Nights of the Kindred
How it all began
It has always been rumored that horrible things lived beyond the great drain. There had been rumors of wailing and crying that could be heard from deep within, and even the toughest of Werewolves reported that the horrid demons who lived within the great drain were so powerful that even their bestial ferocity couldn’t keep them safe from the horrors that demons would reap upon them.
In truth, beyond the great drain was a whole ‘nother city. The Necropolis. Far beneath the twisting tunnels and ancient mines was a broken city, inhabited by the Nosferatu, Baali, Gangrel and Morbus. They had retreated to their hidden city long ago, during the Maximoff’s reign, before Runningwater had become the Prince. In their hidden caves, these Vampires created a society built upon the values of labor, community, and obedience.
Recently, the Commonwealth emerged from their hidden city. The reasons for this are many. The collapsing of Underpendros, the power Vacuum within the Masked society of above, the rigorous planning that they’ve put over 30 years into, the allies and ties they’ve developed with various supernatural factions above, like the True Carthian Movement and the Dredges…the list goes on and on. Their first plan of action was to gather to them the city’s rejected: the homeless, the druggies, the prostitutes, the wage slaves, the working poor. Now these humans populate the ruins of Underpendros, helping to clean it up and restore it.
What is the next move for the leader of the Commonwealth, Mikhail Zupan? No one knows for sure…but in whispers, those without hope speak of reform and revolution.
Reform isn’t a four-letter word to the members of the Commonwealth. No, these people mean it. You can tell they mean it, because as they unroll blueprints across the table, they speak with wild and fiery eyes, they speak with verve and zeal. Their hands clench so tight you can almost hear the hairline fractures forming along finger bones.
They want change. Change they can really believe in. And change doesn’t just mean a new political model. Stopping at “one person, one vote” still keeps the old systems in place, because elder vampires, pack leaders, and Megacorporation CEOs, all with incredible influence, can endure that the reality ends up being “one hundred people, one vote.”
No, what the members of the Commonwealth want is change across the board. They want a city designed for them. They want a relationship with the mundanes. They want to fully incorporate all the supernatural denizens of the world. They want a revised—dare we say it, revamped—world where vampires, and werewolves, and changelings are no longer just a parasite to human society, but are a symbiotic part of a new society. They want a world that none casts the unwanted down, because there are no unwanted. They believe poverty is just a construction that helps those in power to stay in power. They want to education the simple-minded, heal the sick, and basically make the world a better place.
It’s the only way to move forward. And anybody who doesn’t like it, well, you’re either with reform, or you’re against it, and if you’re against it, then you’re an obstruction. And the only thing to do with an obstruction is to blow it sky high to get it out of the way.
To say that the goals of the Commonwealth are ambitious is like saying hurricane-force winds are breezy.
First, they want cities designed to suit the needs of the Masked, as well as humans. At present, cities are designed (obviously) for human needs. Transportation, food supply, living arrangements—all the elements of the urban and suburban environment are purposefully created with human convenience and functionality in mind, and only for those with the money to do so. The Commonwealth wants to do that for everyone. They want to ensure that rail systems not only run all night but that they are designed for expedient delivery of resources. They want workers to be paid real wages. They want funding for magical research. They want real healthcare for everyone. They want bars open till sun-up. They want an agency dedicated to demon hunting. They want a proper education for everyone. Fewer airline delays without outrages fees. Light rails from city to city. They’ll get people on city council and in the mayor’s office in the hopes of making this happen—but it doesn’t just need to happen on the city level. They want it on the national, even global, level.
How do they seek to fix this? Democracy can go to hell; socialism is the way forward. Their thinking is that if everybody is on equal footing in an unstratified society, they’ll naturally seek to bond together and provide for the whole, not just the individual. They plan on tearing the collective scales from the eyes of the world and announcing themselves to the mortals. Yes, that means this organization has as one of its goals the undoing of the Masquerade. They’ve been planning for this for 20 years, seeding major media outlets with slaves and servants. When the time is right, they plan on taking over every airwave, every social media stream, every antiquated newspaper, and they plan on “coming out” to the world.
They haven’t really thought this through. They push ahead regardless of whether or not it’s a good idea. They move forward despite opposition from existing power structures, from other conspiracies, from mortal hunter groups. They just don’t care. And that could be their downfall. They’re like the technology that moves too far too fast for moral or legal considerations. They want what they want and they want it now; damn the consequences. Never mind that vampires can’t play well together. Never mind that revealing the entirety of the Damned to mankind will probably cause the herd to stampede and crush them beneath panicked boot (and wave after wave of Molotov cocktail). The creatures of the Commonwealth say, “If you’re going to have principles then they must stand even when it’s inconvenient,” which is all well and good. But this goes beyond mere inconvenience and borders on outright suicide.
• The first point in Status: Commonwealth gives the vampire one automatic dot of Herd; the Commonwealth wants to “integrate” its vampires with a mortal herd as early as possible.
••• The city planner is now willing to help the character find a better Haven—any Haven Merit dots bought for a brand new Haven cost half the experience points that it normally would (round up).
••••• Your proximity to human beings allows you to buy back Humanity dots more cheaply: new dots x 2, now. (The Storyteller must find this buy-back appropriate, however.)