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Vampire: Oxford Today


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Note: This is now out of date, having been written for October 1997.

    Since the death of Job, the city has been slowly returning to sanity. The official explanation for the events is that, following civil unrest in the city, an experimental strain of the Ebola virus was released in Oxford, apparently by an unknown terrorist group; the city was sealed off over May and June, during which time there was mass rioting and hysteria in the city. The mortal population of Oxford, emerging confusedly from Job's influence, have almost no recollection of the true events in Oxford, and seem to accept the cover story completely. Many wake up screaming every night, but the dreams always seem to fade by morning.
    The chaos in the city subsided greatly when the destroyed police force was replaced in early August. Unknown to the mortals, this calming was more due to the return of Charles Gregor, previously Toreador Primogen of London and recently appointed Justicar. With his arrival, many of the less desirable elements in the city dispersed or were destroyed. There seem to have been a number of mortals who have not entirely recovered from Job's influence, but by now most have been eliminated, and the number of killing sprees and random murders has been declining rapidly. The violent cult of Kali seems to have faded away with Job's death; its former members seem to have returned to sanity and to be living normal lives.
    Many of the gangs that ran wild in Oxford were wiped out by one or another of the factions in the city. Those that remained have not been much in evidence since the arrival of the Justicar and have presumably disbanded. There have been some incidents of violence, usually around Cowley and away from the town centre, but nothing recently that suggests anything very organised. The suburbs have not escaped damage; there was widespread looting and robbery throughout, and many areas, particularly Jericho, suffered from fires raging unchecked after the emergency services ceased to exist.
    No attempt is being made to rebuild Christchurch. The old main quad is being converted into a park, and in the centre a thirty-foot black obelisk has been constructed as a memorial, inscribed with the names of the dead. Much of the area has been consecrated and turned into a graveyard; one section has been used to bury the animals of Oxford, driven rabid by the 'virus'. Another, smaller, memorial has been erected at St. Giles' church, just north of the war memorial; this takes the form of a statue of the saint.
    The university has suffered particularly badly. It suspended studies shortly after last Easter, and those who remained in their colleges barricaded themselves in. Under Job's influence, they went insane. Many rival colleges attacked each other, while in others the students simply fought amongst themselves. With a large number of students and tutors dead or insane, most colleges damaged to one extent or another, a section of the science area obliterated, and one of its most famous colleges totally destroyed, it will be a while before it is active again. There is much reconstruction work going on, though - parts of the science area are being rebuilt (the new design of the biochemistry building, bedecked with gargoyles, has caused quite a stir), and most colleges are busy repairing damage. This is particularly noticable with All Souls, secretly the Tremere chantry, which was particularly badly hit but seems to have received considerable funding for repair.
    There is little in the way of Kindred society remaining in Oxford. Over half the Kindred died in the last year, and many others fled the city for good. A few days after the death of Job it was found that the Prince had disappeared; there seemed to have been a large explosion in his haven and he is presumed to have died the Final Death. The perpetrator is unknown. The Birmingham Sabbat left the city hurriedly to combat a Camarilla attempt to retake Birmingham, and no sign of Sabbat presence has been seen in Oxford since. The Camarilla have been keeping Kindred from entering the city; it is only now, with the city beginning to regain a semblance of normality, that they have opened the borders of the city again.