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Topics - Drakilian

Pages: [1] 2
1
Media & Mayhem / Pathfinder Kingmaker
« on: December 06, 2018, 07:04:45 pm »
Since Forge mentionned he's into DnD and we're all a bunch of tabletop nerds I figured i'd give this a shoutout. Super fun game. Probably the third best game i've ever played actually, behind Witcher 3 and Nier Automata. Started out as a buggy mess but I enjoyed it so much regardless that after a friend let me play his copy I bought it for myself.

Mixed reviews were mostly due to it releasing largely unfinished (they ran out of money but they've mostly patched it by now) and people who couldn't handle the game's difficulty - start is a little tough like most DnD games but by the time your builds come online at ~7/8 you'll be rolling through stuff even on the higher difficulty settings.

Whole game is also on a timer, which sounds awful but the timer is very generous, it's mostly there to stop resting abuse, which is what normally trivializes the online tabletop adaptation games.

It does have long loading screens though, I wouldn't play it without an SSD to cut down the load times. It's got some good quality of life mods too, which you might check out. It's a very long game as well, they adapted the entirety of the kingmaker modules. It's massive to the point that after they released the game they admitted they should have probably cut some stuff because it made testing a nightmare (hence all the bugs on release).

If you've got the time/money to spend on it I can highly recommend picking it up when it probably goes on sale this christmas.

2
Media & Mayhem / Webtoon comics
« on: July 14, 2017, 03:30:36 pm »
So, I started to read stuff on there about a year ago , and I think I remember some of you posting about some comics therebefore...

I was super wrong about Bastard, amazing comic.

Sword Interval is what got me started on it (I was a reader of Derelict and the author moved onto a different comic on webtoons).

Tower of God was next and it's what got me hooked on the site and remains an insanely high quality comic

Noblesse is one that I read on the side with a mixture of disappointment at the stupidly shonen story and hype because of vampires

HIVE knows what it's doing and does it well.

I shrugged off unOrdinary as another stupid high school comic but I started reading it a few months ago and realized I Farking love it (and if you're going to start reading it, right now is the perfect time because BIG BIG moments that everyone has been waiting for are happening).

I'd also recommend Hellper, as strange and maybe a little off-putting, and even something that i've unsubscribed to a few times, but I can't seem to stop myself from coming back to read the new updates...

Catharsis is another one that I like, and which I will never give up because i've gotten multiple top comments on it >.>

A couple of others but those are the real standouts.

A lot of the translated ones can be of questionable quality but I find that without fail, as the comics get more popular/continue I've found that the translations get better (or I get better at understanding them, at least).

3
Vampire The Masquerade / Inquisition cont. (Anton)
« on: April 04, 2017, 12:39:36 am »
Leaving the group with Joseph, Anton traverses the cityscape to get back to Narses' palace, where he asks after the knight Erasmus' rooms.

It isn't long before he's at the man's door.

4
Vampire The Masquerade / False Saints (Heldric)
« on: April 03, 2017, 11:29:03 pm »
As the group splits up again, Heldric sequesters himself within a house overlooking the inn. The owners don't notice when he slips open the window, and don't hear either him or the obfuscated Andreas and Mr. Whitey as they settle into their perches.

Obfuscation can really get ridiculous sometimes.

Watching the night, dozens of men and women pass by the inn, a few entering but none matching the flamboyant description of the spaniard nobleman.

It really was a shame that they had practically killed that one hunter just as fast as they had captured him. Really, just 5 minutes of questioning could have gotten them an inestimable amount of information. They didn't even know his name. Come to think of it, why isn't Steeple back yet..?

Just as it occurs to the Nosferatu to maybe send someone off to go looking after his friend and John, he spots something out of the corner of his eye that sends chills racing down his spine.

A man unmistakably matching the profile of Rodrigue De Navarre approaches the in, a woman who Heldric assumes is one of his companions walks with her arm looped around his right, and to his left, an arm on Rodrigue's back telling some indiscernible joke, is Gauthier de Dampiere.

The templar knight walks down the street with confidence, his faith almost blinding even from this distance. For a moment Heldric wonders how the mortals could not wonder at a man who seems to shine so bright as to burn away the night itself.

He feels uncomfortable about the thought of approaching the crusader - could that faith burn away even the shadows that he cloaked himself with?

5
Vampire The Masquerade / Murder they wrought (Saladin&Steeple)
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:32:33 pm »
Waiting in the dark of the warehouse, his presence cloaked by darkest magicks and his form enhanced beyond the wildest dreams of even the most exquisite of mortal specimens - as much an assassin as the one he hunts even now, whomever was responsible for killing the amiable Roland Durocher.

As he goes over the details of his plan once more in his mind, much to the Prince's inestimable glee, Steeple's heightened senses pick up the thud of approaching footsteps - the scrape of skin against dry stone and then wood as John climbs up the window to the warehouse overlooking the scene of the murder. He sees the Brujah warrior drop down to the ground from there, before cautiously standing up and examining his surroundings - his eyes glossing over Steeple as he does so. Steeple sees his eyes narrow as calls out then - "Steeple? Are you here?", his hand dropping to his sword.


6
Vampire The Masquerade / Saladin, Kiril - Betrayed
« on: October 02, 2016, 03:09:40 pm »
Once outside of Narses' palace, Kiril leads Saladin to a rather secluded alleyway, where he immediately begins scalling the walls of the building. With a sort of shrug, Saladin mutters a word of power and floats himself up to his companion on the roof.

"I've cloaked us for now, no one will see or hear us, unless their senses happen to be so formidable that there would be no point in trying to hide from them to begin with."

Kiril is quiet for a second then, "What do you think? Are our kin responsible for this killing?"

7
Vampire The Masquerade / Steeple, John - Framed
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:16:53 am »
The Warehouse was unguarded, its contents, while valuable, were not the sort to be stolen. Massive palates of lumber, mostly cedar and other building equipment lined the building, creating a network of passages that reminded Steeple of a maze. After a few minutes of navigation they found the scene of the crime toward the back of the building, where Roland would have been hard pressed to escape.

Sawdust and wooden splinters littered the spot. There were many, many footprints but after some investigating Steeple and John were able to pose a workable theory of the crime.

There were dozens of footprints, most of which belonged to the guards who had discovered the body. Roland’s own stood, flat in the center of the chaos, his feet had been planted. Whatever had killed him left only faint trances, as if he stood, supported by the sawdust for a time. Unfortunately that left a third, as yet unaccounted for, set of prints. Made of a light traveling boot’s heal. John, now mostly recovered, was able to follow those tracks to a window, where he found proof of it being pried open, whoever left by it, entered by it as well.

When Vendramino shows up the necromancer brings with him the murder weapon, which he hands to Steeple upon his request. Whispering to the spirit of the blade Steeple gets a rudimentary response - it says that it was carried by a man, and that it has only been wetted with blood once. It seems to be unable to contribute much else.

When Steeple asks Vendramino about Roland's spirit the necromancer informs him that Roland's spirit is beyond contact, though there are other ghosts nearby and they might have seen something.

8
Vampire The Masquerade / Heldric - Cloak and Dagger
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:14:17 am »
Octavius leads Heldric through Venice's winding streets and narrow alleyways, till they reach a canal that can take the Nosferatu out to the cemetery island of San Michele. He finds an empty, decrepit gondola waiting there for him, a lantern hanging off the bow and what appears to be a chewed up oar lying in the bottom.

It would seem they've left you transport - Sicilan

You call that transport? Octavius replies, incredulous.

Getting into the boat with some uncertainty, Heldric picks up the oar - noting the thousands of tiny teeth marks scored into the old wood - and then pushes off, paddling slowly towards the dead island.

So who is this Nicolo anyway?, Sicilan asks.

9
Vampire The Masquerade / Anton - Inquisition
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:01:00 am »
Anton leaves the rest of the Cotterie and goes off searching for his two aquaintances his Venice - the lovely lady Lucita de Aragorn, second to Tommaso, and Anna Sgorina, Heldric's second.

He first seeks out Lucita in her chambers in Narses' palace, where she resides with her Patron Tommaso.

---

Kiril walks with a purpose and intensity that almost surprises Saladin. The assassin has rarely seen the prince so heated. He's seen the same look in the dark one's eyes now in the eyes of men who have been cheated by lovers, all passion and fury.

After leaving with his retinue Kiril marched almost straight to Lucita's rooms, having his retinue stay behind outside the palace and ordering Saladin to do the same (a command Saladin blithely ignored). Following him Saladin begins to feel some degree of discomfort as he notices that Kiril begins calling on his powers of darkness, summoning little shadows into his path - this was highly illegal in Narses' own halls, if they were found...

Another few steps and Kiril shouts out - "I don't care! He's a traitor, a goddamned traitor, and he'll pay for this!"

A gasp of pain then, and Kiril falls to his knees.

"What... what is this..."

"no..."

He crumples to the ground then, and Saladin rushes to his side - poison? He searches Kiril's body for wounds, only to find nothing - and then the Lasombra sits back up again.

"Saladin. It's been too long."

Kiril then reaches around and hugs Saladin tightly, pulling him into as warm an embrace as a corpse can give, before standing up.

"I'm afraid i've had to reassert my influence over our dark prince for now. Things have become... complicated, and not just because of that  outburst. I'll explain more later, but for now, come, let us question the lovely Lucita."

Kiril turns and walks away without giving Saladin so much as a moment to absorb what's just happened.

---

When Anton reaches Lucita's chambers, he sees Kiril and Saladin already outside, Kiril in the process of knocking on the door.

Oh, now will you trust your brother, who even now colludes with the assassin? See how he follows him around so intently...

10
Vampire The Masquerade / Future of the game
« on: August 23, 2016, 09:04:36 pm »
Alright, i'm not sure I can dedicate the time necessary to pay this game the attention it deserves. Obviously I never really have been able to (hence the literal weeks of breaks at times), and now that my third semester (the hardest one) of Cegep has started it's looking like i'll have less time than ever. I don't want to quit this game because frankly I love it, I love the characters and I think we've done some truly amazing things here, but i'm not entirely certain i'll have a choice at this rate.

I really don't know what to do here so i'm just asking you guys straight up: What do you think?

11
Vampire The Masquerade / How could he know?
« on: July 11, 2016, 03:44:54 pm »
8th of August, 1202; 5:46am
Venice's Night district
The Domain of Narses
Prince of Venice


John is out wandering Venice's night district, enjoying the sights and cursing the smells of the city, searching for someone to take into his arms for a moment of sweet bliss - though not that which the various women offering themselves to passerby were peddling. The Depraved one was in the mood for a bit of a hunt.

He'd been out for some hours so far, enjoying the lights, the canals, the scenery - time had almost flown by, so enchanted was he with the many pleasures Venice had to offer. It's only an hour left till the sun begins to rise, however, and John feels as if he should find shelter and some mortal to take to his fangs.

In a stroke of luck, John sees a drunken man stumble out the door of a tavern, screaming obscenities at who is presumably the owner, before the person slams the door in the drunk's face.

12
Vampire The Masquerade / More Backroom Dealings
« on: July 11, 2016, 03:14:00 pm »
8th of August, 1202; 2:44am
Along the canal, near the Island of San Michele
The Domain of Narses
Prince of Venice


Anton and Steeple walked along the canal as lovers might, to better disguise their predatory nature. After the inconsequential small talk and courtesies have been exchanged, the two get to more serious matters, leaning over the rails of a bridge arching over the canal as the occasional gondola passes under them.

13
Media & Mayhem / Went to Comicon for the first time today
« on: July 10, 2016, 06:10:02 pm »
It was awesome! I took pictures with some insanely good akatski cosplayers, I bought a real sword I can kill people with that's based on the Elucidator from SAO, I got a witcher medallion, I talked to Draco Malfoy, a Pokemon flask (for when you want to take something cool and let people know you're a loser), woot!

14
Media & Mayhem / Terrible pop music
« on: June 29, 2016, 11:01:43 pm »
So i've ever so recently developped an obsession with trashy old pop songs and have been searching for a perfect collection to add to the Hall of Game (my car CD collection). I started out with the classics - Gwen Stefani, the Script, Estelle, etc. Somehow I ended up moving into a wholly different world populated entirely by Kesha songs, to which I spent about an hour listening to. While doing this I have developed a small crush on Kesha. Tell no one.

I managed to discover this monstrosity, which reminds me far too much of a friend of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp0o3xjmHnQ

Then, I managed to find the most Farked sounding song in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Hello Kitty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXctQ0CHKOo

It's Farking terrible. I've listened to it 10 times in a row now. I can't stop. I can feel my brain rotting. I can feel a menagerie sexy cat-costumed Avril Lavignes crawling seductively into my soul, and I can do nothing to stop it - nor am I sure that I would if I could.

Someone help me, please.

15
Media & Mayhem / The Martian
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:32:54 pm »
If you haven't seen it, do. Just saw it now, amazing movie. It's on Netflix too!

16
Kiril has just opened the door to his next visitor - an Assamite, he has been forced to assume an envoy given his provenance (Sherazhina has informed him his ship has come from Constantinople). Husayn has warned Kiril that while the contract on Basilio is forfeit, and no other one may be taken on him, now that Basilio has left Sofia to Kiril, the ruler of Sofia - the original, true target - is still a possible target of assassination. A contract may have been taken out on Kiril to ease an impending turkish (i.e Assamite) invasion. Following his suggestions, Kiril has agreed to meet with the "envoy", though he has taken myriad precautions against any possible attack, including several hidden ghostly sentinels having been sent in by Amalia and the presence of both Elias and Barabus, the later having been armoured with a massive suit of plate that he wears with the ease of silk wrappings, and armed with a great-axe big enough to crush a lesser man under the weight alone. Elias seems almost comically unthreatening next to his massive fellow guardsman, but Kiril knows that what the Captain lacks in forceful savagery, he makes up for in finesse and brutal efficiency.

The doors to his audience chambers open, and the Assamite walks in, alone, unguarded, unarmed. He strides to the center of the room.

While he stands at an average height, his presence fills the room and stands as tall as Barrabus. His hair is an Ebony black, his skin a warm shade of brown customary to the dark skinned Assamites. His eyes stand out against the rest of his features, a stark, icy blue that could warm or chill the soul equally.

He says nothing at first, but searches Kiril's eyes with his own. And Kiril senses all of his cool collection vanish under that gaze - not because he is moved by it, but because of Husayn's panic.

Saladin! What are you doing here?!

Kiril briefly struggles as he feels Husayn beginning to assert control of his body - something he had no idea the dead assassin could even do.

Please, I need to talk to him! He has to understand, you can't hurt him!

Then, reason

But no... not in here, with all these people present... Talk to him, please Kiril. Let him know what has happened, privately.

Still, Kiril has no idea who this assamite is that ignites such fire within Husayn, what Husayn would have him say.

17
Vampire The Masquerade / Transylvanian Chronicles OOC 2
« on: May 25, 2016, 09:48:17 pm »
Alright ladies and gentlemen, WE ARE BACK.

Note that I have given up on updating the Calendar.

18
Disciples / Saint (Ministering Angel)
« on: May 22, 2016, 12:32:46 am »
Saint (Ministering Angel) (Killer)
Experience: 135/146 Arcane: 82/82

Health 8
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]

Willpower 7
[X][X][X][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]

Mana (Max 12/3 per round)
[X][X][X][X][X][X][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]

Gnosis 3

Size: 5
Defense: 2
Perception: 6
Initiative Mod: 6
Speed: 9

Attacks
Unarmed Strike: Damage 0(B)
Imbued Sword: Damage 3(L); Size 2; Cost ••••; Special Durability +1; Emotional Urging

Armor
1/2* (bulletproof)

Protective Spells
none

Spells Cast Upon Self (Spell Tolerance 3)
none

Active Spells (Max 6)
Clamor of the Departed (24 hours)
Regeneration on Beats (24 hours)

Dedicated Magical Tool
Hematite Infinity Ring

Acana Based Tools
Prayer beads (Death); Cross (Life); Compass (Space)

Enchanted Items
Emotional Urging Imbued Sword (Mind ••; Gnosis +2 vs. target Composure + Gnosis)

Equipment Carried
*Kevlar Vest, Wooden Cross, Prayer Beads, Imbued Sword, Night Vision Goggles, Gas Mask, Tear Gas Grenades (6); Briefcase

Penalties
Currently the Anchor of Miguel De Diaz (Ghost of Spanish Conquistador)
Spell Tolerance exceeded (-1 Dice penalty)

Benefits
none

19
Media & Mayhem / I'm about to make you guys proud
« on: May 12, 2016, 01:19:40 pm »
So, I was driving back from my cal final (which I aced) when I came across a young couple making out by a stop sign on my side of the road, and the most brilliant thought i've ever had popped into my head.

You see, I have several CDs that i've burned for my car, among them a CD titled "Seductive Music", basically a ton of Marvin Gaye songs and some Marian Hill, a little spanish guitar too. Anyway, it starts exactly how you'd expect - "Let's get it on".

So what I did was, I took my rap disk out and popped the seductive track, rolled down my windows and blasted my radio as loud as possible. Right as I pulled up to the two, the famous "wah-wah-wah-wahhhh" started. I looked at the guy, gave him a thumbs up, and drove away~

20
Media & Mayhem / Those statistics about rapes going unreported
« on: May 10, 2016, 12:27:35 pm »
While these statistics at obviously (and have been proven to be) overstated, I acknowledge that it's true that most rapes are unreported or unprosecuted.

Which kind of leads me to wonder: why the hell would anyone make that public knowledge?

I mean, it's basically an invitation to rapists of all kinds and creeds - "go ahead and do your stuff people, don't worry, there's almost no chance anyone will take any sort of official, legal action against you for it!"

21
Media & Mayhem / Sooo I just got an exertion headache the other day
« on: May 07, 2016, 03:42:28 pm »
Oh my Farking God they hurt so much. It literally feels like a grenade going off at the base of my skull.

For reference, I've punched another human being in the face so hard that I shattered their face mask, their nose and my wrist in one fell swoop, laying them out on the ground before taking down a second football player and lightly strangling them (they had it coming, one of the bastards sucker punched me).

I then played with that broken wrist for another six months before seeing a doctor because "hey, my wrist has been hurting for half a year, maybe I should see someone"

I've had an entire football team pile up on me, mangling my leg so bad that when I got up my ankle had a literally Orange sized lump on it, and then walked off the field no problem.

I've been (hilariously) mauled by a wild boar.

I've been burned, cut, beaten, stabbed, bloodied, bruised, and beaten again, but nothing has ever hurt me as much as that damn headache did/has been doing.

It's what I get for not paying attention to all that crap about breathing properly during intense exercise. Turns out I have to stay away from high intensity excercise for about two months because of this now.

22
Media & Mayhem / So disgusting
« on: April 17, 2016, 07:47:08 pm »
So, as most of you know I exercise quite a bit and work out for a variety of reasons (anger, health, continuing to look smexy), but what some of you might not know is that I eat like crap. I'm a junkie for junk food and i'm pretty certain that if my eating habits continue as is i'll probably die in about 15 years, exercise or no exercise. So, for both aesthetic (moar smexiness) and health reasons i've decided to start eating quite a bit healthier than I usually do.

This brings me to the topic of this post: Egg whites.

Now don't get me wrong, I love eggs. Scrambled, with feta cheese mixed in, cooked with butter and maybe with some other toppings added in. I have a particular love of twins (eggs with two yolks inside of them), because egg yolk is yummy and delicious. And it's also, of course, terrible for you.

Egg whites, on the other hand, are basically pure protein, and probably one of the best things someone like me could ever consume. Health-wise, that is.

To cook it so that it won't stick to the pan you need to use some sort of oil (I refuse to drink it raw), and since I was opting for a healthier diet I was cooking my egg-whites with olive oil. The result is this:

http://postimg.org/image/xscenrigp/

I'm not sure the image properly conveys what this is like, but I assure you that it smells like an abortion and it tastes like licking a soiled dog's tender bits, all with the texture of vomit.

23
Media & Mayhem / So....
« on: April 17, 2016, 04:21:09 pm »
The area around my diaphragm/right under the ribcage/left abdomen is periodically fluttering/twitching/spasming painlessly, and i'm kinda weirded out? Anyone know what that's about? I'm just super confused and all I get when I look it up is basically just more confusion.

24
Media & Mayhem / Car? Car!
« on: March 21, 2016, 09:03:28 pm »
I have a car now!!!!

25
Media & Mayhem / I got my License!!!
« on: February 24, 2016, 12:43:34 pm »
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

(Shit, did I just run over a cat?)

26
Side Quests / Current favourite NPCs
« on: December 23, 2015, 10:52:49 pm »
I've listed all the commonly known NPCs for all of you guys.

Basically, I want to do something special for christmas and actually exercise my writing skills. So based on the voting done here, I might (no solid promises) write a little short story on the two or three NPCs that prevail here based on voting and post it for all of you - if any of you would actually want to read it, of course :)

You may not change your votes so choose wisely!

27
Media & Mayhem / So, I might be dying
« on: December 14, 2015, 03:38:14 am »
Maaaaaybe just an exageration, but i'm just a teensy bit terrified because there's a lump in my abdomen. A few days ago my belly button started oozing pus and blood, I thus cleaned it out every three hours, applied polysporin and all that, called it a day. Sometimes your body parts ooze blood and pus. It happens. Did it for the next three days up until now.

Today, right as I was about to go to sleep, I was, naturally, gently caressing my obviously rock-solid abs, and I happened to notice a very highly noticeable lump above my belly button. Now see, blood and pus I can handle, but lumps are scary and make me think of cancer. On the one hand - no better excuse to skip finals than "cancer". On the other hand, uh, cancer.

Please tell me it's probably not cancer.

P.S: I also feel pretty weak, but i'm pretty sure that's just because of the pants-splitting terror I feel every time I move and feel a dull ache emanate from the lump.

28
Side Quests / Monstrous Mistakes - Kiril and Lucien
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:11:49 pm »
1199, March 14th, 3:00 AM
Outskirts of Sofia, at the base of mount Vitosha, the village of Aleko.
Domain of Kiril, the Anointed


Kiril

Carinus raises his eyebrows.

"I do not possess the ability to manipulate killing shadows, Kiril. I fear my own methods of disposal would result in my terrible demise in this particular situation."

Tendrils spring around Barabus, grabbing the massive man's arms and legs and restraining him. He appears to care about the tendrils exactly as much as he cares about the blades currently within his body.

The thing grins, showing off now-blackened teeth. It whips it's head to his left side and spits black blood into one of the guard's faces. The man screams and falls back, hands coming up to his face, releasing the grip on his blade.

Barabus then lets his right hand morph into a large spike that pierces the last guardsman's belly. The man sinks to his knees, then onto his other hand, pulling his sword from the monster and using it to support himself.

The demon turns his eyes onto Elias then.

The captain grits his teeth and takes a deep breath, almost as if to roar bloody defiance into the monster's face.

The captain croaks then, struggling to speak through the bone that had appeared in his throat. His eyes go wide and he raises his hands to the hole left behind as the lance withdraws into Barabus' body, as if he could stem the tide of blood that flows so freely through his broken artery.

"Gruglh"

Barabus' black eyes turn to Kiril, and he speaks with the chilling voice of a monster.

"No more games. Face me dark o-"

Barabus stops mid-sentence and looks over his shoulder. For the first time, Kiril sees fear and surprise on that terrible face. It soon gives way to a hatred that might have made even him shiver, were he still mortal.

The three demons still among the impaled bodies slink away from their master, any forward advancement they'd planned stopped immediately. Their whispering, however, is redoubled in its intensity.

KILL THE SHAPER, KILL THE KNIGHT

---

Lucien

"My lord! I must refuse, the captain of this squad can do his part, I must come with you to hunt this mighty beast I have heard so much of!"

The damned fool actually whistles to his wolves and starts charging towards the village, the things follow him with surprising loyalty (perhaps they wish to eat him?)

Ennius grits his teeth.

"We don't have time my lord, the situation appears dire. I suppose we will have to punish the fool at a later date."

Ennius rides forward on his charger, drawing his cavalry sword and maneuvering his horse with his feet as he loosens his shield from his back.

Following quickly after his most loyal knight and his most stupid ghoul, Lucien traverses the ruined village, the smell of death weighing heavily on him. He hears whispers travelling through the air, unable to make out the words but discomforted by them all the same.

It isn't long at all before they arrive at the village square, but the second they do Lucien instantly feels a powerful regret for every single life decision he's ever made that has led him to this particular moment.

Horrifying otherworldly darkness - more than Lucien has ever seen any Lasombra summon - fill the square, enough to drive an inlking of fear down even him. Things move and shift in the darkness, tendrils that whip and lash viciously at unseen monster. The whispers are much louder here, Lucien can start making out some of the words - he doesn't like any of them, of course.

Scanning the scene, he quickly locates Kiril - the Lasombra stands proudly and defiantly with his two servants, Carinus and Sherazhina. Three tendrils move out of his clothes visibly protecting him. Darkness surrounds him and Lucien cannot help but admire the Lord's power.

However, his attention is rapidly drawn away from his old companion and brought with utmost attention the the monster whom he stands in front of so defiantly.

It stares back at him.

Barabus.

Darius has stopped a good 50 feet away from Barabus, along with his three wolves, and he stands with his jaw wide open, frozen, unable to speak.

Ennius has pulled in his charge and has partially lowered his weapon, just long enough to mutter the words, heard by Lucien ever so acutely, more a statement than a question - "What the Fark is this."

While his features might resemble the old Barabus - before Lucien ever touched him - this Barabus is massive. Large to an inhuman degree, he towers over Kiril and 7 or so dead or dying, armoured men who lie in almost a circle around him. His body oozes black blood from cuts that he doesn't seem to notice, and he is restrained by tendrils which he doesn't seem to care about. He is completely naked, and this serves to outline the terrible, strained black veins that stand out on his body like tight cords. His lips and teeth, visible in a snarl, are black from bloody drool. As he tenses at Lucien's approach, he sees the man's horrifyingly large and powerful muscles ripple, not an ounce of fat on him.

He might be beautiful if he wasn't so terrifying.

Returning to his senses, Lucien realizes the voices are whispering something - this time clearer and louder and with more enthusiasm than ever before.

KILL THE SHAPER. KILL THE KNIGHT

29
Side Quests / Into the Mountains - Heldric
« on: October 04, 2015, 08:44:43 pm »
1199, April 1rst, 2:43 AM,
Balgrad,
Domain of Heldric Haikans, Emissary of Michael's Chosen


Having recently returned to Balgrad, Heldric has begun pulling strings with the reluctant aid of Julian in order to have city workers begin a massive excavation project - officially to expand the already existing catacombs below the city's cathedral, but mostly to create a proper, defensible haven and give the city's Nosferatu a proper warren.

As the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese (Heldric sometimes wonders if this decision was based on some gentle influence by the Patriarch of Constantinople) and budding capital of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom, Heldric often finds himself astonished that such a great city could have been assigned to him. It is his responsibility to keep it safe.

However, when a letter comes calling from the very man who granted him the right to protect Balgrad, its aim to pull him away - well, Heldric might begin to wonder what option he has to refuse.

For on the 1rst of April, the year 1199, Heldric finds a dark-feathered raven waiting for him in his hidden haven, a bound and sealed letter at its feet, intelligent black eyes staring expectantly.

Reaching for the letter, recognizing Radu's seal and breaking it - Heldric reads over its contents.

My Dearest Friend,

There is an abandoned tower that lies deep within the Transylvanian alps, I am interested in claiming it as a fortress haven in case of emergency, however the mortal men and ghouls I have already sent have failed to return. I have chosen to tell you this because I trust in your ability to handle this matter discreetly and efficiently. You are a skilled individual, Heldric, and I would like to see those skills utilized.

I generously offer you a reasonable boon of your choice in return for you personally securing this tower for myself in whatever manner you find fitting. I hope you consider my offer, should you accept I will send Tiberiu to serve as your guide.

May your city prosper,
Count Radu Bistri, Prince of Bistritz.

30
Side Quests / Dangerous Ground - Steeple
« on: October 04, 2015, 07:22:48 pm »
April 2ndth, 4:53AM, 1199
Steepleton, Tihuta Pass
Domain of Count Radu Bistri, Prince of Bistritz


It's been two days since Steeple has returned to his lair at Steepleton, the human seneschal he'd left in place had held it together in his absence - though the Malkavian is acutely aware of how vulnerable his little fortress is without him being present as its protector and keeper.

However there is little of interest in the - admittedly, beautifully built - fortress for the wandering madman and his wise advisor Prince Maurice. So when a letter left for Steeple is found by Nadia at the balcony to the seneschal's office, its messenger nowhere to be seen - well, he cannot help but be interested.

Breaking the seal, Steeple's eyes run across the carefully written script.

To Lord Steepleton Carson Olaf Trevesky the Fourth,

Evening, my good lord of Tihuta pass! As a noted friend to the Tremere and a well-connected individual recently fallen on difficult times, I believe that our clan has a well-vested interest in ensuring your continued well-being. As such, I have an offer prepared for you - one might say an offer of prestation, in fact! I have recently discovered a rather fascinating set of ruins, within which I believe information of vital importance related to old Koldunic Sorceries might lie. I should wish to have your aid in clearing the ruins, and your insightful mind in understanding what is found. If you intend to seriously consider my offer, simply go to the highest point of your tower and leave a reply for me, my messenger will retrieve it and bring it back to me within the day.

With respect,
Celestyn, Master Librarian of Ceoris


"Adventure my dear lad! Adventure beckons and calls, it thrills the dead heart within your flesh! Think of what mysteries we might find in these hidden ruins!" Maurice exclaims.

Of course, Steeple's mind is already set on something else - the master librarian of Ceoris! While very few kindred can even sum up what Ceoris is, Steeple is aware that the name is that assigned to the chief chantry of the Tremere, the hidden stronghold of the Transylvanian mages and the greatest chantry of House Tremere. Whoever this Celestyn is, he would have access to such an incredible wealth of knowledge as to keep Steeple well occupied and interested in study for centuries!

31
Community Conversation / Astounding revelations
« on: September 18, 2015, 01:58:40 pm »
So, this may be the mild delirium talking, but I think it's time I finally show you all my face. You guys have been an awesome community to talk and RP and debate with, and some of you know more about me than most people I know in real life.

Also, Aman promised to upload a picture of his own face if I did it.

So here it goes, Christian Bale out, Drak in.

Edit: oh goddamit, it's in the wrong angle.

32
Tales of the Dandy Desperado! / Crystal (Drak's Psychic Survivor)
« on: August 15, 2015, 08:24:01 pm »
Crystal (Psychic Survivor) - 68/68 XP


Gender Female; Age 24; Ht 5'6”; Wt130 lbs; Stature Diminutive; Disposition Sharp, Undistracted, Imposing; Distinctive Features: terrible scarring at the back of her head that she keeps covered with her hair, where she ripped out a tracking chip and summarily healed the wound

Abilities
Str 2; Agi 3; Con 5; Int 3; Wis 5; Pre 2; Vitality (0) 27; Wounds (-2) 15 (Armor 10*/12**)
Speaks English & Sign Language
Saves
React 12; Endure 14; Will 14; Luck 4 3; Surge 3
Psychosis 5/5
Movement
Init 15*/13**; Move 30 ft (Run 60; Leap 2 high/10 long)

Attacks
Unarmed Strike 5/2S; Grapple Moves 5/2S; Combat Knife 5/4L; Stun Baton 5/3S♠; Sap 5/2S♠; 9mm Deck Pistol 15+2X/8L 40ft (12); 12mm Military Sidearm w/ Optical Scope 14+2X/10L 50ft (8); 20mm Military Auto Shotgun w/ Slugs 13+2X/16L 200ft (12); 12mmL Police Assault Rifle 14+2X/14L 200ft (33); Military Hand Grenades 12/16L A20’r 40xft (5); Set Claymores 16L PA50’45°c (4)

Combat Skills
Defense 13* (Dodge; Parry) ~5
Ranged 12 (Shoot +2; Target; Throw) ~4
Close Quarter 5 (Grapple; Melee; Unarmed)

General Skills
Acrobatics 10 (Balance; Escape; Tumble) ~4
Artistry 8 (Cooking; Expression; Rendering)
Athletics 8 (Climb; Jump; Sprint; Swim) ~3
Control 10  (Drive; Pilot; Operate Heavy Machinery) ~4
Evaluate 12 (Appraise; Gamble; Sense Motive; Streetwise) ~4
Fabricate 6 (Construction; Mechanics; Weaponsmith)
Face 8 (Bluff; Entertain; Intimidate; Taunt) ~3
First Aid 5 (Slow Poison; Treat Injury)
General Knowledge 5 (Trivia; In The News; Who's Who)
Larceny 6 (Forgery; Open Locks; Sleight of Hand)
Outdoors 8 (Handle Animal; Survival; Track)
Perception 13 (Listen; Search; Spot) ~5
Sabotage 6 (Demolitions; Disable Device; Trap Setting)
Socialize 5 (Diplomacy; Interrogation; Gather Info)
Stealth 13 (Disguise; Hide; Move Silently) ~5
Tech 5 (Computers, Electronics, Security Systems)

Edges
Heroic Surge; Indomitable Spirit; Psychic (Biokinesis); Quick Draw; Rapid Shot; Sensitive; Sharpshooter; Combat Reflexes; Dead Aim; Great Fortitude; Iron Will; Lucky; Marksman; Psychic Powers x5; Hard To Kill; Lightning Reflexes; Toughness

Psychic Powers
Restore Vitality; Suppress Toxins+2p; Close Wounds+2p; Heal+4p; Regeneration+4p

Flaws
Enemy (Military); Phobia (Enclosed Spaces)

Equipment Normal Load 25; Encumbered 50; Limit 75; Drag 300
9mm Deck Pistol; 12mm Military Sidearm w/ Optical Scope; 20mm Police Riot Gun w/ Slugs; 12mm Police Assault Rifle; Combat Knife; Stun Baton; Sap; Military Hand Grenades; Claymores; *Police Armored Vest; *Police Riot Shield; **Armored Vac Suit; Casual Wear; Cold Weather Wear; IR Camouflage; Vacc Suit w/ Zero-G Harness & Emergency Beacon; Audio Recorder; Bug Detector; Bugs (6); Cell Phone; Electronic Binoculars; Electronic Compass; Electronic Lock, Code Key (Ship room); Gas Mask; Hard Lock, Simple; Micro Comlink; Signal Flares (6); Voice Mask; Trauma Packs (6); Surgical tools; First Aid Kit w/ Syringes; Antibiotics (12); Antirad (12); Antitoxin (12); Super-Coag (5); X-88 (4); Ton of Sugar Pills (200); Permit to Carry Firearms; Permit to Hunt Bounty; Permit to Wear Armor; Guard Dog (Sir Fluffy The Destroyer Returneth!); Photo of Genny Putkoff and his family.

33
Side Quests / The Knight's Foul Deed - Anton
« on: July 29, 2015, 05:45:17 pm »
"You and Husayn will kill Gabor for putting this price on my head. Don't look so surprised, Husayn told me everything before he attacked. Then you will let Husayn go free of his debt to me with my blessing."


1199, February 5th, 11:40 PM
Krondstadt,
Domain of the Dark Lord Anton Petrov Veranin


It has been 11 nights since Husayn's death, 8 nights since Kiril's annointment by Boukephos at Sofia, 7 nights since Anton has returned to Krondstadt in the company of a rebuilt Desiderio, a grieving Basilio and an incomprehensible Boukephos.

Even now that Boukephos dwells within his city, Anton cannot remember the slightest thing about the man. He's been rather secretive, Anton can barely remember anything about him at Kiril's coronation. All that he can truly recall is something like a living avatar of the abyss coming to Sofia. He can remember the fear, respect and abject awe in the faces of the other kindred of Sofia as they layed eyes on whatever ancient horror came to grant Kiril its blessing.

Basilio says Boukephos is keeping himself hidden from everyone because he does not yet believe it is time to introduce himself to his great grandchilder in full. Anton could say little of the matter, for some reason he had no inclination to do so.

At Krondstadt much the same happened with the Teutonic Order. The knights there bowed the knee to Anton, and though Anton knows they will still not follow his orders, he knows he is safe of any machinations that they may have had planned to dethrone him.

Ancients really can work wonders.

Boukephos is still in the city - despite the fact that the elder seemingly has the ability to take himself anywhere in the world, it seems he has been staying here for the time being. Every Cainite in the city can feel it.

In the days Anton has been back at his city he has been given time to arrange matters for his disappearance, manage his ghouls, hear about new events and deal with his other princely duties.

Soon, however, he must leave to accomplish the task Basilio gave him. Husayn may be dead, but Gabor still lived. It was the loyal child's duty to end the threat to his master's life.

34
Side Quests / The Beastmaster's Quarry - Lucien
« on: July 06, 2015, 10:55:03 pm »
1199, March 4th, 10:43 PM
Shaasburg,
Domain of Lucien, Queen of Sandor


It has been three days since Lucien returned to his home, 8 days since Kupala's night. The weather returning had been pleasant and he'd made good time, no doubt an after-effect of ridding the land of the corruption plaguing it.

Ennius reported nothing of note on Lucien's return, the noblemen were kept placid and his domain remained unharmed and unaffected by anything resembling Barabus; Lucien is certain of his safety - for now.

Rising from the sarcophagus that was his place of rest, Lucien is ready to begin a new day.

35
Media & Mayhem / What Drak's been reading
« on: July 03, 2015, 10:21:56 pm »
Chronicles of the Black Company

Have had these books for a while but never got around to reading them. Had a dentist appointment today and had time to kill and no internet, so I gave the first one a gander. The writing starts out disjointed and confusing, it very much feels like the writer is unsure how to either portray or segue into various events, but I gave it a pass because I was bored and had nothing better to do.

It really gets very much better though, the story becomes rather compelling in its own way, it's very much an epic written as a Dark Fantasy, really my style so I thought i'd bring it up. Starts out slow but really picks up as you learn more about the characters in the story, particularly the Taken.

Anyway, finished the first book, i'll probably finish the rest of the series while i'm out working during the next few weeks.

36
Vampire The Masquerade / Princes of the Night
« on: May 02, 2015, 04:58:19 pm »
Anton Petrov Veranin

- Prince of Krondstadt, Ashen Knight of Basilio the Elder, Initiate of the Abyss.

Since being given Krondstadt Anton has taken stock of the city's own Cainite inhabitants - he is aware of a Lucretia Von Hartz, Emissary of Lord Jurgen Von Verden, an up-and-coming Ventrue Warlord who is leader of the Black Cross, a Cainite sect that has infiltrated the Teutonic Order. Lucretia sometimes visits the Order's Cloister in Krondstadt, Bran Castle, which holds a large force of Teutonic knights - the leaders of which are all also Cainites. Anton's city appears to be devoid of any other vampires, he might sometimes wonder what deal Basilio and Radu must have struck to grant him this city.

Lucretia and the Knights of the Order pay him deference, however, and have acknowledge him as prince of the city - though Anton does not believe that they would follow any orders should the time for him to give them come to pass. The order outmans and outpowers him, he would need favor with Lord Jurgen to fully control the city's cainites.

While the Teutonic Order already comprised a solid religious influence, Anton has worked very hard to pull in more of the traditional priests and other religious workers, repairing the existing Church) and requesting that his sire use his pull to have people sent in. Using the authority granted by Basilio, Anton brought in and immediately bound and ghouled two priests - Fathers Thomas and Damien. Father Damien works with lepers and the poor, a very holy man he quickly gained the love of the city's dispossessed; Father Thomas, meanwhile, confesses the more lofty members of society. Some might complain that there is such a clear divide in the treatment of the city's different economic classes - but Anton does not hear them, and both priests serve Brother Joseph, who acts as the Knight's voice during the day, and his face when others would find it too frightening during the night.

Kiril Petrov Veranin

- Seneschal of Sofia, Childe of Basilio the Elder, Impostor.

Kiril has been given relatively free reign over Sofia - though the presence of the Cullar Revenant Family still irks him to no end. The family has done what it can to hinder his work in the city - a family of Revenants is a powerful influence in the mortal Society, and Kiril has been making little enough headway there. Carinus and Sherazhina do what they can to ensure control over the mortals, Carinus "disappearing" undesirables and Sherazhina working more charming, less frightening methods.

Other than Husayn Al-Fatin and his own sire Basilio, Kiril has solid control over most of the city's cainites, having ingratiated himself within the undead society and proving to be a masterful manipulator; of the city's Cainite inhabitants Kiril has found good allies in the higher society - Arianne, frequent visitor of Basilio's courts, has taken a shine to both him and Carinus; he has successfully convinced Amalia of Thrace - an Elder Capadocian with an obsession for redemption - that he believes in her goals, and has a friend in her and her favoured ghoul, Father Patryn. As well as these two he also has the favour of Sergej, a lone Nosferatu who he has been exceedingly courteous to - the often reviled lepers are kind to those who do not mistreat them, and Sergej is no exception.

Heldric Haikans

- Protector of Balgrad, Emissary of Michael's chosen, Follower of the Dream.

The Byzantine Cainite's takeover of Balgrad was smooth, the city was relatively devoid of cainites, boasting a population of perhaps 3-4 at the most when he'd declared ownership of the city, and none disputed his claim. In fact, two of them - an old Brujah who "liked the cut of his jib", so to speak, supported his rule wholeheartedly - the Dream worked well with Julius' own ideals, and he liked the direction Heldric was taking. Heldric should be careful though - sometimes he gets the impression Julius intends to try and make Balgrad into another Carthage.

With Julius' help Heldric established the Guilds of Balgrad, the organizations have greatly aided regulation of Balgrad's economy and have greatly aided in taking power out of the hands of the nobility. Guildmasters - competent, skilled and well-liked citizens now influence and control entire guilds of workers, abuse within the city dies down greatly and the people feel something almost akin to freedom and enlightenment - of course, even as they feel freedom, the masters in the shadows tighten their grips ever further as the guildmasters are turned into slaves.

Along with Julius there is another - Viktor, another Nosferatu, was happy to see another Nosferatu on the throne, so to speak, and was not averse to the Dream. He has helped Heldric keep track of what goes on in the city, and has even recommended several contacts - one of which Heldric has followed up on.

Working as well with Steeple, Heldric has managed to bring in some trade to the city, and, combined with the strong regulation of the Guilds, the city's business has been thriving (and with it, Heldric's own coffers).

Lucien Lupei

- Prince of Shaasburg, Queen of Sandor, Master of Flesh and Flame.

Since his arrival in Shaasburg Lucien has found a powerful ally in Adrian and his two childer - the relatively young Tzimisce is a servant of Sandor and has been instructed to assist Lucien in his rule, the man and his childer have taken the role of Lucien's Knezi, and with them he has ingratiated himself into the nobility. Shaasburg has become a strictly controlled city, the nobles have more authority than ever before and with the Cainites spread into their ranks Lucien owns the city - or at least, he should.

Lucien sometimes gets the impression Adrian was slighted by Sandor placing his child in control of Shaasburg instead of Adrian himself. Lucien should not dare attack or insult Adrian, for the Tzimisce serves Lucien well and he and his childer form the majority of the cainites in the city; but he cannot escape the feeling that Adrian simply waits for the day of Lucien's death so as to take his place.

Steeple Carson Olaf Trevesky The Fourth

- Seneschal of Radu in Tihuta Pass,  Rebellious Childe of Vladivostok, Disciple of Prince Maurice.

Steepleton, the village that has begun to grow around the Fortress of Tihuta Pass, has grown in size since Steeple has taken over - but most of the place's development has been seen in the quickly established noble families and the strict authority with which they govern the human population there. Of course, Steeple's strong influence with the nobility ensures that they govern the population according to his will...

As the only Cainite in the area, and because he is within the Count's claimed territory, Steeple's claim to power is uncontested - to fight his claim would be to fight the Count himself, and few should dare to do so. There has been little action in the pass; but out of it Steeple has found his businesses have begun to suffer greatly, a result of Valdivostok's continued ire - the merchant prince's influence has been terrible, and even new ventures that Steeple has tried to open up in Krakow's Salt mines have been failing horribly - perhaps his personal touch needs to be brought down?

Nadia has proved to be a diligent ghoul, if something of an obsessive one - she constantly spends time cleaning, and does so with the fervor of a religious fanatic; Steeple sometimes might feel worried for her.

Daniel Cebanu

- Ruler of Muhlbach, Agent of Arnulf, Disciple of the Flesh Walrus.

Daniel's arrival in Muhlbach brought with it a significant halt to the city's progress - the gangrel prince found an ally in Demetri, a Malkavian who shared his visions of the great Flesh Walrus who has helped him in setting the base to achieve his future goals. With Demetri's help and his own social graces Daniel has grown to have great influence over the nobility of the city, and has been pilfering the city of it's resources to help fund his own ventures; and so he grows all the richer and more powerful whilst fulfilling his sire's orders - the budding metropolis of Muhlbach has had it's growth safely arrested; the wild realms remain free.

37
Side Quests / The Beast Unbound - Kiril
« on: May 02, 2015, 01:39:26 pm »
1199, March 13th, 10:43 PM
Sofia,
Domain of Kiril, the anointed


It has been nearly two months since Husayn's death and Kiril's coronation at Sofia.

Basilio, having thought Husayn had lived (only to receive news of his death from Kiril) had grieved for three days before summoning his grandsire Boukephos. The ancient's arrival evoked something strange in Kiril, he cannot quite remember what it was. In fact, he cannot quite remember anything about Boukephos. All he can remember is the fear on the faces of the city's gathered kindred as some godlike avatar of the Abyss anointed him lord protector of Sofia. Even the elders of generations knew to fear the horror that briefly dwelt within Kiril's domain.

Soon Boukephos departed, sinking into the shadows with Anton, Basilio (and his retinue), and Desiderio. Basilio left Kiril with one last warm greeting and words of encouragement before his departure, along with access to a small portion of his treasury to ease things along in dealing with Kiril's expenses.

The city's kindred have long since accepted him, however begrudgingly, as prince. The Tzimisce of the neighbouring lands seem to have been cowed, for now, and so Kiril's seat at Sofia has been assured.

Or so he thought.

Recently, Kiril has been hearing of a terrible monster laying waste to the villages within Sofia's domain. The creature fits the description of a tzimisce's pet, he is reminded of the reports they would get of wolves hindering the coterie's efforts at Tihuta Pass.

38
Side Quests / Daniel - Enter Freely, Go Safely
« on: April 28, 2015, 05:05:40 pm »
1199, February 9th, 11:39 PM,
Mulbach,
Domain of Daniel, Disciple of the Flesh Walrus


Daniel's haven in Muhlbach is based under a tavern now run by his mortal brother Vincent; called the Dancing Walrus, the place provides Daniel with a steady source of victims and a safe hiding place. At the top floor of the tavern Wilhelm has set up his study, where he practices the magicks of the old land.

From within his haven Daniel finds himself disturbed from his work by the sound of a knock at his door.

39
Side Quests / Lucien - Lure of the Land
« on: April 28, 2015, 04:59:45 pm »
1199, January 30th, 10:39 PM
Shaasburg,
Domain of Lucien, Queen of Sandor


In his haven within the castle over Shaasburg, Lucien twists and pulls away at an incapacitated wolf - he'd had some hunters capture one; after the attacks on Tihuta Pass he'd begun to develop a slight curiosity as to the effectiveness of Fleshcrafted wolves.

He finds his work interrupted by Ennius, who knocks at his door. Turning his attention away from his latest project, Lucien opens the door.

"My lord, a letter has arrived for you from what appears to be Vladimir Rustovich."

Lucien might feel some fear at the mention of the name - Vladimir Rustovich is the current vovoide of vovoides, the ultimate ruler of Transylvania, put into power by each of the vovoides of the Tzimisce ancestral lands.

40
Side Quests / Steeple and Heldric - Pillars of Salt
« on: April 28, 2015, 04:55:59 pm »
1199, February 25th, 3:39 AM,
Balgrad,
Domain of Heldric Haikans, Emissary of Michael's Chosen


Steeple waits outside the entrance to the Guild Hall.

It had been near a year since he'd been by to Krakow to investigate the Salt Mines there - he'd decided to expand his business there recently to help mitigate the damage done by Vladivostok only to find his workers disappearing and his people refusing to enter the mines.

Adding to that, Kasimierz - the Capadocian Steeple had previously encountered who warned him something was wrong with the mines - had disappeared; none of Steeple's envoys were able to find him. Unsure whether or not this was the work of Vladivostok or the work of some other unknown danger, Steeple knows it is best not to investigate alone - and so he has come to Balgrad to ask his budding ally - perhaps even friend - Heldric to help him in fixing the problems in the area.

He found Andreas, hooded and silent, in the tavern where Heldric's haven was hidden; Andreas then led him to one of the many guildhouses recently established in the city, where Heldric was meeting with Julius and a bonded guildmaster.

Heldric comes out, in his mortal guise, along with the elder Brujah - who rapidly notes Steeple's presence.

He leans over to Heldric - "It seems one of our own has come to present himself to you, Heldric. I'll leave you to it."

Julius leaves, and the two cainites are alone.

41
Side Quests / Anton and Kiril - Assassin's Honour
« on: April 27, 2015, 10:12:15 pm »
1199, January 18th, 2:30 AM
Kronstadt,
Domain of the Ashen Knight Anton Petrov Veranin


Within Kronstadt's church lie many secrets. It's shadows hold eldritch creatures summoned by the dark lord that counts the city as his domain, the walls of its basement hide secret openings to his lair, it's priests are strong with his blood; within its walls one good man struggles to keep to his humanity while serving the dark lord, and fights constantly against the stain that has begun to form on his soul.

Tonight, another soul finds its way to the church...

---

In the secret haven of the church's basement Anton lies back, his eyes closed, surrounded in a shroud of darkness. He breathes in the essence of the Abyss, and breathes it out once more - each time exhaling more of the unnatural darkness. The room was filled completely, but through his abyssal sight Anton could still spot the spirits he'd summoned from the darkness in the air. He'd grown more attuned to the darkness beneath the world, his teacher would visit him from time to time and had judged him ready to begin summoning the creatures of the Abyss; now the essence of darkness was more his to command than it had ever been.

He hears a knock to the secret door that lead into his haven. His eyes shoot open and he takes a sudden breath, and the darkness of the room flows into him. He gets up and opens the door, reinforced with locks far too heavy for any mortal man to move. Brother Joseph waits for him.

"Brother Anton, a letter has arrived for you - there is no recognizable seal, but I believe you should read it."


42
Side Quests / Side Quest OOC 1
« on: April 27, 2015, 10:10:26 pm »
Out of Character conversation for Sidequests

43
Vampire The Masquerade / Chapter 2: Venetian Nights
« on: April 27, 2015, 10:10:07 pm »
Chapter 2: Venetian Nights

In August of 1198 the young Pope Innocence III called for a new Crusade to recapture the Holy Sepulcher. The Angevin Kings of England and Capetian Kings of France were once again at war with one another even as the others contended for the recently vacant German thrown.

By 1200 it became clear that it would be lesser Counts who would take up the cross, and they did. Even without the Great Kings of Europe the Crusade became inevitable, the Counts declaring that they would take Egypt by sea.

In 1201 the Counts: Thibald of Champagne, Louis of Blois, Baldwin of Flanders and his brothers Henry and Eustace sent six delegates to Venice to broker a deal to allow the crusaders to use the floating City as a jumping off point. The aged Doge of the city, Enrico Dandolo, accepted them willingly and made a deal, he would taxi the crusaders for a fair price, which was to be paid upon their arrival and would lend fifty armed galleys in exchange for half of the crusade’s prize. Little did he know that the delegates had lied, seriously inflating the number of crusaders that had taken up the cross. The pope, unaware of the deception sanctified the arrangement. These events would alter the course of the crusade irrevocably.

When the Doge learned the truth the Crusaders were already in the city. Seeing that the numbers present did not constitute more than a fraction of what were promised Dandolo was furious. He’d spent a great deal of money preparing for the battle that was to come, and was unwilling to forgive the Crusader’s debt.

Seeing the opportunity for what it was Dandolo demanded that the crusaders repay them, at a later date, in plunder, allowing the crusaders the delay that they so desperately needed for the price of a small favor...

It is in Venice that our Conspiracy finds itself. The Cainites who would use the Crusaders to further their own goals are in deliberations to determine the course of the war to come. The Lasombra crusader, Tommaso Brexiano demands that they attack Palestine head on, bolstering the Crusader states already there and striking a significant and symbolic blow to the Saracen who nest there. His most vociferous opponent is the German Lanzo von Sachsen, a vassal of High Lord Hardestadt.

The Masters of the Cainites who four years ago laid claim to Tihuta Pass in the wilds of Transylvania in the name of Count Radu have asked them to intercede on their behalf.

Anton Petrov Veranin, the Ashen Lord of Kronstadt, was already in Venice, readying himself for war when his sire, Basilio sent word that he would soon be joined by two other emissaries; his own brother, Kiril, Dark Prince of Sofia, and John the Deprived, Butcher of Temechburg, would be joining him as part of a Delegation to support Tommaso in his arguments. Basilio warns of this newcomer, saying he has a history of instability and violence, but that he might be a welcome ally against any danger that might befall them in their travels.

Heldric has also been sent to Venice, though unlike most of his compatriots' sires, Malachite is opposed to war and would have Heldric advocate the collapse of the crusade.

Kiril in particular has been instructed to act as Basilio's eyes and ears in Brexiano's camp - Basilio has become suspicious of his fellow clansman's motives and would have his childe assure that nothing untoward comes to pass during these negotiations. Saladin, having no interest in remaining during Sophia while Kiril is gone, follows the Dark Prince - who at the behest of Husayn, allows Saladin to sail in the same boat with them to Venice.

As for the fifth member of that conspiracy, he too is in Venice, though for reasons that are his own, as none of the others is aware of his presence.

44
Resources / Vampiric Traditions
« on: January 28, 2015, 09:11:45 pm »
The First Tradition: Covenant

“Thy blood makes thee my brood, crafted in my image. My curse thine, my salvation thine. I stand before and above thee as god-regent. I am the way, my Traditions covenant. Renounce me and renounce all hope.” Thus spoke Caine.

The notion of covenant is central in understanding the Old Ways in the Dark Medieval. It is through the First Tradition in particular, and all the Traditions in general, that Cainites recognize Cain as monarch of the night and affirm their lineage as sublime beings, both cursed and blessed. Cainites look to the Old Ways and the covenant of Caine to aknowledge their spiritual link to Caine. Through the dictates of the Old Ways, Caine is present and not a figure of myth and legend. In adhering to the traditions, Cainites confirm their faith in Cain and their damned natures – for better or worse.

Those who abhor the curse look to the First Tradition in hopes of finding salvation, that in following Caine’s ways they will find redemption. In turn, those who seek power follow the covenant, believing in its hidden promise of power in return for faithful service. Princes and lords, like-wise, look to the First Tradition to legitimize their rule. Like mortal kings who rule through divine investiture, princes cite the First Tradition, and Caine’s covenant, as proof of their mandate to lead just as Caine “stands before and above” all Cainites.

The Second Tradition: Domain

“As I am master of Nod, thy domain is thine own concern. Thou art its master and all will respect this or suffer thy wrath. All will present themselves when entering, and thou shall protect them in turn. By right, thou art allowed to hunt within the bounds of thy domain, its blood thine own. Accept its responsibilities, minister thy domain and pay others the same respect thou expect.” Thus spoke Caine.

The Tradition of Domain has always been central to Cainites, and such is especially the case in these times of feudal relationships and vampiric overpopulation. For the last 200 years, Cainites of all ranks and clans have been desperately fighting over shrinking domains, reaching a murderous frenzy in the last few decades. Domain often denotes more than influence and protection, it grants the Caonite sole feeding rights within its boundaries. Claiming domain over a tavern means a near limitless supply of victims, while an isolated hamlet would be hard pressed to sustain more than a single vampire. A Cainite will not go without blood as long as she claims domain (regardless of its size) and she can protect it by keeping other Cainites out.

Holding a domain also requires the Cainite, be she prince or neonate, to offer hospitality to those vampires who enter and present themselves. While in the domain of another, a Cainite can expect to be treated with respect. The owner of the domain is responsible for the safety and well being of guests, and she must share her feeding grounds with them. However, guests who abuse their stay may face strict sanctions. Recently as tensions flare between princes and elders, a few have closed their domains to visitors, isolating themselves and sentencing any and all who enter their domain uninvited to Final Death.

Domain is also the feudal cornerstone of the rule of princes. In this age of Cainite lords and monarchs, domain as become of paramount importance. A prince extends his influence by aquiring more domains. Doing so allows her to grand portions of the conquered territories to her loyal vassals, further cementing her power and attracting more and more Cainites to her banner. Just as mortal regends claim ownership over their knights, some cainite lords have gone as far as to claim domain over individual cainites themselves and expect their vassals to supply them with tithes of blood and victims in return for their royal “patronage” or grants of domain.

The Third Tradition: Progeny

“Thou shalt only sire another with the permission and blessing of thine elder. To create is the providence of those closest to me, for they shall be accountable. Break this, and both thee and thy progeny shall be slain.” Thus spoke Caine.

According to the Third Tradition, only the eldest vampire can grant permission to sire a childe. However, for as long as most Cainites rember, the princes have held the privilege of the Third Tradition. The reason is simple – the need to control and limit the Cainite population in their domains. The more childer one’s subjects Embrace, the higher the demand for blood and the scarcer feeding grounds become, taxing a prince’s ability to provide for his vassals. Princes also hold dear the right to create progeny to limit their rivals’ ability to amass legions of newly sired vampires as shock troops. A prince can also promise permission under the Third Tradition as a gift to obtain favors from another Cainite, or as a reward for loyal service.

Those vampires who embrace without permission usually face the destruction of their childer and, if the offence is severe enough,themselves. Few princes waver on this point. In truth, the act of monitoring who is Embracing and who isn’t is impossible. It is often easy for a sire to send his childe away and keep her a secret until the time is right. Therefore any prince who wants to hold his fief needs to severely punish those who are caught. They must serve as an example, or the prince’s other subjects will begin to question his power and authority.

The Fourth Tradition: Accounting

“Those thou create are thine own blood until released from thy charge. Until that moment, their sins, their blood and their punishments are thine.” Thus spome Caine.

A prince never grants lightly the right to create. Once hequeathed, the sire becomes solely responsible for her childer’s actions. This Tradition warns all Cainites to choose their progeny wisely. The Fourth Tradition requires the sire to both educate and protect her childe, the penalty of doing otherwise is simple – the sire pays for her childe’s indiscretions and crimes. Those who are wayward in their duties as sires, and who give their childer too free a reign, eventually face the ire and condemnation of their prince. Fearful of the consequences, some sires force their offspring to swear blood oaths. These oaths, which involve repeated drinking of the sire’s blood, make the childe into a supernaturally bound thrall, this guaranteeing loyalty. Most vampires bastain from this practice because it also tends to make the childe into a sycophant. The custom of the Fourth Tradition also requires the sire to present their childe to the prince for approval. The prince decides if the childe is worthy of joining the ranks of the Cainites as a neonate or if he should be destroyed. Many princes use this custom to keep their vassals in check – offering the right to Embrace, then destroying the childe citing improper tutelage.

The Fifth Tradition: Destruction
“Forbidden art thou to spill the blood of another of thy kind who is elder. This right belongs only to the closest to me and none other. It is forbidden for those of weaker blood to rise against their elders. This is my final covenant.” Thus spoke Caine.

Princes jealously uphold the Fifth Tradition, using it as a buffer to keep their vassals in line and to remove any potential troublemakers. The right to desroy another Cainite is the final cornerstone of a prince’s authority. Not only can a prince sire freely and claim domain, he can also decide who meets Final Death. The prince can use the Fifth Tradition to punish any crime, no matter how trivial or minor it is under the Lextalionis – the Cainite version of biblical justice.

In the feudal climate of the Dark Medieval world, the right of a prince to destroy another Cainite is often conferred as a gift. Cainites of rank, such as the warmaster or sheriff, are usually granted charter of the Fifth Tradition to dispense the justice and enforce the prince’s rule. However, most princes are cautious when ordering the destruction of Cainites who are the vassals of another lord or prince. Although some princes do not hesitate, others who are more guarded send the offending Cainite back to her prince for punishment. If the accused is then not punished, this may be grounds for war.

The Sixth Tradition: The Silence of Blood

“Never shalt thou reveal thy true nature to those not of the blood. Doing so shall renounce thy claims to my covenant.” Thus spoke Caine.


Cainites may be supreme hunters, but being careless and alerting mortals to their true nature never bodes well for them. Vampires depend on a certain amount of secrecy and deception to keep their night time realm secure from the masses of formant mortals that surround them. Most medieval mortals know things stalk the night, but there are much less clear as to just how to deal with these things (other than avoiding them). Were humans to fully understand the weaknesses and customs of the race of Caine, a great purge would become possible.

Thereforce, princes enforce the Sixth Tradition in varying degrees. Some, especially princes of large cities, hold the Silence sacrosanct because they wish the mortals to delude themselves that walled cities are somehow safer than scattered hamlets. (In fact, the feeding is much easier with mortals all together in one place.) In other principalities, the Silence is paid lip service and largely ignored. There are places where Cainites boldly and openly attend mortal courts, ruling through terror and confident in their dominance. Unless they are secluded and miles away from other mortal settlements, however, such fiefdoms rarely last more than a few decades before they are put to the flame by the church or other Cainites. Generally, Cainites allow (even encourage) manifestations of their damnation that are likely to keep mortals fearful and cowed, and they ban those that are likely to bring organized resistance. Seeing the difference is the mark of a truly skilled prince.

45
Vampire The Masquerade / Chapter 1: Dark Tides Rising
« on: January 21, 2015, 09:37:35 pm »
Act One: The Summoning Spring

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. —Revelations 1:3

46
Resources / Languages
« on: January 09, 2015, 06:04:37 pm »
Languages and Language Groups

As you can see from the descriptions in this chapter, there is a rather broad range of languages in Transylvania. Serfs speaking Vlach, pea-sants speaking Slav, Magyar-speaking Hungarians and German-speaking Saxons can offer many complications to a chronicle if the characterscannot converse freely with them.Some Storytellers may choose to downplay this aspect of the game. After all, the number of Cainites and ghouls in the story ensures that if afew characters can’t hear what a local Transylvanian is saying, someone can translate for everyone else. Storytellers who prefer a dark fanta-sy feel to the game may prefer this “Hollywood” approach to foreign languages. Players who stress realism, however, may find that this ideastretches credulity. Thus, a few optional rules should help represent the role of languages in the campaign. Customize them as you see fit.

Each dot in Linguistics represents one language a character speaks (but doesn’t necessarily write – this is the Dark Medieval world, after all),and a character is considered to be absolutely fluent in his native tongue (which is declared during character creation). As such, the Storyteller should make sure that everyone in the coterie has a method of speaking fluently with everyone else. (In one of the playtests, for example, the members of the coterie only shared one language in common: Arabic. This was suspicious, to the say the least, but gave the coterie a big edge over other Cainites.) The Storyteller may instead assume that a character fluent in an European language may be somewhat familiar with other tongues in that language group. For the purposes of this chronicle, there are five main groups of East-ern European languages. (We apologize for this gross simplification, but it is much easier than making each language a separate Knowledge specializa-tion.)

The languages are:

•Slavonic:

Actually a collection of dialects, Slavonic is well on its way to-ward becoming the vernacular of Eastern Europe. West Slavonic is spoken inthe regions of Bohemia and Poland. East Slavonic is spoken in the wastes of Kievan Rus. South Slavonic is spoken in Bulgaria and Macedonia. A Slavonic-speaking character must select a specific dialect with which she is familiar, though each dialect may be understood by anyone familiar with any of the other Slavonic dialects on an Intelligence + Linguistics roll at a difficulty of 6. This inter-dialect translation is considered automatic if the character in question has an Intelligence + Linguistics Dice Pool of 6 or greater, naturally.

•Hungarian:
Hungarian, unsurprisingly, is spoken in Hungary, as it is the native tongue of the Magyar people.

•Romanian:
The language of what will one night become Romania, this tongue is currently spoken by inhabitants of eastern Hungary (specifically, those who live in the province of Pannonia)

•Baltic:
Like Slavonic, Baltic is actually an “umbrella” term for the polyglot tongues spoken in the regions of Lithuania and along the BalticSea. Several dialects exist, but for game purposes, it is easiest to treat them as a common language. An Intelligence + Linguistics roll (diffi-culty 5-7) may be required to comprehend spoken communication with someone from a different region than where the character learned Baltic.

•German:
Actually a Western language, German is spoken by the increasing influx of settlers, merchants and drifters from the Holy Roman Empire. As it is spoken more widely than the other tongues of the region (and even outside the region!), German makes an excellent lingua francs
for the Transylvania Chronicles

Under this system (which Storytellers of Western European chronicles may choose to overrule), French, Italian and Spanish all default to each other at a difficulty of 7. Likewise, Turk and Finn default to each other at a difficulty of 7. The language referred to as “Arabic” defaults to Kurdish, Armenian and Persian at difficulty of 7. Greek and Latin default to each other at a 7 difficulty. Oddly enough, Slavonic and Romanian default to each other at a difficulty of 8, even though they have different origins. In addition, most of the Tzimisce in this story share a variant of Romanian, referred to as “Vlach.” This is considered to be a somewhat archaic form of Romanian; any simple peasant fluent in Romanian overhearing it is at a difficulty 7 to understand it.If this system seems overly complex, go Hollywood: Simply supply the coterie with several ghouled translators and assume everyone canunderstand everyone else (for everyone’s sake, though, don’t kill them off), or assume that some sort of common pidgin exists. If, on the oth-er hand, you do choose to adapt these rules, there are a number of interesting story ideas that can result from miscommunication and false translation in the Transylvania Chronicles

47
Resources / Tremere Setting info
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:05:29 pm »
History

 
Ceoris was once a simple chantry held by House Tremere of the Order of Hermes. Existing under a common set of laws, but divided into various groups (or Houses), the magi wielded great power and extended their life spans through imbibing magical elixirs. Their studies and magical workings took them all over Europe, and wherever they found access to large amounts of magical essences (called vis), they built chantries to house their covens. Due to the highly magical nature of many spots through¬ out Transylvania, several Tremere chantries were founded there — including Ceoris. The magi realized that they shared the land with supernatural creatures such as werewolves and faeries, but most chantries weren't too close to such creatures' lairs, so they felt secure from attack. Rather than building castles, they constructed houses of learning, more like universities than fortresses.

Most relied on their magic to protect themselves. Lack of central authority in the region allowed the magi to locate their chantries near several small villages, offering the folk there protection and assistance in return for supplies, guards and the right to search for apprentices. Many folk readily agreed, glad for any protection against supernatural threats and human marauders. Others were too apprehensive of the magi themselves to deny them, fearful that the "agents of evil" would harm their loved ones or raze their villages if they refused.

Ceoris, too, encompassed several villages under its dominion, but in all else, this singular covenant house proved the exception.

This main chantry of the Tremere was constructed as a fortress meant to defend against the werewolves and vampyrs who frequented the area. The magical emanations near Ceoris made founding the chantry there worthwhile, despite the threat. In fact, the whole of the region known as Transylvania throbbed with mighty magic, as if the land itself was a nucleus for power. Although Ceoris fell nominally under the control of the powerful magus Tremere, a founder of the Order ofHermes and head of the House, actual leadership and much of the daily work fell to two trusted lieutenants: Goratrix and Etrius. Goratrix, the senior mage in charge of Ceoris's defense, recruited experienced fighting men to guard the exterior fortifications. Furthermore, he oversaw extensive tunneling into the peak on which the fortress rested, opening new rooms and caverns for the chantry's use. Indeed, most ofthe edifice was built inside the core of the mountain itself.
More elaborate precautions were suggested by Etrius, a cautious and conservative young magus from Sweden. At his command, magical workings created a cleft hundreds of feet deep in the ground before the gates — a cleft spanned only by the fortress's drawbridge. Towers carved from the rock served as lookout posts to give warning of impending danger. Goratrix, acknowledged as chief architect for the chantry's defenses, became the butt of snide comments from the magi of other chantries, who accused him of lacking faith in his powers to defend his covenant.
 
The   Tremere-Tzimisce   War

Still, such defensive measures proved prudent. Certain Transylvanians were less than pleased with the magi's encroachment on lands and villages they considered their own. The Tzimisce resented the chantries and punished the arrogance of House Tremere by making raids on their villages, on their supplies, and occasionally on the chantries themselves.

Although annoyed and at times frightened by the attacks, the magi were not unduly worried. Their magick held off the worst depredations without great harm to themselves or their chantries. They were able to ward the whole area in some cases, denying access to the Tzimisce and their ghoul servants. Embittered by their inability to drive House Tremere away, the Tzimisce vowed to find some way around the wizards' magic.
They finally got their chance. The Order of Hermes, in the year 1000, noted that reality itself was changing, disturbing the workings of magic as it did so. Investigation indicated that magic was dying, making the casting of great enchantments far more difficult (if at all possible) and destroying much of the vis on which the mages depended to help power their spells. With such a lack of power looming on the immediate horizon, mages were faced with the loss of their greatest gift — their immortality.

Tremere and his followers began experiments immediately, searching for some way to halt the inevitable change or at least to preserve their immortality. They tried rare herbs, parts of mythic beasts, virgins and even infant's blood, but were unsuccessful. Then Goratrix, reasoning that they had evidence of other immortal creatures in their midst, began studying the undead. He discovered the haven of a Tzimisce elder and, with Tremere's blessing, captured the creature.

Bound with strong chains and spells of binding, tortured with fire, threatened with an even more dire fate, but promised its freedom if it cooperated, the Tzimisce answered the questions Goratrix asked of him. When he believed he had learned enough, Goratrix forced the Cainite to Embrace two young, unsuspecting apprentices. Once changed, Goratrix made them prisoner and carried them back to Ceoris. He slew the Tzimisce.

The   Becoming

Many experiments later, Goratrix told Tremere he had discovered the secret of the vampyr's immortality. Tremere and six of his closest followers joined Goratrix at Ceoris, where they performed exhausting rituals. At the close of these rituals, the magi slaughtered the apprentices and drank their blood. They collapsed in agony as the magical transformation occurred. When they regained consciousness, they were immortal.

They were also Cainites.

Some were shocked; and some, like Etrius, were appalled. Tremere, however, philosophically accepted the change. Sending his followers back to their chantries, Tremere commanded them to begin slowly changing the rest of the House while keeping their natures hidden from the majority. Tremere, Goratrix and Etrius remained at Ceoris, learning what they could of Cainites, to better fit in with their new society. Etrius began to doubt Tremere. The pious mage was convinced that they had made a dreadful bargain in gaining immortality at the cost of their souls, and that Tremere had known it would
happen. Nevertheless, as Tremere's most faithful disciple, Etrius continued to support him.

The Tzimisce soon discovered that the hated Tremere had become Cainites. The Fiends allied with the Gangrel and Nosferatu, fearing that the wizards would move to gain complete control of Transylvania, and outraged that mere humans dared steal the Embrace rather than earn it. Together they attacked House Tremere's Transylvanian chantries, determined to destroy them. Magic was becoming unstable and undependable. Chantries that had thrown off attacks with ease now fell before the fleshcrafted servants of the Tzimisce.

As more and more covenants disappeared, the few survivors fled to the fastness of Ceoris — their one fortified chantry. Reeling from their losses, House Tremere faced another crisis from within. The Cainite members of the House were slowly spreading their curse throughout the covenants, yet certain magi suspected that something evil was happening.

Goratrix, ever impatient, argued for the immediate Embrace of all members of the House; Etrius, concerned with learning the limits of his powers and the extent of his magical abilities, counseled stealth and slow change. Opposition erupted into hatred and Etrius became the target of numerous magical attacks. Magi took sides, and war within the House threatened to erupt. Such animosities attracted the attention of other Houses in the Order, and House Tremere soon had to defend itself from charges of diabolism.

Tremere called the seven together to end the quarrels. Although they have vehemently denied it since that time, Tremere forced his seven followers to accept Blood Bonds to him, the first step in creating what would come to be known as the Tremere pyramid. With the internal disputes put aside, ifnot solved, Etrius left with Tremere to try to discover more about Cainite society.The magi within Ceoris, alone and under siege, turned their attention to war with the Tzimisce. Frantically searching for some way to protect the chantry, Goratrix sent out suicide squads to capture Tzimisce, Gangrel and Nosferatu.

His research was again fruitful. He learned how to craft a new type of creature from the captive Cainites after feverish experimentation. The tide of war began to turn after the unleashing of Goratrix's creations — the Gargoyles.

Hideously ugly and imbued with hatred for the Cainites from whom they had been created, the Gargoyles proved fierce and able servitors. The siege was broken, but the war continued, as each side made lightning raids by night and sent servants to battle one another by day. No quarter was asked or given, and the mortals caught pity in between.

Amaranth:   The   Slaying of   Saulot

Seeing the Gargoyles' success in dealing with the Tzimisce threat, Tremere and Etrius studied the beginnings of the Cainites. They discovered that each of the clans claimed descent from a progenitor, an ancient Cainite known as an Antediluvian. Further research revealed that drinking the blood of a vampire closer to Caine gave the imbiber the victim's strength and powers. Despite his misgivings about further blackening their souls, Etrius assisted Tremere in his research, miraculously uncovering the resting places of several of these sleeping ancients. In a series of adventures, Tremere and his disciples attacked and slew several resting Methuselahs, ancient Cainites that had existed since the world was young. In this manner, the fledgling vampires became close to Caine, and their newly developed blood magic increased in potency.

This was not enough for Tremere. He believed that assuming the powers of an Antediluvian (and thus, becoming on himself) would put his new clan of Cainites on an equal footing with the other clans, therefore, allowing them to take their place in Cainite society.

Accordingly, he chose Saulot — enigmatic founder of the strange and mysterious Salubri — as his victim in 1133. Though the elder seemed lightly guarded, Tremere gathered his seven assistants together and brought them to Saulot's tomb. Surprised by the lack of real resistance to their attack, they found Saulot's sleeping form within a great sarcophagus. Tremere leapt on him and began to drink. The Salubri founder barely fought, soon surrendering to the Amaranth and dying, apparently peacefully. When Tremere pulled away from the body, however, he saw that a third eye had opened on Saulot's forehead, an eye that peacefully gazed at the Antediluvian's murderer. Although none spoke of the third eye, Etrius found himself trembling with fear, for it had long represented the seat of all magical power. Tremere began slipping into long periods of slumber soon after this. Knowing he might be trapped in torpor in the near future, Tremere split his seven disciples and assigned each a portion of the world to oversee.

They were to be the guides and overseers of the new Clan Tremere, their first duty being the Embrace of the remaining House Tremere magi. Goratrix went to France, Meerlinda to the British Isles, and the rest spread throughout Europe. Etrius, the cautious and trustworthy one, was put in charge of the administration of Ceoris and Transylvanian affairs. Further, he was to become the guardian of the sleeping Tremere. Ever faithful, Etrius holds that position against the Tzimisce and their allies, even as the other members of the Order of Hermes begin to realize what their fellow magi have become.

That discovery lies just over the horizon. House Tremere's ruse will be over in 1201. The other Houses in the Order of Hermes will discover House Tremere's Cainite nature, and war with their former fellows will begin. It will not end for almost 80 years, when attrition from the Inquisition (whose attention is attracted due to the ongoing warfare) forces the cessation of hostilities.

The fortress of Ceoris serves as one of House Tremere's main chantries. Maintained under the pretense that the magi within are still human, the Cainites of Ceoris slowly carry out Tremere's commands and infect those still unchanged. Meanwhile, the war with the Tzimisce drags on and Ceoris must maintain itself. Ceoris has assumed an importance far beyond its original purpose in the wake of the war. Even now, enlargement of the mighty fortress and improvements to its defenses continue.

Ceoris must somehow accommodate the influx of magi fleeing destroyed chantries in the region while providing secure resting places for its Cainite inhabitants. Other improvements are also being made, such as turning Ceoris's caves into lairs for the Gargoyles; creating new laboratories for experimentation deep in the mountain, where the "unturned" will not stumble upon them; and providing a secure and warded area to hold Tremere's helpless form as it lies in torpor.
 
Although much of the chantry is finished, ongoing work makes it an ever-changing environment, one that few of the residents have fully explored. Interestingly, because most of the chantry lies underground, few of the magi ever have the chance to spend much time in the open air. This lends them a pallor that the Cainites among them take full advantage. Their pale faces don't stand out quite so much in this environment. Aside from their Cainite enemies (and the occasional foray by misguided Church emissaries who seek to destroy the "demon sorcerers"), the magi of Ceoris must keep an eye trained on Bulgaria and Constantinople, watching for attempts to conquer Them and their highly strategic stronghold. Additionally, though their main focus is on Cainite foes, the Lupine Sept of the Night Sky can prove to be a nuisance. Thankfully, the wizards' defenses have taught the werewolves to keep their distance.


The  Key  to  Power


Magi are inquisitive and scholarly folk who might stumble upon almost any information in the course of their studies. Therefore, no one has thought to question how Goratrix discovered a ritual that would grant mortals immortality by drinking Cainite blood. Drinking Cainite blood merely turns mortals into ghouls in most cases.

Drinking from the same Cainite three times enslaves the ghoul via the Blood Oath- How, then, did Goratrix invent a ritual that went so far beyond the usual effect? Furthermore, how did Tremere and his followers power such a ritual when magic was dying all around them?

When Tremere and Etrius discovered the resting places of various Antediluvians, how did they do so? Why had no other Cainites ever fell upon such knowledge and used it to their advantage?

The answer to both questions may lie with the source of Transylvania's powerful magic, the heart of the demon Kupala. The influence of the demon has spread madness and chaos throughout the region for centuries. Madness is sometimes accompanied by incisive thought and penetrating insight. Perhaps Kupala's heart triggered such revelations, gifting Tremere and Goratrix with knowledge they could have discovered nowhere else.

Are the Tremere mad, then, just as the Malkavians are? Or is the demon content that the' Tremere'S existence alone has spread chaos and warfare over the whole of Transylvania? Do the Tremere ultimately serve Kupala ? Or is Clan"Tremere ultimately destined to destroy the demon and assume its power for themselves? How many members/of the Usurper Clan even know of the demon's existence? And if most members know nothing about it, who will tell them?

48
Resources / Tzimisce Setting Info
« on: January 05, 2015, 06:55:24 pm »
Tzimisce's Childer

Tzimisce are not just the most numerous Cainites in Transylvania — they are arguably the most diverse as well. Between 20 and 30 members of this profane clan stake out their territory at any given time in 12th-century Transylvania. This is surprising — or indicative of the clan's current straits — for most Fiends are quite reluctant to Embrace new childer. Breeding revenants is far more efficacious. After revenant families have been dominated and exploited for centuries, their children are born with an inherent loyalty to their masters, which removes the need for the whole messy enterprise of gradually raising and educating a vampiric childe.

An entire estate of revenants can slave away in the shadow of a voivode's fortress for generations. This makes them promising candidates for the Embrace. However, a revenant servant typically does not receive his baptism of blood until it is evident that he desperately requires the Dark Gift. Defeating the most treacherous of their masters' foes sometimes requires enhanced powers and vampiric ingenuity. Only when this added edge is required is the servant buried alive to await rebirth.

Even more telling on the Tzimisce populace is the shocking warfare conducted between knezi (lesser landholders) and rival voivodes. Arrogant and power-hungry, voivodes make and break alliances as their passions seize them. Transylvanian knezi, in particular, are extremely territorial —- each considers himself to be the rightful master of his lands. Feudal Tzimisce typically enlist few allies, generally relying on Oath-bound childer, horrific creations and legions of fleshcrafted servants. War is brutal and primitive in Transylvania.

Their treatment of their mortal "serfs" is overly brutal as well, contrary to what the Fiends may believe. Tzimisce have always considered their human subjects to be little more than cattle. While the Fiends harbor a conceit that the mortals would perish without them, humans have begun to revolt against their hidden masters. Likewise, many Transylvanian Cainites ofother clans have come to believe that the prosperous Teutonic Ventrue, arrogant and insufferable as they are, would be preferable to the ruthless autocracy of the Tzimisce.

Frankly, the Tzimisce care tittle for such plotting. They are more concerned with stronger enemies — in particular, the Usurper Tremere. Where the Tzimisce are numerous but divisive, the Tremere are fewyet unified. The Usurpers exploit their fanatic loyalty, innovative magics, and bestial Gargoyles as they stage an overwhelming assault on the Fiends. The increasing tide ofbattle has necessitated a strengthening of the Tzimisce feudal system. Tzimisce lords have become more assertive in their rights to exploit the mortal populace of their domains as decade follows bloody decade. Despite appearances, however, the feudal system they created was not fully in place until the eighth century. Prior to those dark times, the most prosperous Fiends were more contemplative and introspective in nature.

The Metamorphosists

The earliest Tzimisce of Transylvania were spiritualists who practiced secret rituals. They meditated on the true nature of abomination in darkness, having long abandoned the ways of humans (a lesser race that seemed quite alien to them). The Fiends enacted their rites in stone sanctums, and the most elaborate temples were entrances to twisted labyrinthine shrines beneath the earth. These "Black Churches" are still extant in many portions of Transylvania and are a testament to the horrors of the past.

By day, the dark priests' servants would construct stone buildings above the soil. By night, massive multi-armed things would burrow tunnels beneath the ground. Vampire artisans completed what their servants began within these darkened shrines. Safe from the rays of the sun, master craftsmen erected asymmetrical stone walls. Sacrificial victims were crafted into walls of flesh in more elaborate temples. The Cathedral of Flesh near the Red Tower Pass is an excellent example of this aesthetic.

The ceremonies suited the environments well in which they were staged. Long before the cult of the Nailed God, long before warrior tribes invoked the names of Dagon and Baal, the most accomplished Tzimisce attempted to transcend the limitations of mortal clay. Reworking the structure of their bodies, they reshaped themselves to conform to their visions — or nightmares — of perfection. Those who were most impressive became objects of worship, and servile ghouls carved their likenesses into statues, which were later venerated as images of pagan gods.

Metamorphosists adopted more subtle methods of practicing their idolatry and defending their territories as the clan advanced. Constructing shrines beneath the earth was too primitive, a habit too similar to the ways of the Nosferatu. Elaborate stone churches served as cathedrals for Metamorphosist worship, and after monastic orders began to spread further into Transylvania, defiled Christian churches proved especially useful to the fiendish priests. In civilized portions of the Voivodate, Black Churches have since been reclaimed by the Christians, who generally remain unaware of what lurks beneath their surface. Although Christian services are practiced in these places, the land surrounding them is difficult to consecrate.

Some of the lesser shrines have fallen into disrepair, and the most primitive ones have been abandoned by the Tzimisce entirely. Other horrid things have taken the Fiends' place; Cults of sluagh, exiled Lupines who have succumbed to the madness of the Black Spiral, and escaped szlachta war ghouls all spawn in such places.

Rituals take the form of demented sorceries for more modern Metamorphosists. Dependence on a feudal estate is not so essential to them. They revile the primitivists who insist on using caves and churches. The most civilized seek out alchemical and mystical laboratories. Such sorcerers might control a small gathering ground resonant with tainted vis or other magical energies. Many are deeply obsessed with mystical pursuits, insisting that their studies are motivated by pure intellect.

In their modest domains, these Fiends avidly pursue insight, collecting vast libraries ofknowledge and amassing occult lore. The morality of humans means nothing to them, except as a limitation to be overcome. Other mystics quest in search of knowledge. As of late, more Tzimisce mystics have begun traveling from tirsa to tirsa to further their studies. Exchanging blood or favors for their services, they have become quite useful to the feudal lords of the clan. While their fanaticism garners them a certain degree of respect from any knezi they encounter, only a fool would fully trust them. Trust, after all, is a human weakness.

Mystics have a strong sense of where the land is tainted and they know the names of the spirits that corrupt the earth — the true names invoked by those who seek power. Calling to the ancient spirits of the soil, they can help or hinder the lords ruling over a domain. Crops wither and die at their bidding. The cattle and sheep of the fields give tainted milk and meat. Children and animals are born with hideous deformities. Thus, they command respect from the lords they encounter. Therefore, as times change and the Black Churches crumble, Metamorphosists evolve as well; one can expect no less from them.

Kupala's Night

The pagan ways are the old ways of the Earth, and sometimes Christians fear them with good reason. Just as there is light in the world, there is darkness, and during the festival of Kupala's Night, the force of darkness is undeniably strong. Tzimisce mystics and feudal lords often travel to the knezates of other respected rulers at this time, setting aside their feuds long enough to commune with the ancient spirits of corruption: the kupala. These spirits are the offspring of an ancient Slavic god of the same name — although Kupala's influence will be broken long before the 20th century, he is a force to be reckoned with in the 12th century.

Mortal pagans practice Kupala's Night on June 22nd. They also revere Kupala as a benevolent god. Tzimisce, of course, know both suppositions for the lies they are. The true rituals of Kupala's Night are performed on a different night each year. Only Tzimisce astrologers can discern the most efficacious day for performing the violent ceremony. The veil between the land offlesh and the realm ofspirit is easierto rend on this night, and those who revere the old ways can see the very taint of the earth. Horrible apparitions infect the land, and where the soil has been corrupted, the hideousforms ofthe kupala can be seen by moonlight. They thrash and gibber, contorting their bodies into impossible displays of physiological degeneration.

The land and the ruler are one, and so the Transylvanian Tzimisce show their reverence for the land by sharing their blood with each other and the earth. With the assistance of mystics, participants enact an ancient rite involving the sharing of blood, A silver cup containing the vitae of all in the ceremony
is passed around to be consumed and the last few drops are poured on the ground. This not only demonstrates their alliance, but it also fortifies them for the task at hand. The screams of the kupala stop as terror seizes the spirits.

Then the slaying begins. Vengeful Tzimisce distend their bodies and sharpen bloody claws. The spirits cry for mercy, yet none is given. Freely killing the maddening evil in the soil, the Fiends purify the land in obeisance to their ancient pact to protect it. Their fervor escalates into all-consuming frenzy much too often, and nothing in the vicinity is safe. By dawn, the madness fades and the evil of Kupala is weakened once again.

Hospitality is extended to guests who assisted in the reaving the following night. The truce between collaborators lasts long enough for travelers to return to their fiefdoms. in a week or two, the fierce fighting for control of the land renews, but by then, the greatest of the clan's enemies has been grievously wounded.

(On Kupala's Night, the Gauntlet in areas infected by
the kupala drops to 2. Tzimisce koldun enact a Level Five
Thaumaturgy or Koldunic Sorcery (see Libellus Sanguinis 1 :
Masters of the State] ritual allowing the Tzimisce to enter the
Penumbra and battle the spirits.)

Voivodes

More sophisticated Tzimisce disdain the primitive activities of the Metamomhosists. Why cower and creep in ancient crumbling temples like damned Nosferatu? Leave the caves to the lesser races — there's a world to be conquered. The churches and alchemical laboratories of the most advanced Metamorphosists are intriguing, to say the least, but there are more sacred (and profane) tasks to pursue. The feudal lords see their goal in unlife as far more noble: They protect and enrich the land itself.

By the dawn of the seventh century, Tzimisce nobles developed an extensive aristocracy throughout the Voivodate of Transylvania. By custom, the most esteemed Tzimisce voivode gained exclusive privileges over the human ruler of the region. Wherever a fortress could be built and maintained, a voivode would declare himself the master of the land and all who lived there. Lesser rulers maintained autonomy over smaller regions, still insisting on absolute rule and hunting rights. These overlords took the name of "knezi." In some regions, the Fiends employed different names for their rulers (as is the case in the territories of the margraves), but overall, the rulers of the largest fiefdoms saw themselves as princes.

As the seventh century gave way to the eighth, traditional territories were defined, and the names of dieir tirsas were established. This arrogant claim to land fostered the ferocious dispute between die Tzimisce and their Lupine antagonists, the Shadow Lords. The migration of tribes, which persisted long after the adoption of feudalism,was halted by the formation of the tirsas. The werewolves then unified to reassert their hunting rights.

By the account of the Tzimisce, humans followed the example oftheir masters. The boundaries of their domains (that is, knezates and tirsas) were far more open to dispute in the early nights. Even established territories could be challenged by upstart would-he voivodes. When two princes declared war, terrible battles were waged by moonlight. Trial by War was an accepted practice. War ghouls and belligerent revenants settled the disputes of their masters. Thus, the local peasants learned the tradition of barring all doors and windows at sundown and not venturing forth until the crowing of the cock at dawn.

Epic stories of territorial disputes have become matters of family pride over the last two centuries. In the 12th century, voivodes often keep small armies or the means to produce one in case of dispute. Like chivalrous knights in their honorable duels, they often define the parameters and "weapons" of a Trial by War beforehand. Smaller trials might require the destruction of one creature, while larger battles might mandate the decimation of an army, or even the voivode himself.

The strengthening of the revenant families also increased the dependence on fiefdoms. Breeding an entire family of revenant ghouls can take centuries, and once a family estate has been established, it becomes a valuable resource to those who maintain it. Many families have become extended enough that they serve several knezi, though a family's inbred loyalty to its lord and master prevents many members from leaving the shadow of the ancestral castle.
 
While the Tzimisce itself is exceedingly divisive, there is still a measure of respect between voivodes and knezi. The prince of a tirsa must also have the support of the voivode. He is nothing without his master's notice. He must swear fealty to his ruler. In exchange for his rights over the land, he must be willing to muster troops in times of war. There are additional conditions as well, such as the exquisite hospitality one knez extends to another and a knez's need to acquiesce to the will ofhis voivode in settling disputes.

There is also a pact between the ruler and his land. Some vampires say that if the mortals of a fiefdom suffer, the pact is fulfilled. Others say that as the taint of corruption in the land grows stronger, the countenance of the voivode grows darker. Eitherway, an undeniable bond exists between a Tzimisce and his domain. If a Tzimisce travels abroad, he must bring with him a small sample of the soil from his fiefdom. While he rests by day, he will thus be closer to the essence of the land he has pledged to protect. If he does not, he will grow restless and slowly weaken.

While the voivodes grow in power, some neonates realize that times are changing. Just as the Christian West threatens the dark places of the Earth, many peasants are on the verge of revolting against their unseen masters as they accept the religion of the Nailed God. Likewise, some young Fiends do not seek positions of feudal responsibility. These Cainite failures become bitter prophets of doom, insisting that the nights of the voivodes are near their end. They roam the dark woods in packs, preying on anything they can catch, inflicting their hatred on anything they can destroy, and hiding from the voivodes' justice.

Packs display curiously strong bonds of loyalty, and some have been known to form communal bonds of blood during the festival of Kupala's Night. Many packs have begun to pervert the rituals of this night, reserving their greatest atrocities and displays of rebellion for it against their elder. The worst of the packs speak Kupala's name in reverence, and perhaps one night they will spread their corruption to the rest of the clan. They reject the old ways and revile the old traditions.

This is an insult of the worst kind, as tradition is paramount to the elders. Despite the dissent of the embittered young, many of the beliefs of the 12th century will persevere into the 19th and 20th. The land lives or dies by the devotion of its protectors. The soil must be preserved at all costs, and the Tzimisce consider themselves the rightful defenders of the lands beyond the forest.

49
Resources / Geography (and the dangers inherent)
« on: January 03, 2015, 10:44:22 pm »
Like rare jewels strung on a necklace, the cities of Central and Eastern Europe tan out across the breadth of the continent. Linking East to West with their drunken spiderweb pattern, they serve as bastions of civilization — and hence, as refuges for Cainites — in a vast wilderland of barbarity. Most began as
outposts of Rome: garrisons or supply stations serving the soldiery of the far-flung empire, though they now evince the character of their Eastern conquerors. While they are accorded the courtesy of being named as cities, many are just emerging from their former states as barbarian encampments, villages and towns, and they are, consequently, in a condition of growth and change.

Beyond these enclaves lies wilderness: league upon league of steppes, plains, forests and mountains, broken here and there by crumbling relics of Rome's mighty, fallen empire. Remnants of old roads, bridges, and long-deserted outposts, a rusting weapon or a broken pot stand mute witness to Rome's withdrawal in the face of successive invasions. Some Cainites find themselves trapped within these ruins, besieged by Lupines who wait for them to step outside the confines of the walled fortresses.

A few hardy Cainites -— mostly Gangrel, Nosferatu and Ravnos — brave the endless trek through Eastern Europe's perilous wastelands. Most vampires conducting business outside their circumscribed spheres send mortal agents in their stead. Even Cainites native to the region travel with great care and surround themselves with heavily armed retainers when they must leave their strongholds. The sensible ones stay within their cities' protective grasp.

In the cities' stony walls, mortals have begun throwing off the shackles of oppressive feudalism while Cainites wage age-old feuds. Eastern pride battles Western arrogance as each struggles to assert itself. Treaties are made and broken in a year — or a night — as once-staunch allies turn to enemies and former foes offer alliance. Old enmities die hard in these uncivilized lands, however, and anyone who trusts a newly made ally is a fool. Mortals battle one another on religious and ethnic grounds. The children of Caine's hearts bum with vengeance for wrongs committed centuries ago and ache from jealousy, greedily desiring the riches and power of their neighbors. Dark passions overrule enlightened thought. Cainites who live beyond the embrace of the cities either band together for protection, as the Tremere do in their mighty chantry of Ceoris (see Chapter Six), or exist as many Tzimisce do — dominating several small settlements and villages as iron- fisted overlords. Such Cainites find themselves battling even more fiercely for the limited resources available. And so, while the veneer of civilization lies atop Eastern Europe, it never truly reaches within. Beneath the skin rests
the true barbarian heart, a savage soul as yet untamed and, perhaps, untamable.

Like many other regions, the territories here fell beneath the onslaught of the Roman legions. Always a civilizing force, the Romans built roads and established settlements in Eastern Europe just as they had in every other land they conquered. Why, then, is Eastern Europe so unknowable and savage?The answer is within the land itself.

Blessed with fertile plains, navigable rivers, abundant forests and majestic mountains, the lands of the East appear to be paradise. Beneath that rich beauty, however, lies a sickness that infects every inch of the land—even as it imbues the earth with a mystery and magic that drive successive waves of would-be conquerors to possess it at all costs.

Those who inhabit the lands seem to prosper for a while, but even the strongest eventually succumb to the miasma of corruption cloaking the earth. Somewhere beneath the Old Country's soil lies the midnight-black heart of the demon Kupala. Each beat of this mighty heart spews forth greater malignancy: hatred, bigotry, terror, unnatural desire, rage, corruption and infection.

As if the demon heart's presence alone did not subject the agonized earth to enough pollution, lesser minions (known as kupalas in honor of their master) overrun the region as well. Inhabiting certain trees, caves and natural formations, they reach out to strike at the unwary, infecting some, maiming others, gleefully killing when the mood takes them. It is not unknown for an entire village to fall prey to some unnamed plague or to simply disappear some dark night.

Not all depredations are committed by the region's bloodsuckers; even Cainites fear what they don't understand and have no way to fight- However, the Cainites feel safe within sheltering walls. Locked in secure havens, occupied with elaborate schemes and political maneuvering, consumed by thirst, Caine's childer play out their games of dominance. They simply prefer to ignore the creeping malignancy beyond the walls. It puts their minds to rest, and many believe it's safer that way.


50
Vampire The Masquerade / Calendar
« on: January 03, 2015, 07:30:08 pm »
The following (shamelessly taken with BZ's permission) is a calendar detailing the progression of time through our vampires' lives. A report on the dates of important activities will also be added.

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