In the World of Darkness, the Red Star is celestial body, appearing during the Week of Nightmares on July 15th, 1999 and heralding the coming of Gehenna. Initially it was only visible to supernatural beings, and to vampires with Auspex in particular. The Red Star is known under different names by the various supernatural beings: Wormwood to vampires, Anthelios (the anti-sun) to werewolves, Telos to mages, and the Eye of Balor to changelings.
Gehenna is the time when the Antediluvians will rise to consume the blood of all the younger vampires and construct a city in which they will rule for one thousand years. The prophecy of Gehenna is most thoroughly detailed in the Book of Nod, the story of Caine’s banishment and cursing by God.
There was a prominent seer cult named The Heralds of the Red Star, which tried to convince other Kindred that the end is much closer than is widely believed. The cult’s leader, V. Harriet Bakos, then tried to persuade the warring factions to put differences aside in order to survive Gehenna.
There are currently two VTES cards, where the Red Star is depicted, Anthelios the Red Star and The Fourth Cycle.
“Ni dieu ni maître!” literally means “No gods, no masters“, and is an Anarchist slogan originating from the late 19th century. The term was originally coined by the French anarchist Louis Auguste Blanqui (1801-1881). He was the founder and editor of a journal with the name “Ni dieu ni maître!” (1880-1886). Also Friedrich Nietzsche used the term in his groundbreaking work “Beyond Good and Evil” (1886). Since the late 19th century the term (or its translated equivalent) is used by Anarchists around the world, but has also been adopted by other political movements and even became part of the pop culture, e.g. Punk bands adopted the slogan, as well as Metal bands later on.
“Ce cri qui n’a pas la rosette,
Cette parole de prophète,
Je la revendique et vous souhaite
Ni Dieu ni maître.”
-— (Léo Ferré, ni Dieu ni maître, 1964)
In the World of Darkness, the Spell of Life is powerful ritual which provides immortality. The ritual was initially developed by Isis, an Egyptian nature goddess, and Osiris sister and wife. The ritual to become immortal follows the cycle of nature in the sense, that all Immortals must die before they become Undying, and not until they have died can they become Undying. While the Spell of Life was able to sustain a body for millennia, it was flawed in that the recipient became a half-dead creature, resembling a walking corpse.
Only after Osiris awoke, he was able to create a new Spell of Life which did not contain the flaws of the previous one. This new version of the ritual was finally able to fill the recipients with life force and vitality, thus creating the Amenti. Those who denied this new version of the Spell were declared Shuankhsen, and are hunted by the Hand of Thoth. The Bane Mummies are the original and primary of the Hand of Thoth, as decreed by Horus, even though other enemies of Horus are persecuted with zeal by the Hand as well.
In the World of Darkness, the Bane Mummies are mummies raised by Set using the Spell of Life. The five man and two woman, who would become the Bane Mummies, were all Egyptians, mortal followers of Set in the first century B.C. But Set’s knowledge of the Spell of Life was incomplete, and therefore (unlike the mummies raised by the original Spell of Life), the bodies of the Bane Mummies were fused with unholy spirits. Their spirits journeyed in the Underworld after their death, undergoing significant abuse and torments. After their rebirth, their psychological damage became apparent, when they turned towards Apophis (the Egyptian deity who embodies chaos). They believed that they needed to mend an already broken world by letting Aphophis devour it, thus eventually abandoning their creator Set.
Initially there were only seven of them, and they are also known as Apepnu. But the Apepnu became able to create lesser Bane Mummies, which are called Asekh-sen. The seven original Bane Mummies are:
In the World of Darkness, there are three operatives with the US National Security Agency (NSA), namely Bruce Higgins, Maurice Edwards, and Felicity Price, which seems to have a significant deal of information the undead and vampires in particular. This NSA Trio form the core of the NSA’s domestic intelligence bureau, their task is to fight internal threats to the US. After their initial collaboration in the 70s, they put together information about vampires and the vampiric society. In the beginning, they used some of this information, to manipulate vampires into battling each other. After some initial successes, these efforts against the vampiric society have become less effective. There are rumors that the NSA Trio has been fallen under the influence of some outside force, but it is still not clear to the outsider, whether these rumors have a solid foundation or not.
- Reference: Hunter Hunted (p40)
On December 12th, 2015, the Tenebrea Noctis convention was taking place in the Kommandeursburg Blatzheim near Cologne on December 12th, 2015. The event was the World of Darkness convention Europe, with a significant number of guests of honors, ranging from Mark Rein-Hagen and Justin Achilli to Tobias Sjögren and Martin Ericsson. The later talked extensively about the future of the World of Darkness, changes to come and show a peek at what is coming. You can watch the whole talk on YouTube, where VTES is briefly mentioned around 19:30 min, a short trailer of the World of Darkness is shown at 47:30.
Addendum: The video “One World of Darkness” in much better quality (as shown at the end of the presentation:
The Special Affairs Department (abbr. SAD) is a division within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Relatively independent within the FBI, the Special Affairs Division is dedicated to investigating crimes and criminal activity involving supernatural creatures or occult phenomena. Founded in the early 1950’s, the Department is well aware of the threat posed by and has documented evidence verifying the existence of vampires, werewolves, and mages. The Department has also investigated cases involving ghosts and even UFOs in the past. Even though in recent years the size of the Department has been reduced, the bulk of the division’s resources and manpower has almost solely been devoted to criminal cases implicating the activities of either vampires or werewolves.