Harvest from Beyond: The Seeds and Growth

Elijah, Nathan, and myself, along with a few others, including some of the town’s older boys, went out to the Willow place. Old Jeff had hung himself on the porch, twisting in the wind before his yard. The yard had been plowed up like a field. There were some string-like plants growing there. Pure white with purplish bulges. Kind of rope like. Whole thing was damnable. We hadn’t set one foot on the property and yet we could barely walk given the shudders. You’d think a blizzard was coming in the way we shook, trembling there on the fence line. Elijah finally went forward. I followed. The first stalk we came across was about four feet tall. By far the tallest of the lot. Elijah nudged it with his boot and the thing moved. No wind. It just folded over. Trying to get away. It was then we saw the veins. Thin red ridges pumping away. One of the purplish bulges blinked. Elijah screamed. I’m told I fainted. By the time I came to that “field” had been all torn up. Emma and the children were above ground again. Her had had been split with a plow. Same with the brother and his sisters. Not from us. That must have been old Jeff’s doing. Their bodies had roots and shoots like potatoes. They writhed. They… bled. The Willows and their place were burned that very night.

A curled up corpse with several roots growing along with a thick, eye-covered "shoot" extending out of the head for several feet.
Stalks and Rootstock by Brad Hicks

In their various attempts to obtain corporeal forms, entities associated with Yog-Sothoth have found success in utilizing the human body as a vessel. Whether through ritualistic contact, such as what occurred in Dunwich, or through dreams, these entities of Yog-Sothoth can instruct a worshiper or an unwitting victim in the preparation of a Harvest from Beyond. Human bodies killed in a violent manner are planted as if they were rootstock. After which, the planter recites a spell to devote the field to Yog-Sothoth.

Once the Harvest from Beyond has begun, the bodies start to grow root systems and the Stalk. Like any plants, they must be watered and “fertilized”. This fertilization necessitates blood and flesh be churned into the soil. While the initial rootstock bodies are sufficient for the initial stages of growth, a gardener may add more to push the Stalks into the next phase. If the Stalks grow long enough, they increase in diameter and eventually begin growing together to form one large mass.

Individually, Stalks are long, thin, and grayish white in color. They are covered with purplish-black eyes. If provoked, they will either try to avoid harm by moving out of the way or will react by attempting to wrap themselves around and Entangle an attacker/victim. In so doing, the Harvest from Beyond can fertilize itself via strangulation and the pulling apart of victims with the cooperation of multiple Stalks.

Stages of Growth

Initial Growth [1D6 Days]: The rootstock bodies grow out root systems and begin growing the Stalk itself. After this time has elapsed, the Stalk will be small shoot out of the ground that is only a few inches tall.

Maturation [2D4 Weeks]: The time it talks for the sprouted Stalk to reach maturity. After this time, a Stalk will be between 4-6 feet tall and between 3 to 4 inches thick.

If fertilized (the Harvest from Beyond is supplied with one additional victim per 2 Stalks), the mature stalks enter the final phase…

ROOTSTOCK, the seeds of the Harvest

char.

STR: equal to the victim whose corpse comprises the ROOTSTOCK (3D6 x 5) Average: 60

CON: equal to the victim whose corpse comprises the ROOTSTOCK (3D6 x 5) Average: 60

SIZE: equal to the victim whose corpse comprises the ROOTSTOCK ((2D6+6) x 5) Average: 65

DEX: N/A

INT: N/A

POW: N/A

Average Hit Points: 13

Average Damage Bonus: 0

Average Build: 0

Average Magic Points: 0

Move: 0

Combat

The Rootstock is completely helpless.

Skills: None

Armor: None

Sanity Loss: 1/1D6 to see a Rootstock. 2/1D6+1 if the Rootstock is someone the witness once knew. 1D8/1D20 to turn someone into a Rootstock.

STALKS, the growth of the Harvest

char. roll average

STR 4D6 x 5 70

CON 4D6 x 5 70

SIZ 2D6 x 5 35

DEX 4D6 x 5 70

INT 1D6 x 5 15

POW 1D6 x 5 15

Average Hit Points: 12

Average Damage Bonus (DB): 0

Average Build: 0

Average Magic Points: 3

Move: 0* The Stalk is rooted to the Rootstalk and cannot travel on its own.

Combat

Attacks per round: 1 (Entangle, pull-apart)

A Stalk can attack anything that gets within two yards.

Entangle: The Stalk wraps itself around a victim. The victim is immobilized, and all attacks against the Stalk occur with a penalty dice, with failures meaning the victim has been struck instead. Stalks receive a bonus die on their attempt to Entangle if their victim is currently being Entangled by another Stalk. A victim can attempt to break free from being Entangled once every turn, requiring a level of success equal to the number of Stalks entangling it. (Regular if being Entangled by 1 Stalk, Hard if being Entangled by 2 Stalks, Extreme if being Entangled by 3 Stalks. Note: if they are being Entangled by 4 or more stalks, they cannot save themselves.) Anything with a build of 2 or greater cannot be Entangled.

Pull-Apart: This requires the victim to be currently Entangled by two or more Stalks. The Stalks work together to tear the victim apart, fertilizing their soil. The victim must make a Strength Roll to resist. They take 1D6 damage per Stalk that has them Entangled on a failure, 1D4 per Stalk on a success, 1D2 per Stalk on a hard success, and nothing on an extreme.

Entangle (mnvr) 50% (25/10), damage 1

Pull Apart (special) *See above

Dodge 35%

Skills: None

Armor: none.

Sanity Loss: 1/1D8 to see a Stalk. 1/1D4+1 to see the Stalks pull someone apart.

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