Vienna by Night

From Thomas Hassan (31 Jan 95)

While researching/collecting the material I need, for writing the Vienna Sourcebook, (that will come real soon now) I came across some thoughts, which I'd like to present here. At the same time this post is a preview, more or less of what I'm trying to put into the sourcebook.

Troubles in the conceptual work

The Lex Magna Mille, and why I'm having trouble with it:

Most of the cities in Central Europe are really tiny, compared to the american metropolises, that is, Vienna for instance has just about 1.5 million people. Now, under the LMM (also the WW canon) I'd have about 15 Vampires in Vienna. (Even if I count the Tremere population as one blood bond) Now 15 Vampires are not a lot. Especially if you consider, that I want to leave room for a player group. In that case I have essentially only 9 non-Tremere Vampires in Vienna. That **won't** work.

Thus I will ignore this rule and work with a vamp population-ratio of about 1:60,000 that is about 18 to 20 non-tremere vamps.

The only rationale I could offer, would be that, for population reasons I will count the whole of nether-austria as vienna's base, which would then leave enough room for about 20 to 24 vampires. (Note: Austria as a whole has a population of just about _7 million_)

The Tremere and... well the Tremere

Aahh, yes, everybody **knows** that the Tremere rule Vienna and Austria. Well, they're **wrong**! There is a compact between the Etrius and the Prince, that governs the relationship between the Tremere and Vienna. In short (I haven't worked this out completely yet) itsays that the Tremere have absolute domain over members of their clan, in all other respects it's a mutual non-aggression and support pact. That is, with the exception of Tremere on their pilgrimage to Vienna, the prince rules sovereign. (Note: The pilgrims are of course assumed to be well-behaved or else...)

Now for a little problem: Does anybody have an exact date when Etrius moved sleeping Tremere to Vienna? or for that matter other dates in the Tremere-history?

Now, that re-interpretation will probably bother a lot of you Tremere out there. But... I can't really change that. A purely Tremere-run Vienna may be interesting for a single clan chronicle, but it doesn't mesh with either the desire for an interesting general chronicle, nor does it fit with the history of Vienna through the ages. (more on that later)

Vienna as the center of Central Europe

As I started compiling the historical data for this thing, I noticed that to really know what's going on, I have to research the history of almost all of central and eastern europe. Vienna had traditionally strong relationships with Byzantium, hard wars with the turks, and a lot of smaller wars with just about everybody else.

That is to say, I _need_ more data. So any historical or WoD-historical data for the region would be _really_ appreciated

This is probably the part of the sourcebook that is going to take me the longest. We'll see...

Interesting and fun - the little things in Vienna

The pentagram

Vienna is divided into 23 districts. The 1st district is the heart of Vienna, it is the old city (in fact, until mid-19th century the city of vienna was the 1st district only) and it is a pentagon. If you inscribe a pentagram into this pentagon, the center of it is the plague column, a big weird column remembering the end of the plague. What this means? I don't know yet, but I _will_ think of _something_. (hehe... fiendish grin looking at the Tremere)

The Catacombs

Unter St. Stephen there are the catacombs agiant system of tunnels under the city. (in fact, if you'd know which cellarwalls to knock down, you could traverse the whole inner city without ever seeing the sun. Hmmm) The catacombs have been used for a few centuries as the cemetery of Vienna. If you visit the few parts, that are open to the public, you can see thousands of bones, neatly stacked and seperated into skulls, legbones, ribs etc. Who lives there?

The Central Cemeter

The most popular saying of this sizable part of Vienna is: Zurich (the swiss city) is double the size of the central cemetary, but half the fun.

Everybody lies there, and if he doesn't lie here (Mozart for instance) he has at least an empty grave. The Central Cemetery is thought by the Viennese to be a real fun place to be buried in. There are even popsongs about it. Who has their fun there?

Vampires in Vienna - An Overview

The power structure

Vienna has had a very stable power structure over the last 500 years. Between the Tremere, who aren't really interested in turmoil on their doorstep, and the fact that the prince rules now since 1325 (well before the formation of the Camarilla), the politics in Vienna have been mostly quiet and long-term, and deadly.

The major groups are the Ventrue (under the prince), the Toreador (mostly poseurs - artists never had it easy in Vienna, no matter what the poseur propaganda says) and until the '30s of this century the Brujah (afterwards there weren't any, anymore. I don't include the Tremere here, they usually don't concern themselves with interior politics.

There are very few neonates, as Vienna is pretty overpopulated already, and the prince keeps a very tight leash on any sirings. Neonates are therefore almost always created with the explicit permission of the prince _and_ with a plot in mind. (STs take note)

The main plot attractions are usually mortal and mage plots, as well as international plots crossing over in Vienna.

Vampires of note

* Johannes "Parricida" Habsburg (5th Generation Ventrue) The Prince. He was sired after he killed his uncle over a heritage dispute in 1312. Historically he disappeared in 1313 in Padua. There is no death on the record. He considers Vienna his own city, rules in classic feudalistic fashion and doesn't tolerate a primogen. He is usually referred to as "His Highness"

* Wolf-Dietrich von Habsburg (7th Generation Ventrue) He was sired in the early 17th century as a measure to keep up with the fast-changing times. He was embraced as a teenager and still keeps this image. He also owns the best dance-club in Vienna. Characters will usually interact with him, as he is eyes ears and mouth of his "Granddad"

* Bosch (5th Generation Malkavian) Truly at home in the weirder pages of the Malkavian Clanbook, Bosch lives in the Museum of History of Art, on the back of a picture by Hieronymus Bosch. Duiring the day you can see him there, he's a sketch of a 4-year old boy. He has the power to walk inside the pictures and take people with him. For the sake of the sanity of the whole town he is imprisoned in the museum, by a concerted effort of the prince and the Tremere.

* Arabella Montesi (7th Generation Toreador) The Toreador Elder in Vienna. She is a poseur, most comfortable in the ball season (November to March) where social posing is the most important thing in Vienna. She would dearly love to influence the socially ungraceful prince, but has little chance of that. One of her hobbies are talent contests, where only the victor (who is formally declared an artist and protegeed) survives. The others get tapped at the party afterwards.

* The Librarian (6th? Generation Nosferatu) He lives now in the archives of the university library of Vienna. He is originally of Byzantium, and was the prince of Vindobona/Vienna between ca. 50 B.C until A.D. 700