Durham In Darkness

When the mortals go to bed, the true rulers of the city come out to play…


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The History of Durham:

This city of mystery and dreaming spires has long been under the iron control of it’s Undead Bishop. Rigid control over territory, movement and even meeting may make the city sound like a prison, but Bishop Odo has made obedience to his law the absolute condition to residence in the city. This has made it a home for misfits, kindred hunted in other cities and a melting pot for free thought and all ideologies – so long as they are not acted upon. This curious mix of sanctuary and prison has seen many competing ideologies and factions, held together only by the Prince’s vast power and absolute authority.

As its ruler faces the prospect of a decade’s long slumber, will his laws remain or will newer kindred rule as they see fit? Will the pressure cooker of rival factions blow apart? Most intriguingly, what lies in the areas of the city all are currently barred from? Why, in this ancient holy site is there an undeniable, lingering sense of evil?

The City's Origins:

Durham has archeological evidence dating back to 2000 BC, but the foundations of the current city came in 995, when Monks travelled to the site with the remains of Saint Cuthbert, and established a base on this secure site. The following century saw many upheavals and the Norman conquest saw the establishment of new power bases. The Cathedral at Durham was established in 1093 and in that Durham skyline you can see the twin centres of feudal power – Cathedral and Castle.

Unlike the rest of the country, the Bishops of Durham were give wide powers over their extensive lands. Powers to raise taxes, make their own laws, sit in judgement and maintain their own armies. In this Ecclesiastically dominated principality, it is little surprise that control of the city was soon assumed by a priest among the Vampires, a Lancea Sanctum Bishop. There are none now dwelling in the city who witnessed these early nights of the city except the Prince and, it is rumoured, several of his ghoul servants. But rumours would suggest that the Prince dwelt in the city with a small entourage of Invictus and Sanctified kindred.

Other rumours persist that they were drawn into a battle against the remaining Pagan followers of the Circle of the Crone, supporting an ally in what is now Middlesbrough. There are whispered tales of a Pagan site of enormous power that the Sanctified wished to seize and occupy, though where its remains might be are unknown.

A great upheaval came in the 1500’s. The seizure of the church by the King and the dissolution of the monasteries had a significant impact on the kindred population and required new mortals to be adopted as “tools” amongst the population. However, these events do little to explain why the Bishop summoned all of the city’s kindred together on a winter’s night in 1538 and sent all of them away from the city, never to return.

There are no tales of what happened over the following three centuries, as the city remained closed. It was not until 1832, with the opening of the University, that Bishop Odo accepted a resident to the city. It may just have been the loss of authority that accompanied Parliament’s revocation of the powers of the Prince-Bishops, but Kindred began to enter the city in a slow trickle throughout the following years. Once more, Sanctified travelled to the now ancient Cathedral, though their access was tightly restricted by the Prince who forbade anyone crossing the course of the old moat into the centre of the city without his express permission. Invictus settled in the city and became involved in guiding and exploiting the industrial boom occurring around them. More surprisingly, members of the Ordo Dracul, the Carthians and even the Circle of the Crone were accepted to the city.

Roles were allocated to those kindred favoured by the Bishop, but it took little time to realise that in this domain, the titles held little power. Primogen were appointed but never called to council, even the Sheriff was limited in what areas of the city they were allowed to enter. True authority laid with the Bishop’s ghoul servants, refered to as “the Warders”. Powerful and centuries old, this group administered the city as the Bishop saw fit.


One of the Bishop’s most powerful edicts was that kindred might not meet in groups without his express permission and the presence of one of his warders. This has left a city with isolated and segregated kindred; no meets have occurred in ‘living’ memory.

Suddenly, on an October evening, this edict has been broken and all who dwell in the city have been invited to gather as the Bishop wishes to address them all. An air of excitement and curiosity pervades the city as the kindred break their centuries of silence and isolation to venture into the domain of the Bishop.

Recent Events:


Officers of the Domain:

(As these tend to change from time to time, if these are not accurate and someone notices, please feel free to edit these and any other details.)

Other Residents of the City:

  • Otto Thom - and family, Blade of the Norvegi

Noted Allies of the City:

  • Prince Wodenson, Prince of Newcastle - In Torpor
  • Dr Albert Hardy, Prince and Hunter Green of Middlesbrough - Missing
  • Luther Ulyanov, Owner of the club and former Sheriff of Durham, Now Prince of Newcastle. Currently AWOL.

Dead Torpored or Missing:

  • Amodeous Von-Carlson Former Sheriff - Died Protecting Carthain Covenant Members and the Court of Durham from VIII
  • Zachariah Thaddeus Bane Former Seneschal - killed for breaching the laws of Middlesbrough
  • Mr Gadreel local businessman and religious fanatic - Acended?
  • James Craine And Anne Former Hound and his 'sister'- Have not been seen in many months
  • Karl Braun Former Regent of Durham - Executed for Treason.
  • Ian Druss Lost in the sewers of Durham - Believed Slain.
  • Bishop Odo The ancient Prince of the city - In Torpor.
  • Prince Cassa Dar - Killed during the battle between Cassa/Andromelach, and Alex Knight/Paliurus in Newcastle's Elysium.
  • Johan Von Straud - Killed in Durham in an apparent assassination.
  • Eliza Montague - Self immolated in Durham when summoned for questioning about a murder.

Noted Enemies of the City:

  • "Pumpkin-head" - A demon which has cropped up on three occassions now in Durham's history. Although the creature's phsyical body has been destroyed twice in the past, it seems capable of returning from death to inflict more murder and havoc. It is said to be tremendously strong, and most notably, to have a face resembling a carved pumpkin.
  • Thropes - Rabid, degenerate beasts created through alchemical experimentation on the part of Dr John Sawney of the Ordo Dracul. Their creator has since been put to mob justice but given the speed and the mysterious manner of his body's destruction it may be fair to ask if he truly died…
  • Ambrose Ambrosio Ambrosius - The city's much-detested resident trickster-demon.
  • The 36 Decanic Aethyrs - Creatures of the celestial realm. The seem to bring with them echoes of their own agenda and domain in reality. So Far The Lord of Ruin and the Lady of Defeat have been seen in Durham with the Lady of Sorrow seen in Newcastle. Mention has been made to the Lord of Respite from Strife and the Lord of Eventuality.
  • Dr James Talisker not so much an enemy as simply an unknown - Dr Talisker escaped from the well of worlds and is believed to be at large somewhere in the area.
  • The Taskforce A special unit of the police force that are aware of Kindred and are led by Carter who is believed to have been a ghoul of Bishop Odo now gone rogue. The taskforce are in possession of research material stolen from the Ordo Dracul which they have been using to track kindred.

Current Rumours:

  • It has been prophecised that in the city the sun will become as sackcloth and ash and the moon as blood…a reference to the book of revelations. Could it be that the apocalypse will spring forth from Durham?
  • Bishop Odo slumbers somewhere within the city protected by his Warders in some secret sanctuary.
  • Nicholas DeSoulis stole the body of Bishop Odo, for what purpose it is not known, but after DeSoulis' death and King Beogart's order to retrieve Odo, the search is on.

Announcements of the City:

  • Boss Ito claimed Praxis of Durham, and fought off challengers without effort. The previous Prince did not deign to even resist. This was largely due to having seen Boss Ito fight at the fight club and appear to be unstoppable, this combined with the fact that Meri Sit-Anpu, his ally and bodyguard, immediately went over to the side of her lover explains why he was later 'ganked'.

Eminence and Ascendance:

OOC Details:

  • The Durham games run on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Durham Companions Club in Durham City Centre.
  • Time-in starts at 7pm, but STs and GS officers are present from 6pm.
  • To contact the Durham officers, visit the forum or email the officers at moc.liamg|ssenkradnimahrud#moc.liamg|ssenkradnimahrud
  • The Game Support for Durham is rumoured to be susceptible to flattery and food offerings.
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