On October 31st, 1959, Hell came to West Virginia.
For one night, the Devil danced through the foggy, Appalachian hills. Those whose hearts were vulnerable to his influence set upon their neighbors, friends, and family like rabid hounds. Violence and chaos reigned.
God arrived with the dawn. He banished Satan from the city limits and revealed the Truth to those who had survived. The world was no more. The weight of Man's sin had finally tipped the scales and doomed the Earth to everlasting torment. Only this one town remained, but it would be the seed of a new Eden.
God's chosen people renamed their home Covenant, in honor of His faith in them.
The forgotten town of Covenant, West Virginia, is nestled deep in the Appalachian hills. Its residents believe that the world ended in 1959, when God himself came down from Heaven and saved them. Of course, that's far from the whole story.
The goal of this project is to create a hyper-historical setting in the style of Lost. Strange and terrible events have been piling up in Covenant for almost fifty years, though folk tales of colonial witches and Indian burial grounds could extend that range by several centuries. There is nothing supernatural going on, but appearances are sure as hell deceiving!
Covenant is meant to host games of horror and investigation. Ideally, players will take on the rolls of outsiders, people for whom the town is one, big mystery. They may be trying to expose the cover-up, following Alexander Dougal's money trail, hiking in the Virginia hills, or just trying to change a tire. In any case, they'll find that leaving Covenant is considerably more difficult than reaching it. (See the FAQ, below.)
If you'd like to contribute to Covenant, here's my advice: Think small. It's a tiny town, so there's not a lot of room for epic, globe-spanning plots. A single family's tragic past can spin off dozens of secrets, locations, and people. Conspiracies and conflicts should be small and/or short-lived, but their effects can ripple outward for years to come. Claim a house or neighborhood for yourself, but don't try to annex the town as a whole. Covenant may be tiny, but its sandbox is big.
The events and conspiracies that have made Covenant what it is today.
- Project Babel - The big, bad idea that started it all.
- The Watchers - Lunatics enforce Covenant's quarantine through brutality & terror.
- The Coal Fire - A subterranean blaze is consuming Covenant from within.
- The Fianna - Vestiges of an Irish secret society, now reborn as warrior-poets.
- The People Under the Hill - Cave-dwelling mutants. You heard me.
Please try to use existing locations before creating new ones.
- The House of God - Literally. When God is in Covenant, this is where He sleeps.
- The Strip Mine - An environmental disaster of monumental proportions.
- Shamrock Street - The locals call it "Eire Lane."
If you create new characters, make sure to give them each a write-up.
- God - Alexader Dougal has convinced an entire town that he created the universe.
- Sam Yaza - This devil thinks he's God's greatest servant.
- Caleb Lynch - Covenant's resident mechanic & black sheep.
- Ricky Hawkins - A high school kid who got in over his head.
- Sgt. Ethan McHugh - The position of Head of Police was thrust upon him, but he has risen to the challenge.
- The Dagda - The Fianna's leader is a man on a mission.
- The Morrigan - The Fianna's first lady of fury!
Scenarios and player-characters belong in here.
- The Revenuers - A team of U.S. Treasury investigators follows a trail of slush funds to Alexander Dougal's dirty secret.
- The Black Jack Tapes - The search for the copies of Ricky Hawkins' conversation with the mysterious voice known only as Black Jack.
What really happened on Oct. 31, 1959?
The United States government sprayed civilians with a cocktail of psychedelic drugs in order to study the effects of a chemical attack in a "live fire scenario." The results were more terrifying than they could have imagined. Most of the population descended into a sadistic frenzy of homicide and mutilation. (Some are still lost in its depths.)
The next morning, one of the low-level project directors tried to restore order. He fed the survivors a story that their drug-addled minds could accept... one that just happened to be relentlessly self-aggrandizing. The government sealed off the town and, over a period of many years, created the illusion that it had been abandoned since WWII. To this day, it lies at the center of a strict no-fly zone.
Why don't people just leave?
At first, a military special ops team prevented anyone (especially the lunatics) from escaping. Later on, local groups adopted the same role. They police the edges of town under the false belief that they're doing God's will, saving escapees from themselves, or protecting the town from some external threat.
How can they think they're the last people on Earth?
There are no television or radio broadcast towers within range, and the government destroyed the few ham radios in town. The phone lines have been cut. No aircraft has flown over Covenant in fifty years. The only people who remember the outside world are now in their sixties, and they're the ones who bought into the lie in the first place.
Anyone who wants to prove them wrong has a long, steep climb ahead.
Why can't anything be supernatural?
In a shared-world project, mythology can get confusing really fast. The best defense is to start with a stable, well-understood universe. In this case: reality. The people of Covenant can get as weird as you want, but their actions must stay mired in reality. The appearance of impossible things is strongly encouraged, however. Getting from the first (usually supernatural) explanation to the actual truth should drive most Covenant adventures.
Now, before anyone tries to tell me that ghosts and magic are part of reality, let me just say this: shut up.
Without vampires/werewolves/ghosts/whatever, the setting will suck!
You suck. Go start your own shared-world project... with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the shared-world project!