“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
Grant me freedom.
Philadelphia is a city steeped in politics, secrecy, history, and tradition. It is paved in blood and corruption that will chill you to your very soul…if you believe you have one at all, and all glossed over by nostalgia and time.
The city was founded in October of 1682 by William Penn. Accompanied by core group of Quakers and others seeking religious freedom on lands he purchased from the local chieftains of the Lenape or Delaware nation, Penn traveled to what is now Philadelphia.
It was not only mortals that were among those early settlers. Also seeking freedom from persecution, a small group of Vampires belonging to the Ordo Dracul were among the core group that accompanied Penn and founded Philadelphia.
And they have been here ever since.
Members of the Ordo Dracul were once persecuted and feared. Early members of the covenant had to hide their membership and their very existence in any Kindred domain had to remain a secret…a practice that is still observed in many places.
But not in Philly, the Dragons rule here, as they have since Philadelphia was founded. For many years (until the 19th Century) they did so in secret, ruling from the shadows with their puppets upon the throne as Regent. While they still place puppets upon the throne, the difference now is that everyone knows it.
It is no secret that the Ordo Dracul possess the real control in Philadelphia. The Regent runs the show, but only as long as the Ordo Dracul allows him. The Carthian Movement currently hold the power of the Regency. But nothing is forever. The Invictus and the Carthian Movement have been locked in a struggle for the seat of power for just under two centuries…a battle unlikely to end anytime soon.
The place we dare not tread…
The streets run red with the blood of the Crone, for the Sanctified fight their unholy war on these grounds and the whole city is their graveyard. The Circle of the Crone is not a forbidden Covenant in Philadelphia, but it is dangerous to be Crone here.
The Crone are rather openly hunted by the Lance, a hunt that is neither sanctioned nor prevented by the laws of the city. In more modern nights, simply being a member of the circle shouldn’t be enough to get you killed, but young and weak Crone often go missing outside of the Devil’s Pocket. In large enough numbers that there is a caution in being publicly tied to the Circle.
The ones who are left, publicly, are strong. Making the Crone feared by most Kindred here. They are the monsters Sires warn their Childer of.
Cruac is forbidden in Philadelphia, everywhere. Punishable by torpor or death if you’re caught.
In more recent years, the city leaders have granted the Crone a small area of land that will provide them safety. Those brave enough to claim membership to the Circle of the Crone find this tiny set of streets to be much more welcoming. Within that reservation, called Devil’s Pocket, those who practice the blood magick can do so with little fear of persecution. No member of the circle can be hunted by an outsider while inside the pocket, unless by an order from the Regent.
Most kindred assume that if you’re a member of the Crone who does what they are told, then you wont have to worry about the Lance. They argue that Philadelphia is a city full of self made men, and that the Crone should fight to make things different, that no one should fight that battle for them. Or they pretend the persecution isn’t happening, or isn’t as bad as the stories would claim.
But they still wont enter the Devil’s Pocket alone.
Do you dare?
Welcome to Philadelphia. Come on in, join us…make yourself comfortable, find a place for yourself amongst the political intrigue, corruption and blood…but remember, it’s not a place for the faint-hearted. Only the strong can survive. Are you one of them?