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IC All That Glitters Is Red (Vampire: Blood and Smoke)

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
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Validated User
The other four Philosophers listen closely to your every word, but their expressions seem somewhat incredulous. "If all of this is true," posits Lydia Kensington, "which is quite hard to believe, I might add, what on earth do you expect any of us to be able to do about it?"

Penelope Fange nods in agreement, one hand wound around the shifting vine of a mandragora. "Beasts? Vampire hunters? The cessation of the Strix threat? It's all quite strange and highly improbable-"

Savannah Lutece speaks up, interrupting the Kindred biologist, "no it isn't. Not a bit. We've all seen the various products of the Great Work. What's to say this isn't true too? LaChance is many things, but he is not a liar, or prone to flights of fancy. I say we assist him, with all the resources at our disposal."
"Doctor Kensington, I am complete agreement with you on all the points you raised. I have experienced this madness firsthand and still I question how things could have reached this point. Nevertheless, it is my sincere belief the threat before us is both immediate and existential, and to do nothing is suicide."

"However, anecdote is not evidence and emotion is not fact. We are scientists - I propose we consider the matter scientifically."

"I have presented a summary of the information I have gathered. Here too is the raw data." LaChance puts his notebooks, picture and other evidence on the table. "Peruse it yourself. Question me. Assume nothing. There may well be gaps in my data, assumptions I have made incorrectly. This data was not gathered under ideal laboratory conditions, and it's entirely possible that my emotions are coloring my conclusions."

"Once we are in accord, we can consider what can be done. I have some ideas along those lines, but I do not wish to taint your reasoning."

Wordlessly, the Doctor gives a nod of thanks to Lutece for the support.

OOC: Not sure if you want to play this out or handwave it. Let me know if I need to roll.
 

Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine breathed a quick sigh of relief before tension settled in again.

She pulled up a map on her phone, choosing a pub with a lot of distance to but a direct line of sight towards the Sanctum-occupied cathedral where she had first encountered the Plague Nun.

Texting the coordinates to the others, she added a time one hour from the current time. Then she packed her things, checking to see she was going out armed and resetting the countdown on her infodump.

Heading out into the night, she vanished into the shadows on her way to her destination, ready to bring her past and present together so she might have a future.
 

Pandorym

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Validated User
Doctor LaChance
The Philosophers consider every piece of data and evidence brought before them -- the reports of the Strix, the machinations of those moving in the shadows, notations on the Dawnguard and a scientific hypothesis on the nature of the Beast causing strife. Stacks upon stacks of charts, graphs, reports, and pages of paper mixed with digital projections.

It takes a while, but at last the Paracelsus Table comes to a quorum: There is a notable threat to the Great Work and the stability of the city. As such, the Philosophers of the Sightless Eye offer full and unconditional support to Antoine LaChance in pursuit of a quick and satisfying conclusion to this potential catastrophe.

Elsie and Elaine
The pair meet up at the pub, and surprisingly the place is rather empty, meaning the two are free to discuss what they will without worry of being overheard or possibly spied upon. However, the tension is still quite thick, as at any moment the Mnemosyne could find herself embroiled in an invisible high-speed battle betwixt two very dangerous elders.
 
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Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine snuck into the pub under the cover of shadows, so as not to be seen entering, nimbly using a gap between two patrons passing through the door, then walking into the dark hallway leading to the restrooms, waiting for a moment of emptiness to drop her preternatural cloaking and step out, taking a seat with a view to the window and a back to the wall.

She ordered a gin-and-tonic and was nursing it when Elsie entered. She smiled involuntarily as she saw her compatriot. "Hey. Thank you for coming."
 

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Doctor LaChance
The Philosophers consider every piece of data and evidence brought before them -- the reports of the Strix, the machinations of those moving in the shadows, notations on the Dawnguard and a scientific hypothesis on the nature of the Beast causing strife. Stacks upon stacks of charts, graphs, reports, and pages of paper mixed with digital projections.

It takes a while, but at last the Paracelsus Table comes to a quorum: There is a notable threat to the Great Work and the stability of the city. As such, the Philosophers of the Sightless Eye offer full and unconditional support to Antoine LaChance in pursuit of a quick and satisfying conclusion to this potential catastrophe.
"I appreciate your assistance in this affair." At a gesture, LaChance's ghoul produces a series of small tubes from his valise. "I feel that it's vital to determine who is actively involved in this conspiracy and who is a pawn, as quickly as we can. I feel that this may go a long way towards that goal."

"This is a sample of the blood from the corpse I dissected in your presence a few nights ago. Said blood was provided as an aperitif by Pandora Aensland - and is tainted by HIV. Mrs. Aensland knew her thrall was infected at the time, and deliberately introduced the plague into our midst. Ostensibly, this capital crime was committed at the behast of Bishop Virgil - a complicated scheme to grow the mortal congregation of his church. I am deeply displeased by this plan, for reasons that should be all too obvious."

"However, recall that the thrall had been surgically implanted with two fiendish traps - a poison dispenser and an explosive - and was also possessed by the Birds to deliver their apocalyptic threat. It is my belief that these additional contrivances may not have been part of the Bishop's plan. They are unnecessary to his aims and expose his crime to needless scrutiny."

"His scheme, vile though it is, may have been hijacked by Mrs Aensland towards a darker purpose. It is my belief that Pandora Aensland is in league with this Beast... and may well have sought out the monster at the behest of Infernal masters. In short, Pandora Aensland may be Baali."
 

Pandorym

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Validated User
"I appreciate your assistance in this affair." At a gesture, LaChance's ghoul produces a series of small tubes from his valise. "I feel that it's vital to determine who is actively involved in this conspiracy and who is a pawn, as quickly as we can. I feel that this may go a long way towards that goal."

"This is a sample of the blood from the corpse I dissected in your presence a few nights ago. Said blood was provided as an aperitif by Pandora Aensland - and is tainted by HIV. Mrs. Aensland knew her thrall was infected at the time, and deliberately introduced the plague into our midst. Ostensibly, this capital crime was committed at the behast of Bishop Virgil - a complicated scheme to grow the mortal congregation of his church. I am deeply displeased by this plan, for reasons that should be all too obvious."

"However, recall that the thrall had been surgically implanted with two fiendish traps - a poison dispenser and an explosive - and was also possessed by the Birds to deliver their apocalyptic threat. It is my belief that these additional contrivances may not have been part of the Bishop's plan. They are unnecessary to his aims and expose his crime to needless scrutiny."

"His scheme, vile though it is, may have been hijacked by Mrs Aensland towards a darker purpose. It is my belief that Pandora Aensland is in league with this Beast... and may well have sought out the monster at the behest of Infernal masters. In short, Pandora Aensland may be Baali."
All of the Philosophers immediately focus their unwavering attention on you with that last word. So many alien, predatory gazes besotted with blood, dominance, and vicious instinct is enough to drive a chill down even your unliving spine.

"That is a... profound accusation, Antoine," Dr. Kensington begins delicately, "the Baali were exterminated with great prejudice by this very covenant over two hundred years ago due to having given themselves over to the whims of dark powers beyond imagining. And you accuse Pandora Aensland of such a foul deed, of such profane blood? This is a dangerous matter, doctor. You will need substantial evidence, nay, damning evidence as the case may be. Do you have any such thing?"

She starts rifling through all of the data you've presented. "Nothing amongst these documents provided shows any actual correlation, though her deeds were uncontrolled and her methods gruesome. While you show in great detail how the Beast -- Walter Dolmen -- was both in league and heavily entwined with infernal forces, nothing truly points Pandora's way."

Savannah Lutece speaks up then, busy shuffling a deck of tarot cards to keep her unsteady hands occupied. "We need that proof, LaChance. Baali are horrifically dangerous, and we would need the backing of the Prince to call a Lextalionis -- a blood hunt -- to exterminate her. Obtain it, and we will move as one with you in this matter, despite the chaos and hatred it will spark between us and the Ascalon Club. In addition, we have to be doubly cautious... her damnable husband is back in the city, the former Executioner of King Maxwell."
 

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
All of the Philosophers immediately focus their unwavering attention on you with that last word. So many alien, predatory gazes besotted with blood, dominance, and vicious instinct is enough to drive a chill down even your unliving spine.

"That is a... profound accusation, Antoine," Dr. Kensington begins delicately, "the Baali were exterminated with great prejudice by this very covenant over two hundred years ago due to having given themselves over to the whims of dark powers beyond imagining. And you accuse Pandora Aensland of such a foul deed, of such profane blood? This is a dangerous matter, doctor. You will need substantial evidence, nay, damning evidence as the case may be. Do you have any such thing?"

She starts rifling through all of the data you've presented. "Nothing amongst these documents provided shows any actual correlation, though her deeds were uncontrolled and her methods gruesome. While you show in great detail how the Beast -- Walter Dolmen -- was both in league and heavily entwined with infernal forces, nothing truly points Pandora's way."

Savannah Lutece speaks up then, busy shuffling a deck of tarot cards to keep her unsteady hands occupied. "We need that proof, LaChance. Baali are horrifically dangerous, and we would need the backing of the Prince to call a Lextalionis -- a blood hunt -- to exterminate her. Obtain it, and we will move as one with you in this matter, despite the chaos and hatred it will spark between us and the Ascalon Club. In addition, we have to be doubly cautious... her damnable husband is back in the city, the former Executioner of King Maxwell."
"I must make clear that it is my sincerest wish to be wrong in this matter. I hope and pray that the words I've spoken are slander, and Aensland is just a run of the mill power-hungry monster. We deal with such beings every night of the week."

"I do not yet have concrete proof of my accusations, which is why I was reticent to utter them. The 'evidence' - and understand I use the word in the absolute loosest sense - is a vision received by my associate, a reverie of the Auspex. I would discount such a pronouncement as paranoiac delusions... save for the fact that every other part of that vision has proven fully accurate."

"Unless the vision was wrong in this one specific regard - when it was right in all others - then there is a Slave of Baal among us. Aensland is my suspect; she is the only one of the conspirators who is both fully engaged in the tainted blood conspiracy while apparently working to expose it as well. If she is not the one behind it, she is being groomed to take the fall."

LaChance looks to Lutece and pinches the bridge of his nose. "I have already made the acquaintance of her husband last night. I suspect his wishes me dead, though he took my accusations of the tainted blood seriously. He seems a man dedicated to dispensing justice - if proof exists of Pandora's perfidy, he would not dismiss out of loyalty."
 

smilingbandit2

Darkness is my Ally.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Elaine snuck into the pub under the cover of shadows, so as not to be seen entering, nimbly using a gap between two patrons passing through the door, then walking into the dark hallway leading to the restrooms, waiting for a moment of emptiness to drop her preternatural cloaking and step out, taking a seat with a view to the window and a back to the wall.

She ordered a gin-and-tonic and was nursing it when Elsie entered. She smiled involuntarily as she saw her compatriot. "Hey. Thank you for coming."
The women are half way into their first round when LaChance walks through the door. He spots the pair, nods, and hangs his coat and hat before sitting.

"Ladies, a pleasure to see you as always. I have a rare crumb of good news to share, but I shall save that morsel for later. Ms Elaine, I believe you have the floor to begin."
 

Pandorym

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Validated User
"I must make clear that it is my sincerest wish to be wrong in this matter. I hope and pray that the words I've spoken are slander, and Aensland is just a run of the mill power-hungry monster. We deal with such beings every night of the week."

"I do not yet have concrete proof of my accusations, which is why I was reticent to utter them. The 'evidence' - and understand I use the word in the absolute loosest sense - is a vision received by my associate, a reverie of the Auspex. I would discount such a pronouncement as paranoiac delusions... save for the fact that every other part of that vision has proven fully accurate."

"Unless the vision was wrong in this one specific regard - when it was right in all others - then there is a Slave of Baal among us. Aensland is my suspect; she is the only one of the conspirators who is both fully engaged in the tainted blood conspiracy while apparently working to expose it as well. If she is not the one behind it, she is being groomed to take the fall."

LaChance looks to Lutece and pinches the bridge of his nose. "I have already made the acquaintance of her husband last night. I suspect his wishes me dead, though he took my accusations of the tainted blood seriously. He seems a man dedicated to dispensing justice - if proof exists of Pandora's perfidy, he would not dismiss out of loyalty."
"That is true," Penelope states definitively, "Solomon Aensland is an advocate for justice, albeit one that only conforms to his own sense of honor. Nevertheless, if Pandora truly is one of the culprits behind this, it isn't inconceivable that he might seek the truth for himself... and then dispense punishment as necessary. We may need do nothing at all on that front."

Professor Lutece tosses her cards out in a traditional fortune telling pattern, flipping them over with ease as she scans the results. "Auspex too is a science, though one dedicated solely to Kindred. It is the universe itself speaking through the Blood -- we would be unwise to discard its truths, however obtained. If the Good Doctor is convinced of this, and the other fragments of this prophecy are true, I believe him. Besides, I have an... agent discreetly working this situation as well, though she's unaware. I have faith his claims are true to life."

Lydia Kensington waves a hand for quiet with a murmured, "that's enough," as she stands up. "The Paracelsus Table has made its decision on the initial topic of convention. Further evidence will be required before any other actions will be taken. That is all. You are dismissed, everyone. Good evening."

Fast forward as LaChance heads to the pub...
 

Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
Validated User
Elaine looked down at her drink, then up again at her two compatriots. There was nothing easy about what she had committed to do but she felt she owed it to them.

Clearing her throat, she began:

"As you found out two nights ago my name is not Avery Darling but in fact Elaine Coventry. I'm not from the nineties and I've only ever passed through Manchester.I've worn many masks in my life and my real name isn't one I've used in a very, very long time.

The life I once left behind has been very far from me but now it's all returning with a vengeance. You've heard of the foreign Kindred stalking these streets, preying on the young, asking strange questions. Well, he is my maker, Alistair Niall, late of London.

A hundred years ago, after years at his side, I put paid to his intrigues and his abuse, the things he did to mortals, to other vampires and to me. But he somehow survived my vengeance, though his cronies did not. Let's say I burned a lot of bridges back then.

For a century neither of us knew that the other was still alive, though I always feared it, took precautions. Now, he is here and perhaps it is coincidence but I don't think so.

An elder Shadow who has being the Hound of London for a long time on his resume. His savy and his connections easily rival his destructive potential and his wicked obsessions and determination top all. I will not let my hate of the man cloud my judgment as to his qualities. He is the epitome of a survivor and he enjoys what he is and wants to keep it that way.

In a moment of despair and looking for any kind of leverage I gave in to my... darker impulses... and made a deal with the Plague Nun, the elder of my blood you've met yourselves, very bit as twisted and terrifying as Niall only in very different ways. Our pact includes her going after him to finish what I started long ago.

Make no mistake, that gentlemanly, staid and charming old-fashioned Esquire is one of the worst monsters I've ever encountered and it is neither purely fear or hate that propel me to seek his death but concern for what happens to this city if he takes a side in this conflict or when his true motivations are unveiled.

The Nun stands as good a chance against him as possible, I believe them to be about evenly matched. But I cannot just say let the dice fall where they may. I respect her and although I fear her, I do not wish to see her perish for doing the right thing. My own sentiments in the matter aside, I think they are too evenly matched. To tip things in her favor, she will need assistance.

It is my responsibility. I have learned with certainty just after getting up that they will do battle tonight. I will try my best to make doubly sure that the monster meets his maker. I do not know if I will survive the ordeal, though I do hope so, of course, but I must and I will go. I cannot hide any longer."

Elaine shook her head and passed her hands over her eyes wearily.

"I've come to trust the two of you and feel a sense of companionship, something far greater and more substantial than I have felt in several lifetimes of one mask after another.

If I regret something it is that only now do I come clean about this and finally tell you the truth. I cannot express how sorry I am for lying, for letting my paranoia get the better of me. But you deserved to know and if something happens I want you to know why and to see you safe and away from danger.

There are many things that I still haven't told you and that I am bound never to divulge, though it is hard not to throw a life of lessons overboard and just talk to you about all these things. I have no right to but I ask you to believe me that whatever secrets I still need to keep, they have nothing to do with this city, with you or the matter at hand, save one and it is only my own ignorance in the matter that makes me a liar by an omission that I don't intend."

Elaine put her hands on the table, palms upwards and looked at both of the others in turn.

"All my life I've been alone. I convinced myself of it and others certainly played their part as well. I'm not very good at trusting people and bad at trying not to lie with every word that comes out of my mouth. It's the life you lead working in intelligence.

But this is no longer just about keeping this domain safe for me, nor about my mission. This is something I realized yesterday night, down there in the caves. I really care about you and whatever misadventures and misunderstandings we've had, I want to trust you and I want to be honest with you, consequences be damned. Because I've realized I'm only alone if I believe it."

A shy smile, the eyes half turned away. A heavy sigh.

"And I wanted to make things right with you while there's still a chance."
 
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