Venice, the Italian city of water ways and festivals, masquerades and balls. The city of romance and life but beneath the joviality and parties lay darker things. Vampires roam the night and lycanthropes howl at the moon. Do you dare take residence?

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Master Passion Greed

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1 Master Passion Greed on Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:13 am


Master of Venice
Telephones were such strange contraptions. Donovan did not exactly dislike them, more accurate to say, rather, that he preferred other, more traditional methods of communication; his favourite, of course, was the written letter. Sadly the postal service had been deemed to slow for his needs and instead Donovan had made a rare exception and had picked up the telephone in order to contact the local Pride. He was initially surprised and slightly disappointed to find that the Rex was out of town on other business in Europe... Germany, if he wasn’t mistaken. It occurred to Donovan that the Rex must have great confidence in his second, to leave him in command while he left the country. Confidence that might have been misplaced.

However, upon speaking with Dillon, Donovan decided that perhaps the Rex’s faith was, in fact, well placed. The alpha lion seemed to be a strong and capable temporary leader as well as a follower of propriety. This was something in particular that Donovan approved of; decorum was very important to the ancient vampire and it was an appreciable trait in others. The lion had insisted that Donovan wait for the Rex to return but in truth Donovan was too impatient to call a meeting with the local lions, and had suggested that Secundus attend the meeting in his place in place of the absent Rex.

Now, the ancient vampire was waiting for the Lion’s second to arrive; punctuality was another important personality trait that Donovan admired and adhered to. The Master vampire was rarely, if ever, late; since Donovan had adopted a method of teaching by example, he expected the vampires of his Kiss to also behave in such a manner, and tardiness would not be tolerated. However, he could not punish the Secundus for lateness, though it would lower his opinion of the man.

While the vampire would appear restrained in his black-on-black conservative suit and tie, he was eager to meet the lions of Venice. If Donovan could procure an animal to call, then it would further cement his powerbase and make his task of uniting the city much, much less complicated. Divide and conquer would not work here, so the vampire was determined to conquer the city amicably. Currently, he awaited the lion in Il teatro di anima, watching the clock with glacial patience. Even if the lion was late, Donovan would still parley with the local Pride. It was, of course, in his own interests.

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2 Re: Master Passion Greed on Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:54 pm

Truth be told, Dillon was not at all comfortable about this meeting. Yes he had every confidece in his ability to handle a Master vampire -even the Master of the City- but he would have preferred it if it were he accompanying Alaric. Not that he would have allowed Alaric to go on his own anyway. And the Rex in question would probably make him pay most intensely for putting himself in possible danger by going alone. (Not that he wouldn't at some point enjoy it). But it needed to be done. Alaric was in Germany and this vampire did not wish to wait for his return to conduct whatever this meet and greet.

He'd donned a nice pair of dark jeans -not faded as was usually the case and not a hole in sight- and a simple black button-down dress shirt, the sleeves rolled to the middle of his forearm and neck slightly open. His hair was combed back but whether or not it would stay that way was beyond his control. It did what it liked. On his feet were clean and sturdy black leather boots that rode halfway up his calf beneath the dark jeans. He loved his boots. Made for riding motorcycles but worked just as well for just about anything.

He arrived at the theatre prhaps fifteen minutes early, which seemed to have surprised whomever it was that was supposed to greet him. Maybe they'd been expecting him to be late? Or perhaps this Donovan was not ready for him yet? Not that he could blame him, it was just Dillon's habit to be early. "Please inform the Master of the City that the Secundus of Il clan di tendenza occulta has arrived. He doesn't have to see me right away but I would at least like my presence to be known." The stunned vampire -probably a young one- nodded hurriedly and rushed off to do as bid, leaving Dillon to wait in the lobby.

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3 Re: Master Passion Greed on Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:25 pm

The Rex experienced a great internal conflict of sentiments concerning the rebellious streak his second in command had recently displayed. He had been traveling through numerous regional centers of the Thyssenkrupp steel corporation throughout southern Europe, over which he was administrator; Rome, Syracuse, Athens, Switzerland, to name a few. His duties included overseeing the initial foundations and management of the new branch, which was really more a matter of being an authoritative and encouraging figure-head than getting down to work himself, which he delegated appropriately. Yet, as much as he would rather have been back in Venice, he had a job to do. When Alaric received the call that day from Dillon informing him that the Master of the City wished to meet with the Pride, he had bid his second to delay just two more days, at the end of which he'd be home.

Dillon had gone rogue and informed him that he wouldn't keep the Master waiting. Then, he hung up.

The wealthy Krupp had immediately pushed back all professional responsibilities and hopped on his private jet back to Venice. During the short flight, he sorted out his emotions as best he could, deciding that as much as he secretly approved of Dillon's obstinacy, he could not allow the other lion to publicly challenge the Rex's dominance. Upon landing, he immediately sought out the lion that seemed most likely to know about the meeting, which turned out to be Marcus, and after a token show of dominant strength, had milked him for information regarding the place and time set for the gathering. While Dillon was fifteen minutes early, the rushing Rex arrived right on the dot.

His presence would be felt before seen. From behind Dillon arose a sudden massive force of Alpha masculinity; his great golden Beast growled as it uncurled and stretched hungrily towards Dillon's. At the same time, Alaric's voice came, even and resonant, completely in control. Refined. ”If you wish to challenge for the rank of Rex, Dillon, you must do so to my face.”

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4 Re: Master Passion Greed on Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:43 am


Master of Venice
Donovan was somewhat startled to see one of his younger vampires burst into his office, only to hear that the Secundus of Il clan di tendenza occulta had arrived almost a quarter of an hour early. The ancient vampire felt a slight twinge of respect and surprise. Not only was Mr. McSwain not late he had arrived before time; a truly admirable trait in an ambassador. In truth, Donovan had been sitting ready for almost half an hour - as was his way - simply shuffling reports and items of administrative interest around his desk. He was impressed by Dillon’s punctuality, figuring that perhaps the man was either naturally prompt or the Rex ran a tight ship. Donovan wasn’t sure which idea he approved of more.

The vampire refused to hurry along the short walk from his office to the lobby; by no means did he want to keep Mr. McSwain waiting but neither would he rush to bend over backward. It just was not his way. So, Donovan walked briskly in a business-like fashion toward the lobby of his House. The theatre was on vampire land and Donovan was intrigued that the lions had not pushed for a more neutral meeting place. Then again, this was a peaceful and mutually beneficial interaction between vampires and lions, and Donovan fully expected the Kiss to be on their best behavior.

If the vampire had felt a twinge of surprise upon learning of Dillon’s early arrival then he staggered to find not only the lion’s second on his doorstep but their Rex as well. Who was apparently not in Germany. How... vexing. Equally irritating would be for the two lions to resort to fisticuffs in his hallway. Donovan took the chance to make some small, deliberate noise as he came along the lobby, nothing too loud lest he startle them, merely stepping on a loose floorboard, allowing it to creak slightly. “Greetings gentlemen, perhaps we should take this out of the hallway and into my office?” Doubtless the Rex and Secundus were requiring words with each other.

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5 Re: Master Passion Greed on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:10 am

As Dillon felt the ever familiar presence of his Rex and lover drawing closer and closer still his spine stiffened and, though he was by no means religious, he crossed himself; dreading the encounter to come. He knew Alaric would be angry with him on some level. Not because of his taking initiative but because he outright defied the Rex and would therefore need to be made an example of. Not that anyone but himself knew that he'd been cautioned not to come. But that still did not change matters. He just hoped that they could keep the discussion brief and discreet until after the meeting with Donovan.

But no, he felt the near staggering force of Alaric's beast as he came up behind him and though he himself was a powerful Alpha, it still caused his body to tremble and he gritted his teeth. "I make no such challenge, my King." he said without turning to face him just yet. "I merely came to ensure that we did not start another war in your absence by refusing an audience with the Master of the City. He was quite adamant that he not be made to wait."

Finally he turned around, looking none too pleased. But before he could say anything, a small noise -a creaking floorboard- alerted himm to the presence of another and he looked over his shoulder at the man he assumed to be Donovan. His instinct was to answer the vampire but as Alaric was currently standing right there, he shut his trap and looked to the head Lion, awaiting his opinion on the suggestion.

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6 Re: Master Passion Greed on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:27 am

The Rex's emotional response to his Secundus's actions was a complex bag of various odds and ends. He knew from the start that despite his clear dominance over the other Alpha, Dillon was never one to fully submit when he felt a fight worthy of rebellion; he had learned as much years before in their first encounters together, and it had been one of the qualities that had endeared the Irishman to the German. However, he could not brook any outward semblance of the Pride being anything but under his authoritarian control. His anger was only slightly feigned, and it burned like an approaching sun radiating out of his beast's chest as Alaric slowly, calmly strode up from behind Dillon.

”Your concern for the well-being of our Pride is admirable. However, you are inexperienced and brash, Dillon. While you may have delayed what could have been an otherwise immediate, but short, period of tension, you have set a long-term precedent for the Pride's bowing to his will.” He was close, whispering almost lovingly into Dillon's ear. When the Secundus turned to face the tall German, outfitted from head to toe in a black and deep purple suit costing several thousand dollars, their lips almost touched. Alaric, however, did not close the kiss. Something else drew his attention.

Alaric's senses were incredibly well-honed, even for an Alpha were-lion of his experience. Rather than relying solely on brute strength and combative eagerness to hold his throne, Alaric supplemented said skills with both an ingenious mind and almost prodigally talented perceptive analysis. That is what gave him an upper hand far and beyond other were-lions who might have otherwise been his equals, physically. As such, he was able to pick up, if faintly, on the approach of the Master of Venice almost simultaneously with the vampire's own surprised revelation. Before he was visible and before the stalking blood-sucker made a floor-board creak, he was already turning his attentions towards the direction from which he knew the Master would approach.

”We are your humble guests, Master Donovan,” the Krupp heir murmured with a delightfully diplomatic air about him, turning to give a trained half-bow to the vampire. ”Lead the way.”

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7 Re: Master Passion Greed on Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:42 am


Master of Venice
Humble guests? Donovan sincerely doubted that. He could not say that he had ever met a leader of anything that had been remotely deferential or modest. Something about authority made rulers the very antithesis of humble, and Donovan did not hesitate to include himself in that bracket; he knew very well that he was not, in fact, humble. Alaric Krupp was a man of considerable means; the grapevine also mentioned that he was a socialite and remarkably sharp. In fact, when Donovan tallied all of the information that he had heard – true or not – about Mr. Krupp the sum was obvious: he was dangerously competent at everything he did.

Donovan was eager to ally himself with the lions for three particular reasons; firstly, they were his animal to call and represented a chance to gain a powerful animal servant; secondly, they represented a significant power structure within the city, and thirdly, the task given to him by the Council was, of course, to build bridges and bring some semblance of unification to Venice. A task he understood to be no mean feat. Despite this Donovan was determined to succeed and not simply because the Council demanded it; this was something he wanted to do for himself. Did that make him selfish, he wondered?

Even if it took him a century Donovan was going to bring peace and equilibrium to the city. When he finally joined Elise in hell she was certainly going to have a great deal to answer for. Ignoring the obvious tension between the two lions, the ancient vampire indicated that they should follow him through the theatre; the upper interior level of the theatre was much simpler than the lower levels, which were labyrinthine. Naturally, Donovan’s primary office was tucked away in the bowels of the building, though his secondary office was located in the main part of the building so that the public were not required to traipse through the vampires’ daylight resting place. “If you would kindly follow me, gentlemen.”

Donovan’s public office was a relatively basic affair with spartan furnishings and minimal decoration. This was mainly due to the fact that Donovan was not largely concerned with interior design or comfort for that matter. The walls were bare and white, and the few items of furniture consisted of a desk and swivel chair, a sole bookcase, filing cabinet and three chairs for guests, which were arranged to face his desk. It had been mentioned that this was not an inviting space but it was not intended to be; it was a workspace and that was evident in the design. Form follows function, after all. “I must say that your appearance was slightly unexpected, Mr. Krupp – I heard you were out of town, as they say.” The vampire’s voice was bland, as though this was of little consequence; however, Donovan wondered how much of a crimp the Rex would put in his plans.

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8 Re: Master Passion Greed on Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:43 pm

As the Rex drew nearer to Dillon's back he could feel the heat and the tantalizing, almost overwhelming prickling of his power and energy grow more intense. More apparent. Until he felt him come to a stop just behind him, barely a hair's breadth between them. Ad though Dillon was angry, he silky whispering in his ear was enough to make him catch his breath. Damn him! Even now he could make him feel like a kitten. He'd had this effect on him since the day they'd met at his father's office. Over a decade later he still had it. Even when Dillon felt he was in the right.

It was even worse when he was facing him, they could have damn well kissed if either moved a fraction of an inch. But no. Not here. "I did what i thought best..." he said softly, managing to keep any semblance of a tremor or weakness out of his voice. But of course Alaric knew full well how he affected Dillon. They just would not necessarily advertise in public. Not when the public could be potentially dagerous. "And I made it clear..." he continued. "That this was a matter of circumstance. That the Pride would not make a habit of catering to his whims. I have more sense than you give me credit for, Alaric..." His voice was neutral but his eyes held the smallest hint of hurt that his Rex, his lover, thought so little of him. But it vanished quickly as he turned around yet again.

He waited for the rex to follow the vampire and then fell into step behind him, staring straight ahead but really seeing nothing. He already knew the theatre, he'd been asked once or twice in the past to help out with productions dealing with mythology. Who beter to judge the accuracy of costume and setup, or even script, than a professor whose expertise lies in such things? So he knew the general layout. Though it had been a long time since he'd been anywhere near ther offices. Before the War certainly. Before the change in "management".

He of course remained standing with his Rex, waiting to take his cues like a good boy rather than getting himself into another blunder in front of the Master of the City. He already knew he was in the doghouse. In fact... other than to serve as muscle and see to the Rex's protection -as he would have done anyway- there really was no other reason for him to be here. Let alone speak. He could be the silent muscle. He hated it but he could do it if it was required of him. And right now... he figured the less he said the better. Unless spoken to.

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9 Re: Master Passion Greed on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:37 pm

One of the many things contributing to Alaric Krupp's efficacy and overall influence was his perfectly honed social acumen. Despite his at times overpowering Alpha character and dominance, the German was a social debutante of the highest order, born and bred for the loftiest economic, cultural, and academic circles. No matter how puissant an individual was, the Rex was prudent in application of the age-old epithet – pick your battles wisely. In short, the were-lion analyzed a given situation and its players and ascertained the route of least resistance to get to where he wanted. That meant, often enough, downplaying his lycanthropic power and temporarily putting on hold his dominance. That didn't bother him, either, since an Alpha confident in himself only needed to show off his power when there was a reason.

This was largely why he had insisted on meeting the Master of Venice in person, rather than leaving the initial coalition-molding to his second. As much as he trusted his Secundus, Alaric knew how precarious the balance between the city's vampires and the Pride was, and if handled clumsily initially, it could lead to one side having a major advantage over the other. The Pride was small but growing; that meant that it was essential that its members be a coherent core loyal to the Rex first and foremost. He didn't want any divided loyalties. Though Alaric knew he could extend his shield against vampire domination to his Pride members, he also knew that Donovan's animal to call was the lion, which meant that all it would take would be the vampire's catching one lion alone to put him or her under the Master's will. Alaric had to make sure such a situation would not be tolerated.

At the Master's instructions, Alaric walked tall and proudly in tow, just a few paces behind and to his right. It was a position of both confident Alpha-power and one that he hoped didn't intrude on the Master's personal aura or ego. He kept perfectly in stride with the blood-sucker, catching the architecture and art of the edifice from his peripheral vision, commenting with great artistic expertise now and then on the quality and value of this or that. It was all nonchalant, yet showed he was comfortable in the Master's lair.

All the while, he made no outward indication of his noticing Dillon's presence, ignoring wholly his short and cut-off attempts to mumble in defense. He didn't need to see the other lion to feel he was properly in step behind him. Upon reaching the vampire's inner office chamber, he made a cursory analysis of the room and its contents before turning to meet Donovan's eyes with a head on turquoise gaze. ”I was. However, I made it my priority to get back in town in time for this meeting. It is, after all, of the utmost importance, don't you think?”

He moved to take a seat without being prompted – specifically, the central one across the vampire's desk. With a brief gesticulation via a flicking of his wrist, he indicated for Dillon to remain standing by the door.

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