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Name: London
Province: Greater London
Country: United Kingdom

London is the capital and most populous city of England and United Kingdom. In the World of Darkness, this region is one of the most frequently-described in Europe.

Gothic-Punk London is a dreary place, with several of its locations, like the docklands, having been left to urban decay. The danger of terrorist attacks, either from the IRA or various Middle Eastern terror groups, has become an everyday affair.

Vampire: The MasqueradeEdit

London was taken up as the residence of the Methuselah Mithras, who had grown bored with the politics of the Eternal Senate in Rome and wanted to explore life at the frontiers of the Empire. Taking up residence in the Walbrook Mithraeum, he soon became the de facto ruler of the local Cainites.[1] When Mithras entered torpor around the time of the roman withdrawal, London fell under the influence of a triumvirate of norman vampires.[2] When Mithras awoke, he found his old cult gone, replaced by a strange religion venerating a jewish carpenter, and the local Cainite lords arrayed against him.[3] He then travelled the land, gained new allies and defeated the triumvirate, returning to London in triumph around 1154. The local barons submitted to him and the Baronies of Avalon were founded, a feudal realm that would rule much of the British Isles, with London as its Throne Fief.[4]

Mithras would rule via satraps, agents of his that would bring news from the baronies to him in London and enforce his ruling of the Traditions, the Blood Laws. This allowed Mithras to stay in London and hold court there, instead of traveling across the country.[4] In the chaos of the War of Princes, the influence of London on the Baronies lessened, although London remained untouched of the troubles. Nevertheless, Mithras was forced to sign the Rose Treaty to solidify the claims of the barons and limiting his own forces to a handful of trusted bodyguards.[5] In the wake of mortal conflicts, Mithras expanded his inner circle with the Privy Council, a group of Cainite nobles that would act as his advisors and come from numerous domains in his area of influence.[6] As the Black Death came into London, Mithras reacted by lashing out against the Low Clans, particularly the Tremere and Followers of Set.[6]

In the following Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt, London found itself embroiled in the War of the Roses, which was used by several Brujah malcontents to revolt against Mithras rule. The prince showed these rebels no mercy, staking them publically and leaving them to burn in the sun.[7] While initially dismissive of the Camarilla, he provided the location for the Convention of Thorns and later accepted Camarilla law within London, even if he himself never joined the sect.[7] The Brujah continued to rebel against him, using the Reformation as cover for their activities. In the following civil war, Mithras' seneschal, the Duke of Amber, secretly undermined his sire by allying with the Toreador of Scotland.[8] Mortal conflicts soon threw a shadow over the Kindred community of London, as the Great Revolt, the era of Cromwell and Restoration threw the land into turmoil and threatened the Masquerade. A Justicar of the Camarilla intervened in Mithras' rule and mediated peace between the Ventrue and Toreador. In a reaction to the chaos of the mortal epoch, Mithras dissolved the Privy Council, regarding the meddling of the various barons as one of the main reason he was not able to have kept the peace.[9] Rumors were also that Mithras supported a renewed rise of the Inquisition to weed out the Tremere.[10] The vampiric population was severely reduced during the Great Fire of 1666, in which the Giovanni, a Tremere rogue, the Children of Isaac and the Setite Count Jocalo are rumoured to be involved. Mithras reacted by banning the Setites and Tremere again from his domain.[9] In the rebuilding of the city, Mithras reconciled with the Toreador in the form of the Treaty of Durham, which caused the Clan of the Rose to recognize his claim over the city and the south of England once and for all.[11]

London would continue to grow as England expanded via colonies. Calls for reform from the colonies as well as the motherland caused backlashes, in which Mithras suspected the hands of the Anarchs. For this reason, Presentation protocols were strictly enforced and newcomers to the city harshly treated.[12] The prince withstood the Glorious Revolution and used it to enforce his position over the Toreador, but vanished around 1798. Valerius, his seneschal, became acting prince. His tenure saw the rise of Sabbat activity, as well as growth of several independents, like the Setites and Ravnos.[13] When Mithras returned in 1885, his anger at this was great and Valerius was replaced by Anne Bowesley.[13] Amidst the occult revival, the Tremere regained much of their influence, with Mithras suspecting cooperation with the Anarchs.[14] The World Wars caused an upsurge of Anarch activity and eventually, Mithras vanished after a german bomb hit his haven.[14] Anne Bowesley, styling herself as Queen Anne, assumed the princedom, but many lesser Ventrue and the more power hungry of the Tremere eyed her hungrily.[15] Using the impatience of the Clan to her advantage, she leaked the info of Mithras death at the claws of Lupines. The Tremere did exactly as she had foreseen, underestimating her and fell into her trap. Queen Anne's rule appeared to be secure.[16] Her first step was weakening the primogen, expelling the Tremere again and promoting sycophants of her into positions of power.[17]

Modern StructuresEdit

As a result of Mithras long leadership and the outstanding place of their city in world politics, the Kindred of London are known to regard themselves as the most important and oldest domain on the British Isles.[18] The Ventrue are desperate to maintain their power and Queen Anne often calls for Blood Hunts against even minor offenders.[19] While the Tremere have been denied any higher positions within the local Camarilla, Queen Anne could not completely drive them out and a small chantry remains.[20] The local Nosferatu are governed by a shadowy figure only known as the "Underprince", who has begun to strengthen the position of his Clan again.[19] The Toreador are known to have heavy presence in the South Bank arts complex, the West End theatre district and the museum districts of Bloomsbury and Kensington.[19] As per the Treaty of Durham, they are hostages to the Prince of London to guarantee the good behaviour of their Scottish cousins.[11] The Lasombra antitribu have a representative in the form of Stephen Lenoir, who often aids young Lasombra neonates that want to leave the Sabbat integrate into Camarilla society.[21] Ravnos used to live in the East End.[22] The Setites have a tumultuous history within the city, having been banished several times by Mithras, with Queen Anne showing little enthusiasm in allowing their presence. Nevertheless, their temple, the Temple of Dogs, is still active and works to expand their influence.[23] The Docklands are Giovanni territory, with some believing lost members of the Cappadocians among their number.[24] Free Gargoyles often migrate to London and the city is known to have a higher percentage of their numbers than others, which likely ties to the difficult position of the Tremere.[25] Highgate Cemetery is Elysium since the time of Mithras and it is known that several Kindred extend that courtesy to other supernaturals that want to meet with one of their kind.[26] Large numbers of independent ghouls have also flocked to the city, including cults like the Disciples of Set, the Unmastered and independent service providers like the Acquired Taste Company.[27]

The Anarchs of London are a strong force, further augmented by their willing incorporation of modern technology.[28] The Anarchs main presence is the Goth club Carfax Abbey, a near legendary location. Queen Anne tried to close the place out of fear for the Masquerade, but the owner, Hortense Holden, shut her down with the argument that there was no safer place to be a vampire in a place where the kine themselves acted like vampires.[29] Unknown to him, not only Anarchs use this place to mingle. Sabbat agents have also appeared, trying to recruit disaffected anarchs into their ranks.[19] The Sabbat has made inroads in the slums of the city, drawing on the disaffected descendants of ethnic minorities to strengthen their numbers.[30] The Sabbat mainly recruits itself from antitribu, who act like normal members of their Clan in public and are thus more difficult to locate.[28]

The most prominent member of the Sabbat is the Assamite antitribu Montgomery Coven, who is also Mithras' diablerist. The soul of the Methuselah and the young antitribu joined, and the resulting creature has access to both the memories of Mithras as well as Coven’s vigour. Founding Syndexioi Ltd., a cyber security firm, he uses the Anarchs of the Red Question to both undermine Bowesley’s rule as well as rival Sabbat packs. Hoping to use the coming Sabbat Civil War to declare independence from the sect, Coven’s goal is to reclaim London and rule it, either as Sabbat, Camarilla or as a free city.[31]

Werewolf: The ApocalypseEdit

London is a centre of the Glass Walker tribe. They have fought in London against the signs of urban corruption since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.[32] The battles costed them highly and several of their strongest Caerns in the city fell.[33] Today, the Glass Walkers are mainly present in the form of Fenestre Holding, a corporation under the control of one of their own, Charles Meadwell, and the sept that bears its name. Meadwall argues against current trends like the European Union and the introduction of the Euro, in contrast to several of the continental Glass Walkers.[34] Recent successes in the battle for London are the purification of the site of the Millenium Dome.[35] Other tribes are rare. The local Bone Gnawers have been nearly exterminated after an ancient vampire awoke in the 1990s and still have found no way to replenish their numbers.[36] The Fianna likewise were hit hard when that creature emerged and most of their numbers have fallen. Rumors exist of a Caern of them hidden within one of the cities’ parks, but no one is forthcoming.[37] A single agent, Colina Sheehay, remains within London to learn the fate of the Wyrm creature capable of such destruction.[38] The Silver Fangs used to be present in the form of House Austere Howl, but this House was accused to be Wyrm-tainted after it was discovered that they were sacrificing children to an entity referred to as "Red Jack". The House has left London since then.[39]

Part of what is called the Eurohub, London’s spiritscape has largely been calcified by the Weaver.[40] One of Pentex major bases in Europe is located in London.[41] London was also once the base of the Order of Oriental Fellowship, which would later emigrate into the New World and be re-founded as the Pretanic Keys.[42] The City Father of London was the first one to be discovered by the Garou Nation. A trickster at heart, he appears as a tall man with an umbrella, plaid waistcoat and a brass pocket watch with roman numerals.[33] Among the Corax, London acts as gathering place, with the Tower of London housing a large quantity of their raven Kinfolk. Their leader, Sparkles, acts as the unofficial head of Corax activity on the British Isles.[43] Ratkin live beneath the city in large tunnels and are known to hunt those down that venture too deep below.[44] A faction of Hengeyokai has a small presence within the local Chinatown.[24]

Mage: The AscensionEdit

Relations between the Traditions and the Technocracy are much more civil in London (and England in general) than elsewhere. Both sides have a strong class consciousness and eschew the more flashy side of the Ascension War and instead work subtle to strengthen their respective worldview. The opposing side is not seen as a hostile force, but as loyal opposition.[45] The Technocracy works to shroud their true strength. They reckon that it is better when the Traditions underestimate their presence and focus on internal politicking over focusing on driving technocratic sympathizers out.[46] Since London can be seen as the birthplace of the modern Technocracy, the New World Order maintains a strong presence.[47] The Syndicate VPO of Transportation has her current seat of power in London, overlooking the financial district.[48]

The Sons of Ether have one of their main congregations in London, simply called the "Club", which still harkens back to their Victorian roots.[49] Westminster Abbey is a main meeting place for the Celestial Chorus.[50] The Acharne sect of the Cult of Ecstasy once grew out of the Hellfire Clubs and continues to have strong ties to similar establishments.[51] The Order of Hermes has not only a chantry within the city, but also one of the last three academies for magickal study.[52] They are known to deal with the fae more openly than at other places.[53] Wu Lung that have fled the Communist takeover and disagree with the decision to join with the Akashics have formed an outpost of House Hong Lei within the city.[54] The Akashic Brotherhood is present within the large mass of Asian immigrants.[45] The Euthanatoi hide among the masses of immigrants since the heydays of the British Empire, and their marabout, headed by the Natapas, acts as the capital for all Euthanatos activity in the Western Hemisphere.[55] The new headquarter of the Templars since the fall of Montsalvat lies hidden beneath London.[56]

In the wake of the Reckoning, the local mages survived relatively unharmed, thanks to a strong hermetic underground movement. Rumor is that they faced down a Liche that rose due to the spiritual upheaval.[57]

Wraith: The OblivionEdit

The London Necropolis is the oldest city of the dead within the Dark Kingdom of Iron, founded when Stygia could no longer cope with the influx of western dead. Heretics and Renegades fought against the construction of the Necropolis, but were defeated.[58] As a result of this close connection, the Byway that connects Stygia and London is particularly well maintained.[59] Five Citadels are spread through London, along with an incitrate system of warnings and safe-houses that allow the Necropolis to withstand a Maelstrom relatively unharmed.[60] Its Anacreons work to keep corruption within the ranks of its bureaucrats at a minimum and are staunch loyalists to Charon’s mandate of protecting their subjects from the depredations of Oblivion.[59] In contrast, minor violations of the Dictum Mortuum are seldom punished as harshly as elsewhere. The Hierarchy knows that it has better things to do than hunting such small-scale criminality.[59]

Most Haunts are found on the north bank of the Thames.[59] Wraiths usually either stay below ground in the catacombs or above ground in the various ceilings and roofs, which allows them to participate in London’s city life from afar, visiting theatre plays or the ceremonies in the House of Parliament.[59] The Tower of London is the one of the centres of wraithly activity in the city, mainly the Spooks and Haunters.[53]

Changeling: The DreamingEdit

London is part of Albion and known as the capital of the Kingdom of Roses, which encompasses much of the territory of former East Anglia.[61] King Albion long ruled from his freehold in London, but was forced to abdicate in the wake of the Resurgence and the War of Ivy. Power rests in the hand of Lord Chancellor Edgar Whitestone, a troll, who rules as steward until a new king can be determined. This irks many of the more conservative Sidhe, who believe that the right to rule should be given to one of their kind.[61]

Kindred of the EastEdit

Several wu of Kuei-jin have travelled into the local chinatown in the wake of the Great Leap Outward, and prepare to build themselves a foothold.[62]

Hunter: The ReckoningEdit

In the Dark Medieval, the House of Murnau headed the local Council of Faith. A previous attempt of the Oculi Dei had failed to have the desire permanence.[63] The Shadow Inquisition constantly clashed with the Cult of Mithras and worked to eradicate the pagan cult, apparently with success.[63] In the Modern Nights, several other organizations that hunt monsters have taken up residence. The chapter-house of the Arcanum is the one closest in proximity to Axis Mundi, and therefore the target of terror attacks that hope to strike the main house.[64] It lies at Berkeley Square and has been in use since 1886.[65] While the witch-hunters of the Society of Leopold have no real presence, their role is filled by the Knights of St.George.[66]

Imbued have found that the city seems to attract monsters. Walking Dead and bloodsuckers infest the East End and the Waterfront, while others mix among the tourists and high society.[67]

Mummy: The ResurrectionEdit

London is home to a single Reborn, Dr. Gregory Wildham, who works as an Egyptologist in the British Museum. Doctor Wildham is known to have contacts to numerous supernatural societies and is on good terms with several vampires, mages and fae. He occasionally acts as a patron to exceptionally gifted mortal students or young supernaturals.[24]

Demon: The FallenEdit

The Fallen in London have gathered and formed a Court, with its Tyrant even claiming the title of Baron.[68] The Cryptics have concentrated around the airport in Heathrow.[69] One prominent Fallen is the Malefactor Caacrinolas, who inhabits the leader of the British Research Council. Caacrinolas uses the resources of the think tank to influence the british government, taking several members of Parliament as his thralls. His project is to form an autonomous region in London where certain crimes are legal and taxed, out of interest what would benefit humanity more.[70] Splinters of the cult Mithra's Wisdom of Archduke Asmodeus are still active in London, possible due to a connection to the Cult of Mithras imported by the vampiric prince.[71]

ReferencesEdit

  1. VAV: London by Night, p. 15 Bullet-pdf
  2. VAV: London by Night, p. 18 Bullet-pdf
  3. VAV: London by Night, p. 19 Bullet-pdf
  4. 4.0 4.1 DA: Dark Ages: British Isles, p. 90 Bullet-pdf
  5. VAV: London by Night, p. 22 Bullet-pdf
  6. 6.0 6.1 VAV: London by Night, p. 24 Bullet-pdf
  7. 7.0 7.1 VAV: London by Night, p. 26 Bullet-pdf
  8. VAV: London by Night, p. 28 Bullet-pdf
  9. 9.0 9.1 VAV: London by Night, p. 31 Bullet-pdf
  10. VTM: Giovanni Chronicles II: Blood & Fire, p. 75 Bullet-pdf
  11. 11.0 11.1 VAV: London by Night, p. 33 Bullet-pdf
  12. VAV: London by Night, p. 35 Bullet-pdf
  13. 13.0 13.1 VAV: London by Night, p. 38 Bullet-pdf
  14. 14.0 14.1 WOD: A World of Darkness, p. 21 Bullet-pdf
  15. WOD: A World of Darkness, p. 22 Bullet-pdf
  16. VTM: Children of the Night, p. 59 Bullet-pdf
  17. WOD: A World of Darkness Second Edition, p. 60 Bullet-pdf
  18. WOD: A World of Darkness Second Edition, p. 54 Bullet-pdf
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 WOD: A World of Darkness Second Edition, p. 57 Bullet-pdf
  20. V20: Beckett's Jyhad Diary, p. 80 Bullet-pdf
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  23. VTM: Clanbook: Followers of Set Revised, p. 47
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  25. VTM: Lore of the Bloodlines, p. 32 Bullet-pdf
  26. V20: V20 Companion, p. 66 Bullet-pdf
  27. VTM: Ghouls & Revenants, p. 83 Bullet-pdf
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  41. WTA: Book of the Wyrm Second Edition, p. 61 Bullet-pdf
  42. WTA: Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth, p. 59 Bullet-pdf
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  48. MTAs: Convention Book: Syndicate, p. 40 Bullet-pdf
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  52. MTAs: Tradition Book: Order of Hermes, p. 78 Bullet-pdf
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  71. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 20 Bullet-pdf