Welcome to the Dead Mall!
Once upon a time, Prospect Plaza was a bright shining gem of the Harbor district. Those days are long gone, along with first one anchor store, then another, then all the inner stores one by one until, with the arrival of newer, bigger, classier malls out in the suburbs, the Plaza was officially abandoned.
For years it languished, falling further into disrepair behind the forbidding fencing and 'no trespassing' signs. But waste not, want not, and Bone Gnawers don't tend to want to waste. Prospect's contingent of the tribe has taken it over, working their own form of renovation on the place.
If you're a 'Gnawer or their kin, c'mon by! If you're a friend, ask to drop in. If you're anyone else... beware of dog.
- DexMen's Wearhouse
- Felix & LilahCamelot Music
- LisEB Games
- JasenBarnes & Noble
- SidHot Topic
- VacantRegis Salon
This two story hulk of a 1980s mall squats in the middle of an empty parking lot of cracked and weedy asphalt. The glass windows and doors at the entrance have been replaced by wood and scrap metal secured with functional latches and hinges. A small, windowed guard shack out in the parking lot houses the mall's kinfolk watchman team.
Greg and Knight: Homid and Lupus Kinfolk, the pair call the guard shack in the parking lot their home. The pair are both new to kinfolk life but loyal to their tribe family, watching over the mall grounds with dedicated diligence. Knight is armed with standard lupus senses, while Greg has flashlights, binoculars, and a radio with which he can alert any Gnawers in the mall should the need arise. They both keep an eye out for trespassers, urban explorers, police, unsavory characters and visitors, and will alert the tribe to any untoward happenings on their territory.
Clairie: A weird little trash gaffling that lives outside in a dumpster which has been painted bright pink and stenciled with glittery designs. The bin is filled with rubbish from a local toy store, including dolls, sparkly play sets, and a few clothing items. A small sign on the dumpster reads: 'Girl toys only, please'.
Both entrances lead into an atrium whose floor tiles are mostly intact, gentle shades of tan and taupe creating simple designs bordered here and there by wood benches and plant boxes. A pair of stalled escalators are neatly framed by garden beds with new vegetation beginning to grow in them, as is a glass elevator filled with scrap-metal sculptures of blackbirds hanging in flight or resting on the jagged branches of a scrap-metal tree. A large skylight bathes the atrium in natural light, illuminating a large sewn banner that hangs proudly overhead amidst large, climbable trees that have long outgrown their planters.
Abandoned but cleaned shops line the hallways, some of them being repurposed into useable spaces. The hallways are filled with natural light, dotted with benches and boxes sprouting young greenery, and more large trees scattered about with their roots stubbornly breaking through their old planters and even the floors to drink from the flooded basement. There is bird song during the day and the quiet rustle of rodents at night, small dishes of food, water, and bird seed strategically placed all over the mall for spirit and physical critters alike.
One section of halls near the atrium that used to house a large children's play area has been completely frozen over and is always stocked with small, hanging vials that help keep the temperature of the area very low and issue a light, wintergreen flavored snow. Icicles hang from the signs of frozen shops and there is the occasional delicious flavored snowman or snow angel between benches and small snow drifts near the walls. The snow makes steadying paths around the spray painted boundaries of a skating rink that runs the length of the smoothed, ice covered floors of the hall there.
The center of this large and airy space at the heart of the mall was once a sunken dining space for throngs of shoppers joined by many main hallways, but its floor has caved into the flooded basement and it's become filled with water, dotted at seeming random by nearly submerged plant boxes that burst with wild and unkempt greenery. Decorative trees around the edge of this small lake have grown tall and thick over time, roots breaking through their own planters to spread their roots across the floor, between the tiles and down the steps into the water. Dappled sunlight from huge broken skylights two floors above, soft bird song from crows and pigeons and the occasional splash of koi give the place a tranquil atmosphere, with hammocks and small seating spaces set up around the edge for the comfortable enjoyment of the urban wild.
Around this unnatural lake is a wide walkway of tan and taupe tile made for heavy foot traffic that circles around under the tree branches and gives access to a ring of abandoned restaurants. All but a few have been completely stripped and cleaned out for use as storage and pantries or, in the case of a sunlit Chik-fil-A, straw floored and wired wrapped to house chickens for fresh eggs.
One restaurant has been completely refitted and even somehow has electricity to power lights, refrigeration units, and even a brightly lit sign reading 'Random Food' in mismatched letters stolen from other shops. Always with someone present and able to cook present, it's a lazy little restaurant with tables and chairs set on the walkway in front of it bistro style, with strings of christmas lights hanging above and little table lanterns providing comfortable illumination. There is no menu, the food really is random depending on what sort of things are in stock.
Jenkins: There's a few turtles that have moved in to the pond area, most of them skittish and sticking to the nearly submerged flower boxes dotted around in the water though they do get curious about people and come to the broken tile 'shore' now and then. No one knows how to tell the difference between one turtle and another, so they're just collectively called Jenkins. Because why not, right?
Angry Chicken: There are 9 chickens living a comfortable coop life in the cleared out Chik-fil-A restaurant, but the 10th chicken refuses any such domestic life and roams the area free-range. This hen refuses to be caught and can run and pseudo-fly much better than the residents, keeping her distance from the rage monsters around the mall. Like some kind of vicious chicken warrior, she hunts Garou and Kinfolk like oversized prey, during the day perched in strange places and just *staring* with beady little eyes, and in the dark halls at night one might hear the ghostly bwaaaaaak's of a hen stalking them. On rare occasions, the chicken will attack out of nowhere and steal part of someone's meal before fleeing in a flurry of feathers.
At the end of a hallway, lit two stories above with broken skylights, sits a small movie theater. The marquee acting as an angled awning is lined in blinking yellow lights and reads 'THERAPY' in black block letters against backlit white. The taupe tiled floor of the lobby is swept clean and the red felt walls are dotted with poster cases also lined in blinking lights and containing artwork done by mall residents. A small, curved ticket booth has been stocked with cigarettes, candies, packets of chips, and other bar-style sundries.
To the right of the entrance and ticket booth is a decoratively arched room with a concession stand at the far end. Mismatched tables and chairs are scattered about, and the curved walls are painted all over with alchemical recipes specific to alcohols. A small alcove has a figure of a woman made of fruits and living things in honor of Gaia. Amid gentle lighting, the ceiling is lined in glass tubes etched and painted with arcane symbols and peppered with glass bulbs that collect colorful liquids and fumes as they course through the clear networks. The concession stand itself has been turned into a bar with padded stools in front, a bank of mini fridges hidden below the bar's top, and its back wall holding shelves of liquor bottles, mixers, and even a microwave for bar burritos. The ceiling's glass tube highways come from a large copper still in the back room, its sides etched and painted with enchantment symbols. After traveling the ceiling, their ends run down the walls behind the bar, ending in a dozen different taps labeled as different flavors.
Straight ahead of the entrance and ticket booth are a pair of theater rooms. One has a backlit white sign reading 'Physical Therapy' in black letters, while theater two's sign reads 'Music Therapy'. The Physical room has had all of its theater seats removed and has been filled with a plethora of makeshift and scavenged work-out equipment, from refurbished and jury-rigged weight machines to hand weights, with several cleared out fitness zones. The small stage has a sparring ring spray-painted onto the scuffed-up hardwood in front of the movie screen. The Music room has also had its banks of seats removed, and has been set with speakers and stereo equipment as well as an array of different party lights, turning the place into a colorful, thumping night club dotted with bean bag chairs, clear space to dance, and neon-paint-spattered walls that glow in blacklight. The stage in this room holds a huge variety of musical instruments set for performance in front of the movie screen. Projectors have been repaired and play an assortment of scavenged and stolen movie reels into both theaters from up in the projection booth.
Rite-Aid Reflecting Pool
Down a hallway lit two stories above by broken skylights, one comes to a more confined dead end without escalators or doors to the outside world. Dotted with plant boxes sprouting new vegetation and large trees that have burst their planters, the floor is covered in tan and taupe tiles make simple and decorative patterns towards the end.
At the dead end, a few steps lead down to a triangular lounge area that has been cleaned of debris and flooded with water from the basement to create a shallow reflecting pool, its edges dotted with candles and small potted plants of all sorts. Roots spread across the tiles and creeping down into the pool, a single tree grows tall and provides dappled shade over the pool. Crows linger in the branches of the tree and rats are ever present on the ground, taking their fill from dishes of food and water scattered out of the way against the walls.
There are several small shops to either side of the pool, each of them cleaned and refurbished into working spaces. One is a Rite-Aid Express, its shelves neatly stocked with components for rites and rituals of all sorts in jars, bags and bowls. Right next door is a clean and emptied out store marked all over with glyphs and given over to ritual practice. A store has been put to use as a shrine to Rat, dimly lit with a few flickering candles on an altar littered with shiny things and its walls artfully painted in the spirit's aspects. Another is dedicated to Crow, flickering candles set on an altar littered with bones and bits of scavenged scrap, walls painted with murders of blackbirds. One last shop is given to Gaia, glass front crowded with potted and plants and small tables dedicated to the elements; this more brightly lit shrine has an altar dotted with stones, crystals and sprigs of greenery.
Stalled escalators dotted throughout the mall provide access to the second floor's orderly network of wide walkways and gently arcing bridges. Broken skylights bathe the walkways in natural light, the open stretches between paths and bridges providing an excellent view of the first floor at nearly any point. Strangely, some vantage points are blocked by treetops, their branches straining towards the skylights and reaching out to the railings. Not every tree is tall or thick enough, but many of these hearty survivors offer climbable branches in reach of the walkways.
Old benches and dry planters line the railing side of every walkway, with shops lining the wall side. Most of them still have their signs, or a few standing panes of glass fronts, but all of them retain their roll-down security screens. The second floor has been thoroughly cleaned and made into a comfortable residential level. The bathrooms are communal but there is running water and a few have been replumbed and furnished as bath houses with a plethora of curtained off tubs and alchemical bath products. A store has been converted into an old fashioned laundry with several basins and tables, small stoves to heat water, and shelves of detergents and softeners. Someone keeps the place very neat and tidy, and there are even plants starting to grow in the tended planters.
Small dishes are set on the floor in out of the way places or glued securely to the railings near trees, meant to hold food and water offerings for physical and spiritual resident creatures alike. Likewise, candles in jars and little battery powered camp lanterns are scattered about to light the pathways.
The basement of the mall is almost entirely flooded, and inhabited by fish. Not particularly delicious-looking fish, but fish nonetheless. Certain maintenance has to be done underwater, because that's where the valves and such are now. Otherwise, it looks pretty much as one might expect the basement of a mall to look. At least, it does now that the being that was storing and animating corpses down there is gone.
Other Non-Residential Stores
Some other stores set up to provide residents of the colony with needful things:
Clinic: One store has a sign marking it as a clinic and is being stocked with various medications and medical supplies. Its back room has been neatly furnished as a makeshift exam room. There is a supply of medical books and a seating area in the main room has games and old magazines to browse.
Trade: Need a new fuel canister for your camp stove? Have to replace that ratty blanket? Have need of a particular tool for a project you're working on? This store has been outfitted with a wide variety of useful things, shelves stocked with all manner of usefulness. Don't worry about money, just trade something the store might need.
School and Library: A large department store at the end of a wide hall has been given over to shelves and shelves of books, all neatly organized into genres and alphabetized by author. One section of floor has a collection of desks, chairs, even a few beanbags and small boards to use as writing surfaces, as well as a couple old blackboards secured to the walls with bits of scrap.
Clothes: Sears has put its old mannequins, racks, tables and cubbies to use again, this time holding a wide variety of second hand clothes. Pants, dresses, skirts, teeshirts, even some light sweaters, they're organized by size and intended gender. Boots, shoes, sandals and other footwear can be found as well as accessories of all kinds. Most things are used, patched but clean, though new items can be found around as well. Don't worry about money, just trade in some clothes to be fixed, cleaned, and put out on the floor.
Trash and Scrap: There's a space outside the mall that's defined by walls made of scrap and wood made to contain daily trash between trips to the dump. Another space defined the same way contains recycling and scrap of various types. Things that haven't been repaired or put to use yet can be found with the recycling as well as other sources of minor income. Trash and recycling gafflings exist here, but are kept separated to avoid fights over rubbish.