The Return of the King
Author(s): R.J. Christensen
Setting: 1960s California
Appears in: Strange Tales of Dread & Wonder.
It is 1968. The Summer of Love has passed, America now suffers under the festering wounds of the Vietnam War and several other misfortunes. And yet the counterculture still continues strongly. It is against this backdrop that the Investigators are asked by a distressed San Jose property developer to track down his missing son, Oswald. Of course he could just have tuned out and gone to San Francisco to join with the hippies (as so many others are doing). Or, maybe something altogether more unusual has happened.
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Before his disappearance Oswald was a bookish college student. He was also obsessed with Arthurian legend and particularly with Merlin. This fascination led him to research magic, and also to imagine how the world would be a better place if Merlin were in it. During his researches, Oswald chanced upon hints that Merlin could still be found -- somewhere known as the Dreamlands. He also found a spell which apparently would resurrect the dead wizard, bringing him back into our world. As is common with such things, this was not what it seemed. When Oswald opened his gate to the Dreamlands and cast the spell it was not the spirit of Merlin he brought back but an ancient and very evil Dreamlands priest called Mhae-Yrn.
After being awakened, Mhae-Yrn was happy for Oswald to become his apprentice, and eager to go with him back to San Francisco. The wizard bought an abandoned chapel in Haight-Ashbury, took on a human name, and soon began to make a name for himself playing the electric guitar. His Mythos knowledge let him formulate a particularly unique type of music which could summon his lord Yog-Sothoth. Before long, both he and Oswald were in a band called "Xura" and preparing to play a huge festival in Golden Gate Park.
Of course there is the small matter that, unless the Investigators stop them, this massive summoning will probably flatten the Bay Area instantly, then go on to wreck most of the United States, leaving the crazed wizard in charge of all that remains.
Player Handouts: There are no player handouts (although a section of text describing Xura's press release could easily be used as such).
Creatures: Mhae-Yrn is a worshipper of Yog-Sothoth, who he is trying to summon.
Tomes and Artifacts: Mhae-Yrn has a Crystal Globe for holding POW and uses it as a stage prop.
Campaigns / Scenarios:
Beneath all the colour and period detail, this scenario is a detailed investigation.
The "King" in the title refers to Yog-Sothoth (who Mhae-Yrn has convinced Oswald is actually King Arthur).
At least part of the inspiration for this scenario would seem to be the existence of the 1960s psychedelic rock band called H.P. Lovecraft. Section headers in the scenario are accompanied by lyrics quoted from songs recorded by this band.
Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.