History of St. AugustineEdit
St. Augustine served as the seat of government to four colonial powers prior to the states inclusion to the United States. The old Fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, never fell to invaders and served as military installation, federal prison, and even for a time, the governors home. In the world of Darkness, the Domain's size is much larger than in the 'real' world, yet while under the auspices of the Sabbat occupation, it stagnated and seemed mostly a forgotten city save for those that lived there. It's populace grew mostly by the occupants already within, not from immigration. It was as if a shadowed pall fell over the city during its time underneath its Lasombra lord…
Despite this, the city has played host to a great deal of drama, as European, American and native powers focused their struggles for the whole of the peninsula of Florida here. Andrew Jackson as military governor of the state waged war on the Seminole Indians from here, and it's the location of the death of the last great Seminole leader, Osceola. French colonists were destroyed at the secondary fort named for the battle, FortMatanzas (FortSlaughter). The city population suffered under Union occupation during the American Civil War. Each power took its toll on the populace, as did disease and famine. While not as large or as strategic as other cities on the continent founded by Europeans, it is the oldest, and it's memory is long. Nightly the city grieves for its centuries of loss, and the memories of those that passed on, still stir in the streets and manses in the night.
The impetus for the growth of the state of Florida began here. Henry Flagler brought friends such as the Rockefellers and Thomas Edison to the city, and began the trend for use of Florida's mild winters as a vacation home to rich Northerners. The citrus industry, which was the backbone of the agrarian economy of the state, first took root within the county. During prohibition, rumrunners knew St. Augustine as a free port to spread their wares up and down the entirety of the Eastern Seaboard. The city served as mother and midwife to the maturation of the rest of the state, which now is poised as the fourth most populated of the nation.
Prior to 1513: Members of the Timucuans tribe occupy North Florida. A decadent offshoot from the tribe, the Olutees, inhabit the area now known as St. Augustine and explore the vast underground limestone cave system. The Olutees locate a cave that holds mysterious "Black Water." This cave is a source of nightmares and is considered holy by the twisted medicine men of the tribe. Human sacrifice is common and other member tribes of the Timucuans shun the Olutees.
1513: Spanish explorer and treasure hunter Don Juan Ponce de Leon sights a mysterious coast, lands, names his new discovery "La Florida" and claims it for Spain.
1513-1563: The Spanish launch six expeditions to the area to settle Florida, but all fail for mysterious reasons.
1562: French Huguenots flee persecution in Catholic France and establish FortCaroline and a colony on the St. Johns River. French Toreador Etienne, a Huguenot, arrives with French colonists.
1563: King Phillip II, realized the threat to Spanish treasure routes posed by the French Colony, named Don Pedro Menedez de Aviles governor of Florida; with instructions to explore and colonize the territory as well as drive out any 'pirates or settlers of other nations, should the be found there.' Nicolas de la Mar, Childe of the Lasombra Arturo de la Mar accompanied the Menendez expedition to learn more about the New World and its treasures.
August 28, 1565 "Feast Day of St. Augustine": Menendez arrived off the coast of Florida. Eleven days later, he and his 600 soldiers and settlers came ashore at the site of the Olutee Indian village known as Seloy. He hastily fortified the village and named it St. Augustine.
September 1565: The French Huguenot with the subtle support of Etienne move against the Spaniards at St. Augustine. A freakish storm wreaks the French fleet off the St. Augustine coast and the French are brutally butchered at what is now known as "Matanzas Inlet" (Slaughter Inlet). The Spaniards capitalize on the French defeat and march on FortCaroline and massacre the French Colony. Etienne goes into hiding and a French emissary returned to France seeking help.
April 1567: The French return to Florida, recapture FortCaroline and exact revenge by slaughtering the Spanish. The French abandon the colony and return to France, accompanied by Etienne.
1567-1586: The Spanish work on consolidating St. Augustine. Nicolas de la Mar begins study of the remaining indigenous natives and learns of the expansive network of limestone caverns including mention of the "Black Water."
1586: Surprise raid by Englishman Sir Francis Drake caught the Spaniards and de la Mar off guard and St. Augustine is burned to the ground. Nicolas sent reports back to his sire regarding the "Black Water" and it's connection with their Families own particular connection to the World of Shadow. He also reported on the blasphemous rights conducted by the Olutees.
1668: Nicolas de la Mar stopped sending reports to his Sire. Arturo de la Mar dispatched another Childe, Andres Segovia, to continue the work of Nicolas. St. Augustine has begun to grow into a successful colony, owing its success to "God and Church."
1672-1695: Castillo de San Marcos was built.
1702-1740: St. Augustine weathered several attacks by the English. Etienne was gathering support for a Camarilla push on St. Augustine and forms a coterie for this purpose.
1763: Spain ceded Florida to England as a trade for Cuba. The British control St. Augustine. Etienne's coterie sweeps into the city, destroys Andres Segovia and his allies, and proclaims St. Augustine a Camarilla Domain. Prince Jonathan Hartsford of Clan Ventrue, reigns as Prince.
1783: The Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spanish control. The same year, Arturo de la Mar arrived to take vengeance for the destruction of his Childer and gain closer study of the "Black Water." The Camarilla Keeper, the Tremere Von Kesselring discovered that the Sheriff "Grendel" had been learning blood magic. Grendel cut a deal for sanctuary with Arturo and betrayed the Camarilla to the Lasombra. Grendel's first act was the murder of Von Kesselring. The other members of the Camarilla are hunted down and destroyed, except Etienne and a Malkavian Calvinist named Proctor Cromwell, who went into hiding.
1821: Florida is sold to the United States. Yellow fever epidemic hits the citizens of St. Augustine. During this time, Arturo begins shoring up his new home. Arturo dominates the next 182 years of St. Augustine's nighttime history. Effectively, the city is forgotten in shadow and mystery to the world at large.
1836: Seminole Indian War. Chief Osceola is interred at the Castillo de San Marcos. The war hurt the development of St. Augustine.
1845: Florida became the 27th state admitted to the Union. The colonial capital is moved from St. Augustine to the new state capital in Tallahassee.
1861-1865: Union forces occupy the city and fort, denying the Confederate Navy the largest southern port on the eastern coast south of Savannah, Ga.
1880: Henry Flagler arrived to the old sleepy and creepy Spanish town and decided it would make a great resort town for the rich. Etienne manipulated the locals and aided in the construction of the St. Augustine Cathedral, which he occupied with Proctor Cromwell.
1880-1972: Etienne and Proctor Cromwell are forgotten by most Kindred (except Arturo and Grendel) and the St. Augustine Cathedral was viewed as a 'haunted place' by younger Sabbat and only go there at their own risk. Etienne, Cromwell, and the power of Etienne's cross protected it.
1973: The Samedi choose St. Augustine as a free port for entrance and exit to Haiti. They moved in quietly, and exterminated the few Giovanni that resided in the area. First wave of immigrants from the Caribbean begin arriving. Native wraiths assist in destruction of Giovanni, as well as keeping the deaths unknown to the Dons of the Italian Necromancers. Arturo didn't regard their incursion with too much worry and had an unofficial "you leave us alone, we'll leave you alone" policy. Younger members of the Sabbat enjoy 'proving' themselves by spending nights raiding Samedi graveyards.
2003: Arturo decided to move to Jacksonville and expand his influence in the much larger metropolis. Etienne learned of Arturo's departure and had Proctor Cromwell contact Camarilla members from the nearby Domain of Gainesville and persuaded them to launch an assault on St. Augustine. This coincided with the Settite Praxis attempts in Gainesville.
October 2003: Members of the Camarilla arrived in St. Augustine and began their 'siege.'
November 2003: Carter Johnson claims Praxis, names a cabinet, and establishes the first Elysium grounds within the 'Oldest House' museum. The arriving Kindred found themselves in an Elder war between Etienne and Grendel. Most of the Camarilla Kindred believe Etienne is a ghost.
December 2003: a Nosferatu is tricked into stealing Etienne's cross and the loss of the item allows Grendel to enter the Cathedral and kill Proctor Cromwell.
January: 2004: The Camarilla scrambles to find the Cross and continue its war on the Sabbat. They liquidate several packs of Sabbat. Contact made between the Camarilla and native Samedi population, and borders of control are drawn as part of non-aggression/support treaty.
February 2004: The Sabbat Camarilla battle comes into full swing.
March 2004: Members of the Camarilla locate the Cross and confront Grendel and believe they destroy him.
April 2004: The Camarilla and their allies Clan Samedi makes their big push against Arturo's lieutenant at FortMatanzas and effectively destroy the last remnant of organized Sabbat power.
May 2004: Arturo begins subtle moves against the Camarilla and sends in probes from Jacksonville. Grendel starts to become active again. The infernalist Tzimisce Piotr begins to stir, with the capstone of Arturo and Etienne effectively stymied.
September 2004: Believing that once more the city has a strong Camarilla presences, the wraith of Prince Hartsford's Seneshcal leads Primogen Zeist to unearth a hidden treasure. Lady Elizabeth York, the former Ventrue Primogen of the old court was found buried in the Samedi graveyard.
October 2004: Grendel is killed, his spirit captured by Piotr, and subsequently reclaimed by Clan Tremere. The Bloodhunt of Grendel comes to an end, 222 years after being called by Prince Hartsford.
May 2005: Assisted by members of two other Domains, and led by Prince Carter, Piotr is destroyed by Lord Arcanum Ethan Shadowbourne. Relative peace reigns, but Anarch migration from the South points to a push of Sabbat from Miami.
February 24, 2006: Lady Elizabeth York takes praxis over St. Augustine, as former Prince Carter Johnson is believed dead after an attempt upon his life at a Grand Gather. A funeral is held for him shortly after.
September 08, 2006: Lady Elizabeth York Abdicates the throne to Ethan O'Riely. Former Prince Carter Johnson is revealed to be alive. Rather than contest the Praxis of Ethan O’Riley he elects to remain as a Primogen of Clan Ventrue. He serves as Primogen until elevated to Archon shortly there after.
April 18, 2007: Sydni Green claims praxis from Ethan O’Riley
June 11, 2007: Chase Jackson claims praxis from Sir Jacob Moore on what is later referred to as “The night of Four Princes”. Praxis was held by no less than four kindred on this night, though some held it only for minutes. Sir Jacob Moore is credited with having lured Prince Sydni Green beyond the assistance of his officers and scattering his final ashes to the four winds. Upon returning to Salon and claiming Praxis, he is accosted by then visiting Sheriff Piers Calvin. Upon completion of the investigation, Prince Calvin abdicated his position to Chase Jackson. Sir Jacob Moore was turned over to Etienne, for Etienne to determine Moore’s fate.
August 24, 2007: Vincenzo Rosati claims praxis from Chase Jackson.
February 8. 2008: Coulton Tether claims praxis from an absent Vincenzo Rosati.
May 24, 2008: Leonard Flynn claims praxis after the assault of “Reverend” Davis Jackson claims the life of Coulton Tether. The curse of the “Black Water” again makes its presence known to the domain of St. Augustine in short order.
November 2008: After dire warnings and portents point to grave danger to the domain, Prince Flynn, Archon Strozzi, Archon Carter Johnson, Svën Stagheart and other members of the domain set out to seal the “Black Water”. Amid the confusion Svën Stagheart winds up at the Lyons bridge with several other kindred fighting a six story abyssal squid, while the Prince and the two Archons managed to seal off the “Black water”.
Present: The war continues ever on...
The Domain itselfEdit
The city proper is the official Domain of St. Augustine. The outlying areas of St. JohnsCounty have been subdivided into zones of control for the clans within the Domain. This is to at once increase the feeding areas of the Domain, as well as a way to keep an eye to the borders of the city proper. There are several towns and municipalities that form the 'border' of the county, wedged between the sea and the St. John'sRiver.
St. Augustine, Jewel of the Camarilla, is often referred to as “The Haunted City”. It lives up to its reputation every Halloween as the ghosts of Princes and Courts past return to their Praxis for a night, and many strange and terrifying sights are available to those courageous enough to venture the streets and byways after sunset. Most notable is the “Siege at the Fort”. The unwary are warned to stay away from the Ghost Tours, and it is ill advised to wander around some of the old homes and shops unless you are well prepared. Only those with a death wish travel to Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not...