Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, first published in 2007, is an RPG written by sci-fi & dark fantasy author David J Rodger – it blends the Cthulhu Mythos and cyberpunk genres in a post-apocalyptic setting. It also now has two novels set within it, Dog Eat Dog and The Black Lake.
RESUME 25th SEPT YD+1 (LATE EVENING )
Clint was visited in his jail cell by a local priest; a father Allberry. He took Clint back to the small house attached to the church (closed) and gave him a bed for the night. In his room he finds a curious photo of a lake, taken a sunset, with figures standing between trees – something ceremonial? A map on the wall shows there is a lake a few miles north. Clint was wary but exhaustion took hold and pulled him into sleep (or maybe something else did).
Paul is with Corrine. She makes him food (possibly drugged) but then seems to have a change of heart; throws away the meal before he can take a mouthful and takes him to the Diner. Meets Stu Woolley and Chris KNight. She leaves him with them. They drink into the night.
Marcus is with his hostess for the night. A woman called Janine who “comes onto him” but then abruptly backs off – as if sensing something familiar about him. Remember that Marcus has a potent Mythos Taint due to his encounter with Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath in Europe (Horror on the Orient Express). She says… “You have the Spirit within you – why are you here? In this settlement?”
Marcus isn’t too certain about her question but he goes with it. She takes him to the edge of Lake Nemi where the fuck like wild things – biting – punching – shrieking. Exhausted but not finished, she takes him to what looks like a figure of an ancient satyr carved into the truck of an old tree – except the figure appears to be frozen in the act of emerging from the tree. There by the base is a wooden cup filled with a vile stinking fluid – something that Marcus remembers intimately from his experience in Europe. She offers it to him, “Do you want to know your Spirit?”
27th Sept YD+1
Josh wakes up in Daphne’s house and is unable to contact any of his team. He spends time in town trying to find them, becoming increasingly worried. Eventually he finds Clint at the church; he finds Paul hungover but rested at the Old Store…. but there is no sign of Marcus. Later, Clint also vanishes again after going to find Father Allberry. Clint finds himself by an abandoned church at Owl Creek – he rings the bell but it’s daylight and nothing happens. Meanwhile, Josh and Paul have threatened Janine – grabbed her, tied her up, hurt her to make her talk – to learn where Marcus is. By the lake, she says. But Deputy Steel arrives to check up on her and all hell breaks loose. They disarm and tie up the Deputy. Intimidated by Paul – who clutches the deputy’s throat with his ornate brass-like robotic hand; the deputy explains that the town has always been this way. And that Karen, the missing girl, if she is anywhere will be by the tree (this transpires to be the deputy setting the characters up for a fall). Later, Josh uses his profound occult powers to Possess the deputy and walk back to the sheriff office to recover their guns. The Sheriff asks him what he’s doing and Josh (as the deputy) manages to talk a way out of the situation.
Josh and Paul escort the deputy out to the edge of the settlement, into the forest; the deputy leads them to the Lake – where they find Marcus, asleep and partially transmutated into wood, but he shifts back to human and wakes when his compatriots call to him. Around now, Clint also makes his way to the lake having left the abandoned church to find the place he’d seen into the photograph. Together again, the team make their way with the deputy leading to the Tree.
It’s a dark and foreboding place.
And as the sun concludes its descent towards nightfall – the place comes alive with the things that are normally dormant (sleeping, looking like wooden figures) during daylight.
It is an epic fight for survival.
But Marcus finds the Taint which has infected his psyche and his physical being since the traumatic encounter in Europe, has a profound and mesmerizing influence on him here. He becomes entranced by the tree – and the new fluids now coursing through his veins lead him to suffer an episode of wild, furious abandon.
The things, dozens of them, that come streaming out of the forest like a swarm of humanoid locusts take note of him and their leader stops to challenge this… would be imposter. Marcus and the leader square off but Marcus loses the Alpha battle – however, he accepts the authority of the leader and so joins THEM. Turning against his compatriots.
The other characters are firing assault rifles on full-auto. Burning up 9,000 credits of ammunition every 2 second pull of the trigger (emptying magazines). They slaughter a couple dozen Things, but are eventually overwhelmed by them… grappled, disarmed, manhandled. Josh uses potent magic to blast them with energy bolts, but he too is finally grappled and dragged to the ground – he is stripped naked and finds himself the victim of the ugly lust and unrestrained passions of these monsters.
“An amusing moment with a lightening bolt.”
There is a fresh clash between Marcus and the leader. Marcus kills him with a blow to the skull – and finds himself becoming the new alpha of hundreds of these Things.
Josh, Paul and Clint find themselves chained to The Tree. Two women arrive. A female matriarch and the missing girl. “Choose one”, the matriarch says to the girl. Clint is chosen. Held down by the Things, he is stripped naked and mounted by the girl. She then cuts his throat at the final moment of climax. Paul and Josh scream in horror – helpless and agonised by what they’re witnessing. They also lose a dramatic amount of Anxiety points. Clint’s corpse is torn apart by the bare clawed hands of the Things and eaten.
THe night passes and they are ignored. When daylight comes, the Things return to the state of being wood. Marcus is nowhere to be found. The bloodied, shredded remains of Clint lie nearby… buzzing with flies.
As a fresh night approaches, Josh recalls a difficult occult operation that he knows might free him. It enables him to flicker between different planes of reality. He tries it and remarkably succeeds – and then endures a terrible struggle to escape the “gravitational” pull of the monstrous entity that occupies the heart of the tree he is chained to. It pulls him IN, so that as the flicker operation ends he finds himself entombed within the solid core of the trunk. He would have died instantly, if it wasn’t for the properties given to him by the Sedefkar Simulacrum.
He tries again and after a mighty battle of wills, escapes. He frees Paul and they flicker, together, back to a safe place. But the forest starts to come alive with the Things which are in pursuit now.
Josh opens a portal. Back to Little Boston, Paul screams. But Josh takes them back to the Sheriffs office. He wants his stuff. Stepping through, Paul and Josh enter a struggle with the deputy and then the sherif. Eventually overpowering them.
Josh steps into the sherif’s back office where the woman lies bleeding, but alive; and he skins her… taking her flesh. He then does the same with the deputy. It is hard for Paul to keep his nerve.
But all this delay allows the THings to make a rare appearance in town, as the sun sets. And they crash through the doors, swarming into the office. It all happens again. Paul and Josh are about to be overpowered. But then… like a miracle. A blaze of golden light fills the street. Outside – an incredibly ornate brass-like version of a steam train has materialised in the road with a figure stepping down, an outline of a human but filled with the fire of the sun, swirling clouds of plasma and energy within his outline… he points at Paul, and Paul comes. Whilst the THings cower and harden back to wood in the light. Josh tries to follow but the figure (an Elder God) refuses him to approach: you are accursed.
Paul vanishes with the God and the train.
Josh is surrounded by the swarms of wooden horrors now coming back to life. He flickers away to a safe distance, then makes another portal and returns to Little Boston.
Paul is not there.
Marcus has vanished too – no doubt living a life of indulgent passions of eating, fucking, hunting and killing in the forests around Gerlock.
Clint is remembered with sad fondness.
!!! NO RESUME !!!
This scenario marks the end of the Little Boston group for the foreseeable future. The group is now parked on ice. A fresh set of characters are going to be created – dirt poor and with back to square one with skills and abilities. Probably based outside the survivor settlement of Aigues-Mortes, a medieval crusader fort on the coast of the South of France (as featured in the Yellow Dawn novel, Dog Eat Dog.
<>Josh is planning on heading back into Space – taking the evil Sedekfar statue with him.
<>Paul will be experiencing adventures with Elder Gods – but is likely to reappear at Little Boston, in the train, as if no time has elapsed whatsoever.
<> Marcus is happy with his fate.
Roots is a scenario written by Simon Brake for the RPG, Call of Cthulhu. I gratefully received a beta version to play test. Also demonstrating again how flexible the Yellow Dawn universe is to accommodate the storylines’ from other RPG systems. Simon Brake will be making Roots commercially available later in 2013.
About Simon Brake
Graphic designer. Writer. Father. Happy go lucky. Trying to get more writing done nowadays, but it’s hard to find the time. Still, the words are trickling out into the world and people are liking what they read. This year’s goal: a novel?
Graphic designery person. There’s more info (and graphic designery stuff) on my MySpace page – www.myspace.com/breakerspace – but to be honest I’ve probably got more up to date stuff here nowadays. MySpace is self advertising. Facebook is for reconnecting with real life people. And Twitter… Twitter is where the real party is.
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