Welcome to World of Darkness: Hoosier Heartland. The following information is my attempt to bring the state of Indiana into the White Wolf Games' World of Darkness, written by myself, Terry O'Brien, a long-time resident of the state and a long-time, for not quite as long a time, but still a long time, gamer.
Indiana lies between the states of Illinois to the West and Ohio to the East, Michigan to the North, and Kentucky to the South. The only natural boundries are the small shoreline along Lake Michigan, forming the northwest border; and the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, which is the lower half of the Indiana-Illinois border, leading into the Ohio River which is the southern border, giving the state the appearance of a cowboy boot.
Most of Indiana's terrain is largely flat, the legacy of the last Ice Age, when the retreating glaciers scraped across the land. The land begins to develop more varied terrain in the southern third of the state, the result of the runoff from the glaciers, but even there the variety is not very broad. The soil is rich and easily tilled. What was once a heavily forested area has been cut back, especially in the north, for farming. Because of this Indiana is traditionally a farming state: a large percentage of the land is devoted to such cash crops as corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses. In the southern half of the state, remnants of the deep woods still remain in areas, especially in the Hoosier National Forest.
Indiana is served by six major Interstate highways: I-65, cutting across the state diagonally from Chicago to the northwest to Lousiville in the southeast; I-69, which crosses the state diagonally in the opposite direction from Evansville in the southwest to central Michigan in the northeast; I-70, which crosses the state in the middle East to West; and I-74, which cross the state from Columbus to the southeast to middle Illinois. All connect around Indianapolis and the I-465 Bypass, forming an irregular eight-pointed star shape, the arcane significance of which will be explained later.
The other two Interstate highways are I-80 and I-90, comprising the Hoosier Tollroad, connecting Chicago and Toledo, cutting across Indiana just south of the Michigan border. Also to be mentioned is I-94, which is merged with I-90 coming out of Chicago but splits off when I-80 merges with I-90 and moves into Michigan towards Detroit.
The first people in the area were the primarily the Potowatomi and Miami tribes.
Searching for fresh sources of furs and pelts, French explorers, trappers, and missionairies came down into the territory from Canada. They followed the St. Joseph and Wabash Rivers, and established a trading post at the confluence near the St. Joseph River.
Named the Northwest Territories, it became the first expansion priority of the new Republic. Two disastrous expeditions were sent out against the Indians of the area, particularly against Little Turtle and Tecumsah. In response, a third expedition was to be commanded by General Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero. After spending a winter training the troops, the force set out.
They lured their opponents into an ambush in a place called Fallen Timbers, a large clearning where a number of trees had fallen. Catching the Indians in a crossfire as they tried to advance, the American forces were victorious.
Now Indiana stands as a borderland and contested territory. Despite this it has managed to maintain its own identity.
Indiana is a state of the United States: it has a Govenor as head of the Executive branch, a bicameral (two house) Legislative branch, and a Judicial branch; nationally, it has two Senators and eleven Representatives. The state is broken down into 92 counties: the county govenment varies but is usually an elected county council, each representing a district within the county. County authority does not carry into cities and towns, which have their own government, usually through a mayor and city council.
Indiana has a reputation for conservatism, but it should be pointed out that this is a more traditional laisee faire conservatism. However, there are pockets of strong conservatism bordering and crossing over into fascism. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are strong in the southern third of the state and control many local offices. The Knights themselves are covertly controlled through elements of the Technocracy, particularly the New World Order and the Syndicate.
The home of Indiana University and a very diverse Cult of Ecstacy Chantry welcoming any Tradition members. IU has a deserved reputation as a "party school" as well as a strong liberal arts and fine arts tradition.
Otherwise the area is reknown for a number of fine quarries: several state and federal government buildings are built with Indiana limestone and marble. Several said quarries have been rumored to have been dug too deep, awakening things better left sleeping.
Evansville is down near the southwest tip of the "boot". It has a surprisingly mild climate for the Midwest. It has a strong Garou and Changeling presense. It is the third largest city in the state.
The second largest city in the state. Halfway between Indianapolis and Detroit, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, it stands as an isolated bordertown between a number of factions, especially since for several decades until recently there has been little communication from supernaturals within the city to the outside world: tales whispered in reverent tones by Garou Galliards and Changeling Pookas now tell of a Ban that protected the city against supernatural creatures that only recently was overturned. With that overturning, it has attracted a lot of attention, and a lot of newcomers.
While part of Indiana, it is better described as a suburb of Chicago, coming under the rulership and control of its Prince.
The state capital, situated directly in the center of the state (a subtle piece of Technocracy Correspondance magick: the original state capital was Corydon to the west, but the legislature was persuaded to move the capital to the new city of Indianapolis soon after statehood in 1819). This is where the money and power in the state lie, and so this is where the Technocracy concentrates its attention. One of the largest cities in the nation after the city and county merged in the late 70's, it boasts a population of over 750,000.
Lafayette is situated half-way between Indianapolis and Chicago along Interstate-65, with West Lafayette just across the Wabash River to the west: Purdue University is actually in West Lafayette.
Purdue University was a land grant college that is now known for its agriculture and engineering schools. There is a strong Iteration X and Progenitor presence on campus, as well as a Syndicate presense in the business school. Since the university possesses a very strong computer science department, there are a few Virtual Adepts lurking in the neighborhood. Unsuspected outside of town are a surprising number of Garou Cairns.
The home of the University of Notre Dame, there is a strong Celestial Chorus Chantry and presense here.
A US Army induction and training facility, just south of Indianapolis.
Named for the Hoosier astronaut (and Purdue University graduate) who died in the Apollo I fire, this US Air Force base served as a staging area for B-52 bombers during the Cold War. It is located in the center of the state, fifty miles north of Indianapolis.
Be wary about tresspassing in the deeper parts of the forest here: the Shadow Lords guard a number of Cairns here.
A tribute to the political skills of a few Glass Walker Garou: the creation of "the Dunes" as it is called stopped an expansion of a Pentex steel mill in Gary, and its accompanying polution.
A Top Secret military testing site. Rumors are that there is a large store of chemical and biological weapons stored there: the reality is that Pentex, through its military hardware divisions, have managed to poison several Garou Cairns in the vicinity and capture them.
In the northern half of the state, out on the rural back roads, horse and buggies can still be seen. This is the land of the Amish, the "Pennsylvania Dutch". Standing back from present technology, they farm and craft using methods from the previous century. (The Harrison Ford movie "The Witness" is a pretty good introduction to the Amish.) They are also strictly pacifistic. When not farming they hire out in the lkocal construction trade. They can easily be identified by the simple, outdated clothing they wear, including some form of head covering for every man and woman.
Technocracy members with a certain, decadent taste for fine handmade craftsmanship (such as Syndicate members) tolerate them for their hard work and careful attention to detail. Other Technocracy members despise them. [Advanced Technocracy magick is more likely to be considered blatant in their presense.] Lodin, Prince of Chicago, favored a fine oak desk of Amish make, a gift of the Toreador Primogen.
The Amish are considered good friends of peaceful Celestial Chorus and Verbena, as well as the more pacifistic Garou, and would aid them against the Technocracy in pacifistic ways: having good friends among the Amish can be a life-saver in their territory!
A paean to a small contingent of Iteration X technomancers who worship machine speed and endurance, it also serves to condition people to accept faster and more efficient automobiles through the advancement of technology while at the same time providing an element of blood sports through infrequent but spectacular high speed crashes.
A peaceful communal village in the last century, it was (secretly) an experiment in Human and Garou cooperation and co-habitation. The reasons for its failure after only twenty years is still unknown. Sensitives visiting the area can feel that the dead here from that time period do not rest easily.
Because the state is split between Eastern Standard Time (most of the state) and Central Standard Time (the northwest corner of the state, including Gary, and the southwestern tip), it was given the choice whether to participate in Daylight Savings Time, and it chose not to participate. Thus every spring and fall most residents do not change their clocks. [This could prove a nasty surprise to a vampire, who finds himself away from any refuge thinking the sun is rising an hour later than expected.]