In Downtown (old Seattle proper) the shining skyscrapers and arcologies spin toward the sky, a glittering metropolis. A place of fantastic wealth, testaments to human ingenuity and power in the modern, high-tech world. But the towers and glittering lights are built on rot, secrets and blood. Beyond and below them lies check points, staffed by secret police for government and corporations to protect their employees from both the victims of their crimes and from each other. Alongside them are the crime syndicates and corrupt politicians that keep the wheels of progress turning.
A short distance away you have the Redmond Barrens, crumbling ruins of an urban jungle of the 2010's stretches on for hundreds of miles. The two rounds of VITAS plague, the riots of the Awakening, the tech collapse and the rise of the native nations (and the ensuing refugees) destroyed the city of Redmond. It's long since become a lawless haven for shadow runners, gangs, squatters and the black market. Assuming the stuff the corps dump in the river or air doesn't kill ya - they don't call it Glow City for nothing chummers! The Barrens is where things go to disappear and is the haven for SINless and Shadowrunners of all stripes.
Technology and science has torn ahead at insane speeds over the last fifty years. The birth of Deckers from the (literally) deadly computer virus that brought down the grid in'29. When the dust cleared, the war for information had vastly accelerated. With the major corps and the new shadow communities of Deckers. Cyber and organic tech, simsense chips, new drugs, and techniques to further pollute or clean the world depending on who has the keys. Ignore the smell - that's progress!
The Awakening in 2012 signaled the formal rebirth of magic into the world, in the chaos and aftermath of the first VITAS plague. Dragons returned with their schemes and plots, and knowledge perhaps of times long past. Magical genetic mutation caused 4 out of 10 people on Earth to turn into Orks, Trolls, Elves and Dwarves – now called the metahumans. And alongside the new peoples, many scholar and tribal people discovered that their magics now truly worked, with an iota of the effort needed before. Magic is the new science today that we've barely begun to scrape the surface of.
Secession fever hit all through the 30's around the world with new nations appearing everywhere. No continent has escaped the break up – but the wheels of the corps keep raking in the nuyen.
Magic and Technology. New nations, ideologies, and races. They're all here, all have an axe to grind, and money to pay for it.
Welcome to Seattle, chummers.