Transylvania by Night

Always good to see my sire

In ages past, I could not wait to be free from under the watchful gaze of my sire. Now, I miss Ashun from time to time. In many ways he was more of a parent to me than my own mortal parents. So it brought me much pleasure to see him, along with his coterie.

While his companions spoke to their childer, apparently driving Ramsay’s sire to anger, I spent my time with Ashun demonstrating the new ability which I have gained. While still new, he seemed quite interested in the possibilities. I also clued him in to the storehouse I had been building up, with the plans for our clans former city and those trapped within.

I also let him know of the visit of Anatole and Lucita from a few days ago, and of the news they brought. He seemed to contemplate the concerns over the amaranth of Lucien (whyever the other clans refer to their antediluvian by the clan name instead of their own is beyond me), but then joked about why it could not have been our own eldest, Ashur. The childer seeking the blood of their elders, he would be the easiest target.

Blast the Tremere for their diablerie of Saulot.

Ashun also mentioned that Lazarus had finally collected the final pieces of the Sargon fragments, the collected works of Ashur from before his embrace. This makes the first full copies of these works in thousands of years. A very pleasing circumstance.

Before departing, I asked Ashun to let Mahatma of Istanbul know of my intent to travel through his domain in the coming years. As the brother of Lazarus, with no love of Ashur, I am hopeful that my passage would be swift through the city. After all, he lost his childer Anisa within those tunnels, and his other childer Alexia now helps Lazarus with his study.

But, the visit from his companions do concern me. Their actions with their own childer in comparison to my own sire, seem almost fearful. Have the Anarch’s finally brought an awareness of their own death? This may become problematic in the future. Ramsay’s in particular seems incredibly unstable. I think it may be prudent to cull the weak before it exposes our own position.

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Letter To Venice's Inquisitor
How To Destroy Canon With One Note

Grand Inquisitor Ducale,

After my confession to Father Dussel, he advised me to pass on the tale I spoke to him on to your office as part of my penance.

My family some years back was wed in an alliance with the Giovanni family of Venice. While they present themselves as good and holy people, the truth is that they are heretics, witches, and willingly serve the devil himself.

Taken in to confidence, one of their elders, Claudius was his name, sought to woo me at first with platitudes, but when I had no interest, he thought to have me fear him. He revealed to me that his family was diabolists of the worst sort. With my own eyes I have witnessed them convorting with devils and spirits. I have witnessed them performing carnal acts not only with each other, but with the dead. And all overseen by a man I found out was Augustus Giovanni, who he said was baptized in the year of our lord nine-hundred and forty five.

To hide, they had created a heresy of witches throughout Venice. When an inquisitor became too close, they would reveal a witch which they had groomed and instructed in secret. The witch would then be blamed for not only their own crimes, but that of the Giovanni family itself. I was assured that you would know of these witches, and of their crimes and confessions – that they met with secret elders as well as demons. It is the Giovanni family who are these elders.

They bragged over the death which they were behind, of the souls they had stolen. They swore me to silence else they would steal mine. But Father Dussel assured me that with your help, you can ensure that my soul may rest safely in the arms of our lord.

They meet in secret under their manor, deep in a series of catacombs they call the mausoleum. To enter there without knowing the paths is impossible, but I remember the paths needed. I have inclosed a map to allow you to transverse these catacombs and to find the diabolists lair.

I thank your indulgence, and pray that you are able to eliminate this festering evil which hides in the heart of our fair city.

Brigid de Sabato

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Malik's Journal

Malik Journal Entry – January 14th 1403,

This new House of Basarab from Wallachia to the south are particularly eager for the weapons my smiths offer. Being a new nobility without existing partnerships, it was easy to woo them to accept my cities blades. By comparison, the House of Anjou here in Transylvania are old, and tired. The Basarab, being new, hunger for power. They are among the wolves circling the Anjou, and the ones I am throwing my weight behind. Compared to the Dănești, however, they have that critical edge they will need in order to win control.

Prince Mircea has become quite fond of the weapons we have been able to provide him. By supplying the Damascus steel through the Bishop, his weapons are some of the sharpest in these lands. But as we are but a small city and many miles to the north of his lands, our role as his supplier is not yet become noticed by his enemies. I have taken the liberty to personally meet with him and his three sons on several occasions.

One of them, his second son Vlad, strikes me as one to take careful note of. While his older brother seems only eager for combat, Vlad thinks of solutions. If he can defeat his enemy without drawing his sword, he will do so. He has no issue, even at his young age of 7, in using those around him in order to gain power. His brother may be first in line to the throne, but I suspect the crown is not long for that head. Vlad will be my special project, else the Tzimisce get their claws into him first.

True to their word, the Tremere were immensely useful in progressing Lazarus’ studies on the physicality of death. While this new method is still novel, I can see much potential in the approach. I call it Thanatosis, to be more acceptable by the scholars among the Infitiores who prefer their parlance in Greek or Latin. If the Tremere knew what purpose we have in this study, I suspect they would not have granted the boon so easily.

Calling those who learn Thanatosis the Malicine, it has a nice ring to it, does it not?

Having met the Bishops new bride was interesting, but unnerving as well. I resign myself to solitude, for who would wish to haunt the graveyards like a revenant? Also, the ‘gift’ provided was even more unusual. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, however.

It was a rare visit, a nice change from the erratic visits from the Tzimisce and these new strangers the Ravnos and Assamite are infrequent guests. The Assamite’s especially are welcome, for they bring word from back home, and the discussions have opened up the paths needed for what it is I hope to do.

The stockpile of preserved blood is now nearing readiness for the mission I have planned. My kin who remain trapped within Kaymakli by my estimates must have been reduced to no more than 400. Centuries of forced amaranth to preserve oneself would be maddening. The curse which traps them there specifically prohibits those who are the children of seth from entering. It says nothing about the preserved casks, or of mules to carry them. Not freedom, but at least hope.

As for the experiment, Ashur’s little pets the Giovanni who he sought to replace those he trapped, well, the church does not take kindly to even merchant families who are found to be engaging in unholy acts against Allah. While the inquisitions flames did not destroy them utterly in all likelihood, their strength and position will be incredibly reduced. So much for our founder’s new hobby.

My visions have shifted as well. Now the clan crest is blown away as the necromancers burn away in the shadow of the Dragon, and under it five sigil sit. One I recognize as the Lamia, another as the original Cappadocian symbol but, modified, as if redone in a new image. But the other three are unfamiliar to me. I am drawn to one of them, with the appearance of a strange hat. When I look at it closely, it changes form, rising out of the ground and taking true form. But under it, another figure, looking as death itself, like me, forms. Dressed in fine yet strange clothing, he smiles at me, and bows formally as the dragon rises behind him, as if the sun in the east.

Now, I must attend to my guests, as I am playing hostess for the coterie this year for our gathering, and they shall be arriving this evening. I do miss their company, it is lonesome here at times.

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The deed is done
Prisoner transfer complete

I knew when we accepted the aid from Michael that it would be something that would be most… Troublesome when he came to reclaim his boon. Asking us to protect and transport a prisoner from his own clan and deliver said prisoner to his own clan for justice. I had much misgivings about this, but I was certainly not going to dishonor myself or my Sire by refusing. We took possession of the prisoner and he immediately started trying to talk his way out of his fate. The stinking Tremere are never to be trusted, especially this one. A traitor to his own traitorous clan. One might wonder if that made him worth looking into, but if his own Kin can not trust him, how could anyone else? Why the others listen to him I will never know. He has great power, but he has no honor. His words mean nothing to me.

We traveled far by boat. It would appear Ramsey has been even more busy than myself. The mercenary has amassed a small empire of thieves and rogues. We sailed on her boats down the river and saved much time. Until we were set upon by brigands. A paltry force, of no notice. The barely even made it out to the shits before they were routed. Scum. We moved across land soon after and found ourselves at the base of a huge mountain. The stayed at the inn, as the servants could no longer keep the pace we were setting. I felt for them. The poor beasts had been driven hard and they needed a rest. Even the horses were suffering. There were a contingent of knights in the inn. They seemed rather interested in Bishop. No doubt because he still openly wears the garb of his banished brotherhood. They others were most enamored when the prisoner spewed forth a tale of riches being guarded by the knights. Two-Paws and myself were not drawn into his game. The Gangrel has shown enormous growth over the century we have known one another. That is why I made the effort to learn her tongue. speaking to an ally on her own terms makes gaining confidence easier. She is fierce, and loyal. She is a valuable ally indeed. She also knows when prey is trying to distract you so it can scamper away. we kept the others from making any huge mistakes and were rewarded for our troubles.

Tremere himself came forth to collect the prisoner. A mighty presence indeed. I could not help but wonder how mighty his victim must have been. He took charge of the prisoner and bade his servant to see that we were compensated properly. I know not what the others requested, and in truth it matters little to me. I wanted nothing from the Tremere, for that could be seen as being friendly with them. But I did see an opportunity to be rid of that most foul Gangrel who has plagued my holding for so long. I seem to remember talk of the Tremere hunting down and using the wilder kin for some ritual or something. If Clan Gangrel should find him missing and ask, it shall be the Tremere who took him. I am simply trying to build a place for knowledge and enlightenment to be known.

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Musings of Malik's idle mind

River Journal Entry

Travelling to secure a Tremere, a traitor to traitors? How strange my death (for can you honestly call this life?) has become. A group of mages to seek immortality as the animated dead? How dreadfully delicious. The irony is lost on them. They sought to live forever, and instead became trapped in walking bags of flesh more dead than alive. And now they fight to remain in this limbo of death, never moving on.

First the Tremere betray their magical mortal bretheren, then they betray themselves. A delight to behold. How can they pretend like this?

These Tremere are almost as foolish as children. “Clan Tremere” indeed.

If the Tremere wanted power, they should have gone after Ashur not Saulot. Cappadocians are few in number after he trapped so many of us in the Feast of Folly. And few people would even blink if we were destroyed. Just another dead body to clean up. But destroy a unicorn, everyone notices. Tremere was so foolish. And here we are to meet one of his inner circle.

I swear that the older I get, the more like Lazarus I am becoming. It amuses me how a few human tribes now worship him as some spirit. I hear that kinsmen have spread throughout the dark continent now and taken up similar spirit deity names. I even hear that many of them look like me. Knowing I am not alone in my visible state of death makes it more tolerable, even enjoyable.

Pity the others who do not get to bear witness to their own state of decay. They just rot from the inside until there is nothing left but the shell.

But I am very curious and eager to meet this Goratrix, to see how much of what I have heard of Tremere is true, and how much is fable. Have they sprouted a third eye? Do they require the blood of virgin sacrifices? Are they all embodiments of unspoken horror? Of course not, they’re dead bodies like the rest of us! Just ones who have learned novel tricks, similar to Ashur’s new playthings the Giovanni.

The boatswain tells us that we are nearing our destination. Time to make myself presentable.

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Settling In
How Graverobbing can be lucrative

I have completed my survey of the fortress peak within which I make my home. After the Mongols, it seemed prudent to survey and locate any resources which could be of benefit. This fortress was built upon a former Roman castrum, a fortified camp in ancient times. Their gravesite gave much insight to the Romans and their military fortifications. It also yielded a cache of weapons which I was able to pass to the local smithies for study. The quality improvement in weapons has begun to generate a small amount of note among the kine rulers, precisely as hoped.

I may not know kindred politics, as us Infitiores have all but rejected it after the Feast of Folly – but kine politics are very familiar to me. These European concepts are simplistic compared to those of the Ayyubid, making the local nobility easy to control. A fancy sword, a special shield, all commissioned through my cities smithies, and these rulers are mine.

With the repulsion of the Mongol infidel, there is an uneasy peace. I am uneasy with this disquiet, for it feels as if we are in the middle of a sandstorm about to erupt. So far, my study of the library has failed to bear fruit, yet the more convinced I am that this library is key to understanding of the region. Fortresses built upon fortresses, designed in a web engineered to trap or release something at its heart, it cannot be happenstance. And the sand, it is shifting. Allies are critical. While Elvira is working on the heart of the Kindred, Victor protecting our western front, and the Bishop works his way through the church, I shall remain a vigilant watch on the kine. With such short lifespans, their plans are more direct, more brutal, than anything our kind can come up with. I hope that our thief can maintain our supply lines, in the off chance it also becomes our escape route should the worst happen.

I do turn my mind to my old home, among the camps, my own tent of my childhood. How alien this place is by comparison, yet now I feel more at home than I have since those days in the desert.

I wonder about the architect Zelios now and again. I must thank him again for his assistance in teaching me how to hide my disfigurement. Perhaps I can gain more insight as to this fortress circle which he is working to reinforce. I doubt that it now is for summoning, else it would have been summoned centuries prior. All of these ancient fortresses were placed here far prior to his appearance after all. A containment circle it must be. But containing what so powerful that it needs a circle on such a vast scale?

Lasarus’ work has taken several different tracts, one a focus upon the physicality of death, another the proximity of life, and lastly on the spirits beyond the veil. Our own abilities for this are a mixture of these, which is proving our own limits. His goal, to divide our capability, to specialize ourselves. I have fallen to task to be one of those to study the physicality of death, to push our own abilities on it to a new level. Others have already developed methods to create a proxy of life, and yet others have begun to make headway on the land of spirits, independent of Ashur’s pets, the Giovanni. If only I knew of a way to disrupt their work so they do not discover the secrets first.

Of course by specializing, each group will become as different from the Cappadocian as the Lamia are. If I uncover the secret of physicality, would that mean the birth of the Malicine? Another bloodline founded by a woman, an amusement for those who demean the feminine. The Blessed Mohammad did warn that pride was to hold man in contempt, so it is to pity and not to judge those unable to.

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Elvira
Tonja
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Malik
Nate
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Ramsay
Angi
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Two Paw
Miriam
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