In 2003, the world ended.
The Antediluvian vampires rose to consume their progeny and then the earth. The Wyrm rose to snuff out creation and order forever. The world was nearly consumed in chaos.
After the defeat of the Eater of Souls (dwelling within the body of the Antediluvian Vampire God Set) in the American Southwest, near the city of Phoenix, Arizona (the Battle of Phoenix), the main body of the Garou defense (composed of Silver Fangs and Get of Fenris, supported heavily by the Fianna, Shadowlords, and Black Furies) was able to defeat the military advance of the Wyrm at the Plain of Armageddon immediately following and simultaneous with the Fangs First Ragnarok, or Battle of Germany. A significant proportion of the Black Spiral Dancers were slain at the battle of Armageddon, which was linked to earthly battlegrounds in northern Europe.
Although the Silent Strider tribe was lost to the Wyrm utterly, as well as their totem Owl, the majority of the renamed “Hungry Ghosts” fallen tribe were slain at the Battle of Phoenix.
As far as the world knows, all of the terrible Vampire Antediluvians rose and have been slain, although at terrible cost. Half of the American Southwest is a wasteland (more than before). Most of Sub-Saharan Africa is literally a volcanic plain with no life. Much of the Northeast and Eastern Seaboard of the United States have experienced terrible loss of life and property, dropping by perhaps 60%. New York City, Los Angeles, Rome, Chicago, Paris, London, Moscow, Dubai, Las Vegas, Berlin, Madrid, Jerusalem, Phoenix, Vienna, Mecca, Beijing, and Delhi were all nearly totally destroyed by combinations of vampires, zombies, plagues, nuclear exchanges, and fire literally falling from the sky.
The Pentex corporation, wracked by internal conflict and the supernatural deaths of most of the board of directors, is in a stockholder tailspin and looks to be destroying itself.
The Wyrm’s forces on Earth, then, are quite weakened compared to ten years ago. Despite that, the Wyrm continues to advance on multiple fronts, as the defenders of Gaia are also terribly weakened.
2010. In the New, post-apocalyptic World of Darkness, the Wyrm’s influence is still omni-present. The Garou’s alliance has fallen apart. Although Queen Tamara Tvarivich of Silver Fang Clan Crescent Moon is still nominally the “Queen” of the Garou, each tribe has returned to its homelands to nurse their wounds. Bickering has resumed, with struggles over abandoned caerns now commonplace, and bloodshed between tribes that so recently stood together has already begun. The Wendigo have completely withdrawn, and no one in the rest of the Garou Nation has communicated with them in months. With the almost complete elimination of the Silent Striders, Stargazers, and Red Talons, and the 25-50% mortality rate in all other tribes, the Garou nation is literally at half strength.
Notwithstanding the continued dominance of the Silverfangs, the Shadowlords and Uktena earned enormous prestige for their role in the last battles, and so now dominate huge areas of Eurasia and North America respectively. Withdrawal of European Garou from about a quarter of the caerns of North America has allowed the Uktena a geographic breadth they have not known since the 1500’s… but they do not have the personnel to handle it all. A similar situation has occurred in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, with Shadowlord geographic expansion outpacing their numbers. High losses among traditionally strong tribes like the Fianna, Black Furies, and Get of Fenris are largely responsible. Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers, and Children of Gaia neither greatly diminished nor expanded compared to other tribes, despite experiencing a greater loss in the city cataclysms.
The other changing breeds’ numbers were not quite as diminished by the Apocalypse, although the Nuwisha suffered quite a bit. Fewer were directly involved in the two major battlegrounds, but instead dealt with lesser threats elsewhere and provided support – as a result, a far higher percentage survived. The Ratkin took terrible losses when the cities self-destructed, but claim to have already bred their numbers back to normal.
Thousands of vampires were destroyed in the worldwide conflagration. Today, the survivors fall into basically two categories: A. new vampires created since the Fall, relatively powerless. B. Old and canny vampires, able to disguise themselves and hide their powers, able to fool both other vampires and the rest of the supernatural world, and find boltholes in which the influence of the Antediluvians did not reach. In other words – very powerful and cunning Elder Vampires. This latter group is now even more cautious than ever before, fearing destruction at the hands of the terrible forces now revealed to dwell in this world. The Masquerade is enforced even more strictly, and these Elders are rabidly paranoid. Old Clan loyalties are largely broken.
The Fae were much less affected numerically, but the great fluctuations in the Wyld and Weaver threw many into Bedlam or killed their Faerie Seemings. The major powers remain in place. Faerie politics and magic operate as before. Slippage from the Dreaming became almost a commonplace during the final months of the Apocalypse, and not everything slipped back. A few places on earth have new, unfamiliar denizens…
Mages suffered as humanity did. Few participated directly in the battles, although powerful wizards did face off against the Antediluvians (in most places, with little effect). The Technocracy best weathered the storm and was most effective against the forces of evil, and Tradition mages are now on the run in most places. A few places, however, found themselves so shattered by the End that the magical paradigm changed utterly, meaning that the Traditions can now find places all around the earth that serve well as magical border forts – whole cities or regions where Tradition magic is coincidental again, and Technocratic power fails. The Order of Hermes remains powerful. Dreamspeakers have benefited from the expansion of Uktena power in North America, although the damage in Africa was terrible. The Celestial Chorus has seen a marked decline with the destruction of their traditional power centers in Rome and Mecca, as well as their Chantries there. The Verbena are doing very well in the British Isles and poorly elsewhere.
Victoria, however, was almost totally spared the effects of the Apocalypse…