NewU: A Cursed Herbal Supplement

“Clear skin, thick hair, bright eyes: Discover your best you with NewU!”

NewU Probiotics Blend
NewU Probiotics Blend by Nicole Rodewald

Every year, $140 billion is spent on dietary supplements worldwide. NewU is just one of them, quietly tucked onto the shelves of independent health food stores everywhere. Investigators familiar with naturopathy or the New Age movement of the 90s have likely come across the unassuming green pills, and perhaps even taken them at some point. Unlike some products, its promises of transformation are disastrously true for a few unfortunate souls whose bloodlines trace back to Innsmouth, MA.

In the final days of mankind’s existence, the stars move closer to aligning. Soon Mother Hydra and Father Dagon will soon roam the oceans, but there’s one small problem: fewer Deep Ones live to welcome their glorious return. The hybrid population, traditionally centered in Innsmouth, has been dwindling in these modern times.

OceanRenU, and their singular product: NewU, aim to fix this. The Boston-based supplement company is entirely run by Deep One hybrids and serves as a cover for the Seekers of The Depths, a splinter faction of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Their real goal: Forcing and accelerating the transformation from human to Deep One in even the weakest descendants though their alchemically enhanced product, mass marketed as vitality supplement to further its reach.

Critics claim that OceanRenU’s only product is useless, and for the most people, this is true. The product has zero effect on non-hybrid humans and only contains one ingredient: Seaweed. Ritually harvested in the near-lightless depths of Y’ha-nthlei, and imbued with the transformative energies of the underwater city’s most dedicated priests through unspeakable rites, any lab test results will reveal only cleanly harvested kelp. OceanRenU does test their product for impurities and contaminants on the rigorous schedule boasted about on its products labels. The last thing The Seekers of the Depths want coming in the way of their sacred mission is bad PR regarding something as trivial as elevated mercury levels.

For those unlucky enough to carry Insmouth’s cursed blood, it will trigger the transformation into a Deep One in even the most distantly related human, the process taking months rather than years. In individuals already undergoing transformation, the process accelerates to weeks. The affected target may take more of the supplement in a desperate attempt to treat their increasingly fishy appearance, speeding the process even further. The rapid Change may lead to panicked behavior and sudden disappearances as they to get themselves to the closest body of salt water for reasons they don’t understand.

To best reach these lost lines, the product hints at treating an unknowing hybrid’s most obvious symptom: the Insmouth look. Skating the edge of what the FDA will allow, the product makes subtle claims of restoring hair (“Traditionally used to promote hair growth!”), promoting eye health and appearance (“Bulging eyes can be a sign of stress damage. Restore your balance with NewU.”), and skin conditions (“Our locally harvested, adaptogen-rich products have been used for generations to treat scaly, itchy skin.”)

Due to an aggressive marketing campaign, NewU can be found throughout the United States, with special attention being paid to landlocked, “runaway” communities; last known locations of descendants who fled and got as far away from the sea as possible. There are also plans to expand distribution to the rest of the world. Many Deep One hybrids worked as sailors, after all.

Story Hook: A rash of disappearances within the Intermountain region of the United States leads to a colony of sickly Deep Ones that have two things in common: NewU usage and a lineage that traces back to Innsmouth. Generations back, their great-grandparents fled to Salt Lake City, hoping that a different God and distance from the ocean would save them and their families from The Change. Instead, it’s resulted in a scared, confused, and dangerous pack of newly Changed Deep Ones suffering in the only body of salt water they could reach.

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