It has been a while since I wrote one of these, so apologies for those following the adventures of Oliver. Last month I was unable to attend my regular play due the big Connichi con in Kassel, Germany and I also did not play across Germany due vacation taking up most of my finances that month. But a new month, so new plays!
Because our group somehow split into two different groups now, I will be consolidating the plays of both groups into a single post. This makes the post itself larger, and gives me more work to remember everything properly, but it also helps me again to keep track of everything that happens to Oliver. Both of the groups play in the same setting. The story about Oliver remains the same, it’s just that both groups have a different focus and approach to the entire game and take place in different regions. The original group focuses on the Domain of München, whereas the new group emphasises on the Domain of Ober-Bayern and shifts the focus more towards player-driven stories rather then played out plots. (I hope I understood that correctly from both groups…)
So without wasting too much further details, I present both happenings of the past weekend. The first section, “A New Prince” covers the part of the new group whereas the “Malkavian Madness” will cover the story from the second group. As always, feel free to leave feedback, questions or remarks!
A New Prince
Oliver has been on a downward spiral for quite some time now. The “life” of a Vampire is not an easy one, and being in Clan Gangrel does not make things any easier. The society demands that Vampires follow the traditions that have been in place for hundreds of years. These traditions are old, and do not always make sense for fledgling vampires. The focus of these traditions is to preserve society, and preserve whatever Humanity a Vampire might have, both leading to the same purpose: The survival of the Vampire Society.
Oliver however is part of Clan Gangrel. A Clan that is proud of it’s lineage, holds on to the concepts of “Trust”, “Honour” and “Respect”. Often these Gangrel traditions are the cause of problems between other Clans, as the clan is a proud one. Oliver, who is still a Welp, has trouble finding his own place in all of this. On one side he has mentors advocating him to blend in, follow the traditions and be mindful & respectful towards others in the Society. On the other side, he’s part of Clan Gangrel and needs to prove to his clan members that he can walk on his own two feet and is an addition to the Clan. The Elder of Clan, Ludoviga, and other powerful Vampires also have told him to embrace his inner beast, for that is what the Clan is about. This resulted in losing control a few times, making him more confused.
These days, Oliver can be found wandering the forests around Ebersberg during the night, hunting for blood, trying to remain undetected and honing his hunting skills as a Gangrel. Even his Guardian Klara hears less and less from him the last weeks as he only checks in once a week, if at all, to remind her he’s still alive out there. During one of the visits at Klara’s house, he finds her reading a letter from Albert Spatz, the Ancilla of the Prince of München. The letter is an invitation to join Spatz in Ingolstad, because he has something interesting to share. The only strange thing about the letter is that it’s no longer signed with the traditional signature, but now reads:
Discussing the entire situation with Klara, Oliver decides to join her on the trip to Ingolstad and learn what has happened. Oliver has some information about why from the previous Gangrel thing, allowing him to formulate a theory which he shares with Klara who actually remains rather silent about the entire topic. It doesn’t take them that long to arrive at the location by Car. Once they arrive at the location, a few of the Gangrel are already there including Lin and Eddy, as well as Marius. Oliver knew all three already, so was quite okay that there were more Gangrel interested in getting to the bottom of this.
The evening itself turned out to be a rather casual and social gathering where Spatz put the guests to the test by asking them formulate theories about why an Ancilla from a Prince is able to pull this off without getting killed by said Prince. The most common theories are pushing forward like Spatz being strong, the Prince not caring, or it being a test. Oliver however formulates a different theory but does not share it except with a few Gangrel. The theory formulated is based on information obtained during the auction with Clan Nosferatu. In the end, Oliver still remains with questions about the theory being true or not.
As the evening progresses, Spatz puts the guests before the difficult decision: Do they remain loyal to their current Prince in München, or do they wish to apply for Citizenship in the new Domain of Ober-Bayern. Tossing another surprise into the group, Spatz also proclaimed that all interested in joining the new Domain, should address their concern to Klara, who would be taking note and report to Spatz later. Oliver suddenly realized why she was so quiet about the topic. Not thinking too much about it, Olivar approached Klara and made it clear that he would like to join the new Domain; where Klara answered that it would not be an issue, since she was moving as well, and Oliver was coming along for the ride.
The night actually progressed without incidents, which is rather uncommon for an evening with so many Gangrel present. Linkmann brought along a Ghoul, which turned out to be an extremely interesting plaything for the Gangrel present during the evening. Oliver, Lin and Eddy try to play cat & mouse with the Ghoul, who actually played along really nice. Oliver assumed Linkmann did not explain what the best behavior was when dealing with Gangrel in a “play mood”. Running away every time only kept the interest of the Gangrel peeked and the chase going on till the end of the evening. The Ghoul thought it was a smart idea to flaunt his gun the whole time, even after several warnings from other Vampires. The Brujah Stein snapped and assaulted the Ghoul, which seemed smart enough to actually Stake the Brujah. Screaming for help, her Spatz ended it by taking the Stake out of the Brujah and twisting the neck of the Ghoul, putting an end to the playtime of the Gangrel.
At this point, Klara and Oliver decided to call it a night, and started to make their way back home.
The room was dark. Oliver, being awoken by what looked to be a doctor, looked around the room and saw familiar faces. Many Vampires he knew were lying on the floor, sitting in couches or on chairs, either asleep or looking around perplexed as Olivar was. Not fully realizing and still confused, he heard Alex, the Brujah, asking where they were and what was going on. Oliver tried to get up and then realized he could not move his legs. He could feel them, he sensed them being there, but was not able to move his legs at all. At this point his instinct started to take over and growled at the doctor and anyone coming close into his vicinity.
The overall confusion of the other Vampires around him did not help Olivar in calming down. It wasn’t until Salome approached him and took him in her arms, stroking over his head that he started to calm down and analyse the situation they were in. Marius also joined the group at that point. Oliver was a bit reassured that he wasn’t the only Gangrel present now and that Salome and Marius where around as well, be it handicapped as Oliver. Salome was unable to speak properly or hear anything, Marius appeared to be blind.
As the initial confusion started to settle down, the instincts driving Oliver slowly ebbed away as well. Now he started to work together with Salome and Marius, trying to analyse the entire situation, collecting information from the other Vampires and trying to communicate with what seemed to be the caretakers of the place. Asking questions did not yield much information, as the caretakers seemed to be treating them as patients of a mental institution. Oliver noticed that some of the other patients turned out to be unknown Vampires or even Humans.
Slowly but surely Oliver was growing more impatient as his inner animal was starting to grow restless. Something did not feel right, and time was passing without Oliver being able to leave this building. Vampires reporting that there was no door or exit did not help either. At one point, a little girl approached Oliver as he was sitting in the middle of the room, talking to Nick of Clan Torreador. The little girl first talked with the Torreador about Oliver, how she thought he was a nice kitten, and asked if she could pet him. Nick said she should ask Oliver that. The little girl approached Oliver and sat down next to him. Looking into his eyes, she asked if she could pet Oliver.
Offended by the question, Oliver growled and asked if she was making a joke about him and told her she could not pet him. The little girl got angry and said that if she wanted to pet the kitten, she would pet the kitten. As soon as she finished the sentence, she stroked behind Oliver’s ears and petted him. This caused a frenzy inside Oliver for his beast did not appreciate the fact it was being treated like a pet. With a quick push from both his arms, Oliver lunged himself forward right on top of the girl and bit her in the neck, sinking his teeth deep into hear flesh and sucked out the blood from the wound.
Thanks to the “control lessons” from Marius, it didn’t take too much effort to snap out of the frenzy after drinking some of the blood. Realizing what he had done, Oliver crawled back to Marius, who was having a conversation with one of the “doctors” of this place. The topic being Monsters and the inner beast that they were suppressing. The doctor tried to provoke Marius in releasing his animal, but Marius refused. After the doctor left, Oliver explained to Marius what happened and how he was sorry for not being able to resist the frenzy. Marius said he should talk with the doctor to show him what happened when the true beast was unleashed.
It was not shortly after that the doctor visited Oliver and reminded him that he was due for his medical check-up. Oliver, genuinely confused, said he had no point what the doctor was talking about. The doctor asked if Oliver wanted to get better and be helped, which caused Oliver to reply with a confused “yes”. At this point the doctor grabbed the wrist of Oliver and cut it open with a large, curved knife. Suppressing a shriek of pain, Oliver growled as the doctor left. As soon as the doctor was out of view, Oliver focused his blood on healing and closing the wound. At this point he could feel his legs again, and not shortly after he was able to walk around again without problems. Sharing that information with Marius and Salome allowed both of them to break the curse on them by entering frenzy and drawing blood.
As more and more Vampires were breaking free from the Curse, more and more also started to disappear into thin air. As the evening progressed, only Oliver, a Malkavian Vampire and two Torreador remained in the room, where the floor was now covered with blood, but outside that completely empty. Screams and sounds could be heard coming from behind the walls, but no entrance to the rooms was there. Even the Brujah tried to force their way through the walls using their Potence, but nothing worked.
Suddenly the little girl who Oliver attacked in his frenzy showed up, asking if the Kitten wanted to come with her. Very reluctant at first, Oliver got persuaded when she said she could lead them to the others and this was his only chance to see them again. As he was being led by the girl, they entered a room where “patients” were sitting on hospital beds. One of the patients was covered in barbed wire and had blood gushing out all over every time he moved. The only words coming from him were “sing halleluja”. A few moments later the other Vampires whom Oliver had left behind showed up in the room as well, being accompanied by a Nurse.
Nick tried to talk with the patient but only got a reaction when someone said the words “halleluja”. At this point the patient started to ask who was bearing all their sin. Confused by the question, Nick and Oliver kept asking and delving deeper into the rambling of the patient until Oliver unravelled the ramblings. It turned out Clan Malkavian was carrying all the sins of the society and suffering for all Vampires. When Oliver figured this out, the patient stood up and walked towards Oliver, causing both to disappear and reappear into a room where everyone else was, with Amens sitting in the middle of the room.
On firth sight, Oliver knew something was off and became extremely wary. Suddenly he was being grabbed from all sides and pushed down on the floor in a puddle of blood. Amens voice called for him to get up and bow before her, swearing h would obey her. Not liking this one bit, Oliver rebuked the request with a clear “no”, causing the others to start laughing maniacally. To his left was Zoe, and Salome kept her claws on his back and neck. At a snap, Amens commanded Oliver to be killed, which followed by claws, knives and fists coming down on Oliver. As the pain coursed through him, everything went black. Again a voice commanded him to get up and asked to kneel down and obey. Hand and claws pushed him down on the same spot again.
Oliver, trying to outsmart this whole ordeal said he would obey if this would make everything stop. As soon as the words left him, his own thoughts disappeared and a voice in his head told him to walk over to the Vampire identified by Amens and start torturing him, hurt him and make him suffer. As he knelt down next to the Vampire, Oliver trusted his knife into the Vampire’s neck without a single emotion. The he pulled the knife downwards across the Vampires side, killing him in the process. Without any emotion, Oliver got up and moved instinctual to the center of the room. At this point Orsini appeared and suffered the same fate.
The nightmare ended when Amens got attacked by the group and died in the middle of the room. What madness caused this remains still a mystery for Oliver, but at the moment that Amens died, Oliver woke up in his lair in the woods. The wounds were gone and the frenzy didn’t cause anything new to grow, but he could taste the blood in his mouth. Whether this was all a dream from some Malkavian or if it truly happened was something for Oliver to find out.
I enjoyed both evening, probably the second one a bit more then the first one. I really experienced a few “WTF” moments during the second evening which gave me goosebumps and a great adrenaline rush. I don’t want to do this every evening, but I will definitely welcome more of these types of evenings :)
I was really happy to get into this again after missing out a whole month, and I think I placed again a great base for conflict with my Guardian and Mentor on where I want to take Oliver. Something I noticed as well is that it’s sometimes really hard to play with Humanity on 4. I really have to keep my mind clear to block out emotions or hold back because something might be cruel or evil. But I like where the character is going with this path, even if it seems to agitate my mentor more and more ingame :D (( I’m so not sorry Marius :D ))
Really looking forward to where both plays will end up in the near future.