Baptism by Fire

Part Two, Chapter Three: Fight or Flight

Chapter Three of Part Two opened one week following the events of Chapter One. The Coterie had been holed up in Sylvia’s penthouse haven for seven days, Cassandra was in torpor, and two ghouls had fled. In addition, Anne Brown was AWOL. About one hour after sunset, however, Anne arrived and begged entry. She informed the Coterie that hunters in vans had followed her to the building and that they were outside. She then told them that she knew of a way to escape through the Labyrinth. Revealing a distressing gullibility, the Coterie followed her down into the sewers without a single question, pausing only to grab their weapons and the books of magic Nyah had borrowed from LaCroix’s library.

Anne led the Coterie through the Labyrinth and directly into a trap: a dead-end room in the sewers. She gloated briefly, declaring that she had conspired with the Saint to trap the group in revenge for the death of Rebecca Lovelace and her own shoddy treatment. Her celebration was short-lived, however — the Saint’s hounds dragged her down and he staked her. Then he turned his attention to the trapped Coterie.

The battle that ensued was brutal. The Coterie had Sylvia, Christian, Alexandra, Mr. Hudson, and Nyah with some books. The Saint had himself, his divine magic, four deadly hounds, and four SWAT-equipped Hunters en route. Nyah immediately retreated to safety to scour her books for some spell that might help, and the rest moved in to engage. Fortunately, Nyah was able to quickly break the Saint’s hold over his hounds, which turned the tide of the battle. Still, Christian was beat into torpor, but it was too late for the Saint. He fell and was beheaded. The remaining Hunters succumbed to Sylvia’s Magesty, and the hounds were dispatched.

In the wake of the battle, the Coterie used their mental control to make the hunters communicate to their leaders that all of the vampires in the Twin Cities had been destroyed. This ended the hunter threat once and for all. Of course, the thread was not ended before all the most powerful kindred in the Cities had been killed, leaving only the Coterie to fill the power vacuum. They decided to maintain the political structure of a Council rather than a single Prince, and divided the Cities amongst themselves.

Epilogue

In the years that followed, the power of the Lancea Sanctum was broken. Nyah and Cassandra took the library and began to make serious progress along the path of the Ordo Dracul. Alexandra hunted the night, and both Alexandra and Cassandra worked to enforce the Council’s orders. Christian continued to amass political and economic power in the mortal world while recruiting vampires into the Invictus. And Mr. Hudson, who had been embraced in the wake of the battle, watched him, waiting for his own chance to turn the tide against his former master.

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