- 7 more days in Bistritz. The coterie seeks to prepare as best they can for the trip to Tihuta Pass, and integrate Sir Alaric more fully into the team. The Lasombra knight is keen to cross-train both skills and Disciplines, as well to coordinate combat tactics.
- Veceslav spends most of his time with Ilias Cel Frumos, learning the Old Faith and the basics of Kolunism. Gunther ritter continues his martial training also.
- Iulia and Perlina spend much time cross-training with Maude. Iulia spends much of her free time getting to know Seneschal Roslyn Wulf.
- Gunther drills his mercenaries mercilessly (their names are Gortav, Yergali, Zhanbulat, Arslan, Dildabek, Baisal) while Iulia begins their hypnotism.
- Radu and Vykos are deep in discussions, leaving Roslyn Wulf to manage the city in his distractions. Vykos spends much of his time outside of these meetings with Veceslav and Ilias, or preferably Ilias alone.
- Joachim the elder and younger of the Stonemasons guild are met. The Younger will take 7 apprentices to help build the tower and survey. 1 sp/day + 5 sp for Joachim (standard guild rates). Once the area is surveyed, Joachim will return and also contract the carpenters. It will take approximately 6 months to construct the tower, and it will be difficult to start before April.
- An Anonymous monk is met. He draws the coterie’s attention not long after Gunther ritter leaves the Shining Sword to train with the mercs. Veceslav fails to read the monk’s aura (but succeeds in doing so later in the evening)
- He appeared to take note of the coterie by virtue of the strangeness of their appearance and company, and also appears to surmise that they are vampires on account of noticing that they have not broken bread or drunk their wine in the hours that they have spent there (this is later shown to be simply his observational skills at play, and the coterie inadvertently revealed their true nature).
- The monk is extremely observant but comes across as a little smug and nonchalant about his personal safety. He makes some interesting comments regarding the enlightened rule of Burgrave Radu II, as well as the oddness of him having a vlach name and the fact that the city council is extraordinarily compliant with Radu’s wishes. Such cooperation is noteworthy in the extreme.
- Iulia attempts to Dominate the man to remove his memories of the discussion. He proves to be immune, and tells her that she has been impolite and to please desist. She claims that the monk has no name, having given it back to God as a gesture of humility.
- He finishes the discussion on good terms, after being warned by Maude and Veceslav to be more careful, as he inadvertently serves Cainite masters in Esztergom who may not have friends in this part of the world. After he returns to his meal, a hasty council is called by the four Cainites present to deal with the threat that the monk represents.
- Iulia is in favour of reporting the monk’s presence to Radu in order to preserve the Silence of the Blood and to curry favour with the prince. Sir Alaric is uncomfortable with treating a “man of the cloth” in such a manner and offers to talk to him more forcefully. Veceslav and Maude wish to discuss matters further with the monk, in order to more fully assess what, if any, threat Anonymous truly presents.
- When they look over, they find the monk gone, but none remember seeing him leave. Veceslav notes his footsteps in some spilled wine and a frantic search of the city begins.
Iulia searches the Happy Merchant, Maude the Hospice, Veceslav the Great Northern and the Templar remains at the Shining Sword in case Gunther ritter returns. Ghouls assist their masters. Eventually the monk is found at the Broken Plow, and discussions resume after the coterie confirm their peaceable intentions.
- He is gregarious enough, and freely admits to being a chronicler in the service of King Emeric. He is auditing Bistritz on his King’s behalf, with an eye towards making a report of the Siebenburgen and Transylvania in general. He then aims to head to Halych, beyond the Carpathians.
- Maude realises that this must be the same anonymous monk that served Emeric and Andras’ father, King Bela II, and who has been compiling a great chronicle of Hungary for more than 20 years.
- Anonymous is good at appearing with different faces, and also at moving undetected. He appears to be immune to Iulia’s Dominate, and stated that it was rude of her to attempt it on him.
- He has a strange aura, out of phase. Mixed fear and conservatism, vital and pale at once. He claims to be a “wizard”, showing a faint disdain for the term magus.
- He claims that there are orders, circles and colleges of magic workers, some of them claiming to be magi, sorcerers or wizards. These fellowships are not at all like (his admittedly poor understanding of) vampire clans, being less strict and agenda driven.
- The coterie and the monk reach an accord. He will leave in the morning and they will not report him to Radu. They part ways amicably.
- Several days later, the Herd caravan arrives. They weathered the storm well, on account of finding plenty of fresh meat killed and left for them, as well as fire wood stacked neatly where they could find it. They tried to discover who this mysterious guardian angel was but failed to do so. The aid continued up until two nights outside of Bistritz.
- Arrangements are made for the Pecheneg mercenaries to travel with the retainers and Herd.
- The Cainites, their bodyguards and Joachim the Younger travel to Tihuta Pass. They pass four reasonably prosperous villages on the route within Radu’s territory (with one particularly well-fortified affair right on the edge of his land), and progressively poorer and weaker settlements as they get closer to the pass. In the pass, there are paths leading to settlements off the trail but scouting them is left for another time.
- The Carpathians loom large and menacing on either side of the pass. The western slopes are heavily forested while the central hills are largely bare. Sparse woods cover the eastern side, which gradually gives way to steep cliffs.
- The road is treacherous as they near the tower, with 500 foot drops to a churning stream below and treacherous switchbacks. Finally the jagged foundations come into view. A small campfire is near the ruins, and a pair of torches are stuck in the ground inside them.
- The journey takes 4 days.
- The coterie can hear the sounds of digging and someone tunelessly but merrily singing a hymn…
Attendance: Maude (Dave, xp3), Veceslav (Ben, xp2+1 pending)
Absent: Gunthar ritter (Greg, xp0), Sir Alaric (Anthony, xp0)
END OF SESSION