Alright, now the fun begins! Last week I discussed character creation in Call of Cthulhu (CoC) and introduced my character: Emmanuel, an occult-investigating pastor and undertaker. Before that I discussed H.P. Lovecraft, the basis of this game. This week I’ll do a walkthrough of our ongoing adventure. And first I should note this is a homebrew by our Keeper (the CoC term for gamemaster); here’s a blog he started on it. He went with a Twin Peaks-vibe, a creepy town full of slightly connected mysteries to explore. It’s been a lot of fun.
The campaign opened in the local saloon, where a group of friends had gathered for their regular drinking session. The group included Emmanuel, Betty (owner of a local ranch), John (the town sheriff), Johannes the blacksmith, and Anita (owner of the saloon and an attached brothel). They were chatting about some of the strange recent occurrences. Some of Betty’s cattle had been mutilated in a way that didn’t resemble animal attacks. A few of Emmanuel’s parishioners were missing, as were some of Anita’s regular customers. And there had been regular stranglings of women at each full moon, which John was investigating.
All of this was occurring on the eastern edge of town. Emmanuel remembered a diary he had found in some of his explorations of the wilderness, scribblings by some hermit of strange events that reminded him of this. He suggested they look into them. The group agreed, and decided to look into the farms of some of the missing people. John brought along a deputy to help them.
They set out the next morning. The first farm they came to was the Smiths’, whom Emmanuel knew from church. He suggested they stop by to see if they had heard anything. The Smiths were on edge; strange buzzing sounds descended on them each night, and their dogs were missing. Last night, they thought they heard something land on their roof and broke into barn. [this may sound familiar to Lovecraft fans…]
The group decided to stay here for the night and investigate; they still had time to check out a few other nearby farms before darkness fell. They looked in the barn, and found strange tracks like no animal any of them had encountered. Emmanuel tried to identify them based on his research, but was stumped [failed Cthulhu Mythos check].
They headed to another farm, the Zecharias’. They reported a similar story: after a few nights of strange noises on the roof, their dog went missing. They continued on to another nearby farm–the last they’d have time to visit–and found the family missing. Food had been left out, spoiled from a few days in the heat, as if the family had disappeared suddenly. Unnerved, the group warned the Zechariases to be careful, and headed back to the Smiths.
They split up–Emmanuel, John and his deputy in the barn, and Betty, Anita and Johannes in the house. Taking shifts, they watched through the night. Around midnight, John heard a thump on the roof of the barn. He woke Emmanuel and his deputy. Emmanuel, intrigued, insisted on seeing what it was, so John lifted him up through a crack in the roof while Emmanuel held up his lantern in one hand and his rifle in the other [everyone was convinced this would be the end of my character].
Emmanuel looked out on a creature from a nightmare. The creature was insectoid but upright, with wings, horrible pincer-like claws, and a barely recognizable face. Emmanuel screamed in horror as he fought off a wave of terror [passed a sanity check] and fired his rifle. John raised his rifle through the crack and fired as well. Emmanuel’s shot hit the creature and it reeled back; John’s rifle misfired, and he frantically tried to clear the jam.
At the sound of the shots, Anita and Johann ran out of the house, while Betty ran to an upstairs window, and peered out with her rifle. Emmanuel, John and the deputy scrambled out of the barn as a second creature landed on the roof of the house. Suddenly, a buzzing filled all of their heads. John, his deputy, Anita and Johann all felt a compulsion to shoot their friends [the creature had mind control powers].
As Emmanuel and Betty trained their weapons on the creature, not realizing their party had turned on them, shots rang out. Johann fell, a bullet clipping his arm; he turned to see the deputy’s pistol pointed at him. Meanwhile, Anita fired on Betty, hitting her in the leg. Emmanuel recognized the creature from his studies as a Mi-Go, and knew of its mind control powers [successful Mythos check]; he shouted this to his friends, telling them to kill it quickly. As he was the only one left in control of his mind and unharmed, however, he had to do it; he aimed at the silhouette of the creature against the stars and fired. It fell off the roof, landing in a splat. The other creature flew away and everyone felt the buzzing leave their minds.
The Smith family rushed out, and–after Anita and the deputy apologized for what happened–they patched up Betty and Johann and got some sleep. They resolved to investigate the missing family’s farm further tomorrow, and put an end to these creatures….
Tune in next time for the continuation of Trouble in Black Rock!