Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter

Official VEKN Gangrel-antitribu Newsletter Volume 6 Number 11 November 2003.


In This Autumn-Coloured Issue.....
THE CASE OF THE HAND ON THE DOOR chapter 2 [Fiction, a transcription
of episode 2 of the current d20 CoC game at legbiter hall]


Shona's house lay in the damp valley under Box Hill in Surrey,
shadowed by its strange steep slopes to which only the tenacious and
eponymous Box tree could cling. For some days after the terrible
events at the museum she stayed there, diverting herself with rambles
in the October sunshine and occasional Bridge parties in the evening.
Walking home from one of these an idea suddenly occurred to her, and
the next morning found her on the platform at Box Hill station, in
good time for the 7.23 to Victoria. Once in London she caught the tube
to the Museum, and made her way to the public section.

Asking for Robinson's monograph she was annoyed to find it taken out,
a clear breach of Museum rules, and demanded to see the record of
recent borrowings. On being shown these she had grudgingly to admit
that the curator of Egyptian antiquities did have the right to remove
the book, but she was also intrigued to find that amongst its earlier
readers had been Robinson himself! What, she wondered, was really
known of this unfortunate scholar? Like herself and Calum he had been
at the Dundee Institute of Technology, but they had moved in different
circles and she could not personally ever recall having met him. In
the absence of the monograph, she there and then resolved to spend the
rest of the day finding out about him.

First port of call was the Curator of Egyptian antiquities who greeted
her warmly, despite being surprised and concerned at seeing her back
so soon. Over tea and biscuits the curator confessed to having passed
the book to Jefferson for showing to Harnden over the weekend.

"O, that's all right then - Bertie's invited me down for lunch this
Sunday. If he's finished with it I could bring the book back myself.
Now, about this Robinson chap who wrote it - you knew him well, I

"Hmmmm. Not well, I should say. His early work was quite good, got him
a post here anyway. Religious fellow in those days, a bit like your
poor late husband - very keen, they both were, on rubbishing Darwinism
by coming up with all sorts of anomalies in the geological record.
Anyway after the awful thing that happened in Baluchistan the wind
went out of that particular set of sails, except that after a couple
of years Robinson started publishing again on different subjects, not
it has to be said in particularly good journals - let me see, I have
some of his reprints here, 'Anachronomantic rituals in the Tibetan
Book of the Dead', Journal of the Royal Society of Bombay [1886],
'Pre-human excavations in Southern England', privately published at
the author's expense [1888], o dear, I'm afraid there's quite a bit
more of that stuff, frightfully embarassing. One used to see him going
around the place muttering, but sometimes he would vanish for months
and then reappear, usually with a pile of Egyptian junk which he would
dump on me. Claimed to have found Ibn Schaccabo's City of Pillars
somewhere in the middle Nile region, all rubbish of course, except for
the mummy, that WAS an odd thing. Ever so old, no cultural context
whatsoever, that late-period ring, and those letter'd bands around the
body. We put it on display with the consequences you know, but the
rest of the stuff is probably in the basement, if it hasn't been
chucked out. Of course you can look, I'll get young Wilbur to point
you in the right direction. Anyway, eventually Robinson became very
ill, seemed to be shrivelling up before one's eyes; went off for a
rest-cure in the South somewhere, never came back. O, that was before
the Queen died - 1897 or so, I think. Ah Wilbur, this is Dr Shona
MacConochie, Dr MacConochie this is Wilbur D Tolborg, my new PhD
student. Wilbur, will you show Dr MacConochie the Robinson archive,

Shona expressed her thanks and followed the young man thoughtfully.
1897, indeed! Why, Robinson's vivid if increasingly shaky signature
had been perfectly identifiable in the borrowing records as recently
as last week! So what HAD become of him - why had he wanted to
disappear in this way? Perhaps the archive would give some clues .....

Robinson's relics turned out to comprise four great sea-chests. The
first two were filled with Egyptian junk, and Shona shook her head
sorrowfully over the pieces as she removed and examined them one by
one. You did not have to be an expert on Egyptology to see that most
of this stuff was poor fakery, though interestingly some of it was
Ptolemaic - Ptolemaic fakes of Old Kingdom artefacts. Amongst the
genuine articles was nothing of great interest, so she turned to the
third chest. This turned out to contain a number of books and
manuscripts, and as she opened the first of these, dated to shortly
after the Baluchistan expedition, she nodded approvingly. Robinson had
bounced back very quickly, it turned out, and was in the process of
producing a masterly analysis and rebuttal of the superstitious
gullibility in which he had previously been so deeply enmired. That
explained the fakes - Robinson's monograph was liberally illustrated
with photographs of the artefacts he'd collected so as to strengthen
his case.

Yet further into the work the book was incomplete, except for the
chapter headings - Robinson had clearly meant to write about mythical
locations, had meant to debunk the pillared city, Leng, Rh'lyeh and
Kadath in the Cold Waste, but something had happened - and leafing
through the accompanying notebooks, Shona began to understand what
that might have been ..... a cold horror gripped her, and stuffing a
few of the books into a carpet bag, she turned to the final chest ....

When she emerged from the archives it was evening. With pale face and
bulging carpet-bag she walked out into the fog, and some hours later
tottered over her doorstep and poured herself a large glass of


Next Saturday, just as the hunting party was making its way back from
West hanger's End, Shona [complete with carpet-bag] was boarding the
3.03 pm from Box Hill, connecting to the Waterloo-Portsmouth line.
Settling in to the carriage after connection she became aware of her
only companion, a large gentleman of Indian appearance who was gazing
at her somewhat fixedly. Briefly she wondered whether her corsetry
might be awry, but then the Indian gentleman grinned broadly.

"Dr MacConochie, I think? You will not remember me but I had the good
fortune to be a recipient of your kindness when I was a Medical
student in Dundee, and I was at your poor husband's funeral."

"O, Dr, I'm so sorry, Professor Ramanishi, what a delightful surprise!
And how is Vesha, and the children? Gali must be quite big by now!"

The two old friends spent the rest of the journey filling in the gaps
in one another's knowledge of their last decade. Shona learned that
Ramanishi was now the Empire's foremost authority on the treatment of
abdominal trauma, that he too was on his way to Petersfield, there to
treat Harnden's gamekeeper who had suffered a nasty accident, and that
not only was Gali a big boy but also he was training to be an
engineer, though sadly obsessed by the obviously-transient fad for the
internal combustion engine. Still sighing over the folly of youth,
Ramanishi learned that Shona was now the Empire's, if not world's,
foremost authority on the legends and vestiges of pre-human culture in
the Middle East. Establishing that they were both invited to lunch at
Bertie's the following day, they parted at Petersfield station, where
the hospital car was waiting for the Professor, while Harnden's driver
and Jefferson were waiting in the Renault for Shona.

On the way to High Force Hall Jefferson briefly described the
morning's events to Shona, who seemed unsurprised, nodding seriously
at the account of the attack by the Undead birds. On arrival the
driver parked the car in the garage, and then they all scurried across
the gravel to the door, which was opened by Gurminder, armed and grim.
Jamie showed them through to the kitchen, where Harnden himself was
making wild mushroom omelettes for the whole household.

"Ah, Shona, good of you to come! Bit of pot-luck for tea tonight,
sorry about that, had a bit of a nasty shootin' accident this

But Harnden's apologies were superfluous - the omelettes were
excellent, and so was the accompanying wine. Afterwards they all went
through to the drawing room, where cigars, cigarettes and snuff were
distributed, along with the usual after-dinner drinks. Shona began to
question Harnden about the events earlier that day.

"Dashed unfortunate business. We'd had a good mornin's shootin', and
then coming down into the beechwood above the old Varney place the
bloomin' partridges woke up again. Killed old Rex and jolly nearly did
for MacAndrew, too. O, you have a map? Yes, just there - how did you

"Some notes that came with the map made it a likely guess. Tell me,
are there any visible Neolithic remains there?"

"Don't know about Neolithic, but there are some queer old stones in a
ring, basalt I think. So you mentioned something about notes, care to
elaborate? Any other local sites we should score off the possible
afternoon walk list?"

"The notes are by Robinson, whose monograph you have. At the time of
his disappearance he had a threefold interest, in Egyptian
antiquities, blasphemous pre-human legends, and the geology of this
part of the South Downs. Just here, if you look, is a pencil-mark -
Aleph-Theta-9 - and if you look that up in the corresponding notebook,
you find this .... "

Shona passed the notebook to Harnden, indicating the section, which he
read aloud:

"Great holes are digg'd where Earth's pores should suffice, and things
have learn'd to walk that ought to crawl."

Harnden and Shona exchanged a meaningful glance.

"And there's more. I think Robinson is not dead at all, I think he's
in hiding. I think he learned something awful out in Egypt, learned
that something which could not be, which must not be, actually IS -
and furthermore, that IT had become aware of HIM. He thinks he is
being hunted by it, or them, and that only the knowledge of the Dead
can protect him. I think he's been trying to call them, and that you
got caught in the Psychic residue of one of his attempts."

"Go on."

"Necromancy basically involves creating a gate to the spirit world,
and you summon the souls of the dead to the gate, hopefully allowing
through only the one you wish to re-embody or to interrogate. But it's
a chancy business, and easy enough to let through the odd extra soul,
or to leave the gate a bit ajar. When that happens all sorts of
frightfulness can ensue. I think we need to make sure the gate is
shut, and that everything that's on the wrong side of it is pushed
back, or at least de-embodied."

"I agree with you, been wondering whether I should do something about
West Hanger's End for a few weeks now. I've made some preparations,
and I propose to scout out the ground tomorrow morning after church,
when we're all in a state of grace. For you know, my friends, it is
likely that some of us will be dead before tomorrow lunchtime."

Some quiet talk about the logistics of tomorrow's expedition later,
they all shook hands and went to their various rooms, where they slept
soundly, except for Jefferson. Around 2 am he awoke, conscious that
the wind was getting up. Cautiously peering through a crack in the
curtains he could see the tops of the trees waving and lashing as if
in a furious semaphore; and creeping across the lawn were columns of
dead leaves, that seemed to probe the doors and window-frames of High
Force Hall, seeking unspeakable ingress. Shuddering, Jefferson
returned to his bed, but was for long aware of the stealthy scratching
and shuffling of the leaves around his window.


Next morning the wind had died, and so had the engine on the Renault.
From the breakfast-room Harnden's guests could look out onto the
gravel drive where Jamie, Gurminder and the driver were fruitlessly
attempting to start it, with many valuable observations on technology
in general, and French technology in particular. Eventually
automobility was given up as a bad job, and a pair of pony-traps was
produced instead, the less-used of which smelt powerfully of turnips.
In these they set off for church.

The morning was cold but pale sunshine was wrestling with the clouds
and the party's spirits were high, seemingly forgetful of the previous
night's forebodings. This changed as they breasted the slope and
descended into the valley on the south side of the great hanger - for
here a great thick mist lay, an ominous and oily viscosity manifest in
its occasional swirls and flurries. As far as the sea it seemed to
stretch, with only the distant island of Portsdown Hill to punctuate
it. So it was a quiet, damp and disorientated party which finally
alighted at the little church of St Juvenal Nigrum Silvaticae, an
interesting construction which Shona judged to represent Saxon
adaptation of a late-Roman temple.

The hour was already approaching eleven, and other congregants were
already gathered in the porch, mostly working men of Irish appearance
and speech. The two groups regarded one another thoughtfully and then
returned to their private concerns, except for O'Keeth, who realised
that he knew one of the others. Tom, or Timothy .... Kennedy, that was
the name ..... had been in the OTC with him at Trinity, but then was
broken at Sandhurst for, for ..... O God ..... Kennedy KNEW. At these
inner thoughts O'Keeth paled, invisibly except to Kennedy, who glanced
towards him, took the clay pipe from his mouth, and almost
imperceptibly lowered an eyelid.

Inside the church Harnden's party settled into the family pew,
commanding a good view of Sir Cecil and Lady Erwinia Harnden's
remarkable communal sepulchure, a 12th century affair, having in many
sober critics' opinion a good claim to being England's first erotic
public sculpture. But the church held other, more disturbing oddities
- the garlands of thorns which surrounded the statues of the saints,
the queer greens, blues and purples of the stained glass, and the
extraordinary ritual performed by the Reverend Napoleon Bonaparte
Fitzgerald, with the strange upside-down crossings of the Irish
labourers. None of this was secret or furtive, and the Harnden party
had the definite sense of being teased and taunted by their apparent
co-religionists, who seemed to share some private knowledge of the
meanings of the rite, denied to themselves. As soon as they decently
could, Harnden and his guests rose and left the church, and found
themselves waiting outside while the rest of the congregation filed
out. O'Keeth, feeling in his pockets for a cheroot, felt himself
gently brushed on the arm, then a whiff of tobacco-breath and a
muttered "Erin Go Brach, Mr O'Keeth". He did not have to look to know
that the speaker, already being swallowed up by the fog, was his old
acquaintance Kennedy.

Harnden was stalking up and down in an irritated manner, sometimes
tapping the ground with his cane. His face brightened somewhat at the
clip-clop-clip of approaching hooves, but then darkened again when
they turned out to belong to the horses directed by George Washington
Fitzgerald, the vicar's son. He had brought the trap to pick up his
father, and already had a passenger; a somewhat hunched figure,
slender of build and well-wrapped and hatted against the autumnal
chill. As the cleric climbed into the trap this figure turned to gaze
at Harnden's party, seeming as they drew away to hold them in prospect
for as long as possible. As the conveyance dissolved into the fog
Shona snorted.

"He'll know us again, I think!"

Harnden was thoughtful.

"If he did not do so already." 


Just at this point the car appeared, having finally been started, and
Jamie and Gurminder got out. Martini-Henry rifles were distributed to
each of the men, together with fifteen cartridges. For Shona there was
a Derringer pepper-box, and each of the companions had a torch, extra
ammunition and a gas-lighter. Equipment checks having been completed,
they all shook hands and marched purposefully towards the looming and
beech-clad slope.

The hill was steep indeed,and the climb was toilsome for the first
hundred feet or so. Then suddenly the gradient declined, and the wood
opened out. They found themselves in a semi-circle of great black
stones, with dead leaves piled as if for a bonfire in the centre.

"What's that?"

"Pagan fire, lot of that round here - has been since before the Romans
came. They light them on All Hallow's Eve."

Cautiously the party began to explore the ground, not quite sure what
to look for - a hole, a discontinuity, evidence of the unnatural. The
fog was dissipating and a cold wind was blowing up from the
south-east, eddying oddly as it came through the beech-trunks. It
picked up the leaves of the bonfire, and swirled them about, and as it
did so the entire party turned to watch, seized by a cold and
collective horror. A vast columnar whirlwind of leaves had built up,
and it seemed to be leaning, moving, questing blindly but with some
blood-hungry sense towards its prey ... towards THEM.

Rooted to the spot by terror, Jefferson could only watch as the
leaf-column writhed and gyrated towards him. He could feel its dry,
dead but life-hungry whisperings and ticklings as it drew him into its
mass, how the leaves crept towards his eyes and nostrils, how all
their thought was of gouging and ripping and terrible gory feasting
... NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

At the last moment Jefferson was struggling free of the leaves,
sobbing and straining like a man swimming in treacle. Gurminder had
the doctor's wrists in his strong hands and was pulling for all he was
worth. As Jamie rushed to help, the leaf-column seemed to bulge, and
before anyone could react Jamie was seized and borne aloft, shrieking
and jerking .... then, with a terrible scream that none of the rest of
the party would ever forget, before their very eyes the leaves
stripped the skin from his living flesh, the flesh from his bones.
Blood drenched them all, the scream died into nothing, but still the
bloody skeleton wildly twirled, danced and disintegrated before their
immobilised eyes.

In this crisis only Shona kept her head. Resolutely she lit her torch,
shielding the gas-lighter under her coat, then marched towards the
vampiric whirlwind, flourishing the torch like a sabre. Leaves smoked
and crackled, and the column seemed to recoil before the resolute

"Rin! Ye muckle great loons! Rin, for God's sake!"

And they did, out of the circle .... Gurminder stumbling and weeping,
but helped by Jefferson, while Shona guarded the rear. Outside the
ring Harnden was fumbling for something in his coat; suddenly he
raised his arm to the sky and fired the flare-pistol which had
evidently been the object of his search. A trail of white smoke arched
into the sky, ending in a fountain of silvery sparks.

"Get DOWN!!!!!!"

Down they all went, and then there was a whistling noise, a thump and
a tremendous detonation. The ground rocked and they were all deluged
by clumps of earth, sparks and .... rain ... sweet-smelling rain ....

The column of leaves had disappeared, along with about half of the
stone circle, when they got up and surveyed the scene.

"What the dickens was that?"

"Holy Water Bomb. It's the only way to be sure. Everyone alright? That
is, apart from Jamie ...."

In sombre mood they tramped up to the top of the hanger. A strange
chuffing and grinding noise was apparent there, and as they came over
the crest they could see its origin - a great armoured caterpillar
tractor, looking like an animated version of one of Mr Owen's
prehistoric reconstructions for the Crystal Palace, except that
Iguanodons were not thought to have six-inch guns mounted on their
backs. The concerned faces of two artillerymen looked down on them.

"Everything alright, Lieute-, erm, Mr Harnden?"

"Alright chaps, direct hit and good show. Corporal Taige bought it,
I'm afraid. Can we beg a ride on your excellent machine?"

"Righto Sir, all aboard the Land Monitor! Where to?"

Home was the answer, of course, at a rattling 4 mph. As the shock of
the fight at the circle receded Harnden's guests began to find
themselves IMMENSELY hungry; and once washed and changed for lunch,
were not disappointed by the hospitality of Highforce Hall.

....... to be continued ......



Zsolt Varga from the Slovak Republic came second in this year's EC at
Barcelona, and here, thanks to Damnans, is his deck; it contains two
of our all-time favourite vampires in the forms of Caitlin and Shane
Grimald. Congratulations, brother Zsolt!

Deck Name:   European_Championship_03_2o_Clasificado_Zsolt_Varga
Created By:  Zsolt Varga
Description: VEKN ID: 3090014.
City: Kosice.
Country: Republica Eslovaca.

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 10, Max: 27, Avg: 4,58)
1  Gabrin             ANI CHI dom for  8,  Ravnos
1  Natalia            ANI chi dom for  7,  Ravnos
2  Sarisha Veliku     ANI chi dom FOR  6,  Ravnos
1  Caitlin            ANI aus dom PRO  6,  Gangrel Antitribu, Bishop
1  Laurent de Valois  ani dom obf      4,  Nosferatu
1  Shane Grimald      ani dom pot      4,  Gangrel Antitribu
1  Sennuwy            ani chi for      4,  Ravnos
1  Anka               ani chi pro      4,  Ravnos
1  Spleen             ani chi          2,  Ravnos
1  Dani               ani              2,  Nosferatu Antitribu
1  Gillian Krader     ani dem          2,  Pander

Library: (80 cards)
Master (13 cards)
1  Anarch Troublemaker
4  Blood Doll
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
1  Guardian Angel
1  Jake Washington (Hunter)
1  KRCG News Radio
1  Powerbase: Montreal
1  Rack, The
1  Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper, The
1  Week of Nightmares

Action (9 cards)
1  Army of Rats
4  Computer Hacking
4  Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (8 cards)
3  Change of Target
2  Conditioning
1  Daring the Dawn
2  Freak Drive

Reaction (26 cards)
6  Cats' Guidance
5  Deflection
3  Delaying Tactics
2  Elder Intervention
4  Forced Awakening
2  Guard Dogs
4  Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (16 cards)
9  Aid from Bats
7  Carrion Crows

Retainer (5 cards)
1  J. S. Simmons, Esq.
3  Raven Spy
1  Tasha Morgan

Equipment (3 cards)
1  Laptop Computer
1  Sport Bike
1  Treasured Samadji


The Black hand preview is gradually materialising on the White Wolf
web site, and near the top we find the following:

Sébastian Goulet	Gangrel antitribu	Adv
Jalan-Aajav		Gangrel antitribu
Jesús Alcalá		Gangrel antitribu
Maria Stone		Gangrel antitribu
Skryta Zyleta		Gangrel antitribu
Soldat			Gangrel antitribu

Woo-Hoooo!!!!!!!, as i believe you say in the colonies.


And that's it for November. Next month it will be Christmas but we
will all be too poor to do anything about it, having spent ALL our
money on the Black Hand. Didn't want nasty turkey anyway.