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Avenger Assembled

VtFreedoMverse

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Bedlam 

 

It's an anarch city, as you'd expect given its small size and general crappy aesthetic. Rumor has it that the Hammer, once one of the greatest vampire hunters in the world, makes his home here - but those are lies. Well it is true the Hammer was a vampire hunter once, but those days are long, long, long past. Now a Nosferatu of low generation and even lower Humanity, he sits in the middle of the web of hunter society, occasionally luring "proteges" to his lair, plying them for their secrets about the Hunter community, and then drinking their blood or setting them against his enemies as suits his fashion.

A survivor of one such horrific betrayal escaped his clutches after the Embrace, and to her great good fortune was rescued by the Lady. Rumors swirl around the Lady; Brujah antitrib? Toreador? Rumors swirl in the regional Cainite community about her dark past - she was once Sabbat, but what else? What matters is that she's taken the Serpent (as she now calls herself) under her wing, and together she, the Serpent, and a young Ventrue of their acquaintance are going make sure the Hammer's nights of depredation come to an end. Rumors swirl that the Lady has a hole card in her game of Final Death with the canny old Hammer; that her boon companion Nicola is no Toreador but the last of the Tremere anarchs... 

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Freedom City

 

When they put a name like "Freedom" on it, what did they expect? 

 

The name was intended in all earnestness by the Puritan settlers who founded the city in 1630, but it served as a beacon to those seeking liberty in the New World. To the Anarchs, it promised freedom from the games of the Elders. To the Sabbat, it promised free and fertile land where they could build a new Enoch. It's hard to tell who got their fangs into the city first, or even who made themselves apparent as the force majeure. The power struggle was a thing of short, sharp bursts, often carried out under the cover of the crusades of mortal hunters such as Elijah Prophet, or the slaughter of the killer known only as Jack-a-Knives. The Camarilla saw the promise of Freedom marred only by the bloodshed of what they viewed as Anarch fighting worse Anarchs. 

 

It wasn't until 1938 that the Sabbat was driven out of the city, under the guise of a civil restoration movement known as the Centurion Effort. Funded as a joint venture between the Anarchs and the Camarilla, it created a state of peace within the city that promised the illusion that the two sects could actually work together - an illusion that lasted just long enough for the Second Anarch Revolt in 1945. With the domains of the West Coast going Anarch one by one, the patricians of the city wondered just when things would go to Hell. 

 

The match was lit with the rise of Lenore, Baron of Southside. An Anarch Toreador, Lenore walked a very, very fine line on the Masquerade, her nightclub Equinox serving as a place where human and Kindred could share the illusion of walking hand-by-hand in twilight. But Lenore was an Elder, her record stretching back to the first fires of the Anarch Revolt, and she had made many enemies across the sects - and when Dracula came to Freedom to avenge an ancient slight, her destruction was quickly seized upon by Prince Victor von Nacht, who spun two separate strands from the night's events. The first could be seen as truth: That Lenore's seeming disregard for the First Tradition proved that the Anarchs could not be trusted with their holdings. The second was a lie that seemed so sweet: That Lenore's deep and blood-stained relationship with Dracula suggested that she was not Toreador, but a Tzimisce infiltrator who had corrupted the Anarchs through the rites of the Sabbat. 

 

The torch was lit for a new crusade, and the Prince leveraged the election of Mayor Franklin Moore to institute a series of "civic reforms" that could be used to drive out elements of "lawlessness." It half-worked. What happened instead was that the thin skin of propriety was ripped aside; with the Anarchs' Racks and territories left open, new elements, waiting to pounce, flooded in before the Camarilla could staunch the bleeding. The Sabbat, seeing cover for their Games of Instinct, flooded in to fill the hole. Rick van Danski was the one bright light for the Movement, a Gangrel whose status as a rock star pre-Embrace gave him a certain amount of protection from any obvious attempts at assassination. And it became clear that the stress of an endless Sabbat Crusade, an Anarch revolt that would not die, and the descent of his city from a shining East Coast gem to another New Jersey craphole was taking its toll on the psyche of Prince Von Nacht, whose Court and coterie (one and the same) only kept clutching tighter.

 

1993 was the breaking point. Prince Von Nacht claimed that he was "immune to the games of the Elders" and swore allegiance to the Sabbat. Most of his Court met the flames that night, with the survivors escaping into the city with tales of how Von Nacht walked through the burning halls of his Elysium, swearing to make the city paradise reborn. The day after the Summer Solstice, the people of Freedom City noticed something odd - the sun did not seem to rise until 7:32 AM. Von Nacht, using ancient arts of Abyss Mysticism, had blotted out the sun, and aimed to keep the darkness going until the citizens of the city recognized their new masters. Von Nacht met Final Death at the hands of Van Danski, though he and his gang, FORCE Ops, met the sun in the process, knowing it might be necessary.

 

With the Sabbat driven out, the Anarch Movement emboldened by Van Danski's martyrdom, and the Camarilla still shaken by the betrayal, Freedom became a new experiment, another attempt at the halcyon days of the Centurion Movement. Praxis seemed to be a matter of musical chairs for years upon years as Princes tried to find the right approach to the state of play in Freedom and either overplayed their hands or found themselves torn down by the more reactionary elements of their courts. Finally, Jack Faretti of Clan Toreador found himself thrust into the post of Prince as a gambit by his sire to lure out possible enemies - and it worked. Not for what she wanted, of course, but as a way of ensuring stability. Jack was willing to actually handle treaties with the Movement, rather than treat them as something to keep at arm's length. With the city amicably divided, Freedom is seen as a free city, with room for the Camarilla, the Anarchs, and those whose paths may take them away from the sects...

 

Joe Macayle, War Chief of Southside

 

The games of Kindred often use innocent pawns. Joseph Macayle had no idea of the depths of his lineage. An ironworker and anti-racist skinhead who grew up in Southside, Joe had always heard the stories of his great-grandfather's heroism on the fields of Europe - even if he had gone MIA. In truth, Paul Macayle had been Embraced by a Brujah in the Maquis shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, leaving behind a pregnant widow stateside. Not willing to face her again, he kept up the good fight against fascist elements across Europe, earning the enmity of a Sabbat pack known as the First Hand of Shadow. Johann Meinhoff, the pack's Priest, had learned of Paul's mortal family and infiltrated the States to pick it to pieces - starting with the eldest son. As Joe choked on his blood, his windpipe crushed by a shadow with inhuman strength, his great-grandfather emerged from nowhere and gave him the Embrace. 

 

Joe has followed in his sire's footsteps, driving elements of a resurgent alt-right from Southside with terrible fury. He knows how to maintain the Masquerade, working through proxies and young would-be revolutionaries he has inspired through his fiery oratory. He's wed so deep in the Movement that he's not quite sure what to think about Prince Faretti, though at least he's not as much of an asshole as the other capers. 

 

Eliza Oxum, Spirit Singer of Lincoln

 

Eliza has managed to carve out a niche as a cunning woman for the citizens of Lincoln, hiding her spiritual arts behind the guise of folk medicine. Eliza had long suspected a hidden world existed; growing up with a Tarot reader for a mother will do that. But her initiation into the unseen came suddenly, as a woman with wild hair claimed to see "the shine upon [her] soul" and offered her the gift of the Embrace. When Eliza woke again, the blood of a sacrificial goat thick in her mouth, she knew she had been brought through to the other side. Eliza learned she was brought into the line of the Ahrimanes, an obscure, all-female line of Gangrel with affinities for blood magic and spirit manipulation. Eliza took to these like a rocket, quickly serving as one of the shining lights for thaumaturgical practices in Freedom. This has painted a massive target on her back among the Tremere, but things have managed to at least avoid bloodshed for now - perhaps due to the interesting relationship between Eliza and Shawn Tulley, a master of the Path of Technomancy.

 

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