The Vanderburg family are townies in Crumpleton, meaning they are not a family I play rotationally. Once I added my own families to the small town, I picked some of my favourite pre-mades to fill up the empty homes and job vacancies. I play slowly, so I’m still setting up the town and decided I wanted some new roles: a social services type career for all the civic needs in town like health workers, housing officers, and community development projects; and I needed to extend the law gameplay, so that arrested criminals had somewhere to go for trial. Catarina and her husband were already employed at the town hall, but I had too many sims in the politics career, so it made sense to use this family for my new careers.
I adapted their story a little. The Vanderburgs are from Hidden Springs and their back-story is that Catarina is the queen of that town. Well… Crumpleton already has it’s own founders, the Crumplebottom family! So I decided that Caterina is from a noble family who are distant relatives of the royal family. They are very rich, living in a big house in the older part of town around Crumpleton Park (the house is taken from Dragon Valley and adapted a little to suit the old English/Celtic feel of the town). The Vanderburgs don’t need to work, but they are good people who feel the need to serve their local community. More about this later!
Caterina and Renauld’s adult daughter, Francisca has been missing for some time and the family are very concerned about her. Her brother, Sebastian, has joined the local police force hoping to be able to track her down…
It was a sad morning in the Vanderburg house. Renauld woke up to a quiet house, he wondered why he couldn’t hear the usual morning noises of his wife preparing breakfast in the kitchen. He went to investigate and found a plate of jam sandwiches instead of his usual full English.
Odd. Where was Caterina? Renauld found her sobbing quietly in the garden, she was worrying about her daughter again. Why hadn’t the police found her yet? If Francisca was safe, why hadn’t she contacted them? Caterina had posted a large reward for information, why had they not heard anything?
Renauld gently guided her back into the house for a jam sandwich, ‘You must eat something!’
Caterina sat quietly at the far end of the table, where she could look out of the window in the vain hope she might see her daughter pass by. Renauld filled the silence with forced optimism, talking about his colleagues in the law field and how surely someone would stumble over some information soon. Sabastian appeared in his uniform and sat close to his mother, he didn’t need to say anything, his presence alone was enough to comfort her. Caterina picked up a jam sandwich and nibbled a corner gratefully: she knew he had prepared them hurriedly as he got ready for work.
With an encouraging nod to his mother, Sabastian left for work. As he drove his police car the short distance into town, he scanned the woods for signs of his sister. He was determined he would be the one to find her. He was sure she was alive, he knew his sister better than anyone! He knew Francisca had been feeling pressured by his mother’s pushy nature (though he would never hurt his mother’s feelings by telling her this). He was sure that if he could just find her, he could explain that their mother only wanted the best for them and persuade her to come out of hiding.
As he arrived at the station, he noticed a smart-looking woman entering the building. She seemed to know her way around but he hadn’t noticed her before. Sabastian was new to the force and hadn’t met everyone yet. He was sure she wasn’t a police officer, so maybe she was a regional superior? He approached her and she introduced herself as Emily Mitchel. Emily was the local primary school teacher and she was trying to arrange a school visit to the station.
Just then they were interrupted by the arrival of Roxy Hunter. Roxy was well-know to the police, she was a good person but she couldn’t seem to keep herself out of trouble! Sabastian had been looking for her in connection with a low-level crime that had been reported and her son had persuaded her to ‘do the right thing’ and hand herself in.
Sabastian sighed and booked her in. Typically, Roxy didn’t take it too seriously. While he questioned her, Sabastian also asked if she had heard anything about his sister. Roxy was always at the station for one reason or another and knew Francisca was missing, she would have told him if she discovered anything. In a small town like Crumpleton, secrets were hard to keep, and Roxy moved in circles Sebastian couldn’t. But Roxy hadn’t heard anything either.
Sebastian sighed again and left to write up his report. First he made coffee, he was feeling down and needed something to power him through the dull form-filling. Like his mother he chose to sit by the window if by chance his sister should walk by.
The work day came to an end and Sebastian made his way back home. As he pulled his car into the drive he noticed his parents talking in the garden. Sebastian smiled, he was pleased their relationship was surviving the stressful time. They even seemed to be finding more time for each other.