The City

The city of London right from its beginnings in Roman times, was a city of trade. It is hardly surprising then, that on the other side of the Shroud, trade was the life-breath of the city right up until the Sixth Great Maelstrom struck. However, after that, the society of the dead began to spiral into chaos, and the lands of the living began to decay in a violent, vivid reflection of the lands of the dead.

Slowly, global warming began to wring the prosperity and life out of the city. The temperatures rose, smog became a daily sight across the city, and unpredictable weather caused outbreaks of disease that halted the majority of London's tourism in its tracks. However, the worst was yet to come. Much of the world was beginning to suffer from a rise in sea-levels and increased flooding, but no one ever suspected the Thames Barrier to give way. But it did. Thousands died, and many people found themselves living in over a foot of tepid river-water. Cases of disease skyrocketed, discontent grew among the public, and violence became commonplace.

Claiming more and more power over the people of the city, and auctioning off more and more of the public services in order to cut taxes and quell the insurrection, the government ushered in more and more laws restricting peoples rights. This culminated in the Public Order Act of 2012 which gave the police the power to shoot to kill, and also made public execution legal for the first time since 1858.

Inevitably, London's gang culture grew, and soon the privately funded police force was massively over-stretched. They ceased to patrol the worst areas of the city, which were mainly situated in the East End. The area quickly earned the name of the No Go Zone, a filthy slum under control of a gang called the East End Soldiers.


A Bitter Reflection:

The lands of the dead didn't fare much better in these dark times. The Hierarchy dissolved under the weight of the Maelstrom, dozens of denizens of the Shadowlands, wraith and spectre alike, were hurled across the Shroud to rise in bodies they didn't recognise, factions of violent Mediums rose up against the dead, and new factions formed out of the ashes of institutions that had ruled for millennia.

Now the city lies in a confused disarray and it is the young Restless who have a chance to build their own futures now that an eternity of tradition and autocracy are gone. However, the young wraiths holding the reins of London's power seem unable to break the dictates of the past that have so long been imposed over the lands of the dead, and the city finds itself in danger of changing one dictatorship for another. What's more, the most ancient of the city's wraiths are far from gone for good, and the constant barrage of the Maelstrom has only made them colder, made them darker, made them meaner.


A Patchwork World

London is in fact not one city, but many. Over the years, the new has been built on top of the old, and the old torn down to be replaced by the new. A city on top of a city on top of a city. And the dead do not forget what once was as easily as the living. The result is a labyrinthine puzzle-work city of the old, the new and the ancient, as the city was built, rebuilt, and continued to grow and engulf the towns around it. Because of this, the city is often dream-like in the logic of how the different buildings and spaces interlace and lap over the lands of the living, and therefore young wraiths often find themselves getting lost in unusual and alien landscapes that seem to obey no ones rules but their own.

In addition to this, before the Maelstrom, London boasted one of the most diverse populations in the Dark Kingdom of Iron. Certain districts across the city became havens for the other Dark Kingdoms of the Shadowlands. The largest of these was Chinatown, which boasted one of the largest populations of Jade citizens outside the Yellow Springs. However, this was to be the downfall of the city, as when the Jade Emperor staged his invasions, London's own citizens rose up against her.

It is presumed that London's small Dark Kingdom communities were wiped out in the Maelstrom, because none have been seen since, and most restless have forgotten that they ever existed. Still, London's diverse history holds true, and the city still boasts citizens with a wide spectrum of beliefs. As for the communities of foreign ghosts, well, who knows what lurks in the deepest tunnels of the underground system . . .