Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter

Official VEKN Gangrel-antitribu Newsletter Volume 6 Number 10 October 2003.


In This Misty and Mellowly-Fruitful Issue.....
THE CASE OF THE HAND ON THE DOOR [Fiction, a transcription of episode
1 of the current d20 CoC game at legbiter hall]
and two decks with playing notes]



On a cold and misty afternoon in October 1904, some years after the
Affair of the Baluchistan Anomalies, Dr Shona MacConochie, sub-curator
of Middle Eastern Antiquities at the British Museum, was working late
at her typewriter. A lady no longer in the first flush of youth, she
sighed and pushed back the return. What she had initially thought
would be only a half-day's work of tidying-up had turned into a
frustrating and doubtful total revision of the manuscript. It all
rested on the dam'd inconsistency of the Hebrew and Han pseudo-texts -
and in this case it was critical that Caeleno was meant, and not
Ka-Leng, for her argument to hold weight. It was at times like these
that she missed poor Calum, silly old ranting fool that he was. But he
had been a good linguist, a solid scholar of the pre-human paramythos,
and he hadn't deserved the, the, no, that wasn't to be thought about,
and anyway it was all a long time ago .....

"A quarter to five, Dr MacConochie, will you be much longer now?" She
started, having not heard the attendant knocking at her door. For
certain there was something odd about the acoustics of this room,
where poor Robinson had spent the last months of his life. A touch of
Dundonian asperity crept into her voice as she replied; "Us mich
l'ng'r as ah need, Mr Aitch'son." That had been cruel, she reflected
as Aitchison mumbled an apology and plodded off into silence, what
with the new granddaughter and the weekend coming on, of course the
puir man had a reason to want to get off at the right time for a
change. Alright, ten more minutes, and then she would go .....

Some time later, Shona started as a dull booming sound echoed through
the museum. Suddenly she realised that a full two hours must have
passed, that it was dark, and that Aitchison had not been back. A bad
sign, she thought, rising swiftly from her seat and pulling the
sharpened fire-axe from the desk-drawer where she always kept it.
Surprisingly gracefully for a middle-aged woman, she pushed open the
door of her office and padded off in the direction of the strange

At this time of evening the museum was generally empty but
nevertheless noisy, the creaks and groans of the structure echoing and
reverberating as it cooled in the night air. Whether it was
nervousness or not Shona couldn't say, but sometimes she fancied that
on this continuo a certain extra set of sounds was superimposed,
perhaps a strangled cry, a ripping noise, a thump, and maybe something
else, indescribable and perhaps unthinkable. On the other hand perhaps
it was the distorted echo of her footsteps, and anyway there was no
way of determining their direction.

Some minutes of careful creeping later, Shona became aware of a door
which ought to have been locked, but wasn't. Connecting the public and
private parts of the museum, it was chained from the inside [her side]
but slightly opened. Cautiously she approached, and realised that a
reddish sticky pool was congealing on both sides of the door. As she
unhitched the chain there was a soft plopping splash accompanied by a
faint click, and a human hand, severed at the wrist, fell from the
outside handle to which it had been attached, into the pool. A
wrinkled, pinkish hand, cleanly severed from the arm as if by a
gigantic sharp-edged fancy cake-cutter .... and now Shona became aware
of the smell, a seaside-smell of ozone, mingled with that of fresh
blood. Gingerly she stepped around the pool, and peered to left and
right in the corridoor. Running away from the pool in one direction
was a trail of blood, which she followed, fire-axe to the fore.

The trail turned a corner and ended in a pile of empty clothes - an
attendant's uniform, certainly Aitchison's, empty and intact but for
certain peculiar incisions, for all the world as if a sadistic tailor
with a giant set of pinking shears had been working on the right
sleeve and breast of the uniform. Abruptly the museum was quiet, as if
an awkward pause had arisen in its private self-conversation ....
except that from the street outside, one could clearly hear the
clip-clop-clip of a Hansom cab being driven at speed. And now the
complete insanity of a 45-year old woman wandering alone amongst the
evidence of grisly murder became apparent to her and she fled,
dropping the axe, back to her office and frantically to the phone ...
which was dead, as dead as poor Aitchison himself.

Some time later, out in the street and unaware of how she came to be
there, Shona found herself being steadied by a large rain-cape clad
policeman, and pouring out her grisly tale. And it would be some
further time before she would come to terms with those events,
particularly given the troublesome disappearances from the Egyptian
section, which had apparently taken place that very same night.


Also that evening, a little earlier, First Lieutenant Colum O'Keeth of
the King's North West Frontier Rifles had been making his way in the
direction of the British Museum, under the erroneous impression that
he was proceeding from his club towards the hotel where he was
lodging. It was very nearly his last mistake as, crossing an
unfamiliar road in the fog, a Hansom cab driven at high speed hurtled
past, almost striking him. He had a fleeting impression of the
occupants, two figures, and then they were gone, except for a little
silvery object which struck the ground at his feet and lay there - a
ring, decorated with a stylised scarab. In the course of time this
ring made its way, via the police, to the Curator of Egyptian
Antiquities at the British Museum, who immediately recognised it as
coming from the mummy which had gone missing the night of Aitchison's
murder, that very old, odd and unassigned mummy which poor Robinson
had acquired on his last trip to Cairo, and upon whose
peculiarly-inscribed cerements he had based that very unsettling last

The ring was on the curator's desk when Dr Jack Jefferson, his friend
and an expert in forensics, knocked on his door and opened it, smiling
"Beezers, old fruit! You remembered, didn't you?"
"O, Jeffers, good to see you .... yes, now let me see ....."
The curator opened a large chest under the window, and began to
rummage. As he did so, Jefferson picked up the ring and looked it
over, then the slim book upon which it lay .....
"Found it!"
"O, how perfectly spiffing! What a magnificent specimen!"
And it was, a superb Bennet and Anderson under-and-over snap-breech
fowling piece, complete with case and cartridge-casting machinery.
"Alright, that was Grand-Uncle Toby's so don't you go breaking it or
losing it!"
"No fear! By the way, what's this Robinson monograph? Seems to be half
gibberish, and that's the bit that's written in English."
"Yes, poor fellow, he was very ill when he wrote it ... really it's
just notes for the work he would have written had he lived. Odd
business throughout ... the work is mainly, as you see, a
transcription of the indecipherable but definitely pre-pharaonic
hieroglyphs on the cerements of a mummy he picked up from a trader in
Cairo, stolen of course, no papers or pedigree whatsoever. The ring
was on the mummy too, yes that ring, and they were both stolen a few
nights ago. In fact you have a link to all this, because it was your
friend O'Keeth who brought the ring in - seems he was nearly run down
by the thieves making their getaway, and they dropped the ring in the
"Golly, how very odd! It's actually O'Keeth who I'm going shooting
with this weekend, the reason I wanted to borrow your gun!"
"Going somewhere nice?"
"O, mutual friend and distant relative of mine, lives down on
Windhover Hanger, Petersfield way."
"This hospitable chap, it wouldn't be a fella called Harnden, would
"Yes, actually. Do you know him?"
"O yes, cultured fellow for a soldier, though I think he's retired now
- nerves, I understand. Wrote quite a good paper on the Shoshonaland
expedition, was pally with that Kelly chap, the one there were all the
nasty rumours about. Protege of Brown, the Colonial Office bigwig.
Anyway he was with our poor dear Dr MacConochie on the Baluchistan
expedition, and I think that was pretty much the end of his army
career. In fact, in fact .... I wonder if you might do me a favour,
since you're going to visit Harnden. Could you take the book and the
ring down, ask the old fellow to give them a look-see? Sho-, erm, Dr
MacConochie and I both think he's the only man alive who might be able
to throw some light on them, and it seems quite important now."
Having been involved in the aftermath of the murder in the museum,
Jefferson understood his friend perfectly.
"Certainly I'll do that, if at all consistent with the laws of
"Thanks, Jeffers! That's ever so decent of you!" 


That very Friday Dr Jefferson and Lieutenant O'Keeth boarded the 5.15
to Portsmouth from Waterloo, a fast train that rattled out of the
station enveloped by a great cloak of smoke and steam, through the
brash brick suburbs of London, over the vast heaths of Surrey and then
began to climb up the chalk hills into the beautiful county of
Hampshire. The pusillanimous busyness of the capital seemed to shrink
to negligibility behind them, and a deep peace settled on both men as
they gazed out on the damp woods, steep hills and ancient villages of
that forested land, in no important respect changed since Saxon
farmers settled there. O'Keeth puffed contentedly on a cheroot, while
Jefferson toyed with an unlit oval turkish cigarette.

"What's the matter, old man?"
"O, work stuff .... that hand, you know, all that was left of the
museum attendant. I understand from Beezers that you know a bit about
this? Well, it was sunburnt, you know - TERRIBLY sunburnt. Just can't
work that one out, been troubling me for a good fortnight."
"Hmmm, strange things happen to a man's skin when he's been out East,
"Hahaha, jolly droll. But I mean red-sunburnt, and RECENTLY, within
MINUTES of his death. Never seen anything like it. By-the-by, d'ye
think four-across could be ANARCHIST - the clue's "a new chief is
beginning to track revolutionary" - yes, A, N is a new, ARCH is chief,
IS obviously, and the beginning of track is T - an anarchist is a
revolutionary, cracked it!"

After this breakthrough the London Times crossword kept the two
friends busy for the rest of the journey, and when the train pulled
into Selbourne station at 7.32 they had completed the grid, with only
one answer in slight dispute. Alighting, they were greeted by
Harnden's driver, who was waiting for them alongside a smart new
Renault motor car, which drew admiring comments from both young men.
Pleased by these the driver was tempted to show off, achieving a giddy
25 mph on some of the straighter bits of the 4-mile journey to High
Force Hall, the Queen Anne country house where Lieutenant-Colonel Sir
Albert Harnden MM DSO, late of the Fourth Hampshire Fusiliers, awaited

Light blazed from the hall as they drew up before the great door, and
the driver took their bags as they walked up to it. Before they could
knock it swung open, and a blast of heat rushed out to greet them.

"Come in! Come in, dear chaps! How super of you to come! Gurminder,
the gentlemen's bags are to go up to their chambers, and see that the
fires in their rooms are stoked, and the warming-pans placed in their
beds, there's a good fellow. I hope you like curried partridge and
pale ale?"

The speaker was a wiry man in his fifties, luxuriantly moustachio'd
and naked except for a linen loin-cloth and a moleskin smoking-cap.
Huge blue eyes lit up his coffee-brown face.

"Through here, through here! Your coats and hats can go on this rack,
your sticks here - now, please to be seated and without further
ceremony, get stuck in! The potatoes in the Sag Aloo I grew myself,
can't be too careful about food I always say, especially the dam'
patridges. I've had my eye on 'em for quite a while now, ever since
those bloody Fitzgerald shysters took the old Varney place at the
other side of the hanger. It's the calls in the night that are the
give-away, don't you find? Anyway these chaps are alright, shot 'em
myself. Plump, ain't they? We should have some good sport tomorrow."

O'Keeth and Jefferson exchanged glances, which their host seemed to
notice with amusement.

"Ah, think I'm off me rocker, eh? Well I would have every right to be,
given the things I've seen. But I ain't, and you'll have to put up
with a few of my little ways while you are here, that's always
assuming you'ld like to leave with the majority of your limbs and
marbles still attached. A little more ale? Got a taste for this out in
Shoshonaland, water wasn't safe you know. Too many dam' crocodiles."

And it was an exceptionally palatable pint, perfect with the curry.
Soon all three men were stuffed like plum puddings and gleaming with
ghee and good fellowship, the kind that materialises at about the
three-pint stage and survives for another five or so. Harnden was an
excellent host despite his eccentricity and soon the conversation was
flowing over all the topics under the sun, oiled by enough beer [and
later madeira, claret and port] to preserve the mood, but not so much
as to smother it. Somehow it became the most natural thing in the
world for Jefferson to produce the ring and the book, and to pass them
over to Harnden, who turned them thoughfully in his hands, and then
rose to fetch a book of his own.

"The script is that of the Pnakotic fragments, of course, but in
mirror-form, d'ye see? I think they wrapped our gippo friend up the
wrong way round. The language is English, however, no vowels of course
but I'm still surprised no-one noticed that, too odd I suppose. Some
kind of forgery for sure, and yet .... no, it must be a forgery,
there's several different versions of the Old Bad Book here, this is
original Dee, this passage is from the Starry Wisdom edition, this bit
is from the so-called Joanna Southgate's Apocrypha. Looks old enough,
though. VERY strange. And stolen, you say? Hmmm, bad business.
Everything to do with the Necronomicon is a bad business, especially
those who want to READ the wretched thing."

A chill seemed to creep over the room at these words, and it became
difficult to draw much more out of the old soldier, though he remained
civil enough. A decent half-hour or so later, Harnden rose to show the
young men to their rooms. These were on the first floor; sitting on
the steps to the second was a small black man dressed in French
military uniform.

"Atim Kwende Batatzi, M'Kwazi?"
"Batatzi Kai Chele, Ba'lai!"

Harnden nodded, and indicated for his guests to proceed him to the

"That was M'Kwazi, sound chap. You don't sleep-walk, either of you?
Well I should lock the jolly old doors anyway if I were you, and don't
go doing any daft investigating stuff, ESPECIALLY not up on the second
floor. I have another guest, you see, but he's not really the sociable
type, not yet anyway. Good night, sleep tight! Early start tomorrow!"

Once in their rooms Jefferson and O'Keeth had barely time to undress
and to slip into their nightshirts and caps, before delicious langour
overcame them, and clean sheets drew them in to their warm embrace. As
their eyes closed the dancing firelight seemed to promise exotic
eastern delights, but their sleep was deep and dreamless, untroubled
by any strange titterings, scratchings, chantings or bestial rending
sounds which might or might not have been heard in other parts of the


As the sun rose next morning the hunters were already tucking into a
breakfast of devilled kidneys, kippers, scrambled eggs, hot coffee and
buttered toast with marmalade.  Then it was out onto the porch to meet
the gamekeeper, ghillie and hounds. Mr MacAndrew, a large red man,
shook the guests by the hand and then with a few exquisitely-subtle
questions determined whether or not they could actually shoot. Harnden
and MacAndrew then discussed the route to be taken, over the old
chalk-pits up to the top of the hanger, luncheon at the Labour in
Vain, then down through the beech wood and back along the Roman road
[not so good for shooting, but a decent chance of picking up some wild
mushrooms to complement the meal], and finally back up to the house in
time for afternoon tea. Harnden was still clad in his loincloth but
the smoking cap had been replaced by a deerstalker, woollen socks and
stout walking boots were on his feet, and a capacious Aberdeen was
thrown over all.

The morning was misty and cold, but with a strong feel of future
sunshine once the mist lifted, and as they approached the gate to the
old chalk-pits it was apparent that this promise would be fulfilled.
Large orange butterflies which Harnden identified as Brown hairstreaks
were fluttering sluggishly around the Hemp Agrimony. A little further
on another gate led into a wheat-stubble field and here they started a
partridge, which Jefferson dispatched with a perfect head-shot. This
proved to be the first of several, and by the time they reached West
Hanger's End even the gamekeeper was moderately pleased with the
morning's sport. They sat out in the wan autumn sunshine at the sign
of the Labour In Vain, drinking beer and eating steak and eel pies,
then began the homeward leg of the expedition.


The path zig-zagged steeply down through the beechwood, and in the
shadow of the trees the five men soon began to feel the season's
chill. Still they were warmly clad, and there were interesting fungi
to admire and occasionally collect. The party began to string out
somewhat as the prospects for further shooting declined, and Jefferson
found himself walking with MacAndrew.

"Shouldn't touch that one, sir! Death cap, even a pea-sized piece can
mess one up!"
"Thanks, MacAndrew, you really do know this district, don't you?"
"Actually only been here as long as Lieutenant-Colonel Harnden sir, I
served with him you see, and when he left it seemed to quite a few of
us that our paths lay with him. But I do know about living off the
land. You had to, in our line of work."
"What line of work was that, MacAndrew?"
MacAndrew looked at Jefferson oddly.
"Army work, sir, for the Queen-Empress, God rest her soul. Hope you
won't think me impolite if we talk about something else?"
"Indeed, I quite understand. We have these areas of necessary
reticence in my profession too, y-"
"Aya.....AIEEEEEE......get it off, off OFF

To Jefferson's complete astonishment, MacAndrew was writhing on the
ground in front of him, wild-eyed and frothing, beating maniacally at
his abdomen where something was wriggling and burrowing under the
heavy Harris tweed. As Jefferson bent to help something whirred past
his ear and there was a shot, and some shouting. Spent lead pellets
struck his cheek, but he ignored them, intent upon helping MacAndrew.
Ripping open the coat he saw a spreading red stain and something
feathered and vile which was positively DELVING into the gamekeeper's
flesh. Suppressing the urge to vomit he seized it and ripped it free,
then hurled it to the side and bent to patch the wound. So he did not
notice the headless partridge pick itself up and then stomp, with
horrible undead purposefulness, towards him.

Elsewhere in the beechwood the other hunters were fighting for
survival. A heaving mass of feathered zombies marked the last battle
of Shackleford Rex, the oldest dog and father of the two pups who
fought on. Fury in his eyes, Harnden stepped forward and levelled an
elephant pistol at the throng around the old dog's body.
Bla-TAMMMMMM!!!!!!!!, and only a cloud of feathers and a mist of blood
and gently-spattering body-fragments remained.

"Go with God, brother", murmered Harnden as he quickly reloaded.
O'Keeth and the ghillie were already out of ammunition and the ghillie
was sheltering behind the soldier as he hacked and cut with his sabre
at the zombie-birds. As the last one fell he saw Jefferson's danger,
and shouted a warning .... but there was no need. Three great strides
to get close enough, and then a second shot from the elephant pistol,
ended the battle of West Hanger's End.

"How are you, old man?"
"Mustn't grumble sir, not sure if I can walk though."
"Nonsense man, you don't have to! Jefferson, can you patch him up so
that his guts don't spill out?"
"Done it."
"Then up, friends, and back for tea! Jamie, you run on for the car,
have the driver meet us at the summer house, and phone the hospital,
we'll need Professor Ramanishi from Guy's, tell them I'll cover all
the expenses. Well, jump to it! Any partridges left? Ah well, we still
have the mushrooms. Told you the patridges were suspect, didn't I?"

Too dazed to reply, Jefferson and O'Keeth helped MacAndrew to his
feet, and they began to make their way back to the house. But
Harnden's eyes were steely-cold, and as he gazed around he noted the
great black stones circling around the place of slaughter. So that's
your game, you bloody bog-trotters. Alright, round one to you, but
I'll be back - Ooooo yes.

..... TO BE CONTINUED [a reasonably-faithful transcription of our
current d20 Call of Cthulhu game's first session. The game will
continue next weekend, as part of the celebrations for Michael's


and two decks with playing notes]

I'm as proud as punch of the winners of the !Gangrel Quebec city and
Rekjavik storyline tournaments, and as soon as i have their decks to
hand they will be featured here with big gold stars attached. But i'm
also very pleased to feature two finalising !Gangrel decks from either
side of the big pond - thanks to Scott and Dave, and without further
ado, here they are!


Deck Name: Scratch Patch
Created By: LSJ
Description: Storyline Fall 2003.

Optimal combo: Rush, Flesh of Marble, Weather Control, Shadow Feint,
Maneuver as necessary, Blood Ire for 1 or more aggravated damage (even
under Immortal Grapple) at First Strike that cannot be dodged or
prevented by cards that require Fortitude. Flesh + WC protects against
retaliatory damaging First Strikes, but is typically used as a substituted for
Shadow Feint (that is, use Feint or Weather Marble). Psyche! to overcome
Combat Ends (or, as in my game, to press so as to prevent Fatima's Psyche! at
superior which would allow her to re-use the maneuver on the Assault
Rifle). Hidden Lurker for particularly defensive foes. Amaranth and
Sacrificial Lamb for mop up, of course (titles and Gangrel Conspiracy 
to wave off the blood hunts).

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 25, Max: 40, Avg: 8.42)
1 Scarlet Carson O'Toole CEL pro 4, Gangrel Antitribu
1 Pieter for OBF PRO tha 6, Gangrel Antitribu
1 Zachary CEL for OBF PRO pre 7, Gangrel Antitribu
2 Sébastian Goulet cel DOM OBF pre pro 8, Gangrel antitribu
4 Samantha ani CEL OBF PRO tha 10, Gangrel Antitribu, Bishop
1 Bajazet al-Nasir cel for OBF pre QUI 8, Assamite
2 Thetmes CEL dom OBF pot QUI 10, Assamite, 2 votes

Library: (90 cards)
Master (20 cards)
2 Blood Doll
1 Campground Hunting Ground
1 City Gangrel Connections
1 Depravity
2 Gangrel Conspiracy
1 Golconda: Inner Peace
1 Haven Uncovered
1 Information Highway
1 Malkavian Dementia
2 Minion Tap
1 Regent
3 Thaumaturgy
1 Underworld Hunting Ground
2 Zillah's Valley

Action (13 cards)
2 Ambush
5 Bum's Rush
2 Legal Manipulations
4 Sacrificial Lamb

Action Modifier (5 cards)
2 Bribes
2 Hidden Lurker
1 Mask of a Thousand Faces

Political Action (8 cards)
1 Ancient Influence
2 Cardinal Benediction
1 Political Stranglehold
1 Reins of Power
1 Snipe Hunt
2 Templar

Reaction (3 cards)
1 Elder Michaelis's Hold
2 Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (40 cards)
3 Amaranth
3 Blood Fury
3 Blood Rage
1 Chiram's Hold
4 Claws of the Dead
4 Flash
7 Flesh of Marble
6 Psyche!
1 Quick Meld
3 Shadow Feint
4 Weather Control
1 Wolf Claws

Combo (1 cards)
1 Ritual of the Bitter Rose


"Take you out behind the woodshed and have a real good time"
Created by: Dave Hammond

Genevieve x2, 10, aus ANI dom FOR PRO, potentially 4 votes!
Hakur Mortenson x2, 8, ANI FOR PRO, Cool Special
Omaya x3, 7, ANI AUS FOR pro, Cool Special
Caitlin x2, 6, aus ANI dom PRO, Bishop
Luther, 6, ANI for obt pro, useless special
Monique, 5, aus ani for pro
Sadie, 2, pro


Auspex x3
Blood Doll x3
Campground Hunting Ground
Gangrel City Connections
Heidleburg Castle, Germany
Hungry Coyote
Minion Tap x2
Path of the Feral Heart x2
The Rack
Twisted Forest

Other stuff:

Army of Rats
Pulse of the Canaille x2
Sanguine Instruction
Shepherds Innocence
Palatial Estate

Raptor x8
Owl Companion

Earth Control x2
Rapid Change x2

Read the Winds x4
Forced Awakening x5
Cats Guuidance x3
Eagles Sight x3
Telepathic Misdirection x3
Delaying Tactics x2

Carrion Crows x5
Scorpion Sting x5
Flesh of Marble x5
Rolling with the Punches x2
Skin of Steel x3
Wolf Claws x2
Claws of the Dead x2
Bone Spur x2
Body Flare x3
Taste of Vitae x3
Form of Mist x3

It only occured to me how good Omaya with a pack of Raptors and a Path
in play could be the other day. She blocks EVERYTHING, and either
aggropokes for free, or soaks up her mandatory one. The others are supposed to
swiftly get AUS asap so they can also Read the Winds properly and bounce as a
last resort.

Hakur is a godsend as far as pool goes. With him Blood Dolled with the
Hunting Ground and Rack in play, you have an Ecoterrorists, and a pool
machine that just doesn't stop. In one game, he completely did me
proud, bringing me back from 1 pool to about 20!

Down sides are obvious: the crypt is a little on the big side, and I
would have like to have included a PB Montreal, but didn't have any spare.
Also, I found pool gain a little on the tight side unless conditional elements
were in play. When I got home, the Gangrel City Connections came out and
another Blood Doll went straight in, and I changed a couple of Raptors for
Raven Spies (lighter on Blood). I'm also thinking of changing a few of the
biggies for Dr Allan Woodstock or Gunther, the Beast Lord.

It got to a final. It's a Storyline deck. But by jingo, ANI / AUS /
PRO rocks!


And no argument there! Which pretty much brings us to close of play
for october. Next month, it's the Black Hand. Some churlish souls will
mutter, moan and bitch that only the !gangrel will lack a precon after
this expansion, but i think they'll find they will be wrong to do so.
See you all in november!