Midnight City is a sovereign city-state, the largest coastal seaport in the northwest and the second-largest on the west coast (second only to the Western Sprawl). Its territory consists of mainland Midnight City (formerly Mag Duinn), the island of Mag Mell, and the recently acquired city of SeaTac to the south.
The city itself is divided into 10 districts, each further subdivided into neighbourhoods. There is a large discrepancy from district to district, and even neighbourhood to neighbourhood, when it comes to city services, police presence, and infrastructure.
Most citizens of the city keep their head down, navigating the mix of criminals and security forces as they scrape up enough cash for another day. Pop-up security checkpoints are a familiar sight, with local police squads checking IDs along major thoroughfares. Failure to produce an ID--or worse, producing a forgery--generally results in detainment, or, if the squad is feeling ‘efficient,’ an unceremonious one-way ride to the Zone. Authentic Citizen IDs are difficult to come by without enough money to bribe the right people, and so newcomers to the city are often left stranded in the Zone while legitimate citizens may find themselves mugged for their IDs.
The ambient drone of the city is generally a mix of traffic, English, Thai, Chinese, and a smattering of languages from other species. Depending on where you are, the snap and rattle of gunfire may provide a background percussion line in your day-to-day.
Money makes the world go 'round, and its no different in Midnight City. The size of your wallet is the primary determining factor in which city services are available to you and how efficient they'll be.
Midnight City purports to be a land of freedom and opportunity. Truth is, it is governed by a stark class disparity that is almost impossible to overcome-- at least, through legal means. It is more or less an accepted fact that the police are in the pockets of the rich, and exist more to protect them from the average citizen than to do anything about the city's rampant crime.
Nearly everyone bears some amount of resentment towards the rich, although the response to this bubbling discontent varies across the city. While the middle class abides by the notion that it too can join the ranks of the rich and powerful if they just keep their heads down and work hard, the poorest citizens have no such illusions, and are more prone towards violent resistance.
In the poorer districts of the city, where police presence is thin, it is common to see citizens openly carrying weapons. Here, street violence is a fact of life. While the Zone is infamous for its violence and brutality, muggings and random attacks are common even in the 'middle class' districts. Violence permeates every aspect of Midnight City's culture-- life on the street, popular media, and spectator sports all integrate the city’s bloody environment into their fabrics.
Much of the populace seeks entertainment at the many arenas that dot the city. Hockey and Muay Thai dominate the watercooler sports talk, while those more heavily invested in combat sports follow leagues for everything from mage battles to squad vs. squad war games. The Squad Combat Leage is especially popular. Deathmatches are illegal within the city confines, and therefore held regularly in underground fighting rings in the Zone, abandoned industrial yards, and other areas isolated from the police’s prying eyes.
Many of the city’s residents believe that the only way to avoid becoming a victim of the city is to keep your head down and focus only on yourself. Good Samaritans are the exception, not the rule in Midnight City; by and large, people in the city are very willing to take from others if it means getting ahead. This cutthroat philosophy fuels the mercenary industry. Everything about the city seems to encourage the us vs. them mentality, whether it's gang vs. gang, citizen vs. police, or Zone vs. Midnight City.
Midnight City is serviced by a convenient light rail system known as the SkyTrain, with stations in each district. The Midnight City Transit Commission also operates a fleet of armoured buses that provide local transportation throughout the city.
All routes entering and exiting the Zone through checkpoints are subject to inspection by MCPD officers; anyone not in possession of a valid Citizen's ID is taken into custody.
Several private taxi companies operate within city limits, though only one--Midnight City Taxi Co.--accepts fares inside the Zone.
Midnight City's food supply is homegrown in a series of massive vertical farms located in SeaTac. Meat is primarily lab grown; authentic beef, chicken, or pork from a living animal is rare and generally considered a status symbol for the wealthy. Areas such as the Zone still experience food deserts, and those citizens disproportionately rely on synthetic, processed, instant, pre-packaged food. Nutritional supplements and powdered 'complete meal' drinks are common fare, in lieu of access to fresh food and a balanced diet.
Popular fast food chains include Doublemeat Palace, Thai Hard, Shenzhou Wok, and Big Kahuna Burger.
Medical coverage varies widely across the city, but generally correlates with the local neighborhood’s wealth; the core enjoys excellent quality and quantity of care, while the Zone contains a single, chronically understaffed and undersupplied hospital and a handful of questionable clinics.
While the city has facilities providing state-of-the-art gene therapy, artificial organ and limb construction and replacement, as well as the latest surgical techniques, the vast majority of the city can barely afford the staggering costs of these next-generation interventions.
Most of the city makes do with simple medicines and mass-manufactured remedies, with the poorest relying on black market and smuggled medicines, including those of dubious efficacy.
With approximately 100,000 officers spread across the city, along with a liberal issuance of android and heavy mechanized support, the Midnight City Police Department provides civilian security within the city limits. These officers are generally clustered into wealthy areas, protecting the ability of private and corporate wealth to grow and operate unimpeded. The rest of the city generally sees a mixture of wetware officers and automated patrol drones, ranging from light and heavy walker systems, wheeled patrol bots, and flying surveillance drones keeping an eye on the everyday citizen.
Protection Zone checkpoints are staffed liberally with riot police, military-grade support systems, and, occasionally, elements from the Midnight City Defense Forces themselves. Unrest too close to the border walls is generally met with overwhelming force.
See Midnight City Police Department for more information.
The Midnight City Fire Department provides fire suppression and first-responder services throughout the city. Operating out of drone charging stations and full-service firehouses, MCFD brings a small team of responders, filled out with ample support from aerial and wheeled drones, as well as smaller contingents of androids. Small substations can be found scattered throughout Midnight City, with larger buildings (at least, in more affluent areas) containing multiple responder stations.
Individuals living in marginal areas may elect to supplement MCFD service with a subscription to a private fire response service, or have an automated fire-suppression system installed into their home or business.
Midnight City's armed forces are officially called the Midnight City Defense Forces. It is an entirely volunteer force. All told, they employ roughly 60,000 full-time soldiers, sailors, and airmen and a further 20,000 part-time reservists. They operate out of three primary bases: MCFB Jericho located to the North of the city, MCFB Armitage between Midnight City and SeaTac, and MCFB Standen to the East of the city.
Following the conquest of SeaTac in 2107, the MCDF have not been engaged in any active conflicts. They are primarily used to shore up Police operations and suppress any potential civil unrest. The MCDF's primary concern is potential aggression from Nordraegen, and so much of their resources have been allocated to reconnaissance and espionage operations.
|32,391,985 (2274 Census)||11,253/km2 (29,145/sq mi)||2,878.52 km2 (1,111.40 sq mi)|
|60.8% Human||2.4% Mutant||1.3% Giant|
|24.5% Fae||1.7% Vampire||0.7% Dragonborn|
|7.2% Cyborg||1.4% Werecreature|
Midnight City is governed by a Mayor and the City Council. City Council is comprised of an elected representative from each District in the city, as well as single representatives from the City's external territories (Mag Mell and SeaTac). The exception to this is the RPZ; though it encompasses two Districts, it is only given a single representative.
Elections are held every four years. Voter Participation is uniformly low, averaging 17%. It is an open secret that City Council and the Mayor are owned by Gordian-Allod, and no representative may rise to power without the corporation's blessing.
The current Mayor is Rufus Barrick.
Midnight City's districts were drawn up according to the original territorial borders of the ten warlords who ruled the land prior to the Unseelie Court's unification. The borders remained relatively unchanged over the centuries, until the formation of the RPZ.
The ten Districts are: Whitecap, Uniontown, Northside, Gibson Valley, Riverside, Fraser (RPZ West), Cascadia (RPZ East), Lowertown, Woodboro, and Eastview
The two territories are Mag Mell and SeaTac.
Centered around the Midnight City Institute of Technology (MCIT, commonly called The Institute), this cluster of research labs and systems testing zones provides the state-of-the-art technologies that fuel Midnight City. Odd, next-generation drones and robots can be seen walking, rolling, and flying through the streets and skies, while press releases detail the latest findings in almost every scientific field. Containment domes, windowless concrete laboratories, and gleaming research centers dot the horizon, while researchers and technicians wander the streets in everything from t-shirts to lab coats. Whitecap has its own central train station, which provides express service to other areas of the city, while a rim-and-spoke layout of local tracks allow for rapid travel from place-to-place.
Key Locations: Midnight City Institute of Technology, Whitecap Station, Gordian-Allod Research Division
A mixture of glass, steel, and stone skyscrapers tower over the rest of the city, their occupants scheming for greater profits, control, and advantages over their rivals.
East of the Midnight City Institute of Technology’s campus, Uniontown - also called the Financial District - houses most of the largest Midnight City company headquarters, as well as regional headquarters for multiple mega-corporations. Auxiliary and support buildings run through the area, and a mixture of corporate housing and infrastructure support have spilled south over the past several decades.
As the need for smooth-flowing goods, services, personnel, and information rose, the city built up an extensive transportation hub moving throughout the area. Local and regional trains both operate out of the district, and a heavily engineered multi-level street system ensures that both personal, business, and service vehicles can travel smoothly from their origin to their destination.
Key Locations: Gordian-Allod International corporate HQ, Bank of Midnight City (BMC), Central Station, City Hall
The Northside skyline is a blocky silhouette of massive apartment complexes criss-crossed by skywalks -- covered walkways far above the streets, bridging the complexes at 30, 50, 70 floors. Primarily residential, traffic in the Northside follows the usual workday patterns of congestion. Traffic cams and even traffic drones patrol the speed traps liberally abused by the MCPD to make quota. It is a thoroughly middle-class area, yet middle-class in Midnight City is not free from troubles. Domestic violence, drug abuse, and the occasional psychotic break plague the lives of the indentured wage-slaves who populate the area, and sirens at all hours of the night are not uncommon.
Key Locations: MCPD 17th Precinct, Wagner Apartments, Midcity General Hospital
The Valley (which isn't actually a valley, despite its name -- don't ask) is home to some of Midnight City's hottest clubs. They've got everything -- designer drugs, genetically modified strippers, a cyborg bartender with a rocket launcher hand. If the club scene doesn't do it for you, try one of the many casinos, upscale restaurants, theatres, or catch a Squad Combat League match live at the Gordian-Allod Colosseum.
Key Locations: GA Colosseum, Club Stefon, Chez Carcajou, Holoplex Cineon Theatre
South of Uniontown on the other side of the river is the appropriately named Riverside district, sometimes colloquially referred to as the magic district. Several small enclaves of mages, necromancers, and shamans have found a home within its borders, supporting independent training academies, bluestone importers, and artifact traders. These shops are frequently raided by MCPD officers allegedly responding to reports of illegal imports. However, word on the street is that the Unseelie Court just wants to stop any independent parties from amassing too much magical power.
Key Locations: Bluewave Academy, The Magic Box, New Tairngire Imports
Resident Protection Zone (Fraser/RPZ West & Cascadia/RPZ East)
Bordered on the west and south by a mixture of concrete and razor-wire, the Zone fences off this lawless region from the rest of Midnight City. Armored towers provide security forces with a view of the zone’s border areas, while heavily guarded checkpoints control most travel in and out of the sprawling slums and towering ruins that dominate the northeastern part of the city. It’s said that all of the city’s illegal activity can be traced to hideaways and safe houses tucked away here. A motley assortment of illegal chems, bootleg weapons, and smuggled goods fill the marketplaces scattered throughout the area, providing the enterprising individual with anything they could possibly need. Need an untraceable gun? Software for that big heist? Or maybe you’re trying to track down some military-grade cybernetics and systems. For the right price, you can find it here. Unlicensed clinics, weapons dealers, magic smugglers, hitmen, drug dealers, and more all ply their trade in the shadows of the Zone, away from the prying eyes of Midnight City police and government regulations.
The Zone itself is a dreary, grimy labyrinth of concrete and steel, crumbling tenements, the constant buzz of gaudy, dying neon signs. The air is choked with smog from illegal industrial operations and the water is frequently filthy due to the perpetual breakdown of the pumping and filtration stations serving the area. Toxic waste flows freely in the rivers, with floods during the rainy months filling the low-lying areas with sludge and waste. Its mutant rats and fish are the stuff of legends.
Ostensibly created to keep the law-abiding citizens of Midnight City safe, the Zone was a reactionary measure to the widespread riots of 2251. But while this city-within-a-city has cultivated a hotspot for all manner of criminal, it has also trapped the poor unfortunate souls with the bad luck of being born there. Zone civilians face an uphill battle to dig themselves out of poverty enough to buy their way to freedom. Most don't. The Zone's gangs continue to grow because the civilians see no way out of their situation.
The police are all but absent within the Zone. There is a single precinct operating inside, staffed with troublemaking officers - the do-gooders too intent on exposing corruption, and the sociopaths too eager to pull the trigger - simply to keep them out of the way. The rest of the former Zone precints were reassigned to the checkpoints and guard towers that prevent unauthorized travel between the Zone and the rest of the city. Other emergency services, such as firefighters and EMTs, are woefully underfunded and understaffed. The city government spares no funding for social services in the area, so what help is available is a thin thread of Good Samaritans and volunteers.
Some say the Zone is the soul of Midnight City, a land of perpetual shadow. Literal shadow, in the way the high walls and decrepit skyscrapers and polluted haze combine to hide the sun. Spiritual and moral shadow, in the way its citizens will step on each other at the first opportunity to grab something for themselves. It's darkest at midnight, and it's always midnight in the Zone.
Key Locations: Lucky Sevens (RPZ West), Church of St. Duncan (RPZ West), The Butcher's Shop (RPZ East), "Chem Row"/"Meat Market" black markets (RPZ East)
Bordering the RPZ to the north, Lowertown is a run down area of mixed commercial and residential neighbourhoods. Its proximity to the RPZ leads to a neglect of all nonessential policing, and so much of the area has fallen into relative disarray. Various criminal enterprises make use of the underground tunnels running between Lowertown and the RPZ for smuggling purposes. Those lucky few who manage to claw their way out of the RPZ usually wind up in Lowertown's grimy apartment buildings. But even they are leagues better than the offerings of the RPZ.
Key Locations: Ammunition Alley, MCPD 48th Precinct, Fat Tony's Construction
At the northeastern edge of Midcity, Woodboro's entire outer boundary is marked by a tall, razor-wire tipped wall much like that which surrounds the RPZ. The military operates checkpoints at all entrances into the city. Despite being one of the few areas of the city with abundant natural plant life, thanks to the efforts of a shaman group, any sense of peace or freedom the trees of Woodboro might provide is stifled by the oppressive military presence and frequent convoys of apprehended smugglers being trucked to the prisons. Woodboro contains the city's largest park, called The Refuge, and has the sparsest population of all the districts.
Key Locations: Midcity Eastern Gate, The Refuge
Eastview is a predominantly industrial area, housing numerous warehouses, factories, and plants -- most of which are owned by Gordian-Allod or subsidiaries. There are several apartment mega-complexes used to house the factory employees much in the style of Shenzhou's worker-towns. Anti-suicide nets on upper floors are a common sight. Abandoned industrial sites are frequently used for criminal purposes or, in the case of the Sato Complex Track, converted for other activities such as death-defying street races.
Key Locations: GA Manufacturing Division, Sato Complex Race Track, Eastview Shipping
The Underground is a network of disused sewers, maintenance tunnels, and floodways that have been repurposed by the city's vampire population, allowing for underground travel throughout most of the city. The structural modifications to these tunnels were unauthorized, but city officials refuse to descend into its dark depths to enforce anything for fear of death. Most of the tunnels are bare-bones and unlit, but there are sections of The Underground where vampires and other social outcasts have set up makeshift apartments. Other sections are used by black market traders to transport goods into and out of the Zone. Still others have been inhabited by nightmarish monsters, psychotic killers, organ harvesters, and all other manner of horror. It is unwise to travel The Underground alone. Unless you know where you're going, there's a good chance you'll end up dead.
West of Midnight City proper is the island of Mag Mell, the southern end of which is dominated by the expansive, multi-million dollar estates of the wealthiest members of the Unseelie Court, as well as executives of Gordian-Allod International. Access is limited and private security guards the ferry terminal, while drones patrol the island's airspace. The island is heavily wooded. It is rumoured that a Midnight City Defense Forces black site exists somewhere on the northern end of the island.
Once a city-state in its own right, SeaTac was annexed by Midnight City in 2107. After a significant period of unrest, with Midnight City Defense Forces making constant patrols through its streets, thing eventually settled into "the new normal". SeaTac is now something of a bread basket for the city, packed with vertical farms and food production laboratories to support the more than 30 million residents.