Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scenario Eleven

The Whispering Mouths

Rain pattered down on the library’s windows.  Mary’s face pressed against her palm, her eyes closed, her head throbbing from the task of translating the ancient tome on her desk.  Instead of deciphering the nearly forgotten language, she found herself recalling the desperation of…  How long ago was it?  It seemed like the day before.

The Dark Young skittered, slithered, and swarmed around them, rending and gorging in sprays of blood, bone, and inner organs.  Hecate’s power had grown so immense as had her offspring.  She bred with the Ancient One that had become her puppet vessel.  Her cultists shrieked with wild adulation, the blood of their victims, the blood of each other, smeared on their faces…  They copulated with her orgiastic children even as they, still living, were dismembered and devoured by them.  The memories— writhing in unholy frenzy as the tentacles enveloped and consumed them— haunted her eyes.

Had the Key itself not poured foreign knowledge into her mind, forcing her lips to move against her will, surely they would have all been doomed.  Her spell of banishment broke the link leashing Shub Niggurath to Hecate.  Hers indeed?  Torn asunder, the two demons began to battle between each other… For dominance, for vengeance, for?  Then they vanished, and peace descended on Arkham again.

The turmoil ceased.  Again.  For now.  Mary felt as if she had just been startled out of a nightmare.  Her head lurched up, had she been asleep?  Her memories had the vividness of a dream.  She looked around the room for answers, but all was silent.  Her memories and confusion still tormented her.  She knew it was no dream.  No ending.

A month of quiet had passed.  Then shadow garbed monsters in the shape of men stalked the town.  They were human once, but now…  Something else.  One of Tony’s spies told him that he’d seen someone in a strange mask bringing a book to Sadie’s place.  No one had seen her since, but ever since then, that’s where the monsters came and went.  Was she a prisoner?  Or something worse?

Mary listened to the rain and watched it oozing down the glass.  The tears of God? She nervously fingered her crucifix and tried to calm her suddenly agonized breathing.

 Her breathing?  Not hers alone.  It grew louder and louder.  It came from her book.  It came from all the books.  A lusty and sinister rasping.

“Mary,” it whispered with endless voices, “I am the answer to your prayers.”

It was not God, no more than the voice that spoke to poor deluded Zoey was.  Mary sprang from her seat to run, but she could not flee.

A hard yellow hand had reached out from the book and gripped her wrist with an unyielding grasp.  She struggled to tear herself away, but the book was too heavy from the bloated thing dwelling within it.

She felt the hand…  Licking her.  Gently nibbling, a passionate lover.  Pain!  The tips of rows of teeth pressed deep into her flesh.  Endless rows of stabbing pins.  The pain.  She screamed for help, but no one could hear.  The whispers chuckled at her futile cry.  The Whispers promised pleasures of the flesh, far greater than a non-existent Heaven, they spoke of her as having a wasted cloistered life, devoid of sensuality, devoid of significance, they promised a child for her blighted womb.  They called her a feast for their eyes, though they had none.  They pleaded, cajoled, and tore through her flesh as she denied them again and again.

Why did the Key not save her?  Pull her forth?  Send her elsewhere?  O, send her somewhere safe!  God’s judgment for questioning Him?  Job had wondered at His justice as well!  Yet…

“Oh God!  Oh God!”

“Is that pain or pleasure?  I can not tell,” said the mouth in the hand, tonguing around her meat, to talk in muffled tones, as its nails and teeth bit deep into her yet again.  Mary did not scream again.  Her voice began chanting.  The Key controlled her.  The hand released, the book slammed shut, the library was silent.

Mary fell to her knees in her pooling blood, weeping in pain and prayer.  She collapsed as a librarian entered the room shouting for help.

The next thing Mary knew, she was being carried to the hospital, burning with fevered thoughts.  Was God punishing her for violating His law with her own sorceries?  But…  She was a nun, not a witch, was she not?   A judgmental hypocrite perhaps...  Is this the lesson God wishes to teach?  The darkness of unconsciousness tore her from her speculations.

Custom components can be found here:

Ancient One: Y’golonac
Herald: The Sheldon Gang
Required Investigators: Sister Mary

Special Rules:

Gangster tokens are not drawn for being in stable locations during the first upkeep.

All stable locations except Ye Olde Magick Shoppe and Arkham Asylum are corrupted.  Whenever the terror level rises, draw two mythos cards and corrupt any locations shown on them; The Science Building can never be corrupted, but its special ability comes with the additional cost of two sanity.

Cultists are immune to handcuffs.

Investigators driven insane or knocked unconscious must lose half their clues in addition to normal penalties.

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