Shadows of Detroit
This article concerns itself with the present state of the city of Detroit. For more information on the history of Detroit, please visit this article: Detroit History
Culture and Entertainment
This leads to a separate article. Click here for more information: Detroit Entertainment
Census information is spotty; Detroit has somewhere between 5 and 6 million people currently residing in it, with most of the population in the urban center. While an exodus certainly occurred following the riots, a large influx of “pioneers” – a local derogatory term for SINless people looking for a lawless haven to murder, steal, and destroy – made up for the lost population. Further, most of those who stayed ran to the city; the suburbs were unsafe, mostly due to raids from Detroit gangs looking for supplies.
Of those numbers, approximately 16% are Orks and 7% are elves, which are by far the most populous metavarients. Dwarves make up about 3% of the population and Trolls make up 1%. Orks are fairly common in Detroit, and for unknown reasons, a large portion of Detroit’s population changed during Goblinization. Of course, exact numbers on this above-average metamorphosis are difficult to derive, since numbers from before the riots are based mostly on anecdotal reports.
Detroit is located directly next to the Detroit River, which connects both Lake St Clair and Lake Eerie. It is also located just over a hundred miles south of Lake Huron. In the past, this close proximity to the Great Lakes had Detroit a major economic and industrial powerhouse; but in 2072, the importance of the waterways has greatly diminished. Still, boating is immensely popular, and death-races via speedboats are still a notable past time among the young and stupid.
The city is composed of 4 major areas, or zones. These include East Detroit, West Detroit, the Wastes and the Tram Towns. Technically the Tram Towns are located several miles away from one another, and DISOA, which is officially part of East Detroit is more accurately described as “South Detroit”, but the zoning still holds.
East Detroit is comprised of the areas declared “safe” by Knight Errant after Ares’ occupation. It includes the glitzy entertainment district of NuCenter, the business and financial of hub known as Downtown, and a commercial district located next to the river (cleverly titled, Waterside). It also contains two residential areas: the East Side, which is where most corporate employees reside in safe but sparse apartment complexes, and Highland, a very exclusive closed (read: walled) community. DISOA, (the Detroit International Suborbital Airport) is located at the southern edge of Detroit; it’s various terminals service transportation all over the globe, and even outside of it. Most North American space transportation passes through DISOA, particularly to various space stations. Unsurprisingly, Ares Island is a veritable fortress, where Ares International Headquarters stands like a majestic emperor.
West Detroit is substantially less “safe”. Nearly all of West Detroit is residential; unlike East Detroit, almost nothing was planned, and enterprising construction companies have plopped down enormous apartment complexes wherever they were able to find a few spare inches to do so. Ganger Haven is the least populous, but is home to dozens of minor street gangs, drug dealers, and arms peddlers. It is also the home turf of the Ashers, who promote violence and competition in the area, maintaining a “survival of the fittest” mentality to lesser gangs (or more aptly, “If you can survive our constant bombardment, we will tolerate your existence for another 12 hours or so.”) The West Side is an old-school ghetto, populated by a wide variety of ethnicities and meta-types, and is home to Detroit’s Mafia. The Swath – probably the most technologically advanced portion of West Detroit – is a largely vertical affair, with towering buildings and dangerous bridges between them. The Swath is the most polluted part of the city and boasts the majority of Detroit’s Asian population, and by no coincidence, is where the Yakuza consolidates much of its power. Noman’s Land is a peculiar tract of territory, a place where gang violence is forbidden by the gangs themselves. No one is quite sure why except for the absolute tops of each organization. It is drastically overpopulated, but the gang proscription against violence has cowed most of the locals to staying in line, and the rumors tend to generate enough fear to keep would-be rebels from finding out what the big secret is.
The Wastes are something else altogether. Once a populous neighborhood, it has been gradually abandoned after years of decay. It has been inhabited by a wide variety of animals and plants, both awakened and otherwise. A few holdouts still reside there, but they are almost entirely off the grid. It certainly holds dangerous all its own, and while it can be a great hiding locale, it is also one of the few urban environments where being eaten by a bear is a real possibility.
Finally, there are the Tram Towns – James Town and more recently, Windsor. Both of these suburbs had been largely abandoned; when the UCAS declared the city a lost cause, raiding parties were common. However, after the arrival of Ares, some effort has been taken to rebuild these smaller communities, but without all the hassle of creating jobs and infrastructure out there. The Trams – ultra-light rails – were built to move residents from the Tram Towns to the urban center of Detroit in minutes. This has allowed the city to move outward somewhat instead of up, but the side effect is that the Tram Towns are entirely dependent on the Trams. For most residents of these suburbs, they don’t even have a school, job, or restaurant anywhere near their homes and must turn to the city for most of their needs.