Session Twenty Four
Anatole and Lucita
- The coterie speaks with Lucita and Anatole. Some topics are discussed at length, such as the writings of the Antideluvian and what it means. Faith is also discussed at length. As well as the finer philosophies, the Cainites also discuss their backgrounds, lives and travels. Everyone gets along well, though Gunthar and Maude are both incredulous of Anatole’s faith that Cainites are part of “God’s plan”.
- The Cainites also spar with Gunthar ritter. Lucita and Anatole, while young, display great prowess with sword-fighting, especially hen bolstered by their use of Potence and Celerity.
- Anatole’s flock arrives at the tower. They are flagellants, and many are more than a little mad. They appear to view him as some sort of prophet, and follow him around the wilderness hoping to hear his next sermon. He and Lucita feed from them carefully, and protect them as they can, and Anatole is a reluctant leader. Several more of the flock appear to be his ghouls as well as the two already encountered.
- The coterie asks his permission to feed from the flock, as they have been subsisting on too much animal vitae. He allows it, but unfortunately Veceslav frenzies and the Malkavian brandishes his crucifix and drives the Tzimisce away with the power of his faith.
- Veceslav is held down while his frenzy abates. He is deeply embarassed and aplogetic to Anatole, and the Malkavian appears to accept his contrition. Nevertheless he, Lucita and the flock move on the next evening.
Scouting and Logistics
- Gunthar enlists the services of a local owl. He names the owl Archimedes and exchanges food for information. Through the owl, Gunthar learns about the local area.
- There are 8 villages nearby. One is very high in the mountain. Three the coterie passed near on its way into the valley, and are within 8 miles to the south. Four are further into the valley, within 8 miles to the north.
- A scouting team is sent out to explore the villages further into the valley. The first two are similar. They have well constructed houses where the animals are kept under the house at night for warmth and security. Fires burn inside at night to keep the darkness away.
- The first village (Oncesti) has 8 houses, ploughed fields, about 50 people (half are children), 12 sheep, 3 oxen, 1 old horse, 12 pigs, and some chickens.
- The second village (Albacu) has 12 houses and about 75 people; it also has 4 oxen.
- The third village is a Pecheneg village (Letzav). It is surrounded by a 6’ palisade on an earthen bank. There are watchtowers inside the village. The houses are not as sturdy as the first two villages. The village has about 80 people and 6 steppe ponies. It is later discovered that this village preys on merchant caravans, extorting a toll and raiding at will.
- The fourth village is a similar Pecheneg village (Naizuy) with about 80 people and a similar defensive construct. There are people on watch and the village is about 6 miles from the tower site. It is later discovered that Naizuy genuinely escorts merchants in return for pay, and raids those who refuse.
- The Vlach villages to the south (Cosara, Barsenesti and Voda) seem peaceable and fairly approachable. It is determined that Godwine, Sherazhina and Andrew will meet with the village elders during the day in order to secure their aid.
- The mountain village is not explored on account of it’s remoteness.
- Joachim and his apprentices search the area and assess the site.
- A source of stone is found only a mile away. It is suggested a second camp be built there, but this is quickly dismissed as impractical.
- Lumber (beech, birch and oak) is plentiful courtesy of the nearby forests.
- Water is in ready supply nearby. Gunthar counsels digging wells within the tower grounds in order to lay in a ready supply of water.
- The forests nearby can provide food, but care will need to be taken lest the ecology be damaged. Gunthar suggests planting crops.
- 36 oxen will be needed to move lumber and stone. These can be sourced from nearby villages and the remainder brought from Bistriz.
- The road in the Pass is well-traveled and should supply a good reliable route in and out. This will bring traffic which will (a) provide a source of income in terms of (reasonable) tolls, and (b) ensure news of what we are doing leaks out. It is obvious that the project will not stay silent long.
- The road will be difficult for another month due to rains, but will soon dry out afterwards due to strong winds. For the next month, sleighs will be used on sleds, and after this, wheels
- A camp is established at the tower site. The camp will include wooden huts for workers to sleep in, a kitchen and mess (and entertainment) hall, properly sited and dug latrines, equipment storage, food storage and preparation (and probably a still to brew grog and beer as well), and animal shelters. The Cainites will continue to live in the secret room at the tower. Wood for these buildings is sourced from the forest.
- A ditch and palisade is constructed at the tower site; everyone present helps, including the knights and mercenaries.
*Work is begun cut and dress the stone for later transport.
- The tower site is pegged out for construction.
- The carpenters, when they arrive, will cut and shape the wood.
- The stone will then be taken from the quarry to the tower site.
- Construction will begin at the site.
Diplomacy gains and loss
- The ‘daytime diplomacy’ team is sent out to speak with the local villages and negotiate their assistance in building the tower. A ‘hearts & minds’ campaign is conducted; Godwine, Sherazhina and Andrew represent the coterie in these discussions. The old men of the Romanian villages make decisions in council under a local tree in each village. They see the benefits of the proposed relationship. The deal struck is that the villagers of Cosara (south), Barsanesti (south), Voda (south), Oncesti (sturdy north), Albacu (sturdy north) will provide manual labour and oxen to assist with the building, and in return they will receive (i) a cut of the revenue from the toll, (ii) extra food from the hunters at the tower site, and (iii) medical care from the healers at the tower site. The villages can provide 40 workers for 3 days a week.
- The Pecheneg villages are not approached at this time due to acknowledged linguistic difficulties. Gortav and his mercenaries might be used to bridge this gap.
- Veceslav and Iulia return to Bistriz. Vecslav speaks with Vykos to discuss the terms of the loan and contracts with work-force. Iulia meets with Perlina and invites her to come view the tablets. Veceslav & Iulia return, having made arrangements for the supply of workers (carpenters) and construction materials/tools.
- Gortav and the mercenaries are sent out on six horses to speak to the Pecheneg villages. The first village (Naizuy) ignores them. The second (Letzav) send riders to attack them. The mercenaries are robbed, beaten up and one (Dildabek) is raped then murdered.
- It is decided that vengeance is required. The village is investigated.
The Cold Ones of Tihuta Pass
- Archimedes reports that a group of 8 ‘cold ones’ come down to Letzav and are fed by the warm ones there.
- A raiding party kidnaps a female villager by the name of Mildak from there. From her the coterie learns that a group of 8 night-monsters (aka ‘cold ones’, aka ‘vampyri’) come down to the village to feed. The vampires are looking for something in the mountains.
- When they first came to the village they demanded blood tribute. The village refused. The vampires broke in, killed many men and took their blood and left. The village sent out hunters. * None returned except Jals the Hunter who was now one of the night-monsters.
- When the crows come to the village in numbers, the village knows to get ready to feed the night-monsters.
- A decision is made to destroy these predators and rivals. The coterie settles in to make their plans.
Attendance: Gunthar ritter (Greg; xp3), Maude (Dave, xp3), Veceslav (Ben, xp2+1 pending), Sir Alaric (Anthony, xp2+1 pending)
END OF SESSION