A Guide to the Ork Underground
There are 22 known public entrances to the Underground. The number of miscellaneous ventilation shafts, private entrances, power conduits, sewer and storm drain portals, and similar such accesses are probably not known by any one person.
The official tour entrances are inside the Big Rhino restaurant (in the basement of the Seattle Utilities Building at Seneca and First streets) and the basement of Lordstrung’s Department Store (at Fifth and Pine). This area is called the Mall, and is the most well-lit and safe area for outsiders. It functions as a bazaar— one of the single-finest black markets in the Sprawl. In addition there are a number of permanent shops working out of renovated 19th century storefronts, dating back to the old Seattle before the streets were covered over. It sports many garish murals and contorted statues for tourists to gawk at, and any number of trashy carvings, cheap trinkets, and brightly colored souvenirs are available here.
Further away from the Mall, there are ornate friezes and filigreed arches. Some date back to the time of Dwarfs living in the Underground but others are the work of current residents showing their civic pride.
There is very little Matrix service in the Ork Underground, and few places have wireless signal repeaters installed. The Bazaar and mall are exceptions.
In the face of a common threat— the society in the upper world— most of the residents of the Ork Underground get along fairly well. There are many thieves down there, but they don’t often steal from the local residents. In the surface world, there’s plenty of space to run in, and such thieves abound, but the Underground is considered home and not where you want to mess the bed.
The majority of the population is of course Orks – first and second generation primarily. A significant troll population live in the larger areas near the Bazaar and mall, and the occasional Shadowrunner who earns enough respect to hang in the area.
The Underground attracts many beings that are not comfortable in sunlight: creatures bearing HMHVV have to watch their steps, but they can carve out a living there. Ghouls are occasionally tolerated, though they seldom survive being caught eating residents of the Underground or their friends.
Places of Interest
The Ork Underground connects with the outside world through pedestrian entrances and ventilation shafts. There are a number of buildings in Seattle providing discreet ventilation access, and establishing these is a way of currying favor with the folks underground. There are very few vehicle entrances: internal combustion engines are frowned upon in the Ork Underground, and the usual transport down there is the occasional electric trolley that used to be some other sort of vehicle. One of the entrances is in an underground parking garage on the outskirts of the downtown area, and there are folks who live in the Underground and have permanent parking passes for this garage.
The pumps— the only thing keeping the Ork Underground from flooding from the regular rains in Seattle— are almost as important as the ventilation fans. Some of the areas in the Underground actually have streams flowing through them on their way out to the Sound.
There are still tour spots in the Underground where it’s relatively safe for an unaccompanied Human, Elf, or Dwarf to wander around. Those wandering outside such trading areas have to be ready to demonstrate their own toughness. Those who do so on a regular basis can gain a grudging acceptance— though they’ll be tested occasionally by those who won’t believe without personal experience.