History of Middlesbrough

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History of Middlesbrough

A once decayed domain, where the powerful industrial lords of the Invictus fought vicious battles for dominance with the street savvy Carthians has seen three decades of peace and a re-generation of the city. The Prince, Dr. Hardy, watches over this court with cautious benevolence, balancing the different factions to avoid a return to the violence of the past. Many of the kindred factions have settled into half hearted political rivalry and stability appears to have ruled. But in these decades of expansion, conflict and renewal little attention has been spared for the ancient things buried in their midst This dysfunctional stupor and these faded streets cover long forgotten, pre industrial, mysteries and these mysteries are once more rising to the surface. Why did an entire village disappear in 1757, leaving just grassy mounds beside the A19? Ancient echoes of evil are unfolding that may have to sweep away the current rivalries. The long status quo will be shattered. Who amongst the kindred of the city will rise to these new challenges?

In 1801, Middlesbrough was a hamlet with a population of just 25 people living in 4 farmhouses. During the 19th century, however, it experienced a growth unparalleled in England. All of the city’s kindred have arrived in the domain since 1830, and a clear history of the area’s earlier nights is difficult to arrive at.

It is certainly true that a religious site has existed in the area since 686AD and that in medieval times a substantial church existed. Rumours remain strong that an undead priest of the Vampiric covenant Lancea Sanctum made this church his base in the middle ages and are accompanied by stories of ongoing battles against pagan kindred and their mortal worshippers stretching over centuries. These stories persistently refer to an ancient site of great power, somewhere in the North East that was battled over by the Circle of the Crone and the Lancea Sanctum. The truth of these stories is difficult to establish as reliable records only really begin with the arrival in 1830 of John Vaughn, an ambitious kindred of the Invictus Covenant. He was drawn by the possibilities that the extension of the Stockton and Darlington railway to the site created. Over the next few years, the fledgling town grew extensively from the initial 4 streets that had been laid out in 1829, attracting other kindred to this burgeoning population. Most significant amongst these was Dr. Albert Hardy of the Ordo Dracul, a valued scholar.

When John Vaughn and his entourage arrived, he discovered just one kindred dwelling in the immediate area, a half-mad vampire who never gave a name or covenant but stridently declared herself the ruler of the local area, giving herself the strange title of “the Hunter Green of Mydilsburgh”. Despite her ardent declaration of authority, this kindred was happy to let others dwell in the area, so long as they were polite and addressed her by her title. To arriving kindred this just meant that there was a need to understand the protocol of dealing with this individual and, in all other ways, they were able to get on with governing themselves.

At the point where Middlesbrough’s growth as a shipping point for coal was starting to tail off, discoveries of Ironstone in the Eston hills provided the impetus for a second, greater spurt of growth. A number of kindred came to settle in this expanding population and the late 1800s saw a considerable divergence from the initial kindred influx of Invictus and their Lancea Sanctum allies to include members of all covenants.

Vaughn had arrived with two allies, both believed to be his closest and most trusted Lieutenants and both childer of Vaughn. Elliot Musgrave and Matthew Conyers both proved to be able, skilled and extremely potent kindred and this group were widely acknowledged as the true authority in Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough concluded the 19th century as the fastest growing industrial city in the world and enormous power and profit contributed to elegant, refined living for the kindred of the city, though the poverty and struggles of the working class on whose labour this development occurred were increasingly worrying to some. Though it only became obvious several years later, the turning point in this placid existence came in the strikes and industrial unrest of 1910-1913. The Police and mortal authorities, amongst whom Vaughn had many contacts, resorted to ever harsher methods to break strikes and enforce the maintenance of middle and upper class privilege. Musgrave was sickened by the brutality he witnessed and of his own increasingly callous nature, and resolved to support the labour movement in secret. The Advent of war in 1914 caused the whole industrial base of the country to pull together and brought an end to the strife.

Musgrave’s support for the Labour movement may have stayed a secret salve to his conscience were it not for the arrival in the city of a new kindred shortly after the end of the great war. Miriam Belasis was an elegant Daeva of the Carthians, come fresh from the communist revolutions in Russia and eager, along with a small band of mortal communist agitators, to “free” the workers of England. Musgrave was captivated with her and within months had abandoned the Invictus and joined the Carthian movement. Vaughn and Conyers were furious and set out to destroy this betraying childer and the upstart who had turned his head. Ghouls and mortal allies were deployed and it was then, with shock that they found that Musgrave had a network of his own supporters. Blood was spilled on both sides and the conflict intensified to a personal confrontation which would have threatened the Masquerade were it not for the intervention of the Hunter Green. Mad she may be but her admonishment to open warfare in her domain and the threat to the first tradition was listened to and both sides backed down.

As the years passed, many of the kindred of the city were drawn into supporting one side or the other. Between then they were clearly the most powerful kindred in the city by some margin, and their involvement in the institutions of the city made their influence untouchable by others. Hostility remained and Vaughns thirst for vengeance grew until only one thing maintained the peace, the need to protect the masquerade meant that neither side could move decisively unless the whole region were thrown into chaos, masking their actions. That moment came in May, 1926.

Growing industrial unrest came to a head at the end of April, when mine bosses reduced pay and increased the working hours for all miners. By May 4th a general strike was called.

On May 5th, with government clampdowns and seizures of control from the media, Vaughn and Conyers acted, seizing control of all media and recruiting hundreds of special policemen via their allies in the local government. By May 6th, organised groups from management and the middle classes got some buses and train services running again, prompting riots from the workers leading to buses burned and several deaths. Vaughn had the chaos he needed. Within the conflicts of workers and Police a smaller scale war erupted between ghouls and allies of the two sides, both well armed and in no mood for quarter.

By the 8th of may conflicts between rioting workers and police were escalating, properties were burned and baton charges failed to stop the rioting workers. Some Police were overwhelmed and Musgrave’s supporters were able to storm the residence of Vaughn and Conyers. A furious battle ensued which ended with the mansion burned and Vaughn dead at Musgrave’s hands.

Conyers was loyal, outraged and unswerving in retaliation. The next day the Clergy of the city, spurred on by the sanctified, preached directly against the strikers, calling striking a sin. Police brought guns and armoured cars into play and went on the offensive, smashing many of the workers meeting places. Behind this were Conyers ghouls and the remainder of Vaughns supporters, and they went through every possible haven they could think of for Musgrave and Belasis. Musgrave was rescued by some of his retainers but Miriam Belasis was not so fortunate, caught in a burning basement during the day she chose to hurl herself on her attackers, quickly succumbing to the suns rays but not before leaving three dead in a display of speed and strength that stunned the mortals witnessing it.

When Musgrave woke and found his love dead he swore to kill everyone responsible. Conyers was seeking his death that night and two miniature armies headed for the centre of the city. All of the cities kindred were, by now, appalled at the level of destruction and the damage to the masquerade. And supporters on each side appealed for calm. In the centre ground, the next most senior of the modern Kindred, Doctor Hardy, and the Hunter Green met and headed off to confront the two sides before a battle overwhelmed the city.

What happened when the kindred met has never been revealed, as no-one present has ever spoken of it. Indeed, the Hunter Green has not appeared since this night. Whatever happened, war was averted. Doctor Hardy Convened a Primogen council with two members from each faction, though neither Conyers nor Musgrave would sit in the same room as the other, so both declined a seat. From neutral kindred he has appointed the officers of the city and some sort of peace has been maintained.

Simmering resentment has continued. Both Musgrave and Conyers have continued to wield considerable personal influence, and are clearly the most powerful kindred active in the city. Dr Hardy has maintained a careful balance of power through ongoing power plays between the two factions. After 10 years of effective Princedom with no sign of the kindred who had claimed domain over the area, Dr Hardy adopted the title “Hunter Green” as a traditional Title that should be used for the Prince of Middlesbrough.

Following the strikes of the 1970’s, both of these influential kindred have stepped down their political maneuvers. Neither has exactly moved into the background but each is devoting their efforts to something else. In this era of reduced tension the city has begun to regenerate and become more prosperous, but the kindred of the city remain wary and divided.

The city’s factions have rarely met at a general court for the city. Each faction has adopted its own meeting point, each accepted these places as Elysia, a place where all kindred eschew violence. Now the Prince of the city has requested that all kindred meet together and is hosting a large open meeting as there are matters he wishes to lay before the whole domain. Will you respond to this call?


The city seems to be going through more princes then hot blooded dinners at the moment, From Vane to The Baron to Cassandra back to the Baron, it moved onto Morrigan and now Clarisse

The City is still under threat of the Jarl, The black friars, and the Vampire hunters Society of Leopold.

During the Well of worlds the city was tasked with figuring out how to activate the tarot card, The Lovers. The kindred of Middlesbrough managed to activate the card at last recently.

The Brood of lilith, thanks to their assistance with the power station ordeal, are recognised allies and patrons of the city.

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