Keep Austin Wyrd
The city of Austin, Texas. A blue oasis in a sea of red. The city has a vibe different from much of the rest of the state. A major draw for live music (Austin is considered “The Live Music Capital of the World”), a college town, the state capital, and a mecca of high tech industries, Austin is unique.
Some say it’s weird. In fact, for many years, Austin has been a battleground, if you will, between corporatization and the independent, often highly unconventional subculture of mom and pop stores, non-chain coffee houses, dive bars, and odd festivals. “Keep Austin Weird” is the battle cry of those who want to keep the Barnes and Nobles and Starbucks of the world from pushing out the small book stores and one-of-a-kind coffee joints like Captain Quacks and Mojos.
Sadly, as the wheels of capitalism grind quickly and destructively, the “weird” is on the losing end of the battle.
There’s “Weird,” And Then There’s “Wyrd”
Austin, however, houses a different type of weirdness. The supernatural, drawn by a number of factors (including access to, well, “food” for those supernatural creatures who prey on drunk college students and stoned Drag Rats). And yet, the battle for Austin’s weirdness has started to spread as unknown forces seek to push out, marginalize, or outright destroy the supernatural forces of the city.
City Sheet (High Level)
City Name: Austin, Texas
Campaign: Deep in the Heart
Themes and Threats
Theme – Keep Austin Wyrd (Idea)
Aspect – The Freaker’s Ball
Duchess Fiona LeMaan, Head of the Summer Court in Austin
Jack Wesson, head of the Texas Rangers
Senator Merle Stephens, Texas State Senator
Cynthia Peel, White Council representative in Austin
Leslie Cochran, the official face of the Keep Austin Weird campaign
Threat – Scientology
Aspect – Battlefield Earth
Theme – College Town
Aspect – City of Transients
The Greek Council, collection of fraternity heads who may be up to something sinister
Mary M Spalding, Dean of the College of Communication
Colin Wilson, famous movie star and graduate of UT
Thomas Danforth, PhD, Professor of Greek History and White Council wizard (Now deceased, due to a completely not suspicious at all heart attack)
Balance of Power
Politically tense (Red versus Blue), but business as usual – the city is more Blue than Red, but the rest of the state is very Red.
Indie vibe versus corporate branding – Indie vibe is losing out, with more of The Drag (and similarly unique locations to Austin) being taken over by corporate chain stores.
Summer Court verses Church of Scientology – The Church has decided to wage a cold war with the fairies, likely as they are the biggest supernatural power in town. So far, Summer still has a foothold.
Forces of the mundane versus the supernatural community – With the Texas Rangers a looming threat to exposure, the supernatural is present in large numbers, thus “winning”, but they are always aware of what happens in the mortals catch on (hint: it involves torches, pitchforks, and burning at stakes).
The University of Texas at Austin – UT is one of the major locations in the city. Home to over 40,000 students, the University is a central hub of the town. It’s location close to The Capitol and Downtown (especially 6th Street) place it in the middle of the action of the city. It boasts excellent programs in Computer Science, Engineering, Communications, Biological Sciences, and more.
The Capitol – In the middle of the liberal oasis that is Austin is the largely Republican controlled Capitol of Texas. While there are numerous buildings that house the bureaucratic operations of the state, the stand out and most iconic is the pink-granite Capitol Building. Is is here that the legislation controls the government of the State of Texas.
Downtown – Austin Texas’s downtown is very similar to other thriving metropolitan areas. It houses financial offices, law firms, a fair number of high-tech corporations, and a Starbucks on every corner.
6th Street – Party central for Austin’s student population, 6th Street from I-35 to the east is jam-packed with clubs, bars, pubs, and music venues. From Thursday night through Saturday night, 6th Street is packed with college students and young folks trying desperately to hang on to their youth.
The Drag – The Drag is properly named Guadalupe. It’s a street that runs along the northern border of the University. It used to be home to many small independent coffee shops, bagel places, arcades, book stores, music stores (back before people downloaded music), and noodle shops. It is, sadly, starting to turn into a more commercial strip. That change began when a Gap store moved in. Now, the three independent textbook stores have been replaced by a Barnes and Noble, many of the coffee shops are shutting their doors, and you’re more likely to find clothes from Urban Outfitters than retro clothing stores. The Drag still has a number of Drag Rats – ostensibly, homeless and runaway kids – who call the Drag “home.”