The Third City

A Series Of Incredible Events

From the chronicles of Zadok Solomon, son of the Brujah…

Much time has passed. But from my perspective, centuries seem only to have been minutes.

It began when Arabella and myself had found the Settite cache in Scandinavia. Our old 'friend' Anubis was already there with his horde of Nosferatu. With them was another vampiric clan known as the Gangrel, led by a diminuitive old crone that they call The Hag. It seems these two forces had forged some kind of partnership and were aiding each other in unearthing the Settite tablets. We had hoped to enter the cave before they made their way inside, but we were ambushed by a group of Nosferatu.

The urchins' attack was for naught, we easily managed to dispatch most of them. Arabella used her talent for dominance to frighten the two surviving wretches into aiding us. However, during the scuffle, Arabella drained one of the assailants and now has both a Gangrel barbarian and one of those sewer filth occupying her mind at once. (How she could stomach that sickly Nosferatu swill, I'll never know.) Before we could venture into the cave, we had to erase our guide Skulder's memory, who had the misfortune to witness our struggle and see me and Arabella for what we truly are.

With the two Nosferatu guiding us, we followed our foes into the cave. As we made our way inside, the cave became more and more familiar to us, the chambers and corridors constructed in an identical manner to those of the Settite libraries in Thebes that we raided centuries ago. We soon found the main library, and like the one in Thebes, the tablets were all fake. The real archive was behind a door with a strange lock. Luckily Arabella remembered the combination from the one in Thebes and this one was the same.

After gaining entry, our Nosferatu guides bolted, scurrying back to their dark master. We hadn't the time or manpower to completely loot the chamber so Arabella and I each took a tablet and made our escape. When we emerged from the cave, we found that Anubis's carriage was unguarded. Fools! I immediately took the driver's seat and easily coerced the horse to obey, and we were on our way.

As we rode back toward port, Arabella took the time to study some of Anubis's notes regarding his necromantic practices. Among these texts was a spell that could allow one to travel across the spirit realm. A truly fascinating power, and one that could be immeasurably useful… if the spell was performed correctly.

The snow began to pick up the closer we got to port and the horse was showing clear signs of fatigue. We could hear the Gangrel approaching. We decided to take the risk of using the spell that would allow us to cross the spirit world and get us back to Greece in the blink of an eye. That was the result we hoped for, at least… but not the one we got.

Arabella's incantation wasn't precise, and so our course through the spirit realm was altered. The spirit realm was truly a sight to remember, whether one would want to or not. It seemed to appear as a darker version of the material world, with all forms seemingly constructed from the souls of the dead. All the more astonishing was the appearance of a figure who resembled the ancient lord of the Underworld, Osiris. It was incredible… but it was really him. He approached us, spoke to us, told us it was not our time. He opened a pathway for us, and so we set off.

Something went wrong as we passed through the passage. We did not emerge in Greece as we had hoped. Instead, we appeared before a large, dark temple where the mist of souls seemed to be drawn. At this point we became seemingly stranded as the horse seemed to charge forward toward the temple in blind panic. As it ran it seemed to deteriorate and die before us. Something about this place was bringing out the creature's fears… and mine, as well. I found myself facing what I perceived to be the tortured, vengeful soul of my long-dead mother, reaching out to me with decayed hands and even reaching with her exposed innards.

Arabella managed to help me awake from my nightmare, luckily she did not seem to be as badly affected by this place as I. I was not the only one, however. Looking off into the distance, we witnessed the arrival of Anubis and several of his ilk, no doubt in pursuit of the stolen carriage. The Nosferatu were going mad at the sight of this realm. I dare not imagine what they were seeing, but I could clearly see them killing each other in blind panic and rage, until only Anubis himself remained.

Anubis approached us, clearly thirsty for blood and vengeance. If he wanted to fight, I was only too happy to oblige, drawing my blades and preparing to end this bastard's unholy existence once and for all. Our conflict was unexpectedly interrupted, however. No one would believe it, but only the mightiest and most divine of all the Gods had intervened… Lord of the Sun, mighty Ra himself. I bowed before him… he urged me to rise. Anubis could not bare to stand in the mighty one's presence, vanishing and cursing us as he did so.

A great light tore through the darkness of the realm, the brightest sunlight I had ever experienced in life or unlife, and yet I did not burn. I felt comfortably warm, still able to see the Sun God's stunning visage in the all-encompassing light. And high above Him, where the black sky had torn and the light was shining through, was the magnificent Golden Barge. With a strong yet compassionate voice Ra beckoned us on our way.

And then the light was replaced with darkness again, but not the shrill void of the spirit realm. We found ourselves in a strange street, surrounded by soldiers emblazoned with a red cross on their uniforms. We know not who they were, but they were ready to execute us right where we stood. However, we were led away toward a chapel which, for reasons unknown, Arabella and I could not enter. We were then led toward a house where we were questioned about the circumstances of our arrival. I asked the priest who was present what year it was, and while perplexed by the question, he answered: 1100 AD.

That couldn't be possible! That would mean we had travelled centuries into the future! However, the priest and soldiers were not interested in further questions from us and were preparing to kill us. Fortune smiled upon us though, as the humans were assassinated before us by fellow kindred. Our saviours led us away to their hideout, which is where we currently take refuge.

Yes, much time has passed. 1300 years, if what the Christians tell us is true. So much has changed. Greece has been invaded by a force known as the British Empire, a power rapidly expanding throughout the world and spreading the gospel of the 'one true God'. Humanity has now become well aware of the existence of vampires and work to exterminate our kind. Though the clans have united against the humans, we remain divided by our choices of faith. Several vampires have converted to Christianity, which the Brittons follow also. It is clear that Christianity deems our kind as monsters and sinners, so how any of us can follow this kind of faith I have no idea, but I intend to find out.

Other vampires have converted to the word of Islam, which my short-term mentor Haqim followed. From what Necrohotep tells me (he now serves the Christian cause), he is commanding the Islamic movement against the Christians, and apparently Anubis has joined him. I was hoping I had seen the last of that Settite filth, but it seems our fates are intertwined. I find myself caught in the middle of this holy struggle, uncertain of which side to take, if indeed any. I require some perspective in these current matters. I've heard one side of the story, but what of the other? I need to find Abdul Haqim, find out where he stands in all of this. Maybe then, I will know where I should stand.

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