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

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Old 12-15-2008, 03:45 AM
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Default Gwynnis comes to town

Ramiel watched with Kallista as a tall, strikingly handsome man approached them, a woman on either arm. All three wore simple yet impeccably tailored clothing. Who the man was, Ramiel did not know, but he recognized the dark-haired woman in pearls to the man's right, and that made all but certain the identity of the golden-haired woman to his left. He wondered if the rumors about her mortal life were true.

"Good evening," the man said. "Madam. Sir." The women had dropped their hands, freeing the man to make small, precise bows to both Kallista and Ramiel himself.

"My name is Jürgen Strauss, of the clan Tremere, whom Caine has seen fit to rule over the domain of Dallas. As is the tradition, my companions and I present ourselves to the ruler of this domain."

"Meaning no offense, Sire, but you've picked a damnably inconvenient time for you and your... escorts to pay a social call," said Kallista, casting a look tinged with disdain up and down each woman next to Prince Strauss. "A lot has happened in the past week and we don't have much time to figure out what to do next."

"Kallista, I..." was all Ramiel could say before Kallista cut him off.

"You know it's true, Ramiel, and also that things started turning south when out-of-towners started flocking here a week ago. Not that you would do anything untoward, Sire," she said to Prince Strauss, "but unfortunately your arrival is a bit of a distraction."

Ramiel started to say something, then let it go. This would be interesting to watch, although dreams of Kallista the stalking horse most likely died the instant she opened her mouth. Regrettable, but it had really only been an idea.

"I quite agree," the dark-haired woman said in a slight French accent, "although I must point out that it is not only the Kindred of New Orleans who value their time. It is fortunate for you that matters here are so grave, and that our arrival here is not wasted on petty concerns."

"That voice," said Kallista before trailing off. After a few seconds her eyes snapped over to the other woman, who merely smiled. What little color that remained in Kallista's complexion drained from her face.

Still smiling, the golden-haired woman said, "I do not believe this will take very long," to Kallista before turning to Ramiel. "If we may?" she asked him.

"Of course, Justicar," Ramiel said, favoring Gwynnis with a bow much deeper than Prince Strauss had given him.

"Please follow me," he said, and watched the visitors file past a dumbstruck Kallista from the corner of his eye. Honestly, at times Ramiel marveled that she had made it through her mortal days without forgetting how to breathe.

Ramiel reached the War Room in a matter of a few dozen strides and entered to see Mr. Johnson and Radeyah deep in conversation.

"Majesty, we have visitors," said Ramiel.

"Very well, bring them in, but let's make this fast," said Mr. Johnson before Ramiel could step aside. Gwynnis breezed through the door as soon as the way was clear, freezing further speech in Prince Johnson's throat.

"You are displeased to see me," she said with the same smile she had given Kallista.

"Um, no, not at all," Mr. Johnson said as the others entered the room. "It's just that I hadn't expected..."

"Of course not," Gwynnis said before Mr. Johnson could finish. "This is Jürgen Strauss, Prince of Dallas, and one of my agents, Bonnie. I'm afraid the formalities will have to be abbreviated for now, although no doubt there will be time for more elaborate introductions later. I understand that some members of your household are presently incapacitated, and I would see them straightaway."

Mr. Johnson began to look around the room, but Ramiel dropped his eyes before they could meet the Prince's.

"I... yes, yes, I will take you to them," said Mr. Johnson. Ramiel hung back and exchanged a guarded look with Radeyah once everyone else's backs were turned. He saw his concern mirrored in her face. Turning to leave, he saw Bonnie standing in the doorway, looking over her shoulder, a knowing smile on her lips. She left before Ramiel took his first step.

"How did it come to this?" Gwynnis asked in a deceptively mild tone once everyone had reached Demetrious and Adrianne's resting place, a small interior cargo hold. Gwynnis had knelt next to Demetrious, and lifted open one of his eyelids with her index finger.

"Sammy fooled a lot of people," said Mr. Johnson. "Myself included, and it makes me sick to say it."

"It was your job not to be fooled," Gwynnis said, still kneeling.

"I know," Mr. Johnson said in a miserable voice. "I made some mistakes."

"Mistakes? This is a disaster," said Gwynnis, her voice rising for the first time. "Do you know what I think? That it has been too long since you have had to play for your supper. That we have indulged your idiosyncrasies for far too long. That you are unfit for rule."

"Gwynnis, please, be reasonable," said Mr. Johnson in half-pleading voice.

Ramiel watched, transfixed, as Gwynnis lifted a finger to her mouth in a shushing gesture. Then two-inch talons sprouted from her fingertips. An instant later her index finger had plunged through the right eye of Demetrious. His body wasted away at an incredible rate, until all that was left of him was a pile of dust loosely surrounded by his suit. It took Ramiel quite some time to realize he was leaning, weak-kneed, against one of the walls of the hold, and that Gwynnis had risen from her crouch.

"You ask me to be reasonable, when your inattention has brought madness and destruction upon your domain? You are disgraced, my dear fellow, and I see the causes of your unfitness all around me," said Gwynnis. Shards of ice pierced Ramiel's stomach, and for the first time since his Embrace did he truly fear for his existence. He slid to the floor during his effort to quell the panic rising in his breast.

"This deal shall I offer you, that you may continue to rule in New Orleans if you submit all of your line now in the city for execution. Is that not reasonable? Will you sacrifice your brood to continue your rule? I think your effectiveness would increase dramatically without the cocoon of your Get to insulate you from the happenings in your city."

Gwynnis reached out an arm, and suddenly Kallista began to move. Stark terror was written on her face as she approached the Justicar. Clawed fingers grasped her throat, the caress of the angel of death. Ramiel realized that Radeyah was weeping at the same time he felt the dampness on his own cheeks. Mr. Johnson looked around the hold, a wild, hunted expression on his face.

"Would you have me destroy them all just to preserve your station?" Gwynnis asked, contempt dripping from each word. She tightened her grip on his brood mate's neck, and points of blood began to well up around the tips of her claws. Kallista's frantic struggles to release herself from the Justicar's hold ceased, although they had had no effect save for damaging Gwynnis's clothing.

"Would you lay your cowardice, your vanity, bare, open to see for all who care to look?"

"No," Mr. Johnson said at last, unable to meet Gwynnis's eyes. "I would not. I could not," he said, and managed finally to raise his eyes level with the Justicar's. "Please let her go, Sire."

"Good that you finally exhibited a spine," Bonnie said as Gwynnis released Kallista, her claws retracting. She licked thumb and forefinger of her other hand and sealed the wounds on Kallista's neck.

"I believe I have enough blood on my hands," Gwynnis said, "at least for tonight. Although the night is still young," she said after Kallista heaved an undisguised sigh of relief once she had backed out of arm's reach from the Justicar.

"There will be Conclave, to convene on the evening of Easter. You will serve in your present office for precisely as long as it takes for a suitable replacement to emerge," Gwynnis said to Mr. Johnson. "You will have no say in naming, or even recommending, a successor. We will meet tomorrow night at midnight for preliminary hearings. Please make arrangements for it."

Gwynnis left the hold without bothering to listen to Mr. Johnson's reply. For that matter, Ramiel would not have been able to repeat his words even if the Justicar were to have her hand around his own neck. Someone had surely trod upon his grave, but it was his greatest good fortune that it had been done with only one foot.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:34 AM
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Default

This conversation occurs shortly after the PC leaves the aftermath of the battle outside Al's. Technically OOC knowledge but what the hay.

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

"I guess that about sums it up," said Dee Dee. "Crusher located and with a sizable escort now, Samantha possibly a childe of Don Cruez, Mr. Johnson assassinated, another engagement outside a gun shop. Lots of bloody noses for the Kindred involved in that last battle. I left the parting gift with a female Assamite. The owner of the shop is in critical condition. Yuri is with him right now. Still not sure if he pulls through this one. I was about to Embrace him, but there was an argument with Walsh's archon, so I let it go."

Gwynnis took in her Get's report and thought in silence. Did the Sabbat still think that Mr. Johnson was Prince of New Orleans? That didn't fit with the uncanny tracking of Arcadian's agents. And how on earth had Crusher been careless enough to let some of his Regnant's vitae fall into Sabbat hands? That raised more questions than it answered, to her mind.

"You aren't upset about my taking the initiative on Al, are you, Sire?"

"No, that's the least of our concerns right now." Gwynnis let out a sigh. "I'm sure Rebekka would have understood, but Arcadian's man did just lose his Regnant."

"Yeah, and that had nothing to do with overly stiff-necked adherence to the Traditions, I'm sure." There was surprising bitterness in Dee Dee's voice.

"Yes, and I'm quite certain this has nothing to do with your fast-tracking yourself for a Get of your own."

"What? I wouldn't have touched this guy with that spear of yours, except that he could be the second arms connection we've lost tonight if he doesn't recover from his injuries. I don't think this is a coincidence."

"Very well, we will take up the matter when I have returned to New Orleans. A 330 meeting? I think I can have the Councilor on my plane by 200, now that I can give her a focus for her work. You are sure that there are no witnesses loose from either incident tonight?"

"As sure as we can be for the hit on Mr. Johnson, but you just never know. The other battle took place in a pretty tough neighborhood, I think people keep their noses down when the shooting starts there. I'll have another look around the area when I'm done here."

"We are done. I have already kept Meerlinda waiting too long. I will see you before sunrise," said Gwynnis, and then hung up her phone.

"Forgive the interruption, Councilor, but I have just received word from New Orleans. One of my agents was able to wound one of our enemies, an Assamite, in fact. Carnwennan will serve as our beacon."

"You are certain that you wish to walk down this path?" asked Meerlinda. "Are your childer not of sufficient ability to thwart this attack?"

"They, and the new Prince, are all very capable, as you well know, Councilor. But it is far easier to sow discord and chaos than to clean up after it. Tonight's actions will be but the first of many before the main assault. We both know this. I mean to quash our enemies, to cut out the heart of their leadership as fast as I can."

"The day awaits each of us when we must return to the nether shore. Even thou, stepdaughter of Avalon. Does hatred for our enemies drive you into rash action?"

"Does fear of our enemies keep you from acting at all? I'm the one who's going to be at the sharp end of knife."

Meerlinda's lips compressed and her eyes tightened. Just as her lips parted, Gwynnis averted her gaze, but with a purpose. Her eyes landed instantly on what she sought, an age-darkened harp with three rows of strings. She had spotted it with a glance upon first entering the room and had not looked at it since, until now.

Gwynnis felt Meerlinda's hesitation and closed her eyes. She kept her face smooth, but smiled inwardly, remembering fondly how she had carried that same harp on her back for an entire journey on foot from Venice to Vienna. It had been a gift to Meerlinda, one of the first triple harps to make it beyond Italian lands. She and the Councilor were two of the three people who remembered how the triple harp had become the Welsh harp, after the Thirty Years' War. How they had made it the Welsh harp while they brought the British Isles once and for all under the umbrella of the Camarilla.

"Your hands have always had a deft touch with my strings," Meerlinda said, voice rueful, in the direction of the harp. "I should do well to remember that you have been Kindred as long as any two of the Seven. We will go to New Orleans together."

After they both stood, Gwynnis moved to the Councillor and took her by both hands. "Neither should you forget that there are no other hands I would rather have on the knife than these," she said, and gave Meerlinda's hands a brisk shake. She had forgotten just how tall the Councilor was, nearly a head taller than Gwynnis herself, but in the time the thought had occurred Meerlinda's self-possession had returned.

"We will see if you give the same answer after we have finished," the Tremere Councilor said with a look down her nose, until the corners of her mouth began to turn upward in a smile that softened her stern expression. Gwynnis laughed, delighted to see that her old friend had finally decided to appear, and allowed herself to be led out of the room.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:06 AM
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Default Part 1 of 2

((The timing of this conversation should be evident in that in coincides with Jocelin's destruction and the Justicar's encounter with blackfire in the "Beware the Violent Welsh" thread.))

Sarah stopped inches away from the ward, holding the box of ammunition that Jocelin had given her. The five inside the pale dome lay deathly still. They all seemed at peace, even Jocelin, despite what had happened to her earlier tonight. If the elders could find her quickly enough, she thought that Jocelin would be OK, but if they didn't... Rebekka had not thought to make the Deep Umbra part of her education, but the bits she had heard rumors about froze her unliving marrow.

"You're worried about her, aren't you?" The speech was soft, but Sarah still gave a start, surprised that someone had come up next to her. She turned to see Antoinette gazing into the ward, a subdued expression on her face.

"Yeah," was all Sarah could manage in reply. It was a wary word. Antoinette had known Jocelin a lot longer than she herself had.

"I guess you're worried about her, too."

Antoinette lowered her head without turning towards Sarah, although her eyes did flick sideways at her for an instant. She closed her eyes and nodded. After a few seconds, she went back to looking straight through the ward.

"What's happening to her?"

"I don't know. I'm not really sure even what could happen to Jocelin. I think if the others find her, she shouldn't be too much the worse for wear, though."

"The only reason she's out there in the first place is because of them," Antoinette said, turning to Sarah for the first time. After a few seconds, she turned back towards the ward. "Because of her."

Sarah followed Antoinette's smoldering gaze, and turned to look at the Justicar. The memory of the harrowing blindness that had come upon her in that first meeting with Gwynnis forced her to close her eyes with its intensity. Turning back to Antoinette, Sarah opened her eyes to find the Brujah's glare trained on her.

"I didn't send her on this mission, Antoinette. Please don't take your anger out on me. I don't want any harm to come to Jocelin, but..." Sarah struggled for a way to frame her next words in such a way to keep the legendary Brujah temper from exploding on her. "I think it was a penance, kind of, to help make up for what happened last week."

"What the fuck are you talking about? That blonde bitch isn't a nun." Despite her best efforts, Sarah could not prevent a touch of heat from entering her reply.

"No, she's a lot more powerful than that. A Justicar was destroyed on Jocelin's watch, and it was her screw-up that set the conditions for Samantha to be able to wrangle a meeting with Arcadian. Gwynnis would have been well within her rights to summarily put Jocelin to the Final Death as soon as she could have gotten her within reach. I think part of the reason she was tapped for this mission was for a chance for her to atone for that mistake."

"Those are idiot elder rules. There was no reason for Walsh to meet with Samantha because of something Jocelin did. She could have skipped town and let them figure it out."

"That's not how they see it!" Something that felt like pebbles fell along Sarah's leg, and she looked down to find that she had crushed the box holding the ammo, which now leaked out of its ruined container. She threw it down in disgust.

"Are you too busy being pissed off at elders just because they're old to have failed to figure out the first goddamn thing about how they operate? If she would have run after the meeting, it would have been her ass after Walsh died. It was a big fuck-up. I was there, I had to put the stake to Jocelin to keep it from being even worse than it was. It would have been worse for Walsh not to have shown up after that. If one of your envoys attacks the envoy of the other side, you can't just brush that aside!"

Antoinette opened her mouth, but Sarah didn't give her a chance to interrupt her tirade.

"Do you really think that Jocelin would have had any a chance if she had run? Walsh was going to meet with Samantha no matter what, and he bites it no matter what, I'm guessing. That means Gwynnis and her brood show up here no matter what. Do you think Jocelin could have kept Anneke from hunting her down? Or Dee Dee? Or the two of them and Gwynnis together? Hell, with a little memory reading, they could have learned just enough about her to just sit here and Summon her to return, and she would have had to do it.

"And then what? If Jocelin goes on the run and Walsh bites it a day or two later, do you really think they would have cared which order it happened in? Did you not see Gwynnis use the sheer force of her presence to send the Prince of one of the largest cities in the country to torpor? Did you miss her blinding me in that meeting? As good as Jocelin is with that katana, I don't think she would have stood much of a chance if the Justicar would have lowered the boom on her."
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:08 AM
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Default Part 2 of 2

((The conclusion, since I wasn't able to rein in this piece until it was nearly 11,000 characters in length.))

"Your voice is carrying, childe." Sarah whipped her head around to see Rebekka standing in the doorway leading out to the mansion's entryway. She managed to clamp her jaws shut with an effort, then took an involuntary step backwards when the Prince's expression hardened.

"And you will not strike someone while her head is turned." Sarah looked back at a snarling Antoinette, her feet now perhaps six inches off the ground.

"We will discuss matters as adults, or I shall have no choice but to send you to your rooms. Without supper." Sarah saw a momentary twinkle in the Prince's eyes, swiftly replaced with seriousness once she released Antoinette from her hold. She stumbled in her landing after her abrupt release. Sarah thought that Rebekka might have given gravity a bit of assistance.

"Setting aside Sarah's overexuberance, she is correct on the essentials concerning Jocelin's plight. From the moment she lost control and attacked Heather at that initial meeting at Jackson High, a meeting between between Miss Drake and Justicar Walsh was all but inevitable. Had Jocelin taken flight, Mr. Johnson would have been in no position to refuse telepathic contact with Gwynnis or one of her agents. Nor do I suspect he would have been the least bit unwilling to make such contact after Arcadian's demise, and after that, a Summons for Jocelin would have swiftly followed."

Sarah watched Antoinette struggle with the Prince's words, then dropped her eyes when the Brujah glared at her. She did feel sorry for her, but Sarah knew that she had been correct even before Rebekka had backed her up. Having been Caitiff for most of her existence, perhaps Antoinette really didn't know how to keep score in political disputes, but still, it was pretty easy to get a read on this one.

"Maybe you're right," Antoinette finally muttered.

"There is no maybe about it," the Prince replied. "I said as much myself as soon as it happened. You may question Jocelin about it at your leisure if you are not willing to take my say so on the matter."

It was Antoinette's turn to retreat a step from the Prince, sensing the menace in Rebekka's chill tone and stern eyes. Sarah tried to will Antoinette into letting the matter drop here, and swallowed a sigh of relief at her sullen nod of acquiescence.

"Very good. We will not speak of this matter further." Eyeing the spilled contents of the now ruined box of ammunition, Rebekka floated a single round to her hand. "These work better if fired from..." and then she cut off.

"Jocelin!" Sarah turned to face the ward at Antoinette's cry. She watched, stunned, as Jocelin's body began to turn translucent. Suddenly, the Justicar's eye dropped out of and rolled away from Jocelin's now wraithlike form.

"What's happening to her?" Antoinette demanded. She began pounding against the ward.

"That won't help," Rebekka said, seizing Antoinette's arms. "You will only injure yourself if you do that. Jocelin has taken grievous injury, I'm afraid. Perhaps the others have not yet found..."

The Prince's words were once again stopped short when the Justicar's sword began to glow bright as the midday Sun. Then the luminance flared outwards until it enveloped all who lay within the ward. A chunk of the brilliant aura vanished, as if overlapping with a globe of utter darkness. Then the halo was gone, the sword flew out of the Justicar's hands, and Gwynnis was covered head to toe with some kind of charring, though her skin did not seem to be burned.

"What..." Sarah said, trailing off. She had to pull her jaw shut once more.

"Blackfire," said Rebekka, sounding as if she were coughing to dislodge the word from her throat. Sarah gasped, and had to lean against the ward for support.

"What's that?" Antoinette asked. Sarah was impressed that her voice was so steady.

"It is grave peril," Rebekka replied, releasing Antoinette's arms. "All those with the Justicar are in mortal danger." The Prince's eyes went to the sword lying just beyond Gwynnis's outstretched arm.

"With luck, she managed to dispatch her attacker." Sarah thought that Rebekka was trying to call the Justicar's sword to her, but the blade lay unmoving. The Prince let out an exasperated sigh.

"The key to opening the ward lies within, yet it is out of my reach. The Councilor's warding is impeccable."

"You can't get it?" Antoinette asked. "What are we going to do?"

"All we can do here is watch, and wait. None of the others have fallen to blackfire, though, so perhaps there is still hope." Sarah turned at the tightness in Rebekka's voice, and saw something she had rarely seen before on her face. Worry. Sarah sank to her knees and picked up one of the rounds Jocelin had given her.

"Jocelin gave these to me to make into Dragon's Breath rounds, but... I don't know how."

"It is a relatively simple enchantment," Rebekka said, her face and voice once again smooth. "Gather the rounds you wish to enchant, and I will instruct you." The Prince looked into the ward one last time, then turned to Antoinette.

"We will be in the kitchen. Please let us know if anything else happens within the ward. And I urge you to consider carefully what we have told you about Jocelin's situation. She will require patronage stronger than that a mere Prince can give her, even one who is the host of a Conclave, and if she survives whatever has happened to her, perhaps she will have earned it. Just as importantly, however, is that she will need her friends."

Sarah rose as Rebekka was turning to go to the kitchen when Antoinette took hold of an arm.

"Would you save a few of those for me?" Antoinette dropped her eyes after she spoke.

"Sure," replied Sarah, and she put her free hand on top of Antoinette's. The Brujah nodded and pulled her hand away, and turned back to watch the inhabitants of the ward. After her own last look back at Jocelin, Sarah followed her mentor to the kitchen.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:47 PM
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Default Bonnie's reverie

"If you haven't yet learned, Bonnie, be warned that Gwynnis is missing her eyes presently," said Rebekka.

"Oh? What was that for? Something to do with... Rosalyn?" She had to watch out for that, given how cagey the others had been about mentioning Sidana's name. Funny, she had only been gone from New Orleans for a night longer than her Sire, but apparently that was a very eventful night, and undoubtedly more engaging than having to listen to Prince Casimir's complaints at tea time.

"Not directly, no, although the end result was that the Justicar's donor eyes ended up leading their recipients to both Rosalyn and Sidana."

"And who received them?"

"There were four recipients altogether, the three remaining investigators that Arcadian sent from Dallas, and the new Brujah Primogen." Bonnie knit her eyebrows in momentary consternation.

"Curious choices. I find it hard to believe that Gwynnis would consent to make such a personal offering to the Nosferatu. Or Jack, for that matter. I vow, I am mystified as to what either Arcadian or Jürgen saw in him."

"Prince Strauss seemed to find him useful," Rebekka said in a noncommittal tone. "Those choices cannot be unmade, but I believe the recipients of the eyes had enough of a personal stake in matters here to be worthy donation vessels."

Bonnie eyed the Prince askance. Worthy donation vessels? Rebekka had been one of the first Kindred outside the Toreador clan that she had spent any significant time with, but her clinical turns of phrase still caught Bonnie off her guard every once in a while.

Casting back in her memory, Bonnie recalled how at first she hadn't even realized that Rebekka was Tremere instead of Toreador, in her first weeks as Kindred in Paris. Then there had been the ritual, and the move to London that preceded it. Lammas Night, 1940, Bonnie's first trip to Glastonbury, and it was there that she had first met Sidana. And Meerlinda, and Etrius, and other Tremere besides. And Anneke, too, she could not forget. Deeds both great and terrible were done that night, when Rebekka had finally demonstrated herself as a mage of no little accomplishment, when Bonnie had finally grasped in full the revelations made to her concerning Rebekka's lineage several months before Lammas Night. Rebekka had held her own, and indeed had been an integral part of a ritual involving two of the ruling Tremere Council of Seven.

That had also been the night when she had learned of her warrior's heritage. She had not believed the strength of Meerlinda's insistence, reported secondhand during the planning stages for Lammas Night, on Gwynnis and her childer being the sentinels to guard them as they worked, and spoke openly of her doubts to Rebekka. Would not Brujah, or Gangrel, or even other Tremere have been better? Then, pretty much all Bonnie could have done was to make sure everyone was well-dressed, but the clothes would have turned neither blade nor claw, or stopped a bullet. Rebekka had merely smiled and said that at Glastonbury she would truly learn what it meant to be a childe of Gwynnis.

And she was right. Bonnie had had her sidearm, but had little to do with it, a blessing she was immensely thankful for. But the others... They had been magnificent. Tireless. Indomitable. Sword, spear, and dagger had been a bristling wall of edges and points that permitted the Tremere to complete their work unmolested by those who would have stopped them. It was a humbling experience.

That Lammas Night ritual had been the only time all of them had been together, the Toreador and Tremere there at Glastonbury. So many of them were gathering again now, including Sidana, apparently, that Bonnie could not help but wonder what it portended. In 1940, at least, the stakes had been apparent, and Bonnie nearly shivered with the thought that a similar threat could be brewing now, save that this one had yet to be identified, not to mention the hand that was the moving force behind this putative threat.

"You have not yet asked the questions you most wish to," Rebekka said, snapping Bonnie out of her reverie.

"I suppose I haven't."

"You were thinking of the first time you met Sidana, were you not? I have been thinking about that night myself."

"What do you think our chances are of restoring her?"

"If she can be brought before the Councilor and the Justicar, I would say chances are excellent. Getting Sidana to them will be a matter of some doing. On that, much will depend on Rosalyn and those who will be assisting her."

"And what about Anneke?" Bonnie asked softly.

"I have been thinking about her, too," Rebekka replied in just as soft a voice. "She took it quite hard when Sidana fell in Detroit."

"When she abandoned Sidana, she would probably say."

"She would, and I do not know how she will react when she sees Rosalyn. In the depth of my uncertainty, I have hesitated even to call her. I must confess, in naming her dux bellorum, I had not considered the possibility of Sidana, or especially Rosalyn, appearing in New Orleans."

"You haven't called her for tonight's council? It will be hard to plan battles if the field marshal is absent."

"Not yet," replied Rebekka, "not without a way to soften the impact of Rosalyn's appearance on Anneke, if possible."

"And if no way presents itself?" The Prince did not reply at first, and Bonnie made a mental start at the look on her face. "You aren't thinking of relieving her of command, are you?"

"No. At least, no more than idle thoughts," Rebekka amended, but there had been a pause. "Gwynnis will not take the field in her condition. You I will need to help with arranging the Conclave. I'm not familiar enough with Dee Dee to assign her any duties beyond those she already holds as Sheriff. There are no others in New Orleans I am willing to task with military command of the city. Anneke remains the best choice to be field marshal."

"They seem quite carefully organized, and thorough, for idle thoughts," said Bonnie.

"It would be foolish to discount the possibility out of hand, but it is not that complicated, Seneschal. And despite all that has passed between us through the centuries, Anneke is still my younger sister. That will never change, though we are no longer of entirely the same blood." Bonnie heard the affronted Prince in Rebekka's voice, and saw it in her eyes.

"Of course, my Prince," Bonnie said as demurely as she could manage, and she supposed that Rebekka was allowed a bit of latitude to worry about her sister. That still did not solve the problem at hand, however, unless...

"I didn't see any spears in the parlor," she said. "If Rosalyn really is a part of Sidana, then she will not be properly armed until she has one. If you or the Councilor conjured her one in a separate meeting, and then we brought in Anneke for a private briefing before main council," said Bonnie, when Rebekka interrupted.

"Then at least that initial meeting would only be in the presence of those most familiar to Anneke," Rebekka said. "That's probably the best we can do with the council time approaching. Well done, Seneschal."

"It wasn't that complicated, my Prince." Bonnie couldn't prevent herself from puckering her lips at Rebekka, who gave a wry grimace in reply before turning towards one of the seemingly innumerable bedroom doors in the mansion.

"Cute. We have arrived at the prisoner's room. You will speak with your sire, and then bring Rosalyn up when we have finished. I will call Anneke and tell her to find us before main council, and we will see what happens. Shall we?"

Rebekka entered the room without waiting for a reply, and Bonnie followed, when the sight that met her drove all thought of Anneke or Rosalyn from her mind.
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Last edited by Detritus; 10-13-2009 at 07:53 PM.
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