Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - A Mythos Love Story
Not all tales of the Mythos involve a world-shattering threat. Some are mysteries as to why people become someone they weren't previously. Sometimes this answer is more than the questioner can handle.
Inspired by the adventure capsule "People Change" from Chaosium's Escape from Innsmouth adventure.
Setting: Boston. Friday, August 14, 1914. A drizzly cool day.
Cast of Characters:
- Colin O'Connor: Civil engineer from Dunmore, Ireland. Employed as a civil engineer by the city of Boston.
- Lola Diaz Azar: Archaeologist hailing from Puerto Rico, born of a Puerto Rican mother and Middle Eastern father. Agent of the New England Watch and Ward Society, specializing in occult tomes.
- Nathaniel Quincy, MD, Captain, US Army (Ret.) Former army doctor, served in Nicaragua and the Philippines. Now working as a medical examiner for Essex County.
- Jonathan Longstreet: Civil engineer. Widower. Working on building the Dorchester Subway. About 50 years old. Fought in Spanish-American war.
- Jessica Longstreet: Jonathan's daughter. About 21 years old. Attending Smith College. Got engaged this June. Will be returning to campus over in September for her senior year.
- Adam Wilkes: Jessica's missing fiancé. Harvard student. Engaged to Jennifer. Bit of an elitist snob, a bit shook up when he learned his ancestry.
- Margaret Wilkes: Singer, performer, has married up. Likes the money, not crazy about husband but likes the access to stuff he gets her.
- Emilia Wilkes: Teen age sister of Adam. A bit spoiled but an ok kid. May be a good source of info - she doesn’t know everything but she does know of Adam’s true parentage from a relative who talked too much.
- Ethan Wilkes: Wealthy investor. Finances a number of moving picture production companies in New York City and Las Angeles. A bit distant.
- Vic Martin: Deep One hybrid. Once had a rather torrid affair with Margaret Sullivan that continued into early days of her marriage. Used to look a bit like Ethan. Now could only pass for human in extremely low light or at a distance. Occasionally goes to Innsmouth still. Had done business for Innsmouth outside the town when he looked more human.
- Ruby Merritt: Chauffeur, general "get things gone" person for the Wilkes. Older middle-aged, willing to get hands dirty.
Police Captain McShane asked the investigators to look into some weirdness - what seemed to be a burglary had some weirdness beneath it. Jonathan Longstreet's Cambridge apartment had been robbed. Much of his daughter Jennifer's jewelry had been stolen - jewelry she had received from her fiancé who had been missing for the past year.
Interviewing Jonathan and Jessica they learned the jewelry had originally been to Adam from his mother. They were very strange, having an alien look to them - the closest analogue being Polynesian, but that was a rough approximation. Adam had vanished about a week ago and requests to his family went unanswered - they were Boston Brahmins and less than pleased at his being engaged to a middle-class woman. Two days ago the Wilkes chauffeur and all-around troubleshooter came by to collect the jewelry. Jessica refused, saying she would return it only at Adam's direct request. Yesterday the house was robbed, with all the jewelry save the engagement ring and necklace she had been wearing. Jennifer indicated that Adam had not been doing well since mid-July - coming down with a nasty rash and flaking skin.
Beyond the strangeness, the police were not particularly eager to go agains the wealthy Wilkes family. The investigators paid a visit to their Back Bay home. There they managed to secure an interview with his mother Margaret and his teenage sister Emilia. They had walked into some family conflict with Emilia eager to spill some dirt - she'd learned that Margaret had been having a relationship with a Vic Martin of Innsmouth at the time she married Ethan, with Vic being Adam's birth father. He'd left the scene shortly after, but not before leaving some notes and jewelry behind for Adam which he might need should "the time come". She'd thought nothing of it until recently, with Adam coming down with the same skin condition that Vic had had before his departure. (Note - this was not a pleasant conversation, much at the instigation of Ms. Azar...)
Looking at the notes, Doctor Quincy was able to piece together it was some sort of "ritual" to call "Deep Ones" to the shore with an offering of the strange alien jewelry. Adam was at their small boathouse on Turtle Island, one of the smaller Harbor Islands.
The investigators chartered a fishing trawler that was idle while waiting for spare parts for its winches to take them to Turtle Island. Upon arrival they found Adam - looking very scaly (and naked) as he completed his Deep One summoning ritual. They took a small launch to the island where they made contact with Adam - who was not looking well, with unblinking eyes, webbed hands and feet, and a generally scaly appearance. Doctor Quinn was able to confirm a metamorphosis was indeed going on, one he could not stop. And then about a dozen Deep Ones arrived - strange, fish-like humanoids. Including Vic Martin, who had been living under the sea for twenty years now. Vic croaked an explanation that they had their own undersea civilization that should be left alone - unless the surface world wanted to learn just how numerous they were.
Knowing that Jessica and Jonathan were unlikely to believe this strange tale, Colin O'Connor studied the ritual Adam had used and performed it so that Jessica could see for herself what Adam had become. She was horrified - though Adam did indicate he had learned that pairings with humans were not only possible but encouraged...