From Path of the Vampire Wiki
This page relates to all previous chapters and represents an overview of Path's unique, and evolving storyline. On this page, you will get to see a little bit about the origins of the vampires in Harper Rock, and see the journey they have been on since 2011, when the game officially began.
Prologue: Cobb the Betrayer
As the 1st generation masters moved to secure power for themselves, and sire a group of followers, Cobb the Betrayer moved to eradicate all vampires except for himself, for he would not share power, and feared what the other elders might do to him. For over a month he used his superior power to antagonize these first generations (weakened as they were from their time spent in the shadow realm) and murder their new offspring. He used hit and run tactics in order to negate the advantage of numbers which the other vampires had, and was very successful for a while. Fear of Cobb spread across the vampire community, as the newly turned vampires were butchered while out feeding.
The vampire community united against Cobb, setting up systems where mystics would block him out of buildings, and others would track the wilderness trying to find him and claim the massive bounty on his head. Finally, the 1st generations and their progeny caught the Betrayer out in the open, surrounded him with over 30 vampires, and murdered him as he struggled to escape.
- The Vampire Holocaust gives as deeper understanding of the events that occurred prior to the return of the vampires in Harper Rock. It explains, in depth, Cobb's betrayal of Isabella Drake, and the vampires who followed her.
- Pre-Game History gives a broader understanding of vampiric history prior to April 2011.
Chapter 1: The Broussard Blood Thieves
The Broussard were a French Canadian crime family, led by the ruthless Emanuel Broussard that reined over Harper Rock's criminal underworld for nearly a decade before the re-emergence of vampire-kind. Though they mostly dealt in human trafficking and drug smuggling, their inner circle of family managed to keep their hands relatively clean by controlling the smaller gangs (such as the Westwall Bricks).
Shortly after vampires returned, the Broussard were witness to certain careless vampire activities, such as a turning ritual on the streets. Eventually, they managed to subdue a fledgling vampire and extract some of her blood. With the little knowledge of vampire turning they had, they made one of their enforcers drink the blood of the captured vampire (without first dying), thinking that it might turn them into vampires themselves. While this did not turn the Broussard enforcers, it did give them limited superhuman strength and vampire gifts. As a result of this, Blood Thieves were created; a new human class, able to leach powers directly from vampire targets. Vampires were faced with a choice: did they try to find peace with the Blood Thieves, or did they hunt down and exterminate this new threat? On one hand, the possibility of business and the trading of blood made peace seem tempting, as did the idea of having human allies with hands in many of the city's pockets. On the other hand, many saw the Broussard to be dangerous usurpers, who were a threat to Vampiric Secrecy.
At first, many rogue individuals made deals with the Blood Thieves, putting their own interests ahead of that of vampire-kind. In response, some of these individuals were hunted and killed as traitors. It didn't take long for vampires to mount an offensive, and the "blood hunt" began, which was a systematic extermination of all Broussard Blood Thieves.
The Broussard quickly came to the bargaining table, offering peace to vampires, against whom they were no match. After many weeks of debating, counter-offering, and attempted democracy, vampires failed to get a united decision on the matter, even after the gangsters gave a show of good faith by covering up vampire activity in the city. Some groups continued to slaughter the Broussard, while other groups sent messages of peace, underlining the disunited front of vampire-kind. The Broussard prepared for war.
In the mean time, Emanuel Broussard had taken vampirism for himself, and passed it on to many of his most trusted allies and soldiers. His aim was to create a new family of vampires, with him as the mafia-boss turned vampire father. As he prepared for the war, he and his allies researched further into the art of blood thievery, and re-discovered the skill of vampire cannibalism (called, in ancient times "Necuratism", from the Romanian "necurat" meaning "unclean"). Using this, he grew very powerful in a short space of time, and even passed the skill on to two of his allies.
Eventually, the Broussard stronghold was discovered by Liam Goodryke, but by this point the crime family had fortified their building with traps, enforcers and enhanced blood thief soldiers. As the vampires swept into the building, they were surprised to find the Broussard waiting for them, and many vampires were seriously wounded or killed in the first push. Disheartened by their initial failure, vampires fell back and regrouped. It seemed as though Emanuel Broussard would never be killed.
Phoenix and Azraeth held a summit to try and address the issue. There were numerous vampires in attendance though ultimately the same strategy intended to be implemented by Phoenix and Azraeth was instead used by Tytonidae.
By the 3rd night of the assault, Tytonidae had used way of sneaking through the levels of the building, picking off guards and then slipping back into shadowed forms. They cleverly created a relay of shifts, summoning allies in and back out again, healing one another and disarming the traps. Eventually, they made it to the 4th floor, still undiscovered. Teaming up with warriors from many other lines, they charged the Broussard bosses, storming the penthouse floor. Emanuel and his crime family were caught by surprise by the stealthy advance of the allied fighters, and had no time to escape the building as they had planned in such an eventuality. All but two of their leaders were wiped out in that final battle, and Emanuel himself was gunned down but the vampire Styx.
With Emanuel and his vampire mafia family almost entirely trapped in the shadow realm, vampires turned away from the ruins of the Seigneur de l`Azur building. Some were safe in the knowledge that another major threat to their existence had been put to rest, while others wondered what might have been, had vampires opted for peace instead, and teamed up with the city's most powerful humans.
Chapter 2: Shadows of the Crow
During the prior several months ancient wraiths began to manifest in Harper Rock, claiming to be extremely old and powerful spirits of vampires who had found their way to the city. 12 of these wraiths introduced themselves, offering to teach vampires how to develop abilities that were otherwise beyond their reach.
However, several of these wraiths began to question the way of things, and insinuate the Crow was not what he or she seemed. One of these wraiths, named Eskoph, publicly requested that vampires help him and other wraiths return to life, so that they could protect vampire-kind from the "manipulations and machinations" of the entity known as Crow. Eskoph gave vampires hints of the existence of the several ritual tomes that could be found in the city, one of which he said could be used to return a vampire wraith back to life.
After weeks of searching, and some help from the confoundingly vague wraith Hykajae, vampires unearthed a good number of these ritual secrets, including the Flesh Gift ritual.
Vampires were largely divided on the matter of trusting Crow. Some fought to destabilize the entity's power and omniscience by destroying encrypted Crownet packets found scattered around the city's computer networks. Others used rituals and EMPs to blind and weaken Crow, while some fought against these actions, instead opting to enhance Crow's sight and powers.
Crow's omniscience was eventually effectively neutered by the actions of vampires in Harper Rock. He or she was longer able to see through any city camera or hack into any computer, and neither could the entity protect Crownet any more, which was left vulnerable to human hackers. Crow's fading presence also meant that the city's northern mausoleum was no longer protected, and humans quickly came to discover the undead lurking beneath the ground of Cherrydale. Soon thereafter, the army moved in and quarantined the city block surrounding the old structure, reporting that the mausoleum was the suspected ground zero location of the "outbreak".
As for the ancient wraith guides, only Revyia was restored to life and given a new body due to the actions of several ritualists. The other wraiths were allowed to remain as guides in the city, and though some vampires attempted to dispel Eskoph and his allies entirely, and banish them form back into the realm of shadows, they were narrowly saved from this fate due to a handful of living vampire supporters.
Due to overwhelming numbers of anti-bounty system sabotages and protests, Crow removed the bounty system from Crownet entirely. He or she was, by now, practically incapable of maintaining the system anymore, and the majority of opinions appeared to be that the system was flawed. However, Crow created a new hit list system, as an attempt at leaving the bounty system entirely the the hands of vampires of the city.
Chapter 3: Power Plays
Chapter 3 joined the city mid-way through its lead up to the municipal elections, after the Prime Minister had announced that he believes the Mayor of the city should be given more power during this time of crisis. There were 3 main candidates for the position of city Mayor, but to the discerning eye there were vastly contrasting pros and cons to each.
A few months before the November 15th elections, one candidate stood poised to win. New Democrat Wyatt Bancroft took the lead in the polls before being involved in a scandal involving an "episode" - during this lapse in judgement, Bancroft assaulted a man who cut him off while driving. It then came to light that he's in counseling for his temper, but the ramifications of the incident weren't long remembered. Bancroft regained a substantial lead and won the by a landslide.
The new mayor of Harper Rock is quite a liberal-minded individual with a good deal of charm and intelligence. Speaks a lot of about education, traditional libraries, and the youth of Harper Rock. He believes in concentrating efforts first on the common people of the city, in the hopes that this will in turn slow down illegal narcotics trade, and eventually reinvigorate industrial and commercial avenues. Although generally in favor of a better trained police force, he severely dislikes the idea of any kind of interference from the military in civic affairs, especially outside of quarantine zone containment. He advocates not destroying the Quarantine Zone, but instead trying to rescue as many survivors as possible, keeping the area contained for an extended period of time, if necessary.
He advocates a temporary extra tax on big businesses, in order to help with reparations and security in the city, as it would be in corporate interests, long-term, and is pressing for better gun control and more metal detectors on major city establishments, to stop violence in heavily populated areas.
Following his installation as mayor, Bancroft began his campaign for better gun control, taxes on big businesses, and the crackdown on the illegal narcotics trade. Further consequences of allowing the thrall of an unknown vampire to get into power are yet to be felt.
Chapter 4: Cracks in the Surface
So many humans saw (or recorded evidence of) something strange during the past 3 months that the number of people who believe in the supernatural worldwide is quickly increasing by astronomical amounts. Although the majority of humans in the western world still doubt the existence of spirits or monsters, it can no longer be said that there is no real evidence of such things (though most still debate their legitimacy). People were killed by fadebeasts, CCTV recorded many strange things, and a massive number of citizens in Harper Rock saw at least one ghost during the period the fractures were around.
Footage and eyewitness reports have been spreading quickly worldwide. Coupled with the existence of the quarantined infected, there is no denying that the events in Harper Rock have shaken the world by no small amount.
Many governments of the world know something is going on. Some (such as Canada) are now fully aware that the disease is not like anything they've ever known, and that there was indeed a series of occurrences in Harper Rock where things resembling spirits or wraiths or monsters were seen by humans. They are attempting to keep much of this information under wraps, such as the bodies of those slain by fadebeasts, but it's impossible for them to keep a lid on all of it. However, those in charge are under no illusions; there is something strange going on in Harper Rock, and the city has become vitally important in both unlocking the mysteries of the universe, and in making sure that these dangerous occurrences do not spread. As a result, hundreds of spies, government agents, government scientists and more have converged on Harper Rock.
Ordinary scientists are busy trying to refute the possibility that anything supernatural is at work here. Most of course flat out refuse to believe that any ghosts were seen, and claim that the fadebeast attacks must have been some sort of hoax. They still attribute the existence of zombies to some sort of parasitic infection or similar. However, a growing number of scientists are now willing to entertain the possibility that something they do not understand is at work here. Many new theories are starting to arise, such as ideas about interdimensional rifts, micro black holes, time dilation fractures, and various theories about the fadebeasts and zombies which range from anything between alien origins to abyssal sea creatures driven from their homes. However, all of these things are merely theories at this time, and most are seen as laughable by the scientific community at large.
(If you character is a scientist, feel free to write a roleplay about a new scientific theory explaining some of the "supernatural" phenomenon in Harper Rock. If I like it I'll make it canon that scientists are adopting the theory in question.)
What does all of this mean for supernaturals in the city? Some will see it as a good thing, as increased human vigilance will likely mean they take better care when dealing with the quarantine zone. Perhaps while looking for monsters and ghosts, they'll be less likely to notice vampires drinking blood, or sorcerers sapping the life force from grass. However, some others will see this as a bad thing, and believe that now humans are more open to the idea of the supernatural, vampires could be exposed in time. There's also the matter of increased attention on the city of Harper Rock, which could spell all sorts of trouble.
As far as the fractures go, they appear to have inexplicably stopped for now. Whether or not they will return is yet to be seen.
Chapter 5: Underworld War
After the crackdown on crime by the new Mayor, the balance of power in the city shifted quickly. Regular gangs became less able to operate or move product, and so they began turning on one another and fighting over whichever scraps were left. Soon after, supernatural humans and vampire factions began to step in to fill the void left where many pure-blood human gangs had failed. They were able to bypass security checks with various supernatural tricks, and many didn't even need to carry a gun at all.
But the superhuman gangs of Harper Rock each had their own agenda, and many were hungry for yet more power or money or influence over what many now see as the most important city in the world. The Exiled Brotherhood - a faction of rogue vampires with no regard for vampiric secrecy - made a move to take River Rock from the sorcerer-lead Yongheng family of Triads, and a group of vampires calling themselves The Disciples of Crow began to make moves all over the city in an effort to wrest control.
After the Lionelli sent a warning to vampire-kind that the hunters of the city were planning a strike against them during daylight hours, Bancroft's Master, called the Administrator, accused the Lionelli of using vampires to ferret out human hunters, and declared his intention to take back the city's criminal underworld from those who don't respect vampiric laws or traditions. His own group of vampires, Helheim, began strikes against the Order of St. James and the Exiled Brotherhood. Meanwhile, the unified vampire hunters of the city, having got wind of the imminent war, made an announcement to humans of the city that they must take this chance to fight back themselves.
A city-wide war is breaking out in Harper Rock. Will you use this chance to wipe out one of the criminal factions in the city, or will you use it to seize control of your own territories?
- Tytonidae and Things took out The Order.
- Black Heart and Deux Corbeaux took out the Westwall Bricks.
- Tytonidae and Deux Corbeaux took out The Exiled Brotherhood.
Other significant players in this chapter include the factions or bloodlines:
After the Administrator sent out Helheim, his company of elite vampire soldiers, open war erupted in the back alleys of Harper Rock. Though the move was in response to growing threats from rogue vampires and the Lionelli family, in the end the rallying behind his battle cry was limited. Vampires found some victories in their decisive destruction of both the Order of St. James and the Exiled Brotherhood. But the Lionelli, the sirens, and the sorcerer-lead Yongheng Triads flourished and stood their ground. Meanwhile, the oldest gang in Harper Rock met their end, leaving a vacuum of power which would quickly be filled by the surviving crime syndicates and factions.
In the end, the underworld war claimed many lives -- mortal and immortal alike -- but it was the sirens of the Hebigumo foundation who came out on top, along with the powerful vampire faction known as Tytonidae. Though the fighting rages on between certain groups, all factions in the city seem better prepared and more careful now that the initial shock of the sudden war has worn off. As the factions return to their dark corners to lick their wounds, however, those left holding the most power prepare their next moves. Moves which could change the nature of the city itself...