The Genesis Concept
ARCANE CHICAGO (as per 2050 Sourcebook…gotta cite my source just in case)
This is not the sprawl to be playing out your latest Sukie Redflower fantasy. Chicago has a rich supernatural history and as has been explained to me, the history of a place often flavors the astral and the mana. A shaman friend once told me that many of the buildings in Chicago appear different on the astral and then explained how weird it was for inanimate objects to vary in the astral. If it weren’t for the limited population of astrally sensitive people he had thought Chicago would make a great place for an astral tour to all these “reflections of the past” as he called them. He even said that the old Sears Tower appears on the astral every once in awhile. I’d pay dearly to see that. He also told me how dreary most of the city’s astral space is and blamed it on all the misery and the sense of hopelessness that fills the lives of so many Chicagoans. He said the Noose is the worst, followed by Northside. Downtown and the O’Hare Sub-Sprawl were the least affected, though the Core varies by altitude in his assessment. Southside and Westside varied by neighborhood, and Dream Town was an “astral kegger” according to him. My associate did the majority of his explorations in the Chicago astral while researching for his Masters thesis at University of Chicago in Downtown. The University has one of the most highly acclaimed thaumaturgy programs in the world, a program built around studying the larger-than-average number of free spirits around Lake Michigan. The University even has a campus, Elemental Hall, out on the lake. A lot of theories have arisen, but no source or reason has been verifiable for this strange phenomenon. Elemental Hall is a frequent target for extractions in April and May, grabbing students before graduation time.
Due to frequent attempts by corporations and other schools to undermine their programs and their research, the University of Chicago often hires “advisors” to accompany students and professors on research trips. Mages are always the first choice, but recently the school has been using some of the “Arcana of the Body” students and those like them in a pinch. Street sams are at the bottom of the list since they rarely have anything that can harm spirits so they only serve a single plane purpose. Research trips into the Noose are frequent and even the occasional astral request occurs from U of C. That sounds like a lot of fun if you ask me. The neighborhood just south of the U of C campus is full of mages and shamans who are not quite bright (or rich) enough to make the cut for the university but feel drawn to the culture. “Little Earth,” as they call it locally, is the cult mecca for arcane students who can’t cut it, or couldn’t afford college. Some of the best thesis works begin here where the rich kids steal ideas from their less-fortunate peers. A reflection of life everywhere else.
> Little Earth has a nice little shop called F and F owned by a guy named Wicker. He’s entered the shadows recently but still does great foci work at a decent rate.
> Word is he works for the mob, so be warned.