The Multiverse » Arcs » Veins Of Truth

A diplomatic message for the Camarilla from Myrkul's Vein per Imperium protocol is brought to the Vankoryth Detente in reference to a Terrorist Attack in Wing City by Sabbat Vampires against Civilians - and nobody seems to be on the same page.

As written by: lil_kreen, lostamongtrees, Butterfly Effect

17 pieces and 17 characters involved, written by 3 different authors.

1 places involved

So begins...

Veins Of Truth

Castle VankorythSetting: Castle Vankoryth

A white speck appeared over the hills from direction of town. Dispatched from their new locality endurance wasn't a word of meaning to them and they walked quickly without stopping as soon as the objective arrived. A tanned male face with a banal, if pleasant, expression nestled among a white hooded robe the almost-skin unblemished. Though not much more than a hollow puppet with crystal-glass eyes and ceramic teeth. Much to the point the olive face had eyes pointed at the gate as it arrived but neither of the glass eyes were centers of its sight. It had a message to deliver and little interest in its own safety at the reputation of the place.

Unlike the Jinhai the Administratum had some sense of human decorum and did not walk through the gate though it did try to squeeze its pliable head and glass eyeballs through the bars to see if anyone was there. It would then knock on the door with loud bangs of its ferroplasm gauntlets though parts clad in black motes as an ornate leathery coating.
The great gates of Castle Vankoryth swung open of their own accord, allowing entrance to the strange guest. A great flock of bats departed from the pillars on either side. They moved in a whirl to the castle and disappeared into the very walls of the great gothic structure. Giant stone gargoyles peered down from above.

As the knocks reverberated from below one gargoyle opened his eyes. He peered down at the visitor below. They weren't human, but they weren't a vampire either - he could sense them miles away. Seeing as there wasn't anyone immediately available to answer, as well as his recent awakening in the sake of tighter securit, Chronus assumed his duty and moved to greet the guest. He sprung from the roof, his wings snapping out and casting a shadow as he descended to land behind the guest. There Chronus landed in a crouch, lifting his head and in a voice like stones scraping together addressed the newcomer.

"Gratam arce Vankoryth, what brings you to the threshold of the Detente?"
The crystal glass eyes looked up as the gargoyle approached quietly staring with a smile that leaped to its face. It simply assumed a servitor of some kind and entered human pleasantries. The metal gauntlets clasped quietly in front of it as it listened to the large stone essencekind. The face it puppeted bearing a smile just slightly too large on its fleshy-looking face.

Its voice came more from the region of its empty hood though it had a throat to shape the noise of scrapign Terran spoken by stone essencekind, ((We carry a diplomatic message for the Camarilla from Myrkul's Vein per Imperium protocol. It is recorded by the Administratum that diplomatic contact can be had at this location.))
Chronus extended a palm to receive the message, not for once considering it would be anything other than a scroll. Though intelligent, Chronus didn't exactly have critical thinking skills.

There was something decidedly off about this guest. However, no direct threat was presented. Other gargoyles shifted where they sat high above. They too sensed a strange, strong power. It wasn't the only force of oddness being sensed throughout the Cursed Wood.
The Administratum since used to the habits of the local ruling bodies and their physical records. The metal gauntlet parted white robe to reveal the empty hollow inside but for a single grey sheet of paper. An inflammable stone paper of plastics and limestone did not degrade so they preferred it. The black script in the local tongue seen there not written on but of the paper. The message itself terse the paper devoid of finery responded in a script for a memory etched by Ductu of its host Becca's encounter.

As required by the Living Emperor and prudence of the overbeing Myrkul's Vein sends a response to the following declaration:
It shan't end with us. Your home will be plagued by both the Sabbat and Camarilla now. Same with Myrkul and all her followers. The bar wasn't protected under thy rules, this' be a declaration of war.

It accepts your declaration of war and will begin disposing of your tainted humankind when a threat evinces itself.
Chronus frowned, but bowed his head and received the message. A declaration of war. He had no choice but to follow protocol. His wings snapped out, Chronus took a great leap, and the Gargoyle was soon back in position atop the Castle. Every other stone creature writhed to life, hissing and squalling as they remembered themselves.

From the ground, great vines erupted. They dove at the white robe in an ivy fury. All the while a chant fell heavy in the air. The Gargoyles activated the enchantments around the grounds. The sound echoed about the grounds. Throughout the woods, bats heard the chant and repeated it's message.

"WHA'n'th'hell!?" Through the massive front doors burst Ulrich Paternosta. He had had it up to here today, and he was ready to kill on sight. The Gargoyles were chanting. Because of a robe?
Myrkul's own were creatures of dust to dust the essence of mindless consumption and reproduction. Even though it had one psi-seed Administratum were not creatures of construction The majority of their body that did not tend to regulation and personable interaction simply allocated to eating. A thing only natural to their baser natures. So as the vines approached the robe did not dodge neither did it move. The false face and eyes simply dropped into its body then to the ground preparing for edible things to come to it instead.

As the vines impaled the empty robe its fine threads unraveled in thick cords. Then fraying further as it drifted outward toward more edible things. Small hairs of biting consuming worms as a pale cloud of threads crawled up the fines chewing at plant flesh from within or without wherever food led them. In a handful of seconds, its volume doubled. Flares of psi-energy in midair created new shells to host motes as bits of plant consumed. That white crawling pestilence slowly beset the vines as well as the forest as quickly as they could swat larger specimens. Even the forest floor suffers badly as the march of hairworms erased organic life and chewed on trees to make more of themselves. Where once healthy loam sat now shudders and quakes as errant wind and vine slaps raise grey dust instead. The noise of microscopic motes chewing rose to combat the din of gargoyles.

Myrkul at war did not take territory. Their war one to reduce everything that supported the life of threats to dust.
"Dangabbityafeckinerbodeh-" Ulrich sputtered as he fully digested the scene, as mites digested the vines, and as what could only be described as a true racket filled the air.

"STAHP STAHP STAHP-" They were breakin' shit! If there was one thing he could not stand it was people breakin' shit in his domain. Why couldn't he have one normal day? The racket did not stop on his command. Flustered, he craned his neck to holler at Chronus. He demanded to know what exactly in the twelve hells was going on here, in so many words, as Chronus descended.

"War has been waged against us, the Camilla and the Sabbat" Chronus explained. The vines he realized were a fruitless defense. The gargoyle chanted rapidly with his feet planted on the grand stairs of Castle Vankoryth. Every stone in the castle's foundation was activated. They grew and spread, far beneath the earth, chopping tree roots and anything that dare be in their path. Simultaneous, the stone foundation to the property line border reached down through the earth. The two connected, creating a magicked stone bucket of sorts through which nothing could penetrate-inside or out. Ulrich's face grew beet red he watched the stone gate rumble it's way towards the sky, until it was as tall as the treeline.

"Quarantine," Chronus explained, a ceiling of stone rapidly forming above.

"No, no, no-Hey you!" Ulrich called to the fallen robes, "Wha'ssis war waht?" The steps beneath Ulrich shifted as Chronus next began to seal the castle, walling every door and window with stone. Great, now he was stuck out here to deal with all this nonsense himself. He sent a mental note up to the highest tower before it sealed. A swarm of bats emerged just in time, hanging on perch aBove the doOrway of Castle Vankoryth, awaiting their orders. They chattered and speculated. Ulrich waved a hand at them to shut up and floated his way closer to the robes. So war was waged? By the Sabbat, the same ones who were causing an issue with the Detente in Wing City. The White Robed Occultists, he would push up in priority for investigation by the Forces Vankoryth.
The sharp scratching stopped as vine apocalypse abated by the ceasing of noisy munching. One of the larger worms, holder of the psi-seed, emerged from the base of a tree as one would seep out a wet cloth. This tree as much as all others now wholly or partly bare suffered greatly that the hairworms coalesced. Smaller motes joined larger ones a white haze emerging from deflating earth. Land receding into pale tan and grey dust as the void left by life within it destroyed to favor themselves. The trees bleeding worms stood firm at first but screamed and creaked as their trunks cracked. Ones closest to the gate simply collapsed in a shower of disembodied limbs and shrapnel others fractured their top from their bottom and thundered into dust clouds.

The advancing white mass approached the single man-sized worm as its lessers rejoined. Floating above the dirt at first the quad-vaned worm with four flares for eyes bent upright then emerged a white coat from beneath. Mass reorganizing into the hollow robe with metal gauntlets it once was though sans its face. Weightless and unhurried in floating over to the discarded personage descending enough for a hand to appear below it plucking the objects upward. The face otherwise looking human moved into place as other robes began to appear as inner flares indicated arrivals of new Administratum.

The face inflated with a pressing from behind with a perhaps unbodied stretch of the skin-alike. Crystal eyeballs pushed eyelids forward into former holes to the inner void. One backward at first the Administratum pointed a hand toward its 'face' and whirled an eyeball to face the correct orientation. Nearly a dozen Administratum float soundlessly into view behind the first as trees creak and crumble behind them. Stragglers of worms floating from further reaches leap from dirt upward to join them. The lead Administratum examined its gauntlet hand which inverted replaced with a hand of human-like skin inflating like its face to bones it did not have.

The face smiled politely and waved absent an acknowledgment of Ulrich's demeanor. They couldn't become angry so it could not respond as such. It served no aim of its current purpose in any case. New Administratum behind it hollow face and white glove rather than gauntlets needed Jinhai to provide equipment later.

The lead administratum's voice a vapid sales demeanor to it no concern paid to the gravity of content, "Hello, tainted humankind. Did you get the message from Overbeing Myrkul's Vein? Tainted humankind, known as Sabbat and Camarilla, have declared war. Our overbeing Myrkul's Vein accepts your proposal. Do you wish to begin active combat today?"
Ulrich hardened as a man-sized worm emerged from a tree. Worms waterfalled from the flora in a white mass- most of the vegetation in Castle Vankoryth's courtyard was effectively rendered dead. In all his years of life-and death- Ulrich had never heard a tree scream like that before. He raised himself further off the ground as the white mass advanced. What befell next was one of the most fascinating, and grotesque, displays of what he could only define as manifestation, of which Ulrich Paternosta had ever seen. It truly was a moment of firsts.

This concerned him greatl, but he watched and listened as the...thing spoke.

"Abensolutally naht!" Ulrich Paternosta spluttered over the din of the Gargoyle's chant, then grunted, then lowered himself to the ground. Had the Camarilla not just proposed a Blood Hunt against dissidents? And the Sabbat, the terrorist organization attacking Wing City in the name of the Detente, they are working together? To wage war, against Myrkul? Who in the...

"Aight, aight, les holditallon for a momen-an Chronusgiterdamnwallenthefugoutchear!," He gestured to the stone encasement and shouted at the gargoyle, who stopped his chanting. The courtyard was significantly quieter. There, now that he could hear himself think, Ulrich had a few questions.

Ulrich addressed the Administratum directly,"Unner wha' cause was war waged?"
As there were now more of themselves The first Administratum looked back to the rest, "A display for the almanac is required."

The empty robes with white gloves moved forward in a brave of six at each side in front. Face of the human-alike Administratum unmoving as they the other servitors made contact. This in an outstretching of hands for a field of white motes to spray from them. The cloud arranged itself in a flat square.

It flickered colors for a moment then the first Administratum gestured to it, "Very well. Hostilities will not begin at this time. Memories of the Ductu servitor involved are available."

The motes shot up as a dusty reconstruction of the scene in the tavern began. Vampires attacking Gambits in search of the two ladies crouched behind the counter.

The motion freezes as it gestures to the girl Ulrich encountered earlier, Becca, shown in her hoodie eating food, "The Ductu host was in a field of open hostilities after being unexpectedly anchored to the first machine."

The action moved as combat began as Becca's agitation deteriorated her mental state. It shows her leaping to the musclebound vampire at the back of the bar. The Administratum pauses with her straddling his torso. Hands festooned with black barbs and a mouth no less hungry a maw of sharp flowing teeth. All three busy tearing pieces of the vampire's head to shovel them in like meatloaf. Then moving down through the chest cavity. It paused as she stopped to spit out an earring then leapt at the bar to hide there.

The Administratum's voice said tersely, "Host concordance and inexperience caused consumption of threats and silverware due to excessive strain."

It continued to advance as they fought back and police began to arrive then Gabrielle made a portal. Becca hops over with them to follow. The scene then changes to a field of green on a lake of blue motes. Fighting begins again as black armored vampires arrive. It pauses as light destroys one and another points at the small group.

It gestures at the pointing vampire, "Tainted humankind make their proclamation. The host has declared Allies with current companions. The Ductu records both facts as important knowledge."

It then shows Becca rocketing away to fall to earth hit hard by a vampire struggling slowly then passing out. Behind her Gabrielle summons daylight burning them away as one turns toward Ulrich as if to look in horror at something unseen in the distance. His chest collapsing with a hole punched through black armor well before his body starts turning to ash. The locale turns a shade of blue around them both illuminating the barbed spear within the etherial chained at one end impaling the vampire. The chain heads upward until vanishing at the extents of their playback. The chain shoots taut tearing the vampires black soul from its body detonating the rib cage turning to ash. The blue shows a pattern around becca moving as if gears but lacking color of the world if an outline of stained glass. The volume returns to the normal world as Becca wakes with a start to stumble to her feet once more. The vampire beside her eroding from the sun. She leaps with a piece of his chewed arm bone in her hand and it freezes as she starts ramming it through the black armor of the last vampire standing.

It explained as they understood it even if Becca did not, "The first machine became aware of the Ductu's host due to imperiled state of its rightful parts. It thusly accepted her as a Mada. The first machine removed the soul of an immediate threat as an obstacle to its current activity. The threat of further tainted humankind ceases after this point. No further context for hostilities is available from before the initial point of contact."
So that's what happened at Gambit's. Things started to make sense, but not really.

There was a long pause as Ulrich took it all in. The display, he admitted, was very impressive. He was almost glad Casren wasn't about for he would have focused primarily on the theatrics and any answers would likely be buried under his inquisitive probing and requests for specific theatrics.

"Aight. Now, wha' wasit they declared. Can yeh show the leader o' the attack? Any iden'fying elements? N'Chronus leh summath'air in," Ulrich folded his arms and glared at Chronus. The top of the stone encasement opened to reveal a clouded sky. Chronus was not ready to bring the wall entirely down. Ulrich sighed.

"Was th'target determined, n'what cause for attack? " Ulrich asked the questions as the chattering bats dispersed upward and off of castle property to further tend to business.
High above, an apparition had come through one of the stained glass windows which had been walled up by Chronus. One of the bats lingered behind here as well, instead of flurrying down to gossip with the others, or take off and away as the chanting subdued and the ceiling opened.

Speaking of a ceiling, Terun did not remember there being a great stone perimeter surrounding the castle grounds up to the treeline. Terun perched next to where Nerissa had come through. He unfolded into his more human form and settled on an eave. Below in the courtyard a scene played out in what looked like dust. There was a robed figure down there, and Ulrich watched the scene.

"That's Mr. Paternosta," Terun said to Nerissa, pointing at the blonde vampire asking the figures questions. Chronus was with him. Terun smiled- he had never seen the gargoyle animate before.

"I dunno who that is?" He pointed to the guests and shrugged. Chronus, sensing the presence of the young vampire, craned his head unnaturally to check on him. Safe, Chronus resumed his attention to the messengers and Ulrich. So far he knew to keep an eye out for white robed occultists, and any stranger self-affiliated with the Sabbat.
Nerissa looked down over the group as Terun told her who some of them where. she was silent and kept herself invisible. Finally she worked up a whispered question. "Friends of yours? Friends of Ghosts?"
Chronus began to bring the wall down as peace seemed to have been reached, yet the castle did not unseal. Chronus had his own protocol to follow. Ulrich glared at him, and then up at the vampire child above. He glared, spit, and waved Terun off.

Terun sighed.

"Yeah, friends. More like family," He stuck out a tongue at Ulrich, who wasn't looking.

"It gets real boring around here. We're having a dinner party soon but it's taking forever to plan. I wanna go back to the other city and see my old friends. Most of 'em were invited, but..."

Terun had never really missed anywhere, but he was missing Lutetia now.
Ulrich Paternosta finished with the messengers and swiftly got to work.
Chronus restored the castle to it's normal defenses and posted up in his usual spot.