Sunday, March 20, 2005


This weekend I went to CAiNE (The Canadian National Annual Event...the "i" doesn't stand for anything). It fucking ROCKED!

Now, I ALWAYS come away from gaming cons psyched. But this weekend was really special, becuase I got to play the same characters that I'm used to. Rather than playing in a bunch of little four hour sessions, I pumped in...lesse. About 4-5 hours as my Nocker, Herr Doktor Innis Dupoir Nachteltaffen (I've been given a title by one of the other Nockers..."Herr Doktor" as my character is German...kind of), and about 10-12 hours as my Lancea Sanctum Gangrel, Justin Mercier (Deputy Sheriff of Toronto). That's over a period of two days. I think I also earned something like 60-80 national prestige over the course of the weekend by doing photography (I'm an incredibly prolific photographer, I snapped some 230-250 photos in about a day and a half), and donated a whole bunch of canned goods.

I arrived late Friday because I'd had a test at 2pm, so I arrived as soon as I could. I got there just in time for IC registration and to get in a few minutes late to the Lancea Sanctum covenant meeting for Vampire the Requiem (I missed the noon Changeling and Garou games). It was pretty cool. There were players from all different parts (Vermont, New York, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario), and we had a great meeting talking about the problems that the Sanctum was currently facing, and what to do about them.

After that there was the opening ceremonies for Vampire, the basic premise being that the Magistrate of Hamilton was inviting everyone for a "Concillium", where all the Canadian vampires would meet and talk about various issues. It went...interestingly. Apparently Montreal was once ruled by some real nasty Sanctified who tortured and murdered, and were murdered in return, and thus the Montrealers were not allowed to speak to members of the Sanctum, and any Sanctified entering Monteral would be killed on sight. There were a few other issues, but that was the big point of last night's game for me. Also met a lot of other folks from all over, some wearing some AWESOME costumes (which I'd post, except the photography lead accidentally cut all the photos out of my camera). There was one guy who was about 6'4" or so, wearing a leather trenchcoat, leather bondage mask, a hat, and these monster-makeup fingers (gloves I think) which had fingerless gloves and fingers with huge claws coming out of them...he just looked FIERCE. There was a Circle of the Crone girl from New Orleans who was dressed in full Voodoo attire (suit, hat, cane, lots of various bits of bone or little animal skulls strung about). There was a guy in a full Matrix-style trenchcoat with his hair done up and everything. Overall, I had a great night.

There were some problems getting back to Oakville on Friday, but I'd rather not talk about them.

This morning I came in in time for Changeling, which was just fine. THe basic premise there was that Prince Roccoco of Northern Ice invited all the fae to come and attend a ball, or gathering, or something. The costumes there were really something. People went full out. It was really social, and really fun. We even got to declare war on the Fomorians (long story), Abe (a Toronto troll grump) got to duel the moronic Baron of London (who invited dangerous chimera into his domain and gave them a domain of their own...and who then swung a cold iron maul near a balefire to destroy a chimera...he's not too bright that one), and a bunch of other fun little matters. It was just great. I had quite a bit of fun and got to meet some really neat people. I found that, like all Changeling games, costumes ranged from two absolutes. They were either nonexistant, or incredibly elaborate. Toronto had some well dressed people, I gotta say. Mark Shessel came out as the Troll knight, George Lampton, in his full leather armor, his horns, he did his hair gray...the only thing that man DIDN'T do was dye his skin blue. His brother, Josh, came out as Deadbolt, the Nocker Master Craftsman, with his nose and ears, and his best overalls. And Christian...Christian played the Prince. Christian's one of those guys who can either be totally normal seeming, or incredible noble looking. He just cuts the right figure for it, I suppose. But its amazing to see him go from playing some young, moderatly skilled Hermetic to then play a Satyr gangster, then play a royal Sidhe, and to always seem to fit perfectly into the roles. I'd like to think I can somewhat pull that off, but I think the fact that I have these huge glasses sort of ruins it (especially because I often express myself physically simply with how I move my glasses around...and I can't seem to shake the habit...even for characters who AREN'T near sighted).

Changeling broke up, and I had another Lancea Sanctum meeting, where we worked out what we were going to do about the Montreal Carthians. They hated us, we knew that, but we wanted to at least get a tense peace where some Sanctified missionaries could go in. My character, the youngest and the only one in the room without a religious title, was very vocal about the fact that he felt the Carthians ought to all just drop dead, and that the Sanctum was the only Covenant that had an honest spritual agenda (Justin's very intensly religious and tends to ignore his covenant's more overtly political leanings at times for his more personal faith...he's not big on fancy ritual). We finally realized that the best way to start to bridge the gap was to show that we were willing to take the first step towards peace. So we thought a bit, and realized that taking penance publically was probably the best. It was my idea, actually, to crucify someone. It wasn't my idea to crucify three someones. We decided that we would all take fagelation, and that the three bishops would be crucified. After that, we broke up and I went off to go play Sam Seaborne and write a speech on the fly. If I had had a computer and an hour, it would have been longer and cooler.

The speech writing took a bit, and it was a collaboration between myself and a New York player named Marina. Then we had a brief Sanctum meeting, again, just to get clear how the ritual was going to work. And I will describe it as such:

We waited outside the room till the Montreal characters were inside, then marched in. We had 9 Sanctified, so in groups of three we carried the three crosses in, each line led by the Bishop who would be crucified. We laid the crosses on the ground, and I gave my speech:

"We of the Lancea Sanctum are unified under God, and thus when one of our bretheren has sinned in God's name, they shall do penance for their actions. As we are gathered here under the banner of peace and unity in the domain of Magistrate Bell, we seek penance against the sins of our fallen, corrupted brothers of the city of Montreal. As they shed the blood of the Damned, so shall their blood be shed in penance. As they are not present to take penance, all shall take penance in their stead. All shall feel the bite of the lash ten teimes upon their flesh, and the Annointed shall then be put to the cross for one half of one hour, that the blood that falls from them may wash away the blood that has been shed by our bretheren."

At which point I whipped off my suit jacket, made a show of pulling off my tie, undoing the sleeves of my dress shirt, flicking open my top button, and untucking the shirt from my pants (basically indicative that the character, IC, was taking his shirt off). We then nailed the bishops to the crosses. At first, most of the folks in the room thought we were faking it. However, the narrator described how they could very clearly hear the sound of iron spikes being driven into flesh, smell the blood flowing, and hear the grunts of pain from the bishops as they prayed on the cross. THen we lifted them, and held the crosses while the man performing the rite gave each of the characters a scourging (which is to say, the player moved his hand up and down, and counted the lashes...there were no real whips involved). Once that was done, we stood and silently prayed, then carried the crosses out. After that there was some soft RP of a blood communion, then some OOC discussion. After that the night was pretty low key. There was a duel, which was amusing to take photos off (this was about the time that Francois, the photography director, accidentally cut all my photos off my camera and onto his laptop), and a Circle of the Crone ritual (which was annoying....I really hate vampires and Mages who are serious followers of older polytheistic religious sorcery to act like Wiccans out of The Craft). I had some chats with various characters, and also assisted one of the Bishops, and the Magistrate, in trying to explain the Sanctum's view of things to the Montreal Carthians (including my rather frank view that the Sanctified in Montreal reaped what they sowed...they fucked around with the mandate of God, and God stepped on them by using the Carthians to do it). Its funny, my view sort of annoyed the bishop, as I said before Justin's views of Sanctified religion are a touch...unorthodox at times.

At around that point I had to leave. I went home with Ryon and Lisa (both players from my DC Heroes game), and we all took a bus back from Hamilton to Toronto. And that was the end of CAiNE.

Oh yeah, and I picked up the new Vampire the Requiem book today, Lancea Sanctum. It was released two weeks early, only at CAiNE, at a discounted price (US price in CDN dollars, with no I got it for probably $10-12 cheaper than usual...honestly if I'd known this would have happened I'd have held off buying Werewolf earlier this week and bought it today...oh well, hindsight's 20/20). The book ROCKS. It's HUGE, to...its over 200 pages. I recommend it to any Requiem players out there. Its really useful.

And that was CAiNE.


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