The Hollow Crown

The Soul Eater
Chapter 4, First Chronicle

The Little Golden Idol that did for Mad Carew

During the down time between Chapter 3 & Chapter 4

  • Concord were advised that there were two events in the court diary:
  • The Beltane Court where a new appointment to the Keeper of Elysium would be decided; and
  • A Vassal Court in late March to discuss the appointment to the vacant seats of
    o Brookline
    o Waltham
    o Dedham
    o Medfield

Story outline
Imaad was collected by Johannes & his crew to assist in tracking down a rumoured Sabbat incursion into the city. They travelled for about an hour with Kingston seeming to use a ritual to achieve this. Imaad noted Kingston had a number of potential ritual implements on him, including a thin blue cord round his neck.

They entered a trendy bar Ales and Tails in a quiet suburb of Boston on the road towards Providence. The owner of the bar seemed unhappy to see Johannes, but any conversation was cut short when two individuals departed the bar in a hurry. Johannes & Kingston followed an Arabic man in his early thirties and Doyle and Imaad followed a girl that looked barely old enough to drink in the bar.

Imaad had trouble hearing Doyle, who quickly blended into the shadows. The girl they were pursuing took a wrong turn and found herself in a blind alleyway. Taking advantage of her misfortune, he struck at her with his magically enhanced blade. The initial attack bit deeply into her – causing Imaad to be covered in a spray of her blood. He was momentarily thrown by her response which was to grow bone quills and then try to rip out his rib-cage.

Stepping backwards, she only managed to graze him, and he utilised his powers of celerity to despatch her with two further strokes. Recognising her as a Tzimisce, Doyle destroyed her corpse utilising an aerosol and a lighter. With the other kindred despatched by Johannes & Kingston, they returned to town with a laconic ‘well done’ from Johannes. (NB at this stage if any of the other players want to suggest Andrew might have checked how many sabbat they were meant to be following I suspect it would be useful).

During this time, a world weary Tremere entered The Crown and Sceptre, looking for the lieges of Concord. After making a sarcastic comment on the bars sign being a shoot here for the Sabbat, he introduced himself as Thomas Corey. He passed on a warning he said he had received from the spirit world that their past would return to haunt them and place them in great danger. He confirmed this came from a spirit he referred to as the ‘Ferryman’ but otherwise he was told nothing more. The lieges were surprised to note that he seemed to be flushed, breathing, and capable of digesting liquid and food. He warned them that the bar was haunted by the shade of what he suspected was either an overdose or suicide from the eighties who sat in one corner of the bar. He also said that the beer was off and he walked from the bar. Eleanor and Gwendolyn noted that some food left behind by a workman also appeared to have rotted where he was sitting. Gwendolyn noted that the location he had indicated in seemed to have a cold sensation when she walked through it. During the opening all of the coterie noticed that mortals seemed to be avoiding that location, as did Lestrade when he came into the bar.

Gwendolyn was kept waiting by Hardcastle. She pointedly ignored Hardcastle’s retainer Amy, until she believed she heard a keening wail from the back of the gallery. No-one else seemed to notice anything, and she received her first commission which appeared to be creating a false provenance for stolen books.

The opening of the bar initially passed without any great note. Johannes turned up, sauntered about, and left. The fun began when Mankiller came in, challenged Gwendolyn over the failure to agree a permanent access to the lake where Arabella vanished, and then informed her the garou were off to perform a ritual. Not realising that she could prevent this, Gwendolyn thought little of it. Until the torrential rain & unseasonal thunder storm began and in quick succession Prescott and Gaveston appeared. Following some blunt questioning as to the mental capacity and the parentage of the Concord Lieges, it was ascertained that silence does imply assent, and that they had effectively allowed the Garou to do any ritual they pleased at the site. Gwendolyn stomped down in the rain, in time to see the Garou complete their ritual, and then with a smirk rip a hole in the air and vanish into a portal.

Sometime later the Concord lieges requested that Washer Women, Gwendolyn’s charges, visit them at the The Crown and Sceptre. The group attended. Discussions over their background ranged over a number of subjects but the group did identify the following odd behaviours:

  • The group moved about every 20 years in the past century had previously been in Chicago, New Orleans and Denver.
  • The group stated they were seeking Golconda, which they described as being a nirvana like state.
  • The group ranged in age from 50 to 300 years old. A new washerwoman was selected by her predecessor when that individual believed they had reached the end of their road. They indicated that this was when the individual either abandoned their quest for Golconda or moved to the next stage. This worried Gwendolyn, as she believed her sire had feared Kindred called the Salubri who operated in a similar fashion.
  • The group were circumspect when queried about their clan and their ability with music.
  • They confirmed that they could not affect spirits that had passed, they could however assist a dying soul in its passing.
  • Imaad asked if he was ‘doing the right thing’ much to Eleanor’s annoyance and received a gnomic response.

Some time passed, the group were invited to visit the Cathedral, a nightclub operated by an old acquaintence of Johannes, a Toreador named Merisi. He was utilising this as his formal introduction to the city, having moved the nightclub around a few locations over the last twenty years.

The evening passed uneventfully, and Gwendolyn was minded to leave when she heard the strains of the song she had listened to on the last evening with her finance before he boarded the troop train to the front. She followed the music, only to be quickly ambished and subdued by The conductor. He left with her, but not before it was caught on camera.

Imaad and Eleanor gave pursuit, with other kindred seeking to locate the rest of the washer women. When they tracked down the conductor he was looming over a prostrate Gwendolyn looking as if he intend to diablorise her. He let rip with a screech of raw fury as the others intervened, deafening Imaad. When it became clear that he couldn’t overpower the other two, he merged into the shadows and fled.

The group returned to the Washer Woman church, to find they had fled. Gwendolyn was summoned to court to explain the actions of her childer. Assembling in the The Crown and Sceptre , Eleanor was shocked to see a smirking Lucas O’Shea who sarcastically called her ‘mummy’ before leaving quickly.

The group went in front of Gaveston, with the Prince quasi-catatonic. A series of harsh punishments was handed down to them, restricting their ability to create ghouls or childer. Gwendolyn was barely able to plead for the bloodhunt to be halted on the washer woman, such was Gaveston’s wrath.

The following evening one of the washerwoman, Nicole, was spotted near the church by Gwendolyn. After a brief discussion, where Nicole related that the groups perception of Gwendolyn were skewed because of her sire, and the information of the conductor, Gwendolyn was able to ascertain that the conductor had convinced them all to scatter with an intention to meet with them individualy later. Gwendolyn was able to persuade Nicole to turn herself in to the Seneshcnal, but could not convince her to return with her.

Following a discussion between Gwendolyn and Eleanor, it became clear that some of the erratic behaviour of Gwendolyn came from the actions of the Conductor, who must have been subtly grooming her over time. Equally, it became clear that Eleanor had a gap in her memory around when she had been taken by Normand, suggesting the use of dominate to cloud her memories.

Upon returning home, Gwendolyn discovered Jervis had been kidnapped, most likely surprised by an assailant he couldn’t see as the security system hadn’t been tripped. Calling on debts to Kingston and Johannes, they tracked Jervis to a warehouse in the industrial side of town. There they encountered Malcolm Langrishe and after an intense struggle, they succesfully eliminated a sabbat pack. Albeit comiitting diablorie twice in the process.

Close to death, further debts were incurred and traded quickly between the group, as Kingston fed blood to Jervis to save him. The others were taken in fron of the court to answer for the crime of diablorie.

It was then they caught a break, on hearing the description of the Sabbat pack destroyed, the Prince issued a pardon to both Imaad and Malcolm. Although Imaad was left under no illusions that a third instance of Diablorie would trigger a blood hunt. Malcolm for his part was rewarded with a share of the vassalship of Concord.

For reasons that no-one can quite remember, Malcolm decided to massively insult the Nosferatu Primogen and Alison. Summarily hurled from his bar, he was told not to return until he made amends.

A few nights passed, and Gwendolyn approached Corey to discuss the spirit in the bar. He agreed to assist in return for her acquiring books from certain stores in town. Gwendolyn suspected a trick, and was right to do so as each shop was owned by a mage. They included Thomas Hawthorne, James Bishop and Shunsuku ‘Scott’ Kerr. Whilst the books themselves seem to be innocous and eclectic, it was clear Corey could not go these locations himself.

Malcolm and Eleanor also hatched a plan to build on Malcolm’s new notoreity, and to apologise to Cartwright. Identifying a lesser known abolitionist Julia Ward Howe, Malcolm created a new play to be hosted during an upcoming festival. It helped that Johannes had subtly pointed Eleanor on a route to increasing Malcolm’s prestige to challenge Hardcastle.

Keen to derive additional research material, the group agreed to help Gwendolyn in her search. The first location the group went to was Buddha on a Bike, a book store mainly focussing on religious and philosophical texts. The owner seemed to consider everyone in the party aside from Gwendolyn with some suspicion.

After a brief discussion with Imaad, where he was handed a copy of the meditations of Marcus Aurelius and the Hagakure, the group left only to run into Domnhail Tremayne. It seemed that at one point in time he had been a welcome visitor, as Shunsuku ‘Scott’ Kerr initially seemed welcoming. However when Tremayne seemed to react ot Gwendolyn, the magus made the entire courtyard begin to glow with silver fires, until everyone left

It was at this point that Malcolm attempted to read Tremayne’s aura. Its still notclear what happened, but he began to bleed from his eyes, and started mumbling in a series of languages that were tentatively identified as Norse, Gaelic, ancient latin and something else uncertain. A brief recording was taken of his ramblings, and with the assistance of Corey and Geddes, Malcolm was cast into the sea.

Whilst searching for Malcolm, Imaad became aware of Tobias Ames intention to quit Boston. Temporarily he was given Ames proxy at the vassal court. Gwendolyn and Eleanor visited the Van den Berg compund to collect sea maps of the area, and became suspicious that someone was influencing one of the old family retainers

Clearing up the mess Malcolm left behind, he was recovered by Freya Ahlstrom and returned to Boston.

As preperation continued for the play, Gwendolyn began to consider if they could turn the tables on Hardcastle and gain some political clout of their own. Following conversations with James Konrad and Dyer led her to conclude that proposing an acceptable candidate secretly to Silas might break the deadlock over Medway. It also neatly helped her to clear the debt she was accumulating with Corey. She also encountered Thomas Hawthorne, who seemed a most unsual individual. Whilst flirting with her, he wrote a number down in a book he gave her for free, which Gwendolyn suspects is some how a means to communicate with him.

The play was a surprising success, despite scepticisim and Hardcastle’s atempts to ruin it. he group drew on the contacts they had established at the fundraiser to turn the play into a major part of the festival, and in some way elevate Ward Howe to being an area of notable study.

Unfortunately in their researches, they hadn’t considered that Ward Howe may have become a kindred, and the cause of some distress for her sire Gaveston. It became clear during the show that some old issue between Johannes Van Den Berg and Gaveston was brought to light again, with a formal duel being declared.

It seemed that Gaveston was under the impression that Johannes had manipulated Eleanor, and Concord, into insulting him. When Gwendolyn assured him of her sincerity that they knew nothing of this, he softened, but muttered that the die was cast.

Prescott muttered the lines from a poem under his breath as he wached the drama unfold. he also muttered references to a dance coming to an end.

Johannes handed his proxy to Eleanor and left the theater.

During this week, the theater suffered an arson attack. With his play unable to continue, Langrishe grudgingly had to accept Hardcastle’s magnamous offer to host the play at a warehouse he owned. (this bluebook is relevant By the Rashomon Gate

At the vassal court, before all of the posts were awarded, Johannes strode in and hurled the bloodied coat of Gaveston onto the table. Before the Prince could finish his pronouncement of banishment, Johannes had left the building. John Flood confrmed that the coat was Gaveston’s and out of respect for the departed prohibited anyone else from going near it.

Psalm 137
Story 3, First Chronicle

Pre-game background

The Psalm

TV Tropes (teaser information on story)
Corrupt Church
Through the eyes of madness
Advertised Extra or starting the run of fourth players having the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap Drummer
Knight in Sour Armour

GM Summary

Following the battle at the pond, the group tried to regather their strength. As the garou left taking their own, the Balin and Gaveston arrived to clear away the sabbat dead. Whilst the Prince and Gaveston seemed more interested in the practical aspects of the loss of a major Kindred and how a mass embrace had occurred without their notice, Prescott seemed to be interested in changes that had came over the pond near where Drake had died and Arabella had vanished.

Following some discussion, the Prince indicated that all three lieges were to attend the court being convened the next night. Failure to do so would result in the forfeiture of their position and unlives. A Gangrel named Hook, a Sabbat hunter by reputation was required to ensure their attendance as the price of his being accepted by the court.

This did not go well for Hook, in fact he probably should have stayed in C-Town, as he first lost Gwendolyn (who vanished mysteriously towards the parking area), then Imaad and Eleanor left for the Inkrooms. Hook managed to follow, and concious of the risk to the masquerade, provided Imaad with a replacement shirt once he healed his wounds. The discussion at the Inkrooms did not go well for him, with Johannes Van Den Berg tying him to a chair after calling him a ‘Narc’. Hook trips over and falls trying to leave the bar, allowing Imaad to go hunting and Eleanor to depart with Johannes.

Hook was left in the cold as the other players went on their way.

The following evening Gwendolyn caught up on her logistics, realising she had run low on blood over the past few weeks. Jervis was tasked with locating another source, as he pointed out their previous suppliers were beginning to raise questions on who this was for. Gwendolyn threw Hook a bone, promising to meet him outside the The Winthrop Building where the meeting was to be held.

Imaad & Eleanor went out hunting, Eleanor losing control of herself and killing a former student of hers Lucas O’Shea. In a panic she called Johannes, who arrived at the same time as Hook & Imaad. By then the body had vanished – Johannes realised that Madeline Normand must have been behind this – and ordering Eleanor to strip – he located a spanish doubloon that had been secreted upon her. In attendance were Megan Doyle and James Kingston who called down flame to destroy all of Eleanor’s possessions and break the ritual.

The group of Doyle, Kingston & Johannes seemed to operate as a military group. They departed on other business, leaving the rest to head to the Prince’s meeting, albeit with a slight detour where Imaad had to buy Eleanor some clothes.

The Prince appeared distracted during the meeting, leaving shortly after convening the meeting. Winthrop accuses the Prince of poor judgement in appointing novices to Concord, only to have Gaveston retaliate that his childe had failed to monitor the location appropriately. Extracting a requirement that Winthrop would share summaries of increases in violent crimes and spikes in missing person reports across the city. Winthrop did however extract that all future communication with the Garou must be through an elder, Pocumtec

Gaveston required that Hook remain in Concord to monitor the situation.

Gwendolyn had an unsuccessful discussion with Pocumtuc over discussions with the werewolves and reincarnation. He did suggest that a caitiff, Alison Cartwright, who was known to frequent Silas bar had interests in this area.

Another night passed.

The Lieges met at Eleanor’s house, leaving Hook elsewhere, to discuss matters of import. nce they collected their Gangrel they went to The Red Stocking Mariner a major baseball bar run by the Nosferatu Primogen. They found him watching the 12th game of the 1975 World Series, and discussing the match in detail with Hook who remembered watching it as a teenager.

During the discussion following the match, Imaad works out that Hook had seen more active service than a quartermaster, and Silas comments that wars were far more fun once they brought gunpowder into the mix, commenting he’d fought in the snow at Towton in the War of the Roses, suggesting her was over 500 years old. If true, this suggests he was possibly the oldest kindred left in the city. During this time Gwendolyn played chess with Cartwright, noting she was a learned individual and strong player. She also received some thoughts on the possibility of reincarnation.

The group parted, Eleanor went to meet with Tex Geddes to identify how they should arrange the Islamic fundraiser. He reluctantly suggested that Marcus Hardcastle was the est connected Toreador to bring out the Boston Brahmins who would support the project.

Once they met back up, Eleanor lured another student into an alleyway for Imaad to feed on them, losing control Imaad drank Adam Rickman dry. Considering their options, they threw the dessicated husk into the back of the car and dispose of the body near Nahant Bay (NB does anyone else here a Who number starting at this point). Eleanor is annoyed to spend the evening with her lava lamp when Imaad returns to his own haven to meditate.

Meanwhile Gwendolyn investigates Hardcastle with Jacob Blum, her contact in Chicago. He confirms he has worked with him in the past, and strongly advises assisting him due to his connections. Gwendolyn confirms that Hardcastle will no longer require her to perform the task he requested at the earlier meeting.

Geddes confirms to Eleanor that the Museum of Fine Arts is both Elysium, and within the domain of Silas who will need to grant permission to hold the event there.

Another night passes – and this time the coterie are not responsible for the death of any NPCs!.

Hook shifts his hunting habits towards the poorer areas, indulging his beast through proper stalking and hunting of prey. Whilst doing this he comes upon a run-down church that his prey are congregating towards.

From the rafters he spies on a service being conducted by Washer Women ( The Washer Women, The Conductor ) who’s singing stills the beast within him. He leaves the building before heading back towards Concord proper.

Eleanor and Imaad have been setting in train the process to save the mosque. Imaad meets with Ally Ross who agrees to talk to her husband.

Sidebar – during the downtime Ally confirms that the Mosque’s planning issues are arising from the local council board. Of the five members of the board, two are neutral but have agreements with two that are strongly against the proposal. Ross also confirmed that a local Priest, Father Durranti, had been heavily lobbying the council on this point. There was also suggestion that some of the other locations being considered by the Mosque had recently come into the ownership of individuals in his congregation.

The coterie met in the The Crown and Sceptre, where following some ‘subtle’ persuasion, Hook mentions that they may have another pack of supernatural creatures randomly in their territory.

Entering the church, all four individuals have a different experience.

Hook sees it as before, and is clearly moved.

Gwendolyn moves through the room as if in rapture, seeing the potential of the church and hearing the singing of psalms. She weeps blood tears of pure joy at the music (Misere Allegri) and is clearly overcome with emotion.

Imaad initially sees nothing but then hears the call to prayer. The call to prayer gives him some focus following the previous night and he leaves money on the alter before heading to the soup kitchen for the Mosque where Imam Fasil preaches. He feels calm following this, better focussed than before. He also finds out that some of the people they regularly help have not been seen. They have heard they are still about and are going to somewhere else at the moment.

Eleanor sees nothing, and is convinced that her associates are beginning to fray around the edges.

The group separates, with Gwendolyn and Hook remaining in the area. They notice the homeless are monitoring the area around the Church, and following one back to a derelict home they watch him expire. Gwendolyn sees an ‘Angel’ ( The Washer Women ) help him pass, being one of the Washer Woman, her singing helped him to pass over without pain. The following evening Gwendolyn returns to the area and finds the man’s dog – Lestrade (Aka Scruff, Destroyer of Cats)]] who she ‘adopts’ Gwendolyn Gets A Dog

Over the next few weeks, the group begin to prepare for the social event, mockingly referred to as a cotillion by Gaveston. The group slightly splits into two, a less than brilliant idea, which subsequently prompts some thinking – see At Last The Liege’s Talk. The two sidebars below take place at the same time.

Eleanor and Imaad begin to make arrangements for the fundraiser. They identify that they need:

  1. to work out if the place is controlled by any Kindred;
  2. to consider if the place is Elysium; and
  3. to work out who to invite.

Around the same time Gwendolyn and Hook (to an extent) began investigations into the Church. Gwendolyn meets with the four kindred operating from the church. They had come to Boston searching for knowledge of Golconda, they had hoped to meet with (MIA) Lady Arabella Stuart who they suspected may have had knowledge of this. Either way they intended to operate a quasi-monastery from the site of the ruined church, providing the local homeless with a place to rebuild their skills and recover their purpose. In return, the women would feed off willing victims and provide food and resources. Their quest, and desire to protect the masquerade, requires them to move on every few year.

They requested a boon from Gwendolyn to introduce them to court, and from Concord to operate in the location. Gwendolyn undertook to do so and began to work with the women in rebuilding the church. She also requested that they perform at the upcoming fundraiser.

Jacob Blum requests a favour from Gwendolyn. He is concerned about a former clanmember, India, one of his extended brood. She vanished during the Sabbat occupation of Boston, and was rumoured to know Johannes. He also warned Gwendolyn that something odd had been happening to Nosferatu, as far as he knew all of the Nosferatu that had attempted to settle in Boston had vanished or died. Jacob had concerns that Silas may be behind this, potentially given his age, he may have to feed on younger kindred rather than humans.

Gwendolyn and Eleanor go to the Ink Rooms to seek out Johannes. They find him there, unusually tactiturn with the mono-syllabic Kingston in tow. Over the terse conversation that followed, Eleanor realised a lifesized picture of her nude now adorned the entrance to the women’s toilets courtesy of Megan. Whilst she was distracted with this, she missed that Johannes appeared to be wounded, with a series of bandages soaking up blood under his shirt. Gwendolyn did notice this, but was distracted by Kingston spinning a silver dollar at her. When she caught this, she felt a momentary whiff of cordite from the magician’s shows she had attended as a child. She had some suspicion the coin was a form of trick, but before she could investigate this, she offended Johannes by probing about India, who he described as a woman that had died in the Sabbat war, and he had barred her from the Ink Rooms.

Johannes did at least confirm, for Eleanor, that they would need to speak to Gaveston as to whether the Museum was Elysium, in the absence of Arabella Stuart. The group met with Gaveston, who confirmed that the museum was Elysium, and that no additional steps were needed to seek approval from the Prince to host the event. He also pointed them towards Silas, who he knew to have influence with the museum. Whilst objecting to being the groups social secretary, he also suggested that events requiring mortal support for a cause, tended to rely on Brujah and Toreador support. The person most likely to put them in touch with a significant portion of ‘buying patrons’ would be Hardcastle.

At this time, Gwendolyn asked for permission to introduce the kindred to the court. This was provisionally granted, subject to them being treated as Gwendolyn’s children for the period of one calendar year. When pressed on this treatment, Gaveston pointed out that there had been issues in the past with Sabbat attempting to infiltrate the city by pretending to be newly embraced kindred, or otherwise travelling through town. The recent debacle at the pond had made the Prince consider tightening restrictions on those kindred permitted to enter the city. Gaveston confirmed that for the period of the year, the crimes of the four kindred would be as if Gwendolyn had committed them herself.

Subsequent to this, Imaad and Eleanor meet with the Conductor and the three woman at Hardcastle. The women seem subdued, and whilst they sing well, the skill that Gwendolyn has insisted is there is not as evident. The Conductor does most of the discussion, and confirms that Concord are happy for them to remain in the church. They mention moving around and their work with the homeless. At Imaad’s request they agree to perform at the function. This causes Imaad and Eleanor to question Gwendolyn’s version of events.

Eleanor and Imaad grow concerned by Gwendolyn’s apparently irrational behaviour and apparently delusional state. They discuss this with Johannes who flippantly suggests she is bat-shit crazy. When pressed, he points out the most dangerous point for a kindred is immediately after embrace, as they find out what they are. The second follows toward the end of their first century, when they realise they are no longer a memory to those now living. The weight of this can drive some to insanity.

They contact Jarvis Lederer who is guarded in his comments, but confirms that Gwendolyn has been slightly upset since she acquired the dog. The two ponder on this.

The dynamic duo then travel to Silas’s Bar. Interrupting the A quiet game of chess between Silasand Alison Cartwright. The attempt to gain the primogen’s favour goes poorly, when Imaad inadvertently insults Alison. Only the fact that other elders will be annoyed by the event, especially Winthrop and the Prince, convinces Silas to agree to the proposal. The fact that Gwendolyn seems to genuinely respect Cartwright also does not go amiss. As a consequence he agrees to the use of his influence with the museum to start the event, for which he does not exact a boon, but does require Cartwright to be invited and treated with courtesy at the event. As an aside he also suggests that running an event to support islamic projects when the Prince is more likely to preach a crusade is a novel and courageous act…

Joined by Gwendolyn, they travel to Hardcastle’s gallery. He agrees to encourage his clients to attend the event in return for three favours. First Concord had to actively support him at the vassal court on three votes:

  1. Appointment to a domain;
  2. confirmation as keeper of elysium – a position that would make him defacto head of the Toreador clan in the city; and
  3. one other vote

Eleanor was obliged to ensure Megan Doyle did not run against Hardcastle for these roles.

Imaad was required to perform his clan’s service (or arrange for this to be done) against one kindred of at most his current remove from Caine.

Gwendolyn was required to produce a number of works for him, the complexity to be determined. In effect this work was to prepare fake provenance for art works that will enable stolen works to be resold, or alternatively, substantially increase the valuation of other works as they will appear to be minor pieces by more significant artists. Such provenance could also make, or break, a curator’s reputation suggesting that Hardcastle may well be substantially increasing his influence in the art world. (For genuine examples of the impact of provenance/ interpretation of art see Arnolfi painting purpose here… or Madonna of the Pinks

The night of the event comes around, during an unusually cold Boston winter which had made feeding difficult and tempers short. The coterie disperse to talk to other kindred in the crowd.

Imaad has a minor altercation with Crouch an idealistic Brujah who has been taking unusual steps to try and understand his condition and remove his need to feed as often. Unfortunately this left him low on vitae and close to the beast. See Musings He interpreted Imaad’s intervention during his attempt to feed on Ally Ross as an aggressive move by another predator and driven close to frenzy left the event.

Upon seeing Hook at the event, Johannes proceeded to throw a rubber ball in his direction. An entirely unamused Hook failed to rise to the bait of being told to ‘Fetch’. Low on blood himself, he stalked over to Gwendolyn. He publicly muttered threats against Johannes, suggesting that they would have a reckoning on a more suitable ground. He left the event in a foul mood, deciding to hunt, before returning to slumber. Aside from Dyer, the other Kindred present saw Gwendolyn have a brief discussion with Hook before he exited with grim determination.

The Washer Women perform brilliantly, whilst the various lots are being displayed. Eleanor chokes back her fury when she realises that ahMarcus Hardcastle had been planting suggestions that Johannes item (and others) were fake. Johannes leaves the event for a short period of time, returning with Dr. John Mankiller, an expert from the museum, who seems to utilise some werewolf voodoo to counteract Hardcastle. Mankiller then conducts the auction, before confirming with Johannes that the matter was settled. The event raised significant funds and provided the group with connections that are followed up to form contacts and allies.

Eleanor meets an old associate Dr. Philip Macleod who had returned from a stint at Oxford.

Imaad is able to portray himself as a serious local benefactor and charms Laura Gould a curator at the museum.

Gwendolyn bonds with an artist David Paterson over a mutual interest in antiquarian books.

Following the performance by the Washer Women, Gwendolyn hears odd music that draws her towards the exit. Before she can leave, Prescott captures her and does a mini-waltz to return her to the room causing the music to come to an end.

Whilst out hunting Hook stumbles across Crouch mid-feeding. The two have a brief fight, with Crouch dying. See Phronesis. Hook is brought back to the court by Kingston & Doyle, who had been sent by Dyer to look for Crouch. Upon being returned to the court, Hook is informed that the Prince will sit in judgement over him for his breach of the sixth tradition.

The others talk with Cartwright and Dyer to understand the options open to Hook. Dyer indicates that Crouch was low on blood and from the witnesses may have attacked Hook first, she suggests that he pleads self defence. Cartwright was less certain, worrying that the Prince was overly fond of spectacle. She suggested that it was likely the Prince would offer trial by ordeal against a champion.

Gwendolyn and Eleanor desperately try to convince Hook that they will speak in his defence. They believe they have succeeded when they return to the hall.

The Prince looked directly into Hook’s eye when he is brought in, and offers him trial by jury or ordeal. Hook simply said ‘Ordeal’. With a single word he sealed his fate. The Prince requires that the Scourge repays a debt to him by fighting as his champion.

To the surprise of Concord, Johannes steps forward. Practising with an officer’s sword, he simply nods to Hook to begin. Hook makes a desperate feint and lunge for Johannes with his claws, a move easily dodged by Johannes, who decapitates him with a single stroke.

The Prince dismisses the court with the phrase “Iustitiae servitum est”

The harpies in court begin to question whether Concord organised this entire event to clear Johannes of his debt from creating a child without permission and to eliminate the Prince’s mole in their court. Either way they are now known amongst the wider court.

Story 2, First Chronicle

The coterie were invited to meet with the Lady Arabella Stuart at the “Inn on the Lake” a family run bar restaurant in Concord. A fidgety man, clearly out of place in the bar, the novelist Michael Drake, acknowledged them as they entered.

The group passed a pleasant evening, as Arabella gave them some of the political background on Boston. She asked their permission for her childe to reside in Concord as he finished his new work, and invited them to exhibition of her new childe’s Megan Doyle work at another of her progeny’s galleries Marcus Hardcastle. Gwendolyn Ashbridge queried who in Boston would be best placed to answer queries on the star alignment (having noticed that the stars were getting close to the image she had seen in the codex). Arabella suggested a Tremere, Freya Ahlstrom, might be best placed and left.

The evening passed normally. The group attended the gallery opening. The graffiti art was not to everyone’s taste. Gwendolyn in particular fled he bar in some disarray. A rapprochement of some sort was had between Imaad Al Qasim and Declan Tyrone. Declan advised Imaad that a local mosque was in danger of being closed, but that Balin had banned him from intervening directly.

Eleanor Van den Berg had a discussion with an adventurer, Tex Geddes, another childe of Arabella. He wryly commented that not everyone belonged in the clan they were born to – before moving off.

Side bar with Gwndolyn being offered a deal

Gwendolyn fled the gallery quickly – after failing to elicit anything save for contempt from the Tremere she asked for assistance from.

Sidebar on why Gwendolyn doesn’t do All Bar One

The next evening got off to a poorer start than normal. Imaad was deep in conversation with the distraught husband of one of his students, when he heard Willow Ashby scream. Rushing outside, Imaad was easily swatted away by Domnhail Tremayne. He saw Madeline Normand bundle Willow into a black limousine before they fled the scene.

Eleanor barely had time to check Imaad was arrived before she was pulled into shadows.

Side bar on why Eleanor always collects her frequent shadow miles with Obtenebration express

Imaad broke into Eleanor’s house – trying to find her. She called him from Gloucester, around a 100 miles away, returning by train.

After being attacked, the group were summoned to the Inn on the Lake, whereTobias Ames, Stockton and Gaveston were waiting for them to discuss what happened to the keeper of elysium who had vanished shortly after leaving them. Imaad – in a barely controlled frenzy vowed vengeance.

The group sought out Prof. Michael Fallonat the Celeidh place, which they quickly discovered was a major garou hangout. On mentioning that Tremayne was one of the people they were after the group rose as one to hunt him down. Using Drake’s blood – the garou did a ritual to track Lady Arabella.

They found her in the midst of a ritual sacrifice – a massive battle ensued between the Garou and a mass embraced pack of sabbat. Gwendolyn was dominated to run, before being beaten to a pulp by tendrils of shadow.

Imaad entered into a mortal combat with a Sabbat Gangrel that came close to ending his unlife. Of the group Eleanor fared best, using her own powers of dominate on the newly embraced kindred to distract them whilst Garou cut them down.

All the while a portal was being opened in the lake – with what appeared to be ancient scottish warriors coming through.

Realising the battle was turning against them – Normand and Treemaine fled the scene. However – as their last action they cast Arabella into the portal.

Eleanor pulled Gwendolyn from the scene – into the trees.

why friends don’t let friends get garou blood m’kay

Imaad was left bearly holding himself together (literally) as the ghouls under gaveston tried to contain the carnage…

Balin's Quest
Story 1, First Chronicle

Act 1: The Samhain Court
Wednesday 1st November 2000

Prince Balin assembled the full court of Boston to attend his Samhain Court at the Boston Aquarium The Samhain Court

On entering the court, Gwendolyn Ashbridge noted that Balin was deep in discussion with an impassioned Winthrop. The subject of their discussion would become clear shortly. Winthrop was clearly enraged at the refusal of the Prince to listen to his pleading.

Eleanor Van den Berg entered the aquarium, accompanied by her sire, Johannes Van Den Berg who was dressed in biker leathers. Imaad Al Qasim noted that neither she or her sire cast a reflection in the glass. They moved towards a group gathering around Dyer.

Whilst kindred moved around the area, it was clear that at least two groups existed. One gravitated towards the youthful Gaveston and Samuel Prescott, the other gathered around the noticeable older John Flood and Winthrop..

Gaveston called the group to order -using an ancient staff carved in strange runic symbols. The Prince first called for the new Kindred in town to publicly introduce themselves.

The first to do so was Eleanor Van Den Berg, shocked to discover that her sire had not obtained permission before her embrace. Her sire was forced to offer a life boon to the prince, and Eleanor offended Dyer’s contingent by vowing to follow the Prince as his vassel. The Prince seemed swayed by the argument that she had been attacked and the embrace was done out of family loyalty. It seemed that Prescott may have intervened on Eleanor or her sire’s behalf as well.

Making just as interesting a first impression wasImaad Al Qasim, his description of himself as ‘Childe of Haqim’ caused the assembled Tremere to group behind their Primogen, except for one, Declan Tyrone

The last to introduce herself was Gwendolyn Ashbridge, her announcement as a Caitiff, formerly of Clan Ventrue, seemed to interest the Prince. Gaveston seemed to note the Prince’s response for future use.

The session moved onto the dispensation of the Prince’s judgement. Stockton and Tobias Ames brought in the bound and dishevelled Ventrue, Tobias Flood, childe of Winthrop and Liege of Concord. For breaches of the First, Second, Third and Fourth traditions. Ames slit his throat and threw him into the shark tank, whilst the Prince calmly announced that the Domain of Concord was now open.

Gaveston made it clear that the boon extracted from the characters for being accepted to the City was being called in by the Prince. The group needed to travel to Gloucester to acquire the Narangansett Codex. Through various contacts, Gwendolyn and Eleanor were able to identify that the book had been stolen and the suspected thief had died in suspicious circumstances.

Imaad Al Qasim discussed the codex with Pocumtec, who identified that his tribe had long associations with the Gangrel and the Werewolves of the area. He had previously discredited the codex to ensure that its potential impact on the masquerade was minimal.

Prescott muttered gnomic references to “The shadow of the wolf, on a silver birch” before becoming focussed on a turtle in the ocean pool. Gwendolyn made the error of trying to look into his soul, and suffered a blinding migraine as a consequence. The group retired for the evening agreeing to travel to Gloucester the following evening.

Act 2: Gloucester and the Codex
Thursday 2nd November 2000

The group travelled to the fishing town of Innsmouth Gloucester MA about an hour’s drive from Boston – noting an eldritch fog settling over the town. They had a meeting with Donoghue – who was looking to sell the codex. The group identified that:

  1. The book was clearly of the time;
  2. The book had clear descriptions of vampire feeding and rituals;
  3. The book would appear to be the original codex;
  4. There were at least three serious bidders;
  5. The cost was in excess of $1m; and
  6. It was unclear who had arranged the fee to examine the book.

The group was unsuccessful in trying to obtain the book ahead of the auction, and even the wealthy Eleanor and Gwendolyn realised this would stretch their resources to the limit. They retreated to a local hostelry, “The Stone’s Pub”. Their conversation was interrupted by Prof. Michael Fallon who announced he was one of the bidders and agreed to back out of the auction provided that the book was destroyed and replaced with a less revealing equivalent.

Any further banter was delayed when there was an arson attack on the bar. Content Not Found: andrewsImaad Al Qasim]] grabbed Eleanor and launched himself through a window. Gwendolyn followed the werewolf shaped hole in wall left by the departing Michael Fallon. Unfortunately the humans had planned their attack, a group of three men unleashed a hail of bullets down the alleyway, before fleeing the scene. Eleanor was unable to avoide being struck repeatedly and fell in a bloody heap. Imaad pulled her to the safety of the far side of the alleyway.

Eleanor attempted to resuscitate Eleanor whilst Imaad dripped blood over her muttering soothingly in Arabic. Unfortunately Eleanor leapt for Gwendolyn’s throat feasting on her blood. Imaad successfully subdued Eleanor. The group got back to the hotel suites that Gwendolyn’s retainer Jarvis Lederer had procured, from where Imaad scoured the streets to procure stray animals to obtain blood. The group wearily trailed back to Boston – seeking to realise funds to procure the book.

The following night, Jarvis advised them that Donoghue had been found dead in Gloucester. The group returned to the city – as they entered the town they received a call from Prescott advising them they needed to travel to Boxford. This baffled Gwendolyn as she didn’t know how the mobile worked. They broke into the poorly guarded location, with Gwendolyn killing the guard, whilst the Eleanor and Imaad sought out the codex. On returning to Boston, Jervis called to advise Gwedolyn that a carrier pigeon had arrived at her home with a note from Prescott. They handed over the codex and retired to Boston to recover.

Subsequently they were informed by a messenger from the prince that they had been granted the domain of the town of Concord MA


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