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10/26/2004 3:51 PM

The year is 1897, the place is the heart of the British Isles; London. The Empire ruled by Her Royal Highness, Victoria, Queen of England and Empress of India formerly stretched over much of the world, but is beginning to dwindle along with Victoria's health. London society is a clash of the well-to-do and painfully upper class of the West End, and the dirty masses of the poor and criminal in the stinking East End. London has seen humanity of all sorts. For every W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw or Sir Frederick Treves there is a Jack The Ripper or Aleister Crowley.

It is in this period that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn took root. A mixture of Freemasonry and Rosicrucian traditions, coupled with the directives received from the mysterious Fraulein Sprengel, the Order was founded in 1888 by three prominent London Freemasons - Dr. William Wynn Westcott, Samuel Lidell MacGregor Mathers, and Dr. W.R. Woodman. Woodman has since died, Westcott resigned, and Mathers moved to Paris with his wife.

And the Golden Dawn has weakened along with the Queen and the British Empire. Several members have left or been forced out after various scandals.

[Edited by Ordovician on Thursday, October 28, 2004 11:04 AM]

10/26/2004 4:25 PM

I guess I'd better get used to British spelling, as befits this game. ;)

The PCs are all assumed to be of upper-class (or middle-class) British society, which are, after all, the movers and shakers of the Victorian world. All else is built upon the backs of those poor workers that labour in the East End markets and on the docks of Limehouse and the Isle of Dogs. Almost any concept is workable, the only real off-limits profession being labourer. The only preference I'd have about concepts is that you all be members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Next post, I'll try to give you a bit of background on the districts of London.

I've read many a book on Jack The Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, and Victorian horror stories, so I think I have a good grasp on the era. Actual Brits, forgive me for any errors.

[Edited by Ordovician on Thursday, October 28, 2004 11:04 AM]

10/26/2004 5:19 PM

An Overview of the Districts of London

City of London: When you think London, you're most likely thinking of the City. The center of the metropolis and the original site of the Roman city Londinium (an the Celtic settlement of Caer Lud before that), the City contains all the famous landmarks. The Tower of London, the Holborn Viaduct, St. Paul's Cathedral... all are in the City.

Isle of Dogs: A marshy peninsula extending into the Thames, the Isle of Dogs is an extremely high-crime area, a maze of docks and inlets.

Kensington: An extremely high-class area in the West End, just beyond Hyde Park. Home to many a doctor and businessman, including Sir William Gull, personal physician of Queen Victoria.

Lambeth (and Kennington): Don't confuse Kennington with Kensington! Lambeth and Kennington are low- and middle-class residential areas south of the Thames.

Limehouse: Between Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs lies this district, site of numerous canals and wharfs. It is also home to an extremely large Chinese and otherwise Asian population, and London's opium dens.

Rotherhithe: Home to the Surrey Canal, this district on the south side of the Thames is home to many folk who make their living off the sea and river.

Seven Dials: Growing like a cancer within thw West End is the pit known as the Seven Dials. Named for a bizarre seven-way intersection in the heart of the district, the Dials (also known as St. Giles) was a notorious 'rookery', or den of thieves. Picture the Old Brewery from Gangs of New York and you have a good image of Seven Dials. Even the police fear to go there.

Soho: A fashionable area of the West End. The foreign district, it is home to places of entertainment. Famous spots in Soho are the Egyptian Hall, Jermyn Street, and Piccadilly.

St. Marylebone: A section of northwestern London bordering on Regent's Park. Home to Madame Tussaud's wax museum, and the famous 221B Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes.

Westminster: The governmental center of London. Here you can find the Houses of Parliament, Scotland Yard, Buckingham Palace, the Prime Minister's home in Downing Street, and the quintessential image of London - Big Ben.

Whitechapel (and Wapping and Spitalfields): The most notorious sections of London in the Victorian era. Whitechapel , Wapping, and Spitalfields were terrible ghettoes, home of poor immigrants, mostly from Germany and Eastern Europe. The area was also home to a staggering number of prostitutes, thieves, and con-men, and is perhaps best-known for its least desirable inhabitant - Jack The Ripper.

10/28/2004 11:10 AM

This story will begin with the characters being sent to Paris by the leadership of the London lodge of the Golden Dawn to spy on one of the founders, Samuel Lidell MacGregor Mathers, who has moved there along with his wife. Mathers' home is at 87 Rue Mozart.

[hadn't posted that, I guess I'd better]

10/30/2004 4:24 PM

This looks really interesting, but I know far to little about London, and even British culture in general, let alone in that specific era.

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