Magical Streets of Ravenhelm

This week we played another session of I’m Sorry Did You Say Street Magic by Caro Ascersion and created a Victorian city of the supernatural and steam-driven super-science called Ravenhelm. The River Mana serves as the primary dividing line between the science and supernatural sides of town. The bridges that span the river are tended by the Plongeurs, a guild of mechanics and plumbers known for their precision and elbow grease, who coordinate the raising of the bridges to allow for ships to pass up the Mana.

On the east side of the River Mana, lies Tinker’s Row, the neighborhood dominated by machinery, filled with metalworks, gadgetariums, and gearworks, where the many craftspeople of the city live. The heart of the Row is a metalworks called Smythe’s Smithy, an open air market known for both fine craftsmanship and the welcoming guffaw of its proprietor. Another landmark in Tinker’s Row on Clockwork Alley is the Hall of Science, where the winners of the annual invention competition are on permanent display, including the staticky Tesla coils that dominate the entrance to greet visitors. It is also the starting point of a race between a young inventor and his rival, the former’s jet-carriage competing against the latter’s automated velocipede. As they careen down toward the river, both vehicles crash, but the young inventor wins the foot race back to the Hall. Unfortunately, you can’t win a vehicle race on foot. At the edge of the Row is the Community Archive, called the Bookhouse by most, which welcomes those who enter Ravenhelm from the east and contains many books and pamphlets about the great city and its technological marvels. The Archive is tended by the Head Librarian, who is an agent of compromise able to broker alliances, even between the supernatural keepers of the Candy Apple and Eternal Night from the western side of the river.

A crane waits at a bus station overrun with water.
Image courtesy of Caro Asercion.

On the western shore lies the Bitter Apple Woods, full of great trees that create a vast, shadowy forest in which supernatural creatures dwell in homes scattered amongst the trees. The two biggest landmarks in the Woods are the Candy Apple Church and the Eternal Night Planetarium & Café. The Candy Apple Church is deep in the woods and was long ago abandoned by the believers, so the vampires took over care of it. It’s known for quiet and tranquility, but when two young vampires break tradition to marry elsewhere, the repercussions ripple across Ravenhelm. Across the Woods, at 1 Milky Way, lies the Eternal Night Planetarium & Café, a night spot where you can watch the stars while listening to eerie orchestral new age sounds. Thanks to the intervention of the Librarian, Eternal Night and Candy Apple agree to work together to keep weddings in the Woods and out of Le Grand Ville.

Le Grand Ville is the neighborhood to the north of the other two and spans across the River Mana. Therein live the rich, powerful, and famous, or those who wish to appear so, looking down upon those too strange or too proletarian to live there. The Grandioso on Halindroso Road is the fanciest and most advanced restaurant in the world, using high technology and animated objects to provide exceptional service and delicious dinners to any who can afford their pristine, upscale attentions. The Grandioso is the reason that the Eternal Night and Candy Apple had to band together because it became a venue for vampires and other supernaturals to hold their events. There is quite the scandal when royalty is found to be living at 344B Coventry Lane, creating whispers and rumours about the Heir’s Hideout after having lived there uneventfully for so long. The Heir’s best friend is a kindhearted klutz who makes a mess of the Heir’s surprise birthday celebration. But the biggest event was the arrival of the Queen to bring her son home, an event that caused a stir and an opportunity for the Grandioso to court royal patronage.