Necropolis Boston - Chapter II


Rich Gentile


 "From torturing racks and burning flames,
  through seas of the their own blood they came.."
     -Popular folk saying

Boston owes it existence and origin to a spirit of civil and religious liberty, which was excited to action by the persecution that prevailed in England at the time. Boston is not only the largest city in New England but is also known around the world for it's cutting edge technologies and hallowed Institutes of Higher Learning.. Indeed, many have called Boston "A state of mind, almost entirely surrounded by water"!


Colonial America and the Hierarchy

The colony of Massachusetts was founded in 1630, when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, and were quick to set up a colony nearby Boston was at the forefront of the colonies in innovation. In 1635, less than 5 years after its founding, Boston offered the first public school in the American colonies.

Of course, shortly after the Colonists arrival came the fledgling Hierarchy, plying its way through the Tempest, skinriding many of the colonists, stowing away wherever possible Charon and the Hierarchy viewed this "New World" as a source of untapped power and resources.

Just as the Skinlands Boston was one of the first cities founded, it was also one of the first Necropoli founded. The Hierarchy have thus claimed Boston since its inception, though their hold on it fluctuates with the times, from strangling, to firm to tenuous.. No sooner, it seems, did the Hierarchy lay down roots and begin sending out Legions to reap the dead, than the first small band of Renegades ("The Sons of Liberty") made its appearance.

Since then, Boston has been at times, a jewel in the crown of the Hierarchy, a hotbed of anarchy, a thorn in their sides.. But the Hierarchy, in the form of Charon, could no more abandon Boston than a leopard could change it's spots...

The Coming of the Revolution

As is to be expected in a city such as Boston, the causes leading up to the Revolution were numerous and subtle, and came from both Skin and Shadowlands. In the Skinlands, an undercurrent of agitation rippled through Boston like a malignant tumor.. The English crown taxes had been steadily increasing over the years, and talk of revolution was rife. In the Shadowlands, Charons' (and thus the Hierarchy) increasingly firm stances on many hot issues, such as Soul-Forging, the Guilds, and the use of Forbidden Arcanoi, caused partisanship in the Shadowlands

At long last- WAR!

Then King Charles II canceled the colonies charter, and the outmoded theocracy was replaced by a "Royal Governor", the Boston merchants allied with the Kings Governor. But, the more the colonists prospered, the more inevitable was their rivalry with the British shippers, and the more repressive the Crown taxes became, including the infamous "Molasses and Stamp" taxes. The prideful and resourceful Bostonians, however, evaded these tariffs by smuggling. In reprisal, the British quartered a regiment of British soldiers in town.

Time passed, and the bitter rivalry between Britain and the Colony continued unabated. In the Shadowlands, meanwhile, the battle between Renegade and Hierarch continued as well, the Renegades using a "Hit and Run" strategy, and the Hierarchy gamely defending themselves as best they could, with neither gaining a definitive edge

A Massacre in Charons Name

Finally, it all came to a head, one cold day in March of 1770: Hierarch and Renegade, Colonist and British, all together in one place, airing out years of hatred and distrust..

It began with a small Circle of Renegades, who began Skinriding some of the American Colonists. The Wraith puppeteers began goading a passing patrol of British soldiers (Or "redcoats", as they were derisively called), catcalling and pelting them with snowballs..

Quickly catching word of this flagrant violation of the Dictum Mortem, the Hierarchy rushed in, trying to pacify the situation and eliminate the Renegades in one fell swoop. They called upon the so-called "Forbidden Arcanoi", taking possession of the British. Unfortunately, the Legions mastery of these Arcanoi was not as good as could have been hoped, and the British troops, frightened and angry, fired upon the now-sizable crowd, wounding six and killing five

Not only was this the beginning of War in the Skinlands, it also threw the Underworld into an uproar for quite some time, as Nihils erupted in the vicinity, and from them poured Spectres beyond count.. Very few of the Wraiths that witnessed firsthand this incident managed to survive the day and avoid Oblivion

"No taxation without representation!"

Continuing to show their lack of respect for the English, and enraged at the idea of taxation without representation in Parliament, the colonists took matter further into their own hands.

On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin's Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, the Sons of Liberty boarded each of the tea ships. Once on board, the patriots went to work striking the chests with axes and hatchets. Thousands of spectators watched in silence. Only the sounds of ax blades splitting wood rang out from Boston Harbor. Once the crates are open, the patriots dumped the tea into the sea..

Crime and Punishment

Under the (correct) assumption that the colonists were "willful" and "headstrong", the English felt that punishment was in order. After the the "Boston Tea Party", the King sent General Thomas Gage to the colonies to make sure that the peace was kept, and English laws were obeyed. Further, Boston Harbor (one of the colonies prime sources of income!) was ordered closed "until further notice"

Outraged, Boston's plight became the colonists cause

Letters went out to the other colonies, Minutemen began to drill , and, when the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 174, one of the main reasons was to discuss and protest the British Port Acts.

And so it was that a provisional government was up and running before "the shot heard 'round the world" was fired..

The Beginning of the End

Gage, the British General,.was, fortunately for the colonists, neither an able soldier, nor a pacifier. He therefore saw no reason to fear the Minutemen..

At least, until April 19th, 1775, when his raiding party (Sent to capture rebel stores in Concord) suffered heavy casualties by the doughty soldiers.

Retaliation was swift: on June 16th, 1775, Gage tried to capture Charlestown and Breed Hill with a frontal assault, rather than attacking from the flanks, where he would have had the advantage. Three times the Redcoats staggered up the hill, and three times they were beaten back

Eventually, the British were victorious, but at a heavy price: More than 1,000 of his men had died in the clash,and Gage came to the sudden realization that he was fighting not rabble, but a doughty, unorthodox army!!

The Tables are Turned

In the dead of that winter, Henry Knox (A former Boston bookseller and devout patriot), with a group of mountain men and over 80 oxen, moved 59 heavy cannons, mortars and howitzers from the New York forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point to Dorchester Heights. This was accomplished with such stealth and secrecy that Gage woke up with the batteries looking down his throat. Boston was evacuated on March 17th, 1776, and was never again in the hands of the British.

After the Revolution

Necropolis: Boston weathered the war surprisingly well. After the initial setback of the Massacre, (complete with spectre incursions, Nihils appearing, and Force 1 and 2 Maelstroms!!) the bulk of the Renegade population of the City "went underground": where, before they were loud and vocal, prophesying the downfall of the Dark Kingdom of Iron, now, they were at somewhat of a loss in this time of rebuilding and rebirth. Unsure what do to oppose the Hierarchy at this juncture, they began quietly spreading sedition and entreating fellow Wraiths to oppose the Legions, where before they had openly advocated war and a coup-d'etat.

Much reaping was also done during this period: many men had died in the Revolution, and, needless to say, not all of them had resolved the issues that plagued their life: Many still had loved ones to care for, unborn children to protect, or thoughts of revenge running their heads, even as they breathed their last..

"One Leader, Indivisible"

The Legions began to notice an uneven distribution of new souls in the wake of the revolution. Where before the Legions had had a relatively even distribution of souls, now, the Legion of the Grim began to show numbers that dwarfed (Or in some cases, more than doubled!) the other Legions

Alarmed, the Legions took council in Stygia. After explaining the situation to the leaders of their respective Legions, it was deemed (Albeit with much dissension from the Smiling Lord), that Boston would be ruled by a triumvirate of Anacreons, rather than one single Wraith.

"..With Liberty and Justice for all.."

So, it seemed, Boston was united under a single leader for the first time in it's history. The port of Boston Harbor was re-opened in both Skin and Shadowlands, and trade began once more. Mirroring the maneuver of the Skinlands, who now sailed as far as China and Africa, the Restless began sending schooners to sail further and further out in search of profits, even venturing as far as the Dark Kingdoms of Jade and Ivory.

The other Dark Kingdoms were surprisingly amenable to the idea of trade with the "New World", or so it seemed at first. Deals were struck that benefited both parties, and trades were surprisingly peaceful.

As time passed, however, the Jade Empire began to become more and more demanding.. They were unwilling to part with many goods, (Particularly any items made of Jade!) and what they WERE willing to part with, they asked for an exorbitant trade price.

Under the orders of the Deathlords, the Empire was offered an ultimatum by the Anacreon of Boston: Either resume trading at a reasonable rate and pace, or be cut off from the Colonies, and face the wrath of the Dark Kingdom of Iron!!

The Fury of Jade

Desiring revenge, and incensed by the Hierarchy's temerity, Yu Huang, the Jade Emperor, made a deal with Dread Pirate Roberts, the leader of the Bugis, a ghostly fleet that plied the Tempest ceaselessly.. Offering items made of Jade to the Fleet, the Jade Empire importuned the fleet to help them assail Boston..

After much threatening and coercions, a deal was struck. Using specialized Arcanoi, the Bugis opened a hole in the Tempest, striking right at the heart of the port city. Relic cannons flared, and before they knew what was happening, Boston was under siege by the Bugis and the might of the Jade Empire (though the Imperial Guards were held in reserve in the Empire proper, for fear of civilian uprisings within Yellow Springs

The Queen of Ivory Makes Her Move

Realizing that now was the moment she had been waiting for, the Queen of Ivory, ever the wily one, made her move.. She herself dispatched ships, fully manned and armored, to assist the Jade Emperor , hoping that, in exchange for assistance, the Jade Emperor would willingly share the booty gained from the sack of Boston.

Imagine the surprised look on the faces of the stunned Wraiths (Both Legionnaire and Soldier of Jade!!) as the entourage of Ivory made their unexpected appearance.. Using Keening to make themselves heard, the Ivory Soldiers called out to the waiting Jade caravan and its attendant fleet, offering parlay.

The Two Faces of Ivory

Little did the Jade Emperor know, but the Ivory Queen had also sent emissaries into Boston proper, seeking audience with the newly appointed Anacreon. There, they made an "offer" to the Anacreon: In exchange for sparing the City of Boston, AND driving off the Jade Empire and the Bugis, the Hierarchy would cede to the Empire of Jade sizable portions of land (Including the area that would become New Orleans!!), as well as the souls of the African-American dead that died and ended up within the Dark Kingdom of Irons jurisdiction


A Time of Prosperity

In the Skinlands, Boston had a few difficult years, but quickly regained its footing, having a far easier time than their strife-ridden Shadowlands counterparts. Trade with China and the East continued apace, at least until the War of 1812

The Fall of an Empire

With the War of 1812, the cities commerce began to decline marking the end of Boston's supremacy in the shipping industry..

Reaction was swift: Manufacturing and industry was increased, and and many people transferred their funds from ships to factories. Boston's investments in industry and the new railroads helped bring about "the flowering of New England", where scientists like Asa Gray and Louis Aggassiz, historians like William Prescott and Francis Portman flourished, and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson. Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oliver Wendell Holmes attracted vast audiences.

"It Ain't Easy.."

Realizing that their words and opinions held sway, its citizens helped Boston to become a center of active opposition to the institution of slavery, beginning in the early 1830's. Their contributions? First, words and ideas. William Lloyd Garrison began publishing "The Liberator" on January 1st, 1831. Then, brave men. James Russell Lowell, Benjamin J. Butler, Joseph Hookers and countless others made the Union remember the fighting heart and spirit of the Massachusetts infantry.
And, to add to their renown, at the wars end, Bostonians were amongst the first to head south and help educate the freed slaves, making them happy and productive members of society.