Monday, January 31, 2011

The Dead Still Tell Tales

(This letter was found on the body of a messenger loyal to the family of Giovanni. It's authenticity has been confirmed as the final missive of one Antonio Giovanni, head of the trading house in Torino, Italy.)

Most esteemed Claudius Giovanni,

As requested, I am sending you the latest reports of our holdings in France.

Lyon is now open to trade and their silk now travels along the route to Roma. We have managed to acquire 10 bolts of silk of the highest quality after "negotiations" with the merchant Lambert. The next shipment will arrive in six months time. Our eyes, ears and fists in Lambert's home will ensure it.

Marseille continues to provide us with much needed oils and perfume from the east. The Guillem merchants assure us that the raids of pirates along the coast will not affect trade whatsoever. However, we have dispatched la gruppo armato to ensure that our shipments are uninterrupted.

Anette, has learned her lessons well. She has been put in charge of the mercado of the city. Business goes well; our profits have increased twice fold due to her determination and political savvy. La funzionario of the city are quite charmed by her and act to please her every whim. It was good of you to send her to replace my tenente di vascello.

Which brings me to our next order of business. I would like to once again plead with you to investigate his death and send additional assistance. Mario was loyal to me and to the family. His death was...unfortunate but I do not believe he committed suicide. He was murdered, maestro. I am not strong enough in la arte di la nigrimancy to call his spirito from the other side.

Our spettro servo told me that they had witnessed someone with him before he "threw" himself from the roof of his palazzo. It is my belief that this person was attempting to break the Camarilla's Masquarade. Mario knew better and so lay where he was while the people gawked and stared. He was carted off to be buried but he never made it outside of city.

Also, merchants within the city have become afraid to deal with us directly, saying that their moneylenders and messengers have been turning up dead if at all. The Prince will not lift a finger to help. I have used my contacts to determine if an assassin has been contracted against us. The Children of Haquim deny their involvment but our spies tell us of a rogue Cainite hunting the streets of the city. Please, you must... (The rest of the message becomes unreadable as it is covered with the messenger's blood)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Clement of the Conspiracy,

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that you have been denied your request to administer the Embrace upon your charge.  Given that your own Embrace was an event that was not sanctioned by the Camarilla, nor was it something your "sire," whoever it may be, has come forward to make formal, a childe from you would be nothing but another Caitiff to add upon their growing numbers.

The Camarilla will not have you add to the very cause of the coming Gehenna.
Your motion for an Embrace is denied.

In Malkav's name,

Camilla Banes

Post Script:
Does Iakov Mysi even know of what you have requested?
I ask you to consider what you have done.  She is likely in her twilight of years by now.
Have you no Humanitas within you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

A letter to Iakov Mysi regarding Jerusalem circa 1479


I hope this missive finds you in good health and peaceful surroundings. We may have talked about this before, but I still would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the danger that I had exposed you to during our trip to the Holy Land.

I did not expect such an event to occur. My sire had not given much explanation, other than our Father's desire to meet me once the Five have made themselves known to each other. He still lives, and is among us! It will be interesting to see how the Sabbat will react (sooner, rather than later) if they know what I now know. What we know. What all of you will know. Especially after what has happened at Thorn.

You still may not know or understand it, but had I not gone against my sire's wishes for me to wait, you, and every Cainite in the city would have perished. The others I could care less of, but to have risked a friend's, nay a brother's life unnecessarily for something I barely understood at the time was unforgivable. For this I humbly apologize.

As for your sister - perhaps we will have better luck as we move on. I will help you with this as much as I possibly can, at the very least as a means to atone for endangering you back in the Holy Land.




Marianna was right. I should have moved quicker. I had ignored her warnings and perhaps have sealed my dear daughter's fate.

It is too late though, to wonder what could have been. What steps I could have taken to prevent this.

My only daughter is now dead, ashes left for the sunrise.

To her executioner - I do not know if I can sincerely thank you for this, or to condemn you to an eternity of enlightenment. On one hand - you had saved her from further being brought into Claudius' machinations. On the other - you took away my only dauther.

Thank you, Tatiana Stoyan, for releasing my child from Claudius' grip.

Damn you, Tatiana Stoyan, for denying me my right as her father to set her right, and perhaps say goodbye one last time.

I will make sure that once Claudius is destroyed, you will find peace in the remainder of your unlife. Malkav watch over you until then.

Anette - Please be patient with your buffoon of a father - I will eventually meet you and Luc wherever you may be now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Regarding Madam Cloaca

Master Van Bauren,

I feel that I should inform you of an encounter I had recently with one of your clanmates. She calls hereself Madam Cloaca. She haunts the streets and sewers of Rome as a beggar but is actually more than she seems.

She is old; it is my impression that she has awakened from torpor only recently. She does not seem to be aware of what has happened in the last two centuries or so. Therefore, she does not know of the Camarilla or the Masquarade. In fact, I encountered her as she disposed of a body by throwing it away like a ragdoll to the roof of a building.

I followed her for some time after the fiasco at Alphonse (Iakov will notify you of the details of the incident). Yes, she did not use her powers to conceal herself from me; I found this unusual since I know your clan's penchant for stelath and secrecy. She wandered the streets talking to herself in Latin.

I think that it would be in the best interest of the Camarilla to induct her in our ways to protect the Masquarade. She was...instrumental in our investigation as to who might have assisted in the acquisition of the text we are after. However, her recent actions make her a danger to the Camarilla and the Kindred as a whole.

And if you should need of my services regarding this matter, please let me know.



Friday, January 21, 2011

That the Anarch War Come to an End

Many years have passed since the start of our current conflict now called the Anarch Movement. Be it known that on this night of 23 October, 1493, the Jyhad has ended. The time for self-destruction is over.

This Concordat, bound in the Covenant of Caine by sacred vow, represents an unyielding vigilant truce between the Kindred known unto themselves as Anarchs, the Clan Assamite and the free-standing Kindred bound under the title of Camarilla. Henceforth, the parties shall be recognized by faction as the Anarchs, the Assamites and the Camarilla.

Each of the parties agrees to the responsibility of maintaining peace. Each shall lay its censures upon any who breach or oppose this sacred Agreement. Accounting will be made of all parties for violations by them to either the letter or spirit of this Agreement. This document is legally binding under the accepted Lextalionis of all Cainites as it has passed through the ages. All Kindred are entreated to accept and gain pleasure from this peaceful accord.

Be it known that the Anarchs will enjoin with the Camarilla as an accepted part, making it whole. Anarchs are expected to work peacefully to achieve their own ends. They must become defenders of all and they shall receive full entitlement to all rights and privileges belonging to all Camarilla Kindred. All Anarchs shall be accepted back unto their elders and their formerly denounced clans without any fear of reprisal. Only the most vicious of atrocities shall not be forgiven. These shall stand written for the Justicars to hear within one year after which all allegations are no longer valid. All Anarchs shall reclaim all remaining and rightful property confiscated from them. In return, they must turn over any war gains taken during the conflict by giving them to their sires or any recognized clan elder.

Know also that if the Anarchs are further warred upon, this open jyhad invalidates their responsibility to maintain peace with their attacker. They may act freely without fear of reprisal from any nonactive members of the Camarilla. Anarchs are guaranteed the freedom to act as they please short of breaching the “Masquerade” imposed for the protection of all Kindred from the kine.

It is also noted that any member of any other self-proclaimed sect must openly declare this before his elders and renounce this relation. Failure to do so will result in the destruction of any deemed guilty. No Kindred may be sent knowingly to his death by an elder or sire unless the security of clan or Camarilla outweighs the possible loss of unlife.
From this night forward, the Assamites shall henceforth no longer commit diablerie upon members of other clans. The Assamites must commit themselves to this acceptance by a mark of assurance placed upon them in the form of a thaumaturgical limitation. All members of the Assamites shall become unable to drink freely of the vitae of other Kindred from now unto forever. In addition, the Assamites shall pay the Brujah elders of Spain two thousand pounds of gold in ransom of the five Assamite elders captured committing diablerie. Also, the Assamites may no longer participate in Blood Hunts.

Be it also known the Assamites are guaranteed complete independence from Camarilla demands. The Assamite fortress, Alamut, shall be free from any further assaults. Assamites are also granted, out of respect for their beliefs, the freedom to commit diablerie upon all Kindred not recognized as holding membership within the Camarilla.

It is rendered that all parties involved and all showing allegiance to any of these parties shall be held responsible for all aspects of this Convention brought forth here, in the neutral kingdom of England, outside the hamlet of Thorn, near the town of Silchester. May Caine hold truth and peace for us all. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A message to the Founders

Oh most "honorable" Camarilla

I care nothing for your views, your goals, or your lofty ideals.  I care nothing for your desire to search for a world under the oppressive hands of the Antedeluvians.  Ours has perished, crushed beneath our might, and you dare think that your vision would burn bright enough to tear away the shadows of the Lasombra?

You were wrong to assume that the revolt would end with the so-called Treaty. 

You were wronger still to assume that your Inner Council holds sway over us the way the Antedeluvians believed as well.  We are all children of the Forgiving God, and we are all meant to be in this world to play a role in His Divine Plan.

Your request is ignored.  I care nothing for the sake of the Anathema you claim that seeks refuge among my people.  I care nothing for these Children of the Conspiracy, nor for the one among their ilk who has found a place in your supposedly intimidating Red List.

Iberia is mine.
The Night will always have shadows.
And my shadows have eyes.

Do not test me.


In correspondence between light and shadow

The Lord's blessings upon you.   

The years that have passed have been a merciless trial.    I had long thought that to be denied the warmth of the Lord's very sun was a horrid truth in itself.  But in the passage of years, I have become more aware of the truth to this dark gift we have been given.  It is a Curse.  A true curse of evil and damnation.

In the years that have passed, I have taken it upon myself to care for the youngling.  Her education must be continued if she is to comprehend what has come to pass.  Let the French fool insult the Almighty and the German blasphemer ignore the wrath of Heaven.  I shall not let the darkness reach beyond our defiled bodies and infect the pure.

It is to my understanding that you are close to the young Ratcatcher.  I have never been seen in his favor.  But the angels have whispered to me that you and he have forged an alliance of sorts, with a body of merchants as your arms.  Please tell him that I have kept her safe.  Tell him that I have done what I must to ensure her purity remains intact.

Tell him she is in good hands.

Yours in God's love,

Clement you idiot!
It was you?  All those years and it was you?
Do you realize what Iakov Mysi could do, nay, WOULD do to you if he were to learn that it was you who took her from the university?  I should have realized it when he mentioned to me that his sister was being courted by an angel.  An angel!

It has been over fifty years, Clement.
What have you done to her?

Where is she now?!?


She is well.
That is all I can and will say.
This is my final missive for now.

We are to take a pilgrimage and I do not know when I can write back to you.

But again, have faith in the Lord.
The angel is well.

Yours in the Lord's love,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dark Thoughts Or Prophetic Visions?

Steffan WandermannIt has been more than two centuries since I had last seen my "siblings" of the blood - and yet already I feel it has been too soon for a reunion. Trouble seems to follow us as a group as if we were cursed, but I suppose we all knew that to be true since the night we were embraced by the damned Conspiracy.

Yes, we are definitely cursed and woe and misfortune follow us everywhere we go.

But what was more disturbing for me beyond the attack on our vessel was the odd resurgence of memories I had long buried. Why my thoughts have returned to the dark events of the past centuries - the fall of Cathedral of Flesh, the salt witch creature and of course Vlad - I know not the reason. But if I've learned anything since my Embrace, these are visions that I cannot easily dismiss offhand.

Are these warnings about my vulnerabilities? That day I scarcely escaped the salt fiend was a strong reminder of how even as Kindred we remain so fragile. But beyond that, it also reinforced the many ways that even we, with all of our preternatural abilities, can be manipulated and controlled. I still do not know for sure what happened in the five years I "lost", and I certainly do not look forward to that happening to me again.

But beyond all the other memories that have forced their way into my consciousness even during the heat of battle, why Vlad? I have not turned my thoughts to him since the fall of the Cathedral - at least that's as far as I can remember. I can never be too sure about such things anymore. But Tepes was always an individual that put me on edge even among fellow Tzimisce. He was always a strange mix of beauty and brutality in one individual.

And one that I had been asked to Sire.

While immortality is an amazing gift in itself, I can only wonder if the human mind was built to live this long. Can we truly remember everything that happens in more than 200 years of existence? When do years start feeling like mere minutes or even seconds of time in the greater scheme of things? And if the mind can only handle so much, then what dark designs makes one remember some of the most horrific periods of my undead life?

For now I shall bide my time with my siblings, if only to learn more about what they're about at this point. There have been so many changes since the night in the garden and we're all grown in different ways, if we can call it that. But more and more I remain uncertain as to how far I can trust them. There are too many things going on beyond our understanding and once again I feel we are at a point when events are moving us around like pawns instead of us shaping events.

Given what happened the last time we all gathered together on that fateful night, I can only hope to find a way to make sure we come out with a different outcome. This time I will take control of my own fate - or at least escape being trapped in the designs of others.

Concerning Lato Destro Augustus


My Childe has found solace playing the role of a destroyer.
Since the fated embrace, my Childe has taken it upon herself to hunt members of the Giovanni Clan that can be reached and giving them the blessings of Final Death.  Much to my surprise, the young society known as the Camarilla has yet to raise their hands against her.    Word has it, the actions of my Childe have been deemed acceptable simply due to the fact she has refrained from tasting the sweetest blood.

I have failed the brotherhood.
I have acted too late.
I should have approached her sooner.  Inducted her to our ways.
But my blindness of her due to her sex had caused my downfall.

She is now in the attentions of Schrekt.
I must withdraw.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Regarding the Scions of the Maiden's Loyal Steel


I have taken it upon myself to bear witness to the events that occurred this late Winter of the year 1461.  Seventeen precious years since the embrace of the so-called Children of the Conspiracy, I have taken note of the activities of Anette and Luc de Valois.  As expected, the disappearance of their father, Michel de Valois, has given the Dauphin reason to believe him dead.  And it is only thanks to the kindness of the Dauphin's wife, Marie d'Anjou and Queen Yolande of Aragon that the two children were then welcomed into the household and raised as their own.   Though their family lines were of relation, neither child was fully embraced to be called as one of Charles VII's children.  Louis XI and Charles, Duke of Berry remained the sole children that the Dauphin was known to have.

With the Dauphin's death now near, one which I have discerned to be caused by a lingering sickness which has stripped from him the ability to swallow food or water, both Anette and Luc de Valois stand close to the Dauphin's younger son Charles.  The two have gained in many ways the trust and favor of the young Charles, more to the point when Luc de Valois wisely reminded them of the dying Dauphin's wish to be buried beside his parents in Saint-Denis.

I can foresee the two gaining greater political strength, if not influence, than their father had ever imagined.  I can only wonder how Michael de Valois feels of his children now that both have come to adulthood with greater than meager resources at hand.

My report,

Josef von Bauren

post script:
It has only occurred to me just as I was to seal my missive that I have referred to the late King as a Dauphin in my letter.  I do hope you forgive me for this confusing mistake.  Then again, I have little love for the French.  More so French nobility.  Their penchant of naming most of their children the same way exhausts my reservoir of logic.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Song From Jerusalem

In song and amber, red and foul,
a vision comes before me
of hungry shadows and flesh that prowls
and hearts that cannot see.

Be watchful and ever vigilant
the monster among you hides well.
Oh knave, oh brother, medicant
your faith best resides in hell.

The younger and the company
will find destruction nearing
for crumbling bone flesh property
shall be the sleeper's feasting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A letter to Ceoris

I address this missive to two of whom I remain loyal to:

Master Calderon of the Inner Circle
Master Abetorius of the Inner Circle

I am certain that you have, by now, heard of the so-called Children of the Conspiracy of Isaac.  I am aware that you have noted among them there is a childe whose blood flows with the line of Tremere.   I confess that the inept Sire, Lord Casmir, has escape punishment so far, but I am in the process of ensuring his destruction. Of the child, however, Iakov Mysi is under my care and guidance.  There is no need of fearing that our Clan's secrets have been shared to others.

But as to the Children as a whole...

They are dangerous.  Useful.  But dangerous nonetheless.  The fat fool Hardestadt does not realize how dangerous these young fangs  can become.  But I am aware that you do.  I am aware that you can see what I can see when you glimpse at their souls.

They are marked.

The stain upon their souls is different from anything that we have seen before.  Their auras shimmer and dance like the soul fire common among our kind - pale and tinged with the bleed of hunger - but unlike ours, their souls are marked.  And these marks are something we have never seen before.

The childe is both astute and observant.  His ability to look beyond the norm and consider things outside the expected realm of practice astound me.  I have taken it to myself to train him in the ways of our kind, but I once more petition to you my request to have him remain distant from the Clan as a whole.  In many ways, I sense this childe's potential to be useful to the clan will grow only if he is allowed a semblance of freedom.

On Clan matters, however, I would like to extend to you my anticipation.  I have unlocked to some degree the secrets of how the childe's soul has been marked.  I have documented my findings and have included them in this missive.  I am certain you shall find them most enlightening, if not inspiring and possibly even useful in your plans in dealing with the Saracen Situation.

I remain your steadfast servant.

Mistress Fanchon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins

When I first joined the thieve's guild, I was almost certain it would kill me. I had no desire to steal from others. I knew it was wrong. I resisted and tried to appear no good at it. But the guildmaster beat the skill into me. I realized I would prefer to steal than feel the rod at my back. His wrath was a frightening thing to behold.

My apprenticeship lasted for years. I still resisted, of course. I would sometimes come back empty handed whenever we I was sent out to earn my pay. But the guildmaster learned to convince me with words, rather than violence. He appealed to my sense of envy, of greed in those more blessed by God.

Why should nobles have more than I have? What right do they have to own and keep things they did not earn through honest labor? Why should they have more than they knew what to do with. He whispered these things to me and I found myself agreeing with him. If I managed to steal something from those above my station, then it only shows they did not have the right to possess it.

In time, I mastered the trade. I could pilfer one's money pouch without the owner ever feeling anything but the sun on his face. I could enter towers and dungeons undetected, like a breeze wafting in. Guards would sooner hear a leaf fall than detect my movements. I began to take pride in my abilities.

At first, the guildmaster wanted me to steal objects: coins, jewelry and other treasures. Later, he wanted me to steal information to use against his enemies. He wished to remain a few steps ahead of them. He told me where to wait in the wings, like an owl watching for secrets as I listened to his enemies plot to gain the advantage over him.

His success over the years had made him lazy; he let others deal with the more mundane tasks while he sat comfortably enjoying the wealth from those who served him. He made the mistake of looking for the enemy without instead of the enemy within. Little by little, his influence eroded. It wasn't long before others decided he was expendable and that there would be more wealth to go around if he did not receive his share.

From stealing wealth and knowledge, was it too hard to imagine I would soon be stealing lives? The new guildmaster realized that there was money to be made in dealing death. He realized this when I accidentally killed a nobleman; the one who hired us to steal incriminating evidence to use against his rival found the nobleman's death to be a blessing. So, he rewarded us well.

I used to find it difficult to kill someone. I would change my mind several times before poisoning or slitting the throat of my victims. And I would always feel remorse later on. I convinced myself I was doing it because I did not want to cause trouble for myself or my father. In truth, however, there is nothing more potent a drug than holding someone's life in your hands. I realize that now.

Since the incident with the Giovanni, I have become accustomed to it. Killing to sate my thirst has always been my goal. I tried to resist it again, to drink only when necessary. But something inside me escaped; I went mad with the desire to feed. In the throes of hunger, I killed several innocents.

Claudius was right about one thing, consumption is indeed an act of murder. These last few years have showed me that my hunger, my lust for blood will always result in the death of another. God willing, it will be he and his sire soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dearest Iuliana,

I am safe and well. I am on the road to Poszony to see you as I write this letter. I am almost certain that Pavel will waste your time with silly stories of wild birds and foxes delivering my messages to his home. Humor him, dear sister. It should amuse your imagination.

Please do not be alarmed by what I am about to tell you.

My trip to Wallachia was a disaster. The man called Claudius Giovanni is a lunatic and his guests, exotic and "learned" people, were possessed of warped minds! Monsters in the guise of civility. Even Ugor, oh the poor dog, has suffered as traumatically as I have. We barely left that damned fortress alive. I can tell you little else, sister, but let this serve as a warning. Do not ask me to explain, just trust me as you always have. Curse the name Giovanni and avoid it at all costs. What rumors you hear of them, of their witchcraft and devilry, are most probably true. Never associate yourself with anyone bearing the name. The schemes of that damned family do not involve just silk and coin but death as well. I shall ask of you to swear it upon our parents' graves when we finally see each other.

Do not fret. Some good has come out of this most horrible trip to the Carpathians. Almost entirely by accident, I was "saved" by Mistress Fanchon and her companions. Circumstances concerning the mistress' friends were unpleasant at first but I am now under the kind lady's employ and tutelage. You might have noticed an improvement in my writing. In fact, I have been given leave to visit you. I, of course, do not intend on wasting time. It has been too long, Iuliana. I am glad to be coming home.

Ugor says he misses you too.

Your brother,