Big Fish, Little Pond
Al's Butcher Shop and Littletown
Theme: We oddballs gotta stick together.
Aspect: Like A Close-Knit, Massively Dysfunctional Family. Also, possibly, Official Presence? What’s That?
Description: Far from the center of town, Littletown has never gotten much official attention. The potholes tend to go unrepaired for years at a time, it’s at the edges of a couple police precincts that don’t feel like fighting over it, and there’s hardly a working lamp on the whole street. The local school district is hanging on, but the staff start to look nervous when it’s time to shell out for replacement textbooks. For the most part, folks in Littletown are used to it. Some of them depend on it, even. The apartments out in South Littletown contain some of the highest concentration of minor talents and low-level practitioners in the city, as well as at least one fairly benign ghost, a cryptic water-spirit living in the storm drains, and a Changeling or three. That’s not counting the purely mundane oddballs – tattooed punks, burnt-out former hippies, and more. All make their home in Littletown.
Of course, other elements try to make use of this oversight, too. Littletown has seen everything from gangbangers to drug dealers to hungry vampires to rampaging fungus demons, trying to take advantage of the place. They all learned one thing. You don’t mess with Littletown. Whenever trouble shows, folks in Littletown close ranks. Practitioners set up wards on the buildings (Even the straights who aren’t clued in have gotten used to their fellows’ “weird superstitions” and don’t ask too many questions anymore), the Changelings run interference, the water spirit keeps an eye on things, and someone always sends word up the street to Al’s. Most of the time, that’s enough to see the neighborhood through whatever the problem is. Troubles tend to Go Away, once folks send word up to Al’s. The straights figure he must have been a Marine once, or some sort of special ops agent. The clued-in know better. They’re all a bit scared of Alphonse.
The shop is a fairly standard butcher’s. He sells cut, steaks, roasts, and sausages out of a storefront in the small building. In back is a workhouse, with all the specialized and creepy-looking tools of the butcher’s art – knives and saws and all. The walk-in freezer holds plenty of cows, pigs, and the like. Oddly, the shop doesn’t seem to have as much garbage as a butcher’s shop of its size would indicate. Some people wonder where the various… bits… of the butchered animals go to. Most try not to think about it.
Face(s): Alphonse LeChaise is hardly a community leader. Even in Littletown, some things could never happen. But folks take him seriously. If Al says folks need to stay inside, folks stay inside. If Al asks odd questions, folks answer. He’s creepy, sure. Yeah, his smile tends to put folks off their supper faster than a spitball sandwich. But he’s solid. He’s been there for years, and nothing seems to phase him anymore. Harder to pin down is the status of Leviathan, the water spirit who took up residence in the street’s storm drains some 60 years back. It seems to have some form of limited prophetic ability – but it can’t always express what it sees or experiences in ways the denizens of Littletown can understand. Some days, the spirit seems as human and normal as the next guy… which, granted, isn’t always saying much in Littletown. Other days, it comes off as depressed, manic, or just plain bonkers. Those who know it’s there know that it’s dangerous to ignore Leviathan when he has something to say. They also know it’s dangerous to lean on it too much.