“The boy was naked and shivering. He said he was lost and wanted to find his family. I moved closer to help him and, as he reached toward me, I saw that his spine was rooted directly into the base of the huge and twisted tree. His eyes darkened and his mouth split into a gruesome smile of spiked teeth. A cold, black and bitter-tasting rain began to fall, running down my face into my mouth.”
–“D,” agent of the Top Secret Project Catalyst, whereabouts undisclosed.
The creature appears as a young, dirty and malnourished child. It will be found sitting in the woods alone, weeping, and claiming to be lost and lonely for his/her family. Upon further questioning, the child will provide a name, at the discretion of the Keeper, and generally talk about being lost, etc.
If an Investigator approaches, the child will recoil, shying back into the flora. If the Investigator persists in inspection, they will notice the child’s spine is rooted to a tree, the ground or whatever is situationally appropriate. The grandchild will then attack, distorting into a blend of human child and Dark Young.
For each of four rounds, there is a cumulative 25% chance of Shub-Niggurath (or one of her Dark Young) manifesting. Until she/it appears, in the first round, any humans present feel unease: in the second, they become nervous: in the third, they become extremely agitated: in the fourth round, they are in a panic state and Shub Niggurath (or one of her Dark Young) arrives. She will shamble out of the dark of the forest, coalescing from the mists and accompanied by the scent of decay and a black, bitter-tasting rain.
When Shub-Niggurath appears, determine Sanity loss and resulting madness as usual. She will spend the first three rounds absorbing the grandchild. If the Investigators attempt to escape during these first three rounds, they are successful.
The number of rounds an Investigator spends in this place also determines an after-effect, should they survive. For the rest of their life, this unfortunate will have a 25% chance, per round they remained in the presence of Shub-Niggurath and/or her grandchild, to be “attacked” any time they are in a wooded or otherwise heavily vegetated area. They will get tangled in vines, pricked by thistles, trip over roots etc. This is due to a trace amount of the Taint of Shub-Niggurath in all of earthly plant life.
Weeping Grandchild, a Taint of Shub-Niggurath
Damage Bonus: +1D4
Weapons: Grapple 50% (up to 10′), damage db, and a STR test. The victim moves 1′ closer or further away per 05% by which the “Child” succeeds or fails this roll. If the victim moves more than 10′ away, they break the Grapple.
Bite 20% (auto if the victim has been drawn adjacent), 1D3 and the permanent loss of 1 STR
Armor: Firearms do 1 damage, 2 on an impale, except shotguns which do minimum. Hand to hand attacks do normal damage, while attacks dependent on heat, blast, corrosion, electrical charge, or poisoning have no effect.
Sanity Loss: 1/1d4 Sanity when showing true form.