Greyson University
Shadowgard Center
East Shadowgard
Shadowgard Heights
Shrouded Hollows
South Shadowgard
Ezekiel Kent Pond

Incorporated 1709 (as Shadowsgarde Village)
1755 (reincorporated as Shadowgard)
Current Population Approximately 80,000
County Kerry
Zip Code 02177
Area Code 481

Located approximately an hour northwest of Boston by car, Shadowgard appears at first glance to be a fairly typical small city and college town. Its residents are friendly enough, its schools good to middling, and it holds plenty of shops and nightspots to keep all the teens and young adults happy. Though Shadowgard does have its dark side - in the form of the generally impoverished, overcrowded and crime-ridden South Shadowgard - it seems on the whole to be a nice enough town, if rather unremarkable. But as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

Those who dare to scratch Shadowgard's surface find themselves face-to-face with a rather different city: a city with abnormally high crime rates even in fairly quiet, affluent areas, considering Shadowgard's size and population demographics. A city "blessed" with an unusually large number of sprawling cemeteries. A city where the number one cause of suspicious deaths is extreme neck trauma and forced exsanguination, and an alarming number of murders and disappearances remain perpetually unsolved. A city where most of the residents seem almost overzealous in their denial of the darkness pervading their day-to-day lives.

Shadowgard's history has been tumultuous, to say the least. Nearly three hundred years ago, the Reverend Ezekiel Kent swept into the area with his two sons and a hardy group of settlers, forming a small but devout religious community on ground that had long been said to be haunted and plagued by evil. That first village of Shadowsgarde went up near the shores of what would one day be known as Ezekiel Kent Pond, by the bank of the Baldwin River that flowed southward into the Mesqotonic. The settlement initially thrived, forming a somewhat tense but peaceful relationship with the shattered remnants of the Mesqotonic tribe, and the men of the village began to openly resist the forces of evil, curtailing vampire activity in the region from the town's first season. For a time, it seemed as though Shadowsgarde would prove to be the beacon of light and hope that the Reverend Kent hoped it would become - but sadly, the Reverend Kent's dream died just a few years later. In the summer of 1715, the village was destroyed in a mysterious firestorm that killed many of the more prominent citizens - including the Reverend Kent and his sons - and reduced every building save the village chapel to ash and cinders.

Strangely, those who survived the blaze seemed more determined than ever to carry on the Reverend's work, and most of Shadowsgarde's residents remained in the area for years afterward, impressing upon their children and grandchildren the need for villages like theirs and strong champions to defend it. Finally, forty years after the village's destruction, the various homesteads in the region were reincorporated into the town of Shadowgard, and the area was gradually built up once more. In the intervening years, however, much knowledge had been lost, and the new townsfolk were not so prepared to fight on the front lines of the war between good and evil. Ultimately, it was all they could do to hold their town together.

The town's fortunes waxed and waned repeatedly in the decades that followed. Champions would rise periodically from among the populace, rallying support and waging war against the forces of darkness; but always, inevitably, they were crushed. This cycle continued until the end of the nineteenth century, when Arthur Cain Greyson and his associates moved into town and established their university, setting up a new line of defense against the forces of evil. Once again, the town knew some peace, and this time around, that tranquility lasted for nearly twenty years. Ultimately, however, that peace was once again cut short. Greyson's magical cabal - the Most Sacred Fellowship of the Gryphon and the Nine Stars - disbanded violently in 1907, and those members who survived and remained in the area - chiefly Greyson and a man named William Calumet Solomon - retreated from the eternal battle. Though Shadowgard did not exactly sink into the levels of depravity the town had known before Greyson's arrival, it was once again left largely unprotected.

In recent years, there has been an occult upswing in Shadowgard, as various local magicians and psychics have taken notice of the confluence of mystical energies and strange happenings in the area. The city is swiftly supplanting Salem as the occult capital of Massachusetts; it also hosts a growing art community, an emerging tech sector, and an increasingly socially liberal populace that serves to attract GLBT residents. The conspiracy of silence that keeps most of the more violent unsolved crimes off the front page has worked like a charm: Shadowgard is already a good-sized city for its location and is continuing to grow. Unfortunately, thus far, crime rates, hauntings and unexplained occurences are keeping pace, and it's only a matter of time before another force for evil attempts to establish a foothold in the city. If the people of Shadowgard are to survive, they'll need new champions - and soon.