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Inside Witiko Falls, there is an unsettling miasma of fear that speaks in hushed tones of things that discomfort even the demented: obscene sorceries wrested from forbidden tomes, blasphemous oaths incanted during bizarre ceremonies, pseudo-scientific experimentation conducted with an alien disregard for any semblance of morality, and souls for whom even God is no more than a temporary obstacle to their selfish and inscrutable ambitions. There are hidden truths that are simply too much for all but the most disciplined mind to accept without shattering like spun-glass. Surreal encounters with things that cannot be, lurid visions of nightmarish vistas, spectral occurrences that defy explanation and other Fortean phenomena lie in the shadows, waiting to intrude, unhinge, and unravel.

Every dark street, every dilapidated farmhouse, every boarded-up storefront and every secluded hilltop mansion harbors a foul secret that awaits those fearless or foolish enough to peel back reality’s mask. Beneath the concealed sniping of high society dilettantes, beneath the bird-like chatter of low-class coffeehouses, beneath the shuddering moan of the man whose self-slit arteries stain his bathwater a dark incarnadine, there murmurs a subliminal whisper of hideous revelation that beckons to those whose perceptions are keen enough to hear. This faint, discordant susurration is ever-present, even if most refuse to hear its call: a maddening disturbance that promises things even the damned would be wise to shun.

But you’re not wise, are you?

You think you’re searching for hidden truths. But you will never find the truth. You won’t. Each mystery will only lead to more mysteries. It’s a labyrinth with no exit, and the door you entered isn’t there anymore. Each shadow conceals only more shadows.

But the shadows aren’t empty–they’re pregnant, fecund, and hungry. They’re watching you. Waiting, biding their time. Licking their lips.

Have you seen them?

Perhaps as a child, you felt their presence in your bedroom late at night. Perhaps you heard them breathing beneath your bed, the sound of their saliva hitting the floorboards. Perhaps you saw them from the corners of your eyes as you drifted off to sleep, turning the doorknob of your closet.

Regardless of when you first noticed them, you have sensed what most have long since forced themselves to forget: that things are not right with the world, that not everything is at it seems. You suspect that sinister truths hide behind a façade of normality, veiled partially by the rational, orderly “natural laws” taught by science. While most deride medieval beliefs in monsters and magic as primitive superstitions banished by the wisdom of modernity, you have your doubts. And at night, when the shadows grow long and the wind howls against your window, you shudder and remember older truths, the truths of your ancestors who were right to fear the dark.

You know that the world is a far more terrifying place than rational minds can acknowledge. To accept this subconscious truth is to invite madness, to succumb to the raw chaos that lurks at the edges of perception. Best to shut your eyes, pretend it’s not there. If you don’t see it, it might not see you.

But pretending something is not there does not make it go away. It only helps it to hide better—and predators like to hide from their prey, to stalk and remain unseen until it is too late.

Welcome to Witiko Falls.

We have been waiting for you.

We have been watching you.

We are always watching.


Setting


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A remote community hidden in the depths of the Rocky Mountains somewhere near the convergence of the Idaho, Montana, Canadian borders, Witiko Falls was established as a scenic health resort in the 1880s. During the last few decades of the nineteenth-century, the town became a popular destination for the rich and sickly, resulting in the founding of numerous sanitaria, insane asylums, spas, and other health facilities, a number of them making use of the local hot springs and caves nearby. The town enjoyed a period of prosperity and growth until 1920s, when it went into a slow decline and began to garner an unsavoury reputation after a series of bizarre incidents and disappearances. The Great Depression catalyzed the closure of many sanitaria during the early 1930s, including the famous ROSEWATER estate in 1933. With these closures, many left the town, and its population dwindled till only a few eccentrics called the place home and the forest began reclaiming the old facilities. Witiko Falls was well on its way to becoming a true ghost town when members of a U.S. Federal Government agency (which agency, exactly, remains uncertain) arrived shortly after the end of WWII and refurnished ROSEWATER for purposes they have never disclosed to the public. The little-known town is now home to a few thousand souls, a friendly but somewhat secretive folk who largely ignore the brooding presence of ROSEWATER, its mysterious occupants, and the unmarked vehicles that periodically pull into its wrought-iron gates. Few come to the town, now, save the very occasional tourist, lost travellers looking for the road to Coeur d’Alene, gamblers heading to the Beavertail Casino, spelunkers hoping to explore the caves, and members of a small cabal of ghost-chasers and conspiracy theorists who believe the town is “the Roswell of the Northwest”; all but the lattermost are shyly welcomed by the hospitable, if inscrutable, locals.


Mechanics & Metagame Issues


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Witiko Falls: Disillusion Parasomniac Calder_R