Since the declaration of their cabal, the new allies decide to take some time off to concentrate on their training. Po travels to the Indian reservation of Pyramid Lake with his master Bruce Leeroy, to train his mind against further mental manipulations. Julian busies himself within his lab, creating wondrous devices to counter against the wraith threat. Meanwhile Julian is visited by someone claiming to be his daughter. While Julian looks to science for answers, Wesley turns to his books to learn how to manipulate distance and space. But Wesley’s studies at the library would be interrupted by a haunting.
GM Notes: In Thin Blood, the session was primarily an experiment at role-playing down time. The session picks up on in May 7 and covers over the span of four weeks, ending in June 5, 2000.
Po travels to the Indian reservation of Pyramid Lake and meets up with his mentor, Bruce Leeroy Green. He is introduced to the other members of Leeroy’s cabal, Jerry Tanner and Sarah Jamison. The group helps instruct Po on how to strengthen his mind against intrusion from outside sources, and teaches him a few tricks on how he can further use his magic. Leeroy warns Po about being a neighborhood protector and the risks of violence awakening his avatar’s hunger for death and blood. Po then later contacts Wendy and asks her to dig up information on what she can find out about Peter and Rose.
Meanwhile Julian crafts a number of inventions and continues to conduct experiments on Alec, trying to learn more on what is animating his corpse. Ghosts are still watching his estate. He is interrupted by the arrival of Ruby Sterling, who claims to be his daughter. She has been attempting to contact Julian for months but Isis has been intercepting these requests. Julian questions Isis about Ruby after performing some parental biology tests, and Isis informs him of her suspicion of Ruby’s parentage. They both suspect that Ruby is a construct crafted from his DNA, sent probably by a Technocratic faction to spy upon him. Julian resolves the situation by sending Ruby to a boarding school in California. Later Julian makes contact with the head of the Black Pyramid Chantry, Malcolm. In an mutual agreement Julian would allow the Black Pyramid Chantry access to his Node, in exchange for spiritual wards against ghosts. Malcolm agrees.
Elsewhere, Wesley investigates rumors of a haunting at the University’s library. He chases the ghost off. He then later meets up with Oz and is introduced to Damon Strangelove of House Tytalus. The trio are able to hunt down Rose and Peter at a motel during daylight hours. The Order of Hermes mages subdue and captures the couple after a savage beating. Afterwards Damon then gives Wesley and Oz a reward for their efforts.
On a side note, due to the events of May 5, Buona Fortuna censors the Black Pyramid Chantry in conducting further rituals dealing with Project Stormwarden. Meanwhile the Black Pyramid Chantry would use the time to repair their Node and investigate rumors of a spy or saboteur among their ranks. In addition, the University of Nevada’s library is under investigation by paranormal investigators from Terrel & Squib Investigation. They claim this is going to be for a documentary show on the Sci-Fi channel.
The cabal would meet up again in June 5, 2000, and continue their investigation into the gang war. This time the cabal decides to investigate the Gerson Park Kingsmen and attempt to learn the identity of the Grim Legionnaire manipulating the GPK. Their investigations would lead them to a number of auto shops, where they notice a wraith riding a spectral motorcycle patrolling the properties. They enter one of the auto shops, are able to subdue the staff, and learn that the GPK is receiving shipments of pigment hidden in automobiles. The automobiles are sent from California from the Pisanob Cartel to a select few local car dealerships. The dealerships send damaged cars to the auto shops run by the GPK to be fixed and touched up. The GPK then take out the hidden drugs and return the touched up cars back to the auto dealerships with no one the wiser. The gang then sells the drug to the Play Boys who then distribute it on the street. The GPK use to sell the drug to the Rollin 60s, but the Rollin 60s have refused to buy the drugs in recent years, and are now just stealing it from the Play Boys and the GPK with force.
The cabal would then later confront the spectral rider on the road and quickly learn that the wraith somehow had the ability to cross back into the Underworld, unlike the other ghosts they encountered in the past. Isis is able to identify the wraith as a spectre.
Sometime afterwards, Wesley let slip about the fate of the pregnant vampire and his lover. This infuriates Po.
Massasa is the term used by the Tradition known as the Order of Hermes for the creatures we commonly think of as vampires. The vampires, of course, have other names for themselves.
The Order of Hermes has long had difficulties with the massasa, but these difficulties culminated in 1022 when an entire House fell to the lure of immortality and became vampires. A tribunal of Quasitori in Transylvania uncover evidence of the vampirism of House Tremere in 1199, and after a formal acknowledgement of the news in Doissetep in 1201, the other Houses of the Order of Hermes pronounce the punishments of Censure, Interdiction and Requital. This marked the beginning of the Massasa War, which continued openly for another century and still exists in a muted form into the Modern Nights.
In the modern nights, the Massasa War was sparked again by mages seeking to raid Tremere chantries for lore that could help combat the effects of the Avatar Storm.
House Tremere turned to vampirism a thousand years ago, a crime for which its founder was cast out and the house itself stricken from the Order of Hermes’s rolls. The Massasa War pitted mages against vampires across eastern Europe for decades. Tremere himself, the founder of the House, was never caught. Eventually, the Order declared the matter closed. All of the errant Tremere-turned-vampires were thought destroyed.
Hundreds of years give rise to change. For the few former Tremere who may have survived, evolution into the undead state severed them from their former Order. As vampires, they are creatures that the Order no longer understands. Without the power, training and support of the Order, they no longer have any of their old skills or heritage. The ancient House Tremere is no more. Now there are only the undead — some, perhaps, who remember days as mortal wizards in the Dark Ages, but for whom magic is part-and-parcel of the curse of undeath.
In the little time since then they have made incredible inroads within vampiric society and are arguably the most powerful clan in the modern nights. This is due in no small part to their strict hierarchy, secretive nature, and mastery of Thaumaturgy, all of which elicit suspicion, fear, and respect from other Cainites. The Warlocks stand as a pillar of the Camarilla and are one of its main defenders, despite the fact that they exist almost as a subsect. Some even go so far as to consider themselves the evolution of vampirism, citing their extreme versatility of blood magic and lack of a true clan curse. The Final Nights have many things in store for the Tremere, however, and the more powerful they grow the more their enemies gather.
The Tremere clan weakness consists of an initiation, which requires neonates must all drink from the blood of the seven elders of the clan when they are created. This means that all Tremere are at least one step toward being Blood-Bound to the clan, and therefore must watch their step very carefully when around their leaders.
The Pisanob Cartel
The Pisanob cartel is actually a family branch of the Giovanni, who farm and distribute pigment. The roots of the Pisanob cartel are intertwined with the dark practices of the Mesoamerican cultures of the Aztecs and, to a lesser degree, their predecessors, the Mayans and the Toltecs. The death magic practiced by this branch of the Giovanni clan is inexorably tied to the elaborate ceremony of Aztec religious rites. Long ago, Mayan astrologers foretold that the end of the world would occur shortly after the end of a thousand-year period. The recent return of an Antediluvian during the Week of Nightmares has re-enforced the cartel’s leadership that the Mayans were right. In an effort to survive the end of the age, the cartel has began to farm and distribute pigment, anointing victims as sacrifices to the terrible blood gods in an effort to have their family spared.
Just south of the American border, in Tijuana, El ComeGusanos calls the shots in Mexico’s pigment smuggling operations into the United States. The Worm Eater has dual citizenship in both Mexico and the United States, and he has residences in both countries. Delacruz has an MBA from the UCLA graduate school of management. From his Los Angeles bungalow, the Worm Eater watches over the importation of the drug and makes sure that bribes are paid where they need to be paid. He spends most of his time in his mansion in Tijuana, however, from where he makes frequent trips to the United States to coordinate with new buyers and discuss the best methods of smuggling pigment across the border.
The usurpers of clan Cappadocian and the youngest clan of Caine, the Giovanni are both a clan and a family. They Embrace exclusively within their family (one of many things kept within the family), and are heavily focused on two goals: money and (necromantic) power. The Giovanni are a highly organized clan, consisting of a network of interrelated families who share a common culture and fealty to the ancestral Giovanni family. As a result, despite popular conception, not all Giovanni are Italian. The Giovanni are organized as something between a highly ruthless mafia dynasty and a highly ruthless corporation. Favors such as financial responsibilities (and rewards), ghouling, and the Embrace are dependent on performance; vicious backstabbing and cutthroat competition are the order of the day in a Giovanni household.
The Giovanni maintain their own internal Masquerade; a member of the family may be aware that his family is into some weird stuff, but beyond the relatively benign (in comparison) incest and high-finance backstabbing, be blissfully unaware that he’s a catspaw for cannibalistic blood-drinking necromancers. Decisions in the Giovanni are made by councils of elders known as the Anziani, with age, rank and competence all playing a role. Giovanni are highly family-oriented, even after the Embrace, and will spend centuries guiding their descendants for the greater good of the family (and themselves).
The clan weakness of Giovanni dictate that when a Giovanni bites a living being, they deal more damage than normal making it difficult to keep people alive after feeding from them.
Prior to the arrival of the Camarilla, the Giovanni have always claimed dominion of the city of Las Vegas since the city’s creation. They were the former rulers of the city until the Syndicate and the Camarilla arrived in the 1960s. The Giovanni in Vegas can resist most outright attacks and have enough contacts to keep them in business. Besides, many vampires besides the Giovanni recognize their claim of domain in Vegas, which creates an uneasy balance of power between the self declared prince of the Giovanni and the Camarilla prince. Don Michael “Fat Tony” Giovanni is the head of the family in Vegas. He is served by his underbosses, Shlomo “the Jew” Rothstein and his family of Kabbalists, and Dante “the Bull” Putanesca and his family of leg breakers.
Fat Tony is heavily involved in the pigment trade, and may very well be manipulating the gang war as part of the political game to weaken his Camarilla opponent’s influence. He is associated with the family of Giovanni out casts known as the Pisanob, South American necromancers who lost their favor with the Anziani.