The Bleeding Stone of Iphtah (Scenario)

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Details

Cover of White Dwarf, Issue 60

Pages: 4

Author(s): Steve Williams and Jon Sutherland

Setting: 1920s

Appears in: White Dwarf, Issue 60

Summary

A group of tourists in Jerusalem are asked to check up on a local archaeologist by a suspicious patron.

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
This scenario details the Great Race of Yith's attempts to evade their destruction at the hands of the flying polyps.

An ancient site near Jerusalem is part of a Yithian cosmic gateway, constructed by human allies. They intended to use this to reunite their physical bodies and their minds. The plan was disrupted by theft of vital components, but archaeologist Professor Foster has now discovered the relic in question. Foster has been contacted by the Yithians, and is being used to reconstruct the gateway. As the adventure begins, he is using strong drugs to stave off Yithian possession.

The Investigators are tourists visiting an archaeological museum, and are introduced to a local notable, Lotto. Lotto is sponsoring Foster's dig, and is concerned about recent lack of progress. He asks the Investigators to discreetly investigate on his behalf.

If the Investigators agree (as they must, to progress the scenario) they find the site hardly touched and Foster erratic. During the night, he will murder Lotto's henchman and steal his drugs, allowing Foster to take a fatal overdose. They can discover some rambling notes and a strange stone.

The Investigators can discover that Foster's real interest is not the dig site, but a nearby tomb, where a similar stone is found. Exchanging them completes the next step of the ritual; the rest is beyond the scenario's scope. Creative Investigators may find a way to destroy the stones instead.


References

Player Handouts: None

Locations: Charles Lacy exhibition of Roman pottery, Lotto's Bar, dig site

Creatures: Optional dimensional shambler, mention of the Great Race of Yith

Tomes and Artifacts: Bleeding Stone

Comments

Used as the basis of the final scenario in the 1984 Games Day Call of Cthulhu competition.

Keeper Comments

The scenario is physically very short, and therefore limited in scope. The scenario as described is very linear; the players must agree to talk to the disreputable Lakey, work for Lotto, and take a personal interest in the dig site. There are several obvious derailing points which may need consideration. It is assumed that Investigators search the site after the murder rather than waiting for the authorities, and they are trapped by either bad weather or dimensional shamblers if they try to deviate from the script. There are several reasons for Investigators to refuse the offer or abandon it, and the scenario offers no particular incentive to participate.

As the scenario considers only a single shrine, there is minimal guidance on how to continue the adventure if Investigators complete the ritual. Further rituals are presumably similar, but the lack of a final conclusion is glaring. What are the consequences of completing the whole gateway, in terms of what the Investigators see? Keepers will need to determine this themselves.

The brief scenario overview of Yithian plans is vague and contradictory. The Great Race apparently plan to return to Yith, so the purpose of a gateway on Earth is unclear. Elsewhere their stated goal is reuniting their minds and bodies, specifically their conical bodies – which is already the canonical form of the Great Race. If Keepers wish to let players discover what is really going on in the background, they will need to invent the details themselves.