Threshold Victoria

About Victoria

The City
Victoria is a small city, its population perhaps two or three thousand. Its cobblestone streets are constantly shrouded in thick fog, the ambient light provided only by row upon row of perpetually-lit gas lamps. The city is well-maintained and respectable towards its center, where a great clock tower looms, but becomes more run-down, dangerous, and lower-class towards its edges. As far as just about anyone who inhabits Victoria knows, it has always been there and will always be - a sense of timelessness and permanence has settled upon it through the generations. No one knows what may lie outside of Victoria, for no one leaves.

It is often unclear why those who inhabit Victoria do not depart to some other place; certainly it is not always contentment that keeps them there. Each person feels drawn to the city for his or her own reasons. For some it is an unhealthy fascination; they are ensnared by webs of desperation and deceit far more potent than whatever curiosity they may have about the world beyond. Others simply aren't interested in whatever may lie without. A few have in fact left Victoria, but none of these are known to have returned. Others claim to have been beyond the last wisps of enshrouding mist, but the stories that they tell are certainly too far-fetched for any sensible person to believe; which does not stop many from believing them.

No food is produced within Victoria - it is simply provided. How, only the Duke Of Steel knows for certain. Unfortunately, what food there is is not necessarily distributed equitably. The Queen may squander huge amounts on nightly feasts while the less fortunate starve in the streets. There is no system of currency; rather, a barter economy exists, with small shops and occasional markets that come to life, flooding otherwise-dreary alleyways with people. Wealth is a simple question of ownership, while title is something far more difficult to define.



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The Clock Tower
In the center of Victoria, surrounded by a wide cobblestone plaza, a great clock tower soars upwards, the peaks of its spires nearly lost to sight in the fog. Upon its luminous face move six hands, each according to its own pattern, over three symbols. The tower bears a fair resemblance to Big Ben, with its worn stones and jagged architecture. It holds a strange fascination for many Victorians, who gather at all hours in the plaza to gaze upon it. Some converse quietly, while others paint with an easel or beg for hand-outs.

Time in the city is a tricky and at best uncertain thing, and Victorians tend to have a strange relationship with it. Wall clocks and pocketwatches are everywhere, most of them stylized imitations of the clock tower's odd patterns; but because of their unreliability and lack of commonality, only the tower clock itself is generally used for appointments and the like. More frequently, time is just approximated - "I'll meet you in front of the Clock Tower in about an hour" would be considered perfectly reasonable.

The other thing about the Clock Tower is that there appear to be no doors. No one enters and no one leaves. They only gather around, and stare...



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Victorians
Victoria has far more than its share of crackpots and bizarre people (see About The Campaign). In typical Threshold style, characters in Invasion tend to be somewhat more exaggerated, strange, and archetypal than people in the real world; hopefully, the two-shot opener will give players a sense of the kind of characters that are found in Victoria.

Victoria's aristocrats and socialites are creatures of excess and privilege, while the servants and outcasts of the city wander through its less reputable quarters, on private business or simply attempting to escape the notice of those who would make use of them. Reclusive experts watch from their hidden retreats as brave explorers plumb the city's obscurest reaches. Villainous sophisticates twirl their moustaches, their eyes gleaming with malice as they hatch some doomed-to-failure scheme, while Victoria's investigators struggle to get to the bottom of obscure crimes.

Nearly everything in the city seems to revolve around matters of social class. The nobility are rarely seen outside of the palatial estates that pepper Victoria's center, as they most frequently travel by carriage to avoid the streets' less desirable elements. They host and attend flamboyant parties, patronize the arts, and generally see to their own affairs.



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