Running Vampire: The Requiem tonight. Should take notes. Now that all four of my players have return the little questionnaire I sent out two weeks ago, I can do that. :)
OK, so, I took some notes here. I'm still short a few Aspirations, but I think I can make this work. Let's take some notes on these characters.
Myra: Parents dead, had a best friend named Nicky who was "killed" shortly after they arrived in Vegas. Mentored by a domme named Lady Darla (now in New York), got pregnant by a client who vanished after finding out she was married. Her son has a heart condition, and she leaves his adoptive family money. There's a hook I can use, if I want to be horrible about it. She wants to be a good mother, but she's also very wrapped up in sex and domination. Her Dirge is Sadist, so she really does want that control and pain-inflicty stuff.
Delphine: Player didn't give me as much to go on, here. Delphine was Embraced in 1973, meaning she's been a vampire for 35 years. Also means that she's dating a woman who was born in 1984 - when Delphine had been dead (undead, strictly speaking) for 11 years. Delphine wants to find her father and she wants to Embrace Rachel. Myra wants to Embrace someone, too. It would be interested in cross those streams.
Mordecai: Also an orphan, parents vanished on the streets of Vegas and he went through foster care. Much like Myra. Huh. Anyway, he runs the Mob Museum, and is less family oriented at first blush, but his obsession with Vegas stems from losing his parents here. I like that, and I think this story should probably reveal what happened to his father.
Heath: The most significant thing in his background is that he killed a family when he was still a ghoul, and left their bodies in the desert, probably at the behest of Prince Martin. I think that's probably worth fleshing out.
So. Backstory. The gravesite of the unfortunate family, out in the desert, is a Wyrm Nest. No one in the Ordo Dracul in Vegas is aware of it. Dawn Waiting Snake is aware that the place is a locus, but avoids (she doesn't like the way it makes her feel), and doesn't know from "Wyrm Nest" anyway. The gravesite can open up Coils on the Mystery of the (god, I hate these new names) Wyrm, if Heath wished to mediate there. But going out there for him is a breaking point anyway - he has to confront what he did as a ghoul. No ghosts, that'd be too easy.
Seems like getting out there should be an end to the story. So what's luring them out into the desert to exhume old bodies? I would really love to connect Mordecai and Myra. So let's say that Thomas Pilate has a ghoul who's been working the foster care system for a long time. Basically, it's his job to "lose" kids in the system if their parents wind up dead or Embraced. He looks like he's in his 40s, but he's actually closer to 100. Pilate watched Mordecai's obsession with Vegas grow from the time he was a boy, and eventually decided to Embrace him. Pilate killed and drained Mordecai's father, and Prince Martin killed and drain his mother. At the time, they didn't know the couple had children. Mordecai had a younger brother, only 2 when his parents vanished. He got sent back home to live with extended family, while Mordecai stayed in Vegas (again, Pilate's guy manipulating things). He returned to Vegas in 2000, at age 44, which is wife and two young children. Courant, who had been chasing the dragon's tail since Mordecai's parents were killed (Courant was present when they died, though he didn't partake), informed Pilate, assuming it would be nothing more than an idle curiosity.
Pilate panicked and ordered Courant to have them killed. Courant couldn't bring himself to do it, so ordered his ghoul to take them out.
So we've definitely got some themes of family, fatherhood, and regret going on here, which I enjoy. I need more information on Delphine's weird family vis a vis the Circle of the Crone, because then I can bring Dawn Waiting Snake in, but I think I have enough to go on.
For tonight and the beginning of the story, I kind of like Amanda's thought about the headline in the Sun (family found dead, infant missing). So let's go with that. Let's say that a young vampire named Moe Fuji (Gangrel, unaligned). She grabbed the woman in the parking lot of their off-strip hotel, and had just finished killing her when her husband found them. She killed him, too (claws), grabbed the carrier with their baby, and fled. She's holed up in an abandoned house in Henderson, now, wanting to get the hell out of the city before Martin sends Dex to kill her.
The parking lot was right across the street from the Mob Museum (Downtown Grand), so Mordecai can hear about it pretty easily. If they need an excuse to look into it, Martin can nudge them; he'd rather this not become a thing.
And the letter:
Two years had passed since the Week of Roses and the OK Corral Tournament, and Kindred society was normalizing. Clans resurfaced, the natural stagnation of the Kindred coming to the fore. And yet, something had changed, something that none of us truly understood.
It was November 2008 when Lori and Ben Dennis died in the parking lot of the Downtown Grand. Suspicion initially fell on Mordecai Pasternak, the Kindred owner and proprietor of the nearby Mob Museum, but the evidence and the support of Heath Newman shifted it. The deaths were not a special concern - people die in Vegas frequently - but the couple's 4-month-old son vanished, and that whipped the city into a frenzy. Tourists with children stopped going out at night, and stopped spending money, and no one, Kindred or mortal, would stand for that.
The story of that baby's disappearance is prosaic. The discoveries that it led to, however, were of a more personal nature than many of the tales I've recounted. And yet, as I watched a piece of Old Vegas burn some time later, I remember thinking that if I could see what I'd seen, know what I knew, and still feel some stirring of grief for those lost, then perhaps I would always be at least somewhat human.
It began, as I said, with the disappearance of a baby. On the night of November 21st, 2008, Martin Rossini's Sheriff, Thomas Pilate, entered Binion's, and sat down for a game of poker...