The following information is known to any angel who lives in or inquires about San Francisco. Most of this information is easily learned by diabolicals as well.
[History] [Bay Area] [Celestial Politics] [Tethers]
[Seneschals & Other Personalities]
When San Francisco was first settled in the 19th century (the area was inhabited long before that by local Indian tribes, of course), it quickly attracted miners, merchants, speculators, and other rough-and-ready types. As it became a thriving port town, it attracted angels and demons in nearly equal numbers.
For most of its history, San Francisco has been anything but Divine. Called the "Barbary Coast" and known far and wide as one of the "wickedest cities on Earth," "a modern-day Sodom and Gomorra," demons had no trouble mingling with the debauched citizenry.
Some cities the size of San Francisco form only a handful of Tethers, or none. Others are full of passion and humanity, for good and for ill, and seem to foster Tethers more easily. San Francisco, youthful and unrestrained either by European powers or by the more traditional societies on the East Coast, generated new Tethers almost yearly. Most were formed by singular events -- a riot, an orgy, a prayer meeting -- and faded quickly. Some persisted. For most of the city's history, there were constant Tethers of Lust, Gluttony and Greed, and occasionally others. Angelic Tethers were rarer, but Marc and Zadkiel were early influences here, and some other Archangels had San Francisco Tethers now and then, though few lasted.
The angels who lived in San Francisco were always optimistic, despite the city's rampant corruption and immorality. While many of the residents were hedonists, mercenaries, or slave labor (or indentured servants), there was always a silent majority of ordinary folks who just wanted to make decent lives for themselves. It was these people the angels catered to, choosing a non-confrontational approach with the demons in the city. Instead, they let humans oppose the corruption and vice, and in due time, their faith in humanity paid off. San Francisco never exactly became saintly, but the atmosphere of the city improved, particularly after World War II.
In the early part of this century, Los Angeles rose to prominence, and was lavished with diabolical attention. The politically-minded Princes turned their attention there, and neglected San Francisco. The militant Archangels also concentrated their attention in Southern California, trying to hold onto their Tethers and influence there. In this vacuum, Novalis and her protégé Zadkiel began working quietly to strengthen their positions in San Francisco. They were aided by Marc, who saw San Francisco as being more valuable to Trade than Los Angeles.
In the 1960s, there were five infernal Tethers in San Francisco proper -- one each to Factions, Fire, Gluttony, Greed, and Lust. In 1965, Servitors of Belial burned down the restaurant that was Haagenti's Tether, leaving four when angels of Flowers, Protection and Trade descended on the city in force in 1967. Coinciding with the Flower Power movement and the Summer of Love, the angels used a combination of social and economic pressure to weaken the diabolical Tethers. The Tethers to Factions and Greed expired despite their Seneschals' efforts to keep them alive. Only Andrealphus' Tether required more extreme measures to kill, and Zadkiel sent a team of Malakim, accompanied by San Francisco police officers, to clean out the brothel and porn studio. The tiny Tether to Fire in Golden Gate Park was slated for demolition by another team of Malakim, but when the rest of the park became a Tether to Flowers, this was made unnecessary; Belial's Tether is now a small, pitiful infernal outpost. Novalis refuses to allow it to be destroyed, over the objections of some other Archangels, pointing out that the physical site of the Tether (a monument to the victims of the Great Earthquake of 1906) is important to mortals, and being so weak and surrounded by her own Tether, it's no threat.
Since 1967, San Francisco has been a Heavenly city, where the Host is ascendant. Angels are able to move and function with little impediment, while demons are monitored and foiled regularly. This doesn't mean that Heaven controls San Francisco absolutely -- there are still plenty of demons here, and they manage to stir up a fair amount of trouble. But though they've been trying for over 30 years, the demons haven't been able to stabilize a new infernal Tether in the city.
Because of Novalis and Zadkiel's laid-back attitude, San Francisco is something of a haven for Outcasts, who are allowed to live here in relative peace as long as they don't seem in immediate danger of Falling. This does not please Dominic, of course. Renegades also sometimes take shelter here, though they find San Francisco less inviting than the scruff community of Los Angeles. In San Francisco, though, they are less likely to be tracked down by the Game.
The Host doesn't control the entire Bay Area, though they are stronger than the Horde. The East Bay (Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, etc.) contains a lot of urban blight and many high crime areas (particularly Oakland). South of San Francisco is Palo Alto, which is divided between the wealthy western half and the gang-ridden East Palo Alto, scene of some of the Bay Area's worst violence.
The South Bay contains San Jose (which is larger than San Francisco, if less glamorous) and Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, Mountain View, Cupertino, and Sunnyvale, which merges indistinguishably into western San Jose in one great corporate-suburban sprawl). The Host is fairly strong here, but there are more diabolical Tethers.
The Host dominates San Francisco, so most Archangels have a presence here. However, the most influential Archangels are Novalis, Archangel of Flowers, Zadkiel, Archangel of Protection, and Marc, Archangel of Trade. These three have the most powerful Servitors and Tethers in the city. As all of these Archangels are in Heaven's non-militant camp, San Francisco is regarded as a Divine sanctuary and supply base. Although loosely controlled (much more loosely than Dominic would like), the peaceful Archangels have done a good job of keeping the demons from establishing any new Tethers. Their policy is to watch, and minister, to known demons, rather than destroy them. As with demons in Los Angeles, the angels of San Francisco know that trying to exterminate all diabolical influences would mean constant low-level warfare, as every diabolical vessel killed would mean another demon will slip into the city and need to be identified before it could be dealt with. So there is an unspoken understanding that as long as things don't get out of hand, a certain number of demons will be tolerated in San Francisco -- the angels prefer to have a small number that they can keep an eye on and balk.
Not all Archangels are pleased with this arrangement. The militant Archangels -- particularly Michael, Laurence, and David -- think San Francisco is being wasted. It could be a vital staging area against Los Angeles and other demonic power centers in the Pacific, and Laurence believes that if the city's angelic guardians were more diligent and proactive, San Francisco could be made a truly Divine city, the Paris of North America. Unfortunately, none of the militant Archangels have any Tethers in San Francisco.
Dominic hates to see any diabolical taint in Heavenly territory, and there is always at least one Triad of Judgment active in the city, mostly harassing Outcasts. Other angels regard them as an annoyance, as they frequently cause more trouble for angels in the city than the demons do.
At any given time, there are probably about 40-60 angels in the city of San Francisco. This is a very high celestial population density, especially given the city's small geographical size. The Outcast population is unknown, but Dominic estimates it to be nearly half that number. (Most of the city's angelic residents think that number is exaggerated.)
Below is a short summary of each Archangel's presence and interest in San Francisco:
Several angels of the Sword also live in San Francisco, including at least one Master of the Armies of God.
Since known demons are watched and rarely allowed to get away with much, living in San Francisco isn't likely to enhance a demon's career. Permanent assignment to San Francisco has come to be regarded as a sort of exile. No high-ranking or Word-bound demons are based here. Instead, the local demons take orders from higher-ranking infernal nobles in the East or South Bay (see below), and exist to cater to visitors, who are sent by their Princes with specific missions. "Freelancers" who sneak into the city get to do the important work, and the locals are expected to support them as much as possible. Naturally, being constantly monitored by angels and having to act as errand boys for whatever outsider their Prince sends to boss them around has made most of San Francisco's infernal residents a sorry, demoralized lot
Usually, there are about a dozen known demons in town. The angels believe there are usually probably another dozen hiding from the angels -- the demons claim there aren't more than a handful hiding out at any given time, while Dominic thinks the number may be far greater. Renegades in town probably add another dozen or so to the diabolical population.
Below is the outlook for each Prince in San Francisco.