Rochester by Night

Prologue - Part2

Later that night…

Leonora was the first to arrive at the waterfront. She had to steal the car from the cabbie; he was too busy punching the teeth out of a kid who had thrown a brick through the back window. The kine were out of control tonight. Rioting, looting, fires, gunshots… the city was in chaos. She wasn’t sure what had triggered it when it started earlier this evening. There was nothing in the news; a cop hadn’t shot another unarmed guy, there hadn’t been a sniper picking off bystanders – at least not that she had heard. Her concerns grew when the prince’s childe told her to head here, that all kindred were being told to meet at the prince’s dock at the yacht club. The gate had been opened, but security was nowhere. She was able to drive right on in. It was unusually dark, though. No lights on anywhere nearby, and no vehicles. In the distance, she could hear sirens and gunshots. She rolled along the empty paved lane with the lights off, and parked the car at the golf course clubhouse, out of the way and not too near the prince’s dock. She checked her phone, still no service. It was 12:45 am. She’d wait here until she saw someone she recognized.

It was a venture neonate who arrived next. Leonora could tell it was Alan Ramsey from his car. He parked close to the dock, and stepped out of the vehicle quickly. He had a pistol of some kind, checked to make sure it was loaded, and holstered it inside the coat of his stylish and custom tailored suit. Leonora walked briskly toward him.

“Who all is coming?” she asked when she was close enough to not have to raise her voice.

“Everyone who can, as far as I know.” Alan was outwardly calm but very concerned. Even his warm, soothing voice could not fully disguise his trepidation. “Kindred have been attacked. Targeted.”

“What? Who?”

“I don’t know for sure. There was an explosion at the Jefferson Building. Several elders were supposed to be there. Cell towers are down, power is out over half the city, the rioting erupted… This isn’t good.”

“No, it isn’t,” a voice came from the shadows. It was Daniel Drummond, who stepped just far enough forward that the other two could see him. He seemed to pull the shadow with him as he did so, as though it were clinging to him like cobwebs.

Alan let his hand fall from the grip of his pistol, for which he had instinctively reached, and sighed in relief. “How long have you been here?”

“I just got here, you didn’t see me coming?” His smile of satisfaction had an almost menacing look to it. “So who are we meeting here? And it seems odd to be standing out in the open on a night the city is under siege by the Sabbat.”


Marcel ducked out the back door of his club and into the alley, quickly making his way out to the street and cutting through the small, crowded parking lot. It was bad enough that the crowd had gone crazy, that the band had been pulled off the stage, that the police had showed up in riot gear and gassed the place, but those weren’t Camarilla vampires he saw taking advantage of the chaos to feed. He didn’t recognize any of them, and they were not being discreet. He decided maybe he’d better get to the yacht club after all.

He got to his bike, but someone had tipped it over and beat it with something. It didn’t actually look all that much worse, but the gas tank was punctured, and gasoline had pooled all around it. He headed east on foot, avoiding people the best he could, looking for an opportunity to snag a vehicle. He was in brujah turf, so headed toward one of his clan-mates known haunts. A dirty little strip bar in a bad neighborhood, it wasn’t a place he frequented, but at least it was on the way.

The place had been cleared out. It looked like a herd of buffalo had run through it. Marcel discovered there were still a few patrons here; they were laying amid the debris and beaten unconscious. He headed to the back and quickly picked up the scent of blood. He found his clan-mate, Omar, in the beer cooler, covered in blood, and standing in the gore of whoever he had dragged in there. He had a wild look in his eye still, but it faded when he saw Marcel.

“Aw, shit…” Omar tried to wipe his hands on his blood-soaked shirt and step without falling on the slick floor. “Aw, no way, man, I swear I tried to get out of here but them fools were throwing bottles and stools, and pulling knives… it was some serious shit up in here.” Omar seemed more concerned about the fact that he was a mess than that there were parts of at least two distinct people strewn about his feet.

Marcel looked away, and started toward the exit. “We have to get out of here, Omar. I think the Sabbat are attacking the city. They must be causing the mortals to be violent somehow.” Marcel quickly searched through the lockers in the dancer’s dressing room until he found some keys. He heard Omar making gurgling and retching noises from the kitchen. He must have swallowed too much flesh.

“C’mon, man, we’re supposed to be meeting the sheriff at the yacht club.”

“Yeah, uh… Gimme a second,” Omar called back, his voice hoarse and bubbly.


Cassidy Kline, a Tremere, had arrived at the dock via her personal car and driver. She reported the cities elders, including her own, were unable to be contacted, though she had experienced several terrifying visions of carnage happening in various places throughout the city. She claims to have never experienced such intense psychic episodes before, and doesn’t wonder if perhaps they were sent to her.

The gathered kindred had moved onto the yacht, and kept low and quiet. Daniel remained on the deck, watchful for anything or anyone.

Marcel and Omar came quickly into view, the tires of their recently procured car squealing as they took the corner. They were followed closely by a man on a rumbling motorcycle. Not far behind, an ice cream truck gave chase, scraping cars as it weaved through the street. Semi-automatic gunfire erupted from it. The driver of the motorcycle turned and fired back. It was Ryan Malone, a gangrel.

The car veered off the street and ripped through the chain-link fence that separated the golf course from the city. Daniel’s keen eyes could see it was Omar driving. He was headed straight for the dock, a distance of two fairways, a practice green, and the two lanes worth of pavement that ran along the waterfront. Ryan made a sharp left to try to draw the truck away, but they ignored him and continued to pursue the brujah.

The others had stepped out onto the deck of the craft at the commotion.

“Looks like the sabbat are here,” Daniel said coldly through clenched teeth.

“He’s going to lead them right to us, isn’t he?” the young Giovanni asked.

“Looks that way.”

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Prologue, Part 1
Not long ago....

The Prince had just stepped off of the elevator and into the 12th floor lobby. As he headed to his office, his mind was busy with his agenda for the night. When he passed by the reception lobby, a servant placed a tablet into his hand, and he began to read the consolidated reports therein. He had been in his chair for only a few minutes when he first felt it.

It was a subtle vibration, almost like a soft breeze, and he wondered how long it had been there. The elder’s head tilted unconsciously as he focused on it. It ebbed. Pulsed. It was not a physical phenomenon at all. It was something his kindred senses were picking up.

He stood slowly, and turned to the windows. The city stretched out around him, small by comparison to some of America’s greater metropolises, but it suited him. All looked as it should, but still the pulsing persisted. It was getting faster.

Just then, whatever it was slammed the vampire’s senses like an iron plate falling onto concrete. The prince physically reacted to the event, withdrawing with a start from the window and holding his ears. It lasted only a moment, but the pulsing had now become a constant buzzing, like static in his mind. Just as he had regained his composure and straightened his suit coat, the old phone on his desk rang. Line nine. He reached out with a pale, pointed finger and turned the speaker on. “I take it you felt it, too?”

“I did,” the woman replied. Her words came calmly, but the prince could sense the urgency in her.

“Any idea what it was?” he asked as his eyes looked for any sign that the physical world had been affected.

“Nothing good, I’m sure. Felt like a… shockwave to me,” she stated almost as a question.

“Yes,” the prince said slowly, his deep voice trailing off a bit. “I would agree. A psychic shockwave.” He could hear a second voice on his advisor’s end of the line. Normally, he would have been furious at the disrespect, but tonight he was not.

“Are you in your office, sir?” she asked after a moment, her voice softer.

“Yes.”

“Look north.”

The elder strode in measured steps to the north windows, which reached from the floor to the ceiling. He was expecting to see… something, but all was as it should be. “I see nothing out of the ordinary.”

“Look again. Look beyond.”

The prince refocused his vision, looking not for the light that bounced off of solid objects, but for the psychic energy that emanated from them. Slowly, the light and shadow of the world fell away, leaving only ephemeral wisps of emotion behind. Objects began to disappear to him, sometimes replaced by iridescent swathes of color or dull gray silhouettes. On the horizon, far to the north, he saw wild, swirling clouds of crimson filling the sky. Violent bolts of black lightning streaked to the ground, and a great black tendril reached up to the storm like some inverted, wicked twister.

storm-dark-city-background.jpg

He stood watching in silent disbelief until the woman spoke again. “Do you see it?”

“What the hell is that?”

“I’d only be speculating.”

The prince’s racing mind came back to reality, his pragmatism taking over his thought processes once again. “That’s over Detroit, isn’t it?” he said more wanting confirmation than asking.

“Yes, it is, as far as I can tell. Did we ever get a report on what was happening with –“

“No, I haven’t heard anything. Until I do, keep our people off the streets. The young are not to be out. Have clan elders account for their own and report to me within the hour. I want to know the whereabouts of every one of my charges.”

“Yes, sir.”

The prince ended the call and sat down in the big leather chair that faced the windows. The storm on the horizon swirled and churned violently, invisible to the mundane world. He became aware again of the static noise in his mind, and noted that it sounded almost like a driven rain. “The tendril must be a mile wide”, he thought. His eyes scanned the horizon in both directions away from the storm, but he saw nothing.

Just as his mind had formed the name “Marcus” in his consciousness, a violent surge caused the tendril to grow to perhaps double its size and release a giant wave of shadowy black smoke. The raging cloud made it’s way across the landscape at what seemed like sonic speed. The prince sat motionless and watched as the wave approached, ripping through his domain and speeding past him, crashing into his senses once more.
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