Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mr. Caponeson's Assignment

I just posted this setting synopsis to the White Wolf Scion Wiki. I figure my players know a lot more about the setting and the badguys at this point, so it's safe to stick this stuff out there.

Seattle: Mr. Caponeson's Assignment
The city of Seattle, situated on the shores of Puget Sound, is well known for it's rain. More precisely, it's known for ever-present drizzle, the weak sort of half-committed moisture that obscures your glasses, promotes the growth of ivy, and annoys fire giants to no end. So why did an important Muspelhiemer like Mr. Caponeson set up his mafia ring in this of all places?

Could it be there's something under all that water that makes it worth a Fire Jotun spending time surrounded by all this water? Rumors say there's something beneath the city and the sound, something that Caponeson wants or needs. Some say it's an Ogdoad, others claim it's Dagon, or a part of Tethys. None would have particularly good repercussions for the region.


Free Ride Zone
The Free Ride Zone is squarely titan-spawn territory. Giants patrol the piers. Minotaurs control the market stalls. Titan-blooded witches slick the palms down in city hall. Aquatic Titanspawn are reared in the Aquarium. Creepy crawlies are raised at the Seattle Bug Safari.

The Free Ride Zone an artificially hilly place, built up by Dwarves after the city burned down a hundred years ago. Be prepared to make some Stamina+Fortitude rolls if you insist on walking everywhere. Luckily, the busses are free.

The Market
Located in the heart of the down-town Free Ride Zone, Pike's Market (just called The Market by native Seattlites) is firmly in the palm of Mr Caponeson, but it hasn't always been that way. In previous generations, Scions such as Guissepe "Joe" Desimone and Victor Stienbruek championed and defended the Market. But now they are gone, and Caponeson remains.

The Market itself is a maze. It changes daily. Every morning, the daily stalls are assigned to local farmers and artisans who sell their wares. Despite what may be said about the intention of this being to help tourism and enable Seattlites to "meet the producers", the truth is that this randomness is part of the ritual that preserves the Market's unique magic. This is a place where stores move, floors slant, and signs read "Door locked. To enter this business, please use the second stairway to the right."

The further down you go, the less hinged to reality the Market is. Walls shift behind you, and the posted maps are confusing inaccurate. Finding a store you've been to before takes a roll of Wits + Survival vs a difficulty equal to how many floors down the store is. How many stories are there? That depends on how you count, whether you consider the Sanitary Market and Post Alley shops to be part of the complex, and whether or not you know about the invisible elevator buttons.

Deep beneath the Market is a mine, vital to Caponeson's operation. Dwarves work it, and at the bottom of the shaft is a churning whirlpool with a flaming iceberg at it's center. Ole Djaedeluis, the Dwarf Foreman, says it's an Ogdoad they're digging for.

In addition to dwarven miners, other encounters at The Market include giants, minotaurs, ghosts, pixies, and flying frozen fish.

Beyond the artisan booths, grocers stalls, and gift stores, the Market also features a comic shop, art galleries, a brew pub, a day care center, music stores, import shops, metaphysical bookstores, a tibetan center, the very first Starbucks ever built. (Though it's worth noting Starbucks is the only major chain allowed in the district. They were grandfathered in.) etc. Pretty much anything you want to find can be found in this place, and that's just the touristy top floors. The further down you proceed, the stranger the shops get. Shops unique to this campaign include Cyclopean Cutlery, Gettysburg Civil War Souvenirs and Submarine Sandwiches, The Shuttered Window (selling only things by and about Lovecraft), and even an Egypto-Romano Slave Auction.

See also this post for further details about The Market in both reality and imagination.

Underground Tours
In Pioneer Square (and therefore within Caponeson's free ride zone) there's a bar that sponsors guided tours of the city's underground. Seattle used to be situated directly on the tidal flat, and massive sinkholes would open at high tide. After the city burnt down, everything was regraded to get above Puget Sound. The streets were raised artificially, and the lower floors of buildings dissapeared beneath the pavement. The space below is dirty, and exciting. The tours are fun. Just don't wander off from the group to where the Undead lurk. An episode of that ghost hunting show was filmed here.

The Jotunheim Bonfire
Mr Caponeson's nightclub and headquarters. Located within the free ride zone. This nightclub is known for it's extremely high ceilings, and the ever-burning bonfire between the bar and the dancefloor.
(The other locations are based on fact, this is the only one you couldn't actually visit in the real world).

Seattle Center and the Space Needle
A famous landmark of Seattle, the Space Needle and the grounds around it were once home to the world's fair. Nestled onto the land at it's feet are conference centers, auditoriums, sculptures, a nymph-controlled fountain, the Experience Music Project, Pacific Science Center, the Sci Fi Museum and the Seattle Monorail. Many festivals and outdoor movies happen here in the summer.

The Space Needle itself is 60 stories tall. It takes 43 ticks to ride the elevator to the observation deck, and the ticket costs about $15. Falling from that height would inflict 25 levels of damage. It's a heck of a place to stage a fight scene.

The flying-saucer shape of the space needle might have relevance. In '87 the Space Needle moved 300 feet southwest. It would take Epic Strength 9 to lift the needle, regardless of whether you first break it free of it's 6,000 ton foundation. Perhaps the same magic that keeps The Market in flux also moved the Needle?

The roof of the Needle has a nest - it's home to Harpies, a Benu, or a critter called a Wheedle, depending on who you ask. A powerful beacon is sometimes lit atop the needle, this is known as the Legacy Light.

Hiram M. Chittendam Locks and Fish Ladder
The government locks and fish ladder are a holy place to a family that relocated here from Innsmouth, MA, back in the 20's. The fancy brushed steel sculpture of tentacles just south of the fish ladder serves as their altar.

Major NPCs

Mr. Caponeson
A powerful Muspel Jotun, with an extensive mafia-esque network of business interests and Titanspawn. He rides in a Relic Limo, larger inside than out. It is rumored that his position (in the Titan's plans) is to Utgard-Loki's in the way The Director of the CIA is to the President.

He is the prime mover of Seattle, his control over local landmarks such as The Market, The Jotunheim Bonfire, and the Space Needle is easy for any Scion to ferret out. Less well known is his influence at most multinational corporations with local offices, such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Hasbro (which he invested in so that a more sympathetic portrayal of Giants would show up in 4th Edition).

Caponeson knows he's in the spotlight, and it's only a matter of time before the Gods start to take an interest in his affairs. As such, his first action towards any interfering Scions will be to extend to them an olive branch. This is doubly true if they are Scions of Hel or Loki.

Caponeson is intended to be a challenge worth of high-Legend characters. A starting PC who tries to take him on personally likely won't live to regret it.

Maia Zipacna-Caponeson
She has no idea her husband is having an affair with her best friend.

A frost giant, and lieutenant of Mr Caponeson, and also the owner of a series of fine seafood restaurants. Thick russian accent. Has a temper, and ain't afraid to fight dirty. Kills anyone who crosses him. Understands the benefits of modern technology, and isn't afraid to hire arsonists or bombers. Hosts high-stakes poker games in the back room of his Restaurant on the pier.

Joe Iron
A hill giant enforcer on Caponeson's payroll. Does a lot of the dirty work. Intended to be the first member of Caponeson's ring to fall to the PCs.

Barbarella Miller
Goth musician, and low-legend Scion of Tlazlteotl. Addicted to the blood of Joe Iron, though she could be "rescued from the dark side" by creative PCs and rendered into a sidekick.

Puck is a mischevious little scamp. He's a fey trickster who lives within The Market, picking pockets of mortals and Giants alike. He lives life on the edge, relying upon his various mental and social knacks to get himself off the hook repeatedly.

Ole Djaedeluis
Dwarven architect and foreman of the mine beneath The Market. He works for the Giants due to a sworn oath to serve the current protector and master of The Market. Too bad that's Caponeson right now.

Lena Djaedeluis
Cute little poodle-skirt wearing dwarven lass. Wife of Ole. She'll contact the PCs in an effort to free her husband from his servitude to Caponeson.

Narcissa Jones
Medusa. Manager of the Downtown Seattle Westin. Reports to the giants whenever someone books the lavish Presidential Suite. Her name tag reads "Hello! My name is 'Cissa." Her Relic keycard opens every hotel room door in Washington state.

PCs created for this campaign

Ashilda Helsdottir
PC Daughter of Hel. CIA wetworks operative. Divorced. Mother of little Gwen Inga Woodward. Birthrights include a cursed dagger, an enchanted horse, and Einherjar.

Omar Amin
PC bounty hunter and contract killer, Scion of Horus. Birthrights include a fancy magic business suit (armored, self-cleaning, and color-changing) and purview-granting cufflinks.

Federal Prosecutor Alyssa Cunningham
PC daughter of Nemesis, appointed to her position after her rival had angered Alberto Gonzales. Birthrights include a magic wristwatch and a belt that transforms into a whip. Never goes anywhere without her iPhone.

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