Thursday, November 3, 2016

[Swamp '70] The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water

"Swamp '70" is the tentative working title / tag I've given to the 1970s occult game I'm brainstorming.

So, do you know this classic public information short from 1973? Pure genius. And it is a perfect creature or plot hook for the Swamp '70 setting.

"Do not play near the swamps, Hannah!" "No, Collin Smith Jr., you definitely cannot go fishing at the old pond!" "Don't go into the woods!" "Be careful, Jeffrey!" -- but the warnings and cautionary tales of parents are lost on the children... Kids keep disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Is it possible that a malevolent being is preying upon the children of the town? A serial killer, a twisted pedophile? Or maybe...

The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water?!

The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water is a disembodied entity that can form an empathic link with a sentient being and amplify in its victim such characteristics as unwariness, show-offishness, foolishness & carelessness. It inhabits perilous abandoned places. Typical examples include quarry lakes, junkyards, desolate buildings or even a poorly maintained playground. Dangers are plenty, yet subtle: slippery mud, crumbling concrete, loose stones, corroded iron. The Spirit is like the Imp of the Perverse: its influence leads the victim (most commonly, a child) to death. This is the only thing that can satisfy the Spirit's cravings.

"When the quarry operations stopped, the original quarry pit filled with water.
This was used for a "swimming hole" by local folks but it was dangerous.
Several people were drowned in the old quarry..."

The exact origin of the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water is unknown. One possible explanation that it is the hungry ghost of the first victim of the place, damned to haunt it for eternity, replaying the events of its own death over and over again. Another explanation is that once people retreat from a place, it slips into abandon, and otherworldly forces claim it as their own... 

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