Monday, December 6, 2010

A Matter of Siredom

It is with a heavy heart that I write this entry down.
My thoughts on the matter are confused enough as it may become
without weighing as well the matters of security
and of bloodline.

These survivors of the Conspiracy of Isaac,
Michael de Valois, Iakov Mysi,
Steffan Wandermann, Tatianna Stoyan,
Hanz Viecht, Jacqueline Laurent,
and Celement,
these fledgling vampires
have accomplished far more in the mere week
they have held Caine's blood in their veins
than some of us have in our first century 
as Kindred.

They have stood among and fought against elders.
They have challenged ancients.
They have watched an Antedeluvian die.

These ancillae have entered their unlives
at a period most precocious in immortal affairs.
And even the crone herself, Durga Syn,
senses that something extra-ordinary exists about them.

a vampire's character would be easy to anticipate based on who their sire is.
But these kindred were born out of necessity,
or urgency,
not love.

I do not know what to expect of them.

Times are certain to be more interesting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Assassin. That's what they call my kind. Assamites. Dealers of death. Warrior judge of the night.

Some assassin I turned out to be.

I had intended to make my mark that night, the night Claudius and his sire Augustus revealed their hand. I wanted to make them pay for what they did to us, to me. I wanted to feast on Claudius blood and watch as he turned into ash. But that was not meant to be.

Instead, I was thrown about like a weak little kitten. I was an insignificant wasp to them, my sting barely felt. Again, I felt useless and weak, unable to defend myself from their predations. Like the night after the dinner, I came away with nothing except another mark of my shame.

I look at my withered forearm and wonder why I still live. Is God cruel to allow me to continue this way? I should be dead and buried. I sometimes wish I could be. She says it would be possible. They call it torpor.

But then I remember Claudius and his sanctimonius grin, his arrogant threats. I will not die! Not until he and his family are sent to hell by my hands.

Perhaps this stranger will help me. She reminds me of Japeth but without the passivity that doomed him.

Perhaps the others of my coterie will help me.

Perhaps I that is the reason why I am still here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Useless Humanity

Steffan WandermannI do not understand why I tried to save him.

Before entering that damned garden, I swore to myself that I would only watch the events as they would unfold. This was not my fight after all - what did I care about mad men who believed they could be gods? May it be the Founders or the Conspirators, it did not matter to me. True, I was no longer human and my life as a proud artisan journey was over. But now I was so much more than that and somehow I knew that getting involved in the fight between these lunatics would only endanger me. As much as we now have access to powerful new abilities of an infernal nature, I also know we're still very vulnerable. There is just so much that we yet know about the dark arts granted to us by the blood of our sires.

But when the fighting began and I saw Rafael on the ground being gored by that brute, I knew I had to act. As much as this unlife has been full of dangers left and right, there were still debts to be paid and some sense of humanity to be maintained.

Humanity - what a strange thought now that we are of the undead. What does it mean to be human anymore, now that we can mold flesh to our whims, control the very shadows around us and even summon lesser creatures to our aid? When one can move with preternatural speed or see into the very thoughts of other men, are we still human to any extent?

What did my humanity get me? I failed in my attempts to save Rafael and was injured significantly because of it. After the winds began, again I gave into my human instincts but instead was rewarded with a loss of the precious vitae that keeps us alive, for lack of a better term.

My humanity be damned. I see no reason to continue on with this lot. I was lucky to escape the harrowing events of that night in the garden with my pale semblance of a life barely intact!

No, my mission is clear. These abilities were given for a reason - one that directly links to my former artistry as a journeyman. But no longer will I need to kowtow to the Church and the nobles who have want of my previous services. Now I will learn how to craft the very flesh and bone of our bodies to achieve true perfection.

And to do this, I know my path must lead to the Lady.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A dead dove, with a spatter of blood

At the end of it all, I had in my trembling hands a dead dove - spattered with the vile blood of the cause of all this.

I have to admit that I do not know if we have achieved anything that night. We have not been able to save Japheth from Cladius' foul taking of his lifesblood and soul - what Japheth himself had described as the act of the Amaranth. We were stunned to find out that even that despicable act was only meant to cloud our eyes to what Claudius and his sire Augustus' ultimate plan was - to consume the blood and soul of Cappadocious himself, the progenitor of the Cappadocian clan of Kindred.

Aye, we failed to do anything to prevent that as well.

Our unlikely "coterie" of fledgelings had only been able to lend to the confusion that raged around the center stage of events, where Cladius' Conspirators fought against Hardestadt's Founders. Our sires had wanted to save their unlives, realizing the immensity of the sin that Claudius and his sire had orchestrated. Hardestadt and his so-called Founders had burst in, proclaiming death to the Conspirators for their crimes.

Ultimately, the melee that ensued led to the bloodshed that could be expected from Kindred elders tearing at each others throats, with my companions and I in various states of injury and bewildered by what had just taken place.

All that, and a dead dove with a spatter of blood, in my hands.

I will not claim to understand everything that took place that night. I hope to find out what it all means, and how this now affects the rest of our unlives.

One thing I am sure of is that I will forever remember what happened. I believe that I will keep what remains of this dove. Someone may be able to explain the importance of this insignificant thing to me.

In their Own Words

Each one has their own story to tell.  Their own views to share.
And their own confessions to make.

In this game, the dead do tell tales.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Repentant Monk

Brother Clement
Clan Unknown, Assumed to be 7th Generation
Embrace:  April 4, 1444

While most of the other guests that night died (and some would say dying would have been far more merciful an ending), Brother Clement was one of those who survived.  When the Children of the Conspiracy finally met with the Conspiracy of Isaac once more, the vampires regarded the survivors with a certain degree of respect and awe.  The newly embraced Cainites had survived the wrath of The Founders, after all, and thus were worthy of some level of respect.

Claudius Giovanni immediately attempted to forge new ties with the newly embraced vampires, having their Sires approach them to congratulate them or welcome them to their appropriate Clans.  None, however, approached Brother Clement.  The Lady Jadviga immediately explained that none were able to witness as to who gave Brother Clement the vitae that transformed him, and it was to be a mystery that will remain one for the time being.

Clement however has shown a vulnerability to sunlight and in one occasion was witnessed speaking to what he claimed to be an angel hovering above the night sky.  He had admitted to being formerly part of an order known as The Red Monks but had long lost their favor.  But just as dawn was nearing, the Children could not deny seeing the burning cross that emerged in the cloudy sky just as Clement demanded that God himself give him a sign that he should not simply await the coming sun.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Calm and Rage of Steel

Michel de Valois, Chevalier, Marquis de FontainebleauClan Malkavian, 7th Generation
Childe of Lady Theopana
Embrace:  April 4, 1444

Michel learned after his Embrace that the world is filled with so many more secrets and details than he thought before.  Little did he know this new form of perceptiveness was the result of his Sire's subtle nudge for him to keep using his newfound gifts of Auspex.  

Time will tell, however, how the blood of Malkav shall truly affect the former soldier.  Madness has always been attributed to the Malkavian line and how this will manifest in Michel's life remains to be seen.

The Maker and his Work

Steffen Vanderman
Clan Tzimisce, 7th Generation
Childe of Lord Mieczyslav
Embrace:  April 4, 1444

After being tricked by the Fiend to carve on a living person as he normally did stone, Steffen is beginning to discover exactly how horrifying the powers of the Tzimisce actually are.   Not only can flesh be molded like clay in his hands, but so too can the wills of animals.

Steffen still struggles to find his place in this new existence.   Prior to the Embrace, he already felt the struggle to relate with others.  All the more now in this shadow world of the Kindred.  Stranger still, he has noticed that he has gained a habit of biting on his thumb -- even to the point of gnawing on it -- and as far as he can recall, he has never had this habit before.

Of Beasts and Children

Iakov Mysi
Clan Ravnos, 7th Generation
Childe of Gabrin
Embrace:  April 4, 1444

The young rat catcher quickly discovered while imprisoned in Lord Hardestadt's prison that he had gained the supernatural ability to speak with his dog, Ugor.  It did not take long for him to realize the other gifts being a cainite were to grant.  The supernatural toughness and the ability to even quell temporarily the beasts of other vampires were within his reach.

Iakov however was told that his Sire did not survive the assault of the Founders that fated evening.  He struggles with the weight of the Ravnos curse upon his thoughts, overwhelming him with the urge to succumb to one of the seven deadly sins.

Of Silence and Murder

Tatiana Stoyan
Clan Assamite, 7th Generation
Childe of Lord Bajazet al-Nasir
Embrace:  April 4, 1444

The events of the fated evening have forever scarred the young woman who hides behind the name Alexi Stoyan.   As one of the seven survivors of that terrible ordeal, Tatiana now seeks to understand her strange new existence as one of the walking dead.

Though she is still struggling to comprehend her vampiric nature, Tatiana was told that Bajazet Al-Nasir was destroyed by his own Clan.  The Lady Jadviga Almanov of Bohemia advised her that it may be best she pose as a member of the High Clans.  The wily Ventrue has offered that Tatiana claim to be her childe instead; an offer Tatiana considers carefully with much trepidation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eastern Europe 1444

The dark winding roads and shadowy paths of Eastern Europe hide many secrets and unspoken truths.   Many whisper fearfully of the cold night and the strange things the darkness brings:  of wolves that roam in packs yet act with unexpected intelligence, of glowing eyes that watch from the depths of shadow only to vanish and leave no tracks with the first coming of light...

The conflicts between the French and the English remain volatile as ever, even with the Treaty of Tours attempting to establish a peaceful agreement through marriage.  The actions and legend of The Maiden still remains fresh in the minds of the populace.  The al-Istirdad, known more among the Castilans and other Iberian Christians as the Reconquista, continues though at this time the Moors were mostly now based in the Kingdom of Granada.

The Church remains a powerful force, and the threat of excommunication is enough to force many to silently follow their demands.   This marks a period where fear and ignorance are far more commonplace than compassion.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life During these Times

Lord and Lackey

Life during this time was extremely hard. There existed a clear devision between people who were considered noble and people who were considered peasants/serfs. Among the serfs, most would be farmers who would work in the fields owned by the lords. Their role as farmers however would shift as required of them based on the time of the year. During certain seasons, the farmers would instead practice other odd jobs as needed of them. Clearly, peasants were at the bottom of the existing Feudal system.

Each peasant was expected to obey their local lord, an expectation reinforced by an oath of obedience sworn on the Bible which every peasant was raised from childhood to believe. Such an obedience was typically assumed to apply as well to the duke, earl or baron who actually owned the lord's property. While the noble were typically based on blood lineage, other nobles were noble due to their ownership of land and title. It was not uncommon for both kinds to view the other with some level of discrimination.

All peasants were expected to pay out money in taxes or rent. The rent was to be paid to the lord, and the tax was paid to the church as what was known to be a tithe. This tax was 10% of everything that a farmer had produced in a year. If unable to pay with money, a peasant was still expected to pay using whatever he owned, be it seeds, personal belongings and the like.

On church land however, a peasant was expected to work for free. The idea that God literally could see one committing sins and punish them was enough to frighten most to not question this rule.


Peasants lived in cruck houses. These had a wooden frame onto which was plastered wattle and daub. This was a mixture of mud, straw and manure. The straw added insulation to the wall while the manure was considered good for binding the whole mixture together and giving it strength. The mixture was left to dry in the sun and formed what was a strong building material.

Cruck houses were not big but repairs were quite cheap and easy to do. The roofs were thatched. There would be little furniture within the cruck houses and straw would be used for lining the floor. The houses are likely to have been very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Windows were just holes in the walls as glass was very expensive. Doors might be covered with a curtain rather than having a door as good wood could be expensive

At night, any animal you owned would be brought inside for safety. There were a number of reasons for this.

First, wild animals roamed the countryside. England still had wolves and bears in the forests and these could easily have taken a pig, cow or chickens. The loss of any animal could be a disaster but the loss of valuable animals such as an ox would be a calamity.

If left outside at night they could also have been stolen or simply have wandered off. If they were inside your house, none of these would happen and they were safe. However, they must have made the house even more dirty than it usually would have been as none of these animals would have been house-trained. They would have also brought in fleas and flies etc. increasing the unhygienic nature of the house.

The houses would have had none of the things we accept as normal today – no running water, no toilets, no baths and washing basins. Soap was unheard of and as was shampoo. People would have been covered with dirt, fleas and lice. Beds were simply straw stuffed mattresses and these would have attracted lice, fleas and all types of bugs. Your toilet would have been a bucket which would have been emptied into the nearest river at the start of the day.

Water had a number of purposes for peasants – cooking, washing etc. Unfortunately, the water usually came from the same source. A local river, stream or well provided a village with water but this water source was also used as a way of getting rid of your waste at the start of the day. It was usually the job of a wife to collect water first thing in the morning. Water was collected in wooden buckets. Villages that had access to a well could simply wind up their water from the well itself.

Towns needed a larger water supply. Water could be brought into a town using a series of ditches; lead pipes could also be used. Water in a town would come out of conduit which was similar to a modern day fountain.

Bathing was a rarity even for the rich. A rich person might have a bath just several times a year but to make life easier, several people might use the water before it was got rid of!

It was said that a peasant could expect to be fully bathed just twice in their life; once, when they were born and when they had died! Face and hand washing was more common but knowledge of hygiene was non-existent. No-one knew that germs could be spread by dirty hands.

London had a number of public baths near the River Thames. These were called "stews". Several people at one time would bath in them. However, as people had to take off what clothes they wore, the stews also attracted thieves who would steal what they could when the victims were hardly in a position to run after them!

Regardless of how water was acquired, there was a very real potential that it could be contaminated as toilet waste was continuously thrown into rivers which would make its way into a water source somewhere.

Families would have cooked and slept in the same room. Children would have slept in a loft if the cruck house was big enough.


The lives of peasant children would have been very different to today. They would not have attended school for a start. Very many would have died before they were six months old as disease would have been very common. As soon as was possible, children joined their parents working on the land. They could not do any major physical work but they could clear stones off the land – which might damage farming tools – and they could be used to chase birds away during the time when seeds were sown. Peasant children could only look forward to a life of great hardship.   For all peasants, life was "nasty, brutish and short.":-)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

An Invitation

Thirteen Individuals from varying backgrounds each receive an invitation to be present in a banquet being hosted by Lord Claudius Giovanni.  Rich.  Poor.  Religious.  Talented.  Beautiful.  Intellectual.  Skilled.  Each one a shining example of one virtue or another.  Each one with a reason to accept the invitation.

On the 3rd of April, 1444, the thirteen arrive at the Red Lamb Inn and make the decision that will change their lives forever.

On the 94th day, the thirteen leave the Red Lamb Inn and make their way to La Bella Casa Giovanni.  Little did the thirteen know this was going to be a day that rewrites the destinies of countless immortals forever.

The 94th Day.
A Giovanni Chronicles Campaign

Aldwin | Rocky | Sam | Seth
- the players -

- the storyteller -