San Juan has a long past, much of which is hidden to most of the mortal inhabitants. Kindred have had a hand in the island for nearly as long as it has been known to Europeans. Brightly colored homes and businesses contrast the ruins of bygone battlements which have guarded the city in previous centuries. Here, the strength of the Camarilla reigns supreme in a city of tourism and beauty. It is a place where the steadfast strength of the Ivory Tower is prized above all else, with the Independents taking their own power and control where they can scrounge, scavenge, or trick it away from the Camarilla. Yet it is still a place of duality, for the strength of the Giovanni grows beyond their actual numbers while whispers and personal agendas constantly shift the balances of power.
While the United States grew in prosperity, Puerto Rico wasn’t as fortunate. There is great wealth to be found in the right spots, in tourism and in business, but it is shared little if at all. The infrastructure suffers from brownouts, power failures, unreliable traffic lights and storm drainage systems, and other inadequacies. The city is a major tourist destination, with a coat of brilliant glitter and gloss over the patches and cracks below. Beneath the bright façade and glowing lights lies a major transfer point for illegal drugs and weapons smuggled between nations, a wealth of gangs, prostitution…and a host of crimes. For those with underworld connections, the cities are ripe with opportunity. A high murder rate, roughly six times the national average, provides many places for clever Kindred to conceal their own crimes, or for an enemy to hide their actions.
The Catholic Church, first brought by the Spanish, visibly dominates the religious world of San Juan and of Puerto Rico as a whole. Nearly 85% of the population claims ties to Catholicism, and processions honoring patron saints are a common sight on the island. Services in the churches and cathedrals are frequent and well-attended. In the shadows of the cathedrals, the legacy of ancient African religions meets Catholicism in Santeria and other syncretic religions. Practitioners consult the lwa for everything from blessings for the fisherman and street vendors to which days are best transport shipments of illegal materials. Even those who pack the churches during Sunday mass often step into the darker side once they leave the public eye. To those raised on the island, this duality of beliefs feels natural, a blend of judgment, mercy, and mysticism that reflects the beautiful, but demanding and wild nature of their home.
To the eyes of the Ivory Tower, San Juan is a pillar of strength, a fortress where the Camarilla has successfully held power for centuries. Respect for the Elders and the long-standing Prince runs deep in the heart of the city, but small cracks have begun to appear. In recent nights, the Camarilla has fallen under attack by varied forces, from hunters to the Sabbat themselves. It is an internal matter for now, despite the deaths that have weakened the city’s Court. While the Camarilla works to bolster their defenses, their enemies from without and within slowly chip away at those tiny cracks in hopes of enlarging them.
- Anything can be found in San Juan for the right price. Anything.
- Prince Lucien is currently the most humane he's been in centuries.
- The local kindred prefer to conduct their business in English, though the most spoken language on the island is Spanish.
- Kindred have been known to wander the slums of the island and never come out.
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