- 1 Summary
- 2 Contents
- 3 Background Information
- 4 Characters
- 5 Terminology
From the White Wolf catalog:
Chapter One: Baptism by Fire
A summary of Forged in Steel, the sample chronicle from Vampire: the Masquerade: First Edition. This chapter takes place at the annual New Year's party of Modius, the Prince of Gary, Indiana, where the characters are charged with delivering a letter to Lodin, the Prince of Chicago.
Chapter Two: Such Tangled Webs
This chapter follows the main characters as they reach Chicago and go to the Succubus Club, where they meet Gengis, a major Anarch in the city, and Sir, who has some standing with the Elders. Sir directs the group to The Cave, a club frequented by Elders, where they can make arrangements to meet the Prince, while Gengis tells them about an Anarch meeting at a brewery later that night. The characters first go to The Cave and meet Horace Turnbull in the middle of a bet against Tyrus on whether or not Erich Weiss can break out of a sealed box with a stake in his heart. He succeeds, and then Turnbull arranges for them to meet the Prince at the Field Museum of Natural History (while also tipping off Horatio Ballard as to their arrival). At the warehouse, the characters discover Juggler, a familiar face in Gary, is actually part of Chicago's Anarch scene. The meeting is broken up by Sheriff, who sets the warehouse on fire. (This scene is actually an adaptation of the Drama Chapter from the VtA Core Rulebook, 1st edition). When the characters meet the Prince at the museum, it is not Lodin, but Neally Edwards, posing as the Prince for the city's Elders. After covertly getting information about Modius from the players, he admits to his deception and agrees to set up a meeting for them. This meeting ends up being at Soldier Field only a few minutes before dawn. Balthazar picks up the characters as the sun is rising, but if anyone tries to escape, the Storyteller is left to find a way to reunite them with the other characters.
Chapter Three: To the Breaking Point
The characters are invited to a dinner with Horatio Ballard at Daley's, a restaurant right next to the Brewery that burnt down the night before. Ballard accuses the characters of having kidnapped Lodin, although it quickly becomes clear that even he does not believe this is the case, and he is using them as scapegoats. Neally arrives and recommends that the players be given a chance to produce Lodin (or prove their innocence), and Ballard agrees, giving them until the following night. Balthazar accompanies them to Lodin's Haven, where they find evidence that he was kidnapped while sleeping and also learn of a cult that meets North of the city. After searching Lodin's apartment, Balthazar makes to take them to be executed by the Elders. This leads to the timely intervention of Damien and Neon, a pair of Anarchs, who stake Balthazar. The players are given the option of helping Damien and Neon (and thus earning the respect and trust of the local Anarchs, while making a personal enemy out of Balthazar) or helping Balthazar (who will have the Elders call off the hunt for the player characters). In the latter scenario, the Elders will request that the players continue their investigation. In the former scenario, finding Lodin will remain the best way for the players to prove their innocence, but the Anarchs will recommend that they stay with a ghoul who offers protection to vampires in exchange for small amounts of blood. They find the "Ghoulie Man"'s hideout, but it is currently surrounded by police after a body was recovered from there. While investigating, the players can also find an article from Tell It All magazine's "Truth" column, written by Scottie Cartwright, talking about a body found at that location and claiming that it is some kind of wolf/snake hybrid. During this scene, it is very likely that the players will alert the police to their location; if this is the case, they will shortly be taken in for questioning. Before that, though, they discover the tomb of a Methuselah, (the body found at the location), and may even find a drawer with a vial of his blood. By drinking said blood, the player gains several temporary boons.
Chapter Four: King's Gambit
The players resume their investigation, either by going to the police station, or by visiting Scottie Cartwright in his office. At the station, they learn that Special Agent Shepard picked up the body and transported it elsewhere for examination. They are also easily able to learn from Cartwright that the body was certainly supernatural, and he may even be able to trick the characters into admitting to various Masquerade-breaking facts. The players are then directed to Michael Standdown's hideout, where Lodin's body was moved to. This warehouse is booby-trapped, and if the characters get close enough, Standdown will ignite the entire room they are in. When the characters confront him directly, his only advantage is a UV bulb, which affects the characters like sunlight. After they have defeated him (the book expects Standdown to die in the battle) they approach the Methuselah on his table, wrapped in a body bag. When a character inevitably touch his skin while handling him, they will push all the other characters to do the same, from which point on they are under the Methuselah's control. They will not remember the next few hours or so, during which they will hide the body away. When they come to, they are immediately approached by Damien, acting very unlike himself, who will urge them to check on the cultists North of the city.
Chapter Five: Check and Mate
The final confrontation. The characters go into a pasture where Roarke's cult is performing one of their rituals. They encounter a ram which has been fed Roarke's blood, making it effectively a Ghoul, and may have to fight cultists who have fed from the ram, making them Ghouls as well. After that, they chase Roarke into a tunnel and find a room where he keeps many cages of starving rats, which he has released onto a vampire's body. This vampire is Lodin, and while the book encourages the Storyteller to prevent his death, the players do not have to save him from being devoured by these rats. After the players have either defeated the rats or ignored the body, they face off against Roarke, who depletes all his vampire blood during the fight, becoming mortal again, his body aging to catch up with his chronological age. Defeated, he will leave the Chicago area (provided the players let him). The afterword mentions that, if the characters saved Lodin, he will likely offer them a position as his bodyguards, referring to the story ideas from the Vampire: The Masquerade Rulebook. If they did not save him, Horatio Ballard will step forward as Prince and will clear them after it is been determined that they were blameless in Lodin's death. However, they will be escorted back to Gary and instructed not to return (although the book adds that they will likely be called upon again in the next crisis).
Advanced Storytelling Section
Includes a flashback to establish Roarke's motivations.
"To the mortals, we appear in all manner of guise. To most we do not seem monstrous, indeed we appear quite human, their own assumptions conceal us from them. However, some see us not as they see themselves, but have the depth of vision to tear away the dross from our faces. They see our ravaged souls born upon our monstrous visage, and know our true name. They see the Beast within and know that we are not mortal. Indeed, they see us as we do not see ourselves. It must be a horrifying world that they live in."
— Killian, Justicar Toreador, p. 3
Vampire: The Masquerade books