Everyone gets just a little sick of the holidays these days. The blatant commercialism is enough to suck the life out of anyone. But what if this Yuletide apathy were to take on physical form and smite the citizens of Townsville (Or wherever the Investigators happen to live)? So, let’s take a moment to meet little Ms. Tabitha Elliott…
Tabitha Elliott is a 14-year-old girl who, like so many these days, has divorced parents. As an added bonus, she has typically only seen her father on the holidays when he would abuse her awfully (Keeper’s discretion on just what the nature of this is.) Thanks to the abuse, she has slowly been developing an as-yet undiagnosed case of multiple personality disorder, with a dash of schizophrenia thrown in for fun.
This upcoming holiday is the first she’s had in which her powers have been this strong. The year before she only had a bit of power, which resulted in a few glass Christmas ornaments needing to be replaced. This year it’s war.
Tabitha has summoned to her will six “Grinches”. Spectral figures of her imagination that can roam about the town where Investigators happen to hang their hats. For the most part they are invisible, but strongly psychic (high POW) individuals can dimly perceive them from the corner of their eye. These spectral figures look much like the Grinch. (Sometimes the animated one, sometimes the live-action one.)
The Grinches, as can be expected, seek to destroy Christmas, as Tabitha has a deep subconscious hatred of it. Aside from random poltergeist-like activity, Tabitha is also subconsciously dominating the minds of people around town, all people she knows, and forcing them to
“destroy Christmas”. This ranges from torching their homes filled with Christmas decorations, running mad through the house with a chainsaw while attacking the Christmas decorations, eating (and possibly suffocating) on a roll of wrapping paper. Let your imagination run wild.
Investigators who are interested in figuring out what is going on (as opposed to discussing the new Starships of the Galaxy sourcebook for d20 Star Wars… Oh, the crack!), can study the victims and figure out a point of commonality. Start out obscure, like old college friends of Tabitha’s mom. Work closer and closer to Tabitha as you get to people like the teachers she has at school. To add a horrid little twist of the knife, make Tabitha and/or her mother an acquaintance of one of the Investigators.
So, how do you stop a run away psychic psycho? Especially when there are no rules for psychic ability in the main rules?
Well, the easiest, and most mundane solution (not counting killing the child) is to drug her, and then provide therapy to her while she’s in a medicated state of mind. Investigators are certain to come up with more harebrained schemes. Just remember that a mental condition such as Tabitha’s is serious stuff. You might be able to talk her down temporarily, but there’s fundamental body chemistry working against her that will just not be sated in the long run by kind gentle words.
Damage Bonus: -1d4
Weapon: Fist/Punch 25%, 1d3+DB
If the players aren’t exactly subtle in their attempts to deal with Tabitha, she’ll go nuts. Because taking over a player character’s mind is kind of a suck thing to do, have objects in the room fly about, with a 50% chance of hitting their target. Damage is 1d4. Sure, it’s not a lot, but a few of those can be lethal in Call of Cthulhu. Again, these are the “Grinches” helping out Tabitha, so those with high POW might see them in the corner of their eyes as they skulk about and throw things. If you ignore my advice and decide to have her turn an Investigator into a puppet, simply have an opposed POW roll.
Jeremy Zimmerman is a teller of tales who dislikes cute euphemisms for writing like “teller of tales.” His fiction has most recently appeared in 10Flash Quarterly, Arcane and anthologies from Timid Pirate Publishing. His young adult superhero book, Kensei, is available as part of Cobalt City Rookies. He is also the editor for Mad Scientist Journal. He lives in Seattle with five cats and his lovely wife (and fellow author) Dawn Vogel.