View Full Version : Temet Nosce - Dust and Ashes (VtR)

Mephit James
2012-10-27, 07:28 PM
As night clubs go, I Pozzetti is nothing special. The music is loud enough to keep away the middle-aged but not in style enough to attract large crowds. The floor is a little dingy, but not dingy enough for a real street feel. The Trastavere (http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome/Trastevere) neighborhood is known more for its winding streets and picturesque churches than its discotheques but something is keeping it in business.

That something, of course, is Celestina Farro who owns it and serves as a high priestess among the Circle of the Crone in Rome. She has invited four vampires here tonight, to an event in the club's "VIP Room." Walking through the pounding music on the floor and through the crowd of teenagers and twenty-somethings it's easy to spot the entrance, which is sort of the point. The door is shiny, whorled metal and the bouncer in front is frightening enough, clearly a blood addict to trained eyes. It's a door everyone wants to get through.

Only four are getting through tonight, though.

Inside, the VIP room is a small room with black-leather couches and sexy blood dolls lounging on them. Champagne flutes sit on side tables ready to be filled with blood. The scene is inviting enough but there's no sign of the hostess as the four vampires arrive.

2012-10-29, 06:54 AM
Matthias walks into the room, eyes surveying the whole area behind yellow lenses. Not seeing his hostess, he walks over to one of the couches and flops down on it, waiting for someone else to arrive.

2012-10-29, 08:19 AM
Nasr enters the room before his Elder employer, as is often the case when venturing into unknown territory. It's not a large space though, so he can't just hide in the shadows off to the side like he usually prefers to do. Instead of taking a seat right away, he takes a position by the door and for now just waits as his subconscious quickly determines potential exit routes.

2012-10-29, 08:21 PM
Amenostris walked into the VIP room, careful to remain always behind Nasr. The Khaibit had been a faithful bodyguard for years, and she now relied on him without even thinking about it, safety measures ingrained in her mind. She glanced at him swiftly; in such a tight space, he would prove deadly. She was probably safe.

Accordingly, she relaxed, and passed a golden-braceletted hand through her dark hair, grey eyes peering at the masked man sitting in one of the couches. Hum. She might have to reconsider her previous thought, as this one seemed really scary indeed. She searched her mind for information - but no, she had never seen this man, even in her prophetic dreams.

Wary, the Bak-Ra sat down in one of the couches, and glanced around her. She had not fed in two days, and was growing awfully angry. Her eyes connected with those of one of the blood dolls, and she smiled and curled a finger toward her, inviting her to come over by her seat.

2012-10-29, 08:53 PM
Matthias looks up as the other two enter the room. "She called you, too? I wonder she needs us all for."

Mephit James
2012-10-29, 10:08 PM
Most of the blood dolls have been avoiding Matthias' eyes since he entered the room and the woman that Amenostris signals eagerly approaches her instead of the Gangrel. With a silent smile and a coquettish bending at the waist, she holds out some crystal flutes on a silver tray with one hand while she holds out her other arm for the woman's fangs. Her blue eyes flicker up to Nasr, offering blood to him as he lurks over Amenostris' shoulder.

At the same time, the other dolls realize they can't ignore Matthias politely anymore so one steps up with another set of glasses and offers her own wrist. The doll's posture is inviting enough but her smile is a little too bright, her eyes focused a little beyond the brutish face of Matthias.

2012-10-29, 10:17 PM
Quick note, Matthias isn't wearing a mask, nor does he have any scars except for the one on his shoulder from that incident in the Cub Scouts in first grade. You've got him confused with Leper Knight who hasn't shown up yet.

Matthias' eyes flick to the Doll's face, then back down to her wrist. "I appreciate that." He brings her wrist down to his lips, bites down, and drains a few Vitae before licking the wound closed and dismissing the Doll. "Thank you, dearie. That was refreshing."

Draining 4 Vitae, considering how poorly hunting went. Can we set up some standard hunting practices that actually play to Matthias' strengths, like his Strength and Stealth, which is what I was going for? Just for future use.

Mephit James
2012-10-29, 10:50 PM
In my defense, Mechanix started it.

Any reticence the blood doll showed before is gone as she closes her eyes in the joy of the Kiss. "Of course, sir," she says in beautiful, Roman Italian, "Can I interest you in... anything else?" Her arched eyebrow and sweet smile show the Kiss's effects aren't going anywhere quickly.

Didn't mean to sideline Matthias there. People had been saying they would find someone on the street and maneuver them in to an alley. You can overpower someone or grab them from the shadows if that's more your style. Probably full from miss Roman accent, though.

2012-10-29, 11:02 PM
I'll admit, I said "lure into an alley" initially. For future reference, Matthias literally hunts. Sneaking up on people, tracking them until they're alone, grabbing them and dragging them down an alley, that sort of thing. I presume those would rely on his better stats.

And I realize Mechanix started it. For everybody's reference, Matthias is a Gangrel Childe of the Morrigan. Alexander is the Nosferatu Leper Knight with the mask.
Matthias smirks. "No thank you, dearie, I'm quite sated for now. I don't suppose you know when our hostess will be arriving?"

2012-10-30, 12:35 AM
Alexander cautiously studies the nightclubs exterior, curious as to why he was summoned given the Circles animosity to his bloodline and suspicious that it might be a trap. Eventually his curiosity wins out and he slowly enters passing through the crowd with his hand tightly gripped around his sword. He nods to the bouncer to let him through to the VIP section.

As he enters he spots a group in revealing outfits that he reckons are there for feeding. He also spots three others who look like they might be kindred. Addressing the dark haired woman who looks like she has a bodyguard he says as respectfully as he can manage "Thank you for the invitation priestess. Now why have you summoned me?"

2012-10-30, 06:52 AM
Matthias glances over at the new arrival. "She's not the one who called you here. Or at least, I doubt she is, as she's no priestess I'm aware of. The High Priestess call you here?"

2012-10-30, 07:14 AM
Amenostris smiled to the girl and stroke her cheek softly, then bit into her offered wrist. She let out a groan of contentment as she tasted the fluid once more - damn, but she'd missed it. A voice adressed to her interrupted her indulgence, and she draw back her fangs, raising her head, looking for the one who'd called to her. When she saw the frightening masked man, she smiled.
"You are mistaken. While I am a priestess, and am glad to be recognized as such for once, I was invited here just as you were, and do not now yet why. Does any one of you know anything about our host tonight?"

Ammy is going to take 2 Vitae.

2012-10-30, 07:19 AM
"She's a high priestess with the Circle; I've met her a few times. Runs this club. That's about it."

2012-10-30, 08:17 AM
Nasr did not pay much attention to the masked man as he entered the room. He did not show signs of hostility, for now. As Amenostris ceased to draw blood from the girl, Nasr took the opportunity as the others conversed to feed on the human. He took her arm which his Elder employer had not used, extended his fangs, bit down and somewhat gently fed.

Drawing 3 vitae (or less not to almost kill her depending on if she wasn't 'full' before Amenostris started feeding on her and how his hunt from before ends up -- need the accurate dice pool to roll for it first), which should leave her weakened.

2012-10-30, 08:40 AM
"So where is the one who called us here and why isn't she here already?" Alexander asks feeling a bit confused.

2012-10-30, 08:43 AM
"I'm not sure. I've been wondering that myself. Still, I'll bet she'll be here soon."

2012-10-30, 08:57 AM
Alexander starts pacing betraying how uncomfortable he's feeling "Well how long till she gets here?"

2012-10-30, 08:59 AM
"I'm not sure, but probably not long. Sit down, relax, have a drink, she'll be along."

2012-10-30, 09:06 AM
Alexander stops pacing but doesn't sit or visibly relax. "I'm not thirsty i had a drink on my way here."

2012-10-30, 09:36 AM
"Well sit anyway, you're safe here. There won't be hunters busting down the door, if that's what you're worried about."

Mephit James
2012-10-31, 11:04 PM
"I'm glad you think so highly of my abilities." The clear voice rings out across the room like an announcement chime. It's owner straightens her head and transforms suddenly from a submissive blood doll to an imperious woman. The shift is subtle, nothing so obvious as a Discipline but rather a personality this woman has slipped on like a mask. Now it is gone like smoke.

"I hope you all weren't put out," Celestina Farro says as she accepts a silken robe from one of the dolls to cover her leather outfit. "I like to see whom I'm working with before we get started. I've asked you here for something that will require patience and determination, however. Not pacing like a dog. Do you feel you are up to it?" The woman's smile is encouraging enough, but cold as ice and far from welcoming.

2012-11-01, 04:15 AM
Alexander bristles at her "dog" comment, his hand reflexively gripping his sword. With a small pause he calms himself before replying "Well most would agree that i'm determined but few would call me patent. So why did you call me? Given what the Circle has says about me and my brothers i'd have thought you'd want nothing to do with me."

2012-11-01, 06:44 AM
Matthias turns to face Celestina, not rising from his couch. "My Priestess," he says, bowing his head. "My blood is bound to the Circle; you know you can count on me to accept whatever task is put before me."

2012-11-01, 08:34 PM
Nasr had licked the bite marks he had inflicted on the blood doll as the priestess revealed herself and without saying anything he moved to the darkest spot in the room, as the shadows was what he felt the most comfortable with.

He observed the priestess, whom he thought he had seen previously at one of the Circle's meetings at one point during his stay in Rome. The masked one looked a bit on edge, he felt, which made him be on the alert in case of something that could threaten Amenostris. He had no issues with heeding the call of the Circle though, as long as it did not prevent him from his service to Amenostris.

Mephit James
2012-11-02, 10:21 AM
Now looking imposing in her robe covered with graven runes, Celestina accepts Alexander's defensiveness and Matthias' effusiveness in equal measure. "I think you will find that there are many here in Rome who appreciate the past more than others do. Rome has seen many armies serving the ancient gods, why not another?"

She frowns enigmatically but waves away her thoughts with an elegant hand. "This is not the case for an army, though. I need a smaller group, one that can move quietly and see much. I need you four." Striding across the room, she opens a small compartment in a side panel. Removing something wrapped in purple silk, she weighs in her hand as she slowly unwraps it. "Our kind abhors mysteries, as you must know. We have eternity to learn and uncover, so being entirely surprised by something is... disquieting. There is no other word for it, however: something is hunting Kindred in this city and none of the elders knows what it might be. It was thought to be the Invictus Prince, but finally one of the culprits was caught. A human." Celestina let's the sourness of that word hang in the air for a moment before fully unwrapping the object in her hand.

The chain is new steel, glittering in the subdued light of the back room, but the ring-shaped object (http://mephitjames.wikidot.com/local--files/temet-nosce/rome-cult-symbol.jpg) hanging from it is iron and somewhat heavy. It fills Celestina's palm, looking like a circle with barbs sticking from it in a cross shape. "The man was killed in the process of subduing him, crushed atop the ash of the vampire he had just destroyed, and the only clue to his action is this symbol. You will find out what it is and who he was working with."

2012-11-02, 11:09 AM
Can Matthias make a roll to see if he recognizes the symbol? Probably Wits + Occult, right?

Also, I think you've got some of our characters confused. Alexander seems to be on the defensive, Nasr hasn't said anything, and Matthias is the one who's said that he's perfectly happy to do whatever she needs.

Matthias grins. "Find out the meaning of the symbol and who sent them after us. Would you like us to destroy them once we do?"

2012-11-02, 07:51 PM
Amenostris risked a smile when Celestina mentionned their kind "abhorring mysteries." While that was true for some, she had spent enough time among the Mekhet - hell, she was one - to know that some revelled in mystery, to the extent of creating secret for its own sake, as a way of spending their eternity. Now did not seem to be the right moment to indulge in such idle debates, however; she shivered when seeing the symbol. Such a strange pattern... Steel and iron, not a jewel, and not the most discreet of symbols. What did it mean?
She slowly stood up from her couch, and bowed towards the Elder.
"Priestess Farro, it is an honor for me to be tasked with such a great responsibility. Trust that I, at least, will do my utmost to fulfill this duty. If you please..." A gleamer of greed went through her eye. "...I would like to hold that item. It may teach us precious things about our opponents."

If Amenostris gets to touch the symbol, she will attempt to use Auspex 3, The Spirit's Touch, to learn more about it.

Mephit James
2012-11-02, 09:47 PM
Ok, sorry about the mix-ups. I may not be the best at keeping names straight, but I'll get better as we get into the game. Just bear with me!

Celestina answers Matthias with a cold smile. "Most of them. We can't have this group operating in Rome. But we can't let them disappear without answers either." She hands the symbol to Amenostris. "Kill as many as you like, but I want to question at least one of these humans personally."

An Occults roll will tell you a little more (and Wits or Intelligence seem reasonable) and Celestina will be happy to give over the symbol, though she'll want to keep it in the end.

2012-11-02, 09:58 PM
Meh, they're the same either way: [roll0]
EDIT: Woohoo, 2 successes! I'm a gangrel so I don't get 10-Agains for these rolls. Nevertheless, are the 2 successes worth anything?
Matthias' smile grows wider. "As you command, my priestess. Before we leave, however, I wonder if you can tell us where this medallion was found, so we have some place to start our search?"

2012-11-02, 10:29 PM
Nasr eyed the peculiar looking medallion. The symbol looked old, and he thought he had felt a chill down his spine as she showed it to them. However much a vampire could experience a chill down one's spine, that is. And there would be killing to do. Nasr was of the opinion that killing was acceptable if needed. To protect someone else or one self, for example. Mindless slaughter without a reason wasn't anything he particularly approved of, though.

I am assuming all who sees the symbol can test.
Wits + Occult to see if he knows anything about the symbol.
Crap, forgot the v. Correct one in OOC.

2012-11-02, 11:25 PM
As soon as Celestina reveals that the killer was a human an eager grin appears on Alexanders face. "I've heard rumors for years of groups of humans hunting vampires, but i never thought i'd get to meet any. This sounds fun you can count me in."

Mephit James
2012-11-04, 11:24 AM
"By the Vilaggio Olimpico," Celestina says, sounding angry about it, "Which doesn't make the Invictus or the Priests very happy." She glances almost imperceptibly at the masked Alexander before looking away again. The Olympic grounds, from the 1960 Games, are right on the edge of the Invictus and Circle territories and a frequent place for clashes that threaten the detente. An incident and even investigations on the First Estate's territory will certainly not go over well.

What Matthias Knows:
The symbol has four parts like a cross, but it's nothing like any Christian symbol Matthias has ever seen. He's seen variations all across Europe and he's sure if there was a major denomination that used this he would know. The more he examines it in detail, however, the more it looks like early Christian symbols. Something between the modern Roman cross and the ancient [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_Rho]chi rho[/seals] of the early church.
What Nasr Knows:
Nasr has encountered a lot of esoteric occult knowledge in his unlife but there's nothing esoteric for him about this symbol. He's seen it before. When he was first Embraced, in the heady early years of the Second Great War, he met many Mekhet from all over Europe. In Budapest, before all the nastiness that made him leave, an Italian Shadow came to recruit vampires for the Rinascita going on back home. It was a new Camarilla under the powerful militaristic fervor sweeping Italy, reclaiming the old ways. This Shadow priest wore a strange cross just like this one which he claimed was a symbol of the Sanctified of old, when they were the Lancea et Sanctum in Ancient Rome.

2012-11-04, 03:07 PM
Matthias rises from the couch and faces the priestess. "Very well, then. We'll set out immediately." He turns and walks over to the door, his hand resting on the handle. "Unless anyone has any objections?"

2012-11-04, 03:30 PM
"I have none." came from the darkest corner of the room. The first words escaping Nasr's lips since he had entered the club were those which would mean they'd leave the establishment. He knew they had their work cut out for them, and they had better start right away. The longer it would take the higher the potential for violence threatening his Elder employer there was.

2012-11-05, 10:06 AM
Still standing Alexander addresses the priestess in a respectful tone. "I'm eager to start the hunt but what is known about the strange symbol on the ring? I assume that the circle must have figured something out by now given the impressive arcane knowledge you posses."

Mephit James
2012-11-05, 01:16 PM
Celestina considers for a moment before speaking. "We know a lot, but not much about the early Christian church. I researched enough to learn that it was connected with them and stopped. The experts on Christian history are not likely to help me or keep it from the Invictus." She looks toward Amenostris, holding the symbol, as well as Matthias and Nasr, peering intently at it. Leaning close she continues with Alexander in a low tone. "As far as the Circle's own resources, I've called them in. You, Mr. Herrmann, are less academic but your reputation as a... fixer precedes you. I'm sure you can find enough interest to help us in this, especially if we can tell what happened to your friend Elena."

2012-11-05, 06:16 PM
Amenostris looked toward Nasr, and nodded slightly. She understood that he did not wish to remain here for too long; nonetheless, she had to take the time to at least scrutinize this item. The fact that she had never seen it before in all her occult research was irritating her greatly, to the point of obsession. She closed her hands upon the sign, and focused intently.

Wits + Occult + Auspex = 11
4 successes.

2012-11-05, 09:02 PM
Alexander feels a rush of hope at Celestina's offer to find Elena. However it also calls to mind a lesson his sire drilled into him after he kept getting into trouble, "Beware kindred who offer you what most desire."

He answers slowly keeping his emotions from showing. "I've already agreed to help. Now how can you help me find Elena?"

2012-11-05, 10:00 PM
Hearing that exchange, Matthias takes his hand off the doorknob and turns to face the others, leaning against the wall. Ooh, this sounds interesting. Who's this Elena, and why does he care? This could be useful.

Mephit James
2012-11-06, 01:34 PM
Hearing Alexander's Exchange:
Matthias, and anyone else, will need to make a Wits + Composure to hear Celestina and Alexander since they're talking in low tones. Heightened Senses and the like would help here, but no one has said they're activating that power so it's not on.

"As you say," Celestina says in the same quiet voice, "we have impressive knowledge at our disposal, and Kindred in every city. I wanted to make sure you came before asking, but I will send word to other Acolytes and see what comes of it. You will excuse me for the caution: I do believe that blood can overcome politics but given the situation with the Prince I need to be careful."

Spirit Touch
Amenostris closes her eyes and focuses on the object, feeling back in time to the man who held it last. She sees a young, intense face on a dark bridge, watching into the night. He is clearly waiting for someone and Amenostris can see through his eyes another man farther down waiting as well. There is a disjointed jump and then the two are engaged in fight with what is clearly a vampire. They have stakes and the other man is chanting something in a low tone as he smears blood on a dagger. The vampire is quicky, however, and launches into an attack much faster than the mortals anticipated. There is a flash of fear and Amenostris gets a brief memory of a memory from before that evening, a subterranean space with a stone altar and the same symbol she holds in her hand carved in its front. A crucifix hangs to the side as many humans respond to a black-robed priests prayers for deliverance. The memory snaps forward again to the dark bridge just as the man whom the priestess is meeting has his neck snapped. As she comes back to the presence and Celestina's private room, she is left with just a last name: Carleto.

2012-11-06, 01:56 PM
In that case, activating Auspex 1: Heightened Senses, to augment Matthias' hearing, so he can listen in on this conversation without getting too close.

2012-11-06, 03:08 PM
At Celestina's words Alexander lets a wide smile creep on his face and says loudly before standing and turning towards the door. "Well then lets get to the Vilaggio Olimpico."

2012-11-07, 07:36 AM
Nasr walked to the exit of the room as Amenostris was assumably using her gifts of Auspex on the item, and patiently waited for her to get ready to leave.

2012-11-08, 10:03 PM
Amenostris shook her head, chasing away the remnants of the vision and coming back to her senses. This was... Quite interesting indeed. She gave back the item and walked towards her bodyguard, with a last glance at the blood dolls - she was not yet sated.
"I guess it is time for a proper investigation, then." She looked around at the other disparate member of her little motley crew, and cocked an eyebrow, smiling, and said half-jokingly: "Does that make us a coterie?"

2012-11-09, 05:48 AM
"Apparently." Matthias turned back to the door and placed his hand on the handle once again. "Well, are we all prepared to go now?"

2012-11-09, 06:14 PM
"Lets go." Alexander says walking towards the exit.

Mephit James
2012-11-11, 02:40 PM
Celestina settles on a couch and idly strokes the veins in a blood doll's arm to draw it to the surface, watching silently as the newly-formed coterie leaves through the loud club beyond. The street outside is like a different world: quiet, old-fashioned, and all but empty. The Trastevere neighborhood is not the usual place for a night club so the crowds of young people and tourists are nowhere to be found.

Across the city at the Vilaggio Olimpico, things are somewhat different. The Corso di Francia is a busy street even at night and its bridge across the Tiber is full of cars which zoom by as the group surveys the ground where Amenostris saw the man Carleto die at the hands of an Acolyte vampire. No evidence of the confrontation are visible, though a closer inspection might reveal more after the mortal couple snapping pictures of the nighttime cityscape are shooed away.

You all can decide if you walk, drive, or take public transit, but here's the view (https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Via+Natale+del+Grande&daddr=41.933332,12.472226&hl=en&ll=41.935591,12.471735&spn=0.001133,0.006094&sll=41.910326,12.473431&sspn=0.080098,0.195007&geocode=FR8mfwIdKEi-AA%3BFRTafwIdok--AA&mra=ltm&t=m&z=18&layer=c&cbll=41.93559,12.471737&panoid=NzoaYp9VYehq72URgSXDuQ&cbp=11,232.13,,0,5.72) from the bridge. Man, I love modern games!

Mephit James
2012-11-15, 12:59 PM
Matthias is the first to arrive, alighting as a crow in the shadows on the Vilaggio side of the bridge. He transforms back to a man once more and out onto the walkway on the side, lit in flashes by cars' headlights and with leaping shadows from the eagle-crested pillars which line the bridge. The scene is chaotic and more than a little intimidating, but for the wild Gangrel it's nothing he can't handle.

2012-11-15, 01:36 PM
"All right, I'm here. Now where are the others? It can't take that long to get here. Hmm... Now do I wait for the others to show up, or get a head start on my search?" He begins walking toward the Vilaggio itself, using his Auspex discipline to peer into the shadows around him. Maybe I can pick up some trace of the fight.

Mephit James
2012-11-18, 11:07 PM
With his Heightened Senses, Matthias is hit with a tumult of sensations: the ozone smell of car exhaust, the play of light over minute cracks in the concrete, and a chaos of honking horns and distant sirens and human voices. After taking a moment to center himself, the Gangrel finds a spot where he can see tiny, dark speckling over the sidewalk like a faint constellation in negative. Leaning closer, he can smell nothing of the blood spatters but they are almost certainly from the fight Celestina mentioned. There are other scuffs which may or may not be part of the fight, but this is definitely where it happened.

2012-11-19, 07:53 AM
Maintaining his heightened senses, Matthias moves over to the blood spatter and begins actively searching the area for tracks, scuff marks, remnants form the fight, anything that may give a clue to the identity of the hunters involved.

2012-12-07, 12:07 PM
After leaving the club Alexander phones another Leper Knight for a lift and shares everything Celestina said on the way to the Vilaggio Olimpico including that the cult appears to use early christian insignia.

As he arrives he spots Matthias (i assume he isn't making any special effort to hide himself at the moment) and says "Hello again, have the others arrived yet?"

2012-12-07, 01:12 PM
Glancing up, Matthias notices Alexander arriving. "Not yet. I've found the scene of the fight. Now I'm looking for anything else interesting. Care to give me a hand?"

2012-12-08, 07:31 AM
Alex shrugs "It's not really my area of expertise but i'll have a go." He then proceeds to have a look around to see if anything seems important.

Wits + Composure perception check: [roll0]

Edit: Including the rerolled 10 (in the OOC) i got 2 successes.

Mephit James
2012-12-11, 03:25 PM
Alex can't see the specks that Matthias points out unless he leans in close, and is especially hampered by the passing car headlights. He determines in short order that whatever happened here must have happened quickly. It's a very exposed location, even during the night, and has a lot of views of other parts of the city as well. This is a strange place for an ambush.

2012-12-11, 03:46 PM
Alex asks Matthias. "Are you sure it happened here? This is a difficult spot to ambush someone, especially a vampire."

2012-12-11, 03:51 PM
"No one ever taught you to use Auspex, did they? It's a trick I picked up on the road; extremely useful. Anyway, yeah, I'm pretty sure this is the place. I can see the marks of a fight going down. It's exposed, sure, but since when have hunters cared about not being exposed?" Despite his words, doubt creeps into the back of Matthias' mind. He may have a point. I can see the evidence here, but where did they come from? Maybe I'm missing something. He continues searching the area, now looking for tracks, scuff marks, or other evidence that someone or something was moved here from elsewhere.

2012-12-11, 06:06 PM
"I know about Auspex." Alex snapped "However the priestess made it clear that the cities elders had no idea what was hunting them till very recently. That doesn't fit with attacking a vampire in such an exposed location."

Mephit James
2012-12-15, 11:04 AM
Now that Alexanderp mentions this, Matthias can detect some of the blood-flecks headed back along the bridge toward the north. Celestina did mention more than one assailant: maybe one left the fight on his own feet and trailed some blood as he ran.

Unfortunately, he ran straight towards the Invictus territory on the far side of the bridge.

2012-12-15, 11:51 AM
Following the blood trail with his eyes, Matthias speaks up again. "Good news and bad news. Good news: I've found a trail of blood leading away from here. Whether that means the fight happened here, and an injured assailant escaped, or the fight began elsewhere, and ended here, is up for debate. Bad news: The trail leads over the bridge, into Invictus territory. Now, don't get me wrong. I have no issue with moving in Invictus territory; if their so-called "Prince" has a problem with it, he can come and tell me himself. But, right now, we're representing the Circle and the Court of Shadows, so moving in Invictus territory without permission might be seen as an act of aggression. What do you think? Should we move in, or report back and wait for further orders?"

Mephit James
2012-12-17, 11:41 AM
Moving right along...

"That is bad news," Amenostris says as she walks up silently behind the two, her shadow Nasr close behind. "It is not an act of war to set foot in there, but this detente only goes so far. We can certainly make our presence known and avoid looking like sneak-thieves, but what could we tell them that won't create a rival investigation?"

2012-12-17, 03:55 PM
"If there's one thing I've learned, between my time on the road and my time here in Rome, it's that the truth is right out. So that leaves us with two options. We can either claim to be simply passing through, maybe looking for a contact in their territory, and leave the killing out of it. Or, if we want to buy ourselves some time, we can set them chasing their own tails by telling them that we think one of their number has gone rogue, and has been trading secrets. Whichever."

2012-12-17, 05:38 PM
Having activated his own Auspex during the treck to the bridge and the others who were still there, Nasr did not detect anything that the others hadn't already. He did not mind travelling in Invictus territory, but that was mostly because he could move more or less undetected in most places. His ancient contractor and the others of his makeshift companions he was not sure of that they could. Perhaps the Leper. He did not know much about their kind than rumours. He did not really care.

"There are plenty of excuses. That's assuming they detect us in the first place." the khaibit said, not having spoken until now.

2012-12-18, 06:59 AM
"Well i already told my brothers what we're doing so as long as we don't cause too much fuss i'll just say we're on Leper Knight business and let my brothers come up with whatever excuses are necessary." Alex draws his sword and grins impishly "I think i can convince them to leave us alone."

Mephit James
2012-12-18, 04:31 PM
"Put that down!" Amenostris hisses at Alexander with an angry glance towards the cars. "This might come as a surprise to you, Worm, but it is possible to do this task without drawing too much attention to ourselves." She moves to block the view of the sword from the road, fixing Alexander with the steely eyes of a priestess accustomed to obedience.

2012-12-21, 04:47 AM
Alex puts the sword away and it vanishes before angrily replying. "See the stupid mortals won't notice anything. But how do you intend to fight a group of hunters without drawing attention?

2012-12-21, 10:35 AM
Matthias shrugs. "The same way we always fight without drawing attention. Quickly, quietly, and generally without regard to their safety."

Mephit James
2012-12-22, 12:21 AM
Amenostris is one to respect the laws of their kind and not take foolish risks, like drawing a sword when those are as long-gone as oil lamps and temple slaves. Still, it irks to hide their intent and their nature from these simple mortals. The group standing here on this sidewalk are gods, why should they fear exposure from these people?

At her side, Nasr also feels pulled in several directions. His mistress has made her intentions clear and he sees the need for subtlety, but this Alexander calls to his fighting spirit. If the stiff-backed Invicti are going to stand in the way of finding these killers, why not charge in and show them the true vampires are not afraid?

Though the sword is away now, it's not difficult for Alexander to feel it in his hand still. Court politics are always hard for a warrior. They know who the enemy is and where he has gone, now is the time for action! Those afraid to act and take charge themselves have long stood in the Leper Knight's way. Is this newest barrier the one that will push him too far?

As the only one on the outskirts of this argument, Matthias is perhaps thinking the same thing. The Gangrel predator understands patience in a way that the more human vampire clans cannot. When the scent is first caught, that is the time for the most subtlety, not the time to go charging forward like a foolish crusader. The knights died long ago, and just because this dead Leper Knight doesn't seem to have taken a hint is no reason to abandon the instincts of the Stormcrow hunters.

2012-12-25, 01:55 AM
"We follow the trail, move in the shadows if needed. The shadows are our friends." the khaibit said to the rest of the group tasked with finding these killers. The shadows were indeed his friends, and a friend of a friend is a friend, or however the saying went he figured.

2012-12-28, 06:21 AM
Alexander grumbles sullenly "Fine we'll do it quietly. I just hope the fighting is still good."

Mephit James
2013-01-03, 10:56 PM
Moving quietly through the streets, Matthias leads the group along the trail of splattered blood. It grows fainter but the Gangrel follows the tiny specks like a hound until he leads them to a busy triangle of streets with a gleaming white church (https://maps.google.com/?ll=41.937906,12.465931&spn=0.00101,0.002642&t=m&z=19&layer=c&cbll=41.938047,12.465937&panoid=jZz1_2sQbntjrdhUYkKvMg&cbp=12,349.51,,0,-10.6) in the middle. The classical columns are topped with a carving in Latin: praecelsae dei genitrici dictatum.

The trail heads towards the church and through the road where it is completely obscured by passing cars. Matthias can guess that the blood splatters head into the church but tracking it from here will be difficult.

2013-01-07, 10:26 AM
"Anybody got a problem with churches?" Matthias quips as he carefully makes his way across the road. On the other side, he scans the area, hoping the blood spatter goes somewhere other than into the church.

Mephit James
2013-01-08, 11:44 PM
Churches are not a favorite haunt of vampires, but there's nothing to keep them out. Or usually not.

As the vampires push on the doorway to enter the body of the church, they immediately feel a barrier like a crackling electrical field. Just inside the doorway is some magic that keeps the vampires from crossing the border. The keen-eyed Matthias spots a line of salt across the doorway but no real sign of what effect is in place.

2013-01-09, 01:10 AM
Salt? That should keep ghosts out, but it shouldn't affect us. What else is going on here? Matthias casts his eyes about searching for another entrance that may not be warded, or else some tell-tale clue about what manner of ward it is.

Rolling Int + Occult to determine the nature of the ward in place: [roll0]
And in case of tens: [roll1]

Mephit James
2013-01-09, 11:02 AM
Matthias knows, of course, that salt has been used for warding as a symbol of purity for centuries. It's all over the Bible and even enters into modern life when the superstitious through spilled salt over their shoulder. He's never seen it actually work, though, and is pretty sure this isn't any vampiric Discipline. All vampires have heard of wizards and sorcerers, but knowing what they can do and what they can't requires a specialist.

Amenostris reaches out a hand and presses on the invisible barrier experimentally. There is a sudden hissing sound and the smell of burnt flesh as the priestess jerks her hand back. Cursing under her breath, Amenostris takes a step back and looks around the building. "This ward burns the vitae," she warns, "but it is temporary. Someone will need to come restore it before the end of the night if I am right. In the meantime, there are plenty of windows up there that we could slip through unseen." She looks around for the others' opinions, obviously with effort. Amenostris would prefer to dictate, not request.

2013-01-10, 12:55 PM
While the others are discussing the barrier Alexander grabs the handle of his sword while scanning the area. "Be careful who ever these people are they may have been alerted when you activated the barrier. Someone check the windows to see if anything is happening inside."

Rolling Wits + Composure for perception (looking for any signs of an ambush): [roll0] + [roll1] (for dice explosions) So 2 successes.

2013-01-11, 07:39 PM
Nasr entered a state of high alert as his mistress burnt her hand against the barrier. It wasn't immediate danger, but potential danger might be incoming.

"Does the barrier only affect things that physically touch and try to pass through it?" he asked. It was possible obtenebration would allow him to wholly circumvent the barrier by shadow-stepping.

2013-01-11, 07:50 PM
Matthias glances around the base of the door and building, looking to see if the salt is anywhere other than in front of the door. "I'm not sure, but I'm guessing this was a quick job. The barrier probably only serves to ward the door, leaving windows and other entry points available to anyone dedicated enough to try them. Why? Did you have an idea besides the windows?"

2013-01-12, 10:05 AM
"One was merely asking." he khaibit replied. He was not very familiar with them, which meant his more shadow-related talents were not something to put on display unless he had to. "Windows are not an issue for me. Nor for the crow, I suspect."

Mephit James
2013-01-12, 10:43 PM
"I'm not sure, Nasr," Amenostris says with some slight embarrassment. "The barrier definitely blocks our forms but perhaps not the Disciplines of the blood." She examines the line of salt critically as Alexander grips his sword and considers the group's options. "It may be quick or it may be sloppy. We know these cultists are bold, maybe they truly don't fear the Exalted entering their little lair. Shall we prove them wrong?"

2013-01-13, 12:02 AM
Still confusing Alexander (big brute with a sword) and Matthias (average-sized bloke who sometimes has claws, and other times is a bird or a wolf).
"Jumping the gun a bit with the cultist suspicions, aren't we? I can fly up and check out the windows, if you like; nobody's going to question a crow flapping around a church. Unless anyone else has any suggestions for getting inside?"

2013-01-13, 07:20 AM
"Fly." was all Nasr said. There was no point in lingering. He knew the longer they were standing there the more time the ones who had warded the church had to detect their presence. They weren't too quiet discussing their course of action. Infiltrations included more... stealth.

2013-01-13, 08:49 AM
"You got it." Matthias glances around quickly, before shifting into his storm crow form and taking wing. He circles around the church, looking for an open window or other opportunity to get inside.

Mephit James
2013-01-16, 07:34 PM
Matthias launches into the air, a small black form in a big black city, and circles the building swiftly. He sees the upper stories of the church are topped with complicated roofs that it would be difficult to climb, but in this form he'll have an easier time getting there. On one side, he finds a window cracked open and tied with a string to keep it from swinging all the way out. A strong deterent for a normal bird, but Matthias can simply untie it and hop through. The window is to the left of the main door and whatever room it leads he to should be able to find the way downstairs.

Is Nasr going to try his Obtenebration through the barrier?

2013-01-18, 10:01 AM
"I'm going in as well." Nasr said as the crow flapped his wings. He sought out the shadows behind one of the large pillars and, out of view of anyone that might be looking in his directon from the road, activated the formidable power of invisibility that the obfuscate discipline had granted him. If he was to enter the church, unseen was the better option. He did not know if there was someone inside yet.

Under the guise of undetection and shadows Nasr looked into the church, past the vitae-draining salted entrance. It was most likely physical contact with the invisibile barrier created by the line of salt at the doorway that was the direct cause. But he did not have to pass through it. The shadows were his friends, and they did not pass through the barrier. Seeing as he was most likely invisible to even his companions using his shadow powers was at no risk.

In an instant he vanished into the shadow under the massive pillars he was standing in and reappeared inside a shadow within the church on the other side of the salted doorway. He looked around in case there was a mortal sentry or other lookout present. There was bound to be someone there. Most likely the killers. In such a location it was most likely he'd hear them, due to the line of sight being so obscured. He had some training with the Auspex discipline, and so he focused his hearing to see if he could detect any footsteps or talking within the church, ignoring the flapping of wings coming from above.

Cloak of Night pool (Int + Stealth + Obfuscate): [roll0], any exploding dice: [roll1]

Using 1 vitae to jump through the shadows with Perambulam in Tenebris, avoiding having to pass through the barrier.

Using Heithened Senses (Hearing) of Auspex after looking around in the lobby or whatever you call it in a church.

Mephit James
2013-01-22, 12:25 PM
Nasr steps through the shadows and into the vestibule of the church, a high-ceilinged, still place. He can see the open door to the outside and his friends standing out their. "Excellent," Amenostris says with her cool smile, "See if you can disrupt the line." Before Nasr can look around for a tool to break the salt, he hears the thin echo of voices with his Heightened Senses. There is a set of doors opposite the entrance which probably lead to the church proper, and two smaller doors that lead to other parts of the building. Down one of these, the sound of whispering comes as if the speakers were just on the other side of the room.
It'll take a Wits + Perception roll to hear precisely what they're saying and you'll have to leave the people on the stoop waiting.

Also, to reiterate the Obtenebration rules, we decided we were using Obten * through *** from the Vampire Translation Guide, right? And then Obten **** (the Perambulam in Tenebris you just used) is a reflexive action but otherwise identical to the Bloodlines: The Hidden Discipline? Just thought I'd reestablish before it becomes critical.

2013-01-22, 12:53 PM
Nasr wasn't very surprised that his mistress was able to see through his invisiblity, seeing as she was quite a capable user of Auspex. And she was aware of his shadow powers already, so it didn't matter much that she saw him step through the shadow.

Voices? he thought as he focused his senses and concentrated to attempt to hear just exactly was said.

I'm not sure what the "Perception" is supposed to be, so I'll just do a large enough pool and we'll just count however many that it is above the 3 from Wits.
Wits + ? (3 + ?): [roll0], exploding dice [roll1]

And yes, those are the changes we agreed upon.

2013-01-22, 01:52 PM
Eying the string, Matthias quickly undoes it and opens the window. He hops through and takes wing into the darkened interior of the church, sensing around with Auspex as best he can.

Perception is Wits+Comp, for the record.

2013-01-23, 10:21 AM
Alexander moves away from the priestess uncomfortable being left alone in her presence. He does his best not to draw her attention not wanting to mar his attempts to impress the Circle by killing one of it's members.

Mephit James
2013-01-28, 10:38 AM
The voices seem to be coming from the left-hand passage, leading from the vestibule area to a closed door. Nasr can make out two voices, though only some of the words in Italian.
"... don't know what it means but..."
"... should tell the others... This isn't supposed to..."


Upstairs through the window, bird-Matthias alights onto a small table with a lamp and finds himself in a reading room with some chairs and a bookcase. It looks pleasant enough and the door across from the window is open to a hallway. He hears a voice speaking from down the hall before it's cut off by the sound of a closing door.
"This isn't supposed to happen yet, how could they have found us? We need to tell-." Click.[/color]

2013-01-30, 02:30 PM
Better to stay as hidden as I can, for now. Matthias hops off the table, still in crow form, and flutters across the room, through the door, and down the hall, trying to find a side entrance so he can let the others inside. Backup is better than working along, after all.

2013-01-30, 06:01 PM
It was obvious there was people in there. Are they refering to us or someone else? I didn't think someone saw us coming. He looked around for something to disrupt the draining barrier, or whatever it was, at the doorway. Some kind of long thing to disperse the salt. Like a staff or perhaps cleaning equipment laying around in the form of a broom.

Mephit James
2013-01-31, 05:06 PM
In the vestibule, Nasr spots a long pole with a ring of candles on top. He could use that to push through the salf barrier, or one of the rugs on the floor. Meanwhile, upstairs Matthias flaps over to the door and lands on the carpet beside it. He hops through and into the hallway then flaps down the corridor towards a staircase he can see at the end. There is a door to either side between his room and the stairway and there's no telling which of them held the voices he heard.

Both of you should make Dex + Stealth checks to avoid notice by the people in the church. Or you can skip it and just hope they have bad hearing. Matthias can make another Wits + Composure to determine where the people are.

2013-01-31, 06:21 PM
Nasr quickly rolled up one of the rugs and brought it infront of the barrier, and forcefully threw the rolled up part forward as he janked it back, which resulted in the rugg rolled itself out over the line of salt. He then just moved backwards, making a large hole in the line of salt which had been dragged with the bottom of the rug. His companions might not have seen him or his action, but they were sure to notice the results of Nasr's actions, the line of salt having a large hole in it now.

As he's under the effects of Cloak of Night, his actions should be undetectable for anyone without sufficient Auspex tests (assuming they got Auspex activated and roll vs his Obfuscate) seeing as they're not overly loud or disruptive like punching out windows or attacking someone.

2013-01-31, 10:40 PM
Just rolling for now, will determine further actions afterward:
Dex+Stealth: [roll0]
Wits+Comp: [roll1]
In case of tens: [roll2]

2013-02-01, 07:19 PM
When he sees that the salt line is broken Alexander mutters "Finally." before pushing the door open as hard as he can and stepping inside the church.

Mephit James
2013-02-03, 12:47 AM
Nasr feels the barrier's crackling as he steps closer to throw the rug over. When he yanks it back, the salt grains scatter and the sensation ends. All that Alexander sees, though is a sudden scattering of the salt line as if by an invisible wind. Amenostris, a little more skilled at seeing through the Cloak, smiles at the invisible Nasr. "Well done, child. Have you heard anything?"

2013-02-04, 09:23 PM
"Yes. Two voices from a bit away inside. It seemed like they were aware of our presence, if refering to us as someone who had found them. I'm unsure if that's the case." he replied to the ancient who had obviously detected him due to her advances Auspex.

Mephit James
2013-02-05, 10:50 AM
"They are already aware," Amenostris says thoughtfully. It is not like her to think out loud, but she may be relating the words to Alexander who cannot see or hear through the Cloak. "Go and see who they are, my Shadow," she tells Nasr, "We will examine this area to see what we are dealing with."

2013-02-05, 02:39 PM
Nasr went in the direction his enhanced hearing had identified the voices coming from, as they should still be somewhere inside. It was unlikely they knew thay their barrier had been disrupted, he assumed. His Cloak made it easy to sneak up on people, especially mortals.

2013-02-07, 05:05 PM
As soon as he hears that the cultists know they are there Alexander grins and draws his sword before running through the church shouting "Come and face me warriors."

2013-02-07, 11:11 PM
Matthias flaps down the hallway toward wherever he heard the voices from.

Mephit James
2013-02-08, 08:43 AM
Amenostris cringes as Alexander's voice fills the vestibule. "You are certainly direct, Knight," she says drily and turns towards the door that Nasr went throught.

The Khaibit is halfway down a short hallway to a side chamber when the voice sounds out. He can see a thick door in front of him and is sure that the people speaking are behind that, explaining why he could only partially hear them even with his Enhanced Senses. On the other side of the door, Matthias flaps to the top of the staircase and sees two men below with pistols. They look determined and are smearing blood on the sides of the weapons.

They move to open the door, stepping out into the hallway where Nasr waits hidden. Not know the Khaibit is right before them, the men creep slowly downt he hall, bloody guns in hand.

2013-02-08, 03:35 PM
Nasr notices the weapons, smeared with blood. A blood ritual? He was not too familiar with mortals' practices with blood magic, but he saw no other reason to smear blood on a piece of moving mechanical parts. If it was some kind of blood magic, then they were dealing with more than just mortals and their mundane weaponry, but the supernatural too. And the supernatural is a far more potent against vampires.

But they were not the only ones who could use blood magic. Nasr swiftly cut a gash in the palm of his hand with a sharp finger nail and let a drop of blood drop to the floor, invoking the power of vitae and the blood magic he's picked up along the way. Considering the aggressive leper was able to enter the there was bound to be a conflict any moment he thought as he stalked behind the two mortals.

Invoking the Confidence in Adversity lvl 1 Cr˙ac ritual, costing 1 vitae, no 10-again for the scene but recovers 1 willpower point at the end of the scene.
Dice pool (mani+occult+cr˙ac): [roll0] Edit: redone in OOC. Success.

Further turns of attempting to invoke the ritual in case the first one didn't result in a success: 2: [roll1] 3: [roll2]

Mephit James
2013-02-24, 05:58 PM
The two men move forward without a word, headed for the vestibule where Amenostris and Alexander are still standing. As they pass Nasr, he can smell the drying blood on their weapons and feel the body heat from their warm, living bodies.
Is Nasr going to try and stop them or letting them move past.

2013-02-25, 05:25 PM
Alexander continues roaring challenges while listening for anyone approaching.

Wits and Composure + Exploding Dice[roll0]+[roll1]

So 3 successes.

2013-02-28, 08:02 AM
Nasr was so far alone, which meant he felt less inclined to pounce them. Instead he just stalked them, following them as they moved through the building. If the others had moved into a position for an ambush, he'd have a good opportunity then. If not, he'd be able to learn more of the humans. It was likely there were more inside.

2013-02-28, 09:17 AM
Matthias, for his part, opts to follow the men. Something's caught their interest. I wonder what it could be? Keeping his low-profile crow form, he glides down the stairs and follows the men down the hall.

Mephit James
2013-02-28, 01:50 PM
Alexander hears the men coming down the hall just before they burst through the door. It's enough to brace himself for meeting them but not enough to form a plan with Amenostris. The priestess almost certainly hear them as well, with her powerful senses, but draws no weapon to face the men.

Invisibly shadowed in the hallway, Nasr moves after them slowly and feels a brush of wind as the crow-bodied Matthias follows the men down the short passage. As the men with pistols throw open the door into the vestibule, training their guns on the two vampires standing there. "Who the hell are you?" demands one of them, a muscled man with a thick black beard. His bald head glints in the light as he looks down the barrel of his gun.

"Fregerunt lineam," says the other man in a language that sounds like Latin, "Sunt lamiae." Whater this thin, blonde man says, the bearded man scowls harder and reaches up with his other hand to fire the pistol.

Hopefully everyone's back and ready because it's time for Initiative (Dex + Comp) all around!

2013-02-28, 03:05 PM
As the men burst through the door Alexander lets out a loud cry "Finally some action." before readying himself to strike.

Initiative: [roll0] + [roll1]

Edit: 3 Successes again.

2013-02-28, 03:56 PM
Initiative, then action: [roll0]

2013-03-01, 09:52 AM
Whoops i was using the Exalted initiative rules. Sorry about that here's my actual initiative: [roll0]

Mephit James
2013-03-01, 11:44 AM
Thin Cultist: 20 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3949528/)
Bearded Cultist: 18 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3949528/)
Nasr: 11
Alexander: 10
Matthias: 6
Amenostris: 6 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3949534/)
The thin cultist squares himself to block the doorway to the church, clearly intending to stop Alexander and Amenostris from leaving. He fires (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3949544/) at Alexander and the Leper Knight twists out of the way so that the blow is only a glancing on. However, the bullet seems to burn the vampire's flesh, hurting much more than a normal bullet would.

That's 4 lethal damage for Alexander. Yes, lethal.

Next to him, the bearded cultist fires some shots (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3949549/) at Amenostris, hitting her in the stomach with a bullet that bursts from the back of her dress. The priestess shrieks in pain and surprise as she experiences the same burning sensation from the bullet.

That's 6 lethal to Amenostris, which means she's taking -2 wound penalties and is one hit away from torpor.

Nasr next!

EDIT: Oh, whoops! Forgot to add the damage bonus of the guns so that's actually a lot worse. Damage updated.

2013-03-01, 07:33 PM
Nasr had been following the men unseen more or less in their footsteps as to be able to take one of them down right away if the others had set up an ambush.

The sudden gunfire from the humans occured more quickly than Nasr had anticipated though, having got caught up in trying to decipher what they had just said, most likely in latin.

But they had not as much fired their weapons before Nasr went on the aggressive. Using vitae he augmented his striking strength and unleashed an unarmared assault from behind on the one who had shot his mistress, the person he was supposed to protect. He intended to end this quickly before any backup could reach them.

Utilizing Nasr's proficiency of Aggressive Striking against the bearded cultist. He's unarmed for now, and isn't using his katar. Going all-out for +2 brawl. Combination blows of aggressive striking for a 2nd attack with -1 dice on the same target. Using 1 willpower to add +3 dice to attack pool (I'm assuming the +3 from willpower usage applies to both attacks from combination blows) as well as expending 1 vitae to increase strength by 2 for one turn. That makes a strength+brawl pool with all added dice of 3+2+5+2+3=15. Pretty much putting it all in one strike (or rather two, due to combination blows), you could say.

As Nasr has been invisible due to cloak of night I'm guessing they are unaware of him, even though initiative and so on have been rolled and they're not surprised? Does that mean he's not getting the target's defense subtracted from the dice pool of the attack?

1st brawl attack: [roll0] | 5 successes.
Assuming nothing reduces the dice pool more than 2, the fighting style's "body blow" comes into affect: successes => target's size -> target loses next action.

2nd brawl attack: [roll1] | 5 successes.

(no 10 again due to cruac ritual from before)

Mephit James
2013-03-02, 04:23 PM
In this case, they don't know Nasr is coming so they don't get their defense. For future rolls, though, their Defense is 4 and their armor is 1/0.

Out of the hallway comes a living shadow, Nasr cloaked in darkness and filled with rage. His fists are twin blurs as he slams one into the bearded man's lower back, to the crunch of ribs, and the other into the back of his head, sending him stumbling forward. The man's legs wobble and he looks about to collapse from the blows.

Those two blows, each dealing five bashing, fill up the bearded cultist's boxes with bashing and then go back and change some of them to lethal. He'll have to make a Stamina roll to stay conscious at the start of his next turn.

Nex up is Alexander then Matthias (who also benefits from no Defense if he's attacking) and then Amenostris will try and heal up.

2013-03-03, 07:13 AM
Alexander stares at the cultist with surprise as the bullet causes more pain than any bullet he has felt before. With a guttural cry of rage he charges determined to kill this upstart mortal with a single blow.

Spending 1 point to activate Vigor (my strength is now 6) Making an all out attack which adds my weaponry dots (does that include my specialty? i'll assume no for now) rather than just 2 due my fighting style. That gives me a pool of 6+6+4+5-4 so 17 dice with 9 again (thanks to my weapon). Ill add a few more dice than usual for my exploded pool.
[roll0] + [roll1] Edit: I screwed up i can't activate Vigor in the same turn as attacking. The easiest thing to do is just ignore the last 3 dice rolled which leaves me with only 4 successes for the attack.

Mephit James
2013-03-05, 02:26 PM
I think this is directed at the thin cultist since he's the one that shot at you...

Alexander's sword slices through the thick canvas of the man's outer robes and a spray of blood covers the floor of the vestibule area. The man cries out and grits his teeth, but the Leper Knight sees a glint in his eyes. The glint of a zealot willing to die for his cause, and the glint of unreserved hatred aimed at Alexander.

You're up, Matthias!

2013-03-08, 04:00 AM
Behind the men, Matthias rises from his storm crow form, his hands turning into wicked claws as he does so.

Spending 1 vitae to activate Claws of the Wild, and then using Matthias' action to transform back into human form. Assuming he's close enough, next round he'll be moving in to attack.

Mephit James
2013-03-10, 10:30 PM
With the sudden appearance of Nasr and the transformation of Matthias into a clawed and feral man, the cultists take stock of their situation. While they try to keep all the vampires in sight, Amenostris closes her wounds with effort and a lot of vitae as she circles back behind the assailants.

She spends a vitae to heal one of her lethal damage boxes, and goes back to the door that they came through.

The bearded man tries to grab for Nasr, but instead collapses (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3965974/) to the ground. The thin man continues to fire at Alexander from point blank range. Bullets shear through the vampire again, leaving burning holes behind him. The raging swordsman drops to the floor like a puppet with cut strings.

That's 3 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3966688/) + 3 = 6 lethal damage which is bad news for Alexander. That fills up all his Health boxes with lethal damage and converts the two leftmost to aggravated. This means he's in torpor which, given Alexander's Humanity rating and Blood Potency means six months of death-sleep. If you want him up earlier (likely) you'll need to feed him vitae, a la VtR p. 178.

Next up, Nasr.

2013-03-11, 11:31 PM
One down, one to go. the Khaibit thought as he shifted his stance to deliver further blows to the other mortal, the mortal's next target likely being his mistress now when the leper seemed to have gone down.

Going all-out this turn too. 2nd attack with -1 dice. Removing 4 dice due to his defence.
1st strike: [roll0]
2nd strike: [roll1]

With the armor I guess that's 2 bashing damage total.

Mephit James
2013-03-12, 01:29 PM
That's right, his armor blocks a damage from the first blow and the damage from the second.

Nasr spins and punches the thin man twice. The cultist seems prepared for it, though, and turns the first punch into a glancing blow and dodges the second entirely.

Alexander has collapsed so Matthias is next and then Amenostris.

2013-03-12, 01:56 PM
Moving quickly and purposefully like the apex predator he is, Matthias moves up to the thin man and rakes him with his wicked claws.
Attacking the thin man, the better to reduce the number of penalties Matthias' attack takes. Brawl 4 + Claw Specialty 1 + Strength 3 - Thin Man's reduced defense for multiple attackers, which should bring it to 3, I think.

Mephit James
2013-03-13, 02:06 PM
OK, Amenostris will be NPCed still for now.

Matthias's claws catch only the man's thick robes as he pivots to face all the vampires at once.

The priestess closes more of her wounds with vitae and slips back through the door to the hallway. To Nasr, it's good that she is getting out of harm's way and possibly spotting for more danger, but not being able to see his protectee is the major downfall of a bodyguard.

With his quarry gone, the thin man unloads his gun instead into Nasr. At this range, the kevlar absorbs most of the impacts but two bullets still sear through the vampire's leg and shoulder as the man fires wildly, still pulling the trigger as the gun clicks empty.

The cultist gets 4 successes (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3971037/) but Nasr's vest absorbs two of those so he just takes two lethal damage.

Nasr is up next to retaliate!

2013-03-13, 04:43 PM
Good. Nasr thought as the man's attention was focused on himself instead of Amenostris, allowing her to hide. Hopefully not too far away, though, as that'd make his task harder. He had no way of knowing if there was someone else around the corner where she ran off.

"You're out. Now you're mine." he calmly stated in response to the clicking of the mortal's gun and launched himself at the cultist, getting a tight grip of him and buried his fangs in the cultist's neck and started to drain him of his precious blood all while Nasr's newly recieved gunshot wounds starts to close up.

I guess I need to grapple before I can bite and drink vitae? A little unsure how it works in combat.
In any case: All out for +2. Removing 4 defence.
[roll0] - success

If the answer to my question in OOC is "yes, that's possible", then Nasr would make an overpower grapple attack at -1 dice pool as well and drain 1 vitae if successful. - allowed and rolled in OOC, success. Draining 1 vitae and inflicting 1 lethal damage.

Edit: Using 2 1 vitae to heal 2 1 lethal damage recieved as a reflexive action.
Current vitae pool: 7/13 8/12

Mephit James
2013-03-17, 08:02 PM
Nasr grabs the thin man and bites down hard on his neck. The man yells and struggles, but it's plain to see it is a cry of anger and challenge instead of panic. Whoever these two are, they've clearly seen more than a few vampires and know about their nature.

Skipping Alexander, next on the list is Matthias.

2013-03-24, 08:24 AM
"Well, this has all made me quite thirsty. I'm with him." Matthias stoops down and grabs the collapsed man, biting him and beginning to drain blood.

Still combat, so I can roll, but the guy's helpless, so I'm not sure it's necessary. Let me know if you want me to. Either way, going to drain blood until Matthias' reserves are full again. He only drained 3 from the blood doll, and has spent 3 so far, so that's 6 points to drain. Since we're still in combat, I presume I can only drain 1 per round?

Mephit James
2013-03-25, 08:56 AM
Yes, but with two vampires on him (at least) this guy is easy to overcome. We can drop out of combat-bullet-time and say you drain him as much as you like. Meanwhile, Amenostris is still gone.
The thin man's struggles get weaker and weaker as Nasr drains half his blood, and Matthias drinks from the other man. After a few heartbeats, his gun falls from his limp hand and clatters to the floor. He murmurs something faintly as his strength ebbs. "Who... is... Ca..."

2013-03-25, 11:02 AM
Matthias was going after the guy on the ground. No sense in stealing someone else's dinner, after all.

Mephit James
2013-03-26, 08:43 PM
The thin man fights his way back to consciousness to struggle against Nasr holding onto him. He grabs at the vampire's collar, though too weakly to break free, and hisses in his face, "Who is Caine?"

At the same time, Amenostris comes back in through the other door, her face a dark cloud. "We need to leave. Now." She motions towards the cultists being drained. "Leave them, there are more coming outside. We need to go farther in or return to Celestina and tell her what we found."

Wits + Composure test can tell you more.

2013-03-26, 10:12 PM
Oh hey, Wits+Comp, I happen to be good at that! [roll0]
Matthias releases the unconscious man and stands, wiping his mouth on a handkerchief. "Caine? Why does that sound familiar?" He motions toward the church's interior. "We should probably look for a back door. If there are other cultists massing by the front, we'll be in trouble trying to get out that way." Matthias then turns and leads the way into the rest of the church.

2013-03-27, 07:50 AM
Wits + Composure: [roll0]

Heals the last 1 lethal damage taken before as he drains the last vitae needed for a full pool.

Empowering himself further with Vigor and healing the rest of the wounds taken before as he drains the cultist, though not the one responsible from the damage inflicted on his mistress, Nasr throws the mortal to the side when he's full. The cultist had a few moments if life left in him, at most. No way he'd survive that, atleast. Mortals with such dangerous knowledge of blood magic wasn't anything Nasr liked to face.

"What about him?" Nasr pointed at the Leper in torpor on the floor. I got the feeling I'd have to carry him. With a fluid motion Nasr picked up the leper from the floor, putting him over his should as best as he could, and gripping the large sword. It wasn't going to be comfortable, not like someone in torpor could complain.

"Lead on." he said, and followed the gangrel. He'd have to drop the leper if he was to do any fighting now. They would soon find out if they had to.

Mephit James
2013-03-29, 02:56 PM
When he hits the ground, the thin mortal rolls to a stop against one of the walls. He rolls over immediately and squeezes the trigger on his gun again, but it only continues to click, empty, and the man is too weak to exchange clips. His arms falls down to the floor as he begins to murmur to himself. Amenostris takes a long drink of blood herself before dropping him and wiping her lips delicately.

"This way leads only to libraries and stairs," the priestess confirms, indicating the door she has just come from. Matthias knows that the stairs lead to upstairs offices, but nothing that seems that interesting. "Let's see where this leads."

The group of vampires, with Alexander over Nasr's shoulder, pushes open the door to the rest of the church, as the sounds of men arguing loudly outside the main doors become increasingly audible. There are at least a dozen from the sound of the voices, and both warriors hear the word "guns" several times. They seem uncertain of entering, but that won't last long. "Did that man say 'Caine?'" Amenostris asks Nasr as Matthias tests the door, "[/color]What do you think it means?[/color]"

An Int + Occult check could tell you something, if you think your character would be concerned with the theology of whoever they're facing.

As Matthias opens the door, he sees a nice, typical Roman church, all stained glass and tapestries and the heavy scent of incense. The smell is cloying and adds to the closeness of the room: despite its large size, there is an almost cave-like feel. At the far end is a domed aspe over the altar where a figure in robes stands amid many lit candles. "Get back!" the man's voice rings out through the church, accented but with good Italian, "Get back you devils, this is no place for your filth!"

If you want to get close enough to Intimidate or (especially) hit this guy, you'll need a R÷tschreck roll (Resolve + Composure) to near the flames, but it's not that much fire so you'll only need two successes.

2013-04-01, 07:09 PM
Int + Occult to check fleeting knowledge: [roll0] 2 successes.
This doesn't seem very... church-like. Nasr thought to himself when he saw the area they had entered. Admittedly, he wasn't really that experienced with churches, having been rather uninterested when alive. The fact that the robed man seemed to know what they were right away was bothering him, though. It was unlikely he called whoever filth and devils. He needed to learn learn what to fear.

Suddenly the area around the robed man was engulfed in darkness which seemed to be alive, with tendrils seemingly idling and portruding from the the darkness. Though the candles were not engulfed, the man was. The unnatural darkness was bound to unsettle him. That it was Nasr who had willed this darkness into existance wasn't too obvious, but his mistress knew of some of his abilities, though the gangrel did not.

Using Shroud of Night (Obt 2) to create a 10 feet diameter patch of darkness centered on the man in robes (assuming it's within 50 yards). Assuming it's a success he must succeed on a Resolve + Composure roll or flee the area (not sure if it's the area we're in or the area of the darkness, the original text seems to indicate the former ("panic and flee") though I'm not 100%.

Manipulation + Occult + Obtenebration: [roll1] 2 out of 12? I'm genuinely surprised.

Mephit James
2013-04-03, 09:21 AM
The area around the altar darkens and the man looks around nervously. Just as it's getting to a level that would be hard to read by, though, the darkness evaporates like smoke and the man stands once more amid burning candles. As he looks around, the robed man's expression regains its confidence. "Your powers won't work here, devil. This place is turned against you!"

Fury washes over the man like a storm cloud and his face turns read. As he shouts at the top of his lungs, it echoes through the church so that it sounds like a crowd. "Who! Is! Caaaaine?!"

Occult Results
Nasr knows that Caine is the brother of Abel, of course, but he also knows that there's something about the "mark of Caine" in the Bible as well. This has been interpreted as everything from black skin to homosexuality, but Nasr's heard some older vampires refer to the mark of Caine as the curse of vampirism. This comes from something like the Middle Ages, which makes this a pretty old cult indeed.

2013-04-03, 11:31 AM
May as well see if Matthias knows anything: [roll0]
"It's in your best interest to let us pass this way, and quickly. Unless you know something about those men upstairs?"

2013-04-03, 03:50 PM
Nasr was surprised that his power was nullified. He wondered what kind of protective ward or power it could have been, but he didn't really have much time to think about that now. The robed man was obviously with the others, the same cult even. If he had a firearm of some kind he'd probably use it now, if his discipline powers could be nullified like that.

"I assumed you'd figure out he's with the other cultists. I suggest you claw him to death, or he might be an issue when the rest get here. Do mind he has some protection of sorts." Nasr had to carry Alexander and try to protect his mistress, it was better to send the gangrel to handle the priest.

2013-04-03, 03:54 PM
"Yeah, right. Claw him to death. In a minute. First things first," Matthias whispers to Nasr. Turning his attention back to the priest, he asks again, "What kind of magic are you and the men upstairs wielding here?"

2013-04-03, 06:27 PM
"Blood magic." he calmly replied, not wasting any time explaining more specifically. Though he was unsure that the protection from his power had been blood magic, but it was likely considering the other cultists had used it previously. He figured that was what mortals only could do. It's not like they were mages, or anything.

2013-04-03, 08:22 PM
"I know it was blood magic; I'm an Acolyte and do know some Cr¨ac. I want to know what type of blood magic, as it's not something I recognize," Matthias responds, somewhat indignantly.

2013-04-04, 02:50 AM
"Then I don't know." Nasr said, waiting for the gangrel to make his move and eliminate the fanatic threat.

Mephit James
2013-04-11, 07:08 PM
"Enough of this," Amenostris snarls and pushes forward past her bodyguard towards the altar. She steps past the candles and reaches to grab the man by the throat. He dodges out of the way of the surprisingly clumsy swipe and the Egyptian priestess looks momentarily shocked and then absolutely furious. "You have one chance to explain yourself and die quickly, otherwise we will bleed the truth from you. Who is Caine?" She gestures to the walls around the dais, marked with strange signs in dark paint, "And what are these?"

Before the man answer, even if he is going to, the door to the church room bursts open. A band of men stand there, with automatic rifles slung over their shoulders and torches in their hands. A wall of fire suddenly spreads in front of the doors causing the four Beasts in the vampires to howl like a pack of scared dogs.

Another R÷tschreck test: Resolve + Composure -1 (the torches are trying to surround you) and you need 4 successes (there are over a dozen torches).

2013-04-11, 08:42 PM
This is going to end poorly: [roll0] Rerolls: [roll1]

Mephit James
2013-04-12, 08:40 AM
The three vampires shrink back from the torches, howling like animals. Nasr at least has the presence of mind to grab Alexander before the Kindred run for the back of the church with all haste. A side passage leads to another hallway then to a room with tall stained-glass windows. The flight is a blur that would be hard for the vampires to reproduce but in this small room they are at least safe from the fire and their Beasts calm slightly. This room is dark and empty except for a few chairs and a bookcase of religious books, but the presence of the men and their torches can still be felt by the echoing chants coming from somewhere else in the building.

"Who is Caine? Who is Caine? Who is Caine?"

Amenostris is looking down at her hands as if someone might have exchanged them with another woman's when she wasn't looking. "I couldn't use the blood," she is saying mostly to herself, "The vitae was there in my skin but it was frozen or sealed from me. Those symbols on the walls..." She looks up at the others. "Alexander is in torpor, we do not know what blood magic these men wield, and we have already risked the Masquerade multiple times tonight. We should return to Celestina and tell her what we found."

2013-04-12, 01:36 PM
Matthias shakes his head as he tries to calm down. In his mind's eye, he sees the silhouette of his Beast, retreating back down into the murky depths of his subconscious. "That was embarrassing," he mutters to himself. He picks his head up and turns toward the group. "I agree. These men know too much about us, and their sorcery wasn't Cr¨ac. I doubt it was Theban Sorcery, either, which means they probably aren't ghouls. We need to get out of here. You guys want me to scout ahead as a crow?"

2013-04-12, 01:46 PM
When Nasr again came to his senses he was still holding the leper it seemed, and his mistress was there too. Good. What wasn't good was these humans. They were too strange. Too fanatical. Too deadly. Getting out of here to regroup was most likely the best option. They had no way of fighting that many people, especially seeing as his shadow powers had been repelled and one of them was already out of it.

"It's the least risky choice. We did what was asked of us. Now we need to get out of here." He looked around for doors or openings. It was likely they had to jump through one of the windows to get out if there was none available.

Mephit James
2013-04-12, 11:21 PM
Amenostris reaches up to test one of the windows, finding a latch and pushing it. "Help me with this, child," she says to Nasr, "Matthias, you can make sure the coast is clear outside, then we'll go through the glass. I don't want to land on top of more of these zealots but we should go." The latch snaps backwards and a child-sized pane swings open into the Roman night.

2013-04-13, 05:52 PM
Nasr quickly moved and helped his mistress with the window, not afraid to use force if needed to pry it open or shatter the window for them to fit comfortably. The activation of Vigor was still there increasing his strength.

Mephit James
2013-04-15, 04:44 PM
Nasr easily opens the iron latch, in fact he has to hold back to keep from wrenching it off with his vitae-fueled strength. The open pain is big enough for any of the vampires to squeeze through, and more than enough for Matthias as a crow. When the pane is open, Amenostris pulls herself up to stick her head out and look left and right. "The street is empty," she reports, "Matthias, you can go through and maintain our safety as we get Alexander through."

2013-04-30, 11:25 AM
"Right, then. I'll just give a caw if something shows up." Matthias stoops and his forms shrinks, becoming a storm crow once again. He hops up and flaps his way out of the window into the night, keeping a watchful eye on the streets below as he circles near the window.