The God Machine Chronicle
On the plains near the foothills of the Appalachian's, Belmont is an old steel town that has seen better days. A river from the mountains winds near the famous teaching hospital that is the only thing keeping the the city alive.
Belmont has a temperate climate that exhibits mild seasons. Fog frequently invades the city, often not loosening its grip for days at a time. With the fog comes a light but miserable rain. The summers are oppressively muggy and the winters bring brief snow that quickly turns to slush.
An elevated rail runs through the city, following an old railway. This neatly splits the city between the affluent and poor parts of the city. The affluent side is largely made up of either people directly employed by the hospital, or all the support industries supplying the hospital or people with goods and services. The poor side features decaying, decrepit buildings that features both a growing homelessness problem and a thriving art scene
Despite the rail being elevated, poor maintenance of the roadways and the lack of sidewalks has effectively cut the poorer parts of the city off from the rich side. The poor maintenance extends to the railway itself: the cars make terrible screeching sound as they travel down the track; the doors often stick open or closed; and no one can rely on it as it often breaks down.
The elevated rail has a sordid history. Totally unnecessary for the size of the city, it was billed as a way to support the local steel industry. However, its construction was rife with corruption: excess steel was bought at exorbitant prices and ferreted away to who knows where. The greatest example of the rail's excess is the giant, decadent arch bridge that was many years late and greatly over budget. It now stands as a rusting monument to a dead era.
The new city hall is a an impressive display of New Classical architecture in the heart of the wealthiest part of the city. Most residents grumbled at the cost the city could ill-afford, but somehow any candidates running on anti-corruption platforms always drop out before the vote.
$hospital_name is a world renowned teaching hospital with the "world's best" trauma program. It is particularly famous for patients having "miraculous" recovers; patients survive deadly wounds and illnesses, often without any long-term complications. The owning company has spun-off many satellite offices throughout the country and even in other parts of the world.
The building itself has undergone much expansion since it's initial construction, and its history can be seen in the layers of different building styles. Currently ultra modern on the outside due to the latest level of construction with a middle layer of brutalist architecture. The original building still stands, now dwarfed by the rest of the hospital.
The district heating system for the hospital supplies the nearby homes, including the 300 Block. Dark, cramped underground tunnels bridge several of the blocks together and act as maintenance tunnels for these pipes and other utilities.
The hospital is serviced by two elevated rail stops and so sits right next to the divide between the "good" and "bad" sides of town. Residents on the affluent side of the city find their view blocked of the decaying and decrepit parts. A giant smokestack that is still the tallest thing in the city still pokes over the hospital, an unwanted reminder of the decay everyone tries to forget.
The 300 Block
A contained section fo the community near the local teaching hospital. Mid-rise apartments flank a high-rise in the center along the main road. Plain but well-kept townhouses line the side streets. The center of the block features a cute but overgrown park.
There are several small businesses in the area, most of them on the bottom floor of the high-rise: The "the Dispensary" coffee shop, a pharmacy, an art supply store, a gym, a cafe and several restaurants. They all are doing modestly and all treat their employees well.
70% of the residential space is allocated to staff and students of the teaching hospital. The area is also known for it's very low crime rate and residents live peaceful, idyllic lives.
The rougher side of the city is made up of dead steel mills and other heavy industry. The rail yards and barge slips used to bustle activity but now both trains and ships mostly just past through. The small harbor is poorly maintained and predominately used by organized crime.
The city has a surprisingly large tourist industry, primarily centered in this district. The cheap property (and poor property law enforcement) allows a thriving art scene to produce some astounding displays that often take up entire buildings. Furthermore, urban explorers are drawn to the area due to the large number of still intact factories and extensive underground infrastructure. Occasionally people go missing, but the challenged has become part of the draw.
Most of the radio transmitters for the city are hosted on a lonely steel lattice radio tower that sits on the tallest hill overlooking the city. Some amateur radio enthusiasts have reported voices chanting numbers coming from the radio tower at seemingly random nights. The frequencies used have also been unpredictable and not restricted to just high frequencies typically expected from a numbers station. Despite a local groups best effort, there has not yet been a recording of the voices.