Free Adventure: The Old House

The Old House

I have a new book coming out just in time for Halloween! The Old House is a tale of horror set in the corn fields of Iowa in 1975. Players take on the roles of children from a tiny town called Ocean Shore, when a strange house appears.

As summer boredom sets in will they explore the house?

The game can be played with simple rules included in the book, or with your favorite percentile horror system.

Pay what you want at: Drive Thru RPG.

 

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Free System: Card Trick

 

Come check out my One Page RPG system Card Trick!

It is easy to run, and as the name suggests can be played with a deck of cards. Convenient if traveling or find yourself without dice!

The game is quick and action filled and easy to transform into whatever setting you want!

Comes with a one page scenario to play as well!
Get it at: Drive Thru RPG.

 

Friday Game Notes: Goliard Nunnery of Saint Rebecca

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A small pleasant home for a bakers dozen of nuns. Together they practice good nun related virtues and venerate their Saint Rebecca. It is a small compound with a medium sized church and several buildings for storage, food, and sleeping quarters. A low wall surrounds it though there is no gate nor guards.


Information

There is a small farmhouse between Bouclans and the Nunnery where travellers can stay the night. The peasants there, Dany and Edwige and their quadruplets, Georgette, Lucile, Clotilde, and Joan, are very welcoming.

A wagon from Puyloubard Inn seeking exotic ingredients is happy to spread rumours. With him is the squire of the steward of the Lord de Lucy who is travelling to the Nunnery to inquire if the Lord’s daughter is there.

The squire is friendly, if a little clumsy. He is happy to join anyone going the rest of the way to the nunnery and will trust anyone.

Art History – The nunnery is famous for it’s tapestries, supposedly woven by Saint Rebecca herself.

Antiquary – The nunnery is built on the site of an old Roman temple. Maybe there are hidden tunnels underneath!

Camaraderie/Common Touch – The wagon driver mentions that all sorts of things are happening at the Puyloubard Inn.

  • The Lady Maxine de Gizac arrived on her way to the Royal Wedding and has decided to stay in the Inn terrorizing everyone.
  • A steward of the Lord de Lucy is staying at the Inn and will be travelling to the Nunnery to inquire after the Lord’s daughter.
  • The squire is travelling to the nunnery and wanted a ride. He will walk with anyone the rest of the way.

The Compound

The tapestries are kept inside the Mother Superior’s Office on the top floor of the dormitory building. During the day nuns are out and about and will see any skulkers. At night a sister keeps vigil during the night with a burning candle to make sure no young men sneak in to bother the postulants.

Architecture – The church building is built of large thick marble stones that are easy to climb and the other two buildings, the dining hall and dormitories are a jump away from the roof on either side.

Antiquary – The marble blocks of the church are repurposed blocks from the Roman Temple and the foundations look like they kept the same shape of the original. There is probably no way to access any secret tunnels under the church from inside anymore. Maybe there is an entrance in one of the other buildings.

Notice – A sister calls down to another who has been locked onto a tiny platform inside the well. She sounds miserable down there.

  • Reassurance – The nun at the bottom of the well will welcome anyone who can promise to help her off the ledge, her knees nearly giving way.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak into the nunnery or climb the buildings.


Mother Superior Hélène

The head of the nunnery is a warm and wide woman who could be described as bustling. However under her cheery personality she is cruel and demanding, threatening cruel and unusual tortures for her daughters.

Tortures:

Candle Torture – a misbehaving nun who can’t keep their hands still must hold their hands above a burning candle until the candle burns out.

Well Watch – A stone passage under the nunnery opens into the well shaft by a small wooden door. On the other side is a small overhang just a few feet above the water only a foot or so wide barely wide enough for a nun to stand.

Bullshit Detector – The Mother Superior has a short fuse under all that fat and cheer, it would be unwise to upset her.

Flattery – Hélène is very proud of her nunnery and is happy to show visitors the famous tapestries which she keeps locked in her study.

Performance – The Mother Superior is very keen on violent puppet shows and will be happily distracted clapping her hands like a child while watching one.

Normal (4) rolls to trick the Mother Superior.


Sister Carole

The accountant of the nunnery, Sister Carole takes care of all the monetary concerns. She has a small office off of the kitchens and dining room building.

Accounts – It is clear with a careful peek upside down at the book Sister Carole works at that the nunnery has very little money and is struggling. The nunnery relies solely on donations to survive.

Intimidation – It is clear that Sister Carole is terrified of the Mother Superior and wont tell her about the financial troubles of the nunnery for fear of punishment.

Negotiation – Sister Carole is willing to pinch and sell one of the tapestries if she thinks a rich enough seller will pay for it.

Forgery – By faking papers from the Templar Bank she will be convinced that the visitor can pay for a tapestry. However they will have to provide her with a good way to steal the tapestry from under the Mother Superior’s nose.

Easy (2) rolls to trick Sister Carole.


Dormitory

The tunnel inside the well is part of the old Roman foundations and run underneath the dormitories. There it opens into a cellar being used to store extra bedding. The nuns use this tunnel for a quicker way to get water from the well or as the Mother Superior’s extra punishment.

The stairs from the cellar lead into a back hall. To get to the staircase leading to the second floor where the Mother Superior’s rooms are a thief would have to cross through one of the nun’s sleeping dorms. The hall is up against the outer wall and so has no window to climb out.

Each night some nuns sneak out. The nuns can be snuck by but if any of them wake a Intimidation or Reassurance spend of 1 point will let them pass without a panic.

If they sneak through at night they may witness two nuns sneaking down the stairs from the second story dorm.

Sense Trouble – Someone is coming quick hide!

Notice – Those foot steps sounded irregular, perhaps there are squeaky steps that they were avoiding.

  • 1 point spend – By carefully counting steps you think you’ll be able to figure out which steps they were avoiding. At least with a little luck.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the dormitory.


Mother Superior’s Rooms

Upstairs is another dormitory for the postulants and the Mother Superior’s rooms. The Mother Superior keeps her rooms locked and an Infiltration roll is required.

Her suite is split into two rooms, an office and her bedroom. During the day she closes off her bed room but at night she sleeps with the door open.

The only window is in the bedroom and she keeps it open but any thief trying to sneak in this way finds they will have to climb over the sleeping Mother Superior to get to the door. The Mother Superior keeps the tapestries rolled inside a locked chest in her office besides her desk.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak around the Mother Superior’s Rooms.


Target

Tapestries of Saint Rebecca

Woven by the saint herself they show images of the Lord standing amongst rather sloppily woven flowers. They must have some value. Right?

Friday Game Notes: Goliard Puyloubard Inn

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A fortified inn on the road between the Lake of Coubron and Aparee. Many noble people and rich travellers stop here. At the moment the Noble Maxine de Gizac a rich and fat woman from the South has installed herself in the Inn on her way to Sistels for the Royal Wedding. Also there is a steward of Lord de Lucy, who is searching for the Lord’s daughter believing her to be hiding in the Nunnery of Saint Rebecca.


The Walls

The Inn is surrounded by low walls only 8 meters tall. A small wooden platform around the inside connects a few guard huts along the top.

There are several taller towers topped with protruding wooden rooms on top. Here the servants and guards sleep above the supplies that keep the guests fed and drunk.

There is a gate with heavy wooden doors. It is kept locked at night and opened in the morning.

Architecture – The walls are easy to climb, but a good climber could use the overhanging buildings to get closer to the tower or into the Inn’s supply rooms.

Normal (4) rolls to climb the walls.

The Guards

The Inn employs six archers to keep the Inn safe. While not skilled with sword the towers around the walls and inside provide good overlooks to all approaches and inside the yard.

They remain in the yard or in their tower during the day.

At night they close the gates and take shifts walking around the walls with an eye out for brigands.

They have orders to challenge and then shoot anyone seen sneaking around the yard or outside the walls without a lantern.

Militaria – The guards in the Inn seem to be archers by their armor and gear. In a hand to hand fight they wouldn’t stand a chance, but pity the person who faces their arrows.

Camaraderie – The archers are keen to talk to people like them. They all too often have to bow and scrape to Noble people.

  • Maxine de Gizac has been tyrannical at the Inn, harassing the bar maids and tormenting the servants.
  • She keeps her invitation to the Royal Wedding locked up in her room, the room which she stole from the Inn keeper himself.
  • She has been trying to get Paige Mills, an Britia woman who works at the Inn to become her courtesan.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak past the guards.

The Stables

The Inn has room to keep the many horses and wagons that the guests bring with them. They open into the yard and are against the outer wall.

The Inn Keeper’s children, a young boy and girl manage the stables. They sweep out the stalls and organize the tackle. At night one or the other sleep in the stable to keep the horses safe.

Edmond and Julie are young and easy to subdue.

Intimidation – The children are easily scared.

  • They can point out which horses are whose.
  • They know that Maxine kicked their parents out of the biggest bed room.
  • The de Lucy steward is in one of the state rooms on the third floor.
  • The third guest is a scary lady that pays in solid gold coins that look freshly minted.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak past the young children.


The Servants

There is a small service staff about the Inn. A cook, three bar maids, and two cleaners.

They sleep in a building above the walls above the food storage. There is a stair case on the outside of the tower that leads into the yard.

The cook gets up early and takes ingredients the nearby farmers sell the Inn into the kitchen. He then spends most of the day baking and cooking for the noble guests.

The bar maids, Paige Mills, Odette, and a man Cédric work inside the Inn’s main dining room serving drinks and bringing food to the guests at table or to their rooms.

Carousing – A hard drinker impresses the bar maids. They will happily join a good tempered drinking bout.

  • Maxine is a tyrant and a drunk. Her only personal servant who has remained is a disgusting butler as bad as the Lady herself.
  • Maxine has asked Paige to be her courtesan three times now. She has refused to leave until Paige agrees.
  • The de Lucy Steward is heading to the Nunnery of Saint Rebecca in search of the Lord’s missing daughter.

Paige Mills

A Britia woman who stayed in Nonagawle after stopping on pilgrimage to the Vatican. She is young and pretty, red headed and freckled she is at odds with the darker Nonagawle women.

Her looks have not gone unnoticed by Maxime, who has asked her to become his courtesan. She refused, she likes her life at the Inn and already has a relationship with Odette, the other bar maid.

Flirting – Any men trying to flirt with Paige find out that she has no interest in men. However women find the opposite.

  • She is happy to flirt but she is very in love with her fellow bar maid Odette.
  • She knows the Church would condemn her if they found out.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak past the cook or maids. If they are threatened they will flee.

The Inn Keeper and His Wife

The owners have taken to sleeping on the second floor since Maxine has kicked them out of the larger room in the tower.

The Inn Keeper, Adam,  spends his time waiting on his rich guests and working the bar at night.

His wife Blanche helps out where she can and keeps the rooms clean. When not busy she does needle work by the fire.

Negotiation – A business like approach will get Adam to open up the easiest.

  • The Inn Keeper is fed up with Maxine. Since Paige refused to become her courtesan she has parked herself in the Inn house permanently.
  • He would pay anyone who figured out how to get rid of her.
  • He is seriously considering telling Paige that she has to go with the Lady. He feels bad about it but Maxine is ruining his business.

Flattery – Blanche is a kind old woman. She immediately trusts anyone who admires her needle work.

  • The de Lucy steward is a strange man. He has the de Lucy’s signet ring to prove to the head of Saint Rebecca’s that he has the authority to take the Lord’s daughter back.
  • Maxine has been demanding more and more unreasonable meals.
  • The de Lcuy steward is staying here until one of his squires returns from the Nunnery of Saint Rebeca.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak past or trick the Inn Keeper and his wife.

The Building

The Inn itself is a large stone building with two tall towers extruding from its roof. The three story building houses the many guest rooms, mostly empty since Lady Maxine moved in, the kitchen and dining room.

Normal guests stay in the bottom three stories but the richest can rent a whole tower for themselves.

Aurélia, Barthélemy both sleep on the bottom floor.

The Inn Keeper and his wife sleep on the second floor.

The Steward has a room on the third floor.

Maxine and her servant rent out the East tower.

The west tower is empty.

Architecture – The tower at first looks too perilous to climb, but at second glance the West tower could be scaled from the outside. A brave thief could then climb to the roof of the East tower and climb down to one of its windows. They could climb into the hall or the bedroom at the top.

Commerce – A keen eye on the wagons going to and from the Inn notices that they aren’t just getting normal supplies. They are in fact getting very specialized foods.

Hard (6) rolls to climb the outside of the building. There are two rolls necessary to climb to the top then across to the West tower.

Normal (4) rolls to infiltrate the building when it is locked.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak around the yard without being spotted by someone or a guard.


Other Guests

There are a few travelers staying at the Inn other than the two noble guests.

Barthélemy

A boisterous bard. Playing a twanging lyre he plays long fantastical tales of ancient Kings, and especially love songs.

He too has taken an interest in Paige. But of course he has little luck. However he can’t see past his own pencil mustache and hasn’t noticed she has no interest in him whatsoever.

Flattery/Flirting/Carousing – The bard appreciates all forms of attention. And you can’t shut him up once he’s started. God forbid you try to leave, for he will potentially follow you from room to room to tell his sordid tales.

  • He is deeply in LOVE with Paige. He has proposed to her and thinks that Maxine’s interest is the only thing keeping her from accepting.

Impossible (12) rolls to sneak past Barthélemy or trick him. He will see you and want to chat, seduce you, or play you a song.

Aurélia

A woman of older years who wears a black hood. She seems severe and distant and does not like to speak to other guests.

Aurélia, not her real name, is in fact a member of the Assassin’s Guild, payed for by the Queen. She has just returned from the Kingdoms of Venetia where she killed one of their Princes.

She is waiting for one of the Queen’s servants to arrive and pay her. Consequently she only has a few gold coins left.

Her room is on the first floor. The door is always in her sight. If anyone tries to sneak into her rooms at night she has a nasty trap waiting for them, a poisoned needle that can kill with a touch.

If Aurélia thinks someone knows her secret she will try to assassinate them. If unable to do that she will then try to recruit them if they are a woman, or have them arrested if they are a man.

Bullshit Detector 1 point spend – While the woman pronounces it naturally there is something odd about how she introduces herself. Like Aurélia is not her real name.

Militaria – Aurélia stands with the stance of a fighter and sits with plenty of room to rise. If you were to throw a bread roll at her she would likely fail to catch it, dismissing it as a true threat long before it reached her.

Streetwise – All veterans of city fights learn to recognize a fighter. Aurélia fits it to a T. She exudes the sense of danger that tells you to fuck off or be killed.

Hard (6) rolls to infiltrate Aurélia’s rooms or trick her.


The de Lucy Steward

The steward is staying at the base of the East tower. He has two squires with him.

The steward himself is dumb, unable to speak. The squires, trained to understand his hand signs translate for him. One has been sent ahead to the Nunnery to warn them of the steward’s coming.

The second squire sleeps on a cot outside the steward’s door in the small anteroom. He sleeps light since the steward can’t make too much noise.

The steward sleeps in a large well furnished room. There is a glass window that opens out onto the yard. A thief could easily climb up. However the steward keeps it shut and it will have to be broken quietly to get out.

The steward keeps the signet ring of his Lord de Lucy in a writing case he keeps by his bed.

Surveillance – The squire is sent away by the steward once every hour or so when he is in his room. Mostly for fire wood or a wine skin.

  • The steward comes out of his room twice a day for lunch and dinner. Otherwise he remains in his room writing.

Intimidation – If someone tries to intimidate the Squire he will get angry. Bravely he will pull a knife and try to scare an attacker away.

Taunt – The squire can be lured away by telling him one of the servants has insulted him.

High Society – by imitating a noble man a thief can get an audience with the steward and his squire.

Hard (6) rolls to infiltrate the rooms and sneak past the squire.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak past the steward or trick the squire.


Maxine de Gizac

The evil woman has taken over the West Tower. Much harder to climb it can be entered from below through the bottom floors or from an upper window by climbing from the East Tower.

Maxine has one servant left, a greasy man with a slick tongue, Renaud. He likes boasting to the servants about how rich his mistress is and ordering them around. He sleeps in the top room with a short sword to hand. One of the outside windows opens into Renaud’s room. The other opens into the stair well.

In the bottom room there is a small sitting room and the bedroom. The sitting room has a collection of many of the fineries from around the Inn. A cage with a song bird sits on a small table by the door.

The bedroom is flush with pillows. Their round softness barely equaling Maxine’s own girth.

Maxine de Gizac herself is a horrible person. She has bad manners, bad breath, and a bad temper. She keeps herself in her rooms, storming from sitting room and bedroom in her rages. She constantly orders more and more ridiculous foods and demands that Paige becomes her courtesan.

Maxine keepers her invitation to the Royal Wedding in a glass case in her bed room. It is unlocked.

Performance – Renaud is easily distracted by a show. The dumber the better.

High Society 2 point spend– If Maxine can be convinced that a noble more notable than her has come to visit she will happily let them in.

Astrology – Renaud frequently takes out a star chart and creates horoscopes for Maxine.

Notice – the Inn Keeper sends in many skins of wine. Maxine must be a raging drunk.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak past Maxine and Renaud.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak past the song bird.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak past Maxine or Renaud if they are drunk.


Targets

De Lucy Signet Ring

A lord’s signet ring.

Marriage Invitation

Invitation to the holder for the marriage of the King’s Daughter in the town of Sistels.

Friday Game Notes: Goliard Town of Bouclans

 

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Bouclans is a small walled town built at the edge of a small lake. Two gates protect it from an overshadowing hill, the houses cascading into the hollow of its tall towered walls. A large church towers over the smaller buildings its chapel facing out into the water.

The town has little interesting trade, making and exporting barrels as part of the cooper guild, the oak barrels either getting filled with fish from the lake or shipped empty to nearby breweries. The cooper’s guild keeps a wealthy guild house by the small docks where they sample some of the oldest ale vintages from their favourite breweries.

The church is famous for housing the body and treasure of Sir Goliath, a supposed giant who sacked an entire heretic city in the crusades himself. His body, still in his personally made iron armour lies in a hidden crypt far underground. Myth says that he was buried with three chests of gold, all that remained of his plunder after indulging in every tavern on the way home.

The town, being built on a lake, has many passages under the town to let streams flow off the hill under the streets. These are just big enough to get small row boats underneath and smugglers until recently used to use them to smuggle whisky across the lake. Bouclans being perfect because if they were caught they could pour out the ale and claim to be selling empting casks from the Cooper Guild.

The walls circle the entire town, including most of the water side, but small passages have been made to allow fishermen out to their boats on the lake. The lake mostly serves up eel which the locals eat with abandon but most neighbouring towns disdain.

There is no Ordo Vagus already here. The bishop of the church is notoriously fickle and uncaring while the smugglers who sometimes use the tunnels are unkind to thieves. Occasionally vagus will come to try their hand at finding Sir Goliath but most give up in sheer frustration.


Gate House

Architecture

Bouclan is surprisingly well defended though it has never been attacked. Two gate houses mark the bottom and top of a tall hill that separates the lake side town from the rest of the world.

Free – The walls are easily climbable and there are probably passages to let fishermen in and out.

Easy (2)  rolls to climb wall or find a secret passage.

Guards

The soldiers in the gate houses are paid for by the king and therefore are more rigorous than if they were local men. This is perhaps to stop the smugglers that used to use Bouclans as a hideout.

Day

Guards in both towers make sure to keep track of the wagons going in and out of the city and inquire after each strange traveller entering the town.

Night

At night the gates are shut. Guards patrol the walls and man the towers but the heavy wooden gates are kept shut.

Militaria – The soldiers in the gate houses don’t look like they ever relax and their insignia show them to be king’s men. They are probably more rigorous than local men.

Lore of Thievery – Bouclans used to be a well known smugglers hideout for getting whiskey barrels around royal tax collectors. Perhaps that’s why foreign men man the gates.

Commerce – It looks like only wagons are being stopped and searched, peasants and travellers on foot are free to pass.

Hard (6) rolls to bluff or sneak past the guards without suspicion.


Coopers Guild

Info Gathering

Tavern

Whispers in all the pubs about town all confirm it, the guild is not doing well ever since the Guild Master got in an argument with the owner of the closest brewery. Supposedly he agreed to marry the owner’s daughter but then went back on the deal when he saw her for the first time. No one really blames him but he’s kept the dowry.

Now that the brewery wont buy Bouclans barrels other coopers are undercutting them from elsewhere but the Guild Master refuses to give any of the dowry back, a large sum in gold and a precious cask of whisky, and he wont sell to any of the fishermen whose eels could fill the growing surplus of barrels.

Commerce/Accounting – Many wagons are leaving Bouclans only partially full and most heading along routes to distant towns. There are a lot of richer places they could be selling to.

History/Research – Bouclans is famous for its well crafted barrels which it would sell to breweries all around the country. Famously Bouclans is the only town where they made more money moving empty barrels than full ones. There once was a lot of money in the business.

High Society – The rich in the city, especially the guild members are getting more and more angry as their market fails. They think they could sell off the huge amount of surplus barrels to the fishermen if the Guild Master would let them.

Fanny Boisselot – Disdained Bride to Be

Stays day and night in a house across the street from the Guild House.

After being left at the altar by Manuel Fanny was not put off, rather stubborn she made her father’s servant hire her a house near the Guild House and now she is camped out waiting to get another chance to marry the Guild Master. She is very business minded after working with her father at the brewery and already has plenty of ideas on how to save the failing Cooper Guild.

Negotiation – Fanny will be happy to leave well enough alone if Manuel gives up the dowry or agrees to marry her. She thinks she can work out something with her father once she’s in charge of the guild. She’ll trade the famous cask of whiskey with any noble person who manages to get Manuel agree.

Omer – the Villainous Paymaster

During the day in the Paymasters office keeping accounts and handing out cash to coopers or wagon drivers. During the night he sneaks out to a gambling den near the Guild House. He sneaks back early at night.

In charge of the Guild’s accounts and paying merchants is Omer, a small dark haired man. Omer likes sticking his long sharp nose in every business he can. Largely in debt to the local gambling den he steels cash from the Guild Coffers correcting the accounts the next day.

Accounts – The account books in the guild are carefully changed to hide a small amount being stolen every couple of weeks.

Streetwise – a gambling den meets every week near the Guild House and a short cloaked man is seen sneaking inside every night. He seems to lose every game.

Intimidation – Omer is an easily dominated man. He will happily give up his keys to the coffers or the Guild House if pressed.

Exterior

The building is a large wooden three story building, filled with meeting rooms, dining rooms, and bed rooms for guests. There is a small private chapel as well. A well stocked stable houses horses and wagons connected to a wagon yard at the back to load barrels for sale.

The area around the guild house are the cooper workshops and homes. Interspersed with these are hoopers shops where blacksmiths pound out hoops for the barrels.

Architecture – The ground floors of the Guild House are filled with a dining room and large kitchen. Below must be a cellar where they keep the drink their barrels are famously filled with. Upstairs are guest rooms and probably the Guild Master’s private quarters.

  • 1 point spend: The second story flares out from the base of the building but the stables lean against the back and the loading crane make easy ways to sneak into the upper two stories of the building. Of course the neighbouring workshops and houses all overlook the Guild House.

Common Touch – The loading yard at the back is constantly filled with wagons loading up newly made wagons even with decreased business. A lot of strangers go in and out to the paymasters office.

  • 2 point spend: One of the smugglers tunnels goes directly underneath the building and there is a secret trapdoor into the kitchen.

Normal (4) rolls  to climb up to the upper stories.

Easy (2) rolls to sneak amidst the wagon drivers without suspicion.

  • But any suspicious action will alert people to a strangers presence.

Guards

Lightly armed men hired from the pool of waiting wagon drivers. They are ordered around by Mathis Polvo, a seasoned hand and soldier.

Mathis Polvo – Guard and Horsemaster

During the day wrangles the wagon drivers and their horses. At night camps out in the dining room trying to catch Omer stealing money.

The organizer of the guards and horses around the guild house Mathis is a hardened ex-soldier who fought with Manuel’s father in the crusades.

He even remembers seeing Sir Goliath collapse in the streets when he was a child. He suspects it was one of the town whores who had enough who poisoned the giant in the end.

Day

During the day the guards work as wagon drivers. Mathis Polvo works with the horses in the yard during the day.

Night

Three guards patrol around the outside of the building. Two more sleep next to the door of the Young Master’s room upstairs.

Mathis Polvo sleeps next to his sword in the dining room.

Militaria – At least five guards patrol the guild house at night. During the day there are a lot of armed men in the yard to guard the wagons as well.

  • The guards are clearly inexperienced. If in a group they may be dangerous.
  • 2 point spend: Three of the guards guard the bottom of the Guild House, the other two must patrol the upper floors.

Camaraderie – Money has been going missing so Mathis has had to hire more guards and with the Young Master keeping so much money upstairs he’s had to put guards up there as well.

  • 1 point spend: He thinks Omer is robbing the Guild for everything he can but he can’t prove it. He thinks Omer takes the money at night and so stays in the guild at night trying to catch him red handed.

Normal (4) rolls to sneak past the guards around or inside the guard house.

Near Impossible (7) rolls to sneak past Mathis Polvo.

Interior

The kitchen, stables, and Paymaster’s office both open onto the loading court. A locked door in the Paymaster’s office hides the coffers of the Guild House. The doors of the Guild House are locked up at night while three guards patrol outside. A stable boy tends the horses in the stables. Bruno, Manuel and Roselyne all have rooms inside. Mathis has been sleeping in the Guild House dining room hoping to catch Omer red handed.

Bruno – Cook

During the day working in the kitchen and serving the Guild Members in the dinning room. At night sleeping on a cot in the storage room.

A polite but quiet man Bruno enjoys cooking for the guild but he preferred it when they did a better business with the breweries. He enjoys talking to other people who enjoy good food and happily shares food with the wagon drivers and guards who come through the yard. He keeps the key to the cellars.

Flattery – Complementing his food will get Bruno to open up about his young employer. He thinks Manuel is just nervous about getting married, Bruno goes and brings Manuel food, the only time Manuel unlocks his doors. He knows the money and the cask are all still up there untouched.

Guild Members – The Coopers

During the day they feast in the house during the evening. During the night they sleep at their houses.

The coopers in town are well to do but are quickly becoming annoyed with the surplus of barrels not being sold by the guild. At least five turn up each night to eat dinner and discuss what is to be done but without Manuel’s seal they can’t do anything.

Performance – The guild members could do with a break from worrying and will happily pay some performers to entertain them with song and dance in the Guild House.

Roselyne Auguste – The Guild Master’s Sister

Stays the night in the Guild House, but during the day does business around town.

Roselyne is the sensible one, canny and straightforward she knows how to run a business and just wishes her brother would understand. She thinks he’s being childish that he wont marry Fanny Boisselot. She knows Fanny worked quite closely in her father’s business and should be an excellent spouse to help her brother run the Guild. The only thing she wants to do is move away from all of these eels and have an adventure somewhere else.

Flirting – Roselyne is very keen to get away from Bouclans and its many eels. If she can just get her brother to stop sulking and marry Fanny she can leave.

Reassurance – If someone can promise to get Manuel to marry Fanny she will happily let people inside as guests to talk to him. Of course she can’t promise he’ll come out of his room.

Normal (4) rolls to engage with any of the people who live in the Guild House.

Guild Master’s Room

The Guild Master’s room is on the third floor and Manuel keeps the door locked. He has the dowry in a chest as well as the small and ancient cask of whisky. He keeps his keys in his pocket and his seal in his desk. He keeps the windows locked most the day and only opens it to dispose of his chamber pot.

Manuel Auguste – The Guild Master

Locked up in the tower all the time.

The Guild Master has locked himself up in the Guild House sulking after his ruined betrothal. He is quite young, only twenty three and wishes his father had bothered to make his will out to his business minded sister. However he had been looking forward to getting married but chickened out at the last minute. After the scolding of a lifetime from his sister he’s locked himself away and refuses to sign any of the forms she brings him.

High Society 1 point spend – The Guild Master has locked himself in the Guild House ever since that silly marriage thing. Everyone knew that the owner’s daughter was a troll he should have accepted it.

Common Touch/Carouse – According to many of the fisher men and carousers in the pubs the Guild Master was to marry the daughter of one of the breweries in Marchenoir but refused her even after taking her dowry, a precious cask of ale and a heap of gold besides! They say he has it all in the guild house and refuses to let anyone near it.

Bullshit Detector – While rumours are spreading that Manuel refused to marry Fanny because of her looks in reality Manuel never even saw the poor girl and never showed up to the chapel.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak into the room without Manuel noticing.

Targets

Fanny’s Dowry

A small chest of gold and gems and a cask of expensive ale.

Guild Coffers

A large store of gold.


Church

Architecture

A large and towering church with a large and towering bishop.  The largest building in town it’s wide doors open onto the central square better sculpted even than the Mayor’s House diagonal to it.

The Church was built by the Freemasons ten years ago. It follows the standard design of most catholic churches but the masons carefully constructed the windows at irregular angles to create a crisscrossed space of light and shadow.

The altar is fairly bare, missing a normal cloth covering and topped by a large iron cross. The only valuables are the silver candlesticks.

The iron cross is actually Sir Goliath’s sword re-forged after his death. The Freemasons set the sword as part of a lever and if twisted the niche where the epitaph is carved opens to reveal a narrow stair case downwards into Sir Goliath’s tomb.

Notice – In the late evening the light perfectly light up a small alcove at the back of the altar. In the hollow a stone is slightly offset with a carved epitaph:

Slayer of men in battle,

But held up by many men,

He turned from battle,

To hold up Christ himself.

Research – Sir Goliath was a giant knight famous for sacking an entire town on his own. He supposedly killed three hundred infidels himself with his giant bastard sword. When he returned he used his massive wealth to keep himself in ale and whores across Europe until he arrived in Bouclans where he settled down. One day he fell dead in the street and was buried in the church. Supposedly the last three chests of treasure were buried with him.

  • Document Restoration – A mostly destroyed finance account mentions that after Sir Goliath’s death his sword was melted down by a blacksmith and sold to the church.

Occult Studies – The Freemasons built the building, famous for secret passages and occultism they almost always left secret marks for other members to find.

  • 1 point spend: One such mark is the poem meant as a riddle, the answer usually would refer to some other part of the building which would be the entrance upon pushing on a nearby secret button.

No rolls  needed to talk or sneak past the priests.

Inhabitants

Bishop Cyril

Bishop Cyril is immovable, worthy of sainthood being so stubborn it almost accounts for a miracle. He refuses entrance to any beggar or clerk who comes to his door. When he gives sermons he reads flatly from the Bible without a single shift in tone. He is yet to wonder why attendance drops. The Bishop Cyril runs a tight ship over his  own priests and would never allow them to live like the Ordo clerks.

Bishop Cyril tries to supress the stories of Sir Goliath but many of the towns people are proud of the gigantic city icon. To make maters worse a monk living at the church has vanished and the people say he found the secret entrance to Sir Goliath’s tomb and was killed by the traps inside.

He tells people that the missing Priest ran off and that he is too busy with his duties to God to worry about it. However the Bishop knows well where the brother is hidden. Wanting to swell trade during the cooper’s crisis he began to ask smugglers to work in the town. However now that the King’s Guard have moved in he is being threatened and is paying them their lost profits.

Bullshit Detector – The good Bishop is austere, but perhaps not so good. He certainly is hiding something.

Surveillance – The Bishop leaves lights on in his house at night. However careful observation notices no movement within.

Hard (6) rolls to trick the Bishop.

Priest Durand

A more kind hearted clergy man but constantly in tears, Priest Durand is worried about his friend Priest Périer who has been missing for a week. He knows that Priest Périer was obsessed with finding Sir Goliath’s tomb so he suspects that the towns people may be right. However after a traumatic attempt at begging Bishop Cyril to help him search Durand has forgotten anything Périer told him.

Interrogation – Durand just needs a firm questioning to remind him to think clearly. Once he’s shaken off his tears he remembers that Périer told him there was a strange cubby at the back of the altar. He said there was a strange saying carved above it that he thinks was about Sir Goliath.

No rolls to talk to Priest Durand.

The Tomb

The stairs from the church descend to a hinged stone door into a small vaulted chamber. Once a whole chamber, walls on either side have been knocked away to connect it to the Smuggler’s Tunnels. Trash and rubble cover the floor where the walls were destroyed. No further tomb is obvious.

Father Périer managed to get this far but had the misfortune to be kidnapped by the smugglers who are hiding out inside the tunnels.

Notice – Scuff marks show a struggle happened above the shaft. A pry bar and some rope are lying in the corner.

 Antiquary – A close examination of the floor reveals that one corner of the room has rougher flagons than the others, perhaps they were laid later by less experienced masons.

Underneath the stone is a shaft down into a water filled passage way. There are small footholds where stones have come loose over the years. Marks on the walls makes it obvious that the water has raised during heavier rains flooding the passages below.

As befitting a tomb there are two traps inside the passage. Built under the water line of the lake the flow of water from a stream above works against grave robbers. First of all there are two stone locked doors featureless on the inside easy to unlock from the outside but not the inside. Both open inwards forming an small section. Once inside the water pushes the door shut locking the thief inside.

Infiltration will easily get the doors open and Athletics or a good stone block will prevent the door from opening. Sense Trouble will tip them off that something is wrong. A permanent wedge is needed to keep one open while they figure out how to get the other one open. It can be smashed with a ram or chiselled open.

The final trap is a door. The door is completely flush with the ceiling and sticks as it swings open. Once opened a flat stone falls letting the stream above into the chamber hopefully drowning anyone inside.

Behind the final door is Sir Goliath’s resting place. A large stone casket holds his bones and shield emblazoned with a picture of a white giant on a green field covered by a massive sword. Three iron chests are set high up in alcoves on the back wall. All three are badly rusted from the wet air and practically come apart as they are lowered down.

The contents are:

  1. A waterproof leather package containing an original Liber Abaci.
  2. A set of lead soldier figurines with the inscription on the biggest one “For my son”
  3. The third one has three gold coins in it and an iron cross.

Of course the gold was really melted down into the cross and covered in iron.

Normal (4) rolls to notice or avoid traps before water starts flowing.

Nearly Impossible (7) rolls to reopen or avoid traps once the water starts flowing.

Target

Sir Golaith’s Treasure

An original Liber Abaci, a lead soldier “for my son” and three gold coins.

Cross of Sir Golaith

The iron cross of the church is in fact mostly gold. If the thieves can figure out how to steal it…


Smuggler’s Tunnels

Underneath Bouclans are small arched channels for the streams to flow out into the lake. Not long ago these were used by a gang of smugglers using it to get whiskey barrels across the lake and past tax collectors. Now however the king’s guard have come to town to try to stop the smuggling and the criminals are laying low.

Secret trap doors open into several houses, including the Mayor’s and the Guild House. A camp of king’s guards are staying in the Sultan’s Head and are making inquiries but no one has opened up to them.

Law – The King’s Guard are allowed to search buildings when they want. Clearly their presence has been doing enough to stop the smugglers since they haven’t bothered to do more than ask around.

Easy (2) rolls to find and enter the tunnels.

Bishop’s House

If the king’s guard explored the tunnels extensively they would find a hidden entrance into the Bishop’s House. It happens the Bishop was quite keen on extra business in town and helped the smugglers himself. He has told the criminals that he will try to get rid of the guard and meanwhile the thugs are extorting him paying for all their lost profits. They threaten that they’ll tell the guards that he’s involved if they get arrested.

Each night the Bishop buys food as the market closes and takes it through the tunnels to the hideout. He can be followed with Surveillance.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak into the house.

Hidden Boats

A small hidden dock underneath the town wall is only accessible from the tunnels or by a low boat. Five small sleek sailing boats are kept, masts lashed down, wait to ferry casks of whisky across the lake. Three smuggler guards are kept here on shifts to make sure no one steals the boats.

Streetwise – Fishermen use a secret gate in the wall to get out to the other side of the wall.

Camaraderie – The fishermen know that smuggler boats sometimes slip from under the town. They do so pretty rarely now that the King’s Guard are on look out for them.

  • 1 point spend – There is some smuggling going on outside the town ever since Coubron was locked down.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak past the smugglers.

Hideout

Far in the tunnels beyond the broken into tomb is a chamber, once a cellar, now being used as the smuggler’s hideout. A staircase climbs up into a house right at the edge of the city walls where the smugglers sleep and keep the casks of ale that would have been brought into town by wagon. Nine thugs are staying inside. They also have Father Périer tied up since they figure he’ll tell on them. His weeping and screams they’ve stifled with a rag in his mouth.

Inside the house is the trussed Father Périer and a chest filled with gold stolen from the Mayor.

Streetwise/Commerce – A house up against the wall seems to have no one go in or out even though lights burn inside at night.

Taunt – Anyone being annoying enough outside the house will be received by two large men. They’ll come out with clubs and try to scare the offending party off but will not stoop to kidnapping them off the street if necessary.

Hard (6) rolls to sneak past or trick the smugglers.

Target

Smuggler’s Ransom

A chest of gold extorted from the Mayor. He’ll be happy to see it again…

Father Périer’s Return

The reward money for saving the good Father from the smugglers.

Friday Game Notes 18: Prequel Kingsport Cult

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

This short one shot was designed to be played before Flames Engulf. 

We cut to May 31 1935,

everyone (except Leslie) is sitting in the Grotto, chatting. Huey comes in, holding a letter and calls the group around, explaining that he received the letter from a friend he met at Brown University.

May 25, 1935

Dear Huey,

I’m sure you don’t remember me but we used to pall around in school. I was the one with my head in the genealogical books. As you may recall my ancestor was infamously a sorcerer in Europe who immigrated or fled to Kingsport. I’ve recently finished restoring the old Somme House and moved in only to find one of the builders, a dour chap from Boston, left the enclosed pamphlet in the dining room. I caught him as he left and he explained a tramp had dropped it as he was walking up the hill.

The pamphlet has a worrying tone and recalling your interest in modern occult matters I wondered if you could gain something from this. There have been many bums men around Kingsport with similar papers.

Yours respectfully,

Osric Somme

Daville reacts, saying it sounds like a Cthulhu cult, people who worship a great alien trapped under the sea, the old saying attributed to the mad arab “that which is not dead which can eternal lie” refers to it. He advises the group to go to Arkham. Huey mentions that his friend would probably be happy to put them up In Kingsport if they want to take the bus and stay the weekend in the port town.

Leslie is at dinner with her father. Her father is chatting with Dr. d’Poe a nice man. Dr. Middleton her father recounts that he received a letter from one of their old school friends in Kingsport who wants him to look at a cadaver as a second opinion. Dr. d’Poe mentions Kingsport is a good place for children and that the sea air might do Leslie some good.

Malcolm is called into his Mother’s office, there Radcliffe waits to offer him a new job. A man has been trying to stir up unions at the Bolton Mills and Radcliffe wants him gotten rid of. He has decided to sent Robert Cohen, his killer to do it and needs Malcolm to pick Cohen at the edge of town, bring him to the union leader’s house, wait and then drive him to a safe house just outside of Arkham.

Kingsport – not creepy until they see Osric

It is sunny and cloudless as they bus South East, and they arrive in the ancient port. A church bell tolls.

Play up the effects of the ocean, swirl of sea, shell motif, carved octopus, buoy bells, fog rolling in after meeting Osric, Salt wind blowing constantly, House on hill with no door.

Seeing the people meeting on the street and in shops. Always odd combinations: the mousy house wife and a beautiful socialite, maid and a banker, paper boy and a police man, priest and a gardener. They whisper together and seem to turn their heads to watch the group. When with a local the local tugs their lapel as if some secret sign, the pair turn away.


Osric Somme

 

Always smiling.

Osric is a tan and large eyed man

who seems to always be smiling.

He greets the group and invites them in smiling.

He seems to have forgotten about the vagrants that left the pamphlet, stating that they all disappeared just after he sent the note smiling.

His house is pleasant.

The group notice some odd pairs of people around town chatting at odd times. Osric ignores them smiling.

Bangs

  • Osric tries to justify the killing
  • The limbs attack
  • Always smiling

Long ago Osric Somme heard the tale of a long distant ancestor who was accused by Copenhagen merchant competitors of “abhorrent behavior and sorcery.” The ancestor fled to America and became part of the founders of the small fishing village of Kingsport in the 1700s. Osric is proud of his genealogy even with such dark shadows over his line. Accordingly he spent a greater part of his young life seeking to find information on his ancestors and the original site of his family home.

Now Osric lives in a brand new modern home exactly on the site he believes his ancestor lived. Sadly he is mistaken, the plot is actually the ancient destroyed site of Robert Cohen’s home. This evil sorcerer terrorized the growing village with his arcane experiments and his very existence was erased after he departed for more interesting sites. When Osric began digging the foundations of his new home he uncovered a box of scrolls sealed for ever in a lead casket. Breaking it open he believed that they were proof of his ancestors sorcerous life style.

When Cthulhu cultists arrived in town Osric knew trouble when he saw it. Opening one of the scrolls he belived the spell there would aid him in destroying this threat to the perceived threat. Perhaps the cult like councils of Kingsport helped push him to action. Sadly the spell was a double edged sword, for it helped him destroy the cultists it also killed his fiance, ripping her veins and heart straight from her body.

Osric has wide eyes and his face is rather tan, a bit of premature aging his skin looks a bit leathery. Very thin eyebrows and he always looks like he’s smiling. Wide mouth but thin lips. Very well controlled hair. His ear has a scar on it from a fishing accident as a kid when a hook got caught on it.

He listens attentively to everything the investigators do. He is perfectly open if they ask about the cellar and shows them it. He will also demonstrate the scrolls if they ask. He claims that they must be left over from his ancestor.

When they hear them discussing whoever killed the cultists he will try to argue that they might have done the right thing, that possibly it saved the town a lot of trouble. If they don’t agree he will attack them that night.

Somme House

Osric’s home is a modern white stucco affair of curves and bulbous windows. Everyone can’t help but feel it might look like an arcane symbol from above.

While the investigators are searching for clues around Kingsport Osric is perfectly friendly at home. He feeds them well and makes sure they are comfortable. He continues to insist that there is nothing to find in Kingsport and that he is simply sad that Teresa is dead but he appreciates the company as long as they want to stay. Later in the investigation the investigators should have realized Osric is hiding something.

If they mention the “monster” that murdered the cultist he will act surprised but unabashedly explain that it wasn’t necessarily for the worse. The homeless in Kingsport were a problem, and probably would have done more harm if they had been allowed. He says whatever the “monster” did was evil, but was done for the right reason.

If they confront him about the box found in his cellar he will laugh and agree to show them. His cellar is large and mostly empty, six pillars stand along the walls and a large all too even boulder sits between two of them to the side. Opposite the boulder is a small rough stoned opening, clearly much older than the smoothly carved cellar, Osric explains that this was the original cellar under the ruined Somme House. On a table beside it Osric has a large lead box, featuring a broken seal like the one the Captain draws, and three scrolls, each with a similar seal. One of the scrolls has been opened and on it is a lengthy spell in Aklo. The other two are still sealed.

If anyone tries to open the two remaining scrolls they suffer from dizziness and a massive head pain as they reach for it. The pain gets so bad they have to steady themselves, forgetting that they were trying to open the scroll. Any attempt to break it open in other ways similarly fails. Osric mentions that he has tried often but can’t seem to open it, the three scrolls were in the box in the old cellar.

Chopped up Cultists

There is a secret room in his cellar hidden between a fake wall. A short flight of stairs goes down to a dirt floor where there are two tables laid out. On the two tables are the bodies of three cultists, each severed into multiple parts and spread out together. If anyone notices the room, Osric doesn’t go down here often but may have forgotten to extinguish a lamp the last time, then he will panic trying to get everyone upstairs.

The Bodies

Osric turns off the power to the building, animates the limbs, and then locks himself in his room. He takes a sleeping draught to give himself a sort of alibi if they try to find him and wake him. Otherwise he wakes up in the morning and greets them, or finds their bodies.

First there is a thumping noise from the stairs. – they can’t be heard while coming up the stairs.

Then a flopping noise and a rolling noise. A charnel smell seems to invade the place.

If anyone looks into the hall they “don’t see anyone”

– describe the hall as dark and shadowy, the floor should be indistinct so that the limbs on the ground can’t be made out.

-perhaps describe and indistinct side board with a strange vase on top and beside it, the head and the torso?

Finally a thumping comes at the door, and slowly the handle turns in the door. Investigators will notice that there is no key in their room. The door will slide open but no one will enter, they will have to have a flashlight nearby to see the limbs roll into the room.

The torso will attack whoever is the largest in the group.

Teresa Brown

Like the Somme’s the Brown family is old money in Kingsport. Sadly Teresa has died as the spell used by Osric to get rid of the Cthulhu cultists removed and teleported her heart and entire circulatory system out of her body. She died immediately in her home and was rushed to Dr. Gardener’s office. Dr. Gardener still doesn’t know what to make of the body.

She enjoys quite tall hairstyles almost like a pharaoh cap with a couple braids snaking around the bottom of it.. She has very dark brown eyes, but normal sized surrounded by long dark eyelashes. Narrow face with thin and slightly too pointed nose. She has rather full lips and enjoys pastel colors.

Sadly Teresa is no more. Her entire circulatory system has vanished from her body without so much as a wound. This is the result of Osric Somme’s spell.

Her chest is deflated slightly, showing the ribs very clearly. Her skin is much paler, nearly white, than it should be. Her entire body looks like someone has gouged out canals of skin where the veins would have been.


Channel Delapore

Channel Delapore is responsible for the Cthulhu Cult pamphlets. She considers it her little joke. Accordingly she allowed herself to be seen by several Kingsport locals. They report seeing a red headed woman handing out the pamphlets to several of the local hobos. She was wearing a silver moon necklace.

Note, the map doesn’t agree with descriptions of Kingsport. The Miskatonic normally is shown running North of the town, but here it is through. To fit with the trip back from England passing through Kingsport keep this detail the same.


Cthulhu Cultists

R’lyeh rose in 1925 accompanied by madness and portents world wide. But in an accident of fate Cthulhu was not freed trapping for another long cycle. Shattered by this failure the Cthulhu Cult has become sluggish of late. Several of its chief members have disappeared for a better moment. Consequently the many degenerated worshippers have become easy to manipulate. Kingsport, being a city filled with secret worshippers of Nodens and less known things below the earth was a thorn in the Witch-Cult’s side and Channel Delapore hoped the Cthulhu Cultists and Nodens Cultists might clash, killing two birds with one stone.

But Channel was partially foiled. Osric’s spell let him murder every Cthulhu cultist in one fell swoop, leaving many bodies floating in the icy water of the Eye of the Sea. Three cultists were also taken up to Osric’s house in the dead of the night since he hopes to practice necromancy on them.


Eye of the Sea

Molding woods, gloomy paths, smell of moss. The ancient stones of the circle look eroded by the sea, the pillars are encrusted with sea creatures, whether they are stone or real no one can tell. The pillars might be twisted tentacles. The bodies don’t stink, but the salt has stained the bodies badly. Claw marks run from into the woods around the Eye and scrape down the outer side of the Eye in white lines.

It is perfectly likely that investigators will wish to go to the Eye of the Sea straight away. Let them. Instead make the information above slightly more difficult to obtain. Kingsport people are a naturally suspicious lot, and strangers arriving in town to head out and visit strange stone circles in the woods tend to excite mistrust.

The Eye of the Sea is simply a hole in the ground. Rough rocks create a ring around the hole and a staircase outside it winds a spiral down to the bottom. Arches around the rim let people on the stairs see the inky black water below. Candles and rags of blue and green cloth have been left all along the stairs. Many of the candles have been knocked over as if several people were trying to rush down the steps. At the very bottom the steps simply disappear into the water. The water is salty. At the bottom are about 24 bodies all savagely mutilated as if by claws floating in the sea water. The days of exposure have left many of them bloated and fly blown.

Well versed trackers in the party will notice clear strangely circular foot prints that came to the top of the stairs north from a small copse of trees. There is an eight pointed star painted in blood and in the center is a human heart and an entire circulatory system. This is from Teresa Brown. Osric didn’t realize the sacrifice needed for the spell would take itself, he assumed it would accept his own blood which he used for the star.


Kingsport Cultists

The Kingsport cultists are not active agents in this campaign, instead they should serve as a background of horror for the investigation. Hint that someone or something influenced Osric into using the spell, or give the investigators glimpses of the strange house on the hill overlooking Kingsport. Remember that singing can be heard from that house, and mist and the northern lights all appear more frequently since that man braved the hill. The old terrible man should also be a nice subtle hint to the darker side of the town. Perhaps you want to make the cult even more prominent, they walk openly in the street in hooded cloaks bearing symbols. Or instead people seem to huddle oddly in every shop and on the corners muttering. Dr. Gardener and Osric seem to make a strange hand signal every time they see one of these groups.


Kingsport Dive

Several patrons mutter darkly about the group. They stare until the group have drunken the toe drink.

Kingsport is a town for sailors by sailors and it has a bar to match. It has no sign except for a large iron anchor leaned against the wall outside. The floor is sticky, the smoke assaults the senses, and the patrons are non-responsive. The bar seems to be half a tree trunk laid from one wall to the other, beer is offered but if the investigators ask for information the bartender grunts noncommittally. A helpful patron leans over and explains that if they want to gossip they should talk to the Captain in the corner. As they go the patron nearly falls off his chair and quickly tells them that they can’t do that yet. When asked why he points at a sign on the bar. “$5 l’orteil” Ordering this from the bartender he sets down as many tall glasses with a clear liquid about an inch deep at the bottom. Before they drink it the patron again exclaims, they need to see the captain for that.

This strange maze of social interaction reaching a climax the investigators are allowed near the Captain. Lacking a peg-leg this man is nearly the perfect image of a sea captain, sporting a skippers cap and a thick beard. When they ask him about the drink he splits a grin and pulls a slightly dirty handkerchief from his pocket. “Ah, the toe then! He he!” He goes into a lengthy tale of how three men had gone out fishing in Kingsport harbor back in the 1700s. They were out for so long one winter night one of the men lost his toe to frostbite. When they reached the pub the three men challenged each other to drink from a glass with the toe in it, to win the honor of always winning bar arguments. Meanwhile he has uncovered a blackened and slimy toe in his handkerchief. The nail is discolored and chipped and black flakes cover the cloth. With much aplomb the Captain drops it into the first drink. He nods encouragingly as investigators raise their glasses. As one the bar turns to watch chanting:

“You can drink it fast,

you can drink it slow-

but the lips have gotta

touch the toe!”

Once each investigator has finished this slightly disturbing practice the Captain grins again and the bar bursts out laughing, clapping them on the backs he asks them what they want to know. The Captain hears a lot of gossip and sees much from his corner.

-Nearly two dozen bums invaded town at the beginning of June all wielding a pamphlet of sorts. The Captain himself saw a red headed woman with them handing the pamphlet’s out to a couple newcomers. One of the homeless came into the bar to ask where the “Eye of the Sea” was. No one knew. A week later all of the homeless vanished.

-The Captain also spoke to several of the Bostonian builders Osric hired. Apparently they had mainly worked on a large cellar room. While digging they discovered another old cellar which contained a sealed lead box. The builder had drawn the symbol for the Captain and he can reproduce it. It looks like an eye of Horus combined with two ankhs. Investigators may recognize this as the Eye of Light and Darkness, an ancient seal of protection.

-The Captain will also relate how Teresa Brown Osric’s fiancé had been shopping for flowers in town when she had suddenly clutched her chest and fell to the ground. By the time someone went to help she was dead. Dr. Gardener, Kingsport only medical expert is keeping her body at the morgue.


Kingsport Historical Society

The lady running the archive tugs on her lapel when she sees the glued together page they found.

Any investigator interested in Somme’s background in Kingsport will do well to check the Kingsport Historical Society housed in one of the oldest houses in town peacefully shaded by two willow trees. The Society is manned by two old ladies who bicker constantly. The Society both proudly keeps a huge amount of genealogical data of the first Kingsport kin but also land records.

  • Genealogical records connect Osric Somme through several generations to Balthazar Somme in the 1700s. Like Osric claims Balthazar was one of the 13  founding fathers of Kingsport. It is interesting to note that two massive gaps in data exist, the origin of all 18 men and women who founded Kingsport and what any of them did up to the 1800s when a dangerous religious sect was uncovered following a huge earthquake.
  • Land records tell a slightly different story. Most of the earliest records have been written down in the 1800s after the raid based on older books. The Somme House is recorded at the bottom of one page and wraps to the next. But investigators will notice that two sheets have been glued carefully together hiding something in-between. If they are careful they can pry them apart, the glue long since losing its potency. Inside are two address, one for the Somme House, actually several houses away from where Osric built and the house of Casper Cohen built exactly where Somme House now stands. On the back page someone carefully added the Cohen address as Somme’s address.

Some investigators may have heard of Robert Cohen, the famed killer in the employ of the Bitter Servants. If they have they become curious about the connection to Casper Cohen. If they search in Arkham they discover that Casper was recorded moving to Arkham in 1718 and building a house ten minutes out of town. In 1722 a law suit was filed by Casper when allegedly a neighbor tried to burn down his house. An obituary for a Mr. C. Cohen is dated in 1730 and mentions a son Robert tending to his funeral.


Dr. Gardener

Dr. gardener is a small weedy man, with a thin pale face. His eyes, behind round spectacles, seem to water constantly, and he has a high pitched cough which he stifles with a balled up fist. He is also the head coroner and a private practice doctor in Kingsport. He has a small vine covered house in the lee of a old decrepit church that overlooks the ocean. Every so often the bell in the tower tolls, strangely at odds with the hour.

Constantly nervous and slightly pouting Dr. Gardener answers questions in short clipped phrases and is easily persuaded to do things. He is used to turning a blind eye to a lot of Kingsport doings.

Dr. Gardener used to work at the Arkham Orphanarium before it was burned to the ground in 1928. Dr. Gardener has a history of abusing children and his son aged six shows the marks of this in bruises on his back and arms.

Dr. Gardener is as bad at medicine as he is at taking care of children. Luckily most of the denizens of Kingsport don’t need his services. When Teresa Brown was carried into his office he panicked and called on Douglas Middleton for help. The Brown’s are refusing to do an autopsy but Dr. Gardener hopes that Dr. Middleton will help him do one in secret.

Dr. Gardener’s Office

Teresa Brown, Osric’s fiancé, died almost to the day people remember the homeless disappearing, though no one has made any connections. Her body is being kept in the tiny one room morgue by Dr. Gardener Kingsport solitary physician. On the death certificate the doctor has ruled she died of sudden cardiac arrest. Her mother saw her keel over suddenly at home and grow incredibly pale.

Dr. Gardener has been completely stumped as to why she died. She is incredibly pale, and her chest seems unusually hollow. The Brown family have so far refused an autopsy so he can’t investigate further. Dr. Gardener is curious enough to consider doing an autopsy without familial consent and wants Dr. Middleton’s approval to prove that what they found was useful. Dr. Middleton is far less accepting of cutting open a dead girl on such criteria.

Dr. Gardener’s coroner’s office is a tiny broom closet off of the town hall. Teresa’s body barely fits lying down on a small table. In contrast Dr. Gardener’s practice is in a much larger building up town. It is white and spot less.

George has a bed room upstairs across the hall from the guest room. Dr. Gardener sleeps downstairs, creepily near Teresa’s body. While Leslie and Dr. Middleton are staying Leslie will sleep in George’s room. Dr. Gardener insists that George give up the bed for Leslie.


George Gardener

George, Dr. Gardener’s son from Ms. Rosiare, who he met in 1928. Ms. Rosiare, who was not ready to have another child after the events of 1928, died during the birth.

Dr. Gardener in not a small way takes out this sorrow on his son and hits him with a length of surgical tubing. He carries bruises on his shoulders and back. A rather rough lad, George spends as much time out of the house as possible playing soccer with local kids. The other children stay away from the house since they believe Dr. Gardener has a ghost in a jar. His son, George, told them this story claiming that he had bottled the ghost who lived in the closet of a young child who had died there while being punished.


Al Pitman

Al Pitman is a man of the unions and traveled to Bolton, MA from his home town of Chicago to help workers there join the Steel Workers Union. Al hung around the yards for a couple of days before he got wise to the dangerous climate there. While many of the Puerto Rican workers were dissatisfied but many of them were also part of a dangerous gang, a gang quickly catching up with Al. He managed to get in contact with a Señor Castilla who was open to signing on with the Union along with another two dozen workers. But Castilla couldn’t sign for another week. That same night someone tried to shoot Al.

Realizing the danger he was in Al decided to leave Bolton. He wants to stay in the area until he can get Castilla and his men’s signatures. Knowing a family in Kingsport Al took the bus and is staying there. The family, a married couple with two kids, do not know anything about the matter.

Sadly for Al Pitman and his friends Castilla was not the altruistic man Al thought he was. Instead he was a Bitter Servant man and he quickly told Mr. Mallady where he was to visit Pitman. Mallady reported to Mr. Radcliffe and Radliffe decided to let Robert Cohen clean the matter up.

Waiting Outside Unionist House

It starts to get dark and the ocean sounds get louder. Bells toll, a sea gull mourns the dead. Several people in dark clothes gather on an opposite corner and watch the car. Another one joins them and seems to hand out objects to the waiting people. There are at least half a dozen now. A coppery scent is in the air.

Going in to find Cohen he sees him literally lying with his face in the guts of a dead man, chewing. A liver sits on a handkerchief next to him. Cohen rises on all fours and stares. He gathers up the liver and starts towards Malcolm. Assuming he stays staunch they get in the car, the people across the street advance on them. If Malcolm drives quickly they run after the car, if he goes slowly they follow slowly until they reach the edge of town where they disperse.

Friday Game Notes 17: Out of Eyeons

Friday Game Notes are a weekly post of the random and essentially unedited setting and character notes I wrote before the game. This was written for my home group and was never meant to be seen online. BE WARNED!

This short one shot was designed to be run before Flames Engulf.

Background

Stuart Reynolds has hired four low level thugs from the Bitter Servants to steal a mummy from a traveling exhibit featured in the MU’s history gallery in 1938.  Stuart knows the mummy is the result of seeing Ghatanothoa and petrifying from the description in  his copy of the Nameless Cults. Stuart wants to remove the eyes and transfer the image onto a film producing a photograph of the creature.

Stuart Reynolds was a reporter who worked for the Boston Pillar and was enraged when the papers refused to report the truth after the events in 1932. At first he though all was lost, since both living mummies had been destroyed by the Cabot Museum. He quit the paper and exclusively studied the Black Book. He wrote often to occultists of note, including de Marigny, but soon was left without friends due to his insistence that more people reveal the truth.

In 1937 when the mummy was announced, discovered miraculously washed up intact on the shores of Chile he was dumb founded. He visited the exhibit once when it was Boston and confirmed his worst nightmares. The fright sent him into a catatonic state for two months. Finally waking he had new purpose. His very first act was to break into the Cabot museum and steal the two scrolls. He didn’t wish to protect the world, now he wanted to show them the truth! From late 1937 until 1938 when the exhibit moved to Arkham he created a complex projector to display the image on the mummies eyes, and is planning on showing it in the middle of Downtown Arkham. He isn’t sure which scroll is the one that keeps him safe so he keeps both nearby at all times.

In 1937 the Chilean museum where it was kept in La Serena had two unusual deaths, both were found dead and completely stiff.

Beginning

Prof. Rice asks GPS to aid him finding out more about the mummy and why it has been stolen. He suggests looking into other mummies found in similar areas. It’s finals week at the MU and Prof. Rice’s first year in charge of the Library so he is too busy to do research himself, however he opens the library to their usage. He also mentions that two unusual men were seen visitig the mummy often, both men were Indonesian looking and looked at nothing else in the museum.

The Police suspect it was a gang operation and blame the Bitter Servants. Mama Warrell wants Malcolm to do his own digging and see if he can find out which lowlifes might be involved, before the police interrupt any more delicate matters.

The police have been hassling Bitter Servant members over a break in at the University. Mama Warrell want’s Malcolm to look into it before the cops disturb something more delicate.

  • One of the Mobsters who was pulled in for questioning, Dario, hangs out down the block. The police asked him a lot of questions about the robbery, if he knew of anyone asking about jobs – he wasn’t sure but thought there might have been someone asking around the Smoke and Handle about a job.
  • The Smoke and Handle is a dive bar run by Michaela, a rambunctious  brunette who has a thing for Malcolm. She remembers the man asking around quite well. He was a respectable and kind of smart looking, not the sort seen in the Smoke and Handle much. He was buying a lot of people drinks but Big Ben, one of the Bitter Servant’s larger members scared him off. Michaela heard him mutter something about heading down to George’s Café, a dive down the street.
  • George’s Café is owned by Tim Mahoney, a chubby red faced man in suspenders. He stays too drunk to remember any one passing through. But buying a drink of the two regulars Tiny and Large at the bar jogs some memories.
  • Tiny remembers the man coming in and asking about some pugs (thugs) and a driver. And Large remembers he ended up chatting to Timo and Becky in a corner. Another drink will remind him that Timo and Becky are a part of a small group who do petty crime and have a hangout in the Lower South Side. They pay their dues to the Bitter Servants, but are mostly independent. A third drink lets him recall that the hangout is a couple houses east of the Lock and Barrel gun store on College Street.

Asking around the docks

  • Maxwell Hank, a Bitter Servant member, heard about a young educated man bring a weird machine into Arkham. It wasn’t illegal, or something worth stealing, so Max didn’t pay much attention to it.

Professors

Prof. Rice comes to the GPS offices and asks Samuel for help on behalf of his friend Dr. Morgan. Dr. Morgan was helping out the MU Historical Gallery with a new exhibit, a Chilean mummy, but it was recently stolen. Dr. Morgan had heard a gun shot the night of the robbery and when trying to stop the robbers was hit over his head. He’s in the hospital for his trouble.

  • Three professors were working on the exhibit: Visiting professor Bruno Esmund was here from Chile to display the mummy around America, Dr. Ingolf and Dr. Morgan were both MU professors in the history department who were helping Prof. Esmund and running the MU Gallery
  • Prof. Esmund is staying at Dr. Ingolf’s house. Dr. Ingolf and his wife have one daughter, a 12 year old.

Both the Doctor and the Professor were not present at the gallery at the time. But both are very knowledgeable about the mummy. Prof. Esmund could tell them how it was found.

  • The mummy, nicknamed “the mermaid” was discovered washed up on the shore near La Serena Chile. It was miraculous that the mummy survived the ocean environment, but under inspection at the La Serena Archeological Museum the mummy showed no extensive damage. After a year of study the mummy was included in an American tour.
  • Dr. Ingolf remembers one other mummy of a similar look. One included in the mummy hall of the Cabot Museum in Boston. There was some problem some years ago that resulted in the mummy decomposing. He worries that the Mermaid Mummy may have the same problem while being away from the museum.
  • An April 5th copy of the Boston Pillar has a full page on their mummy including descriptions, photos, and images of the scrolls. It was written by Stuart Reynolds. It connected the mummy and scroll to several wilder books such as the Book of Ibon and the Necronomicon.
  • A November edition in The Occult Review has an article by the famous New Orleans mystic Etienne-Laurent de Marigny which connects the scroll’s characters to von Junzt’s Nameless Cults.
  • In September Boston papers published several reports of the mummy’s subtle change and deteriation. As well as some visitors noticing people acting strangely around it.

Guards and Attendants

  • Paul and Gary were present when the robbers broke in. Paul was knocked out as he walked around the outside of the Gallery. Paul was inside and saw the robbers coming, he managed to pull his gun before the thugs jumped him. He thinks he managed to shoot one, but the other hid him over the head and knocked him out.
  • Paul and Gary are both being questioned by the police.
  • Dwight was not on duty that night. But he does remember two strange figures who were spending a lot of time around the mummy. Both were emaciated looking men and looked “like those photos in the back” photos of Polynesian islanders.
  • Sidney and Rudolph don’t know anything about the robbery
  • Charlie does remember seeing an educated looking man who spent two or three evenings staring at the mummy. She also noticed that the man had spent a rather long time near the front doors as if examining he locks. Charlie meant to tell Dr. Ingolf but never did. She blames herself for the robbery.

Crime Scene

  • The gallery is closed for the time being. But Dr. Ingolf will let them in under recommendation from Dr. Morgan or Prof. Price.
  • Tire tracks have wrecked the lawn in front of the gallery. The marks look like a large car.
  • Four boot prints and prints of someone with nicer shoes are visible in the mud.
  • The front door of the gallery was not damaged, but it is clear the lock was picked. The glass case inside was smashed.
  • A bullet hole is in the wall of the middle room. Blood has dried on the floor in the middle room and it looks like who ever was wounded was taken out of the room by the front door again.

The Nameless Cults

  • The MU Library does have a copy of Nameless Cults, in the Dusseldorf original German version. Prof. Rice can translate if no one knows German.
  • Kindgom of K’naa where atop Mount Yaddith-Gho was a gigantic fortress of Cyclopean stone. Under which was the daemon god Ghatanothoa whom the entities from the stars worshipped.
  • The humans who lived in K’naa agreed that Ghatanothoa survived and that they must offer sacrifices to it to stop it from leaving. These victims were offered up on flaming altars in the marble temple near the mountain’s base, for none dared climb Yaddith-Gho’s basalt cliffs or draw near to the Cyclopean pre-human stronghold on its crest.
  • Seeing Ghatanothoa or a picture of Ghatanothoa meant paralysis and petrifaction of a singularly shocking sort, in which the victim was turned to stone and leather on the outside, while the brain within remained perpetually alive.
  • Eventually a high priest of Shub-Niggurath, T’yog dared consider climbing Yaddith-Gho. The gods Shub-Niggurath, Nug, and Yeb, as well as Yig the Serpent-god, were ready to help stop Ghatanothoa. He had been inspired in a dream to create a scroll written in Nacaal that would protect him from the sight of Ghatanothoa.
  • However his rival priests decided to betray him and secretly swapped the scroll. T’yog never returned from the mountain.
  • Long after the destruction of K’naa by a great storm people from those lands came together and started worshipping Ghatanothoa again in Mu and Atlantis

Looking up Stuart Reynolds

  • The Boston Pillar fired him in 1932 after trying to write several articles about the Cabot Museum “hiding” information from the public
  • A secretary at the Boston Pillar who had dated Stuart knows he stayed in Boston until very recently, but she hadn’t seen him since 1937.

Looking up the Cabot Museum

  • The curator Dr. Johnson, Wentworth Moore, taxidermist and Dr. William Minot who was connected with examining the mummy all died in 1933. – No one can describe what happened in 1932.
  • The museum also reports that “both scrolls” were stole in 1933 during a break in. The police were unable to make any arrests. – The investigators will probably not be aware that there were two scrolls, so they should be able to guess that one is the protection scroll and the other is the fake.

The Hideout

  • The machine is set up to create prints of an image in an eyeball. Three sheets of paper are missing from the packet next to it.
  • Stuart’s notes describe how the machine creates prints of images on an eyeball. Attached is a print of Stuart stabbing someone, as if from the first person.
  • Stuart, Caleb, Lew, and Timo are all lying on the ground with pictures of terror on their faces. They are stiff and their skin feels like that of a mummy. All four are slowly greying.
  • The machine is still set up with an eye ball encased in the machine. The mage has faded from it now and if anyone develops another sheet it comes out as a suggestive blur.
  • The hideout has been made completely dark with blankets under the doors and curtains pulled tight.
  • A black car is parked out front.
  • The two scrolls have been knocked to the ground behind a cabinet.
  • The investigators may wish to do an impromptu autopsy on the bodies. If they do… well there are horrific implications

The Revenge – Prof. Esmund

  • Dr. Middleton has been called to Dr. Ingolf’s house because Prof. Esmund has collapsed.
  • Prof. Esmund has been petrified just like the four men in the hideout.
  • He was alone in the study just after Dr. Ingolf brought him a letter. Dr. Ingolf remembers that Prof. Esmund remarked that none of his friends had his address to write to him there.
  • The envelope is on the desk in the study. It has Bruno Esmund written in bad hand writing on the front. There is no stamp and only a partial address.
  • Dr. Ingolf also remarks that Prof. Esmund had lit the fire, since the Massachusets summer wasn’t as warm as his native Chile.
  • A piece of paper has fallen into the fire place and is almost completely burnt up.

Revenge – Dr. Ingolf

  • His wife Maria was sitting in the upstairs window seat and saw him chatting with a large redheaded woman. She took an envelope out of her pocket and showed Dr. Ingolf at which time he collapsed.
  • Maria called the police quickly but the woman fled the scene.
  • Maria has been told by the police not to speak to anyone else about what she saw. However she told her 12 year old daughter Sarah everything before speaking with them. Sarah will chat with anyone her own age.

Revenge – Dr. Morgan

  • Dr. Morgan after hearing about the other attacks can suggest using himself as bait.
  • A maid complains he was knocked out and her uniform stolen.

Some ways to save Dr. Morgan

  • If they arrive as Becky is trying to show Dr. Morgan the picture switching off the lights will save him. She will try to shoot her way out of the room shortly after wards.
  • The doctors wont allow investigators to stay in the room personally. – Very dramatic if they are leaving the room just as a nurse comes into the room. As they leave the nurse who had her uniform stolen runs into the hall yelling that someone stole it.

Timo

  • The groups driver. He’s short and has a moustache like a brush.

Caleb

  • A boxer and a bruiser. He ha a head like a cauliflower – carries a lead pipe

Lew

  • A skinny tall man, Lew is an half of an expert on locks.

Becky

  • A red head – rather butch and strong. She carries a 9mm

Guards:

Paul, Gary, Dwight

Attendants:

Charlie, Sidney, Rudolph

Stuart Reynolds

Stuart wrote the sensational pieces connecting the mummy in the Cabot Museum back in 1932 to The Black Book. He was incensed about the lack of information after the deaths of the two men who broke in. He tried to get his paper the Boston Pillar to write publish several nasty pieces about the museum but instead was fired later that year.

Still taken up with the connections he had made about the mummy he tried writing to Etienne-Laurent de Marigny to get help revealing the cover up. De Marigny knowing as well as anyone that if the Cabot museum was hiding something about the deaths it was probably best kept hidden sent a polite refusal and never wrote again. Frantic Stuart broke into the Cabot Museum and stole the two Nacaal Scrolls. He continued tracking any news of strange mummies found in the Pacific or South America while working on a new device.

Not being present at the dissections of the mummy and the petrified robber Stuart didn’t know exactly what would happen. He wanted proof of the primeval being the mummies supposedly saw and so designed a complex device that would project light through an eye ball onto film in color. (Screw scientific accuracy here) He has a drawn schematic of the device and has tested it once. Taped on the schematic is a picture from the lens, a perfect image of Stuart killing his test subject.

Stuart doesn’t know which scroll will keep him from being petrified by the image of Ghatanothoa so keeps both nearby.

The Gallery

The mummy was installed in the MU’s Howard History Gallery in June 1938. Visiting professor Bruno Esmund is curating the exhibit on its way through American schools and is working with Dr. Ingolf  and Dr. Morgan in the history departments to study and display the mummy.

The Gallery has three guards, one an ex-police man, and three students who act as attendants during the day. The mummy was kept in the middle of the gallery hall flanked by Chilean artifacts. The gallery is split into three rooms, one devoted to the history of Arkham. The central room houses a portrait of Dr. Allan Halsey, a dean and medical doctor famous at the school and their exhibit space for the Chilean artifacts and mummy. The third room houses several plaster casts of Greek and Roman busts, several important paintings, and a small collection of stone tablets found in Greenland.

The Robbery

Stuart Reynolds arrived in Arkham at the beginning of the month from Boston and went to several dive bars on the North Side asking around for people who might help him in a robbery. He found a group of four mobsters (Timo, Caleb, Lew, and Becky ) who were willing to help out for good money and free drinks for a week or two. Stuart promised that the mummy would be worth thousands of dollars sold to the right people, the “right” people that he alone knew.

Stuart went to the museum on the 14th and 15th of June around the closing hour to see the mummy, something remarked on by Charlie, one of the attendants. Under the guise of admiring the mummy Stuart checked the locks on the museum doors, where the guards may be at night and so on.  Charlie thought to tell Dr. Ingolf but decided against it and now blames herself.

The night of the 17th Stuart returned with his little gang in a black car. They parked on the lawn outside, chewing up the grass in the process. Lew picked the lock while Becky and Caleb over powered the guards. Caleb was accidentally shot and Timo went back outside to start up the car incase someone had been alerted. In fact Dr. Morgan had and came outside just as the thieves were leaving.

Stuart directed them all to remove the mummy from the case by smashing the glass. They took it back to the car where Timo was waiting. Dr. Morgan spotted the car and started to run over and tried to grab the car but Becky hit him with her electric torch. They drove quickly off to the groups hideout in a small house in the Lower South Side.

 

Conclusion

After returning back Becky went to find a back door doctor to help Caleb. While she was away Stuart decided to make sure that the mummy was the real deal. With Timo, Caleb and Lew looking on he pried open the eye lids, forgetting his precious scrolls. All four of them were instantly mummified, still conscious.

Becky returned and horrified went a little mad. She searched for what might have killed her friends and discovered Stuart’s diagram of the machine. She realizes what has happened and decides it is the fault of the professors in charge of the mummy that her friends all died. She follows Stuart’s instructions and in complete darkness cuts out one of the mummy’s eyes and attaches it to the machine. She turns it on and creates three print outs of the image of Ghatanathoa. She is not completely spared as the light shines through the eye she gets a brief glimpse and her left hand is petrified, the petrification spreads slowly up her arm.

Game starts on a Saturday (June 18th) just after the robbery.

Curse of Ghatanothoa: Anyone in visual proximity to a perfect image of Ghatanothoa receives this curse.

In a few minutes, the victim’s flesh and sinews rapidly harden to the consistency of leather and bone. The brain and other internal organs remain fresh and alive in this hard, immobile case, aware yet unbearably imprisoned. Only the destruction of the brain can end the victim’s suffering. The blind, numb victim goes more and more insane until reaching permanent madness or the forgiving release of death.

Free (Mini) Adventure:Camping

The players, campers or camp counselors on a school trip are up in the mountains. With a dozen kids can they survive bears, escaped convicts, and the aliens that are hunting them?

Suggested system: Fear Itself


Main Locations:

The Camp

  1. Camp ground – a flat area of mud and grass with three tents around a flag pole.
  2. Fire circle –  a bendy path through the woods keeps a secluded fire circle out of sight of the tents. Perfect for story time.
  3. Road – the camp site is down the hill from a dirt path that travels down the other side of the ridge to the road which fifteen miles along connects with a high way. The nearest town is an even further 30 miles either direction.
  4. The Cabin – The small cabin where the grounds keeper sleeps. He has an ancient computer and the only wired telephone around.
    1. The keys to the truck are kept on the hook inside.
    2. There are garbage cans behind the cabin where they dump all their trash.
  5. The truck – the only vehicle in camp parked behind the Cabin. It has a tool box filled with fishing hooks. There’s a shotgun hidden under the front seat.
  6. Hiking paths
    1. One path goes down to the lake
    2. Another goes up to the ridge and into the mountains

Bear

A massive pink quadrupedal creature with huge claws and a bear like maw. It has round wounds on its back and a limp. It smells of pain and piss. It roars angrily and its eyes are wide and mad.

Carl

A long haired camp counselor. Knows a lot about astronomy.

 

Gary

Bearded and fat groundskeeper. Smells of cloves constantly.

 

Other Campers

A variety of scaredy cats and troopers. They should be treated as a group and as targets whenever possible.


The Lake

  1. A large bean shaped lake. The path comes down on one the south side dimple.
  2. At the base of the path is a small jetty.
  3. There is a tiny shed for the camps two canoes.
  4. There is a large rock in between the two dimples of the lake. It hides a small inlet and many kids jump off it.
  5. A path meets the lake at the far north and goes up into the mountains.

The Mountain

  1. Path leading from the camp – heads up the ridge into the mountains
  2. Path from the lake leads up into the mountain
  3. Cross roads – meets path 1 and path 2 a third path leads up hill
  4. A path leads up to the peak
  5. The peak
  6. Downhill from the ridge is a series of caves
  7. At the entrance of one of the caves is a large tree. This is where the convicts have been hiding. The interior isn’t visible from the outside since the cavern bends to the left.
    1. Inside is a sack filled with filched supplies.
    2. The back of the cave has a thin crevasse that leads into the mines.

Conscripts

Fred, bald and tattooed, Bob,  tall and muscled , Flip, skinny and whelpish


The Mines

  1. The mines – Mi-go digging areas. They dig up precious stones using earthquake devices.
    1. Main mining area – a maze of tunnels leads into a large cavern inside the mountain the Mi-go have emptied out most of the mountain and are levitating shining rocks from inside the earth.
    2. A passage with strange lights lead to a room with talking machines and brain canisters there is a surgery room

Mi-Go

Large thin crab like bodies covered in cilia with two large nippers and giant sail like wings. It smells musty like a root cellar. It buzzes continually. Its round head is covered in nobules and flashes dark colors.

 


Timeline

Kids arrive by bus

  • Bus leaves dropping campers there
  • Radio on the way there plays announcement about recent run away convicts
  • Bus leaves
  • Groundskeeper shows kids rotting raccoons – weirdly the brain is missing

Game starts with recap of previous

  • Kids woozy from raccoons
  • After fire side stories:

Counselor Gets Kids to look at planets

  • Sees Pluto as pinprick
  • Something is obscuring the view of the planet
  • A shaved bear attacks
  • Bear has bullet marks and  tattered orange cloth in mouth was shaved

Injured kids taken to town by Groundskeeper in truck

  • Strange colored lights rise out of lake spin around
    • Storm hits camp blows over trees blocking the road
  • Criminals sneak in to steal supplies from camp

Criminal tracks go back to their cave

  • Bodies without brains
  • Strange machine in back trying to get them to leave him alone
  • Strange tracks outside

Mi-Go hunt

  • They will attack anyone alone by grabbing them and dropping them
  • They will use mist projectors to freeze people fleeing from them
  • They will use their spark projectors to attack people inside
  • If the cabin is left alone the mi-go will destroy it with their earth quake

Mi-Go Mines

  • PCs grabbed by the Mi-Go will be taken to the mines
  • Mining going on
  • Surgery to remove minds and put humans in shelves

Defeating Mi-Go

  • They are allergic to vinegar which makes them swell up slightly
    • There are bottles of vinegar kept inside the cabin – if there is a fire there may only be one or two left to use
  • They can be killed with a shotgun but it is harder

Free Adventure: The Great Yithian Invasion

 

Disclaimer! This adventure was written for an English class. It is long, wordy, and lacking in clear sensible adventure design. Some construction required:

This is the first scenario in what may one day be an extended campaign. Be warned, this one has not been play tested at all since it was used as an english project.

If anyone uses it please let me know how it went!

The Great Yithian Invasion

The Yithian Age is coming to an end, the dread flying polyps are getting stronger, and more and more Yithian settlements are being abandoned as the invisible wind bringers burst from their underground prisons. Panicked the Yithians in one of the outlying cities have decided to take a place on the human controlled Earth. The initial wave scout out the period, and city. They abandon their possessed bodies, to return and report, then certain leading figures project themselves forwards and take over the bodies of important figures, to prepare the world for a full Yithian Invasion!

Yithian Age ending – single town decided to take over a portion of human controlled Earth

Initial scouting already completed, Yithian minds (only one?) took over several humans around the town, made sure to find out as much about current affairs as possible, (especially the art world.?)

-Maybe – The Yithians mistake the world of art buying and selling as the most important part of human society, based on finding art auction magazines

-Several (or only one?) people went mad, a fixed time before the campaign, raving about being possessed, living in a huge city in prehistoric times, and being forced to record everything they could about where they lived

Nine Yithians project themselves into the bodies of important figures. Each has a role to prepare the city for take over by the Yithian minds

Each mind is simply given a number: 1-9

1 Leader, never seen by the others, has become a very rich man in town, and is planning on becoming mayor. It is his job to install the device on the top of some building (Empire State building? A new skyscraper? Tower bridge? Eye of London?) to create a mass transit for Yithian minds to take over the minds of the entire town.

2 Oversees 3-9

3 Control over power sources

4 Control over police

5 Controls crime

6 Control over sleeper agents, ready to be taken over early.

7 The person they were supposed to claim was already dead, leading to the mind going mad. This gives an initial Yithian to meet, without giving up the whole game

8 Controls education, and intellectual pursuits

9 Control over sewage, and homeless people

A professor (Or possibly a priest) has discovered part of the plot, and has begun murdering sleeper agents, and Yithian invaded humans. He has hired and recruited four other men, all of whom worship Hastur.

-Perhaps he is one of the previously scouting Yithians, he has begun having the dreams of where he was, and what he has discovered about his life previously disturbs him greatly.

-Only one of his minions will be the killer, leading the group into a wider investigation of the cult

-Once they discover the cult, and either start revealing them to the police, reporting them to their patron, or murdering them themselves, events lead to a confrontation with the main man (probably in a special ceremony)

-The man reveals that he thinks the party are working for something more evil than him

Timeline

5 Years ago

20 Yithian scouts arrived in Witcheter, and began scouting it out as a possible location to take over.

-Trevor Tillinghast is possessed

4 Years ago

The Yithian scouts all leave, leaving twenty people with a year missing in their lives. They all begin to dream about their imprisonment in a semi ruined city inhabited by large cone shaped creatures that forced them to write about their lives.

-Tillinghast focuses his dreams into his painting, capturing the occult mind.

3 Years ago

Tillinghast begins work on the Hastur Mural in the “chapel” of Hastur.

2 Years ago

The Eklesia arrives, as well as 50 more immediate Held. The Eklesia take over the lives of their possessed counter parts, manipulating things so that they are in complete control over their areas.

-Mellisa Knott, and Severin Bounty are both Held at the end of the year, their careers changing to reflect Yithian art.

1 Year ago

What Actually Happened:

Trevor Tillinghast

Painter & photographer – Originally a news photographer he was one of the scout Yithians 5 years ago, released after a year, and exposed to the bizarre nightmares and imaginings that occur after such an event. He used these dreamscapes to capture new styles of painting, blending modern, and surreal, and realistic to grand effect. However his masterpieces never gained fame in the art world. Instead he sold his works to the much more obscure collectors, those looking for horror, and mystery. This brought him into contact with the Order of Hastur, who commissioned him to paint their chapel mural. Half way through he was “rediscovered” by Hubert Smythe, and was retaken by the Yithians. Now he does nature photos, all sold at dismally low prices to other Yithian Held.

Mellisa Knott

Already a famous painter, Mellisa used to focus on modernism, and abstract art. When she was taken over she began to produce small 1footx1foot canvases covered in irregular dot patters. While her previous fame carries her career, her art is really bought by the Yithian held. Hubert has one of these canvases hanging in his study.

Severin Bounty

Sculptor – was homeless before being taken over by the Yithian mind. Hubert moved him into a small garret to work on Yithian sculpture to sell to other Yithian held. However his new work, the sculpture fashionable to the Yithians, are also popular amongst the human art critics, his tendency towards, abstract primitiveness, and fear gel with the more bizarre art genre.


Introduction

Players are assigned the Members, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3. Two has called together the Eklesia, the masters of the Held. They meet in a dark room around a round table covered in red cloth. In the center of the table is a small cone projecting images of brutally murdered people, all humans, and by the markings beside each photo all Held humans.

Held are what each member of the Eklesia are, and what many of their workers are. They are alien minds who have possessed the human bodies. The Eklesia’s plan is to eventually transfer all of the minds into human Held, to do this the nine Eklesia have taken over positions of power in the city, the player controlled members are below. Two oversees everyone else, and relays the orders of One, who everyone thinks is masterminding how to convert the city into Held. There is in fact no One, Two simply claims this to make killing him seem useless. Two really has been openly becoming mayor, and plans on installing a large machine at the top of some building currently being built.

The players as the Eklesia don’t know:

Held – The Held are what the Eklesia themselves are, minds transferred here by a machine invented by Three. While the machine can transfer a mind at a time, something else would be needed to do a mass Helding. Each Held is independent, but follow the orders of the Eklesia Controlling their section. Held are also intelligent enough to blend in with humans until the time comes when they will take over.

The Plan – The Eklesia don’t actually know the specifics of the plan, though each are part of it in a small way. Six is choosing all of the Held candidates, Three is creating the parts that One needs to create a mass Helding, Eight is collecting information of magic incase the machines don’t work, and the others will be collecting the raw resources needed for the plan. All of the Eklesia knows that One is purely working on this plan, and can’t be disturbed in anyway.

Seven – Seven is what happens in the rare case that the human mind knows enough to fight back. He is not spoken of by the Eklesia, and went missing when the Eklesia had their Helding.

Safety – Safety is their name for the time when all of the Held will be safe from the Wind, an evil force that the Held can’t stop. Safety is the entire purpose of their Helding, a way to escape the Wind, who are unable to Held.

Scouts – Ten scouts did a Helding before the Eklesia arrives. Nine was one of these scouts.

The players as the Eklesia know:

Agents – Each member has a large group of “agents” that do their bidding. These are actually the Held, but the players shouldn’t know this.

The Plan – They know that One is working on a main plan to help them all reach “Safety.”

Two – The group all know Two is a busy man running for mayor in the human town. While many of his voters will be Held he still has to create a majority vote and must work for it. They know he is overseeing all of them, and has the Control to send Held back to their original state.

 


What the Players can know

Nine is a middle aged man in a wife beater and folded down coveralls, a stench follows him, as well as several flies. He walks with a swagger, pride making up for his dirtiness. He was one of the first to come to Earth, scouting out the most important industries to take over.

His job now is control the waste disposal and to construct a network of informants, both human, and the Held. Several of them have been killed already, and he was the first to suspect that this was targeted at the Exclesia on purpose. He mistrusts Four, and thinks Four is using their Held to stunt Nine’s networks. Five is Nine’s brother.

Nine has agents in the sewers of the city, used to know everything that happens in the city. After all you can learn everything from someone’s trash.

Nine considers it very possible that Four is paying the killer, but he suspects that Six could be behind the murders as well. He deeply hates Eight, but thinks he is so incompetent that he can’t having anything to do with the matter.


Eight wears a tweed jacket, complete with elbow patches, and ketchup stains. He wears pince-nez that he constantly peers through. He tends to walk with a stoop, used to carrying many books. Despite his frail appearance he talks with a clear voice, devoid of accent, and a hint of threat always exists in his voice. The rest of the Eklesia sense that he knows much that could be a danger to everyone if he so desired.

His job is to collect the knowledge of the Eklesia’s new world, to collect a store of magical artifacts, and books, in case the more mechanical objects that Two has said One is using don’t work. Eight is obsessed with discovering who One actually is and suspects that he may have other plans. He has been keeping the location of his personal workshop and library secret from the others and has been housing Seven who went mad when he was to Hold his target.

Eight knows that the killer can’t be one of the group since he is magically observing all of the Exlesia, but is unwilling to prove that point and give away his advantage. He suspects the murderer is using magical methods.


Wearing an old fashioned and worn jacket, and wearing slippers under his evening suit, Six looks distinguished, and slightly snobbish, completely at odds with the way he stands, rocking up onto the balls of his feet, arms down, as if he is ready to fight his way out of the dark room.

Six controls the sleeper Held, the agents who will soon be completely Held, or those they plan on making Held later to fulfill their plan. His part in the plan is the most important since he will be deciding who will be killed and who will survive when One starts the process of turning the entire town into Held. Six also is the most devious, and it is his plan that Two is proposing to the group. He knows humans well, and knows they can be used.

Six is smart, and knows that the deaths, of which the majority have been his agents that have been killed. He wont admit it but he has been using the killings to take over control of several of Five’s agents. He scorns Five, since he knows that he has taken to human life, and realizes that Five would prefer to stay here and let the humans be. He knows that the killer can’t be one of them, but he suspects everyone of plotting one way or the other, since he is doing exactly that. The only one he knows isn’t plotting against the others is Nine.


Five wears gang colors, all of them. Colorful scarves, hats, bracelets, and shiny guns hang around him. He swaggers in, a Broken Held following him a large telephone installed in his chest. He speaks in all of the gutter speak of the world, swinging from one dialect to the next from slur to glottal stops.

Humans to Five are not the vermin that the rest of the Eklesia say they are. He knows his way around human anatomy as well as their minds, and knows they can be extremely useful. He almost completely uses humans for his Control, only using Held as lieutenants in his many gangs. He has control over all of the gangs, and takes a heavy tithe from many of the minor thugs and killers and whores of the back alleys and under-bridges.

He would not be too disturbed by the killings themselves, if it were not that he had known it would happen, and could take a cut. He owns all of the assassins in the city, and a rouge serial killer makes street business hard. Five is also terribly independent, and will only ask help from Nine, his brother.


A walking uniform Four was in the police before making her body Held.

Now she is in even more control, using her forces of almost entirely Held policemen to stunt the other groups Control, to enforce Two’s rules, and to make living hell for any dissenting humans.

Four doesn’t trust any of her fellow Eklesia, and does whatever she can to stop their scheming, feeling that it is her duty to make sure Two’s, and through him One’s plans work. The killings disturb her greatly, each Held mind getting killed is one less mind to live on into Safety.


Wearing a fashionable suit, and a futuristic technological device on his face Three is the youngest person here.

He controls the power systems of the city, and through them the technology they power. He was the inventor who created the devices One is using to make the humans Held, and he is constantly creating new machines and devices. But he is also cruel, not caring for humans, or Held alike. He devices the method for Broken Held to be turned into slave like servants for the Eklesia.

Three tolerates the other Eklesia, and knows he holds the others by the throat, if he were to stop power to their various projects they would be in very bad trouble. Only Nine and Five are exempt. Three is too proud of himself to realize Nine could do the same to him if waste disposal ever stopped working.


Two appears as a well dressed business man, careful with his appearance but with plenty of grey hair. He is tired, but stern.

In truth Two is the only other Exlesia member, and in fact uses One as a way to deflect the plots of the other Eklesia members.

Two is the leader of the bunch, controlling the group while One finishes the “plan.” They know very little about what One is actually doing.


Each Eklesia enters the room under the watchful eye of Two, standing by the wall. After everyone has settled and greeted each other, he clears his throat and addresses the room.

“Greeting to the Eklesia, the day of Safety comes soon. One continues the work. I have called you all today to discuss the murder of several agents. I suspect that these killings are not chance, as other murdered agents have been. They have all been similar deaths, and only our agents have been killed this way, the brains removed carefully. I suspect some human killer is at fault. Would the Eklesia like to discuss this?”

Two listens carefully to their discussion, and eventually quiets them.

“I’m sure we all agree that something has to be done. One of youhas recommended a plan which I put to the vote. Being in a position of trust, Six will hire a group of humans to investigate the killings. This will keep suspicion away from any Held, and if they must sacrifice themselves to stop the killer then no agent is killed. As the Eklesia all know there are many agents, but they are finite. Humans will also be impartial, not knowing anything about our agents and so wont hesitate if it is one of the Eklesia behind the murders. Now I put it to the vote.”

If the vote passes Two nods to Six,

“Please proceed to contact a group of humans to investigate the murders. Everyone else, the assembly is ended.”

If the vote is a tie Two smiles,

“Then the vote passes, One has decided to vote for the humans. Six, please find a group of humans for this task.”

If the vote fails a phone rings in a back room and Two excuses himself. Soon he comes back shaking his head.

“I’m sorry, I had hoped the Eklesia could deal with this matter without bothering One, but the murder of our agents has disturbed him greatly. He orders that we use the humans for now, but should also keep some of our agents looking for the murderer as well. Six, please proceed to your task and find some humans to aid us.”

Each member of the Eklesia leaves one by one, heading to their false lives, false homes, even false families, none of them are supposed to know where the others live, or what lives they hold. Two watches them leave smiling to himself.


A Patron Hires the Party

Each member of the party are contacted by Mr. Hubert Smythe, an elderly patron of the arts, and widower. He should have an amicable relationship with each character. He pays a large number of artists, and is a major contributer to an art gallery in a fancy part of town. Any artists in the group can be “discoveries” of his. Any richer members will know him from better society, and he may have even hinted at the idea of willing his estate to one of them.

Each investigator gets a personal note, or a phone call inviting them to Hubert’s home in the nice part of town. Hubert gives away very little, only saying that he wants some help with something a little different than his normal patronage.

Researching Hubert Smythe

It is very likely that players will want to look up Hubert Smythe before meeting him, especially if they are still very suspicious of the Eklesia introduction.

Hubert Smythe is sixty years old, retired from a comfortable banking job. He married the artist Jenna Martis when he was twenty five. She died ten years later during child birth. His son died while in the army. Smythe was distraught, a wild breakdown ruining his partnership career in the West & Smythe Insurance Company. Two years ago with his own savings and that of his wife’s fortune Smythe started an art studio and gallery, happily meeting Ms. Sarah Howard, a lovely artist, whose discovery made Smythe a lot of money. Ever since he has run art studios, funding and discovering new artists. He and Ms. Howard had a brief affair notoriously breaking it off in the middle of one of the biggest New Years Eve party the state had ever seen.

He is most recently in the news for discovering the brilliant Severin Bounty, a demented sculptor now famed for his realistic fantasy creatures. Hubert apparently found Severin selling tin sculptures at a flea market and let him live above his gallery for a year while Severin began sculptin. The recent sale of the Seven Sirens netted Mr. Bounty $1,000,000 and Smythe a pretty cut for promoting his work.

Hubert Smythe’s house is a pleasant brick colonial, perched on a pleasant hill overlooking the city. Equally nice mansions, get aways, and studios line the long hill, kept gardens making a green wall below. Smythe’s house is at the end of a cul-de-sac, the curtains pulled to in the wide windows. As investigators approach they may notice a series of webbed cocoons hanging from the corner gutter. A large spider, as wide as a hand, wraps a struggling small bird. Wary or paranoid investigators will also notice a bald man standing in the yard across the street watching them. If they go and question them he will seem harmless enough, introducing himself as Robert Taylor. He asks them who lives in Hubert’s house, he has heard there is a famous art seller around here.

The door is opened by Hubert’s one servant, Mr. Potter, an elderly man. Hubert pops out and invites the group into his study. The brandy is quickly flowing. The fire burns, despite the pleasant summer temperature. The closed curtains, and the dark wood book cases make a gloomy cave around them.

Hubert starts his story glumly. Two clients of Hubert have also been murdered, in brutal and inhuman ways. He is worried that the killer is targeting him specifically. He whispers conspiratorially that it must be someone he knows, perhaps one of the artists he had to refuse lately, or a rival patron. Hubert feels that a private group of investigators would get further than the police, artists being sensitive, the police not having the gentleness required in this case.

To motivate them Hubert offers to pay them, or do other favors they may need. And he can offer aid and expenses during the investigation.


What Hubert Knows

There have been two murders of artists so far, and both, according to Hubert, were under his patronage. The two dead artists are , Mellisa Knott, painter, and Trevor Tillinghast, painter and photographer. And Hubert is extremely worried that Severin Bounty, a recent and booming success, will be next.

Trevor Tillinghast

Hubert knew Trevor’s boyfriend Sam Pere and was introduced about a year ago. Hubert decided to give Trevor a hand, his “dreadful” painting failing to sell. Hubert got Trevor back into photography, and has been able to get his new “nature pieces” to sell much better.

Trevor originally worked as a journalistic photographer but went through a bout of depression and he quit.

Trevor was the first to be killed, stabbed in his apartment, head partially frayed.

Mellisa Knott

Mellisa and one of Hubert’s artists shared a gallery show two years ago and they hit it off. After a night of chatting the Hubert feels like he encouraged her to branch out into new styles. Now he sells half of her new “dot” pieces. He thinks her agent Dillan Daniels is a busy body, and is not worth her time, but she would have to waited another year until her contract with him ran out.

Mellisa had complained to Hubert of a stalker, claiming Dillan had shrugged it off. Hubert thinks the stalker could be the killer, but is unsure why he would then attack Trevor and Severin. Mellisa thought that it was one of the purchasers who had bought her dot art through Dillan who was stalking her, and witnesses at the club when Mellisa was stabbed claimed the murderer had covered his face with ripped up canvas covered in dots. Dillan was also present when Mellisa was killed.

Other Information

Hubert has the addresses of Dillan Daniels, Mellisa Knott’s agent, the flea market where he found Severin Bounty, Trevor’s boyfriends apartment and the newspaper Trevor took photos for before his breakdown, as well as the addresses of the three artists houses.

Hubert is very worried that the murderer might strike again, either at him, or more of his artists. Hubert is most worried about Severin Bounty. Severin is one of Hubert’s most profitable artists, his hyper-realistic depictions of fantastic creatures popular amongst art collectors and the rich alike.

Severin had been working on a new piece, Yithian a sculpture of a seven foot tall cone shaped creature, a head floating on a tentacle stalk, bearded with thin whips. Two more tentacles from the top of the cone hold large claws. Severin lives alone, living in his large hill side house and receives visits from Hubert every other week. Severin has no family, having been homeless since a fire destroyed his family home over a decade ago.

Sam Pere, Trevor Tillinghast’s boyfriend, sells his water colors to Hubert and may be in danger as well, as are the half dozen or so other artists Hubert features. Keepers note that none of these feature in the story, but could be played up to provide tension, or to act as red herrings.

Emphasize the need to protect Serverin over discovering the murderer.

Police not involved because “artists” are too sensitive.


Trevor Tillinghast

Trevor was killed first, nearly two weeks ago in his down town apartment, number 301. The apartment is locked, but the lock wouldn’t be too hard to pick, or if they are in a hurry investigators could smash down the door. A next door neighbor, Mrs. Havershim will concernedly come out to check on anyone spending time around the door.

If investigators question Mrs. Havershim about Trevor or his death she will happily gossip to them. Trevor was a quiet young man, far too skinny, obviously his mother didn’t feed him enough. Mrs. Havershim whispers conspiratorially that she thought he might have a… boyfriend.

She thought the day Trevor was killed that Trevor was having an argument with his boyfriend. She heard two men’s voices shouting back and forth, then a scramble, and a brief yell. Mrs. Havershim tried to get a look from the balcony to see into the neighboring room, but couldn’t see much. (Mrs. Havershim will happily show the investigators the balcony, and if distracted a brave investigator could try to get in through there.) She had heard Trevor and his boyfriend argue before so didn’t think to call the police until the next day when she went to bring Trevor some mail she had noticed left in his box. Trevor had always been very diligent about getting his mail first thing.

Trevor moved in to the apartment about a year ago, but Mrs. Havershim thinks he used to work for a local newspaper as a photographer, but quit for some reason. She has two of Trevor’s nature photos, depicting a forest stream and a cloudy meadow, both very dull pieces.

If the investigators are fairly honest with Mrs. Havershim and happy to gossip she will offer to let them in, Trevor gave her a key to the rooms when he moved in.

Apartment 301 consists of a small kitchen, living room, bedroom, and a bathroom. An area of the living room has been cleared, a broken coffee table pushed to the side. A slight red stain is visible on the wood floor boards. Not much is interesting here, except for how tidy everything is. (The Yithians are a tidy race) Several more nature photos hang on the walls, but otherwise the apartment is pretty bare of personal belongings.

In the bedroom a bed is made up, at the base of is a large chest. Inside are the few things Trevor kept from his human life. Two half finished sketches. One of a vast city amongst plants, and one of a strange creature cone like with tentacles emanating from its top. If investigators have seen Severin’s current masterpiece they will recognize it as the same creature. A complete search of the chest will also find a torn envelope, on which some one has scrawled: “mural – chapel of nameless one RT” and a few scribbled sketches of an arched ceiling.

Locked not broken (no forced entry)

Rich neighborhood/ interior new furniture, etc. moved in recently

Photo of Sam Pere

Yellow Sign on door

Trevor’s Boyfriend Sam Pere

Sam Pere is not a Yithian mind, being of no use or threat to their invasion. Hubert Smythe can give investigators his address, but they wont find him home. Breaking into his apartment wont discover anything unusual either. Sam is currently spying on Severin Bounty, suspecting him of murdering Trevor. As a Yithian Trevor didn’t care about Sam at all, but kept the relationship going at the moment to create a careful cover for itself. Sam was getting fed up with Trevor’s behavior and planned on breaking up with him. After Trevor was killed Sam suddenly suspected some deeper plot, that Trevor had been sleeping with Severin Bounty, and that Severin had killed Trevor out of jealousy when Trevor refused to leave Sam. This of course is all fantasy on Sam’s part.

Researching Trevor Tillinghast’s Newspaper Notes

Trevor’s old newspaper offices has fallen into poverty since he left, a series of complaints and firings dragging it into obscurity. However Trevor’s editor Sarah Knightley still works away in the bowels of the brick building. She is surprised to hear about Trevor again, she has heard he died but thought the police already caught the killer. She admits firing him. “Five years ago he had some sort of breakdown, seemed to forget everything. Amnesia or something. He tried to keep on working, even though he was rubbish with his camera. And he kept on trying to follow the mayor around, and random city people. At first I thought he had some crazy story, but after a month or two of complaints and calls… Well I checked on him, he hadn’t found a thing, except that the mayor was sleeping with his secretary, but that’s hardly news. So I fried him. I still have his notes and photos from then if you want. You may as well take them.”

Trevor’s papers are still in a dusty cardboard box in one of the many empty offices. Looking through it will reveal little, except that Trevor seemed to be working out who worked where. There a photos of sanitary engineers, civil engineers, power plants, lawyers, and a couple of men in suits outside of city hall. Notes describe in detail day to day movements of the people, where they live, and who with. Also documented is painstaking detail of how each person acts, walks, talks, and even eats. It seems to be obsessive if not for it’s thoroughness. At the bottom of the pile is a surprisingly close up photo of the current mayor shaking hands with a slightly younger Hubert Smythe, looking much more like the banker he used to be.


Mellisa Knott

Of the two victims Mellisa Knott is the easiest to collect information. She appears in multiple newspapers, art magazines, and design journals. Her modern art pieces, famous for bold red splashes were very popular. It seems like her popularity has waned over the past two years. Less articles mention her, only a few showing off her square inch canvases covered in dots. The articles confirm the details that Hubert told them.

Mellisa’s House

Mellisa lived in one of the local suburbs. With a series of lovers and changing boyfriends she lived alone. The house has been cleared of its contents, and an open house is happening when investigators show up. A realtor present will be able to tell investigators that any items of interest would be with police.

Mellisa’s Agent

Mellisa’s Agent Dillan Daniels can be found in his downtown office downing his second bottle of whisky that day. He will be suspicious of investigators, an extra bottle or reassurances of legitimacy opening him up. Dillan feels very guilty about Mellisa’s death. She had come to him on two occasions about a stalker who had been sending her cards and weird drawings. He had waved it off as some weird fan sending her gifts. However the night Mellisa died the two met at the Crono Club and Dillan mentioned that three of her paintings had been bought by a priest going by the name of Roger Tucker. Mellisa seemed to go crazy at the name, yelling that Roger Tucker was the man sending the cards and stalking her. She showed him one of the cards, that Dillan still has.

The card is a simple page folded in half, a strange curling yellow sign with three legs on the front. Inside in cut out letters it reads: “I’m coming for you spy! We know about your plan. The stranger in the pallid mask will have you soon! -RT”

After throwing the card at Dillan Mellisa stormed out. Dillan following close behind was just in time to see a man stab her in the alley beside the bar. The man was about six feet tall, bald and wore a mask, appearing to be made out of torn canvases featuring Mellisa’s dots.

If any of the investigators ask about Trevor Tillinghast Dillan will suddenly laugh. Dillan knows Mellisa was probably going to drop him once the year was up and only sell through Hubert Smythe. Dillan finds this very amusing now, since he remembers when the two met Trevor had been across the room and given them the biggest look of horror Dillan had ever seen.

The Crono Club

The Crono Club is a high class place, catering to the arty, the hip, and the too rich to be either. During the day it is mostly empty, and during the night it is packed with high collared sweaters, and overly tight pants. It seems the recent murder has done nothing but help boost the popularity of the club. Asking the bartenders or more regular looking drinkers will corroborate the story told to them by Dillan Daniels. The bouncer and at least one other guest saw the man and his strange mask. The blood where Mellisa bled out has already been cleaned off.


Severin Bounty

Hopefully investigators will decide to check on Severin Bounty as well. If not Hubert can contact the investigators a day or two into the investigation and mention that Severin thinks his house is being watched. If they delay too long, feel free to have Severin killed. He will be murdered in his mansion, his head cut off, and the eye stalk of his new Yithian statue replacing it. A yellow sign, identical to the one on the cards Mellisa was receiving, has been spray painted on the conical base of the statue as well.

The great sculptor is the picture of the artist, wiping drying clay off of his hands on a stained frock. A couple of days stubble darkens his chin, and bags under his eyes sag purple. His black hair sticks up at angles, and his jeans feature worn holes. There has been little change between Severin the homeless man, and Severin the famous artist.

Severin is a humble man, keen to speak about his art, but not much else. He will happily sing Hubert Smythe’s praise, explaining that he used to be homeless, without friends or family. His home burnt down ten years ago just a month after his wife had left him with his two daughters. He was living on the street, crafting tin can art and selling them at a flea market. Now that Hubert has taken him in Severin is able to pursue his true artistic talent. When Hubert met him two years ago he took him back to his art gallery and let him use the top floor for a studio and bedroom.

Now Severin lives in a large mansion, bought with the proceeds of his art. But Severin makes sure to explain that much of his money is going to improve the lives of other homeless, giving money to special art school charities, food banks and other organizations.

Severin will also happily show off his work. Finished sculptures sit in the corners, showing fantastic and amazingly detailed creatures, many like younger versions of dinosaurs, or early mammals. (anyone with a basis in paleontology may recognize some of these as real creatures. Even the plants in the sculpture bases are accurate.) In the center of the room is Severin’s current masterpiece Yithian. The creature is conical in shape with four tentacle like stalks, two hang low with two large claws, the other two hold four trumpet like things, the other has a ball with two large globular eyes, and hanging filaments holding a stone tablet.

Severin explains that he gets the ideas for his creatures from books on dinosaurs, though investigators will not have seen any such books around. As everyone is chatting in the studio Severin will suddenly gasp and point at the window. Some one will suddenly duck out of sight of the window and sprint away. Investigators in pursuit will quickly catch up, able to tackle the man. (If investigators start shooting you are going to have to deal with a murder case, this is Sam Pere.) The man tumbles, swearing, his red hair and nice shirt ruffled.

Sam is a good looking red head, in a, now mud stained, shiny red dress shirt. He clearly is new to the sneaking game. He swears and shouts, begging not to be killed. He will blather for some time, spitting that Severin is a murderer, that he’s hired the investigators to kill him, and more. Sam believes Severin was sleeping with Trevor, and killed him in a jealous fit when Trevor, of course, would have refused to leave Sam. Sam has absolutely no proof of this, except for the fact that Trevor has acted odd ever since he met Hubert and Severin a year ago or so.

If most of the investigators have left Severin alone, or with only one or two people Ramon Trusk, the real killer, will attempt to shoot Severin from an opposite window. If investigators are in the room, give them a fair chance to notice and save Severin, and get a good glimpse of Ramon’s familiar bald head. This is the same man they met in front of Hubert’s house a couple of days ago. Ramon should get away, but failing that have a slip of paper in his coat with the address of the Chapel of the Nameless and replace Ramon later with his co-conspirator Andrew Nichols. If you want to make it easier on the investigators, should they not try to research the Yellow Sign, Ramon can drop his coat with address inside as he escapes as well.

Questioning Sam Pere Further

If Severin was killed by Ramon, investigators will have to question Sam much later, once the Police have already talked to him, but if they saved Severin they can question him straight away. Sam himself is not a Yithian mind, and knows almost nothing about it, except for how Trevor was acting of late.

Sam explains that Trevor was having a hard life. About five years ago Trevor was fired from his photography job after he tried to get on three different jobs on the city mayor. The mayor caught Trevor stalking him twice, and called the cops once when Trevor actually stole a briefcase of government notes. Apparently Trevor had a complete breakdown and amnesia at the time, and was only kept at his job because of this initial zeal. After leaving the paper, and continuing personal research Trevor suddenly reverted, remembering all of his past life. It was this that started him on painting, and when he met Sam Pere. The two got along very well, and Sam really liked his “spooky” art.

Trevor claimed his paintings came from very vivid nightmares he was having almost constantly. They would often feature impressions of great plains, huge cities inhabited by monsters living like men, and other stranger things. Trevor had quite a following amongst the underground art movement, and three years ago he met Robert Taylor. Sam remembers Taylor as a shortish man, with a bald head and shabby coat, constantly fiddling with his mustache. (Ramon Trusk used a fake one.) Robert Taylor claimed to run a sort of club, or occult group, and wanted a ceiling painted with a huge fresco, and was willing to pay quite a large sum of money for it. At first Trevor was hesitant, but when he saw the place he decided to go for it, raving to Sam later about how moody the place was, and how visceral his new work could be. Sam never got to see the place, Trevor claimed it would be bad luck if someone saw the work before it was finished.

Trevor got more and more obsessed with his work and began sleeping at the “chapel” as Robert Tayor called it. Trevor began to only come home once or twice a week, and once spent an entire fortnight there. Sam was getting very anxious. It was around this time that Sam’s own work was getting shown at Hubert Smythe’s gallery. Wanting Trevor to be social for once he made Trevor promise to come and meet Sam’s new patron. When Hubert and Trevor met they seemed to have known each other before, though Trevor claimed to have never met him. Sam knows that the two men met together later, and Trevor was introduced to Severin then as well.

And suddenly Trevor changed completely. He told Sam that he was quitting his chapel mural, and giving up painting altogether. He was going to move out of the attic studio he and Sam shared, and bought a new place in the well to do part of town, not artistic at all. When Sam confronted him about it, Trevor told him that Hubert had convinced him to abandon his painting to work on his true passion, nature photography, something Sam had never tried to do. Sam was extremely hurt and left Trevor alone for a month or two. Eventually he decided to confront Trevor again, “to really work things out.” But whenever Sam met Trevor again Trevor just very calmly explained that he was much happier and was doing exactly what he wanted. Sam swears he was a different person.

So Sam went to the one person he knew who might be able to help, Robert Taylor, whose number he still had. Apparently Robert Taylor was furious that Trevor had abandoned the work, but didn’t know where to find his new apartment. Promising to get Trevor back to his old self Robert Taylor said he would visit the same week Trevor was found killed. (At this point Sam probably realizes the obvious connection, and bursts into tears. It is very possible he got Trevor killed.)

Sam doesn’t know where the “chapel” is, but does have Robert Taylor’s phone number (if not played in a modern game have it be something else, perhaps a person to pass notes along to Taylor)


The Attack on Severin

Ramon Trusk will fire a shot through the window, aiming for Severin’s head. He will wait until most of the investigators are out of the room, doodling a Yellow Sing in the dirt under the sill. Once he has shot Severin he will flee over the back fence and will escape into the city.

If Severin was hit, he is grievously wounded, in a desperate attempt to survive the Yithian will drag the body to the mantle piece, reaching for a strange metal device. (not unlike an ornate metal clock with no visible face) If an investigator helps him reach it, he peers into two small holes on the front, spasms once, and then yells out “-the fuck! You rich posh, get away from- what the fuck! Where am I! Who’s house is this?” As Severin’s Yithian mind leaves his body he is suddenly returned to being a homeless man in an alley being accosted by Hubert Smythe. As he bleeds out from his forgotten head wound investigators get one question before he dies. The most sensible would be “who was attacking you?” or “where were you?” With his last breath Severin will try to answer.

Make sure the investigators recognize Ramon Trusk as he flees, by now they should know about Mellisa’s stalker, RT, and the man who hired Trevor to paint the Chapel, Robert Taylor. (If they haven’t made the connection perhaps is the time to have Ramon attack them, claiming they know too much.) They should have a good start to find the killer. They also should have seen multiple Yellow Signs, sent to Mellisa, painted on Hubert’s door, and scratched into the dirt outside Severin’s window.

Now that the three artists are dead have Ramon turn his sights on the investigators. They are helping the Yithians after all and even if they aren’t possessed, betraying their own race is almost worse than the invaders. He will also want to try for Hubert. Seeing Ramon around Hubert’s neighborhood, finding the Yellow Sign painted on their door, and finding dead cats on their doorstep should be threatening enough.


Flea Market

It is unlikely that investigators will want to check up on the flea market Hubert supposedly met Severin in, but if they do they may discover a little more about the new star artist. Like all flea markets this one is connected through different dimensions to all flea markets, one seller of torn paperbacks blending into another, glass mirrors with ornate cracked frames reflecting the stalls in a different universe. Pottery jostles with the plaid shirts of another store. And people flow in and out, sometimes appearing on different planets.

The shopkeepers never really change, one tired lined face, staring expectantly at buyers, or shouting about good prices to anyone who cares to listen. Asking around about Severin will mostly bring confused looks but a few will remember the bum who sold old wire toys around. He used to sleep in an alley nearby. His art was rubbish really, often literally. Most of everyone thinks he got stabbed a couple of years back, some rich guy chased him into an alley and killed him.

They will also mention that Severin was completely mad, raving about the government hunting him down, about brain cannisters, and tin foil hats not being able to save you. He was hardly ever coherent, and mostly people bought his wire toys out of pity.


Research

Looking up Robert Taylor, RT, or other names:

Investigators will quickly find hundreds of Robert Taylor’s living in the area, and even more people with RT as initials. If they can see police reports, or lists of court cases give them a lower chance to find a mention of Ramon Trusk in the ten year old Yellow Killings case.

Looking up the Chapel of the Nameless:

Looking for the Chapel of the Nameless will find a reference in the King in Yellow a series of short stories by Robert W. Chambers. On the cover is a cloaked figure with a large Yellow Sign on his chest, and fiery wings.

Looking up the Yellow Sign:

If they haven’t found it already they will find the King in Yellow. On the cover they see a large depiction of the Yellow Sign. In the story it mentions that the sign drives people insane, or dooms them to death.

They will also find reference to Hastur, perhaps a shepherd god, sometimes called the Nameless God. It is rumored that saying his name three times will bring him, angry and vengeful to you.

Finally they will discover the “Yellow Killings” a series of serial murders that occurred ten years ago. Three men were convicted:
- Ramon Trusk. A man in his late thirties, already balding, investigators will recognize him easily from the photo. He was given a five year sentence, for aiding and abetting the murderers, assault, and plotting to murder people.
- Andrew Nichols. Late forties, with grey stubble, wearing torn clothes in his photo. Andrew was the mastermind behind the killings, between him and Vitorio Anthony the the two murdered seven people over the course of a year. Andrew received a life sentence and is still in prison.
- Vitorio Anthony. A thin man of indeterminate age, he wears a thin mustache, and thick glasses. During the killings he took delight in cutting signs into the bodies with a long knife. He received a ten year sentence. If investigators check up on Vitorio they will discover that he was granted parole three years ago and promptly disappeared.

The Yellow Killings were a series of butcheries. Each victim kidnapped and taken to an abandoned church, killed on an altar, and then taken out to a remote alley and dumped. Yellow symbols were found painted by the bodies. Police eventually linked the signs to the King in Yellow and discovered the church. After a raid all three men were discovered planning an eight killing.

If the investigators go to the police, and are convincing enough, they can either get the address of the abandoned church themselves, or perhaps convince the police to go there themselves. Try to make it obvious that sending the police would be safer, but perhaps there is more to discover on their own. (See the Church of the Nameless)


The Chapel of the Nameless

This is the climax of the scenario. Here investigators will corner the killer and possibly learn the truth. The investigators will have to ask themselves what they believe. Is this man a killer, or is he trying to save the world from some alien invasion. Do they kill him, send the police, tell Hubert about him, or leave him alone?

If the investigators go in during the day no one will be inside, Ramon generally comes here once a day some time in the evening. If they arrive later at night, or keep watch until some arrives Ramon walks up, looks up and down the street and enters the building.

Between two modern buildings squats the church, filling the space like some fungal growth. It seems to be a half burnt out entry hall, leading to a squat chapel. A crooked cross is visible in the shadow of the taller buildings around it. Some halfhearted attempt to paint the door red has left it a muddy brown color, viewers can see more of the rotting wood than the paint. Above the door is newly painted the Yellow Sign. The hall is set back enough into a short alley way that a street light blinks on the gloom. And as they enter the building, the door swinging open at their touch, the light casts eerie shadows through the missing roof.

The church has obviously had better times. A small “for the church roof” tin box ironically hangs from one wall, a few coins still rattling freely inside. There seems to be no sounds coming from the chapel at all. Another door blocks their way. As it’s pushed open cans rattle over head, some sort of warning system.

If Ramon is inside, he will be prostrated in front of the altar, at a right angle to the entrance, otherwise the chapel will be empty. Vitorio Anthony is smart enough not to come here. If Ramon is inside when the investigators show up, he will spin around, pulling out his pistol. A quick shout about not firing or wanting to talk will prevent him from shooting, otherwise the investigators will have a gun fight on their hands.

The chapel itself is in ruins, only one pew remains, other wise the floor is empty, save for empty paint cans, paint rollers and old tarps. Scaffolding clutters up the end opposite the alter, with vague black on white sketches depicting the beginning of some city. As the huge mural raps around the wall the city gives way to a deep blue lake and deeper sky. Two moons and two stars seem to shine from above the lake. The altar end however suddenly becomes a scene of horror. A massive cloaked figure all in yellow fills the round altar niche. It’s hood is filled with black stars, and thin wisps of those stars seem to curl out into the walls around it, twisting their way into every detail of the room.

If Ramon is shooting he will hide behind the altar, peeking out and firing sporadicly. Investigators keeping him pinned down will be able to sneak closer to kill or disarm him. He only has 12 bullets for his .45 revolver. He will keep one for himself.

Once investigators get closer to Ramon he starts talking. Once they’ve got Ramon talking it’s hard to get him to stop. “My chapel! I’m sorry my King I have failed you! I’ve tried to stop the invaders from discovering you! Oh god don’t kill me now! Let me live to do your bidding oh King! Stay back from the altar! You will defile the King!” Ramon is very mad, but thinks he’s doing the right thing. “I was trying to stop them! Those things, they aren’t human! My King told me! The great painter knew! He saw in his dreams! He knew it was coming. The King sent him to us three! To tell us three the threat! About the invasion! But you know that. You are invaders! You work for the invaders! Please don’t kill me! The King makes me do it to save you. To save you all! They weren’t human! It isn’t illegal if they aren’t human! Please don’t kill me! Oh King save me!” As soon as the investigators are close enough to disarm the man he tries to shoot himself. Pitifully he misses, blowing out his cheek and part of his tongue. He moans in pain, spitting blood everywhere. He can tell them no more. He will pull a knife and try to kill the closest investigator, he has failed his King, now he wishes to die.

Police Raid on the Chapel

If the investigators send police to raid the Chapel, instead of going themselves Ramon is arrested. The gun and knife on him are both weapons he used to kill Mellisa, Trevor, and shot Severin with. The investigators are not allowed to see Ramon, but are thanked for their hard work on the case. The police man they speak to mentions that Ramon has been raving mad since they caught him, mentioning that the “three” of them were warned about some sort of invasion and that the murders were justified because they victims were some sort of invaders. Crazy stuff.

Keeping Ramon Alive

It’s possible players will have realized not everything Ramon says is madness. If they are already suspicious about Hubert they may decide they want to hear more from Ramon. While at first suspicious, asking about some of the details of Trevor, Mellisa, or Severin’s lives will convince him that they know and want to help too. The device Severin looked into when he died, the way Trevor got amnesia, or the new art styles of all three of them are all things they can mention.

Ramon will slowly come out from behind the altar leaving the gun on the ground. “You know too! You do know! But you didn’t know at first! The King has sent you to help me! They were all invaders, coming through time to take over all of us! The King whispers that they are scared, but so are we! They are our bodies, but their minds! Will you help me kill them?!” If investigators agree Ramon will take them to Hubert’s house and point. “He is one of them. He invades more and more of us. Prove that the King sent you. Kill him!”

Once the investigators have gone inside Ramon will leave, to report to Vitorio Anthony.


Confronting Hubert

The investigators may have sided with Ramon, or they may want to question Hubert about other suspicions. Hubert is glad to tell them more about the artists, but if they begin mentioning odd behavior or try to call him out about his lies he will get angry. He is quick to realize when is outmatched by the evidence, and will quickly think up new explanations.

At first he will try to claim that it’s a coincidence that all three artists had such major transformations. If that doesn’t convince them he will claim that perhaps it was new drug he heard they were using, liao. (Knowledgable investigators may know that liao is a potent drug said to bend time in the users mind.) If investigators still press him he will snap. He trusts that his true plight will be enough to convince them, and he knows the truth will be the safest route. He carefully explains that it is true, he is possessing this humans body, but it is for his races survival!

His race, the Yithians lives well before the human race conceived of rebelling against their masters and left the oceans. (He wont explain this reference.) But there is a far older race that seeks to destroy the Yithians and their cities in the past. So the greatest thinkers of the Yithians banded together and came up with a plan to escape, before these attackers drove them to extinction. The Yithians would use their brain power to travel to a different time and find creatures there suitable to possessed so that the Yithian consciousness would live on. They have done this in the past and they will do it again.

The Yithians are nearing their breaking point, the preparation for their exodus has taken a very long time. At first they sent out scouts to as many times as they could to find a suitable location for their new civilization only two were found, the easiest this one. Then they sent more scouts to discover the important people in this time. That was five years ago in human time. Then two years ago the true move began. Nine Yithians took over nine of the most important people in town to form the Eklesia and many more came to act as agents all around the city. Their leader One works to create a device that will open a portal to let the remaining Yithians in to the rest of the city.

If the investigators refute the need for this Hubert will explain carefully: It is not only a way to save the Yithian race but also a way to improve the human one. Life is “brutal and short” humans are violent and stupid. The Yithian minds will make humanity far more intelligent, peaceful, and they will coexist happily. Poverty and famine will disappear, diseases will be forgotten. What could be better?

Hubert then presents the cases of the three artists, Severin was homeless and mad. When he was taken over by the Yithian his life improved greatly. He was famous rich and owned a huge home. He was giving money to the poor and helping to improve the life of others. What better life for a man like that. And Mellisa, she paints Yithian art. Surely a civilization with its own art styles deserves a continued existence? Don’t human’s think art is a window to the soul? To true feelings?

If an investigator mentions Trevor, Hubert shakes his head. Trevor was a sorry case. He had been one of the scouts five years ago. He was to research many of the people involved in the city. But after the first wave of pilgrims two years ago Hubert met Trevor and he recognized him. Clearly the Tabula Rasa device used to wipe his memory was wearing off. So Hubert had to repossess him. Hubert will then pull out a similar device about the size of a small book it is covered in triangular bumps with two prongs on the front. “I’m sorry, but if you plan on hurting me, or trying to prevent our exodus I will have to use this on you.”