Dust and Shadow
The Secret History
Seattle was established in 1851 and was first called New York-Alki. The name was changed to honour the Duwamish Indian leader called Sealth who had befriended the settlers. Despite a brief Indian war in 1856 which interrupted the town’s development, by the end of 1860s there were around 2000 residents.
Over the next 20 years, the population began to climb as the timber, coal and shipping industries grew. With the new settlers, came the first kindred who braved the journey to the frontier town via the new railway that terminated in Tacoma.
The first “prince” of Seattle was Mary Ann Conklin, better known as Madame Damnable. According to history, she died in 1873, but Madame Damnable was kindred long before then. Her reign was harsh and uncompromising, much like the time; many a kindred no matter what their standing was at the sharp end of her vicious tongue. And then one rainy night, she simply disappeared. In 1884, her grave was exhumed where, according to urban legend, the body found inside had turned to stone. She was reburied and her death incorrectly listed as having occurred in 1887.
By the end of the 1880s, Seattle was gaining an estimated 1000 new residents a month. The number of kindred in the city was also climbing without a proper ruling body to instil restraint. It all came to a head in June 1889 when a devastating fire ripped through the mostly wooden buildings that made up the 116 acres in the heart of the city. Whilst no kine died in the fire, the number of vampires killed was very high as the fire took place at two in the afternoon. It almost seemed that the fire was set to take out as many kindred as possible yet there has been no evidence to suggest some malevolent force.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the city of Seattle grew from those burnt out buildings. Extensive municipal improvements were undertaken including rising the level of the city streets (effectively creating an underground city). The remaining kindred banded together and seeking inspiration from the past, they created a ruling senate body that any vampire could join and debate their views. The Carthians were the driving force behind the ruling body as they sought a more democratic leadership model.
In 1897, the discovery of gold near the Klondike River instigated a rush of travellers that made Seattle into an instant boom town. Once again, Kindred numbers began to increase but this time the ruling Senate (which called itself the Republic of the Seven Hills) closely monitored the creation of new vampires. Not only did the population increase, but it also diversified in the 1900s as people from all over the world arrived in Seattle; And like a disease the kindred arrived with them, diversifying also the vampire population.
Over the next 60 years , through wars and the Great Depression, the Kindred of Seattle enjoyed very little change. Their numbers stayed steady thanks to careful management by the Senate. The Seattle Underground provided the perfect base of operations for the government, creating a very stable and static environment. However, some vampires began to protest the status quo – that the Senate had become elitist, rotten and corrupt at its core. They were only quiet, whispered voices though…
In 1962, Seattle sponsored the futuristic Century 21 Exposition. The fair left the city a permanent legacy in the Seattle Center and its complex of performance, sports, and entertainment halls, as well as the Pacific Science Center, the Monorail and the Space Needle.
What legacy the Exposition will leave on the kindred of Seattle has yet to be determined…
- Session 1 – Rosemary’s Self Help group