Welcome to Denver
In 2018, the Treaty of Denver created the NAN and ended the war between the old USA and the Amerindian population. As one of the concessions of the war, it Denver was created as the Front Range Free Zone (FRFZ). A place where citizens of the Ute, Sioux, Aztlan, Pueblo Corporate Council, and United States of America could freely intermingle. Citizens of the FRFZ were immune to taxation by any of these nations. Instead, they were governed by the Council of Denver. Each of the 5 signatory nations had the right to appoint one council member.
That worked about as well as you might expect. The only thing the council could universally agree on was to tax the hell out of the city’s inhabitants. (Flat 15% Income Tax, 10% VAT) The Ute, Sioux, and PCC councilors quickly formed a voting bloc, which enabled them to control most decisions in the city.
Things continued to deteriorate until 2023 when the UCAS decided it’d had enough. They sketched out a “sector” of the city and built a wall around it. The other 4 signatories promptly took similar actions.
In 2034, the CAS seceded from the UCAS. To accommodate this split, the UCAS Sector was split into two parts. The CAS was then given a voting spot on the Council. Because votes needed to be won by a simple majority, and there were now 6 council members, there was suddenly a large problem with tie votes.
In December of 2061, Ghostwalker came back to Denver. He claimed the city as his lair, annihilated the Aztlan Sector, and kicked the survivors out. This event, rather neatly, returned the council to an odd number of voters, and resolved the problem of ties. However, Ghostwalker also announced that the council ruled only with his permission. He had the council create the Zone Defense Force (ZDF). The ZDF is a military group created out of an equal number of troops from each of the 5 (remaining) treaty nations. The ZDF answers directly to Ghostwalker and has authority in all sectors of Denver.
In 2067, the Ute nation was absorbed by the PCC. When this happened, the Ute lost their seat on the Council and that sector came under PCC rule. This left the Council of Denver Representatives at 4 members. All council meetings also include Ghostwalker’s representative, an Ork Shaman named Nicholas Whitebird.
Denver has long been known as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. But, the gorgeous views might not be the only thing taking your breath away, omae. First off, the fact that the city is 1.61 klicks above sea-level (that’s a mile for you old-schoolers), means that the air is a bit thin up here. Add in the fact that there’s been a vile cloud of brown pollution hovering over the city since the midtwentieth century, and you’ll find that the locals have a special set of lungs.
While the area surrounding Denver is famous for its ski resorts, the city proper doesn’t get the weather that an outsider might expect. In late fall to early winter, it’s not uncommon for a seven foot snowfall to hit the Rockies, but see the Denver area unaffected. The coldest seasons stretch from November to February, with the occasional big snowstorm in March. Those late winter storms don’t always last very long. In March and April, a dry Chinook wind can sweep through Denver and melt through a foot of snow in just hours.
The area that was once downtown Denver has become a series of closely guarded international borders. The downtown area still has its Millionaire’s row homes and an aura of gentility.. However, with the partitioning off of “The Hub,” many of these homes lost their convenient access to the business district. That was bad for realty, and bad for many of the small shops and restaurants in the area. This area now shows a stark contrast with squatters living in dilapidated buildings interspersed with elaborately fenced off mansions. It’s a booming area for security services.
South of downtown is the campus of the University of Denver and the neighborhood of Englewood. This area has a distinct college town feel. There are dozens of small bars, eateries, used clothing shops, and even stores where you can find old paper books. There’s a fair bit of drug trafficking through Englewood, and an awful lot of low-rent housing. Back in the ‘50’s, this was part of the Aztlan district. It’s still rumored that refugees hide out in ancient tunnels under this district. Both Wuxing and Saeder-Krupp have established corporate offices atop the ruins of old Aztechnology buildings in this area.
Southeast of Englewood is the Chinatown district of Denver. This area is an eclectic mix of Western and Eastern architecture, philosophy, and language. While the area is popular with tourists during the daylight hours, neither Knight Errant nor wary natives venture in here after dark. The Triads control this area, and they have a strict policy about letting foreign devils into their territory.
Directly south of Chinatown is Greenwood Village. If you follow the trail of money through the CAS sector, most of it leads directly to Greenwood. The area is made up of sprawling homes on huge lots. If you’re looking for people from the gossip column of the FRFZ Voice, then this is the place to look.
Just west of Greenwood is Littleton. Littleton is primarily made up of gated corporate communities. Quality of housing is directly proportionate to placement within the corporate hierarchy. Here, good wageslaves can raise their families under corporate protection, without fear of exposure to “the bad element.” Incidentally, the Yakuza make a killing on the narcotics business in this area.
To the southeast of Centennial airport, is Parker. Parker epitomizes middle class suburbia at its worst. This district is home to high quality education, low crime rates, and an inordinate number of Humanis Policlubbers.
Pueblo Corporate Council Sector
Broomfield is primarily a residential community, but does maintain several corporate enclaves. Families here are firmly middle class, and the streets are generally quiet. The region is on the northeastern border of the main Denver sprawl, and the mountains are clearly visible to the west. PuebSec maintains a firm grip on what little crime is found in this area.
South of Broomfield, Westminster is an upper-middle class region. A seemingly endless series of upscale, gated communities enclose fairly well secured housing. While the communities themselves are fairly safe, the streets are characterized by constant ganger activity. Most of the gangs are the poser children of corporate drones, but the Godz have been known to recruit here. Recruitment nights also tend to draw PuebSec attention.
Southeast of Westminster, Federal Heights looks down on downtown Denver, but up at the Rockies to the west. This scenic area has become dominated with upscale housing. Here, the well to do of the PCC sector endlessly compete to see who can build the most excessive home with the most beautiful view. PuebSec knows that the people signing their paychecks make their homes in this area, and the security level is proportionate to that fact.
Across I-36, to the southwest of Federal Heights, are the Arvada Barrens. When the Anglos left, this region turned into a ghost town. Then things really went downhill. Dozens of painstakingly constructed planned communities have been overrun by gangers and squatters. The, once beautiful, landscaping has been long since destroyed by violence and debris. The area is crowded with the descendants of those who stubbornly refused to leave and with those who found their way here through ill fortune.
Golden, to the southwest of Arvada, is most famous as the home of Coors brewery. The brewery remains the largest employer in this area, and with their continued economic success, the area has become both a corporate enclave and an Anglo holdout. Because of the high Anglo population, PuebSec maintains only a minimal security rating for the area. In response to this, all of the corporations and many of the neighborhoods have contracted with other firms for additional security. ‘Runs that venture into Golden can be a real mixed bag.
Wheat Ridge and Edgewater are both lower middle class suburban districts south of Arvada. They are primarily residential areas, but there are a few corporate facilities spread throughout. The busiest spot in the area is probably the casino at Lakeside Amusement Park. PuebSec keeps these sleepy neighborhoods pretty safe, but it’s not uncommon for go-gangs from Arvada to head into them and shake things up.
Further south, Lakewood is a thoroughly industrialized urban region packed with low income housing. Most of the predominantly ork and dwarf population work in this regions factories, and live in its homes. Lakewood is also home to the Lakewood Correctional Institute. “The Can” is the largest and highest security prison in the PCC. The Koshari maintain a very steady income through chip and narcotic sales in Lakewood.
South of Lakewood is the much more prestigious region of Littleton. The corporate up and comers who can’t quite afford housing in Federal Heights often live here. Sprawling ranches and getaway resorts are interspersed with the high priced housing. PuebSec works hard to keep the lower class residents of Lakewood from venturing in to disturb the peaceful residents here.
Northglenn and Thornton are virtually indistinguishable neighborhoods. Both are filled with planned communities of pre-fabricated homes packed on to postage stamp sized lots. Admittedly, their well-patrolled streets are nicely interspersed with parks, golf courses, public schools, and conveniently located shopping. They also bear all the trademarks of eco-friendly planning and construction. But the bottom line is that they feel far more western than any NAN neighborhood should. Most of the people living here make daily commutes into the Sioux portion of “The Hub” to their jobs.
In sharp contrast, to the casual atmosphere of the northern neighborhoods, Commerce City is interspersed with both heavy industry and tightly packed, low-cost housing. Even Lucinda Gray Arrow has publicly condemned the industrial facilities located here for their clearly unacceptable levels of pollution. But, somehow, it just seems to continue. Perhaps this is because odd prevailing winds always seem to carry the airborne contaminants directly into the UCAS sector. Eagle Security Services works in concert with the corporate security manning the many manufacturing facilities here to keep the area reasonable safe. At the same time, with a high population of working-class poor, the average response time to a police emergency call is regarded as unacceptable.
Just south of the Rocky Mountain National Reserve, Montbello is a quiet region that is nearly an extension of the park. Here, carefully planned homes interface with the natural wildlife in a manner unlike any other UCAS town. Of course, the downside of this is that once or twice a year, one of these rich slots makes the news when he and his car are eaten by a piasma. Most of the residents here either work in The Hub, or in the few corporate facilities of Gateway.
To the west of Montbello are the corporate enclaves of Gateway. Many UCAS citizens who work in the hub, make their daily commute from this neighborhood. Most choose to take the corporate shuttles, specifically designed to make the four border crossings as painless as possible. Housing in this area is almost exclusively in well-planned and well-patrolled neighborhoods. There are a few corporate offices in this area, but most are set up as convenience branches of larger facilities downtown.
The Aurora Warrens have been slated for demolition since the Treaty was first signed. Somehow, though, the demolition always seems to get pushed back another six months. Meanwhile, tribes of urban squatters continue to make their homes in the decrepit high rises that pack the area. Lone Star never patrols here. Instead, go-gangs and syndicates rule the streets. Power and running water are rare luxuries. With the exception of the rare temporary network, it’s all one big wireless dead zone.
A near endless series of international borders, and a close proximity to the t-bird smuggling routes of the Rockies, has turned Denver into a land of endless criminal opportunity. Of course, that sort of opportunity breeds greed. Greed breeds competition. When dealing with the criminal underworld, that sort of competition can reach new heights (and depths). ‘Runners who need to work in this environment do better if they know both the players and the scores.
The DFW-based Chavez and the Denver-based Casquilho mafia families have their strongest foothold in the CAS and UCAS sectors. In UCAS sector, the Casquilho run a series of gambling dens and brothels throughout the Aurora Warrens. In PCC sector, the Chavez family operates a massive casino at Lakeside Amusement Park. Both families have several brothels located through out the CAS sector. While the Casquilho once ran an extensive CalHot smuggling racket out of their Casquilho Imports front, that location seems to have gone legit. It currently specializes in ancient artifacts of questionable magical power.
Oyabun Kasigi Toda holds the reins of the Yamato Yakuza clan. While his empire was once based on information brokerage, an awkward encounter with the Denver Data Haven abruptly terminated that practice. Now, they control the FRFZ narcotics and BTL trade and compete with the mafia for the UCAS and CAS prostitution business. Over the past few years, the Yamato have been direct competition with shadowrunners for sabotage and assassination assignments. The oyabun also maintains a personal vendetta against the White Lotus triad.
As the most magically active of Denver’s criminal groups, the White Lotus and Golden Triangle Triads operate almost exclusively out of the Chinatown district in the CAS. From there, they compete with the Yakuza for the BTL trade, and branch out into procuring illegal cyberware and other electronics. Persistent rumors suggest that the Triads have tight ties to the Wuxing enclave in CAS. The recent increase in low grade Wuxing cyberware on the streets of Chinatown seem to support these rumors.
The Koshari sect of the Kachina society are, appropriately, at their most powerful in the PCC. They maintain near exclusive control in smuggling CalHots into the UCAS and CAS. While these chips are perfectly legal in their home nation, they’re decidedly illegal in those destination countries. Unlike their competition, the Koshari seem comfortable playing the waiting game. They also seem to have the tightest ties to the government of their home sector.
When discussing Denver’s awakened culture, you pretty much have to start with Ghostwalker. There’s something about a massive ivory Great Western Dragon that brings him to the top of the list. The facts that he runs the city and has a church dedicated to his worship are also more than just minor footnotes.
Ghostwalker’s presence seems to have had effects that extend beyond his mundane rule of the city. During his time in Denver, the spiritual activity in the area has skyrocketed. Free spirits of virtually all known types have been identified in the area. Ghostwalker hasn’t offered any explanation, but most speculators see this as a chicken-egg effect. Everyone wonders – are the spirits so active because Ghostwalker is here, or is Ghostwalker here because of the heightened spiritual activity?
While this heightened astral activity may also have had a spillover effect. Recent census figures have shown a disproportionately high percentage of awakened among Denver’s youth. As a consequence, Denver’s schools have been actively recruiting thaumaturgical educators. This has created a trickle down effect, to the point that it seems that there’s a new talismonger shop opening every month.