The World of Darkness

The Tunnels and Necropolis

Room image Room image Room image
Special NOTE: Primarily a Nosferatu location

Splat-Specific Information

Changeling

none

Mage

none

Vampire

The Necropolis is Nosferatu territory

Werewolf

none

General

It's estimated that about 1,000 people find shelter in the storm drains beneath the city from heat and cold. People end up here after being turned away by Las Vegas' limited charities. There are 450 miles of tunnel beneath Clark county, 300 miles of which are underground. It's possible to get electricity down here without too much effort if you know how to and many of the homeless have television with cable. Urban legend, of course, is rife with all sorts of things that live in these tunnels... and in a World of Darkness, such things are all too often real.

Nosferatu

Necropolis

Necropolis Traits:

  • Catacombs 3
  • Dark Temple (Theban) 2
  • Garbage Pit 2

From Remus:

  • Catacombs 3
  • Dark Temple (Theban) 2
  • Garbage Pit 2
  • Sepulcher (Personal) 5

Short Description

The tunnels beneath Las Vegas, and Clark County in general, stretching all the way to Lake Mead are extensive. 90% of the city's water comes from that lake, and when it rains, the city does it's part in shipping water back. Beneath the streets and the domains of the other kindred lurks the underground, a domain for kindred seeking to escape the lights of the city, as well as the regency of the Sanctified Bishop, Remus. Through the tunnels, and even in hand dug out chasms below it, lurks the Necropolis of the Haunts. A dark and mostly light less place, it is not a welcoming domain, though visitors have been brought there from time to time in the past... and the polite ones were even allowed to leave on most occasions.

Description

Mortal graffiti begins to give way to markings and etchings done by inhuman hands. A pair of eyes peeking out from behind something, an exaggerated clown-like smile without a face, and other little tells. The catacombs begin, a series of twisting and convoluted paths, through concrete and water, deeper below ground and back up close to the surface, before plunging once more into the abyss. The necropolis covers a wide variety of areas and given the relatively small Nosferatu populace in the city, there's ample room for newcomers who prove their worth. Side passages lead to dead ends or continue on, the mortar ripped apart by bare hands at times, and still-damp clumps of earth printed on the floor from bare feet. Descending ladders in one area and climbing up them in others. Passing utility conduits and old alcoves that look like they were once used to offer tribute to some pagan god or other... and might still be used. The further in one goes the clearer it becomes; without a means to see in the complete darkness that's enveloped you, and without a personal knowledge of these tunnels, you may well never see the surface again. It's a labyrinth. One could wander lost down here until hunger or thirst claimed them... or a predator with a taste for blood claimed them first.

Despite the dryness of Las Vegas, down here where water may have collected in areas, the air sometimes takes on a musty smell. At other times, unseen fumes may well instantly killed any humans who breathe them in. In yet other passages, skulls hang from strings attached to the ceiling with tiny bones strung along beneath them. Clustered together, they're like macabre wind chimes, save they move without needing any breeze. The dull, hollow clattering of bones provides the soundtrack in several realms. This is a realm of monsters and only some of them are vampires. The others, the kinds of creatures who have never known light or human sentiment, are not the type one wants to stumble upon accidentally.

Eventually, the tunnels converge into a large chamber with a domed ceiling. It's brick all around and it smells wet, a cistern of dark water in the center with a walkway all around it, guard rails half-rusted away to prevent accidental falls, and yet more side tunnels splitting off deeper into the Necroplis. This room serves as it's foyer. There's light here though it's extremely faint and isn't generated by any single source... it simply permeates like a ghostly aura and it seems to come from the water. That black, still, unmoving water. One bleeds a token into those waters, and when it touches the surface, there is no ripple or other sign of it... the blood simply disappears. Showing the proper deference, a generous Haunt might explain. More than one of the Worms has gone missing over the years after failing to pay it. The few who have come back make the others wish they hadn't.

The path continues on, lit by phosphorescent fungi growing in the walls and ceilings but which tends to distort shadows in unnatural ways. Some say it's a reflection of what's inside, others what's been lost, and others still what the future holds. Perhaps all three or none are true. The air down here is still damp, moist even, and next one would enter into another chamber some distance from the first in this labyrinthine maze of tunnels. Within this next area is a large hole in the ground that's positively filled with garbage of all types. Radios, televisions, sofas, tools, hypodermic needles, the pallid arm or two of a discarded corpse... nearly anything or everything that one could imagine lies within it. It's deep, it's filled, and it's full of potential. A chill touches many of the resident's bones here, the presence of ghosts whose bodies lay decomposing within, hidden from the mortal realm forever and now bound as guardians over the warrens of their final resting place. Room image

Yet another side room holds what looks like a half-collapsed church. A number of pews, some smashed, arranged auditorium style around an elevated pulpit with a blood-smeared lectern. From the rubble behind the pulpit, crushed into the stone itself, is the impression of a large feathered wing along with a surprisingly human arm... if human arms were six feet long. Fossil now, ancient stone, the area resonates with holy power. The remains of an angel, a demon, one of the nephilum... no one knows. No one has ever tried to move it or excavate the rest of the body. For now, it's presence is enough, and there's not telling how old such a being truly is... or if it is truly dead.

More tunnels branch out, and more still, eventually leading to the sepulchers of those Nosferatu who choose to lair within the Necropolis. Shortcuts from here back to the surface exist for those who know where they are though the most experienced tunnel dwellers can get there just as quickly without using them. A form of communal security, each Haunt's dwelling their own, were someone to somehow invade this level it would be sure to provoke a violent reaction. This is not a place for visitors or non-clanmates... this is home. Sacred. It is not to be despoiled.

Catacombs (● to ●●●●●)

Some Necropoli are little more than a series of connected rooms: a rotting set of pocket doors opens to reveal the library, a rusted porthole leads to the temple, and so forth. Others, though, have a great deal of space between the rooms, and in some, this space is a precarious tangle, a true labyrinth. These are the Catacombs.

In one Necropolis, the Catacombs are a series of long-forgotten and ill-conceived sewer tunnels, never-mapped and choked with the foul miasma of trapped methane. In another, they are a tortuous knot of abandoned mine tunnels or even an endless series of gutted bomb shelters whose matte gray appearances are damnably similar that over time it becomes impossible to orient oneself in the never-ending sameness. Some Nosferatu carve out their own Catacombs, blasting or hacking away at the rock to forge twisting burrows and narrow bolt-holes. Some even decorate their catacombs with a funhouse flare, with strobe lights, rooms of warped mirrors, floors that move, or concealed speakers that emit unnerving cacophonous notes.

Story Use: The Nosferatu use the Catacombs for protection. Those who seek to traverse the grim underground and find the Necropolis have a great deal of trouble navigating the labyrinthine structure, thus providing a potent buffer against the Haunts' secrets. Those who dare to find the Necropolis often end up wandering the dark tunnels and twisting chambers, hungry, thirsty, blind, mad. They wail as they feel along the walls, driven to fits of hysteria.

System: Navigating the tunnels necessitates an extended Wits + Investigation roll, with ten successes required. Each roll is equivalent to one hour's worth of wandering. Those who do not have dots in the Necropolis Merit suffer a penalty to this roll equal to the owners' total dots in Catacombs. Those who do possess any dots in the Merit, however, may still have to succeed on the roll. Even the Haunts may find themselves periodically lost in the dark and distorted heart of their own Necropolis.

The Catacombs are almost unremittingly dark. Standard Perception rolls are hampered by a standard -3 penalty, and the "Fighting Blind" rules may apply at Storyteller discretion.

Dark Temple (●●))

Perhaps it's a small alter ringed with rat skulls, or a golden urn in which the ashes of an ancient Haunt linger. Or perhaps it's a bloody pulpit surrounded by rock walls made white with chalk crosses. Somehow, this room has become consecrated—why or when such a consecration happened is hard to say. The local Haunts may or may not remember. Maybe the Dark Temple lies beneath an open sewer grate that opens up in what they call "Murder Alley," and over time all that bad blood dripping down left an indelible stain (both physical and spiritual) on the room. Could be that some decrepit Nosferatu Saint (Saint Cheslin of the Boneyard, Splinter of the Monastery of Yellowjackets) makes this room his sarcophagus. Or, perhaps it's just that this is where the Nosferatu choose to worship, and their grim energy has pooled here like so much sewage.

Story Use: If a Necropolis has a Dark Temple, it is the spiritual center of the city of Haunts. Here they gather to perform rituals in service to some old, mad god or goddess, be it the many monstrous faces of the wretched Crone or the one shining face of the cruel Lord of the Lancea Sanctum. The presence of the Dark Temple is also an indicator of the presence of one or several Nosferatu "holy men," whether a synod of withered Bishops or a Cybele cult leader who consecrated the temple by castrating himself on the altar, then burning the wound forever shut with the hissing flame of an oil-soaked torch.

System: The Dark Temple can only be consecrated for the Lancea Sanctum or the Circle of the Crone; to whom it provides its benefits must be decided at the time of the points purchased. The Storyteller may allow characters to actively attempt to "reconsecrate" the Dark Temple to their own faith.

The consecration provides two benefits: usage of either Theban Sorcery or Cruac in this Dark Temple gain +1 to those rituals, depending on whether the temple is sacred to the Crone or the Dark Father. Also, those with Status in the appropriate covenant gain +2 Social dice when speaking to those without such Status while in the Dark Temple.

Garbage Pit (●●))

Trash has to go somewhere. Welcome to the Garbage Pit (which like many of the chambers listed here may have its own name in the Necropolis: The Shit Pit, perhaps, or simply, The Ditch). In some cases, it's the trash from the world above. Garbage seems to ceaselessly wind its way downward, as if seeking interment and decay. Other trash comes from the Nosferatu themselves: old blood-stained clothing, broken masks, pilfered goods from victims, and so forth.

Garbage Pits come in many shapes: a big broad room that stinks of motor oil, curry, mold; a pile of metal parts strewn across several chambers, the floor practically lined with raw tetanus; or a collection of bins which gives the appearance of some kind of organization and neatness but is truly just a bunch of bins filled with refuse and debris.

Story Use: The Garbage Pit finds many uses among the Necropolis Haunts. Looking for a present for your true love (a ghoul chained to a pipe on the other side of the underground kingdom)? Dig around, see what you can find. Need to hide a couple of corpses? The Garbage Pit is glad to swallow them up. Is the Necropolis compromised with enemies traversing and stalking the halls? Lead them to an ambush in the Garbage Pit, where the freaks lie in wait…

System: The Garbage Pit provides a handful of unconnected benefits. The first is that when aiming to use Crafts to jury-rig a device, a Nosferatu's player can make an extended Wits + Investigation roll to look for a "missing part." Five successes are necessary, and each roll is an hour of digging deep into the debris and waste. Second, any Nosferatu with points invested in the Necropolis gains a +2 to Stealth rolls performed within the Garbage Pit (imagine as him dancing across a floating pig carcass, deftly leaping to an oil drum and ducking behind an old Vaudeville sign—all in perfect silence). Third, the Nosferatu are home amongst the trash, and gain +1 Initiative here.

Sepulchers (● to ●●●●●))

The bigger the commune of Nosferatu gathering in the Necropolis, the bigger the need for Sepulchers. The Sepulchers are the havens of the Haunts who call the Necropolis home. Not every Haunt needs to slumber in these places, but many do.

The Sepulchers are generally gathered together in a cluster in one part of the Necropolis. Perhaps a half-collapsed mine tunnel, rock walls riddled with boltholes, leads to the sleeping chambers. Perhaps a busted-up bomb shelter's many Spartan rooms have been claimed by the many Haunts. Some, though, aren't clustered together at all, and are scattered throughout the whole of the Necropolis. Consider the general layout of the Necropolis and determine where the Sepulchers could fit.

Individually, the Sepulchers are of roughly equivalent Size, usually big enough to sleep in and to have a few personal things, perhaps even one or two pieces of furniture (an old rickety set of drawer in which one keeps her many porcelain dolls, or a burnished mirror whose glass has been replaced with a crazed painting of the character). In some cases a Necropolis may have an "emperor" or "Senex" of sorts, and he won't sleep in the havens represented by the Sepulchers, instead keeping some grand chamber of horror and divinity away from the chattel. In most cases, though, the Necropoli are truly communal, with the space offered by the Sepulchers divided equally among the Haunts.

Story Use: A Nosferatu's Sepulcher is his haven: or at least one haven. While not huge, it does give the Haunt a chance to customize his space a bit: does he sleep on the bare floor, surrounded by tapestries stolen from a wicked sire? Does he sleep on a cot, beneath which waits a suitcase full of guns and knives? Has he managed to bore a hole all the way down from the above world and secure a shitty modem connection for his crusty old laptop? The Sepulcher might be religious, with the Nosferatu using it to offer worship to some old god or accept worship as if he himself is of twisted divinity. The Sepulcher might be where he keeps his Resources, recognizing that banks are too public for a guy who smells of the slaughterhouse: his money, therefore, waits in a rusted gun-safe.

System: The Sepulchers are purchased a bit differently from other elements of the Necropolis. In this case, a character must purchase his own Sepulcher, and the dots that go toward it are his and his alone to access, representing his own "private" space within the community. It's a bit like Haven, but here Size doesn't matter (assume all Sepulchers are about the size of small apartments, one to two rooms). Location doesn't figure in, either, because they're all a part of the Necropolis. And Security isn't something the character really controls: Security is largely communal, so assume that for every five Sepulchers in the Necropolis, intruders suffer a -1 penalty to discover and intrude upon the tombs (to a maximum of -5). So what do dots in Sepulcher go toward? Pick a Skill upon the purchase of a Sepulcher. This Skill gains a bonus equal to dots purchased when the character is present in the haven itself. The Storyteller must approve the Skill chosen, but nearly any choice can work with a proper explanation. Perhaps the Nosferatu gains Empathy dice because he has set up the room to scrutinize those who gain entry (the way a shaft of light is angled to illumine a face, or the way the walls echo every peep, squeak, moan). Maybe the Nosferatu gains dice toward Science because his Sepulcher is more a lab than bedroom: beakers and burners, specimens bound to a workbench with medical tubing, a periodic table written in blood on the wall. Could a Nosferatu gain Brawl dice? Sure. Maybe he knows every crooked floorboard, every cubbyhole of loose mortar (dust that can be thrown into an adversary's face), each iron pipe hanging low in the darkness… all of which allows him to move with an unerring grace while within the confines of his tomb.