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Monday, 27 February 2017

Dinosaur Experiment

Catterall is a recluse and works from his secluded manor in the centre of its densely-wooded grounds. He is regarded as dangerous by his scientific peers, and has a record of cruelty. During the Great War, he was rumoured to have performed much unnecessary surgery.

If any of the others of the expedition to Africa can be found, they will be reluctant to talk about the trip. Many bad things happened there.


1 Catterall is far ahead of his time and has already cloned several dinosaurs from their fossilised bones. The process was a gift from Nyarlathotep in Africa. He already has had some success and intends to display them in a years’ time, crediting them as early successes of his fake experiments.

2 The experiments work, but take much longer than anticipated. Eventually, some sixty years after they were started (and twenty years after Catterall’s death) the first ‘dinosaur’ is born. It is intelligent – a bipedal lizard man. It is the pinnacle of dinosaur evolution but the dinosaurs died out before it had a chance.

3 Catterall is insane and his experiments are fakes. However, several of his assistants are Serpent People in disguise. They are using Catterall as a cover for their own sorcerous methods for bringing their own kind through from the Permain era, along with some of the proto-dinosaurs of that time.

(Inspired by the novel Carnosaur, by Harry Adam Knight.)

© Steve Hatherley

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Scarlet Fever

It is a rather peculiar disease, liquefying flesh into a thick red jelly, leaving only bones and skin untouched. Bodily functions continue unimpaired until the end. It is so rare that it does not yet have a name, let alone a cure.

Victims are often completely unaware that they carry the disease. Realisation sinks in only when cut: instead of blood, jelly wells out of the wound. Their skin does not heal, and if left unbandaged shrinks and wrinkles as the victim’s liquefied flesh oozes out.


1 The disease is caused by a body thief. The body thief possesses human victims in the course of its evil design. It is so successful at possession, that it has not had to materialise into its original, monstrous, form for many years now.

The unfortunate human is unaware of the possession, which lasts for a maximum of six months. After that the disease, a by-product of the process, causes the human body to fail irretrievably. The body thief then moves on.

2 A vampire is afoot, feeding on pre-digested human flesh. It has two forms; the first a tall and handsome human, the other a multi-legged maggot-thing with a stabbing proboscis.

The vampire-thing needs to inject its prey with digestive juices some months before feeding. It makes two visits, injecting juices at first and then returning once its victim is ripe.

3 Nyarlathotep occasionally chooses a bride. Or groom, it makes no difference. Nyarlathotep appears to the chosen individual in full regalia, and proposes. If the chosen individual accepts, they become its bride or groom and reside in the Daemon Sultan’s court for the rest of eternity.

Those that refuse are set free and cursed: everyone they encounter for more than a few hours will die, afflicted with a terrible liquefying disease. At midnight on the night of each full moon Nyarlathotep returns to ask, again, for their hand. If they accepts, the Outer God takes them to Azathoth’s court for the wedding and matrimonial bliss. If they decline, more are consigned to a grisly fate.

Eventually Nyarlathotep becomes bored with its bride/groom, and it is time to choose another.

© Steve Hatherley

The Old Church


1 The floor of the church is the roof of a very old crypt. The crypt is full of the remains of bodies, all well preserved in the cool, dry environment. All the bodies show signs of being bled to death.

But one of the bodies is not yet dead, and after such a long sleep it is very thirsty.

2 Further information comes to light in original translations of the Bible. The place is very unholy indeed, devil worship was actively carried out and only after the place was cleansed was the church built. A ward against evil (similar in design to similar wards found on Neolithic megaliths) has been carved upon one of the flagstones, but it has been removed by the University for study.

Without the ward, it is only a matter of time before evil returns.

3 Removing the flagstones reveals a narrow, unpleasant tunnel. Entering the tunnel reveals a complex of narrow, winding passages. Although clearly ancient, the tunnels are structurally sound and are relatively safe to explore.

When mapped, they form a strange twisting complex of no obvious design. And despite clearly having been constructed long before the modern city above, they loop around foundations, sewers, pipelines, and other modern contrivances as if the original builders knew to avoid them.

They, and their builders, are a complete mystery.

© Steve Hatherley

Saturday, 4 February 2017


It is just like any other day, except for a blinding migraine that doesn’t subside until evening. It’s one of those crippling, agonising migraines that results in a day in bed, away from work, away from everything.

As a result, it isn’t until the following morning that you learn that two days have mysteriously vanished.

What you were up to during those two days prior to the migraine is a mystery; your friends and neighbours can’t tell you. In fact, some may be a little disgruntled at the cavalier way you broke appointments and ignored calls.

Little by little, you build up a picture of what you did during those two days…


1 The migraines are a result of fragmentary possession by one of the Great Race of Yith. Full possession was never achieved, and the creature had to leave.

Were you targeted by the Great Race? Had you discovered, or read something? Had you recently dealt with the flying polyps? If so, it may attempt to regain possession, perhaps this time it will be successful.

Hypnosis may recover some of your memories, revealing alien scenes and sensations: your time in the body of one of Great Race.

2 When you awake you find that your clothes are torn, muddy and splashed with blood. As you slowly piece together the missing time, you discover that you were the target of a coven of evil witches. They used powerful magic to possess you, and guide you to their obscene ceremonies.

Did the coven choose you at random? Or were you singled out for treatment? And will it happen again?

3 Nothing else ever happens. Ever.

Sometime later you discover that a small figurine is missing. (The figurine was carved from an oily dark brown stone, and vaguely African in design. Until now it was entirely unremarkable.) It appears to have gone missing during the missing two days. But why?

The Island

The seas of the Dreamlands are not as well charted as some would like. The eastern reaches of the Cerenian Sea are infrequently travelled and only vaguely mapped. Sailors avoid these areas, they are filled with horrors that sane men would rather avoid. However, fate sometimes lends a hand and storms whip up from clear skies to blow a ship a long way from home.

Any ship is vulnerable to these storms, all the crew can do is try to hold on and survive until it blows itself out. (Many vanish, sent to the bottom of the sea never to be seen again.) They can then try to find a suitable port for repairs.

The players are on one such ship. They are lucky and do not sink, catching only the edge of the storm. Once the skies have cleared it is obvious that the ship requires extensive work before any major voyage can be undertaken. Worse, most of the supplies have been ruined. If something is not done soon, they will all starve.

Sails in tatters and at the mercy of the currents they drift slowly towards a mist shrouded island. Dark mountains peep cautiously above the mists but the rest is hidden. However, all does not bode well, the shallows around the island are littered with the deserted hulks of other ships.

The hulks provide raw materials for the repairs, but a boat will have to put ashore to search for food and water.


1 This is the Island of the Cloudbeasts. In deep vents high up the sides of one of the mountains Cloudbeasts are born. The young beasts float gently out of the vents and into the swirling mass of other Cloudbeasts that make up the mists that shroud the island.

There are few legends concerning the Island of the Cloudbeasts, but all mention the great treasures that can be found in a temple hidden somewhere on the island. However, the Cloudbeasts guard their treasures well and do not take kindly to thieves.

2 The mist is not mist at all, it is web. The island is home to millions of spiders. Most are tiny, but some are true giants. They spin their web everywhere and dominate the island. The spiders have consumed every other living thing on the island except the plants. They survive by feeding upon one another, but would rather take fleshier prey.

3 They island is a verdant paradise. There is plenty of water and food to be found in the rich forest that coat the mountainous island.

© Steve Hatherley