Dead of Night: Tales from the Big Easy

PROLOGUE: The Oldest Sin...
Torpor Flashback of Jacob Cross' Embrace

Photobucket

View
PROLOGUE: Severed Threads
Torpor Flashback of Hampton Mayfair III' Embrace

Photobucket

View
PROLOGUE: The Proposition
Torpor Flashback of Willem Foucault's Embrace

Photobucket

View
CHAPTER ONE: The Nature of the Beast
The Pursuit of Belial's Brood

Photobucket

The coterie wake. The stakes have been pulled from their chest, leaving a gaping hole. They are tossed on the table lit by the overhead, tungsten lamp.

A hulk of a man walks along the length of the table. His eyes are dead, his head closely shaven and his lips are sewn shut, nostrils flaring. He wears a cheap suit, ill fitting his massive frame. He growls at them as he steps backwards into the shadows. He smells mortal.

The coterie take the chance to look around them. Each are chained to a steel chair bolted to the floor. They look at each other and there is a glimmer of recognition in their eyes.

The room is oblong in shape, the walls are thick, grey breeze blocks. The floor is rough concrete. There is a stained glass window of a sun rising over a hill. The windows are shuttered.

A candelabra in the corner illuminates an elderly man in a monk’s cassock, waiting patiently at a lectern. His eyes are sewn shut. The Beast stirs at the sense of weakness but there is no fight or flight instinct.

The door behind them opens, a cool breeze ruffles their dirty clothes.

“How the mighty have fallen”

Their Beasts cowers…

View
CHAPTER TWO: Blood is Blood
Ties that Bind

Photobucket

The sun sets on New Orleans, casting its red glow over the buildings and streets. The coterie takes it upon themselves to investigate the domain that they now have to care for on behalf of their sires. Their first priority is to secure a shared haven in the domain. Cross and Mayfair both recognise the domain a quite valuable, smack bang in the middle of New Orleans and crossing four districts.

And herein is where Foucault recognises the major disadvantage.

Photobucket

View
CHAPTER THREE: One Year Dead
The Plot Thickens

Photobucket

Elysium is held at Loyla University in Riverbend, ‘The Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ’, a small crumbling church, shrouded in the frosty mist that originates from the Mississippi. The whole neighbourhood seems encrusted in ice and frozen water.

The coterie climbs the steps of the church, the building hunched as if in embarrassment, shrinking against the surroundings of its academic neighbourhood. Its spire is an impotent finger signalling towards a God that perhaps, does not exist.

Outside the doors, the coterie’s sires wait for them with a stranger. A mortal. A young man, dark skinned and dressed in black. He greets them by name, solemnly shaking hands. He introduces himself as ‘Alberto’… Prince Vidal’s assistant.

“You may sit with your sires or as neonates you can sit at the back with the lesser of the Embraced” – Alberto, bowing and leaving

Foucault decides to sit at the back, receiving a nod of approval from his sire Marcus.

Cross refuses to leave his protective stance of his sire Valentine whilst Hampton decides to sit at the ‘high table’ with his estranged sire, Gabrielle.

Cross takes Valentine by the hand and leads her to her seat, becoming engulfed into the upper crust of Invictus society, although they are segregated into White Invictus and Black Invictus. Despite his muted skin tones, Cross sits with Valentine amongst the Black Invictus.

Hampton sits uncomfortably with Gabrielle, who has lifted her veil revealing the shifting network of scars on her face. Her white eyes stare ahead unfocused.

Foucault takes a row at the back watching Marcus sit with a small group of Kindred somewhere in the centre.

The ceiling is domed, stained glass surrounds the small group of the Damned. The Church is cold, even with their dead flesh the Kindred feel the bite of winter.

View
JOURNAL: 1946 - 1953
Seven Years of Plenty

Photobucket

1946

As promised Maldonato calls a bloodhunt on the Kindred known as Azazel for the Final Death of Primogen Dimanche. Although known on the fringes of Kindred society, no one know where he has a haven, not even his Kindred lord John Polk, Priest of Mid City. No one can find his bookshop. It is clear that the Brood are keeping their heads down, the subtle threats of Abner Broadbank stopping suddenly

Stella accepts Foucault’s offer of a haven. She is unusually quiet, her eyes seem wide and fearful, staying inside for most of the time, occasionally weeping silently. Her libido vanishes although she still enjoys teasing Foucault with complicated sexual innuendo. Her appetite is voracious during the pregnancy, with a preference for rare steak. Her only interest during the 9 months is jigsaw puzzles. She completes one every day, by the end of the pregnancy she has completed over 250. Her favourites she has framed and hung in the haven, but usually only after taking some pieces out first.

Hampton Mayfair doesn’t witness his mother’s death in childbirth, appearing at the hospital after the sun has set. Remembering Pierpont McGinn’s threat he kidnaps his baby sister, Julianne Mayfair, on an impulse, guided by the spirit that is with him to hand it over to Foucault who gives it to Stella to take of. No Invictus will tell a Mayfair what to do!

Cross confesses to his wife Rebecca that he has been living a lie, his life as a travelling salesman has been a cover for his role as a classified military intelligence operative keeping track of Communist activity in New Orleans. He needs them to move to Baton Rouge for their own safety as he is worried that his cover has been compromised. Only his supernatural powers help convince Rebecca of his story.

View
CHAPTER FOUR: Lines in the Sand
You Gotta Make a Choice

Photobucket

The cell door swings open into the concrete corridor. The bare light bulb throws the walls into stark yellow light and dark shadows as the coterie step out. Their Beast whines, dawn is coming and they have little time before the daystar rises.

Across from the cell, another cell door is half open, the room dark and full of shadow. From within the coterie hear a rustle of clothes and a low bestial growl. A pair of legs is whipped into the darkness leaving a bloody trail on the floor.

The bulb strikes feral murderous eyes in the cell. They stare out unblinking in their rabid hate. The Beast sends one simple single thought through the coterie’s bodies. Run! They have a head start, they’d better use it. The Taint sweeps over the coterie at whatever is in the cell. Foucault grits his teeth.

‘Split Up’ – Foucault heading up the corridor followed by Hampton.

Cross hesitates before breaking the opposite way. He feels the Vitae burn in his veins as his movements become preternaturally fast, accelerate by Celerity. He feels the presence of the Hound behind him… impossibly it seems to be closing.

View
JOURNAL: 1955
A Year of Loss

Photobucket

As the memory of WWII fades, business booms. Vidal seizes influence of the corporate sector. With an influx of steady cash and manipulation, Vidal starts showing the iron fist that many feared would come. The coterie experiences this almost directly; Foucault is banned from all Elysium’s for his breach of the non-violence pact… word leaked by Antoine Savoy. It is clear that only the influence of the coterie’s Elders stopped it from being a sentence of Final Death. Aside from the coterie, Foucault is isolated as Stella returns to live with Aaron Mayfair and the Mayfair children.

With the loss of Stella, Foucault becomes more withdrawn from the world of Kindred and humanity, making plans with the dead in the twilight between this life and the next. He becomes obsessed with wards and amulets, collecting them and bearing them on his person and in his pockets in a vain attempt to protect himself against Aaron Mayfair.

He arranges a meeting with Donovan at the office of Cross and Associates in order to lay down some terms for co-operation and to suggest a plan.

View
CHAPTER FIVE: Family Matters
A Choice Is Made

 photo 10Chapter5_FamilyMatters.jpg

Bobby Jay wakes. The stake has been pulled from his chest, leaving a gaping hole. It’s tossed on the table lit by the overhead, tungsten lamp. A hulk of a shadow walks along the length of the table. Its eyes are dead. The figure wears a cheap suit, ill fitting its massive frame. It growls at Bobby as it steps backwards into the shadows. A chill of fear runs through Bobby’s body as their Beasts clash. It is Kindred and it is stronger.

Bobby takes the chance to look around. He is strapped to a mattress in a cheap hotel room. He doesn’t know how he got here. He knows who he is and what he is but nothing else. The room is square in shape, the yellowing wallpaper peels off the walls shoeing the mouldering damp patches behind. The windows are barricaded with wooden boards nailed to the frames.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.