Darkpages: Pocket City
Posted by Nathan P. on October 19, 2008
Pocket City is the imprint that my group created for Darkpages, and which we’ve been playing in since August.
Pocket City. A thriving midwestern metropolis nestled in the crotch of two small mountain ranges, Pocket City is a crossroads for the best and worst that the prohibition era has to offer. Bootleggers and gangsters mix with journalists, society girls and rising film stars in the red-light district known, with a wink and nod, as the Speakeasy. On the other side of the city, the local government constantly struggles to attract investment, rise the standard of living and keep the mobs happy – a bustling Metropolis of good intentions and easy solutions. The two are separated by the Wilderness, the remains of an ambitious urban beautification project gone bad, containing the castoffs of society, vagrants, drifters, and things even darker and more sinister. Encompassing them all is the Falls, named for a beautiful waterfall that feeds the small river dividing the city. The Falls is the home of the elite, the progressive and modern upper-middle class feeding off of the efforts and sacrifices of their unknowing subjects.
Pocket City is an imprint for Darkpages. It is inspired by the fictionalized Prohibition era, Film Noir, gritty detective stories and 20s pulp action stories and comics.
The Spaces in Pocket City are both literal neighborhoods, and general themes. There are other areas of the city, but most action occurs in one of the Spaces. Other areas and sub-neighborhoods are as yet undefined.
The Falls is the classy, well-bred part of town. Old money and nouveau-riche alike mingle in the faux-villas and modern mansions scattered along the low foothills surrounding the city. Named for the spectacular waterfall that is the pride and joy of the city’s tourism board, the Falls contains the most noble of ambitions and the darkest of human desires.
The Speakeasy is the part of Pocket City that swings 24/7. Combining the posh downtown and entertainment district with the less wholesome red-light district and underground network of bootleggers and organized crime, the Speakeasy is where the action is.
The Wilderness is the part of the city the Tourism Board doesn’t advertise. Once an ambitious public works project, what was originally a planned neighborhood of broad streets, trees, parks and manmade streams has been abjectly neglected since the project was choked off by lack of funding and the tragic death of its major proponent. These days, it’s the home of vagrants, drifters, and small pockets of grim citizens determined to maintain their homes against all odds.
The Metropolis is the beating heart of civic life in Pocket City. All of the public administration buildings and most of the non-entertainment-industry employers are located in the Metropolis, and its honking taxis and one shining skyscraper hint at the ambitions of the city’s leaders to grow from a few square blocks to a true metropolis to rival any on the East or West coast.