The Hillgrove Horror
Author(s): Bayne MacGregor
Appears in: Strange Tales of Dread & Wonder.
An unexpected happening at an extravagant party leads the Investigators into a curious feud between two families in the backwater town of Hillgrove.
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The town of Hillgrove is a run down and mostly abandoned backwater. It is also home to a substantial cult to Shub-Niggurath. Until a few years ago this cult was headed up by Old Man Merks, but his leadership was usurped by Elder Fitz with the help of a device of Mi-go origin. Not one to give up lightly, Merks searched tirelessly for a way to regain his position and ultimately stumbled an obscure ritual that would -- with the help of a group of ghouls -- give him what sought. Unfortunately the ritual requires Merks to have assistance from blood relatives, something he currently does not have. But, after years of tracking down illegitimate offspring (from the cults vile orgies), he has found two children who might help ... and they happen to be two of the Investigators.
Merks makes his approach to his descendents in secret, sneaking into a party they are attending and spiking the punch with a vile occult substance that will cause them bizarre hallucinations which will introduce them to the horrors of the Mythos. The next day he sends the Investigators a letter telling them they must urgently go to Hillgrove to stop 'certain plans' from coming to fruition. After meeting with the degenerate and diseased locals of Hillgrove (including the horrible Dirty Colin Fitz whose touch causes an infection which makes small tentacles grow from the skin), they receive a second letter and ultimately meet Merks. He paints himself as the former head of a purely innocent pagan religion deposed by the evil Elder Fitz who has perverted the group into a terrible cult. He exhorts the Investigators to break into the cult's cabin and obtain evidence of their terrible goals.
Inside the cult's hilltop cabin, the Investigators find several Mythos tomes as well as a Mi-go canister containing the brain of a former cultist rewarded for his devotion. Armed with this evidence the group may agree to help Merks. He tries to convince them to take part in a ritual which will neutralize the device Elder Fitz used to steal the allegiance of the cult ... the only problem is that the ritual requires participants to cut off part of their own flesh, put it in a bowl and ultimately eat it.
Player Handouts: Hallucinations Caused By Merks' Moonshine, Three Letters from Merks, A Ritual Chant.
Locations: The town of Hillgrove can be located in any backwater.
Tomes and Artifacts: Merks' Moonshine is a slang term for Rendered Thiduj Distillation (effects described in the scenario). The cultists have the following tomes:
- The Pnakotic Manuscripts
- The R'lyeh Text
- Thaumaturgical Prodigies in the New England Canaan
- The Book of Dzyan
- Nameless Cults
Campaigns / Scenarios:
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