Living Campaign: Cornelius Weatherhorn

By Caleb Gillombardo on


This Living Campaign is a series of articles where every author has an impact on the world. Articles can focus on any part of the setting, from locations to NPCs or even events. Writers can add new elements to the world or they can build upon what already has been defined. This will be a system-agnostic series, meaning that it will provide flavor and content instead of stat blocks and monster entries.

The intent of this series is to provide inspiration for home games. It will draw on foundational elements from Lovecraftian fiction as well as the horror and urban fantasy genres. The ideas presented can be utilized individually, or as a whole. As the setting develops and evolves, special articles will feature story lines within the established world. But all of the content in this series is simply fodder for additional development.

The specific boundaries and details of this campaign setting are intentionally vague. This is done so that all contributors have absolute freedom to create whatever they wish. Authors can add in any geographic details they want, from coastlines to mountains. The city itself might contain a university, manufacturing plants, shipping docks, or any number of physical locations. The general location and time frame will be the United States in the 1920s. However, the nature of this genre lends itself to a certain flexibility. Anything can, and might, happen.

And with the introduction complete…welcome to New Coventry.

Cornelius Weatherhorn: Character

Cornelius is a retired teacher. In his late 50s, he’s enjoying his calm, quiet life. He has no family in New Coventry. He moved to town in his youth in search of work and romance. After traveling the country, writing about small town life in this great country, he decided that he needed a steady job if he was ever going to duplicate the classic family experience that he had seen so frequently. New Coventry offered just such an opportunity, and Cornelius was a natural at sharing his knowledge and experience with students.

Unfortunately, he was not as skilled at love. Cornelius was a respectable gentleman. He did not partake of liquor and he was did not posses a temper. But no relationship could last more than six months. Small towns are full of gossip, and rumors flew. However, his reputation survived. None of his partners ever spoke ill of him, instead saying that they simply held different interests. But hushed stories still circulated that Cornelius was a peculiar man behind closed doors, with exceedingly strange behaviors and preferences.

When the university eventually opened, Cornelius began teaching there. He quickly gained fame as a man interested in ancient texts and writings. He taught several classes on the subject, and began traveling again to search out rare finds. Visitors to the campus would bring him old books and scrolls. His fame grew to international status, and brought a measure of prestige to the small college. He attended several renowned conferences in Europe.

It was after one such conference that Cornelius abruptly retired. He donated his collection to the university library and retreated to a life of seclusion in his small home outside of town. He has lived that way for 20 years. He is not a recluse, but he does enjoy his privacy. He is seen about town shopping or eating. And he enjoys taking long walks through the woods that surround New Coventry. He does visit the university occasionally, but he absolutely never sets foot in or near the library. He also will not explain any of the reasons for his actions.

Cornelius Weatherhorn is a friendly, well-liked member of the New Coventry community. But those rumors are starting to circulate again.


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