Official Timeline Edit
- Unknown-Early 1800s: The area remains unsettled and is visited only occasionally by the nomadic Ute Indians.
- The Sept of the Looking Glass is originally claimed by Uktena; the name of the Sept and Caern around this time has since been lost.
- 1850s-1870s: Crystal Springs is settled and various mines and whatnot are opened shortly after the Pikes Peak gold rush era. The town remains vastly unknown, though the denizens have left records of uncomfortable feelings and strange occurrences. These accounts remain in the Crystal Springs city hall. Official incorporation is recorded at 1870.
- There is little to no record of Garou activity during this time, but it is believed to have been focused on herding the humans away from the greater forest area upon the cliff.
- The Mages had not yet taken a significant interest in the town.
- The Vampires had taken a passing interest in the mining town, but only in an economic sense. Those few that happened by usually did not stay long, as the population was still too thin to truly support them. The odd occurances documented by the early miners are often put down to a roving Malkavian or Nosferatu by modern Kindred.
- 1880s-1890s: Gone is the view of Crystal Springs as merely a mining town for seedy prospectors. The introduction of railways inspires the town into an economic boom as tourism increases dramatically. The Crystal Springs Hotel draws a number of affluent visitors.
- With the successful plantation of Westerners in the area, the Uktena presence begins to dwindle significantly.
- Early 1900s: Crystal Springs continues to grow, but maintains a small, if constant population split between affluence and laborers. Reports of strange occurrences dwindle during this time.
- The population of the Sept continues to dwindle to only a handful of Garou, but is eventually rekindled by Richard Matthews, or ~Wound-Sealer~, a Child of Gaia theurge-doctor. Through his connections, Garou of many different tribes begin to converge; the Uktena attempt to maintain their monopoly on leadership, but ultimately fail. The Sept is renamed "Looking Glass" to better reflect the new Garou population.
- A mage by the name of James Hartford belonging to the Celestial Chorus passed through and stayed for a short amount of time; some interesting notes were made, but he carried on through without lingering.
- The Vampires maintained a fringe interest at best, regarding the town much akin to the "whistle stops" of the train era: a place to rest and slake one's thirst, but not worth lingering at.
- 1930s, Depression Era: Crime, poverty, and abandonment of mines leads to an unsettling array of negative emotion that, in addition to the ambient energy of the area, invites the creation of a huge bane that dwells in the umbra of the lower mines. The local supernaturals remain unaware. Patronage of the Crystal Springs Hotel becomes startling low and remains as such until the 1950s.
- With the general unpleasantness of the era, the Garou remain busy dealing with an assortment of banes and wyrm-tainted creatures that have begun manifesting all over the place.
- A few mages, urged by the words and notes of the aforementioned James Hartford, began trickling in. Most of these were Celstial Chorus and Dreamspeakers.
- The Vampires had begun to develop a somewhat steady presence in the city by this point, mostly Nosferatu infesting the abandoned mines, though a few of the other Clans began to hang around as well, mostly lured by the prospect of easy prey.
- Early 1940s, WWII Era: The town begins to re-energize with industrial necessity. Both Mages and Vampires come "en masse" to investigate the curious energy emanations of the area.
- The Garou remain an ever-present threat to both Mages and Vampires.
- The Mages began coming in more and more; there was a brief political struggle between the Hermetics and the Celestials that never turned violent. During this time, the Cult of Ecstasy, which had mostly been quiet, began trickling in and heading up more day-to-day affairs. Rumors spread about a large source of entropic power lying dormant under the Springs.
- The Vampires began to take an actual interest around now, regarding the population boon as something that could be exploited, though a coterie or two of Tremere and Malkavians arrive for various esoteric reasons. Aaron Godwin arrives around 1943, largely unannounced.
- Mid 1940s, "The Hope-Drinker's War": Invasive exploration between further mining and supernatural interference leads to the awakening of the mentioned bane referred to as "Jiskaar, Drinker of Hope", or simply "The Hope-Drinker". Vampires, Mages, and Garou are all killed unsubtly and indiscriminately as the spirit manifests in the realm with curious ease. The official report of the time details a geological disturbance that damaged much of the growing town. This several-year period is referred to collectively by supernaturals as "The Hope-Drinker's War", for even after the bane was dealt with, its underlings lingered for quite some time. Every sphere participated in and even worked together in some cases to bring this war to a close.
- The bane is eventually stalled by the Uktena spirit-guardian of the nearby Caern. As the nature of the Caern had always been that of visions, the spirit glimpsed into the future and moved quickly to utilize the Caern's power (and its own) to break apart and seal the bane before it could cause too much damage. The Sept theurges lead by Stargazer Follows-The-River aided in this, but all were forced to watch as their totem spirit sacrificed itself for a merely temporary solution. The secrets of this ritual, and the collected information concerning the event, were then promptly entrusted to several spirits, which were then bound into a single, knowledge-housing artifact referred to as the "Silent Circle."
- Dealing with the bane proved to be almost too much for the local Mages; several of their best went into Quiet after straining themselves too hard, and many were killed. The Hermetics primarily led the battle on the Mages' side, and they formed an alliance with the other supernaturals. However, Hermetics being who they are, they often left the impression of thinking that they Knew Best, and were frequently blamed when battles went wrong.
- The Vampires devoted themselves to rooting out what nasties they could within the city itself, leaving the wilds to the lupines and the odd Gangrel that happened to be in the area and showed inclination that way. Aaron served as something of a general during this time, staying out of the actual fighting but directing the efforts of not only Kindred and ghouls, but those kine he had influence over. After the Hope-Drinker and its minions had been finally defeated, the Kindred population as a whole largely went quiet, recovering from the ordeal.
- Late 1940s, "The Silent Council": The city rebuilds, and the supernaturals lick their wounds as they watch each-other warily. While one war was over, another was just about to begin, and everyone could smell it.
- Panlong the water dragon is summoned by now-legendary Follows-the-River to protect and act as totem for the Caern, which has since manifested an ability to heal terrible wounds. All of the local springs eventually follow suit to some lesser extent. The Silent Circle artifact is split into 13 parts and each transformed into a fetish offered to the 13 Elders of the present tribes. The council of fetish holders is referred to collectively as "The Silent Council." This was done to both ensure the secret knowledge of the past remained just that, and to prepare for the coming, inevitable war.
- The Mages, their numbers dramatically reduced, settled once again. The Hermetics largely left around this time.
- The Vampires remain, for the most part, quiet, only a few years having passed. Some of the younger ones that survived began resuming their usual habits, but the majority of the older Kindred either left or stayed quiet.
- 1950s, "The Silent War": The healing nature of the springs invites tourists and a greater population, but behind the scenes, a "silent" and vicious war breaks out. Vampires are systematically wiped out by the Silent Council and the Silent Circle fetishes. Mages maintain a brief defense long enough to create a secret Chantry and go into hiding to avoid destruction. The Crystal Springs Hotel is remodeled as a historic landmark and returns to its previous affluence.
- The Silent Council and The Sept of the Looking Glass as a whole declare an official crusade against all the wyrm-things in the area; this is an offensive the likes of which had never before been seen in the region.
- The Mages organize and form a Chantry, primarily headed up by the then-prolific Cult of Ecstasy. They did not retaliate: instead, they created a place that was largely guarded against supernatural intervention. Those that were left were primarily Dreamspeakers and Cultists with a handful of Celestials and one or two of the other Traditions here and there. Their numbers did not explode, but they were maintained fairly well while giving the illusion that they had disappeared entirely.
- Younger Cainites die almost too fast to count, so quickly that the new ones arriving on the coattails of the population boom have no warning as to what awaits them. Most of the elder generations, waking from their rest since the Hope Drinker's War, were also caught and purged by the werewolves, unprepared for this assault. For all intents and purposes, all active Kindred in Crystal Springs are wiped out.
- 1960s-early 1990s, "The Namebreaker War": The Crystal Springs economy surges, and the city begins what will become a longstanding tradition of city beautification and natural aesthetic. Behind the Veil, the Garou declare war on the remaining Mages.
- Riding on the high of their victory, local Garou theurges embellish and twist the secrets of the Silent Circle and the sacrifice of their previous patron spirit. It becomes common knowledge that the Garou fought off The Hope-Drinker single-handedly, and both the Mages and Vampires were to blame for creating and working with the bane of legend. Tempers flare in indignation and the hidden Mages are sought after and attacked for their past "transgressions".
- The Mages defended. Their numbers were reduced again, and precautions were taken to avoid being caught out where they could be destroyed. Inner political issues raged: there were many that wanted to leave, and leave right away, but there were others who still sought to seek a resolution. There were some, particularly Euthanatos, that voted to attempted to destroy the Garou and take the Node for themselves, but those were in the minority.
- The Vampires were largely quiescent during this period, those outside the city having learned what sort of heat the lupines were bringing and staying away, those inside well hidden away and/or in torpor, though a few began to stir and watch the troubles brewing between the two powers.
- Mid-1990s: Various companies including BT&S opens their businesses.
- Late 1990s: Namebreaker War ends in stalemate despite the powers of the Silent Circle fetishes. Mages compromise and agree to end further attempts to investigate the Caern and surrounding area. Vampires begin to secretly creep back into the town during this commotion.
- Early-Mid 2000s: A quiet calm allows for both the city and supernaturals to go about their own business and increase in strength.
- While many conservative Garou still staunchly demand war against the Mages, a somewhat liberal understanding develops, and some Garou begin to secretly work with the Mages to either protect the area from the increasing threat of oddly both wyrm- and wyld-taint, or once again investigate the mysteries sleeping beneath Crystal Springs. A policy of mutual tolerance develops.
- The Mages ease into the agreement. There are still those who are unhappy about the situation, and still more leave. The Chantry is bare-bones at this point, with only a scattering of the assorted Traditions.
- The surviving Kindred had by this point not so much begun to stir as to plan. The only survivors of the purges still remaining in the city (a Gangrel, a Tremere, and the Ventrue Aaron Godwin) agreed to a mutual-benefit alliance, using their combined talents to create secure areas for their kind as well as to observe their foes from those places of hiding.
- March 2009: The Recurrence: Mages discover and investigate a mine buried under the heart of the city that emanates powerful supernatural energies. It quickly becomes apparent that the tunnel is older than the mine, and at one time must have sported worked stone. Before a serious investigation can be completed, however, a huge bane manifests and erupts from the mine, sealing the entrance. In the ensuing battle, most Mages and Garou alike are destroyed along with the bane. The city once again issues an official statement of damage from geological activity.
- Most of the Silent Circle fetishes are lost in this conflict. Garou blame the Mages but no longer have the resources to enact any sort of vengeance, nor can the Mages actively retaliate. The two once again come to an understanding of nonagression and agree to let the mysteries of Crystal Springs remain just that for the time being. Tensions, however, run high.
- The Mages are somewhat mollified, and the Chantry finally disbands in entirety. A few individuals remain.
- This was the perfect opportunity, and was when the Kindred began to put their plans into action. Neonates from neighboring cities are quietly moved in, the ruling triad settling them into low-profile areas with precise instructions designed to minimize detection and maximize effective intelligence gathering.
- April 2009: Crystal Springs is experiencing economic plenty on the surface despite the national recession. Just beneath the surface, however, crime is rising, poverty is growing at a steady rate, and reports of strange occurrences are plenty and confound investigations.
- What few Garou are left have sent out messages for other Garou to come and help repopulate the area. Most Silent Circle fetishes remain at large. The newly-established Vampire Prince approaches the Garou and states that the local Kindred have the power to destroy them, but mysteriously decide to refrain. Garou are told to "remember this." Ostensibly, the Vampires intend to use this as leverage in the future.
- The Mages are at an all-time low and are very unorganized. The few that are left know of each other and band together whenever possible, but the lack of cooperative beliefs between the Traditions make it difficult to attempt to reform the disbanded Chantry. There remains an unclaimed Node under the previous location of the Chantry, and the local Mages have a bit of an agreement that it is to be shared. It is still guarded against other supernatural intervention, but those shields are weak now.
- The Prince that approaches the werewolves is none other than Aaron Godwin, and he does so against the advice of his "council," regarding the garou as worthy foes that have been delivered into a position of vulnerability. To strike them down now would be dishonorable and cowardly. Most of the younger Kindred failed to see a problem with that, but were unwilling to risk the Prince's displeasure (or the possibility of a lupine counterstrike without backup) and so stayed their hands as well.
- Current: Whatever power that is sleeping beneath the city and surrounding area has begun to seep in larger quantities, greatly energizing the area and also drawing to it both the curious and those that lust for power.
- Black Spiral Dancers have been sighted locally. This would be the first account of BSDs ever being in the area.
- Many new and powerful companies have become involved with local politics.
- Both Wyrm and Wyld taint have become fairly common and problematic.
- Energized crystals have begun to appear in the riverbed.
IC Information Edit
Or, what your characters should and should not know. This information will be added to as rulings are made, so check back frequently.
- The Hope-Drinker's War
- Garou native to the area are likely to know far more of the following than recent arrivals, but this is open information to historians.
- The Garou single-handedly defeated a large bane that was accidentally summoned by Vampires and Mages. These two spheres either took no part in the remedy of their fault, or sided with the bane. The truth of this matter has been lost to propaganda, but characters are free to surmise.
- The Uktena totem spirit only sacrificed itself after the Garou had put up a valiant and courageous defense. See above.
- The Silent Circle Artifact and 13 Fetishes
- Regardless of if a Garou is new or native to the area, all they might know about the Silent Circle fetishes is the following. Any theurges that might have known the truth of the matter are now dead or not talking.
- They are powerful fetishes created a century or so ago to deal with the Hope-Drinker.
- They have been successfully and effectively used to counter the agents of the Wyrm and those that might harm Gaia (Mages, etc.).
- They can only be held by Tribal Elders.
- Most of them were lost in the recent battle - "The Recurrence" - and remain at-large. They are to be recovered at all costs.
- Concerning the Recurrence
- The specifics of this battle were lost to the chaos of the event, but the following is fairly widely known to Garou:
- It was leaked to the Garou (probably by a Mage) that a handful of specific Mages broke their promise and investigated one of the abandoned mines. The resulting bane attack was thus indeed the fault of filthy Namebreakers (albeit only a few of them).
- With the death of most of the Elders, the bulk of the Silent Circle fetishes were lost.
- The mine that held the bane collapsed; it was promptly sealed in another mine, which was collapsed intentionally.
- There is currently a nonagression understanding with both the local Vampires and Mages, albeit with much chagrin.
Most Mages who were actually around during "The Recurrence" have dispersed. However, those that remain (and those who have had contacts with the Mages and historians in the area) know this much:
The Hope-Drinker's War:
- The Mages were nearly completely wiped out. They did, in fact, help to trap the bane, and several even gave warnings to the other supernaturals that the emergence was only a fraction of what could happen. They were not listened to for the most part.
- They were unfairly (in their eyes) persecuted in the years to come. While some are more forgiving of this than others, that wariness still runs high.
- In 2009, three Mages (with the assistance of another entity that may or may not be a Vampire; rumors vary) went too far and broke their promise to the Garou in an effort to tap into the massive resource of primal and entropic power held beneath the Springs. It was an accident, but a catastrophic one. Those three died, and the remaining Mages tried to do what they could to leash the malevolent spirit once again.
- With the "help" of the Garou, this malevolent spirit was pushed down but not defeated: most can still sense the entropic energies lurking. This did not come without cost, and many, many Werewolves and Mages died.
- This event caused the local Werewolves to become suspicious and angry, and no amount of attempts at reconciliation could make them see differently. Frustrated, most of the remaining Mages dispersed rather than risk the werewolves taking revenge. However, in their mutually weakened state, some sort of nonaggression understanding was formed. Thus, a handful of Mages still remain.
- Of the Fetishes that were lost, the Mages have a few, scattered amongst themselves. Of course, they do not know what they do or what they are for (they are merely interesting sources of magical energy) but they are out there.
Most Kindred arriving in Crystal Springs for the first time will only know that the city was recently a heated battleground between the childer of Caine, the moon-beasts, and magicians of some variety. Many Kindred died the Final Death in that war, but things have stabilized now, and the vampires could almost be said to be in a secure position. Almost.
Those that have been around longer would know more details, especially if they were around for the War of the Hope Drinker, though this is limited to the current Prince, his two close advisers, and any relatively old vampires that had the good sense to stay well hidden (and the good luck not to get discovered anyway) during the werewolf purges that followed.
Changelings coming to Crystal Springs would know that the society here is ungoverned by the houses or the nobles and seems to have been that way for some time. And like it. Commoners are popular in the area, but nobles have been known to come and go, especially given the Market. The Toothless Gryphon Tavern is widely known as a freehold that Changelings are welcome to (although not to take Glamour from without express permission) come and drink and gather and play and so forth. (See the sphere information.) The Wilde Ranch was getting on the radar as a welcoming freehold as well, but has since closed to outsiders due to family reasons.
The locals have fostered good relations between Changelings and the shifters, particularly Garou. This was spearheaded by Baroness Branwen Wilde, mostly, while good relations with the Mages in the area seems to have been Rosalind Jaffe's pet project. Keeping peace and harmony with the other supernaturals in the city and land that surrounds it is always a priority.