Another dark October night began for the Kindred, this one befitting the First of the Fallen himself, gnarled trees hung low over a long abandoned yet somehow preserved Church. They creaked ominously as the wind made sure to caterwaul, ensuring its presence was known to all those whom stood outside this historic venue watching guard.
The rain falling, oblivious to the life it gives, quenching soil, and washing the world humble to its role. Streaks of radiant lightning spread 'cross the sky before forking harmlessly into the ground, and the ear-splitting thunder that followed was sure to wake those few attempting to catch even a wink of shut-eye.
This old Church sat aglow atop the precipice of a sheer rock-face., overlooking the sullen and gloomy cemetery housing all of its dead forever laid to rest. Heavy oaken doors swing wide as a guard passes through on a leisurely tour of the grounds by way of the cloister sheltered in the abbey. Another guard stands on high in the bell tower, sight sweeping low over the earth beneath him.
Moonlight shone through the imperfect stained-glass windows, casting eerie auras onto the furniture inside the Cathedral. Gone were the altar and pews, replaced with wooden kitchen tables, the kind used for dinners, and feasts. Upon these same tables were laid a feast fit for an uncountable number of guests - from pastries, meats, and soups to salads, wines, and even the more Kindred friendly delights. St. Michael's Cathedral was fit and ready for its guests, even if the weather wasn't permitting.
Tristan, and Wasyli were finishing the final coordination of the security for the nights event within the confines of the Basilica when yet another flash, and bundle of lightning, and thunder struck nearby. Tristan merely chuckled, brushing it off, as he turned to Wasyli, and the other officers of Vindicta in his presence for the evening.
"We have our orders then? If you'll all be on your way, I am expecting our guests any moment now, and don't hesitate to sound the alarm if anything's going down."
With that, they all departed the Basilica, the rest of the Vindicta officers relaying orders to their subordinates via communications devices. Meanwhile, Tristan, and Wasyli headed for the Cathedral to await the rest of their guests...
Bloodletting Event has now begun! You may all enter at your earliest convenience, wine, dine, and talk it up!
Note: -1 BP each for Tristan, and Wasyli for entering the Special Event thread.
Divia took a while to get ready, which was rather unusual for the Tzimisce. She had long contemplated what to wear for this Banquet, and the night in question being All Hallows Eve, she wanted to dress the part. It was the one night in the entire year when Kindred could pass themselves off as anyone they wished and no one would have been the wiser.
For her costume, Divia chose the look of Cleopatra - the ancient queen of kings. An ebony wig (not that her natural dark brown hair would not have suited the occasion), adorned with Egyptian headdress, and a gown made out of linen and leather - adorned in semi-precious stones of lapis lazuli, agate, topaz, amethyst and. garnet. Elaborate pieces of jewelry include coils made to look like snakes that would cuff around the biceps.
She had brought with her a change of outfits, these being carried in by four faithful ghouls. Though Marcus would undoubtedly frown at the mortals in her display, Divia was prepared to offer them up for the Banquet blood ritual - knowing it would appease the Autarch.
This Tzimisce 'Cleopatra' did not forego matching makeup to accentuate her famous eyes. She darkened her eyebrows and extended her eyeliner with black kohl. Her dark blue eye shadow extended all the way to her brows. She also wore intricate patterns of henna on her hands, a popular fashion of the time in Alexandria.
With her handsome Childe in tow, Divia entered the Cathedral flanked by her faithful mortal sycophants. She wore no mask, as the heavy makeup caked evenly across exquisite features did a job equal to the task.
"Hmm, it's a trifle dark in here," the Tzimisce observed, speaking to no one in particular as she slid her gilded invitation into the tight corset of her bustier. "Makes one wonder what the Autarch has planned in place of ...illumination?" She then proceeded down the center aisle of the church, heading straight for the main sanctuary, where she could already glimpse tables and chairs being laid out for this eve's festivities...
Elena had been at the Church long before most other guests had arrived.
Her boyfriend was working security that night and she decided to come along even if it meant being bored while waiting on everyone else to get here. In the meantime, she entertained herself by playing the dusty (but still very functional) pipe organ, while looking down at the entering guests from the choral gallery that sat above the main entrance.
The outfit she wore was a Disney Classic: the Sleeping Beauty (an abridged version). It took her a while to get used to the four inch stilettos, but other than that she felt supremely comfortable (if not a little thirsty). The other night spent in the company of her Sire took a lot out of her, and even the next few days (and feedings) that followed did not seem enough to have replenished her energy or slaked her hunger.
Oh, well - the Banquet would provide her with plenty of nourishment, she was certain of it. If only everyone would finally get here already so she could stop making everyone deaf with her atrocious music and they could all sit down and eat?
Damnit. I should have just brought my cello. Brahms > Bach. Grrr!
The young neophyte continued to smash the ivories, creating a mind-numbing cacophony of terror...
Victor was standing in his study, putting the finishing touches on a uniform he hadn't worn in over two centuries - all the way back to his mortal days. Setting everything just so, even down to the sword in it's scabbard and his pistol with it's pouches of ball and powder tucked behind him under his jacket. Just like he'd done before for several special occasions before. He remembered hating them, as an officer. Then came his Embrace and making the nobles and royalty dance to his tune. It brought a smile to his face.
Having finished his uniform for the evening, he patted the more modern M1911 in it's shoulder holster tucked up inside and underneath the left arm of his uniform, and made his way to the garage of his estate. He had foregone his normal driver for the evening, and looking upon Havard. The man was dressed for the part. Long black overcoat flowing loosely over his frame. Black pants and a black t-shirt completed the ensemble. "Well, don't you look especially cheerful tonight. Why'd you grow your hair and beard out?"
"You look like a stuffed up peacock." Victor just stopped short, glared at his 'friend', and adjusted his powdered wig. Maybe the wig was too much. He decided he'd leave it hidden in the car before picking up Storm. He got in the car as Havard got behind the wheel and drove off. He watched the lights of the city go by as Havard drove. The man wasn't a professional driver in any way shape or form, but he knew enough to get by. Soon, they were pulling up to Storm's residence...promptly at 7pm.
Alighting from the vehicle, Havard stood by the passenger door, waiting for her to come out so he may open the door for her.
Marcus arrived fashionably 'early', emerging out of his Rolls Royce 'Silver Ghost' adorned in black-and-gold Roman General's armor. Coming around to the other side of the car, he waited for his chauffeur to open the door for his escort, the lovely Valerie Modeste - a mortal. Yet there was nothing ordinary about this human, at least not once you got to know her.
Because an extraordinary evening called for an extraordinary companion.
He offered the lady his arm, helping her out of the car - then both proceeded toward the church, where they entered without so much as casting the armed goons at the door, a single glance. The invitation was at his behest - Marcus Julius Valerian did not require to present one.
Turning to his lovely companion, he smiled, leaning in as he whispered into her ear, "I want you to let me know the moment you feel uncomfortable or have the need to leave the banquet hall. This church is quite old and not entirely stable in some places - and I would not have you wandering off alone."
The vampire's voice was low and quiet but laced with utmost gravity, so that Valerie would know he meant every word. Once they passed the main foyer, Marcus would proceed to guide the mortal female toward the front of the cathedral, where the main festivities would soon await.
Storm emerged quickly in her full ensemble, probably causing a raised brow or two with everyone who laid eyes on her. Given that the movie she had taken her inspiration from - was such a huge hit with the fans of the horror genre - she anticipated most would recognize it/her instantly. Even so, the costume's mask was so remarkably realistic that it would unsettle even the staunchest of Kindred. After all, Demons were no one to be trifled with!
She got into the car without saying a word, merely grinning a horrifying toothy grin at Victor as she rearranged her cassock and fixed her veil. If Victor felt like talking - he could - but she had little or nothing to say so she stayed silent until they finally arrived at their destination. Once there, she would not wait for the door to be opened for her; just strolled out and headed for the main entrance to the cathedral... her hand fumbling in her pockets for the blasted invitation.
It was here somewhere.... yep! Fingertips found it, sitting folded and deep in the confines of her robe's left side pocket!
Digging it out, Storm shoved it into the hands of the Vindicta enforcer-guard, before sweeping inside with a duly malevolent glare.
Ursula went straight from work (Crimson Lights) to pick up Ballard at the Office before taking the car back to the Krauss Estate - only to find out that Tristan had already gone to the venue and she had just missed him by five minutes, tops. Oh, well - he had his job and she had hers - the Toreador knew that her spouse had to oversee security for the whole night and perhaps even the one after. What it all entailed - she was not intimate with - but after the unfortunate events of the Masquerade gala, she understood that Tristan did not want anything to go amiss.
Unlike the last time...
Regardless; Urs still had to change into her costume and so she asked Ballard to give her a few minutes. It would not take long, she assured him. Everything was already laid out before she left for work, so it was only a matter of putting it on, applying some powder and flashy makeup, along with a wig - and voila!
Thirty minutes later, she was ready. Skipping down the main stairway, she noted that Elena and Wasyli were gone as well. NO surprise there, either. Clutching her reinforced baseball bat tightly, she waited for the chauffeur to open the door for her, before sliding into the back seat, next to her Childe.
"Sorry that took so long. I had to spray in the hair colors and made a mess in the bathroom," the Toreador explained with a shy smile. Nothing Ballard hadn't seen before. Not her first mess, not the last - where bathrooms were concerned, anyway.
In a moment, the car would start moving and within another 20 minutes, they would be pulling in front of St. Michael's, where other vehicles were already being parked in the two lots belonging to the Cathedral and the adjacent Library.
"Well, here we are," she smiled, sliding out of the car when the doors were opened for her. "Let's hope this evening is less lively than the last one."
Having said that and pending that her companion was ready, Urs would head into the church proper, eager to find Tristan, Wasyli and Elena.
Gabriel had spent a total of ten minutes, wondering just what kind of outfit to send Rubi. But he did say outfitS, he recalled - in the plural. No matter. He quickly got his act together, feeling that with a name like hers, one shouldn't drift too far from the curb. Thus, he arranged to havefivedifferentoutfitssent to her at the Crimson Lights, having attached a note that he would leave her with the option to pick her own.
Undoubtedly, she'd already be wearing some Burlesque number since she would be performing at the Banquet - but even so - maybe his taste would outshine Urs Bellefleur's? Not that he wanted to step on the Toreador's toes, far from it. He would merely attempt to help enhance her investment's ...appearance, so to speak.
With the outfits having been sent hours ahead of his arrival, Gabriel would then appear at the Lights himself, with Patrick driving as per usual. The driver would be sent in to fetch the flamboyant Miss Caldera, while Gabriel sat back and waited, dressed in an ornate suit of black and gold brocade that seemed to have Marcus written all over it...
No matter. This was the one night in the year he could get away with mocking the Autarch and his ridiculously austere, demi-goth style.
Glancing briefly at his watch, he swept his gaze to the window and the door, hoping that Rubi would not be late. Not like she needed hours to prepare for this event, anyhow. The girl had natural beauty - enough for two and a half average women. Maybe more. Thoughts intensified on that single focus: willing her to come to him, now.
It hadn't taken Valerie much thought as to what her costume would be. The joke of it, so obvious and amusing to her she simply couldn't go for anything else. Kept it as a secret even from Marcus and Gabriel, the only thing she had asked for was if Marcus could arrange for stylists to help her with getting ready.
So when she finally emerged from her room Valerie had been transformed into a vampire. Burgundy Victorian styled dress, hair and makeup, even tiny fake fangs and fake blood from the corner of her mouth, making her not able to stop smiling at her own childishness. It was hard to move in the large skirt, but she had never felt more feminine then the posture the corset was giving her.
The entire way over to the party she was nervous. It had seemed like such an obvious joke while she had gotten ready, but now she was worried that the obvious stereotype of her costume would be offensive to anyone. The door was opened for her and she exited the car before taking the arm offered by Marcus. Pulling the shawl on her shoulders a little tighter around herself she smiled softly when he leaned in to whisper in her ear.
"I promise. I won't wander off alone, don't wanna get lost either."
She followed after him into the cathedral in silence, chewing her lip a bit nervously. It wasn't until she heard the sounds of the party she spoke again. Low, soft and mostly to herself.
Rubì had spent the entire day working and practising the routine Urs had shown her. It had felt amazing, to zone out and just focus on moving her body for a few hours. The only break was when one of the others working there had come over to tell her someone had sent some outfits to her. Unwillingly her heart skipped a beat, making her scold herself mentally. Of course, she knew who it was from. It had only taken a moment to pick her outfit from the options provided, interestingly fitting the costume she had picked out for the dance during the banquette.
A few hours later she was standing in the dressing room looking at herself. Her hair was casually messy, her makeup simple, and her lipstick ruby red. Matching the small red outfit she had picked from the bunch. A pair of devil's horn on her head and an amused smile later she came out and saw Patrick, the man from before there waiting for her. Nodding to him she followed him outside while pulling on her elegant black jacket that she left open. Coming up to the car Patrick reached forward and opened the door before she could even reach for it herself. Giving him a nod she ducked into the car and looked at Gabriel as she found her seat. Again her heart did a new hated skip as her eyes took in the image of him in his elaborate suit.
"Evening Mr Villiers."
There was a twitch to the corner of her mouth, almost resembling a smile as she fixed her clothes and got comfortable in her seat.
Helen did not cared much for these big social events, not when she was with the anarchs and sure as fuck not now that she is with these Erebus people, but she did loved the idea of free and easy blood, entertaiment and possibly making some contacts and friendships. The fact that she got to dress as one of her favourite singers was of course a nice plus. After the classes were done she called a Uber that took her from the university to the Cathedral, arriving rather early as she saw little point in delaying something that she desired. She looks over to the Uber driver and gives him a thumbs up as she leaves and walks quickly over to Vittorio, she places a heavy hand on his shoulder to get his attention.
"Thought i would catch you here." she glances over to the 'Nun' that came out of his car and made her way insede the cathedral before looking back to Vittorio "A friend of yours?"
Elisa spent multiple nights working on getting herself ready for the event, and had to replace multiple servants that made the mistake of being too close to her when she found herself unsatisfied with her clothes. (By Caine! Where are the Tzimisces when you need them to make you a living human dress?! )In the end she settled for a german uniform.
Once the day came she quickly put on the dress and, after agonizing for hours in front of the mirror, taking multiple selfies to post on the internet asking for opnions and getting the feedback of her surviving servants, she went to the party, driven there by one of her ghouls that dropped her off in front of the cathedral.
As she stepped out of the car she looked around, searching for familiar faces and, while at first her smile broke as she was midly dissapointed by all the relatively strange faces, it soon returned when she spotted Valerie heading inside the Cathedral and made her way to follow her, presenting her invitation at the entrance.
"Valerie! Quite a surprise to see you here, but a pleasant one." she looks to the man with her and gives him a polite curtsie "Autarch."
Victor got out of the vehicle after Storm, who had raced ahead of him. Sighing inwardly, he had a feeling she'd be avoiding him for a good portion of the night. She didn't say a single word to him the entire way over and her demeanor made it quite clear, she was not in the mood for small talk. Walking up to the Vindicta guard at the door, he decided to test the Kindred. He moved to walk past without presenting his invitation. The man moved to stop him.
"Excuse me sir, I need to see your invitation." Victor feigned annoyance. "Do you know who I am young man?" The guard simply nodded. "Yes I do Lord Magister, I still need to see your invitation though." Victor smiled, patting the Kindred on the shoulder. He pulled it out, presenting it to the guard. "And here it is. Kudos to you for doing your job correctly." Once the guard handed it back, he made his way inside the cathedral.
He was about to go find Storm when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder. He turned his head and saw Helen. Giving her a decent smile, he looked towards the direction Storm went. "She's someone I have asked to be my personal assistant. She's still considering it." He turned his attention back to Helen. "How's things at the University?"
Walking trough the streets, Mia makes her way towards her destination. She was quite aware of the outcome of the last large 'gathering' and hoped that this would turn out a little better. Though somehow she suspected that this would be a little too much to ask.
Waiting till after a few visitors had entered the church, Mia steps gingerly through the doors and into the church. This wasn't something she usually made a habit of doing. Holly and the undead didn't usually mix very well. ~Maybe this place isn't as holy as it looks~
Mia takes a seat at the back of the church, paying attention to those gathered and those entering after her.
It wasn't how he had pictured his undead life on his return to new Babylon. What he had hoped was temporary peace and quiet, a moment to collect his thoughts and set about his next plan of what to do with eternity. However here he was, standing guard in almost a full suit at a party. This picturesque was far from the anarchic rebel he once portrayed, but desperate times called for unity among themselves. Only a fool would cling to rebellious thoughts when your species was a dying breed. Humans were no longer as gullible as they once were and now had the measures to take a stand against them. He had been informed about the last attack, that had caught them all off-guard and of the many vampires that had met their final death that night. It had been a core reason for throwing his lot in with Vindicta.
Other than the joyful thought of danger lurking around every corner, this was actually a great moment for observing the current vampire community. A chance to put names to faces and know the new hierarchy that had settled in his old home. He could do without the costumes, as they were all obviously set out to antagonize each other. Whether by mocking one's past or prance as the next stereotype they could think off,- no costumes weren't his thing and blessed the fact he wasn't forced to participate in that dresscode. Silent he stayed inside near the entrance which from his side would be the exit. Taking in glances of everyone that entered for the festivities. This was either going to be a boring or exciting night.
The vampire grinned, sweeping gaze washing over his mortal companion. "If you had told me you enjoy the Kindred look so much, I could have made sure you could attend as the real thing," he murmured, grabbing her hand and pulling Valerie close to him. He was careful however, not to crush her against the metal chest plate he wore. He could have sworn to have sensed both excitement and anxiety on her part - probably brought forth by anticipation of things to come and not so much the things he said to her.
"You better hold onto that promise. This church is not the safest landmark in the city, so I must insist that if you do decide to explore - you do so only with my guidance."
They would approach the banquet altar with Marcus smirking.
"Offense? Not if they value their unlives. This is Halloween. A time where all the good ghosts, goblins and vampires come out to play in the open. As long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters."
His gaze quickly sought out Tristan Krauss, his chief Vindicta henchman, but failed to note him in the small crowd. He could have been in elsewhere in the building or even in the adjacent library, putting final preparation touches on what was to come. Glancing down to the head of the table, he noted the presence of place cards for himself, his guest and the Triumvirate. The rest could seat themselves as they saw fit.
"Would you care for a drink or an appetizer, my dear?" Looking back to Valerie, he considered that she might be hungry or thirsty, given her mortal needs.
"I knew you'd pick the smallest outfit possible to squeeze all those delectable parts into. And it wasn't even the most ostentatious one," Gabriel added, his hand drifting underneath her coat and subsequently, the stiff satin skirt of the crimson burlesque outfit as he cupped the shapely derriere beneath a flimsy sheath of silk satin.
"Good evening," he leaned to place a soft, lingering kiss on Rubi's temple. "You're staring, if only a little," he observed, caressing her backside (which no one would see, as his hand and part of his arm was cleverly covered by her elegant coat. "Does it meet with your approval?" He meant his suit, and hopefully she would catch on without having to explain.
The outfit fit her like a glove, making Rubi more appetizing than ever. Gabriel could easily drag her behind one of the thick neo-gothic columns of the church and press her against the cold stone, while his hands and mouth worshiped her...
"When your lips twitches that way, I can hardly stop myself from wanting to sample your charms. Have mercy, my dear - we are in a church - after all..." he teased.
His 'joke' about her costume made her blush and shake her head softly from side to side. Sometimes she sure wondered how serious his jokes were. "That would ruin my joke. Seeing as the mortal of the bunch if dressed as a vampire is the fun part, at least for me.."
Turning her face to him she smiled, the small plastic fangs showing as she giggled. Her hand brushed over the chest plate of his uniform as she listened to him speak of the dangers of the church she nodded, it wasn't a hard thing to promise him. Even if she wouldn't want to be a burden for him, he sure had other things to attend to than her.
"It's one thing when ignorant mortals dress as vampires. All here knows I know, so they might think I am making fun of them. And yes I am comfortable, the fangs are weird and the corset is squeezing my waist, but I enjoy the posture it is giving me."
Hearing him ask if she wanted something she was about to ask for wine when she heard a voice she at first couldn't place. It only took another moment before she realized it was Elisa.
"Elisa! How fun to meet you here. Of course, I would be here. Mr Valerian here does not seem to enjoy going stag to parties."
Turning back to Marcus she smiled with a laughter to her voice. "Wine? If they have for the likes of me and not what I am dressed as?"
"I happen to think you make a smashing vampire. Although how you manage to walk in that skirt without tripping, is beyond me..."
Seeing Valerie's plastic fangs brought a grin to his face. And Marcus was about to fetch some sweet Moscato for his companion, when Valerie's voice made him take notice of someone he had obviously ignored earlier. Yes. He remembered now. Someone had said hello but the Lasombra was so invested in his lovely mortal guest he had completely lost his head. Not a good sign, that.
Pay attention, moron. You can play a lovesick schoolboy after the party. We wouldn't want a repeat of the Masquerade gala now, would we?
Marcus realized that the Beast was right. Shifting his gaze to the remarkable blonde woman who spoke, he grinned and nodded in acknowledgment of Elisa.
What striking hair. She'd make a fine trophy on Erebos silk.
Stow it. Those days are long behind me. And no more out of you until further notice.
Silence followed, satisfaction setting deep into Marcus' dark gaze. "Miss Elisa, is it? Welcome to St. Michael's. It seems that my lovely date here has met you before although I don't recall ever making the introduction?" Subtle flicker of his wrist toward the oncoming server indicated what he wanted, as he lifted up three fingers and turned back to the ladies. "Do remind me again, my dear, just how did you make the lovely acquaintance of miss Elisa, here?"