entrance haven library atrium cellar catacombs aperitif

natuerlich kann ich eine handgranate halten

Per me si va nella citta dolente,
per me si va nell'eterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore:
fecemi la divina potestate,
la somma sapienza e il primo amore.
Dinanzi a me non fur cose create
se non eterne, ed io eterno duro:
lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.


the masquerade

the vampire chronicle I am currently storytelling:

location: Essen
time: 1998 (we're slow, discussing hours and hours about everything)
setting: Chicago by Night 1st ed. (Prince Lodin now resides in Germany)

    Rico (Gerhard), a guitar playing Toreador who has just joined a Vampire band and likes to intrigue among the Toreador of Essen. He is already getting famous among the clubbers of Essen for his daring stunts.
    Flash (Daniel), a journalistic Toreador from London, where his wife lives: a beautiful Lasombra who is planning to visit her chief correspondent in Germany soon. During fights he prefers to take pictures with his camera instead of aiding his friends fight the Sabbat.
    Winston (Alex), a B-movie star Nosferatu from L.A. and his pet Mr.Pink (a rat). The only one who knows anything about uh fighting has just made friends with a group of Gangrel.
    Wahnfried (Patrick), a Malkavian light technician at the opera of Essen and by the way: he is afraid of the dark (and especially those pesky Lasombra)
    Hagen (Jan), a Tremere businessman whose Sire has vanished and who has a special talent for Leadership! (Seems like he is retiring, maybe replaced by a Gangrel named Hoshi :) )
    Lars (Psycho), a swedish Tremere security guy from Vienna and with a secret agenda; famous quote: "Now that I have my kevlar body armor I can die happy!" and so he drove off into the sunrise (with the last functioning motorbike).

This chronicle is staged in Essen, Germany, but it is based on Chicago by Night First Edition.

The players again, order of appearance in Essen: Rico (Toreador), Flash (Toreador), Winston (Nosferatu), Hagen (Tremere, retired), Wahnfried (Malkavian), Lars (Tremere, retired). Plus tons of NPCs from CbN and more.

As we have started to play this chronicle about a year ago I will try to remember as many things as possible but I guess only in the end I will be able to entertain (hopefully) with a lot of details.

Abstract, quick what has happened so far?

Rico, Flash, Winston and Hagen all somehow meet as they exit a train from Frankfurt to Bochum. Great mystery how they all managed to take the same train. They are all neonates. Somehow they manage to be invited to a first of May party the prince of Bochum, Marius, is having. (The 2nd Ed. Intro story). It follows Ashes to Ashes, during the course of which they meet Lars and Wahnfried, and they even save the Prince, whom I called Olivier instead of Lodin. As a result they are the heroes and get to go to Annabelle's big party. There some Toreador is murdered obviously by an Assamite. The murder remains a mystery but Fakhr, an Assamite (!), asks them to steal some scrolls for him from a Museum. Here comes the famous "and how do we get weapons"-episode. There are a couple of quiet days for the characters and then someone gets the scroll before them while they are just about to steal it. Well they follow the hints and find a whole bunch of Sabbat on the outskirts of the town. Luckily they brought enough troops to kill everything that smells remotely of Sabbat, which they promptly do.

It is unbelievable that it took us about a whole year to play maybe a month or so in gametime. But I guess that is because at the end of a story I always have this cool idea how to use this story to get them hooked on the next one. So things happen one after another and we never get far during a session anyhow because somehow the players like to discuss things way too much.

Files and handouts I have made for the game (I think I made more but I must first find it in order to put the stuff here): NPC Biographies: Eleni and Arul; Handouts and reminders: the Traditions, basic disciplines 2nd ed., list of vampires in essen (a file the players found on the prince's computer).

23 - for lack of creativity rather than paranoia

meeting strange new people

The players - Flash, Rico, Winston and Hagen - meet in Bochum. There they are invited to a small party Marius the Prince is having: Bochum is a small city with only a few vampires. During the short time the players spent there, Hagen managed to get himself bloodbound to Marius!

April 30st

At this party a beautiful woman from the closeby Essen makes an appearance. Marius and she seem to be friends but she brings a message that the players have to present themselves to the Prince of Essen in order to be allowed to stay in the area. Which they promptly plan on doing a couple of days later.

how to become a super hero

When they get to Essen it turns out that somehow the Prince - Sir Olivier - has vanished leaving no trace and few clues. ---- Insert Ashes to Ashes here ---- The players manage to save the Prince meeting Wahnfried and Lars on their way. Lars decides that he needs to lower his generation and diablerizes the Sheriff of Essen during a small "discussion" on methods and stuff :) Because the players save the Prince the Diablerie is well uhm tolerated, better yet: overlooked. The Prince was quite glad he got rid of the Sheriff.

the party chez Annabelle

Sunday, May 7th

Because the players are just the talk of town and some kind of heroes, they are even invited to the social event of the month: Annabelle's Party. I think they were all excited to go there maybe except this certain Tremere with the black streaks in his aura - he decided that it would be better to stay away from this Party with all these Toreadors. Rico and Flash even rented a limo for the evening. Nice as they were they even took Wahnfried along who promptly thanked them by stealing the driver's cap. Eventually they all arrived more or less on time. As everyone else they are greeted by the host: Annabelle. Then they get to meet most of the Toreador's of Essen and even some that are there only for the night to be seen at Annabelle's party. They meet Eleni and her childe Arul (go read the story!), two old Toreador from America. There are several from neighboring cities as well.

There are a couple of performances by some friends of Annabelle's. The whole party runs very smooth, the performances are flawless and everyone enjoys themselves or so it seems. Annabelle is content with her party and herself.

Eleni starts talking to the players in order to get them to help her. She wants to make peace with her old enemy and needs somebody to get her enemy - Annabelle - to talk to her at all. Through some friends she had obtained an invitation under great difficulties and now all she needs is a mediator. Eleni seems quite sympathetic and so Rico and Flash agree to talk to Annabelle. All of a sudden though things start to go wrong. One of the guests - a Toreador violinist - is murdered obviously by an Assamite. The only known Assamite who was at the party - Fakhr - has already left hours ago. Arul tells Eleni the truth about himself just as Hagen has the idea to use his Thaumaturgic powers to find out if there is still an Assamite among the guests. Of course it takes little time to identify Arul as such. Arul tries to flee but the players hunt him down. He is interrogated thoroughly by the Prince and the Primogen later and it turns out that he hasn't killed the other vampire!

trying to steal

the famous grenade episode:

faster than the players

everybody needs somebody to kill

the reward

Thursday May 11th After a nights rest the PCs wake up. They have been summoned to the Prince supposedly to receive some reward for protecting the city from those Sabbat invaders. It is 8:30p.m.. They are supposed to go to the Museum at 10p.m. there the Prince will hold the audience. Sabrina goes off to hunt (she really goes back to the factory to search for her uncle's ring, the one Winston took!), she returns quickly and is rather angry because she thinks that the PCs must have stolen the ring. She keeps fussing about it even on the way to the Museum. She goes there with Flash and Rico and in front of the museum they meet Winston and Wahnfried. Oh and Flash went to put _some_ money into the bank through a contact.

The museum is dark though, noone is there. They are just starting to get suspicious that the letters they received might not have been from the Prince, when a man in a dark suit walks up to them and asks them to follow him: he says that he is sorry but the audience had to be moved to some other place and they he will bring them there. In the meantime Sabrina is freaking out because of the ring. Oh and Winston is trying to look like the deceased bishop but he doesn't do so well and so Rico and Wahnfried recognize him still.

A black limo brings the players to a large villa in a much nicer part of the city where they have never been before. They are ushered in by some bodyguards or maybe just servants who knows to whom this house belongs? Through a nice atrium and a long floor they are brought into some kind of waiting room. The furniture is sparce but looks quite old and expensive. There are a couple of fascinating oil paintings on the walls. There are high windows to one side, another door the second and a huge fireplace on the third wall of the room.

There are two other people waiting here. A slightly obese black man in a dark suit who seems to be in his early 40s and is accompagnied by another man who is a little taller and wears an even darker suit. They both look a little nervous and the taller one keeps talking into a small cassette recorder and making notes all the time. He seems to be watching the PCs.

Sabrina is trying to start talking to him even though he is not quite as good-looking as Flash and Wahnfried. She asks what he is doing here and if he knows a lot of vampires in Essen. The guy reacts rather strangely brabbling something about some kind of disease he caught and how he needs to find out more things before he can say anything for certain. All of a sudden though, he asks her if she wants to spend the night with him. A rather obvious attempt to dominate her (which doesn't work! >:->).

Introducing Horst Naumann (PC: Tremere, 8th gen., Dominate 2): "You sure do want to spend the night with me!" Nevertheless Sabrina prefers to let him believe it worked and agrees to go out with him not realizing that he really even means a little more (Horst does not believe in Vampires) with "spending the night" than just going out.

Horst and his Sire are summoned into the other room by another servant. The Prince is waiting there for them. There are several other people in the room: several bodyguards of course, an ugly and fat old mafiosi who looks like he owns the place (and probably does), two man in suits who are discussing some serious matter, something about a club. The Prince, obviously him, is sitting on a couch and next to him a beautiful young woman who seems to be daydreaming or watching some imaginary butterflies, whatsoever?

His Sire presents Horst to the Prince, reciting his lineage. There are a few formalities about the Masquerade and such during which his Sire keeps throwing grave looks that say "Do not say a thing! Do not mention the disease!" to Horst. Everything goes well and the Prince asks the two to wait and see how he rewards those that have served him well (this time!) - as a lesson for the neonate.

The Prince gives quite a selfish reward to the characters: they get to keep the factory and they finally get their own hunting grounds. So now the Sabbat will have difficulties to move back in there. The Prince even offers them that Neally will help them make the necessary contacts to get the house renovated.

Wahnfried: "Oh cool, I get to move out from home. Oops and what do I tell my mommie?"
Winston: "I really do not want to live together with these people. ... I get a room in the basement!"
Flash and Rico: "Cool. Our own house! We need to get rid of the apartment now."

Then Sabrina presents herself to Prince reciting her surprisingly short lineage and asking permission to stay in the city for a while to find out what happened to her uncle (and Sire). The Prince asks her where she plans on staying?

Flash: "Oh she can stay with us, sure!"
Horst: "Sabrina can come with me, uhm she will by the way!"

For now it is not quite clear who will "get" her eventually, but one can be sure that things will work out fine in the end. At this moment the Nosferatu, Winston, decides to make his funny move of the evening and gives the ring he found to the Prince as a present. Sabrina can barely keep from frenzying when she sees who had it and never told her on the way to the Prince. He is nice though and gives the ring to her, after all she is the only one - probably - for whom this ring is of any worth.

The players decide to go visit their new "home" while Horst and Sabrina go out to the Succubus Club. Once they have arrived, a big tohuwabohu occurs and everyone is yelling: "This will be my room!" Except Winston: "This will be Mr.Pink's room!" Wahnfried decides to call his mom and tell her that he moves out.

Wahnfried: "Hi Mom. I want to move out."
His Mom: "You cannot just move out, what are you thinking?"
Wahnfried: "But I already have. Bye bye, nice talking to you!"

Later Sabrina gets Horst to go to the Factory with her, this is just female dominance not Dominate. They just arrive when the others find a bunch of prisoners the Sabbat kept in one of the buildings as fresh food supply. They free them and tell them that they are Police (Winston would prefer to keep using them as food?) and that they will all be required to leave their adresses so they can be contacted. Flash and Rico are very convincing and thus the frightened prisoners are simply sent home.

The next day: Friday May 12th

Sabrina who stayed with Flash of course wants to go to the Succubus Club again because she liked it the other night. She says she wants to take along the funny guy who does not think he is dead but has a disease: so they call Horst and tell him to come to the Club at 10p.m.. Horst is a little late: he had to try out his new microscope and read the book about medecine he ordered.

The others notice that today there is a Smashing Pumpkins concert at the basement stage of the club and they are all excited to get in and impatiently waiting for Horst. There are lots of people in front of the club all waiting to get in.

(now here comes an idea I stole of the mailing list because it just fit in so well:) All of a sudden they notice - too late - that on the roof of one of the neighboring buildings there is a sniper aiming for Flash who is hit in his right shoulder milliseconds later. Another few seconds later one can already hear the sirens of the police and the emergency car. While Sabrina stays with Flash, Rico, Winston and Wahnfried run off to find out who shot their friend.

Wahnfried uses the fire stairs to climb to the roof. There he finds a handy and a small package of white powder. When he presses redial he sees that the last number called was the police! He returns to Rico who is equally surprised about the Handy. There were no saved numbers in it besides the Police and a few numbers in Vienna(?). Rico thinks that the white powder must be cocaine. So Wahnfried goes off to deal the stuff to somebody and get some freshly drugged blood (I should really make him an addict!). About half an hour later he is a thousand marks richer and a lot more stoned than before.

But what is happening to Flash and Sabrina? Flash is trying to be really wounded, lying on the floor moaning. His moaning becomes real when he is approached by a priest who wants to help him. Sabrina tries to get the priest to go away. The police and a doctor have arrived and Flash is being put on a stretcher. Horst arrives sees the mess and decides to return to his studies. Sabrina has told the police that she is Flash's wife and that she will accompany him to the hospital. Wahnfried is busy getting stoned, Rico is still searching for the sniper guy - unsuccessfully. So what is Winston doing?

Winston is carrying out his Masterplan.

He ran to the emergency car kicked out the driver and used his obfuscate to (this time really) look like the driver. Luckily the doctor wants to go to a different hospital and gives him directions except that Winston is not planning on arriving there ever. In the back Flash has just gotten a call on his handy from Rico. Rico is talking to the doctor, telling him that he is a great doctor himself and that he will come to the hospital to treat his most important patient himself. Not that anyone thinks it is funny that this "doctor" knows that Flash has been shot. So Rico is now on the way to the Marienkrankenhaus not knowing of the Masterplan.

Winston has managed to look like the driver, too bad he does not manage to drive like the driver though. In the end he purposefully runs into a lantern, knocks the other guy in the front unconscious and goes to the back where everyone is panicking. He opens the rear doors of the car.

Sabrina: "What has happened you idiot of a driver, we need to get to the hospital quickly!"
Winston: drops his Obfuscate.
Everyone except Winston: screams.
Winston and Sabrina: knocking the doctor and the other guy unconscious, too.
Winston: "Let's get away from here I know a way through the sewers to the factory.
Flash: "Eeewwwhhh, I will not ruin my nose down there."
Sabrina: "I guess we will."

So they make it back to the Factory safely. There they meet Wahnfried - hallucinating/being stoned - whom Rico brought there before driving to the Marienkrankenhaus. At the hospital Rico finds out that the car in which Flash was transported had an accident and that there has been no contact to the car and that they do not know where it is and that they fear the worst. For Rico this sounds quite good, as it signifies that Flash and Sabrina and Winston have managed to get away somehow. He excuses himself and says he will go off to search for his patient: not quite so difficult for him :)

(this is what I prepared on one sheet of paper and we did not even finish what I planned!!!!)

Author: S|S