lørdag 2. september 2017

VtM:B – a story. Never more.

There is trouble in the North. Many vampires with feelers out, either mental, informational, or general, sense and comment upon it. War is coming.

Well, truth to be told, not war – there hasn’t really been a vampire war, ever. Revolts, skirmishes, murders: oh, yes. But all-out war? Not in our lifetime.

I’m bringing this up because it gives me a chance to brag about how much knowledge my Sire possess, and how much he has given me, both in the practical and historical value.

So, there’s been two major revolts, called the Anarch Revolts. The first one ended with the Convention of Thorns in 1493 and the formation of the dreaded Sabbat, the other was a failed American experiment that ended before my undeath – my Sire mentioned it with disgust: apparently, he dislikes Brujah, and has no restraint in showing this resentment in public.

Only this time, there’s not the Brujah that is the source of the problem.

The Tzimisce are digging in deep in their castles across Eastern Europe. Gangrel and werewolves run free across the lands in Scandinavia, and two cults are clashing: the Children of Loki and the Valkyrie, formerly known to belong to the Hall of Jormungandr and Einherjar, respectfully. Cults, unlike the Camarilla, are indoctrinating and actively seeking out new members, without submitting to the Traditions – despite the cults in question do seem to respect the Masquerade, to some degree.

There are several missions that agents of the Camarilla must undertake to bring stability to the region.  Arnulf Jormungandrsson, an Elder that was old long before most of the Copenhagen vampires where even turned, or born, demoted for backing the wrong side in WWII (which instantly makes me hate him with a passion), and whispers speak of suspicion that he might be a Methuselah. He is, however, interested in keeping on the good side of the Camarilla, so that makes him “our” bastard.

I still loathe him.

However, my place isn’t in Scandinavia – no yet, at least. My place is in St. Petersburg.

My team, because it is my team – my Sire has stressed that point repeatedly – consists of a few you already know, and some you don’t.

There’s Kira, my ghoul, mainly because she knows the language, but also frankly refused to be apart from me. I could have ordered her to stay, but, she’s going to become a vampire someday – someday soon – and oh my gosh: I’m going to need another ghoul!

What I mean to say, is that this experience will be good for her. For us both.


Then there’s Eir, a Tzimsce. An almost pitiful creature, but with the rare talent of Vicissitude. She carries a hatred of her own clan, determined to take them down by herself if need be. Not one I’d normally pick, but she’s part of the deal. Young looking girl, plain clothes, no jewelry. Her eyes are icy, and her accent thick.

My Sire tells me that she growls, but that she is loyal, once we go over the mission one last time with Prince Jean-Baptiste.

The Lasombra, another Sabbat, or maybe not actually a Sabbat – I don’t know, I haven’t got the time to probe her mind – wears black clothing, a large jacket with a hood, keeping most of her face in shadows, and keeps gloves on all the time.

I’m fairly certain that has nothing to do with the book Fingersmith.

She’s to be kept under surveillance, but being groomed to become an operative of the Camarilla – unless she’s a spy of the Sabbat that will find her Final Death.

The last one is our babysitter. Rhys Christopher Taliesin Collingwood. A Ventrue. Silent, and judging. He’s not in command, despite being older than me, and more powerful. The Prince has trusted this mission to me, and me alone.

I’m 100% sure he’s here to make sure I don’t make any huge mistakes, and 75% sure he’s here to watch Eir and the Lasombra (and end them, if needed).

He’s dressed in polos, jeans and a jacket. Your typical action agent 47 outfit: comfortable, expensive, and practical. He carries an Omega Seamaster. His phone looks expensive, too.

Pieter is our link to the outside world and Prince Jean-Baptiste’s domain. He won’t be coming with us. To tell the truth, I’m glad he isn’t: not only would he slow us down, but he’d question every single order of mine. Probably.

We travel by boat. Not with a private cabin, nor in style, but as cargo. One big shipping container for us each, secured bellow deck. Stocked together. Hardly any room to walk around, so what little common area there is isn't used a lot. A few chairs and a couch. Some trunks with mission related gear - guns, mostly, I suspect - or proper clothing. A fridge full of blood packs - locked, of course - only Rhys and I have keys to it.

Pure privacy seems a luxury.

Rhys has the container closest to the door.

I’m sharing mine with Kira.

I can’t even tell if I’m seasick or just homesick.

So, here I am, in the middle of the Baltic sea, heading North and East. Always to the East.

On the journey, we pass Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Klaipeda, Riga, Tallinn and Helsingfors. Some of them former domains of Camarilla Princes. Now a few belong to the Sabbat. One abandoned for the Gangrel. A few hold on.

Gdansk is a battleground: between the Sabbat and some Sabbat rebels, the Camarilla is making subtle moves of control. More trouble for them means less trouble for us. It's suspected we'll have the city under our control within the decade.

Kaliningrad, Klaipeda and Riga I don't know anything about.

Tallinn is in the hands of a ruthless Ventrue that sits on top of a crime syndicate.

Helsingfors is a mess of a refugee haven for fleeing vampires in the North. It’s a place to stop on the way South, away from the werewolves, the feral Gangrels and the monstrosities preformed in Sweden. 6 Elders, 24 vampires, and 32 ghouls run the show. All Brujah. All females.

They are called the Helsinki girls. A shared fiefdom. Power divided between the Elders, the vampires, and the ghouls. An experiment. Sanctioned by the Camarilla, of course.

No wonder the Northern Europe is in shambles.

Silently, I promise myself to take it back. Make it mine.

We keep to ourselves, mostly. I massage Kira, and she keeps my mind busy.

I miss Pälvi.

I don’t tell Kira that.

I miss my coffin, my Sire, and my haven.

I only tell Kira about missing my coffin( and my haven). It is a beautiful coffin: black wood - oak, painted black - with silver highlight and finish in the metalwork, and deep purple velvet on the inside of it. A luxurious possession of mine. Treasured. Just like Kira. She’s even slept in it a few times, too. Either keeping it warm for me before I rest in it, and sometimes besides me, while I drift off.

Eir speaks a foreign tongue. I don’t know the language. Her broken English makes it hard for us to understand. Only Rhys seems to be able to, but he doesn’t speak much, either. Kira is a much better companion and conversationalist.

The Lasombra remains shut inside her container the entire time. Only person seeing her is Rhys, when he brings her blood. He puts in in small juice boxes, and puts a straw in it. Sometimes the juice boxes comes out untouched.

So much blood wasted.

I don’t share Kira with anyone. She’s mine, and she’s not enough for all of us.

Then the ghoul in control of the ship comes down to us. We have arrived at St. Petersburg.

It is time to go ashore.

It is time to visit Prince Nikolai.

1 kommentar:

Peter willet sa...

Interesting team. pity Pieter isn't around to connect to people more.