The downfall of the city began a year ago. The
Prince was Jeremiah
Buxton, a Tremere who had controlled Oxford for centuries. His rule may
never have been noted for its benevolence, but he was a capable ruler.
Suddenly, though, he appeared increasingly paranoid, almost (some
whispered) unhinged. The suspicions that his mind may have been interfered
with are unlikely to ever be proved, and since all obvious suspects are
now dead, the matter is irrelevant. What is certain, however, is that
Buxton brought Oxford to the brink of war with Reading, the city ruled by
his childe William Russell. As Oxford began to descend into chaos,
Buxton's star sank still further, though considering what was to come it
is unlikely any ruler could have maintained civilisation.
For in the catacombs underneath Christchurch slept an ancient being who had once been known as Job. Embraced millennia ago, knowing only pain, living only for his ancient hate, he had founded the bloodline of Buxton and Russell and disguised them as Tremere. Reaching up into the streets of Oxford, he found the twisted mind of the Malkavian Charis, and began to work through her. She, with the aid of William Russell and a splinter group of the dark Sabbat sect, began to use the chaos in the city to feed Job's power. The destruction of the city had probably become inevitable by Easter, when he announced his coming to the assembled Kindred of Oxford. By this point Buxton had been slain by William Russell and the Prince was a Ventrue known as Chevalier Marc-Antoine de Chiron.
With the rapidly growing presence of Job-worshipping Sabbat in the city, the troubles in the city rapidly mounted to armed gang warfare in the streets. The Camarilla outside the city downplayed the events for the national media, but were largely helpless to improve the situation. Those Kindred in Oxford who had not fled the city or been slain fought back as best they could, succeeding in slaying the Jobite archbishop. In an unprecented move, they allied with a group of mainstream Sabbat from Birmingham who were just as threatened by Job's immanent awakening; they also had the aid of Jack Hyde, a descendant of Job's who had been possessed by his ancestor for a time and had been left with strange powers and a link to Job's mind. The forces of Job, though, had numerical superiority and the aid of four nexus crawlers, spirits with the power to alter reality, and behind that the god-like power of Job himself as he began to wake. Since Job had sealed off the city, no more help could be reached.
As Job reached full waking, the Birmingham Sabbat launched a full scale attack upon Christchurch, the centre of Job's forces, allowing the Oxford vampires to gain entrance to the catacombs from the other side of the college. Slaying Charis and William Russell, they were able to make use of an ancient ritual which they believed would destroy Job. The ritual drew Job's disembodied mind into the body of one Giles Rentre, then Constable of Oxford, melding with his mind. This made Job briefly vulnerable, but the effect of the ritual was not immediately realised; Job was believed to have been destroyed.
Job began to regain awareness once more three days later. Those who thought they had saved the city found that the enemy they had been fighting stood incarnate in their midst. Job's mind had been blended with that of Giles, though, and, between the influence of Giles' persona and Job's own despair, the being was persuaded to destroy itself. The danger is gone, but the city is a shadow of what it once was. The power structure of the Kindred no longer exists; with the recent disappearance of the Chevalier one of the most significant cities in the country is more or less open for the taking. And who knows what lasting effects Job's presence may have had?