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The history of Uppsala





In the times of the Vikings Uppsala was a busy center. The area was ruled by the Gangrel methusalah the All High and his court of Valkyries. They were among the most powerful of the vampires who lived in Scandinavia at the time, mostly Brujah and Gangrel nomads.

However, came the time that other European kindred, principally Ventrue, Toreador and Lasombra, who had tired of the constant raids on their territories. Under cover of the conversion of scandinavia to christianity, they methodically destroyed nearly the entire scandinavian kindred population. The great hall at the area that would become Uppsala was razed to the ground. The All high has never been seen since, though a few valkyries survived, fleeing to the new world

Incidentally, I was given a book called "The Longships" for christmas. It's a translation of a swedish novel called "Röda Orm" literally translated as "The Red Snake". This book deals with the life and times of a Viking warrior, and includes some material about Uppsala. I'm told that frankly the history from this period is a little vague - understandable, all things considered. As soon as I've finished reading this novel I'll see if I can incorporate some of its themes, as its rather good thus far. Until then this will have to do. Its pretty much pat from what is found in the White Wolf book "Wolves of the Sea".

The first Kindred to permanantly settle in the area after the purge was a Toreador, a follower of the path of heaven, named Henrik. He came from Switzerland to live in his native land when the archdiocese of Uppsala was declared, a means by which to maintain the European kindreds' control of the area, planting roots that are still visible today. It was through his guidance of the kine that the true growth of the city of Uppsala, approximately 5km from the location of the original town of Uppsala, began towards the end of the thirteenth century. The place that is now Uppsala was at the time called Aros, but was renamed to maintain the Archdiocese. This move allowed Henrik closer to the nearest high concentration of prey.

Henrik lived in contemplative isolation until the mid 1400s, the city growing around the cathedral. At that time came another. Ragnar Ericcson, a Brujah scholar, seeking a quiet place in which to continue his work. He and Henrik found they had a great deal in common, and Ragnar stayed, in 1477 founding the now world famous University with Henrik's church influence as support.

The university had a torrid time in its first years. Clan Ventrue made a great play for power through the Stockholm Bloodbath, and took control of the city of Stockholm, before setting their sights to the rest of Sweden. The Ventrue of Stockholm and their clanmates in Uppsala used their influence on the royal family of Gustaf Vasa to cause as many problems as they could for the fledgling institution. However, Ragnar and Henrik fought these efforts back, and the Ventrue grip on control of the royals slipped. This influence passed through many kindred resident in both cities over the next 60 years, including a period around 1540 when control fell to a Ventrue resident of Uppsala named Bjorn Gustaffson. It was he who brought about the building of Uppsala castle. Henrik managed to get control of Gustaf Vasa in the end, though soon after the king died. Vasa is now entombed in the Cathedral.

Further squabbles over control over the right to influence the royalty followed until 1567, when a Malkavian of the city - Tobias Wikstrom - managed to ghoul king Erik XIV...with disasterous results. Following this, Henrik and Ragnar regained and used this influence to further both church and university under the pretence of keeping out catholicism, through the Uppsala Conclave of 1593. This was a mortal contract, though there was heavy influence from the Justicar of Clan Nosferatu to settle the fighting.

Ragnar and Henrik - increasingly the former as the latter became more and more caught up in study and contemplation - worked hard to make the city thrive and grow. The mortal population grew, and the kindred population with it. They used their control of the royalty widely, securing a great deal of funding for the city through King Gustaf II Adolf. That done, they relaxed somewhat to concentrate more on their own projects. In doing so they let their grip slip, and their influence was spirited away again, and finally, by the Ventrue, as they had Gustaf Adolf's daughter Christina move the throne to their city. Ragnar had the presence of mind to take the castle for his own. It is now one of his havens.

The loss of the royal family proved more of a thorn in Uppsala's side than it should have been. A group of the Tremere saw the slip as a sign of weakness in the city, and decided they should be running the university. Calls were made in the mortal world for the university to move to Stockholm. The tremere got a great shock when they found how viciously Ragnar fought on this issue. They even resorted to hiring the services of Clan Assamite, yet even this failed. Eventually they realised they were never going to win, and settled for vengeance.


Odinslund

In 1702 a fire destroyed much of the city. It is suspected among the kindred that over zealous witch hunters were responsible, though Ragnar has often contended that the Tremere showed them the way. Despite the best efforts of Henrik's ghouls, the cathedral that had been slowly growing burned to the ground. Henrik was inside at the time. It fell to Ragnar to lead the rebuilding effort, with only one of his childer at his side to aid him. Only Tobias survived with them, and he moved to London, England - where he still resides. These events were, however, overshadowed by the political fireworks in Stockholm, where a war between Ventrue and ever-ambitious Tremere barely kept within the masquerade.


Uppsala Castle

These struggles continued for several years, with varying degrees of effect on the mortal world. The kindred population of Uppsala grew, fed by those fleeing the struggles. They brought with them many diverse influences, all of which Ragnar utilised to nourish the city and his University. The struggles reached their peak in the 1770s, with the Tremere pawn Gustaf III declaring himself king of all Sweden. This also resulted in the beginning of hostilities between Sweden and Russia, the Tremere attempting to remove the alliances the Swedish Ventrue had with the Ventrue there. The Tremere also made alliances with the Stockholm Toreador: they caused Gustaf to found museums, theatres and the Swedish Academy in exchange for support in the war. These ploys worked, and the Tremere were able to exile most of the Ventrue to Malmo, though many escaped and fled to the region that is now Finland. They controlled the Anjala pact in 1788, which led to the first stages of the founding of independent Finland. The last exhibition of Ventrue resistance came in their ostentatious asssination of Gustaf III in 1792 by an army captain during a Toreador sponsored costume ball, though too late to stop the Tremere victory.


the university main building

The next decades saw little activity in Sweden. The country was too busy restabilising itself follwoing long periods of conflict. This period in Swedish history saw much squabbling between the kindred of the country, with the bitter Ventrue plotting, and pointing to the emmigrations to the new world that caused large falls in the population until the early twentieth century as evidence of poor Tremere management of the nation from their position of absolute power in Stockholm. There were numerous risings of anarchs and occasional problems with the Sabbat, who had been at work in Finland.


The Gustavinium

During this period, during which Uppsala grew quieter, with a reputation as an academic retreat with little for more thrillseeking kindred, the only disturance to the city came in the 1880s when a young tremere of Stockholm sought to make a name for himself and gain status with his clan by finishing what his grandsire had started in stealing away the university. This led to some instability in the university, though the attempts were eventually fought off. This proved a great embarrasment to the Tremere who had been conducting preliminary negotiations into placing a chantry in Uppsala. The young tremere was heavily punished for his troubles, and Ragnar managed to use the troubles as a bargaining lever to gain a large amount over control over those who ran the chantry, a position that suits him due to his great suspicion of the Tremere. The chantry was declared in Carolina Rediviva, and Fredrik Persson assigned as its resident. Today, the chantry remains more a sub branch of the large Stockholm house.


Carolina Rediviva - The University Library

Since the first world war Sweden has becoming more successful. They have remained neutral due to the various influences at work, especially the links of the Tremere to the Axis forces in Vienna. The clan saw Sweden as a possible bolt hole if the war failed, though in the end they did not need to use it as such.


Vastmanlands-Dala nation house on Sysslomansgatan

More modern developments have seen Uppsala host a grand conclave, led by the Toreador Justicar Veronique Du Sable, in 1968 to coincide with the meeting of the world council of churches in the city. During this conclave an attempt was madem on Veronique's life by Sabbat. She was saved by a tall, mysterious kindred...this was Seth, a Kiasyd still resident in the city.

In 1977 the Swedish Agricultural university was founded to the south of the city. Ragnar had a hand in its formation, though he suspects other supernatural involvement aided the project without any contact between him and them. This he takes as a sign of mage or lupine involvement.



In modern Uppsala all is fairly quiet - the university goes from strength to strength, and the city which has grown around it also. There are some problems though, not least the fact that there appears to be a spreading corruption growing in the city, like a cancer. This corruption has pervaded an area of the city on the east side of the river, and Fredrik, who had been investigating the problem, has vanished. Ragnar fears this may lead to new hostility from Stockholm, as well as the fears he holds over the nature of this new threat to his city.


Stora Torget - the city's center



Many thanks to Helena Olsson for her help in putting this history together.

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