Vampire - Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum 1
Missing Persons

Chapter 2: Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum

Session 1: Missing Persons

The coterie dispersed for several days after bringing down the Nosferatu serial killer and tendering it to the Sheriff. The Boxer spent a bit of time at Elysium, at his gym, and conferring with his sire. He also ventured out to Ferguson and saw firsthand the situation spiraling out of control. It’s worse than what the media is broadcasting. There were several instances where Predator’s Taint went off as he navigated the streets, and he fed on several of the looters. He also stole the cash out of the rioters’ wallets and found an ID from an organization based in DC. The man’s state ID was actually from New York. Wil noticed 5 looters kick the back door of a house in and followed them inside. He then beat them all unconscious and fed from them.

Nikolai spent all three evenings working in the lab. Avi dropped off the radar, Charlie was nowhere to be found and Louis was tied up monitoring the increasingly violent rioting.

On the third night WIl sent a text out to the group, simply asking “How are you doing?” Nikolai responded, and used the excuse of working for the Prince to get out of the lab, where he has found increasingly dissatisfying.

Wil and Nikolai met at the Elysium. Wil hung a punching bag in the Elysium earlier that evening, and the two of them worked on the bag as they talked. Nikolai confided in Wil about his growing disillusionment with his work in the labs, and his concerns about the moral implications of the kind of work he’s involved in.

Unexpectedly, the phone in Elysium rings. Wil turns on the speakerphone and chaotic background noise spills forth. After a long, tense moment Wil speaks, and the Sheriff asks who is present in the Elysium. Wil responds that it’s only the two of them, and the Sheriff, clearly frustrated, says that he’s sending someone.

After more than twenty minutes the magnetic lock sounds and Jayne walks in. She advises that Charlie has gone missing and that the ghoul that watches over her was hospitalized. The three piled into Jayne’s dark gray metallic Yukon, which is blacked out and lowered.

They arrived in Benton Park and stopped in front of a nice, turn of the century two story brick home. From the outside, nothing looked that out of order. Wil circled around back and saw nothing that stood out. Upon stepping back in front Jayne pushes on the front door and it falls away from the hinges.

As the fell away they could see obvious signs of an altercation. 1/3 of the way up the stairwell the blood splatters and bulletholes begin. At the base of the stairwell is a larger pool of blood. The home was decorated with Irish art, and with pictures of Charlie and of a man. After looking over the first floor they ventured to the second, and to the bedroom with covered windows and a four poster bed with a large blood stain. Upon closer inspection, in the center of the blood stain was a hole.

They inspected the rest of the building and saw no evidence of forced entry in the basement. Jayne explained that the EMTs has already taken the man to the hospital. Sway with the police delayed their response, but they would be there shortly. As sirens sounded in the distance the group fled the area and went to Barnes.

Jayne had the name of the ghoul, and snagged a white coat to cover her body armor and pistol. The three made their way to the ICU and to Lachlan O’Shea’s private room. Wil fed Lachlan 4 points of blood to help him heal, and Nikolai then gave him one more. He woke with a stir, and struggled against them at first. Wil was able to convince him that they were friends of Charlie’s.

Ante Bellum 4
The Demon Within

Chapter 1: Ante Bellum

Session 4: The Demon Within

This session begins with Wil in the Elysium, watching Howard. Jane unceremoniously unscrewed the suppressor from her 12 gauge shotgun, then took down the barrel and packed the entire thing. in a nondescript black duffel bag. Jane exited as the Detective entered without exchanging a greeting. Wil filled Louis in on the goings-on of the last few nights and they chatted briefly about the rioting in Ferguson.

The rest of the coterie made their way to the Elysium, Charlie bringing a pizza with all of the worst toppings for Howard. Wil had Howard bathe in the bathroom over a bucket with the door open. The coterie continued to question Howard, but he remained hostile without using Dominate or Presence. Howard’s faith in his unholy master seemed unshakable.

The group was finally able to glean from Howard that his master was in search of infants that were unbaptized Christians. The group also reached out to the Sheriff to update him on the findings of the group. When the Sheriff called the Elysium line back there was a lot of noise in the background, he was obviously still somewhere near the rioting. The Sheriff advised he’d join the coterie before the end of the night.

The Sheriff arrived at the Elysium and in the course of conversation was challenged not once, but twice, by Avi. The exchange intensified, and most members of the coterie stepped back as the Sheriff’s patience expired and violence was imminent. Wil stepped into defuse the tension and guaranteed results from the investigation.

The group retrieves the cell phone but keeps the battery and phone separate. They tended to their separate lives as they counted down the days until the demon would reach out to Howard. All but Barlow took turns looking after Howard in the 4 nights that remained. Howard worked two of those evenings trying to contain the riots. Nikolai continued his research, Wil visited with his sire and attended an public Elysium, Avi spent time within the Jewish community and Charlie tended to some personal business.

The night came, and the coterie convened. As soon as the first one wakes they put the battery into the phone. Barlow secured kevlar vests through criminal contacts with Nikolai’s money. Barlow also brought the shotgun from his police car. A handgun was secured for Nikolai, and the rest of the party brought their own weapons. The group retrieved Howard’s car and waited in a lot near his house for the call.

As the call comes Nikolai Dominates Howard to comply with the meeting and not tip off the demon. He is successful, and the details of the meeting place are exchanged without Howard saying anything out of sorts. The group immediately moves towards the meeting point, located in a rough part of North St. Louis, A black and a half away from the meeting point Nikolai left the car, but Avi moved into the trunk after dropping the back seat. He kept a gun aimed at the back of Howard’s head.

Howard then drove to the address, which was an empty lot. The phone rang, but it remained in Nikolai’s possession. He picked up, and the voice that was little more than a low growl said to enter the building. Nikolai then hung up, and relayed the message to Avi who told Howard to get out of the car and go into the building.. Howard then got out and Avi, unable to get out of the trunk for fear of being seen, could hear Howard’s footsteps move away.

The rest of the group left their car and immediately started running towards the building, trying to stealthily move toward the buildings next to the empty lot. Avi slowly opened the rear passenger door and slid out, but was unable to close the door quietly enough. He stood still for a several minutes, not wanting to alert the demon to his presence.

The other four coterie members moved between the building, looking and listening carefully for any sign of Howard’s passage. Wil masterfully climbed into one of the broken windows and carefully stepped into the building. After hearing voices in a distant part of the bulding Wil lifted Nikolai in behind him. Barlow and Charlie went to the back of the building.

Avi punctured the fuel tank of the car, Charlie stayed on the first floor to watch the exit, Barlow crept up the rear staircase, while Wil and Nikolai crept across the first floot. Wil determined that the voices were coming from the second floor and, with the stairs in disrepair, chose to lift himself up onto the second floor in the open stairwell at the front of the four family flat. He then lifted NIkolai, but the floor creaked as he did so.

The voices stopped immediately, and once Wil realized that he started running full force towards their source. Just as Barlow reached the second floor a choking, gasping Howard came stumbling through the doorway, and fell over the rail… followed by a large snarling figure clad in black tatters. The figure leapt over the rail and nearly landed on Charlie. The figure grabbed Charlie and started dragging her away

Wil smashed through the decaying walls of the flat, driven by Charlie’s screaming, and came crashing through the rear window, Avi walked quickly from the car as he set it alight, and Barlow started firing from the second floor at the figure while it dragged Charlie away, Nikolai made it to the balcony beside Barlow and leveled his gun at the figure. At the same time, Charlie retrieved the contents for a tiny flamethrower in her purse and opened up on the figure, setting it alight.

The figure kept pulling her along, the tattered rags flapping and on fire. Charlie, with the flames so close to her face, began to panic and succumbed to Rotschrek. Barlow, Nikolai and Avi continued to open fire on the figure and Wil positioned himself in front of it. Wil blocked the route of the figure and started attacking it as well.

Through the combined damage put forth by the group the monster is eventually brought down, just as Charlie comes back to her senses. The group approaches the downed behemoth and Wil pulls away the black tatters, exposing a warped creature mangled even before the violent exchange. The creature is dragged back to the car and placed in the trunk, Avi crawls in and keeps a bun to it’s chin. Wil drags Howard’s corpse to his burning car and throws it in, the group piles in and quickly flees the scene.

As the group arrives at Elysium Nikolai samples the blood of the creature. The blood is potent, and it is Nosferatu. The coterie reached out to the Sheriff and asked him to appear. The Sheriff arrives with Jayne and an unfamiliar man, who does not set off the predator’s taint. After a brief exchange the Sheriff congratulates the coterie on their success and retrieves the Nosferatu, who he says isn’t a declared Kindred from St. Louis nor is it familiar, to his knowledge, to the St. Charles or East St. Louis Kindred.

Ante Bellum 3
The High Cost of Living

Chapter 1: Ante Bellum

Session 3: The High Cost Of Living

This session begins with four of the five characters at the Elysium on the evening of 8/10, with 13 days to the next murder. Wil is the last to arrive, and information about the riots breaks through on the radio. They wait for a number of hours for the call from the Sheriff, which comes with considerable noise in the background. The Sheriff advises the group that his attention is consumed by the rioting, and that Barlow is similarly indisposed.

The group chose to move forward with narrowing down the list of suspects, even without the help of the Detective. The coterie began scrolling through the profiles and performing searches of public records. They spent the following 3 nights scouring the internet for any information about the profiles (10 days to the next murder.) After compiling the available information and sifting through the multitude of pages Avi made significant progress in picking out the 5 most likely profiles. 1 Administrator and 4 IT Analysts.

The group researched and found it highly unlikely that any of the 5 were Kindred. Nikolai suggested that instead of a vampire, it could be a retainer or thrall. Charlie then spoke up, suggesting that it could in fact be a ghoul. The coterie spoke for some time on what ghouls are and the limited information that Charlie had about them. Wil called the Sheriff and requested his presence… the Sheriff showed in person late that night and provided more information about ghouls and how the blood effects them.

The coterie was able to eliminated the two that hadn’t worked there since the time that the murders began. The remaining three lived in CWE, Ladue and Holly Hills. (9 days remaining.) The crew decided to go the same evening and try to find the suspect. They ventured to the CWE and attempted to break into the home of the employee there. Avi parked the car in an area better lit than was wise. The other three snuck to the rear of the house… Charlie making quick quiet work of it, Wil more slowly and Nikolai stepping on every leaf and branch along the way. As Charlie turned the corner Nikolai whispered “slow down!” loudly.

Charlie attempted to pick the lock, and after several attempts managed to trip the silent alarm. NIkolai noticed the bright green light on the keypad across the kitchen turn red and the group dispersed. Charlie and Nikolai sprinted towards the waiting car while Wil moved two yards down and watched. Lights started in the bedroom and eventually went on throughout the house. Two figures appeared and looked about the house, turned off the alarm and were on the phone. The lights remained, and Wil fled the scene, meeting the other coterie members blocks away.

The group decided, despite the late hour, that they would attempt the next closest home, which was located in Ladue. They sped to the home of Howard Weiler. Wil lifted Charlie to slip in the kitchen window, from there she went to the basement and flipped off the breaker. She opened the door and let Nikolai and Wil into the home. Nikolai and Charlie snuck through the house and Nik went into Howard’s bedroom. Charlie argued with Nik and Howard stirred… Nikolai stayed still beside his bed for ten minutes until he hadn’t stirred for a long minute.

Nikolai bit into Howard and used his Path of Blood to read it. He was able to sense it was different, that it was more than human. The blood tasted faint, stale, but certainly as Kindred. Once he had confirmation that the blood was inhuman, he gave the sleep command to the terrified Howard and the coterie fled back to Elysium with him.

They tied him up, locked him in the storage closet, and called the Sheriff to request someone look after their bodies while they crashed in Elysium. When they awoke, it was to Jane sitting in the desk chair with a suppressed 12 gauge shotgun (7 days to the next murder.) She broke the shotgun down, put the pieces into a duffel bag, and departed once they all stirred. The group then proceeded to start interrogating the suspect. Through exceptional success in Dominate Nikolai was able to pry Howard’s story from him. Howard has terminal cancer, kept in check by the pact he made with his master. In exchange for the name of a recently born infant he drinks the blood of the large, red-eyed demon and his disease is kept in check. He has provided these names every month for the last 28 lunar cycles, always a day prior to the new moon.

Nikolai and Avi returned to his house and investigated for anything out of the ordinary. Avi looked at Howard’s book collection and found nothing unexpected from an IT administrator with terminal cancer. After coming up short in the house Avi decided to bring Howard’s cat to the Elysium, and upon arrival released it into the office. The interrogation continued late into the evening and the Sheriff arrived to discuss the details of what had been discovered. Wil asked the Sheriff for resources to pick through the debris that is Howard’s memories of his master, and the Sheriff agreed to seek out someone capable. Upon his departure the coterie asked for someone to look after the Elysium, and once more Jane arrived just as Avi, the last one conscious, was falling asleep.

After a brief exchange upon arising from their slumber, Jane once again departed from Elysium. The group gleaned that the phone was in the rafters of Howard’s basement and that it would ring in 5 nights with instructions to meet his master for the exchange. As the group awaited further instructions and contact from Barlow they set about catching up on their own lives, with only Wil staying in the Elysium to keep an eye on the captive.

Ante Bellum 2
Growing Pains

Chapter 1: Ante Bellum

Session 2: Growing Pains

One week passed between being introduced to the Prince and meeting again. Each sire appeared to the childe early in the evening with a sealed letter that contained an address and a keycard. The group gathered one by one at the Elysium that the Prince had designated for their tasks.

First to arrive was Wil, who surveyed the nondescript door set into a tall brick building in the financial district. It had one dim light above it, and a small gray box beside the door with a red light. He swiped the keycard across the box and the light turned green. The loud shunk and buzz of an electronic lock sounded off and Wil walked into a short hallway with a pair of dim sconces on the wall.

The space was an office suite, with a desk near the far left wall, a nautical picture hung above the chair behind it. There were two less impressive chairs sitting in front of the desk, and on the opposite side of the room was a conference table, 10 chairs and a speakerphone. In back is a galley kitchen and a door that exits to a long hallway running behind similar units and eventually outside. To the immediate left of the entry hallway is the restroom, and to the immediate right is another unexplored room. The rest of the group trickled in after Wil, Avi was the last in the door.

The group exchanged pleasantries and explored the space while they waited for further instructions. Keeper of Elysium Genevieve Baudin entered the office and introduced herself, then explained the basic rules of the Elysium. Shortly after she was finished Sheriff John LaGrange arrived and spoke to the group, explaining the expectations and limitations of their role investigating the cases he would soon hand them.

The coterie was to serve in an investigative capacity, they did not have the permission to attack or destroy any suspects in the course of the investigation. The coterie is not afforded special rights, they are to report their findings back to the Sheriff as they find substantial information. They’re also given leave to contact the Sheriff in the event they need specific resources.

The Sheriff then advises the group of their first case: 22 infants have turned up in the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s office in the last 2.5 years due to exsanguination. The ME tagged the deaths as SIDS and buried all evidence of the lack of blood within the corpses. The Sheriff advised the group that he suspects it to be a Kindred culprit, due to the lack of marks on the bodies that could explain any other method of exsanguination. The group was horrified, and also outraged. How could the city ignore such a serious problem for so long?

The answer, the Sheriff said, was that the ME had been tasked for years with cleaning up Kindred messes and didn’t raise the concern about the infant deaths for more than 14 months after the start. The matter had been investigated unsuccessfully prior, said the Sheriff, to no avail. He was not specific about what that investigation entailed or who performed it. The Sheriff told the group that the St. Louis City ME had files on all of the infants tied to this case, and that to get started they needed to pick up these files. The Sheriff and the Keeper excused themselves after providing phone lines to contact them at.

Louis volunteered to go, since his badge and his existing relationship with the ME over the years as a homicide cop would negate inquiries about his visit. He went to retrieve the files and threatened the ME during the exchange. The ME was visibly rattled prior to his arrival, and this just put him further on edge. Once Louis had the files he returned to the office.

The group pored over the case files, noting the same suspicious lack of any markings that would explain the lack of blood. The group spent hours studying the data, until Avi was able to discern that each death took place around the new moon. There were missing dates, but those that were killed were always on the new moon. Questions persisted about the six dates that weren’t accounted for in the files. The group decided to pay a visit to the household of the latest victim, which was only two days prior

The group piled into Avi’s car, with Louis riding in his detective cruiser separately. The apartment was located in the middle of a rough neighborhood on the North side, and as Louis turned onto the street he noticed prostitutes and sentries at the entrance. He alerted the other car and they kept their distance. Louis parked 3 doors down from the address, the others a 1/2 block down and over.

Louis and Nikolai chose to directly speak with the mother of the infant, while Wil broke into the back door to investigate. Charlie and Avi watched for signs that they’d gathered undue attention or that someone was trying to escape through the back. Louis and Nikolai woke the woman and asked to speak to the mother. She allowed them in and in conversation noted that she’d gone out back to investigate a ruckus she thought was cats. When asked how long she was out back she was visibly confused and couldn’t provide a confident answer.

Wil successfully picked the locks on the back door and gained entry. He snuck through the house and into the baby’s room. After several minutes of looking in great detail at the crib he noticed a dried drop of blood stuck to the side of the crib, between the frame and the mattress. The rest of the room was empty, so he slipped out the back and texted Nikolai.

Charlie noticed two of the sentries making their way towards the house. She slipped around back at the same time that Avi and Wil came together at the base of the fire escape. Nikolai pretended to use the restroom and instead went and sampled the blood, using his Disciplines to trace the origin. The blood was human, and was particularly powerful in flavor.

Nikolai returned to the front room just after Louis had tried and failed to Dominate the mother into sleeping. They quickly exited the building, stopping momentarily to discuss interrogating the squatter in the hallway but decided instead to leave. As they exited the pair of sentries were standing in front of the building. Louis lead the way in-between them and Nikolai followed, getting in theri car pulling a U-turn and driving away. This distracted the sentries from the rest of the group, who were crossing the street half a block down to make it to the other car.

The group returned to the office and continued to go over the materials. Over the course of the next week Louis and Avi pursued answers in books, while Charlie Nikolai and Wil paid a visit to one of the other victims’ homes. A failed attempt to gain entry to the home and distract the resident by Charlie and Nikolai resulted in Wil having to gingerly make his way through the house, up the stairs and into the child’s bedroom. The nursery was cleaned out, with no obvious signs of breaking and entering or any lingering blood. Wil chose to jump down from the second story window instead of risk running into the homeowner.

The group continued to seek an explanation, or to see a pattern. The group notified the Sheriff and requested access to the St. Louis County ME. The meeting was arranged, and Louis was received coldly by the ME. Louis brought the files back and these filled in the remainder of the days. All of the deaths in the last 28 lunar cycles had happened in St. Louis City and County. The group also determined that all children who had a religious orientation noted were Christian and that they were all born at hospitals in the BJC system.

The group requested access to those systems from the Sheriff, who advised he would reconvene with them in 72 hours. Wil and Louis spoke to their sires about the case, while Nikolai, Avi and Charlie did not. Wil made an outreach for assistance to a specific asset. The session came to a close with the group waiting on those 72 hours to pass. Most of them received some pushback from their sire regarding the amount of time that this task consumed, most strongly from the Tremere and the Ventrue.

Ante Bellum
Welcome To The Fold

Chapter 1: Ante Bellum

Session 1: Welcome To The Fold

Tonight the characters discovered that the kindred of the St. Louis metropolitan area are divided into 3 smaller kingdoms, East St. Louis, St. Louis and St. Charles. 

East St. Louis is the domain of a Ventrue, who is the childe of the Prince of all of St. Louis prior to dying in the midst of the race riots of the 60’s. St. Louis, which is comprised of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, is the domain of a Brujah prince named Samuel Gray. St. Charles is the domain of a Gangrel who claimed the territory in the 60’s when it was mostly disparate farming towns with forest and green fields in-between.

The characters received instructions from their sires, summary insight into their year of fledgling vampire existence, and an invitation to be presented to the Price of St. Louis. The meeting was held at an Elysium, perhaps temporary, in a large mansion house just East of Grand. The sizable estate was tucked into the affluent neighborhood there, fully walled and gated. Two men stood guard at the gate and opened it as the fledglings arrived. Upon arrival, they were all surprised to find four other fledglings waiting to be presented. They sized each other up as they waited to be invited into an audience with the Prince. 

He waved them over, flanked by two starkly different kindred. The one to his left was an intimidating man that looked quite gritty and rough around the edges. He stood at 6’2", with dirty dishwater hair that was unevenly cut and slicked back. He had icy blue eyes full of fire, a long thin face and a sizable, poorly-mended scar on the left side of his lip. He also had a solid three day’s worth of growth on his face. Sheriff John LaGrange, a Gangrel, wore a bolo tie with silver and a large turquoise stone, a black button-up shirt, and a long light jacket that fell to just above his knees. He had slim, unpleated slacks on and a pair of cowboy boots as weathered as he was. His voice is gravelly, and he tends to speak plainly and infrequently. His demeanor seems mildly standoffish, and one gets the sense that he’s constantly sizing up those around him.

To the Prince’s right was Sofia Cardozo, Toreador Seneschal. A tall, slender beauty with a model’s grace and figure, her white suit and skirt were cut to accent the impressive curves of her form. Her voice is honey, sweet and rich with an edge of sensuality enhanced by her Portuguese accent. She is warm and inviting, and carries herself as someone well-practiced in social graces. She has long raven hair, pulled back in a spectacularly fashionable and complicated updo. Her accessories all seem to drip haute couture, from the elaborate-but-not-gaudy earrings to the tastefully matched expensive shoes.

Prince Samuel Gray is a well-muscled man in a tasteful but inexpensive suit. The lines highlight his impressive build, and he carries himself like a scrapper that came into considerable dignity over the years. He is surprisingly friendly for a man of his position. He appears to be in his mid-to-late 40s, his salt and pepper hair cut close on the sides and the hair atop his head a bit longer, but unstyled. He stands at 5’9", not a tall man but physically imposing regardless. His hands are rough, and he most certainly came from a life of labor in his mortal years. He too has an accent, ones that the fledgling Ventrue was able to pinpoint as colonial Bostonian.

The Prince proceeded to explain the Six Traditions, their application, and the significance of following them closely. He then explained that as condition of becoming citizens of St. Louis, they must first perform tasks that show great benefit to the city, the kindred or the humans within it. The fledgling vampires announced their given names, their sires, and their clan. They then proceeded to break off and speak to the various attendees. Numbers were exchanged and the Prince advised that a temporary Elysium would be assigned so that they can fulfill their tasks.

The fledgling vampires then departed and held conversations in private with their sires about the evening, the other fledglings, and their next course of action.

All players were granted 3 experience points for the session. Those with full prologue sessions received 3 additional points, while those with brief prologue sessions were granted 2 additional points.

The Way of Things
Powers That Be

A few more updates on this St. Louis’ history that could be pertinent to creating a mortal concept.

East St. Louis continued to grow through the 50’s and into the early 60’s at an explosive rate. The urbanized area of East St. Louis stretches from 270 at Granite city to 255 around the Cahokia Mounds historical site and reaching towards the outskirts of Columbia and Belleville.

Both sides of the river were wracked by horrible race riots in the 60’s, but the worst of the rioting was in East St. Louis. This resulted in hundreds of deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage. In St. Louis, this brought about the razing of destroyed properties to be quickly replaced by new construction.

In East St. Louis, this brought some neighborhoods to Detroit-level urban decay with residents living in absolute squalor. The money in East St. Louis fled to O’Fallon, Belleville and Columbia as conditions declined. The riots prompted accelerated white flight from the city, and St Charles has seen exponential growth, forming one solid stretch of humanity from the Mississippi river to the Westernmost edge of Wentzville.

East St. Louis politicians and law enforcement are shamelessly corrupt, and blatant to the point of provocative. St. Louis’ politicians toe the line, playing by the rules just enough to not incite citizens or catch a Federal case. St. Charles is run more discretely, but those in the know are well aware of the private transactions that guide the decisions made in the legislative chambers.

In all three cities the banks, investment firms and casinos have exceptional influence and often vie for financial dominance. The organized criminals look and operate differently in each area, always pushing the limits of what the public will tolerate.

East St. Louis’ streets are run by gangs primarily trafficking in prostitution and crack. St. Louis is a patchwork of competing organizations, mostly based on ethnic loyalties plying the trades and poisons of their home country. Prominent among those organizations are the Russian, Bosnian, Vietnamese and Italian syndicates. St. Charles’ competing criminal factions are motorcycle clubs, meth dealers and a Mexican enclave that’s rumored to have distant ties to the cartels.

The Metropolitan Area
Subtle Differences

The setting is St. Louis, but there are some subtle differences. East St. Louis is closer in size to St. Louis in population. The difference in prosperity is abundantly clear. Downtown St. Louis is composed of new construction and well maintained older buildings and East St. Louis populated by a sprawling grid of crumbling brick and concrete. Both are crowded, bustling centers of activity but the feel is vastly different. The land East of the Mississippi is vicious, violent and unforgiving. The denizens are ever on edge, and there is a predatory nature to them. West of the Mississippi, the cosmopolitan citizenry moves to a fast-paced productive rhythm, on to the next business meeting, consumed by their daily routine. There’s an air of detached civility to St. Louis city in the daylight, people passing by one another as if in their own world. Blissfully oblivious to the downtrodden lurking just outside the view of the authorities that ensure appearances are maintained.

The City

The city has a vibrant center that revolves around banking and technology, where the sidewalks are clean, the street lights are bright and the police and private security shoo away anyone that doesn’t look like they belong there.

The edges of this ivory tower cling to some semblance of civility, gentrified neighborhoods where the young and wealthy slum with the more refined plebians. These neighborhoods are where much of the city’s culture resides, art galleries, innovative restaurants, music venues and many of the most interesting clubs and bars. They’re also the buffer between the moneyed elite and the jungle that is the sprawling poverty radiating around it.

A river winds through the city, and an international airport is nearby. The shiny new subway cars in the city center are a stark contrast to the dirty, graffiti-laden cars that run outside of the hub. The industrial sector revolves around defense manufacturing, with some car assembly and machining scattered across the landscape.

The docks are a frenzy of activity, with goods coming and going at every hour of the day. Casinos, some opulent and some dilapidated, dot the map. The city’s residents come from many backgrounds and ethnicities and many haven’t integrated. This resulted in pockets where only Spanish, Chinese, Bosnian and other languages are spoken.

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

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