Owls & Ashes
Fourth Movement: Sonata Misterioso
In the months since October’s Halloween Elysium, the caitiffs have had their fair share of ups and downs:
Sascha has worked his way into Ricky O’Neill’s good graces, but has been tempted constantly by Jolene and the other girls at his club, despite O’Neill’s advice to leave the girls be. After attending holiday dinners with mortal friends and relatives, the temptation to let go was almost overwhelming, but he has resisted—thus far.
Mila has made some small amount of headway in the eyes of the Invictus, but in return, has slipped a bit in her pledges to her husband (whom she promised she would not give her Vitae to anyone else—before she did so with a client to bind him). Her attempts to keep connected to her family through the holidays resulted in her being driven out of Portland by the local Kindred (after having to hold her composure during a candle lit midnight mass), then nearly succumbing to the dawn after an emergency red-eye flight south, and being barely saved in time by her ghouled husband.
Jan, still the outsider, has worked as a go-between for the Covenants, with some tutelage from Joshua Garrett, but still finds himself unable to fully attach himself to any one faction. Violet, meanwhile, has found herself neatly at home in the Invictus, with Madame Kerensky as her mentor . . . albeit slightly taken aback by the callous, alien mindset involved in fully working with the Conspiracy of Silence.
There have been a few incidents along the way, of course. Ronny and Nick, the bible-waving duo, have stepped up their attempts to ‘rescue’ Violet, by trying to pollute her hunting grounds in Alameda—putting up fliers with vague warnings about her and her behavior. Confronting the two nearly led to open violence before all four of the parties involved fled when police showed up to the scene.
Sascha, meanwhile, has been visited by the unnamed werewolf from the hills north of his shared haven, telling him to stay out of their territory unless he has a damned good reason. The shapeshifter departed shortly after, cryptically warning Sascha that he smelled wrong: “Like cold, dead smoke.”
All of the five have shared one thing in common: Every single one of them, at various points in the last couple of months, had experienced moments where their senses told them they were in another place from the past, looking like the nights of ancient Rome.
After finally paying a visit to Doctor Kaintz, the Caitiffs were informed about the results of his analysis of their Vitae: He was, so far, unable to tie their lineage directly to anyone in the area; that they bore various traits that would suggest Diablerie, such as a rapid development of disciplines, but none of them had the taint of that damning act; and that their own blood was slightly more potent than that of the average Neonate. When informed of their ‘flashbacks’, he began looking for ways to further his investigation in that area, as stolen memories were another occasional indicator of Amaranth (but never so vivid as these).