Erebos: House of Darkness is a fandom RP, based on the Classic World of Darkness 'Vampire the Masquerade' tabletop game. It has been modified (and simplified) to fit a play-by-post environment You need not have played the tabletop game to participate, as all the information you need is found right here, on the site. Should you ever have more questions about anything not stated or explained, feel free to ask by shooting one of our Storytellers a Private Message at any time.
The current setting of Erebos is currently based around the Classic World of Darkness "modern nights" (20th Anniversary Edition, to be exact). It takes place approximately between 2018-2020. The Sects of Old (Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, etc.) are gone and there are 'new players in town.' After the ashes of the former have settled, 3 new dominant factions have arisen: Erebos, Maledictus and Concordia. Both Jyhad and Gehenna are nowhere in sight - and thus there are no worries or fear of overpowered Antediluvians, Werewolves, Mages, Hunters - looming anywhere near.
- Modern day (2018-2020)
- No Jyhad or Gehenna in sight
- Vampires & Mortals as PCs (Playable Characters)
- Set in a fictional 'sanctuary city' of New Babylon, CA
- Ghouls/Mages/Werewolves/Methuselah/etc., as NPCs
- No Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, etc. as organized sects
- Local and International settings as per forum and sub-forums
EREBOS, THE HISTORY
Erebos, the place of darkness in the Underworld. By this very name, the ancient Greeks had once defined a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony identifies Erebos (or Erebus) as one of the first five beings in existence, born of Chaos.
In our Universe, born within the World of Darkness, Erebos is a degenerate vampire mafia, designed to bring together all those Kindred who thrive on achieving power and control through non-conventional or unorthodox means. Erebos frowns on the traditional Kindred sects, such as the Camarilla or the Sabbat. They consider them outdated, misguided factions who thrive by essentially being at each other's throats. Erebos, as it came to be known in 100 AD, was forged out of a kindred coterie which began calling themselves the "House of Darkness", with a designated head being Marcus Julius Valerian. An ambitious Vampire who sought to grow far beyond his name and domain, Marcus envisioned a World of Darkness where true twilight would obscure the world of the Kine. It would be a world ruled by the strong and the limitless, and the only species that fit the description, were the Kindred.
Marcus began to rally other Vampires around him. Spreading the word rather haphazardly at first - at social gatherings and random interactions - getting his ideas out there through words which in the mind of the future Autarch spoke a lot louder than actions. The latter too, would later be added to support his claims of having found the ideal and ultimate solution: those who opposed Marcus Valerian would soon find themselves outcasts in their own society. This Vampire was the ultimate master of verbal sabotage. Once you had found yourself on his 'black list', your reputation and trust among your own kind was as good as gone. Networking was Valerian's strongest suit. Guided by undeniable charisma, he would rally to him the weak and the powerful, the clever and the ridiculous, alike - making them all believe that they would become a part of something greater than themselves - EREBOS: The House of Darkness. No more civil strife, no more infighting between the self-righteous Camarilla, always clinging to the Kindred status quo - and the rebellious Sabbat, believing themselves to be Caine's secret army. As far as Valerian believed, both were critically flawed, both in their presumptions and their ridiculous laws. Only in surrendering oneself to true Darkness, to a SINGLE purpose - would the Kindred prevail - Valerian believed. Everything else was just ... trivial details.
Other coteries, families - what have you - groups of vampires that followed a single leader toward a common end - would join Erebos soon enough. There was House Vindicta, a house of warriors and assassins; the House Tenebris, a house of Intellectual Professionals; the House Concordia, a house of care-free and pacifistic outcasts; and House Maledictus, a house of powerful mages and alchemists. House Limbus, the base upon which Erebos was founded, was delegated as the place that would receive all new potential recruits. A new leader of Limbus was going to be elected to lead it - since Valerian would concentrate solely on running Erebos, after he had successfully consolidated his power.
Yet there is no perfect setting. And sooner or later, a seed of discord would inevitably strike Erebos as well. Maledictus, the most secretive and degenerate of its houses, began to rumble against Valerian's rule as absolute leader. Though they kept their disgruntled opinions mostly to themselves, a word or two had reached Vindicta, the house of assassins. Immediately following this news, the ruler of Vindicta saw this as an opportunity to advance his own power and influence - by obliterating the treacherous Maledictus and thus proving his absolute loyalty to the Autarch Valerian. In the end, an operation was carried out, whereby the entirety of Maledictus Elders was diablerized. Though it could not be proven later on, the surviving Maledictus accused Vindicta of foul play and later on ran, knowing the latter's wrath would follow.
But was it really THAT simple?
It seems that there was so much more to THIS particular story . . .
While the original Erebos organization had endured for centuries, its legacy - indeed, its destiny - was mired in corruption and stagnation, barely held together by the fragile threads of the Masquerade. With its five houses and leaders linked by a complex system of loyalties, paths and alliances, it was a time of complacency and stagnation.
Having grown increasingly dependent on their addictions to blood, power and greed, the Houses grew lethargic, losing themselves in the decadence and debaucheries that often accompany such decay. Their horizons exhausted, their goals eclipsed by the demands of their thirst, the Houses did little to stem the growing tides of dissent. Instead, they retreated even further behind the stale traditional barriers of their own devising.
In some areas of the world, the thirst and pursuit of power became a living instrument of terror. Manipulation of mind and matter through blood thaumaturgy allowed degenerate fledglings within House Maledictus to seize entire cities. It gave them the drive and the power to utterly dominate and oppress entire populations with little regard for the Masquerade. A reaction was imminent, and once begun it spread like a holy flame of inquisition throughout Erebos.
Eager to rid themselves of the increasingly renegade Maledictus, the Erebos Autarch, Marcus Julius Valerian called on the loyalists to stop the rebellious in their tracks. The call to punish the guilty was taken up by House Vindicta who took to the cleansing of cities with feverish zeal. Where the Maledictus exerted influence, they would be overthrown or expelled, and a wholesale 'cleansing' of an area would commence. The leader of Maledictus and his entire noble bloodline - many of whom had existed for hundreds of years - were simply wiped out, diablerized by the irate Vindicta fanatics.
Although a handful of Maledictus survived, their House was considered nearly extinct. In addition to the guilty, many innocent perished in the widespread destruction spawned by the house-wide Blood Hunt. The Great Revolt changed the fabric of the House of Darkness, plunging Erebos into a new dark age from which it would not soon recover.
When the dust had settled, the majority of Maledictus lay embracing Final Death. Those who managed to save themselves, hid away from public eye and lay dormant as if to make everyone else believe that they were completely eradicated. It would take some time, but the surviving Maledictus swore they would rise again and right all the wrongs they had been dealt. In the meantime, House Concordia - watching all the vindictive activity on the sidelines - began having doubts that their place in Erebos was where they were meant to be. But did they have anywhere else to go?
Centuries later, and still mired in strife . . .
In one of the final skirmishes between the surviving Maledictus and the predatory Vindicta, the leader of House Vindicta had fallen. It was the year 2015 and the House of assassins had a glaring vacancy. In came an infamous Toreador from another crime organization known as Saligia - a man wanted by the same organization for having blood bonded with another Kindred and thus broken a cardinal law for not having obtained the approval of Saligia's leadership prior to doing so. Bottom line, he was a traitor, a known playboy and a brilliant strategist. He was Tristan Arthur Krauss, a former Prince of Pittsburgh, a man whose infamy followed him for many decades and did not stop even as he stumbled through the front door of the Amaranthine, the Erebos chief Elysium.
Thanks to his prior acquaintance with an influential Tzimisce known as Divia Le Croix - a former Saligia associate who had joined the Erebos ranks decades prior to his arrival - Tristan was given a trial run as leader of Vindicta. His charisma and smarts undisputed, Valerian could not wait to see what Krauss could bring to the organization. Of course, Tristan would sign over his soul upon joining. Of course, he had no intention of keeping such a ludicrous pledge.
Long before Krauss took his oath of allegiance, House Concordia decided (unanimously so), to separate from Erebos and seek their fortunes elsewhere. As an extreme pacifist sect, they had little chance of survival. All they wanted, was to be left alone - to live amongst the Kine and to have a future that no Kindred before them deemed as viable. They wanted to work and live among the humans, to be their neighbor and friend, to live non-violent lives. This would, of course, call for drastic changes to their lifestyles and diet. They would not mind, although it would get very difficult - to say the least. In direct response to their exodus, the Autarch called for their extermination. They had betrayed their oath to Erebos, and they would have to suffer the same fate as Maledictus. The Concordia had to run. And run they did, even though they knew it would prove to be futile. No other Kindred organization or coterie would ever accept their kind. They simply had to find a place where they would be hunted no more. And that in itself, was an impossible feat.
Well, almost . . .
Tristan Arthur Krauss always had a weak spot for hard luck cases. Though he was a clever and calculating man, he was not without heart - and he was, after all - a Toreador. The plight of Concordia was not foreign to him, since he was also on the run himself, from Saligia - his former coterie. Having identified with their plight, Krauss was now ready to assist them - in any way possible. He would expend his money and his trust, to have the Concordia outcasts situated and properly taken care of. He would give them alternate identities and a means to start over - and they would never know the name or the face of their benefactor. He would be their savior and they would become his life's work. Still, no good deed goes unpunished - especially in the world of the Kindred. Gossip slowly began to circulate; word of Tristan's insane expenditures towards lavish parties and extreme ways to get things accomplished began to reach the Autarch's ears.
Unbeknownst to Tristan, Divia Le Croix - the very 'friend' who helped him obtain the seat of Vindicta - was actually Valerian's agent. Devout onto the Autarch and no one else, it was her sole purpose and mission to weed out anyone who did not seem to 'belong' - whether by way of their divergent ideas or contrary sympathies. While should not implicate Krauss in direct treason, Divia could sense something wasn't right with the new "Lord Protector" of Vindicta. She made it her paramount goal to discover exactly what it was that seemed so off... about the devastatingly handsome and devilishly clever Toreador. And perhaps she would have remained completely blind to his true motives if it wasn't for the most ludicrous thing that gave him away: a recent, complete liquidation of his assets in the municipality of Las Vegas. This sudden and unprovoked action on the part of one of Erebos' most venerated lieutenants raised sharp warning flags in the Autarch's direction. He ordered an immediate investigation of Krauss, though he directed it be kept completely under wraps. The man was still an incredibly useful asset - and Valerian did not want to pass any sentences upon Tristan unless he had absolute proof that the latter was indeed, guilty - beyond the shadow of a doubt …
In the midst of all this, now being the year 2016, a terrible tragedy struck a resounding chord with the Kindred Population. A notorious secret society of elite witch-hunters called the 'Brotherhood of Orion' who had been hunting vampires since their inception in 1390 AD Constantinople, decided to unleash a bio-engineered virus called "The Machiavellian Plague" upon the unsuspecting Kindred population. With humans as carriers, the vampires of all ages, sects and generations began to meet Final Death, unable to stop the progression of a malevolent disease that seemed to burn them from within. No one was immune. Numerous Kindred fled to obscure 'ends of the earth', pursued by the fanatical hunters of Orion. The plague decimated nearly one-third of the world's current population (in addition to two-thirds of the Kindred) before an antidote released by the Brotherhood finally found its way to the hands of both species and put a resounding halt to their dwindling numbers.
Two Years Later...
During this time, the (yet) unaffected members of Erebos, Concordia and Maledictus decided to relocated to a different city which would become their new headquarters and a safe haven, ideally unknown to Orion trackers. They headed deep into what was generally accepted by their kind as "former Anarch territory" - or the Westernmost state of California. There, in the lush vineyards of the famed Napa Valley, blossomed a city that had never been touched by the plague: a metropolis known as New Babylon. With a thriving human population and an equally booming travel industry, New Babylon was a hidden gem of Napa Valley, and the perfect 'fertile' ground for the Kindred to put down roots in.
An uneasy truce continued. Sinking deep into the New Babylon's underground, the Erebos staked out the northeastern part of the city, while the Maledictus settled just south of them. Concordia took to the west part of New Babylon sitting on the other side of Birch River. Although not every former enemy or friend had the nerve to keep the peace, the majority opted to follow the mandate of 'enmity without hostilities'. They had spent centuries hating and fearing one another but it only took one year to realize they had a bigger enemy to fear or hate. The Brotherhood of Orion was not going anywhere - and already there were whispers of heavily armed mortals scouting the West bank of the city, possibly in hopes of setting up their new headquarters. If the Brotherhood of Orion was already in New Babylon, then the Kindred factions had to lay low and maintain the ultimate Masquerade - or face another real threat of extinction - by the very kind whose blood they would gorge upon . . .
Blending the dark eroticism of the vampire with suspenseful adventure in North America's most exotic locales, Erebos is a unique, enduring, and most riveting saga. In the alluring tradition of Vampire: the Masquerade, this is the classic role-playing community that first introduces the tormented heroes who have walked the earth throughout time, battling for wealth, power, influence, honor . . . and love.
This, is where our story truly begins.