Campaign of the Month: March 2017

Nocturnum: Rebirth

Season 2 Episode 1

The Temple of the Moon (Parts 1 and 2)

Chronicler: Julie

Episode One: The Temple of the Moon

Cold Open

She walks into the cave. Others are here, but she’s never felt so alone. She can’t see their faces. She can only see and smell and sense the death all around her. The cave is not a cave, but a tomb. It’s not a tomb, but a temple, impossibly ancient to an equally impossibly dark god.

Bodies are scattered everywhere. In the corner, a shattered jar. Blood on the walls in that strange symbol, like a figure eight with the top cut off.

Movement in the shadows—or did the shadows move? She spins and looks in the corner, her fist tightening on the stake in her hand. Nothing.

Then, behind her, a clawed hand, incredibly strong, clamps down, hurls her over the reflecting pool and into the wall next to the jar. A jar that she senses once housed all the evil in the world. That evil now is gone, and the jar sits empty.

They emerge from the shadows, each well over 6 feet tall. Hulking monstrosities that she somehow deep in her gut knows are vampires, or what vampires perhaps once were. Their visages the stark appearance of the demon within the body. She looks around; her friends lay on their backs, unconscious. Her grip tightens on her stake.

Then, before her, the face of an astonishingly beautiful woman. Fiery red hair, striking emerald eyes, clad in long, flowing, crimson robes. The scene flashes back and she witnesses this woman, impossibly, crawl out of the jar. Flash forward again, the woman is before her, inches away. She tries to strike, but cannot. The woman floats from the room.


The scene changes—a dungeon, a basement, a sub-basement, somewhere in the city. A bizarre ritual, ancient carvings and symbols. Men tied to stone pillars carved with strange writing. No, they’re not men—they, too, are vampires.

There, at the center, a young woman, alabaster skin, platinum blonde hair, dead on the floor. Her throat is torn out, and that symbol, again, that incomplete figure eight, carved into her forehead.

Blinding red light as crimson lightning flashes down, strikes the woman’s body, and arcs to all of the vampires. A tide of blood covers the world…

Hilda sits up with a scream that she tells herself wasn’t her own. After all, a Slayer doesn’t scream. She’s soaked in sweat, her sheets torn from the mattress. She clutches her stake in her hand, raised high. She looks around, wild-eyed.

Her room. Just her room. Another Slayer dream.

The sheet blocking her room from the rest of the loft rustles. It’s Matthew, she knows, giving it a little shake to respect her privacy.

“You decent?” he says. “Everything okay in there?”

“Yes,” she says. “another dream, that is all.”

He peeks in. “You want to talk about it?”

She swallows hard, gazes at the wall. She trusts him; he’s been a good Watcher, but there are limits and even after all this time it’s still hard to let anyone in. “They are getting worse,” she says. “Those nests lately, they are more than just increased activity. They’re a harbinger. Something is coming. Something impossibly dark. A wave of blood over the world.”

He nods, taking it in, then pats her hand. “We’ll settle it. We always do. Try to get some rest and we’ll break it down in the morning.”

She nods, and he leaves, heading back to bed with Rebecca.

She doesn’t sleep. She just stares at the wall, clutching her stake until dawn.

When it’s safe.

Act One

It has been several months since the events of Season 1. Darrek, Henry, and Emily have been out of the country and are presently wrapping up their summer holiday in Greece. In Pittsburgh, Amara is still missing and Lorelei has been having terrible visions about her. Vampire numbers have been on the rise in the city and the rest of the Blake Investigations crew has been doing their best to manage this. Unusually, they have been organizing into ‘houses’ much like the Kindred and are exhibiting powers that the group is not used to seeing in Strigoi vampires.

Matthew,Hilda, Yun-Xun, Mack, and Danny attack a nest at an abandoned tenement in Homewood. Kicking down the door, they find a large group of vampires conducting some sort of dark ritual. There are candles, strange symbols everywhere, and a woman who has been completely drained of blood. Danny rips one of their hearts out and then stabs it with a stake. Hilda pulls out two stakes and moves in, dusting two more and dropping a third. Mack shoots another. Yun-Xun kicks and then stakes another vampire, and it dusts. The vampire that Hilda staked that didn’t dust opens its eyes and gets back up, moving so impossibly fast that it is barely visible. It then brutally attacks and bites her. Several more vampires go after Yun-Xun, who manages to avoid their attacks. Danny is also bitten. He rips the heart out of another vampire and stakes it, and then moves into a defensive position in front of Yun-Xun. Matthew also dodges and then decapitates two of the vampires. He notices that the vampire who is attacking Hilda is wearing a ring that seems to be infused with some dark magic and concludes this may be fueling its powers. He draws her attention to this. Hilda then moves to attack. She decapitates her vampire and as his body falls, rips the ring off of his hand. He also dusts. Yun-Xun takes a flying leap over Danny, kicks the final vampire repeatedly in the face, and then stakes it. Before it dusts, it says, “She has been found and the world will drown in blood.” There are symbols and writings on the wall of the tenement which the group recognizes are in Aramaic, but none of them can read. Hilda is shocked when she realizes the symbols are the same ones from her dream. The group takes pictures of everything and picks up the ring to take back to Anita at the Hive Arcana for further research.


The group heads back to the Hive Arcana to help work a big concert that is taking place there that evening. The band is an up-and-coming group called, “Priestess and the Prophets.” As they take the stage, Hilda is again shocked to see that their lead singer is the same woman from her dream.


Meanwhile, in Greece…

Darrek, Emily, and Henry are preparing to return to Pittsburgh. As they are packing up their belongings the night before they are due to catch their flight home, Darrek’s cell phone rings. He answers it and is surprised and delighted to hear the voice of Dr. Harrison Williams, one of his old professors from Cambridge University and a long-time friend of his father’s. Dr. Williams says he has made an archeological discovery of great importance, and that he needs to see Darrek urgently. There are tickets to Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus waiting for him and his family at the airport, and once they arrive he promises he will explain everything in person.

Darrek, Emily, and Henry head to the airport and board their flight. Upon landing in Nicosia, all three of them can sense the lingering energies of dark, blood-fueled magics, Sadicas, permeating everything. Transportation has already been arranged to take them to meet Dr. Williams at a local café and they are assured that their belongings will be waiting for them at their accommodations.


Dr. Williams is delighted to see Darrek and meet his family. He tells Darrek that he has discovered a temple to Selene that contains the final resting place of Alexander the Great. His working theory is that the temple was designed to be sunk beneath the ground/sea level. It is only able to be accessed at certain times due to the tides. Dr. Williams’ team was able to gain entrance to the temple. Shortly after they did so, they discovered and described an alabaster jar engraved with symbols near Alexander’s sarcophagus. Suddenly there were terrified screams, pleas for help, and cries of monsters and creatures from Hell, and then their transmission to Dr. Williams went dead. Since this happened, there have been multiple murders in the city nightly, including a respected elderly woman whose eyes and liver were removed, 13 young men who were all exsanguinated, and 7 missing children. Scrawled in blood at the scenes of the murders is the phrase, “Hope is dead and She is risen!” Across the city there are rampant rumors of harpies and vrykolakas.

Dr. Williams looks directly at Darrek, “You and I both know that there are things in this world that are well beyond human comprehension. Whatever horrific genie we’ve accidentally unleashed must be put back in the proverbial bottle.” Darrek explains that he can contact the rest of the Blake Investigations team in Pittsburgh, but that it will likely take them a few days to travel there. Dr. Williams says that this conveniently lines up with the next window of time that the temple will be accessible, and that he will make sure they are outfitted and equipped appropriately and Darrek and the rest of the group will receive equal credit for this discovery.

Darrek then contacts Anita, who steps out of the Priestess and the Prophets concert to take his phone call. She says that there has been a significant increase in vampire activity across Pittsburgh recently, but that she can spare the group for a few days. Darrek then calls Matthew, who is reluctant to leave Pittsburgh and says Darrek and Henry are needed there. When Darrek tells him that he’s already spoken with Anita and she’s given her approval for them to go, he begrudgingly agrees.


While Matthew is talking to Darrek, Hilda saves the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets from a vampire attack when she steps outside in the alley behind the stage exit on a break. She passionately kisses Hilda, tells her that she loves her and has loved her all her life, and then runs off, leaving Hilda dumbfounded. After getting off the phone, Matthew informs the rest of the group that they are going to Greece and they head to the airport.

Dr. Williams shares some pictures that his team sent over to him before their transmission went dead. Darrek and Henry recognize some of the writing on the walls of the temple as Koine Greek, which Henry takes a stab at translating as Darrek has been tutoring him. He reads:

In a jar an odious treasure is
Shut by the gods’ wish:
A gift that’s not everyday
And her eyes, this in hand,
Command the best in the land
As she flits near and far;
Prettiness can’t stay
Shut in a jar.
Someone took her eye, he took
A look at what pleased her so
And out came the grief and woe
We won’t ever be rid of,
For heaven had hidden
That in a jar.

Darrek notes that the other writings seem to be some strange hybrid of Greek and Aramaic. He translates:

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind;
The others have left and gone to Olympus.
Trust, a mighty god, has gone. Restraint has gone from men,
And the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth.
Men’s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone
Revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and
Men no longer recognize the rules of conduct or acts of piety.

Darrek and Henry question whether these could be references to Pandora’s box. They go back to their hotel and anxiously await the arrival of the rest of the group. Darrek carefully casts wards around their hotel. There are more murders across the city.

The next morning, the extremely jetlagged group arrives and joins Darrek and Henry, who are both looking very tan and drinking Greek coffee, for breakfast at their hotel’s café. Ever careful, Darrek casts a ward of silence, although the staff of the hotel seem like they could care less what a bunch of tourists are talking about. As they exchange information, they quickly realize that the strange happenings in Greece and in Pittsburgh are connected. Yun-Xun pulls up a picture of the writings and symbols from the tenement and shows it to Darrek, who easily translates the Aramaic:

Thus it is the Red God Rise, when the First Daughter of Men emerge
To consume the sanguine heart of men
And return from the world of sickly shade, a dark Anointed
When the line of killers ends, and frees
The Vrkolakas to spread darkness across the world
The stark reflection of her whose folly first unleashed the evil
The prophet’s lifeblood shall be the key to open the doors of darkness
Hope is dead
Hope is dead

The group agrees that they should patrol and see what they can learn about what is happening across Nicosia. Shortly after dark they set off. Hilda and Darrek both take off running towards the sound of screams and find themselves face to face with a Turok-han, a primordial vampire. Hilda, Matthew, Mack, and Yun-Xun all attack it to no avail. Henry then unleashes a powerful spell that manifests as a gigantic, flaming Dionysus that engulfs the ancient vampire, which subsequently dusts. Realizing that Mack’s gunshots are going to bring the authorities, the group makes a very hasty exit from the scene.Back at the hotel, Henry suggests sending out an elemental to try and find out if there is a Protector of this area that they could seek assistance from.


The next morning, Darrek receives a call from the front desk that there is a young woman waiting downstairs asking for Henry. The group goes down to meet her. She introduces herself as Maia and explains that she is the Protector of Olympus and servant of Gaia. After everyone makes their introductions, she pulls Henry aside and in private performs a ritual that allows him to share her Protector abilities. She tells him that she believes she knows how they can draw Hope back into the jar and hopefully stop the evil that is rapidly spreading across the land. Darrek, Henry, and Maia begin to prepare the ritual.

Later that day, they all go to meet with Dr. Williams, who outfits them with equipment, including scuba gear, and instructs them how to access the temple.


As the group exits the waters and looks around the cave, they can all sense Sadicas-the very air is thick with it. As their eyes adjust, they see a bas relief of Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s forces fighting Tiamat and Her children and are shocked to see several very familiar faces portrayed, including Anita and Matthew.

In the center of the room is an alabaster tomb of a handsome man roughly in his 30s in Greek dress. There are scrape marks on the sarcophagus and the lid has been partially moved.


Nearby is another coffin which bears an inscription, but no carving. Darrek has to run the lost language through several alphabets to come up with an approximate translation, which reads:

Here lies the cursed anti-mother Lilitu. May she be ever entombed with and by the jar of misery


Said jar lies on its side by the coffin, its lid broken in two. The bodies of Williams’ men lie dead everywhere, their cameras and recording equipment scattered throughout the temple.


Suddenly, there is a flash of shadowy movement and creatures appear to melt out of the shadows. Mack shoots three of them, who disappear in puffs of smoke. Hilda fights another, which disappears likewise in a puff of smoke.

Darrek quickly casts an arcane barrier while Maia and Henry finish preparing the ritual. Just as they are ready to begin, all of the lights in the temple go out and they are in total darkness. Slowly, the torches on the sconces around the room begin to ignite, and the group finds themselves facing a very handsome man in Greek dress who is identical to the carving on the sarcophagus. He introduces himself as Alexander the Great. After a brief exchange with the group, when it becomes clear that they are not going to allow him to leave the temple, his face shifts and becomes a demonic visage-he’s a vampire.

Alexander the Great proceeds to hit Hilda hard. She drops her sword and attacks him. Matthew manages to disarm him. Mack shoots him twice. Yun-Xun jump kicks him in the face. Darrek, Maia, and Henry begin the ritual. As they do, everyone sees a symbol glowing red on the wall of the temple.


Alexander dissolves into a blood red mist which significantly weakens Yun-Xun and Hilda. Matthew manages to shake off the effects. As the spell progresses, several Turok-han materialize. One of them charges towards the spellcasters and hits Darrek’s wards.
Matthew engages Alexander in single combat. Henry tries to expedite the spell and the Turok-han appear visibly weakened, but then brutally attack Yun-Xun and Hilda, both of whom are bitten. Yun-Xun hits one of them with a bolt of chi energy and it flies across the room. Hilda stakes two of them. A third hits her and she goes down. Matthew proceeds to decapitate Alexander, who instantly mummifies. Mack shoots the Turok-han who is preparing to rip Hilda’s throat out, and it dusts. Yun-Xun picks up Alexander’s head and runs towards Darrek’s ward. The ritual reaches a crescendo. All of the remaining Turok-han dust, and the dust enters the jar. The broken lid reforms and seals the jar shut.

Suddenly, there is a manifestation of Sadicas in the temple that blows everyone backwards into the walls. A beautiful woman in a red dress walks effortlessly through Darrek’s ward and proceeds to pick up the jar and tugs at the lid. She speaks in an ancient, long-forgotten language, which Darrek is able to (mostly) understand. She says to Alexander’s body, “Ah my love, you were a great man, but you have served your purpose. Rest once more.” Putting the jar back down, she says, “Hope. Hope is restored, but it won’t be enough.” Looking directly at the group, she says, “You are formidable adversaries, but you cannot stop the coming of the Crimson Caliph. We shall meet again.” Looking around, she finally says, “I am done with this place, keep it,” before disappearing in a wave of powerful Sadicas.


Alexander’s body is laid back into his sarcophagus. Henry carries Alexander’s head over and after placing a coin in his mouth,turns it around and places iit at the feet of Alexander’s body. Matthew, Mack, Danny, and Darrek shut the heavy lid of the sarcophagus.

After giving the jar to Maia for safekeeping, the group makes their way out of the tomb. Dr. Williams is incredibly grateful and is more than willing to share credit for the discovery with the group, which everyone but Danny and Mack accepts. After thanking and saying goodbye to Maia, they board their flight and return to Pittsburgh.

Memorable Quotes and Moments

Re: Fighting
“We went to England and we suck now!”-Matthew

Re: Day drinking on the beach in Greece
“What color are we having today?”-Darrek
“Oh yes, blue. I love blue days.”-Darrek orders drinks
“We need more fruit in these. Ask them to bring us some pineapple.”-Emily
“Pineapple’s yellow, though, so that’s right out. How’s blueberries?”-Darrek
pouting “…but I love pineapple…”-Emily
“If we soak the pineapple in another colored liquid it won’t be yellow anymore, like those flowers that they put in food coloring that turn from white to other colors.”-Henry
“That’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”-Darrek

Re: Home
“How do you think they’re holding up without us?”-Henry
sipping his drink “Oh, I’m sure they’re fine.”-Darrek
cuts to scene of the group getting brutalized by vampires

Re: His new ringtone from The Powers That Be
“What the bloody hell is this?”-Darrek

Re: The sense of Sadicas permeating everywhere in Cyprus
“There’s something fuck-y in the air.”-Henry

Re: Dr. Harrison Williams
“Last time he saw me, I was a just barely 20-year-old lad.”-Darrek
“And now you’re a grown-ass man with a family and a career.”-Emily

“Professor Williams, this is my wife, Emily, and our son, Henry.”-Darrek
shaking their hands “Yes, yes, Henry! James told me all about you.”-Dr. Williams
“…of course he did.”-Darrek

Re: Finding Alexander the Great’s tomb
“Are you taking the piss?”-Darrek
Smiling “No, not at all.”-Dr. Williams

“Alexander the Great is my gay icon!”-Henry

“So I called James, and he said that you were in the country and that you would most certainly be able to help me.”-Dr. Williams
to Darrek “That’s like the closest you are ever going to come to your dad paying you a compliment.”-Henry

Re: Omar
to Darrek “Don’t die. Don’t you dare leave me with this dog.”-Anita

Re: the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets
“I don’t know you, but I will die for you.”-Hilda

“You might be able to get Alexander the Great’s sword.”-Mack
“His sword is probably a big purple dildo.”-Matthew
“Hilda is not interested.”-Hilda

Re: Hilda’s crush
to Darrek “I left a beautiful girl behind to come here for you. This had better be important.”-Hilda
in perfect German “Your sacred duty is to fight vampires, not to flirt with girls.”-Darrek

Re: Perception check
“I got a 6. There’s only one woman I’m thinking about.”-Hilda

Re: Darrek and Henry getting ready to patrol
“Hey, don’t die. Omar would miss you.”-Emily
“Oh, really? She would, would she?”-Darrek

Re: Gunshots drawing the authorities
“Yeah, I really don’t want to get arrested again.”-Darrek

Re: Avoiding the police
to Henry “Aren’t you glad you’ve been joining me for my morning runs?”-Darrek

Re: Henry’s magic
running “That was GREAT!!!”-Danny
also running “I know, right?!”-Darrek

Re: Maia
greets her in Greek and introduces himself and everyone in the group-Darrek
in perfect English “Your mastery of our language is most impressive.”-Maia

Re: Evil unleashed
“It was a British academic.”-Henry
“Isn’t it always?”-Maia
makes strangled sounds-Darrek

Re: Introductions
“I shoot shit.”-Mack
“Yes, thank you, Mack!”-Henry

Re: Michele
“His mother is the nicest woman I have ever met.”-Henry
“She is very, very kind-hearted.”-Darrek
“You never lived with her.”-Matthew
“Neither did you!”-Henry

Re: Henry
“You didn’t have a teacher?”-Maia
“No. My mother died before she could train me.”-Henry
“Yeah, so I’ve been teaching him, but I’m not a Protector.”-Darrek.
“You are a sorcerer?”-Maia
“Well, that’s something.”-Maia

“Yun-Xun’s kicking puppies!”-Matthew

“Are they fantastic and/or supernatural?”-Matthew

Re: Alexander the Great’s titles
“Cool story, bro.”-Henry

Re: Persuasion
“You know, I really don’t think you want to go exploring.”-Darrek
“Yeah, man. People here think that the world is flat.”-Henry
“They’re fucking awful, just go back to sleep.”-Darrek

“You’re not going to let me walk out of that door, are you?”-Alexander the Great
laughing “No, of course not.”-Darrek

Re: Rolling a 1 for initiative
“It’s Alexander the fucking Great!”-Darrek

Re: Hilda pining over the lead singer of Priestess and the Prophets
“Lesbians. You met her once, and you’re already looking at real estate listings!”-Henry
“You’ve got more angst than my teenage son.”-Darrek

Re: Matthew
“Nephilim…I’ve dealt with your kind before. Sever the head and keep it separated for one minute.”-Alexander the Great

“Oh man, I forgot I learned that spell, ‘Kill Alexander the Great, specifically’,”-Henry

Re: Righteous Fury
“If someone goes down…”-Jason
“Give me a moment.”-Yun Xun

“Look, I’m just saying this would have all been over by now if Hilda had heroically committed suicide and thrown herself on top of the jar.”-Henry

Re: Wards
“Darrek, can I come in?”-Yun-Xun
Gestures wildly while chanting-Darrek

Re: Receiving credit for the discovery of Alexander the Great’s tomb
“Yes, please!”-Darrek

Re: Many, many insults about British academics
“Oh my god! You know that’s me, right?”-Darrek


jasonvey julrox