Let’s continue this sickness trend.

Yesterday made me think. Or rather, thinking about yesterday made me think about something related to it.

I’m guessing that everybody has a song or two that they like to listen to when they’re sick. (When it’s not a sickness that’s made worse by noises.)

Music has so many connections inside us that it can fire when we listen to it. It can summon memories, it can influence emotions and it can put us into and out from many moods. And when I’m sick, I’ve got a few songs I really like to listen to. This will be this week’s theme. “Music Matt Listens To When He’s Feeling Unwell”. You’re in for a treat.

The Doors – The End

The Doors – The End [Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine] | 1972 | All kinds of Rock (Blues, Psychedelic, Acid, Hard…)

What can I say?
Not much. Not much that will make sense, any way.
This is a dark, twisted song. And yet, it’s so relaxing and soothing.
It’s ambiance and texture seem to whisper into your mind’s eye, to seduce you. To lead you away from your troubles.
It’s only when you start listening to the lyrics when the full scale of madness and insanity is brought before you. (Which is why I put the lyrics at the end of the post today.)
But even then, the song still makes you think. And it makes you think in twisted ways. It mixes classical and ancient themes of dramatic storytelling with a stoned-out-beyond-belief sense of coherence. It’s slow and pondering and still makes you stay on your toes.

And, yes.
It’s also a song that I connect deeply with Vampire and Mage. Both games deal with someone human who now has to deal with a reality that’s seemingly like the one they were used to, but wholly different, masked only by a thin veneer of memories and active subterfuge. It deals with someone who has to face the fact that their mortal friends, loved ones and intimate relations have to go, but that they’re still some of the most important things in their life. – At least, that’s what I take from it, when I look at it from that context.

The End is one of my deep favourites. It’s complex and whacked out and dark and chilled. It’s a good song, and it’s able to underline many different situations.

And when I feel really, really ill/sick/down, it’s a very good song to listen to. Perhaps think about Apocalypse Now!, perhaps think about Mage or Vampire, perhaps just close my eyes, peer into the darkness and paint images with my mind that go with the music. And sometimes to just let it wash over me, taking away my troubles with its full force of being.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]This is The End, beautiful friend
This is The End, my only friend, The End

Of our elaborate plans, The End
Of everything that stands, The End
No safety or surprise, The End
I’ll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what we’ll be?
So limitless and free
Desperately in need of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the king’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake, he’s long, seven miles
Ride the snake, he’s old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest

The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken’ us?

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and, then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door, and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother, I want to…..

C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
C’mon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is The End
Beautiful friend
This is The End
My only friend, The End

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is The End[/expand]

Let’s go back ten years to the day.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Wo kommen all die grauen Wolken her?
Ich schau nach draußen auf den Tag,
Es regnet und ich kann nicht mehr.

Wo ist der blaue Himmel hin?
Ich weiß nicht, warum ich lebe,
Nur, daß ich am Leben bin.

Dann steh ich auf und gehe unter Menschen.
Und frage mich, was kann ich tun?

Ich will sie hassen Und kanns nicht lassen,
In allem, was sie ausmacht, auch ein Stück von mir zu sehen.

Wo kommen all die grauen Wolken her?

Die ganze Welt dreht sich im Kreis,
Ich seh mich um und will nicht mehr.

Wo ist die rote Sonne hin?

Arbeit, Fernsehen, Schlafengehen,
So macht das Leben keinen Sinn.

Dann steh ich auf und gehe unter Menschen.
Und frage mich, was soll ich tun?

Ich kanns nicht fassen,
Sie könnens nicht lassen.
Nur ihre eignen Leben, immer nur sich selbst zu sehen.

Wo kommen all die grauen Wolken her?

Ich schau nach draußen auf den Tag,
Es regnet, und ich kann nicht mehr.
Ich weiß nicht woher, weiß nicht wohin.

Ich weiß nicht, warum ich lebe,
Nur, dass ich am Leben bin.[/expand]

Blumfeld – Graue Wolken [Testament der Angst] | 2001 | Indie Rock

This is a very special song to me. I connect it with two persons that were very close to me pretty much ten years ago. I bought the album when it came out, ten years ago. I listened to it (both the song, and the album) nearly daily, ten years ago. It was my autumns soundtrack, ten years ago.

I had just entered 11th grade. I was in the process of getting my driver’s license. I was still finding myself. Well, more than I am now, at least – I hope I never stop.

And I was very, very deeply into Mage: the Ascension then. Those were our heydays. One of my friends was as deep inside Mage as I was. We often met to talk about Mage and music and life and women and everything our fancies would throw us. We had some wine and music for those talks. The smells of Nag Champa and Patchouli were thick, then. And we’d prefer candles. Sometimes we’d just sit there, for minutes, sipping wine, looking into flames and listening to music.

Very often it was ambient and goth stuff. But sometimes we mixed something else in, too. And Blumfeld, along with their contemporeries Tocotronic and Sterne, were a guest-band we’d always love to put on. Their mixture of thought-provoking, melancholic, angry and at time soul-crushing sound and lyrics was exactly what put is into the right mood to talk about a game where it’s all about hope, change, the soul-crushing banality of a grey, corporate society and how hubris and personal power can lead to terrible, if well-intentioned, decisions and consequences.

They also fit very well with the World of Darkness as a whole. While our world can be bleak, it’s still got its hopeful, good parts. For the World of Darkness, we’d take Blumfeld’s songs and make them the /hopeful/ default. Most of the time, people have it worse. And because of that, each tiny scrap of change for the better is harder to accomplish AND worth inherently more.

Also, taken by itself…
Taking “Testament der Angst” and listening to it by yourself, in a dimly lit room and an open window and some Whiskey or Wine or Gin…
*shudders* Your mind will go places it seldomly goes. … And not all of them will be bad.
I have many wonderful memories and experiences conjured by the songs on this album. All contrasting the subject of the individual songs. Yes, I have plenty of those experiences, too. But I also had, and continue to have, the good ones.

Ten years ago, they wrote beautiful, dark, angry songs. And ten years later, they still sound perfectly great. I also highly recommend “Die Diktatur der Angepassten”, which was another perfect WoD song.

[Also, as a short addendum: The pupils in this music video? That’s how we looked back then. That’s me and my friends and my enemies and nearly all my acquaintances ten years before now. I was two years above the people in this video, but those two years didn’t mean that much of a difference.]

Let’s Mode.

Depeche Mode, that is.

Their first non 80s-rooted album was “Songs of Faith and Devotion”. And it’s problem is that it’s DM’S Poland.
Wait. You might need some background on that. There’s this old Polish joke (and one liked by historians world-wide, too), about the Christian god really hating Poland, seating them between Germany and Russia. And should you look into Polands wild and violent history, you will quickly understand that, should there be any kind of god/s? Yeah, they’re playing a damn cruel joke on Poland.

So did Depeche Mode on “Songs of Faith and Devotion”, releasing it between “Violator” and “Ultra”. It… Kinda gets lost easily, even though it spots some killer tracks on its own! Some that are often overlooked. Or, well, simply not played as vividly as “Personal Jesus” and “Barrel of a Gun” and “It’s No Good” and “World in My Eyes” and “Enjoy the Silence” and “Policy of Truth” and… … Well, you get the idea, right?

So, today I’m giving you “Walking in My Shoes”. A deeply sombre track about a sinner trying to explain himself to a captive audience. It’s slow and pondering yet still powerful and gripping.

Another one of my favourite autumn tracks. This time one I love to listen to when I drive to club to dance the night away. And sometimes even when I drive back, with a wistful smile and memories of a great and adventurous night fresh in my mind.


Depeche Mode – Walking in My Shoes [Songs of Faith and Devotion] | 1993 | New Wave -> Synthpop

[expand title=”Lyrics”]I would tell you about the things
They put me through
The pain I’ve been subjected to
But the Lord himself would blush
The countless feasts laid at my feet
Forbidden fruits for me to eat
But I think your pulse would start to rush

Now I’m not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes

You’ll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes
If you try walking in my shoes

Morality would frown upon
Decency look down upon
The scapegoat fate’s made of me
But I promise now, my judge and jurors
My intentions couldn’t have been purer
My case is easy to see

I’m not looking for a clearer conscience
Peace of mind after what I’ve been through
And before we talk of any repentance
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes

You’ll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes
If you try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes

Now I’m not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes

You’ll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes

You’ll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes
If you try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes[/expand]

Let’s drip concentrated darkness.

L’Âme Immortelle – Bitterkeit [In einer Zukunft aus Tränen und Stahl] | 1998 | Gothic… Pure Gothic.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Tief in einer Welt
wo Gefühle nichtig sind
bin ich eingesperrt
Vor Haß schon völlig blind

Die Tränen sind die einzigen Zeugen
das ich Selbst noch existier´
Nahe dem letzten Schritt
Doch etwas hält mich hier

Überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung, und der Tod
Lügen – totes Fleisch
werden unser täglich Brot

Denn, überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung und der Tod
Lügen, totes Fleisch
werden unser täglich Brot

Ich sehe mich im Spiegel
doch erkenne Ich mich nicht
So entstellt vom Treiben hier
Eine Fratze – mein Gesicht

Das Leben in der anderen Welt
ist mir schon völlig fremd
Wie der Mond am Abendhimmel
Ich kann es mir nicht erklären

Überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung und der Tod
Lügen – totes Fleisch
werden unser täglich Brot

Denn – überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung, und der Tod
Lügen, totes Fleisch
werden unser täglich Brot

Du bist der einzige Grund
Der mir hilft – hier zu bestehen
Wärst Du nicht hier, tief bei mir
Würd´ den letzten Schritt Ich gehen

Die Liebe zu Dir hält mich
Und gibt mir neue Kraft
Um hier zu überleben
Bald ist es geschafft

Überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung und der Tod
Lügen, totes Fleisch
Werden unser täglich Brot

Denn – überall ist Bitterkeit
Verzweiflung und der Tod
Lügen – totes Fleisch
werden unser täglich Brot (3mal)[/expand]

I’m very fucking tired today. But I wanted to keep myself awake until at least 2300. And to use this time to jot down a few things regarding Vampires, Gehenna and Zeitgeist. This made me look into some very dark recesses of my music collection. Not “dark” in the “gothic and dark lyrics” sense, but in the “not sure if not actually embarrassed by…” sense.

And L’Âme Immortelle fits the bill perfectly. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I mostly hate them, apart from a few songs which I love like crazy. I even saw them live in 2002. (Which also marked my first and only visit to Bochum’s Matrix. Fuck that venue.) And that while I spent a great deal of time to bad-mouth them for… Some stupid-ass reason or another. I can’t really remember any more. I was younger and much more stupid back then. (Yes. It IS possible!)

Anyway, this song… It’s got darkwave style. And harsh electro vocals. And gothic guitar riffs and bass-lines. And it simply seeps atmosphere and feeling.

I got hold of this album (And what a magnificent title “In a Future of Tears and Steel” is!) at around the same time I fell in love with Mage and Vampire. And now, about 13 years later, I see how that was intertwined. While the Gothic Rock influences I mentioned earlier, as well as Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode (with other artists of a similar bend) made the major part of my musical background in that time of my life, there was something I’d call “vocal minority”, too. And L’Âme Immortelle are one of those acts.

Listening to this song (and two or three others by them) while reading the opening blurb in a White Wolf book about what “Gothic Punk” and “A World of Darkness” are meant to convey sets the perfect mood.

It combines a Gothic sense of mystery and dark beauty while at the same time hitting you with a violent energy. Combining in your mind to create a dark, yet strangely compelling, thought-scape. Now you add the history, lore and protagonists and antagonists and styles of Vampire and Mage to these pictures and you get an immediate desire to start a chronicle. To plan and create one, or to play a particular character in one. Living through this world and experiencing it, and hopefully even changing it.

At least I did. And I still do.
I had a serious case of writer’s block tonight. Due to stress and tiredness. Then I listened to Bitterkeit (and other 90s L’Âme Immortelle songs) and it’s gone. Poof. Like it was never there.

I’m still ambivalent about the band. Mostly because of the pretty arrogant antics of Thomas Rainer back in the days.
But I’ve got to give them this: Their old songs still evoke a sense of… Well… “Gothicness” that I really love and appreciate.

And, hell…
Look at them when they’re performing live!

Live - 2004 - M'era Luna

Live - 2004 - M'era Luna

If this ain’t screaming “Vampire!” I don’t know what is.
There is violence, passion, sexuality and sensuality in this picture. In their music. Their lyrics.

And for that… I love them.

Let’s start Autumn properly.

Rob Dougan – Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Variation) [Clubbed to Death] | 1995 | Electronic Beats

You all know it. You all love it.
And you all probably only learned about it on a nice autumn’s night in 1999 when you went to the cinema with some friends.

Yes. Clubbed to Death’s Kurayamino Variation is the best known mix of this song. But it’s also one of the best ones, too. Which is not always the same.

It’s a near-perfect synthesis of a classical theme with modern music. And, because of this… It still sounds modern. Current. As if it was made, produced and released yesterday.

And today, with a torrentous rain and harsh winds and falling leafs… It’s perfect.
I always put this song on when walking on cold and rainy days. It’s epic. It’s Mage-like. It reminds me of some of the best RPG sessions I ever had. Also, of some of the best mettings-with-friends I ever had.

Don’t just mix it with The Matrix. Yes, it made the movie. Became it’s unofficial anthem. But it’s larger than it. It can and does stand on its own two legs. [Yes. I know which video I chose for it. It was the best quality, sorry! I’m aware of the ginormous irony therein.]
Let it. Listen to it.

Put it on your MP3 player, go outside in the evening and enjoy rain, wind and cold with it.
And you WILL enjoy it it. :)

Let’s talk about a spectacular and special “Cover version”.

There’s a poem by Bertold Brecht, called “Die Ballade von den Prominenten”.
I’ll append the English translation at the very end of this post.

Many of you will already know where this is going.
And you’re right. It’s Dead Can Dance time.

Dead Can Dance – How Fortunate The Man With None [Into The Labyrinth] | 1993 | Goth

“How Forunate the Man with None” is one of my most favourite songs of all times, all genres and simply… “All”.

It is a powerful ballad combining a haunting, deeply ethereal sound with Perry’s resonant voice. And all this to bring a poignant, socio-political poem by Bertold Brecht to live.
It’s a piece that defined “Being Goth” for me. And which it still does.

It all works so very perfectly.

This is a song you listen to by dimmed light (or candles, even), with the autumn air being cold outside and dear friends and wine by your side. This is a song that makes you think, makes you sink into itself. Into your own mind. This is a song/poem about mortality, change, betrayal, history, opportunism, greatness, failure and the nature of time and humanity.

It is also the song that I most associate with Mage: the Ascension. When I got the revised edition of the Mage rules (my very first WoD self-owned rules-set) in the winter of 1998, I also bought “Into the Labyrinth”. I was listening to this album when I first delved into the changed reality of the Avatar Storm and the cooling down of the Ascension War to an apparent Technocratic “victory”. I read about the new, more personal scale and scope of the game. Of lone Mages trying to keep their loved ones and their ideals and dreams alive and secure to the best of their possibility. And it was this combination that saved the game for me. On a pure intellectual level I hate many settings (and tone) changes that came with Mage Revised. But because I was able to listen to this song while reading some key chapters in the rule book, it clicked. It worked. It made me want to run a cool, sexy, dark and low-toned game of Mage. (It also made me buy all the revised Tradition Books, which I still see as one of the best decisions I ever made in my roleplaying career. They are amazing reads filled with ideas and stories to last me for ages. And even across different games. They’re like dark/gothic urban-fantasy GURPS mini-sourcebooks.)

This is also a song I strongly associate with romance and special memories. In the early 2000’s, I had some nights out with a dear and close friend, and we almost always listened to “Into The Labyrinth” and especially “How Fortunate…” when it got dark and cold at night. We weren’t lovers. We never would have worked like that. But we still had a more than simple and very special connection and friendship. We talked about everything and all the things between it. About our lives, sexuality, political and social outlooks, love, music, history and school. While sipping mead and absinthe and tea and eating food we’d always cook for each other. Sharing books and self written poems and stories, only intended for each other. It was magical in its own right…

So, yes.
This song is dear and important to me.
And I hope that you will listen to it, and find something good for yourself, too.
Because even without those memories, this is a beautiful song.

Have a good night.

“How Fortunate The Man With None”
From the play “Mother Courage”

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren’t so grateful as you’d think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people’s noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God’s own laws.
So far he hasn’t taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s fear of god that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Let’s Revisit 90s Goth…

It was in the mid-to-late 90s when I was introduced to both the World of Darkness and Goth music. It wasn’t as interconnected as it sounds, but they both helped each other. If there hadn’t been Mage (and my life would have taken the exact same turns as it did with it), I wouldn’t have gotten into Dead Can Dance until 2005, when I finally met a dear friend for the first time, on a nice wintry weekend in Berlin.

But Mage was there. And it made me check out Dead Can Dance. And I fell in love. To this day I can’t imagine running a Mage chronicle without using DCD heavily in setting mood and theme for many scenes.

But today, I’m not going to show you anything by Dead Can Dance. This will be left for another day. Probably in late October or early November.

Today I want to make you listen to a song that makes The Crüxshadows for me.
When I started hitting goth clubs and discos from 1999 onwards, this song was a club-killer. Up until 2003/2004 IIRC. People just loved to dance to it, and for a good reason. It’s uptempo beats and catchy melody make it perfect danceloor-fodder.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

The Crüxshadows – Marilyn, My Bitterness [Telemetry of a Fallen Angel] | 1995 | Goth (Yes, I’m putting them down as “Goth”, as I can’t decide between -rock and -electro. And it’s too heavy on both to fall under “Darkwave” for me personally.)

The 90s were a good time to be Goth. You had all the styles living side-by-side. New Batcave sounds came out side-by-side with extremely good Darkwave, EBM, Goth-rock, Synthpop and Industrial-Rock/Metal pieces, albums and bands. Even the smaller genres like Coldwave and Angstpop were getting great stuff.

But “mainstream” Goth? It was soaring. And The Crüxshadows (What is it with US Americans and weird-ass names? I’m German and that name gives me problems…) hit just the right spot. Mixing rock, electronica and string elements with a perfidiously charismatic lead-singer to a whole people actually liked to listen and dance to. They weren’t alone with this, no, but I stil remember that whenever the DJ put up a Crüxshadows song, most (if not all) of the Goth factions would meet on the dancefloor. It made for a wonderful mix of different dancing styles and forms of expression. It was a really good time. I liked it more than the fractured nature we see today. And I know what about this is because of Nostalgia and what’s because of rational reasons.

Back to the Crüxshadows. They somehow managed to start producing theme-albums from “Telemetry” onwards which still held club-hits and Single/EP material. That’s just good sense. They also managed to combine the utterly melodramatic with the fun. Making it very clear that they didn’t take themselves at all seriously. But then, most Goth acts don’t. That seems to be a Metal staple. And a fucking stupid one at that in some numerous cases.

Anyway, different topic. Different day.

Today, we celebrate 90s Goth and the party days of old.

And because I mentioned the World of Darkness, here’s the connection you’ve all been waiting for.
And if not… Well… Now you know. And knowing, as well all know, is half the battle!
Have a great day, everybody. :)

The Crüxshadows – Deception [Music From the Succubus Club] | 2000 | Goth

A House of Bones

[Suggested listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rsf2LoLk3SA]
{Warning: Content contains slight amounts of horror.}

Somewhere in Eastern Europe, there is an Ossarium. No, not Sedletz. The bone house I’m talking about is far more ancient. Far more sinister. It was build before any of the great mortal wars swept the area. Before the carpenter’s faith swept across the many tribes living and dying across Europe. It was built at night. Diligently, one bone after another, for several years.

The bones were only taken from virgins of both genders, who were native to the area. And who were all kept alive while their bones were being extracted in slow, meticulous rituals. They were only allowed to die after the last bone left their body. After the bones were cleaned, purified and put into place. The souls of the sacrifices were to bind the bones to the sacred place. To anchor them. To serve as fuel for the ritual that was being prepared.

It took many years. Decades. Over a century. Not all candidates were worthy. Not all had the will to remain alive during the grueling process. So the builders had to wait for a generation after putting another two or three pieces in place. Sometimes they had to skip one, when birth rates were too low ensure survival of the tribe. The tribe was being taken care of. It was prevented from leaving, it had to listen to screams of excruciating and exquisite pain whenever young people were taken by their protectors, but it was taken care of. There was never famine nor invasion. And anybody daring and ignorant enough to try and attack the tribe was fought back and hunted down by horrifying creatures with names that sounded like slabs of dead meat falling to the ground when pronounced.

For the humans, it was a place of revulsion, horror and terror. For its builders it was a sacred site. A temple to their traditions and their forefather.

And when it was done, the tribe ended. There was a ritual. A feast. Screaming. And afterwards there was only the House of Bones and a few ramshackle huts in the deep and twisted reaches of the thick Easter European forests.

Then, for a year and a day, there was silence.

Only then, after many years of hard, painstaking, bloody and ritual labour, the resident was laid to rest in this House of Bones. This Temple to the Form of Death. It was allowed to slumber in peace, for hundreds of years. Undisturbed. Surrounded by tormented souls, changed and twisted by pain and death, clad in their once mortal remains, formed into a shrine to its ancient inhabitant. The forest grew wildly around it. Yet never touched it. And even in the most dire of winters, the animals never disturbed the gnarled and weird fruits near the House of Bones.

In the towns and cities that sprang up around it in later years, there always were more than the usual share of murderers and killers and rapists and kidnappers. Something brushed against their dreams, fully by accident, and changed the way their minds worked forever. Driving them mad with the desire to form, to change, to twist and to modify. Lacking the supernatural power to do so was, to those poor, damned souls, like giving a starving man a loaf of freshly baked bread and delicious, spicy wine and then sowing his mouth closed. Their souls withered and died inside them. Leading them to an early death. But never before bringing harm and horror to their surroundings.

Then, much later, came the fateful day in the winter of 1944. Retreating and hunting armies burned swathes across their paths, destroying and twisting the landscape without a second thought but the desire to destroy their enemies and save their own lives. And during all this, the House of Bones was broken. A loud roar was heard all along the Eastern Front. Making hardened soldiers sick with fear and waking ancient creatures that haven’t felt the sun’s touch for many centuries, filling their dark souls with dread.

The next night, huddled figures, unafraid of the war and soldiers around them, raced to the location of that sacred site. And what they found drove them to fearful frenzy. It would take nights before some were captured, after some were lost to the sun’s fiery embrace by their own longing, before the truth was made known: The seals were broken. The bones smashed. The… Thing was gone.

Since this day, the House of Bones again lies undisturbed. Partly out of tradition, mostly out of fear. Because even in the withered hearts of ancient demons there is a spark of dread left smoldering. Dread of the thing that spawned them all, cursed them all, formed them all.

And a few of those ancient beasts know, that even while their kindred monsters are fighting a war against the coming of Gehenna, an ancient horror beyond any and all imagination is loose on the Earth. Hiding somewhere. Slowly growing stronger and stronger.

And now the very eldest of Clan Tzimisce are holding conference. Should their monstrous and uncultured brood be enough? Vampires who, for the most part, know nothing of this and are more concerned with railing against rules as if they were unruly children? Or should the hated Camarilla be nudged towards this. Given some proof for the existence of something truly antedeluvian? Because the elders know that behind the facade of public snubbing, there are factions inside the Camarilla’s higher chambers who are very much silently preparing for, and even sometimes waging, a war against the oldest of horrors.

And their scholars, compromising the hated Tremere, would undoubtedly find some evidence they cold use, should they “accidentally” stumble upon the remains of the House of Bones.

But would it be worth it?
Would they be focused enough on the obvious terror to miss some smaller, yet also critical, pieces of Clan lore?

Decisions. Decisions.
It’s time to change and form the world again.