The lights come on
The set is down
The curtain's flown away;
To all you creatures of the night
I say it's time we play.

We'll show you things
That in your life
You'd never dreamed you'd know;
So now before the ghosts arrive
It's welcome to the show!

--Savatage, Welcome to the Show

London. The name conjures up a thousand images: fog-shrouded streets traveled by figures in cloaks and deerstalker caps; seedy clubs where a generation's rage found its musical voice; bombed-out buildings where grim masses huddled, awaiting death from above; gleaming steel skyscrapers towering into the heavens, cheek-to-jowl with cobblestone streets and ancient churches; and many more besides. London is one of the oldest Western cities, and it has the history and culture to prove it. Pick any time in London's history and there are stories to tell, from the most glorious heroic sagas to tales of bitterest betrayal. And that's just what's apparent on the surface--who can say what deeds have gone unrecorded over the years?

Vampires, and the World of Darkness. This isn't the old World of gothic punk, of Caine and his childer stretching back all the way to Biblical times, of Jyhads and Anarchy, of Paths and Humanity. This new World is a lonely place for a Vampire--there are no Generations, no genealogies to tell yourself or others how you fit in with your fellow Kindred. There is no single progenitor linking all the vampires together--at least, not one anyone can agree upon. It's a world where everyone is a young vampire, in a sense, as centuries-old Kindred who have succumbed to inevitable Torpor must confront the possibility that any wisdom or knowledge they possess might be nothing more than a dream forged during a lengthy slumber. Ghouls are suddenly less servants, and more the only anchors a vampire can trust in a sea of shifting memory. And even as the Beast encourages a Kindred to keep apart from his fellow predators, his Soul yearns for the fellowship that only another vampire can provide.

While the vampires prowl the nights of this World, they are not the only ones who lurk on the fringes of mortality; there are other creatures out there, as powerful and dangerous as the Kindred. Some have familiar names--werewolves, sorcerors and wizards, the Fair Folk--while others are as alien and unknowable as their agendas. Any vampire or mortal who doesn't keep their eyes open might find themselves suddenly receiving the wrong kinds of attention from beings they can't even comprehend--and by that point, it's usually far too late.

This is the World you find yourselves in--London, England, at the start of the 21st century. At a time when humanity is at its most rational, you are the stuff of nightmares, legend and folklore made flesh and still blood. Even those of you whose hearts still beat have seen things that will forever set you apart from your breathing brothers and sisters, that knowledge an invisible wall that keeps you from every fully returning to their daylight world. What role will you play--master or servant, hero or villain, politician or scholar? The choice--and this World--are yours--go out there and give them shape.

Just don't expect the World to make things easy...