When you return to Aqua, you enter through the garage. Prince Maxwell’s staff is waiting for you there with 4 gurneys. They assist you with removing the bodies, their stoic faces showing no more or less emotion with each limp form that is dragged out of Juggler’s car.
Maxwell’s secretary looks at you all and tells you, as matter-of-factly as if she was scheduling a job interview for you, that you need to be back at this spot in the garage in two hours for the presentation to the Prince. She implies that you should clean up and look your best.
You each wander off to do your thing and get cleaned up.
When you return, another of the Prince’s emotionless staff is waiting for you in the garage. When you are all gathered, you are led not to Maxwell’s office as you are accustomed, but to a large chamber room on the top floor of the building.
The room is modern in fashion, with hard lines and simple, functional furniture. The room is long, nearly 100 feet in length, and has 3 rows of stadium seating on each side of the room, with an intimidating metal railing lining the front of the seats. Each spoke of the black metal railing comes to a considerable point, and is polished to a silvery gleam. At the far end of the room, a raised platform holds a single, mammoth black marble throne. Shades of gray seem to be the only colors in this room, save the deep red marble that acts as a pathway from the large, steel doors through which you entered to the Prince’s raised throne platform. The ceiling appears to be about three stories tall, and on each wall there are 5 individual viewing boxes.
The room is nearly filled, and many of the city’s vampires occupy the seating along each wall. The viewing boxes are occupied by some of the Primogen that you know. None of them are sitting together, and many of them come with an entourage. Maxwell sits in his throne, waiting for you, with his staff standing in wait off of the raised platform. Welcome to the Prince’s Court.
As you walk in, the room falls silent. The Prince’s attendant leads you before the raised platform and has you kneel.
“What brings you before me this day, my Hounds?”
“Sire, we have criminals to present to your for judgement,” responds Grieg.
With that, you hear hard wheels rolling on marble as the four you staked are rolled out. They are hung from industrial engine lifters, their arms pulled out as if they had been crucified. The Prince’s people have made no effort to clean them up or cover their shame. In fact, they may have bloodied them further. Once placed, the Prince’s staff return to their corner in the shadow.
“Recount to me your tale, and tell me of these men’s crimes.”
Grieg spends nearly an hour recounting the events of the past few days. At a few points, he is handed files, mainly for Juggler, that recount past crimes against the Camarilla and Prince Lodin. When he is done, the room falls silent again. Maxwell stands and moves to the center of the room, and the Hounds move to the side. He addresses the crowd.
“When I returned to Chicago 20 years ago, I returned to a city wounded and in chaos. We had been wounded by the barbarism of the Lupines and the vile manipulations of those that reject the Masquerade. Fear from those wounded and ambition of those who wished to rise to power threatened to tear all that was built down to a pile of rubble.
I am grateful that I was welcomed back and asked to return to my Princely duties at this time. At that time, I chose to interfere minimally, and work quietly to grow the strength of this city once more. In many ways, it has worked. We have replenished our numbers through new, approved Camarilla childer, and drawing talented, Camarilla-loyal vampires to the city. Through these efforts, we have enjoyed peace, prosperity, and growth for the city and those of us living in it.
But, this story, and others like it, have shown me that a hands off approach is one that I can take no longer. While many of you observe the traditions, there are those that hide in the shadows and subvert our ways. Despite having decades or centuries of wisdom and experience, it appears that our nature allows us to grow complacent, and we must be reminded of what it means to follow the traditions. Even now, we suspect dozens or more vampires in this city threatening the Masquerade. And it will be these fine men, my Hounds, that will hunt each of them down.
Today marks a new era; an era in which the traditions will be enforced, and those that break it will be hunted relentlessly. Loyalty will be rewarded, and silence will be punished with the full force of our strength."
He begins to walk past each of the staked forms.
“Jean Lisle, childe of Samedi. You let the beast, and your thirst, dominate you. You strayed from your path long ago, and in this, you became an abomination. For this, you will meet with final death.
Juggler, childe of the Brujah, you reject the traditions. On several occasions, you have taken the life of a fellow Cainite with no authority or reasonable cause. You sought on several occasions to usurp your betters, and your Anarchist ways threaten us all. For these crimes, you will meet with final death.
Jason Newberry, childe of Malkav, you have fed upon the blood and soul of your fellow vampire for your own selfish needs and thirst. You have created others to quench this thirst, and condemned their souls to a horrible torture. For these crimes, you will meet final death.
And you, dear newly created vampire, have committed no crime against us. Just days ago, you were merely mortal, unwittingly going about your short, pointless life. But, your creation, and your purpose, are an abomination, and we must purge your existence from this plane. With your sire, you will meet final death.
I invite and encourage all of you, and all those of the night whom you know, to watch in 3 days as these men are granted final death by meeting the sun. It will remind you, and those who answer to you, of the importance of the traditions."
Maxwell then turns, standing proudly, and parades out of the room. Court is adjourned.