New Orleans by Night

Chapter 4

While Hutch leaves with his brother to enjoy the first night of Voodoo Fest weekend, his friends Conor, Savannah, Terrence, and Belle go down to the river to try to find Dutch, the leader of the Brujah clan. Conor ends up getting them all lost in a bad part of town, where they eventually encounter Richard and Ottis. The two goons approach the companions, thinking this to be easy prey. But Savannah uses her Eyes of the Serpent power to immobilize Ottis. Richard's argument with Conor leads to the former going to the van and getting an orange to eat. After more arguing, Richard draws a pistol and shoots Conor, who slugs him in the face. Richard runs back to the van, but Terrence tackles him and holds him down as he screams and howls that his head's going to explode if he doesn't get vitamin C right now. Belle gives him his smoothie, which calms him down some. Then Terrence uses the Bone of Lies to get more information out of Richard, who admits that he's a ghoul but won't say who his master is. Belle asks to meet his master. Richard is uncooperative at first, but Belle and Savannah convince him otherwise.

And so Richard and Ottis take them to Mardi Gras World, a giant warehouse full of floats, costumes, and other party stuff. Inside, they find this building's sinister secret: a vampire named Raymond keeps about a dozen people here locked in cages. Conor Auspexes them and realizes that half of them are vampires themselves. After the visitors ask more than a few intruding questions about what's going on here, Raymond asks them to leave. During the exchange, Ottis mentions something about "the mage." Raymond promises that his two goons won't bother them ever again.

Next the companions go visit Marcel — or, rather, his childe, Anthony, who takes care of things in his absence. Morgaine is there, as well as a Brujah named Jake Almerson; another vampire, the painter known as Josua, sits in the corner tuning his guitar. As the party enters the prince's mansion, Jake takes his leave. Morgaine greets Belle and introduces her to Anthony. Savannah tries to introduce herself, but Anthony makes it known that Setites aren't welcome in New Orleans. Anthony seems annoyed at being bothered like this, and more annoyed that Conor hasn't gotten to the bottom of the abductions yet.

On the way out, Morgaine speaks with Belle about the Camarilla Traditions, and about keeping the Masquerade and not talking about vampires with mortals. Belle is curious about Julia's relationship with Karen and Morgaine, but when she brings it up, Morgaine gets so distressed that she breaks the window of her own car. After she calms down, Morgaine informs Belle that Anthony wants them to be a part of the Prince's Council. She explains that this council may not have Marcel’s best interest at heart, that maybe Dutch even put Christopher up to killing Detective Carter, and that the council might end up throwing young Christopher to the wolves, so to speak. Anthony wants Morgaine on the council to keep their power in check. Since he’s making a huge gamble here, placing her in this position of power and knowing full well that the Prince’s Council is indeed Marcel’s greatest antagonist, Anthony asks for the Toreador’s unflinching loyalty to the prince. The next meeting will be tomorrow night.

Belle goes home to check on Aunt Alma, but is horrified to discover her aunt cold and dead in the shower. Conor and Savannah investigate the house for clues and learn that whoever had been here left evidence from the Garden District Bookshop and the Lafayette Cemetery. Belle suspects that this was the work of Julia, who'd returned here to kill Alma out of spite.

As Friday night reaches its end, Savannah goes shopping for heavy curtains and feathers for her ritual. She and Belle go to the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and checks out a room for the next couple nights. They talk with Manon briefly, then go to their room. After securing the room against the sun, Savannah casts Wake with Evening's Freshness, and they both settle down to the sleep in the bathroom.

The search for Dutch continues Saturday night. Belle mentions that the Brujah might have ties to the Buck Kreihs Marine Repair, which is a front for a shady business; Savannah chimes in that she heard college students talk about a dog fighting ring there. Terrence gets angry at just the thought of it. After speaking with the gang outside, the companions are allowed an audience with Dutch. They're led inside the shop, where in the back they find a crowded room full of shouting, cheering people, and two dogs fighting in a ring. Dutch makes some rude comments about Terrence and Laura being "little dogs," and Terrence challenges the Brujah to a wrestling match. Dutch takes him up on it but uses Dread Gaze on him, which ends the fight rather quickly. After Conor suggests how unfair that was, Dutch assures that winning is more important than being fair. He agrees to sell Conor a box of silver shotgun shells. He looks to Savannah and claims that he’s not happy with the monopoly Sebastian and the Tremere have on magic in the city, and it would be nice to have more variety. He cuts a deal with Savannah: In exchange for her cooperation, he tells her that he will put in a good word for her with the Prince’s Council and allow her to stay in the city, despite what Marcel says. If Marcel raises a fuss about it, she can always come to the Brujah for support.

Shortly after their meeting with Dutch, Belle accompanies Morgaine to the Prince's Council meeting at the Preservation Hall. Situated in the heart of the French Quarter on St. Peter Street, the Preservation Hall venue presents intimate, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts almost every night. On this night, the Prince’s Council has arranged a private concert for themselves. Dutch’s ghouled bouncers see to it that no one else is allowed inside to disturb their meeting.

Karen, Dutch, Avery, and Sebastian start their meeting out by discussing what each of them knows about the abductions, and their concerns that Kindred are being abducted, too. Dutch asks Karen about Josua Cambridge, but she seems offended and silences him. Sebastian expresses anxiety over the Setite woman in the city and whether or not her influence might threaten his own.

Avery starts the conversation about Christopher; she thinks of herself as a protector of the weaker elements of the city, going out of her way to aid runaways. Dutch accuses her of taking in stray cats. Avery asks Dutch why Christopher has been hanging out with the Brujah so often instead of his own clan, and Dutch explains that it’s because Chris and Anthony don’t get along. While Chris is Marcel’s first childe, he has proven to be a failure. Anthony’s Embrace was meant to provide a more suitable successor to the prince.

Dutch votes that the Blood Hunt be called upon Christopher for breaking the first tradition. Because of this, Christopher must renounce his claim to the blood and meet his Final Death. Karen agrees that Christopher must be destroyed, but she also votes that Prince Marcel be held accountable for his childe’s actions, since technically Christopher has not yet been released; as such, his sins are Marcel’s to endure. Ever the conformist, Sebastian declares that Christopher be destroyed. Avery is upset by how easily the other three turn on their own. She leaves in a huff, disappearing into the shadows.

Seeing her opportunity to split alliances here, and gain the favor of both Marcel and Anthony, Morgaine offers to clean up this mess herself. She explains that she can use social media to make it seem like Christopher’s attack at the Café du Monde was just a publicity stunt put on by some amateur filmmakers at the university. She can even “encourage” some students to create the film. Sebastian loves and supports the idea. While Dutch is frustrated that there will be no Blood Hunt, he agrees that this could work. Morgaine says she admires his wisdom as much as his enthusiasm, and he graces the Council with the martial leadership it needs. Dutch responds positively to the flattery. Karen doesn’t like Morgaine’s idea one bit, but since the others are in agreement, she goes along with them. She asserts that her own Georges Enterprises would be more effective at spreading this fake news than Morgaine’s; after all, her company controls two of the biggest media outlets in Louisiana.

Sebastian brings up the Setite problem again, but Dutch shuts him down.

After the council adjourns, Belle meets back up with Terrence, Conor, and Savannah, who are about to head over to Nine Mile Point to meet with Uriah Travers.

Uriah’s rickety old mansion is half sunk into the bayou, its front door secured by a metal gate, the blackened bars of which have been sharpened into jagged edges. The windows, in addition to being bricked up, are blocked by heavy furniture and years worth of junk. The interior of the mansion is mostly hidden beneath cluttered filth. Uriah is more than just a packrat. His Malkavian delusions convince him that he’s a werewolf and he leaves behind portions of his soul on whatever he touches (including furniture, papers, bits of trash, knickknacks, and even people). To protect himself, he collects, buys, steals or kidnaps anything he enjoys or might happen to touch, thus keeping his “soul” from scattering into a thousand tiny fragments.

Uriah is suspicious of Terrence — and his friends — and doesn’t trust their reasons for coming to visit him. He refuses to come close or touch anyone. At the mention of the disappearances in the city, however, he talks much more freely. Uriah is already well aware of the regular visits by the elder representatives. Moreover, he is also partially aware of the reason why. From his own sources around the country, Travers has learned that a growing number of elders are engaging in diablerie. He has also been told that the elders’ vampric vitae supply originates in New Orleans. The question is: who is providing the supply for the elders?

Uriah can provide a lead. He knows that the Nosferatu are known to be the eyes and ears of the city, but they have been strangely ignorant about these abductions. Perhaps his guests tonight would get more answers out of Avery, Martin, and Roger. Terrence explains that it was the Nosferatu who sent them here in the first place. Uriah smiles at that.

As there are many tribes of Lupines, Uriah knows about the Uktena, masters of the dark and forbidden knowledge, the foul Black Spirals, and the extremely honorable Silver Fangs from the West Coast. When Terrence explains that he and his friends would like to find the NOSTF safehouse and Mr Grisham, Uriah suggests a route that will allow them to avoid the Uktena tribe altogether.

The companions thank Uriah for his time and his help, then they wade back through the labyrinth of junk to the exit.

Belle really wants revenge for the murder of her Aunt Alma, but killing Julia would be defying the Sixth Tradition. Savannah wants to speak with Sebastian about learning new rituals. Terrence wants to find Charlie Grisham, the witness kept at the safehouse who might be the final clue in this abductions mystery, but he's cautious about traveling through Lupine territory.

Chapter 3

After laying low for a couple of days, Savannah finally gets around to calling her parents. Her mother sounds very relieved to hear from her again, and mentions that a businesswoman named Manon will be joining them for dinner tonight. Savannah tells her friends, Hutch and Belle, that she'll be leaving the hotel tonight to go to her parents' house. On the way out the door, Savannah notices a 15-year-old girl outside smoking a cigarette and sporting a black eye. Belle decides to go check on Aunt Alma, and after talking with the girl outside, learns her name is Julia and could use a place to stay tonight. Meanwhile, Hutch, wanting to enjoy one of the few occasions that he has to sleep on a real bed, remains in the hotel room watching "Ancient Aliens."

Conor visits Prince Marcel tonight. He asks about Detective Bob Carter, who he believes is drinking vampire blood. Marcel explains that Carter used to be a Hunter, but some years ago a deal was struck: Carter and his agents would still hunt, but only kill those vampires that Marcel doesn’t like, or those out-of-towners who haven’t introduced themselves to him yet. However, more than a few of Carter's agents are pushing the limits of the deal, attacking vampires without Marcel’s permission. Marcel has a long history with Detective Carter and would not like to see the old man killed. Rather, he asks Conor to get more information on these allegations of Diablerie. Marcel's childe, Anthony, shows up. He arrogantly dismisses Conor. Marcel apologizes and says that since his first childe, Christopher, has been sort of a black sheep, a rebellious youth that seems to be doing the exact opposite of what Marcel wants, he Embraced Anthony to be his protégé. Additionally, Christopher has been hanging out with Dutch and the Brujah clan a lot more than Marcel would like. Conor asks where he can get silver bullets. Marcel suggests he speak with Dutch about it.

Savannah hails a cab and heads to her parents' house. But then the driver gets a bad headache that causes him to pull over. A familiar man opens the door and sits down in the back seat with her — Antonio from the bar the other night. He tells her that Manon is a selfish monster and only pretends to like Savannah. Antonio, however, says he can help Savannah reach her full magical potential — and she won’t have to meddle in that Devil worshipping, either. Savannah refuses, and Antonio suspects foul enchantments at play here. Then the cab driver's eyes start bleeding and he runs out into the street, screaming. Savannah bolts out of the cab and calls for an ambulance while running away.

Belle makes it home okay and introduces Julia to her aunt. Of course Alma is delighted to have the little girl over and rushes into the kitchen to prepare a meal. Julia declines and says she's ready for bed. She claims that she lives with her dysfunctional family in an apartment down the road. She also says her abusive father and self-absorbed stepmother haven't noticed yet that she stopped attending class at her school for troubled girls. And she has a naughty four-year-old brother. Julia falls asleep on the couch while watching a rerun of "Ice Cold Killers."

Savannah is pleased to see Manon again. The Egyptian princess has been making small talk with her mother, going over business plans and such. Savannah tells her parents and Manon all about what has occurred over the last week, including the shoot-out at the Motel 6 and the strange encounter with Antonio. Manon seems concerned about Antonio's advancements. She gives Savannah a prayer card and an Evil Eye amulet, and then she offers to give Savannah the secret to never being afraid of anybody ever again. Savannah agrees to a really weird and uncomfortable bath involving traditional African herbs, and a voodoo ritual involving a crocodile skull and candles. Manon's voice is soft and soothing as she lulls Savannah into a deep sleep.

Hutch remembers that Thursday is movie night with his brother, Michael. Even though it's late, he gets to his van, hidden away in a dark alley, and drives to Michael's apartment. His brother invited a friend from work named Lazarus, whom Hutch is immediately suspicious of. But after they get to know each other that night over beers and popcorn, Hutch realizes that Lazarus actually has some good ideas, and in fact the two of them share a lot of the same conspiracy theories. Michael mentions that he recently acquired a bunch of paintings that have been difficult to resell; and some very unscrupulous people have been inquiring about them — even cops. When Hutch mentions the trash can full of dead frogs, Lazarus suggests going to that church tonight and scoping it out for some sign of wrong-doing. Michael is gung-ho about it and runs to the car. Hutch calls Conor and Belle and asks them to meet him at the church. He wants their help with the paintings and this frogs-in-the-trash-can mystery.

When they get to the church, Lazarus reveals that he has the key to get inside. They all go in to search the place. And they find a horrifying scene in one of the Sunday school classrooms. Six children sit around a big table, all of them having been stabbed to death in the most gruesome and messy manner. The reverend is here, his robes covered in blood, writing on the table and the walls in blood, babbling about how the children are all with Jesus now and nobody can hurt them anymore — especially himself for what he's done. Conor and Hutch talk to the crazed man, who claims that he stole money from the children's camp fund and he feels ever so guilty about it. Conor walks up and slugs him in the face, knocking him down. Hutch pistol whips him. Lazarus suggests killing him, but everybody decides to leave and call the cops instead.

Lazarus tells Hutch about another conspiracy theory he'd like to check out tomorrow night. He knows about a secret laboratory in New Orleans (in an abandoned water treatment pump station) where animals have been experimented upon since the 1960s. Today the scientists there are testing various biological weapons and cancer-causing agents. And because the police and government already know about this and it’s all part of their plan, it’s up to Hutch and himself to stop it. Hutch agrees to go check it out tomorrow.

Belle lays low the next day, recovering from her night of drinking and watching movies with Hutch, Michael, Lazarus, and Conor. After the sun sets, there is a desperate knock on her door. It's Julia, frantically explaining as she comes inside that she was out shopping for groceries, and when she came home she found her parents dead. She says that some corrupt cops paid her dad to stash cocaine in their apartment, and she suspects it was they who did this. She pleads for Belle to help her. But then Morgaine steps out from the other room. Belle wonders if she's dreaming all of this as the beautiful green-eyed woman chastises Julia for taking something that's not hers. Julia bares her fangs at Morgaine, who calmly waits for Julia to slink back out the door. Then Morgaine reveals that Julia works for a rival artist named Karen, who would like to see Belle dead. Julia was going to kill Belle and her aunt tonight, had Morgaine not intervened. Morgaine tells Belle that she can offer the gift of eternal life, a way to maintain her beauty forever, just as she's always wanted. Of course Belle agrees, and Morgaine Embraces her.

Savannah awakens in the bathtub the next night, cold, confused, and hungry. Her head is pounding and she feels an insatiable thirst. She goes downstairs and realizes that she'd slept in the tub all night and all day, into the next night. She tries to drink water but spits it back up, then she tries milk and juice, but she can't swallow anything. Then her mom comes down, also bewildered that she herself slept through the day. Savannah feels an unexplainable thirst for her mother's blood, but she controls herself enough to flee outside and instead attack a couple boys playing basketball next door. She tackles one boy and drains the blood from his arm until he passes out. Horrified at herself, and so much confused, Savannah takes off running for the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to find Manon.

Terrence goes with Laura to meet her contacts, the Nosferatu, about information they might have on the recent abductions in the city. They meet Avery and Martin at the old Six Flags of New Orleans. One day an amusement park, the next a flooded wonderland. Six Flags has been abandoned since Katrina and is entirely creepy in its "time stood still" way. Avery and Martin tell Terrence and Laura that something very sinister is going on in the city, and that there's a witness named Charlie Grisham being held in a safehouse deep in Lupine territory, in Arabi, who may know more. They also reveal that they’ve seen elder Kindred from outside the city come to New Orleans once a month, stay for only a few days, then leave again. The Nosferatu refuse to admit the purpose of these visits, nor do they speculate on the matter. They don’t know exactly where the safehouse is, but they mention that Detective Carter's agents do know, and Sebastian has magical ways of interrogating people. Perhaps they should ask the Tremere for help.

Conor asks Detective Carter to meet him at the Cafe du Monde. He asks Hutch to join them. Carter goes into detail about his deal with Marcel, that his NOSTF agents are only supposed to kill vampires that Marcel gives them permission to. However, lately they've been targeting more vampires than they should. One of them is a former agent gone rogue named Lance Pertkin, who had a run-in at Motel 6 the other night with Savannah, Belle, and Hutch. Lance found a partner to work with, some Texas woman named Lanee. In any case, Carter doesn’t know how to get things back under control, and he knows that Marcel is upset at him for these mishaps.

Suddenly Christopher shows up. He says, "This is for my Sire," and twists Carter's head off. Blood sprays everywhere, and as the cafe patrons all scream and panic and scatter, Christopher himself flees the scene. While Hutch stares dumbfoundedly at what just happened, Conor stands up and tells him they'd best leave now.

Terrence and Laura visit the used bookstore, which is actually a front for the Tremere chantry. While Sebastian primarily sells books at his store, he also caters to the tourists by selling "magical" charms and fetishes. There are display cases featuring comet-shaped pewter necklaces, a glass bowl full of "sacred" pebbles, bracelets of seven beads, etc. Sebastian has a ritual that could help them in their search for clues. He, too, would like to get to the bottom of these abductions. The ritual is called Bone of Lies, and it enchants a mortal bone so that anyone who holds it must tell the truth. Sebastian gives Terrence a wand fashioned from a radius forearm bone. Terrence asks if there's a ritual that will protect or hide him from werewolves, but Sebastian tells him that he can't be of help there.

Hutch and Conor go to Michael's apartment, where Michael is presently getting ready for the first night of Voodoo Fest. The scent of sage is heavy in the room. Hutch calls Terrence and Belle and asks them to join in on their adventure to the abandoned water treatment pump station tonight. Michael says good-bye and heads out. Terrence gets there first while Belle calls Savannah's parents and then goes to the Bourbon Orleans to find her.

Lance Pertkin enters Michael's apartment and confronts Hutch, Conor, and Terrence, demanding they hand over the paintings. Terrence challenges him and gets shot in the chest by Lance's shotgun. Hutch is stunned when Terrence isn't immediately killed. Instead, the Herpetologist laughs at the attempt on his life. Lance retreats outside, where Lanee waits inside their car. When Terrence runs after, she pulls an Uzi on him. Conor dives behind a tree. But the SMG isn't needed; Terrence stops and goes back inside.

The two girls arrive and everyone decides to head on down to the abandoned water treatment pump station in search of poor little animals.

Chapter 2

On Monday, Terrence goes in to work to finish going over the surveillance tapes. His zoo's prized albino gator, Mardi, has been acting sick the last couple weeks and he can't figure out why. He's hoping the tapes will give him some clue. He discovers that a bunch of the tapes are missing. He asks the janitor, who claims to have cleaned his office but didn't mess with the tapes. The security guard suggests looking at the tapes of another set of cameras over in the snake exhibit which show a little bit of the gator exhibit. When Terrence looks at those, he sees a dark-haired woman walk up to the glass and seem to speak with another female figure out of sight. During the exchange, Mardi the gator submerges, like she’s frightened. So maybe it is a person who’s causing Mardi all these problems…

On her way out to take her dogs for a walk, Savannah notices her neighbor’s door slightly open — two college girls live there, Teresa and Britney, who sometimes invite Savannah over for Gilmore Girls marathons. It really stinks in their room. When Savannah investigates, she sees a grisly scene. Teresa is lying on the floor in a coagulated puddle of blood. It looks like she’d been stabbed several times. She also appears to have been disemboweled, and her right nipple was removed and blood seems to have been sucked from it. There are also a couple rotten orange slices on the floor.

Suddenly, someone grabs Savannah from behind! But it’s only Detective Carter, her dad’s partner. Someone had already called the cops, and he just now got here himself with two officers. Carter suggests Savannah stay with her parents for a few days until this all gets cleaned up. She doesn't argue.

After her surgery from the stab wound, Belle sits in the hospital for a few more days and then she’s released. She goes to the New Orleans Police Department headquarters with Conor, asking for Detective Carter. Belle has the flashdrive that Cliff told her to give to him. An officer behind the desk gave them some grief, but Conor deflected it and he and Belle left the building.

Around the middle of his shift, Hutch’s truck stops at the First Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Skip tells him to come check out something crazy. When he gets out and looks, Hutch finds a garbage bin is full of dead toads! Skip calls their boss and the two of them bag up the toads.

At the end of the day, Terrence spots a really big red and grey mottled wolf out in the parking lot. The beast trots along, minding its own business. But as he watches, the wolf stops and looks at him. It stares at him for a long time, with a certain eerie intelligence in its eyes, then continues on its way, heading west. Terrence follows for a bit, and the wolf goes under some orange plastic construction fencing into a construction zone, where he loses sight of the beast.

At Magazine Pizza Belle's boss tells her that she has no more sick days, and she can either come to work or she’s fired.

When Savannah goes to work later, she’ll find it to be a very busy evening. An Egyptian businesswoman named Manon checks in to the hotel. A city councilman named James Austin Gray, his wife Mary Ellen-Gray, and their daughter Carrie Ann are also famous people at the hotel tonight. Later on, Savannah gets a call from Mary claiming that her husband was poisoned by shellfish. They call 911 and Simon the bartender rushes to the elevator to help out. Their boss, Enzo, tells him to get back to the bar. But after some fast-talking by Savannah, Enzo lets it go. As the EMTs roll James out on a stretcher, Mary tells the police that Savannah messed up the dinner order and poisoned him. The police are about to take her in for questioning when Manon shows up and tells them to go away. They do. A little while later, Enzo tells Savannah she can go home early — which is very out of character for him. She accepts the offer and heads home.

Conor follows one of the police officers — the one who'd confronted him at the police department, Officer Little — to his home in the suburbs.

Belle eventually goes to the Academy of Fine Arts to do her modeling gig. The classroom tonight is strangely empty. The professor tells her that class has been canceled tonight because an important patron of the arts is here to make a clay sculpture of Belle. Morgaine has made many generous donations to the academy, and it is the professor’s honor to oblige her request.

As she poses, Belle realizes that Morgaine seems extremely charming, sweet and gentle. The woman wears a white dress and white shawl, which really accent her bright green eyes. She makes Belle feel as if she’s the most important and special person in the world. This pleases the art professor, too. Morgaine gives Belle her business card.

After his shift ends, when Hutch goes back to his van “home,” he sees two strange men sitting in their van nearby with the window rolled down. These two guys look like they’re watching an elderly woman (Aunt Alma) sitting at a bus stop, sewing a small quilt while she waits. One of them is eating an orange. Then the two goons leave their van and abduct her. Hutch pulls out his pistol and fires off a couple rounds. The two kidnappers retreat to their van. One of them — the freakishly tall one — gets a machete from the van and walks toward Hutch, who grabs the rifle out of his own van. A lot of bystanders are screaming and running away at this point. Hutch's enemies back down and take off in their van. Hutch follows them to the Grand Oaks Mansion, a big warehouse down by the river. He spies two police officers handing over a drunk man to a guy with long blonde hair, who leads him inside.

Laura makes an unexpected appearance at Terrence's apartment that night. She shows him an article, “PETA Targets Albino Alligator at Audubon Zoo,” and says that the leader of PETA in New Orleans is a woman named Roxy. Laura also says that PETA members have been kidnapping people involved in the “mistreatment of gators.” Laura explains that PETA’s rescue team meets weekly at the McFadden Girl Scout Cabin in the City Park… tonight! So Terrence changes his pants and goes with her to check it out. They do indeed see a meeting going on in the big gazebo in the park. They go to the top of the hill and call the police, who arrive shortly thereafter and break up the party.

But then Roxy shows up with her companion, a really big red wolf whom she refers to as Manuel. She's really upset that Laura had intended for Manuel to attack her at the PETA meeting. The tables turn, however. Roxy says she's been friends with Manuel for a long time, and the wolf is on her side. She leads Laura away while the wolf lunges at Terrence. He sprints toward his truck, but the wolf pounces, landing on him, driving him onto the ground. Even after succeeding at the Full Irwin hold, he is no match for the wolf as it shapeshifts into its hybrid form and tears open his throat.

Terrence wakes up sometime later with Laura crouching over him. He's covered in blood, and her arm is, too. She talks really fast, frantically explaining that she didn't want him to die, but she needs to hide him because she didn't ask permission from the prince to turn him into a vampire. She takes him to a used bookstore where he hides out til tomorrow night.

The next day, Conor breaks into Officer Little's home to look for clues. He finds a missing persons report that seems like it includes people who are way too old to be alive. He concludes that this is a list of the Kindred that have been abducted. Strangely, Terrence's brother Phillip has also been included on this list, as well as an unnamed witness "located at a safehouse in protective custody awaiting interrogation."

That morning, Hutch goes to the police station to speak with Detective Carter. He explains everything he saw in the last few days, including his friends Conor, Belle, Terrence, and Savannah. Carter sends policemen out to bring Belle and Savannah back to the station. He tells them that because of the flashdrive Belle was given, all of their lives are in danger. He has three of his officers take them to a hotel for now until he contacts Witness Protection.

The hotel becomes a warzone when two people — a man and a woman — storm into the room with guns blazing. They shoot the policemen and shout for Hutch, Belle, and Savannah to come with them, saying the police are corrupt and plan to kill them all for what they know. More police arrive, and while the two strangers light up the stairwell with gunfire, the three companions escape.

Belle's art professor calls her to tell her that Morgaine wants to offer her a job at NOLA Spaces. Belle agrees to meet with Morgaine over drinks at The Blacksmith Shop. Savannah goes with, after calling her dad to let him know she's okay. A guy at the bar introduces himself as Antonio. He hits on Savannah for a little bit, but takes the hint that she's had a rough couple of days and isn't in the mood right now. He gives her his business card, saying he owns a bed & breakfast and would love to see her again.

When Terrence wakes up, he meets Sebastian Walcott, the proprietor of the Tremere chantry. While coming off as a little arrogant, Sebastian is polite and helpful, explaining that there are certain rules to be followed among the Kindred, and Laura needs to ask the prince for permission to create childer. Laura comes back with good news. Marcel agreed to let her turn Terrence into a vampire. Together they go to The Blacksmith Shop for drinks.

Meanwhile, Hutch and Conor go to the Grand Oaks Mansion down by the river. They break inside and look around for anything suspicious. They find a door that leads to "the back," and beyond that they spy a man with long blonde hair speaking with two other men, whom Hutch recognizes as the two goons who tried abducting Aunt Alma. Listening in, the eavesdroppers hear a conversation about everything being ready for the auction Saturday night. The blonde guy, called Raymond, is concerned about the stock; he's also concerned about the witnesses who might identify them, and at least one attack that failed. The shorter of the two goons suggests that they stop the auction until things cool down. Raymond dismisses that, stating that nothing will go wrong as long as they stick to the plan as the mage has told them to do. He suggests that the two goons take advantage of Voodoo Fest this weekend to seize more victims. Hutch and Conor quietly leave so they can formulate a plan later.

Savannah and Belle meet Morgaine, and Terrence introduces them to Laura. They stay for a few drinks, then all go their separate ways for the night.

Chapter 1

The “New Orleans by Night” campaign starts in October of 2016 on a Friday. Voodoo Fest will be coming up next weekend.

Hutch works the early morning shift that starts at 4:00am. Just before the sun comes up, while his garbage truck goes along Esplande Ave, he notices the door to one house smashed open. He sees through the window an axe-weilding figure wearing a scarecrow mask. He tells his partner Skip to call the police, and then he goes inside the house. When he gets upstairs he's attacked by the crazed axe murderer, takes a vicious wound on the arm, and barely escapes with his life. Skip drives him to the hospital.

Terrence is quite busy at work because the zoo’s prized animal, an albino alligator named Mardi, is sick. He’s trying to figure out what’s wrong with the gator, who’s been acting more lethargic than usual and won’t eat. Mardi is kinda fat and hasn’t ever had problems eating. Terrence knows that nothing could possibly scare an alligator, but the animal seems to be acting like it's frightened. The director of the zoo, Cris Carter, pops in to see how Terrence is doing and wishes him luck.

While he’s in his office going over the surveillance tapes for the last couple weeks — with his door open — a young blonde woman wanders in saying she’s a lost zoo patron. She'd been part of a college tour and she fears the bus left without her. Terrence shows her outside, and sure enough, the bus is gone, so he drives her back to the dorm where she lives.

On her way to work tonight, Savannah sees a creepy looking guy in the hall in her apartment building, attempting to enter the home of one of her neighbors, a single woman named Rosalyn who works at the Chevron gas station nearby. Rosalyn’s door is locked, and with Savannah watching, the guy just walks away sheepishly without a word.

Once she gets to work, Savannah has the misfortune of having to work with the Night Auditor, a bald man named Enzo Dubois. As her supervisor, he’s a real douchebag on a powertrip and takes his job way too seriously. The bartender at the hotel, a handsome and overly friendly black guy named Simon, swears he saw a ghost in the ballroom the other night. Enzo isn't impressed.

At Magazine Pizza, the afternoon delivery driver called in sick and Belle was asked to come in early. Then the second night driver never showed up, so she’s covering both routes tonight. Belle is making her last delivery of the night, coming back across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, when she sees a rusty old truck smash into the median and roll over. A bunch of other cars drive past the wreck, and it looks like nobody else is stopping to help. Belle stops to check on him. He gives her a flashdrive and begs her to take it to Detective Carter. When she hesitates, he pulls a gun on her and warns her not to trust the other police, that they’re covering up just as much as the monsters are. She gets back to her car and drives away.

Prince Marcel summons Conor to his plantation in the country to tell him that a number of Kindred have recently been reported missing. Marcel suspects that they’re being abducted and requests that Conor look into the matter. The only lead he has is a vampire hunter named Bob Carter, who is still alive because Carter agreed to only hunt renegades in the city or anyone threatening the Masquerade. Lately, however, Carter and his New Orleans Special Task Force (NOSTF) have been hunting indiscriminately. Conor agrees to help.

After they’re done with their respective jobs for the night, all the characters head over to the Cat’s Meow bar for a much needed drink. They share their crazy stories with each other, and Belle shows them the flashdrive she got. They borrow a laptop from some girls Belle recognizes from college while Terrence keeps them busy up at the bar. The flashdrive is full of strange information about bloodsucking monsters. Closing time fast approaches. Conor suggests going to a different bar. Out on the street they pass by lots of drunk partygoers, beggars, prostitutes, and the like.

Suddenly, they're attacked by two muggers, one of whom tries pulling Savannah into a dark alley! The second of the two muggers pulls a knife out. Belle gets stabbed while trying to get the knife away. Terrence wrastles one to the ground, but the guy ends up smashing his own face into the concrete, killing himself. The female mugger retreats into the alley but Conor gives chase and ends up shooting and killing her.

Police and an ambulance show up and Belle is taken to the hospital. Her friends come visit her.

And that's about it for our first game. There are a lot of strange things going on and a lot of questions that need answering…


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