1 - Vampire the Masquerade
DescriptionChapter 1 of the story
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What a Long, Strange Trip It Has BeenWell, I"m sitting here in my original haven, just above the biker bar in Santa Monica. When I first moved in, in 2008, it was a pawnshop. Tripp"s pawnshop, to be exact. Now, the shop is a bar catering to the Hell"s Angels. My haven was a sleazy apartment then, and it is a sleazy apartment now. But it is safe. I am sitting at my laptop, keying in the events from the year 2008. The Tremere regent and Camarilla prince of the Los Angeles area, Maxmillian Strauss, requested this task. But I am getting ahead of things here. Let"s start at the beginning. My name is Randall Davis. Everyone calls me Randy. I was a single male, with a good job as a systems administrator. I had inherited a small home when my mother died in Malibu, and I had updated it. I liked to party in downtown LA. I loved a club called the Last Confession. It was in an old Catholic Church. The club catered to the punk-heavy metal-grunge crowds, and they had some kicking bands on weekends. I loved to go down and listen. Then on one Saturday night, I met a girl named Casey. We went back to her place, made love, and she made me into a vampire. Yes, you read that correctly. I am a vampire. Before I get into those details, let me give you some background information. Vampires are real. We exist. We live in the shadows. Our existence is hard, because we have to keep our secret from real humans. In fact, we have to appear human. We call this The Masquerade, and we practice it constantly. You see, there are only about 500 vampires in all of Los Angeles County. Contrast that number with 10 million humans. They could wipe us out in a New York minute if they knew that we were real. Now, forget everything you know about vampires. All of the books, movies, and plays are nonsense. That information has been fed to humans, by vampires, to uphold the Masquerade. What are the facts behind vampirism? Well, we feed on blood. Blood is our food and drink. We have supernatural powers. We can move with great speed and agility, and we have great strength. Our five senses are vastly superior to the human equivalents. We can also detect and differentiate auras. A crucifix means nothing. I have a collection of lovely, artistic crosses that I enjoy observing. Holy Water merely makes us wet. And I understand that garlic still makes spaghetti sauce tasty. But we do have limitations. Allow me to give you a few details here. Sunlight is deadly. We cannot walk abroad in daylight. Sunlight will kill us. As will fire. Fire will kill us much quicker than it will kill a human. And, of course, there is the matter of our vampire blood. It is magical. It heals, and heals quickly. It must be renewed, every day, with human blood. We can also feed on animals in a pinch, but animal blood is not as effective. And if we bleed faster than the blood heals, we die. It is that simple. A shotgun blast is nasty. And, if by some strange event we get beheaded, then things are all over. We call these occurrences the Final Death. Now, what is a Tremere? Tremere is simply a vampire clan. However, a vampire does not join a clan like a human joins a club. A clan is a bloodline. If a Tremere sires you, then you are a Tremere. Clans have different powers and abilities that are unique. Tremere are blood sorcerers. We work powerful magic with blood. The most common clans are Brujah and Toreador. Brujah are very fast and have great physical strength. They are also very passionate and tend to support the underdog. Toreadors are the most human of vampires. They are handsome, pretty, and charming. They are excellent at manipulating humans to achieve their aims. Malkavians are very rare, and the most powerful of vampires. But they suffer from a limitation. They are insane. The visions that cloud their minds often cause them problems in differentiating between reality and fantasy. At times, it is very hard to communicate with a Malkavian. There are four major vampire-governing groups. The first is the Camarilla. A Prince is the head of the Camarilla in a given geographic area. A Regent is the head of a clan in the area. The second is the Anarchs. The Anarchs pretty much follow Camarilla rules, but they refuse to pay tribute to the Camarilla. They reject the traditions of the Camarilla. The third is the Sabbat. They are radicals. They want to enslave the human race and control them like humans control cattle. They mark everyone who is not Sabbat for the Final Death. Lastly we have the Kuei-Jin. They are Chinese vampires, and play by a different set of rules and powers than Western vampires. Oh, western vampires are also known as Kindred. I have been a vampire for seven years. In vampire terms, I am still a Childe. A Childe is a young vampire, Childer is the plural. But those that know are aware that I am no child. The events about to be documented are what I did in my first year as a vampire. What I accomplished was quite impressive. I destroyed the Sabbat in Los Angeles, defeated the Camarilla Prince, Sebastian LaCroix, and replaced him with the Tremere Regent, and reduced the power of the Kuei-Jin in Chinatown to nothing. Oh, and I prevented a vampire war and a vampire Armageddon. Not at all shabby for a rookie.