Esoteric Boston

This is a brief rundown of the major esoteric features of the Boston area.

The Transcendentalists

Mages, though they don't think of themselves as such, who strengthen and tend various concepts in the Boston area, prosaically (working as essayists, teachers, etc.) and esoterically (aspect-washing the local prana). They are descended (in an academic sense) from the actual New England Transcendentalists and are the reason the local prana is very unpolluted if rather sterile. Their numbers include one Pillar and the heir, the Pillar Apparent.

The Teslaniks

The local community of Mad Scientists, mostly associated on the prosaic level with Harvard and M.I.T. Rather more mutually cooperative than most heavy populations of mad scientists. Often commissioned by esoteric patrons, most often, alas, the Illuminators, but not in themselves particularly wicked, thanks to their famous tunnel vision.

Boston Below

Underneath prosaic Boston, heavily Sundered from it, in a system of tunnels under construction since the sixteenth century, is Boston Below. Nowadays, it depends heavily on the subway. Boston's subway system is very tangled, especially downtown. It is also relatively rich in old, abandoned stations. (Sometimes, real-world, the automated trains still stop at these ghost stations and open their doors. No one gets on or off ... that I ever saw.) This provides a convenient interface with the tunnels further down.

The Moebius Subway

New England Mad Science at its finest, a subway system that short-cuts through hyperspace, sometimes accidentally producing time-jumps of a few days or weeks, but acting a bit like the Potterverse Knight Bus for New England esoterics who know where to catch it. As with its prosaic kin, it sometimes accidentally stops at off-map destinations – in hyperspace, in its case – and, as in the prosaic version, it's not a good idea to get off. It would be a really good idea if nothing got on.


Homage to Lovecraft. They have a proprietary process, invented by a Teslanik ghoul, for refreshing the blood taken from only moderately fresh corpses. See Triangle Traders.

Minute Men

Time vampires. Nothing to do with the original Minute Men, but given the locale and their talent, the name is inevitable. They steal a minute or so of time off isolated individuals, who vanish for the time stolen, then return to reality where they left off, but completely drained of prana, and therefore groggy and confused. The vampire not only gets the prana, but can use the stolen time to do time-tricks.

Triangle Traders

Ghosts of real-world triangle traders – sugar to rum to slaves. Each is now enslaved by geas to some locale esoteric, for whom they typically do esoteric business. The classic form, though by no means the only one, is trading corpses to the ghouls for blood, trading the blood to vampires (esp. in Rhode Island) for prana, and going overseas with the prana to return with fresh corpses for the ghouls.

The Gloucester Sea Serpent

A cryptid, or possibly a recurrent strip of primal protoplasm from he abyss. It, or one of its kind, toured the Gloucester docks in the 19th century. It, or one of them, has returned to the New England coastal area several times since then, but seldom above water. Some human and human-proximate esoterics are aware of the comings and goings.

The Reanimated

Another Lovecraft homage. These are defunct Teslaniks or their close associates, who are still walking around, talking and thinking. They manage this because they died with a reanimation harness on. This Mad device is a blend of electrical and magical, and turns the wearer into a Walking Dead if they should die while wearing it – like a Discworld zombie, mobile and with free will and all, but still dead, like Baron Saturday, Reg Shoe, Windle Poons, or Mr. Slant.

You have to keep the reanimation harness on to avoid dying, or completion of dying. The early versions were neck-to-hips vests; modern versions consist of a collar, belt, and arm bands. All versions also require you to swallow some magnets.

Unlike with Lovecraft's reanimated, there is no paroxysm of rage or pain.

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Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2010