Friday, May 1, 2020

VtM: The Concert... Eventually

Austin The Chaos receives a phone call from Willard, who wants him to come to the party -- and help them get beer on the way, at the drive-through beer barn... which doesn't exist in Seattle. Hijinks ensue. (Apparently he drinks Blood Light.) Austin comes out of the hospital with fever, cough, and an IV, makes it out to the truck, and then goes into the store with the guys; he's still hauling his IV around, and in fact using it like a walking stick or crutch. Only, he can't do that and carry beer, so he pulls the IV out of his arm, hangs the bag on a rack, and hides the pole. The clerk tries to point out to them that he can't sell beer at this hour, but Austin's coughing terrifies him into checking them out just so they'll go away and he can take a bath in rubbing alcohol. Now suitably equipped, our wrestlers head to The Party.

The sun begins to go down over a mansion in Laurelhurst. "CHANTEUSE!" screams Lucien, loudly enough to scatter the birds outside.

"Why why why are you making that noise?" asks Bianca.

Lucien is holding the Macbook Pro, though not the way Bianca does. "I--" He manages to keep himself under control. "My darling, did you send this invite to everyone?"

"I was not in charge of the invite. It was... what is her name? Over there?"

Yasmin the Peasant: "Did I do something wrong?"

Lucien: "You are not to send things for miss Bianca unless I say so."

Bianca: "You should do as I tell you. But maybe talk to Lucien first."

Yasmin: "I'm getting mixed-- um, may I be dismissed?"

Bianca: "Yes."

Lucien, to Bianca: "You have invited both Princes!"

Bianca: "I did nothing. I gave instructions to the peasants."

Lucien: "This is a very delicate thing! You cannot invite them both to the same occasion! And we don't have enough refreshments to entertain two princes!"

Bianca: "I thought you said that we weren't allowed to eat the staff, so perhaps you should be out rounding up more peasants?"

Lucien: "What does the staff know?"

Bianca: "They know that we are throwing a party, and that everything must be perfect or I will eviscerate them-- lightly, and empathetically."

Lucien has started pacing and massaging the bridge of his nose.

In front of the house, a VERY loud horn plays Dixie. Willard and his buddies have arrived.

Lucien: "Darling, your ringtone is terrible."

Bianca: "That was not me." She looks out the window. "Perhaps we should kill them."

Willard cracks open the door to the Beast, blasting country music across the estate. Lucien claps his hands to his ears, and Bianca... considers more murder. She stops to consider the situation, and concludes that, yes, there's a monster truck on her lawn, blaring this horrible caterwauling.

Willard is wearing overalls and the one collared shirt that he owns: church clothes. He's got his good boots on. Mario is wearing a tuxedo and his dress black luchador mask. "We're here for the party!" calls Willard.

An older gentleman approaches. "Stop that at once! This is a private function. Get your vehicle off the premises!" It's Lucien. Lucien is... displeased.

Bianca, arriving a moment behind him: "This one smells like... food."

Mario hobbles over and introduces himself. [And then Roll20 glitched and I missed a bit, but presumably his courtly manners are enough to smooth the situation somewhat.] Mario tries to get them indoors as quickly as possible, dragging Willard past the doorbell before he has a chance to bang on the doorbell.

Lucien, to Mario: "I probably won't call you El Magnifico, but you are welcome. However, this gentleman who is clearly ill cannot come in."

Willard: "Hey!"

Mario: "This is going to be tricky getting this guy in here."

Willard: "Don't be a pussy. Why don't we all wear masks? Let's put a mask on him."

Mario: "Austin, would you feel better laying down in Willard's truck?"

Austin: "Oh HELL yes."

Peasant #1: "Miss Bianca, should we call the cops?"

Bianca: "It seems likely."

Peasant #1: "So if they won't leave, I should call 9-1-1?"

Bianca: "You should probably ask Lucien first, but I would say YES."

Willard: "All right, we can put him in the truck, but if we see a woman who looks like his type..."

Mario borrows the keys and takes Austin The Chaos back to the truck. Notably, Mario does not return the keys.

Lucien is doing his disappearing act. "This is what happens when you do not check the guest list."

Bianca: "These are peasants???"

Lucien: "Worse! They are Anarchs! Perhaps it is as well that we've brought the Prince."

Bianca: "I do not want my party disrupted."

Lucien pops back into view beside Willard.

"Oh hey there, my name's Willard! Put'er there!"

They make some introductions, up to a point. Lucien: "You may come in, but do not touch anything."

Willard: "So I'm going to bring in all the beers and lime-a-ritas. Chicks dig those." He gestures to where they've been stacked on the lawn.

Bianca: "Ah! You brought refreshments for our refreshments!"

Lucien: "This is acceptable. Better than acceptable, even."

Willard starts hauling the booze from the lawn to the basement, with the butler showing the way. He can carry a *lot* of beer all at once, and Mr. Alexander Lewis the butler is a little taken aback by this.

Mr Lewis: "Where do you think you are?"

Willard: "Well, I got an invitation back before I deleted my Facebook, and it said there'd be this hot chick singing -- I thought like, Dolly Parton!" He begins to sing Jolene at the top of his lungs, and Lucien fails his self-control check. He reappears, not looking happy.

Willard decides that he needs a hug, what with the fangs and the expression of mindless rage. He's not going to dodge; he's just going to soak whatever Lucien throws and grab Lucien.

Lucien hits; Willard attempts to soak and succeeds. He tries to grab Lucien, and wraps him in a bear hug and starts stroking his hair.

Meanwhile, Jack and Valeria roll up in their Prius, which feels a little déclassé in these surroundings. Jack tries to find parking, but can't get his Prius in beside the truck (which, oddly, is the only vehicle with open spaces around it).

So, Mario is alone when he comes back to find Willard holding Lucien. Bianca arrives at about this point: "Hush! What are you doing?"

Willard: "I'm here for the party!"

Bianca: "He's going to kill you!"

Willard: "I was talking about songs and your friend just flipped out!"

Bianca: "So you were the one making that horrible noise?"

Willard: "That can't have been me."

Butler: "The gentleman in the hat began caterwauling, and master Lucien attacked him. Understandably so," he adds.

Lucien attempts to claw Willard's eyes out, but can't get loose.

Bianca: "You are one of us, aren't you?"

Willard: "I think you're right, ma'am."

Bianca attempts to sing a soothing song to calm Lucien down. Willard attempts to say soothing things, too, and at least doesn't make it worse.

Lucien, back to himself: "Release me, Willard."

Willard: "I'm just really sorry about that. And that was beautiful. Are you that singer lady?"

Lucien: "I think I need a drink." He disappears again.

Jack and Valeria park around the corner and walk back to the house. "Mansion," says Valeria. "It's definitely a mansion." The topiary is well maintained, the lawn is trimmed, and a very fancy Rolls is just pulling up in front of the house. Jack and Valeria hang back, not wanting to interrupt their betters.

Bianca and Lucien and Mario and Peasant #2 (Alexander the butler) are now back in the receiving area. Alex offers to shoot Willard for Bianca, which makes her laugh.

Bianca: "Could you see that Mario and his pet are taken upstairs to the performance, and that his pet is placed at the back with some sort of gag, perhaps of duct tape?"

The butler is not enthused, but he leads the way. Mario and Willard follow.

There is now someone using the knocker on the door. Bianca is displeased at having to open her own door. The Very Proper Driver has come to greet the house.

Driver: "Miss Grand wishes to know if the performance has begun."

Bianca: "It has not. She is welcome to come in. I WILL HAVE A SERVANT HERE TO LEAD HER UP AT SOME POINT."

Another peasant materializes out of sheer terror. "Mistress?" He's a younger man. "I'm sorry, I was preparing drinks."

Bianca straightens his uniform. "You are fine and I just need one little thing. I need you to take this royal lady who is about to depart her carriage, and make sure that Lucien gets her the best of accommodations and the best of cocktails."

Jack is just sure he recognizes that car, but he's not sure from where. He nudges Valeria, but she doesn't recall it either. The driver and one of the house servants come out and look towards us; Jack gestures for them to see to their charges.

The driver opens the door, and a very proper looking vampire emerges. So, this is Lou Grand, the former Prince of Seattle and Primogen of the Toreador.

Willard, meanwhile, is trying to connect to the local bluetooth so he can blast country music through the house speakers. He... manages to connect... and of course Bianca comes stomping up the stairs.

Bianca: "Mario, darling, can you control your companion so he does not ruin my event in front of the entire Toreador clan of which you are a member?"

Mario: "Hey, Willard, can I borrow your phone?"

He breaks it. The music stops.

Willard: "Hey!"

Mario: "Oops. I'll buy you a new one, don't worry."

Bianca begins doing her vocal exercises, but Mario manages not to become entranced by this. It turns out that Mario was at the original showing of Carmen, and Bianca was the original showing of Carmen.

Jack and Valeria finally approach the door, now that the former prince is gone, and are greeted by a servant. Jack attempts to be gracious, and is also led up to the performance hall.

Meanwhile, Miss Grand is led into the room and Bianca totally fails to recognize her, but realizes that she's entirely too well put-together to be someone unimportant. Bianca introduces Mario to Miss Grand and heads off to find Lucien, who is... elsewhere.

Mario does not recognize her, but attempts to bluff past that. He comes across as completely believable; he greets her with old-world etiquette, and she responds with not-quite-right gestures. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure? Mario, was it?"

"You may have heard of my recent performances. El Magnifico Volador?"

She... thinks he's a singer. He corrects her; he's in the physical performing arts.

Jack arrives just as Miss Grand turns to Willard. "And you are a rodeo clown, yes?"

Willard goes for the southern charm, and she is amused. Willard is polite; she is mildly condescending.

Ms. Grand notices Jack and Valeria, who are ridiculously polite to her; she appears to find that pleasing. She asks after Master Brachetti and the Prince, and Jack admits that in both cases he is uncertain of whether they intend to attend. She considers this a great pity; leaders should value their people, and keep them informed. Jack tries to be self-effacing, and she suggests that we all take our seats for the performance.

Bianca finally locates Lucien and informs him that Miss Grand has arrived. He is not reassured to know that she was left with Mario and Willard. They argue, with Bianca sending Lucien to deal with the former Prince and Bianca to listen outside the door or perhaps take her place backstage. (Narrator Voice: it's the former.) So Willard is mingling, in his own way: he's intimidating the servants into applauding whatever the hell Mario does next. This is because Mario has spoken with Miss Grand and offered to display his skill at Flamenco for her. (She thinks he's a dancer now, rather than a singer; Luchador isn't anywhere on her radar.)

He starts looking to gather more of the servants to cheer, and Mario ascends to the stage to display his Flamenco skills; despite his general rustiness, he's good. Willard is... not helping, but he thinks he is.

One of the servants come by with a tray. "Mister Willard, what can I get for you?"

Willard: "Wait..." He points to Miss Grand. "I'll have what she's having. In fact I'll have two. Maybe three!"

Bianca tries to keep her self-control as Mario cuts in on her performance. She succeeds.

Joel The Peasant takes orders from Jack and Valeria.

Lucien comes to greet Miss Grant, but of course Willard intercedes.

Willard: "I just like to party, Lucien! I don't know how this works. We gettin' started yet?"

Lucien: "The performer sings when it is time for her to sing."

Willard (chanting): "Bianca! Bianca! Bianca!"

Lucien... freaks out again. "Chanteuse, I am going to kill this man. He is ruining your grand entrance. I tried to reach into his mind but I couldn't! I fear he has no mind!" He turns to Mario: "Master Marius, my mistress would like a word."

They head off, and Willard heads over to Jack and Valeria to meet the new people.

Bianca: "No killing yet."

Lucien: "I must kill him. If we do not, then it will be improper when she does."

Mario: "We need some way to entertain him."

Lucien: "I have no coloring books."

Bianca: "We could have one of the servants dance. Do we have one who is hot?"

Peasant #4, Amashari, will do some dancing with Mario as a further prelude to Bianca's singing. Bianca will find a better outfit for her. (She manages this with amazing skill.)

Jack, meanwhile, Dominates the fuck out of Willard and sends him down to retrieve a signed photo from his truck for Valeria -- and to return quietly. He goes!

Miss Grand: "You have done the Lord's Work this night."

Jack: "We try our poor best, ma'am."

Willard heads down to the truck and wakes up Chaos. Austin passes Willard a sharpie and the five pictures. Willard heads back to the party with absolute stealth.

Mario returns and finds Willard missing and everyone looking much cheerier. Bianca dresses Amashari, and then sends her out looking like a solidly formal dancer. "Okay, you can breathe now, get in there and fucking dance. I will give you a hundred dollars if you don't embarrass me."

Mario has now explained the whole history of Flamenco to the crowd. His new partner emerges, and Mario produces his scarf.

Valeria: "Only one? Amateur."

As Willard re-enters the room, pink-panther-sneaking like a champ, and promptly trips and falls on his face as Mario and Amashari begin their dance. Fortunately, they're so good, they just dance around him. And over him. And he's terrified, because a high heel through the heart equals torpor. Madam Grant avoids Stupor, and after a time Bianca emerges to begin her song.

As the Flamenco comes to a close, Willard is at last out of danger (but his autograph photos are ruined). Jack goes and has another word with Willard, persuading him to come and sit quietly and listen to the performance -- and give money afterwards.

Willard feels so guilty (about the lost photos) that he just does.

Lucien puts Amashari back to work, and then he sends Mario out to the audience and introduces Bianca. She starts to sing... and is interrupted by the sound of police sirens outside. Show business is hell.

Most of us get 3 experience points.

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