Blood Dance in the Dust Bowl


Voice Memo by Mrs. Collins

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“December 6th. It’s half past ten. Tam and I are en route to the Tremere Chantry, following Sheriff Madigan. The Sabbat have attacked Nogales on the heels of the strangest anomaly I’ve yet encountered in Stygia — every vampire in Tucson, and ONLY the vampires, received visits from ghosts of their former lives earlier this evening. Concurrently, I was asked to investigate strange wraith activity by one of my Monitors, Richtor. The Puppeteer and Haunter guilds have gone erratic and the local wraiths are getting worried, but by the time they could bring me one of the wraiths in question, he’d gone catatonic, as though he were a vessel left behind after a psychic projection. I don’t understand how that is possible — a wraith is pure psychic energy, a soul, and there is nothing else to be projected!

… Turn here, Tam.

… So. Yes. I was looking into the wraith quandary. Richtor knew it was no necromancer; what they were feeling, the things that were happening, they did not feel as though they had roots in the physical realm. Rather, it felt as though it were coming from the Shadowlands, but he was uncertain beyond that. At first, I was concerned Ia — my sire was stirring. I no longer believe so. I had Tam contact Detective Vasquez to see if any unusual phenomenon had cropped up on police radar, but Madigan contacted us first and summoned me before Her Mad Highness. Naturally, upon seeing a ghost, they were considerate enough to think of me first. Very charming, this clutch of vampires. Anyway, I managed to send out a wraith to Makoho. I’ll need his consultation on all of this, but as things are now, I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to speak to him before this is finished.

Ah… well, I was mildly interrogated in Elysium, but I told the Prince as much as I can without confusing her and making her angry. Then there was the call from Nogales… the city’s on lockdown. Godrick asked me to figure out what I could, and I have: the Shadowlands around here are like a quilt with patches fallen out. There are gaping holes of nothing where parts of Stygia should be. The wraiths are terrified. Several of them are missing, here and in Tombstone. No spectre activity. Richtor mentioned a feeling of a ‘wake’ left behind some wraiths on the way through Tombstone and headed for Tucson, but the ghost I contacted here knew of no such thing. He knew nothing of the issues with the Puppeteer or Haunter guilds either, making me wonder how closely related the two events are. I sent him and whatever wraiths he could gather up to head to Tombstone, to Boothill — I am hoping that my Monitors are still organized and my wards intact, so they may have a measure of safety there.

What else… I asked him also to try and get a message to Byron to lay low. I can’t get back to Tombstone to manage any defenses thanks to the lockdown, so wraiths will have to do. Godrick said he would make sure some of the Brute Squad gets diverted to Tombstone to look after interests there, but I don’t think he’ll be able to manage that — the Prince would not allow her domain to sacrifice any defense to look after the interests of the Cadre. Wherever Makoho is, hopefully he knows what is happening better than I do and knows how to combat it."

“Why the Tremere, Jessie?”

“Oh — right, Tam. The patchwork effect I see the Shadowlands is not something I’ve seen before, but I’ve heard of it. Twice, and most recently in medieval India. Makoho remembers the last incident, but I unfortunately can’t ask him anything else he might know about it. Both times, magic was involved. Not necromancy, though it may have had a part, nor was it Blood Magic, but… True Magic, I suppose it’s called. The sorcery that mortals wield. The first time, legends in the Shadowlands speak of sections of Stygia, the Umbra, and other spiritual realms vanishing and being dispersed through the physical realm — all the realms being jumbled like a puzzle. The second time, I only know what Makoho discussed, which was that the failure to contain something within the spiritual realms is what caused the release of the Black Plague in Europe. Among other things. But in both cases, I cannot explain what could do it, nor what the connection is to the wraiths or the visits the vampires have received this evening.

The Tremere have their roots in mortal magic, however. Perhaps they can explain what I cannot."

“It is there, yes?”


Yatsko belladonnablue

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