Category: The Masquerade

The Masquerade, by Vasili Rijikov. Prologue-Chapter 1

A story about vampires called The Masquerade? Sounds familiar.So, yeah, it’s plagiarism. And by “plagiarism” I don’t mean that the author copied some aspects of VtM, like clan structure or its themes or what have you. I mean he writes about Camarilla, Sabbath, Malkavians and other very recognizable names, managing to butcher everything interesting and original about the game in the process. It’s an AU fanfic that was published because Mother Russia scoffs at your puny copyright laws.

How is that possible? Well, long story short, international copyright law is a legal nightmare when it comes to dealing with Russia, so most authors don’t bother as long as the plagiarists don’t try to publish in the West. We have Harry Potter knock-off, more openly so than usual, I mean, there are at least two other instances of plagiarizing VtM in different ways, there is a novelization of Zelda written by an eight year old girl (it was back when Eragon was talked about)… So, if you have any fanfics you really want to publish, you know now where to go.

In author’s defense, he didn’t know he was plagiarizing someone’s work. He certainly had no intention of doing anything wrong. You see, he’d found a VtM translation on the Internet and thought that everything published on the Internet is free for everyone to use.

No, seriously, that’s his excuse.

So, as you can guess, the author has a rather unique perspective of life. Let’s see what kind of story it will produce.

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The Masquerade, Chapter 2

The chapter opens with exposition from that vampire history book mentioned in the previous one. It starts with a rather baffling passage about how vampires united into clans to survive against hunters. And, no, it’s not how it happened in VtM. Clans trace their origin to the thirteen ancient vampires. As long as you are connected to one of them by the chain of sires and aware about it, you are a part of a clan. That, however, is a minor nitpick compared to what comes next.

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The Masquerade, Chapters 3-4

The chapter opens with Pavel telling us that college exams are soon, and right after them would be exams into Malkavian clan. As you may guess, no relation to VtM lore here. In VtM, if you are a vampire, that means your sire consider you deserving that fate, no additional tests are needed. Certainly not formal ones.Pavel says he isn’t worried about college exams. He knows a technique allowing him to remember everything in a book with just one read. The memory would fade quickly, but his master tells Pavel not to worry about it, he should focus on vampire stuff only.

I sense author’s wish-fulfillment fantasy here because it doesn’t make much sense. A lot of vampires pretend to be humans, which requires mundane skills to hold a job. Sure, there are vampires working exclusively for Camarilla, but Camarilla is still an organization. It needs bureaucrats, it needs accountants, it needs diplomats, etc.

But, of course, it’s not surprising the author focused on cool stuff above all else.

Oh, and in preparation for Malkavian exams Pavel drinks much more blood than usual. That causes his vampire traits to go haywire, which is the opposite of how it normally works and makes little sense. Vampire who drinks a lot is calm and collected. Hunger is what causes the beast inside vampires to take hold on them.

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The Masquerade, Chapters 5-6

The chapter opens with the former apprentices gathering to get their new health bar tattoos made. Ira arrives late, knocking Pavel on the floor. They talk, and she implies they had sex the previous night. Pavel doesn’t remember.Their master (whose name is Maharnen, by the way. Another Internet alias, naturally) arrives and informs them about the death of the drunken vampire from yesterday.

The author attempts to create a heavy emotional moment, with vampires grieving over their fallen comrade and contemplating their own mortality, but again, forty people each, not counting other kills. It’s not working.

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The Masquerade, Chapter 14

This chapter begins with a script-type dialogue between two unnamed individuals discussing their attack plan. They are going send their troops against Camarilla close to the hunters’ raid, gambling on Camarilla not being able to deal with two strikes at once.Eh, the scene itself is not awful by the standards of this book, but the script format grates me. Unless they are SEELE, it’s just obnoxious. SEELE were so Ominous, it was kinda funny, especially in the manga where they appeared as signature black monoliths before Kaworu for no damn reason other than Ominous. They have style is what I am saying. Hilarious style.

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The Masquerade, Chapter 15

The chapter starts with a long scene about Pavel and Michal driving in a car. The gist of it is that Pavel senses Alexei’s presence and directs the brainwashed driver towards him. Pavel and Michal also replenish their vitae, and Pavel informs us he has no bullets left, only his whip.Oh, and Michal also doesn’t like to be a ghoul and get into dangerous situations anymore, but it’s quickly glossed over and most likely won’t affect anything afterwards. His character proves to be as useful as… ah… most of the other characters, really.

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