House of Stuart

Brisk dwindling twilight

Fresh from a night of Nightmare less sleep.

Kindred stand around discussing what has been currently happening in the town of Churchill. Joffe Thought upon his warning, from Lady Julia Toulouse, to not draw upon his Vitae. He tried and called upon his resource only to find his flesh go lax and loose and stretch, extend and almost slide from his body as his blood blackened and tracked through his thin skin.

Antonio Videlle finds his way to Early mass of the evening, along with Anne Maria. Joshua Shinderwell Gave a strong sermon as usual against sloth, to tell all to work hard and slander Tom, also was rather harsh upon the local native population.

Anne Maria broached the situation about Joffe, only to be given the most sincere of apologies at to maybe bad tea or a cake and would come to see him and make him feel better.

Jerome went to explore the burned down Barn, collecting up some of the estate ghouls to investigate the Barn fire.

He finds strange tracks of animals which suddenly turned to those of a man and lead nowhere but also came from the house. He explored the barn finding lots of holes about the size of Coffins from which the vampires were extracted hastily, along with a smaller hole possibly containing the coffer of relics.

Joshua Woods informed Jerome that the last kindred who had been left to the flames, whom was not lost to the fire but ripped itself from ground and ran from the flames.

When all gathered back at the house to be told the wonderful news of Lady Toulouse would be coming to visit with cakes.

Jerome informed the others about the The 8th having not died but dug his way free.

Antonio Videlle went to visit the indian, made friends with him and started to learn about the Cree.

Meanwhiles, Lady Toulouse visited the estate and all the others to see upon their persons.. and their dead faces. To which after some exchanges Lady Toulouse revealed herself to be Fae-kin. Apparently a strange Spidery Fae-Kin.

She revealed what all suspected, that Tom was more then an average man, that he had great strange and anger within.

She spoke of Stephen Clagmore, to be a filthy and crass individual. He is an incredibly ‘lucky’ person, He is commonly seen with Sheneta Fresh and Rasmus Munk. Both o these seem to have uncanny luck in their lives, Lady Toulouse thinks them to gain undue luck through Stephen Clagmore.

She also told that Stephen, Joshua, and the kindred arrived 5 years ago, the next year Tom came upon the small town of Churchill.

After Lady Toulouse departed the Kindred went about to spruce up their home. Jerome Murdered his way through two tree’s worth of wood before abandoning his work on a crucifix, which looked odly like a lower case t. While Celestina D’Estie infuriated the Anne Carre of the home through frustration with Lace, wasting a good two boxes full along the way.

Joffe and Celestina D’Estie agreed to meet within the basement. Where Joffe was bled and then they attempted to feed him, to give him back some untainted blood. But it all went a little wrong, where Joffe fed upon Celestina D’Estie. A whole mess happened which resolved with all being fed but who knows how Joffe’s blood is now.

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Toulouse or Not to lose
An awfull pun

Winter Raged on.

From fitful sleeps and cramped coffins arose the Kindred once more.
Plagued by nightmares and horrors the followed them into their waking. They were all on edge and worried, frustrated, exhausted.

The life (what semblance of it there was within them) was drained out of them. Shying from fire and light best they could they stumbled about stumbling to the stairs noisily.

All apart from Joffe, who had taken to sleeping in one of the upstairs quarters, roomier quarters but might not be so safe from light in the later months when summer would come.

The kindred debated whether they should attend an evenings tea with the enigmatic “Mme Toulouse” who had invited Lydia and her friends. Though Lydia found herself otherwise engaged with the left over lingering effects of her nightmare.

Still they chose to go, all of them, Jerome and Charles watching the exterior, while Antonio, Joffe and Celestina to take the Lady up on her offer of hospitality. After an interesting and rather bewildering tea session. Revealing the Lady had an uncanny mastery of languages and a desire to keep learning them.

The situation escalated until Antonio felt so uncomfortable he just had to depart and leave Lydia and Joffe and Mme Toulouse to their discussion. Which resulted in Celestina power walking back to the Haven and a conspicuously absent Joffe.

This rest of the night was more routine, which is a first since their arrival, familiar patterns of behavior developed.

Antonio ardent at attending early mass while the other Kindred preferred the later Mass.
The priests’ magnetic personality still worked it’s charm across the crowd and our ‘heroes’. Pressing them on once again to purge the Sloth from their midst. Yet held them back at the edge of such direct action.

Antonio took Charles with him to go see the Raggedy Man at the bridge1 Which once again exacted a Toll upon them, shiny belt buckle and a singular boot. Which was promptly torn by over sized feet.

The rest of the evening was whittled away with personal endeavours, sprinkled with surprising incidents, Jerome being healed by the magnanimity of Mme Toulouse, which rid him of not only his horrific burns but also of the other scars upon him. Later in the night Joffe was returned to them looking bemused and unable to explain what had happened to him.

The group is left with no clear understanding of what “Mme Toulouse” really is, for she looked drained and exhausted after performing her miracle.
To their great relief, as they settled to slumber the day away, the nightmares did not return.

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Priests, Bridges, and Dreams of Fire

The Nights were long and cold.

The Evening

Antonio lost a day to revery was reunited with the other kindred to find new companions among them, Charles, Lydia and Soren. All were keen to discuss something the dreams of the night before, which Antonio did not share, or maybe does not remember. Soren loomed off and was left to his own devices until he felt social enough to rejoin the group.

It was a dream of fire, already he had to surpress a shiver at the simple thought of flame. His body abhorred fire with such vigor it was as if he had a second mind within him. They spoke of a fire, twisted and vindictive, living and hungry.

The bells tolled and it Antonio needed to observe his faith, chased by the inquisition they may be, god could not be denied. The others still lost in determination of discussing the dreams and of thinking of a convincing enough tale to fool the locals nearly bared him from attending to the services of the Lord. They wanted certainty that he would not expose them.

They seemed to forget the simple axiom, strangers are ignored and gossiped about, never spoken to directly. Well mostly this is true, unless a fight is required. He would be fine with a fight, but none would desecrate the house of the Lord with such low activity.

He left them to their scheming, he thrust himself into the cool night air and wandered to the church, worried his tardiness would mark him more then a foolish tale of whence he came. His luck led him to be timely. Near the door was the priest welcoming all to the service, with him at all times was his “Good Book”.

With a Strong and Firm handshake he welcomed Antonio, who with greetings exchanged he slipped himself amongst the crowd and sat for the service. The priest sat at the head of the congregation and once services started all were enthralled. He was suddenly larger then life. Angels roamed amongst all those gathered, singing praises and giving off their strong godly presence. The Room was filled with beatific ambiance. The priest spoke of things that must be denied, of the coming ends to the world.

Mostly he spoke of Sloth. How it rotted lives, how it twisted the righteous, the strong and the pious. How it was simple and insidious. How it came in the embodiment of the bridge watcher. How this man brought nothing to the community, did but the barest of efforts to upkeep the needed bridge and how he should not be tolerated.

His sermon peeked and pushed, all felt the urgings, all felt the pull, the blood boil within them, to go right this wrong to go out and cast away the devil, the evil embodiment of idleness.All they needed was a little push, a little urging, a simple nudge would have tipped this pious crowd into a frenzied mob.

The priest grabbed the bridle he had thrown around the crowd and brought them from the edge, was he playing with them or testing his controle of the crowd. It didn’t matter, he let the sermon come to it’s end and bid them all a good evening. Leaving Antonio more flushed then he had felt in the last hundred and fifty or so years. He was on his way back to the estate while the wind brought to his ears the simple sound of sheep, or a sheep, singular.

Odd.

The Estate

At the Estate things had still not gone very far, all discussed the dreams and the story by which they would keep themselves concealed from the local people. Gentleman Joffe Joffar Suggested they pass for travelling merchants who had attempted to live with savages in order to find somethign worth selling, and had left most of their entourage behind with the Cree. This was seen as favourable by all.

After the story accepted by consensus of silence they chose to explore the town. Which was awkward as Charles had an admirer. He may have been stealthy as the night breeze, agile as a mountain goat, and sleek as smooth silk. His companion was a sheep.

Wandering to town with Lydia and Charles, Joffe marked a few interesting and conspicuous buildings:

  • The house of a hunter, who seemed to hear much hatred for wolves
  • The local Alehouse, a welcome sight for all
  • The local trading house, replete with mostly junk
  • The local churches, showing the disunity of this town for having more then one

In the pub they found a Cree, a Cree whom the locals shunned and treated poorly. The keep still took his money but rejected his presence. Our intrepid band of sore thumbs chose this moment to approach him and make friends. The Bawdiness of the tavern having being toned down for the presence of an actual lady.

Through various strange twists and turns and a relocation, they found themselves promised 4 Great white bear furs, and a visit to the Cree tribe for the sale of a wife. Dear Lydia was now property of the town reject.

Charles still had his sheep. Joffe had furs and knowledge of 3 native tribes int he area. Lydia was no longer her own woman.

Returning to tell of the news the bells tolled once more declaring the later service of mass. The other Kindred thought it was this time to show themselves and join the congregation, and were exposed to the strength of the Preacher’s sermon. Truly what would be called a Firebrand preacher.

The Bridge

Meanwhile Antonio’s curiosity would bring him to what the priest referred to as the Embodiment of Sloth. And all he found was a snowed over rickety bridge. Not so easily dissuaded the man valiantly placed one foot, carefully, after the other listening to the wood creak. Such was his concentration, and the omnipresent darkness of night, that he failed to notice the new and looming large shadow.

His shock and surprise only pushed into check when he was asked for a toll, his belt buckle. (Which would be the cause of much Mirth later on) Which he gave over with such haste it was embarrassing. The Looming great hulk of a man inspected the shining buckle, giving Antonio time to inspect the figure. So tall, but very scruffy. His tattered and patchwork leather hides difficult to distinguish from his own long hair and beard. Sharp and pointed nails. Hair almost thick and pelt like over his hands.

His prize in hand the figured turned and started leaving. Antonio feeling like he had lost out though to try and ingratiate himself. “The villagers are planning to kick you out, they want to make you leave.”

The man’s response. A shrug, and a strange talk of a bridge burner. He spoke of the Firebrand preacher and had labeled the man a bridge burner eager to keep the community isolated. Then left.

Antonio, once again on his own, pants held in hand. Walked back home, and waited for his companions to return from the church service. He greeted them with a simple exclamation. “He was HUGE!” This amused them all very much, even with the sheep hopped with amusement. They would so easily joke about the strong bond that men could share. It was simple to them they had never enjoyed the deep company of another man. It made Antonio wonder if he should not chase after the tall dark mysterious man of the wood. It had been 100 or so years as far as he could remember.

They went their own ways for the rest of the evening to their own devices until their days rest.

The Dream

The dreaded dream was once more shared.

A dockside, water lapping at the pontoons, a large long looming warship. They had all been here before, they all ran. Antonio was frozen with shock at such a vivid dream. Joffe grabbed and pulled him along, they had all known what will happen.

The Warship burst in flame, erupted would be more appropriate, it ripped apart at the ship sending shards, and splinters all across the wharf. Jerome dove for the water but hit a hard crust of Ice. Joffe Ran for the docks. Lydia and Charles Made for town.

The Fire… Went for Antonio and it burned him. It ripped and seared, Joffe had dropped him and run on. Antonio found his feet and chased on after him thinking the man knew where he was going. The Fired burned After charles next, seared him deeply and sent him from the Dream. Antonio tried to tip cannonballs into the ICe, broke the crust. Finding the release of Water, the deep cold would sooth and save him. No so. THe fire found him one more time and sent him from the dream as well.

Joffe found his way to his own ship and was also sent from the dream in a manner he did not share.

Lydia was consumed trying to stand up to the screaming golden fire… And from the way she acted upon waking has suffered for it.

Yet still the nights were long and cold

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New Friends...we think

With life it can be said that their is always a sense of urgency, the nagging urge to act immediately to do..something, anything, to confirm one’s very existence. The dead generally don’t have this problem. So it was thus that the Kindred that awoke from a century of sleep just one night prior found themselves sitting around the house calmly discussing the path ahead, when Anne Maria polity interrupted to inform them about, others.

Apparently several other sarcophagi where kept elsewhere for safe keeping and the group agreed that they too should be awoken. And so they did, and as they watched on with some amusement 3 more Kindred eventualy found their way into the frosty night air. Gentlemen Joffe Joffar helped one starving kindred out of her coffin armed with only a crow bar and sheep, much to the chagrin of the others gathered. But in the end all emerged well and had their full upon the sheep before being brought in and questioned.

The Kindred that had awoken the night prior filled their new guests in on roughly what has occurred since they where torpored 100yrs. When they were finished some more, tasteful, drinks were offered, at first, then demanded of the guests. The guests were forced to dine upon one of the royal blooded ghouls. 2 of the new guests paid for their snack with searing pain marking them as prior Parliamentarians. After some harsh looks and grumbles from a few of the Kindred, Joffar suggested that we not take up some forgotten mantle that we wore 100yrs ago and forgot in Torpor induced nightmares and instead that we agree to work together for our mutual survival for at least as long as we stay in this small town. The motion was agreed upon for the time being by all parties present and everyone moved on to more pressing things, like exploring and renovating our new home.

The day did not pass without some disturbing dreams however. Each Kindred dreamed that day that they were on the docks, some saw London, one saw Moscow, while other knew not where they were, but the basis was the same. There were docks, a explosion in a neary by ship, fire that rained down in all directions. Many burned, some ran, some dove into the water. Yet all of the Kindred Awoke the next night feeling as thought it had been entirely real, to the point of even spending vite in their “sleep”.

Trust being as nearly a strained commodity as blood the Kindred did not discuss the dreams amongst themselves in much detail and instead talked about the local area and what cover story they could give themselves that would stick and not arouse too much suspicion amongst the locals. A trading party that were doing trade with the local Cree deeper in the woods seemed best though nothing had been settled upon. They also were made aware of a military fortification with at least 100 musket armed British Troops a day’s ride away.

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The Awakening
Session 1

In the distance a raging barn fire lit the night sky like a giant’s torch bathing the field in a soft flickering amber glow. Sheep wandered aimlessly in a open field as a cart dumped several caskets, old and singed by fire, unceremoniously upon the moist earth as a handful of people looked on.

A woman in her forties, yet regal and proud stood watch over the caskets, as they started to move, and thumps and muffled scratches could be heard coming from within. She was dressed in clean but simple 17th century attire and was holding a large flintlock rifle. Around her, looking on anxiously, where what appeared to be her kin. A Man slightly younger than she, a young girl of no more than 12 with long golden hair, and a couple of strapping young men in field hand attire. All appeared to be British or perhaps Western European.

Suddenly one of the coffins burst open sending shards of wood and rusted nails flying in all directions as figure burst forth shrouded in shadow. It wasted little time in assessing it’s surrounding and when it rushed into the Flickering light of the fire hot on the sent of precious sustenance, precious, warm, crimson vite. It was almost a blur but one could make out rotted leathers and once voluminous robes of linen. There may have been a turban of sorts on it’s head but attention was quickly drawn to the rusted curved blade it produced, as it lunged at the woman with the rifle who merely tilted her head back to offer her supple alabaster neck to the black beast from the grave.

Ivory fangs in stark contrast to charcoal black, desiccated flesh, wasted no time in finding their mark in her neck and for the first time in un-told years the taste of blood, of power, of life. He didn’t even notice when the next coffin shattered.

In short order another of the coffins were torn open from the inside with a crackly ripping sound. Then, What once must have made for a dapper corpse, in a fine fluffy frilled shirt and well fitting Italian renaissance garb leapt out and landed catlike on the balls of his feet. Hungry eyes darted anxiously about and surveyed the scene for but a moment before it deftly snatched up the nearest sheep and ran into the darkness, with only terrified bleating to tell of his presence.

Still other coffins could be seen lurching upon the ground, thumps and desperate scratches coming from within. Then another one opened, the lid rolling back upon it’s hinges as a Emaciated figure steped forth dressed in well tailored, if rotten, British attire of the 16th century, with all the poise and decorum of a proper English Gentlemen. The figure strode toward the nearest man, one of the field hands, and bit his neck in a attempt to feed. A scream of horror erupted from dried lungs as the blood from this man burned through the kindred’s body like molten lava.

Others attended to the fallen Vampire while the Moor and the Italian made their way around the “farmers” and sheep respectively. One brave field hand made his way to a coffin were light long scratches where heard from the inside. With a Crowbar and a quick wrenching motion he popped the lid of the coffin and attempted to jump back. Alas, he was not quick enough, and a small pallid hand shot up in a ivory blur of speed, clenched his throat and yanked him down into the coffin. His struggling proved futile as after some time a well composed, stunningly attractive, despite being clothed tattered and rotten renaissance finery, Mediterranean beauty strode forth to the group of farmers as the rest of them and the Kindred started gathering around the area were they awoke.

Questions flew back and for the between the Kindred and the farmers. The conversation was surprisingly civil. Save the Moor’s, who’s wild eyes, and accusations to match, betrayed him . What unspeakable horrors did the torpor nightmares drill into his black soul? The farmers reviled themselves as Ghouls and beckoned the kindred back into their homes to elaborate. The kindred didn’t go immediately but eventually t hey found themselves in a small but well kept home listening with wrapt attention to the Ghouls and the story they told.

Apparently it had been 100 years since all the Kindred were put into Torpor. All had known each other and though their conscious minds drew blanks when seeing each other, their beast remembered as their was no primal urge to strike from any of them toward any other Kindred. Furthermore all had been in some kind of service to the rightful King of the Night, Ruler of the Kindred of the Kingdom of England. And all seem to have been put into Torpor and hidden away to protect them from a rebel uprising by kindred usurpers that called themselves “the Parliamentarians”

The Ghouls were not just Normal Ghouls, they were elite, Royal and Noble Ghouls, entrusted with the important task of keeping these kindred safe and veiled from the eyes of Parliamentarian usurpers who would see them meet final death. The awakening was a accident, the barn was burned down by unknown arsons and the descison was made then to awaken the kindred rather than to risk someone finding the coffins in the basement of the farmer’s homes.
The Ghouls told them that they were in the “new world” in a small town of around 230 colonists and a unknown number of natives in the nearby forests. As well as information and blood the Ghouls also presented a chest that had been damaged in the fire. Within the chest was a half burnt cryptic note that seemed to warn the Kindred of the parliamentarian threat and entrust the ghouls with their safe keeping.
Also within the chest there were several bizarre items;
1) A human eye, brown, that seemed to weep blood. The Moor, without a second thought plucked out his own eye and set it in the socket to little effect.
2) A Brass Spider Broach with Ruby fangs and a empty bulbous crystal torso. The Italian woman tried this on and it seemed to do little more than pinch her flesh slightly when she pressed down on it.
3) A Fine Matchlock Pistol with 25 bullets. It seemed to be in perfect condition, even after a century of neglect. The Moor picked it up and immediately felt it’s hunger.
4) A Signet Ring bearing a Unicorn and a Lion, the Royal heraldry. The Italian woman donned this ring and everyone else seemed to think it looked absolutely stunning on her.
5) A Fine Rapier with a golden bejeweled hilt. The Englishman picked this blade up and when he attempted to unsheathe it, the blade sent fiery energy through his hand singing him horribly from the inside out. Then the Moor and the Italian Gentlemen experimented with it to find that it did not harm them when either touched it and it’s edge could slice through a man’s arm as easily as a brick of warm butter. The Italian wore it upon his hip and looked all the better for it.
6) A Ermine fur and silk cloak. Despite it’s age it was still quite fine. The Italian wore it and as he did it transformed into a common, though durable traveler’s cloak.
7) A Red Slate Tablet. It appeared to be empty as every one of the kindred examined it. It was only when the Moor picked it up did words appear to his eyes and his eyes only. He did not recognize the language but as he wrote down what he saw the Englishmen began to Translate what he immediately recognized as Latin. The Slate spoke more of the Royal Vampires and the viciousness of the Parliamentarians, as well as outlining the fine breeding of the Royal and Noble Ghouls who had been protecting them. The Englishman curiously found the need to leave out pertinent information regarding some of the Ghouls special abilities when it came to being fed on by Parliamentarians. With some “gentle” persuasion from the Moor, the Englishman finally translated the remaining text and it was clear that Parliamentarian Vampires could not feed from these ghouls, and from what happened outside when he attempted to feed from these Ghouls it became clear that the Englishman was not a Royalist Vampire at all.

The English Vampire was questioned sternly by the group but just as the other kindred, he seemed to honestly know nothing of his life post embrace. For the time being the consensus amongst the kindred was that they needed to deal with the more pressing matters at hand, none more so than basic survival in this small fishing & Trading post wedged between thousands of miles of Icy Sea and seemingly endless forests filled with wild animals, hostile natives, and perhaps even queerer things.

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Pre Session

The hunger….can’t think…..The hunger…. need to eat…I need to EAT!!!!

It’s dark….I’m weak….I can’t move….. I can’t get out….I can’t see…..The HUNGER!!!!

It’s warm….. I feel heat….. it’s getting hot….. FIRE!!!! FIRE!!!!! FLEE!!!

Noise…movement….the heat is fading…..I smell……Blood!!! HUNGER I must feed!!!

Waiting….oh so weak….I smell the blood….I hunger….I

Noise…banging…..vibrations around me….. yes free me….set me FREE!!! I must FEED!!!

The stars….the moon….the blood….HUNGER…. Ahhhhhhhhhh…..your life gives me back my strength!

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