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Flames

Marriage of Virtue and Viciousness

Posted on June 5, 2006 by Flames


Available at Amazon.com

As the Mask of Humanity slips, the kindred of Chicago now have to deal with the inevitable Indulgence that is rumored to happen. Not only has that come up, but the infamous Solomon Birch, Bishop of the Lancea Sanctum, faced a possible coup from inside his own church because of his forced vinculum to the Prince. In this very well played final story to the Requiem Trilogy, all the characters face their own inhumanity, as well as trying to find their human selves that died so long ago.

I must say that The Marriage of Virtue and Viciousness truly carried on the feeling laid down in the first book. The main characters in this book are the villain Solomon Birch, the musician Velvet, the human Witch-huntress Aurora, and Velvets mortal prey, Steve. Greg illustrates to us that feeling being fed off of, to be so close to death and to embrace its promises. He also gives us a taste of what it is like to feed off mortals, the burning need that is ever present within the Damned. The needs of both the predator and the prey strongly reflect each other in a very morbid way. The predators need to bring death, and the prey’s want of death, or the exhilaration to be so close to death, is a great conflict within the book.

Greg Stolze definitely continued the work of his part in the story. His gothic imagery of his characters truly captivates the reader, keeping your eyes once more glued to the pages. His imagery of thoughts and feelings is a wonderful addition to a story that challenges the characters. Politics run deep in Chicago and the push for a break from the harshly enforced Tranquility within the city. Grammar and the use of jargon for many characters gave them life, a break from the normal grammatically correct way of writing. The character of Earth Baines provides us with this flavoring, as well as some humorous jargon that is so common these days.

This book would be very useful in campaigns using the Requiem storyline. Not only for the structure of the city, but how has each sect within the city worked. One of the best sections that stuck in my mind was a tiny part with the Ordo Dracul. Within it was a humorously confusing conversation of the characters finishing each others sentences, but leaving the reader completely left out of the conversation. Not only is it the only lengthy appearance of the Ordo Dracul, but it also shows how they work around each other. Using the examples presented in this story will give any storyteller an edge in their campaign.

Within the Lancea Sanctum, the High Inquisitor decides to perform an inquisition in the middle of an important ceremony for the church, Founders Day. The target is Solomon for his possible betrayal and unfitness to the church. Those that are behind it have been fighting for the mask since his time of bondage to the Prince. As a result, the faithful of the sect are forced to choose between Solomon and Sylvia, a priestess and Theban Sorceress, as their leader. Solomon gives a very rousing speech, overthrowing his coup, and becoming stronger than ever with his followers.

This book is definitely worth the price, which is about $7. The continuation of the story, as well as the usefulness in storytelling will give any reader a great resource for their collection. Definitely a good wrap up to the story, as well as a good lead in to any campaign, should the storyteller be brave enough to enter this world themselves. Readers beware, the Mask slips quickly in this world, and you quickly find out how human you truly are.

Reviewer: Crystal Mazur

Look for Vampire: the Requiem eBooks at RPGNow.com.

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