Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2

Created by Richard Thomas

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 starts out presenting a chapter for each of six historical eras; each of which features two Chronicles of Darkness game lines which include Vampire: The Requiem, Mage: The Awakening, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Lost, and more! The rules in this book are compatible with second edition Chronicles of Darkness. Each terrifying time period and location is examined through the supernatural creatures that dwell there.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

November Dark Eras 2 Update!
16 days ago – Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 07:10:11 PM

Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are in Development, where our devs go over the drafts and work to make sure the chapters are all formatted correctly and that their redline notes were adhered to.

And here's a preview of a chapter from developer Matthew Dawkins, now:

Matthew here with a preview of some fiction and characters from Dark Eras 2.

Specifically, as we just passed the centenary of the day the guns fell silent, I felt it appropriate to provide you with some of our content from the Great War chapter. I’m very pleased with the sensitive and respectful way our authors have handled this chapter, making it a horrifying, moving, and deeply thoughtful era in which to set your chronicles.

Lucky Otto

Otto’s hands were shaking again, the rattle of the small tin of curios he collected from the British trench last week sounding around the cramped dug-out he called home for the moment. It seemed that every time they took one step forward they had to turn around and take it right back again.

Musketier Otto Meyer was a survivor. Some of his comrades, those still alive, had joked that Otto could become the German word for “lucky” if he made it back home. He had survived explosions that wiped out regiments, been found wandering the wasteland, dazed after machinegun fire ripped apart his wave in the last push. When he was brought into the captured trench by the following troops, he started picking up random effects from the British dug-outs like he was perusing a shop, placing each within the empty tobacco tin that once caught some shrapnel destined for his heart during the Marne offensive. Of course, the Germans had no word for “lucky,” and Otto felt now he understood why. Surely, only a man who had seen what he had seen and experienced these sorts of horrors could truly be called lucky. That the litany of agony and terror passing before his eyes should be laughed at like a comedy as black as the hearts of their uncaring commanders.

Hugging himself, he stumbled out into the rain. Perhaps the feeling of that imperishable cold would invigorate his torpid body and break the nightmare he found himself in. All was quiet in the trench that night. Otto could see a small group of engineers were taking advantage of this time to lengthen the line, their shovels tirelessly slinging black mud up onto the lip of the trench, obscuring the horizon from view. For a moment, he allowed his eyes to close and let the water wash over him, perhaps he could drown here, a victim of mere nature. Not the steel and chlorine fires of industry that had taken each and every other fool who had signed up with him. A thud behind him jarred him awake. Otto turned to look, seeing only one of the night watchmen looming beside the door to his dug-out.

“All is well.” intoned the night watchman in a voice that was like the landing of an unburst shell in thick earth.

“On that we can definitely disagree.” retorted Otto, shivering in the chilling blast of the autumn rain. He regarded the night watchman, he’d seen his sort around before. His skin was so caked in mud he looked more like a golem than a man. His stature was broad and slab-like. He stood silent, offering no reply.

Otto turned again as an animal howling echoed over the drumming of the rain hitting the corrugated iron roof of the dug-out. He glanced back at the night watchman, watching Otto watching him.

“What’s your name anyway friend?” asked Otto.

After a long pause, “Faceless.”

“Aren’t we all?” hissed Otto, with a rueful chuckle. Herr Faceless simply stared back, in quiet contemplation.

Faces of the Somme

The Cavalryman

Edward Sallow’s dreams of glory in the field of battle have been quashed in this new era of trench warfare. Even the cavalry units have machine guns these days. Still, he has his sword and his courage, and waits obediently for his time to come. Field Marshal Haig believes that the cavalry will be vital to success in the Somme, charging through the breach that surely must open.

That day never comes. Edward waits in the back lines as the infantry are ground to meat. The whole Somme sees a single such charge on horseback, by Indian troops at Bazentin Ridge. The cavalryman sits disconsolately, watches tanks rumble past, and mires himself in gambling and whatever alcohol he can set his hands on. The Somme makes a mockery of his delusions of glory. Firearms 2, Survival 1, Weaponry 3

The Ratter

Unteroffizer Klaus Fischer has found a new enemy to fight — the rats. Rats, hundreds of thousands of them, scurry through the trenches and no-man’s-land. They eat the flesh of the dead, steal or befoul food, and swarm as carpets of fur and teeth. Klaus, though, is very good at killing rats.

Klaus is a flamethrower operator — a nightmarish weapon, just like the flame projectors the British use in the Somme. From time to time, Klaus uses sprayed fuel to burn infested trenches clean of rats; his fellow soldiers celebrate his talents, even if the rats always come back eventually. The Unteroffizer takes a grim pride in his work with the rats; he is disgusted by the slaughter that he and his fellows inflict on the enemy troops, where even the fires of patriotism cannot drown out the reality of such a human cost, but at least he can kill the rats without moral qualms. Unfortunately, some of the rats are less than impressed. Cankerous Beshilu see the German soldier as their enemy and bane, and plan a vile fate for him. Craft (Incendiaries) 3, Firearms 2, Survival 2

The Nurse

Chloé Moreau’s day begins at dusk; she works the night shift in a hospital filled with the groaning wounded. It is a real hospital, a sturdy building, although one never intended to deal with the tidal wave of bloodied victims that wash through its doors. She is always tired, so tired. The tasks never end. She fills pails with oozing, blood-crusted dressings. She struggles to get anguished, tormented men to lie still and take their medicine. She treats the infections of flesh as best she can, but there is little she can do for the nightmare wounds carved through their psyche.

Chloé knows the long shadows of the corridors hide a multitude of sins. She’s glimpsed… shapes, leaning over wounded who whimper in their sleep. She has learned to get out of the way of scarred, lean men and women who ignore ghastly wounds and stalk among the fallen in search of particular faces; they, at least, are looking for their friends. She’s watched as the doctors let a gaunt young lady in strangely old-fashioned clothes sit in reverence over a dying man. Chloé focuses on the people she can save, but remembers everything she sees. Medicine 3, Empathy 3, Persuasion 2



Chicago By Night, an updated edition of White Wolf’s classic city book, will be Onyx Path Publishing’s first supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

Right now, backers have been provided with most of the approved text of the book, and we're getting some amazing and positive feedback on the writing!

We're down to the last 48 hours, so please join us and over 1600 other backers as we smash through the final Stretch Goals! Here's the link:

Later in December, we'll start the They Came From Beneath the Sea! Kickstarter. Come and check out a very new and different way to play the Storypath System!

Halloween 2018 Dark Eras 2 Update!
about 1 month ago – Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 06:25:06 PM

Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters continue in second drafts as our team works on their final drafts. Once they are all in, and most of them are, our devs then go over the drafts and work to make sure the chapters are all formatted correctly and that their redline notes were adhered to.

And here's a preview of a chapter from lead developer Monica Valentinelli, now:

Dark Eras 2: Empire of Mali Preview

This month, Matthew, Meghan, and myself have moved the project from final drafts into development. During this stage, we’ll compare notes and swap drafts to ensure the chapters are a great fit for Chronicles of Darkness Second Edition rules and setting conceits. Today, I’d like to offer you the preview of a location from the Empire of Mali chapter. This Era is exciting for many reasons. For starters, we’re able to highlight Mansa Musa’s reign and his lasting influence while squarely placing it within the Dark Eras setting where the supernatural lurks—sometimes in plain sight. This preview is one of the locations contained within the chapter, and highlights how demons and hunters have a vested interest in the knowledge found there.

Great Library

A vast collection of tomes and scrolls, the Great Library at Timbuktu holds enough knowledge on its shelves to rival even the fabled Library of Alexandria. Musa I expanded the library’s collection significantly during his reign, bringing in scholarly texts and literatures from every culture he encountered on his pilgrimage and many more. Anything characters could possibly wish to research —including subjects of the supernatural — can be found nestled away in the Great Library’s voluminous archives. The more unusual and occult scrolls require certain clearances to access, and characters researching in the Library may need to bribe or talk their way into reading the Library’s hidden lore.

Demons and hunters are equally invested in the library’s archives. Hunters with access to the Library’s hidden archives gain a wealth of knowledge about the world, both mundane and supernatural. Any member of the Golden Library automatically has access to the Great Library’s stores, though a hunter outside the compact with contacts within it may be able to gain permissions to read the books and scrolls contained therein. Demons suspect an angel may have meddled in the information stored in the library, bestowing knowledge beyond human understanding to the people in Timbuktu. Besides sensing the meddlesome hand of the god- machine and its agents, anyone seeking the library’s hidden stacks desires uncommon knowledge — easy leverage for a demon.

Bit Players

Popular Jelimuso

People flock from all corners of the empire to hear Aya Jedou perform. She commands the attention of her audience with her powerful voice and lively storytelling style. Even foreigners just arriving in Timbuktu know within days to make time to see one of Aya’s performances. She is gregarious and friendly, as big and bold in private as she is before a crowd. Even when not performing or speaking, Aya dresses in bright colors and the latest fashion. As a jelimuso, Aya has memorized dozens of stories about the history of the empire, and is a wealth of information for anyone willing to strike up a conversation. Academics 2, Empathy 2, Expression 3

Pious Cleric

Hadi Osei knew from a young age that he wanted to serve Allah. When he came of age, he told his parents he would rather be a man of the cloth than the family’s gold-trading profession and traveled to Timbuktu to enter the clergy at the Great Mosque. Hadi is still in his youth, though laugh lines have begun to form at the corners of his eyes. He is a deeply devoted individual and his faith is unshakeable. The young man is a fixture of the community, well-liked by the regular attendees to the mosque. Characters may find him an invaluable resource for navigating the social circles of Timbuktu. Academics 2, Empathy 3, Occult 1

Devoted Student

The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Nadira Abdellahi traveled from outside the empire to pursue her studies at the Sankore Masjid. Her interests lie in economics, trade, and diplomacy and she could think of no better place to study than in the thriving Malian empire. Though she dutifully attends to her lessons during the day, Nadira is adventurous and flirtatious, with a taste for adventure and getting into trouble. If asked, she will readily share everything she’s learned, but will also glom onto any whiff of danger, inviting herself along to any kind of hunter pursuit — especially ones far too dangerous for her. Academics 3, Investigation 2, Politics 2


Chicago lies at the center of the web that is the American heartland. Tendrils of power, wealth, and reward stretch outward, ensnaring the selfish, greedy, and unwary.

Yet, Chicago attracts its predators, too.

There are creatures that would have the city for their own, spinning their own webs of malice and intrigue. But among the city’s towering skyscrapers and wind-swept streets, who is the spider and who is the fly?

Chicago By Night, an updated edition of White Wolf’s bestselling city book, will be Onyx Path Publishing’s first supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

In this hardcover supplement, you will find descriptions of most of the Kindred inhabitants of Chicago, complete with 5th Edition write ups; the secret history of Chicago with detailed maps and geographical details; relationship details and factions; and dozens of encounters organized by theme, which provide Storytellers a means to make the setting come alive for the players.

If you're interested in checking out the shadowy streets of Chicago, head on over and join us: Here's the link:

September Dark Eras 2 Update!
3 months ago – Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 04:55:36 PM

Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters continue in second drafts as our team works on their final drafts. Once they are all in, and most of them are, our devs then go over the drafts and work to make sure the chapters are all formatted correctly and that their redline notes were adhered to.

And here's a preview of a chapter from developer Meghan Fitzgerald, now:

Hi all! Meghan here, with a preview from the ancient Egyptian era of dead gods that focuses on Shedet and its nearby Labyrinth of Hawara. Please remember that this is not the final form of the text and it is subject to change. Enjoy!

Werewolf: Echoes of the Past

A crocodile does not die from worrying, it dies from hunger.

- Insinger Papyrus

A true god walks the fecund earth of the Black Land, driven by the divine urges of the sacred hunt. It is Death Wolf whose shadow falls upon Kemet, and at her flanks come her howling children — the Uratha of the Bone Shadow Tribe. The Bone Shadows are masters of the Nile delta, openly ruling the holy city of Asyut as envoys of the wolf-gods. They come, now, with souls aflame and blood humming from joyous, primal song, the presence of their Firstborn queen bright and cold in their hearts. Werewolves were forged from spirit and flesh to be one thing above all else: god-killers. And they have gods to kill.

Kemet is an occult battleground. The Uratha face a ghastly foe: the rising power of the saharusum, the children of Crocodile. The priests of Sobek dug too deep under Shedet, and fell under the sway of the rotting god there. Though they pretend a pious faith in Sobek, their blood- caulked smiles show the truth of their cannibal theft. They steal the Pangaean’s lingering power for themselves through charnel rites of transgression and gore, gorging themselves on eldritch energies that human flesh should not — cannot — hold. Alone, this transgression would demand furious response from the children of Wolf, but the profane butchery of the Sobeki is buttressed by something far worse.

Death Wolf’s lost soul lies waiting in Hawara, a doom for the living and the dead alike.

Beyond the wafting incense through shaded temple sanctums, beyond the gleaming marble and cruel, painted faces of the courts, beyond the blood-slick sands where wolf and crocodile clash and the dusty tombs where shadows prance and caper in dark rites, those werewolves not caught up in this battle do their best just to survive. The Pure are resurgent, spirits crawl through the withering Gauntlet in an ever-greater tide, and a deep, gnawing hunger chews within the gut — one that tempts the Uratha to embrace the cannibal feast, and gorge themselves on the crimson bounty the Black Land has fostered for them.

The Shadow of Wepwawet

As the Nile recedes but returns once more, full of life, so Death Wolf perished, then chose to return. She came back bearing a cornucopia of wisdom and revelation — yet in her wake, she also left something behind. Even now, the god’s soul bears a great, weeping wound, a yawning chasm of loss she hungers to restore. Now, the hour looms close for Death Wolf’s triumphant apotheosis.

Her twisted reflection, the missing piece of her heart, is her ghost. When she died, her Ab tore free, but the Firstborn seized it in her jaws as she departed the Underworld — all but a fleck, seething with spiritual immanence. That gobbet of her heart nailed her Sheut in place, and gave it a dread animus — the divine ghost that Death Wolf should have become. When at last the Firstborn saw that her shadow was gone, it was too late, for the Sheut had woken and raged through the endless tunnels of death. It is a mirror of Death Wolf that possesses only her hunger for power and knowledge, her cunning but not her wisdom. It craves freedom and to seize its progenitor’s vitality for its own; to eat her heart, that it might finally fill the gaping void within.

For centuries, the two have feuded; a god of death and a dead god, warring through werewolf and ghost intermediaries or, for brief and catastrophic moments, pursuing one another directly. The Sheut capers and gibbers through the Underworld, tearing secrets from phantasms and bartering with deep, ancient things. Glutted on that realm’s dark mysteries, though, it turns its attention to the world of the living, seeking a path into the hunting ground of its sister-mother that could possibly sustain its passage.

It found the carcass of Crocodile, the rotting divine presence lodged between the gates of death — unable to live and unable to die, spiritually mutilated by the fall of Pangaea. The ghost reaches its influence through the breach in the Autochthonous Depths that enfolds the god’s carcass, and twists the minds of priests and Pharaohs to open the way.

A showdown between god and ghost beckons. Death Wolf comes to reap the harvest of knowledge that her ghost has gathered for itself, to make herself whole once more, and to shatter the waking power of Crocodile.

Bone Shadows: Priests of the Wolf

In Asyut, city of wolves, the Bone Shadows stand openly as priests and acolytes of Kemet’s wolf-gods: Wepwawet, Anpu, and an aspect of Wesir. The werewolves claim the divine sanction of these deities through demonstrations of their spirit magic, taking lupine form, and battling monstrous threats that slink in from the Red Land. No doubt exists in the minds of the people that Asyut is a place of powerful hekau, where the gods are manifest and active in the world.

Asyut is the hub of the struggle against the saharusum, a mustering ground for packs and resources. The haty-a here are either Wolf-Blooded or under the thumb of the temple of Wepwawet. Spirit-totems cavort through Twilight, sometimes manifesting to reap rich tithes of Essence from a populace awed by their divine power. Bone Shadows come to the city from beyond the borders of the Black Land, hearing the howl of Death Wolf and hiding among the ranks of foreign mercenaries. Other supernatural allies of the god of death come crawling too, bearing wisdom they wish to barter or seeking opportunities to exploit. The city thrives, a cosmopolitan meeting of monsters.

Bone Shadow priests stalk the courts of Pharaoh Sobekneferu, resentful of the favor she grants the saharusum of Sobek, fighting for every scrap of influence they can glean among the marble halls of her palace. Farther afield, members of the tribe hunt among the priesthoods of the gods of death for any scrap of wisdom in Kemet’s funerary practices they might turn against the rogue Sheut and its ghostly servants. They watch vigilantly within the human ranks of the cults of Anpu and Wepwawet, for the ghost’s seductive whispers already stir new sects — ones who see it, not Death Wolf, as the true representation of those gods, and strive to aid its escape through the Labyrinth of Hawara.

Kamduis-Ur and Kemetic Belief

The Uratha of Kemet know it is Death Wolf herself they venerate, but they still see the world through the lens of the culture they inhabit. They revere Wepwawet, Anpu, and Wesir as aspects of Death Wolf; these are not false masks or

deceptions, but merely another way of understanding the Firstborn’s nature. Wepwawet is the central figure here, the Opener of the Way seen as resonating deeply with Death Wolf’s wisdom-seeking and passage between realms.

Wepwawet is also revered as an aspect of another of the gods of Shadow — that of the Secondborn child of Fenris known in some farther lands as Garm, and liege of a Lodge known here as the Fangs of Wepwawet (see The Pack, p. 82). This sharing of divine aspect between two spirit gods causes no conflict in the eyes of the werewolf adherents; instead, it binds them closer together, and the Lodge is a major pillar of martial strength supporting the Bone Shadows’ efforts in Kemet at this time.

August Dark Eras 2 Update!
4 months ago – Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 07:59:00 PM

Hello DE2 Backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are in second drafts now as our team continues to accelerate their efforts. Once the writers return what we hope are their final drafts, our devs will go over the drafts and work to make sure the chapters are all formatted correctly and that their redline notes were adhered to.

Here's a note from lead developer Monica Valentinelli, now:

Hello backers! We've moved the status on Dark Eras 2 from redlines to second drafts, and our writers are hard at work polishing and refining their first drafts. As you may recall, this book has had a different development process than Dark Eras and the Companion did, and the three of us are excited to see how these chapters shape up.

As we mentioned during the Kickstarter, we are keen on making enhancements to the chapters to accommodate two or three gamelines in each era. Part of our mission is to ensure the gamelines aren't automatically opposed to one another; while that can be interesting to play, we want to ensure there's options for multiple styles of gameplay. Each gameline needs to have something compelling to do in their eras without defaulting to combat, and that depth will ensure you can run a chronicle with the material we provide. Structurally, we're also thinking about specific pieces like tiers with respect to the storyteller seeds; as you know some gamelines, like Hunter: The Vigil, have distinct and clear guidelines while others don't. For this book, we've talked about framing tiers as the scope of the story, and we'll be looking at ways we can format these sections similarly during development.

After receiving the second drafts, we'll compile them into a manuscript and review the book as a whole. While we want each chapter to stand on its own, we want to see if there's repetitive sections or information in the player-facing and storyteller sections for creating characters, dropping in antagonists, handling dual game lines, etc. If there is, then we'll make some adjustments and shift that information to the introduction. The introduction will be the last piece we work on, and that'll offer pertinent information to frame the book as a whole. By developing the book this way, that gives us the opportunity to get more specific in each era.

Hope that helps give more clarity how Dark Eras 2 is shaping up. Until next time!


 A Brief Note About Our Current Kickstarter:

A post-apocalyptic setting featuring a mash up of Mad Max, Walking Dead, and the X-Men - plus so much more! The original edition spawned a live-action sensation, and now the game has come full-circle as Dystopia Rising: Evolution, a new edition of the tabletop roleplaying game that uses Onyx Path's Storypath System and incorporates and advances the setting as built by players and writers over many years.

Dystopia Rising: Evolution includes all the rules you need to play as a survivor in the post-apocalypse, including rules for creating characters for up to 24 different Strains, variations on humanity that survived the Fall. It also has details on the powers of faith and psionics, along with advice on running action-adventure stories, webs of personal intrigue, or procedural investigations. And, finally, dozens of antagonists, including a variety of zombies and raiders to use in your series.

If that sounds interesting to you, and you'd like to help re-build society and forge new communities after the Fall, come check it out!

July Dark Eras 2 Update!
5 months ago – Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:31:44 PM

Hello DE2 Backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are being redlined now (see below) by one of our three developers. That developer will read through and add their thoughts on changes, tweaks, usage; all sorts of ways to improve and clarify the writer's first finished pass at the text.

Like I mentioned last month, in the olden times, which were their own Dark Eras, developers would have the text printed out and would actually write on the print outs in the traditional red ink of editors around the world. (Some developers were infamous for writing so many notes for changes that their returned text pages were called "bloody" with red ink.) Hence, the term for this phase of making the book is Redlines.

Here's a note from one of our DE2 developers, now:

Hello! Meghan here, with some thoughts for you on the eras I’m developing for Dark Eras 2.

I love working on this book because it spans so many game lines, and I find it rewarding to work across lines and eras to see where they can meaningfully connect, where their themes align in interesting ways, and what kind of game material could come out of that. As I’ve been reading through the first drafts, I’m looking for places where we can add some of that to the great ideas the writers have, to really make the crossover sing. I always appreciate when a game makes its history and setting feel real and living — when it feels like the world keeps turning even when we’re not looking at it.

One of my goals for my eras in this book is to provide some of those little details that help an era feel like its events have consequences that ripple into the future of the setting, so that if for instance you’re playing a long-lived character like a vampire or a mummy, you could jump your chronicle forward in time to play in another era and see how the character’s past experiences shape who they are later on — and how their actions have shaped the world around them. As one example, in the Islamic Golden Age era, I’m working with the writers to create a scenario in which the One Thousand and One Nights stories help link past, present, and future in a way that enables troupes to do a bit of time-skip era-hopping in their games, if they like. I’m also writing some material for Monica’s Golden Age of Sci Fi era, and since it shares a game line (Forsaken) with the chronologically adjacent Great War era, I chatted with the writers on that chapter to find a hook or two for some interesting continuity.

One benefit to working on multiple books at a time is that sometimes, we can find places to do this sort of thing even across books. If you look closely, you may find a reference to something from the Wild West Dark Era in the Changeling: The Lost 2e core book when it comes out! Keep an eye out when you read Dark Eras 2 and you might find other connections, too.

That’s all for now. Hoping to see lots of you at Gen Con soon! I’ll be at the Onyx Path booth (#501), so come and say hi.

A Brief Note About Our Current Kickstarter:

There's FOUR DAYS LEFT for the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter and we’ve funded the project and achieved twelve Stretch Goals so far! Thanks to all of our backers out there spreading the word! We are in good shape to be able to make a great looking hardcover edition, and get that into stores, even while we’re giving backers first look at the complete text and other fun benefits:

Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition includes all the rules you need to play as one of the Bound: Five Burdens reflecting the cause that pulled you back from the grave, five krewe Archetypes for building your own mystery religion, and the Haunts, Keys, and Ceremonies that provide the Bound with their macabre powers.

It also includes the Chronicle of the Dead, featuring the Sin-Eaters’ struggle against the all-consuming Underworld and a variety of terrifying threats. In addition, for the first time in the Chronicles of Darkness lines, ghosts are presented as playable characters.

Like I said, the game is already funded, and now we're working at unlocking Stretch Goals - including additional rules and setting material in a Companion book, Memento Mori. If you haven't already, come by and check us out and hopefully join in on the fun!