Saturday Seed ~ 196 (Call of Cthulhu)

This is a seed for Call of Cthulhu, because it’s the only way to get the blue-painted wahoos dancing around the stones in my backyard to shut up.

The seed
This seed is a play on the idea of out of sight, out of mind, and will put the investigators face to face with evidence that their own experience and memories have been altered in some way. While it could run as a short investigation over two or three sessions, the seed has the potential to grow into a much longer campaign.

Planting the seed
This seed can be planted for any level of experience, but should be for a group. The optimal group would be a mix of police officers of different grades, a private investigator, and one or two who work in charity groups for orphans and/or the homeless. The seed is set in the 30s but can be repurposed for other eras easily. For ease of description, just one era will be described here. The characters become involved when colleagues reveal that they have all been made complicit in some horrible plot about stolen identities and lost memories.

The details
Going over a case file, a new detective on the force notices that the informant whose photograph and description are enclosed does match the informant his new partner introduces him to. Later, with files old and new in hand, he is able to rouse his partner from the mistaken belief that the informant spoken to today is the same man in the official file. So begins the tale…

It is not long before they uncover others who have been replaced, and others who have been deceived into not noticing the replacement. The two detectives slowly begin waking and recruiting others who have been so deceived. Cops, private dicks, shelter workers.

Not long after, they feel the eyes of the city’s unwanted upon them all the time.

How long will it be before they are replaced as well?

They are everywhere.

What’s going on
Imagine that people you rely on to do your job effectively – people you see three or four times a week – were no longer the people you thought they were. Imagine that the evidence of this has been staring you in the face for months, but you didn’t notice. Imagine suddenly having it pointed out to you.

In this seed, most of the physical evidence remains unaltered. Little by little things are being changed – by the characters in the grip of their altered memories – but for the most part, files, records, photographs, and reports make it clear that the truth of today is not the truth of yesterday.

Something out there is haphazardly and more or less incompletely taking over the lives of the “lower orders” of humanity. The invisible, the forgotten, the broken, and the discarded have become the beachhead for those who lurk inside the skin and behind the eyes of others. The man who was barely noticed in line for soup yesterday is not the man in line today…although parts of him are. The characters, however, have been duped into seeing the newcomer as the man he was.

This seed is about what happens when their eyes are opened to these lies.

The original people cannot be found. They are consumed in the process of replacement and disguise. Sadder that they have been sacrificed in this gruesome way is that not even their friends and fellows on the street noticed they were taken. For them, the disappearance went unremarked.

If examined, the Replacements appear entirely human. If psychoanalyzed they again read as human, but cannot hide the sense of curiosity and superiority which guides their actions. How this affects the analyst is up for debate, but despite the likelihood of being assessed as narcissists or prone to delusions, it would be hard for an analyst to assess them as dangerous and be entirely honest about it.

The analyst might have unsettling dreams and be prone to illness for months afterward, however. In close contact, the Replacements leech the CON and POW of those around them, leading often to confusion, weakness, and eventual death.

One wonders how long they have been among us.


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