Shadowrun@QUT - Finished
Seattle, April 2071
The Seattle Metroplex is the sole port of the United Canadian American States on the Pacific Ocean. An enclave surrounded by the Native American nation of Salish-Shidhe, the sprawling Seattle Metroplex is an independent-minded city-state and one of the main commercial and trade hubs for the entire PacRim. The sprawl is a fully international city. Seattle houses embassies from its many trading partners in the NAN and around the Pacific Rim, even Latin America.
Seattle is infamous for its damp, rainy and cool climate. The ’plex is often shrouded in dark clouds, as well as being subject to flurries of acid rain and ash falling from the no-longer-slumbering volcanoes of the Cascade range. The Metroplex encompasses everything from the dense urban skyline of Downtown to rural landscapes of of Snohomish. It also boasts internationally famous landmarks such as the Eye of the Needle, the mammoth pyramid of the Arcology Commercial and Housing Enclave (formerly the Renraku Arcology), and the subterranean Ork Underground. The sprawl gets its nickname (Emerald City) for ubiquitous green crystal Augmented Reality overlay that most Seattleites are familiar with.
The recent elections placed Kenneth Brackhaven, an ultraconservative whom his opponents denounce for his anti-metahuman leanings, in the Metroplex Governor’s chair, where he is propped up by the United Corporate Council (UCC) representing the most powerful corporations in the sprawl.
The Seattle Metroplex is subdivided into several districts, each governed by a mayor in the pocket of one faction or another. Two districts in particular, the Redmond and the Puyallup Barrens, were formed by separate disasters that severely marked the city: Redmond by the meltdown of a nuclear power plant, and Puyallup due to a lava flow from Mt. Ranier’s explosion during the Great Ghost Dance.
The close proximity of the Native American Nations has a profound influence on the local culture, with neo-tribal fashions and factions constantly in vogue and transmitted through mobile social networks. Many vital imports and exports into and out of neighbouring Tir Tairngire and the NAN flow through the City on the Sound. Consequently, the city has an unusual concentration of corporate interests, a prolific cultural scene, and a unique position as a nexus for political and underworld factions.
The Emerald City is known for its large, multiethnic population, which has given rise to a diverse and divided underworld. The lawless, economically destitute Barrens crawl with gangs and vice, providing soldiers for the many organized crime syndicates that call the sprawl home. The Shotozumi-rengo, a Yakuza syndicate with connections across North and South America, is inarguably the largest syndicate, led by oyabun Hanzo Shotozumi; he counts under his control not only his own Shotozumi-gumi but the Shigeda-gumi and the smaller Kenran-kai.
Shotozumi’s closest rival are the three families of the Seattle Mafia under Dona Rowena O’Malley, head of the divided Finnigan family, who slew her predecessor to claim her position; the other families are the brutal but depleted Gianelli family and the prosperous but vain Ciarniello family. Both of these major syndicates must deal with foreign interlopers such as the Chinese Triads and the Russian Vory v Zakone, as well as locally-grown syndicates such as the newly-minted elven Laesa and the Seoulpa Rings.
It’s been more than a decade since the last great underworld flare up, but a lot of bad blood still exists.
Seattle has a strong local shadowrunning tradition. It is particularly noticeable in its large and prolific hacking community, which clusters around the hidden Shadowland node of Dark Emerald. The local Mr. Johnsons and fixers often import shadowrunners from foreign sprawls for their specific skills and combine them with local runner teams.
Tensions are gradually easing after the great Technomancer scare of 2070, though it is still not a good time to be a Technomancer