WELCOME TO NOWHERE
When people are visiting North Carolina, most people are interested in the beaches. The rest of North Carolina is everything you blow through to get to Nag’s Head.
When driving on I-64 to get the beach, you’ll pass through East Lake, NC. It’s a tiny community, with less than 200 people. Surrounded by the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, you’re just as likely to see a bear in East Lake as a person. After all, there are more bears than people.
All the residents know better than to wander around at night. Some whisper that the ghost town of Buffalo City is actually haunted. A handful talk of stranger animals than bears out in the darkness, creatures that subsist on human flesh. Still others speak of government experimentation, and claim that UH-60 helicopters sometimes use live ammunition on special targets on the Navy Dare.
Only the oldest residents talk about the Five. According to local lore, there were five monsters so terrible that the entire Croatoan tribe and the whole first Roanoke Colony sacrificed themselves to prevent them from reaching the sea. If the Five had reached the coast, they would have spread to Europe and from there to the entire world, spelling the end of mankind. Or so the tales say.
The tales go on to say that the Five are sealed underneath the ruins of Buffalo City, where they sleep until this very day. The (former) oldest resident of East Lake, Vera Quick, used to tell children that the moonshiners that worked out of Buffalo City in the 1920s were actually part of a now-extinct secret order charged with making sure the Five never rose again.
When Vera Quick died last year, her last words were: “I’m glad I don’t have to see what’s comin’! Ha!”
Those who know monsters are real also know the Five are real. Their very names and natures were expunged from all grimoires by the Roanoke Ritual, making it more difficult to free them. Their dark magick leaks into the very soil, attracting creatures from all over the world. Some want to free the Five, but most “just” want to do the sort of things monsters do, such as eating people…
Footnotes: These are real places, but heavily fictionalized, obviously. It is assumed that most of the kids who don’t live on islands go to the same high school near East Lake, not to mention the (fictional) college of Roanoke University, making it much larger than one might expect. There’s even a music club that lets teens in on the weekdays. (It serves alcohol on the weekends.) Kids and adults alike often drive (or paddle) to nearby Elizabeth City for more urban entertainments.
While I have plans for the Five, the rest of the campaign will be defined improvisationally as we go along, in large part by your characters. YOUR CHARACTERS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. Only they can stop the apocalypse! And the gator people.
Influences: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-Files, Dresden Files, Grimm, the World of Darkness 1.0 and 2.0, Gilmore Girls (not kidding) and Deadlands.
Tone: Light, with banter, but serious things, including deaths, happen. Teen drama encouraged. Both Buffy and Dresden Files are touchstones here, leaning toward Buffy or Angel in this respect. The tone is more rural than urban, with a lot of humor likely coming from the backwoods locals.
Content: Inspired by all of the above, plus cherrypicked bits of RL vampire, werewolf, and faerie lore.