City Sights

The most characteristic sight in Tehran is the wall of white mountains looming to the north. The clear desert air (though increasingly smoggy) makes them look much closer than they are, but they allow anyone to roughly orient themselves once they get out of Tehran’s back alleys and onto the newer avenues.

These other places are “picture postcard” locations the GM may wish to throw in to establish local color, places locals may refer to or set meetings at, and otherwise help build the reality of Tehran in the players’ minds.

Golestan palace06Golestan Palace

The palace of the Qajar Dynasty, it still serves the Pahlavi Dynasty as a reception palace for foreign dignitaries. The Coronation Hall holds the diamond-encrusted Peacock Throne of the Shahs, looted from India in 1738, with the gem-like skulls of six ganj serpents arranged around it. Many of the main rooms are mirrored; the rest hung with sumptuous artworks of Persian and European origin. All the floors are, of course, richly carpeted.

National museumMuseum of Persian Antiquities

Opened in 1937, this museum contains artifacts and antiquities from Persia’s prehistoric past all the way to the Sassanian Empire of the 6th century A.D. Glorious statues and idols from Achaemenid cities and temples predominate, but almost anything could be shelved in some corner, unremarked until it awakens.

Park i shahrPark-i-Shahr

Tehran’s version of Central Park is an ideal location for rendezvous (romantic or professional), dead drops and brush passes, sudden attacks, or the occasional lurking monster. It has a lake, an ice rink (in winter), and plenty of trees and high rosebushes to block pesky surveillance. Abandoned cellars and qanats honeycomb the whole park: it was built on the old Sangeladj neighborhood, razed to the ground by Reza Shah in 1930.

Takiyeh e dowlatTakiyeh-e Dawlat

This four-story open theater in the western part of the old city primarily hosts taziye , or sacred Shi’ite plays similar to medieval Passion Plays. The ulema occasionally approves other performances of a moral and uplifting nature, or those aimed at some modernizing policy of the Shah. Although the Shah would love to close the Takiyeh-e Dawlat down, it’s far too popular in the heated religious and mythical climate following the Serpentfall. The crowds during a performance make excellent cover for shaking a tail; impromptu taziye might be going on anywhere in the southern half of the city, blocking streets and (just perhaps) unleashing miraculous power.

ToopkhanehToopkhaneh Square

Tehran’s old military parade ground, “Artillery Square” is now its civic centerpiece. The size of St. Mark’s in Venice or Red Square in Moscow, it connects by one of Tehran’s ornamental gates to another square for overflow rallies and parades.

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City Sights

The Day After Ragnarok LordMisha