The things in the cave… they took my friends. All of them. Oh, God, the eyes.. their eyes.. And Pete. They, they broke his arms then twisted him right in half, Lucy screamed and we tried to stop them. They dragged her off into the water… And Nick, he fired at them. We should have brought more guns, it wasn’t enough. I hit my head. I don’t know where Nick and Frank are… everywhere… and then I woke up, they were all gone. My friends. The things. Just muddy footprints at the water’s edge… I can still hear her screams.
–Logan County Sheriff’s Department, Case #: 345214, October 8th, 1997 04:15, Transcript of verbal statement. Mike Pickering to Deputy Carl Schmidt. Charges: Influence of a Controlled Substance (LSD). Suspect: Disappearances of 4 people.
Millions of years ago, the Great Lakes region of North America was completely underwater. Comprised of the great Appalachian, Michigan, and Illinois Basins of the Rheic Ocean these flooded basins were home to the Deep Ones. As eons past, this sea withdrew and left the hidden aquatic settlements cut off from the rest of the world’s oceans, giving rise to fresh water Deep Ones.
The world is an ever changing place and seashores retreated further. Some even left the surface into vast underground caverns. The massive network stretches from Indiana to Pennsylvania, and from Ohio down into Kentucky. As water moved underground, its children drifted with it.
The world changed and these Deep Ones changed with it. Millennia’s inbreeding took hold of the Deep Ones physiology. Navigating over the stalactites was difficult at first, but became easier as they stopped walking and opted to crawl. This ability is now so far developed that they cling to the walls like spiders. Their skin hangs loosely upon their frames, as the caverns weren’t as rich with food as their native sea floor. They developed additional barbs and scaly thorns, including a long lantern appendage off their foreheads. Now they are essentially blind, in place of eyes: dead milky orbs. The bioluminescent lantern must function as some sort of sense organ. They are more animalistic than their ocean cousins. Telepathic communication takes the place of speech and non-verbal gestures. Finally, living amongst their own filth makes them carriers of pestilence and disease.
This degenerate clan worships Dagon & Cthulhu, or at least what they believe to be Dagon & Cthulhu. They revere an ancient cave salamander as the avatar of Dagon, and confuse the Faceless God in the center of the earth as Cthulhu.
All Deep Ones that contact the Subterranean variety contract fatal illness upon exposure. Subterraneans learned to weaponize this taint with an innate “Bring Pestilence” ability. When then need to feed or breed, they generally employ a shamanistic version of “Mind Exchange” passed down through the ages. They use this to lure a human party deep into the caverns. Why go out, when there’s delivery?
Their great tragedy is, they don’t realize how far they’ve evolved and still dream of returning to a sea they’ve never seen. They’re insanely agoraphobic and could not handle the open ocean and would likely taint it’s waters. Sea dwelling Deep Ones would consider them a blight and destroy them on sight.
They are degenerate offshoots, evolved into a new race, alien to their kin, unwanted and insane.
Subterranean Deep One
STR 4D6 14
CON 3D6 10
SIZ 3D6 12
INT 2D6 11
POW 3D6+6 18
DEX 3D6+6 20
Move: 8 walking/10 climbing/10 swimming
Av. Damage Bones: +1D4
Weapons: Claw 25%, Damage 1D6 + db
Bite 20%, Damage 1D6 + db
Spells: Bring Pestilence, Contact Deep One, Mind Exchange
Sanity Loss: 2/1D6 + 2 Sanity points to see a deep one