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The Spider Man
Author: Steve Hatherley
System: Call of Cthulhu
A Call of Cthulhu Tale of Terror.
The Spider Man
He is their least favourite patient. Everybody, even
arachnophiles, find the presence of so many spiders disturbing. They
are everywhere in the barren room: on the floor, walls and ceiling.
They infest his bed, scamper across his clothes, and stalk through
They are ignored by the patient, known to the staff of the
Seaview Home for the Insane as 'the spider-man'. He sits on his chair,
head cocked to one side, staring blankly at nothing. He does not
speak and needs to be hand-fed, not a popular task among the staff.
The spiders have defeated all attempts to shift them. Steely
nerved cleaners used to periodically clean the room, but each time
they were back within a week. Now they just don't bother. Besides, the
spider-man does not seem to mind.
1 Blown off course by a severe storm, the crew of a capsized
tramp steamer found themselves cast on a pacific island inhabited by
natives belonging to a spider cult.
In the months that followed, those that weren't killed lost
their sanity. Eventually, the cult elected one of the crew to godhood,
sacred for the rest of eternity. They cast him adrift in the lifeboat
to take the word to the masses, quite unaware that his mind was
The man was picked up by a warship, pronounced insane, and
committed to Seaview. There he has attracted the attention of the
local spider population. He is their god, and they like being around
2 The spider-man is host to the Children of Atlach-Nacha, huge
spiders with horrible faces. While exploring the Dreamlands he
stumbled across Atlach-Nacha and her web. Atlach-Nacha welcomed the
interruption, happily taking the opportunity to inject her young into
a suitable host.
He awoke in screaming terror. If it was only a dream, why did
he hurt so? Then he saw the neat puncture marks in his abdomen, and
felt their presence. It shattered his mind.
Now the spiders are waiting for the joyous day when Atlach-
Nacha's brood will hatch from his rich flesh. For beneath the spider-
man's tender skin they slowly mature, soon to hatch.
3 The spiders are all one species. The spider-man has been
cross-breeding them. His listless, blank periods are interspersed with
activity when he is permitted to go into the gardens and catch spiders
for his room. There he is breeding a new species.
The spider-man was once a fine entomologist, fascinated by
socially organised insects and puzzled over the lack of such order in
spiders. The only survivor from an expedition to Gharne that went
tragically wrong, he is now conducting his own experiments and trying
to create a new arachnoid order.
Copyright (c) 1990 Steve Hatherley