Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


In this better-late-than-never issue ?
FICTION: The Legend of Fingask. Chapter 1: A Walk on the Downs [more
d20 Call of Cthulhu-Inspired fiction from the denizens of Legbiter
DECK: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping [yet another Una
abuses Freak Drive deck].
FICTION: The Legend of Fingask. Chapter 1: A Walk on the Downs

One glorious summer evening in the late 1920s a young woman was walking
briskly along the crest of the South Downs. The sun was descending
slowly into the Solent, and the pearly light reminded her of paintings
by Turner. Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Chalkhill Blues fluttered
around the Hemp Agrimony. Life is good, thought Karlotta Dangerfeld as
she paused to take in the stupendous view of Portsmouth and the Isle of
Wight below. She tried to think back to her former existence in the
Soviet Union, but how little she could now recall! Šmaybe I should get
a Blini and dip it into a cup of black tea, that seemed to work for
Monsieur Proust. Tea! Actually that is a truly topping idea. Must be
about 5, time I was back at the flat.

As she turned to go down the hill she became aware of a faint scent, a
scent that made every hair on her body stiffen. A slightly sour smell
but not in itself unpleasant Šonly its associations Šbeetroot soup
with dumplings. Questing for its source she saw a small man in a brown
suit, a Homburg pulled low down on his head, coming up the path towards
her. She noticed his neat little feet in their tight shoes, the way he
hunched his shoulders, the way he began to reach ever so casually
inside his jacket for something that seemed to stretch it, and she
understood with complete certainty that this was a Cheka agent and that
he had come for her. As the pistol came out she was already running,
running for the life which was slipping away just when it had never
seemed better. Sunlight gleamed on the black silencer as the assassin
levelled his weapon. There was a faint thutt!! sound and Karlotta
gasped and fell.

I wonder when he is going to finish me off, she thought, gazing up at
the sky. Ah, here he comes now. A shadow fell over her.

"Are you alright?"

"Of course I'm not alright, you just bloody well shot me."

"No, I just shot our friend from the Bureau, who WAS going to shoot
you. Come on, get up. Looks like we're going to have to find you
ANOTHER new life."


"The same. Come along now. My car is up there by the road."

In the car she felt much better, especially after having discreetly
checked everywhere she might possibly have been shot, and found no

"So, erm, thanks for saving me and all that. Have you, er, been
watching me long?"

"It's my job. Don't worry, a female agent took over when you were
bathing and stuff like that. We just couldn't believe the Cheka would
let you go so easily, and we were right. Is this where you live?"

"Yes, come on in and have a cup of black tea and a blini. You can have
pickled herring, too."


Inside Karlotta's little flat the breakfast things were still unwashed
and the mail lay on the doormat; one thick letter in a brown manila
envelope, addressed to her in a strange spidery script. Instead of a
stamp the words "By Hand" adorned the top right corner. Taking all this
in at a glance, Charles Bailey swiftly plucked the letter from her

"That's my letter!"

"It could also be your funeral. Let me just do a few checks, then you
can have it back."

Some gingerly eyeballing, sniffing and palpating later Charles had to
acknowledge that the letter seemed harmless, and he handed it back to
Karlotta who opened it with a paperknife. Inside were several sheets of
foolscap, some covered with spidery handwriting, others blank. And this
is what Karlotta read as she prepared and ate tea.

"Dear Karlotta,

I was so very pleased to learn from Dear Colum that you managed to get
out of Russia and are now living in England. Of course he was unable to
give me your address but he kindly undertook to deliver this letter to
you, and since you are reading it he must have succeeded. But I am
running ahead of myself, you must be wondering who on earth would want
to write to you apart from those wretched Cheka chaps and that Beastly
Stalin fellow who, believe me, would certainly have dipped these sheets
into concentrated Yigotinaloid, so that merely handling them would have
meant you dropped dead shortly before reaching this full stop.

Luckily for you I don't work for the Cheka. In fact I don't really work
at all these days, nerves you know, had a bit of a nasty scare during
the war. O, I dabble a bit, trying to tidy up some of the stuff that
poor Mr McNab and my Late Husband were working on before they [here the
writing was much scratched out for several lines and Karlotta could
make nothing of it].

Anyway, to get back to the point. My name is Shona MacOnochie but
before I was married it was Threipland, and I had a sister named
Elspeth, who married a Baltic German named Dangerfeld - your father, my
dear! So I am your long-lost Auntie! Isn't that grand? I knew that your
poor parents were murdered during the revolution but I didn't know
until Colum told me that YOU had survived, and now I would be ever so
grateful and happy if you would come up to see me in Scotland. My house
is called Fingask and we have a lovely view over the Tay towards Fife.
I have ever so many books, numerous ornate bushes and a swimming pool,
the temperature of which is quite tolerable for about two days in
mid-summer, always provided one smears oneself liberally with bear-fat
before taking a dip. Twice a day there is a bus to Perth where there
are some absolutely terrific shoe shops and a dressmaker. Also one can
bicycle down to Inverue or Pitdargo which are absolutely BURSTING with
rosy-cheeked young farmers, no great brains perhaps but WONDERFUL
bodies. In fact, if you come we could hold a dance here, used to do
quite a bit of that during the war. Do come! It would be ever so jolly.
Just in case, I enclose a ticket from Portsmouth to Perth. Telegraph me
when you get to Edinburgh and I'll send the car to pick you up.

Your Affectionate Aunt,


PS Saturn is exceptionally bright at this time of the year. Do have a

Karlotta folded the letter thoughtfully and passed it over to Charles.

"Is this another Cheka trap?"

Charles scanned down, and frowned.

"Well, she mentions Colum. He should be here any minute, so we can

By the time Karlotta had finished brewing the coffee, Charles's
prediction was vindicated, and the slightly wavery form of Colum
O'Keeth was settling itself into the flat's least uncomfortable

"Thanks, old girl! Sorry I'm late, Charles. Saw a Humming-Bird Hawkmoth
just down the lane doncha know. Did you get Shona's letter?"

"So it was genuine?"

"Yes, Shona's alright. Daft as a brush, of course, but who could blame
her? Any stuff about muscular farmers in her missive?"

"Take a look."

Colum read the letter, and raised an eyebrow.

"Even for Shona this is a pretty mad document. What do you think these
swirls in the margin are, here?"

Karlotta looked.

"O. My. God. It's Classic Hyperborean Šlemesee Š"Two squigs are
better than a poke in the eye by a sharp maiden", nonono, it's "Hold
the blank sheets up to Saturn's light."

And so, as the last of the sun faded and Saturn crept over the Eastern
horizon, the three companions were by the window, holding the letter up
to the planet-light. The paper glowed with strange luminous symbols.
And if you want to know what the symbols said, you will have to read
the second part of the Legend of Fingask.


DECK: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping [yet another Una
abuses Freak Drive deck].

Just as the Fulani of Northern Nigeria are the most beautiful humans in
the world [Czech/Slovak women IMO running them a close second], the
Finno-Ugrians are the most intelligent. Nowadays concentrated in
Finland and Hungary, but with outlying populations all over Northern
Russia, these extraordinary people regularly churn out innovative
mathematicians, scientists, musicians, inventors and economists.
Occasionally they turn their mighty brains towards Jyhad/VTES
deck-building and here is a third-hand version of one such deck, which
I built from a Finnish idea communicated to me by Rob Treasure. It's an
abuse-Una-and-hunts-not-counting-for-NRA deck, so not totally
unprecedented on this NG. My excuse for posting it is that it's a bit
cheaper to build than most such decks, and it works OK as a shock-deck
in our playgroup.

DECK: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping
BUILT BY: Legbiter, who has a friend in Pinsk, who has a friend in
Minsk [etc]
CONCEPT: Una can play Freak Drives for Free. She has simply SCADS of
disciplines. Hunts no longer count under NRA, so you can cycle
Hand-jamming freak drives. C'mon, you're bright guys and gals, you can
work the rest of it out!

CRYPT [12 Vampire cards]
5 x Una
7 x Frederick the Weak

Blood Doll x 2
Direct Intervention
Dreams of the Sphinx
Gang Territory
Pentex Subversion
Waste management Operation
Ablative Skin
Army of Rats
Blessing of Chaos
Bum's Rush
Carrion Coffin
Covenant of Blood
Eternal Vigilance
Fire Dance
Shadow of the Beast
War Party
Beast Meld
Freak Drive x 28
The Kiss of Ra
Form of Mist
Rapid Change
Blood Tears of Kephran
Desert Eagle
IR Goggles
Ivory Bow
Leather Jacket
Palatial Estate
Sire's Index Finger
Jackie Therman
JS Simmons, Esq.
Murder of Crows
Owl Companion
Raven Spy
Tasha Morgan
Mr Winthrop

There's probably a case for a Twisted Forest, maybe even a Creepshow
Casino in the masters. But this is an OK deck.


And that's it for August! September's offering will be following hot on
its heels, unless I die of excitement during the final Ashes Test. See
you all before long!