Primogen Willoghby turned the floor over to Dr. Zimmerman, who gave a short and respectful introduction of Cassidy Kline, announcing that he was hosting her as a guest in similar fashion. Cassidy forced a smile.
As the kindred begin to mingle after the formal introductions are over, Gordon, Gustav, and Owen continue the courtesy of initiating contact with their familiar brethren of Rochester, and inviting the guest neonates into the conversation or allowing the elders to make the invitations themselves. As you each explore your topics of interest, it isn’t long before the gathered take interest in Marcel’s telling of “The Escape From Toledo”. While he had hoped to give targeted recounts of the events to different audiences, he soon realized everyone was going to listen to this early telling.
The young brujah was perfectly comfortable with all eyes on him. Realizing that some may not have heard the beginning of the story, he artfully backtracked to important points, retelling them but being sure to add a poignant aside or place new significance on old information so as not to bore those who had heard it already.
Ryan was reluctantly drawn into telling the tale of how he picked up the pursuit of the ice cream truck. Marcel waited for the right time, caught Ryan’s eyes just as he was about to run off track, and retook the storytelling baton.
Daniel, Leonora, and Alan could appreciate how well Marcel was handling the subject, especially given how close to the ordeal they all still were. Each of them contributed a few details to the tale. Ryan went a little too far off point by describing his experience with the game of golf in his own peculiar style, and before Marcel could rescue him, Daliah spoke for the first time of the evening.
“Does this Gangrel have a mental condition we should know of?”
She was speaking to Marcel. Ryan wished he could sink into the floor. Marcel considered his next words for only a moment.
“No, ma’am, I do not believe he does. What he has is the biggest set of brass balls I have ever witnessed. Most of y’all have been around a lot longer than I have, but tell me if this doesn’t hold up. Check this out. My boy just wiped out two of them with his bike, and then bitch puts half a clip in him from four steps away. Half of my brutha’s skull popped off, if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’…” Marcel was even pantomiming some of the action. He had the whole crowd back into the story, and feeling nothing but sympathy for Ryan, and then amazement that he somehow survived.
At one point, Marcel asked Daniel, “What did you say that thing was?”
“A Tzimisce. It was in what they call ‘Horrid Form’”. Gasps and murmurs arose from the crowd. Some began asking questions, some doubted the truth of it. They even looked to the Tremere elder for confirmation.
“Sounds like one to me,” the old Dr. confirmed, his coarse, gray eyebrows raised to full arches. The issue was settled.
Once the tale was complete, the kindred of Rochester, recognizing the telling of the story as a performance, applauded Marcel for his efforts and the rest of the coeterie for their heroics.
Ryan Malone avoids socializing as much as he can. Benedict Wilmarth engages him a bit, and being a soldier and bit of a loner himself, sympathizes with the young gangrel.
Alan Ramsey keeps his interactions superficial so as not to offend anyone. He learns Ward Fairfax is very young – about three years embraced. He also makes a good impression on Damon Ford, and is able to determine that Damon and Gustav are perhaps not fully invested in the Prince’s Brood, and that Benedict and Ward are treated a bit differently by the other Ventrue. Gordon and Damon seem to have a comfortable relationship, and Bethany is comfortable with Benedict, Owen, and Damon. Virgil and Gordon avoid each other – almost awkwardly.
Leonora learns that Cassidy is not happy at the Chantry, and that Virgil creeps her out. She thinks the place is haunted. Virgil seems very taken by the Giovanni, however, and engages with her at length. He was particularly interested in what she thought of the “squid” she encountered.
Gordon confided in Marcel that Rose is popular with the young kindred, and their support gives her influence among the elders. He also learns that he and the other Toledo kindred owe no boons to anyone in Rochester for accommodations; they are held by the Prince of Toledo, who is not yet confirmed destroyed. Enola moreso than Bethany are Harpies, and in general both Toreador are pleasant (again, Enola moreso than Bethany, who is very direct). The Ventrue assumed Marcel would be stereotypical rabble. Rose fawned over Marcel to the point of being obnoxious, but revealed she has had personal experience with a squid.
Daniel noticed that Daliah wears an earpiece and is listening to something. Bethany and Enola are in business together, and it’s probably criminal. Damon is interested in gaining the confidence of Leonora and Alan. Owen is investigating Alan’s financials and reports it to Damon. Most of the elders tolerate Rose, but find her annoying. They tend to placate her for sake of ease. She takes a strong liking to Daniel, flirting with him unapologetically.
Rose invites the coterie to a Club Vertex, insisting that they come.