Las Vegas began its life as an unassuming hole in the desert ground, a railroad stop on the way to California that bore little resemblance to the beacon of sin and splendor that we know it as today. In the 1930s, the construction of the Hoover Dam and, more importantly, the legalization of gambling spurred the city’s rapid growth. Organized crime took root in Vegas, bringing a steady stream of money to fund mob-controlled hotels and casinos during the post-war period. Gangsters easily took advantage of Nevada’s lax laws on prostitution and gambling, and were soon making and laundering money long into the neon-lit Vegas nights.
The gambling and entertainment industries grew as crowds from around the world arrived to taste what the city had to offer. The crime families continued to wage war against the police and with each other. Today, three primary mob families run the city as a triumvirate, each sharing a slice of the criminal underworld in an uneasy balance that leaves many parties less than satisfied. The Orsini, de la Cruz, and Abramovich families currently compete in an ever-shifting battle for control over the city’s riches. On the other side of the law, an aggressive sheriff watches them, ever-determined to bring them all down.
The city’s rapid rise offered an abundance of opportunity for more than just enterprising mortals, however. In the midst of the criminal infighting and political tensions, an ambitious Kindred came into town. Darius Cole arrived in a city still too young to harbor a sizable Kindred population, and those present were forced to kneel or be knelt. Through cunning, political maneuvering, and sheer force, he bent the city to his will and crowned himself King. Recruiting a loyal court to cement his authority, Cole reforged Kindred society in his image.
King Cole rules the Kindred of Las Vegas under the philosophy of “let them hate, as long as they fear.” However, his formidable power does not go unchallenged. The King has made many enemies in his relatively short reign. Hunters threaten his society from the outside; Kindred rivals challenge him from within. The Sand Snakes are a faction descended from one of the King’s old rivals. They lurk in the desert, waging a guerrilla war to topple the king and take what they believe is their rightful inheritance.
When not dealing with existential threats the King is fond of Blood Hunts, calling them not only against Kindred who violate the Traditions, but also those who challenge his supremacy. The Bishop of the Lancea Sanctum backs this effort, preaching against those who challenge the natural order. Cast in a less complimentary light, it is a church-sponsored death squad. Regardless of how one chooses to see it, it is extremely effective when properly executed. Believers go forth and eliminate the threat, and face no censure for their actions as long as the Masquerade is not broken. Those who abuse their peacekeeping authority quickly find themselves among the Blood Hunt’s next targets.
While the King’s rules may seem rigid and unforgiving,his reign has been secure and prosperous. Free from the chaos that marks lesser Domains, those who submit to his authority find that Las Vegas offers a unique opportunity to Kindred, for whom the party truly never ends.