Something sinister's stirring out on the moors, with eerie noises in the night, bizarre apparitions, and a spate of grisly crimes preventing the good folk of Bassethwaite from sleeping sound in their beds. Lucky for them, then, that the mysteries have drawn psychic investigators of all types to this sleepy Lancashire town. Townsfolk, experts, mischief-makers, charlatans, and opportunists (and maybe a few who know more about recent events than they ought) struggle to expose or conceal the truth – whether it be the ghosts of the massacred Roman Legion XIII, the serial killer known as The Ferret, poisonous breakfast snacks, or even the hoary old Hound of the Bassets. Dare you dive into the depths of depravity? Join us on Saturday afternoon in this freeform role-playing game for 36 players.
The sleepy town of Bassethwaite nestles snugly in Basset Vale, drowsing under the spring sunshine. But come nightfall, all is not as it should be in the idyllic Lancashire countryside. Antagonism prowls the streets, conflict brews at the airbase, and howling madness stalks the high moorland. At the centre of it all, the blackened ruin of Basset Hall, reputedly the most haunted house in England, chuckles quietly to itself.
Although owned by the RAF, this is actually a long-range bomber base for the US Air Force. The Americans came here in the Second World War, and never left. There has always been an element of tension between base and town, and never more so than now, in these times of heightened international tension. In January a small peace camp was established at the gates, and although there have been no serious incidents yet, there is a definite sense of something brewing.
Built in the 17th Century by the first Viscount Basset on the shores of Basset Lake, the Hall burnt down in 1870. Outbuildings were used by the Ministry of War during WWII, but the Hall was then abandoned and has since been neglected utterly. Townspeople have always thought it haunted, and the credulous vaguely report a number of sightings of spectral figures, eerie noises and the like. Bold teenagers occasionally dare one another to spend the night in the building – particularly popular on a night like tonight, May Eve, Beltane, or Walpurgisnacht as the Germans have it, when one might expect spooks and bogies to be particularly active.
Perhaps the most feared spectre of the area is the terrifying Hound of the Bassets, a monstrous slavering pooch which blighted the (now believed extinct) line of the House of Basset. Several Viscounts and their relatives were torn to shreds by the beast, notable for its pitchy blackness of hide, hellish blazing redness of eye, and icy chill of nose. Recently there have been a number of claims that its eerie howl has been heard out on Basset Moor, although there have been no definite sightings or spoor.
In the last few days a number of townsfolk have reported strange and disturbing visions, usually accompanied by noises, seemingly unlinked to any real phenomenon. Dr Mirza Khan is baffled as to their provenance.
Premiere: GenCon UK 2003
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Last update: 17th February 2012