A "Lovecraft Country" Campaign: On Calenders and Villains
by, 26th December 2010 at 04:57 AM (761 Views)
(Note there are some spoilers below for 'The Condemned', a scenario from the Arkham Unveiled book.)
So as I was planning for the next session of my CoC campaign, I found myself having to pull together the info to make a calender for May-October 1925. This was done so as to keep a better track of how long it takes my players to read future Mythos books, as well as to be sure when certain things happen in the next adventure I'm running.I found it rather refreshing to compile the data and record in a trusty notebook, as it seems to give the whole campaign firmer grounding in reality. Plus, I can now keep an eye open for specific 1925 events during my frequent visits to Wikipedia for information and amusement.
Now another thing that's come to the fore during the planning for the next session was the identity of the villain behind the scenes in the campaign. I had been murky on who he was, only really knowing he was a long-lived sorcerer who used to live in the Miskatonic Valley. Then, as I was casting about for another scenario to run, I decided to take a look at one that someone recommended in a comment on an earlier blog entry: "The Condemned" from Arkham Unveiled.
It was there, in the back story of the adventure's antagonist that the true name of my shadowy mastermind leapt out at me! It was Richard Russel, the former partner of Sermon Bishop! He had left quietly Arkham, and presumably the Miskatonic Valley, after Sermon was imprisoned. He also had ties to the shadowy network of sorcerers from the 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward', which is possibly my favorite Lovecraft story.
With those details now in my mind, the rest of the story began to fall into place. I mapped out mentally where this sorcerer on the run went to after he fled Arkham. I opted to make the 'Arkham Witch Cult' the true force and reason for Bishop's imprisoning and his sudden departure. He and Sermon had been operating independently from the Cult for some time. The pair's sorcerous activities were drawing some attention from suspicious locals, which in turn could lead to the exposure of the Cult. So they decided to kill two birds with one stone. Members of the Cult, in their normal everyday identities, quietly fanned the suspicions and fears of their fellow citizens that Bishop and Russel were behind strange goings-on in and around town. They made sure that all the evidence pointed to the two sorcerers, and away from the Cult. And when the concerned people moved against Sermon Bishop, the cultists made sure the mob had a way of binding the immortal Bishop.
However, in the confusion of the capture and imprisoning of Bishop, Russel slipped away. But not before he learned who was really behind the downfall of his partner. He knew had no chance against the Cult at this time and fled for his unnatural life. He has spent the 173 years since then preparing to avenge himself on his enemies in Arkham. He has traveled the world, gaining power and knowledge from anywhere he could. He also acquired quite a bit of wealth in the process, which has only aided him in his efforts.
Now he has come home and begun to set things into motion to destroy the Arkham Witch Cult once and for all. He's not doing this out of a sense of heroism .Rather, he wants revenge for being driven out of his home all those year ago. He does not really care what innocents or which Investigators might get killed in the process.
Of course, this is still a bit up in the air. I still need to work up his stats and define what spells and powers he might have. Plus, the Arkham Witch Cult isn't exactly going to go down without a fight and they fight dirty! All in all, it should be an interesting ride for my players, if they can live to see the end.