World of Darkness: Seattle

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World of Darkness: Seattle

Post  Fireseed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:00 pm

Alright so right off the bat I should warn everyone that I neither live in Seattle nor have I ever been there. So why use it? Gotta take place somewhere.

For all intents and purposes this will be a major metropolitan area that is named Seattle and is very much LIKE Seattle, but do not expect me not to make up a lot of things in the process. As the world unfolds important locations and NPC's will be added to this thread to help people keep track of things. Since we're just starting out, expect this place to be fairly small for a while. I will usually add things here after they appear in an RP and will endeavor to keep it organized.

A lot of very useful information on Seattle can be found on wikipedia and since I would just end up articulately copy/pasting it here, you would be best advised to give it a glance over there. This thread is dealing with things that are deemed important to the World of Darkness version.

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General Information

The 16 Districts of the Emerald CitySeattle 1889 - Before the Great Fire
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The Underground
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The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed the central business district of the prosperous and growing city of Seattle. Recovery was swift but in light of previous flooding issues, awkward government action, and a booming economy the people of Seattle decided instead of simply demolishing and rebuilding the city as was, to build atop it. The street level was raised between one to two stories from the ground floor to accommodate this act of entrepreneurial recovery. Many businesses retained their original store entrances at ground level and originally the Underground was left open for businesses as the city residents saw fit, using ladders at street corners to gain access from one level to another. While mostly condemned, these ladders are still available for public use to this day.

After many years of declining use, maintenance negligence, and personal injuries as a result of falling from ladders (often under the legal guise of Involuntary Suicide) the Underground slowly lost its appeal to the public. For a time the bulk of activity in the Underground was of a less than legal nature; anything from drugs to prostitution ran rampant beneath the streets of Seattle, with as much as 10% of the population claiming to be seamstresses and all but 6 of these living within the same 3 block area (seamstress was a commonly used defense when being arrested from one of these underground brothels). Legitimate businesses slowly dried up and moved on upstairs, leaving the Underground as a historical oddity and tourist attraction for the most part.

Much of the Underground is officially condemned, but there are still regular tours that take place in the less dangerous areas. Local lore has it that all the supposed maps of the Underground are either falsified or incomplete at best with hidden passages, collapsed sections, and even expanded catacombs covering potentially the vast majority of modern day Seattle. If one looks hard enough they can indeed find entrances to the Underground in nearly every district, whether it's in the basement of an office building, a side passage of the sewers, or a maintenance hatch of the Seattle hybrid Metro/Subway stations.

There's no shortage of rumor and hearsay about dark dealings, nefarious activity, and occult practices that take place in this dark side of the Emerald City...


Last edited by Fireseed on Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:54 pm; edited 6 times in total
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In the Vampire Corner...

Post  Fireseed on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:58 pm

Seattle is a city divided.

Its labyrinthine underground has long been the seat of power for local Kindred, ruled over by the Invictus since they drove out the Circle of the Crone shortly after the Great Fire of 1889. Sometime around the 1960’s the Carthians moved in, setting up shop in neighboring territory. They expanded quickly and overtook pockets of seemingly loyal vampires all along the fringes of the Emerald City until the two territories overlapped. On the verge of open war the two princes came upon a remarkably civil agreement on how to split the territory and share resources, resulting in a truce that has lasted nearly two decades now.

It’s all a ruse.

Everybody knows the score. The Circle of the Crone never left, not really, they just went into hiding. It doesn’t take a genius to know how hungry they are, waiting in the forests or in their secluded sepulchers, waiting for someone to come out on top battered and bruised just to get their throat slit.
So they bide their time and play at a truce while marshaling their power. When the Lancea Sanctum made official decree to back up the Invictus prince the Carthians responded by opening relations with the Ordo Dracul. When the dust settled and both sides took measure of one another they found that very little ground had been given.
And so the Danse Macabre spins on and on…

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A Game of Thrones

At face value there are three major vampire factions within the Seattle area. Individuals are free to choose their alliances, but these represent the vast bulk of each covenant's affiliation within the Emerald City's nightly power structure. These structure are broken up thusly:

-The Invictus and Lancea Sanctum - Control much of the Underground and strong holdings within Central Seattle.
-The Carthian Movement and Ordo Dracul - Control most of the Aboveground and pockets of the Underground.
-The Circle of the Crone - Has a strong presence within the various city parks, rural areas, and a few temples within the Underground; much of their power is consolidated outside of city limits.

Each faction claims a district where a significant majority of its resources are well entrenched, establishing a headquarters where members of that covenant can always find sanctuary (outside of Elysium) if being harassed by members of rival covenants. These HQ districts also establish certain limits and privileges to each covenant through the Trust.

The Carthian Movement has managed to take root in Capital Hill.

The Ordo Dracul has long held a presence in the University District.

The Ivictus controls most of the territory of Downtown both above and below the surface.

The Lancea Sanctum makes lofty claims that all churches are their god given territory, but politically they're rooted in the Queen Anne Hill district.

The Circle of the Crone has very few holdings within the city, but maintains a strong enough presence in Rainier Seward Park to be recognized as their territory within the city limits of Seattle.

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The Trust

The Trust is a treaty agreed upon by Srihith and Lord Meinhard that sets a precedence of peace between the two warring factions within the city limits of Seattle. The Trust is a relatively short document divided into two parts and is publicly available to any vampire curious to read it.

In short order the first part declares publicly which districts act as the heart of each covenant's territory, rights and privileges of each, and establishes sites of Elysium within each of these districts that act as diplomatic embassies as well as public sanctuaries. The home district of a covenant gives free hunting rights to members of that covenant. Vampires found feeding in these districts who are not members of that covenant will be punished accordingly. Vampires from other covenants discovered in these districts without escort or carrying proper proof of authority will be punished accordingly.

The second part outlines the general rules of conduct for districts beyond a faction's control. Every covenant has a stake in every district varying from minor sanctuaries to sweeping hunting grounds. In these territories vampires do not need escort or proof of authority, but they also lack the unalienable rights of their home district. Sanctuary is not given outside of Elysium and feeding grounds are not established by the Trust. They are effectively under the rule of Lesser Domains.

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Carthian Law

For reasons that puzzle the other covenants, the Carthian Movement's unique manner of diplomatically establishing the laws and etiquette of its territories reinforces those very laws on a supernatural level. Vampires who intentionally break the laws find their metaphysical powers sapped and unreliable, fizzling out or providing lackluster results at best. This has given the Carthian Movement an edge in defending its territories in the past to the great chagrin of its rivals.

-In order for a Carthian Law to be invoked it must be written and accessible publicly to all vampires in a region. Ignorance is not an excuse, but justice cannot hide behind shadowy veils.
-These laws also only extend to Vampires; humans and other supernatural races are not impacted by them in any way. Ghouls do suffer under Carthian Law.
-Carthian Law only extends to vampire blood powers. Disciplines and Sorceries will be hampered or negated if they violate Carthian Law. Ex: Using a gun to kill someone would work fine, using a Discipline might result in a fizzle.
-Carthian Law can only be evoked within the presence of a Carthian.

Carthian Law has been established in all districts of the city of Seattle barring the home districts of the other four covenants and the Underground where they are not recognized as authority by the collective whole.

The standard laws (first three) common among most Kindred circles are well established:
1 ) The Masquerade must be upheld.
2 ) Embracing another is forbidden except through privilege.
3 ) Diablerie is forbidden.
4 ) You cannot kill a Citizen of the City.
-A citizen is any vampire who has acknowledged a Prince as the ruling authority of the Domain.
5 ) You cannot force someone into being blood bound, conditioned, or mentally subjugated.
-Ghouls must carry proper paperwork establishing their master and are that master's responsibility should they violate a Law.
6 ) Using powers of the Blood to feed outside of one's established hunting ground is not permitted.
-Permits are given at the behest of one's covenant leader and authorized by the Primier.
7 ) No vampire has the Right of Destruction without due process by a Jury of their peers or a presiding Judge.
- The two exceptions to this are when force must be used in self-defense or in the event of a Blood Hunt.
8 ) Treaties held by the Primier will be upheld so long as all parties participate fairly.

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Power Players

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Srihith Lokhande - Primier of the Carthian Movement in Seattle

A firebrand polimec and militant activist for the People, Srihith was an India born and British raised man of passion and intelligence in life. Not much has changed since his first death in the 60's while acting as a journalist in the United States, though his priorities did see a shift upon inclusion to the Danse Macabre. Groomed by his sire for the politics of the damned, the Indian born vampire quickly rose through the ranks of the Carthian Movement until the 1980's when he moved to the American Northwest to aid in the atrophied forces of the Cause there. Elected Primier nearly unanimously by the vampires of Redmond just beyond the control of the Invictus in Seattle, his goal was to get a foothold within the Emerald City and slowly usurp control district by district.

A staunch atheist in life, he found it difficult to find any common ground with either the Lancea Sanctum or the Circle of the Crone. Despite his secular tendencies he extended his political charms towards the Ordo Dracul of the University District and gained his foothold there. Over thirty years the war for territories has taught him great lessons about the nature of attrition and political clout, though he managed to rein in his passionate vitriol for absolute authority figures and has so far only skirted the edges of the Trust established between himself and Lord Meinhard.

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Professor Kent, Architect of the Sanguine Void - Grand Wyrm of the Ordo Dracul in Seattle

An ancient among ancients, Professor Kent is the reigning authority within the Ordo Dracul of Seattle for the past hundred years. He is a character of eccentric and intellectual extremes, with a somewhat passive-aggressive demeanor and willful curiosity. Politics were never really his strong suit, less because he was incompetent and more because he simply didn't care for the responsibilities of leadership. He would simply rather spend his long evenings perusing his vast collections of vampiric lore and human activity than droll on and on in some court.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be for the seclusionary professor. With his great age and knowledge came ever-increasing privileges and mediation, something that quietly agitates him at the core of his being to this very night. Were it not for his intense distrust and political history with Bishop Holmes, the professor might never have sided with Srihith in the first place, but unfolding events quickly revealed themselves intolerable to the academic grand wyrm. His lot was thrown in with the Carthians, whom he regards as foolish but well-meaning, and his nights are spent increasingly on performing damage control instead of his studies.

This would leave him feeling resentful, but he has come to find Srihith to be a passionate and interesting conversationalist; leaving the Primier on the Architect's good side.

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Lord Meinhard - Prince of the Invictus in Seattle

Nobody has seen Lord Meinhard's face in nearly eighty years, nobody outside of his inner circle at least. Rumor has it that he is a Nosferatu of extreme physical abnormality, resting upon a broad, flat throne of marble within his court and draped from head to toe(?) in thick black cloth. His voice resonates with the vile slurping sounds of sewage being forced through creaky pipework, but what he lacks in personal charms he more than makes up for in cunning, intimidation, and brute force. There are very few vampires in the Invictus inner circle of Seattle who cannot recall with vivid memory the sight of an upstart childer being lifted whole body by the neck and torn limb from limb with casual ease by the Tyrant prince.

He has become even more secluded recently, having withdrawn from public audiences completely and refusing to be seen even in Elysium save for behind a thick black veil. Rumors are abound, but his network of informants and diplomats keep the bloody cogs of the Invictus churning smoothly in Seattle. He refuses to publicly acknowledge the growing power distribution of Srihith, instead focusing on maintaining an iron grip on the Underground while losing territory block by block above. As long as he controls central Seattle and the Underground, nobody can directly oppose his rule.

It is said that aside from perhaps Professor Kent, Meinhard is the single oldest vampire in the American Northwest and that it was he who led the Invictus to drive out the Circle of the Crone from Seattle in the 1880's. Something that the Circle remembers all too well...

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Bishop Holmes - Bishop of the Lancea Sanctum in Seattle

A rising star in the nightly political scene, Bishop Holmes was actually the instigator of the political warfare that led to the Trust. Having risen to power through unusual means, some whisper less than admirable within the church, the bishop's fire and brimstone approach to politics energized the local Lancea Sanctum and galvanized its rivals. What began as a ideological crusade was swiftly blunted by the rearrangement of the Ordo Dracul's neutal position to that of allying with the Carthian Movement.

It cannot be said that the good bishop was on good terms with Professor Kent to begin with, having been a stalwart warrior against secularism and the evils of academia for decades. That relationship has only deteriorated further with the ongoing conflict, his temples having refused to offer services to any members of the Ordo, Circle, or Carthian movement beyond providing shelter in Elysium.

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Aalianya - Oracle of the Circle of the Crone in Seattle

She might not have been present when Seattle was torn from the briar thorn grip of the Circle, but you wouldn't know it if you asked her. This passionate and enigmatic woman seems to recall things that occurred in the area as far back as the mid-1800's with eerie clarity.

Every slight and misstep of her rivals is cataloged with agonizing scrutiny as she sits on the outside looking in, waiting for the time to waltz straight in and slit the throats of any survivors of the storm brewing on the horizon. Vindictive, but not stupid, the Circle knows that if it wants to regain power over Seattle it's going to have to be patient. Were she to offer aid to either side the political situation would immediately become lopsided and her advantage would be lost when the inevitable victory was spent alongside her new rivals. Instead she watches and waits, spreading her web of intrigue in every district she can weave her followers into.

The official stance of the Circle has been non-aggressive since the Trust was established. Since both sides were eager to keep her in their luke-warm graces both parties have agreed to allow a single Circle diplomat onto their respective councils and given modest privileges to supposedly non-practicing vampire civilians within the city limits. Lately, though, Aalianya has been contemplating a more direct approach...
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