In His Shadow
In His Shadow
Chapter Three: The Prophet (Winter 1998)
In His Shadow is a Vampire the Masquerade game that begins in 1991, set in Chicago: once Lodin’s city, it was briefly controlled by two Princes, Horatio Ballard, one of Lodin’s Brood, and Modius, a Toreador elder from Gary who had once backed the Anarchs in Chicago. The city fell to the Sabbat in 1992 and has been under their control since then. Phillippe Rigaud, Lasombra elder and pack leader of Sangre Realeza, was Archbishop of the city, until he and his pack were beheaded by Menele.
With the recent shattering of the Sabbat leadership in Chicago, the city is once again thrown into chaos. Of Sangre Realeza, only the Templar, Constantine remains. Many Sabbat are in hiding, and the Black Hand is investigating what happened. The call has gone out for support from the Sect, but there is no doubt that remaining elders like Critas, Inyanga and Khalid, as well as Prince Mark Decker of Milwaikee may see their moment to strike.
There are also plenty of Garou.
The (Known) Factions
The Archbishop and the Black Hand are working well together so far, and Chicago has become something of a haven for high-level Sabbat Thaumaturges, as well as more than the usual number of Tremere Antitribu. In light of the Archbishops demise, however, the future of the Sabbat is uncertain.
The Giovanni, under the Grimassis, has locked down control of Chicago’s Undeworld, and is currently close to locking Health influence as well. With Colosimo, Kevin Jackson and Pham Hong driven out of the city, as well as the Malkavian clan, they have risen to fill the vacuum.
It is now widely suspected that Portia is some kind of powerful elder who was masquerading as a neonate in the Camarilla. It is not known whether she remains in the city. There are also rumors of an elder awakening outside the city to the southwest, and of a few mysterious but powerful-seeming kindred in Chicago.
Someone has locked down control of the Media, but even the Archbishop does not seem to know who it is. Even with multiple staff purges at local newspapers, radio and television stations, whoever it is returns to regain control readily.
Here is a list of House Rules that I’m using for this game. The starting-point is V20, or Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition. If you’re not familiar with the rules, don’t worry about reading these.
Where the Dead Gather
Exit is an unmarked club somewhere in Chicago. It may be an urban legend, or a real place, or a real place that subsequently closed down.
The hardcore venue Hell House remains a major Sabbat hangout on the north side, and is under the control of Hoodwink. The House has expanded to take over an entire city block, and has become so dangerous that even Blood Dolls often find other venues.
The University of Chicago campus is the domain of a group of kindred who are secretive but who are able to drive off Sabbat incursions and punish hunting. It is not known who is behind this, but if left alone, whoever it is in this part of the city does not reach out or interfere. It is suspected that Critas may still be here.
Cabrini Green has expanded, and given rise to other similar ghetto neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago in recent years. It has been the most dangerous neighborhood in the US for five years running, and is pretty much run by street gangs, having been largely abandoned by the police department. The River North, near the Loop, is Chicago’s flourishing Red Light District – one of the few neighorhoods to benefit from Sabbat control. Under Reuben Sturman, Chicago has become an international center for the porn industry and various kinds of human trafficking.
The South Side is a mix of African American, European immigrant, and Caribbean immigrant neighborhoods, in part because of the efforts and influence of Kamuzu, who is a local celebrity houngan and is widely regarded as a true holy man.
The Loop, which circumscribes both upscale clubs and bars as well as the financial district and a number of museums, is currently the domain of Sangre Realeza. Specifically, Wendy Wade has a great deal of Financial and Police influence. There has been a proliferation of fetish and Goth clubs in the city, and the Blood Dolls are not a city-wide phenomenon, visible in almost all clubs and night venues.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, about 40 minutes from downtown Chicago, is one of Chicagoland’s most haunted places. It is still used by the Sabbat for Creation Rites, as well as some of the Auctoritas Ritae.
The Near West Side is where a ton of night clubs can be found, and is also sought-after hunting grounds. It has a reputation as the Near Dark Side, with a large population of goths and troubled runaways.
The Chicago Read Mental Health Center is known to be the territory of Jason Newberry and his Angels, but it is currently being contested, along with the rest of the healthcare system, by the Giovanni.
Church: None, since the coming of the CDF a couple years ago, except for Kamuzu.
Finance: Alan Sovereign
Health: Jason Newberry, Oliver Genet, M.D., Felicity March
High Society: wide open
Industry: Felicity March
Media: Reuben Sturman still has some influence, Felicity March is fightimg for control
Occult: Ysabelle Grimassi, Kamuzu, Violetta,
Police: Felicity March
Political: Chicago politics is in the hands of organized crime and the unions.
Street: Gengis, Constantine,
Transportation: Reuben Sturman, Wendy Wade
Underworld: Umberto Grimassi has it locked down.
University: Critas (lock), Rosa Hernandez.
Creatures of the Night
The Camarilla Clans at a Glance
Brujah; Caitiff; Malkavians; Nosferatu; Toreador; Tremere; Ventrue. The Gangrel Justica announces their withdrawal from the Camarilla in 1998. The Assamites show interest in taking their seat.
Sangre Realeza (decimated)
Others, including nomadic packs coming through…
Those Who Hunt the Hunters
Hunters have flooded into Chicago in recent years with the fall of the Camarilla, now including the CDF, or Inquisition, working out of Holy Name Cathedral. Hunters regularly target Sabbat and it seems that for ever hunter killed, two arrive.
Clashes between Werewolves and Sabbat are commonplace. Their hatred for the sect seems even greater than for the Camarilla – that, or something else is provoking them. Known Garou territory includes the neighborhood around the Fanum building, Lakeshore Park and Millennium Park. The Forest Reserve of Cook County is obviously a no-go, and Red Gate Woods as a long-standing reputation for a place to go if you never want to come back, though it is more mysterious than outright Garou country.
The City by Night
Chicago in the World of Darkness is a looming, Gothic city, a teeming mass of wealth and poverty, Eastern European immigrants and crushed-down ethnic minorities. It is a massively corrupt city, and has been for a long time – the heart of old-school vote-buying Democrat insiders, and a city that sees more Mayors go to prison than any other. Years of Sabbat influence have only accentuated the city’s Gotham-esque aspects.
These are the themes of In His Shadow. At each stage of the game, they may or may not change.
Nothing is as it seems
Law versus freedom
Chicagoland (Chicago Metropolitan area)
Milwaukee, under its new Prince Mark Decker, has had relations with Chicago in the past