Last time on Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines: we finished what was left of the side quests in Santa Monica. We stole some blood, started an investigation on a Masquerade breach, helped out a very excitable ghoul and even went gave a hand (pun completely intended) with a investigation for a bail bonds office. Now we shall go back to the main story!
SPOILER WARNING: spoilers ahead for the story of this game. Proceed only if this doesn't bother or you already finished this game. Or some other motivation that I can't imagine right now.
The Sabbat Warehouse
It is time to get to the whole reason why we end up in Santa Monica: to blow up a Sabbat Warehouse for Prince Lacroix. The one who can get us there is Bertram Tung, who hangs out in an abandoned oil container.
By his appearance it is pretty easy to know which clan he belongs to: Nosferatu. For those who have no idea what I am talking about, the Nosferatu's curse is that they look like actual monsters.
Ironically that tends to make them the most human among the vampire populace. They are also pretty adept at Obfuscate, a discipline that allows the user to become invisible (and a few other things in the tabletop version). This makes them pretty good at obtaining information. So much that they carved a pretty good niche for themselves as information brokers in the Camarilla.
As a typical Nosferatu, Tung already knew what we came for. Oh, and that little feud with Therese? That was just her being super-paranoid about her power in the region. Tung has no interest in trying to rule a location where the vampire populace is about half a dozen or so.
Before leading us to the warehouse Tung does share some of the information he gathered. Apparently the Sabbat has been moving a lot of hardware through there. The whole place is full of humans who knows they are working for vampires. Tung guess is that they are doing it for the promise of being turned into a vampire eventually. As you can imagine it the Sabbat don't have the most strict recruitment requirements to their ranks....
Tung does warn us though to not underestimate them: they may be humans but there are a lot of them and they are all packing heat.
After we confirm to be ready, we find ourselves at the exit of a small tunnel that leads to what looks like to be an abandoned train station. It is connected to the warehouse we came to destroy and also has some of the Sabbat human goons guarding it.
I try to sneak through the place, avoiding as much combat as possible until I get to an office inside the warehouse. This is where my plans got derailed a little. Usually when I do this section I don't have a problem: I get there, kill what I have to kill, plant the bomb and make my way out.
This time it was different. I underestimated them and got killed a couple of times by the humans before I could plant the bomb. When I finally was able to place the bomb I got killed another couple of times while trying to escape. My guess for this blunder is that I didn't spend my character points all that well, plus my choice of weapon may not have been the best for the situation.
Eventually I was able to plant the bomb and make my escape while a countdown for the explosion is going on.
Just as I get to the abandoned train station the warehouse explodes. A white wolf then comes running up to me and transforms into a pale man.
He introduces himself as Beckett, and despite his entrance he isn't a werewolf. In fact he makes a remark that werewolves aren't in the habit of introducing themselves.
Becket asks if we have seem anything unusual lately. We can tell him about pretty much everything we saw so far. However it is all very ordinary to him.
The reason for his question is that his contacts in the area have reported about something in the air "like a sense of dread or pressure" as he puts it. Since Becket isn't a native to Santa Monica he wasn't sure if it was something regular or not. His hope was that since we were new to this vampire unlife we would not be attuned to it yet.
Since we couldn't provide Becket with any interesting tidbits he bid us farewell and warns us to be careful as we are probably going to be hunted by the Sabbat. Well, Becket, thanks for the warning but you don't need to be a genius to figure that out after we just blew their warehouse.
Back at Tung, we mention our encounter with Becket. Tung is genuinely curious about that, wondering if something big is going on in town if Becket is around. Apparently Becket is a scholar, a pretty respected one too, that has unearthed more vampire lore than anyone else.
We can also ask him a bit more about the sects and clans. To make it short, he is pretty much a believer in the Camarilla, and as is typical for this setting, he doesn't have very good opinions about all the other clans. The only exception being the Ventrue which he does respect for them to taking leadership. Although I wonder if he isn't just saying that because the Prince is also a Ventrue....
After this little chat it is time to get a taxi to Downtown. As soon as we leave the car, a Sabbat vampire sneaks behind us and knock us out.
When we recover our consciousness we are laying down on the street with three Sabbat vampires looking down on us, discussing how they want to see to our demise. Thankfully Nines shows up and is able to threaten the Sabbat enough for them to leave.
He also tells us we should really learn to protect ourselves and to meet him later at the Last Round where Nines will tell us "the real story".
Finally in Downtown it is time to head up to the Venture Tower where Lacroix office is located.
At the entrance we are greeted by officer Chunk, the same police officer that tried to stop us from entering Gallery Noir way back in Santa Monica. Apparently he lost his previous job after our little act of vandalism but got lucky enough to land a job here.
Side note: If by some reason officer Chunk gets killed in Santa Monica the person we meet here is his twin brother. The only difference being his brother always wear sunglasses and acts like a real professional.
Lacroix already heard about the warehouse explosion. He even heard about the Sabbat ambush too and our encounter with Nines. The Prince tells us he has another job for us but we should meet Nines first just to please the "rabbles"
It is off to the Last Round then. It is a small bar that seems to serve as the hangout for the local anarchies. Besides Nines there are three more anarch vampires here, including Jack. I will talk about the other two when we get to the side quests in this area. For now let's just talk about Nines and Jack.
Chatting with Jack right now doesn't provide much information about the plot, it is mostly a chat to get to know him and his views about the different sects. Still, it is a pretty fun conversation to have.
The short of it is: Jack doesn't really care about politics. He is just considered part of the Anarchs because of his disdain towards the Camarilla and the Sabbat. In fact, he outright refuses to take orders from anyone.
His basically philosophy is: if an asshole needs to be killed then he just goes and kill him. Jack thinks of it as his way of community service.
If you talk with the other vampires here they will all tell how Jack is pretty much a legend as far as the Anarchs go. There are even some rumors that Jack was a pirate when he was alive which I can believe considering his attitude and general looks.
As for Nines, he became a vampire during the 1930's. So his worldview is pretty much stuck on that time period. The way he sees the Camarilla is pretty much how he thinks of how things were back then: a pyramid where the rich are at the top, completely safe, while everyone below them are screwed.
Since becoming a vampire Nines fought against the Camarilla to make L.A. a place free of them. That goal was accomplished around 1960's but not without heavy costs as he is the only one from that fight who hasn't met the final death.
Unnecessary to say Nines isn't too happy that the Camarilla just came back like they were never gone. He doesn't state what his plans for the future are but I am pretty sure it somehow involves Lacroix's destruction.
He is nice enough to teach us a bit about Brawling too which will be helpful if I end up in the middle of a fight with mortals and need to drink some blood.
After all that it is time to get back to the Venture Tower to see what Lacroix want us to do now. But we'll get to it in the next post.