Review – The Endless Ages Anthology (Vampire: the Masquerade)

The Endless Ages Anthology was released in 2016 for the 25th anniversary of Vampire: the Masquerade. Edited by Jaym Gates, it presents 18 short stories over about 225 pages. I happened to buy my copy directly from Onyx Path at a convention, but it’s available in a variety of formats from DriveThruRPG and in a kindle version from Amazon.

The 18 stories are divided into four broad categories – The Becoming, Gothic-Punk, Signs of Gehenna, and Modern Nights – each led off by a classic piece of Vampire art. The Becoming is mostly, but not entirely, stories of young or brand-new vampires learning something about their place in the world. Gothic-Punk is mostly, but not entirely, stories about younger vampires in conflict with their sires or other elders. The stories in Signs of Gehenna mostly (but, again, not entirely) have religious themes. Modern Nights is a potpourri. The categories are helpful, but not as defined as they could be (for example, the story Steffie de Vaan‘s Love to Ashes seems like it would have been at home in the Gothic-Punk category, instead of in Modern Nights). The stories are free-standing – they’re set in the world of Vampire: the Masquerade, but they don’t reveal metaplot details or feature established canon characters.

My favorite stories included Michael J. Martinez‘s Tiger (a tale of a neonate’s rude introduction to elder politics), Nerine Dorman‘s Heart of Flesh (a good little childe learns how far she’s willing to go to ingratiate herself), and Delilah S. Dawson‘s Sundowning (two mortals learn the price of immortality). There were a couple of duds, but overall the quality is good for those of us who are already into Vampire: the Masquerade, with a variety of topics explored (alcohol, the deep sea, morality, assassins, family squabbles, confusion, faith, loss of identity, revenge, love, lust, and more) and a relatively diverse cast of characters. Worth taking a look if Vampire is your groove.

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