Tales of a Dark City
Drake City, VA, is where the action happens in this game. It’s a fictional city in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area on Cheasapeake Bay.
Central Drake (Drake City Proper)
This is the heart of Drake City. It is bounded on the northeast by the Winston River, on the southeast by the South River, and on the west by Route 6.
Downtown: Gleaming skyscrapers and corporate centers.
The central area of Drake City features ultra-modern buildings, many of them huge corporate arcologies that house offices, living spaces, shops, and self-contained infrastructure, essentially small towns in and of themselves. The downtown area is quite streamlined, but this leads to a planned and sterile look. The city monorail runs along the outside of the city heart, which rises above Centennial Circle (a traffic circle where the city’s diagonal roads converge). City Center is home to The Randolph J. Lovell Federal Building, Dark Tower, City Hall, and various government and office buildings. Street parking can be hard to find, despite most of the buildings having extensive parking garages. The streets are nearly always lined with cars and the sidewalks bustle with people.
- ARD offices (the Abnormal Registration Department, tasked with handling metahuman registration and policing Abnormal crime)
- Dark Tower: home of Dark-Hawke Industries, a major manufacturer of cybernetic equipment, medicines, and Abnormal-related research. Dark-Hawke is one of the ten richest companies in the world thanks to Abnormal-driven technology, and they are ruthless in their pursuit of the cutting edge in the understanding and application of The Shadow Weave and all the Abnormals created from it.
- Hawke Tower: ritzy apartments and Dark-Hawke Arcoogy, secret lair of The Hawk.
- Greater Drake Monorail: An elevated train that has replaced most of the existing subway system for Central Drake.
Midtown: Large residential and shopping district
The central area bounded by the monorail lines, Drake Park, and City Center is known as Midtown. It is the largest downtown residential area, featuring high-rises and arcologies. Midtown is home to the massive Century Mall, restaurants of all kinds (from trendy eateries to fast food chains), museums, clubs, and churches. When most people picture Drake City, they think of Midtown.
- Century Mall: Drake City’s largest shopping center, three stories high and hosting hundreds of shops. A number of strange specialty shops catering to occult interests has sprung up on the north wing of Tier Three, and there are persistent rumors of “The Body Shop,” a secret genetech research lab that grants illegal black-market super powers to those who can pay hidden somewhere behind a false front.
- O’Tolly’s, The Family Place: Franchise fast food restaurant, owned by Pentex, Inc. One of about a dozen O’Tolly’s in the city center, this particular O’Tolly’s is notorious for being the site of a battle between ravenous Cryptkickers and the crime-fighting team of The Hawk and Delta-13.
- Maxwell Lyons Memorial Hospital: This hospital was once the largest in the are, but lost ground when the DRMC was built.
Riverside: Upscale tourist district on the bay.
Riverside pretends to be a bohemian, Old-World neighborhood. The area features several small parks, tree-lined streets, and brickwork buildings. A number of the side streets in Riverside, such as Ditko Street, are closed to all but foot traffic (and the ever-present locals wearing rollerblades, and skateboarders), making them popular places for afternoon strolls and shopping. In the evening, Riverside offers a number of bars, coffeehouses, and nightclubs, many with open-mike nights showcasing local talent. But relentless commercialization has turned the neighborhood into something of a tourist trap. Everything here is too shiny, too clean, and too overpriced to truly be quaint
- Heaven’s Gate: the most expensive, in-demand restaurant in town—the reservation list is months long)
- Cole Street Memorial Park: this was a city block vaporized by Supernova, now zoned as a park.
- Gemini Health Club: A high-end brothel posing as a fitness gym.
- USS Wisconsin: WWII-era battleship converted into a floating nautical museum.
- Sentry Park: Large park where an enormous statue of The Paragon once stood. The statue was demolished when the hijacked helicarrier Titan was brought down on top of it—the park is currently closed for repairs. [/list]
Spangler’s Wharf: Docks, piers, and shipping district.
Drake City’s waterfront is located along the tip of the peninsula, lined with piers that handle shipping traffic, as well as warehouses storing goods being shipped in and out of the city. Spangler’s Wharf is fairly low rent, but not nearly as dangerous as The Hellhole. The piers feature several fine seafood restaurants, including Davy Jones’ Locker, which has routinely been visited by an immensely strong abnormal that seems to enjoy the cuisine;showing up out of the docks every so often, mutely pointing at the menu, and paying for the massive quantities of food delivered with gold, pearls, or other treasures from the deep.
The city’s labor unions are quite influential in Spangler’s Wharf, and most of the dockside workers are union members. This has caused some friction with the larger shipping companies, and disputes about pay and working conditions have caused the docks to shut down several times. The union workers also have to deal with The Cryptkickers, who have shipping interests and smuggling. The DCPD tries to keep a close watch on shipments in and out of the docks, but many officers are on the take or have been coerced into silence.
- Davy Jones’ Locker: small wharf-side seafood restaurant visited by a strange zombie-like critter who seems to love battered shrimp.
- International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union Local #357: labor union offices.[/list]
Winston Bank: Financial and business district overlooking Winston River.
Running along the northern side of the downtown area is the business district, centered on the banks of Winston River. The “Golden Row” is lined with brokerage houses, banks, investment companies, and other businesses, all of which exchange billions of dollars on a daily basis. Several wireless computer networks, including Horizon Wireless and Comcast, handle the tremendous load of calls, faxes, and e-mails going in and out every minute. The district’s buildings are towers of glass and steel, and were some of the tallest in the city before the coming of the Acologies. The legacy of Maxwell Lyons, business mogul and mayor during the Depression and WWII, looms large in this district, with many buildings and streets having been named in his honor. Lyonsgate Plaza was the site of an Occupation in the early 2010’s, and even today protesters against greed and inequality march on the plaza every September, though the protests have never neared the size of Occupy Drake City in its heyday.
- Eastern Seaboard Bank Building: Massive arcology housing the main office of Eastern Seabord Bank, as well as living spaces and a small shopping center.
- Pyramid Plaza: a trio of triangular office towers set at the corners of a triangular plaza. The triple-towers are the tallest buildings in the city next to the Spire of Humanity.
- Lyonsgate Plaza: Large pack and business plaza, site of a labor uprising in the 1920’s and Occupy Drake City in 2011. When people want to protest greed and corruption, they protest here.
- Horizon Wireless Building: Cellphone carrier Horizon set up a data center here. Earlier this year, the data center was hacked by the insane AI Deva Ex Machina and turned into one of her primary nodes. Horizon claims all traces of her program were eradicated, but doubts linger and people have been switching carriers in droves.[/list]
Northside: University district and high-tech companies.
Northside lies north of Drake Park and the monorail line, centered on the campus of Athena University and focused on high-tech companies like Apex Vista Entertainment, Kingsley Labs, and Pentex, Inc. Small businesses catering to students and people in the tech industry are found throughout the area, including computer stores, clothing shops, small cafés and coffeehouses. A number of small occult bookshops and New Age-centered stores, creeping in from nearby Candle Hill
- Athena University Campus: Some of the staff are Abnormals, as well as some of the students.
- Lily’s: Coffeeshop and occult bookstore, frequented by wiccans and home to a caffinomancer.
- Kingsley Labs: Research lab that once contracted with Dark-Hawke until the scientists discovered their work being used as weapons.
- Pentex, Inc corporate offices: Pentex, Inc. is an umbrella corporation with dozens of subsidiaries in a number of diverse industries, and a major manufacturer of consumer goods. Pentex is involved in a number of shady enterprises, their products are shoddy and cheap, and as a whole they are more geared for making a quick buck than making any sort of lasting improvement to mankind. Pentex is a vampire squid of a company.
- The Opened Eye: A bookstore that serves as a front for The Brotherhood of the Third Eye, a strange cult professing to be able to open a person’s third eye and grant them psychic powers. There have been a number of strange disappearances in this area.
- Brookes’ Books: A small occult bookshop run by Blair Brookes, formerly the Watchman known as Banshee, after her retirement from superheroics.
- Drake Regional Medical Center: The foremost hospital in the city.[/list]
Parkside: Wealthy residential area overlooking Drake Park
The strip of land between Route 6 and Drake Park, hemmed by Northside and Pinkerton Alley, is called Parkside. It resembles Midtown but tends to combine the high-tech feel of Northside with the artistic sensibilities of the Pinkerton Alley.
Parkside is home to a number of high-rise apartments and condominiums overlooking Drake Park, priced for those with money to burn. Most are home to up-and-coming businesspeople working in Northside and Winston Bank, along with some well-off artists and media personalities. A Parkside address is a sure sign of someone who’s arrived on the Drake City scene.
Parkside is also known as the home of the Globe Broadcasting Network building, not far from Liberty Park. GBN is one of the largest media outlets in the world, owned by New Horizon Media, Inc.
- Channel 13 WEYE: WEYE is a local television station that has dedicated itself to 24-hour news coverage of Drake City. Council meetings, opinion pieces on city policy, and local events are covered in detail, and its reporters seemed to be everywhere. They seemed to know right where to find a story, whether it was a crime in progress, or a business engaging in unsavory practices, or a minor accident that could turn into a traffic snarl. Many people turn to WEYE as a tool to monitor the city.
- GBN Tower: The Globe Broadcasting Network is a giant in the news world, with a provocative and confrontational style in news reporting. The pundits of GBN are staunchly conservative, and loudly proclaim the failings of “the liberal media” while presenting clearly biased and opinionated (and sometimes outright fabricated) “news” to the masses. Some media watchdogs question the company’s standards and ethics, but NHM points to its success as proof that it’s only giving the public what it wants.
- Drake Park: In the middle of the city is a giant park, surrounded by stone walls with wrought iron gates. Drake Park is host to a number of attractions, including open lawns, a golf course, the Botanical Gardens, and Drake Slab, a mysterious 12’ tall pillar of rock leaning precariously at an angle. Stories about the battle here between The Watchmen and The Vampire Prince’s gang of Bloodfangs and “The Great Beast of Drake” is still told, though no actual damage from the fight remains.
- Nova Communications: In the wake of the problems plaguing Horizon Wireless, a new cell carrier has been gaining traction in the country. Stores and kiosks with its sunburst symbol are increasingly more common in Drake City, and “the communication explosion,” as the ads say, have captured the imagination of the city.[/list]
Pinkerton Alley: Bohemian arts district and center of city’s nightlife
South of Drake Park is Pinkerton Alley, the city’s art district. It’s a neighborhood of small apartment buildings clustered around a number of local theaters, nightclubs, New Age and occult bookshops, and art galleries. The clubs and theaters provide some of the best nightlife in the city, including the infamous Deva’s Dystopia, where The Watchmen were based. The eastern edge of Pinkerton Alley, near where it meets Midtown, is home to the massive Pentex Dome, which holds sporting events, concerts, and monster truck rallies.
Pinkerton Alley was originally an industrial area, and was known as a rallying point for Union organizers attempting to improve their working conditions around the turn of the last century. The bosses of the time sent Pinkerton strikebreakers to quell protests, and a few such incidents got bloody. Even today, many of the art galleries and avant-garde street performances in the area have an anti-corporate or anti-capitalist bent.
Unfortunately, all the artists and bohemians attract those who would prey on them, and The Bloodfangs, a gang of vampires lead by the vicious Vincent Kaje, have a strong hold on the area. Where once the vampires were confined to the Hellhole by the Watchmen, the crackdown on vigilante groups and the disbanding of that team has allowed the bloodsuckers to creep back into the area in force.
- Deva’s Dystopia: This infamous landmark began life as “Project Dystopia,” a fairly typical nightclub catering to the disaffected youth, until it was bought by The Ghost, who renovated it into a headquarters for The Watchmen. Several super-powered brawls and ARD raids have taken place on the grounds of the Dystopia. Still, those with a taste for danger keep coming back, and the club is popular with many Abnormals.
- Reflections: Reflections is an art gallery sandwiched next to a cafe and a used bookstore. It specializes in sculpture, and has a wide-open, mirror-lined gallery showing off sculptures and statues of all types. The most infamous statues are those of giant puppet-like dolls, life sized. The dolls creep people out, as they are disturbingly life-like and several people have reported seeing them move out of the corner of their eye. The dolls are the work of a local artist known only as “Mr. Silver,” who works out of an old church in Candle Hill.
- The Westside 13: The Westside Mall isn’t anything special as shopping malls go. It mostly consists of your standard mix of name brand and local retail shops, most specializing in trendy clothes of some variety. But the 13-screen theater has distinguished itself. While it shows a regular assortment of blockbusters, some of the screens are dedicated to horror movies, and marathons of classic horror flicks are a frequent draw. Every October, the Westside 13 hosts Splatter-Con!!!, a horror-movie convention.
- Pentex Domee: Once known as Drake Dome before being bought out and renovated by Pentex, Inc., holds sporting events, concerts, and monster truck rallies, as well as frequent anti-capitalist protests in the parking lot.[/list]
The Hellhole: Horrific, violent slum where everything bad in Drake seems to occur.
Hellerman was once a small port town near Drake, swallowed up over the centuries as the city grew westward. Originally a marshy area (and an Indian burial ground), it was filled in years ago to allow for the city’s expansion and to eliminate disease-carrying insects. However, the Hellhole, as the district is known locally, has a disease of a different sort festering within. Hellerman has always been a hole, from its early days as a miserable and dangerous dock town to its transformation into a Dickensian tenement block during the Industrial Revolution to the “urban renewal” renovations after World War II. Each time the Hellerman district has been renovated, it has slid right back into a morass of crime, violence, and horrible living conditions. The Hellhole is home to sleazy porn theaters, adult bookshops, cheap bars, pawn shops, and other dubious industries. All the convenience stores have bars on the windows, and all the shopkeepers are armed. The Hellhole is the primary battleground between The Bloodfangs and the Cryptkickers, and other monsters, abnormal and completely human, stalk the streets. A malignancy seems to infest the Hellhole, one which slowly turns people against each other. Occultists in the area claim that this is because the land itself is cursed, that a horrible spiritual energy has infected the land, but there’s a debate as to whether this spiritual malaise is causing the problems or is simply a byproduct of the terrible things that go on here.
- Bloody Mary’s: The closer one gets to The Hellhole, the lower the property values drop, until you reach the crossroads of Clayton and Palmer. There, a nightclub has sprang up: Bloody Mary’s. This is where The Vampire Prince, the self-styled Lord of Drake City’s Underworld, holds court. The club is infested with vampires, and disappearances are frequent. If you know how to ask, you can get one of the Dead By Dawn snuff pornography films here. The Vampire Prince is up to Dead By Dawn 17.
- Mark Hamill Memorial Building: Intended to be an office building during Drake City’s most recent attempt to renovate the Hellhole, The Hamill Building turned out to have a secret lab beneath it operated by Dark-Hawke Industries. “Project Prometheus,” an attempt to study Nova physiology in order to artificially create metahumans, ended in disaster when one of the scientists sabotaged the project and the test subjects, a group of criminally-inclined Abnormals known collectively as The Dirty Dozen, escaped to wreck havoc on the city. Since then, The Hamill Building has been the site of numerous clashes between the Bloodfangs and the Cryptkickers.
- Witchcraft Gentleman’s Club: This strip club offers “a beguiling” good time. It’s owned by the Bloodfangs, though, and many of the strippers are either Bloodfang groupies, Bloodfang vampires, or girls that soon wind up as “actors” in the latest Dead By Dawn.
- Travel Centers of America: Just off Route 6 is a medium-sized truck stop, one of the few in the Drake City area. Despite being clean and presentable, thefts are common here, as well as truckers going missing, courtesy of The Cryptkickers.
- The Rothschild Building: Built in the years following WWII as part of an urban renewal project, this tenement is largely abandoned now. The only residents are vagrants and The Murder, a group of violent specters lead by the ghost of notorious hitman Richard Harvey Quinn, better known as The Rictus Harlequin. The Murder is currently trapped in the building, unable to leave the grounds, after The Watchmen and the Roanoke Society etched wards into the walls.
- Hellerman Free Clinic: One of the lone shining lights in the Hellhole, the Hellerman Free Clinic is a struggling clinic filled with good-hearted by jaded staff, junkies, and a long, long line of people unable to afford medical insurance. Overworked and overwhelmed, the staff of the free clinic still work tirelessly to provide for the poor.
- Southside Fischer Relay: The Fischer Relays are power stations that channel the Avatar Energy from trapped Avatars and convert it into electricity. The Relay in the Hellhole has lax safety standards and is only lightly patrolled, and accidents happen frequently. (Perfect place for an Origin story or two).
- Bowling Thunder: Bowling alley and second-rate bar used as a meetup for many Cryptkickers.[/list]
The Underground: Network of defunct subway tunnels and sewers
The Greater Drake Monorail system that runs throughout City Center, Riverside, and Midtown has made large portions of the older subway system obsolete. Even the parts of the line that remain in operation are underfunded and in poor repair—it seems as if that Drake is reaching for the sky and leaving the tunnels below it to rot. The Underground has become a popular place for criminals and the homeless, and several tunnels have been made into lairs for various criminal organizations, the Cryptkickers being foremost among them. Using this line one can get to just about any point in the city while avoiding traffic and prying eyes, but it’s dangerous. Tread with caution.
- Barrows Way Station: One of many subway stations in the Underground converted into temporary makeshift labs for The Ghoul King.[/list]
Hanover: High-tech businesses and technical institute.
The largest area in North Drake, covering nearly as much area as downtown. Much of Hanover is focused on small high-technology business, particularly OpNet “e-business.” This is enhanced by the presence of the Hanover Institute of Technology, one of the nations’s most prestigious schools for technical education.
New business opportunities have helped revitalize Hanover. Property values continue to climb and considerable urban renewal has taken place with the conversion of old structures and the building of new housing, shopping, and other facilities. The district has a “college town” feel to it, with the area near the HIT campus catering to the needs and interests of students and young technical professionals.
- Sirrus Cybernetics Corporation: Research firm involved in cybernetics, robotics, and nanotechnology. Their complaint department takes up half the building. The AI known as Delta 13 was accidentally birthed in their servers and escaped to become a robotic superhero.
- Jameson International Airport: Large airport serving most of Drake City
- The Spire of Humanity: The lair of a deranged Nova known as The Posthumanist during the early years of the Nova Boom. Now converted into a mall and cultural arts center. The tallest structure in the state.
- Epsilon, Inc Industrial Park: Site of that ill-fated experiment in teleportation. You can still hear the screams of the researchers who vanished that day.
- Armstrong Industrial: A server farm that serves much of the high-tech digital traffic in Hanover
- Nelson Psychodigital: Tech company focusing on advanced robotics and nanotechnology. The birthplace of the insane AI Deva Ex Machina.
- Apex Vista Entertainment: Video game company whose major claim to fame was the Skies of Glass post-apocalyptic MMO. Now defunct, after an attack by Deva Ex Machina killed everyone in the building.[/list]
Grenville: Upper middle-class suburb
The Grenville area, tucked between Route 4 and the Interstate, is more upper middle class than Hanover, progressing away from student living to places owned by technology professionals. Despite being close to the city, Grenville still retains a suburban feel—every house looks the same, every other teenager is on drugs, and the community center is a front for the largest money laundering ring in three states. Property values have stagnated somewhat, as the people have resisted over-development in order to keep their “charming and pleasant” community intact. Mayor James Farvo has shown little interest in pursuing the laundering operation—because he’s the head of the ring, and the Smith Foundation supported his rise through city politics. The laundering operation is the biggest open secret in Drake City, but there’s little most can do to touch “Slick Jimmy.”
The Lorrendo: Old Money families and wealthy residential area.
From the bay-shore to Route 9 is the Lorrendo area, a posh district of expensive waterfront homes and historic mansions owned by some of Drake City’s wealthiest families. Lorrendo features exclusive yacht clubs and beachfront property, with few stretches of public beach. During the holiday season, Lorrendo’s stately mansions are beautifully decorated and there are tours to see them.
- North Bay Yacht Club: One of the more prestigious organizations in the city, the North Bay Yacht Club counts many of Freedom’s wealthiest and most influential people among its members.
- Trainor Airport: Single-runway facility with some 100 aircraft tie-downs that serves mostly private aircraft owners and private charter flights.
- Dark Manor: Well-appointed mansion belonging to Raven Dark, CEO of Dark-Hawke Industries. Looks less creepy than the name suggests.
- Corinthian Heights: High-end gated community owned by a demon.[/list]
Candle Hill: Historic district, rumored to be haunted.
The north side of the peninsula along Winston River rises to a hill that is the site of the oldest settlement in the Drake area. Candle Hill was built up in Revolutionary times and became one of the most exclusive neighborhoods for judges, bankers, and the “old money” of Drake City.
These days, Candle Hill isn’t as exclusive as it used to be. The garden apartments and row houses are still wonderful examples of 18th and 19th century architecture, many of which have undergone modern renovations. The neighborhood has a distinctly colonial flavor with narrower, tree-lined streets, brick-front buildings, and small garden plots or window boxes.
Candle Hill is home to a number of historical sites, from the home of Revolutionary War hero Major Samuel Vimes (now used by the Roanoke Historical Society, a society with some slightly odd beliefs) to Candle Hill Chapel (the oldest of Drake’s houses of worship, currently the base of The Holy Ministry of Christ The Redeemer, an activist faith with an anti-abnormal bias). Candle Hill Cemetery is known to be haunted by a number of strange spirits, including Candle Jack (rumored to have once been a vicious highwayman who was caught and hung) The Red Queen (last known victim of Jack-o-Knives in the late 19th century), Resurrection Mary (a woman in a white dress who hitchhikes to the cemetary, only to vanish, thought to have been killed in the 1930’s in a car crash), and Rictus Harlequin (Richard Harvey Quinn, hitman for Maxwell Lyons, who dressed in red-and-black motley and a skull mask when he chased down his victims, gunned down in 1948). Aside from these ghosts, Candle Hill is known as a magnet for hauntings, weird sightings, Fortean events, and other paranormal strangeness, most connected to the city’s colonial history (such as the 17th-century witch trials) or even earlier (Candle Hill was a sacred spot to the local native American tribes).
- The Roanoke Historical Society: A front for a cabal of minor wizards who try to protect Candle Hill and the surrounding area from supernatural threats.
- Candle Hill Cemetery: Revolutionary war-era cemetery, haunted as hell.
- Candle Hill Chapel: The oldest church in Drake City, currently being used by The Holy Ministry of Christ The Redeemer, an activist faith with an anti-abnormal bias.[/list]
Hillside: Hilly suburb slowly being over run with crime. Home of the Hillside Asylum.
Surrounding Candle Hill is Hillside, which is less a neighborhood and more a general “area.” Once, Hillside was home to the middle classes—trade laborers, merchants, and others who couldn’t quite afford a spot “up the hill.” In the 19th century factories sprang up, and the area drew in less desirable elements from Southbank and Railtown. The Great Depression hit Hillside hard, as many of the mills and factories shuttered their doors and forced thousands from their homes. Hillside was redeveloped in the Post-WWII boom years, and many of the older, decaying buildings were demolished as Hillside was resurrected as a modern suburb.
Today Hillside is decaying again. It is less fashionable than Candle Hill and less delightfully kitschy than Old Town, but also doesn’t suffer from the decay of Railtown or Southbank. It is a solid, middle-class area filled with unremarkable, homogeneous rows of identical houses, decent schools, strip malls, and other slices of suburbia. If it weren’t for the asylums and the gang, Hillside would be a dull, boring neighborhood.
It’s the asylums and the gang that pull Hillside kicking and screaming out of suburban mediocrity. The Hillside Institute for the Criminally Insane, known locally as Hillside Asylum, is a modern mental health facility that has the distinction of housing a varying number of abnormal criminals, known collectively as “The Dirty Dozen” (no matter how many are actually in residence at the time). It’s also poorly managed, and the facility suffers from frequent escape attempts. When this happens, Hillside turns from a sleepy suburb to a terrified, screaming mass of backed-up cars as people try and flee from danger.
Old Hillside Asylum is run by The Jokerz, the local superhuman gang. The Jokerz are heavily involved with the drug trade, moving narcotics around the city. The Jokerz claim they simply have banded together to protect Hillside from encroachment by The Cryptkickers or the Bloodfangs, and they do, in fact, fight off any other gangers who stomp on their turf, but most Hillside residents feel the Jokerz are as bad as the criminals they battle. There’s also The Merry Pranksters, a faction of the Jokerz, who perform politically-motivated vandalism from time to time.
- The Hillside Institute for the Criminally Insane: Infamous prison where crazed Abnormals are held to await trial. has an abysmally high escape rate.
- The Wormwood: a local bar frequented by The Jokerz.
- Old Hillside Asylum: Prison-like madhouse from the turn of the century, now abandoned and used as The Jester’s headquarters.
- Bernning Street Station: Subway station built over Civil War-era prison camp, haunted as hell.
- Magadon Pharmaceuticals: A shady subsidiary of Pentex, engaged in shenanigans
- Mercy General Hospital: Hospital owned by Autumn Health Management, a subsidiary of Pentex. Used as a testing lab for Magadon products and has an abysmal death rate.
Southbank: Blend of ethnic neighborhoods with best foreign cuisine in town.
Southbank, sandwiched between Hillside and the South River, is generally considered “the nicest part of the Hellhole” by most residents. Southbank was originally part a number of small ethnic communities settled around the end of the 19th century, Southbank was where those who weren’t wanted elsewhere in the Drake area made their stakes. Today, these communities have blended together in an overall community, although pockets of the original cultures can still be found. It was home to Irish, Italian, Greek, and Jewish immigrants, and, in later years, African-Americans, Hispanics (mainly Cuban and Puerto Rican) and Asians (from all over). New residents in the area are Middle Easterners who fled the Persian Republic when it collapsed.
It’s a boisterous upper lower-class area. Row houses and apartment buildings are common (after a fire in the 1940’s led to wide-scale urban redevelopment in the area). For all it’s general seediness, Southbank features the best ethnic restaurants in the city. Unfortunately, that seediness is in full force, as Southbank is the main stomping ground of The Cryptkickers, a vicious gang who’ve taken illegal genetic modification to new heights.
- Ashton Mall: Recently opened, caters to the shopping needs of the western suburban residents of the city, although there have been some concerns regarding gangs and “patrons” from the poorer West Drake areas. This in turn has led to complaints about elitism and racism on the part of the mall association.
- The Secret Bar: Not so secret, this bar and restaurant’s name comes from its motif — 1960s style spy movies and television shows.
- St. Sebastian’s: Distinctive Eastern Orthodox style church.
- Temple Ben David: Largest synagogue in Drake City.
- Trinity Hospital: Old Catholic-run hospital, planning to modernize. Has the distinction of being the one hospital in Drake City where there has never been a super-powered brawl of some kind.
- Bad Company Fitness: Gym frequented by up-and-coming boxers and street athletes. Run by Lester Lewis, a former Olympic gold medalist and prize fighter, and Mike Malone, an up-and-comer. Bad Company hosts practice bouts and low-card prize fights.[/list]
Railtown: Old rail and shipyards falling into disuse, full of abandoned warehouses.
Railtown, on the South River just west of Southbank, was best known as a railroad stop where goods moved in and out of the Drake City by train. It’s filled with warehouses, rail yards, and shipping companies, where many West Enders used to work. Those days are long past. These days, Railtown is rusting away. The railroads are mostly disused, and the warehouses are sitting empty. There were plans to build an extension of a maglev track for a high-speed bullet train, but those plans died a quiet death some years ago, and the suburb remains a haven for criminals and organized crime.
Railtown is centered on the old Union Rail Yards, where the few trains still in operation move in and out of the city. It’s occasionally used for smuggling and clandestine meetings, and the Cryptkickers have bribed the local police to turn a blind eye to it. There are also a number of shipping companies on the river that handle traffic that might get searched at the larger ports on the waterfront. Human trafficking is a known and growing problem in this area, especially since the Cryptkickers aren’t in the trafficking business for slaves—they just want food! There are plenty of abandoned warehouses, train yards, and roundhouses for them to scuttle away to when the heat is turned on.
- Union Rail yards: Rarely used train yard, used for smuggling and clandestine meetings.
- McNeil Cargo: A front for the Cryptkickers, part of their smuggling operations. Recently wrecked in a battle between The Cryptkickers, Los Lobos, The Watchmen, and Deva Ex Machina.[/list]
Old Town: Kitschy 1950’s “Wold of Tomorrow!” development built during the 1950’s, now looked on as quaint and retro, with laughably-outdated “futuristic” appliances built into the homes and a bomb shelter in every backyard.
Old Town is a strange community. It was originally known as the “Olddhurtz Development: The Houses of Tomorrow!” when it was built in the mid 1950’s, and was designed to be a model high tech community at the height of cold-war paranoia. Every garage had an outlet to charge electric cars and an automatic garage door, every fireplace was a gas line, and all the houses had built in televisions and FM receivers. Every building is two stories, but the second story is underground, built to be a bomb shelter for when the Commies attack. The project was a bit too grand for most, and only a few units sold over the first 10 years. By the 70’s the “high tech” homes were laughably dated, and the development quietly stalled. The land around Old Town grew into a more conventional suburban community, though the Olddhurtz development remained. In the early 21st century, the area experienced a resurgence as hip young couples moved into the area and refit the homes to keep their “retro” style, using modern materials and technology beneath the chrome and Formica facades. The abnormal Supernova is known to use some of Old Town’s bomb shelters as hideouts.
- 456 Asimov Avenue: Supernova hides in the bomb shelter here—he also has hideouts on Sturgeon Street and Heinlein Row.
- Thunder Mountain Amusement Park: Defunct amusement park, which died after a scandal involving lead paint in the buildings. Certain energy-based Abnormals have used the park as a hideout because the lead baffles ARD scanners.
- Baker’s House Christian Center: Pentecostal church affiliated with the Seven Thunders.
The Waterfront: tacky tourist trap and casino strip. Haven for the DC Mob.
Southside: Low Rent district, slowly being eaten by the various gangs of Drake City.
The Smith Foundation (front for Drake City’s mob)
various run-down strip malls, cheap hotels, and “gentlemen’s clubs”
El Génte: Predominantly Hispanic and African American neighborhood, with strong Native American influences.
Bartertown Scrap (junkyard that scretly has a bloodsport arena known as “The Dome,” where those with beefs against each other duke it out. Two men enter, one man leaves)
Bayview: Waterfront condos. Upper and middle-class suburb.
East of Southside is the community of Bayview, between Route 4 and the Interstate, bounded by South Bay Road on one side and the South River on the other. Bayview is a more affluent community than Southside, resembling Kingston, on the other side of the narrows. It goes from waterfront property with a spectacular view of the Centery Narrows and Riverside toward the higher ground near South Bay Road, known as Bayview Heights. Property in Bayview is more expensive than average and there is community concern about crime filtering in from Southside. Neighborhood watches are becoming more common, along with contracts with Stronghold Security.
- The Lighthouse: old lighthouse, been there for ages, rumored to be haunted.
- Drake Bay Tunnel: ambitious subway tunnel project from the 1940’s, the tunnel collapsed, trapping dozens of people in a train underneath the bay. Excavation was impossible, the bodies are still down there…or are they? One of the rumored hiding places of Davy Jones.
- Bayview Heights: Hillside Condos.
- I-525: The interstate crosses the Bay, and tunnels under it for a good mile or two. There are 4 rush hours thanks to Lonely Point Navel Base using I-525 for its traffic, and there always seems to be an accident in the tunnels or on Century Bridge, so the Interstate is gridlocked most of the daylight hours.
- Century Bridge: Stretching across the Century Narrows, the bridge allows I-525 to cross between Great Drake Bay and the city. The bridge affords a spectacular view of Drake City, and tunnels at either end allow for water traffic to enter and leave the Narrows. Unfortunately, Century Bridge is often gridlocked due to accidents, criminals, terrorists, and giant sea monsters.
Port Regal: Aging residential area with lakefront property.
Port Regal is similar in many respects to Lorrendo, but it’s somewhat less affluent and some of the old mansions and Victorian-era homes have been sold to businesses or turned into bed-and-breakfast inns. Port Regal clusters around Lake MacKenzie and the peninsulas jutting out into the bay. The lake area features more upscale homes, particularly those with lakefront property. The lake is a popular place for recreation during the summer and fall, replete with boating and other water activities.
Further north, the demographics become solidly middle-class with the Ocean Heights amusement park and the Drake County Fairgrounds located at the end of the peninsula. Off an out-of-the-way seaside road stands Providence Asylum, the sprawling Victorian mansion of the Phillips family that became a mental hospital in the early twentieth century and continues in that role today.
- Lake Mackenzie: The Monster of Lake Mackenzie is a myth…right?
- Providence Asylum: Very old mental hospital, which sees competition from the Hillside Institute
- Ocean Heights Amusement Park and County Fairgrounds: Fun for the whole family! A creepy carnival has set up shop there this year for Halloween. [/list]
Lonely Point: Desolate rocky point near the sea, home of the local Naval Base. Also serves as access for Star Island and Blackstone Island
The most isolated point of land in Drake City, Lonely Point is named for its rocky and desolate terrain. There are sandbars and scrub plants, but little else along the narrow peninsula. Lonely Point is home to a United States Naval base, and a single road leads out there from Port Regal. The Naval base sometimes serves as a drop-off or pick-up point for prisoners moving to and from Blackstone Island and often works in cooperation with the Space Control Center on Star Island. The Patriot Society operates out of Lonely Point Naval Base.
- Lonely Point Navel Base: large navel base and shipyard. The Patriots are based out of here when they are on the East Coast.
- Star Island: old NASA launch facility purchased by SpaceEx, a private company. Regularly launches satellites and personnel to the ISS.
- Paragon Island: small, man-made island at the mouth of the bay where the statue of The Paragon stands, watching silently over the city. Reserve your tour now!
- Blackstone Island Penitentiary: Supervillain prison. Since being purchased American Detention Centers, Inc. (a Pentex subsidiary) in 2027 there has been a sharp increase in the number of escape attempts, successful and otherwise. ADCI has lobbies for harsher and longer jail sentences for criminal Abnormals, including longer incarcerations for Abnormals who fail to register under the Abnormal Registration Act.[/list]
Star Island Space Control Center: Cold War missile silo converted into a launching pad for NASA and corporate interests.
Located off the coast is the Star Island Space Control Center (SCC), a former government facility that converted a cold war missile silo into a telemetry, recovery, and launch platform for space-based missions. The SCC is built on an island extensively altered by the Army Corp of Engineers and Dark-Hawke Industries, which owns the facilities for their own space-related interests through SpaceEx. The old silo currently has no functional missiles—at least, that’s the public line, though conspiracy nuts just love to claim otherwise. The island is roughly star-shaped, hence the name, and houses the main facilities along with a military airfield and housing for the SCC’s workforce. The launch facility can handle US space craft as well as experimental craft created by Dark-Hawke as part of the “Corporate Space Race” to create colonies throughout the rest of the solar system. There are currently no commercial spaceflights traveling out of the SCC, but the Space Race may change that in the next few years. Until then, the SCC collects astronomical data and works with NASA facilities in Florida and Texas on space-related projects, from new satellite and spacecraft designs to the engineering of a manned mission to Mars.
<large>Points of Interest</large>
Dockside: Seedy waterfront district. Cryptkicker turf.
Landmarks: The Docks (lots of smuggling), Jefferson Freight (site of a battle between The Cryptkickers, Los Lobos, and The Watchmen), Axis Chemicals (Chemical plant with poor safety record—perfect place for an Origin story)
Drake Park: Giant city park & surrounding businesses
Landmarks: Drake Slab (ugly monument in the middle of the park, odd stuff happens there)
Golden Row: Strip of fancy casino-hotels along the river.
Landmarks: The Royale (tacky casino, usually called the Royale With Cheese by locals), The Palace (front for the Smith Foundation)
EL Gente: rough immigrant neighborhood, turf of Los Lobos
Landmarks: Nine Pin Alley (bowling alley and bar, frequented by bikers and Los Lobos), Trucker Joe’s (The only truck stop in town limits, charges outrageous prices for parking and fuel)
Grenville: New, fast-growing development.
Landmarks: lots of chain fast food places and Box-Mart superstores, SuperSuits! (retail clothing chain with a rack of gudy costumes “for the discriminating vigilante”; most actual Abnormals wouldn’t be caught dead in a SuperSuit! costume if they could afford better)