The City of Grand Rapids

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The City of Grand Rapids

Post by Vicar on Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:23 pm

Grand Rapids is a large city that serves as county seat for Kent County in the state of Michigan. By highway, it is roughly 1.5 hours east from Lake Michigan, west from the state capitol, and north from the Indiana border, which has served it in establishing a unique identity that outstrips the other cities in its region. (The Sabbat stronghold of Detroit is a 4-hour drive away) It straddles the Grand River, which provided both the name and lifeblood of the city as it brought logs down from the north to power the furniture factories that made the city famous.

Popularly, Grand Rapids is known as "Beer City, USA" in recognition for the many prize-winning microbreweries in its area. It has built a reputation for being a "cool city" with steadily-scheduled festivals that draw crowds that flood the downtown area, major concerts, several minor-league sports teams, and economic growth unique in its region that more often funds renovations instead of new construction to, in the words of the city's most famous citizen, President Gerald R. Ford, "build on the strong foundation that originally made the city great."

Prosperity is far from uniform, however, and the "hidden face" of Grand Rapids frequently bursts forth like spots of acne. Many factories survived through incorporation and automation, putting laborers out of work and either onto the streets or into lives of crime. Renovation makes property values and rents skyrocket where it occurs, and buildings are left vacant and waiting where it has not yet reached. Segregation is prevalent still, with indentifiably black, Hispanic, and Polish neighborhoods. Kent County is also the most conservative county in the entire state, and despite the great number and variety of churches in Grand Rapids (a prevalence rivaled only by the bars) little grace is shown to the large homeless population.
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Re: The City of Grand Rapids

Post by Vicar on Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:53 pm

The Court of Grand Rapids has been lead since its establishment by the elder Ventrue Poul Charmine. Sir Charmine, as the late knight-errant prefers to be called outside his city, was a notable but unpopular figure in the Court of London prior to his departure for the American colonies due to his opposition to the Camarilla's atheism and denial of the existence of the Antediluvians. He returned to London shortly after the end of the American Civil War, and with little word to anyone else outside of the strictest requirements of etiquette recruited Keeper Minerva MacGregor to join him in the frontier.

Like Siegfried of Vancouver, Charmine has ran his city with a strict policy that new arrivals leave their politics at the border. With the Sabbat stronghold to the east and the chaos of Chicago to the southwest, Grand Rapids was seen by many as an asylum until it was noticed that something other than vampires rule the city's streets. Charmine refuses to elaborate on the threat that has made so many Kindred and licks alike disappear, stating only that, "The worthy will overcome the trials of the 616 area, but those who are weak in mind and absent in spirit will only hasten their arrival in the pits of Hell by seeking out my domain."

The Helm - as Charmine styles himself in his Court - is a staunch opponent of Necromancy, and though he has remained more tactful with his treatment of Clan Tremere than he has been with other topics he disapproves of, Charmine clearly has no love for the Warlocks. It has been murmured in Camarilla halls that whatever stalks the Grand Rapids nights is also the only thing protecting Charmine from the enemies he seems to insist upon accumulating, though those murmurs are quieted whenever the Elder or his representative Minerva make one of their diplomatic forays.
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