Undimensioned and Unseen
I felt like my head had barely touched the pillow when the sun through the window and the unsettling calls of the Whippoorwills woke me once again. Emerging into the stark sunlight of Dunwich Village, I was quickly regaled by disturbing tales of invisible beasts roaming the countryside. A month ago I would have thought this too preposterous to credit, but now I knew better. I checked that I had my cached supplies, Dr Christopher’s notes – which would no doubt be of particular use when trying to dissect an invisible creature!, and Armitage’s new Latin version of the Necronomicon, which might offer us some valuable insight into how we could defeat these creatures.
Rather than an invisible monster, the first thing I discovered that morning was a knife-wielding maniac. As she pushed the hair back from her face, I thought I saw a crazed look in her eyes, and that suspicion was not eased by the enormous machete she wielded. She told me that a “Brother Xavier” had directed her this way, and that she was “doing the Lord’s work” in hunting these monsters. I was about to object when I realised that my own story would sound no less ridiculous to the uninitiated. I gave her my name, she introduced herself as “Zoey” and suggested that we work together – I agreed that her plan made sense, taking fresh inspiration to search my bag for something else that might aid us. Unfortunately, I merely found my eyes drawn, irresistibly to my own copy of the Necronomicon and felt an involuntary shiver, before I set out into the countryside.
Given the huge size of the beasts, their tracks were not hard to follow, although I lost my way once as I found myself distracted by the Necronomicon which remained clutched in my hand. I tried to put it aside, and felt my mind straining, but could not quite muster the strength.
Zoey meanwhile had been flapping her arms so furiously that the Whippoorwills had descended to settle on the ground around her. Catching them unawares, she sprang forward with her Machete, but somehow the blow failed to land. A great shaking of the ground announced the arrival of one of the beasts right here in the heart of Dunwich Village. Fortunately, Zoe appeared to have finally dispatched the Whipporwhills, and as she muttered a strange incantation, a green mist descended on the area, momentarily revealing the beast, and binding it, allowing me to point out a shortcut into the woods. I found myself frozen in fear, and it was all I could do to note down a final piece of evidence and flee into 10 Acre wood after her. As I ran, I steeled my mind, and was finally able to release the Necronomicon.
Further Whipporwhills had joined us in the 10-Acre wood, but this time Zoe was better prepared, and dispatched them almost immediately, striding onwards towards the Whatley ruins. I was still trying to search the meadow for clues, and felt my movement slowed by the fear which continued to linger, although the techniques learned from the Pathfinder manual helped to balance this out. As I caught up with Zoey at the ruins, I grabbed a vial of the Strange Solution from my purse, ready in case anything unpleasant was lurking there.
I was right to be afraid – no sooner had we reached that silent and sordid place than a strange, winged beast leapt out at me. Fortunately, I had been studying the area carefully, and had a plan to deal with it. I dispatched the beast, paused briefly to examine some evidence on the ground, then headed back into 10-Acre meadow. I finally felt free of the fear that had been gripping me, and was able to flick through the Latin translation of the Necronomicon, mentally noting a few things that would stand us in good stead. Zoey seemed similarly unsettled by the silence in the ruins and followed me back to the Meadow, whilst attaching a cross around her neck.
As we reached the Meadow, Armitage caught up with us and, wasting no time on introductions, we returned post-haste to the Whatley ruins. There we found a strange formula, and whilst it was no language that I could decipher, Armitage translated it quickly, and seemingly without difficult. Crudely transliterated, he handed us each a sheet of paper, and advised that this formula, if recited correctly, could be used to bind, or even destroy the creatures that roamed, hidden from our site. Now the hunted became the hunters, as we set out to put Armitage’s theory to the test.
Examining the tracks no-doubt left by the creatures, it was clear that there were far more of the beasts roaming the area than I had previously assumed, perhaps as many as 4! Suddenly a great shaking of the earth made me realise that the creatures were upon me, and it took all the composure I had left to calm myself in spite of the fear: carefully observing where the grass bent and flattened, and moving myself to a comparatively safe place. Once there I began to chant from the formula Armitage had written out, and heard a great screech of pain as the beast reared back in anger and surprise. Zoey seemed to sense the creature’s weakness and, leaping forward, fell upon the beast, sending the first one toppling to its doom.
Before I could call to her to stop, Zoey was off again, charging down towards Cold Spring Glen. I found myself once more set-upon by one of the beasts, and it was all I could do to stay out of its grasp. The invisible nightmares seemed now to have been joined by a winged beast of some kind, but that was too far away for me to think about at that moment.
A little way away, I could hear Zoey, almost screaming out the incantation at one of the beasts, and by her triumphant shout, I could tell that the spell was doing its work, although whether the creature was defeated or simply wounded I could not tell from here.
The next few minutes were a blur, and looking back, I struggle to remember clearly what happened. I think that, as I headed down to join Zoe in Cold Spring Glen, one of the invisible monsters must have passed me in the opposite direction, spinning me around, and disorienting me for a moment. The only thing I know with any real certainty is that suddenly there was a winged monstrosity flapping at me, and the sounds of the remaining invisible creatures could be heard nearby, perhaps as many as 3 of them.
The creature seemed to rear back as Zoey struck it with what appeared to be a can of gasoline, although where she had come by such a thing, I had no idea.
“You’re doing The Lord’s work, Daisy” she told me, with a wistful smile, as she began backing away, the winged horror raining its strikes down upon her as she retreated.
I have never been particularly religious, and the unspeakable nightmares that I had seen these past few days made it hard for me to believe in any benevolent higher power.
“Are you sure about that?” I called after her “what if this is all there is? Just us and these monsters?”
She flashed me a smile as she disappeared up the slope towards the sounds of the thrashing creatures
“Well, in that case … I guess I’ll see you in hell.”
Still somewhat dazed by my most recent encounters, it took me a moment to comprehend the finality of her answer. By the time I understood, it was too late, and I barely managed more than a few steps in that direction before there was an almighty BOOM, as the petroleum can and, no doubt, everything else in its vicinity were consumed by an instant inferno. The shockwave knocked me from my feet, and it was a few moments before I could stand. By the time I did, all was quiet – it seemed that Zoey had accomplished her task, but I did not need to crest the rise to know at what cost…
- No Brood Escape Into the Wild
- 4 Victory Points
There are monsters loose in the countryside! Who’s going to be hunting them? Probably knife-wielding chef/zealot Zoey Samaras.
Again, this felt like a fairly easy pick. Thematically, Zoey seems like the person you’d most expect to find charging around the countryside hunting down monstrosities. Mechanically, she’s got the fighty tools of Guardian and a good enough willpower to be able to deal with Broods.
I’m not a huge fan of this scenario. The random movement of the Broods always feels very fiddly, and it’s very random when they actually appear (due to the treachery). On top of all that, it becomes very difficult to keep track of all the different location effects and which ones have been triggered already this scenario.
I wasn’t very happy with my draft deck, so did a non-logged dry run of this scenario. Somehow, we managed to stagger our way to bagging all the broods, but it felt like all Zoey was contributing was her willpower and killing non-Brood enemies that showed up. The tweaked version was a little bit lighter on Willpower boosts, but brought in Mists of R’yleh and Sixth Sense to grab clues, and exhaust Broods (so you can use the powder of Ibn-Ghazi)
Zoey’s accessory slot always feels heavily contested to me. Normally I tend to think that it’s an easy decision to just play the Amulet, as that automatic damage is so useful (kill a Whippoorwill for a single action) but the utility is much-reduced in this scenario where the main enemies are immune to the damage it deals, so I did consider other options, most notably Holy Rosary for that Willpower boost. Of course, you can go Relic-Hunter, but I was keen to keep this at just the 19xp, and to find the space, I would have had to have either cut out things like Stand Together, or go up a weakness. I did this playthrough quite a long time ago now and if Physical Training (4) had been out, then that would probably have been enough to make me go to 29
Of course, the highlight of this scenario – and indeed of the campaign so far was realising that the stars were going to align for Zoey to pull off the I’ll See You in Hell! – she had to tank an opportunity attack from the Avian Thrall, but 3 Broods in 1 location was just too good to resist. Getting up to 4 broods in play at once was a fairly scary place to be, even with 2 high-willpower investigators, but thankfully Zoe’s kamikaze move was enough to see them through to victory.
I did spot one rules mistake here, long after I’d played the scenario – apparently it’s been confirmed that if you move using Pathfinder whilst Frozen in Fear, it doesn’t cost you an action. As I was making the game harder rather than easier for myself, I wasn’t about to go back and re-play, especially after such a perfect resolution.