Vampire The Masquerade: Political Consequences

Introduction

So, we had another play in München, which means that another blog post has to be written about my character. As always I would like to start off with a small introduction to explain what has happened so far, feedback I’ve been collecting and my general view on everything.

First things first, I’m getting slightly annoyed with the constant OT (Out time) bashing on my character’s behavior and the animal features he has collected so far. To put it simply: If you don’t like it, resolve it IT (In Time), in almost every situation there’s enough options to prevent the Frenzy from happening, but so far nobody took note to that. Only exception was a downtime with another Gangrel, where I actively chose to go into the Frenzy.

I understand that a new Vampire with 3 features, sounds like an awful lot, but when looking at the overall story of Oliver, they make sense and are properly justified. He’s a Childe with absolutely no control yet over his inner beast. He’s learning stuff as it goes, and the control is slowly getting there, which in 2 months is already extremely fast. Mental control over something foreign, is not something you learn like 1,2,3.

Enough about that. The second point is how small non-important features turn out to be amazing plot devices. The example here is the blood flask presented by a Tremere, which was brought along to the Gangrel Thing, and turned out to be again the center of attention for various players, as well as the little bell that Oliver is wearing. These small things on their own do not mean much, but they seem to be annoying so many people both IT and OT that it simply becomes funny not to pursue them further.

As for the stories that follow below, they are divided into 2 parts. The first section tells the story of Oliver’s Fortitude training he received from Marius a few days prior to the meeting invitation from House Tremere. The second part explains the story and the various events that happened during the night of the invitation.

Happy Reading

LogoClanGangrel

Discipline Training: Fortitude

Several days prior to the invitation of House Tremere, Oliver was waking up as the night started to set. Unaware of the events that were about to play out today, he made his way to the Kitchen of the house he was staying at, Klara’s house.

Still not getting used to the whole rhythm of living during the night, Oliver opened the fridge and grabbed a bottle of blood that was standing there. He was hungry, but learned to control the slight urges he had when the hunger was starting to pick up every morning. Not soon after, Klara also entered the kitchen and greeted him.

They both talked a bit about the past events and what plans they had when someone ringed at the door. Klara answered the call, and called out for Oliver to come to the front door. Approaching the front door, a smile appeared on Oliver’s face when he saw that Marius was standing there. Without given much of an explanation, Marius told him to get into the car that was standing in front of the house. Not having to be told twice, Oliver grabbed his sweater and jumped into the car.

Marius and Oliver drove through München, randomly driving in one street after another, making Oliver lose all sense of direction. After driving for about one hour, Oliver was told by Marius to blindfold himself with the black bandage that was lying at his feet. Looking strangely at Marius, Oliver didn’t question him and started to blindfold himself, while Marius kept driving the car.

After driving another 30 minutes with the car, Oliver felt that Marius pulled over, and told him to get out of the car while still wearing the blindfold. Seeking and searching for anything with his hands feeling in front of him, Oliver jumped up when Marius grabbed him and led him around and down several stairs. When they entered a room, Oliver was made to sit down on a chair in the middle of the room and his left hand was being cuffed to the chair so he could not escape. Then the blindfold was removed from this head.

Taking a brief moment to adjust his eyes to the sudden flash of light, Oliver looked around the room. It was a medium room with no windows, more or less cleaned. Several counters were on the sides of the room with medical equipment, as well as an operating table near the center of the room with some stained blood on the sides. Marius was standing in front of Oliver, holding a large curved knife and looked down on him while dragging the knife over his right arm, drawing blood. The sweet scent filled Oliver’s nose, who licked his lips.

As Marius stands before him, he explains how Oliver has been making mistakes in the past months, and needs to learn what it means to live inside the Camarilla. What it means to be a Gangrel, and most importantly what it means to learn more about the Beast and properly control it. Using his large knife, he places it on Oliver’s left leg and asks him the simple question: “Who are you?“.

Oliver, taking  a moment to think about this answers with his name, but realizes this was not the right answer the as the blade is being pushed through his leg. The pain is blinding, and Oliver growls at Marius but does not scream. At this point Marius repeats the question, with the knife on his right leg this time. Again the answer was wrong. Better, but still incomplete according to Marius, who drove the knife through his right leg this time.
At this point Marius explained the first Tradition and the proper form of introduction, while dragging the knife across Oliver’s back. At the end he asked the question again, where Oliver replied: “Oliver Soran, Childe of Clan Gangrel, Mündel of Marius, Primogene of Clan Gangrel.”  (Mündel is a German word that is used for a person who is not of age and is placed under the custody of a Guardian)

At this point, Marius instructed Oliver on the power of the blood he had in his body, the power to actually heal wounds and forced him to heal the wounds on his left leg, while putting pressure on the wounds of his right leg using his fingers. Pushing through the excruciating pain, Oliver managed after 10 minutes of focusing to actually close the wounds on his left leg, preventing the blood from draining.

This little game continued for more than an hour, where Marius questioned Oliver about every tradition of the Camarilla, what it means and how it affected him. Every wrong answer resulted in a cut on his body. Near the end of the little instruction, Marius pierced Oliver’s right shoulder, driving the knife deep in his body, damaging his right lung. Again Oliver was instructed to heal the wound using his blood’s power. At this point however, the reserve in his body was getting so low, that Oliver had trouble staying focused because of the blood smell in the room. Marius who had a wound on his arm from a past event, kept it under Oliver’s nose, luring out the beast that was hungering for blood to build up his reserves again. At first Oliver could resist the urge, but was forced to heal another wound, which drained his blood points down to 3.

At this point he could not longer control the inner Beast and tried to sink his teeth in the arm of Marius. Having anticipated this, Marius placed a stake through Oliver’s hearth, immobilizing him while he explained that he would be back shortly. Not much time had passed when Marius came back in the room, this time with a human beside him. Oliver had never seen this man before, and it was also not important. Marius slowly walked behind Oliver, and removed the stake from his hearth. The low blood supply, the inner beast craving for blood, the open wounds. All this was enough to keep the hunger going he had been trying to supress and so, the poor human never stood a chance. In a matter of seconds, Oliver was on top of the human, sinking his teeth in the arm of the Human, draining the blood.

At first the Human tried to struggle, beating on Oliver’s stomach, but Oliver overpowered him and quickly drained the blood through the bite marks he had made. Marius just stood on the side, watching, until Oliver was sated and the Human was nothing more than an empty shell on the floor, drained of all the blood. As Oliver came back to his senses, he saw the human lying at his feet. At this point, Marius started to talk into him, how we had killed the poor soul in cold blood, simply draining him, not holding back and what consequences this had. Oliver was handed the knife and told to dispose of the body in a specific way using the bags next to him. However the shock of having killed a human, with the body still at his feet was so great, that Oliver did not move the entire time until Marius came back.

At this point, Marius took the knife and explained that he would dispose of the body. However, he made Oliver watch every little step he took until the work was done.

House Tremere: Making a clan own yours.

The evening started normally like every evening does. Marius has been tending to Oliver’s needs like blood and a place to sleep for the 2 days between his Fortitude training and today. As they were making their way to the Prinz-Regenten-Platz in München, they were accompanied along the way by Staubkind and Tom, both part of Clan Gangrel as well. They met up in the small park near the Place where they talked about past events and what happened so far.

One of the topics that Tom wanted to discuss with Marius was the training of Oliver, more particularly the feeding from Humans. Both Marius and Oliver busted out in laughter when this was asked, but Marius said it was fine if Tom wanted to try and teach something to Oliver.

When they entered the building that was appointed as the location for the evening, the first thing that was to be done, was introduce themselves to the host of the evening. As they were waiting for their turn to address the host, Marius reminded Oliver of the Traditions and how to properly introduce himself, but was interrupted when the Ancilla of clan Malkavian approached and they had to make room.

Marius was the first to introduce himself, while Oliver was staying with the rest of the Gangrel pack that gathered by then. Not immediately following with Marius, Oliver stayed with Klara until Marius signaled that he should come over and introduce himself to the host that night: Ludmilla Riakova, Primogene of Clan Tremere.

As Oliver was introduced by Marius, the host asked the question who the Sire of Oliver was. At this point Marius explained that he has Primogene was responsible for the little whelp, and that his Sire was something to worked out later, invoking the ancient rights of Clan Gangrel to sire Children on their own whim.

The night itself turned out to be similar to pretty much every other invitation that occurs throughout the year. Several familiar faces, several familiar problems and a few new people that showed up during the night. Not much sooner after the introductions were done, Herr Spatz showed up at the invitation, tossing his bag at Oliver, ordering him to take of it. Oliver grabbing the bag with both his hands swore to himself that nobody would be touching this bag until Herr Spatz came taking it back.

A big problem with the Location that evening was the openness. There was a big glass window that allowed people to look inside and see what was going on. Salome, worried about the masquerade, made it clear to Oliver that he could what he wanted inside, but every time he wanted to go out, he had to wrap her scarf around his face to hide his cat nose, so nobody could see anything. The ears could be hidden by his sweater.

Trying his best not to forget, Oliver had conversations with several people, and also wore the scarf every time he went outside the building. A few of the more interesting conversations turned out to be one with the Torreador, where Oliver learned more about the disciplines that this clan possesses. Two of them he had experienced first hand while he was still a Ghoul under Zoe Thorn, the speed and persuasive nature of the Clan.

Because the whole of Clan Gangrel was given the mission to find out why a Tremere had the blood of Oliver in a bottle, they all took turns in talking with the Tremere Trester, who had provided the flask to Salome. However, every time they had this conversation, Trested claimed he had taken down 3 hunters in the domaine, found the flask, handed it over and had done nothing wrong. Some of the Gangrel believed him, some did not. In the end however, Herr Spatz took over after asking Oliver his opinion, and succeeded in making Clan Tremere own something to Clan Gangrel. What comes out of this, yet remains to be seen.

The evening became more interesting when Oliver was standing outside and a Ghoul came to him, asking him to join in a conversation with his master Emma. having a previous experience with Emma in Regensburg, Oliver told the ghoul he would come, but first made his way towards Marius, explaining the situation. Marius, who was in a conversation with Frau Duval, was excused and joined the little whelp to the table where Emma was sitting. Agreeing to the conversation, Emma asked the question to Oliver: “What does it feel like, to die?

Taken back by the direct question, Oliver had to gather his thoughts for a minute, but in the end could not really answer the question. He explained that he was knocked unconsciousness during his Embrace, and therefor could not really explain what it felt like, since he did not actively experience it himself. At this point, Marius was taking away by Salome, and Oliver was left alone with Emma and her ghoul. The conversation lasted a bit longer where more questions were asked, and Oliver tried to explain the ghoul the same explanation he was given when he was a ghoul: You cannot image what it means to die and give up everything in life for being a Vampire.

Not much later, they overheard Stein talking to Ancilla Von Rosenberg about Oliver and what the traditions say about creating Children and obtaining the permission for them. Stein had issues with Oliver, and also made this really clear during the entire evening by bumping into him, using Potence to throw someone else against Oliver and being rude in general against the Childe.

However, an unexpected turn of events happened when Ancilla Von Rosenberg answered the complaints of Stein by addressing Oliver: “Perhaps the Childe of Clan Gangrel can explain us the ancient rights of his Clan?” At this point, Oliver was taken a bit by surprise. He got up from his chair, turned around and looked Stein right in the eye. Here he explained how Clan Gangrel had the ancient rights to Sire children as they saw fit, but were also responsible for them in that their education and destruction belonged to Clan Gangrel. As the Ancilla smiled and asked if Stein was pleased with the response, after asking Staubkind if anything was missing, Stein said he knew enough for now and backed off.

Whether or not this was intended, Oliver felt that he had claimed a political victory here in that he defended himself on political level against one of his enemies. Whether this would have further consequences, remains to be seen.

Gangrel_by_schwarzeskaetzchen

Conclusion

With all that has happened so far, Oliver currently possesses the following skills and properties:

  • Animalism: *
  • Fortitude: * (1 point from the training with Marius)
  • Humanity: 5 (dropped by 1 for killing a human.)
  • Blood Band:
    • 1 with his Sire (Unknown)
    • 1 with Salome
  • Animal Features
    • Ears
    • Growling
    • Cat Nose

Again, I really enjoyed the evening and I’m really looking forward to what the big play in May is going to bring.

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