Campaign of the Month: November 2014
Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest
Maria Magdalene Sanatorium
The Maria Magdalene Sanatorium is an asylum for street girls with drug addiction and a Christian foundation that is mainly financed by donations. The sanatorium is a closed mental institute and well guarded by a barbed wire fence on the perimeter, guarded entry and personal.
Admittance is only for family members and only with valid SIN, which makes visits quite rare because the inmates are all SINless street girls with no real name and are registered by their street names.
Its a T-Shaped building with three stories, the two side wings with the dormitories for the girls, which means eight rooms on each floor, all in all 48 rooms. Every room would be for three to six girls, depending on how tight you like to stuff them in.
There is a basement level and the main wing holds the doctors, the nurses, the guards rooms and those of the watch dogs right outside. There is a very nice garden on the estate and a greenhouse complex, where flowers are growing even in the winter.
The main wing holds the combined mess, dining and work room as well as the showers. There is a library, a washing center for cleaning the clothes.
The official re-socialization program for the girls, disclosed on the institute host, is gardening, literature lessons and houseworks. As well as religious education in the name of Maria Magdalene, who is the official patroness of the institute.
The institute was founded 2060, but the matrix crash of ’64 inhibited the openening ceremony due to technical issues. So it first opened its gates in 2065.
In front of the institute there is a large square that is used for singing or communal events or for the presentation of the institute for high ranking supporters. There is a nice picture on the netpage of such an event, with all the girls in neat dark gray clothes with red berets and white aprons. Standing in six rows and sixty girls wide. Singing joyful, some of them playing tin whistles and bodhrans.
Some of the handywork of the girls is displayed proudly on the netsite, rows of flowers and greens and liturgical garbs. Handcrafted clothes made from purified materials, hand woven and sewn and decorated with wonderful golden borders.
Finds that official 2-3 girls per week are brought in. Over six years that’s around 1000 inmates. There is no word on the street that anything bad happens in there. And nobody who is telling her story, how life has been inside.
The choir of girls had 360 members, that was only the choir, not counted the girls working in the sewing factory or the gardens. Or those that were in correction or had a mental issue.
It’s officially a closed mental institute. The inmates have no way to regain freedom, if the doctors proclaim they are still a threat for themselves or society.
A fire broke out in the building and more than 50 girls were killed, either from smoke inhalation or when a few girls tried to use the situation as cause for a riot. The sanatorium was badly damaged and closed down.
One of my players asked, if I was inspired by the real Magdalene Asylums. I can’t say I was, but the institute of the 19th century was known to me bevor, but I forgot about them. So this is the way inspiration works. And passive knowledge finds it’s way. Funny that I spontaneously almost chose the historically correct name. I had to improvise, because I was run over by faster than expected progress in the storyline.
And here’s a list of things that got you admitted to a mental hospital in the late 19th century.