Farewell to Aurelia

Jozef, Hans, and Ibrahim go out for blood, and find the C-team telling stories in the Elysium. They also spot Otto, their old friend, sitting in the back. He was sent to check in on Auffenbach, and the coterie happily informs him that he need not worry about the monk.

Victor is unable to convince Rook to meet with Sondheim, resulting in Omar dismissing the Tremere back to the safe house. Omar continues to wait on the tower, planning what he will say when the gargoyle asks where Rook is. The gargoyle is displeased, and takes Omar to meet Sondheim. During the flight, Omar witnesses a herd of lupines and gangrel assaulting a village.

Jozef, Victor, and Ibrahim meet with Stefan to discuss poisons. They steal a large quantity from two herbalists in the city, then taint the supplies of food, beer, and bread that will be shipped to the castle in the morning. They take great care that the urchins who drive the carts will not attempt to eat the poisoned food, leaving fresh victuals for them and implanting a mental command against stealing from the carts tomorrow.

Back at the castle, Omar engages in verbal sparring with Sondheim, trying to convince him that the werewolves and Gangrel are plotting against him. He also claims that Drahn Mohr is the one who murdered Indus, attempting to frame Ibrahim for the crime. The news surprises Sondheim, who is at first unwilling to believe that Indus is dead. Sondheim agrees to investigate the matter, and will act appropriately once he knows more. Omar, attempting to signal to any observers with reflected light from his dagger, offers one of the blades to Sondheim to inspect. Sondheim is fascinated, and when he moves to hand it back, Omar sees the wily wizard motion to one of his gargoyles. In an instant, the other blade is pointed at the attacker, and the assassin’s free hand is held out to receive his property. Sondheim is impressed, and calls off his beast before returning the blade to Omar and allowing him to leave peaceably.

That night, Ibrahim and Victor talk about Indus. Both feel some regret over how the arrogant warlock met his end: Victor for the diablerie, and Ibrahim for allowing it to happen. Still, the Jew counsels his Gentile friend that Indus did have to die, and that diablerie, though abhorrent, at least ensures that the man’s research will not be lost. And when the two of them have perfected this man-made lightning, they will present the findings with Indus’ name inscribed just beneath their own. Probably in smaller font.

The next evening, Omar and Hans travel to the Elysium and find an argument between Aurelia and the now-dead Indus. The imposter is inciting her to frenzy, and Illana informs Omar that this is exactly what happened to her sire. Sure enough, Aurelia launches herself at the imposter, and is quickly apprehended by the local enforcer. Omar conceals his identity behind a Mask of a Thousand Faces, and goes to the side of the Indus-impersonator, insinuating himself as an ally. Meanwhile, Hans follows Aurelia in the hopes of freeing her.

Hans summons up a small army of birds, wolves, and deer and prepares to cause a stampede when the guard locates him and throws a sword through the Gangrel’s face, pinning him to the tree in which he was hiding. Hans pulls free, and drops to the ground below, where he melds with the earth and considers his options. He rises from the ground and launches his assault against the man in armor, but is defeated and forced to return to the earth.

Back in the city, Omar meets with not-Indus at the barn, and realizes that the imposter believes him to be a fellow conspirator, and Hans for one named Caspar. The barn conceals a laboratory similar to the one at the mill, and the imposter suggests that Omar should be leading a werewolf-hunt to draw attention to the West Gate. Whoever these people are, they are not a happy band of friends so much as they are a bickering bunch of conspirators.



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