1 Political Groups

1.1 Progressives and the New Steam Society

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1.2 Democrats, Republicans, and Ludditry League

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1.2.1 Society for Respectable Engineering

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1.3 Anarchists

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2 Professions


2.1 Labor Unions

Following a series of failed strikes in 1919, worker confidence in labor unions began to fall drastically. Compounded with accusations of collusion between employers and the Rochester General Labor Union (RGLU), the predominant labor union in Rochester, led to many workers losing faith in unions. While RGLU typically provided enough to members to keep them quiet, the “problematic” members tended to have their membership revoked.

Dissatisfied with the representation (or lack thereof) provided by RGLU, in 1920 a group of disgruntled workers decided to form a new union, the Independent Worker’s Union (IWU). Dismissed by some as hopeless idealists, IWU pledged to actually provide its members with the benefits promised by RGLU. However, IWU has had difficulty gaining traction, largely due to closed shop agreements between employers and RGLU. Unfortunately, both unions are feeling pressure as anti-union sentiments have led some employers to pursue an “open shop” policy and hire non-union workers.

2.2 Society of Rochester Engineers (S.R.E.)


The Society of Rochester Engineers is an organization founded by Barry L. Morton, Rochester’s leading civil engineer who designed the Rochester Subway and the RPTS, to bring together Rochester’s engineers. It is an organization where engineers discussed techniques used in their professions and ways to improve them. This society plays a major role in advancing the science of engineering because several breakthroughs were made due to a convergence of many scientific minds.

Though the SRE was founded to unify engineers, it is divided into two groups. There are progressivists who believed in the advancement of Rochester to an age of steam technology, and there are conservatives who want traditional technology and methods of engineering to remain the norm. The SRE headquarters are the stage for a myriad of debates regarding steam technology.

Since the SRE was founded, the government of Rochester and private individuals who wanted to hire engineers finds it easier to do so; they do not have to seek out engineers – all they have to do is approach the SRE, describe what they need and are forwarded to the appropriate engineer.

Patrons of the SRE included George Eastman and T. Edgar Twombly, who donate substantial sums of money to the organization.

2.3 Independent Artisans Guild (I.A.G.)

The Independent Artisans Guild is a society of Rochester's burgeoning section of innovators, mechanical craftsmen, tinkerers, and their subsequent merchants. The group is relatively seclusive, allowing access only via invitation and even then requiring permission from a majority of the guild's board members. It provides it's members with connections to patrons, buyers, resource sellers, and collaborators, leading to a marked increase in productivity and quality for most all who join the guild. However, their designs and schematics are required to be made public to the guild within three months of unveiling their product to the masses, along with small percentages off their sales through the guild's merchants.

The I.A.G. currently owns a headquarters on the corner of Andrews and State St. in downtown Rochester. Current public opinion regarding the guild is tenuous, with (unfounded and untrue) beliefs of conspiracy and diabolical weaponry originating within the guild, due largely to the divisions around steam technology, which the guild has its foundations in.

2.3.1 Rochester Artisans Guild (R.A.G)

The Rochester Artisan Guild is a collective of local artisan craftsman in the Rochester area. Rochester Artisans Guild was founded as a alternative means for craftsman to protect their trade. It is located in down town Rochester and it's headquarters is used by all members of the Rochester Artisan Guild. The members of the Rochester Artisans Guild used the headquarters to organize movements and protests against factories that started to replace their jobs. The Rochester Artisans Guild tactics are very diplomatic and actively avoid violent confrontation. . It is led by Brian Shepard and is actively looking for ways to improve the Rochester Artisans Guild or undermine factories.

2.4 Factory Management

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2.5 Aristocrats

The aristocrats contain notable figures such as the Eastman family, William Tenerly, and Josh Jake Bausch. One of the foremost interest of this group is the expansion of steam technology through Rochester and the United States. Meetings often focus on how one can integrate their industry with the industry of another, in the interest of obtaining more capital. Members such as Regiblaster are thought to be part of the assumed fictional P.I.E.S. Within the aristocracy, there are departing opinions on the value and use of the poor, with some individuals such as Tenerly and Eastman promoting the production of better housing, higher wages, safer conditions, and other amenities to assist the working class. To date, the aristocrats have funded the production of the Rochester reactor, the Tenerly Museum, the subway, and various other infrastructure projects.

2.6 Police

Following a national push for reform, the Rochester Police department push to improve their policing policies. There was a push to hire college graduates and war veterans. The police department worked with the University of Rochester to develop a curriculum on police science.

With the growth of the Prohibition movement and the resulting expansion of bootlegging and other drug trafficking in Rochester, the police department quickly implemented an undercover Vice department. Not known to the public, the vice squad works to combat crimes revolving gambling, narcotics, pornography and illegal sales of alcoholic beverages. Despite being on the Police Force, vice squad detectives are deep-cover and their identitites are not known to other officers. The only assistance that vice detectives are given is a stipend to purchase equipment, a contact to pass on information, and the ability to walk outside the bounds of the law if necessary.

2.6.1 Pinkertons

The Pinkertons were a pseudo secret police whose services could be hired by any who had the proper funding. By the 1920s, the Pinkertons were mainly used by the aristocracy to break up strikes and labor unions by any means necessary. Since they were not an official government service, they were able to utilize physical violence to achieve their goals and have been known to kill if it seems fit.

2.7 Rochester Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute

The Rochester Anthenæum Mechanics and Institute is well known for its progressiveness and steampunk innovation. Unlike many other tech. schools throughout America, RAMI has an established co-op program, which was started by President Bibson in 1912. These co-ops worked with new steam companies. However, RAMI does not offer degrees (they only provided 2 year certificates) for their programs, but they have partnered with the University of Rochester so they can provide actual degrees. This is done so that when people take classes at both schools they can earn their degree, which was issued by the University of Rochester. RAMI offered both day and night classes.

Women, most of whom are in the Domestic Arts program, are allowed to take any class at RAMI—however, RAMI is being pressured into dropping the domestic programs in order to receive sponsorship from new steam technology companies. RAMI is prolonging this as long as possible, but due to monetary investments, it’s waning.

Every January, RAMI holds an annual carnival, which is run by the students. At this carnival, the students showcase their projects that they have been working on for the first semester. Many of the Fine Arts students show off personal projects, while the students in engineering programs display new steam inventions that they are currently working on. This carnival is open to the public, and many venturing entrepreneurs often look to the RAMI students for new employees.
A notable alumni include Barry L. Morton, who supervised the construction of the Rochester Subway as well as the Cloud City.

2.8 The Informant: Newspaper Company

Formerly founded in 1915, The informant is a local newspaper company to the Rochester area. It has become fairly popular since its origin, as it directs itself mainly to working - lower class citizens; as well as labor unions. This has left the company in moderate opposition with aristocrats and some politicians, due to the focus of their target audience as well as well as their motto "All the news that should be printed"; which was aimed to be an opposite to the motto of The New York Times.

Many of the founders of the company worked for the Times prior to beginning the Informant. However, on several accounts, the times had swept various underground behavior underneath the rug. This included details on the actions of the Falcone family, as well as very bootlegging outfits scattered throughout the north eastern area. It is said that the founding family, Ochs-Sulzberger, may or may not have been aware of these actions at the time. However the worst of all these transgressions, that caused the split from the Times, was the sudden "disappearance" of probable information on the P.I.E.S

The company have stood strong for the last 7 years, although with occasional opposition from various groups across the city. Their office has suffered some minor and 2 serious acts of vandalism since the founding, which has left it in a fair but aged looking state. However, this has only made the company more popular among the lower classes, due to their unchanging stance on presenting the news to the people. However, due to this value of the company, some rumors claim, that they may have some association with the Brokers. However, this has never been proven in any capacity and the rumors have begun to slowly die down.




3. Underground Rochester Communities


3.1 The Wild South

Main Article: The Wild South

The Wild South is an underground borough in the southern part of Rochester, connected via the RPTS Mount Hope Station, and is perhaps the biggest of the various underground communities, due to the large amount of lower-class inhabitants there. Due to it's distance from the city center and its demographics, it is seen as a haven for crime and poverty.

3.1.1 Tartarus

Main Article: Tartarus

Tartarus is a section of The Wild South that is particularly violent and repulsive, and is notoriously lawless. Its primary "peacekeepers" are the crime organizations headquartered there, which are selective at their best. Regardless, its lack of government makes it an epicenter of Rochester's underground, trading everything from information and booze, to guns and drugs.

3.2 Cloud District

Main Article: Cloud District

Built primarily by those recently elevated to the upper classes, the Cloud District is an underground borough that lies directly beneath the 12th Ward, one of Rochester's most expensive real estate locations. Inhabited by no more than two-dozen households, it's like an escape from the above ground world, with all of its pollution and sounds. However, the district itself has many critics from both the lower and middle classes, on ideological and practical grounds.

4 Criminal Element


4.1 P.I.E.S. (People Involved in Exclusive Sweets)

Conspiracies involving PIES are a recent development, but their ties run as far back as the founding of Rochester. Top conspirators point towards the building where the current bakery, Torta Signore, resides. It is an old building that is familiar to everyone and has always contained a baked goods shop. Perhaps tradition is what keeps the saccharine store in style, but that is not quite good enough for the suspicious.

Recently, there have been an increased rate of pie theft among the townspeople and in a more organized manner than the way a hungry neerdowell would perform. In addition, pies are becoming a ubiquitous meal throughout Rochester and bleeding into everyday life. Billboards are sprouting up advertising the pastries and literature is starting to contain more allusions to pies.

Those who indulge in the consumption of pies from Torta Signore or other local bakeries seem completely enamored by the confectionery creations to a ludicrous degree. Conspirators believe all the bakery chains in Rochester are connected and spiking their pies with some sort of drug that brainwashes its eater. Of course, none of these claims have been proven true, however everyone can agree that pies are delicious.

4.2 Bootleggers/Speakeasies


When Prohibition began in January of 1920, its most staunch opposition was in the form of German immigrants. Rochester’s sizable German population therefore had little desire to follow the law. A year later, in 1921, Rochester is a haven for the bootlegging business. Between its relative proximity to Lake Ontario, and nearby Buffalo being a favorite smuggling point from Canada, the external avenues of bootlegging were never difficult to find. Furthermore, previous breweries, such as the Genesee Brewery, still created a sizable amount of beer underneath its more legal operations, as well as more homemade spirits coming from the Bulldog Boys and others to round out internal alcohol production.

That’s not to say there wasn’t pushback. With the rising tide of progressives in Rochester, underneath George Greene’s political banner, many citizens lobbied for a harsher system to crack down on the illegal alcohol trade. On top of increased patrolling in both the streets and the underground, Greene’s push for steam power authorized the use of airships patrolling the skies for smugglers, both in Rochester and along the coast of Lake Ontario. Checkpoints were raised at random throughout the RPTS, and an investigative division among Rochester’s police department was created with the sole purpose of catching bootleggers and speakeasy owners.

By early 1921, the situation has gotten to where smugglers and bartenders alike have been forced to adapt. Smaller, quicker airships were obtained to evade police, drop-off points along the lake have been formed and cracked a dozen times over, and organized crime such as the Falcone family have invented ways to hide alcohol among rail and road traffic in broad daylight. Furthermore, local figures such as Alfio Boscarino run illegal distilling operations around the city, earning notoriety on both sides for their exploits.

Speakeasies, for their part, are found prominently in German neighborhoods. It isn’t uncommon for neighbors to look out for their local watering hole, which often means these illegal bars get tipped off to police raids with enough time to sufficiently destroy and/or hide their booze. In particular, the main bars in above-ground Rochester are The Schleyer Hotel and Studio 6. Underground, pubs and saloons populate the “Wild South” at will, with Red Head’s Den being the most well-known. In general, the above-ground speakeasies tended to serve the upper and middle classes, given that most lived top-side and it avoided the dangerous environment of the southern underground. Lower-class people, criminals, and drunkards frequented the subterranean taverns, who generally enjoyed much more freedom with their drinking.

4.3 Mafia


4.3.1 The Falcone Family


The Falcone family had a presence in Rochester before Prohibition. Before Prohibition they dealt mostly with forcing stores to pay protection money and drugs such as heroin, opium, and cocaine. When the Prohibition happened the Falcone family started to Bootleg alcohol from Canada. This kept them in control of most of the drugs and higher quality booze. The Falcone family is lead by Don Emilio Falcone he immigrated to Rochester before 1900 and was able to build his family to become a major family to be recognized in Rochester. They are well organized and funded, they have not gotten into open conflict with the Irish gang, the Bulldog Boys due to not having running into them during their runs. The Falcone family have been known to some controversy in the town and the police seemed to not pursue them.

4.3.2 La Mano Nera (The Black Hand)


The Black Hand is the original Italian criminals of Rochester. They target business owners and wealthy individuals, threatening death or destruction if they are not paid. They rely upon extortion to make their money, and have no current interest in the bootlegging. When they pick a target they either approach the target, or more often post a note to their door or slip it under their door. The note says something along the lines of “drop off X amount of money here, or we’ll kill you, if you tell the cops we will kill you.” The note has daggers, black hands, skulls, and blood splotches to show the recipient they mean it. More recently in Rochester they have been threatening arson, and several bombs have blown up businesses indicating that they have bombs left over from the war. Bombings seem to be their ideal form of terrorizing because they cause death, destruction, and most importantly they instill fear among other wealthy people who might get the dreaded letter. Recently Clement G. Lanni, an influential Italian and Editor of La Stampa Unita has been speaking out against The Black Hand.

4.3.3 Bulldog Boys (Irish Gang)


Before prohibition the Irish street gangs were never organized. As soon as prohibition started it was too lucrative to pass up. Mickey “Bulldog” Enright of the Bulldog Boys began meeting with other gangs and organized a merger with many other Irish gangs. Within the Irish and Catholic community little support was given to prohibition. Although wine was still allowed for religious purposes, it was still seen as an infringement upon their rights. The Italian mafia had control of the drugs beyond your standard bottle, and was much more powerful than the newly united Irish. They knew they couldn’t directly compete with the Italians, who were much bigger and well organized. Mickey counted on the fact that many Irish pubs would continue their bars in hiding, and began production of alcohol. It was made in tubs, and often spiked with other chemicals to give it an extra “bang”. This booze was cheaper than the higher quality alcohol from the Italians. The Bulldog Boys have a steady demand from the Irish community, and their goal is to find some supplier for booze in Canada. Outright conflict with the Italian Mafia hasn’t started yet, but it could the moment the Italians try to take their customers. They have around 20 members now, but other Irish street gangs are starting to think about joining. Other important members include: Harry Dowling, Wayne O'Rorke, and George MacAuley.

4.4 Brokers

"The richest men on earth, are those who dictate rich men's lives." - message from The Prophet

Following the year of silence, in which all major information trade had ended in the Rochester area, caused by the Prophet's disappearance, a group claiming to be his followers began to appear throughout the north east. Without warning they had appeared and gained significant control of any and all underground information trading in the various cities they had stationed themselves in, Rochester no exception. This control was gained through the immense "wealth" they had come into prior to their appearance. This wasn't however, physical currency or items worth small fortunes, but instead information on the various groups flowing through the area, from La Mano Nera, The ludditry league and the I.A.G, to some members having ties to the P.I.E.S.

This inbalance of information gained, from them to their clients, quickly made it so that many of it's members were under an umbrella that few dared cross. Those who crossed that line would find themselves very quickly under fire from those that rely on the brokers or worse, having the very secrets they didn't want shared spread like wildfire. One instance claims that an aristocrat had lost all of his savings over night, the locations of where the various articles were kept, as well as how to easily pass through security, all revealed after the aristocrat had sold out the broker he was in contact with.

"We have more dirt on you than you will ever have on us."- message from current Leader

The Rochester Anthenæum Mechanics and Institute is well known for its progressiveness and steampunk innovation. Unlike many other tech. schools throughout America, RAMI has an established co-op program, which was started by President Bibson in 1912. These co-ops worked with new steam companies. However, RAMI does not offer degrees (they only provided 2 year certificates) for their programs, but they have partnered with the University of Rochester so they can provide actual degrees. This is done so that when people take classes at both schools they can earn their degree, which was issued by the University of Rochester. RAMI offered both day and night classes.
Women, most of whom are in the Domestic Arts program, are allowed to take any class at RAMI—however, RAMI is being pressured into dropping the domestic programs in order to receive sponsorship from new steam technology companies. RAMI is prolonging this as long as possible, but due to monetary investments, it’s waning.
Every January, RAMI holds an annual carnival, which is run by the students. At this carnival, the students showcase their projects that they have been working on for the first semester. Many of the Fine Arts students show off personal projects, while the students in engineering programs display new steam inventions that they are currently working on. This carnival is open to the public, and many venturing entrepreneurs often look to the RAMI students for new employees.

A notable alumni include Barry L. Morton, who supervised the construction of the Rochester Subway as well as the Cloud City.