These are the events that have happened and shaped Camarilla Zagreb in the last couple of years. The events described here are chronicled in chronological order, taken from different perspectives:
Chapter I & II - Reformation of Camarilla ZagrebEdit
With the start of 2013, Camarilla Zagreb was born. A fledgling bastion of order, if compared to the general organization and its parts worldwide, with an unthankful task of maintaining the Masquerade in spite of a highly active and volatile Sabbat presence.
Marija Mlinarić, a Toreador, seized Praxis over the domain, although it was soon made clear that the real power was wielded by her Seneschal, a formidable Ventrue Elder named Aleksej Romanov.
A question arises. Did it even matter? With the formational maladies that plagued this young society of Kindred, brought together mostly by the primal need to survive and to adapt to the rules of engagement in the Camarilla, the only two Kindred who peered past the mundane were just making their first contact.
Thus, the initial revelation was born, and an opportunity was presented.
Vandred Van Patten, an exemplary Ventrue Ancilla, and Roy Proctor, a Malkavian who seized the position of Primogen with his first appearance in the domain of Zagreb, mostly because of the enigmatic ways of the Malkavian Elder Mchale who had no intention to stop him, made a pact. A pact that would make Van Patten the next Prince, and Proctor his Seneschal. And so the extensive plotting and months of manipulation had begun.
Is it important that Van Patten had a particular sinister aura about him, and that Proctor was an actual Setite? Probably. Did it threaten their plan and existence thereafter? Absolutely not.
A charade had to be maintained by the Kindred of course. No, make it plural.
The charade of tolerance. The tolerance of a completely debilitated and existentially impaired Nosferatu clan.
The charade of exhilaration. The exhilaration in the fact that a public ‘marriage’ between the feeble Nosferatu Zagymir and a tortured Malkavian soul Sofia will eventually guide them to a glorious fate of nonexistence.
The charade of loyalty. Loyalty to the frail Toreador Prince and the overwhelming force of the Ventrue clan.
The time of reckoning was near.
A deal was made with the Toreador. They would remove the elder Pavlov from the position of Primogen, and a dubious ancilla Imbrišak will take his place. This would be synchonized with the removal of Nataša Vronski from her Ventrue Primogency, and thus, the majority of votes for banishing Mlinarić from her throne would be reached, considering the fact that the support was already acquired from the Brujah Primogen Petrač, Tremere Primogen Marković and Proctor with his Malkavian vote.
Proctor managed to gather up the heat up until the crucial moment, almost getting himself killed in the process, for he had acquired the information that the Seneschal is planning to propose a Bloodhunt on his head.
Nevertheless, nothing could stop the undertaking now. Not even the arrival of a mysterious and powerful Lasombra Antitribu elder, Darius Vetrov.
Van Patten had managed, with the help of his fellow clanmates Berislavić, Hartman and Borelli, to remove Vronski, but not without scandal and a direct confrontation in the Elysium (and a breach of Elysium code and conduct, or rather, sanctity), after which Vronski and Romanov had fled, much to the dismay of the bloodthirsty populus.
The Brujah clan was eager to help as well, considering one of their own, a neonate named Gajba fell to the hands of the tyrant Romanov.
Regardless, Mlinarić was banished, Van Patten seized Praxis, Proctor became his Seneschal, the Ventrue duo were Bloodhunted, and Borelli and Hartman were sanctioned for their Elysium misconduct.
The following months were not so burdened with inner political turmoils, but had a few amusing developments. Proctor revealing himself to be a Setite and managing to get the opportunity to forsake his brethren and officially join the local Camarilla, Vetrov becoming the new Seneschal, the arrival of Tremere Lord Cyrus Nikolai, as well as an ancient Gangrel elder going by the name Namtaru, the concetrated efforts of the new Malkavian Primogen Fe to maintain clan stability amidst growing Malkavian activity in the area with no clear cause…
And almost complete decimation of the Brujah clan who had fallen victim to their hubris following ther initial victory against the previous rulership.
Well, it turns out, more than a few developments. Time is convoluted when you are of Caines blood, things can be easily forgotten, and the stream of thought works… differently.
… Ah, yes, the Sabbat. During the difficult and stressful political maneuvering, the Sabbat had managed to infiltrate deeper into Zagreb and gain the upper hand, which became plain obvious during the infamous ‘Jarun incident’, in which a whole island in the lake was blown up during a confrontation with the Sword of Caine, almost delivering many of the local kindred to final death.
The snipers and the vozhd were added to the pain, so this gruesome experience was deeply branded in the psyche of the combatants, especially Felga, the Brujah who had the mantle of Sheriff during that time.
Bruno Golem was annihilated by the Sabbat, which contributed to the conflicting atmosphere of mortality in the state of immortality that bedazzled many of the neonates.
Obviously, after this kind of catastrophe and almost permanent Masquerade breach, Felga didn’t hold the function for long, although most of the blame could be attributed to the lousy job done by the Nosferatu, yet again.
The Nosferatu Primogen Zagymir would later pay with his stigmatized unlife when a kill squad with orders from Darius payed him a friendly visit in his haven. Although the rumor goes that he is still being held staked by Darius, no one cares enough to actually confirm, and why would I?
The malady did not end there. A group of mortal hunters managed to assault the Elysium with flamethrowers and grenades, but fortunately enough, because of the heroism of Hartman, Petrač, Proctor, Erik the Tremere Technomancer and Namtaru, there was no ash to pick up, only the mauled and bullet decorated corpses of the mortals.
Was there a time of peace thereafter? Of course not. Why would there be? The foundation of Caines curse lies in the neverending spite of unlife, refusing to bow to the laws of nature, constantly hanging to a fleeting, bloody thread.
To further support this claim, I also must report the… incident with the Infernalist posing as a Tremere Elder, a brilliantly played act and elaborate guise, not even Lord Cyrus could see through it. I named it an incident, for there is no other word I can use to remain emotionally detached to the sheer amount of gullibility that was visible on that tragic eve.
A demonic seal was broken, and Zagreb was pushed a bit more towards pure chaos.
Fortunately, the Infernalist threat was taken care of soon enough, along with the Sabbat foothold in Zagreb, with notable performance of the Gangrel clan trio; hero Brane, Primogen Balog and Scourge Namtaru, earning the Camarilla some time to regroup and consolidate its ranks.
But a new threat was beginning to form. One coming from one of their own, from the top of the hierarchy. Prince Van Patten was becoming more unstable by the moment, as he was struggling with intangible remains of his humanity, only a mere step from Wassail. Proctor, supposedly in a radical move to fortify that claim, used a discipline on Van Patten to provoke his Beast.
Its hard to say did it succeed, but Van Patten abandoned his position, enacted a Bloodhunt on Proctor along with that, and Darius had become the new Prince. Proctor is still alive, and a Keeper of Elysium, Darius is a truly gifted leader, becoming a pillar of the community, along with his childe Marius, the new Sheriff, and probably the best they’ve ever had. As for Van Patten… he is nowhere to be found.
The Anarchs were given the domain of Ivanić Grad, their Baron Lazić eager to prove himself mustered the support of 2 Old Clan Tzimisce who are fueled by vengeance towards the Sabbat in Samobor.
And now there are Necromancers in town, and I have never seen the Shroud so thin before. The Shadowlands are restless.
As is Zagreb.
I hope I will soon discover why has this area been marked so abundantly with occult energies, and how is it possible that a domain as young as this one can attract such powerful Kindred.
Adramelech, Inconnu Monitor of Zagreb
Chapter III - The Darkness Rises and Shadows LoomEdit
The bigger period of 2015 was caught up in a political upheval in Zagreb. Power often changed hands, Primogens rose and fell, Sheriff’s position was fleeting at best. Prince Darius holds the position now and a period of peace seems as long lasting, unless someone would try to usurp the Praxis.
After clearing the house, Prince Darius turned his gaze upon the City of Samobor, the so-called stronghold of Croatian Sabbat, launching a silent crusade against the Cainites there who were almost removed from the public view.
To fortify his position, the Prince went to Budapest, at the call of Prince Ferdinand Ernst von Herberstein, accompanied by several kindred, most notable of them being Primogen Fe of Clan Malkavian and Primogen Renata of Clan Tremere. There were whispers that he was accompanied by Roy Proctor as well, but that story was rarely, if ever, confirmed.
What deal or alliance was made between two Princes is better left to imagination of Zagreb Kindred, but one thing is certain – During the gathering in Castle Golubovec, prominent Kindred from Hungary came; Prince Herberstein sent his Nosferatu Seneschal, in addition to Anton von Wittmann, Ventrue Prince of Győr, showing up with the rest of the emmisaries. Many secret meetings were held, very few things made public.
An ancient evil used a spell on the castle – a necromancer known as Metatron. Chaos and confusion washed over kindred inside, some reporting ghastly visions. Metatron was defeated later on, by joined forces of Camarilla and Anarchs.
The castle event also saw Talley of Sabbat, nicknamed The Hound, a Lasombra of some renown, who showed up and offered the Prince and Camarilla his help to clear the Samobor of ‘Sabbat traitors’. If there was a deal between him and Darius, nothing has been confirmed and after showing his face once more, Talley vanished into the darkness.
The rumor has it, these days the Samobor is clean of Sabbat that formerly inhabited, something more sinister taking its place but without someone to confirm the story, it is hard to say.
All obstacles aside, there was one more which in particular caused problems on all sides of the fence. A curse struck all Zagreb kindred, affecting their very vitae and nature, including the removal of their clan weaknesses. Zagreb kindred lay low for some time until the curse, or whatever it truly was, vanished. The summer of 2015 was rather an uneventful one.
After the summer, Darius sent a contingent of Kindred to Hungary, to help the local Camarilla in their war against Sabbat. While little is known about the events there, one thing is certain, the Zagreb Camarilla sent there lost their heads, to the last member and Prince lost his only childe – Marius.
In the end, Prince Darius, once more opened the borders of Zagreb, calling all Kindred to come and join Camarilla here. Now is the perfect time, he said – come and make name for yourself, become known in the Camarilla…
Chapter IV - The Dog DaysEdit
The Ivory Tower in Agram still stands, growing and changing much like the Tower of Babel. And like the tower of bygone ages it is a place where many things clash and where seemingly everyone speaks a different language. The Anarchs have collapsed, the Sabbat was vanquished... but I get ahead of myself.
Prince Darius, the black tyrant of Zagreb, opened the borders of Zagreb in September 2015, inviting Kindred to come and join the Camarilla, and many did. A Malkavian, Johanna Klose, who fled Berlin because of the hunters. A Gangrel, Branislav Vuk, who managed to get out of Belgrade before the Sabbat managed to grab the city in a stranglehold. A Toreador and former Anarch, David Santaleza, who travelled ‘round the globe. Another Malkavian, Claudio Augusto de Medici, a Catholic fundamentalist who promised the Prince that he would build a blood bank. And there was an independent Brujah, Milutin “Raka” Milović, whose arrival seemed to have sparked something among the Anarchs. Turns out he sired three of them, Žac, Griva and Njuška.
It was then that Žac, baron of the Anarchs in Ivanić Grad, stepped down from his position and decided to join the Camarilla, forcing the Anarchs to vote Sale as their new baron. His actions along with the absence of Žac who was keeping things together threw the rabble in complete disarray. All of a sudden the Sabbat is burning their home turf and everyone save for Sale decides to join the Camarilla. Sale, now a presumed diablerist, flees and is nowhere to be found. The Sabbat declares war on the Camarilla and as quick as amnesia they surround Zagreb, starting with killings in Zaprešić, the personal domain of the Harpy, the Ravnos Mande Mandare, soon taking Lučko and the former barony, Ivanić grad.
This, along with the arrival of hunters (some of them blame Klose for this), prompts the Sheriff, Kolya, to create a task force. Žac and Santaleza are the first to join. The latter is deputized. Along with the Nosferatu, the task force starts various investigations, clawing inch by inch and uncovering horrible truths. Not only are they surrounded, the location of the Elysium and the names, titles and clans of various officers are known to the hunters. Angered with an increasingly dysfunctional Camarilla, Prince Darius announces a Call of Seasons and removes Kolya from the positions of Sheriff, making Santaleza the new one. Kolya’s whereabouts are unknown, but one can assume what has become of him after the Prince heard he was planning a coup.
Partially out of fear of the Lasombra Prince, partially out a desire to prove himself, the former Anarch begins making moves against the Sabbat along with a couple of not so trusty allies. Battles ensue, unlives are lost, there is no glory to be claimed in the bloodbath. With a new Primogen council and several victories against the Sabbat the Camarilla in Zagreb looks as if it is finally relatively stable. They host a Grand Elysium and several foreign dignitaries from neighboring cities grace them with their presence. Elder Wilhelm, a Tremere and the Keeper of Elysium, becomes Darius’ new Seneschal, leaving the place of Keeper up for grab for several potential candidates like Cyb3er, the controversial and capable Nosferatu Warrenmaster, and Johanna Klose, who proved that she can flourish even when things looked dire.
May, Friday the 13th, the Sabbat and the Camarilla have their final showdown. Smoke rises and morning crawls into the city, the Camarilla is weakened but victorious. The Prince proclaims that Golać, the Nosferatu primogen, is triumphant and one must ask him or herself how Santaleza will react. The Seneschal is obviously less and less human, giving even the most hardened Kindred chills and Mande finally has his domain back. If the Camarilla in Zagreb can finally breathe (so to speak) one wonders why the Prince challenged the Seneschal to a combat symbel and whose idea that was? Another interesting thing: after the delegation returned from Budapest Prince Darius announced that the Ventrue are no longer welcome in Zagreb and only a handful know what actually provoked him to do so.The nights are getting longer, summer is at an end and the Kindred of Camarilla Agram will soon find out that certain specimens of their prey have grown fangs.
Intermezzo - Breaking the SwordEdit
Friday the 13th. On this ominous date, a day of reckoning is at hand: The Sword of Caine clashes with The Ivory Tower. Only one will remain standing when the night is over… a night that will be remembered by all. All Kindred will ask “Where were You on Friday the 13th?”
An ambush is set by Prince Darius. All Kindred hidden from sight patiently await the signal to break cover and paint the night red, with sword and shield, tooth and nail. The staging ground is in front of the Elysium, as irony would have it, called The Square of the Victims of Fascism. On top of the central monument, the Prince surveys the area which will soon be filled with sounds of battle, gunfire, clashing of metal and screams... Behind him, his Coterie... Petrać the Scourge, Gargoyle Fidus and 2 mercenaries from Krakow sent by Prince Lewinski as support; Michał Nadulski from Clan Toreador, a mere Neonate, and Magdalena Szyszka, Ancilla of Clan Brujah. Their task is to battle the Blood Brother monstrosity known as The Gestalt. Behind them stands Seneschal Wilhelm, flanked by a pair of zombies and his dragon.
Divided into small groups with various tasks, the rest of the Camarilla waits, among them some old faces and some new, all answering the call of The Black Tyrant of Zagreb.
The city is as silent as a tomb. The oppressive gloom of anticipation is chewing on everyone's nerves as if Final Death itself is among them and weighing whom to claim. The calm before the storm is broken by distant clamor –
They are here!
Hordes of bloodthirsty shovelheads pour into the square. Towering over them like an island in a sea of writhing mass is The Gestalt. A hideous creation of a twisted mind and a dark heart, walking on four legs with eight indiscernible appendages, this hulking mass of muscle, sinew, and blood has three faces merged together in one head with three joined maws, gaping and drooling.
The moment has come to unleash his forces! Now for wrath, now for ruin, and the red dawn! A mighty war horn thunders through the night as the Prince puts it to his lips. As the signal is given, Kindred erupt from their hiding places and bravely clash with the horde, severely outnumbered. Mere moments after that, an air horn blares from a side street and a legion of men in black shirts with fascist symbols joins the fray. Eyes wild, faces red and veins bulging, they scream pro-Croatian and anti-Serb slogans.
The fight starts with Bjorn, a huge bear charging into the Sabbat horde, violently slashing and gnawing at everything.
In the meantime, Darius, Petrać, Fidus and the two mercenaries move to engage the monstrosity. Darius launches himself into a mighty leap, transforming mid-air into a shadowy horror, sprouting tentacles and claws. He lands near The Gestalt, obliterating half a dozen shovelheads as he lands. As bullets bounce off the monster, it charges towards Darius faster than it would seem possible, but just as it's about to strike him, a blur of speed hits it sideways, pounding it into a nearby building – and Petrać appears in the place it stood a moment ago. Fidus takes flight and soars high above gaining altitude while the two mercenaries from Krakow cut a path through the shovelheads to reach the Prince and Petrać.
Seneschal Wilhelm engulfs himself in a pillar of flame and surveys the battleground scanning for targets, by his side his dragon and zombies.
During this massacre, the first to fall on both sides is Novak of Clan Gangrel. He was fighting the shovelheads when the black thugs joined in and threw a couple of Molotov cocktails at him. Finally, they stomped him into the ground as he lay still. Primogen Vuk manages to gun down a few of them with the support of Rossi and pull out the torpid corpse from the fight. The Blackshirts just seem to ignore everyone wearing a black scarf and continue to attack the shovelheads in a frenzy.
Starting to get heavily pressed by the horde, the Sheriff’s team, namely Santaleza, Žac, Carlos, and Golać, engage a couple of Sabbat lieutenants, who were peppering them with gunshots and moving in closer, one of them impervious to gunfire. The team decides to fall back into a nearby building to regroup and heal.
Fighting on the ground level with a sword, someone who looks like Blade appears, hacking through the shovelheads with abandon... ten meters to the side, another Blade is twirling around dodging, parrying with his sword and, this time, also shooting. After a couple of minutes, one of the Blades is overwhelmed and disappears in a puff of smoke. Nearby, Baldassare Giovanni tears the Shroud open and unleashes terrors from the other side on the Sabbat. Then something hits him and sends him reeling on his back... and a warrior with a turban and a sabre appears above him, raising his weapon to cut him down. But as the steel falls, it doesn’t connect with flesh but with steel, as Blade appears next to Baldassare and parries the blow. The combat is resumed.
Meanwhile, Darius takes a monumental hit from the monster and is sent tumbling into a parked bus. Bullets ping off The Gestalt, again to no effect. It turns around and charges the gun-slinging mercenary from Krakow, squashing him to pulp in a few hits. His comrade uses this chance to slice it with her sword and manages to open a deep gash on its back. It turns around to face her when a flying bus falls on it. She looks at the direction from where it came and sees Darius, heavily wounded, but healing himself. Sounds of pounding drag her attention back to the monster and she sees Petrać bashing the thing with his glowing fists, as fast as a machine gun – only to be thrown to the side together with the bus. As the monster starts getting up, the gargoyle Fidus plummets from high above right into it, creating a little crater. As the monstrosity is dazed, Fidus grabs hold of it and hoists it up into the air, once again gaining altitude. But the monster is stronger, and after they reach an altitude of fifty metres, it starts biting him with its three mouths and sucking him dry. Moments later, they fall on the roof of a building and vanish from sight.
The shovelheads start to scale the monument on which Wilhelm shines like a beacon. His dragon throws them down as they climb – when some of them get over the ledge, they are either engaged by zombies or greeted with a fireball to the face. Everything seems to be under control until a few shovelheads jump on the dragon, then a few more, and under their weight it goes tumbling down. More and more of them start to crawl over the ledge, but seeing Wilhelm in a pillar of fire, they hesitate to approach him and instead engage the zombies.
But then something weird happens. Wilhelm hears words in a strange language and starts to sweat... wipes his forehead and sees blood... then singles out the culprit, an individual from the ground, who is looking at him and casting spells. A magical duel ensues – blood versus fire. At the same time, the shovelheads manage to grab one of the zombies and throw him into the pillar of fire. Fortunately, Wilhelm pushes him out. The shovelheads are upon him like mad dogs, stabbing, biting, punching. He is almost completely overwhelmed until he conjures another pillar of flame underneath him, setting six of them ablaze in an instant. He gets back on his feet, heavily wounded, and starts throwing fireballs at the few survivors around him, scattering them and a few owls which were now among them, going straight for him.
Then he feels an impact to the head, which splinters bone and tissue, and another… and he goes down.
As the monster falls from the sky with Fidus, who is now a pile of ash, it crashes through the topmost few floors to land in the same room as the Sheriffs team... It lands ON them and roars with bloodlust. Before they can even blink, a flurry of blows sends them all flying through nearby walls, limbs broken and organs ruptured. What saves their lives is Golać, who makes them all vanish. They are all badly wounded, except Žac who managed to go through this whole ordeal unharmed – the only damage done was to his jacket. The monster smashes through the glass wall and jumps down to the street, only to be met by Darius, Petrać, and the sword-wielding mercenary. Petrać charges it with two stakes, stabbing it and breaking them off, a sword cuts off one of its legs... and then Darius finishes it by grabbing a nearby wooden lamp and driving it through its chest. The monster lays motionless at their feet and Darius rips out its misshapen head. He turns around to survey the battle and find The Arcadian but sees Wilhelm go down. Turning into a shadow, he flies to the fallen Seneschal, lifts him off the ground by his arm like a rag doll and they both vanish through a portal.
After Vuk drags his clanmate's body to safety, he goes back to cutting down the Sabbat with the other Gangrels, Rossi, Arpad & Alina. Suddenly, they run into a tall, slender, black figure, with freakishly long arms and legs, just somehow… wrong. Arpad leads the charge in his war form while The Arcadian just looks at him and says “Kill them”, his eyes gleaming. Arpad turns around and jumps on them, tearing with fang and claw. They try to throw him off, hitting and pushing, but he is too strong. As suddenly as he attacked them, he just stops and turns around, once again charging at the Arcadian, who asks him a riddle: “What is greater than God, eviler than the devil, the poor have it, the rich need it, and if you eat it, you'll die?”. Arpad starts wandering around all confused and starts bleeding from his eyes, ears and mouth. As the other Gangrels watch in horror, he falls to the ground and turns to ash. Vuk and Rossi pull out their guns and start shooting at the Arcadian, when something falls down by the Arcadian’s feet and explodes, throwing him off balance. The storm of pistol fire is joined by a shotgun blast from a window above – and the Arcadian finally dies. From the window, Mande waves down to the Gangrels and vanishes inside.
In front of Baldassare, Blade is fighting against the Arab, but he seems to be getting more hits than he is dishing out. Baldassare, although wounded, starts tearing the Shroud again and summoning wraiths to aid them. Just as the Arab is about to cut off Blade’s head, a wraith distracts him and he misses by an inch. Using this moment of distraction, Baldassare locks eyes with the Arab and makes him drop his weapon. From behind him, another Blade appears out of thin air and impales the Arab on his sword – at the very moment, the first Blade decapitates the Arab. In a matter of seconds, only ash remains. The wounded Blade picks up the Arab’s saber and gives it to Baldassare as a trophy. Finally, both Blades vanish.
In a far corner of the square, another war coterie is facing insurmountable odds, led by Ognjen Hartmann of Clan Ventrue. Called to settle an old debt, Lina Borelli is covering Ognjen while he mows down wave after wave of shovelheads. Further back, supporting this coterie is an Independent vampire from Clan Brujah – Raka. He as well came to repay his debt. To further strengthen this coterie, Prince Jasiński of Warsaw had also sent Mikołaj Thun of Clan Tremere and Sandra Kowalska of Clan Assamite to fight.
They face off against a Pack known as the House of Dogs, led into combat by Ductus Markov. As two forces square off, locked in a mortal struggle, two Brujah from the pack pounce upon the Camarilla coterie. An ambush! The Camarilla coterie – severely outnumbered, but never outgunned – uses everything at their disposal to fight in the tight confines of a side alley.
The fight is merciless. Both Camarilla and Sabbat forces are almost utterly decimated as the fight draws on. A Pyrrhic victory.
Were it not for Blade (or someone Obfuscated as Wesley Snipes), the coterie would perish, but he appears out of thin air and turns the tide of the battle. With the advantage of surprise and Blade, joined by the sword-wielding Sandra, the Sabbat forces are nearly destroyed.
On the other hand, were it not for Martin Preseco from the Sabbat, the whole coterie would live to see the moonlight of another night. Seeing that his pack will lose, Martin activates a fire bomb. Everything goes down in flame, Sabbat and Camarilla alike. Fire, our ancient foe, takes out most of the Sabbat, including Raka, Lina Borelli, and Ognjen Hartmann. Not even Ognjen's legendary mastery of Fortitude could have saved him.
The Sabbat survivors are finished by Blade, Sandra, and Mikołaj. The latter two are badly burnt from the explosion.
In yet another part of the square, the battle is still raging on.Blade is seen joining the fight with sabre, trying to slow down the horde of enemies, risking her unlife wherever and whenever she can. Somewhere in the shadows, Max Damien from Clan Malkavian is seen and heard using Telepathy, warning the Camarilla forces of impending danger.
Blade is last seen jumping into a horde of enemies.
During the long night of fighting, many non-martial Kindred are also witnessed providing support to Camarilla forces. Valerija from Clan Brujah is seen giving cover fire, moving from building to building, from window to window, never stopping, never retreating. Kiki from Clan Toreador is seen fighting everywhere, helping the Camarilla, only to vanish and show up behind some other corner.
Primogen Burbage fights the Sabbat where he can. During the climax of the battle, he vanishes into a side alley. Many tales will later be told about the bravery of Paruna, whose presence was crucial for victory in many skirmishes that occurred during this night. Many Camarilla fighters also noticed increased number of swarms of different animals, blocking the night sky and helping the Ivory tower. Moments before the final showdown, Johanna Klose was seen fighting and capturing a Sabbat shovelhead.
As the dawn approaches, the battle is nearly finished and the remaining Camarilla forces square off for one last push against the Directors, the Sabbat pack that started it all. Many tales will be written about the Kindred who mustered their willpower for one last push – and clashed, guns blazing and swords slicing, against Ivan Grozny from Clan Tzimisce, who is the last Sabbat member to fall to the ground.
And then silence envelops the battlefield. The first or the last battle of the generation is won by Camarilla forces. Hooray! The Ivory tower continues to mop up the havoc they wrought upon the once peaceful square. The Masquerade must stand preserved. As they clean the mess of blood and bone, they lick their own wounds and count the fallen. The price is paid – many Camarilla forces perished this night. Yes, many songs will be sung, many bloodied tears will be shed, but one question is now answered and will echo in the minds of every Kindred present – “Where were you on Friday 13th of 2016?”
Chapter V - Arbitum Vincit OmniaEdit
Most esteemed and noble Lord Etrius,
I write this report in hopes to illuminate you on the happenings and events that have shaped the region in the last few nights. Things have been quite turbulent and honestly in my whole existence I have rarely witnessed and participated in such a vortex of events.
The defining moment and the fulcrum upon which all latter events were defined was the semi-fortuitous declaration of the Imperium of Shadows by the would-be Black Tyrant, Darius Vetrov. In this calculated act of megalomania, he has swept all opposition of the board and claimed a vast Domain for his personal use. This has indubitably raised a few eyebrows amongst the greyfaces of many clans, and was commonly viewed as a passing fancy. That is, untill the Carpathian and the Croatian Conclaves happened, but I will get to that later.
The fall of 2016. was, beyond the declaration, and the dire portrents of a methuselah rising in the East for Camarilla Zagreb, quite uneventful. Pitiful internal plots and petty power-plays were frequently interrupted by shows of force by the Black Tyrant. His power, under our wise advisorship, was unopposed untill a pair of cainite Elders were drawn to his Imperium. Both were renowned scholars and authorities within their clans.
First one is Theodore Dee, possibly a organic descendant of our illustrious Pontifex, John Dee. And the other one is Julian Nero, a mercurial madman with the flair for convoluted, often autodestructive, plots.
These elders by the strength of their charisma pulled the Jyhad in their own directions, and their clanmembers flocked to their side creating a chasm of possibilities. Soon their personalities clashed, and a division was apparently created, fueled by kindred on the side. I have my own doubts about this, as both are keen players of the Jyhad and we could merely be witnessing an elaborate power-play in which their enmity is but a illusion for the blind.
A lonesome figure of some interest is a Samedi cainite who appeared, trailing a path of bones from Trieste. His facade of intention was to bring dire portentns and warning to Black Tyrant, of rising darkness coming to devour us all. The usual mumbo-jumbo of a travelling madman if not for the fact that I have in my journeys through the nether realms sensed similiar things. He obviously referenced events on the Croatian Conclave, but that comes later. He was soon forgotten but for a pesky toreador neonite, with whom he developed quite a realtionship, from what I've heard at least.
Several weeks before the Carpathian conclave our Gangrel Alpha received a thaumaturgical stone missive from Gangrel methuselah Csaba of Hungary. On these stones (which you will find enclosed within) was inscribed a peace offering and a veiled threat in a poor interpretation of Archimedes last words: "Do not disturb our circles and we will not disturbe yours." This is quite wise of them because it is exactly what happened on the Carpathian Conclave.
Before I start I must commend the subjects of the Imperium, they showed excellence that was unmatched. They showed foresight, guile and most importantly courage in the face of obvious death, and they did not falter. Rarely a kindred has something so grand to attest to.
The Black Tyrant wanted a show of force and brought a large number of his subjects to the Conclave. This was, of course, the obvious reason. The less-obvious one was a regional power-play where he used his subjects to limit and restrict the growing power of the newely-risen gangrel methuselah and newely appointed Gangrel Justicar, Attila. Needless to say, the Camarilla showed its true weakness at the Conclave, unable to deal with kindred as powerful as Attila, his lackey Csaba or Darius. Many foolish and weak scandals were ignored ( like the binding of the Toreador Justicar, Madam De Guil to Attila by a thaumaturgical neck-cord) by the audience at large. More on the subject will be detailed in a separate document which I will personally deliver.
In short, a certain phyrric victory was pulled by Darius where he managed to perform the Ritual (which myself and a powerful Lasombra Shadow-Seer Bianca Maria De Sforza, with no small effort, managed to acquire.) to banish Attila back into torpor but only after a period of 65 years, a mere flicker in the unlife of an Elder. The war Attila would rage across the Europe in the meantime is a small price to pay in the long-term game of Jyhad. Darius also managed to renew his alliance with Attila by offering an Archon and a Wife, which Attila gracefull accepted, strenghtening the apparent bonds of Peace and Friendship in the process.
This event consolidated Darius as a formidable regional power, and solidified the stance of the Tremere on the issue. A freewilled methuselah, roaming the Camarilla, even in the office of a Justicar is a unwanted player on the board of Jyhad, a abberation in the already dealt cards of the status-quo and the Pax Vampirica. This is something that begun to form in other minds as well, as will be shown on the Croatian Conclave.
These events pushed the region into a state of turmoil from which it will probably take centuries to recover. One of the first events that tried to resolve some of the questions raised was the Croatian Conclave. These questions would be far easier to answer if it were not for the pair of impossibly old elders that appeared on the Croatian Conclave. A mysterious savage clad in midnight black whom'st called himself Arkady( later to be revealed as the Sire of Darius), and an honorable assamite elder that goes by the name Kia Rostami accompanied by his entourage of wizards and assassins. These two had a hand in shaping the future of the region, each with their own schemes and machinations. Arkady wanted his Childe to consolidate his fledgling empire and Kia wanted Darius to make a pact with the Assamites and expand towards Bosnia. Tensions were quite high as both sides opposed each other and used almost every tool in their arsenal to get what they presumed was right. In the end, with much effort, Darius saw the wisdom in the uncouth words of his barbarious Sire and opted for Consolidation. This proved to be most fortuitous as our own Pact of Fire and Shadows was made on the very grounds of the Conclave (This will be discussed in person, soon).
Several other events happened and they are as follows:
- The assamite claimed he was a member of the separatist, schizmatic, sect of his Clan that opposed the Will of Alamut. The Tremere were wise not to believe such hogwash and saw through their petty ploy immediately. Once a diablerist, always a diablerist.
-Arkady managed to perform a massive shadow ritual which disturbed the etheric laylines beneath the Castle. This caused several of the Abyssal beings to surge forth and assail some of the participants. They were in turn banished with much effort from our clanmembers, namely regent Teuta whom'st performed a divination ritual and Archon Hannibal. Several other kinderd were instrumental in this, namely Archon Mehmed, Prince Terestyn, Alison from the clan of the Rose, Alestra from the clan of the Shadows, Duchess Sforza from the clan of the Shadows and Thury from the clan of the Beast.
- A pair of diablerists were pardoned by the nosferatu Justicar Cock Robin due to the circumstances involved in regards to their crimes. This was a most peculiar precedent as it opened the doors to many other "Absolutions."
- The thaumaturgical monopoly of the House remained secure and it was only reaffirmed on this Conclave. As a neutral moderator I myself managed to steer the wider audience to see the bigger picture - Such knowledge is dangerous and should remain in capable hands.
- A certain number of "heretical scrolls" appeared on the Conclave and I managed to translate one of them (the translation will be sent in a different letter). Apparently they are annotations written by several scholars and were heavily encrypted. They told about vampiric weaknesses and how those weaknesses came to be. I suggest more illuminated scholars examine these texts as they truly might contain heretical knowlege. One scroll lies with our Archon Hannibal, the rest are with Prince Terestyn and Archon Mehmed.
I hope my report illuminates some of the recent events that have influenced the fledgling Imperium of Shadows, under the wise and megalomaniacal rule of Emperor Darius. I will continue to serve as his Seneschal untill I am ordered by the Pyramid to do otherwise.
Wilhuff August von Schaar,
High Regent of Croatia,
Seneschal to Emperor Darius.
For House and Clan!