This is a mock-up of the proposed page on Westchester, Oregon. Please let me know if you see anything that needs to be added or corrected.
Westchester is located in Klamath County, a real county in southern Oregon, and is about an hour's car ride from Pine Springs. Typical of the Pacific Northwest region, it is surrounded by temperate forests. These woods give the book its title.
Cult of the Power
Westchester has a long and varied occult history. Goddard E. Filleus' letters establish that a cult worshipping the Power was already well established by the 1870s. Filleus initially came to Oregon to research the Power, leaving his position at an unnamed university after receiving a blurry photograph of an "inhuman silhouette" with the crytic caption "it lives in the woods." In his letters to "E.B.", he chronicles the disdain his colleagues (and E.B.'S father) had for his interest in the Power and the supernatural in general.
After settling in Westchester, Filleus noticed a "dark current" in Westchester, which none of its residents seemed willing to speak about openly. Driven by both his academic curiosity and a strange pull to the forests of Westchester, Filleus eventually discovered and joined the cult of the Power, which he later refers to as the "Arcane Society of Westchester." In his last letter, he tells E.B. (who he finally addresses directly as Elizabeth) that he is going to meet the Power itself.
Although Filleus' letters stop at this point, Your Character and your friends learn what happened to him from Cora Pritchard. She explains the members of the Arcane Society made deals with the Power. In exchange, it granted them each a supernatural boon, such as Cora's ability to make and animate vine animals. However, some members (including "Filleus," also known as Douglas Redfield) became greedy and wanted more than one gift. Although the Power would grant them these additional abilities, it corrupted them. When Redfield was corrupted, Cora and the other members of the Arcane Society were forced to seal him in the old meeting house, and many of them perished while doing so.
Other Arcane History
Throughout Westchester's history it had various other supernatural problems and mysterious occurrences, likely due to the Power and eventually to the magically-caged Redfield. In your initial trip to the library with Ava, She explains some of the strange things that have occurred in Westchester.
Ava relates stories that her father, the sheriff, told her about a mass suicide in the 1970s, suspected to be cult-related. As you and Lily research, you discover a newspaper article pertaining to the case. The article reveals that 14 young and men and women died in the incident. Furthermore, it reports that some questioned the official ruling of mass suicide at the time, due to mutilation and posing of the bodies after death.
Ava also mentions witch trials in the 1800s, in which an indeterminate number of women may have been hung. Your group later uncovers a ledger that includes transcriptions of the court proceedings. Ava and Lily begin to read the testimony of one Rosemary Willow, a resident of Westchester in the 1870s. Willow's testimony describes seeing the women on trial for witchcraft in the woods, along with a mysterious "other." As she reads, Ava seems to go into a trance and the lights begin to flicker. She doesn't come back to herself until you forcibly take the book away, at which point the lights return to normal.
Every few decades, Westchester is also plagued with a rash of mysterious comatose patients. Victims in these cases tend to fall unconscious in or around the woods and cannot be woken up by medical methods, despite a lack of physical trauma or brain injury that would explain their comas.
The journals of Josephine Vance also confirm that she visited Westchester after discovering her connection to the Power. She met Cora Pritchard and learned more about her abilities as a medium before returning to her home in what would eventually become Pine Springs.
At eight years old, you and your best friend Jane discover ruins in the forest. Intrigued when pebbles you throw through the doorway freeze and hover midair, you enter the building and eventually befriend Redfield, the spirit who lives inside. You soon return with the rest of your friends. Although you and your friends initially have a good relationship with Mr. Red, he later forces you to play the game "Are You Scared," and Jane is killed.
Ten years later, Dan disappears. You, Noah, and potentially Ava and Andy go into the woods to find him. Returning allows Mr. Red to leave, after which strange things begin occurring in Westchester. After you rescue him, Dan falls into a coma. Animals attack a number of the students and teachers at Westchester High, including bullies Cody and Jocelyn and English teacher Charles Cooper (who later falls into a coma as well). Eventually, Cody is impaled and dies, apparently having fallen from your roof. You and your friends attempt to seal Mr. Red to protect the town, using a spell Cora Pritchard provided. Although the spell initially appears to work, Mr. Red's monsters attack the students of Westchester during the homecoming dance. Nearly all the students escape thanks to Jocelyn's heroism in barricading the door, at the cost of her own grievous injury.
When you and your friends return to the woods, you find out that Jane replaced the previous iteration of Redfield when she died, and that she has gathered all of you (with Noah's help) to repeat the game of "Are You Scared" and free her from her curse. During the game, all or none of your friends can be killed, and either you or Noah volunteers to take Jane's place. As the survivors flee, the house collapses, burying all evidence of the tragedy.
One year later, the Westchester gathers for a memorial. The eulogy given by you or Connor establishes that most of the town has accepted the cover story of a wild animal attack on homecoming coupled with a natural cave collapse in the woods. However, the epilogue of It Lives Beneath reveals that the survivors of the events of homecoming night are banding together to proactively fight back against the Power in hopes of preventing tragedies like those that occur in Westchester and Pine Springs.
- Main Character's house
- Britney's house
- Noah's house
- Cora's house
City of Westchester
- Gunther's Hardware
- Coffee shop
- Main Street