Last night, Vampire
. We started off on the roof of the Bellaggio, with Maeve Blackwell enacting some Cruac ritual that probably doesn't actually exist that allows her to channel a ghost.
She did, after telling the characters that if the ghost was clever, it might be able to grab control of her undead body, so if that happens they should restrain her ("Great, should've brought rope."). She sat down and allow Amy to use her body, and blood started flowing from her eyes, unheeded.
(Remember, Maeve's Nosferatu heritage manifests as crying blood sporadically, but normally she wipes it away.)
The characters questioned Amy, and wasn't very cooperative. Finally someone asked her what she wanted. She wanted, she said, to understand why Andre had done this to her - fed on her, and not killed her or wiped her memory. The characters made a sort-of attempt to explain it (insofar as they told her that it wasn't personal), but then she said that she wanted Jay and Lily and their idiot friends to understand what vampires really were.
Lindsey tried to get Amy to accept that her perceptions of vampires weren't universally true, but Amy wasn't having none of that crap (remember, ghosts are pretty tunnel-visioned). The characters talked to her about it and at one point, she got angry enough that Maeve's hands started to move, but then someone talked to her a little more sensibly and she calmed down. She said that if the characters wouldn't help her with this, then maybe she just needed to show the world what vampires were really like. And with that, Maeve was back.
Maeve, apparently having been aware of the conversation, asked about Andre's role in all this and Lindsey told her. Maeve was apparently pleased to know that - and it explained why Andre had obligingly agreed to take on the boon for Maeve performing the ritual. Maeve mentioned, somewhere in here, that a Shadow (that is, a Mekhet) could extend their heightened perceptions back in time, and maybe Lindsey could do that on the roof?
Well, not on the roof, but the characters felt that in "Mina Harker's" smashed car would be good. They found the car at a junkyard and Lindsey (having bought the 3rd dot of Auspex, y'see) looked back...
She found Mina and another woman sitting in the car. Mina told the woman that she was about to join the "elect," and looked about to call her by her name. The woman - dark hair, strikingly beautiful - help up a hand, and Mina corrected herself: "Of course. 'Photuris.'" At that point, Photuris' image flickered, and she looked...plainer. A little heavier, just a lot less interesting. Apparently her gorgeous persona was a mask. And then she struck, pulling a stake from between the seats and stabbing Mina. "And thank you," she said, "for the gift you're about to give me." And then she drank Mina dry.
Woof. Now the characters knew that they were dealing with a diablerist. Checking online, Lindsey found that "Photuris" can mean some computer thing
or, probably more likely in this case, a genus of beetles, specifically fireflies
. So she was a femme fatale, luring in other "fireflies." And checking her "Brethren" message board, Lindsey realized that all of those personas were the same person.
Lindsey then went hacking into those posts to trace the ISP back and find her, if possible, while Heath called up Andre and got a contact number for William Smythe. Smythe, you'll recall, was the vampire who, some months back, had been in Vegas mentioning "Count Yanosh," and Heath wanted to know more. (Smythe also debuted in this
story, which I sadly don't have a real write-up for.)
Smythe was charming enough on the phone. He told Heath who Yanosh was - some wanker from L.A. who'd started a bloodline supposedly around the same time Bela Lugosi starred in Dracula
. They were dedicated to the glamour of the media perception of vampires, but Yanosh hinted at something darker than that - did Heath know, for instance, that the fact that sunlight harms vampires wasn't common knowledge until it showed up in a movie? And, indeed, one of the screenwriters of The Lost Boys
was a ghoul!
Anyway, Smythe's information convinced Heath that this "Patroness" (Photuris) wasn't any kind of elder. She was using the wannabes as a herd - and, accordingly to Smythe, the blood of these "Players" was too weak to sustain a bond for long. About now, Lindsey found where the ISPs deadended, in a neighborhood near UNLV. So what next?
The characters discussed options. Threatening the wannabes might bring her out of hiding, but then, she might just decided to run for it. Staking out the neighborhood was possible, but time consuming. In the end, Lindsey got back on the computer and searched for Firefly
message boards...and, on a basically abandoned one, found an exchange between "renfield" and "camilla." Bingo.
Padma called Jay and had him meet her. Marconi, waiting in the room, Dominated him into giving up his password, and then left him to Padma's tender mercies. She gave him X and nearly drained him dry, but Lindsey and Heath intervened. Heath fed him some blood to help him heal, and he shuddered and fell into nightmares - Nosferatu blood + X = weird trips.
Going back to the message board, the characters found that Renfield (probably Jay) was using this board to arrange meets with Camilla (Photuris). They left a PM for Camilla, saying that another vampire had given him blood, and it was sweet...and could they meet? She was on in minutes to arrange the meet, for tomorrow night.
Knowing that they wanted the wannabes to witness whatever happened (in hopes of showing them how brutal and evil their Patroness really was), Marconi made Jay believe that he had set up the meet. Now, they just need to show up there tomorrow night, for the story's finale.