[Fog rolls into the town of Samara – another cool autumn day, the sky murky and the tress shedding their leaves. The nights are longer now, the moon hanging low in the sky – and that can only mean one thing: stirrings. With the darkness creeps the dangers. You’ve likely heard those whispers all your life – those murmurs of caution, of danger, of otherness. Be mindful not to step out into the shadows for too long and risk losing yourself entirely.
The little town of Samara might appear quiet at first, unassuming, gentle even – a far outpost and a far cry from the Leridae kingdom’s capital. But it isn’t too far-flung from there, although hidden away in its own little haven, the trees growing closer and closer to its city lines with every passing year. No, this town is not as unassuming as it might seem. You might have grown up here – you’d know as much. Or perhaps you were drawn here for the same reason so many others have been drawn here:
Here in Samara, the rumors are simply that – just rumors. After all, who would ever think that vampires would prey upon such an unassuming, quiet town. But those who whisper the rumors might just shake their heads, looking out towards the forest, towards those darkened alleyways between the old, rickety town. Vampires are one thing. Hunters are another. And Samara has long since been the established epicenter of hunter activity – their meeting ground, so to speak, their headquarters. The hunters, of course, are branches of factions, individualistic in some ways and community-based in others. There is no set leader but there are clans within those hunters, those who strive for certain aspects of the hunter code – and others who operate well outside the set parameters of that.
This place has always been quiet, despite the heavy hunter presence. Few vampires risk staying too close within this town simply because of the danger to them. For years now, decades and decades, the hunters and the vampires have been at odds. Recently, these fights and tensions have only grown more devastating, with loses on both sides – tearing friends and families apart. The hunters hold pride in their abilities and the vampires, secretive and hidden, search for a means to survive in a world that rejects them. Or, perhaps, there are those few who seek the living for the sport of it. Just as there are hunters who seek to kill for the sport. Each side has had its demons and its loses.
And in this, the sleepy little town of Samara is mired with one rumor that just keeps being whispered again and again: that Queen Anne of Leridae is coming – or is already here, as the rumors indicate. Rumors speculate to her purpose – many assume that it’s her wish to form a formal alliance with the hunter factions. Others aren’t so sure. A few more believe that the rumors are just that: rumors. What purpose would a queen have to visiting this quiet little town where absolutely nothing ever happens ever at all? What purpose could such a queen have to coming to a town known for its hunter populace and devastating vampire attacks? Will peace come at last?
Despite this, the large meeting hall at the center of town is undergoing some sprucing up, some redecorating. There’s a grand ball planned, set to be open to the public and the higher-ranking hunter guilds within the next few days. That seems indication enough that something important is underway – or, at the very least, a royal visitor is imminent.
In the end, though, this quiet little town is certainly just meant to be quiet… But with the promise of Queen Anne’s arrival, there’s a new flurry of preparations: decorations everywhere, preparing housing for guests, trying to clean up the streets – and trying, so desperately, not to be bitten when the moon is high. And with the rumors of Queen Anne’s arrival come all the other new arrivals, seeking different desires: to join the hunters? To escape hunters in other regions? To find lost friends? To try to meet royalty? To find something to eat? To be turned? Or, perhaps you are more innocent in all this – just a bystander dragged into these strange happenings, torn between this conflict that seems to have no end.
Perhaps, then, there can be hope – and perhaps, someday, peace. Welcome to Samara.]
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