In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too.
- Saul Bellow
This is the information for the town of Crossing. All PCs are expected to know it, of course.
Welcome To Crossing, Pennsylvania
"Welcome to Small Town America!"
The town cares for the devils work no more than it cares for God's or mans. It knew darkness. And darkness was enough.
- Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot"
The town of Crossing was founded in 1792 in Pennsylvania by Jonathan Allard Cross and family, members of the British artisocracy. Local legends claim they left Britain due to some unspecified reasons to leave their home country. Arriving in America, they eventually ended up in the mountains and founded a small town with their money but came into conflict with the Rockfords, who had arrived a good decade earlier and apparently never got along well with the Crosses since the Rockfords were a merchant family. However, the Rockford settlement of Agharti had to be abandoned due to water problems and they eventually became members of the growing town of Crossing. In the 1845 elections, the Rockfords managed to displace the Crosses and their family, or people beholden to them, have been the mayors of the town ever since.
Most of the history of Crossing has been punctuated by the rivalry between both families. The Crosses own most of the woods around the town and employ over half the adult workforce full or part time in the lumber mill. They also run the local newspaper, which means that the *Crossing Standard* has a long standing habit of criticising the mayor and the town council. The Rockfords own the mines north and east of the city and a good amount of land in the town, which makes up for the decline in ore from the mines over the years. They employ about 30% of the rest of the town's adult workforce between the mines and managing or working in stores they own. The rest of the townsfolk just try and stay out of the unending dispute between both families.
The Crosses lost a good portion of the family fortune to Timothy Cross 40 years ago, the titular "head of the family" and a drunken wastrel. Timothy suffered an accident a year later that blinded him in one eye, and lost his other in another two months later. He died shortly thereafter, to the families relief, but their attempts to unseat the Rockfords have been set back quite a while.
Three days ago, Jonathan Cross Brother of Kyle Cross, the current head of the family (Selvin Cross is the real head but has lived in seclusion for almost 40 years) won a lottery for a good $1.3 million dollars, which has the Rockfords rather worried. The Mayor, Bryan Rockford, is currently trying to work out a tax to take that money, but since the town council is split evenly between both families (except for 2 neutrals), this doesn't seem likely. Last night, John Cross apparently has something personal stolen from him, and has asked the police to be on a lookout for anyone trying to sell or give away odd objects, whatever that means.
like a geography but
just scratch us
and we bleed
- Mirian Wadington
This is just a quick map for player reference of where things are.
Personages of Note
"I know I never saw you. I blur everyone in my personal vision. I never get their own music . . ."
- Leonard Cohen, "The Favourite Game"
- Selvin Cross (55) - The nominal head of the Cross family, he hasn't been seen for over 40 years and lives in the Crosses private estate in the woods.
- Jonathan Cross (40) - Businessman of some note in the Crosses who deals with markets and investments. He recently won a lottery. He is unmarried.
- Kyle Cross (61) - The visible leader of the Cross family, Kyle runs Cross Bros. Tree Farms but his son Allan (29) and daughter Brandy (22) have been doing most of the actual work for about five years. He is widowed.
- Bryan Rockford (41) - Mayor of Crossing for the past 6 years, he's currently planning the towns bicentenary festival. Bryan is a friendly but tough man with a degree in law and a firm belief in the future of Crossing as well as an almost magical ability to balance the budget. Ironically he took over as mayor after his wife Ellen (42) stepped down to raise their family.
- Caroline Rockford (73) - Caroline runs the local library and is the mother to Bryan Rockford. She is a pleasant woman and always treats people nicely, even if they do happen to be Crosses. ("It's not your fault, dear. But I have a nephew who is looking for a wife...") She is considered the cities match maker.
- Norton Rockford VI (32) - Never involved in politics, like his father and grandfather before him, Norton is one of the most respected men in the city and known to help anyone who needs it. He runs a small farm outside the city and a garden centre during the summer. Some stories claim he's even gone against the will of his own family to help people. He is unmarried.
- Patrick Rockford (17) - The oldest child of Bryan and Ellen, Pat has no interest in politics and likes things like UFOs and RPGs. His parents tolerate his eccentricies, most of the time.
Note that the Cross/Rockford list is far from complete. Many family members have jobs away from home or, in the case of daughters, have married into other families. Members who have left the town aren't on it.
- Adam Adams (40) - Owner of Adam's Bar, one of the best kept secrets of Crossing since the place looks like crap from the outside. He's from the middle east but doesn't talk much about himself.
- Father William Devon (32) - The priest of the local Catholic church and known to be very liberal in his views, William has managed to increase youth attendance at church without alienating the older generation and is known for having a very open mind. As Pastor Michael James (49) of the Anglican church said about him, "An open mind is fine, but a mind is like a door: if you keep it open you might as well not have one." They don't get along.
- Kelly Saunders (46) - The police chief of Crossing, Kelly is known for being very honest and completely apolitical. A Cross by marriage (his wife Muriel is a cousin to Jonathan), he has alienated most of his family - and his wife, if rumour is true - by actually being impartial in regards to the law affecting everyone, be they Cross, Rockford, or no one of note. He continues to hold his position because he's trusted and most of the deputies are either political or simply not suited to replace him.
- Victor Shelley (late 50s) - An old recluse living in the Cross Bros. Woods, Victor is known for making lots of toys and mechanical things. Few people visit him and he likes it that way.
- Maureen Brown (17) - Maureen is the receptionist of the Crossing Herald, the town paper which is owned by the Crosses.
- Karla Jamies (28) - Karla runs the Herald darkrooom, aseembles the paper and sometimes does stories.
- Bill Tragger (51) - Bill is the manager of the Herald and makes sure everyone does their job and gets things in on time.
- Kurtis Wharton (48) - Chief reporter for the Herald, Kurt is a shrewd man with a keen sense of lies and the intelligence to not look too deeply into Family affairs. He's related to John Cross.