The easiest way to place a Haven is when the source material gives you a detailed Barrens or walled-off Z-Zone to work with, whether it’s official published work or something fan-created on the wiki.
When the source material gets vague, a Haven can be any place that
Searching for present-day ghost towns, shantytowns and landfills is a good way to go about this. A landfill crisis in present-day headlines is a feedstock mine to Haven recycling technology. The Shadowrun world is full of crises that generate refugees that can populate an area, if a location is good but population is sparse.
Haven citizens do sometimes play tourist, though it’s very different when travel is by dirigible and sail instead of airplane and cruise ship. Knowledge workers often work from the dirigible when traveling to and from their destination; hands-on workers often mix a short residency at the destination Haven— sometimes teaching— with their vacation activities. It’s common to have
exchations where two families with similar jobs trade houses and jobs for a month or a season.
The Ork Underground started moving onto the Haven system back in 2044, and a non-trog with a good Haven rep is a lot safer down there than your average human tourist come down to gawk. It’s still a good idea to come down here with an ork or troll buddy; even if the whole neighborhood knows you, you still might run into someone who’s had a few too many and is still nursing a grudge over the Night of Rage.
Most Havens are trying to grab every bit of sunlight they can for plants or solar panels. The Underground doesn’t have that, so it has Q-dot lighting all over the place in a crazy mix of full spectrum sunlight (gotta get that vitamin D!); soft candlelight and dim red light that doesn’t spoil orkish low-light vision; and that weird purple for growing green stuff.
Government there is run by an elected Council, who don’t have any formal authority over the Trogs, the gang in red and black that provides security. Incorrigible criminals are given a double-tap to the head when there’s absolutely no doubt; when there is, a Dog shaman turns them into a golden retriever (with a human lifespan, according to the shaman), and they get to be a Good Dog™ until someone proves their innocence or they’ve embraced the nature of the golden retriever and are presumably no longer incorrigible. Beats rotting in a cell.
The Underground goes a long ways. The Heart is under Downtown Seattle. The Stretches run south to Tacoma and Puyallup, and north around Lake Washington to Bothell (yes, there are tunnels that go under Lake Union). A tunnel goes under the Duwamish Waterday (at the 14th Street bridge) with communities all the way to the 518, north of SeaTac. You can get all the way from Paradise Lake to Carbonado without going above ground, though it takes longer even using the routes for electric scooters.
Some of the tunnels were dug with hand tools. Some of them with magic. Some of them with heavy machinery. Some of them with rockworms. And some were already there. The Tunnel Team conduct regular inspections to verify that everything can withstand a 9.0 quake like the one that struck at 9pm on January 26, 1700. The engineers fit strain gauges and seismometers, the shamans ask the earth spirits to check things out, and if they start recommending that something needs to be shored up, people hop to it.
Runs between the public entrance under Lordstrung’s and the one under the Big Rhino. It has shops and restaurants for the people who feel daring enough to go into the Underground at all. At the halfway point is the Biz, a bazaar where anyone can rent a stall.
A 24-hour pancake house, named for its specialty, the Trollstack: a tower of pancakes that will satisfy the appetite of a hungry troll. (The usual variety of breakfast foods, like bioreactor eggs and vat bacon and so on, are also available here.) The owner, Thrudd, has a heart as warm as his face is scarred; he used to be a pit fighter and plowed his earnings into the Underground when it went Haven.
Near the Lordstrung’s entrance. Formal and street wear in ork and troll sizes. You can even get tailored armor-cloth. Seattle 2072 p43
The Barrens are so violent that all the Havens here are heavily fortified. Don’t try to drive through the big blackberry brambles; there are bollards in there that would wreck a tank and spikes that will shred any tire. The local gangs are hired on as security; they change out shifts every few hours before they get too bored, so you don’t have to wait too long to have a drink with that hunk with the twinkle in his eye and a well-maintained SMG.
The older buildings in Redmond Havens all built on pylons ’cos the land itself started out poisoned, and they needed to detox it in place. Of course, they’re growing all kinds of stuff that sucks the toxins out of the soil and taking it to the junkspace for recycling. At night in the winter there are lights under the buildings where they’re growing moss and ferns and mushrooms and whatnot that get harvested by bots and hauled off to the local junkspace. If the winds are quiet, you can go around outdoors without a breather because the ground cover is keeping the toxic dust down.
Remember what a mess the Plastic Jungles were? The rotting old greenhouses are being broken down for construction material and the toxins are getting leached out of the soil. The oldest parts of the Haven are clean enough to grow food in the ground again. Now they’re building rowhouses at the edges. Parking is all at the perimeter, right behind the hedge walls; most traffic within the Haven is on foot or bike or trike, and you only see cars and trucks when people need the heavy lifting. The Haven is a mix of all types, probably ¾ metahuman. Security is by the Crimson Crush, some of whom live there and some of whom distribute food, water, and medicine to people in their main territory east of Touristville. There are floating solar panels on Paradise Lake now.
This Haven still has some of the Redmond high tech attitude and they run it on liquid democracy where people delegate their vote to proxies on various issues. The most powerful person in the Haven’s government is this human granny called Dr. Veto, who used to teach political science at the UW before her tenure got revoked for some bulldrek reason. All she does is vote no on anything that she thinks will have consequences that aren’t being discussed, or declines if she thinks the issue represents cause and effect well and proxies it on to other people to vote on the merits. She spends most of her time teaching her mad skillz and I recommend signing on to her MOOCs if you’re involved in government.
A lot of the founders had anarchist leanings, so there aren’t traditional laws; the government has a short list of principles, each of which comes with a list of best practices and a long list of precedents to clarify them. They are dead set against the Havens developing their own legalese jargon. The few incorrigible criminals— people who can’t be safely exiled, rehabbed, or headshrunk— get shapeshifted into a tree and are taken someplace warded until someone can figure out a way to help them.
This Haven is old enough they still have rectangular street layouts and buildings at the center. Outside the core, it’s the usual meandering roads and curved buildings you get in Havens. If it weren’t for all the public art, it’d be really hard to learn your way around there.
The first park in the Haven now has clean soil and is a great place to unwind after a long drive. The trees and fountains and rolling hills are easy on the eyes and the kids at play make the place feel Havenly after a trip through the Barrens.
A vehicle fabbing and repair facility run by a gearhead sasquatch called Tyvokka who has an amazing ability to figure out what’s going wrong with anything from a bicycle to a tractor rig by listening to it. She has datagloves that translates Perkins-Athabascan sign language into whatever you speak with the usual ability of a machine, and ScapeGogs that convert your speech into augmented reality gestures as long as you face her and remember not to speak too fast. She rides a custom chopper and has done so much work for the Red Hot Nukes that she has free passage in their territory. Even if she isn’t in the shop, her crew are super well trained because she can quiz them on mechanical sounds when things get slow.
One floor of restaurant and bakery under three floors of clean room vats and bioreactors. One side has fish and chips, chicken and waffles, and other deliciousness, as well as classic diner food; the other has donuts and churros and loukoumades. Om nom nom nom nom...
A restaurant that always has staples from the Middle to Far East programmed up on the autochefs, so you can get halfway decent kabobs and shawarma and biryani and lo mein and donburi and so on made for cheap. The specials are the thing to watch for, because there are all kinds of panhuman chefs taking turns there, showing off their skills or passing on family recipes. Some are there one day a week, and some are more sporadic, so check the menu on your Scape when your belly starts rumbling.
A bar on the interior of a building that dealt with the lack of windows by adding big tridscreens that look out on live Matrix feeds from other places around the world. They have themes like
A steakhouse that opened in July 2051. They’re a little pricey because the meat is printed tissue, but it is so worth it. They can print filet mignon at a scale for a troll. It’s a good idea to get reservations with dish selections at least a week in advance if you want to be 100% sure that they’ll have the cuts you want ready.
All the Havens have basking trees for naga in the bars and restaurants, even if they mostly see use by the pub cats, but this place is four stories of naga! The ground floor is a Pacific Island-themed tavern where you can hang out with your snake chummers and cheer them on when they chase devil rats in the center arena. (Talk quiet while they’re hunting, cheer when they start gulping it down.) Most of the kitchen and wait staff are panhuman.
The next two stories are mixed housing for naga-panhuman families, and the top floor is for-naga-comfort-only, visiting panhumans may get backaches.
Wear layers, ’cos the naga have control of the thermostat and it’s 85°F in there all year round, with basking spots that are even hotter. They have full-spectrum Q-dot lights there tuned to make it like a beach in the Carib League and a great beachside ambience— even a wading pool— and in the winter the place is full up with people in swimsuits defying the weather outside. There’s nothing like sipping mai tais in a bikini after a long drive through pouring Seattle rain!
They run the lights to imitate the outdoors starting at sunrise, but keep the day at least twelve hours long even in the winter. Makes it all the better when the sun is down by five in the winter.
The Haven’s first performance space. Depending on who’s using it, it can be anything from a movie theater to a playhouse to a lecture hall to a town hall.
The first waterspace in the Haven. Most of the buildings are built on pylons with space underneath for growing plants to detoxify the soil, but the waterspaces are all built on top of deep, excavated cisterns with a water supply for droughts. This one has a cascade going down from a piping hot tub down to a bigger soaking tub down to a swimming pool. (Shower before you get in. The contamination alarms will not spare your dignity.)
This waterspace is an indoor water park with a swimming pool and water slides and an early space age theme. The pool is deep enough here for a high dive!
The first building where they collected people with medical expertise there. You can get anything from former MDs from the Mess to orks who have been apprenticed since they hit puberty. They’re all solid. There’s also a Snake shaman, Chiara Bianchi, there most of the time, and she’s good at coordinating healing spells with the doctors.
There’s also a psych practice in one corner, Dr. Eileen Kreuger. She got her Mess license revoked for doing research into psychedelics, but don’t hit her up for a brain vacation; she considers the stuff to be heavy-duty medical treatment and isn’t about to share her plants, fungi, or bioreactor goop for kicks. If your regular psych treatment is stuck, though, Dr. Eileen can get you unstuck with a supervised trip. She helped me a lot after I lost a buddy to the night riders in Cal Free.
All the Havens have attitude about the Mess, but Glow City has an extra helping of
frag you because the population used to be the folks desperate enough to live in territory that was contaminated by a nuclear meltdown back in 2013. The whole area for kilometers around it was contaminated, including Beaver Lake. They made off with the uranium and spent fuel rods after the meltdown, but the ground here was lousy with cesium ’til they started growing mustard greens and such to suck up the fallout.
So the whole place has a defiant attitude because the founders of the Haven were the ones who had the guts to come on in and start cleaning it up, and the squatters (mostly orks and trolls) who took them up on the offer of joining up and going from desperation to hope. The architecture styling of the place is a mix of Addams Family Nouveau, Mies van der H R Giger, and heavy metal album covers; the locals take pride in freaking out the neighbors. The local gang providing security is the Rusted Stilettos, mostly trolls and orks with a few humans and dwarfs. The Stilettos play up the whole
mutant look with hair dyes and makeup; they’re like a nonstop Hallowe’en party when they’re at home in the Haven.
The government is the same transitive-proxy direct democracy tech they use in Paradise Lake. Incorrigible criminals get either a double-tap to the head or simsense conditioning using techniques found in psychotropic black IC.
A comfy hofbräu decorated with movie posters from the 1950s and other Atomic Age tchotchkes, none of it actual vintage. The beer is brewed on site, and there’s always some new recipe they’re trying.
The first café in the Redmond Havens to have outdoor seating. When the winds shift and bring smog from the Toxic Castles to Beaver Lake, they vent clean air from the vertical farm on the upper stories and create a slight breeze that keeps the stench away. They even grow real coffee beans in the vertical farm, though the bioreactor stuff from the clean room next door is cheaper (and still tastier than soycaf). If you’ve never sat under an umbrella on a terrace in a Haven in the Redmond Barrens to drink a caffè mocha, I recommend it; it’s like raising the biggest middle finger in the world to the greedheads in their stuffy high-rises who left us all behind.
Serves the hottest Thai and Indian dishes. Five out of five ork shamans surveyed say the ghost pepper biryani does not actually eject you into the astral plane but it does feel like it.
Specializes in recipes that can be executed by robochefs with minimal sentient oversight. The folks running the robots are usually techies who are also foodies, always trading recipe algorithms over the Scatterweb.
When Splashdown went up over in Paradise Lake, the folks in Glow City rebuilt their primary waterspace into a water park for adrenaline junkies. The best slide in the Maelstrom has some serious hang time when it launches you into the deep end of the swimming pool.
The outside looks like Mad King Ludwig commissioned it in a bats-and-gargoyles phase. The inside is a genetics lab where they contribute to the Haven biotech research, cranking out tailored bacteria and chimeric plants.
The Puyallup Barrens are the opposite of the Redmond ones: lots of open space left over after Mt. Rainier blew up in the Great Ghost Dance. The air is Red Alert bad for half the year, what with volcanic ash blowing around and factories belching stench, so there’s a ton of air filtration on every building in the Haven and the whole place is buried in multiple layers of greenery that drinks up the pollution. They had to import words like
This is where a load of orks wound up after the Night of Rage and the Haven is still mostly orks, mostly Black and Hispanic. (Runner Havens p106) The Black Rains are the all-ork gang providing security for this Haven. The place makes use of old mining tunnels.
They use rockworms and refurbished leftover digging equipment to dig down a lot here, and use the castings and tailings to build on the surface, including making the Lava Dikes, which normally channel rainwater coming down the side of Mount Rainier and, with a few carefully placed boulders ready to fall into place, should be able to divert lava next time it erupts. With any luck, they’ll keep the lava from hitting the Sound and sending up plumes of acid and tiny shards of glass.
Buildings here are usually printed from rockworm castings, mostly in a neo-Brutalist style, and can take a lot of punishment; the neighbors include some hostile humans-only policlubs and gangs who have grudges going back to humans getting displaced when people fled the Night of Rage, and even with Carbonado taking people in, they want revenge, not peace. Up on the surface, they use damp sails to catch the windblown ash from Puyallup, mix it with excavated dirt, throw in microorganisms and nematodes and whatnot, and create gardens that help clean the air further.
They export a lot of volcanic ash to the Redmond Havens for use in the vertical farms.
This is the birthplace of Carbonado slam, which is punk rock perfect for slam dancing. It’s great fun for anyone as durable as an ork; if you show up on in the mosh pit with a more elfin build, expect a pretty good working over and then some new friends if you prove you can keep up.
Costas Papadopoulos is a minotaur— as in the troll metavariant— running a literally underground nightclub. The labyrinth is picked out in glowing tiles on the dance floor, and you know the party is in full swing when the whole nightclub is doing a conga line along the labyrinth.
The fire jugglers and fire-eaters are just the warm-up act here. The ballet is amazing— people dancing with fire, blacksmiths pouring molten metal in the middle of the performance, sword duels with propane-powered flaming swords, people wearing burning costumes. Haven magicians’ guilds from all over the planet sponsor it, and the performance space is cavernous to accommodate all the spirits and astrally projecting magicians who show up. They all manifest to visibility to applaud, which alone is worth the price of admission.
Lots of folks perform with the ballet, and the Aunties often nudge people who show signs of pyromania to sublimate it here.
Inspired by Romeo & Juliet: the Fire Ballet.
A troll take on the submarine sandwich, with plenty of the specialty sandwiches named after famous movie monsters. The Gojira is my fave: spicy mycobeef, mycopork, avocado, and sriracha.
It took a lot of work, but we finally lured Tarislar into trying a Haven rollout in 2051. They’re still copying the Tír system of nobility [Tír Tairngire p58], so you should know who the players at court are if you’re visiting:
elven culturething, art and music and Sperethiel calligraphy and all that. They lead the faction that are very into the elf thing; for over a decade, the elves of Tarislar had a lot of pride in their culture because they had nothing else. Moore can come across as airy-fairy artsy-fartsy, but they have a mind like a scalpel when it comes to analyzing the political implications of art— and if you start chatting about it, Moore will readily note that all art is political.
They aren’t as persnickety about etiquette as Tír elves, as long as people are making a sincere effort to show respect. Tír kids get etiquette classes in school, while Tarislar folks get a fair amount of their ideas from B-grade historical and fantasy trid. Make the effort and you’ll be fine; fake the effort and they’ll clam up.
Duke Swiftblade is having to run the show on a shoestring and has done a lot of adapting of Tír Tairngire’s system. They have a Rite of Progression [Tír Tairngire p62], but it’s a lot more about your ability to serve Tarislar usefully, it’s judged openly, and they hold it every year. The physical tests are parkour, sharpshooting, martial arts, or climbing.
A lot of the elves there swore to never trust a human again after the Night of Rage, so round-ears need to be on scrupulous manners there until you can figure out if the elf you’re talking to is one of that lot. There are a few humans in Tarislar, but they’re almost always family members of elves.
The dysfunctional heart of the Front Range Free Zone.
The Denver Tech Center has been a gangsters’ playground for years. The Regency Tech Center was a ten story luxury hotel that gradually turned into a giant, nasty flophouse. Over the years, things got bad enough the owners were having a hard time turning a profit. Some enterprising Havenly folks got the Relocation Committee to have the Council condemn the whole site with wording that let them get a big fat tax write-off and organizers from the Aurora Haven moved in in 2057.
Old Colorado City never recovered economically from being severed from Colorado Springs and has been decaying for years. In 2057, the Aurora Haven was big enough to start exporting the inputs to start boosting other Havens, and organizers talked the Bear Creek neighborhood into giving it a try.
The Council of Denver’s Relocation Committee is supposed to bulldoze all of Aurora and let it return to wilderness, but if they did that, they’d be out of a job. So they’ve been stalling for decades, and no one has been willing to invest in what is now called the Aurora Warrens, which make Seattle’s Barrens look welcoming and friendly.
Some enterprising Havenly started a Haven in 2052 next to Quincy Reservoir and have made sure that the Relocation Committee know how Havens work in the Scandinavian Union. If they keep the bulldozers out and let the Haven grow, the Haven will have more and more resources to put into maintaining Denver’s crumbling infrastructure that the Council is failing to maintain (since they have eight layers of management and not enough workers). This will make the Relocation Committee very powerful within the Council... as long as they leave the Haven alone. A superb symbiosis.
So they’re cleaning up the Quincy Reservoir, building up a good reputation with the local spirits, and teaching people Haven tech as fast as possible. The neighborhood is so rough that they’re deploying the incremental fractal arcology designs developed in Dharavi for the heart of it. I expect they’ll use some more spread-out designs once they have enough Defenders trained to chase out the gangs.
When the Native American Nations formed, the Ute were some of the most emphatic about chasing the Anglos out of their territory. One exception to that was the Saints in Utah; the other was the weirdos in Boulder. The government is neither funding the University of Colorado Boulder, nor are they charging it property taxes, and it has managed to keep going on a hodgepodge of funding sources, though they’ve had to pick and choose where to concentrate building upkeep. Some enterprising students started renovating the buildings around Kittredge Lake in 2053 using Haven tech, and it has caught on. They’ve been focusing on housing and food, to make themselves popular with the neighbors, who also see less government investment than the rest of the sector.
Land of control freaks and a debt-based pyramid scheme that puts Aztechnology in the shade. Keep a low profile or they’ll try to bust in and tax everything to death.
Between the Crash of ’29 and the Night of Rage, Akron and Cuyahoga Falls were pretty much abandoned to the gangs as anyone with means retreated to Cleveland. The state legislature stopped putting polling stations there, ignored them on the census, then reverted the whole area back to the county once there were no more representatives. In 2043, Haven organizers founded the Cuyahoga Haven just south of the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron and carving some community out of gang territory. Once they started patching up SR 8 the go-gangs started to get the idea. There has been pent-up demand for civilization here and the Haven is growing quickly; it hit the 10,000 person threshold for being able to manufacture its own microtronics in 2048.
The music scene here is amazing. You can find orchestras, gospel choirs, jazz ensembles, electronic groups, a dozen flavors of rock’n’roll, R&B, hip-hop, and folks who drift between them all.
There is a dearth of information about Philadelphia in the sourcebooks, but useful ideas on the wiki’s unofficial material page.
After the Crash of ’29, the factory communities in Upper and Lower North Philadelphia fell into ruin. Mayor McCarthy and Lone Star simply walled off the place and ever since the city has used it as a dumping ground whenever riots get out of hand. The wall is circular, so the place is called the Zero.
In 2048, some Havenly organizers got enough of the Zero together to get a Haven going, which they promptly dubbed Zero Frags Given; they’re too small to make their own microtronics yet, but they get supplies from Cuyahoga. Like a lot of new Havens, there are a lot of
work hard, play hard folks, so it can be a blast to show up with a load of goodies for their fabbers.
Madison isn’t a full Haven. It’s just a city where students from the University of Wisconsin made a presentation to the city council suggesting that adopting a mixed economy would be a way to mitigate the economic downturn that Madison was experiencing. All they had to do was accept taxes in the form of Haven cred and have a set of public works projects queued up to absorb Haven cred. They’ve adopted the Balancer/Rescuer system for public safety after it proved popular in neighborhoods that implemented it. They came up with some bureaucratic smokescreens for some of the difficult edge cases. For instance, food grown in vertical farms without jumping through expensive legal hoops is not legally
food and cannot be bought with dollars; you have to buy Haven cred, pay for it with that, and your receipt says it’s a
realistic model; cooking and serving it is categorized as
entertainment. Legally you’re consuming it at your own risk, and there just happens to be a parallel
realism inspection system that works just like food inspection to tell you it’s safe.
The system caught on pretty well. More often than not, when financial shenanigans in the Mess crush someone’s business, they declare bankruptcy and switch over to the Haven system. When the taxes show up as cred, the city council plows them into civic improvements like protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, public parks, and so on, and people keep voting for them.
Pronounced shir sha-irn-gi-rā. (Sixth World Almanac p190)
There are no Havens in Tír Tairngire. Not even neighborhood favor-trading clubs running on the Haven economy.
There are a whole bunch of towns in the border zone south of Tir Tairngire that are on the Haven system. They’re mostly nutty xenophobes who can’t stand one metatype or another, so Unicorn Express there costs extra because you gotta find a courier who won’t get lynched to deliver anything, plus you have to dodge or intimidate the night riders. Pretty much all the mail has to go through:
Cal Free’s government in Sacramento washed their hands of Redding (CFS p30) in 2036; not that anyone there could vote anyway, since the
community stakes law (CFS p39) in Cal Free requires a middle-class income to register. The pass over Mount Shasta deters most of the go-gangs running around the border zone with Tir Tairngire from coming over to mess the place up.
They’ve been rebuilding the place since the Tir invaded back in ’36, cranking out replacement buildings and turning bomb craters into parks. There’s plenty of biz here because it has Highway 5 running north and south, Highway 299 heading east-west, Highway 44 heading southeast, and the Sacramento River for water transport. The city is big enough that the Haven crew set up an electric trolley system for people who aren’t up to biking across the city.
A nice restaurant and bar founded by folks with ancestral ties to Aztlán.
A huge geodesic dome replacing the rubble covering a city block after the Tir invasion. They keep the temperature and lighting tropical all year round; there’s a restaurant, a Caribbean-themed bar, a pool, and plenty of tropical greenery. The temperature makes it popular with the town naga; there’s even a naga dining arena across the street, connected by a skybridge so they don’t have to go out in the cold.
Labyrinth isn’t properly a franchise because they don’t really have those, but this is the founding one in the Havens: a big empty space with that can be rigged with scaffolding to be anything from a parkour gym to a laser tag maze to a LARP dungeon to a green screen movie set. This one looks like a big fragging medieval castle. A lot of the scenery is simple bots that can move around to make new configurations, often while people are in another part of it.
This is what happens when Haven construction teams start doing things for the fun of it. The Sagrada Família is a funky cathedral in Barcelona that took a century and a half to build. A Haven team with time on their hands decided to see if they could do it in three months using modern building printing techniques and feeding the wreckage of old Redding into digesters to make feedstock. They had the sense to consult an actual priest before breaking ground on it, who suggested that they put in some extra infrastructure for emergency services, so the floors have a lot of concealed utility ports and the pews all flatten out to help take in refugees until the Haven can build new housing.
It turned out to take six months, but the Monuments Team had so much fun doing it, for fairness’ sake they went on to make sure that Redding also sports recreations of the Blue Mosque from Istanbul, the Jubilee Synagogue from Prague, the Wat Samphran from outside Bangkok, the Brihadisvara Temple from Thanjavur, the Gurdwara Baba Atal from Amritsar, and the Roman Pantheon, with enough green space between them that it isn’t completely overwhelming. This was all rather bemusing to the relevant imams, rabbis, priests, purjaris, and granthis, none of whom needed anything at that scale, but it has managed to attract enough devout people to the city that they’re all well-attended now.
The team have since moved on to other places. They can only afford the feedstock when there’s a wrecked Mess city to grind up and process, so you’ll only find them in Havens that are in the z-zones that were abandoned rather than wilderness areas. They’ve done a lot of impressive R&D work in making façades of fake granite and marble and suchlike over printed concrete and polymer. And they get faster with every monument they re-create as they learn new tricks and write new code.
If you run into the paranoid trolls in Etna (CFS p25), who don’t even like fellow trolls who have friends of other metatypes, you might worry about Cecilville (CFS p27). There’s no need for that; Cecilville is a Haven founded by trolls who decided that they wanted a town where everything is built for trolls, with accommodations for other metatypes, instead of everything being built at elf/ork/human scale with accommodations for trolls. The population is mostly troll, but some folks of other metatypes live there as well— usually because of a trollish family member or best friend, or a romantic preference. Folks who physically can’t keep up with the troll scale usually get linear frames. It’s a great place for a troll to vacation, just to experience life where your size is treated as normal.
The Eel River Haven, outside Fortuna (CFS p23), is a pretty nice place if you have tusks. If you don’t, and you aren’t married to an ork or troll, it’s pretty much a sundown town. All the usual Haven stuff is there— street food, bicycles, streetcars, lots of art and music— but it’s about 95% ork, 5% troll, and just a handful of anyone else. I like that I don’t have to ask for spicy when I order food, but I miss the panhuman panoply of a regular Haven.
A 19th century mining town that is now a hard-to-reach Haven, northwest of Lake Tahoe. This is as close as the Haven system gets to a prison.
If someone screws up badly enough that they need to turn their life around completely, and they don’t want to be exiled into the Mess, they move someplace like this. Regular citizens are free to leave, but odds of survival are low. To get a ride out, you need a sponsor somewhere else, even a Unicorn Express rigger who’s willing to be known as the person who brought you into a community. There’s also a ward where people who need some combination of meds and therapy stay; they're unable to leave until they're pronounced fit to do so.
People here have jobs the same as any other Haven. How can you expect someone to be rehabilitated into society without involving them in a society?
Folks there are a mix of altruists (some out of religious or humanitarian principle, some former prisoners who are paying it forward), people atoning for crimes, and folks who want the sweet retirement package; all Havens that ever ship anyone to the rehab ones invest local credits in contracts that they transfer to folks who retire from the rehab ones.
The incorrigibles wing is where they make difficult decisions. We can’t turn them loose, and we can’t figure out how to cure them. Some have to be handled through teleoperated humanoid drones. Magical types sometimes need to be given a choice between death or burnout, if available countermeasures aren’t enough to keep one under control.
The dance scene here never really raises the roof because so many people are working on self-control, but the music scene is amazing.
Bodie used to be a ghost town north of Mono Lake that was made into a national park in the middle of last century, but the government in Sacramento gave up on it a long time ago and it’s a long way from everything. Nowadays it’s a Haven for people who want to get far, far away from everything else, and for people who want to stay in the Haven system but have been told in no uncertain terms to get far, far away from everything else.
Some of the folks are here because they like their privacy, and some just because they like being in the middle of nowhere. The desert is pretty in its own way, and they have greenhouses and a couple of oases that are a welcome sight after too long looking at the desert. It’s not hard to find good company here, whether it’s for late night freewheeling talk, or just folks who are restful to be quiet with. And they have some pretty good mixers and dance parties on Friday and Saturday nights for the folks who like a more metaphorical sort of oasis.
The sprawl around Orkland is trying to implement a Haven economy, but it’s difficult when they’re subject to raids from the Mess in San Francisco. There’s a peculiar sort of arms race going on there where they create deceptive façades for all the crucial makerspaces and vertical farms, so when a corporate black-ops team comes over to retaliate for the latest offense from the metahuman rights activists (and let’s be honest, the occasional terrorist attack), they get to see something blow up real good. Haven crew are focusing on keeping civilians safe, while the Metahuman People’s Army and the October 25 Alliance go after the occupiers in San Francisco and making the raiders pay dearly when they try to terrorize Orkland. The newer buildings all have false fronts that are essentially ablative armor for the times that someone shoots an RPG through a
A dwarf community in the East Bay is maintaining the Caldecott Tunnels.
Farmsteaders based in Carmel Valley and Chualar have been detoxifying the soil and growing their own crops. The agribusiness corporations that owned the land before abandoning it are trying to reclaim it, and the farmsteaders are doing their best to make those attempts very, very expensive. ( California Free State p74)
On the mainland proper, a lot of Haven tech is deployed in the Big Sur area, but the Haven economy is much more fragile. One part of that is the sheer amount of chaos there, with pirates fighting each other, and law enforcement going after the pirates. Another is that when the Mess economy and Haven economies mix, people who crave the latest goodies get jealous and fight each other, and the sense of community goes to hell when people start competing on status. Some of the communes around Chualar and Carmel Valley, where they’ve managed to clean up the local toxic mess, are adopting the system, but the territory is all too frequently a war zone as the big agricultural corporations try to take back the land they formally own but had abandoned when they let it become too toxic to farm.
The Channel Islands south of Santa Barbara are sufficiently isolated from the tumult on the mainland that the Haven system has taken root. The Big Sur pirates often go there for rest, recreation, and refits of their vessels.
There are some discreet ships that pick up tourists from the luxury resorts on Catalina Island and deliver them to the biggest Haven on Santa Cruz Island, for people who want to take a walk on the wild side, dabble in the shadow economy, or make deals with smugglers and pirates in a relatively quiet location; Santa Cruz Island has enough refugees from Hollywood that it’s the heart of the Haven movie and TV industry.
When you hear noble titles used in this Haven, they’re completely separate from government. Government is typical delegative democracy, but people are in the habit of directing a stream of cred at other people that they think are cool, and those folks then have an obligation to spend it before it expires. So if someone is running around as a Count or Duke or Princess or whatever, it means that they’re popular, and are probably going to engage in celebrity antics if you watch them long enough. Sometimes that’s a matter of throwing parties or raves, sometimes it’s a clothing designer or architect making someone’s dream come true on camera every week.
Santa Rosa Island has a good set of drydocks and refits pirate vessels. This is where people go when they have an appetite for risk and nuyen, as the place is more likely to attract raids from the Mess. The smugglers and pirates often go to Santa Cruz Island for business meets, but the Santa Cruz folks insist they keep all the attention-getting activity over here.
Parties are harder here, and you see more recreational drugs in use than a typical Haven because of all the outsiders. Burnouts often drift over to Santa Cruz Island, get therapy, detox, and settle down.
There are some half-submerged buildings where panhumans and merrow can collaborate. The merrow helped lay and maintain seafloor fiber optic cable between the islands.
Havens all need a z-zone around them to keep the Mess from stomping all over them when they realize there’s any value to extract. In Seattle, it’s the chaos of the Barrens. In Northern California, it’s the disputed territory with Tir Tairngire. And out here, it’s a desert that’s blazing hot in the day, chilling cold at night, and full of all kinds of nasty paracritters, not to mention wandering bands of Anasazi who take a dim view of people coming to exploit the desert. I-15 is a dozen miles away along the weathered remains of Highway 127.
In Seattle, Havens mostly grow as squatters see a good thing and join up. In Redding, travelers from all over stop in and decide to stay. In the desert, people show up because they learned about it. (Well, occasionally they get someone stumbling in looking for the Lost Mine.) Some are folks who want to be in the middle of nowhere, and you get a fair number of artists and shamans who are there for the stark beauty of the place. Some migrate there for the warmth. And some go there because they need to change their lives. Havens don’t have prisons, but folks who have screwed up big time back in their home Haven and realize they need a fresh start come out here, far away from all the cues that might get them back into bad habits.
In the middle of nowhere, they can go nuts with the architecture, and with the temperature extremes, they have a lot of incentive to do it. They have huge cisterns to store water and all kinds of tricks to keep from losing it again: thick-walled buildings made from the excavation tailings, geodesic domes, tent-like structures, and more. The artists there love to have a free hand in doing large scale work, and lots of them have schlepped pieces out onto the local hiking trails to complement the natural scenery.
Most of the water is in regular cisterns, but they have insulated ones they use to store up heat in the day and cold at night and keep the big structures comfy all day long for anyone in shorts and a T-shirt. The waterspaces have metal-organic framework water extractors on their roofs or deploy dew-harvesting nets at night when the humidity is up. They’ve added a lot of landscape contouring to channel flash-flood runoff toward the cisterns; they only get five inches of rain a year, so they are determined not to waste those summer thunderstorms. The artists don’t waste the storms either; they have some amazing lightning rod sculptures out there. Sometimes the monsoon is warm enough that you can put on a bathing suit and go out to watch the fireworks when the lightning strikes the sculptures; they get pretty spectacular.
Most of the blazing desert sun goes to solar panels and thermal storage, but they let enough in to keep it well-lit during the day, and to nurture the greenery. Outside it’s mostly scrub and cacti; under the domes and tents, it’s drip-irrigated rainforest. If habitats don’t have a climate-controlled connection, they’ll have a set of posts connected with chain or heavy rope, so you can find your way when the haboob hits and the blowing sands drop visibility to zero.
Matrix access is via microwave and satellite links; the place is far, far away from fiber optic trunk lines. So you don’t get as many people working in infotech here, where every teleconference comes with an annoying level of lag, and you can forget about collaborative VR.
One of the best hauls to bring out there is the right kind of garbage from a landfill or junkyard, preferably construction debris or crushed cars. It’s a long ride to find anything to scavenge from the Mess, so they can easily find a use for all the metal and minerals. Take it straight to a junkspace for recycling and you can earn a lot of cred there.
Renoville is in one of the
shallow spots in the Mojave Desert, so conjuring isn’t much more difficult than average there, and it isn’t a magnet for talismongers.
A geodesic dome the size of a city block, with lightning rods at the peak, which is about six stories up. Inside, all the buildings are woven out of living trees and vines; since it never actually rains indoors and they never create more than a light breeze, it works pretty well. The restaurant in the center is a great place to watch the lightning strike during a thunderstorm.
A nice little diner with superb milkshakes and ice cream. The sugar is honey from the beehives in the vertical farms, the cream and egg proteins came straight out of bioreactors, and it’s insanely delicious after a trip through the desert.
South of the Haven proper, a group of Havenly are working on a long-term project to change the local microclimate, building an artificial oasis. They’re deploying the same tech— cisterns filled by the occasional flash flood and topped up by dewcatchers— and then using drip irrigation to grow all kinds of succulents. It’s full of bright little flowers and the green looks amazing amidst the desert. The center of it has palm and jackfruit trees shading apricots, peaches, dates, and figs.
Of course, this attracts the local wildlife. The nova scorpions and deathrattles are the worst to stumble across, but the borax burros do like to chow down on the foliage. Gila demons and rock lizards won’t come looking for trouble, but there’s a reason the landscapers put basking rocks a ways away from the hiking trails; don’t go off the path. Flocks of stormcrows come through looking for food and shinies; they leave out dichroic glass pebbles for them and speculate about persuading a flock into increasing the amount of rainfall. The gyres will leave you alone as long as you don’t look like you’re dying of thirst. They even get the occasional chimera and firedrake, and one time even a juggernaut. Mostly they keep the big critters away with laser dazzlers and sonic dissuasion, rather than trying to rack up a kill count.
The popular sidearm there is the Sod Off. It’s a lot like a sawed-off shotgun, but it has a sound cannon and a camera that does facial recognition to guide laser dazzlers, in addition to firing shotgun shells. It will persuade most paracritters to go bother someone else.
The Haven is ten miles away from the nearest halfway decent road, but it isn’t invisible. Corporate military folks over at the bases near Barstow spot the place from the air, and they get curious. They almost never get authorization to fly over because it’s in the risky magical zone and aircraft are expensive, but that doesn’t stop the occasional nosy group of soldiers from borrowing a jeep and trying to figure out what’s going on over here. Same with talismongers, or folks hunting for the Lost Mine.
The locals came up with a way to make it utterly nonthreatening: they got a bunch of folks to fab up a building, put up signage, and made it the most obvious thing for any random person showing up. So they get the occasional jeep or humvee coming in after driving over bad road and dodging hostile paracritters, and they find a place that is ready to do business in nuyen and sell them all kinds of tourist junk. The polished granite noses with I DUG FOR ORICHALCUM IN THE LOST MINE are popular, though my fave are the T-shirts reading I HAD MY SOUL BLASTED FROM MY BODY BY THE MYSTIC VORTEX AT UBEHEBE CRATER AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT because the art is fantastic (though apparently completely unrelated to anything that actually happens at Ubehebe Crater).
Meanwhile, the alarm goes out over the local net to tell everyone that there are folks from the Mess in town. All the restaurants put credstick readers on the counter and get out the fancy menus with exorbitant prices in nuyen. A handful of people find reason to not be out in public. And the visitors figure it’s some sort of tourist trap art colony. The only drawback is that once in a while, rich folks from Palm Springs hire a mercenary escort and come over looking for the tourist trap and we have to really ham it up.
The Manitou tribe— a bunch of Native elves who split off and formed their own tribe in 2045— are big on environmentally sound technology. Most of them are up north of the Churchill River. (NANv2 p64, Shadows of North America p25) A lot of them use Haven tech, and some even use the economic system.
A Manitou town on Hudson Bay. They supply Haven tech to other Manitou tribes that are far too small to do their own manufacturing.
Half the population in the Athabaskan Council is in Anchorage, Edmonton, or Fairbanks. Everyone else gets to be rugged and self-sufficient. Some communities are big enough that they can adopt Haven technology and be self-sufficient without worrying about whether the weather will clear in time to get needed supplies. (NANv2 p71, Shadows of North America p29)
Formerly known as Unalaska. This Haven was founded in 2047. They deal with
polar madness with geodesic domes kitted out with lights and filters so people can experience temperate summer and winter if they don’t go outside at certain times of day. The dome builders are positively gleeful about creating wildly different environments— you can walk straight from a tropical paradise into Zen gardens into deciduous forest into coniferous forest as you transition between domes. The Aleutian islands aren’t short on geothermal heat, and Iluulux̂ takes advantage of that for plenty of heated pools and jacuzzis, even flowriding in the Hawai’i-themed dome. The fashionistas here create loads of gorgeous aloha shirts and bathing suits. They even pull in a fair amount of nuyen from tourists from the mainland.
When the place isn’t buried under snow, there are some beautiful hikes, and there’s a spa at one of the hot springs from the nearby Makushin Volcano.
The Athabaskan Council only requires you to be Native to vote, so Council lands are full of non-Natives, and Iluulux̂ is no exception. Pretty much everyone here speaks English, but it wouldn’t hurt to have an Iñupiaq skillsoft slotted and a Russian one in your pocket.
What with Pueblo being so modern, there aren’t a lot of likely places to be interested in going Haven, but there are some folks who aren’t as thrilled with running a country as a corporation, even if you get paid dividends for citizenship; they’d rather have a council of elders than a board of directors. Similarly, the Pueblo government takes a dim view of local currencies that can’t be easily applied to that bottom line. (NANv1 p109)
If you work for Unicorn Express, they have enough nuyen to afford a few preferred shares in the Pueblo Corporate Council. One of those gives you an entry and residency visa, which makes it easy to courier most Havenly stuff. They cost over 7000¥, which is really expensive in Haven cred. (Shadows of North America p88)
If you know the right place to look, and you have the right contacts, you can meet a tribe living with old traditions and new technology. Mostly orks and trolls with a few dwarfs, and a close relationship with some mountain spirits called the ga’an. (NANv1 p106, The Clutch of Dragons p72, 74) They moved out of civilization and into caves after the Night of Rage. Once Haven tunneling tech got good, they adopted it and the rest of the system, to expand their territory underground without having to worry about the majority-human Pueblo government; the Underground Awakened have a tribal council and tribal elders instead of the PCC’s Board of Directors.
The people are mostly a mix of Zuñi and Hopi, and their language is turning into a creole of both tribes’ languages and English. No linguasofts here, chummer; your best move as a visitor is to open with Plains Sign, to show respect, and wait for them to start talking English with you. Bring a mellow vibe and let the locals take the lead when it comes to entertainment, as they like to do things their way. Listen to a few stories before telling any of your own, or keep your trap shut and join the music when it happens.
They don’t have enough visitors to have hotels; if you’re invited to stay the night, you’ll be a guest in someone’s home, so have some nice gifts for the host.
The Salish-Shidhe Council have tribal groups as small as 20 members and pretty much lets them all keep to themselves. (NANv1 p78–9)
An old coal mining town that was abandoned in early TwenCen and further battered by Mount Rainier erupting in 2017. In 2044, a bunch of small, dirt-poor tribes got together to form a Haven here, using a lot of the same restoration techniques as Carbonado (just ten klicks away); the Council didn’t take much persuading to let them lay claim to a disaster area with played-out mineral resources. Unlike Carbonado, they don’t have much in the way of neighbors to deal with, so they’re able to spread out more and have fun with architectural design. Some of them reinvented the longhouse for the architectural 3-D printer, and some get even more creative; my favorite is the giant mushroom with 360° of big windows.
Make sure you read up on potlatch before you go, because there’s a lot of it here. It doesn’t hurt to rack up a whole lot of charity in your home Haven before you show up here; you’ll get more respect when they see it on your profile.
When you’re there, pay attention to the decor; that’s how they mark spaces that are for everyone or dedicated to a particular tribe. (It’s also laid out real clear in augmented reality, if you have your Scape on.) The shared areas run like a typical Haven, but tribal areas follow that tribe’s rules, like the rest of the SSC in miniature. (Shadows of North America p113) It’s easy to stay in the shared spaces, but if you do go into a tribal space, take the time to pull up the rules on your Scape so you don’t wind up someone’s indentured servant for a week because you offered someone a swig from your pocket flask.
Folks there are pretty friendly, but never really cut loose— no one wants to be three sheets to the wind if the volcano monitors announce that Mount Rainier is having indigestion, and they build above ground more than in Carbonado. If you hear an air raid siren, fire up your Scape pronto so you can get directions to the nearest shelter; it’s probably a monthly drill, but the locals will not respect you if you blow it off.
Several of the tribes in Fairfax will take outsiders as tribal members, which can lead to sponsoring you for SSC citizenship in three years. They have to like you a lot and believe you’ll wholeheartedly support their customs, though, so take your time getting to know folks if you plan to put down roots here. (NANv1 p88)
Unlike most Havens, Fairfax has been open with the national government from the start; they worked up an agreement where they send local cred to the Council, and the Council spends it on goods or services in the Haven.
After the Treaty of Denver was signed in 2018, most Anglos had to pull out of NAN territory. The rich hired personal movers, every U-Haul or similar truck got hired, and most people got out with whatever they could cram in their cars or carry on buses. That left a lot of empty towns; pretty much everything east of Rapid City to the UCAS border (follow the Missouri River south from Bismarck) turned into a ghost town in a matter of months. (Shadows in Focus: Sioux Nation p12)
There are upwards of a million SINless in the Sioux Nation— a sixth of their population— and while a fair number are Anglos who don’t leave their reservations, or tribal bands who reject technology and follow the buffalo herds, there are a fair number who fall through the cracks because they have parents from two different tribes, or have citizenship applications blocked by bureaucrats at the Immigration and Revenue Bureau. Then there are the SINners who can’t get decent jobs because they flunked the mandatory 1-year conscription requirements for the Sioux Defense Force, or did the 2-year social work instead. That’s a lot of potential Haven citizens.
Kadoka has a lot of room to spread out, so it doesn’t go in for multi-story construction like urban Havens. They have a lot of greenhouses; most of them are to protect crops from the wild weather afflicting the Sioux Nation in the wake of the Great Ghost Dance, and some are experiments where they’re trying to combine geomancy and indoor ecology to see if they can grow telesma-grade plants without leaving things completely wild.
The Haven has an understanding with the Sioux National Police: the Haven avoids putting trouble on the SNP’s radar, and the SNP leave them alone. Apparently this is rooted in a study of
natural experiments where road problems blocked go-gangs in Rapid City from visiting Kadoka. It turns out that riding an hour to enjoy the thrill of the open road, indulging in underground whisky and tobacco, and riding back leaves go-gangs without a lot of energy to get in fights, so as long as the Kadoka Haven keeps maintaining I-90 and keeping a low profile, the SNP have other things to worry about.
The Rewilding Crew go out to other abandoned towns to hasten their return to nature by converting the remnants of civilization into 3-D printer feedstock. They start with a Critter Team that studies whatever has moved into abandoned homes and businesses and (usually) lures them to more comfy lairs, and occasionally scores some telesma when there’s a critter that just won’t get the message. The Reclamation Team strips out anything useful, like pipes and copper wire; one of the stages involves having a conjuror come through to have earth spirits surface buried water and sewer pipes. And finally the Recycling Team grabs any raw materials that can be simply ground or smelted down, like glass.
With all the crumbling towns to disassemble and landfills to mine, this means feedstock is cheap for cranking out gear. The rewilding creates more territory worth visiting for talismongers and leads to this being a good place for magical research.
The Council of Chiefs has not taken any official notice of the Haven, but apparently the shamans on the council are well aware of how popular the rewilding efforts are with the local spirits, and aren’t going to crack down on them.
The nightclubs in Kadoka are one of the best reasons to learn Plains Sign, because so many people know it that they can just keep the tunes cranked up to the point that the bartender can’t hear your order. If anyone has come up with a linguasoft that works with skillwires to make you fluent in Plains Sign, I haven’t heard of it, so download a Plains Sign dating sim if you know you’re heading to Kadoka and you can get the important vocabulary for partying.
Formerly known as Prudhoe Bay. After Utqiagvik got wrecked by tsunamis when the Ring of Fire went up in 2011, their population mostly moved to Sagavanirktok, and people hung on here— mostly out of sheer orneriness— to avoid getting packed into Inuvik. Things got worse when Prudhoe Bay Oil Field ran dry. They bootstrapped as a Haven in 2047 along with Iluulux̂, though Iluulux̂ has been growing a lot faster. There weren’t as many people to start with in Sagavanirktok, and aren’t as many to be attracted to the place. Every summer, Iluulux̂ tops up Sagavanirktok’s warehouses full of microtronics parts, and the ship goes back with alchemical radicals gathered by the local talismongers and other goodies like ice snake pelts. (Yes, that ship has a lot of very deadly people on board. They know pirates are a risk even in the Arctic Ocean if there’s a juicy enough target.)
They don’t have a volcano in their backyard like Iluulux̂ here, so even with geothermal and wind power they have to be a bit more modest.
The mana flares created by the aurora borealis (Target: Wastelands p50, 124; Hazard Pay p86) are a pain for spellcasters, as they run more current through you than you’d expect. For conjurers, they sometimes open up rifts into someplace that no one reliable has come back from. It gets even worse in the upper atmosphere; if you step out of your body, don’t go up for the high altitude view. (Street Grimoire p31)
Auroral mana flares are rated 1d6–3; add any positive number to the outcome of spells (representing increased power, not finesse) and to the drain taken. The rating changes slowly and will remain constant through an encounter.
As development in Iceland concentrated on Reykjavik, Akureyri (4½ hours’ drive away) started to accumulate the people who couldn’t afford to be near Reykjavik. This was putting a serious strain on the town’s resources until the Stornoway Haven offered to bootstrap them in 2045.
Culture here is a wild mix of Nordic and Inuit. You can get a headache swapping between Icelandic and Kalaallisut linguasofts, and Heaven help you if you want to figure out the creole that’s developing. Fortunately, they’re a cheerful lot here.
Tsimshian seceded from the Native American Nations back in 2037 and hasn’t been doing great; the government has been clear-cutting their forests and skimping on replanting, and it’s taking its toll on the ecology. They’re even running strip mines for nickel and aluminum. (NANv2 p94, 98) People who are unhappy about this are finding quiet places in the middle of nowhere to go Haven, trying to stay off the radar of the government, which is technically a democracy but functionally more of a dictatorship.
With the Tsimshian and the Tlingit in charge of the nation, the Haida, Kwakiutl, Kitksan, Niska, and other tribes are second-class citizens, usually forced into slums. (NANv2 p94, Shadows of North America p158)
The islands of the Haida tribe. If your mapsoft is out of date, Kiis Gwaay used to be called Graham Island and Gwaay Haanas used to be called Moresby Island. The Haida have stubbornly resisted
development of their heartland.
An old mapsoft would call this place Port Clements. It’s based on an inlet on Kiis Gwaay. Haida admirers in Paradise Lake reached out to offer support and in 2042 they started the place on the Haven system. Gamadiis has grown a lot because of an influx of marginalized folk from the mainland— mostly Haida, but a fair number of the other tribes as well, especially the metahumans who didn’t flee to the SSC back in 2021 when the human population was freaking out about everybody with pointy ears. (K’il Kun was bigger in 2042, but Gamadiis offered more opportunities to conceal the sheer size of the community. K’il Kun makes an effort to look more like a rundown part of the Mess, while Gamadiis is mostly obscured by tree cover.)
They keep the Haida National Front at arm’s length to avoid crackdowns from the government in Kitimat; the HNF stick to the slums on the mainland and work to get SOTA tech for their ops, and run an
underground railroad to get vulnerable people to Haida Gwaii.
Pretty much everyone here knows English, though the Haida are putting a lot of effort into returning their language from near-extinction and the hackers will happily accept guinea pigs for the latest beta-test version of the Haida linguasoft; the locals can then practice their organic skill on you.
Haven buildings in the Carib League look like old pulp sci-fi because they’re all built to survive a Category 5 hurricane.
There are also some interesting half-submerged buildings where land-dwellers can cooperate with merrow. Most of the merrow are on Navassa Island, but they’re pretty fond of shallow-water makerspaces for making gear they need and a fair number of them hire out to help repair ships in harbors all across the League. They’ve got a deal with the merrow to help lay seafloor fiber optic cable between Havens and maintain them.
The ecologists on Haven crew lead projects to rip out old Messy developments at the water’s edge to re-plant the old mangrove swamps as buffers against storms and erosion.
Havens here tend to spread by showing up to help neighboring islands when they’re wrecked by a hurricane and help from the Mess is slow to arrive. People are always grateful for emergency supplies, and sometimes are willing to let a bunch of nosy strangers come in and reorganize their society. Pirates often try to adopt the fabber tech without the community and economic system, but they find it’s difficult to get all the logistics right. The Havens offer hospitality to them as part of generating the goodwill on which the Carib League shadows run.
(Cyberpirates p39, Sixth World Almanac p171, Shadows of Latin America p82) Or Puerto Rico, if your map chips are out of date. Maria Francisca, the pirate queen, is running a hybrid economy where Haven cred buys the necessities and nuyen buys imported luxuries. Farmland belonging to Natural Vat still belongs to Aztechnology for now, but everyplace else is thumbing their nose at the Mess.
The primary Haven there is the island of Vieques, which was abandoned by the US Navy back in 2003 and left with a Superfund site that they never got around to cleaning up; Haven crew are using bioremediation to clean up the heavy metals like lead, mercury, and depleted uranium there, and detection spells and well-bribed earth spirits to locate unexploded munitions.
They’ve been doing covert samples and studies in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica so they can replicate the soil terroir and the climate in hydroponic setups; Green Mountain coffee is pricier than regular Haven coffee because it needs a lot more setup to grow, but it’s still easier to make than Klepto Luwak.
Another of the toxic leavings of the US Navy, cleaned up by the Havens. They’re much smaller than Vieques, and need them to supply microtronics parts.
Havana is still the de facto capital of the Carib League, but the
neo-communist regime officially in charge of the island is gradually retreating to the megacorporate enclaves as the rest of the island gradually goes Haven. Pretty-Boy Martinez is happy to get nuyen from the megas, the megas are happy to have Havana and Guantánamo as operating bases in the Carib League, and the countryside pays enough taxes on their nuyen-denominated exports that they don’t think it’s worth sending out shock troops to shut down the Haven economy.
Where all the metahumans go when they flee Le Prof in Haiti. The Territories tend to have a handful of
pirate kings wielding power who don’t care that everything is going Haven as long as they can refit and resupply. Haiti is firmly in the grip of the Mess, though if people get cranky enough, the island may turn into Port-au-Prince against the rest of Hispaniola.
The Miami Metroplex (Cyberpirates p35, Shadows of Latin America p86) stretches up to the Orange Curtain dividing South Florida from the CAS, and that sprawl is all firmly Mess and under the thumb of the Mob. Outside the sprawl, the government has been letting the infrastructure rot, which creates openings for the Havens to move in.
The main Haven that supplies the other Keys. The Havens have pretty much taken over maintenance of the Overseas Highway.
The CAS are very fond of their shipping port at Tampa Bay, and the Sovereign State of South Florida are concentrated on the Atlantic coast. Naples withered away and the Havens moved in. The SINless tribes and eco-activists in the Everglades come here to trade alchemical reagents for the necessities of life.
The Azzies hate the Havens almost as much as the Tírs do.
The island of South Georgia (or Isla San Pedro in Spanish) is another nominally British territory that had all the support pulled after the crash of ’29. Grytviken is one of the natural harbors there. They founded a Haven there in 2049.
No one has managed to start any Havens under Argentina’s regime, but people who want to escape Argentina usually wind up here first. Some of them move on to other Havens, but those that want to bring in more relatives and friends from Argentina stick around. This place is brisk; the geodesic domes are warm with geothermal heat, but be prepared to say hi to the local penguins if you go out jogging.
When the weather is good, the local talismongers do a lot of prospecting here and on the South Sandwich Islands nearby.
Numerous favelas in Metrópole de Amazonia, a.k.a. the Rio de Janeiro–Sao Paulo sprawl, have adopted the Haven system.
There are some interesting ancient sites in the Amazon.
Brasília got wrecked in the struggle to create Amazonia back in 2034; for a decade, it was a ruin like Tehran. While Hualpa’s policy is to keep the big cities at the coast, when Havenites asked if they could reclaim the ruins, he allowed it. Huge amounts of crumbling concrete and rusting steel are going into digesters and solar furnaces, and newly fabbed buildings are going up. The city used to hold a couple hundred thousand people and the metropolitan area a few million, so there’s a lot of room to expand. Right now they’re only growing as fast as they can acculturate people to the Haven system, but this has the potential to become one of the biggest Havens in the world.
On the island of Fernando de Noronha. The Amazonian government wanted the ecology protected, and abandoning it would have just let pirates move in and wreck the place, so they suggested it would be a good place for a Haven. It has great beaches and the water is warm enough to go diving without a wetsuit. They’re busily trapping the invasive species, and will probably try to get you to adopt a kitten or a tegu lizard if you visit.
The Roma on the edge of Oberwart adopted Haven tech back in 2044. They’re friendly to Havenly visitors, but remember to be polite and let them decide how much to tell you about themselves; it’s rude to pry. Don’t plan on settling there or wandering around the whole place unless you’re Roma yourself, or they’ve made it clear you’re welcome.
The Balkans are pretty messed up, and a lot of places have gotten sick and tired of the gangs and warlords and gone Haven to find some security, starting with the Roma. The Roma have been very kind about helping outsiders bootstrap their own Havens. If you supply the organizing, they’ll make sure you can get the tech. Even their smaller settlements are well-supplied with Haven tech, thanks to trade with the bigger Roma Havens.
A Roma Haven on the outskirts of Bucharest.
The Roma community in Stolipinovo started going Haven in 2041, and in 2044, Haven organizers from Cyprus got the neighbors to ask nicely when trading for seed tech. With little in the way of a functioning government, neighborhoods are going Haven one by one, either co-opting or chasing out gangs and syndicates.
Most of the Black Sea resorts in the Balkans have turned into shadow ports geared to the tastes of smugglers, pirates, and black marketeers, but in 2048, the citizens of Tsarevo had enough of swaggering bullies and joined the Haven system. They get a lot less trade from the Mess now.
Bombed in the Euro Wars and encroached on by the expanding Białowieża Forest, Vawkavysk was looking doomed until dissidents from Minsk brought in a bunch of Haven tech through Königsberg and started cleaning up the place. It’s now a sort of sister city with Białystok in Poland. The central government finds it convenient that dumping dissidents in Vawkavysk avoids creating inconvenient martyrs, and the Haven practice of avoiding attracting trouble means that the dissidents have to choose between living comfortably there or going outside to stir things up.
A Roma quarter of Litvinov. The Roma in the Czech Republic have the great dragon Schwartzkopf as their
Protector (Shadows of Europe p72), so when they choose to run their own utilities, the city government doesn’t go looking for a confrontation.
A Roma village on the Haven system. Like the ones in Austria, they like to keep to themselves; respect that and you’ll get along fine.
(Shadows of Asia p119, Vice p99) Cyprus got wrecked in the Euro Wars, and no one wants to rebuild it. The Turkish Mafiyya have declared Famagusta a
free trade zone (Street Lethal p165). Underworld figures who land in Famagusta often drift into the Havenly parts of the island for R&R and sometimes even retirement.
The main Haven seaport city on Cyprus. They supply the ski resort (operating usually from the beginning of January to the end of March) on Mount Olympus, which attracts Havenly as well as underworld types; same with the restaurant at the trialhead at the Caledonia Waterfalls. Mafiyya members who screw up— or want to
retire and stay out of the way of rivals— get sent here to help make sure that smugglers take their business to Famagusta; the Havens don’t want entanglements with the Mess, and the Mafiyya are happy to make sure all the biz happens on their turf.
The Haven airport city on Cyprus, with plenty of dirigible traffic. There’s another Mafiyya outpost here to make sure that flying smugglers divert to Gecitkale Airport, which is under their control right next to Famagusta.
The former capital of Cyprus, back when it was a nation. The locals who survived the Euro Wars and never left were a little surprised when Havens came in to rebuild the infrastructure and resettle refugees there, but there were a lot of wrecked buildings left over to turn into feedstock and build the place up. They have more vertical farms per capita than most Havens because they sell to Famagusta.
La Plaine Saint-Denis was the biggest industrial wasteland in Europe after the Second World War, and they were just starting to redevelop when VITAS hit in 2011, struggled for a couple of decades, and the Crash of ’29 was the last straw and it turned into a Z-Zone. (Shadows of Europe p89) A coordinated effort between multiple class projects at the Université de Lille in 2044 started smuggling Haven tech into the area and organizing folks.
When the Auvergne volcanoes erupted back in 2011, the town of Clermont-Ferrand was destroyed and the region devastated. Intermittent eruptions over the next 20 years kept people from coming back. (Shadows of Europe p92) The Château de Montrognon, though, was above the lava flows, and when a bunch of students from the Université de Lille showed up in 2048 with the lava dike designs from Puyallup, it made for a superb staging area for recycling the ruins of Clermont-Ferrand.
Lille is the biggest sprawl in the economic wasteland of northern France, and a lot of its economy derives from the black market as various contraband gets smuggled into and out of the United Netherlands. The sprawl is mostly run by the French Vory, though the Mafia are contesting this. (Shadows of Europe p90) When the University of Lille shut down in 2041, students familiar with Haven tech from Berlin decided that they were not going to let a little thing like that interfere with their educations, and they organized Villeneuve-d’Ascq into a Haven. They pay off the local syndicates with food from the vertical farms and booze from the vats. The university is no longer accredited, so its degrees are worthless in the Mess, but they held onto some competent professors and have managed to lure more there. A baccalauréat there usually takes five years and involves considerable hands-on experience.
The boundaries of the megaplex are Bonn in the south, Neuss and Mönchengladbach in the west, Marl in the north, and Unna in the east, connected by Leverkusen, Wuppertal, and the cities of the Ruhr. (Germany p66)
Some 70,000 orks, dwarfs, and trolls live in a gigantic network of old mineshafts that stretches for hundreds of kilometers below the surface of the megaplex; it keeps growing, thanks to use of rockworms, earth magic, and excavation tools, and the tailings show up as occasional new buildings printed in run-down neighborhoods. Apart from a small tourist section open to the public, few topsiders venture into this area, known as Subworld. (Germany p68) They go topside even less than folks from the Ork Underground; they have everything they need down there, including gardens and artificial sunshine to help make vitamin D. Your typical office down there has so many plants it looks like a garden, and in public spaces the lighting changes from bright during the day to a candlelight quality at night— humans, make sure your Scape has low-light functionality! The Haven system has been spreading in Subworld since 2042.
Subworld nightclubs can get pretty intense; with all that rock to absorb sound, they crank it up enough that you’ll be glad for hearing dampers.
(Germany p102) Tiny pockets of Haven have dotted the anarchy of Berlin since 2037; the anarchists there were enthusiastic early adopters of the economic system.
Too small to have the clout of one of the Greek city-states, and economically wracked by the unreliability of tourist income, Mykonos went Haven back in 2045. They have beaches and nightlife galore, and get Haven tourists even when there aren’t any from the Mess.
The Special Administrative Zone of Genoa-Milano-Torino got written off in 2036 as a catastrophe zone, and is now known as the GeMiTo Sprawl. Most of the nuyen markets are run by the N’dranghetta. (Shadows of Europe p96, 103) The first Haven here broke ground in Milano back in 2038, and the system keeps spreading. The sprawl is a patchwork quilt, mostly of Havens with patches of corporate enclaves, syndicate neighborhoods, and gang turf.
While the port belongs to the Camorra, there are enough Havens inland that they’ll take local Haven cred for docking fees. (Feral Cities p117)
The Leoncavallo anarchist collective have about half a million people living on the Haven system here, keeping the tram and over eighty kilometers of subway system running. Feral Cities p118
Academics at the University of Milano are still publishing papers (Aztlan p66), though they are more apt to go straight to open-source journals now.
The Societá Thaumaturgica is a free school for the Gifted run by Sylvestrine friars. (Shadows of Europe p103, Feral Cities p118)
Poland has been under Russian occupation since 2040 (Shadows of Europe p108), but even the Russians don’t like venturing into the Mazury-Białowieża Containment Zone, where there’s toxic residue from the Black Tide to the west and the mysterious Białowieża Forest (which now stretches north almost to Grodno in Belarus) to the east. But with the ruins of Białystok right there to use as raw material, Havenly folks brought in supplies through the Free City of Königsberg in 2043 and started taking in refugees and dissidents from the Rybiński regime. They’re starting the work of cleaning up the Mazury Toxic Zone and only enter the forest to make an offering of each year’s first fruits from decontaminated regions, and the forest seems to be refraining from swallowing the city the way it has everything from Białowieża to Sokółka.
They have super-ambitious plans for reclaiming the ruins of Łomża, Ełk, Grajewo, detoxifying the swamps of Suwałki and the Zalew Wiślany, and laying to rest the ghosts of the Olsztyn battlefield, if they can get enough people. Hundreds of thousands of people had to flee that area, and a lot of them and their children would love to reclaim their heritage, but they’re gonna have a lot of work recruiting them under a dictatorship.
Portugal took in close to a million refugees from Brazil as it turned into Amazonia back in 2034, and a few hundred thousand of them wound up in a shantytown in Lisboa called the Alcântara Pit. It’s walled off, but people can leave to go work menial jobs as long as they return at night. (Shadows of Europe p129) In 2041, activists in Genoa started smuggling Haven tech into Alcântara. It took a few years for the city government to start wondering about the lack of garbage being sent to the landfills, and they bothered to do an aerial survey and noticed the greenery and new buildings going up in the heart of Alcântara.
A number of the shantytowns in Zealand, created when refugees fled Jutland after the Black Tide in 2011, adopted the Haven system, and have been funneling people into Laesø and the Jutland Havens that are taking advantage of the
Soil for Land law passed in 2031 (Shadows of Europe p138) that grants polluted land to anyone who cleans it. You may see big hauls of shellfish in Jutland, but they taste terrible even when they aren’t filtering muck out of the water. The PCBs, hydrocarbons, and dioxins left by the Black Tide are being broken down by bacteria and fungi that the Havens seed into the soil.
The Jutland Havens are where they developed X-Squad doctrine. Excision Squads have the job of making sure toxic critters don’t interfere in environmental cleanup efforts. There’s usually one Study Team with a naturalist and a shaman to figure out if a critter belongs in the ecosystem, should be relocated, or needs to be put out of its misery, and then several X-Squads who hunt toxic critters from extreme range: lots of binoculars, drones, bait, remote-controlled traps, and sniper rifles. Every X-Squad member I’ve ever met goes from
adorable animal cuddler to
stone cold critter killer as fast as you can draw a boot knife.
This island Haven was founded in 2046 with help from Vieques and is starting to supply new Havens on in Jutland. It is vastly built up from the days before the Black Tide, though the population is packed into districts of six-story buildings with most of the rest of the island being well-tended green space.
Expeditions from Laesø, along with people brought in from the shantytowns in Amager Commens, started cleaning this place up in 2048.
In 2050, the influx of people from the shantytowns was enough to start restoring Hjørring.
The Scandinavian Union are taking the cred paid in taxes from the Havens and spending it on restoring the port here. They have made it clear that they intend to have commerce with the rest of the world, but are letting the Havenly decide what will happen when those economies collide.
Since the Awakening, the forests in Asturias and Cantabria have been growing like mad, and have pretty much wrecked all the cities in the region except Gijón. In 2046, the government gave up on providing basic services here, so the city started switching over to Havens. They have their hands full trying to find ways to persuade the forest to leave them a patch of land. (Shadows of Europe p150, 159)
On the outskirts of Gijón, the Kashyyyk Haven is very hands-on about figuring out how to use technology to live amongst the trees, building platforms around the great trunks.
On the outskirts of Gijón on the opposite side from the Kashyyyk Haven, the Lothlórien Haven is very hands-on about figuring out how to use magic to turn trees into places for panhumans to live. They have invented a number of tree-shaping spells and have some interesting adept specializations.
The Alpeninterdikt (Edict of the Alps) was issued in 2012, dissolving the alpine cantons and creating a nature reserve, and most of the people were cleared out. The Swiss Gebirgsjäger (mountain infantry) and a MET2000 regiment guard it from exploitation (Shadows of Europe p175), but because the Havens there are more likely to come to their rescue than the other way around, they see the Havens as fulfilling the spirit of the Edict and don’t have a problem with eco-friendly settlements springing up. (They also invite members, and their families, to vacation at the reopened ski resorts, which have Havenly standards for the local ecology.) While there is, as yet, no formal agreement, there is an understanding that the Havens will provide logistical support if some external threat comes calling. They cooperate on keeping out poachers looking for Nimue’s Salamander, stone toads, and other valuable Awakened targets.
The Havens here are actively managing the ecology, nurturing foliage that wlll attract red deer, moose, snow moose, bison, wild boars, and other wildlife that will in turn draw wolves, fenrir wolves, lynxes, brown bears, piasmas, golden eagles, imperial eagles, perytons, and other predators away from panhuman settlements. Be careful when fishing, as there are spitting pike in the rivers and lakes here.
The most prominent of the Havens in the Alpine Interdict Zone, which covers the Swiss border with Austria and Italy and mostly matches the old National Redoubt and is full of old bunkers built in World War II and the following Cold War. (Shadows of Europe p175, Loose Alliances p14) The heart of the Haven is in the old Fort Sasso da Pigna, but it has expanded considerably, including implementing old plans for the Andermatt ski resort.
A flock of oracle owls has made friends with the magicians here.
Pronounced shēr nə nōg. (Sixth World Almanac p152)
The Lambeth Containment Zone got walled off from the rest of London in 2038 after riots broke out when people found out a corp had been experimenting on the local residents to try to control the goblizination process. (London p109, Shadows fo Europe p203) Unicorn Express have been smuggling Haven tech in there for years and got things up and running in the Deptford area in 2047. The former squatters picking through trash in the Metal Jungle are now professional recyclers, slowly turning a decade of rubbish into feedstock as the Haven grows.
There are challenges there. First, the government does not like people getting freely in and out of the LCZ, so supplying the Haven is tricky. Also, the Lambeth Martyrs are a terrorist group that say their demands are adequate compensation to the people of the Squeeze and the dismantling of the Squeeze itself— but they want to win, not be made obsolete by the Havens, and they aren’t too fond of the Haven approach.
The whole Cumbrian Lake District has had an influx of orks fleeing the poverty of Tynesprawl and squalor of Merseysprawl, about 80,000 in the whole region, and in Windermere and neighboring Bowness-on-Windermere, they founded a Haven in 2045. They’re trying to clean up a chunk of the Northern Toxic Zone.
They get afancs up here, just like in Wales, both lands famous for their unAwakened crocodiles.
Scotsprawl runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow. The Scottish Habitable Zone extends a little ways norht of that. The Mess runs in a corridor through the Scottish Wild Lands, up from Glasgow to Oban to Fort William to Inverness to Nairn to Elgin to Fraserburgh; there’s also a branch from Inverness over to the Kyle of Lochalsh, where they run ferries to Skye and the Hebrides.
(Target: Smuggler Havens p70) Right in the heart of the Scottish Fringe Toxic Zone (London p123). The government stays out and the MacRanald clan runs things here. The port is full of pirates and eco-warriors, and the MacRanalds are happy to let the Havenly make an attempt at cleaning up the Toxic Zone; they got going in 2047.
This is Clan Sinclair territory. The Sinclairs took a big hit with the Scottish Irradiated Zone taking a bite out of their territory, and are delighted to have a Haven working on cleaning things up, so they exert a very light touch on the place; they run Wick, Castletown throws parties for the Sinclairs when they drop by to show their appreciation, and the Sinclairs toast the bioremediation results as they pull radioactives out of the soil.
The Scottish Irradiated Zone is big, not like Glow City back in Seattle, so they’re going for the full geodesic-dome approach here, since there’ll be windblown radioactive dust for years. All the buildings under the domes are lightweight (since the dome handles the weather). They only got started in 2046, so all the buildings are on stilts so they can do bioremediation on the soil underneath. They suit up regularly for trips to the reactors at Dounreay to maintain the casing on the melted-down reactors and harvest the mushrooms that have been doing mycoremediation on the soil.
Halfway between Fraserburgh and Aberdeen, just far enough into the Toxic Zone to have been abandoned. This is Clan Hay territory. The Scottish Fringe Toxic Zone ate into their coastal territory, and when Haven organizers suggested they could try to clean up Peterhead and would work on the soil near Slains Castle to show their appreciation, the clan approved. (The clan runs Ellon, just a little ways from the edge of the Toxic Zone.) The Haven broke ground in 2049 and have years of work ahead cleaning up the soil.
Since the Outer Hebrides got zoned with the Scottish Wild Lands in 2036, tourism plummeted and the economy cratered. In 2040, a few younger Scots started cranking out Haven tech and writing the Scottish Gaelic localizations for it and it caught on very quickly. Download a Gàidhlig linguasoft before you come here, because they are very proud of the languge, and everybody has stories of their ancestors being beaten for speaking it in school back in TwenCen.
Formally, Clan MacLeod of The Lewes are in charge here, and the Haven liquid democracy tech is advisory in nature. Practically, the clan are careful to avoid tension between the traditionalists who want to roll back to pre-1493 and the modernists who are quite fond of democracy.
They have been avidly helping other Havens tool up, especially in the UK, as a way of giving the two-fingered salute to the British. Lots of the other UK Havens have people who spent a year or two in Stornoway, learning the tech and running fabbers to send advanced stuff to their friends and families.
Gwynedd is a complicated area (London p126), with a mix of native Welsh and an influx of back-to-nature elves. Snowdonia is firmly under the thumb of Countess Rhiannon Glendower, and she wants nothing to do with Havens. New Denbigh has a lot of backing from her and is likewise not going Haven any time soon. Rhyl is where the elves with money have been settling as they try to turn Gwynedd into an elven homeland. A minority group of elves want to model their society on Tír Tairngire and advocate for making Gwynedd a separate political entity, which irks the Welsh who were here first.
Interestingly, many Gorsedd stones erected in the 20th century are magical sites, even though they’re obviously not ancient.
The elves who came to Gwynedd for back-to-nature ideals and are suspicious of anyone trying to pull their strings have started a Haven here in 2045. (I suspect seeing Llandudno get going nearby got them interested.) They get in interesting arguments with the neighbors about how to use technology to speed up environmental restoration, as the New Denbigh elves are suspicious of anything from the Havens and the Colwyn Bay elves are suspicious of anything from the Mess.
A Welsh-speaking Haven, founded in 2045, that has folk who like Wales just fine without it being an
elven homeland. Elves are a smaller proportion of the population here because Colwyn Bay attracts a bunch of them. A fair number of the magicians here are Welsh druids. (London p129)
When the Black Tide hit the Netherlands back in 2011, it pretty much wrecked Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe. Everyone who could get out, got out. The people who couldn’t, and their kids, have been surviving here for a generation, and in 2047, they started reclaiming Texel with Haven tech.
The graveyard of empires is currently between empires. The Kabul maffiya run most of the place, and local warlords either play nice with the maffiya or get disappeared. (Shadows of Asia p117–8)
The one place the maffiya can’t reach is the Hindu Kush, which mostly belongs to the Kata tribes as well as other Nuristanis. They make a big show of acting like a bunch of primitives and scaring off outsiders; the Afghans call the place Kafiristan, land of the infidels, and avoid it like the plague. (Shadows of Asia p118) This is exactly what the locals want, because they have Havens providing them with relatively modern tech. As long as the Afghans are spooked, they aren’t going to notice the signs of good nutrition and dental care. They like their independence, and given the terrain and their knowledge of it, they aren’t getting much grief.
The Havens here are digging into the mountains with rockworms (and insights from the local earth spirits) and using the castings to print some heavy-duty fortifications to make sure that their infrastructure can take a beating. If anyone wants to conquer them, they’re gonna have a rough time even if they open with a volley of cruise missiles. And of course the digging means they get to make jokes about finding Agartha. They tap the Himalayan Geothermal Belt for energy.
Travel here is tricky. On the ground, the roads are few and chokepoints controlled by some very wary people. In the air, there are some very tricky air currents in the mountains, and the Greater Roc nests in the Himalayas.
The biggest concentration of Kata people; allied to the Chitral Haven in Pakistan. A local sport for adolescents— and certain adults who like to show the kids how it’s done— is figuring out ways to keep outsiders spooked so the maffiya steers clear of the place. While they save the serious stuff for diplomatic non-relations, they don’t get a lot of visitors, so be prepared to be a good sport about getting pranked here. If you can track down a decent Kamkata-vari linguasoft, do it; it’s spoken by less than a hundred thousand people, so don’t look for it in travel stores.
Lutdeh, Chitral, and Garam Chashma are developing plans for a sort of tramway connection between them. It’s designed for lighter-than-air vehicles to lock onto with gripper drones. When the winds are with them, they use the winds and let the drone slide freely on the cable; when the winds are against them, they use the electric motors on the drones to make progress; and when the winds are turbulent, they reel in and cling tightly to the cable. Disturbance on the ground is minimal, since it’s just long poles poking up, with shelves for birds to build nests on well below the top where the cables go, and a slick top that discourages nest-building.
The population in the Hindu Kush is pretty spread out, but here in the capital of the old kingdom of Wakhan and surrounds, there are enough people to get a Haven economy running. The altitude is 2794m, so be prepared. The folks here are Wakhi, just like in the nearby Shimshal Haven in Pakistan. Wakhi linguasofts are also hard to track down, as less than 100,000 people across all of Asia speak it.
Most of the city is a giant Barrens that has never recovered from wars wrecking the city. (Shadows of Asia p151–2)
A giant landfill— a hundred acres of festering rubbish— that used to be a testament to the city’s failure to build a functioning recycling system. In 2046, Haven organizers managed to get enough ragpickers and their neighbors there to give it a go, convoys came in from Visakhapatnam to set up junkspaces, and pretty soon they were cranking out tons of feedstock for their makerspaces. The rest of the city hasn’t quite figured out what to do about the buildings springing up in a place that used to be considered
hell on earth, but they know they can keep dumping their garbage there for free. The Haven growing faster than you’d expect for a Haven in a Barrens because the Four Winds Gang— a local Triad— has suddenly decided to act like a neighborhood protection gang in just that place, doing all the work of chasing rival gangs out of the area, while in the rest of Phnom Penh they’re going all-out battling the local crime lords for control of the Cambodian underworld. Every time I buy drinks for a Four Winds member and talk about the Haven, they enthuse about the food in the Haven, and say that’s why they act different there. It feels like a cover story to me.
Henan is like Angola: a communist state that makes a lot of use of Haven tech without using the Haven economic system. They’re more authoritarian than Angola and deeply suspicious of the rest of the Haven system. If you highlight your experience with the tech and willingness to teach, Havenly can travel through here pretty easily as long as you take care to avoid upsetting Party officials.
The megacorps stripped this area bare of resources decades ago, and while pirates are the main visitors here, some of the local villages have gone Haven, starting with Chek Keng. There’s a project to get people from the Walled City of Kowloon out to the Sai Kung Havens to learn the system; eventually, we’ll have enough volunteers who want to go back and try to create a Haven there, if we can figure out what to do about the Yama Kings, but most of them are plenty happy to settle down and never look back.
Most Havens are in a Barrens with some space to work with for setting up new infrastructure. In super-dense slums, though, people are already maximizing their use of available space, and rolling out the infrastructure has to happen in-place. Indian Havenly pioneered the incremental fractal arcology design to make that possible. Get enough people willing to be even more cramped for a little while turning garbage into feedstock or running 3-D printers as long as there’s daylight hitting the solar panels on the roof, pay a neighborhood magician to ask an earth spirit to help sink pylons and cisterns, and you can start replacing buildings one by one. They lean heavily on vatlabs and only add vertical farms when some space opens up, as vatgrown protein is more efficient.
Amazing numbers of people live in the shantytowns outside New Delhi (Shadows of Asia p52, 57), and some of the neighborhoods are rolling out the Haven system and telling all the neighbors. Refugees from Punjab and Kashmir have formed their own communities, and if your Haven is involved in radioactive decontamination, do not be surprised if you get over-the-Matrix help from Kashmiris who are trying to accumulate enough expertise that they can try to reclaim the Kashmir Wastes (Shadows of Asia p66).
Bhalswa is a community right next to a landfill— full of raw materials that can be fed into digesters and turned into feedstock. People who used to be waste-pickers are now landfill miners, and the slums are slowly turning into multistory, mixed-use spaces that can take in even more people. Keep a Hindi skillsoft slotted and keep Punjabi, Urdu, and Kashmiri in your pocket.
City government is pragmatic about it. The bigger the Havens get, the more refugees they can absorb and stress the rest of the city less. They collect taxes from the Havens just like the Scandinavian Union does, gerrymander them to minimize their influence on the city government, and let corporate recruiters try to lure the best and brightest out of the Haven.
The shantytowns outside Kolkata house millions (Shadows of Asia p52), and there are some Havens springing up there. Dhapa is the first one, applying Haven recycling technology to the 2500 tons of waste that show up daily. The feedstock created gets used to build out more recycling capacity and build out the Haven, and supply the other starting Havens as well. Keep a Bengali skillsoft slotted and have an Urdu one in your pocket.
The city government, seeing the size of the landfill shrink, has cut the rates they charge for adding to the landfill, and that keeps the megacorps happy.
A district of Mumbai (Shadows of Asia p59) with a high ork population (The Complete Trog p57) that used to be a slum until they rolled out the Haven system. Even as a slum, the workshops there cranked out half a billion nuyen in consumer goods; nowadays, people can afford to be more choosy about the work they take. Dharavi is still a
city within a city, and now it has clean water and lots of greenery. Keep a Marathi skillsoft slotted and have Hindi and Gujarati in your pocket.
This dump yard in Chennai has been kicked down the road for nearly half a century. Organizers from Visakhapatnam started seeding a Haven here and they’re starting to make a dent in it.
Chennai has a lot of pharmaceutical and genetech developers (Shadows of Asia p59), and the burnouts drift into the Haven here to work on bioremediation.
Keep your Madras Bhashai skillsoft slotted and keep Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Urdu in your pocket. If you have Tamil loaded and know English, you can figure out Madras Bashai from all the English loanwords, but you’ll get a headache.
A village outside Bengaluru where they started illegal dumping back in 2003 and has been on and off ever since; when the side effects get bad enough, the government cracks down on illegal dumping, and then it slacks off and they reallocate resources again and the cycle continues. The Haven there is slowly processing the garbage into feedstock and using bioremediation to leach toxins out of the groundwater. They supply other Havens in the area with feedstock to help them bootstrap.
Bengaluru is big on cyberware and software design (Shadows of Asia p59), and a fair number of burnouts from that industry find their way to Havens for a lower-stress life.
Keep your Kannada skillsoft slotted and have Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi in your pocket.
A port city that was hit hard by VITAS back in 2012 and turned into a giant Barrens. In 2041, Haven organizers brought seed tech to some Dalit neighborhoods, and immediately started spreading it to the Muslim neighborhoods as soon as they could arrange a bit of diplomacy. The Haven neighborhoods are slowly spreading, co-opting some gangs and pirates and fighting others. Caste isn’t a big deal in most of the neighborhoods, but make sure to ask around before visiting any new neighborhood there. Keep a regular Telugu skillsoft slotted and have the Uttarandha one in your pocket.
The honchos in Japan are not fond of the Havens, but Japan has had decades of concentration of population into the cities, leaving towns full of
An historically disputed island between Japan and Russia, mostly populated by Ainu. The Haven here is polite to both nations if they make inquiries, and their lack of allegiance seems to be furthering the diplomatic standoff.
More formally known as Hashima Island, offshore from Nagasaki Prefecture. It’s 6.3 hectares of land surrounded by a sea wall. It has oscillated between
ruin with visiting tourists and
waypoint for smugglers and pirates a few times. Some savvy folks approached the prefectural governor’s office and suggested that if they didn’t mind the place going Haven, it wouldn’t be hospitable to troublemakers.
Right now the government is unofficially turning a blind eye to the place. They’re pretty well dug into the played-out undersea coal mines and would be hard to remove, but it would be nice to get a more official status.
A town in the Okutama Mountains, west of Tōkyō. The population had been dwindling for generations as people left for jobs in the cities, leaving increasing numbers of ghost homes. Burned-out university dropouts fabbed up some Haven designs back in 2042 and started setting up shop in the ghost homes, and that attracted more escapees from the high pressure grind; once enough youngsters showed up they started making a point of welcoming everyone, including burakumin and metahumans, and then it really took off. Elderly folks here were a little worried until they discovered that the nuyen from their pensions goes a lot further in a Haven, and then they started to be cool with oni shopkeepers.
Their current big worry is persuading the property tax assessor that the value of taxes in nuyen is extremely low because the only thing making the Haven such a nice place is that the system runs on a local currency... or persuading the government to accept taxes in local currency.
A former coal mining town on Hokkaido that had a population of 120,000 at its peak, but dwindled away when the mine closed in the 1980s.
A small nation— just 3.5M people— that became independent of northern Burma back in 2038, amidst the chaos in the Golden Triangle. (Shadows of Asia p149) They don’t even have an airport that can handle suborbitals. They took in a lot of Tibetan refugees around the turn of the century, and the mix of Tibetan Buddhism with the local variants of Buddhism and Christianity inspired the whole nation to abandon poppy cultivation and all the drugs and money and greed that comes with it. (Shadows of Asia p153) They’ve largely renounced keeping up with the state of the art, but are definitely Haven-curious. Keep a Jingpho linguasoft slotted while you’re there.
Puta-O is in the far north of Kashin, and it’s so isolated that there are seasons in the year you can’t even get there by road. Haven organizers talked to the town leaders in Puta-O, and gave presentations in Kashin’s capital of Myitkyina, and made the case that a place that is inaccessible really deserves to have self-sufficient technology. Everyone thought this was a great idea, and Puta-O is essentially a pilot project that could lead to the whole nation adopting Haven technology. The big challenge to that is going to be finessing Yamatetsu’s interest in the place.
A neo-communist democracy, mostly Sikhs. They’re still reeling from the radioactive fallout from the tactical strikes that created the Kashmir Wastes. (Shadows of Asia p65)
Pathankot got hit by fallout from the Kashmir Wastes and most of the people fled to Jammu, Amritsar, or even further. The folks who stayed behind are using the same technologies that cleaned up Glow City to reclaim the place.
Manchuria (Shadows of Asia p32, Sixth World Almanac p126) is one of the most pleasant Awakened nations to visit. It has more Free Spirits wandering around than even a busy Haven. Unlike places like Yakut and most of Amazonia, they’re still running a high-tech economy here, but without signing the Business Recognition Accords. They don’t have Barrens that make for instant places to start a Haven. What they do have is a toxic waste problem dating back to the 20th century. Haven organizers brought over data on how the
Land for Soil initiative is working out in the Scandinavian Union and asked the government for a similar deal. The government brought it up for a vote and it passed easily, especially with lots of spirits speaking for it.
Pingfang is a district of Harbin. It’s a bit of a shock to have a Haven district in a bigger city, with no surrounding Barrens like in Seattle or a wall built around it like in Philadelphia. The place started going downhill after the Awakening when people could start to assense the leftover nasty background count from Unit 731’s work and toxic contamination left over, and when Manchuria became independent in 2028 and started admitting free spirits as citizens, none of them wanted to go there.
They’re doing the usual Haven thing here: grinding up old buildings and roads for feedstock, using bioremediation on all the muck in the soil, building vatlabs and vertical farms and makerspaces, and using geomancy to lay out the new town. People come and go as they please. And the mysterious Ta’ren spirits seem to lay off the pranks for anyone on the front lines of the cleanup.
Pakistan is a military dictatorship (Shadows of Asia p67) that is very unfriendly to Havens, but there are some spots up in the mountains where they can’t be bothered to exert their authority.
The altitude here is 1500m, not quite as high as Denver. The Kata people, also found in Afghanistan, are mixed into the populace here, and they’re allied to the Lutdeh haven there. Bring a Khowar linguasoft.
A village based around hot springs (the name literally means that), at an altitude of 2550m. The healing waters have plenty of sulfur, but they are apparently pretty effective in magical healing. Bring a Khowar linguasoft, like Chitral.
The altitude here is 3100m, so if Denver’s altitude gives you trouble, Shimshal is even more of a challenge. The road here is quite dangerous; taking a dirigible into the mountains (bring plenty of spotter and grapple drones!) is easier access, and don’t even try it if you’re new to lighter-than-air flight. You’ll want to track down a Wakhi linguasoft, but even without it, you should learn the word nomus, which means
showing concern for humanity, and artists here sell lots of designs based on the calligraphy of the word to Havens all over the planet. The Shimshalis took to the Haven system like ducks to water; they were taking care of each other long before anyone invented the Haven system. They’re allied to their fellow Wakhi in Qalʽeh-ye Panjeh in Afghanistan.
A little town on the edge of the Taklimakan Desert, right where the Kaidu River fills Bosten Lake. They had a problem here with heavy metal soil contamination, and saline buildup in their fields, and what used to be a source of grapes, cotton and chili peppers was dwindling away to a railway station and transshipment point. Haven organizers talked to community leaders and got some vertical farms started while they began a program to restore the local agriculture, and the Haven system is taking off there. This is a Muslim-majority Haven with a lot of old-fashioned folks, so remember to cover your hair if you have luscious locks.
An Awakened region on the line between the Secular Republic of Turkey (in the west) and the Ottoman Empire (that’s what the locals call it; your map chip will read East Anatolia). Home to lots of cool people who fled oppressive regimes. (Shadows of Asia p116)
The town of Derinkuyu also includes the ancient underground city, which was built in the 8th–7th centuries BCE. The old excavations aren’t very accessible to trolls, but the new ones are built to Haven accessibility specs.
While the island of Saint Helena is still technically part of the UK, they abandoned all support for it after the Crash of ’29, and everyone who could afford to move to the mainland did. It became a Haven in 2047, named for the naturalist Georg Forster, for his early contributions to ecological conservation. (Ascension Island got rented out to Saeder-Krupp for the military base and satellite tracking.)
The Havenly here have resumed the Millennium Forest project to recreate the Great Wood that existed on the island before colonization, and the local spirits are pretty happy with this. It can get pleasantly warm there, but windy, and it’s a tricky place to land an aircraft; usually they send up skyhook drones to help reel in dirigibles. You can hit Sandy Bay if you want a beach, but watch out for the undertow if you go swimming.
Faraway— called that because they’re the furthest distance from any other settled place on the planet— is built on what’s left of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas on Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic. Like Saint Helena, they lost support from the UK in ’29 and had to fend for themselves; it became a Haven in 2048. Faraway is the base for talismongers who go prospecting on Queen Mary’s Peak and the nearby Nightingale and Inaccessible Islands.
The weather is chilly, but things get pretty cozy under some of the geodesic domes. There’s a black sand beach at Sandy Point (along with a colony of northern rockhopper penguins) but swimming risks include sharks, octopus, and hypothermia.
(Loose Alliances p27, Feral Cities p72) The People’s Republic of Angola is full-on communist and makes use of a lot of Haven tech; they’re very Haven-friendly even though they don’t run their economy on the cred system. They don’t meet the
90% of your people have SINs threshold for membership in the Global SIN Registry, which means they aren’t recognized by the UN, so they aren’t a great place to build your fake passport. Angola only allows personal property; any infrastructure belongs to the people, which means you can’t do anything big without lots of voting and consensus-building and committees, so you seldom see fun projects the way you do in proper Havens.
The heart of Egypt is thorough Mess territory, but not so much the areas that used to be Libya or Sudan. The radioactivity in the Tripoli Hot Zone (Target: Wastelands p21) is starting to die down, but the astral there is a wreck from the Ten Minute War back in 2004 and isn’t getting any better thanks to Desert Wars being staged there. While Tripoli, Banghāzī, and Mişrātah were ground zero for nuclear strikes, other cities have turned into shadow ports, thrones for warlords, or boltholes for Bedouin separatists.
Brega itself is divided into New Brega to the east and Old Brega to the west. New Brega is a shadow port, thanks to its more modern and durable construction; Old Brega is a Haven.
An old oasis city, now much more lush since the Sahara retreated in 2015. It’s at the northern edge of savanna territory.
Ever since Egypt annexed Sudan, they’ve been neglecting its cities. Port Sudan has turned into a shadow port. Shalateen, on what used to be the border between Egypt and Sudan, was completely forgotten. The town has grown into a Haven port on the Red Sea.
Khartoum and Omdurman have long since fused into one sprawl full of Nubian separatists and other troublemakers. The surrounding area turned into savanna back in 2015.
On the north edge of Khartoumsprawl, students at the University of Bahri and the Sudan University of Science and Technology downloaded Haven tech off the Matrix back in 2041 and started rolling it out in the area.
There are some folks in former Eritrea trying to break it away as an Awakened nation of Sheba (Feral Cities p73), though the priest-kings in charge of the Territories (Neo-Anarchist’s Streetpedia p53) are not too thrilled with this. As usual, the Havens are trying to take care of communities and stay out of the ruckus.
The shantytowns in the Addis Ababa sprawl are an opportunity for Havens to take root. There’s no central government in the city to complain. (State of the Art: 2064 p154)
Founded right next to a massive landfill and mining it for feedstock, supplying other nascent Havens on the fringes of the sprawl.
The Territories have had a custom of wearing filter masks in public ever since the first VITAS plagues, and mask decoration is an art there. There are lots of great artists here who can take a scan of your head and send you a custom design to fab at your own Haven. They’re worth the investment even if you aren’t headed out that way, and you definitely want to be recognizable in a mask if you’re gonna visit.
(Sixth World Almanac p108, Feral Cities p72)
While the heart of Nairobi is corporate territory, the slums on the outer edges are finding the Haven system providing a better standard of living.
Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi (Feral Cities p90, Corporate Enclaves p121), and Mashimoni is the first village within Kibera to roll out the Haven system.
Madagascar is still listed as
unoccupied back in the Mess because it’s been a mess since it got wrecked by VITAS back in 2010; ten and a half million died, and the surviving three and a half million either moved to the mainland or migrated into the interior, to what is now the Haunted Forest, and no one’s heard from them since. (Cyberpirates p125) Pirates and smugglers started sheltering the abandoned coastal cities, but cities crumble if they aren’t maintained. After the Haven movement started taking off in the Carib League, the pirates started bringing in Haven crew to start building infrastructure, and are now relocating people to join the civilization: refugees, immigrants, even their own extended families. There’s a lot of work there breaking down the rotting remains of old TwenCen cities and turning it into proper habitation, and cleaning things up enough that people don’t run into the plague-carrying rodents there.
The pirate ports are rough places because people are ready to kill each other over loot from (or bound for) the Mess, and no one is charged with keeping the peace. Get away from all that and into Haven territory, where people have had a chance to build community, and it’s relatively civilized— though the pirates who like to have a nice, pleasant Haven to sleep in can be quick on the draw if strangers get rude.
Mind you, Haven territory is still hugging the coasts. The interior got taken over by rapidly growing jungle back in the teens— like the NAN and the Tirs, but with no sign of magical practitioners making it happen. Every Haven has perimeter sensors with daylight-spectrum spotlights to keep the chupacabras out. Half the expeditions into the Haunted Forest don’t come back, and the rumors are all over the map: secret megacorporate research facilities supplied by stealth aircraft! The secret draconic hatching ground! The millions of missing Malagasy transcended to become one with the jungle! The millions of missing Malagasy are being used as guinea pigs in HMHVV research! All the weirdness is just illusions cast by free nature spirits!
The easiest way to get around is on the water, hugging the coast; most of the old roads are being recycled, and the only new road, connecting Mananjary to Farafagana to Tôlonaro, is made of biodegradable geofoam that gets a new surface layer every few weeks. If you take an airship, don’t go over the Haunted Forest. Most of the time, especially during the day, the direct route is pretty safe. With proper airships, they usually just drift out, but LTAs that need thrust to stay up have had to make some forced landings in the jungle.
They only have wireless links between the cities on Madagascar right now, with solar powered repeater towers around the perimeter of the island.
Or Fort Dauphin or Tolagnaro or Taolagnaro, depending on the vintage of your map chips; on the southeast corner of the island. This is the main seed for Haven tech on Madagascar: they crank out more fabbers and feedstock for helping people get started reclaiming the other cities. Of course, a lot of people would rather reclaim more of this city than start from scratch in another one, so it’s growing fast, and it doesn’t get as many cyclones as the rest of the island. It had almost fifty thousand people before VITAS, so there’s plenty of raw materials there, and the old port facilities have been revamped to cater to the pirate trade.
Or Diego-Suarez, depending on your map chips, up on the northern tip. The old city was pretty big— a hundred thousand people— so there’s a lot of raw material to scavenge as they build up the Haven here. The deep-water harbor makes it a popular place for smugglers to make port, and there’s a lot of effort to create a proper Haven shipyard with the big hull printers. This is where they do dirigible testing, and Project Cloud Nine works on their notion of flying Havens.
The old port at Vohemar is just down the coast and is pretty much all pirates all the time, though Haven organizers are trying to tempt some people into forming a community there. Same thing is happening in Mahajanga on the west side of the island, which was the second biggest pre-VITAS seaport on the island, and as the old infrastructure crumbles and pirates retire, people are thinking about .
Or Tuléar, down on the southeast coast. This was another decent-sized port city before VITAS, with lots of raw materials to be fed into junkspaces and turned into new civilization. Stay on the plains around the city and you’re not running big risks. Unlike Fort Dauphin, there isn’t a mountain in the way of ambitions to explore the Haunted Forest, so a fair number of expeditions set out from here and come back with either valuable magical loot or new phobias and nightmares, if they come back at all.
A quiet port town, up the coast from Tôlanaro, that just got its first master makerspace online. It has another easy route into the Haunted Forest, and will probably host more ill-fated expeditions once they have a decent hospital.
(Cyberpirates p127) This place, up the coast from Farafangana, is a little more crazy. Whichever gang wants to prove itself the biggest, baddest bunch on Madagascar makes a point of taking control of this spot. This is, of course, exactly the sort of thing to make Havenly folks wonder
why should I stick around making this place work when I could go somewhere else? You don’t get to be a gang leader by being that stupidly short-sighted, so they tend to hold their rumbles outside the Haven proper. Combatants are fair game, and the Haven and its noncombatants are the
prize— but really the winner now has to be on the front lines of protecting the place.
At some point, I expect Mananjaray’s people are going to go up the coast to reclaim the old port at Toamasina— it was the biggest seaport in pre-VITAS Madagascar— but after the pirate wars of the 2020s, that place is a rubble-strewn wreck, so the Havens are going to need to take in a lot more refugees to get together an expedition to clean the place up. (Cyberpirates p126) There are some folks working on opening up a road to the old hot springs at Ranomafana.
When the Ring of Fire went nuts back in 2011 and busted up Indonesia, Bali and Lombok split off, with some powerful spirits identifying as the Pandawa Lima— mythic Indonesian heroes— declaring it to be an Enlightened Kingdom, welcoming anyone seeking a place of spirituality and peace. (Shadows of Asia p162) In ’49, some Havenly types approached the mystics in Denpasar who run the show as speakers for the Pandawa Lima, and asked nicely if they would like a demonstration of the way that Haven technology can help an area recover after a volcanic eruption, like the one that wrecked Amlapura after Gunung Agung blew up. While the Kingdom’s resorts bring in a lot of nuyen, the prospect of self-sufficient, homegrown, sustainable industry appealed to them, and they agreed to a pilot project.
Even decades after the volcano blew up, there are still folks who were hard-hit by it; charity made sure they never starved, but it didn’t provide a lot of opportunity. People enthused by the prospects in the Haven are migrating there, and the place is growing nicely. Experts from Carbonado and Wailea are doing technology transfer here.
The map on Shadows of Asia p150 (which shows the north shore of Borneo as contested and the cities still being present) contradicts the text on p163 (which says everyone has been chased out, other than a few coastal villages). This is my fix for that.
Another one of those places like Tasmania and Asturias where nature is taking back the whole place and turfing out people who insist on having a civilization. On Borneo, Brunei is holding onto the north side of the island in a strip going from Kuching to Bandar Seri Begawan to Kota Kinabulu, paying for measures against the encroaching jungle with money from their offshore oil and gas fields. The heart of the island is a jungle that you can only find your way through if the local nature spirits like you. On the rest of the island, the Sultan of Brunei sees no advantage in backing them, so Pontianak and Banjarmasin and Samarinda— and Manado, Palu, and Makassar on Sulawesi— refugees from villages overrun by the jungle are packing into the cities. The only people who can afford to leave who haven’t already left are the folks who can profit from this kind of desperation.
The Dayak Council don’t bargain with outsiders; they have no interest in the ways of civilization. But there are millions of people crammed into those remaining cities, easy prey for human traffickers, and counting themselves lucky to get jobs in sweatshops. Haven organizers are busy in all these cities, building infrastructure around the landfills and trying to set an example that will impress the local spirits. Batu Layang (in Pontianak), Basirih (in Banjarmasin), Loa Bakung (in Samarinda), Sampah Sinkil (in Manado), Kawatuna (in Palu), and Bontoramba (in Makassar) are each trying their own variation on the theme, consulting with Hobart, Białystok, and Gijón for insight on how they’re handling similar problems. These places are pressure cookers compared to most Havens, but they’re a relief to their citizens. If you like coaxing nature spirits out of hostility, relocating Awakened wildlife, or giving pirates and gangs reasons to rethink their life choices, these folks need all the help they can get.
On Maui, the resorts of Wailea and Makena were buried in lava after Haleakalā erupted on November 15, 2017 (almost three months after the Great Ghost Dance), making them the
Pompeii of the Pacific. (Paradise Lost p65, 67) In 2047, the Havenly moved in, copying Carbonado’s lava dikes in case of the next eruption, and recycling the wrecked resort buildings as they created Haven infrastructure.
King Kamehameha V quietly funnels troublemakers into the Haven. His strategy of making Hawai’i a major Pacific port has been paying off quite well, but he sees the value in having a bunch of experts in self-sufficiency in his backyard.
Tumaraa, on the island of Ra'iātea, has quietly gone Haven in 2050. Tahiti and Bora-Bora have expensive five-star resorts bringing in tourist nuyen, but the honchos in Papeete seem to think Kamehameha V had a good idea with having a Haven in his back yard and are cool with it. It’s a nice place, but don’t expect a beach resort— if they had that kind of sand, the whole place would be a tourist trap instead.
Eucla was never a very big town even before the Awakening, and it was abandoned as Australia became wracked with mana storms.
Abandoned is perfect for a Haven, so there’s a thriving community there now, with a jetty that welcomes Haven clippers and windjammers and a gorgeous white beach. They’ve been building up the local ecosystem with parks and oases. The place creates generous surpluses that support the more experimental Havens in the Outback and Tasmania. The supply runs, of course, can be exciting.
Why would anyone want to live in mana storm territory? The background count frags with your magician types, the weather goes nuts, weird magical effects go off at random, and if you’re really unlucky, the fragging storm wraiths show up. But there are some brave souls who have a point to make, and they’re making it in the Great Victoria Desert using the techniques developed in places like Renoville... but instead of having pretty geodesic domes to live in, everyone is living in monolithic domes that are then buried under a layer of soil covered in vegetation. Okay, the succulents have lots of bright, pretty flowers, but the mana storms make a Mojave desert haboob look like a springtime rainshower in a less crazy part of the world. That hasn’t stopped the Arcadians from creating an artificial oasis by storing up rainwater in numerous cisterns during the wet season and trickling it out the rest of the year, and the nearby saltwater Forest Lakes.
Unlike Renoville, everything is designed to retract underground when a mana storm hits. Solar panels, wind turbines, the works. The public art stays up, though; some of the artists see it as a collaboration with the forces of the desert, and create pieces designed to be eroded or sandblasted or what have you.
The nomadic aboriginal tribes (mostly in nearby Mamungari) think the Arcadians are nuts, but that doesn’t stop them from stopping by to trade. There are regular supply missions from Eucla, as Arcadia isn’t big enough to be independent and they aren’t growing as fast as other Havens because there aren’t a lot of people who want to brave the local hazards. Someday, they may even manage to lay an underground fiber optic line to Eucla and they won’t drop off the scatterweb every time a mana storm hits.
Apparently they’re pretty far from any major song lines, so don’t expect to study them there. (Parageology p17)
Tasmania pretty much kicked out humanity by the 2030s by out-of-control regrowth of wild nature, and has been pretty hostile to attempts to recolonize it. There’s a Haven in the ruins of Hobart, though,
mining the ruins for resources and attempting to make nice with the local nature spirits. Some combination of sticking to sustainable tech, resisting the urge to harvest telesma in bulk, and cleaning up old messes seems to have the local spirits sufficiently appeased that they haven’t wiped the place out. They often ship seedlings to Eucla for transport to the oasis in Arcadia.
There are plenty of corporate sites in Antarctica, and the Havens have dealt themselves in on the action as well.
The Mount Melbourne Haven is built on and in the eastern slopes of the eponymous volcano, starting in 2046. They maintain an ice pier docking facility on the Wood Bay in the Ross Sea, where Haven windjammers call in the Antarctic summer, as well as landing fields for dirigibles. They can effect some repairs at the docks, but they don’t have a drydock there, so don’t go there if you need an overhaul. They don’t staff the docking facility after the sea freezes over; if you’re one of those mavericks who puts skates on their catamaran to go iceboating, be prepared to hoof it all the way to the Haven.
As the Haven grows, they excavate more chambers underground, tap geothermal power from the volcano, and dump the waste heat into areas where they’ve sculpted the tailings from all that excavation. There’s a collaboration between ecologists, geomancers, and nature spirits that is expanding the habitat there— mostly mosses and liverworts, but it’s nice to be able to walk in some outdoor green space even in Antarctica. Barefoot in shirt sleeves, even, as long as the wind is calm— the ground is warm!
The volcano hasn’t erupted in over a century, the shamans say the local spirits aren’t concerned about it happening any time soon, and the geologists say they’re advising about sinking the geothermal taps to keep things on the slow-and-steady.
People come all the way down here for a variety of reasons. Some folks come for advanced study, or researching the magical effects of the aurora australis. Some come to get away from civilization; you don’t get chance encounters from people wandering in from the Mess in a place like this. And all the work on making the place psychologically pleasant during dark Antarctic winters has drawn in a lot of gamers, LARPers, actors, scriptwriters, and game developers.
The Antarctic mana surges are almost tidal, according to the magicians I’ve talked to. (Target: Wastelands p61, 124) The geomancers at the Haven are trying to come up with the mana equivalent of a breakwater for them, trying to diffuse the mana into well-planted areas. (Using it to concentrate the mana sounded waaaaay too dangerous.) They’re hoping that by directing the mana surge into the biosphere, they’ll expand the growth of life down there and stabilize the mana.
They’re still trying to figure out how to make friends with the silap inua, aka
frosties (Target: Wastelands p61, 124), which seem to be some very cranky guardian spirits. If they can work out how to mollify them, doing research expeditions in the field will get a lot easier. Even so, they still make expeditions to Blood Falls to collect alchemical reagents and unique microbes.
So you signed a writ of secrecy that unlocks the fun stuff in the document!
A balloon habitat— a 1km hub with 3km spokes— that is usually about 42km above the coast of Antarctica, circling the world every fortnight or so on the Antarctic polar vortex. It is a continuation of the work done at JP Aerospace, working on airships-to-orbit; the megacorps have no interest in anything that slow, but it is right up the Havens’ alley.
The first-stage ascenders travel from the ground up to the station. It’s an interesting run to make; regular dirigibles don’t go that high! They aren’t self-sufficient on high tech stuff, so they need regular supply runs from the Tôlonaro Haven on Madagascar, and sometimes the Mount Melbourne haven in Antarctica when the weather is good on the ground.
The station is a base for the orbital ascender, which is half a kilometer long and made of gossamer; it would just fall apart if you took it back down to the troposphere. It takes nine days to get to orbit using a Hall-effect thruster, but it can launch little cubesats. They’re working on one that can launch bigger payloads; it’s two klicks long and should be able to carry 20 tons to orbit. The orbital ascenders are so big that they have to keep their engines running even in low orbit because there’s so much drag from the thermosphere. They go back home by cutting the engines and gliding back down to the station.
The station is above the ozone layer (15–30km) [and the tops of big hurricanes and supercell thunderstorms] and the upper surface is covered in panels that pick up UV as well as visible light; they also have the water tanks as a jacket to mitigate the cosmic radiation that makes it through the magnetosphere, but they still don’t allow children on the station. It’s below sprites, but blue jets can be a hassle so they maneuver to avoid thunderstorms.
The center of the station has lots of greenery, and bees, and it’s self-sufficient with food. The sheer quantity of life up there creates a small manasphere, so you can walk from
sea level mana at the center to a Good (3) mana ebb at the edge, and there are various lodges there for people practicing magic to see if they can learn something that they can bring back down to Earth. They have researched a Cosmic Shelter spell that decelerates cosmic rays, slowing them down and turning the energy into visible light, and the heart of the habitat is protected by it; if you turn out the lights in a room, the ceiling seems to sparkle.
This is how the Havens have their own satellite communication— they are currently able to launch small cubesats, and because they share data with Ares Space, in return Ares Space lists the satellites as earth observers of theirs. It’s a secret because kinetic kill vehicles are a thing and the Havens want to minimize the number of people worried that they’ll do something like that.