by Stephen Carter
strife: 1 a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension 2 : exertion or contention for superiority
This word typifies the Kindred world and this month was no exception.
The Anarch population swelled almost overnight! There were many a young energetic Kindred in the city this Gathering, most of them itching for a fight. It seems that Anarch instigator Micheleena O'Neal had been a very busy lady posting flyers and making calls. Her Brujah brethren were out in force...for all the good it would do them.
It seems Prince Fontage had taken just about all the rabble rousing she could stand. At least that is the way it looked by the end of the evening. While Micheleena was busy having words and fisticuffs with others, the bulk of her force was being actively hunted and destroyed by the Sheriff. And he had help, too. The killing field was the Brujah meeting place called the 'blacktop'. Redtop might be a better name these days. The restless young punks were treated to a view of devastating force as Sheriff Kendrick and Kevlar of the Gangrel unleashed the Prince's fury upon them...the view did not last very long. Stealth and speed were the order of the day as the duo ripped through the assembled cainites. It was said afterwards that a true member of the Camarilla was mistakenly destroyed in the melee. Anyone want to bring that up to them? Thought not. C'est la vie!
Also during the evening, Micheleena, not seemingly able to catch a break, had a little tussle with Brujah elder Stephan Jefferson. Well, you could call it a tussle if your definition of 'tussle' is full on onslaught of rabid fury! Those able to track the action were awed by the sheer speed and ferocity of the attacks. The two eventually separated and both walked away...more or less. Now if only we could bottle all that energy...oh wait! The Giovanni already do that, don't they?
But not all of the evening's diversions were so blatantly violent. Take for instance the arrival of one Nathaniel Ross. Nathaniel is a former resident of Atlanta and is newly returned. He caused quite a few heads to turn (or is that rise?) when he arrived surrounded by three bewitching creatures. Their curvaceous forms flanking Nathaniel, the quartet made quite the entrance into the Prince's audience chamber. Later at a reception in the Anubis Club, the ladies regaled the assembled crowd with their talents. Ms. Vita mesmerized the crowd with her southern charm. Sabine cut through the crowd with her rapier wit. Josephina, well the mere site of her drove many a Kindred to long for their days of more, mortal, pleasures. The conversation flowed and the Toreador prepared to witness the accomplishments of one of their own, N'stasha Ariel, who was holding a fashion show that evening.
The fashion show was held in the main area of the Anubis Club presumably for the convenience of all who attended...in reality it may have been to reduce the chance for escape! The fashions presented were marketed under a brand name carrying in it's nomenclature, oddly enough, the word Torpor. This is exactly what one Toreador lady remarked would have to be done to her before she would don the ghastly creations. Of course, one being's skinned wildebeest carcass is another's being's evening gown so who is to say?
And speaking of Toreador and their choices, Archon Alexander Winthrop made a rare appearance in the city this month. The Archon to the Malkavian Justicar was present to inquire into a mysterious museum robbery perpetrated (badly) the month before. It seems from appearances that the Archon lost some personal 'assets' in the theft. The Archon also came bearing gifts as he carried with him the highly prized Blessing of the Camarilla. This amulet is bestowed upon a deserving Kindred for outstanding service to the sect. The recipient was one of the Toreador's own, Kaleb. The artifact was placed upon Kaleb by Winthrop himself in a ceremony commemorating the event.
The Shadows that once threatened the city seem to have returned this month. Several rat like shadows were destroyed in the Osiris Lounge and the surrounding area. In response to the possible threat, a team of Kindred led by Sun Lau made their way to a church reportedly connected to Shadow activity. There they engaged a cult of Shadow worshippers and several shadow infected humans, one of which was fully transformed. They destroyed the cult members then withdrew as a powerful 'Shadow Knight' appeared and attacked one of their vehicles. The knight's sword left rents in the pavement as it attempted the destroy armored car.
As the first team departed, satisfied with their success, a second team led by Kevlar and later accompanied by Luther headed towards the Shadow church. The team met with stiff resistance and took heavy damage from a Shadow Knight and an 'amorphorus, tentacled shadowbeast'. The beast was evidently summoned through a mystical ritual that involved the sacrifice of a living human.
What drama will the next gathering bring? Kane only knows!