Shadows of San Diego

Chapter 1 - The First Tradition

The Masquerade

Thou shalt not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing so shall renounce thy claims of Blood.

After the conflict of the previous evening, none of the fledgling vampires were particularly pleased with being forced into participating in whatever it was Hernando Ruiz had planned for them. Their sires reminded them that it was by the Prince’s mandate that they were being put through this “training” and thus would have to stick it out. They were given a brief glimpse of the city’s politics, and that their current situation would not last forever.

The fledglings reassembled at the construction yard, where Ruiz told them their first and most important lesson was the First Tradition, the Masquerade. Fate, it seems, has seen fit to provide an object lesson. There has been a breach of the Masquerade. It is of vital importance to each individual vampire, and their society as a whole, that such breaches be cleaned up as discreetly as possible.

Golden hill park

A gristly murder occurred the previous evening in a local park. Ruiz instructed the coterie that while the identity of the perpetrator was still unknown, and that clues to his identity and whereabouts would be useful, their primary objective was not to hunt down the attacker, but instead to make sure the incident is properly covered up. No sign of vampire or supernatural involvement was to remain.

The group traveled to the park and examined the scene of the murder while discussing the case particulars with the beat cop left to watch the area. The cop alluded that while new to it all, he was working with Ruiz and was aware of vampire existence.

The park was a prime make-out location for teens, and a likely location to score recreational substances. It seems a young couple was getting intimate when they were attacked. The male was mauled but was still alive, though in critical condition at Scripps Mercy Hospital. His girlfriend was not so lucky. Torn to shreds, her remains were taken to the county medical examiner’s office.

Alan kept the police officer busy and ensured he would report the incident as the result of a particularly vicious coyote attack. Meanwhile, Wu Xiao Tsu kept an eye on the perimeter while Cole Rand and George MacIntyre investigated the scene. No one wanted to deal with Leshiac, and therefore he was forced to wait in Alan’s car.

Using his heightened senses, Rand found the subtle signs of the attackers path as whatever it was fled the scene, down off the plateau and into the ravine bordering the park. Meanwhile, MacIntyre discovered minute traces of vampire blood in claw marks left on a tree. He tasted the blood, and focusing his will, he used Thaumaturgy to determine that the attacker was indeed a Kindred, was of the 9th Generation, and that the blood of the two teens had sated its bloodlust, at least temporarily. Furthermore, the Beast he tasted in the blood was particularly savage.

The claw marks looked like no standard animal, so the team did their best to obscure whatever evidence remained at the scene. They removed the trace of vampire blood and scuffed the tree trunk to muddy the presence of the claw marks.

Meanwhile, Wu noticed movement in the upstairs window of a house across the street from the park. Upon investigation, the coterie encountered Donald Creef, a parolee who had a habit of taking illicit snapshots of the teens who used the park. They discovered an expensive camera that contained a video of the incident. The video showed a thin, savage looking vampire with tangled blonde hair emerge from the tree and attack the couple. The attacker’s movements were so quick the camera wasn’t fast enough to catch every movement before the murderer fled.

While Wu slapped Creef silly, MacIntyre destroyed all data on the computer they found upstairs while Rand searched for and destroyed all other evidence. They smashed Creef’s camera and television, then tied him up alongside his creepy photo project and left him for the police’s tender mercies.

Having discovered all they could at the crime scene, the group decided to split up to tackle the two remaining loose ends of this Masquerade breach: the survivor in intensive care at the hospital, and the corpse at the morgue.

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rommalb

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