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Blood & Bourbon

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Celia V, Chapter XV

The Doll & Librarian

“She wants out.”
Janine Clairmont

Thursday night, 17 March 2016, AM

Celia: Celia waits until the siblings are gone to change for her trip to Uptown. It’s an altogether inconvenient location, really, considering the distance between the two territories and the fact that the kook who runs the place owes a favor to Jade, not one of her many, many aliases. She does her face, rifles through her bookshelves for a gesture of goodwill (an inexpensive but older copy of Virgil’s Aeneid she’d picked up for one of her classes in undergrad at a used book store, recently rebound without any of the typical scrawling or highlighting or dog-eared pages that mark many students’ books) and tucks it into her purse with the still-damaged Lucy.

“Sorry it’s taking so long,” Celia says to the doll, “not many people can talk to dolls like Elyse does.” And Mom won’t even try.

GM: Lucy stares serenely back at her mother’s words.

Dolls are patient.

Celia: For a moment she debates how to get to the library. She could fly. It would be a quick trip in and out. Easier to sneak, isn’t it? But that involves cutting herself open to stuff things inside, spending the blood to shift, spending more to heal, spending more to rip it out, and then even more on the flight back. Her Beast is already annoyed that she’d done a good deed with the tattoo for Roderick—and some paranoid part of her wonders if he’s using it to kidnap his sister, but she tries to ignore that voice because Dani had said she wants to stay and he wouldn’t do that, would he?—and the blood that she banked is for Lebeaux. (Even though she wants it. She really wants it. She can just kill someone for Lebeaux, can’t she?)

Better to take a car. She calls for a Ryde with a pickup point down the block and a drop-off point near the library, conceals the Beast with a quick bit of shadow dancing, and relies on a mundane disguise to hide the rest of her: boring clothes and a lighter colored wig. Jade has black hair, so she finds a light brown one and tugs it into place. Another bit of shadow dancing turns her into any typical woman on the street. Nothing to see here.

She tells her driver to go through Mid-City rather than the Garden District or CBD. No reason to risk things more than she needs to. Even if she’s “discovered” in Mid-City she has the right to be there and isn’t an unwelcome sight like she might be elsewhere.

GM: The Ryde driver drops off Celia near the library.

It’s as she’s walking towards it that her purse strap abruptly snaps. Cat-quick, she snatches it up in her hands before Lucy can hit the ground. Her wig falls off.

Just then, a convertible with a ghoul and several other men and rounds the turn. He’s a skinhead built like a haystack and so covered in tattoos and metal studs and piercings that Celia almost thinks he’s full clothed. His friends don’t look much nicer.

Their eyes all settle on the attractive woman walking alone at night.

One of them whoops and hops out of the moving car to quickly approach her. The ghoul smirks and parks it at the curb. He and his other friends get out and file up to Celia.

“Lookin’ for a date, honey?” leers the ghoul.

Celia can see two tiny swastikas etched onto his front teeth.

Celia: What are the chances that the ghoul recognizes her through the makeup and shadow dancing? Even without a wig she shouldn’t look like herself, surely. Maybe they don’t know she’s a vampire. Maybe they’re just concerned that she lost her hair. She should have shaved her head, she reflects, she could have sold them on the idea of sickly cancer patient.

She squares up as they approach, eyes on the ghoul that leads this merry band of gentlemen.

“For a friend, actually.” A tilt of her head as she eyes him up and down, appraising. Not cute enough for someone like her to want to fuck, but maybe with a little bit of emotional play to make it believeable… A gentle wind blows the supernatural charm out of her, the sort of thing that captures attention and makes people a little more likely to listen to what she says.

“But if you’re offering,” she purrs, “how can I say no?”

GM: The unseen wave rolls out out. The mens’ eyes widen. They’re ugly men, by and large. Crude faces with cruder smiles, and even cruder beliefs worn over their bodies in ink and metal.

She thinks they were pretty likely to listen to those words anyway.

One man licks her face and squeezes her breast, so hard it feels like he’s trying to crush it. His breath smells rancid and foul.

“You guys can have her holes. I’m gonna fuck her tits. I’m gonna rub my dick all over her tits.”

“Aw, yeah,” says another with yellowed teeth. Her grabs her face and leans in close, running his tongue over her forehead. Strips of it are black and brown. His saliva smells like tobacco. “We’re gonna all cum on your face, you dirty whore. We’re gonna fuckin’ drown you in cum.”

“Fuck that,” says a third man with a jagged scar down his cheek. He slips his callused hands up her clothes. “I want to get her pregnant.”

“Your baby’s gonna have four dads, bitch,” leers the ghoul, watching with apparent amusement as his fellows molest her.

Celia: Well this backfired spectacularly.

For a moment she’s taken back in time, just another dumb teenager who asked for help and was put on her knees for it. Whore, they say, and she sees Paul’s face. Jamal’s face. She closes her eyes against the mental intrusion.

Easy to go along with it. To let them have their way with her. Easy to let another set of hands push her down, make her open her mouth, let them use her. She’ll limp away with her pride in tatters, but alive for all that.

Maybe she should.

Maybe Celia would.

But Celia died, and while Jade might have fucked one of them, might have let the ghoul put his tiny dick in her if it meant she got out of here without being punished, she’s not about to let these vermin touch her. Jade reaches out with the gift of her clan, smothering the lust inside these fellows. Maybe they thought they wanted to fuck, but their bodies say otherwise.

“I’m on my period,” she says by way of explanation for the sudden lack of interest, because plenty of normal “macho” men are squicked out by blood, and they seem the type.

Maybe they need another focus for their attention, too; maybe one of them has a juicy secret he’s been hiding, and his dick not working just makes him think about it and blurt it out.

GM: “You sick whore!” the third man exclaims in revulsion, withdrawing his hands like they’ve been coated in something foul. “You crazy, sick… you’re SICK!

Dangerous and equally disgusted expressions flash across the other men’s faces before the second man blurts out,

“My nigger parole officer makes me suck his cock after he found I was using.”

Three sets of alternately incredulous and coldly furious eyes immediately whip towards him.

Celia: Jade plays along, mouth going slack at the confession.

GM: “Wh-no he doesn’t!” the man suddenly exclaims, his eyes wide. “He’s so stupid, he doesn’t have any fuckin’ idea!”

Celia: No wonder he wanted to cum on her face. She bets the parole officer makes him take it like that.

Maybe it occurs to the other men, too.

Write what you know and all that.

GM: The other three men are very, very quiet. The hands on Jade go slack.

Celia: Jade drops the spotlight on her, sliding back into obscurity. As soon as the opportunity presents itself she’ll slip away.

GM: “He do that to you?” asks the ghoul, his voice calm. “‘Drown you in cum?’”

“No. Why the fuck would I say that!?” His eyes are wide. “It was a j-”

“I didn’t think it was funny,” the first man says coldly.

“Me neither,” says the third. There’s a look in his eyes.

They throw Jade to the ground with all the regard for a used condom. Her hands scrap against the pavement.

“Get out of here, cunt,” spits the ghoul without looking at her.

All three men advance towards their fellow.

He holds up his hands. “Wai-”

Celia: That’s her cue. She backpedals out of the way, then takes off as quickly as her little legs can carry her after climbing to her feet.

GM: First there’s the sound of protests, cut off under the sounds of fists and feet connecting with flesh.

It’s only after she’s a block away that she starts to hear true screams.

Celia: She almost feels bad.

But he called her a whore, so he deserves what he gets.

Thursday night, 17 March 2016, AM

GM: The Milton H. Latter Memorial Library crouches on a low grassy hill in the Garden District, isolated from even the leisurely district’s comparative hustle and bustle. Wind sighs through the leaves of old Southern oaks whose branches grasp at the building’s roof like gnarled, jealous black fingers.

This late at night, the library is closed to the public. A locked door awaits Jade as she makes her way up the hill.

After several moments, there’s a low click from the other side.

Celia: Jade opens the door and slips inside once it unlocks, closing it behind her.

GM: She sees no one there. The library appears utterly deserted. Rows and rows of books stretch before her. There are no noisy children, crazy homeless people, or simple patrons quietly perusing the library’s books. The lights are out. The only sound comes from the low hum of ventilation ducts. Jade may as well be in a tomb.

Celia: But someone opened the door for her, and Jade doesn’t mind going to find the Malkavian she’s looking for. Quiet footfalls announce her presence through the stacks.

GM: The Toreador does not encounter a living soul as she stalks past the rows of books. She arrives at a reading room. Parts of the building’s interior still resemble the mansion it used to be, replete with a fireplace, fancy drapes and rugs, and old-fashioned brass light fixtures.

For a moment she thinks she’s seen a ghost. The figure on the couch looks like a librarian straight out of the ‘50s or ‘60s, down to the rhine-stone glasses, pearl necklace and auburn hair done up in a prim bun. She wears a frumpy wool cardigan, plaid skirt, and opaque tights. She’s pallid enough to mistake for a restless shade, but Jade’s Beast growls otherwise.

She’s silently reading a book. She does not look up at Jade’s presence.

She does not turn the pages.

They turn on their own.

Celia: It’s certainly an unsettling atmosphere this late at night, and the strong evidence of spirits makes it even more so. If she hadn’t already believed in ghosts she’d be convinced with a trip to this library. The door, the pages—irrefutable evidence that the licks are not alone.

Jade approaches. No doubt Clairmont’s shades have told her that there’s company. She doesn’t clear her throat or otherwise draw attention to herself, though she pauses on the threshold to reach into her bag and pulls out the book.

GM: The air seems to grow thicker around Jade as she steps forward. Heavier. She feels like she is being watched. Like a shriveled, disapproving old librarian is glaring down the back of her neck and just waiting for her to transgress.

The librarian offers no response to Jade. She just keeps reading. Another page turns. It’s one of the last in the book.

Celia: The endings are the most important part. Jade knows how annoying it is to be interrupted while reading; she waits until Clairmont is ready for her. She doesn’t have anywhere to be until 4.

GM: Clairmont keeps reading.

Another page turns.

She keeps reading.

Then another.

Then another.

Then another.

Minutes pass.

Celia: At least there’s no annoying clock that ticks with every passing second. No doubt the librarians frown on such interruptions.

GM: The book abruptly closes. Clairmont looks up.

“I love hoaw it ends,” she says in a thick Boston accent. “We heah about Myhna Minkawff all throughout the nawvel and only then do we finally get tuh meet hah. She’s everything we imagined and ev’n wawse. She and Ignatius cawmpletely desahve each othah.”

Celia: Jade glances at the title when Clairmont closes the book before she smiles, lifting her eyes to the lick.

GM: It’s Confederacy of Dunces.

Celia: “I haven’t had the pleasure of that one yet,” Jade says honestly, “but I’m always looking for new things to read.”

GM: “You should read it. It’s vahy good. It’s famous faw its realistic depiction of the yat dialect. Many locals and writahs think that it’s the best depiction theyah is in any wawk of fiction.”

“I also love how much Boethius comes up, the sixth centuhwy is such an undahexplahed time period in fiction, at least in Rome. Which I suppose the book in’t actually set in, but I still like the numbah of references theyah ah. Boethius’ book is a plot duhvice.”

Celia: “I’ll have to add it to my list,” Jade says, “thank you for the recommendation. Waste of a Requiem to not use our time to appreciate the works of others.”

GM: “I hav’n’t read the Cawnsolation of Philosawphy, but whenevah I re-read Cawnfederacy it makes me want tuh read that too. Ignatius thought it was so inspiring. He’s hahdly a role model, but I just want tuh see what Toole thought he saw in it.”

“Would youh like tuh check out Cawnfederacy? I did just finish it, and it’s not on any othah patron’s wait list.”

Celia: Another book she hasn’t read.

“I’d love to. I brought one for you as well. It’s a classic, so I imagine you may have read it, but I think it’s an illuminating look into the lives and beliefs of those who lived in Virgil’s day.” She holds the book aloft for Clairmont and her wraiths to get a look.

GM: Clairmont gets up, looks at the copy of Virgil’s book for several minutes, then plucks it from Jade’s hands with an apparently happy air.

“Oh yes, I’ve read it, of cawse I’ve read it, but I’ll add it to the library. You can’t evah have tooah many cawpies. That way different people can check out cawpies at once. And sometimes they like some cawpies more than othahs. We have sehvwal cawpies of Cawnfederacy, I like tuh altahnate between them whenevah I re-read it, youh can pick which one yuh want tuh check out.”

Celia: “Sometimes the translations are different,” Jade adds, “which can change the contextual meaning of certain phrases, and provide some interesting commentary on people at that time as well.”

GM: “That too, so much all depends on the edition,” Clairmont agrees. She makes her way to the library’s front desk and steps behind the computer.

“Do yuh have a library cahd, ma’am?”

Celia: “It might be expired,” Jade admits, “I usually have one of my girls pick something up for me.”

GM: “Okay, we can renew it if it is, it’s no trouble,” says the Malkavian.

Celia: Jade digs through her bag. She finds a card, but it has Celia’s name on it. Whoops.

“I have her card,” she offers.

GM: “Well yuh can’t use someone else’s cahd if she isn’t checking out the book,” Clairmont declares offendedly. “We’ll get yuh one. What’s youh full name and date of bihth, ma’am?”

Celia: Jade gives it to her.

GM: Clairmont also asks for her address, phone number (work and home), postal code, whether she lives in city limits, and similar such standard bureaucratic form information.

Celia: Jade gives her the information for Flawless. It’s the only place she takes mail with the name “Jade” anyway.

GM: Clairmont types it all in, tells Jade to wait a moment, then disappears into the back and comes back with a newly-laminated library card in the name of Jade Kalani.

“Sign heuh please, ma’am,” she says, indicating the blank space on the card. She provides a pen.

Celia: Jade signs her name.

GM: “Youh ah now a library patron, Miss Kalani,” Clairmont declares in a pleased tone. “Do youh have a book youh’d like tuh check out?”

Celia: “The one you recommended,” Jade says, “and the one you were just reading. Hopefully we can discuss them more in length during my next visit. I am also hoping to borrow a moment of your time, Miss Clairmont. Well, perhaps two moments.”

GM: Clairmont nods. “Okay. The cawpies will all be heah soon. Would she like tuh get a library card tooah?”

Celia: “If she doesn’t have one I’m sure she’ll appreciate the assistance.” Jade glances around. “For all the technological advances in our world, I think sometimes we forget how much information and knowledge lurks within the pages of institutes like these. I hit a snag on a recent research project when I came across an unfamiliar word and thought you might be able to direct me to an appropriate source.”

GM: Jade sees no one else.

“Of cawhse, Miss Kulani, I’d be happy tuh,” says the Malkavian. “But let’s get her a cahd first. Fahwst, last, and middle name?”

Celia: Jade blinks. She’d thought that Clairmont meant Alana or “Celia.” She looks down at her bag, then pulls out the doll.

“For Lucy, you mean?”

GM: Clairmont nods. “I presume you ah the parent oah guahdian.”

Celia: “I am.”

GM: “What awh her middle and last names?”

Celia: Jade hesitates. Then, “Diana. Flores.”

GM: Clairmont types into the computer. “So that’s Lucy Diahna Flawes?”

Celia: “Yes.”

GM: Some more taps of the keyboard.

“Okay. How about…”

Date of birth.

Gender would probably go here, but Clairmont doesn’t ask for it.

Mailing address.


Postal code.

Home phone number.

Work phone number isn’t needed.

Does she live inside city limits?

Celia: Jade provides the relevant information. Lucy lives with her, so most of it is the same as what she provided.

GM: “Ah you shoah that’s right? She doan look older than sixteen, seventeen?” asks Clairmont after the pre-1989 birth date Jade provides.

She looks at Lucy.

“Oah, of cawse. Silly me.”

“We’ll go with the final date, then.”

Her fingers tap over the keyboard.

Celia: Jade’s eyes sweep back and forth between the pair as they… talk.

“You see and hear her,” she says.

GM: Clairmont keeps typing into the computer.

“I need tuh enter her infawmation. Yuh can’t have a library cahd without all the infawmation.”

Celia: Jade just nods.

She lets the librarian do her thing, providing what details she can.

GM: Clairmont enters it all, then disappears into the back. She returns with a laminated card that Jade is asked to sign, despite the birth date being for 1988.

October 10th, 1988.

Jade does some mental math.

Exactly 40 weeks, or three trimesters, to the day, before Celia was born.

Celia: “The final date?” Jade echoes.

Her release from the house?

GM: “That’s right,” Clairmont agrees. “Please sign foah her, ma’am, as the parent oah guahdian.”

Celia: Jade does as asked, still trying to figure out what it all means.

Maybe if she hadn’t torped Elyse she could have just asked her.

GM: “Heeuh you ah, young lady, you ah now a library patron,” Clairmont smiles at Lucy as she extends the card.

“Yes. That’s very bad. I’m sahry.”

She looks at Jade. “Would you like to hold onto it foah her, ma’am?”

“Yes, we do.”

“Seeing as she doesn’t have big enough pawckets.”

Celia: “Of course,” Jade says, extending her hand for the card. She slips both of the new cards into her purse.

She can’t help but feel like she’s missing part of the conversation.

GM: “I doan think they know, or maybe they do know. I can’t ask them that, because, you know.”

“Do you want to check out any books foah her, ma’am?”

“What’s it like?”

Celia: “I’m sorry,” Jade says softly, “I fear I’m missing part of the conversation.”

GM: “Oh, I’m sahwy,” Clairmont apologizes. “Do you want tuh check out any books foah her, ma’am?”

“It must be very boring.”

Celia: “Is there anything in particular she’d like to read?” Her eyes rest on the doll.

GM: “I’m not shoah. She wants tuh read it and she doesn’t. It’s vahy strange!”

Celia: “Maybe we could get it in case she decides she does?”

GM: “Okay. Excuse me.”

Clairmont disappears and returns several minutes later with an armful of books, including Pride and Prejudice. It’s Diana’s favorite book. She sets them down on the desk.

Celia: Jade touches the tips of her fingers to the book, recalling all the times she has seen her mother with a copy of it in hand.

“Miss Clairmont, Lucy and I have had some difficulty communicating with each other recently. I know she has something to tell me, but not what. Is there any chance you can assist?”

GM: Clairmont nods. “Which one of yoah, Miss Kalani?”

“Would they like library cahds too?”

Celia: “With… me, I think.”

She looks around, as if expecting to see the others beside her.

GM: She and Clairmont appear alone in the library but for Lucy.

“Yes, yes, youh have a cahd, I’m asking if they’d like ones.”

Celia: “Ah, I meant that I think her words were for me. One of them has a card. The other… prefers being read to.”

GM: Clairmont nods agreeably. “Okay. But it nevuh hurts tuh have a cahd.”

“Okay. I’ll take youh word fah it.”

“That’s intahesting. Is thahe more in you? Youh seem more real.”

Celia: “Just the three, I think.”

GM: “It must hurt, though.”

Celia: “To have multiples? Not necessarily. They’re like… built-in friends.”

True enough for what the Malkavian means, she thinks. Jade—Celia—doesn’t actually have multiple personalities. Of course she doesn’t. She just has multiple identities, personas and masks she can slip into depending on what she needs and how a conversation flows. Jade, Celia, Leilani.

…and the others. Star. Violet. Lilly. Neveah. Heather now. All of whom have built in stories, friends, lovers, careers… just like Jade does. Just like Celia does. Leilani to a lesser extent; she is, perhaps, the least developed of them all, but that comes from being sheltered and coddled her entire life, and there are few enough situations in her Requiem where such a persona can flourish.

They’re just masks, aren’t they?

But what about Elyse’s words, Lucy’s announcement that she’s pregnant with more sisters? What about the dolls, Lotus and Blossom and Princess, what about the iris and the bleeding heart? What about the male form she’d taken to fuck herself? The nameless doll that might be part of her more than either one of them realize?

Masks, all of them. There’s nothing more to it than that. She’s in control. She picks who interacts with whom.

That’s all it is.

GM: Of course it is.

She’s in control.

She created them, didn’t she?

“Oh, I meant hah. But I had a friend who had multiples, too. They kept hah safe. She died in Kahtrina. That was sad. We doan stick around like they do.”

Celia: They keep Celia safe, too.

“The multiples stick around?”

GM: “It depends. Only if they’re born before yuh die.”


Celia: Part of her will be around forever, even if she’s dead. It’s an interesting thought.

GM: “Aftuh all, things can happen to them, like with Lucy.”

Celia: “Lucy was a multiple?”

GM: Clairmont nods. “Is a multiple.”

Celia: “And she was separated from her host.”

GM: “I doan think she likes it in there.”

Celia: “In the doll?”

GM: “Would youh like tuh be stuck in a doll?”

Celia: “No. I didn’t realize she was… stuck.”

“This is one of Lady Interpreter Benson’s creations,” Jade continues, “I thought she… was just that.”

GM: “Oh yes, I could tell,” nods Clairmont. “Elyse does vahy good wuhk.”

Celia: “Lucy was cleaved from her host and stuffed inside the doll?”

GM: “It’s more that she died, youh see.”

Celia: “She died,” Jade echoes.

GM: “We all die a little,” says Clairmont. “But sometimes we die more, youh know?”

Celia: “I’m sorry, I don’t follow. Can you explain?”

GM: “Well, youh look like youh died at least… oh, fouh times? Moah? I can’t really tell from here.”

Celia: “How could I die more than once, though…?”

GM: “That’s why youh should play it safe, get multiple cahds,” Clairmont nods.

“Do Lucy’s multiples have cahds? I’m not shoah how many she has.”

Celia: “I’m not certain. I didn’t realize there was more than Lucy.”

GM: “Of cawhse there are! People doan get born inside dolls.”

Celia: “I’m a little fuzzy on the details of how Lucy came to be.”

“Can you… help?”

GM: “Well, I’m bettah at death than birth, except when dying is how someone gets bahn.”

“Like heah, but not always.”

Celia: “Anything more than I know now would be of assistance.”

GM: “Youh get it bettah thane most of them do,” Clairmont nods, “but youh still have a way to go. Hawlequin can help youh theuh.”

“I doan really know about the multiples, except when they die. He knows more about the multiples when they doan’t die.”

Celia: “What about Lucy, in particular? If you can communicate with her and I am unable to right now? She gave me a message but hurt herself doing so, and I’d like to know what else she needs to tell me or how to fix it.”

GM: “Oh, well, she wants out.”

Celia: “A body, you mean?”

GM: “She really wants out.”

Celia: “I don’t know how to do that.”

GM: “That’s the point,” Clairmont nods.

“Elyse does vahy good work.”

Celia: “So you mean that Elyse trapped Lucy inside this doll when her host when to visit the Wedding Cake House. And there are multiple others inside the host, or inside Lucy, and they want out.”

GM: “I doan know without seeing the host, and they’d need tuh have died, anyway, or youh should see Hawlequin.”

Celia: “Okay.” Jade nods. “Thank you.”

GM: “Hawlequin knows about the multiples who haven’t died, like I said.”

“Lucy has died, so that’s how it is.”

“Also, she wants a Diahna tuh get her out.”

Celia: “Diana is afraid of her.”

GM: Clairmont shrugs.

Celia: “Is Diana the only one who can get her out?”

GM: “Well it’s a quesshun of can and a quesshun of how and a quesshun of what, and only Diahna ticks all three bawxes.”

“Which makes perfect sense.”

“Would you want uh strangah tuh take care of youah multiples? Or to do it youhself?”

“Are youh sure you doan want cahds for them all?”

Celia: “I think two out of three is enough for me, considering the last doesn’t read as much as she enjoys being read to. But there is something else you can assist with, if you don’t mind?”

GM: “Okay, what’s that?”

Celia: “It’s that research project I mentioned earlier. There’s just something I came across that I thought you might know, or might have heard of, that I haven’t.”

GM: “All right, what is it?”

Celia: “Glinko?”

GM: “I’d have tuh research that.”

Celia: Jade nods. “I couldn’t find much online, but I thought if anyone had the knowledge or the ability to find out more it’d be you. Do you keep archives of newspapers?”

GM: Clairmont nods in turn. “Yes, we have microfiche records.”

“I like those.”

Celia: “Do you mind if I browse? There was an incident a number of years ago I’d like to look into.”

GM: She nods again. “Youh have a library cahd, ma’am, go ahead.”

“We close at dawn.”

“Foah the aftuh-hours patrons.”

Celia: Jade beams at Clairmont.

“Thank you very much for your assistance.”

GM: She looks to the side. “Oh. Youh think?”

“Well yes, I am a librarian.”

“I just thought.”


Celia: Jade waits for a polite moment to excuse herself, making sure she doesn’t cut off Clairmont or one of her wraiths. She carries Lucy with her as she moves toward the microfiche records.

GM:WAIT,” the Malkavian calls sharply.

Celia: Jade stops.

She turns.

GM: Clairmont just stares ahead.

Celia: Jade waits quietly.

GM: “Youah fahgetting something,” she whispers.

Celia: The books? She takes a step toward them.

GM: “Which edition do yuh want?” Clairmont smiles.

Celia: “The second option, please.”

GM: “Thuh classic,” Janine says approvingly as she scans the book’s barcode and slides it over.

“Due back in two weeks.”

Celia: “I’ll make sure that it’s done.”

GM: She scans the next book too.

“Two weeks also, but youh can renew eithuh one online.”

“What about Pride and Prejuhdice foah Lucy?”

Celia: Jade nods, sliding the scanned books into her bag. She produces Lucy’s card for the third book.

GM: The third title is duly scanned as well.

“Also, they say I helped youh, so I doan owe youh,” Clairmont adds.

Celia: “I’ll strike the debt,” Jade says.

GM: Clairmont nods, looks at Lucy, then drops her voice.

“Also, Lucy says if youh’d let Jade have her way, she was going tuh leave youah. Fawhevuh. And nevuh come back.”

Celia: With Diana? Jade glances down at the doll.

“I’m glad it didn’t come to that. I let things get out of hand. It won’t happen again.”

GM: “Lucy’s glad tooah.”

Celia: “Thank you again, Miss Clairmont.”

GM: “Youah welcome.”

Celia: Books checked out and doll in tow, Jade bids the Malkavian a good evening and moves through the stacks to find the readers.

GM: She locates them after a brief search.

Celia: She wants more information about the oven monster and what originally happened. The thing that made the news, with the guy and his girlfriend-slash-common-law-wife who he cooked and killed and ate, maybe in that order. Anything she can find, no matter how outlandish. She starts with the main newspapers and branches out from there, looking for opinion pieces, occult pieces, and anything else that even mentions it.

GM: Common law marriage, Celia discovers as a related piece of research, does not exist in Louisiana. The state stopped legally recognizing such marriages in 2001, as part of a broader national trend away from common law unions.

Celia: Good thing, too, or she and Randy might be technically (sort of?) married, and that would be an awkward explanation.

GM: Awkward in practice, too. He’d own half of her property.

Celia: If she owns him, though, what does that math work out to?

GM: She discovers a fair bit about the couple after reading through old newspapers.

Celia: Celia pages through the relevant articles, putting together a mental picture of the couple. Mental illness. Addiction. Chasing a high. Things she understands, even if not personally—though Mel had implied all licks are addicts, Celia isn’t entirely sure she believes it. Can you really be addicted to your food source when it’s the only thing you can have?

She pushes the thought aside, irrelevant as it is.

Rampart. She hadn’t been concerned about the location at the time, but it’s right across the street from that park where all of those licks were Embraced a number of years ago. And a VooDoo place nearby.

A few of the words and phrases give her pause: hacksaw, lack of remorse, sinful vices, death taking hold and changing someone’s journey… and there, “defeated by his own demons.” Defeated by someone’s demons, alright.

Unfortunately for them, their romance could never play out the way they hoped it would. Betrayal, deceit, lies, cheating, mental illness, drugs and alcohol… were all a cocktail for a disastrous and murderous romance.

Celia swallows the lump that forms in her throat. She’s not them. It doesn’t mean anything. All sorts of couples hit rough patches. He’s not going to…

She doesn’t want to dwell.

With Clairmont’s permission, Jade prints or makes copies of the articles she’d found to take with her and puts them into her bag with the rest of the books.

She has a handful of leads to pursue, in any case. Woke is sitting pretty in prison. No mention of Rodriguez’s sentence (only that she was convicted), but that should be easy enough to find. None of them paint a clear picture; she feels like she’s looking at a puzzle full of missing pieces. But she’ll tug what strings she can to find out more about this thing and its handler.



Amusing train of thoughts here about how much blood it would cost to get in and out if she flies compared to taking a Ryde. I know we roll for Rouse so it’s not automatic Hunger or anything but there’s always the risk that I roll a 1 and I really don’t like playing it too close to the frenzy line.

She can just kill someone for Lebeaux, can’t she? She can! And it’s been very tempting every time she’s gone hunting to just kill the person and save the blood for later. I just don’t think Lebeaux would appreciate it.

Invading Domains

In regards to the new invading domain rules, not sure I love how this played out mechanics wise. Play wise I thoroughly enjoyed it. I rolled a botch so I got caught before Celia could make it to where she was going. No prob. I guess I just thought that the Obfuscate I’d done would assist with a second roll immediately to not be targeted by the thugs. And I think it did since none of them realized she was a vampire / they didn’t haul her off for trespassing, but the way the rule is written it sounds like the “second chance” is an immediate thing rather than a “after you’ve already been caught and approached” thing, so in my mind none of this should have happened.

That aside, I was highly amused by this scene. I was originally going to just let them have sex with Celia and go on their merry way (why else would I ask if they were cute?) but they were too gross for that. And then one of them called her a whore. And I was like “nope. Not happening. Tired of being pushed around by people.”

I think Guy 3’s reaction to Celia’s “I’m on my period” is a little strong for calling her crazy and sick and a whore considering bleeding from the vagina is pretty fucking normal for the majority of women. But I’ll take it, I guess. Great confession by Guy 2. Fitting that he wanted to do to this woman what other people have done to him.

Was almost tempted to stick around to watch what happened but seemed better to just book it. Weird that they go around raping random women they find late at night in Uptown. No one reports it? No one does anything about it?Like I doubt McGinn cares, but still. Ghoul maybe Dominates them to forget and picture someone else’s face, maybe. Convenient.


Jade knows how annoying it is to be interrupted while reading; she waits until Clairmont is ready for her. Real talk when I’m reading and someone interrupts me I want to tear their fucking head of like literally you see me with a book in my hand don’t talk to me unless you’re dying.

Clairmont’s accent is real fuckin’ thick. Recognized the book by the character’s name but haven’t read it myself and didn’t think I’d be able to pull off an intelligent conversation about it. I think what she said about a waste of a Requiem is something Rod said Coco said a while ago, I just twisted the words a little. Just an incident of Celia “masking” slightly by adopting the traits of someone she thinks & other people think of as smart (Rod and Coco). I tried not to get too intellectual with it because I think on some level Celia still has an inferiority complex about being stupid, and random books are not quite her wheelhouse. If we’d gone into religion or mythology or something she’d probably be more chatty.

Part of me is like “read the book so she can come back and talk about it,” and part of me is like “I have a fuck ton of things to read and I don’t really want to add more to the list when I’ve made zero progress thus far.” So. We’ll see.

Going through the library card form thing was funny. I thought Clairmont might be offended that Jade gave her the business location, but of course she’s not going to be like “here’s my private haven thanks.” Could have given her the OXR clubhouse, I guess. I need to finish the page on them now that I’m thinking about it.

The conversation with Clairmont was pretty surreal. There’s obviously part of a conversation that Jade is missing, and part of it I think comes from Lucy while part of it comes from the wraiths. I can get some of it from context clues, but a lot of it I was over here like “what the actual heck.” Celia’s dealings with Malkavians (on screen, at least) have been limited to Preston and Elyse, both of who come off as pretty sane for members of their clan.

The revelation here / conversation about Lucy was pretty cool. Still doing some guesswork, obviously. Clairmont implies that Lucy is a multiple, I kind of think she might just have been part of Diana’s psyche that was extracted and stuffed into a doll. It makes me wonder how many of the other dolls get similar treatments. But I don’t think it’s a normal thing Elyse does, since she said that Grace was her favorite / best, so I think it’s a rather unique thing. It opens a lot of questions about how much of Diana is really Diana and what she’d be like if she and Lucy were recombined, which we see Celia wonder later. I’ll touch on that more when we see it, I kind of have a lot of thoughts about it.

Interesting that Clairmont can tell there’s more than just Jade inside of her. Curious how much she actually knows.

GM: Clairmont nods agreeably. “Okay. But it nevuh hurts tuh have a cahd.”

“Okay. I’ll take youh word fah it.”

“That’s intahesting. Is thahe more in you? Youh seem more real.”

Celia: “Just the three, I think.”

GM: “It must hurt, though.”

I don’t think that the “it must hurt, though” was actually directed at Jade, but she answers as if it was. About how they’re like built-in friends. I’m glad I made the edit to the post to explain that answer because her “of course I’m a multiple” original line felt a little too blase. She’d used the multiple excuse earlier with Deja, but even there it was just that: an excuse. He asked if she was a multiple and she’s like “uh yes that makes sense let’s do it why not.” Easier to explain than “I’m just a really convincing liar.”

Glad I reread, made me think of something I might have missed the first time around. Something to pursue, anyway. Well, I didn’t miss it I guess, it just didn’t jump out to me as something I could look into. Interesting idea that Celia “died” to create the multiples inside of her. Jade and Celia are pretty clear, curious how Leilani came to be if that’s the case. Considering she was trying to get out during the fae scene (prior to the monster appearing) I think it could be there… depending on how the rest of that goes.

“Also, Lucy says if youh’d let Jade have her way, she was going tuh leave youah. Fawhevuh. And nevuh come back.” Answers my question why I had to wait on her fortune with Sidra since we’d put off the Diana scene until that point.

Did not think that my roll would turn up as much information as it did. Again, cool way to present it. A few trails for me to follow.

Celia V, Chapter XV

Calder: I do like that about V5’s Hunger system
The element of unpredictability
And, contrariwise, lower level powers being something vampires can just do for free now
Vice V20’s/VtR 2e’s blood pool

Emily: I don’t mind the Hunger system, I just feel like I always roll 1s. Lol.

Calder: You have rolled your fair share
Fewer 10s
Diablerize someone though
And fewer Rouse checks
If their BP is high enough

Emily: That’s the plan.

Calder: That’s sweet of Celia so far as Lebeaux
He’s gone pretty out of his way not to kill in prior IG moments
And is known not to attend the Evergreen parties

Emily: How is she gonna conveniently bump into and seduce him if she can’t run into him at a party?

Calder: Also I’m amused how we have two significant characters who share the same names as the players
Bumping into him in his office of course

Emily: Yeah I try to refer to him as Lebeaux during feedback because of it
And just OOC in general.

Calder: Weirder with Emily (Rosure)
Since her last name doesn’t come up as often
But we usually know who’s who since it’s usually us talking about Pete(r Lebeaux) and Emily (Rosure)

Emily: I try to use nicknames with her

Calder: Emi
Yeah, that’s catching on

Emily: Which was harder considering we had an Em, too
Since that’s my go-to

Calder: I didn’t like Em for her anyways

Emily: My brother calls me “Emmy.”
But he’s the only one.

Calder: It’s a cute nick

Emily: During her rebellious phase she went by M-Le

Calder: “I didn’t really have a lasting home to rebel against, honestly.”

Emily: y i k e s

Calder: Intrusion-wise, botch meant you ran into the skinheads immediately, but either a passed Obfuscate roll (or the ghoul’s lack of Auspex) looks like it protected you from being found out as a vamp
And you read how that went for Caroline in Story Three

Emily: I guess my question is if I roll a botch and have a different identity (or Celia’s face) as opposed to just Jade in makeup, does that get like some sort of advantage with the Obfuscate or is it still just a roll?
Since she’s relying more on Fleshcraft and Obfuscate rather than just Obfuscate.
Obviously doesn’t apply here.
But for future scenes.
Since Celia seems to like to dip into people’s territories.

Calder: In what regard? If you get caught by the border patrol, and they see you’re a vampire, they’ll probably try to bring her in/call their master
And depending who she’s fleshcrafted to be, they might either say “this is Jade” or “this is an unknown vamp”

Emily: Right, but say she’s Star or something. She uses Protean to change her body and face completely, and Obfuscate to mask her Beast.
So they wouldn’t recognize Star as a lick or someone’s ghoul since she’s just a nobody.
So it’s like two layers of protection.
They’re also not supposed to get a roll to see through Deceptive Aura unless she does something fishy, for the record.
As per Devotion rule.

Calder: GM knows
And indeed, could be the ghoul had Auspex and just didn’t get to roll
Celia didn’t confidently try to fight the whole gang
Which would’ve necessitated a roll if he had Auspex
She acted like a mortal would have
Well, bar the Confession use
I did enjoy seeing her stand up for herself here too

Emily: She’s been doing more of it lately.
Even this current scene where she’s crying on Rod’s shoulder is, uh, literally pretending to be upset so she can manipulate him.

Calder: Yep
Also, while Celia is very well-equipped to intrude in domains (between an ok intruding pool, Obfuscate, Fleshcraft), she can also just ask permission

Calder: He’s a busy man
We’ve spent a while on Story 12-13 OOC, but not all that long has passed IC
Caroline had to wait a week to see him last time she wanted to

Emily: They discussed it Saturday and it’s now Thursday.
Figured Preston would get in quicker than that. Hasn’t reached out to Celia about the time and date, either.

Calder: That sort of time frame isn’t exceptionally slow, actually

Emily: Mm.

Calder: Preston has her own busy schedule too
You always see her with Savoy

Emily: Preston is Savoy’s alter.

Calder: His multiple

Emily: Yes
Everyone has one, Celia isn’t a snowflake.
She’s just the only one that fucks herself.

Calder: I’m still amused by that
She’s so vain about it

Emily: Lol

Calder: “I can see why everyone else wants to.”
“I’m so hot in bed.”
It totally isn’t making her crazier, either
To actually interact with herself as an independent entity
And fuck her

Emily: She (probably) knows it’s Alana.

Calder: Maybe

Emily: They gonna go to LA as Celia and Jade
And spend months like that.

Calder: That will help her sanity
The boundaries will not further blur
More like further deepen
Clairmont’s thick accent is one of the reasons she had a hard time making friends
As her page notes
But it’s ok
She’s thought to have made others
And yep, Celia was masking here
Like everywhere
She made a better impression on Clairmont than Micheal did though
He said reading was dumb
So she said he was dumb
And probably too stupid to know how to read anyway

Emily: That’s actually hilarious.
I thought it went pretty well.
Was worried about offending her.
But seemed to go okay.
Also didn’t want to make any references to her spirit friends but was super curious about them too
They seemed to know a lot.
Or she did.

Calder: Malks are known for that
Or maybe it was her ghosts
Or both
I thought it went well too though
Celia usually does pretty well in her social interactions

Emily: Maybe Janine will be her new friend. :O

Calder: Maybe she will
Confederacy of Dunces also is a great book
And a great look at the Big Easy
Clairmont seemed happy with a valid mailing business as you note
Plenty people who get mail sent to their place of business
I’d enjoy seeing that finished OXR page too
now that we have our own page for coteries

Emily: Been meaning to do it for a while.
Was waiting to see Andi / Tyrell / Nico on screen
But I guess we’ll see.

Calder: We’ve seen the third

Emily: Do what I can with what I have and all that.

Calder: Can also wait until they show up. They be your coterie

Emily: Yep.

Calder: I also enjoyed us getting to see a crazier-seeming Malkavian with Clairmont
One who’s literally talking at the air
And maybe that’s ghosts and maybe that’s not

Emily: Could go either way following that conversation tbh.

Calder: Elyse is more crazy for her beliefs and her fixations than her behaviors
And how she talks to dolls, of course

Emily: Yeah but she doesn’t come off as like… “Crazy”

Calder: Lots of degrees
Especially with Malkavians
Enjoy your theories there on Clairmont and Lucy
Interesting that Clairmont can tell there’s more than just Jade inside of her. Curious how much she actually knows.
That’s always the question with Malks

Emily: I thought her comment about needing to die was interesting.
Like Celia died
And Jade was born from it, kind of
But what about the others
You know?
Would be interested in seeing where Leila comes from if that’s how it happens.

Calder: Maybe she’s just babbling crazy talk
But you’re right that Celia died, metaphorically, when Jade was born
Literally, actually
Jade was definitely conceived during the devil’s bargain

Emily: Yep

Calder: And Celia turned more and more into her over the next few nights
Culminating with what she did to her dad/sister, and her literal death

Emily: And then was Embraced, so she literally died, but she has managed to hold on to “Celia”

Calder: Sex with herself notwithstanding
But hey

Emily: Well

Calder: She does hold onto Celia there

Emily: Jade is curious.

Calder: Holds her neck

Emily: >>
She holds onto Celia within herself, in any case.
With her relationship with her mom and Roderick
And her business / internet fame
Without those things, primarily the people, she’d lose more of “Celia”

Calder: Yep

Emily: And there would only be Donovan’s Celia left.

Calder: Doubtlessly
Her mom also knows about the multiple personalities
And was the sole instance Celia actively pushed back against Jade

Emily: Was wondering if she should bring it up with Rod.
“Hey so I’m crazy…”

Calder: Maybe he’ll ask if he can fuck them separately
“Is Jade different in bed?”

Emily: I kind of mention it later, actually, with talking to Pete and Rod about her mom
Jade is very different in bed

Calder: Oh of course she is

Emily: I watched a show once where a lady was a multiple and her husband fucked one of the alters
And she was really mad about it

Calder: Hahahahahaha
Great inspiration for Celia
Like, spot-on

Emily: DID has always kind of fascinated me, and I used to look into it a lot (before the game, years ago) so that when I was writing or talking about it I didn’t offend people by getting it wrong.
The show is fiction, but I’ve read a lot of books and stuff about it.
Did not intend for it to happen with Celia at all.

Calder: Yes, you’ve done a great job with how it basically forms in response to trauma
As a shielding mechanism

Emily: I also figured out a new “tell” for her in how she talks to Savoy

Calder: Yeah, it wasn’t part of your original pitch
What’s that?

Emily: Celia calls him “grandsire” and Jade calls him “Lord Savoy.” Minor thing, but I think it builds a realistic difference between the two.
Makes me wonder if Donovan has ever met Jade. :thinking:
I dunno. Was just something I was thinking about while reading the log. Not a thing I’ve consciously done before, addressing him like that, but I think there’s been some difference in her state of mind when she’s spoken to him.
anyway we don’t have to talk about it sorry if that’s dumb

Calder: I think it’s interesting, actually
now that you mention that is a difference
does Celia go with grandsire because it’s more affectionate/the actual truth, and Jade because she’s supposed to be Veronica’s childe?
I feel Jade is more The Bitch than Veronica’s specific childe though
She could be Savoy’s granchilde just as easily

Emily: Well, in the past she’s referred to herself as “Celia, childe of Donovan; Jade, grandchilde of Savoy” and Jade as “Savoy’s lapcat.” Jade is The Bitch, but The Bitch doesn’t call people “grandsire” because it’s more affectionate. I don’t think Jade would call Donovan “sire,” to be honest.
Or put up with his shit.
Which is why I don’t think she’s ever been “in control” while he was around.
Like she’d be respectful, as she is to Savoy, but not as, uh… I don’t have a good word for it. Soft? Not as soft as Celia?
I dunno. It makes sense in my head.
Jade doesn’t deny being Savoy’s grandchilde or anything.
Wasn’t meant to be a thing other than just who she is in the moment, anyway.
Like Jade’ll sit on his lap all night but she’s not going to actively cuddle with him like Celia does. She’s more smug about it.
I don’t really know how to adequately explain it I guess.

Calder: no, that all makes sense to me
Celia is more submissive
Jade is more of a domme
Jade is meaner, bolder, more assertive
Which is why it makes sense she’s not Jade around Donovan

Emily: Now they need to meet, though.
He’d backhand her real quick. >>

Calder: Because even though their temperaments have more in common, Donnie knows all of who Celia is
As he was there when Jade was born
As far as your rolls, you were using a library and the case made the news
So you were able to dig up a fair bit
Glad the format was enjoyed
May as well enrich the wiki while posting the info

Emily: Makes sense.

Celia V, Chapter XV
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