We needed answers! Because, we really seemed to be running out of options. Everything around us seemed to be collapsing so fast.
The Coven of the Lost whom we all had felt were like a second family nearly rejected us and placed our heads on a pike as an ‘unwelcoming’ mat. The Lost’s new Bloodlordess (whose father was killed for still unknown and incomplete reasons clearly linked to the Lost and he being a Bloodlord) was bewitched by Vlad, Bloodlord of the First, in a plot to strengthen his bloodline and the Coven of the Firstborn. Vlad is a complete enigma to us save we know that he is a megalomaniac that is bent on subjecting all to his rule and way of life. Some how the Reapers and the Wraith (of which I really should know more about having been born of the Wraith…but alas, I know very little) are connected in this war. The Beast, though powerful as they seem to be, show no sign of making a move in this war. This last question makes me afraid far more than all the other questions.
And lastly, Sir Thad a transdimensional bard toys with us by giving us clues that do not provide answers, but rather spur more questions. First, we are told of the legendary Resgate Sangrento, a rogue party of five vampire heroes each from a different Coven who stood up to Queen Mikarest’s tyranny. Though, what we know of them is sketchy at best; and even worse regarding this Queen of Vampires.
Furthermore, we have been given the city of Fuzhou located in the Fujian Province of China. It is there that Master Chen Lau Jiang is said to be close to finding the cure! A scientific way to transcend a lowly and simple-minded ghoul vampire to a more intelligent hybrid. I would give anything to find this answer. For this is the first step in my quest to free my Penelope and return her innocence and mortality. It pains me to have her close to me once more, but know that she is still not here with me. I remember again why it was that I sent her way. Her presence, I believe, may be clouding my precision and judgment. But I cannot send her away again. My allies are diminishing, and the world is changing too rapidly. Besides I feel that we are within reach of finding this ‘cure’. I wish for her suffering to be as brief as I can make it. I need her close when I find this ‘cure’. And so, I must handle my emotions like a fine surgeon handles a scalpel.
Can you see I am a bit frustrated? Burdened with questions? I have not been myself for the past several weeks being so preoccupied for the safety of my Beloved. The group has notice this. Since I have become irrational and illogical these past few days, my party has chosen to turn to the most illogical and insane of the group to seek guidance in that which is logical. So here we find ourselves in the Den of the Beast, the safest place my dear friend, Willie knew of. We are in Palermo, Italy at the esteemed home of Big Mama. He swears we are among friends, but as I said previously, the Beast’s hand is what worries me the most. Though my friends give their trust whole-heartedly, I do not. I remain polite, but precautious; so as to preserve a sound and vigil perspective of our particular plight. These are troubled times my friends, dire troubled times.
Big Mama is the face of the Coven of the Beast. From what I gather, even though Little Tony is the Bloodlord, he answers and respects Big Mama above his own agenda.
Big Mama is a hefty lady vampire. She walks with a waddling limp, but with utter confidence. Her face though plump is painstakingly painted up in the finest of make up, giving it a glow and radiance fit for a matriach of vampires. She seems sweet. She even smells of sweet baked goods. But all of this reminds me of the great deceivers found in nature, who hide their true colors behind bright colorful drapes and capes.
It is like the carnivorous pitcher plant, putting sweet aromatic compounds into the air that blow gently in the wind landing on the olfactory feelers of the common fly. The fly is draw to this sweet smell that is reminicent of rotting meat. It follows the trail leading to the dark cavernous belly of the plant. Before the fly realizes where he is at, it is too late! The sticky exudate secreted by the plant has already ensnared the bedazzled fly. Slowly these juices begin to digest the fly alive.
I fear alone that Big Mama cannot be trusted! But for now, she has been quite accommodating. She has denied us nothing…another reason I do not trust her.
With her assistance we send a decoy “top secret” plane to Florida in hopes that Vlad will follow it on a wild goose chase. She even “mistakenly” provides Vlad’s “well-place” mole informant false information regarding these travel plans.
Before leaving Palermo, I visited the university hospital. I hadn’t fed in a while. I knew the cancer wing would provide me suitable victims to collect blood from. My senses led me to the intensive care unit. I found a poor soul struggling to live hooked up to a ventilator. The dying man had tubes coming out of nearly every part of his body. I produced a scalpel that I had palmed; and slit his wrist. Dark crimson red blood began draining down his fingers. I collected it all in a bag. I psychically shocked him repeatedly to keep his heart going despite the loss of volume and pressure in his veins. In the end, I nearly drained him completely before casting a special spell on the bag of blood that would preserve it for an extended length of time. I then flung it over my shoulder and turned into mist before anyone arrived in response to his cardiac monitor flat lining.
Meanwhile, Raven commandeered a plane and pilot with his masterful persuasion. I took off heading for the Fujian Province. We arrived in China early after sunset. Since we were looking for Master Chen, a member of the Brotherhood, I decided to use my ring to find his where abouts. I showed a local the golden ring embossed with the Eye of Solaris. In a rough accent, I tried to ask where I could find a member of the Brotherhood. The local directed me to a sketchy tavern.
When we got there, I immediately had a bad feeling about the place. But, I had no other leads. So, we entered and ask the man at the bar table if he knew of the Brotherhood. Before we knew what was going on, the man had triggered an alarm beneath the counter. We could hear several heavy booted men coming into this front room. In trying to control the alarm, my psychic abilities got the best of me. A loud buzzing sound rang in my head. Apparently, all the psychic frequencies of all the nearby electronics were causing pulsing waves of dissonance, like scratches on a chalkboard. I dove behind the front of the counter before the men with guns opened fire on my comrades.
Raven, Willie and Buddy just stood there and took the hits. They seemed to be only mildly phased. A grenade was fired directly at Buddy. He miraculously parried it with the right glave of his magic armor. Instead of bouncing back towards where it was fired, it exploded right in his face in a thick gray cloud of smoke. The smoke filled the room.
I switched to mist form to be completely enveloped and hidden. Willie went for a gunman on our right just outside the reach of the smoke. Raven tried to hypnotize another gunman, but realized it was futily in the low visability inside the cloud. So, he went closer to the gunman. Buddy enraged with the blast, decided to charge the assailants. He grabbed on by the head and squeezed. Even above the gun fire, we all heard the macabre crack sound that was made from the humans skull being crushed inside of Buddy’s massive palm. Buddy then wielded the lifeless body as a shield, parrying off the direct fire of the next gunman’s automatic rifle.
By the time I reached the final gunman and materialized to give him my fatal blow with Amaterasu, Buddy had finished off another gunman with a vicious bit to his neck. Raven and Willie had disposed of their victims as well. To not arouse more suspicion, we left the bodies without feeding, and proceeded to find more about Master Chen.
I remembered that Chen was a monk and might be finishing his research in a local monastery. We some locals if they knew of any local monasteries. They did. There was one that was in the mountains of Wuyi. We found two guides, an old man and an old woman, who would take us up the river and to the base of the mountain where we would ascend to find the monastery.