Portland in Shadow

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The city of Portland is a vast and dynamic city, a curious alchemical mixture of natural features, urban growth and cutting edge sociology and technology. Unsurprisingly, its Shadow reflects these traits in abundance.

Aside from the unique traits noted below, most of the areas in Portland adhere to the typical places that might be found in the Shadow, as noted in Shadow Landscape.


Ubiquitous Spirits of Portland's Shadow

  • Temperate Rainforest Spirits: Naturals The native environment of Portland is that of a temperate rainforest, a fairly rare biome in the world's ecology. The heavy rain it receives makes it a lush home for plantlife of a broad variety, and even in Portland's man-infested Shadow, those tree, fern and various animal spirits still make their homes.
  • Technology Spirits: Artificials The prevailing interest in consumer-used technological advances in Portland makes it a hospitable environment for all sorts of technological spirits. WiFi spirits are ubiquitous, as many locations not only maintain networks, but open them up to their customers and passers by. Indeed, the presence of the Silicon Web (see below, in Beaverton/Hillsboro) makes the presence of such spirits even more common than it otherwise might be.
  • Rain Spirits: Elementals Spirits of rain and drizzle predominate the skies of Portland's Shadow. Though they tend to be individually weak (Portland almost never sees the kind of stormy weather that leads to the birth of storm elementals, for instance), they are quite numerous and powerful as a group. These spirits frequently war with the solar spirits who frequent the Willamette Valley for dominance of the skies.
  • Counterculture Spirits: Conceptuals "Keep Portland Weird" goes the saying, and that's just the way these spirits like it. Myriad spirits of countercultural and sub-cultural expressions make Portland their home: liberal politics, civil rights, queer activism, environmentalism and all manner of similar conceptuals find themselves quite at home here.
  • Solar Spirits: Celestials Strangely in a place that sees so much rain, Portland's Shadow has a powerful continent of solar spirits who routinely wage war with the spirits of the rain for dominance of the skies. It is said that there is a reclusive court of solar spirits far in the skies above Portland, but it is so difficult to reach that no one really knows anything about them.


General Features & Spirit Population

The northwest portion of Portland is among the oldest of its districts. Its Shadow, as might be expected, has the least amount of natural environmental traits, consider how long urbanization has been influencing its Resonance. What it does feature is a strange mish-mash of features from every age of Portland's history, starting in the 1850s. Saloons and general stores stand next to speakeasies and internet cafes, on streets that are rutted mud paths, cobbled and asphalt in patches.

The spirits of this district reflect the nature of the historical mish-mash, with (admittedly weakened) carriage spirits among the minivan spirits. There are two major Spirit Courts in this district: the Court of Portlandia and the Lurkers (both noted below). The Resonances of these spirits greatly define even the nature of those spirits that belong to neither of them: during the day, and above the streets, everything is expected to run according to predictable time-tables with clearly defined functions, while below the streets, and at night, it is a fog-choked place of fear and trepidation.

  • Downtown: The domain of the Court of Portlandia, Downtown's Shadow is a place of solid order. Everything runs according to the Directors' precise schedules. There are probably more vehicle spirits here than any other neighborhood in Portland's Shadow, and the fading-in-and-out historical features of the rest of Northwest Portland is almost entirely absent here. There is only room for the most modern of spirits. PIONEER COURT HOUSE SQUARE, FOX TOWER Typical Spirits: Data/WiFi, Car and Bus spirits, Plane spirits, Train Serpents, very tame Tree spirits. Loci: x
  • Arlington Heights: Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Gardens, large grand houses
  • Forest Park: large forested park area
  • Goose Hollow: Geese, buried creek
  • Linnton: Old lumber mills, riverside gas and coke refining plant, warehouses, possible toxic waste
  • Northwest District: Trendy-Third Street, dining/entertainment/nightlife, Good Sam Hospital
  • Northwest Heights: On side of West Hills, close to shopping, dining, entertainment
  • Northwest Industrial: Extensive industrialization, land preserved for industrial use and to resist residential pressures, former wetlands turned into railyards, Lewis and Clark Expo in 1905, Guild's Lake slowly filled in as a landfill, totally disappeared in the 1920s, WWII shipyards
  • Old Town Chinatown: Union Station, old Chinese neighborhood, Typical Spirits: X. Loci: Center of the Tunnels, Shanghai Tunnels (Locus ••••; Predation); Skidmore Fountain (Locus ••••; Need).
  • Pearl District: Former warehouses and railyards, Powell's Books, art galleries/restaurants/breweries, free wireless service,
  • Riverplace & South Waterfront: Riverplace older and more mature, with apartments, restaurants, marina, southern edge of Waterfront Park, fireworks; SoWa district up and coming, with large riverside towers
  • Sylvan-Highlands: residential, with Oregon Zoo and Washington Park (including Rose Test Gardens)

District Loci

  • Skidmore Fountain (Locus ••••; Need): Old Town Chinatown The fountain itself is the locus, radiating a sense of Need throughout its environs. During the majority of the week, this manifests in the city's indigent population, who hang out both around the Fountain proper and in the environs of the Burnside Bridge above it, where various social services intending on aiding the homeless regularly spring up. During the weekends, the Saturday Market grows up around it, where shoppers wander through the booths, driven by the resonance to purchase little hand-crafted luxuries they might not otherwise look at twice elsewhere.
  • Center of the Tunnels (Locus ••••; Predation): Shanghai Tunnels Hidden within the tunnels beneath Old Chinatown and the waterfront is a crossroads. This site is a potent locus, radiating a Predation resonance. Originally used by unscrupulous seamen seeking to add unwilling sailors to their crews, the tunnels are now the home of the mad and desperate among the indigent population, who still give in to the resonance of the place, victimizing one another and those unfortunate enough to stumble into the tunnels.
  • X (Locus ••••): Forest Park X
  • The Speaking Point, Pioneer Court House Square (Locus ••; Communication): Downtown Speaking spot in amphitheater, focus for free expression and freedom, attended by ample Mercurial spirits who often fetter to the Allow Me statue or the Weather Machine.
  • Club Sesso (Locus ••; Lust): Owned by near-legendary former porn star Ron Jeremy, Club Sesso is a swinger's club, intended as a place for its customers to find and sate their lusts. In the short time since its creation, it has developed into a locus, radiating raw, unrestrained lascivious resonance throughout the club.
  • X (Locus ••): X

The Turnback Pathway

Verge • Forest Park

The Crossroads of Bridges

Place-That-Isn't • Only in Shadow
Portland is frequently referred to as "Bridgetown," homage paid to the large number of bridges that cross its many waterways. In the Shadow, this vision of Portland's skyline has given birth to a strange reality, in which all the bridges of Portland and its outlying areas merge onto a single, cobble-stoned square.

While on any bridge in Portland, one need only shift into Shadow to find oneself on a bridge leading to the Crossroads of Bridges. A place of power of such potency that it would outstrip all other loci in Portland's Shadow, the only reason it does not is simple: it has not corresponding locale in the physical world to punch through to.

The Crossroads of Bridges is a potent spirit locale, and a place of peace and accord. Spirits may meet here without threat from any others who come here, a peace enforced by the trolls that dwell beneath the great spans of Portland's bridges in shadow, terrifying creatures who have forged whole communities suspended above the waters of the rivers. All who come to the Crossroads of Bridges must pay a toll of a single point of Essence.

More than once the madness of Convergence (see Northeast Portland) has led him to try and steal away the Crossroads of Bridges for his own, intent on destroying them and "unshackling the rivers."

The Warehouse Shoal

Occurs in the Northwest Industrial District.

Spirit Population


The Court of Portlandia

Feudal Domain • Northwest Portland, Downtown
The Court of Portlandia is a spirit court gathered around the spirit called Portlandia (Essence 5 • Location Spirit) and her four Directors: the Director of Roads, Cobblestone; the Director of Rails, Steamwhistle; the Director of Flight, ATC; and the Director of Docks, Paddlewheel. The Directors are all Essence 4 Conceptuals who embody the modes of travel that make the commerce of Portland possible.

Additionally, the Directors also have elemental associations, with Roads associated with Earth, Rails associated with Fire, Flight associated with Air and Docks associated with Water. The Court of Portlandia is easily the largest spirit court in Portland's Shadow, and hosts a variety of travel and elemental spirits in their retinues. The Court is based out of the Thirteenth Floor, a floor of the Portland Building that exists only in Shadow.

The Lurkers

Spirit Brood • Northwest Portland, Old Town Chinatown
In the dark places of Northwest Portland dwell the Lurkers, a brook of terrifying predation- and darkness-spirits. Based out of the tunnels beneath the city here, nearly every area of Portland has a few members of the Lurkers here and there, waiting outside of sight. The Court of Portlandia and the Lurkers have an uneasy peace, as the Court claims the above-ground of NW Portland as its own, while the Lurkers claim its tunnels, sewers and basements.

Other Unique Spirits

X Known Loci: 6 (2, 2, 2, 4); Other Details:

  • Neighborhoods:

Northeast Portland

Known Loci: 10; Other Details: Brood, Dead Spot, Brood

The Brood of Convergence

Spirit Brood • Northeast Portland
In the portion of town most wholly dominated by the Willamette River rules the Brood of Convergence, a brood of water elementals and river spirits. Their master is a powerful spirit named Convergence, a half-mad river spirit of the Willamette, which in the last decade has consumed the river spirits of the various tributaries that branch off the Willamette up and down the valley. Now, rumor says that it has set its sights on greater prey: the Columbia Maiden herself, the spirit of the Columbia River.

North Portland

Known Loci: 4; Other Details: Dead Spot, Domain (Mob Rule)


Mob Rule Domain • North Portland

Southeast Portland

Known Loci: 11; Other Details: Domain (Gods & Monsters), Spider Webs


Gods & Monsters Domain • Southeast Portland


Feudal Domain • Southwest Portland

Southwest Portland

Known Loci: 9; Other Details: Crows Nest, Domain (Feudal Court), Spider Webs

  • Club Sesso (Locus ••; Lust): Owned by near-legendary former porn star Ron Jeremy, Club Sesso is a swinger's club, intended as a place for its customers to find and sate their lusts. In the short time since its creation, it has developed into a locus, radiating raw, unrestrained lascivious resonance throughout the club.

Beaverton & Hillsboro

  • Known Loci: 7 total
  • The Silicon Forest: A massive portion of the Beaverton and Hillsboro Shadow is home to what is called the Silicon Forest, an eerie area thick with technological spirits of all kind, draped in filaments of spun silicon which pulse ominously like light through optic cabling. The spirits of this area are all part of the Shadow Web court (see above), a body of technological spirits. Most of the area's loci are found within the Silicon Forest, as well.
    • The Server Citadel (Catalyst): A perpetually black-skied area whose stars blink and pulse in binary code, accessed through strictly-controlled tunnels of woven silicon filaments, the Server Farm is located over one of the largest of the Intel campuses in the area. This is the seat of the Silicon Forest, and it is thick with spidery technological spirits. This area is also a Catalyst, transforming those spirits who come here (or, far more frequently, dragged here by Silicon Web spirits) into technological servitors of the Web. The potent technological Resonance of the area is strong enough to bleed through, affecting the humans who work on this campus, investing them with a near-obsessive interest in technology (or perhaps simply driving away those without such an interest already).

The Silicon Web

Spirit Brood • Beaverton/Hillsboro
An already large and expanding spirit brood based out of the so-called Silicon Forest area of Shadow between Beaverton and Hillsboro, the Silicon Web is made up of a host of technological spirits. The exact lords of this court are unknown - it is hostile to those who enter its domain, and even those who approach it respectfully speak only to emissary spirits. Based on the name of the court, though, most assume it is an arachnoid technology spirit of some kind.

Lake Oswego

Known Loci: 4; Other Details: Domain (Mob Rule) X


Mob Rule Domain • Lake Oswego


Known Loci: 3; Other Details: Domain (Feudal), Places-That-Aren't X


Feudal Domain • Tualatin

Vancouver, WA

Known Loci: 10; Other Details: Brood, Domain (Mob Rule), Spider Webs, Glade X


Feudal Domain • Vancouver, WA


Spirit Brood • Vancouver, WA