Gehenna is the time when the Antediluvians (the grandchildren of Caine, the first vampire) will rise to consume the blood of all the younger vampires and construct a city in which they will rule for one thousand years. The prophecy of Gehenna is most thoroughly detailed in the Book of Nod, the story of Caine’s banishment and cursing by God. There are also portents found in the Book of Nod, claiming the coming of the “Dark Father” and the “Dark Mother”. Who these are is uncertain, but it is believed these two figures could be the mythical Caine and Lilith, respectively. Gehenna is said to be preceded by the Time of Thin Blood, in which successive generations of vampires past the thirteenth lose the potency of their blood, become incapable of siring childer or exercising their vampiric powers, and even develop a tolerance to sunlight. In the recent decades, this Time has finally arrived as more and more Kindred beyond the 13th generation begin to appear, prompting some to claim that the end is neigh.
While certain signs (notably the prophecies of Octavio) outline peripheral events, the main sequence from the Book of Nod is roughly as follows:
- The Time of Thin Blood – Caitiff and Thin-Blooded Vampires become more common, leading to Caitiff Princes. This particular warning is used by Princes to rationalize offices such as the Scourge, eliminating out high-generation vampires.
- Increased violence by Garou and other traditional enemies.
- The rise of ancient vampires, notably the Crone, until the Antediluvians themselves rise and “break their fast on the first part of us”
- The darkening of the Sun
- The return of Caine to pass judgment on all Vampires from Enoch, followed by a duel between the Dark Father (presumably Caine) and the Dark Mother (presumably Lilith).
- A thousand year reign from the city of Gehenna, with “no love, no life, no pity/the mighty will be as slaves/the virtuous will be made foul” through the Dark Father’s agency.
- The arrival of the Last Daughter of Eve who will decide the fate of all creatures.
Four possible Gehenna scenarios are generally accepted as to what will happen during the Time of Judgment that ends the world as it currently exists. The four scenarios are:
- “Wormwood” (God destroys all vampires save for a few, who are given a chance at redemption)
- “Fair is Foul” (Lilith takes her vengeance on Caine and his descendants)
- “Nightshade” (the Masquerade is broken and the Camarilla divided as the Antediluvians awaken)
- “The Crucible of God” (the Antediluvians rise up, ruling over or destroying most of the human race)
Vampiric culture is broadly divided on Gehenna. Officially, the Camarilla doesn’t acknowledge Gehenna, Antediluvians, ancient blood gods, or Caine. Conversely, the Sabbat is a Gehenna cult – its raison d’etre is to provide muscle for Caine’s return to judge the (un)dead and the living.
While the Camarilla ostensibly observes a “no-Gehenna” policy, it doesn’t enforce that particularly heavily – princes will use the Book of Nod to justify decisions, and various clans (notably the Nosferatu) openly prepare to defend themselves against their Antediluvian.
Given this, there are a variety of visible Gehenna cults throughout recorded history. Given that Kindred are on the whole pragmatic, self-interested and secular, these cults can loosely be viewed as making sure that when the Antediluvians come, there will be someone else available to eat.