Shadows of The City
If you’re a San Francisco native and paid attention in your high school history classes, you know it was founded by Lieutenant Jose Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Palou in 1776, who named it for Saint Francis of Assisi. It passed from Spanish control to Mexican control as a result of the MexicanWar of Independence in 1821, and was then sold to the growing United States at the conclusion of the Mexican-American war just in time for the California Gold Rush of 1848.
What you probably didn’t find out in your history classes was that the original Spanish expedition included (and some claim was led by) Red Court vampires. Their mission was to expand the holdings of the Red Court. Once it was completed, the Presidio became their base of operations, and they swept from it into the surrounding countryside converting some, enthralling others, and controlling the rest through fear. Their operations were only minimally impacted when the territory changed from Spanish to Mexican control, but the Gold Rush was another matter.
The Gold Rush is one of the defining events in San Francisco’s history. In one year, the population of the city swelled from 1,000 to 25,000. This presented the Red Court with a problem. A small, pacified population is easy to control, but suddenly the population of San Francisco was no longer small. Americans from the east coast and immigrants from the Far East arrived in huge numbers looking to start a new life and maybe get rich.
The population was also not pacified. Conflicts broke out all over the city, some as a result of “Gold Fever” and some as a result of resistance to Red Court predation. Eventually, the newly arrived U.S. Army imposed martial law to “stem the tide of lawless behavior.” Martial law was lifted when California was made a state in 1850, but the battle between the Red Court and the arriving population continued.
The second defining event occurred in 1906. By this time, the city boasted a population of 400,000 people, and was a financial powerhouse, with Wells Fargo and Bank of California based here. It was also a battleground, albeit one that went unnoticed by most of the residents. Resistance groups fought a constant, underground war against the Red Court. The membership of these groups often included the Venatori Umbrorum or Ordo Malleus in leadership or advisory roles.
But on April 18th at almost exactly 5:12am, the greatest earthquake in U.S. history and arguably one of the most significant earthquakes in known history occurred in San Francisco. The shock wave ruptured gas lines in buildings throughout the city, and caused a conflagration that required three days to control. It also afforded the Resistance the opportunity they had been seeking, and they seized it. Using the chaos of the quake, the ensuing fires, and the containment efforts as cover, the Resistance destroyed over half of the Red Court vampires in the city. The Red Court leader and his two top aides initially escaped, but were destroyed approximately one year later at Cliff House. This broke the Red Court’s dominance in the area.
The victory, however, came at a truly terrible cost. 225,000 people became homeless, and tent cities remained set up in the Presidio, Japantown, and other neighborhoods for the next two years. Rebuilding took most of the next decade, and monetary losses were eventually estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It was down, but the city definitely wasn’t out. Over the course of the next several decades, San Francisco redefined itself. It didn’t throw anything away; it just blended in new ideas. Unfortunately, one of those ideas was that nature abhors a vacuum. Sometime after the fall of the Red Court, the White Court moved in. It wasn’t apparent at first, but by the end of World War II people were starting to figure it out.
San Francisco had its last defining moment (so far) in 1967, when it became the epicenter of an earthquake of an entirely different kind. Over 100,000 people (“hippies”) gathered in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for what became known as the “Summer of Love.” Through their actions, they brought alternative lifestyles to national, and eventually international, attention. For the clued-in, however, the event had another, more sinister meaning. It heralded the establishment of White Court dominance in San Francisco.