The "True" History of the City
First of all, we want to officially state something and make it clear. Nothing in this History should be taken as pure, absolute fact. There are two sides to every coin, and no two people tell the exact same story. What's presented here mostly reflects "common knowledge," or what most Kindred in Chicago perceived as having happened. Realize that, although the history is relatively complete, it does not accurately reflect everyone's individual experiences - after all, no single History can fully address everyone's concerns. While what is presented here is enough to give people an detailed overview of what's been going on (and might even provide some illumination to current residents of Chicago), it is not the whole and complete truth. We leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine out if this potentially flawed and subjective chronicle of events is "good enough" for them, or if they wish to investigate further....
Now, for those of you who are conversant with what White Wolf has set up in Chicago in the "official" World of Darkness, in Chicago by Night (first and second editions), here's a quick nutshell version of our take on city's history before the game began in Chapter One. Please note that we are not using the version of Chicago presented in the second edition of Chicago by Night, but are basing things mainly off of the first edition - somewhat.
Oh, and we'd like to mention something to folks who have read Chicago by Night - very few people in Chicago knew about what was going on in the city before the Fall of the City. Almost no one knew about the Methuselahs in the first place, and many other "Chicago Secrets," such as almost all the Venture in Chicago being Prince Lodin's Childer and the Primogen backing the Anarch Maldavis, were virtually unknown. Of course, now, after the very public end of the Methuselah's conflict, the invasion by the Sabbat and the subsequent results of everything else that happened, people have been able to piece things together and figure things out that weren't known before.
Also, we'd like to let people know that there was an earlier game in this series (in fact, it was the one-shot set in Chicago that Matt Collier ran that inspired this chronicle). There were some changes made to Chicago for that game (such as Capone owning The Succubus Club, and Annabelle Treabelle being a drag queen [gender inequality in gaming is a horrible thing!]), so you should be careful to read over things, especially if you want to play a character that has been in Chicago before. (The events of the one-shot game are covered in Chapter Zero; unfortunately, since no one realized that the one-shot would blossom into an on-going series of games, no one was really taking notes. As a result, the History listed in Chapter Zero might be less than fully accurate. Ah well.)
Additionally, you should be aware of something: we are playing in a world where the events of September 11th, 2001 occurred. We're pointing this out, not because it had a huge impact on Chicago, but because it does have an impact on the game world. We know many games that are taking the point of view that 9/11 didn't happen in their game world. While we understand that, we disagree with it (especially Eric, as a former New Yorker who once had a job in the World Trade Center [with Aon Risk Services, on the 104th Floor of Tower #2]). So, be aware that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon did happen, and the subsequent actions (e.g., the war in Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, Attorney General Ashcroft's actions, the increase of the government's powers in regards to wiretapping, surveillance and other invasions of privacy) occurred as well. Keep that in mind, as it does explain some of the recent events in Chicago's history.
Finally, please be aware that we are not following White Wolf's meta-plot events, especially now that White Wolf has announced that, by August 2004, Gehenna will have come and the World of Darkness will essentially be over. While it might be interesting to play an "End Times" Chronicle, we have no current desire to do so, so almost all of the meta-plot elements introduced since the Third Edition came out (e.g., the destruction of the Tremere Antitribu, the Red Star, the Week of Nightmares, the introduction of Hunters and Demons to the world, the birth of a mortal child to a 15th Generation Caitiff, etcetera) are used in this game.In any case, what's above is a History of Chicago, mixing real-world events and White Wolf's version of the world. It's broken up into chapters for your convenience. Have fun reading - even though the chapters are sort of long, we had fun writing it!