Africa is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent of the World of Darkness. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
This continent is the home to a supernatural world that seems similar to those in the Western world, but has great differences. While North Africa is home to various supernaturals that are also known in the Old World, sub-saharan Africa becomes more stranger the more one ventures into its wilds.
Africa holds a fair number of kindred, more than Western vampires might suspect. The Ebony Kingdom is home to the Laibon, who do not see themselves as descendants of Caine, but whose own myths and legends of Cagn, as well as their personal weaknesses and disciplines, reflect their western counterparts. Their traditions and philosophies, however, are alien to the Westeners and they refuse membership or allegiance to any of the sects, seeing their Western brethren as not much better than the slavers who robbed them of their herds.
Western Clans are also present, although in much lower number. The Grand Temple of Set lies in Uganda and Setite presence is especially strong in North Africa, although sub-Saharan Africa is in the hands of a near-rogue splinter cult, the Children of Damballah. Brujah have fled from the destruction of Carthage into the south and one of [Tzimisce]s childer struggled against native supernaturals to create his own realm of influence in Africa. Gangrel have wandered in its wilderness since the destruction of the Second City and Nosferatu have ruled over mortals revealed, wearing their deformed visage proudly. Since the beginning of colonization, the interests of the more business-minded Clans have turned to Africa, especially the Ventrue and Giovanni. The Giovanni even adopted a family of slave traders into their ranks, the Ghiberti, who were familiar with the unique culture of the native wraiths. The Tremere try to penetrate Africa and claim its magical secrets, but have failed at most tries, so that their influence is generally focused on North Africa. Camarilla and Sabbat alike struggle to gain footholds in the cities, but are faced with numerous contenders and usually have only a small presence in sub-Saharan cities. North Africa, on the other hand, counts several strongholds of sects, although they are more focused on retaining their holdings than to extend them.
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Africa has- due to the low population of Garou- never experienced the full blow of the War of Rage. Bastet dominate the Black Continent, foremost under them the Simba. Contenders for their role were the Ajaba, who were supposed to fulfill the role of the Garou within Africa, and held their Court at the Ngorongoro Crater. Bagheera and Swara lived mainly nomadic, the first wandering to find injustices to correct, the second fleeing persecution from stronger brethren. Ananasi and Mokole live in the rain forests of Central Africa since the dawn of humanity, and the coastlines see the occasional visit of a Rokea. Corax exist mainly in the form of the Makunguru, who have chosen the white-necked raven native to Africa as kin. Despite their scarcity, Garou manage to dwell in sub-Saharan Africa, too. Some Silent Striders have chosen jackals as kin and a particular strain of Red Talons have adopted the native African wild dogs as breeding stocks with the aid of the Mokole, becoming the Kucha Ekundu. North Africa sees a greater presence of the Garou Nation, thanks to its contact with the Mediterranean
For decades, Africa was dominated by the Endless Storm under the rule of Black Tooth, who kept Africa through a combination of sheer viciousness (he mercilessly exterminated the Ajaba), power (he kept several great Wyrm beasts in check), skillful negotiations (he brokered a truce with various vampires who pleaded him to stay in his domain in exchange for bowing to his authority) and directness (he slaughtered numerous Westerners who tried to bring their "civilization" to the natives and protected the African wilderness). Recently, however, Black Tooth has found his end in his place stands the first coalition of Fera since the War of Rage. The Ahadi are seen as a sign of hope by many Fera, but they have to face the growing influence of the Wyrm in Africa. Ebola, starvation and ruthless exploitation of the African wilds haven taken their toll and without Black Tooth to keep them in check, vampires begin to infest the cities and dark beings begin to awaken under the deserts. It remains to see if the Ahadi can secure their homeland.
- African Caerns:
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Because much of Africa has remained untouched by modern civilization and largely unchanged for thousands of years, the Gauntlet here does not have the strength that it does elsewhere in the world. The native peoples still believe strongly in magick and supernatural events. This attracts many mages, especially Dreamspeakers. They bring their apprentices for training, a task made easier among Africa's powerful nodes. Another magical traditions with a strong presence are the Euthanatos, via the Madzimbabwe and Senex. Until recently, the Ngoma remained as a small craft, but have by now joined forced with the Order of Hermes and reemerged as House Ngoma.
The Technocracy immerses themselves in the slow modernization of Africa, seeing that social experiments like the Apartheid have failed and looking to dissolve the superstitions of the population. A more insidious threat to the Traditions are the Nephandi, who feed on the suffering and exploitation within the continent and gain strength every day.
Many native Africans practice ancestor worship. They believe a spirit may return to them through possession of another form, be it that of a snake or through the body of a old woman. These events do not frighten the natives; they accept them as a part of life and nature. To throw a snake out of one's home incurs a curse as if one had thrown out one's own mother. Many tribes-people communicate on a regular basis through signals and symbols with their dead ancestors, regenerating Pathos for wraiths to use. It also results in a much thinner Shroud, making it easier for wraiths to interact with the skinlands.
The African Shadowlands are known as the Bush of Ghosts. The wraiths (called Ibambo) have a fourfold soul, which consists of the Soul, the Shadowself, the Dreamself and the Heartlife, who roughly corresponded to other markings of wraiths. There are also wraiths of animals present, something unobserved in any other Dark Kingdom. The Abambo are represented by the Ivory Queen, who negotiates on behalf of the lost kingdoms with figures like Charon and Yu Huang. Outsiders are rarely allowed within the Bush of Ghosts and few come to realize the real size of the Dark Kingdom, which up of several semi-autonomous Lost Kingdoms, who have recently come to face the crisis of lacking Pathos, as more and more Africans turn away from the old ways.
The Eshu, native to Africa, were born of its myths and legends. Many roam about like nomads, in search of excitement and adventure. The eshu find themselves drawn to Africa, where the belief in them still survives. Like a battery recharged, the eshu gain strength and lose Banality whenever they return to their homeland.
Ancient legends tell of wondrous empires in Mali and Ghana, where the streets were paved with gold. Today, the majestic beauty of the savannas, lakes, and waterfalls inspires all Kithain who come here. Most changelings who visit these lands find their own kind wandering and walking, though fae kingdoms with ties to the Sultanate of Hejaz do exist in the north (Aghlabib) and the northeast (Nubia). Naturally, eshu are numerous here, but they share the land with many pooka and have some ties to the Prodigal shapeshifters. No stories of commoner/noble conflicts find their way beyond the land, but the truth is that much of Africa remains secret from the outside world.
The former Archduke of the Alabaster Legion, Azrael, was called back by the magicians of Kush. His cult spread to Aksum in modern Ethiopia and preached the mindset to rely upon the “wisdom” of departed spirits to learn new knowledge, an idea championed by Azrael and his most favored servitors. They began practicing rituals of self-mutilation and sensory deprivation. Men endured terrible pain, their bodies crossed with scars. Women butchered their own sexual parts and sliced their tongues into forked ribbons, all in an effort to become the “mothers” of the spirit world. Azrael promised them in dreams that they would become members of a caste of spectral worshipers with free will, but in truth, they died and became little more than lunatic wraiths chained to the soul of their master to serve him in the world of the dead.
During the reign of the Roman Empire, Azrael had fostered the birth of a new African empire, the Nok. These people worshiped the cycle of death and rebirth, and they celebrated it with rituals of mutilation and murder. Azrael’s rule was all-encompassing, taking the peoples of East Africa and demanding their Faith through promises of righteousness after death. Three other Earthbound made their way into this land, however, summoned from the skies by a dissident group of priestesses who sought to topple the vicious Nok society. These women did not know what they were conjuring, unfortunately, and they summoned three Earthbound Scourges calling themselves the Triumvirate. These three — Ghede, Gawama and Gorgias— formed an unusual alliance right out of the gate, as they had been self-appointed “brothers” during the Age of Babel. These three instantly enthralled the unwilling priestesses and went to war with Azrael and the Nok. Azrael later left Africa, only to return in the 17th century to have his reliquary stored away in safety. Various other Earthbound were summoned by greedy or prideful witch-doctors, who more often than not had little understanding what beings they freed. Tha colonization of Africa and the persecution of the animistic beliefs of the population ended most Earthbound rules over certain tribes, but some particular primitive tribes in remote areas still worship their infernal patron.
- 100,000 years ago: Human diaspora. Early humans leave Africa and various cultures form. Some Garou discourage Weaver influence on various cultures, resulting in what some call “primitive” cultures. Others ignore or actively encourage Weaver influence.
- December 30, 1898: Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson kills the second of two Ugandan lions (actually Simba) called the Tsavo Man-Eaters. Over their reign of terror, the two lions killed nearly 140 workers.