The Mundane NeighborhoodEdit
The Haight evokes dreams of the long-gone '60s hippie culture. Fragments of that pig-hating, pot-smoking, incense-burning, acid-dropping, long haired, tie-dyed "peace-and-love, man" era can be had- for purchase- at neighborhood stores named things such as like Wasteland, Past Perfect and Puff Puff Pass. Panhandlers and tourists flood the blocks of high-end vintage-clothing shops, second-hand stores, vape cafés with free wi-fi and hip overpriced organic-free range nuveau restaurants. You'll find neo-punks, neo-pagans, hipsters, club kids, homeless war vets, fashionistas, social justice warriors, potheads, and the ordinary middle class passing one another on every street.
There are two distinctly different areas: the more trendy and mercantile Upper Haight, which stretches from Stanyan street to Masonic street. The Lower Haight, roughly Divisidero to Webster is a more ethnically diverse and gritty vs edgy. A hub for indie and alternative music for years, the Lower Haight has a proliferation of dance-music record shops and dj-driven croweded dance clubs. Roughly 10,000 people live within the Haight and far more come each day for pleasure and play.
The Chimerical NeighborhoodEdit
A ley line underneath Haight Street was blown wide open during the first moments of the Resurgence, creating or reawakening a half dozen small freeholds and glens. Not all of them survived to modern day, but there's still many more than would be found in a different city of similar size elsewhere.
Amoeba Music opened its store on the end of Haight Street in 1997. While it is not owned or managed by any kithain at this time, a number of its employees and most loyal customers are changelings, faebloods, and Dreamers. It features a huge and ecclectic stock of both popular and vintage cds, tapes and vinyl records, as well as having a stage for live performances. Many sidhe wilders from both Fiona and Scathach frequent it with their retainers, side-by-side with the free commoners. Its vicinity to The Gate is particularly strategic for this to happen.
625 Shrader St is "The Gate" a small freehold belonging to Sir Garland Weiss of House Scathach. Appearing as an apartment complex to mortals, The Gate is House Scathach's only holding in the duchy. It is run much like an embassy. Here the nobles, the enleiged , and the free commoners engage in diplomatic missions with one another. Established in the mid 1970s, The Gate takes the shape of a medieval keep in chimerical reality.It is the only one of the Haight Street holdings besides the Playground to have a rath - and the only rath in the Haight that leads directly to the Queen's Road, a protected trod that runs to all of the major freeholds in Pacifica, including Caer Angeles.
Founded in 1966, the Urban School of San Francisco is a private high school which "seeks to ignite a passion for learning, inspiring its students to become self-motivated, enthusiastic participants in their education—both in high school and beyond....we celebrate the vitality of adolescence and the abundant possibilities for intellectual growth and personal achievement during these four years."
Its first headmaster, Robert Wilder, was a satyr grump and the leader of a local motley. Wilder envisioned a radical new school system that would not stymie the creative potential of its students. The Urban School now serves 400 students a year with nearly a quarter of them having direct or indirect ties to the Dreaming. Most of the teachers and half the staff are either kithain or kinain.. The current headmistress, Jaleela Rassi, is an Eshu grump and ambassador of the Haight Commons to Duchess Aliera at Caer Coedwig.
Originally built in 1887 and known as the Children's Playground, this large and unique children's park within Golden Gate Park contains the largest source of free glamour in the Haight neighborhood. A glen rather than a freehold, it contains a sacred stone that mischievously moves itself about at dawn each day. The first changeling to find the sacred stone each morning and touch it will be granted defacto rulership over the Quarter until the following dawn. The current guardians of the Quarter are a motley of childling pooka led by the impetuous Woody Pike, a Seelie squirrel pooka. The motley, The Fairie Tails, are notorious tricksters and petty larcenists. They generally make fun of the grumps of any kith, most especially the nobility. Duchess Aliera is typically amused by their antics, however, and openly expresses her admiration of them.
Bean Bag Cafe aka The SoapboxEdit
Nine blocks northeast of the Urban School, the Bean Bag Cafe is a popular kithain /kinain hang-out. It has both indoor seating and tables on the sidewalk. It is operated by Lorraine Wood, a somewhat tactiturn seelie boggan grump who's husband was among the belligerants executed plotting Duke Aeon's assassination. Lorraine's staff is composed completely of changelings and faebloods, most of them older wilders or younger grumps.
The basement is a three room freehold stylized as an Irish pub which is called "The Soapbox" after its greatest treasure: a vintage Fairy Soap box owned by Emperor Norton. It rests on the mantle above the balefire. The soapbox is believed to been given to Emperor Norton by the clurichaun bard Cruimín Mac Duibh and contains within it, among other treasures, a huge uncut diamond the size of a baseball that Norton's family had brought with them from South Africa. Acccording to local folklore, the diamond and other possessions were magically sealed into the soapbox following the Emperor's death on January 8, 1880 by Cruimin Mac Duibh with a dire warning of a terrible curse being unleashed upon San Francisco should the box ever be opened again.
The Booksmith aka Lamar's LibraryEdit
A well-established independent bookstore owned by Christin and Praveen, a happily married couple. Christin is sidhe kinain and Praveen is eshu kinain. Every one of their fourteen employees is either kithain, kinain, or a well-known Dreamer. The Booksmith is located three blocks west of the Urban School and a popular changeling hang-out. In the basement lives Lamar Laska , an unseelie sluagh of dubious reputation in a tiny one room freehold filled with arcane tomes and esoteric items unobtainable anywhere else in the Haight.
Lamar is a somewhat notorious literary scholar and black magician who is an invaluable source of historical information, minor magical items and occult lore for local changelings. He charges heavily for his services: typically in favors, dross or rare spell components; never in cash money. Lamar's library has a chimerically guarded back entrance that leads right into the tunnels underneath the city. The tunnels are filled with all kinds of chimerical- and prodigal- dangers.
Bound Together aka "Johnie's"Edit
Bound Together has a dramatically different feel to it than The Booksmith. It specializes in radical, politically-minded books and magazines. The owner, the unseelie redcap Johnie Johnson, is the neighborhood's most outspoken supporters of the belligerents. He has been taken to the Gate and Caer Coedwig countless times for questioning but never arrested for any crime against the Escheat itself.
The Duchess has come under criticism by her own court for her permissiveness with Johnie Johnson, but her leniency and willingness to allow for free speech within the Haight wins her support within the neighborhood. Everyone knows that Johnie and Lamar have a kind of rivalry (bordering on emnity) going on. Both of their shops are located on Haight Street, just four blocks apart. Some childlings and wilders make a game of running back and forth between the two, carrying insults or gossip.
Buena Vista Park aka Skeleton WoodsEdit
All of the changelings in the Haight know to skirt around Buena Vista Park, the north second directly behind Bound Together. The park was built over one of San Francisco's first cemeteries, and its headstones were used as building materials there. The chimerical forest is dark with a sinister gothic air. A banshee named Besida is known to inhabit the park and it is considered a very bad omen for a changeling to ever overhear her cry. Other, even more sinister creatures are rumored to inhabit the Dreaming here. While Skeleton Woods is a glen, it is not controlled by the kithain.
Wards were placed around the park in the 1920s by House Scathach which have kept its monsters bound within. There is growing evidence that something within the park is growing powerful enough to tax those wards. Perhaps it is an entire pack of nervosa growing ever stronger by feeding on the night terrors and hopelessness of the park's human denizes: the homeless and other broken souls.. Attempts by the local kithain to root out and destroy the predators here have always ended in catastrophe, causing Sir Garland to recently declare a moratorium on changelings entering the park at all. Because it contains a glade, this decree was met with a great deal of criticism, especially from the unseelie .
A mile southeast of the Bean Bag Cafe, Club Eros is an 18+ safe sex club. It is the personal domain of the satyrs Lucio Vincent and Morgan Gavin. While it is considered too risque for childlings and a good measure of wilders by most of the local seelie community, Lucio & Morgan maintain their own apartments above the club which can be reached through a chimerically guarded back entrance. Any changeling needing sanctuary can go there and still reach The Temple, a small unseelie freehold stylized as a Roman banquet hall that is fed from Club Eros' passions.
Whie The Temple technically lays outside of the Haight district in the northern Castro neighborhood, it is considered by most kithain as part of the Haight Commons, despite the fact that Sir Lucio is a sworn knight of Duchess Aliera .
Bernal Cuttery aka The DojoEdit
Run by the troll kinain bladesmith, Josh Donald, Bernal Cuttery is the main supplier of chimerical weapons in the local area. It is is located 3/4 of a mile southeast of Club Eros. While Josh handles mundane trade, the troll smith Imada Ochiyo tends to kithain custom. Most of the chimerical weapons that can be purchased here are infused into mundane cuttery; a rapier might have the seeming of a steak knife, a battle axe the seeming of a stout cleaver. No cold iron weapons will be found here (all the blades are steel and other alloys), nor anything that dispenses poison.
Besides crafting and repairing all manner of chimerical blades, Imada teaches a free weekly self-defense class to local childlings and their retinues on Tuesday evenings in a back room. Other changelings can make appointments for instruction and pay for it in cash, favors, or dross. For this reason, Bernal Cuttery is called the Dojo.
Known to the mundanes as the "Hell's Angels House", 719 Ashbury Street is two blocks south of the Urban School. It is a private residence now, no mudanes allowed, owned by the hal-fmad unseelie knocker, Master Efren Weems. Effren Weems is a collector of vintage motorcycles and the maker of chimerical ones.
719 has been converted into a craft hall where many chimerical goods, including some treasure-quality high end itemas are made and sold. Efren has even negotiated with some tinkers and traders to import and export goods from other crafters and smiths so that he's able to sell wares beyond his own. But it is his custom inventions, especially the chimerical vehicles (bikes, motorbikes, and a few worth their weight in dross motorcycles are both extremely expensive and highly sought after by those changelings with the means to buy (or steal) them. He has several knocker, troll, and boggan journeymen and apprentices at any given time. Efren often sets them to work as shop clerks and errand boys when they are not making or repairing chimerical objects. Its said there is no hour of the day when someone isn't awake and working at 719.
Hardly a glamorous place, the Park Police Station is just across Kezar Drive from the Children's Quarter within the boundaries of Golden Gate Park . It has jurisdiction over crimes taking place in the Haight district and other nearby neighborhoods. Captain John Sanford is faeblooded; his grandfather was a beleiged troll that served House Scathach before the Resurgence. Much to the amazement (or dismay) of many of the local kithain, Captain Sanford is one of those rare kinain with An-de-shealladh - the ability to sense chimerical reality all around him. He possesses a treasure tucked away in his wallet which allows him to enchant himself when he touches it directly. John Sanford is often referred to by the local kithain as "Sheriff Halfblood" because of his willingness and proficiency in involving himself in changeling affairs. He knows and (for the most part) obeys the Escheat.
It isn't wise to meddle in the affairs of prodigals , but changelings know that the best adventures can begin by being unwise. In 1985, two human magi opened this metaphysical store in the Haight.. It became an immediate fount of considerable glamour . Now in their mid 70s, Old Randy and Old Patrick are well-known to most of the changelings in the neighborhood. The shop itself is now run by their apprentices, including the Fae-blooded Merri Hargrove who reads tarot with astounding skill. The wizards of the Sword & Rose are among the few prodigals who have open invitations to the Soapbox. Old Patrick often serves as an adviser to Sir Garland; Old Randy is known to be one of Lamar Laska's few friends.