Okay, I should have written this sooner, but been rather busy with work, taking up most of my time and energy, that I had to postpone this blog post a bit. As usual, the blog post contains the summaries from both evenings that I attended, and written from the point of view of Oliver Soran, the young Gangrel that I play on these evenings.
One thing I noticed is that playing both evenings on the same weekend turns out to be really exhausting, and often takes a toll on my play style. Playing on a Friday is not idea due the stress and mental exhaustion I have from work. Playing on a Saturday after a play ain’t ideal either, because I’m usually not fully recovered.
Vincere Tollere Mori (VtM) : Ingolstad
Oliver had been struggling the week before the invitation with many things. The whole situation created by Spatz, his proclaiming of Prince on the Domain of Ober-Bayern, caused Oliver to be rather stressed out by the many questions and consequences. At the moment he did not belong to either Domain. Sure, he had been living in the Domain of München most of his life, but he never swore loyalty to the Prince of that Domain.
Actually, Oliver isn’t even convinced if the Prince actually knows he exists inside his Domain. He probably does, but it’s not really apparent. On the other side, Spatz is of the same Clan as Oliver. Regardless of the Domain Oliver chooses to live in, both have their downsides and benefits. Which one is the most convenient, is what keeps Oliver occupied at the moment. And exactly this occupation is what causing so much stress on the poor young Gangrel.
The few days before the actual evening, Oliver dropped by Klara’s house, but from the very first moment this already caused tension. Oliver being in a form of feral behaviour had trouble staying inside, staying calm or even following the most basic orders from his Guardian Klara. This escalated rather quickly on the evening itself where a few clashes occurred between Klara and Oliver when it came to respecting others or even doing the things he was told.
Oliver tried his best to actually remain calm, but controlling a raging beast inside yourself as young Vampire is not an easy task. Things went okay when talking to other Vampires who approached him rather calmly, but other encounters did not go as smooth as expected. Jarvis and Russ somehow managed to hold conversations with Oliver without ticking him off or causing his inner beast to rear itself. Stein from Clan Brujah however was a completely different case…
As the evening progresses, Stein attempted several things to make Oliver lose the control of his beast. One of the attempts was a public discussion about the fact that Oliver had passed on his debt to Herr Baader, the Primogene of Clan Nosferatu in München. In the Vampire Society, debt is used as a currency. You can owe someone a favour, making you rather important for that person since he’ll want to collect on that favour at some point. The key to survival is collecting and distributing enough of these favours to ensure you’re important enough to these people, and can cash in with others to avoid trouble.
Stein however called out on Oliver that he just passed on this favour Stein owed him, and demanded an excuse for not being told, and tried to buy it off by giving money. Oliver quickly reprimanded Stein that the favour was handed over to Baader, and that if he wanted out of this, he should talk to Baader about it, since he owed him now. This caused Stein to actually become angry, but was quickly put into place by Klara and René, being told what happened was perfectly acceptable, and it was his own fault for owning a Childe something in the first place.
Outside that scene, the evening itself proceeded rather calm and social, with the Gangrel telling some stories as a form of entertainment for he host of the evening. Oliver did not get to tell his story, but promised that he’d tell a story next time. As the night progressed Oliver and Klara said their goodbyes to the Host and left for home, as the trip from Ingolstad would take quite some time to complete on foot.
Only when they arrived home, Oliver noticed that Otto was missing, and the blood band only revealed a really faint connection between the Ghoul and Oliver…..
Invitation of the Herold
The second evening that Oliver wanted to attend was the one hosted by Zoe Thorn, Herold of the Prince of München. Normally Oliver would not be interested in political things, as this was something he considered still a waste of time at the moment, and honestly something he had no clue about. Zoe however held a special position for Oliver, despite being of a different Clan. During the period he was a Ghoul, Zoe took care of him, even if there were a few encounters that sometimes questioned the motives of Zoe, Oliver considered her something that resembled a friend. A dangerous one, but a friend nonetheless.
The evening appeared to be a rather social event, although Oliver immediately felt something was off when certain Malkavian Vampires started to show up during the course of the evening, such as Gundlach, the keeper of the Elysium in München. A night where both Gundlach and the Nosferatu appeared was uncommon to say the least.
The evening took off when Zoe received a special letter from one of the Monks, who seemed unable to speak. Oliver watched the entire interaction, but found it rather strange that the Monk was unable to speak and only used sign language to communicate that the letter came with a key to open the doors of the Monastery they were currently in. Oliver did not pick up any scent from the Monk, and thus was unable to determine whether the Monk was a Human, Ghoul or Vampire.
The big announcement made by Zoe, confirmed what Oliver already knew. Those who swore loyalty to Spatz where loosing their privileges one by one inside München. They were banished, but they were still welcome as guest in the Domain. Although the news that Klara lost her land in München upset Oliver a bit, it was not completely unexpected. Striking a quick conversation with Salome reassured Oliver that he could still travel between both Domains as Gangrel. To help him calm down, Salome scratches his head and behind his ears.
The evening took a twist when Gundlach spoke out that the location was actually his house, and his rules would apply here. The first thing that happened was that an Elysium was called out, and all weapons were no longer allowed on the grounds. All guests had 5 minutes to comply or leave the premisses. Not shortly after, Gundlach called out that anyone who would bring a staked Noseferatu would be granted a big favour from him. It’s not until later that Oliver learned the Nosferatu actually attacked Gundlach that night, which caused the order to be given.
During the evening however, the whole scene took a dramatic turn, as a series of events lead the Primogene of Clan Brujah to kick open a door during he Elysium and reveal the corpse of a person who was killed with an axe, by severing of the head. This person turned out to be a member of Clan Tremere, and the brief that Zoe received turned out to be a warning from someone stating that,
“whenever one of yours takes one of ours, the favour will be returned. Be warned.”
Although this was of little concern to Oliver, the dead of the Tremere member, the warning was not something entirely new. Several months ago, Oliver heared about Hunters in Hamburg before and what they can do.
As the night progressed and a few political plays folded out, Oliver decided to call it an early night. The travelling from Ingolstad was still taxing on him, and he wanted to hone his hunting skills a bit more this night to ensure he wouldn’t go to bed hungry when the day ended.
I’m trying to play more Feral with Oliver, but this is turning out to be a lot harder then I expected. Often I have to really think whether a reaction makes sense from feral point of view, or if I’m not overdoing it, in such a way that it either becomes ridiculous or too much animal like. This is something I want to keep trying over the coming the plays to find a play style that first of all suits me and my goals and secondly really depicts Oliver as a Feral Gangrel, not so much as a pet or Human.
And have to find something to get back at Stein for killing the Ghoul of Oliver…