Hook: For the past ten days, grisly murders have been taking place in the small town of Garrets Hill. Each night one of the townspeople has been electrocuted. The characters may be related to one of the victims, or called in by local police for their skills (if the character is a noted doctor or pathologist), or perhaps the characters are simply driving through the city, or a member of the press. On the surface, the victims have nothing distinctive in common. In such a small community, there is too much overlap of daily living for police to single out one common factor between the deaths. In each case, the victim was killed in their own home, usually in their beds around 1:00 am, it's as if each body was completely enveloped in a powerful electric field (some of the remains were little more than carbon and ash). The police are baffled by the instrument the killer is using, pathology has determined that the amount of electricity needed for the killings is greater than what could even be generated by the local public wiring (it would cause the wire casing to completely melt), but meter usage shows no unusual activity. Each body shows no trauma, no injury aside from the electrocution. Further, the telltale contact points on the remains are in the shape of handprints.
There have been no strangers of note in the area, and the only other odd event has been power fluctuations and massive drains all over the city grid. Engineers have been unable to determine the cause of the fluctuations or even determine where they come from (the prevalent theory is that the electrocutions are causing them even though they occur at times other than the killings). The residents are in a state of utter panic and paranoia. They are beginning to lock themselves up for safety and some of the more fringe residents have taken to waking around armed. A few have formed into patchwork watchdog groups and are roaming the city at night on patrol. Even with these added precautions the killings have continued. The victims were found in houses which had been forced open no matter how carefully locked. Some of the victims have even had sophisticated security systems which seem to have been completely bypassed.
Line: On the night the characters arrive, another murder will take place. Marsha Clark will die at precisely 1:35 am (she was wearing a watch which stopped at that time), her sister will find her body mere moments after the death and call police. Marsha's father John was killed the day before, Marsha was released from the hospital just a few hours before after being treated for shock. Her sister Gwyndyn will be taken into police custody for her own safety and for questioning. Should the characters somehow be in attendance or have an inside source they will find out the following:
Gwyndyn saw nothing out of the ordinary before the killing. Marsha felt uncomfortable going home where her father was killed and decided to stay with her sister. The house was completely locked up, the locks seem to have been opened without force. Some time around 1:00, Gwyndyn noticed that the power was flickering on and off, she called the electric company to complain (the phone logs will confirm this). The security system was bypassed, it did not register any tampering or code override, it simply did not work between 1:20 and 1:45, there is no explanation, it should not have been possible (the device will have a log showing it was drawing power at that time). Gwyndyn became alarmed when the lights completely went out at 1:20 and went to the kitchen to find a flashlight. She heard strange noises upstairs and went to check, a strange glow was coming from the room Marsha was sleeping in. Stepping inside, Gwyndyn saw a man holding down Marsha, the man was covered in a brightly glowing electric field. She ran for help but got a good look at him. Using a sketch artist, Gwyndyn will eventually identify the man: David Stone, who was executed fourteen years ago for murder.
Sinker: The killer is indeed Stone, or rather, Stones spirit. Stone was tried for murder after killing 18 people in a cross county crime spree of robbing banks. Stone was a native of Garretts Hill and local police apprehended him by sheer luck while he was stopping for gas, the attendant noticed an empty bank bag in the back seat. He was tried in the local court as a political move and sentenced to electrocution. At the verdict, Stone swore that he would have revenge on the people who had sentenced him to die: the jury, the officers who captured him, and the judge who convicted him. He was in county jail for two years before being executed. The jail, which is only a few miles from town, was in the process of closing during the trial and is currently vacant (and falling apart). His execution was the last.
Unknown to most of the townspeople, Stone had a son in another small city nearby; Robert. The child was abandoned by his mother shortly after Stone was arrested and became a ward of the state. In the following years, Robert was shuttled from one family to another without ever being adopted. Robert has a history of mental instability; his father has been trying to communicate with him for years. Robert sometimes hears voices and sees things (he might be a latent psychic). Eventually, he reached the age where he was forced out on his own and has drifted from city to city since. Robert is a terminal bad luck case, nothing seems to work right for him, the drugs he takes to control his "schizophrenic episodes" only works part of the time and makes him a zombie. His social skills and education are fairly lacking. For the past two months, Robert has had terrible nightmares and his visions have been more horrific than usual (his father trying to influence him). With some subtle prodding, the spirit of his father drew him to Garrets Hill and the old jail.
Stone took possession of his son Robert during an alcoholic binge when Robert passed out on the electric chair at the wrong time (a minor flare on a ley line) and was overtaken by his fathers spirit. Stone has followed up his threat and is hunting down everyone connected to the case for vengeance. Even the relatives of the people involved will eventually be attacked. In his current state, Stone has almost limitless control over electrical systems up to 150' and touching with both hands can kill. He is hiding in the electric chamber of the old jail, drawing power from the grid through the chair. If the players do not stop him, he will keep killing until everyone even remotely related to the case is dead. Stone only lights up when he's made a "circuit" of his victim with a touch attack (Stone absorbs the victims PPE when they die in this manner, the psychic energy helps him maintain his hold in the physical world - he must kill a person each night or be forced out of Robert). Stone's ability to override security systems coupled with his criminal skills make him a formidable guerrilla opponent. He won't take unnecessary chances, but will trail his victims and attack from the shadow whenever possible.
One of the townspeople may have noticed the drifter walking by the side of the road two weeks ago near the abandoned facility. Or perhaps the characters may stumble across a paternity suit against Stone in his criminal record, indicating his son Robert. At some point, the characters will figure out that Robert is the vehicle for Stone's vengence and take steps to prevent it. A full scale exorcism would work, the most effective way of dealing with the spirit is to cut off the electric chair from the power grid, the spirit can only "recharge" at the point where Stone died. Another way is to somehow isolate Robert so that Stone cannot kill to absorb the PPE he needs. Completely submerging Robert in water while he is possessed will short him out, unfortunately killing him in the process. However, unless the electric chair itself is actually destroyed, the spirit will eventually return.
Robert is currently in a dream-like state, unaware of what is happening while Stone is in control. Should the evil entity be driven out, Robert will remember none of it and eventually drift off to rebuild his life. Without the influence of his father hounding him, he will actually manage to pull himself together, attend trade school, and settle down to a productive and healthy life. There is no direct evidence linking him to the crime scenes, the police will not find him unless the characters intervene.