City in the Fog

The setting: San Francisco 1905. The city has been growing rapidly for the last 30 years and it is now being refereed to as “the Paris of the West.” In the Nob Hill neighborhood the newly rich mining and timber barons are building their mansions, meanwhile the nine blocks known as the Barbary Coast is filled with opium dens, brothels and bars and China Town is known for its Tong Wars. It is a period of labor unrest as well, although the current mayor, “handsome Gene” Schmitz, is a member of the Union Labor Party, which came into power a few years earlier after a violent clash between the teamsters union and the city police. Although he came into power with promises of reform, he is suspected of continuing the tradition of graft and extortion that city hall has been notorious for. Outbreaks of the bubonic plague have been cropping up in the city for the past few years, causing panic.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition reaching the Pacific Ocean as well as the recent American acquisition of the Panama Canal project the city is hosting a Worlds Fair called the American Pacific Exposition. The greats in the arts, science and industry will be in attendance.

It is a time of great optimism in technology. Wireless telegraphy, the automobile etc… This is to be known as Einstein’s “miracle year” when he publishes 3 papers that will fundamentally transform physics. At the same time there is an increased interest in the metaphysical, with the Theosophists and other mystical orders promising to reveal ancient wisdom in order to unlock untold power.

City in the Fog

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