“It is said that in Ulthar, no man may kill a cat. Further, it is advised never ever to try.” –From the recovered diaries of Hieronymous Lancashire
These dire words arise from a dark time in Ulthar’s past. While it has long been whispered in the alleys and taverns of that dour little village that one is unwise to kill a cat, never were these words made more clear than during the tenure of Hieronymous Lancashire, an aged professor at Ulthar University, who swore to the end of his days that the law was not the origin of dusty old men in dusty old offices and dapper robes, but was crafted by shadows, by beetles and moonbeams, and the moans of the wind as it caresses its way through the trees in the dark of October night.
For this is the realm of the cats, you see, and as anyone who has ever been owned by one knows that they can disappear into the moon at will, and command the shadows like playthings. And they all, every last one, bow low and pay homage to Redmalkin, their king.
It is said that Redmalkin was in fact Lancashire’s cat once. When he was just a young man struggling his way through university, he came across a black cat being tormented in the alley by a flock of schoolboys. Taking pity on the creature, he chased the boys away and lured the cat with a bit of sausage left over from his lunch. The cat warmed up to him immediately, and he took the cat home to nurse it back to health. He gave it the name Redmalkin for the fact that he had fiery red paws, although some versions of the story insist that it was the cat who told it to him.
Lancashire was inseparable from Redmalkin throughout his boyhood. His parents did not like Redmalkin, however, and took every opportunity to torment the cat in secret. One day the boy (by then a young man just getting his feet wet in Ancient Inscriptions) came home to find Redmalkin mysteriously gone. Convinced that his parents had killed the cat, he angrily confronted them, and they proceeded to beat him mercilessly for ever bringing the beast home to begin with.
What happened next is a mystery. Some say young Lancashire, beaten and bloody and furious, cast a curse upon them, invoking the spirit of Redmalkin with his new knowledge of Ancient Inscriptions. Some say Redmalkin was already a demon, and just biding his time with the young man, waiting for the parents to slip up. All that is known is that neither his parents nor Redmalkin were never seen again after that night, and Lancashire spent the rest of his days a hermit, buried in books of arcane knowledge, worrying himself about the town, muttering about demons and cats, or perhaps both, and shying away from people and animal alike.
It was also observed that animals seemed to go out of their way to avoid Lancashire as well, and when they saw him, seemed to see something beyond human eyesight, as of a looming shadow hovering protectively over him. And to this day, any man who dares harm a cat is usually found the next day dead of fright, eyes wide as though still seeing that which killed him, even after death.
Appearance: Redmalkin has three main forms: an ordinary black cat with fiery red paws; a gigantic 7-foot pure black cat with demonic eyes; and pure shadow. He can appear in any shadow, and sometimes all one sees is his eyes.
In shadow, he is invulnerable to attack, but he is also insubstantial, and cannot do damage. This is mainly his scouting and/or frightening form.
As a giant cat he is extremely powerful and can do both psychic and physical attacks. He is less in control of his actions, however, much like a berserker, and is just as likely to attack a friend as an enemy in this state.
As an ordinary cat he is most vulnerable but can still do serious physical and psychic damage (as any cat owner knows).
He can command any legion of cats anywhere at any time to do his bidding, no matter what form he is in.
Incorporeal Shadow Form: INT 75, POW 90. Damage: None.
Cat Form: STR 20, CON 25, SIZ 20, POW 90, INT 75, DEX 80. Damage: +1D3
Giant Cat Form: STR 105, CON 65, SIZ 75, INT 75, POW 90, DEX 75. Damage: +1D10
Cat Form HP: 5.
Giant Cat HP: 14.
Attacks (Cat and Giant Cat Forms):
Claw 40% 1D6 + db
Cat Swarm (all forms): call cats from miles around to swarm attack any victim he chooses. 50% 3D6-2
Psychic Fear attack (all forms): instill crippling fear in any victim he chooses. 40% (50% in Shadow Form). POWx4 to resist; if successful, 1D3 SAN loss; 1D10 SAN loss if failed.