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The Journal of Sarah Mandrake
Posts : 11
Join date : 2013-07-26
|Subject: The Journal of Sarah Mandrake Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:55 am|| |
Arrival In Austin
Saturday, August 30th, 1998
Finally after a long flight through which I was shipped like a piece of freight to Texas, I have experienced my first night in Austin. I will go so far as to say I am thoroughly unimpressed with the level of organization here. The Prince cannot be expected to uphold even a modicum of planning for my arrival, though I know for a fact he was warned far in advance before my plane ever touched down. I was forced to endure a procession of protocol alongside a few others seeking asylum from their own conflict ridden cities.
I was introduced to the Seneschal, one Molly LeBon. It pleased me to see that she kept a level of regard for my status in comparison to the others, even awarding me with my own suite in the condominium building while the other two had to share. It's just as well. I could not have tolerated a violation of my privacy, particularly when there is no Chantry to speak of within Austin. This mandatory Haven will have to suffice for now.
It was too much to hope the Kindred in Austin would be half as efficient as those in Los Angeles, but that serves my purpose just as well by allowing me to shine all the more by comparison. The Pyramid structure here is weak as well, unfortunately, and it seems I am truly on my own. I had the opportunity to speak with the local Regent to whom I am now subordinate, a Phillip Basinger. He is soft. Furthermore, he retains a frightening level of misogyny that seems to have survived his Embrace...no matter.
Austin is all at once everything I hoped it would be; an introductory lesson into the application of various values by which I have been consumed ever since being reborn into House and Clan Tremere. Like tumblers in a lock, all the ingredients are here; a weak Regent with outdated prejudices that will cause his gross underestimation of me, as well as an inefficient Camarilla bureaucracy that could benefit much from a guiding hand.
I should also note that I have been charged with leadership of these wayward Kindred whom have arrived to Austin as well; neonates, by the look of them, one of whom seems very interested in my scholarly pursuits. I think perhaps the best course of action is to throw him a proverbial bone now and again, something interesting and new, but ultimately of no consequence to assure him of my good will. Meanwhile I would stand to reap the true benefit of our relationship by requesting a fair trade of services in the name of 'friendship'.
Max was wise to send me here. This city is perfect, and should things go the way I expect them to, my Regency should be announced within six months of this very night. Basinger is not fit to lead our beloved clan in any capacity, and I fully intend to pour all of my energies into relieving him of his responsibilities. My only concern is that any accomplishment I achieve in this city may reflect positively on him, so I must be mindful to keep any resources tapped for the good of the clan close to my chest.
As a note to myself, I should find a way to gain a small measure of Basinger's blood to ascertain the level of potency I am dealing with. If appearances are to be believed, I could destroy him in single combat this very night, but it would be foolish to assume that simply because he looks relatively benign he is not capable. Should his blood prove to be more potent than my own, however, I shall have to engineer an opportunity to seize such power and take it for myself. It would be a fitting crown jewel to my Regency, as disgusting as it is to even think about sinking my fangs into those layers of fat he calls a neck.
Bonny, Erica and Shay appear to have settled in well. They seem content to do whatever it is I require of them, out of some romantic notion about the relationship we have. It is amusing to me, though, and I don't intend to dispel their sentimental delusions any time soon. In any case, I think a little company won't be such a bad thing. It seems as if I am to face a long procession of empty nights here, full of opportunity though they may be.
Speaking of company, I must also make a note to begin the conjuring of a homunculi as soon as possible. I have put off performing the ritual until my arrival in Austin to make the transition easier, and now seems the appropriate time when I am afforded my own Haven. It will certainly be an interesting, if painful experience, as I have never attempted to perform this particular ritual before...though I have seen it done more than once. The most difficult part will be preparing the girls to live alongside it, and being assured of their silence on the matter.
I should also, as a precautionary measure, ward my newly appointed Haven against any ghouls that might come creeping in during the day. I was assured of the security of the building, but I think perhaps a little extra protection cannot hurt. In the event that someone intrudes upon my sleep during the day, I have instructed all three girls to wake me, as I fear I would be incapable of doing so on my own. For some reason I seem to be subject to a deeper level of sleep than I have come to understand is usual for most Kindred.
The thought of ascending to the vanguard of Regency fills me with a vicarious thrill usually reserved for those endless moments while feeding. After all these years, it is finally happening, everything I've worked towards falling into place. It is here on the ashes of traitors and incompetence that I shall build a Chantry of such strength and esteem no one shall think to challenge Clan Tremere in Austin ever again. Hopefully with such an accomplishment I shall reach the title of Lord inside mere decades.
But I must remember to be prudent and take things one step at a time. First to prove myself to that fool Basinger, and wait for the right opportunity to discredit him with the regional Lord as well as win the favor of Prince Cosgrove. This, I do not believe, shall be exceedingly difficult if my estimation of Basinger is accurate. Then when the atmosphere is ripe, I will conspire to remove him as quietly as possible. No one will miss the swine by then anyway, and I shall be appointed as Regent. The thought makes me smile, even now.
Sarah Renee Mandrake
Apprentice of the Sixth Circle
House and Clan Tremere
Last edited by Griever on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Posts : 11
Join date : 2013-07-26
|Subject: Re: The Journal of Sarah Mandrake Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:00 am|| |
Wednesday, September 2nd, 1998
The beginning of a new month is here, and I find myself so occupied that I have neglected to write to this journal. The Enochian script that I've been studying for the past few hours has begun to bleed together, and perhaps ordering my thoughts on paper will help refocus my mind to the task at hand. There have been a series of momentous developments since my first entry, penned only a few nights ago. I suppose a recounting of them is in order, even if only for the purposes of posterity and future review.
I arrived to the Frost Tower on my second night to meet the other members of the Pyramid currently residing within Austin. The first is Joni Durning, a war veteran who I suspect had more testosterone pumping through her veins than most men when she was still alive. Her Embrace has done nothing to diminish her fiery personality. If anything it appears she is more alive in her undeath now than ever before, fueled by the Beast. But for all her bluster I suspect she is a dunce when it comes to the rigors of Thaumaturgy, and that can't bode well under any circumstances, no matter how effective her mundane talents might be.
The second prominent member of my House and Clan is Allen Fryberg, although he goes by the alias 'Freebird'. I am far more concerned about Allen than Joni; she at least has some measure of passion and drive that could serve to see her through the rigors of our sacred art, however 'Freebird' is incredibly docile from what little interaction we have had. If appearances and mannerisms are to be believed, he was Embraced sometime in the 1960's during the hippie movement and time spent as Kindred seems to have done little to sharpen what must be a mind hopelessly dulled by abuse of psychotropic substances.
I spent the majority of my time with Joni, talking with her about the current status of our clan in Austin. The real story then unfolded itself; the former Regent met the Final Death only a short time before my arrival here, and in the meantime circumstances have elevated that fool Basinger to his current rank. I immediately recognized this as nothing more than a hasty field promotion used to fill in the gaping wound left by the unexpected death of the former Regent here in Austin.
It was also discovered through my conversation with Joni that the Chantry here is not entirely gone, but completely empty and void of even the most basic protective wards. Once the former Regent passed on and Basinger received his promotion, the cretin looted all occult materials and instruments from the Chantry and put them in his personal office at Camarilla headquarters of the Frost Tower. Furthermore, he has made absolutely no effort to rebuild the Chantry, and pursues his own selfish goals while neglecting his duties!
Apparently I was expected to use my superior Thaumaturgical skill to reinstate the wards over the Chantry, while that fool Basinger probably expected to take all the credit for my long weeks of study and subsequent grueling efforts. Just as I was seething at this realization, Joni handed me a small cardboard box tied off with bits of twine. The package seemed a harmless thing until she mentioned who it had been sent from.
For the purposes of Clan security, I dare not commit more detail than necessary to this paper, even I am certain that my eyes are the only ones to ever read these words. The box had been sent by a significantly powerful Pontifex responsible for North America. Not a word was whispered what it might contain, and all had been forbidden to look inside. The contents were meant for my eyes alone. I took the package to the only place in the building where I could be assured privacy; the ladies bathroom down the hall.
After locking the door and ensuring I was alone, I settled down in one of the stalls and opened the box. It was a large, brilliant scarlet stone with a Hermetic alchemical symbol carved across the front. I had only seen illustrations of such a thing before, and recognized the artifact as a bloodstone. I confess myself fascinated and frightened all at once in that moment; my time spent studying the rigors of Thaumaturgy beneath Max had exposed me to many wondrous things, but nothing of this magnitude.
The stone hummed as I lifted it up out of the box and touched its glassy surface. The experience that followed is difficult to put into words; I felt a sharp pain pierce the space behind my eyes, and a presence fill my mind. It was the voice of the Pontifex, whose name I dare not write down. My superior explained that I had been charged with an important duty, one that I was forbidden to repeat to my superiors. Even by writing this now, I feel I may have already betrayed that trust, but I must record every inch of this if only to serve as a future example to some other member of our beloved order.
The task was made clear to me; I am to remove Regent Basinger from office by any means necessary. Once I claim victory over the lazy worm, I am to assume his undeserved mantle and lead the Tremere of Austin back into prosperity. My hands are always steady, and yet even so they tremble as I write this. I have never felt more justified than those moments with the Pontifices voice in my head, confirming the thoughts I'd already had upon arriving to Austin. Then I realized I was a fool not to see the wheels in motion. Of course I would be sent here for this very purpose. Of course it would be me to receive this task, only two nights after my arrival.
By neglecting his duty and leaving our Clan to rot into this pathetic state, Basinger has angered those who he didn't suspect were watching. The consequences are clear; the only suitable punishment for these grievous crimes of negligence is Final Death. That the Pontifex saw me worthy of the duty, that they chose me is a feeling I cannot describe. I have been an Apprentice a mere handful of years, just over a decade, and now I am to receive my Regency if only I have the strength of will to take it from that worthless scum.
I accepted the task that had been given to me, and in so doing the stone transubstantiated another dose of the Council's blood directly into my veins. Words cannot adequately describe the rush that I experienced then; even now it feels as if every deadened nerve in my immortal body is literally buzzing with it. I would have hunted down the swine right then, but unfortunately he wasn't in the building; not even in the city, as a matter of fact. It seems instead of endeavoring to resurrect the glory of our Clan, he would rather spend time fornicating uselessly with his former mortal wives.
Still riding the rush of the Council's vitae, I almost set out that very moment to fulfill my responsibility. After a moment of consideration, however, a cooler head prevailed...and I was cunning enough not to betray a hint of my thoughts to Joni, who had explained to me where the Regent currently was. I told her to contact him, and tell him to meet me at the Chantry as soon as possible under the pretense of discussing the renewal of wards. I expect him to return any night now; he does not suspect, and will be caught completely off guard with no means of escape. The arrogant pig would never think to suspect a 'feeble woman'.
It's perfect. The Pontifex seems to have tailored Basingers destruction by his own prejudice. How fitting it is in some arbitrarily poetic way that I should be the one to end his existence. However, I intend to take no chances and give him even the smallest chance of escape. As I had explained in my earlier entry, I am completely unaware as to how capable the worm is. I don't believe he's any match for me, but I am wise enough not to potentially gamble away this opportunity because of some idiotic prideful notion.
In my previous entry I gave mention of a neonate who seemed particularly interested in my studies of the occult. While Andrew will never learn anything of real significance from me, I was wise enough to lead him on as if otherwise. My allies are very limited in this city, but he seemed particularly promising; naive and honest, and very impressed with me. That same night I took a ride via taxi cab with him back to the condominiums building that currently serves as my temporary Haven and enlisted his aid in removing Basinger.
I have no concept of how effective Andrew will be in the struggle to come, but he is the only other Kindred in this city I would risk bringing along. Normal protocol for situations such as this usually demands the ritual of certamen, but why engage in a wizards duel when I already have full authority to destroy Basinger by any means necessary? Again, I will not let some foolish measure of pride be my downfall. Instead I have opted for ambush. My new little helper will be lying in wait within the bowels of the Chantry while I drone on about rituals and lead the unsuspecting cretin to his destruction.
First, however, we will drive him into torpor. Once I am satisfied that the worm has been beaten into forced sleep, I will send Andrew away with my thanks and renew a promise to make good on whatever reward we discussed earlier. Then, alone with Basingers torpid form, I will take a sample of his blood and ascertain its potency. Should he prove to be of weaker stock, I will bring him Final Death and that will be the end of the matter. However, should I discover his blood is stronger than mine, I will seize the opportunity to reclaim such a richly undeserved gift on behalf of all Tremere.
I sincerely hope the wretch is discovered to be more potent. It would be the only lasting contribution he ever made to the Clan, and would serve me well in the nights to come as Regent of Austin. Oh, of course I've heard whispers of how horrible diablerie is; how the soul is consumed and not even allowed a proper death. Personally I believe it would be no less than the cretin deserves. Again, it would be poetic that his destruction served to enhance me as I assumed my new title.
The trap is set, all I need to do now is wait for him to return to Austin. I cannot simply sit around my Haven, however; I will not allow myself. Besides, I am full of far too much nervous energy after having received another dose of the Council's blood. Their vitae serves to bind me more tightly to the will of the Council, but such an oath is required of all who hope to ascend to the title of Regent. It was the Pontifices silent coronation of my worthiness.
In the meantime, I have been preparing for the eventuality of all the responsibilities that I will be expected to fulfill as the newly crowned Regent. The first step will be researching the rituals required to restore the wards of protection around our now vacant Chantry. Once the basic precautions have been put in place, I can move all our occult materials and resources out of that Camarilla building and back into the safe confines of the Chantry walls where they belong. Additionally, I will move my Haven to the Chantry, from which I may continue to research and master the more complicated formulae.
The Camarilla have their precious little policy about six mandatory months spent within the condominiums building, but these are extenuating circumstances. The few rooms they have left are quickly filling up with new neonates, and it is simply not practical. The Prince will have to understand that I am not here to break the Traditions or defy his rule, merely enforce both on behalf of my Clan. Of course, I will have to omit certain details, particularly the circumstances surrounding Basinger's sudden disappearance.
I don't suspect he was particularly well liked among the local Camarilla Kindred. I'm fairly certain that if I explain Basinger was simply considered unfit as Regent and removed to another city, they won't think twice about him. Of course I don't expect the Prince to believe this wholly, but neither do I think he'll care, much less have any proof that Basinger was disposed of. Besides, as the newly appointed Regent, I doubt the Prince will think to confine me a moment longer to that apartment.
Joni supplied me with an ancient text that had been sitting unused in her office. It is written in Enochian, a language far older than anything imaginable. As a result it has been difficult to translate, but with the aid of my current occult materials and more than a few phone calls back to the Chantry in Los Angeles, I have divined the six rituals vital to the defense of our Chantry here in Austin. In the meantime, I will master these rituals while in waiting for the worm to return and meet his richly deserved punishment.
Let the pages of this book bear witness to my solemn pledge: there isn't a force on this planet that can save Basinger now. I have been given absolute authority to remove him by any means necessary, and it is an honor that I intend to carry out with extreme prejudice. I have endured the shattering change of the Embrace, countless hours of pain and suffering to inherit the magical legacy of our noble line, and walked through fire just for the one chance that looms before me now. I'll be damned straight to hell if that worthless swine is going to stand in my way.
Failure is not an option.
Sarah Renee Mandrake
Apprentice of the Sixth Circle
House and Clan Tremere
Last edited by Griever on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:49 am; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 11
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|Subject: Re: The Journal of Sarah Mandrake Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:03 am|| |
Saturday, September 5th, 1998
I have achieved all that I've set out to, and yet nothing feels as good as it should have been. Even as I sit here and write, waiting for the sun to rise once more, I wonder if this is to be the last entry I shall ever make in this journal. If nothing remains of me in the coming nights, at least this will serve as some form of record for anyone who might stumble across these words. At least I will have left some form of legacy.
The plan went as expected; I planted Andrew within the bowels of the Chantry, and waited for Basinger to arrive. When his car finally did pull into the driveway, I was surprised to see that Joni had come with him. Fortunately I was clever enough to distract her, saying we needed to sanctify the building with a circle of stagnant water. This kept her sufficiently occupied while I tempted Basinger down into the Chantry with promise of showing him a magical artifact that I had recently uncovered.
Greedy and unsuspecting of a thing, the ruse worked to lead him down to where Andrew lay in wait. The look of disbelief stamped across his face as I pronounced the sentence still haunts me. Asked a few nights prior, I would have described such a sight as amusing to no end, but now it stands as a grim reminder of this night. Nevertheless, the attack went off without a hitch. Andrew proved to be next to useless, but only because my Thaumaturgical prowess overwhelmed Basinger and triggered an immediate frenzy in the worm before he could think to summon whatever Thaumaturgy he may have had.
After he fell over into torpor, drained completely of blood, Joni arrived. Apparently she had heard the commotion going on in the bowels of the Chantry, although I cannot imagine how...perhaps she has a certain measure of skill with Auspex. No matter. Her expected reaction was violence, at first, until I explained very calmly that I was under orders from our mutual superiors...though I took great care not to mention specifics. Her bravado melted away in the face of what had happened, however, and began to babble fearfully about the Prince and what might happen as a result of Basinger's violent removal.
Although I attempted to speak sense to Durning, and remind her in a not so subtle fashion about the oath she took to our clan, her anxiety was palpable. It came as a distinct shock to me, since this is the very last Kindred I would have ever expected to show fear. I sent Andrew outside while we discussed the particulars, and in the end Joni walked out of the Chantry without saying a word as to what she would do. Even now I wonder if she'll actually be stupid enough to go to the Prince with what she witnessed.
After Joni stormed off, I took the moment of privacy given with Basinger's torpid body to take the Tremere power from his veins and commit the Amaranth. Everything I have done since receiving the Embrace has been a concerted effort bent towards achieving power and status, which I've always seen as the only measure of worth. Even so, nothing I could have read or studied or done could have prepared me for the experience of committing diablerie upon Basinger; it shook me to the very foundations of whatever might be left of my soul.
Words cannot describe the rapture of feeling the Amaranth surge through you. It is beyond something so petty as a physical sensation; when I drained Basinger of his power, it was a satisfaction on a level that only experience can communicate. Every part of my being was overflowing with a fullness, a kind of self realization that I had become something more than myself. Yet as pleasurable as it was, the sensation came with a feeling of overwhelming guilt that even now I suffer from. Under any normal circumstances, I would never commit the fact that I had diablerized another Kindred to writing, but I must.
This is one secret that I am not prepared to keep. I must confess it, or the guilt may eat me up from the inside. Even if I only write it down on these pages, the catharsis will give me the strength to face whatever may come in the nights that lay ahead. In my last entry I spoke with such a cavalier attitude about the Amaranth, but I was a fool. In those moments when I felt Basinger's essence surge through me, I realized with utter horror that I was nothing more than a monster who ate anything that dared to stand in my way. Compounded with this terror is the fact that even as I write this, Joni may be running her mouth to the Prince about everything that has unfolded tonight. I could walk into the Frost Tower tomorrow night, and meet a gruesome end at the hands of the Camarilla sheriff.
And then what would be left of me? Nothing but ashes and smoke, terrible memories and dark deeds committed in the name of ambition. I have never contemplated the possibility of a God until tonight, but even if such an all powerful being did exist, what could be my expected fate if everything goes wrong and I'm destroyed? Certainly nothing good. Tonight I have done something so horrible in the pursuit of power that it has caused me, for the first time since my Embrace, to reevaluate my very existence.
Many times in the past hour I have had to fight off the urge to pack everything I own and have Bonny, Shay and Erica drive me out of Austin. To where, I don't know, but somewhere I could at least be safe. In the end, however, I sit here in my Haven and make no preparations to leave. I can only fall back upon what Max has ingrained into me since the first night I swallowed the blood of the Council, which is that pressure shall either make or break those who would seek to obtain power. Did I really expect it to be so easy? What a fool I am, to be surprised that this doesn't come without some measure of cost.
No, during trying times, the strong will prevail. I will not run. For better or for worse, this is where I have cast my lot. So instead, I must contemplate the two possibilities facing me now; the first is that Joni does not tell a soul, and the Prince is likely to believe whatever story I choose to tell him. This is very likely, considering Joni is Tremere, and knows very well what sort of repercussions await traitors who would put the Camarilla before their own blood. The Astors were created for that very purpose, and their mere mention is enough to sober even the most unruly Apprentice that might dare to put themselves first.
However, I must consider the possibility that Durning does not maintain a cool head. She was not in a good state when last I saw her, and frankly I expected more of her. Yet for all that bluster and posturing, she was genuinely afraid of what Prince Cosgrove might do if he discovered Basinger's death at our hands. While going to Cosgrove with what happened tonight is not the intelligent decision, it is one that could easily be made in haste while in an emotional state. Therefore, however frightening that may be to me, it remains plausible.
I believe there is a solution, however slight, to this given scenario. Should Durning run her mouth to the Camarilla, I have three things going for my case. The first is that she has absolutely no proof; there is nothing left of Basinger to say he's met the Final Death with any measure of certainty, much less that I am responsible. Second is the fact that she had a clear and present motive to destroy Basinger. It's no secret that the former Regent has always been radically chauvanistic, and would not be a far stretch to assume that a firebrand of a female vampire might have frenzied or even plotted his demise. Certainly she has more apparent motive than me; I've only just arrived to the city, and have always been nothing but cordial and respectful to the former Regent. Yet it makes me a convenient scapegoat.
The third and final point I am prepared to make is that I have a witness; Andrew, who I am certain will hold my confidence, can testify that I was with him. Should Durning come out and accuse me of destroying Basinger, I will have a Malkavian who is honest to a fault prepared to step forward and say otherwise. After all, he is in this just as deeply as I am, as a conspirator to destroy Basinger. Clearly it is in his best interest to support me. Not only that, but someone is bound to have seen Joni with Basinger on the night of his supposed destruction...which gives her both opportunity and motive.
While Andrew did not prove useful in destroying Basinger, should my back be pressed against the wall, he will be invaluable to 'proving' my innocence. In that regard, I shall have to consider him a useful ally...and I am pleased to have enlisted his services, even if he serves a different purpose than originally intended. With this overwhelming evidence, I am confident that Durning will be seen as the guilty party. Of course, none of this will matter for anything if someone thinks to scry my aura, as I'm certain even now I wear the evidence of diablerie as black stains upon my soul. Luckily, I chose absolute privacy to commit the deed, and not even Andrew suspects what I did with Basinger. There is no reason for anyone to assume that I went so far as to devour him.
Seeing all that rationale put down on paper serves to somewhat quiet the fear of voice that has been with me ever since leaving the Chantry. I must go to the Prince under the assumption of a worst case scenario, and should Joni prove her loyalty with silence, not even that will be necessary. I have every reason in the world to stay in Austin, and see this through to the end. It is everything I have worked for, although tonight I wonder for the first time if the risk is really worth the reward. Still, wrong or right, this is where I am.
All I can do in the meantime is muster the fortitude to continue my nightly activity as if nothing has changed. This will be much more difficult in the face of blinding terror, the possibility that I could be destroyed at any moment, but the circumstances stand more in my favor should Durning choose to break her silence. I will have to find solace in that knowledge; at the end of the night, logic is the only thing I can cling to. Still, it doesn't stop a quiet voice somewhere in the back of my mind from wondering if everything I know is wrong.
Sarah Renee Mandrake
Apprentice of the Sixth Circle
House and Clan Tremere
Last edited by Griever on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:49 am; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 11
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|Subject: Re: The Journal of Sarah Mandrake Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:04 am|| |
Monday, September 14th, 1998
The road has been long, and these last few weeks the longest of them all, but I have been justified in the end for all of my labors. The strength of our clan has been my salvation in the end; Joni has remained silent, and the Camarilla are left in the dark without any clue as to what has just really transpired. I was called to a meeting tonight by Prince Cosgrove on the matter of recent developments in regard to my clan, particularly the absence of Regent Basinger. The Prince was careful not to reveal anything about what he knew in regard to the former Regent's destruction, and I represented myself as a newcomer who has been in the dark about everything since arriving. All I know, as far as he's concerned, is that my superiors have recently contacted me and given me the now vacant mantle of Regent.
There's no point in giving Prince Cosgrove the impression that I am dangerous, or that I engineered Basinger's downfall and now assume his old office purely as a matter of my own machinations. I think perhaps the Prince would be a fool to take everything at face value, but I believe he suspects some abstract Tremere Lord that is too far afield from Austin to be any real threat and that I am merely their puppet. This is a good thing, given the revelations I have been privy to about Prince Cosgrove since meeting him.
The truth of the matter is that our clan has been in a sorry state purely as a matter of the Prince, and not solely through Basinger's ineptitude. Certainly some of the blame must be laid at his feet, but Basinger was a weak Regent, and he simply didn't have the strength to make our clan strong in the face of Prince Cosgrove's overwhelming paranoia and need to subjugate every other clan beneath his thumb. I should have suspected something upon arriving to the Frost Tower and discovering nearly all of the Camarilla holed up within his building, under some office that was appointed to them.
The last true Regent of Austin, the one to hold the office before Basinger, was destroyed in a blood hunt after being branded a traitor by Prince Cosgrove. Given his megalomaniacal behavior, I'm inclined to believe the whole thing was a sham. It is my suspicion that the former Regent merely made the mistake of presenting too powerful a front, and in so doing making himself appear to be a threat to Prince Cosgrove and his rule. Basinger was merely the Camarilla stooge that had been quietly placating the rest of our clan into weakness in return for whatever perks his petty office afforded him. That is, until I arrived.
Thus my purpose comes full circle, and only now as Regent of Austin do I truly see the position we are in. Max has told me on many occasions about the first nights of clan Tremere, the way we were hunted in the Carpathian mountains like animals by a coalition of Tzimisce, Nosferatu, and Gangrel vampires who were nursing their own grudges. Many young Tremere like myself believe those nights long since passed, but I realized tonight that while the battlefield might have changed, everything else remains the same. We are just as subtly persecuted by our fellow Kindred as we were back then. Only now does the fear Joni displayed the night Basinger met the Final Death make sense; Prince Cosgrove represents a significant threat to Tremere prosperity in Austin.
Thus, as the newly crowned Regent of Austin, I must set my priorities. The first thing I need to do is contact the regional Lord and apprise him of the situation here in Austin. Of course I shall offer my personal thoughts and opinions, but ultimately unless the decision is given over to me, arbitration remains the purview of my Lord. Personally, I believe Prince Cosgrove will acquiesce if he feels that his position is being threatened. The fact that he went so far as to call Basinger his 'subject', and then demand a phone call for some kind of explanation from the former Regent himself is indicative of the same great arrogance that keeps nearly all Camarilla Kindred cooped up in his Frost Tower.
Personally, I believe the Prince is in for a rude awakening when he attempts to throw his weight around with clan Tremere. He is forgetting that the departed Basinger was the subject of the Lord appointed to this region, and not the Prince. We are beholden to the Camarilla only so far as to uphold the Traditions, and aid the Prince of a given city in keeping the peace. As far as I am concerned, Prince Cosgrove can either make us his greatest ally, or worst enemy. Presented with these facts, I'm confident he will not challenge clan Tremere's sovereignty over its Chantry or members ever again.
There is a glimmer of hope for him, something that might set his mind at ease; we are not interested in his position as Prince. Members of clan Tremere are only concerned with cultivating our Thaumaturgical arts in peace, and upholding the stability of the Camarilla to achieve those ends. Reminded of this fact, I feel confident that the Prince will not hesitate to give us a measure of freedom that the other clans cannot claim in Austin. If he is not prepared to acknowledge us as allies and instead continue this ridiculous policy of treating us as his personal underlings, this is clearly indicative of his personal desires overriding the responsibility he has to both the Camarilla and the Kindred of this city.
Clan Tremere is the greatest weapon Cosgrove has against the Sabbat, and sitting right on the edge of the Mexican border, he cannot afford to deny himself such a worthy instrument in the war that will inevitably be at our doorstep. If the Prince continues to ostracize us, this would be sufficient evidence to bring before the Justicars, who will certainly intervene before the Sabbat take an already weakened city. Under these circumstances, Cosgrove would have to be an absolute maniac to continue flexing his muscle. We will only lock step and ensure that his rule comes to an abrupt end.
Given this superior position, I would say we're in a place to even demand terms. Of course the nature of these terms are completely up to my Lord, but personally I would like to see us given financial support to rebuild our Chantry as well as permission to move both myself and the remaining members of clan Tremere within it. Additionally, I would like to see us given the right to sire no less than two Apprentices, to replace our losses with the recently departed Basinger and the Regent that was destroyed before him.
I believe Prince Cosgrove will bend to these not unreasonable terms. Investing in the strength of our Chantry is an investment towards his own future, because we would then gladly use our position of strength to support his rule in the name of continued Camarilla dominance over Austin. Hopefully he is wise enough to be amenable to this arrangement; thereafter, we may operate with a measure of autonomy not given to any other clan, and I will have achieved a measure of success for clan Tremere that Basinger could not.
Still I will maintain no illusions that our clan is not under constant siege. By negotiating with the Prince, I can only hope to secure at least a semblance of solidarity with the Camarilla until we are restored to our full strength. I should probably mention that last night a couple members of the Sabbat gnashed their proverbial teeth outside the Frost Tower just as my introduction to the Prince was taking place. This will serve our cause all the more, to remind Prince Cosgrove that very real consequences await failure.
I must express a measure of concern for Apprentice Fryberg, however. He may be 'harmless', in the words of Joni herself, but as I explained to her that word is synonymous with 'useless'. Indeed, I will implore him to continue putting up such a harmless front, but I intend to make Freebird useful if it kills him. With a proper Regent to swear allegiance to, I will see to it that he falls in line and fulfills his duty to our clan with satisfactory results or suffer the consequences. I may be able to fashion something out of him yet.
In any case, once the Chantry is restored we will use the permission hypothetically granted to us by the Prince in order to Embrace two new Apprentices. They will undoubtedly prove invaluable aids in the first great project of our Chantry; the creation of a gargoyle. I have thought long and hard on this, weighing the pros and cons, and of course such a step will require the permission of my Lord. However, I believe the benefit will be immeasurable; not only will the Sabbat be roundly slapped for any displays of insolence, but Prince Cosgrove will undoubtedly gain a new found respect for Tremere strength and afford us even more clout and autonomy.
With a strong Chantry, new Apprentices to train, and a gargoyle sitting at our gates the future of clan Tremere will be assured in Austin. No one will think to challenge us, not even the Prince himself, and we will be left to our own devices. Thus will I have secured a greater measure of prominence for our clan than ever before. As one of the youngest Regents in Tremere history, nothing less is expected.
Sarah Renee Mandrake
Regent of the First Circle
House and Clan Tremere
Last edited by Griever on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total
|Subject: Re: The Journal of Sarah Mandrake || |