Vampire The Requiem ed 3 - Lancea Sanctum.pdf

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Lancea Sanctum
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ave you ever read Van Tynenberg’s treatise
on the myth of St. George and the
Dragon?” asked Bishop Solomon Birch.
“What?” asked Ludmilla Marana. She blinked
hard. “You’re trying to trick me. Fuck you, Birch!
Fuck you!”
“Van Tynenberg was a mortal who believed that
when England’s patron saint slew the dragon, he
struck with no normal weapon but with the vaunted
Spear of Destiny.” He took a step closer to Marana.
“You move again and I’ll shoot!” Marana held not
one, but two shotguns. In her right hand was a
double-barreled Remington that dated from around
1920. It had lovely bronze-work ivy along the base of
the barrels, and the stock was rather fancifully carved
to resemble a perching eagle. She’d lost count of how
many animals, people, vampires and other miscella-
neous entities she’d dispatched with it. That gun was
aimed at Birch.
In the left she held this year’s Franchi semiauto-
matic combat shotgun. It was not lovely, not fanciful,
and it lacked any sort of colorful history. She was
pointing it at Vance Byers, the vampire who’d
brought her out of her haven this evening, and she’d
brought the Franchi with the vague thought that this
could be a trial run.
Byers was simply cowering. He’d died in the
seventies, when he was in his thirties, and he still had
the sideburns to show it. Naturally, when one has
sideburns that just won’t go away, it only makes
sense to wear faded jeans, harness boots and a differ-
ently faded jeans jacket. The vintage “Disco Sucks!”
T-shirt was the crowning touch.
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“Baptized in the sacred blood, the spear that pierced
Christ’s side was the only weapon whose purity could
counteract the corruption radiating from the wyrm’s
scales. Swords rusted in their wielders’ grasp, arrows
warped and shattered, but the Spear of Longinus
struck true and slew the monster.” Solomon was
aiming a Skorpion VZ61 machine pistol at Marana.
He didn’t usually like guns — he found they were
mostly good for making mortals pay attention, and
he had other ways to get attention — but Ludmilla
Marana had a habit of fighting from long range and
she was one of the few locals that Solomon wasn’t
sure he could close on.
Plus, she liked guns, and Solomon wanted her
“This Van Tynenberg — I assume he was Sanc-
tified?” Marana was an official in the Ordo Dracul
— “Order of the Dragon” in English, a secretive
conspiracy of mystically inclined Kindred who de-
fended their practices fiercely.
“Not at all.” Solomon was the local leader of the
Lancea Sanctum or “Sanctuary of the Lance,” a
different secretive conspiracy of mystically inclined
Kindred who defended their practices fiercely. “He was
mortal. But even he was smart enough to know what
happens when a Dragon crosses the Holy Spear.
Now. Are you going to relinquish Mr. Byers to me?”
“This dumb smelly hippie isn’t worth your reputa-
tion, Solomon.”
“Yet apparently you think he’s worth violating the
Prince’s Tranquility.”
Marana bristled. The Tranquility was a ban,
enforced throughout Chicago, on both the creation of
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new vampires and the destruction of old ones. It was
based on Lancea philosophy (specifically, Solomon
Birch’s ultraconservative version thereof) but was
enforced on all Kindred equally. The Ordo Dracul
had been against it, to no avail.
“He’s not one of yours. He’s one of ours.”
“Well now. Mr. Byers? Is that an accurate as-
“Please, I…” he weighed his chances. “I… uh…”
“You told me you wished to convert. That you
wanted to come into the Sanctum and make a fresh
“Er…” Byers stared at Ludmilla’s gun, as if
“Have you changed your mind?” Solomon asked,
and abruptly he shifted his aim from her to him.
Marana laughed. “Jesus, it’s not every day I meet
someone crazier than me!” She pointed her other gun
to Byers, a cheerful smirk on her face…
…and in a blur, the machine-pistol swept back at
her, light blazing from its barrel.
“I really find blasphemy distasteful,” Solomon
said, but the sound of gunshots drowned him out.
What it all came down to was: Vance Byers had
joined the Ordo Dracul not long after his death. He’d
dwelt in Cincinnati and studied hard, obtaining the
title “Scholar of the Dedicated Hunger.” Now, for
reasons that were murky to both Solomon and
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