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Keep Your Friends Close: Inside the Box

Posted on February 28, 2010 by Billzilla

February 26th

This week in our ongoing Vampire:the Requiem game, Blake and Lavender are on their way to the Chicago suburb of Stickney to consult with their mentor, Regent Mike Czarnecki, Nosferatu and Invictus elder. The batch of assorted crates and containers we recovered from under the Chicago River were waiting to be opened. Upon our arrival in Stickney, we were led by the Regent through a series of hallways and tunnels to what appeared to be an empty parking lot – until the Regent canceled his Obfuscate, and we saw a smallish, corrugated metal building the size of a two-car garage. because we had enlisted the aid of the rival Carthians, it had been suggested to the Regent by McLean that the boxes recovered from under the Chicago River should be moved to a safer place. How much safer a hiding place could one get than a building that normally couldn’t be found? The Regent mentions that few outside of his own clan knew of this building; Blake felt honored to be brought into the Regent’s confidence in this way.

The big, scary box did in fact turn out to be The Old Man, Oscar Steward – Invictus elder and Knight, and Blake’s own great-great grandsire (surprise!) resting in torpor for more than twenty years. Having rescued him from his circumstance should be worth a few brownie points with the Invictus. The inside of the lid of his resting box was covered with Egyptian hieroglyphics. Did these symbols act to avoid detection of the box’s contents or to keep something sealed within?

The contents of the other boxes were nearly as interesting; one crate contained counterfeit printing plates for United States currency from the early 1960s – mostly useless now, but perhaps worth something in the right circles. Another was stuffed with cash; mostly 1940s vintage wads of currency, gold coins, and two very small bags of diamonds. One smallish box contained nothing but papers; piles and piles of lists – names and addresses, just names, and so forth – thousands of pages worth. A more cryptic container was filled with government files of surveillance on Chicago citizens from the 1940s and early 1950s. Blake’s initial supposition is that this is documentation of the McCarthy-era red scare.

Two mysterious crates were also opened. One is filled to the brim with sea salt crystals, buried within which were three chunks of mysterious rock and nothing else. Another – with hieroglyphics carved into the lid – held four canopic jars and some packing sawdust. When this box was opened, a sense of power began to emanate from within. Mr Czarnecki, an elder and powerful Kindred in his own right, backed away from this crate when opened; that was our signal to close it back up.

This was destined to be a busy night; we had to leave before totally satisfying Blake’s curiosity about the contents of the various boxes to make it to the Prince’s monthly court, held after-hours at the Shedd Aquarium. We drove to court in a rented limo, along with Regent Czarnecki. The Regent rarely appears at court; as soon as we entered the building as his escort, people began to gossip. Blake’s sire, Adam Monroe, was visiting from Milwaukee, where he’s been attempting to extend the Chicago Prince’s influence.

Also present were an inordinate number of Ordo Dracul representatives, most of which we’d never met before. This was not without reason; an undeclared kindred captured by one of the Prince’s Hounds was on display. He was destined to be in trouble – even after an Ordo Dracul Elder stepped forward to speak on his behalf, declaring him a messenger for the Ordo Dracul – until it became clear the entire Ordo Dracul covenant were ready to throw down over the matter. The situation was defused by the Prince finally, and all parties backed down. Whatever message this messenger had to deliver, it must be pretty important for the entire OD population not only to show up at court, but also to stand ready to go to war with the Prince and Chicago’s dominant faction of Kindred.

The rest of court passed uneventfully; Blake managed to touch base with his sire – including informing him of the rescue of Oscar Steward. Blake’s sire is a cold, distant person, and had nothing to say to Blake other than the few odd pleasantries that tend to crop up in conversation. Blake and Lavender also made their report to the Seneschal, Garrett McLean, on the findings from the diving expedition. Blake was careful not to mention too much of what was actually found; he mentioned the final crate, which had been broken into and looted a week prior to our subsequent nights’ diving expeditions. McLean seemed satisfied with this information, but ordered the two of us to learn more about the two “new’ Carthians that helped unload the boxes for transport to Stickney.

Lavender lands on a plan to pay back the favor we owe Bobby Warner for the use of his heavy-duty truck by taking one of the two Carthians, neonate Anna Holmburg, out for a night of shopping, gossip and general girl’s night on the town. Bobby insists that Anna is spending too much time with a rough crowd within the Carthian Movement, and is acting too trashy. He’s hoping Lavender can help her clean up her act – if only through leading by example. For his part, Blake will need to learn more about the elusive Mr. Turner.

If you’re interested in getting caught up on our previous sessions, read:

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