Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter

V:EKN Clan Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter, April 1999


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].

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

*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

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.

"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!