Barony of Lost Words

The tunnels beneath Back Bay hides the site of the nations oldest lending library, a building long since forgotten and replaced by the imposing structure which now stands in Copley Square in Boston Above. However the original Boston Public Library forms the core of the Barony of Lost Words.

It is said that every book that is lost finds its way to the Barony of Lost Words, resulting in a collection which is as vast, as it is incomplete.

Barony of Shroud Hollow

Beneath Boston's last surviving hill, lies the oldest of the current fiefs, the Barony of Shroud Hollow. Located at the hub of Old Boston beneath Beacon Hill, Shroud Hollow is adjacent to the Park-Downtown crossing subway complex, which includes the oldest operating subway station in the US.

Shroud Hollow itself runs through the basements and cellars, hidden halls and forgotten passages beneath the affluent houses of Beacon Hill above. Less well known are the passages the lead from Shroud Hollow to the catacombs beneath nearby Grannary Burial Ground, feeding whispered rumors of necromancy in the Barony.

Older than nearly any other part of Boston Below, residents of Shroud Hollow talk of the gothic splendor of its time honed halls and tunnels. While visitors remark on the decaying decadence and wonder why the weight of the ever growing Beacon Hill Above hasn't caused the entire barony to collapse in on itself.

Still at the center of Boston Below politics, the Barony has found its power at last waning, as more and more of the denizens of below turn against the feudal aristocracy, as their cousins above did 200 years ago. But Shroud Hollow remains one of the most respected and powerful of Boston Below's factions.

Barony of Steam

Formerly the Barony of the Junkyards, a recent upheaval has transformed this realm of small groups scavenging Boston's refuse into a collection of builders of odd contraptions and strange devices. The Barony of Steam is also the origin of the recent (failed) attempt to establish a currency in the form of the "junkbit" or simply "bit." Despite this setback, the Barony of Steam is currently enjoying a level of prosperity not often found in Boston Below, as the marvelous devices invented and constructed by her occupants fetch a high price at the Market. However, not everyone in Boston below is happy with the success enjoyed by the Barony. Some feel that the Barony has lost touch with that which makes Boston Below special and is merely trying to emulate the Boston Above, a charge consistently denied by the Baron.

The original head of the Barony of Junk was located at the City Square Charleston El station, but was moved to the Sullivan Square yard when the Barony of Steam was born. The sprawling Barony of Steam can also be easily accessed from Science Park and the engine room of the USS Cassin Young.

The Black Line

In addition to the Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines of which residents of Boston Above are familiar, there also runs through Boston Below the mysterious Black Line. While some claim that the Black Line is the last of the trains which ran the old Atlantic Ave elevated trolley loop, others say that it is far older. Regardless, the ancient trolley cars that make up the Black Line hurtle through the Below at insane speeds, arriving at unlikely destinations.

A fiefdom in its own right, those who would make use of the Black Line to quickly bypass the less pleasant areas in Boston Below should be wary. The train is unpredictable, and the visions which passengers are exposed to often make the more mundane tolls of alternate routes through Boston Below seem a pittance. Not everything seen on the Black Line are visions, inside the cars runs the non-stop burlesque show, a show in which all are participants, and which has proven as great an attraction for passengers, as the fast ride to the darkest reaches of the Below.

Copps Underhill

The only one of Boston's old graveyards not located in the Barony of Shroud Hollow, Copps Hill is Ghoul territory, and they guard it jealously. Though the Ghouls only eat the dead, travelers through their realm should be on their guard against the enigmatic Ghouls. For they are just as likely to invite a trespasser to a ghastly, but otherwise benign tea, as they are to kill them now, so they might become food later. The tunnels here are the most extensive in the Below, and could be considered a Barony on their own, if the Ghouls had ever seen fit to make a point of it.

Coronation Station

The Thrones of Stone, the Heart of the Below, Downtown Crossing, the station has had many names, but for over, 200 years, it has had one function. There is in the station, for each Barony, a particular stone throne of ancient and primitive character. As part of the investment ceremony for any new baron or baroness, the lord-to be must sit in this throne while he or she swears their oath claiming rightful rulership. This ceremony is for baronies only, leaders of fiefdoms do not sit upon a throne. It is said that if a false lord sits on the throne, he is expelled, or possibly even killed, however this has never happened in the memory of anyone in the Below. The station and the thrones of stone are the domain of the King of Boston, who presides over every corronation since he himself instituted the tradition, but otherwise wields little real power, though most are respectful of his title none-the-less.

The Dark Wood

One of the most dangerous places in Boston Below. It is also the oldest part of the Below, older even than Boston itself. Smaller now that it once was, the Dark Wood is trecherous and ephemeral, passages to it may appear and disappear at any time, and travelers in the Below may find themselves enetering the strange wood from nearly any point if they are not careful. For those who wish to enter the Dark Wood intentionally, the most stable path leads from Mattapan station.

The Dark Wood is the home of an ancient Indian tribe, who village has existed in the heart of the wood for as long as anyone can remember. The Indians are reclusive, and deal harshly with trespassers. Their appearance at a Market is a rare event. The Wood is also a popular location for voodoo rituals, the sound of African chants and the beating of strange drumms, common sounds in the Dark Wood at night. The Dark Wood is also home to all manner of spirits, beasts and dangerous fugitives who can find shelter no where else.

The Gull Speakers

Once 'proper' residents of the Below, 10 years ago, under the leadership of Fiona, who replaced their slain Elder, the Gull Speakers left the sewers and tunnels of the Below to make their homes in the rooftops and belfries of the Above. They are still quite hostile toward their ancient enemies, the Rat Speakers, whome they hold responsible for the death of their Elder. However, they are rarely seen in the Below except at markets, and thus their war with the Rat Speakers has cooled into a simmering hatred.

The Mummer's Glass

When the denizens of the Below seek information, they have one place to turn, a shadowy organization called the Mummer's Glass. No one knows just how old it is, or how many people, or even who might be a part of it. It is said that the members identify each other by the lenses which they carry, from which the Organization gets its name. What is known for sure is that it is a very old, and extensive organization run by The Turk, and can provide any information, for a price.

Those looking for answers have but to seek out the Turk, and make an appointment for tea, over which their questions and needs will be discussed. This ritual has been going on for so long that 'Having Tea with the Turk' has become a euphamism in the Below for looking for information. Though not officially considered a Barony or Fiefdom, and claiming no territory other than the Turk's own quarters, the Mummer's Glass carries political weight in the Below equal to that of any Barony. The Turk is rumored to have spies, both human and otherwise in every crack and crevice of the Below, and there are few who would risk his ire.

The Patchwork Barony

The Patchwork Barony is one of the oldest Baronies in Boston Below, though no one can say quite where it lies. Like its name, the Barony is in bits, scattered around the Below, sewn together with threads made of those who live in it. Some even say that the Patchwork Barony holds together the Below itself. The Barony is known as a place where people of all walks of life from the Above can come and hide from whatever brutality they were facing, and try to put the pieces of their lives back together again. Where dreams can survive and not be smashed into a million pieces repeatedly. Those who tear the fabric of lives are unwelcome and invited to go elsewhere - some more strenuously than others. Since its formation, it has always been ruled by the Patchwork Princess, a girl descended from the first Princess who came Below. The current Princess has lead the Barony for about the last 30 years.

The Rat Speakers

Having claimed most of the territory abandoned by the Gull Speakers when they fled the tunnels of the Below 10 years ago, the Rat Speakers now hold a sizable extent of the Below, larger than that claimed by most Baronies. Unfortunately most of their turf is neither interconnected, nore considered 'desireable' by most of the denizens of the Below, and the Rat Speakers often have the reputation of holding all of the territory that no one else in the Below wants.

The Thieves Guild

Bostonís Thieves Guild has been around as long as there has been a Below, perhaps longer. They have had a hostile relationship with the Mummerís Glass since that organization was formed. The very nature of the Mummerís Glass makes it nearly impossible for the Thieves Guild to act in secrecy, traditionally the greatest tool of a thief. As a result, the Thieves Guild has to act much more openly, and target their heists much more selectively. This restriction on their operation is the cause of their decline in influence and membership since the Mummerís Glass appeared. Rarely becoming violent, the simmering cold war between the two remains the largest conflict in Boston Below, second only to the rivalry between the Gull Speakers and Rat Speakers. A conflict in which the Mummerís Glass usually holds the upper hand. Several years ago the Imperator of the Thieves Guild and most of the master thieves disappeared. The cause is unknown, but today the guild is largely composed of thieves who, like the new Imperatrix, are much less experienced.

The Tyranny of the Red Line

The Tyranny of the Red Line was established nearly 100 years ago, and has been considered a Renegade Province by Shroud Hollow ever since. It includes all of the stops and rails from Charles MGH to Stadium, including Old Harvard, but not New Harvard (which was formed just outside of the fiefdom's territory). The string of Tyrants have been pirates, cut throats and highwaymen, and have generally made it dangerous, expensive, or both for residents of the below to cross the river. Their followers are little more than thugs and bullies. The fearsome instrument of terror wielded by the Tyrants, so vile, that none could hope to stand against it. The current Tyrant however seems to have taken a much more lackluster attitude since he inherited the title 30 years ago. As a result, travel in this section of the Below has become much more common.

The Wordsmiths

A loosely organized guild of poets, authors, and writers, the Wordsmiths was founded by Nell Cabot after the Opera House Incident. During that tragedy, several writers were independently commissioned to compose works honoring the opening of the new opera house. In the ensuing artistic dispute, at least three poets died. The Wordsmiths was formed to insure that such an event would never occur again, and other than insuring all contracts are exclusive, has very little influence on the writer, or anyone else, in the Below. The Wordsmiths claim the Mt. Auburn Cemetery as their own, since many of their own number lie buried there.

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