Sepulchral Shoggoths

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, low, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

–Ezekiel ben-Buzi

Alternate names: reanimated skeleton, charnel slime, ossein ooze.

The first recorded instance of sepulchral shoggoths dates back to 593-570 BCE, with the visions of the prophet Ezekiel. It wasn’t until two millennia later (1586) that this particular method of raising the dead was detailed, in John Dee’s English translation of a Greek copy of the Necronomicon. It is one of the few spells Dee recorded solely in Enochian. Studious scholars of the Mythos have noted that the Greek copy Dee translated into English doesn’t contain the spell….

These shoggoths are the remnants of larger ones, mere scraps, really, of what they once were. They are prevented from merging with other shoggoths via magic. Instead, for safety as well as upon command, they tend to take up residence in the bones of the dead, replacing the marrow with their own protoplasm. The shoggoths send out viscous, pearlescent-black pseudopods to act as ligaments and tends, articulating the skeletons and providing a spooky form of locomotion for the charnel slimes within.

For the most part, they’re content to live and let live, unless their charnel home is endangered or they’re commanded to take action, they’ll wait inside the bones. If something elicits a response from one of them, any others in the area will also come to “life,” shooting out inky black tendrils to link the bones together—usually in the correct configuration—and either forming tiny blinking eyes all along the newly-formed ligaments and connective tissues or larger, unblinking eyeballs somewhere on the skeleton…again, usually in the skull’s orbits, but they may form them anywhere as well.

SPELL: CREATE SEPULCHRAL REMNANTS

  • Cost: 8 magics points; 1D10 Sanity points
  • Casting Time: 5 rounds

This spell prevents any protoplasmic entities within 50 feet of the caster from merging or splitting apart, and forces them into nearby objects—typically bones as the spell is traditionally cast in a charnel or fetish house, although there it no reason why the shoggoths couldn’t be forced into residence in other objects. The caster must succeed in an opposed POW roll against the shoggoths present, while intoning a spell in Dee’s Enochian language and carving the Monas Hieroglyphica into the air in front of the caster. Whether either of these are truly needed, or was merely part of the pageantry of Dee, is unknown.

The binding remains permanent until the next new moon, unless the caster spends an additional 2 magic points to maintain it during the lunar cycle. This may be extended indefinitely, so long as the caster continues to spend magic points. Overtime, even without the spell being renewed by the caster, the shoggoths will stop trying to leave the safety of their bones.

Deeper magic: Dee’s scrying crystal was rumored to increase the potency of his spells, and the Dee Translation hints that wielding the purple crystal while tracing the Monas Hieroglyphica through the air would not only bind remants, but rend apart entire shoggoths and forcibly cast its torn pieces into the bones, under the casters control.

Resistant: while the skeletons provide some armor for the shoggoths residing inside them, the old bones are brittle and more liable to break without their fleshy shells. Any blow striking a skeleton has a chance of destroying it, equal to or less than half the damage done to it multiplied by 5 (as rolled on 1D100); example, an investigator hits a sepulchral shoggoth’s exo-skeleton with a chair, doing 6 damage. That investigator has a 15% chance to destroy the skeletal armor of the shoggoth (6 / 2 = 3 × 5 = 15%). If destroyed, there is still the shoggoth to be dealt with, and it can always take another skeletal host, as well. If it is not destroyed, the shoggoth residing inside it takes no damage by targeted attacks. Untargeted damage, such as by fire or explosions, still damage the shoggoth (as well as the skeleton).

A sepulchral shoggoth, caught without a host skeleton, always tries to escape and/or hide itself in the whatever skeletal remains are closest at hand, taking one turn to both embed itself and extend its tendrils to form the tissues necessary for movement.

SKELETAL FORM, ooze-powered ossium

char.
STR
CON
SIZ
DEX
INT
POW

roll
3D6 × 5
n/a
(2D6+6) × 5
3D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
3D6 × 5

average
50-55
n/a
65
50-55
35
50-55

Average Hit Points: n/a (see Resistant, above)
Average Damage Bonus: none.
Average Build: 0
Average Magic Points: 13
Move: 7

SHOGGOTH REMNANT, sans skeleton

char.
STR
CON
SIZ
DEX
INT
POW

roll
4D6 × 5
3D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
4D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
3D6 × 5

average
85
50-55
35
85
35
50-55

Average Hit Points: 9
Average Damage Bonus: none.
Average Build: 0
Average Magic Points: 13
Move: 11

Combat
Attacks per round:
3 (1 weapon, strangle, or bite, plus up to two pseudopods may attack each round)
these shoggoth-variants use the bones they live and hide within as armor, and use their own protoplasm to form the connective tissues needed to articulate and move the bones, making them sturdier than the skeletons found in the Malleus Monstorum, vol. 1 (p. 180).
Strangle (mnvr): the shoggoth uses the boney fingers of its skeletal host to close around a target’s throat, dealing 1D4+1+DB damage per round until the victim goes limp or the shoggoth is thrown off via an opposed STR roll.

Fighting (skeleton) 60% (30/12), damage 1D3+DB or by weapon type
Strangle (skeleton) 60% (30/12), 1D4+1+DB; see above
Stabbing Tendrils 75% (37/15), 1D4+DB
Dodge 30% (15/6)

Skills

Climb 60%, Jump 50%, Relentlessly Advance 100%, Stealth 70%.

Armor: none; until the skeletal exterior is destroyed, a sepulchral shoggoth is resistant to harm (see above); after the skeleton is destroyed, halve damage caused by fire and electrical attacks; mundane weapons (incl. bullets) deal only 1 point of damage per hit; regenerates 2 hit points per round (death at zero hit points).
Spells: none; however, certain individuals of may possess the knowledge and ability to cast 1D4 or more spells. These individuals typically lead their fellow charnel shoggoths, and one of the spells they know is the binding ritual to make more sepulchral shoggoths.
Sanity Loss: 0/1D6 Sanity points to encounter an animated skeleton; +1/1D6 Sanity points to then encounter the sepulchral shoggoth behind the curtain.

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