setting up the recording apparatus.))

Albrecht: ::Striding across the room with scalpel in hand:: Dear sweet Milan, do you know who I am?

Milan: ::Bloody tears streak the face of the Rose – her words coming out a whimper:: You-You’re that doctor who follows Buchanan around. Why are you doing this to me?!

Albrecht: ::Gently stroking the red tears from her face, before licking them from his finger tips:: Sweetling – I assure you it is not my wish to harm you. Yet the fates conspired and made this an opportunity not to be missed. You see your sire has angered some very powerful kindred – and I have yet to have the rare chance to experiment upon -

Milan: NO! Please, I did what you asked. Daddy is going to help – I can get you more money! Let me go please, I won’t say anything to anyone! Don’t kill me please ::ends in senseless sobs::

Albrecht: I do not plan to kill you – Christophe perhaps in time. No, you are precious. ::Al takes the scalpel and slices away at the base of her throat, expertly avoiding major veins:: Your face will grow back in a ::pauses a moment:: I have no idea for a Rose, weeks perhaps or faster? In the mean time ::Al continues to cut away the muscles and skin as the young girl screams and struggles:: I can work with a new medium. Will your flesh be able to live on as human flesh can – longer perhaps? Will vatae nourish your tissues – must it be yours or will mine suffice. If my blood works will it taint your flesh with our curse? So many questions.

((Though Al’s skills are formidable – the loss of blood has driven Milan to torpor. A small boon, she should be less threat to Rutgar until her feeding must begin again. She must be strong to provide further material))

Albrecht: ::Bahh:: We do not have time for this, Rutgar provide the young miss so blood. Then we must begin rolling tape. The Nos will want their proof and Christophe is so stubborn ::tisk::

((As Milan starts to revive new horror draws of the ruin of her face. A thin red sheen shines in the ruddy light as Albretch begins a wholly different procedure – one lacking any purpose than to horrify and disturb.))

Albretch: ::Lying on a couch with his eyes closed and rubbing his temples:: Dear god – that last bit was not medicine. Rutgar, I wish you to understand, that was not of the craft. ::Long drawn out sigh:: Keep the girl under watch – I need to deliver this tape to the Nos and see that they distribute it through the proper channels.

((Rutgar’s face shows his pleasure at the events that have recently transpired, despite his masters warnings. He numbly nods as he mills over to the Rose’s bedside))

Rutgar: ::Turning his head slowly:: As you wish master – thank you.

((After dropping off the package with Twat – Al spends some time observing the Nosferatu. If they should betray him – he must be ready to flee NYC))

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Buchanan's Journal #3
If...

What a near disaster of a day.

First, another visit to the Nosferatu warren turned into a macho-fest between Twat and my companions. Still, Albert did manage to get some kind of deal out of them, I think. He says he didn’t but later said some things too close to the deal they offered me last time for comfort. Best I don’t know, probably.

Then, my retainer Edgar tells us that the Ventrue Primogen, Viennatti, is to be indicted on various financial charges and thus his promises to fund both Albert’s research and the Carnegie Elysium are worthless. But that doesn’t matter because the Carnegie won’t have us at any price unless the booking comes via Wallace Whittig.

And finally, a visit to the Toreador “palace” leads us – well, Albert really, he did very well and all kudos to him – to promise Milan Foster-Whittig the position of Keeper if she’ll convince her old man to not only fund the Elysium but get Carnegie to agree to the booking.

By half-way through the night I was in an unaccustomed funk, almost ready to go watch a sunrise, in outrage at the way Fate had played with my most valued plans. My worst performance to date and one that certainly shook my confidence – and the confidence of my companions in me.

What’s that verse from Kipling, the poem that Sir Edward swore was always his guide and should be mine too? Ah yes:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

So…

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A Night of SpYttE-ful Deeds

“Slowly changing! I would love to beat the face of any motherf*cker who thinks they are going to change me!” -Mudvayne “Dig”

This song had been running through my mind through that whole night. A bit out of my usual zone of musical preference, but I like to think of it as my driving thought process of that night. I was in less of a mood to scar the people with my words, and more with my nails, teeth, and fists.

In hindsight, I pity Buchannan even more than I had that night. Then, I believe I was really acting like my old mortal self, drunk and caustic. It must have been that goth-blonde I had found a while before I had shown up. She didn’t taste sober, which excited me to no end. I know at least part of it was alcohol and maybe some illegal substance or another, but that was all I needed to get that old feeling back.

Our first trip led us back to those Nos-f*ckers, and I made sure to hint left and right that I was not just going to sit and watch their games. Twat didn’t like that very much. We didn’t gain sh*t from that, but we’re far from finished with those pricks.

Our next trip proved fruitless, but I did get some recognition for BloodRape, which really made my night. That show I had done the night before really bumped Stripped Cog Nightmare to some limelight. Buchannan, on the other hand, was not a very happy camper. Turns out, none of his deals were working out, and he was on the brink of losing all that he was working for. Or something like that. Don’t remember that very well. I just remember having offered to break some knee caps. People tend to be much more cooperative when they don’t have knees to help them stand in firm defiance, so I thought that would be of enough comfort to turn his fanged frown upside down. It really wasn’t.

Our last stop was to the Toreador palace. Nice place with soft company, I didn’t fit in well. While they were discussing issues with Mulan, or whatever the f*ck her name was, I couldn’t concentrate. Just before entering her chamber, the receptionist and a few loiterers recognized me from the show from last night. I was flattered, but I was even more preoccupied with the next demo or even if a major label would begin courting us. That would be a life’s (And unlife’s) ambition realized for me. I wondered if the Masquerade would allow it.

I came up with a title (Hookers and Blood) before we had to leave. I was glad to get on the move. I had plans and ideas. I knew that Buchannan probably needed a good couple of days sleep to get over this issue. All I knew was good shit for me and hard shit for us seemed to be on its way.

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False Fears Hide True Dangers

False Fears Hide True Dangers

::Ring Ring::

Albrecht: Hello, who is this?

Milan: Sorry to disturb you again so soon after you’ve left, but I talked to daddy – we had a fight. He said he will do it, but I’m scared. I think he might look for me again. Christophe is going to be really really mad.

Albrecht: Is Christophe there yet?

Milan: No, he called right as you left but he is running a little late. What should I do?

Albrecht: Christophe has been pressured with blood hunts on his childe before, you need to leave now and tell no one. I will send my ghoul Rutgar to meet you behind city hall – near the Brooklyn Bridge.

Milan: ::Sob:: Wh-why is this happening. I just wanted to be the Keeper.

Albrecht: ::shuuu shuuu:: It’s ok child. I’ll keep you safe – you have aided us at great risk to yourself – I should have foreseen it. You will be Keeper, but first I must ensure your safety.

Milan: ::silence:: Ok – I’m coming, but I’m scared.

Albretch: I know, it’s ok everything will be fine and I’ll see you soon. ::click:: Rutgar we must act quickly – go and pick up the the Rose Milan and be delicate. She must not know she is a prisoner – she is our guest but a captive guest. Start up the car and wait for me outside.

Rutgar: ::Nods:: Yes master. ::Hurried foot steps and the rattling and clanking of the door can be heard from below::

Albrecht: ::Making his way quickly for the Sprinter, Al’s foot falls are filled with grim purpose:: Rutgar drop me off by Buchanan’s apartment – take the Williamsburg bridge.

::It is not long before Al is walking along the brightly lit paths of the Syndicate’s grounds – making no effort to be unseen as he approaches the doors::

Albrecht: ::Knock Knockthe door swings open:: Greetings brothers, I was wondering if the Praxis might enlighten me, I would like to know how I am to serve.

::The Foustian’s continue to scurry about without sparing Al the briefest glance – busy at some unknown task. Albrecht steps inside and sits in the lobby patiently playing with his mask as he waits – checking every bit of its surface for the brush of decay. He finally stands and makes his way towards the doors of the Praxis. Foustian’s continue to attend their business like a swarm of wingless bees, yet one moves to stand in the way – shaking his head::

Albrecht: Suppose I am not wanted here now. Let the Praxis know I payed a visit.

::As Albrecht makes his way home a breath before dawn, he makes a single call. Rutgar would be very busy today::

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Buchanan's Journal #2
Deals and Developments

Three interesting developments, maybe four, to keep track of.

1) Our new comrade, Arturo of the Giovanni Clan. Talks like someone out of a Hollywood mafia flick but obviously a hard man, a “button man” as he puts it. He says his family is ready to help against George Snr and the Sabbat and he’s just the first installment, but it has to be kept “on the low down”. Such quaint colloquialisms. A bit of a rough type: carries a gun to meetings in public places and yet is paranoid about being followed or observed (mind you, who isn’t these days).

N.B. Be more circumspect about the Giovanni’s involvement. (Perhaps already blown this.)

2) Albrecht kidnapped a Pentex security guard and had him neatly trussed up in his basement. Bit of a surprise. More so when he and Arturo set to torturing the poor wight. I couldn’t stomach it, I confess – so I made an excuse about deniability being politically expedient and went back upstairs. At least the guard confirmed where we might find Cassandra Finch, key to the Gangrel – although Al needn‘t have bothered. Still, the bit about political deniability is still true. We might need to know stuff by methods I don’t need to know about.

N.B. make a point of letting Al know that he’s trusted and that if he sees something needing done he should just go ahead and do it without my needing to be in the loop. If it’s something he shouldn’t really be doing or I shouldn’t really know about, he’ll just have to not get caught at it.

3) Edgar says he has a spot of trouble but was unable to tell me what it was. Not good enough. He cut me off to have dinner.

N.B. Get a hold of Edgar, find out what’s going on, remind him sternly of his responsibilities and duties.

4) Met with the Toreador leader Cristophe. He tried a first blood bond by the hoary old “blood in wine” gambit, so I made sure mine got added too. Let it work both ways – I’ve nothing against loyalty being strengthened a bit as long as the strengthening helps me as well as the other party. Probably slipped by mentioning the Toreador to him, but we’ll see. He may actually mean his promises. He also told us everything we’d got from the pentex guard. Al was peeved at what he saw as wasted effort – i saw it as useful to have confirmation. Had a bit of a clash of wills but I’m confident I gave a decent account there, even if he and I almost came to blows. He has to know I intend being the leader, the dominant, even if title and power would suggest otherwise. You have to want it enough and it’s clear Cristophe doesn’t – more concerned with protecting his own Clan’s illegal get and making treaties with the Sabbat than being a Camarilla team player. Sir Edward would have him executed “pour encourage les autres”, but I’ve no such privilege yet.

Still, we’ve a deal: his backing for my future progress if when I get there I’ll give the Toreador the Elder of Manhattan chair, Account his strays and he gets prime choice of Elysium notables. Since they’d be the best I can see so far for both jobs I agreed. He only gets them if he backs me and I succeed though, so there would be no reason I can see (as yet) not to grant those boons as long as he’s loyal. Loyalty must be the reward for loyalty and first come, first served. The deal’s probably more dangerous for him than I at this stage. I’d just get killed if it were public. He’d likely see his whole NYC Clan go down before they let him die.

N.B. I need to test this deal. So set up a way to do a favor for the Toreador and then ask for a slightly larger one in return.

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A Conversation With London
Buchanan makes his report to Sir Edward Stafford

:: The strains of Elgar‘s “Pomp and Circumstance” come from Buchanan’s Sat-Phone. Recognising the pre-programmed ring-tone, he answers and waits for the hiss of an encrypted connection to cease::

Buchanan: Sire, your servant Buchanan here.

Sir Edward Stafford: Buchanan, dear boy. Report.

Buchanan: Sire, I am now Accounted by the Praxis and have made contact with the Primogen here. He is a shame to our Clan, to be honest – utterly indifferent to anything but his business dealings with the kine and his own pleasures. However, his lieutenant is most able and very helpful. I’ve been able to include the Primogen, through his good offices, in a new company I’ve set up and he has funded it with $1 million, sufficient for the present. I’ll have Edgar send you the details, in case you wish to acquire a stake yourself.

Sir Edward: That was well done, boy, and I’ll mention it to others. Getting Viennatti enmeshed in a Clan-controlled venture may well come in handy in the future. And it’s good to hear confirmation of my intelligence that McManus is the real controlling hand. The boy could go further than his Primogen, I believe, if he’d just return fully to the fold. But what of the Praxis. Is it as bad as I’ve heard?

Buchanan: Worse, my Lord. The Praxis seemed to me not entirely focused on the here and now, veering off at tangents of its own devising. The Nosferatu had asked us – my companion Albert Rosenkreuz and myself – to stage an Elysium Event to prove the Camarilla was no spent force in the City and had shaken on an agreement to turn out in force. It certainly seemed a good rallying point and we convinced McManus, who got Viennatti to fund the thing. We’d tentatively earmarked Carnegie Hall as a venue but when I asked the Praxis about the idea it became almost apoplectic, thundering that no such event was to ever be authorized. Yet, more worrying still, Priscis Dixby told us afterwards to keep planning the Elysium, and that he’d make sure the Prince went along in time. It’s almost as if the Prince isn’t…

Sir Edward: …Now, boy. Enough. Didn’t I tell you that the situation across the pond was highly confused and you’d have to tread carefully? That tendency of yours to attempt running before you can walk will be the end of you if you’re not careful. Take your time, develop your knowledge of all the players, then act. Festina Lente, young man, Festina Lente.

Buchanan: ::Chastised:: I hear and obey, my Lord.

Sir Edward: And enough of that pouty-lipped nonsense too! You’ll have explored the stance of the other Clans too, I expect? I’ve only heard about Ventrue and Nosferatu so far.

Buchanan: Well, Sire, there I’ve hit a bit of a stone wall. The Toreador Primogen has heartily backed the event but the Brujah will only turn out if the Gangrel do – and the Gangrel are nowhere to be found.

Sir Edward: Come now. The Toreador are gossips – use them to hurt the Sabbat that way boy. Use the weapons you have. If you pull off the Elysium you’ll have use for them then too. Make some of them Harpies and let them loose. But what did I tell you about the Gangrel? They’ll hide in plain sight but in the last place anyone would expect. Like Zulus in the veldt, the buggers will pop up when you least expect it. Just be careful you don’t end up singing “Men of Harlech” when they do. Get some muscle, boy, and stand alongside it!

Buchanan: In that respect I have some good news, Sire. The Brujah gave us one of their own for our little Coterie, an individual named SpYttE.

Sir Edward: Good-oh. What do you deduce from this, boy? Come on, use your brain.

Buchanan: That the Brujah already support the idea of an Elysium, Sire, and getting the Gangrel involved is more in the way of a test…

Sir Edward: …Spot on! But it’s one you still have to ace, young chap, because…?

Buchanan: Sire, because the point of the Elysium is to show a unity that hasn’t been there before and thus strengthen our apparent bargaining position even if we’ve little behind it.

Sir Edward: ::chuckles:: Well done. You can win a rubber with no trumps at all if you have the brass for it, son. Remember that. Now, tell me about the Nosferatu.

Buchanan: They’re strong, Sire, far stronger than I imagined. I’ve been in their lair and there’s dozens and dozens, all behind some fearsome fortifications – they’re deathly afraid of something, Albert says.

Sir Edward: Yes they are. And don’t you go meddling or looking for that particular bit o’ trouble, ye hear?

Buchanan: And I’m afraid I lost my temper a bit, Sire. The Nosferatu liason, name of Twat would you believe, froze Albert and SpYttE out of our last meeting. Albert being one of them took it badly and when I emerged from their lair I found him torturing some poor stray dog. I reacted quite angrily.

Sir Edward: How’d this Albert take it?

Buchanan: He seemed quite chastened, Sire. He’s a good fellow really.

Sir Edward: That’s m’boy. Show them you’re the leader and they’ll follow. But never, ever abuse it. We’ve seen too much of that sort of thing and it’s ended where you are now. So what are your plans?

Buchanan: well, Sire, we’ve been told by three separate sources to look up one woman, a Cassandra Finch. Apparently she’s a scientist and our route into the Gangrel. But we’ve only a vague idea where to find her.

Sir Edward: Use the Nosferatu and the Roses, m’boy. Between them they’ll know where she is. They also know about some treaty or other with the Sabbat. Find out about that.

Buchanan: Yes, my Lord. I need to speak to the Toreador Primogen, Cristophe, about other matters too. I still need to get some notion of the Sabbat’s stomping grounds and he’s our liason while the rest of the power players in the local Camarilla are out of town on some hush-hush mission. But I don’t think the Nos will tell me anything – last time, they wanted to trade a Toreador for information, as part of some old feud. I wouldn’t do it, of course.

Sir Edward: Pish-posh, lad. Another test! You’re going to have to get up before the sun goes down if you want to catch the early worm. Now mark my words, you hear me? No rushing things or you’ll feel the flat of my hand.

::click::

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Meeting the Nos and Learning of Terrors.
A Selection from "Albrecht's Reflections"

Rutgar ::Bam Bam:: its me again – let me in. Quickly.

Master ::quickly glancing over the dirtied and distressed form before him before casting his eyes downward:: what happened tonight?

It is on little matter Rutgar, just quiet for a moment and close that door quickly. I will be going below – let no one enter, be it Buchanan or the Praxis or Cain himself. We will talk of this on our next rising.

::Albrecht quickly opens the inner sanctum and rushes below – the solid steel doors closing slowing after his receding form::

All those Nos – terrified. I am in deep shit, I thought those stories were just another of my sires cruel jokes. I am not safe alone – I’m not safe anywhere. My kin felt danger despite all their defenses and knowledge.

I have acted most poorly this night – I thought myself safe at last from Jethro and my kind. Only to learn I have come among greater terrors with only the friendship of one silver tongued Ventrue. Buchanan can’t keep me safe from these things – th the Syndicate can help. Gods I’ve spurned them this night – I need them if I am to be safe. What in the hells can I do – can I hide from them? ::In his panic Al is pulling the dying hair from his mask in clumps, not seeing them fall to the floor::

Would I be safer with the Nos? If I go among them they will kill me – they with tamper with my work and mock my art. I need more ghouls – stronger doors and stronger weapons. How can this be real – I’m the predator now I CAN’T BE HUNTED!

::A muffled knock comes from above and an indistinguishable voice::

Gods it trailed me back here! Rutgar is dead… ::Al finally notices the flashing light of the coms systems::

Who who is it?!

Master, its just me sir – I’m worried and scared. Can I come below tonight?

::Al quickly glances at the security screens, it all looks clear but what unknown powers might these things have?"::

Rutgar, are you alone up there?

Yes, Master. Why are you so scared?

A vampire fears nothing – the first mask we got together, do you remember it?

Yes sir, we took the face from one of your sires kine. A pretty girl with bright eyes, you never wear women’s faces though – quite a waste.

::A low rumble echoes off the subterranean lair as the doors slide open – and just as quickly slide back::

Master! Your face! What happened?!

::Albreacht hand darts to a small mirror kept on him at all times – and he stares into the reflection::

Gods, I’ve destroyed it. Rutgar I must tell you about something, but I will need to be calm. Could you fetch the Facade, it always brings me an air of peace.

Yes Master – but after please tell me.

::The two talk till sunrise about the terrors that sup upon sewer rats – and of what must be done to secure the research, to make sure it can go on.::

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Buchanan's Journal #1
Meetings with the "leadership".

I finally met our local “betters” tonight and I must say I’m not impressed. A loudmouth oik called Eddie Dixby and a learing maroon called Victor Cadiz. The first would be flipping burgers or shining my shoes if he wasn’t Embraced and the second I recognized from a totally humdrum daytime TV soap I saw on my last holiday in Ibiza. Apparently, Dixby is the Speaker in this city – good grief but that’s depressing. He’s an utter chump with no respect for the Traditions – in London he‘d be exposed as an Anarch in two jiffies. Telling us we haven’t been properly Accounted yet but then asking who is boss and telling us all kinds of stuff that basically assumes we’ve passed Accounting. Then he answers my Domain door without even asking leave and actually threatens me with a Blood Hunt when I bring him up gently on his appalling lack of manners. The nerve of the man! Let’s hope he knows no-one in London or my Dignitas will take a huge step backward. I’ll need to account with him one day, somehow.

Still, they gave us a cellphone to contact the Syndicate, which is what passes for Praxis in this benighted city, and told us to go see the Nos. So like good little neonates off we went – although Victoria headed off on her own to see what she could dig up about the Big Bads from her European contacts. Nice lass, very well put together mentally. If she wasn’t so arty she could be a Ventrue.

Any old how, we picked up the merc at the office and I got time to finalise matters with Edgar.

(N.B. Shell company for Albrecht will be Rosy Cross Medical Research Ltd. Incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, office address to be P.O. number in Rosslyn, Scotland (Near the cloned sheep place). Edgar has $100k as initial funds for website, stationary and to establish proper cut-outs and records. Al, Edgar and I as directors – I’m CEO, Edgar is CFO and Al as Chief Researcher. All kinds of useful as conduit and might even turn an actual profit if Al knows his stuff.

P.S. Edgar‘s getting awfully nosy. Remember to ask Sire about ghouling him.)

Once out in Brooklyn by way of Al‘s haven (interesting place), the Nos lair turned out to be beneath an old fire station which is now a museum. Paranoid buggers – the place is a fortress of the Maginot Line kind. I’m very glad Al was along, otherwise I think they’d have eaten me. Disgusting, but doubtless usefully well informed and actually quite nice in the same way some of the working hands on the estate could be quite nice in their own uncultured and obscene ways. Couldn’t let them see my worry, of course. Stiff Upper Lip and all that guff.

Al and I met some senior Nos, called Twit and Kumquat or some such self-parodying guff, and got an inside line on what they want. A real Cam leader and an Elysium Event. (N.B. Carnegie Center?) Well, despite my doubts there’s such a leader in the pack of Anarch rejects I suspect the current leadership comprises, we agreed and managed to extract a promise the Nos would turn out en masse to defend any such Elysium led by a “real leader”. That’s a start.

Next steps: we’ve an appointment to see the Ventrue Primogen, Vinnie – who definitely isn’t the leader either – and another to be properly Accounted at last. Plus I really must pay a visit to Eveline tomorrow eve and get the car upholstery cleaned after the grunge from the Nos Pit got all over it.

(N.B. Down to 2 suits – call tailor and have him UPS another from London, get Edgar to pick up 2 more pairs of footwear – one usual and one utility boots)

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