The Dead School
Author(s): Paul Hebron
Appears in: Plan 09 From Halloween
October brings nothing but gloom and rain to Temple Hill Private School out in the Massachusetts woods. It is an exclusive home to the sons of the state’s wealthiest families, and its teachers provide a quality education. For the first time in the school’s history, a Halloween party is to be held for all the staff and students to enjoy, except for the investigators whom have found themselves in detention. Waiting for it to end, the investigators are suddenly brought back to earth by the sound of screams from the party and a transition somewhere, that knocks them unconscious....
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
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Principal George Edgerton came to Temple Hill Boarding School highly recommended, however he isn’t the bland administrator that he initially seems, but is in truth a long lived sorcerer looking to extend his life further. A former reverend, on his deathbed from a fatal fever Edgerton denounced God and called out for someone to save him. During the final stages of his fever he imagined signing a book held by a figure he couldn’t make out in a featureless room. After his vision, Edgerton made a startling recovery, returning to full health in a matter of days, and he has a loose understanding that his disease was cured by the god Nyarlathotep, but everything else he knows is rumor or misunderstanding. Delving deeper into forbidden occult lore, Edgerton uncovered what he assumed to be a Voodoo ritual to grant immortality by bargaining with the Voodoo death god Baron Samedi, unaware that he was dealing yet again with an avatar of Nyarlathotep. The alleged immortality ritual required 200 sacrifices to make it work, and Edgerton pulled a favor to get himself installed at Temple Hill Private School for a ready source of isolated victims. To help him, Edgerton recruited three other teachers at the school; the cult believes Halloween to be a sacred day that will improve their favor with Baron Samedi, and by 8:00pm on October 31st they are ready to begin, unaware that the sacrifice will end in disaster.
- "What They [the Investigators] Know" at the beginning of the Scenario
- "Today's Journal Entry"
- "First Note"
- "Second Note"
- Temple Hill Private School, in the Massachusetts woods, 1920s
- "The Good Times Bar" (a kind of Dreamland)
Tomes and Artifacts:
- A Magic Circle for invoking "Baron Samedi"
- A few totems/fetishes related to "Baron Samedi": a silk hat, bottle, and cigar
Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)
Trivia: The students are held for "Detention", a form of school discipline preventing them from going to the school party; in U.S. schools, this means the students got in trouble somehow, and have been locked in a school room for a specified amount of time by teachers or other school staff, where the students are expected to remain seated and silent, perhaps performing some designated task (homework, extra writing assignment, etc.)
Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.
Setting: Nominally a private school in rural Massachusetts in the 1920s, but the scenario includes a little advice for setting the scenario in other eras (Gaslight to Modern), and the scenario should be easy to relocate to any isolated rural area.
Special Notes: This scenario probably works best as a "one-shot": the PCs are students at a private school, and do not seem to survive the scenario as-written. This sort of scenario could really have used some pre-gen student characters; keepers may wish to prepare some in advance. Some groups may find the bleak ending and somewhat "railroady" plot frustrating.
Dependence on Halloween: Minimal - the scenario is set on Halloween and this holiday probably fits the villain somewhat, and there are some references to the investigators being put in detention and missing the party, but the scenario should be pretty easy to set on any holiday or festival date instead, with minimal rewriting.