So I’ve been writing some trashy vampire fiction as stress-relief during finals, and it accidentally turned into a major world-building exercise and potential Novella and???  I dunno but I want to share some thoughts.

First, some universe specific things:

  • Vampire cannot “turn” Others without significant effort and/or a specific ritual.  being a bitten by a vamp is no more going to make you one or it;s thrall than being bitten by a st. Bernard is.
  • Monsters and Cryptids explicitly exist, but most of the world’s governments deny that they do for… reasons.  That I will get into later but probably have to do with tax law.
  • The two main characters so far are Marion “Red Charlie” Charleston, a vampire turned back in 1890 who made his fortune during the prohibiton era doing aggravated bootlegging for Roy Olmstead, and Alex (Alexander Byron Chesterson Jr.) who is more or less Marion’s live-in tech sspport/tax shelter.

OK, so onto the worldbuilding

  • Seattle is like, THE city to live in, if you want to be an Urban Cryptid
  • If you’re a vamp, the weather means you can go outside during daytime fairly often, or emerge dramatically from the fog p much whenever.
  • Not to mention a a high population of Vegans, which probably taste much less bitter due to the lack of dairy.
  • If you’re a were-whatever, it’s literally a half-hour drive/ferry ride to some of the densest, most isolated forest in the US so you can go bananas during your shift.
  • Aquatic or ocean based cryptid? PUGET SOUND IS RIGHT THERE.  Just stay away from the Orcas, they’ll fuck you up.
  • Bigfoots are the locals that complain about urbanization while getting fancy-ass coffee and exchange beard-grooming tips with the local hipsters.
  • There is Werewolf/vampires-that-prefer-to-shift-into-wolves/Vamps-that-prefer-to-shift-into-bats/Werebat Discourse and it is INTENSE
  • There are Kelpies, but mostly out in the san juans and rich neighborhoods where people are less suspicious and better marbled.   Most of the time though, they get into dumpsters and more than one Marion has run out of the house with a slipper at 2AM to keep them from knocking the garbage cans over.
  • cryptid-only bars warded against humans, not out of safety concerns, but OH GOD HIPSTERS ARE SO ANNOYING.
  • Forks is like, 2 hours away and everyone int he community HAAAAATES the twilight series- less about the interpretation of vampirism and were-persons, but OH GOD THAT’S NOT HOW RELATIONSHIPS WORK.
  • DO NOT  get them started on 50 shades, which takes place in seattle proper.
  • Mothman has SO. MANY. BRIDGES. TO. HAUNT.  and a part-time job as a cook at  Dick’s Drive-In.  She makes the best milkshakes.


Before we continue however, a small correction:  The Mountain outside Seattle is MT. RAINIER, not Hood.  There’s dragons on both of them and we leave them the fuck alone.


  • Marion was a young man in the 1890′s and is FURIOUS that corsets have gone of fashion for men because OH GOD, SO GOOD FOR YOUR BACK, but at least in Seattle he can get a properly fitted corset and wear tailored jackets and a top hat and not even be in the top ten of oddly dressed people in the room.
  • The Pikes Peak Fish Market is run by a Selkie cabal, which may have introduced kelpies to the area in the 40′s in a misguded effort to maintain market share
  • The Hottest Alternative Noise Band on the scene is made pretty much entirely of banshees and their Deaf human drummer.
  • Seattle’s own vigilante superhero Phoenix Jones is a ‘regular’ human, but so awesomely cool that he’s privy to Seattle’s “Crypt” scene.
  • That weird legal battle about pygmy goats a few years ago was really the were community trying to keep the locals safe by having suitable snacks on hand.
  • As mentioned in the notes, the Fremont Troll is a large part of the Crypt community (Both literally and figuratively) and a force of Chaotic Good.
  • One of the Crypt demographics Seattle is NOT friendly to is Zombies.  the Humidity and Large Urban Coyote population are Not great for keeping one’s remaining limbs, so most of the continental US’s zombie population is in the LA basin or Pheonix.
  • Despite this, there are still a few and between them, the Wendigos and large Vamp population, you can find the occasional butcher shop that specializes in “Long Pig”.  These places are HEAVILY regulated and monitored, and get most of their stock my having the other wing of the business be a “Medical Waste Disposal” or “Organic Mortuary”.
  • A lot of “human-passing” cryptids work for the park service to help keep the humans away from vulnerable deep-woods Sasquatch communities (they’re working on getting the population vaccinated but a measles outbreak back in ‘06 almost halved the population) and away from the nesting grounds of the Highly Endangered Thunderbirds, whose eggs and feathers are highly prized in several folk medicine practices.
  • For clarity: in this universe, Humans and Sasquatch can cross-breed though it hasn’t happened much since Ye Olden Days, and then it was mostly lonely loggers and the occasional curious Sasquatch.  These Hybrid descendants call themselves Bigfoots, and are genetically and physiologically distinct from Sasquatch.  They’re a lot less new-stimuli-averse and have an easier time learning verbal language, and frequently urbanize these days.
  • NOBODY likes the Elves, both because they’re creepy manipulative shits, and because they keep getting elected to city council and approving shoddy buildings so they can move about the city now that there’s less iron and doing shifty shit with tax law.
  • Every few years there’s a Unicorn Sighting in the area and everyone loses their shit because NOPE, FUCK THOSE THINGS.


  • Nobody wants unicorns because 1.  They’re MEAN little shits, and 2. They get from place to place by warping in and out of reality, and if you get a whole herd of them that can leave HOLES.
  • Wizards that don’t dispose of old potions and magical components properly and keep creating Magically-imbued Pest animals
  • Gary the Raccoon was a normal raccoon until he got into Mergaster The Fastidious’ garbage and now his third eye sees the future and will tell fortunes for bacon sandwiches.
  • Side note: Everything the Foxes tell you are LIES that illustrate the Truth, and everything the corvids say is the truth, though not necessarily of an honest nature, and pigeons just spout absurdist nonsense.  The only reliable ones to converse with are the rats.
  • Moderately-sized aquatic cryptids like kelpies and mers do OK in puget sound, but the huge-sized ones are Too Slow and Can’t Hide, so they immediately turn into Orca Buffets, Hence, the lack of Krackens
  • There’s a persistent and probably true rumor that Resident orca J-98 is a were-orca, but nobody can figure out his land identity
  • The Most Powerful Witch in the whole area is R-30, the 106-year-old matriarch of the resident orcas
  • Even the Dragon does not fuck with her
  • The Dragon is Totally Done with the seattle wizards, especially Mergaster The Fastidious
  • However, a few years ago, some of her minions installed Wi-Fi in her lair, so now she works as a “Consultant” for Wizards Of The Coast
  • THOSE wizards are ok.
  • The Elves are more like the mob that went legit and changed the laws to suit their purposes, rather than a court like back in Europe
  • Part of the reason is that the elves were late to emigrate, and the things that got here first set up Precautions to avoid that kind of oligarchy
  • The statue of Liberty is a big giant iron FUCK YOU to the elves.
  • Once the Elves did get out to seattle, they became the largest “party” drug dealers cutting magical concoctions with ecstasy, LSD and shrooms. Because elves LOVE to party.
  • Humans can do Elvish Ecstasy, but only Once.
  • In fact, cryptids are so far-flung and small minorities compared to N. America’s human pop that they really don’t have the means or need to form much government at all
  • Seattle is one of the few exceptions, due to unusually high density, though what they have is more of a Neighborhood watch/HOA than a real gov’t.
  • Which is mostly eyeballing the carnivorous cryptids, chasing elves out of the neighborhood and telling the wizards to STOP
  • Many of seattle’s strays are Barghest Mixes, but they’re Good Dogs.

If you ever publish this thing I will pay money to read it.

*hand raise* Is there a dragon in St. Helen’s, too? Because that would explain Many Things.


Actually, lets have some more Dragon-related facts:

  • There’s a dragon on virtually every large mountain in North America, but the volcanic ones are the Most Scary.  The Hood and Rainier dragons talk a lot of smack about her but are secretly terrified.
  • the bigger the dragon, the bigger the mountain she will try to claim.  Mountains are measured by how tall they are relative to the surrounding ground.  Hence, Mt. Hood (11K) is taller than Mt. Evans (14K) by Dragon standards, because Mt Evans STARTS at 5000 feet.
  • All the dragons in this universe are female, and breed a lot like Whiptail Lizards, but with more fire, screaming and Property Damage.
  • There are Absolutely Transgender dragons.
  • oh man, covering up for the dragons is the biggest problem for cryptids.  there’s a volunteer organization that’s basically Unionized Draconic Henchpersons In Charge Of Keeping This Shit Under Wraps.
  • they have fundraisers, and Marion is a major donor.
  • Marion might have history with the Rainier dragon.
  • Moat of the dragons recruit their minions out of the local colleges by offering paid internships.
  • They’re like regular internships, but with better hours and you get to take home a literal chest of treasure.
  • most people call them the “The Mount X Dragon” or the “The X Mountain Dragon” because their chosen names are 1. like 27 letters long and totally unpronounceable 2. a great way to accidentally summon one.
  • you do not want to accidentally summon one.
  • She will not fit in your house



Shut up and take my wallet.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WIZARDS? any more about them?


  • Wizards are made, not born-  Pretty much any human can learn how to use magic, but some have a greater aptitude than others, and aptitude does tend to run in families.
  • So does the urge to hoard secrets for Great And Terrible Power
  • So most wizards in the US come from a few old families/the people who bought their books at the estate sale and decided to give it a go
  • Most wizards guard their secrets with the paranoia of a UFO conspiracy Theorist, and lines of magical research are often lost when they pass on.
  • Magic in this universe is a natural phenomenon, and a by-product of regular physics, like the water cycle, but harder to see.
  • and like most natural phenomena that have been studied pretty much exclusively by jealous white men, it isn’t well-understood.
  • Or all that powerful.
  • Like, if we use D&D as an example, the “Greatest” of the wizards was level 4, tops.
  • Like the water cycle, Magic needs to be harnessed on an almost industrial scale to really alter the world, but even small mistakes can send the whole system out of whack
  • Hence, beings like Gary, the future-seeing raccoon exist in abundance
  • Or The Entire Mess That Is The Seattle Underground
  • Witches, collectively, have a much more collectivist culture and are better about sharing research and Not Fucking Things Up
  • But each group has it’s sinners and saints.
  • “Witch” and “Wizard” are not gendered terms so much as different styles of magical research and use, though they are heavily gender correlated.
  • Seattle’s most “famous” wizard is Mergaster The Fastidious and he is a Right Douche

Since people have been asking me about Seattle Bites and it’s going to be my NANOWRIMO project: here’s my initial world-building, possibly subject to minor changes 

I have an editor lined up to remind me it’s PIKE place and the names of which mountains go where. And a large cadre of Satellites willing to fact-check the snot out of me.  Thank you all, Honestly.

Some more world-building:

  • Lycanthropy and Vampirism are both the results of Ancient Wizards Fucking Up Real Bad.
  • Lycanthropy can result in people shifting into pretty much any , which includes exciting things like Mice, Whales and Platypodes, which is giving taxonomists fits.
  • The capacity for lycanthropy runs in families but not necessarily were-forms.
  • You, a nice Classical Werewolf, marry a nice Werebear and your children all come out rabbits.  Just imagine.
  • Vampirism has got a suspicious lot to do with Burial Rituals and the eldest extant vampires are all from Egypt and Israel. 
  • It’s hard to accidentally make a vampire unless you’re being spectacularly careless, but nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of people.
  • Marion owns one of the theaters in Cap Hill, and is locked in battle with the Elves over the property.  
  • There’s a play.
  • and dragons.
  • it’s good guys i promise.