We had an amazing Blood & Betrayal 2 game at Las Vegas by Night. What our players did changed the very fabric of the World of Darkness. How? You’ll have to wait for the Blood & Betrayal 2 supplement for the full story. To tide you over, here is a taste of a draft chapter from Blood & Betrayal 2.
Chapter Nine: Epilogue
A New Beginning
“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert
Blood & Betrayal 2: Dark Alliance is an open-ended scenario, designed to allow players to directly influence the story continuity of Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire: The Masquerade. When the scenario debuted at Las Vegas by Night, participants responded with spirited enthusiasm, seizing this opportunity earnestly and giving it the dedication that it deserved. Character-driven schemes, feints, counter-feints, and political negotiations continued until the very last second, with lasting effects.
By Night Studios would like to thank the original players who committed themselves completely to the scenario’s drama, roleplaying their black hearts out. We salute you and we couldn’t do this without your support!
Many Blood & Betrayal 2 players demonstrated their love for the Independent Alliance during the original scenario. This chapter contains a brief summary of the night’s events and updated setting mechanics featuring adjusted rarities for chronicles that include the Independent Alliance.
As a bonus, we’ve included the Archivist Report—a detailed, personal, and in-character account from the designated record-keeper for the event. This document contains a number of speculations, observations, and personal theories about the events of that night, a secret security briefing as delivered world-wide to the Elders of the Independent Alliance. Truth is a rare commodity in the World of Darkness, and Archivist Renenet Ankhesenpasutekh almost certainly has her own agenda; even if that was not the case, she is trapped by her own limited perspective, and cannot hope to see the big picture. Canny observers may be able to ferret out clues regarding future MET:VTM stories.
Integrating Blood & Betrayal 2 into Local Stories
Storytellers have the option to leverage the events of Blood & Betrayal 2 as a springboard for plots and scenarios in their local chronicles. The quickest method of integrating these stories into your game is to introduce the Archivist Report as a prop delivered to your local Envoy to keep her updated as to the events that occurred in Vegas, the unofficial capital of the Independent Alliance. Or you could run your troupe through the plots and scenarios as detailed in this book, modifying them as needed. Rumors and speculation about these events might be spread through character backgrounds and historical ties. As always, storytellers should use what works best for their chronicles and the needs of the story.
Here are some of the potential plot seeds a storyteller might spin out of this story:
- What if the courier delivering the report is intercepted (perhaps because somebody doesn’t want news of the Symposium to reach the Kindred in your city)? What will the local Independent Alliance do to retrieve it? How will the Camarilla and Anarchs react if they read the report?
- The tension between the delegates at the Sacred Symposium has spread beyond Vegas. A new separatist faction is forming and wants to sabotage the new sect before it’s too late, keeping the Alliance for Giovanni and Setites only.
- The Lasombra and the Carpathians emerged as rivals during Sacred Symposium and now they are occupying the same space as potential partners and guests. Will they continue to oppose each other?
- The Camarilla caught the Anarch Movement openly negotiating with a member of the Red List during the Symposium. Surely, this open aggression against the Ivory Tower will not pass unanswered for….
During the Sacred Symposium, chosen delegates of the Independent Alliance were tasked with determining the future of their nascent group by debating several questions and then voting on behalf of their cities. The results are as follows:
Topic #1: Status of the Independent Alliance
Should the Independent Alliance declare itself a sect of vampires? If so, how should it govern itself? If not, should its members leave each city to their own preferences for handling internal conflict?
The delegates voted unanimously to approve the Independent Alliance’s status as a sect and suggested a future symposium to work out the details of sect governance.
Topic #2: Crime and Punishment
What should happen if a member of the Independent Alliance betrays the Treaty? Who has the authority to sit in judgment in such a case, and what are fitting and appropriate punishments for those found guilty? Should the Independent Alliance admit one of the petitioning bloodlines to join as a third clan? If so, which one?
The delegates had some disagreement on this point, but agreed that until there was a formal system in place that this duty should fall to the local Emissaries.
Topic #3: A New Bloodline
The delegates voted unanimously that one of the bloodlines should be allowed to join the Independent Alliance, but tabled the subject of which one until after the trials.
Topic #4: Individual Memberships
Should the Independent Alliance admit individual members from clans that have not yet signed the Treaty of Alliance? If so, do they hold the same rights as the members of the founding clans?
On the subject of individual membership, the delegates voted that cities may allow for membership in the Independent Alliance. (This vote passed 17 against 5.) The delegation came to no conclusion about the rights of individual members of non-pillar clans.
Updated Setting Mechanics: The Independent Alliance
The Independent Alliance setting encourages a blend of subtle politics, elegant social maneuvering, quick bursts of horrible violence, and the slow degradation of Humanity, as a monster tries to cling to what once made her human.
The Storyteller’s job is to maintain those themes and keep the chronicle focused on the things that truly make the Independent Alliance setting so incredibly interesting and rich.
Rarity Adjustments: Clans
The clan rarity system is designed to reflect the population numbers of various clans in the Independent Alliance setting on a chronicle scale. The appearance of a clan on this list does not mean that said clan can be a member of the Independent Alliance, but that it can appear in the setting. For example, Tremere are listed as an uncommon clan in this setting, but this does not mean that a Tremere would be a member of the Independent Alliance.
The following clans of the Independent Alliance are considered pillar clans: Followers of Set and the Giovanni.
Common Clans (Available at No Cost):
A setting’s common clans are the most appropriate for play in this setting. There is no additional cost for playing these clans in the Independent Alliance setting.
- Caitiff, Followers of Set, Gangrel, Giovanni, Malkavian, Nosferatu, and Toreador
Uncommon Clans (2 point merit):
Uncommon clans are considered a minority clan on the outskirts of politic and social power within the setting. These are the outsiders who enjoy fewer benefits than those clans that are considered proper members of society.
- Brujah (Brujah or Sages), Lasombra antitribu, Tremere, Tzimisce (Old Clan/Carpathians Only), Ventrue
Brujah Bloodline Alteration for the Independent Alliance setting: The Independent Alliance setting allows for both the Brujah and the Sages (a Brujah bloodline once known as the True Brujah) to be played as an uncommon clan. A large number of the Sage bloodline visited Las Vegas for the Sacred Symposium to petition the Independent Alliance for membership. The Sages completed their trial (see Chapter Six: Sages Trial, page xx), but not a single delegate from the Independent Alliance championed their cause during the Sacred Symposium. Some speculate that the Sages were insulted by this rejection. Reports suggest that the destruction of Queen Sybil’s personal haven is linked to the Sages—a sign of more trouble to come. Others argue that the historically stoic Sages have some sort of larger purpose for remaining in Independent Alliance cities. Thus, Brujah and the Sage bloodline may both be played as an uncommon clan without the purchase of an additional merit.
Tzimisce Alteration for the Independent Alliance Symposium Setting: The delegates of the Sacred Symposium deadlocked four times in attempting to decide between the Carpathians and the Lasombra. The Giovanni remained united in their steadfast support for this proud bloodline, and this support has blossomed into a new comradery and exchange of occult knowledge. Thus, the Carpathian bloodline is the default for the Tzimisce within the Independent Alliance setting.
Lasombra antitribu Alteration for the Independent Alliance Symposium Setting: The delegates of the Sacred Symposium deadlocked four times in attempting to decide between the Carpathians and the Lasombra. The Setites refused to budge away from their allies, costing them a tome of ancient sorcery of great religious significance. This has endeared the Followers of Set to the Magisters and a number of cities held by the Independent Alliance has seen significant Lasombra refugees seek asylum from the Sabbat.
Rare Clans (4 point merit):
Rare clans represent vampires that are unique or a member of a clan with low population numbers within this setting. They may be treated poorly or shunned by the rest of the characters in play. Such characters may be loners, outcasts, or solitary observers of society. Storytellers should carefully consider the impact these characters will have in their chronicle before approving them.
• Cappadocians (Samedi), Daughters of Cacophony, Gargoyles, Ravnos, and Salubri
The Archivist’s Report
To the Consiglieres of the Independent Alliance,
It has been my privilege to witness your machinations and the culmination of your efforts to secure the foundation of this alliance. The facts have been reported widely, but the truth is much more than a simple recounting of events. It would wound me if my reluctance to put my personal observations and speculations onto the empty page caused your umbrage. To put thoughts into print is the ultimate revelation, and what Follower of Set would do this without some reservation?
The twin holders of the Janus Seats opened Sacred Symposium with great verve. The mood of the room seemed cheerful, if measured. I can only imagine that it felt strange to the Camarilla delegation, strangers in a strange land, surrounded by those they deemed outsiders and hooligans. The delegates representing the Anarch Movement seemed content merely to be invited and to have at long last a vampire organization newer than themselves.
Don Michael Giovanni delivered the opening speech from the heights of the V.I.P room with a surprisingly warm, classic Vegas charm — referencing his own presence at the very meeting held at the Moon Nightclub just a few years ago that sparked the foundations of the alliance. He stressed the importance of vigilance in security for the Independent Alliance as a means to encourage business to grow.
Queen Sybil spoke next, taking advantage of her forum to encourage diplomacy as the way to ensure the prosperity of all of the vampires present. She argued that it will be the ability to influence others from a position of ally that will ensure the future of the Independent Alliance. The priestess ended the ceremony with a ritual prayer to Sutekh, joined by a chorus of acolytes, and at the climax, the roof of Moon opened to the night sky and stars.
The results of the Sacred Symposium are already known far and wide, but I felt that it was important to record the names of those august vampires that served the Independent Alliance during the Sacred Symposium:
- Followers of Set Delegates: Montgomery Caulwell, Ice, Casimir Kafka, Etianna Le Fleur, Lysandra, Nakhti Pharoneus, Evelyn Tanis, Lucious Tannas, Ezer Thombstone, and Semira.
- Giovanni Delegates: Don Anastagio Giovanni, Brandon Giovanni di Milliner, Constiantino “Tino” Giovani, Franceska Giovanni, Francis Giovanni, Josphine “Jo” Giovanni, Nicodiomus Giovanni, Donna Nicolia Giovanni, Santiago Giovanni, Rothstein, and Don Victor Giovanni.
- Leader of the Janus Guards: Massimo Luciano Michael Giovanni
- Archivist: Renenet Ankhesenpasutekh
- Assistant Archivist: Marco Giovanni
The twin holders of the Janus Seats realized that time would be short during Sacred Symposium and thus they decided to merge their meetings with the Camarilla and Anarch delegates at the same time, hoping that perhaps some sort of accord could be reached for the common good.
Camarilla Delegates: Lemuria Agharti, Domingos Belini (Prince of São Paulo), Charles Blackwell (Prince of Chicago), Augustin Deschamp, Lorelei, Marcelle Marrit (Prince of Phoenix), Matthew Tennant (Prince of Houston), Chey Walking Rivers (Archon to Her Grace Madame Guil), and the inscrutable Professor George Stuart.
Anarch Movement Delegates: Aligheri (Advocate of 8 Mile), Eduard Morel (First Consul of the Portland Commune), Michael Broadway, and Tony Morandi (President of Seattle).
The Camarilla delegates were deeply offended by this maneuver and turned hostile immediately. The Ivory Tower refused to see the benefits of collaboration. Their meddlesome bickering and dissent caused them to miss the opportunity for information about the whereabouts of Ferox the Anathema and his cult of gargoyles. The oddly congenial Professor George Stuart’s mere presence in any conversation seemed to ratchet the level of tension. Remember well this name, as it appears a number of times in this report. If there is a hidden villain that has yet to be revealed, I well suspect it to be represented by this subtle vampire.
Strangely, the Anarch Movement sensed opportunity and somehow learned of this information, and later attempted to use it to their advantage. I have come to suspect that we might have miscalculated the value of this gift and perhaps should have considered the offer presented by Ferox. Or at the least collected the bounty ourselves.
The Anarchs made a number of surprising offers that reached beyond the scope of this Sacred Symposium. They offered a limited treaty that would guaranteed mutual respect and protection over the other’s territory and the agreement of safe travel and the right to do business. As a bonus, they implied that they had secret intelligence over the new wave of hunter activities and would share this with us. One delegate even suggested a possible merger, if the Independent Alliance would be willing to adopt the Anarchs’ iconic Status Perfectus.
The Appearance of Beckett and the Lupines
Sightings of the noted Gangrel scholar Beckett have been rare since his acquisition of the Ankaran Sarcophagus near the end of the Time of Turmoil. Rumor has it that Beckett was instrumental in convincing the Gangrel to rejoin the Camarilla, due to a hoary discovery in the few badlands that exist beyond human civilization. When Beckett sought permission from the Independent Alliance to hold a clan meeting within our territory during Sacred Symposium, even the most suspicious amongst us was curious. And when he offered a sizeable boon for the privilege, if we were able to ensure that it was mystically protected against scrying, so that what happened here remained here; it was, in the parlance of Vegas, an offer we couldn’t refuse.
We held true to our word and the place we provided was protected with the great magics gifted to us by Sutekh. We felt no need to break our word — our people would seize any opportunity this presented without damaging our reputation. Much to our surprise, a number of the Gangrel (coordinated by Morgan Salishbjor and Crow) left said meeting protecting two lupine ambassadors — Constantine and Dragonsbane. The lupines sought to strike a bargain; they wished for the El Dorado Silver Mine to be cleansed of wraiths in exchange for a tome of magic thought forever lost during the fire that burned the Library of Alexandria. Upon closer inspection, the priests of Sutekh determined that this book somehow contained the lost secrets of the legendary temple of Ombros, which had been razed more than a thousand years ago.
This unexpected complication would later cost the Independent Alliance dearly in terms of unity and prestige. More on this later.
Once Beckett charged the Gangrel with their task, he seemed content to wander around Moon, dropping hints of hidden lore and knowledge. It is rumored that he spoke with a number of members of the Camarilla, including Prince Blackwell of Chicago. Interestingly, the Malkavians seemed quite disturbed by his mere presence. One cried out that merely looking at him was like gazing into a mirror that showed what might have been the very moment it was shattered.
The sole exception to this behavior from the Malkavians was the mysterious elder, Professor George Stuart. He had already disrupted the meeting of the delegates and afterwards, he seemed to revel in following Beckett throughout the gathering, adding his own personal commentary on whatever was said.
A spy overheard the prince of São Paulo, Domingos Belini, claim to be on direct assignment from Her Grace Dona Manuela Bolívar for the express purpose of monitoring this vampire’s movements. Little is known about the Malkavian Justicar, save that her claimed age is quite young for a being of such incredible power. The Sabbat refer to her as La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman. The Tlacique recall well the memory of the Aztec goddess of death, Xochiquetzal. If such is true, then the resources of the Independent Alliance should look into this kindly gentlewoman.
Ferox and the Alliance That Never Was
Two weeks before Sacred Symposium, Ferox—the self-proclaimed Rock Lord himself—appeared atop the Temple to Sutekh, where he left a parchment requesting that the Independent Alliance aid his clan in arranging for a second Promise, but this time for the Gargoyles only. While we considered this request, Ferox and his cult of Gargoyles murdered a number of Nosferatu visiting Las Vegas under the protection of the Independent Alliance.
The twin holders of the Janus seats came to the conclusion that these fanatical, faux-vampires could never be steady allies. They offered this information directly to the Justicars of the Camarilla, their agents, and then also to select delegates. To our surprise, the Ivory Tower seemed more interested in whom we might admit into the Independent Alliance—that is, until they discovered that the Anarch Movement were reaching out to Ferox with the intention of forming a compact.
Our spies have revealed that a sizeable mob of the Anarchs reached out to the so-named “vampire Jesus” to parlay through his lieutenant Mère de la Basillique. Their contingent consisted of: Delegate Tony Morandi, Ivan Draganovic, the infamous gang Devil’s Due, and a number of unknown rabble that managed to hid their identities.
We initially believed that they were attempting to seize the trophy for Ferox and use it as leverage over the Camarilla to gain territory or some other advantage. To our amazement, they brought a copy of their Status Perfectus to Ferox and attempted to convert him and his followers to their political movement, if only the Gargoyles would swear to adopt the Status Perfectus.
The Anarchs’ plan was discovered by Professor George Stuart, and he passed this information to a number of the Camarilla’s august luminaries. Led by Archon Chey Walking Rivers and Augustin Deschamps, the Camarilla strike force included: Benedict Wilshire, Konstantin Anselm, Lorelei, and Odin Black.
The Anarchs attempted to appeal to Ferox’s humanity and were met with a speech about faith and real freedom. The Camarilla crept into the location, hidden by Lorelei’s Obfuscate, and upon discovering this secret, confronted him. At first, Ferox listened to the Camarilla until the subject of the Nosferatu was brought up. He turned himself into stone, which lead to a jumbled melee of chaos. Ferox disappeared with a flash of light, fleeing all of the factions.
Naturally, this incident has escalated tensions between the Camarilla and the Anarchs. The Independent Alliance has also not escaped unscathed, as smaller cities have reported possible Gargoyle attacks on more Nosferatu and Carpathians.
Bread and Circuses: The Bloodline Trials
The wise Consiglieres of the Independent Alliance determined that only one bloodline would be allowed to join at this time. Each congregation of delegates promised great things and friendship, but how best do you determine how a group shall fit into a known dynamic? The bloodlines were each given a puzzle to be solved at the Sacred Symposium that would show their determination, their savoir faire, ability to blend into the ecosystem of the Independent Alliance, and most importantly reveal their unknown intentions.
A little-known bloodline of the Brujah—the stoic Sages—offered their considerable lore and unique powers to the Independent Alliance. The Independent Alliance understands little of their former cult the Tal’made’Ra, and cares less about their agenda. Rather, they wished to pick through the bones of their fallen organization. If the stories are to be believed, the Sages once boasted a considerable information network, with informants in both the Camarilla and Sabbat. And perhaps most importantly, the group is believed to have spent centuries amassing research and weapons to arm themselves during Gehenna. The Independent Alliance believed that by working to appropriate their legacy, they could quickly achieve parity with other vampire sects.
The twin holders of the Janus Seats were naturally quite skeptical as to these so-called legends. To test the Sages, they devised a trial that would require them to convince several notable vampires to allow themselves to be mystically measured by their known oracles—the Fates.
Honestly, this was thought to be an impossible task. What vampire in their right mind would volunteer for such an ordeal? And yet, the Sages succeeded to proceed to the final round.
Notable Sages: Aldith of Winchester, Gustav Fuller, Burgen the Ostrogoth, Ahsraf the Learned, and Bryce Val
Carpathians have lived in self-imposed isolation since before the advent of the sects, lording over their crumbling castles and diminishing territories nestled in the heart of the remote, eerie, and mountainous region of Eastern Europe from which they take their name. Following the Nights of Turmoil, they began to emerge, seeking allies or new homes with very little explanation. Their elders revealed part of this reason in their petition to join the Independent Alliance.
A growing sickness in the Carpathian homelands has infected the very soil, turning the land they desperately cling to against its former masters. The scholars and Koldun believe they know the source of these troubles, and whisper a name from times long past: Kupala. Some call it a demon, others insist that it is a primordial spirit of the land itself—they point to the fact that the entity is referenced by name, if not invoked directly, by some Kolduns in a number of rituals. A few suspect that it might be the very source of the foul practice of Vicissitude or the Vaulderie. Once there existed an occult grimoire, the Incunabulum Kupalam, that collected all known information about this enemy, but all known copies were lost in the fires of the Inquisition, and the scholars of tonight must piece together what few clues they can.
Desperate, they looked outward for answers and perhaps found them in the Independent Alliance. Don Michael Giovanni managed to acquire pages of the Incunabulum Kupalam and the means perhaps to resolve this problem via a sacred Canopic vessel. The Carpathian contingent worked the crowd to determine who possessed the pages and then had to resolve the mechanism of the ritual.
They passed because they proved their wisdom was equal to their knowledge. It was not easy. Clan Ventrue rallied against this trial, while the Camarilla in general seemed to prevent the Carpathians from locating the missing pages to figure out the ritual.
Notable Carpathians: Milosh De Omu, Iulian Jurat, Alan Jefferson, Nicolai Palade, Sorina Cantacuzino, Eleina Lupescu, and Komosh Tzokor
The Lasombra antitribu were the first to petition for admittance to the nascent Independent Alliance, in numbers far beyond those that have joined the Camarilla, leading to widespread speculation that there may be a rift in the heart of the greater clan. The years following the Time of Turmoil have not been kind to the Lasombra. Weakened to the point of disaster by hunters, defections, betrayals, and internecine conflicts, the Sword of Caine struggles to regain its edge. Arguably the Lasombra have suffered more than the other Cainites of the Sabbat, since the sect’s failures are often conflated with their own. Since the rise of a new Regent, Temoch the Jackal—who seems to bear no love for the Magisters—a fervor of religious fanaticism has swept the Sword of Caine. Many Lasombra, found the entire affair bitterly distasteful and entirely too much of a bother to keep up appearances for the mass of shovelheads and loyalists.
This petition has its roots in an attempt by a handful of influential antitribu to contact their Sabbat cousins shortly after the Assamites formalized their entry into the Camarilla, seeking to learn the truth behind the current détente. The loyalists, ever faithful to the Sword of Caine, rejected any and all overtures of alliance, forcing the antitribu to accept that the old adage is true: one cannot ever go home again. Instead, some of their Sabbat kin approached the antitribu in turn, encouraged clandestinely by a surprising figure: Lucita of Aragon, Archbishop of Madrid. Evidently she, too, could see the writing on the wall, and had no wish to serve in heaven if there was a genuine opportunity to reign in hell. The coalition met in secret to debate their options, deciding in the end that a bold throw of the dice was in order: they would petition the Independent Alliance for admission, becoming the deadliest sharks in a much smaller ocean.
The Lasombra quickly found support with a major player in the Independent Alliance. Queen Sybil of Las Vegas had long held clandestine relationships with the Magisters and valued their political acumen and indomitable will. Queen Sybil has long suspected that the signature discipline of the Lasombra, Obtenebration, might be the key to achieving their goals in the shadowlands and accessing the power of oblivion. To smooth the way for the Lasombra, Queen Sybil offered one of her greatest treasures for the trial—Dimma Skák Mađur. These tainted chess pieces are infused with the essence of death and Don Michael Giovanni has long coveted them.
The Lasombra needed to recover four of the six Dimma Skák Mađur. It was said to be an easy task, but the Camarilla and the Anarchs seemed to act against them. A faction of the Magisters, led by Victor de Montejo, protested this trial and attempted to sabotage the bid. They attempted to make a compact with all of the petitioning bloodlines to form their own alliance.
Romero de la Salle attempted to rally the Lasombra wishing to join the Independent Alliance, but his own enemies from Detroit followed him. The Anarch Movement, on behalf of Advocate Aligheri, blocked their attempts to recover the Dimma Skák Mađur. Just when it appeared that the Lasombra would be defeated, Professor George Stuart offered to sell him the final required piece to win the trial. The price? “A favor. A single task to be completed for my masters. Whatever they want.” It would seem that a Faustian bargain was struck. Perhaps this has something to do with the rumored ancient enemies of the Ventrue whispered about in the dark halls of Moon, the so-called Master of Secrets?
Notable Lasombra: Le Chevalier Lord Imriel de Aragon, Evony De Aragon, Miles Carrick, Cipriano, Francesca de la Cruz, Victor de Montejo, Romero de la Salle, Saint John McDonough, Victoria Santiago, Mr. Smith, and the Whisperer in Darkness
Secrets and Shenanigans: The Presentation
Aldith of Winchester presented for the Sages, revealing that his faction had located all five of the threads and offered a bonus artifact known as the Hourglass of Fate. He claimed that it held the ashes of Carthage and would be a potent weapon in the final days. It is rumored to have the power to force an antediluvian back into slumber for a short while.
Don Romero Romero de la Salle presented for the Lasombra. He offered the Dimma Skák Mađur and then read a letter from Lucita of Aragon, offering to bring a larger than expected portion of the clan over to the Independent Alliance from the Sabbat. Here is where the unity of the Independent Alliance started to crack. Don Michael and Queen Sybil argued fiercely and then the floor was opened to question. Some expressed concerns that the Lasombra were offering to betray one sect, so why would they not betray another?
Milosh de Omu spoke for the Carpathians. They completed their assigned task, but were very hesitant to show proof. They spoke against the Lasombra, claiming that they would only offer treachery, while their friendship was “true”. They offered sacred lore and to help the alliance find and kill our enemies, but again were not willing to show their evidence. They turned the Follower of Set delegation against them when the subject of their blood sorcery came up, and they insulted the entire Follower of Set religion. Further, when asked about sharing territory, they were immediately resistant to the idea, claiming only they could hope to contain the monster within their lands. (It was also brought up that said land was home to dangerous creatures they could not control.) As a note, by the end of the presentation, only the four speaking still wished the clan to join. The rest of the delegates were dead-set against the idea, a fact the Giovanni seemed bent on willfully ignoring in light of the deal the delegates had struck with Don Michael.
Stars and Destiny
The delegates of the Independent Alliance remained deadlocked between the Lasombra and the Carpathians through two votes, splitting evenly among clan lines. The Sages were highly offended that not a single delegate voted for them, and they left silently.
Secrets long hidden were revealed before the third vote. The Giovanni revealed their belief that the ritual fueled by the demon Kupala could help them locate their missing Antediluvian. In exchange for the Followers of Set abandoning the Lasombra, the Giovanni offered the magical tome purchased from the Lupines. That their allies would so blackmail them outraged the Followers of Set.
Savino Giovanni acquired the book from the lupines, and then Don Michael gave it to Marlena Giovanni to keep it safe. The delegation decided to recess for a time to bargain and consider the options.
During this pause, there was a scuffle between Marlena Giovanni and Ice of the Followers of Set. Ice was torpored and given to the care of Fat Tony of the Giovanni. Meanwhile several delegates from the Followers of Set whispered that Ice’s attack on Marlena, a favorite childe of Don Michael, was due to the interference of the Camarilla as evidenced by Professor George Stuart’s laughter during the attack. During a moment of distraction, two Camarilla delegates, Lorelei and Augustin Deschamps, snatched Ice’s torpid body for questioning to see what caused the attack. Pleased with Ice’s answers, they let her go back to the Sacred Symposium and reported to Queen Sybil that the scuffle was a misunderstanding, because Ice thought Marlena smelled of Setite Sorcery.
The twin holders of the Janus seats managed to keep the Symposium together to hold one more vote. Once again the delegates were deadlocked along clan factions. One last recess was called. Plots and schemes were hatched in the shadows. The petitioners were allowed one last chance to speak to the delegates.
And again, the delegates were deadlocked. There was for a brief moment of hope that one of the Giovanni would break ranks. Delegate Santiago Giovanni begun to rise his hand, struggle for a moment, and then lowered it.
The first Sacred Symposium of the Independent Alliance was not the success we craved. Laughter could be heard in the Moon nightclub when the twin holders of the Janus Seat made their announcement that no one would be joining the Independent Alliance. And yet, we endured the test. Our bonds were forged in fire, securing our place amongst the new sects.
However, the Camarilla and the Anarchs scored a major victory against us during the Sacred Sympsoium. The Ivory Tower convinced Don Michael that they did not oppose the Carpathians joining the Independent Alliance and then worked quietly from the sidelines to distrupt the trial and the presentation. Conversely, the Anarch Movement subtly sabotaged the Magister’s trial and tainted their efforts to join us. Professor George Stuart leaked information about the lupine’s book to ensure that there would be a fight between factions, galvanizing their votes. This single vampire proved to be exceptionally dangerous. His masters are unknown, but clearly their intent is hostile to our purposes.
Prince Domingos Belini of the Brujah secured the Hourglass of Fate and proceeded to throw it out the window, hoping that the fall would destroy it. It disappeared, and the Fates reported that it would return when the Sages needed it the most, striking revenge upon the Independent Alliance. Queen Sybil has already reported a fire in her haven at the presidential suite at the top of the Luxor pyramid. Many suspect the Sages of this dark deed.
We survived the test, even if we have yet to excel, there is always the future. Those who can survive interesting times can do better the next time.
Renenet Ankhesenpasutekh, Archivist