V:EKN Clan Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter, April 1999 OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 2 NUMBER 4. April 1st, 1999. IN THIS ISSUE ...... IMPORTANT COMMUNIQUE FROM THE LEGBITERBUNKER [a seasonal announcement]. THE HAAR [fiction ... trying to psyche myself up to run a tremere deck. And maybe write a horror story, too. This story is based on two, maybe 3, true stories BTW .... specifically the whisky, the knife and the black monastery [= of the Holy Trinity at Soutra]. Mail me if you are interested in any of them, except the whisky cos i drank it all some years back]. MONIQUE DECK [well, i feel responsible sort of thing. Poor wee lassie! I think Wizards ought to do the Decent Thing by Monique and marry her off to the Merfolk of the Pearl Trident or Pyknite or something]. IMPORTANT COMMUNIQUE FROM THE LEGBITERBUNKER Vampires of Southern England, this is an historic night. At 1am BST on the 1st April, 1999, the Princedom of Wessex formally seceded from the Vampire Elder Kindred Network. To mark the occasion, the VTES players of Portsmouth dressed up as Ancient Britons and ceremoniously tipped our collection of about 3 tea-chests full of official errata into Portsmouth docks. Not a pleasant experience on a cold spring night, I can tell you. If the photos come out i will put them on the net, unless someone bribes me a lot not to do so. It is our intention to apply for membership of the Michigan Jyhad League. In the meantime, the following house rules go into effect for all tournaments in the Wessex area: *Fame works as printed. Actually, the Portsmouth rules team like the new fame, but the principle of not changing card text was held to be paramount [except for RtI - see below]. *The zip gun/DBR combo works as printed. Cheesy we know, but see above. *The Obf symbol on concealed weapon is an error. This card is disciplineless. *So is the FoS symbol on Summon the Serpent. It should be a ser symbol. *Purity of the Beast is an animalism card. *Paralysis rules are reinstated. Wooden Stake and Rowan Ring become tournament legal. *Monocle of Clarity is reinstated, with the clarification that all questions must relate to the game. Thus, "Are you shagging my wife?" would not be a legal question. However, "Have you shagged my wife during this game?" would be legal questions. Photographic proof of a disqualifyingly inaccurate answer would have to be sufficiently well-resolved to rule out the possibility that competing CCGs were being used during any adulterous activity. *Madness of the Bard is not merely tournament-legal but also compulsory. Any player activating two or more Malkavians will have to show his/her library to the tournament judge. If the deck does not contain at least one copy of Madness of the Bard, that player is disqualified. *Return to Innocence has the following errata: "Call an unblockable vote. Choose a past or present official text for this card. If the vote passes, RtI has the proposed card text. This vampire proceeds to take the action described, paying 4 blood if successful." THE HAAR Sea-fog creeps up from the docks and laps around the dark tenements as the lights go on in Edinburgh. Hereabouts they call it the Haar, somehow an onomatopoieic name that deadens the soul as the fog does the land. But in Scarriman's Bar, just the other side of South Bridge from the Old College, the lights are on and there is warmth, though little humanity. A seedy bar this one, no students welcome and for that reason a haunt for a certain type of dissolute and disillusioned academic. Two of them sit on bar stools now, conversing with the landlord, Jellaby Decker. And the subject is whisky, the extraordinary find of a nineteenth-century vat of Single Malt in a bricked-up cellar beneath the bar. Scarriman's Singleton they are calling it, and at 80 pence a shot it's a bargain ... all fieriness gone from its long entombment, and a certain metallic aftertaste a small price to pay for the sense of drinking history. Dr MacCrombie holds the glass, his third, up to the light and squints at the amber fluid with yellowing eyes. "Gladstone could have drunk this during the Midlothian campaign, had he no' been such a rantin' killjoy." Dr Edwards nods, mopping his brow with a large handkerchief. Man alive, thinks MacCrombie, thon fella must be the sweatiest lecturer in Edinburgh! "Death to the Killjoys dear colleague, esteemed host! I'll ha, ha, have another, if you please." Decker and MacCrombie exchange a half-look, and the glass is poured. Edwards is in a bad way, or several bad ways - personal, professional, physical. Apart from these three the bar is empty, and likely to remain so for some hours yet, until the stripper comes. "Dr Edwards Sir, would ye no' like to see the vat? Dr MacCrombie will hae told ye of it, I'm sure." Jellaby Decker's voice is deep and muffled, as always, seeming to come from a secret place in his chest. "Why, that would be delightful!" replies Edwards with desperate joviality. "Colleague, Mr Decker, please lead the way!" Naked bulbs light the surprisingly long stairway down into the cellars of Scarriman's Bar. If only Edwards had paid attention to those stairs he might have noticed their Monolithic quality, he might have remembered those painstaking researches, laughed at and rejected by his colleagues, as a result of which, years ago, he proposed that the Black Monastery of Border Legend might actually have been here, in Edinburgh, a terrible survivor of pre-Celtic worship. Poor blind, deaf Edwards, so lost in misery and drink that even the ghosts that throng those stairs could not rouse him to his danger, brush him with their cold fingers howsoever they might. And so it was that in the dark immensity of the cellar they stood, and by flashlight observed the vast, vast container from which the whisky had come. Edwards gazed upon it, and around, taking in the hugeness, the queer organic forms, the, well ...... "O. My. God. It's all TRurgleurgleurghhhh ....." For while they were descending, MacCrombie had discreetly removed a Russian Special Forces bottle-opener, only 2 dollars in the Moscow Arbat, from his waistcoat pocket. A little brass tube with a steel hook for opening bottles, this way round ... and if you unscrew it, like so, why then we find that the tube contains a fine steel blade, which if you reinsert and screw down again, THIS way round, makes a handy little assassination weapon, and QUITE undetectable by airport X-ray machines. Decker holds Edwards as his body twists and shudders in the unbearable spasms of death, his eyes popping and his trousers steaming with the terror of it, while MacCrombie unzips the enigmatic black plastic bag which contains the thing, the ancient thing that became known to the barman and the doctor after their third glass of Scarriman's Singleton. Two nights ago, with glazed eyes they had come down here and opened the vat, reached inside for a rope which they knew must be there, pulled out a lean and wizened shape, leather-brown and stinking of whisky. Now MacCrombie holds the thing forward, clumsily guiding its head towards the spurting wound in his colleague's neck. The dead mouth touches the dying man's neck and then, o then at last we know the true meaning of Horror. As their master wrestles on the floor with the dying academic his murderers watch impassively, but we can tell their depraved excitement in the presence of death from the sweat that beads their brows, even in the cold of the cellar. Finally the thing releases the dead man, writhes into an upright position and holds out its talons in the direction of MacCrombie. The knife is exchanged, the thing slits its wrist with that horrible fluidity of motion, and lets a drop of stolen blood fall into the dead man's mouth. And in a few moments Edwards is conscious again, and knows at last for a fact that terrible as it may be, there are worse things than violent death. "M...m....master?" "Ego Isolus Tremeri." Its voice is thin and crackly, like the sound of coke burning in the grate. "Cognosco, Dominus. Et Verus est?" "De Ritae Soutrae? Ita vero, amicus meus. Vides!" That which was Edwards sinks to its knees, and retches violently. All true. O god. All of it. "I ... hunger ...." The thing fixes its scarlet eyes upon Decker, who shudders .... but its mental command relates not to Decker's sacrifice but to that of the stripper who is at this moment changing into her FMBs and chatting to the babysitter about last night's episode of Eastenders. "See you later, then!" she says, inaccurately, as she kisses her daughter goodnight. "See you, mummy!" cries the little girl. As the stripper takes the last journey of her life the cold fog laps higher into the valleys of the Pentland hills, and to sensitive souls it seems that a miasma of evil is creeping up from the city to engulf the land. So it is, but it is not the Haar. MONIQUE DECK This is an attempt to make a deck based around Monique, the Gangrel anti girly who sits at home stuffing her face with vampire chocolate while her lovely sister Caitlin gets all the dates. But tonight Uncle Legbiter, fetchingly attired in a tutu and wand, presents a deck based on her one good point - she is the only 5-cap vampire with the blocking disciplines of aus and ani at inferior. This means that, through atonement and pumping, she can become the blocking demon of doom. Thanks to Jasper and Fred, who provided useful criticism of a draft Monique deck which i posted on the NG. 4 x Monique 5 Aaron Duggan, Cameron's Toady 2 Cameron 3 Ignacio the Black Priest 4 Ramiro 4 Vliam Andor 3 Leon 3 Gillian Krader 2 Wendy Wade 3 18 masters: Power Structure Guardian Angel Heidelberg Castle x 3 Obtenebration x 2 Ascendance x 4 Pentex Loves You! The Hungry Coyote The Barrens Fragment of the Book of Nod Dreams of the Sphinx Milicent Smith Pentex Subversion [this is here so that you can contest it, if need be. Nothing more annoying than to get your vamp o'doom Pentex'd]. [i thought about an obtenebration card so that she could get Eyes of the Night, but decided against]. 72 Library Atonement x 5 Camarilla Vitae Slave x 4 Eagles' Sight x 4 [Jasper suggests more, and he may be right. However, this is the number i use in my Malky OOT combat deck, and there it is about right]. Melange x 4 Spirit's Touch x 4 Precognition x 4 Cat's Guidance x 6 Raptor x 6 Raven Spy x 2 Carrion crows x 6 Aid From Bats x 10 Drawing out the Beast x 4 Skin of Rock x 2 Skin of Steel x 2 Shadow Play x 3 Forced Awakening x 4 Well, i dunno whether this would work or not .. it looks ok on paper. I've specified cards i actually have rather than ones i would wish for [eg terror frenzy] so i really don't have an excuse not to build this deck and try it out. Sigh. Except, well, i just don't FANCY her, know what i mean?
Pyknite ol' chap, is that you? Well have i got a ho-, erm, a tasty date for you!!!!!! Alright, that's it for another APRIL of FOOLery. Next newsletter may be late, cos my post-doc is coming back, my PhD student is getting some really interesting results, and i have a BIG paper to write by April the 30th. Have a good one!