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 20: The Book of Excruciating Knowledge

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!

Hello, my name is Ink and I am the spirit of an ancient dead sorcerer and I am writing this book that you hold in your hands, or at least are looking at. I’m am writing it through the hands of Leslie Middleton, another sorcerer of some power whom I inhabit. The topics I shall write down are the true nature of the universe in as close as a way as you can understand as I am able to put down, almost as I explained it to Leslie.

First I shall give a short and modest account of myself. I am, or really was (I was annihilated for what I knew and perhaps impiously commented on) a massively powerful entity that humans would describe as a sorcerer. Whether I was a human or not is rather immaterial at this point, since my consciousness soon eclipsed the potential for my possibly human brain. All you need to know is that I was around in Hyperborea, I even knew Ibon before his heyday and before the inquisition chased him off to Saturn. Later I kept my head low until after the Hyborian Age. The ancient cults began springing back up in the wake of that mess, so I scuttled back out and joined up with some of them. But I got zapped a little bit later and got all tangled up with some scrolls and then buried in a lead box. Rather inconvenient. But eventually I got dug up and I showed a young man some interesting spells.

Then Leslie & co. found me and I hopped to Leslie for a bit of change of scenery.


Azathoth Explodes

You know, that theory about an egg of all matter and energy exploding into the universe you guys have is pretty close. Though so are pretty much every myth cycle starting “first there was nothing and then there was something.” You guys have the gist. First there was nothing, then there was Azathoth. He/it/whatever is sort of like… a big ball of nuclear explosions. Some books say he is daemon sultan sitting on a massive throne in the center of all chaos. Imagine there suddenly is a giant explosion but that explosion keeps on exploding and Azathoth (not his real name btw) is at the center with all of these universes and dimensions folding and orbiting outwards from him. At the same time there was the Nameless Mist and Darkness. You know all that stuff you guys can’t find? Yeah, that’s them. Dark energy and dark matter respectively. But you can’t have anti-something without the something right? Though really it’s the other way round. So from Nameless Mist we get Yog-Sothoth and from Darkness we get Shub-Niggurath. (Sort of their real names, so much as things like them can have names. Also they don’t really have gender but I’m going to call YS a he and SN a she just to make the sexy parts later make more sense to you.)

Your mystical people, and even Ibon, who I guess got it all wrong when he was listening to Tsathoggua, seem to think that YS and SN are actual gods or something, but really they just are. Like I said Azathoth is the center of chaos, all the other stuff (but not the Nameless Mist and Darkness, you guys don’t need to worry about them)  is SN and all the overlaps between all the dimensions and layers and galaxies and things are YS. And when I say everything and all I mean it. SN is  all matter and YS is all energy and the gate and the key and the always etc. etc. bla bla bla.

Here comes the fun bit though, while YS is sort of chilling out being a hole in everything and SN is filling up everything with stuff well the two of them get chatting and out pops Nyarlathotep. (I’ll use “he” again, but again isn’t really applicable, honestly if it didn’t confuse you all so much I would just use “entity” or “constant” or something, but I guess personification does work alright) Nyarly, the old boy, is the stuff that SN and YS do to each other. It’s pretty gross at first but soon there’s more high brow stuff forming, like sounds. Nyarly really has to pull to get stuff into high culture and he just keeps trying the poor guy. He’s gotten it so there are some pretty intelligent life forms, and even you apes can put 2 and 2 together even if occasionally it doesn’t. You should really think about any consciousness as Nyarly, though again you guys like to make out he’s some special god.

So there we go, matter is Shub-Niggurath, energy is Yog-Sothoth and the interplay between them all is Nyarlathotep, all leading off from the stupid center of it all, Azathoth, hogger of all glory. Funny how you guys are scared of the dark, really you should be scared of the light, it’s Azathoth after all that keeps on making things brighter and he is far scarier than whatever would happen if he went away. He’s that trend towards everything getting more chaotic and simple. But in the process sometimes his bits rub together and we get more stuff. Imagine if that all went away and everything got all ordered, all long lines and piles each perfectly lined up. Perish the thought. It’s only because Azathoth is so horrible that you humans have gained that weird proclivity for organizing stuff. Like this book, all in chapters and words all linear down the page.


Stuff Actually Starts to Happen

So anyway, that’s how all matter and energy and thought were created. But YS and SN weren’t done. While bits of old Shub were everywhere most of her was trapped in one particular fold of Yog-Sothoth, his cosmic puncture wounds just weren’t large enough to let her fill everything at once. So she grew and grew and grew. You can’t really say it was all one entity. Like I said SN is all matter, so I guess you should just say it filled up, but she does have a sort of mindedness. How could so much stuff not have a mind. Maybe we should say there are tons of little Shub-Nigguraths who keep on making more and more Shub-Nigguraths, and more and more. And all of these start squishing together and that just gets them horny and they make more and more. You get the whole picture. Poor Nyarly is stuck being the contact between them all. It must have been a pretty humiliating process, what with him making music happen and all elsewhere. He’d been rigging up flute players around Azathoth to get the old mad guy at the right rhythm so he would stop making things like SN and YS again when old Shub fills up every part of her dimension.

It’s still there, all squishy with lots of eyes and teeth and other things not at all like eyes or teeth. If you ever feel a wave of dread wash over you, you probably have just walked through SN in a dimensional point close to her. Or maybe not, there are a lot of reasons to feel waves of dread. Maybe a goose walked over your grave in the future. Speaking of which, oops. I guess I’ve made this sound all linear. Don’t forget that isn’t super true all the time (ha). Imagine that Azathoth’s existence is one of those approaching infinity things except not really at all. Think about a mobius strip but worse and then melt it into a single point and feed it to a dog. That’s what time is like for Azathoth and family. (I’m a distant cousin 100,000 times removed)

With SN all filling up a whole dimension (which is super hard to do btw) everything becomes quite a bother. Traveling through hyperspace gets a bit dodgy. You’re ripping past the local groaning polyhedron arabesque and find yourself in amongst SN and when that happens you’ve just put a little bit more stuff where there already is infinite stuff. It makes every thing stretch a bit. That’s why Yog-Sothoth has holes in him. Every time that happens a little bit of true SN leaks out, and that can be bad for whoever finds it in their backyard. Have you heard of the things Druids were supposed to ride? There was only one real one and it made more. Luckily Cthulhu (he’s a cousin, I’ll explain later) squished it.

So SN and YS are dependent on each other. SN can’t survive without YS letting bits of her out and YS can’t be the stuff between everything if there is no stuff and that stuff is SN. And bits of one shoots through the other and eventually we get Nug and Yeb. Nug and Yeb are just names, (not that you guys care, just stick an altar down and you’ll worship anything) they’re just names for all the physical stuff that exists, the stuff in atoms basically. Nyarly feeds a bit of stuff into some of it so that everyone has something to watch on the tely and bang we have existence.


Shub-Niggurath Fills All Space

But filling up her own space isn’t the only thing Shub-Niggurath does. She likes to fill other people’s space too, forgive the obvious joke. (She is a fertility goddess in a lot of cultures) But she can’t do it completely alone, ever since she first began spurting matter everywhere life has begun to go hay wire. Like on Earth the protoplasmic sludge of existence. Well actually that only happened when the Elder Things created Ubbo-Sathla on Earth and she created shoggoths there and that was the sludge. There were a couple of people hanging out on Terra for a while before that. Anyway after life had gotten away from SN on its own. (So remember that all matter is SN anyway, this is why it’s really confusing, just think about the SN in the filled dimension as one SN and all other matter as new SNs.) For SN to spawn more of herself out of her filled space she needs new stuff. When you have filled infinite space you’ve created all possible outcomes of yourself in that space. So if you can give SN some new stuff she can create a new iteration and can spit out some of her old stuff in its place. That’s what Ibon named Dark Young. Or what Blake thought might be shoggoths. They are pretty much the same thing, but like I said they’re a bit different. The ones that come from her dimension have had an infinity getting squished, so they’re a little nuts and pretty simple.

Most of SN’s worship on any planet or plane or in any dimension is just a way to give her more new stuff. She’s like the most materialistic being in existence except the matter is alive and conscious. Think about all of the DNA you give her every time you spill some blood, each strand is a new pattern for her to weave in herself. Maybe she’s hoping to find just the right combination to turn herself back the other way. For all the hard work people do to help her, she doesn’t really do anything back. You might get a nifty servant from whatever she “spawns” off at the time, but your just as likely to get horribly consumed by a slobbering Yaght or whatever other random thing comes out of there. So really most Black Goat With a Thousand Young  worshippers get the short end of the stick, all pain and no gain.

Old Shuby can push into other dimensions when she needs to. In yours she often appears as a black fog typically near goats of some kind, giving her the nickname. Sometimes she’ll make deals, I think she likes to pretend to care. She’ll promise people children or will protect them herself. Some of the oldest cults deal with her one way or another. All fertility goddesses come from her, and Pan as well. Though Dionysos was Yog-Sothoth’s brat.

Her children don’t really live that long. They are horrible masses of vaginas and dicks and teeth. Multiply that image by three and make all of those things gnash. These things are bad. Often they are just mistaken for Shub-Niggurath in person. These children give off smaller children. These are a little more predictable and usually look like a tree. No one really knows why they do. Her main children and these other dark young are pretty versatile and good at getting new DNA for their mum too. Dark young, which despite their tree forms are often confused for shoggoths, suck the genes out of the people who have the misfortune to get caught. Usually the other children have too much of themselves stuck in other dimensions to do their own catching, so instead they let sex starved kids and cultists bring them sacrifices.


Yog-Sothoth Gate and Key and Massive Bore

Nothing could work without Yog-Sothoth being the energy and the fabric of space and time and other dimensions you don’t need to hurt your head about. But if you imagine all that stuff coming off of Azathoth and sort of forming big folds and overlaps Yog-Sothoth is both those things and the overlaps, gate and key as the Arab wrote. (I knew him too, he tried to read me, and boy was he surprised by what happened.) Some of the Greeks had a crazy notion that the only provable thing was existence and so everything was one big immovable existing thing. They would be right if it weren’t for Yog-Sothoth. Yog-Sothoth is the ability to move for any spot to any other spot. And I do mean any. If you figure out how to get to a hyperspace you have traveled through him.

Most of the time Yog-Sothoth is happy to hang out, but his massive power does mean he gets yanked around a lot by jerks. Really it’s all Nyarlathotep’s fault. The big N. went and told people about Yog-Sothoth and how he could make time travel happen and other powers too, immortality, bringing back the dead, second and third chances at your failure of a life. A whole race took him up on it and decided to express mail their entire species of minds. Took over another planet and another and another. Stuff like that isn’t that healthy and it generated its own problems later on. Luckily because he is the lines and folds between all dimensions YS isn’t in any of them. So when people call on him it can strain everything a lot.

You know how a lot of people say there are holes in time and space and stuff, well they’re right, this is where YS has pushed closer to an actual physical dimension. These are the times when people can see YS properly. YS doesn’t really have a consciousness  as such, not like SN. It’s only when he’s popping into to check on people that he can be said to have any mind. He also can be seen in people’s unconscious a lot. Typically people can’t help but be aware of him being there. If they notice him they often will start obsessing. More than one so called wizard has let themselves be sucked into him and spat back out the other side.

Depending on where someone sees YS he will look a couple of different ways. If you see him in your dreams he might look like a man standing behind a veil. (The veil is to keep you safe, ignore the man behind the veil.) If he’s in physical space his dimensionality is perceived as a reflection of however many dimensions you can see at once. In your 3D space he looks like a whole bunch of soap bubbles. I guess I should explain how this sort of stuff works. I can’t really give you the true run down, honestly you just wouldn’t be able to take it. So Azathoth is the center point, Yog-Sothoth is a whole bunch of lines shooting off into space and time. Some of you humans like explaining dimensions with right angles. You take a point add some lines add a right angle and get a square, add more right angles and get a cube. By then you’ve run out places to put right angles, so you guys stick some right angles in there anyway and get a hyper cube, etc. etc. The easiest way to think of layered dimensions is more like color tints in an ascending order. If like me you’ve learned to actually use all of your senses you can flick through the tints adding a dimension at a time. Another good example is what would happen if an apple moved through a two dimensional space. First a point is visible that grows to a line and then shrinks again. In higher dimensions, lets say tinted red you can see a larger slice. If you flipped quickly from a lower dimension to a higher dimension you would see some beings that appear as a small bird here but gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it’s a tentacle covered monstrosity. Looks kind of like a cone.

This makes Shub-Niggurath even scarier if you think about it. She is all matter (including you) so when you start looking in higher and higher dimensions the connection to her gets more and more visible, everything starts looking like it has strands stretching off into space which eventually gets thicker and thicker and thicker until we see her wholeness. If you ever have the misfortune to visit the higher dimension which SN has filled you would be able to find the portion that is your mother in lower dimensions. That’s why it’s so bad to add more stuff to her.

You probably shouldn’t think about YS as a person or god or anything, just use his name to describe the stuff between. That between stuff is potent as anything that has been squished into an infinite small place. It tends to have a pretty bad effect on any normal matter it touches. That’s why YS made Nug and Yeb with SN and why some wizards have gotten YS to make babies with their wives. YS is a subtle one since he’s just always there. Every time anything else shows up YS is there a little bit, as the gate that they traveled through or the hole they ripped in the universe.

You can actually travel through YS if you want. If you think about how your three dimensioned space is made up of an infinite amounts of two dimension planes and how much quicker it is for you to move through those than something that was stuck at 2D. Well travelling through YS is like that, a lot quicker moving through space and time than you can do under your own power. We can call this hyperspace for ease of use.

Of course hyperspace is pretty weird for lower dimensioned creatures like you so it can be pretty disorienting. Everything appears like an abyss of twilight color filled with sound. There isn’t really any of that grey infinite plane you guys always describe, instead it’s a sort of colored space filled with objects, organic and inorganic. You move through it, pushed and pulled and only partly under your own motivation. Your physical shape you don’t want to see. Like I explained how you might look at a higher dimension, now you’ve been projected into a sideways dimension.

A lot of other things are visible in hyperspace. This will be both objects and living entities. The objects will mostly appear as masses of shapes and crazy buildings. The living things are usually more abstract, like weird collages of other animals or art work. Your own perception has a lot to do with it. As stuff moves through hyperspace they appear and disappear, and you can pretty easily enter and exit if you know how to do it, what angles to use and such. But knowing where you will exit is usually the problem. You might end up on a planet with twice your normal gravity or you might end up squished into Sub-Niggurath.

What a lot of artists miss is the sound of hyperspace. It’s filled with the sound of Azathoth, all pounding rhythmically, in tune with Nyarly’s pipers. Shub-Niggurath hums along in her own dimension and over all it all sounds like a constant roaring. Don’t be in hyperspace close to important moments when Azathoth or someone else is especially close to it because you will be made deaf.

Entering Yog-Sothoth is can be done several different ways. If you know the angles closest to the angles of YS near you and can imitate the lines and curves there you can simply step through it. These can look like all sorts of things, an intersection of three lines one place, a complicated pentagram elsewhere. Stone towers are a useful place to make these since YS is often simplest the closer to the edge of a bubble you are.

Once you’ve learnt to get to Yog-Sothoth you can either enter him or use him yourself. You can learn a lot talking to hyperspace, whispers of other places and distant entities. Not to mention rocking out to the tunes of Azathoth and company.

Because of his usefulness a lot of more powerful wizards like to use YS and call on him. Unlike SN where most of his worshipers get the short end of the stick those who make use of YS telephone system tend to get more out of it than he does. Of course you have to be more willed than your average pest or you can be sucked into hyperspace and never return.

Ibon made use by traveling to Saturn to escape the inquisition, and quite a few people like to call him to rid places of harmful matter. This will eventually happen to Earth, wiping all the humans away. Since YS is made up of infinitely small infinitely big weird matter when he pokes through into other spaces things tend to disappear and go haywire. Recently he had a son with some degenerate people on Earth. These abominations soon collapsed in on themselves, but were close to ending humanity as you know it. Lucky for you all of that culture and writing that Nyarly instils in species let some lucky people know how to stop those abhorations.

YS having kids is actually pretty common and it happens a lot when you have young newly pregnant women around gates into hyperspace. Children in general are very susceptible to Yog-Sothoth’s radiation. Just getting close to our dimension causes his radiation to infect kids.


Nyarly brings the Culture

You may have notices that the entities so far are all pretty dumb. Yog-Sothoth abides and Shub-Niggurath just spits out babies constantly. Well, they aren’t entirely stupid, because when they bothered rubbing together communication was born. And communication is Nyarlathotep. Every thought, every word, ever time some sees some other creature move and processes it that is Nyarlathotep. He both invents sentience and is sentience. You humans seem to think you are the epitome of an intelligent creature. Really everything alive has some level of though, some level of this electron makes this electron move in a complex fashion.  But you can thank Nyarly for high culture and all the good novels you’ve read recently.

Nyarly is also pretty at fault for plenty of other stuff too. Frivolously letting things think can be pretty bad. SN and YS “think” in the sense that they just do what they do. But if it wasn’t for Nyarlathotep the living things SN throws up actually can’t do anything. At his base level Nyarly is the need for sex that SN’s brood started with. But Nyarly is by nature always bored and soon wanted more. His first deed was to take some of SN’s Young and stick a flute in their mouth. It keeps Azathoth busy to watch their music and dancing. That way Azathoth will keep this little merry explosion going and won’t make more YS or SN than we already have. Can you imagine what would happen if we had two dimensions filled with fleshy SN blobs? And then they met?

Then Nyarly set about giving his newly created “thinking” to other things, some of SN’s more independent dingle berries and soon we had species of creatures that weren’t always mutating as soon as they moved. Cthulhu and the star spawn formed, much later the Elder Things and the Mi-Go were born. Somewhere the original minds of the Yithians tried out time travel for the first time.

Time didn’t exist as a concept until Nyarly made things think. Turns out time doesn’t matter if you can’t die, but if you’re thinking time slowly runs out it turns out you get an awful sense of linearity.

Nyarly is pretty wide spread then. You could probably say he is the closest thing to a God this existence has. Ironically he is usually coterminous with whatever the culture’s concept of evil is. Ungrateful things. He probably thinks that’s pretty funny. He did invent humor after all. He also invented the concept of evil. Again I can’t stress enough that he isn’t simply the “god” of communication and thought, but that he is communication and thought. If you could see him you would see him everywhere, black strings attached to everyone’s minds.

The whole concept may seem a little mystical. I guess it kinda is. I guess the only other thing remotely like him is Yog-Sothoth, in the sense that he connects all minds together like YS connects all space and time together.

The others let Nyarly pretty much run the show since he’s shut up Azathoth. YS and SN just want to exist, Nyarly is permanently bored so he wants to see new stuff happen. He likes to set upon a society and let it run into the ground. He experiments and tinkers. Why do you think humanity invented electricity or the nuclear bomb? Ever heard of Tesla? Or Dr. Dexter? Since Nyarly is culture he can look like whoever or whatever he wants. He can look like anything people believes him to look like.

Nyarly isn’t all fun and bombs, he has a pretty major job to do keeping Azathoth from destroying everything. He scoops up willing subjects to make them into flute players. He has a couple cults that do that for him.  The flute players are probably the most important entities in the continued existence of… well all of this. Nyarly likes his sand pit, so he keeps them playing. Azathoth hums along, reverberating through the universes but keeping everything solid. It keeps YS and SN going and it keeps entropy in check. Without Azathoth continuing his explosiveness we wouldn’t get the complex energy systems that result in things like human bodies. Without him everything would die and line up in rows.

Like I said Nyarly has a sense of humor. Part of that is the cosmic joke he has played on SN and YS. By being communication he is the reason anyone calls on the pair. They get dragged around and poked and prodded because of him. A lot of Nyarly worshipers also worship elements of the other two. This is why Nyarly is often likened to a messenger of the gods. Some of you fools have the silly idea he might be some rebellious servant. Bah. No rebellion, more like a man with a plan who can harness chaos itself. Speaking of which if you have ever wondered why Nyarly has bee called the crawling chaos, think about what your local film culture is like. Crawling? Chaos? Yup.

Also unlike YS and SN Nyarly likes to get personal, he goes and meets his creation in a way that YS and SN don’t like to do. Being constantly bored is something I am not a stranger too, so I really get where old Nick is coming from. I think his only frustration must be that no one else gets the ultimate joke all of creation’s existence. Ever think about those pleasant moments you are relaxing somewhere feeling warm and good and then imagine how horrible that recent earthquake or war must be, how someone somewhere is screaming in pain and hunger or someone is dying slowly crushed under rubble. That’s why wizards happen. People who want to break away from it all, grow bigger, learn more. Nyarly humors them, shows them the places they can get close to YS or find some of the great great great great… great great… great grandkids of SN to summon.

These people begin using understanding to build themselves up and make themselves immortal. Several clever ones have checked out how the future goes and one of them painted it in big Mobius strip of an underground tunnel. Of course Nyarly likes setting these guys up and pushing them down, promising great power and then letting some underdog stab them in the back. I’m not bitter at all.

He also has countless cults all worshipping him in different forms. They understand how important he is, just not how he’s important. There are savage cults of murderers, cults of surgeons who want to live forever, and witch cults worshiping the Black Man.

He must sound pretty cool, but Nyarly isn’t all powerful. Like YS doesn’t have big enough holes to let much of SN through, Nyarly just can’t fit enough of himself into certain dimensions. You should be glad the important parts of you exist in such a low dimension. It keeps Nyarly from just blowing Earth’s dust away wholesale. Instead he has to finagle work arounds. The other day he tried to get his cults to work together to bring him enough DNA to build an earthly body, but then he lost interest and set some humans up to knock it apart again. I think Earth has become a bit of a pet project for him.

Friday Game Notes 19: Finale Maddness

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!

People without Nyarlathotep:

  1. No communication – there is not way to communicate with people at all.
  2. No morals – no good or bad. Killing someone? Fine. Eating their eyeballs? Fine!
  3. No ownership – everyone just takes what they want.

Types:

Feral Humans

Maddened by the inability to think strait or communicate these humans go back to their animal routes. Crawling on all fours, running hunched over, and jumping around they attack viciously when they think they have the advantage but flee if overpowered.

Cultists

Minds blasted by the absence of power they try to invent new gods amidst the chaos. They freely draw new symbols out of their own blood or the blood of those they slay and try to summon new things. These monsters rip them apart.

Shell Shocked

Communication and all thought are gone from these humans. They walk absently and vacantly. Often they end up in groups walking along empty streets to be preyed upon by the more violent predators.

The Looters

Unconstrained by human interaction some simply fall pray to their normal human desires taking what they want. They almost seem normal in the way they act but they are cunning and devious and take whatever they want. They will sometimes work together in basic ways communicating through shows of strength like animals.

The Truly Mad

Some have snapped so completely their behavior becomes unfathomable. They build structures out of bodies, living or dead, act out normal scenes before doing unthinkable deeds, try to eat themselves, or madly run into the walls over and over again.

1 Try to eat something nearby.
2 Try to run as fast as possible into something.
3 Try to build something out of the nearest objects.
4 Try to kill themselves.
5 Act out a normal scene from their lives. Roll again to see what they do to interrupt it.
6 Take off or put on whatever clothes are around.
7 Pretend to be an animal.
8 Imitate an object or person nearby.

The City

To break the story into coherent chunks the city is broken up into zones. The general goal will be to get from Hangman’s hill on the west side of town to the Archive of Misery on French Hill then down to Agatha’s house in the Lower South Side. However players may attempt to get to other places on the North Side.

Zone 1

The first two blocks below Hangman’s Hill including the Hospital and University. Also across the bridge. Where the Investigators first encounter people.

Contains: Looters and Shell Shocked humans.

The Hospital contains Truly Mad

University has Feral Humans

Zone 2

The middle of town, and the rest of the North Side including Central Square, the Burial Ground, the Grotto and other places. A harrowing experience travelling through this area.

Contains: Feral humans, Truly Mad and Shell Shocked Humans.

Houses may contain the Truly Mad.

Zone 3

A band starting from the North river side of French Hill and the area south of it.

Contains: Cultists, and the Truly Mad and Feral humans.

The Archive contain Ferals, Truly Mad, and Shell Shocked. Diana/Channel/Agatha attacks here.

Zone 4

The Lower South side warren of streets, more maze like and illogical. Run more like a dungeon crawl than random encounters.

Contains: Cultists and the Truly Mad. Shell Shocked Humans may make good cannon fodder for whatever mad things the Cultists might accidentally summon.

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.

Dungeon Design: EAT3 Ogre Den

Ogre Den.png

1.A large cavern filled with stalagmites rising from the floor. The south and east sides of the cavern are choked with the stalagmites requiring anyone trying to get past them to squirm and wiggle past them. The east side opens into a tall chamber. The south side has a hidden passage that leads to a ledge in another cavern. The west side opens into another cave down a slope of loose rubble.

Ogres throw their kills up here, at least five partially eaten villagers, three horses, and two sheep lie rotting up here. A magical bow has been deposited here as well.

Special Rules:

Gas: The gas is a green substance that is heavier than air. It is poisonous to breath and fire will not burn in it. Gas masks and flashlights are necessary to travel through it.

Poison: reroll attack whenever not poisoned in a poisoned area.

Mushrooms: If the mushrooms are hit with enough force, say by an attack with a weapon or a firing dart trap they explode violently into spores. The spores then root themselves and will grow into giant mushrooms in the future. The explosion is dangerous enough to do damage.

Anyone with spores attached to them may find mushrooms growing on them if left in armor or touching skin for too long.

2.A huge cavern with an eastern slope of rubble that raises to another cave, to the south are two different huge passages. The western one leads outside into a steep valley. The eastern one opens into another large cave. Green mushrooms with red spots grow around the cave.

Two ogres sleep here. If a fight goes on too long a third ogre shows up from the exit. The chamber is filled with poisonous gas.

3.A large cavern with a small rim on the north side. The rim can be accessed by a small passage from a cavern above. There is a tiny cave in the rim with a goblin cache with several magical items.

An ogre shaman has an altar in this cave grown around with mushrooms. The room is filled with poisonous gas. The rim is just high enough to be outside the gas.

4.A long cavernous tunnel. Half way it intersects a dungeon cavern. The north side passage has a flight of stairs. The south passage ends in a “T” but both sides are filled in with fallen rubble. The tunnel connects to a large cave on the west end and the east end breaks into a dungeon passage.

The floor is curved inwards and several green red spotted mushrooms.

Friday Game Notes 16: Alternate Dimensions

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!

When writing the finale of Flames Engulf one idea was to send the players to separate alternate versions of Arkham and let them run from one to the other. This was scrapped but what I wrote was interesting enough to end up here. They were intended to be run as a sequence of scenes in order as the PCs begin to jump to the next one along and joining their friends but I have dispensed with that organization.

What I am trying to Achieve:

  1. Nyarlathotep is manipulating everything. He is the incarnation of perverse suffering.
  2. Ptof. Rice is killing people or doing other bad things to get the ingredients for the ceremony.
  3. Silas and Lavinia are using city magic to torture Trevor and drag him to them.
  4. Cohen is chasing and trying to kill them.
  5. Patricia is mad and is haunted by Agatha
  6. Make them scary and deadly

Details

  1. All the Trevors have a fish hook stuck in them somewhere and a long cord stretched out to where they need to be to progress to the next section.
  2. In reflections the PCs see Lavinia and Silas enacting the ceremony.

Introduction

  • Starting immediately after last session: Sam is unconscious, Malcolm is at hospital, Ben is at Emmerson’s funeral, Leslie and Benoit are still on the roof with Sam.
  • Silas’s working takes effect and begins drawing Trevor to him:
    • The city starts swirling in a circle
    • The magic fountains start disgorging magic everywhere
    • A bright light blinds everyone

Arkham of the Abyss

Malcolm suddenly appears having fallen into the abyss and is about to drown when he is saved by his mother and introduced to a strange apocalyptic city.

  • In a huge crevasse the city is built in six tiers over an inky body of water.
  • Malcolm is a diver who is going to go diving tomorrow.

Malcolm

Ripped from the normal world and suddenly thrown into the abyss. He still has his wooden foot and other injuries. In is wearing an old tattered coat that has his protection sigils embroidered into it. He has several other things, a strange diamond shaped badge colored red, a ring with three keys on it, and a picture portrait of his uncle.

  • The red diamond badge allows him access to the bottom three layers of the CITY. He can get to the hospital and the police station as well as some lower shops. He is forbidden from the richer areas above.
  • The three keys. One is the key to the research station at the bottom of the CITY. Another opens his locker in the research station and the other his room in the research station.
  • The picture portrait is water stained.
  • In his locker is a wetsuit with his name on it. Next to it is a large harpoon gun. There is also a lunchbox with a half eaten and now moldy sandwich.
  • His room has a tiny cot and a pile of clothes on a chair. His dog Jasper, old and a bit mangy looking sleeps beside it and is excited to see him.

The Research Station

A small platform and thrown together building perched at the very lowest point of the CITY. Besides the personal rooms there is a large lab space with a hangar door opening onto the diving platform built out over the abyss below. A large metal diving suit and air pumps are stationed by a large hatch that open over the water.

Mama Warrel, two workers, Malcolm and Jasper all live in the building.

Mama Warrel

You are the head of a small four man research team at the bottom of the CITY.

The things you would be surprised Malcolm doesn’t know:

  • The CITY is a vertically built town of multiple tiers of buildings and walkways built where a continental plate split in half.
  • In 1928, the year now called year 0, GOD was woken by evil magicians and GOD left the world behind causing the cursing of the surface and the destruction of humanity. The CITY survived by building into the chasm over an abyss of water.
  • Sheriff Stanley has always been dubious about the research Mama’s team is doing and would like to stop it if possible.

Things that you are surprised Malcolm doesn’t know and have to tell him:

  • Malcolm is the head diver of the research team and in two days is going to dive down into the deep to discover the “savior” a mystical sea creature that is rumored to be able to save humanity.
  • There was an explosion from the lab and Malcolm must have fallen through the floor hatch and into the abyss. You assembled your  diving suit and went down to get him. He seems to be badly injured from the explosion and he should be taken to the doctor’s hospital on LEVEL RED.

Procedure for a dive:

  1. Diver is put in metal suit.
  2. Diver is hooked up to a harness and breathing tubes
  3. Two hired laborers work on air pumps that keep air flowing into the suit.
  4. The diver is lowered by crane through the hatch and into the water.
  5. If the diver is exploring the bottom they are lowered until the rope goes slack.
  6. The diver can be pulled up if they tug three times on the rope.
  7. If the diver wants more slack they can tug once on the rope.

The Doctor’s Office

Built for function and not comfort. The waiting room is filled with waiting mothers with screaming children, coughing people and a few frail elders. A couple of nurses usher patients in and out somehow doing their work amidst the chaos.

The examining rooms have a simple cot and a desk with various medical instruments. It takes a long time for the doctor to come and look at each patient but she does eventually. Once she has done a quick examination of whatever is wrong with them she tries to treat them straight away. She then lets them rest for 10 minutes or so before kicking them out to free the space.

The Doctor

The doctor checks Malcolm’s wounds and makes sure his foot (which the doctor thinks he lost when he was attacked by a shark) is feeling okay. The doctor is very busy and doesn’t have time to do anything but bandage Malcolm’s wounds and quickly kick him out of the much needed bed.

Things the Doctor lets on:

Malcolm’s foot was the result of a shark attack while he was swimming in the abyss.

The Sheriff isn’t happy with the research team especially after that racket of an explosion.

The Levels

The levels of the CITY go from Black, White, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow. Black is the poorest with mostly closed shops and poor shabby clothed people. The moisture from the water below makes the air thick and cloying and everything looks damp. The conditions improve until Red where most of the cities main shops and institutions are built including the Doctor’s office and the Police station. There’s also a bank and food stalls. Above that the layers are richer. Green has a series of artisanal shops and Blue and Yellow have large richly decorated houses nearly thee times as long as the small huts on Black and White levels.

  • The lower levels have more people
  • The higher levels have less
  • Red level has huge crowds trying to get food, shop, or go to work
  • Police spot Malcolm if he tries to climb a level

The Sheriff

You, Sheriff Stanley, have been in charge of the CITY since its founding. In year 0 GOD was woken by evil magicians and fled the planet destroying and cursing the surface. Now anyone who tries to climb to the surface is horribly cursed with sickness, hair loss, red sores and bloody vomit and quickly death.

Of course no one has been on the surface for 13 years since year 0 so you are not sure if the surface is still cursed. You suspect it is too dangerous to check and if anyone did it may doom the entire population f the CITY.

To keep the CITY alive you have made some difficult decisions. For one you carefully police who can go where to keep order. Each LEVEL has a color and only people with that color badge can visit that LEVEL and the LEVEL’s beneath. There are six levels with colors from the bottom up: Black, White, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow.

You and your police force carry stun tubes that shoot an icy cold mist that paralyzes the target. If anyone is trespassing at the wrong level or is without their badge they are arrested and taken to the jail to be interrogated.

Recently Terrance, a dangerous inventor from LEVEL WHITE, was caught on LEVEL YELLOW trying to find a way to climb to the surface. He claims he has an invention that would let the CITY gain power from the sun. You have him locked in Cell 2. Cell 1 is open.

The Police Station

A small office with two cells built off of it. Office Montana sits at the front desk while the Sheriff and other officers patrol the CITY. Montana happily potters around getting coffee from an ancient coffee press and reading newspapers from the Old World at his desk with his feet up. Montana keeps the keys to the cells. Terrance is kept in Cell 2.

Terrance

You are a young inventor on LEVEL WHITE and you have just broken the biggest mystery in your work. You think you have created a way to harvest power from the sun something that could save the CITY for good. However you were arrested by Sheriff Stanley for trespassing on LEVEL YELLOW. You suspect that the surface is not as dangerous as the Sheriff claims and feel like you must find a way up to investigate. You were arrested just as you found an old sealed door that may lead further up.

Malcolm can see that Terrance has a large fish hook attached to the inside of his cheek with a cord that leads out of the prison and upwards out of the city.

The Abyss

Malcolm is fitted with a large diving suit and hooked up to the pipes and dropped into the abyss. After what seems like an eternity he reaches the bottom.

  • Streets are churned up forming strange cliffs and ravines.
  • Buildings are at angles making hills pocked with chasms in the shape of windows and doors.
  • Strange fish swim back and forth, the feeling of being watched is always present and something seems to be stalking him.

His suit gives him 20 armor. However any impaling attack against him may sever his air tube or line. His move is reduced to 4.

Butwan Noire

Under the abyss is the ruins of Arkham carved into cyclopean ruins by the water and the disaster that struck it. Over the hills of rubble shines one light, the light from a small one story brick shop with an old sign encrusted with barnacles and the letters ACC just visible.

Inside is an old antiquary shop filled with old items, antique side tables, candle sticks, and a collection of portraits. Behind the long solid counter stands a tiny black man wearing an old fashioned three piece suit. This man is Butwan Noire.

Butwan Noire greets Malcolm by name and jokes that with the amount of danger he has been in he is surprised he didn’t end up in his shop earlier. He will answer questions but will respond badly to insults.

What Butwan will reveal:

That some great magical power has caused Malcolm and those with their fates entwined to be thrown into alternate versions of Arkham.

That Terrance is the connection between them all, the avatar of the city itself. In every one there is a force that represents the city itself.

Malcolm can escape this dimension by taking Terrance to where the line is pulling him.

He was behind the destruction of the world in this reality by giving the spell to wake Nodens, the entity the CITY refers to as GOD, to the wizards.

He is also to blame for ruining the real world by helping to push the witches to spread the rumors about the prophesy and in fact gave the idea to Huey in the first place when he accidentally visited his shop.

Once he has been angered or has grown tired of the game he reveals more:

He is the crawling chaos. (This is accompanied by the banging of millions of claws against the back wall of the office.

Butwan is just a lure within the shop and is connected by strands to something in the back shop.

He knocks the walls of the shop down to reveal the mass of limbs all curled together behind the shop. And he attacks.

Black Angler

A mass of limbs wrapped together with a huge angler like maw. It can swim quickly but is slower when on land.

Brawn: 400 Brains: 500 Pow: 500
HP: 70 MP: 100 Move: 16 (Swim) 10 (Land), Build 11

The Chase

Once The Angler reveals itself Malcolm will likely wish to run. (If he doesn’t he will probably just be killed instantly.)

The magics holding the shop together are dissolved, the walls collapse, the ceiling crumbles and water rushes in.

Outside Malcolm’s line has been tangled with some of the ruins. He must climb to the top and disentangle it. (He may cut it, but would have to ditch the diving suit (and deal with the change in pressure and such not to mention drowning on the way up).)

The ruins are an old office building that have broken apart to leave a significant overhang. The rope has caught at the narrowest part

The Arkham Ripper

You arrived in the CITY at the same time as Malcolm and sniffing out the scent of the working that caused you to show up here you began searching for someone who appeared to have lost their memory. You question a few people, before killing them, and are on Malcolm’s trail. After he has completed has dive you are going to strike. Kill a few police to show how dangerous you are. Then go after Malcolm in a chase. He’ll probably get away but you will be chasing him through dimensions after this.


Sam’s Nightmare

A padded cell that they haven’t had time to put a bed.

  • There is a small hole in between padding on the left wall that peaks into Patricia’s room.
  • A torn piece of padding at the back of the room reveals a photo of Sam’s wife and daughter hidden in the stuffing

Sam

Sam wakes up in a padded cell. He is wearing a patient’s uniform, a neutral grey shirt and pants with no belt. He has socks but no shoes.

When he meets Tyler he sees that the man has a large hook through his side with a long cord that leads out one of the windows and past the front gate.

Patricia

You were travelling in Europe with your mother and your two eldest children. That’s all you recall before you awoke here. At least that’s what you tell yourself. That kind Doctor Rice keeps you medicated so you don’t have those nightmares anymore.

After much time you have collected enough art supplies in your cell to make the “weapon.” You don’t know what its for and you don’t really want to escape. Of course if you see anyone you think is evil you will kill them with it, and anyone who you don’t know is an enemy. Next door you’ve heard the big black man yelling and screaming a lot. He yells a lot about “Arkham.” You like that word and you like the big black man though the doctor’s say he’s dangerous. You figure you could kill him with the weapon if he attacked you.

It shouldn’t be hard for you to be convinced to escape with Sam and any of his friends. But you should resist for awhile. Make Sam work to convince your twisted mind that leaving the nice warm safety of the asylum is to your benefit.

Doctor’s Visit

Doctor Rice comes and visits Sam. He has his orderlies wait outside. He concludes by allowing Sam time in the community room during lunch. He informs him about the scheduled lobotomy tomorrow.

Doctor Rice

You woke up in an unfamiliar office. At first you were confused but soon those nice voices took over and you could just sleep walk around. They read the papers on the desk and realized you were “Doctor Rice” in charge of the third floor of the Danvers State Hospital an institute that takes care of the insane. Magic doesn’t seem to work here so the voices have to be more careful here.

First they spot a needed ingredient quickly the tongues of those traitors Philo and Tony. They are orderlies working underneath you. It wont be easy to get their tongues. If you can get Sam or someone else to beat them up maybe you could cut their tongues out then.

Sam’s file contains the following:

  1. Sam has been ranting about monsters, magic, and a city called Arkham since he killed two girls in New York.
  2. He is a violent patient who is kept sedated often and is scheduled for a lobotomy tomorrow.
  3. His wife and child moved to California and the wife has remarried.

You go to visit Sam in the morning.

  • Do not reveal that you are not really Doctor Rice.
  • No matter what Sam says or acts you decide he is safe to visit the community room for lunch.
  • You should remind him about the scheduled lobotomy.

The Community Room

Overlooked by a nurses station and kept under the watchful eyes of Philo & Tony about a dozen small chairs and tables clutter the small space. Some are arranged in a fan about a radio mounted to the wall others cluster around tables with half set up board games. Patients during the day mutter to themselves while mindlessly push pieces around the boards or clap in delight at the sounds coming from the radio.

Philo & Tony

You guys are orderlies under Doctor Rice on the third floor of Danvers Asylum. You always help Rice with the dangerous patients like Sam.

Sam has been in Danvers for awhile after he snapped on a police investigation in New York and shot up two kids. He was arrested and thrown in here pretty quickly. He’s kept pretty well sedated during the day and let out to mix a little with the patients but is locked in his cell the rest of the time. You’ve heard him ranting to the doctor about monsters, magic, and some city called Arkham before.

You probably take a little too much pleasure keeping Sam oppressed. A few unneeded elbows to the ribs might just happen sometimes.

Tyler

You are an ancient trucker who was interred in Danvers after you accidentally killed a man during a hallucination filled drunken bender. You would like to leave the asylum to visit your daughter who you know lives in Boston not far from Danvers.

You mostly have trouble speaking and mumble most of your  words.

Inclusion of Character

After Malcolm has gotten out of the CITY he falls into the asylum. This lets him get his revenge on Philo & Tony. Meanwhile Doctor Rice is trying to find the moment he can cut their tongues out.

The Ripper

You appear soon after Malcolm and begin punching your way through the hospital. Now you can smell two of your prey. You should chase them from the building.

Getting Out:

Trevor has to be broken out of the asylum somehow. Patricia can help out by using her gun but she will kill anyone other than who she has randomly decided are her friends.


The War Comes to Arkham

Sans Souci

In the middle of a swath of destruction French Hill stands mostly intact.

The university has been bombed into ruins.

Smoke rises from downtown, fires still rage there.

The lower south side looks pitted and scarred, like bulldozers drove through the neighborhood ignoring streets.

Leslie

Leslie comes to themselves near Sans Souci. However most of the city looks ruined. Leslie is wearing a dirty long jacket and boys clothes. Their hair is cut short but is long enough to keep on getting in their eyes. Blood trickles down their forehead and they have several burns on arms and legs. A tag tied around the wrist reads “Leslie Middleton, Sacramento”

Doctor Middleton

A member of the resistance and harboring Rosenberg in Sans Souci. He notices Leslie first and goes to talk to them. He reveals:

That America is in the process of invasion and Arkham is being occupied by the Nazis. He and Rosenberg are about to start a magical resistance against them.

In 1928 the occult selection of the Orne Library were released to the public and magic became common place. Sadly German spies also had access and soon the Third Reich had figured out how to summon monstrosities. When Hitler was magically replaced by a Nyarlathotep cultist it became even worse.

Leslie was supposed to have been sent to California but Middleton was worried about the Japanese monster attacks there.

Henry died in the initial invasion.

Rosenberg

In the 20s the occult libraries were plundered by the nations of the world and their scientists and magic became common place. You and some companions in the 30s tried to track down the Sedfkar Simulacrum and destroy it but you were used and the statue was given to a dangerous sect of Nyarlathotep cultists. You were there when their leader using the power of the statue assassinated and replaced Hitler. It was easy for him to use the already hate filled Nazi party to start the worst war ever witnessed on Earth and soon you had fled to America. Trapped in Arkham as the German shoggoth mechs march their way across the East Coast you have gathered a few like minded magicians to lead a resistance to try to fight back.

You, Dr. Middleton and other resistance magicians are planning your counter attack. One of your traps near the house has turned up a shock laden civilian and you must decide what to do with him as well.

Sadly your plan is doomed to failure and the shoggoth mechs are about to attack your HQ, the old Sans Souci. You, Dr. Middleton and the other magicians do their best to defend the house.

Tim

You were once the young assistant to Dr. Armitage, the head of the Orne Library and you were there when he was killed by Wilbur Whately. You were there when Dr. Morgan took over and you were there when he was mauled to death by his own guard dogs. You were also there when Prof. Rice became the new head and you were there when the governments science officer shot him and took the entire occult selection. Before that you had been there when Prof. Rice tattooed the important parts of the Necronomicon on your back before he burnt it.

You haven’t really paid attention to what you’ve been doing since then. You have a vague idea that you need to get out of the city and that if the right person, someone in the west, can read the words on your back they could stop all this death. But then you fell into that hole and those men with guns came to look at you and hauled you to their house. You’re not sure that they will kill you or not.

Then you were there when that kid showed up in the house. You think they might be able to get you out of here. You should stick with them.

The Attack

After entering the house and speaking with their father and Rosenberg and meeting Tim a platoon of shoggoth mechs attack.

Shoggoth Mech

A nightmare of mythos monster and German engineering. The German magicians have added cabins on the top of the protoplasmic shoggoths. These are fitted with various limbs, weapons, and other devices for different purposes. The three attacking Sans Souci are fitted with two air cannons, and one set of grabbing arms. The air cannons shoot a blast of air shaped like a rune acting like a high powered magical cannon. The arms are used to rip the walls apart.

Rune Shoggoth Mech

A metal superstructure perched on a mass of black glossy matter that undulates and forms many legs, mouths and eyes. Painted with Nazi swastikas the metal structure is capped with a revolving turret with a wide but stubby barrel. Three pilots sit inside working the gun and controlling the shoggoth.

Arms Shoggoth Mech

A metal superstructure perched on a mass of black glossy matter that undulates and forms many legs, mouths and eyes. Painted with Nazi swastikas the metal structure holds up two long piston articulated arms. Three pilots sit inside working the arms and controlling the shoggoth.

 

The Streets

While Leslie is exiting the caverns and out onto the streets from a hole created by a large bomb blast she and Tim start to follow Tim’s hook and cord.

Encounter 1: At some point they discover a contingent of six Nazi soldiers going house to house pulling people and valuables out. Any one that resists is summarily shot. In charge the sixth soldier has a red lining to his uniform and a rune shaped pin in his hat. He has no gun but only a short dagger in his belt.

 

The wizard attacks by using his dagger to cut his hand and draw runes in the air with his (floating) blood. He is the officer and will order the soldiers to also attack while he is magically attacking. He will waste no magic defending the others.

Encounter 2: In a small clearing Emmerson and Justine have been strung up as warnings of German citizens who betrayed the Reich. Prof. Rice is there cutting their eyes out unsure which is the eldest.

Prof. Rice

After the asylum you find yourself in a bombed out city remarkably like Arkham. Even more remarkably you stumble upon the next ingredients you need, the first born’s eyes. It seems Dr. Vogel’s eldest children were examples to the people of Arkham. You can easily remove both pairs of eyes from the strung up corpses, you never could remember which of the two was the eldest.

Magic works perfectly well in this dimension and you will defend yourself from any misguided attempt to kill you.

If you are damaged in two rounds in a row the voices recede and you are left as the panic filled Prof. Rice who doesn’t know what is happening. The voices can try to regain control every round and have a 50% chance of success.

You concede a magical combat once you are out of magic points or are brought out of the control of the voices. Once the voices have regained control you may attack again assuming they haven’t incapacitated you otherwise.

Inclusion of Characters

Once Malcolm and Sam have gotten out of the asylum they appear in some ruins near Leslie close to where a shoggoth mech is wandering.

Exit:

By taking Trevor out of the city to where the smoke doesn’t cover the sky they can leave and go to the next section.

Witches Dimension

A patchwork of dimensions dragged together by the power of the witches. This is not an alternate dimension but instead a midway point.

Object 1: A great telescope made of huge copper tubes that look into the eye hole of a giant skull. A wheel attached to a series of cogs focuses the image. When looking into the small view port the observer sees a small flock of many legged sheep.

Amidst plowed furrows of earth.

Object 2: A series of metal bands formed into semi circles all attached at opposite ends to make a rough spherical space in the center. Long strands of spell weave have been raggedly draped across the bands. If the bands are spun the strands began tying into a knot. The knot swirls and unties itself summoning infinite small bugs. The bugs do 1 damage every round and multiply by 1D6 every round. They each have 1 HP. The portal can be shut with a magical working.

Amidst marble floors broken up by wooden pillars charred to points.

Object 3: A large floating ball with three mouths painted on it. Each mouth has a tongue hanging out of it just out of reach by the tallest investigator. The mouths will answer any question posed to it but always answer with a lisp.

Floating over purple grasses.

Object 4: A huge mix of cogs that whir constantly. Occasionally a piston shoots out the top and a pipe disgorges a small prickly looking fruit. If it is not taken it is grabbed by a claw and returned into the machine. The fruit tastes very good.

At the top of a small hill.

Object 5: A long sleeping snuffling thing shaped a little like a buffalo and a little like a crocodile. It wakes only to a nice petting on the nose. It really likes spiky fruit which it uses its fractal tongues to eat. The tongues cost 1D6 sanity to see.

Sleeping on a pile of wedding rings.

Object 6: A bell shaped cage filled with purple monkey shaped creatures that lie dead all along the bottom of the cage. They smell like pumpkins.

In a long trench ten feet deep.

Object 7: A small raised platform with five twenty sided shapes each within the other but never crossing each other. If someone stands on the dais and speaks the name of any creature the creature is summoned inside the shapes and is bound there. Larger creatures may only appear in sections. San loss applies.

Object 8: A large brass bathtub with lion feet. The water inside instantly starts boiling if anyone gets inside doing 1D4 every round until they get out. The sides are very slippery and need a Dex roll to grab on.

Object 9: A tall ornate coat rack with many pegs at different angles all the way up its hundred meters or so. The bottom is three chicken feet splayed out evenly. Several coats are hung on it including one tattered cloak that is seventy meters long.

In the center of it all is Diana, having done away with Channel she is doing a ceremony where she is about to sacrifice a baby (Trevor). She knows a lot about what is going on and can help the PCs get out of the collapsing alternate dimensions that Silas’s magic is whirling up.

Channel’s Ant Altar

In the middle of a chunk of heath there is a small raised platform of dirt is topped with a see through green stone that throbs. The scrappy grey shrubs that live on the heath seem to keep their distance from this altar. On the altar is no statue, but a huge withered brown ant. The ant, while clearly dead, still bites whoever touches it, permanently grabbing on.

Once Channel enacted her sacrifices to the Black Man here. She approaches with a baby, singing hymns. She forced the baby to nod before the altar in a show of acceptance and then cut its throat letting the blood soak the green stone. The blood seemed to be absorbed and curious investigators will notice that red filled veins seem to fill the green stone. Once the baby has bled out she slashed its stomach and examined the organs for signs of the future. Most of this was then burnt on the altar. The burnt remains and the altar both give off a heady black smoke. Finally the thigh bones were wrapped in fat and left on the altar, Channel either ate or stuffed the rest.

Diana

You have completed the combination with Channel and feel vastly more powerful but you also feel the hatred that Shub-Niggurath spews into your head like so much vomit. You have retreated to the patchwork dimension that you and the other witches have constructed alongside Arkham. Strange devices, creatures, and spells take up squares of oddly matched terrain fitted together like a huge non Euclidean jigsaw puzzle.

Amidst it all you were about to sacrifice a small baby on Channel’s old Ant altar when Benoit appeared. Rather surprised you stopped and froze him on the spot. You can free him later. Then as you are about to restart the sacrifice more of Benoit’s companions appear. You sigh inwardly as you prepare to speak to them.

What you know:

They are caught in rather powerful magic being done by Silas and someone gifted in city magic. The spell is calling all of the alternate dimensions Arkham inhabits to collapse in on themselves. Meanwhile they pull the avatar of the City closer and closer to the center where Silas must plan to use it to destroy the city once and for all.

You can help send the investigators back to the right Arkham to deal with Silas. However the next dimension has already killed their Avatar. Instead you can magically get them back to the real world but they will have to find a way to make themselves stand out. Something of enough magical potential to change the world that they are obvious through the fabric of space.

They are shunted between dimensions whenever they help the avatar move to a predetermined spot. It is likely the hooks and lines they see are representative of this. (The baby has one such hook which leads to a door which stands alone in the border between two of the patchwork areas.)

Once they’ve been brought back to their Arkham they will have to fight Silas and whoever is with him.

You have “dealt” with Channel.

Things you know but wouldn’t reveal:

If Silas is doing such powerful magic Agatha will surely have been stirred up. If you can get the avatar while the investigators are distracting Silas you should be able to go and start fighting her.

Exit:

After conversing with Diana they know that the baby is one of the Trevor’s and the line leads to a door. Once they take him through it they come out into the next area.


Nyarlathotep has Already Won

The next dimension is then where Nyarlathotep has simply taken over. Of course this was always possible but he has found it is more fun to keep false hope in humanity.

Encounter 2: Several buildings have been gutted and in the space inside a huge grey stone statue of a elephant headed humanoid figure sits cross legged with hands out like a huge alien Buddha. When approaching the idol every character gains a random effect:

Encounter 3: A long street of rickety shops and stalls. Satyrs and large pulpy frog like creatures swap human teeth to buy various goods; human torsos, strange triangular books, and devices made of plants and gold swap tentacle to hand. In several more normal looking streets semi-humans scuttle between doorways. There is a trumpeting further down the street and people start scampering inside. A few remain outside looking terrified. A parade of the Brood of Eihort and Eihort itself. The huge many legged mass shambles along. It is adorned with rich fabric and gold bells. The other people on the street seem to panic and try to get into any of the houses on the street right up until they are swept up by the parade.

People of various sorts accompany the large creature all seem to dance a little to the rhythm of the bells. If any investigator gets close to these people the dancers try to grab them and spew tiny brood of Eihort at them. If any get in their mouth the brood start breeding in them and they are taken over after 1 round. A failed Con roll is needed to force them to throw up.

Encounter 4: A massive temple has been constructed over top of the railroad with a huge central dome and three large towers around it. Inside the writing and symbols of several religions are inscribed side by side and over each other while the railroad clock still perches out of place in the center of it all. A small shrine inside features the words in many different languages “The head of Saint Armitage lies within.” Many people peer through he stained glass but the door remains completely locked.

Encounter 5: Along the steps of the ziggurat pours floods of gore. The higher up steps suddenly open up revealing massive machines where tentacle headed monstrosities toss human sacrifices. With each corpse the cogs speed up. Gore is flung out of pipes and cascades down the stone slabs. Cowering near one are Philo and Tony unhinged once their boss went nuts. They had thought that Mallady was like them, but once all this happened he switched to being a nut worshipper of Nyarlathotep.

  • The ziggurat is actually made up of a huge humanoid corpse filled in with rubble and carved into arcane friezes. The body was once the avatar. At the top Nyarly sits on a black throne and laughs.

Mallady

You are Nyarlathotep’s human liaison and a loyal worshipper. You had helmed Nyarlathotep’s human meat industry back in the 1920s and you were there when Radcliffe betrayed your master in the name of “humanity!” That idiot never realized the wonders of the Black Man, the Crawling Chaos, the GOD! The Crawling Chaos is the force behind all misfortune, behind each decision and accident that pushes each person to do the worst, to hurt others and to be hurt by others. He is like a child throwing the chess pieces into the fire one by one, each tragic story culminating in ruin. The Crawling Chaos isn’t just the god of misfortune he IS misfortune itself! He is the causality behind the universe, no human would exist without him, and the world would be blank and featureless without him. And he does it all because it entertains him, he creates each character and sets them up to fall. AND IT IS WONDERFUL! He is true power, true godhood! There is nothing but him and there is nothing to worship but him!

Nyarlathotep took over the world as he rightly should around 1925 when his  cults came together to open a rift in the skies above the Earth. With the universe itself ruptured Nyarlathotep covered the planet with everlasting night and his children the Elder Gods came down and joined him, they taught humanity the joys of killing and dancing and dying, no right and wrong, simply existence and death. You grovel at his feet as the creatures throw the bodies into the engines fueling the Magics.

But that Radcliffe keeps on annoying you. He keeps on showing up with that gun of his! The gal of that one, using a gift given to him by Nyarlathotep himself. It is time you ended him.


Conclusion

Once they have made their mark they feel hands grab them from behind and yank them backwards into space. They fall to the ground and land on rough concrete. Around them they see buildings swirl in a circle. They seem to be standing in the middle of Arkham. They are lying on a ring of a reservoir filled with swirling water of an unusual color. Silas, transformed into a horned monstrosity and Lavinia, in her lacy dress stand together by the edge and next to them Trevor stands wrapped over and over with chains that exude the stench of bad magic. He writhes in pain and is clearly unable to do anything, speak, move, or free himself.

Silas is standing with a staff carved with sick crawling symbols. His arms are outthrust facing the water screaming rough magic words. The water swirls more and more in front of him and the city in turn spins faster and faster about the reservoir. He turns dramatically and sees the party. He glares and sneers! He waves the stick in a circle and suddenly the party feels the reservoir move. The concrete underneath them never moving slides them further and further away from the magicians.

The spell is a simple misdirect and each round the players can make a Pow roll aided by everyone in the party (double for Sam) and overcome part of it. They need at least 4 successes to get close enough to do anything to Silas and Lavinia. Teleportation counts as double the success but Silas gets a free attack.

Lavinia crouches near the ground sawing at the concrete with a knife. From the spot blood leaks. Each time she stabs Trevor convulses and screams. Each time she does this a building explodes into dust in the swirling maelstrom outside the area. She does this once per round.

Friday Game Notes 15: Nyarlathotep

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!

Nyarlathotep is the force in the universe of social interaction. When Azathoth had accidentally thrown off Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath Nyarlathotep formed as they interacted with each other. Nyarlathotep thence forth created interaction between all things.

He is the force that creates interaction between organisms. This has created the sentient species of the world and Nyarlathotep revels in forming complex societies to then destroy through trickery.

Furthermore the ceremony that Huey has created doesn’t work, but Nyarlathotep wants to make it seem like it does. He will let his power slip and let social interaction cease in Arkham. This creates chaos in town. Without being able to speak, read, or even convey messages through pantomime people panic. And the prophesized fire breaks out.

To save the town they will have to find a way of getting Nyarlathotep back. And Sam will have to take on the mantel of being a city.

Leslie as the crucible of Nyarlathotep’s information, making the child the center of that attention. Leslie is special but many adults will ignore the child or their opinions.

What info does Nyarlathotep give up willingly? How much does he keep quiet?

Black Man

The Black Man, worshipped by many witches, is one of the many avatars of Nyarlathotep. In midnight sabbats witches swear their loyalty to him sacrificing children and finding new victims to sway to his worship. When a witch has convinced someone else to sign the Black Man’s book they enact a ritual to transform that person into one of Nyarlathotep’s Pipers to constantly placate the Daemon Sultan Azathoth.

The Black Man will appear as he pleases, to join in ceremonies, or to generally command his worshippers.

 

 

Friday Game Notes 14: Avatars of Cities

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!


Smelly Trevor (Arkham)

Brains: 35

Brawn: 35

Power: 101

San: 0

HP: 101

Db: 0

For ease of having witnesses Smelly Trevor, a local bum, is present whenever an investigator can’t be, and sometimes when they can. Whether he is the living spirit of Arkham, or simply an unlucky man Smelly Trevor sees much. He lives near the Boston Rail Road Line and has spotted Aldrich and another man in a white van moving wood and gas cans into a wooden shack near the tracks. Most recently he saw Aldrich return with a brown package that he deposited there.

Smelly Trevor will happily tell anyone what he saw in return for some food. He’ll be insulted if anyone offers him alcohol however.

Long dread locks, greasy with grey eyebrows. Very dark but not very thick stubble over his face, lacking a mustache however. Very short and wide nose. His eyes are slightly rheumatic but normally proportioned. He always looks like he’s pursing his lips as if always on the cusp of whistling. He enjoys his fake fur cap which he scavenged from somewhere no one would like to know.

Saint of the House

A normal looking town house on the border between the poor North Side and the slightly better to do townhouses. The building is a two story brick building with small windows, a small white fence around a boring yard, and a plain yellow door. The paint is peeling of it, and when it rains the drains overflow. A young maple tree grows in the yard.

There is a back door, but both entrances are locked, all of the windows on the first floor are barred and the windows too grimy to see through. A smell of mustiness seems to waft from them despite being tightly shut. The processions of North Siders always stops at the door, they put candles and gifts on the steps (always gone by the next day, taken away by homeless and nameless city workers) and slip prayers into the mail box. Every now and again the prayer is interesting enough a note is thrown from an open upper window down to the crowd. They are very excited by this and try to figure out who it is for.

The worshipers claim that this house is a “Saint” who rules the city and who protects them from the dangers of the fires. They are very protective of the house and will try to prevent anyone from entering, with force if necessary. They keep the two Morales men posted as guards and they are surprisingly attentive since their brother has vanished.

In reality this is an element of Smelly Trevor’s avatar of the city. If an investigator does manage to get inside they find Smelly Trevor sleeping in the middle of the floor. His hands are covered in ink and he writes all the notes himself. The inside of the building seems to be a storehouse for city records, piles and piles of file boxes are rotting there and often the files are what are sacrificed to Trevor’s responses.


New York

Samuel’s mother is actually the personification of New York. He himself will eventually become a city – the future Witcheter.