|Setting||Seattle||The Circle||Vampires||Other Monsters||Rules|
Naturally, if the game is going to take place in Seattle, it’d be good to know how the city differs now that it was built while monsters encroached from the dark. Since this page discusses differences, it’s useful to lay down some basic information about Seattle in the real world to set the baseline.
Seattle’s a city that hovers around 600,000 people. The greater metro area ends up tripling that total, bringing the total number of people in the urban sprawl commonly thought of as the Seattle area up to a cool 1.8 million. The populace is predominantly Caucasian but has a significant Asian and African-American presence, and a fast growing Hispanic populace. It’s a vibrant, tech-oriented city with lots of parks and a strong focus on ecology and creating green-spaces.
Culturally, Seattle is famous for the Pike Place Market, the artist-friendly Freemont district, and a culture of outdoorism. In business, Seattle is known for being the home of Boeing, Starbucks, and Microsoft. Politically, it’s a progressive, liberal city that nevertheless has strong conservative currents.
Shadowed Seattle Demographics
Shadowed Seattle is not as highly populated as it’s real world counterpart. The King County metro area is home to barely a million people, and the county itself is much smaller, there’s a lot less sprawl. Bellevue is a tiny, well defended town, not a sprawling commercial burg. There’s a much stronger separation between Seattle and Everett, and Seattle and Tacoma. All the sprawl has shrunk back quite a bit, and the city interior is much more dense, with a more busy skyline as people have built up to accommodate people on a lot less space.
Racially, the city is much the same, but the minority populace is much more shifted toward Asians, as Shadowed Earth is a place where poor minorities have a lot less mobility, even in free countries like the USA. The divide between the rich and the poor is a sharp one, the police hassle lower-income folks who have the temerity to go to Mercer Island or Bellevue. The big corporate offices have the money to be havens against the darkness, but only for those in the inner circle of the company’s upper management.
Shadowed Seattle Culture
Culturally the city has embraced both Asian and Native-American spiritual influences as far as the wards and charms that people use to protect themselves. Geomancy, popularly known as Feng Shui, is very popular for setting up protected areas. Medicine bags are hugely popular, as are protective totem poles. The city is host to true practitioners of those arts that can create wards to keep a person safe from monsters but there are very few of them. The majority of the trinkets are worthless, or of minimal use at best. These are sold by charlatans, or simply shaman who don’t have enough of the touch to make a difference.
The city is still quite liberal, and still host to a lot of artists and interesting events. While every large city tends to have problems with Vampires, the West coast of the US has been pretty good in regards to nasty native creatures. The Werewolf problem in North America is not nearly as bad as it is in Europe, and the trickster spirits that exist are not nearly as brutal and capricious as the faerie.
Thus Seattle is a city that people can relax in a little bit more. That makes the quality of life better, but it also encourages people to be careless, which can get them killed.
The Space Needle is still an integral part of the Shadowed Seattle skyline. Pike Place market still exists, Boeing still takes up a huge chunk of the Southern industrial area, and the Sea-Tac airport is still a big hub for Northwest air travel. There just wasn’t enough money for some of the lesser-known things though. The Experience Music Project was never built, and the Seattle Center expo area is smaller overall.
The city still has tons of parks, but the more wild ones are wild indeed, home to native spirits that could never quite be driven out. Those areas are green spaces not by design, but because the citizens had no choice. The Cascades are less of a hiking destination and more of a place where ancient native powers thunder through the hills.