Chicago History

The word "Chicago" is said to derive from an Indian word describing the strong smell of decaying flora in the marches along the river banks. It was French explorer Louis Joliet and French missionary Jacques Marquette who, in good standings with the Indians, learned of an already established route that connected the Illinois River with the Great Lakes region by way of the Chicago River, and the Des Plains River with the Mississippi River Valley. But, it was the completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 that made the trading of livestock, grain, and lumber between industrious East and the pioneering wild West possible with little disturbance to the Midwest Fae settlers.

The railroad arrived and Chicago soon became a chief railroad center in the United States. Industry and business were booming, and when the Republican National Convention of 1860 nominated Abraham Lincoln for presidency, it seemed that the great machine that is Chicago could do no wrong. In thirty-seven years Chicago's population had grown to 300,000, one-thousand times greater than when it began. Then on the night of October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire started on the southwest side of the City; it jumped the river and in two day's time destroyed 18,000 buildings, killed 300, and left 90,000 homeless. It would take twenty years for Chicago to recover.

Before the ashes could cool, the people of Chicago began to rebuild. The introduction of steel made it possible to erect the world's first skyscraper, the 10-story Montauk building in 1882. And ten years later the first elevated train was up and running. In 1893 Chicago proved its vitality by hosting the World Columbian Exposition, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. Also in the early 1890s, the first modern Ouija boards began to be produced, thus proving the lack of sentience among ghosts to some, while allowing folks to fake sentient ghosts to others.

In 1909, Daniel Burnham proposed a series of artificial islands that led to the creation of Northerly, Wavecrest, and DuSable Islands in Lake Michigan (also home to "Flat Dog", the local Nessie-like lake monster).

Chicago has also has its share of strife. Black and white railroad workers demanding higher wages and improved working conditions, united during the Pullman Strike of 1894. They joined the American Federation of Labor, and by 1905 the Industrial workers of the world, called Wobblies, was founded. Between 1919 and 1933, Prohibition would see the streets of Chicago turned into a war zone, as rival mob gangs battled for control of alcohol distribution and sales. In 1932, the Democratic National Convention nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for the presidency. A short time later in 1937, Congress passed the "Un-Natural Activities Act" in response to the preternaturally assisted mob-hits during Prohibition, making magically assisted death a mandatory capital crime. In 1955 Richard J. Daley (the "last of the big city bosses") became mayor of Chicago. Bounty Hunting was deemed illegal within Illinois state bounds in 1963, and the roots of Chicago's somewhat unique firearm laws began in 1968. The tallest building of the world, the Sears Tower, was completed in 1974. Since then, it has lost that distinction (and Sears) but is no less impressive.

In 1993 a Supreme Court decision known as Adley v. Clarkson forever changed Chicago, Illinois, America, and the world; With this decision hundreds of vampires became legal US citizens, and countless thousands gained the right to apply for US citizenship. For much of its history, the Windy City had been a place where immigrants could and start over. It provided jobs, freedom, and the opportunity to begin their lives anew. And yet again it has become a center for new cultures to mix with old as the vampires live among the humans without the need to hide for the first time in their existence.

Fairy History

In Europe the British Royalty began to cultivate the blood of the Sidhe into their nobility around the time of Henry VIII (his supposedly fae wife, Anne Boleyn serenely executed in 1536 with a silver blade due to her lack of ability to interbreed with humans in her form), picking up a fair head of steam by the time of Queen Victoria (the haemophilia of her line most likely due to the Fey blood of her illegitimate father, Sir John Conroy). Before then, human and fae relations were spotty at best, some positive (like the Long-haired Merovingian kings in the 7th Century) some negative (like the Human-Fae War in the 13-14th century, regarded as a 'war' by the fae and as 'the Dark Ages, the Plague, and a mini Ice Age' by the humans involved). Later things have again had little disturbance, the States setting up the Bureau of Human and Fey Affairs in the early 1800s and the European Seelie Court banning Unseelie Emigration in the late 1800s.

SEE: Fairies History for more detail.

Vampire History

Little is clearly known of vampire history, their existence often considered rumor until denounced by Pope Pius VII in 1809. But even then, the small span of weeks known as the "Day of Cleansing" came and went, with the vampire "Lord Ruthven" (born "Augustus Darvell", of either the Belle Morte or the Dragon bloodline) the center of popular attention just ten years later. Other than that, the largest Euro Vampire Event was surrounding Vlad Dracul (supposed father of Vlad Tepes), but even that has yet to be fully revealed by those who were around at the time. The Council meets in the Musee Carnavalet in Paris, possibly having done so since the mid 1500s. The first recorded use of the term "vampire" is as recent as 1734, while the concept of the modern vampire stems back to India in the 6th Century and in the Eurasian Slavic regions in 587 AD (possibly nailing down the first recorded activities of the Mother of All Darkness). In 1850, M. Ernest Valdemar of Harlem, NYC was the first to accurately research why some terminal victims of vampire feeding rise as new vampires, while others merely die.

SEE: Vampire History for more detail.

Shapeshifter History

It was a perfectly ordinary day in 1907 London. The House of Commons was in session, debating whether to grant New Zealand the status of Dominion, or self-governing state, within the British Empire. The debate grew heated, with the Member for the East Riding of Yorkshire, the Right Honourable Dr. Stanley Cavendish-Smythe (Labour), leading the opposition to the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (Liberal). What was to happen next would shock the world; so enraged was the Dr. Stanley Cavendish-Smythe, a respected practitioner of law in his home town of Tackleford, Yorkshire, that he became a giant wolf-man and started trying to catch and eat his opponent.

With weapons barred from the House, a full third of the Members of Parliament were killed or wounded as they tried to save their leader from the monster in their midst. When finally the beast was brought down by a ceremonial staff taken from its holder by the quick-thinking Member for Radnorshire, the Rt. Hon. Llewellyn Davies, it returned to human shape. Lycanthropy, previously thought to be a curse of the common criminal and the criminally insane, was revealed to be capable of spreading to even the most upstanding citizens. Panic ensued among the populace, from the highest places to the lowest. There was talk of laws being passed, but when a good twenty Members of Parliament resigned for health reasons after the next full moon - all members injured in the attack, and at their fore the Member for Radnorshire, less draconian measures were instated.

After this event, laws began to be passed in the Western World, affording lycanthropes some degree of protection. Even with this sea-change, many jobs are unavailable to shapeshifters due to their being carriers of a life-changing and potentially fatal infectious disease, as well as the stress-related disorder of accidental shifting. It is not unheard of for many countries (and states within America) to allow the killing of lycanthropes while in animal form, due to the high risk they present in that form.


Elsewhere History

Even less milestones are found among the preternaturals of East Asia, their relative peace in the Celestial Bureaucracy under the Jade Emperor leaving no more turmoil in human history than trees of the forests or fish of the sea do. The Shinto faith has even taken to embrace the East Asian preternatural community, contractible lycanthropy virtually unheard of, vampires and fae left to their own devices when in harmony with human civilization or when operating in their own societies.


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