House of Caine
Traveling to Washington, D.C.
There are many ways to enter Washington, D.C., but like many cities in the World of Darkness, each has its dangers. For a nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. can be surprisingly unfriendly and unforgiving.
Several roads lead directly into Washington, D.C. — I-70 from the northwest, I-95 from the north or south, US 50 from the Annapolis-Eastern Shore, I-66 from the west, or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway which parallels I-95 north to the Baltimore metro area. All of these routes have one thing in common: they all connect to the Capital Beltway, one of the most inhospitable environments ever constructed for motorists.
The Capital Beltway circles Washington D.C. It changes from I-495 to become part of I-95 as it travels north-south alongside the eastern part of the city. The Capital Beltway is perpetually under construction, usually at night or in the early morning hours, and has unusual surges of trafﬁc. During rush hours, the entire loop becomes clogged with cars. Rush-hour trafﬁc jams can easily last until after dark. Sunday nights are also atrocious.
Accidents, ranging from a truck jackkniﬁng to medical waste spilling across the roads to a normal multi-car collision, occur with frightening regularity on the Beltway. When this happens, trafﬁc comes to a grinding halt for miles, clogging entrance and exit ramps across the city.
However, the road networks of Washington are the hardest for Kindred to watch for intruders. Virtually any vampire can drive into the city, especially from the south. For this reason, the Prince of Washington takes considerable interest in events in Fredericksburg and the rest of Virginia.
Three airports — Dulles International Airport, Washington National Airport, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport — serve the D.C. area. Residents refer to them as Dulles, National, and BWI.
For domestic travelers, Washington National Airport, located across the Potomac from the Mall, is by far the most convenient. The Washington Metro System allows travelers to National easy access to most of the city. For this reason, the Prince has ghouls constantly checking baggage from ﬂights entering National, especially those from major anarch and Sabbat cities. This activity goes on perpetually, day and night. The Nosferatu always keep at least a few competent rats watching the National Metro Station.
Dulles International is the least well protected of the airports. It lies to the west of the city in Virginia, about 40 minutes or more away from downtown D.C. and connected by the Dulles Access Road to I-66. The Tremere try to keep watch on the Dulles Access Road, but sometimes things slip by their guard.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport is a suicidal route for an unwanted Kindred to take into the city. The Prince of Baltimore and the Prince of Washington, D.C. both protect this airport. At least one Kindred is always watching BWI, along with a strike team of ghoul security. Visitors had better have high Manipulation scores.
Union Station is one of the most impressive train stations in the country. It contains a Metro Station, and a line of taxis and limousines waits outside, day or night. Shops and restaurants ﬁll Union Station, and it has a multi-screen movie theatre on the lower level. Trains leave for destinations across the country, including popular hourly metroliners to New York. Another train of note is the Crescent, which runs from New York to New Orleans via Washington, D.C.
Union Station contains agents of the Prince and the Nosferatu. For Kindred ﬂeeing the city to the south by rail, all southbound trains leaving Union Station travel through a darkened tunnel on their way out of the city. On more than a few occasions, a train has broken down while Nosferatu grab a few victims.
Most Kindred avoid water travel, although a marina exists on the Potomac Canal. The waterfront falls on the border of the Bawn of the Sept of the Awakening, a group of Garou. These werewolves have a fragile, unspoken truce with the Kindred of D.C. They avoid the Elysium areas of the Mall, and have made a spoken deal with the Nosferatu. This doesn’t stop the Bone Gnawers from dealing harshly with unwary vampires of any clan who visit the Waterfront.
A favored way to sneak into Washington, D.C. is to follow the old C&O Canal down into Georgetown. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal has a long history, but Washington was never positioned to take economic advantage of it. Now it serves primarily as a bike trail, although mules still pull barges along the canal for the history buffs. Rumors of the predations of a Lupine pack called the Shadow Lords cause most vampires to shun this route.