WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS.
The name “Las Vegas” evokes luxurious hotels, noisy smoke-filled casino floors, and over the top entertainment against a backdrop of neon, greed, and lust. Las Vegas draws over 35 million visitors a year and the supernatural (from sorcerers, warlocks, and minor practitioners, to monsters beautiful or grotesque) are not immune to Vegas’ siren call. The Veil between our world and the Nevernever has always been thin in the valley and the press of people, passion, and magic has frayed it further, allowing demons and monsters to walk the neon-lit streets.
VIEW FROM THE STREET
Dreams are up for grabs in Vegas, if you’re strong, clever, or desperate enough to risk it all. Anything can be wagered, bought, or sold in Vegas, from high-end shops targeting the temporarily wealthy to those who traffic in drugs and flesh. Las Vegas even hosts some of the most exotic and illegal of supernatural markets; of course you can find an entrance to the Goblin Market (buyer very much beware), but Vegas also offers off-off-the-grid markets where the daring or foolish can buy or sell “monsters” that grant their possessors strange and potent power (as long as they can maintain control of their new “pet”). Or you can do what most people do and try your luck in the casinos.
Professional gamblers make magic out of poker hands, chaos theory, and the buying and selling of luck. Millions seek out their own personal salvation or damnation. But, the house always wins and the odds are never in your favor. The lure of winning big is advertised on every corner, but the broken losers far outnumber the winners. Vegas has the highest per capita homeless population in America. It also has the highest suicide rates; the odds of killing yourself double while visiting Vegas but drop by over a third simply by leaving. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Las Vegas also has the highest number of churches per capita of any city in the U.S.
VIEW FROM THE TOP
What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas
The players at the bottom are scrabbling over mere crumbs of the vast money, magic, and power that flow through Vegas like rivers that catch everything and everyone in their current. Mega-resorts have constructed architecture, both sacred and profane, in a fevered competition to redirect that power. Fortunes are made and lost on the casino floors, but the casino owners make the largest killing, as does a dragon sleeping on its hoard in the vault of one mega-resort. Almost every major supernatural faction has a presence in Vegas, but the vanilla mortals shouldn’t be dismissed. Most of the wealth and control of Vegas lies in the hands of the corporations and moguls who own the bulk of the casinos, at least one of whom is fully aware of the true nature of some of his competitors.
The confluence of power, wealth, magic, dreams, and nightmares in a valley already spiritually frayed should be a recipe for disaster. Sorcerers, vampires, faeries, spirits, and gods all vie for their piece of the pie. But the major players and factions band together to squash threats to the status quo; they may be at each others’ throats, but there’s too much money and power at stake to let chaos disrupt the bottom line. The entire Strip is Accorded Neutral Ground and the Compact – a local supernatural agreement – lays out the brutal law. The Compact is enforced by a powerful sorcerer, known only as the Warlock, who rules as self-appointed King in his stolen Tower.
The Price of Peace
But that stability comes at the price of tolerating atrocities. Any who would play at power in Vegas must ask themselves what they’re willing to tolerate. And if they do act, how far are they willing to go? If the status quo – terrible as it is – collapses, what will prevent violent chaos or a new status quo that’s even worse?
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