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Basic Information

Seattle is the largest city in the Washington State, as well as the largest in the Pacific Northwest.

The greater Seattle Metropolitan area is home to over 3 million people [2], and is the hometown of Boeing aircraft production, Starbucks coffee, Microsoft, Wizards of the Coast, Nintendo of America, and numerous other businesses in the software, biomedical, coffeeshop, and gaming industries. The city is known for its coffee consumption, its traffic, and its rain.

It's a bustling port city, with numerous ships departing and arriving from Japan and other points in the Pacific. Seattle has a strong multicultural feel, and consistently ranks among the most literate and most educated of American cities.

People who live in Seattle are known as Seattleites - which rhymes with Satellites.

See also: Seacouver


Geography, Regrading, and Underground Tours

The city is quite hilly, despite (or, arguably, because of) an interesting history of numerous earthworks projects.

The city was founded on a tidal flat, and much of downtown has been reclaimed from Puget Sound, and regraded. In the 19th Century, that part of the city was plagued by sink holes, tidal flooding, and sewage issues. Initial attempts at solving this dilemma involved pouring layers of sawdust onto the streets - which obviously wasn't a permanent solution. [1]

After the city burned down in 1889, the downtown district was regraded, and the streets raised 18 feet or more. Unfortunately, they needed to rebuild the town before they could raise the tax levies to raise the streets. So, structures were rebuilt with entrances on two floors, though initially the second or third floor entrance could not be used. There was even a transitional period when the streets were well above the first floor entrances, but the sidewalks connecting them to third-story entrances had not yet been built. During that time, access to the streets and businesses involved many ladders, which could be dangerous when drunkards or horses were involved. [1]

When the sidewalks were eventually put in, what had been the ground floor downtown retroactively became the basements, many of which fell into dis-use. Many of these basements have openings to the original sidewalk - the space between buildings. They are poorly lit by obstructed sunlight shining down through squares of purple glass set in the modern sidewalks above them. In this way, the buildings downtown are connected by an almost labyrinth or dungeon beneath the streets. [1] Guided tours of these sub-sidewalk tunnels are available in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

A retaining wall and man-made harbor island were built as well. In some cases, one hill became two, as a section in the middle of the ridge was taken out to provide dirt for reclaiming the tidal flats. This even resulted in bridges being made to span the man-made gaps as the city expanded. [3]

For the most part, the city is lush and green year round - it's official nickname is The Emerald City. There are numerous parks scattered throughout the city, as well as much artwork.

Landmarks and Points of Interest


1. Books: Sons of the Profits by William C. Speidel, tells the seedy tale of how the city was imagined, sold, burned, rebuilt, and then had a makeover to become what it is today.

In addition, a few anecdotes and facts have crept in to the above from various guided tours and historical sites in town.

Game and Story Use

  • Chase scenes in Seattle are fun, and should involve lots of challenge. Not only is it extremely hilly, but much of the city is a narrow maze of streets, and parking is always in short supply. One-way-streets, single-lane streets, short brick roads, and traffic circles abound, often just off from major highway overpasses and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Of course, it's always raining in Seattle, so the streets will be slippery. Local law puts heavy penalties on those who hit pedestrians, and gives pedestrians the right of way - so Seattleites have a habit of braving traffic.
  • The underground provides a modern dungeon setting, or could be used by criminals or supervillains to break in to businesses downtown.
  • Between the Pike Market's ever-changing stalls, the confusing maze of streets, and the underground tunnels, it's easy to conceive that some sort of obfuscating magic has been lain over Seattle's downtown. It would be a natural home for a Minotaur.
  • A game set in 1999 could feature the massive riots of November 30. A Conspiracy Theory game could cast this as the battle between the common man and the secret masters.
  • A two-day period in November of 2001 saw riots, followed by an earthquake. Could be a sign that someone cursed the city, or was up to some other dark magic.
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