Rolling In The D
[New Seeming: Mechanicals] – Owing to its long history of industry and mechanization, Detroit is the perfect haven for Mechanicals, a Seeming which embodies the form and function of tools and machines. Their Seeming Contracts are Contracts of Industry.
[Harvesting Glamour in Detroit] – The residents of Detroit have seen it all: race-riots, police brutality, galling social and economic inequality, endless corruption, governmental incompetence, and soul-crushing despair. The City has consumed nearly everything they have to give; their hearts are shriveled, stunted things which serve to keep their bodies alive, but little else. As a result of Detroiters’ intensely jaded outlook, a minimum of one success is automatically subtracted from the result of all Glamour-harvesting rolls made in the Detroit Metro region. In heavily-blighted areas, this penalty can increase to two or even three dice. For most practical purposes, “Detroit Metro region” is defined as “anywhere within ~15 miles of Campus Martius, excluding Canada”.
History of the Wheelhouse
“Detroit was always made of wheels. Long before the Big Three and the nickname ‘Motor City’; before the auto factories and the freighters and the pink, chemical nights; before anyone had necked in a Thunderbird or spooned in a Model T; … way, way back, when the city was just a piece of stolen Indian land located on the strait from which it got its name, a fort fought over by the British and the French until, wearing them out, it fell into the hands of the Americans; way, way back then, before cars and cloverleaves, Detroit was made of wheels.”
- Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex: A Novel
Frogs, Brits, and Yanks
War Between the States
In the Year of Our Ford
The Arsenal of Democracy
The Second American Revolution
Signs of Spring
Spring: Windsor, Ontario
In the early 1970s, the Antler Crown began to read the writing on the wall and believed that the Wheelhouse had been dealt its deathblow by the ’67 Riots. In a bold and dangerous move, the Court of Desire abandoned all claims to lands within the City of Detroit and migrated en masse across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario, overthrowing the Roselords and setting up their own miniature freehold in Canada’s southernmost city.
Summer: Corktown, Downriver, Downtown, Mexicantown
Though the Iron Spear still lays hold to the remnants of Detroit’s past greatness, their true strength flows from the Downriver area, long a tenacious stronghold of auto-workers’ unions (and their relentless anger towards the greed of Upper Management), and the hardworking residents of Downriver’s ethnic neighborhoods (who feel cheated of the American Dream they were promised).
Autumn: Grosse Pointe, the Jefferson Corridor
Autumn Courtiers are nothing if not showmen, and they know their audience well. “The rabble” are jaded by decades of loss and hardship, and have grown accustomed to the constant threat of violence that suffuses their lives. The Leaden Mirror feeds on the paranoia of the few Detroiters who have significant wealth and possessions to fear their loss, who have enough hope for the future that they can still worry about losing it.
Winter: Cass Corridor, Dearborn, the East Side, Hamtramck, Palmer Park, the West Side
Though the Court of Sorrow’s holdings appear to be enormous, they are very loosely-held, and there are too few courtiers to seriously enforce the borders. Perversely, this works to Winter’s advantage: none of the other Courts can muster sufficient manpower to drive them from all of their holdings, and these blighted neighborhoods contain so many convenient hiding-places that any conquered area is quickly and easily retaken by a Silent Arrow insurgency.
“Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Cass Corridor – Home to many addicts, winos, and vagrants, but also most of the city’s artists and musicians.
Corktown – Aging historical district.
Dearborn – A southern suburb; home to the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East.
Downriver – Middle- to below-income households, predominantly white or Middle-Eastern.
Downtown – The heart of the old city, and the hub of Judge Augustus B. Woodward’s abandoned baroque-style radial city plan.
Grosse Pointe – A wealthy eastern suburb.
Hamtramck – Michigan’s most internationally diverse city; a hotbed of racial and religious tension.
Indian Village – A strangely safe and well-preserved enclave in the Jefferson Corridor.
Mexicantown – One of the city’s newer ethnic neighborhoods.
Locations of Note
“If it weren’t for the Chicagos and Detroits and Toledos, the terrible things would spread out across the whole country and make trouble for everybody else. Such places were collectors of badness in the way hospitals were collectors of the sick and damaged.”
― Stephen Dobyns, Eating Naked: Stories
The Ambassador Bridge – The busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume. And it’s only four lanes wide.
Belle Isle – One of the few truly beautiful places remaining in the city.
The Blighted Hedge – In some areas, pollution is so intense that it has leaked across the border to the Hedge.
The Burning River – A belligerent reminder of past transgressions.
Comerica Park – Neutral territory; a powerful source of all kinds of Glamour.
The Detroit Opera House
Eastern Market – By day, a hundred-year-old farmers’ market. By night, the local Goblin Market.
The Fillmore Detroit – A relic of the great movie-palaces of the Roaring Twenties.
Greektown – Popular restaurant-and-entertainment district.
John K. King Used & Rare Books – One of the largest and oldest used book stores in America. Beware the Restricted Section.
MGM Grand Casino
The Rouge Plant – Henry Ford’s original automobile assembly complex.
The Spirit of Detroit – One of the city’s most iconic monuments.
The Underhedge – Subterranean warren of tunnels beneath the Hedge.
Novels, songs, movies, documentaries, poems, and anything else about the Motor City and its people, both fictional and factual.