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Welcome to Barkettsville
Author: Mr. Nobody
System: Beyond the Supernatural
For the past month there have also been numerous disappearances and a few rather grisly murders. Police investigation has been cursory and turned up nothing.
Hook: The characters have just arrived in a small town with no know history of
the occult and paranormal. Perhaps they are researching a local legend, following up
information on a rare text, or simply wander into the city by accident. In any event, the
group will be forced to spend some time in the area (a convenient car accident could tie
them up for some time while the authorities work things out). Recently the town has seen a
lot of action; a huge corporation has chosen the area for its main office. Work
began some time ago and the multi-level complex is almost complete. BarkettsCorp has
its fingers in all sorts of pies; real estate, medicine, pharmaceutical, food, just
about everything you can imagine. That the corporation came to Barkettsville is no
surprise, the family which owns the company is from the city, one of the ancestors was a
major political figure who brought wealth and prosperity to the town.
Unfortunately, there has been other action taking place. For the past month there have
also been numerous disappearances and a few rather grisly murders. Police investigation
has been cursory and turned up nothing (almost like the police arent seriously
looking for the perpetrator). The victims have all been relatively young, none of them
more than 18 years old; the last person to disappear was Emma Wildsmith, who worked
part-time as a secretary for BarkettsCorp. Since that time, a week ago, there have been no
further events. This led to an investigation by the police who considered her a main
suspect. Upon searching her house, they found a considerable library of magic and the
occult. The current official belief is that Emma was somehow connected to the events and
she fled before she could be apprehended. The police have officially closed the case and
notified national agencies to look for Emma.
Line: A few things about the police conclusion dont ring true. Emma did have
a very extensive library of magic, but its all of a "good" type. In fact,
most of her tomes go to great lengths to talk about the dangers and responsibilities of
magic, none of them contain any positive or useful information on human sacrifice. Emma
herself grew up in Barkettsville, her family has lived there for generations on the same
property near the edge of town. It is common knowledge that her family practiced magic,
although people thought it had stopped generations ago. In fact, one of her ancestors
purportedly escaped from town before she could be burned at the stake for witchcraft over
400 years ago.
Her house is on the family farm, the most distinguishing feature of which is an
incredibly old and dying tree near a ramshackle barn and rough stone wall. Any psychics
coming near the tree will feel very uneasy and hear strange, whispering voices. This will
be all that happens until later in the development of the story (see Sinker for further
details). The family has resisted cutting down the blackened and twisted tree or repairing
the barn and wall with every generation, but cant seem to give a specific reason for
Her personal diary has gone missing, but a copy of it can be found on her computer with
some inconspicuous title. It talks vaguely of her being very interested in BarkettsCorp.
She did extensive research on the company and its directors and took the part-time
job so she could do some snooping, what she was looking for is not clear. The town
librarian and records keeper will attest to her searching out all records of the company
as well as any information about her ancestor who was almost burned as a witch.
The sole owner and director of BarkettsCorp is Joshua Barketts IV, a direct descendent
of the historical figure and sole remaining member of the family. He is a recluse who
people see only by direct invitation. Supposedly he has private living space in the
company complex which has already been completed. There is no other useful information on
him available (he has no drivers license, no birth certificate, no high school diploma,
Sinker: At some point in trying to piece things together, while staying at or
investigating Emmas house, the group will be compelled to go to the tree at midnight. When
they arrive, any psychics will receive a vision of Emma Goodchard, the woman accused of
witchcraft centuries ago. She informs the party that she was killed and her soul is being
forcibly tied to this plane. Her body is buried under the stone wall near the tree and she
cannot have peace until her killer is found. She was kidnapped by Sam Barketts, who was a
judge at the time, and sacrificed in a ritual to increase his power. She knows that Emma
is still alive and being held against her will, but not where.
The characters will discover many things when they investigate. The BarkettsCorp
complex is located on a ley line, there are secret rooms in the sub-basement of the
complex, Barkett has been paying top-ranking police to look the other way, and Barkett has
been forming a cult (telling people that involvement will bring riches like it did for his
family). At some point, the characters will get into the secret rooms of the complex. They
will find an occult temple and a prison, the prison holds Emma. The characters will also
find evidence that the other missing people and murders were the work of the cultists.
Further, Joshua is Sam Barketts, he has been sustaining his own life by sacrificing
others. He is interested in Emma because of her background in magic and putting and end to
the snooping shes been doing, but has been waiting for an appropriate celestial
alignment before killing her.
The final battle of this adventure should be grand and challenging, with the group
fighting Joshua Barketts and his cultists (Joshua is a very experienced mage).