Danse de la Mort

The Call of Power
Dox's Story

A Night with Nathaniel

Dox is easily able to arrange a meeting with Nathaniel at his new apartment; he doesn’t leave much anymore. Upon arriving, he buzzes Dox in and leaves his apartment unlocked so he can enter. Reaching, his apartment Dox hears him call from the living room, “Come in my . . . son, how can I help you tonight?”

Entering the living room Dox replies, “Hey, um… I was just hoping to maybe talk to you a little alone. Sire to Child as it were, last time we met things got a little heated with everyone else.” Taking a comfortable seat near his Sire Dox goes on, “I was hoping that maybe you would be able to explain to me better the details on Vampire life, until now I have not had anyone to really ask and those I have spoken with have only given me brief fragments of knowledge. Specifically I would like to learn more about the politics of city, and how someone can move up in those circles. And I was also curious about blood bonds and the exact power of our unique blood.”

Unable to conceal his excitement over having this much influence over his childe, Nathaniel replies, “Whoa, whoa, slow down there kid, that is a whole lot of questions, and dawn is coming in seven or eight hours. Why don’t we take it a step at a time? What would you like to know first?”

“Well I suppose I would first like to know a little more about our bloodline. As far as I know you’re the only other Ventrue I’ve met and I want to know exactly what that means. I’ve also noticed that Vampires seem to have special powers yet not all clans are created equally. To be honest Edward is the only one in my group who I’ve seen use such a power, and it was very different from the ones I’ve experienced in myself.”

“Ventrue? Clans? Powers?” He mutters, still looking a little flustered from this deluge, “Yeah, yeah, lets start there, clans. Oh, and it’s Kindred, not vampires, well it is vampires, but the V-word is kind of a dirty word, you know?” He says, smiling and tapping his nose.

“Now where, ah yeah, thank you, clans, Ventrue.” He makes a gesture like jazz hands and says in deep singsong voice, “The Lords.” Laughing at the pretense he continues, “ If any one clan could claim this city it’s the Ventrue, we hold all, well most, many of the positions of power, starting with the Prince, Vidal. One of the Primogen, you know, like Miss Opal, is a influential Ventrue as well, Gabriel Hurst. And then there is that dick, Pierpont McGinn, that claims the Invictus Inner Circle as his own, or some such like that

“Okay, okay, thats only a few big names,” he says, seeing Dox about to interrupt, “but get this, no agreement about domain, territory, or feeding rights in this city can happen without being witnessed by a Sanctified Priest. Minor as the position is, most Priests in this city are, you guessed it, Ventrue, making us one of the most influential clans in the city.”

Removing his sunglasses Dox leaned back in his chair. In his life he had never aspired for much, being satisfied living on his computer and in his fiction, but since his death a lust for power had grown within him, things started to make some sense at last. “That is a lot of ambition to live up to. How do the politics of the city work anyway? How would one start to climb the kindred ladder?”

“Well, you’ve made a good start. Ingratiate yourself on the right people, make connections, network.” He continues, “Learn what you can about everybody you can. Collect favors, but try not to owe them, they will always cost more than you can imagine, but then again, owing the right kindred a favor maybe just the in you need to catch their attention.

“I’d like to offer some more advice kid, but your Requiem could last a hundred years and you still wouldn’t know all the ins-and-outs of Kindred politics.”

With a flash of anxiety showing across his face at the prospect of Kindred politics, an area Dox suspects this formerly slick business man has found himself less than fully successful, Nathaniel swings the conversation back towards the Ventrue, “So you asked about powers, I’m guessing its not about how tough you’ve become, we Ventrue can truly toughen up, I’m guessing you learned to control minds? Tell me is it just animals or have you been able to affect peoples minds? Me I can take control of a person’s mind for a whole night if I want to. Futs with his memory a little, but nothing like what I’ve seen some Kindred do. . . when you go to see Mr. Matheson you’ll meet his servant James, major mind rewrite, I don’t think he’s the same person he use to be.” wanting to move on from Becky Lynn’s still elusive sire, he continues, “If you’re strong enough, you can possess people’s very bodies. Though I didn’t know it, that was how I would first meet my sire, Lord Ruthven.”

A shadow passes across his features, “I have also learned some talents not typically associated with the Ventrue, great speed, and more interestingly, great presence, allowing emotional influence over another. They are talents I learned from a Daeva. If you are interested I could instruct you in their use?”

Dox’s smile widened at the prospect of such potential, the gears of his mind excitedly whirring. “I would love for you to teach me what you know, especially the thing with the great presence. That in particular sounds very useful.” Dox’s paused for a moment and rethought his original plan, it would seem that Nathaniel might be of use. “As for my own power, I feel it growing. I have been able to control minds, I was even able to give Becky Lynn’s parents fake memories. Although I must confess that as my powers have grown I feel like I have been losing touch with who I used to be, I don’t even blink an eye when I kill someone anymore.” Shaking his head Dox pushed away the concerning thought, not for the first time. “One more question, we were given permission to perform diablerie on our Sire’s when we found them. Don’t worry, I’m not asking so I might try on you, I was just interested in what it was, and what exactly it means to perform such an act.”

“Per-permission, eh?” He starts, barely concealing a flash of fear, “Well, it’s just feeding on a Kindred until they’re destroyed. A great sin and taboo, as you can guess, heavily forbidden. I’m glad you’ve enough foresight and control to resist such a temptation. . . no doubt the Prince is testing your character by offer such a temptation for so little reward!”

Hopping up Nathaniel heads to the kitchen and pulls out a cheap looking wine glass from his mostly bare cupboards, “Ba-ba-but you wanted me to teach and enlighten you, yes! Unfortunately the discipline of Majesty is no talent of ours, in order for a Ventrue to learn the mysteries of Majesty you must first experience it as if you were using it.” Switching to an authoritative tone as he returns to the couch, “The downside is you must taste my blood if you wish to learn it. Are you willing to give it a try?

Dox hesitates for a moment. His knowledge of kindred blood and of his own abilities, ones surely Nathaniel shared, warned against tasting his Sire’s blood. The temptation of power however proved to be the stronger. “If that really is necessary then I suppose I shall try but I think it only fair that you also taste some of my own blood.”

“Wha, well that really isn’t necessary, but if you insist I suppose…” He quickly bites his wrist and pours a small draught of vitae into the the wine goblet, “Add yours and then we taste.”

Still feeling doubts about tasting his Sire’s blood, Dox’s mimicked the biting motion and added his own vitae to the goblet. With his addition to the liquid Dox’s looked up to his Sire unsure the next step.

“Okay, now take a good swallow and then give it a moment for the vitae to flow through your system, you will get a sense of my experiences and perceptions wash through you, latch onto those and let them guide you as I begin your lessons.” He elaborates with an expression of anticipation, “it will take time to learn, but this is a necessary first step.”

Dox took the goblet and raised it in the air in toast, then brought the red liquid to his lips. It was still warm and he could feel Nathaniel’s experiences, just as he described, pool within him. He closed his eyes as it washed over him and as he opened them again he felt a strange admiration for his Sire that hadn’t been there previously.

“Alright, now what?”

Given no objections, Nathaniel begins instructing his childe in the use of the Majesty Discipline for the rest of the night, elaborating on its various uses and feelings, and the knowledge that must be unlocked before Dox can utilize it.

As the hours pass, Dox is enraptured by the new knowledge and experiences he has gained. And although his mind drifted away from the half full glass of Vitae cooling on the side table, he never forgot about it.

The Phone Call outside of Corpus Christi Church

Retreating to the shadows Dox flipped open his phone and quickly dialed Nathaniel’s number. His inability to feed was deeply troubling and he only really trusted one confidant for advice. It was not long before Nathaniel answered the phone, but before pleasantries could be exchanged Dox, working hard to keep the concern out of his voice, quickly spoke into the mouth piece.

“I have a very serious problem. I haven’t been able feed properly this night, should I be worried?”

With a note of concern Nathaniel replies, “Can you elaborate on how you’re struggling? Are, are you having trouble finding prey? Are you still struggling not to kill your prey? Ha-have you found some prey . . . unsatisfying, um, ah, unfulfilling?” His voice cracking a little with on the last question.

Feeling somewhat embarrassed but still concerned Dox replied. “I haven’t had any problems finding prey or killing. The blood just doesn’t… satisfy as it once did. Even those I’ve drained dry provided little. Have you ever heard of this before?”

“I, ah yes, some Kindred have difficulty feeding from their prey in this way.” He say tentatively, “It, ah, could be that they don’t have what, what it is you need. You have pushed yourself and the curse is pushing back, being Kindred comes with many strengths and boons, but it also comes with banes, else we wouldn’t call it a curse in the first place. Have you found prey that you can feed on since this started happening?”

Dox took a moment and remembered each of the victims he had fed on that night, the hooker, the man in the alley, and the junkie. “Their was this woman, high on cocaine, that I managed to get some vitae from. I had told her that I was going to drink her blood.”

“Well that could be helpful, feeding from the junkie was like feeding before this happened? If so, try to narrow it down, it could be anything that this junkie has that no one else had, it could be women or girls that you need to feed from, drug users, blue eyes, brown hair, hairy palms, anything,” he says incredulously,”something you need, ha, knowing you its probably something silly like knowledge, her knowing what you are or are going to do, but that sounds really esoteric, probably going to be something materialistic like alcohol or drugs…”

“hmm…” Dox poured over the details of the feeding, “I’m going to try and feed again before sunrise. Thanks for the advice.”

“Yeah, no problem kid. Is there anything else I can help with?” He asks with a little more confident now that the subject has shifted away from feeding problems. “Yeah, this should be no biggy, you’ll figure it out.”

“That’s it for now, but I think I’d like to visit you sometime soon. Perhaps you could show me some of those other disciplines you described.”

“Absolutely, I’ll talk to you later.”

“Yup, see you.” Snapping the phone shut Dox shook off his concerns temporarily and followed his coterie inside the church. Hopefully he would still have time later that night to try feeding again.

Feeding After the Death of Lucas Gates and the Few Events Following

The sun was about to rise and the hunger burning in Dox’s veins was becoming unbearable. The most recent evolution of his curse left him desperate in those waning hours. Walking back to his apartment he scanned the streets before him with an ever increasing panic. The streets were nearly empty as early morning approached, and Dox’s had nearly resigned himself to wait for the next night before feeding when finally he spotted a man swaying slightly as he drank from a bottle obscured by a brown paper bag. The beast roared within him, and it took all Dox had to resist its call, he could not afford another failed feeding. He stuffed his shaking hands deep into his pockets and approached him as coolly as he could manage in his near frenzied state. Remembering Nathaniel’s advice Dox decided that perhaps drugs were somehow the key to feeding, Nathaniel himself often fed from drunk individuals without issue. The man looked up from the bottle, one eye closed.

“Hey friend.” the man stumbled against the wall of the alley raising his concealed bottle in greeting.

“Hi.” Dox replied darkly, eyes focused on the throbbing veins beating beneath the drunkard’s exposed skin. “I need to drink some of your blood.”

The man doubled over with laughter for a moment before briefly throwing up. Standing again and clearing the vomit from his lips he looked at Dox whose serious expression had not changed. Stupidly blinking, the man struggled to understand what exactly Dox had said before finally reaching a conclusion. “You want to drink my blood?”

“Yes.” Dox said coldly, his hunger almost getting the better of him.

“No way man, that’s sick!” The drunkard’s expression turned to disgust and he walked deeper into the alley away from Dox.

The hunger was too much now, and with his prey stumbling away Dox let the monster free. Walking fast with determination he approached the man, trench coat billowing around his ankles, and took him hard by the shoulders. Without hesitation Dox’s sunk his fangs deep into the man’s neck and began to drink the alcohol infused blood. He could feel the blood trickle down his throat but the hunger did not subside, frustrated he tore harder at the man’s throat claiming each red drop that spilled from the wound. Finally some vitae was obtained before the man fell limp from Dox’s arms.

“Holy Shit!” A young woman’s voice exclaimed from behind Dox. He turned and saw her sitting crosslegged and wide eyed on a bed of cardboard boxes. Her clothes were punk and her eyes were a startling silver, sitting beside her was an overfilled backpack. Dox sighed, resigned to killing another innocent, but it was then that the alcohol from the drunkard hit him.

“Hey Mr. Vampire, your secret is safe with me, don’t need to kill me or anything.” The girl said quickly standing up, slinging the heavy bag onto her shoulders.

“How about you let me have some of your blood.”

The girl looked around Dox at the dead man, “Yeah, how do I know I won’t look like that.”

“You don’t” Dox answered exposing his fangs with a mischievous smile. “But you know I will kill you if you don’t let me have some.”

“Right.” The girl bit her lip and looked Dox up and down, “Um… How do we do this?”

Dox walked up close to the girl and, as gently as he could, let his fangs pierce her neck. The sweet blood that flowed from her was the most satisfying he had had all night, and he struggled to pull away before any real harm came to the girl. With a careful lick of his tongue the small wounds were erased and he pulled away. She looked somewhat startled to find herself still alive and a sassy smile replaced the look of concern he had last seen on her face.

“That wasn’t so bad.” She said with a smile then her eyes grew wide again and she asked gleefully. “Vampire’s are real?”

Dox nodded, “We call ourselves Kindred.”

“Ok, but if that’s the case aren’t you supposed to be more secretive or something? I mean, look at how you’re dressed, you’re definitely a Vampire.”

Dox frowned. “You need to drink my blood.” He cut open his wrist then and offered it to her.

“What? Why? What happens if I drink Vampire blood? Are you making me into a Vampire?”

“No… I just…” Dox paused, unsure how to proceed. He needed to erase her memory, she couldn’t be allowed to know the truth, and enough innocents had been lost that night. “I just want you to experience the power of my vitae, in return for letting me feed on you.” the lie seemed obvious to Dox, but the girl seemed to believe him as she took his arm and with an unsure expression drank some of his blood. The experience was a strange one and as Dox focused on the girl he felt something pass between them, but he was not sure what. As she pulled away the girl gasped from the intensity of the experience a little blood still dripping from her open mouth.

“That was amazing!” She panted still somewhat breathless. “You can feed on me anytime you want as long as I can do that again!”

“Anytime?” Dox asked, he considered the usefulness of the offer, especially if feeding was going to continue to be difficult.

“Oh yeah! Wow, I feel like I can leap tall buildings in a single bound!” She beamed at Dox, then suddenly extended a hand, “I’m Cassy.”

“Dox.” He replied absentmindedly still considering the idea, he could erase her memory should she become a problem. Down he recalled the bed of cardboard he had found her sitting in. “How will I find you again?”

“Oh…” She bit her bottom lip her eyes shot upwards as she thought for a moment. “I don’t really have a place of residence at the moment.”

“You’re homeless.”

“No just in the market, I just haven’t found anything that screams me yet.”

“Do you have a cell phone?”

“No…” She said slowly sensing Dox’s disappointment.

Sighing again Dox found himself back at his original conclusion, it would be better to keep her close anyway. “You can stay at my place, for now.”

“But don’t you live in like a crypt or something? Sleep in a coffin, all that jazz?”

“No, pop culture has some things right, but not everything. Follow me.”

Dox’s apartment was not far and soon Cassy found herself looking in at Dox’s home.

“Charming, were you a computer geek or something before?”

“I am a computer hacker.” Dox growled a little, as he sat down on his bed. “Don’t let any sunlight in, or you won’t taste my or any other Kindreds blood again, understand.”

Cassy nodded. “What am I supposed to do while you sleep?”

“I have some books on the shelf you can read and the couch is comfy if you want to sleep. I guess you can leave if you want but if you’re not back here by nightfall I will find you.”

“Got it Master.” Cassy replied sarcastically. “Have a good sleep or whatever. Do you guys dream?”

“Yes.”

“Sweet dreams Dox.” She said playfully as she pulled a random book from the shelf and began leafing through it.

The pull of sleep was becoming stronger, but Dox stayed awake as long as he could watching the girl as she looked around his apartment. She could be very useful to him, and if she was also affected by the blood bond as a Kindred would be then he could definitely see the uses in keeping her around. There was not enough time left in the night but tomorrow he would find out exactly what happens when a mortal drinks the vitae of a Kindred.

View
Behind the Veil of the Nightmare II
A night of defeat and of resolve…

A night of defeat and of resolve…
The night in question, the night of insightful infamy occurred a few days after our visit to the Matheson estate. It was the night that destiny had appointed for us to find Lukas Gates.
Between our visit to the Matheson Estate and the night in question, Tina called me and described a call between Becky-Lynn and Dox, where Becky-Lynn made Dox swear to use his powers to make me forget everything, to wipe my memory clean. I hope that Dox remembers first our agreement to not use our abilities on each other. I will watch him carefully, but will not act, Becky-Lynn was emotional and it’s possible that Dox was merely trying to calm her. Whenever Dox used his powers on Becky-Lynn’s parents, he stared into their eyes, perhaps some kind of eye contact is required. Avoiding his gaze in a critical moment may save my mind.

After the group decided that tonight we were going to search for Lukas in earnest, I decided I would stick with Tina no matter what the night brought. It started with Tina’s rather direct style of questioning. We got a useful lead, the location of a recent violent attack. We went and investigated, but after our encounter with the street walker, Dox seemed ill at ease as if a mix of fear and frustration. I did not know why, but Dox was not my focus for the night and as long as Dox was off his game I would not have to worry much about his powers.

We found the ally where the attack took place, it was clearly a violent assault. Tina seemed to immerse herself in the area then suddenly like an epiphany she headed from the alley with clear intent, she must have sensed her sire. Soon though it was time for Dox and Jack to head out to meet with Becky-Lynn and Savoy back in the French Quarter. Tina needed to feed, I managed to convince her that she may have more success if we work together instead of separately. Despite some reluctance she acquiesced to my offer of assistance. We hit a local club and I lit up the ol’ axe and together we had our fill. Tina, for the first time had an easy feed without any, complications.

When Tina had her fill she headed to the door and with a nod of her head indicated it was time to go and she stepped outside. Similarly, I packed up and headed for the exit, I got outside just in time to see a pair of idiots going after Tina, she of course was more than capable of handling it by herself, but a rage rose from within me and I released the full power of my Terror upon one of the attackers. It was epic the nightmare filled him with terror and shattered his will, he told us everything we wanted to know. It seemed some drug dealers were holed up in the same area as Tina had sensed her sire so we made our way there. Tina and I seemed to make a good team together.

We arrived at the same time as the others, they must have found some other clues. We entered into the old dilapidated building, I was determined to do whatever it takes to help Tina, but I felt unprepared, I knew my power was not yet strong enough to defeat Lukas’ will. Dox went and talked with the dealers inside and arranged a buy, he went downstairs and returned a few minutes later. He was flying, having clearly found a way to consume some of the local delicacies. We then discussed how to proceed, Jack would go up a floor, investigate and return let us know what he found. We would move up until we found him. Jack made it to the third floor and returned indicating he had found something, a door taped shut. It seemed too obvious and I would have guessed that Lukas would have been on the fourth floor. We readied ourselves outside the taped door and bust in, we found Lukas’ trophy room, filled with the decomposing bodies of some of his recent activities. Immediately I knew we were in trouble, he was upstairs and he now likely knew we were coming. Instead of stopping and planning a new approach, we all traveled to the stairs.

We got there and found Lukas standing at the top of the stairs, the stairs that were now soaking wet with gasoline and Lukas was holding a lighter. I was consumed with the fear of being lit on fire, and once Lukas lit the lighter all I could see was the stair case ablaze in flame. I lost control and leapt out the window and started to make my way across the street when I had regained my composure. Dox and Jack were outside, Dox was trying to get a quick bite and Jack was trying to climb up the building to the 4th floor. I was failing Tina, she was up there with Lukas and I wasn’t there to help. I ran towards the building and tried with all my supernatural strength to leap up to the third floor. It was a total failure, I regrouped and tried again this time I landed on the fourth floor balcony.

I bust through the apartment and into the hallway, where I found Tina and Becky-Lynn lock in a deadly struggle with Lukas. I had always intended to break Lukas’ will by unleashing my Terror on him. I put all of my strength into unleashing the fear within him, but in his condition the nightmare would not hold. Tina and Becky needed help so I through myself into the fray. Together we defeated Lukas and his body went limp. In that moment, the moment I feared, Tina sank her teeth into him and bled him dry, as she began sucking I realized her intent to perform amaranth on him. I was terrified, not because of the act itself, but because as I understood it, a part of who Lukas was would join with Tina and she would hate herself for it, for the rest of her new life.

I heaved on Lukas’ body trying to break her grip on him, but Becky-Lynn helped her and I could not overcome their strength, but Lukas’ body was not so strong his body came apart and bust in to ash as I could see a change in Tina’s eyes as she consumed his soul. I had failed, I had failed Tina, I had failed myself.

That was my breaking point, I was ready to remain and let the flames consume me, but the beast within me pushed me to get up and get out. As I landed on the ground, it hit me, well… like falling four stories and hitting the pavement. If I want to be fearless I have to have nothing to lose. I have to be willing to lose it all, then I will be fearless, then I will become the Lord of Terror.

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Behind the Veil of the Nightmare
In the Mind of the Fear Bringer

Edward Zurich

From the cool dry parchment pages of a simple brown leather bound journal…
This is the tale of the making of the Lord of Terror.

My name is Edward Zurich and during the 22 years of my mortal life the only time I ever truly felt at home was when I was alone on the open road, alone with my music. I held no grand ambitions beyond a good meal, a warm bed, and to enjoy life. Tragically, that was not my fate, my fate was to die in an experiment, an experiment designed to test us for some unknown purpose.

I was not alone that night, beyond the monsters that night there were four others. Becky-lynn, the society girl from a life of privilege. Dox, the high tech wunderkin with the social aptitude of a slide rule, but always happens to be more than useful enough to keep around. Jack, a delivery driver, a general utility man, and the man with the van. And then there was Tina, she I did not understand.

It was that fateful night, the last night of Mardi Gras, that I Edward Zurich was reborn, and I knew I never wanted to be alone again. What I did not know it at the time, nor did I seek out, but that night I began the journey that would mould me into the Lord of Terror.
These words are recorded here not just to chronicle my history, but to remind me of my human past so that the beast within does not overtake my ability to resist it.

A night at Mardi Gras…
It was my first time back in New Orleans in three years, I was out on the town and looking for a good time and a warm bed for the night. The streets were packed like always during Mardi Gras and I was making a killing, regardless of my success that night, I could guarantee more than a good meal and a warm bed from the day’s take. It was then that I saw her, she was young and I could tell she had a passion for life, not in the sorority party kind of way, but the wanting to squeeze every ounce of life out of every minute sort of way. I ended the song the other players and I were jazzing, took my cut and made my way through the mass of people that stood between me and her. I started to chat her up seeing if we could have a good time that night, but she brought down the heat, can you believe it she brought the heat on me. I have had my share of dis-satisfied “customers” but never have I had a girl bring in the police. But I took the hint and moved on, or so I thought.
Then I wandered over to the local jazz joint when I saw a particularly tempting target, she too was young, prim and proper, a bit out of place in so much drunken debauchery. She was escorted by a pair of strapping young lads, but they weren’t going to be any competition. It’s a shame really what happened to them later that night, they were probably good guys. They did however, make her party large enough for me to sneak in at the front of the line. After a brief exchange I made my way to the bar to pick up a drink for myself and this soon to be new friend.

That night was full of all manner of weird. No sooner than I had ordered the drinks I saw some crazy scumbag that was making a scene, and the one thing that throws the adventurous side of the ladies out the window is some deadbeat trying to get physical on the ladies. I rushed the scumbag and who do I find having the same idea, but miss call the cops. Together we drove the guy off, it did seem odd but not consequential at the time but she did not have any air of fear about her, despite the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. Despite my curiosity I decided to return to my newly acquired interest, because as my pa would say of Tina, that dog don’t hunt. As I turned to retrieve my drinks, the women who seemed to be the target of the creepy man approached me and thanked me for my actions and asked why I had intervened. What I remembered more than our conversation was that the tattoos which seemed to cover her body seemed to writhe over her skin, it was disconcerting but also intriguing.

By the time I was able to redirect my attentions to the socialite, I found that a new man was on the prowl. This man stood out like a character from another century, but immediately I felt something was off about him and that he might mean more trouble than just another competitor. I soon decided it was time to make my move and it seemed my charms were more than a match for luring this Becky-Lynn away from John Matheson. I would not realize until sometime later that it was I who was being outclassed and that Matheson was playing the long game letting me think I had a chance when I really had already lost.

Becky-Lynn who seemed at first to be the ideal challenge, soon turned out to be fool’s gold. Even then I began to see the subtle signs, she was filled with all sorts fear. She was afraid of missing out on life, afraid or disappointing her father, afraid of tarnishing her pristine image as a proper lady. Of course these fears were covered in a courtesan like veneer that cover her fears, even from herself. It was her fear of missing out on a party that lead us all to our fate that night.

Matheson invited us to an exclusive party that night, including the awkward dot com type Dox, Becky-Lynn her two escorts, the girl who brought the cop whose name I found out was Tina, and a new gent who was sent to be our driver. It all seemed too planned for what was meant to appear as a random encounter. I knew if we went the party I would lose my chance with Becky-Lynn that night but despite this I decided to go along as I feared what sinister plans Matheson had in store for them, their lack of experience in the seedier parts of the world would make them easy targets.

I went with them and while we were passing the cathedral, Matheson stopped the car, he changed into some sort of a monster with long slender claws instead of hands and tore poor Becky-Lynn’s escorts to pieces. Witnessing that, I felt fear, a true terror, that something so powerful existed, I was caught between run and fight. I tried to help the others, but before I could do anything meaningful, the girl with the tattoos from the jazz club grabbed me and bite me. Her name was Andrea and she took me from this life to my next. Her embrace changed me and I’m not always sure it was for the better.

That night when we awoke we encountered Sara Bancroft the architect of the night’s conspiracy. An argument broke out between Sara and Andrea, Andrea wanted out and she took me away from the group knowing that my memory would be spared while the others would have little to no recollection of that night. There was a symbolism in that, I was on the outside and I would have to try extra hard to belong.

Ask not for whom the church bell tolls, for it tolls for thee…
Several days later I was alone in Andrea’s apartment, where she had spent the last few days teaching me about the ins and outs of the kindred. I became aware of some sort of commotion over at the Corpus Christie Church, the same church I was so recently turned. Hoping to reconnect with the others from that night I made my way out there to investigate.

There I met up with the others and the prince, his entourage were there as well. Effectively, we had been instructed to seek out and kill our sires. But first we were tasked with investigating the disturbance in the church. The prince sent along Alexander, one of his enforcer types from his entourage, he was a pleasant enough sort, but it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to tell this guy was tougher than the rest of us combined. But his job wasn’t to protect us, only to make sure we did as instructed.

We went in to the chapel, first into the basement and found Father Marrow left incapacitated in something called torpor. We tended to the good father and then made our way to the chapel. It was ironic that it was in a church that I first saw the power of terror. There my sire Andrea, who was experimenting with the power of the beast, was radiating terror like light from a flame. Then I witnessed her focus her terror on to Alexander who was so overcome with fear that he had no choice but to turn and flee. We were left to deal with Andrea, but Andrea wasn’t quite home. Knowing we were little match for her in her current state I decided to take an unorthodox strategy and began to play some soothing music in such a way as to draw the true Andrea out. While I was busting out the axe, Tina rushed in to try and grapple with Andrea. I couldn’t believe it, here Alexander the great runs out screaming like a little girl and Tina runs up and grapples with her, fearless.
Then just as I was making real good progress on bringing Andrea back, Becky-Lynn is overcome by her fear and becomes enraged and goes after Andrea with a giant cross. I couldn’t let Becky-Lynn hurt Andrea, so I threw myself between the two of them and intercepted Becky-Lynn’s blow. I went after Becky-Lynn to get her to snap out of it but before I could act Dox did something to me that made me turn around and attack Andrea. In that instant I knew I never wanted my will subverted in such a way again. I would have to teach Dox a lessor for that infraction.

We then subdued Andrea and she snapped Becky-Lynn back to normal and revived Tina who had been incapacitated by Andrea. With all of the commotion inside the chapel, the police who had been massed outside were positioning themselves outside getting ready to break-in. So we decided to sneak out of the church.

Meet the parents…
Over the next couple of weeks we continued to seek out the other sires with some success. During that time it seemed that when Becky-Lynn was embraced that her mind was scrambled so that I was the enemy while this Matheson guy was the hottest thing since the habanero was introduced to jambalaya.

This was particularly confusing when out of the blue she asks me to be her fiancé. Now I have been with lots of women, but none have asked me to be their fiancé. She wanted me to go and meet her parents and help convince then that she is alright and they should not cut her off from her inheritance. Again, Becky-Lynn was driven by her fear, fear that her parents would be disappointed, that she would be seen as less than the prim and proper princess she sees herself as. I thought that since she was a creature driven by fear, that I could use my mastery of fear to keep her safe and thus lure her to me, but alas I would learn, I cannot attract with fear, I would only be able to connect deeply to those without fear.

I had come to an accord with Dox that should he ever use his powers on me again, I would unleash my full power over terror on him. Yet when I saw him manipulate Becky-Lynn’s parents, more than a twinge of fear passed through my mind as I wondered if I could resist his powers when the time came.

A night of revelations…
The night of revelations has had as much impact on my new life as did the act that brought me into my new life. We were headed into the beast’s lair, the Matheson estate.

Before we left I spoke with Becky-Lynn about what Matheson had done to her escorts that night and she claimed I was a hideous person to make such a lie up about Matheson. For a moment we tested our wills and I overcame her will and I realized she would never be mine.

We piled into Jack’s van and made our way out of town, towards the Matheson Estate. We travelled a good part of the way there when we happened upon an old gas station and café, but something was off, very off. We stopped to fuel up and check out the place. Despite the number of vehicles it was surprisingly quiet. When we approached the large glass window we saw what appeared to be a hairy naked man, covered in blood. He was clearly a werewolf and fortunately for us, we seemed an unappealing threat so he bolted for the tree line. Tina, always the one to rush fearlessly into danger started to pursue him but thought the better of it. I was inspecting the inside of the café when Becky-Lynn started to approach the bloody mess inside with a bestial glint in her eye. I was concerned about what would happen, that Becky-Lynn might lose control to the beast again and that if she kept giving in it would become more and more powerful eventually overcoming her own will. So I used the only tool I knew that would stop her, I placed a terrible nightmare into her mind. I placed the image of her losing control and tearing her little sister to pieces in her mind. I used the most potent image I could conjure to drive home the dangers of giving in. Unfortunately, I over did it and she went running uncontrollably away, only Tina was able to stop her before she entered the woods. I had over done it and the die was cast.

We arrived at Matheson’s estate, everyone hoped out and Jack disappeared like normal and the rest of us head up to the big house, we could see what appeared to be the old slave quarters and an old barn. When we approached the house with Tina locked on to Becky-Lynn like white on rice. Matheson’s black butler greeted us at the door and escorted us into the study where we met Matheson. Of course Matheson immediately captivated Becky-Lynn, who immediately confessed to Matheson that she wanted me dead and that I was a horrible monster. Granted my recent attempt to save her from herself happened to go so very wrong. When I first met Matheson I knew he was trouble, but now I could sense the clear and present danger we were all in. I had to strike the balance between saying or doing anything that would set him off and doing anything that would weaken our position. So I placated Matheson by explaining how I used the terror on Becky-Lynn to keep her from losing control and then used Matheson’s attack on Becky-Lynn’s escorts as a redirection tool. Becky-Lynn had totally fallen under his spell, when Matheson admitted to tearing her escorts to pieces she said that he probably had a reason.

Matheson and Becky-Lynn made it clear they wanted some alone time, everyone but Tina was happy to oblige their desire. Tina stayed while the rest of us went to explore the place. We searched the house and didn’t find anything. Then we realized there was probably a basement. We went around outside and found the entrance. Dox and I eventually smashed the door in and found where Matheson spends the days, but there was nothing interesting down there.

Figuring that Matheson and Becky-Lynn would be busy for a while longer we decided to check out the rest of the grounds. It was then that I remembered Andrea having mentioned something about kindred of a certain age could only feed on other kindred, and that Matheson was rather old. I was suddenly concerned that when we opened up the slave quarters we’d find a hoven of herd kindred. Even worse we opened the door to find a group of black men and women in a state of absolute deprivation. I knew there would be consequences when Matheson found out we busted up his door and now we were checking out the slave quarters, he told us not to go near. I was struggling with what to do, Dox was cool about it and went over to the barn. Jack appeared out of nowhere and we decided to get everyone out and light the place on fire to cover it up. I worked on getting the slaves out of there and Jack went to find something to light the place on fire. Jack disappeared again and just after I told the slaves the plan Matheson’s butler came out of the house and caught me in the act, I tried to stall him while Jack got the fire started, but before he could, Matheson, Becky-Lynn, and Tina came out of the house.

Matheson of course asked what was up and I gave some bull shit excuse for checking out the slave quarters and then redirected the conversation to the poor state of his slaves. But nobody was really buying my story, I knew things were not going well. Then Matheson offers a deal knowing we wanted information, he decided to offer a trade of blood for an answer and a slave. Tina, who has been desperately wanting to find her sire Lukas Gates, so she could kill him, was about to rush Matheson when He turned to her and his will just overwhelmed her. I figured that there was no way I was going to get out of Matheson’s territory without him exacting his price of blood from me, so I volunteered two portions of blood so that Tina could have her answers. I volunteered my sacrifice for Tina because she taught me more about fear and terror by standing up to Matheson than any other moment in my history. She challenged him while I feared to act.

If I want to master my control of fear in others I would first need to control it within myself. To that end, I must learn from Tina and forget about Becky-Lynn as Becky-Lynn’s fear is contagious. Sticking around Becky-Lynn would only make me weaker, I must learn from the strong, those without fear or at least the will to resist it.
I know Tina wants to go after her sire, but he is a monster, as a friend of mine named Lemon described it, Lukas has a predatory aura about him. Tina wants to destroy him and make him suffer. But he is not like other men, he will find pleasure in suffering and pain and will find satisfaction in Tina killing him as he thinks it would make her like him. I will not let that happen!! I don’t know if have enough power yet but when she finds him I will unleash my terror on his mind and teach him what fear really is. He will not survive and his fear will set Tina free. Then with Tina I will cast away forever my fear of being alone…

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Danse de la Mort III
Blood Money

The week between Mary’s Child and Fury:

Dox had found the note he had hastily scrawled down the night of his embrace, “Miss Opal can help.” He also stumbled upon the browser history of his laptop and the search he had done on a “Nathaniel Dubois.” With these two names he began his search a new.

In the person of Miss Opal he could find nothing, at least no electronic evidence, leaving him to believe he would have to turn to the Kindred for answers.

The search for Nathaniel Dubois was far more fruitful, revealing an active legal identity, and a history going back almost twenties littered with repeated financial highs and crashes, notably ending in the bankruptcy of “Dubois Designs” in the recent recession of 2002. Nathaniel still owns the domain name, despite the closure of his website, but tracking it back Dox was able to find an address.

Following the night of Fury:

Edward wakes to find his sire Andrea packing her few possessions. Asked what she is planning, Andrea explains that with the Prince and the rest of the city now believing her destroyed, remaining in the city only endangers Edward and the others. She shares what few details she remembers, gives him a cell number she could be reached at and tells Edward she is heading to New Iberia. With Edward unsure what to do now, Andrea encourages him to make a place for himself here in the city, and encourages him to find strength in numbers – his fellow neonates embraced a week ago.

Saying his farewells with Andrea, Edward joins the others at Corpus Christi, where he and Tina explain the fate of his sire. As related in the last session, the PCs are commended for rescuing Father Marrow, escaping the church successfully, and dealing with Andrea – even if none of it was ideally handled it was handled well enough – Prince Vidal allows the PCs to move freely around the city as long as it is in search of their sires, Sarah, and an explanation of their mass embrace. It is clarified that the PCs have permission to continue using the Tremé District, and Savoy is willing to extend that into the French Quarter if the PCs are careful.

After the meeting Edward manages to speak with Father Marrow alone to inquire about Andrea and the other sires, mostly learning what he or the others already new, but he did catch a reference to “that whore Dubois.” At the same time, Dox is able to arrange a meeting with Miss Opal through Antoine Savoy.

Seeing that the other three had left to go hunting or other tasks, Edward confronts Dox about Dominating him the night before. Dox is evasive about acknowledging any wrong doing on his part, but he does agree to set up a meeting at Didi’s Jazz Club tomorrow night with the rest of the group to share what everyone has discovered so far. Wanting to get a head start in his research Dox pressures Edward for what he knows, but finds himself fleeing Corpus Christi when Edward lashes out with Nightmare.

Edward, having dealt with the most pressing issues of the night heads out to do some hunting and to work on reinforcing the Tenement he’s using as a Haven. Jack, having been one of the earliest ones to leave, hops in his Van and starts prowling the streets.

Meanwhile the girls, Tina and Becky Lynn, both famished and still hurting from the night before go club hoping together. Both put in far more time than they had intended. Tina moved from prey to prey, savoring one lick after another, taking close to six hours and seven victims before he appetite was sated.

Becky Lynn’s efforts were much less successful, especially being unwilling to put herself out there and act the promiscuous party girl. After feeding on one boy, yet still hungry, Becky Lynn continues her hunt, but is largely frustrated in her efforts. To hesitant to put herself out there, she finds herself striking up a conversation with another girl timidly hovering nearby. As the night gets late this girl, Sally, asks Becky Lynn if she’d like to walk her to her car. A shy farewell kiss and Becky Lynn finds herself feeding on the most energizing and lively blood she has ever tasted, even after sating her hunger she could still feel Sally’s pulse beating strong. Both shocked and pleased by the experience, timidly decide to swap numbers. Having misplaced her own cell, Becky Lynn gives Tina’s number instead.
. . .

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Danse de la Mort II
Fury

Edward joins the group in hopes of saving his sire.

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Part VIII . . . . . . . . . . Played On: June ?????????????/
The Initiation : Part Two

Will be posted as soon as we play it.

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Part VIII . . . . . . . . . . Played On: May 20th 2014
The Initiation : Part One

Friday May the 16th 2004

Today I received a very formal invitation, inviting me to go to a special ceremony welcoming us into the Vampire world. I don’t know if this is something that I want to go to but not showing up would be rude especially being one of the guests of honor. Being in a room with many Vampires just doesn’t seem like a good idea. What if I can’t control myself, what if something happens? Just then Edward came into Father Marrow’s church to talk to him. He seemed surprised to see me here, seeing as I had not talked to him or anyone but Bella in a month I am not surprised that no one knew I was staying here. We spoke our pleasantries but it seemed awkward and a bit painful to talk to him. I wish he didn’t know what happened everything would be easier that way. He also received the same invitation and was going, and I have a feeling that Bella and Dox would not miss this event for the world. So I might as well go too.

Saturday May the 17th 2004
When I woke up today I felt a little piece of Lucas slip away, my mind was more clear than it had been in weeks. For the life of me I could not figure out why.

Sunday May the 18th 2004
Today I woke up half starved, I have to stop doing this to myself, I need to feed more often or I am going to frenzy again. I got up and went out waving by to Father Marrow as I left, he was always up before me and I was always down before him. It sometimes made me wonder if he ever sleeps, I also wonder when he finds time to hunt.

I went to the red light district, and found some unsuspecting Jon’s. One broke off from the pack so I pounce and over powered him from behind took a little bit from him and left him there unconscious. I was about to look for another when I realised the time. I better get over to the church or else I would be late.

When I arrived the Princes servant El Bare or something informed us that we should feed before entering so I tried to find some isolated pray but I was unsuccessful. So I headed back to the waiting room. Everyone was there just hanging about the room, El Bar then asked us to line up single file and head out and sit in the front pew.

Entering the room I had to control my inner beast, the smell of so many powerful vampires brought a chill to my spine. If this is a trap we are all dead.

I sat next to Bella and tried to listen to the Prince as he spoke but to be honest I found it quite boring and felt quite drowsy until he motioned for Bella to come forward. My body tensed and I prepared myself to attack if I needed to come to her aid. The Price said asked her to join his order and she accepted, he put a bloody cross on her forehead and the she sat back down next to me. He then motioned me to come forward. I came up and the entire time I was walking up to him I was trying to remember how to refuse communion when in a Catholic Church because I wanted to do this respectfully. I wasn’t ready to vow to do something right now and if I am really immortal I have all of eternity to decide whether or not to join. So when he asked me I said “I respectfully refuse to join at this time.” He seemed really disappointed and remarked on something like my sole is dammed or something; I was quite take back by his remark, and slightly offended. Then I went back and sat by Bella, ‘Dam, cross your arms over your heart, that’s how you refuse communion in a catholic church.’

Dox went up a kneeled in front of the Prince … AND DIED.
Well that would be the easy way to say what happened but the details seem to be important, so here is what happened. Dox kneeled in front of the Prince and when asked if he wanted to join Dox said yes. Then a creepy guy standing near the prince who HAD NO EYES screamed “lire” and then pointed at Dox while doing some weird stuff. Then when Dox tried to speak things started to come out his mouth. Then Price then started shouting and was very upset. He then demanded that Dox stand and turn around. Dox said no and started to walk away when the Prince used a very demanding voice on Dox and commanded him to stand and face the on lookers and accept his punishment for lying. Dox just surged it off and stared walking towards the door.

The Prince was pissed, and screams “hold him”. Then all at once the people standing off to the side started to move towards Dox, instinct kicked in and I jumped to Dox’s aid. But before I knew it I was up against a wall, pain screeching across my whole body. There was Maldonado pining me against the wall. I could not just stand there so I took a swing at him while trying to get away. I managed to hit him but he just smacked me hard and held my head in a crushing grip. I could no longer move I was stuck and helpless as I watched them whip my friend. Pain tingled throughout my body and I felt Lucas fade a little inside me.

After they stopped whipping Dox they helped him to his seat, they just continued the ceremony as if nothing happened. Maldonado then dropped me; I just knelt there in pain. Maldonado is such an ass; I am going to be the one to kill him someday.

The ceremony ended uneventfully after that, Edward also rejected entering their coven. And we all got a ride to the after party. This is where things get a little fuzzy. I remember showing up and being introduced to this tiny little man, who told us that this was a safe zone where no one is allowed to harm another vampire. I remember finding that kind of interesting but now I don’t know why. Then we were shown something to drink. There were people just standing there for us to feed off of! I decided to drink for someone who was intoxicated and then that is where things start to get confusing. I remember dancing first with Dox’s girlfriend and then with oh oh I dances with Alexander, it was so fun. I also remember Dox dyeing and cyring and calling Alexander but that doesn’t really make sense because I remember seeing him at the end of the night, when I was running after someone. What happened?

I woke up the next night back in the basement of father Marrows church, I both felt and looked like shit. I must of token a real beating last night.

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Part VII . . . . . . . . . . Side Story
Tina's Month Alone

COMING SOON

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