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Session Three (Book One)

Act One - The Summoning

Scene Seven - Night Visitor

Within a week of the group's reunion, Zelios the Master Mason arrives at the castle, taking time with the masons and carpenters under the group's employ, and states that he can build them a strong and aesthetically pleasing tower for them, complete with secret rooms, hidden tunnels, and a strong foundation. He them asks what they can pay him. The group offers copies of the stone tablets, scrolls, books on Thaumaturgy, and many other things, but he finally settles on a small token payment, with the promise of future aid, should he require it.

Interlude

Days, weeks, and then months pass, and between taxing the peasants and caravans, their new book sales operations, and everything else they can do to raise money, the work just does not progress quickly enough. They are finally forced to admit that there is no way to complete the first floor by winter with their coffers dry and their workers hungry...
Mikhail decides to ask Radu for monetary assistance, in the form of a loan. On the way down, though, he meets Myca Vykos, who is traveling through the pass to Constantinople, and intends to eet with the group and see how they fare. Rushing ahead to get everything ready for Myca's arrival, Mikhail gathers the group and prepares a simple welcoming party for the wealthy Cainite, complete with a banned books sales booth.
Myca tours their operations, admits that he had heard of their troubles, and offers them a way out. While he is not interested in purchasing any books at this time, he will provide them with the funds they need to complete construction, in exchange for a boon to be named later. As a token of this, he gives them one half of a puzzle ring, stating that any missive accompanied by the other half of this ring will be the repayment of their boon.
After some deliberation, the group agrees, and recieves the money. From that point, construction speeds up, and the first floor is barely finished by winter.

Scene Eight - Moment of Truth

Just after the first floor is completed, a caravan arrives, carrying the group's sires and/or patrons. After feeding and looking over the fortress, each sire asks to meet with his or her childe alone. Each of them asks the childe to drink of their blood, to renew the ties that bind them together. All acquiesce, and all are given the fief of their choice. Balgrad is taken by Qa'lon, and renamed Alba'Iulia, Schaasburg is taken by Malik, Kronstadt by Teresa, Klausenburg by Pavel, Mediasch by Verdo, and the castle in Tihuta Pass by Mikhail. Sebastian takes a small monastery between Bistria and the Tihuta Pass, declining the full rule of a fief.

Act Two - The Binding

Transylvania - 1314
Since the climax of Act One, 116 years have passed. Recently, some few events have come to the attention of the members of the group. Zelios used to come by the castles in the area regularly, to take measurements of the curtain walls and check the fortifications, but he has not been seen in some time. Anatole and Lucita have come through occasionally, although rumors of diablerie have plagued Anatole in recent times. He has not been seen since these rumors began. Myca Vykos has written a few times from Constantinople, asking after the group's well being, and sending his wishes. For the last two years, terrible weather has wreaked havoc in Transylvania, including blizzards, storms, high winds, floods, droughts, and avalanches. The first scene here takes place at the beginning of a new spring...

Scene One - The Heart of the Land

One of the last things mentioned by Zelios before his disappearance was Kupala, a Slavic demon believed to be responsible for all of Transylvania's conflict. When Sebastian finds a mention of Kupala among the books of his library, he call the group together for a meeting...
The tome in question is mostly rotted away, illegible except in small sections. The section which mentions Kupala is included on the prophecy page.
While the group is discussing this new information, they are interrupted by Octavio, the Cainite prophet they met briefly in Buda-Pest over 100 years ago, who is rushing in to declaim yet another prophecy. They accept an offer by Octavio to demonstrate the visions that he himself sees, and are overwhelmed by the images from his mind.

Scene Two - Challenges

Just before leaving for their fiefs, the group recieves more visitors... Zelios and a mortal messenger (with a letter for the group) have arrived, and both wish to speak with them. Zelios offers to let the messenger speak first, and he is allowed to listen in on the contents of the letter.
The pouch enclosing the letter also contains half of a puzzle ring, the token given to the group by Vykos so many years ago. The letter asks the group to repay their boon by escorting Goratrix of the Tremere clan to the chantry of Ceoris, where he will be punished for his failures in France. Vykos wishes Goratrix to recieve his punishment from the Tremere, rather than from the Tzimisce warlords of the area, who would simply kill him outright.
Upon hearing the contents of the letter, Zelios is greatly surprised. Although he did not know it at the time, the castles he designed in Transylvania form a geomantic web designed to confine the demon Kupala. The only missing piece to this web are certain protective sigils which must be inscribed on each of the castles. He had intended to send the group to Ceoris to inscribe these glyphs while he himself finished up with the cities of the Siebenburgen. He urges the group to go along, if only to carve these glyphs into the walls of Ceoris.
After the meeting, Zelios carves the glyphs into the walls of the castle in Tihuta Pass, and teaches them to the group, so that they can do the same for Ceoris. The group confers, and agrees to the request, sending confirmation to Vykos through the winds, via Jafar's sorcery.

Scene Three - On the Road

Part of this section has been changed from the original books to accomodate my wishes in running the adventure. The core of these acts is still the same, though.
The group travels to Schaasburg, where Goratrix is being held by Vykos' agents. The journey is horrible, as inclement weather continues to thrash the lands. At the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher in Schaasburg, the group stops by at the inn, only to discover a group of the hated Templars, who have stopped at the inn for the night. They them meet up with Husayn al-Fatin, the leader of Vykos' agents.

Scene Four - The Prisoner

Husayn informs the group that Goratrix lies staked in the next room, and then shows them the body of the third most powerful Tremere in the world. Husayn brings in a vessel for Goratrix, then releases him from the stake. Husayn then leaves, his contract fulfilled.
After feeding, Goratrix tries to talk the group into letting him go, even tempting them with eternal life and freedom from the curse of vampirism, claiming that the Templars next door hold the Holy Grail. The group confers, and sends Pavel next door to try and remove the relic held by the Templars. Pavel goes invisible, sneaks into their room, replaces the chest with a fake copy (Chimerstry), goes invisible again, with the chest, and sneaks back out, thanks to a distraction by Malik, Voivode of Schaasburg, and his guards. Upon carefully opening the chest, they find what appears to be the Ark of the Covenant (it's only a model! Shhh...). Inside are several ivory tablets, inscribed in a language similar to the Antediluvian script, but subtly different. The tablets make no sense if translated from that script. After this, theyare angry, and take Goratrix outside to begin the trek to Ceoris.

Scene Five - The Tremere

Just outside of the Chapel, they are met by a group of Tremere. Upon seeing this, Goratrix makes a break for it, but is stopped by a figure materializing before him... Tremere himself... By simply looking at the group, Tremere forces them to fall to their knees, boils their blood, bursts their eardrums, melts their flesh, and liquefies their eyes. They vomit out all blood in their system, and sink to the ground, dying...
And then they wake up again. He just looked at them. Tremere compels Goratrix to follow him, and speaks to the man beside him, saying... "Ask their price, Etrius. Pay them." After bargaining heavily with Etrius, he agrees to carve the runes into the walls of Ceoris, provided that they do not pose a threat to the security of the chantry. He also agrees to grant limited immunity to Nine and Qa'lon, so long as they do not provoke an attack. He agrees that Nine, as long as he does not instigate or assist a Gargoyle revolt, will be free from persecution. Qa'lon is also freed from organized attacks by the Tremere, as long as he leaves the chantry of Ceoris alone.

Scene Six - The Setting of the Web

When the group returns, the are greeted by a letter from Zelios, asking them to finish the geomantic web for him, as he must travel in haste to Western Europe. The group agrees that it would help to be rid of the nasty weather, and so they go forth to the castle of Vintila Basarab.
Sherazine wishes to go, as well. She would like to see her great, great grandfather, as well as her elder brother, Dragomir, Vintila's childe.
Upon their arrival, they meet Dragomir, who performs a short play for them, confessing his sin, the diablerie of his own sire. After the play, he agrees to let the group carve their marks.
As the glyphs are carved, the storm outside reaches its peak. The hillside Mikhail stands on crumbles beneath him as he inscribes the final glyph, and then, suddenly, the storm is no more... the stars shine in the sky, and Dragomir is sane and whole.
Dragomir apologizes profusely for his behavior, and invites the group to stay with him for the day. He is ashamed of his crime (although this group has done and will do far more...), and feels as though he were under the control of an outside force the whole time...

Next Week... Begin Act Three - The Release...

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