A Daredevil of Carcosa
Fee Fi Fo Fin#0812 and magnificentophat#2199
“It was standing on the bed, it cocked its head at us like a german shepherd. Hellmann was crawling towards us, it must have stabbed him at least six times.”
“Then – I don’t fuckin’ know – it just throw that cloth over itself and it was gone. It just wasn’t there. I don’t (unintelligible)”
“Okay. So it’s still out there somewhere.”– After-action report gathered by Agent Wynch
Like all things from the dread city of Carcosa, no one is exactly sure what the Matador is or why it exists. Those who are aware of the King inYellow and its manifestations group it with the other quasi-clockwork constructs that the agents of the King are known to deploy.
It usually starts as a package delivered through unknown means to someone already touched by the King inYellow. Within is contained most (sometimes not all) the parts for assembling the machine, as well as a scroll with instructions to construct it. The package also contains an empty glass bottle of water, contained within is a single, swirling leech.
Constructing the machine involves assembling it as instructed on the blueprint, then the builder begins to feel a desire to bleed themselves with the leeches. Only one is given, but after a week or two, they’ll notice bottles littering their dining table, kitchen cabinets, and office, each swirling with four to six leeches. Although the builder might know this, the leeches are not only siphoning blood, but also their willpower. If it should come to it that one of your players would wish to construct the Matador, or if they wind up being bled with the leeches.
Appearance-wise, the Matador is a tall and broad skeletal humanoid, with a body made from bits of machinery, ropes and pulleys, ticking gears and whirling levers. Parts of its body, notably the face, arms, and legs, are decorated with either papier mache, porcelain, or fiberglass, though this does practically nothing to hide its human figure. Nestled within its chest is a single, glass jar containing several leeches, fattened with blood and swirling in the brackish water. Its face resembles a venetian mask, within an unmoving, knowing smile. The Matador’s right arm ends with a sword. Usually a Spanish rapier of fine craftsmanship, though they’ve been encountered with homemade approximations and substitutes. Its left arm clasps a Muleta of deep crimson cloth in its skeletal hand.
How the Matador activates varies. But it’s usually either by proximity or by having a code phrase uttered in its presence, usually a passage from The King inYellow.
Analyzing the blueprints for the Matador or its remains turns up baffling results. Anyone with Craft (Mechanics) of 30% or more knows that if built according to its blueprint, the machine shouldn’t
work, in fact, it shouldn’t even be able to move. This costs 0/1d4 SAN upon learning this after seeing it moving in spite of this.
STR 13, CON 20, DEX 16, INT 6, POW 6
HP 16, WP 6
ARMOR: See METAL AND PAPER
SKILLS: Alertness 40%, Athletics 40%
ATTACKS: Sweeping Rapier (65%, 1D8 or Disarm)
Lunge and Stab (45%, 1D8, 3 AP)
Clockwork Grapple (55%, 1D4 or Pin/Disarm)
METAL AND PAPER: The Matador is a hollow creature made of metal, porcelain, and paper. Any attack that rolls an odd number of damage only inflicts 1 point of damage. Successful Lethality rolls destroy it.
PERFORMANCE FIGHTER: Once per round, the Matador can call on its otherworldly powers of swordsmanship to viciously assault its victims. A leech bursts with a spray of blood. RIPOSTE: The Matador spends 1 WPto apply a second offensive action as part of its fighting back roll. This can be their current victim or another target.
VANISH: The Matador spends 1 WPand heaves the muleta over itself. It flutters to the ground, empty. The Matador teleports to an unobserved location within 100m, 0/1D4 SAN to witness. The Matador can Vanish by itself, or it can teleport itself and another creature if that creature is either willing or has been successfully grappled. If the Matador expends all of its WPpoints, it can transport itself and anyone else directly to the Whisper Labrinth beneath Carcosa. THE MARK: The Matador spends 1 WPcarving theYellow Sign into anyone it attacked and dealt damage past their Armor, inflicting an extra point. This costs 0/1D4 from helplessness even if the victim has already seen the sign.
FEINT: Whenever the Matador chooses to fight back against an attack, it can spend 1 WPto whip its rapier around in a confusing flurry of shining steel instead of imposing an offensive action. It gains +20% to its next attack roll.
SHATTER: Targeting the jar of leeches is a called shot at -20%. If the attack hits and does 2+ points of damage, the jar shatters and the Matador cannot spend WPto use any of its special abilities.
SAN Loss: 0/1D6 SAN to see spring into action
Fee Fi Fo Fin is an actor, writer, and roleplaying games enthusiast who can be found on the Night at the Opera discord server running and playing his original games for his friends