A few months after the characters leave Damascus, Kadir and Sir Thomas return to Antioch; the Gangrel brooding but the Toreador elated. Later, in private, Kadir explains to his childe.
They were summoned to a cave in the northern parts of Khorasan, east of the Caspian Sea, by a Gangrel clan elder. The ancient one demanded their help after drinking too greedily from the Lupines – as well as, Kadir suspects, from the Kindred - and having his considerable Protean proficiency run amuck on him. What the two Sires were tasked with to alleviate this terrible breach of Kindred power, Aziz is not told, nor how successful they were.
In return for their efforts however, the ancient one shares with them the story of Ennonia, the founder of the Gangrel clan according to tradition. In ages past and in lands to the east, Ennonia was an influential priestess of nature, who caught the attention of an immensely powerful being. This being gave her immortality and the ability to shape nature. She wandered the earth, settling and mating for a time with some tribes, giving offspring that were mortal, wolven shapeshifters, even Kindred. Thus started the Gangrel line.
When sir Thomas pressed the ancient one to tell them the identity of Ennonia’s maker, they were forcefully removed from the cave.
Sir Thomas of Cornwall is now engrossed in scouring any and all written material for this entity, enlisting anyone (Kindred) who will listen.
Over the next couple of years the coterie sets up an import of goods through the mediterranean traders in St Symeon. It is carefully double checked with Caspar that none of the Prince’s interests are tread upon. Colino’s local business knowledge is a great help. Aziz’ connections with the trade caravans grant them a competent sea-to-land transportation administrator in Uthman al-Zul, now a grown man and eager to expand on his father’s meager dreams. Christophe learns a great deal about the financial and judicial parts of shipping and earns a pretty penny. Supply of the Damascus Maristan is coming along nicely.
Aziz plans to use this expansion of trade as a staging ground for reaching Abraham with concerns of unchecked seabound Kindred through the port of St Symeon.
In 1161 AD the characters receive a message from the Prince of Tripoli. For the excellent service of retrieving his gift for his Childe he is granting them each a servant. Saccarias agrees to let the neonates become Domitors.
In a month’s time they are to present their future ghoul for approval before Ahmed ibn Fayyat in Tripoli.
Christophe desperately dodges his Sire’s demand that he pick his own father - who now resides in Tripoli - as a servant and chooses a former sea captain and trader; Amand du Lac, who has taught the young Lasombra the basics of shipping. The man has leadership qualities but a cold heart. Mercier has trouble persuading du Lac and needs to resort to dominating him, twice.
Aziz acknowledges the futility in bringing a muslim before the Prince and chooses a tenacious labourer; Hisham, who has full-blown consumption, wanting to save the man from death as he himself was saved. Hisham is slow to react – some might say even a little dim-witted – and a fiercely devote christian. The labourer knows full well that he is on his last legs and needs little convincing when told that there might be a cure in Tripoli.
Unbeknownst to the Gangrel, he will not be able to make this man his servant.
Colino asks Conrad for help in finding him a suitable candidate to be a bodyguard. They settle on a scandinavian sellsword; Sven Harvaldsson. The norse knows how to wield a blade and when to hold his tongue, but has serious qualms about hurting the innocent. He is simply hired to come along for the trip.