Many years before the birth of the mad prophet known as the Christ, a storm-tossed Phoenician biremes makes port in the limpid waters of Guanabara Bay. The vessel carries a mysterious passenger in its hold; a 4th Generation Brujah vampire. Ashnar is one of those who witnessed the birth of Carthage. He still wonders what it might have meant for Kindred and kine had the dream the city represented not been allowed to rot from within.
Weary to the bone, Ashnar of the many delusions wanders through the gentle mountains and lush forests of his exile for years, learning the secrets of the land and its people. Increasingly, however, his Phoenician servants suffered from the attacks of the native shapechangers. Choosing the most mystically charged mountain peak of the region, Ashnar prepares his resting spot. Atop what is today known as the Pedra da Gávea, he enters into torpor, hoping to leave his broken dreams behind him.
The centuries pass and the Mediterranean once again discovers the existence of another continent across the dark western sea. Europeans rename the land "Brazil", and begin to arrive upon its shores in ever greater numbers. Ashnars dreams return to haunt him in his mountain refuge. His fertile imagination has been left inactive for too long, and the arrival of the newcomers reminds him of more interesting times. From the depths of his slumber, Ashnar begins to undertake the construction of a Utopia where kine and Kindred may live together in harmony. He envisions a community springing up around the peaceful bay, a crossroads of the world, combining the best of all civilizations. Ashnar has failed in his quest for Golconda. His sleep grows restless. With the best of intentions, he begins calling out to others of his kind...
1565 - By the grace of God and his Majesty King D. Manuel of Portugal, newly appointed Captain Estácio de Sá arrives in Guanabara Bay from Bahia, the main Portuguese settlement in the New World. He expects to fight the French, who have been making a nuisance of themselves since 1555, raiding up and down the colony's coast. Estácio establishes the fortification of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro in the gap between Sugar Loaf and Dog Face mountains. He sets about liberating the Isle of Serigy from the French invaders who have constructed a base there.
The gallant Cavalheiro Philippe D'Albuquerque is a respected member of Estácios party. His nocturnal habits are easily explained away as an understandable aversion to the beastly tropical sun. In reality, the young knight is a vampire, Embraced in Lisbon by none other than Dona Yolanda de Mendonça, the Toreador Prince of that city. D. Yolanda has strong ties with the Portuguese crown and an insatiable desire to expand her Domain. She was the force behind the throne that ensured the success of Henry the Navigator's original exploratory voyages. She dreams of transforming Lisbon into the capital of Europe; the guiding light of civilization. Her Ventrue allies provide her with the coin to make her dreams reality.
Philippe came to the New World because unlife near his Sire had become unbearably stifling. Though Blood Bound to Yolanda, he is an ambitious ancilla, with dreams of his own. Philippe has convinced Yolanda that it is in her best interests to let him help consolidate her rule in the colonies. He intends to spy out the lay of the land and, if possible, begin setting the wheels in motion to create a city which he plans to rule for himself. The turquoise waters of Guanabara Bay, framed by jungle covered mountains calls out to Philippe's soul: the young Toreador believes that he has found the earthly Paradise. Here, far from Europe's stinking masses, he decides to build and rule over the perfect city.
The French have other plans for the region however, and have allied themselves with the powerful Tamoio Indian Confederacy. Estácios uncle, Governor General Mém de Sá, must organize a second expedition to keep the new colony from being overwhelmed. Philippe, desperately looks for a way to tip the scales in favor of his thrall. He wanders the foothills of the Serra da Tijuca, conversing with the shamans of the Temiminó people. Finally, Iamurutu, a shaman of the Temiminó sends word to Philippe that he has received a vision and wishes to meet with "the chief of the Portuguese". Philippe and lets the shaman put him into a trance; he goes over to "the other side" to receive the Indians wisdom.
The next night, Philippe returns to the fort, a queer light burning in his eyes. He advises Mém de Sá to strike an alliance with the Temiminó, who immediately accept, much to the Governor's surprise. With Estácio in the lead, the combined forces of the Portuguese and Temiminó attack the main French camp atop mount Leripe. Philippe leads a secondary assault upon Serigy Island fortress, taking it after a bloody battle. The Toreador fights as if possessed by the devil; the few Indians who struggle beside later claim to have seen him rend men in two with his bare hands.
French power in the bay area is crushed, but Estácio de Sá perishes in the fray atop Mount Leripe. Philippe is forced to fake his own death and Dominates Mém de Sá. The General Governor's first step is to create the Royal Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, autonomous with regard to the rest of the colonies, thus forcing the Portuguese Crown to invest more money in the region. Thumbing his nose at his Sire, Philippe begins to lay the plans for his city...
As the years pass, the young Toreador goes native, becoming more and more convinced that Europe is a dead end for civilization. Looking after what he perceives as Rio's best interests, he interferes in the region's administration, making it more and more his own Domain. Philippe is a good Prince for the fledgling settlement. His relationship with Iamurutu makes him very powerful; the shaman teaches him how to call upon Anhangá, the fire spirit, for aid and with help this powerful entity, Philippe and his troops wipe out the huge Tamoio Confederacy.
The French Try Again
Rio grows and becomes a bountiful community. As the decades pass, other Kindred begin to trickle into the region, most looking for a refuge from the deadly politics of the Old World. Several Gangrel arrive in the Colony, fleeing the devastation of the Anarch Revolt. Unexpectedly, they find themselves liking the city's unusual Prince, who is willing to let them establish large plantations around the bay in return for an oath of fealty. Though the Gangrel rule their fiefs with an iron fist, their proliferation in the countryside goes unheeded by the Prince. Philippe reveals his alliance with Anhangá to no one. Caught up in his dream of the perfect city, he finds little time to worry about the actions of others, as long as they don't interfere with his plans. Jungle, Kindred and kine know the richest harmony they will ever have in the history of the city.
Over the years, Yolanda becomes irritated with the actions of her Childe, and nurses suspicions with regards to his plans for Rio. She had originally promised control of the region to her Ventrue allies. Though this meant little in the beginning, as the city and the surrounding countryside increase in wealth, so, too, do the Ventrue Signatories' complaints. Yolanda does what she can to convince the Elder that Philippe is an upstart, taking matters into his own hands. Her erstwhile ally responds in kind. In 171O, a second French expedition sets sail for Brazil, carrying two Ventrue ancillae. Secreted in the bilge of one of the vessels is the Nosferatu master strategist Theodontos, who plans not only to check out the proceedings, but to create a foothold for his clan in the New World as well.
Expedition Commander Jean François Duclerc tries to land in the Bay, but Philippe has been forewarned of the impending strike by friends in Yolanda's court. The Brazilians prepare a hot reception for the French, and the landing fails. Duclerc decides on a second attempt at nearby Guaratiba. The invasion there is a success, and pushing overland, French troops enter Rio through the city's outskirts. A scratch militia organized by Friar Francisco de Menezes defeats the invaders after a sharp fight. Menezes, a devout Catholic and a member of the Inquisition, notices the French Ventrue. The unlucky pair are imprisoned and put to torture. Duclerc is shackled with them, to be used as food. In a clear breach of the Traditions, Philippe doesn't interfere with Friar's homegrown Inquisition. The Prince does nothing at all as the imprisoned Kindred are slowly put to the Final Death.
The Ventrue are infuriated by the defeat and destruction of their Ancillae. In 1711, they organize a third expedition, this time led by the very competent and well-known commander René du Gay- Trouin. The force is composed of 18 ships and several thousand men. Yolanda, determined to end Philippe's rebellion, decides to help her allies. Through her agents, she kills Salvador de S·, Philippe's pet Governor. Her connections with the Portuguese Crown remain firm, and Francisco de Castro Moraes, a traditionalist, is given the Governor's seat. Moraes an extremely strong-willed (or rock-dumb), is very hard for Philippe to Dominate. He runs off during the opening moments of the French attack, giving eloquent testimony to Yolanda's ability in choosing qualified help. Trouin's men fall on Rio like a tidal wave, its strength swamping the city's leaderless defenders.
The following nights are hell on Earth for Rio's inhabitants, as the French maim, rape and plunder at will. The Venture accompanying the expedition have an unforgettable party, but they don't find Rio's Prince, who has gone into hiding. Finally, realizing that he is in an untenable position, Philippe opens negotiations with Yolanda's representatives and allies. His attempt for autonomy has failed; if he wishes to maintain some say in the city's affairs, he must work out a compromise.
In exchange for calling off their pirates, the Ventrue take undisputed control of Rio's port facilities and import/export licensees. For her part, Yolanda punishes Philippe by making unlife in the colony difficult for him. She cuts his resources and sends another one of her Progeny, Dona Urraca, to watch over her wayward Childe. The Prince of Lisbon realizes she doesn't know very much about the New World, however. Her Childe, for all his errors, has been a competent caretaker of what she considers to be her property. Philippe, for his part, seems the very picture of contriteness. With Philippe now securely under D. Urraca's watchful eye, the Prince of Lisbon imagines that things in Rio will not escape her control again. No one imagines, however, that Philippe's earlier behavior could be the result of older, more arcane influences...
The Ajé Olo
The years pass and Rio returns to normal. Philippe remains Prince, but his power is now curtailed by D. Yolanda's supporters. Despite this, the city remains a magnet for those Kindred dissatisfied with life in Europe.
At first, there were few Africans in the Guanabara Bay region. As the Atlantic triangle trade took hold, however, whole ethnic groups were thrown into the bottomless maw of the Brazilian sugar industry. The trade in human flesh has drastically increased the Rio's population. The daytime city streets echo with the cries of auctioneers, and the purses of the Ventrue grow fatter with gold distilled from suffering. Philippe still believes that the New World shouldn't copy the vices of the old. Slavery is distasteful to him, and though he hasn't the power to ban it, he looks the other way when slaves flee to the country's interior to found veritable colonies of free black men and women. Within these Quilombos, the old ways of Africa are preserved and taught and out of them comes something not encountered before....
Rumors begin to circulate among the Carioca Kindred about an African "clan" calling themselves the Ajé Olo. Uncommonly secretive, the Ajé maintain their own Masquerade, hiding from European Kindred as well as mortals. The sweltering city nights rumble with calls to the old gods; the African gods, who come down into the bodies of their followers and perform miracles, for a price... With help from Iamurutu, Philippe can sense that the Ajé have much control over the strange emanations crackling through the city's ether; he wonders what manner of creatures they have commerce with. Slowly and with great care, Philippe sends out feelers to the Ajé...
The Mad Queen
The dawn of the 19th century sees the Prince of Lisbon's power unraveling. The French Revolution turns European Kindred society on its ear. Malaria ridden colonists returning from Brazil infect their countrymen; the disease ravages Lisbon. Yolanda has her hands full just keeping her personal herd unharmed. Little does she realize that the plague is the work of Theodontos. The Nosferatu had taken refuge under the city of Angra dos Reis after coming ashore with the French. With the failure of the first invasion and the death of its Ventrue leaders, he decided to remain outside the city, observing. Over the years, Theodontos has come to realize that someone is directing Philippe's hand. Since Yolanda has regained a measure of power in Rio, however, Philippe's mysterious patron has become more circumspect. The Nosferatu is curious as to what direction things will take if Philippe's Sire were somehow removed from the picture. He plans to take advantage of the ensuing confusion to finally move his haven into the tunnels under the city.
D. Maria I, Queen of Portugal, seizes power in the midst of the empire's crisis. With Yolanda distracted by the Mixed Plagues, however, a Sabbat pack decides to take advantage of the confusion. They attack the young queen's family and Embrace them. Night after night, the children wander through the palace, imploring their mother to save them from the "monsters". D. Maria retreats into insanity, but manages to save João, her youngest son. She stays by the infant at night, always keeping crosses near to hand. With the aid of her mad faith, the queen manages to hold on to her son's life.
As the years pass, the queen's sanity weakens further. She is eventually forced to relinquish power to D. João, who becomes the sixth King of Portugal to bear that name. At his coronation, the Court is quietly amused by the queen's ravings of vampires infesting the palace. The new King brushes these delusions aside; he has greater worries. Napoleon has come to power in France. Allied with neighboring Spain, the Corsican threatens to invade Portugal. Faute de mieux, D. João accepts the suggestion Yolanda puts to him through her minions: move the Empire's capital to Rio de Janeiro. In 1808 the Portuguese Royal Family and Court embarks for Brazil en masse.
Philippe, surprised by the Crown's move to Rio, is infuriated when he finds out that his Sire is also coming and intends to take control of the city. Yolandas allies carefully prepare the way for her assumption of power, and she places great confidence in the strength of the Blood Bond tying Philippe to her. The new Prince at first lets her progeny keep his high profile. Philippe feigns utmost allegiance, but his experienced Sire can sense that something is wrong. Rather than making him behave as she sees fit, Yolanda undermines the rest of his authority, little by little.
Rio profits when D. João VI in 1815 elevates the city to the same Court status that Lisbon once had. 15,000 people come to Brazil with the king, changing the country forever. Philippe exults at the opportunities which the transformation brings to the city. His conceptions of how Kindred should relate to kine and to each other have become very different from what they once were, though he doesn't realize this. The blooming of Carioca culture is not enough to make him forget his resentment. Nightly, his hatred for his Sire grows.
The Carioca Court
The King opens the Brazil's ports to all friendly nations (in other words, the UK), and several Kindred move to Rio, attracted by the city's free climate and its flowering Court. This was not foreseen by Yolanda. She makes the newcomers swear allegiance to her, but does not yet feel secure enough to really attempt to rule Rio as a Prince should. At first, the wave of new arrivals seems to threaten her tenuous hold on the city. The newcomers are mostly from the traditional Camarilla clans, however. Over time, they naturally gravitate to Yolanda's orbit of influence. Philippe and his allies seem too exotic for many of these European Kindred's tastes. Alan Boggart, a Ventrue Blue Blood from England is one of Rio's newly resident Cainites. He has come to Brazil to take care of his clan's interests there. Yolanda takes a liking to Boggart and renews her long standing alliance with the Ventrue through him. She realizes that it will take money to push civilization into the depths of the country. A Domain of continental proportions has been her ambition since the earliest pioneer days. In return for his aid, Yolanda gives Boggart control of the hotels and a good chunk of the export business.
Yolanda tends to feed on the blue blood of the aristocratic Portuguese who came to Brazil with her. Philippe, gone native, feeds on the mixed blood of the nationals, who are slowly but surely turning Republican. Freemason cells, secret societies and anti-slavery groups sprout up, influenced by the ideals of the French and American Revolutions. The new Abolitionist and Republican movements, composed of racially mixed Brazilians, see democracy as a path to social equality and freedom. Their abolitionist politics are perfectly compatible with Philippe's visions of a new Atlantic Carthage, and he does what he can to expand their influence.
Under Yolanda's guidance, white Portuguese society blossoms and grows. The new Prince desires to impose her classical European tastes on Rio. Artists and architects are imported from the Old World to remake the face of the city. Professors and tutors are hired to train the children of the colonial elite in the fine points of cosmopolitan culture. Yolanda can't imagine that Philippe could possibly disagree with her actions. After all, isn't she trying to bring beauty and civilization to this Godforsaken imperial outpost?
On the other hand, Yolanda becomes increasingly worried about the city's mystical environment. There are large sections of the vampiric population Yolanda simply cannot account for. Close to a third of Rio's Cainites are Ajé Olo and the African-Brazilians refuse to have anything to do with the new Prince. There seems to be an older presence at work somewhere within Rio as well, but she can't pinpoint who or what it might be. She feels its all pervading influence, though; it makes time seem to move a little slower in the city, it takes the hard edges off of things... The new Prince despairs that the culture of her beloved European always hopelessly remain under the influence of Brazil's variegated ethnic background. Yolanda is disappointed with Philippe's refusal to support her civilizing crusade. Her Childe spends much of his time traveling the countryside. His manipulation of the secret societies shows great cunning and drive, qualities he noticeably lacked while in Lisbon.
In 1818, inspired by Yolanda, D.João VI cracks down on the secret societies, which by now constitute Philippe's principal flock. Philippe, who more and more hopes for a truly integrated society of kine and Kindred, is furious with the King's repression, until he realizes that the societies are all the more popular for being forbidden. Though he has no hope of confronting Yolanda head-on and winning, the kine population's mood has turned strongly against the Portuguese Crown. Philippe thus publicly reaffirms Yolanda as his liege while simultaneously strengthening his covert alliances. He then sits back to watch the fireworks.
The Great Upheaval
In 1820 rebellion breaks out in Portugal. With the threat of Napoleon now five years gone, the former seat of the Empire wants to regain its special privileges. Yolanda takes the opportunity to order Philippe back to Portugal. Though still unsure as to what her Childe intends, she feels a need to keep him away from his numerous and eccentric allies. Taken by surprise once again, Philippe appears to obey. Unfortunately for the Prince, her regency over her Childe has been mysteriously weakened. Philippe disappears, but never boards his ship. He takes refuge among the Ajé Olo.
Though the African-Brazilian Cainites have traditionally eschewed contact with the European Kindred. A new force in the clan's politics has recently risen to prominence, however. Ubirajara, a mixed blood Ajé leader realizes that in order to prosper, his people must open relations with others of their kind. Ubirajara's attitudes bring him into conflict with several traditionalist hotheads, but the powerful mestiço's views prevail in the end. Evaluating Philippe as the lesser of the various evils, Ubirajara gives the Toreador refuge and offers to help him strike at Yolanda. In return, the Ajé asks for greater participation in city affairs, assuming Philippe is able to regain a measure of his previous power...
The Queen Mother, D. Maria I, has not forgotten her obsession with vampires, however. She finds a local priest who shares her fixation and the pair begin a private witch hunt. The recent wave of immigrants has brought Rio's Cainite population to an all time high. Yolanda uses the newcomers to help maintain the balance of power between her forces and Philippe's, though the large number of resident Kindred puts the Masquerade at serious risk. Through the Ajé, Philippe discovers the havens of several of Yolanda's key supporters. Posing as a concerned citizen, he passes this information along to the Mad Queen's flunkies, who promptly act upon it. Unfortunately for the ambitious Toreador, the Nosferatu Theodontos, now well established in Rio's subterranean galleries, has finally decided that the time is right to consolidate his clan's position in the city. Theodontos has been observing Philippe for some time. The alliance with the Ajé Olo interests him; it's obvious to the Nosferatu that some other power has had a hand in bringing it to fruition. He decides to throw more wood on the fire...
Yolanda flies into Frenzy when she learns of her supporters deaths. She offers unspecified rewards to anyone who can give her information as to the identity of the murderers. Theodontos takes her up on the offer. Introducing himself to the Prince, the old Nosferatu tells of Philippe's presence in the city as well as his involvement with Mad Maria and the Ajé Olo. Yolanda is surprised and disconcerted to learn of Theodontos' presence in her city, but she accepts his story and calls for a Blood Hunt against Philippe. Theodontos is rewarded for his efforts; he's given permission to expand the Nosferatu presence in Rio and the galleries of the undercity are formally ceded to him as Nosferatu territory. Not that it wasnt already.
Yolanda and her minions attack D. Maria, trying to abduct or kill the mad queen. The mortal escapes through a tunnel linking the Palace to the church across the street. Yolanda follows in a rage. Out of guilt and pity, she'd let the Queen live after the Sabbat attack. Now she would send this mortal threat to the Masquerade, to the Seventh Circle of Hell!
Informed that Yolanda has learned of his treachery, Philippe realizes that the cards are on the table. He hurriedly confers with Ubirajara; the two decide that the time has come to make a full scale bid for power. Though the Ajé Olos preparations for war are far from complete, Ubirajara knows that if he doesn't strike now, his people will be hunted down by the Prince as soon she deals with Philippe. The Toreador musters his few remaining and unlikely supporters and goes to the Palace. Ubirajara heads off into the night to lead the Ajé Olo in attacks against Yolanda's followers. Though the Ajé do not have enough strength to win the battle, they will be able to prevent reinforcements from reaching the Yolanda.
Fighting rages in the streets around the Imperial Palace. Philippe bursts into the tunnel under the church just as Yolanda finally catches up to the Queen. Possessed by Anhangá, supernatural fires seem to burn in his eyes. Yolanda commands him to submit, but Anhangá rips away the few remaining cords of loyalty forged by her Blood Bond. Philippe leaps upon her, wresting Mad Maria away and throwing the Queen to the floor. Battle is joined.
At first Yolanda is confident that she can defeat her enraged progeny. Philippe, however, draws heavily on Anhangá's resources. The Prince can sense that somehow he has obtained the aid of force far more powerful than she. The battle soon turns against Yolanda; she telepathically calls out for aid, unaware that her supporters are locked in combat with the Ajé Olo or running for their lives. Yolanda becomes increasingly desperate as she realizes that her reinforcements won't arrive in time. Philippe pins his Sire against the rough stones of the tunnel wall. Crazed with rage, he rips Yolanda's heart from her ribcage and consumes it. Yolanda's death scream of betrayal and despair echoes throughout the psychic aura of the city. From that moment on, it remains imbedded in the city's unconscious.
Philippe stumbles up from beneath the palace, his Sire's cries rattling in his mind. By some accident Anhangá is melded to his soul and the Toreador fears for his sanity. He climbs up into the mountains, journeying to where he first met the shaman Iamurutu. There, he sinks into the earth seeking relief in torpor. Philippe dreams of a city where kine and Kindred live in harmony, a vision so ancient and so full of grandeur that, gradually, his tormented soul is put at ease.
The city is in shock from the events of the Great Upheaval. Philippe has been missing since the attack on the palace. Many Kindred met their final deaths during the Ajé Olo attack. Surprisingly, things calm down quickly following Yolanda's death. It's as if her scream was a dire warning of what could happen if chaos was given free rein. With Yolanda's influence finally removed, D. João VI realizes that Brazil will soon demand an end to its colonial status. Through his son Pedro, he quietly steers a the nation towards independence, organizing things as best he can so that the transition will be carried out as peacefully as possible. On 1822, Brazil becomes an independent empire with Rio de Janeiro as its capital. The King returns to Portugal, leaving his son in power. Half of the aristocracy goes with him; the other half chooses to stay in the new nation. Many European Kindred decide to follow the Court back to Portugal, but those who remain in Rio are quick to reestablish control over their territories.
Yolanda's Brazilian progeny, Dona Urraca, spent the night of the Upheaval at the imperial summer palace in the nearby town of Petrópolis. With the destruction of her sire, Urraca suddenly finds unwanted responsibilities thrust upon her shoulders. Too many of Yolanda's original supporters either dead or missing; Urraca realizes that Rio's remaining Camarilla supporters must either close ranks at once or risk losing everything to the Ajé Olo and Caitiff gutter snipes. She calls upon Alan Boggart. The Ventrue leader listens to her fears, and suggests a "peace conference" to reestablish order in the city. With his help, Urraca sets to work contacting the region's most influential Kindred.
It is an event. Alan Boggart of the Ventrue and Theodontos both attend. The aristocratic Brujah, Girolamo and the founder of Rio's nascent chantry, Karl also put in an appearance. The Gangrel Elder, Colonel Agripino, leaves his plantations under the able care of his Ghouls and travels to Rio to participate in the encounter. Much to everyone's surprise, Ubirajara, one of Philippe's most fervent supporters, also show up. Though uninvited, he is left unchallenged; nobody wants a repeat of the Upheaval's chaos.
Urraca and Boggart are principally interested in smoothing the Elders ruffled feathers and presenting a united front to the gate crashing riffraff. Urraca declares that a new chapter has begun in the history of the city. Though she, of course, will hold power as Prince, she announces that it is her intention to rule Rio with the aid of the city's Elders.
As the negotiations evolve, Boggart, the true power behind the throne, decides that is a good time to initiate an important part of his long-range plan: the unification of Rios Kindred, independent of sect affiliations. The Ventrue is well aware that most of the city's vampires originally came to Rio seeking an escape from the endless strife among the Kindred in Europe, so he uses the meeting to, discreetly, sow the seeds of a future alliance of all the Elders.
By the end of the evening, Boggart and Urraca have confirmed their joint control of the city (in the Toreador's name, of course). Breathing a sigh of relief, D. Urraca turns the reigns of power over to Alan Boggart, the Council's President, and returns to the whirl of high society in Petrópolis.
Rio continues to grow. Over the years, the Kindred population slowly expands. Theodontos consolidates his position as head the eyes and ears of the Council. He has thoroughly mapped out the entire sewer system of the city. New Nosferatu arriving in town either submit to his rule or are sent to meet the sun. He sets them to work expanding his galleries, where they soon become experts at constructing hidden passages linking the sewer system with the Nosferatu labyrinth, while he spends most of his time studying the Ajé Olo. Theodontos has established that the Ajé are all too young to be the mysterious influence he has sensed since his arrival in Rio. He fears the clan's expansion, however, seeing a conflict with his own plans for the city. Though the Nosferatu has no desire to be Prince, he perceives that it's possible for him replace Alan Boggart as the principal power behind the throne. The wily Theodontos knows there is more at stake in Rio than just its power structure. Though he can't trace Ashnar, he hopes to eventually uncover the source of the ancient emanations which worry at the edges of his perception. His progeny have standing orders to alert him as soon as they uncover anything unusual in their diggings. Nothing out of the ordinary seems to buried under the city, however. There are no signs of ancient visitors to the region.
The presence of the Lasombra Nanna also intrigues the Nosferatu Elder. Still, Theodontos doesn't challenge her; Nanna is exceptionally good at hiding her motives and intentions, and he fears that she may be much more powerful than she lets on. For now, he is content to merely keep her under surveillance.
The first Malkavian, Isidore Ducasse, also arrives in Rio around this time, escaping a truly incomprehensible (to him) chain of events which made him persona non grata in Paris. Ducasse spends his first nights in town desperately trying to contact the city's Prince. Finally a Nosferatu takes him down into the sewers, to meet "the man". Ducasse doubts Theodontos intentions, but plays along with the game in order learn more about the city. Theodontos decides that Ducasse could be of some use as an extra pair of eyes, and offers his protection in exchange for the Malkvian's services. Ducasse, however, turns out to be unmanageable and disappears as soon as he discovers that he doesn't need to owe anyone any allegiance at all in order to survive in Rio's lax environment. He fades into Rio's mortal masses, sinking his teeth into the city's huge homeless population. Rio is full of ex-slaves and runaways who are never really accounted for...
Since the "peace conference", the Ajé Olo and the Brujah have pretty much kept to themselves. Their numbers were drastically reduced in fighting of the Upheaval and Boggart has let it be known that as long as they don't rock the boat, he'll leave them alone. The Ajé stake out their territory among the region's slave and free black population, thus entering into conflict with the Gangrel plantation owners. These Cainites secluded, rural lifestyle would be impossible to maintain without their herds of captive humans. The urbanized Ventrue and Toreador commiserate with their cousin's complaints of Ajé poaching, but take no steps to end the activity. After all, it keeps the majority of African licks out of the city...
Secretly, however, the schizophrenic Ducasse has also been Embracing Negroes, selling their neonate blood to the Tremere Bárbara dos Prazeres, whom he has recently met. The witch loves the substance and uses it in her feasts. With the help of her Sire, Karl, who is interested in having her cast her powerful rituals, Bárbara keeps her purchases secret, buying blood through Karl s ghoul servants. Other Cainites eventually learn of the special services the Malkavian can provide, however. Ducasse sees great possibilities in this clandestine market, so when a mysterious Lasombra exile offers to help organize and camouflage his operation, the Malkavian accepts. Together, Nanna and Ducasse slowly create a network of clients addicted to Diablerie. One of their most important clients is none other than Alan Boggart's childe, Antônio de Mercês...
The Baron's Lottery
While the Ajé Olo concentrate their attentions on the slave population, the urban Brujah expand their hunting grounds among Rio's impoverished free population. When the Baron of Drummond creates an "animal lottery" as a means of raising money for the city zoo, Girolamo immediately takes an interest. He has come to the conclusion that a State organized along European lines will never be able to attract the loyalty of the racially mixed masses which make up the majority of Brazil's free population. The beliefs of African slaves have combined with those of the superstitious European peasantry to create fertile soil for the popularization of games of luck, chance and sympathetic magic. Many of the city's poor freemen frequent the zoo with their children. They play the Animal Lottery, hoping to win a shot at prosperity. Girolamo sees the lottery as both a source of funds and a way of expanding his influence over the city's kine. Soon, the Brujah is in de facto control of the Baron's innocent lottery; he expands its scope far beyond what the mortal nobleman had ever dreamed.
Girolamo Embraces Pintinho, one of the lottery's principal operators. Pintinho turns the game into a Brazilian version of the numbers racket. Over the years, the Bicho operators turn into a parallel power structure in those areas where the State has little authority. The anarchic nature of the lottery amuses the Brujah. He sees to it that all bets and debts are scrupulously honored, and that no numbers are changed to accommodate anybody's friends.
Abolition and The Republic
Alan Boggart does much to expand his clan's influence in Brazil. D. Urraca realizes that ruling her Domain would be absolutely impossible without the Ventrue's sober intelligence and seemingly inexhaustible resources, he even manages a peace treaty with the Lupines. The Toreador/Ventrue alliance strengthens; the former helps transform Rio into the commercial gateway of South America, while the latter makes the city into a bastion of fine art and literature. D. Urraca does her best to maintain the balance of power among those Kindred she sees as "acceptable". She struggles to keep Carioca high society uncontaminated by what she perceives as low class cultural filth, isolating the Ajé Olo and Brujah's growing influence among the slaves and the poor.
What Urraca doesnt suspect is that Boggart covertly supports the Ajé Olo and Brujah s cause. Without their knowledge, he helps the Abolitionist movement by inciting revolt among the slaves and stirring up protests against theirs owners. Boggart, still following his British leaders, intents to destabilize Brazilian slave-based economy, making it more and more susceptible to English dominance. At the same time, he is also pursuing his own private agenda, which includes undermining Urraca s power. All the unrest caused by those conflicts and the liberal movements that abounded among the politicians and the Court result in the signing of the Abolition of Slavery by Princess Isabel, in 1888.
The uproar caused in Kindred society by this action is immense. Col. Agripino and the other Gangrel plantation owners power bases suffer a great blow, since they drew their financial resources and meals from slave labor. Infuriated, they demand an explanation from Urraca. They are backed up in this by Boggart and his allies. The situation for Urraca is delicate. She has two choices: either lie and say that everything that happened was a plan of hers, so as not to lose face, but incurring in the hatred of powerful Cainites; or say the truth and state her own incompetence, thus decreeing her political ruin. She opts for the second and resigns from Princedom, exiling herself in Petrópolis and secretly swearing vengeance on whoever plotted against her.
The natural course of events should have been the rise of a new Prince, however things take a different turn. The Elders, Agripino, Boggart, Karl, Girolamo, Nanna, Theodontos and the newly appointed Patrício, gather to decide the fate of Rio. After several nights of debate, Girolamo proposes a pact by which Rio would be governed by the council of Elders. Seizing up the opportunity, Boggart also suggests they cut all ties to the Camarilla or any other sects, thus establishing a Free Domain. He rationalizes that Rio s Kindred population is mostly composed of refugees and renegades, so it would be only natural to make their situation official. The other Elders agree with both proposals, since none of them is willing to risk their unlife in a power struggle, and most of them fit the description given by the Ventrue. Thus, the Rio Compact is signed by the Elders, who are known henceforth as the Signatories.
In the wake of the Abolition, a new economical class rises to replace the old, bringing republican ideals. In the military these ideals are backed by Positivist officers, who think that the true progress of a society can only be achieve with a military ruled Republic. So, without the support of a major part of the civil society and the military, the Republican coup is inevitable. Marshall Deodoro da Fonseca, not a very particularly ambitious Commander-in-Chief, is nevertheless manipulated both by radical parts of the army and the Ventrue.
To most other Signatories, the coup is only a technicality. However for Agripino it is still another blow as his puppets in the parliament are excluded from the new government. He starts to suspect the existence of a conspiracy to sap his power base. Agripino dismisses the possibility of a Toreador plot, as he doesnt think to highly of Patrícios abilities and powers. The Colonel is quite sure that Boggart is the one behind his downturn.
Theodontos has little interest in the squabble for power in the city. Nosferatu spies pay attention to everything that happens, however, supplying Theodontos with huge quantities of information to process. Behind recent events, he sees a pattern of great strength beyond the Toreador and Ventrue power struggle. The vision that strives to impose itself clearly has integrationist sentiments; though its force at the moment seems to be diluted, Theodontos has no doubt that a great battle is in the making. The Nosferatu throws themselves into preparations for the coming storm. New tunnels and galleries spread far and wide through Rio's underground. Theodontos begins to pay closer attention to the doings of the city's leaders.
Theodontos is once again tries to stir up some noise. He wants to force the ancient influence he senses to reveal itself. And he sees Agripinos spite as the spark to set of the power keg. It takes less then a few conspiratorial talks and some white lies, to induce the Gangrel Elder to make a reckless decision.
The Brazilian Navy has long been a redoubt of Gangrel influence; most of its officers are the sons of the backwoods land-owning elite. Agripino wants to state very clearly how he and his coven of shadowy patrons have suffered with the change in government. In 1895 the entire Navy revolts. The Nosferatu Elder once again retreats into his tunnels, isolating himself from Rio's fractious Council.
Rio's citizens react to the revolt with immense indifference, quickly becoming used to the sight of the rebellious fleet blocking the entrance to Guanabara Bay. Commerce is brought to a standstill, however, as the port remains closed and the docks empty of goods. Alan Boggart cannot attack the Gangrel for fear that open conflict between them and his supporters would lead to civil war in the already fractious city. At the same time, his commercial interests are being devastated by the blockade. Seeking a face-saving solution to the impasse, Boggart manipulates the government into asking the American Embassy for help. Thus begins a long relationship and fruitful between the Brazilian Ventrue and their North American cousins in Washington.
The feud between the Ventrue and the Gangrel continues for an embarrassingly long period. Finally, with the guns of the Yankees' Atlantic Fleet backing them up, the Republic obtains the rebels unconditional surrender. The revolt is crushed, and the Gangrel are forced to relinquish control over certain of their key protégés. The Council of Signatories "breathes" a sigh of relief as peace is reestablished.
The beginning of the twentieth century witnesses a population explosion in Rio. The power and wealth of the Signatory clans expands as the city grows and prospers beneath the limpid tropical moonlight. Most of the city's Kindred wholeheartedly support the Rio Compact, which they see as a way to combine Camarilla style civilization with Sabbat style freedom. The vast majority of undead newcomers to the city do indeed forsake their former allegiances. Rio's political climate is very explosive, however. While the Euroclans concentrate political power and shape society through its rulers, the Brujah, Ajé Olo and the city's growing Anarch population dominate the lower classes and the immigrant masses of freed slaves. The rebels increase their numbers to unprecedented levels. They jeopardize Alan Boggart's plans; the city is growing too much, too fast.
Nanna has been slowly amplifying her influence and deepening her relationship with Isidore Ducasse. She helps the Malkavian maintain his auction out of sight, enjoying the decadent influence the trade in vitae has on certain members of the city's power structure... In general, however, Nanna keeps a very low profile. To learn more about Brazil, she takes to traveling the countryside, studying the royalist and separatist insurrections exploding throughout the inland. In 1894 she witnesses the Canudos rebellion; impressed with the resilience and stamina of the Brazilian kine, daring ideas begin to hatch in her head.
The end of slavery didn't catch Ducasse napping. Rio has become a popular layover for those Kindred crossing the Atlantic ocean. Ducasse switches to these visitors as the primary suppliers of his blood auction. He chaperones the transients through the pleasures of Rio's soft, tropical nights encouraging them to create new progeny with tales of the city's lax Masquerade. Of course, he will take full responsibility for the education of the newly made Neonates when his continue their voyage... It is now of foremost importance that the Camarilla doesn't learn of his actions. Ducasse manages to acquire control of the city's police and fire departments, playing on his influence among Boggart's corrupted progeny. With his Lasombra associate temporarily absent, he feels the need to provide his thriving vitae smuggling operation with more official cover.
Theodontos is confounded by the failure of the Navy's rebellion. He'd hoped that the crisis would become acute enough that it would lead to open conflict between the powers struggling over Rio's destiny. He believed that the Anarch factions and the Ajé Olo would take the opportunity to strike a blow against their traditional enemies. With their participation, the crisis certainly would have reached a point of no return. It's obvious to him that the mysterious force he senses is promoting miscegenation and freedom among the city's kine, reinforcing the rebels' power base. What Theodontos doesn't understand is how this could be of use to any Methuselah. Whoever it is that's secretly playing Rio's strings is obviously both ancient and devious. The Nosferatu understands the city's volatile potential better than anyone; the way the crisis fizzled out is highly suspicious. Theodontos decides to wait and observe more before trying another move. He especially pays attention to the rapidly expanding Ajé Olo and Brujah. They seem to be getting ready to tip the balance of power in their favor. The hidden Cainite is unlikely to let this opportunity pass by, reasons the Nosferatu.
Returning to Rio with the beginning of the new century, Nanna finds herself greatly amused by the city's political climate. Having witnessed the endurance and the rage of the Brazilian people firsthand, the Lasombra realizes neither the kine nor Kindred leaders of the country know anything about the inhabitants of the inland. She understands that the possibilities for the land are staggering. Brazil could, in time, rival the importance of Europe and neither the Sabbat nor the Camarilla have yet shown any real interest in consolidating their positions here...
She helps the journalist and bohemian Euclides da Cunha survive a bout with malaria, secretly feeding him with her own vitae. Da Cunha's masterwork, "Os Sertões", exposes the ignorance and governmental incompetence that led to the Canudo's Rebellion. The book increases the kine population's unrest and suspicion of their "duly elected leaders". By exposing the government's lies about organized Monarchist support behind Canudos, the book makes it more difficult for the ruling class to galvanize public opinion against the furious miserable populace who inhabit the inland. The complexities of reality always make mortals more prone to self delusion. If different voices point out Brazil's blatant social inequalities, the resulting public discontent could be redirected to Nanna's own ends.
Theodontos watches the Lasombra's actions within some interest. He can see that Nanna has more power than she lets on. She has always maintained herself at the edge of Carioca Kindred society, but now he realizes that perhaps her apparent innocence is but a ruse. Nanna's subtlety and stealth stand out to the experienced Nosferatu; she is not what she appears to be at all. He quickly understands that she could be a dangerous opponent. Theodontos is not satisfied until he is sure that she is not the ancient being whose has eluded him for so long. He doesn't worry about the presence of an ex-Sabbat member in Rio; many Kindred of all factions use the city as a convenient exile. He wonders, however, why Nanna has chosen to stay in Rio for so long, far removed from the usual Lasombra stomping grounds. What could she be up to?
The Vaccination Riots
In 1903, the Federal Government decides that the country's capital is in desperate need of a facelift. Endemic illnesses are rampant in Rio, and public health is at an all time low. Yellow fever, in particular, takes a heavy toll among the residents of the city's slums and shantytowns. The situation is so bad that the Argentineans have taken to promoting their capital of Buenos Aires as the "only healthy entrance to Latin America"; something must be done.
Public Sanitary Chief, Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, convinces the right people that the only way to attract foreigners to Brazil is to clean up its international calling card, the city of Rio de Janeiro. Population growth, under such very poor life conditions as it has systematically been subjected to, can easily become attractive to insects and vermin that thrive in the dirty environment. Tropical illnesses of various types are common and easily kill the locals, let alone the foreigners.
The Ajé Olo and Brujah have taken complete control of the city's periphery, while also maintaining their strongholds in the old urban center. Ubirajara is respected throughout Rio; he and his followers enjoy an aura of mystery and power. Recent years have acerbated the tension between the city's factions, but Ubirajara believes his clan and allies are safe from attack. The Ventrue are fat and content: though they complain about Ajé expansion, they don't want to rock the boat.
Nanna sees Cruz's preparations and realizes what's going to happen. She notices that the Ajé Olo have become too complacent lately. The power they wield is enough to take over the city, but they don't have enough vision or organization to accomplish anything of consequence. She hides in the periphery and watches as things unfold.
In a massive city-wide operation, the Carioca public health officials invade the population's homes, forcibly vaccinating everyone they find. All hell breaks loose; riots flare up throughout the city, particularly around the cheap inns and flop-houses. The Ajé Olo and their Brujah and Anarch allies are taken by surprise; many havens are quickly unearthed and destroyed in the confusion of the mandatory vaccination program's first hours. Waking up late to the danger, they add their considerable influence to the mayhem. Nanna also joins in the chaos, taking an active part in the upheaval, helping to defenestrate vaccination workers, dismembering the more insistent ones and general raising hell.
Alan Boggart and the other Signatories are baffled by the fierce upheaval that has taken control of their otherwise calm city. The vaccination plan wasn't even their idea. They can't see why the kine are reacting; after all, it's for their own good. Nevertheless, the mortal population of Rio brings utter chaos to the city streets. For a few hours, Rio becomes a huge no-man's land. Countless old disputes between neighbors and colleagues degenerate into violence and bloodshed. For the first time, Rio's Anarchs taste the heady flavor of generalized urban chaos. It's almost too heady a beverage; some kine "frenzies" are too appalling for even the most jaded Kindred.
Oswaldo Cruz methodically sends wave after wave of his men into the city's most squalid areas. Through brute force and bull-headed determination, his organization manages to vaccine everybody. His efforts inadvertently uncover many secrets about the city's most obscure and inaccessible places. Ventrue lackeys accompanying the vaccination teams carefully take note of what they find and Dominate Cruz's men into forgetting what they have seen. For the first time, the Ventrue have a real notion as to the size of the city's vampiric population. Many havens and refuges are uncovered throughout the anarchic metropolis.
Isidore Ducasse and his progeny play a role in the vaccination riots. Ducasse's minions among the police hinders the vaccination workers and puts the city's already precarious infra-structure in peril. Ducasse, innocent of the fact that he has become a force to reckon with thanks to his growing relationship with Nanna, plunges into his most wanton blood plundering to date. He Embraces several sick mortals, imprisoning them in his warehouse lair so he can study the long term development of an illness in an undying body.
After a day of fury, the public health officials, firemen and police withdraw from the slums and shanties, their mission accomplished. The Ajé Olo are forced to relocate some of their best refuges and meeting places. The vaccination campaign has caused a lot of damage to the Masquerade. In most cases however, the mortals don't realize what they've stumbled onto. Two lessons are learned from the revolt. The Brujah and Ajé Olo discover that without a strategy for the city, they will remain disorganized and will lose their influence. On the other hand, they also realize that they have the numbers to do away with the Euroclans, if push ever comes to shove; a daring proposition, but fascinating nonetheless...
The second lesson is learned by the Ventrue and their allies: enforcing public health and safety is a great cover for penetrating into forbidden territory and ferreting out undesirable Kindred. The Anarchs, Ajé and Brujah by and large make their residences in the poorest, most decrepit areas of the city. Damp walls, foul water and rotting ceilings are common characteristics of these clans' havens. If a larger, more organized urban renewal plan were put into effect, it could seriously disrupt the rebel's activities, possibly even push them out of the city center all together....
Using his connections with City Hall, Alan Boggart proposes a wide-ranging sanitation and urban reform program. Swiftly, the Ventrue and other European origin Kindred back Boggart's ideas in the city council. They understand that the best way to keep the rebels and their herds under some sort of control is to completely refurbish the center of town, pushing the undesirables out to the periphery. An epic urban reconstruction plan is quickly ratified by the municipal government. British engineers are employed to develop the region's rail system. The best French architects are brought in to change the face of the city. The Ventrue and the decadent Toreador hope to tip the balance of power once again in their favor. Soon, the most comprehensive urban reform project that any South American metropolis has ever seen is underway.
Theodontos keeps his finger in the planning process; in exchange for Nosferatu aid in the upcoming struggle, all new underground work will be carefully supervised by that clan. Theodontos is also given Council approval to Embrace two special newly arrived mortals, The Frenchman Joachim Lebrun and British citizen Charles Pearson. Theodontos knows that the two architects will be invaluable in his own plans for the refurbishment of the Nosferatu Domain.
The Malkavian, Ducasse, is confronted by Boggart. In no uncertain terms, the Ventrue leader lets his erstwhile ally know that further interference with the police force will be treated with extreme prejudice. Ducasse promises that he'll behave.
The urban reform plan calls for the opening of a new Central Avenue right through downtown. To accomplish this, the São Januário hill must be leveled. This elevation had housed the first administrative center of the city, the place where Estácio de Sá had worked. From its top, he'd planned the original settlement and watched for French pirates in the bay below. The hill was where Philippe's eccentric rule had been born and consolidated; it was rumored among the Kindred that Rio's first Prince was lying in torpor beneath its tons of rock and clay.
São Januário had changed with the city. At first it was a busy business district. Then, as a more and more immigrants descended upon Rio, it was transformed into a densely populated lower class residential area. Ex-slaves and urban Indians now lived in the slums covering the well known urban landmark. The place is a veritable Ajé Olo redoubt in the center of town, the principal area from which their strength radiates throughout the city.
In of 1904, hordes of kine workers descend upon São Januário hill, protected by the police. The destruction transpires quickly; cranes bite into São Januário and the population is forcibly herded away to government owned on the outskirts of town. The kine reaction is once again very violent, but this time the Ventrue and their allies are too swift and organized for effective resistance to take place. The intense reaction of the mortal inhabitants nevertheless impresses Alan Boggart. It seems as if the very idea of razing the hill to the ground is anathema to them. The city's population almost rises up again, but the reform plan has the entire city council's approval, and Joachim Lebrun persuades Mayor Pereira Passos of the absolute necessity of completing the project. Passos in fact becomes one of the plan's foremost champions; he wants to enter the history books as the man changed the face of the city.
Theodontos' minions are directly responsible for the leveling of the hill. The Nosferatu has kept his eyes open in the confusion following the Vaccination Riots. He knows that more than the usual number of Ajé have taken refuge on São Januário, pending the establishment of other havens. Theodontos means to trim the opposition down to size and to this end spares no effort. With uncanny precision, the mortal workmen unearth and expose dozens of slumbering Kindred to the sun. The event is explained away in the city's newspapers as the uncovering of an ancient cemetery.
The Ajé Olo do what they can to get their people out of the hill in time. Ubirajara is furious and calls for another full scale rebellion. His erstwhile Brujah allies however, unaffected by the renewal plans, inform him that they will not participate in an Ajé-Ventrue conflict. The Ajé leader and Pintinho, Girolamo's lieutenant, almost come to blows. The Brujah's resolve remains firm however; there will be no aid for an Ajé initiated conflict. What Ubirajara does not know is that Boggart has bought Brujah neutrality with the promise of removing official interference to the Bicho lottery. The Ajé retire to the shanty towns along the city's periphery to lick their wounds and plot revenge.
The influence of the more rebellious Kindred, the Ajé Olo in particular, is grievously weakened by the "sanitation" of the city center. The new downtown makes no provision for the existence of Rio's poor and non-white inhabitants. The result of urban reform is that Rio has never looked so European; its new white face attracts much international commerce. For the first time, the European Kindred feel completely in control of the city. The Rio Compact creates a lackadaisical attitude towards the Camarilla and the Sabbat; the city is still an ideal refuge for those who wish to escape the deadly politics of other continents.
The city's growth and new metropolitan lifestyle begins to weaken the traditionally strong connections among clan members. Up until now, the big division among Rio's Kindred has been between those who continue to follow a European life style and those who've become more or less "Brazilianized". In the days of Prince Urraca, a fairly strong prohibition was maintained on the generation of new Childer. Aside from the Ajé Olo and the Brujah, most of the growth in Rio's Kindred population had been due to immigration. With the consolidation of the Council of Signatories rule, Alan Boggart feels secure in relaxing the restrictions involving the creation of progeny. The traditional ruling clans double in size almost immediately. but for the first time, generations conflict rears its ugly head. The wave of new vampires, Embraced in Brazil, do not necessarily hold the same values as their Elders. The removal of the Ajé threat also leads, ironically, to a lack of control among the city's younger generations, a fact the Signatories don't like to admit.
With the Council of Signatories turning a blind eye to their activities, the Bicho mafia becomes more and more powerful. A conservative, if venal, attitude begins to grow among Rio's Brujah. Newly arrived Brujah almost keel over in shock when they meet the locals and their amazing animal lottery. They can't believe what they see; the Carioca members of the clan are almost as money oriented as the damned Ventrue! Many of the immigrants are disgusted that their fellow clan members have not been able to do more in such a big, important city which, after all, doesn't even have a Prince. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, a small but serious Anarch movement has sprung up among many of Rio's younger Kindred.
The Revolt of the Whip
The Gangrel, though once defeated, still have great influence among the country's naval officers. Their agents convince President Heroes da Fences that the country's new role in world affairs demands a modernization of the Navy. After grumbling, President Fences makes a deal with the British for several new cruisers and a pair of thoroughly up-to-date dreadnoughts.
The new ships are indeed majestic and powerful. Unfortunately, none of the country's sailors and certainly none of their officers are prepared to run the modern and extremely temperamental vessels. The Brazilian navy has traditionally kept its sailors on a short leash; conditions aboard its ships have not changed since the days of slavery. No one in the Republic's Gangrel and Ventrue controlled parliament has ever seen the need to modernize the Navy's comportment. When the negotiations for the purchase of the new fleet have finally been closed, a malnourished, illiterate contingent of sailors, the pride of Brazil's Navy, is sent abroad to fetch the ships and master their functioning.
What nobody knows is that the Ajé Olo have learned their lesson. Ubirajara exults when he learns that Brazilian sailors are to be sent abroad. The destruction of São Januário had caused him to lose considerable face among the other leaders of his clan. Several of the most important Ajé Elders had denounced Ubirajara's tactics as irresponsible, calling instead for a return to the traditional Ajé strategy of isolation and camouflage. Ubirajara feels that the expedition is a priceless opportunity to thumb his nose at the traditionalists and regain status among his peers. He knows that the sailors will come back to Brazil as veritable founts of modern knowledge; a valuable addition to the Ajé Olos herds. The time when ignorance and blind faith were essential for sympathetic magic is long past. Ubirajara believes that a union of the wonders of science and the traditional Ajé mystic powers cannot but raise his clan's fortunes. Two of his most trusted Progeny stow away on board the expedition's ships. They travel quietly, feeding very lightly and helping the sailors learn as much as they can.
The two Ajé travelers are not prepared for the rank stupidity of the fleet's officers, however.. Physical punishment among the ships' crews continues unabated. The Gangrel influenced officers let the sailors gain knowledge but keep up the same archaic disciplinarian practices they've always used. Whippings are commonplace occurrences upon the decks of the new dreadnoughts. As soon as the ships arrive in Rio, however, the entire Navy revolts, this time led by the lowly seamen of the fleet. The uprising is thoroughly planned, down to the smallest details. The sailors quickly take charge of the ships, demonstrating great intelligence and organization, precisely the qualities the officers deny the poor and mostly black men possess. The sailors tell their officers to leave: most of them scurry to obey, but a few stubborn fools are killed and tossed overboard. The seamen maneuver their ships into Guanabara bay, laying siege to the city. The federal government is amazed.
The rebels' main demand is the abolishment of corporal punishment aboard naval vessels. The Navy High Command doesn't want to discuss anything, demanding unconditional surrender. The sailors, however, know what kind of "negotiations" await them if they give up at this point, so they begin to shell the city. The two Ajé on board helpfully suggest a few select targets; Alan Boggart is incensed when he learns that his principal warehouse has disappeared under a rain of high explosives. The Ventrue leader's North American allies have their own internal problems to deal with; they can spare no ships to come to Boggart's aid. Unsurprisingly, the federal government finally agrees to negotiate with the rebels. The investigative committee sent to hear the sailors' complaints is shown examples of the effects of the Navy's disciplinary code; one permanently disabled man has had the skin of his back completely stripped off. Appalled, the civilian authorities readily agree to the sailors' demands. The regulations are changed and the revolt is quickly over.
When the leaders of the uprising disembark from the ships, however, the Police and the Army are awaiting them. The men are arrested, put in chains and sent to the naval prison to await judgment. There, they are tortured until they die; the Gangrel are not pleased that a band of mortals dared to challenge their authority. The survivors of the revolt are expelled from the Navy, but their accomplishments endure. The Ajé Olo who were on board escape detection and report back to Ubirajara. The pair steadfastly maintain that the revolt was entirely handled by the kine, from start to finish.
The Sabbat Arrives in Rio
By 1913, the city is quite modernized. Immigrants from all over the world flock to Brazil, and Rio is their main port of entrance. The Sabbat finally begin to show an interest in the city. A scout team composed of Spanish and Italian Lasombra infiltrates into town. After thoroughly investigating Rio and its political structure, they report back to their leaders in Europe; who start sending more scouts to other cities like São Paulo and Porto Alegre. Nanna, as well as the city s other undead residents, leave the newcomers alone, as they, apparently, comply with the Rio Compact provisions.
In 1917, the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia; news of the event travels around the world like wildfire. Rio's population has grown amazingly diverse and extremely receptive to the revolutionary ideas arriving with the new waves of immigrants from the Old World. Girolamo attempts to take control of the Brazil's nascent Communist Party, but fails; the younger Anarchs have already infiltrated the group. With their aid, the Party takes root in the city, slowly expanding its influence among the urban working class.
Rio's original European Kindred have become an isolated enclave in the city's large vampire population. Though the Signatories manage to keep control of the city, the uninhibited growth of the past few decades has forced them to give up strict control of who enters Rio. As long as they don't make waves, newcomers are tolerated. Those who cause serious problems, however, are hunted down without pity.
By this time, Carnival has begun to coalesce as Rio's most famous tradition, becoming more extravagant as urban life becomes more complex. In earlier years, the festival was quite amateurish and dispersed throughout the city. With the sudden population explosion, however, Carnival begins to blossom into a four-day-long, city-wide party. For the poor of Rio, it becomes a constant process, a year-long preparation in which they make the costumes, compose the songs and create the magic which will fill Avenida Rio Branco on Saturday. In general, the city's Kindred enjoy Carnival almost as much as the kine. Swallowed by the street party's' extravagant costume displays, some of the more daring Cainites discover that it's possible to let the Masquerade drop completely; who's going to notice a vampire or three in the midst of such rank absurdity? Carnival going Kindred are enthralled by the kine's exuberant display of vitality and diversity...
Carnival is a great occasion for everybody, but the Malkavians particularly enjoy it, perfectly at home in the chaos and delirium propitiated by the festival. During this time of the year, it is they who often perform most efficiently; the entire city shuts down for the party but Isidore Ducasse is open for business.
Antônio das Mercês worries about Rio's lax security. It's one thing not to have a Prince, quite another to let Sabbat and God knows what else have free run of the city. Alan Boggart tells him to calm down, however. The Sabbat will keep their noses out of Rio's politics precisely because the Camarilla has so little say in the city. And as to other threats, the Council of Signatories has more than enough power to squash a few young rebels if they should ever choose to make their move. Boggart reminds his second-in command that some chaos is to be expected as a by-product of the city's rapid growth.
The Retreat of the Ventrue
Despite his reassuring words to Antônio das Mercês, Boggart also feels that the city is getting a bit out of control. When a Malkavian prank on the military results in an uprising in Rio's Red Beach Fort, the Ventrue leader decides he's had enough. With the help of das Mercês and Agripino, Boggart uses his considerable influence to elect Artur Bernardes, an authoritarian politician, as the president of the Republic. Bernardes takes office in 1922. For the next four years, Brazil is ruled with an iron hand. He is one of the most unpopular and despotic presidents the country has ever had. When his tenure is over, the capital's population masses in front of the presidential palace to boo him out of office. Bernardes almost doesn't manage to ritually transfer power to his successor; the jeering and catcalls drown his words. Boggart and his allies are shocked by the strength of the popular manifestation; just two decades ago, such public disrespect would have been unthinkable. The Ventrue begins to fear that the people's boldness may in part reflect the strength of the new Anarch movement in the narrow streets of the teeming metropolis.
Washington Luiz, the next president, is left alone by the Signatories. Antônio das Mercês has bribed and Dominated functionaries in many levels of federal government; with the aid of some influential congressmen, he manages to keep on top of things. Boggart must concede, however, that the Council's reach over the kine in general has greatly diminished. The growth of the population and the urban environment has created a new street culture, influenced by the African rhythms slowly seeping down from the city's surrounding hills. Two decades after being expelled from the city center, the Ajé Olo are making their presence felt once again...
Ducasse's long enduring blood auction operation is running well. Ever greater numbers of the city's Cainites are becoming addicted to the potent blood it supplies. Nanna aims to foster decadence in Rio's new urban culture, thus reaping the kine's seething rage and putting it to her own uses. Her protective spells are so efficient that not even Theodontos knows of the location of Ducasse's operation, though he has learned of its existence. The Lasombra now believes that it's time to take the next step in her plan. She heads to the south of the country to prepare her strike, informing her Sabbat allies that she's undertaking a scouting mission.
The ancient Nosferatu doesn't know all the details involving the blood auction, but he has noticed its presence. The Diablerie itself doesn't bother Theodontos, but its main beneficiary now does. Ducasse has become a force to be reckoned with; the secrecy with which he operates indicates that he has powerful allies. No matter how well they blend into the city, no Malkavian could pull a stunt like this on his own. It's time to act.
Since the fall of Dona Urraca, the Ventrue have consolidated their power, becoming by far the strongest, most influential clan in the city. Antônio das Mercês has had to take over many of Alan Boggart's responsibilities, however. The Ventrue Signatory is quite tired of the weak results of their political activities.
Boggart wants to understand the present situation and prepare the scene for an eventual political takeover. Since the fiasco with President Bernardes, he has become aware of how much out of touch he is with the spirit of this century. Boggart believes it sensible for him to relinquish part of his control over the day-to-day affairs of the Free Domain to das Mercês. What he doesn't know is that das Mercês has made himself extremely vulnerable through his addiction to vampiric blood. Through her connections with the Blood Auction, Nanna has cultivated an almost unbreakable blood bond with the unfortunate ancillae. Through him, she gains detailed information of the Signatory Council's plans.
The Hills and the City
By the middle of the '20s, Rio is well established as the cultural and political heart of Brazil. make The city's French architecture, beautifully blending with the surrounding hills and jungle make it the country's most prized urban jewel. Everything can be had in the ebullient metropolis; political power, sex, easy money; Rio's night life is the most active on the continent. It is truly the gateway to South America.
There is another side to city's prosperity, however. Thanks to a silent alliance among developers and City Hall, Rio's poor have been exiled to shanty towns up in the hills. New waves of immigrants come to the city from inside Brazil. Escaping the poverty and drought of the northeast, they arrive in Rio unwelcome, with no place to live. The shanty towns begin to spread across Rio's verdant mountainside under the pressure of influx of new poor.
The new decade witnesses the slow awakening of a favela cultural identity, which slowly descends from the hills, influencing Rio's bohemian night life. The new street style mixes a fatalistic acceptance of social differences with a insolent insistence upon telling the truth as seen from the eyes of poor. The "malandros", unemployed zoot-suiters from the hillside communities, earn money through their wits and brawn, acting as pimps, bouncers and strong-arm men for Rio's raucous nightclub scene. Scratching out samba rhythms on the side of match boxes, the malandros rule the nighttime streets of Rio's Lapa district. Hidden among the shadows.
The Coming of the"Crab"
The Crab, later known as Madame Satã, appears first during this period, destined as he is to tip the balance of power completely. He is the foremost and best well known of all of the malandros, managing entire regions of the city. In 1925, he's already in charge of most bars and restaurants in the downtown area. Being by nature a very pugnacious creature, the Crab gets arrested many times, on account of the zeal with which he goes about his peace - keeping duties. In 1926, he's arrested and sent to the "Ilha Grande" prison for the first time. There, he undergoes a series of adventures, meets some of the country s most outstanding historical figures and is Embraced . The circumstances are not clear, and ignorant of her Sire s identity, the Crab becomes one hell of a proud Caitiff, powerful enough to create a whole new meaning for the word.
Ubirajara of the Ajé Olo takes note of these exploits . He is warned by the Candomblé entities that "great powers are afoot" in the slums, but also that these powers will be more on their side than against them. He keeps his guard up, though, because all the "terreiros" are in an uproar over the magnitude of these powers.
Ubirajara's big surprise, however, is the discovery of the Malkavian blood auction ring, which appalls him. The vision of the "terreiros" pierces Ducasses covers as a consequence of their higher awareness, called up by their noticing the vast powers helping this extremely odd neonate, the Crab. The enhanced insight they gain makes it impossible for Ubirajara not to notice the Malkavians. Ubirajara's first idea is to storm the old warehouse by the Praça Mauá harbor, where they hold the auction and finish everything quickly. Then some other ideas seep into his mind, he has second thoughts and decides to wait. He's sorry the most famous zoot-suiter, has been Embraced by somebody not from his own Ajé Olo ranks.
The Malkavian blood auction seems to be the place where all equilibrium is being increasingly jeopardized. Ubirajara can see someone has been using a lot of power to guarantee the auctions continuity and consistently low profile. He doesnt want to see it work as the power lever someone is obviously grooming it to be. By himself, Ubirajara doesnt know what to do. What if the Caitiff could be brought to raid the place?
Ubirajara , indirectly undertakes the training of the Crab. He tries to give the zoot-suiter a broad vision of undead existence and his potential role in it. The zoot-suiter revels in all of these things. He pays close attention to everything his new friend talks about, more so when a greater experience than his seems to be talking through the lick s mouth.
The Revolution and The Auction
By the end of the 30 s Nanna had already figured how Brazilian politics was arranged. A conservative aristocratic wing which is in power and controlled by the Euroclans, was steadily losing terrain in the country, to a progressist wing, apparently unheeded by any powerful undead faction. This new political force is led by Getúlio Vargas, a southern land owner and governor of the Rio Grande do Sul state. Nanna sponsors the ambitious politic though the largest communication complex, the Diários Associados. He then quickly gains support of the people and political parties around the country. In 1930 when he is presented as candidate to presidency, Nanna knows that the Ventrue wont allow his election.
In, March when Vargas defeat is announced, Nanna hints through the newspapers that the election was a fraud. She goes as far as to link a passionel assassination of a governor to a political ploy against Getúlio Vargas. This is the fuse that starts the revolution. The southern Military revolt and form a column to march over São Paulo and take the capital. The Eurokindred in Rio and elsewhere are completely taken aback. They have no clue whatsoever as to whom is behind all this, thus no action is taken to stop the coming column. Getúlio arrives triumphantly in the capital, while Nanna revels in her haven.
One policy she imposes is fierce repression on all the remnants of the Sabbat in Rio and in the country at large, crushing this first beachhead with the utmost delight and efficiency. She doesn't want any rabble-rousers to interfere on her plans to foster utter corruption throughout Brazilian society. Her information proves to be invaluable, and many arrests are made thanks to it. Nanna plans to sap the strength of the country and the people, and these arrests are part of the strategy. The idea is to control the country and give national scope to Isidore Ducasse's blood auction.
The Malkavians ride the wave of this unexpected political boon. Antônio das Mercês doesn't believe there is a need to do something about this auction ring, which seems to be just a piece of exotica blown out of all proportion. He doesn't want to believe the extent of the damage. He doesn't know how many aging vampires have already taken part in the Diablerie. Nanna wants to bring them more under her sway. She feels satisfied that relinquishing immediate political control of the country to Getúlio is the right thing to do, while she concentrates on this next step.
Madame Satã and the End of the Auction
Finally, the time comes when the Crab, seemingly by himself , waits for the 1938 Carnival to put an end to the despicable activities of this auction , stripping the Caitiffs of all dignity and creating new and strong discrimination. So he takes part in a Costume Contest and wins it in a bat costume. Of course that s a provocation, and all the city's Kindred notice this outrageous attitude the very night of the prize. Right outside the ballroom, the costumed neonate insults one of Das Mercês' Childer. He raises such a big ruckus that very soon the entire Ventrue group is after him.
They chase him clear to the warehouse by the Praça Mauá, where the blood auction is held. The next events unfold exactly as planned by Ubirajara: the Crab had forced them to see the size of the blood auction, exactly when its taking place. Given its staggering proportions, Das Mercês is forced to review his position pertaining the Diablerie. No eyes can remain closed to this, so he sides with the Crab when he demands what reality he wants for the city. As the ghouls, agents and Malkavians present start to attack them, the Ventrue find themselves finding side- to- side with the Anarchs. The battle is swiftly joined by all present, in a mêlée of enormous proportions.
The Crab fights in costume. A number of Ajé Olo, led by Ubirajara, as well as Brujah, show up too and take his side in the fray. Some fight to keep their trade and their supremacy. Others, the majority, are scared of the rituals involved in the auction and move to stamp it out permanently. Apparently only one Malkavian escapes this debacle: Isidore Ducasse, who runs as swiftly as he can into the woods, his memory swiftly a shambles.
The Crab kills most of the other Malkavians involved, as well as the elders who are stupid enough to be there. Some other diabolists are discovered through careful questioning, and many havens are raided that night. So many are the Kindred involved in the battle that it is bound to redefine all the status quo. Ubirajara is delighted to see the Crab in his new state, and is the one who rechristens him "Madame Satã". This gesture marks everybody's recognition of this uncommon neonate's standing. After all, he was the one who made it impossible for the majority of European- origin Kindred to deny the ugly reality being perpetrated there. And thus he gained the admiration of some and hatred of many.
Since many of the city's more ancient, if less well known vampires found their Final Death in that confrontation, a new Assembly of the Compact is convoked by the winning groups, the Ajé Olo, Brujah. Alan Boggart, Patrício and D.Urraca of the Toreador and a number of others show up too, some hiding the fact they were among the blood buyers. Of course Nanna doesnt show up. The Lasombra is furious, but instead of fighting out in the open, decides to remain entrenched in the new Government and rebuild the former situation little by little.
The New Rio Compact
Ubirajara, Girolamo and specially Madame Satã present themselves at the meeting as the saviors of the Carioca undead community. It, in return, should show its gratitude for being delivered from the unspeakable evil of the Auction by granting boons to each one of the saviors. The Signatories almost gape at their audacity, but they all agree that denial to this could bring unwanted consequences.
Ubirajara s request is quite simple and direct, he asks for non-interference from the Signatories within Ajé Olo domains: Ajé Olo s business are Ajé Olo s alone. The Signatories settle for this as long as the Ajé Olo dont break the provisions of the Rio compact, if it occurs Ubirajara or whom ever should be leading the clan would be held responsible.
Then comes Girolamo, he starts by making a long speech about Carthage and the integration between kindred and kine, how the Carnival has been a symbol to this dream and to the wise ruling of the Signatories. Every one at meeting show their contempt at the old Brujah rhetoric until he reveals the true motives of his recitation. He claims that the amazing success of the Carnival is in fact his doing, as result of his investments, through the Bicho, in the popular parties. He continues by saying that should these investments stop, the Carnival would probably attract as many tourists as church choirs. Finally, for this modest grace, that enhances the city's tourism vocation, and for helping in destroying the diabolists, he asks that all profit coming from Carnival festivities be turned to him. The Signatories considers it a small boon, but Boggart does not. By astute negotiation, pointing out to the Brujah that threats against the joint power of the Signatories were not wise, he cuts a 50-50 deal with the Idealist.
The silence is deep after Madame Satã asks for his boon, but it is broken by the loud laughter of Patrício and followed by the squabbling of the other Signatories on the daring. But Theodontos silences them saying with his rasping voice that Madame Satãs request for a place in the Signatories must be taken seriously as any other. Alan Boggart sees what the Nosferatu means, Madame Satã seems to be a very powerful neonate whose origin is unknown and is backed by two powerful factions. Besides a potential enemy should be kept where he can be watched. So when the vote is called both he and Theodontos vote for and are followed by Agripino, the only vote against is Patrício s.
When all thought the meeting was over Alan Boggart said they should profit the occasion of this reunion to make some changes in the Compact. He states that the times have changed since the first installment of the Compact and its terms should accompany these changes lest it becomes useless. So he proposes that the Signatories should meet again in the following night.
Just prior to the meeting, Boggart meets with the other Signatories. He explains that the modifications to the Compact he intends to prevent are to hinder Satã s power as a Signatory and to contain the proliferation of undesirable kindred. He proposes the creation of a core cadre of specially trained Kindred, to destroy any neonate that is not approved by the Signatories. The different clans are to indicate at least one great warrior each, to join that permanent task force. Patrício then asks who would lead such a force, and after some debate Theodontos suggests the name of Kassad, the strange Assamite antitribu who, all agreed, was the most neutral candidate. During the meeting Madame Satã perceives the fraud that is being staged by the other Signatories. But at the moment she has no alternative but to play along, so she smilingly votes for all amendments proposed.
The Ventrue Consortium
In the years following Vargas revolution, Alan Boggart becomes alarmed at not having unearthed the source of power near the president, yet. He is amazed at his continuous hunting down of Kindred, even if Anarchs. Getúlio is obviously extremely well protected, and the British Ventrue ascertains hes no vampire or ghoul, which makes the situation even more of a puzzle. He realizes that this will be a great test for his abilities. It is now time to prepare broader political plans, where no one in any single city may strike it down.
He then starts to articulate all the other Ventrue he has spread through Brazil, forming a secret organization he calls Consortium. Through the Consortium he is able direct the political efforts of his followers and try to destabilize Getúlio Vargas government. His efforts pay off as he manages to uncover Nanna as the power behind Getúlio.
The Lasombra decides that her pawn s usefulness has ended, and leaves him to his own luck. Without Nanna s support, his government doesnt last one year, and he is deposed in 1945 after fifteen years in power. But to everyones amazement he comes back as elected president five years later.
Nanna gets very spiteful of Getúlio's political survival without her guidance and fosters a great corruption in the President's personal guard. The Ventrue, through their pawn Carlos Lacerda, directly attack Getúlio in the mortal plane. Lacerda takes great advantage of an incident fostered by Nanna against him, and accuses Getúlio of attempting murder. This triggers the crisis which bring Getúlio down.
One fateful night, as the President ponders his situation in his room, Antônio das Mercês introduces himself to him, telling him all about Kindred and the Ventrue. He shows the man that the only possible escape from this crisis is supernatural. Getúlio despises the now ancient creature, and refuses to be Embraced. Getúlio, however, is forced to agree with the vampire's assessment of the situation. While they talk, Getúlio writes a letter, a fact that irritates the Ventrue even more than his refusal. He tells him it's a letter for the people. Before Das Mercês manages to do anything, Getúlio shoots himself in the heart, leaving the letter as a political testament, one of the country's main political documents. This delays the Ventrue's plans for another ten years, since their mortal champions are demoralized by the strong reaction of the grieving population against Getúlio's enemies.... Madame Satã finds this great.
Boggart is still very unsure about Nanna and her machinations. He realizes that she may have had inside information on his plans and his suspicions fall on das Mercês. Because of that, he begins shifting more responsibilities towards his new aide, Felix Fanse, whom he trusts more at this point. He also thinks that she let Getúlio go far too easily and that, perhaps, there was more about this whole thing than simple political control. Yet he cant fathom it, but he knows that the many upheavals that have been impeaching his plans, are caused by the proximity of so many powerful vampires. Therefore, if the Ventrue are to secure the governmental machine, they should move the country s capital away from this undead maelstrom.
It is only in 1956 that the Consortium will muster the means to do so. But they have it done so perfectly, that instead of simply moving to another city, they have a new one built for them. The more enterprising Ventrue, under Alan Boggarts inspiration , had given their support to Juscelino Kubitschek for president. The dynamic and charismatic leader was all ears for their suggestion of moving the capital to the interior. He wanted to develop the country for fifty years worth inside his five - year tenure. Such an epic project seduces the man to no end . Its totally superfluous to place him under any kind of control, so the Ventrue lay low for a while, amassing huge profits in all the digging and building. In 1960 Brasilia, "The new capital, for a new country", is inaugurated. and Boggart carefully chooses the vampire he sends there.
The Consortium starts then a series of small plans that destabilize the civilian governments of the 60 s. To that end they receive active help of the CIA, which is controlled by American Ventrue. The first president of that decade, Jânio Quadros, stepped down in terror, blaming "occult forces". Some say he may have become victim to a Malkavian, so incoherent are his attitudes. But these who say that just don't know anything about Tropical Malkavian competence ... His vice president João Goulart undertakes the task of ruling, but isnt much luckier either. Finally in 1964, a new Ventrue - inspired dictatorship takes hold, through the military.
Some harsh moves were deemed necessary by the Consortium. Das Mercês points out that the Gangrel Signatory, Col. Agripino still have sway over some Navy admirals, and that it is possible that he will oppose Ventrue as he have in the past. Thus to prevent any embarrassment, his destruction is arranged in the Coups eve.
But in the whole, the operation is much smoother than the Consortium expected. They have even made plans for yet another naval siege, to be carried out by the American navy, but fortunately it was not necessary. The CIA helps Brazilian Secret Police to find the rebel leaders and also gives crash courses in "interrogation techniques" ... the Brazilian Police demonstrates having learned their lessons well, so the American teachers leave. But as a result, Alan Boggart s ties with the American Camarilla Ventrue become much closer.
No other clan has the power or the will to try stopping this daring move. The civilian population at first keeps a cool attitude towards all the political actions going on. Politics and politicians have always stunk so much, the kine remain more or less aloof. But there was a great cultural and social burgeoning, created by the kine, at the time. Autonomy from institutions had spread through the dispossessed populations and domination was increasingly more difficult. By 1968, the student and union movements, at the head of a number of specific social upheavals, were dangerously winning back the liberties taken away by the 64 coup.
There is a coup within the coup, in January, 69. Alan Boggart is approached by Theodontos , who does not brook any of that insurrectional drivel. If the Ventrue still want Nosferatu help to ferret out the enemies of the new regime, they have to tighten the noose. Such is the new coup arranged, and the more or less liberal General Costa e Silva suddenly falls prey to strange... brain hemorrhage.
Most of the countrys kindred follow the events with great interest, seeing their development and seething at their own impotence to prevent some of the unfavorable consequences of this shift in power. Theodontos Spartan politics had outmatched and outclassed them all.
However, both kindred and kine resist quite fiercely this military intrusion in their existence. In the interior, there is a grass-roots movement with the help of disgruntled Gangrel survivors. These had been wiped out of the navy during the tightening of the regime. Most of their landowner inheritance had dissolved through the years. Having gone down deep in the country , they provide the necessary preparation and political climate for the coming of the countryside guerrillas. In the big cities, Toreador and Brujah neonates are guiding forces behind the metamorphosis of the remains of the student movement into urban guerrillas and bank robbers. At one point, the now disoriented D. Urraca is involved in the funding of a such a middle-class military adventure, to the endless amusement of the Nosferatu .
One of the most successful mortal terrorist actions happens in the wake of the Brujah- American Ventrue brawls. American Ambassador Charles Burke Elbrick is the target of a very daring action, which is twofold. From the kine perspective, getting Elbrick means having a powerful tool to negotiate the freedom of their captured friends. From the Kindred perspective, the whole action is a perfect cover for attacking one of their worst adversaries in Rio, American Ventrue, CIA trainer of torturers and bodyguard Frank Basuccio. He is the only casualty in the action, totally unknown to the mortals.
The ruthless Ventrue reaction to this and other kidnappings makes it impossible for the kindred to become a guiding influence for the kine. Alan Boggart skillfully uses the White Hand to get at some of the Kindred behind what they call subversive activities. Others are stealthily destroyed by Theodontos hoplites.
By the beginning of the seventies, all the resistance has been squashed and it takes quite a few years until one can talk about politics safely. Theodontos is very pleased with this too, maybe more than the Ventrue.
The Later Decades
Nanna takes advantage of all this tumult. She sends Isidore Ducasse to reorganize the commerce of kindred vitae. He uses Nanna s contacts within the Signatories and White Hand to turn the later into collectors of hapless neonates, that are specially abundant after Carnival and New Years eve, which happen just as joyously as ever.
This period, for the kine, is generally bountiful. Through many means, there was the illusion of great economic and industrial prosperity, illusion which gave rise to a certain indifference towards the tragic destiny of the left, those who were different anyway. The presence of great new foreign companies, all subsidized, is a perfect smoke screen for the ruthless crackdown on all representatives of a democratic attitude. During well-nigh a decade it just is not very fashionable to ask political questions. The kids all get cars as they are accepted to a university.
Meanwhile, the Ilha Grande penitentiary stages the birth of the most notorious crime organization in Brazil. In its maximum security wing, are locked all those convicted by the National Security Law. These include not only the worst felons in Brazil, but also the political prisoners arrested by the Dictatorial Government. By labeling the political activists common prisoners, the Military avoid a great deal of negative advertisement to the regime. The meeting between the politically educated activists and the common criminals results in the later learning things like: solidarity, common goals, class struggle, organization and urban guerrilla. The movement called the Red Phalanx soon spreads to other wings of the prison.
Madame Satã notices the organization when it broadens its limits. The name gets changed to Red Commando. Satã decides to pay a visit to one of its leaders, Ismael. Their friendship blossoms into one of the most dangerous alliances the city has ever seen. He then starts to negotiate with Ubirajara and Girolamo the destiny of this new force. It doesnt take long for all of them to realize the possibilities of the Commando. Satã establishes himself as something of a general director, with Ubirajara and Ismael taking on the burden of the more direct action.
Theodontos lets it be known among his collaborators that he is quite unhappy with Ventrue incapacity to hold the situation still, and stifle the peoples voice. It is clear that the "iron hand" will go out of favor as an administration technique very soon. Some of Theodontos more rabid hoplites take it into their hands to upset the situation and stage a number of terrorist attacks on newsstands. A particularly ugly attempt against democracy backfires: in the night of May 1st, 1978, at the Rio Centro, where there is by now the traditional great concert in which all pop stars sing for the workers for free. A bomb explodes on the lap of one of the Nosferatus agents, to Theodontos great amazement. The old Spartan is quite dismayed, in fact , to find out that the typical Toreador lassitude has found its way even into his hosts.
The eighties witness the re-establishment of formal democracy: the Anarchs in S. Paulo lead the Metal Workers Unions into confront with the Federal Government and shake its base; the first Caine Cup is held in Rio and does much to allay the hostile climate in the city, by bringing together the undead rival factions and Nanna starts to fuel D. Urracas plans to create a more liberal face for the regime, overthrowing the minions of the older Ventrue from within. But her crazed interventions create more of a dissension than she can control. Her vaunted political acumen is called into attention a number of times, but is also instrumental in the conquest of the government structures by the civilians. The Toreador enjoy a new flowering at the Carioca and Brasilias high societies.
The morals and social etiquette of these new, grosser Toreador are very quick to propagate themselves over to the newly reestablished political class. Buying cocaine over the border, financing huge parties with taxpayer money, having a family in each state, owning unproductive farms and shooting down those that want to farm them are all common traits of most elected congressmen and senators. Debauched Gangrel show up too, sometimes with unexpected artistic sensibilities.
The Red Commando grows throughout the citys slums, controlled by the Ajé Olo and the Brujah in brotherly fashion. They remain largely apart from the world of Euroclan politics. Soon enough, theyre buying drugs and state-of-the-art weaponry for the Carioca market in geometric progression. They dont know where the weapons are coming from, and dont really find it strange when whispers of the Lasombra Nannas involvement are heard through the grapevine. As long as the weapons do their job... Their organization makes prison life better for all inmates. Some smaller armed groups are also Nosferatu inspired, and through them, Madame Satã learns that Isidore Ducasse has been seen again and is at large... The vampire zoot-suiter, now out of the mortal public eye for decades, is looking forward to the day when they meet again. Its interesting how many Kindred from the citys have found a way to show up all at once...
By the end of the eighties, the unholy alliance between Toreador and Gangrel, unexpected anywhere else in the world, comes to its full flowering. Hatched by purest chance, this debased environment manages to impose itself even to the stiff Ventrue establishment, for a while. They realize the Toreador and Gangrel are handy to have around when Ajé-Olo or Brujah inspired kine crowds raise their heads. The unlikely allies end up creating their own candidate to the presidency, to consolidate their prosperity. Huge sums were poured into Fernando Collor de Mellos campaign , creating a party for him and selling his image with strong publicity techniques. All of this to defeat the left, the Brujah inspired PT (Workers Party) .
Elected, Collor and his clique wallow in a sea of corruption that spreads its unbearable stench throughout the entire Government structure. Soon their situation becomes untenable as appearances become increasingly hard to keep. Collor is deposed but his backers, such as the Ventrue, manage to deflect the blows against themselves by switching sides at the last minute. Demoralized, the minion of the vampires tries to call back some of his old power through misplaced and amateurishly prepared Afro-Brazilian offerings that just make the Ajé-Olo and their friends almost laugh their heads off.
Rio suffers the consequences of the populations unwillingness to uphold any established government, surreptitiously or not. Over the years, the standard of living has been plummeting straight down. Organized crime has competently infiltrated the state apparatus and is a force to be reckoned with, because the official structure cant reach the entirety of the bloated ex- capital. The security problem has prompted a boom in the locksmith industry.
To this day, the kine on the rich side of the city are cornered by Ventrue, Toreador, Gangrel and Nosferatu clans. On the other side, the Ajé Olo, Brujah inspired "Bicho" and the Red Commando have the enormous and impoverished population at their mercy. The situation has reached a match, again, since there are more vampires to one side but the more powerful ones are on the other side. Mme Satã holds the factions in check. As time passes, she grows more and more bored with this pacifier role. The city is a powder keg, ready to flare up, and its peculiar Masquerade is bursting at the seams, threatened by ages-old hatred. The hot soup is about to boil...
The Canudos Rebellion and the Establishment of the Favelas (sidebar)
The Canudos rebellion began as a great migratory wave, overwhelming the village of Canudos in the interior of the state of Bahia. Backwoods bandits and local peasants unite in the village under the inspiration and guidance of the religious visionary, Antônio Conselheiro. The "Counselor", as he is called, has preached that the end of the world is nigh. The dogs of Hell, he says, have been let loose on the world in the form of the new Brazilian Republic. But not to worry; the long lost Portuguese King Sebastião will return from the grave, leading the hosts of heaven in a final battle against the forces of the Anti-Christ. Those who take refuge in Canudos will be spared from God's wrath and will inherit the earthly Paradise He will establish.
The new Brazilian government calls the movement a Monarchist uprising, and sends an army equipped with the most modern French rifles and German cannon to chastise the motley band of rebels. But Canudos turns out to be more than the Federal Army can handle; three separate expeditions are defeated and massacred by peasants armed with blunderbusses and crossbows. Finally an immense army of tens of thousands of soldiers is raised to lay siege to the village. After months of savage house-to-house fighting, Canudos is destroyed and its inhabitants put to the sword.
When the army assembled to deal with the threat is finally disbanded in Rio however, its men find that they have no place to live. The city's infrastructure is not prepared for the population explosion they represent. So the soldiers take their place among the ex-slaves, colonizing Rio's hilltops and building the city's first shantytowns. The most famous of these communities is known as "Favela"; a name taken from the hill which dominated the Federal Army's encampment during the siege of Canudos. Over the decades, favela eventually becomes a general term for all of Rio's hillside shantytowns, its original meaning forgotten along with the ruins of Antônio Conselheiro's village in the inland of Bahia.
"Terreiros", "backyards", are the places consecrated to the Candomblé and Umbanda cults. They have this common name because during the slavery days, these backyards were the places where the slaves could relax and be together for a brief respite in their grueling workdays.