Dreams at the Crossroads

Sessions 1-2

A Fateful Voyage

June 11 – August 1, AD 1071

The first leg of the Plutonova Exo’s journey proceeded smoothly, stopping off at the Isle of Pisa and then the city of Messina in Sicily, which proved quite a lucrative stop despite the fact that the city was still in shambles after being torn from Saracen hands by Byzantium. After leaving Messina however, a dark pall of madness quickly enshrouded the ship. Crewman who the night before had been stalwart of mind and spirit suddenly suffered delusions and paranoia, the captain fell into a nearly catatonic melancholia, and rumors of a blood-drinking, malignant spirit spread through the galley like Greek fire.

The terror peaked three nights after the ship’s haunting began when, unbeknownst to the Cainite passengers, the ship’s cook, Luka, fed stale bread infected with ergot fungus to the crew. At the terrible urgings of St. Anthony ’s fire, his shipmates jerked and howled in agony like marionettes animated by a palsied puppet master. Amidst the desperation and madness of his captive audience, Luka pronounced himself a prophet of St. Michael the Archangel. He’d been sent a vision to prepare his ‘flock’ for the Lord’s judgment.

As the grim possibility of being lost at sea grew, Rodrigo, Geneviève, and Gaurin, who had lain low up until this point, were forced to take the matter in hand. As the three Cainites moved through the dimly lit, swaying decks, and saw the carnage wrought by Luka’s madness, the prospect of reaching Zara appeared doubtful. At least half the crew had succumbed to the fungus and another quarter remained enslaved to all manner of perverse delusions. Desperate to regain control, the trio defeated the mad cook and sought out the galley’s captain who’d confined himself to his quarters.

Gari.jpgIt was upon reaching the captain that it became clear another passenger was aboard the Plutonova Exo. The captain was not alone in his cabin. He’d been fed on by an invisible entity that fled the room as Geneviève entered. The coterie tracked the specter to the cargo hold of the ship and discovered it to be a swarthy skinned Malkavian who identified himself as Gari.

According to the stowaway, he’d stolen passage on the galley in Messina, and had been unaware other Cainites were aboard the vessel. Apparently, he was either unaware that his feeding entailed such dire side effects or was surprised by the crew’s susceptibility to it. Neither party desired further conflict so the four Cainites came to an agreement that would ensure the safety and security of all involved. Gari ghouled the remnants of the crew, including the captain, to increase their efficiency and prevent another incident. In exchange, Gari agreed to provide Gaurin, Geneviève, and Rodrigo safe passage to Zara.

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Prologue

In the Beginning

April 4th – June 10, AD 1071

TempCaine.pngAfter recovering a fragment of an ancient Greek manuscript from the site of a ravaged merchant’s caravan, Vasco Ordonez and his childe Rodrigo de Pelayo recognized the scroll could potentially originate from the legendry Book of Nod. The pair of Nosferatu began investigating the scroll, tracing the route of the caravan back to the Abbey of Cluney near Marseille in the kingdom of Toulouse. Unwilling to let the trail die there, Vasco sent a missive to his acquaintance Abbot Maieul of Cluney, a Cappadocian responsible for the expulsion of the Fraxinet Saracens from Toulouse at the hands of the lords of Provence, and requested information on the mysterious scroll fragment in exchange for certain services only a Nosferatu could provide.

When the Abbot’s response arrived, disclosing the fragment’s passage to Cluney from a small Orthodox monastery near the Croatian port city of Zara, the two Nosferatu prepared to journey to the abbey. When the time came to depart however, Vasco was nowhere to be found. Concerned, Rodrigo searched him out and discovered his sire on the verge of final death in a secret haven. Vasco had been poisoned, and his symptoms corresponded with those of a virulent substance rumored to be utilized by the dreaded Nictuku. A cynic of the Nictuku myth, Rodrigo determined that only a fellow Nosferatu could use such a poison but also know to exploit its implications. With Vasco’s dying breath still clinging to him, Rodrigo smuggled himself out of the city with the hidden Nod fragment on a ship destined for the bustling ports of Marseille.

TempCaine2.pngBut all was not well in the abbey either. Not long after Abbot Maieul sent his response to Vasco, a similar poisoning claimed the life of Brother Estienne, beloved childe of the Abbot and ward of Prioress Odette and Sister Geneviéve, the monastery’s Lamia guardians. Upon discovering the toxin’s Nosferatu origins, Maieul quietly began preparing to take vengeance on the local lepers.

Needless to say, it was quite a surprise to the Cappadocians of Cluney when a lone, Lisboetan Nosferatu arrived at the monastery’s gates requesting an audience with the Abbot. Curious, Maieul agreed to allow the neonate entrance and hospitality… so long as he provided some insight into the motives and means of the leper assassin.

The meeting went long into the night, and as the Cappadocians and lone Nosferatu compared notes, the clearer it became that the murders were connected to the trail of the Nod fragment. Acknowledging the improbability of Rodrigo’s guilt in the matter and his equal right to vengeance, Maieul dictated that Rodrigo was free to pursue his quarry, but only if he conceded to be accompanied by Sister Geneviève and his childe Brother Gaurin of Cluny.

The trio of Cainites departed Marseille on the Plutonova Exo, a Dalmatian galley destined for Zara.

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