Redmond used to be one of the wealthiest and most successful communities of greater Seattle. In the 20th century, it was a major center for the burgeoning computer industry. Huge office complexes and skyscrapers sprang up along with suburban homes as businesses expanded and moved into the area.
In 2013, a partial meltdown of the Trojan-Satsop nuclear plant contaminated Beaver Lake and the surrounding area for several kilometers, creating what would come to be known as “Glow City.” A lot of Redmond residents began leaving the area for greener (and less glow-in-the-dark) pastures as property values plummeted. Then came the Crash of 2029. Redmond’s primary industry vanished overnight. Some eighty percent of local businesses collapsed. A large number of residents simply left, leaving behind defaulted and foreclosed homes and businesses. Lured by the abandoned apartment buildings and condoplexes, numerous war refugees and Seattle’s homeless began moving into Redmond. This led to further violence, more flight, and more empty buildings, repeating and reinforcing the cycle. In the space of a few years, Redmond became a virtual ghost town, inhabited by criminals, transients, refugees, and those unable or unwilling to get out. The metroplex government shifted focus away from shoring up Redmond to “containing” it, effectively walling it off (literally, in some spots) to keep it from “infecting” the rest of Seattle.
The Redmond Barrens are practically lawless, where possession of the smallest amount of food or the least valuable trinket can be a reason for someone to kill you. Weekly convoys of armed trucks deliver food to the district’s few stores and charitable shelters, frequently attacked by roving bands of squatters and gangs looking to steal the shipments.
Around half a million live in Redmond today. The actual number is difficult to determine, since most of the population is SINless and it’s impossible to do an official census. Backgrounds are diverse, but the percentage of metahumans is relatively low, owing to violence from the Night of Rage and similar incidents, and metahuman flight to Puyallup. Orks make up the majority of metahumans in the district, followed by various changelings, still a relatively new phenomenon, and somewhat more evenly spread throughout the metroplex.
The Mafia and the Yakuza run Redmond far more than the local government. Since even legal goods are difficult to get, the black market is massive, including daily necessities like food and medical supplies, followed by entertainment ranging from pirated trid, simchips, and BTLs to booze, porn and similar money-makers. Arms sales tend to be small unless the mobs are arming their own gangers and soldiers for some kind of war, which they do frequently. Neo-feudal allegiances to the syndicates are a common way for people to survive, so long as they don’t draw too much attention from the other side.
Yakuza and Mafia recruiters keep their eyes out for promising new talent in Redmond, especially from the local gangs. Working with the syndicates is one way out of the gangs and offers the promise of wealth, respect, and hitting “the big time,” although most prospective “made men” get nothing but a body bag at the end of the day.
Redmond’s terrain is mostly flat, with a few hills in the southern part of the district. The winding path of the Snoqualmie River dominates almost a third of the district. The river is filthy, choked with toxic sludge and other refuse (including the occasional bloated corpse). Packs of devil rats hunt all along the shoreline, some of them further mutated by whatever is in the water.
Apart from kilometers of abandoned buildings, the cracked and deteriorating streets, and the vast slums and squatter “towns,” the most distinctive features of the Redmond landscape are the “toxic castles,” the various factories and corporate manufacturing plants. Plenty of them do look like techno-Gothic structures of rusting metal and sootcovered brick, surrounded by high walls topped with razorwire and moats of their own poisonous filth. Armed guards patrol the ramparts to keep the facilities safe from squatters and roving gangs while most plants ship materials in and out via helicopter or tilt-rotor these days, to avoid having to bring trucks through the streets.
Size: 436 square kilometers
Population: 498,000 (estimated)
- Human: 81%
- Elf: 6%
- Dwarf: 1%
- Ork: 10%
- Troll: 1%
- Other: 1%
Population Density: 1,142 per square kilometer
Per Capita Income: 6,600¥
Corporate-Affiliated Population: 22%
Hospitals and Clinics: 6
Voting Precincts: 10
- Less Than 12 Years: 78%
- High School Equivalency: 18%
- College Equivalency: 3%
- Advanced Degrees and Certificates: 1%
- C: Redmond (aka Touristville)
Note that the rest of the area is collectively known as the Barrens
- E: Avondale, Brain Heaven, Hollywood, Kingsgate, Plastic Jungles, Purity, Sophocles, Woodinville
- Z: Rat’s Nest, Glow City
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