All posts by CthulhuBob Lovely

The Rat King, avatar of Mordiggian

The Rat King

I was there when it started, the plague, right there in that alley. I seen him, hunched old guy in a torn up, dirty brown bath robe. He had full facial hair, brown, and his hands and feet were covered with it too. His finger and toe nails were long and pointed.
He walked along, saying hello to everyone. When he smiled, his teeth were all brown, yellow, and black–rotten. He started doing this weird dance, held up his arms, and stared shouting or chanting in some weird language. “Eeya,” more digging,” that’s all I can remember.
He split up a little blood, started laughing, and huge rats started flowing out from under his robes–hundreds of them, thousands. They bit everybody in the ally. I don’t know how any of the other people ended up, but I got the fever and lived–as you can see.
What? Damn you, I’m not just some crazy old guy! I was an accountant before the market collapsed again. That’s how it works you know, up, down, up, down. When it’s down the world goes to shit.—Gerald Simmons, CPA.
“The old Rat King,
Is a very bad thing,
And where he goes,
The rats he brings”

–Popular children’s rhyme during the global plague of 2030-2043
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Skeeter Man, Unique Entity

It was just as I had read. It appeared as a large man in tattered clothes. Its jacket had two vertical slits in the back, from which its wings emerged. The bats swirling around it blocked most of the damage from Dawson’s shotgun. Thankfully, my Invisible Blade spell bypassed them. Between that, and the little bit of damage which made it through from Dawson, we finally put it down. The streams of bats were very distracting but, thankfully, they caused little harm.

—Byron Timmons, Team Wizard, Strike Team 1.
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The Filing Cabinet

The Filing Cabinet is four drawers high, and appears perfectly ordinary. Either wood or steel, it is slightly worn, has a few scratches, a touch of rust, very small dents, etc., but is in fine condition. It will appear to one or more of the Investigators as an auction item, at a yard sale, as a gift, simply standing on the porch when they go out in the morning, etc.

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Icky Ichor of the Beast

One thing which can be very unsatisfying in an investigative role playing game about the paranormal, the cosmic, the profoundly non-human, is a lack of results from scientific analysis.

If a player chooses a character who is a chemist, a biologist, a physicist, etc., they have as much right to fruitful scientific research as the tough character has to punch people, the shooty character to shoot stuff, and so forth.

Behind the screen I know the armor value, hit points, POW, etc. of the bad guys and monsters, but what do I know about the biology, biochemistry, and anatomy of the monsters themselves? Once the player characters have defeated the threat though the use of punching, shooting, and magic, what does the scientist do? They collect samples and bring them to their lab.

What is their reward? “It’s an unknown protein,” “The musculature is very unusual,” “It’s the scale of an animal you can’t identify” are not gratifying answers–in fact they’re simply unfair. Subsequent evidence which proves to be identical to previous samples may help in solving the problem, but it still yields no reward for playing the scientist character.

I did a couple of Google searches: first involving blood, the other cellular structure.

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CthulHaiku Beach Fun

Playing at the beach
Peculiar rock formation
Oh, shit, a deep one

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Gatherers: Vampire Variant

We only learned about these things recently. Intel was right on, the bastard lived in a mansion and he was huge—well over six feet tall, built like a locomotive, and sexy as hell. Charming too, so persuasive he, it, could almost talk you out of your mission directive. Still, Daddy didn’t raise no fool, and I was wearing my big girl panties. God knows how many people this thing had killed over the years. We discovered them when this one took three, one of whom was our supervisor and friend.

Johnson had the shot and cracked off two rounds, Mr. Handsome bled, that was a plus. I rolled my frag, just like a bowling ball; perfect strike, it came to rest right beneath his masculine wiles. We all dove for cover and the grenade roared like a beast, almost tore him in half. Bio came out and cleaned up. Everyone came home safe.

—Beverly “B.B.” Bates, Project Star Special Operations Team Leader, Delta Team, Debriefing Statement, File ZZ-1209.
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The Dreaming Blanket

We weren’t going to get the tire fixed before the next day, but this nice, elderly couple took us in. Name of Jeremy and Rebecca if I remember right.

When I got out of a much-needed hot shower, Rebecca greeted me with a quilt and a pillow. I wrapped myself up on the couch, and lay my head on the pillow. The quilt wasn’t very colorful, like many are, just a checkerboard of pink and grey, but it was warm and comfortable. I felt like I just gave myself to it.

I found myself back where I came up, I know I was thirteen, because my ma’s funeral had just been a week ago. As usual, I was runnin’ from my pa, not that he ever deserved to be called that. As always, he was shit-faced drunk.

I was high tailin’ for the woods, I could sometimes lose him in there. All of sudden, right at the wood line, there was this huge tree stump I’d never seen before. It must have been three feet across.

Just like that, the thing melted into slime, black with streaks of dark green, and rose up way over my head. A huge mouth split side to side, drooling more of that gunk, and a huge eye opened up right above that.

I panicked. I turned back. There, right up close to me, was that mean, ol’ bastard. He was dead, but standing, with his skin all melting. Flies were swarming his exposed muscles, and maggots were eatin’ his eyes.

‘Bout three in the morning, I woke up screaming. 

The old couple’s bedroom door opened, and Jeremy walked out, real casual. He asked if I was okay, and offered me a glass of water.

Still, just before that, I swear I thought I heard the two of them laughing, real soft.

–Lt. Colonel Bennet Blake, USAF (RET.), drunk, at a bar in Waxahachie, Texas.
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Jasmine, Avatar of Isis

She was beautiful, unbelievable, dark brown skin and long, long, flowing back hair. Her every move wafted the sweetness of jasmine flowers. She wore long, flowing, silk skirts and blouse, all hand-dyed in brilliant colors. They swirled at her slightest turn, dancing with her hair. Her eyes were a deep brown, and when she fixed them onto you, she called you, silently, into some ancient and wondrous place.

–Jonathon Oliver: weary, desperate, and half-mad defender of Humanity.

As an avatar of the Elder god Isis, Jasmine occasionally appears to investigators of the Cthulhu Mythos and provides them a small degree of support and comfort.

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The Looking Glass

I wasn’t sure what I expected when we got the proximity alarm, best not to, anyway. Guy was human in appearance, though, so that was promising. Ticking through my scope options, he showed a normal heat signature. Wearing a suit, damned expensive and tailored at that–not what I’ve seen before on someone trying to break into an Above Top Secret facility–one of our places that don’t exist.
It wasn’t Abe, but his was the card the gate had declined. He’d been dark 24 hours, so all his protocols were suspended. Not sure how this asshole got in. Then I noticed the glint of glass in the light. He was holding  some kind of big glass jug. What the hell?
He moved like Abe, kind of, walked a little the same. He passed right around the spot on the asphalt that would trip you if you weren’t careful, had that weird little OCD thing Abe did with his left hand.
Then he deviated course, just a bit, toward the supervisory area. Abe wouldn’t go that way, none of us grunts ever would.
He knelt, set down the glass jug, took off the lid, and removed a pair of sunglasses I hadn’t noticed before. The fucking jar was full of eyeballs–over a dozen–floating in a liquid. The guy in the fancy suit tilted back his head, reached up, and plucked out one of his eyes, just like a god-damned contact lens. He dropped it in the jug, and started fishing out another.
No more of that shit. I fed the eyeball soup two, quick, whisper kisses from my weapon, I think at least one went through the bastard’s hand. The jar exploded and the guy froze. Then I dropped him with a round through the head. Just for good measure, I put another six in him, just ‘cause. Damn, this job is fucked up.

–Cpl. Grant Rice, Facility Security, Location CC-Z-29.
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The Weaver: a Mi-Go Device

We finally got to what we assumed was the mi-go lab. We were all half nuts by now, just seeing the damn things. Frickin’ wasp, lobster, crab, whatever the hell. Getting electrocuted and half frozen to death by their weaponry didn’t help much either. 
We’d already lost the Professor, and our team Wizard. The rest of us were pretty beat up too. 
Getting in was easy enough. A door just slid open, silently, as we walked up. The thing didn’t look like much at first: a big, black, metal cylinder with some sort of rollers, supported by braces attached to the sides. They had varying amounts of some sort of fabric on them, like rolled carpet. The place smelled bad, like chemicals and ham. 
On top of the thing was a brain in a glass jar, typical. 
The cylinder had metal beds attached all around, covered with glass domes. They looked kind of like escape pods, or cryo-crypts. 
Then I got close to one. Inside, there was a woman, nude, floating in some sort of pink-tinged solution. She had a mask over her face, like a scuba mask. It had a tube, and a bunch of wires running into the cylinder. But that wasn’t the bad part. 
Extending from the cylinder into the tank, was a little mechanical arm, with a tiny tip that could rotate in any direction. 
The arm was running that tip all over her body, damn fast, pulling off her skin in strands, like yarn, which was being drawn into the cylinder. Most of her muscle tissue was exposed, and completely intact. She didn’t react at all, and I think that was the worst part of it. 
I snapped, I know what that feels like. I leveled Suzy up and started firing. One already under the hammer, five more in the chamber. The stuff sure wasn’t glass, at first I didn’t even scratch it. Twelve gauge at point blank range. 
Then, I got some chips, then little cracks. On my last round the thing blew open. The fluid was slick, I fell when it got under my feet. She started convulsing, the mask pulled off, the breathing tube drew out of her throat, a bunch of wires jerked out of her skull, and she landed right on me. 
She was screaming, screaming like I never heard anyone do before, and still thrashing around like hell. I tried to get hold of her, keep her from hurting herself, but the damn pink stuff was so slick, and it got all over me as well. It tasted salty. 
She finally calmed down. Her head drooped onto my shoulder, and my gaze fixed on her dead eyes.

—Charles McPherson, Captain, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), Security and Combat Specialist for the Manchester Foundation.
The Weaver  (Art by Rob Carlos)
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