Downtown Pagan City
Pagan City's downtown area is divided into three districts: The
Business District, where most of the city's banks, official departments,
and corporate headquarters are found; The Theater District,
home of the Pagan City theater community, most of the city's motion picture
studios, as well as Cult Row (a strip of churches and temples devoted to some
of the more eccentric and recent of Pagan City's many religions); and The Quaint
District, the recently renovated open air mall.
Residential buildings are scattered throughout, with rents varying according
to their location. The clock tower of the widely successful Taggart
Railroad's Downtown station is the most famous of Pagan City landmarks
apart from Temple Avenue.
The Quaint District is the area to the immediate east and south of Downtown,
which has recently been completely renovated into a nearly vehicle-free open air
commons, with shops, museums, entertainment centers and all manner of interesting
restaurants and clubs.
A collection of suburban subdivisions, modern strip malls, and public parks.
Westlake is where most of Pagan City's average citizens move to when they no longer
want to live in the city. As a result, this suburban community is in a state of
constant expansion and development. Unfortunately, it offers relatively easy hunting
for some of Pagan City's monsters like the fearsome Werewolves.
Old mansions, sprawling estates, and opulent gardens make up the mysterious
walled community known as North Park. Most of Pagan City's magical
elite make their homes here, especially those who can trace their
lineage back to the original founders. North Park is located deep
in the foothills, roughly three miles from the downtown area, and
sits on a rise overlooking the rest of the city. Visitors are not
encouraged, though some magicians and prominent witches allow limited
tours of their homes and lands. Some of Pagan City's more infamous
citizens living in North Park are Ellsworth
Keating (last surviving city founder), Rose
McKenna (leader of the Witches' Collective), and the nefarious
East Boro (The Pit)
After the dismal failure of Pagan City's foray into the automotive industry,
the East Boro degenerated into squalor and abject poverty, making it a haven for
junkies, criminals, and the darker elements of the magical community. It was shortly
after this that the East Boro acquired the unflattering sobriquet of The
Pit. It is currently held by the Necromancers, who, in addition to the
vampires, prey on the Pit's wretched and pathetic citizens.
Located across Paradigm Canyon from Pagan City,
the city of Southtown began simply as a Christian
mission a few months after Pagan City's founding. Its population grew during the
mid-twenties, when a number of vaudeville performers fled the city in the wake
of a devastating war between the witches and the magicians. Though obviously opposed
in their religious views, Pagan City and Southtown enjoyed a relatively peaceful
co-existence, as well as a mutually beneficial trade agreement, for many decades.
However, recent changes in the Southtown political climate have caused the doors
of the once friendly city to slam shut on all Pagan visitors.
In the early 1980s, the last mayor of Southtown, Rev. Joseph Matthews, was
violently impeached during a military coup by the Inquisition.
The Inquisition, started in the early 50s in an attempt to ferret out the numerous
Satanic cults that had sprung up throughout Southtown, swiftly rose to power as
the premier police and military force of Southtown.
Following the success of their coup, the Inquisition initiated a regime of
oppressive tyranny. They began a systematic elimination of all "heretical"
Christian sects, eliminating all those who opposed their brutal doctrine. Among
those destroyed by this "reform" were the Gnostics,
a monastic group possessing miraculous powers bestowed upon them through devotion
to their Lord Jesus Christ. As a result of the Inquisition's police state, and
the heavy raise in taxes, the average citizen of Southtown has been reduced to
a life of abject poverty and fear.
However, there are tales of a mysterious masked hero among the people. Known
as The Heretic, this hero is believed to be the sole
survivor of the Gnostic massacre, and the beleaguered citizens of Southtown believe
that he will one day use his God-given powers to rid their city of the tyrannical
rule of the Inquisition.
The Witches' Collective
Headquartered in the mysteriously elegant Temple of the Goddess, the Collective
is an officially sanctioned group of witches who are responsible for the policing
of all magical crime in Pagan City. This often puts them at odds with the police,
as most of the magical criminals of Pagan City commit rather mundane crimes, and
questions of jurisdiction tend to arise. Field agents are grouped in divisions
of four witches called covens, which are comprised
of Priestesses/Priests, and led by a High
Priestess/Priest. Most field agents are trained in combative spells, various
martial arts, and investigative techniques. Other witches function as healers
in many of Pagan City's hospitals, or using a wide number of psychic and telepathic
abilities to hunt down the plethora of magical rogues abounding in Pagan City.
Though they are ruled by a council, that council is often represented by a
Prime Speaker, usually a High Priestess, who casts
the deciding vote in most of the council's decisions, and initiates Collective
policy. The current Prime Speaker, High Priestess Rose McKenna,
achieved her position in the wake of the bloody North Park Massacre of 1989, when
nearly a third of the Witches Collective, including their leader, were brutally
slaughtered by Bellona and her band of Necromancers.
Novices are the beginning students. They
learn only the most basic of spells: those requiring no religious devotion. Many
people become novices for various reasons and lengths of time. Most citizens of
Pagan City have been novices at one time or another in order to learn one or two
simple spells. The only requirement to cast novice spells is the ability to read
and speak the magical language.
Initiates are novices who have chosen to
follow the Goddess, but have not yet sworn themselves to Her. They can cast some
of the religious spells, but must pray and meditate regularly to do so.
Priestesses/Priests are Initiates who have
consecrated themselves to the Goddess. They can cast any spell, though they are
required to pray and meditate daily, as well as strictly observe all Holy Days
and Lunar Ceremonies.
The Magicians' Guild
The Magicians Guild was established in the late 1940s as a way of guaranteeing
the legitimacy of its members. Too often, when Pagan Citizens would hire a magician,
they would discover that said magician was practicing illegal magic, or using
their abilities for illegal purposes. This made it rather difficult for the honest
magicians to find work, hence the Magicians Guild. Members of the Guild were expected
to hold to the highest standards of professional and legal conduct, and were forbidden
from utilizing the dark arts.
Sadly, however, the Guild is now largely just as corrupt as the people it once
attempted to police, and the reputation of Pagan City's magicians has hit an all-time
Mundanes are what the magicians call non-magical
people. Mundanes can use the most basic of artifacts: those requiring no study.
Most of these artifacts work only once, though there are some that produce multiple
spells. Mundanes can also cast scroll spells, though no scroll can be used more
Apprentices are those people who have chosen
to study the magical language, and learn the use of more advanced artifacts. Traditionally,
apprentices are taken on by a single magician, though most modern apprentices
attend Pagan City University.
Magicians are apprentices who have managed
to successfully construct their first artifact. They are capable of using any
artifact. Magicians begin as Journeymen, and
are required to find or construct ten magician-level artifacts on their own before
being raised to Master.
The Spiritual Dynasty/Mystic Empire
Hundreds of millennia before the advent of recorded history, there existed
a global empire, ruled by a succession of empresses, whose connection to the mystic
energy field gave them great power. Each time an empress died, her soul would
be reborn, retaining full memory of all past lives as well as the connection to
the energy field. Known as the Mystic Empire, it
ruled over the entire world for hundreds of thousands of years, until the last
empress was betrayed and murdered through the treachery of a cabal of evil immortals
with plans for global dominance. Her soul was cast into the time stream, seemingly
never to be reborn again.
Once bereft of its leader, the empire crumbled, sending the world into a Dark
Age so severe, that all traces of its existence were lost. During this time, the
immortals laid the seeds that would eventually grow into what we call civilization.
They were certain they could work unopposed, as the sovereign of the empire would
never return. Since the dawn of civilization, the immortals have been the shadow
rulers of the human race.
When Rachel's fame as an actress began to grow, she attracted the attention
of Obsidian, one of the immortal cabal. Upon recognizing the soul of his ancient
enemy, Obsidian flew into an incredulous rage, and ordered the vampires to kill
Vampires are the result of an experiment gone horribly wrong. Centuries ago,
in an attempt to create more beings like themselves, the immortals gave transfusions
of their blood to a select group of humans. What resulted was the abomination
known popularly as the vampire. No longer human, yet not truly immortal, vampires
are ageless creatures who must feed regularly on human blood to survive. While
they are impervious to age, disease, and most injuries, vampires are vulnerable
to fire, and exposure to sunlight will destroy them. And, of course, a wooden
stake through the heart will kill them. However, rumor has it that if a vampire
drinks from an immortal, it can survive in the sun for one day, with great discomfort
Vampires are capable of making more of themselves, through the exchange of
blood, and can also transform humans into ghouls. A ghoul is a normal human, who,
through regular infusions of vapiric blood, assumes the immortality and some of
the powers possessed by vampires. Ghouls are able to go about during the day,
though direct sunlight causes them some pain. Ghouls do not feed on human blood,
and their powers are sustained only so long as their vampire supplies them with
blood. If that supply is cut off, the ghoul will lose its powers, and revert to
the age it should be within two weeks. Needless to say, the older a ghoul gets,
the more dependent on its vampire it becomes. Vampires use ghouls as servants
and messengers, and will occasionally elevate them to the status of full vampire.
The vampires of Pagan City are ruled over by one they call the Primus, who, in
turn, receives its orders directly from Obsidian.
Werewolves are one race among the lycanthrope species, and are an amalgam of
human and wolf. They live on the fringes of human development, and are voracious
meat-eaters. This makes them extremely dangerous to humans, though there has been
talk of werewolves who eschew human flesh and feed only on animals. No one is
really sure how the lycanthrope species came about, not even the immortals. One
is usually born a lycanthrope, though the transformation does not take place until
The werewolf population of Pagan City is extensive, though they rarely enter
the city itself, unless recruited as minions by a magic-user, and do most of their
hunting in the suburban communities of Westlake. Not much can harm a werewolf,
other than silver, and they have a high resistance to disease and poison. While
not immortal, werewolves age slowly, the average life-span being over two hundred
years old. After undergoing the transformation, lycanthropes retain their human
intelligence and personality, yet this is often supressed by the emergent instincts
of the animal they have become. Werewolves travel in packs, and obey the commands
of their Alpha, who decides which magic-users the pack will work for, and for
Zombies are the reanimated corpses of dead humans. Only a Necromancer can make
a zombie, and therefore the Pit is currently full of zombies or people who are
well on their way to becoming one. The recruitment of a zombie is varied. Usually,
Bellona (or one of her followers), will make a zombie from the corpse of a junkie
who has overdosed. As Bellona currently controls the heroin trade in Pagan City,
there is no shortage of future zombies among the city's more wretched inhabitants.
However, Bellona is also fond of reanimating the corpses of her sacrifices, and
these come from all walks of life.
Being nothing more than reanimated corpses, zombies are not very effective
on their own, and work better in mobs. Nothing can kill a zombie, as it is already
dead, and the only way to stop one is to destroy the body itself. Though animate,
zombies are still dead, and they continue to rot throughout their extended existence.
The average period of use for a zombie is only one or two years, after which time
the zombie simply decays too far to remain ambulatory. Zombies are mindless creatures,
and follow the will of Bellona slavishly.