World of Darkness 20th

Session 9

The Group set off to Durga Syn’s village, to ask if she knows of any pagans looking for a new home. They find Durga Syn inside her hut, making healing poultices for the villagers. She is delighted to see the Group, and chats with them about what has occurred since last they met. Maria mentions her on-going research into maelstroms. Durga Syn elaborates on Maria’s discoveries thus far. She warns the Group that a soul storm is coming that threatens both the lands of the dead and the living. Furthermore, she explains that Giovanni is planning not only to diablerize Japeth, but to trap his soul. To accomplish this, Giovanni will require an animal, directly after the diablerie he will bind Japeth’s soul to the animal’s body. This must not be allowed to occur. His plan may be thwarted by spilling the blood of a Giovanni on the animal’s body before the diablerie takes place. She reminds the Group that Marianna was embraced by Giovanni at the time of their creation. If she can be found, her blood may be used to thwart Giovanni’s plans.

The Group discuss their nightmares with the wise old kindred, and ask if there is any way they can protect themselves from having their dreams hijacked in the future. Durga Syn doesn’t know of any methods to accomplish this, but she recommends that they team speak to a Malkavian, as they deal with madness, dreams, illusions and delusions – so a skilled Malkavian may be able to help. She also shares her thoughts on the entity – she believes it is a member of the Fae; a powerful spirit attached to one of the four Fae courts. These courts are based upon the seasons of the year. The Spring and Autumn courts are most likely to pay attention to the lands of humans, so she believes the entity belongs to one of these two courts.

Durga Syn informs the Group of a band of homeless travellers that she believes are pagan. They have been driven from their lands by Lord Giovanni. They are making temporary residence in a forest an hour’s ride from the village. She gives the Group some of her healing poultices as a gift for the pagans. They will recognise the pungent odour and know the Group can be trusted. Benedict helps her with the preparation of the poultices, because of this she is able to make more poultices than usual and makes a gift of these extra poultices to Benedict.

Benedict opts to travel to the farm to ensure it is ready for the villagers and to see if there is anything the Group missed last time. After travelling to the forest and following a trail deeper into the woods, the Group find the makeshift camp of the dispossessed villagers. The camp seems deserted, but the more perceptive members of the group call out to the villagers until a spokesperson emerges. The villagers are delighted at the opportunity the Group present to them; they are packed up and ready to travel within the hour.

When Benedict sees the villagers being led by Wilfric and Maria, he obfuscates and watches them from the treeline. The villagers are delighted by their new lands, and promise to continue worshipping the old gods and tend the land.

While Benedict, Wilfric and Maria busy themselves with the entity’s demand, Burtold follows up on something he and Frankie set in motion a few nights previously. But first, he disguises himself and frightens some locals, guiding them to a nearby monastery – so as to alert the Templars to the vampires nearby. Next, he follows one of the modified horse tracks – and discovers the daytime dwelling place of Sire Wenceslas. It is the Monastery of St Stephen (the same monastery about which Maria was able to get detailed information, from one of the Templars who attacked the Group with Brother Clement some time ago). This is the same monastery he guided the frightened villagers just a few hours earlier. He accidentally alerts the guards, and decides discretion is the better part of valour, so he retreats for the night.

The following morning, the Group have a strange dream. As before, they are surrounded by lush trees bearing fruit and vegetables. The entity is observing them still, but it seems less hostile than before. It tells them that it is pleased with their efforts, and gives them their second task. They are to travel to the bridge of stone and brass, an hour’s ride south from the farm, and step upon the bridge ‘when the shadows of the tallest trees touch the end of the bridge’. Then, walk along the shadows to be transported to the spirit realm version of the bridge and slay Redteeth – a foul creature that lives under the bridge. It delights in torture and murder; especially when it involves children.

The following night, the group discuss what to do: Should they attempt to slay Redteeth now? Should they search for Marianna? Should they follow up on the information about the lair of Sire Wenceslas? Eventually it is decided – they will focus on the most important of the three tasks – discovering the whereabouts of Marianna before the meeting at the Cappadocian monastery tomorrow.

They return to Giovanni’s mansion – where they were deceived, abused, brutalised and eventually turned into vampires by the conspiracy of Isaac. Paul elects to stay outside, he cannot bear to return to the place where he was beaten and left for dead. The Group find evidence that Marianna followed the Conspiracy, and made her way to a main road. Unfortunately, they lose her track at the road, and elect to follow up on the second of the entity’s tasks and slay Redteeth. They follow the Fae creature’s directions, and find themselves standing on a bizarre reimagining of the bridge of stone and brass. What was once a small bridge which would struggle to hold two carriages side-by-side is now the largest bridge the Group have ever seen. It stretches off into the distance, disappearing into the horizon. Flickering fires are housed overhead in brass braziers. As they glance around, a deep rumbling laughter emanates from under the bridge. A huge corpse white fist slams onto the ground from underneath the bridge. Redteeth hauls itself into view. It easily stands 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide, with dark, disgusting tusks and horns protruding at obscene angles from its squat face. Its immense gut drags upon the ground between its obese legs. Some of the Group attempt to talk to Redteeth, but find it has a one track mind – food.

Redteeth hauls a massive weapon in front of it. The object is immense, battered, broken and rusted. Redteeth heaves the immense sword over its gut while eyeing the Group hungrily. As it lumbers towards them, Benedict runs towards it and dives between its legs, somehow squirming past its gut to come up behind it. Wilfric unleashes a dazzling flurry of blows, and Paul, his ghoul, joins in the fray – giving Redteeth a wicked wound across its gut. Even Maria produces her dainty dagger and joins the fray. She is unable to pierce the foul, corpulent flesh of Redteeth, but her presence is a distraction it can ill afford. Bertold uses his powers of Domination to cause Redteeth to stumble in fear, reducing its ability to fight.

Redteeth screams its anger while attempting to bring its weapon down upon Paul’s head, luckily the crippled ghoul scrambles out of the way, and a flurry of sparks shower the group as Redteeth’s weapon glances off the stone floor. Wilfric takes this attempted assault upon his ghoul personally, and cleaves through Redteeth’s arm. The severed appendage flops upon the ground. Foul ichor gushing from its stump.

Minerva, benedict’s ghoul owl, circles overhead, looking for an opportunity to strike, but sees no such opening. Benedict lunges at Redteeth from behind, but his punches glance off its fat hide. Wilfric senses Redteeth is struggling to cope with the unexpected ferocity of the assault and launches a punishing assault upon the monstrous creature. With a huge effort he rams his bastard sword through its throat, neatly separating its squat head from its foul body.

The creature collapses upon the ground, a flood of rotten ichor spilling from its corpse. Chunks of fat and rotting meat float in its foul blood. Some of the braver members of the party decide to sample its blood. They find it makes their Disciplines easier to perform or more effective.

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