TRIGGER WARNING: This game is NSFW, as it will very likely deal with graphic violence, sex, drug references… as well as some disturbing themes and scenarios. Its a Vampire the Requiem game set in Cairo, Egypt, it’d be a little weird if something like that didn’t come up.
You love this club. It has been around for almost half a century now. Though you don’t look it, you are almost as old as this club… it has been around since before you were born, and a little bit after you died. You can’t quite put your finger on why you love this place… perhaps it has something to do with its somewhat prestigious history as a number of important luminaries and dignitaries have danced, drunk, and snorted their troubles away in this place, gyrating and shaking along to the heady melange of hip new rhythms and the rebounding lights of the aging disco ball.
Or perhaps its the fact when you could still enjoy such things, you could easily score just about any mind-altering substance known to man, and some that should probably be forgotten. Perhaps it was simply that this club seemed to attract all of the hot girls and guys, and all of them, no matter how traditional their upbringing, seemed to leave their inhibitions at the door. Hell, you’ve seen more than one couple go at it right on the dance floor.
Or perhaps you were drawn in by the club’s hypnotic DJ. Despite her lurid surroundings, she dressed in a conservative hijab and body-length skin-tight black dress, and yet… despite that she always drew you in, made you feel as if this was your true home, even if you couldn’t explain why.
Whatever the case, even after dying and being “saved” by one of those corpse-defilers, and have been forced to seduce every hit of your newest… and final… addiction… even after all of that, you still come here. To your favorite club. THE Club. You know this club inside and out, you know every regular, and this place only lets in regulars and their guests… which is why it is more than a little odd that one of your recent victims walks into the room with a wicked gleam in her eye.
You hadn’t meant to kill her of course. But you had been starving. A recent skirmish in the eternal Danse Macabre had left you drained and withered, you had no choice by to drain someone dry in order to keep going, so you keep telling yourself to “rest” easy. She was completely drained, and following the advice of your Sire, you dragged her body out into the desert where it should have rotted away very quickly. Yet here she is, and there are no obvious signs of decay. Did you accidentally Embrace her?
Or is this something else taking on her appearance to mock you with your crime? To rub it in your face? Either way, as you look past the dead woman you notice the bouncer behind her, on the floor scowling in pain. Then you notice that the dead woman is looking right at your favorite DJ with a vile gleam in her eyes, which in this dingy lighting almost look yellow. The dead woman reaches into the folds of her dress, which you only just now noticed how tattered it was. You don’t wait, you rush at the threat, fangs and bangs fully bared as you rush at the walking corpse with all of your unnatural speed, hoping against hope that you can reach her before…
Welcome to Beset on All Sides, a storium game loosely based on Vampire: The Requiem. It is a game of political machinations, of facing strange supernatural threats, of never being quite sure who among your circle of acquaintances is really on your side… if anyone ever is. Above all though, it is a game of personal horror, where everything you hold dear could be ripped from you in a single moment, a single misstep, could cost you the last shred of humanity you had left, leaving only a monster behind.
Note on the story for this… story:
Cairo is run by a Clanless, or Caitiff in the old World of Darkness parlance… Prince Randa Toure, yes, a female vampire is secretly running a city dominated by a thoroughly anti-woman extremist religious sect. Irony is fun isn’t it? Anyway, she has held onto power in Cairo for several centuries now, keeping all of the Covenants out of her city. Oh, she doesn’t mind the odd vampire from the various factions hanging around, but she does take issue when they try to undermine her rule… and specifically, the way she has managed to turn clans into a caste system.
In this case:
Daeva are the “ruling” clan, the ones that get special privileges, and who can reliably call on the Prince and her Sheriff for aid. And in general, if you aren’t a Daeva, and a prominent one or worse yet, one of the Harpies, gives you an order, you’d better follow it as though it had come from The Prince herself.
Nosferatu are the second down the rung, and they are the chief informants and enforcers of Cairo.
Gangrel are the middle class as it were, and as such they tend to have the most mobility in terms of where it is acceptable for them to be seen in Cairo. They also often serve as the Sheriff’s Hounds.
The Mekhet are closer to the bottom rung of the social order in Cairo, and while they might be occasionally blamed for the relatively recent strengthening in the influence of certain bigoted elements within mortal religions. But overall, they are afforded some degree of respect because in Cairo, more than anywhere else, their ability to gather information that even the Nosferatu can’t get at is seen as indispensable. Plus, they are also often the most reliable source of information on which ancient ruins are safe to allow mortals to find.
The Venture however, are a very different story. In one of their many bids to oust the Clanless Prince, the Ventrue of the Lancea Sanctum (with the backing of the Invictus) bolstered the traditionalist, highly conservative, and often very bigotted elements of Cairo’s religions just as modern skepticism, rationalism, and humanism had started to settle in. All to advance their own selfish agenda, heedless of the cost to the Kine. The Ventrue are the most heavily restricted clan in Cairo… only a certain number of them are allowed in the city at a time, they cannot approach the district that the Prince’s home and office are in without express permission, and they cannot hold any position of prominence in Cairo.
Covenants: The normal political groups of Vampire do not have an open, active presence in Cairo. They may however have an underground presence, dodging the Prince’s regular sweeps for their activities within her city.
While all of these factions are much maligned in Cairo, there has been a certain pattern of leniency and tolerance for some, and a dogged ruthlessness in dealing with others.
First, for mirroring her own natural dis-interest in dealing with politics more than necessary, the Ordo Dracul are sometimes let off with little more than a harsh, but hardly cruel warning. So long as they show no interest in ousting her or in doing business with those that do want to overthrow her, the Prince is largely content to leave the Dragons alone.
The Carthian Movement also garners some degree of the Prince’s sympathy, though she sees them as far too unpredictable, and doesn’t like their blanket attitude of overthrowing every authority figure they see simply on principle… or because it seemed amusing at the time… or whatever. That being said, she is somewhat tolerant of their antics, but only to a point.
The Circle of the Crone is in a middle ground in the Prince’s eyes… on the one hand they do see eye to eye on a few issues, like women’s rights… however the Crones tend not to value mortals as much as the Prince does, and some of their practices (which the Prince witnessed herself on a few occasions) utterly revolt her.
The Invictus are the laughing stock of Cairo, seen as ineffectual, unable to keep up with the times, and overall, just plain useless in this modern world. It also chafes the Prince that she still has to use their titles and some of their methods in order to hold power in her city. So they tend to be physically punished more readily than most other Covenants.
Finally, the Lancea Sanctum, regardless of what religion they are claiming to be a part of this week (it changes with frightening regularity in Cairo as mortal attitudes shift), are utterly despised in Toure’s Cairo. They are among the chief groups that has tried to not only depose her, but kill her in all manner of cruel ways. The Prince still bears some of the burn-marks they placed on her decades, and in one case, centuries ago. She has no tolerance whatsoever for them, and outright murders any member of this Covenant that shows any attempt to convert others or even the slightest hint of ambition.
RULES FOR UNLIVING IN CAIRO:
Don’t kill humans. Don’t hurt humans more than you have to. If you kill in Her city, you will be dealt with quickly and permanently.
While you don’t necessarily need permission to Sire, you should still ask Her Highness as a sign of respect. Note however that in some cases you may be required to ask or face Final Death for your indiscretion… basically, the higher up on the social ladder you are in her eyes, the less you need to fear.
Diablorie is forbidden, except as a form of execution. Blood bonds are strongly encouraged however.
Do not make Ghouls. It is a cruel fate for mortals to be bound as such, and you will be destroyed if you make one with the express intention of shackling a mortal to your whims.
Do not aid the Covenants, do not aid them in their absurd Danse Macabre. Punishment for this one will be meted out on a case-by-case basis and according to the Prince’s prejudices.
NOTES FOR CHARACTER CREATION:
First, please pick one of the provided natures. Normally, I would have broad archetypes based on personality, but to some degree, vampire clans in this game serve the same function. If you need to use a custom nature, say for making a Mortal, Ghoul, or some other creature of the night… you are going to have to have an outstanding character in mind for it, and be able to demonstrate it for me to consider a non-Vampire character in this game. This is because you need to work on a very good explanation for why they might fit into the story working alongside the vampires to some degree… after a while if not at first at least.
Second, you are free to make your own strengths and weaknesses… just be sure they can fit into more than one situation.
Third, you will also need to make your own subplot. In this game, this represents a concept from the tabletop rpg called “Touchstones”, which represent your character’s last tangible connection to humanity, whether it is someone they know intimately (this may or may not be one-sided), or a place they know intimately (anything from a home, former or current, to a public library, or a cafe that they have a powerful, personal connection to). In some rare cases, it could be an object that the character knows intimately or played a vital role in their mortal life in some way.
Fourth, card art isn’t required but encouraged. Avatar art is required.
Fifth, please include the following in your bio:
Age: (if vampire, count from your first night for your true age, and give your apparent age for when you died and rose again as a vampire; and yes, you can play as an Elder or even an Ancient… but you’ll need a hell of a backstory for that.)
Vampire Acquaintances: Only fill this in if you are a Vampire or Ghoul… this represents who you know in vampire society already, whether your Sire, Childe, or any political allies/rivals… or anything else that comes to mind. Please give a little information on each to give a rough idea of the nature of these relationships.
Mortal Friends/Family: If you are a Ghoul or a Fledgling, please give some detail on these, as they are likely your immediate family and close mortal friends. If you are an Elder or Ancient, please refrain from giving details as I will be deciding those… since you haven’t interacted with them much since your Fledgling days, and are now dealing with their descendants and have needed to distance yourself to avoid suspicion.
Covenant: Choose one: Circle of the Crone, Ordo Dracul, Carthian Movement, Invictus, Lancea Sanctum, or No Covenant.
Thank you for reading this far, and I look forward to your submissions!
Gentleman Gamer’s Guide to Requiem Clans:
Subnet Database: http://www.thesubnet.com/portal/wod2/vtr/index.html
Hosted and narrated by:
Amberly Vitel (TheDoctor455)
Scenes played: 7
License: Community License