BLOOD AND IRONY Story Notes J Osako, 18 April 1998
Last Revised 22 March 1999
Daria is owned by MTV Networks. Used without permission. Daria created by Glenn Eicher. World of Darkness and related trademarks owned by White Wolf Games. Used without permission.

(Partial) Character Definitions
This is only meant to give a rough sketch of the characters abilities as they appear in this story (see the WoD notes below if you aren't familiar with the game). Note that this was written before The Daria Database was released, and that at the time I hadn't seen 'Pierce Me', so there are some inconsistencies with what is known about the Taylors. Since this is clearly a very alternate universe, this shouldn't present serious problems, but I still feel I need to explain the problem, which I may attempt to in a future story. Also, I made a few minor errors which I have now corrected.

Daria Morgendorfer
Orphan Mage
Arete 3, Will 7, Avatar 4
Forces 2, Matter 2, Mind 1, Prime 2, Time 3
Sanctum 2, Node 1, Fae Affinity, Intuition 2, Expression 2

Jane Lane
Orphan Mage
Arete 3, Will 8, Avatar 2
Corrospondence 3, Entropy 2, Mind 3, Spirit 2, Time 1
Arcane 2, Library 1, Dream 1, (Haunted -2), Enigmas 2, Expression 2

Brittany Taylor
Silver Fang Galliard
Gnosis 0, Honor 0, Renown 1
Derangement : Dumb as a post

Margorie Taylor (Bearhunter)
Silver Fang Ahroun
Gnosis 2, Honor 4, Renown 4

James Baldwin MacKenzie (Watcher-of-Truth)
Child of Gaia Philodox Gnosis 6, Honor 3, Renown 2

Michael Jordan MacKenzie
Child of Gaia kinfolk

Beavis & Butthead
Redcaps ('nightmare' Changelings), Unseelie

A few notes concerning Daria and Jane's paradigms
Our Heroes have not, at this time, learned about the true nature of their 'psychic powers' and thus have a fairly serious case of Hollywooditis. Jane, in particular, is willing enlist any conceivable explanation that takes her fancy, and often talks of mutations, UFOs, and other pop culture fixtures. Daria is more reluctant to give such things credence, but will accept anything she can't explain away. Oddly enough, neither one has seriously considered the possibility of a magickal explanation before the events of this story, though Jane is well versed in pop-occult literature. As a rule, they're both pragmatic about it; if it works, they don't wonder why too much. Since they are usually careful to hide their abilities from others (for various reasons), they have not figured out about Paradox (which Jane catches a small bit of early in the story).

The only real 'focus' either uses is Jane's method of using correspondence : she generally will make a drawing or painting whatever she is trying to view, and will 'reach through' the art in order to move things on 'the other side' or to teleport there. Once created, a picture is usable for an indefinite number of times, but is, of course, limited to the perspective shown on it, and if the corrosponding real-world scene changes dramatically enough (i.e., a building in the foreground is torn down) the picture loses its effectiveness. Also, she avoids using Spirit magick actively, as that tends to draw the wraith which haunts her (Tommy Sherman, who was killed by her unconscious use of Entropy magick). Aside from that, the only constraints are their own assumptions about where there powers stem from.

For those unfamiliar with The World of Darkness TM game world

In the WoD, reality is shaped by human belief and willpower. If you are Awakened (that is, you understand this malleability), you are a 'willworker', better known as a mage. The beliefs of non-mages ('Sleepers') are the basis of 'static reality', the real world of everyday events. Disbelief, in turn, could make willworking backfire, a phenomenon called Paradox. 'Vulgar' or obvious magick, which is likely to cause paradox, is very dangerous and can kill or maim the mage who risks it, while 'coincidental' magick, which seems unlikely but not impossible, is relatively safe. A battle between two master mages is often less a matter of 'fireballs at thirty paces' than what would appear to be a string of incredible coincidences.

Most mages have a particular 'paradigm', or approach toward magick, and each mage's paradigm is different. Any way of viewing the wolrd is possible, so long as it allows you, as an individual, to visualize and affect the changes you want; magick may be 'focused' through prayer, Hermetic rituals, tantric sex, drugs, music, art, dance, blood sacrifice, meditation, martial artistry, computer programming, creating a scientific theory, gene splicing, or building and operating a machine. Traditions, Crafts and Conventions are groups of like-minded mages with a (partially) shared paradigm. So-called 'orphan' mages, those who self-Awaken without a teacher or mentor, will 'pick up' their own paradigm out of their assumptions about what magick 'really is'.

In the 13th century, a group of mages, concerned with the dangers that unchecked magick posed to the Sleepers, formed a group called the Order of Reason. They set out to change the beliefs of the 'common man' so as to allow only one type of carefully controlled magick : technology. This was the beginning of the Ascension War, so called because it was fought to determine how humanity would achieve its final state of perfection (Ascension). The Order of Reason was opposed by the Traditions, who wanted to restore freedom and wonder to humanity; the Marauders, who wanted to eliminate stasis and bring total chaos, and the Nephandi; who wanted to destroy (or enslave) humanity. All of this was, of course, kept secret from the ordinary humans.

Over time the Order of Reason won most of the fights, as they made more and more technology static and thus usable by Sleepers. However, by the 19th century, they lost much of their good intent, becoming more destructive and more tyrranical, and many of the supporters of the Technocratic Union (as it was now called) have since broken with them and joined the Traditions (including two whole former technocratic Conventions, the Sons of Ether in 1905 and the Virtual Adepts in 1961). As they pushed technology faster and faster, it grew farther away from the ordinary man; it became impossible to differentiate science from magic (which were the same thing anyway). The dissafected came to distrust the Technocrats, even though they never knew them by name. The balance of power has been shifting unpredictably throughout the 20th century, and many feel that the War is coming to a head.

The Garou, better known as werewolves, are (according to their own legends) the historical protectors of Gaia (the 'soul' of the Earth) from the Wyrm, the embodiment of destruction. Millenia ago, Garou ruled over humanity, keeping their numbers small and hunting them down when they strayed out of their villages. Garou kept select groups of humans as breed stock, and those humans with Garou blood were called 'the kinfolk' and were protected by them.

Eventually, the Garou came into conflict with each over the treatment of humanity. The pacifist Children of Gaia, in particular, argued that the oppression of humans would end in violence.The nobility of the Garou, the Silver Fangs, eventually chose to let humanity develop on its own. Within a few centuries, Garou rule over humanity (the Impergium) ended, and humans, developing magick and technology, hunted the Garou down. They have existed in hiding ever since.

Garou see humanity as controlled by the Weaver, the spirit of Order. They fight to restore the Wyld, the natural balance, and have been the driving impetus behind the ecological movement. Most live in smaller suburban or rural towns, but some, particularly the Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers, are city dwellers. They live in among humanity (all except the Red Talons, who wish to destroy the humans), hiding their caerns (wellsprings of natural magic energy, which mages call 'nodes') from human magi who would steal its power, and keeping their secret rites and traditions. While they cannot use true magic, they have over the centuries learned to make pacts with nature spirits who the can call on for their Gifts, or bind into Fetishes. All Garou can 'step sideways', travelling into the spirit realm called the Umbra, with the help of a reflective surface such as a mirror. It is their belief that the Apocalypse, the destruction of the Garou Nation, is at hand.

One's place in Garou society is partially determined by the Tribe or bloodline you belong to (i.e., Siliver Fangs, Children of Gaia, Red Talons) and the 'auspice' or phase of the moon you were born under (i.e., the Philodox, born under the half-moon, are the lawkeepers; Ahroun, or full moons, are warriors and leaders; Galliards (gibbous moon) are the bards and socialites).

While they don't appear in this story, there are three other major groups of magical beings in the WoD : the vampires, or Kindred, who trace their history supposedly to Caine and who are the secret masters of human politics; Wraiths, spirits of the restless dead; and the Changelings, faeries originally springing out of the Dreaming (the human collective unconscious) who have been forced to adopt human forms to survive the growing Banality of the world that the Kindred and the Technocracy have created.

[Introduction] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]