I end my series of these write-ups with a game versus Cthulu himself, and appropriately enough, it was rough going. A combination of a huge tactical mistake putting off solving a nasty rumor for a turn or two and really bad luck with the Mythos cards put the investigators in a really bad spot. All things considered, in some ways it’s amazing that this went as well as it did because when the White Ship is involved, it’s not going to be pretty. Still, it seems given the nature of Lovecraft’s vision and Cthulu’s role in it, this is as perfect a place as I could have hoped to conclude these session reports. Thanks so much to those of you who have read them, enjoyed, and given positive feedback. I really appreciate it!
Jacqueline Fine had lived a deeply troubled and disturbing life. For many years, ever since she was a little girl, Jacqueline had suffered from strange dreams of fire and destruction. Like the prophet Cassandra, Jacqueline had seen much and suffered greatly from those who didn’t believe. When she was a young man, Jacqueline found herself traveling through the shady coast of New England, and lived for a time in a decrepit village called Innsmouth. A gaunt man named Marsh courted her assiduously, and just when Jacqueline considered marrying the man, he drugged her and took her out to sea, where horrifying, fish-like cultists prayed to something inhuman. Jacqueline mercifully remembered very little, but she knew that when she came back from the ocean shrine, she was with child. Nine months later, the baby Silas was born. Jacqueline saw Innsmouth and her supposed husband Marsh grow uglier and more inhuman with each passing moment, and on one dark stormy night, she managed to flee from the village with her baby in tow. She could have left Silas behind, because he was unquestionably part of the ugly horror of that place. But there was also a part of him that was good and noble, and Jacqueline wanted that part to have a chance. Silas grew into a strong man, but he was haunted by terrifying nightmares, and when he was a teenager his behavioral problems became so bad that he ran from home. Jacqueline worked on developing her latent psychic abilities, in part so she could keep tabs on Silas. He became a capable and respected sailor, and although Jacqueline was proud of her boy, there was also something vaguely terrifying to her about the fact that the man who was born of something nightmarish from the sea had found his true home there. He called himself Silas Marsh now.
Soon, Jacqueline’s dreams grew more horrific, and she could tell that the nightmares Silas suffered from had also started to get worse. They were both dreaming of something that slumbered deep beneath the sea, something more horrific and more unimaginable than even the monstrous thing that had impregnated Jacqueline all those years ago. They dreamed of Great Cthulu. Eons ago, Cthulu came from the stars with his Star Spawn brethren. He now slept in the sunken city of R’lyeh, waiting for the stars to be right to rise again. His cult, the deep ones, the star spawn, and the strange Innsmouth blood that stirred in Silas all called for Cthulu, and Jacqueline swore that she would get revenge on the monstrous deep one cults that had violated her life and cursed her son with never-ending darkness. Mother and son, long estranged by the nightmare of their life, promised to work together to try to stop Great Cthulu from plunging the world into madness.
An expedition had gone to the mountains of madness in Antarctica, but nothing had ever come of it. A rift had opened in Buenos Aires, and a bizarre Elder Thing had slipped from the rift and swam across the oceans, returning to its home in the frozen wastes of Antarctica, guarding the secrets the dead explorers had uncovered. There was a clue about the cult of Cthulu in the frozen wastes of Alaska, far north. Worst of all, Mother Hydra rose from her home in Y’ha-nthlei to oversee the teeming masses of her children. Jacqueline knew that whatever thing Marsh had prayed to, whatever had assaulted her, was the mate of this Mother Hydra. Her son Silas would have to kill this monster, the monster who was in some ways almost as much his mother as she. Bu he wouldn’t be able to do it without the mystic artifact the sword of Y’ha-Talla, an ancient weapon that cleaved through the waters that Jacqueline had discovered. [Set Up: Cthulu Ancient One, Jacqueline and Silas (Jacqueline Lead Investigator), Queen of the Deep Ones mystery, Antarctica expedition space, gate in Buenos Aires/Elder Thing to Antarctica, clue in Alaska/space 1].
Jacqueline woke up from a horrifying dream. In the dream, she heard the cultists of the Esoteric Order of Dagon calling for their master, she heard the Ancient One stirring in his slumber, and she saw the obliteration of human life as Mother Hydra thrashed the water, Cthulu’s worshippers rushed to the oceans and prayed for his return, the slimy green, Cyclopean city R’lyeh rose from the depths, and Great Cthulu himself emerged to plunge all into madness. Jacqueline shook her head and breathed deeply, her heart racing. Not if she could help it. She left her Minneapolis hotel room and caught a train for San Francisco. When she got there, she bought a ship ticket. Whether she sailed north for Alaska and its hidden information or south to Argentina to close the rift, either way she would need to sail. [Travel to San Francisco, buy ship ticket].
Silas had always felt cursed, and now that the world risked being annihilated by Cthulu, he knew why. He was a Marsh; this nightmare was in his blood, and one day or another, he would surrender his humanity and swim down to the forgotten cities, to dwell in the splendor of the Deep Ones forever. This fantasy and horror had fascinated and stalked Silas throughout his turbulent, troubled life, and he now hoped that he could focus on his human side, his mother’s side, and let that win out. For him, the quest to send Cthulu back to his millennial slumber was not just a battle for the world; it was a battle for his very soul. Silas was in Sydney at the moment, and the first thing he did was go shopping. He bought a cross to defend himself against certain monsters, and while he was shopping he noticed a beautiful Syndicate agent watching him. Her name ended up being Irina, and Silas gladly went into debt to hire her. She appeared as attracted to his rugged physique as he was to her arch beauty, and they both impulsively embarked on an instant affair, kissing and tearing apart his debt. [Acquire Assets/Go into Debt, Influence check success to eliminate Debt].
Jacqueline patrolled Chinatown that night, becoming adept at spotting signs of cult activity and improving her observation skills. She found the cult temple, but despite her great knowledge of the arcane, she was unsuccessful in dispelling the hex on the door, losing some of her strength and stability as she entered to chase the Order away from San Francisco for good. [San Francisco encounter, +1 observation, -1 stamina/sanity (3/7 total now)]. Silas, meanwhile, heard that a prisoner had stolen a weapon and escaped into the bush. He and Irina gave chase, hoping to track him down. Against all odds, Silas was successful in finding the convict, arresting him and securing the axe that he had stolen. [Sydney encounter, observation check success, gains axe].
Jacqueline heard of information available in the Amazon rainforests. More troublingly, she heard that a sleeping soul had set sail in the White Ship, traveling across the world and to the lands of dreams. The ship must return soon, or the walls between realities will fall apart. This dreamer knew nothing of right or wrong. He was in a constant state of ecstasy as his mind explored universes far beyond the comprehension of mortals. The ship was not evil either, and would sail him into those forgotten places. But if Jacqueline and Silas allowed him to set sail, the rifts the ship’s voyage would open would easily allow Cthulu’s power to break through. [The White Ship rumor activated].
Jacqueline decided to go south rather than north, reasoning that keeping Cthulu’s options limited was the most important priority. Using the ticket she had purchased, she sailed down to Buenos Aires, ready to enter the gate that was unguarded by the Elder Thing’s departure. While she was on the ship, she focused her psychic energies, sending her mind to sit with Silas and speak to him. Because of his troubled origins and volatile nature, they had never had a warm relationship, and when she spoke to him, it was about business rather than sentimental familial affection. Jacqueline told him what she knew of Cthulu, and he promised to use the information well. [Travel to Buenos Aires, Jacqueline Action/give clue to Silas].
Silas ought to have sailed and stopped the gentle dreamer from sailing the White Ship to parts unknown as soon as possible. But Silas was a man of action, and he just couldn’t fathom how disastrous that voyage would be. He was a sailor, and he thought of ships and voyages as noble and heroic things. Journeying to the lands beyond didn’t seem that bad, and besides, wasn’t he a bit like the lost dreamer, someone with ugliness coursing through his veins? Perhaps it was the Marsh side of him that turned his thoughts bloody and his attention south. Silas bought a ship ticket for later, and then he took Irina and sailed to Antarctica. [Buy ship ticket, travel to Antarctica].
Jacqueline entered the space between worlds and found herself in the Great Hall of Celaeno. The book she was reading described complex rituals in very abstract terms. She did her best to comprehend the dense material, and because of her long study of the arcane, a practice she had begun immediately after she and Silas escaped the foul village of Innsmouth, she easily understood what she read. She gradually began to see a pattern emerge, and she gained a Feed the Mind spell with which she could improve her skills even more. After staring so long at the book, however, Jacqueline had forgotten how to get back home. She asked others in the library for help, but no one would speak to her, and she wandered the Great Hall lost, struggling to find her way home. [Other World encounter: pass lore test, fail influence test and become delayed].
Before searching for signs of what the expedition had discovered, Silas and Irina barreled into the Elder Thing, the horrible alien creature that had been released from the Buenos Aires rift. If Silas had known more about the beyond, he might have known that this Elder Thing ought to have been an ally; the Elder Things hated Cthulu and his worshippers much more than they hated the insignificant humans. But the Elder Thing could sense the Marsh blood in Silas’s veins, and it therefore attacked him with all its srength. The initial horror of seeing the alien creature rattled Silas’s nerves despite the cross he carried, but with his great strength, the Australian maniac’s axe, and the capable and deadly Irina watching his back, Silas was able to kill the creature immediately. He then turned to the expedition, and found what he believed tobe star-shaped burial mounds in the snow. It was physically exhausting, but he tried and succeeded to dig the bodies out of the ice and snow. When he did, he found that the bodies he was digging up were not humans but other Elder Things that had been slaughtered by Cthulu’s cultists. Silas began to feel guilty, and he worried whether the joy with which he had killed this monster had been the ugly nightmarish side of him rearing its head rather than an expression of heroism. Silas stared at the bodies, and the smell of the icy sea nearby eased his worries. But he was happy to at least find that buried with the Elder Things was the Sword of Y’ha-Talla. With this artifact, he could kill Mother Hydra. [-1 sanity fighting Elder Thing (8 stamina/3 sanity), Expedition encounter, passes strength test, passes observation test, gains Sword of Y’ha-Talla].
The wind suddenly picked up, causing a shiver despite the clear, blue sky. Looking to the horizon, Silas saw steely-gray clouds approaching. The stars shifted in the sky, and the rift in Buenos Aires that Jacqueline was caught inside brought Cthulu closer to rising from the sea. Cthulu made the waters of Antarctica more choppy and frightening. The White Ship got closer to sailing, and the part of the world Silas was in was poisoned even more, as a Gate opened in Sydney and a gigantic Dark Young emerged to swallow the island under its horrific weight. Worst of all though was the storm itself. Jacqueline was still in another dimension, so she didn’t deal with the storm. But Silas was in the icy wilderness, and although he and Irina were able to cling to each other and stop the wind from sweeping them away, the information Jacqueline had sent to Silas was lost in Cthulu’s storm, and with it the best chance of stopping The White Ship. [The Storm Mythos: omen shifts to blue/Doom advances from 12 to 11, Cthulu’s reckoning puts Eldritch token on Antarctica, -1 token (2 left) on The White Ship, Dark Young/Gate open in Sydney, Silas loses his clue due to The Storm].
Jacqueline finally stumbled back to the exit of the library, leaving behind The Great Hall of Celaeno and finally tumbling, distraught and confused, back into the real world. [Undelayed]. Without the clue Jacqueline had given him and with no other easy source of information, Silas figured that the next best thing he could do was go to the Bermuda Triangle, where Mother Hydra had arisen, and kill the beast. With his ship token, Silas sailed to Buenos Aires. Then, using his pull, he sailed further, all the way up the Atlantic to the Bermuda Triangle. No man without Marsh blood could sail that fast, and Silas was going to use his horrific heritage against the bastards. Then, once he reached his destination, he rested, recovering his pose. [Travel to Buenos Aires, Silas action to move 1 space to 8/Bermuda Triangle, then rests (8 stamina/4 sanity]
Jacqueline had barely set foot in Buenos Aires when she wheeled back around and traveled back into the abyss. Although she didn’t have her son’s strength her stamina, Jacqueline was at least as brave. This time she found herself in Yuggoth. She found a room filled with strange metal cylinders. Inside of each cylinder was a living brain that could communicate through a speaker box. Jacqueline asked the brains for help, but the disembodied brains ignored her pleas and demanded that she stay. They told Jacqueline the terrible secrets they had learned about the rise of Cthulu and the fate of the Earth. Without any way to mollify the brains, Jacqueline left Yuggoth deeply shaken. [Other World Encounter, fail influence test and lose 2 sanity (3 health/5 sanity)].
Silas, meanwhile confronted Mother Hydra. Her body was enormous, covered in terrifying scales and vile slime, and the deep ones flocked around her like flies buzzing around a corpse. Mother Hydra stared at Silas, her eyes fathoming what was before her. If Silas hoped that his Marsh blood would help him with Mother Hydra, he was sorely disappointed. Instead, she looked upon him as the foul mutant creation of her mate’s illicit coupling, a thing that might one day become one of her children but for now was the vilest of all human things. The shriek she let out terrified Silas, and he looked away. Irina grabbed him and forced him to turn and face his fears. With a roar, Silas leaped at Mother Hydra, swinging the Sword of Y’ha-Talla, and Mother Hydra was afraid, recognizing the blade that could wound her. But despite Silas’s powerful sword, Irina’s help, and the boost of the sea, Silas was completely unable to do even the slightest bit of damage. His only saving graces were that the fishing net he lugged with him prevented Mother Hydra from damaging him as much as she could have, and that his mother cast a Flesh Ward spell that defended his skin from being torn apart by the monster’s claws. [-1 sanity, -2 health/NO damage despite tons of dice, Jacqueline passes lore, casts Flesh Ward, so damage taken (8 health/3 sanity)].
The stars shifted in the sky, and the Sydney gate brought Cthulu closer to waking, as did the foul Dark Young that had emerged from it. Cthulu poisoned the waters of the Bermuda Triangle where Silas and Mother Hydra fought, and The White Ship was almost ready to leave on its voyage between worlds, which would almost certainly damn the port of departure, Earth. Another void opened in Arkham, and from that Gate came disgusting serpent people who slithered across the Americas and into the Amazon. Cthulu was crafty, and the sudden thunderstorms grew more common. Twice a day, rain that smelled like seawater flooded the streets, and cold winds that cut like glass threatened to pull doors off their hinges. Cthulu was trying to drag Jacqueline and Silas to Mother Hydra. But Jacqueline and Silas both managed to resist the pull, and this one scheme of Cthulu did not damage the investigators. [The Bermuda Triangle Mythos: omen shifts to red/doom advances from 11 to 10, Dark Young advances doom from 10 to 9, Cthulu puts Eldritch token on space 8, White Ship loses a token (1 left), Arkham Gate/Serpent People to Amazon spawn, neither Jacqueline nor Silas roll a 1 or 2 so neither goes to 8/becomes delayed].
In a fit of panic, Jacqueline ran to the shop and signed her name in blood, going into deep debt in order to buy a police ledger. She was desperate to find clues, because she knew how completely devastating it would be if the White Ship sailed. She figured that there was at least one star cycle between now and the ship sailing, and she might have a chance. After buying the police ledger, Jacqueline rested and was able to find a clue in the notes as she did. [Acquire Assets/go into debt to get police ledger, rest (4 health/6 sanity), passes observation test and gets a clue]. Then Jacqueline went back to the gate, trying once more to close the rift. She found herself in the Dreamlands. In the cavern of flame, the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah warned her that it was too dangerous to continue. Jacqueline insisted that she possessed the knowledge she needed to enter the Dreamlands, but was unable to convince the priests. The gods of dreams exiled Jacqueline back to the waking world and punished her for her overreaching ambition. Her nightmare and the waking world became indistinguishable. She was once more delayed, wracked with hallucinations of worlds splitting apart and slimy tendrils emerging from frothing waters. Worst, Jacqueline was incapable now of traveling to the White Ship. [Other World Encounter, faill will test, become delayed/gain hallucinations condition].
Silas, on the other hand, could do nothing but sit and wait for the second round of his battle with the monster. [No actions]. When the time came, the sight of Mother Hydra once again shook Silas, and once again Irina had to steady him. This time, though Silas and Irina were able to hurt Mother Hydra, cutting through half her life and managing to avoid taking any damage. [-1 sanity (8 health/2 sanity), 2 damage to Mother Hydra].
Although a clue to Cthulu’s worshippers appeared in Russia, a horrific thing began to happen. Reality began to fracture, and the strange phenomenon was an echo of the catastrophic destruction of Mu. The repercussions of the serpent people’s overreaching ambition still took its toll, and if Jacqueline and Silas were unsuccessful, humanity would be obliterated by the unforgiving seas just as the worshippers of Yig were so many years ago. [Fractured Reality rumor activated].
All was quiet. Jacqueline steeled herself, trying to climb back to her feet. She had been a miserable failure so far, and she knew it. While Silas was sailing around the world, exploring hidden caches and fearlessly plunging into the void, she had been tossed about like a rag doll, each other world she visited more dangerous and impossible for her to master. Jacqueline knew that if she didn’t do better, it would be impossible to stop the waters from parting and doom from swallowing them all. She sat in a café, speaking to kindly old man about her troubles and readying herself to journey to one last forgotten world. She pledged to finally close the rift in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, Silas and Irina lay together in bed, trying to let whispered secrets and sweaty, distracted sex take their minds away from the doom that was fast approaching. But mostly, they just sat together, swaying on the water, counting the minutes until Mother Hydra was back for more. [No actions from either].
Jacqueline entered the Gate and found herself back in Yuggoth. The last time she had come here, the brains had flooded her mind with apocalyptic fantasies. This time, Jacqueline was determined for it to be different. She discovered a waxen mask and artificial hands. Her mind reeled as she realized that the old man she had spoken to earlier was actually some terrible creature disguised as a human. She felt her mind slipping, and Jacqueline bit down hard on her lip. Not again! She wouldn’t let herself fall into despair again. She steaded her nerves and realized now that the old man’s words carried a secondary meaning. She attempted to decrypt what he said, and discovered the man’s implied instructions. She managed to find a way to seal the Gate and return home. It comforted Jacqueline on one level to know that there were some alien creatures whose intentions were not horrific, and who were willing to help if only they could be understood. Then again, what did the old man want? [Other World Encounter, pass will test, pass lore test, seal Gate].
Silas, meanwhile found his ship entering a terrible whirlpool. Mother Hydra had stirred the seas, trying to swallow up her attackers and end things once and for all. Ending things once and for all was exactly what Silas had in mind too. Too long had he been stalking this creature. If he had failed to find The White Ship in time to stop its cataclysmic journey because he had been hunting for the Sword of Y’ha-Talla and fighting this horrible creature, the least he could do was make his efforts count. When he saw Mother Hydra rear her horrible head, he was no longer frightened of her. Instead he thought of the thing that coupled with her beneath the waves. His father. It made him furious, and spurred on by a well-aimed shot by Irina, Silas leaped at Mother Hydra, swinging the Sword of Y’ha-Talla. His aim was true this time, because with a single cleave, he lopped her head off. Silas heard a horrible gurgling sound, a shriek coming from deep below, and then the waters grew less choppy and all was quiet. [no sanity loss, 2 damage kills Mother Hydra (no health loss due to fishing net/damage reduced from 3 to 2), solves Queen of the Deep Ones mystery at turn’s end; Silas opts out of another encounter].
The investigators had finally had some success, but success counted for little when facing something as horrific and awe-inspiring as Great Cthulu, the greatest of all ancient things lurking at the corners of reality. He would have swift revenge on the fools who tried to seal him away and killed his servants. The stars shifted in the sky, a rift in the fabric of reality burst loose at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, and a lumbering, monstrous Gug began slaughtering the dervishes and tourists standing nearby. Jacqueline learned that, almost as if a reward for her efforts, someone in Buenos Aires had information on Cthulu. Best of all, The White Ship had yet to sail. But the forces of evil never slept and never stopped working towards their ultimate goal. She felt time had grown shorter. The ancient beings that lurked on the edge of human consciousness were growing at an alarming rate. Cthulu was not finished yet. [Evil Never Sleeps Mythos: omen shifts to blue, gate burst/Gug in Istanbul instead of monster surge, clue in Buenos Aires, another Mythos card drawn]. Before the very eyes of Jacqueline and Silas, the stars shifted again in the night sky. Constellations broke apart and reformed, shattering their previous predictions of the omens. When the stars shifted, the rift in Istanbul called to Cthulu. The good news for the investigators was that the Serpent People did not draw Jacqueline into the jungles, the Dark Young did not again call for the Madness from the Sea, and Cthulu had already made the waters of the Bermuda Triangle choppy and so did nothing else. The bad news was that reality began to fracture, and that the White Ship set sail. The dreamer was ready to depart this world of madness and death, and sail far away into a place no other man could follow. When the White Ship sailed, it ruptured the walls guarding the world from the other realms, and soon all over the world there were gateways to paths beyond. The gate in Buenos Aires reopened and, as if to add insult to injury after undoing all of Jacqueline’s hard work, a deathly wraith emerged and cast its wailing curse upon her. Near the Trevi Fountain another portal opened, and a monstrous Shoggoth emerged in the streets of Rome. In London the portal splintered across Baker Street, and a dead skeleton began prowling the misty alleys. The gate in Tokyo saw another kind of walking dead, a zombie, shuffle loose onto the streets. In Shanghai a winged beast, a devilish nightgaunt, swooped the skies, terrifying all who looked upon it. The final gate that opened was in San Francisco, and a ghoul came from the bowels of some decrepit other realm to infest the streets with the pestilence of death. Jacqueline found a small ray of hope when the curse the wraith had placed on her lifted almost instantly. She also managed to hide from local authorities who were coming to collect on her debt. Because all of the gates had just spawned, Cthulu grew closer still to waking, readying himself for the end of things. Then it got even worse. The stars flittered in a counterintuitive, counterclockwise way, and the newly spawned gates in Buenos Aires, London, and Tokyo called for the Madness from the Sea to arise and end everything. [Perplexing Stars Mythos: omen shifts to green/doom advances from 9 to 8, Fractured Reality loses a token (4 to 3), The White Ship loses its last token and spawns all gates (Buenos Aires/Wraith that curses Jacqueline, Rome/Shoggoth, London/Skeleton, Tokyo/Zombie, Shanghai/Nightgaunt, San Francisco/Ghoul), Jacqueline overcomes curse/successfully hides from local authorities and loses her debt, no more gates available so doom advances by 1 (8 to 7), omen shifts back to blue/doom advances from 7 to 4].
All around the world, Cthulu’s worshippers and those sensitive to his dreams had been plagued by madness. Everyone sensed the tectonic shift that had occurred, the crumbling of hope for Jacqueline and Silas to do anything about the Madness from the Sea. All the cultists and all their secrets rushed to the watery places of the world, eager to witness the Ancient One’s return. The lead in Alaska rushed out to the ruins of Mu, the man in the Amazon rushed to the Bermuda Triangle, the lead in Russia moved north to the Arctic Circle, and the man in Buenos Aires sailed southeast to the southern Atlantic. The investigators would now need to chase down these mad prophets, and they were running very short on time. [The Stars are Right! Mystery activated; space 1 clue goes to space 2, Amazon clue goes to space 8, space 16 clue goes to space 13, Buenos Aires clue goes to space 12].
Jacqueline and Silas had both witnessed the horrors of the previous night. They both knew well from their time in Innsmouth what long odds they had always faced confronting the darkness, and now they both realized it was almost hopeless. Still, they had to fight on. Jacqueline bought a ship ticket in case she would need it later and then sailed south, finally putting Buenos Aires behind her and trying to track down the lead that had fled the city. [Buy ship ticket, travel to space 12]. Silas, meanwhile, knew that the madman from the Amazon had headed his way. For a man of action, it was horrible to have spent days and days sitting in the Bermuda Triangle, as if he really was stuck there, waiting. He had waited on Mother Hydra, and he waited now on the cultists. Cthulu had poisoned these waters so it was best to stay put. Irina was growing scared, but Silas was not sympathetic any longer. He was brooding, feeling the call of his alien blood, and he wondered how long he could hold out. [Rest (8 health/3 sanity), no other action].
When Jacqueline reached a strange little island in the southern Atlantic, she docked her ship and went ashore. To her horror, Cthulu’s gaze fell upon the island, but because it had previously been undiscovered, his malevolent intentions did not cause the water to thrash Jacqueline about. Instead, she managed to search the caverns on the island and find stone tablets telling the story of R’lyeh. Jacqueline now knew that it was in that ancient, Cyclopean city where everything would end. Jacqueline put her newfound knowledge towards the future. [Sea Research Encounter: No Eldritch token on space 12 so no loss of improvement, passes observation test and gains the clue. Spends it on The Stars are Right! mystery].
Silas, meanwhile, found the man from the Amazon, a sailor who told him about a new island that had started to emerge in the South Pacific. The realization that Cthulu’s home was rising brought Cthulu himself closer to emerging. Silas found the story horrifyingly fascinating, but as he continued, the tale grew more difficult to listen to. Silas clamped down on his teeth and forced himself to continue listening, letting horrible thoughts of Cthulu and his future destiny as one of the deep ones flood his mind. The tale, as terrible as it was, proved useful to his investigations, and he gained the clue he needed. Between Jacqueline’s realization of what R’lyeh was and Silas’s knowledge of where to find it, they would soon be ready to journey to the final place of battle. [Doom advances 4 to 3, Silas spends 2 sanity (8 health/1 sanity) to get the clue, which he spends on The Stars are Right! Mystery solved at the end of the turn].
The stars shifted in the sky, and the eerie green light rising out of San Francisco and Istanbul called for the Madness from the Sea to arise. The Zombie in Tokyo had infected dozens of people, and it became a Zombie Horde. The investigators caught a huge break when the evil surging out of the Dark Young failed to wake Cthulu. Jacqueline found that the little island that she had been standing on had started to thrash violently, and she knew that this corner of the world was now under Cthulu’s dominion. Then, because there were no other gates that could open, the dark energies called to Cthulu, and he woke. Finally, the Madness from the Sea was awake again. At last, the time had come, the deep ones had broken the elder sign that kept their master asleep. Cthulu began to rise again, and madness would soon fill the dreams of every living thing. Jacqueline and Silas woke with a towel around some ice and applied it to their injuries, hoping to reduce the swelling. They made a mental list of all the sacrifices that they’d had to make and those that they’d asked of others. All that terrible loss and they couldn’t for the life of them think of any good that had been accomplished. Now with Cthulu awake and rising, everything seemed hopeless. The whirlpool in the Bermuda Triangle began to churn again, and Silas realized with a horrifying jolt that something about Cthulu’s reawakening was bringing Mother Hydra back to life. Then, the voice of his mother entered his mind. Jacqueline spent the last bit of insight into the horrors from the depths she had, giving Silas the chant he needed to silence the swirling malignancy and keep Mother Hydra down. It was a small victory, though, given that R’lyeh and Cthulu both rose from the sea now. [All for Nothing Mythos: omen shifts to green/doom advances 3 to 1, zombie becomes zombie horde, Cthulu puts Eldritch token on space 12, -1 token on Fractured Reality rumor (2 left), no gate left to spawn so doom advances 1 to 0, Cthulu wakes up and will emerge once the third mystery is solved. Jacqueline spends her clue to stop All for Nothing from retriggering Queen of the Deep Ones mystery].
The final battle was set. Jacqueline and Silas would have to travel to the South Pacific, and confront not just the mysteries of the ancient city but the wrath of its horrible master. Eons ago, the city of R’lyeh was plunged to the bottom of the ocean by some forgotten disaster. It had remained trapped there, waiting for the right time to resurface. Now, as dreams of madness flooded the minds of all things and Cthulu was soon to plunge the world into darkness, that moment had finally arrived. [R’lyeh Risen mystery activated]. Jacqueline closed her eyes and allowed herself a final moment of calm before she sailed to R’lyeh. [Rest (3 health/7 sanity), travel with ship ticket from 12 to R’lyeh/space 3]. Silas meanwhile, didn’t have the luxury of resting. He was too anxious and bedraggled, the evil whispers of Cthulu slamming around in his skull. Irina tried to hold and comfort him, or even to focus him on the task at hand, but nothing worked. Silas was like a man possessed. He sailed to Panama and then bought a ticket. Then, he sailed south, first to Buenos Aires and then to R’lyeh. He and Jacqueline were both there, ready to make one last, feeble stand against Great Cthulu. [Silas Action, sail to Panama/space 7 then buy a ticket. For second action, travel via ticket from 7 to R’lyeh/Space 3].
Jacqueline made her way through the bizarre green landscape, marveling at the non-Euclidean architecture and the swirling miasma of evil all around her. Her eyes noticed large tablets of black stone towering above her, each engraved with an ancient messaged, written in R’lyehian, the blasphemous language of the star spawn. Jacqueline tried to observe the words, but although they reminded her of something awful, something that seemed to speak to that terrible night where she was taken to sea by Marsh, she couldn’t make out the words. As she looked at the tablets, a powerful presence invaded her mind. She recognized the presence as Father Dagon, the father of Silas, the thing that had ruined her life and driven her towards darkness. Dagon invaded her once more, flooding her soul with corruption. Jacqueline sank to her knees, shrieking in agony, the stain of the depths clinging to her and her mind jangling with horrible memories, once again vivid, of the corruption that had been a part of her ever since Innsmouth. [R’lyeh Risen encounter: fail lore test, lose 2 sanity/become cursed by Dagon (3 health/5 sanity)].
Silas, meanwhile, saw enormous silhouettes of flying creatures descending from the clouds. The star spawn had arrived! The gigantic monsters attacked with blood-chilling ferocity. But Silas and Irina were strong, and they managed to push back against the monstrous creatures and survive the onslaught. Irina was wounded, though, and they hid themselves in a small cavern. They waited there for a reprieve, listening to the terrible alien shrieks of the creatures. Irina shuddered and started to lose her mind, but Silas stayed focused on the task at hand. He had heard these shrieks in his own skull almost every day of his life, and he wasn’t going to let the horror stop him, not this close to the end. The shrieks eventually relented, and Silas had managed to stop the madness of R’lyeh from destroying him or his mother. [R’lyeh Risen encounter, passes strength and will tests, puts Eldritch token on the mystery and solves it at the end of the turn].
The horrible magical energies of the island threatened to destroy what little sanity remained. The stars shifted in the sky, and their horrible flashing and the terrors created by the Zombie Horde in Tokyo fuled Cthulu’s powerful madness. A powerful blast of insanity smashed against the investigators. For Jacqueline, she had just enough mental strength to avoid becoming completely obliterated by the darkness. Her mind was now twitchy and feeble, a shell of its former self, but she blinked and barely endured. Silas, on the other hand, finally heard The Call of Cthulu. He had long dreamed of the dark comfort of the ocean’s depths, and something had beckoned him to the water. Finally, the human side of him lost out to the darkness of Father Dagon and Great Cthulu. Silas’ body began to change horribly into a fish-like deep one, and he was no longer a man at all. Irina screamed in terror as what was once Silas brutally attacked her, slashing her to pieces. Then the Silas deep one stared with malice at the frail woman Jacqueline that had once been a part of it. Jacqueline was wailing, crying horrible tears. Her son was gone, gone forever, taken from her by the Madness from the Sea. Silas leaped into the water and was gone forever. Jacqueline felt the spells she was carrying with her burning in her purse, and she knew that the arcane energies would destroy her unless she threw them away. She tossed her purse aside and stared at the water, her mind reeling as she imagined Silas swimming into the depths and glorying forever in the rise of Cthulu. [Treacherous Magic Mythos: omen shifts to blue/3 sanity placed on Cthulu sheet, Dark Young doesn’t but Zombie Horde does add one more madness, Nightgaunt irrelevantly flies to Cape Town/space 15 to chase after heroes, Cthulu does 4 sanity damage to the heroes (Jacqueline has 3 health/1 sanity, Silas 8 health/0 sanity and goes crazy/becomes a Deep One), one more token irrelevantly lost from Fractured Reality Rumor (1 left), Jacqueline discards spells not to go insane].
With all three mysteries solved, Great Cthulu finally surfaced from the briny depths. His skin was translucent green, his eyes burned crimson red, and the tentacles that flailed from his face each contained the seeds of a million nightmares. There was no rest for Jacqueline, not staring at such a creature. She could do nothing now. She could not run, could not rest, could not do anything but stare in fascinated terror at the Madness from the Sea. When Great Cthulu finally turned his attention to the insignificant speck that was Jacqueline Fine, the curse of Father Dagon and the frailty of her mind made her an easy target. The last sanity of her mind easily slipped away, and as her once strong resolve bubbled into incomprehensible mewling, The Ancient One destroyed her.
Great Cthulu had arisen, madness swept the Earth, and all was lost.
Very good as usual. Thank you for your amazing work i really enjoy it!
Astonishingly vivid writeup !
Ia Ia !!
Amazing write up. Can't you do one more? We haven't seen Yig Yet!
Gunter Van Damme
Another great story. Proves again you can write great stories. Thanks for posting this ! Actually hope to read more of these in the future.