Cthulhu: Starting Characters

A little idea I had about how new groups of investigators could be given an initial connection to the mythos and/or each other is to give them all a one point experience of the Mythos that left them with unsettling dreams.

“One point” here means one point of Mythos Knowledge.

This could work for any time period but using the 1920s setting as an example,

Cop

It was a standard missing person – knocking on doors, asking questions, one door swung open, trail of blood. I waved to Casey and O’Malley on the other side of the street and crept in, revolver out. The blood trail led to a room at the back – although more of a slaughter house than a room. He or it, turned. My gut clenched and I fired – the noise out of it’s mouth – nothing fully human ever made that noise – and the claw. I buckled, just fell to the floor in a faint, not quite passed out. I heard Casey and O’Malley charge in, gun shots, screams. My eyes were fogged so I didn’t see it but they say O’Malley was pretty much ripped in half. Casey killed it by pushing it’s own claw hand into its throat. Casey was a big hero for a while but that didn’t bring back the eye he lost in the process. He jumped in the East river six months after his invalidity came through. The suicide note just said “bad dreams”.

Ever since that day a question has nagged at me – what did it mean?

Any WWI veteran

France 1918 – well technically Germany but we didn’t know that at the time. The battalion had been advancing through a dark, old-feeling forest and our platoon bringing up the rear had been detailed to check out a manor house in a little side valley. After the bombardment there wasn’t much left but rubble but what there was had a touch of the devil about it. The chapel for instance was mostly untouched apart from the roof and it had strange carvings on the floor and odd, mis-shaped statues, like gargoyles but not.

The shelling started up soon after we arrived and we all took cover where we could until one shell seemed to break something somewhere and a great hole opened up in the courtyard like there was a big cave under the building. There wasn’t a lot of cover and our lieutenant had spotted a pile of rubble from the collapse had made kind of a bridge ladder into the cave so he led some of the guys down to see if it was a safe place to shelter until the shelling stopped.

The screams from the hole a few minutes later were terrible – not just fear and pain, I’d heard a lot of those, something else, something worse. Most of the guys ran. The lieutenant had saved my life at Cantigny so I felt I had to try. I got as far as the edge of the hole and looked down. The stench was terrible and it was too dark to see anything so I couldn’t make my legs climb down. I lay there looking over the ledge as a flare went up and for a brief second I saw what was left of the lieutenant and it – a black shapeless thing like a large thick oil slick except i felt it turn and look at me – with hunger. I ran away through the exploding shells as fast as I could, hot screaming metal suddenly of no concern.

Ever since that day a question has nagged at me – what did it mean?

Gangster

I was a driver not a soldier so they should never have asked me but they did. Johnny the Hat had got sick and the boss said Mickey Dee needed a driver and I was it – no arguments. I had nothing to do with what happened to Trapani; Mickey Dee did all that. I only had to drive the body to some spot Johnny had picked out and help bury the body. The whole thing was way out of my league but what you gonna do when you have a stone killer like Mickey Dee staring you in the face.

Johnny had picked out a strange spot for the grave – way out of the city, two hours or more but we found it eventually down a long dirt track. It was a clearing in thick woods, almost a circle, like the trees had been planted specially there and that big old rock at one end with the carvings that showed up in the moonlight and made my skin itch. We dug the grave and put Trapani in it but when I started shoveling dirt on top Mickey Dee turned his forty-five on me – “sorry kid I only trust Johnny”. I had my back to the rock so I didn’t see what Mickey Dee saw. I only saw the look of terror on his face as he started shooting at something behind me, aiming high like it was real tall. I ran.

I only looked back once but by then I was near the opposite edge of the clearing so everything was in shadow and I couldn’t make it out. In my dreams it’s clearer – a dark shape with a mouth about twelve feet off the ground was eating Mickey Dee.

Ever since that day a question has nagged at me – what did it mean?

Connection

So the Keeper or each player makes up a one point story like that for the characters explaining their curiosity towards the mythos or more explicitly have something like an article in a newspaper where a professor is asking readers to send in their bad dreams and how they started as part of his own just starting mythos research.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: