Despite the innumerable hardships placed in its path, New Orleans always seems to rise from destruction and transcend its former glory. Fires, floods, war, and even disease have continually tried to break the city, but New Orleans endures with the same untroubled nature that earned it the nickname “The City that Care Forgot”.
But don’t mistake this mellow reputation as peace; no city of similar size has nearly the dangers or struggles. Both the mortal and supernatural worlds find themselves in a constant battle for power and lines between friend and foe can be dangerously thin.
And don’t forget the unforgiving wilderness that is forever threatening to destroy the city. Hurricane Katrina reminded the world that the waters that make New Orleans could just as easily unmake it. Charity Hospital in New Orleans stands as a bleak reminder of what Old Man River can and will do, given the chance. The bayous themselves also hold their own denizens, both natural and supernatural, who are quick to prey on anyone who stumbles out of the Crescent City.
So laissez les bons temps rouler and try your best to survive the frenzied revelry that is The Big Easy.
Places of Note
The best excuse for staying out late, The Alibi! Late-night food and 150 brands of beer make this a prime spot for service industry types after a long night of waiting on others. Always a sure bet for the best hamburger in New Orleans! We’re just steps from Bourbon Street and all the nightlife action in the French Quarter.
Off a side-street from the famous Bourbon Street, next to Mango Mango Daiquiris and near the Hard Rock Cafe, this unassuming brick building acts as the defacto meeting place for The Union in New Orleans. The steady stream of party-goers and tourists on Bourbon Street makes it easy to slip in and out unnoticed and it doesn’t hurt to have the best burger in New Orleans. They maintain a few small apartments on the second floor and the third floor shares no walls with the adjacent buildings, making it a perfect spot for conversations best left unheard.
Longue Vue House and Gardens
Longue Vue House and Gardens was designed and built between 1939 and 1942 for Edgar and Edith Stern and their three children by landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman and architects William and Geoffrey Platt. Shipman, the Platt brothers, and the Sterns worked closely together to create a masterpiece of utility and beauty uniting the house and gardens.
Down a shaded side road and then up a winding wooded driveway stands Longue Vue House, a massive mansion set on 8 acres of land in the heart of Metairie, consisting of a main house, 14 garden areas, and 22 fountains and ponds. Longue Vue House and Gardens is one of the last Country Place Era homes built in the United States.
Mr. Denault’s family has held the estate for decades and he does much of his dealings with potential Empire Foundation investors in the estate’s gardens. While the interior has been carefully updated to include the most modern of conveniences, everything about Longue Vue is designed to harken back to a era of slow moving and slow talking dealmakers that bought and sold on one’s word and a handshake.
SIX FLAGS NEW ORLEANS
You need look no further than this 140-acre abandoned theme park to understand New Orlean’s precarious relationship with nature. Hurricane Katrina decimated the park when it hit the city in August 2005 and, despite several statements about intentions to reopen or redevelop, the park remains abandoned, moldering in the Louisiana heat.
It’s best to avoid the site if at all possible. Private security and the New Orleans Police Department patrol the park’s perimeter to discourage trespassing. And certainly there is nothing good found behind the battered chainlink fencing. The site regularly floods and many of the structures are at risk of collapse.
Maman Minerva spent her early years learning from the descendants of the famous Voodoo queens of New Orleans. Hell, she might be one of the descendants, but she’ll never say. Elijah Sharpe discovered her back in the 1980s when his previous job took him to New Orleans to track down a rare occult item. She took pity on the young Sharpe and helped him when his search put him on the wrong side of another Voodoo practitioner. Never forgetting her kindness or skill, Sharpe returned to New Orleans once he had the means to secure Maman Minerva’s services exclusively for ASI.
Maman Minerva maintains a small apartment in the French Quarter, thanks to a generous salary from ASI. However, she’s just as likely to meet you at one of the city’s numerous cemeteries and is a licensed tour guide for St Louis Cemetery #1, the famous burial site of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. She still runs a side-business in small-time Voodoo rituals and gris-gris that Elijah chooses to ignore. On her taxes, she puts “Street Peddler” – so far no one’s called her on it.
Reaching Maman Minerva isn’t easy – she owns no phone, cell or otherwise. The phone number on file is for a drive thru daiquiri bar beneath her apartment. Leave a message and she’ll get it. Just don’t ask how.
Mr. Denault (never Sidney) came from money but truly grew his fortune with some well-placed investments in the post-Katrina New Orleans rebuilding efforts. He’s made considerable donations to science endowments in the Gulf region and holds a board position at the Empire Foundation.
Always on the search for new projects to bring to Empire’s attention, Mr. Denault knows just about everything that’s going on in the R&D fields in the Gulf region. There is regular stream of startups and entrepreneurs to Longue Vue and Mr. Denault can often be found leisurely strolling through the gardens while they trail behind, pleading their case.
Chris McMillian works the night shift at The Alibi. Between the years spent as a paramedic and the time he’s spent behind the bar, Chris is The Union’s go-to guy for The Big Easy. He has a good feel for the city at any given moment and knows who to call when things get heated.
Chris was a paramedic with New Orleans EMS until Katrina. The horrors of what he saw during and after the flood drove him to quit and crawl into a bottle. When he had finally sobered up, he discovered he’d somehow come into a position behind the bar instead of at it.
He still keeps up with many of his old civil-servant friends who visit him at The Alibi when they need to unwind and vent. Once he began working with the Union, the bar’s name took an ironic twist. Now Chris helps other Union members who need to start over, or just cool their jets, after getting a little too loud elsewhere in the US.
Diana Bettencourt is a new arrival in New Orleans. She is a Baltimore socialite that showed up just before Mardi Gras, hoping to destroy the local vampire population with a new drug called Usturanol. The drug was a roaring success, perhaps even too much so. Vampires affected burst into flames, an unexpected side-effect that Diana hasn’t been able to explain. She’s set up shop in the French Quarter, although no one’s sure why she hasn’t returned to Baltimore now that the trials of Usturanol are over.
Rene Blanchard is the self-styled leader of the gutter punks and homeless youth of New Orleans. Or, at least he is in his own head. While this street hustler seems to have cleaned up his act after spending a year living with Mr. Denault, he’s returned to the oldest business there is and members of the Contingent have seen him peddling his… wares around Bourbon Street.
Rene fell victim to the Krewe of Pan, a group of psychic monsters holed up at Six Flags New Orleans. He was found wandering the streets in a daze and turned over to Denault for care.