For this week we will also be sticking with the earlier start/finish time of 19:30 - 23:30.
It had been some months since the Shields Of Solomon had rooted out and destroyed the infenalists of the Holy City, and change was afoot. Their former companion, Leo Lascaris the hidden Assamite, was missing presumed dead, and the strong arm of Salubri Warrior Uriel was soon to depart on personal business to Haifa.
This left Stibor of Vlaszy and the prophet Lorenzo in the uncomfortable position of the sole remaining members of the Shields in Jerusalem, and in a city where the only law was the writ of disparate powerful elders this could be dangerous indeed.
Meanwhile Pi, a wandering Salubri healer arrived from Samarkand
, had been sheltering with Aisha Bint Wahiba in the Al-Sham hospital when another Salubri, this time a warrior by the name of Uriel arrived to see her.
Uriel was a local and a member of a reputable coterie, and before long it was decided that Pi should join their number for her own protection if it proved acceptable to the others.
On the other side of the city in the old Hospitaler barracks another newcomer to Jerusalem was sheltering in the haven of Boniface of Clan Brujah. Ulrich Hauser, one time errant knight from Bavaria who likewise was in search of a coterie in the chaotic city.
As the Shields Of Solomon already owed him a favour Boniface sent them a letter of introduction on behalf of his clanmate requesting that they meet him at the Armenian tavern in the Christian quarter.
The next night Stibor, Uriel, and Lorenzo met with Pi and Ulrich in the dark recesses at the rear of the tavern and after an evening's conversation it was agreed by all that the Shields would take them in.
Soon after this Stibor received a strange visitor to his haven, a leprous Nosferatu swathed in rags by the name of Peter. He brought a message from Kothar, the elder wished to make use of their services for a minor task.
At a derelict address near the Pool of Bethesda they met the decrepit ancient in a building with crumbling stone walls and a roof open to the sky. He would pay them in a currency of their choice but desired their services in clearing out a property he claimed as part of his domain.
Knights wearing the arms of Toulouse had recently moved in and claimed it, and he suspected Cainites were among their number.
Additionally they had been seen asking questions in some of the local churches. Kothar wished to know what they were up to and if they were working for anyone, before they were removed from the property. He left the amount of force to be used in the latter entirely up to the coterie. Once the prices were settled and the deal struck the Shields set about their business.
Shortly after this there was another visitor to Stibor's door, an Ibreian Lasombra named Carlos Montoya who presented a letter of introduction from Kothar and stated that as he was also newly arrived in the city and would be willing to help them in their task for the Elder Nosferatu. After some consideration the coterie agreed, and another joined the ranks of the Shields.
The building was an old stone warehouse with its back to the city walls near the Lion's Gate and it did not take the coterie long to get a feel for what was going on. From the priest at the small church of St Hannah Lorenzo learned that the knights had been asking about a relic called the Shroud of St Simeon
, while the rest of the group had a close encounter at the property with one of the knights, a Ventrue named Sir Alfonse, who when confronted had arrogantly dismissed them, ordering them away from his door and stating that they had claimed the property as a haven.
Not desiring an immediate confrontation the Shields Of Solomon withdrew down the narrow winding streets to consider their options.
Carlos and Stibor decided to pay a visit to the city's elder Ventrue, Lucius Trebius Rufus, with whom Stibor was already acquainted.
In his well appointed manor house the Roman Cainite told them that he would make no objections if they destroyed his errant clanmates, though they were also welcome to use his name with them in case it helped their cause.
As they spoke with Lucius the others journeyed into the depths of the Jewish cemetery to seek with the wisdom of the methuselah Abraham of the Cappadocians.
Down in the depths of his haven, beneath the dead, Abraham was able to tell them that St Simeon, second Bishop of Jerusalem, was of such a pius nature that he would even give his blessings to Cainites, and that after crucification his burial shroud was said to have become a relic allowing Cainites to walk under the sun without fear and even resist some of the effects of true faith.
It had been sought after by some but had disappeared from history many years ago.
Abraham knew nothing of its current whereabouts and so they bade him a respectful farewell and returned to the heart of the city to meet with their companions.