Night 1. The characters start the Chapter as a specially charted boat docks at the ferry landing of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. For reasons known only to himself, Ezekiel decides to swim the distance; thankfully setting off early enough to arrive at the same time as the boat. Waiting for them is Eduardo Guadarrama, the Sheriff of the Isle of Wight and a member of the Sworn of the Axe. He greets them, and shows them to his truck – Ezekiel is resigned to the flat-bed on the back, as he is dripping wet and covered in muck from his swim.
Guadarrama drives them across the island to the town of Shanklin, explaining that the Ordo Dracul maintain their main building, the Chapter House, there – and it is there that they will meet the other two Ordo on the island: Philosopher Isidore Stueck and Adept Greta Merrickson. Upon arrival, the characters are introduced to Stueck, who appears to be a somewhat drowsy and absent-minded kindred. Afterwards, Guadarrama explains that she is nearing the time when she will go into torpor, and that it is beginning to intrude on her everyday demeanour.
Following this, the characters head out into Shanklin to feed; some of them more in need of it than others, as is shown when Carys Willow suffers from the call of Wassail – Hunger Frenzy. In the throws of Wassail she completely drains the poor victim of all his blood, and as he lays, unconscious and dying, she finds a near-by tree and hastily pushes him into a hollow formed between its roots. She then returns to the Chapter House, saying nothing straight away, where she meets the others returning from their less deadly hunts. Carys tells Guadarrama about the death.
Guadarrama then explains the first task the new Ordo will need to carry out: Chasing the Dragon’s Tail. It is a method of teaching new Ordo about several of the covenant’s philosophies. They are informed that they must select and kill an individual and then observe the changes that ripple out from the death – whether that be with the family of the deceased, with the emergency services called to the scene, with the mood of the neighbourhood, etc. Given the … boon … that has been provided with Carys’ Wassail, Guadarrama suggests they use that death as their starting point.
Returning to the park where the body still lies beneath its tree, Carys Willow and Bain use their clan gift of Obfuscate to go unnoticed during the scene, while Content Not Found: ezekiel-thorne hides in a bush to observe. Left out, Helmer decides to sit in the truck that Guadarrama has loaned to them for the task. Shortly after, a woman passes through the park: jogging with her dog. She nearly makes it past the tree without noticing, her dog apparently suffering from a cold smells nothing a miss, but she catches sight of the body and is gripped with terror and the need to scream.
She screams, and Helmer comes rushing over, pretending to know nothing and asking what is happening. The woman (currently not thinking rationally about the man conveniently sat in a Jeep watching the park…) stammers out that she has found a body, and that she needs to ring 999. Helmer, wisely, decides to remove himself from suspicion and uses the powers of Dominate to delete himself from her memory, before driving off to put the truck out of sight around a corner. As he does, he hears the sirens of the police go past, heading to the park.
The police arrive at the scene, and begin to tape off the area and question the woman. Bain, Carys, and Ezekiel quite sensibly remain hidden and observe – as they have been told to. Helmer, however, decides to be involved and walks into the scene – again pretending he doesn’t know anything about it. However, the policeman he talks to is somewhat less panicked than the woman, and notices that his lie doesn’t hang together quite right and immediately takes an interest in him and begins to ask questions. Helmer once again uses Dominate to stop the policeman asking too many questions, but does give away his name when asked…
The paramedics arrive on the scene, and as they begin to near the corpse it suddenly occurs to the party that perhaps an exsanguinated body might raise some uncomfortable questions – possibly the sort that constitute a breach of the Masquerade… They hastily, and without consulting each other, enact a plan to get rid of the witnesses and remove the body.
Bain heads for the police car, hot wiring it and crashing it into the ambulance. The policemen both give chase as he runs from the car, heading around the corner away from the park. They are much fitter than he is, however, and quickly catch up, the first grappling him to the ground. Bain proceeds to vomit blood up on his assailant,
Carys heads for the ambulance, getting inside unseen without issue. Therein, she begins to lug an oxygen cylinder across the grass towards the tree – using a discarded scalpel to carve letters into it as she goes.
Helmer attempts to find the body to drag it away, but Carys has hidden it too well and he fails to spot it.
Ezekiel then runs with the body down to the mercifully empty beach, and carries it down underwater where he buries it for safe keeping.
The four return to the chapter house, and have a well earned rest.
Night 2: While waiting for Guadarrama, the party encounters Greta for the first time. She walks past them in the lobby with an insufferable air of importance about herself, before disappearing further into the chapter house. Guadarrama arrives, and drives the four of them to Newport, where the Regnant is holding court at the castle. This is the first introduction to a large group of Kindred that the party has had, so they are a little tense.
Court turns out to be a room of five Kindred, all looking quite bored – but none so much as the Regnant himself. The Regnant, Leroy Garnet, is an attractive young man in his late twenties with dark hair and is lounging in a chair at the far end of the hall. The Seneschel, a Nosferatu of the Lancea Sanctum by the name of Iohanna, is standing slightly behind his right shoulder. Her eyes appear to be constantly bleeding, compounding her attempts at pleasant conversation with most people. On the left of the room, the Herald and the Harpy are conversing. The Harpy is a young woman with hair scooped up in bob, while the Herald is easily the most imposing figure in the room. He is both attractive and socially a powerful presence. He watches the party carefully from behind his smoked glasses. On the other side of the room, a lone member of the Sanctified, Aude Rinne, sits reading a book.
The Sheriff takes the characters to be introduced to the Regnant, something which the Regnant clearly wishes he didn’t have to expend the energy on. He barely acknowledges them, and airily remarks that as long as they follow the laws they’ll be fine.
Following this, Helmer decides to introduce himself to his clan’s Priscus – the Herald, Blythe Shelton Simmons. Simmons registers his name in his book, and confirms a postal address that letters can be sent to for Helmer (the chapter house suffices). Carys, having discovered Aude’s name the previous night in relation to the production of Lacrima, heads over to talk to her, and the two have a pleasant conversation about plants both living and undead…
Ezekiel spies a piano at one side of the hall, and begins to knock out a couple of passable tunes. The room not finding them sufficiently aggravating to call him to stop, this carries on for a few minutes before the scene is interrupted.
Gerlind Ragna, Ezekiel’s sire wanders into the hall. As usual, she has forgotten about the conventions of clothes and looks like a naked, drowned corpse: water pooling at her feet as it drips from her hair. She stares off into the middle-distance vaguely, and announces that “There are people, coming out of the water”.
Unsure what she means, most of the court remain silent waiting to see if she imparts any further information, while Ezekiel moves to her side and stares off in the same direction she is – just in case there is some divine wisdom hanging just out of sight. The Harpy, Priscila Channing Van Den Akker, tries to hide a smirk and a laugh behind her hand, but Ezekiel notices.
Eventually Iohanna crosses the room and comes almost face-to-face with the naked acolyte of the Circle of the Crone, and demands that she makes sense. When Ezekiel tries to intervene, Iohanna bares her fangs at him in an attempt to scare him off but somehow manages to not appear threatening. Before matters can escalate further, Gerlind elucidates that there are people coming out of the water near her territory and the Sheriff pulls Ezekiel and Iohanna apart – before the Regnant orders him to go and investigate. The Sheriff volunteers the party to assist him, as Ezekiel is the only one beyond the star-struck Gerlind who knows roughly whereabouts Gerlind lives.
Arriving at St. Catherine’s Point, Guadarrama parks the truck near the beach. As they look around, Carys in particular notices that there is something quite wrong with the landscape around here – the soil is dry and cracked, despite the recent heavy snow and the buildings appear to be sloughing dust in the breeze. Ezikiel merges with the soil, and when he emerges he coughs up dry soil.
The party spots three figures trudging across the sand – clearly dripping wet. The four of them head down to confront them, while Guadarrama busies himself with something – or possibly just doesn’t notice they’re gone. The three figures makes no attempt to interact with the characters, heading towards the sea without leaving any tracks in the sand. It is only when Bain attempts to feel them to check that they are really there, that they lash out and combat begins. Carys utilises her gift of Nightmare to scare the three, and they attempt to (slowly) run towards the ocean to get away from her. Sadly, Bain has one is a grapple by this point and it can’t get away. The grapple tussles back and forth between them for half a minute or so, before Ezekiel stops following the two fleeing and helps Bain out. Helmer stands by, not wanting to get his own hands dirty, and suggests that they might be doing things wrong. Barely containing themselves, Bain and Ezekiel finish the one-eyed corpse off with a combination of beatings and a knife. The body is then carried up to the truck by a bickering Bain and Helmer, while Carys and Ezekiel follow the two fleeing figures.
As they head underwater, the two quicker Kindred observe that one is missing a foot while the other misses its hand. They follow the two ‘Drowned Ones’ down the seabed until they just vanish into the sand without trace. Ezekiel uses his Unmarked Grave power to merge with the sand, but finds nothing down there.
On the surface, Bain and Helmer between them carry the still oozing body to the truck, and as their argument reaches its climax they throw the body onto the back of the truck. As it ungainly flies to the metal of the flat-bed, they turn to make their argument physical the corpse lands and with a squelch explodes in a splash of pus, blood, and salt water. It splashes out over the two characters, and also catches the back of Guadarrama as well. As all three struggle to control their now enraged beasts, the Sheriff pulls the two arguing Kindred apart and shouts them into silence.