Hartford

Story until now
The Writeup

The contents page

Public Clan Tree

Tauras, Katerina, Evelina, Amir, Rhea Hartford: First Session – Welcome to the Kiddie Pool!
Hartford: Second Session – Sylvia Burns
Hartford: Third Session – Tauras’s body is cursed!
Hartford: Fourth Session – They get back their stuff:
Hartford: Fifth Session – Tauras’s becomes bound to Sofija:
Helena – Hartford: Sixth Session – The Bloody Ritual:
Danielius – Hartford: Seventh Session – VIP Party:
Oktavia – Hartford: Eighth Session – Helena pounds Evelina:
Oliver – Hartford: Ninth Session – Evelina is taken:
Hartford: Tenth Session – Tauras visits the city:
Hartford: Eleventh Session – Tina is dead:
Hartford: Twelfth Session – Evelina goes into the Shadow:
Hartford: Thirteenth Session – Inquisitor’s Arrival:
Hartford: Fourteenth Session – To Manchester!:
Hartford: Fifteenth Session – New Acolytes join the Circle of the Crone:
Hartford: Sixteenth Session – Good back massage is important:
Hartford: Seventeenth Session – The torture of inoccent people!:
Hartford: Eighteenth Session: The Heist and the Trial:
Markas, Albert Hartford: Nineteenth Session: Introduction of Markas Lenindzeris, Albert Heckles and Dr. Uosis:
Hartford: Twentieth Session – Edmund Cartwright visits Albert:
Hartford: Twenty First Session: Carthian Leader and one of the Invictus primogen show up at the party:
Hartford: Twenty Second Session: Markas sends an angry letter to Elizabeta Klein:
Hartford: Twenty Third Session: Carthians divide the kiddie pool among themselves:
Teodoras, Barbara – Hartford: Twenty Fourth Session – The Invictus Bounty:
Nikolas – Hartford: Twenty Fifth Session – Let the Competition begin!:
Tina – Hartford: Twenty Sixth Session – Rhea causes a car crash:
Emersonas – Hartford: Twenty Seventh Session – Albert’s Casual Business:
Hartford: Twenty Eighth Session – Bargaining with the Devil:
Feliksas – Hartford: Twenty Ninth Session – the Morbid Night :
Hartford Flashback 1: Amir meets Gerardas Grėjus :

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Hartford Flashback 2
Rhea, Albert and Sam talk about demons

Rhea came to visit the clinic. There she saw Albert with a man she had never seen before. She could smell his blood flowing through his body – looks like it’s a mortal.

Albert: Hey Rhea, meet Sam, he’s a friend of mine. You see, he’s in a bit of trouble, as it seems that he has sold his soul to the devil. I know it seems stupid and, trust me, it is, but we kind of want to cancel that deed, and in return we’ll have someone we can trust working around the clinic.
Rhea: Hi… Did I hear correctly? Sold his soul? To the devil?.. I’m not sure this is in my area of expertise. Maybe you should call a priest?
Albert: Yeah, I know this sounds fishy, but we’ve seen the man, or the Devil, to be exact, and well… He’s got some freaky powers. Anyway, Markas told us that there is a way to cancel a deed with the devil, and that is by tearing up the contract. The problem is that we don’t have the contract, but I think I have an idea where we could find it. But, of course, the devil isn’t just going to give it to us, that’s why we need your… Erm… Skills, to get that deed without him noticing anything. Do you think you have what it takes to steal from the devil himself? smiles challengingly
Rhea: I don’t know… Does your friend have knowledge of our condition?
Albert: Well, since everyone else in our cottery knows this I guess there is no sense hiding it from you either.. Yes, he knows more than any mortal should know, but that is why we can trust him to look after the clinic while we’re sleeping or whenever we would need it. Plus, he’s an old friend of mine… But first we need to save his ass… Or rather soul… It shouldn’t be THAT hard, you seem to know your shit – like that time you took the shotgun from that creepy guy. So, what do you think?
Rhea: OK, we can go look around, but only with one condition: we will inform the church, and he will come along if they want to examine him. By the way, what did you find so needed, that you sold your soul for it, Sam?
Sam: Money… Yeah, it sounds stupid, I know… but I got indebted to some unsavory people and my time was coming up… I think it was either this or death…
Rhea: I need to make a call before we do this.
Rhea then walked to the clinic’s phone and tried to call Octavia.
Sangiovanni Butler: Sangiovanni estate. How may I help you?
Rhea: This is Rhea speaking, is Octavia available?
Sangiovanni Butler: She’s at a meeting with someone. Please call us back in an hour.
Albert: What?! Why? Oh god… Well… Maybe the church will know more about the devil stuff… I guess it’s okay as long as they do not know that HE knows, or this may very well be my death sentence. They wouldn’t check him for knowing our secret, right?
Rhea: I can omit that detail, if needed, but their help in this may be essential.
Albert: Yes, I’d prefer not to die, you know… And if shit hits the fan I guess we can say that he’s our ghoul or something..
Rhea: Are you planning to ghoul him?
Sam: Ghoul me? What does that mean?
Albert: No, I’m not, but to protect him we can say that he is our ghoul. To Sam It’s basically a servant to vampires, but you don’t want to become one, trust me.
Rhea: Not exactly… But it’s your choice. Do you think no one will notice? By the way, what if the destruction of the contract fails? What do we do then?
Albert: I will not ghoul him! If you think that the church will notice then don’t tell them… If the destruction fails… we… bargain… We get another soul in exchange for his. But I would prefer to fuck up the devil than to feed him more souls.
Rhea: We are not making deals with devils. Shit… at Sam Are you sure this guy is legit? I mean can this be just an eccentric rich dude out for some fun?
Sam: I felt it… After I left him, I felt as I’ve done something very bad… On the next day, I woke up in an expensive apartment, with my wallet and credit card filled with money. I asked people around there… they said that I’d lived there for two years… Which is impossible, right? Or maybe he payed them all of… Maybe all of this is just a big joke?
Rhea: Was it just the local people who thought that you lived there and owned it all, or were some of your friends from the past affected? Like for instance for your knowledge Albert, where did Sam live for the last few years?
Albert: He lived in Bolton street.
Sam: That’s my old address.
Rhea: So what people were affected by this change?
Sam: I don’t know… As far as I can tell, all the people I used to get in contact with know my new address… except for Albert…
Albert: What about Amir? He signed a contract too… To learn Latin, I think. I’m not sure it worked, but during the meeting he seemed to understand what they were talking about…
Rhea: WAIT, WHAT!?
Albert: But it wasn’t for his soul, it was for a friendship or something… But that’s not the point. We need to get the contract!
Rhea: That is not the point… GOD… What is wrong with you people…
Albert: I need a breather… Can’t we just try and get the contract and talk about this mess when the other two arrive?
Rhea: I still need to talk to our superiors… But ok, we’ll try to get the contract.

With this, the conversation ended. One hour passed.
Rhea tried to call Octavia again.

Butler: Sangiovanni house.
Rhea: This is Rhea again, is Octavia available now?
Butler: Yes. Let me call her.
Octavia: Yes, Rhea, I am listening.
Rhea: Good evening, I think we have a problem on our hands. I have several people in the kiddie pool claiming to have made deals with a devil. I believe we must investigate.
Octavia: Devil? Are you joking? Do you have any proof? Perhaps it’s some sort of a willworker? If that’s the case, you should proceed with caution… they are very powerful.
Rhea: Well we are sure that one human “sold his soul” for money, and got it, along with memory alterations to his living friends, I heard of another deal, but I still need to verify it. We would like to see if we can find the contracts used, for further study. By the way, can you explain the term willworker to me?
Octavia: A will worker… a human being, who can alter the world around him with just his will alone. The things you describe are totally in one’s power to do. If it’s indeed one of them – be very careful.
Rhea: Is there a way for me to tell the difference between a willworker and a devil? So we could verify the threat? We are only planning to look around in his place of work. I hope this will not trigger any response if we’re careful.
Octavia: Well… as far as I know… You wouldn’t be able to differentiate a willworker from a mortal. As for a devil… they are usually summoned by mortals. So you might look for clues to that.
Rhea: We shall visit that place, and I will look for evidence.
Octavia: I’ll be waiting for your report.

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Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Amir

I can’t say I was looking forward to that conversation, but I’d been playing it out in my head for days and it was driving me insane. Funny, thought I’d already reached that point by now. Anyway, there she was and I still didn’t know how to begin the conversation. Rhea asked me about the deal with the Devil. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to talk about at the moment, but it was still important. I told her my side of the story, yet it seemed she’d already known about my deal and the circumstances around it. Had she spoken to Albert? Or Sam? She wasn’t too happy with the situation, to put it mildly, but she isn’t the kind of person who wastes time blaming people, so we discussed possible solutions. I wish I could’ve been more productive at that, but my thoughts were wrapping around another subject. She told me she’d spoken to her sire about it. She mentioned that the kid wasn’t necessarily a demon. He could be something else. What was the word she used? A willworker, yes. An individual who can warp the reality around them. Ugh, all this supernatural gibberish is giving me a headache… However, this possibility only left more questions and soon we hit a wall in our brainstorming. And then—
“I want to talk about the car accident.”

There. I said it. She didn’t look too comfortable, but I couldn’t blame her. It wasn’t a very comfortable topic and it was the first time I’d talked to anyone about it. In addition to all the self blaming and other forms of mental self torture I was trying to understand the nature of the accident. There weren’t any distractions on the road (at least none that I noticed – I was talking to Haruo after all) and I know Haruo to be a careful driver. I wanted to know if Rhea had noticed something. She usually stays incredibly alert at all times. Unfortunately, she said she had no idea about what had happened. And then I told her Haruo had died… It was like a massive torrent of emotions hit me with its full might and knocked me — literally knocked me of my feet. The next moment I was crying in her arms, just like when dad had died. Only back then I didn’t show my tears to anyone, not even mom. And now, the love of my life was dead and I never got a chance to tell him that I loved him… So here I was, crying like a child, though in a way… In way I felt relieved… Sure, I was insanely embarrassed a moment later, but it lifted a tremendous weight of my chest. I really needed to tell this to someone. Well, not just anyone, someone I could trust. And although a part of me is telling me not to get too attached to anyone in the kiddie pool, I still think very fondly of Rhea. I realize there are a lot of things I don’t know about her, but I guess that doesn’t really matter. She is my closest friend in this madhouse.

After this heartwarming experience Rhea and I went to feed. I must say, I can’t stand feeding – it’s one of the most disgusting things we do and yet there is no way of not doing it. Even if one doesn’t care about one’s survival, the Beast always gets what it wants.

It was too early to feed Rhea’s way (which is basically breaking and entering), so I decided to help her out. The problem is, I’m still not very good at telling how much time it takes to drink blood without killing a person and I believe I might’ve been too late in my assistance, when I noticed that Rhea wasn’t planning to stop. Furthermore, I did not account for how hungry she must’ve been, as she did not take my interference well. Rhea is stronger than me (I guess everyone in the Kiddie Pool is stronger than me, save maybe Albert), so she didn’t have a problem knocking me on the ground and beating me up. I tried scaring her, but I failed, so as soon as I got a chance, I ran as quickly as my wounded body allowed me to. And although she caught up to me fairly quickly, she wasn’t able to do anything, so we just ran, until I got exhausted and she seemed to calm down. I was worried about her. It must be really unpleasant to lose control of yourself like that. Which is another thing I hate about us. Rhea healed my wounds and she kept apologizing all the way back to the clinic, although I wasn’t angry at her. I was just glad she was alright.

When Albert came back, we decided to conduct a little experiment – check our “Devil’s” perception. We went to the Movie Poster shop, with me partly obfuscated and Rhea obfuscated to the point of being invisible. Albert was supposed to talk to the guy, so that Rhea could make an assessment of what he might be. However, I wouldn’t call our experiment a success for a couple of reasons. First of all, the “Devil” wasn’t very talkative and didn’t say anything that Rhea hadn’t heard about him before. Secondly, I’m not sure if there was an accurate way to “measure” his lack of recognition of me and Rhea. The plan was simple: Rhea suggested I buy a movie poster and see if he takes a notice in who I really am. At first, he treated me like an ordinary customer (although he asked for 50 dollars for that Casablanca poster, which is a total robbery, so in retrospect I am pretty certain he was mocking me). When I went for the door, he called me by my name. At first I thought the experiment was successful (well, not in the traditional meaning of the word), since we at least knew he could see through the mild form of Obfuscate. However, Albert made a good point later about the uncertainty of whether the Devil knew who I was or simply knew my name, as in, had a power to know people’s names just by looking at them. The same uncertainty could be extended to Rhea’s invisibility – what if he saw her, but decided not to say anything, since he was aware that she was trying not be noticed? If so, all our experiment has done was make the Devil suspicious of us (if he hadn’t been already). Finally, of all the posters in the Poster shop I had to take Casablanca. I don’t even like Casablanca that much. I mean, I could’ve taken Gone with the Wind or Pulp Fiction, and there was a lovely poster of Audrey Hepburn in a hand’s reach, but I had to take Casablanca… Well, on the bright side, I did like Ingrid Bergman’s character in it aaaand why I am still obsessing over this? I should be glad I didn’t grab Brokeback Mountain, because that would lead to many unnecessary questions.

On our way back, we separated with Albert. Rhea and I talked about Haruo’s vampire hunter friends (a problem I naively hoped would solve itself after Haruo’s death) and just when we reached the clinic, I found an envelope on the doorstep. It does seem silly now, but then I thought it was filled with explosives or something else equally dangerous, so I was reluctant to open it. It even had my name on it, which did not make it any less creepy. In that envelope was a note from who I assume were the same Haruo’s vampire hunter friends, who Rhea and I talked about just a moment ago. Five months ago I would’ve said it was a coincidence, but now i’m not even sure anymore. The note said that they wanted to meet me at 1 pm at Alumni park to, and I quote, “find those responsible for Haruo’s death”. It is unfortunate that they would choose such an hour for the meeting, although I doubt it was pure circumstance. They might’ve chosen the time out of caution, since they don’t know who — or what — i am. Although I clearly couldn’t come to the park, I felt like not going was also not an option. We needed to know as much as possible about these hunters, as their presence puts everyone in danger. Though, frankly, I couldn’t care less about the rest of the kiddie pool as long as our team is safe, and I suspect Rhea, Albert and Markas feel the same way. Especially Markas, who, as I’m starting to suspect, doesn’t even care about us. On the other hand – why should he? How long will our friendship last when some of us start getting signatures? Tauras and Katerina left us without even blinking and Tauras only remembers us when he needs something. It’s a little sad, really, since I thought of him as a friend and trusted his leadership. In any case, despite my secret desire to watch this place burn to the ground and never return to it again, my better judgement (or what’s left of it) dictates that I should care about threats like those hunters. Well, I still couldn’t meet them, so I suggested sending Sam. The hunters don’t know how I look like (hopefully), although, as Rhea quickly pointed out, they wouldn’t really need to, since sending a Caucasian person to pose as a Black person is silly even as a plan made by a preschooler. Rhea and I contemplated sending Sam to deliver a message, but we couldn’t make that decision without Albert, so we went to the SPA to meet with Katerina instead.

It was weird talking to Tauras at the SPA; it has been weird ever since he left. The conversations are brief and neither side seems to care much for the other. I wanted to ask him how he was, but hesitated. Suddenly, Rhea asked him about a dead girl, the same girl Albert and I buried under a coffin. Apparently, Rhea was hoping that Tauras had heard about the murder, yet he knew nothing. Or pretended not to, who knows. So we waited for Katerina. Rhea gave her the Russian book that Tina originally asked Evelina to translate. I’d forgotten she even had it. Rhea told Katerina to give the book back to Tina. At first, I wanted to object, but Rhea explained to Katerina that the book might make Tina forget about the incident, or, as Rhea put it, “the arrow to the neck”. The book is surely an asset, but Katerina’s safety is much more important. Then my mind trailed off and I remembered… The guy in the street! The one Rhea fed from earlier tonight! How did we forget about him?!

We rushed to the place where we’d left the poor fellow, but it was too late – the man was already dead. Every time I go to feed with someone something like this happens. How am I still alive? Luckily Rhea had a plan. We went into his house (the door was still open from when I scared him). We packed some suitcases and put them in his car, together with the body. The man, as we saw digging through his house, was a fishing enthusiast with a terrible taste in clothing. Though packing his stuff reminded me that I hadn’t changed clothes ever since I got here, which no amount of bathing can amend.

Rhea knew how to get rid of the body, it’s sort of her thing, but she didn’t know what to do with the car. Well, neither did I. I suggested dumping it in another town, but we wouldn’t have made it back in time and it was already pretty late (or early? I can never tell). Suddenly, she grabbed the phone and called some guy, and what do you know? The next thing I saw was her counting the money for the car while I was inside with a dead body on the floor. Good luck keeping this place clean, Amir. Heh. Such is life.

What really disturbs me is the indifference I felt towards the corpse. Have I become so numb to cruelty? Well, I don’t think so, I still shake in fear every time we meet in that dreadful place where the sheriff burns or flogs vampires… Last time was so far the worst with two deaths and two floggings. And I’m so sorry about Oliver. Not as much as I was about Evelina, but still. Now that I think of it, her death was the catalyst to my deep anger towards this shithole. Yes, I hated this place from the start, but it was the I-don’t-like-it-here kind of ‘hate’ and now it’s more like see-you-all-in-hell kind of feeling. I wonder if Hell is real. I mean, it’s way too ridiculous to be real, but to me, so were the vampires back when I was… me.

Anyway, when Albert returned, Rhea and I told him about the letter and our plan to use Sam as a messenger. However, he strongly objected to the idea and he was right to. The more I think about it the more selfish it seems. We don’t know what might’ve waited for him there, it could’ve been really dangerous. We shouldn’t risk people’s lives to do our bidding and yet we did so anyway, as Rhea suggested that Albert could use his powers to make any person deliver the message. Albert and I ran out and headed towards the Main street, where we saw a bunch of people waiting for a bus. These were probably the early commuters and it only meant that we didn’t have much time – the sun was about to rise.

When we got back to the clinic, we had to stay awake until the sunrise, or Albert’s, erm, technique wouldn’t work (I don’t know how it works; well, not yet, anyway). As soon as the sun rose, Albert gave the man a command and the last thing I remember afterwards was waking up on the floor, with Albert’s body collapsed on me. We had arranged a meeting at 8:30 at the same park, but I was half-an-hour late. I waited for a while, but no one seemed to be waiting for me. There were people in the park, but I didn’t want to approach any of them. It was 9:30 when I decided to go back. When I reached the clinic, I saw a figure behind the bushes, but it disappeared quickly and I decided not to waste any time on it, since whoever it was was probably already gone by the time I realized what happened. Nonetheless, it made me a bit paranoid, so I decided to always leave the clinic obfuscated. What if the hunters found the message suspicious? What if they realized the messenger was under influence? They might be watching me. After all, they know where I live. They might have figured out what I am….

Ever since my life was taken away from me I was building a wall in my mind, a wall to protect my sanity from all the inexplicable and supernatural. Not even my scientific curiosity was able to break that wall at first, but now I feel powerful cracks opening up in all directions, making the wall crumble slowly under the immense weight of reality. After Rhea and I went to feed again, I decided to talk to someone on the bothersome topic. And who better than Teodoras of the Circle, who seemed to be one of the friendliest kindred in this town, in addition to being knowledgeable. I went to the Point and after I told him my request, he kindly invited me to his place. What he told me wasn’t as pleasant, thought. The thing is, despite the supernatural nature of all things around me, I was still hoping that they could be proven scientifically. However, Theodoras told me that many had already tried that, especially the members of the Ordo Dracul, who seemed to have invested more time in this field of research than anyone. So what does it mean to me? At first I felt a little hopeless, but then I thought that feeling sorry for myself won’t change my condition, but understanding all this will surely benefit me greatly. Knowledge is power, after all. Theodoras also told me that Barbara knew more on the topic than he did, so we decided to meet the next night in their apartment.

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Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Rhea

Woke up hungry this evening. I promised myself never to do that… Then again, I promised myself many things… The damned demon crap was swirling in my head, I had to clear things up with Amir. Since digging through the damned shop proved nothing I’ll have to confront him face to face.Once in the clinic, I found Amir waiting. He just stood there. I could almost see the wheels in his head turning, something obviously troubled him. Before he began speaking I asked him about his deal. After hearing his part of the story I didn’t know if I should scold him for doing something so incredibly stupid, or thank him for giving me some more info to give Oktavia about this. While I was wondering if those so called willworkers can give someone the knowledge of a language, Amir dropped a bomb on me. “I want to talk about the car accident.” he said, and I froze up… Thankfully Amir didn’t notice that and simply asked me what I knew… Nothing good could have come of him knowing that I had caused it, nothing… So I lied. I told him I knew nothing, Hopefully, he can go past this. “He died you know…” Amir said while falling to his knees. If he had looked at me at that moment, he would have seen my hurtful expression… I killed another one… Haruo… Haruo makes twelve… I wonder if I’ll ever stop counting them, stop seeing their faces… Amir cried and I embraced him. A friend supporting a friend… I missed that. I almost felt human, and then something deep inside me pulled me back with painful hunger… I needed to feed. Moreover I wanted to feed, not just to nourish myself but also to hurt someone, and hurt them bad.

It was still early, too early to look for food the way I usually do it… And I was far too hungry to go by myself. I asked for Amir’s help and he agreed. We found a guy leaving his home, and Amir scared him, while I attacked. The moment that first drop touched my tongue was pure ecstasy. I really needed this, all my troubles melted away, there was only me and this bloodbag in all eternity… And then someone pulled me away. THE BASTARD! I grabbed this killer of dreams, and pulverized him. He tried to fight back, but I was stronger, he tried making faces (for hell knows what), but I just punched him again. And then it dawned on me, the only one there with me was Amir. I tried holding back, I let him go… But the moment he started running, I started chasing… We ran around for quite a while, until I stopped feeling so furious.

When I regained my senses, I found Amir… No surprise he was fearful of me… One of my few friends here and I beat him half to death… I felt like shit. I did what I could to tend to his wounds. Apologising all I could… I’m still not sure if he forgave me… I’m sure I didn’t. I’ll have to ask if he would accept some training, the least I could do is give him some basic tips…

As we returned to the clinic and met up with Albert, I suggested a little test for the so called devil. I wanted to see if our abilities to hide would work on him, I also wanted to see him… We went there together: Albert went there to ask some questions, Amir went there Obfuscated, and I was invisible… Talking hailed little to nothing, so Albert left. I asked Amir to purchase something, so he did. To this point I thought he was fooled, but as we left the devil called Amir by his name… When we regrouped with Albert, we talked about what we learned, and understood, that this experiment gave results too ambiguous to call it anything but a failure.

While walking back to the clinic, Amir shared his relief that maybe we heard the last of his buddy’s hunter friends. We talked about it quite in depth, and he asked if books existed on the subject of us… I knew of such books, although I’ve never read one, so that was what I told him, and we carried on.

As we returned Amir found a letter addressed to him. It seems we were too soon to say the hunter thing was over… They wanted to meet midday in a park… We had to do something, but what? Amir and I thought about sending Sam, after all Albert said he will be useful as an errand boy. Amir suggested sending him in his stead, strange to say, that I had to point out the racial problem there, but hey, maybe Amir didn’t notice. We ended that discussion, because we needed Albert’s input, and I suggested visiting the spa. After all I had a few plans I had to set in motion… Even though Tauras and Katerina left our coterie I think I can get them back (or Katerina at least). We’ve already lost enough, and I want them back.
Tauras, I knew, would be difficult, so I tried poking around in his memories of the corpse I believe he had Amir and Albert bury. But of course, he stonewalled me… What was I expecting of a lawyer..? So we waited for Katerina, to whom I gave my version of Tina’s book… I hope she thinks of this gift as a gesture of good will and maybe, just maybe, thinks that she owes me big time… Sadly, she said she no longer had many problems with Tina, so I had to go ahead and remind her of the “arrow through the neck” experience. Then suddenly Amir went pale (or at least paler). “The guy!” he said and I immediately jumped… “SHIT!” was the only thing I said and we took off… I’ll need to explain this to Katerina later, I hope she’ll understand.

We went back to the scene, only to find the guy dead near an open door. Damning myself for taking another life I dragged him in and told Amir to close the door behind us. After a thorough search of the house, we found out that this poor slob lived alone, and we quickly arranged him a “long trip”, packed his bags and took everything he may need… Found his car… Shit, a car we will need to make disappear. My head was hazy, killing again surely didn’t help… Thirteen… Shit… Amir suggested ditching the car in another city, or in the river, or somewhere. A few moments later it dawned on me, I can sell it… Made the call, took the deal, we locked up, took the corpse and the luggage to the clinic and sold the car.
When I returned to the clinic Albert was there. We talked about sending Sam to the meeting with the hunters, and what a shocker, he said no… I suggested he used his powers to send a random stranger in Sam’s stead, and then left the rest of the planning to them, as I had the corpse to clean up… It seems I’ve become quite good at this disposal… Maybe we should start a vampiric cleaning crew business (What am I thinking… I must be going mad)…

Anyways, left the zombified corpse to rot in one of the stone coffins in the crypt we used to use, and went to bed (or in my case, coffin).

The next evening I decided to feed early, and once again promised myself never to go hungry again. Even though it was early, I chose my usual way of hunting. After feeding I went to the clinic, just to find Amir worried. He explained, that he had been to the meeting, but no one showed, and he was now afraid he had been followed. I suggested obfuscating before leaving, to which he responded with a facepalm. He said he was hungry, and I offered my help, however in the middle of hunting I had to leave him, since it was time for mass.
Once at the church, all of us were asked what we did to cleanse humanity. Even though I tried to explain that I was trying to hunt down a devil, no one was impressed (or believed me for that matter). Albert Reed told his tale, and I found myself enticed. He had done so much and I felt ashamed. I asked for his help in the matter (everyone agreed that I would need it).
After mass, I went with Albert Reed, we talked a little, but he didn’t seem very interested in what I said. We agreed that we will meet up later, for my humanity cleansing teaching.

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Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Albert

Meeting Sandy. Ah, Christmas. A wonderful time for mortals, why not make it wonderful for myself too..? I met Sandy at the garages, like we’ve agreed. I showed her my sketches, she seemed to like my work, she even asked if this was ever going to be built… That’s not a bad idea.. Maybe one day..

She wondered why I hadn’t I come to the parties with her, she’s been inviting me ever since. I tried to explain that I’m not a club person (I’m REALLY not), but she didn’t seem convinced.. Well, shit.. Anyway, I’ve agreed to come to a party next week. I then gave her the necklace I bought earlier and we parted ways. (She also kissed me on the cheek, fuck I going to that party even if it’s the last thing I do).

I’ll probably need to pay Helena a visit.. Maybe she’ll understand?

Visiting the devil. Again. I met Amir and Rhea at the clinic and we’ve agreed to try and see whether the devil can sense invisible or disguised kindred. Since I posses none of those powers I tried to keep my cool and ask a few questions about how the deals work while keeping an eye on what Amir was doing. He, on the other hand, bought a poster for 50 bucks. 50_ fucking_ bucks for a poster, not exactly a bargain… But hey, at least he didn’t sell his soul.. And the poster does look pretty nice. Maybe we can use it to cover up that little dirt spot that just won’t come off.

Rhea did not seem to attract any attention, or so I think, I didn’t really see her either.

All in all, I don’t think we learned much from this experience, but it was something nonetheless.

Amirs buddies. While hanging out at the clinic, pondering on my future talk with Helena, I was greeted by Amir and Rhea, who returned from a long night out. They seemed a bit shaken, worried even. They then told me about Amirs buddies, who were seeking revenge for the death of his friend. (Maybe that’s what’s bugging Amir the whole time?) The “friends” or whatever should we call them wanted to meet Amir during the day. Which is a big no-no for us. They wanted to send in Sam instead, but I preferred not to send in my best friend to greet an angry mob. We then agreed that I’d use my powers to convince a random stranger to talk the “friends” into meeting Amir during the evening.

I actually liked this deal, I was actually helping my friends, who helped me before countless times, so it felt pretty good.

We did manage to find a mortal, and I easily mesmerized him into doing what I wanted. But since it had to happen during the day we had to stay up. I never had problems staying up late, but let me tell you, that was something completely different – as if I was a machine that was half-unplugged from it’s socket, trying to maintain some sort of consciousness while dazing on and off into the sweet sweet world of dreams. But, regardless, I was able to dominate the poor man.. But I just can’t stop the feeling that my choice of words… Or plan.. Was a bit.. Erm.. Off. Well, I hope nothing bad will happen..

Tinas plan. next night I felt like shit. As if I hadn’t slept for weeks, so I decided to keep things easy and meet up with Tina. To my luck, she was home, so we had a little talk. I expressed my worries about how the Carthian alliance was proving to be a bit of a pain (and not really friendly to its members (by members I mean Markas, of course)). I wanted to break the alliance up and place Markas in a pretty comfortable position, where he could lead the Carthians, but Tina proposed a simpler plan – to get Markas out of the Carthians and use that as a starting point for breaking them (and leading to some potential deals.. Eh, politics…) I guess I kind of like this plan a bit better – the Carthians have been nothing but trouble, and I’d really hate to see Markas get hurt/captured/fucked again. Plus, Tina was a member of his other covenant, so she can’t mean any harm to him.. I’m trying to be good here… Right..?

I spent the rest of the night chilling at Tinas’. Television hasn’t changed much, but hey.. Every man needs his rest sometimes.

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Hartford: Thirtieth Session
From the minds of the characters

This week, we did things a bit differently. That is each of the characters who participated (Amir, Albert and Rhea) wrote up his version of events. So we got three write ups. Here they are:

Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Amir
Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Albert
Hartford: Thirtieth Session: Rhea

Also I filled out tons of characters in Character part of Obsidian Portal so check out that place for new write ups on new characters. Next week, I’ll list precisely which ones where added as new, but this week gained tons of new characters there, so just check it out.

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Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Amir

When I left my room early in the evening, Mark was already plotting something with Albert. I soon learned that Mark needed Albert’s powers. He told us that he suspected three vampires of stealing Teodoras’s letters: Donaldas, Tina’s Albert and Rhea. Rhea? Of course! That must be it. Although I don’t want to jump to conclusions, that would definitely explain where she got all the letters from. She’d told me she was missing only one. However, she didn’t necessarily steal them from Teodoras. I mean, we don’t know which colour his were (well, at least I don’t) and she certainly isn’t the only one with the reputation for theft either. Donaldas had taken Albert’s letter from him. He might’ve stolen Teodoras’s too. The problem is, you need skills to steal from someone like Teodoras and that doesn’t help Rhea’s case. At that point, this was my final conclusion, as I needed more evidence for any further judgement. And I don’t mean “judgement” in the sense that I judged Rhea for what she could’ve committed. Oh no, I don’t think there is anything to judge her for, seeing how the only way to win the challenge is to steal other people’s letters. If this is Rhea, then I admire her ingenuity.

Mark asked me if I wanted to join Albert and him, and all three of us left to Donaldas’s territory. It’s funny, ever since Haruo’s death I had this… this craving, a craving to fight someone, or rather, to beat someone up. It’s incredibly annoying, yet at the same time, the very thought of it is exhilarating. I guess it’s my beast’s way of dealing with loss. Not very mature, beast… Though I had a feeling that the emotion might prove to be useful if the situation with Donaldas turned into a conflict.

We didn’t have to search long, as Donaldas and two others drove by on their motorcycles and stopped by the bar. Mark convinced Donaldas to talk in private, however he wanted Albert to go with them, so Donaldas called Antonijus, and what do you know – it wasn’t really private anymore. I stayed outside with Zacharajus and we chatted. He asked me if I knew what Mark wanted to talk about, but I told him I had no clue. He got surprised, but the thing is, I often don’t know what Mark is up to. I guess he has his reasons, but it doesn’t mean it’s not one bit annoying. Zacharajus seemed to think so himself, as he asked me if I could really trust a guy who kept secrets from his coterie. He was right. I couldn’t. I mean, not that I didn’t want to. I think of those three as my family and I’d like to think that I trust them unconditionally, but I guess lying to myself is much harder than it seems. I used to trust Tauras and look at how our relationship turned out. I told Zacharajus I didn’t trust anyone and he said it was smart of me, yet I didn’t feel very smart. On another note, Zacharajus sounded really hostile about Mark. He even called him a “weakling”. I wonder if there are any serious reasons for this hatred, or does their relationship simply follow the typical pattern of sibling hostility, so common to our kind. Well, I haven’t spoken to my “sister” Nadija ever since I came to this wretched place.

When Mark and Albert came back, we made a pit stop at Mark’s cafe, where he let Albert feed. While we waited, he told me about his conversation with Donaldas. Apparently, the guy didn’t steal the letters, which narrowed down the suspect list to two individuals. Unless there are people Mark didn’t consider. Like Barbara. I know it sounds crazy, but what if she’s secretly plotting against Teodoras? This place corrupts everyone, and if I remember correctly, those two have been here the longest. However, Donaldas’s “innocence” wasn’t Mark’s biggest finding. In fact, he turned out to be anything but innocent, as he confessed to betraying Erika, which lead to her execution. Mark said it was a good reason to beat the crap out of him. Well, good enough for me.

When Albert finished feeding we went to Tina, where Mark started interrogating the other Albert about the letters. And believe me, interrogating is the right way to put it. He was very assertive and sounded almost threatening, but Albert assured him he didn’t steal the letters. Meanwhile, our Albert was chatting to Tina. At first I didn’t give it much thought, but then I noticed how familiar their tone was. It was like they had a history together. Well, that was curious. I didn’t pay too much attention to their conversation, though, since I couldn’t take my mind of the horrible colour scheme of their living room… Ugh, who designed their interior? Andy Warhol?

Next stop was Daniel. I was surprised that Daniel’s “torpor incident” didn’t affect his relationship with Mark. We found Daniel behind the house and Mark went straight to the point, as he usually does. When Daniel heard that Mark asked Albert to use dominate on Donaldas, he got really angry and he punched Mark. I sure didn’t expect such a reaction, and I’m guessing neither did Mark. I asked Daniel what was wrong with dominate. After all, he was Ventrue, wasn’t he? My question seemed to anger him even more. He called it “mind rape” and when I disagreed, he told me to go, erm, let’s just say he’s not a man of astonishing eloquence. It made me remember Tauras. He always hated using that power on others. Maybe they are right, maybe it is mind rape. But most of our powers are like that, I guess. They do harm. Some physical, some mental. But dominate is surely useful. Plus, if you use it cautiously, it doesn’t seem to cause any negative effects. In any case, Mark wanted to find Rhea.

Finding her wasn’t easy, but getting her to talk proved to be even more difficult. She was insulted by the question and stormed off without giving a proper answer. Was it suspicious? You bet. I don’t think Mark is going to let it go that easily.

At about 3 am Mark and I went to Teodoras and Barbara. He wanted to talk about the letters and I wanted to learn more about vampire origins. Usually, I disregard such stories as silly fables, yet under the circumstances some of those fables might be more truthful that the things I have considered facts most of my life.

When we got there, Barbara was the one to open the door. She seems like a nice person, it’s almost unbelievable, really. Whenever I talk to her or Teodoras, I feel like I’m talking to someone… someone human. Even when the topic is the supernatural. Or maybe I’m just biased because I like them. I like how serious, yet laid-back they are. Mark told Teodoras about his “investigation” and drew his conclusion. The conclusion was that although he’d like it to be Albert who committed the theft, Rhea was from Lancea et Sanctum, and, as he put it, “Lancea is not to be trusted”. At first Teodoras suspected Mark of trying to cover for Rhea, but Mark reassured him and they reached an agreement. Teodoras confirmed that their previous arrangement was still valid, meaning that when he or Barbara got their last signature, one of our coterie would get to fill their place at the Point. Heh… Mark’s really building himself a comfy nest in the kiddie pool. It’s a matter of time before he leaves the coterie. It’s just like Tauras all over again.

Barbara told me various origin stories of different clans. They all sounded like fairy tales, even the one she personally believed in. One of the origin stories for Nosferatu was literally a famous fairy tale, or at least, as Barbara said, the fairy tale was based on the origin story. It was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. You know, Disney’s first animated feature film from 1937. Or the German fairy tale if you’re more of a bookish type. Huh, does that mean the first Nosferatu were German?

The thing is, I really don’t want to believe all this, but I feel like my unconscious has already made the decision for me. Sure, all those stories sound like they were written to scare little children, but maybe that’s only the surface? The ornament they gained over the centuries of oral tradition – each story teller adding their own details, putting the stories through their own prism of interpretation, and yet at the very core there is truth. Be it supernatural and scientifically inexplicable, it could still be the truth, as real and as valid as the so called scientific facts. Look at me, I’m already starting to doubt science. And I should. If I am to find the truth in all this, I need to doubt everything. My mind should be clear, like a clean slate… Tabula rasa.

The truth is, I need information. And not just fables and folklore, I need research. Even the supernatural can be scientifically analyzed, at least to some extent, and there are people who specialize in the field. I need to talk to Mark.


The next day was pretty much uneventful. I thought about going to see Felix, but I decided not to. I really want to see him, but at the same time I’m afraid of being rejected. What do I say to him? Do I ask him something? Maybe he knows something about demons or will workers? Although I doubt it. He seems generally disinterested in what is happening in the kiddie pool and clearly doesn’t want to be disturbed. Or he does, but he wants someone worthwhile to… disturb him. I guess I should start working on my witty remarks then.

We began yet another evening with Mark telling us something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It was a good change of pace, especially after all his secrecy and constant absence. What he told us, however, made me feel a little guilty. He told Albert about his conversation with Teodoras and he said he wanted him to take the place when it was empty. What shocked me more was that Albert wanted me to take that place. I don’t deserve it. I did nothing to earn that spot. However, Albert said he didn’t like the kind of feeding the Spot offered, but I don’t know if I’m up to it either. I’m not very good at socializing. Well, anyway, that wasn’t Mark’s only news. He also told us about the plans he made with Tina to get animal blood from the nearby slaughterhouse. All this time I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself while he was doing things – useful things – and all I ever thought of him was that he was a selfish prick. Turns out I’m the one who’s selfish. Mark cares about us more that I thought he did. Of course, there could be an ulterior motive, but doesn’t every one of us have one? We all want to get out, right? And it’s obvious we won’t get out as a coterie. Someone is going to be left behind. I want to believe he’s doing it out of friendship. I know it’s naive, but it gives me comfort. Great, now I talk like a religious person. What’s next, I’m going to start talking to Allah? Or that Christian god? Does he have a name, or is it just God with a capital G?

When Mark left, Albert told me he wanted to find a cat. Yes, a cat. Of all the things he could be doing with his time… To my surprise, it didn’t take him long to find one. On top of that, it didn’t seem to be frightened and it came to him the moment he called it. At first I failed to see any benefit in all this. Personally, I don’t really like cats or dogs, mainly because they shed fur everywhere and tend to damage furniture, but then I remembered Katerina’s hawk. He served as her messenger. What if Albert had similar powers? I watched him as he gave the cat a command to enter a house through the pet flap… and it did. He definitely has a way with animals.

Albert also showed me a sketch of a house. He’s really good at that. It made me think what his life would’ve been like if it hadn’t been stolen from him. He’d probably be a successful architect. Maybe he can still be one? It’s not like that job requires a 9 to 5 timetable or excessive communication with people.

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Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Mark
Mark in work

I woke up in the morning with one goal in mind – to find those letters, so I decided to go with Albertas to investigate, since him being Ventrue was also a sign that he probably used his powers. Amir tagged along as well. My first suspect was Donaldas, but not only because Erika screamed “Betrayer” at him. I didn’t know where he lived so we walked around the street looking for him and soon we met the whole gang, well, what was left of it. Donaldas didn’t want to talk to me and Albertas alone, which was smart of him, so he asked Antonijus to tag along, which didn’t really change a thing. After Albertas dominated both of them, I asked Donaldas about the letters. He told me he didn’t steal them, and I also learnt that he was responsible for the death of Erika, which was a bit shocking. Albertas released them from his grip and we talked our way out of it. Later Albertas wanted to feed, so I led him to the restaurant where I usually fed, and while he was there, I told Amiras about our findings.

Afterwards we went to Tina’s place, because my next suspect was Tina’s Albert. I don’t trust him, because I saw him using Obfuscate, and he is Sanctified. After all, none of them is to be trusted, unless I want to die. While Albertas distracted Tina, and Amiras was being Amiras, I intimidated the other Albertas. However, this interogation wasn’t fruitful as well, since he told me he wasn’t the one who stole the letters. I believed him somewhat because he seemed calm when he talked about it. After our little chit-chat Tina requested a meeting with me, and I wondered what it was all about.

Later Albertas went his ways, while Amiras and I found Daniel. I told him about Donald. He was very pissed at him, but he was even more pissed at me, because dominate was used. I got punched in the face, and maybe I deserved it, but Donald deserves it even more. Also, Daniel grew in my eyes a bit, since he doesn’t want to use dominate to fuck people up, even though he has the power to do it. Amiras had an argument with Daniel, but I stopped it, since Daniel was pissed enough for today.

Amiras and I went to see Rhea about the letters, as she was the last suspect, but she gave me no answer and yelled at me for caring more about others than my own coterie. Typical stupid Sanctified and their idiotic beliefs… Doesn’t she see that us getting a feeding place for one of our coterie is more valuable that one signature..? She doesn’t understand it at all… We will need to talk to her later… If we find her, that is.

The last thing that we did that night was that Amiras and I went to Teodoras and Barbara’s place. I told Teodoras about my findings and he said he would talk to Albert, while I should talk to Rhea. He also confirmed that a place at the spot would be available for one of us as soon as he or Barbara left the kiddie pool. Amiras had his own plans for the night. He asked Barbara to tell him the origin of the clans. I have heard them all, but the interesting part was which of them were Barbara’s favourites. Her favourite nosferatu story was grotesque at least, but our clan is the most grotesque after all. Feeling a bit peckish I went to feed.

The next day Amiras asked me what plan I was going to talk about with Tina, and I explained that I wanted to proceed with my slaughterhouse plan that I mentioned to him before, and that maybe Tina would help us. I didn’t tell him that it involved Kendalas, but I don’t think it is that important if we get sufficient blood for our coterie. Though I could have involved just our coterie, but then I wouldn’t be able to make allies with my Ordo Dracul covenant.

I went to Tina’s place. She was kind enough to warn me about the elders who were concerned about my elisions. I reassured her that my elisions were in the right place, though I wasn’t making any progress in my studies.

At the carthian meeting Antonijus yelled at me for using dominate on him, even though it wasn’t planned from my side. He threatened me, but I stayed quiet – I knew that it wasn’t the right place to talk. After the yelling, we decided that tomorrow we would confront Donaldas and teach him about the betrayal. After I left, Daniel and Antonijus talked in private, I guess about me and my actions. I suppose they will want to kick me out of the carthians, which I won’t mind, I guess.

After the meeting took place I went to the hotel and retrieved the book that my mentor sent me. Then I went to Tina’s place. She mentioned some things about the coil, but nothing useful in particular. Also, she wanted me to cut my ties with Daniel, but I told her that he wasn’t that bad of a guy and he was one of the best ventrue I knew.

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Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Albert
Asking questions, getting answers

Detective work with Mark. Waking up early at night I usually don’t expect to be greeted by Mark, but it just so happened that he did not run off into another adventure of his and actually came up and asked for my help. How thrilled was I to know that he finally needed me for something! “Now’s my time to shine” I thought. Mark explained that he needed me to infiltrate the mind of a certain individual to get him to talk honestly AND that individual happened to be Donaldas, who kind of took that letter and never came back… I guess this might actually be even more fun that it should..

We found Donaldas with a few friends, but Mark managed to persuade him into going somewhere more private, though cheating bastard insisted on taking Antonijus with him. Oh well, I’ve Dominated more people before… Well.. These weren’t people, but there was no backing off now. And oh boy was it a good idea not to back off. I got Donaldas to talk truthfully, while dominating Antonijus just to keep things smooth. Mark asked if Donaldas stole the letters, he said no (to my slight surprise). Mark then asked if Donaldas betrayed Erika. Get this – not only did he betray her, but he did so in hope of getting into the Invictus! I guess I found my competitor, and his position, was not looking too good.. Heheheh…

After a bit of memory-altering I felt a bit peckish, so I asked Mark if I could feed somewhere. He showed me a cafe, so I went in, Dominated a random person sitting at a table, and drank some blood. I pulled it off so smoothly that I thought I could actually kill the man and take his corpse without anyone noticing.. Well, at least my beast did..

We then made way to Tina’s house, since Mark seemed to have things under control I decided to just chit-chat with Tina. I can’t help but feel that I’m starting to like coming here, she’s always so welcoming and looks like someone I can trust.. Perhaps she’s in need of someone to trust as well..? Though she lives withAlbert, but I’ll take a wild guess and say that it’s not for his looks… Probably just friends..

Am I.. Being jealous..?

I’m still the better Albert.

Making a deal. Afterwards, I needed to meet up with Helena. If I’m going to make it to Sandy’s party, I need to do it in a legal fashion.. Well, at least as legally as possible. Since they’ve been hanging out a lot (which is a bit worrisome..) I needed to get Helena’s permission. To my surprise she was quite enthusiastic and agreed to allow this for a favor. I was hoping that she’d trial me, or do some other stuff, just to see if I can be trusted, but she seemed pretty fine with the idea of me leaving. Happy even… Well, that’s odd.. But I guess I should be thankful, it is Christmas after all..

Unexpected expert. Having been through quite a lot that night I decided it was a good time to take a little break. And what better place to do that than at Tina’s? Darn, it feel silly, I’ve already been there this night, but I want to see her again.. Hmmmh..

As always, Tina was nice, like a good friend.. (Maybe even more than a friend..?) I then remembered Sam.. So I asked Tina about some devil and willworker stuff. To my surprise she knew a lot about them (God bless the Dragons I guess). She explained that in order to distinguish between a demon and a willworker I’d need to taste their blood. Well, yeah.. That’s not exactly helpful, but maybe I’ll think of something.. Still, Tina is one smart girl..

Mark’s secrets. When we woke up Mark told us what he’s been up to. He shared his idea to get the feeding grounds from Teodoras and Barbara. He then suggested that I should have it. A club… I quickly thought about it and proposed that the feeding grounds should go to Amir, he’s been here for longer anyway, and I could get his lands instead. (They are close to Tina’s, too!). Well, I guess in order to negotiate any further we first need to get the lands, so we quickly moved over to another topic – animal blood.

More specifically, blood from a slaughter house, blood we could use ourselves! No more risk of harming humans! Now that’s a pretty sweet idea. And it seemed like Tina was also involved in this. I guess I could see her even more often, cool..

My little kitty. No, seriously. Ever since I woke up I had the urge to per a kitten. I always liked cats and it had been a while since I held one, so I shared my idea with Amir. He did not seemed too pleased with the idea… I guess there is always a hater in the group.. Oh well..

We did find a kitten and I used my powers to get him to come closer (as kitties do tend to run away at first.. Silly beings..) I made him purr and do all sorts of sweet kitty things, but Amir was not amused. If a cat can’t cheer a person up, I guess nothing can.. Oh well, I decided to demonstrate how a cat can also be useful, so I made him go into a nearby house. Amir did seem sort of impressed, though most likely not by the cat, but by the fact that I made the cat do that. Oh well, it’s something..

I then spent the rest of the night sketching. A few lines here, there… and.. It seemed.. Complete.. I showed the sketch to Amir. He said it was pretty nice. Hmmmm… I’ve been sketching for a while, perhaps it is time to kick this up a notch? I could use some sort of income, and architects do tend to be weird.. Sometimes, at least… I’d probably fit in pretty well.. Maybe next night, I’ll send in a few letters..

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Hartford: Thirty First Session

One of the players expressed a thought, that I should do the usual event report next to these. What do you think? Are these enough?

Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Albert
Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Mark
Hartford: Thirty-first Session: Amir

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