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A Meeting In Samarrah

Jozef and Ibrahim set off to locate the missing Gangrel, Hanz, and succeed in reviving him. As he is severely drained of blood, Hanz opens the vial of blood. It is revealed upon drinking to be the blood of a Salubri, opening a tell-tale third eye upon the Gangrel’s brow. Suddenly, his aura perception is clearer than ever before, and he can apparently see the lifeforce of every person nearby. His first idea for this power is to carefully observe the simple boy back at the safehouse. The boy glows golden with life and energy, but no other knowledge is gleaned.

Omar takes Faust and Ostvel to go retrieve Rook, and spots the Indus imposter headed for the Elysium. However, they must meet with Sondheim, so the group travels to the castle via gargoyle. They are led through torture chambers and libraries to meet with the cruel Tremere.

Sonndheim uses the conversation to imply that Lord Rustung is dead, and to gently gloat over the security of his position. He attempts to lure Victor into his service, which Omar quietly encourages. As soon as Faust has left the room on a simple errand, Sonndheim reaches for the bird, which Omar hands over. Rook, once on the mad magus’ hand, bursts into flame and emits a horrifying shriek in a voice none present have heard before.

Despite the murder of Victor’s companion, Sonndheim attempts to make small talk afterwards, and seems mildly surprised that the coterie is upset about Rook’s death. Still, they maintain composure and accept a tour of their host’s laboratory. In it, they find proof of Rustung’s death, though it is possible that all the disparate pieces might be put back together to restore the whole.

Sonndheim betrays Omar and has the gargoyles carry him to the western mountains, to be chained down for the sun. The coterie races to find the Assamite, managing to spot him mere minutes before sunrise. Three gargoyles guard him, and a pitched battle erupts on the mountain’s mighty face.

By the battle’s end, the sun is rising, Ostvel has fallen down the mountainside, Jozef and Victor have taken cover beneath heavy bearskin cloaks, and Hanz has nearly been incinerated before being wrapped in the wings of a hostile gargoyle. And all the while, Ibrahim prays for the Assamite’s salvation as sunlight covers them all…

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