Cleveland Botanical Garden.   Posted by TheRaconteur.Group: archive A
TheRaconteur
 Storyteller, 75 posts
Wed 10 Dec 2014
at 22:11
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
OOC:  Converting over to the Port of Cleveland thread, though those who don't wish to join in the blood hunt are welcome to stay here and talk amongst yourselves.  Sasha is going to the Docks, Lissandra is staying behind. 

Close to a dozen Acolytes, and a few of the Carthians, stepped forward to the crates and began to arm themselves.  Some gripped machetes and knives, others curved scimitars or wicked kukris.  Only a few took the pistols, and almost twice as many refrained from arming themselves at all, content with the undead weapons that were their bodies and blood.  Once those going were geared for war, Sasha bowed low and gestured for Yngvi to lead the way to the vans.  He may have been the Crow's War Leader, but it appeared that the Cybellene's still respected his position.

Three white cargo vans waited outside,  keys in the ignition of their empty front seats, more than enough to take all gathered to the Port of Cleveland.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:19, Wed 10 Dec 2014.

Tala Amina
 player, 2 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 14:37
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
The botanical garden is one of Tala's favorite places in the city. It reminds her of the gardens of home, as well as the zoos she frequented as a child. The butterflies are a special treat, fluttering about in shimmering hues of yellow and purple, blue and green. From cocoons they emerge as beauties in the light, wind-borne and carefree. Tala can't help but envy them, for they know the warmth of the sun on their wings. Living vicariously on the wings of a butterfly. Sounds like a song, or maybe one of the poems Hana would write.

Tonight Tala is late in reaching the Garden. Her dreams have been troubled, and she woke early to stand on the balcony as the sun sank below the horizon, wistfully watching the last vestiges of light fade red and purple from the sky. If only, she thinks! If only she could bask in its light again.

Though as she witnesses the rising of a Goddess Made Flesh, Tala basks in the Crone's light. Pale and cold, it chills her stolen blood and yet sets flame to her heart. The Circle of the Crone have that effect, speaking to her desire for passion, exultation. While she is entranced by the performance, late as she is in coming to it, Tala stands back as the others rush off to battle. It is not her forte, the art of killing. She is no fighter. She is a lover with the heart of a monster... and the fangs. She bows when the spectacle ends, but another purpose calls her, baser than the desire to revel. Hunger.

Tala greets Lissandra with a respectful bow and the traditional kisses on each cheek. "Lissandra, a stunning display tonight." She speaks with only a faint hint of Indian accent to color her velvet voice. "You have such a way of stoking the fires. In fact, I'm in the mood to hunt after hearing you. Will you join me?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 9 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 19:22
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Herald of the Goddess threw her arms out wide, giving a slight bow of her head to accept the offering of affection from Tala.  The gesture was warm and welcoming, but also a subtle play on establishing the hierarchy of the interaction.  Lissandra had just cemented herself as the voice of quiet possibly the most powerful Acolyte in Cleveland, a Kindred with claims to dietyhood, and thus her body language and posture reflected her newly won status.  There was no cause for insult in her movements, but it was clear that she had every intent to retain her position.

"You have me at a disadvantage, child, I am unfamiliar with your name or lineage.  Who are you, and who do you represent?"

Her eyes were two pieces of amber, radiant and golden.  They invoked long forgotten memories of the sun in those whose gaze she captured.
Tala Amina
 player, 3 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sat 20 Dec 2014
at 00:42
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Tala Amina, lady. Forgive my manners." Tala tries her best to summon up the near-courtly etiquette of her family's rigid conduct, though it's never sat well with her. "I represent the Mother. My sire... is gone. Dead, and the world is better for it. I have come to Cleveland only recently, called by my Mother's siren voice." She smiles. "You would have taken my breath away with your passionate performance tonight, if I had any breath to take."
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 10 posts
Sat 20 Dec 2014
at 02:05
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Lissandra regarded Tala, her expression utterly unchanged from what it had been during the Convocation, except maybe a hint of wry amusement in her golden eyes.

"My performance was a leaf before the wind, a drop of rain that heralds the thunderstorm that is the Goddess Made Flesh.  Still, I thank you for the kind words, it never hurts to be appreciated."

Her face held its expression like a porcelain mask, her features unyieldingly accommodating and polite.  From somewhere upon her person, a phone vibrated twice.  She looked down into her robes, and held up a hand in bashful self awareness.  Her features melted as she did so, becoming once again transfixed in a new expression, this one of absolute contrition.

"Excuse me a moment."

She pulled the phone out of her sleeve, and walked down the path, scanning the screen as she passed out of view.  A moment later she returned, this time finishing up a conversation.  The last few words just barely audible over the hum and buzz of the Garden.

"...and makes servants of us all."

She snapped the phone, her default expression of tactful accommodation locked firmly back in place.

"My apologies for the interruption, where were we?"

This message was last edited by the player at 02:05, Sat 20 Dec 2014.

Tala Amina
 player, 4 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sat 20 Dec 2014
at 05:00
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"I thought maybe you'd like to go hunting with me. The night is still young, and I fancy a drink. Afterward, who knows? I know I have books calling my name, but those can always wait. Tonight, I want to get to know my sisters better." Tala brushes her hair over her ears and checks something on her cell phone, a map of the city's nightlife hotspots. "Do you know a good place to find a drink this hour?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 11 posts
Sun 21 Dec 2014
at 20:44
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
The mask of Lissandra's face flickered and faltered for just the briefest of instants, something hard to read flashing over her face, before her iron clad composure reasserted itself.

"You must be new to the Masquerade of Cleveland, dear Tala, for tonight was the first time I have walked these streets in nearly twelve years.  My old hunting grounds are much changed in that time, I would imagine, and like as not claimed by another.  The Goddess has ensured that I do not go without, but if you wish for me to join you in your own hunt this evening, I would be happy for the company.  My work this night is done."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:13, Sun 21 Dec 2014.

Tala Amina
 player, 5 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sun 21 Dec 2014
at 20:52
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala does her best to appear cordial, when really even as a monster among other monsters, she still finds vampires like Lissandra terrifying. Still, she must come to know those with whom she shares the night if she is to prosper in this new world. "Certainly. We can find you a new hunting ground. Come with me to Desi and we can find both culture and hunting, yes?" Her voice trends harder toward an Indian accent. "Have you ever been?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 12 posts
Sun 21 Dec 2014
at 21:18
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Several times, before the Purge.  One of our priestesses had her territory there.  I was told she met final death in Rotten Rosie Meadow's Necropolis, during the Mayor's rise to power."

Lissandra began to stalk down the path, inviting Tala to join her.

"Is it yours now?  How long have you been in Cleveland?"
Tala Amina
 player, 6 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sun 21 Dec 2014
at 21:55
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Barely two years. I came to this country after some unpleasantness at home. Much like many, I suppose." Tala is generally quite sociable and grows more relaxed the closer they come to her hunting grounds. "The Desi corridor reminds me of home. I suppose it should. While I miss it, I wouldn't go back. My mother was unflinchingly traditional as the First Estate, with none of the charm. But I miss my sisters most of all. It's good that I found Sisters here, you know? What about you? It seems like you have been here long?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 13 posts
Sun 21 Dec 2014
at 22:27
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"I have been here for many years, yes, though I was long away preparing for this night.  It feels strange now, to have worked so long for a thing and to have it suddenly pass.  Still, the work has just begun, and there is much to do before the Circle's ascendancy is secured.  The rebirth of the Goddess Made Flesh was but the first strike of lightning that ignites the wildfire."

Lissandra did not walk, so much as glide across the cobblestones, her robes flowing wide behind her as she stalked towards the main building.  She was radiant, something above even the Davea with their tricks of want and desire, but her light had been only a pale reflection of Nicolette.

"I was lucky in that I found my calling early, my voice heralding the Avatar of Cybele.  Is that what brought you into the Circle of the Crone, looking for family, for purpose in your Requiem?"

OOC:  If you were there for Nicolette's speech, you would have received both the "Inspired" and "Seed of Her Divinity” Condition.  Nicolette achieves exceptional success on three successes instead of five on all Social rolls against you. You may resolve the Condition at any time by sharing and spreading the Goddess Made Flesh's myth.  Your characters use Nicolette's Presence + Expression roll, which means they get 4 successes.

Tala Amina
 player, 7 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Mon 22 Dec 2014
at 10:32
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala smiles. She certainly has a way with words. "Welcome, the Goddess. And yes, I joined the Circle because I needed Her. I needed someone to believe in. I miss my sisters, but I have my Sisters, the Mother's Army. Now I'm no longer alone. Now I have purpose." She shakes her head. Her purpose isn't so grand as to serve as an Avatar of any god. Lissandra is quite impressive in every way that matters.

"What led you to become the Avatar? What were you before you were the herald of a Goddess?"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:41, Mon 22 Dec 2014.

Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 14 posts
Mon 22 Dec 2014
at 22:28
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Lissandra smiled, the gesture rote and automatic, before her face snapped back into its serene mask.  She walked through the main lobby, and into a small side room, unlocking the door with a small silver key.  The room revealed itself to be a coat check, that had been converted into a changing room.  Several of the red robes that Lissandra and the other Acolytes had been wearing for the Convocation lay strewn about, while other wracks were filled with their owner's street clothes.

Lissandra stepped behind a bamboo screen, its dark blue surface reflecting shadows from an actual copper incense brazier someone had taken the time and expense to set up in the corner.

"I was a slave, before the Goddess found me.  Bound in servitude and blood to an Invictus Lord who styled himself my Master.  The Goddess found me, and shattered his pathetic chains.  He learned the folly of his ways, and I am sure to remind him from time to time, when I permit him to wake."

The robe she had been wearing appeared draped over the top of the screen.

"You say you've found purpose within the Crone, but what is it you do in her name?  Do you weave blood and power so that others may share in her glory, do you strike fear into the hearts of the kine to show them their place?  Or are you still lost within the embrace of the Circle, seeking purpose?"
Tala Amina
 player, 8 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Tue 23 Dec 2014
at 10:31
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Compared to Lissandra's religious fervor, Tala's uncertainties and questions seem as chasms of doubt. How can I approach her when I'm just a pawn, a little girl trying to dance among women? She brushes her hair over her ears and fumbles for the right words to say, flustered by the sheer intensity of the woman. Power, beauty, purpose, all in one determined vampire. It's enough to envy, Tala feels.

"I guess I'm finding my place within the Circle. I just know that I don't want to suffer every night in endless agony and loneliness. I don't want to feel like I'm a monster out of control. I love to dance. I want to dance to a beat of my own making. Does that make sense?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 15 posts
Wed 24 Dec 2014
at 01:25
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Can you work the Old Magic?"

The question was blunt, direct, and somewhat shocking considering Lissandra's normally perfectly politique bearing.
Tala Amina
 player, 10 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Wed 24 Dec 2014
at 09:55
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala blinks, something she's slowly losing the impulse to do. "I... can't. I haven't yet learned. I know other magic. I can change myself. But I've seen the rituals and I can't yet do that. Still... learning, you know?" She crosses her arms and shifts her weight onto her other leg. "I'm guessing you are very good with it, yes? The Old Magic?"
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 16 posts
Wed 24 Dec 2014
at 21:32
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala's keen ears picked up the sound of a heartbeat just outside the door they had entered through.  Whoever was there, they were not moving, and the rhythm of their pulse was even and slow.

"I have no talent for Crúac, no, my skills lie elsewhere.  It is why I am the Avatar's Herald, and not her Priestess.  We had hoped the Circle's High Priestess would fulfill the role.  Her absence at tonight's Convocation was a disappointment, though the message she attempted to send by it is somewhat muddled given the presence of her Champion."

She stepped out from behind the screen, resplendent in a silver dress that shimmered in the dull light of the coat room.  The coat she wore over it was of black leather, long and flowing, like something one would see on the runway at Fashion Week in Paris.

"Change yourself, so you are a Hunter then?  Why did you not join your sisters at the Docks?"
Tala Amina
 player, 12 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Thu 25 Dec 2014
at 01:58
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala stares and smiles, nodding her appreciation. "You look exceptionally lovely. A true stunner." It's no lie. Such a woman would have taken her breath away — back when she was alive and still had breath. Her accent grows a little more pronounced in Lissandra's presence; perhaps it's a response to Lissandra's own accent, or maybe the nerves brought on by proximity to an older, more devoted predator.

The realization of a hidden presence piques Tala's curiosity — her senses are sharp, even for a vampire. "I'm no fighter, sundara. I dance, I express, I feel." As she says that, she allows the Blood to open her senses, to see as a beast. Her ears lengthen into pointed, elfin tips, and her eyes glint silver in the dark. Shadows lighten, fading to a thin gray veil over the room. Ultrasound pulses refract over the walls and the ceiling, over Lissandra's curvaceous form, over the hidden body, giving Tala a picture that even keen vampire senses alone can't tell her.

OOC: I'll spent 1 Vitae to activate Predatory Aspect, but only the Extra Sense aspect. Can I later activate Claws and/or Wall-Crawling during this scene without having to spend Vitae again? And then I am going to go see about that body. The hidden one, that is.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:58, Thu 25 Dec 2014.

Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 17 posts
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 16:46
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Will you dance in the name of the Goddess Made Flesh then, Tala Amina, to spread word of her bloody rebirth?"

Lissandra flowed closer to Tala as she spoke, urgency and force in her every move and word.

The door intercepted the majority of Tala's hidden sound waves, but the form on the other side of the door manifested itself just a little clearer as a large shape standing just to the right.
Tala Amina
 player, 14 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 22:10
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala's eyes go wide as Lissandra come closer, but she doesn't have much time to react. She holds up a finger to her lips and points toward the door. When Lissandra approaches, Tala steps closer, leans in toward her neck... and whispers. "We are not alone. I sense someone there."
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 18 posts
Sun 28 Dec 2014
at 00:37
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
While the mask of her face remained unchanging, Lissandra's eyes lit up with something indecipherable.

"I am never alone."

She spun away from Tala, all grace and interesting curves, and opened the door.  Standing outside at stiff attention was a large and dark skinned man in a grey suit.  He did not react to her appearance, not even when she lovingly drew her fingertips along his face, his eyes just stated unblinkingly into the space ahead of him.

"You never need worry about Jacque, nor hold your tongue, he is a good boy."

She spun away from him, much as she had from Tala instants before.

"Come, tonight's work leaves me desiring the thrill of the hunt!  Let us see what has changed since last I stalked the Cleveland streets."
Tala Amina
 player, 15 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Sun 28 Dec 2014
at 02:41
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Tala appraises Jacque for a moment before nodding to Lissandra, her eyes big and bright and reflective. She brushes her hair over her ears, hiding the elfin points. "Okay. I just thought... well, never mind. Then let's hunt! I am quite famished, and I imagine you must be. Years ago, I suppose I might have cooked a traditional Indian dinner for you. Now... what is your preference? Where did you hunt, if I may ask?" Tala catches and keeps stride with Lissandra, already visualizing the hunt to come, and imagining the taste of the sweetest wine passing warm over her lips.
Lissandra Cigani
 NPC, 19 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 05:25
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"Why, the Desi Corridor of course, I thought you were going to show me around?"

Lissandra allowed a predatory grin to briefly grace her normally unyielding mask, before gliding out the front door of the Gardens and towards a black limousine.  Without so much as acknowledging Tala, Jacque walked to open the rear door for her, standing aside so that the two Kindred could enter.
Tala Amina
 player, 17 posts
 Fierce Tigress
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 06:29
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
"A limo? That's all a bit... extravagant, isn't it?" Tala nods to Jacque as she steps into the limousine, sliding into the seat after Lissandra.

"Of course. I suppose we will get to try some Desi cuisine, after a fashion." Tala smiles, though she can't help but feel apprehensive at the thought of hunting with such a perfect predator.
TheRaconteur
 Storyteller, 145 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 06:39
Re: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Jacque continued to ignore Tala utterly, staring into space with his glassy eyed gaze.  He didn't blink enough, for a mortal.  Lissandra ignored his presence as well, regulating him to little more than background.

"It is all a dance, in its own fashion.  The limousine is not for hunting, we don't need to impress the kine.  It is a symbol for leaving the Convocation, meant for those who have stayed behind."

She leaned closer to Tala as she spoke, the blush of life infusing her skin with vitality.

"What purpose might an Acolyte have in remaining behind, do you suppose?"

OOC:  Transitioning to Desi Corridor

This message was last edited by the player at 06:39, Mon 29 Dec 2014.