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Vampire: The Long Night - Music Soothes The Savage Beast

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CLUB verwöhnen
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Berlin

 

It was a fairly typical Friday night in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The variety of clubs were all open with lines of people outside waiting while barely muffled music thumped out of the various clubs. There was a slight drizzle that night, and though not enough to keep the crowds of club-goers home, it did manage to get everything just a bit wet, letting the lights and neon reflect off the streets and sidewalks. 

CLUB verwöhnen was busy, the bottom floors where occupied by DJs, dancers and diners. The sound of EBM and Techno music filled the air, turning the people on the dance floor into a single, sweaty, writing mass of flesh and color. Despite the number of kine, these two floors were generally avoided by the kindred. The noise, and general chaos, not to mention the music, made it an environment that was unpleasant to most kindred.   

What kindred there actually were in club congregated on the private club on the third floor, taking advantage of the more intimate setting, lower volume and private lounges. Only member could gain entry to the third floor, or those who wished to pay the 100 Euro free for a one night membership. As a courtesy, Annalisa extended membership to all of the kindred of the city, providing they could conduct themselves properly, thus it tended to be the gathering place for kindred withing the club. 

Tonight there was a live performance, an artist all the way from America. She was a young black woman, her hair short and in loose, grey curls. She had a laptop and a couple of other pieces of electronics set up, as well as an acoustic guitar on a stand. Her music was mellow and gave the floor a very relaxed atmosphere. 

 

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The live artist and the song she is currently performing (click here).

 

It was a much more intimate setting on this floor, only several dozen kine and maybe a half dozen or so kindred. The smell of food and drinks mingle with perfumes and colognes, and to the kindred, the smell of vitae as well. Some sat at tables and listened, a few danced slowly to the music, with others relaxed in the private lounges that went around the perimeter of the floor. 

Lily, Erzsébet, Artus were no strangers to the club. Lilly had performed a time or two at CLUB verwöhnen after arriving in Berlin, while Erzsébet had discovered the place after being brought there by one of her ghouls. With his own place, The Club Berghain, just down the street in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, it was not uncommon for Artus to be seen at CLUB verwöhnen. 

In a private lounge at the back of the room, opposite the stage, sat a woman dressed in a suit with flared cuffs and collar. She was impeccably dressed and groomed, almost statuesque as she watched the young woman perform. She was smoking, but the cigarette seemed more of an affectation, generally just slowly burning down between her fingers sending a thin strand smoke wafting up to the ceiling.  

  

  marlene-dietrich-young-smoke-photos1_zps

 

The woman had a unmistakable allure to any who looked upon her, like some unseen gravity that simply drew people to her. As such, there tended to be a disproportionate number of kine congregating near her private lounge, seemingly just wanting to be near her, even if they lacked the courage to actually approach and speak with her.

Though the other kindred in the club that night did not particularly know her, the could recognize Rose, one of the Daughters of Cacophony, sitting at a table near the stage, but off to the side, her eyes closed as she slowly swayed in her seat, lost in the music. 

Artus and Erzsébet both sat together while Erzsébet's retainer, Lilian, enjoyed the dancing and music. The pair had found a certain familiarity, both feeling out of their time as it were, and Artus' manners were much more in like with what Erzsébet was used to. And the club, though not an outright Rack, did make for an excellent hunting ground for those where more sociable and discrete.

Annalisa fluttered about the room from time to time, making sure all of her guests are taken care of, talking with patrons here and there. She was certainly in her element, the social skills common to so many of Clan Toreador on display and serving her well. She had just stepped away from a table when she noticed Lily step into the private club. 

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Annalisa smiled when  she saw the attractive Gangrel. This was a pleasant surprise, she had enjoyed the woman's past performances and had wanted to get to know her better, but Lily had remained distant, not shy or aloof, more skittish like she was afraid to be your friend. Annalisa had just assumed it was her Gangrel nature and as Lily stood looking around, decided then and there that she was going to be Lily's friend and open the wild woman to the better pleasures of Berlin.

Annalisa drifted through the tables a gesture and a word tossed as she passed so as not to offend and made her way toward the sultry beauty. She wore a midnight blue floor length dress made of fine silk it was almost but not quite sheer, it clung to her slight curves and accentuated her figure to perfection. She wore no rings or bracelets and no watch, her only jewelry a string of black pearls laying upon her milk whit throat. her makeup was minimal and tasteful.

"Lily darling, I am so excited to see you it's been ages it seems." She reached out and took Lily's hands in hers and leaned in to give her kisses on each cheek in the European fashion. She kept hold of both hands as she stepped back to give the Darker woman an appraising and appreciative look while allowing Lily to get a good close up view of herself. "My you look ravishing, darling,  good enough to eat even." AnnaLisa purred.

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Lily had fed before coming to the club, and she was glad she had now. Even sated, drowsy, the knot of bestial instincts hiding in her guts rolled over and snarled into her ear at the approach of another vampire. It was reacting to Lily's unease, even if she did her best to keep it off her face. If she'd been hungry, if the 'beast' had been less confident, felt her strength less keenly...

She allowed the owner...Annalise was it?...to greet her, though couldn't manage a particularly gracious smile in return.

"Coming from one of us, that phrase isn't quite so charming," Lily pointed out. Behind her lips she touched her tongue to her canines, feeling to see if points had formed. Nope. She was keeping it together. It meant she could smile.

"Thanks though. I like your place. It's..." a place where monsters come to eat people. "...nice."

Damnit. Was she going to try to do this or not?

Lily let her breath out and shook her head, making a wry chuckle. "Sorry. Not exactly miss articulate here. I don't usually do words unless there's accompaniment."

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Annalisa laughed "Oh darling you are something, and I am going to get you out of that shell if it's the last thing i do on earth. After all we're all just people here looking to enjoy ourselves and make a connection." She lets go of one of Lily's hands but wraps her fingers with the other and turns pulling Lilly along with her.

They cross a corner of the floor, Annalisa glancing at her Sire as they pass, and come up to the table with Artus and Erzsébet.

"You guy's know Lily right? Well we are going to show her how good  and fun it can be to mingle, and who know there may be a little nipping involved." She laughs that silvery laugh as she pulls a chair out next to Erzsébet and offers it to Lily. After Lily sits She takes a seat between Lily and Artus.

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Lily took her seat and gave the other vampires what she hoped was a polite nod.

"Hey," she said. And that was all she said, because what do you say to a table full of...well...people like her? So, how about that blood, huh? Sure did drink a lot of blood. Do you guys know any good tricks to get blood out of your t-shirt? Blood blood bloodrawrbloodrrraaaghmunchmunch. Rawr.

Yeah, no. Maybe just play it cool and keep her mouth shut and let other folks go first.

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"American, no?" Erzsébet confirmed in fluent German, though her surprisingly husky contralto still held a strong Hungarian accent. "I have heard you sing, but have not had the pleasure." Slim fingers ringed in silver and tipped with stiletto nails painted a glossy black caressed the stem of a glass of dark red wine as she nodded graciously to the rustic chanteuse. "Well met. I am the Countess Erzsébet Corvin."

The petite woman was quite the sight, not the least for her claim to nobility. With huge, dark blue eyes and the exquisite, fearfully symmetrical facial features of a doll, she barely looked old enough to be admitted to CLUB verwöhnen, yet she held an aristocratic bearing that belonged to someone decades older or more. She wore a corset as deep a scarlet as her lips that emphasized her minuscule waist and high, full breasts and shiny, leather pants laced and embellished on the sides. Her black boots looked expensive with impractically high heels and red soles and her long, sable hair was pinned up in an elaborate updo, held in place with silver pins and combs.

Erzsébet glanced around the night club with the eyes of a predator, though there was fondness when they rested on her near twin, though one dressed more flamboyantly in a patterned party dress, hair dyed a glaring red, orange, and yellow. Another Erzsébet - No, she prefers Lillian now, Erzsébet reminded herself for the thousandth time.

The wicked, unholy, seductive Hunger stirred inside her. She had not sated it this night, though she had been eying the tall, trim man Lillian had been vulgarly dancing too close with. But Annalisa's suggestion offered potentially more delicious delights. Erzsébet gave Lily and her host a subdued grin with just a hint of teeth showing. "And perhaps, more than nipping if the night goes well? Have you spent much time in Berlin, Lily? It is a city with history and much to see, much culture. I have found it quite welcoming in my short time here."

Her red lips curved down in a faint frown, considering some of the other Kindred that inhabited the city, particularly the ostentatiously rebellious members of her own clan. She took a sip of wine, heady, if not so tasty as something thicker, redder. "For the most part, to be sure."

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And there was the downside to implementing a new plan to try to get on the good side of the locals. Sooner or later you had to talk to them.

Shit.

Lily shrugged at the Countess' question. "I haven't been here long yet, no. Not really." Because what was long or short was relative, Lily knew by now. It could be decades or more before anyone saw her as more than an interloper. "It's a great city though. I love the history of it, and the art scene is far out. You've got this whole 'new world meets old' thing going that I'm really into." She nodded at the Countess, taking in her apparel. "You know what I'm talking about."

Without thinking...she had gotten into her speech enough to forget herself for a moment...Lily picked up the wineglass that had been set in front of her and took a swallow. She was used to hanging out with humans.

"So yeah. I'm thinking of putting down...well...roots is a strong word, but you know. Taking a break from bouncing around so much. For awhile."

Her eyes flicked from face to face around the table, and she added, "You know, if things work out."

"So. Countess." Lily nodded at...Erzabet? Ersy...fuck, that was going to mess her up forever. She went on to nod at Annalisa, "Club owner." Finally she leaned forward a little to spot Artus, on the other arm of Anna. "And...?"

(OOC - Images:

Lily in color:

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Lily's outfit at the club

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Annalisa gazed at the beautiful countess but a small frown curled her lip for a second at the sight of the vulgar jewelry the Hungarian wore. She shook her revulsion off and turned her attention back to their newest friend. 

She gestured to a waiter who promptly delivered and large bowl of fruit Apples and oranges, all sliced, as well as strawberries and cherries. He also places a tray of dipping sauces, creams and chocolate. "Please my friends help your selves and if there is anything else you wish I see that you are accommodated after all it is what Spoil is for. Our pleasure"

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Artus offers Lilly an easy smile, no hint of fangs present among otherwise gleaming teeth. He had fed well before his arrival and so his beast offered only most sedate of responses, both to being surrounded by food and having a stranger present. It coiled lazily at the back of and underneath his thoughts. Ignorable. For now. Answering her leading question with no hint of anything other than a Berlin accented German. He had been speaking German for a century before the city was even founded and had spent so long living here that his grasp of the language was unpolluted by his mother tongue.

"Of course, forgive me. In Annalisa's home I am just another kindred spirit. You may call me Artus. Outside these walls, I own Berghain and Panorama."

He didn't know if the name would mean anything to Lilly. His latest pet project, despite it's wildly popular reputation among the Kine as a(The) temple to techno and electronica in the city was nevertheless regularly overlooked by most kindred embraced for more than 10 or 20 years. He could understand it, he supposed. The music itself was something of an acquired taste, but there was something viscerally satisfying about feeling the thundering beat all the way down to your bones. Panorama was much more to most Kindred's taste, despite occupying the same building.

"Well, if you have already spoken with the Prince about residing in the city, let me be the first to welcome you as a resident. I look forward to getting to know you."

The arrival of the dish provided a decent excuse for a lull in any conversation, though one corner of his mouth quirked up in a slight smile. Taking a strawberry along with some cream he raised the treat in toast to their host.

"Salute!"

 

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Erzsébet raised her glass of wine to eye level, met everyone's gaze for a moment, then returned Artus' toast in what she couldn't think of as anything other than her native tongue. “Egészségünkre.”

Her dark blue eyes grew distant as she daintily bit into a slice of Moro Blood Orange a crimson as deep as her lips, the sweetest exploding on her tongue. She called herself a Countess, thought of Hungarian as her mother tongue. So much of her life, and her life beyond death, she now knew to be false, and yet, it felt no less true. Perhaps it never would, and she was not sure if she wished it were so. Damned as she was, she would not be able to ask God who she had once been for only Final Death awaited her.

Unconsciously, she grimace, flashing a pair of canines that looked suspiciously sharp. How she hated what her Lord, Prince János Corvin Hunyadi had done to her, robbing her of her life and her self, hated him as much as she loved him still. She shook her head and made a dismissive gesture with her free hand, banishing thoughts of him for the nonce.

The young, curvaceous Countess dipped her head towards Lily, acknowledging her comment on her attire, a slow, pleased grin gracing her crimson lips. "Indeed. Me, I am coming late to immersing myself in these times, but I try, with the aid of my... sisters. My Lo - no matter. I have found Berlin much to my liking. You area songstress, but are you having other interests you may like to share? Myself, I am fond of playing the idle student at the universities. In my time, advanced education was frowned upon for most women, though my wealth and station allowed me certain indulgences. I have found a keen interest in the student of language and linguistics."

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"So you have a talented tongue, eh?" came the voice of a man with a lopsided grin and a wriggling of his eyebrows.

He was a caucasian man, maybe in his mid thirties, clean shaven and with a shaved head. He wore work boots, jeans, shirt and hoodie with a trenchcoat on over them both. He stood right beside the table, across from Erzsébet, though everybody at the table failed to notice he was standing there. He set down the chair that he had pulled behind him, taking a seat at the table, making himself comfortable as he looked over the table, and even the room with a quick glance, inclining his head toward the woman sitting in the private lounge before returning his attention to the table.

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Artus lips thinned into a firm line, the only sign of his discomfort at being taken unawares, the beast stirring fitfully in the back of his thoughts, ire roused at an unexpected guest. 

"You remain as classy as ever, Olaf. Or am I mistaken? I'll admit I'm not familiar with your current face."

He gently places his own wineglass down. Leaning forward and resting his chin on steepled fingers.

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For a moment the light in the club seemed to intensify as Lily's pupils dilated. The music receded into a dull thrumming at the back of her hearing as she focused on the sounds the newcomer made. The whisper of fabric brushing fabric, the faint falls of his feet. She could feel her fangs pressing insistently against the inside of her bottom lip, felt the urge to bare them, to warn the interloper back.

Shit.

She knew that loop. The beast winding itself up like a clockwork toy...feeding on her fear to make her more afraid to feed on that fear until there was no escape left but to succumb.

He's fine. We're fine. Everything's fine.

"I like meeting new people," Lily heard herself say to Erzabet, or whatever her name was. The words were a life raft, and she grabbed onto them and the normalcy they lit the way to. "I get a lot of inspiration listening to them, talking to them."

Yes. Better. She looked at the sneaky guy warily. "Olaf, right? Jesus...don't do that, That is not okay."

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2 hours ago, Artus said:

"You remain as classy as ever, Olaf. Or am I mistaken? I'll admit I'm not familiar with your current face."

 

"I have to change it from time to time, or else, you know, the fan girls and paparazzi just get too much." he joked with a grin at Artus.

 

1 hour ago, Lily Archer said:

Yes. Better. She looked at the sneaky guy warily. "Olaf, right? Jesus...don't do that, That is not okay."

 

The man's brow furrowed a bit as he shot a look at Lily.

"Hey! Watch it. Do not take the Lord's name in vain." he snapped at her, his relaxed, joking tone and demeanor now totally serious.

He then relaxed almost instantly and shot a smile with a shrug.

"Force of habit when you look like I do. Spend even just a few years looking like I do, and then you can talk. I mean, if you really want to, I know a Tzimisce who owes me. He could totally hook you up." he said, his tone making it unclear if he is joking or being serious, though most likely a bit of both.

"And yes, ladies and gentleman, I am Olaf, Nosferatu Primogen and Burgomeister of Pankow." he said with a flourish of his right hand a bow.

Olaf leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table as he looked around for a moment and then spoke in a hushed tone.

"And since you are new here, I will give you all a friendly warning. I might not technically be permitted to kill you, but mess with the Jews or the monuments in Pankow and I will beat your ass so badly that your childer will feel it. And trust me, you'll never see me coming." he said, his tone once again deadly serious.

Olaf smiled once again, he posture relaxing.

"But I'm not going to have any problems with you. You look like a sharp bunch." he grinned and then noticed the plate of fruit.

"Oh! It that a 'Blood Orange'? That's a lie. That's what that is. 'Blood' orange my ass. That's false advertising. I was a young neonate, like yourselves, for the most part, but all alone, and got a hold of one, thinking it was some kindred delicacy. THAT was a rude surprise. Meh." he reminisced.

 

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14 hours ago, Noir said:

"So you have a talented tongue, eh?" came the voice of a man with a lopsided grin and a wriggling of his eyebrows.

Erzsébet had initially given the man a dismissive glance and almost waved him away. He was hardly handsome enough for her tastes and he dressed so common. But then his voice struck a chord of familiarity, as did his mannerisms, and after Artus called him by name, she realized the man as the Nosferatu Primogen. She had crossed paths with him at times when in attendance with the Brujah Elder, Dmitri.

"Many have claimed so, but rather fewer have witnessed the truth of it," the petite Countess replied in gracious banter, the soft curve of red lips on her exquisite, sculpted features evoking innocence and wickedness in equal measure. "Good evening, Burgomeister Olaf."

Lily earned a frown from Erzsébet, even as Olaf snapped at her for taking the Lord's name in vain, though she voiced no comment. Her own relationship with the Church and Faith was a complicated one, twisted both by the woman she believed herself to be and her enduring, if still relatively new, unlife.

"Yes, there is much to said about making new acquaintances," the Countess replied to Lily, adding a put upon sigh that wasn't directed at her. "Though it seems one must work through much chaff these days. Why men believe these 'dick pics' are charming rather than vulgar and off putting, I shall never know."

Despite her experience with dissembling, Erzsébet shivered at the mention of the Tzimisce, even as she revealed more perfect teeth in a grimace of distaste. To any who knew the signs, the touch of the Fiends was clear in the striking symmetry of her doll-like features and her pronounced hourglass, wasp waisted figure.

Her elegant, sable brows crinkled in puzzlement. "Why ever would we have issue with the Kine of Israel? Lest they take hostile action towards us, of course." She made a dismissive wave. "At least on my behalf, I took no part in that trifle some decades back with the repressed mustachioed man. Indeed, we did our utmost to avoid it entirely."

Erzsébet plucked up another slice of peeled blood orange. "An allusion to its colour rather than its composition, to be sure," she agreed, amused by the Burgomeister's youthful confusion, and consumed the slice of crimson citrus with a grin. "Still, is it not sweet and succulent? Other than learning the deftness of my tongue, does some other errand bring you to Annalisa's luxurious demesne?"

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Lily shrugged at the Primogen, a bit sulkily from his reprimand.

"Don't look at me," she said. "I'm American. We kicked the collective asses of the Nazis."

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"I was in the area and thought I would enjoy some fine hospitality of the Toreador and get out of the rain. Rose is zoned out on the music, so she's not great company. And I am not generally not going to bother her." he said with a sideways tilt of his head at the enrapturing blond in the private lounge. 

"So that left you and your table. But me, I am like that... stuff." he said, trying to recall the name. 

"That unnaturally brightly colored, jiggly stuff... Hmm..." the Nosferatur said, scratching his chin.

"Jell-O! That's it!. I'm like Jello-O. 'There's always room for Olaf.' Hehe." he grinned.

Olaf watched Erzsébet take a bite of another slice of blood orange, her face twisting in a faint mask of disgust.

"Sweet? Succulent? There is only thing that fits those criteria for me now, and it's sure not fruit." he said, licking noticeably as his canines.

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Seeing the shift in Lily's aura, Annalisa laid a reassuring hand upon her wrist just long enough to show that she was both welcome and safe before moving that hand to the fruit bowl wwhile giving her a smile.

She plucked a cherry up and took it into her mouth stem and all.

"I'm pretty sure," she said around the mouthful of cherry, "That we are all competent with our tongues." She dropped the uneaten cherry into her palm a nice knot in the still attached stem and placed it on the table in front of Olaf

"All are welcome here until they break the rules, after all that is our way.

Now if you will excuse me a minute I have to play hostess."

Annalisa rises and goes table to table being a good host but making her way toward her sire's table indirectly.

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Olaf watched as Annalisa put down the cherry stem and raised both his eyebrows several time quickly. 

"You shameless flirt. What would your Sire say?" he joked with a grin.

"Call me!" he called out to her with a grin as she departed.

"So what are you guys up to? Enjoying the music and keeping an eye on the lupine in your friend's club? Making sure things stay peaceful or something?" Olaf asked as she sat back and looked around.

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Artus froze, mid reaching for another morsel. The Blush was something he had been blessed with, something he had always carried, since those first nights so long ago now. It allowed him to move more easily among the kine. It allowed him greater freedoms to act among them as well and in turn, to hunt them easier. But for all that, there were times where his true nature showed through. For those long seconds, he could have been mistaken for a statue. Nothing living could hold that level of stillness.

Slowly, he withdrew his hand, reclining back in his chair. That.... was surprising. His eyes flicked over to Lily briefly for her comment. That was also surprising. Or was she perhaps playing coy? Gangrel, of all clans, were known to be the ones most familiar with the Lupines, given they were the most likely to come into conflict with them, given their roving nature. Even a City Gangrel who professes to be a Nomad. He let it go for now. Time would tell if she was simply feigning ignorance or not.

"I had not been aware any were present."

.... he wished he had his sword. 

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23 hours ago, Lily Archer said:

Lily gave Olaf a wry look.

"Lupine? Really? Look, I get that I'm a bit rustic for this crowd, but that's a bit far."

 

"Not you, Fraulein. But you know, if you ever feel the need to 'let the beast out' and get your rut on, I am available." Olaf offered to Lily with a grin and a wink.

The Nosferatu then looked at Artus and shook his head with a chuckle.

"If the lupine was gonna do anything, she probably would have done it by now. Besides, she was invited here, so she seems to be behaving herself. She seems to be into her music anyways." he said as leaned forward and and nodded at the the performer on stage. 

With her previous song done, the young, dark skinned woman moved to the next on her set list. She picked up her acoustic guitar  from the stand and took a seat on a stool, adjusted the microphone stand's height, and started. Her voice was mellow, mostly smooth with a hint of gravel, rasp or even shrill at times. She was certainly not the most skilled vocalist around, but she had a distinctive style that suited her voice and music. 

~ To heart the performer's next track, CLICK HERE ~

 

"Besides, for a lupine, she is the most mellow one I have ever seen. Maybe she smokes out or something. I dunno, but aura seems really chill to my eyes." Olaf added with a shrug.

"But you know, letting one stroll in here with nobody knowing? That's... An upgrade in security might be a good idea." the Nosferatu added as he picked up a blood orange, sniffed at it, and then tossed it back onto the dish with some mock vomiting expression.

Olaf, though currently in a different guise, was still Olaf. He was borderline rude at times, laughably flirtatious for a Nos, and generally has a very nonchalant demeanor. He spoke plainly, and with a surprising about of modern lingo for his age. Overall though, for a Primogen and Burgomeister, he was far from stuffy or arrogant and was very approachable. He did not seem to put too much weight into a lot of the status that so many kindred sought.

"You got to relax, man. You are wound up too tight." he chuckled at Artus.

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As his attention returned to the singing.... lupine.... and wasn't that something to wrap one's head about? He had to wonder if Annalisa had known about it when she invited the woman to sing in her club. He made a note to himself to look into potential methods of detection for if one were to wander into his own club. He didn't mind them visiting, but he would certainly prefer to know they were present if he could get away with it. He snorts at Olaf.

"Unpleasant surprises have a habit of doing that to me." Regardless, at least he knew where she was now and could keep an eye on her. That alone helped immensely. Shame that her presence meant her friends were likely nearby. Still. There was aught he could do about it, so he may as well enjoy the rest of the evening as best he could.

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Annalisa plays the hostess making the rounds, giving those she recognizes a few moments of small talk and for those she does not an introduction and sincere wishes that hey enjoy themselves and leaves them with a sense that each and everyone of them are important.

Eventually she arrives at Marlene's table. The classic beauty acknowledges her childe with a barely perceptible nod and a twitch of the cigarette to the chair next to her.

Annalisa sits folding her hands on the table in front and blowing out a sigh as she gazes across at the vampires who are closest to her in station and basically her only friends. "Olaf is being a jerk again. Always with the 'I am the protector of the Jews.' He acts like we are all Nazi's"

She leans forward putting her folded hands up under her chin and sighs again. "I am growing bored, Marlene."

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"Olaf is being Olaf, dear childe." Marlene said with an almost imperceptible shrug.

"From the Jews in Prague centuries ago, to the Jews in Berlin last century, he has seen plenty of suffering and subjugation of them, so he is protective. He still clings to his faith, or at least some sense of it. Without it, I doubt he would be so... personable. After all, I can only imagine that it becomes increasingly difficult to not think yourself nothing but a monster when that is all you see in the mirror for centuries." the elder vampire explained to her childe as she glanced over at Olaf, being one of the few people in the city who might be able to pierce his Obfuscate.

She turned to Annalisa and reached out, gathering her up with an arm and pulling her close, letting her childe's head rest against her shoulder.

"Boredom is the beast that ever stalks out Clan, my dear. It is an old foe of mine that I know all too well. It can drain the colour, taste and vibrancy from life much faster than the simple, unrelenting passing of time. Is that why you invited the lupine all the way from America to perform? To forestall boredom? Thinking of it as being in the enclosure with an animal you think, or at least hope, is tame, hm?" she says, motioning to the young woman singing as she plays her acoustic guitar.

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Annalisa let herself be pulled into the mild embrace and sunk into the affection of Sire and Childe. This was what she remembered from before and what she longed to capture... a dream she could never have. She luxuriated in the feel of Marlene the scent of the woman.

Then it registered what she had said.

Annalisa pulled away and stared at Marlene for a moment then turned her head to view the dark skinned woman singing on the stage.

"A lupine? Oh for fucks sake shes a goddamn werewolf?" she said unable to hide her horror and surprise.

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"Calm, childe." Marlene urged. 

"She is clearly not here with ill intent, and if she were, she would be making quite the mistake." the elder vampire added simply.

"It is not as if 'lupine' is a box you check on one's passport. It is just as likely that she did not, or does not, know she would be in a den of our kind to perform. And that seems to be what is important to her. Performing. I do not detect any others either, so she is without a pack, for whatever reason. Relax. Enjoy the show." she said with her lips curling into a faint smile, something which was become more and more uncommon for the elder vampire.

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Ravenna stepped out upon the third floor.  She wore a simple ribbed, sleeveless turtleneck sweater that still allowed her desirable figure to claim a semblance of modesty.  Leather pants caressed her curves and arrested her frame in an enticing manner.  Her leather boots ended at her knees but began as a four inch wedged heel.  Her black hair was bound in a pony tail and seemingly swayed about in hypnotic wisps of shadow.  All of her attire was black but accented her make-up which was light, and a dark burgundy hue in contrast with her pale olive skin made her lips 'pop'.  Her eyes were shadowed in a classic black smokey look.  She gripped a leather clutch which held her necessities: her smartphone, a K-Bar, cash, credit cards, and her make up to touch up things after a bit, the usual.  Among the assembled Kine she was gorgeous, beautiful now as she would ever be and as she was upon the day of her death.  Among the gathered heart beats, desire rose in their chests.

It was not her beauty that captivated the Kindred of this club.  No, it was Ravenna's reputation that caught their attention.  Fear, ire, what have you, were the feeling weighing far heavier on their minds than how attractive she was.  Hushed whispers feared and reviled her for she was without reproach when it came to the enforcement of Kindred laws.  When the Princes of a city had problems and their Sheriffs were busy with handling more pressing issues, they called her.  Some knew her as a 'Scourge' or a 'Hound' but most commonly she was an 'Alastor', a hunter of Kindred who violated vampire laws and placed all vampires at risk of exposure due to their actions.  She could not be bribed, reasoned or negotiated with in anyway, the stories said.  She did not have friends or allies, and everyone and everything was nothing more to her than prey.  If she was here, someone was going to die...

She sighed.  It was a practiced charade over her years of blending in with the Herd.  She placed her smartphone back in clutch, a bit nervous as to how Alessandra managed to get her private email address.  She was so behind the times.

Spoiler

R.
Welcome to Berlin.  I do hope you'll take some time later to visit me at Inque.  Your reputation proceeds and I looking forward to finally meeting you.  I followed some of your work in Los Angeles and Sao Palo, and I am both impressed and intrigued.  More of that later, for now I'd like to direct you to Artus.  He's an approachable sort, and not to hard on the eyes (you're welcome).  He can help you get acclimated to things here in Berlin and fill you in on our fair city's special brand of 'politics'.  I believe he is spending this evening at  CLUB verwöhnen.   If the stories are true, you and he will have so much to talk about.

I hope everything went well with Deidrich, fill me in later.
A.

The Keeper took a moment to review the description she'd been given.  Italian.  Not hard on the eyes.  That narrowed it down.  As far as things to talk about?  Ravenna was never much of a talker.  He was a Keeper as well, at least, so passing her time with uplifted company was certainly welcomed, at least.  She approached and silently observed.  Those present were actually serving and eating human food!  What next!?!  Would the tiger forsake meat and sup on ferns alongside the grazing gazelle?  It was enough to make her stomach churn.  Within her Beast roared out in anger at the blasphemous sight, but she pursed her lips tightly and continued to move forward.

When in Rome.  This Berlin, the customs here are... different.  The vampires here... different.  Do not judge.

She approached the table, not taking much notice of the rest of the assembled, addressed her fellow Keeper.  Her words were born of a native speaking Italian woman, her accent perfect.  "Artus, sono Ravenna. Potrei avere una parola?" [Artus, I am Ravenna.  Might I have a word?]

Only Olaf knew that Artus wasn't in any real danger or trouble at the moment.  Had she been here for him in a business capacity, she would have opened up with 'do you know why I'm here'.  A question that allowed the prey to admit their sins before facing judgement.  He knew that, but they didn't.

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She had of course drawn his eye the moment she entered the club, and he had had his suspicions as to her identity. Allesandra had given him some notification when he had seen her the night before. It was only polite, after all, to inform someone when you are about to dump a claymore into their lap. He idly thumbed the silver signet ring on his left ring finger. The embossed Jerusalem cross on the broad head as ever providing him a measure of calm. He was not afraid, as such. He knew enough of himself and his dealings to know that he was unlikely to have gained her ire on this night. But still. If she was here, in this city, it meant that someone, somewhere, had made an unholy mess of things. That she was talking to him, it meant it was either one of the kindred he knew, or she thought he could help in some way. That alone was worthy of a modicum of wariness.

He regarded her dispassionately for a moment. Mentally debating. Before mentally resolving himself. If she were here asking for help, he would give what he could. His own honour demanded it. If she merely sought information, he would provide as much as he could. A small smile curves the edge of his lips as he nods at her from where he sat.

 

"Naturalmente, Ravenna" [Of course, Ravenna]. He turns to the other kindred at the table. "Please excuse me a moment. I will return shortly." Standing, he gestures towards one of the alcoves along the walls and leads her over and slides into the darkened booth. "Adesso. Come potrei essere di servizio questa sera?" [Now. How may I be of service this evening?]

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[All dialogue is in Italian]

It was refreshing.  He spoke not only Italian but he spoke it the Old Way.  Every syllable was nothing unto a symphony in her ears.  His words were a melody that only the oldest and the cultured could truly appreciate.  That merited him a certain measure of Grace in her eyes.  Firstly, she was used to the stigmata that seemed to follow her around, so she thought it necessary to get the elephant in the room out of the way.  "Peace, Artus.  You no doubt know who I am, so know that I am not here in any 'official' capacity.  Worry not for yourself nor those close to you."

"I am instead, taking a beak for awhile, a vacation so to speak," her voice was enchanting.  She spoke with every word being a seductive invitation.  Every inflection and accent was a gentle nibble upon his earlobe and a sensual whisper to the pleasure centers in the theater of his mind.  "I know nothing of modern Berlin, so when I reached out to our clan here, Alessandra referred me to you."  She spoke as much with her hands as she did her voice.  Gesturing with inflections to better express herself.  "Now, how this all works, I'm not entirely sure.  I'm, as you may have guessed, used to doing things alone.  However, I grow tired of 'getting by'."

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Lily glanced at Olaf as Artus was led away by a walking, talking Nagel portrait. Or maybe a Parisian high couture model, fresh off the catwalk.

Normally it was the sort of thing that might make her irritated or vaguely insecure...and thus irritated...but right now there was a werewolf singing on stage. And...she was actually pretty good. Like, Lily could actually see herself doing a cover of that song, it was kind of her style.

The guy who'd bit her...her Sire as the others said...had known a thing or two about the lupines. He hadn't been super-forthcoming about why he'd known it, but he'd told her some basics. It hadn't been much, but every last lesson on the subject had concluded with, '...and then get out of there.' Watch for their territory markers, and then get out of there. Respect their power, and then get out of there. Back down, and then get out of there.

Thing was, Lily knew he'd gotten into scraps with them before. Somehow he'd managed to survive.

But what was one doing in Berlin? Didn't they avoid city even more than the other 'country vampires' did?

"This," she understated, "is not how I expected this to go. It's not worse exactly...just...a lot weirder in every possible way."

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"Welcome to the unlife, Fraulein." Olaf said with a grin and a little flourish of his hand.

"So how is it different, if I may be so bold as to inquire?" he asked, appearing honestly interested.

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Lily shrugged and looked away as she tried to find words to capture it.

"More threats and politics, less...werewolves?" she hazarded. "My...the guy who..." Lily motioned towards her neck with a grimace. "He had a very dim view of others. So I've kept my distance. I thought there'd be more...resistance to me coming into a city. New blood, new competition, an unknown."

She shook her head.

"I don't know. I guess I didn't really know what I was expecting until it didn't happen and now I don't really know what comes next. Which I'm okay with."

 

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[All dialogue is in Italian]

It... had been a long time since he had had the chance to speak his native tongue for more than the odd word here or there. He made a point of keeping as up to date with the evolution of his mother tongue, to better blend with the kine. He had to admit, it was refreshing.

Still, her admission did put him somewhat more at ease in her presence. She had no particular reason to lie about such a thing, and had made her reputation on her forthrightness when it came to her targets. Though he had to hide his surprise at her true reason for being here. He could not recall the last time any Kindred had taken a holiday as such. The ins and outs of the court rarely left those members who partook with much time to spend away from it, and even those who did not attend regularly tended not to venture far from their holdings. He was a perfect example of that. Despite his long sleeps, he had been content enough remaining within Berlin for the last thousand years.

"It puts me at ease to hear it, Ravenna. It is not every night someone of your august personage graces us with their presence, and people tend to be alarmed when it happens." the light humour in his tone robbed the words of any sting they might have had. "But yes I can see why Allesandra might have sent you my way. It would be my pleasure to introduce you to my companions and perhaps show you around the city. Tell me, do you have a place to stay while you are in Berlin?" Glancing out over the club gave him a second to collect his thoughts. The Woman was beautiful and clearly knew how to use it, and it was taking a surprising amount of willpower to prevent his eyes from flicking down. But he still followed true to his own ideals, and to allow such a thing would be boorish.

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On 7/26/2017 at 2:22 PM, Noir said:

"Calm, childe." Marlene urged. 

"She is clearly not here with ill intent, and if she were, she would be making quite the mistake." the elder vampire added simply.

"It is not as if 'lupine' is a box you check on one's passport. It is just as likely that she did not, or does not, know she would be in a den of our kind to perform. And that seems to be what is important to her. Performing. I do not detect any others either, so she is without a pack, for whatever reason. Relax. Enjoy the show." she said with her lips curling into a faint smile, something which was become more and more uncommon for the elder vampire.

"Relax? There is a werewolf in my club that I didn't know about. If anything happens I am going to be blamed." She grabs the glass of wine and downs it in a one swallow wishing that the Alcohol did more than serve as a prop.

"Of all the fucking nights for Olaf to show up."  She signaled one of the servers who came over. "Sid should be downstairs have him join me as soon as he can get away. Thank you."

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[All dialogue is in Italian]

"Surprisingly, in all my long years, I've honestly never been to Germany at all," Ravenna admitted, omitting how old she actually, he noticed.  "I always found Germans to be... uncouth, unsanitary, and undesirable.  Ever since that ordeal with Rome they've mislead themselves into the delusion that they have some place on the world's stage and they always screw it up by over stepping their bounds.  Granted those are just opinions, since I've never actually been, perhaps this is an opportunity for this place to change my mind"

The olive skinned beauty curled the corner of her burgundy lips, "Come, let us not chatter in a corner all evening.  Your invitation to show me around is well received, I would be pleased to be shown about by a kindred of such, distinction."  It was difficult for Artus to understand where she got such a vile reputation from, Ravenna seemed positively delightful, if a bit snooty.  Her compliment to his character didn't go unnoticed.  "Alessandra mentioned me visiting her at Inque later as well, but let us concern ourselves with the now, however and I am being rude to you and your guests by pulling you away for so long.  Shall we?"

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[Dialogue in Italian]

"Hmmm. There is a certain hardiness to the Germans that could lead one to feel that way. For all that, though, they are worthy of some measure of respect. But then, I have lived here for a very long time. Perhaps I have just acclimatised to their ideosyncrasies in that time and no longer see it for what it is." he shrugs easily. "But that is neither here nor there. I would love to discuss the matter further at a later stage, but for now, you are correct. I should not monopolise your time so selfishly."

At this, he slides out of the booth, offering the Beauty an arm as they return to the others at the table.

[Dialogue in English from now on]

"Thank you for your patience, please do forgive my absence." He slides a chair out, offering it to Ravenna and waiting till she is seated before taking his own. "I believe introductions are in order. Ravenna, may I introduce Lily, of the City Gangrel, Lady Erzsébet of Clan Brujah, as well as Olaf, Burgomeister of Pankow and Primogen to Clan Nosferatu. Annalisa, of Clan Toreador, is our host, but is tending to her duties as such at the moment. Everyone, may I introduce Revanna of the Lasombra. She will be visiting our fine city in the coming nights."

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Lily looked up at 'Revanna of the Lasombra' and blinked, taken aback. Damn, she looked like she'd just stepped out of some kind of fashion TV show. Was that how she woke up every night? Goddamnit. That was really unfair.

She gave Revanna a nod and smile, and threw a little gesture that was half a wave, and half a salute...sort of tipping her hand at eye level towards her.

"Hey, Revanna. Nice to know I'm not the only newcomer in these parts."

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"Saluti, Lilly."  The raven haired woman said in practiced Italian, it was easy to discern what the word meant, so Ravenna didn't bother offering an English translation.  She possessed an air of the proficient predator, a monster that had fully come to accept what she was and she possessed all the arrogant snobbery one would come to expect from a rich well-to-do celebrity or politician... or Lasombra.  "Newcomer to Germany, yes.  Newcomer to the Night, however, no.  Pardon my forwardness, dear, but you are swaddled in discomfiture.  Lilly, love, you're an apex predator and you have only to choices: own the room or dawdle in the threshold.  Do away with your 'first day of school' nervousness, I don't bite."

Her wink and smirk were not very comforting.

"So, I see we're having fruit salad... how... gauche,"  Her revulsion was visible as well as her mingled confusion.  "I'm sorry, I must admit I'm confused.  I thought I was in the presence of Kindred."

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Lily blinked, then actually chuckled and nodded at Olaf. Indicating Ravenna with a jerk of her thumb, she said to the Nosferatu, "That's what I was expecting."

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