Through the Ages
Session 4 in detail
They regroup at their temporary home in the muslim quarters and decide to try and find Yussuf ibn Wahid before telling the Prince about what they have uncovered.
Aziz and Colino head out and asks around hoping that someone might know who and where he is. After several hours they find a shop keeper that remember the man. He describes him as a noble man with a strong presence, but he hasn't seen him in a while. They head back with this newfound knowledge to decide the next step.
They remember that Sabine and her Sire ran a merchant shop dealing with more high end wares they hope that Yussuf might have passed that way buying paper and ink.
Abdullah's shop is located in the Jewish Quarter and stocked to the brim with all manner of luxury items. The characters first run-in with Sabine's sire Abdullah is a success, or so they think.
The man is enigmatic and helpful to a fault. He cheerfully divulges were Yussuf may be found amongst other minor things. Not very well versed in Kindred society the characters take the info gratefully and without a moment's thought.
Yussuf's house in the Muslim Quarter is an upscale three-story house with a small courtyard and garden. The front door is unlocked so Colino and Aziz decide to investigate inside while Christophe keeps watch. They find an underground tunnel which leads to a sealed off part of the catacombs. Down here Yussuf seems to do most of his work and keep his records, but as with Felix, someone has been here before them. Yussuf is nowhere to be seen and the two vampires will not have time to rummage through any papers.
Meanwhile Christophe observes two dark-clothed men dart into the house and set the ground floor on fire, locking the front door after them. The Lasombra desperately tries to unlock it when the two men assault him. He draws his sword and tries to fend them off. Across the garden a shadow detaches itself from along the wall and leaps onto the facade near a barred second story window. It promptly starts bending the bars apart moving in a flurry.
Aziz and Colino, panic-stricken by the flames, flee upstairs through the house, see the shadow trying to get at them and decide to take their chances leaping off the roof.
The small Lasombra manages to Dominate one of his assailants to flee and cuts the other's hand to pieces. From the severed fingers, Christophe pulls a ring with a strange symbol upon it.
The Gangrel and the Toreador leaps off the roof into the garden trees with varying degrees of success. They are guided down by the shadowy figure. It is of course Isabeau who has finally decided to show herself. She briskly instructs the characters to pursue their assailants. Dazed and confused they do as they are told.
In a nearby square they catch up to one of the attackers. The other has escaped somehow. It is clearly a Kindred of european descent. Seeing no way out, it shouts something defiantly about a reward in the afterlife and sets himself on fire. Stunned, the characters watch him burn to ashes.
Isabeau rebukes them about getting their act together and disappears into the night.
Colino has been rather obsessed with taking a bath and as the characters wake up, Conrad informs them that he has found a night open bath house that will let them in for coins. Trying not to step on anyones toes he tells them that it is a front for a brothel anticipating Aziz's anger.
Aziz is not happy about the arrangement but he says he can manage as long as the women are separated from the men. Colino seem to embrace the news and tells Christophe that this could be a good experience for him. Not sure what he means the gang leaves for their long overdue bath.
Colino relishes in all that the establishment has to offer, while Christophe has his first encounter with sensuality, which leaves him more bewildered than drawn in or enlightened. Both take the opportunity to fed. Aziz settles for only the bath, not wanting to stay longer than necessary in a known brothel. He opts to prowl the night to fed. A decision he will regret.
The gangrel assaults a servant in an alleyway, but the thrist is especially strong and Aziz loses himself to the red fog. The servant loses his life. As the fog subsides and the guilt washes over him, Aziz is panicstricken by the thick reddish pale fur that has unfurled itself across his neck and upper chest. He tries to rip the fur out with his hands, but to no avail. The Gangrel spends the rest of the night on a rooftop, reevaluating what this gift of Allah really means. Close to dawn he returns to the others, forlorn and ashamed.
The following night, on the way to try to glean more out of Yussuf's home, the characters are belayed by ruffians. Their leader demands that they come with them, or else. Colino confidently stands up to the man, until he is swiftly and effortlessly picked up by the neck and has a stern talking to. The ruffians, clearly Kindred, have backup by men with bows on the nearest rooftops. The characters submit to being hooded and herded through the streets, through houses and tunnels, til they have no idea where they are.
They are unhooded in a large underground chamber given over to muslim faith and prayer. In an adjoining room they meet Suleiman, who introduces himself as Ashirra; Imam of Jerusalem and Visier to the Children of Haqim. He demands to know, in no uncertain terms, who the characters are and what they where doing in the home of their brother Yussuf, for whom they are searching. The neonates quickly blurt out their introductory greetings they have been taught. The imam inquires if Aziz is the child of Kadir of Iberia, which the Gangrel can confirm. The Ashirra are excited to hear that "the Great Kadir" is in the region, but disappointed to learn that he is not currently joining them in the fight for the Levant. The tension in the room fades somewhat. Suleiman introduces the large, temperamental and uncannily quick man who brought them here as Aram.
The characters are allowed to tell their investigative story, in which they are almost entirely truthful, motivating their entry into Yussuf's home with concern since what happened to Felix. They are careful to confirm that the Kindred that attacked them were europeans, disguised as arabs, and are quick to add that some third party is likely to be behind it, surely to stir up the conflict between the two factions. The Ashirra benevolently thanks them for their information. Aziz is invited to make further contact if he wishes. The characters are once again hooded and taken back to the surface.
A few nights later, the neonates gather at the Prince's villa to bring what they have found to the Seneschal. As always, they are invited to wait in the library for an audience. This time, the Prince is in a brighter mood, demanding of them that they introduce themselves, again, which they do, at the behest of the herald. Introductions over, the Prince waves them on, clearly disinterested.
The neonates divulge to Anton all that they have found; both Felix and Yussuf are dead (presumably), the german and the arab were collaborating on some sort of joint project and that some other faction in the city is stirring up the relative status quo. Christophe hands over the strangely sealed ring he wrested from one of the assailants. Colino offers to catalogue Felix's work for the benefit of the Prince, but is skillfully dodged on the subject. The characters are careful not to mention any meeting with the Ashirra. The Seneschal is concerned and states that he will have someone look into how the matter develops. He considers the characters involvement in the matter closed, however.
True to his word, Anton allows the neonates to meet a jewish scholar; Maria, a youthful looking woman with pale ashen skin. It is soon evident from her cynicism that she has been around much longer than what her appearance might indicate. A room is set aside on the grounds for study and decyphering of the hebrew text the characters have brought. Over time, Maria grows more excited over the outcome of the translations and at some point her sire, Adam, who is aloof and insulated in his own work, let's it be known that he might consider having a look at the text, sometime.
A year passes decyphering the contents and context of the scroll.