Here we go, people.



  • Here is a transcript of the letter that was sent.

    "Your letter was received with interest and suspicion. Much suspicion. You must find us incredibly naive that we would so readily agree to meet you without reassurance that you are genuine in your desire to join. If you are genuine then we will agree to meet at a location of our choice but you must bring proof of your sincerity in the form of Camille and the fledgling, Diana, accompanying you. This is not negotiable.

    Beauregard Randolph."
    

    I think it’s important that we think critically about this, and not emotionally. This provides a massive opportunity, but also an enormous risk not to be undertaken lightly. How do we proceed?

    Regards,

    Emmeric



  • Also, I’d like to note that they brought the letter to the Collective, and not the pre-ordained drop off location. Fucks.

    • Em


  • It is incredibly risky, and it’s something that needs to be considered as long as we can afford.

    -Aidan



  • No way their number one is showing in person to this. At best we’re drawing out the Keeper and Sheriff.

    How come they think Tucker and Emmeric got the means to swipe Camille and Diana? Or they don’t and just already know it’s a trap and are trying to get us to bring what they want to ‘em and make takin’ 'em easy.

    If we drag the French bitch along, we gotta be ready to ash her damn fast before they can try swiping her. Probably same time we spring the trap.

    -Cassie



  • Why would they think that? Because they know well enough to think that.

    If they don’t think this is a trap, they are stupid. And I can’t imagine anyone who lives into their twilight years is stupid.

    But, we have what they want, and they are desperate. Do we have anyone who can successfully mimic a face? Or, anyone who knows enough about special effects make up to effectively “copy” a face, or at least its likeness? I’m spitballing here, but, if we can avoid putting the kid in danger, that would be preferable.

    • Em


  • Flat ‘no’ on Diana. They can fuck right off about that. She sure as hell has paid enough of a price already - more than anyone here, and frankly, folks owe her - big. Not to mention that untimely interference has led to this, but that’s a conversation for another time.

    But aside from that…

    Why is there so much interest in some college coed-turned-ghoul-turned-Kindred?

    The Seneschal Camille showed up personally - a fatal mistake - to express her disappointment how you two failed to secure her. Ahem.

    The Herald, her former Sire, is obsessed with her, even though he originally intended her to end up in a gory, 2I-summoning mess.

    Now the fucking Prince is personally demanding her.

    This isn’t simply the Tower wanting a wayward fledgeling. As you and others have expressed, your Sires are still in the Tower, and they’re not tripping balls to come scoop y’all up. What’s with the collective obsession?

    I have some thoughts on it, shared with a couple of others, but that’s irrelevant.

    But it also all comes back to the first point - they can go fornicate themselves with a spiny cactus.

    • Hector

  • Storytellers

    I would posit that the interest is less in Diana and more in you, Hector. In the ball game we’re playing - the Malkavian and the Camarilla are one team, you and the Anarchs are another. Diana, by contrast, is the ball. It might be less that they want that specific ball because they prize it, and more that they are using a ball they took from you to toy with you. Because they know how much you value and prize it and what you will do to protect it, or maybe want to see just how far you will go to save it. Because they are old Cainites in the Camarilla, and this is fun and games to them.

    Except, probably, for the Camille part. I imagine they’re quite genuinely pissed about that.

    • T


  • Tia,

    I know I’m pretty charming, but I don’t think that’s got them hankering after me. Why not ask for you? Or Felicia? I mean, I’m awesome and everything, but don’t have unique or rare skills like y’all. I take them considering me an ‘asshole’ as a bit of a badge of honor, as it seems I’ve confounded them a bit. But that’s also not unique.

    There’s far more to Diana then most figure. She’s given up enough, and then some. She’s nobody’s ‘football’ to hand off. Ask for other volunteers.

    But beyond all that, this is just a ridiculous “deal”. There’s not even a deal being made. Just, “bring us two Kindred we prize”. If they show up with one, will they say, “Oh, dear. no thanks”?

    The desperation is on their side. Push back.

    • Hector

  • Storytellers

    I didn’t say she wasn’t a being of worth. I didn’t say whether I liked or valued her as an individual. My personal opinions about her are irrelevent. I said the Camarilla likely view her as the metaphorical ‘ball’ in the ‘game’ they decided to play to fuck with us. Because they’re a group of elderly fascist prick vampires - a rotten aristocracy - who don’t view people as people but simply as food and/or tools, and have forgotten what it is to be human. Y’all have scoffed when I’ve compared them to the Sabbat before because they are less overt in their atrocities, but I don’t do so unthinkingly. They play far crueller games than this. And yes, we are monsters too, but we are thankfully generally not quite on their level.

    As far as the suggestion that we hand over Diana and Camille? Of course we shouldn’t give them what they want, because fuck them. Nor should we send any Cainite on a suicide mission or as collateral . However that doesn’t mean we can’t possibly think of a way to trick the Camarilla or use the situation against them - with one possibility being the sort of thing Emmeric suggested. But I am no general or tactitian, and in fact would like to know what you believe we should do in order to best ‘push back’ and deal with the cards as they lay right now.

    As to why you out of any of us? Who knows. Maybe they have a reason that we find out in time. Maybe they just siezed on an opportunity. They have certainly succeeded in provoking. I simply think it far more likely that their target is you and by extension us, their enemies, rather than a woman they are one moment happy to send to die if it fucks with you/us - and the next are demanding be returned because it fucks with you/us.

    • T

  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    This be a game of cat and mouse, and everything be risk and reward. Why do they want her? I have no idea. Maybe there’s a reason, maybe they be messing with us. Cause some internal dissent or strife. Maybe it be to gauge how we respond to things. Maybe they be playing for time. We don’t know. All we can do is make our own plans and move forward positively, not constantly responding to their actions. We need to be making the rules of the game, not rushing up to follow theirs.

    That being said, what do we get in exchange for her? Nothing right now, she’s possibly being used as bait. Handing her over to get Emmeric and Tucker in there isn’t our long term strategy, so what is? Handing her over only makes sense if we get something major for it, and I don’t see how we can be trusting that. We should be careful they don’t try and take one of ours to use as leverage, because then we’ll start infighting and it all becomes a mess. If they agreed to leave Branton and that involved taking her and Camille? I’d say that was a worthwhile trade and would push for it. But they won’t and even if they did, there’s nothing to suggest they would stick to the deal and not return to pick up their influences right where they left off.

    I suspect they are desperate, and desperate people make mistakes. So let’s make our plans and work on what we want to happen. Force them to follow our rules, because that is the only way we’ll win. We need to find their locations and fire them up. Put pressure on their resources until they snap. We’ve been working towards that end with Tucker, Emmeric and the other members Spine, and I’m sure the others have been doing their own things.

    Oh, and keep in mind, he ain’t a former sire. He’s the only sire she’ll ever have and no amount of wishing will change the fact he made her. She’s Malkavian now. And she ain’t more important to them, she’s some random kid they took up to fuck with us. Unless you think somehow she has greater value to a Prince who has likely worked with her for decades, having her as his second in command. Not some rando that they didn’t know existed a year ago.

    • Yves


  • This ain’t a negotiation. It’s a game of pressure and desperation. Theoretically they should be feeling the desperation, and we should be applying the pressure. Right now, Rhett Butler is pretending it’s the other way.

    Do we think he’s gonna hold up the opportunity to get his Seneschal back simply for some no-account fledgling? Unless, of course, she’s more important than he (or y’all) want to admit. Or for me? Some charming street thug? I don’t see it.

    He has a chance to get one Guild head; think he’s gonna say “no thanks” because he’s not getting two? The math here is simple: Does he say ‘no’ to getting one of our leaders, another Rose, and his Seneschal back, just because he can’t also get me or Diana? That’s just absurd on the surface.

    He’s setting terms, and frankly, if I’m him, the more that’s agreed upon, the more suspicious I get. We’re talking neutral ground locations, but why would he be interested in that? This ain’t a negotiation! No rules, no conditions. We need to get them to extend themselves, make themselves vulnerable. That’s how we got Camille.

    It’s like a wrasslin’ match - apply pressure until something breaks…whether a bone or your opponent’s will to resist.

    Tell Rhett “No can do on the fledgling; the asshole watches her too close and now she’s part of the crew. Too many moving parts. Our window is slamming shut - there’s rising sentiment to simply off Camille because of Maxwell’s clumsiness. We think we can still grab her, but it’s gotta be soon. We can get her to XXX or YYY locations; not sure which until that night. Send Melesha because they’re gonna be hot on our trail.”

    And if they don’t go for it, we fucking execute her! Sure we lose a bargaining chip, but she already represents a vulnerability. And if as y’all say, anyone she’s tied to will start freaking out, well that only helps us. Erratic behavior should be noticeable.

    And the next time around, Rhett will know we’re serious. His desperation will mount. I

    Isn’t spewing bullshit what y’all do? This should be an easy sell. We need to get him to stop dictating terms, and to start reacting. To get out of being patient and start getting hasty.

    And we need more targets. Y’all move in similar circles, you folks should know who and what. I’ve tried tracking the limo and humvee, but don’t have enough pull yet to sort through the clutter. It’s a casino town, after all. And their focus ain’t on the streets, where our skillsets lie.

    And if they’re willing to let Camille go on to her heavenly reward because of the fledgling, well, that’ll be pretty damn informative as well.

    Pressure and Desperation.

    • Hector

  • Storytellers

    Calm your jets. Nobody has tried to push for Diana to be given to the Camarilla. Nobody here. At most, it was said that options should be considered, but not one person has pushed for giving her. Emmeric pushed for someone else (someone else meaning NOT Diana) to put themselves in danger by pretending to be Diana. NOT sending Diana herself. Not they couldn’t argue for such a thing, but they thus far have not advocated that. I get that your post was discussing tactics and not just talking about her, but you do not need to keep re-iterating it, we are more than certain of your feelings regarding her.

    At any rate you are not ‘some charming street thug’. You are the leader of our military guild. So you are absolutely a valuable and viable target.

    As far as to whether playing hardball will work. It could go either way. It’s potentially worth a shot, as we have a backup option with being able to track down the Sheriff. But it would need to be played very carefully.

    I’m gonna be charitable and assume the ‘spewing bullshit’ line was intended as a joke.

    • T


  • Do we know for sure if Aidan or somebody else can fake Diana’s face or not?

    -Cassie



  • @biteymcbitesalot

    I dunno. Seems pretty advanced. Most of what I know about Obfuscate is to encourage folks not to notice you. Copying someone seems pretty tough. So is disappearing right in front of a room full of Kindred who are all staring at you. That shit is hard.

    Also, we should assume Maxwell is lurking - too big an opportunity for him to sit it out, given he’s one of their two main agents. And the Malks all say they can recognize their own. He’ll see through anything Aidan could cobble together.

    And Tia, no, ‘spewing bullshit’ wasn’t a joke, but it sure wasn’t directed at you. You’ve been pure baller - total respect! It was directed at the Roses, and frankly, more about their skillset. Y’know, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” Well, there hasn’t been either dazzling or baffling. This should be an easy sell; particular with bullshit artists such as they’re supposed to be.

    So even with me being “leader of the Military Guild”, that shouldn’t block the opportunity to get the leader of the BS Guild, an able assistant, and their ancilla Seneschal back. “Well, we can’t get the leader or the fledgling, so we don’t want all the rest.”

    • Hector


  • Anyway, here’s an idea if you’re hung up on my importance:

    Have me at the site, with a fake stake in my chest. I’ll want to be within claw’s reach, anyway. Put me on one of those Hannibal Lecter carts, only my bonds aren’t secure.

    If they still hesitate at the opportunity to get 2 Guild leaders, an able assistant and their Ancilla Seneschal back…well, then something else is going on (which I assume).

    • Hector


  • As Tia said, no one is saying to actually hand individuals over.

    We can simply lie. Bring Camille if we want, but it’s not like we have to actually follow through with what we say.

    Let the record show that the Roses are actually proposing and putting a plan into motion and not settling into petty insults, chip on shouldering, or chest puffing. We will leave that to the esteemed Hector.

    Tucker


  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    My idea:

    Emmeric, Tucker- you set up a meeting with them. Let them pick the place so they feel like they have a bit of power over the situation. I am willing to hear other alternative ideas to that.

    But, no matter where it is, we show up with both Camille and Diana- Hector I realize you are against that but as talented as I think Aidan is, he is not likely to be able to mask as her.

    I am not against your idea of being “staked” Hector, it could be a bonus- you got staked in the fight to capture Diana and is being given as further proof of Tucker and Emmeric’s willingness to play ball to get into the Camarilla. I am sure Diana, given her relationship to you, can be suitably and convincingly upset at your “condition.”

    Emmeric, Tucker- you MUST be convincing in this. You MUST sell that you both are able to manipulate me into letting you take Camille “somewhere safe” and in so doing, actually abscond with her. Perhaps a meeting set up in a public place with either the sheriff or Keeper or even the Herald in order to tell them how your plan would work. I am saying public so that there is a modicum of “safety” but the actual handover and defection is done in a more remote location in order to cut down on mortal interference.

    They WILL be thinking this a trap. WE are thinking it’s a trap. We know they are desperate. It is my belief that Diana is a merely a pawn, a toy at this point and is being included on principle because she got away and tipped their hands and also revealed their desperation in wanting to turn the Inquisitions eyes to us. I would also hazard the guess that if we showed up without her but with Camille, they wouldn’t argue about it. But that is just a guess.

    I want opinions on this without any snark, snapping, insults or anything that detracts from actual PLANNING. We don’t have time to wade through all of that. The longer this takes, the more they may be able to gather information in order to strike at us. I also want us all to realize that Tucker and Emmeric are putting their lives on the line here. The private meeting, should it be agreed to by us, needs to be done without too many people following along. We must trust them to carry this out.

    • F

  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    I like it, we should be taking all the precautions we can be doing. What about kitting out Camille with a special vest that we can blow up if things go south? Whatever we plan, let’s also think of an exist strategy too. Snipers, paths out, all of that stuff. I leave it to those who are better suited to figure out the details, but that be my thinking.

    • Yves


  • My opinion is it fucking sucks. But I’m seeing where it’s going, so I’m going to add one more thing to the mix, since, given her “relationship to me, she can be suitably and convincingly” talked into it:

    Tucker and Emmeric both owe her a Major Boon.

    They’ve done far too much damage to her already. Trying to sell her off to the Tower in the first place, bringing their full attention down with those “long-term plans” - yeah, I still have that text… She’s the one who was strong enough to throw off Maxwell’s compulsion and avoid a 2-I mega-breach in your own back yard - one you haven’t even bothered to investigate yet. And she knows that about the only thing you’ve actually tried to do, Tucker, is killer her off.

    Your fuck-ups and inactivity brought us to this point, Tucker, and Emmeric, you sure as hell helped fuck up her world. I don’t know if y’all were dragging your feet, hoping Maxwell would succeed and there’d be a Baron-sized job opening you felt you could slip into. That’s my working assumption, anyway. And it damn near succeeded.

    And now, feeling the heat, you volunteer yourselves to make up for your relentless fuck-ups and complete inactivity. Only you can’t sell it, can you, without dragging her back into this? So now you’re going to fucking pay for her to bail you out, yet again.

    And that’s if she agrees.

    Otherwise, everybody can go to hell.

    • Hector


  • Hector,

    No.

    The Parliament,

    We can move forward with the plan involving Camille.

    In terms of objectives, for the drop off point - are we hoping to grab intel so that we may track them? Or depending on numbers, is that when we are planning to take them out?

    Tucker