Barrow City: Athanor

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Barrow City: Athanor

Post by JackGiantkiller » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:06 pm

Barrow, Massachusetts


Barrow is a teeming metropolis of nearly seven million, nestled in southern Massachusetts like a tick. To those outside, it is nothing. Never heard of, never mentioned. Unless you know where you are going, or are very unlucky, or are chosen, you can drive right past Barrow on the Interstate and never notice it. To most of the world, the only things of interest in that region are the fallen whaling town of New Bedford and Lizzie Borden’s home town of Fall River…both of which are just suburbs of the bloated thing called Barrow.

Barrow is a prison, and a trap. Evil is drawn here, and here it remains, caught in insane folds of space and time, believing always that it stays of its own accord. Vampires, werewolves, eldritch Things man Was Not Meant to Know...all these abound here alongside what seem, at first look, to be more run of the mill criminals and super villains. But what they all have in common is surpassing evil.

When Jack the Ripper stopped his spree in London, this is where old Saucy Jack fled. He still stalks the streets. And he is but one of many faces of evil, here.


Though the evils are trapped here, still, they must be opposed. Contained, lest their evil spill out. And the harm they do to the innocents caught here by ill luck or responsibility must be ameliorated as best may be. A job for a different sort of superhero. Welcome to Barrow.
Last edited by JackGiantkiller on Tue May 12, 2009 2:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Dramatis Personae

Post by JackGiantkiller » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:16 pm

Mayor Thomas Barrow, descendant of the town's founder. A harried but honest civil servant, more than a politician. Most of the Mayors of Barrow have been from the Barrow family.

Judas Barrister, a British expatriate, a top of the line defense lawyer. Rumour has him closely connected with organized crime, and stranger rumours float about.

Dr. Miles Sterling, world renowned historian and archeologist. He believes he knows what lurks in the shadows of Barrow. He's wrong.

Police Commissioner James Norton, a grizzled thirty year veteran of the force, with more than his share of scars. Last year his wife and child were slain by the supervillain King of Fools in what the monster referred to as
'mauling the Mall'.

Captain Michael Flannery, Third Watch Police Commander. He's tall, red headed, and Irish. No one is sure if he's as honest as they come, or just very good at hiding the evidence. But everyone knows not to cross him.

David James Flannery, Assistant DA. Michael Flannery's little brother. He's a total hard case, having begun his career as a lawyer in the Navy, attached to the JAG office.

Detective Sergeant Casey Bannock, a lifer nearing retirement who's just trying to get by. Unfortunately, he always seems to get the crazy cases, the ones where the costumes interfere.

Simon Barrow, the mayor's uncle. He's a recluse, rarely seen outside his home...but he holds a massive invitation only black tie party 4 times a year at the old Barrow Mansion on the Island.

Barrow City
Professor Miles Sterling: famous archeologist and occultist

The BCPD Special Crimes Unit
Nightstick: the toughest cop on the force, a highly trained practitioner of Escrima
Sniper: the best shooter the Marines and SWAT could train.
Quickdraw: an astonishingly fast pistoleer.
the Shield: unlike the rest of the BCPD, he has powers. He's tough and strong, but is still all cop.
Cooldown: the team's negotiator

Barrow Heroes
Specter: a Shadow like pulp hero. He died in the twenties, and has been fighting the Mob ever since.
Predator: a devil of punishment in a teenage
boys body. He's a wall crawling, blending killer from hell. He regenerates, and has nasty claws.
Hazard, a blind martial artist and detective. She favors chain weapons.
Bruiser:a big, mean, tough biker. He looks like he's getting hurt...but he isn't.
Grief: a sad goth angel. She shares her body with an ancient greek spirit of anguish.
Brownstone: a bad boy gone good. Former gangster turned brick
superhero. Literally.
Quarrel: Homeless, orphaned child of a millionaire family. Raised to hunt supernatural evil, she now does so to avenge her family.
Saint: Divinely mandated street vigilante.
Cerberus: A once normal dog, granted the powers of the Guardian of Hell's Gate.
Spelltwister: He's immune to magic, and can mimic its effects.
Tattoo: His tattoos protect him from harm, and come to life when called.


Barrow Villains:
The Motley Crew
King of Fools: an undead jester with a taste for flesh and mayhem aka Jack Motley, Tom Fool, Fool, Tom Motley
Idiot
Tumbler
Wildcard
Harlequin
Swashbuckler

Carrion Crow: a flying, betaloned, murderer and thief who won't stay dead
Grimalkin: the devil's cat
The Traditionalist:A deranged 'vigilante' who engages in serial killing of those who are, by his standards, sexually immoral.
Famine: A doctor and nutritionist who hunts her overweight patients and drains their lives to feed her own eternal hunger.
Springheel Jack: A demonic psycho killer, he used to be a hellhound, until he went rogue.
Decay: embodied spirit of rot and corruption
Pack: a werewolf who is her own support
Scarab: mummified remains of a murderer and thief from ancient Egypt.
Athanor: An alchemical mass changer looking for eternal life.

The Vampires
Judas Barrister: a lawyer (and a vampire)
Lonesome: a vampire
Weeper:a vampire
The Barrow Devil: a vampire...orangutan?

the Whale's Krew
Ishmael: the ghost of New Bedford
Queequeg:the zombie harpooner
Ahab: the obsessed and undead captain
Moby Dick:the Whale itself

That Which Crawls Beneath
The Crawler:A nameless horror from beyond time and space
The Deep Ones: Its subterranean, submarine, subhuman minions
Plus any number of deluded cultists.
Last edited by JackGiantkiller on Mon May 11, 2009 11:38 am, edited 14 times in total.

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Post by The Trapster » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:45 pm

Maybe helpful:
Occult Investigations Agency
My Modern Noir Heroes Campaign
Freedom City DARK DECO
The City of Bedlam
Museum Exhibits?
Mystic Adventure Seeds: Please Comment


A list of scary names you might find useful. I had it laying around on my desk top.

Blackjack
The Dark Night
The Invisible Death
The Black Death
Death Beetle
The Deadly (black) Widow
Carapace
Widowmaker
Ash "Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust."
The Coroner
Nightstalker
T.E.A.R. : Threat Eradication Annihilation (or Armored) or Removal (or Response)

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Post by Emerald Flame » Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:36 pm

Just from what you have posted already... I really like Barrow. This sounds like an interesting place to stage a campaign.

Forgive me if I get this wrong, but the premise is a place where the evil of the world is drawn to??? SWEET!!!! That would explain a never-ending supply of villains to confront the heros. Ever wonder why Gotham got so lucky? :?

If you would like help fleshing out NPC's or anything like that... please let me know. I'd love to help out.
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Post by kipling » Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:56 pm

Not even seeds, but a list of monsters or things that I might use someday in the Occult Investigation Agency campaign. Feel free to use them.

* vampire that lives in a cistern
* were-something that isn't a wolf
* yeti/Sasquatch/Jersey devil
* Ghosts: haunted objects
* politergeists
* stigmata
* Corsican twins
* spontaneous human combustion
* dowsing, but for other things than water
* evil eye
* Winchester house, mirrors, labyrinths
* Philadelphia experiment
* Bermuda triangle
* the grey faeries of Scotland
* Bee people
* alligators in the sewers
* whatever happened to Medusa's head?
* Swarms of birds attacking, possibly as psychopomp: trying to get a soul to take to the afterlife
* Circus freak show
* Wraith or barrow wight; things from a grave
* plants who think they are people
* people raised on royal jelly who are beelike
Stories: Occult Investigation, Freedom City, Listening to the Universe
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Post by JackGiantkiller » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:03 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

Emerald Flame, I appreciate the kind words. Yes, Barrow is intended to be like Gotham...but unlike Gotham, it has a supernatural cause to its decay, in addition to the venal nature of the humans within. Also, the setting was designed for street level heroes, primarily, and to be 'off the map' enough that the big dogs of my world don't pop up to save the day.

The only heroes in the city are the PC's...and the extremely over worked BCPD SCU. (Barrow City Police Department Special Crimes Unit).

If you notice, over in roll call, critters that have already showed up include an immortal thief and murderer (Carrion Crow), a killer clown (King of Fools), a vampire orangutan (Clyde, the Barrow Devil) The Devil's Cat (Grimalkin) and various vampires.

The *Heroes* include a goth 'Angel' possessed by an ancient greek demigod(Grief), an undead revenant similar in some ways to the Crow crossed with the Shadow (the Specter), a punishing Devil straight out of Hell (Predator), a thuggish, nigh invulnerable biker (Bruiser), a cursed multimillionaire doomed to stalk the night as a shadow (Gloom), and a blind martial artist with a thing for chains (Hazard). An interesting group.

Neighborhoods coming soon.
Last edited by JackGiantkiller on Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Emerald Vagrant » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:27 am

I was wondering what all that noise was outside my window at night! :D

Seriously though, I'm from the area that you are describing, and I think the spin you are putting on it is really interesting. Believe it or not IRL the area has something of a history of "dark and mysterious" happenings. It also has LOTS of abandoned or nearly abandoned textile mills, factories, etc.

Tons of places for the not-so-shiny as some heroes to have adventures!

Keep up the good work.

EV

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Post by JackGiantkiller » Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:20 pm

i've actually researched the area fairly deeply. The history of dark happenings is why I picked it.:)

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Post by Emerald Flame » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:35 pm

SWEET!!!! Real-life spooky stuff.

Tell me more...
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Post by JackGiantkiller » Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:36 pm

Bits:


Keep in mind that many of Poe and Lovecraft's stories are set in SE Mass.

Lizzie Borden, famous axe murderer, is from Fall River (which was once named Troy). From the Wiki:
"On August 4, 1892, Fall River was the scene of two murders allegedly committed by Lizzie Borden. These grisly murders are remembered in a children's rhyme originally for jumping rope, according to the Fall River Historical Society. "Lizzie Borden took an axe and and gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done she gave her father 40 one." Borden was ultimately acquitted of the murders. Lizzie Borden is one of the most famous Fall River natives, because of the alleged murders.""


The world's largest collection of WWII naval vessels is in Fall River.

44% of Fall River's populace are Portugese in descent.

RL locals:
Timothy J. Mello (b. September 21, 1956) - Timothy "Timmy the Bat" Mello is a Fall River mob boss associated with the Patriarca crime family.

Emeril Lagasse - chef, television personality


Haunted places: The Lizzie Borden House
The New Bedford Armory

Humourously, one of New Bedford's sister cities in RL is Barrow, Alaska...

Check out this link on Bristol County
http://www.masscrossroads.com/bristol


Herman Melville was from New Bedford, and Moby Dick was set there.

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Post by GodofToast » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:03 am

If you are intending to have a bit of lovecraftian in there, you may want to consider some sort of evil denizens of the water. A possible start for heroes in the city could to investigate a series of disappeances that have been happening along the docks/riverside/etc.

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Post by Emerald Flame » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:00 am

The entire New England Area is rife with tales of the supernatural. One of my favorite tales, Sleepy Hollow, is set in up-state New York.

An idea for NPC characters can be found in the Statesmen Thread.. It has been a while ,but I think it is still here.
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Post by 77IM » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:06 pm

This is pretty awesome stuff.

However I found the population of 7 million to be a bit jarring... according to the sum of all human knowledge and experience, the Boston metro area is just over 4 million. I have trouble believing that a city of 7 million would be as forgotten and overlooked as Barrow. Maybe scope it down to around a million? That's about the size of a bunch of cities you've never heard of, like Barrow, MA.

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Post by JackGiantkiller » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:15 pm

That it is jarring and impossible is actually part of the point. It is forgotten and unknown for deep, mystical plot reasons. People don't come out of Barrow, you see. And only a few go in. Which is interesting, because people still go to Fall River and New Bedford...which are technically *in* Barrow. And they still don't see it.

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Heroes in Barrow

Post by JackGiantkiller » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:38 pm

Being a hero in Barrow is not easy. Unless one is actually a cop, and thus bound by a cop's rules, crimefighting is somewhat more than frowned on. In fact, costumed vigilantes are illegal...and the law is enforced. In addition, most people consider the 'heroes' to be freaks and possibly monsters. Don't expect real public support.

As actual cops, the BCPD SCU (Barrow City Police Department, Special Crimes Unit) have jurisdiction over all parahuman crimes. And there are only a very few of them. They can't be every where. In addition, even if they, personally, appreciate the help of the non-uniformed 'heroes', they are required by law to hunt and arrest them. A couple of the SCU are super-powered (like Shield) but most are just superbly trained and equipped 'normals'. See Nightstick in my Roll Call thread for an example.

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