Bruce Report: Apocrypha

Introducing Bruce Report: Apocrypha. Apocrypha is a Keeper’s resource, exclusive to Shoggoth.net, presenting a particularly inspiring article culled from the files Bruce Report. The article’s subject matter is then adapted for Call of Cthulhu. Typically, this will mean new creatures or spells, but Apocrypha will not be restricted to simply that.
Each new edition of the Bruce Report will bring a new installment of Apocrypha.

This week, we present the Delhi Witch.

Witch rumours haunt Delhi residents
[India News] New Delhi, March 24 : She is painted as mean, hungry for onions and perhaps thirsting for blood.

A witch rumoured to be on the prowl on the streets of Delhi has caused a scare among sections of people, the same who probably earlier fell for such gags as a monkey man who attacked at will, zucchinis filled with snake venom and milk-sipping Ganeshas.

The witch – some say three of them – turns up at the door and asks for onions.

“When you give her an onion, she cuts it in half and blood starts dripping. Then you die instantly,” said Shanti Devi, a housemaid working in an east Delhi residential colony.

Added Saroj Chauhan, a homemaker from Rajouri Garden in west Delhi: “She is an evil soul. She can even disguise herself as someone you know.”

Only a palm print in turmeric or henna on the door can ward off the evil hag, so don’t be surprised at the sight of yellow handprints on houses in east, west and even upscale areas of south Delhi.

There are voices that the whole thing is political, given that the upraised palm is the symbol of the country’s ruling party Congress.

But has anyone seen her? “No, we have heard it from various people,” said 11-year-old Rahul, whose Mayur Vihar home has a palm print.

And now people swear she has been spotted in neighbouring towns such as Meerut and Faridabad.

The story goes that three witches escaped from Rajastan’s Balaji temple when a child unwittingly pulled out the nails that had pinned them to a post! And now they are wandering in the streets of the capital.

Rumours have it that the nasty witch has claimed 100 victims already! Even natural deaths are being attributed to the unseen menace, causing phobia and some alarm among the local police.

“We are not aware of any such problem, but the police in those areas will be on the watch for any trouble,” said Ranjit Narayan, joint commissioner (crime), Delhi Police.

Asked whether there had been any “incidents”, Narayan chuckled. “Our men are there to protect. If they see her, they will tell her to lay off!”

But many people seriously believe the witch is bad business. Holy men sporting saffron and matted hair, who usually make house calls seeking alms, have apparently sensed the opportunity to “help” people ward off the witch for a price.

“It is all nonsense,” said Sanal Edamaruku of the Indian Rationalists Association, who makes it his business to expose hoaxes and so-called supernatural phenomena that have often gripped public imagination.

“Unfortunately, people are so unquestioning and gullible. They are ready to believe anything,” he remarked, referring to the mass hysteria over past rumours like the monkey man and the Ganesha idols drinking milk.

“Witch stories are interesting, but they are not real. People have to activate the critical faculties of their mind and develop some common sense.”

Edamaruku said he spoke to all district police chiefs, who denied there had been any deaths caused by a witch attack.

Witch tales are not new to India, where superstition and blind belief thrive due to poverty and lack of education. There have been several instances of witches being lynched, publicly shamed or even killed on the tiniest suspicion of black magic.

–Indo-Asian News Service

Delhi Witch, Greater Independent Race

The Delhi Witch is just one example of these beings; certainly more exist throughout the world. The witch once belonged to an ancient cult that found favor with Nylarathotep, who blessed each cult-member with immortality. In turn, It took away their human need and desire for food and sleep, replacing those with a hunger for souls. Though deathless, the witches were forced to consume souls in order to remain active (the witches lose 1 POW per day, until reduced to 0 POW, at which point they become inert, appearing as desiccated mummies). Being a cruel being, Nylarathotep gave the cult no nature means to consume their souls; thus they are forced to use spells such as Captive Heart.

The witches have lost any semblance of humanity. In their true form, they appear as dried-out corpses, with empty eye-sockets that blaze with a hateful yellow glow. While hunting for souls, the witches will use magics, like Body-Wrapping of Gol-goroth, to disguise themselves as matronly old ladies, kindly old men, or someone the victim knows. The witches no longer concern themselves with the worship of the Great Old Ones; so overwhelming is their desire for souls their minds have been reduced to that of animals. But the witches are cunning predators, using what they remember of their lost humanity in the hunt.

True immortals, the witches can never be destroyed. If reduced to zero hit points, they will be resurrected in 4d6 days. Even if the witch is hacked to pieces, or burned to ashes, the body will reconstitute itself. The witches can be indefinitely incapacitated, however. If nails made of iron are driven through a witch’s writs, either into a floor, wall, or wooden post, the witch will be forced into a restless hibernation, uttering curses and blasphemies in its sleep. While hibernating, the witch can sense any sentient being that passes with POW feet of it; the witch will psychically call to it, begging to be freed. A POW vs. POW roll on the Resistance Table is needed to resist the witch’s pleading. If forced into hibernation, the witch does not suffer its normal loss of POW.

Delhi Witch, Soul-Consuming Horror
char. roll avg.
STR 3d6 10-11
CON 3d6 10-11
SIZ 2d6+6 12
INT 3d6 10-11
POW 4d6+6 20
DEX 3d6 10-11
Move: 8 HP: 12
Damage Bonus: N/A
Weapons: Knife 45%, damage 1d6+db
Armor: None, but both mundane and magic attacks do only minimum damage. Weapons made of iron do damage as normal, as does fire.
Spells: Body-Wrapping of Gol-goroth, Captive Soul*, and 1d6 other spells.
Sanity Loss: 2d6/3d6 to see the Delhi Witch.

*New Spell: Captive Soul

This spell is used to capture a person’s soul, holding it for later consumption. In order to capture a soul, the intended victim must freely give the caster something he owns. The sorcerer spends 5 Magic Points, and makes a POW vs. POW roll on the Resistance Table. If successful, the victim’s soul is captured inside the object. If unsuccessful, the sorcerer may not try again for 1d10 + victim’s POW days. Once his soul is captured, the victim will live his life as normal, though he may not cast spells, and any roll involving POW automatically fails. By destroying the object, the caster immediately adds the victim’s POW to his own; the victim falls over dead of an apparent heart attack. After the POW is consumed, the sorcerer will lose one POW per day until he has returned to normal levels.

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