Black Oaks Township

Black Oaks Township, locus incognita

Just five years ago, Black Oaks Township was an ordinary suburban neighborhood in Pennsylvania, US. That changed when Cor Nox, the Dreaming Dark's former chancel, came under concerted assault by no less than two unsharded Excrucians and a host of shards, anchors, and traitor spirits. A masterful defense, with the timely aid of the wild Angel Inesphriel's Familia Caelestia, ensured the escape of the Regius and the majority of its Sovereigns. The chancel, however, was broken; its last particles drifted to the four winds soon after.

Black Oaks Township was chosen to replace it soon afterward; on a hundred nights a hundred humans died. The one-hundred-and-first night never ended and never will. Black Oaks Township exists in a state of perpetual night, with time marked only by the waxing and waning of the moon and the chimings of the historic clock tower over Town Hall.

Two things combine to make the Township a troubled place. First, the locus lies as much on the border of the Dream World as the lands of the waking. Second, of the soverigns that govern it some remain too well attuned to the previous realm to adapt to the new one easily, and some are simply not the type to invest their souls in the chancel. As a result, Black Oaks Township has been left free reign to shape itself.

The result is a profusion of Haunts, spirits leached from the Land of Dreams and joined with the souls of the vengeful dead. They harry and murder the chancelfolk, sabotage the efforts of the Nobilis, and generally cause as much havok as they can. There are a half dozen of these, each given an informal name by the townsfolk. The Hat Man is a sinister presence of shadow in dark places, given to acts of sabotage. The Pusher harries victims unto high places and does as its name indicates; sometimes he catches them to savor their fear another day. Sometimes he does not. The Black Dog stands twelve hands high and runs his prey lazily until exhaustion brings them down for him. The Facetaker stalks and kills with the smiling visage of a loved one. The Child seems a lost and brokenhearted soul; she will kill as readily as the others. Perhaps the most feared is Nothing- some chancelfolk become convinced some unseen presence is stalking them, just around every corner and behind every door. Not one has managed to demonstrate its existence. Not one has lived three days.

In response to their constant danger, the chancelfolk have banded together into a tight-knit community of survivors, ready to put everything on the line to defend each other. Fortunately, as they slowly abandon Earthly mindsets to embrace the new world, they are discovering advantages of their own. Some of the wisest, or maddest, have discovered the Outer Secrets of the Dreaming Dark. Though these bear watching for the influence of the Society of Seekers, their magics are a potent asset. The rest have taken to rebuilding their town and their fashions to suit the dark. A profusion of elegantly gothic clothing and beatifully handcrafted lanterns define the latter; a handful of large, sturdy dance halls and social centers the former.

For the Nobilis, there is one last great advantage to the chancel, the one which serves as the reason for its adjacence to the Dreaming. From the moonlit park at the realm's center, those who know the right magics can open portals into the places of the world where mortals dream the truth. A symmetrical magic will bring them back, and a third ritual will even give some hours' warning of these dreams. This greatly enables both travel and prophecy for those who know the secret ways of Black Oaks Township.

Realm: 0
The Haunts: -3
Convenient: 2
Magical Inhabitants: 1

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