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Saturday, 14 July 2018

Cop Killers

Four police officers died one night in the small, rural town of Cadillac, Michigan. According to the police department, two officers on patrol drove out to check on a disturbance call. The disturbance turned out to be a group of rowdy teenagers who shot and killed both police officers. The second car arrived soon after, but they too were killed by the teenagers. A third car was unable to locate the murderers.

The bodies of the four dead police officers were immediately examined by the coroner, who declared the cause of death as gunshot wounds. The officers were cremated, the funeral taking place two days later. The group of teenagers has yet to be found, and they have not struck again. No one witnessed the shootings, and the police do not know who phoned in the original disturbance report.

One of the four widows, Jake Dean’s wife, Heather, doesn’t believe the official story. She has hired the investigators to discover what the police are hiding. The only information that Heather can provide is that she was given a call about midnight and told that her husband was dead. Then, she was pressured into cremating him.

Possibilities

1 That night, Spencer Monson’s dog woke him up. The dog was barking quite loudly at a figure in the darkness. Spencer, a 70-year old senile widower, called the police, went back to sleep, and forgot all about the incident.

The first patrol car arrived and quickly found the figure – it was a werewolf! The policemen opened fire, but it killed them both. It killed the next two officers as well. The policemen in the third car were finally able to kill the weakened creature. To prevent hysteria, the deaths were blamed on a group of rowdy teenagers with guns and the werewolf’s body cremated.

Currently, the police are searching for the origin of the werewolf. Within the next week they will find out that four werewolves have been living in the woods around the city for the past several years. Only recently, since construction has begun invading their sacred lands, have they become hostile.

2 The police chief belongs to an in-the-closet cult consisting of several high-ranking city officials. Recently, one of the cult members was arrested on murder charges. The chief caused these charges to be immediately dropped. Since then, the chief has ended a number of other investigations. Jake Dean and three other officers had become suspicious of the chief and started snooping around.

Soon after the snooping had begun the police chief figured out what was going on and killed the officers by summoning a gug. He then invented the story of the armed teenagers to cover up the truth. The coroner, also a cult member, backed up the story by saying the officers died of gunshot wounds.

Fortunately, one of the officers kept a journal. This journal includes the officers suspicions as well as a list of the investigations the chief ended. Unfortunately, the journal appears to be missing.

3 The four murders were committed by a gang of nine teenagers. The police department has leads which leads to the murderers’ arrest within a few days. What the officers don’t know is that the gang leader was being controlled by a malicious member of the Great Race of Yith, which constructed a deadly weapon.

The weapon stopped the heartbeats of the officers, but the gang leader then shot them so the police department would have a murder weapon. Afterwards, the Great Race member returned to his native body. When the police arrest the gang leader he will have no idea what happened. The other members of the gang describe the alien weapon, which no one can locate.

© Vince Vatter

Sunday, 8 July 2018

City Fear


The papers are full of horrific stories. Children’s bodies, mutilated then burnt alive, have been found across the city. The police are baffled and the public is restless. The media outcry is vociferous, and the police department chief’s job is on the line. In an attempt to show some activity the police have taken to arresting the criminal community at random. But still the murders go on . . .

Possibilities

1 The murderer is a frenzied cultist, one of the Cult of the Flaming Brand. The children are components for a great spell: a spell to summon Fthaggua. One more death and Fthaggua appears. As the city burns the remaining members of the Cult of the Flaming Brand greet the Great Old One and are swallowed by the fiery inferno, never to be seen again.

2 The murderer, Frank Potter, is mad. As a former member he also has valuable information on the activities of a dangerous cult, information that the investigators need to destroy it. Unfortunately, the city’s criminal community, sick of police harassment, have done some investigating of their own and have captured Potter. They intend to carry out their own form of justice, and yes, they do have a death penalty.

3 The murders are being carried out by a religious fundamentalist group who believe they are destroying the anti-Christ and his minions. If they are not stopped the murders become more and more outlandish as their ambitions and bloodthirst rises.

© Simon Taylor

Saturday, 7 July 2018

A Turn of Fate

A dreidel is a four-sided top. It’s a harmless toy played with by children at Hanukkah, a Jewish festival celebrating the rededicating of the Temple at Jerusalem. This one, however, is different.

It is always cold to the touch, though a thermometer gives normal readings. Animals, especially cats, seem wary of it or its bearer. Cats will scratch anyone carrying it who tries to pet them. Even the baby who tries to put everything he can in his mouth won’t touch it, and tries to crawl away.

The top itself is solid lead, and weighs about 150 grams, as it should. The four square faces are about 2 cm on a side. The first four Hebrew letters, aleph, beth, gimel, and dan, protrude slightly from each face on the top’s body, one letter to a face. When spun, this dreidel makes an eerie whistling sound, not at all like a normal dreidel. The whistling is due to air rushing through small holes where the raised letters attach to the top’s body, If the investigator pries off these letters, he finds odd carvings underneath.

Possibilities

1 The carvings are Aklo letters representing magic, death, power, and knowledge. The top was once owned by the serpent man Ynarak, who used it to locate strong necromantic regions, such as burial mounds, murder sites, or terrible accidents. The range of this device is about four miles. If there are no places within range, then repeated uses of the dreidel creates one. (Astute investigators may notice an increase in killings coinciding with increased use of the top.) If an appropriate spot is located, the letters glow, and the top acts as a gyroscope with the stem always pointing toward the centre of the region.

2 The top is one of four, and the carvings are mystic symbols which spell the last syllable of Azathoth’s secret name. Investigators knowing the spell Curse of Azathoth will know this. The other three tops spell the rest of the name. If the tops are used in ceremonies praising Azathoth, there is a chance He or one of his servitors will ‘reward’ the celebrants.

Unfortunately, spinning the top becomes addictive and eventually the poor owner is dragged away by Azathoth. At first the owner hears strange piping sounds all the time. Doctors consider this hysteria. Then he begins dreaming about the Outer God. Finally, the owner (and possibly a chunk of the surrounding countryside) disappears.

3 Even with the outer faces removed the top still whistles. It was a gift from Nyarlathotep to the now dead sorcerer Karlon Angor, which increases the chance to summon and control a flying polyp. Unfortunately, each time the top is spun there is a cumulative chance of summoning an uncontrolled polyp. Eibon writes of such devices, though this one is not mentioned specifically. Some experimentation may be necessary to discover the top’s secret.

© Joe Louderback

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Fluke

James Simpson has been infected by a parasite, currently living in his gut. The parasite is meta-dimensional, winking in and out of this plane; as it feeds and grows stronger, it becomes more anchored in this plane. Simpson conversely becomes weaker as the parasite grows stronger.

Conventional medical procedures (purges, emetics, even surgery) have no effect, as the parasite flicks between dimensions until the danger to it passes. Ultimately, the parasite becomes strong enough to be permanently anchored in this plane. When this happens, Simpson is dying and the parasite (about two feet long and an inch in diameter) can be felt under his abdomen.

The parasite possesses one other unusual feature – It can compress its circumference until it is able to pass through the smallest of holes (although it is later able to tear its way through bone, plaster, and light brickwork). This means that it can exit Simpson at any time through his ears, tear ducts, nose, mouth, penis, or anus, should it be provoked.

Possibilities

1 Simpson, formerly an explorer and anthropologist, was captured and tortured by the Tcho-Tcho people in south-east Asia who tattooed on his belly summoning and binding rituals. Rapid research might reveal a dismissal spell but unless the investigators can remove the tattoos the worm will be summoned back into its host.

2 Simpson is the victim of a summoning spell cast by a hostile sorcerer. An Elder Sign pressed against his abdomen causes the parasite to erupt violently from Simpson, killing him. The worm is ‘anchored’ in front of the Elder Sign and can then be dealt with relatively easily.

3 The parasite is a servitor of Crom Cruach, the great worm god. It consumes Simpson entirely, before moving on. Once Simpson is consumed, the worm is larger and can enter and internally consume one more human-sized body, after which it reaches anaconda-sized proportions. Any further attempts to enter a human body results in the host’s immediate and messy destruction, unable to accommodate the creature’s increased size.

© Charles Ross

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Birthday Presence

Hugh Walby will be 43 this Friday, but a surprise birthday party has been suggested and everyone has duly ‘forgotten’ the celebration. Friends intend to descend on his house armed with food, drink and birthday goodies at around seven o’clock. Hugh should be home from work by then and they know he has nothing else planned.

However, when they arrive there is no answer at the door even though the lights are on. Hugh’s automobile is parked outside, and the front door is unlocked. Inside, a few presents have been opened on the dining table. He received only three gifts – socks from his sister, a new pipe from a colleague, and something in a small wooden crate with a hinged lid.

Possibilities

1 Inside the box was a garden ornament – an ugly little gnome labelled ‘Made In Goatswood’. There was no indication as to who had sent it, but Hugh thought he may as well put it out straight away. As soon as he stepped out into the moonlight, the horrible little creature wriggled in his grip and shoved its miniature gardening fork into his throat.

It now stands on the lawn, fork in hand, thirty feet away. It appears as solid as stone and will not let go of the fork but will get revenge for any rough handling. Later, in the dead of night, it intends making more mischief.

2 The inside of the crate is polished wood, carved with intricate patterns. The most peculiar thing about it, however, is one of Hugh’s slippers inside it.

Attempts to feel the sides of the box risk overbalancing and toppling in. Anyone of medium build could squeeze into the box, though it doesn’t look possible from the outside. If they do, the lid slams shut and they are transported elsewhere . . .

3 Hugh is in the garden, cowering behind a tree. Set up on the lawn is his most interesting present, a small but powerful telescope from an astronomer friend. With it is a torch and a set of notes describing the unusual lenses in the instrument, and how to align it to confirm his friend’s discovery. Since Hugh fled from the telescope, the Earth’s rotation has changed its field of view, but reference to the notes will allow those with some understanding of astronomy to quickly locate the hell-star known as Ghroth.

Hugh has forgotten everything except for the fact that he is scared, even of the people who say they are his friends.

© Pete Wright

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Buzzing

All day long images have been flashing into the investigators brain: electricity pylons, bee hives, neon lights, electric trains, and air conditioning vents. These images don’t have any bearing on what has been going on around her, but still the images are there.

That night, the investigator’s dreams are filled with the same images but this time a unifying theme is sensed: buzzing. All of the items are buzzing, a constant humming sound fills the dreams. Next morning the investigator wakes with an intense headache and still the buzzing fills her head. In fact, now she thinks about it, the sound has been there for the last couple of days, just too quiet for her to detect consciously.

Possibilities

1 The investigator is psychically sensitive but is ignorant of that fact. Some miles below her house a cthonian has laid an egg, an egg due to hatch in the next couple of days. The buzzing in her head is actually the telepathic communications between mother and young. As the hatching gets nearer the telepathic traffic gets heavier and heavier. When the egg hatches the telepathic blast might push her over the edge.

The parent and young then move on, possibly causing seismic disturbances in the process. The effect stops if the investigator leaves the area.

2 The investigator is carrying the eggs of a genetically engineered creature in her head. The creature has been created by the Mi-Go and planted in the investigator as an experiment. The next stage in the creature’s life cycle is a maggot type larva which stops buzzing but instead consumes the frontal lobe of the investigator’s brain causing her to lose all reasoning faculties in the process. Then it eats its way out of the investigator’s head via her ear. Finally, the creature pupates into a large fly-type creature which will search for more humans to deposit eggs into.

The investigator may feel grateful when the buzzing stops but if she realised what was going to happen next perhaps she wouldn’t feel so relieved.

3 Thinking back a few days, the investigator remembers a strange encounter in the street. A small man in a black suit approached her and asked for directions. He had a strongly oriental accent and appearance. After his brief, and dull, conversation with the investigator he touched her left hand very briefly whilst saying “Thank you.” The investigator had felt a slight itching sensation in her hand for the rest of the day but could not identify anything else wrong.

The oriental was in fact a cult assassin trained in the art of the Quivering Palm. The assassin has set up deadly vibrations in the body of the investigator, vibrations that in a few more days will cause the investigator’s head to messily explode.

© Simon Taylor

A Discarded Parcel

An employee of the local post office, a young man by the name of Michael Stavros, has been found by his colleagues slumped over his workbench – dead! Scattered over and around him was a thin layer of grey dust. A small broken package lies discarded on the floor. The grey dust comes from here, from a smashed jar inside.

The package is addressed to Iain Coussell – a man currently under house-arrest pending trial for multiple cases of ritual murder and witchcraft. His house is surrounded both day and night and he is permitted no visitors. Twice a day an officer visits to confirm his presence. If he leaves his house he is followed by both uniformed and plain-clothed policemen. This escort is more for Iain’s protection than the general publics’, many of whom feel that he should not be permitted a mockery of a trial since the outcome is so obvious.

Possibilities

1 Iain is innocent. He has a passing interest in the occult and was once seen unloading a large number of old-looking books from his car. The claim of his involvement with witchcraft came from an anonymous tip-off, from a genuine cult member.

The real coven leader wants Iain dead so that the authorities will believe the cult is leaderless and therefore less of a threat. He realises that Iain will be cleared of all charges if the case ever comes to trial. Therefore his actions are an attempt to eliminate the risk; he was responsible for sending the dust which should have killed Iain.

The dust is the residue of a compound poison that needs to be inhaled. It breaks down quickly and is now harmless. Unfortunately, the jar accidently broke open while being handled by Michael.

2 Iain is an evil cult leader, he knows that should his case ever come to trial he would be found guilty. After several failed attempts to covertly leave his home or organise rescue from his outside sympathisers he has adopted a new scheme. A number of loyal cultists have been reduced to “essential saltes” and posted to the mansion. They will then be reformed upon arrival by Iain. The plan is to wait until Iain commands a substantial force before launching an assault, both from within and without, on the unsuspecting police.

Unfortunately, one of the jars accidently broke open and the “essential saltes” fell upon Michael Stavros. The cultist was exceptionally strong-willed, even in his inert dust form, and tried to possess Michael. Michael resisted, and the two minds destroyed one another.

3 Iain is a nefarious cult-leader and proficient sorcerer. Michael Stavros, however, was a police investigator and was ordered to find out as much as possible about Iain’s activities.

After pursuing conventional avenues of investigation, he eventually managed (by “pulling a few strings”) to be employed as a mail clerk. This gave him access to Iain’s personal communications. After Iain was placed under house-arrest he used scrying magic to discover the means by which the police had determined his guilt. Iain, realising Michael’s involvement, sent the package to himself knowing it would be intercepted. Michael opened the package, examined the contents of the jar and succumbed to the effects of its contents: poison.

© Hadley Connor