Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Battle of Southern Arizona (Camarilla Fiction)

Over the past few months, the kindred of Cochise County had been plagued by an army of adobe Terra Cotta warriors. These warriors looked like ancient Japanese Samurai. A demon had risen and was seeking vengeance for the destruction of his daughter a year prior.

The demon-child, in the guise of a young Japanese girl, terrorized the kindred for months. She sacrificed some in bloody rites to other Oni. She ate some of them. Others she compelled into playing games, interrupting their abilities to feed, conduct business, hunt, and survive. Conchobar of the Norn, his sister-wife, and their daughter, Green, attacked the demon. In a harrowing battle that claimed the life of Mebd, Conchobar's twin sister and wife, the three destroyed the demon-child.

Now her father came forth with vengeance determined to destroy all supernaturals until his honor could be restored.

Conchobar, having taken Praxis of Southern Arizona had enough. He claimed that the day of his wedding to Lady Illyana Constantine would mark the destruction of  the demon. Kindred from all over the globe heeded the call to battle and massed, prepared to end this foe before his vengeance spread.

The kindred formed 7 teams of fighters, one team of ritualists from various covenants, a team for communications and logistical support, and a team to cover the masquerade lest mortals find out what really lurks in the darkness.

The 6th team of fighters was acutally a lone Dragon named Alice Cross, who took command of one of the strange companies of life-sized Apache dolls and Kachina. Vosh, Bear Sundancer, and several other Crone had set to work, convincing ghosts of Apache and Hopi to fight on the side of the kindred.

The 7th Team was Conchobar's. This was his main effort. He would face the demon-father named Bukogi Reichi Oni. For Conchobar, this would end tonight!  The remainder of the teams had the hard job. They had to keep the Terra Cotta Samurai from defending the demon.

The first team, led by Sariel St. James took the field, advancing on the
last known locations of the Terra Cotta in the Northern section of the Mule
Mountains, just to the south of Tombstone. He was accompanied by Thomas Odd,
Danoir, Joan D’Aquitaine, Sara MacAyle, Bishop Abidea, and McKenna
Adrosteas. Upon seeing the statues, the team halted. Sariel performed and
exorcism rite while Joan supported with prayer. Thomas Odd and several
retainers armed with cross-bows shot at the statues, which appeared to be
frozen. 3 of the Terra Cotta burst into bits of rubble from the shots. The
team then advanced on the remaining 2 in sight.

The team halts short, trying to stay out of range of any ranged attacks the
remaining 2 TC may have. Thomas Odd fires and destroys what is left of one
of the remaining two. The retainers fired, harming the remaining TC, causing
great gaping holes in its torso. The clay samurai lets out a war cry and
charges with the full force of a freight train. He impacts a retainer,
impaling him on the adobe katana. The statue then explodes with a blast of
numina, causing multiple deep bruises on a nearby retainer. A hail of arrows
falls around the team, but causes little damage.

Joan’s prayer joins in with Sariel’s next attempt at an exorcism. The
statues again appear frozen. The team closes the distance to the newly
discovered bowmen.

Thomas Odd realizes that the ranged weapons of the bowmen could be
disastrous. He casts Damage Reduction to protect the team. The team moves a
bit closer and holds fire, aiming until they get into better range. The
adobe bowmen loose another volley. A couple of the arrows find their mark
and penetrate one of the retainer’s armor. At this point, the remaining
retainers return fire on the identified target and obliterate one of the
statues. The team advances cautiously.

The prayer and exorcist rite reach a crescendo. The Statues again seem
paralyzed at the might of G-d striking at their core. Now another group of
katana wielding statues is visible, and one lets out a soul-piercing howl
that routes the team momentarily, causing them to flee back down the

Through inspiration from Joan and Sariel, the team regains its composure and
advances on the remaining Terra Cotta. Thomas and the retainers fire again,
knowing exactly where their targets are. The shots bring down two of the
swordsmen in a thundering crash of crumbling clay. One of the adobe samurai,
badly damaged, charges and kills one of the retainers. He then explodes in a
blast, knocking two of the remaining retainers to their knees with blood
seeping from their wounds. The remaining retainers heed Sariel’s call to
tighten the lines. The kindred push forward with full force, preparing for
possible melee.

Again, the chants of prayer coming from the LS warriors and faithful seems
to rise to an apex and stop the Terra Cotta in their tracks. Thomas Odd and
the remaining retainers fire again, causing another of the katana-bearers to
crumble. The team reloads.

The team fires one more time, killing the last of the swordsmen in a rain of
crossbow bolts.

 The adobe bowmen fire their arrows, concentrating on a single retainer,
killing him.

 At the height of the wedding and a joint LS and CoC ritual back at the
rack, the clay samurai seem to be stunned by this act of faith. This energy
pulses through the air, motivating the team. The team takes advantage of the
moment and fires 3 volleys of crossbow bolts at the clay archers. They
concentrate on one, and he explodes in a rain of clay. They fire on a second
and miss. Determined, they aim again at the second target and loose a volley
that disintegrates the kyodo warrior.

 The team reloads and advances on the remaining minions of the Father-Demon.
They fire and bring one of the remaining archers down in a cloud of dust.
The archers let out an ear-piercing howl that vibrates through the bones of
the kindred and their remaining retainers. Routed by the mystical energy,
they flee back 300 meters. When they regain their composure, they see the
two remaining archers have turned and fled back towards their master.

 The team tends to their wounded and prepares to assist team 2, if called.

The second team, commanded by Raziel Bellmont in conjunction with Missionary
Rachel, Nathan Prince, Joseph Johnson, and Peter Cross and multiple
retainers marched into the central region of the Mule Mountains, just north
of the town of Bisbee. Their mission was to clear Terra Cotta in sector,
then form a blocking line tied into Team 1 in order to prevent the TC from
moving in and stopping the main effort from getting to the demon father.

The LS and Invictus rise in prayer, led by Missionary Rachel. The Terra
Cotta warriors freeze in their tracks paralyzed by the power of the prayer.
There are 10 of them with Naginata in sight. The team uses the initiative to
move within pistol range. Raziel looks around, shaking his head that none
had come armed with bows or rifles. He can sense this is going to be one
heck of a fight.

Raziel lets loose with a Spear of Faith. It seems to
sputter in the wind as though he was distracted by the thought of having to
advance this close. Peter Cross and the retainers fire their pistols in a
unified report in order to conceal how many are shooting. The shot is times
with the lightning. Two Terra Cotta are torn by the bullets, one falling to
a lump of mud on the ground. The other, badly damaged, lets out a war cry
and charges into the formation. He cuts deep with his naginata into one of
the retainers causing mortal wounds. The Clay warrior then detonates in a
psychic blast injuring those around him and leaving the first retainer a
broken body on the desert floor.

Then a rain of clay arrows descends upon
the formation and another retainer falls, his body filled with arrows.

Rachel pulls out her prayer book and begins to lead in another rousing
testament of faith. The Terra Cotta again are held by some mystical force,
as though the faith of the prayer severed his link to the dark Shinto oni
that commands them. Raziel sends out another spear of faith, this time
hitting its mark with all of G-d’s fury behind it. In declining amounts,
four of the clay warriors have huge chunks of adobe burst from their torsos.

The rest of the team fires their pistols at the most damaged samurai,
realizing that they charge when they have taken too much damage. The focused
fire hits the mark and reduces the statue to a pile of mud and dust in the
torrential rains.

Raziel yells to Rachel to continue the prayer before the monsters can move
again. But the break was all they needed to go back into action. The team
advances closer hoping to do better with melee weapons. Raziel looses
another spear of faith into a different group of warriors. This time five of
them burst with massive chunks of dirt flying off of them, leaving gaping
holes. Two warriors, badly damaged from the blast, charge into the
formation, their initial thrusts causing mortal wounds to two more
retainers. Their detonation kills them, and sends waves of deep wounds to
the rest of the formation.

Peter Cross’s retainers use their vitae to heal
some of their wounds, and the gangrel’s unnatural resilience seem to dampen
the effects of the blast. The clay archers fire. Nathan and Joseph can see
some of their vitae mixing with the rain water as they pull the muddy arrows
from their chests.

Rachel’s prayer rises over the din of the monsoon. The clay automatons stop
dead in their tracks. Raziel lets loose with yet another spear of faith,
this time against the clay bowmen. Four of them looks as though grenades
went off in their chests as dust flies from their bodies. The rest of the
team focuses its pistol fire on the most injured archer. The bullets tear
through it and it falls into a pile of broken pottery.

Thinking he has used the spear on all the terra cotta in sight, Raziel lets
fly a bird of sin. The bird manifests on one of the archers and begins
pecking at its eyes. The affected archer bats at the bird as it is torn to
bits by the ritual. The team fires its pistols again, bullets piercing the
enemy archers and tearing off pieces of clay. The archers return fire,
finding purchase in two of Peter’s retainers. The ghouls use their vitae to
heal from the attack. Joseph finds himself wounded yet again from the damned
arrows. Nathan and Joseph charge at the terra cotta, ripping them down where
they stand. The statues explode causing Nathan and Joseph to take more
damage. The remaining warriors swing at Joseph and he falls into torpor from
the damage, despite burning blood to heal. It was enough to save him, but
not enough to stop the sleep of death to render him inanimate. The rest of
the team advances.

Rachel’s prayer again disrupts the unholy flow that allows the terra cotta
to move. Noticing more archers against the rock wall, Raziel lets loose with
another spear of faith at the new targets. Five of the archers explode with
rock and pottery flying from their forms. Peter Cross fires, destroying what
is left of the most damaged samurai.

Raziel lets loose a bird of sin, as does Rachel. One statue swipes at the
bird once before he collapses in a pile of mud. The other begins to take
damage as the bird will peck away pieces of clay for the next few seconds.

The team can feel the power of the unholy wedding taking place. The union
between the pagan nornir and his invictus bride brought LS and Crone
together to officiate the wedding. Their joint prayer and ceremony sends
tides of faith against the statues, rendering them defenseless and immobile.

Peter and two of his ghouls fire at one statue, destroying it. Nathan
charges in and swipes an archer down with his claws. Price fires and kills
another archer. Raziel and Rachel let loose birds of sin that peck at two of
the bowmen. Cross takes aim focusing his and his four retainers fire and
watch as their target disintegrates in a hail of bullets. The archers fire
but fail to strike a single target. Nathan rides his fury and tears of huge
handfuls of clay from another of the bowmen.

Rachel begins her prayer yet again as two of the birds of sin end two more
of the enemies. Nathan strikes with his claws and brings down anther of the
archers. Raziel lets loose with another bird of sin, and it strikes at one
of the remaining foes.

Only one archer remains, and it is being harried by a bird of sin. Cross and
the retainers focus their pistol fire on the remaining statue, obliterating
it as it begins to attempt to flee back to its master. It takes two steps as
it crumbles to the ground.

 Raziel leans down and picks up a piece of the clay as a souvenir. They grab
their wounded and head for the link-up point hoping to get time to heal.

 Raziel gets word from Joan D’Aquitaine. Kasmir Lanszak has spotted a
formation of terra cotta samurai cavalry headed their way. He has stated
that he thinks he has also spotted the demon father who is yelling
"Conchobar and Green of the Norn, I Bukagi Reichi-oni call you out! Face me
you cowardly worms!"

The team passes around reliquaries and does what it can to heal as much as
possible before the next wave.

 Catching news of the impending cavalry charge, teams one and two joined
forces to fend off the counter-attack. Those too wounded to fight stayed
back and helped each other nurse wounds and spend their vitae to heal.

 Team 3, under Darius Grey sits in reserve, itching for a fight. They know
that if they rush in, the tactics won’t hold. Their job is to plus up
defenses and rush to assist any team that calls. The reports coming in from
teams 4 and 5 are that they are meeting only small resistance as they clear
the Valley to the south (team 4) and southwest (team 5).

 Team 4 under Ruiz finds only small bands of either foot swordsmen or
pole-arm bearers. They use their formation and fight a single unit, seeming
to cut through the soldiers in single passes. They take some bruises, but
nothing that isn’t easily healed. Then they hear of team 1 and 2 joining
together to fend off a cavalry charge. This is what they are good at! Ruiz
changes directions and leads the team into a forced march straight east
towards the mountains.

Team 5, under Orcus, is given the mission to open the valley for the main
effort which is set to strike as soon as the Father-Demon is spotted. They
clear to the Southwest of the Valley towards Carr Canyon. They first
encounter a team of 5 katana wielding foot-soldiers. Their ranged combat
combined with Malachi Decatur’s prayers and rituals make quick work of the
scouting party. They continue closer to the mountains. If they encounter no
more of the walking pottery, then they will set up a defensive barrier at
the mouth of the canyon to stop the creatures from defending their master.
Oddigeson, Desmonov, Telreya, and Solomon Quartermain rounding out the

 Once they get to the mouth of the canyon, they see a massive group of
mix-matched terra cotta moving purposefully in their direction. Behind them,
at the top of the canyon, they see bands of what appear to be Apache
warriors chasing after the Terra Cotta. The Apaches toss tomahawks and shoot
bows, picking off the terra cotta one at a time.

 Orcus hears that teams 1 and 2 are preparing for a cavalry charge. He just
feels that Ruiz won’t sit still and knows that it is up to him and his team
to protect the west flank for the main attack. He orders the formation to
close in. Telreya and Malachi give a resounding prayer that stops the terra
cotta cold. The Legio formation charges towards the horde, again fighting as
a unit. Quartermain fires rapidly, with deadly accuracy taking huge chunks
of clay off of the terra cotta with each shot. Taking advantage of the
paralyzed pottery, they hack and swipe at the terra cotta until little
remains but small, sharp shards of clay on the canyon floor. Now within
closer view, and much faster than their adobe counterparts, the team sees
that the Apaches are dolls. They also see many of the terra cotta in the
distance, closer to the dolls, freeze. It appears as though vapors of smoke
or steam rise from the clay bodies and seem to hug the dolls. The dolls
raise their weapons and cheer in their native tongue. Oddigeson heals his
wounds and smiles at the rest of the formation.

 Word comes in that another cavalry unit is headed towards them from the
west. The team stands ready to withstand the charge. The Apache dolls take
up ambush positions along the canyon walls  to help dwindle the horsemen as
they come past.

The first two teams joined together, leaving the wounded to the side to heal. They were in no shape to continue the fight this night. Many of them would need to feed soon, as well.

Rachel sends of a bird of sin while Raziel looses a spear of faith. The
Spear of faith tears gaping holes into 3 of the cavalry while the bird of
sin pecks holes into a fourth. The four wounded samurai charge in furiously
and cut down the remaining retainers and ghouls. They detonate sending waves
of psychic damage and shrapnel into the formation. The rest of the cavalry
charge behind them, swiping deep cuts into those still standing.

At the end of the charge, as the horsemen wheel around for another pass, Thomas Odd and
Joan D’Aquitaine are the only two in the formation who haven’t fallen into
the death-like sleep from their wounds. Thomas Odd grabs hold of Joan and
says “We need to fall back and regroup, can you move?”

Joan responds, while running to cover, breaking her normal polite protocol “Encole!”  She then grabs her radio
“Darius Grey!  Pusse ta viande! We need help with wounded.

 The cavalry charges through where the formation was and resets somewhere
back in the mountains. The vampires and retainers in the third team quickly
police up the wounded and the vampires in wound-induced torpor and bring
them to a defensive position in a canyon. They start to devise a means to
attack the quick-moving statues. They can hear the rumble of thunder and the
rumble of hooves.

 Darius tells Henry Taxis to take charge of team 3 and the remaining kindred
from Teams 1 and 2. Henry directs Daniel Morris and Jackie O. to begin
setting barricades and blocking positions. James Coy looks over a ridge and
sees one lone Kindred, Alice Kross, with a formation of DOLLS! Recognizing
the dolls as those Tira Neuman, Kasmir Lanszak, Bear Sundancer, and Vosh had
dressed  to look like local Apache, he lends his vestiges of his mortal
lineage to her formation, directing the Apache dolls to block off the
Cavalry from the rear.

 Darius Grey looks down into the valley and sees a formation of Legio
Mortis! The tactics pour through his mind as if by pure instinct. Darius
takes off at his greatest possible speed and joins the Legio Formation of
Team four and directs them towards the incoming cavalry.

With Darius Grey assuming command of Team 4; Ruiz, Serrano, Castor, Sun Wu,
Wade and Gordivea of the Santcified charge ready their gifts. The gangrel
summon their resilience and pop their claws. They take a wedge formation
like a spearhead. This tactic improves upon those of the Spartan Hoplites,
and the kindred attack and defend as a single entity.

The horsemen charge at the Legio. The Legio charge at the horsemen. Just
before the clash, the Legio tighten their phalynx and hit the cavalry
formation with everything they have, in unison. They tear and slice at the
adobe samurai, stripping legs off of the horses and carving into their
torsos. Hardened clay flies all around them.

The Terra Cotta let out with a tremendous cry as they detonate. The formation suffers slight wounds that
would have been lethal to mortals. Castor passes around his reliquaries so
all may refill with precious vitae, heal, and prepare for the next battle.

 Meanwhile, Team three; under the command of Henry Taxis, plus Joan
D’Aquitaine spot several groups of Terra Cotta samurai foot-soldiers. None
of these seem too concerned with the kindred, but are making a bee-line down
towards the southern most edges of the Valley, just southwest of the town of
Bisbee. As the clay automatons cross into their lines of sight, they fire
with prayer, ritual, and crossbows onto the small formations, reducing them
to just one or two remaining.

James Coy sends word that he and Alice are
mopping up the rest as they pass them by. The apache dolls are taking
damage, but faring well using ambush tactics on the stragglers.

Then comes a furious voice from the depths of the valley. Standing 10
stories tall is a massive vision of a shogun. “Conchobar the Coward and his
baby bitch, Green! I challenge thee! Fight me with honor!”

 At a high rate of speed, come two SUVs. Kindred pile out. One SUV heads up
a mountain to one side, the other to the other side. With a great double-axe
on his back, and garbed in Sioux buckskins, Conchobar looks at the massive
demon and snarls “Here I am. Come and get me, if you dare.”

 The kindred with him take up positions around the demon, seeming to make a
circle around Conchobar and the shogun. The vengeance-father booms “Give me
your daughter as you have taken mine or face my wrath, vampire.” Conchobar
responds, “Try to take her!”

 Sebastien Belmont jumps from one shadow to another, getting behind the
demon. Bjorn and Green of the Norn flank Prince Conchobar. A two shots ring
out from the mountains, one piercing the demon’s mask just below its eye.
Abahay comes from under his cloak of darkness and strikes with his claws at
the demon. Conchobar strikes as well, to the demon’s leg. The rest of the
kindred attack. The demon wails from the pain caused by the attack. In the
mist from the rain, spirits sent by the forsaken to avenge the clay
creature’s theft of the essence from loci bite and sting at the demon.

Waves of energy and power pulse at the demon, seeming to come from the the Rack.
Vosh, Bear, and Daniel of Canterbury are calling out their power in a
massive joint ritual.

 The demon swipes, knocking down one of the kindred. He then lets out an
earth-shaking howl that sends many of the kindred running in unnatural fear.

 Now they are angry. Conchobar rides the wave, staying just short of a
frenzy. All of the kindred jump onto the demon. Abahay, Gabriel, and another
gangrel climb onto the beast and tear at it with their claws. Prince Belmont
swipes at the demon, causing him to howl in pain. Conchobar and Bjorn tear
at the demon’s inner thighs. They bring the demon down, screaming “No! No!
No!”  The demon’s form wisps away in tendrils of mist and shadow as his
physical form disintegrates under the assault.

 “He isn’t gone,” states Sebastian. Prince Belmont then invokes his ability
to strike into the shadows and begins to slash at where the demon stood.
Piercing the dark and coupling with the thunder, all the kindred in the bowl
can hear “No! No! No!”  The trio casting the joint ritual push out their
power, stunning the demon, even in his shadow form. The demon continues to
wail “No! No! No!”

Cheering on Sebastian Belmont, Conchobar starts to sing the Nornir chant. Bjorn, Green, and Tira join in. Soon, the rest of the group is chanting with Prince Conchobar, seeming to lend the energy of the Nornir bloodline to Prince Belmont. The vigor and ferocity of  the Nornir Chant cuts into the spirit realm, driving the demon to his knees.

 Relentlessly, Prince Sebastian lands blow after blow onto the demon. After
several blows, the shadow form explodes, sending waves of energy across the
Valley. The wave traces back to the “Hoe-Down” and rips into Bear, Vosh and
Daniel of Canterbury, injuring them and driving them to ground in pain. But
the pain gives over to smiles of victory.

 Team 5 sees the cavalry unit charging. The tomahawks and bows from the
apache tear chunks of earth from the horde. However, thirty strong, the unit
takes little damage. The team braces for the clash of the charge, prepared
to counter-strike in the melee.

Just as the formation is about to impact the kindred, a pulse of energy strikes and the horsemen disintegrate into a wave of mud and pieces of pottery. Telreya looks over at Oddigeson and says “You
need a bath”.

 Kasmir reports back to Prince Conchobar that all of the terra cotta fall
apart. All of the apache dolls walked back to Elysium and the ghosts that
animated them seem to have gone back to join their tribes. He then leaves to
help the fighters find safe places to hunt and heal. Daniel of Canterbury
travels with him and offers his reliquaries to waken those rendered into
torpor from their wounds.

This is an account of the "Heroic Battle of Southern Arizona" as presented through Live-Action Roleplay, a form of improvised theater. This battle occurred at the (AZ-009-D) Nomads of Twilight's Regional Featured Game of the Month in August 2011. The tale is a shared story written by the storytellers and the players. All Rights are reserved by the Camarilla. Paul-Gregory Matuszak, US2005065516, Venue Storyteller for AZ-009D Requiem. Vampire the Requiem is Copyright by White Wolf Games. The Camarilla Club utilizes the system on a global-scale chronicle with permission.