Campaign of the Month: November 2012
THE EMERALD CITY
ASIA IS HERE, MR. BURTON.
A SWATH OF FOREIGN LAND RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN SEATTLE.
The neighborhood encompasses the blocks east of Fifth Avenue S., beyond which are Pioneer Square and SoDo; west of Boren and Rainier Avenues S., beyond which is Rainier Valley; north of S. Dearborn Street, beyond which are Beacon Hill and the Industrial District; and south of S. Main Street, beyond which is Downtown and First Hill. The main thoroughfares in Chinatown are South Jackson Street and South King Street (east- and westbound); and the prominent thoroughfare in Little Saigon is 12th Avenue South (north- and southbound) intersecting at South Jackson Street.
Settled in waves since the 1860’s by the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos and other Asian immigrants, the I-Distirict sports 56% Asian-American population and is a Seattle Landmark in itself. Over the last century and a half, the people and businesses of the district have endured many hardships including riots, a great fire, internment camps and developers, but the district has endured.
THE SAINTS MAINTAIN THE BALANCE
During each major wave of immigration into the district, supernatural beings of various power found their way into the I-District along with the mortals. Some came to take advantage of the local Powers being changed by the building of a new community while others simply wanted a new feeding ground. Some were masquerading as humans and lurked in the shadows, while others were living double-lives among the community as common folk.
At the dawn of the 20th Century, several of these beings banded together and sought to create a home for themselves and their community. They pooled their resources to lay groundwork, to plan and arrange the building along natural lines of Power and in accordance to Eastern Practices such as Feng Shui. This groundwork allows for the use of growing pools of power and leylines that pass through the district.
The Mortals only ever knew them as silent partners if they knew them at all.
The clued-in refer to them as The Saints of Seattle. One for each Cardinal Direction and one for the Center where the anchor of their Power rests at a major landmark.
The Saints use the various Dragon Poles to keep watch over things. They keep the community safe as a whole, running their own legitimate and not-so-legitimate businesses and keeping the gangs and major supernatural threats out.
But, their stance is one of apolitical rather than honest neutrality since none of them belong to any of the big Supernatural nations. The Saint operate on the principle of maintaining the Balance of Power. No more. No less.
The International District held up against the Earthquake fairly well. Maybe because of The Balance, maybe because of well constructed buildings combined with being very far inland.
The Saints are currently working on a big project that hopes to help the Seattle area somehow but they have been hush hush about it.
EXOTIC GOODS FOR A PRICE
Uwajimaya was established by a Japanese Immigrant who went to the internment camps and came back determined to run a successful business. Today, it is the largest Asian Supermarket in the Inland Northwest. Attached to the market are smaller businesses, shops and stores from all over the world(not just Japan). Uwajimaya Village includes a food court, bank, restaurant, optician, beauty salon, cellular wireless store, and cosmetic shop. Upstairs is Kinokuniya Bookstore, the one-stop shop for books of East Asia, including occult books scattered throughout their normal selection, if you can read the covers.
ASPECTS: WESTERN SAINT OF SEATTLE; MOUNTAIN CRONE OF THE SUPERMARKET; I ALSO DEAL IN BLOOD AND POWER
LOCATION: UWAJIMAYA – BIGGEST ASIAN SUPERMARKET IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
The Dragon Lady is a Yama-uba, a Mountain Crone that immigrated to Seattle with the first wave of Japanese immigrants in the 1890’s. She trades blood for power, but does so fairly. On a number of occasions, she has admitted to have been traded for power by both the virtuous and the selfish.
She mostly keeps to herself, but makes sure that the Uwajimaya has everything a practitioner could want (expect a nearby Wallmart). She doesn’t own the Uwajimaya or any of the businesses in a monetary sense, but more than a few locals have traded her for prosperity. She usually spends her days walking the market in one of her guises, either as a Teenage Japanese girl with wild hair or an old Lady talking to the Kami of the area. She takes care of people throughout Japan Town and does not tolerate shoplifters. As such, members of the local community aware of her presence teach their young ones to always be polite to the elder in the supermarket.
Rumors have started to grow about the Dragon Lady’s true intentions, despite her pleas of !(media-item-align-center)neutrality. Some supernatural community members have begun to wonder if they shouldn’t just drive her off while others have wondered if they shouldn’t try trading for renewed prosperity and to help relief efforts along.
Neither plan has been discussed with The Dragon Lady or made any traction… yet…
A PORTHOLE INTO SEATTLE’S PAST AND PRESENT
ASPECT: WHAT THE HOTEL LACKS IN AMENITIES IT MAKES UP IN “CHARM”
LOCATION: THE PANAMA HOTEL
“The Panama Hotel was built as a “workingman’s” hotel, and is centrally located in Seattle’s Historic International District, very close to downtown and the stadiums. What the hotel lacks in amenities it makes up in charm. The brick outer facade opens up into a steep stairway flanked by bright brass handrails and illuminated by recessed lighting reflecting off of smooth tile. It reminds us of classic Hollywood. The rooms are small with personal sinks and white linens. There are separated men and women’s bathrooms for each floor that are shared among approximately five rooms. Residents of the hotel are serviced with daily maid service and a central lounge. There is parking nearby although not covered in the hotels rate. Currently the hotel serves as a Historic place to stay while visiting Seattle and porthole view into Seattle’s past and present. " -From the hotels’s website.
The Panama Hotel is also home to a Bed & Breakfast, a Tea House(Proudly Serving LAvAzzA, Italy’s #1 Coffee), and an intact Sento, a japanese bath house that has been closed since 1950.
The Bath House was closed by order of The White Council because it lingers with the Stain of the 6th Law. Any practitioner can sense the Stain on the Bathhouse and feel something wrong about the whole hotel. Note: the Council didn’t close the bath house because of some warlock performing rituals, they closed it because they found the Stain which just…popped in one day.
If you go into the Nevernever in the Bath house, you end up in a near-perfect reconstruction of Seattle’s Past albeit in Ectoplasm. The era you end up in depends on where you enter. No one dares try to map the place but it seems to be accurate enough. The Council currently has the area quarantined because of this, but that doesn’t stop curious practitioners. By the way, if you come back out of this odd demesne, you still end up in the bath house a few minutes after you left. According to the Gatekeeper, the Demesne cannot be used to change anything, just observe what was. But that doesn’t change the fact it’s Stained. What people can’t figure out is when it was Stained.
ASPECTS: I HAVE PROTECTED THIS LAND; I INSPIRE THE DOWNTROTTEN
LOCATION: THE PANAMA HOTEL TEA HOUSE
Babaylan is a Filipino woman who operates the Panama Hotel Tea House. She gives advice to those who need it and makes damn good coffee. She’s also over a Century old. What she is, she refuses to elaborate on and the other Saints have utmost respect for her wisdom. She might be a Divata, a Buddhist-Hindu Guardian Angel of the I-District.
PUNISH THE NAUGHTY, BLESS THE NICE
This little Korean Noodle place….doesn’t really exist. But there’s a vacant lot on the south side of the I-District one block north of the Bank that could easily serve the purpose of the place….the best Noodle Bar in Seattle. It’s run by Hyung-Su Kim, a Korean war veteran and a Changling Dokkaebi.
ASPECTS: SOUTHERN SEATTLE SAINT; NEVER FORGET WAH MEE
LOCATION: DOKKAEBI DIM-SUM, BEST NOODLES IN TOWN
Hyung-Su Kim (Or just Kim to everybody else) immigrated to Seattle with his human family after the Korean War. He describes his pilgrimage as, “The Communists came into power and we got the hell out of dodge.” His Fae side on the other hand are Dokkaebi, Korean goblins/Sprites that disguise themselves as inanimate objects and hide all around the district. The head of their Clan, Kim’s father was a friend of the other Saints and when he died, Kim inherited his Clan and title.
Kim is a Wild Fae Changling, so he is not bound by either Court. He currently owns and operates his human family’s noodle business. His clan “Patrols” the I-District, disguising themselves as litter and such. Kim remained apolitical like the other Saints, until 1983 when his son died in the Wah Mee Massacre. Since then he has started to use in his influence to help out the neighborhood and got the gangs out of the area.
Kim’s clan has started to expand their territory since the quake partially due to the Earthquake. Although the Clan is Kim’s to command, they are still wyld fae.
HOLY GROUND OF THE HUMBLE
The Seattle Buddhist Temple is the oldest such establishment in the City. It would be the Saint Mary’s of Buddha if the Buddha wasn’t humble. Their mission is to bring the the Buddha into a Western context. The current minister is Reverend Charlie, a Seattle Saint who is normally just a Reverend.
ASPECTS: EASTERN SAINT OF SEATTLE; IF YOU MEET THE BUDDHA ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO…; DESCENDANT OF SANZO
LOCATION: SEATTLE BUDDHIST TEMPLE
Charlie felt a great deal of irony for his name being a Vietnamese man in Seattle during Vietnam. He took it in stride and became the local minister despite rampant hate at the time. Although he went by Charles as a young man, he had been called Reverend Charlie so much during Vietnam that the he decided to adopt the name name as his own to combat the hate.
Charlie is actually the descendant of the legendary Buddhist monk whose life-story became the Journey to The West. As it turns out, the Journey was more than just a trek across India and Charlie inherited certain gifts along with his True Faith. But, most of the time, Charlie’s just the guy who helps people find peace.
HEART, STRENGTH AND STEEL
In the same lot as the Temple is the neighboring Seattle Dojo, the oldest Judo Dojo in the United States. They recently opened their curriculum to include Kendo and Battoujutsu, but teach everything from Japanese language, martial arts, philosophy and history in conjunction with the Japanese Cultural Center a few blocks down the road.
ASPECTS: I FOLLOWED MY LOVE ACROSS TIME; FORMER SHINSENGUMI; SENSEI BY DAY
LOCATION: THE SEATTLE DOJO
The dojo has a few Sensei among them but the newest young Master, Toshiro has made an impact in the community with his eccentricities and energy of a 30-something hipster who moonlights as a Bounty Hunter. They would never suspect that he is actually over 150 years old…
THE CENTER OF FENG SHUI
A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, The Wing Luke Museum or informally “The Wing” is dedicated to engaging the public to explore issues related to the culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans. It is the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in America, highlighting the issues and life-experiences of one of the fastest-growing racial groups in the United States. The museum is named in honor of the late Seattle City Council member Wing Luke, who was the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. Luke suggested the need for a museum in the C-ID in the early 1960s to preserve the history of the rapidly changing neighborhood. After Luke died in a small plane crash in 1965, friends and supporters donated funds to start the museum he envisioned.
In actuality, the Museum is the Center of the Feng Shui of the area. The museum sits atop of strands of Power that allow the businesses in the area to prosper. It used to be home to Xianshin the Immortal, The Fifth Saint, the man most solely responsible for the prosperity of the I-District. The other Saints consider him to King of Chinatown and manages the area via his followers who are Shaolin Monks also versed in Chinese Alchemy and Taoist Sorcery, though no one has actually seen him since sometime last Century.
LISA SHAN, HISTORIAN
LOCATION: THE WING LUKE MUSEUM
Lisa is just a lowly Historian of the Community, who is Not Clued-in in The Least. Lisa does her part to go around town to find pieces of history for the museum. What she doesn’t know might actually get her killed someday. But until then, she’s just an academic.