I will think only in complete sentences. My mind is my own and therefore under my control.

This weekend went well for us, by which I mean not poorly. We all walked out in one piece. The loss of Nicolas Ebon disappoints me. That last was misplaced in the narrative, punish yourself later. I like to think that headway was made with our family, especially with Audra and Marie.

Now that Audra and Julian are mending their differences and it seems that Marie will also be able to begin her glorious life as a member of the Derzhava, most of our internal strife is cleared up. I’m sure Rose will always have something new to rub another family member wrong, and Bella needs to get over her problems with Taty, but at least some of the problems are better off. Now I will begin my investigation of Marie in earnest.

This task will work well as I will be further educating Audra in the finer points of espionage. She will need a professional makeup kit and to start learning the names of elected and appointed officials in her state and any other states she plans to build an alias in. She will also need to learn how not to be noticed, as she is already quite adept at drawing attention to herself. This is a valuable skill, but without the ability to do both at a moment, she will be unable to live up to her full potential. Several other skills she will need. Make a list and memorize it, then burn it. Scratch that, make a list in code and make her decipher it before teaching the tasks. Cryptography is a handy skill. Decide later, back to the narrative.

Leopold Trepper made his first large-scale public appearance this weekend. I am pleased by the response that he got. For a gathering of monsters, I found that many people felt sorry for the poor, lost foreigner, with his nearly indecipherable accent and strange mannerisms. I had thought that Lady Constance would have either recoiled or made herself more available when I attempted to sniff her, but she took the action in stride. Brava to her. So many of the women I spoke to as Leopold actually found a place in their undead hearts for the pathetic little Gangrel Invictus, and I have decided to continue my correspondence with Lady Constance as Leopold as I suspect that I can use that connection to place Leopold in more august company. Otherwise, I was able to make several connections myself. I am particularly proud of the discussion with the head of Invictus security, who seemed genuinely flattered that I wanted to speak with her later. It’s too bad that Caderyn wasn’t speaking when I was talking to her behind his back. I wanted to know what he was thinking. Still, this is another possible inroad to the higher echelons of the Trust.

Speaking of which, three Invictus were murdered this weekend. Though I could care less one way or another about Prince Hubbins and feel that Alder Cornell was an ass, and have since he and Caderyn were too drunk to remember their station so recently, I find I genuinely respected Alder Ebon. This is strange for me, as I genuinely feel very little any more, but I find that the news of Alder Ebon’s death somewhat pained me. While I feel that Covenants are only a means to an end, the small Invictus part of me realizes that among the luminaries of the Estate, Ebon was the most passionate and scholarly among his peers. He seemed to honestly believe that the place of the Invictus was as a benevolent leader to vampire society, responsible to them before oneself. I know also that my sire wished to swear to Alder Ebon, and I grieve that he may have to remain in the vassalage of Alder de la Torre without the negotiating leverage that he might have previously had. I have offered to Prince Talbot to help with the investigation and hope that this will not only keep me privy to the status of it, but might also let me contribute in some way to retribution for what I consider the most heinous of the various murders. Nobody should know this, except perhaps my sire. The rest of the family wouldn’t care, and the outside world would see me as a romantic rather than a professional.

I should check the security video from the Havens for the weekend. That will take all night, even watching several at once. I will drink a toast to whatever remains of the soul of Alder Nicholas D.C. Ebon III. May he find peace, and an afterlife full of people eager to listen to him ramble on for eternity.