Tuesday, July 19, 2011

[ Kinship ] Highway 13 and the Town of Kinship

Unexpected highway construction, a wrong turn, and a sudden storm, and you suddenly find yourself on Highway 13?  It really isn't much of a highway, two lanes at best, and frequent potholes.  At least there isn't much traffic!

You pass an abandoned service station covered with strange graphetti.  On each side of the highway there are dense woods, with the occasional clear cut from logging.  Then you enter an area of farmland, which seems to consist of corn crops.  Lots of corn. 

Suddenly, there are scarecrows along the edge of the corn fields, and they're all facing the road.  Upon closer inspection you hope that they are indeed just scarecrows, and not something else.  You look away.

There's nothing on the radio, but static.  Your constant scanning eventually finds a station with the call sign KZAN.  The only band they play is The Doors.  "KZAN, all Doors, all the time!" A DJ with a really gravelly voice mutters something about the upcoming Kinship Pumpkin Festival.  Then the song People Are Strange starts playing...

Corn fields give way to empty, stony fields.  Then suddenly there's a roadside attraction, that appears to be a strange mix of a snake farm, and miniature golf.  You see a very tall man wearing a suit with a top hat.  He's clutching a bottle of Jack in one hand, and a putter in the other.  Around his neck is a python.  He waves the putter at you as you slow down.  You ponder whether or not to stop and ask for directions.  The snake raises it's head and appears to look at you.  You drive on.

There's a sign that indicates an exit for the town of Kinship.  You take it.  Your stomach is grumbling and you're all out of junk food.  The asphalt road is in disrepair.  A couple of miles later you pass what looks like a small college, but you don't see any students

Then there's the sign.  The welcome sign.  You stop and get out to get a closer look.  "Welcome to the Town of Kinship, Population ..."  You notice the number has been painted over.  Underneath the vandalism is the word variable, which hopefully is red paint, and not something else.  There are also what appears to be claw marks, and bullet holes...

There's a rustling sound in the bushes at the side of the road, and a strange huffing sound.  You hop back in your car and speed towards town.  The needle is edging towards empty, otherwise you would consider driving back the way you came.

You finally arrive.  It seems like any other small town in America.  A few, thankfully normal looking people are going about their business.  You spot a cafe and pull up to the front.  Getting out of your car you see a SUV pull up behind you.

On the side of the SUV is painted Town of Kinship, Sheriff.  A very large man gets out, and walks towards you.  He has a grim look on his face until he reaches you, and then he smiles.  He's wearing normal clothes, but has a badge on his shirt, and a gun belt.

You shake his hand.  His grip is strong and almost painful.  He's the sheriff, and he welcomes you to town.  He looks into your eyes, and it's overpowering, you feel weak.  He hands you his business card, and starts to turn and leave, but stops, and speaks...

"When you have your questions, and you will have questions, come by my office.  You are going to have lots of questions.  Everyone always has lot's of questions."   You notice he has a slight accent, perhaps Russian?  The sheriff then walks back to his vehicle, chuckling.

As you watch the sheriff drive off, you notice something hanging from the rear view mirror.  It looks like a monkey's paw.

Across the street, you see what looks like an octopus tentacle reach out of the storm drain, and grab a rat.  It disappears back into the storm drain quickly.  You shake your head.  Hunger does funny things to the brain.  Low blood sugar level isn't a good thing.

Entering the cafe, you see a man sitting at the counter turn towards you.  You stop, your jaw drops, and you gasp.  He only has one very large eye in the center of his forehead.

The man sneers at you, "Hasn't anyone ever told you it's not polite to stare?"

Glancing around at the other customers of the cafe, you know you're going to have many questions. Many questions indeed...

There's a song playing on the jukebox...

People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down

When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange
When you're strange...


  1. Thats one hell of a gripping campaign blurb right there.

  2. @Brian

    great work, dude. If you are going with this concept, you have to check out the Ars Magica concept of Regiones (singular: regio). Seriously, you just have to check it out. You will see why.

  3. @Brian - Thanks!

    @Greg - Thanks, I read a little about Regiones, and the concept is very similiar, but not exactly what I want.

  4. I have to recheck myself here. On the one hand, this is exactly why I like to follow your blog...on the other, it reminds me of things I will unlikely experience again.

    And of course I don't mean role-playing, I mean running in to one-eyed NPCs. Nah. Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I envy anyone that games with you.