I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.

Our chronicle is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to bring them back under Camarilla control. After over four years of plotting, one of their number is now leader of the Anarch Council of the Free States and the rest have privileged places within the Anarch hierarchy.
The now obligatory warning bit - Unlike my other RPG write-ups this one will contain swearing, sexual references and other references that might offend. If you can't tell the difference between real             peoples opinions and grown-ups role-playing predators who crave blood then this probably won't be for you. There are however a list of potential triggers listed before the introduction. I've also used actual photographs to represent some characters which I'll give acknowledgements to at the end if I've any idea who they are.
The introduction to this campaign, the first story and all the other parts can be found at the following links and are in chronological order. If you'd prefer a summary of each session rather than read everything then there's a more detailed link page HERE as well as links to the first episode of each story in the blog sidebar.
Chronicle One - 'Infiltrate L.A.' 
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThree, and Four
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Gather'
Story Three Continued - 'Becoming Baron' - Part SixSeven and Eight
Chronicle Two - 'Foothold L.A.' 
Solo Session - 'Hostile Takeover'
Story Four - 'Countdown' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Five - 'The Missing Chantry' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Anaheim Assassination'
Story Six - 'A Meeting of Barons' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Seven - 'The Carmelita Situation' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eight - 'The Blount Sisters' - Part One and Two
Story Nine - 'Blood Money' - Part OneTwoThreeFour, Five and Six
Story Ten - 'Anathema' - Part One and Two
Story Eleven - 'Predators and Prey' aka 'The Blount Sisters' - Part Three
Story Twelve - 'Aftermath' - Part One and Two
Story Thirteen - 'The Messiah Complex' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Three - 'Incursion L.A.'
Story Fourteen - 'The Rant'
Story Fifteen - 'Ties of Blood' - Part One and Two
Solo Session - 'A Gathering of Roses'
Story Sixteen - 'The Southern Solution' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Seventeen - 'The Baker Disappearance' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Eighteen - 'Inevitable Betrayals' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Story Nineteen - 'The Marius Contracts' - Part One and Two
Story Twenty - 'The MacNeil Protocols' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty - 'The MacNeil Protocols' - Part SixSevenEightNine and Ten
Interlude Session One - After Griffith Park
Interlude Session Two - Divide and Conquer
Interlude Session Three - On the Brink of War
Chronicle Four - 'Conquest L.A.'
Story Twenty One - 'Veni, Vidi, Victor' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty One - 'Veni, Vidi, Victor' - Part Six, and Epilogue
Story Twenty Two - 'The Unbound' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Story Twenty Three - 'The War Council' - Part OneTwoThree and Four
Interlude Session - Recon
Story Twenty Four - 'Resistance' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - Damage Limitation
Interlude Session - The Killing Spree
Story Twenty Five - 'Personal Agendas' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Twenty Six - 'Strange Bedfellows' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive and Six
Story Twenty Seven - 'The Fiorenza Sanction' - Part OneTwo and Three
Story Twenty Eight - 'Hunters Hunted' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Story Twenty Eight - 'Hunters Hunted' - Epilogue
Solo Session - 'The Salubri Tome'
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Part SixSevenEightNine and Ten
Story Twenty Nine - 'Methuselah' - Epilogue
Galerie Sanguine - 'San Francisco'
'Anarchs' -  ZeroOneTwoThree and Four
Chronicle Five - 'Blood Cults of L.A.'
Story Thirty - 'A Plague of Blood' - Part OneTwoThreeFourFive,
Story Thirty - 'A Plague of Blood' - Part SixSeven and Eight

'The Cast' - Past and Present
This Sessions PC's are...
Michael Tomassio - Toreador, 'Baron of the North East'
Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim, 'Sherlock'
Hope Romero - Gangrel, 'Census Taker'
Vincent 'Vin' Ghast - Brujah, 'Constable of the North East'

The Storyteller
Everyone else...

The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested, but be warned that the page is usually several stories ahead of the most recent write-up and may contain some spoilers. 

There's also some minor 'house-rules' HERE that have occurred as we went along.

If I think something needs a bit of out of character explanation then those will get a storytellers note that will helpfully be in red. Introductory pieces that I read to the group are in Blue. Where particular NPC's have a mention in a faction profile you will be able to reach it by clicking on their name or faction beneath their picture.

Trigger Warnings for This Session: Blood
Other Possible Triggers: Disease (Plague)

With a cure for the plague being worked on by both mortal and kindred specialists, the coterie has only one lead left to investigate. A location had been discovered for a potential base of the originators of the plague, who called themselves the Brotherhood of the Ninth Circle. 

Scene Thirty Five - Overkill?
Though likely already evacuated, it has been suggested to them by Pisha, that if the Brotherhood of the Ninth Circle had a significant base there, that they might have, at the very least, left some clues behind. 

Pisha - Nagaraja
Necromancer, Cannibal, Occult Expert
She had also pointed out that if the area was being used to produce the plague, or enact certain rituals to enhance it, that they would need to prepare a new base before moving, and that that would take time. 

In light of this, Vin, Hope and Daniel had gathered to discuss a scouting mission into the warrens below Downtown Los Angeles.

"We'll need a good guide and tracker. I think we should get Max to join us." suggested Hope. Given how useful she had been to them during their last investigation into the sewers, Daniel agreed. Hope began to make the arrangements for her to meet up with them, while Daniel and Vin continued their discussion.

"Do you think they'll still be there?" asked Vin. It was a good question, and Daniel wasn't completely sure. Pisha certainly seemed to believe that the blood sorcery paraphernalia necessary for their rituals couldn't just be picked up and moved on a whim. She had however also pointed out that given the nature of Hope and Daniel's interference in their activities, that they might have had considerable notice and perhaps this had been all the time they needed.

One of Vin's Fully-Automatic Shotguns
"We need a reserve force, just in case me and Hope turn up and find a dozen plague ridden Sabbat there." decided Daniel. "You up for that?"

Vin had been carefully cleaning the second of his automatic shotguns, while the first sat, already reassembled in a canvass carrying bag. Six drums of solid slugs, and four of standard buckshot lay next to them, in their own ammunition case, custom made for just such a purpose. Above ground and in public he was more circumspect, but in the tunnels beneath L.A he could be significantly more overt. A normal individual would have struggled under that much weight, but to Vin it was no effort at all. Vin was also an exceptional hand to hand combatant, but he saw the advantages that came with the ability to punch bloody great holes in enemies at longer ranges. It was also a useful way of clearing away cannon-fodder.

"I don't think my normal security guys will be much use..." replied Vin. "...other than to provide these fuckers with extra plague bearers. Perhaps I should talk to the nutter in the sewers? She might be up for a scrap and you said that her swarm assholes were looking for the Brotherhood themselves..."

The Blossoms - Toreador, Downtown Madams
Daniel had to jump through hoops to meet the self-titled Mistress of the Swarm, so wasn't sure how easy it would be for Vin to make contact with her. He said as much to Vin.

"Don't worry about that. The Blossoms can get me a meeting, pretty quickly. They have their ways..."

Daniel knew that three Toreador, known somewhat to their irritation as 'The Blossoms', ran the sex work, and sex trade, throughout Downtown, it's surrounding domains, and also had their grip on similar operations in other areas of the city. Quite why such a trio would have need of the services of a horde of sewer dwelling lunatics and their insane mistress, didn't really bear thinking about. It was enough to know that Vin could do what he had claimed. 

Hope then interrupted. "Max is on her way. She says she knows the sewers and warrens below the Barony of the Angels, I didn't ask how, I just told her to come armed."

'Max' - Gangrel
Sweeper for the North east Baronie
Daniel wasn't surprised. Max had hinted at underground havens, and an unlife within the sewers, once before. She was also obviously at home in such environments.

"I was thinking about making a few Molotov Cocktails, Just in case." added Hope.

"Petrol bombs?" enquired Daniel, somewhat incredulously.

"I was an I.E.D. tech for a long time, Daniel." replied Hope. "I think I can do a bit better than just petrol. I was thinking of something a bit more... sticky..."

The thought of Hope, already nicknamed 'The Hand Grenade' by many, carrying around bottles of napalm, didn't exactly fill him with optimism for a stealth mission. Once things went south, Max wasn't exactly known for her subtlety either. This was also a lot of preparation for what ultimately might be a journey to an abandoned enemy base.

Daniel had no ability for either premonition or precognition, but something made him believe that where they were heading would be anything but abandoned. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to be right, or wrong. Either result would have it's consequences.

Interlude - Perspectives
Armando 'Nines' Rodriguez - Brujah
The Last Round - Downtown
Nines wasn't sure why this message had been sent by one of Rudi's Bear Pack Gangrel, rather than one of Theo Bell's own Brujah. It didn't help that this particular 'Bear' didn't seem like he wanted to be there either. 

He was correct. 'Moon', actually Mahtab, but his fellow Bear Back members never pronounced it correctly so he now went by his name's meaning instead, wasn't particularly happy to be in L.A. 

Considering the Anarch Free States were meant to be the pride of the Anarch movement, Moon wasn't impressed. The Anarch Council seemed very similar to a bunch of Primogen, and their 'Arbiter' might as well have called himself Prince, he even had his own Scourge for fucks sake. At least this 'Nines' guy seemed to be the real deal. He knew his shit, and Moon had to admit that he was impressed. 

He also noted that his own earlier attitude, and opening comments, had pissed this guy off, which probably wasn't the most sensible thing he could have done. Annoying kindred who could go toe to toe with werewolves wasn't real smart.

"Didn't mean to come across as a dick." said Moon, backtracking a little. "It's just I've had to ask permission to cross through two lots of Domain just to get here and that didn't feel very 'Anarch' to me."

'Hatchet' - Gangrel
Sweeper for Santa Clarita
That wasn't strictly true. A gnarly looking Gangrel called 'Hatchet' had intercepted him as he skimmed the border of Santa Clarita, but once he'd explained his business, had allowed him to pass without issue. It was when he passed through Hollywood that he'd got given shit.

Nines decided to accept the pseudo-apology, rather than throw the Gangrel through the window, which had been his initial plan.

"We've always respected each others feeding grounds and despite his look, Baron Abrams is an Anarch through and through. And to your earlier point, Arbiter wasn't a title that Michael picked, it was something he earned. Leading an attack on a fucking Methuselah wasn't exactly a fun day out. I know. I was fucking there too..."

Moon conceded the point. He had a feeling that the alternative would involve him leaving via a window rather than the door, and therefore his native Gangrel pragmatism had kicked in. "Hey, I'm just a visitor, It's you who has to live here, well, not live, but you know what I mean..."

"The message?" prompted Nines. As Moon spoke, Armando 'Nines' Rodriguez began to weigh up what he was being told. 

This was going to get complicated.

Scene Thirty Six - Coven
Downtown Warrens - Entrance
There were several entrances to the Warren's below Downtown, and some were closer to the target area than others. Max had selected an entry point that would save them a great deal of underground travel, but should also be far enough out for them to be able to survey the area a bit before committing to any actual actions.

Daniel was far better at moving quietly than Hope, but both understood the importance of a stealthy approach to, what might well be, an enemy stronghold, and neither made any unnecessary noise. Max moved through the tunnels as if born to them. Compared to her they might as well have been announcing their arrival via loudspeaker.

Max slowed down, until Hope and Daniel were parallel with her, so she could speak to them without making too much noise. "I've basically been following the stench of decay, and it's getting stronger. Either there's some plague bastards still here, or they left a hell of a mess behind them. If we find anything it'll be soon."

As they approached the target area, the air seemed to become thicker, and the signs of death and decay increased. Dead insects and vermin littered the tunnels and some had mutated before their demise. One had seemingly exploded and strange dark mushrooms were growing in what was once the rats stomach.

Downtown Warrens - A Choice
There was also something else, echoes of voices from ahead, but distance was difficult to ascertain this far below the ground. 

The words were indistinct, and seemed to fade into silence whenever they attempted to discern the actual words. The stench of decay had become steadily worse and the only tunnel from which no talking could be discerned angled slightly upwards, though in the same direction as the other signs of activity.

Max scouted ahead, then returned a few seconds later. "There's one guy, human, and quite alone up there. Looks like he found himself a good vantage point to watch whatever the rest are up to."

Daniel gestured to Hope to wait at the the junction of the higher and lower tunnels and moved in the direction that Max had just returned from.

A Precise Blow
A single cultist had found himself a good view from a high area overlooking the proceedings below. He was blissfully unaware of Daniel's presence as he leant against a low rocky outcrop, partially shielded from below. The Banu Haqim drew a blade, killed the cultist with a single precise blow, and lowered them to the ground slowly so as not to alert any other enemies or sentries.

Daniel then took their place so as to observe for himself what the dead man had found so interesting.

A Nosferatu, powerfully built, and with significant piercings and scars, stood before an altar consisting of rotting corpses, held together in a container of bones, in turn held together by knotted sinew. It was topped with skin and judging from the size of the sections used, these had been extracted from human victims.

On the altar, centrally placed and flanked by candles, was a bowl from which foul vapours were rising in an unnatural manner, as if being disturbed by a breeze that was clearly not there and twisting into what might be runes or arcane symbols.

Blood Rituals of the Brotherhood
The walls, ceiling and floor of the chamber were covered in arcane symbolism, mostly drawn in blood, though some were carved into the rock and brick, and others seemed to have been made with excrement or rotting matter of some kind. Daniel was also reasonably sure that the candles were made from body fat. It might be animal fat of course, though he doubted it.

In an approximate circle around the chamber were thirty or so cult members recognisable due to their filth coated weapons and sickly appearance. Most were mortal, but given their degradation, some may have been kindred, it was difficult to tell.

Kneeling facing the altar were thirteen more individuals, also seemingly human. Each had a weapon in their hands, though unlike the brutal weapons he had seen used by other cultists, these were both easily concealable, and clean. They were also distinguishable by the fact that they were dressed in normal, albeit simple, clothing.

The Nosferatu began to speak...

Brother Kanker - Nosferatu
Paladin of the Brotherhood of the Ninth Circle
"You thirteen have been selected for a mission of upmost importance. Each of you has a special trait which will enable you to get close to your target, and infect them with the essence of the Vector. Each of your targets will then be given the honour of joining the Brotherhood. Those who refuse our generosity will not be granted the secret rituals which allow the Vectors chosen to endure, such will be the agony suffered during the final deaths of the first to be infected that the others will surely see the benefits of survival..."

"Any of you that die during your holy mission, will become part of the one, the vector, the lord of the plague. Those that survive will be granted immortality on the material plane, as one of The Brotherhood of the Ninth Circle...failure is unacceptable to myself and to your god..."

Apparently, as Pisha had theorized, the rituals required to prepare this location had prevented them from leaving. This seemed to be the climax of this cells plan, and Daniel doubt they'd stick around long after this ritual was complete.

A Carefully Selected Cultist
The first cultist, A beautiful woman with Native American features and long dark hair, approached the altar, dipped an ornamental cup into the bowl and drained the foul mixture within in a single gulp.

Unlike the other cultists he had encountered she showed no signs of disease, or decay, or that matter, neither did any of the others. She then moved to one of the many other exits to the chamber, stopping only to pick up a leather bag, as she moved towards the exit another individual stood.

Daniel was certain that this first cultist was on their way to ingratiate themselves with Baron Louis Fortier, who had long suspected could only feed from women such as this. Daniel had a great deal of respect for Louis's intelligence, but could easily see how such a beauty could attract his attention.

Though the Anarch Free States would be disrupted by an an attack on any of the Barons, certain of them were more critical than others. Baron Fortier was the Anarch Councils Warleader, as well as one of the most influential of the cities Anarch leaders.

Though completely outnumbered, Daniel realised that he needed to act immediately, even if it meant his own destruction.

Now resolved to act, he drew one of his suppressed pistols, and took careful aim. As Hope came up behind him to see what was going on, Daniel pulled the trigger.

Interlude - Guess Whose Coming to Dinner?
'Skelter' - Gangrel
Enforcer for Nines Crew
Nines had requested that Skelter and Damsel join him. He was going to need all the help he could get.

"So here's the situation. The Camarilla assholes are suddenly all concerned about our well being, by which I mean, are worried about this blood plague spreading to one of their cities and potentially fucking up some up-himself Ventrue Prick..."

Damsel smiled. Nines certainly had a way with words.

"...so to protect their own asses they've got Theo Bell to act as liaison between them and us. Unfortunately the Second Inquisition have recently punched some holes in the Pony Express's routes to L.A., so they've had to fill the gap with some cross-country routes, courtesy of Rudi's Bear Packs. There's also another concern..."

Skelter's attention had been piqued by the mention of Rudi. He was a champion of Gangrel kept out of havens and feeding grounds by sprawl, stood up for female Kindred in cities run by traditionally misogynistic elders, and encouraged the adoption of progress over tradition wherever possible. Though, in all honesty, Skelter was of the opinion that he sounded a little bit too good to be true.

"...with me, Salvador Garcia and Theo Bell all in the city at once, that's a lot of Anarch leadership that certain bastards might like to see wiped out all at once. So security is going to be a major headache..."

'Damsel' - Brujah
'Den Mother' of Nines Crew
Damsel chose this moment to interrupt.

"Isn't this usually the time that someone speed-dials Marius and gets overcharged by him to sort all this shit out?"

It was Nines turn to smile. Damsel thought Marius was a manipulative prick who would stab you in the back, and the front, if it got him what he wanted. Therefore the fact that she even mentioned him as a possibility, showed how problematic the situation was likely to become.

"That's another problem..." continued Nines. "Theo has made it very clear that he doesn't want 'the Fixer' involved in this at all. He and Theo have some beef dating back to not long after the Gangrel left the Camarilla. Something to do with him, Karsh and Xaviar. No idea what it was, but there's enough bad blood for Bell to have real concerns about putting Marius in a position where he has any fucking influence over his safety." Skelter had heard rumours about that, but now wasn't the time to share unsubstantiated gossip.

Damsel had another suggestion.

"You're going to need Michael then. He can get you the help you need, provide a safe haven for Theo, and he's got a weird talent for getting Marius to be marginally less of a cunt than he normally is..."

Nines had been considering this option himself. "Fine. But, we'll see what we can do ourselves first. Agreed?" He took their silence as agreement.

Skelter left the Last Round a few minutes later. He needed to make some enquiries of his own, and he knew just where to start.

Scene Thirty Seven - No Retreat...
Daniel Matthews - A Perfect Shot
The ten millimetre round hit the woman in the back of the neck, severing her spinal column where it met the skull, and killed her instantly. Before she even hit the ground, Daniel turned and yelled at Hope to run. He then turned his attention to the altar and took aim once more. The foul concoction needed to be destroyed and he hoped that he might be able to destroy the bowl and scatter the mixture.

Hope knew Daniel well enough to realise that he intended to sacrifice himself to end the ritual, but had no desire to do the same to herself and Max. His Gangrel ally, however, had no intention of leaving him to his fate. Lighting one of the three pre-prepared Molotov's she carried in a satchel at her side, she hurled one at the altar. Fate seemed to be on her side and the impact engulfed the bowl, and the Nosferatu behind it, in home-made napalm. His scream was more one of rage than pain, as the cultist leader charged towards the chamber exit closest to Hope and Daniel's vantage point. 

A quick mental calculation led Daniel to the conclusion that the Nosferatu, and possibly some of the cultists who had followed his lead, would likely reach the junction before they did, effectively cutting off their retreat. 

Homemade Napalm filled Molotov Cocktails
Channelling his vitae, Daniel covered fifty metres in a fraction of a second, as Hope followed as fast as she could. Daniel 'blinked' again, arriving at the junction between the tunnels, just in time to see Brother Kanker approaching. His flesh looked blackened, but not burnt, and he moved with a speed that belied his bulk. Seeing no other option, Daniel drew his blades and attacked.

Max's shotgun was ill-suited to the kind of precision necessary to hit Kanker, but not Daniel, so she instead took cover as best as she could and waited for the first of the cult members to catch-up.

Storytellers Note - I don't mind NPC's being helpful, but I don't like them to 'Save the Day'. That's the PC's job, or they die trying, cuz that happens sometimes too.

Daniel caused several superficial wounds that his opponent didn't seem to even notice. He stumbled backwards, avoiding a powerful blow to his head that instead destroyed a large chunk of the tunnel wall. The Banu Haqim had no doubt that such a blow would have decapitated him had it struck it's target.

'Max' - Gangrel, Shotgun at the Ready
Max had caught several cultists by surprise, and whatever she had loaded her shotguns with had tore them apart. Daniel however needed her to warn Michael of what they had found, and yelled at her to retreat. She hesitated for a moment, then turned to obey.

Hoping to lure the Nosferatu away, he used his powers of supernatural speed for the third time, then drew his pistols once more and opened fire. The rounds seemed to flatten against the Nosferatu's flesh, doing no damage that he could discern. Daniel had seen Hope, other Gangrel, and on one occasion a Ventrue, use such gifts but had never encountered a Nosferatu capable of doing so. His second surprise came a moment later as Kanker covered the distance between them with a speed that matched Daniels own and struck him an inhumanely powerful blow.

Hope arrived at the battle, just in time to see Daniel hurled through the air by the force of the impact, and land at her feet. Most of the right side of his chest had been crushed, and his arm hung limply at his side. He was still with them, but only just. Max had seemingly decided to ignore Daniel's order and was now reloading after emptying her shotgun into the increasing number of advancing cultists.

Hope Romero - Gangrel
'Not a Kindred you want pissed off at you...'
"Drag him the fuck out of here..." screamed Hope. Then leapt at the Nosferatu who had maimed her friend. 

Though Max was happy to interpret an order from Daniel as a request, one from Hope was a different matter. Gangrel established a pecking order very early on in any relationships between them, and Max was well aware that Hope could take her in a fair fight. Or an unfair one for that matter. She also respected her abilities a great deal. After quickly holstering her weapon, she grabbed Daniel by his one good arm and ran. 

Daniel felt a tug on his arm that brought him back to reality. He found himself being dragged along the ground at a surprisingly fast pace by the deceptively strong Max. It was clear that she was attempting to get him to safety, but to him, abandoning Hope was unacceptable. He dug in his heels and twisted from her grip.

"I'm staying..." he grunted as he scrambled to his feet and drew a pistol with his remaining good hand. Max shrugged and drew her shotgun once more. If they were all going to meet their final deaths in this place, then she was going to make it worthy of a tale or two.

Hope retreated a few steps to give her time to think, her claws were covered in the Nosferatu's vitae. It was far darker than normal and reeked of decay, more like that of an actual corpse than that of a kindred. She had torn out a large part of his throat, and lost a chunk of flesh from her left side in return. Neither Gangrel nor Nosferatu showed any signs that they cared about their injuries.

"Round Two?" said Hope, then charged forward without waiting for a reply.

Interlude - Helter Skelter
Rosa - Duskborn
Visionary and Occult Advisor
Rosa sat in a fortune tellers booth in one of L.A.'s many night markets. She was a popular attraction and much in demand, for unlike many in her trade, her gifts of precognition were genuine.

Of course you were as likely to learn where you'd left your car keys as the identity of your true love, but this eccentricity was also part of her appeal. She rotated between the half-a dozen or so such markets in Downtown and made a decent 'living', and the opportunities for feeding were plentiful.

Marius Walker, Baron of Downtown, provided for all of her needs in return for her precognitive talents, yet she felt the need to share her gift. Besides which, her gift needed to be shared. Well, that's what the voice said anyway. And she always listened to the voice. It told her such fascinating things.


Third time lucky. It was the same stall that she'd used on Santa Monica pier back before Marius, Michael and their allies had ended the so-called Cross Rebellion and Baron Therese Voerman had reclaimed the pier as her own. Rosa's betrayal of her fellow duskborn had been an entirely pragmatic decision, as she was one hundred percent certain that they were going to lose, or so she said.

Skelter waited for a young couple to leave. They seemed happy with whatever Rosa had shared with them, though judging from their light-headedness, she'd probably fed from them too. As he pushed the curtain aside, he flipped the sign outside to 'In Session' and entered.

Jenna Cross - Caitiff
'Messiah', Presumed Destroyed
"Hello Mr Helter Skelter. It's been a long time, but I was expecting you. I see it's the past that interests you this evening, not the future. Not your own past either?"

Long before Jenna Cross had declared herself messiah of the duskborn and gathered an army, there had been a mere handful of thin-blooded kindred in Los Angeles. 'E', Lily and Julius now resided in the Barony known as 'The Liberated' with many of the cities remaining duskborn and some Caitiff. 

Storytellers Note - The Risa and fall of Jenna Cross began in this story HERE.

Copper had disappeared long ago, and Rosa now resided with Marius's inner circle at Hallowbrook House. Skelter had helped the thinbloods out a few times in those early days, especially when the Camarilla had temporarily controlled the city and their bullies had attempted to purge the city of the thin bloods that legend said would herald the beginning of Gehenna. Skelter had cracked a few skulls on their behalf, and in return Rosa had shared with him anything she felt he might need to know.

Without preamble, Skelter got straight to the reason for his visit "Theo Bell, Xaviar and Karsh."

Rosa smiled. It wasn't reassuring. "You missed out a name. You want to know what Marius would be willing to do to acquire what Mr B has, and why..."

Skelter nodded, and Rosa began. 

If he had been hoping for reassurance, he was about to be disappointed.

Scene Thirty Eight - ...No Surrender
Daniel swore as for the third time in a row, his bullets flattened against the Nosferatu's marble flesh. Hope wasn't doing much better. Both her and her foe were now suffering from multiple, and severe wounds, and neither had the vitae spare to heal the damage in any significant manner. To complicate matters, more and more of the cultists were now closing on them, and Max was now dangerously low on ammunition.

Max dropped her empty shotgun and pistol, and drew a sub-machine gun from beneath her coat and emptied it into a cultist armed with a rusty axe, dripping in gore. She had never used the weapon before, and had only one magazine for it, but figured what the hell, they were about to be torn to pieces anyway.

Daniel could hear noises from behind them, and for a moment thought that some of the plague cult must have left the ritual chamber by another exit and circled around behind them. 

Rage filled screams were soon followed by cries of alarm as a ragtag band of the underground dwelling kindred known as 'The Swarm' charged along the corridor and hurled themselves at the enemies that were on the verge of overwhelming the trio. 

They moved with a level of agility, that such debased followers of the swarm mistress should not possess. Their strength had also been enhanced to inhuman levels and they shrugged off wounds that should have killed them twice over. 

Daniel had seen this before, and Hope herself had experienced it when the Mistress of the swarm had given her some of her vitae. 

Tilly had the ability to pass on some of her powers to others by sharing her own vitae with them, and though they gained only a fraction of her abilities, it was often enough to give her cannon-fodder the edge they needed.

Blake - Gangrel
Childe of the Mistress of the Swarm
The first wave entered combat without thought of tactics, though those who followed were more careful and had ranged weapons at their disposal. They made some attempt to avoid shooting their own, but collateral damage was inevitable. These others were guided by Blake, one of Tilly Kelly's 'firstborn' as she called them.

Despite the chaos, none interfered with Hope and Daniel's battle with Brother Kanker.

Kanker backhanded Hope into the corridor wall and she felt her ribs splinter. His focus on her was absolute, hardly surprising considering that after his initial success, Daniel had managed to accomplish little more than flatten ammunition against the creatures back. As the creature gripped her by the throat, her lifted her from the ground and drew his other hand back for a finishing blow. Hope had enough strength left to block the punch, but it was now only a matter of time until he crushed the unlife from her.

Daniel had reached a similar conclusion. It was time to get up close and personal. He moved past Max, who was reloading her shotgun with ammunition provided by Blake, who seemed to be carrying enough shells, bullets and other gear on his person to equip a small army, and attacked Kanker from behind.

A brutal kick to the back of the leg bought the Nosferatu to one knee as Daniel attempted to saw off it's head. His grip upon Hope loosened only a little, but it was enough for her to pull free. 

Brother Kanker is no More...

Driving her claws into the neck wound she'd first inflicted, she pulled the necrotic flesh apart before tearing at it's throat with her fangs. A fatal blow for most foe's, yet this monstrosity still clung to unlife, but the tide had now turned. As Daniel's blade met the gaping wound inflicted by Hope, Kankers head fell backwards from his body, now hanging by a mere sliver of undead flesh.

Quinn - Gangrel
Eldest Childe of the Swarm Mistress
Hope continued to chew at the creatures throat, but it had long since exhausted it's reserves of vitae. Seeing that his Gangrel ally was on the verge of Frenzy, he picked up the body of an unfortunate, and now deceased, mortal member of The Swarm, and hurled it in front of her.  As she drank deeply, Daniel did the same. The swarm didn't care about their own fallen, so why should they?

As the swarm, turned the tide of battle with their cannon fodder, the destruction of Brother Kanker was the final straw and the cultists fled, their faith in their leader now absent. The Swarm cared nothing for the enemies retreat and happily shot and stabbed them in the back, dragging those close to them to the ground where they beat them to death with whatever weapons they had to hand. 

The battle however had been far from one-sided and dozens of the Swarm also lay dead.

At some point during the battle, Quinn and Melinda, The Mistress of the swarm's other two childer, had arrived and now began to calmly execute several of their own wounded. Presumably they knew which of the swarm had been gifted with their mistresses vitae, and which had likely expended her gifts in their frenzied attack and were therefore now vulnerable to the plague.

Then, unexpectedly, Quinn shouted for silence, "Did you fucking hear that?"

Unfortunately Daniel and Max could hear it to. Something was approaching, and it was coming not from ahead, or behind, but from below.

Interlude - Lost and Found
Skelter wasn't easily frightened, yet when Rosa began to use her gifts he always felt like he was in the presence of something far more powerful that had wrapped itself within the pretty young woman seated across from him. Nonetheless, he listened intently to her words and tried to separate the facts from the less coherent bits that he hoped would make sense later.

Theo 'Killa-B' Bell - Brujah
Notorious former Archon
"The Killer Bee had a suspicion. He suspected that the Ivory Tower's Lord of War had other masters, the Patriarch agreed and together they confronted him...." Rosa then made a gesture that was either her randomly shaking her fist, or someone being stabbed or staked. He decided it must be the latter.

This was fairly coherent for Rosa. Killa-B was Theo Bells' nickname, Karsh was the Camarilla's Warlord and Xaviar had often been referred to as the Patriarch before his destruction.

"...The Lord of War was unmoved by the Patriarchs talk of their clan's history and of the portents that their legends held for their future. He was angered by his alliance with Mr Bee, who the Warlord considered a traitor to the Tower. Many of their allies fell, then...THUNK!"

Had Skelter been asked to describe the sound a stake made while impacting upon undead flesh, 'THUNK' wouldn't have been very high on the list, but he chose not to interrupt.

"Theo, had another suspicion, this one was wrong, or should I say was wrong at the time, had he suspected it a millennia ago he would have been correct. But he wasn't born then so he didn't..." Skelter's blank look, was seemingly noticed by Rosa who, in her own fashion, elaborated.  "...Mr Bell thought that the Warlord of the Camarilla and the last of the Black Hand's Seraph's were one and the same. Of course, the Khan still being active after the staking proved him wrong. They were once the same but that was a long time ago, then they became separate, and then they weren't anymore..."

Marius Walker - Defeated and Staked
Skelter had never doubted Rosa, but some Ninth Generation Brujah, even one as notable as Theo Bell, managing to stake a kindred as potent as Karsh seemed unlikely. He voiced this to Rosa.

"...It wasn't an ordinary stake, silly. Marius bought three back from one of his little tasks for daddy. He bought them back stuck in his chest. He still occasionally searches for the one who kicked his arse that night, but I digress...

She reached over and tapped Skelter on the chest with her forefinger, middle finger and thumb, forming a triangle. "...if you're ever fortunate, or unfortunate enough to see The Wolf Spider in his true form, you'll see the scars. They never heal...not fully...."

Though this was all very interesting, it didn't really answer his original question. He was about to ask again, when Rosa replied to the question that was still in his head. 

Karsh - Gangrel
Former Warlord of the Camarilla
"...Oh, didn't I say? I thought I had but then I remembered that that hadn't happened yet. They threw Karsh's staked body into the Atlantic ocean and now Marius's daddies dead, Theo is the only kindred who knows exactly where he went splosh..."

Skelter leapt to an understandable conclusion. Marius was a known diablerist, and it was obvious to him what the bastards intentions were. As before, Rosa replied to a conversation that currently still existed only in Skelter's mind.

"...No, Mr Skelter. That's not it at all. Marius already surpasses the Warlord in generation and raw power, but he can't be everywhere at once, The Oratory is just the beginning. What he needs are generals of his own...Karsh will be the first, then there will be others..."

Before Skelter could ask anything else, Rosa stood up, and opened the curtain behind her guest. "Time to go now. Nines is looking for you..."

The Gangrel knew he'd discover nothing more. Not tonight at least.

Never doubting for a moment that Rosa had been correct, he headed back to The Last Round to discover why Nines was looking for him.

Scene Thirty Nine - The Vector
The ground began to vibrate in a dozen places as if being struck from below by some powerful force. Cracks formed along weak points in the cavern floor and a red mist flowed through them, slowly then with increasing speed as the cracks were widened by the pressure from below. Tendrils sought out the fallen cultists and the mist thickened as they were exsanguinated by whatever was coalescing within. Amongst the red, were strands of dark green and black, the infections drawn out along with the blood.

A humanoid figure coalesced in front of the shattered altar, formed of blood and vitae, and a primitive circulatory system made of corruption could be discerned within. Though it's lower form was indistinct, the upper body was androgynous, and specific facial features were impossible to identify as the liquid form constantly changed shape, seemingly on a whim. In certain locations the blood was so dark so as to almost resemble shadows.

The Swarm parted to allow Tilly Kelly, their mistress to move forward. As she approached, the Vector looked in her direction. A gurgling voice emerged from somewhere in, for want of a better term, it's face.

"It seems we were wrong to fear you. I had forgotten how small and insignificant you are..."

Tilly started to giggle. The claws that appeared at her finger tips were like needles, and dripped with some dark red liquid. Hope and Daniel weren't sure what she intended to do against an enemy with no physical form, but she was insane, so who knew what went on in her head?

"Have we met?" asked Tilly, conversationally. she seemed to genuinely have no idea what it was she was facing "You'd think I'd remember a big red splat..." She showed no fear whatsoever.

Melinda appeared at Daniel's shoulder, her look of childlike curiosity out of keeping with the situation. "Well this is unusual, any idea who you destroy a fucking great puddle made of blood?"

"Last time I encountered an animated smear..." replied Daniel. "...a Brujah friend of mine exploded a truck in the middle of it. Of course that was shadow, not blood..."

Hope approached them and produced one of her remaining two petrol bombs. As soon as she saw them, Melinda seemed delighted.

Melinda - Gangrel
"Fire? Fire I can do..." She slid her jacket to one side and revealed a primitive bandolier of Molotov cocktails, and offered Daniel one, as well as a lighter, half filled with fluid. At some silent signal, the survivors amongst her followers also produce similar devices. "...and this seems like our kind of party..."

"You're sire is still a bit close to the target." warned Daniel.

"That's okay..." replied Melinda. "Tilly likes fire..."

As Hope and Melinda hurled their flaming projectiles at the creature, Melinda's own followers began to do the same. Blake and his own faction opened fire with their projectile weapons, but this was ineffectual when compared to the effect of the flames. Where orange flame touched red blood, the fluid began to blacken. More blood flowed to repair the damage, but stopped where the fires still burnt brightly.

Flames also flowed around Tilly, but she seemed not to care. As her clothing smouldered she patted out the flames with her bare hands and watched the writhing form before her with rapt interest.

Within the writhing form, several creatures could be seen forming, rapidly coalescing into vermin and within seconds a pulsating mass of rats with blood-red eyes exploded outwards from the thin cocoon of remaining blood, each made their escape in a different direction...


An Escaped Blood Rat of the Vector
Many of the rats were killed, but some had certainly escaped. No doubt 'The Vector' had been weakened, but certainly not destroyed. Vin had been following behind the swarm after passing his warning to their mistress and had been hunting any of the cult that may have slipped through the assault. He too had killed many, but was sure that some enemies had eluded them.

On examination, the chosen cultists, each had identification on them which was certainly fake. Their belongings however painted a much different picture.

Each possesses a file on a particular Baron. Their known bases and favoured haunts, how they fed and where, and significant biographical information. None of it was exactly secret, but would certainly be all a mortal would need to get close enough to a kindred to make their status as a blood doll almost inevitable. A surprisingly subtle scheme, considering the overt nature of the plague itself.

A beautiful redheaded young woman, with the distinct features likely to attract anyone of an artistic persuasion was certain to have been Michael's 'Typhoid Mary'. Samples of his art are within her files together with notes about their meanings and the techniques needed to produce them.

More worryingly, it didn't take much investigation to discover that three bodies were missing. Which three Barons these were intended for however would require a detailed search of their belongings and a little detective work. That however would take some time.

For now, perhaps this could be called a victory.


Storytellers Conclusions
I sometimes like to do a round-up of how the session went in these features but if you couldn't give a shit what I think then feel free to skip this bit....

Well that was the closest we've been to losing a PC in a while, and in this session we nearly lost two.

To be honest, after the climatic battle with Brother Kanker, the Vector reveal felt like a bit of an anti-climax. They were well prepared, so I suppose it'll just have to come back, stronger, more resilient and a bit sneakier...

The interludes have been a bit of world building and the players seem to like them so those will be continuing too.

Song Lyrics
Also, the quote in the header is from the following song, should any-one be interested.


Further Acknowledgements
Portions of the materials are the copyrights and trademarks of White Wolf Entertainment AB, and are used with permission. All rights reserved.

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Michael Tomassio is Matt Bomer, Johnny 'Roach' West is Kurt Kobain, Vincent 'Vin' Ghast is Scott Adkins, Dr Daniel Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, Hope Romero is Deborah Ann Woll, Marie is Eva Green, Mr Hertz is Charles Dance, Sofia Rivera is Eliza Dushku, The Blossoms are Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs, 'Max' is Milla Jovovich, Armando 'Nines' Rodrigues is Luis Carazo, 'Hatchet' is Bruce Payne, The Mysterious Cultist was Maya Zapata, 'Skelter' is Vin Diesel, 'Damsel' is Irina Delnova, Rosa is Mahafsoun, Jenna Cross was/is? Rhona Mitra, Blake is Dave Bautista, Quinn is Oliver Parker and Melinda is Alice Pagani,

Everything else is from vampire related folders and searches and is as far as I know is all of the 'fair use' variety. If there's something that you feel should be attributed to some-one then feel free to let me know and I'll happily add an acknowledgement.