Vedrischtal - Occasus

With new of the battle of Halfway spreading through Tarkalsys, the Nobles of the Barren Throne prepare to meet to discuss new developments and plan their next move against the Theocracy.

Story Notes

With the retaking of Halfway, the Nobles of the barren Throne have gathered in Nectrum to celebrate. At the same time, Duke von Markham looks forward to speaking with his granddaughter, and both Kade and Cedar have been informed that Duke Stursgraad will be in attendance.

 

VAMPIRISM: A new vampire has three mechanics that apply to them. These effects last until the end of the event. They may be suspended at narrator discretion. The character gains the additional costuming requirement: fangs.

1) The new vampire is afflicted by the flaws "Always Fatigued" and "Critted by Prime".

2) The new vampire cannot use "Call Prime" or be affected by "Imbue Prime".

3) If the new vampire "Slays" a foe (or kills them with "Crit") they may immediately "Rest in 30" (this supersedes "Always Fatigued").

 

NEW UNLIFE: As part of the transformation, the new vampire may respend their character into a new class ON SITE. They must still pay the karma cost, as usual.

 

REQUIRED PC: Lady Claudia

 

CREDIT: The Wanderer is a creation of Brooks Shackelford.

Materials

Ring (provided by Sheila)

Fangs (provided by Sheila)

Monsters

NPC Duke Stursgraad

NPC Duke von Markham

OPTIONAL: Agents of House von Markham

OPTIONAL: Numerous other vampiric nobles

1.1A – Golden Opportunity

Narrative
[TO POPPY - AFTER RP]
A wind whips down the streets of Jastrey; a swirl of red mist forms, before coalescing into a portal.

[TO EVERYONE EXCEPT POPPY]
A large raven lights on a nearby building and caws at you.

[UPON FINDING KADE/CEDAR:]
The raven gives you a sidelong, golden-eyed glare before descending from its perch. With a more insistent caw, it lights on your shoulder.

[UPON FINDING LADY CLAUDIA:]
The raven gives Lady Claudia a sidelong, yellow-eyed glare before descending from its perch. With an impatient caw it holds out its neck.

[AFTER TAKING THE PARCHMENT:]
Removing the parchment from the tube at Claven's neck, it is sealed with the insignia of your grandfather, Duke Invictus von Markham. Claven perches nearby, ruffling and preening at the feathers near the tube.
Scene Notes
POPPY ONLY:
The Wanderer, Cosmin Arqveil, will contact Poppy. The Nobles of the Barren Throne are all gathering at Nectrum, and the Wanderer things Poppy should attend as well. If pressed as to why, inform her that it is an old tradition among the Nobles to be present at the siring of a new vampire when they are one of the blood relations of a current Noble; as much as he prefers not being involved in the court, it would be an insult to not be present. He can open a blood portal for her.

KADE/CEDAR ONLY:
The raven, while it would appear to be Claven, is Barbas in disguise. He will only speak with Kade/Cedar briefly, to inform them that the Nobles of the Barren Throne are gathering in Nectrum to celebrate the reclamation of Halfway. Duke Stursgraad will be present; as Tarkalsys prepares to take further action against the Theocracy, now would be an opportune time to try and speak with him.


LADY CLAUDIA ONLY:
If the players manage to coax the raven down, it's not terribly friendly. Claven is a large raven, with a tendency to bite. It will only let Lady Claudia remove the message from the parchment tube at its neck.

DUKE VON MARKHAM'S MESSAGE:
"My Little Claudia,
You have done a great service not only for our House, but for all of Tarkalsys. The Nobles of the Barren Throne will be gathering in Nectrum, under our roof, to celebrate the liberation of Halfway. I'm sure they would love to hear your tale as much as I. I am so proud of you, my little Claudia. I hope you will honor us with your presence.
May Avaren always watch over you,
Duke Invictus von Markham"
Narrative Effects
POPPY ONLY:
Inspect Magic (Hard): It is a portal, made by blood magic.

KADE/CEDAR ONLY:
Commune Nature (Impossible): The raven does not react to your attempt at communication.
Insight (Automatic): While not completely forthcoming, you believe they are completely honest.
Inspect Aura (Impossible): Attempting to read their aura your mind is filled with ages of pain, servitude, and paranoia; lastly the horrific visage of an inhuman, eyeless gaze, ever watching. ["Deplete", 'Fear"]
Inspect Evil (Hard): The raven is definitely evil.
Inspect Magic (Hard): FAIL: You sense the magic of the Astral. PASS: ...and the Pit.

LADY CLAUDIA ONLY:
Commune Nature (Hard): [The player can coax Claven down from its perch, but it's still not very friendly or talkative.]
Inspect Aura (Hard): An aura of death seems to hang around the raven.
Inspect Evil (Hard): The raven isn't evil itself, but has been in recent contact with something.
Speak Takral (Automatic): [The raven seems to recognize Takral.]

1.2 – V-Day

Narrative
[TO EVERYONE EXCEPT POPPY:]
Claven leads you back to the span he took to reach Jastrey, stopping periodically to perch on a branch and caw back at you impatiently. The light of midday in Jastrey gives way to the perpetual twilight of Tarkalsys. Arriving not far from the city of Nectrum.

[TO POPPY:]
As you emerge from the portal the harsh light of midday in Jastrey gives way to the comforting perpetual twilight of Tarkalsys. The city of Nectrum not far away.

[UPON ENTRY:]
As you make your way through Nectrum to the ancestral home of House von Markham, armed agents of the house are out in force in the roads surrounding it, but the citizens are more at easy than you've seen in recent trips. Banners emblazoned with the heraldry of the noble houses line the main street leading to the castle, and over the door an immense banner depicting a silver dragon and a red gryphon, entwined. As you approach, there are well dressed people disembarking from carriages, and numerous servants both of House von Markham and other houses. A few agents, bearing the silver dragon and red gryphon see you and approach.
Scene Notes
Allow the players to meet each other on the way to Nectrum. They may RP among themselves briefly, revealing why they are heading to Nectrum, or what they know, if they see fit. Keep the scene moving though, as there is plenty of time to RP once they arrive at the castle as well.

The agents will ask the players their business in Nectrum and with House Von Markham. If Lady Claudia is present, they can readily gain entry, even without giving answers. So long as the players are not hostile, and identify themselves, they should be allowed entry. At this point the list of players with reason to be present are:
Lady Claudia von Markham (Granddaughter of Duke von Markham )
Marloff (Lady Claudia's husband, known by House von Markham)
Poppy (Sired by the Wanderer, known by House von Markham)
Kade (friend of Lady Claudia, known by House von Markham)
Cedar (known by House von Markham)

[UPON ENTRY]
The players can mingle with the major and minor vampiric nobles. The heads of the Nobles of the barren Throne are all present, if they wish to speak to anyone specifically (see list below). Duke Stursgraad can be found later (see Scene 1.4).

NPCS OF NOTE:
Richard Straker (Human Thrall of House Stursgraad) - Vlostoc: Manservant to Duke Stursgraad.
Earl Andrei Orlok (Vampire: Undrich Noble - Human) - Trinsburrow: Current leader of House Orlok after the death of Marquess Gustave Orlok.
Baronet Liliana Du Coudray (Archael - Human) - Shirelan: Representative of House Du Coudray, no noble standing.
Marquise Anete Barnave (Vampire: Archael Noble - Uordeq) - Broma: Though no longer technically a noble after the death of her husband, Anete Barnave has managed to fend off several attempts to usurp her position as leader of House Barnave.
Baron Dorinel de Leucere (Vampire: Oradach Noble - Uordeq) - Hovenlorn: Current leader of House de Leucere after the death of Viscount Lestat de Leucere.


For now, pull Lady Claudia aside for Scene 1.3A.
Narrative Effects
Insight (Easy): The agents are being truthful.
Inspect Aura (Hard): An aura of death seems to hang around the agents.
Inspect Evil (Hard): The agents aren't evil themselves, but they have been in recent contact with something.
Speak Takral (Automatic): [The agents are fluent in Takral, though their dialogue options aren't any different.]

1.3A –Family of Blood [Lady Claudia]

Narrative
A servant of the house informs you that the Duke would like to speak with you in his study before he comes down to greet the other guests.

[UPON ARRIVAL:]
You know your way about the castle well, and it's not long before you reach the familiar ornate doors in the East tower. The interior of the study was dimly lit, though you were still able to see well enough. The figure who turned to the door was a well dressed, older man, with a cane. The more serious look upon his face melting away upon seeing who stood in the doorway.
Scene Notes
The Duke and Claudia may RP for a bit, he is very interested in what happened at Halfway. A few notes are included, but Lady Claudia may guide the RP as she likes.

Duke Invictus von Markham - RP NOTES:
[Always refer to Lady claudia as "my Little Claudia"; offer tea]
Ask how things have been in Jastrey, and about the Warrens.
Casius and Vigor have relayed their experiences; but you would like to hear it again from Lady Claudia.
With her success in Halfway, none can doubt her abilities; ask if she has given any further thought to taking her rightful place, commanding the family's army.


After RP, it is likely Lady Claudia will broach the subject of joining the Family of the Blood. This should surprise the Duke, who will ask why she would propose such a thing. Though the Duke has mixed feelings about turning Lady Claudia, he will agree to do so, if she presses him to.

If Lady Claudia asks to join the Family of the Blood, proceed to Scene 1.3B. Regardless, Duke von Markham will escort her back downstairs on his arm.
Narrative Effects
Insight (Very Hard): Duke Invictus von Markham is being truthful.
Reversed Insight (Very Hard): [If successful, Duke Invictus von Markham believes the statement in question.]
Inspect Aura (Automatic): An aura of death hangs heavily about Duke Invictus von Markham.
Inspect Magic (Hard): This area is warded against positive energy.
Inspect Evil (Automatic): Duke Invictus von Markham is evil.
Speak Takral (Automatic): [Duke Invictus von Markham is fluent in Takral, though his dialogue options aren't any different.]

1.3B –Family of the Blood [Lady Claudia]

Narrative
[TO EVERYONE EXCEPT MARLOFF, POPPY, AND LADY CLAUDIA:]
As you mingle with the guests, servants of the house come by to offer you hors d'oeuvres and drinks. You see several of the more prominent nobles head to another room along with Lady Claudia and Duke von Markham. Servants also escort Marloff and Poppy into the other room as well, closing the doors behind them.

[TO MARLOFF, POPPY, AND LADY CLAUDIA:]
As Lady Claudia descents the stairs with Duke von Markham, several of the more prominent nobles make their way to another room. A servant approaches you.

[AFTER DUKE RP:]
There's some shocked murmuring from the crowd, but one by one the leaders of the Houses of the Barren Throne rise to give their blessing to the transformation. The last to do so is Duke Stursgraad, who has been watching Lady Claudia ever since Duke von Markham announced her intentions; giving his blessing as well. Duke von Markham smiles softly, if not slightly sadly, as he takes Lady Claudia's hand and pulls her close.

[TO LADY CLAUDIA - AFTER TURNING:]
Everything goes dark, it's cold. Slowly you open your eyes. You feel like you've both overslept, and not slept for days. Your grandfather helps you slowly to your feet; you feel like all life has been drained out of you. Taking a ring from his hand and placing it on yours. "Welcome to the family, my little Claudia."
Scene Notes
Take Marloff, Poppy, and Lady Claudia aside. Once you have done so, read the third narration.

Duke von Markham - RP NOTES:
You will thank the nobles for joining you.
You will inform them that your granddaughter, Lady Claudia von Markham, wishes to join the family of the blood.
You ask the other Houses of the Barren Throne for their blessing on her transformation.
[BEFORE THEBITE] (whispered) Do not worry, my Little Claudia, it will only hurt a moment, I promise.


After RP, read the third narration. The other Nobles, aside from Duke Stursgraad, really have no rank to challenge Duke von Markham, but asking their blessing is a matter of tradition and respect.

After Lady Cladia is turned by Duke von Markham, seek out Jennifer Ward. Avaren must decide what action to take, if any. If Lady Claudia is struck by Blasphemy, she is still considered to be in Tarkalsys and part of this content until she is resurrected.

Afterwards, read the final narration to Lady Claudia; have the party rejoin and continue to the next scene.
Narrative Effects
Insight (Very Hard): Duke Invictus von Markham is being truthful.
Reversed Insight (Very Hard): [If successful, Duke Invictus von Markham believes the statement in question.]
Inspect Aura (Automatic): An aura of death hangs heavily about Duke Invictus von Markham.
Inspect Magic (Hard): This area is warded against positive energy.
Inspect Evil (Automatic): Duke Invictus von Markham is evil.
Speak Takral (Automatic): [Duke Invictus von Markham is fluent in Takral, though his dialogue options aren't any different.]

1.4 – Prestation [Kade/Cedar]

Narrative
As you mingle with the gathered Tarkalsian nobles, you see several prominent nobles return from another room. Duke Stursgraad enters and speaks with his personal servant, Richard Straker. It takes some effort, but you manage to make your way across the room towards him.

[AFTER RP]
As you finish your business with Duke Stursgraad, the crowd begins their slow exit. Before long only the Nobles of the Barren Throne and yourselves remain. Saying your goodbyes, you make for the span back to Jastrey.
Scene Notes
Kade and Cedar may RP with Duke Stursgraad. He is at least passingly familiar with them both, and would be interested to hear their account of the battle of Halfway. If they wish to ask favors of him, they should know that favors will be expected in return.

KADE:
If Kade has the letter of introduction from Duke von Markham, she may present it to Duke Stursgraad; this is an exchange of favors between the Dukes then instead of Kade. Her favor likely involves access to Duke Stursgraad's personal library in Vlostoc.

CEDAR:
Cedar is a very resourceful faun, of unique skills. His favor likely involves wanting to learn the Words of Undoing. This is no small request; while the narrator has the final say in the outcome, he should have to make a very exceptional offer to Duke Stursgraad, or know that the Duke will be expecting an equally important favor in the future.

Once RP is concluded, read the final narration; this ends the content. The players can make their ways back to Jastrey through the same span they came through.
Narrative Effects
Insight (Very Hard): Duke Stursgraad is being truthful.
Reversed Insight (Very Hard): [If successful, Duke Stursgraad believes the statement in question.]
Inspect Aura (Automatic): An aura of death hangs heavily about Duke Stursgraad.
Inspect Evil (Automatic): Duke Stursgraad is evil.
Speak Takral (Automatic): [Duke Stursgraad is fluent in Takral, though his dialogue options aren't any different.]