The very next day after the Creature in the Crack disappeared thanks to the gout of white flame from the tower in Lake Michigan, the mortal population went into a frenzy. Too many of them had seen the Creature and various and sundry other beasts and creatures which modern science simply could not explain. Too many of them had been contained or attacked by spells. All the superstitions and fears of what goes ‘bump’ in the night sent people into a state of fear and panic the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Spanish Inquistion or the Salem trials.
The Purge actually didn’t start in Chicago, but in some of the towns and cities in the surrounding area. Pseudo-religious rhetoric was broadcast about suffering not witches to live and about monsters and demons running through the streets. Eventually, the frenzy went through the city of Chicago and spread throughout the whole world. In five years, the magical population was more than decimated.
To defend themselves, some wizards established bastions to hide in, but given enough time, mortals were able to breach the defenses by using more and more powerful weapons. Eventually, some wizards broke off from the White Council, ignoring the Laws and cutting a swath through the thousands of mortals who tried to destroy them. By that point, there were too few Wardens to do anything about it. Those who insisted on obeying the Laws eventually found themselves in very difficult situations. Some made deals with the fae, exchanging their power or offering to bear or sire changeling children for safety in the Nevernever. Others fled to remote areas where they couldn’t be tracked by the ever-improving technology of the mortal hunters.
The mortals realized that their skill with technology was their greatest weapon against the spellcasters and monsters they hunted. While nothing they could build could help them to pierce glamours or veils, and very little they could build could really stop magic from working, their sophisitcation made them all the more sensitive to the unintended hexing of spellcasters. They developed antidotes to the narcotic saliva of the Red Court, they developed UV beams which could hurt the Black Court, and they began adding special iron jackets to bullets. Many cities implemented beautification plans which called for running water along the streets of major cities, which prevented most creatures and casters from being efficient in these areas.
About two years into the Purge, a wizard compound in North Carolina was raided by the US military. A law had been passed that year that forbade spellcasters from gathering in groups of more than three, and this compound was revealed to have seven. A man whose name has been lost to history, his wife and two daughters, and three other wizards had been trying to live in an apartment. The soldiers killed all but the one man and then cornered him in the basement of the apartment. When he saw his youngest daughter’s corpse, he had just about had a breakdown. One of the soldiers, Commander Aidan Cane, asked the wizard if he had any last words. The wizard’s response was a moving, heartbreaking speech about the value of human life and the cruelty of war. He knew his end was a hand, and rather than begging for his own life or trying to kill Cane or any of his men, he simply hoped that they would live long lives so that they could truly appreciate all that they had accomplished that day and for the past few years. Cane then shot the wizard, executing him for his crimes. At that moment, the building collapsed, killing everyone in the building except Cane. Because everyone knew of wizards’ death curses by that point, the man’s final speech was disseminated among students and scholars as “The Duplicity of Wizards.” Only Commander Cane survived the devastation.
After that attack, the onslaught only grew greater. Security measures in airports, ports, bus stations, and on the road increased to try and find wizards fleeing from the attacks in the cities. The mortals were convinced that if the spellcasters could congregate into large enough groups, they could summon up enough power to completely destroy all non-spellcaster on Earth. The Purge lasted for four and a half long years before the various human-rights activists and influential factions, including the Catholic Church itself, finally began convincing people to reevaluate their brutal laws and practices.
The next six months were a trying time for spellcasters and mortals alike. While the legal mandate to slaughter spellcasters and supernatural beings wholesale was gone, it took time for the legal system to decide upon just what was cruel and what was necessary. Like in the early 2000’s, some liberties and rights were sacrificed in the name of safety.
The camps and ghettos into which the supernatural community were officially required to be inspected for ‘equitable standards of living,’ and seeing that many of these places lacked sufficient schooling, medical facilities, or even roads, the government passed laws to try and help the people in the camps, without ever considering dismantling the camps and ghettos. People still found it nearly impossible to accept the thought of letting something magical into their neighborhoods, after all, and it was very dangerous now for magical beings to live outside of these areas— a single spellcaster on his own could be lynched without anyone batting an eye; the camps and ghettos at least offered saftey in numbers.
Moreover, the camps and ghettos did establish a kind of culture unique from the mortal societies around them. Because the concentration of angry and afraid minor talents, focused practitioners, and sorcerers, power grids in many of these regions didn’t last long, and communication in and out tended to be very difficult. Many camps and ghettos had to depend on firelight from gas lights, candles and hearths, though a few had focused practitioners or minor talents with the ability to create magical lights without flame. Those with the talents to brew potions and use healing magic became ad hoc healers and physicians, but they usually lacked the skills or medicines of the doctors outside of the camps. New waves of Wicca and pagan religions swept through these places, reinvigorating the spirits and the faith in magic of these put-upon people.
So when the government came into the camps and ghettos, sometimes unannounced, criticizing the manner in which supernaturally inclined children were educated, criticizing what few amenities these places had, and insulting the skills of their healers, the people who lived in these places were indignant. Instead of being grateful for the mortals’ attempts to help them, they saw the gestures as condescending, patronizing, and insulting. Still, too many of the people in these places wanted to build bridges to their mortal kin and the world many of them had been forced to leave behind for any outright conflict to begin.
Roads were repaved, buildings repaired, schools established, hospitals opened. At first, there was still tension; the complex technology of hospitals and the computers intended for schools didn’t work properly, and some mortals claimed that only meant spellcasters weren’t intended to ever live at the same level as ‘normal’ people, but eventually something was worked out in each camp and district to either create circles around the technology or to train practitioners to use more sophisticated educational, surgical and pharmacological techniques, but potion-brewers still thrived for day-to-day medicine.
The next ten years saw some significant progress in mortal/magic relations. Various church groups, particularly the eastern and indigenous religions, began trying to explain that the power of spellcasters (but not of the scions, Vampires, fae, etc.) was a gift, not a curse. The Vatican Church and some protestant denominations could not embrace magic, and they offered to embrace any practitioner who was willing to forsake his or her power and accept Christ. They claimed that having the ability to cast unholy magic was no sin, only actually casting it was. By this point, however, the magical community was chaffing against such rhetoric. The government began implementing ‘reintegration’ procedures, trying to get practitioners out of the camps and ghettos and working in regular jobs.
The vampires, changelings, and scions of various beings protested, and the practitioners, who had lived with these beings long enough to trust them more than the mortals who had condemned them, refused to reintegrate without concessions for scions (including changelings). Some claimed that the parents of these scions were trying to influence the larger world through these children, but after a year or so, the consessions were granted.
This led to a rather The Year of the Forbidden Fruit. The red and white courts and the fae tried to take advantage of these concessions to slip out into the mortal world and build thier power base. Sex with a supernatural being, ever the forbidden fruit, became possible for the first time in nearly fifteen years.