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  1. New Orleans, the very name inspires thoughts and visions. Words and pictures fill your head; guilty pleasures, decadence, sex, debauchery, Faith, party's, drunkenness, honor, , Jazz and Cajun music Old World Privilege, New World Industry, Haunted, Cemeteries, Mari Gras, Tragedy, Incredible food, betrayal, Murder, Voodoo, Social Injustice, tyranny, Squalor, the Rich and the poor. These are just some of the words that have been used in conjunction with this wondrous city and just as in the real world, In my World of darkness all of them are true just more so. There are two books from White Wolf detailing their official version of New Orleans one for Old WoD and one for New WoD. I will not be using either of these books I do however reserve the right to borrow from them for fluff. I also wish to reiterate that My New Orleans is no the New Orleans you can visit this weekend. It is a version of it and I will always try to make it work in game for the most impact to the story. So if your favorite real world location in New Orleans gets replaced with a fast food restaurant in mine please don't get upset. I will try my best to put things in their proper place but some times it just won't happen. This is not going to be an exhaustive document detailing every little thing. This will have a bit of history, some things about the way it is now, material about factions and supernatural not only in the city but in the region. The Before Times Magic and the veil separating the worlds existed long before the fall of Carthage which seems in many histories to be the origin point of the modern world of darkness, not so in the swamps of Louisiana. Time is a concept of man, in nature it is simply a matter of night and day, a passing of seasons, years have no meaning. So in the time before time when no man walked the lands which would become the Americas there were...things. In particular in the southeastern part of North America a force existed in this time it may or may not have had a form but it was also not a spirit not in the sense that spirits would come to be defined later after man came although this force would become a part of that definition too. This particular force dominated the region in which it roamed it was the master of this world was it intellignet. But was it good or evil? There is no way of know but it had no equal and as in all things when one force overcomes all other the world becomes unbalanced and so to did this occur and so reality gaia, the world, god what ever you wish to name it reacted. Into this place a new creature came it was not human but it could walk on two leg it also could take the form the great aligator it was kin to the Garou but not like them and it purpose was to reign in the great force. This new creature multiplied and eventual brought the great force to what would one day be know as Louisiana and there they trapped it so that it could no longer do harm to the balance of the world. The creatures after sealing it away remained to watch it eventually reverting to their Reptile forms even they forgot who and what they were as time became. Roughly 10,000 years ago Men came to North America there is much dispute as to where they came from and that doesn't mater to us what does is the fact so often overlooked in modern times is that in North America the very first cultures to arise were located along the southern Coast in what is present day Louisiana. These first men were paleo-Indians They populated the regions for about 5,000 years before giving rise to the first great culture the Mound builders. The mound builders awoke the guardians who took on their varied forms and even taught the Indians many things, they lived in harmony with the world but something happened and while the old force did not break free it found a way to use the new people to manifest itself in physical form. The Neka-ci Ckami or Man-eater was a terrible beast always huge and hairy it had great strength and could easily tear the large Cyprus trees out of the ground and hurl them. The Guardians now called the Neka-Akoyo or Man-Lizards would fight and kill the man-eater but the force would always return with a new one. For thousands of years the native people in conjunction with eh Lizard men waged a war against man-eater but it was a war they could not win for they fought only the manifestation of that which had been locked away. And the Guardians knew that they would have to go into the other world to truly do battle so they each took a human mate and left their magic blood lines in the tribe for they knew that they would not ever return. The guardians all left and crossed the veil into the other world and were never heard from again. As for man eater he only lived on in legends. The White Man Comes Bringing The World of Darkness For thousands of years the native Americans occupying the lands which would become Louisiana live in harmony with their word. Aside from the terrible war with the man-eater which was now a legend of the dim past and the usual tribal wars which would flare up occasional, the Indians knew peace. All that changed in 1528 when the Spanish came. The first Spanish encountered the native population when they discovered the mouth of the Mississippi. For the next 30 years the Spanish attempted to gain a foot hold but were unable to and by the middle of the century had withdrawn and abandoned all thought of colonizing that region. It wasn't until almost 140 years later that the Europeans would return to stay. In 1682 the french arrived with imperial, religious and commercial aims. Establishing a foothold on the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. With its first settlements, France lay claim to a vast region of North America and set out to establish a commercial empire and French nation stretching from the Gulf of Mexico through Canada. Louisiana was born and with that birth the World of Darkness descended on the primordial paradise. Mages of course had always been in the Americas they came in the forms of medicine men and wise women but the were an unorganized lot and the will workers of the tribes in the Americas worked closely with their spirit guides and so a large power base of mages never came into existence and tribal loyalty kept the various tribal shaman from sharing their knowledge. The garou existed in Northern reaches but again the fact that the tribes of humans lived in harmony for the most part they did not grow to vast numbers nor were their particular brand of justice often needed. In the South there were the ancient Gator Men but even they had become nothing more than myth. All that changed when the Europeans came to America. The first colonies brought the plague of the World of Darkness with them. With the Europeans came the Vampires. And so to with the French and the establishment of Louisiana Vampires came to the lands of the Bayou. New Orleans New Orleans was founded in 1718, and its history is well documented else where, Our interest is in what was hidden in the night. A major port in the south it was the gateway for the southern infestation of vampires. They found the growing city a wonderful haven and were the first and most populous supernatural creature to invade the Louisiana region. How they flourished was easy to see, with an influx of slaves from Africa and a savage native population the vampires could almost feed freely. The more powerful among them became plantation owners and slave holders and helped build the city. they brought with them their masquerade and ruled the night for a time. But even thy could not hold power over everything and soon even their strangle hold on the Louisiana night was challenged. The Vampires feed mostly on the local native tribes often with impunity. By the mid 18th century the Indian tribes closest to the overgrowing city had all but been wiped out history blames the white man and he did have some blame for his treatment of the natives but the death toll was due to the Vampires. But this savage supernatural attack did not go unnoticed. Beyond the veil the spirits of the guardians who had crossed over and held Man-eater in check saw the darkness that was the vampire and from across the Veil they called to their blood. And so the Neka-Akoya were reborn. The vampires had of course fought with werewolves and knew a thing or two about fighting them. But the Gator men were not Garou. And that was the mistake the vampires made. They warred with them, they even brought Gangral Vampires from Europe to deal with this new beast in the wild swamps, but the Neka-Akoyo were a part of the land and swamps. The Gangral who could rest out in the wilderness in the daytime fond no safety and many who went to ground never came out again. In time the vampires were driven back to their haven of New Orleans but they found it was a haven no more. When the Vampires first came to Louisiana and saw how good of a thing they could have in New Orleans they quickly moved to cement their power base and one of the ways they did this was Building a church. In 1725 the Vampires of New Orleans caused the construction of the brick and timber Saint Louis Church on the site of the original crude wooden structure. The Land was desecrated and some Vampires even took up residence with in the new church itself. New Orleans became the perfect haven for Vampire they literally ruled the city and the vampire Population grew bringing about the earlier mentioned war with the Gator-men. Unfortunately for the vampires Napoleon upset their plans with the Treaty of Paris ceding The French Colony of Louisiana to the Spanish who took little time in moving in and taking control. While the French were Catholic they only paid lip service to the higher power not so the Spanish. It wasn't long before the Spaniards began to notice the strange goings on and the church sent the inquisition in 1774 in the person of Antonio de Sedella who happened to be a mage and a member of the Celestial Choir. He had easily detected the desecrated ground upon entering the church and had even sussed out the Vampire menace. It was he who set in motion the events which would break the Vampires hold over the city. How he managed to survive or keep his activities a secret while making his preparations to drive the Vampires from the Church and their seats of power in the city is unknown but for 14 long dangerous years he did. In 1788 at the height of the Vampire Neka-Akoyo war the mages of the Traditions who had been smuggled in slowly overt those 14 years struck on Good Friday, in the middle of the day a fire was started and New Orleans burned. The Church was raised along with a good portion of the City and the Mages killed or drove the Vampires and their servants from their safe havens. Of course not all the vampires were slain but their open rule was broken and never again did they have such a great hold over the city. The location of the Church was cleansed and reconsecrated and the Church rebuilt as a mighty cathedral and has been the one constant presence of the Traditions in New Orleans to this day. The vampires driven from their pinnacle of power reverted to their masquerade and eventually moved back into the city but never in as great a number nor as openly, The rest of the 18th and 19th centuries played out about as you would expect, with one notable exception. In 1792, at the height of the French Revolution, The Astrarium Chantry, along with hundreds of refugees, relocates from Paris to New Orleans thus escaping the coming Reign of Terror. This influx of new and somewhat eclectic group of mages would become a factor in the mage politics of the region in the years and decades to come. Suffice to say that New Orleans grew and developed and Mages and Vampires and the Neka-Akoyo and other supernatural beings all had parts to play. The 20th Century and the Ascension War The twentieth century has by far been the most eventful time in the world, but again I wish only to focus on this small corner of Louisiana. The single most obvious thing to occur in the twentieth century is the rise to dominance of the Technocratic union in the United States and the world. In New Orleans the mages were mostly represented by the Choir and The Ecstatics for the Traditions, the mages of the Astrarium House and a diverse sprinkling of Crafts and Orphans making permanent residence within the city and local areas. Since the mid 19th century there has always been a large transient population of mages making their way to NO for various reasons but these mages tended to only stay short duration's often only a few days or at the most a few months. Vampires as well had a presence which fluctuated a lot during this time but by the early 20th century had stabilized. The other major supernatural to call new Orleans home were the numerous ghosts which seemed to come and go although there were certain ghosts who were fixtures. Into this mixture came the Technocracy. Certainly there had been technocratic mages to have passed through New Orleans but it wasn't until the early 20th century that they became a permanent presence. Mostly Syndicate and NWO but also a sprinkling of the other conventions as well. They made their presence known during the rise of Huey Long's Political Machine and New Orleans entered the Ascension war. But it was never a full on hot war in NO at least not until the end of the century when everyone went a little mad and reaped the whirlwind.. In the late 20th century when the gloves came off an the traditions and Technocracy went to war for Real that battle did spill over into New Orleans. Only the cathedral was spared and ruled neutral ground by both side s mostly due to the prevalence of Sleepers who daily walked its grounds and so in the last couple of years of the all out war it also became a haven and sanctuary for Tradition and Craft member and even a few technocrats tired of the war. Open warfare between the traditions and the Technocracy ended on September 1st 2001, not because of a direct attack on either side but because of what was seen when those planes struck the WTC. Any mage capable of seeing even the poorest of images could see the paradox spirits riding those planes, steering them to their targets. The technological might of the United States foiled by box cutters, The wheel of commerce ground to a halt even for a few days were enough to cause a cease fire but reality wasn't done. Not every event of the first five years of the 21st century was directly a Paradox caused event of course but many had direct links and it is true that a vast majority seemed to strike at what the traditions would call technocrat Targets. The Technocracy was badly damaged during the Paradox backlash not only directly but when it became apparent that reality bent and reformatted itself the loss of the overriding defaulting Technocentric paradigm was a stunning blow. On August 29 2005 New Orleans became the target of one of the most damaging and costliest Paradox Events, when hurricane Katrina swept in land devastating the Gulf Coast, breaking almost every magickal barrier protecting the City of New Orleans. Only a few mystical structures that were not part of the natural world were spared one of these was the St Louis Cathedral where many took refuge including almost a dozen mages. Over 60 mages within the city and surrounding areas were killed or simply carried away by the rampaging paradox spirits who rode the storm. It was the harshest paradox event and signaled the end of the backlash all that's was left to do now was pick up the pieces. New Orleans Now New Orleans Now The Following Information is Re-posted fro the Southern Decadence website http://www.southerndecadence.net/new-orleans-history.htm Overview of the city One of New Orleans' many nicknames is "the Crescent City," because of the way it nestles between the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain and a dramatic horseshoe bend in the Mississippi River. This unique location makes the city's layout confusing, with streets curving to follow the river, and shooting off at odd angles to head inland. Compass points are of little use here - locals refer instead to lakeside (towards the lake) and riverside (towards the river), and using Canal Street as the dividing line, uptown (or upriver) and downtown (downriver). The heartrendingly beautiful French Quarter is where New Orleans began in 1718. Today, battered and bohemian, decaying and vibrant, it's the spiritual core of the city, its fanciful cast-iron balconies, hidden courtyards and time-stained stucco buildings exerting a haunting fascination that has long caught the imagination of artists and writers. Official tours are useful for orientation, but it's most fun simply to wander - and you'll need a couple of days at least to do it justice, absorbing the jumble of sounds, sights and smells. Early morning in the pearly light from the river is a good time to explore, as sleepy locals wake themselves up with strong coffee in the neighborhood patisseries, shops crank open their shutters and all-night revelers stumble home. The Quarter is laid out in a grid, unchanged since 1721. At just thirteen blocks wide - smaller than you might expect - it's easily walk-able, bounded by the Mississippi River, Rampart Street, Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue, and centering on lively Jackson Square. Rather than French, the famed architecture is predominantly Spanish colonial, with a strong Caribbean influence. Most of the buildings date from the late eighteenth century, after much of the old city had been devastated by fires in 1788 and 1794. Commercial activity - shops, galleries, restaurants, bars - is concentrated in the blocks between Decatur and Bourbon. Beyond Bourbon, up towards Rampart Street, and in the Lower Quarter, downriver from Jackson Square, things become more peaceful - quiet, predominantly residential neighborhoods where the Quarter's gay community lives side by side with elegant dowagers and scruffy artists. And it is in this area that you will find the center of Southern Decadence activities. On the fringes of the French Quarter, the funky Faubourg Marigny creeps northeast from Esplanade Avenue, while the Quarter's lakeside boundary, Rampart Street, marks the beginning of the historic, run-down African-American neighborhood of Trem. On the other side of the Quarter, across Canal Street, the CBD (Central Business District), bounded by the river and I-10, spreads upriver to the Pontchartrain Expressway. Dominated by offices, hotels and banks, it also incorporates the revitalizing Warehouse District and, towards the lake, the gargantuan Superdome. A ferry ride across the river from the foot of Canal Street takes you to the suburban west bank and the residential district of old Algiers. Back on the east bank, it's an easy journey upriver from the CBD to the Garden District, an area of gorgeous old mansions, some of them in delectable ruin. The Lower Garden District, creeping between the expressway and Jackson, is quite a different creature, its run-down old houses filled with impoverished artists and musicians. The best way to get to either neighborhood is on the streetcar along swanky St Charles Avenue, the Garden District's lakeside boundary. You can also approach it from Magazine Street, a six-mile stretch of galleries and antique stores that runs parallel to St Charles riverside. Entering the Garden District, you've crossed the official boundary into uptown, which spreads upriver to encompass Audubon Park and Zoo. In August of 2005, the devastation which resulted from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of over 80% of the city changed everything. However today, there are more restaurants and hotels open than before the storm, with the city's population at well over 75% of pre-storm levels. After the Hurricane the city was empty, even the vast majority of the cities vampire population left realizing that the armed police and national guard would prevent them from feeding on the poor remnant of the population that was left. The Mages of The Cathedral, a few local ecstatic and Craft mages, who had taken refuge in the Cathedral and some solitary mages who lived outside the city as well as the few vampires at the very top of their feeding chain. were during this time the only Supernatural denizens Over the next several months the Human population slowly trickles back and rebuilding begins. As the people return so do the supernaturals. The mages were the first to come back almost all of the solo and craft mages who originally resided in the city return and more, several new crafts that had not been represented arrived and set up shop. Few tradition mages moved in and no technocracy mages return until several years had passed and the city was nearly back on its feet. The reality reset had changed the way magick worked. In some areas of the city it was easier to work some magick than it had been before and those new reality zones were even greater outside the confines of the city of course this was happening all over the world but for the mages in New Orleans it was immediately noticeable. The vampires also returned. After Katrina and as the population slowly trickled back in the Vampires of the Camarilla and the mages Led by The Astrarium Chantry brokered an uneasy peace. The Mages would halt their unending assault on the vampires and their holdings, at least those of the Camarilla, and the vampires would agree not to embrace with in the city and limit their feeding to only those who were willing and sought them out and those who were transiant. In either cae no Vampire was allowed to take a life without repercussions. Of course the Camarilla had an ulterior motive, a new sect opposed to the Camarilla vampires had moved in to give competition to the old and the vampires became a more profane threat to stability than they had in over two centuries. The two sects are opposed and vampire on vampire violence is a common occurrence. The new sect is called the Sabbat and no peace exists between them and the mages or anyone else it seems. New Orleans is arguably the most haunted city in America, from the Ghost of Antonio de Sedella the first tradition mage to come to New Orleans who broke the hold of the vampires over the colony in the late 1700s, to the ghosts of native American Indians and Slaves whose deaths were unjust and went unavenged, to those tragically killed during Katrina, and many many more. New Orleans is a Haunted city and after Katrina the ghosts are restless and some of them are angry. One of the most dramatic changes in the New Orleans supernatural scene is the Introduction of a permanent presence of werewolves in the region. With the lack of native wolf populations in the region it was always difficult for Werewolves to take up residence and remain inconspicuous. But in the last decade wolf sightings in southwestern Louisiana had increased and since Katrina and the shakeup of Supernatural power many sites in the region which have magical properties (node, cairn, etc.) became unprotected and werewolf packs from neighboring states have ventured into Louisiana to contest these sites. At least two packs of werewolves are believed to be operating in the New Orleans region and while no werewolf mage encounters are known to have occurred, there have been Vampire werewolf confrontations either witnessed or rumored. Also of course there are numerous other supernatural sightings which cannot easily be categorized chief among them the unverified return of the Indian legends Man-Eater and the Gator-men of Chitimacha folklore, also in abundance farfetched tales of strange swamp creatures, marsh monsters and witches and so many other things. All of this makes the New Orleans region a place to tread carefully at night and even during the day in some places. From the Mage 20 book Voodoo/Voudoun If “shamanism” is the most abused word in magick, then Voudoun might be the most abused practice. Drawn from a fusion of Central African faiths, Native American practices, European iconography, and the humid atrocity of American slave culture, the collection of “voodoo” creeds – Macumba, Obeah, Candomblé, Voudoun, Santería, Delta and Lower Appalachian Hoodoo, the various flavors of Urban-American Voodoo, and their many offshoots – continues to command uncanny fascination in the modern world. Distorted by a combination of secrecy, poverty, racism, psychological warfare, cultural marginalization, and certain unnerving elements that actually do exist within those practices, the popular image of Voudoun magick reflects its distinctly American character. It may be hard to believe but while Voodoo as a religion does have it practitioners in New Orleans, popular culture, commercialism and the showmanship of the south make it seem much more prevalent than it truly is. The number of true practitioners of the religion can be numbered in the hundreds and mages who use it are even rarer, but those that do command a lot of attention Conjectural total Supernatural Being populations for New Orleans and the surrounding areas as of July 2016 , it is safe to assume that the real number is within this broad rang with a 1-2 % plus or minus at either end of the spectrum. -34 to 68 Mages permanently reside within the greater metropolitan area. Known Traditions, Crafts, And Technocracy represented in the New Orleans area Akashsayana, Celestial Chorus, Cult of Ecstasy, Society of Ether, Progenitors, Syndicate Bata'a, Hollow Ones, Children Of Knowledge, The Templar Knights, Wu Lung Independents (this includes any permanent mage not belonging to any identifiable group) -44 to 88 Vampires permanently reside within the greater metropolitan area. This is the most diverse group of Supernatural to call the region home with the majority of the clans on both sides being represented by at least one or two members. The Choir keeps close tabs on the comings and goings of the leeches and believes that all 13 clans are present as well as some bloodlines. -10 to 20 Werewolves permanently reside within the greater metropolitan area There is one mage living in New Orleans area who has extensive knowledge of the Changing Breeds, Barthalamew Mather, and he isn't easy to talk to. According to those who have had the occasion to speak with the recluse the changing breeds have always been here from the Neka-Akoyo of Indian legend to the Nuwisha or were coyotes also of Indian legend to the dreaded werewolf. Werewolves had not lived in Luisana since the mid 20th century but with the return of the redwolf in the late twentieth century the Garou have also returned. While not as numerous as Vampires the werewolves are fierce predators and very territorial. Since Katrina sightings by those who know what to look for have increased and it is believed that at least three groups of packs call the New Orleans Area home. The makeup of these packs and their exact number is unknown or possibly known to Bart Mather, but if it is he isn't talking.