Lane Mansion

Yes, there are dragons residing at the Mansion, and they appear to be highly protective of ... is that coffee? There are coffee plants of a variety of strains, as well as medicinal herbs, food crops, and other such important items growing in the sheltered gardens being reassembled here on the land owned by Keenan Lane. (Map of real world location, courtesy of Google Maps.)

Keenan Jacob Daniel Virva Ruby
Cody Hercule Betters Amon? Journey
Shepherd Vort Bakar Vort Noah Vort Spencer Redd
Choxen Dusty Jenell Pax's Vezilk Daisy
PT Melissa PT Iris PT Jet Winell Lonnie
Lauren Nakila (RY4+) PT Kellogg PT Kendrick  
Coffee Grounds (Year+8ish)
See Grounds and the Hippies page

Lane Mansion

If ever there was a place that deserved a lot more people living in it, it would be Lane's mansion and its grounds. Situated in 'the middle of nowhere' Iowa, he'd purchased this location shortly after his 'birth', only having been Human for less than half a year, in January of 1948. "Purchased" is a bit generous of a term - the mansion and its grounds had been abandoned for decades, and no one seemed to know exactly who had owned it originally. There were records in the county registrar, but Lane quickly reassigned his 'Family' to the location. As far as any locals knew, his family had owned the place for at least 150 years. It had the look and feel of a deeper-south plantation, and it was clearly in use by slave-holders for at least a short time, with the presence of smaller housing and group home buildings along the edges of the fields. According to Lane's research, it had upwards of 30 people living in and on the property, around 100 years before he got to it. But at some point, probably during World War 1, literally no one came home to it. Also given its strange under-structure, it seemed as though the main mansion had been built on an even older stone and brick home or complex, as there is evidence of a hearth, storage rooms, sleeping arrangements, and even a 'church' (though dedicated to worship of what deity, even he cannot say).

For a good number of years, Lane used this place as an investment hook: hiring catering and cleanup, services and crew to host lavish (or intimate) parties for rich investors. He impressed them with his 'existing fortune', and they invested in his plans and contracts. Making literal millions out of absolutely nothing but a carefully placed signature here, and a sly comment there, the 'fake' fortune grew very rapidly indeed. Allowing him to place his own tangible investments into Aperture and Black Mesa, Rapture, and other such high-tech facilities in the late 40s and early 50s. Also, this happened in all forms of Earth where Lane exists, the names of the investments may change, but they all contributed in their own way to each dimension's funds.

While the building itself was never fully renovated until considerably later, Lane lived in it from around 1948 to 1958, and either took the train that stopped half a mile away, into Chicago (which was a big part of why he'd 'bought' the place, he likes trains), or outright teleported to hotels and rented rooms in other states. After returning from a 7 month stint in Rapture, Lane collected himself in the Mansion but then subsequently - and in most dimensions - took up semi-permanent residence in New Mexico with a strong side of Chicago. He did occasionally still use it for professional investor meetings and get-togethers, again for the same purpose as always: investments would be easily gained when rich men saw more riches. Plus, it has never hurt that this mansion was in every single way, bigger and more impressive than everyone else's. Hardly anyone cared that it was somewhat uninhabited. In fact, hardly anyone noticed because of his Vortal interference. Even if the place was dusty and dim, visitors to it seemed to see only the glitz and long-term wealth that the place once had.

During a great portion of the 70s through the 90s, it was visited by Lane maybe once a year if that, and all but forgotten until he wanted to entertain once or twice. On one world (not Repurposed, and not Rookery), Thomas Page had been invited to a party and basically never left - when the Combine came to that world, he started using their technology to refit the place to his own liking... until that world's Lane remembered he'd even been there at all. (On several other worlds, including Repurposed Earth, Page is kept in stasis Vortally, and hadn't been put back in the Mansion until considerably later.) Repurposed Lane has occasional flashes of insight whenever he wanders around the place - Vortal echoes of parties, Combine intrusion, Hippies having stoner parties, and invaders of other sorts looting his mansion. All of them, from different dimensions. But the Mansions all have in common a lengthy stint where absolutely no one really 'lived' there.

After the Combine was defeated on Repurposed Earth, the Mansion there was refitted for several families and groups to reside in, and began the long process of converting the mostly-wild area surrounding it back into fertile fields. Unlike the Mesa, very few animals would be herded in this location. However quite a bit of grain and some sheep and goats are found all but wild without human interference. On the Rookery Earth, however, the entire location has had to be renovated with brute force and Vortal energies. It had been inhabited by locals and hippies* for years before the native Lane shooed them away in the 90s, and later was hit with more than a bit of Xenian wildlife brought on by Portal Storms there. Local Lane has occasionally revisited the location, after helping out with Rapture, and appears not to care whether his doppelganger and that whole mess of people he's brought with him continue to make changes to it, though he will make the snide remark here and there. They try not to be in their suite at the same time, but neither of them really minds if the other hangs out a while. Local Lane does, like Repurposed Keenan, enjoy the coffee found on the grounds... *not the same hippies, though they are similar in nature the ones on the Grounds now are from an entirely different dimension and from an earlier era than those squatting in the Repurposed or Rookery grounds.

The Mansion in Paragon City was created using memories and a bit of creative flair, and that's the one which tends to be 'moved' as it's in much better condition than its predecessors. (Also of note, the one on Zekira, belonging to Kallah Vahh of the Vahh clan, is considerably larger than all of these, and some of him wants to recreate that one on the Rookery...)

The later addition of the Coffee Grounds is detailed here.

Images below show several versions: the 'run down' inset images are from the Rookery's Earth dimension before being upgraded, larger are the Paragon and Repurposed Earth version, and finally the Zekiran 'what it could be like'. Images are created from the Half Life mod The Mansion: Gman, Sims, and City of Heroes. Click on the images to enlarge. Below is an overview.

Entry and front exterior. This being the first glimpse most people have of this imposing manor house, many investors were dumbfounded from the start. It's no wonder that they dumped their bankrolls onto Lane's requests. There is a well-built courtyard gatehouse, with guard towers, and tall fencing surrounding the main house's immediate grounds. In the front area before even reaching the doors, a statuary garden and hedge maze, fountain, and small garden sheds are situated. These days, the garden is more functional than merely a confusing maze, and the fountain does serve as a fresh water resource. The guard houses have camera and gun emplacements, and smaller dragons rather than people keeping watch.

To the west of this area though within the bounds of the gated ground, is a statuary and the cemetery which has been unused for over 120 years. Overgrown but left that way purposefully, it's still quite a nice area to wander around. Keenan and the Vorts assure folks that there are no ghosts. No guarantees about any invasive wildlife that may have still gotten through.

Outside to the east of the entrance to the mansion is the area formerly inhabited by the slave-master or families of servants themselves. It's been renovated as part of the grounds, and still serves for a separate groundskeeper to live in with a good amount of comfort. This location serves as an external meeting place for the Hippies and Carnies, and whoever else is working on the wider Grounds area in RY+8 and beyond.

The entry to the mansion building itself is quite impressive on any world, though details vary. The entry hall is wide and has remnants of the original owner's extensive collection of exotic goods, some of which might be the only remaining examples of art left on the planet.

Because Keenan's aesthetic is 'Deco 20s' for the most part, some of the renovated hallways and corner nooks of the mansion are quaintly redone in a brighter golden light than originally found. Obviously this post-dates the original creation and upkeep of the mansion itself, so it's from his experiences mostly in Chicago, but also a bit in Rapture, that these inspirations have come. Some of these step-layered areas are now covered in candles and memorials to those rebels and refugee families that didn't make it to the present.

To the right after the main entry is the Dining Hall ...yes, that's water underneath the glass floor! It's a pain to keep clean, of course, but that's what other people are paid to do before the Events, and what Lane just kind of does with a wave of his hand, these days. The dining area can host 7 small tables seating two or three people at each, or has access to other larger ones which seat up to 6 people. Wilson likes hosting here, the kitchen on the other side of the gryphon statue wall is quite well stocked. Also, don't shoot the glass please. While the new version is a lot less breakable, there's always the risk and you don't want your omlette getting wet.

That selfsame kitchen. Don't worry, the fire is there on purpose... >_> it's there on purpose, right, Wilson?

The mansion has always featured its own power and water, laundry rooms and storage areas. On one hand, they're still very much in use by the inhabitants. On the other, they do still occasionally have to watch out for invasive wildlife such as headcrabs or grubs, and the Osha Violations of spilled water being right next to a power supply... This room is the north-eastern-most of the mansion's ground floor. Nearby this room is the entry to the "Old House", which includes the weird church and another entrance to an underground supply area, possibly had been in use as a slave escape system? In RY+8 the underground areas are in use and maintained as housing, and the power supply is considerably safer.

Because the 'construct' Mansion on Xen (and in Paragon City) was made from memory and not floor plans, Keenan has taken some liberties - or just had to patch for his mistakes... While there is a small theater in the Mansion, it's... Nowhere near as big as he created it on Xen. He claims that this is because of his fondness for the Cadillac Palace theater in Chicago, and liberally swiped bits of the venue for his recreated home. In addition to the plush seating and infrequent stage shows available once the Refugees begin settling in, the area below the raised seats has an intimate 'speakeasy' bar, and the lobby behind the main projection boasts restrooms and a fully stocked snack bar. Where the food comes from, well, that's probably Wilson's doing.

Now if only other people would join him on some of these late-night viewings. There are, after all, a significant number of actual movie reels preserved perfectly in the projection room upstairs. ** Note that after the arrival of the Hippies and Carnies, the stage can easily become a theater for plays, and lots of moved-around refugees get a well-needed respite from the outside world here before being reintegrated in other facilities.

After the movie theater and practical areas, heading west through the mansion, is a split level area bearing the entry to the guest / servants quarters, library, and the upstairs suites. To the lower right is the guest quarters; on the lower left is a larger laundry room and service area for guests and the house at large; above on the left is a larger suite for the nursery and family needs as well as its own restroom; on the right above is Keenan's suite. The library is reached beyond the lion statue's wall on the left.

Guest Suite (formerly servants quarters). On the ground floor to the left of the mansion's entry hall and beyond the theater, are several rooms which share a kitchen, restrooms, and open common area. These used to be the servants quarters, housing at least a dozen people in some amount of comfort (the bunk beds shown could easily have been put individually, and still have enough room for people to move around). Currently the kitchen is still set up for essentials and feeding groups, though not for any kind of extravagant meals. The bedrooms have been mostly converted to have very nice double beds, and the main room is also served as a nursery for the Refugees. Even though the pervading feeling is of relief from the refugees to even have beds, Keenan has continually attempted to make sure they're not barracks.

The Library, now featuring far fewer headcrabs. Though some amount of water damage and plenty of dust have taken their toll on books in the library, for the most part it's still very functional and now much better lit than it had been. There is another 'under the glass' fishtank, here, and it features several breeds of fish not actually found on Earth, along with numerous Xenian plants. Research desks and reading tables are scattered around the entire large room, and the ceilings like most of the Mansion are vaulted.

It's actually a very nice library. Keenan has read literally every single book in it. The current incarnation on the Rookery includes much more recent works than in the original, collected from as many intact schools or library systems as he could reach. Keenan's desk is actually the one against the main wall, this one is used for whoever is taking care of registry and instruction in the room that day.

And when he's done reading, it's off to his own suite upstairs. The master suite is warmly lit and heated by a large fireplace, and features a lot of Keenan's liquor and treats that he's tucked away over the years. Don't let Mars in there. She will drink it all.

While it seems a bit excessive, the Zekiran version really is what Keenan wants to have on the Rookery - it would make an exceptionally nice place for riders or refugees to relax and take a break. While it currently has the same sort of reserved rooms (master suite, guest suite and servants quarters, nursery, and smaller guest rooms) there is actually functional space fit for perhaps a 19 bedroom split on the first two floors, and that's not even getting into the unused 'attic' space above the 4th floor. However it absolutely has a library, gym, theater, and statuary just like the Earth mansion. Just... bigger all around, and more of it.


Black Mesa Dragon Rookery is (c) Lethe Gray / Droppin the Fork and is not to be reproduced anywhere. Do not take images from the site unless that page grants specific permission. Always link back appropriately. Rookery layout and Maps are based on visuals from the Half Life game and the Black Mesa Source mod. Maps made using Terragen.