13 Black Candles

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Details

Pages: 11

Author(s): Jeff Woodall

Artist(s): Jeff Woodall

Setting: 1700s Aylesbury, Connecticut ("Colonial" North America, post Revolution), Halloween

Appears in: Dead Leaves Fall and Other Halloween Horrors

Campaign: (none)

Summary

It is late October and Squire Tom Roberts is giving his annual All Hallows Evening party in the town of Aylesbury, Connecticut. He has given this party every year since the end of the American Revolution. It is a huge event in which people from the town of Aylesbury are invited as well as his family and friends from elsewhere. The investigators have been invited to attend. It is assumed that they investigators are coming from out of town and minimal knowledge of the area.

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

13 victims, mostly children gathered to participate in a scavenger hunt and party for All Hallow's Evening, are kidnapped and hypnotized by the Dark Order of Baphomet cult (dedicated to an avatar of Shub-Niggurath and their monstrous servitor "Crow People" in order to perform a ritual that will extend the lives of the cultists by mind-swapping the cult members with the children. The investigators should try to stop the mind-transfer ritual before it is completed at dawn, when the children (whose minds have been transferred into the elderly bodies of the cultists) have been slain and the cultists take their places.


References

Player Handouts:

  • Four pre-generated characters (just add names, backgrounds, and descriptions)
  • List of Kidnapped Children
  • Contents of the Book of the Dark Order of Baphomet
  • Map of Aylesbury
  • Illustrations, including Crow People
  • The Reverend Hart's Journal

Locations:

Creatures:

Tomes and Artifacts:

  • Book of the Dark Order of Baphomet
  • Haunted rock formation (as written, the only special quality is that it's haunted by an insane ghost with no apparent connection to the story)
  • Altar of Baphomet/Shub-Niggurath
  • 13 Black Candles (made from human fat and enchanted for a mind-transfer ritual)

Organizations:

Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)

Comments

List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.

Keeper Comments

Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.

Setting: According to the scenario's author, "This adventure is nominally set during the colonial period just following the close of the American Revolution however some adjustments can easily make it suitable for 1920’s or Modern." Nothing in particular seems to prevent this scenario from being relocated to another rural town in Colonial American or elsewhere.

Dependence on Halloween: Minimal. The scenario nominally takes place during a Halloween party that gathered the children of the town together when they were kidnapped, and the holiday was apparently chosen by the cultists for its occult significance, but little time is spent elaborating on any of this (beyond some minimal description of how the town celebrates the holiday), and an alternative date could be used with very little re-writing.

Special Notes:

  • Keepers might want to substitute something a little more traditionally Lovecraftian for the Crow People mook monsters - Deep Ones or Ghouls, perhaps, or Byakhees, or (in keeping with the Baphomet theme) satyrs, or even Sasquatch or something.
  • Keepers might get some thematic mileage from raising the age of the children, and having the cult instead lure the repressed teenaged sons and daughters of devout Protestant folk out to frolic in the woods at night with the bestial servitors of Baphomet, the avatar of a nightmarish and debased fertility goddess (Shub-Niggurath). Some unspeakable, nameless rite that blasts the kids' sanity would be the key step to open the way for the mind-transfer: unstopped, the teens go into the woods as innocent but curious children, and come back aged and soiled before their time with the corrupt, wizened, cynical, and sophisticated souls of Shub-Niggurath cultists. Bonus points for working in some Hawthorne references: the minister veiled in black, some of the aged cultists branded with scarlet letters, etc.

Sequel Plot Hooks: None, exactly, but the village is described in enough detail (aside from nameless NPCs) to be re-used in sequel scenarios. The ghost of the madman seems like it might be a plot hook for an investigation into what happened to the madman and why he was killed.