Saturday Seed ~ 120 (Call of Cthulhu)

This week we have a seed for Call of Cthulhu. I have been messing with things I should not and the by-product of that is the foundation of a new generation game for me, and for you…? This week’s Saturday Seed~

The Casting Shadows blog offers Saturday Seeds and campaign starters every Saturday (go figure…). Seeds from the blog also appear on Ancient Scroll.

The Seed

This seed is for planting in the 1890’s with ties running forward to the modern era and backward to the 5th century. On its own, this seed is just a curious event. Combined with slow revelations of ‘cursed blood lines’ it can blossom into whatever cruel fruit you might like~

Planting the Seed

This seed is best planted for players of any experience level. For new players it might work well as an overview of the types of play possible in different eras. For experienced players, an opportunity to bring centuries of the mythos to alien life awaits~

Investigators may become involved in numerous ways, such as being hired locally to fulfill a technical or support role, recruited by one of the prestigious universities allowed to participate in the excavation as a representative, or being called in to consult on a specific piece or set of remains.

The Details

Construction and landscaping at an estate outside Paris has uncovered not one but at least ten different burial sites essentially laid over and around each other. Sections have all the ear marks of Norse practices, while other sections are just as clearly Roman. It is the other sections which cause problems their cultural elements, and certain physical remains simply cannot be identified.

The owners of the estate have haled their renovation plans, and granted permission for a small team of experts to continue the dig providing they keep it entirely secret, the owners have final approval over any publishable research, and artifacts and remains are to be returned to their former resting places once examined. Violating these rules ends the dig.

Investigations will eventually uncover the carefully destroyed arrangements of ceremonial stones which clearly and finally render the verdict that whatever else is true, this space was not chosen to house the dead of all these separate cultures and people for accidental reasons – it was and had been special for an extended period of ancient history, and then… wiped clean from the face of the Earth prior to the roman and norse sections, which somehow found the same spot as all the others.

As reconstruction of artifacts moves forward, recurring themes in each culture’s unique style begin to present themselves indicating veneration of crudely defined or deliberately obscured beings. This is not enough to really stir things. It is the discovery in late spring of 1891 that every skull and chest cavity had been opened and resealed leaving a ring of fused bone as evidence which begins to eat at those involved.

The gradual evolution of a set of shared dream sequences turns wonder and disconcertedness into fear and obsession.

The possibility of some of these remains not being animal, but distinctly non-human humanoids ends conversation at dinners, and drives the work hours of the site to extend ever later into the night.

The discovery several levels down of chemically preserved bodies, some bearing striking physical resemblances to local members of the dig, raises the level of obsession to fanaticism.

What is so special about this site? Who and more importantly what has been buried here for century upon century, and how can the oldest bodies appear as though they are the siblings of current area residents buried mere days ago?

What is going on

Many opportunities to explore curious funerary rites, ancient times, alien cultures, and the presence of things not wholly or even partially human will help frame a picture of this site and its impossibly long history. Characters will experience shifts in time, but not place. Some will be in dreams, some will be in theory, some will be in notes and records which take on new meaning in light of discoveries on this dig. Player perspective will shift from age to age and character to character to further flesh out discoveries and theories. It is not always necessary to indicate what is real, what is theory, what is dream, and what is all of the above.

The site itself has a draw and the longer the group is working in it, the less likely they are to want to stop working. Soon that work will become worship. The site itself will lend meaning to their efforts, and make the most mundane tasks seem magical. When the fever of investigation and discovery is at its peak, visitations will begin…

Deaths will follow… with the fatally exploratory damage carefully repaired, but no less final.

Can they be stopped?

Should they be stopped?


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