The Carson Family
Eureka: January, 1880. William Carson has just begun to expand his redwood lumber empire with the help of his partner, inventor John Dolbeer. The Carson Manor is rising, plank by plank, in the heart of Myrtletown. Within the city, all looks bright.
But on Bloody Island, known now as Gunther Island, the future seems far darker. Gunther Carson, William’s younger brother, has for years sulked in his brother’s shadow. After all, he moved to Eureka first! He founded the shipyard on the island that bears his name! He helped to make this town! And now his shipyard is failing, the ships he and his crew have repaired beset by…unusual calamity. The people in town whisper that the whole Gunther enterprise is cursed, stained by the atrocities committed on Bloody Island. The wealth Gunther once enjoyed has faded, as has his manor, a massive Second Empire estate set in the heart of the island itself. Yet in Eureka proper, William’s star is rising. It is patently unjust. As traffic to the shipyard has faltered, Gunther has become more and more of a recluse. The island, accessible only by ferry or rowboat from the mainland, makes his self-imposed hermitage easy. The only companionship he allows is that of his wife, Bianca; his children; his wife’s brother, Anthony; his two remaining servants, Mrs. Stevens (housekeeper) and Mr. Jenkins (butler); the shipyard dogs; and the ruffians who once manned the docks.
For character creation, you will be playing a child of the darker side of the Carson family, the progeny of Gunther and Bianca or of one of their associates. The options for family origin are detailed below:
Gunther and Bianca Carson – Gunther is the very image of 19th century masculinity, with clean cheeks and upper lip and a broad spade of a beard. He was once considered very handsome and charming, but his mood has darkened as his business declined. He now snaps and growls at his wife and children and tends to shut himself up in the west wing of his house, allowing no one else to intrude into his solitude. Bianca was a lovely, caring, God-fearing woman until a year ago, when she was struck with a mysterious malady. She became increasingly unable to perform her duties as wife and mother, as she has been confined to her sickbed for weeks at a time with fevers and disturbing nightmares. When she does move around the house, she is the shadow of her former self, drawn and listless. Gunther and Bianca were married in 1863 and can have up to 6 children, ranging in age from 16 or 17 down to 9 or 10.
Anthony Maxwell – As Bianca’s younger brother, Anthony moved up from San Francisco to assist his brother-in-law in the running of his shipyard. He is a clean-cut man in his early 30’s. Though his wife died in childbirth several years ago, he could have a single child (or twins) of age 9-13. Mr. Maxwell lives in his own small house on the Island.
Miriam Stevens – A rather severe middle-aged woman with a considerable drinking problem (though she would never admit as much), Mrs. Stevens has remained with Gunther primarily because no other employer would tolerate her dissolution, dishonesty, and slatternly conduct. She keeps rooms in the servants’ quarters in the East Wing of the house. She has a “husband” who is “away at sea” and has been for many years, and could have a child of age 14-17.
Peter McDougal, Johannes Gupter, and Reginald Strakey – These three toughs represent Gunther’s “national” and “international” shipping interests. Mr. McDougal hails from Scotland and came to Eureka from the shipyards of New Jersey, where it is said he is wanted for several counts of murder. Johannes Gupter hails from South Africa via London, and is looming and silent. Reginald Strakey is lately of Kansas City, a wiry little man with a nervous laugh, and was a stranger to ship repair before signing on with Gunther. Though it is hard to imagine who would love these three, it is possible that they might have any number of children…McDougal and Gupter were sailors, after all. Their children’s ages could range from 9-17.
Mr. Jenkins and George Wilson – Both confirmed bachelors, neither has any children. Mr. Jenkins, the butler, is an elderly gentleman in his early 70’s and has been with Gunther since shortly after his marriage to Bianca, having previously served for 18 years as the Maxwells’ butler in their prominent San Francisco household. He has remained on Gunther Island mostly because of the children, for whom he has developed a fondness. George Wilson is the youngest of the shipyard workers, only in his mid-twenties. A West Coast native, he never seemed to get along well with the other workers and typically keeps his distance from the Gunther estate, where the others gather to share meals.
After deciding on your parentage, choose your character concept (Mask) and have an idea of your character’s Shadow. The Shadow can be further defined after the intro session. Otherwise, I will basically use the character creation rules.