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Monday, 31 October 2016

The Old Cottage

At the end of an old track, a mile long through dark woods filled with twisted, stunted trees lies a cottage. It’s an old cottage, ruined and overgrown with vegetation. The windows gape open, the door is rotting and ruined. Inside, the cottage is pleasantly unspoiled. The woodwork is in good condition, and there is still even furniture inside.

On top of the old beams, between the joists that hold up the first floor, a small coin-sized artefact can be found. The artefact is silver, and not quite circular. On one side is writing, and on the other is inscribed a five-pointed star inside a six-pointed star on one side.


1     The artefact is a ward of protection - it has protected the cottage from the elements, wildlife and dark forces. As a result, no animal will stay in the cottage and plants wither and die. The ward was created by Zachary Bleach, a nineteenth century occultist and member of the Golden Dawn, who used the cottage as a retreat and haven. Removing the artefact from the cottage destroys the ward.

2     The artefact is an old Moroccan coin that has worn over time. It was placed in the rafters of the cottage by the owners as a lucky charm.

3     The cottage used to belong to Alice Catmint, a white witch whose spirit is bound to the place. When she died, her neighbours tried to remove her body, but when they did the cottage started to immediately decay. So, they returned Alice’s body to the cottage, and put it into the bread-oven in the side of the inglenook fireplace. (A local legend has it that bread baked in the oven brings good luck.)

As for the artefact, it belonged to a stranger who sought shelter from a storm in the cottage. The stranger was Alice’s true love, and she only spent one night with him. Before he left the following morning, she stole a coin from his purse and worked her magic on it. The coin brings good luck to the stranger and his descendants, and it continues to bring good luck to this day. Exposing the coin to moonlight breaks the spell.

© Steve Hatherley

Friday, 14 October 2016

Stones of Doom

The stone fragments are at the bottom of a shoe box filled with stone arrowheads. Although now broken, they fragments clearly fit together to form a larger stone. The arrowheads have been collected from Anasazi ruins by archaeologist Dr Rachel Smith. She is auctioning them along with her other finds because she needs to raise money fast.

She found the stones of doom in a previously undiscovered Anasazi chamber, but forgot about them. They have been lying in the shoebox with the arrowheads for years, quite forgotten.


1 The stone is an ancient Anasazi fertility symbol. Originally steeped in the milk of Shub-Niggurath, when assembled (and bound together so that it cannot fall apart) the stone causes everything in the immediate area to become fertile. Everything - plants flourish, insects swarm, rats and mice are everywhere. Milk sours overnight, creeping mould is rampant and weeds overrun the garden.

The stone affects humans as well - curing infertility and increasing the likelihood of twins and triplets.

2 The stone is an ancient Anasazi curse stone. The curse inscribed on the stone can be translated only after painstaking research. From what is left to be translated, the curse appears to have been put on a woman who was unfaithful to her husband. Whether the stones had an effect cannot be determined, although the Anasazi took their curses very seriously and held their shaman in high regard.

3 The stone is an old deep one device. When the pieces are assembled the symbols emit a bright light. The stone fuses together into a single piece, and starts sweating. But it appears to do little else.

The stone is a shoggoth leash, used by deep ones to protect themselves from the terrible shoggoth attacks launched at them by the elder things during the war millennia ago. The stone itself causes any shoggoth that comes near to lose control of its mass, reducing itself to bubbling ooze until the holder of the stone moves away. The deep ones have lost the means to create more leashes, and would be interested in recovering the stone (should they learn of it) to rediscover that lost art.

Quite what the stones were doing in Anasazi ruins is a complete mystery, however...

© Steve Hatherley