The greater Seattle Metropolitan area is home to over 3 million people , 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
- The Seattle area has been inhabited (by Native Americans) for over 4,000 years.
- The first white settlers were the Denny Party, who arrived on November 13, 1851. The settlement was initially named "New York-Alki", but was renamed after Chief Seattle in 1853. Interesting historical figures in the founding of Seattle include Arthur Denny and Doc Maynard.
- On June 6, 1889, the city was destroyed in the Great Seattle Fire. 29 blocks were destroyed, causing $20,000,000 of property damage, but remarkably only one death. The relief effort to rebuild the city actually doubled it's population. 
- In the 1890s, Seattle was the launching point of many an expedition to get rich via the Klondike Gold Rush.
- The Seattle General Strike of 1919 was the first General Strike in the United States.
- In 1962, Seattle was home to the World's Fair.
- Seattle was the birthplace of grunge in the 1990s.
- The World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999, and the resulting protests and riots started on November 30, 1999. This is sometimes known as The Battle Of Seattle. Over 40,000 protesters blocked city streets to take a stand against globalization. Over 600 arrests were made. A police order banned the sale or use of gasmasks in downtown during the Conference - and wouldn't you know it, the police used Tear Gas and Pepper Spray. They also used Concussion Grenades and Rubber Bullets, and the National Guard was called in and a State of Emergency was declared. On January 16, 2004, the city settled with 157 individuals who'd been arrested outside the no-protest zones during the riots. The city paid them $250,000. On January 30, 2007, a federal jury found that the City of Seattle had violated protesters' Fourth Amendment constitutional rights by arresting them without probable cause or hard evidence. 
- The Mardi Gras Riots of February 27, 2001 were likely racially-motivated. 
- A 6.8 magnitude earthquake did a lot damage to the city on February 28, 2001.
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. 
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. 
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.  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. 
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
- Pike Market - several stories of shops, grocers, and artisans in a building set into the hill. Ground floor on one side of the building is not so on the other sides, and the structure inside is a veritable maze. Much of the main floor is set up as daily stalls where individual farmers, florists, and artists sell their wares. These stalls are assigned in the morning, and a particular shop might not be in the same place on consecutive days.
- Seattle Center
- The Space Needle
- Seattle Center Monorail - built for the 1962 World's Fair, and still in operation. The monorail connects a downtown mall to Seattle Center.
- Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.
- Hiram M. Chittendam Government Locks and Lake Washington Ship Canal - Man-made canal, locks, and fish ladder connecting a series of freshwater lakes to the saltwater of Puget Sound.
- Pioneer Square and the Seattle Underground - The city burnt down in 1889, and was rebuilt 18 to 28 feet higher in most of the downtown. See Geography / Regrading section, above.
- Green Lake - a popular park (and lake) which was the site of much concern when dozens of sharpened stakes were found in the water
- U Dub - The University of Washington.
- Harborview Medical Center - the region's level one trauma center. Patients are flown in from all over Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska.
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.