The Week 1 #City23 Update: Nottingham and Cape Crescent

So I started this project over on Cohost, but I'm going to switch to posting my public updates here on Tumblr.

Around the time I kicked off work on this, I saw this semi-viral Tweet, and while it might be half joking, it's pretty spot on for what I want to do in #City23.

Cape Crescent, ME

A paranormal investigation originally called Lunaris, I swapped that out for something that sounded more like New England. I don't make my own maps and I'm not going to start, so I'm making a fictional reinterpretation of Ogunquit, ME for this.

During planning, I'd set up a few factions, and a few concentrated areas (as well as doom clocks, which I'll be setting up later), including a benevolent society that organizes the town's werewolf, a local sinister occult society, a private paranormal research foundation with government grants, and a Tourism Board that represents the non-paranormal people of the town.

During this first week, I focused on locations and the NPCs in them that would—at first glance—be part of the Tourism Board, but I made sure each one had at least one tie in to some other faction.

  • Bishop's Diner, where Olivia Bishop, the owner, is wary of of the Ghost Bay Research Foundation and it's projects in the bay, and the short-order cook Carson Caine, is the estranged son of the necromancer who runs the occult society.
  • Clifftop Motor Lodge, where the owner, a friendly recluse who rarely comes into town, is secretly funneling supplies to one of Ghost Bay Foundation's projects.
  • Old Main General Supply, a grocery, hardware, and gas station where the owner Micah Redding runs the Benevolent Society for the local werewolves. His son Clay, one of the wolves, is friends with Carson Caine, and they often commit petty crimes together.


For Sherwood and games with a similar OSRish vibe, Nottingham is a chance for the outlaw band to come out of the woods and into the town. I pulled factions and locations from historical Nottingham, including the Whitefriars (Nottingham's old Carmelite friary), Lenton Priory (the French Cluniac monastery that actually sent monks to engage in banditry), the Sheriff (a royal appointee who lived in the King's Nottingham castle), and St. Mary's Church. As I go, I'd like to come up with some guilds or other lower-powered secular/street-level authorities to represent groups of typical citizens. During this first week of #City23, I focused on an inn within the walls: The Three Foxes, an inn whose owners need to realize it's a nexus of the tunnels and caves of underground Nottingham.

Most of this week was adding NPCs:

  • Claire Jarry, the owner, who came to Nottingham from Rouen for reasons she won't discuss. She knows how to navigate the tunnels under the inn to make her way to the Priory and the large parish church of St. Mary, and uses her access to blackmail the clergy.
  • Clove Jarry, Claire's oldest son, who transitioned and left town to become a highwayman. Clove and his wives frequently visit the inn when they come to Nottingham via a secret tunnel that leads under the town's walls to a forgotten smuggler's cave in the wood. Clove's mother and brothers know about the tunnel.
  • Ronan Jarry, Claire's middle son and likely heir.
  • Vital Jarry, Claire's youngest, is a seductive con artist and crook who's found a tunnel that leads to the cellars of Nottingham Castle, and is planning to steal from the sheriff even if it brings the sheriff's wrath down on other criminals and outlaws.

In addition, there's a customer, Colman, who's a sturdy man who can drink most others under the table. A generous sort, he often escorts people home after they've had too much, but no one's noticed yet that some of those people have yet to be seen again.

I've also started documenting some treasures.

  • Ronan possesses an amulet whose central stone is made from a hard, amber-like resin that contains the souls stolen and trapped by the cruel Bishop of Hereford. He entrusted the amulet to his mistress who surrendered it to Clove. The bishop's mistress has gone into hiding and both she and the bishop want the amulet back.
  • Colman possesses an "amulet"—really a poorly painted image of an unnamed saint on a simple leather thong. If the saint's image is fed enough of a living person's blood, it will keep a dying person alive indefinitely.

(Sorry, there are enough +1 arrows in RPGs and Robin Hood deserves better.)

Making Progress and Giving Myself Room

In the first nine days of 2023, I've gotten 5 entries for Nottingham and 6 for Cape Crescent. That's not too bad. It's been a rough start to 2023, and some of the health issues my parents are facing are making it look like it'll keep being stressful. Working on #City23 has been, in many ways, a lifesaver, though I'm giving myself space to take breaks as I need to.


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