Locations of interest
There’s something seriously wrong with the abandoned property of Jones fairground, occupying prime real estate along the beach of Santa Monica. In mage-sight, it is grey and decaying, with rust the colour of blood and walls gaily painted the red of inflamed skin. Their old mascot, Armadillo Roger, leers like a paedophile in the locker-room from countless idolatrous statues and wall-murals, with eyes that seems to follow you throughout this forsaken place.
Well, that’s dramatic. But there’s no denying that bad things happen at Jones fairground and they happen a lot. Every five years like clockwork, since the parks opening in 1991, the place has suffered horrifying incidents.
1991: A staff-member committed an especially violent sexual assault against a drunk teen while wearing his official armadillo-costume. This began the long Santa Monica local tradition of referring to Jones Fairground as Rapetown Carnival and the mascot-armadillo as Roger the Rapist.
1996: The wooden rollercoaster broke down in mid-descent, causing two carts and 20 people to smash into the ground at 80mph. All in all, 13 limbs had to be amputated by the jaws of life .The ride operator swore he saw some strange being unscrewing the rails right before the accident. He later killed himself by hanging himself from the ruins of the rollercoaster.
2001: Lovers Lane caught fire and five couples died from smoke inhalation in the dark tunnel before emergency staff could arrive. They were found huddled together, charred to a crisp, yet embracing each other tightly in death. Their blackened jaws were opened in silent, permanent screams.
2006: Tony Jones, proprietor since 1991 called a rambling press conference, where only two reporters show up. After reading a lengthy statement where he begged for forgiveness for unspecified “things I have done”, he hurriedly drew a pistol and blew his own brains out all over a statue of Armadillo Roger. The park was closed, but not torn down.
2011: Five teenage runaways were found in the House of Horrors, chained to the wall. Their eyes and brains have been scooped out and there were signs of human tooth-marks on their decayed flesh and exposed bones.
2016: Who knows, yet… But the current owner, Mark Jones, is terrified of more bad press. For whatever reason, any attempt to tear the place down fails. Contractors back out, land deals fall through. It’s an ulcer haemorrhaging money and bad press and he is as getting as desperate as his father to be rid of it somehow.
Rae’s diner is not the Hogswart train. It’s not some sort of supernatural circus where everything’s pentagrams and wax candles and muggles can’t see it. You can’t throw around spells in there, you can’t loudly talk about the Adamantine Orders new Crusade (Unless you want to be mistaken for a larper) – Rae won’t have it, and he has a wall-of-shame with people banned from the premises who couldn’t keep their big fat mouths shut.
It’s just a god-damn diner with okay burgers, a coke fountain and hopefully a liquor license in the next few years if those dicks at the City Council will finally do something about his application. The only exceptional thing about the place is that Rae is a sleepwalker. He’s “in the know”. If the place is empty, he won’t mind a little tomfoolery and cantrips, or heated discussions about the proper foci to use. It’s just fun and games, so long as it doesn’t bother his REAL customers.
Something always seems a little off about the diner however. In mage-sight, it looks faded and ephemeral. Daylight hours, it’s almost always empty and looks closed – Even though the door is open and the “Welcome!” sign on. At night is glistens with neon and is always practically packed to the brim with customers, yet Rae hires no extra staff. The milk is always sour and flowers wilt inside the place (Naturally, Rae uses plastic flowers instead). If questioned, Rae will evade, lie, or tell you to fuck off. It’s none of your business about his place.
And that’s that.
The Ascendant Hotel & Theatre.
700 rooms, 250 person theatre and a handful of ghosts. Who could ask for more? The Ascendant opened on May 1st 1928 as a transient long-term hotel for visitors and tourists there to enjoy the pacific air. One year later, the stock-market crashed and 600 rooms stood empty while the streets outside crawled with the homeless and destitute. In 1933, a falling chandelier in the main ballroom killed irish 10-year-old twin sisters Marge and Rachel O’Sullivan. Their father hung himself a year later to the day, while staying in room 13:4. His suicide note read: “I’m coming to join my babies, riding the lift up and down forever.”
In the 1950s, Soviet assassin Dimitri “The Knot” Karlov had a deal with janitorial staff at the hotel. He would ply his target with drinks in the main restaurant, offer to show them the famous ghosts of the Ascendant and down in the boiler room he would let them join them by way of a knotted cord, like the Thuggees of British India. The remains were dumped unceremoniously in the boiler and the warmth of the dead kept the showers running comfortably at the Ascendant until 1954.
The theatre has its own spectres. It’s always been avant-garde, hosting the crème-de-la-crème of the modern art scene. Great artists have performed there, others have displayed great installations on its scene, with visitors led in a line past it like devotees at some strange temple. “Eyes” in 1975 caused a sensation when over 1500 pickled animal eyes were impaled on stakes and placed to watch the audience as they passed. Three audience members fainted and 2 were arrested after storming the stage and trying to tear it all down. 1980s “Mind of a serial killer” featured a simple jar. The contents? The removed frontal lobe of Jimmy Carlton, the Dallas prostitute stabber of 1960-66. Jimmy himself was drooling placidly in a Texas asylum until his death in 1990, though orderlies claimed he spoke clearly while his mutilated brain was on display, greeting visitors in Santa Monica while in his padded cell several states away.
In 1991, wannabe-actress Stephanie Amber Wellis ran naked into the elevator on the third floor. Silent security footage showed her screaming wildly as she smashed her hand against the buttons in a seemingly random pattern, while fending off invisible assailants with the other. She stepped out on the 13th floor and was never seen again.
In 2001 the Ascendant was rebranded as the Ascendant Suites and the new owners tried to forget about the ghosts of the past. All 700 rooms were renovated and reopened as a long-term stay hotel. It’s been eagerly relishing its reputation as a haunted hotel since then, milking every drop out of wannabe Stephen Kings, charging extra for rooms on the infamous 13th floor.
Of interest to mages is that the ascendant is one of the most well-known Stygian verges in the greater L.A. area and features a potent, unclaimed Hallow on its premises. The sour fruit that grows in its garden is actually Tass.
Our Lady of Respite Cemetery
Our Lady of Respite was founded in 1770 by Spanish missionaries as a plague-cemetary for the Tongva Indians they had rounded up and were systematically annihilating through smallpox, overwork and casual Christian cruelty. As the dead natives piled higher and higher, the Spanish were forced to rely on Mestizo labour In the area, and the exploited dead continued to pile deep below the earth while empty masses rang above. Famed rancher Jonathan Sawyer purchased the land after secularization drove the Franciscans away. He let his cattle graze and shit over the dead, and some say it was why he died the slow death he did, though others blame the syphilis that took his nose. Sawyer was quite mad by the end, but the courts of the day accepted his last will and testament which passed the ranch and the nigh-forgotten cemetery to Mormon missionaries who reopened the cemetery by promptly and unilaterally baptising the dead Indians into the LDS. The graveyard was sanctified and reopened, but in accordance with present-time Mormon beliefs, the burials were limited to native American and black converts to Mormonism.
Eventually the Catholics returned, and bought the old mission-grounds back in 1916, which was good timing. Americas entry into WW1 and the influenza bred in the trenches decimated the population of young men, survivors of the war-to-end-all-wars brought low by the filth of the trenches.
Wars come, wars go. WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf 1, Gulf 2. A final defilement in 2006 when archaeologists from UCLA disinters several Tongva and carts them off. The tribe is unrecognized, there is no-one to listen to the complaints of the few remaining scions of the tribe.
Throbbing to the beat of techno, dub-step and other synthetic pseudo-music, electrified by the finest amphetamines and lubricated on a drinks-menu including no less than 6 drinks with the word “Orgasm” in them, Purgatory is where you go if you want to fuck or get fucked, metaphorically or literally. It’s the scumbag hangout par excellence – If you want to score meth, or a revolver with the serial filed off, or a Kazakhstani teenager, then Purgatory is where you go. The owner, Fawad Ahadi, takes 20% of any deal and is available as a contact for player characters with Fame 1 or higher – Fawad doesn’t’ deal with street trash, when he could let his goons do it for him. Circumstances can change of course, but as a rule Fawad has no interest in helping nobodies do anything.
Assume anything bought illegally at Club Purgatory is 1 resource dot more expensive than if it were obtained through legal channels.
Santa Monica P.D.
Santa Monica’s finest, the boys and girls in blue, the mean-lean machine of JUSTICE that keeps the thin line between society and anarchy from functioning. Not at all a bunch of over-unionized corrupt cocksuckers who’d only respond in force to a crime threatening Krispy Kreme. While the average cop is just mildly corrupt, there are shining stars and total blackguards represented on the force. The following cop is just an example. Obviously, he doesn't turn up every time the cops are called.
Sgt. Jacob Kerensky has been on the force since 1991. He arrested Roger the Armadillo on his third day on the Force. He was present off-the-clock in 1996 when the rollercoaster smacked into the ground and gave first-aid. In 2001, his 16-year-old daughter died when Jones Lovers Lane caught fire.