New York. The Big Apple. Easily one of the largest cities on Earth, and one of the oldest in the United States.
New York has always had more than its fair share of secrets and shadowy business. It also has an impressive occult history. Both of these things mean that the Awakened can be found in New York in abundance, and with good reasons. Found in abundance, that is, until Midsummer of 2005.
Something strange happened. No one really knows what. Research indicates that a couple of strange things happened that evening, but weird things happen all the time in that city. A shooting star appeared overhead bright enough to be seen even through the city-glare of New York. A number of water mains broke all over the city, flooding the streets of parts of Manhattan. There were also a higher-than-average number of the usual murders and suicides that evening.
But the true mystery is not in any official documents or reports anywhere. The entire Awakened population of Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx simple disappeared. Without a trace. Residents and visitors alike. Those who came afterwards to investigate and try and find contacts and friends suddenly gone silent were mystified. Sanctums, libraries and Hallows lay open, unlocked and unprotected, their artifacts, tools and magical contents bare for the taking.
In the time since, almost none of the Awakened have come to New York, out of fear of what caused this appearance. In time, however, they have come, for one reason or another: to find loved ones gone missing, to investigate the reasons behind the disappearance, to raid the Hallows and magical items left ownerless. Many have come, taken what they could (whether out of greed or a desire to preserve), and fled.
But now, there is a vacuum of power in New York, and the Awakened are being drawn toward it, rushing into fill it. Young mages, hungry for the opportunity New York offers, have arrived. Independents, outcasts, young Turks of every stripe, they are here to set up a new Consilium, though none of them can agree how this should be done.
But still the event haunts them, and a term to refer to the sudden disappearance of the Awakened has entered the common terminology for the event: Epulae Consilium. The Feast of Wisdom. No one really knows who coined the phrase, or why they did so, but the term has stuck.
Now, you have come to New York. For some of you, it is a chance for a new life; for others of you, it is to settle old scores. Opportunity lies ahead of you, but so does danger. You have the chance to make your mark on the developing culture of the Awakened in New York, or you can be swept aside and forgotten as others lay claim to the glory here – the choice is yours.