OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 8 NUMBER 4 APRIL 2005 In this No Fool like an Old Fool Issue .... ***** FICTION: The Door to Cykranosh [part 3 of The Horror in the Ice, a Call of Cthulhu adventure from Legbiter Hall]. DECKS: Enkidu's Masquerade Ball and Noah's Ark, both from the fertile mind of Norman "Genius" Brown aka X_Zealot ***** FICTION: The Door to Cykranosh [part 3 of The Horror in the Ice, a d20 Call of Cthulhu adventure from Legbiter Hall]. You had to be patient, and yet concentrated, a really difficult balance. Nanook waited, his feet freezing, his breath slow, his mind elsewhere except for the bit that was focussed on the discontinuity in the ice, evidence of the seal's breathing hole. Nanook felt the ice vibrating slightly. He felt the terrible urge to giggle at the thought that a single giggle now could mean starvation. The seal rose, and with hideous unstoppable power the great bear smote its nose. Stunned, Isak was hauled on to the ice, and by the time he awoke, he was dead. Long before that Nanook had tucked into his prey, starting with the high-value tissues such as the skin. Pitapatpitapat. He looked up, wearily. "So! You survived the winter!" "Of course I survived the winter, I'm a mammal for cripe's sake, top of the fuckin' food chain and all sorts of other words that mean you're a loser!" Sekatu snickered and wriggled sensuously into the snow. "I love it when you talk dirty. Didya miss me?" "No, I had a really bad louse infection all winter long. They reminded me of you, except for the incessant talking bit." "You, erm, seen the wife lately?" "None of your effing beeswax, but yes, if it makes you feel worse." "She's no good for you. You really oughta check me out." Nanook sighed. "Look, Sekatu, you are a fox and I am a bear. Our lineages diverged around the pliocene. We are just, you know, NOT destined to get together, that and the fact that I find you as attractive as rubbing my nose in rotting corpse essence." Sekatu laughed. "Right now I'm a fox, true, and you're a bear, but that doesn't have to be so always, does it? Anyway look here, big guy, I'm hungry and willing to negotiate. Actually desperate is probably nearer the mark. Just, please, o let me feed. Please." Nanook grunted, growled and moved to one side. Sekatu crept in, tail and ears low, and settled by the giant bear. Clumsily he passed her Isak's liver, still gently steaming, and the two animals settled down to eat. ******* Meanwhile the armoured car was trundling through the snow back to the Institute. Inside the young commissar was mopping Karlotta's unconscious brow, while his companion took it in turn to train the two Maxim turrets, and Ilya concentrated upon driving. The companion looked down from the turret, a troubled expression in his wide blue eyes. "So, what exactly should we find worrying?" "It was a big fuck-off bear that dropped her off, but no bear made these wounds, so I don't know." "Dolphins under the snow might count, then?" The commissar looked up, a sharp retort on his lips, but seeing no disingenuity in his companion's face he got up and peered out of the viewing slit. For a moment, nothing, and then yes, white shapes porpoising through the snow, with a suggestion of evil sardonic faces turned sideways at them. "Yes, I think that's the enemy. Give them a burst when you see the opportunity." Not many opportunities later, the half-track swung through the gate of the Institute, which having been alerted by the machine-gun fire was on a high state of alert, sirens wailing and Red Guards at every vantage point. Karlotta was conveyed inside to the sanatorium. "What is it, comrade Commissar? A White uprising?" "Possibly. Some sort of bandit attack, anyway. Are the telephone lines to the aerodrome still working? I need to call them." While the commissar went to make his call his mysterious companion from the half-track found himself alone. Lighting a cheroot, he wandered into the Institute, and through its corridoors to the library, now deserted except for the librarian. "Who are you, comrade?" "Colum O'Keeth is the name. Here is my pass." "Ah, our English guest! You are most welcome! How are you enjoying your visit to the Worker's paradise?" "Apart from the biting cold, short rations, unreliable and intermittent artificial light, constant busybodying and the fact that I was kidnapped, absolutely wonderfully well, thank-you!" "Ah, your famous English sense of humour! Comrade Stalin also has a very wonderful sense of humour, and is always thinking of hilarious new ways to punish the Enemies of the Proletariat. In fact, under Soviet power humour has increased with every five-year plan. Soon, we will outstrip capitalist humour, and become the most humourous society on the planet." As he spoke these words the librarian directed a level gaze at Colum from his watery blue eyes. Taking the hint, Colum nodded. "I'm after a particular book, please. The Liber Ivonis." "We keep it with some other related volumes in this locked room. Please, follow me." In the little room a large bookcase, desk, chair and reading-lamp constituted all the furniture. The librarian brought through an extra oil-lamp but demurred at Colum's request for a heater. "We find it unwise to heat the room. They, well it wakes them up, you see." The librarian would say no more, but Colum could guess what he meant. Selecting a book from the shelves, he settled into the freezing chair and drew the furs more closely around him. ******** Some time later it was dark, the librarian had left and Colum was still reading. In the sanatorium, Karlotta suddenly woke up. So this is heaven, she thought. Brrr! It's cold! O look, there is an angel coming. O no .... Figures in white were coming down the row of beds, stopping at each one. Stealthily Karlotta slipped off the side of the bed and crawled through to the side-room. Silently she shut the door. The evil snowmen were too absorbed in stifling the patients to notice her. Completing their sweep through the ward, they turned at last to the side-room, and pushed open the door. There was a hiss and a hideous shriek, and the first snowman fell back, dissolving into slush. Seizing a second bucket of hot water, Karlotta hurled it at another snowman, with no less satisfactory results. The others scattered, and Karlotta fled. Outside the sanatorium there was a fire-bell, and this Karlotta rang furiously. Recovering their nerve the snowmen were coming after her, and again she fled. Colum heard the fire-bell and looked up. Snapping the book shut he rose from his seat and made his way to the door. If it really is a fire I need to save these books, he thought, rapidly making a parcel of all the most important volumes. Stepping out into the hall he collided with Karlotta. "Help!" Snowmen were coming round both corners. "Quick, back into the library! And bar the door!" Inside the library Colum strode to the window. No good there, several snowmen were looking up from the yard below. Heavy thumps on the door behind suggested that not much time remained to them. "Come and stand by me. I'm going to make a gate to safety." Colum began to read. The sounds of the ancient words seemed to reverberate in strange ways through the room, changing the shape of space itself. Suddenly, and as if a curtain had ripped, a hole appeared in front of them. A ringed planet was setting into an ocean of greenish gas, over which floated gigantic polyps, all illuminated by the pale light of a distant sun. Behind them the door gave way, and they stepped through to Cykranosh. ********** It was well that Colum and Karlotta were holding hands as they went through, for the violent wind that seized them would otherwise have ripped them apart from each other. As it was they hurtled and tumbled together through the surprisingly warm sky. At least we can breathe here, thought Colum, don't like the look of the ocean, cloud-bank, green gas whatever it is below though, and that's where we're heading. He became aware that Karlotta was wriggling, digging him in the ribs to notice something. He looked up, and a gigantic muscular tentacle seized them, drawing them remorselessly upwards into the body of the Polyp. There was a hole in the body of the polyp, ringed by several fanged mouths. To their immense relief the tentacle passed them right through this hole, and released them on the upper surface, which was saucer-shaped and covered by blackish vegetation. A silvery tower stood near the rim of the saucer, and an old man in a short linen tunic was tending a bean row in front of it. He looked up as they approached. "Do people still eat beans on Earth?" Karlotta recognised the language as Hyperborean. "Yesly, sirrah, much the fullfatfartyplant do we eat munchily!" "Ahah, a Russian. I don't believe we have had a Russian here before, apart from that horrid smelly little monk chap, didn't like him at all. We can speak Russian, though. I do like all your modern languages, so economical! Come inside, I think I still have some brandy, I expect you would like a bit of that after your journey?" They did, and as the brandy warmed them and they gazed out of the window over the fantastic vista of the cloudy planet, Karlotta plucked up courage to speak. "Who are you, Sir, and where are we?" "I am Eibon, formerly a Wizard of Hyperborea. You are about 3 Versts above the surface of Cykranosh, a moon of Saturn, on the face that is always turned to the sun, a phenomenon largely responsible for the fact that it is habitable for humans. This is my tower, where I live, and this [stamping his feet] is Hydraxus, the Great Polyp who graciously allows me to make my home on his back. And you?" "Colum O'Keeth, a British soldier, currently an unwilling guest of the Bolshevik regime." "Karlotta Dangerfeld, a researcher in Anthropology and Ethnology." "Splendid, well now that we're all acquainted let's see if we can't rustle up some grub. We caught a super Targathet yesterday, so you're in luck - o, neither of you is a vegetarian, I hope? Excellent, please make yourselves at home while I cook. There's rather a good library through that door, help yourselves to anything you fancy, I memorised them all some thousands of years ago." Karlotta and Colum took their drinks through to the library which was indeed of marvellous size and quality. They became so absorbed in reading that they hardly noticed when Eibon reappeared, pushing a trolley laden with exotic dishes of strange meats and vegetables. Several bottles of slightly salty-tasting wine were also produced, and an hour or so later all three were sitting back with a contented sigh and gazing out of the window at Saturn, which had not budged at all. Eibon picked his teeth with a sharp splinter of wood. "Do you want to go back home?" "Yes please, if possible!" "It can be arranged. However, I wonder if you would mind doing something for me, when you get back." "I'm sure we'd be delighted." "I want to know what is going on inside Mount Voormithadreth. I used to live there, you know, but when I left the mountain moved on. For a while it was in South America and I think something disagreeable may have happened to it there. Now it is rematerialising in North Russia, which is where I would send you." "How will we get into the mountain, and how will we let you know what is going on there?" "There used to be a door. And if you take this pendant, I will see what you see. I may even be able to help you, from time to time." "If you can't see there now, how do you know anything bad is happening?" "My Old God Tsathoggua is calling to me in dreams. His Formless Spawn are seeking me. I think he is in some kind of trouble, and that would mean something VERY bad, reemergence of one of the Great Old Ones, most probably." "We'll do this thing for you." "Thanks! I will make the gate so you can return. I should dress warmly, if I were you - you'll find suitable stuff on the second floor." Colum, Karlotta and Eibon went to make their various preparations, at the same moment that, on Earth, the young commissar was climbing into a closed cockpit monoplane and taking off into a gathering Arctic storm, while Nanook and Sekatu were running for their lives in the opposite direction. TO BE CONTINUED ..... ******** Here are some more decks inspired by the KMW set [or more precisely, Enkidu], and posted by Norman S Brown Jr to the newsgroup.. Comments in his own words, as usual. We take a CNN view of journalism in this 'ere newsletter, rather than Jeremy Paxman. Deck Name : Enkidu Masquerade Ball Author : Norman S. Brown Jr Description : Using Enkidu's inherent rush you rush and torporize a vampire then untap with either Freak Drive or Forced March. You then bleed with a DOM minion. If you are blocked then play Mask of 1000 Faces with Enkidu. If not, then play Conditioning. Graverob every vampire you can. Target Blood Dolls with Enkidu's special so that you can grave rob them. Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 5 max: 11 average: 7.5 ------------------------------------------------------------ 5x Enkidu, The Noah 11 ANI CEL OBF POT PRO for !Gangrel:4 2x Black Lotus 5 DOM aus obf ser Follower :4 2x Catherine du Bois 5 DOM for obf pre Ventrue:3 2x Donatello Giovanni 5 DOM aus pot pre Giovanni:4 1x Banjoko 5 DOM obt pot Lasombra:3 Library [90 cards] ------------------------------------------------------------ Action  8x Graverobbing Action Modifier  4x Conditioning 4x Forced March 4x Freak Drive 5x Mask of a Thousand Faces Combat  10x Carrion Crows 6x Drawing Out the Beast 11x Immortal Grapple 9x Skin of Steel 8x Taste of Vitae Master  6x Blood Doll 2x Dreams of the Sphinx 2x Perfectionist Reaction  8x Deflection 3x Wake with Evening's Freshness Deck Name: Enkidu, The Noah puts your vampires in his boat 2 by 2! Created By: Norm Brown Description: The objective is to get out Enkidu and multirush flatten your prey. If you prey "rabbits" and keeps all his vampires safe in his "hidey hole" (i.e. Uncontrolled region) then you flatten your predator and graverob his minions to bleed your prey out. In fact, just pointing to the right and "Salmoning" your way to victory. Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 12, Max: 44, Avg: 6.33) ---------------------------------------------- 1 Sister Evelyn aus dom 3, Ventrue antitribu:3 1 Ember Wright aus dom 3, Tremere antitribu:3 1 Saiz aus dom 3, Tremere antitribu:3 1 Lia Milliner dom nec 3, Giovanni:3 1 Lana Butcher dom for 3, Ventrue:3 1 Ehrich Weiss dom tha 3, Tremere:3 1 Diana Vick dom pre 3, Ventrue:3 5 Enkidu for ANI CEL OBF POT PRO 11, Gangrel antitribu:4 Library: (90 cards) ------------------- Master (7 cards) 5 Blood Doll 2 Talons of the Dead Action (8 cards) 7 Graverobbing 1 Shadow of the Beast Action Modifier (9 cards) 4 Forced March 5 Freak Drive Reaction (11 cards) 3 Deflection 8 Wake with Evening's Freshness Combat (44 cards) 2 Claws of the Dead 5 Earth Meld 6 Flesh of Marble 9 Immortal Grapple 5 Pack Alpha 5 Psyche! 2 Quick Meld 10 Taste of Vitae Retainer (11 cards) 1 J. S. Simmons, Esq. 3 Murder of Crows 6 Raptor 1 Tasha Morgan ******** So much for April, and so much more in the pipeline. I even have a story from A Contributor, which I may post once the current tale has reached its grisly end. See you all in May, for outdoor sex! Erm, that didn't quite come out the way I meant it to.