History of Miami
From The Sabbat of OWbN
Discovery and Early Settlements
[As told by “Novosad, the Pulchritudinous; Tzimisce Voivode, Bishop of Miami”]
Ahh... Miami! What can I tell you, lick, about Miami? What would you consider history? Would you like to hear about Ponce de Leon’s so called “discovery” of Florida near the beginning of the 16th century? I remember that time well, and his ill-fated quest for the Fountain of Youth. What would you do, young one? Would you have the nerve required to place yourself inside a tiny wooden box, with only your trust of your servant’s masterful constructions keeping the sun’s rays from searing the flesh from your bones?
The Cainites of the world have lost more than they know in the Modern Nights. The sense that death could come at any time, it kept one sharp during the Anarch Uprisings, but I can see that you have no patience to learn of such things...
Miami has always been a truly wonderful realm, no matter what period of history you observe it from. For example, not long after the Convention of Thorns, around the mid-16th century, I recall some Jesuit missionaries settling in this area. They were attempting to spread the dogma of Catholicism to the Tequesta, but left after a mere year, and abandoned their settlements before three. The weaklings had no determination; a treatise on the modern era, I think!
Yes, Miami was everything an aspiring Voivode could ask for; savage wilds to the west in the Everglades, the Tequesta and other indigenous natives to worship at your feet, and a natural protective barrier of hundreds of miles of untamed, vicious swampland as your moat and barrier.
Such wonders never last...
[As told by “Slayer of the White Man; Native-American, Gangrel-Antitribu”]
Near the middle of the 18th century, the one who created me came from Cuba, along with a small garrison of soldiers and Fathers Mónaco and Alaña. As I understand it, they came with a plan to establish a chapel, and build a Fort at the mouth of Miami’s river.
The one who created me travelled with the group under the guise of a simple soldier. He noticed me during one of Father Mónaco’s expeditions to the Tequesta villages and knew immediately that I was a hunter. You see, my people grew no crops, and the men who were capable were expected to be hunters and protectors. As a man, I was the pinnacle of my society; as a Cainite, I became the ultimate predator.
I never knew the name of the one who created me, he left with the Spanish soon after. When the Spanish realized that we could not be deceived by petty things, that our leaders were capable negotiators, and that our women and children would not provide free labor; they burned their Fort to spite us and retreated to Cuba, not unlike petulant children.
We initially celebrated the departure of the Spanish, but soon, no amount of prayer or sacrifice could save our ways. Other tribes with superior tools, boats, and most importantly, firearms, soon descended on our villages. The Uchise, Creek and Yamasee, armed with English firearms given to them to curry favor during the war between England and Spain, conducted regular raids, taking slaves and supplies. This, coupled with disease and lack of allies, decimated our culture.
By the time Spain surrendered Florida to the English in 1763, my people were no more. Some had escaped to Cuba; some merged with the Tribe that was to become the Seminole; most died. It all happened so quickly... and though I know my memories are not as such, it seemed that I fell asleep one dawn, and when I awoken just after dusk, whole villages were as all of the tribe had disappeared.
I have seen the genocide of my people, and for what? Twenty years later, in a treaty ending the American Revolutionary War, Florida was returned to Spanish control.
Seminole and The American Civil War
[As told by “Slayer of the White Man; Native-American, Gangrel-Antitribu”]
Alone, following the genocide of my tribe, I felt the wander-lust of my blood call me into action against the English, who continued to destroy other tribes in the same way that they destroyed mine. They recruited tribes to attack the Americans, paid them as little as possible, and then left them to be slaughtered. The first Seminole War was evidence of this “betrayal by desertion.”
Some of the worst times were during the Creek War at the Battle of Burnt Corn, and what the white-man called the Massacre at Fort Mims; I watched these battles, my heart still calling out for revenge. For every victory that a single tribe claimed, it seemed that a half-dozen were wiped out.
The American white-man took the opportunity to use the claim of “Indian Aggression” as a war cry, a rally to which other white men could use to justify any means of destroying tribal interests. I wept as I wondered where the English allies were when all of the Red Stick warriors, and former slaves, and dispossessed tribesman were in need of their assistance. I wept as Andrew Jackson led the United States Army to decimate tribe after tribe.
Then, in 1821, Spain turned Florida over to the fledgling United States, and I returned to Miami a broken man. Years passed so quickly, and “progress” came to Miami. A lighthouse jutted from the landscape of Key Biscayne in 1825 like a stake to the heart of the land. With burden on my mind, and an overwhelming sadness in my heart where the romantic notion of revenge used to live, I slept.
When I awoke one decade later, Andrew Jackson was President of the United States of America. The Indian Removal Act was being enforced fully, and the Treaty of Payne’s Landing, which was supposedly agreed to by several influential tribal leaders, served to help make the extermination of the final remnant of tribal cultures legal.
This is what organizational power does...
A second Seminole uprising led by influential tribal leaders such as Osceola, Halleck Tustenuggee, and Jumper renewed the spirit of resistance. I joined the Seminole and the runaway slaves for what I knew was one final victory as we burned the Lighthouse at Key Biscayne; it would not be rebuilt for another decade, but our uprising was the last of its kind. The United States spent limitless sums of money tracking down and killing every last fighting man, and in 1842, the end of the war was the final end of tribal life as I knew it. The tribes - my kind, were all dead.
Twenty years later, the white-man warred against his brothers in a Civil War over whether or not one man could keep another man as a slave. I wished I could delight as I watched the white-man kill his brothers, but as I watched the battles, I felt nothing.
Miami Established, First Cainites
[As told by “Hector Sandoval; Lasombra, one of three Bishops of the Bishop Council of Miami”] Did you know that Miami is an international banking and financial center, with a large concentration of international and Edge Act banks? Oh, excuse me... for the layman, that means that they only make foreign loans and deposits. Those are handy to have, if you are sending a lot of money quickly to foreign bodies which require massive funding and assistance... say, for example, for purchasing weaponry to finance a small army. Since so much money goes out, tracking any individual purchase is quite difficult.
When I came to Miami, I was a ghoul-slave to a particularly traditional Ventrue. He had me accompany a delegation to support Julia Tuttle, a wealthy Cleveland resident who moved to Miami just before the turn of the 20th century, around 1890 if I remember correctly. Miami, at that time, was hardly a city. It had just been founded twenty years earlier, had poor infrastructure, and was separated from the rest of the world, in that, it was very difficult to get to. However, the few businessmen who were there did turn a profit, hence my Ventrue keeper’s interests.
I recall Julia Tuttle telling them stories of how Miami would one day be “a great city, and center of trade with South America.” Miami has become a great city, but it wasn’t until Henry Flagler, an influential Financier from New York, became involved that things really picked up. History records that Flagler became involved at the behest of Tuttle, but I can’t help thinking my Ventrue slave-master had something to do with Flagler’s “generosity.” I sent him regular reports of the state of development in the city, and he sent me sums of money to invest for him. My investments made him wealthy beyond imagination when the Florida East Coast Railroad came to Miami in 1896, the year that Miami incorporated. Progress, however, brings travellers; and with the travellers, came some of the first founded packs.
With the dredging of the harbor, and the canal and port access projects performed by the Army Corps of Engineers, a small pack from the Caribbean started to make regular visits to Miami. The Bootleggers were some of the first Cainites to take note of me; they watched me for some time before they finally approached me. They were waiting for me one night in my room at the Royal Palm Hotel. When they finally shovel-headed me, I was relieved.
By 1910, the city was a thriving recreational area and, at the urging of Rohan Barrow, Ductus of the Bootleggers, I urged my Ventrue “master” to come see my progress as soon as possible. Truth be told, I took great pleasure in the thought of my former slave-master’s demise. He finally came to the city in October of 1912, and the Bootleggers and I hardly gave him time to get off the train before we attacked, but our strategy was a flawed one. Allow me to explain...
Being a Ventrue, my former slave-master was extremely resilient, and we failed to kill him in the initial attack. We lost track of him somewhere in Colored Town, so we bedded down in the area hoping to catch him feeding first thing the next night; knowing the feeding habits of a Ventrue is absolutely indispensable... did I mention that!
Have you ever heard of the Great Miami Fire of 1912? Colored town, the area that is now Overtown and Northern Downtown, was completely burned to ash by the fire. Half of the Bootleggers lost their lives that night, including their Pack Priest, and I never did see my former Ventrue master again. I assume that he perished in the inferno, but I will never know for certain.
The Roaring Twenties and the Second World War
[From the Journal of “Carlisle William Heron; Tremere Antitribu, First Bishop of Miami”]
Just after the great fire, and with the destruction of several of the members of the Bootleggers, mortals began to flock to Miami, and with them came more Cainites, including myself. The Bootleggers weren’t particularly dedicated to the precepts of the Sabbat as far as I could tell, but they were efficient creatures, and the loss of their influence over the city was obvious.
During 1920’s prohibition, Miami’s reputation began to take hold as a center for tourism. For the mortals, Miami was a tropical paradise with lax laws on alcohol and gambling. During this era, the mortal population doubled and with such uncontrolled growth, Cainites of all persuasions came to the area. Everyone knew that war was coming...
In 1926 the population boom came to a halt after the first battle in which the Sabbat secured dominance over Miami. Several younger packs, living off the decadence of Miami’s nightlife, began conflicting with many of the city’s non-Sabbat resident Cainites. A gather was held, the Sabbat of the city were all there: the Bootleggers, Antediluvian Terror, Slayer and his Veterans, Caine’s Tutor, a Templar who happened to be passing through the city on her way back to the Caribbean, and even the reclusive Novosad attended. The majority of us agreed that leadership was necessary before something could be done. By the end, I was appointed Bishop.
My first order as Bishop of Miami was to subjugate the non-Camarilla Independents. They died easily enough to the combined forces of the Sword. The packs were sloppy in their execution of the plan though, and the Camarilla residents of the city erected defenses before we could get to them. It was at this crucial moment that I first discovered the true cruelty and duplicity of the creature known as Novosad “the Pulchritudinous.” Novosad proposed a new plan - to combine our knowledge of Sorcery and Magic in order to harness, intensify, and redirect a great storm which could be used to erode our enemies defenses and drive them out of their hiding places.
On the night of September 17th, I brought the storm.
Novosad was relentless in his cruelty. He used the storm’s fury to enhance his own Koldunic powers, and, in a frenzy of madness, he tried to wipe the city from the face of the world in a display of power and decimation that had not been witnessed since the fabled Cainite wars of the Dark Ages.
When the next night arrived, the Camarilla resistance was broken, and many pack members were missing, never to be seen again, including the entire Antediluvian Terror pack! The pack members who were left were furious. They were quite prepared to tear me limb from limb; I tried to explain, but they wanted only revenge. It was then that Novosad’s plan came into full view.
The mob-mentality demanded Novosad and I fight in Monomacy, a fight where he was declared the victor, and the new Bishop of Miami.
Eventually, the city would recover from the storm, experiencing another population boom during World War II, when parts of the surrounding areas would become training bases for the American Military. Many of those Armed Service members would returned as permanent citizens after the war, revitalizing population, and expanding the city into a full-blown metropolis, but never again would I trust Novosad the Pulchritudinous; he is a danger to the Sword, and all those around him. One day, I will expose him for what he really is.
The Cultural Revolution Begins
[As told by “Hector Sandoval; Lasombra, one of three Bishops of the Bishop Council of Miami”]
I would love to tell you about the years between the Hurricane of 1926 and 1959, but I can’t because I was buried alive! All of the land on which the house where the Bootleggers’ communal haven stood was washed away in the storm. It wasn’t until just before 1960 that construction at the port unearthed my body, and by something just short of divine intervention that it was night at the time. When I awoke, and Rohan shortly thereafter, we searched for any of the rest of the Bootleggers, but we never found any of them again.
Without my pack-mates, my world view changed dramatically, as did the city in my absence. The city’s population had exploded with World War II veterans resettling in the city after their service; black and white Southerners, migrating in search of new prospects; and Bahamans and other Caribbean blacks, looking for a better life. Additionally, prominent Jewish and Cuban communities had emerged, and Cuban refugees continued to pour in from Castro’s rise to power. The economy of the city had shifted towards providing for Latin America.
The Sabbat “situation” in the city was also quite different. Novosad still ruled as Bishop, but he ruled jointly along with Carlisle Heron. Apparently, there was some type of power-play that ended in stalemate. The two Bishops had split the city between the two of them, with packs, territories, and loyalties sharply divided. It took some time for me to become acclimated with the new political landscape, but it seemed, while I was away, a whole new generation of Sabbat shovel-heads were created, populating the city with newer, crueler, and younger Miami-native Sabbat.
Licero Blanco Emerges
[As told by “Srinivas Valluri; Ravnos-Antitribu, Templar to the Archbishop”]
Not many realize, but Licero is the Cainite who made Miami what it is today. He was the only one who could unite the splintered factions, packs, and for a while, the Bishop Council. When I found Licero, he had already made quite a name for himself by doggedly pursuing the Camarilla that remained in Miami; heavily influencing the groups of rioters during the Liberty City riots.
There was method to Licero’s madness, however, and after a short while of study, I discovered that nothing that Licero did was truly random; he could predict motivations before you would think that you had them, and outcomes far before situations developed. With this knowledge, I took Licero on as a student and moved to Mexico at the behest of the Regent to participate in action against the Camarilla of Houston, Texas.
Licero and I spent several a few short years engaging in skirmishes along the border areas, eventually stopping to create some shovel-heads at a prison near the Mexican border. It was at this prison that Licero found what he described as his “soul-mate” in Fabrizia Conteraz. Not only did that woman survive her creation rites, but she seemed to have been gifted with the same type of prediction that Licero had been graced with.
The Golden Age of the Sabbat
[As told by “Old Fatima; Serpent of the Light, Pack Priest of Voodoo Cannibal”]
In 1980, I came to Miami in the Mariel Boatlift. Many of my devoted worshippers were rotting away in Cuban prison, and after bribing some minor officials, I managed to immigrate the entire following to Miami. My followers integrated into Miami’s 1980’s culture of drugs and vice in almost no time at all.
In a few short years, we turned Miami into the United States' largest transshipment point for drugs - mainly cocaine, from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and other places. I wish that I could say that it was my following or myself only who were responsible for the explosion of the underground drug industry, but I’m just an old woman; we were just a small part of something that was bigger than any of us. Drugs became a multi-billion dollar industry in Miami, and all of the illegal and uncontrollable activities that went with the drugs also supported the activities of the Sabbat, so unofficially, it was all condoned.
The truth of the matter is that drugs made Miami into the grand fortress of the Sabbat that it is today.
An Archbishop Rises
[As told by “Srinivas Valluri; Ravnos-Antitribu, Templar to the Archbishop”]
Due to his strategies against the “Kindred” of Texas, Licero had attracted quite a bit of fame and attention, gaining him a reputation of fear and of respect. Before long, news reached our pack that Regent Galbraith had advanced Licero Blanco to the seat of Archbishop of Miami. Fabrizia was greatly distressed by this news; the reassignment of Licero would have split the Ductus from his Pack, and, more importantly, Licero from Fabrizia.
While the two spent the next several days consoling each other away from the Texas front, I travelled to see Regent Galbraith, to petition her to choose another candidate. My travels were a waste though, as I could not gain an audience to see her. I attempted to sway several influential Priscii to my side, but, in the end, it seemed that the Regent’s decision was final; her reasons for appointing Licero were two-fold...
First, in Miami, Licero was a rising star long before he gained his reputation as a strategist among many of the younger Sabbat members. The Regent knew that if she was to gain any kind of real control over the two quarrelling Bishops of Miami, she needed someone who was as popular as they were powerful and influential. Though I was doubtful, the Regent saw Licero as that individual.
The second reason was the rumor that the Regent secretly hated Fabrizia. She believed that Fabrizia had become an intolerable distraction to Licero, and, if one Cardinal’s word can be considered as truth, she considered Fabrizia “a poorly chosen result of a deranged man’s libido.” Regardless of what actually occurred, truth is often subjective.
Whatever the true reasons behind the appointment, if such things do exist, the fact was that the new Archbishop Licero Blanco was well suited for the position. Licero’s first act was to add a third seat to the Bishop Council, an act which united the Council under his authority, and likely determined his fate.
A City Divided
[Extract from a personal letter to Fabrizia Conteraz from Licero Blanco; Malkavian-Antitribu, Archbishop of Miami]
Miami has become one of the most powerful and opulent of American cities since the late-1980’s. Working with the leaders of each faction, the Sabbat of the area have quickly learned to control its Hispanic enclave-economy as a resource for political empowerment and territory defense. I must confess, however, the rapid population expansions of the decade allowed Camarilla influence and Camarilla agents to penetrate the city at its deepest levels.
Three nights ago, Camarilla Archons infiltrated the University and were bold enough to make an attempt on Carlisle’s life. To spare you the extraneous details, the information that we gleaned during their interrogation was disturbing. If we are to solidify the power of the Sabbat in this city, we must first unite the factions. This latest intelligence has led to further paranoia as well.
At the last gathering of the Bishop Council, Carlisle was convinced that the Camarilla strike force were led to his location by agents of Novosad, but he had no evidence. Is Carlisle’s petty grudge clouding his judgement, or could Novosad actually be capable of betraying his brethren? I wish you were here Fabrizia. I wish for the clarity that you bring to my unlife, my love.
A City United
[As told by “Srinivas Valluri; Ravnos-Antitribu, Templar to the Archbishop”]
After receiving the news of Licero’s demise, Fabrizia was decimated - her heart was broken. It was no secret that Regent Gailbraith hated Fabrizia, and we all knew that Fabrizia’s appointment as Archbishop in Licero’s absence was a purely spiteful one. Fabrizia was determined not to fail, and to extract revenge from those who were responsible for Licero’s murder.
Fabrizia’s first act as Archbishop was a vicious strike at the heart of the enemy’s influences, killing and destroying countless pawns and resources. Several infiltrators and turncoats were ferreted out, and, for the first time, the Bishop Council was united in a revelry of blood and destruction. Sabbat came from all over the world to take part in our show of Sabbat strength. In a matter of months, the Sabbat of Miami purged most major outside influences from the city.
Not content to stop with Miami, Fabrizia has continued to slowly introduce her loyal pack-member-infiltrators into non-Sabbat cities all the way up the eastern seaboard of the United States. These deep-cover agents send her information on the Camarilla power structures, and other tactical information.
All Fabrizia ever wanted was to be with Licero for all of time, now all she seems to be concerned with is revenge...
Part of Miami by Night