Bienvenue á la cité de Strasbourg . . . encore.

Nearly thirty years have passed since Strasbourg deposed the mad Prince Margaret d’Achille and destroyed the cell of Manus Nigrum operatives that her administration sheltered. Although their deaths alleviated the worst of the city’s ills, the subsequent decades of expansion, depression, evacuation, and war have exacted their own bitter toll. Strasbourg endures—but not without cost.

For both Kindred and kine, the memory of Margaret’s severity lingers and abrades: although less than half of those who sit to the primogen table held their chairs before the coup, there are many who feel the transfer of power did not go far enough.

Still others criticize Margaret’s replacement, the Nosferatu elder Mother Hubbard. Mother, they allege, is a diplomatic liability in Toreador-controlled France, and her government operates with an efficiency that makes even other Nosferatu uneasy. So far she has faced little opposition—but her detractors’ whispers are starting to find purchase in some very surprising places . . .

Still, no one in Strasbourg is prepared for the accusation that is about to be leveled against her Prince—or for the shadow-war gathering around the city’s walls.

Le Cinquante Quatre