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



  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag quickly notes "Prof. Gurstag, Tremere information broker" and hands the clipboard back.

    "We imagine our Regentia has already brought forward our further business to the Council?
    As much as we're seeking the Prince's graces in remaining in his domain, our Regentia was also seeking further considerations of other matters from the Council, and required us to attend and support her."

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "Yes, your clan-specific... matters are on the agenda. Eventually. Once all is in order, I'm certain you will be summoned. Do be on your best behavior, you are only Recognized by my good graces, which are notoriously fleeting."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie smiles and charms, but it’s all teeth and eyebrows. With an affected laugh, he replies, “The Harpy can rest assured, Clan Tremere will be on exemplary behaviour fer events dis’ evening! I mean, honestly,” Louie shares with Dimitri in hushed confidence, subtle frustration at the edge of his voice. “… way we’ve heard the other Clans whisper? Snicker? The eyeballs at our backs every time we turn around?…..not much of a choice fer us inna matter, eh?”

    Clearing his throat (and attempting to refrain from rolling his eyes), Louie leans in. “As ter’ the “allegations”…((annoyed and mostly to himself) shit, d’y’all even get Sirius up here?…hrrrm. Well, few years back I was riding high on thur airwaves. Then, one day after a set, I step out to catch a smoke. Come back in and me Co-host was just…dead…Uh, (*cough*) exsanguinated. I didn’t do it, of course!” Louie is quick to assure Gurstag and Dimitir both. “Would be a violation, obviously! An I ain’t stupid. An’ I were never, never charged! But, the scandal…”

    Louie’s gaze is far away, in a different place and time. When he looks back to the Harpy, his face shines with a quiet, cloying desperation. “They took me off the air…put me here, told me they’d let things “quiet down fer a bit”. Since…since we’re here…” Louie’s hands find each other in a sort of mock prayer position and he smiles hopefully at the Harpy. “I’d wanna see if I could maybe have the council see their way clear to getting me back out there again? Take it all off? I know they have thur ways…shit, maybe tomorrow the police find a ghoul who was obsessed with the guy an’ confesses!…”

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    The Harpy is silently observant during the story, as if making a mental note of the 'scandal', before giving a dismissive shrug. "This is the first I've heard of it, and presumably the city as well. I'd suggest you keep the story to yourself. That kind of thing is definitely not in their purview, though, I can confidently tell you that. There are much bigger concerns than your radio personality, I trust you're aware." He pauses to tap the side of his head, and looks distant for a moment, then returns his attention to the pair. "You may both proceed to the Pavilion at your leisure. For the sake of your unlives, I strongly advise you not speak unless addressed... and especially not on such mundane matters. There is only so much leeway that the inexperienced are allowed."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited July 5
    Bigger concerns.” Louie responds flatly. A wash of bitter disappointment comes over him. Unconsciously, his hands clench and unclench into tight balls of rage. “…right. I…understand.” With a small smile and a nod of the head towards the Harpy, Louie turns back towards Gurstag, whispering into his ear. “Mundane,” he hisses to the Professor, half a snarl at the back of his voice. “You believe this fuckin’ guy?”

    Growling, Louie hikes up his collar, trying to force the pout from his face. “Well then,” he announces wearily. “…I suppose we shouldn’t keep our audience waiting!”

    mrpaku on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag touches the rim of his hat as the Harpy sets to depart.
    "Well, thank you very much for your gracious assistance and attention. We'll try not to cause you any more undue trouble."

    Listening to Louie, he smiles.
    He whispers back, "Look at it this way, at least no-one is thinking of staking you for a Masquerade violation. Surely that's as good as forgiven?
    Now we're all free to get staked for the other issue!"
    He shakes his head.

    "But yes, we should get this over with"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    The wooden area of the pavilion is surprisingly open and easy to access, just a few paths' walk away from the main entrance.
    The only security appears to be a short, stocky man leaning against a wall several feet away, who doesn't pay either of you any mind.

    Upon approach, a few voices can already be heard arguing from the hexagonal table beneath the steeple-shaped roof.

    "...a foolish idea, it's like we're inviting them in!"
    "Yes, you've been very clear about your distaste in our choice of venue. Arrangements are in place, so you needn't fret over security. Will that be all?"
    "As it please you." The sarcasm is evident in the suited man's voice as he departs past the approaching warlocks. "Oh, great, here to throw some gas on the fire, are we? May as well at this point." Without waiting for a reply, he continues past the pavilion exit and departs into the night.

    "Ah, the wayward wizards. Please, sit." At the head of the table can be seen a woman who appears to be the youngest one gathered, albeit strikingly beautiful. She was also the one arguing, but appears as if she's already forgotten the slight.

    Scattered around the table are several others. You instantly recognize the Regentia, seated at the woman's left. There is also the card reader from the market, a man occupying his time by carving out initials into the side of the surface with a razor-sharp claw, and Felix, who is all smiles as he beckons to an open pair of seats next to him.

    "Yes, we've met. Their reputation does precede them, doesn't it?"

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    More nervous than he lets on, Louie’s head swivels around to watch the suited man depart, a hand brought to his brow in a mocking half salute. “…an’ a pleasure to meet you as well!”

    Strutting in attempting to seem unconcerned, Louie thanks Felix for the offered chair and immediately slides down into the leather, hands meeting upon the table in front of him. “Heh. Well…wish I’d become this popular in life, yeh? Might’ve stayed managing bands…”

    “, when ye’ say our reputations proceed us…yer’ talking about the Warlock stuff, not the radio-stuff, right? Right, right…o’ course…”

    “Well,” Louie follows, leaning pleasantly back in his chair and giving off a polite chuckle. “Know a lot of the faces here, but unfortunately not all! The lovely young lady and the entrepreneurial graffiti artist are new to me…madame…sir…” With a dramatic sweep of his hands underneath his own visage and over in the general direction of Gurstag, Louie introduces the pair: “Loony Louie Lehran…Professor Gurstag. The “Wayward Wizards”, at your beckoning pleasure!”

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    Gurstag stands by his seat next to Louie, hand on brow as Louie jabbers.

    So they are here.

    "At your permission", he adds after Louie finishes, bowing stiffly but expansively before sitting down.

    Although I don't see the other one. Where could the driver be hiding?

    discrider on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "Right... of course." It's difficult to tell whether the woman leading the conversation knows more than she lets on or not. "You do have some manners, so there is that, more than some of the Council would have lead me to believe. You have the honor of addressing Melania, first of her station, Trusted and Beloved by the Camarilla, Prince of Boston."

    Felix makes a point of rolling his eyes during the drawn out introduction, most noticeable due to your close proximity, though it's not exactly subtle. "Yes, as we're aware, your eminence. Let us not stand on ceremony. How do you mean to address the blatant breaches that these sorcerers threaten to bring to your doorstep? As if their plague on Europe wasn't bad enough, they seek to taint this realm as well."

    Melania ignores the interruption completely, despite the sensation of a chill passing through the pavilion, as if the promise of a later reckoning. "You know your Regentia, I'm certain. The... gentleman so fond of your company is the Nosferatu Primogen, and our resident soothsayer is here at Malkav's behest, as you may have guessed. My Seneschal was just showing himself out, as he chose to convey his objection by attending to his other matters, of which he has many. Lastly, Stormwind comes from the Gangrel, as their local faction still maintain a voice in local affairs... unlike most of his woodland brethren, regrettably."

    "Charmed." The shirtless man gives a vague wave with a taloned hand. "I have to agree with the ratman, this isn't time for pleasantries. I hear they're breaking bread with mortals? You got a good explanation for this, don't you?" He looks past the both of you as if you're not even there, staring at the Regentia for an explanation.

    "I do nothing without good reason, and I brought them both here to make those reasons abundantly clear. We stand to benefit greatly from this union, all I ask is the patience and influence to let it come to fruition."

    "Well, then, gentlemen, the floor is yours. Do you believe your Elder has the right of things? Or are these kine fellows of yours not best disposed of without a second thought?" The Prince smiles to each of you in turn, with a pleasant cadence to her voice. "Of course, I have also been advised this could include making an example of the two of you."

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited July 8
    "As it pleases, your eminence,", Gurstag starts, "Our foremost concern with this project is to preserve the sanctity of the veil."

    He huffs, trying to figure how to impress the point on elders that think themselves above technology.
    "The kine's technology continues to drive us further into hiding. Cameras, videos, phones, etc.
    And we cannot trust the tools ourselves. Too many secrets have been lost by careless childer who used a device as one would use a secret diary.

    We must learn how to secure our secrets or risk Vienna all over again.

    And so, we are searching for that knowledge.
    And we must turn to the kine for this, as none of us that I'm aware of has this knowledge."

    Gurstag pauses.
    "As for your question, we would certainly be disposing of them once they are of no further use.
    They were already aware of the Masquerade before we approached them, and that cannot stand.
    And they also seek to interject themselves into our clan's matters, which is a further insult to us."

    "But yes, if we could but stop some of the footprints our kind leave behind, I could reclaim so many more hours in a night from dusting them away."

    discrider on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "A fascinating proposition... if you believe you are capable of 'disposing' of these so-called willworkers. But then, if you fail, that in itself is a valuable lesson, I suppose. Is there an objection?" The Prince's question almost sounds rhetorical.

    "I admit technology is not my strong suit..." Fractal chimes in, while periodically setting face down cards out on the surface in front of her, with no clear pattern. "And it is something that being ignorant of has cost us dearly in the past, and will surely do so in the future." She idly turns one over, revealing The Four of Swords, inverted. "We should not rest on our laurels, or lack thereof."

    "Suits me, as long as whatever pyre you two leave behind doesn't spread to the woodlands." The Gangrel lounges back in his chair, while Felix gives a dismissive grunt.
    "Let their hubris bring them low again, two birds with one stone, as far as I'm concerned. Either they succeed and make an appealing target out of themselves, or fail, and it's the last we'll see of them."

    "It seems we're in accord, then." The Prince seems relieved to put the debate behind her.
    "How is it you mean to balance your interests with theirs? I've little doubt these mortals have schemes of their own."

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Gurstag winces.

    "Well.. that's a matter of debate.", glancing at the Regentia before continuing.

    "They claim to be in a turf war with our scion, and they wish our help in eliminating them.
    But it seems a bit presumptuous for them to come to us so boldly; already informed of our politics.
    We are currently weighing up how much aid, if any, we provide."
    Gurstag runs a hand through his hair.
    "They've given us no reason to doubt their loyalties yet. But we plan on ensuring their commitment before we move ahead."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    "Have to walk before we ken' run, as it were!" Louie finally chimes in helpfully beside Gurstag. He'd been quiet, watching all the clan heads carefully, trying to get the feel of the room and biting his tongue as the Tremere continued to be treated with disdain by most of the assemblage. His fingers tap out a playful rythm on the table in front of him. "But then, as you all said, the returns on our endeavor would be a boon to all what dwell on this hall...a leveling of the playing field, as it were." He shrugs coyly. "An' what's it gonna cost ya to give yet support, sides' maybe a few licks?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "Very well. You may go with our support, but know that any missteps you make that could jeopardize this city's peace will fall squarely upon your Elder to address... and you will both directly be made to answer for any breaches of the Masquerade that should transpire. Is there any particular aid you will need on our behalf, or will we be moving on to other matters?" The floor is briefly open, though the question seems more directed at the Regentia than the two of you.

    "I believe leave to venture into their domain with the Council's approval should be adequate, as they wouldn't dare risk war by attacking us so openly." Eleanor's attention turns to the two of you. "Have you any other requests to make, or business to bring before Her Eminence?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "If I may be so very bold,", Gurstag fidgets, "we have not yet even considered the possibility without the Prince's approval, and I daren't assume this is my Regentia's intention at all.
    But it might be that the most direct method of achieving our project is the best.

    Can I please foreshadow the possibility that perhaps, with the Prince's benevolent graces, we could consider bringing the knowledge through the veil as a childe?"

    "I make no assumptions or assertions of the intentions of your grace, who would sire, or even if any of these mortals are worthy of embracing.
    Just, it would seem to slice through this Gordian knot."

    Gurstag sighs, "And if this is slapped down by my Prince, why that would be an honour too."

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited July 23
    "You presume too much, Childe. The notion of tainting our gathering with their unclean blood is something I will forgive, due to your youth. We seek their knowledge, not their inclusion.
    Beyond that, their lives have no meaning." The mere suggestion seems to have darkened the Prince's mood considerably, though it is as just as soon forgotten. "There is also the matter of your status. You are both to be Acknowledged in the Eyes of the Camarilla, for so long as you remain in our graces." It sounds evident that this could very easily change.

    cj iwakura on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    "Thank you for your gracious indulgence, my Prince", Gurstag states deferentially.
    He wills himself to relax, as the tension floods from him as the thaw does from ice.
    Someone had to ask. It just wouldn't do to run around for nights on end, when we could complete the project far more simply.

    He taps a gentle repose on the table with his fingers, taking care to not elicit sound.
    I guess the Prince would need to keep numbers of kin down regardless. New childe probably need to serve a purpose other than just whims of fancy. Unlike me.
    But still, purity of blood? Thinning I could understand, but maybe she would be more open to the idea if the mortal were exceptional in one way or another.

    He risks a glance at the Regentia, trying to gauge how egregious his offense was.
    Probably be hearing about this after anyway.

    His eyes then shift to look at Felix.
    And what's his impression of all this.
    I can't imagine that this acceptance is what he was angling for. Maybe he'll just be straightforward with information after the meeting?

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    The Regentia may as well have a mask of stone, but a wayward glance to Gurstag seems to be enough to suggest that this is not a good avenue to take, at least not with present company.

    Felix appeared amused at seeing the request for Creation and the backlash that resulted, though somewhat disappointed that the rebuke wasn't harsher... while also appearing to know better than to make his opinion further known.

    "We will leave it at that, then. If that is all the willworkers have for us, the neonates may depart. I look forward to your success, and something of value to result from it."

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie watches the unspoken exchange between Gurstag and Felix and subtly shakes his head with a resigned, weary sort of disgust. He leans over and barely whispers into the Professor's ear, "Those fuckin' rats, man! Always at our heels!"

    Sensing the meeting drawing to a close, the leathery vampire quickly adds, "...just a thought from my colleague, of course! Nothing we'd participate in if it all wasn't fully above board, obviously! The Professor and meself' like to think "outside the box", as it were...which is what makes us the best licks fer this task!"

    Coming to his feet languidly and giving a sweeping, theatric bow, Louie pushes in his chair and addresses the congregation. "Lieges....fellow Kindred...we appreciate the decision you've made today! I believe you'll find, despite the recent naysayers, that the Camarilla are stronger with the House of Tremere flourishing by their side." Looking around the group, but catching eyes with Felix in particular, Loony Louie grins with a lingering mischief. "Some have forgotten that, in the recent days....but we aim to remind them once more!" With a tip of his hat, the vampire bids a good evening to the assembly, and moves to depart the hall...

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    Once distanced enough from the Pavilion to be out of earshot, a familiar suited man is waiting, and moves from a nearby post as the two of you draw near.

    "So you clearly have no love for the Nosferatu. Are you equally displeased with our ruling party? The Rose, that is." He offers a fanged grin, and a slight bow. "She made mention of me during the Gathering, but allow me the whim of a formal introduction. Lane, Ventrue Seneschal, at your service, gentlemen. You see she dances dangerously with the Masquerade, yes? I'm surprised the place isn't being stormed by the S.I. as we speak... though perhaps it is, with any luck." Judging by the lack of screams or gunfire, that seems unlikely.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited July 28
    Following behind Louie out of the Pavillion, Gurstag can't help but look quizzically at the Seneschal.
    Before quickly returning the bow, albeit deeper.

    "It is as it is," Gurstag replies, tired, coming around from behind Louie. "I can appreciate nights spent on a singular focus, but to devote yourself to keeping up appearances.. well. It is nice to get out in the night air for once though."
    "Anyway, Gurstag, and", he pulls on his hat brim, before waving at "Louie, at your service"

    discrider on
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "Toeing the neutral ground, I see. A wise move for neonates. Just be mindful of who your friends are, I hear even amongst your own blood, it can be difficult to tell. You two have a busy schedule ahead, as I understand, so I won't keep you long." With a flourish, he produces a business card from his sleeve. "That said, let it be known that I'm not above rewarding those who can provide anything of profit. Knowing what these daywalkers have in mind could be most useful to those operating in the corporate sphere, myself included." As he offers it forward, a flick of the finger reveals that there's two of them. "Drop me a line if you feel like turning a profit is more in line with your aspirations. Having eyes and eyes in the security sector may prove of value to your and your dear Regentia as well."

    Longinus Security is printed in simple clean white lettering on a black card, with a nondescript name and a vaguely local phone number. "We'll be in touch, I trust?"

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited August 4
    Gurstag reaches out and tentatively takes one of the offered cards, nonplussed.

    'Most certainly,', he says, 'although I was concerned we had got off on the wrong foot. I had thought we had offended you in some manner, when you took your leave at our arrival.'

    Not to mention, all this attention is in and of itself surprising. Do they greet all neonates like this?
    Or just those on suicide missions?

    discrider on
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    After the introduction, Louie remains tight lipped, and listens to the Ventrue's offer with a sort of wry, wary humor. He's quiet, much quieter than usual- in the presence of another with the "gift of gab", the vampire seems to be letting the man reveal as much of himself as he cares to, without an attempt to interrupt or charm. Several beats after Gurstag has stepped forward to claim the small slip of cardboard, Loony Louie takes the card proferred to himself. He flips it over quietly, nodding as he reads. "... Well, we'll be sure ter' work it into our schedule, of course! Always good ter' make acquaintances among Blue Bloods, if only for the charming atmosphere and generosity of spirit you all provide..."

    Louie grimaces involuntarily as though he'd swallowed a bug, and turns to shoot Gurstag a quick quiet look, pursing his lips and flaring his nostrils. He turns back to the Seneschal with a slight edge to his voice. "Gotta agree with the Professor, though...way I saw it happen, could'a swore when we walked in you were making some point by storming off." Louie's eyes, pale blue, meet Lane's. His usual cloying smile is missing, replaced by a sadly quizzical stare. "Of course, I'm happy to have my perceptions corrected. Care to share...friend?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited August 5
    "Oh, no slight against your persons meant, rest assured, more my disagreement with certain... local security measures, or lack thereof." A vague gesture made to the distant pavilion.

    "Nor was I particularly intrigued to see the Council fighting over your presence like proverbial slabs of meat... or literal, depending on the speaker at the time. I do wear my intentions on my sleeve, for the most part, so I'll try to dispense with mind games as best I can, and thus, speak clearly: whatever technological advances your dear Elder means to achieve, I would hope to profit from as well. In fact, you can even tell her as much, if it puts your worries at ease. Telling as such to others in the city, well... that may not go over so well. I may even be able to keep tabs on your friends in the Sewers, so you won't have to watch your backs... or your footing. As much, anyway. The Nosferatu have been even more in the dark with technology as of late, for good reason."

    cj iwakura on
  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    Louie's eyebrows raise, and he strokes his chin thoughtfully. "A Blue Blood with a direct eye ta the Rat's Nest, eh? Now that is a trick..." Half playfully, he adds, "We get a free trial for these "pest services" of yours, so we can get a feel for the reliability of your work? Or is it straight to the dotted line?"

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    "You're smarter than you look, for an upstart. I won't require your commitment with any immediacy, so feel free to mull it over. In the meantime, I'll see what I can do about arranging a promotional arrangement. Perhaps a dozen roses for your wayward sweetheart, yes? I'm sure you have no shortage of other offers to consider, so I'll do my best to provide a swift demonstration. Until such a time... happy trails." With a tilt of his head in parting, he turns and wanders off back towards the entrance.

    The Council appears to have finally ended their affairs as well, judging by the sight of the formal seating arrangements having given way to more relaxed conversation among several standing figures.

  • mrpakumrpaku MichiganRegistered User regular
    The old rocker reaches out a languid hand to wave farewell to the departing Ventrue. As Lane strolls out of sight, Louie releases a long, deep breath, and slumps over like an athlete pushed far past their capability. "Whew!" he exclaims with a weary, defeated chuckle, pulling out his pack of cigarettes and lighting one up with slightly trembling fingers. After a few moments of puffing a cloud of smoke about himself, Loony Louie addresses Gurstag while staring a hole into the ground at his feet. "Gurstag...ya' know that fish chain place...the "Pink Perch"? Kine go in, there's a big fish tank up in the front, and you get to "pick yer' perch"?" Louie's blows smoke into his thousand yard stare, shaking his head with muted disbelief at the night's events this far. "...think I know how those poor fuckin' fish feel, now... swimming in a three foot prison, only decision in the world deciding whose gullet you might be sliding down..."

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