The Eternal Senate (WIP)   Posted by Shadow of Twilight.Group: 0
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 59 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 22:45
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part I

Tiberius the ancient vampire reborn had set out to rebuild his web of influence a feat which would take both ruthless determination and cunning. He had tested the limits of his power by eradicating a band of Hunters with Task Force: Valkyrie and enthralling the Blood Doll Luka whose own craftiness proved him to be worthy of being made a Ghoul. Together the pair traveled to the city of Istanbul where the Ancient fought his way to getting the attention of Keto which cumulated with a viscous duel with a rabid werewolf. Having proven his worth Keto agreed to present Atticus Giovanni an alias for the Ancient Vampire to her mistress the Crone Desponia Nikadimos. The Crone had been a long time ally of Tiberius and while the two had radically different agendas and clashed from time to time they had common cause enough to move forward together until his own untimely deaths.

He needs to earn her favor to fulfill his ambitions, the desire of the Ancient is to usurp his previous cabal of allies and rebuild what was called the Eternal Senate its current members he sees as self serving cowards without the power they need or vision beyond their greed. He lacks the influence to gather the Eternal Senate which has gone in to hiding after several failed attempts to usurp Emperor Haloise Giovanni the progeny of Tiberius no less. Desponia though might have the power and influence to call the senators out of hiding, exactly what the Ancient needs.

Keto had made the arrangements contracting a nomadic Coterie of Kindred experienced in transporting those of their kind great distances. Tiberius knew they worked for the mysterious self styled Doge  Venice, a Vampire who profited nicely over making such travel arrangements.

Tiberius emerged from bellow deck the crisp air of the Mediterranean had something of a soothing effect on his troubled mind, he had gambled so much in this one play and there would be little room to maneuver should it fail. The nights sky was clear reminiscent of the world before the electric lightbulb, Tiberius could not help but reflect on the successes that took centuries to complete and where he was now at the very beginning of a new path he was forming.

He now knew of the larger forces in the world how they manipulated things to their design he was certain that he would no longer be a pawn, not to some devil, monstrosity, or anything else in this world. He was free now more then he had been for many centuries by his own sense. He could see the island of Create on the horizon it was there that Desponia kept her most lavish Haven.

“Not much longer now master.” The familiar voice of Luka grabbed the attention of the Ancient.

“Indeed the next move in the game is upon us but we must continue to plan.” Tiberius spoke seriously.

“You seem nervous.” Luka spoke bluntly seeing a side of his regent that he had never previously seen.

“Everything up until now could be made by virtue of my own hand, I do not like being in this submissive of a position, it is unbecoming.” Normally Tiberius would lies in such a situation yet with Luka he felt at greater liberty to speak bluntly.

“Then we will be triumphant.” Despite everything Luka held absolute and unwavering confidence in Tiberius in his mortal mind there was no room for doubt.

“Indeed we shall be, I do have a task for you.” Tiberius returned to an Iron like stance.
“What is your will master?” Luka was ever eager to please.

“Make arrangements for this boat to be made available to us while we stay here and for our transportation to the city of Bucharest when we are finished.” Tiberius gave his orders without a hint of hesitation.

“Certainly but why that city of all places?” Luka enquired uncertain why that city would be chosen of all places.

“There is a vampire there, she will make a most useful ally if my memory is certain.” Tiberius divulged some element of his plan to his thrall.

A few minutes of silence then passed between Luka and Tiberius as they observed the island grow ever larger as they begun to make their approach Keto appeared before the Ancient and his thrall.

“We are soon to be in the presence of the divine Crone Desponia, the queen of serpents and final daughter of Olympus, the fact you will so much as be allowed to gaze upon her is a privilege, for a man to walk the halls with his eyes is unheard of.” Keto spoke with a reverence of a fanatical cultists, Tiberius could only begin how twisted the minds of those in residence would be.

“I am certain the honor will be ours.” Tiberius was hardly amused but knew better then to cause any kind of confrontation now was not the time for it.

The boat pulled ashore on a remote property likely owned by an ally of the nomadic Vampires that had brought them this far. Tiberius observed Luka talking to one of the Coteries representatives some money was exchanged and a deal was quickly struck. Their meager possessions were loaded on to a truck and they proceeded to drive down a poorly maintained road until eventually the truck came to a halt.

They exited the truck and were greeted by a small band of scantly clad women dressed in the clothes of an era long gone by, they lead Keto, Tiberius, and Luka in the direction of a cliff face overlooking the sea. Tiberius could feel the very presence of the Crone in the land there was not a single blade of grass that was not tainted by her Vitae, the land heaved with an unnatural hunger, in this place nothing could escape Desponia not freely anyway. The trio of women that made up their escort turned on to the cliff face where the reveled a hidden stair way. They made their way tentatively to the Crones temple constructed in a cave just past an outsiders look, the place had the twisted visage of Greek architecture.

Before they delved deeper in to the complex they observed another trio of women working some kind of Cruac ritual and the seas before the temple grew turbulent and ensnared a boat not to far from the coast, the boat was crashed against the rocks dozens of people being tossed about the waves, these people were refugees fleeing from some distant land. As the seas came to some relative calm another trio of women lead a band of male Kindred their eyes were absent and their minds rewritten to be more Beast then human. These creatures fished the people out of the water the Ancient was able to deduce what would be these people’s fate, this was how Desponia supported the large Kindred population here.

They made their way forward Tiberius saw Desponias guards about the temple women he knew to be quite dangerous, at best they resented him at worst they seemed visibly disgusted. They went by a room where the male Kindred were likely chained to the wall ready to be feed any who displeased the resident Crone. Despite some of the twisted architecture and sacrificial alters Tiberius was rather comfortable with the place, Luka less so. They were shown to the room that was to be their residence during their stay here, it was a miniature complex in to itself a series of several rooms including a central foyer. Tiberius had arrived but work was still left to be done as Keto departed their company likely moving to be at Desponias side and tell her what she knew.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 60 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 22:46
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part II

The Night concluded without so much as a summons from the keeper of the temple, she was letting her guest know that she held the cards in this situation and left no doubt for it. Before the night completely concluded some sustenance was delivered to the chamber, it was obvious that Lukas mortal inclination was not something this place was designed to accommodate. Inevitably the sun rose high in to the sky and although the vampires of this place could not see it they could feel it and slept through the day.

As Night grew into ascension again the vampire inevitably awoke, in the Lair where Tiberius passed through the day the Ancient awoke fully aware of the circumstances he was faced with. Luka was awaiting him and went right to work preparing his master for the night ahead of them.

“Whatever you do Luka do not make eye contact with any creature in this place beside myself.” Tiberius spoke with his typical seriousness.

“Of course master.” Luka was ever obedient.

“Nothing here is as it appears, they will try to fool you, ensnare you, and bend you to their whims.” Tiberius conveyed what seemed like a threat.

“Would they really risk your wrath.” Luka seemed surprised.

“All is as a display of power Luka, stay focused and remember your true place at my side and you will endure their trickery.” Tiberius concluded as Luka ran the comb through his regents hair a last time.

It was not long after that Keto and six armed women barged in to the chambers for Luka and Tiberius, they seemed as thrilled to be here as Tiberius was to be intruded on but he knew to bide his time. His opportunity to return the insult would come in soon enough time.

“The goddess summons you mongrels to make your case for keeping your lives.” Keto spoke harshly.

“We earned this!” Luka was enraged at what he saw as a betrayal.

“Luka!” Tiberius commanded his thralls attention.

“It is not worth wasting your energy, let this be finished.” Tiberius spoke calmly as he commanded his servant but rage boiled beneath his skin this insult was one to many.

 Silince came over the small crowd as Keto and three of the guards lead Tiberius and Luka through the twisting halls of the underground temple followed by three more of Desponias servants. As they traveled deeper they could see depictions of the Crones acts, a self satisfying sense of history which was common place for Vampire Elders to surround themselves with. Small alters for petty sacrifices and where dark lessons were taught to the most ambitious of Acolytes.

They eventually came upon an alter whose size and scope made the smaller alters seem like petty things by comparison. Elaborate statues, depictions of Desponias personal pantheon were built in to the wall, it was subtle by the Ancient could feel the things were given life through sacrifice. There stood an elevated alter where it was Lear that Desponia worked from. The guards took up a defensive posture before towering bronze doors which likely lead to the Crones personal lair.

The doors slowly crept open and Desponia and a number of her handmaidens emerged from behind the cryptic gate. She looked down upon Tiberius and even more so on Luka her clear discontent was obvious by her expression.

“Atticus Giovanni.” She scoffed.

“I knew a Kindred to go by that name, but his ashes have been sent to the wind, and you certainly are not him.” She continued with a confidant sense of triumph in her voice.

“I am indeed he who once went by the monicker of Atticus Giovanni although this is not my name.” Tiberius spoke doing everything in his power to restrain his rage even as Keto looked on she was clearly furious with the deception.

“Easily stated but I am far from convinced.” She narrowed her gaze.

Without a word the doors which Tiberius had entered the room through swung open and the blinded male Kindred swarmed in to the room as rabid beasts. Desponia looked on in amusement as the creatures came to a halt at her command.

“Admit your deception and I will allow you a quick death imposter.” The Crone said as one of her servants presented a glimmering but small blade.

“I am Tiberius.” The Ancients words rang out in the chamber and a wide smile came over the Crones face.

The creatures immediately stormed towards the Ancient surging past Luka with their teeth and claws hungry for Kindred blood first. Tiberius did not so much as flinch as several of the rabid creatures sank their fangs in to his flesh the horde unleashing its full fury upon the Ancient vampire. Within a matter of moments which felt like an eternity Tiberius was pulled to the ground as the monstrosities gnawed upon him.

Luka looked on terrified with what he observed certain that should his Regent fall his own end would be not far off and all the more grisly, while Desponia almost seemed disappointed hoping for more of a show from the upstart. After another few moments she was now convinced that this Vampire simply stumbled upon a rumor and wished to capitalize upon it but before her attention was completely lost she could here the faintest of sounds, bones grinding. She looked back now more perplexed and ash she did the bestial Vampires flew in every direction as the sheer strength of Tiberius proved sufficient to hurl the creatures from him while a set of great leathery wing like appendage sprouted from his back, while useless for flight they had lethal talons upon them.
Desponia grew intrigued as Luka breathed a sigh of relief, most of the creatures had been cowed yet several remained undaunted. Tiberius no longer interested in games extended his hand ashen embers accumulating in to a black ball of flame which he proceeded to unleash in the direction of his remaining adversaries. The creatures retreated on their own accord or perhaps at the direction of some unseen hand.

“Defend the goddess.” One of the battle clad women shouted they assumed a defensive posture around Desponia and her cadre of attendants.

One of the women charged in the direction of the Ancient a branch twisting in to a throned spear in her hands, she thrust the weapon towards the Ancient. Tiberius caught the tip with the palm of his hand wrenching control of the weapon with the impaled hand while the other grabbed the warrior woman tightly by the throat lifting her in to the air.

“Your Requiem need not end here little girl.” Tiberius said his gaze focused on his captive.

“Your lady need only acknowledge that I am Tiberius Giovanni and entreat my proposition.” He shifted his attention from the captive to Desponia.

“You certainly have the manors of Tiberius, you fight like him and now I see it your presence is … unmistakable.” Desponia said calmly still quite confident in her position she gestured for the guards to stand at ease.

“So it would seem you have yet again found a way to cheat death, Tiberius.” Desponia stepped out from behind the guards

“Indeed I have, it would seem this world cannot be apart from me.” Tiberius released his captive the Vitae in his body already going to work regenerating his injuries.

“And what is it that brings you to my domain.” Desponia enquired her gaze portrayed her confidence.

“I require your aid.” Tiberius put it bluntly.

“Why would I help you, when you have so very little to offer.” She contoured knowing full well that Tiberius lost everything in his several bids for power.

“I think you will find that where there is hunger there is opportunity. I plan to dismantle the Eternal Senate and rebuild it in a new image, something new that could shake the very foundations of the world.” Tiberius spoke fervently of his ambitions.

“Oh but how could you now do such a thing.” She scoffed but as ever was intrigued by the potential of opportunity.

“Alone I would take decades perhaps a century to accomplish my ends, I do not wish to wait not when ambition sits at my very feet, you are one of a few Kindred with the influence to call the remaining Senators together.” Tiberius offered Desponia her part in his plan.

“Is that all you require is that truly all you desire.” Desponia could tell there was more to the ancients scheme.

“You will gather them in Bucharest where I will be their assassin, from there I will travel to Budapest and assert my authority over the city and rebuild the Eternal Senate.” Tiberius laid bare his plans.

“An intriguing proposition Tiberius, I will consider it on four demands, you will spend three nights in my palace and after the completion of your ambition every season you must spend one night here, I will have a seat on your new Senate, and Keto will be an officer in your court in Budapest.” Desponia spoke in such a way that that crawled beneath the very skin of the Ancient.

“So be it.” Tiberius knew better then to debate the subject placating her for now was the only path forward.

“I will contemplate your auspicious request Tiberius now return to your residence, you are such a mess.” Desponia turned her back and walked through the door with her escorts. Tiberius noticed though that one of the women there seemed intrigued as she lagged behind the rest of the menagerie of the Crones servants and the Ancient knew there was further opportunity.

A few minutes later and Tiberius and Luka were back to the pricy of their would be home, Tiberius sat a sense of looming triumph in his mind as Luka began removing the Ancients blood stains clothing and cleaning his wounds with a damp cloth.

“There is something I do not understand.” Luka said as he knelt before Tiberius wiping one of the wounds on the ancients leg.

“With some things when you need it you are willing to bend more, do not worry Luka she has not won as much as she thinks.” Tiberius knew that he was willing to struggle where Desponia would hesitate the loss of everything has granted clarity, he could bare the insults for his reward was nearly within his grasp.

“Luka.” Tiberius spoke.

“Yes master.” Luka faithfully replied.

“That quarrel has left me hungry.” Tiberius barely finished the sentence before he pinned Luka to the ground and his fangs lodged in to the ghouls throat.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 61 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 22:54
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part III

Several nights came and went with no word from the Crone and her servants were deathly silent leaving Tiberius to ponder here he stood. He was painfully susceptible to betray at this stage in his machination and could only put his faith that Desponia would rather work with powers she was familiar with rather then forge new alliances. As the minutes went by anxiety rose Tiberius played his cards and under different circumstances would hold more confidence but his last interaction with the Crone was far from friendly as their plans fell apart and their conspiracy was revealed their alliance was strenuous at best.

On the third evening Tiberius and Luka were summoned by one of Desponias handmaidens, a favorable sign that her more warrior like minions were not sent to retrieve them. Most notably to the Ancient it was the very same handmaiden which seemed intrigued by his display of power but a few nights ago. As they made their way through the halls of the temple it almost seemed abandoned leaving the Ancient encouraged to talk.

“Tell me your name?” Tiberiuss stern voice echoed in the empty hall the handmaiden before him and Luka followed behind.

“And why would you like to know.” Her voice was instantly captivating.

“Because what I see must have a name.” Tiberius was amused.

“And what is it that you see.” The handmaiden answered playful.

“Potential.” Tiberius spoke and it was as if the world around the Handmaiden shook.

“But here you will never be more then a servant. At my side you can learn to make what you want yours.” Tiberius’s words resonated with the female Kindred and grabbed hold of her.

“How do you know I want more then this.” She made an attempt at a rebuke testing the Ancients intentions.

“I can see ambition as easily as I can see the smallest head of blood. I alone can grant you the freedom of this place to make of this world what you wish, you need only follow me.” He spoke to her almost like an equal despite there being stark differences in their power.

“Your name.” The ancient again enquired.

“My name is Sarika.” The Handmaiden answered this time.

“Excellent, opportunity will become available to us soon enough but you must now seal your pact with me. What has your mistress been up to these past nights.” Tiberius spoke with a seriousness leaving Sarika at the presuppose of choosing between being a servant to Desponia or her own sire or the potential offers by the Ancient.

“She sent out runners to gather your Eternal Senate per your request and she is currently been meeting with an Elder from the Invictus.” She made her choice it was a gamble but this was the first true choice she has had since coming here.

“Intriguing.” Tiberius immediately thought some kind of betrayal was in the works of course there stood to be plenty of reasons for her to meet with an Elder from the Invictus he walked with confidence that he had eyes on the Crones personal thoughts.

“Until we are ready you must keep your allegiance with me scarce, should you need to get word to me contact Luka, he will also be the means by which I will contact you.” Tiberius said with his typical seriousness.

“Won’t it be a little conspicuous master.” Luka offered his council.

“You two will make it appear as a simple tryst, you will play to part of a plaything to entertain Sharika.” Tiberius explained the means by which they would cover up their activity.

“That should be enough.” Sarika chimed in.

“I can make it look convincing.” She continued confidently.

“But unless you want your little friend here to end up dead we won’t have to long.” She let her concern bleed in to her words.

“I need only assurance that she has held up her end of the bargain then we will make our escape a few more nights is all I need.” Tiberius seemed more confident then before.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 62 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 23:07
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part IV

Several nights had come and gone with Luka playing the part of Sarika playing and personal blood bag but during their clandestine meetings she would whisper the secrets she came to know and Luka would carry them to his master. The other handmaidens looked down on the interaction it was easily explained away by youthful exuberance.

Tiberius was able to learn much through his spy, he now knew Desponia had put out the word for the remaining members of the Eternal Senate to gather in the city of Budapest, more concerning was the fact that his Childe the Emperor Haloise Giovanni was to come to the cursed temple to begin making some kind of bargain, there was the obvious concern that she might betray him out of convince but there was nothing that could be done about that, he held to the hope that his deal was strong enough and their common enmity would prevent such a thing.

Even without the worry of Desponia betraying him his own blood might after all there was no stronger bond among vampires then the one sheared between Sire and Childe and if Haloise had so much of a concern the blood would doom Tiberius. With that thought in mind he had Luka carry his concern to Sarika in hopes that she might make some manner of arrangement.

The night before Haloise was to arrive and Luka had learned the rotation of the temples sentries and madd all haste to bring his master to an unwatched place so that they might speak more freely with Sarika. They had only a few minutes and Luka lead Tiberius to the point where they were to meet with the spy in some secluded corridor in the temple.

Tiberius waited as Luka made himself to be a lookout, the tension were high for should the plot be uncovered at this point betrayal was far from the worst fate that could befall them. Some moments after they were set to meet she emerged with a confident smile on her face, something had changed and Tiberius knew not what.

“Luka tells me you have found some way for me to elude quarry.” Tiberius spoke silently but with his typical sternness

“I have done that and more.” She replied with a playful snicker.
“Then out with it time is our enemy in this moment.” Tiberius spoke with an understandable concern.

“First I would like to modify our arrangements.” She spoke with a sly smile

“Name your terms.” Tiberius answered in frustration.

“When we are to depart this place to whichever place will be yours I wish to be more then some mere servant, you will grant me position and influence.” She gave her terms.

“And what have you for me to demand such a thing.” Tiberius was frustrated but intrigued by the proposition.

“First, I have this.” She proceeded to present an elixir held in a gold embossed vial.

“And second I have this.” She presented a satchel with scrolls in it.

“What have you there.” He asked the intrigue on the tip of his tongue.

“A copy of a manuscript that Desponia herself wrote during her time in Egypt, perhaps it would be of use to you.” She spoke in an ever more provocative way.

“An interesting offer, I will accept if only to ensure the loyalty of one as duplicitous as yourself.” Tiberius grinned the ancients mind already running with what esoteric lore his ally may have uncovered in the land of the shadows.

“The vial is yours now but the lore I will keep until you honor your end of our bargain.” She further amended their arrangement.

“Of course.” Tiberius had enough of the nuance and grabbed a hold of the elixir.

“And what does this do exactly.” He said with a flare of his temper.

“It will temporarily degrade the sympathy your blood so that you will just appear as another Giovanni to your progeny.” She spoke knowing better then continuing to push her luck.

“Excellent. You have done well the time is nearly upon us to part company with Desponia for the time being, when this affair with my progeny is through so too is our time here make yourself ready.” Tiberius commanded as Luka approached.

“Our time is up we have to get moving or the guards will spot us master.” Luka spoke quickly.

The ghouls warning was headed and he and Tiberius made for their dedicated space and Sarika withdrew to the confines of the in et temple where only the handmaidens and the Crone herself might pass.

The next night came and the temple was set to full alert dozens of Desponias warriors stood ready to face any that might defy their Goddess while the blind beast were strutted about in chains and the place seemed to be more glided then it was before.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 63 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 23:09
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part V

Tiberius could sense the tension in the air it was something he had been accustomed to for thousands of years yet it had been so long since he was this close to the struggle, the anxiety was refreshing to him in a way, the uncertainty gave him comfort. He would make what he wanted if the world regardless of his hard or how long he had to claw at it.

He sat in a low laying chair, candles and incense burned around him as Luka was busy grooming his masters body as he had grown accustomed to. The elixir rest on a table easily within arms reach, when his plans had come to fruition would be freer then he had been in an age. Luka finished his work and the Ancient drank down the beverage, its fowl taste barely afflicted the inhuman beast that was Tiberius, the thought that this was poison did pass his mind but there was no room for doubt.

Moments later a pair of the warrior women barged in to the room “The Goddess Desponia demands your presence.

Tiberius was in no mood for a confrontation and acquiesced to the command, he with Luka behind made their way through a familiar gauntlet of hallways to the chamber where Desponia kept her court.

They were seated not far where some of the eyeless beast Desponia kept, likely to drive home the point for them to stay in line during the nights proceedings. Others filled in to the chamber as well, Keto and a slew of witches, the Handmaidens of Desponia, followed by some Vampires that Tiberius could smell the oaths of the Invictus upon them.

He saw the way they scoffed at the barbarism of the Acolytes yet at times brutality was the cleanest answer. The way they looked down at the edifices of Desponia was foolish and why they were followers, he knew Desponia had an ego but she was one of very few Kindred with such a personality with the power to truly back up her claims. He understood their arrogance as much as he understood the hatred the Acolytes held for the ones which would would oppress them. Both sides were right both were wrong and he was amused at their inability to see past themselves.

“Luka, say nothing to anyone here, the Invictus will try to turn you in to a tool and you k ow you are but to serve me alone.” Tiberius placed his hand on Lukas shoulder.

“Of course, I would not be interested in serving that bunch anyway they seem a little to high and mighty to me, non can match you in that area.” Luka scoffed at the idea of being taken advantage of by the Invictus, there was now one vampire whom he was committed entirely to and these pretenders were a pale comparison.

Time went on and surely enough the Emperor and his entourage arrived as expected and though it had been only months since he last saw his progeny these new eyes gave him a heightened sense of satisfaction in what he has become. Haloise did not so much as give a glance to him and was completely unsuspecting as he walked right by his sire.

Tiberius was a firestorm of emotions, some part of his felt pride in seeing the progeny forged by his hand having risen to the pinnacle of Kindred society. Yet another part of him wanted to lash out at the rebellious Kindred who shunned his sire. While these two feelings were common for Tiberius a new sensation overtook him, the bleak absence he would feel if he did somehow vanquish the single vampire to ever best him. Tiberius explained it away as an effect of the elixir yet he knew that made little sense if anything the potion would increase his sense of ambivalence.

His contemplation was broken only when Desponia and her select handmaidens emerged and greeted the Emperor. Tiberius could not hear the false pleasantries exchanged by the two, it was all for show after all as he knew they despised one another but Desponia could not appear as a cruel host and Haloise had to appear the diplomat. The falsehood of everything around him set in now, the real conversation will happen in a back room with intent glares exchanged between rival parties. He found the whole display to be wholly boring with the two leaders giving praise to one another but it was all very tongue and cheek. Tiberius rolled his eyes in disgust, there was a time when this all made sense to him the pageantry of it all yet his new Requiem would not be about hollow demonstrations, he would live by do or do not.

A scheme started to develop in the Ancients mind, surly whoever knows the real progress of these negotiations will have an upper hand in politics across Europe and he was in need of any advantage he could find. Without a doubt the eyes of the place were turned to this room, he could sneak away and make his way to the more private areas where the real conversation will be held.

“Luka I am going hunting, should things get out of hand you know what to do.” Tiberius addressed his Ghoul before stepping out from the area. Luka was confused for surly Tiberius was of no need of Vitae the dedicated Blood Doll always saw to that but he held faith in his masters machinations.

Tiberius stepped out of the main meeting chamber and began to wander the vacant corridors of the temple haven. He had grown somewhat accustomed to this environment and knew well which doors he was restricted from entering. He found one such embossed door before to long and sure enough there was a guard posted there, that could mean but one thing to the Ancient, beyond that door was where he needed to be.

As he approached the women rose an arm pulling at vines on the wall until they became some kind of bizarre weapon, a combination of a whip and spear.

“Stay where you are, these chambers are for who the Goddess deems worthy.” She spoke stoutly, his intent was as plain as day.

Tiberius did remain still, he could hear cheers and applause coming from the main chamber the ceremony was soon to be over. The option to use force existed for him yet that could take more time then he would like and certainly would cause unneeded friction with his host and would be ally. He resolved to more duplicitous means.

Tiberius called upon his blood and like lightning closed the distance between him and her and grabbed the warrior violently by the throat before pinning her to the door she guarded. She moved to use her weapon but Tiberius was quick with his words.

“Listen well to me.” He spoke as his eyes meet hers and his gaze violated her mind.

“You will give me passage to the room you guard and say nothing evermore of this incident.” He commanded and broke the will of the much younger vampire.

Surly enough the Ancient was ushered in to a room of marble and onyx gilded with gold and silver as sanguine colored silk hung from the rafters.  At the center of the room lay a circle made of stone, likely to be used as a table and beyond this a throne enshrined with depictions of serpents, a throne for the Crone herself no doubt. This room was one of the private chambers for Desponia and her harem of followers, there was no telling of the debauchery that took place and all manner of gruesome sacrifices carried out.

The doors again swung open and Haloise and Desponia entered the room with a slew of their advisors and retainers at their side. When they came upon the central part of the room the Crones eyes shot wide open and a trickle of anger was only just noticeable upon her face, for atop her throne sat Tiberius with an ever so cocky smile upon his face. For his part Haloise remained blissfully ignorant as to the true identity of this interloper and was somewhat intrigued by his audacity.

“My thanks lady Desponia for bringing about the reunion.” He stood and began descending the stairs which lead to the throne.

“Your reputation proceeds you cousin, when I heard you were to meet with lady Desponia I had to take the opportunity to finally meet you.” He made his way towards the emperor without so much as a quiver of doubt and extended his hand in friendship.

“It is a pleasure to meet you but you will have to forgive but have we meet before, you seem familiar.” Haloise returned the gesture.

“My name is Atticus Giovanni, my Brood has long been wanderers, I know of you simply through reputation.” Tiberius spoke but a jolt of excitement ran through his body as he came in to contact with Haloise.

“When these arrangements were made I must say I was surprised that there were other Giovanni not begotten of that get Tiberius.” Desponia spoke saving face and offering Tiberius an insult.

“Our Clan is not so narrow.” Haloise added.

“But there is work that must be done, I am sure you understand Atticus.” Haloise moved to get on with the evenings plans.

“Oh but of course.” Tiberius snickered, there would be a chance for him to make a move after all the game had just begun.

The gathered parties took their seats and were quick to get to harsh bickering with one another, insults flew as arrows through the air and it became abundantly clear that this whole façade was but a show and that the only real deal would be made if Desponia and Haloise could speak with one another free of their courtiers. The bickering grew louder and only enraged Tiberius more and he could have no more of it.

“Enough!” He shouted, it felt good to release some of the pent up aggression.

“Who are you to speak” one of the rabble shouted back.

“One with enough sense to use his eyes to see what is happening here.” Tiberius shouted the man down his eyes peering to Haloise and Desponia who he could sense were equally frustrated with the situation.

“The only ones with voice that matter here are the Emperor and the Crone yet I have yet to hear them speak above a whisper. To move things along I would like to issue a challenge.” He turned his attention to Haloise.

“A private meeting clearly is what is needed not this brash display of robes, I challenge the emperor to a simple physical contest, should he win Desponia must travel from her temple to a place of the Emperors choosing, should I triumph well it would seem the Emperor will stay here for a time free of you rabble.” He had a wide grin smile on his face, the thought of facing Haloise again was pleasing to him and he knew Desponia would be intrigued at the prospect.

The crowd of imperials was ready to rage but Haloise raised his hand and they fell silent.

“I accept.” His command hushed them and Desponia carried an amused smile.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 64 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 23:22
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part V


Tiberius could sense the tension in the air it was something he had been accustomed to for thousands of years yet it had been so long since he was this close to the struggle, the anxiety was refreshing to him in a way, the uncertainty gave him comfort. He would make what he wanted if the world regardless of his hard or how long he had to claw at it.

He sat in a low laying chair, candles and incense burned around him as Luka was busy grooming his masters body as he had grown accustomed to. The elixir rest on a table easily within arms reach, when his plans had come to fruition would be freer then he had been in an age. Luka finished his work and the Ancient drank down the beverage, its fowl taste barely afflicted the inhuman beast that was Tiberius, the thought that this was poison did pass his mind but there was no room for doubt.

Moments later a pair of the warrior women barged in to the room “The Goddess Desponia demands your presence.

Tiberius was in no mood for a confrontation and acquiesced to the command, he with Luka behind made their way through a familiar gauntlet of hallways to the chamber where Desponia kept her court.

They were seated not far where some of the eyeless beast Desponia kept, likely to drive home the point for them to stay in line during the nights proceedings. Others filled in to the chamber as well, Keto and a slew of witches, the Handmaidens of Desponia, followed by some Vampires that Tiberius could smell the oaths of the Invictus upon them.

He saw the way they scoffed at the barbarism of the Acolytes yet at times brutality was the cleanest answer. The way they looked down at the edifices of Desponia was foolish and why they were followers, he knew Desponia had an ego but she was one of very few Kindred with such a personality with the power to truly back up her claims. He understood their arrogance as much as he understood the hatred the Acolytes held for the ones which would would oppress them. Both sides were right both were wrong and he was amused at their inability to see past themselves.

“Luka, say nothing to anyone here, the Invictus will try to turn you in to a tool and you k ow you are but to serve me alone.” Tiberius placed his hand on Lukas shoulder.

“Of course, I would not be interested in serving that bunch anyway they seem a little to high and mighty to me, non can match you in that area.” Luka scoffed at the idea of being taken advantage of by the Invictus, there was now one vampire whom he was committed entirely to and these pretenders were a pale comparison.

Time went on and surely enough the Emperor and his entourage arrived as expected and though it had been only months since he last saw his progeny these new eyes gave him a heightened sense of satisfaction in what he has become. Haloise did not so much as give a glance to him and was completely unsuspecting as he walked right by his sire.

Tiberius was a firestorm of emotions, some part of his felt pride in seeing the progeny forged by his hand having risen to the pinnacle of Kindred society. Yet another part of him wanted to lash out at the rebellious Kindred who shunned his sire. While these two feelings were common for Tiberius a new sensation overtook him, the bleak absence he would feel if he did somehow vanquish the single vampire to ever best him. Tiberius explained it away as an effect of the elixir yet he knew that made little sense if anything the potion would increase his sense of ambivalence.

His contemplation was broken only when Desponia and her select handmaidens emerged and greeted the Emperor. Tiberius could not hear the false pleasantries exchanged by the two, it was all for show after all as he knew they despised one another but Desponia could not appear as a cruel host and Haloise had to appear the diplomat. The falsehood of everything around him set in now, the real conversation will happen in a back room with intent glares exchanged between rival parties. He found the whole display to be wholly boring with the two leaders giving praise to one another but it was all very tongue and cheek. Tiberius rolled his eyes in disgust, there was a time when this all made sense to him the pageantry of it all yet his new Requiem would not be about hollow demonstrations, he would live by do or do not.

A scheme started to develop in the Ancients mind, surly whoever knows the real progress of these negotiations will have an upper hand in politics across Europe and he was in need of any advantage he could find. Without a doubt the eyes of the place were turned to this room, he could sneak away and make his way to the more private areas where the real conversation will be held.

“Luka I am going hunting, should things get out of hand you know what to do.” Tiberius addressed his Ghoul before stepping out from the area. Luka was confused for surly Tiberius was of no need of Vitae the dedicated Blood Doll always saw to that but he held faith in his masters machinations.

Tiberius stepped out of the main meeting chamber and began to wander the vacant corridors of the temple haven. He had grown somewhat accustomed to this environment and knew well which doors he was restricted from entering. He found one such embossed door before to long and sure enough there was a guard posted there, that could mean but one thing to the Ancient, beyond that door was where he needed to be.

As he approached the women rose an arm pulling at vines on the wall until they became some kind of bizarre weapon, a combination of a whip and spear.

“Stay where you are, these chambers are for who the Goddess deems worthy.” She spoke stoutly, his intent was as plain as day.

Tiberius did remain still, he could hear cheers and applause coming from the main chamber the ceremony was soon to be over. The option to use force existed for him yet that could take more time then he would like and certainly would cause unneeded friction with his host and would be ally. He resolved to more duplicitous means.

Tiberius called upon his blood and like lightning closed the distance between him and her and grabbed the warrior violently by the throat before pinning her to the door she guarded. She moved to use her weapon but Tiberius was quick with his words.

“Listen well to me.” He spoke as his eyes meet hers and his gaze violated her mind.

“You will give me passage to the room you guard and say nothing evermore of this incident.” He commanded and broke the will of the much younger vampire.

Surly enough the Ancient was ushered in to a room of marble and onyx gilded with gold and silver as sanguine colored silk hung from the rafters.  At the center of the room lay a circle made of stone, likely to be used as a table and beyond this a throne enshrined with depictions of serpents, a throne for the Crone herself no doubt. This room was one of the private chambers for Desponia and her harem of followers, there was no telling of the debauchery that took place and all manner of gruesome sacrifices carried out.

The doors again swung open and Haloise and Desponia entered the room with a slew of their advisors and retainers at their side. When they came upon the central part of the room the Crones eyes shot wide open and a trickle of anger was only just noticeable upon her face, for atop her throne sat Tiberius with an ever so cocky smile upon his face. For his part Haloise remained blissfully ignorant as to the true identity of this interloper and was somewhat intrigued by his audacity.

“My thanks lady Desponia for bringing about the reunion.” He stood and began descending the stairs which lead to the throne.

“Your reputation proceeds you cousin, when I heard you were to meet with lady Desponia I had to take the opportunity to finally meet you.” He made his way towards the emperor without so much as a quiver of doubt and extended his hand in friendship.

“It is a pleasure to meet you but you will have to forgive but have we meet before, you seem familiar.” Haloise returned the gesture.

“My name is Atticus Giovanni, my Brood has long been wanderers, I know of you simply through reputation.” Tiberius spoke but a jolt of excitement ran through his body as he came in to contact with Haloise.

“When these arrangements were made I must say I was surprised that there were other Giovanni not begotten of that get Tiberius.” Desponia spoke saving face and offering Tiberius an insult.

“Our Clan is not so narrow.” Haloise added.

“But there is work that must be done, I am sure you understand Atticus.” Haloise moved to get on with the evenings plans.

“Oh but of course.” Tiberius snickered, there would be a chance for him to make a move after all the game had just begun.

The gathered parties took their seats and were quick to get to harsh bickering with one another, insults flew as arrows through the air and it became abundantly clear that this whole façade was but a show and that the only real deal would be made if Desponia and Haloise could speak with one another free of their courtiers. The bickering grew louder and only enraged Tiberius more and he could have no more of it.

“Enough!” He shouted, it felt good to release some of the pent up aggression.

“Who are you to speak” one of the rabble shouted back.

“One with enough sense to use his eyes to see what is happening here.” Tiberius shouted the man down his eyes peering to Haloise and Desponia who he could sense were equally frustrated with the situation.

“The only ones with voice that matter here are the Emperor and the Crone yet I have yet to hear them speak above a whisper. To move things along I would like to issue a challenge.” He turned his attention to Haloise.

“A private meeting clearly is what is needed not this brash display of robes, I challenge the emperor to a simple physical contest, should he win Desponia must travel from her temple to a place of the Emperors choosing, should I triumph well it would seem the Emperor will stay here for a time free of you rabble.” He had a wide grin smile on his face, the thought of facing Haloise again was pleasing to him and he knew Desponia would be intrigued at the prospect.

The crowd of imperials was ready to rage but Haloise raised his hand and they fell silent.

“I accept.” His command hushed them and Desponia carried an amused smile.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 65 posts
Tue 18 Sep 2018
at 23:24
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part VI

The room was cleared so the two Kindred might engage each other without any advantage. The onlookers were arrayed around the combatants, in one area Desponia and her Handmaidens stood, among them was Sarika and across from them a few privy imperials. The Crone herself stepped forward calling the attention of all those present.

“This combat shall be an honorable one as such I forbid the use of any disciplines or other gifts granted to you by the gods, only your own naturally forged prowess and abilities shall be displayed here.” She commanded.

“This fight shall be decided when one of you has submitted or meet final death, which by all means feel free to address this nuisance.” She laughed before returning to her place.

“There will be no shame in surrender Atticus your bravery will be lauded.” Haloise stepped into the ring, his hair tide back and all but to most essential garments discarded.

“That scar on your chest must come with an interesting story, I look forward to hearing it after you submit to me.” Tiberius was undaunted as he stepped in to the ring in a similar manner of dress although he kept his ebon hair free.

The two came to the center of the circle calmly although it was obvious they sized one another up as they came to stand before one another. Both were silent saying nothing for Haloise this bizarre upstart needed to be put in to his place for Tiberius he longed to struggle against his progeny again. At this point Sarika wearing a veil similar in color to the sanguine drapery stepped forward in her hands was a chalice of olive oil and Vitae anointed by the Crone herself, it was applied to the chest of both men in a jagged line, she then retreated from the ring. Neither man could tell who she was so intently were they glaring at one another.

“The rules have been laid, this contest has been anointed, may you please the gods with your performance.” Desponia concluded her remarks.
No sooner did the final words exit the Crones mouth did the two vampires grapple with one another. They seemed equal in strength as one would push the other forward just to lose the ground they gained. Their mussels flared for all to see as the crowd which at first was quiet grew as the combat went on. The Acolytes talked of feast, celebration, and sacrifice no matter how the combat was decided while those among the Invictus made wagers amongst each other.

Several minutes in to the fight Haloise seemed to grab the upper hand pushing his foe before pinning his to the ground beneath them for several seconds. Confident his point ha been made Haloise released the hold and stood turning his back to Tiberius and beginning to walk away.

“Done so soon? Have I tired you out already?” Tiberius scoffed brushing himself off as he stood.

“You have been defeated I see little point of pushing you for submission.” Haloise seemed disgruntled.

“I concede only one point should are match not be decided by three, perhaps you are to frightened!” Tiberius could recognize a sliver of his own ego ran through Haloise and he knew how to take advantage of it. The Ancient needed this victory not just for his own satisfaction but also for his plans to escape this place to come to fruition.

“If you wish to be beaten again so be it.” Haloise scoffed turning to face his opponent just to have Tiberius lunge at him taking advantage of the Emperors arrogance and quickly bringing him to the floor beneath him.
Shadow of Twilight
 GM, 86 posts
Wed 30 Jan 2019
at 02:06
The Eternal Senate (WIP)
Part VII

Tiberius stood bruised but triumphant over the Emperor, their battle had bee vigorous yet the struggle brought with it more satisfaction. He could see the indigent expression on his Chides face and grew all the more satisfied by it. He glanced to Desponia whose passing interest had long since waned. He looked to his thrall Luka, who seemed pleased by his masters triumph and then to Sarika whom he was intent to steal away from the Crone, she seemed just as caught up in the ancients dark majesty as he had hopped.

“Let me spare you further disgrace, stop by my chambers later and no one needs to know what transpired here.” Tiberius whispered to Haloise as the commotion in the room grew as the fight came to a seeming pause.

“I … accept.” Haloise said begrudgingly under his breath.

Tiberius held a moment longer his vice like grip before releasing the Emperor and without another word stood and walked past the parted crowd. Some shouted protest demanding thing fight have a definitive victor while others tried to collect their debts. Tiberius did not care he had his victory and so he strode forward with Luka clinging to his masters shadow.

They made their way through the torch lit corridors and Tiberius knew that the time was nearly at hand for him to become more then a house guest. The door closed behind him with Luka just behind.

“Master, why would you provoke a fight just to walk away from it ?” Luka questioned as he worked his way about the room illuminating it with the torches upon the wall.

“It is simple Luka, you shall see I have gotten everything I needed from this place.” Tiberius said with a grin quickly grabbing a pen and scribing some instructions.

“Tonight you will take this to the people who brought us to this island, we will be departing soon, inside our my instructors for them.” Tiberius said as he sealed the letter with wax.

Just as Luka took the letter into his hand a knock came from the door and the grin grew on Tiberius’s face and surprise upon his thrall.

“Answer it.” Tiberius confidentially commanded.

Luka made his way hastily to the door opening it and to his surprise he saw Haloise standing there with a frustrated expression upon his face.

“I am a man of my word and so her I am.” Haloise said begrudgingly

“Excellent, Luka go about that errand I will have words with the Emperor.” Tiberius waved his hand.

“I will not disappoint you.” Luka said before making his departure.

“Now what do you want ?” Haloise got straight to the point as the door closed behind him.

“Come on make yourself comfortable.” Tiberius spoke with a beckoning gesture.

“We will balance the scale for the humiliation I will suffer for saving you from indignity.” Tiberius continued.

“So be it.” Haloise spat.

“First I want you to change into that.” Tiberius gestured to a rather loose looking garment of white silk with an ebony sash running along it.

“Why on earth would you desire such a thing.” Haloise spoke between gritted teeth.

“This process will go by much faster if you refrain from questions.” Tiberius spoke with amusement.

“So be it where shall I dress?” Haloise relented.

“Why before me of course, after all are we not compensating my damaged dignity.” Tiberius spoke on. Z

Haloise had little desire to continue a useless engagement the waist of Vitae would not be worth it and so he obliged. He attempted to preserve his modesty as best he could but such a situation was near impossible as the garment was hardly sized for him.

“Now what.” Haloes voiced with frustration.

Tiberius gestured to a table where Luka kept the materials he used to tend to his master. Tiberius then slid free from his shirt and gestured for Haloise to begin. Begrudgingly the Emperor obliged the undignified request.

“I understand that you are in quite the feud with one of your siblings.” Tiberius questioned.

“Gavin and I have a longstanding dispute that is common knowledge.” Haloise replied as he tended to his duties.

“We must be close to a boiling point from what I have heard.” Tiberius replied.

“It would seem that way.” Haloise was not keen to admit to anything.

“And who do you think shall triumph?” Tiberius challenged.

“I will of course.” Haloise was confident.

“Are you so sure you can topple what he has strayed against you?” Tiberius pressed.

“Gavin has sent many of his minions in to the east, he is surrounded only by his fanatics now. I will know if he makes any big moves.” Haloise spoke with certainty.

“I am sure you shall.” Tiberius was relieved, word of his actions in the east had not yet made its way up the chain to his Childe.
Haloise went about his work and faced an assortment of questions from his disgusted Sire, Tiberius now knew what he wanted and belittled his Childe in the process. Tiberius stood now lifting Haloise slight while tearing the tunic.

“Now let me give a taste so you might remember tonight.” Tiberius said with a wicked grin.