SIREN'S PORT: BASIC WORLD INFORMATION - FAQ STYLE
This is basic necessary information on the world of Siren's Pull and how to function within it. For world nerds, another post with far more in-depth information, history, and other tidbits and factoids about the world will go up in a separate post.
However, this post should contain everything you need to get started and play in the world of Siren's Pull.
Siren's Port Overview
What world is Siren's Pull set in?
What era is Siren's Pull set in? Where in the world is it? What's the climate like?
Why is my character here? What is keeping characters here?
Tell me more about the Pull? Can my character just resist it?
Tell me more about the Darkness? Can my character be safe at night?
Darkness-proofing? What's that? How does it work?
What about monsters? What happens if I fight them?
Does everyone in the City have superpowers? Do they feel the Pull? What if my character is normal?
I keep hearing about beings called “Nulls” and “Voids”. Why are they so powerful and where do they come from? Can you tell me more about them?
How big is the City? Does it have public transit?
Surviving in Siren's Port
How does my character arrive in the City?
Where does my character live after arriving? How will my character make money and survive in the City?
What are SERO and Afterglow, Inc?
Tell me about SERO.
Tell me about Afterglow, Inc.
My character is too noble or self-centered to be loyal to either of those. Can my character stay neutral?
What currency is used in the City and how is the economy?
If my character is down on his or her luck, is there any assistance available?
BUT THIS IS CANADA! HOW DOES I MILK?
SIREN'S PORT: OVERVIEW
So, what world is Siren's Pull set in?
Siren's Pull is set in an original city created by aaron and Tori back in November of 2009 and opened January 2nd, 2010. The city is called Siren's Port or colloquially referred to as the City. It is located on Earth.
Tell me more about Siren's Port. What era is it set in? Where in the world is it? What is the climate like?
Siren's Port is a fictional city located on a fictional island somewhere off the shore of British Columbia, Canada. Though the City is located in southern Canada, it is not ruled by the government of Canada, and it is not affiliated with any country - Siren's Port is completely self-ruling with its own laws and economy. In the game setting, the governments of Canada and the USA are both aware of the City, and make every attempt to cover up its presence and the nature of the City itself. Despite this, minor importing and exporting is available to supply the City with necessary items - though this is done at a very high price, resulting in a higher level of inflation than the outside world.
The general era in the City is current day, albeit with a higher level of technology. This is mostly due to the fact that so many people with special abilities and high levels of expertise are all crammed into the same small area - naturally, the technological level has increased. Things like holograms and virtual reality have been discovered and are either in testing for immediate use or already in regular use, and everything is just slightly more advanced than a normal city - except where it's run down and eroding around the edges. Even in a city like this there are bound to be places that have been neglected as well as places of high importance. It’s like a normal city that way.
The climate is similar to southern British Columbia, the sort of climate you might see in Vancouver, or alternately in Seattle. Moderate to cool temperatures throughout the year, a lot of rain, some snow in the winter. However, because of the strange concentration of various energies and chemicals around the City, the climate has been affected, leaving it just that bit colder in winter, just that bit hotter in summer, just that bit more rain - always slightly more uncomfortable than the outside world. The weather can be as unpredictable as those that inhabit the island itself.
So, if it's just a city on an island, why is my character here? What's keeping these people in this City? Why is it so special?
Well, to make a long story short, the City is a little different from most cities. A long time ago, a device was created or discovered, called the Siren or the Core and placed at the center of the city. Nobody knows for sure where the Core originally came from, be it alien technology, ancient magic, some combination of the two, or something altogether unknown. Either way, the assumed purpose of the Core was to call all of the supernatural, non-human, or meta-human people in the world and trap them in one place, so as to free society from the old superstitions and fear of the supernatural and super powered, as well as to keep these people with special abilities from taking over. Any creature or person with powers beyond that of a normal human were drawn to this city on this island and confined there by a force called the Pull. Any creature called by the Siren was brought to the Island by a ferry boat and once they were all in place, the ferry fell out of use other than to transport goods and other supplies to Siren's Port. Any of the residents of the City who tried to leave, if they managed to withstand the Pull and keep consciousness, were captured again and brought back to the island for fear of contaminating the world with their supernatural genes. .
The Island was found back in 1909 by accident, a mysterious uncharted island in the middle of nowhere. On April 19th, 1910 the town of Missionworth was founded, thus beginning the start of the city we now know as Siren’s Port. Though the history of this time is generally fuzzy if not missing altogether, some structures (like the Missionworth Lighthouse) have stood for this long giving some form of history. Around 1918 there was a malfunction in the Core, and somewhere in the vicinity of 1930, there was another malfunction in the Core; whether it was technological failure, or just the Core getting old has been lost to history. Suffice to say, this sparked a series of failures that ended up destroying every living person in the City while leaving the buildings and other non-living entities present. This disaster also caused the Darkness, a deep and penetrating nighttime occurrence marked by sirens that go off at sunset and sunrise to mark the start and end.
After this disaster, the City regained a sort of balance, and repopulated itself in short order, calling non-humans who'd evaded the Pull during the malfunctions to itself and trapping them there. Despite this, the Core is still considered to be malfunctioning - almost all the people who maintained and understood it had died, most of the information on it was scattered to the four corners of the City, and no one knew how to fix it.
As the Core gets older, it continues to malfunction in new and special ways. It mutates any normal humans unfortunate enough to get trapped in the City, turning them into super-humans. It causes occasional blackouts and mass hysteria. Most importantly, for your character, it has recently started reaching out to other worlds and drawing in people, whiplashing them through the void and depositing them in the City. No one is sure how to fix this situation but very few citizens are pleased with this new wave of malfunction and want it to stop.
Tell me more about the Pull. Can my character just resist it and leave the City?
The Pull is an irresistible force that manifests to each character trapped in the City as an undefinable pulling sensation behind the breastbone and deep down into ones guts. It lies dormant while a character is in range of the Core, easy to ignore and barely present, like white noise or a low hum. It might take a while to get used to, but after a bit, it's easy to pretend it's not there. However, the further away from the Core a character gets, the harder it is to resist the Pull dragging you back into the City like some sort of compulsion, a need, an addiction.
Some characters, however, might have a particularly strong will, and choose to resist the Pull and start out on their own, past the City's limits, towards the far-off continent. As if it wasn't hard enough with the cold water, lack of proper boats, whirlpools a kilometer out into the ocean, and other hazards, once your character gets a certain distance away from the city, the Pull will become physically painful, it will make the character nauseous, feverish, and delirious. Eventually even the strongest of characters, even characters with regeneration abilities, will fall unconscious, leaving their airplanes or flying abilities to crash into the ocean, or leaving their boats to get sucked into the whirlpools or undertow. If your character attempts to leave by flying, swimming, or getting on a boat, it will result in an in-game death unless the character turns back before passing out. Once a character has returned to the City's limits, all symptoms will decrease back to normal over the course of a day.
Some other characters may have the ability to shift between dimensions or times, teleport long distances, or have other abilities that would allow them to instantly leave the City. Please note that people with these types of abilities would be affected in the same way as if they'd tried to leave the Island physically. Attempting to use an ability that would instantly take them from Siren's Port (either to another dimension, another time, or physically to the mainland) would result in an in-game death due to the Pull.
Tell me more about the Darkness. I heard there were monsters to fight? Is there any way to be safe during the Darkness?
The Darkness was created when the Core melted down, nearly a hundred years ago. It was a result of the Core's strange otherworldly energy and the massive amount of death that occurred. Every creature encountered in the Darkness was once a person, plant or an animal that resided in the City, and even if they are killed it is never permanent - they'll just come back the next night. Think of them as a form of spirit trapped and in constant pain, hunger, rage or resistance, looking to relieve their issues or make issues for others. They are vengeful and upset; most of which strive off of their pains.
A day in the City generally goes as follows: A siren goes off at dawn, signalling the end of the previous night's darkness. During the day, the City is relatively normal, people go about their business, attend their jobs, socialize, go out for coffee, or do any of the normal things that people do in the City during the day. However, when the sun sets, as the last bit of light leaves the sky, a siren will go off to signify the Darkness falling.
Nights in the City are pitch black with next to no visible stars, the moon always an extremely pale shape in the sky giving off little light on most nights. When the Darkness falls, everything appears to decay slightly, looking more dirty, more rundown, garbage seems to crawl out of the gutters and mud or slime appear where there was none during the day. The decay seems to slowly seep out from shadows and rot the world around it; taking the first ten minutes or so of the night, it will leak into any crack in a wall or through a window, ruining buildings, streets, parks and all open structures. Shortly after this, the monsters come out, twisted humanoid creatures that attack at random, the only humanity left being their pain, anger, and sorrow. These creatures and monsters can be killed, but there will always be a creature out there that's stronger than any particular character unfortunate enough to be out in the Darkness - and those creatures stronger than you, or that exploit your biggest weakness...they will always be drawn to you. Anyone unlucky enough to be out at night will face the Darkness, and it will be a life and death struggle until the morning, when the sirens go off again, and the world becomes safe and normal.
A sample of what the siren sounds like can be found on YouTube HERE.
If your character wishes to avoid the Darkness...well, the people of the City have been dealing with it for a long time, and they have a lot of coping mechanisms. Most buildings in the City have been Darkness-proofed with windows and entrances reinforced to hold off the creatures. Many clubs and bars have been Darkness-proofed as well, and you can ride out the night with alcohol, dancing, and concerts so long as you get inside before the night siren goes off, and leave after the morning siren. If clubs aren't your type of thing, an underground mall has recently been built that serves the same purpose - shop till you drop, go to a movie, hit up the food court - everything available in a normal mall, only available at night!
Just bear this in mind: not all Darkness-proofing is 100% reliable, wherever you happen to be at night.
Darkness-proofing? What's that? How does it work?
Darkness-proofing might sound complicated, but it isn't, really. Darkness-proofing is, essentially, reinforcing existing barriers between the indoors and outdoors to keep monsters out. It is purely a physical thing - bars on the windows, bullet-proof glass, heavy metal doors, stronger walls, thicker locks and chains, etc. To Darkness-proof a space, a person needs to make sure that it is a fortress. Most inhabited buildings in the City have bars on the windows and are built from stronger material than the buildings in normal cities to provide Darkness-proofing. Staying inside a Darkness-proofed space during the night sirens and afterwards keeps out the decay of non-living materials that accompanies the sirens - while the outer walls of your home may look degraded, mouldy, rusty, or otherwise compromised, your Darkness-proofing will ensure that the space inside your home looks the same as it does during the day. The only exceptions are things that enter your home from the outside, the most prominent example being the water. Darkness affects the pipes themselves, which means the water coming through the tap will be dirty, rusty, and undrinkable at night.
If a window or door is left open during night sirens, or if that window or door is compromised after sirens, the degradation of non-organic material will be able to spread inside near the compromised area. If a window is left open, the part of the room near the window will be compromised, and monsters can get inside. Closing the window and restoring Darkness-proofing will keep monsters out, but it won't repair the Darkness degradation until it repairs itself with the morning sirens.
So the monsters are not permanently killable? What happens if I fight them? Tell me more about the types of monsters I might run into.
The monsters, as stated before, are manifestations of the souls of people who died in the first City meltdown - physical manifestations of spirits or ghosts. They are trapped souls. They can be killed nightly, but they will always be reawakened with the next night's siren - it is possible to run into the same monsters over and over again, and they may remember you in their small shred of remaining intelligence. When a monster is killed its body will return to the ghost form, but will respawn the next night. Monsters generally respawn in the place closest to where their original life ended in the first City meltdown. This can be incredibly difficult to track if you want to find a monster over several nights for study or for any other reason, as the monsters tend to move around a lot. Monsters can be knocked out and studied in Darkness-proofed areas, but the body will disappear with the morning sirens and respawn in their original location, just like a monster located anywhere else in Siren's Port. This means that anyone trying to study or domesticate a monster will have only the time during that night's Darkness to do so.
A monster will always be drawn to a character who has a weakness they can exploit. For example, a character with the ability to repel supernatural creatures will be swarmed by monsters immune to this ability, a character who can fly will be swarmed by flying monsters. At night, every advantage is balanced out to leave an even playing field with the monsters. Please remember that even the most skilled fighter will have trouble fighting the creatures at night.
Trapped souls or not, however, these monsters cannot be exorcised, sent over to the other side, or otherwise freed from their trapped state. Not as long as the Core is malfunctioning. As often as people have tried there is just no freeing those lost to the night.
You have to be really careful during the Darkness for another poignant reason - there's an old legend that if you die during the Darkness, your soul goes to the same place as those unfortunate people who died to create it...you'll become an undying, eternal monster in the Darkness, doomed to crawl the City in search of prey...
Please check out the Bestiary for a rundown of common monsters seen in the City. However, feel free to make up any kind of monster you can imagine for your character to fight should they be out in the Darkness. After all, you know best what will scare or threaten your character the most...
Enough about monsters, let's get back to people. Are there normal people in the City? Or does everyone have powers? Wouldn't the Core make applying for a normal human character a waste of time?
Strangely enough, the City does house a few normal human people. Generally, they are humans who found out about the secret City and were shipped off to live there, or freaks of genetics born to non-human parents. Normal humans are incredibly rare in the City. Official sources suggest that the current number of normal non-powered humans in the City is under 100, and this number shrinks frequently, as the Core tends to start mutating abilities into people who come into the City nearly as soon as they enter the boundaries of the Pull.
What does this mean for player characters in the City? Basically, when interacting with civilian NPCs, the random people your character runs into in the street, gets into a bar brawl with, tries to rob, or helps across the street...remember that all of them have abilities. From homeless bums to street thugs to food-service workers to police officers to high-powered CEOs to politicians - nearly all of them have abilities. And it's very rare to run into someone who doesn't.
NPC abilities can run the same gamut as player character abilities and chosen dormant abilities, both physical and mental, and can range from not-so-powerful to extremely powerful. Much like the monsters, there will always be an NPC who can best your character somewhere in the City, no matter how powerful. Another thing to keep in mind? These people have had their abilities since birth and are very good at using them. NPCs are also generally bitter and jaded from a life in a City with Darkness and in a lot of cases from being displaced from their own homes. So watch out who you aggravate in the streets - there's a good chance that grandma you just knocked over in your rush to catch the bus can kick your ass.
When human player characters are drawn into the City, their bodies are changed and they are given an ability, whether it is dormant or active, whether they use it or avoid using it, whether they even know of its presence, the ability will be there. If you choose to apply for a normal human character, please assume that this dormant ability was mutated into your character during the trip from their own world into the City. Your character will always experience the Pull regardless of whether they had an ability in their own canon or not.
I keep hearing about beings called “Nulls” and “Voids”. Why are they so powerful and where do they come from? Can you tell me more about them?
Many decades ago SERO labs had a break through on human genetic experimentation. They found a way to build a better human, to use to their own advantages granting them the ability to nullify powers. Using DNA from other powered people they were able to inject infants with this new formula and help them grow into humans who hold control over others powers. Thus were born Nulls, people who have the ability to nullify powers around them and only around them. Nulls grew and aged like normal people, employed to SERO but with the freedom to live their lives as they pleased. Some have taken employment with the Government as well as the police department.
Upon further research and genetic testing, a new form of nullifying being was created. Test tube babies so to speak, born in labs like clones with no parental heritage other then their own creators. Voids were one step up from a Null giving them a strong ability to cancel out powers around then AS WELL as the powers of selected people. Where a Null only cancels out all powers around them, a Void may block out a large area around them, or hone in on a single person (or selected people) out of a group and take their power away alone.
Voids, being cultivated and not born, were created with a lack of certain emotions making them the perfect military force for the SERO Company. With years spent into training each Void the company has spawned a force that is not easy to take down. Each are trained with years of hand to hand combat, weapons training, insertion, infiltration, pressure point and other defense skills. Voids that do not fall in line with the training are “retired” from the SERO Corporation and sold to the Government or alternatively... destroyed. Each Void is listed as a Number and Rank with no name.
Those with special sight will see a black area around the Voids space. Those who get too close will lose all power and feel a cold chill in their body. All forms of spiritual energy, Chi, Chakra, Haki, and other forms of energy, power, elemental or not, mutant or not will melt away. No physical changes will happen; in example a person that has a tail and cat ears and breaths fire will lose the ability to breathe fire but the physical features will not be taken away unless they are part of the power.
The saying that “There is always something or someone stronger then you in Siren’s Port” should definitely come to mind when dealing with Nulls and Voids. SERO is heavily armed with their creation, as well as the City Government. In some cases AGI and other rich people have Voids in employment. One should speak to a mod for further details when dealing with either being in large plots and story lines.
Government buildings, police stations, prisons and other locations of law enforcement as well as most SERO laboratories will have some form of these humans working for them to ensure a common control within the building.
So how big is the City? Does it have public transit?
The City is comparable in size to most large cities throughout North America. It has all the various buildings and amenities that most cities have, as well as all the same rotten spots (okay, so maybe more than the average amount of rotten spots).
The City does have a highly functional transit system. There are buses that run to just about everywhere, though the number of routes through the slums are highly limited, and there are express buses that go to the industrial and farming districts for anyone who works out there. There is also a central subway system that runs during the day for quick transit from one side of the city to the other. Buses tend to arrive in 15 minute or half hour intervals, and the subway runs a car through every 10 minutes. These systems, however, only function from morning siren to evening siren, so during the Darkness you're mostly out of luck where transit is concerned.
Fares for the daytime transit run at $5 per ticket, and the ticket lasts for two hours. It is usable on any bus or the monorail within the daytime transit system. Tickets are not transferable to the Darkness subway.
There is also a Darkness subway system that operates only during the Darkness. This uses the same route as the subway used during the day, though it substitutes heavily armoured cars to protect passengers and staff from monster attacks, as well as heavily guarded by transit workers who protect the doors while passengers are loading and unloading. Keep in mind that this Darkness subway may not go anywhere close to your home and may not be a safe bet at night - though it is a reasonable place to hide if you're caught out at night and you have the money to pay your fares.
Fares for the Darkness subway run at $10 per ticket (due to the necessary extra protection) and the ticket lasts for two hours. Tickets are not transferable to the daytime transit.
There are heavy fines ranging from $100 to $500 for sneaking onto transit, depending how many citations you have for it. The transit systems are run by AGI however, so if you're loyal to AGI, you may catch a break on these fines.
Monthly passes are available that cover both transit system and entitle you to unlimited rides on either system, but they run at the steep sum of $175 per month.
A map of the subway route and a list of stops can be found here.
SIREN'S PORT: SURVIVING IN THE CITY
How does my character arrive in the City?
When each character is drawn from their own canon, it feels like a whiplash, like being plucked up into the sky and sucked through a very tight dark space before being deposited rather roughly in the City. Your character will be disoriented, dizzy, slightly nauseous, and very sore upon arriving in the City. It is your choice whether your character arrives during the safety of the day or the danger of night.
Until recently, no one knew why, but every new arrival to the City from another world gets deposited in the dead center of an abandoned, graffittied baseball diamond. It has been discovered that deep down under the abandoned field is the location of the once long lost Core. It is assumed that because of this, Newcomers show up in this single location. Since the discovery of the Core there have been new developments. Instead of signs plastered around it with bad advice for newcomers (several signs that said 'you're fucked now, newmeat' or give bad advice and wrong directions), the fences and signs have now been replaced with information, memorials and welcome signs, frequently kept up by Newcomers as encouragement (though from time to time some form of degrading tag might appear here or there).
A person is thrown from their pull somewhere within the fenced in baseball field, either in the dirty unkept infield or tossed rolling into the over grown dirty outfield (complete with craggy pits that appear to be evidence of larger crashing Newcomers). Standing on second base and facing home plate, one will see a rotten, old and deteriorating backstop and chain link fencing, much like any little league baseball field. Broken down bleachers, made of worn out green painted wood can be seen in disarray behind this and some old trees line the wall and fencing along the right side.
To your left is a walled in Dugout with a secured door. The dugouts are made of thick concrete and set low into the earth. This one has been outfitted as a safe place to enter during the night to hide and wait out the morning. Sometimes Greeters can be found here, waiting for people to show up.
The Dugout to the right has, since April of 2011, been remodeled. The discovery of an entrance to the Core has forced the construction of a high security building over this dugout. This is a well lit and guarded area.
NOTE: Current Status (Updated July 1st) - The Baseball Diamond is held by the Neutral Government, allowing greeters access to the infield while the small building constructed over the right dugout is still guarded heavily by government-controlled Voids, to block public access to the Core. Those who cooperate with greeters will be treated fairly and be given helpful information, lead to the Tower Apartments and offered a month's lodging. Those who put up a fight will be met with Voids and detained by police.
Just beyond the fence, in the Tower Apartments parking lot and lobby, SERO and AGI recruiters will be passing out informational leaflets presenting company propaganda, including discounted coupon booklets and travel-sized toiletries as a "Newcomer Welcome Package".
Other then the light around the Core building there is one single light that remains on even in the Darkness, that has been running for years without being changed, and if your character arrives at night, that's the only light they'll see otherwise. Still standing on second and facing home plate one will find an open walkway that leads into a parking lot. This is the parking lot to the Tower Apartment. As you walk out (or are escorted out) you will see the right side of the apartments. Cross the apartment and enter through the since set of doors here to enter the lobby of the apartments. The office of the Landlord is well marked just ahead.
Though these services are provided by SERO and/or Afterglow, Inc they are now run buy the Newcomers themselves. With heavy funding and support contacts from both companies the building is in a current state of slow remodel. Both SERO and AGI have staff within the building for Core Research purposes but the Newcomers are the ones now running the building.
Where does my character live after arriving? How does my character make money and survive in the City?
When your character first arrives in the City, they will be led to the sponsored apartment building for new arrivals. It is a semi-rundown but very powerfully Darkness-proofed 13 story apartment building. There are no working elevators (though this is being worked out now), just stairs, and the front door is locked at night. The main office is located in the lobby with a well marked sign simply saying “Office” in red print. Your character may live in these apartments for free for the first month they are in the City, and they may continue living there after that if they choose to pay rent. However, they are strongly encouraged to move out when they are able to make room for other Newcomers who might show up. There is limited space in the complex.
After your character leaves the starter apartments, there is a whole City full of options on where to live and work. Any type of dwelling that is available in a normal city is available in Siren's Port - rundown apartment buildings that are cheap to rent but may not be safe at night, higher-class apartments, condos, and houses that cost more but are definitely safer. There's even the option of remaining homeless, passing the Darkness in the mall or clubs and sleeping in the park during the day. Another option is the shelters, Darkness-proofed rooms full of cots for down-on-their-luck people with no other option. Be careful in shelters, though, your character is very likely to be robbed, attacked, or raped at night in a place like that.
As for making money, well, there's all the normal jobs available in any city - fast food, waiting tables, tech support, barista - any number of normal jobs that your character might be qualified for (no references required for newcomers!). There are also other ranges of not-so-normal jobs available - night security watching the door at a club or the mall for monster attacks, stripper, bounty hunter, part-time slave, slave trader, brothel worker - anything goes in Siren's Port. If you can imagine it and it's IC, your character can do it as a job.
There is one major point about jobs, though. No matter where your character tries to get work, they will find people asking them if they're "SERO" or "AGI" - the two factions that run the City have their own distinct territory, their own distinct businesses, and you have to have chosen that faction's side to get a job at their businesses or in their territory. There are some places that are neutral, but they tend not to pay as well, and they're mighty hard to find. If you're going to freelance and start your own business...well, you'd best be a very tough or very charming character indeed, since SERO and Afterglow, Inc. don't take kindly to newbies moving in on their territory.
One of the few safe and moderately acceptable neutral jobs is that of a Greeter, a paid person with the strength to withstand the Darkness and a desire to fill in any newcomers arriving at night on their new situation. Greeters are moderately paid and generally safe from harassment by either faction. Note that giving your character the job of a Greeter would mean hitting up a lot of new players' first entries and filling the new characters in about the nature of the City.
When you have chosen a job and housing for your character, please post this information up on the appropriate tracking posts. Be sure to keep your character's job and income realistic for their talents.
Wait a minute. What is SERO? What is AGI?
SERO and Afterglow, Inc. (also commonly called AGI) are the two major factions that run the city. Some combination of corporation, military, mafia, and gangs, these two factions are the feuding Montague and Capulet of Siren's Port. Both entities are working toward the same goal - freeing the people in the City of the Pull and allowing everyone to go free. Recently, these goals have started to include returning newcomers to their own worlds.
Alright, tell me about SERO.
SERO is a military and research corporation run by Robert "RJ" Judas Stone III, the cousin of Afterglow, Inc.'s head, young Lord Italy "Tully" deDrago. SERO's goal is to fix and rebuild the Core in hopes that by fixing it they will free the citizens of Siren's Port and activate the door to send all the newcomers back to their own worlds. This high minded goal is preached frequently over the airwaves and via posters and other propaganda placed up around the City. SERO seeks out research, resources, and machinery that can be used to aid the goal of fixing the Core and setting City residents free.
SERO also contributes to the maintenance of the newcomer facilities, and helps finance the salaries for the Greeters, one of the few cooperative projects between SERO and AGI.
SERO isn't all good though. SERO is widely known for human experimentation on those with powers, capturing them at random to probe and test their abilities, to see if it will aid in the cause of repairing the Core. They believe that this is necessary for the greater good, even if their experimentation tends to leave victims dead or permanently messed up both psychologically and physically. DNA/Blood/Sperm banks can be found here and there thought the city for those wishing to donate to assist their research.
Most scientific discoveries in port (and a lot of them across the world) have been developed in SERO laboratories over the years. Such discoveries as plutonium, vaccinations, and the design for Sputnik were first found here.
SERO stands for the four founding scientists who banded together to fight the ‘Nightmares’ (later dubbed Darkness) at night. Arthur Stone, Eleonore Eberhardt, Reginald Redgrave and Henrik Oberst. The group gathered together in 1932 when they started to study the creatures of the dark, learning what kills them and how to push them back, discovering how to keep monsters out at night and how to handle them.
Working for SERO is easier than working neutral, but you may have to find yourself doing odd jobs or questionable tasks to start off, to give them what they want. You may also face the danger of being experimented on and altered. Job examples could be anywhere from scientific research, filing, coding, computer sciences, human sciences, medical developments, military developments, creature research, darkness research and other science minded jobs to, perhaps, simple jobs such as a clerk at a local SERO aligned arcade, flower shop, clothing store, uniform store, a SERO supported strip mall or car wash. The possibilities are endless and not all SERO aligned jobs have to be research minded.
SERO's propaganda is heavily slanted toward freedom through fixing the Core and equality. Upon further inspection, one will find strong anti-human sentiments in their advertising and propaganda - down with humans, up with powered people! It is highly likely that they will attempt to take over the world through scientific and military force should they get free of the City.
-Developed in 1932, SERO has had a huge hand in helping develop the island which might also explain why the Governmental buildings are found in sector two.
- Company Colors are Blue and Slate Gray. Recruiters, researchers and representatives have been known as “Whitecoats” not just because of laboratory coats but because for a while most SERO recruiters as well as heads of military operations wore a long white coat with blue or gray trim.
- Company philosophy is very synergy-based, and geared toward equality through de-individualization, or groupthink. Despite this, most higher-end SERO projects are developed individually by contracted researchers who put in their time as affiliate researchers signing onto other people’s projects, and then apply for grants to head up their own. In their R&D departments, status is measured by the completion of successful projects.
- SERO is actually very militarily developed having their hand in most military forces developed on the island. Training in weapons, engineering, explosives, sciences and other developed forms of security are just a few examples of military training. Scientists work strongly with the best of the best from their security services. building a better human has always appealed to those looking for proper protection form the outside world.
- Because of advanced breakthroughs with DNA and sciences SERO has developed a super solider called a Void, a test tube being developed for perfect control over almost every power in the city.
Eesh! So what about Afterglow, Inc.?
Afterglow, Inc. (frequently shortened to AGI) is a corporation/mafia run by young Lord Italy "Tully" deDrago, cousin to SERO's head Robert "RJ" Judas Stone III. AGI's goal is to keep the Core from being fixed and find an alternate solution to the Pull. AGI believes that if the Core is fixed, another meltdown will occur and destroy all life in the City. This is heavily advertised in their propaganda, and any AGI loyalist will tell you about the destruction that will happen if SERO fixes the Core. AGI is working to keep the research, machinery, and resources to fix the core out of the hands of SERO and use them to find an alternative solution.
Afterglow, Inc. also contributes to the maintenance of the newcomer facilities, and helps finance the salaries for the Greeters, one of the few cooperative projects between SERO and Afterglow, Inc.
However, AGI isn't all good either. Afterglow, Inc. is widely known for running one of the largest slave-renting companies in the City. They are supportive of slave owners and traders. Additionally, AGI really enjoys its entertainment. Most red light districts, brothels, clubs, and other forms of entertainment are Afterglow, Inc. territory, as well as most TV stations and movie companies. Working for AGI may seem safer and easier than SERO on the surface, but there are some serious risks - you could end up a slave!
Most trade routes and off shore exports and imports were thanks to AGI founder Robert deDrago who washed up on shore from a crashed ship in 1931, settling on the northern shores to build his home. Months later he had found ways off the island, ignoring the pull as best he could to meet with other ship captains, slowly developing off-shore trade. The Black Market originally got its start because of these secret-off shore trades. deciding the island needed a bit of entertainment value, deDrago started the first brothel, Afterglow Inc. xXx
Working for AGI is easier than working neutral, but you may have to find yourself doing odd jobs or questionable tasks to start off, to give them what they want. You may also face the danger of being enslaved to them in more then one meaning of the word. Job examples could be anywhere from working as a secretary, answering phones, public relations, slave handlers, slave traders, auctioneers, business representatives, loans and club managers to simply running a grocery store, a clerk at an arcade, a movie theatre, security at a club to even dealing with selling the next ‘big thing’ over the phone while someone is having dinner.
AGI's propaganda is heavily skewed towards the dangers of fixing the core, hedonism, and “family” ties. Upon further investigation, much like with SERO, one will find strong anti-human sentiments. Afterglow, Inc. tends to be much more welcoming to people with special abilities, and more inclined to enslave 'norms.' It is highly likely that AGI will attempt to monopolize big business through shady means when the City is freed.
-The first deDrago washed up on shore in 1931, a trade captain of a ship wreck. The city’s first brothel, Afterglow xXx, was opened in 1934. deDrago imported 12 girls to the island and claimed ownership over them, giving them shelter, food, clothing and care while they entertained those trapped on the island. Afterglow, Inc. built itself as an entertainment monolith around this flagship, which has since expanded and is still in operation.
- Company colors are Red and Black. A small simple black or gold dragon can sometimes be noted as a deDrago clan symbol and sometimes found mixed in with AGI logos.
- The deDrago clan has formally adopted many of it’s higher-ranking members, and the title is often bestowed as an honorary status for long-term loyal service to the company. The entire board of executives is ‘family’ by either blood, marriage or adoption. Nepotism has been a staple of company practice. You are more likely to be hired or promoted because of strong social connections with loyal affiliates. Family and business partnership go hand in hand. To insult a member is to invite the entire clan’s wrath. AGI holds longer and deeper personal grudges than SERO.
- AGI’s tradition of institutionalized indentured servitude has been carried on since 1936, when the city signed over its debtors prison to Afterglow Inc, to highly profitable turnarounds within six months of the company putting them to work. Though slavery of criminals had been practiced before, de Drago pushed to make it official, bringing paper work into the system. Only about 8% of contracted debtors enslaved to AGI or their following ever legally complete their debt and earn their freedom.
- While SERO favors trained military tactics in their special security units, and utilizes VOIDs when possible, AGI agents are more likely to operate solo or in small groups with compatible abilities. Most of these groups will have a definite smooth-talking front-man, or “Face”. These leading agents are extremely socially savvy, and are hand-selected from those with supernaturally charismatic abilities, specializing in mind or emotional manipulation. They are usually flanked by “heavies”, who favor of abilities of body constriction or puppet-like manipulation, and/or other physical powers. Working together, they make a highly intimidating force feared by local neutral business owners.
Forget that! My character is too noble or self-centered to be involved with and loyal to either of those factions. Tell me about being neutral.
It's perfectly plausible to remain completely neutral in Siren's Port. There's a lot of benefits to being neutral - you don't have to get involved in the debates or warfare between the sides, you won't be compelled to gather research or items for either side. Most importantly, you run a much lower risk of being taken in as a slave or a subject of human experimentation.
However, there are also a lot of drawbacks to being neutral. As previously stated, it's a lot harder to get a job and find income - you have to do a lot of pavement pounding to find positions in neutral clubs and businesses, because most of them are in the underground. Nearly everything around you is run by SERO or AGI. You will generally be paid less and have less street credibility - people's opinions of you and treatment of you will go down. Also, if you start your own neutral business, you run the risk of raids by SERO or extortion of safety fees by AGI in order to keep your business running.
Again, one of the safest ways of surviving while being neutral is to take a position as a Greeter or to work in the starter apartments as a maintenance person, filer, bookkeeper, janitorial, or other staff. Neither of the factions will bother you, since both factions contribute to these efforts. Alternatively, your neutral character can be a double-agent, leaking information or items from one faction to the other, or act as a freelance bounty hunter to both sides - just keep in mind that these types of jobs will require gaining the trust of members from both sides.
If you choose to keep your character neutral and would like to start your own company, freelance business, or other job that might threaten either faction, feel free to contact either mod for any plots you'd like regarding SERO or Afterglow, Inc. meddling in your affairs. Also, any suggestions for safe neutral jobs are more than welcome!
Okay, so we've covered jobs. What kind of currency is being used in the City? How is the economy?
Siren's Port, being an offshoot of Canada and the USA, even if it's not affiliated with either government, uses a currency very similar to the Canadian dollar. What does this mean? The City uses dollars and cents, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, one dollar coins, two dollar coins, and 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. Being similar to Canada, yes, the City uses different coloured bills. They will be the equivalent to the colours of Canadian bills, though they will not be marked 'Canada' but 'Siren's Port.'
The economy is much different than a normal first world country, however. Because of the slightly more limited resources in the City and the difficulty of import and export, there is a high rate of inflation. Expect to pay $10 for a loaf of bread instead of $3. Fortunately, wages are also slightly higher than expected in the City, and standards for employment are much easier to comply with. Jobs are given more freely, and the average 'minimum wage' of a job (though there are no strict minimum wage rules in the City) is about $15 an hour.
To sum up: it is a bit more difficult to get by in the City than it might be in other cities, but it is definitely manageable
For more information on the Canadian currency system and an image of the various bill denomination colours, please see this Wikipedia link. (opens in a new window)
What if my character is down on his or her luck, can't find a job, and can't scrape together food and shelter? Is living on the streets the only option?
For characters who are down on their luck or otherwise out of other options, there are the same sort of food bank and shelter opportunities provided in the City. There are food banks and shelters sponsored by AGI and SERO, as well as one neutral one.
Keep in mind, though, that these shelters and food banks can be dangerous and have a very high crime rate possibility, so your character may be attacked or robbed or any other number of things happen while using them. These are probably best used as a temporary survival option.
Churches tend to be good locations for handouts, shelter or food banks. The Cathedral of Jonova especially seems to have open doors to assisting Newcomers.
BUT THIS IS CANADA, HOW DO I MILK?
Yes, your milk is now bagged. look, some nice soul on the internet made this HANDY USERS GUIDE
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