Tethers of the World... #1

By Hart, Joanna (hart1j@nectech.co.uk)


(I thought it'd be sort of interesting to write up tether ideas for cities that we know well. I know its something I'd find useful if I decided to send some PCs on a foreign jaunt, to be able to tell them which tethers they might have heard about. On that note...)

Great Tethers of the World #1 -- London

Unsurprisingly, London is peppered with tethers and has at least one for each superior (I know someone gave a nice list of ideas ages ago) but there are 4 of particular strength/ significance...

(NB. London in my game comes across to celestials like a cross between 1984 and 'V for Vendetta'. Both Judgement and The Game are very strong here, although Marc maintains a neutral territory in the heart of the City which is sometimes available to negotiators from either side, for any purpose -- if they are willing to pay the price and run the gauntlet. It would be clear to an outside observer that the demons have the upper hand in the city, and probably the country also.)

--- Name: The Cabinet Office
(http://www.open.gov.uk/co/cohome.htm) [Love the way it has the word 'open' in the URL ;-) It has a nice Xmas card with a picture of Humphrey the cat on it!]

Superior: Asmodeus

Location: Whitehall. The cabinet office comprises the heart of the UK government and civil service. It is specifically the room in which the cabinet meets, but also includes the building the room is sited in.

Seneschal: Sir Humphrey, Shedite of the Game (often used to appear as Humphrey the Downing Street cat but the cat has been relocated so he's more likely to possess some anonymous civil servant these days). History: The cabinet office (as in the room in which the government>ministers hold high level meetings) has been a tether to The Game since Cromwell's day, when celestial powerplays aroun d the Puritan movement left the demonic side with an advantage that they have never since lost in local and national politics.

Politics: Officially the HQ of any united demonic efforts that take place in London. In practice every infernal who is officially in the city pays lip service to Sir Humphrey, and the unofficial visitors keep well away. He always rewards infernals who rat on their colleagues.


Name: The British Museum (http://www.british-museum.ac.uk/)

Superior: Valefor

Location: Bloomsbury; includes the vaults of the museum and the disused tube station underneath it as well as the exhibition rooms. It excludes the library although that is currently being moved away from the main museum anyway (unfortunately approx. 30% of its books seem to have been mislaid during the move ;) ).

Senseschal: Varies. It seems to be a job that goes on rotation frequently. The seneschal is known informally as 'the tea-leaf' but who the current tea-leaf is can only be worked out on location. NB. 'tea leaf' is cockney rhyming slang for thief...

History: The BM is the oldest museum in the world, and since its inception has been used to display marvellous foreign artefacts that have been stolen from their original owners and brought back to London, where they can be 'properly looked after'. Its unknown how many other items have passed through its vaults, restoration rooms and cellars.

Politics: Despite all claims that this is a 'non-political, working tether' only, it has become something of a haven from The Game. Valefor does get his servants to actively blackmail/ coerce other demons who use it as a haven to do work for him though.. for every favour, there is a price.


Name: The Old Bailey

Superior: Dominic

Location: Cheapside; centred in the Star Chamber, which is the highest court of criminal justice in the land, but also includes the entire Old Bailey building and the holding cells underneath it. This also has the effect that any demons with roles as barristers/ advocates or judges simply cannot enter it.

Seneschal: Currently vacant, but unlikely to be so for long, pending investigation. It is the seneschal's job to co-ordinate triad activity in the city. The previous seneschal's soldiers are trying to fill in for it, and there is a lot of celestial backup but behind the scenes, angels are afraid.

History: The Star Chamber and the system of trial by jury were instituted by Henry VII in the 15th century, which makes this the oldest extant tether in London.

Politics: It has become the de facto HQ for divine planning in London, although successive seneschals have pleaded for its neutrality and martial angels have a preference for David's tether at Victoria Station. A constant stream of soft-spoken angelic advocates gather at the tether regularly to give expositions on various aspects of Jurisprudence but the place has a (deserved) reputation that more angels go in through the front entrance than ever come out again. Despite all this, if one's purpose is true and one is willing to submit to a grilling from the seneschal and its cohorts, this is the place to come to ask for help in combating demons. (Good luck)


Name: The London Stock Exchange

Superior: Marc

Location: City of London. The Stock Exchange itself is the tether, but Marc has a lot of soldiers, servants and influence in the area and effectively controls most of the local financial institutions. It is one of the world's three major stock exchanges and seems set to continue in that trend for the foreseeable future.

Senschal: Vries, Mercurian Master of Trade. It hosts grand cocktail parties for new arrivals at which both angels and demons are sometimes invited.

History: England has a long history as a mercantile nation, but the stock exchange wasn't formed until the 16th century. Marc shifted some influence around and the tether shimmered into being. Its motto is 'My word is my bond' and up until going electronic in the 1980's, ALL business deals were concluded by verbal agreement and a handshake.

Politics: It is a very cosmopolitan tether, Marc has no objections to any other angelic superiors using it but allows no violence nor martial planning which makes it more useful as a haven than a strategic outpost. The City of London proper covers about one square mile, includes the Domenican tether, and unsurprisingly demons tend to avoid it.

Rumours amongst local demons are that although it might be possible to muster enough local infernal power to smash the tether down, Princes have found that Marc is easier to negotiate with than almost any superior on their own side so there is a lot of subtle politicking in hell to support his position quietly. He is also a better businessman and his influence on financial affairs props the entire country up. As he comments in an off-the-record memo to Valefor, 'Its a win-win situation as it stands, so I'd like to see that bond returned before sunrise or you can consider your local operation to be bankrupt. Lets do lunch sometime.'.


ps. Catch the new Bond film, 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. Jonathan Pryce IS Nybbas!


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