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Incriminating Letter, The
Author: Robert Horowitz
System: Call of Cthulhu
A modern Cthulhu adventure where the investigators are asked to look into an old medical scandal which ultimately leads them to current horrors.
The Incriminating Letter Call of Cthulhu Robert Horowitz email@example.com
Legal Information This adventure may be freely distributed for personal use provided that it is not modified and no fee above the normal cost of distribution is charged for it. Call of Cthulhu is Chaosium Inc's registered trademark for their game of horror and wonder in the worlds of HP Lovecraft. For more information, contact Chaosium Inc., 900 Murmansk Street Suite 5 Oakland, CA 94607. Visit Chaosium's web page at www.chaosium.com/cthulhu/. The people and events described in this scenario are fictional and bear no relationship with individuals living or dead and do not represent the author's personal views. Thanks to Dr. Michael LaBossiere and James Marston for encouragement.
In this adventure, the investigators will be made aware of an old scandal which will ultimately lead them to modern day horrors. This adventure is set in the present but with modification could be set at any point during or after the inciting events. This adventure will lead the adventurers to Mexico, New York, and ultimately to the wilds of Northern Maine. This scenario would be an excellent choice for a party of investigators with limited experience.
Getting the Investigators Involved
If one of the investigators has a medical or academic biology background, he could have been a recipient of the award (described later) and have a personal stake in finding the truth. A previous investigation may have produced sample(s) of great research interest which could have impressed someone at the society with their skills. The society contact could be an old classmate of one of the investigators who is aware of the investigator's focus on research "in the field". Alternatively, one of the investigators could be a distant relative of Dr. Saunders and may have an interest in trying to clear his name. Since an established research organization would probably not want to be associated with superstitious kooks. The contact from the society should either be unaware of any of the investigator's prior misadventures with the mysterious, have some mythos knowledge, and/or have good reason to trust the investigator's ability to handle things discreetly. Although Dr. Howe will not be willing to accompany the party, she would willing to assist in research if requested. Her mastery of library skills(medical only) and public health could be useful for this adventure.
Dr. Thornton (Sparky) Saunders was a brilliant scientist and a certified genius. His life would certainly have turned out much differently were it not for two things. He had an unshakable belief that he could conquer death through scientific advancement which eventually turned into an obsession. The other was a chance meeting with a senior pathologist by the name of Dr. Koval Ernst early in his career. Dr. Ernst was a pathologist in the city of New York. Dr. Ernst was fascinated with death as well but in a different way. Dr. Ernst was a sorcerer of minor ability with connections to the ghouls of New York City. Through this connection, he came by a container of shoggoth protoplasm. Having paternal feelings for the promising young doctor and being utterly insane, Dr. Ernst gave Dr. Saunders the shoggoth material for further study. Ernst told him it came from Antarctica and had amazing regenerative powers which were both true. Although it is unclear if he knew more than that, he certainly knew the material was of no use to himself at the moment and was exceedingly dangerous.
Saunders became obsessed with the material. He was convinced that study of this material would allow him to ultimately conquer death. He experimented with extensively in the laboratory. At the time of the scandal, he was working on a serum containing this material. Dr. Saunders, in the guise of giving cholera vaccinations, had administered his serum to 11 Mexicans. Eight of these will have resulted in the immediate transformation of the subject into a proto-shoggoth (see below). Dr. Saunders being aware of the proto-shoggoth's sensitivity to certain wavelengths of light based upon his experiments with lab animals was prepared to deal with them, leaving no evidence at the scene. They will be reported as missing without a trace or presumed to have moved on. Dr. Saunders being a generally careful man will only choose locals of limited means with few family close by. The other three will show no immediate signs of change after the injection. Saunders will be sure to check and be sure they exhibit no unusual healing powers before letting them go. He is not homocidal by nature and since they believe they only received a vaccination, he will release them. At this point in his career, Saunders is at his intellectual height and keeps no written records regarding his experiments. When he blunders, writing the note described below, he will stop experimenting on humans for the time being. He will return home, resume his more mundane research, and accomplish great things as described below.
Unfortunately, being a compulsion, he will eventually return to his old studies pushed by fear of his own approaching mortality. He will be diagnosed with lung cancer himself. He will give up his other investigations and his academic appointments, move to an isolated part of Maine, and carry on his research using himself as a subject. These experiments and his eroding sanity will have their impact on his intellect forcing him to maintain the notes which may be found later by the investigators. His final experiment will have some degree of success, if it can be called that. After his burial, he will transform into a proto-shoggoth (see below). The mindless protoplasm which he has become will be quite content to remain underground absorbing the errant insect, earthworm, or nearby corpse as the need suits it. Whether it neared the surface once and felt the sting of the sun or has some dim memory from the good doctor, it has remained underground undetected for all these years.
One of the investigators will be contacted by , Dr. Clara Howe, an administrator of the prestigious American Association for Scientific Research (AASR). She will request that the investigators assist in an inquiry. It has been brought to the society's attention that an award which has been presented for the last 21 years, named after the late Dr. Thornton (Sparky) Saunders, has created a significant controversy. The Saunders Award has been given each year to a young researcher (no greater than 5 years since completion of his graduate work) who shows great promise in the field of microbiology. This award has been supported by an anonymous benefactor who when it was initiated requested that the award be named in memory of Dr. Saunders. The benefactor is now aware of the controversy and has agreed to a change in the name of the award if the society believes this is necessary but only after a thorough investigation. Dr. Howe will not be willing to divulge the name of the benefactor but will relate the following story. While on a humanitarian mission to Mexico in 1931 for the Carnegie Institute, Dr. Saunders wrote a confidential letter to a colleague in New York which read "Dear Dr. ...., Mexicans are no doubt the most dirty, thieving, lazy, and degenerate race of men to inhabit this planet. Rather than public health, they need a meteor or some other calamity to wholly exterminate the population. I have done my best to further this process by killing eight and poisoning several more." This letter was found by a laboratory assistant and ultimately copies of the letter reached the administrators in charge of the Carnegie Institute, the newspapers, the Mexican government, the League of Nations, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Vatican. Dr. Saunders claimed that, on the night he had written this letter, he had left a party drunk only to find that his car had been stolen (true). The letter had been written in a drunken rage (true) and was meant only as a joke (untrue). A full investigation ensued and neither the Carnegie Institute nor the Mexican government could find evidence of any wrongdoing. Dr. Saunders returned home to New York and went on to lead an illustrious career with successful advances in the fields of microbiology, parasitology, and cancer research before his death. Because of Dr. Saunders' many accomplishments over the decades and the old scandal long having been forgotten, the young investigators award was named for him. The society has been petitioned by several Mexican-American physicians as well as by the Mexican government to remove Dr. Saunders name from the award because of the racist views expressed in the aforementioned letter.
Dr. Howe will offer them $5,000 and expenses to investigate this matter for the society. If the investigators do not agree, the keeper should feel free to make the investigators aware of some particularly nasty events occurring in or around a graveyard in Northern Maine to further encourage them.
There are many ways that the investigators may choose to proceed with their investigation. One difficulty the investigators will have to overcome is an overabundance of information. Dr. Saunders was a famous scientist and considered by many to be a pioneer in several fields of biologic science. There will be a lot of references to him and his work over the course of his lifetime. For instance, he served in World War II in the Biologic Warfare Division of the Army Medical Corps, his research led to the develop of the first clinical useful medications for the treatment of fungal infections, and his theories associating the development of cancer and infection were considered ahead of their time. Dr. Saunders' obituary can be found in any library. It will fail to mention the incriminating letter or the scandal surrounding it but will describe his many accomplishments. It will also state that he retired from his position at the Carnegie Institute in New York City in 1978. He retired to his camp in Oslo, Maine where he ultimately died of lung cancer on October 3rd, 1988. This information could also be introduced through an interview with a student at the Carnegie Institute or relative. Friends or relatives would likely be put off or defensive by any mention of the letter or the scandal. It will be up to the keeper how long he will make the investigators wade through interesting but unhelpful information as well as whether any red herrings will be introduced. If the investigators lose their focus, the Keeper could have the industrious Dr. Howe provide them with some clue to put them back on track.
A Time magazine article regarding the scandal will promote Dr. Saunders contention that the letter was written as a joke. It will picture the smiling doctor holding the letter in question with the caption reading, "Self-sacrificing Physician and his Parody". The article will imply that the ingratitude of the Mexican government has led to his joke being blown out of proportion. The copy of the letter included in the article will leave out the statement "and poisoning several more". The positive spin was accomplished through the interventions of the Carnegie's, an industrialist family, used to dealing with scandals in the media. Ironically, Dr. Saunders only other appearance in Time will be approximately 30 years later on the cover with the caption reading "Fungus Fighting Physicians".
Dr. Koval Ernst
The copy of the letter given to the investigators has the addressee blackened out. If the investigators ask Dr. Howe or research this question successfully themselves, they will be directed to Hype and Hysteria: Modern Medical Debacles by Dr. John Thompkins which can be found in any major library. A chapter in this book relates the story of Dr. Saunders letter including the hysteria that followed the discovery of this letter implying murders and poisonings. The letter is printed in its entirety including the name of the intended recipient, Dr. Koval Ernst. Ernst is described as a New York City pathologist who was a mentor to Saunders. It also states that Ernst ultimately went insane and may have been a negative influence on the young and impressionable Saunders. It can also provide the investigators with the names of the towns in Mexico where the vaccinations took place. Ernst was a competent and rather mundane senior pathologist in the 1930's with a fascination with death until he came across a copy of The Secrets of the Graveyard (see below). This text allowed him to contact the Ghouls. Initially, he benefitted from the relationship in terms of wealth (burial jewelry) and exotic items such as the vial of shoggoth protoplasm. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with such relationships, he eventually needed to hold up his end of the bargain. This involved the theft bodies and body parts from the morgue, strange graveyard rituals, and the gradual erosion of his sanity.
Further research by the investigators could produce such information as the fact that his wife left him with their teenage daughter, Nadia, and changed their family name to Earnest. Records from the Department of Health regarding his dismissal for "improprieties". Police records regarding his eventual arrest while dancing naked in a graveyard with his body painted with blood. His committal to an asylum and ultimate death therein. If they can successfully locate Nadia Earnest in her nursing home, she will still have her faculties but will be able to offer little information regarding her father or Dr. Saunders. If the investigators seem honest, she will offer them her only legacy from her father The Secrets of The Graveyard which she has never read. She will warn them that she believes this book was somehow responsible for her father's descent into madness but could never bring herself to destroy it.
The Carnegie Institute
The Carnegie Institute is still a thriving center of academic research in New York City specializing in the biologic sciences. The institute will be cooperative in providing information regarding the humanitarian mission of 1931 providing the investigators inform them of their connection with the AASR. They will require confirmation of their sponsorship by Dr. Howe who will gladly give it. They can learn the names of those connected with the mission and the names of the towns that had been visited before it ended. They can also review the details of the investigation afterwards which failed to identify wrongdoing. If they request it, they could interview researchers who studied under Dr. Saunders. They will be reluctant to talk if they are aware that the scandal is being investigated. If the investigators can convince someone to open up using their communication skills, they will find out that Dr. Saunders as he neared retirement became less sharp and somewhat paranoid. He retired to a small town in Maine where he planned to carry on his research alone. No one has any further information regarding the results of this research or the old scandal.
The investigators will likely travel to Mexico at some point having discovered the names of the towns from Modern Debacles or from the Carnegie Institute. The investigators will likely fly into Mexico City where the mission had made its headquarters. The police and government officials will be happy to assist the investigators but will have little to add to the public record. There were no documented murders or abductions which could be linked to the mission's activities. Several recipients of the vaccinations were interviewed and appeared fit. The missions records were reviewed and appeared to accurately reflect their activities. The building which the mission had used as headquarters no longer exists. The three villages visited by the mission were Texapal, Texacora del Meurte, and Chicona which are all within a 1-3 hour drive north to northeast of Mexico City. All three villages have grown in size but only Texapal and Texacora del Meurte could be called cities at this point. If the investigators choose to investigate the villages, they will find nothing of note in Texapal. The following information can be found in the other two locations, assuming one of the investigators speaks Spanish or they have hired an interpreter.
In Texacora del Muerte, if the investigators ask about the mission, they will be directed to Maria Gonzalez. She is currently a spry 80 years old and received a cholera vaccination when she was 8 years old. She recalls Dr. Saunders as a kind young man. She has arthritis but considers herself otherwise healthy which she is because she received a routine cholera vaccination. Any examinations by the investigators will reveal a normal, healthy 80 year old Hispanic woman.
In Chicona, if the investigators ask questions regarding the mission, they will eventually be approached by Juanita Cortes. Although she is only 65 years old and was not yet born at the time of the mission, she can relate this tale told to her by her Aunt Maya. According to her aunt, her cousin Carlos Ortiz, became ill and died as a result of a "vaccination" he received. Carlos was a 19 year old drifter who after being orphaned at an early age spent most of his youth in the care of his Aunt Maya. As soon as he was old enough, he ran away from home finding work where he could. He received a vaccination from a doctor in 1931 while passing through Chicona. Prior to this he had always been in good health, but several months after the vaccination he developed an illness with sores and growths on his face, arms, and legs. Upon developing this illness, he repented his wild ways and returned to Aunt Maya and to the church. Aunt Maya took him to a big expert in Mexico City but no one could figure out what was wrong with him and no one believed that his ailment resulted from the vaccination. He got sicker and sicker until one day while sitting in the town square, he spontaneously burst into flame and died. The police called it suicide but he had become a God-fearing Christian and would never have committed such a sin.
Research will reveal that the fantastic events described by Juanita Cortes are supported by an article in the Mexico City newspaper, El Mundo. A brief article from February 23rd, 1932 describes what appeared to be a case of suicide in which a 20 year old man suffering from a mysterious chronic illness appeared to have killed himself by setting himself on fire in the town plaza. One witness claimed that the man did not set himself on fire but rather began to writhe, grow, then spontaneously combusted. The police believe that a flammable substance was clearly involved given the rapidity of the fire and the completeness of the destruction of the body. Two other reports of spontaneous combustion can found within one year of this episode in the Mexico City area. Anyone with knowledge of population statistics or public health, such as Dr. Howe, could tell the investigators that this occurrence rate is higher than would be expected by sheer chance.
Further research will identify an article from the November 14th, 1934 issue of Case Reportes Medicales. A Mexico City Dermatologist at the Universidad of Mexico City describes the case of an otherwise healthy 20 year old man C.O. who developed skin lesions in sun exposed areas of the skin resembling those of Xeroderma Pigmentosum. Xeroderma Pigmentosum is a congenital disease resulting in a lack of skin pigment. This results in severe burns and skin cancers after exposure to any degree of sunlight. It is rare for children with this disease to survive past puberty. Acquired cases of this illness have not been previously reported. The patient relates the development of this skin condition several months after receiving a cholera vaccination. Reports of skin problems of this type have not been reported after vaccinations and this was probably an unrelated event. If any of the investigators have medical knowledge, ask Dr. Howe, or look in any modern medical textbook, they will discover Xeroderma Pigmentosum to be a congenital absence of the gene which repairs the DNA from the type of damage caused by ultraviolet light.
Based on the obituary and/or on interviews at the institute, the investigators should ultimately make their way to Oslo, Maine. Oslo is a small town in Northern Maine. The main industry of Oslo is tourism. Visitors come to Oslo for the quiet, foliage, hunting, or fishing. The few permanent residents primarily represent innkeepers, shopkeepers, and artists. If the investigators come with questions about the doctor, they will be directed to Sheriff Charlie Daigle. Sheriff Daigle will most likely be found in the one room police station in the center of town while his two deputies are on patrol. He is a burly 62 year old man who has spent his entire life in Northern Main and the last 28 years as Sheriff of Oslo. If the investigators are honest, he will be happy to answer their questions. If they try to deceive or fast talk him, he is likely to see right through it and become uncooperative.
The sheriff can tell them that Dr. Saunders came to Oslo in 1978. His family had owned a camp 3 miles north of town. The camp was not big enough for him so he had it torn down a new house built big enough for all of his scientific equipment. He kept mostly to himself but was pleasant enough and never broke the law to the sheriff's knowledge. The sheriff will tell them that his current big case involves some dogs and cats which have gone missing. He suspects there is a coyote in the area attacking pets out at night. If the investigators ask about Dr. Saunders, he will relate the following. Dr. Saunders was terrified of being buried alive. He asked the funeral home to hold his body for 3 days before and asked me to check the body personally before it was laid in the ground. If questioned about the laboratory, the sheriff will get a puzzled look and offer the following explanation. Dr. Saunders must have dismantled his laboratory before he died. The sheriff helped empty the Doctor's house after he died and did not find any trace of the equipment which had been delivered over the years. If asked, the sheriff will admit that he was never invited into the house nor saw the completed laboratory. If the investigators ask to see the doctor's house, the sheriff will contact the current occupants and offer to drive the investigators over.
The current occupants of the house are the Martins, a retired couple from Massachusetts. They will be happy to show the house to the investigators. It is a yellow two story colonial typical of New England new construction. There is an unfinished attic with a drop ladder which at present contains only spare bedding. There have been no major renovations to the house since the doctor lived there. They are aware of no strange noises, occurrences, or bumps in the night. They will not consent to having their home searched without just cause. If the investigators research the plans of the house, they will find that a basement included in the plans was not shown to them on their tour. If the Martins are presented with this information, they will agree to a more thorough search but will still insist that there be no damage to their home. Alternatively, sneaky investigators could try to break in and search. Sheriff Daigle will be quite unsympathetic if they are caught. Their success or failure should be based on the soundness of their plan, their skills, and the discretion of the Keeper. If the dining room table and rug are moved, a successful spot hidden roll will reveal a trap door to the basement. The basement laboratory contains equipment that would have been considered state of the art in the 1980's. A table contains a lab notebook, several cages containing some nondescript ash, a small battery powered lantern shaped device, and the flask of shoggoth protoplasm (described below). Someone with a scientific background reading the lab notebook will be realize that the doctor was working on a serum based on the protoplasm. It will be apparent that he believed the serum would make him immortal. The device on the table will be described as a ultra-violet generator and many of his studies focused on the effects of light on lab animals injected with the serum. An successful biology or idea roll will alert the reader to a definite decrease in the quality of the work over time. His last entry describes his attempt to use a newer untested serum on himself as he felt that the end of his life was approaching. The UV generator with a replacement lantern battery will produce a relatively harmless purple glow when switched on.
The investigators will eventually check out the town cemetery. The cemetery located behind the congregational church is quite large given the size of the town with tombstones dating back to the 1600's. The cemetery is the grand finale for a haunted walking tour that goes through the town every Friday night, weather permitting. The church has a caretaker who is also responsible for the cemetery. I would recommend using the caretaker character for a bit of comic relief. The caretaker should come across as old, grizzled, and cantankerous but harmless. If the investigators ask him about any strange occurrences, he should spin an elaborate yarn about ghosts, or witches, or ghost witches. At the opportune moment, he should go "Boo!" and laugh at the gullible investigators muttering denigrating remarks about tourists in general. Alternatively, he could tell an elaborate story about a hideous monster in the graveyard just close enough to the truth to make the investigators think he really knows something when he is only pulling their legs.
Tourists and the caretaker will make unnoticed digging in the graveyard during the day an impossibility. The sheriff will not take kindly to digging in the graveyard without cause. If he is shown the notebook, he will explain to the investigators that there is insufficient evidence to exhume the doctor's body but he would turn a blind eye if the investigators chose to do some digging on their own at night. In the newer part of the cemetery, the investigators will be able to find Dr. Saunders's grave. This area will seem rockier and uneven than the rest of the cemetery. A successful geology or idea roll will reveal that the pattern of small hills and valleys is not random and centers around the Saunders grave, the earth of which will seem a bit too loosely packed.
If the investigators dig at night, proto-shoggoth Dr. Saunders will attack. If they dig during the day, the investigators will need to go into its tunnels after him. Although the investigators should suffer significant terror in seeing the gelatinous creature with recognizable and constantly morphing features of Dr. Saunders as well as those of the missing pets, they should be in minimal physical danger presuming the have picked up on one of the many clues to the creature's Achille's heel. Within 2 to 3 rounds of exposure to ultra-violet light, the creatures should rapidly increase its rate of mutation, swell in size, then burst into flame disintegrating into a small pile of ash.
Conclusion The adventure should conclude with the investigator's destroying the creature Dr. Saunders has become. If they succeed, they should receive a sanity benefit of 1d8. Additional potential benefits include their $5000 fee (plus expenses if they have saved their receipts or used a credit card) from the scientific society, the book The Secrets of the Graveyard, the shoggoth protoplasm, and a portable ultraviolet generator which could prove useful should the investigators meet/create other proto-shoggoths or should they like an all over tan. If the investigators fail, Dr. Saunders should learn to expand his nighttime excursions from the graveyard and the investigators should lose 1d4 sanity when news reports alert them of their failure to protect the good citizens of Oslo.
Description: Proto-shoggoth are created when organic material comes into contact with shoggoth protoplasm. Proto-shoggoths are not particularly intelligent. Their instincts are to add organic material to themselves and to avoid light sources. The infection with shoggoth material gives the proto-shoggoth incredible mutational and regenerative powers. Though they maintain the general shape of the material from which they were created, they can create new appendages (arms, claws, legs, noses, ears, mouths, gills, wings, etc) in a somewhat random fashion and have a diffuse nervous system. If the proto-shoggoth was previously human and the viewers are familiar with his/heror his/her family's features, the keeper should be sure to alert the observers. If undisturbed, they could possibly live forever and are most likely to be found underground. They regenerate and are immune to impaling weapons, poison, suffocation, mind control and take 1/4 damage from all other sources with the following exceptions. Proto-shoggoths take full damage from acid and fire. All forms of ionizing radiation increase the proto-shoggoth's mutation rate leading to uncontrolled change and growth. Continued exposure will lead to the creature consuming itself. They are particularly sensitive to ultra-violet radiation and will avoid strong sunlight.
STR 15, CON 15, SIZ Variable (8), INT 4, POW 16, DEX, 16, HP SIZx2 (16) Damage Bonus +1D4, Move: 7 Weapons: Claw 35%, 1+1D6 Attacks per round divided amongst all opponents within 10 feet, Attacks do1D4+db, if 2 or more hits strike a single opponent during a single round the creature will match its STR against the victim's, if successful the proto-shoggoth with place the victim into one of its mouth and absorb them (Add victim's SIZ to creature and recalculate stats). Armor: None but immune to impaling weapons, poison, suffocation, mind control, 1/4 damage from all other weapons, full damage from fire or acid, regenerates 3 hit points per round Sanity Loss: 1/1D6 to see this being Numbers in parentheses represent starting values for the creature in this scenario.
Description: In combat, animated skeletons do not sustain damage in the normal manner. Instead, any blow striking one has a chance of destroying a skeleton equal to the damage inflicted X 4%. Animated skeletons are described more fully on pages 134-135 of the Call of Cthulhu manual. The skeletons produced by the Raising the Bones spell are somewhat different from the "normal" animated skeletons in the sense that they have a lower INT, but greater POW. These skeletons are animated by unnatural beings which infuse and animate the bones. These skeletons have a faint luminescence to them, due to the animating creature. There is also a faint, sickly green glow in their eye-sockets which marks the presence of the animators' sensory apparatus. When a skeleton is "killed," the animating creature oozes off as a thick, stinking, grey-green luminescent fluid. The fluid decays rapidly, leaving only the faintest trace of organic material. The animators are extremely light sensitive. If exposed to sunlight or other strong lights, their DEX is reduced to 50% of normal and they have extreme difficulty seeing. If they are exposed to sunlight or extremely strong lights or high temperatures for extended periods of time (more than an hour), they perish. Because of this, they avoid light and heat, preferring to remain in dark, damp and cool areas.
STR 3D6, CON N/A, SIZ 3D6, INT 2D6, POW 2D6, DEX, 3D6, HP N/A Damage Bonus 0, Move: 7 Weapons: At 3% X DEX, will pick up a hand weapon such as a knife (1D4+db), axe (1D8+2+db), or a club (1D6+db) otherwise bony fists (1D3+db) Armor: None Sanity Loss: 0/1D6 Sanity points to see an animated skeleton.
This material found in the secret laboratory of Dr. Saunders in his camp in Maine was originally provided to Dr Koval Ernst by the ghouls of New York City. How they came by it is anybody's guess and possibly the source of another adventure. It originally came from a shoggoth, the rebellious servants of the Elder things, in Antarctica. . It is a foul smelling pink-orange fluid in a glass beaker. The fluid appears to move and swirl within the beaker of its own accord. If this fluid contacts organic material, it will be transformed into a proto-shoggoth (see above). This material differs from the creatures created from it in that it is not sensitive to ultra-violet radiation. It can be destroyed by fire or acid or used up in the transformation process. There is enough material to transform approximately 2 creatures of human size. It would be quite valuable to researchers with an interest in the origin of life or cancer. It also might be valuable to a sorcerer with mythos knowledge.
Secrets of the Graveyard
In English, by Samuel K. Westingstone, 1596. Reported to be a reasonably accurate translation of an Latin work which was written in 232 AD by the Roman author Septicus. Printed in London, England. Seven original copies were created and distributed, mostly to universities and religious institutions. Twenty additional copies, of varying degrees of accuracy, are believed to exist. This copy is significantly less accurate than some. Sanity Loss: 1D2/1D4 Sanity Points, Cthulhu Mythos +5%, Spell Multiplier X1.5. The book contains the spells Raising the Bones and Contact Ghoul.
Raising the Bones This spell allows the creation of the sort of animated skeletons described above. Casting the spell is a fairly drawn out procedure and has multiple steps. First, the caster must acquire the complete bones of one or more beings (typically human). Second the caster must cast a summoning ritual to call the animating beings mentioned above. This ritual takes about thirty minutes to complete and involves chanting while throwing a mix of blood, powdered bone and various other ingredients into a bonfire. The ritual costs 1D4 Magic Points and 1D4 magic points to cast. Each day the spell is cast there is a cumulative 10% chance that 1D4 of the animating beings will be drawn to the caster. The ritual may be conducted for up to seven days. The animating beings will come slithering out of cracks, dark areas and any other nasty place that is at hand. Once the creatures have appeared, the second step of the spell is the binding of the creatures to the bones. This part of the ritual costs 1D4 Magic Points, 1D4 Sanity Points and the caster must beat the animating creature in a POW struggle. If the caster succeeds, the animator is bound to the bones and will serve the caster until it is destroyed. Part of learning this spell involves learning the rather limited language of the animating creatures, so the caster will be able to give them simple commands.
Clara Howe MD PhD, Doctor of Public Health
STR 11, CON 11, SIZ 18, INT 18, POW 14, DEX 9, APP 5, EDU 20, SAN 70, HP 15 Anthropology 60%, Biology 80%, Chemistry 50%, Computer 20%, Credit Rating 50%, First Aid 40%, Latin 40%, Library 85% (Medical Only 100%), Medicine 85%, Natural History 30%, Oratory 40%, Pharmacy 70%, Psychology 40% Weapons: None
Description: Dr. Howe is the administrative head of the American Association for Scientific Research(AASR). Dr. Howe is not an attractive woman. She is 6 feet tall, 300 pounds, and homely. Her physical appearance is a marked contrast to her charming personality and excellent public speaking skills. In addition to her administrative and political lobbying for the AASR, she actively pursues her own research regarding attitudes toward conventional medicine in different ethnic groups.
Charles Daigle, Sheriff
STR 13, CON 9, SIZ 14, INT 16, POW 13, DEX 13, APP 10, EDU 18, SAN 65, HP 12 Accounting 25%, Drive 60%, Fast Talk 60%, First Aid 35%, Handgun 70%, Law 40%, Listen 35%, Nightstick 50%, Psychology 80%, Shotgun 50%, Sneak 40%, Spot Hidden 70%, Track 50% Damage Bonus +1D4 Weapons 12 Gauge Shotgun Damage 4D6/2D6/1D6 Range 10/20/50 Shots 8, 9mm Semi- Automatic Damage 1D10 Range 20 Shots 15, Nightstick 1D8+db
Description: Charles Daigle is the burly 62 year old sheriff and native of Oslo, Maine. He has dark brown hair, a bushy mustache and beard, clear blue eyes, and a penchant for flannel shirts. The sheriff likes to give people the idea that he is just a country clod. However, people who know him well would never underestimate him. He has an uncanny knack for reading people and relating to them. This ability has led to his long success as sheriff. Although he certainly could have pursued a grander political career, he is content in his current position. The locals are very happy to have such an honest and loyal man in his position and will speak of him with respect.