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Let's Play VtM: Night Empire

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by grotsnik, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,664
    Night Empire




    [​IMG]


    Evening. If you're just joining us, you've stumbled into a long and over-elaborate CYOA, set in the modern-day world of Vampire: The Masquerade, in the foggy city of London, in which Codexers vote a path for a young and ambitious Ventrue trying to struggle his way up the ladder (and, relatively briefly, a young Tremere would-be antitribu. It didn't work out) . It died at a critical juncture, and now it's back. If you want to catch up, you can do so here.


    ***

    Filling In The Blanks


    The young Tremere by the name of Joan Willoughby would no doubt have been horrified to realise just how deeply she had been fooled by older and more devious Kindred. The audio recording she captured on the night after Roger Kirkbeck’s death, evidence of Samantha Eames’ involvement in the affair, did not end up in the hands of Bishop Dubrik, but was passed over into the clutches of London baron and Camarilla member Rodyon Turcov. Joan, it is to be feared, never had the chance to fully comprehend what had really transpired; she was quickly dispatched at the meeting point upon the heath.

    Turcov, calling upon his Camarilla allies, struck quickly, pre-empting the Anarchs’ attempts to discredit the Camarilla, and cutting off the possibility of civil war before it began. Samantha Eames arrived in the Prince’s study, certain of her triumph, to find the barons waiting for her. Faced with the choice between fighting or fleeing, Eames attempted to escape through the window and into the gardens – though, it must be noted, her first offensive attack, a thrown, extremely corrosive substance that was later discovered to have been related to the malevolent Hands Of Destruction path and which ruined the antique desk and much of the study walls, was aimed squarely at one Anthony Sommers. The Sheriff Gordon Wyther, it is said, was the one to catch her (it is not to be doubted that several of the barons did not desire to get too close to the powerful Tremere).

    The fate of the creature known as Hob is not known. When the Camarilla forced their way into Greenwich chantry, and entered the Lhiannon ruins beneath, they found no trace of the assassin. It is possible it escaped into the endless sewers beneath London, but if it encountered the Centurion, then perhaps it met with a fitting end, for the city’s ancient and inexplicable guardian still stalks the underground, as mad and as merciless as ever.

    Kirkbeck had never been popular – but London, over most of its long and storied history, had only known a single, reputedly omnipotent Prince, and the city was overcome by the sudden panic that a once stable Camarilla might be falling into chaos. The Anarchs’ revelations were overshadowed by mourning – or, at best, misinterpreted. Eames and the Tremere, the word went around, had murdered the Prince and practiced diabolical, forbidden forms of blood magic, and if the Anarchs’ evidence said that there was a traitor in the council, then surely Eames was responsible. More than one group of over-excited fledglings gathered outside the Greenwich chantry with the aim of burning it to the ground – perhaps luckily for them, they were quietly dispersed by Edgar Fellowes.

    While Griddle and his followers, with desperate, shrill insistence, repeated their claims and spread their pamphlets, the Kindred held an emergency meeting and – no doubt to the delight of the city elders, it was the ordinary vampires who were now insisting upon a stronger prince with more powers to investigate and purge the horrors in their midst. But even as they enjoyed the support of the proles, the news began to creep down that someone in Venice had been asking exactly what the hell was going on in London…

    As the fear spread amongst the lower orders that the Tremere were infested with Baalites, the barons began to concern themselves with giving the right impression to whoever might be watching. Turcov took the barony of Mayfair, and handed Westminster, for want of a more suitable candidate, to Sommers until such time as a Prince could appoint a permanent baron. The young Ventrue, too exhausted to even savour his (presumably temporary) triumph, edged back from the spotlight, and returned to consolidating his power.


    ***

    Chapters

    Prologue/ 1 - Her Majesty's Grey Eminence
    2 - Torches In The Night
    3 - The Ragged Prince
    4- Election Fever
    5 - Reflections
    6: In Which The Queen Presents Herself
    7: Poor Silly Half-Brained Things
    8: All The Faithful Departed
    9: Something About Serpents Licking Ears
    10: Gotterdammerung

    ***


    Contacts:


    Wilhelm Vogler

    Vogler, an up-and-coming, curiously diplomatically-minded Gangrel, has an eye on the position of Prince of London and has asked for Sommers' help in the affair; his resources, up to a point, should be considered at Sommers' disposal.

    Rodyon Turcov

    Turcov is, somewhat understandably, sick of the sight of the younger Ventrue. While he will certainly continue to support Sommers to help keep the peace for the present, he is unlikely to make much of an effort to help him in the near future.

    Sir Humphrey Trentbridge

    Sir Humphrey is no longer in government – however, like so many of his kind, his ‘retirement’ exists in name only; he still has a great deal of influence on his peers, and currently sits as a non-executive on the board of one of the country’s major banks, and hopes to entice Sommers to also become involved.

    Edgar Fellowes

    Sommers sees little of Fellowes these days, though they communicate over the phone most nights. The Toreador is still watching over the ghouls of Operation Wistman, although his talents are more and more in demand with other members of the Camarilla. Sommers is all-too aware that his staunchest ally may be offered a position with another, more powerful elder in the near future.

    Costello

    This elegant harpy takes her place, in the centre of a group of highly-fashionable, utterly devoted Kine admirers, in the Fleshmarket in Hoxton, a garish den of earthly pleasures. Costello’s popularity makes her difficult to reach, at times.

    William Horn

    Politicians, as Sommers has come to learn, are replaced too soon; there’s no mileage in them. Civil servants of Her Majesty’s Government do not have to concern themselves with re-election, and all policy – foreign and domestic – requires the say-so of the Treasury. William Horn, wheezing, greedy and saturnine, is a truly useful ghoul.

    Mr Cripps

    This foul-looking, hulking Nosferatu, his putrid face wrapped in bandages and an ancient bowler hat perched atop his asymmetrical head is in charge of Sommers’ personal safety while Fellowes is busy. He certainly seems competent enough, though you couldn’t say the enormous, constantly-scowling Cripps is particularly pleasant company…

    Antonia

    Now permanently stationed in a comfortable flat in Westminster itself, Antonia will be able to keep Sommers abreast of anything he might need to know.

    Robert Griddle

    It's unlikely - after the embarrassment Sommers has caused him - that Griddle will want to be contacted by him.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
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  2. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    grotsnik
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,664
    New thread started as per democratic agreement; I'm reposting the first chapter just to keep things neat over here. The current tally is: AAAABCDDDG. I've also got to dredge up Sommers' character sheet and update that a bit.




    Prologue/Chapter 1




    It begins, for the Right Reverend Kenneth Shaw, Bishop of Oxford, exactly like the nightmare that, over a three-month period a few years ago, left him sweating, clammy and sleepless, and even – shamefully – sent him scurrying to an expensive therapist in the city, who proscribed him sleeping pills and asked him if his sister had ever played with his genitals. He wakes, in the darkness, to find the bed beside him empty and the bedroom door ajar, and an inexplicable, insistent sense that something is horribly wrong.
    “Danielle?” he says.
    From somewhere downstairs, he swears he catches the sound of a muffled cry.

    Another man, perhaps a younger man, might have reached for a lamp or a cricket bat. He wouldn’t even know how to hold such a weapon; and besides, his only concern is for Danielle. Fingering at the silver cross that dangles loosely across his scrawny chest, he rises, slips on his dressing-gown, and strides quickly to the landing, hissing her name again as he goes. There is a light burning in the hall below.
    “Danielle!” Shaw calls, more frantic, but nobody responds.

    As he reaches the bottom of the staircase, someone calls, quite coolly, in a slight, lilting continental accent,
    “Good evening, my Lord Bishop. Please - don’t worry. I mean you no harm.”
    A man is standing in the entrance to his study. The intruder doesn’t, to his surprise, look like a burglar; though he’s dressed in a black polo-top and trousers, he must be at least in his fifties, with a balding pate and a slightly embarrassed smile. He raises his hands, as if to show he’s unarmed.
    “Where’s my wife?” he asks, but the intruder simply shakes his head and says,
    “We thought it best to remove her from the premises, my Lord Bishop. For her own safety. A basic precaution-”
    Shaw snorts at that.
    “What rot,” he says. “You’re not with the police. The police don’t burst into people’s homes in the middle of the night – not in my country, anyway. Who are you, and where is my wife?”
    The intruder keeps smiling, and tells him,
    “You’re quite right, you know. Very insightful. My friends and I are not with the police. Would you join me in your study, please?”

    There are other figures all around, Shaw realises; brawny men, scarred and scowling, dressed in the same black uniform. Wooden Tau crosses hang from their necks, and the immediate fancy takes him that they’re mocking him. Each one of them holds a gun, lowered towards the floor, steady and calm.

    His mobile phone is sitting on the bedside table, back upstairs, unused and useless; idiot that he is, his first reaction should have been to call for help.

    He raises his hand instinctively to touch his own crucifix once again, and prays that Danielle has not been harmed.

    Two glasses of sherry have been laid out on his desk; and, he notes, with an anger that’s unfamiliar to him, some of his antique volumes have been removed from their places on the bookshelf, and left open and scattered on the floor. The folding doors into the living-room are drawn; two of the burly men take up their positions on either side.
    The middle-aged intruder takes Shaw’s own chair, and gestures for him to be seated on the opposite side.
    “Introductions,” he says, abruptly. “My name is Father Erasmo Pacelli, my Lord Bishop - a cousin of yours from across the water. A pleasure to meet you.”
    He makes a strange, jerking gesture with one hand, as if offering it to shake, but then seems to think better of it.

    It takes a moment for Shaw, still confounded and afraid for his wife, to fully comprehend what’s being said.
    “You’re a priest?” he asks. “You and your thugs broke in here, in the dead of night…and you’re a priest?”
    “More of a priest,” Pacelli says, just as pleasantly as before, “than you, my Lord Bishop, though my house is not nearly so large as this ‘palace’, and my flock is only made up of these few faithful souls you see before you. And a few more, who are engaged elsewhere tonight – a meeting with the Bishop of Guildford.”
    Shaw frowns.
    “Julian’s a friend of mine,” he says. “What is this? A kidnapping? Some damned plot?”
    Pacelli merely smiles, and locating the nearest book, slides it across the table towards him.
    “I was glad to see you had this,” he says, “in an otherwise…unimaginative library. I’d be interested to hear what you think of it. Please – I’ve marked the relevant passage.”

    It’s one of Danielle’s books, Shaw realises; The Phantom World or some similar kind of fashionable Victorian nonsense. A crude woodcut portrays a silhouetted rider set against the backdrop of hills and fields.

    About nineteen years before, he reads, on the occasion of a New Year's market at Poligny, a terrible storm had broken over the country, and among other mischiefs done by it, was the scattering of Pierre's flock. In vain did I labour, in company with other peasants, to find the sheep and bring them together. I went everywhere in search of them. Then there rode up three black horsemen, and the last said to me: 'Whither away? You seem to be in trouble?’ I related to him my misfortune with my flock. He bade me pluck up my spirits, and promised that his master would henceforth take charge of and protect my flock, if I would only rely upon him. He told me, as well, that I should find my strayed sheep very shortly, and he promised to provide me with money. We agreed to meet again in four or five days. My flock I soon found collected together. At my second meeting I learned of the stranger that he was a servant of the devil. I forswore God and our Lady and all saints and dwellers in Paradise. I renounced Christianity, kissed his left hand, which was black and ice-cold as that of a corpse. Then I fell on my knees and gave in my allegiance to Satan-

    He looks up. Pacelli is watching him, with a gently expectant, almost beatific smile.
    Lord above, Shaw thinks, what manner of lunatics have broken into my home?


    “I take it,” Pacelli says, breaking the silence, “that you believe in the Devil and the Devil’s work, my Lord Bishop. Unless the Anglican Church now finds it less confrontational to refer to them as metaphors, or figures of speech, or something of that kind?”
    I believe in evil, Shaw tells himself. I believe I can recognise it when it’s sitting in my chair.
    He answers,
    “I’d stand my faith against yours…whatever you call yourself.”
    “You needn’t be so hostile,” Pacelli says, leaning back in his chair. “I told you before, your wife has been spirited away for her own good. You have my word she will not come to harm; she is in all of this an innocent. We do not harm innocents, only the guilty. A man or a woman that consorteth with devils, or that practices sorcery, shall be put to death, stones upon stones; their blood is upon themselves.”
    Shaw spits back,
    He that sheds the blood of another man; for that man his own blood shall be shed.”

    The quotation seems to irritate Pacelli; with a sharp, careless movement, he snaps his fingers towards the two thugs positioned by the folding doors.
    “We might hurl the words of God at each other all evening,” he says, re-establishing his gentle smile, “like infants casting thunderbolts. But I understand you, my Lord Bishop. You believe that your duties lie in lending comfort to mankind, as if religion were a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa – handing out kind words and community support and never, ever judging. You view sin as a human weakness, a mere failure of empathy, and while you admire Christ, you believe in his divinity only a little – ‘un seulment peu’, as it were.
    “You are unforgivably ignorant. The Devil’s sons and daughters walk this wretched earth, and mankind, corruptible, blind and weak, is their currency, their crucible, their empire. We build our lives on the precipice of ultimate darkness, smiling and stretching out our hands to meet the horrid embrace of Satan – and, my Lord Bishop, because I know you have no more faith than any of these other false priests, I have brought you proof.”

    He nods; the two men yank the folding doors back, and Shaw leaps out of his chair, stumbling backwards against the far wall, at the sight of the figure bound to his living-room table.
    “You needn’t worry,” Pacelli says, entirely composed, slipping out of his own seat. “We have wards in place; the fiend is entirely at our mercy. It cannot even move until the stake is removed from its chest.”
    “My God,” Shaw stammers, fumbling at the wall, his eyes fixed on the hideous thing. “My God…my God…my God…”
    “Come,” Pacelli snaps, and the two men catch hold of Shaw’s elbows and drag him, helpless, across the study floor. “Take a closer look, my Lord Bishop. The thing in itself. All of the servants of Satan are monstrous, but this one cannot conceal its ugliness. What is it – a hog, a rat, a man? You will snatch at rational absurdities and declare it a freak; it is not. There are thousands of fiends like this, each of them as repulsive as this one, and countless more besides that take on the form of man, indistinguishable from you or I. We are living amongst the armies of Hell, My Lord Bishop – and your friend Julian, Bishop of your faint-hearted Church, self-declared soldier of God, was a servant to one of these devils, one who drank of their dark communion and lived under their aegis- but perhaps I am lying, yes? I am, after all, only a man. Please, watch closely.”

    He reaches over to the beast chained across the table. Shaw, mad-drunk on the nightmare unfolding all around him, sees the metal pliers in Pacelli’s hand a second too late.
    “Wait-” he begins.

    A crackle of bone; and a solitary yellow finger is worked loose from the sleeping creature’s hand. Pacelli holds the severed digit aloft for a moment, like a magician demonstrating that no trick is involved in his act, and then returns it to its place.
    The bloodied stump glows hot for a moment. Shaw, horrified, watches as the skin around the wound writhes and contorts, stretching out across the wound, healing fast; and, in a few brief moments, the pestilent hand is whole once again.

    “I’ve performed similar tests while the fiends are conscious,” Pacelli says. “They feel pain as we do, do not doubt it – but Satan keeps them whole. And they fear fire, above all – Monk, remove the stake.”
    The pressure at Shaw’s elbow recedes. One of the burly men trudges around to the thing and, in one sharp motion, tugs the wooden spike out of its chest.
    The beast screams, loud and fearful, attempting to sit upright; its emaciated, rotten muscles strain, uselessly, against its chains. Its eyes flicker about the room, from face to face.
    “You – fuck – fuck,” it yells, “Fuck are you, hunters? Where the fuck am I? What the-”
    “Do not listen to it,” Pacelli says. He rummages in a black leather bag placed on one of the living room chairs, producing a small propane torch. “It is a liar and the father of lies, yea, its mouth shall be stopped-”

    The horrible creature catches Shaw’s eye. Despite everything, he begins to find himself curious, and, leaning forward, while keeping well out of the reach of its struggling claws, he asks,
    “What are you?”
    The thing gapes, bewildered at him.
    “Get me out of this, boss,” it whines, “and I’ll tell you. Fuck – is that what your pal here wants to know? No need to use the fire, boss, I’m all right, I’m happy to help-”
    “It bargains,” Pacelli cuts in, “because it is afraid. If it were free, we would be dead – or under its spell.”
    The blowtorch flame, a sharp and scalding blue, arcs out into the air.

    Shaw cannot bring himself to remain silent.
    “Look,” he says. “No matter what this…what it is, you can’t hurt it-”
    “You only pity it,” says Pacelli, “because you think it is weak. I want it to tell you just how powerful it really is. How many politicians in this country of yours owe their places to its kind, how many men and women live in their service…and when you have heard it all, my Lord Bishop, you will wrestle this torch from me to burn this fiend into ash by your own hand.”

    By the time dawn comes around, it’s told them almost everything.


    *
    You glance through the report. A few of the names are familiar to you – most of them you’ve never heard of.

    “Obviously, some of these are outside chances,” Costello says, crossing her legs, “but based upon your reputation, Patrician, I thought you’d want thoroughness over brevity, yah?”
    The harpy glances, with unconcealed pleasure, at the intricate murals decorating the walls of Witanhurst’s drawing room. An old grandfather clock chimes, faintly, to mark the hour.

    Her admiration is understandable; it’s now been three nights since you moved into the grand faux-Georgian estate, perched behind high walls and security cameras, overlooking Hampstead Heath, and you’ve hardly begun to explore the countless rooms and arabesque staircases of the house, let alone the murky underground passages that creep outwards far beneath the village itself. Witanhurst, a former home to the Venetian Camarilla envoy himself, certainly did not come cheap – but, as Fellowes said, the Baron of Westminster has to meet certain expectations. The servants, ghouls under the watchful stewardship of an utterly distinguished, totally blind butler by the name of Woodcock, find the dark passageways confusing and a little frightening, and they speak in watchful whispers as they pass beneath the portraits and statues of revered Camarilla elders.

    “I suppose some of my peers are hoping to put themselves forward as candidates,” you say, flicking through to the next page.
    “Two or three, yah,” Costello replies, clenching her cigarette holder in the corner of her mouth. You know it’s a lie; five of your fellow barons are listed in the black notebook you keep in your jacket pocket. “But they’re wasting their time, honestly; the word from Venice is that the next Prince of London has to be from outside the city. No debate. After everything that’s happened…the local Camarilla’s under probation, essentially. The Inner Circle want to be certain that every baron is loyal, and they want an trustworthy leader to come in and root out any more, ahm, rogue elements.”

    You stare, wearily, at the list of candidates for your next master. Lickspittles and toadies, you think, a few lucky devils lacking any real opposition and one or two careful players. Any one of them would be grateful for the support of one of London’s most prominent barons; any one would no doubt wish to punish the Kindred who backed a rival.
    “Anything else on him?” you ask, pointing at a blurry photograph of a bony-looking Gangrel, with a ragged beard and a pair of fashionable sunglasses, deep in conversation on a wretched-looking high street. “A Baron in Swansea? I didn’t even realise we had a council there.”
    “As it happens, we don’t,” Costello says, puffing out a delicate wisp of smoke. “I’m reliably informed it’s little more than a gang of independents and ne’er-do-wells – but Vogler’s a fine self-promoter and they say he has someone’s ear. He’s asked for information about you, in fact; could be you won’t have to even approach him.”
    “And this one…Regent of the Bristol chantry? You’re seriously telling me that after everything that’s happened, they’d allow a Tremere prince in London? There’d be bedlam!”
    “After Samantha Eames, it’d certainly get the Anarch conspiracy crowd excited, yah,” says Costello, “but you’re forgetting about Vienna. I hear the Tremere are very concerned about reprisals against their clan in London. Greenwich and Lambeth are some of Europe’s finest chantries – they’ll be lobbying hard to ensure we get a Prince who’ll prioritise their safety. If not a Tremere, then someone favourable to Tremere interests.”

    You slap the folder down onto the coffee table and reach for your notebook.
    “I assume there’ll be an additional fee,” you ask, “for meeting outside your Elysium?”
    “No trouble, Patrician,” Costello says. "No trouble, no cost - the brooch’s all I want. I was interested to see your new home, anyway.”
    Her gaze lingers over the freakish-looking suit of Nosferatu battle armour stood beside the fireplace. Go on, look, you think, without rancour. Tell them all how I live; let them seethe. They’ve got far more to worry about now than that young upstart Anthony Sommers. A new prince, and every baron vying to be the kingmaker – the next Seneschal.

    You jot down the number of the safe-deposit box in St Pancreas station where the Chorazin brooch may be found, and pass it on to the harpy. She bows, and rises to her feet.
    “One last thing,” you tell her, unfolding a sheet of paper out from inside your notebook. “Do you know anything about this?”
    Costello nods as soon as she sees the headline.

    Her Majesty’s Grey Eminence

    The corridors of power are shady places. Underhand deals, secret rivalries, even hidden love trysts…even with the help of trusty snoops like Mandrake, we will simply never know every deception that happens or has happened in Whitehall. Take Mr X. A young man – apparently in his late twenties or early thirties – who dines and meets with some of the most powerful men in the country in expensive London restaurants and hotels during the dead of night. He is wined, dined, and clearly listened to, by dignitaries such as Sir Humphrey Trentbridge, former Home Secretary, William Horn, Permanent Secretary of Her Majesty’s Treasury, and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff Thomas Fielding – Mandrake’s sources inform him that Trentbridge in particular was ‘utterly dependent’ upon this man during his government’s final days in power, frequently placing phone calls to him at 2am or later. An ‘advisor’ from Goldman Sachs, perhaps, or a friend from the unions? Whitehall claims Mr X is nothing more than a junior spin-doctor, but cannot provide us with his name – surely they know better, dear reader, than to tell such very poor lies! Mandrake will report back as soon as he has further details about this sinister man of mystery.

    There is no picture; despite yourself, you’re a little proud that they didn’t manage to catch you on film.
    “Yes,” Costello says, “I’m afraid there’ve been a few jokes at your expense concerning that. Baron Fesk was positively doubled up with the giggles when I saw him last week…but then he will laugh at almost anything, the poor fellow.”

    Costello’s little arrangements with various respectable Kindred around the city are well-known. The rumour-mill (founded, no doubt, by the harpy herself) states that she’s a pervert; that she fornicates with Kine, and seeks twisted, strange and bloody pleasures amongst kin. You have good cause to doubt it – her real pleasure, it’s always seemed to you, lies in talking.

    You fold the article back up and ask,
    “So one of them is responsible for this? That bit about ‘sinister man of mystery’, it’s an obvious jibe. Some kind of practical joke, a prank?”
    “It’s possible,” she tells you, “but as far as I know, this ‘Mandrake’ is just another kine. Political gossip columns and the like – all the government crowd slip information to him. I’d say it’s just as likely one of them spotted you meeting your contacts one time too many and decided to stir things up. One should always be careful, of course…but I doubt either you or the Masquerade have anything to fear from hacks investigating ‘Mr X.’ But I’ll try and find out the author’s real name for you - in case you want to pay him a visit and, yah, correct his line of reporting.”

    You see her out onto the driveway; the instant the great reinforced door clangs shut, Woodcock comes running out, looking a little hurt that he wasn’t allowed to properly perform his duties. You clap him gently on the back and proceed into the parlour.

    A colossal cloth map has been spread across the coffee table; a purchase from one of Mayfair’s innumerable over-expensive purveyors of antique bric-a-brac. It portrays London as it was a mere three hundred years ago, a small blot of grey oozing out from the Thames. Fulham, Wimbledon and Marylebone are nothing but fields; the city has not yet begun its great Victorian expansion.

    Your fingers stray across the lower half of the map. The Sabbat have seized their opportunity well, Fellowes informs you, taking advantage of the turmoil within the Camarilla and the loss of its Prince to snatch up territory and reclaim lost ground, though the Barons on the southern side of the river, fearful for their positions, are unwilling to admit that anything is wrong.



    The night is yours; how do you wish to spend it?

    A) I’ll explore Witanhurst. This was once the home of a powerful Kindred – I’d be surprised if there wasn’t something of interest buried deep below.

    B) I’ll investigate this ‘Mandrake’ character and try to find out how he knows so much about me. He shouldn’t be too hard to track down.

    C) I’ll call Fellowes. It’s time for the Operation Wistman team to prove themselves at last – let’s send them in to take out a Sabbat den south of the river.

    D) The council have granted me the right to sire; it’s about time I got around to investigating a suitable candidate.

    E) This Gangrel might be an outside chance, but the weaker candidates are more easily manipulated. I’ll seek him out and offer him my support.

    F) Costello may have been right about the Tremere influence; the Regent in Bristol’s a likely-looking candidate. I may just have to pay him a visit.

    G) The Prince of London should be from London, no matter what the Inner Circle says. I’ll call together a select few of the barons to discuss this.
     
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  3. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    Nice, a fresh start. Good time as any for new players to join.

    But I like our bloat of a thread, reminds me of how much we went through. :p

    Man, those smileys...
     
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  4. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,868,184
    Location:
    Searching for my kidnapped sister
    :fuck: :yeah:

    And with the revelation of Fellowes, Turcov and Trentbridge, I may have to rethink my recommendation.

    While it's my long term strategy to preserve and strengthen my powerbase, namely the Kine politicians, I also want to protect Tony's own combat resources which is Edgar and that team of Kine soldiers recruited to be our secret weapon. We will be severely curtailed if Edgar got seduced away and we havent combattested the OW team.

    So, even though previously I stress the need to find Mandrake in an effort to protect our connection with Kine politicians, its importance start to pale compare to the other option: Combatest the Operation Wistman team.

    One, Tony keep company with Edgar, maintain their working relation.

    Two, the team is tested in real combat, and under Tony's direct observation.

    Three, reclaiming Camarrilla territories from Sabbat's hands. This is a proper True Camarrilla course of action.

    Four, open up relations with barons of the south who are threatened by Sabbat's invasion.

    Which mean I flip to CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
     
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  5. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,376
    I repeat, A, not knowing what we are sitting on, literally, is dumb.
     
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  6. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,868,184
    Location:
    Searching for my kidnapped sister
    It's a matter of perception.

    A, while quite wise move, emit the impression that we fortify in fear or exhaustion while the society is in turmoil.
    C, even though it's a small action, lead to an opposite impression, a show of force that may lead to many new avenues of action.

    I dont dislike A, but A is more fit for more peaceful time, not now.
     
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  7. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Let's the rabble sort it out itself,getting caught in petty squabbles is beneath our status.
     
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  8. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    A new thread for a new display of excellence (and hilarious mis-choices); may it reach at least the same page count as the old one :salute:
     
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  9. Онега Trying too hard to get banned Queued

    Онега
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    Needs new picture. Any suggestions?
     
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  10. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    A

    Already on the shit list of the sabbat, lets not remind them while they are otherwise occupied.
    And what's the point of striking a territory you won't be able to hold? You don't even have intelligence on their local leaders to make it worthwhile.
    Dumb.

    The previous occupier of the estate was the prince? I can't recall.

    Siring a 14 gen is worse than useless especially since the chronicle is day-to-day, instead of crisis-of-decade to crisis-of-decade (where we could breed a nice revenant/dhampir family)

    If you really want to make waves, go G.
     
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  11. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Eames throwing her acid spell at Anthony, perhaps?
     
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  12. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    I would like to offer congratulations to Grotsnik, as the LPer, and codexers such as Esquilax, Storyfag, Kz3ro, ironyuri, et al, for the wonderful afternoon I just had reading through the whole of the Wild Nights thread. Though wishing I could've been there to participate earlier, just following along made for a truly enjoyable experience. Much kudos.

    To join in the ranks of the cacophony inside Sommers's mind (are you sure he's not half Malk?), I'd like to vote for A.

    It would seem to me that C involves uncovering our hidden ace far too soon and for a very minor goal; wait until a threat is bigger and more definite and, then, make use of the hit squad to make sure we reap the rewards for such. Similarly, there's little point to siring a vampire. We have protection and resources and little reason to risk leaving matters on the hands of someone we can't be sure to trust.

    G is a different matter altogether in that, if successful, would surely improve upon our standing among the powers of London and whoever gets to be Prince. On the other hand, should our efforts be for naught, we give the newly arriving Prince and the Inner Circle cause to distrust and dislike us, neither of which we're prepared to deal against.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
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  13. Онега Trying too hard to get banned Queued

    Онега
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    Too specific, it would work for this update but I already started scribbling Costello ogling the Nos armor. Made her buttugly too and successfully abandoned it...
    I meant the top one. Something like a book cover. I might even spent some time on it and not make it look like shit. :M
     
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  14. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    The point of striking south is not about hurting Sabbat. No no, it's a political move to show those barons they could find a strong ally in Anthony. They will definitely visit him to get his help.
    Instead of come a-calling to those candicates, now we are setting Anthony up as a new one.
     
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  15. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Keep in mind that a Childe initially feels a strong emotional connection to it's Sire. It may evaporate or remain strong as decades pass, but initially it is definitely an asset. Furthermore, the Childe will know next to nothing about our nocturnal society and will be heavily dependant on our guidance. Another reason to be loyal.

    Having said that, I have reconsidered. Siring a Childe is a nice move, but doesn't really enhance our position *that* much. Laclongquan, of all people, seems to talk sense. If our squad is a success, we reveal it, but we gain an asset others will recognise us for. Better yet, if we hit the Sabbat and wipe them out, we don't have to reveal the exact nature of our weapon.

    Imagine the looks on the Barons' faces once they arrive at the Sabbat den we choose to attack (they no doubt *will* get a word that there's a shootout) and see nobody but our dear chap Anthony.

    On that note, flopping to C
     
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  16. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Yeah, well. It's an ideal result which I dont expect to achieve. I propose C fully expecting Kindred barons know about this squad and spend their resource to find out all about them.

    OW team is a one-shot weapon dedicated to attack one Kindred base in broad daylight. Since no one know we have them, we can use them with total surprise. however, After that their identities will be found out and they will be eliminated in short order, either as punishment or preemptive strike from other barons. Ideally, we use that to behead the Sabbat's serpent. Use them against Cami or Anarchic target has huge political consequence a prudent Ventrue like Anthony will hesitate much to do, let alone Edgar.

    My purpose in this option is that showing this card once, to draw in alliances from the South. Exchange the secret weapon aspect for the political gain, as it were. Expensive option, I shudder at the expense.
     
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  17. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    I'm uncomfortable with the fact that Edgar can sell the identity and location of our team to the highest bidder.
     
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  18. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    No no no. We must make sure that we do not spend our weapon. As long as we have our squad, we're of value to others. Without the squad we're back to the beggining. A demonstration is in order, but afterwards we must do everything in our power to retain them.
     
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  19. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Oh, agree about that. But plans are one thing, reality is another. Choosing C with your acceptance that we may not be able to keep/preserve this squad.
     
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  20. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    It'd be a very limited reward, really, one that's acquired through show of force and which causes the subject to lose said force afterwards. Because, really, it's not like Anthony can keep pulling ex-SAS and Gurkhas out of his arse and, even should he manage to 'persuade' his contacts to arrange it again, there's a necessary amount of time needed to train and ghoulify (actually, did they get turned into ghouls in the end?) them.

    So, for reasons stated above and this new consideration, I'm all the more pressed to vote A - and perhaps G, should C be winning.

    Sorry if I made it unclear; I didn't mean he couldn't be trusted in the sense that he'd be unloyal, but rather that as a newly embraced Vampire we'd be dealing with someone inexperienced and unreliable. We're very active at the moment and there's lot going on in the aftermath of the whole Two-Week War, which is why I don't think we have enough time to babysit our project (which we have to do, should we embrace them) for them to become an asset.
     
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  21. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    I still think C) is like taking an ace out from your sleeve to scare away a fly buzzing around your opponents nose during a poker game.

    And we're not going to win (= survive for another century or ten, this is WoD ffs) by being nice and helpful to other London barons, and falling all over ourselves to be a useful tool for them to take advantage of and discard at convenience. They're a bunch of insufferable fuckers who didn't cost us our head yet only because they underestimated us - a condition that changed somewhat, don't you think? So we need to downplay any public displays of power and let their alertness shift to bigger fish - so they can underestimate us again in the future. We win by gaining independent power and fucking over any and all rivals. Controlling an outside prince is a good option, and one we should seriously look into. Licking the Inner Council's toes won't get us far either, but we need to keep at least a neutral stance towards them, since being on their bad side could cost us almost as much as siding with the Tremere.

    And didn't grotsnik mention he wants to use a bit bigger time scale this time (as opposed to the night-by-night of the first part)?
     
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  22. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Using our brosquad of doom now seems pointless, it is the only trump card we have. Shit will go down sooner or later, that is how it always is in vampire politics, we will need the team then. For now we need to make everyone our bitch. This means either uncovering things they don't want us to know or making them otherwise reliant on our bro. The gangrel seems like the best bet but only if we can control him, like I said we can use him as a scape-goat if things go sour. Really it would be best if we could dig up as much info on him as possible. Mandrake seems either like a plot somebody wanted us to find out about or a warning. Option A which I voted for earlier seems like a safe bet, yeah we might find something we were not meant to find, but as long as it ain't final death it could save our skin. Far less risky than B IMO.
     
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  23. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Audacity, more audacity. Anthony is in no position to play safe:
    - His political allies are gone: The Tremere regent? Puff. The ex-Sheriff Erika? Puff.
    - His sole reliable asset right now is Edgar and the combat group.
    Hunker down wont help him survive. The way forward is running full tilt:
    - Using Edgar and the team mean he has a chance to open connection with Southern barons. We must know more players before we can manipulate them.
    - Using Edgar and the team mean Anthony can have a chance to maintain his working relation with Edgar, and be familiar with the group. He will need to be out and about, running, hitting, so both aspect is important for ACKSHIUM.
    - Using Edgar and the team doesnt mean we throw the team away. This CCCCCCCCCC option simply mean we trade the secretcy of the group for some gains.
    Please choose CCCCCC, old chaps.
     
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  24. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Wating strategic resources for the sake of chest-thumping is stupid, I repeat, let's the rabble sort out itself, we will throw our weight after the more convenient ally for us when time will come.
     
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