“And then, through dread Uriel
God Almighty cursed me, saying:
‘Then, for as long as you walk this earth,
you and your children will cling to Darkness
You will drink only blood
You will eat only ashes
You will be always as you were at death,
Never dying, living on.
You will walk forever in Darkness,
all you touch will crumble to nothing,
until the last days.’”

~ The Temptation of Caine 51-61


“Welcome to the Lighthouse, lick.”

“You new in town? That’s bad. Bad enough to warrant some advice from yours truly. Free of charge. I promise…

“The Cathayans? Sheesh — you are out of the loop. The Camarilla sent those creeps packing. A good fifteen years ago now. City’s back in Kindred hands. Only watch your back. Who knows what those devils left behind…

“The Elders? Forget them. They’re ashes. Second Inquisition saw to that. Now they see to us, if they can. They tail us. Spike our blood dolls. Torch our Havens. Force us into Torpor. Blackbag and take us away. No one knows where. And if you’re smart — and lucky — neither will you. Do yourself a favor — keep that freak flag tucked away, and keep the Masquerade. You won’t like what happens if you don’t.

“Don’t let the pride parades and high-income housing fool you. This city’s a nest of vipers. A pressure cooker that never blew. You’re gonna need protection. No, not that kind of protection, Dick Hungwell. The political kind. You gotta sell out to somebody. The Prince, or one of his Primogen. They’ve got the Domain — which means they’re the ones holding your future Haven and associated street corner hostage. If you’re desperate, you could try the Anarchs. And if you’re crazy, there are… alternatives. The kind you don’t bring to Elysium…


“You need to hunt, you hunt in the Mission. Not in your Domain. Not until that Domain’s big enough for it to go unnoticed. And no poaching, lick. Unless you’re just dying to see the sunrise.

“Don’t talk politics. Not unless you wanna take sides. If you wanna take sides — well, I can’t help you. And for Caine’s sake — stay away from the Wharf and outta the Tenderloin. You can’t afford the first. And you won’t survive the second.

“You’re not gonna listen to me. You’re gonna wanna strut your stuff. Voice your opinions. Flex your muscles. Play with your food. Don’t. Licks like that don’t survive here. They end up in an urn. Or as dinner. So smile. Keep your hand, and place your bets. Watch your back, and play the long game. And always play to win.

“And remember. In San Francisco, a lick is at best only as good as his word. Make good on your Boons. Or they’ll bury you.

“Pretty good advice, huh. Free of charge, just like I said. But, now that I think about it, there is something you can do for me…”

A Player’s Guide to San Francisco

San Francisco In Shadow

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