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[IC] Vampire: The Masquerade - Pyramid Scheme [PBP]



  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie snags the cigarette from behind his ear and replaces it back within the pack; retrieves the aviator glasses and places them discretely into his front pocket. Crossing the room without the usual attention-seeking theatrics, the (suddenly careful) man makes his way to the middle chair. Sitting up, straightening his back, he let's his hands find each other in his lap, and quietly acknowledges their host.

    "Regentia," he says with a reverence, happily nodding his head in her direction and dropping his eyes in deference. "It is both an honor, and a privilege! I know I speak fer' João and Gurstag as well when I say that it is a compliment of the highest order to find ourselves the recepients of your invitation! Sincerely; thank you!"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited November 2021
    "No harm done, Professor. It seems your companions have no shortage of manners, so we will let that be that."

    The Regentia takes a seat, and gestures indicatively at the servers around them. "We'll get right to it, then. I trust you all know about what happened in Vienna. Centuries if not millennia of knowledge lost to the ether due to a flagrant disrespect for the capabilities of modern technology, both in how to use it, and how to defend against it. The Nosferatu clearly had no capacity for IT or server security, and the Council had no respect for updating their ancient wards for anything that wasn't supernatural or an ancient blood-crazed assassin."

    The woman moves closer to her desk, and turns one of several interconnected monitors to face the trio. It shows an array of spreadsheets, documents, and statistical data opened across several windows."Did you know their 'wards' against mortals were broken by C4 and tactical entry points? A massive failure in planning, and it cost them dearly. Counter-spells are useless when your adversaries just need explosives and modern weaponry. That's not a mistake I plan to let the West fall prey to. The plan, gentlemen, is to drag Tremere's outdated customs and incantations into the modern era, kicking and screaming if need be. And, by all accounts, we'll need to do just that. So, tell me..."

    The Regentia turns the monitor back around, and sits back. "Do any of you have qualms about pairing ancient sorcery with present technology? I assure you, this is not a popular notion amongst modern Kindred, especially not your fellows. So I want to be clear that our interests align before we proceed."

    cj iwakura on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "With all due respect, Madame,", Gurstag clutches his satchel, "Only in so much as I share your concerns about the lessons of Vienna.
    And the lessons of your invitation tonight, besides." A brick through the Windows of my haven.
    "I am more than happy to explore what more can be done about present technology; that isn't just cutting ourselves off from it altogether."

    The professor's countenance relaxes somewhat, as he prises his fingers off the leather.
    "And it would be pleasant to have a shorter list of technological disturbances to investigate."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    "Was just discussing the importance of the "Cutting Edge" with my friend Gurstag here earlier," Louie says, grinning brightly, and appearing very much on-board with the whole clandestine operation. "I mean', only tradition I've ever personally held to was the youth-drive to buck tradition: you learn to change, or you die, right? Isn't that what we all learned from Vienna?"

    Leaning over the desk with astute interest, Louie asks, "Now, this technology you've got... you're putting spells..."online"? Y'arent worries about, errm...."File Corruption"....or people just hacking it from ya'...?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    "While I apologize for the informal means of invitation, it is but a glimmer of the advancements we've undertaken. Rest assured, once our foundation is probably established, we'll have a secure network that would make the Nosferatu green with envy. ...more than usual, anyway."

    On that note, her attention goes to Louie. "Not quite, but close. When we're finished, there will be no need for such outdated storage methods as 'keeping spells online'. The network itself will carry the data on a more... subliminal wavelength. A work in progress, mind, but ideally, it will take a gifted telepath and technomancer alike to shatter this kind of encryption. Far beyond any mortal means, and especially that of most Kindred, addressing both of Vienna's flaws in one fell swoop. Which brings me to the next matter..."

    The Regentia's hand glides across the keyboard, and the screen previously filled with data depicts a map of the surrounding city blocks. "This will entail some collaboration that the Elders in the Princedom may not approve of, not that they've ever seen eye to eye with our methods." With another swivel of the monitor, the area of the campus is colored in blood red, while blocks around it are scattered between blue, green, grey, and black. "...particularly, some creative liberties with this Masquerade of theirs. Within reason."

  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    "What sort of collaboration are you talking about?" João grappled with the Regentia's presentation. It sounded a lot like cryptocurrency, lucrative if you get in on the ground floor. He wondered if what the Regentia wanted to create shared some of the same concepts. "This sounds like it will be a massive undertaking."

    He looked to Gurstag to see what his reaction to this was. The Professor knew far more about these sorts of occult matters than João did. He would have a better idea if this was some sort of fool's endeavor.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    "The Tremere of old learned their ways by utilizing the knowledge and sciences accumulated by their mortal peers. Their modern sorcerers have not neglected to advance their ancient ways by incorporating modern technology, so in short, that is the proposal... one that has already been set into motion. From what I've gathered, their Mages have a 'Masquerade' of their own, though it likely has its own stipulations that we can't fathom. Regardless, the Prince would almost certainly frown on our bringing outsiders into the fold. It would be a death sentence were any of our kind to be caught engaged in dealings with them."

    A pointed sequence of keys highlights an area in grey. "They have their own territory in the financial district, from what I can surmise. I would like one if not all of you to volunteer to be our ambassador in making a treaty with their kind to further all of our ends. I imagine the fate of Vienna is not one they want to experience, so it is in our best interests to come to an accord."

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag listens fascinated.
    Keeping abreast of technology in order to further his research was one thing, but when it came to power, he'd only considered reaching into the past.
    To intertwine technology and the occult directly, well..

    Gurstag blinks.
    "Wait, an accord? Do you mean for us to approach them directly, rather than finding some manner of deception to gain their support? I would have imagined that,"
    Gurstag sighs, "well, with leave of the Prince. I would have imagined that bringing one directly into our fold would have been easiest. But that has its own complications."
    "Still, I'd be more prone to, 'lending' out my expertise in exchange for assistance in this project in the first instance."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie nods, and cracks his knuckles with a wry, satisfied look. “Ken’ see why you brought me in then, if you need a Face Man fer’ your operation! Not gonna lie, I’m…intrigued by the proposition. Got a few questions for ya’ first, though…”

    “Is there a particular contact of yers we’re supposed to meet up with, er’ are we just supposed to waltz into the Financial District and start beating down doors, asking if anyone’s got a black candle we can borrow?”

    “We gonna have any backup or support from this end? Little something or someone to watch our backs in a dangerous neighborhood?”

    “These Mages, you say they’ve got their own sorta Masquerade going. We show up there, talkin’ Revolutionary-shit, what sort of assurances we got they won’t just stake us and leave us to the sun? ‘Specially if we’re doing this outside the Prince’s knowledge an' protection…”

    “An’ then,” the gangly vampire says, choosing his next words with discretion, “If the three of us are helping you to spearhead this brave, bold….rather dangerous…new venture…what sort of recompense would we be looking at, exactly?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    First, to Gurstag, the Regentia offers a nod."That's correct. Trying to deceive them would be unwise, as they are well-versed in the tactic. I prefer to engage them in an open field, with true transparency. I can assure you that the Prince will in no way, shape, or form approve of this endeavor, unless maybe we can show the results of this union after the fact. Better to seek forgiveness than permission, as they say."

    Then her attention shifts to Louie. "No, a contact will be arranged. This will not be as tactless as "beating down doors". That's a tactic for the lessers, and besides, it would end poorly for all involved, and I would rather not have to explain why three neonates happened to disappear under suspicious circumstances. As for support... well, I had presumed you three would be able to cover each other's backs, but if you are that concerned, I will see what can be arranged. Assurances, I propose none and offer less. It is a gamble, make no mistake. We can only hope that if things go south, you can prevent things from exploding in our collective faces. If negotiations do not appear to be going well, then cut your losses and leave. We'll make alternate arrangements, somehow."

    At the last question, her expression darkens noticeably. "You are helping further the knowledge and survival of House and Clan in these tumultuous times, young one. That should be reward enough. I am being courteous enough to phrase this endeavor as a proposal rather than an order." She then sits back, taking a more neutral tone while perusing a nearby display of the city.

    "Still, I suppose that your ilk are accustomed to having some form of benefit to instill motivation. If you all return with results, perhaps arrangements can be made for more secure lodgings within the city, with more suitable conditions to practice your craft uninterrupted. Would that be to your liking?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag considers, nodding.
    If he is to be staked, it should be at least worth it.
    Or more worth it.
    Regardless, having Louie in the room was clearly to his benefit.

    "What of the other colours here?", Gurstag asks, "Are they also part of this plan?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    "Not at present. It is a vague breakdown of the division of influences in the city, though it may be a touch outdated. It fluctuates from night to night. I wouldn't concern yourselves with the particulars." The Regentia glances to the other two, then gives a motion to the doorway. "If there are no further questions, Suzette will see to the rest of your needs. The arrangements have already been made for your contact, ideally at midnight tomorrow. She will also provide the particulars."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie leans back in the chair, arms crossed confidently across his chest. He nearly winces once, as the Regentia’s cold gaze bears down on him…but somehow, manages to maintain his composure; return eye contact; nod back agreeably and amicably.

    “Yes’m! You’ve got the lay of my ilk very well!” the man practically simpers, leaning into the power dynamic with all his might. “Anything that can get me into a bigger living space, and back to sum’ proper “Education” again…well, that would be to my liking jest’ fine!” The leathery man gives the Regentia a deep, solemn bow from where he sits, and shoots her that winning grin once more as his head rises. “Consider me highly motivated!”

    Louie only seems to slightly pay attention to the talk of the city’s influences between Gurstag and their host, watching out of the corner of his eye while checking the back of his nails, and half looking absently about the server room. His leg taps with a constant, anxious energy. Finally, the Regentia roughly dismisses the group, and the vampire nearly jumps out of his chair in excitement; almost knocking it to the ground before he grabs and steadies it again. Adjusting his leather jacket with slight embarrassment, he turns back and bows deeply for a final time.

    Regentia…once again, I thank you for considering and bringing us into the fold on this delicate matter! I appreciate your generosity of spirit, with both myself and my fellows here, and I can assure you of this above all else: an investment in us, is an investment back into House Tremere! And we will pay dividends!”

    Leaning over the backs Gurstag and “Johnny”, Louie nods towards the door they came in, and drapes his arms akwardly around the shoulders of his fellow vampires, a wide grin etched upon his face. “Well then…Professor…Big Guy…shall we go find the Voice again, and forge a brave new future together?”

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag tolerates the arm.
    "And perhaps make ourselves more comfortable in the process."

    A brief shadow passes over his face as he is pushed down the hall.
    "I don't suppose ..", the professor sighs briefly, "either", unconvincingly making the statement equitable, "of you have done anything to upset Madame recently?
    The plan seems well-formed but also something that could leave us out in the sun.
    I don't believe I've committed anything so grievous.."

    A thought presses on him.
    "I also don't suppose either of you have the Thaumaturgical knack we'll need for this endeavour... I don't. We'll have to see if Suzette is arranging some talent to come along to the meeting tomorrow."

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Upon returning to the front of the building, "Suzette" is waiting with what appears to be three individualized flash drives. "Hopefully you guys have decent computers. They're encrypted with each of your blood patterns, so if anyone else tries to access it, it'll fry the contents and probably their hard drives. Fun stuff, Ellie's creation. They'll have info on your point of contact, likes to meet in jazz clubs, I hear. Try to blend in, I don't even know what he looks like. Probably a hipster beatnik or something." With her business settled, she sits back down and resumes whatever she was working on.

    "Hope she didn't grill you guys too much, you should see how she treats outsiders."

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "So.. do we need to bleed on them before or after we plug them in?", Gurstag inquires, turning the drive around in his hands.

    He turns to the others, before realising; He can't just take this back to the office, inviting company back to his Haven is not.. optimal.
    Just as introducing your Koi pond to some friendly sharks is never optimal.
    They tend to take.. liberties.

    "I suppose we also need to find a space where we can collaborate.", the professor states flatly, trying to remember what his students would use at this point in the night.
    Minion roll 5d10t7 for Wits and Investigation

    Wits and Investigation:
    5d10t7 3 [5d10t7=10, 9, 5, 10, 6]

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    "Neither. That would be messy, in more ways than one. It's based on your prints, or something, I think. Maybe it's a mind game thing... who knows."
    The receptionist doesn't seem too interested in the specifics, though she seems confident in its effectiveness.

    "Feel free to drop me an email or text if things go south, ideally life or death." Suzie slides a business card across the counter, then offers a wave of parting. "Good luck."
    The nearest net cafe is conveniently on campus, usually used for finishing papers and research, though it means the group may stand out, as they'll almost certainly be the oldest ones there.

  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    João pocketed the offered drive. "I think we might be better off not working in anyone's known territories. Unless of course it would be funnier that way." He grinned toothily, "I'm sure the dear Regentia would love to welcome any blowback darkening her doorstep."

    "Perhaps instead, it'd be easier to borrow some resources from the mortals. There's so many of these wonderful offices for hire popping up in the city, a few dollars spread around there can get us the anonymity of the herd."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Walking out of the building, Louie whistles in appreciation at Joao’s insight. “Well I gotta say, my burly friend, ya’ don’t speak up often, but when you do, ya’ cut right to the heart of the matter, don’tcha?”

    Staring off into the night, the leathery charmer rubs his chin between thumb and forefinger, considering for a good few moments. Meanwhile, the other hand unconsciously seeks out his pack of cigarettes, fishes out a stray, and places it behind his left ear. Finally, he opines: “Might be a good idea…renting out some small space for a few days, with minor amenities and a hint o’ anonymity? I’ve got some scratch I could pitch on the venture…although admittedly, it’s not very much! Spend money to make money, I suppose? But, I mean…and no offense, gentleman… my current living situation is tight enough as it is, and I’m a man who likes me privacy, ya know? And Cain-help me if our activities brought around any ne’er do-wells to my most private of treasures…” Louie’s eyes go wide, and stare somewhere off into the middle distance, as he whispers, “V’got some stuff on vinyl that don’t even exist anymore in that room!”

    Shivering, Louie turns to check in with Gurstag. “…well, what do you think, Professor? We three forming an’ LLC?” Fishing around in his front pocket, Louie places the aviators back over his eyes, and double-checks the keys in his pocket. “Wherever we’re going, I’m driving!”

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag runs a thumb along the edge of his beard.
    "Do we have time? We have only tonight to get our bearings before our rendezvous tomorrow.. I'd hate to squander that real estate shopping."

    "There is a computer lab across the way, that is perhaps not the most private facility, and the students may wonder how we manage the night without some...", Gurstag throws in some air quotes, fangs quickening, "'guava-enhanced rocket fuel' or some such.
    But if we have some offices in mind and at hand, I'm all for chipping in."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited December 2021
    "Tell ya 'hwhat," Louie says, whipping out his smartphone like a seasoned gunslinger. "Howza'bout...we do both!" Typing "office space rentals" into the search bar, Louie nods with quiet, self-important dignity to the others. "You both seen this? The new "smart" devices? Gotta say, much as I love the retro aesthetic...big, big fan of the new things the mortals are doing with their toys these days! Makes it easy to understand why the Regentia would wanna give the whole Tremere an "update"..."

    "I'll look into this bit while we walk across campus." The leathery gentleman's eyes light up at the talk of students within the computer lab. "Oh...oh, yeah! Well, are you sure you want me coming into the place, then? I mean," Louie pretends to cough again, looking aside from the group to gaze longingly into the night sky. "...don't want to cause a scene just in case anyone recognizes me, ya know?" His thousand-yard-stare betrays his intent: from the far-away look on his face, it seems to João and Gurstag that Louie would like nothing better than to be noticed by one of the campus residents...

    mrpaku on
  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    "Time is money," João sighed, he was looking forwards to not being near any particularly watchful eye of the Regentia, but one never really got what one wanted when there wasn't time. "Let's go visit this lab and find out what's on the drive now and we should consider exploring something more secure for the future."

    He looked towards Louie, "While we're doing that, I think we can refine that search on properties a bit, don't you?" The smile returned as João gestured at the phone, "Surely there's a special someone you'd love to get hit first before us if needs must. Boston's a big city, but still too small for complications don't you think?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    The computer lab is located not far, only the space of a few campus blocks, and appears far more welcoming than the seemingly abandoned Tremere hub had been.

    Even well into the night, the building is fairly illuminated, and clearly open, the sole front door sitting slightly ajar with a tattered notice listing the hours("Dusk til ??").
    The interior is far less impressive, though.

    Modern tech and funding in general seems to have left the building on the back end of progress. The "staff" consists of a half-asleep volunteer who barely pays the arriving trio any mind. He's engrossed in what looks to be the same repetitive fantasy MMO that half the room is playing. If anyone is actually using the lab for educational purposes, it isn't immediately apparent. Nearly every dated computer station is occupied by a dimly lit user surrounded by empty pizza boxes, half-finished cans, or some combination of the two.

    There also isn't a single LCD screen in sight. The visible monitors are bulky CRTs, and none of the users seem to object. They're either used to it or perhaps even fond of the dated tech.

    As if finally aware of the visitors, the volunteer looks up from the screen and gives a half-nod. "Sit wherever, just use your student ID or make a guest account. Printing is 25 cents for black and white, $1 for color." He sounds like he's reading from a well-practiced script, probably because he is.

  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    "Great." João nodded, looking around to see if any of the students using the computers here caught his eye.

    Someone who looked quite soft of will would do, why bother with a guest account when there was so many students here who could be of use volunteering their own for the group's use?

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie follows Joao’s line of sight, and smiles wickedly to himself when he discerns the vampire’s intentions. Attaboy, Big Guy, he thinks glowingly to himself. Between you, and that canny Professor, I might finally have a way back to the “top”…

    Attempting to appear “inconspicuous”, Louie nods once congenially to the volunteer, then grabs and straddles a chair near the entrance of the computer lab. He lets their Muscle take the initiative and sits patiently, watching and waiting in the wings

    Sunglasses pressed up firmly over his eyes, the leather-clad relic (now quietly stewing about his Sire, again) clicks rapidly through his cell phone, killing time by poking around the edges of Facebook and Google in an attempt to get wind of any recognizable faces or familiar doings. His eyes occasionally peer up over the lenses, calmly keeping track of Gurstag and Joao.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited December 2021
    Gurstag sniffs as he steps through the door.
    He'd forgotten how .. heady these places can be.
    Not to mention the high pitched whine of the place.

    Ah well.
    He picks a likely chair and pulls it close to a guttering screen.

    ... And notices his colleagues drawing close to a student.

    The professor draws his face back with his hands, before scooting his chair over to a nearer PC.
    This is .. perhaps not the most conducive place for study, he thinks, fumbling for a USB port on his own machine.
    But I have to.. at least, monitor the situation and make sure they don't make too much mess
    Minion roll 2d10 for Possessive by sheer chance
    .. roll not low enough to be his students at least

    Possessive by sheer chance:
    2d10 15 [2d10=5, 10]

    discrider on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    None of the students seem to pay much if any attention to the unusual gathering of adults in their midst. At most, the occasional student gives an upward glance to take note of their presence, then goes right back to the task at hand, so there is no real obstacle to finding a computer to make use of. Whether or not someone is willing to share their account is another story, since nearly everyone is occupied in some form of computing. There are no shortage of signs saying "do not use for gaming" plastered around the lab, all of which are completely ignored. Students doing assignments or research are clearly in the minority, though also the ones most likely to allow their computer to be used, as long as it's brief.

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited January 2
    Louie starts to get frustrated with the lack of forward progress from his cyber-stalking. With a disgusted sigh, the leathery gentleman finally returns the phone to his front pocket, places the sunglasses over his eyes, crosses his arms across his chest, and pouts.

    He sees Gurstag quickly move to drag his seat nearer to the center of the room and pull up to a computer. He smirks to himself, ever so slightly. Possessive-type, eh? I get it. Standing and stretching, Loony Louie struts across the room and joins the Professor at the PC. Casually leaning over the desk, he clacks a few keys on the board and moves to create a Guest Profile.

    He smiles down at Gurstag, and looks approvingly around the room. “Quite the setup ya’ got here, Prof’!” he says with appreciation. “Living high on the hog, eh? I’m jealous…,” A few more keystrokes, and the machine hums fully to life. With a quick glance and a nod back at Joao, Louie leans in closer to the screen as Gurstag plugs in the USB. “Well, friends,” the thin man says, rubbing his chin anxiously and licking his lips. “Let’s have a look then, shall we?”

    mrpaku on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    The flash drive contains nothing more than a simple PDF file.

    Upon being accessed, it contains a simple advertisement what appears to be a one-time-only concert to "ring in the new year", featuring a local pianist fronting a jazz band. It's happening at an underground venue downtown at a "secret location" on Tremont Street tomorrow night. It says to contact "Jeremiah" at a listed email address to ensure you receive an invitation.

    Dress code is listed as business casual.

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie practically purrs next to Gurstag. He nods, once more absolutely sure that destiny is (finally) aligning for him tonight. " I see what they brought me in for. Just my sorta' scene! I actually met Coltrane once, you know, few decades back..."

    The vampire's foot taps out an anxious rhythm, drawing irritated looks from some of the gamers nearby as their tables rattle. The thin man quietly addresses Gurstag, but seems mainly to be talking things out to himself: "...heard o' these cats. Pretty popular on the local scene. Imagine they'd draw a pretty big crowd, specially' with the hype of a secret-venue, but then..." Louie's glasses fall further down his nose, and he makes a low rumbling noise as he thinks over the situation. He finally shrugs his shoulders, and presses the glasses back up over his eyes. "Could just as easy be a trap! Who the fuck knows..."

    Loony Louie turns to look at his companions. "You boys got something appropriate to wear? Joã need to borrow a shirt, or something?" He turns to Gurstag. "Hey Gur...errhm, ah, Professor, you wanna send this "Jeremiah" a confirmation, and then we up-the-fuck outta here?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag shifts agitatedly.
    "Please, I wouldn't.. I try not to be so brazen".

    His eyes cloud over.
    "But gods, wouldn't that this were my ..domain. This smell."
    An errant fingernail traces a fang.
    "I wouldn't need to sleep at alll"

    The professor shakes his head.
    "But right. Emails to send."

    Gurstag barely glances downwards as he sends out a short missive from his, less ..formal,, account, asking for an invitation.

    He then starts quickly hitting up various search engines, before pausing a moment and turning to Louie
    "You've heard of these people before? I was anticipating that we would stay here a little longer and gather more information about the location at least, but if you've got something else in mind then..
    It'd likely be best if we share what information we have before tomorrow night, if you have any."

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie hovers akwardly overhead, reading along behind Gurstag's shoulder as he types. "Make sure you make that a plus-two, teach! Don't wanna give anyone a reason to get us separated at the front door..."

    When Gurstag asks about the band, Louie effortlessly drops into an authoritative, slightly preaching tone: "Well I've heard some tapes of their earlier live sessions, but that's about it, sad to say! Spent my first six months here, getting a feel for the local scene, hearing everything there was to hear, yeah? That being said, I mean, they're the current cream of the crop for the genre, in my humble opinion! But...not quite ready to pop yet? Or...maybe they'd have "popped" if they'd showed up a hundred years ago? Can pull off a classic Nina Simone, but transition effortlessly into an Acid Jazz bit, and 'specially the pianist is able ta'..."

    Louie continues to loudly expound on the merits of a band he has (maybe) heard three songs from for some time afterwards. The opinion is mainly a vehicle for Louie to name check his distant relations with other, more-famous Jazz-adjacent artists, but otherwise useless to the task at hand.

    As he finishes the speech, he shrugs, resigned. "S'all I got, gentlemen. Wish I could offer ya more! So, 'zat it then? What's our plan before tomorrow night? gonna wear something like that? Cause I've got a hat, that would just go perfect with something like your ensemble..."

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag types idly on the keyboard as Louie continues to bombard him with trivia.
    Some half-hearted searches don't arrive at much of note, but it's hard to say for sure whether he's looking in the wrong places, or being told to look in the wrong places.

    A notification alerts him to a response from the contact, and he breathes a sigh of relief.
    "Looks like we have our invites."
    A short print out later, and Gurstag is headed for the door.

    A hat?!
    "Sure. Why not.", Gurstag musses his hair.
    "We'll meet up before anyway. Hopefully I'll have something to show for my efforts by then. Best prepare for a quick exit too; don't want to risk getting st.. caught out if everything goes south."

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Included in the email is nothing more than another QR code. Accessing it with your phone causes a wave of static to cross it, followed by what appears to be an unfamiliar sigil, just above white text on a black background.

    Greetings, shadow children.
    Arrive promptly, prepare accordingly.
    Hostility or any possessions suggesting
    such will be strongly frowned upon.

    Try the scotch.

    An additional link provides convenient GPS directions to the location in question, which seems like a bar that shut down weeks ago, from what a cursory search tells you.

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Louie retrieves the cigarette from behind his ear once more, and places it upon smirking lips. "Hrrmph. Well, I do like me a good drink! And some of the best gigs I ever seen were at dive bars, so...."

    He nudges Gurstag in the shoulder. "What d'ye think they mean, "prepare accordingly"? Like, wear a clean set of drawers, or ya think they're gonna be "testing" us somehow?

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Shortly after awakening on the next night, you find a notification on your nearest device prompting you of a reminder of the event. It will be up to you if you arrive on your own, or decide to meet up before arriving. Given the independent nature of the band, you doubt the turnout will be too high, but then again, it's a college town, so anything could happen.
    Your blood levels should be adequate for the evening, but if you decide to undertake any feeding plans beforehand, it couldn't hurt.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Upon arriving to the location, you find a stairwell leading down beneath a closed storefront. There's a faint sound of a clarinet being played, but a heavyset man in a dark suit is waiting just in front of the stairs, clearly checking anyone for firearms or any unwanted visitors. The few people being let in either display an invitation from a mobile phone, or less frequently a paper document. Ladies are getting in without a problem, but certain men find themselves subject to search via frisking. The bouncer's selection methods seem completely random.

  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Walking up alongside Gurstag, Louie straightens his collar and drops his shades as they approach the front door of the club. He subtly whispers over to the Professor, "Nice an' we come here all the time...don't even think about it, and neither will he..."

    Swaggering up, Louie raises his phone invitation and gives a slight nod, attempting to stroll straight past the large bouncer

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag has spent the trip over attempting to hide the feathers in the rather showy hat that Louie brought him.
    He had hoped for something more respectable.
    But with his smart casual, the large peacock feathers were a bit much.

    Approaching the bouncer, his concealed Duringer starts to weigh more heavily on his breast.
    He realigns his satchel, now containing some letters of reference from his more .. distinguished wasn't the word, but more seedy cryptologist colleagues, as well as some basic encoded Thaumaturgical references and his research on the group and coursework besides.
    As well as the various needles and levers he might need to 'acquire' any notable items, pressed against the side of the bag, underneath a layer of similar fabric.

    A couple of steps behind Louie, he too flashes his invitation on his phone, and attempts to follow him through.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Minion roll 5d10t7 for Wits and Stealth through

    Wits and Stealth through:
    5d10t7 1 [5d10t7=1, 4, 10, 3, 6]

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