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 Seattle's Kiss, history and culture of the court
Briar
 Posted: Mar 12 2012, 1:21 PM
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Long before Seattle was incorporated as a town, it was possessed of a Kiss. Shiloh moved to the logging community in the mid 1850s, when it was (by her own description) nothing but three mud roads, two dozen buildings, a hundred men and six whores. As the city grew, the Kiss grew along with it, making its influence felt subtly or overtly as the years went by.

This makes Seattle nearly unique among large cities, even American cities, as from the very beginning the shape of the place was being guided by a single vampire. Shiloh built the city in her image and the Kiss is entrenched so deep in Seattle's politics, economy and culture that the two can never be wholly separated.

The building that is currently called Many Moons (it's had a number of different names in its history) was built in the mid 1930s as part of Shiloh's efforts to pull the city out of the slump of the Great Depression. It has served as the public face of the Seattle Court since its completion, though the public face of it has been everything from a hotel to an apartment building to a purportedly abandoned tax write-off. Since the passing of Addison v. Clarke, Moons has been openly known as the site of Shiloh's Court, and the Master maintains a residence on the top floor.

Many Moons maintains a large pool of on-site blood donors, called 'Willings', so that none of her Kiss need to be tempted into hunting when they shouldn't. Many, not all, of the lycanthrope blood donors are from the shifter groups and work for the Court as a part of the groups' tithe. But all the human Willing and a handful of the shifters are Court-owned, and are supported and protected directly by Shiloh's Court.

About seventy years ago, Shiloh took on Aubry as her Temoin. The ancient Belle Morte looks to the Court's business interests, minding the money and the legality and clearing Shiloh up to concentrate on the people. The relationship between Aubry and Shiloh confuses a lot of people, as they appear to be...buddies. A strange thing for vampires to be, but there it is.

Shiloh is known for taking in strays. Stray kittens, abandoned puppies, broken-winged birds. And people. Usually young, often angry suburban teens or runaways or petty criminals, when Shiloh spots potential in a person who otherwise might never get a chance to develop it, she has a tendency to take them under her wing. She educates them, encourages them, molds their personalities to an extent. And then she usually lets them go, sets them out into the world to pursue their dreams. Evidence is strong, though, that Shiloh keeps at least some contact with most or all of her former pet projects, and there are a startling number of powerful people out in the world who owe their start in life to Seattle's Master.

Seattle is an unusual Court in several ways. The most obvious is that because the Master is a Beastmaster, lycanthropes play a far more prominent role in her Court than in most others. She surrounds herself with shifters, takes only human or shifter lovers, and offers the city's lycanthrope groups considerably more freedom than most Masters do. Of course, she can afford to be generous when she can drop the entire city's shifter population to their knees in the course of a temper tantrum.

There are no rogue vampires permitted in Seattle. Any vampire staying in town longer than 72 hours who has not previously negotiated the visit must oath to Shiloh or be hunted as a rogue. There is no rape, no murder for hire, and no unsanctioned Embraces in Seattle's Kiss on pain of public execution. Other laws come and go with the times, but those three have been constant since the earliest days of the city.


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