Often referred to as London’s “ugly little brother”, the city of Darrow despite being England’s second largest metropolis was also arguably its biggest shame.
A dirty, crime laden, hellhole filled with some of the worst low lifes and criminals imaginable. Darrow stood out in the centre of England like a pus filled sore. Little did many its scornful neighbours know however, that Darrow’s history was far darker than even its own loathsome reputation would suggest.
Darrow had a long history with the Supernatural. It had in fact been founded by the most evil of all paranormal creatures, Vampires.
This group of Vampires who founded Darrow were led by a notorious member of their kind named Keith Heist. In life Heist had ironically been a Vampire/Demon slayer, but after becoming the thing he hated most, Heist would create what he hoped would be a sanctuary for Vampires from their Demonic rivals, the Vandals!
The Vandals had at that point overrun almost all of Europe. Whilst Vampires are normally cowardly, self serving, greedy monsters who have trouble working together, Heists Vampires would be forced to work together out of fear of their rivals (and their leader.)
The town of Darrow was well defended by magics (one of the Vampires had been a powerful wizard in life) as well as various other traps and barriers. Virtually no one could get in to the town, but no one could leave it either. The Vampires got round this however by keeping a large supply of human captives in cages like cattle who they would force to breed with one another to supply them with more food.
The human captives would be forced to live lives of the most unbearable torment and suffering at the hands of their sadistic Vampire captors.
Ultimately however the Vampires time would come after two or so centuries of living in Darrow thanks ironically to their own captives, who were eventually able to overthrow the monsters in their sleep (with a little help from the Ghost of one of Heist’s former victims).
After the Vampires were driven out of the town they founded, their former victims would use the blood suckers former defences to protect themselves from the Vandals who wanted to take over the town in the Vampires absence.
Darrow managed to persevere against constant attacks from the Vandals (and vengeful Vampires). Ironically after having been seen as a place of great suffering and fear for so long, Darrow soon became a symbol of freedom for people living under the Vandals rule.
People would flock to the town in droves from all over the United Kingdom. Many of the most rich and powerful members of society would flee to Darrow too (as they were often the people under the thumb of the Vandals the most). As a result of their influence in time Darrow would go from being a small town to a big city that at one point even managed to rival London itself in both size and prosperity.
Despite this however a few of the original Vampire founders were able to by pass the cities defences and make their way back into the city. The reason these Vampires were successful unlike the Vandals was because they obviously knew the city inside out, and in some cases had even created its defences themselves!
These Vampires managed to infect several citizens of Darrow leading to the city still having a large Vampire population. As the presence of the Vampires grew, fewer people would flock to the city and its overall state degenerated in comparison to London until it eventually became the degenerate hellhole it is today. Some actually felt it was preferable to live under the Vandals than deal with the Vampires at all.
As the centuries passed and knowledge of the supernatural faded from the public, and the rule of the Vandals came to an end. Then most of the people in Darrow would come to believe that the paranormal did not exist too. It was in fact the Vandals themselves who originally spread the lie that Vampires, Demons, Witches etc did not exist. They did this in order to keep their prey docile and unsuspecting.
The higher ups, the leaders of European society were obviously still aware of the monsters presence and would be forced by the Vandals to help them cover up their activities and clamp down on any one who knew the truth.
After the Vandals power base was mostly gone, the lie about supernatural creatures being just myths would continue as it was thought that modern society having become used to believing that these creatures were myths would not be able to cope with the truth. Darrow would ultimately be forced to go along with the lie, though its police force would always remain aware of the supernatural.
As the centuries went on, more and more Vampires would come to Darrow, even those who didn’t know its history. The city soon developed a reputation among not just Vampires, but Demons as being a hotspot for them.
The police would always remain aware that Vampires existed right up until the 1960s which is when our story takes place. Whilst the general population mostly remained ignorant of the supernatural activities in the city. Darrow did still gain a reputation as a dangerous and crime laden place overall.