July 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm #3358
It is July 14th, just after the sun has set and nigh every Kindred still wakeful in this age rises from torpor to find a letter posted where they haven. To those who maintain dignified lodgings this is but another parcel to be set at their feet and ignored in lieu of other business. For those who make their domiciles by meaner standards; this is a curiosity. This Summons, as it came to be called, became a cause celebre for a month. It was not merely its contents that invoked scrutiny, suspicion and naturally accusation but the nature of its delivery and the identities of those who claimed to receive it first hand. It was not only the proud clans and those prouder few that reigned on their lonely pedestals but the wayward and dismissed, the grotesques, the savages, the secluded and secretive, and even a scattered few Caitiff that received it. Barriers and security that would shame even the most scrutinizing princes were overcome for its delivery. And whether it was discovered by the trembling hand of a ghoul, the shuffling of the evening post, stolen or secreted; it was seen or head of by all Kindred by one means or another.
At first, there was levity. Older Kindred refuted it as a jest by some enterprising Malkavian, younger ones dismissed it as the machinations of their hated Elders and received it with accompanying disdain. But as the weeks passed, levity became irritation, and irritation irrevocably leads to anger and affront among creatures who who abide eternally with an animal under their husk of mortality. Accusations were levied next. Words that had called for peace and redress were now used as justification for the threat of further aggression. This too came to nothing as one thing became dreadfully clear; while every Kindred was loudly accusing this one or the other of another complicated plot to topple their enemy from their bloody thrones – no one was claiming to be the author.
Tempers cooled and paranoia was neatly set aside in favor of an eery silence amongst the damned. Scholars pawed over original copies, utilizing every functional method they could manage to scry the name that belonged to the hand who penned the words. Those whose nature it was to know the wellspring from which all secrets spill found themselves disembarrassed of their talents, red-faced and clueless. Those who purchased loyalty could find no bribe would set a tongue to wagging the truth. Minds were searched, thoughts scandalized and flayed open before those Kindred who could command the power to do so and still there were only shadows. Whispers of names, faces, intentions and groundless speculation were all that could be dredged up from any source. Scores of kindred, spies and scouts all, were sent ahead to turn the Castle grounds over for the answer. They were greeted with a black box posted by the bridge that eagerly waited for replies and and searches turned up little more than hints of other Kindred who had come before for the same purpose or no purpose at all. For all that remained unknown, there was one asurety: whomever had contrived this Summons had the capability to conceal their efforts almost entirely. Almost…because for some the devil was already grinning wickedly in the details.
Some noted the location of Predjama Castle, in Slovenia, too inextricably linked with the Tzimisce to be anything but the herald of their involvement. Others dismissed this, citing a Ventrue who was now thought to maintain its grounds. It was close enough to Italy that eventually the Lasombra were blamed, followed by the Giovanni, and any clan that still clung to ground in Europe. Others suggested the pitiable Ravnos, who perhaps had come to be more calculating than they were ever given credit for and there was some talk of Kuei-jin even (but this was quickly forgotten because Kuei-jin blow donkey ass and literally no one gives a shit about them) Of any sect or cohort, none were spoken of more…than the Inconnu.
How ironic then, that at this very moment, only two months after its address, that the Inconnu, The Ordo Venerabilis Mortuis, found themselves in Hunedoara Castle with no more certainty than the others.
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