New York City has been the setting of many major incidents and the home of several major factions in the World of Darkness.
In Gothic-Punk New York, criminality was never reduced as much as in the real world. Pollution and garbage are a rampant problem, with numerous "green" laws having been obstructed.
While there are rumors of Native American Cainites in the New York area prior to the 16th century, the first European vampires to arrive came with the Dutch colonists in 1625. Kindred involvement in the area probably started earlier with the expedition of Henry Hudson in 1609. By 1664, when the British assumed control of the city after naval engagements and then business negotiations with the Dutch, there were a number of Kindred in the city eager to make a name for themselves. A number of Sabbat also inhabited the city, led by the Bishop Ecaterina the Wise and waiting for their chance to assume power. By the end of the 17th century an estimated 20 Cainites hunted the 10,000 or so mortal kine of the city.
While the Camarilla nominally controlled New York City for several centuries afterwards, it was always against the backdrop of constant battle with the Sabbat. In fact, the Sabbat membership on the island of Manhattan likely equal or exceeded that of the Camarilla. This lasted until 1929 when the enterprising Ventrue Michaela took advantage of the Sabbat's lack of interest in the financial dealings of Wall Street. She bought up stocks in the wake of the massive stock market crash and eventually made back her investment into a billion-dollar fortune. She used this fortune to attempt to stabilize the city and declared herself Prince in 1980 but this only served to instigate Sabbat reprisals. Michaela desperately tried to fend off the Sabbat, even recurring to the tactic of mass embraces, using her childer as cannon fodder against the Black Hand.
The Sabbat had unchallenged dominance over the city until the Battle of New York of 1999, when a combined force of the Camarilla from inside and outside of the city successfully swept the Sabbat hierarchy from New York. Prince Michaela faced Final Death at the hands of the Archbishop Polonia during a fake attempt of parley with the Sabbat in the late 1990s. With Michaela decapitated, a council of Justicars established Calebros of the Nosferatu clan as Prince Pro-Tempore of the domain.
As a result, New York is a city where numerous ambitious Kindred stake their claim. Domains are fluent, but some trends have been observed. Wall Street is traditional Ventrue domain but with the threat of the Sabbat nearly gone, the Clan now branches out to secure more neighborhoods for itself. The Nosferatu have their main haven in Manhattan. The hideout also serves as one of the main hubs for SchreckNet, resulting in a very tech-savvy population. The Tremere have held the Chantry of Five Boroughs, located at Barnard College, through the entire time of the Sabbat occupation. Several smaller chantries constantly relocate, a holdover from that time. Around six Giovanni maintain a permanent haven in the city, mainly operating via their extended family. The Anziani have decreed that no more than six vampires of their Clan are allowed in the city. New York has money, souls and criminal activity galore, so the Necromancers maintain their presence diligently. The Followers of Set have several temples, their main one being in Harlem and a smaller one in Queens. Individual Setites run their own cults that nominally answer to the head of the temple in Harlem. Ravnos were organized in a small gang that mainly operated from Queens. Anarchs hold domain on Staten Island. Sabbat packs that survived the Battle have gone into hiding, using the old infrastructure of their sect to sabotage the Camarilla. A special kind of jargon has developed that advertises the sect's activities right under the nose of Camarilla, like clubs named Gehenna that serve as racks or signs that read "No Cams or Videotaping Permitted". The largest Zantosa estate is within the city, with Istvan Zantosa, the family patriarch, as their head, who guards the secret within the sewers.
Around 2005, Calebros stepped down and one of Michaela's surviving childer, Hellene Panhard, assumed princedom. Under her leadership, the vampires of New York have managed to build a stable community, with the Anarchs mainly cooperating.
Contrary to reports of its demise, some Kindred believe that the Tzimisce Antediluvian is alive and now exists as an immense amorphous blob underneath New York. At least one Gehenna scenario involves [Tzimisce] awakening and destroying much of the city. It was later reported that it had gone.
The main caern in New York City is at the Central Park, called the Sept of the Green. Additionally, there are other three known caerns in the state of New York. The smallest is located near Niagara Falls and is called, the Sept of the White Water, another one is located in the Sentinel Range of the Adirondack Mountains, while the most powerful is nested in the Finger Lakes region, near Rochester, New York.
New Amsterdam had originally been constructed over a holy site of Gaia, and despite pollution of both Wyrm and Weaver, its sacredness is still untarnished. Garou in the surrounding area often refer to New York City distasteful as "The City". Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers dominate the local septs, with some Get of Fenris with ties to local neo-nazi gangs living in the neighborhoods, and Shadow Lords among the business and crime communities. The other Tribes keep their distance, only arriving when their prey has fled into the city itself.
The Wyrm has always been strong in New York. Since the time of the first settlers, an insidious Wyrm cult known as the Seventh Generation has made it its new home. While the cult was eradicated by Albrecht when he received the Silver Crown, the problems are far from over. Members that escaped the purge still have influence among the police, the government and the law, using this knowledge to spread sickness and locate Kinfolk children for their experiments.
Servants of the Defiler Wyrm have made New York into their center of activities. The eastern branch of Pentex has chosen New York as its home office. Banes of all kind revel in the pollution and urban despair within the city. Wild Fomori like the Hollow Men dwell in the sewers. The Nameless Tower stands right in front of the Sept of the Green, acting as a Pit for the Nameless Angel of Despair. Zhyzhak, a legendary Black Spiral Dancer, rules over it and prepares a strike force to take the Sept of the Green.
As a city of crossroads and immigrants, New York is home to mages of several different paradigms. New York City is home to one of the remaining three remaining hermetic academies; Straussen Academy. Expatriate Wu Lung that have fled to New York City have formed a branch of House Hong Lei in its Chinatown. The Ngoma have done the same, focusing on their native african communities, founding House Ngoma within the Order. The Cult of Ecstasy's Children's Crusade has a base in the city to hunt the paedophile cult known as the Seventh Generation. Balador, the Tradition's largest Horizon realm, had one of its earthly aspects within the city. Smaller groups of Sorcerers like the Mogen Ha Chav work with the Lions of Zion to protect the jewish community of the city. New York also houses one of the largest receptories of the Knight Templars in the United States. The Taftâni only known as the Black Shaykh has recently arrived in the city, seeing its skyscrapers as similar efforts to defy the Lie as his own magick.
As the seat of the United Nations and Wall Street, New York has also a strong technocratic presence. The Syndicate is the one with the most presence, with one of their corporations, PaxCorp, having their main center in the United States there. A Construct in Manhattan was connected with MECHA and scrutinized the population of New York for potential reality deviants. The Marauder group Men of Gotham have their center at Manhattan and act as vigilantes, their Quiet warping them into superheroes that fight malicious supervillains.
Because of the frequent deaths that occur in large cities, the New York City Necropolis was one of the more sizable in the Shadowlands, being comprised of several formerly independent necropoleis like Brooklyn. It was affiliated with Stygia. In its prime, it held the distinction as one of the most corrupt and anarchic Necropolis in Stygia's North American territories. The Grim Legion was the strongest in area, using their influence to strengthen their numbers by enhancing the violence within the city, leading to more murders and more potential recruits for them. The Legion of Fate had an outpost on Manhattan and one of the stops of the Midnight Express was also stationed there.
During the New Stygian Movement, the necropolis was torn by civil strife. Charon's loyalists allied with Spooks against the Grim Legion and its insurrectionists. Nearly 15% of the city's wraithly population fell to Oblivion during the unrests.
While most of the Shadowlands were destroyed in the Sixth Great Maelstrom, New York suffered an unusual fate. The Maelstrom, for some reason, formed a whirlwind directly over the city. It folded in on itself, and many of the spirits of the New York City Necropolis were actually merged with the materials of the city, essentially becoming part of the Necropolis' fabric. Unable to harvest the fused spirits, the Spectres never managed to hold power over the city. It remains the only known Necropolis to survive the Maelstrom.
It was then ruled over by a minor Malfean, Vidod the Monger, who made his home in the ghostly echo of Grand Central Station. The Empire State Building also survived, and served as the focus around which the Jumble, the remains of the New York Necropolis, slowly revolved; a fierce stormwind, the Palisade, protected it from outsiders. The only way to safely enter the Necropolis and the Jumble was to travel over the Brooklyn Bridge, unaffected by the Palisade winds. Also of note were the towers of the World Trade Center, visible in the distance through the Palisade, with each tower caught forever in the first moments of its collapse. Both the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building were home to strange phenomena that no spirit, mortal, or Malfean had encountered before.
New York City was the site of the climactic Battle of Manhattan during the Accordance War, where the High King of the returned Sidhe, Lord Dafyll fell against the Troll commander Lyros who had lead the commoners in the noble's absence. When David Ardry became High King and founded Concordia, the city became part of the Kingdom of Apples, as the Duchy of the Golden Sigil. As a result, the city has a high percentage of Kithain and New York is easily one of the most heavily populated cities on the East Coast among them.
Its ruler, Duke Kelodin, as well as High King David himself, maintain winter residences in Manhattan. The Winter Court is one of the cities freeholds. The other is Goblin Town, an Escherian enclave that stretches beneath the city. It is dominated by Unseelie Nockers. The craftsmen of Goblin Town are renowned throughout Concordia for their handiwork, but also for their cruelty. The Nockers occasionally kidnap people, enchant them and use them as workers within their freehold. They offer their services at the Fulton fish market to traveling Kithain, using Glamour to disguise their more exotic treasures.
Unknown to most, an ancient chimera sleeps in the Dreaming around New York. The Ghastly is a terrifying creature born from the earliest dreams that was wrestled down by the Nunnehi millenia ago. The advances of Goblin Town have drawn on its energies and threaten to awaken it.
New York is strangely bereft of many of the organizations that hunt the supernatural. In their place, criminal organizations, like the Mafia and the Tong, take a dim view with supernaturals that infringe on their turf and are ready to defend it with violent means. As of late, Imbued have manifested among the population, although they have little contact with each other.
Immortals have walked New York since its inception, both of Egyptian descent and others. Several mummies had taken up residence in New York before the Sixth Maelstrom. It is uncertain how many remain or have returned.
Fallen have arrived in New York and formed a Court, with the local Tyrant being powerful enough to be recognized as Baron. The Tyrant communicates with other Courts through agents that are placed under his protection, like the Devourer Panatei.