Situated along a lonely highway somewhere in the United States. The last stop for gas before a 50 mile stretch of wilderness. The lonely rest stop is designed to be dropped anywhere along a highway a Keeper desires, and can serve as either a quick night’s distraction or the base of a longer scenario centered around it.
The Rest Stop and The Disappearances
Although the vast majority of people who drive by it every day are not aware of it, the rest stop is the epicenter of a string of unexplained disappearances stretching back over hundred years.
Back when the road was first built, in the late 1800s, the Lahey family bought some land and established a road house, the last one before the road entered a long and empty stretch of wilderness. They struggled through their first winter, and thought they might have to give up. That’s when the visitors came from the woods in the middle of the night.
Richard Lahey became aware that something was lurking around his property, and was determined to find out what. He stayed up late one night with his shotgun and waited. They came in the dark, dead hours between midnight and 3am. Pale figures with dog like faces who loped and mewled in the darkness.
Ghouls had lived in the wilderness abutting the Lahey property long before the coming of the white man. After recovering from the initial shock Richard was able to speak with the creatures. What he found was that they were looking to survive, just like him. The two families struck a deal. The ghouls protected the Lahey’s and taught them the wonders of their world, and in return the Lahey’s fed them. It was just a traveler here or there. Always someone they were sure wouldn’t be missed.
The arrangement served the two groups well for years. The Lahey roadhouse eventually evolved into a gas station and roadside store. The disappearances continued. Times were good through the twenties and thirties when vagrants were common and nobody cared about them. After the Second World War the road was turned into a highway. The Lahey family, Richard’s grand children at this point, had just come back from war. They sold out to the state, and took the money to the coast. The state turned their land into a rest stop. But the ghouls still needed food. So they continued to hunt, not caring that the world was changing around them.
The families that passed through in the fifties as Americans hit the open road were they type of people who are missed. The ghouls came very close to being discovered when they grabbed the Carter boy and it made national news, but they were lucky, and soon learned to alter their techniques. They’ve hung on through the end of the 20th century, and into the modern era. The stretch of highway averages three or four disappearances a year. The vanished are usually people traveling alone or in very small groups late at night. Books have been written and conspiracy theories hatched about a serial killer in the area, but no hard evidence such as bodies have ever been found. The disappearances have been written off as a statistical anomaly that will eventually correct back to the law of averages, and the world has marched on, pretending not to notice. But anyone stopping at the Lonely Rest stop late at night is in very real danger.
The Rest stop is a pull off right before the highway winds through a long stretch of open wilderness. Ideally this is a dark forest, or empty desert of some sort. It consists of a self serve gas station, and a squat concrete building with rest rooms, and an attached 24 hour 7/11. The desert or forest encroaches right up on the back of the property.
The 7/11 has a high turnover in staff due to reports of hauntings or strange incidents at night, but no staff member has ever been taken by the ghouls. In fact, recently, a new employee has begun to form a kind of relationship with them.
Aiden Crawley is 19, a high school dropout, and obsessed with death metal. The graveyard shift is perfect for him because he hates people and wants to be left alone. He’s been at the stop for 4 months. He welcomed the tales of ghost stories and strange happenings, but didn’t really believe them until he began to feel like he was being watched at night. Then there would be sounds outside, but nothing there when he went to check. It was beginning to wear on his nerves. Thinking it was an animal, he began to leave food outside, which would disappear. Then the fateful night came.
One mid winter night Aiden was nodding off over a dirty magazine when the door was kicked open and a masked man entered brandishing a knife. He was obviously jumped up on something and demanding money. Aiden complied, but the man was extremely agitated and kept babbling something to him about blind flute players and the center of the universe. He came at Aiden with the knife. Aiden screamed and shut his eyes. Then there was a crash and the screams were coming from the junkie. Aiden opened his eyes and met his new friends.
The ghouls cleaned up the robber, and Aiden deleted all security footage of them. Entranced that his darkest fantasies could indeed be real, Aiden willingly agreed to help the ghouls. Now he watches for lone travelers or small groups for them. In return, the promise to one day teach him the secret of eternal life.
Using the Rest Stop
The Rest Stop is designed to be easily dragged and dropped wherever and whenever convenient for a Keeper. Here are two possible uses.
1: While en route to something else the investigators find themselves traveling down the highway late at night. Something, perhaps inclement weather or car trouble, forces them to stop at the rest stop, where they draw the attention of Aiden, who tries to separate them so the ghouls can take them down one by one. 2: While looking into a missing person case, then investigators become aware of the long string of disappearances in the area surrounding the rest stop. This is a longer scenario, starting with the missing person and then progressing through research on the area, and finally visits to the rest stop. If Aiden knows what the investigators are looking into, he will take steps to protect his friends.
Aiden, Loves death metal, has trouble making friends. Age 19
STR 45 CON 50 SIZ 65 INT 60 POW 45
DEX 55 APP 60 EDU 40 SAN 25 HP 11
DB: 0 Build: 0 MV 7 MP: 9
Fighting ( Brawl ) 25% ( 12/5 ) 1D3
Dodge 27% ( 12 /5 )
Skills: Art/Craft ( Metal Guitar ) 15%, Computer Use 20%, Electronics 15%, Occult 20%
“Bathroom? Yeah, that’s around back, man. The lights out, though. . .”
Ghouls, Mocking Charnel Feeders.
Stats as Keeper Rulebook Pg 295.