This Saturday evening the fella's came over for our second C&C in middle earth game. No one died, we role played for more than half the evening, fun was had. I could say more but that might bore me, and I should have taken pictures. Oh well.
We started off in the southern Gondor city of Dol Amroth.
And I wove the first adventure from this book in to a tale of personal redemption and political intrigue.
Morning has broken on
another useless day. It’s cold and it’s only going to get colder. Doc got me a
roof over my head, a couple of walls, and a place to lay down, but that was all
he could manage, and really more than I deserve. But it doesn’t stop me from
shivering in the morning, and wishing I had better heating, or less
But that’s this morning.
This morning, I’m a poor, graduate student.
Last night, I was a hero,
if only for five minutes.
I spent the morning in the
stacks at the University Library (boring name for an impressive place). I still
couldn’t find any of the resources that the catalog said should be there, but
aren’t. I asked a resource clerk, who said everything had been removed and the
catalog hadn’t been updated. That’s simple insanity! The history of those books
alone makes them priceless. I immediately headed over to the special
collections to talk with the librarian there, but was halted by a cute little
German grad-student named Heidi, who thought I could get an appointment
sometime next month.
I booked the appointment,
and made another with Heidi for tomorrow night.
After those three
frustrating and wasted hours, I headed over to Doc’s apartment in the English
quarter. It feels like we haven’t been at Doc’s place in . . . well, forever. I
ran into Doc on the way in, and then we immediately ran into Ragman. You’d
think we’d be able to smell him long before we ever saw him, but maybe it’s
better we didn’t.
Ragman said Heinrich, the
well-dressed-man we’ve been hunting down, was trying to kill him, and he wanted
out protection to get to the local police station. No problem! I was running
short on cash anyhow, and Ragman had plenty of the Doc’s.
I have to admit, in my many
years of cavorting and living the jet-set lifestyle on my father’s dime, even I
have never been able to burn through such a relevant abundance of cash as the
Ragman claims he did in less than six hours. Certainly not without easy access
to Dom Perignon and some Cuban cigars. Ragman was hesitant to part with what
little money he had left, but a quick raid of the Doc’s liquor cabinet
convinced him to give me a fistful of dollars. I won’t see much in the way of
revenue from my new “transportation” job, so I’ll have to scrape every barrel
in the meantime.
We walked the Ragman over
to the police station and there met Officer Rutger. Rutger immediately put me
on edge. He seems like the kind of guy who, given the opportunity would shoot
his best friend in the back if it was the “right thing” to do. Still, for some
reason, I have a high degree of faith and trust in Rutger. Either he’s an
excellent cop, or I’m a push-over for his do-the-right-thing attitude. I ended
up telling him just about everything I’ve written in this journal. Not much
about myself, but our on-going investigation into the murders and so forth.
Rutger immediately decided
we needed to confront Heinrich, even though the evidence was flimsy and based
mostly on the information we’d provided him. To his credit, he asked Doc and I
to go along, Doc being the police consultant and all, and I being the only
thing that keeps Doc alive in these situations.
As soon as we entered the
grounds of Heinrich’s place, I knew we were on the right track. I can’t say
how, but this seemed to be the culmination of days of effort and tracking
through Berlin’s rainy, cold streets. I checked my weapons, made certain my
spare clips were in place, and Rutger gave me a cop-look of disapproval but
didn’t comment. Lucky for him.
No one was answering at
Heinrich’s but we could hear something that sounded like rushing water. Not
like someone was taking a shower, but more like we were up the hill from a
river. It was a creepy sound, but not especially suspicious. It wasn’t a scream
or a cry for help, or the sounds of gunfire, so Rutger was pretty much
Fortunately, when Rutger
wasn’t looking (and after I turned the knob) the door opened all on its own
(after I shoved it with my foot). The sound of rushing water was louder, but
water isn’t illegal, even if you have a river running through your house. But
we knew someone was in the house (my future silver Porsche was parked outside).
Rutger told us that he was here to get answers, that Heinrich was suspicious
enough all on his own, and, in what I took to be a slight bend to his otherwise
rigid world-view, he was going into the house.
Gotta say, it was a nice
place. A bit on the German gothic for my tastes, but I’m an American and (past
tense) “nouveau riche” so what do I know? Still, dollar signs filled my eyes. I
quickly made an inventory of Heinrich’s wealth, and hoped things were about to
go down the way I thought they would.
We made our way up to the
second floor, with the sound of water rushing louder than ever, and at the far
end of the hall we saw the man himself: Heinrich. He was dressed in crazy,
scary robes, and there was some kind of swirling vortex before him. Power
radiated from the man, and not the kind of power you feel when you meet a
president or a general or someone like that. This was the kind of power you’d
think Merlin could use to throw thunderbolts from Olympus. I don’t mind telling
you that my mouth was dry, my bladder was full, and my palms were as sweaty as
a virgin groom’s on his wedding night.
The confrontation was fast,
Heinrich made some motions,
and ghosts, I swear to Almighty God or whatever Powers That Be, actual ghosts
came at us. Rutger fired first, and I watched in horror and dismay as exactly
what you think would happen, happened. The bullet went right through the
Well, if we couldn’t shoot
the ghosts, then we should shoot the guy who made them appear. My two guns came
into my fists, and for the first time in days, I knew exactly what I was doing
and why. Once my weapons were in my hands, I didn’t hesitate. I pulled both
Once was enough.
Two slugs hit Heinrich and
he went down, dead before he hit the floor.
There’s not much I can brag
about in this world, but you put a pair of pistols in my hands, and I guarantee
I’ll hit more than the broadside of a barn.
Immediately, the rushing
water sound was gone. The ghosts, gone. The swirling vortex of fear, gone.
Rutger was in shock, but I
wasn’t. I sent the poor man downstairs to call in the event. What followed next
was a mad rush of events that culminated in my “liberation” of several highly
portable items of decent worth, and, I’m proud to report, the aforementioned
Unfortunately, when the
police arrived and took my statement, they also insisted on taking my guns. The
beast within me, that darkness and anger immediately welled up. I actually
calculated my odds on shooting four armed officers of the law. The odds were in
my favor, but escape would not have been. Berlin is a city on the brink, and
locked down tightly by not just one government, but four. And not just four
governments keeping the peace, but four armed camps ready to spring into full
killing action should the order be given. I might have been able to keep from
killing all the German police at the scene, and I might have been able to get
away temporarily. But I’ve seen enough movies to know that you shoot a cop, and
the world will fall down around you like a ton of bricks.
What additionally swayed me
was the officers promise that I would get back the weapons, and the fact that I
had “liberated” a Luger from Heinrich. I was not weaponless, and my weapons
were safe. With some help from Rutger, and a little Jean Valjean, I might be
able to get them back without the police being the wiser. I’ve made some
inquiries, and a plan is forming.
Now, I gotta give the Doc
credit for some quick thinking here. He managed to take off the license plate
of a police car, and exchange it for the one on the Porsche. Granted, we’ll
have to ditch the police plate as soon as possible, but it did give us
immediate safety for the transport of the Porsche into Doc’s garage.
It is such a smooth,
beautiful, lovely machine. I drove it with the same kind of relish that a man,
forced to eat nothing but processed luncheon meat for months, would find for an
excellent, medium-rare, porterhouse steak. It was a pure treat to not be
bounced around by poor shocks or truck-tires.
I’d love to keep it.
I don’t think I can.
The funding it would bring
far outweighs the perilous nature of keeping the machine. I would be better off
selling it, and purchasing something more practical . . . by which I mean
legal. Something far lower profile that would allow my commerce to flow more
easily between checkpoints.
Yesterday I posted a story for The Vampire: Dark Ages chronicle, I bowed out of last year. A few weeks ago I reached out to the storyteller to feel out if he was still running the chronicle, and if I could jump back in. He asked what Giuseppe had been up to since he left the coterie, but I figure someone might be interested where it all started.
I was elated to hear of your election as
Prioress after all your devotion to the people of Fossacesia, and the Abby of
San Giovanni.This is such
wonderful news.Who would have
thought the bastard twins of a wool merchant would rise to such great heights.My work with the Bishop in the Diocese
of Osimo continues. I had no idea five years ago when I was elected Archdeacon
all the responsibility that would befall me.But it is the work of the church and I try to work for the
greater glory of God.
I have received an invitation
from a Lord Giovanni to a dinner party at the Giovanni Manse. I have no idea
who this mysterious man is, but my Bishop has granted me leave to attend.The journey will be long so indulge me
as I write to you to escape the doldrums of the road.Since we have not spoken since I left to continue my
theology studies at The University of Bologna I will up date my history as
briefly as I can.
When I arrived in Bologna from Fossacesia I was immediately
assaulted by what I thought were thugs.I was struck with a club and abducted.They bound my eyes and took me to an underground meeting
hall.I learned that these were no
thugs but an order of young men calling themselves The Order.Like myself all were young men at
university on scholarship, the order had been formed a decade after the
university itself.The poor
students bound themselves together for support against the rich or noble born
bastards.Most like me were also
there so study theology or medicine having been sent by their abbots and priests.Other than God I have no greater allies
then members of The Order.For
seven years we lived, prayed and studies together.As young men do we found ourselves in a bit of mischief, and
these times are where our bonds grew tighter. Our members are everywhere throughout the Papal States and
the holy Empire.
On my graduation I returned to Osimo to work in
the Abby, by the grace of God I was blessed with good fortune and was able to
do the lords work with Abbot Osmond who had sponsored me to university.For three years I worked with Osmond, but
he was killed when a wall in the hospital collapsed after a heavy snow.I was elected Abbot in his place.I worked tirelessly and was soon
recognized by the Bishop.I my
self had no ambition for further advancement in the church, I had more responsibility
than I thought I could handle.The
Bishop Bernardo, however, took note of the reforms I was making around the
Prior and asked me to be his Archdeacon. He said he could not stand that his previous aid had coveted
the Bishops robes for himself; Bernardo had him appointed to Rome to get rid of
him.I was honored to serve as an
arm of God for the good of the holy church.
I am a sinner, I have always been a sinner, but since that
terrifying night at Lord Giovanni’s dinner party I have broken God’s most
sacred commandment. My
embrace in to this dark covenant with Caine has renewed my faith, no not
renewed, but proven without a doubt God’s existence. Now with this proof I must sin daily to exist.
I left the coterie of my fellow newly dammed to search out
the meaning of this brutally evil existence after twice witnessing the
cannibalism of diablerie. First I
travelled back to my residence in Osimo to resign my post as archdeacon, and
collect my possessions. The journey was long and harrowing for a lone dammed to
undertake. As a mortal when I
rested at night, the protection my body needed was trivial. One can sleep under the stars. The dammed, however are not so lucky
with God’s light. It was on the
journey I wrote a beautiful hymn I planned to present to my beloved
sister. I wrote whenever I could
and pored myself in to the song, but in the rejected verses I found another
tune. Not written for the glory of
God, but a dark song for Caine.
It broke my heart to leave my beloved Bishop, who would have
me staked to a pole in the central plaza if he knew what I was. Before I traveled to my sisters
Abby, I fed my blood to both my lover and my assistant to aid me in my long
journey. The light should not be
so frightening. I began to snatch
a glimpse of the morning sky. The
first attempt I hid deep under a balcony on the west side of my apartment. Even as I began to smoke I willed my self
to stay to see a hint of blue in the sky.
I thought I would be blind, but my sight did return, and with it the
need for more blood. We fled the
I continue to sin, and have punished myself, whipping my
flesh, but this increased my need for the blood of innocence’s. So I attempted to fast, an utter
failure. I resisted for days but
the hunger grew so strong I could not contain the devil in me. I do not remember the murder, or
murders I committed when I was overcome.
I regained my mind covered in their blood. I punished myself brutally that sad night. Begging the father for
forgiveness I knew would never come, and again I went out a dawn to be consumed
by the father’s wrath. The fear
that overcame me was too intense to resist. I ran from the sun again a coward.
In Fossacesia I planned to present myself to my sister as
proof of God’s existence. She
promptly rejected, and cursed me.
Again we fled, this time with a mob set on us. Elia, my assistant was gravely wounded in the violence. I knew the power in my blood so I
attempted to save him with Caine’s curse as my sire had embraced me. I failed and Elia died, my blood on his
lips. It was then I decided since
I had been unable to burn myself in Gods light I would have to find a mentor to
replace my sire.
My lover Assunta and I traveled to Bologna where with the
help of my school day allies, The Order, I had a strong coach built so we could
travel during the day. I also
hired a young man, Orfeo, as a pilot.
I fed him my blood on our way to Venice. I sought the Cainite prince there, Guilelmo Aliprando, to
present myself and to plead for a tutor. It was in Venice Lord Giovanni’s
Ghoul, Lothar, first struck. I did
not know what a powerful enemy I had made, for Lothar and his mercenaries have
been ruthless. I also didn’t
realize that Augustus Giovanni had made his home in Venice. It was entirely the wrong place to go
and the Prince expelled us from Venice in any case. Next we went to Milan to speak with Prince After I introduced myself and pleaded
my case, the Prince told me he could not help as emissaries had approached him
from Augustus Giovanni recently.
We left court heart broken and afraid. We were sent into the wild again with no aid or
benefactor. That evening however I
was approached by a graduate of my alma mater and a member of the order. Eliodoro, an ironic name for one of the
dammed, a Lasombra, spent the night with me explaining a great many things and
pointed me to France where a Toreador Salianna, Matriarch of the Courts of
Love, resides. Eliodoro would send
introductions to France ahead, and accompany us short while as he was headed to
Turin. While on this short journey
I learned as much as possible from Eliodoro.
In Turin we found refuge for a few days but were attacked
again by the Ghoul, Lothar. Lothar
died in the assault, or so I thought.
At the Prince’s court, Eliodoro found a Cappadocian Rosalva, another
ironic name, who was on route to France.
After introductions we agreed to travel together in my coach. In exchange Rosalva would tutor me on
the journey. I felt a need to
better understand the enemy I had in Giovanni and this was the closest I could
come to them. She witnessed my
self-flagellation, attempts at stealing a glimpse of early blue sky on several
occasions, drank from my Assunta repeatedly, and taught me how to strengthen
myself against harm. At one point,
Assunta accidentally drank Assunta dry.
I tried to mourn her, but was unable. Perhaps this curse of Caine was stealing my humanity as it
had my soul. Rosalva was on her
way to Perpignan to study at an abbey.
Days turned into a month and soon I was as engrossed in research as
Rosalva, and we found ourselves on the way to Anatolia in search of information
on Golconda. While my faith is
even greater because of this curse, I still see it as a curse and something I
must atone for or overcome in some way.
Rumors of Golconda may be that way. I also have found myself even more interested in the remaining
fragments of Caine’s Book of Nod and sought additional pieces of that ancient
We spent months on the journey arguing, debating, fighting
and learning from each other. When
we arrived I, a mere neonate, was denied entry into the sacred temples. If one could only fly to Bordeaux, the
journey back to France was heart breaking. I practiced what Eliodoro and Rosalva had taught me, killed
Lothar again, filled my time writing hymns many for our holy father, but more
often for Caine, and then killed the ghoul once more. Persistent bastard…I long for such loyalty.
Arriving in Bordeaux I found home amongst my own clan, found
a true mentor (Alphonese des Rosier, a powerful Toredor) who encouraged me to
join the Knight’s Hospitaler, and found my purpose…Golconda.
Working within the French
circle, I came to be well known and well respected for my Faith and revitalized
spirit. Once news reached France
that Michael had surfaces once again and that he was in the company of past
friends of mine. I was asked to
return to my friends and find out what I could discover of Michael’s purpose
and intent. Michael was never
pleased with the French Toreador claiming they were deceived by their vice and
disillusioned lacking a vision of the Dream. You had also heard that Michael had information about
Golconda which was a personal interest of mine. The Giovanni continue to be a problem, my sire continues to
be a problem. And, while I have
made my presence in France, I still do not have the support of like type
individuals. I am still seen as
sired out of necessity not desire which has kept me an outcast. I am despised by my sire which limits
my ability to gain influence and status.
My beliefs drive me, not my passion for the arts. I see them as one and the same, but
others do not. I needed a change
and therefore agreed to attend to this task.
Professor of Anthropology, Ancient Mythology & Cryptozoology (unofficially)
Author of some of the more important works in the occult world such;
“Were -Wolves of the Black Forrest: Real life Apex Predator or Hairy Inbred Woodsmen?”
“Sasquatch: North American Yeti or Hairy Canadian?”
“Mer-Folk of the South Pacific: Aquatic Mystery of the Deep or Just Really Ugly Sharks?”
“Bangladesh Horror” (The story of the encounter with a were – tiger, the only book that actually sells... most people just think its a fictional novel)
My father, Mortimer Ambercrombie was a military man. He was a certified Flying Ace in His Majesty's Royal Flying Corps. He flew his plane in the First big war, and was a proud patriot the rest of his days. My mum, Emma Ambercrombie stayed at home, and made an occasional quid or two teaching piano from our home. She and my dad led a very quite life in their older years until the Lord called them both into his kingdom, as he is one to do.
Of course the life of my Flying Ace father is an exciting one at points you, the reader, clearly is more interested in knowing more about me. I began life on the winter evening of January 21st 1910. As a child I took to more scholarly pursuits rather that the arts or athletics as my mum and father would have liked. My natural aptitude for history, science, math, and just about every other subject they offered at the boring and dry primary schools I was sent to as a youth.
I finished school at the age 13 and promptly entered the prestigious Oxford University. There I spent most of my time attending lecture, and in the wondrous library reading all that I could. I finished my first book ( Sasquatch: North American Yeti or Hairy Canadian?) by the time I was 17. I graduated with doctorates in Ancient History, Anthropology, and Medieval Studies all by the time I was 22, became an associate Professor of Anthropology at Cambridge University by the age of 24, and saw on my way to be a tenured professor, but then, when I was 29......All hell broke loose.
The Second Great War broke out through Europe the same year my father passed. In
honor to him I decided to sign up even though I by this time I was almost 30 years old, an author, a doctor, and college professor. I was stationed in the far off land of India in the city of Kempur. There was not a lot to do there, but I just went where they sent me. Whilst there I began to teach the local children how to speak and read English, and taught them the history of their Mother Country. I made friends with many of the locals including a young Nepalese boy named Raju, but his story is to be told another time...
One night while doing my routine watch I heard a loud scream from a small house off in the distance. As I ran to investigate I found a man being brutally attacked by the biggest Bengal Tiger I have ever seen. I took a shot at the tiger and for the first time in my whole military career I actually hit my target. The bullet struck his stomach, and the tiger ran off into the night. Myself and four other soldiers followed the trail of blood until it ended at the body of a freshly dead young Bangladeshi man. The man apparently died from a gaping gun shot wound to his stomach..
The soldiers and I moved the body back into our camp where our CO quickly took the body. He was accompanied by two men in black suits, they all went into the officer's tent and that was the last time I saw, or even heard of the Bangladeshi man ever again.
Was the man a lycanthrope of legend? I am still looking for the answers to that question.
I found this looking for pictures of Christopher Hewett the dude who played Mr. Belvedere, and it's funny.