|Chapter IV:||The Gathering of Armies|
Mexico is a magick rich land, and those who know of it relish in it. Powerful ley lines join powerful nodes. The Technocracy's Paradigm is not as strong as in other parts of the western world, causing less paradox when doing magick away from a city (for every paradox gained, substract one point per roll; paradox backlash needs an extra success).
- Akashic Brotherhood.- Of all the greater Traditions, the Akashic Brothers are the most aware of Mexico's potential. The Dalai Lama did visit the country a while ago. They have many acolytes in the cities as well as in parts of the countryside. The goal of the mexican AB chantries is to prepare the people for Mexico's final Awakening.
- Celestial Chorus.- Their Paradigm is strong in small rural towns and they are still influential in cities like Monterrey. They actively oppose the actions of the Cultists of Ecstasy, and the Chorists tend to be tighter in opinion than in other parts of the world. They are embittered that they once had Mexico and lost it to the Technocracy. It's rumored that a roge Chorist is the mastermind behind the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
- Cult of Ecstasy.- They thrive. Most of them go to the mountains for a good session of hallucinogenic herbs. They are popular in university environments. They tend to hover around the subcultures of Mexico City, spawning several musical events and movements.
- Dreamspeakers.- They were here before the Spaniards came, they are the strongest Tradition outside the cities. Some of them use pseudo-Christian paradigms and foci, but they are distinctively Dreamspeakers. They have a strong relation with the spirits of the land, and some are migrating to Mexico City in order to assist the spirits of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. They have no central chantry, but rather several minor ones across the Sierra Madre.
- Euthanatos.- Their influence shows more in a general ideology than in political matters. Via culture and magick, the Euthanatos have bred into the people of Mexico a strange attitude towards Death. A mixture of bravado, acceptance and disrespect, mexicans are less afraid of death than many peoples of the world. It's not an actual worship, but the Euthanatos are content with the people's acceptance that Death is inevitable and funerals an ocassion for rejoice.
- Order of Hermes.- The first Tradition to cross the sea and settle, mexican Hermetists are as uptight as their foreign fellows. Most of them are of true Spaniard heritage, though a number of mestizos have been accepted gradually. Once they held the rein of political power against the Celestial Chorus, but the Technocracy ousted both of them, so they will sometimes ally. They never leave the cities, and are stronger in those with marked colonial architecture like Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi.
- Sons of Ether.- They have prospered since having settled labs here. Most of them are more akin to Virtual Adepts, altering Technocracy inventions for their own use (no cable company can come up with a codification that a mexican electronic buff can't break). Some of their research has been stolen by the Technocracy, like color TV, invented by Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena, a Son of Ether with interest in telecommunications. They distribute evenly in Mexico City and Monterrey, though lone Sons can be found in every city and large town. Mexican Sons of Ether don't dabble too much in the pseudo-science of their fellows; rather they like to build things using their intuition.
- Verbena.- They have very little presence, but a variant exists in the south jungles, using the indian paradigm instead of the druid-wiccan stuff. They have a central chantry in Oaxaca, where stands the Tree of Santa Maria del Tule, an ancient ahuehuete tree with a 36 meter circumference and thought to be more than 1000 years old.
- Virtual Adepts.- Not very abundant, since Mexico's state of technology has yet to develop to suit the VA's tastes. But as the Internet expands, their numbers are quickly growing. Most of them live in Mexico City, though they possess a large chantry in Monterrey, where they tap into the Technocracy's Quintessence reservoirs unnoticed.
- Orphans.- As everywhere, no one knows the number of Orphans, but the Traditions believe that their number exploded since 1968, when several Avatars Awakened unguided by a Tradition Mentor. The Hollow One's attittude is slowly filtering to the mexican youths, who gather at weekends in El Chopo, a flea market that provides the members of subcultures such as goths, new agers, grunges and the like of their parafernalia, books and music.
- White Brotherhood.- Dedicated to preserving the knowledge of their ancestors, the White Brothers hide throughout the lands, serving often as keepers of archaeological sites. Their main chantry resides in the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia e Historia, where they carefuly keep the memories of ancient times.
- Nightspawn.- Always low in numbers, these tricksters are well hidden in the shadows of urban life; they have somehow strayed from their original role of evil sorcerers to become magickal prancksters. Of all the mexican Mages, they are the ones closer to Arcadia. They revel in confusing all the high powers of the land. All Traditions distrust them, as they are too close to becoming either Marauders or Nephandi. No chantry is known to exist.
- Sorcerers of Quiet Gladness.- Healers all around, they have strong ties with the Verbena, though they shun their blood practices. Their are peaceful of demeanor, and can always be found helping people in disasters along the Tlaloque Garou. They have a chantry somewhere in the mountains, but it's too well hidden.
- Iteration X.- They consider the whole country as a waste of resources, this Convention can't understand why the people are scared of technology. They have very small influence, but they have a large chantry in Monterrey, in the Technological Institute and of Higher Studies of Monterrey (ITESM), where they recruit promising acolytes.
- New World Order.- They have enjoyed power since day one. Mexico's government has been their most succesful experiment. They boast to have created the "perfect dictatorship". The NWO is behind the ruling party, and haven't had any qualms in preserving them in power by pulling the strings to change elections in their favor.
- Progenitors.- They share Iteration X's opinion; they are disgusted by the people's consistent belief in paralel "medicine" like curanderos and new age pseudoscience. Even the upper class holds evident beliefs and practices.
- Syndicate.- Despite the NWO's boasts, it's the Syndicate who really holds the reins of the populace, they keep most of the population near poverty with succesive and devastating crises and devaluations. Their most succesful pet project is Televisa, the monopolistic media corporation that squashes creativity through mediocre programming and obviously false information. Televisa is still monitored by the NWO though, as both Conventions cooperate to make mind controling messages.
- The Nephandi.- The comings and goings of the Gauntlet during history has allowed a number of Nephandi to settle in Mexico, infiltrating the government by masquerading as Sleepers. They have built a large Labyrinth below Mexico City (as in Chaos Factor), and are waiting for the right time to pierce the Gauntlet and enter the world.
The Sabbat controls the country with an iron fist, with brutal tactics to discourage Camarilla and Anarch intrusion, such as the Matamoros ritual killings, where the ghouls of invading Setites where sacrificed and their Sires diablerized to teach a lesson. Their power has a crack, though: the Mictlan. Athough they have managed to locate a few Mictlan havens, the Sabbat has been unable to reach them except when they want to be reached. As the Sabbat rules from the large cities, the Mictlan rules from the countryside and small towns.
- The Sabbat.- Ruled by Melinda Galbraith (Nicholas' idea), the Sabbat has large influences in the government, which has allowed them to fully control the land. Mexico City is very dangerous at night if you stray from the Free Zones, areas where the Sabbat has decided to leave alone, like the Zocalo and the Ciudad Universitaria (One is the protectorate of a Nahual Archpriest, the other home of the largest sept of Glass Walkers).
- The Mictlan.- Ruling from the shadows, the Mictlan does everything within their reach to hinder the Sabbat, they have contacts of their own, and never hesitate to use them whenever possible. There are towns where their pressence is known and accepted, as they have become the town's protectors in exchange of blood. The Mictlan is divided in Calpullis, bloodlines of the original founder, that follow different philosophies. They deny to be part of the Kindred line and have been branded heretics by the Sabbat. The Mictlan doesn't believe in Caine as the vampire progenitor, but in Mictlantecuhtli, the God of Death. Whatever the truth may be, the Mictlan Calpullis sport similar powers and Disciplines as the foreign Clans, though their blood does taste strange to diablerists. The oldest Mictlan vampire is Mictlaxochitl, Tlatoani of Calpulli Mictlantecuhtli and supposedly daughter of the Gods of Death, she is the equivalent of a fourth generation vampire, as are the rest of the Tlatoanis. The Mictlan has always been small, smaller since the Conquest, when two of the Calpullis where destroyed. Hence, their power is limited and haven't been able to pose a real threat to the Sabbat. The reason behind this is that the Council of Tlatoanis must approve the Embracing of any Mictlan vampire, judging the person for her worthiness and strength of spirit. Their passive stand is being shaked by the younger vampires; as most were the victims of the 1968 massacre, they cry for revenge and open war.
- Clan Huitzilopochtli.- Once member of the Inner Council of the Mictlan, Calpulli Huitzilopochtli became Clan Huitzilopochtli when their Tlatoani went mad and power hungry (you may treat this as Shaitan replacing the original Huitzilopochtli). They became a strong force in the Aztec nation, and thus the more evident; this caused the Inquisition to go after them, passing by the other Calpullis. Most went into Torpor, but they are slowly awakening, though Huitzilopochtli is nowhere to be found. The oldest Huitzilopochtli vampires have joined the Sabbat.
- Tlacaelel.- He was a ghoul of the mad Huitzilopochtli, until he realized his mistake and opened the path for the foreign supernaturals. When the Camarilla arrived, he was Embraced by the Ventrue, though his influence during the Colonial years was minimum due to him being indian. He has lived his undeath as he lived his life: as the power behind the throne. He has plotted for and against every faction in the country, and secretly helped the Sabbat to climb into power, pulling strings that were evident only to his keen strategist mind. He has an ongoing truce with the Sabbat (again, Nicholas' authorship is noted here), allowing him to stay but forbidden to create progeny. He is even now plotting their downfall, manipulating the other supernatural's hate for his very name in order to make a unified stand of the native vampires, werewolves and magi against the Sabbat.
- The Camarilla.- They are slowly infiltrating from the north, as has been noted in the unrest that characterizes this part of the country. As the Sabbat is behind the ruling party (with the secret permission of the Technocracy), the Ventrue of the Camarilla are backing one of the opposition parties: the National Action Party (PAN), the misterious death of some promising candidates is evidence to the secret war between the sects.
The Breeds seem to be stronger than other factions because of the very nature of the country: a deep spirituality pervades the hidden regions of the land and it filters to the most alienated member of the urban classes. Though, compared to the strength of the Sabbat and the Technocracy, they are fighting a losing war. The Conquest stripped them of many of their caerns, and the rise of the Technocracy-Weaver calcified many others. The savage onslaught of Sabbat and Black Spiral Dancers has forced all Bete to live in relative hiding, except those places where they are strong.
- Black Furies.- Very small; a single pack came and fought in the War of Independence, and their Kinfolk are few and far between. Those Furies living in Mexico act as ambassadors of their Tribe in local septs. Foreign Furies are given permission to travel throughout the country in search of Lost Cubs and Kinfolk. However, the scouting parties serve also as treasure hunters, for the Furies know Mexico to be the resting place of several strong fetishes. They have repeatedly tried to steal the Coyolxauhqui stone, but the Keeper, a Nahual Archpriest, has thwarted them every time. Should the mexican Garou know of these raids, they would ban the Furies from their territory.
- Bone Gnawers.- They are very numerous and can be found in every large city. They care for small caerns and have few septs of their own. They welcome every squatter and have been known to back property takeovers by poor and homeless people. They lead the Sept of the Underways around a small caern in the Pino Suarez subway station, caring for a circular altar dedicated to Ehecatl (with permission of the Ehecatl as they don't desire to live so deep within the city).
- Children of Gaia.- Ever since they set foot in the land, they fell in love with it. They support that Mexico is one of Gaia's wonders, as it has an extremely wide range of ecosystems with their according flora and fauna. They are behind the growing number of New Age movements, such as the Warriors of the Rainbow, and several have adopted the native Tribes' way of living without betraying their own Tribe. They have joined the political struggle as one of their Kinfolk was a presidential candidate in the 1994 elections for the Green Ecologist Party.
- Fianna.- Only exist as visitors and are not very welcome, as they fought the Wyld Runners during the U.S. intervention and have continuously violated the border.
- Get of Fenris.- They are not only unwelcome; they are hated. The news of a Get in mexican land is enough for the nearest sept to begin a hunt.
- Glass Walkers.- They thrive in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, and are the leaders of some of the largest septs in the country. They know that Mexico City is not only the largest, most populated and most polluted city in the world but also the largest Blight in the face of Gaia, but they know the original plans for Teotihuacan and admired the complex engineering. Their goal is to return the City to it's original purpose. The largest sept is the Septa de la Raza y el Espiritu (Sept of the Race and the Spirit), deep inside UNAM grounds and keeper of a caern opened by Regina. Their influence in Monterrey is also very notable, a large number of non-resident students of ITESM are Glass Walker Kinfolk, and some are Glass Walkers themselves. A very small caern is maintained in the basement of CETEC, the home of ITESM's Internet node, and is shared with Virtual Adepts. They also possess a great number of stocks in companies in both Mexico and Monterrey, many of them dealing with imports and exports, which they use to keep in touch with their foreign tribemates.
- Red Talons.- They have received the hardest hits in the war. Wolf population in Mexico is almost null, and only the desperate efforts of the Garou has kept them from extinction. In Mexico, the emnitiy between the Talons and the Walkers is more bitter and more likely to explode into fights, as the Talons feel a deep resentment against anything related to the City. They specially hate those Garou of Mexico City, continuously accusing them of Wyrm Taint.
- Shadow Lords.- Their influence has waned with the times, as their feudal style of influence was ousted with the Revolution. They still hold property in secluded regions where they rule as they are used to: cold and cruel. They have several farms in Chiapas, this being some of the secret causes of the Zapatista uprising, backed by Balam and Nahual.
- Silver Fangs.- Long ago, they judged the land as unworthy of their attention since the homids refused to have an emperor (even if he was a Ventrue puppet). They have no power over the native Tribes and the others ignore them.
- Silent Striders.- They have great interest in the workings of Mexico's supernatural society; they have joined local septs and a few mexican Striders have been born. They possess no sept or caern of their own, though they friendly share those of the Wyld Runners, as they often accompany them in their journeys and have even been accepted by Wyld Runner packs.
- Stargazers.- As the Akashic Brotherhood, the Stargazers know of Mexico's importance in the future, but they keep it to themselves, for they know that their fellow Garou would not fully understand the implications. There are a few mexican Stargazers, but most of them have inmigrated, seeking to witness the Awakening of Mexico.
- Uktena.- As one of the Pure Ones, the Uktena dwelled here since a long time ago, though they have lost influence to it's sister Tribe, the Tlaloque. They have septs and caerns in the mountains, and full contact with Dreamspeakers. They seldom dare to venture into the jungles, the protectorate of Bastet and Mokole.
- Wendigo.- Very few and restricting themselves to the northern deserts. As the Wendigo represent the norhtern nomadic homid tribes, they have little territory in Mexico, thoug they maintain communication with the Ehecatl.
- Ehecatl.- They splintered from the Wendigo when they replaced the Wendigo for Quetzalcoatl as a Totem. They are not warriors, but scholars, and have dedicated themselves to the education of the lower classes. They are allied with the White Brotherhood and are leaders of the Sept of the Ancestor's Glory in Teotihuacan. (More details in the Ehecatl Tribepost).
- Tlaloque.- They sook other uses for magic, and thus separated from the Uktena as Tlaloc accepted them; they are healer and caretakers, looking over the health of the land as well as that of its inhabitants. They are allied with the Sorcerers of Quiet Gladness and leaders of the Sept of the Gods' Care in Chapultepec Park (More detail in the Tlaloque Tribepost).
- Wyld Runners.- Travelers, explorers and messengers, they differ with the Silent Striders in the idea that all journeys should have an end. They have a caern in Real de Catorce, shared with Cultists of Ecstasy, another in the ruins of Cuicuilco in Mexico City and one near the Zone of Silence in the north.
- Black Spiral Dancers.- Living in a Hive under Mexico City, they spread Wyrm Taint and occasionally raid the caerns they know. They have placed Banes and Fomori within the mexican government. One of the largest Pits is Laguna Verde, the only nuclear energy plant in the country, where they leak radiation outside.
- Balam.- Keepers of the mayan regions, the Balam fiercely defend their protectorate against anything that dares come close. They have few alliances with the White Brotherhood, the only homids they tend to respect as they are followers of Kukulkan, the maya's name for Quetzalcoatl. The Ehecatl Tribe is treated in a talk first- kill-later-if-necessary manner; other Garou are rejected. They have chided their Prides into the Zapatista rebellion, though they didn't organize it. They see it as a opportunity to expel the Shadow Lord landlords.
- Mokole.- They keep to themselves in the mayan regions and ruins. One of them has the shape of a feathered serpent, though the authenticity of his claim to be Quetzalcoatl-Kukulkan is yet to be proven. The White Brotherhood ignore him as they know Quetzalcoatl had to be a Mage.
- Nuwisha.- If these tricksters ever had a home, it probably was the Zone of Silence, a freakish area with heavy Wyld presence. It got it's name because all radio signals disappear and a strange atmosphere floats. Actually, it's an Anchorhead, though the Nuwisha won't tell. From here they pop in and out of the Umbra as the Gauntlet around here is 1. Wyrm spirits and Nephandi have been unable to appropriate this extremeley valuable place as it is protected by a host (very large host) of Wyld spirits as well as by the Nuwisha. They have friednly relations with the Wyld Runners, and sometimes they let them use the Zone.
- Nahual.- Distrusted by every Bete because of their dark inclinations, these werejaguars are a shadowy lot. Garou believe them to be traitors to Gaia, as they embraced Tezcatlipoca. They are thaumaturgists and necromancers, and they are rumored to have mastered the Wraith Arcanos of Castigate. They have contacts with the Mictlan, both the vampiric organization and the Far Shore with that name. One of their Archpriests has his den at the Museo del Templo mayor, right over the ruins of the Great Temple, where he custodies the Coyolxauhqui stone.
The Fog in Mexico is weaker, and the Shroud is one point lower, thanks to the mexicans attitude towards death. November 2nd is a big day for the Restless, as it is Dia de Muertos; all Memoriam is considered one point higher, and the Wraiths use this day to renew their Pathos thanks to the remembrance of their loved ones.
- The Hierarchy.- Rules the accustomed Necropoli, the largest being in the city of Guanajuato. Hierarchs are mostly the ghosts of Spaniard conquerors, which has caused a great deal of trouble with the wraiths of mestizos, criollos and indians who don't go to Mictlan.
- The Heretics.- Mostly of the Catholic bent, their numbers were engrossed in the Cristero uprising, though their influence is weak.
- The Renegades.- They are way too many for the Hierarchy's taste, victims of abuse all the way down to history. The most dangerous are the Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, who somehow have reformed their armies and continue the Revolution in the afterlife.
- The Far Shore of Mictlan.- Ruled by emperor Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, the Mictlan receives the souls of the indians, though it's Reapers have taken worthy mestizos like artists and scholars. (Nicholas was doing a wonderful writeup on it when we last wrote to each other, ask him for it).
An unaligned and completely misterious Wraith is La Llorona; she must be very acomplished in Argos, since nobody seems to find her, not even the Reapers of Mictlan. Her Keening is strong enough to scare even the meanest Hierarch.
The Eagle Knights
Survivors of the late Order, they have lost much of the original purpose of the Knighthood. However, they are still powerful Awakened warriors. Their goal now is to protect the mundanes from the ravages of the supernatural wars _and_ to destroy vampires, as they resent their founders' betrayal by the vampire rulers. They know Tlacaelel is alive and actively hunt for him. They have jobs like normal people, but always in a position that they can help their community.
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