According to Aboriginal folklore, the Yara-ma-yha-who are three to four feet tall and resemble a red-skinned, bipedal frog. Their fingertips and toes are described as having “octopus-like” suckers, while their face is dominated by a wide, toothless, frog-like mouth, large enough to engulf a person.
This creature is said to live almost exclusively in trees, patiently lying in wait for a lone human to pass below so that it may drop from above and attack. The Yara-ma-yha-who drain their victim’s blood until they are too weak to escape. The prey is then left lying helpless for 1D20 hours before the monster returns and promptly swallows them whole. After washing down its meal at the nearest river, the Yara-ma-yha-who then proceeds to take a long nap. As soon as the creature awakens, it regurgitates its victim alive and unharmed, save for being 1D10 SIZ smaller than they were and their skin now having a slightly reddish tint.
If a Yara-ma-yha-who captures the same person again, they lose another 1D10 SIZ and their skin is a little more red. They may also start to notice a slight craving for blood. Anyone unfortunate enough to be swallowed multiple times will be transformed fully into a Yara-ma-yha-who. The exact number of times is up to the Keeper’s discretion.
Average Hit Points: 11 Average Damage Bonus: None. Average Build: 0 Average Magic Points: 10 Move: 9
Combat Attacks per round: 1 Yara-ma-yha-who have the usual range of unarmed attacks open to humanoids. Blood Drain (mnvr): The Yara-ma-yha-who latches on to their victim and rapidly drains their blood through its sucker-tipped digits, feeding until the victim is on the very brink of death. In game terms, the grappled victim loses 5D20 CON and STR per round (though never dropping below 1) with maximum hit-points and damage-bonus being adjusted accordingly.
Blood Drain (mnvr) 90% (45/18), damage 5D20 CON and STR Dodge 40% (20/8)
Skills Jump 90%, Stealth 80%.
Armor: None. Spells: None. Sanity loss: 1/1D6 Sanity points to see a Yara-ma-yha-who; 1D2/1D10 Sanity points to be swallowed alive.
The patient was gasping for breath, desperately clinging to life as we rushed the only remaining ventilator to his bedside. As we struggled to flip her over and intubate them, they began hallucinating, babbling on about the monster hovering above them, eating their soul. “Can’t you see it! Don’t you see it?!” she screamed. Once the tube was inserted, and we stabilized her breathing, she stopped struggling as much. The lack of oxygen to her brain had to have caused a terrifying hallucination. Strange that the last five patients who died claimed to have seen something similar before they died. The nurse held her hand, and told her she’d be alright now. We all knew that her chances were slim, 1 in 3 at best..
These strange creatures roam the places between dimensions, invisible and incorporeal to beings grounding in a single reality most of the time. They are parasites, feeding on the vapors emitted by slowly dying beings and their radiating pulses of fear and dread. Some say they are a servitor race of the Great Old One Aboth, Source of Uncleanliness, but what their true relationship is to that entity, if anything, remains a mystery.
“…in the lands of the Arabs, there are men 70 or 80 years old who are willing to give their bodies to save others. Such a one takes no more food or drink, only bathing and eating a little honey, till after a month his excreta are nothing but honey; then death ensues. His compatriots place the body to macerate in a stone coffin full of honey, with an inscription giving the year and month of burial. After a hundred years, the seals are removed and the confection so formed used for the treatment of wounds and fractures of the body and limbs—only a small amount taken internally is needed for the cure.”
—Li Shizhen, Bencao Gangmu, 1596
In ancient times, people nearing the end of their life, wishing to provide for their families and community, would begin the process to become a mellified man. They would foreswear all food but honey, and begin to ritually purify their mind and body. Oftentimes aided by others, cists were prepared for their body, and upon death, they’d be laid to rest within the stone coffin, which was then filled with honey and sealed. The month and year of the death would be chiseled into one side.
There was this funny legend that Old Lady Margaret still lives in Margaret Mansion. Silly, isn’t it? Margaret Mansion is called so because it was built by a Lady Margaret two centuries ago! But we were bored so we went to check it out.
What we met there might have been Old Lady Margaret. A skeleton laying on the dining room floor. It might have been dead for two centuries—but it was alive! As we argued what to do about it, lots of women—Ladies Margaret?—appeared around the corpse. Some were quite young, some terribly old, some probably dead. I screamed and ran. The others…I don’t know, I was too frightened to look back. Will you help me find them?
When you look at time from a higher dimension, human life really is a line. Creating a Time-Frozen loops a tiny part of that line into a never-ending circle, but from the point of view of Yog-Sothoth and other forces invoked to create this being, the potential remaining part of the line already exists. Sometimes those forces make a separate entity out of this loose thread—a Time-Tangled.
If ever I should to that moment say – “So beautiful thou art, a little longer stay!” Then I’ll care not who me with chains may bind; Nor if I and my little all to ruin be consign’d; Then let the church-bell toll my funeral knell!
J. W. Goethe, Faust, English by John Wynniatt Grant
Human life goes in a line from birth to death but changing this trajectory is no problem for cosmic powers. Spells invoking the power of Yog-Sothoth to change the course of one’s life were known throughout history and used for many purposes.
One of the most radical effects such spells can cause is the creation of a Time-Frozen. They’re a person trapped in a personal time loop, never aging and constantly reliving one brief moment while the rest of the world moves forward. Some people use this spell on themselves to preserve a moment of perfect fulfilment; others, to escape a terminal disease or some other looming misfortune. Others yet are cursed by someone else.
Master adapters, not every shoggoth attacks to kill. Very rarely, a shoggoth incapacitates a victim, then enters its new host through the mouth, nose, and other orifices. Why the shoggoth does this is unknown. Perhaps it is to explore beyond its accustomed haunts with a degree of anonymity. Whatever the reason, the shoggoth enters the body, seeping into the interstices between the host’s own internal matter, down to the cellular level. Upon coming back to its senses, the host retains its general health, going about its normal business, often unaware that its body has become home to a new tenant. For its part, the shoggoth acclimates to its new environs, absorbing awareness of its host’s bodily and cognitive functions, studying everything the host sees, hears, senses, and does. With its impressive imitative abilities, the shoggoth can soon recreate with near perfection just about any sound that has been heard by the host body.
We weren’t going to get the tire fixed before the next day, but this nice, elderly couple took us in. Name of Jeremy and Rebecca if I remember right.
When I got out of a much-needed hot shower, Rebecca greeted me with a quilt and a pillow. I wrapped myself up on the couch, and lay my head on the pillow. The quilt wasn’t very colorful, like many are, just a checkerboard of pink and grey, but it was warm and comfortable. I felt like I just gave myself to it.
I found myself back where I came up, I know I was thirteen, because my ma’s funeral had just been a week ago. As usual, I was runnin’ from my pa, not that he ever deserved to be called that. As always, he was shit-faced drunk.
I was high tailin’ for the woods, I could sometimes lose him in there. All of sudden, right at the wood line, there was this huge tree stump I’d never seen before. It must have been three feet across.
Just like that, the thing melted into slime, black with streaks of dark green, and rose up way over my head. A huge mouth split side to side, drooling more of that gunk, and a huge eye opened up right above that.
I panicked. I turned back. There, right up close to me, was that mean, ol’ bastard. He was dead, but standing, with his skin all melting. Flies were swarming his exposed muscles, and maggots were eatin’ his eyes.
‘Bout three in the morning, I woke up screaming.
The old couple’s bedroom door opened, and Jeremy walked out, real casual. He asked if I was okay, and offered me a glass of water.
Still, just before that, I swear I thought I heard the two of them laughing, real soft.
–Lt. Colonel Bennet Blake, USAF (RET.), drunk, at a bar in Waxahachie, Texas.
Halloween 2020 was to be the best Halloween in the last few decades. October of 2020 had five Fridays and five Saturdays! Halloween itself fell on a Saturday, and with a full moon no less! That hasn’t happened since 1944! On top of all that, Halloween was also daylight savings, giving the holiday an extra hour of night! Yes, Halloween 2020 was going to be the best Halloween of all of our lives.
It was…until the Global Pandemic of 2020 shut large public gatherings down. In 2020, things like attending costume parties at bars or clubs, going to the movies to watch the latest horror movie, and trick or treating were dangerous activities. Many industries which relied on the holiday were hard hit, but none worse than the Haunts.
It was late on Christmas Eve, and I was staying in the town of Cowbridge, when the strange knock came to the quaint rented house. When I answered it a chill wind filled the air around me, colder than the December night air. There it was, a phantom in a white shroud with a horse skull head, glowing eyes, and a crown of holly on its head. Before I could scream or shut the door it started singing. My Welsh was terrible, after so many years living in New York, but I could just make out the lyrics…it wanted something to eat? It wanted to come in? Then I remembered tales my grandmother told me…this could be only one thing…a Mari Lwyd! When it was finished singing, I licked my lips, cleared my throat, and started to sing an answer….
“Sometimes in Archaeology you come across something that is just a foot note of a footnote with no actual description, just an amorphous understanding that something exists or existed. That is the Teg Suturloc. An old book of mystic or occult revelations from John Dee talked about a scroll that was lost in the fires at the Ancient Library of Alexandria and how it detailed the Teg Suturloc. I don’t know if it was a place or thing or person. I don’t even know if the name is correct because the text was smeared and damaged. It strikes me curious, though.”
-Dr. Michael Lorraine, recorded quote from Miskatonic University Emetrius professor of Archaelogy, just months before he went missing on expedition in a remote area of Asia.