C s t t : redits peCial hanks o Varney the Vampire, Dracula, “The Transfer,” The Case of Written by: Richard E. Dansky, Geoffrey C. Grabowski, Ken- Charles Dexter Ward, Vampire Junction, Carrion Comfort, Lost neth Hite, Clayton Oliver and Cynthia Summers Souls, Fevre Dream, Those Who Hunt the Night and all of the Additional Writing by: James Ki ley other wonderful stories that have continually re-invented the Additional Assistance: Justin Achilli, Robert Barrett, Bruce vampire for us.
Contents Roulette: A Cautionary Tale 4 Introduction 10 t B i B : t s d 18 he asiCs n lood he eCt efined Thin Traceries of Blood: The Clans 34 From The Beginning: Character Creation 60 Powers Beyond Understanding: Advanced Disciplines 80 The Rhythm of Immortality: Tactics and Systems 118 The City By Night: Building Your Setting 150 Tales of Imagination and Mystery: Storytelling 176 Allies, Enemies and Others 194 C ontenidos 3.
r : oulette a C t autionary ale It had been about two months since the last Sabbat scout- scouting parties with three different reports, and you can ing excursion, which meant that we were due for another one. almost hear them tearing into each another from here once Every so often, one of the bishops hiding in the SoCal sandbox someone takes the time to compare notes. It’s a joy to ponder.
employees found the gag particularly amusing. Still, he’s a Delgado opened the trunk, and the unregistered passenger good man in a fight, and loyal. Plus, he has a good nose for started thrashing about. He shut the trunk and reported to me.” sniffing out infiltrators. Useful talent, that. “Where is he now?” “just one” “He’s at home. I rotated him off shift, so our visitors don’t “Two, actually, A man and a woman. He’s currently giving see his face, match it with any description the childe in the the desk help something of a hard time, claiming his name is trunk might give, and put two and two together.” Tom Cruise. He’s too tall by half for the impersonation to rake, “Ah. I’ll want to talk to him. Have him give me a call but it’s one of the more clever attempts I’ve seen in a while.” here. How about our happy couple?” “Get his room assignment and make sure no one goes Duke shuffled his papers and flipped to another page in in or out once he and his friend settle in. Have one of the his notes. ’They’re in Room 1413, and we’re reasonably certain specials handle the valet parking on their car, and check the they’ve done some crude lightproofing. By the sounds at the trunk for ordnance. Also run the floorboards to see if they’re door, they’re sleeping in the bathroom, most likely in the tub. trying to smuggle anything in, and have your friend at LVPD The arrangement is nothing we haven’t seen before, should we run the plates to see if the car is hot.” wish to extract our visitors quietly. They haven’t even made Duke’s annoyance is palpable as he responds, “They self- contact with any local Kindred, so it’s not as if they’d be missed.” parked, Mr. Montrose. It was part of what tipped me off to “Hmm. Let me think. Do we have descriptions on them?” their presence. Otherwise, I’ll perform the usual functions, as Without a word, Duke hands me an envelope containing per our SOP. Do you have any other instructions?” enhanced images of the pair from the lobby’s security cameras. I find myself frowning. Something about this caper feels Two are close-ups, while the third is a wide-angle pan. “All right, wrong. “Nothing else. Just be extra careful on this one, OK? I see the woman’s quite attractive, and that cowboy hat looks, I’ve got a feeling.” like it’s welded on. She probably dug herself out of the ground “You always have a feeling, Mr. Montrose,” Duke says as he with it. The other one— I don’t see anything interesting here. hangs up. He’s right, though. I always have the same bad feeling What’s the deal with the third picture? I can barely see their faces!” in what used to be my gut, and I always give him the same orders “If you please, Mr. Montrose,” Duke takes the picture in once a suspicious character checks in or otherwise appeares on question hack, grinning that smug little grin that means he the scene, That’s one of the strengths of the team, though: rou- tine. Tradition. The knowledge that we’re going to do it right thinks he’s about to show me up. “If you will observe, this this time, because we’ve done it right a hundred times before. picture was taken from camera four, which takes a long sweep of the lobby and silhouettes those who are checking in—” “—against the mirrors on those columns.” An hour later, Duke is sitting in the almost-but-not-quite overstuffed beige chair in the corner of my suite, nursing a “Exactly, Mr. Montrose.” Duke is nodding, and he still hideous concoction he calls a Rusty Nail. He claims that the has that smirk on his face. “I believe I suggested we install taste of one of those monsters allows him To look forward camera four for precisely that purpose, so that we might see to the tang of the vitae he receives every month from Prince if any of our guests might be—” Benedic, but I think he just has lousy taste. “Lasombra. They actually sent in a Lasombra this “Where shall I begin, Mr. Montrose?” he says, as I plant time. Beautiful.” myself in the chair opposite his. Duke loses the smirk and looks slightly alarmed as I “Start with the basics. As always.” chortle. “Mr. Montrose, shouldn’t we inform Prince Benedic? Good old long-suffering Duke. Completely predictable. If there’s a Lasombra in the city—” “The car was our first area of inquiry. It is, much to my surprise, I cut him off again It’s getting to be a habit. “I will inform completely legitimate. There’s not much else spectacular about the prince in due time, in the meanwhile, I think we’re going it, save that it can probably get up near 200 mph in a pinch, to run a disinformation job on this guy. I want you to get me, guzzles gas dreadfully and has the sort of solid steel chassis let’s see, how about Cantor, and get the team in place, and that can serve to knock down telephone poles.” meet me back here in tin hour.” I’m up out of the chair now, I let out a low whistle. “Impressive. I take it the trunk pacing excitedly. This could be a good break. Duke is rising had equipment for dayproofing?” as well, heading for the door as he mumbles some impeccably Duke coughed embarassedly. “Delgado didn’t get a good polite and semantically empty parting.
Duke is playing his part just right. The tone of his voice here it there were a six-pack of Caine’s blood sitting in the indicates that he knows the “girl” story is bullshit and that middle of the floor. Still, their delusions serve my purposes, he doesn’t care if his target knows that he does. Then there’s A meeting that would seem like a transparent scam to any the sound of the door cracking open, and the curtain comes normal vampire makes perfect sense to a shovelhead.
“And the Kindred in the trunk?” I raised what was left badly hurt when Stiers apparently clipped him with a tire of an eyebrow. His move. iron from a moving car, but other than that, I was the only “We were driving in shifts.” His tone is defensive. Be- fatality.” An untouched Rusty Nail sits in front of Duke on side me, Cantor shifts ever so slightly, and I know without the table, a symbol of the way things were. It’s important to looking that he’s pumping up his blood for a fight. “He had him to hang onto that symbol, I think, so I made sure to pour the night before.” it for him when he walked in. The little things count.