There was this funny legend that Old Lady Margaret still lives in Margaret Mansion. Silly, isn’t it? Margaret Mansion is called so because it was built by a Lady Margaret two centuries ago! But we were bored so we went to check it out.
What we met there might have been Old Lady Margaret. A skeleton laying on the dining room floor. It might have been dead for two centuries—but it was alive! As we argued what to do about it, lots of women—Ladies Margaret?—appeared around the corpse. Some were quite young, some terribly old, some probably dead. I screamed and ran. The others…I don’t know, I was too frightened to look back. Will you help me find them?
When you look at time from a higher dimension, human life really is a line. Creating a Time-Frozen loops a tiny part of that line into a never-ending circle, but from the point of view of Yog-Sothoth and other forces invoked to create this being, the potential remaining part of the line already exists. Sometimes those forces make a separate entity out of this loose thread—a Time-Tangled.
The line becomes tangled and the potential consciousness of the person’s future self becomes reduced to pure hunger for the true, lived time it was denied. To mortal eyes, a Time-Tangled is visible as a constantly morphing series of vistas from what would be left of a Time-Frozen’s existence. Those vistas can represent a single moment in time or an unsettling mix of many of them. Sometimes it’s a human, sometimes a corpse, sometimes a group of people of different ages—sometimes a grotesque mass of limbs and heads.
A Time-Tangled feed on people’s time. They exist not in real time but in an extended timelessness, and escaping this timelessness for a while lessens their torment. A person attacked by a Time-Tangled becomes slow of movement and thinking for a while, as time begins to flow slower for them than for the rest of the world. If a Time-Tangled eats enough, it might become a future self of the person it was created from for a while, but sooner or later, it would live out all the consumed time and degenerate into a time-warped mess once more.
A Time-Tangled has no intelligence but it is cunning. Sometimes it can stabilize its look in a form that allows it to pass for an actual human. Its movement is slow, its speech is devoid of emotion, but it might be enough to organize a small ambush.
Some Time-Tangled are protective of the Time-Frozen they were created from, feeling some kind of kinship or fearing that destroying their source would destroy them as well. Others avoid them and it’s possible that Time-Frozen might hold the key to destroy the Time-Tangled easily.
Maintain Form: a Time-Tangled can spend 2 magic points to remain in its current form for five minutes. Maintaining its form for another five minutes requires 3 magic points, then 4 and so on.
Time-Tangled, unrealized potentiality
Tangled form: Time-Tangled’s physical statistics are given as a roll but don’t pre-roll them or choose an average number. Instead, this being constantly changes its form and statistics requiring them to be re-rolled every minute. Rolling a number of Attacks per Round of 2 or higher suggests that the being is currently something inhuman, for example, a mass of hands grasping for the investigators. If you get tired of rolling too many times, you can limit those transformations to rerolling only a single stat each minute.
3D6 × 5
3D6 × 5
(2D6+6) × 5
3D6 × 5
Attacks per round: 1D6–3 (min. 1)
If it’s currently a human, a Time-Tangled attacks just like a human would. In more grotesque shapes, it grasps for its enemies or slams them with its numerous appendages.
Time Drain: any creature attacked by a Time-Tangled loses a bit of its time, making it move and react slower than those around them as time flows slower for them. This is represented by it’s target losing 2D6 DEX after each attack. A Time-Tangled gains as much DEX as it drains. The lost points are regained at a rate of 1D6 per day and the entity loses its extra DEX at the same rate. If it ever has 25 or more extra DEX, it can stabilize its form at will with no magic point cost, but it loses the extra DEX faster—at a rate of 1D6 per hour instead of per day.
Fighting (Brawl) 40% (20/8), damage 1D3+DB plus Time Drain.
Dodge ½ of current DEX.
Spells: Might know Freeze in Time, if the Time-Frozen it was created from cast it on themselves.
Sanity Loss: There is no Sanity loss to meet a Time-Tangled in human shape; 1D3/1D10 to meet it in other shapes.
Marek Golonka is a game designer, a game design teacher and the coordinator of Zgrozy, a series of Call of Cthulhu supplements that reimagines Lovecraftian horror one small release at a time.