World of Darkness 20th

Session 4

The Group enter the Inn of the Lion. At first the place seems deserted. After a few moments, their sires reveal themselves. They meet their children, this time they treat them almost as equals; A far cry from their previous ‘meal’ together. Lord Giovanni reluctantly believes their tale of escaping Hardestadt and dominating Roderigo, but he has his doubts about their loyalty. To prove their loyalty, the Group are given a test by Claudius – to take a letter to Japeth Cappadocian asking for a meeting – this will be the cover Claudius needs to diablerize Japeth and restore balance to their clan before their founder, Cappadocian, carries out his bizarre plans to bring life and death together.

The Group leave the Inn and head towards the monastery. En route, they are assaulted by Brother Clements and a handful of Templars. They wield ‘Goliath Killers’ – stones wrapped in rags and soaked in buckets of holy water, which are spun overhead and thrown at Vampires. Even with this secret weapon, they do not last long against the combined powers of the Kindred.

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Session 3

The group reconvenes for their meal. The lord’s band of musicians strike up their song and Lord Giovanni enters, Marianna obediently in toe. After taking his seat at the head of the table, he summons Paul to the banquette hall. He is ordered by Lord Giovanni to take a weapon and beat Wilfric. Paul feels he cannot honourably do so, because Wilfric put in a good word for him when he needed it most. Lord Giovanni flies into a rage by this slight. Marchettus the Bold rises, walks to Paul and seizes him roughly by the throat. He beats Paul savagely, leaving the poor young man nothing more than a blood splattered heap upon the ground.

The worst fears of the group are realised with the revelation that they are to be the meal for their ‘hosts’. They are forced to undergo another horrific ordeal – metal collars are fitted around their throats, a dagger plunged into a hole in the collar, and a keg tap fitted. This painful indignity is followed by their hosts gleefully sampling their blood – toasting their successes and the downfall of Japeth and Hardestadt.

An unexpected disturbance heralds an attack by parties unknown. It is swiftly discovered that Hardestadt’s forces are assaulting the castle, and will soon be upon the Conspirators.

They choose to embrace their meals, to serve as a distraction and cover their escape as they slip out of a secret exit. Their parting order to their new children is to defend them. Within a few moments the front door of the banquet hall splinters open and a giant of a man strides into the room, followed by a score of armed men-at-arms and Roderigo.

Roderigo is revealed as a double agent, working for Hardestadt and The Founders. He helps ensure the Group are captured rather than killed. Unfortunately the NPCs attempt to put up a fight and are slaughtered for their arrogance. The only exception is Maria, who was embraced by Lord Giovanni, she vanishes in the confusion of the melee.
The Group are transported all day and most of the following night to Hardestadt’s Castle, for interrogation. The old woman from the Red Lamb is revealed to be Durga Syn – a wise and powerful Kindred. She is the lone voice of reason during The Founders deliberations. She suggests that the Group should be spared and used as spies against their sires. After all, they are the children of The Conspiracy of Isaac. She prophesises that the Group will play an important part in the long and bloody drama that is unfolding, but she is uncertain exactly what part they will play. Her words stir The Founders into sparing the Group and using them as spies.

Some of The Founders strike up conversation with their newest spies. Milov Petrenkov talks to Helzabub. He is happy for the opportunity to discuss recent events with a fellow Gangrel. He speaks of how the animals are disturbed; they are becoming more skittish, as before an earthquake. He doesn’t know what to make of it, but he fears it. He witnessed something similar in 1000ad, when spirits walked the earth and a Maelstrom of dark forces lashed the earth.

Josef von Bauren warns his brother Nosferatu, Benedict, ‘The fellowship of Kindred be hanged. The important thing is to stop these fool abominations’.

Eventually the Group are given new clothes, supplies and fresh, warm blood. They then set off to a known hideout of The Conspiracy of Isaac, with the cover story that they Dominated Rodrigo into taking them there. En route, bandits attack the Group. The mortals cannot long survive the onslaught the Group inflict upon them. One particularly unlucky bandit is taken alive and tortured for information – he reveals that Lothar tipped them off that ‘rich travellers would be coming this way shortly, if we trap and kill them, we could keep their possessions’.

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Session 2

The group are sent into a large, exquisitely decorated and furnished waiting room. They soon notice armed soldiers patrolling the balcony above their heads, after a time they are moved to the banquet hall – where they meet their hosts. They are an unlikely collection of individuals. Some are obviously lords and ladies, some are commoners or of foreign blood, while others are from religious orders. There even seems to be an unfortunate individual afflicted with the pox. The Group are each paired up with a member of their hosts, and each carries out a bizarre, often frightening, test or initiation. These harrowing incidents are ended when a servant interrupts to announce that the banquette is ready to begin.

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Session 1

The Characters are travelling in luxurious horse drawn carriages from all across Europe.

Individually, they arrive at The Red Lamb Inn. One of the first to arrive is Wilfric, a bold young man who is the unwanted and unacknowledged bastard of an English noble. His skills with a sword are outmatched only by his lack of manners, his taste for wine and women, and the elation he feels while spilling noble blood. His initial hopes of a pre-banquette night of drunken debauchery are swiftly dashed when he meets what seems to be a procession of religious figures. Benedict – a studious religious student, Burtold – a monk who travels from region to region selling religious relics and artefacts and Barnabus Spers – a wondering debunker of the supernatural. The only bright points for Wilfric are the arrival of Maria Monomachina (until he learns she is a noble, and will not dally with a mere bastard), Helzabub (witch of a local village), and a mysterious woman named Marianna. He finds a drinking buddy in Frankie – a reformed criminal, looking for a new start in life after fleeing his homeland of England.

They meet the other patrons of the inn: Synovea – an old gypsy woman, Paul – a crippled soldier looking for work, and Brother Clements – a wrathful monk.

Paul approaches the group and introduces himself; he asks if they will introduce him to Lord Giovanni’s steward, because he has heard The Lord is hiring a large number of household soldiers to defend his manse. Meanwhile, Brother Clements rants about the evils that are carried out at Casa Giovanni each night, but (after careful examination of what he has to say) he knows no actual specific details – just rumour and rhetoric about Lord Giovanni cavorting with the devil.

Lothar (Lord Giovanni’s steward) enters the Inn. He is flanked by Roderigo, and two of Giovanni’s men at arms. Lothar ‘introduces’ himself to the characters – this is achieved by stroking their hands, tracing the veins in their wrist, sniffing at them, and even licking the truly unlucky. Wilfric puts in a good word for Paul, and the crippled soldier is taken with Lothar when he leaves.

Brother Clements is unable to contain himself and begins ranting at Lothar for his evil ways, and for being the steward of a man who cavorts with the devil. Brother Clements’ outburst sees him dragged from the Inn, hog tied and left in the stables – until Burtold unties him while Lord Giovanni’s men eventually leave the inn for the night.

Unfortunately, Maria’s poor behaviour and disrespectful attitude result in her invitation being revoked by the Lord’s Steward. He takes much pleasure in telling her that a carriage will be sent for her after the others have departed for the banquette. She is eventually escorted to a carriage – as she steps into the dark carriage she is unaware that a common thug is hiding in the darkness, awaiting her arrival. As she enters the carriage, she is bludgeoned from behind, hog tied, and taken to Casa Giovanni in a most unladylike manner.

The rest of the party, unaware of Maria’s fate, travel to Casa Giovanni, little expecting the night of hellish torture that awaits them. They pass crucified figures of the enemies of Lord Giovanni – Roderigo explains that ‘The lord is a hard task master’. After hours of travelling by carriage, they eventually arrive at the Lord’s castle.

The session ends with them waiting in the main corridor of the castle, awaiting their hosts and their destiny.

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Introduction

It is the year of our lord 1044. Thirteen people have received a personal invitation to Lord Giovanni’s mansion for a banquet, rarefied entertainments and an unforgettable night. To some, such an invitation is not out of the ordinary, but for others – it is the cause of wonder, perhaps even fear. Why have they come to the attention of a noble from a far distant land? A carriage will be sent to transport them to the Transylvanian Keep of Lord Giovanni on the evening of the 3rd of April. They will stay at the Inn of the Red Lamb overnight, before being summoned to the Lord’s Castle the following evening.

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