House of Caine
Beyond The District
The Washington, D.C. metro area extends far beyond the District. Most people who work inside the nation’s capital have homes elsewhere. Additionally, many political and governmental functions overﬂow from the nation’s capital into the surrounding suburbs and satellite cities. Because the Prince and the other elders focus so much on trying to control the important sites inside Washington, neonates have plenty of opportunities to seize power or carve their own niches in the surrounding areas.
Many visitors to D.C. fail to realize the number of groups or sites associated with Washington that are actually located in Virginia. The Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, National Airport and Dulles Airport, and the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial are all in Virginia. Two Virginia cities border Washington, D.C.: Alexandria and Arlington. Alexandria is the larger of the two, and in the ﬁrst few years of the District’s history, large sections of this city were considered to be part of Washington, D.C. Virginia took this area back, however, and Alexandria grew to be its own city, separate from the capital.
Alexandria, Virginia was founded in 1749. Before the American Revolution, Alexandria was a busy tobacco port, trading primarily with ships from the East and West Indies. Plantation owners came for miles to shop in Alexandria, and the city thrived. George Washington, and, years later, Robert E. Lee, grew up here. Today Alexandria is the headquarters for a number of companies, including the Gannet media conglomerate, the publishers of USA Today and other newspapers. Kindred interested in manipulating the media create Retainers in this company. Many high-tech ﬁrms have started in northern Virginia, keeping themselves close to the nation’s capital in order to lobby for government grants and contracts.
Old Town Alexandria
Much of the colonial charm of Alexandria has been preserved. Homes and shops dating back to the 18th century line cobblestone streets in Old Town Alexandria, and clipper ships still dock at the waterfront. The atmosphere, festivals and art displayed in the Old Town, designed to draw tourists, also attract some elders, who experience a sense of nostalgia as they reminisce about nights long gone.
Numerous bridges connect Arlington to Washington, D.C. , and the city’s heights command impressive views of the capital. Arlington was part of D.C. until 1845, when Virginia reclaimed all of the land it had donated to the District. Like much of northern Virginia, Arlington is a residential area. The rich and powerful own some very beautiful homes here.
Arlington National Cemetery
There are more than 200,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, and most Kindred avoid the site for fear that the area is some sort of gathering place for wraiths. Giovanni are not welcome among the Washington Kindred primarily for fear that they might tamper with this or one of the other cemeteries in the area. Fifteen funerals a day go on at Arlington National, and by the year 2020, the cemetery should be full.
The most often-visited grave is that of John F. Kennedy, where the eternal ﬂame continues to burn steadily. Jacqueline Kennedy is buried beside him, and two of their children rest nearby. Robert Kennedy’s grave, marked by a white cross, also lies close by. Much to the annoyance of the anarchs, Marcus Vitel enjoys spending time near the eternal ﬂame and viewing the Kennedy graves. This ironic penchant of the Prince’s, coupled with his audiences at the Lincoln Memorial, gives rise to caustic comments like “the dictator enjoys seeing another protector of democracy in his grave.”
South of the Kennedy graves stands the Tomb of the Unknowns. In front of the white marble sarcophagus, soldiers from the U.S. 3rd Infantry stand watch 24 hours a day, regardless of weather. The Prince forbids any interactions with these guards, claiming that as an ex-soldier himself, he respects the tomb and what it symbolizes.
The large building at the front of the cemetery is the Netherlands Carillon. From the Carillon, one can look out across the Potomac and see the monuments, illuminated at night by ﬂoodlights.
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial
This bronze statue reproduces the raising of the American ﬂag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The sculpture was taken from a photograph of the event taken by Joe Rosenthal. Each of the six soldiers is 32 feet high, and the ﬂagpole is 60 feet long. The sculpture is reputedly dangerous at night, and the Prince and his minions like to meet with important visitors here before moving to a more secure location. Like most of the areas around Arlington Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol dome are easily visible from here.
The world’s second largest building stands just southeast of Arlington National Cemetery. It does have ﬁve sides, each one measuring 691 feet, which has caused the more mystically inclined to wonder what lies trapped within. The interior courtyard alone contains ﬁve acres of land. During the day more than 23,000 people work inside this massive structure. Seventeen and a half miles of corridors stretch on and on throughout the building. The Prince keeps the Pentagon as part of his personal domain, but even he would not know if a dozen other Kindred had havens inside.
Stephen Norton’s Mansion
This mansion belongs to Dr. Stephen Norton, one of Washington’s Malkavians. It sits atop a bluff overlooking the Potomac River. The interior of the mansion is both opulent and extravagant, and falls somewhere between the extremes of tasteful and gaudy. Dr. Norton purchased the house with monies that came from fencing stolen jewels. The mansion also has the most elaborate security system that Dr. Norton and his underworld contacts could devise. The location of the house is not public knowledge.
McLean is one of Washington’s wealthiest suburbs and contains very little that interests tourists, which is how residents there prefer things. Several elders have homes in McLean, and the suburb is well guarded.
About half an hour south of the city along the Potomac sits Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington. This mansion contains many of the First President’s personal items and is surrounded by beautiful lawns with dogwood and plum trees. The main house has a red roof and a “rusticated” look, achieved by painting white over sand, thus making the wood resemble stone. When ships pass the plantation on the Potomac, they salute. The home remains undisturbed by Kindred, although the Prince has twice removed foolish vampires who decided to take up residence in the mansion, posing a threat to the Masquerade in their failure to realize how secure Mount Vernon’s hidden high-tech security system is.
A large Virtual Adepts Chantry makes its home in Vienna, another wealthy suburb.These mages have created a national online network, through many people have successfully been linked into computers. Vienna is also close to George Mason University, one of Washington’s continuously growing institutions.
Fairfax County includes many of the suburbs around Washington, and it is clear that the city of Fairfax is growing steadily. Although few Kindred presently have inﬂuence in Fairfax, this is sure to change.
This planned community is close to Dulles Airport in Virginia. During the 1960s, tourists would visit Reston in order to see how a planned city is developed. Although Reston certainly has its own unique atmosphere, it shares many of the characteristics of the other Virginia suburbs. This community is a Ventrue stronghold.
Another booming suburb of Washington, Tyson’s Corner is home to many think tanks and government contractors. Its two major malls contain a wide variety of shops and businesses.