Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne is the capital of the Victoria province, and the most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne Metroplex is the hub of the greater metropolitan area, which is commonly called “Melbourne”. The estimated population of the greater metropolitan area is four million. Population growth has been fairly steady over the last two decades, allowing the city to regain much of the population lost through the turmoil of the Awakening.
The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city centre positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northernmost point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city center, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland.
Melbourne is generally free from the mana storms which plague its neighbor to the northeast, but otherwise has some of the most dynamic weather in the world. The intense heat from the inland desert mixes with the cold air flowing from the southern ocean to produce an ever-changing weather system. Although this can frequently produce severe hail and thunderstorms, the city remains drier than average, due to the Otway Ranges west of the city. The amount of rain is also quite variable across the city, with the eastern portion benefiting from “bay effect” rain.
Melbourne’s proximity to Sydney provides comparatively easy access to the world’s only continuous mana storm. Several corps and universities have scientists stationed in Melbourne studying the formation. There is also some interest in the nearby, magically active Mt. Kosciuszko. A significant trade in telesma flows through the city, much of it generated by the Sydney manastorm or found in the wastelands of central Australia. Coal remains a major export, and the area is expected to dominate the world market for the next decade.
Melbourne has always been a popular location for corporate headquarters, even before the Awakening. Although Australia as a whole has suffered from a stronger Awakening than usual, it remains a popular site for regional headquarters, factories and offices. Port Phillip is one of the best ports in the world, and carries much of the container cargo to Australia.
Most of the regional vehicle manufacturing industry is located in Melbourne. Both Chrysler-Nissan and Ford Motors have manufacturing plants in the city. Ares’s GM, although it maintains its regional HQ in Melbourne, has all manufacturing located in Adelaide.
Aztechnology’s Asian regional headquarters are located in Melbourne.
In addition to the usual intercorporate squabbling which provides runners a job, there are some unique opportunities available in Melbourne. There are always parties wanting telesma from the Australian outback, and willing to pay premium prices. The bunyip, particularly, is highly sought after. Unfortunately, the bunyips find shadowrunners attractive as well, which keeps the supply limited. Infrequently, groups of mages and scientists require guards to escort them into more dangerous regions as well. Depending on the target, it can be difficult to find an escort team after the disappearance of a Atlantean Foundation team to Lake Mungo.