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Keep Your Friends Close…Treasure Hunting?

Posted on February 26, 2010 by Billzilla

Feb. 19, 2010

Picking up from where we left our coterie last week, we find Lavender, Blake and the rest about to look for sunken treasure. Having learned that the body of “The Old Man” (an Invictus elder) was in torpor at the bottom of the Chicago River, Blake immediately assumes we need to retrieve it and put it in safe storage. If the diablerists were to get their hands on it, the results would be bad no matter what happened. The diving expedition consists of Blake, Filthfoot (Nosferatu bound to our coterie under first-stage viniculum as punishment for misbehavior) and Garret McLean, Gangrel Seneschal to the Prince and all-around bad dude. Lavender will remain in the boat as look-out and back-up, along with Carpenter (Blake’s ghoul), Butch (Filthfoot’s buddy) and the boat captain, who thinks we’re diving to recover lost treasures of Al Capone.

Filthfoot has taken a liking to this treasure hunting business; he’s already recovered six crates of various goods from the river bottom, and seems genuinely enthusiastic for the first time in Blake’s admittedly limited experience with the Nosferatu. When he heard we were searching for the Old Man, he stopped opening the crates…

On the drive to the boat landing, Lavender and Blake debate the wisdom of backing a candidate in the race for Regency over Cicero. Competing bids are Parker Rutherford — member of the Lancaea Sanctum — supported by Derek Edgerton (Ordo Dracul) and “Earth” Baines (Invictus). Baines has been our nemesis since the beginning of the Chronicle, but having him with something else to do would keep him off our backs, so that’s a plus. The other candidate is a Carthian bid, fronted by Lillian Vanderpool, a Mekhet and member of the Prince’s Primogen Council. Backing one or the other could gain us some currency in the form of favors…

When Blake and Lavender arrive, the boat is waiting. Blake and Filthfoot go into the water; McLean joins us later. Lavender, Carpenter and Butch stay topside to keep an eye out.

The first site yields a mysterious metal crate the size of a bread box; also a large bundle apparently filled with firearms, and a mysterious body (human) partly decomposed, with heavy chains wrapped around its feet. As we find the first box, McLean shows up in the form of a large crocodile – unnerving even for Kindred. McLean finds the dead body and indicates we should document this evidence for later investigation.

Communication underwater is difficult; Blake is wearing a diving suit complete with helmet containing an intercom system linked to the boat, so at least we can communicate back and forth. Pictures were taken to record evidence of the body for possible blackmail purposes. The curious metal crate and the weapons were brought up to the boat. We noted a couple of individuals watching us from a nearby bridge. We called in reinforcements to investigate the watchers as we moved on to the second site. We discover that the captain of the boat is wolf-blooded; part of a werewolf family, but one who doesn’t change into wolf or half-wolf form.

While searching through the second site, Blake notices someone swimming by who is clearly NOT the crocodile-form McLean. Being midnight on February 19, it’s far too cold to be a casual bather; we go on the alert. Partly buried and hidden by a large rock we find a huge metal and wood crate that is immensely heavy, and attached to the river bottom by a long, thick chain. As we work on cutting the chain, Blake sees the swimmer again, and tries to attract its attention. He succeeds, but at that moment the chain holding the crate to the bottom of the river snaps, and the loud sound (magnified underwater) drives away the swimmer. Blake suspects the swimmer to be the lone member of the River Rats yet unaccounted for, Betty “the Mermaid,” a Daeva perhaps unaware of the fate of her Mistress, Regent Serbetsya. If this is the case, she is in danger from her coterie-mates, one of whom is the Kindred who diablerized the Regent. On the other hand, one member of the diablerists cabal remains unidentified; could Betty be conspirator number six? Lavender is not so sure of the swimmer’s identity, and is far more concerned about the implications of this underwater interloper.

As the crate clears the water, we all feel an immense sense of age and power radiating from it; if this isn’t the right box, it’s probably pretty important anyway. We arrange for some help with a big truck, and make our way to Stickney. Our choice of assistance – the truck is run by a Carthian – is not totally approved of by the dyed-in-the-wool Invictus McLean, but in the end we arrive at the site and unload the crate without incident. Blake now owes a favor to the Carthians. Before leaving, McLean bluntly demands a report on our findings regarding the recovered crates. Blake makes a note to send two copies of his report to the Plamer House Hotel, home of the Prince; one addressed to McLean, the other to Prince Maxwell himself. For good measure, Blake will also send a copy of the report to the coterie’s mentor, Michael Czarnecki, Nosferatu elder and Regent of the Chicago suburb of Stickney.

Tomorrow Blake, Filthfoot and Lavender, and possibly Lance – our connection to the River Rats and the source of our information – will investigate the third and final site (that we know of), retrieve the crates Filthfoot had previously uncovered, and haul the whole mess out to Stickney with the rest. Perhaps Regent Czarnecki will know for sure if the massive box we retrieved was indeed the Old Man…

If you’re interested in catching up, be sure to read:

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