Owls & Ashes
Second Movement: Burletta Accelerando
Upon arising the following night, each of the Coterie has their own choices to make about what has happened. Jan is nowhere to be found, having gone into hiding after the last night’s events. Sascha has opted to remain on the run as he has for the last year, moving from bolthole to bolthole and feeding on passersby as the opportunity arises. Mila and Violet, as members of Invictus, are summoned to an emergency meeting—to discuss the sudden destruction by fire of Prince Tiberius’ mansion and his apparent demise. Doctor Rosa, meanwhile, is asked by Li Nguyen to accompany him to an emergency Elysium (the same called by the Invictus).
Catherine Harmon, Tiberius’ Sheriff, speaks along with Atticus, offering a bounty to anyone who can turn up evidence of foul play in the Prince’s destruction. Another bounty is offered to anyone who can find Amelia, a young Kindred who was taken as Tiberius ‘attache’-turned-plaything after he had her Sire executed for Embracing her without permission.
Doctor Rosa, Mila, and Violet all volunteer to aid in the investigation, along with Sean, a nominal Invictus member. During their examination of the ‘crime scene,’ Rosa surreptitiously foils a Cruac ritual she prepares with Nguyen, one which would have possibly turned up her involvement in the Prince’s Final Death, while Sean discovers a hidden safe in one of the remaining standing walls, containing a journal as crammed with knowledge as Prince Tiberius’ mind—and just as haphazard. Volunteering to study the journal to turn up anything useful, Sean is ensconced in an office in the Financial District while Mila and Violet speak to two other Kindred.
The first is Master Pryor, who warns them that the last night’s sudden events have taken the only security from the city and its environs—even if that security was in the form of a tyrannical Prince. The second is Sheriff Harmon, who asks them to consider throwing their support into finding a replacement Prince. Among the ideas, Harmon—who has opted out of the Princedom for herself, seemingly satisfied with acting as Sheriff—says that Atticus would only follow in Tiberius’ hardline path, and suggests Miles Barton, the Harpy, for his social connections and popularity (regained after his disgraceful interaction with Sascha in the past), or Adrian Pryor, for his own background as Seneschal to Prince Matthias.
Meanwhile, Sean discovers the journal’s complex contents to refer repeatedly to a weapon that Prince Tiberius had used in the past—Amelia has apparently also sneaked peeks at the journal, discovered by Mila’s use of Auspex as she and Violet join Sean in examining the journal . . . although he keeps certain scraps of the journal removed for his own edification; namely passages that seem to connect Amelia’s knowledge of the journal with her having discovered the whereabouts of this ‘weapon.’
Violet attempts to contact Jan at the end of the night, but only receives a brief message suggesting that she will not be safe if he is around, given what happened the night before.
Meanwhile, Sascha, hungry and on the move, feeds from a hapless old woman, leaving her behind in an alley as the Beast forces itself closer to the surface—and discovers one of the Unbound skulking after him: Max, a Nomad claiming allegiance to Donny-Dogg’s pack. Word of Prince Tiberius’ destruction has filtered through the All Night Society, and Max is all too happy to finish off Sascha’s abandoned prey, claiming that now that the Prince is dead, it’s every Kindred for themselves.