Rumors, Urban Legends, and Ongoing Investigations

Suicide City, USA - Seattle has always had a high suicide rate, but ever since the end of the Red Court a few months back, things have been worse than ever. Almost a dozen people have killed themselves since then, some in very public fashions. There is no evidence to link these events, as the suicides have been people of all races, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and from all over town. People usually blame this sort of thing on Seattle's legendary weather, but this time something feels more sinister about the whole situation.

The most disturbing part is the rumors in Undertown and on certain parts of the internet claiming that pictures taken of the suicide victims in the days before their deaths show wraith-like apparitions floating in the background…

Surf War - For decades, a group of rusalki families that live on the bottom of Puget Sound have sold fresh fish in the Undertown market. Recently, a reintroduction program for sea otters has relocated a family of kushtaka into the sound, and they have since opened up their own, competing fish stall next to the rusalki's. Tensions have been high between the two camps ever since, with numerous incidents of vandalism, theft, and malicious placement of feces in fish coolers having afflicted both camps. It may only be a matter of time before things get violent, which will bring down swift and certain wrath from the Shadow Court. Can't we all just get along?

Summer tragedy - Natalya Seminov was a phenomenon, a star destined for greatness and the darling of Seattle's theater critics, when she was crushed to death by a falling bit of rigging on the opening night of "The Midsummer Marriage" at the Mercer Arena. The opera house closed, but new investors are trying to refurbish and reopen it for a new opera company. The project has been plagued by mysterious illness and supposed sightings of Natalya's ghost, and recently sightings of a dancing specter have been reported all around the Seattle Center … and some people walking through the Seattle Center at night have gone missing altogether, gone without a trace. Further deepening the mystery, a woman named Naomi Smith jumped off the Space Needle just two weeks ago, her moment of death captured on live local television. Right before she leaped, she was recorded saying "Why won't you tell me I'm beautiful?" in fluent Russian. Naomi was a native Seattleite, and never learned a word of Russian in her life.

Totem Madness - In Pioneer Square stands a genuine Alaskan totem pole with an interesting history. The one that originally stood here was stolen from the Tlingit people (of Southern Alaska) during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1899. It was destroyed by an arsonist in 1938, and the city had the nerve to send the burned pieces back to the tribe from which it was stolen, and request a new one! The tribesman agreed, provided they were paid twice: once for the original theft, and again for a replacement. Seattle agreed, and the totem in the picture is the result (it stands in Pioneer Square to this day).

Once a month on the new moon, Stuart Ashleaf and his apprentices come out to the totem pole to dance a traditional consecrating dance that calms the spirits of the area, which are still enraged by the original theft and destruction of their ancestral artifact. To the city and visitors this is nothing more than a quaint attraction to draw tourists to Pioneer Square, but Stuart and the Duwamish seem to believe that their stewardship of the totem is of great importance.

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