Minkä Puyallup häviää Redmondille väkivallassa, se voittaa kurjuudessa. Tuhkasade ja rikkikatkut tekevät hyvästäkin päivästä ikävän ja kaupunginosan raunioituneisiin osiin on pesiytynyt kaikkea outoa. Läntiset osat pärjäävät paljon paremmin.
PUYALLUP AT GLANCE
Ancients,The Black Rains, Culos, Forever Tacoma, the Princes, The Reality Hackers
Although Redmond — and all of Seattle — has changed a great deal, the district of the metroplex that has changed the most, to the point where people from fifty or sixty years ago would never recognize it, is Puyallup. An area that used to be wide stretches of fertile farmland and apple orchards (I’ve seen pictures) was buried under tons of vol- canic ash in 2017 when Mt. Rainier erupted. Then came the refugees of the Ghost Dance War, with their tent cities and semi-permanent encampments, then the metahumans fleeing the fires of the Night of Rage, looking for shelter. Then more volcanic eruptions, waves of changelings, mob violence ... now a steady stream of debris—both ash and people—trickles into the Puyallup Barrens.
People only come to Puyallup to hide, or because they have no other choices left. The district is home to the indigent and the exiled. In particular, it sees a fair number of “immigrants” from Tir Tairngire, mostly elven exiles from “the Land of Promise” or young elves who think Seattle is an exciting and happening place where you can rock out, be different, and not have to conform to the complex customs of somebody’s idea of fairyland. All true, but they usually don’t know about the harsh and grimy realities until they show up here with noth- ing but some cred in their pockets and a dream of a different life. A lot of those dreams wash up in Puyallup, same with some of the kids who come from the NAN, California, and even further away. The tourists only come to Puyallup to see the spectacular lava fields, or maybe to slum in some of the nightspots, but even then they usually travel in armored helicopters and limos, and they don’t linger.
Compared to the Redmond, Puyallup is sparse: both in terms of people and places. It has about twice the area of Redmond with probably around half the population density, although large swaths of Puyallup are practically uninhabitable (but then, you can say the same about Redmond, for different reasons). People also tend to stay indoors as much as they can. Puyallup sees semi-regular “dirty snow,” the fine, grey fall of ash from Mt. Rainier, and it has the worst air qual- ity in all of Seattle. Breathers are a must-have, although some have to make do with scarves tied across their faces or stolen surgical masks. “P-lung” or “grey-lung” is local slang for the deep, hacking cough devel- oped from long unprotected exposure to the air around here.
Like Redmond, a lot of Puyallup’s divisions and neighborhoods are more informal designations or communities rather than administrative districts.
Before the Ghost Dance War, much of the Carbonado area was made up of small mining-company towns along the Carbon River Valley towards Mt. Rainier. The economy relied heavily on coal mining and timber harvesting in the surrounding area, much of which ceased after the first Rainier eruption wiped out much of the forest resources and caused the mining companies to pull out due to geological instabilities, leaving abandoned towns. A number of orks fleeing the Night of Rage in central Seattle settled here about thirty years ago, taking up residence in some of the empty houses and company apartments, as well as taking over the abandoned mine complexes. Other squatters and refugees have also moved into Carbonado, as the residents have attempted to revive some of the mines, using what equipment they can scavenge and piece together.
The Mowich Lava Flow is Puyallup’s most distinctive feature, formed by the rivers of lava that poured down from Mt. Rainier, wiping out everything in their path. Eventually, the lava flow cooled and hardened into kilometers of endless barren black rock. The lava flow pushed the Puyallup River out of its former bed, flooding a lot of the low-lying areas with toxic grey mud. Large amounts of water were drawn under- ground, where they formed pockets of boiling mud or steam geysers on the surface of the lava plain. The river eventually settled into a new course, although it’s still shallow and floods sometimes during the late winter and early spring. Always looking to turn disaster into profit, several corporations saw opportunities to build geothermal power plants on the lava fields. Several projects were approved, but the Crash of ’29 wiped out their funding and, often, the companies sponsoring them. So the lava flats are dotted with the rusting hulks of half-completed structures, some of them taken over and used as way stations or shelters.
Hell’s Kitchen does see some visitors: shamans make their way out across the lava flats and ash dunes on vision quests and to commune with the nature spirits, while talismongers search for useful minerals and the bones of animals that died out on the plain or in one of the boiling mud pits. Some hardy dwarf miners make their way out with pick and shovel looking for valuable mineral veins. The rest are either tourists enjoying the stark beauty of the lava flows (often from a safe distance) or smugglers making their way across the desolation to or from the border, avoiding the automated monitoring stations and patrol drones.
Located along the western border of the district, near Route 7, Loveland is one of the most densely populated and most violent areas of the Puyallup Barrens. It’s filled with squatters, pushers, thieves, gangers, and hookers, most of them peddling their wares to off-duty soldiers from nearby Fort Lewis. The Yakuza and the Mafia have been fighting over control of Loveland for years, mostly through the prox- ies of various gangs they arm and supply, who run their errands and sell their drugs, chips, and other contraband. Neither syndicate has devoted the resources to overwhelm their opposition in Loveland, so the conflict just wears on and on.
Puyallup "The Puyallup City" neighborhood sits near the junction of Tacoma and Auburn, and remains largely middle-class, clean and safe by the standards of the rest of the district. Puyallup’s district government is housed in the District Hall here, along with most of its (legitimate) businesses. The neighborhood and the district government do their best to fight perceptions of Puyallup as a lost cause and to bring busi- ness and tourism into the district. The truth is that nearly every government official and business owner in the area is either on the take from the Mafia or the Yakuza (sometimes both) or paying them protection money. Syndicate wealth owns and controls Puyallup, and anyone crossing them—politicians and pillars of the community included—ends up either smeared with a frame-job and run out of town or, more likely, floating facedown in the Puyallup River.
Tarislar is Sperethiel for “Remembrance,” as in “never forget.” It is near the southern tip of the district, stretching between Silver Lake and Harts Lake and home to the majority of Puyallup’s elf population. They fled from the fires and mobs of the Night of Rage, vowing they would never again trust humans. True to their word, the people of Tarislar keep their contact with outsiders to a minimum. Strangers are not welcome here.
The elves never intended to stay in Tarislar. They made their way as far south as possible and planned to cross the border into the tribal lands and join the Sinserach Elves, but the sudden secession of Tir Tairngire from the Salish-Shidhe nation made the Sovereign Tribal Council distrustful of elves, and they were refused passage across Tribal Land into the Sinserach or Tir Tairngire.
Eventually, Tir Tairngire did open up to immigration, but the elven homeland’s visa policy has always been arcane, and while some elves in Tarislar were allowed to emigrate, others were refused for no apparent reason. Moreover, Tir Tairngire has also exiled citizens over the years, many of whom find their way to the Barrens and Tarislar. Elven exiles are generally accepted here, although some see “fallen” elves from the Land of Promise as either easy prey or targets for their misplaced anger.
Tarislar is officially abandoned by the metroplex government, meaning there are no municipal services, not even electricity or tele- comm, apart from what the residents can pull together or swipe from the local grid. The same is true of sanitation, health care, and security, a lot of which falls to either community cooperation or the assistance of gangs and syndicates like the Laésa.
It’s worth mentioning that many of the people who first moved to Puyallup after the Night of Rage were human: many of the parents and family members of metahuman children stood by them and were persecuted as well. In the thirty-some years since, metahumans have started family lines of their own, but there’s still intermarriage. The human populations of areas like Carbonado and Tarislar are declining, but they’re still there. Don’t be surprised if you see other races in the “elven” and “ork” neighborhoods. --Butch
4819 96th Avenue East
Mercurial. DarkVine. JetBlack. Shield Wall. CrimeTime. Melody Tyger. They’re just a sample of the acts that have graced the stage at Underworld 93, the old queen of Seattle music venues. While other clubs in the metroplex may be tops for dancing, drinking, or ... other entertainment, none can match the Underworld when it comes to sheer star-power. The club has been booking the top musical acts for decades, and an appearance at the Underworld 93 is often one of the stepping-stones to mega-stardom.
The club may not seem like much to look at: a converted ferro-crete warehouse retaining many of the industrial elements of its initial design. Only the tall AR-enhanced marquee outside blazing its name, and the state-of-the-art sound and lighting system inside show the building’s current calling, but that is the way patrons of the 93 like it. After all, they say, they’re not there for the ambience, but for the music. Be sure to check in with the club’s up-to-the-minute booking site for all the latest information on acts and shows. They sell out fast!