Geography for "Immortals"
Geography of Kane County, Colorado
Kane County, in central Colorado, can be divided into four quadrants. The Topaz River bisects it, running southeast from the Rocky Mountains toward the Arkansas River.
The western quadrants of the map are taken up by the Sawatch Range, including Mt. Bering, at 14,000 feet above sea level. The Highview Resort is in the northwestern quadrant, as is the ghost town of Broken Pickaxe, which is near abandoned mines.
The southwestern quadrant includes the forested foothills of Roosevelt Park, some ranch land, and the wealthy suburb of Turquoise Heights.
The northeastern quadrant of Kane County includes the Bronze Plateau, so called for how it looks at sunrise. It is a high, arid area and home to national parkland, the Coyote Flats Indian Reservation, and Tapping Air Force Base. Outbound Road leads to Denver, while closer to Merton is the university town of Teslaburg.
The southwestern quadrant of Kane County is Hogan’s Valley, where the floodplain of the Topaz River widens for about 15 miles. It narrows again at the Quinn Canyon. The plain is fertile and temperate. The city of Merton and its suburbs occupy part of this area.
Ikeville was a model suburb built after World War II, while Green Gulch was a farming community that has become home to sprawling subdivisions. Plata Arroyo is one of the older communities in the county, but it has struggled with recent waves of immigration.
Fort Larimer has grown from a rough-hewn U.S. Cavalry outpost on the frontier to a modern military proving ground and home to numerous contractors. The area between Grant Airport and Merton has been filled with several shopping malls.
Merton includes six major neighborhoods:
- Old Town: Local museums, theaters, art galleries, and few well-preserved or reconstructed Old West buildings draw tourists, particularly since the late 1980s. It also includes Mater Dolorosa, a 300-year-old Roman Catholic church built by Jesuit missionaries and Ute converts.
- Downtown: Neoclassical financial buildings, hotels of glass and steel, arenas for professional sports and concerts, and the Federal Building can be found here. Leading families mostly relocated to Turquoise Heights in the 1920s.
- Uptown: Like Nuevo Barrio, this is home to the city’s middle and working classes, much of which has moved out to Ikeville, Green Gulch, and Teslaburg. Young workers and recent arrivals have led to rising rents and diverse dining options. The city’s largest occult bookstore, Tobin’s, is here.
- The Mill District: This used to be the center of local industry, but it fell on hard times in the 1970s. It’s now the site of redevelopment by high-tech companies and government contractors. The hippest bars in the city can be found here, including “Devlin’s.”
- Little Peking: The local Chinatown now includes restaurants and shops run by people from all across Asia.
- Nuevo Barrio: This residential area has been the poorest in the city but is beginning to gentrify.
Each neighborhood is served by shops, hospitals, schools, and emergency services of varying quality, but law enforcement tries to focus its efforts on where crime (or the paranormal) is most problematic.
Merton’s avenues run from east to west and are numbered from 1 in the north to 100 in the south. Each block is about a tenth of a mile long. Its streets run from north to south, starting in the east and in alphabetical order. They are named after legendary American figures, such as Appleseed, Bunyan, Crockett, etc.
Other noteworthy locations (devised by players):
- Coyote Flats Indian Reservation (see also demographics notes): site of recent controversy as a petrochemical company has leased land to extract oil, possibly below its real value (Brian S.)
- Feathered serpent mounds: archeologists are actively investigating these on the Bronze Plateau, but no local tribes claim them, and they in fact avoid them (Byron)
- Kane County Insane Asylum: held as many as 6,000 inmates from the 1870s through the 1920s near the current site of Grant Airport (Drew)
- Kane County Museum of the Arts: in Old Town, Merton; known for artifacts and relics from around the world, including a supposed piece of the Spear of Destiny (Rich C.G.)
- Manitou Falls: upstream on the Topaz River from Merton and Turquoise Heights, site of strange ritual gatherings at the Vernal Equinox and a recent murder (Byron)
- Merton General Hospital: includes cutting-edge research led by a noted researcher, but he has a secret…. (Brian S.)
- Mesa Carnival: a major Internet company wants to demolish this old amusement park (still operating) near the train depot in Green Gulch, but locals are resisting (Bruce K.)
- Metro Merton Museum of the Macabre: also known as “the Quad,” in touristy Old Town (Beruk A.)
- Mt. Uncompaghgre: site of abandoned mine in foothills of the Sawatch Range; legislation is pending to make it a repository for nuclear waste — possibly retroactively (Brian S.)
- Unity Municipal Homeless Shelter: in the Nuevo Barrio, has a bad reputation of kids disappearing; “Connor” and “Jack” are donors, and “Sandy” volunteers here (Rich)