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Immortal Desires Detritus's GURPS World of Darkness PbP game.

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:27 AM
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"Why am I here, Camille?" a gruff voice said behind her. "Why am I back in New Orleans?"

Camille jumped, taken off guard as she walked towards her haven, engrossed in the thoughts spawned by her meeting with the witches. She had put out her call as soon as the meeting with Ramiel and the others had ended, unsure of the result until the object of her summons had arrived. Clearly Roman had not gone too far afield from New Orleans.

"It is good to see you again, too, Roman," she said. Roman's face hardened in reply.

"Of course, no need to waste time with pleasantries," Camille said. "Right down to business."

On the verge of continuing, Camille paused and took in Roman's stern visage. This was going to be even trickier than she first thought.

"Did Anastasia return to the city with you?" she asked.

"No, why would she have, unless you called her too?" Roman said.

There was that, at least. The time may well come for a call to Anastasia, but not yet.

"It's Jocelin," she said, "she's in some fairly serious trouble. A near miss of a Masquerade breach, to be precise. It happened earlier tonight."

Roman's look became guarded, his tone agitated, almost defensive. "What does she expect me to do? Or you?"

"You are unhappy to have news of her?" Camille asked.

"No, it isn't that," Roman said after a moment's thought. A disconcerting shrewdness entered his gaze. "You wouldn't reveal carefully hidden abilities just to tell me about a near miss. There has to be more."

Camille knew she had been unable to completely mask her surprise at this answer. A pity that Roman toed the Gangrel party line about remaining aloof in Kindred politics, and it was far from the first time that the thought had occurred to her. He had a surprising knack for seeing around corners. That was perhaps his sire's greatest failure, the inability to convince him of the necessity and even desirability to remain connected to Kindred politics, however tenuously.

"There have been... entanglements in the aftermath of the cleanup," she said. "Sabine and Ramiel did their part, as did a Tremere elder from Houston, Rebekka. The elder will make a power play, of this I am certain." No need now to go into how she was so sure of this.

"Those are your games, Camille, not mine, and not Jocelin's, either. Ramiel may be a conniving bastard and the Warlocks tools of the devil himself, but that just doesn't matter to me, and I don't think it matters to her."

"You are right about yourself, actually, but not for the reasons you think," she said. "Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the simple fact remains that all those within the city at the time of the incident incurred a debt to those who helped conceal or erase what mortals should never have seen. You fall outside that web of obligation, however, and this is a potent advantage for you in the current political climate of New Orleans. Jocelin's situation is more complicated."

"It's only as complicated as she makes it," said Roman, his patience obviously wearing thin. Camille shook her head.

"The coverup isn't the only entanglement I was talking about, Roman. Jocelin returned to the city as part of a coterie of the Malkavian Justicar's agents, including one of his archons. After a mistake this big, there is no hope for her to be able to blithely wander off and wash her hands of sect politics this time. None."

Roman recoiled slightly from the deliberate forcefulness with which she delivered that final word.

"What would you have me do?" he finally asked, more subdued this time than last. Camille felt relief once she realized that Roman was beginning to understand that he had a role in "her games," whether he liked it or not. The hardest part was over, but there remained work left to do.

"Have I again become responsible for your actions, childe, when I did not see? What do you think you should do?"

A spasm of rage crossed Roman's features for an instant. He stifled the angry retort that was undoubtedly about to pass his lips through sheer exertion of will.

"Will you at least tell me what she, and I, apparently, are up against?" he asked once he was back in control.

"There's some trouble with Sammy, something about an altercation with Demetrious," Camille said. "I think the Justicar's agents are going to pay her a visit. Maybe later tonight. She may have an inconveniently large number of friends to back her up in whatever plot she's hatching."

No reply came as Roman tried to assimilate all that he had just learned.

"Does she know how you feel about her, Roman?"

Roman answered, voice flat and face impassive, save for the murderous light that shone in his eyes.

"No, she doesn't, Camille, and if I find that she learns of it from you, that will be the last mistake you ever make."

"It is not my place to say, of course," she said, making conciliatory hand gestures. "You can still go to her, though. She needn't know why, or how you knew, if you so choose." And he needn't yet learn of what other of her abilities she still held in reserve.

Roman continued to stare daggers for a long moment before giving a brusque nod and leaving without another word.

Camille sighed at what she had just done. What she had had to do, really, though hell if she knew how to convince Roman of the necessity. The Barrens were no decent place for a Kindred, even those so restless as her clan mates. Besides, he really did have a powerful tool at his disposal, and if he wouldn't take advantage of it, she certainly had uses for it.

That did mean the girl had to stay in one piece, and kept in town as long as possible. The staying alive part could be tricky, especially if Sammy's flightiness was the act she suspected it to be. All the Brujah muscle in the world would be of no consequence if her mistake ended in the disgrace or destruction of one of the Camarilla's finest. Well, overcoming obstacles was still one of the best ways to make a name for yourself, and this one had all the makings to be a real doozy. But how did this variable affect her plans? She closed her eyes and let the wheels start turning again.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:25 AM
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This is concurrent-ish with the discussion at Drake Manor

===================

Sarah took the little blue die out of her Crown Royal pouch and placed it before Rebekka.

"You will make us private," said Rebekka to Sabine. There was no hint of a request in her voice.

Sarah thought that Rebekka had been eager to come to Sabine's haven once Camille had taken her leave of them, but for the moment her Regent was serenity incarnate, willing simply to watch Sabine ward her haven from eavesdropping.

"What are you expecting to hear?" Sarah asked Rebekka.

"Moment, bitte," said Rebekka without taking her eyes off Sabine. Sarah blinked in surprise at the lapse into German.

"You were able to store the conversation between Leo and Anneke?" Rebekka asked once Sabine had seated herself.

"Yes, Regent," said Sarah.

"Play it for us."

Sarah's gaze met for an instant with Sabine's before she set about queueing up the section of interest. What exactly was Rebekka expecting to hear?

After a moment's concentration, she had found what she wanted. At first, there wasn't much of interest in the playback. Anneke was good at Auspex; not exactly an earthshaking revelation for a Toreador to reveal herself as such. Then the first jaw dropper hit.

"As is the tradition, I recite the lineage of Anneke, Toreador of the Sixth Generation.

"My name is Anneke. I am Toreador. My sire is Gwynnis.

"My name is Gwynnis. I am Toreador. My sire is Taliesin.

"My name is Taliesin. I am Toreador. My sire is Arikel.

"My name is Arikel. I am sire of the Toreador. My sire is Zillah.

"My name is Zillah. My sire is Caine.

"My name is Caine. I am he who sired all those of the blood. All Kindred are my childer.

"My name is Anneke, childe of Gwynnis, childe of Taliesin, childe of Arikel, childe of Zillah, childe of Caine. Recognize my lineage."


"So she's 6th g..." began Sabine, wide-eyed, before being cut off by a sharp "Shhh!" from Rebekka.

"I'm afraid I can't have you telling just anyone about this, however," said Anneke before a brief pause, "at least not at the moment.

"You will not, through word or deed, by commission or omission, reveal what I have just told you about my lineage to anyone besides myself or my sire. Nor will you speak of it or even approach the subject where anyone you are not absolutely sure who already knows of it can hear. Until such time as I release you from this bond, or you learn of my Final Death, you will abide by these restrictions to the utmost of your ability."


"Wait, did she just tamper with an archon there?" asked Sarah. Holy crap! Rebekka nodded and raised her hand for continued silence.

Several minutes passed without further conversation. Sarah was beginning to think that that was all there was when Anneke's voice sounded once again. She was giving a detailed report of Samantha's manor grounds this time.

"She couldn't get through to see inside the manor," said Sabine.

"Yes, it must mean a ward, different than the one Sarah saw earlier this week," said Rebekka.

As her companions engrossed themselves in discussion of what they had just heard, Sarah felt a subtle yet insistent compulsion intrude upon her awareness. She had to leave. She placed one hand behind her back and mentally recited a familiar incantation, one of the first she had learned after mastering blood magic. Carefully -- it was important not to alert the others what she was doing.

"But it seems like a huge coincidence that she would have attached herself to Anarchs in LA who had a history in New Orleans, doesn't it?" asked Sabine.

Sarah concentrated once more and felt a rush, as though quicksilver now coursed through her veins. Just as Rebekka was about to answer this last question, Sarah pierced Rebekka's sternum with the stake she had conjured.

"Sarah!" was all that Sabine had time to yell out before she was forced to dodge a gout of flame. Having tipped her host off balance, Sarah ignited the table where the three women were just sitting and dashed out of Sabine's haven.

===================

Rebekka opened her eyes slowly. She saw Sabine standing over her, concern in her eyes.

"What happened?"

"Sarah decided she needed to be elsewhere, and urgently," said Sabine.

"How long?"

"It's been a few minutes," said Sabine. "She set fire to the table, with you slumped over it."

Rebekka closed her eyes again. She was afraid that something like this might happen. Foolish of her to be caught off her guard like that.

"Anneke," she said. "She had to have summoned Sarah."

"But why?"

"She had to realize what she was up against when she couldn't project herself into Samantha's manor. She couldn't be sure that she would be able to summon me, so she went for Sarah."

"Because you would follow her," said Sabine.

"Yes, and now I must, although I think I will just watch for now. I will set the wards this time. Will you watch over me?"

"Of course," said Sabine.

Setting the warding to permit her to make psychic excursion beyond its confines, Rebekka laid herself flat on Sabine's floor and closed her eyes once more.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:12 AM
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Default FFFFF, part 1

Camille walked one final circuit of her haven to make sure of its readiness for the coming sunrise. Having satisfied herself of its soundness, she made to retire for the day's slumber. Her heart leapt into her throat after she caught movement out of the corner of her eye.

"Your preparations are as thorough as ever, Camille," said Anneke. "And I thank you for teaching me that trick. It was most useful tonight."

"Anneke? What are you doing here?" Now that the initial shock from Anneke's abrupt appearance was wearing off, she felt herself getting a bit weak in the knees.

"I have need of my servire," Anneke replied. "Is that not reason enough?"

"But... why... why now? Sunrise is coming soon."

"I am well aware of the time, and that is the reason I needed to arrive here now. If you must know, there is a sliver of wood embedded somewhere within my body. I believe it is headed towards my heart. I do not know how quickly it will complete its journey."

Camille was amazed at the dispassionate, almost bored, manner that Anneke assayed to describe her predicament.

"But what can I do about that?" she managed to ask. "It sounds more like you need help from the Tremere."

"I quite agree," said Anneke, "and I suspect that at least two of them are on their way here right now."

"You Summoned Warlocks and then came here?!"

"I deemed it necessary, yes," said Anneke. "There may be... awkward questions," she said, perhaps showing some pangs of remorse for putting Camille on the spot. "If you apprise Rebekka..."

"Wait, Rebekka is coming here?!" Good God, what was going to happen to her once Rebekka found out that she, Camille, a mere Gangrel ancilla, had ties to someone who was likely one of the most powerful archons in the Camarilla? And she was about to find out where her haven was.

"Yes, I believe she will be best equipped to handle the situation. Please do not interrupt me again, I do not know how long I have before... being rendered inert."

Anneke winced after this last statement. The splinter would reach its target all too soon, it appeared.

"As I was saying, there may be awkward questions concerning my presence here, but once you make Rebekka aware of the situation, you should be able to set them aside for a while. She has her own obligations that will compel her to do right by both of us."

That was barely reassuring, although she welcomed any source of comfort at this point.

"When will they be arriving?"

"I don't know. Soon. Rebekka will actually be following one of her underlings, I suspect. The girl with the bright hair."

Anneke seated herself on Camille's bed and continued in a softer voice.

"You should also know, I have just come from Samantha's. I think it is very likely that Mr. Johnson's rule in New Orleans is in jeopardy, as is the very existence of Justicar Walsh."

"What happened?"

"I cannot say, as I was forced to take mist form to delay any possible adverse effects from the splinter inside me, but..."

And then further speech died in Anneke's throat, the arrow having finally hit bullseye.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:16 AM
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Default FFFFF, part 2

Rebekka found Sarah just in time to see her casually approach a parked car and open the locked driver's side front door with a flick of her wrist, just as if she had the key. She managed to start the car on her second try, and then sped away from Sabine's neighborhood. Unencumbered by the limitations of her body, Rebekka had no trouble keeping pace with the car.

At first, Sarah headed toward and beyond city limits, in the direction of Samantha's haven. About half way through the trip, she abruptly changed course, back into the city. After a bit of dithering, she approached a gated compound filled with duplexed town houses.

"That sounds like she's going to Camille's," said Sabine after Rebekka explained what she had seen.

"Indeed?" said Rebekka.

"I'm pretty sure. If it's Anneke who's summoned Sarah, where does she know Camille from?"

"There is only one way to find out," said Rebekka. "Shall we go?"

Sabine nodded, and Rebekka released her wards. On her way out, she picked up Sarah's Crown Royal bag. A wayward childe might need her toys taken away for a while.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:27 AM
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Default FFFFF, part 3

Sarah pulled up to the gate and scanned the directory by the intercom. She gave Camille's unit a buzz once she found her name amongst the list. She had not expected it to be her giving the call.

"Yes?"

"It's Sarah. What the hell am I doing here?"

"Please come in. I'll explain when we meet."

The gate opened. Sarah felt for a direction to drive, and then turned to the left once inside the compound. Soon she was parked and headed towards Camille's unit. She saw Camille waiting for her at a side door. To her amazement, Sarah realized that the urgency to meet with her summoner did not abate once she reached the door.

"Not much further now," said Camille, beckoning for Sarah to enter her haven. "I take it you're alone?"

Sarah nodded and followed Camille inside. She found herself in tastefully appointed living quarters, but barely noticed the decor above her distraction to meet with her mystery summoner.

"We'll skip the tour for now," said Camille. "This way," she said, and opened a door at the end of a short hallway.

Sarah stopped short once she saw who it was that rested on Camille's bed. She had been the object of a summons from Anneke?! Oh, fuck. Could she possibly know that they'd been spying on her tonight?

"Surprise," said Camille. "You should see the look on your face," she said with a smirk. "It sure scared the hell out of me when she showed up here, I will say that."

Her sense of urgency gone, Sarah stood irresolute, still trying to come to terms with what had just happened to her. It was then that she realized the manner of her flight from Sabine's haven. She had staked Rebekka! Sarah began to grimace in mortification.

"Can you tell what's wrong with her?" Camille asked.

Sarah walked over to Anneke, closed her eyes, and placed a hand on her chest. After a moment, her lips curled into a grin.

"She has been stabbed with a Morgūl stake. It is beyond my ability to heal. She needs elder medicine."

Camille gave Sarah a blank look for a moment before replying.

"She thought that she needed help from the Tremere. She just showed up from Samantha's and said that a piece of wood was lodged inside of her and was headed towards her heart. Then I think it got there just before you arrived. Does any of that ring a bell?"

"Sort of," said Sarah, once again serious. "But if it's what I'm thinking of, it usually takes hours, if not days, for the splinter to reach its target." And just who would know how to do that besides the Tremere? she wondered.

"Would Rebekka know how to do it, or to fix it?" Camille asked in a soft voice.

"Probably," said Sarah, "but I have to admit I don't know for sure."

"Should we call her?"

"Yeah, we'd better," said Sarah. Dread started to press upon her when she thought of seeing her Regent so soon after putting the stake to her, but Sarah dialed up Rebekka, as duty dictated.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:50 AM
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Default FFFFF, part 4

"Hello, Sarah."

"Regent, I am at Camille's haven."

"Yes, childe, Sabine and I are on our way. To whom do we owe the pleasure of this late-night escapade?"

"It was Anneke, Regent," answered Sarah, but she was sure that Rebekka already knew if she was on her way to Camille's.

Sarah heard Rebekka let out a sigh before she responded. "I was almost certain it was she."

"I'm... sorry for what I did on my way out of Sabine's. I owe both you and her an apology."

"Thank you, childe. We will set the matter aside for the moment. Do you have any idea why Anneke summoned you?"

"A Shaft of Belated Quiescence," said Sarah in a low voice. "Except... the quiescence wasn't very belated in this one. It sounds like she was pricked no more than half an hour ago."

Rebekka considered that for a moment.

"Even a near miss would have taken hours to reach the heart," she said. "Peculiar. Very well, we will arrive shortly, and then we will see what we see."
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:21 AM
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Default FFFFF, part 5

Sabine followed Rebekka into Camille's haven. Camille pulled her aside once Sarah began to lead Rebekka to Anneke.

"Do you have any idea what's going on?" Camille asked in hushed tones.

"Not really," said Sabine in the same soft voice. "We were all at my haven. One minute, everything is normal, and the next, Sarah gets the sudden urge to leave. She staked Rebekka before she left."

"You don't say," said Camille, turning to look the direction that Rebekka and Sarah went. "I would not have dreamt she had it in her to do something like that."

"Did Anneke say anything to you?" asked Sabine. She noticed a subtle change come over Camille's demeanor. She was nervous. That was understandable given the numerous late-night visitors to her haven, Sabine supposed. But what was she hiding?

"She implied that she already knew Rebekka, maybe that Rebekka owed her one."

"Hmm, that's interesting," said Sabine. And very unlike Rebekka, from everything she had heard. She had the reputation of being someone very difficult to entangle in prestation debts. She had certainly gotten the drop on most of the city's Kindred after Jocelin's unfortunate explosion.

"Come on, let's go to the bedroom," said Camille. "It's where Anneke is," she said in response to an arched eyebrow from Sabine.

"Maybe later," Sabine said with a sly grin, receiving only a roll of the eyes in response.

Upon their arrival, Sabine saw Rebekka fingering the scarred and burnt area around Anneke's glass eye. It was a delicate probe. Tender, Sabine would have said, if such a description could ever apply to an elder of her clan.

Sabine focused on Rebekka's eyes. There was genuine feeling there, she was sure of it. Camille seemed to only have eyes for Anneke, but Sabine thought that Sarah was eyeing Rebekka a bit curiously herself. She looked more closely at Anneke's features, and then back to Rebekka. Back and forth. If that burnt area were smoothed out and colored like normal...

And then a revelation came upon Sabine. It wasn't a debt that brought Rebekka here tonight.

"You're sisters!" Sabine exclaimed. She flinched at the gaze Rebekka turned on her, momentary but blazing hot, before she lowered her eyes and nodded. Amazement registered on the faces of both Camille and Sarah.

"Yes, and now my sister has need of me," said Rebekka. "I am afraid I must prevail upon you to give us all shelter for the coming day, Camille. We will need to get an early start if we are to finish with enough time for us to relocate tomorrow. You are welcome to participate if you wish, you will not need any familiarity with Thaumaturgy for you to do so tomorrow night."

"Will I really be any help?" Camille asked.

"Yes, you will," said Sabine. "Maybe not as much as a Thaumaturge, but more strength of body and mind is always helpful for this sort of work."

"I should warn you, the purification ritual, it gets rid of all impurities," said Rebekka. "It will have to be done... skyclad."

"I've nothing to be ashamed of there," said Camille, giving Rebekka a look up and down her body. Sabine already knew, they were real, and spectacular.

"Very well," said Rebekka with a ghost of a twist in her lips. "I suggest we retire, we have a long night ahead of us tomorrow."
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:36 PM
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Default FFFFF, part 6

Sarah busied herself with the final preparations for the ward that would provide protection during the cleansing ritual. She smiled, an almost involuntary gesture. This was one of her favorite parts of being a Tremere. Although she would not have said so during her breathing days, she was a mere dabbler in the arcane arts before her Embrace. Just under two decades ago, now, and it had been quite an education so far.

"Sarah, please come here, you should see this, too," said Rebekka just as she had finished her work.

Sarah walked over to the side of Camille's bed where a massage table had been set up to hold Anneke during the ritual. She fell in beside Camille, and stifled a jealous prickle at seeing the pale perfection of the Gangrel's body yet again. Rebekka stood at the table's head, and Sabine at its foot.

"I believe I have determined what lent such speed to this particular splinter. Its maker was skilled at Celerity, and was somehow able to imbue the wood with some form of that power. Place your hand on Anneke's chest and concentrate as if you were about to activate your Celerity, but do not actually activate it."

Sarah did as she was instructed and then gave a nearly immediate gasp. The fingers on Anneke's chest felt like they were vibrating at a speed much faster than humanly possible. When she looked at her hand, though, her fingers were perfectly still.

"What do you feel?"

"My fingers feel like they're wiggling really fast, but they aren't visibly moving."

"Yes, that is the resonance that you feel. What else might we conclude about the thaumaturge who made this?"

Sarah closed her eyes to think. It was definitely a magical object, but one imbued with Celerity. Her eyes popped open.

"An Assamite?" she asked. A soft groan of dismay escaped from Camille. She knew it was petty, but Camille's display of vulnerability heartened Sarah. Sabine looked grim, but remained silent.

"Good, good," said Rebekka, although it was a cold encouragement. "It is not a certainty by any means, but speed and magic are both traits associated with the Assamites. We shall have to remain that much more vigilant in the coming days."

"Yes, Regent."

"Are the preparations for the ward complete?"

"Yes, Regent, it just needs to be set now."

"Very well, I will set it shortly. You have all divested yourselves of all objects not of the flesh? You will lose any such things if they are inside the ward."

Sarah and Sabine merely shook their heads yes. Camille gave a little shrug that set off a rippling effect across her torso. Yeah, yeah, they were real.

"You may dance for me another time, childe," Rebekka said to Camille with the arch of an eyebrow. Camille smirked for a reply.

"There is one last thing that needs to be done," said Rebekka, her hands moving to Anneke's glass eye. It began to glow with a soft inner light once Rebekka actually touched it.

"You made that for her?" Sarah said, only half-asking.

"Yes, and I do not wish to have to repeat my work," Rebekka answered. The eye made a moist squelching sound as Rebekka extracted it from its socket.

"What does it do?"

"Another time," Rebekka said with a little smile. She took the eye and wrapped it in a silk kerchief, and then placed it on the dresser, which lay outside the boundary of the ward.

"Take your positions, please," Rebekka said. "The ritual is not complicated, but it will take much longer to complete and require more energy than normal because I must cleanse more than myself."

Camille had taken up position next to Anneke, and Sarah was on the opposite side of the bed, with Sabine between them. They all joined hands, including Camille taking Anneke's left hand. She had insisted on being the one next to Anneke during the ritual. Sarah wondered what exactly the relationship was there; Gangrel usually did not befriend Toreador in her experience.

"Pleasant dreams, childe," said Rebekka, taking Sarah by surprise in the middle of her contemplation of Anneke and Camille, and before she knew it, her Regent's touch had put her to sleep.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:22 AM
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Default FFFFF, the conclusion (part 7)

Anneke woke up, naked and on her back. That stirred ancient memories for a moment. She opened her eyes. Her eye, she realized; she was not in possession of her glass replacement. Looking up, she saw an equally nude Rebekka standing over her, looking even more pale than usual, but also pleased with herself.

"You came," she said to her sister.

"Immer und ewig," said Rebekka, her speech a touch labored. "You must know this."

"It is nice to receive a reminder every few decades or so," said Anneke, bringing a little smile to Rebekka's face.

"Did I lose my eye in the end?" she asked.

"A side effect of the cleansing ritual," said Rebekka, shaking her head. "It does not discriminate between foreign objects lodged in the flesh. You would have lost it, had I not taken it out beforehand."

Anneke nodded, and in doing so, found that she was holding someone's hand. Camille's, she learned, after looking to her left. Sabine and Sarah both lay beyond.

"How are they?" she asked, keeping hold of Camille's hand. They did not look any worse for the wear, but even after all this time, an unbreathing Kindred in repose still gave Anneke pause.

"They are no doubt fatigued, but otherwise unharmed," said Rebekka. "They will not waken tonight, but all will be well with them tomorrow evening." An unspoken question formed on her face.

"What was it?" Anneke asked, ignoring her sister's question for the moment.

"A splinter that seeks the heart," said Rebekka. "A venerable and fairly simple ritual, but one enhanced by Assamite work, I would guess. The splinter would normally take days to reach its target instead of minutes."

Without conscious thought, Anneke had let go of Camille's hand and drawn her own to the scarring on her face.

"Yes, I am sorry you had to learn of it in this way, but I fear the conclusion is sound," Rebekka said.

Anneke watched her sister turn her head to Camille, and then back to her, to give herself time to regain her composure.

"Why here?" Rebekka finally asked. "Why her?"

"She is my servire," said Anneke.

"She is bound to you?"

"She is. Given the unusual power structure in New Orleans, I felt it prudent to have an agent here to monitor the situation. She is surprisingly adept at courtly intrigue for a Gangrel."

"Yes, I have already arrived at that conclusion," said Rebekka.

"Have you?" Anneke asked. "Testing the waters, are you?" Rebekka merely shrugged.

"It is unfortunate that I could not give her the Embrace myself," said Anneke.

"Perhaps," said Rebekka, "but if you had, she might not have been able to teach you that which you used to escape your predicament last night."

Anneke considered that for a moment.

"Hmm, you always were the smart one," Anneke said at last. Rebekka gave another shrug, once again pleased with herself.

"She would make a fine Primogen," Anneke said in a soft voice. Rebekka dropped her eyes for an instant before replying.

"That thought had already occurred to me, too," said Rebekka, her voice just as low.

"And has it also occurred to you that Mr. Johnson would never recognize her as such?"

"Yes," said Rebekka in a whisper.

"But you would?" asked Anneke. Rebekka nodded in affirmation.

"Who else would receive such recognition?"

"Sabine, for one," said Rebekka. "And Ramiel, I think. He is of the Prince's brood, but harbors ambitions that Mr. Johnson blocks."

"And what of the Brujah? There are enough of them that they should have representation."

"That is problematic," said Rebekka. "Their natural leaders have defected, it seems. What of those who came back with you from LA yet remain nominally on our side?"

"Uma could one day be an exemplar Brujah Primogen, but she does not yet believe in the necessity of the inner workings of Elysium. I have tried to convince her, but it may be something that only sinks in after a demonstration. We will all be better served if she is in the field for now."

"A leader from outside then?"

"Most likely," said Anneke, "but that leader would have to win over Uma, I would guess. It is the usual plight of Brujah Primogen, to maintain credibility both on the street and in Elysium. May Caine send us the right Kindred for the job."

"Shall we look for this candidate together?" asked Rebekka. "Surely there will be a Conclave regardless of the outcome of the immediate investigation."

"We will have to," said Anneke. "And while we are at it, I shall pray for my eye to grow back."

Rebekka smiled. "In the meantime, let's put your glass eye back."

Anneke returned her sister's smile and motioned for her to lead the way.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:31 AM
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Default Leo's vision

You shut your eyes, mind reeling from the sheer magnitude of Gwynnis' presence. As you struggle to keep from completely losing your mind to this psychic onslaught, a vision comes over you.

It is dusk. You see Gwynnis, wracked with sobs that produce no tears, seated upon the ground. Her golden hair is in disarray, her pale dress torn in several places, and a streak of blood descends from one corner of her mouth, yet these things do not detract from her loveliness. She cradles a lifeless figure, a man arrayed in mail, dark-haired but with no color in his face, an expression of rapture on his features. A graying man in robes of earthen tones approaches her from behind, leaning on his oaken staff as he walks.

Gwynnis does not react to the man's approach, even when he stops within inches of her back. He speaks in a resonant baritone, but his words are soft.

"That is all the time you have to mourn, childe. You must come with me now."

She does not turn at first, but instead makes an effort to regain her composure, an effort only partially successful.

"Gwenhwyfar," the man says, and she finally turns at hearing her name.

"M-M-Merlin?" she manages to stammer, and then draws a ragged breath.

"The Merlin, childe," says the man. "It is a title, not a name. I am called Taliesin."

"Why do you call me child?" she asks, and her tone is commanding despite her distress. "I am a woman grown."

"You are, but the life that woman led is over now. Your new life is but minutes old, and I am your Sire."

Gwenhwyfar struggles to comprehend this, and then looks to the west.

"The sunlight burns," she says, half fearful, half puzzled, "and I thirst. I thirst for blood to feed a ravenous monster in my belly."

"The vulnerability and the appetite will be your constant companions in your new life," says Taliesin.

"My life is over," she says in a broken whisper. She looks down at the fallen knight she holds, and gently brushes some loose strands of hair off his brow. "I loved him."

"And he you," Taliesin says in agreement. "He would have come after you. Best to leave that part of your life behind now, instead of having to do it when he found you."

"I would have let him destroy me! Anything to be released from this!"

"I do not think so," says Taliesin. "It brings me no joy to gainsay you on this point, but by the time he found you, you would have clung to your new life with all the strength you could muster. He would have been no match for you by then."

Gwenhwyfar's sobs return at this statement, and despite his earlier words, Taliesin lets them wind down of their own accord.

"Caledfwlch is yours now," Taliesin says once Gwenhwyfar stops crying. "Its prior wielder has no further need of it."

"My husband," says Gwenhwyfar. "He was my husband."

"He was your husband," says Taliesin. "That part of his life is now finished, too."

"And what need have I of it? I am no shieldmaiden."

"Master its use, and that part of him, of them both, lives on," says Taliesin.

After a moment's reflection, Gwenhwyfar grips the fallen knight's sword hilt, her equilibrium returning.

"Morgaine," she says, a name she invests with great malice, before letting go of the hilt.

"Morgaine will not trouble you further," says Taliesin. "There is no need for her to any more. And no need for you to seek her out. It is an accommodation we have reached with the Lady of the Lake."

"She who bewitched you?" Gwenhwyfar asks in alarm.

"I would not put it quite in that manner," Taliesin says. "She is my Sire, just as I am yours, and I am hers to command. Her true name is Arikel. As you would now reckon, she has waited quite some time to meet you, although it has not been much more than the blink of an eye for her, and now I must take you to her."

With that, Taliesin turns and heads back the same way from which he approached Gwenhwyfar. At first she does not follow, and a woman's voice says "Come," from all directions and nowhere in particular. Gwenhwyfar shivers and tries to forestall the compulsion, but to no avail, and she leaves the fallen knight to follow where her Sire leads.
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Last edited by Detritus; 06-05-2009 at 06:07 AM. Reason: change of grip/dead --> fallen
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