London History

The past is a tricky thing for Kindred--live long enough, and eventually you'll fall into torpor. Fall into torpor, and suddenly your memories of the past aren't as clear as they once were. The longer you live, the more uncertain the past becomes. Journals help, but books are fragile things as the years stack up (and the Kindred are notoriously slow at embracing newer, more durable technologies). Finding other Kindred who lived back then is also an option, but their memory might be just as faulty--or at least they might want you to think it is. Still, mortal history is pretty well established at this point, even if Kindred history isn't. The following is just a general overview of the last several centuries from a London perspective. The World of Darkness elements (marked in red) are those events that are generally agreed to have happened, and are by no means exhaustive.

The 17th Century
The 18th Century
The 19th Century
The 20th Century and beyond

The 17th Century

1660: The Restoration

Following a period of violent civil war, the monarchy is restored under King Charles II

1666: The Great Fire of London

In the early morning hours of September 2nd, a fire broke out in Pudding Lane, in the City and spread eastward. Historians believe that it began in the shop of the King's Baker, or perhaps in an adjacent cattle shed. Whatever the cause, the result was a conflagration that engulfed some 13,000 homes, 89 churches and St. Paul's Cathedral. The fire was brought under control four days later, largely through the use of gunpowder, which was used to demolish homes and thus create a firebreak. Only six people died in the tragedy, and the homeless took refuge in Moorfields, Hampstead and Highgate, areas spared by the flames.

It is widely believed that the majority of Kindred who made their homes in London (a much smaller number than today) died in the fire, caught between the flames and the sun.

The rebuilding of London commenced almost immediately, aided by architects such as Christopher Wren, Richard Hooke and John Evelyn, who presented plans for reconstruction to the King within days. Wren redesigned St. Paul's Cathedral as it exists today, with its distinctive dome. Nobody is certain which architect designed the hollow stone column that rises 205 feet high in the City to commemorate the disaster.

Rumor has it that Lud (then known as King Lud) took formal control of London's few remaining Kindred during this time, establishing a powerbase that would endure for more than four centuries.

1688: The Glorious Revolution

The death of King Charles threatened to plunge England back into the religious strife that characterized the Tudor era. Charles' successor, James II, was a Catholic and thus not widely liked. His decrees favoring Catholics touched off numerous rebellions throughout the land, obliging him to enlarge the army to maintain control. He might have weathered this storm had the Queen not announced her pregnancy in 1687. Frightened by the threat of a Catholic succession, King James's Dutch—and very Protestant—uncle, William of Orange, was invited to investigate the legitimacy of his nephew's birth. James fled, and Parliament offered the throne to William and his wife Mary in 1689. James attempted to regain his throne by force with aid from the French, but William defeated him at the Battle of Boyne.

Lud, an avid opponent to the Catholic church, marshaled his allies to sway Parliament into first inviting William to London, and then offering him the throne. While King Lud was careful to not directly attack the Lancea Sanctum during this process, there was inevitable conflict between his supporters and the Sanctified, and tensions between the two groups would be strained for years to come.

The 18th Century

This was a time of retrenchment and expansion. London grew at a rapid pace as the British government acquired colonies in the New World and the Far East. The Stewart monarchs and their supporters tried to retake their lost throne under James the Old Pretender and again in 1745 under Bonnie Prince Charlie, but the Jacobites were soundly defeated on both occasions.

1714 The British throne passes to a German family, the Hanoverians

The Invictus establish more of a presence with a few arriving from Germany with the Hanoverians.

1733 London Swallows the Fleet

The increasing desire for land in the steadily growing city led to the covering of the Fleet River, and of most of the streams in central London. The result was an underground network of flowing waterways beneath the city. London expanded quickly west of the City, and built new Bridges across the Thames that made southern boroughs more viable as residential areas.

While there was allegedly no Nosferatu influence on the covering of the Fleet River, it was noted by many how quickly the more inhuman Nosferatu found homes in the new underground waterways. It is rumored that Lud made arrangements with one or more of these Kindred to act as his eyes and ears in this burgeoning Underworld, if not provide him outright access to its entrances and safe routes.

1757 India Comes Under British Rule

Following Clive's defeat of the Nawab of India, the owners of the East India Company became the de facto government of an entire continent. An influx of Indian and Asian trade goods into England soon followed, giving London a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. Parliament appointed the first Governor-General of India in 1773.

Additional Invictus arrive as London's prominence in the world market expands.

1760 King George III takes the throne

1770s Wars and Revolutions

The late 18th century wrought enormous changes on Britain, with the American War of Independence and ongoing conflicts with Spain, France and Holland sapping much of the government's resources and energy. Many Britons sympathized with the American colonists, and the city of London—-now eclipsing Amsterdam as the center of European trade—-objected to the war because it interfered with trade.

1782: King Lud, having navigated the often heated politics that came with Britain's constant warring, annunces that he is entering torpor for a time. He appoints a trusted Invictus adviser to the role of Regent, and disappears from view, stating that he would return by the new century.

1783 The steam powered cotton mill is invented, heralding the start of the Industrial Revolution

1784 The popular and charismatic William Pitt the Younger is appointed Prime Minister<

1788: The "Madness of King George" begins

King George goes in and out of coherency during this time, leaving the running of the mortal government in disarray. A regent is named, but the King recovers before he can be instated.

There is rampant speculation that a faction of the Invictus made a grab for the mortal reins of power, only to be thwarted by Lud's Regent. Nothing official is ever said of the matter, however.

1789 The French Revolution

The violent overthrow of the French monarchy brought a tide of immigrants, noble and commoner alike, to London. Fear of rebellion at home led to increased military presence in London, and nobles were never more fearful of their necks.

More Invictus arrive with the immigrants, chased from their comfortable lives by the mortal uprising. Perhaps fueled by the growing number of the First Estate, a counter-movement of Kindred (which will later be recognized as the new Carthian covenant) begin to develop a presence as well.

The 19th Century

The Victorian city of London was a city of startling contrasts. New building and affluent development went hand in hand with horribly overcrowded slums where people lived in the worst conditions imaginable. The population surged during the 19th century, from about 1 million in 1800 to over 6 million a century later, making it the largest city in the world. This growth far exceeded London's ability to look after the basic needs of its citizens. A combination of coal-fired stoves and poor sanitation made the air heavy and foul-smelling. Immense amounts of raw sewage was dumped straight into the Thames River, creating what was known popularly as "the Great Stench."

Sparked by the Industrial Revolution that began late in the previous century and the burgeoning Indian trade, London in this century became not only the largest city in the world but the center of an economic and political empire that spanned the globe. As the hub of the British Empire, the River Thames was clogged with ships from all over the world, and London had more shipyards than anyplace on the globe.

1801: Unification of Great Britain and Ireland into the United Kingdom

During this time, Prime Minister Pitt moved to emancipate the Catholics, an idea King George strongly discouraged, claiming that his oath as Sovereign required that he keep his kingdom a Protestant one.

While the Lancea and Lud had come to terms over the years, his absence proved to be too good an opportunity to pass up, and this effort to bring the Roman Church back into power was put forward. Lud kept his word, however, and returned from his sleep and back to power, sending some sharp words towards the Sanctified and keeping the Church out of his territory.

1810 King George's madness becomes debilitating, and the Prince of Wales becomes Regent.

There are many accounts of the strange conversations King George had with people that weren't there. More than a few have wondered if King George perhaps wasn't mad so much as frequently visited. Regardless, most seemed content to let Parliament gain in power at the expense of the monarchy, as occurred during the Prince of Wales' debauched Regency.

1829 The Police

Sir Robert Peel forms the Metropolitan Police to handle law and order in areas outside the City proper. The officers became known as "Bobbies" after their founder. The City of London (the square-mile financial center) retains its own police force, leading to numerous disputes over jurisdiction.

Lud grants control of this new police force to his former Regent, thwarting the desires of another Invictus who had gained dominance over the city of London force.

1834 Parliament Buildings Destroyed in Fire

1837 King William IV dies and is succeeded by his niece, Queen Victoria

Shortly after Victoria's reign begins, Lud drops the title of King, and refers to himself henceforth as Prince Lud.

1848 The Great Potato Famine of Ireland

Over 100,000 Irish immigrants come to London, all seeking jobs and relief from starvation.

Additional Kindred come with the refugees, including some Crones.

1848 Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto

Lud is presented with a copy of the Manifesto by a particularly bold Carthian--as a result, Lud has all Carthian territory and property seized and redistributed amongst all the Kindred.

1851 The Great Exhibition

One of the defining moments of the era, this event is conceived largely by the Queen's royal consort, Prince Albert. This is the first great world's fair, a showcase of technology and manufacturing from countries all over the world. The Exhibition is held in Hyde Park, and the centerpiece is Joseph Paxton's revolutionary iron and glass hall, dubbed the "Crystal Palace".

1854 Cholera epidemic strikes the city, leading to widespread sanitation reforms

There is a great deal of disturbance in the Underworld, and some Nosferatu simply disappear--some speculate they were walled up by construction crews while they slept.

1855: the Metropolitan Board of Works is created to provide London with infrastructure to cope with its growth.

Lud's former Regent, along with other Invictus, quickly gain control of the Board, and over the years pursue agendas that aren't always in keeping with Lud's own. Prince Lud takes to calling this group his "loyal opposition," and seems to enjoy the occassional sparring that occurs between this group and his other allies.

1856 Britain defeats Russia in the Crimean War

1860 Parliament rebuilt

Reconstruction of the burned-down Parliament buildings is completed as the Palace of Westminster (the structure that contains the Houses of Parliament, St. Stephen's Tower and its famous bell, Big Ben).

1863 The Underground

The world's first underground railway system, the Metropolitan Railway, began operations in London. Other lines opened in 1868 and 1870, and throughout the latter half of the century would continue to expand until they formed the vast London Underground transit system, called "the Tube" in the modern era.

1870: The Board (as those Invictus who ran the Metropolitan Board called themselves), had no trouble gaining control of this new resource, and putting it to use tracking the movements of the London kindred. One agent made the mistake of following Lud, who spotted and captured him. After several days worth of interrogation, Lud learned what the Board was up to, and immediately summoned his former Regent to a private audience. The only verifiable sighting of the Regent thereafter was on his way to the docks, dressed for travelling. One of his Covenant-mates allegedly asked him where he was going, to which he was told, "I go where my Prince bids me." For his part, Lud makes no further reference of the man, and spends the next several years clogging the mortal Board with as much bureacracy as he and his allies can muster, until it is forced to shut down several years later.

1872: Marie Celeste found abandoned

This event is significant because of a piece of alleged fiction Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about the event a year later. In amongst the details of a rather pedestrian adventure yarn is mention of a sword found on the abandoned vessel--a rather noteworthy sword, that happened to match one carried by the former Regent when travelling. Prince Lud was aware of the story--he made a point of recommending it to all the Kindred. Whether it holds any clue to the fate of his former Regent, however, has never been revealed.

1883: Krakatoa eruption

1888 Jack the Ripper Murders in Whitechapel

Prince Lud's allies interrogate a number of Kindred during the reign of Jolly Jack, but find no evidence that a vampire is behind the killings.

1889: the Metropolitan Board of Works is abolished, and the County of London is created, administered by the London County Council (the first elected London-wide administrative body).

Lud once again announces his intention to go into torpor, and appoints another Regent to take his place. As before, he states his intention to return by the turn of the century.

1897 Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is published

There is a great deal of rumbling about the publication of this book and its portrayal of the founder of the Ordo Dracul, but the Regent maintains order, and Bram Stoker is allowed to live in London in peace, unaware of how savage some of his critics truly are.

The 20th Century and Beyond

At the start of the new century, London was a larger, busier place than it had ever been before. One could buy fresh fish from Billingsgate, meat from Smithfield Market, flowers and vegetables from Covent Garden, clocks from Clerkenwell Road, diamonds from Hatton Garden; all kinds of goods were readily available. As a thriving centre of trade and commerce London had become very much the centre of the world’s largest empire. Giant liners traversed the oceans; electric lighting was beginning to appear, and horseless carriages could occasionally be seen on the streets. Many of the things destined to play a major part in twentieth-century life were here already.

But at the same time for most people there was little difference between this London and the city of fifty years previously. Victoria was still on the throne; there was still dire poverty, and those who were without work had to survive on charity and scavenging. London at the time was a curious mixture of ostentatious wealth hiding harrowing poverty.

1901 Queen Victoria dies; succeeded by King Edward VII

The popular Prince of Wales had waited a long time to accede to his mother's throne. Known as Edward the Peacemaker for his diplomacy in Europe, he used his knowledge of languages—French, Spanish, Italian and German—to good advantage. Matters seemed fine in the island kingdom of Britain, feeling secure as the head of the largest empire the world had ever known. Yet the image of splendid and carefree easy living portrayed by the aristocracy was in direct contrast to the growing forces of discontent and resentment felt by too many members of society.

The day King Edward took the throne, Lud returned from his absence, and reclaimed praxis under the title of Prime Minister.

1902 The "Cruel Winter" causes great misery and degradation throughout the city

Feeding is scarce this winter, though the Ordo never seem to have trouble staying fed.

1906 Liberal Party Wins General Election

After a General Election victory in 1906, the Liberals began a series of ambitious social reforms such as medical examinations for school children, free meals for the poorest students and a program for slum clearance. Other reforms involved the setting up of Labor exchanges and the introduction of a basic old age pension scheme.

The Carthians declared a great victory, while the Invictus stewed at the loss. There are mutterings that Lud and his allies assisted the less-savvy Carthians, though no-one cares to make that accusation public.

1910 King Edward VII dies; succeeded by George V

1911 The Parliament Bill limits the political power of the House of Lords once and for all, making the House of Commons the ranking Parliamentary body.

1911 Nationwide Labor Unrest

This was the year of greatest industrial unrest in the land's history. Nationwide dock workers, railways, and miners strikes brought the country to a standstill, forcing the government to respond. Workers marched in the streets of London, and the aristocracy feared a violent coup might occur if nothing was done. Parliament passed reform bills that created nationalized healthy care, sick pay, disability pay, aid for displaced workers and free meals for school children. These changes were the foundation of the future welfare state; while the Conservatives and most of the upper class resented and objected to these challenges to the status quo, they lacked the power to prevent their adoption.

As in 1906, there was muttering about how the Carthians, never a strong Covenant in London, were able to sway mortal politics in this fashion.

1914-1918 World War I

All hell broke loose with the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June, 1914. Britain went to war on the side of France, and its involvement in the conflict marked the beginning of the end for the country's world dominance. The length of the war, and its enormous toll on British (and European) life and resources, was completely unpredicted and unprecedented.

The war was the first in which London civilians had to face directly the blows of the enemy. Although early bombing runs (performed by Zeppelins) were notoriously off-target (the pilots not able to find the city most of the time), their precision increased as the war raged on, resulting in loss of life and property in a way Londoners were unused to experiencing. Little did they know how mild these attacks would seem in twenty years.

The Germans invented the Zeppelin and had access to detailed maps--yet their pilots were unable to find a city the size of London? Add to this the fact that when the bombs finally did fall upon the city, they more often than not fell on homes and businesses of Kindred who had displeased Lud or his allies, and you get more whispers about the sorcery at Lud's seeming command.

1918-1939 Depression and Continued Unrest

Following the agonies of the war, London now became infected with a new gaiety, as many of the Victorian social strictures were finally discarded. Perhaps the shortage of young men had something to do with it. The era of the ‘flapper’ had begun, and it was to be nearly half a century before the same kind of easy-going morality and sense of hedonistic enjoyment would to be seen again.

Post-war prosperity was brief. The cost of WWI to was the loss of an entire generation, one whose contribution to national life was to be sadly missed during the political mismanagement of the postwar years. Government promises of a better society in which there would be a higher standard of living and security of employment had not been fulfilled, soon leading to widespread unrest and agitation. Reliance on traditional industries and a failure to adopt new technologies led to a great slump in which millions were unemployed, and the government simply left the mess to work itself out. Industrial profits and wages fell sharply and demobilized soldiers found it difficult or impossible to find jobs.

For once, the Carthians and Invictus were on the same page, if for very different reasons, and they worked together as best they could to influence things for the better (both for businesses and the people).

1922 The BBC Begins Broadcasting

1923 Howard Carter enters the tomb of King Tutankhamun

1926 Nationwide General Coal Miners Strike

1939-1945 World War II

The outbreak of WWII, at the same time signalling the end of the depression, precipitated the defining moment of the century for Londoners: the Blitz. Since 1666 the skyline of London had changed only gradually; there was a sense of permanence about its dignified buildings. The first world war didn't have a major impact on London's shape, but the second one changed the city completely. In 1941 the bombs rained down nightly on London. The East End felt the brunt of it, but the whole of the city suffered. Those people who had to stay in London during the hours of darkness descended into the public shelters, or into the underground stations, emerging in the mornings to streets which were different from the ones they saw on their way down.

During these dark days over a third of the City was destroyed by German bombs, and the London Docks were largely demolished. Some 17 of Christopher Wren's London churches were badly damaged. The area worst hit was the City itself, but strangely, St. Paul's Cathedral suffered only minor damage. Late in the war, Londoners were once again forced into their underground shelters as V-1 rockets began to fall upon the city with terrifying effect.

Unlike the tepid bombing of WWI, there was no talk of sorcery with the Blitz--unless it was to curse alleged German sorcerors for making the bombings so deadly. Several Kindred disappeared during this time, ostensibly destroyed during the bombing (though rumor has it that more than a couple feuds were concluded under cover of shelling). The Carthians especially took a heavy hit, entrenched as were in the East End. Lud was in a black mood during this time, interrogating any Kindred with ties to the German courts for signs of treachery.

1945-1982 Rise of the Welfare State

After the destruction of war came a feeling of optimism and renewal as the rebuilding began. The London County Council, formed in the previous century, now worked to restore services and to exceed what had been before; to implement new standards of health and hygiene in an almost Utopian vision of what London could be. People wanted to look forward into an exciting future, rather than back into the grim past.

The great social-leveling influence of the war meant that Londoners were anxious for change. Countless thousands of returning soldiers and sailors wanted a turnaround in the status quo. The soldier returning from the war was no longer in awe of his leaders; he had mixed loyalties. He was resentful of unemployment, wishing for a greater share in the nation's post-war restructuring, and he did not trust a Conservative government to tackle the enormous social economic and political problems that they had done very little to solve between the wars.

1945 Labour Party wins General Election

1946 Heathrow International Airport Opens

1946-1948 Nationalization

The Labour Government nationalizes the Bank of England, the coal industry, electricity and gas, air transport, hospitals, roads, rail and waterways, and creates the National Health Service to provide free medical treatment for all citizens.

This is seen as quite a coup for the Invictus, enabling the mortal government (that they have a strong hand in) to gain control of most areas of everyday mortal life.

1948 Eire Officially Becomes a Republic (Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom)

1951 King George V dies, succeeded by Queen Elizabeth II

Conservatives win the General Election and embark on a new multi-year plan to rebuild London's remaining war-damaged structures; London hosts the Festival of Britain

Although there are still bomb sites to be seen in London and the ration book is still an essential part of shopping, the Festival of Britain is held, ostensibly to commemorate the Great Exhibition of a hundred years previously, but also to express the new feeling of optimism and resolve, exemplified by the modernistic design of the Festival Hall.

1955 London city government embarks on a plan to scrape 9 inches of accumulated coal soot off buildings, revealing their former grandeur, and restore decayed historical sites

1956 Suez Canal Crisis confirms Britain is no longer a top world power

1960s Swinging London

The later 50's and early 60's were a boom time for London with increasing prosperity, rising wages and a manageable economy. Under the leadership of PM Harold Wilson the government instituted a series of permissive measures in the 1960s, broadly reflecting the changing social climate. The old, stodgy lady that was London became "swinging " London. In the meantime, groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones made British music popular all over the world and brought in much needed income.

Suddenly it seemed that everybody was wearing colorful and extravagant clothes, while an air of hedonism and pleasure became apparent. Carnaby Street, unknown before the 60s, became one of the most famous streets in London, along with King’s Road, in Chelsea. The Portobello Road street market became a centre of music and fashion, and it was in this area that the first Notting Hill Carnivals began.

Swinging London had its own unique atmosphere, a heady hallucinogenic gas that induced a feeling of well-being and sensitivity to race relations. People flooded in and the tourist industry prospered. The 60s saw people crowding with equal enthusiasm to both open-air rock concerts and political demonstrations.

1970s "The British Disease"

Swinging London departed as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by a period of militant trade unions, over-regulation, and vacillating government policies. Optimism evaporated as unrest and discontent over the failing economy increased, and suddenly there was blood in the streets.

Bloody violence in Northern Ireland over the question of home rule escalated. Hope for peace was shattered on "Bloody Sunday" when British troops opened fire on protesters at Londonderry (January 30, 1972). The IRA brought their violence to London, killing a leading Conservative MP in March. In Ireland, violence continued and Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in August. In 1974, the whole of Britain felt itself under siege from a vicious bombing campaign.

1971 Rolls Royce declares bankruptcy; government bails out the company to prevent job loss

Rumor has it that a certain Invictus bailed out the company simply because s/he could stand to be seen in anything but a Rolls.

1972 Modern London Bridge Completed

1973 Britain joins the European Community

1974 National Coal Workers Strike

1976 Labour Government seeks loans from IMF to keep Britain afloat

1977 Soaring unemployment

1978-79 The "Winter of Discontent"

Key trade unions enact a nationwide strike. Bitter confrontation between unions and government continued to escalate. A strike by London dock workers idles hundreds of ships and prevents goods from being exported.

Mid 1970's The Punks

Punk rock surfaced to frighten the London establishment in the mid-70s. This anti-establishment music movement was exemplified by bands such as The Damned, The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and The Clash. Typical punk songs were about youth rebellion, such as "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones and "Anarchy in the UK" by the Sex Pistols. Most punk songs had straightforward and blunt lyrics, sometimes about drugs and being young, sometimes with a strong vein of political or social protest.

The punk “scene” conjoined music, fashion and lifestyle in a way that alarmed more conservative members of city society. The punk phenomenon expressed a rejection of prevailing values in ways that extended beyond the music. British punk fashion deliberately outraged propriety with the highly theatrical use of cosmetics and hairstyles: eye makeup covering half the face, hair made to stand in spikes, cut into a "Mohawk" or another dramatic shape, colored with vibrant unnatural hues. Punk clothing typically adapted or mutilated existing objects for artistic effect: pants and shirts were cut, torn, or wrapped with tape, written on with marker or defaced with paint; safety pins and razor blades were used as jewelry (including using safety pins for piercings); a black bin liner bag (garbage bag) might become a dress, shirt or skirt. Leather, rubber and vinyl clothing was also common, possibly due to its implied connection with formerly transgressive sexual practices, such as bondage and S&M. Taboo symbols such as the Nazi swastika or Iron Cross were also occasionally flaunted by punks.

But for its admirers, the music, dress and lifestyle included elements of ironic humor and genuine criticism of mainstream culture and values. Many bands, (The Clash being a prime example), openly espoused a left-wing or progressive social and political philosophy. Other bands, such as Crass (an anarchist/pacifist group), actively participated in political protests and projects to alter local or national communities. Detractors accused punk bands of engaging in and encouraging nihilism, reflexive anarchism, willful stupidity, hooliganism, and generally outrageous behavior and dress that existed merely for shock value. Some of the furore over punk was caused by the behavior of the fans at shows, which often appeared to the uninitiated to be more of a small-scale riot than a music concert. Fans spat and threw beer bottles at the band and each other, while stage diving and slam dancing. Fights both inside and outside the venue were common, as was damage to sound equipment or the venue itself.

The Punk movement was strictly a young Kindred's game--those older Kindred who tried to adapt this force for their own ends quickly found themselves labelled a "poser" and mocked, often in thinly-veiled songs.

1980-1992 "Thatcherism"

Riding a tide of widespread discontent, the Conservative Party gained power and Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first woman Prime Minister. During her period in office she espoused the Victorian virtues of self-help and nationalism while pursuing policies of strengthening the powers of central government, curbing the powers of trades unions and local government, and promoting private enterprise.

For many, the main achievement of the "Iron Lady" was to free her country from the iron grip of the trade unions. For others, it was the restoration of British pride in the victory in the Falklands War. For most, it was apparent that Britain and London were beginning to come to terms with the loss of much of its heavy industry and the increasing reliance on finance, communications, oil, insurance, tourism, accounting and other service industries.

For London, the Thatcher years were a boon. Suddenly the city was important again, the center of a financial revolution fueled by the privatization of formerly nationalized industries such as British Telecom, British Steel and British Gas. Unemployment remained high and the poor gained little, but the rich became even richer as they realized obscene profits in the wake of Thatcher's reforms.

The Invictus found themselves enduring a small schism during this time--on the one hand were those Invictus who were deeply involved with the mortal government; on the other were those more interested in private enterprise. The privitization of many nationalized services is seen as a victory for the latter faction.

1981 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer

1981-1989 The London Docklands Urban Renewal

German bombing during the Second World War caused massive damage to the city’s docks. Following a post-war rebuilding they experienced a resurgence of prosperity in the 1950s. The end came suddenly, between approximately 1960 and 1970, when the shipping industry adopted the newly invented container system of cargo transportation. London's docks were unable to accommodate the much larger vessels needed by containerization, and the shipping industry moved to deep-water ports such as Tilbury and Felixstowe. Between 1960 and 1980, all of London's docks were closed, leaving around eight square miles (21 square kilometers) of derelict land in East London. Unemployment was high, and poverty and other social problems were rife.

To address this problem, in 1981 the city formed the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) to redevelop the area, giving it wide powers to acquire and dispose of land in the Docklands. The Corporation designated the afflicted area as an enterprise zone, in which businesses were exempt from property taxes and had other incentives, including simplified planning and capital allowances. This made investing in the Docklands a significantly more attractive proposition and was instrumental in starting a property boom in the area. This was highly controversial, since it favored elitist luxury developments rather than affordable housing, and led to significant political strife between local communities.

The massive property boom and consequent rise in house prices led to friction between the new arrivals and the old Docklands communities, who were squeezed out and forced to relocate to other parts of the city. It has also made for some of the most striking disparities to be seen anywhere in Britain: luxury executive flats constructed alongside run-down public housing estates. The clearest symbol of the whole effort is the ambitious Canary Wharf project that constructed Britain's tallest building and established a second major financial centre in London that now rivals the City itself.

The Invictus were poised to capitalize on this revitalization--and then PM Lud named the Carthian known as "Sugar" his Master of the Docks. There was a great deal of grumbling, but, as always, no overt expressions of displeasure.

1982 The Falkland Islands War

1982 "God's Banker," Roberto Calvi, is found dead, hanging beneath Blackfriar Bridge.

Chairman of one of the Italy's largest private banks, Banco Ambrosiano (which had strong ties to the Vatican Bank), Calvi fled after it was revealed that the bank was deeply in debt. He found no sanctuary, however--despite being a prominent member of the secretive P2 Freemason Lodge, he was found hanging underneath Blackfriar Bridge in London days later.

1987 London City Airport Opens

To meet increasing demand for intra-country business aircraft traffic, the city created and operates its own airport in the Docklands area. It is now the premiere business air travel hub for the city.

1991 The Gulf War

1992 Conservatives win General Election

The Iron Lady's preferred successor, John Major, took over the reigns of the Conservative Party as Prime Minister. He was committed to keeping "Thatcherism" alive. The unions were not going to regain their former powers, despite public sentiment in favor of the miners and as debatable as the benefits of privatization had proved, there was no going back to the old days of nationalized industries.

1994 Channel Tunnel links Britain and the Continent

1997 Tony Blair wins election, becomes Labor PM

Despite the fact that the economy was recovering and inflation was at a 30-year low, and despite the lowest unemployment in Europe, Labour won a landslide victory in 1997. Tony Blair was thus able to inherit an economy free from the dreaded "British disease" and oversee one of the nation's longest continued periods of economic prosperity.

1997 Diana, Princess of Wales dies in an automobile accident in Paris

Considering Lud's on-again/off-again antagonism with the French Kindred, combined with his seeming affection for Britain's royal family, many expected him to make life difficult for any visiting French vampires, as in times past. Such was not the case at the Prime Minister's final gathering before entering torpor, as he treated the lone visitor from the Parisian court with courtesy.

2000 Completion and opening of the Millennium Dome

2001 Economic recession following the terrorist attacks on NYC's World Trade Center

2005 Terrorists Bomb the London Transit System