Black Bowery

October 31, 1982
Mayhem at the World's Fair

Prince Lawrence Lord was so pleased with the World’s Fair. All of the Invictus were. Years of planning had gone into the event. It was such a huge undertaking that practically every Kindred in the city, even those who did not normally bother with politics, had a stake in the affairs. Kindred from outside the city even traveled to see it at the request of Prince Lord, who, many said, dreamed of forming a second Camarilla.

It was this last that brought him such opposition. The Lancea Sanctum Primogen James Hearse, though outnumbered by three Invictus on the Primogen council, had agitated against the event. Supporting him in this was Jeremiah Coalridge, one of the oldest vampires in the city, who had broken his long isolation in the 60s to become Hearse’s protege. They warned that any such courting of “foreign” vampires could only lead to disaster for Knoxville, for surely the powerful Vampires of New York, Atlanta, and Chicago would not allow Knoxvillians to maintain control of any alliance.

Still, such concerns did not bother Prince Lord. For six months the World’s Fair brought nothing but success and prosperity to Knoxville, both for Prince Lawrence Lord and his Invictus, and their mortal allies like businessman Jake Butcher. On October 31, 1982, the final night of the World’s Fair, Prince Lord arranged for World’s Fair Park to be sealed off by police, to become an impromptu Elysium so that he could show the Kindred of Knoxville the fruits of their labor.

It was not long before a group of investigators determined that something was not right about the Sunsphere, the icon of the World’s Fair and thus of Knoxville. Their investigations led to Prince Lord sealing off the structure, and investigating it personally along with the two Invictus Primogen who were present. Moments later the Sunsphere erupted into blinding light. Solar light. For mere seconds the Sunsphere glowed with the intensity of the daystar, injuring and terrifying the Kindred. When they collected their thoughts and, led by Jeremiah Coalridge, stormed the Sunsphere, they found that the Prince and his Primogen had been reduced to ash.

Primogen Richard Io, the last surviving Invictus Primogen and Regent of Sevierville, soon arrived on the scene. And while both he and Jeremiah Coalridge wished to learn what had happened, they both realized that the future of Knoxville would depend on who seized the reins of power. Both gathered their forces, and began their plans. But meanwhile, many of the city’s Kindred were looking for whomever was responsible for the tragedy.

Eventually they found it in a woman named Rowena Cryss. Once an ally to Prince Lord, angered and wrathful when the Prince did not keep promises made to her, she had arranged for the terrible tragedy using her mastery of Cruac blood magic. Although she fought, she was compelled to surrender to her pursuers and handed over to Richard Io. Her ultimate fate is a mystery.

By the time the sun rose the balance of power in Knoxville had shifted. The Invictus was able to accomplish much, including ensuring many of Knoxville’s mortal businessmen were under their power, but ultimately their Prince and two thirds of their power in the Primogen Council were destroyed. Jeremiah Coalridge’s Lancea Sanctum was able to arrange for the exposure of Jake Butcher’s fraudulent financial dealings, removing the most powerful mortal ally the Invictus had. In addition, the mystery of Rowena’s fate was used to great effect by the Lancea Sanctum. Jeremiah Coalridge accused Richard Io of cutting a deal with the Prince’s murderer, and this was just enough leverage to ensure that Jeremiah Coalridge became the new Prince of Knoxville.

As Knoxville enters modern nights there is no longer an Invictus monopoly. Instead there is a Lancea Sanctum Prince, with an unstable Primogen council consisting of Richard Io, James Hearse, and the new Primogen of the Carthians. These three covenants are now balanced against each other, and it would not take much to change the balance of power once again.

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