|Name:||Rio de Janeiro|
|Province:||Rio de Janeiro|
OverviewEditRio de Janeiro is a city of contradictions for both the living and the dead. Its name is synonymous with sybaritic luxury, but the poverty of most of its seven million people is staggering, and tons of pollutants and human waste are dumped into its picturesque Guanabara Bay every day. Even the city's name is deceiving: It means "River of January" in portuguese. There is no river here, though; the explorer Gonçalo Coelho mistook the bay for the mouth of an estuary in 1502 and no one ever bothered to correct the mistake.
Rio is a major financial center and a focal point for business and domestic commerce. Many South American corporate headquarters are located in the city, and most foreign companies have their primary headquarters within the city limits. The addition of the Galeao International Airport on nearby Governador Island has done nothing but add to the chaos. No longer Brazil's capital, Rio de Janeiro has spent 35 years slipping into a sort of luxurious lassitude. Its upper classes live in nigh-imperial splendor, supported by a booming tourism industry, which in turn fosters a glittering potpourri of nightclubs, discotheques and festivals.
Vampire: the MasqueradeEdit
Vampires also flock to Rio: the countless tourists ensure that feeding in Rio is virtually effortless. And if elegant seduction of the innocent fails, vampires of less-choosy palates can always stroll down to Rio's expanses of squalid shantytowns and drag faceless victims out from corrugated tin shacks.
Lasombra influence in Rio stretches back to Gonçalo Coelho's discovery of the site; after all, it was a legendary Archbishop of the time known as Monçada who bankrolled his expedition. The Toreador arrived scant decades later, with the first exiled Huguenots to build a permanent settlement along the bay. Until gold and gems started flowing through Rio from Minas Gerais in the 1690s, the two clans spatted intermittently. With the money, however, came the real wars, wars which lasted until 1807 and the arrival of the exiled Portuguese court fleeing Napoleon. The influx of powerful kindred of both clans ground the conflict to a quick stalemate, while the city's immense wealth and large transient population made peace a very appealing notion. Eventually, the truce grew into something that bears occasional resemblances to an alliance, based on the sacred tenet of not disturbing the goose that lays the golden (and emerald) eggs.
So it is here, of all places, that Sabbat Lasombra and Camarilla Toreador have made an unspoken peace. The city has been tacitly declared Carnival for the Kindred: a free city, outside the sect wars and the Jyhad. All vampires are welcome here, provided that they leave their politics behind for the duration of their stay. That is not to say that Rio is safe for vampires - not by any stretch of the imagination; but rather that if a vampire kills another here, it is much more likely to be for reasons of business - or pleasure - than for political gain.
Vampires of all stripes stroll through Rio's torrid byways, but certain clans are predominant. The Lasombra and Toreador still dominate Rio, conducting the city's affairs (or simply existing) with a style and elegance unknown to more staid regions. Brujah also walk here in abundance; some are descendants of slaves or holdovers from the nights of revolution, while others are drawn by Rio's santeria rites and subversive blood cults. Malkavians cavort through the riotous night streets, their excesses ignored by the laughing herd; Tremere slink through the shadows, spying and selling their services; Setites hiss from alleyways, offering diversions to satisfy any and all tastes; and even Assamites can be found here, as assassins or as martial arts students of capoeira and brazilian jiu-jitsu.
For Rio's mortal population, Carnival is the legendary festival that takes place four days prior to Ash Wednesday; for vampires, Carnival is something entirely different. It is the official code of Rio, enforced by centuries-old vampires who, perhaps weary of the wars of their kind, have made the city a playground. In a city where death squads roam the streets to exterminate excess street urchins, there is certainly plenty of food for all. The city is a free port for vampiric goods and services, where deals can be struck and assignations can be made away from the watchful eyes of sect elders. It is in Rio that a Toreador can hire a Tzimisce to fleshcraft his dream lover, or a devout Lasombra can pray at the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado alongside a Wee Kirk Gangrel.
As one might expect, such freedoms come at a great price. While the battle lines of the Jyhad have been temporarily erased here, for many vampires that simply means that now their own side can attempt to off them without retribution as well. Some of the death squads roaming the city are actually mercenary gangs of kindred hunting others of their kind, taking bounties in vitae and gold from anyone willing to hire them. Still, that is part of the exhilaration of Rio: The sambaschool dance-parade can hide a half-dozen murders, and Tzimisce "cleaners" take pride in how long they can prolong the process of feeding their victims, one dollop at a time, into the noisome sewage lines that run into the bay.
Vampires from any sect are welcome to the city as long as they are able to forget about politics during their stay. The city has become something like a holiday resort for the undead, since multitudes of tourists and sprawling slums offer more than enough sustenance. Thanks to the impressive variety of clans represented in the city, everything a Cainite's heart could long for can be easily found in Rio.
Kindred of the EastEdit
Rumors tell that the Devil-Tiger Dharma has made its move to expand the Great Leap Outward to South America. One of their bodhisattvas has allegedly taken up residence in Rio de Janeiro, but no one knows where and for what purpose.
Prominent supernaturals of Rio include:
- Gratiano de Veronese, stated to be the city's Archbishop around the year 2000.
- Mercy, the Sabbat Inquisitor, was embraced in Rio.
- Octavia, an Ananasi shapeshifter that dwells in the city.
- Suarez, said to be the cainite prince of Rio around 1942.
- A World of Darkness Second Edition, p. 35-37
- Rage Across the Amazon, p. 66-72
- Clan Lasombra Trilogy 2: Shadows, p. 157, 214-215
- Children of the Night, p. 17
- Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 141-142
- Rage Across the Amazon, p. 68-69
- ↑ , p.94