Iberia By Night

RECAP from The Dark Ages I

The Year of our Lord is 1150 AD London. After being saved from a sea of darkness and suffocation, the heroes were inducted into a sub sect within the London Templers led by a monk known as Brother Thomas. Brother Thomas instructed his children in the “blessings of God” that he has given unto them. They have received strength, durability, and as long as they take of the sacrament given by the Holy Brother eternal life.

During the next few years as they learned about their new life they partook of a series of trials to help them better understand their ghouled nature. They also became aware that vampires truly did exist among them, and that like men they could be good or evil. And like men, they also had rulers and hierarchy.

Shortly after their introduction into Kindred society they were dispatched on a daylight raid to investigate a fire of a manor in which a Cainite lord had resided. They were able to find that the servants had turned on their master. After giving chase, the Heroes were able to track down the ghouls of the missing lord and dispatch them. This gave great praise to their leader Brother Thomas. That Victory was the last piece that Brother needed to install himself as the new sheriff in the Court of Avalon.

The Heroes were taken back to a tower that appeared to be broken and abandoned, only to find that some illusion holds the reality that the tower is fortified and whole. Brother Thomas sought to teach the weaknesses of the Cainites unto them. Brother Thomas had taken mortal who were condemned men and embraced them so that the Heroes could learn the proper techniques to subdue and dispatch cainites. This truly tested their humanity as they were forced to kill each of those men.

By this time all of the Heroes have become thralls of Brother Thomas bound by the blood that flows from his veins. They seek to do his bidding by this bond, and are held to Brother Thomas’s desires. Knowing that these events tested the metal of his servents and that they could survive properly, he then instructs them in the Lore of the Cainites, the Werewolves, and the Fae. Each of them learns quickly that the world they were living in was merely a pale shadow world to the realm of darkness in which they truly resided.

After a few years of serving in the City of London, two of the heroes disappeared leaving only Gerald to contend with the desires of Brother Thomas. Fortunately through foresight Brother Thomas was able to bring two new members to complete the trinity of ghouls who serve him. One was a Moor from Iberia who went by the name Albed. The other was thief, Ludwig who hailed from a germanic city beyond the kingdom of France.

As the months turned to years, Brother Thomas trained the heroes and taught them the history of the cainites. His instruction included (with permission from Mithras the Prince) the embracing of three condemned men for the purpose of learning Cainite weaknesses.

Brother Thomas personally took some time to train Albed, and while he did the others were joined from a seasoned crusader recently returned from the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This Crusader’s name was Sir Barnabus as he was knighted for defending the Christians in the stead of the King of England. The three Gerald, Ludwig and Barnabus were called to protect the realm in the absence of Thomas and Albed.

Their first quest let them to the cave of an ancient Gangrel far to the north of London. They destroyed the Giant elder ghoul bear and gathered 4 canopic jars from the self above the sarcophagus. Only with sheer luck were the heroes able to find on the first try the heart within. Sir Barnabus staked it before they became food for the recently awakened Methuselah. The riches, jewels and the remaining jars where transported back to London for Safe Keeping.

A rival of Brother Thomas had an orphanage raided and those within killed while the heroes were away. Upon their return Brother Thomas performed a miracle. Through some mystical means he was able to revive the children and heal them without the use of Vitae. It was then they realized that Brother Thomas may have used this power on them after the battles they lost, few as they were. Their Master forbid them of speaking of these miracles and told them he could no longer use these “gifts” from God as it was drawing too much attention to himself and his kind.

Again there seemed to be a hidden hand that seemed to cause trouble in the Baronies of Avalon. The Scourge of London an Elder by the name of Angus has also disappeared. Brother Thomas has taken on his peer’s duties to prevent a rival from gaining power; however Mithras was insistent that the matter not go unresolved. Thomas once again entrusted an important task to the Heroes of uncovering the truth and returning Angus if they could.

The Heroes used what little contacts they had to learn of possible rumors and mean to locate the Gangrel. There was a tale that he traveled west into Wales to deal with the Lupines there. They also learned that his childe Alice was often seen on the northern plains just outside the Moor gate. There was also talk of a mystic man who belonged to the Order of Hermes that resided within the city proper of London. Sir Barnabus was sent east to gather information on this and other dark tails of that region. This left Albed, Gerald and Ludwig to seek out Alice and the wizard Simon Magus.

Since they often stayed in the Templar Compound (as Brother Thomas portrayed himself a Templar priest) they figured dealing with the Wizard might be the best course of action as he was supposed to be closer. While Albed saw to the provisions should they need to leave in haste, Gerald and Ludwig went in search of Simon Magus. They followed the clues they were given and sure enough found themselves not three streets away from St. Paul’s cathedral. They could hear sounds of a blacksmith pounding metal from the forge next to the shop. Quickly examining their surroundings they noticed that people seemed to avoid this street, almost as though it did not exist in their minds.

It was around this time that Albed joined them and bravely they knocked upon the wizard’s door. After a few moments he arrived, a large man heavily sweating and smelling of smoke. He bid them enter and told them quickly that stealing from his shop can have some nasty consequences. Whiles Albed talked with the wizard out the missing Angus, the other began to peruse the shop, aching to spend their money. The shop was filled with the most finely crafted weapons and armor they had ever seen. One sword burned with a halo of Faith that even frightened the small beast within their bellies. Ludwig had recently taken up religion under thinking that this must be the key to Brother Thomas’s power. He eyed holy water for sale, blessed by the Pope himself. Thinking the Wizard occupied, he stole a vial to show the blasphemy that this wizard was, and to have proof to accuse him. Albed and the wizard came to an arrangement of 2500 pennies and 2 boons in trade for his casting a spell to locate Angus. Simon warned them that the spell would not located him directly as their powers were sometimes thwarted by the blood of Cain.

The First boon was to recover some elderwood that had been stolen from outside his shop near the door to the forge. And so the Heroes left to find this missing wood. Upon exiting of the shop however Ludwig burst out in red boils that turned his normally attractive face into a leper’s worst nightmare. Ludwig quickly covered himself to hide his affliction. It turned out that their questioning had brought three villains dressed as grey monks against them. The Heroes being warriors with a lethal accuracy were able to dispatch them with little issue. It was Albed that noticed their skin upon death began to darken in complexion and become the deep color of blood. Having only a moment’s notice they turned to flee this abnormality. Ludwig unfortunately caught the worst of the explosion and nearly died on the spot. Gerald was only minorly hurt while Albed was able to jump to safety. It took them till night to ask for Brother Thomas’s help with the weak condition of Ludwig. Brother Thomas then gave them each a wineskin with his vitae and left the city in pursuit of his duties.

The Heroes were able to follow the Wagon tracks to the Moor gate and inquired with the guard about the wagon and the wood. The night watch was able to give them a description of some charcoal makers he knew about 10 miles to the north. Since Alice was on the way, they sought her out. She told them that as far as she new (a couple weeks old information) that he was heading to Stocks field far to the north near the Border with the Scots. In light of the many months it would travel to the north, the heroes decided to keep on the wizard’s quest.

After searching most of the day they were able to locate the farm with the missing wood. However they also came across more monks in grey robes that also when slain would explode. These monks however seemed to do more destruction than when first encountered.

Upon returning with the wood, Simon Magus told them of his second boon. Of late he has been burdened by his order to deal with a rival by the name of Tiberius in Worcestershire. He has been rumored to be raising corpses using magic most foul. As of late these dead were found unanimated along the roadside, leaving the locals to wonder at how they came to be there.

The Heroes headed west and saved Barnabus from a tower of a Tzimice. Albed attracted the attention of a Toreador with his extra delicious blood. Meanwhile Gerald and Barnabus were sent east to London with a report for Brother Thomas. Albed escaped along with Ludwig and faced the horrors on the road to the Necromancer Tiberius. They were able to stop the Necromancer by using a powerful faith weapon to disrupt Tiberius from swallowing the souls to become a god. The cost was high. Over half of the population of the castle and the life of Ludwig himself. Albed searched for two days under the rubble of the two towers that had been destroyed and recovered the corpse of Ludwig. Brother Thomas was barely able to bring Ludwig back from the dead, and once again the heroes found themselves returning to London.

It was going to take a while after they got back for Simon Magus to cast the ritual to find Angus. Albed having been not only knighted but now elevated to Earl of Worcestershire stayed behind. This allowed the Heroes to go looking after the cause of Vikings that were ravaging the coast. Once again the heroes were able to find clues that led them to believe that the people missing from the villages were not dead, but rather being held captive as slaves.

While Barnabus and Gerald investigated a ship, Ludwig was questioning after the captain in a secret pirate bar. After being denied access to the ship, Barnabus followed by Gerald leap aboard using their supernatural strength. The sailors in the sails and ropes all produced bows and showered arrows upon them. Barnabus deciding to even the odds jumped into the hold and broke through the wood beginning the process of sinking the ship. Gerald was not as fortunate as he could barely crawl to safety till he could drink his wineskin.

As one might imagine the battle was fairly loud and the Captain of this ship quickly headed toward the docks. Ludwig tried to follow but was killed while facing two of the captain’s elite men. Barnabus was able to save the slaves aboard and gather the charts before the boat sank completely into the harbor. The captain watched in horror and anger as he saw this. Gerald and Barnabus and their servant gained another companion who was completely loyal to Albed’s Brother(Achmed) He was a mercenary named Travis who stood far above most men. Often he was mistaken as a giant among those who did not know him.

They using the charts, were able to locate a hidden cove to deal not only with the pirate/slavers but also deal with whatever supernatural power was leading them. Halfway through the voyage however it was found that Achmed had captured an ugly Nosfearatu and was beginning to use him as blood experiment. With only 1 day left before arriving at the cove, was disrupted by an accident involving the destruction of the Nosfearatu. This also leads to the Murder of their crew save for Achmed (who hid) and themselves. They were forced to parley with an Elder Nosfearatu for their lives. Achmed however refused and gained the full enmity of that clan for all that had happened.

They entered the cave, and found that all within had been torn apart. The heroes were able to bypass the traps quietly and scare off a black shadowed wolf man while gaining a very important artifact. This very artifact became the quest of a lifetime for Barnabus and him alone. Brother Thomas made that clear to the others, as they had still not located Angus.

The ritual was finally completed by Simon Magus. Travis, Gerald and Earl Albed witnessed a vision: A church being serviced by Brown robed monks; a Great Circle of Mushrooms; A sky angled vision looking down on a small village near an ancient wall; Lastly their vision became black as night with the sounds of animals growling joined by a chorus of more as each second went on, till at last a bright flash of blood.

After talking about options the party decided that Stocksfield north of Yorkshire was their next destination. Albed having accumulated much wealth and cunning was able to trade with Simon Magus for a ritual scroll that would allow Brother Thomas to Split his vitae more abundantly within mead. Spending a week in preparation Brother Thomas was able to provide three times their normal allotment of vitae using this ritual.

Alice was determined to travel with the Heroes in search of her sire, and so they began the long trek north.

Not three nights into their journey, they were attacked by mean in Brown robes that blew up almost instantly upon death. Alice not being forewarned was knocked into torpor. The others were able to hobble into town after a few days. And once again they were attacked by Brown robed devils. They did manage to knock one out before he died, however what they did not know was that the already mauled monk had drunk of poison. While they dealt with the public now very curious to the explosions, the unconcious and now dead monk exploded and destroyed the inn. Albed not taking any chances hid Alice in the ground so that she would not be degraded into a blood bag, which he feared the others were plotting. At this point the party left the road to traverse the dangers of Sherwood Forest.

It is important to note two things. The first was that after leaving the road, they were no longer hounded by Brown Robed Monks. The second was they encountered Robin Leland and his band of merry men. The Heroes were escorted into camp and asked what business led them north. After admitting their quest, they sought help from Robin and the Cappadocian Monk Friar Tuck. The only thing they had of worth to them was the ritual that Albed had traded for. Friar Tuck studied this ritual for many days till he was able to perfect it. Now Robin armed with the ability to keep his army ghouled at a much easier cost began his campaign south to make sure that Young King Henry was crowned and fortified against his brothers Richard and John. Richard seeking battle took upon himself the crusade to reclaim the holy land and Jerusalem. He has since had total success in reclaiming the Kingdom of Jerusalem and had been made king.

The Heroes oblivious to their altering of history continued onward. The found themselves in the small village with a guide to the cave that Angus is known to travel to often. Within the Cave the fought an abomination (of cainite and werewolf) and drove it back into the darkness. They also found a clue that lead them back to an abbey in London. The guides became werewolves and helped them travel through the umbra back to their goal as quickly as possible.

The end of this long road finally in sight, they used stealth into the compound (filled with brown robed monks), found a secret way in through the newly constructed sewer that fed into the river. After avoiding many traps, they confronted the Master Tremere and his appetence as they completed a ritual turning Angus into a gargoyle (the first). With much skill and luck they took down the master. The apprentice however had released the experimented on Gangrel that were being controlled. The Abomination came in through the umbra into the Cistern room to cut them off. Hopelessly out numbered, the Heroes fled toward the stairs. Gerald tried in vain to open the stone lid at the top of the stairs only to fall victim to a ward. Albed protected the flank while Travis was able to push on up through the stone into the side chapel. The chapel was filled with 15 Armed Monks who instantly exploded. The force of the explosion collapsed the stone roof and crushed Gerald and Albed. Nothing remained of Travis.

Many Years later Gerald and Albed awoke a ship amidst a dark sea…

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