Ottawa By Night

Chapter 7: Elder Secrets

Wade’s Condition Needs a Specialist

Having narrowly convinced the ESPN staff to leave, Rachel made use of Wade’s hunting grounds to refresh herself, finding several suitable mortals to feed upon and taking some phone numbers for the future. After convincing Wade’s retainer to let her in to Wade’s apartment, she cautiously called for him, and then opened the door. She’s was mindful of how territorial vampires can be in their havens, so she only entered the apartment when Wade didn’t reply. He eventually roused, and discovered his physical condition had deteriorated further. Rachel took him to the hospital to access the blood bank and for further testing.

At the hospital, Rachel and Wade were confronted by the Tremere Janice, who told Wade that she had tracked a spiritual taint from the high school to him. A dark spirit had infected him, and it would consume Wade unless he accepted Janice’s help. Distrusting her but not seeing other options, Wade agreed, and the three of them left for Janice’s haven.

Arriving at a smartly appointed 2-level condo, Janice quickly took Wade into a sterile room that had a weird spiritual vibe to it. Telling Rachel to wait in the next room, Janice then inscribed a warding circle around Wade and painted symbols on his chest. As the ritual proceeded, the circle turned green, and the symbols on his flesh turned a sickly red, inflicting searing pain. Despite Rachel’s cell phone ringing near the climax of the spell, the ritual was completed successfully and the spirit was chained. Janice told Wade that the spirit was still inside him, but could no longer affect him. She would need to renew the binding periodically, but she was certain they could do so without alerting others’ to Wade’s condition. Wade thanked her, while considering his mounting debt…

The Hidden Temple

Charles surreptiously made his way to the office building that houses Jacob Donaldson’s lobbying company. Accessing the secret sub-basement from the elevator, Jacob passed through arcane wards designed to conceal the site from Tremere sorcery and Nosferatu spying. He then entered the secret temple of the Followers of Set. The room was heavy with the scent of incense, and snakes moved freely along the floor. In addition to Jacob, Charles also saw two others present: Marinette, the Setite high priestess in the city, and Roderick, one of Jacob’s ghouls who works at a drug rehab centre that the Setites had compromised.

Jacob informed the others that due to the recent Masquerade breaches, Prince Markus had seen fit to reinstate the ancient Camarilla office of the Scourge – someone who would cull the herd of the weakest Kindred to prevent overcrowding. Since Ottawa had a reputation amongst the Kindred as a frontier town where anyone could make their mark, Markus was secretly appointing Jacob to take on this role – he didn’t want the bad PR of a public Scourge. Jacob revealed to the other Setites that he had manipulated the Caitiff Derrick into his accidental Masquerade breach, and this was the goal of that gambit.

Descending a spiral stairway, they came upon a large sarcophagus with several Kindred chained nearby. Jacob explained that since the Scourge was only supposed to claim weak vampires, the blood of their prey wouldn’t be strong. They would need a great deal of blood if they hoped to awaken The Elder. Legend had it that this ancient Setite had been cursed, and blood alone would not awaken her. Charles reported that he was continuing in his occult researches to determine the solution to this curse. Jacob suggested that Charles should continue to make that his priority, but he should also continue in his mission to corrupt Wade Bogs. Jacob also indicated that some of the patients at Roderick’s workplace might need Charles’ special brand of encouragement.

Rats in the Basement

Returning to The Ritual from his meeting with Thomas, Michael asked his lieuntant Al what he knew about the Bronin gang. Al told him that the Bronins were tough, but not sophisticated. They had eked out a slice of the street drug trade, and viciously protected it from all comers. Al knew where their turf was if Michael wanted to go there. However, Al thought Michael might want to deal with the rat problem first. Specifically, all the rats downstairs had been found dead in a pile. Al had sent an employee named Denise to check on this an hour ago, and she hadn’t returned yet.

Taking the flashlight downstairs, Michael found the pile of rats, and saw that other dead rats had been left in a trail heading towards the furnace room. Using his Celerity discipline, Michael opened the door and entered incredibly quickly. Inside, he found Denise on the floor like a rag doll, while a Nosferatu in ragged clothes looked through her wallet and held her cell phone in an awkward fashion. Michael noticed that the rear corner of the room had been collapsed inward. The Nosferatu claimed that this way his territory, which Michael quickly disputed. The other vampire then suggested they take the matter to Prince Tiberius to be settled. Michael knew that Tiberius had been slain in 1978, and realized that this vampire was old. The Nosferatu told him that he had been caught in a sewer explosion in 1929. When Michael told him that Markus was the prince now, the Nosferatu’s faced contorted in an evil grin … Markus was his sire!

Trying to de-escalate the situation, Michael took the vampire upstairs for some refreshments, and called one of the Prince’s agents. 30 minutes later, a limo pulled up in the back alley of the Ritual, and a mortal named John Michaels introduced himself as an agent of the Prince. He addressed the Nosferatu as Master Chen and told him that the Prince was glad at news of his survival. He also thanked Michael for calling them quickly. The next night, Melissa called Michael in a rage, convinced that the Prince would give some of their domains to his newly-awoken childe. Michael decided not to take her call and left her to voice mail.

Dealings with Mortals

The next evening, Wade awoken refreshed and normal, although his Humanity had not recovered from his brush with the fomori. He was told that there were 15 new interview requests based on Rachel’s suggestion to ESPN that he had suffered concussion-related injuries during his football career. The sheriff stopped by to remind him that if he was going to live in the public eye, he should avoid letting questions about his health become an issue. Wade assured Roger that he had everything under control, and started spinning things to the press to ensure them he was in perfect health.

Meanwhile, Rachel got an earful from her hospital administrator and retainer, Peter Hall. He reminded her that calling herself Wade’s doctor on TV might raise questions about her licensing, and it certainly ran contrary to her goal of keeping a low profile. Losing her self-control, Rachel frenzied and injured Peter quite severely. Faced with the possibility of losing her place at the hospital, she crossed a personal line and gave Peter some of her blood, ghouling him so that he could heal his wounds quickly. He questioned why she was not using her blood to heal the other patients in the hospital. She told him that it wouldn’t be right to do so, but he wasn’t convinced. He reminded her that Anna’s condition was worsening. Getting angry again, she quickly left before her temper took hold again.

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