Shadows of Detroit
They say Detroit has never really been the same since the First Matrix Crash back in ‘29. I don’t doubt it; it was one of the deadliest historical events of the century, possible since the Civil War. The riots were already deadly; thousands were jobless, starving. Confused. The Awakening was still fresh in everyone’s mind; they had to account for all these Orks and Mages and all kinds of other unfamiliar variables. When the lights went out, when friends died in the fires and panic that followed, people got angry. Very angry. – Angie Winchester, Director of Public Relations, Ares Macrotechnology
It just kept going, you know? I get this from my pops; I’m 18, it’s not like I was there. Still, from what I hear, things had been fucked for, like, years. When the power went off, people got up, and they stayed up. The United States fell apart and teamed up with fucking… what you call it, Canada, and nobody even knew what was happening. It wasn’t no riot. It was a war. It was a war that lasted almost 20 years, and not Ares, or UrPro, or Knight-fucking-Errant has ever put a stop to it. The US just pulled out and forgot about us until Mr. Damien Knight, fucking CEO of Ares, decided he wanted to cut up some cheap land and landed his ass down here in the Motor Hellhole. Oh sure, they carved out some of the comfy parts of Detroit to lay their fucking eggs, but the rest of us out here in the West Side? We just have less room to hide from each other now. We’re not safer. We’re just further away.-Antonio Gilassi, Mafia package boy
I consider the riots to be the chief factor behind Detroit’s criminal difficulties. We have made headway there, and Ares will be the primary agent in a battle to civilize the Motor City.-Damien Knight, CEO of Ares Macrotechnology.
History of the Motor Hellhole
It often seems, to observers within Detroit, that the rest of the world has continued advancing while the city has remained – at least until recently – locked in complete stasis. While the rest of the world was dealing with the emergence of magic, with the emergence of metahumans, with the emergence of technology, Detroit raged. Riots were sparked off in 2025 due to a series of proposed bills designed to give expanded rights to metahumans. A well-armed gang of humans stormed a police barracks shortly thereafter, and the city was thrown into anarchy.
Pressure from the Amerindian nations prevented the US from committing more forces to retaking the city. Not that they didn’t try; a well-coordinated division attacked in 28’ and was stopped by a surprisingly powerful gang of Orks – calling themselves the “”/campaign/shadowsofdetroit/wikis/ashers" class=“wiki-page-link”>Ashers" – who decimated the largely mundane unit with crude magicks. Confused why a group of metahumans would oppose US intervention, the US made one final attempt to contact the Ashers, asking them what their goals and desires were. They replied simply: Supremacy.
Following the First Crash and the formation of the UCAS, the city was declared a lost cause and largely abandoned to its fate while the fledgling nation consolidated its resources and plotted its future. A group of local business owners, self-proclaimed law enforcement and outside politicians formed a group called UrPro – the Urban Replanning Project – which was committed to taking back Detroit from the ever-increasing rule of terror wielded by the criminal organizations that had muscled their way into power within the city. The UrPro was largely impotent in the face of the Mafia, the Yakuza, and the Ashers, and would likely have stayed that way, were it not for the direct intercession of Ares, and more specifically, Damien Knight.
Mr. Knight had acquired Ares in ’33, 2 years before the UrPro was founded, but had not taken an active interest in the organization or its goals until ’38. After investing a hefty sum – the total is still off the books – into the UrPro, a large detachment of Knight Errant elite soldiers led a surprise strike near what is now Waterfront, winning a critical beachhead. The fighting continued for nearly 2 years before the company called it quits, acquiring what is now Waterfront, NuCenter, and Highland. Later that year, Ares made a bold, symbolic move by relocating its corporate headquarters to Detroit, after purchasing a small tract of land now called “”/campaign/shadowsofdetroit/wikis/Ares%20Island/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Ares Island“, located in the ”/campaign/shadowsofdetroit/wikis/Detroit%20River/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Detroit River.
“”/campaign/shadowsofdetroit/wikis/Urbanization/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Urbanization" as it has been called (although most have pointed out that it is a ridiculous word, being as how Detroit is already a city) occurred rapidly, with Knight Errant clamping down firmly on the areas within its new jurisdiction. East Detroit has been transformed from a criminal hellhole into a habitable, corporate playground. Those undesirable to Ares, or unwilling to work for the company (or unable, for those who were SINless) were ejected from the “safe zones”, into still very-much-dangerous areas of West Detroit.
West Detroit remains, as it ever was, full of crime and violence, but the three major criminal syndicates – not to mention any number of smaller ones – now have a common enemy in Ares and Knight Errant in particular. Other Corps have also made inroads in West Detroit. Even Lone Star has set itself up in some places as a direct competitor to KE, which has largely abandoned the “Red Zones” of West Detroit. The Yakuza, the Mafia, and the Ashers reached an unknown accord some time in ‘68, although the agreement had been informal for decades. The precise nature of this agreement is still fuzzy, particularly as the three organizations still seem to be at each other’s throats; but now, violence occurs mostly through proxies, and the body’s don’t seem to build up in the streets quite as much anymore.