This story is meant as a short chronicle to introduce characters to Uppsala and find them a niche within it's kindred community, all the while picking up pieces of a puzzle, the final stages of which will give a horrific revelation as to the nature of the city's curse. Here's a brief overview of the story arc that unfolds over the first five episodes :
Uppsala's kindred know there is some great corruption lurking over half of their city. They lack the knowledge to appreciate the full enormity of what they harbour. The taint to the city is a demon. As the city had grown in it's religious part, so an undercurrent has grown to become a malevolent and evil force accross the river. The opposites balancing each other. The demon is held at bay and away from the city's kindred by the other watcher of the city - Henrik, who lies in a catacomb beneath the cathedral in torpor, safe in his Golconda. Henrik is also slowly guiding his old friend Ragnar to golconda through the prince's devoted study in the large library he has built in V-Dala nation. These two dormant forces struggle to their own ends using the city's kindred and the influence they hold over the city. The demon has Sven as a quite willing pawn. The historian was corrupted many years ago, and it is not really his formidable willpower that allows him to travel, into the tainted area - it is here where he has his shrine, in a forgotten basement below Gottlands nation. It is here where Fredrik is being held prisoner, a toy for the demon's pleasure. Characters will discover these facts over the course of five seemingly unrelated stories, involving the plots of the other kindred of the city.
Secrets of the Kindred of Uppsala
All the kindred of Uppsala have come to reside in the city because it is out of the way of most of the rest of the kindred world. Here the politics are much more restrained, and there is little clan rivalry as only two of the clans have more than one member present, and the Brujah are not speaking, while one of the Tremere is missing. This means that most have come to escape some shady part of their past or other. Some of these secrets are:
In the Shadow of twin spiresA chronicle set in Uppsala for Vampire
A tragedy in five parts.
Synopsis:The city of Uppsala bears a terrible taint. Part of the city is lost to the kindred, inaccessible due to a pervading feeling of hatred and fear which drives all awakened entities away, with a terrible feeling of absolute dread. The section of the city covered by this is a circular area of a diameter of approximately 500 meters, centered on Vaksalatorget. The source of this taint was being investigated by the Tremere Fredrik before his disappearance, mostly due to his interest in gaining access to Stadshuset, and the city's historical records housed therein, which lie just within the borders of the taint. Sven was aiding in the work to regain access to the easiest access to a large part of his hunting ground in the Fålhagen district, also within the boundaries of the taint. However, with Fredrik's disappearance, the investigation has stalled, with Sven refusing to suffer whatever fate has befallen his colleague. The characters will be drawn into events that, while seemingly unrelated to this, will reveal the truth behind Fredrik's disappearance and the cause of the corruption, culminating on the night of Valborg. The truth is that the taint is the work of a Demon that has taken residence beneath the city, and is maintained by Sven's infernal worship in his shrine below Vaksalatorg, reached via a tunnel that runs from a cellar inGottlands nation. Fredrik's kidnap was Sven's work and Fredrik lives, as the plaything of the demon - a spirit of Pain and Terror.
Summary of Episodes:1) "Arrivals" - The new PCs arrive in the city. They will meet with the other kindred of the city. They will be approached by Christina concerning her fears about her sire and the work that Seth is pursuing. This episode will allow the characters to find out what has happened up to now, and to gain initial clues as to how an investigation into the phenomenon should be conducted. 2) "Anarch-E" Per gains possession of an artefact he claims makes him the rightful prince - in reality it is altering his perceptions of reality, because what he has is a Wyrm tainted Garou fetish. The Get of Fenris pack will enter the city and attempt to destroy the fetish, while Per and Ragnar's disagreements become more and more heated and hostile. Investigation reveals that Per got the fetish from some Anarchs in Gothenburg, and it went into overdrive when it came close to the taint below the city - after all, it is in the presence of something that goes beyond Wyrm taint. Meanwhile, the taint seems begin to creep into Per... 3) "New Blood" Two new kindred enter the city - one a True Brujah, though he claims to be Caitiff, and a Malkavian. These two kindred are welcomed into the city to varying degrees, though generally welcomed. It is clear that the True Brujah, Simon, is on the run from something or someone, of which he will not speak - until the assassination attempts start. The PCs should witness at least one of these. Investigations, chases or whatever will reveal the assassin is the "Evil Twin" personality of the Malkavian, who had otherwise remained innocuous, living at Akademiska Sjukhus. However, before the characters can discover who it is that hired the killer personality, he is killed himself. Who is the multiple murderer? The answer of course is Sven. He heard from his foul deity who Simon really was and considered him too much of a threat to remain alive. Sven induced the latent derangement in the Malkavian (who's only other derangement was a tendency to talk to the dozen or so little demons who live about his person.) and killed him to prevent discovery, by turning into a mist and entering the man's ear, before turning into a bat and eating his way out. Pleasant. The characters will not find out much from this episode, though they should realise that there is some ruthless supernatural entity living in the city, in all probability one of their fellow kindred. 4) "Betrayals" Events in Stockholm lead to new information on Fredrik. They have worked out through congress with the chapter house in Vienna that Fredrik is alive and most probably still in Uppsala. They want to know where he is, and start to exert pressure on the city to find him. In particular, the PCs and Christina come under scrutiny from the investigator who is sent - one Marcus Hoglund, known to be the number two in the Stockholm Tremere, a vicious and unrelenting individual, loyal only to his clan and caring naught for anything else…meaning he is quite ready to kill to get at the truth. This penultimate episode will end with the exposure of the taint as demonic in origin and that one of the Kindred of Uppsala is the Infernalist. He will reveal this before the assembled Kindred, before being destroyed in Inferno's flames by Sven. He has shown his true colours, but flees in mist form before anyone can react, and vanishes. 5) "Awakening" Valborg. The students of the city flood into the streets and raucous parties run through the day. The kindred awake to streets paved with glass, and the general drunken revelry that the day entails. Though this they must discover who the whereabouts of Sven, expose his shrine and destroy him while rescuing Fredrik from the grasp of the demon. How they do this is utterly up to them, but on this night of parties and flooded streets it won't be easy.
The arc of this first story results in the lifting of the curse on the city. Fredrik is returned to his position, Sven is destroyed. Possible follow-ups are:
Just so the plot isn't blindingly obvious a few little diversions can be scattered around the adventure, especially during "Arrivals" and "New Blood". In fact it is probably best if the main plotlines of these stories are heavily interspersed with other minor investigations so the characters concentration on what is going on is disrupted and they have plenty of distractions to worry them. These encounters can tie in to personal interests of the characters. After all, each should have a reason they came to the city in the first instance, even if this was on the whim of a superior. This will depend on the characters being played, but it should be remembered that it is more than likely that whatever their interest, it will likely overlap or conflict with the interests of at least one of the other resident kindred. This is especially true if the characters come to Uppsala to do research; in which case their best bet is to go to Carolina, and to do a deal with Christina. This will inevitably result in her asking a favour: aiding with the search for her sire, thus immersing characters in the main plot. The best source of sidetrack stories in Uppsala is probably Seth, as he is enigmatic and his work would probably cause waves if any others found out about it. Seth is aiming to build a permanent way he can see through the veil to the Shadowlands, hence his work in a cemetery. He has also worked closely with Constance on finding a way to reach the Arcadia Gateway, to pursue his interest in the fey. Seth would undoubtedly welcome a long chat with a member of one of the more enlightened Garou tribes. Interesting spin offs from this can include an attempt on his life (most effective in the "New Blood" section) by a human being influenced by a skinriding wraith. If characters see this attack and the suspect is killed, Seth will beg their silence in the matter. Seth is very interested in the newcomers, feeling they represent something important in the city, and he will constantly watch them and test them with his Darkling Trickery through their first few nights in the city. Equally enigmatic is Stefan, always a source of clues, though his reliability will be questionable. He is likely to speak in riddles and never appear completely coherent. He will pop up all over the city, just when he is required or if an escape is needed. Uncanny is the word. Ulrika is the social animal, and plays prestation games very well. She is the one any character whom is badly hurt and in need of a quick drink should go to. She can provide emergency shelter if needed. She can build up little favours if asked for them, and the possibilities for getting the characters into unimportant little quests from these are endless. The kindred of Uppsala are perfectly willing to aid each other, but Prestation is incredibly important. One good turn deserves another in this city. All kindred will expect something in return for their services. Characters can also turn this to their advantage if they have a strong enough motivation. All the best characters have some goal in unlife, even if it is merely to escape a past and get a quiet unlife. An alternative plot that can be used if the characters are moving the plot along far too slowly is the arrival of a pair of identical twin kindred - apparently Giovanni. In truth these two are Sabbat Inquisitors, following the trail left by Sven's infernalist contacts in a recently uncovered coterie based in Copenhagen. They are a pair of charming and well-mannered Lasombra, and are both extremely tough (7th Generation, one through Diablerie) and good at their job. They are business like beyond measure - true "Men in Black. "