The City of the Dead

Ken's Vampire Game

Session Fifteen

Friday Night

The girls continue their discussion that they begun after the meeting.

Daria discusses the Lasombra that she had met when she came out of her frenzying in the Necropolis. She fills Jennifer in on the story that she'd told Helena when they met on her way back from Shepparton.

Apparently she'd been approached by someone who she identified as a Sabbat Lasombra from Sydney. He bound her with shadows and told her that "they" had infiltrated the city and war had been declared.

She also describes Malcolm's photos that she had found. The photos show similar defacements in Sydney cemeteries to those found in Springvale. There is a photo of staked vampires as well. The photos are dated from before the Cult dominion of Sydney is believed to have been established.

The girls discuss these findings and the recent events in the city.

Jennifer says that perhaps the Dancers and the Daughters are interrelated but don't have the same goals, perhaps some are taking advantage of the others, perhaps this is all a means of stirring up things in the city for preparation for an invasion.

Jennifer also suggests that this may be the attack - vampires are getting pulled into the "dance" or the confusion that is being laid, thereby re-asserting the power dynamic in the city.

Daria thinks that this sounds plausible, after all, some of the Malkavians have fallen to dancers; it is possible to become a Malkavian if you already belong to another clan. Perhaps the Malkavians are susceptible to being drawn into "the dance".

While on the subject of Malkavians...

Helena asks whether what they "attempted" to do to Daria to get the Malkavian blood out of her body actually helped her or not. She, somewhat sheepishly, obviously still quite sensitive to the whole affair, says that what helped was more likely to be all of the cow blood that the Knights made her drink, and all of the screwing around with her brain that Luke did that helped her.

However as she has finished her words, her hands become furiously itchy. She scratches at them and Jennifer and Helena groan in disbelief. Helena tries to sense whether there is another presence in the room, but is unable to detect anyone.

Saturday Night

The girls have arranged to meet to talk to the Nosferatu to see if they have any helpful information.

When Daria arrives, she seems really rattled again. When Jennifer and Helena ask, she says that she was spoken to by a female Malkavian who identified herself as Kris. She said that she was supposedly trying to help "stop the Lord of the Dance from getting into her head" - apparently wrapping your head in a tinfoil beanie can help. Daria says that she's really wary of "Malkavian help", because it seems that every time that they "try to help", she seems to get more fucked up. She says that she'd spoken to Alfred about it, but Alfred says to ignore her.

As they're discussing where they are going to enter the tunnels, Daria says that it would be best to enter at the one that the girls had originally entered with the Nosferatu. After all, the Lord of the Dance was in one of the other ones.

Helena is furious and incredulous - how the fuck could Daria have managed to forget to tell them that they are going to be crawling around dark caverns near the so-called Lord of the Dance?

Daria defends herself quickly, saying that well, it's alright, because they weren't going to go down that tunnel...

But Helena isn't convinced; after all, did Daria perhaps consider the possibility that the Nosferatu are involved? Helena remembers that Alfred had told her that some of the strange behaviours in Jennifer's photo and being hassled by invisible people could be performed by Nosferatu!

Daria says that the Lord of the Dance isn't just a vampire; he's part something else.

Helena eventually gives up; she's getting strung out with the whole affair and she needs to help the others get to the bottom of what's going on, so against her better judgement, she decides to enter the tunnels with the others anyway.

She gives Alfred a call and tells him what she's doing. She asks if she can give him a call in an hour, just to tell him that everything is okay, and that if they haven't called in an hour, would he mind coming down after them? With reluctance and more than a little exasperation, he finally agrees.

Not too far into the tunnels, Daria is starting to become really hassled - she's hearing things, seeing patterns and rhythms in everything; she says that it is the Dancers that are affecting her. Despite her efforts to push the sounds out of her head and to press on anyway, she eventually snaps. She asks the girls if they would mind waiting for her to go to Safeway so that she can buy some tinfoil to wrap around her head. The girls agree with disbelief.

The mission takes around 20 minutes and half an hour into their walk it is time for Helena to call Alfred and tell him that they were delayed, so if it is at all possible, can she call him again in another hour?

Alfred agrees, but before leaving, he asks Helena to put Daria on for a moment. He is immediately alerted to a strange, metallic rustling coming down the line, and isn't too impressed. It doesn't take him long to figure that she's wearing a tinfoil beanie.

Further into the tunnels, Daria is alerted to what seems to be a series of marks on one of the walls, which she says are "Dancer marks" according to the Malkavians. The marks trace out the pattern of the Dances. To Helena, it seems as though the "marks" are nothing more than marks from where people's hands have randomly brushed against the wall; hardly anything of significance.

They enter a chamber that is pretty rank; there have been people there recently. There are the remains of an extinguished fire, but nothing else really.

The girls call out, but there is no response. They eventually decide to leave, but leave a message asking one of the Nosferatu to get back to them.

Outside, Helena presses Daria for more information about the Lord of the Dance, still angry that she hadn't told her about it before they'd decided to enter the tunnels.

Daria says that when she last saw the Lord of the Dance he had turned into a statue. Apparently the Malkavians know most of the Dancers, but the problem with talking to them is that every time that Daria tries, she either goes insane or the plan backfires.

Jennifer tells her how Alfred had thought that it may be Kris showing up in the photo instead of Heresy. Daria says that she was helpful regarding the tinfoil hat keeping some of the messages from getting to her brain.

The girls discuss the avenues open to them once more. They discuss the possibility of talking to some of the other Lasombra, after all, they know a lot about Kindred history. However the girls agree that perhaps it shouldn't be Daria who pursues that line of investigation. They discuss the possibility of speaking to Kris and Sascha of the Brujah, and Alfred's sire. They are after any information that they may know of relating to the recent events, the cults, their aims, the types and the Sabbat.

Helena leaves a message for Samantha, asking her to call her back when she has a chance.

Daria calls Alfred and asks for Sascha's number. Alfred is very wary when Daria asks for this information. Reluctantly, he says that he will try and organise a meeting. He points out to Daria that she should be extra nice to him, given that he is his clan. She should make sure that the is extra careful about not doing any "crazy stuff" in front of him. He carefully tells her to wait for him to get back to her.

Amidst their discussions, Helena's phone rings. She speaks to a disguised voice who identifies itself as Jeremy of the Nosferatu. They organise a meeting for a little later that night.

When they meet Jeremy outside of the tunnel, he presents himself as a regular looking man. However once they enter the tunnels, he lets the mask drop and reveals his true, horrid form. His face is elongated into a snout-like shape and his huge, hideous fangs pierce his cheeks.

He is curious as to what the girls are interested in talking about and why they may have made the effort to make contact with the Nosferatu for help. They ask him what he knows about the Serpent Daughters, the Sabbat and the Dancers.

He says that well, there appear to be different sorts of Serpent Daughters; Kieran is one and he thought that only girls could be one of the Daughters. He says that there is a rumour that Heresy is Kieran's sire.

They ask him if there are any occult practices amongst the Malkavians? He says that Sladek didn't actually turn out to be Sladek; he looked like a dead human, perhaps he was a zombie? Helena remembers his aura; it was pale like a vampire's aura.

Daria says that the Dancers are composed of many Malkavians. However the Malkavians are different to before. She says that Neil may be a Dancer.

Jeremy turns the conversation onto Daria; his voice becomes quite pressing, almost antagonistic. He asks her about Neil; when he looked at Daria in the meeting when Neil arrived, she seemed to get upset. He asks what was going on. Daria says that she doesn't know what he's talking about.

This response angers Jeremy; he can tell she's lying. He reminds her that she came here to get information from him, and she's not being forthcoming, therefore there is a problem. His voice is getting very threatening. Daria stumbles over her words and starts to talk. She says that the Dancer looked like a woman, and she was disturbed because she sounded like herself. Jeremy asks how this could be so. Daria says because she's seen him take her face before.

Apparently "the Lord of the Dance" had been the one to take her face. Daria says that she had seen him in one of the tunnels (she describes the exact location).

Jeremy's interest is piqued at this point. He says "oh yeah, I found a couple of dead bodies there recently; one was drained and the other had his arms broken and his eyeballs had been pushed out. Looked like he'd done it to himself."

Daria becomes flustered. She says that one of them was a Dancer and the other she had killed because she had frenzied - she had had to tear off her face because there was a mask on it. The mask was on her face because she had nailed it there. She did it because she was being driven nuts by her mind, and apparently it was going to free her of her torture. Apparently it was one of the Dancers, the human with the broken arms who had given her the mask, he had told her that it was the only way to stop it.

She starts babbling a flurry of apologies and justifications, but Jeremy doesn't seem to be taking them so well. He asks how she'd like to have him kill a couple of people and leave the corpses around her haven for her to clean up. As he says this, his form shifts into a lifeless corpse with its throat torn out and its head lolling. Her apologies continue to come cascading forth, but Jeremy is finished with Daria.

He turns to Jennifer and hassles her for information. "So tell me about Heresy", he asks.

Jennifer says that apparently Heresy sired Kieran, and that she had first come into contact with Heresy when she saw her in a photo. She said that she had come across her when she was looking for Frederic and had seen the Dancers as well. She says that perhaps they are connected.

Jeremy asks if they are indeed connected. Jennifer says that well, the Serpent Daughters make people dance and the Malkavians seem to be into dancing at the moment. Jennifer says that Heresy must be a big thing amongst the Serpent Daughters because as soon as she showed up, Rita stood down.

Jennifer asks about Kris. Jeremy says that he hasn't seen her for awhile. Jennifer asks if she's trustworthy? Jeremy says that he doesn't know - she's a Malkavian.

Having finished with Jennifer, Jeremy turns the line of questioning onto Helena.

"Now you. Tell me about Jessamy. Tell me something I wouldn't know about Jessamy."

Helena reluctantly tells about their blood play, incredibly fearful about the implications of this revelation. She insists that she isn't blood-bonded to Jessamy, even though she has taken his blood on numerous occasions, there hasn't been enough taken at enough times for a bond to be formed.

The familiar distress between Daria and Jennifer at this so-called blood-play with one of the Knights arises, but Helena does her best to reassure them that she isn't bonded to him, and even though he can read her thoughts, none of them have done anything to warrant punishment. They haven't been doing anything wrong! The girls don't seem satisfied, but the issue rests.

Before the girls leave, Jeremy reminds Daria of her betrayal against the Nosferatu. He says that Daria now "owes him", which she acknowledges with regretful nods of her head.