Y16/11/31 The 1st Quinn Room Gathering: 'My Blood and Me'

Cast: Lesa, Samael, Cecil, Karasu, Jules
Location: Quinn Room - Huntington Gallery - San Marino
Synopsis: The first Quinn Room Gathering. Visitors speculate about Clans; what defines them, what impact they have on the individual, and how they came to be.

Quinn Room - Huntington Gallery - San Marino

Secreted away in the depths of the east wing lies an elegant drawing room, Georgian in design, furnished with British pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite the room's size, it is an intimate setting; the furniture grouped in conversational arrangements upon a large, burgundy, Imperial rug. A walnut cabinet stands at the back, its doors fastened open to reveal a message board; nearby, several talking points decorate the surfaces of ornamental tables: jet and marble statuettes, silver tea caddies, Bone China and other objects d'art. A crystal chandelier hangs centrally from the high ceiling, providing a golden light which warms the room. The walls, featuring minimal rococo plasterwork designs, have been painted a soft honey brown to pleasantly offset the intricacy of the contents.
The sense is that this might once have been a room for statesmen or nobility to while away the evening hours, and as such, it is particularly well-suited to its current patrons.

Lesa comes through the double doors.
Lesa has arrived.

It's not long after midnight. The Huntington seems deserted apart from various guards patrolling the premises outside. Lights in the Quinn Room are on, anticipating on the visitors for the gathering this Monday evening. The public until now however, consists of Sam and his guitar. The young man seems perfectly happy in the company of that instrument, almost as if he wasn't expecting any guests at all.

Lesa wanders around a bit before finally finding the right room. She causally walks in and takes a look around. She seems a bit surprised that no one is around at all. Shrugging slightly as she looks over to the one person here. "Good evening. Are you doing well tonight?"

The tune of the evening is "Colors of the Wind", the Pocahontas song, and he actually hums along with that awkward high voice of his. When Lesa enters the singing stops and the melody is wrapped up. Instead he raises, offering a slight bow in greeting; "Good evening miss Lesa. Yes. Doing alright. Thank you. I hope this goes for you as well?"

Lesa smiles as she nods slightly, "Yes I am doing rather well today. Thank you for asking." She slowly looks around the room again, as there is always the chance of someone hiding. She then looks back to you, "I heard there might be something going on around here tonight?"

Sam finds his seat again and gestures Lesa to sit as well; "Yes. I announced this discussion about 'My Blood and Me' for this evening. I'm never sure how many people will attend or when. These things remain optional." He offers an unconcerned smile; "You've come for this purpose, miss?"

Lesa smiles as she moves over to take a seat. "Yes I am here for that. I thought it might be interesting, though to be honest I came more to see who I could meet than because of the topic itself."

Sam inclines his head; "Well.. I think we may just need to wait and entertain each-other until that time? What do you say?" He reaches out for his guitar again; "It's not a topic that interests you?"

Lesa smiles as she shakes her head, "No, it’s an interesting topic and all. Its just I am still new here, and I am curious as to the type of people who come to stuff like this."

Samael ahs, eyes gleaming for a moment; "I suppose the more hmm.. philosophically.. scientifically inclined. Tremere, Toreador, Nosferatu perhaps." His fingers find the snares of the guitar again; "Gangrel tend to ponder these things a lot as well. Or at least, the ones I encountered used to."

Lesa smiles as she nods, as she listens to you. She nods slightly, "Oh the Gangrel, do you know many of them? I haven’t met any within the city yet. Then again I don’t believe I seen much of any of the clans you just listed. Except of course the toreador, which there seem to be many of."

Samael ponders; "I've known a few, but you might recognize their wanderlust, so they come and they go.. and then often they appear again. I've talked some with Rachael, Graydon, Cassius and Alejandro. You might meet Rachael still. She's something of a Clan-Elder to you, but she resides in Santa Monica, Brentwood. Santa Monica is home to several Tremere and Ventrue. South Central is paradise to the Brujah and indeed.. Downtown. You find many Toreador, Malkavians and Nosferatu here." He pauses; "You are aware of the rivalry between the clans?"

Lesa list carefully to you before giving a slight nod. "I hope to meet them then, though I do understand why they might not stick around." She nods again, "There are always rivalry between clans. Is there anything specific to this city?"

Cecil comes through the double doors.
Cecil has arrived.

Samael is seated near Lesa and they seem to be talking while he absently plays a melody on this guitar; "Something like that. Yes." Sam confirms; "You know LA is divided in 8 Domains, yes? But it wasn't always this way. First there was Rodrigo, then there was Prince Emerson. The Treaty split it up in 8 parts and ever since the Ventrue have been trying to acquire dominance in the Council, with Emerson and his’ to stand against them. In essence it's something of a cold-war between the Ventrue and the Malkavians."

Lesa nods softly as she listens to Samael explain it. "Yes I heard a bit about that. So how far does this rivalry go? Is it possible to avoid most of it?" She smiles as she thinks about that for a moment.

Cecil steps inside, peering about, as he does so, his hands in his pockets.

What a beautiful November night is it, not? At least one should expect that Karasu, the Japanese girl's is having a great time, going from her warm smile and her almost childish curiosity. She slips into the room after Cecil. Maybe she followed him all the time… or perhaps it’s just coincidence. Her garment for the night is a Chinese styled dress, as if the Quinn Room gathering would be a high class party.
"Good evening Cecil-san, Samael-chan and…" the small woman glances at each of the attendees before her intense brown gaze rests on the unknown woman. "Welcome to the Huntington." she smiles. "Am I late Samael-chan?"

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Excited, full of expectation, but there is some caution deep below the surface»

Lesa stands up as she looks over to Cecil. She gives him a slight smile, "Good evening, it’s nice to see someone else was able to make it tonight." She then looks to Karasu, "Hello, I am Lesa Johnson."

Cecil replies with a smile, peering at the lady, "Nice to meet you, Ms. Johnson. I am Cecil Northrup, Steward of the Pelican in Santa Monica."

Lesa smiles as she nods, "It’s a pleasure to meet you Cecil. Are you doing well this evening? We haven’t yet started so you seem to have gotten here just in time."

Samael took out his mobile for a moment, distracted while checking an SMS. When he returns to earth he notices the new arrivals.. puts his guitar away, stands to offer a slight bow in greeting and sits again; "Good evening Katsumi, Sir Northrup.. and welcome."
And returning to the question at hand; "I don't think it can really be avoided miss Lesa. Not unless the Bluebloods give up their strife, and I doubt they will. Actually it might one night come to a showdown and escalate. They are looking to rule LA as they control Sacramento. The desire to rule is perhaps in their Blood, just like wandering is in yours." He picks up his guitar again.

"Katsumi?" The Japanese girl raises her eyebrows and shakes her head. "She is dead and she wants to rest in peace." she explains in a low voice, keeping her eyes on Samael. "Lesa-san, good to meet you." she turns to the woman before she searches a chair.

Cecil nods, "It seems that I have indeed arrived in time, though I am somewhat unclear on the topic of discussion for tonight."

Lesa smiles as she sits back down in her seat and looks around the group. She looks to Samael, "I hope it doesn't get to out of control now. We don’t need a war or anything."

Sam frowns, confused at Karasu's reply; "I think we agreed that I could continue to call you that?" the young man asks, then nods to Lesa; "Unlikely. You know Elders. There's planning of decades before taking risks."
He glances at the board; "So yes.. the topic of the evening is 'My Blood and Me'." He thinks; "Want me to repeat the exact text of the announcement and explain what I meant?"

Cecil says, "Certainly, Keeper, it couldn't hurt, at least."

Karasu sits down and glances at the floor. Her lips are opened slightly as if she would like to respond to Samael’s reply… but instead she just nods and remains silent.

Lesa nods slightly, "That is probably true. Though you never know." She shrugs slightly as she looks around, "That sounds good, you can repeat it and then open the discussion."

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«A slight anger dances in her surface, with a strong urge to say an explanation. In the deep she is protective, sad and ashamed.»

Sam puts the guitar away again and pulls the copy of a message out of his pocket. Reading loud; "About Clans. How do we differ? How do we connect? Do we share the same origin, or did we come into existence like the Nephilim? And.. how does this relate to the curses and blessings of the Blood? Do we share a goal, or do all Clans have their own cross to bear?"
He sits back; "That is of course, assuming that you know about the Nephilim's Becoming?"

Cecil says, "Of course I know. Though most of the rest is of course a mystery. You have to delve deep into our histories to discover honest answers."

Karasu listens silently, it seems she is not the one who would like to start to explain her ideas, if she has any. The Japanese girl watches Cecil instead.

Lesa nods slightly as she watches and listens to them a bit, waiting to see where the discussion goes.

Sam’s gaze goes from Cecil to Karasu and from Karasu to Lesa; "I suppose Sir Northrup knows, but do you?" The question seems directed at the ladies; "The birth of what appears to be a new Clan, by means of ritual and a blasphemous sacrifice; the essence of an angel. They appear vampires, undead, but with the traits of that which they aimed for."
He asks; "Doesn't that make you wonder?"

Cecil remarks, "They did not get what they expected, Keeper. They expected something else, not to be like us. But like us, they are - that much at least I am certain. After all, Hank was staked like any undead." He rises, "Please excuse me for a while, I must depart. I'll be pleased to return as soon as I am able."

Lesa thinks about that for a moment before she shrugs slightly, "I can't say I know too much about that. Though it does sound interesting."

Karasu sighs and glances up at Samael. "The only angelic thing about them is their wings, but there could be several other explanations. I once saw a Gangrel change into the form of a raven…" she puts her hands into her lap. "Maybe that ability is closer to a discipline. I haven't yet found an explanation on how they could walk among the mortals otherwise. I heard one of them is trying to hide in a mortal gang, pretending to be a gang member. Perhaps they posses powers similar to the Nosferatu or the Malkavians."

Samael inclines his head and stands to offer a slight bow again, when Cecil indicates his leave; "Indeed." he comments; "They expected to become angels, and are aiming for this still. They have.." he nods to Karasu; "..wings of course, that seem hidden to mortals. I've seen some sort of.. golden light surrounding them. But they also are undead, our aura's, radiating cold." He leans back again; "The reason why I bring this up is because.. it must make one wonder about the origin of our own Clans, does it not?"

Lesa smiles as she thinks about that, "So you think our clans where made like that? I can't say I know too much about them, but they would have to be very powerful to really compare the two."

Karasu seemed to forget to say goodbye to the departing man, perhaps the conversation is more important to her at the moment. The Japanese girl nods with a very low 'Hai' in agreement of Sam's remarks. "I am not sure how the other clans were created. I heard several creation myths, but we only have an oral tradition to draw from. Such has its own merits and flaws. It can’t be controlled by those who are in power as much as written knowledge can, but it’s also less secure and changes with time." she glances at Lesa "Their aura is different than most of ours. It might be proof that they are different from us. I am not sure how they would be different however, and that is related to their creation. The Tremere posses strange auras also; sparkling due to the tricks that they use."

Sam wonders; "Is it different?" he asks of Karasu; "How? Ah.. you mean the magic enchantment. It's not there always."
He refocuses on Lesa; "I didn't say it's what I -think-. That might be a pretty dangerous statement. I do find it an interesting line of thought however, because it might teach us something about ourselves. You see.. it would mean that if we look at the things that we have in common and the things in which we differ, we might learn what it is that our Progenitors strived after, because we might find it in ourselves. That, and it might teach us about what part of us is 'what went wrong', depending on if you're inclined to regard the vampiric state as 'fallen' or not."

Lesa nods slightly as she thinks about that. "Well if you are going to wonder about that, I have to ask, do you know anything about how their blood is passed from one to another? Or have they even been doing that at all?"

Karasu shakes her head, searching for Samael's gaze. "Let’s be clear about what we’re talking. Are we talking about what we could learn, morally, from the appearance of the new clan, or do we want to know what really happened? I would like to talk about both, but we need to separate the two things. We have limited knowledge of our past as far as I know, and we can't really get closer to know what happened with the Nephilim, especially we, the residents of Downtown." the Japanese girl turns to Lesa. "I saw only two of them personally, and I knew one of them before her change. It seems they have some common characteristic, but two persons are very small number to base research on."

Sam nods back to Lesa; "I'm uncertain if they embrace. I believe they do, but I'm not certain." he admits. Then back to Karasu; "Do you think so Katsumi? The past is not as closed to us. It's.." he waves his fingers, gesturing at the air surrounding him; "Everywhere, after all. I only spoke to one, really. Sariel, one of their Arch-Angels and spokespersons. He was willing to answer several questions. That plus, they didn't arrive un-expected."

Lesa nods as she listens to them for a moment. "Well if they do embrace that would be interesting, though a question is do the ones they embrace still have the same powers as them? Or is their blood weak?"

Karasu raises her eyebrows curiously, watching Samael. "Oh, that must have been an interesting event." she comments before she answers his question. "Yes, I think it is hard to 'know' the truth about our origin due to several reasons. I talked about the role of a scientist, someone who collects information and interprets it. Obviously we could interpret the change of the Nephilim on a moral level, but we don't know the facts on how they changed and if their blood is weak at all. I saw one of them using techniques similar to those of our blood Samael. Perhaps it wasn’t just an angel that died in that ritual, and such could be a proof that we do have similar origins."

Sam frowns as he listens; "Interesting question miss Lesa." he comments; "We should perhaps try to find out. But indeed.. the Nephilim won't be forthcoming with information to residents of Downtown." He nods back to Karasu; "What technique are you referring to Katsumi? A power? Note.. I don't think that any of our progenitors would have sacrificed an Angel. We don't have wings. My speculation however does include that they might have reached for something divine, just like the Nephilim did. That they were cast out, just like the Nephilim were, but that some traits of that which they strived after, still mark our Blood."

Lesa looks a round, "Well did anyone ever see the ritual? I mean it could be a flat out lie. They could have gotten their powers from a vampire, and the only new thing about them is that they found a way to change their aura. I mean the idea of some vampire wanting to create their own new clan seems very possible to me."

"We call it Celerity." Katsumi explains after she listened to Samael and Lesa with unwavering curiosity; "Exactly. I mean the only facts we know about… I mean I know about… is that they changed during the great earthquake, and I know which organization they are from. I have no other proof on how they did it, except that every domain and clan has their own interest in their appearance in some way."

Sam shrugs; "They did a ritual. They say they were taught by an Angel and that its essence is gone now. It is said that they cut parts and bits of this Angel in pieces to study it. But this gathering is not really about them, if it happened or not. It's about Clans. I bring them up because I think it might offer an interesting perspective. That somehow, the things that are different about us, aren't just.. different traits gained by the various families; some sort of evolution. If we came into existence separately, the different traits go back so much deeper, all the way back to the origin. We could understand why we are the way we are; what it is these progenitors strived after." He spreads his hands; "Speculation, I know."

Lesa looks around the room for a moment, before leaning in slightly, "Oh well from what I have heard I have an idea what may have happened, though it is probably something I shouldn't share in public." She smiles slightly as leans back. "Well the problem is it’s based totally on if they are telling the truth or not. If they are lying it has nothing to do with how we were created and any insight it might give is totally false."

"A good one." Karasu smiles as she watches Samael. "Yet there are some attributes that require some explanation if you want to work with that concept. Why do most of our clans share the same basic attributes, like physical shape, aura and so on? If the Nephilim's aura’s are different and not because of magical enhancement, then they really are further removed in relation to us." and she turns to Lesa with a nod. "Still, I think there could be methods to check their explanation. They were once part of the Church of Empiricology. There should be some notes on the differences. Another interesting question is if all of the new clan members were Church members or not."

Samael smiles back to Lesa; "Up to you." he gestures at the people present; "This is hardly public, but up to you."
He refocuses on Karasu; "I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary in the Nephilim's aura's Katsumi. Have you?" Samael asks; "But yes. We do have some basic attributes that seem to be similar; the 'vampire-denominator'? But do you know what parts of you are 'vampire' and what parts are 'clan'?.. That is, going from the speculation that clans really are significantly different."

Lesa lists for a bit as she looks between them, before looking around the room. She leans in a bit more as she almost whispers. "Well if you ask me. It sounds like they probably found a long sleeping vampire, someone maybe hundreds or thousands of years old. The ritual was probably used to force him to awaken, where they then ate him." She leans back again, "Of course they would lie about it in that case, since it would be a horrible thing to do."

Karasu shakes her head after Lesa explanation. "It still has to be some ritual. It is very clear what happens with a human being when they feed from a vampire. And if they stole the power of one vampire, why do they not share its common clan attributes?" the Japanese girl glances back at Samael. "Obviously the most important attribute is that the clans carry some blood-related attributes that emerge in a newly embraced dead body. It’s not really a study. All of the other attributes are clan related; the more social ones."

Sam ponders Lesa's and Karasu's words; "I think it's valid to doubt if it really was an Angel that they sacrificed, or something else. It is a question I ask myself, that I would pursue." He nods, then poses; "Well.. to me the vampire-part seems to be you know.." He shrugs; "Being dead, fangs, blood, nocturnal activities and.. instincts. We all know the different clans differ in powers.. some have quite visible attributes. But how they differ in the non-visible aspects, I keep wondering about. For example.. would you say there is a Blood-driven difference that affects an individuals psyche as well?"

Lesa shrugs slightly, "Who knows what powers a newly awaken vampire who has slept for a thousand years may have? Though even if it’s an angel like they claim I doubt they willing had their body cut up. They probably forced it to submit, and if they stole its power it still seems likely they tried to eat it. Of course if it was a real angel, murdering and devouring its flesh is an obvious way to become cursed by god." She shrugs slightly. "Well you should also consider that clans tend to embrace people with similar ideas and thoughts and that may play a role in it."

"I think it is the basic question of anthropology. Nature vs nurture." The Japanese girl explains, glancing between the two. "But before I explain that let me go back to the topic of diablerie. They could have committed the act while using different vampires as a source of blood." she sighs and leans back. "So it is hard to say what came from blood and what from education. If we truly want to have an answer to that, we should study the so called clanless."

Jules comes through the double doors.
Jules has arrived.

Karasu sits down at the armchairs

Samael again, listens closely; "You think it's simply that? The Sire picks a likeminded mortal?" He wonders; "I.. I don't know, honestly. I mean.. Don't you think that there is a difference in you, before and after the Change? Some sort of longing or obsession? Apart from the obvious vampiric instincts I mean."

Auspex on Sam notes:
«wondering. Uncertain»

Lesa nods slightly, "Of course there is. But it could be certain people tend to react in the same way. Or similar ways. There are people who act very different from their clan after all. Though its hard to tell how much is because of that, or what might be caused by other reasons."

Jules slips in quietly, her hands folded behind her back. Her posture is perfect, straight and proper. But she does her best to slip in unnoticed.

Auspex on Jules notes:
«Hunger, it tugs and pulls at her but for the most part she simply endures it.»

"I feel a certain change Samael, but it is more about my own vampireness, than my clan-ness, if those words exist at all." The Japanese girl grins playfully. "You know me Samael-chan. I am very far away from my clans ideals. I felt a strong push from outside to fit the ideals of the archetypical Toreador." Karasu glances at the new arrival, if briefly. "And there is some personal difference in me, like if my ID has grown in strength after my embrace, but that is not clan related at all."

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Excited, curious and focused on the conversation.»

Samael smiles back at Sakura and Lesa, then spreads his hands; "Oh I agree it is hard to tell and it becomes increasingly more difficult. I mean, the Blood changes you, these.. powers change you and your perception of the world. I'm just.. curious how it was for you, you know?" His voice grows soft and apologetic; "I don't remember so well."

When Jules paces into the room the lad brightens however and instantly gets on his feet to offer a slight bow again; "Miss Giovanni. Such a pleasure to welcome you to the Huntington Elysium. Did you meet my Assistant Keeper, Karasu yet?"

Lesa nods slightly as she glances back and forth. "It’s a complex subject really, and it’s difficult to tell." She smiles as she looks to Jules, "Good evening, are you doing well today?"

Jules smiles toward Samael and responds, "I have not, signore." She turns toward Karasu and dips into a bit of a curtsey though she doesn't say down. It is just a quick dip down and then back up. The woman murmurs, "A pleasure to meet you, Senorita." Her accent is Italian.

Auspex on Jules notes:
«The hunger is present clawing at her stomach, but she seems to welcome it.»

"Good to see you Giovanni-san." Karasu's accent is - of course - a bit Japanese at times. It is not too bothersome, but her sentences are strange at times. Her brown eyes rest on the woman before she turns back to Samael. "I remember most of the changes I went through. But those changes were psychological mostly, the physical changes happened with my embrace."

Samael gestures to a place for Jules to sit and join them, but not before introducing Karasu further; "Karasu is Lord Mayfair’s Grandchild and a Steward for some of his lands." A smile back at Karasu; "Congratulations on that by the way. Miss Giovanni is new in Downtown, and perhaps looking for a place to hunt still? Well.. sorry for allowing practicalities to take over our speculations for a moment."

Lesa smiles slightly as she watches the long introductions for a moment before looking to Karasu. "It can be hard sometimes to notice psychological changes in yourself."

Jules waves a hand gracefully to Sam, a beautiful smile spreading over her lips, "Pardonne. Please, Signore leave them for now. All things in their time. I am certain that I can speak with Senorita Karasu after the time of speculation and mental stimulation, si?"

The Japanese girl smiles confused when Samael introduces her but soon Karasu turns to Lesa instead of reflecting on Samael's words. "It is not so hard, but most of the embraced don’t have modern science at their disposal to do their research. It only spread in the 19th century. Personally I love introspection. Sometimes it is hard to keep a distance to yourself, but a diary helps to keep your thoughts organized. Basically most of my questions and problems are related to the issues that I feel feeding on the same 'creatures' I used to be, as obviously they are as valuable and sentient as I am, from my perspective at least. My mind tries find reasons to explain the nature of my diet. The second problem is related to the death of the mortal's bodily functions and mortal desires with it. I adapted well, but I known someone who was still mimicking mortal coupling because of the psychological pleasure of awaking past experiences."

Samael offers another apologetic smile, inclining his head toward Jules; "Yes. Of course. Well.. where were we?"
Samael summarizes the topics at hand for the newcomer; "We were discussing what part of us, in our opinion is similar.. the vampire. And what parts, if any, are Clan-defined. We all are aware of some very visible and noticeable differences between the Clans. Now I posed the question if we think that there are innate psychological differences too. I raised the question if any of us remembered such."

Jules's phone beeps, and she gracefully excuses herself from the group.
Jules has left.

He remembers and explains more; "Previous to this we discussed if the Becoming of this new Clan, the Nephilim, could make us understand more about the origin of the Clans. It was speculated that Clan-Specific traits were connected to the specific Clans Genesis; similar to the way in which the Nephilim's angelic traits seem connected to theirs."

Unfortunately, at that point, Jules already left the premises and Samael’s phone too starts to ring. He excuses himself and makes for the exit also, promising to be back as soon as time allows.

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