Rust Never Sleeps
Chicago Campaign Background-Part 1
Four years have passed since Prince Maxwell Clark announced his long awaited “Indulgence”, suspending temporarily his Tranquility (a decade long ban on the creation and murder of vampires), which hitherto has kept an uneasy peace in the Windy City. Maxwell, in allowing for this concession, grudgingly conceded to years of complaints from covenant leaders about how new Blood would break the stalemate between them and inject new energy into their gridlocked institutions. What this has really managed to do is create a lot of fucking trouble, and with that a certain loss of Maxwell’s credibility. For one dark night, Kindred from all over Chicago took to the streets to settle old scores, and drag new childer screaming into the Requiem. This Indulgence saw to it not so much a change in the balance of old power; most Elders fortified themselves securely against any possible threat. Against everyone’s expectations, the Indulgence gave rise to a massive influx of the Newly Embraced.
Perhaps 20 new known vampires were made that night. Rumors have it that many many more were created and lurk unacknowledged at the periphery of the city, finding haven in Cicero or tolerated within Carthian territory. Maxwell has declared that any new vampire must be brought before him in court to receive the benefits of citizenship. Those that are not “introduced” may not feed or haven legally in his domain. Their very presence is an affront to his largesse. Each Kindred citizen has a duty to drag these cowards before his court for due punishment. Whether there is credence to the rumors that the Unaligned and the Carthians are protecting these Caitiff is unknown, but Maxwell has also decreed that those who aid and abet these Caitiff are just as guilty.
Of course the Unbound and the Carthians may sympathize with these Caitiff and may not want to inflict undue harm upon them, no one is openly voicing any opposition to Maxwell’s new rules. Even the most liberally minded Kindred wonder why these Caitiff would persist in their rebellion. Just get introduced already! But sometimes it’s just not that easy, especially when it means submitting to a 300 year old Feudal Lord who openly acknowledges the power to stake you and throw you in a dark hole and who has probably done in a bunch of your friends. Not only that, they seem to be getting organized. And then there is the mysterious disappearances of several high profile vampires over the past few years. Kindred are on edge and a cold wind is blowing through the halls of Elysium. At the edge of the crumbling South Side neighborhoods, even stranger things have been spotted, lurking furtively in the shadows of those long abandoned Victorians.
The Lancea et Sanctum hard-line, having condemned the Indulgence from the start, proclaims a coming reckoning for the transgression of God’s Law. Under the commission of Bishop Solomon Birch, the Sanctified have stepped up the presence of their Scourers and sweep neighborhoods nightly, looking for traces of these unacknowledged. Those that they find they beat to a pulp, stake and drag before Seneschel Garrett Mclean. So far their zealotry has been met with limited results. A month ago they met organized resistance and one of these Sanctified were knocked into torpor. The court was not pleased. Maxwell declared any vampires dwelling within his realm, who doesn’t openly declare their fealty to him as Verboten and risking final death. And those assisting these criminals are guilty of the same crime. And piquing the interest of many neonates, Maxwell has also declared that Kindred assisting profitably in the investigation and capture of unacknowledged will be rewarded with status and territory. The Prince has been known to extend “mercy” to those moved to contrition at the expense of a full Vinculum to himself.
This recent overreaching has Maxwell looking more and more like a tyrant, which the Carthian’s have begun to quietly (often gleefully) point out (The Matriarch would have just gracefully accepted these new comers). Meanwhile, the Primogen sharpen their knives and bide their time looking for a chink in Maxwell’s crumbling armor.