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Jones Writes to Lord Antonescu Regarding Michael Montgomery

Adam Jones | Nicolai Antonescu; November 5, 2006

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Letter: Adam Jones to Nicolai Antonescu; November 5, 2006

Dear Lord Antonescu,

I hope this missive reaches you in good health. I am writing with further information regarding the Kindred I previously tentatively identified as Regent Montgomery and with a general update of the affairs of my chantry.

The man who introduced himself as 'Lukas Brighton' first arrived in New York City in September. His resemblance to Regent Montgomery was noted by many, including a Kindred who was in New York when Montgomery was previously active. I noted that he matched the physical descriptions of Montgomery present in our Chantry's records.

Since that time, myself and my Apprentices have investigated this individual and discovered the following; At my direction, Apprentice Xerices used the powers of Regio Vitae to attempt to trigger a discharge of Regio Levinbolt. This attempt was successful and Apprentice Xerices suffered non insignificant injury due to his contact with 'Mr. Brighton.'

As is clear in the attached material, 'Mr. Brighton' is knowledgeable of our arts. His casual mentions of our chantries and rituals - including the highly secret Pavis of the Foul Presence - and references to not wishing to rejoin House Tremere indicate that he is, at the very least, a former member of our House. The Blood Contract draft also demonstrates this, as he successfully identified and corrected several deliberate flaws in the contract, including the rank I assigned as Montgomery's.

Furthermore, there have been many reports of a 'being of light' or 'electrical elemental' being spotted since the arrival of Mr. Brighton. These are consistent with a thaumaturge highly skilled in Regio Levinbolt. (A copy of the tabloid and a summary of the occult rumor are attached).

Even if he is not Regent Montgomery, that still leaves the question of his physical appearance. He has repeatedly been in the presence of an Apprentice making use of the powers of the otherwise useless 'faux path' to detect discipline use. Efforts to utilize the powers of Auspex to break through masking efforts raise no flags in his presence. One of my apprentices used the powers of telepathy to enter his mind and found no contradictory image or evidence of the use of an image-altering discipline, although he did find evidence of mental trauma of some kind. Although it is possible some Sabbat art has been used on him to disguise his appearance, we have detected no evidence of this.

I believe that the most probable reasons for these observations is that he either is Regent Montgomery or has been trained extensively by him. One of my apprentices has put forward the theory that he is, in fact, a Malkavian. A Malkavian thaumaturge who studied under a Tremere rogue and for some reason choose to masquerade as Montgomery would explain some of these problems. It would not adequately explain how this individual looks so much like Montgomery.

At this time, we have several options available to us. Should we try to capture him, we would face opposition from both Prince West and from the Sabbat.'Lucas Brighton' has agreed to spy on the Sabbat for the Camarilla and has already given Sheriff McCoy useful information regarding the movements and activities of the Sabbat. We have been explicitly ordered by Prince West not to attack, interrogate or otherwise unnecessarily inconvenience 'Mr. Brighton.' Likewise, he is defended by the Ductus Layla Reese of the Sabbat.

He has not taken Vaulderie and from our intelligence information is still staying apart from the Sabbat. Yes, he spends time with them, but he is still an outsider amongst them. Ductus Reese stands by his decision not to take Vaulderie.

As is clear from the attached blood contract draft, I have been in negotiations with him over a blood contract protecting both of us from each other and forcing him to keep our secrets. Prince West has indicated that such a contract would be acceptable. It would also not antagonize the Sabbat, who have been remarkably well-behaved over the past months.

I feel that the Blood Contract is our best option at this time. An open open break with the Camarilla at this time would be extremely problematic and at best would require the extension of hefty boons to offset. At worst, it might require your intervention or the departure from New York of the Tremere involved in the operation against this 'Lucas.' It would set back our efforts considerably.

The Contract would also insure our ability to track the movements of this 'Lucas.' From his perspective, it gives him access and protection he would be unlikely to get in most cities. It would limit our ability to effectively move against him if we choose to do so. All of this is contingent on his continued refusal to take Vaulderie. I intend to introduce a term against this into the contract in the next round of revisions, but I almost feel it is redundant. He knows that if he takes Vaulderie, we will move against him.

Furthermore, the contract allows us to delay while considering our actions. Even after signed, it will not be as large an impediment as he might think it will be - should you feel we should act against him, you could merely inform my second, Apprentice Xerices and leave the necessary arrangements to him. I would not violate the contract and the problem would be solved. If absolutely necessary I would naturally be willing to intentionally violate the contract if that was required of me.

Should we decide to move against him, I believe we can successfully capture him, although I doubt we would be able to do so without suffering injuries of our own. Of course, any decision in this matter is above my level. Should this individual in fact be Regent Montgomery, I do not have the authority to take any action against him. Further complicating the situation is the fact that he outranks me. Some of my apprentices are already getting edgy for fear that it is Regent Montgomery, who will announce his presence and resume control over the chantries of New York. I have quelled this problem for the time being, but it will return.

In more general news, over the past few months I have carefully reviewed the progress of my apprentices. Accordingly, I have bestowed the rank of Apprentice of the Seventh Circle to Apprentices Reino Haldor and Auberon Xerices. Apprentice Xerices is senior and is being trained so that he may temporarily assume my duties should I be incapacitated until I recover or am replaced. I have also bestowed the rank of Apprentice of the Fifth Circle on Apprentice McCoy, who has also attained the rank of Sheriff. I feel that he is making great progress now that he is no longer under the influence of his former tutor.

There are no major ongoing military or political problems at this time.

We recently captured an assamite who had previously taken a contract on Tremere. We are working to detain his accomplices. Should you require a sample of assamite blood for any reason, we will be able to provide one. Unfortunately, he is woefully ignorant of his clan's operations in other cities.

Timothy Albright, descendant of the Albright line in New England recently attended Elysium and made a fool of himself. In the course of the events of the evening, we obtained a blood sample. Given the stature of his protectors, I feel uncomfortable making use of it. If you desire, we can forward it to you.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Your Servant,
Adam Jones,
Regent of the First Circle

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Letter: Nicolai Antonescu to Adam Jones; November 5, 2006

Regent Jones,

I am glad to hear that you have put your resources to good use in coming with a concrete explanation as to the identity of the Kindred in question. This is naturally to be commended. You and Apprentice Xerices may consider yourselves in my graces.

Now, as to what is to be done with this errant "Mr. Brighton." As far as I am concerned, if this individual *is* Michael Montgomery, as he well seems to be, then he has technically done nothing in direct violation of the Code of Tremere. While his consultation with the Sabbat is certainly questionable, it does not, from your description, seem that he is actively endangering the interests of the Clan or it's mother Sect through these interactions, and as long as the situation seems to remain non-volatile, I will not recommend any action be taken against him.

In fact, I would strongly argue against it in this case. Michael Montgomery is still less than a century Embraced, and yet has already proven responsible for one of the more ground-breaking Thaumaturgical innovations accomplished within that small span. Given his relative youth, the circumstances of his botched tutelage under one Ryan O' Hara (I've included a case file in case you're not up to date on that), and the trouble a few years back with Lord Piotr, it is more than understandable that he might be undergoing a phase of what I might dare to label "adolescent rebellion". I would not like to see him dead when he might well -after a few decades of experimentation- simply return to the fold.

Furthermore it is imperative that the Clan not act outside of the jurisdiction of the Camarilla without dire cause. Prince West is to be obeyed except in the most extreme circumstances, as I do not wish to have to expend my credit with him to expiate the destruction of a Clanmate.

It is still probably advisable, however, to note any actions Montgomery takes that might be argued against his case if a tribunal should come to pass. His association with the Sabbat and the rumors of the "lightning elemental" certainly strain at the Code's command to support the Camarilla and the Masquerade. Keep tabs on his actions as much as you are reasonably able, and report back to me with whatever you think I might consider important.

I can understand and perhaps even approve of the enforcement of peaceable relations through the Blood Contract, as long as all parties are willing. I see nothing wrong with the current wording of the document, save in the article regarding your "tracking" of Lucas Brighton. The Code of Tremere has specific prohibitions against Scrying upon one's Clanmates, and you should make it clear that that is not your intention.

I cannot underscore enough the importance of you and your apprentices adhering to the precepts of the Tremere Code to the letter *and beyond* in dealing with this case. If Montgomery is taken before a tribunal, it will not do if you or your apprentices have been found in violation of our same laws in pursuing him. Hence, you are not to use any Thaumaturgical means whatsoever to Scry or follow Montgomery under any circumstance, nor should you, your second, or any other Tremere take offensive action against him unless he is first declared officially Rogue in an appropriate court.

With regards to Montgomery's rank, I will not, as Lord of you both, permit him to attempt to reassert his position over New York as Regent. As he has declared himself to wish to remain relatively "independent" from the main Clan, I hope this shall not be an issue. If it is, you may inform him that I shall strip him of his superior rank quickly should any such nonsense be perpetrated.

As for the blood, I have my own means to obtain Assamite, Malkavian or any other manner of vitae whenever I should wish, although I thank you for the offer.

I will reiterate once more, that you and your second have done well, Regent Jones. I thank you both for handling the matter competently.

As it has always been for many a century, my health remains well.

Nicolai Antonescu
Primogen of the Domain of Chicago
Lord, 3rd Circle of Mysteries under Pontifex Joseph Diamond

Known to be [Acknowledged], [Devoted, [Esteemed], [Exalted], [Feared], [Influential] and [Revered] in the Domain of Chicago.

PS (a middling note): While I have no ready objection to the rapid induction your Apprentices seem to be enjoying through the Circles of Mystery (You yourself, were -if I recall- elevated to your current post with a few Circles skipped), you should know that many of the more traditional of the Clan will see this as an attempt to artificially inflate your prestige, and may be hesitant to respect Apprentices who achieved higher rank with seemingly little effort.

PSS (another middling note): While I applaud your attempt at the old Latinate spelling of the Thaumaturgical Paths -a traditional form nearer to my age and sensibilities-, I must correct you on your word use. "Regio" is in fact the word for "direction" or "line," and as you have used it renders the Path "Regio Vitae" as "direction of blood." The word you are looking for is "Rego," a verb meaning "I guide." This renders the name as "I guide by blood" which is more in keeping with the nature of the Path.>[?

Furthermore, I should point out that the Path of Levinbolt was never given a proper Latin title, being a strange and recently rediscovered Path most widely known for it's modern incarnation (a topic which Montgomery could no doubt enlighten you on). If I were to apply such a title to it, I would venture to call it the "Creo Fulgorem."

Forgive me if this seems needling, but ancient linguistics is somewhat of a peevish obsession of mine. Especially Latin. "It melts like kisses from a female mouth" as Byron said. If you're interested in the language, I would be glad to find a tutor for you.

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