Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Show Must Go On, 4th Letter: Graves in the Desert

I ran the first session of my new Vampire story last night. Letter's in the last post.

We open in Binion's, with a poker gamer between Heath Newman (the Nosferatu owner of the casino) and Thomas Pilate, the Mekhet Sheriff of Las Vegas. Pilate informs Heath that the double murder of Lori and Ben Dennis in the parking lot of the Downtown Grand (and the abduction of their young son, Ben Jr.) is causing waves in the mortal, and therefore Kindred, community. Since his childe, Mordecai Pasternak, is the vampire claiming domain in that little area (since he owns the nearby Mob Museum), perhaps Heath would look in it? Or send some of those young vampires he keeps around him? Heath agrees, but says Pilate owes him a favor.

Heath grabs Delphine, a cocktail waitress (and also a Mekhet) working his hotel. He wants some backup, and it's a slow night. Myra, a pro-domme working out of Binion's (and a Ventrue), notes the news and feels compelled to investigate - she, too, has a young son, born before her Embrace.

The three of them head out to the Mob Museum. Mordecai's day employee, Carlos, tells him what's happened, and leaves. Mordecai is not only concerned, but hungry - he hasn't fed lately. The other Kindred arrive and enter. Mordecai denies knowing anything about the killings, but the conversation doesn't have a chance to go much further before Detective Sally Moore, LVPD Homicide, arrives.

Moore has dealt with vampires before; she's not fully savvy on what goes on, but she knows enough to know she doesn't want to know more. She asks Heath if this is beginning or ending; Heath isn't sure. She asks to take Mordecai's fingerprints to check against the crime scene. He agrees, but her machine won't read him - he's dead, and his fingers don't produce oils. This causes a breaking point (the player succeeds on the roll, but picks up the Bestial Condition - his hunger is getting to him).

Moore takes his prints with ink and leaves. The characters discuss the situation, and decide to go across the street and have a look at the crime scene. Heath, however, tells Mordecai to go feed - he's not going to do anyone any good like this. Mordecai grumbles, but agrees, and goes to a nearby casino to try and pick up older ladies playing slots. He fails miserably several times, and leaves in disgust.

Thomas Pilate finds him, and motions to a limo, in the back of which is a passed-out woman. Pilate tells Mordecai he needs to get himself together, and reminds him not to kill the woman. He also transfers his debt to Heath over to Mordecai.

Mordecai gets into the limo and feeds on the woman, managing to keep his Beast under control - only barely. He picks up the Tempted Condition as well. The Beast is lurking very close to the surface.

Meanwhile, the others go to the parking lot. Delphine looks around at the crime scene and sees blood in an arterial spray - whoever killed Ben Dennis, they didn't do it with their fangs. Myra goes into the hotel and Dominates the clerk for more information. He remembers that the couple hadn't checked out, and on the night they did an Asian woman came into the lobby from one of the rooms (where she'd been squatting, which the clerk says happens around here). Myra comes back, Mordecai joins them, and they go up to the couple's room. They don't find anything, but Myra smells the scent of baby powder, and feels a pang.

Stumped for a new lead, Delphine calls Maeve Blackwell (the local face of the Circle of the Crone) and asked if she knows any uses for the blood of a child. Maeve knows several, and none of them are good. She hasn't heard of anyone in the city who would do this kind of thing, but admits that Vegas has a high vampire tourist rate. Shortly after, Delphine's mortal girlfriend, Rachael, calls, asking if Delphine will come over this morning. Delphine says she can't, and Rachael bids her good night, dejected.

Mordecai belongs to a little club of people who pay attention to (and enjoy) the dirtier side of Vegas, so he gets on the phone. 45 minutes later he has a conversation with a school bus driver who picked some kids up in Henderson this morning, and two of them were talking about hearing a baby crying in an abandoned house.

That's the best lead they have, so Heath orders up his SUV and they head out to Henderson. Delphine points out that she's from Henderson, which is probably a coincidence.