The Greater Los Angeles area is home to almost 19 million souls. It is the second largest population center in the United States after the New York Metropolitan area and is home to some of America’s wealthiest people and most expensive real estate. While it is most well-known for it’s dominance in the Entertainment Business, LA is also known for its Aerospace, Bioscience, Trade, and Fashion industries. Being one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country has made the City of Angels a melting pot of ideas that has driven innovation and prosperity for decades. But this prosperity has not been without steep cost as societal tensions fracture along social fault lines.
Ever since the first Spanish settlers laid claim to the region in 1771, the Shadowlands of Los Angeles have long been a turbulent reflection of the bustling and chaotic world of the Quick. Given Los Angeles’ dynamic and innovative nature, the city is a veritable wellspring of both Pathos and Angst. The battle to control and curtail these forces has led to decades of conflict among the Restless Dead. The passions that rule the world of the Quick create an abnormally high amount of wraiths and those same passions tempt the weak-willed among the living and the dead to indulge in their worst impulses. This often makes the struggle against the forces of Oblivion a highly personal one.
Pre-Colonial Los Angeles
Since nearly 8000 B.C., both the Chumash
and then the Tongva
people had inhabited the Los Angeles Basin. The Tongva in particular Tongva were descended from Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples who originated in what is now Nevada, and moved southwest into coastal Southern California 3,500 years ago. It was the Tongva who would first make contact with the European settlers, first Juan Cabrillo in 1542 and then Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602. At this time the Restless of the Lands of Flint called this place home, but their names have been lost to the ravages of time. Several bands of Heretics came along with these European explorers. Sensing great opportunities to convert souls to their beliefs, they settled in outposts, trading and sometimes fighting with these indigenous wraiths.
The Third Great Maelstrom
In 1605, the Third Great Maelstrom
raged through the Shadowlands of North America. Spawned by the many atrocities of the Third Abomination, the spectral gale scoured the LA basin, leaving the indigenous wraiths decimated and scattered in their wake. Whole Necropolises were simply wiped off the face of the Shadowlands and those that were not, suffered terribly. When the dust from the Maelstrom settled, the Shadowlands of the LA basin was fundamentally changed and many of the wraiths of the indigenous people had either been consumed by Oblivion or mysteriously disappeared. To this day very little is written or known about these lost souls.
The Sacred Order of the Nail
In 1769 Gaspar de Portolá
established a Spanish outpost in the Los Angeles area. With de Portolá came a powerful, organized group of Heretics known as the Sacred Order of the Nail, a splinter sect of the Host. Like the Host they believe themselves to be guardian angels, but once their aspirants were ensnared they were subjected to all manner of terrible purification rituals. The Order of the Nail believed that only through true suffering could one hope to Transcend. The destruction wrought by the Third Maelstrom allowed the Order to easily take control of the Necropolis and soon, they began using the souls recruited from the local people to swell their ranks with supplicants. The Order of the Sacred Nail was a purification cult that was masquerading as a supplicant cult and their extreme practices were the cause of the schism from the Host. It was the relative isolation of these Heretics that allowed them to persist for so long.
The Founding of Los Angeles
Inspired by a vision of an angel, Father Junipero Serra establishes the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
in 1771. In 1781, a group of 11 families comprising 44 Mexicans settled by the river. The area became well-known for its many sightings of ghostly religious and spiritual figured. In truth, this was the Sacred Order of the Nail, who, in a flagrant violation of the Dictum Mortuum
, t would often appear to the Spanish settlers as visions of angels, inspiring them to religious fervor. So frequent were these visions that the Governor of Spanish California, Felipe de Neve, named the settlement El Pueblo Sobre el Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula, or ‘
The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula‘.
Over the next forty years, the Spanish would rule over these lands, enslaving and stamping out the indigenous Tongva people. Over 25,000 Tongva were baptized during this time, much to the delight of the Sacred Order of the Nail. Things were worse for them after death, as the Heretics did unspeakable horrors to them in the name of their beliefs. It is said that if one listens closely at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles
they will hear their screams of agony. Mexican independence would come in the 1820s but that would do very little to change things for both the living and the dead.
The Coming of Stygia
The Hiearchy’s conquest of North America’s Shadowlands began with the founding of New Amsterdam in 1625 but it would take until the mid 1800s for the Legions to reach the West Coast. In the Skinlands, this would take the form of the Mexican-Ameican War
, but beyond the Shroud, the forces of Sygia’s Legions would clash with surprisingly stiff resistance from a prepared Sacred Order of the Nail. Preparing for decades and using the funnel of souls coming from the Skinlands, the Order had built a sizeable citadel and outfitted their troops with soulsteel weapons. California would see a good deal of fighting during the Mexican-American war, including the Battle of Providencia in Cahuenga Pass, the Battle of Rio Gabriel, and the Battle of La Mesa. But, despite their stiff resistance, the Heretics and their Renegade allies would be driven into the hinterlands around the Necropolis. In 1847, the United States took control of Los Angeles and in 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
was signed. Mexico formally cedes California to the United States, and all residents are made U.S. full citizens. The Legions of Sygia were now firmly in control of the Los Angeles Necropolis.
Growth, Expansion, and Industrialization
Gold was found in California in 1848 and this facilitated the start of the population explosion in the state. From 1850 to 1900, Los Angeles saw unprecedented growth as a city, expanding and industrializing. In 1870, just over 5,600 Quick called the City of Angels home but by 1900, that number was over 100,000. In the Shadowlands, the Hierarchy was hard at work, constructing what would become an impressive number of structures in a scant fifty year period. This was largely due to the influence of the Grim Legion, who with it’s Anacreon, the Roman general Quintus Tullius Cicero
the brother of the famed Marcus Tullius Cicero
. Quintus employed the Roman architect Vitruvius
. Thus, the Necropolis of Los Angeles was turned into a Neo-Classical landscape in the image of the Quick’s cities of the ancient world. Over time, other Legions grew in power, particularly the Silent and the Emerald. The Guilds also were vital to this expansion and worked closely with the Legions to complete the work. But existence under Quintus Cicero was not easy and the Legions put the wraiths of the LA Basin to task, working them hard and enacting both strict policies and harsh punishments. In many ways, they were little better than the Heretics which they had replaced. Many Freewraiths chafed under this tyranny and while there was always some quiet talk of a change in leadership, the Legions and their Legionnaires were too powerful to resist.
In 1892 Edward Doheny found oil on the land just South of what is today Dodger’s Stadium. This opened up a boom of oil wells being drilled in and around the Los Angeles area. It was a second Gold Rush and brought the city incredible prosperity. In the Shadowlands, things were vastly different. It is unclear if the oil drilling was inspired by a group of Restless, some other supernatural group, or just serendipity, but the result was borderline disaster. As the Quick cut through the earth, it tore open multiple Nihils on the other side of the Shroud, some leading directly to the Labyrinth. Pouring forth from the abyss, several local Malestroms saw the holdings of the Legions come under savage attack. As more and more wells were drilled, the Nihils continued to appear in the coming years. Spectre attacks became regular occurrences as the Shadowlands of East and South LA were turned into Shadow-Eaten wastelands. New finds in La Brea and Downtown LA brought Oblivion right to the doorstep of the Hierarchy. By the early 1900s, the Legions of the Los Angeles Necropolis were in a greatly weakened state; a far cry from the power that they enjoyed a few decades ago.
The Fourth Great Maelstrom
The Battle of the Somme in 1916 unleased the terrors of the Fourth Great Malestrom upon the Shadowlands of Europe. Despite the great distance from the Continent, Los Angeles’ Necropolis came under direct attack from the forces of Oblivion as the Specters came pouring out of the many Nihils that dotted the City of Angel’s necroscape. So terrible was the Tempest during this period that only the most experienced Harbingers could hope to navigate it. This effectively cut off the Los Angeles Necropolis from Stygia. Running low on supplies and troops, the Legions had to force consciption upon the local Freewraiths in an effort known as the Call of Iron. This was vastly unpopular among the established Restless and even brand new Enfrants were Reaped and pressed into military service as cannon fodder for the seemingly endless stream of Haints, Mortwights, Apparitions, and Shades. When the dust had settled and the Maelstrom finally subsided, the domain of the Legions had shrunk even further and, worse yet, the great General Quintus Tullius Circero had been Harrowed, lost to Oblivion during one of the fiercest attacks against the Citadel. Some mourned his loss and others rejoiced. In secret, a number of powerful forces put into motion machinations that would change the Necropolis forever.
The Golden Age of Hollywood
While the Legions battled in the Shadowlands, in the world of the Quick, an unprecedented era of creative filmmaking began in Los Angeles known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. Historians cite 1915 as the start of the Golden Age as the “Big 5” production studios of MGM, Paramount, Fox, Warner Bros., and RKO dominated the market of moviemaking. By the mid to late 1920s these studios became the powerhouses that fueled Los Angeles’ rapidly growing movie industry. This had two effects on the Shadowlands. Firstly, an unprecedented number of wraiths began appearing from among the ranks of the creative and artistic. Tortured never-been movie stars, aspiring actors who met a tragic end, and grizzled veterans of the predatory Hollywood scene. Secondly, the amount of potential Pathos generation in Los Angeles would far exceed any other Necropolis that was known at the time. This created a bit of a ‘Pathos Rush’ for the Restless Dead as they flocked to the City of Angels to ‘get rich’ off of the vast wells of passions that swirled through the lands of the Quick. The side effect of this was that there was an immense amount of creative energy pouring into the ranks of the Restless. As the Legions weakened under the relentless assault from the forces of Oblivion, the Guilds, though banned and marked as illegal by Stygia, began to quietly swell their ranks, especially the illegal Guilds such as the Spooks, Haunters, and Puppeteers, who found their skills in high demand. This also gave rise to the rumor of Hollywood being an extremely haunted patch of the city of Los Angeles.
The Spectral Artisans Guild
The deaths of Hollywood producers, directors, and actors began as a trickle during the 1920s and 1930s, mostly consisting of those who met a tragic and premature demise. But, as the 1940s came about, things would begin to change with the death of Carl Laemmle
in 1939. Laemmle, a German-American immigrant, was the co-founder and owner of Universal Pictures until 1934. He was involved with over 400 films during his career and is considered one of the Founding Fathers of Hollywood. Laemmle’s wraith quickly realized that the Guilds standing alone could accomplish little, but with a little unity, they could easily run the Necropolis from behind the scenes. Since the rise of the Entertainment industry, the Sandmen held a powerful grip on LA, only rivaled by the Chanteurs. The place people ran to in order to fulfil their dreams of celebrity and stardom was a hotbed for the Sandmen, eagerly inflaming their dreams and feeding their passions. The two guilds, however, never feuded, finding common ground amongst the Quick who flocked to LA. Thus, it was easy for Laemmle, a Sandman himself, to unite the two. Soon after, the Artificers and Masquer Guilds joined the organization, which called itself the Spectral Artisans Guild or simply the “SAG”. If the SAG was inspired by or related to the Screen Actor’s Guild in the Skinlands that was founded in 1933 is unclear but there are rumors of a connection. The SAG grew even more powerful when they aligned themselves with a loose confederation of criminal Guilds known as The Consortium in 1943. Led by the mafioso Joseph Ardizzone
the Consortium was run primarily by the Spooks, but also had a substantial number of Haunters, Proctors, and Puppeteers, who found a brisk trade in Pathos and the various forbidden Arcanoi they could peddle to those Restless who sought them.
The Fifth Great Maelstrom
In 1943 the Zoot Suit riots came to Los Angeles, bringing with them unprecedented civil unrest as off-duty police officers, servicemen, and civilians brawled with Latino and other minority youths. This chaos in the Skinlands brought a rise in Spectral activity that some whispered was encouraged and even perpetrated by agents o the Consortium. The Legions scrambled to defend their holdings, spreading theor forces thin enough that it set the stage for total disaster in 1945. When the Fifth Great Maelstrom hit, trigged by the mighty destruction of the atomic bombs detonated on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Maelstrom was brief but terribly destructive, Harrowing not a few Restless caught in its winds. In the wake of it, a number of smaller storms made the Shadowlands a treacherous place to be for a number of years. During this period, the Los Angeles Necropolis came under constant threat from the armies of Oblivion. During this chaos, the Consortium moved against the remaining powerful representatives of the Legions in the Necropolis. Harrowsmiths working in combination with the Puppeteers, Proctors, and the few Monitors who called LA home sought to attack the fetters of the good and great wraiths of the Hierarchy. By in large, they were vastly successful, forcing a good many of them into a Harrowing or barring them from the Shadowlands entirely. There was never a clear link between the Consortium’s activities and the SAG, but, by 1950, the SAG had so much influence and power that it essentially ran the Los Angeles Necropolis. The Legions were still in power, but it was in name only. Those who did not bend to their will, serve their interests, or attempted to harm them, quickly found themselves afoul of a powerful network of criminal guilds. A few Restless were able to quietly resist, but not enough to reclaim power.
The Rise of Hollywoodland
From 1950 to the 1970s, an unprecedented number of powerful Hollywood figures and celebrities began to join the ranks of the Restless Dead in Los Angeles. From big names like James Dean
, Peg Entwistle
, Jean Harlow
, Marilyn Monroe
, and Joan Crawford
to titans of the Entertainment industry like Cecil B. DeMille
, Harry Warner
, and Louis B. Mayer
, the Los Angeles Necropolis became a who’s who of the Shadowlands, brimming with the restless souls of actors, directors, producers who died with unfinished business. For not a few of them, their Passions lie in the continuation of Hollywood’s power and influence in the lands of the Living. Many of them aligned with the SAG and thus its power grew even greater. The reason why so many of these figures became Restless is still a source of much speculation but it may just be a testament to the kind of tortured and unresolved existences that Hollywood success generates. By the 1950s, however, the power of the “Big 5” studios began to wane. In 1948, the United States vs. Paramount Pictures ruling sought to break up the monopolies that these studios had over the film industry. It largely succeeded and by 1960, the power of the studios was largely shadows of their former selves, with RKO going under entirely. Those wraiths in power in Los Angeles’ Hierarchy saw their power in the Skinlands slipping away and with little power to stop it, they sought to recreate and preserve the nostalgia of Hollywood’s Golden Age in the Shadowlands. They launched a ‘Preserve Hollywood’ campaign in the Necropolis that was led by a group known as the HPS, the Hollywood Preservation Society. They rebuilt and refurbish much of the Hiearchy’s old Greco-Roman inspired architecture into a newer more modern look. In the eastern Shadowlands, in defiance of Oblivion, the Hierarchy constructed a massive Citadel to the north of Hobart and Vernon known as The Sepulcher. It’s grounds lay at the intersection of the many cemeteries present to the east of Boyle Heights in which many of the influential wraiths were interred. By the 1960s, the Shadowlands of Los Angeles looked like a snapshot of an idyllic 1950s scene out of a Normal Rockwell piece, if it was reflected through a dark mirror. Though the moniker had faded from the Skinlands when the ‘land’ was torn down from the Hollywood sign in 1948, the wraiths of the LA Necropolis continued to call the Hierarchy domain Hollywoodland, and the sign in the Shadowlands reflected this decision.
A Mirror, Darkly
On the surface, the preservation of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s ideals seemed an eclectic and almost quaint choice. But the truth of this movement was far darker. In reality the HPS and the Preserve Hollywood movement was an excuse to rebuild and reformat the Hierarchy of Los Angeles. Quietly, behind the scenes, the powerful wraiths of the SAG and the HPS removed anyone and anything that was not rooted in the nostalgia of the Golden Age. Construction of the ‘New Hollywood’ was expensive and almost all the anachronistic wraiths that were in the Necropolis prior to the early 20th Century were either driven out or forged by the Artificers into useful components in their vision of the Shadowlands. The architect of this was none other than the Legion’s original architect, Vitruvius. However, even that ancient Restless was forged into the last brick that was placed in the foundation of the Sepulcher when it was completed. In addition to those wraiths who were deemed to be ‘not in theme’ by the HPS, those who opposed the Hollywood vision, worked against it, or just did not fit in, similarly disappeared mysteriously, likely to return as someone’s white picket fence, a vintage movie poster, or some other symbol of Americana. This time was referred to as the ‘First Purge’ or the ‘Director’s Cut’ as some would come to call it. Even to this day, there are very few wraiths in the LA Necropolis that are more than a century old and almost all of those hail from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Those few who do exist, do so in secret or exist only outside the Hierarchy’s domain.
The Grapes of Wrath
The first true signs that something was amiss in the Los Angeles Underworld were the Watts Riots of 1965. Spawned by a traffic stop that turned into a fight between police and locals, the riots represented the racial tensions that were growing in an increasingly multi-ethnic Los Angeles. In the Shadowlands, the waning power of the Legions opened doors for other factions to grow in power and start encroaching on the borders of the Hierarchy’s domain. The Dark Kingdom of Jade had long had a presence in Los Angeles. Chinatown was founded in or around 1870 and both Koreatown and Little Tokyo founded right near the turn of the 20th Century, the Yellow Springs had long lived in the shadow of the Hierarchy, existing mostly at the whims of the Legions. The Dark Kingdom of Obsidian, now the Fifth Sun, though diminished in power, began to sow the seeds of its death cults among the Hispanic communities of East LA and even the Dark Kingdom of Ivory, who traditionally had very weak influence in North America, began to exert itself through the Afro-Caribbean faith of Santeria. These forces, along with the Renegades and Heretics who had long been driven to the borders of Los Angeles, began to slowly creep back in. They worked their way into and among the ranks of the Hierarchy, biding their time for the right moment to strike. This Cold War mirrored the Skinlands conflict between the United States and Russia during the 1970s and 1980s, with various factions spying on one another and seeking to quietly sabotage, infiltrate, and weaken their rival. This was the height of power for the Spectral Artisans Guild, but, behind the scenes, many were trying to erode and weaken them. During most of this period the Anacreons of LA remained quiet and at the behest of the SAG and the Consortium, but, quietly a faction began to rise under the leadership of former media-magnate Henry Harrison Reed that sought to reclaim the reigns of true power from the Guilds. It was whispered that Reed’s faction was willing to and did cooperate with anyone and everyone to help in achieving their goals.
The Legion Strikes Back
The early 1990s was a time of tumult in Los Angeles. With both the Big Bear/Landers and Northridge earthquakes in 1992 and 1994 respectively and the Rodney King riots in 1992, the Shadowlands reflected the tumult that was felt on the other side of the Shroud. In 1992 the Legion faction who sought to restore them to supremacy, made their move on the Spectral Artisans Guild and their Consortium allies. They called themselves the Resurgence, while those loyal to the SAG were known as the Tinseltown Loyalists, or just the Loyalists. The Resurgence was championed by Henry Harrison Reed while the SAC was represented by a number of powerful wraiths but primarily Karl Laemmle, Cecil DeMille, and Joan Crawford, with the latter being the head of the Hollywood Preservation Society. In the early years of the Resurgence, there were mostly quiet, surgical strikes with agents installed by the Legions making moves against the SAG’s power structure. Not a few key wraiths were Harrowed among Hollywood’s elite, including Harry Warner and his brother Jack. But, the Guilds refused to yield to the terror tactics of Legions. When that failed to work, there was open warfare in the streets of the Necropolis as the Legions clashed with the forces of the Consortium. What they lacked in firepower, the criminal guilds made up for in cunning, using their Puppeteers and Proctors to manipulate things in the Skinlands and curtail the attacks of the Legions on SAG holdings. Both sides suffered terrible losses during the early days of the conflict but the SAG bore the brunt of the Harrowings. As the Legionnaire’s blades turned inward to deal with the conflict, the forces on the fringes of Hierarchy territory made their moves in steady, progressive stages. The Dark Kingdom of Jade was first, seizing a wide swath of domain from Downtown as it sought to connect Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and Koreatown. In the south and east, the Fifth Sun revealed its true face and stuck with devastating results against Hierarchy holdings there. Piece by piece, the Hierarchy’s holdings in Downtown were being carved up and the eastern beachhead was pushed back to the LA river. Only the Citadel of the Sepulcher held hostile forces from completely overwhelming Downtown Los Angeles. From 1994 onward, the conflict cooled and while fighting continued, both sides dug in for what they felt was a long conflict. Little did they realize that the course of the civil war would be determined for them.
The Breaking of the Necropolis
1999 was a year filled with a sense of anticipation for the new millennium and also a strong sense of dread for Y2K and other apocalyptic predictions. On Midnight on December 31, 1999, as the next thousand years were ushered in by the Living, the collective fears and anticipation of the Quick unleashed a torrent of passions that stirred within the depths of the Labyrinth. Massive Shadowquakes tore across the Shadowlands of Los Angeles, ripping open Nihils which belched forth forces from the depths of the Labyrinth. Led by a Nephwrack named Grimvorne, the Spectral forces assaulted the Sepulcher in a nigh-unstoppable wave. Though the remaining Legion defenders did their best, the defenses of the mighty Citadel were so weak that there was little holding against such an assault. In a matter of hours, the Sepulcher was reduced to a Spectre-haunted ruin and all the wraiths who could not escape were Harrowed. The spectral army poured out of the Nihils north of downtown and pushed rapidly west toward the heart of Hollywood. The Legions and Guilds alike scrambled to offer what defenses they could, only stopping the Spectres in a makeshift barricade near Downtown Hollywood. Attacks from the south near La Brea and the Southside also managed to push the Legion defenders to their very breaking point. Even the Fifth Sun and Dark Kingdom of Jade came under attack, with vast swaths of East and South LA’s Shadowlands being turned into blasted conduits to the heart of the Labyrinth. The conflict between all factions ground to an immediate halt as everyone worked to stem the tide. The Hierarchy managed to lock the conflict into a stalemate and hold it for almost two years. During this time, most of the warring factions in the domain set aside their differences to keep Oblivion at bay. Not a few wraiths boarded the Midnight Express or sought out Harbingers for ways to escape Los Angeles as the domain teetered on the edge of utter annihilation. However, it soon became clear that the Legions were not winning as much as they were simply losing more slowly. So desperate was the situation that Stygia provided reinforcements; at their head, was the Legion of Paupers and the ghost of General George S. Patton
Victory Los Angeles
The conflict to drive the forces of Oblivion back to their hellholes took the better part of two years. The presence of General Patton did much to lift the spirits of the wraiths who were already badly beleaguered but it did not change the fact that the forces of the Legions were in a strategically bad place. The spectral hordes had cut a swath of corruption nearly into the heart of Hollywoodland, a terrible scar that would come to be known as the Cicatrix, from which they made regular attacks. The Legions made a concerted attack and after months of fighting, pushed the spectres back toward the Downtown Shadowlands, eventually forming a redoubt that stretched from Silver Lake and Echo Park in the north, bisecting the Downtown Shadowlands and curving around to end in the Pico Union District. The rest of Downtown LA’s Necropolis became little more than a no-wraith’s land, owned by various factions and plagued by constant attacks from roving bands of Spectres. The Legions also managed to secure the borders of Hollywoodland all the way to Central Los Angeles in the south and Beverly Hills in the west. The Shadowlands in the southwest of Los Angeles remained connected to Hollywoodland only via a narrow strip of Santa Monica Boulevard’s ghostly reflection, allowing some Hierarchy wraiths to linger on there and at the Necropolis near the Los Angeles National Cemetery. To secure their borders, the Hierarchy began to erect a number of strong fortifications which would come to be known as The Barricade, or, as some would call it, Patton’s Fence. General Patton would depart the Necropolis sometime around 2005, but not before appointing four powerful Anacreons to rule over the Necropolis. Henry Harrison Reed and the wraith of Joan Crawford were among them. On May 8, 2005, the Necropolis of Hollywoodland officially celebrated V Day, Victory Day, with a parade and General Patton departed the city a hero. Terminus Plaza, the reflection of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the Land of the Dead, was renamed as Victory Plaza and a massive stone monument erected to those heroic wraiths Harrowed to protect the LA Necropolis. The truth of the matter was that the Legions built themselves a prison.
The years that followed the Breaking were largely peaceful and came to be known as the Pax Angelorum. The Anacreons sought peace with many other factions in the Shadowlands, starting with the Renegade and Heretic factions that lay beyond their walls. They did not officially recognize any claims to land but also did not claim any themselves. Thus, factions from the Dark Kingdom of Jade and the Black Sun were able to get a strong foothold in parts of Downtown, South and East LA. Beyond the walls of the Hierarchy’s domain became known as the Deadlands, badlands ruled by whichever faction had claimed that particular patch of damned turf. The forces of Oblivion were driven back to their Nihils but over the last decade, more and more spectres have been seen in the Deadlands. There are patches of the Los Angeles Shadowlands that are fully in the grip of Oblivion and none but the bravest and most capable wraiths would dare to travel there. Parts of East Los Angeles are almost entirely overrun by spectres. Only the Black Sun’s mighty edifice known as the Mictlan Ziggurat and the small outpost of Mournwail remain free of Oblivion’s influence. Mournwail has been claimed by the Doomslayers is and is the primary base from which they make their forays into the depths of the Labyrinth. In Hollywoodland, an uneasy truce has settled in between the Guilds and the Legions. The four ruling Anacreons administrate the Necroplis with an iron fist. Joan Crawford and the others have sought to retain the pristine, flawless illusion that they have crafted of an idyllic 1950s society. The Hollywood Preservation society still remains and is stronger than ever, ensuring that those wraiths who choose to make the Necropolis their home abide by the local rules and regulations. Dissent is not welcome and persistent dissent is rewarded by being relegated to the soulforges. While it appears on the outside like things have never been better in Hollywoodland, in truth, the Hiearchy is hanging on by a thread. The multiple factions beyond their walls hold ancient grudges. They sense the weakness of the Beast. They are building their strength for the time when they can strike and finish off the weakened Hierarchy once and for all.