The One(s) That Got Away

Alternate names: Mezzamalech’s escaped shoggoth, aural shoggoth

The Book of Eibon tells us of a wizard, Zon Mezzamalech of Mhu Thulan. It tells us of his scrying orb that “could behold many visions of the terrene past, even to the Earth’s beginning,  and of how “potent gods visited the nascent Earth and left tablets of their lore in the primordial mire….” And it tells of how he and the crystal vanished one day, completely from all of time as we are able to perceive it. What it does not tell is how Zon Mezzamalech, aware of the dangers of slipping into the millrace of backward-flowing time that was visible within the cloudy depths of the crystal, first sent his psyche throughout time, to link up with as many different minds as possible, creating as many bubbles within space-time as possible. For if even one succeeded, the powers of the Elder Gods would be his.

Throughout history, beings have gone missing without a trace. Of these, roughly one in each generation is due to Mezzamalech’s sorcery…his mind and theirs, melding, and them being undeniably drawn to a mysterious crystal they stumble upon. Mezzamalech’s spell wasn’t targeted, and he psychically exists in all times coterminously. This led to an unexpected side effect—the various entities’ oftentimes incompatible minds meeting, melding, splintering off in whole or in part, meeting and melding again, in an endless loop, with almost all rushing headlong to an inevitable end—melding minds with formless efts that slough off Ubbo-Sathla and becoming part of the primordial ooze that existed on Earth before the Elder Things arrived.

One such mind to escape that pre-ordained fate was that of a shoggoth servitor of the Elder Things. When the many minds of Mezzalech’s magic encountered the Old Ones’ beast of burden, its resulting behavior was deemed an aberrant and it was put down. Its mind though, lived on simultaneously in the cacophony of pscyhes that were entangled by the spell. After untold mega-anna, the shoggoth’s mind escaped the spell and found both itself and Antarctica greatly changed.

It was aware of the rise of the Great Race’s Cone-Shaped Beings, if knew of the rise and fall of serpent people, of Paul Tregardis’ 20th century London, and all of times from a plethora of brains that it spent eon in contact with. But escaping from Zon Mezzamalech’s spell was not without a price, for even though the shoggoth had knowledge of all Earthly time and places, its corporeal body had been destroyed eons ago.

But its will to survive stayed strong—the shoggoth is now akin to an aural virus, infecting others via spoken word, lingering in their minds, driving them to unspeakable acts, muttering the inane insanities from thousands of pysches across all time, spreading to others…seeking another mind like its own—another mind touched by Mezzamalech so that it may take over its body and live again.

Aural Infection

coming into contact with any part the escaped shoggoth is only detectable by an Extreme Listen check—there’s a slight change in vibretto, pitch, or air pressure, either in the air, if in contact with the invisible and intangible creature itself, or in the speaker’s voice, if one is coming into contact with it by way of another human. The infection can be spread even over phones, microphones, speakers, etc…so long as the spoken word can be heard, the aura shoggoth spreads.

Anyone remaining in physical contact with the escapee for 1D4 rounds must make a POW roll (Hard POW if it’s contact via spoken word) or else they become infected. Symptoms include:

  • Aphasia begins almost immediately, and remains with the infected throughout the process. This most commonly takes the form of words the speaker intends to say being swapped with others, or occasionally coming out as gibberish. The infected, in the early stages, are aware of what they intend to say, and also of what word actually comes out.
  • SAN loss follows, at a rate of 1D6+1 every 1D3 hours. This is due to the alien nature of the shoggoth’s mind jockeying for position within the mind of its victims. The words they say or even write sound alien to all who hear it, and even their thoughts are becoming more alien. Those hearing it who succeed at a Cthulhu Mythos check recognize their words as partial incantations, dealing with summonings and/or time and space.
  • If an infected becomes indefinitely insane (losses 1/5th of their total SAN over the course of one “game” day), they enter what is, typically, the final stage of the “virus.” Hearing voices, and they know they’re inside their head, they also know it’s caused and spread by other individuals. To stop the spread of the virus, they try to kill anyone not infected with the virus. People who reach this point can’t explain their actions, or why attacking the uninfected is the answer, as the aphasia limits them now to zombie-like sounds and the occasional partial incantation repeated ad nauseam. Their attacks on others is similiarly zombie-like, and with no regard for their own safety.

MEZZAMALECH’S ESCAPED SHOGGOTH, aural virus

char.
STR
CON
SIZ
DEX
INT
POW

Hit Points:
Damage Bonus:
Build:
Magic Points:
Move:


n/a
210
420
15
80
100

63
n/a
n/a
20
3 drifting along

Combat
Attacks per round: 2 (Aural Infection only)
Engulf: the shoggoth may “engulf” any creatures within it’s “mass,” up to it’s own SIZ. Creatures within it’s mass are allowed an Exteme Listen check to notice something as off (a change in pitch, vibretto changing, noticing a pressure change in one’s ear, etc.). Those still in it’s area of effect after 1D4 rounds are subject to it’s Aural Infection ability (above).

Engulf/Aural Infection (100%), opposed POW roll. Target wins, no affect; may be targeted again should they wander into the shoggoth at a later time. Shoggoth wins, see Aural Infection (above).

Armor: None, but it is intangible and invisible, Mezzamalech’s escaped shoggoth exists only as as escaped desire to live again. Whether it’s the shoggoth’s own desire or an amalgamation from the many minds that Mezzamalech used in his attempt is unknown. Non-targeted magical effects do damage as normal. Non-targeted physical effects do 1 point of damage.
Spells: None…if it’s just a shoggoth. But if Mezzamalech is in there somewhere as well….
Sanity Loss: 1D6+1 every 1D3 hours when infected. 0/1D4 to encounter an audibly infected “zombie.”

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