|Display a Printer Friendly Version|
Author: Jon Rowe
System: Call of Cthulhu
Someone close to the investigators is succumbing to a horrific disease. Symptoms include unpredictable attacks of agony; loathsome swellings, horrible alterations in skin texture and bone structure, and foul excrescences. Conventional doctors are mystified and alternative therapies are futile - because the sufferer is turning into a ghoul.
Someone close to the investigators is
succumbing to a horrific disease. Symptoms include unpredictable attacks of agony;
loathsome swellings, horrible alterations in skin texture and bone structure, and foul
excrescences. Conventional doctors are mystified and alternative therapies are futile -
because the sufferer is turning into a ghoul.
Oddly, a group of stalkers seem interested in the invalid,
following him everywhere and breaking into the offices of some of his doctors to steal
case-notes. If observed, they too are suffering from a disfiguring disease.
As the character becomes increasingly debilitated, his
friends (the investigators) discover Dr Ladislavs Sanatorium. Ladislav is a gaunt
cadaver of a man who greets his new patient with strange excitement. The patient has a
private dorm with every luxury during his stay but the doctor will not discuss his radical
therapy and is very anxious for his friends to leave. These characters notice a larger
wing of the Sanatorium which more closely resembles a high-security prison (yes, Ladislav
explains, the Sanatorium was once a gaol last century). Orderlies leaving the Old Wing
have blood on their uniforms.
And that is the last they hear of their friend. Mail
isnt answered nor are calls returned. The stalkers ransack the sick characters
old residence and will be seen lurking near the Sanatorium. If the investigators return to
the Sanatorium, Dr Ladislav, looking disturbingly decayed, has no records of the
patients admission and the luxury dorm is occupied by an elderly man with
1 Ladislav heads a necrophagic
ghoul-cult, and the Old Wings cellars access nearby ghoul warrens. Patients are
treated with foul transfusions and rituals until they transform fully; others are eaten.
All food served at the Sanatorium is human flesh, either that of patients (their
extremities surgically removed over a period of time to grace the Doctors table) or
from corpses from the old gaol cemetery.
The stalkers are a group of patients who escaped
through the ghouls tunnels: half-demented and hideous, they are desperate to rescue
fellow-sufferers from the Doctor, but are in terror of regular humans and
ghouls alike. The sick character is in the last stages of transformation, but may be saved
in the nick of time. A long-term cure is still needed...
2 Ladislav is a Mythos scholar
dedicated to finding a cure for ghoul-ishness. His treatment is exceptionally
brutal, involving electrocution, organ transplant with hallucinogens instead of
anaesthetic and physical purgings. Obviously, he would be incarcerated if his therapeutic
methods were known. The stalkers are true ghouls, looking to liberate their
half-changed brethren from the good doctors clutches. They are hideous, but oddly
sympathetic - compared to Ladislav, anyway. The ghouls would like to destroy the
Sanatorium and rescue the inmates, but aren't sure how.
3 Ladislav is himself becoming a
ghoul. His treatments are all attempts to stave off his own inevitable transformation: he
used to transplant fully-human organs into himself, but his ghoulish body has started
rejecting them. Now he needs partial-ghouls for transplant subjects, victims less far gone
than himself. The stalkers are Ladislavs former-patients, too far gone
into ghoul-ishness to be useful transplant subjects (though they bear the amputations of
earlier surgeries). Instead, they now locate fresh victims for the Doctor in the (futile)
hope that, once he is cured, he will in turn cure them. Theyre a pitiful crew, but
may be turned against the one who did this to them by a investigator sensitive to their
Copyright (c) Jon Rowe1999