The Mysterious House of Spades
The 1893 Exposition drew more than 27 million people over the course of its six month run . . . with that many people passing through one spot it was a prime target for pickpockets, scam artists, and other unsavory types. Many of you encountered some of them this past April, some of you were even in cahoots with them . . . we’re talking about the four rival gangs and their fixers who act as a bridge between the shadowy smog of the underworld and the lofty heights of the barons of commerce and industry.
Pictured above are Cora D’Oscura (fixer and leader of the Tarts with Hearts), Amos Fortune (fixer and leader of the Knight Clubs), Randall “Randy” Rake (fixer and leader of the Diamond Dogs), and . . . a mysterious shift of power within the Spades. In the weeks to come we shall find out more about what is happening with the House of Spades; rumors are that the Baron of Spades dispatched the previous fixer, but he denies ever having any connection to gang that just so happens to share his insignia.
While many attendees of the Exposition are honest fellows who would never become associated with these undesirables, the four Houses of Chicago are always looking to recruit new Smog Runners to carry out their devious schemes. For those who fall prey to the seduction and promises of glory that the four gangs offer, you will find yourself immersed in covert missions, espionage, and sometimes outright conflict against the three other rival gangs. We caution you not to join these four gangs, but in the upcoming weeks we will also provide you with tips and advice on how to survive the streets should you succumb to the charms of these organized criminals.
This week we continued to announce the first wave of artists, exhibitors, and vendors who will be joining us in April 2024.
To see our full lists of confirmed Exhibitors, please visit . . .
There are many different room types available:
- King or Double – $129/night (plus tax & fees)
- Junior Suite – $159/night (plus tax & fees)
- Executive Suite – $179/night (plus tax & fees)
- 1 Bedroom VIP Suite – $209/night (plus tax & fees)
- 2 Bedroom VIP Suite – $329/night (plus tax & fees)
There are three specific blocks from which to choose. Click on block type to book your room.
- Noise Friendly Block (21+) on the first floor
- Quiet Block on the fifth floor.
- General Block on floors three and four.
Anyone wishing to host a room party should book their room in the Noise Friendly Block – CLICK HERE for more details about room parties on “The Row”
Artists, Authors, Exhibitors, & Vendors, please note that there is a separate block for you to which a booking link will be sent out to all successful applicants.
The 1893 Exposition premiered many new advancements in technology, and that year the world’s innovators were engaged in a race to harness electricity to provide power for humanity. In the lead were Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, with Tesla’s alternating current (A/C) concept going up against Edison’s direct current (D/C) system in what is known as the “Battle of the Currents;” a battle that came to a head in Chicago when Tesla was chosen over Edison.
Some speculate that Edison made an alliance with Count Graf Orlock to exact revenge upon Tesla. Others argue that it was the invention of the light bulb that drew the attention of the vampire councils. Whatever the reason, July 1893 secretly witnessed a dark cloud of Victorian Gothic horrors, Penny Dreadfuls come to life, and the looming presence of the Dark Prince fall upon the “White City.”
Tesla quickly realized that it would take more than just his alternating current electricity to protect the Exposition from Nosferatu’s army of darkness; Tesla needed an army of his own. Working hurriedly with Ferris, Professor Truelove, and Ada Lovelace, they managed to open a time and space portal to the year 2024, seeking the help of the most imaginative minds and creative souls who would beckon the call. Many social rebels and analog dreamers, so called “Steampunks,” responded to the plea and came to Tesla’s aid . . . but they were not the only ones to pass through the portal.
April 2024, will you align yourself with Tesla’s fight to protect the Exposition from this nightmare? Or will you join Edison’s alliance of darkness and be one of the creatures that lurk in the shadow of Nosferatu?
PLEASE NOTE that ALL costuming is welcome and does not have to be related to the theme, and you don’t even have to come in costume; 21st Century “Time Tumblers” are welcome to 1893 as well 🙂
The Exposition invites you to immerse yourself into the weekend’s story arc as we solve the Nosferatu mysteries with our Live Action Role Play game Steam & Sorcery.
Our team of “Fixers” has already begun work on the “Shadow of Nosferatu” script and other preparations for April 2024. In addition to solving the mystery of Nosferatu, there will be active competition between the four factions: the Knight Clubs, the Diamond Dogs, the Tarts with Hearts, and the Shadow Spades. Additionally, starting for April 2024 the LARP has joined forces with Chicago’s Otherworld Theatre troupe. In 2019, Otherworld Theatre participated in the first ever Chicago Steampunk Exposition with their Dungeons & Dragons improv show, and for 2024 they will play major parts in our live action role playing game. The recent Exposition offered a preview of the Steam & Sorcery LARP game, and in April 2024 we will bring to you the full immersive version. We are super excited to see what the combined talents and experience of the Exposition LARP Troupe and Otherworld Theatre working together will bring for players in our 2024 immersive game.
The FREE downloadable printer friendly Steam & Sorcery Players’ Guide is now available HERE.
Assemble your team of Smog Runners, get a mission from your Fixer, and run weekend long espionage and investigations into the four Robber Baronies that rule over Chicago in this 1893 timeline. You’ll need a QR code reader on your smartphone, a deck of playing cards, and your wits.
We are currently looking for speakers with knowledge of: Gothic Horror, Steampunk, Victoriana, costuming, maker arts, history, etc.
Chicago Steampunk Exposition is able offer Presenters a full weekend badge in exchange for two or more presentations (or relative equivalent).
Most sessions are required to be about 45 minutes in length; gaming sessions and certain workshops may require more time. If your session requires more time, please make a note in “Additional” box at the bottom of the form below to let us know.
If you would like to be part of the 2024 program and give a presentation, please CLICK HERE for our Presenter Application Form.
Join the Exposition Crew!
The Exposition is dedicated to providing Steampunk Fans a fun and safe weekend of entertainment, and to do so we need a dedicated Crew of fine volunteers.
If you would like to be part of the Exposition Crew, please fill out our Volunteer Application Form HERE and we will send you an invite to the next Crew Meeting.
- LIKE the Chicago Steampunk Expo page on Facebook for regular updates!
- RSVP to our Facebook event page!
- JOIN the Chicago Steampunk Exposition Adventurers’ Club group of Facebook to make plans with other steampunks!
- Yes, it’s all Facebook, but when we start posting on other platforms, we’ll be sure to add them to this list.
On the Horizon . . .
- The Chicago Steampunk Exposition Film Festival
- The Goblin King’s Masquerade
- The Exposition Tea Parlor
- . . . and more!