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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in Our Chronicles' LiveJournal:

Sunday, April 8th, 2007
6:29 pm
Pandora's Box, Act I
Montgomery Jacobs began his night with bottles of Jack and Johnny, and called Detective McQueen to set up another meeting at Joe's All-Nite Diner. He asked Asya to accompany him first to midnight mass at St. Peter's (for it was Easter Sunday), then to the diner.

Malcom Black was beginning to sell art stolen from Chatham House and trying to find out if anyone was looking for Vin or Jillian, or if there had been any sitings of Mary Ritter's ghost, or any more suspicious deaths, etc.

Cedora received a call from her London contact, Wendell Wesley III, who had been researching Oliver Keaton Holmes. His research indicated that Oliver had been a butcher in the East End of London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At some point he had fallen under suspicion of involvement with a series of London murders, and fled to America, but that was where the trail ended. Cedora set out to find Monty.

Monty ignored an incoming cellular phone call from Cedora as he and Asya entered the church. So Cedora drove around Hyde park looking for the limo. Monty was stalking a co-ed (and even "spiked" the communion wine with his blood to test out the powers of the Blood Bond), while Asya used his power of Dominate to convince Father Pantoliano to invite him to perform using the church organ (which he did, performing a piece he entitled "The Death of Christ"). Monty managed to take with him the co-ed, Michelle "Shelly" Azevedian and her boyfriend, Mitchell Johnson (on whom he later fed), while Asya seduced a pretty girl named Elissa O'Brian. They agreed to meet up at the diner. Cedora used her power of Obfuscate to hide in the limo.

At Joe's All-Nite Diner, Asya and Elissa got a table near McQueen. Monty arrived having taken Mitch's wallet and made plans to find Shelly again. McQueen had retrieved records from Statesville on Herman Hendrick Holmes when he had been a prisoner at Joliet, including the site in the Potter's Field where they buried him (grave D4444). Cedora, still Obfuscated, slipped Spade's Purple Heart into McQueen's trench coat. Monty stated his belief that Holmes did not really die, telling McQueen to dig deeper into the Medical Examiner's report. After the meeting, the three members of the coterie present decided to head out to the Cook County Potter's Field to view D4444, calling Mal to join them.

Meanwhile, Mal had been researching the history of occult objects in Chicago. He had found tantalizing hints of an occult history hinted at by the occultists of the Cassandra's Visions Bookstore. He found and visited the place where Holmes had lived, apartment 4D in Englewood Apartments. He found the place deserted, and still bearing a heavy aura of horror from its former occupant. He had also visited the charred site of the McCreedy Mansion and charted the new convergences of ley lines at the site, intending to report to the Kogaion the possible new Wyrm's Nest at the site. he resolved to delve deeper into Chicago's occult history. Then he headed off to the Potter's Field to meet the rest of the coterie.

The coterie met up at the Cook County Potter's Field (with Asya's victim, Elissa, in tow). They found plot D4444. Records indicated that the site had been disturbed around November 5th, 2006. Mal's psychometric use of Auspex confirmed that the body was no longer in its grave - it had arisen from the grave under its own power and walked away! But if Holmes wasn't a vampire . . . what was he?
Sunday, March 25th, 2007
5:46 pm
Fragments of the Past, Act III
Montgomery Jacobs awoke to find fewer patrons than usual frequenting Dystopia and realized it was due to the Daylight Saving switch. He decided to try to locate Persephone. Asya remained at Dystopia - he was researching the original "Tarot Card Killer," Herman Hendrick Holmes, but could find no evidence that the man had been a ghoul, connected to Belial's Brood, or any of the other theories that he and Mal had developed. But then he found a link in the history of the mirror, that the McCreedy family had purchased it from an Oliver Keaton Holmes in 1907. So he decided to go see Mal.

Malcom Black was doing some basic inventory and cash reconciliation at Black Knight Collections. Asya arrived to discuss Holmes, and Mal called Cedora, who used her contacts to look into the genealogy of Herman Hendrick Holmes, finding that he was indeed a descendant of the Oliver Keaton Holmes who arrived in Chicago from London in 1907. Her contact in London, Wendell Wesley III, promised to investigate further into the possible connections between the butcher Oliver Holmes and some unexplained murders in 1907. No further connections were found between McCreedy and Holmes. Cedora decided to go to Detective Decker Spade's house.

Meanwhile, Monty had arrived at the Palmer House Hotel seeking Persephone. He burst in unannounced on a private conversation between Persephone and Prince Maxwell, and as he walked her out she observed, "That was stupid, Monty!" He asked her to "take in the sights" with him, offering her "dinner and a movie." She accepted.

Asya and Mal checked the Chicago Tattler to find out what Karla Kleczak wrote about the murder of Anastasia Kylix, and found she had written some extensive and complex drivel relating the removal of Anastasia's hand to the medieval legend of the "Hand of Glory," theorizing that it was an attempt at similar black magic gone awry. So they decided to visit the Cassandra's Visions Bookstore on the near West Side. There was a large group of young occultists meeting at the bookstore, so Mal and Asya discussed things with them, asking especially about the Liber B.L.I.L. mentioned by Mariani and the possibility that the new "Tarot Card Killer" had an interest in demonology. The occultists, in turn, questioned the vampires about an artifact known as the "Celestial Flange" and the possibility that the covenant known as Belial's Brood was in some way connected to practitioners of the dark arts known as Scelesti (also known as Nephandi). In the end, the vampires asked the occultists to try to find out (1) if there were any other copies of the Liber B.L.I.L. in the Chicago area, (2) any information on Herman Hendrick Holmes, and (3) any information on the entity known as "Red Jack".

Cedora approached Detective Spade's house using her power of Obfuscate to stay hidden. she broke in the back door, but found no sign he had been there for about two weeks. She thoroughly investigated the house, went through his computer, and trashed the place. She found that he had won a Purple Heart in Desert Storm, and stole it. She left a note tacked to his refrigerator saying, "Returning The Favor" with a disposable cell phone number.

Monty had taken Persephone to see "Premonition." They then took a stroll through Oak Woods Cemetery and discussed the nature of Prince Maxwell's authority over her and over all vampires in Chicago. In the end, Persephone accepts her role in the Invictus, while Monty refuses to accept any authority but his own.
Sunday, March 18th, 2007
12:19 pm
Fragments of the Past, Act II
Over the previous week, Cedora broke into the offices of Dewey, Chatham, and Howe to view and copy the files of Leonard Howe relating to the defense of Herman Hendrick Holmes back in 1995. Asya tried to find out what he could about known associates of H.H.H. (finding none - not even a cellmate from Joliet, where he had been kept in a solitary cell) and his sire Narcissa (who, he discovered, was a close associate of Invictus leaders such as Prince Maxwell and Justine Lasky). Monty and Mal checked for any signs of "Jillian," hoping that the Carthians would have some luck tracing her. Saturday night, just before sunrise, Monty heard from the Carthians that "Jillian" had been sighted in the company of a Lancea Sanctum vampire known as Vin Mariani.

So Sunday night, Monty awakened Asya to ask him about Vin, and Asya called Mal and told him to find Vin. Asya and Monty went to see Prince Maxwell. Monty insisted on barging in without being announced, and met with the cold stare of the Prince, McLean, Persephone, and an unknown female vampire. They had a private meeting with the Prince, getting permission to hunt suspected members of Belial's Brood. On the way out, Monty went out of his way to introduce himself to the female vampire, and discovered that she was the real Ilsa Cotovsky, but Asya tried to rush him along, appalled at the lack of etiquette.

Meanwhile, Mal called Cedora, who headed from Englewood to Black Knight Collections in Hyde Park. Soon thereafter, Asya and Monty arrived. They tried to figure out where to find Vin Mariani, and they decided to head to the Temple of the Dark Crusader (the headquarters of the Lancea Sanctum). Monty headed over by motorcycle, while the others arrived more slowly by limo. So Monty had time to bribe a ghoul to get Mariani to meet with him. By the time the others arrived, the ghoul was returning with the message that Mariani was in a meeting and could not be disturbed . . . so Asya used his powers of Dominate to force the ghoul to reveal the location of the meeting. They stood outside the room and waited, lurking. Mal and Cedora used the Heightened Senses of Auspex to try to listen in, but could only hear the voices of Vin, Solomon, and an unknown female. When the door opened, Vin stepped out, and the female voice (which sounded strangely familiar to Monty) said, "If we need anything else from you, we'll let you know." As he stepped out of the room, the coterie stuffed him in a sack, beat him into submission, and carried him out. They were lucky enough to encounter no resistance. They decided to take him to a warehouse by the old Stockyards for interrogation.

The coterie chained Vin to a steel pillar and began to interrogate him. Asked about his meeting at the temple, he claimed that it was a special meeting with Solomon and an out-of-town member of the Lancea Sanctum known as "The Red Nun". He claimed to have very little information as they interrogated him about the McCreedy Mansion, Jillian, Chatham House, and other topics, but Mal was reading his aura, which was angry, psychotic, and increasingly fearful. When asked how long he had known Jillian, he claimed that he had known her since 1993, when he was looking for an occult text called the Liber B.L.I.L. This libe of questioning eventually led him to the statement, "You don't understand what it means to be a vampire . . .," to which Monty responded, "I've heard this before. He's done." Yet Vin accused Monty of having "heard the Call."

Asya called Loki to make the interrogation official. While waiting for him to arrive, Asya used his powers of Dominate to try to force Vin to reveal any information about Narcissa, but he seemed to know little. When Loki arrived, he gave Monty a cigarette, which he then used to ignite Vin (having earlier doused him in gasoline, and the Mekhet having vacated the room). Vin was reduced to ashed in moments.

Monty now took his bike to Chatham House, while everyone else (including Loki) took the limo. Mal called Jeeves to arrange a private viewing, allowing them to infiltrate the building. Asya and Mal stayed to Dominate Jeeves, while the others hunted for Jillian. They found her, leading to an emotional confrontation between Monty and Jillian, which ended when she tried to flee but was stopped by Cedora. She claimed, "The only lie I ever told you was my name!" Monty replied, "Bullets don't lie" and shot her in the head. He staked her in order to bring her before the Prince.

Loki offered to announce them to the Prince, but Monty preferred to barge in unannounced again. The coterie presented their evidence that Jillian was a member of Belial's Brood, and that perhaps Nicodemus had been framed and should be released. But Prince Maxwell said only, "Nicodemus has been . . . removed." Mal then risked saying aloud what everyone was thinking, "You made him a Grim, didn't you?" The Prince responded only, "Surely you don't believe in fairy tales?" But there was clearly cold fury in his voice at having been questioned on this matter. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the coterie had done well, and awarded the domain of Hyde Park to Asya, now "Baron of Hyde Park." Monty, having expended a great deal of blood, energy, and patience, fed and went home to Dystopia. The coterie resolved to thank the Carthians.
Sunday, March 11th, 2007
1:18 am
Fragments of the Past, Act I
Over the previous week, Cedora moved to her new haven, an old firehouse in Englewood. She hired out-of-state contractors (from Indiana) to install a sun-proofed vault under the firehouse in which she could make her lair, and began to renovate the first floor of the building as an occult bookstore. While she was doing this, Malcom Black wroked with their sire, Lawrence, on research for the Ordo Dracul. Black Knight Collections began carefully to search for potential buyers for the art looted from Chatham House.

Also during the week, Monty Jacobs played in several small card games set up by Treadwell, making small amounts of cash, and went back to visit the McCreedy Mansion. It turned out that the building had not burned completely - indeed, although scorched, it was largely intact, and Asya was working on acquiring it. So Monty burned it to the ground. Asya still determined to buy the property and to seek out any former acquaintances of his sire, Narcissa. He also attempted to inquire into the police raid on Cedora's former haven, but didn't have as much luck as he might have hoped.

So on Sunday night, Monty woke up in his new hammock, found his private stash of liquor depleted as well as much of the stock of Dystopia's bar, found that some guy named "Derrick" was filling in for Draven, and decided to head for Excalibur. Asya remained behind at Dystopia, researching and brooding.

Malcom Black had done some occult research with the Ordo Dracul. He had delved into the order's mysticism, including tarot symbolism. His own Fate card was the Chariot, and he had decided that he needed a tarot card reading. He had heard that authentic tarot readings were performed at Cassandra's Visions Bookstore on the near west side, so he called ahead, made an appointment, and set off on his motorcycle. He met Cassandra, who offered to read his cards, Instead, he wanted a reading based on the cards left by the Tarot Card Killer(s). She was unable to give him much useful information, though she did give him a cellular phone number at which he could contact her. He tried to "read" her using his powers of Auspex, but she was shielded, and clearly has some true mystical powers.

Cedora was moving into her new haven. She started research into the original case files on the Tarot Card Killer, Herman Hendrick Holmes. She also wanted any information relating to his defense lawyer, Leonard Howe (currently of the firm of Dewey, Chatham, & Howe). She got a call from Professor Nummis about a shipment in a bonded warehouse at O'Hare that contained artifacts he wanted retrieved before they passed through customs. The shipment was marked "Site 70113." So she called Mal and told him, "We have a job." Fortunately, Mal had recently acquired a truck and uniforms that could get them into the bonded area.

At the Excalibur, Monty witnessed Draven leaving Treadwell's office with an envelope. So he grabbed the envelope and opened it. He found a package of drugs and money. When Treadwell tried to intervene, he and Monty exchanged heated words. Monty called Asya to talk about summoning Red Jack, and mentioned, "Treadwell wants me dead now. See you in a few." So Asya called Treadwell and negotiated for Draven's services. He also promised to try to smooth things over with Monty, adding "You can't let Monty know these things." He got Treadwell to promise to use his shipping contacts to acquire some premium quality whiskey (preferably Jack Daniels) to give to Monty.

So Monty arrived at Dystopia and met Asya in his loft haven. Monty took the money from Draven and gave Monty a cut. They talked things over a bit, then decided to summon Red Jack. Monty performed the actual summoning, using Asya's mirror. Red Jack appeared in the mirror, and bantered in a cheerfully sinister way with them. Asya in particular seemed interested in learning his "tricks," while Monty tried to ascertain whether or not Jack could somehow be the taror Card Killer, or responsible for him. He concluded that Jack was not the actual killer, but that the killer had probably learned from him at some point . . . and that using Jack's tricks, Herman Hendrick Holmes could easily have faked his own death in 1996. Monty tried to intimidate Jack, saying, "Nice mirror. It would be a shame if something happened to it." Jack seemed unfazed by this, replying, "There are many mirrors in this world, Mr. Jacobs." Asya and Monty realized they had no means of banishing Jack, so they turned the mirror to the wall until he vanished. Monty decided to call Detective McQueen to arrange another meeting.

Cedora and Malcom headed over to the bonded area near O'Hare. They located the warehouse, and searched for crate 70113. It was marked "At-Tell Al-Khali" and was supposed to have come from a site near the Dead Sea on the Israel/Jordan border. The crate was found to contain fragments of stone incised with cuneiform-like symbols, and fragments of a bronze mirror. Mal viewed the artifacts with Auspex, but could discern no curses or other enchantments. So they took the fragments out of the warehouse, drove to the old stockyards to ditch the truck, headed North along the shore to see if they were followed, then went back to Black Knight Collections to arrange the drop.

Monty and Asya met with Detective McQueen at Joe's All-Nite Diner on the Loop. In the course of their conversation, Monty revealed his vampiric nature, upsetting McQueen greatly. He asked if "Creepshow" (Asya) was undead as well, but they denied this. They were investigating the possibility that Herman Hendrick Holmes did not die in Joliet Prison but somehow escaped. McQueen didn't have much information, but they wanted to set him to investigate. Asya also called Cedora to fill her in on Red Jack (and she filled in mal) as well as to ask about dreaking into a prison for records, but they decided not to attempt this yet. Asya used his powers to Dominate the mind of McQueen, erasing his memory of the meeting but crafting a false memory of having a gut feeling about the Tarot Card Killer being alive.

Cedora planned to try to get ahold of Leonard Howe's files.

Asya planned to find out as much as he could about Herman Hendrick Holmes' associates, as well as Narcissa's.

Monty was determined to find out if there had been any sign of "Jillian", suspected member of Belial's Brood.
Friday, March 9th, 2007
1:10 pm
The Resurrection & the Life, Act III
As soon as Monty arose for the evening, he received a call from Detectice McQueen to meet again at a diner on the Loop. He agreed, and told Asya, "I need your help tonight." Asya had put on the news and heard that Mayor Daley had created a special task force to catch the Tarot Card Killer, headed by Captain Jeanette Cassidy.

Meanwhile, Cedora received a call from her sire, Lawrence, telling her to acquire the mystical Spenser Portrait for the Ordo Dracul. She also heard from a real estate agent about an old Fire Station in Englewood she was interested in acquiring. She had begun to set the place up as a new haven. She called Mal and told him, "We have a job tonight. Get over here with the van." She then began calling up the plans for Chatham House on her computer.

Monty and Asya met with McQueen at Joe's All-Nite Diner on the Loop. McQueen was very unhappy to Asya, who likewise was considering feeding upon him. On a television was playing an interview with Captain Cassidy about the new task force. McQueen reluctantly handed over the Sallas files pertaining to the original Tarot Card Killer. The three verified killings were Temperance (a bartender in 1981), the Chariot (a car-jack-style killing in 1989), and the Star (a model in 1993). MCQueen asked, "Why are you so interested," to which Monty replied, "Let's just say I have a promise to keep," but refused to share any real information with him. When they left, Monty shook his hand, not trying to simulate life - with a cold, dead hand. He studied McQueen's reaction to see if McQueen could tell what he was . . . he could not be sure, however. Asya called Mal to share information from the files.

By this time, Mal was parked outside Chatham House as Cedora infiltrated the building. She used her powers to Obfuscate her journey through the building, past all security. She discovered that Vin Mariani and an unknown female vampire were in the building, but managed to avoid them and acquire the painting. Alarms went off (for reasons never discovered by the coterie), but she managed to escape the building with the painting. During this time, Asya and Mal had a long phone conversation in which they formulated theories as to what exactly the Tarot Card Murders are really about.

Monty and Asya went to O'Hare Airport to meet with the Carthians. At the Terminal Bar & Grill, they met with the grandmotherly Lillian Vanderpool, seeking news of the vampire who called herself "Jillian". Asya stated his belief that "Jillian was somehow behind the Tarot Card Murders, and reminded Vanderpool, "If you help us, Maxwell will appreciate it. If you don't, Maxwell will hear of it." He gets a cellular phone number at which he can contact her. Then they head to the McCreedy Mansion and Monty, after a cursory glace around the place, sets it on fire. Cedora heard about this and informed 911 anonymously, but it was unknown how much of the building was destroyed before they responded, if indeed they did.

Mal took the art stolen from Chatham House to Black Knight Collections to be fenced. He and Cedora arranged for the Ordo Dracul to obtain the Spenser Portrait. But when Cedora returned to her apartment, she found that the place had been ransacked. She found Sallas files relating to her own career as a thief, and fled to Black Knight Collections shortly before dawn. Mal was able to confirm, using his powers of Auspex, that it had been Detective Spade who had raided her haven. She declared, "He will pay for this!"
Sunday, February 11th, 2007
1:38 am
The Resurrection and the Life, Act II
This act of "The Resurrection and the Life" takes place on Sunday, February 11th, 2007.

Monty began his evening in the usual way - he got up, grabbed some booze, stumbled up out of his crypt at Dystopia, sat at the bar to drink a bit, talked with Draven (somewhat threateningly, as he still did not approve of the way Draven treated Anastasia), and then went out among the crowd.

Asya dressed up in his best Gothic finery for his uncle William's party. He had arranged for invitations for Cedora and Mal through their sire, Lawrence Black, and for himself and Draven as the dates of Anna and Maria Damiano (daughters of a local mafioso with enough money to be quite active in Chocago's social and political scene). Asya, Anna, Draven, Maria, and Cedora took the limo to the Palmer House Hotel, while Malcom preferred to take his motorcycle (in case things went badly and he had to leave in a hurry). Just before they left, when Monty was considering joining the rest of the coterie, the vampire Monty knew as "Ilsa" showed up and invited him out to hunt and discuss their previous conversation, and so Monty went with her instead of the coterie.

Malcom Black arrived at the Palmer House Hotel ahead of the rest of the coterie. He saw and briefly spoke with Prince Maxwell, who was flanked by Persephone and another female vampire unknown to Mal. The rest of the coterie arrived and entered, though Cedora lagged behind. Perhaps not wanting to be seen entering with the others, she went first to a restroom, where she gazed long into the mirror and put on her makeup. She finally entered the party, lurking elegantly.

Meanwhile, "Ilsa" led Monty to Jokers Wild to find a victim. She noticed J.J., with whom Monty had dealings the previous Sunday, so they picked him up. She suggested going to the McCreedy Mansion, an abandoned estate where he "could listen to the voice of the Beast within."

At the Peterson Party, Lawrence Black was talking to Professor Ogden Nummis of the Oriental Institute when Mal and Cedora joined them. They spotted Karla Kleczak, the reporter for the Tattler, dressed as a waitress and tring to record conversations while serving drinks, but Cedora pickpocketed her tape recorder. After dismissing Nummis for the moment, Lawrence announced to Mal that he was forced to sacrifice Shamus, who had been Mal's criminal mentor.

At the McCreedy Mansion, "Ilsa" and Monty took J.J. to the bedroom at the top of the stairs. Both fed from him, leaving hm drained and weakened. But then "Ilsa" confessed, "I'm not who you think I am." She admitted that her name was "Jillian", and that she had sensed that Monty might be recpetive to her teachings and the voice of his Beast within. She invited Monty to indulge and revel in his inhuman nature, his natural superiority over mere humans like J.J., but he responded that "Humanity is more than a physical trait," and carried J.J. out of there to take him to a hospital. Jillian shouted after him, urging him to stay, but he ignored her.

At the Peterson Party, Asya approached his mortal uncle William. The rest of the family. his aunt Elizabeth and his teenage cousins Ursula (18) and Marie (16), avoided Asya. It is clear that Asya was not welcome . . . "Stay away from my family!" snarled his uncle. Despite this, Asya was determined to play for the party, so he used his vampiric powers of Dominate and Majesty to bypass security, including Septimus Bryce, the head of security. Meanwhile, Lawrence Black informed Cedora that an old firehouse meeting her needs would be available for sale in Englewood, fairly close to the Hyde Park area that the rest of the coterie inhabits. Mal filled Lawrence in on his latest activities.

Monty brought J.J. to Chicago General, taking care to conceal the evidence of vampiric feeding and damaging his wrists so that the blood loss might be attributed to a suicide attempt. While at the hospital, Monty seduced a nurse (one Nancy Hammerly), but they were interrupted by news that Ambulance 11 was bringing in a body from Hyde Park. To Monty's anguish, he discovered that the body was that of Anastasia Kylix, the girl he had tried to protect from Draven. She had been found at the Oak Woods Chapel , with signs of ligature and torture, her right hand severed and clasped around a chalice. Monty took samples of her hair and cloth from her dress.

Asya and Draven took over the entertainment at the Peterson Party. They played their previous Gothic hit, "Death of Hope," and then a new song of Asya's own composition, "Abyss of Darkness." His uncle was severely displeased, but soon after made a speech in which he not only announced formally the new Museum of History under the directorship of the Oriental Institute (represented by the Assistant Chair, Ogden Nummis, but also announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. During William Peterson's speech, Monty called Mal to ask where he was, then said, "Good. Stay there." and roared over on his motorcycle.

The coterie met up outside the Peterson Party. Monty filled them in on the fate of Anastasia. He made Draven leave to bring the Damiano women home. Mal did an Auspex reading on the hair and cloth, having the vision of the "Ace of Cups" tarot card. Monty went off "hunting." Meanwhile, Mal had a vision of a shadowy figure in a mirror behind Anastasia at her apartment, and a voice saying, "YOU will be my Ace of Cups!" So the rest of the coterie went to her apartment while Monty headed to the McCreedy Mansion.

Monty entered the mansion with a stake and a gun. He found a note from Jillian: "Dear Monty - If you listen, you will hear the voice of the Beast within - it is the voice of our father, the Adversary. If you answer the Call, the voice will become clearer, & guide you to true freedom. - Jillian" Monty, wary of the oncoming dawn, called Detective McQueen and asked him to meet at a diner on the Loop.

The rest of the coterie met up with Draven at Anastasia's apartment. They asked him if he had ever heard of the legend of Red Jack, but he had not. Mal investigated the apartment using his powers of Auspex, but found little, until he examined the mirror - he had a sense that something evil came through the mirror. So he took it to the nearest Catholic church, sprinkled it with holy water, and hid it by laying it atop the confessional booths. The coterie resolved to research the matter more thoroughly.

No long before dawn, Monty met with McQueen at a diner on the Loop. He told him "I want everything you have on the 'Tarot Card Killer.' A soon as possible."
Sunday, February 4th, 2007
12:26 am
The Resurrection and the Life, Act I
The beginning act of "The Resurrection and the Life" is set on Sunday, 2/4/07.

Over the course of the previous week, the Ordo Dracul investigated Narcissa's mirror, the Spenser Portrait, and the McCreedy Mansion. They found the mirror to have an "unclassified resonance," the painting to be cursed, and the mansion likely a Wyrm's Nest. Intrigued by the mirror, the Order offered to buy it from Asya, to which he simply replied, "That's not going to happen."

Asya investigated the party his uncle William was to be hosting at the Palmer House Hotel on the 11th, and planned on arranging to be part of the entertainment. He also contacted Treadwell about setting up another poker game for Monty, but another big game will not happen until sometime in March. Draven asked him for the night off and was granted permission. Meanwhile, Monty went off on his motorcycle, looking for a good time.

Cedora stayed at her haven, collating the Sallas Files.

Mal closed up Black Knight Collections early, anticipating possible rioting and looting depending upon the turnout of the Superbowl. He discovered that Vin Mariani was actively trying to acquire the McCreedy Mansion and the Spenser Portrait.

Monty ended up at Jokers Wild. The crowd, always rough, turned even uglier with news of the Colts' victory in the Superbowl. He spotted a young African American man, named J.J. (or Jason Jones), drinking heavily, so he approached the youth and convinced him to tell his story: a variant of the Resurrection Mary story, but the evidence suggests that the ghostly girl he picked up hitchhiking was in fact Mary Ritter, and she vanished in front of the Oak Woods Cemetary (wherein Mary was interred). Intrigued, Monty frighted J.J. off with a flash of his fangs, paid the youth's tab, then set off for the cemetary.

Meanwhile, Asya had discovered that Rolf von Hornstein was in charge of the musical ensemble for his uncle's party, and set in motion plans to be invited as part of the entertainment. He then went to Black Knight Collections, where Mal filled him in on the legend of Red Jack. Asya thought that they should obtain the services of a warlock. They headed back to Dystopia.

Monty investigated Oak Woods Cemetary. He saw someone enter the Oak Woods Chapel, and decided to investigate. He discovered it was Draven and his girlfriend, Anastasia Kylix, to whom Draven has been dealing drugs. She had seen an apparition at the Oak Woods Chapel before, a woman with a pearl necklace. , and called Cedora to meet them at the cemetary. Once Cedora arrived, they used her laptop to investigate the apparition and found it to match Mary Ritter, down to the pearl necklace with which she was buried. Monty sent Draven to take Anastasia home and get her food. Then they decided to call Mal.

Back at Dystopia, Asya continued to try to arrange invitation to his uncle's party while Mal attempted to use his psychometric powers of Auspex on the mirror to learn more of Narcissa's fate. Then they got the call summoning them to Oak Woods Cemetary.

Once at the cemetary, they find that Monty has decided to disinter the corpse of Mary Ritter. Mal senses a great feeling of "obsession" from Mary, and eventually confirms that she is a ghost. Cedora hotwired a backhoe which Monty used to unearth Mary's coffin. He took the pearl necklace with which she had been buried. Mal has a vision of Mary's last moments outside the chapel, and the arrangement of her death to resemble to tarot card "8 of Swords." Monty walked over to the spot where Mary died outside the chapel, and noticed the stained glass window depicting Longinus killing Christ. He said, "I think we need to speak to Miss Ritter herself," and Asya noted, "I think we need to bind a demon from a mirror."

Monty tracked down J.J. and forced him to show where on Woodlawn Avenue he picked up the "hitchhiker" (the ghost of Mary Ritter). Monty planned to spend a lot of time patrolling that stretch of road, hoping the ghost would seek him out.

Asya continued his quest to get himself, Draven, and possibly the others ivited to his uncle's party.

Mal and Cedora continued to research matters using the resources of the Ordo Dracul.
Sunday, January 28th, 2007
12:50 am
Interlude: "Flown with Insolence and Wine" (1/28/07)
Don't get the title? Google it; it'll make more sense. This game was an interlude between the end of "In the Cards" and the next story. It is set on Sunday, January 28th, 2007.

On Friday (1/26/07), Malcom Black sold to Asya the ornate antique mirror that had belonged to Narcissa. He was still very concerned that the mirror might be haunted or cursed in some way, but finally let it go.

Sunday arrrived. As Cedora continued to catalogue and collate the Sallas Files, Asya investigated the party soon to be thrown by his uncle, and noted that the mysterious killings in Hyde Park seem to have stopped . . . for the moment. Monty has already gone through a crate of liquor and needs more, so Asya calles Treadwell to order more, and to set up another card game for Monty. The two of them set out by limo to find a party being thrown by an Invictus named Lucy Armstrong, in hopes of discovering the whereabouts of Ilsa Cotovsky (whom Persephone recommended to Monty last week).

Meanwhile, Mal finally managed to track down the auction house that was holding the Spenser Portrait (and the majority of the McCreedy estate, as luck would have it): Chatham House. It seemed that a minor Lancea Sanctum vampire named Vin Mariani was interested in acquiring the Spenser Portrait. Mal was able to arrange a private viewing and called on Cedora to go with him.

The other two arrived at the posh apartment on Wacker Avenue where Lucy Armstrong was holding a very formal party. The butler, a ghoul, tried to deny them entrance, since they were not appropriately attired, but Asya used his vampiric power to Dominate the servant's mind. Omce inside, they found the guests were being served goblets of blood with a touch of wine. Monty refused the offered goblets, and went to seek Lucy. He interrupted a conversation between Lucy and Alex Gutierrez of the Ordo Dracul. He explained his need to find the Unbound Ilsa, and Lucy replied, "So you value your 'freedom,' do you?" Monty affirmed his desire to "go his own way" and was directed to seek in Millenium Park.

Malcom and Cedora arrived at Chatham House. A human associate named Jeeves McAlistair showed them to a private viewing room, where the Spenser Portrait (from the Cappazucca collection) and the McCreedy collection were on display. Mal used his powers of Auspex first to check the auras of the items (the McCreedy items had an unsettling aura, but the Spenser Portrait had a much more sparkling, magical aura), then to "read" the painting (he had a vision of the artist, Edmund Spenser, painting the "portrait" around the year 1900, using a silver-handled paintbrush and chanting in an unknown language).

Meanwhile, Asya and Monty were wandering in Millenium Park, searching for Ilsa Cotovsky. They saw a woman in a flowing white dress coming across the grass towards them. Monty asked, "Are you Ilsa?" and she replied "Some call me that." So they fell to talking. Ilsa asked "Ilsa . . . who am I?" Ilsa considered carefully a moment, then answered, "You . . . are free. The voice within you, the Beast in your breast knows this. When you dies, you became free from rules and strictures such as the 'covenants' would use to bind you. We are Unbound . . . if only you listen to the Beast within you. DO you agree with these principles?" Monty said that he did, in essence, agree with those principles, but Asaya stated that he did not agree. He clarified, "If you want to be Unbound, that's up to you, but no." After a short talk, Ilsa noted that they had found her, but that she did not know where to find them, so Monty told her to ask for him at Dystopia in Hyde Park. "Well," she said, "I'm sure I'll be seeing you, then . . ."

Meanwhile, at Chatham House, the Dragons were interrupted by the arrival of Vin Mariani, known to them as a fringe member of the Lancea Sanctum, who has expressed a strong interest in acquiring the Spenser Portrait. Mal turned his abilty to see auras on Vin, and saw his aura was a mix of black, deep red, and violet . . . a combination he found quite unsettling. They made some small talk. Vin acquaints the Dragons with the vampire legend of Red Jack, who appears in mirrors if a vampire commands him to five times in Latin. According to legend, no one knows if Red Jack is a demon or spirit or something else, but he rules the mirror realm.

Leaving Vin at Chatham House, Mal declared, "We need the Kogaion . . . or a Sworn of the Mysteries . . ." Knowing that the head of the Sworn of the Mysteries (Barbara Forsmith, Mistress of Equiulibrium)was holding a gathering nearby, they decided to attend. They called Asya and Monty, who also decided to crash the party, so to speak. All arrived at Forsmith's apartment around the same time.

The coterie entered the apartment where the Sworn of the Mysteries were gathered. Asya caused a moment of tension with his all-black wardrobe, since only the Sworn may wear such at a gathering of Dragons, but he quickly donned a jacket of Monty's to relieve the tension. Mal, with the rest of the coterie as his witnesses and support, explained his theories about the Spenser Portrait, Narcissa's Mirror, Lancea Sanctum plots, and possibly demonic influences upon factions of the Sanctified. Asya and Monty crack jokes ("Why did we come here?" "We thought there'd be drinks."). In the end, Forsmith agreed to try to send some Dragons to help examine the objects and places involved and try to figure out some of what's going on. Forsmith also made inquiries as to whether Malcom and/or Cedora were considering joining the Sworn of the Mysteries.
Sunday, January 21st, 2007
1:56 am
In The Cards, Act III (set 1/21/07)
This part of the story takes place on Sunday, 1/21/07, and closes the 3-act story. Since there is still one Sunday left in the month of January, the next game session will probably be an interlude of some sort.

Monty Jacobs dreamt of Madame Strega. In the dream, she had laid out a tarot card spread, but each and every card was the Death card. He tried flipping a few over, but the reverse side was the Death card as well. She said, "What you need to know is, who are you, really? What do you see in your eyes when you look into the mirror? Your doom follows you like your reflection in the glass . . . so who are you?" Monty awakened from this dream quite disturbed.

So Monty ascended the stairs from the basement of Dystopia up through the club, then up to the loft of Asya. Asya's lair is decorated with fake cobwebs and black candles, and the scent of incense hangs in the air. Monty asked, "Who am I?" Receiving the answer, "Ummm . . . Monty?", he turned and went back down to the club. He asked Draven the same question and received the samer answer. So he left the club and climbed on to his new Ducati (black with yellow trim) and roared off into the frigid Chicago night.

Asya called Loki to confirm that he would be there for the meeting with the Lancea Sanctum vampire "Sanders." He then called Malcom Black to confirm plans and set off for Black Knight Collections in his limo.

Meanwhile, Monty arrived at the ally near Black Knight Collections where he had met Madame Strega. The mysterious gypsy was not in the allyway. So Monty went to talk to mal, and to ask him, "Who am I?" Mal tried to use his vampiric Discipline of Auspex to "read" Monty, but when Monty realized what was going on, things got very tense (and Monty cocked his guns) until Asya walked in. They then went to pick up Cedora.

When Cedora got into the limo, she put the news on the radio. The coterie heard the story on the news of how William Peterson (Asya's mortal uncle)was establishing a new museum of history at the University of Chicago, and was arranging as a sponsorship centerpiece an ancient gold bull from Baghdad (nicknamed "Al-Alif") which would appear in televised commercials with members of the Chicago Bulls. The coterie also learned that sometime in February, William Peterson planned to throw a party at the Palmer House Hotel for Chicago's elite (presumably to promote Peterson socially and politically in Chicago). Asya intends to crash the party, of course, perhaps as the msuical guest.

The coterie and Loki arrive at the Temple of the Dark Crusader to meet with Sanders. They find him in the company of Solomon Birch, but Solomon quickly takes his leave. Sanders seems belligerent and uncooperateive, so Asya uses his vampiric powers of Majesty - first Awe, then Revelation, to make Sanders more inclined to answer. Sanders answers all questions put to him, though it seems clear he doesn't know much and truly believes all the Lancea Sanctum's propaganda.

What becomes clear from the interrogation is that Nicodemus was considered a heretic by the Lancea Sanctum. He was a seeker and a researcher, and somehow his researches led him to doubt the doctrine of the Sanctified . . . at least, the fundamentalist version of the faith preached by Solomon Birch, who probably was a large part of the reason Nicodemus was condemned by Prince Maxwell. It was also revealed that Nicodemus had some connection to Narcissa, Asya's sire.

So Mal asked >strong>Asya</strong> the question, "What do you know of your sire?"

Mal, Asya, and Cedora set out to investigate the McCreedy mansion, the abandoned home on the North Side whence came the estate sale (including the antique mirror) purchased by Black Knight Collections. The estate was sold because the former owner, an ancient matriarch named Asenath McCreedy (rumored to be insane) disappeared without a trace about a year ago. Meanwhile, Monty decided to go talk to Persephone.

The investigation by the coterie at the McCreedy mansion turned up very little at first. There was signs that Narcissa had made the place her haven at some time in the past (including an antique silver hair brush she had owned), but nothing recent or significant, until Mal had the chance to use his psychometric powers of Auspex. He had visions of chained mortal captives kept in the basement and apparently sacrificed for their blood. He also saw a vision of Narcissa combing her hair in the mirror, and having a very distinct reflection! A variant question: "What do you know of your sire's . . . practices?" So Asya recounted some of the story of how Narcissa met and Embraced him, tutored him, and then simply vanished one night some time ago. She used to disappear from time to time, so he had thought nothing of it at first, but she has been gone longer than ever before, now.

Meanwhile, Monty appeared at Elysium and approached Persephone. She was surrounded by flatterers, sycophants, admirers, and suitors . . . so Monty deliberately offended them and asked Persephone to talk to him instead, to which she agreed provided they go for a walk. He asked her what he had been asking everyone that night, but with a twist: "Who am I . . . to you?" They walked and talked, and Monty bared his soul to her (trying a different tack - honesty!). In the end, she realizes that he is determined to remain unbound by any covenant, and recommends that he speak to Ilsa Cotovsky, an Unbound Gangrel who is very much like Monty. She makes it clear that she does not like this Ilsa, but that she thinks it best that Monty speak to her.
Sunday, January 14th, 2007
1:40 am
In The Cards, Act II (set 1/14/07)
This act of the story was short, partly by design. partly because while playing the game we were having a lot of fun with off-topic tangents. Whatever. It was fun, anyway.

Act II began with Malcom Black at his antique/pawn shop, Black Knight Collections. He had spent the week learning to refine the vampiric Discipline of Auspex, and was ready to test his new powers of psychometry on the ornate antique mirror that Asya claims had belonged to his sire, Narcissa. He did an inital reading of the object, and sensed only great age (the mirror is over a century old, made in London in the Victorian era, but that was expected - it is an antique, after all). But probing deeper, he sensed an overwhelming aura of evil, followed by very clear images of a deluge of blood. He knew that great quantities of blood had been spilled either upon the mirror or in close proximity to it. The combination caused a flare of emotion in his Beast, as part of his vampiric soul was moved to flight and terror by the overwhelming evil he sensed, and another part threatened to fly into a rage of hunger from the psychic impression of a tide of blood. It was only with great difficulty that he managed to wrestle his emotions under control once more. Suspecting that he might learn more from the thin piece of cardstock retrieved from the smashed mirror in Mary Ritter's dorm room, he set out for Cedora's apartment.

Meanwhile, at the nightclub Dystopia, Asya talked to his retainer Draven about spending more money to stock the club with booze, since Monty presents a huge drain on their resources. Draven commented that Treadwell had offered to be their supplier at some very reasonable prices. Asya also checked to see that his "gifts" had been received by SolomonLoki, and to see if either had responded in any way (neither had). Asya, Monty, and Draven set out for the club Excalibur for a meeting with Treadwell and Monty's card game.

Cedora was at her apartment, scanning the "Sallas files" into her own computer system when mal arrived. Mal obtained the fragment of card from her files and once again probed with his psychometric powers. He was able to determine that the tiny corner of cardstock had belonged to a tarot card - specifially, the 5 of Pentacles, showing beggars dying outside in the cold outside a stained glass window of a church. He was unsure how to interpret this piece of evidence, but was fairly certain that it was significant, just like the fact that the murders taking place on the coterie's turf all seem to be near holy sites (like the Oak Wood Chapel and Rockefeller Chapel). He believed there was a connection to the religious fanatics of the Lancea Sanctum, but cannot determine what that connection is. Meanwhile, Cedora told him about the lost Sallas Station and the mysterious Sallas Files. They set out to investigate.

The other half of the coterie had met with Treadwell at the Excalibur and taken the limo with him to another club of his on the Loop, the Cro-Bar. Treadwell informed them that the poker games he was setting up are meeting under the auspices of the "Crimson Carpet Room" (taken from professional gambler slang in which a "carpet room" or "rug joint" is a place where big-money games happen). Monty meets the other players - a cautious player known as Jake "the Jew" (a professor - both literally, and in the cardplayer parlance of a player who is too thoughtful or cautious), a seemingly emotionless player known as "The Mad Russian," Ivan Nabokov(whose business was said to be import/export from and to Eastern Europe), and a player who seemed to be a corker (player invited to the table because he loses so much, thus financing the game for others) named Peter "Padre" Columbo (whom Monty quickly marked as the "pigeon" in this game). The game began, and Asya began business negotiations with Treadwell while Monty played cards.

Having visited the Sallas Files with Mal, Cedora began to search for any reference to local history involving murders and tarot cards. She immediately came up with the records of the so-called "Taror Card Killer," a serial killer named Herman Hendrick Holmes. Searching his history, she found that he was born in Chicago in 1966, was believed to have killed for the first time in 1981, was arrested in 1994 (with only 3 murders the police could prove were his work, but with rumors that many more had been committed by him), was sent to Joliet prison in 1995, and hanged himself in his prison cell in 1996 (buried in a Potter's Field). Many of the details seemed to relate to the current murders in Chicago, but if the killer died more than 10 years ago, how could the list of victims seem to grow? She looked for records of his defense, and found that the case had been handled by the firm of "Dewey, Chatham, & Howe" (a Leonard Howe, now one of Chicago's most prestigious lawyers, had handled the case).

Meanwhile, Monty won a huge pool of money, eliminating Padre and causing Jake the Jew to fold, but facing the Mad Russian to the end. The Mad Russian vowed vengeance. In all, Monty's take was more than $85,000 (of which Treadwell's cut was about $40,000 for backing Monty and arranging the game and location). Asya had also worked out a deal with Treadwell to purchase about $60,000 worth of liquor, including a crate of very good booze for Monty. Thus began a new partnership with Treadwell.
Sunday, January 7th, 2007
1:13 am
In The Cards, Act I (set 1/7/07)
This story takes place a couple of weeks after the events of "Mary & Nicodemus."

Asya made contact with a fellow member of the Invictus named Treadwell, and set up a meeting at the Excalibur club. He hoped to set up a card game for Monty.

Monty ran into a "gypsy" woman (who introduced herself as "Madame Strega") not far from Black Knight Collections who offered him a tarot card reading. The reading was quite ominous - that death and destruction follow in his wake, and that he has choices to make that could affect how the doom that follows him affects others. The "gypsy" could not tell him much, but seemed clearly frightened by what she saw in Monty's cards. Monty was intrigued and tried to seduce her, but failed. He considered taking her for a victim, but Asya and Cedora arrived to pick him up for the meeting with Treadwell.

Asya entered Black Knight Collections to get Malcom Black to come with them. He found Mal examining an ornate mirror that he recognized as belonging to Narcissa, his sire. Asya offered to buy the mirror from him outright, but Mal wanted a chance to examine the mirror further.

The coterie took the limo the Excalibur. At the club, Monty went to dance and seduce women while the others talked to Treadwell. Cedora overheard a security briefing about a murder in Hyde Park very close to the havens of the members of the coterie, and went to investigate at the scene (the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel). Mal seemed increasing convinced that the Lancea Sanctum was behind the murders, and commented that Nicodemus had probably met "a grim fate."

Meanwhile, Cedora investigated the crime scene. She saw detectives McQueen and Spade at the scene, and tailed McQueen when he left. She followed him to a subway entrance, where she lost him. She waited to try to reacquire him, and even set up some hidden cameras, but failed to locate him. She discovered the existence of the abandoned freight systems under Chicago (some of which are part of the vampire population's "Undercity").

The other members of the coterie ventured to Elysium to try to make it clear that they were not responsible for yet another "vampire-style murder" that took place on their turf, and to try to gauge where other vampires stood on the matter. Monty cuts into a conversation between Norris (Prince Maxwell's spymaster) and Persephone They had been discussing real estate. Persephone seemed quite agitated that Monty would show up here, where everyone would be anaylzing his every move for some hidden meaning. She seemed concerned for his safety, as well as her own.

Asya and Mal went to talk to Sylvia (whom they see as a potential ally against Solomon Birch if he indeed turns out to be their enemy) and Loki. They asked Loki to accompany them to visit Solomon (to ask to meet the leaders of the Lancea Sanctum strike team that took down Nicodemus. But first, Mal wanted to talk to the Kogaion of the Ordo Dracul. He made some phone calls, and discovered that Chicago's Kogaion, Olaf Trygvasson, Remarkable Philosopher of the Fiery Terror, made his lair in Englewood.

The three members of the coterie and Loki went to Englewood to the apartment address of the Kogaion. They introduce themselves using their titles - Mister Asya, Player and Malcom Black, Remarkable Supplicant of Hunger, so that Monty feels compelled to make up his own title: "Lord of Lead, Slinger of Cards, and Romancer of Wives." The Kogaion was unimpressed. He gave Mal information that there could be Wyrm's Nests forming in Hyde Park, and that there had been several subtle shifts in the structure of the local ley lines lately.

Meanwhile, Cedora suspected that McQueen entered the subway tunnels on foot. She sets off to explore, and comes across the abandoned Sallas Station. In the office, she finds a huge set of filing cabinets and card catalogs. It appears that the Chicago PD had been using the abandoned station to store the "Sallas Files" - files on unexplained or unexplainable phenomena connected to police investigations. She spent some time investigating, bugged the office, then left. The Sallas Station was apparently shut down and sealed off about 1959, and was considered dangerous because it was believed that large rats had killed and/or devoured several humans there (the Sallas Station was, in fact, the first "Sallas file").

The other members of the coterie (and Loki) entered the Temple of the Dark Crusader to meet with Solomon. He agreed to set up a meeting between the coterie and Sanders, who led the Lancea Sanctum strike team against Nicodemus.

Asya decided to send Solomon a gift - like an antique Bible carried by a whore or some other sinner. He also considered trying to find a gift appropriate to Loki.
Tuesday, December 19th, 2006
2:00 am
"Mary & Nicodemus," Act III
The final act of the story took place on Sunday, 12/17/06.

The evening began with the appearance of Nicodemus at Dystopia, seeking sanctuary from the Prince's Blood Hunt. He resembled Christopher Lloyd on crack . . . with a beard. Asya and Monty, unsure what to do with him, quickly took him to Malcom at Black Knight Collections, since it was possible that the Prince's agents would find him at Dystopia. The aforementioned members of the coterie decided to take Nicodemus to an warehouse where he might be safe until thy decided what to do with him. Mal's Discipline of Auspex revealed that Nicodemus was not a diablerist, despite the charges against him. He seemed unstable, perhaps the result of tampering with his mind or memories, but not evil. So the seeds of suspicion were planted that someone was setting up Nicodemus, and Monty was not inclined to turn him in if there was a chance he was innocent. Asya was considering the potential of Nicodemus as a bargaining chip, but was unsure exactly how to procede.

Meanwhile, Cedora, having spent the last week trailing the police detectives, decided to break into their houses and investigate more closely. She first visited Detective Spade's abode, then later Detective McQueen's. She found little of what she was seeking. In particular, while she did find references to "Sallas," she was still unable to determine exactly who or what that is. She also found that while both detectives keep records, both were missing files from some of the weirder cases that she knew they had investigated.

The rest of the coterie went to the popular dance club Excalibur to meet with Edgar Treadwell, a member of the Invictus covenant who could help set up a card game for Monty. Arrangements were made for a game in a couple of weeks. Then the coterie decided to go to Prince Maxwell at the Palmer House Hotel to intoduce Monty to him formally and to try to decide whether or not to tell him about Nicodemus. In the social whirlwind of Elysium, contacts were made and plots thickened. Cedorajoined the coterie at the hotal and made contact with the Prince's Hound, "Loki". Monty was introduced to the Prince and managed not to offend him too deeply . . . yet. He also met Sylvia Raines of the Lancea Sanctum, and Mal suspects that the conflict between her and Solomon Birch may have resulted in a power play of some sort that lead to the accusations against Nicodemus. Monty also made the acquaintance of Lucy Armstrong, another member of the Invictus who made it sound as if she could use his talent.

As dawn approached, Prince Maxwell announced that a special task force of his had captured Nicodemus. He made a speech about the need for justice, which members of the coterie found strangely similar to a speech made earlier by the mayor at the funeral of Mary Ritter. The coterie was not sure how to take this, knowing they had lost an opportunity, and that suspicion had fallen upon them for their possible role in sheltering Nicodemus. At the same time, there was some relief that it was no longer their problem or decision. The Elysium concluded and all the Kindred fled to their respective Havens from the advent of dawn. Before going to sleep, however, Monty visited the warehouse where they had stashed Nicodemus, and found evidence of a great struggle (the story was that the Prince unleashed one of his terrible, mindless "grims" against Nicodemus).

The story ended there. Plans were laid for the next story, set to begin on New Year's Eve.
Sunday, December 17th, 2006
3:04 pm
"Mary & Nicodemus," Act II
This story took place Sunday, 12/10/06.

The night began with Asya preparing for his concert at Dystopia and Malcom attending to his business, Black Knight Collections (a combination of antique dealership and pawn shop). Black Knight Collections is considering obtaining a painting known only as the "Spenser Portrait," painted by a Mr. Edmund Spender c. 1900 in an "American Gothic" style. Every person who has owned the painting has died under mysterious circumstances, and it is believed to be cursed. The last family to own the portrait, the Cappazuccas, died recently, leaving the painting up for auction.

Persephone attended Asya's (and Draven's) performance on violin & cello. She observed, as many have noted, the need for a vocalist. Asya played songs with titles like "Death of Hope." He concluded the show with, "I hope you found our little show thoroughly . . . depressing . . ." But the show had other admirers - notably Solomon Birch, head of the local Lancea Sanctum. He seemed to be hoping to recruit Asya. However, Persephone was very concerned that Solomon might see her at this concert that the Prince had expressly forbade her to attend, and so the coterie was obliged to smuggle her out of Dystopia. Leaving Mal to deal with Solomon, the others left for Pandora's Box.

The news report came on that Mary Ritter's corpse had been found by police that night, 8 days from her disappearance. She was found by a chapel, called Oaks Wood Chapel, near the Oak Woods Cemetary. Police were investigating and withholding details of the crime scene - but it seemed mary had been exsanguinated, and already the media were calling it a "vampire killing." Although the media did not mean this literally, the coterie was obviously very concerned at such a threat to the Masquerade on their turf. A reporter (named Karla Kleszak) for the Chicago Tattler, a notorious tabloid rag, was very insistent about being allowed to report about the "supernatural aspects of this murder." Cedora later discovered that Miss Kleczak had once been a respected journalist with the Tribune until she had insisted on printed that a number of deaths had been caused by a cursed painting (The Spenser Portrait, in fact), and so had been fired. The Tattler hired her as a tabloid journalist about a year before our story began. The coterie, at the crime scene, also overheard Spade and McQueen discussing the case with their boss, Captain Janette Cassidy, who mysteriously referred to this as a "Sallas Case." No one, not even Cedora, was able to discover what this reference meant.

The coterie investigated at the police precinct and ME's office. They examined Mary's body, and found the throat had been torn out and that there were signs of torture over many days. Cedora investigated Cassidy and Kleczak, including their homes. The other members of the coterie went to visit Justine Lasky, Keeper of Elysium, to make it clear to the Prince's Court that they had nothing to do with the apparent breach of the Masquerade.

Monty would spend the next few nights looking for a card game. Cedora and Mal would spend the next few nights doing research, and both plan to attend an Ordo Dracul meeting on 12/20/06. Asya intends to spend some time over the next few nights among the Invictus, trying to find out what the impact of Mary Ritter's death - apparently at the hands of Nicodemus - would be on the coterie.
Monday, December 4th, 2006
11:46 am
"Mary & Nicodemus," Act One
The first story in our new Vampire: The Requiem chronicle was tonight, (Sunday, December 3rd, 2006). As much as possible I am trying to set it in real-time, so the date in the story was also December 3rd.

The story opened at the Gothic nightclub Dystopia, owned by "Asya". The coterie was gathered there - William M. Peterson Jr. ("Asya"), Montgomery Andrew Jacobs ("Monty"), Malcom Black ("Mal"), and Cedora March.

The coterie was approached by Garret McLean,, the Prince's Seneschal, who brought news of a hunt for a vapire named "Nicodemus, who stands accused of violating the Masquerade, consorting with Belial's Brood, Diablerie, and other crimes. No description was possible because of this Kindred's use of the Obfuscate Discipline. Meanwhile, the coterie learns from TV news about the search for a missing Chicago socialite named Mary Ritter, a college student missing in the area of Hyde Park (where the coterie is based). A pair of police detectives, Rex McQueen and Decker Spade were snooping around the area for signs of the missing girl.

Monty left to go carousing, heading to another nearby Gothic club called Pandora's Box. He later ran into Detective McQueen there as well, and stole his notebook. He became interested in the case of Mary Ritter.

Asya remained at the club. He met Persephone Moore, the childe of Prince Maxwell. Persephone persuaded Asya to play with his "band" (himself on violin, Draven on cello). She was impressed and plans to attend his next show, even if she must defy Prince Maxwell to do so.

Mal and Cedora received e-mail from Dr. Ogden Nummis about a shipment of archaeological relics coming into O'Hare from Israel that he wants "lost." They seem to agree to help, for a cut. They begin to investigate the case of Mary Ritter, visiting her dorm room and discovering a broken mirror, a faint scent of death detectable by supernatural senses (Auspex), and evidence that a card of some kind had been stuck in the mirror-frame. They take the evidence back to Cedora's apartment/lab for further analysis, but this yields little.

Meanwhile, Monty contacts Asya and Persephone and meets them at a rough local club called Jokers Wild. Here they investigate a little further into the Mary Ritter case, and find she associated with a mysterious "Nick," might just be "Nicodemus". All the members of the coterie share information by cell phone, and then head home before sunrise.

3 XP were awarded to each character, except Monty who got 4 (1 extra for the "Coolness" point).
Friday, November 24th, 2006
11:27 am
Post-Thanksgiving Strategy Wrap-Up
Well, time for the traditional post-Thanksgiving wrap-up. Still no name for the new chronicle (though "Return to Chi-Town" or "Chi-Town II" have been jokingly suggested). At this point we have:

Malcom Black - A mover of antiques and curiosities (and fence for stolen goods) enbraced by a Mekhet called "Lawrence." His covenant is Ordo Dracul. Played by Bob.

Monty Jacobs - A cardshark and gunslinger of the Old West embraced by the mysterious "Stranger" into clan Daeva. He moved to Chicago chasing rumors of his mortal family, but has spent a long time in torpor and has lost the trail. He belongs to no covenant. Played by Cherms.

Asya - a.k.a. William M. Peterson III, a rebellious youth from a wealthy family among Chicago's elite, "Asya" embraced the Goth club lifestyle and was in turn embraced by a Daeva Toreador called "Narcissa." Not long after his embrace, his mortal parents died in a strange murder-suicide pact. He is a member of the Invictus. Played by Harry.

And an as-yet-unnamed Mekhet of the Ordo Dracul who is a thief. Played by Liz.
Friday, November 10th, 2006
2:54 am
Strategy Session 11/9/06
Traditional pre-Thanksgiving strategy session for Winter Gaming commenced today. It looks like our next chronicle will be Vampire: the Requiem (which none of us have ever played - indeed for all of us, this would be our first gaming in the "new" World of Darkness.

Rough concepts so far:

Cherms - is thinking of recycling his Gangrel gunslinger concept from our ill-fated V:tM "Las Vegas" chronicle.

Harry - as usual, has a fairly well-developed concept in advance: a Goth Daeva of the Toreador bloodline who has slain his own parents for their money and gotten away with the crime because of his undead, vampiric nature.

Liz - is thinking of a Mekhet catburglar concept
with some exceptional stealth skills

Bob - is considering an archaeologist/treasure seeker/antique-dealer/fence/Indiana Jones type of character, probably of the Mekhet clan
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