Colin's Giovanni Chronicles

Blood and Fire (Session 3)

Act II: The Black Monastery

Blood & Fire (Session 3)

Dramatis Personae: The Children of Isaac and their Followers

  • Chana, a widowed Jewish merchant (Lasombra, Tanya)
  • Rylan, an armsman who has fought the Turks (Follower of Set, Josh)
  • Mercedes, a young Spanish noble woman (Malkavian, Jessie)
  • Velli, a rebellious peasant woman who despises the Inquisitions and Crusades of the Church (Brujah, Amy)
  • Gallo, a peasant hunter and trapper (Gangrel, Phil)
  • Adrianna, a young street urchin (Toreador, Metellus)
  • Paul, a soldier crippled fighting the Turks, now made a ghoul by Rylan
  • Enzo, a bandit hired by Lothar to ambush the coterie, now made a ghoul by Chana

Act II: The Black Monastery

Fox Hunt

After sufficient preparation, the Children of Isaac set out to find the Black Monastery. As they were riding in their carriage up the trail to the monastery, a man came running out of the woods, pleading with the coachmen to stop. The carriage rolled on, so he ran off into the woods. A few moments later, a woman on horseback came riding up and asked the coachmen about the man. This later turned out to be Content Not Found: lady-vladislava, wearing her black cloak trimmed in red like flames, with her hood up, concealing her face. She looked into the carriage as she rode past, so Rylan pulled the shades closed. They heard two more horsemen ride by.

Arrival

The carriage continued on towards the Black Monastery. Eventually, the road narrowed to a point where the carriage could no longer continue. The Children of Isaac prepared to continue on foot. While they were preparing, they saw six lanterns coming down the trail towards them. They were carried by six men, either humans or ghouls, three wearing black and green, three wearing scarlet and black blazoned with silver fish. They said that they had been sent to guide them to the Black Monastery. When questioned, they answered only that Lady Meridie would answer all of their questions at the monastery. They urged the Children of Isaac to hurry. The wind seemed to howl in the distance, almost like a wolf, and the men in scarlet and black crossed themselves quickly.

It was about a twenty minute walk to the open gates of the Black Monastery. The walk through the wilderness was an eerie experience for most of the vampires, knowing they were vulnerable in a wilderness environment where Lupines were known to roam. Finally, they arrived at the monastery. At the top of the steps waited a woman in a long green cloak who introduced herself as Lady Meridie de Chancie. She said, “I was wondering when you would arrive. ”wiki-content-link-not-found">_Content Not Found: lady-vladislava_ mentioned that there was a group of our kind on the road, and out here they can only be going to one place!"

Mercedes then asked, “Is it true that you are going to explain everything, as these men said? That seems so unlike our kind!”

Lady Meridie de Chancie laughed at this, and admitted that she wished to learn of the Children of Isaac as much as they wished to learn of her enclave, so it would be more of an exchange of information. Mercedes acknowledged this. Then Meridie said, “Urgency should never be a reason to forget one’s manners. Is it not meet that you should come inside and introduce yourselves, and greet the rest of us as well?” With that, she led them inside.

Meeting With the Elders

The Children of Isaac were led into a large common room in the monastery where a number of vampires were relaxing. More entered as they were getting settled, including the one in black and red they had seen on the road, and two others presumed to be the other horsemen. After a brief exchange in which the Children of Isaac were asked what they knew of the Black Monastery and were forced to admit they knew very little, the truth was revealed: the Black Monastery was a headquarters of the dreaded Sabbat! The Sabbat Wars were over, for the moment, and the majority of the sect had retreated to Scandinavia or the New World, but this stronghold remained in the heart of Camarilla-controlled Europe, unknown to all!

The members of the Black Monastery enclave were introduced:
Lady Meridie de Chancie, the lady in green, Brujah, co-head of the Black Monastery with Lord Alexandre
Master Frazier, scholarly gentleman, Ventrue
Lord Mendel, librarian of the Black Monastery, Tremere antitribu
Lady Vadislava, the huntress in scarlet and black met on the road, Tzimisce
Haakon Mortensen, huntsman, Country Gangrel antitribu
Julian Sanders, highwayman, Brujah antitribu
Mateusz Gryzbowsky, Noddist scholar, Nosferatu antitribu
Lady Melisande, beautiful blonde hedonist philosopher with a fan, Toreador antitribu
Lord Theron, gangly scarecrow of a madman, scholar of the Book of Nod (particularly Gehenna), Malkavian antitribu
Lady Veradis, Noddist scholar, Assamite antitribu
Lord Alexandre, Lasombra, co-head of the Black Monastery with Lady Meridie de Chancie
Lady Intisar, Follower of Set, claims she is here “to offer a perspective on evil”

Lord Alexandre questioned the Children of Isaac about their quest (and was told that they seek books relating to Cappadocius stolen by the Giovanni), and related the mission of the Black Monastery – to develop philosophies, Paths of Enlightenment, that would allow vampires who have rejected their Humanity to retain some semblance of their sanity and reason, a matter of great importance to the Sabbat, although the non-Sabbat members of the enclave agree that this could be vital for all vampires. He then proposed an exchange, in which the Children of Isaac would stay for a while and offer their perspectives on the Paths of Enlightenment, and the Black Monastery enclave would help search for documents relating to Cappadocius and the Giovanni. It was agreed.

The rules: No ghoul is to be tampered with without the permission of its owner, no Diablerie, any grievances are to be settled peacefully between the parties involved or mediated by Lady Meridie de Chancie and Lord Alexandre, and all duels are to be conducted in the courtyard.

The agreement was sealed by a Sermon of Caine from Content Not Found: lady-vladislava:

A great war was waged, the Elders against their Children, just as Uriel had said, and the Children slew their parents.

They rose up, used fire and wood, swords and claws, to destroy those who had created them.

The rebels then built a new city. Out of the fallen Empire, they collected the Thirteen clans that had been scattered by the Great War, and brought them together.

They brought the Kingship Clan (Ventrue), the Clan of the Beast (Gangrel), the Moon Clan (Malkavian), the Clan of the Hidden (Nosferatu), the Wanderer Clan (Ravnos), the Clan of the Rose (Toreador), the Night Clan (Lasombra), the Clan of Shapers (Tzimisce), the Snake Clan (Setites), the Clan of Death (Cappadocians), the Healer Clan (Salubri), the Clan of the Hunt (Assamites), and the Learned Clan (Brujah).

They made a beautiful city, and the people worshipped them as gods.

When the Sermon of Caine was completed, the Sabbat members celebrated a Vaulderie, passing around a cup into which all of them bled, and from which each of them drank in turn.

Many A Quaint and Curious Volume

Adrianna went to visit the library with Lord Mendel. They were joined by Mercedes, who used Eyes of Chaos to discern patterns – and strange disruptions of the patterns – in the arrangements of the books. They were later joined by Chana in search of the Red Book of Westmarch. They were also joined later by Rylan, fleeing Lady Intisar.

Lady Meridie’s Garden

Lady Meridie de Chancie invited Chana to talk in her garden. They talked of the Sabbat ideals of freedom, which interested Chana, and she suggested that she should seek out The Red Book of Westmarch. This book was a firsthand account of the early days of the Sabbat and its Jyhad against the Camarilla.

Night of the Hunter

Haakon Mortensen invited Gallo to go out running with him. They ran into the woods and found a place to relax. Haakon Mortensen discussed his thoughts on the Path of Harmony, and inquired about Gallo’s philosophy. The two Gangrel went hunting game in the forest.

An Evil Below

Lady Intisar discussed the nature of Setite theology and evil with Rylan. Like Rylan, she seemed to have rejected the notion that Set was a god. She quickly grew bored with the conversation and departed, leaving Rylan alone. He decided to seek out the library. He got lost, wandering the halls below the Black Monastery. He saw Lady Vadislava tattooing a ghoul. He wandered though a Thaumaturgical ritual chamber. He found a closed door with light coming from under the door, and looked through the keyhole. He saw Lady Intisar carrying out some kind of ritual, apparently to Isis and Osiris, but the Osiris had demonic bat-wings. A demonic presence spoke to her out of the darkness. Rylan overheard some disturbing things that sounded like plotting against the Children of Isaac, particularly himself, and possibly against the enclave of the Black Monastery. Suddenly, the demonic presence seemed to become aware of Rylan and he fled, running into Lady Vadislava. He did not want to say what he had witnessed, so he truthfully claimed that he was just looking for the library. When Lady Intisar arrived, he said the same to her, then departed for the library, where he researched ancient Egyptian myth and ritual, but could find no counterpart to what Lady Intisar had been doing.

Riddles Wrapped in Enigma

Lord Theron sought out Mercedes
in the library, dropping dark hints about the future in a mad voice, and trying to explain, in his way, that she should join the Sabbat so as to have a chance of surviving Gehenna.
He quoted passages from the Book of Nod’s “Chronicle of Secrets,” favoring the quote:

Shine black the sun! Shine blood the moon! Gehenna is coming soon!

Several times over the next several nights, Lord Theron would appear to pursue Mercedes and quote at her, desperate to convert her to the Sabbat. She began to mock him in return.

Where Do Angels Come From?

On the second night at the Black Monastery, Lady Melisande invited Adrianna to her chamber. They discussed angels and opera and art, philosophy on the nature of evil and the Cathar heretics, and the Albigensian Crusade. But their conversation was cut short abruptly when Lady Vadislava returned from a hunting trip with a sack. The sack contained a little blonde girl, about six years old, and Lady Melisande declared her intention to make the girl into an angel (by killing her). She declared that this was her art – making angels (by killing children). Adrianna apparently could not stomach this monstrosity, and so stormed off.

A Taste of Blood

On the second night, Lord Alexandre went strolling with Chana, discussing the nature of the Sabbat and its ideal of freedom from the machinations of elders. Chana sympathized with these ideals. He grabbed her hand and bit it, sampling her blood. He offered her his blood in return, and she could taste in it all the other members of the Sabbat pack at the Black Monastery, their blood mingled in the Vaulderie. He invited her to join the Sabbat. She agreed.

Chana sounded out some of the other Children of Isaac on the notion of joining the Sabbat, but her mind was already made up. On the third night in the monastery, Chana underwent the Sabbat Creation Rites, and partook of the Vaulderie, forswearing the Camarilla and joining the Sabbat,

Next Session!

Next time we shall continue the story at the Black Monastery!

Experience
  • 1 point automatic (all characters)
  • 1 point for “learning curve” (all characters)
  • 1 point for role-playing (all characters)
  • 1 point for heroism (all characters – just about every character took some heroic stand in this session, or perhaps anti-heroic, but I’m giving the point anyway)

Comments

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