What is a “Yog-Sothoth”?

Posted: August 5, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
Tags: , , ,

We wrapped up our investigation into the dealings of one Mr. Bernard Corbitt last Sunday. TG was absent so HG managed the affairs of Quinton Nothnagel while LL saw to Harland Doyle.

At around 8:30 am on Tuesday morning, Harland Doyle heard a knock at his front door. He looked through the window and saw his neighbor, Mr. Corbitt, with a basket. When he opened the door, Corbitt wished him good morning and offered the basket, which he said contained some of his latest crop of cucumbers. He also wanted to ask, by the way, if Harland had noticed anyone prowling around his property the day before…as some items seemed to be missing. Harland replied that he, of course, had not seen anyone but that he would certainly keep a close eye on the place in the future. Corbitt, after a momentary narrowing of the eyes, seemed to accept Harland’s word on the matter, thanked him, and headed to his car to head to his office. (MA: This was a Fast Talk roll, which LL beat nicely, followed by a POW vs. POW roll on the Resistance Table, which she did not. Corbitt bought Harland’s story but he’s still a slight bit suspicious. It won’t matter, as we’ll see later.) 

At around 11:00 am, things began happening elsewhere. Just outside of town, Helen and Sam arrived at the Arhham City Dump, the site they suspect has been being used by Mr. Corbitt and his associate from the hospital, Mr. Tomaszewski. The gates were closed and locked, this being outside of normal operating hours, so they parked their car and began walking around the perimeter fence. Near the back they found a spot where the chain-link fence had been breached; several links had been cut, opening up a hole large enough for a man to squeeze through. Sam and Helen did just this. They looked around and found a couple of mounds that appeared to be where the hospital dumped its refuse, recognizable because it contained old bedsheets, smocks, wrappings from medical supplies, and so forth. No body parts were to be found, however.

Meanwhile, Dr. Black used this time to visit to the M.U. library and St. Mary’s to learn what he could about Tomaszewski. He searched past Arkham newspapers at the library but only found one story, dated three months previous, in which the Arkham Police Department announced that it had arrested Randolph Tomaszewski as a suspect in a rash of pet disappearances, though he was later released for lack of evidence. At the hospital, Black was able to briefly examine Tomaszewski’s employment records. His files contained no real irregularities, no disciplinary actions, and noted the man was currently employed as an orderly often tasked with cleaning up after surgeries, properly disposing of medical waste and discarded organs and so forth. The hospital logs all visitors to the facility and Black, upon examining those logs, noted several lunchtime visits to Tomaszewski by a Mr. Bernard Corbitt.  

Back in the M.U. library, Dale looked into Corbitt’s supposed “master”, Ramasekva. In the anthropology collection he found many references to the multi-limbed god of Hindi mythology. Ramasekva was one of the Asuras, power-seeking gods often considered to be evil and opposed by the good Devas. He read on the subject for hours, and it was fascinating material, but found little of practical use.

Quinton followed up on a reference in Corbitt’s journals to Ramasekva’s relation to “Yog-Sothoth” mentioned in Corbitt’s copy of Theophilus Wenn’s True Magick. As Helen didn’t take Corbitt’s copy he searched for it in the library, only to find that it had recently been moved to the “restricted reading” section, its perusal subject to the approval of the library director. Fortunately, Quinton was well-acquainted with Dr. Henry Armitage and was able to approach him on the subject. After some wrangling, Armitage agreed to allow Quinton to view the volume under his supervision.

The reference Corbitt mentioned was vague, simply stating that Ramasekva might be an aspect of a god called Yog-Sothoth but it contained no further details on that entity. Armitage, who had been reading over Quinton’s shoulder, was intrigued by Quinton’s research though he didn’t yet know its purpose. He carefully brought out a volume that might shed some light on the subject: a book called The Necronomicon, as translated into English by one Dr. John Dee in 1586. The contents were mind-blowing to Quinton but, specific to his line of inquiry, detailed an entity known variously as Yazrael/Azrael, Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-one, the Opener of the Way, the Gate and the Key, and a number of other appellations. Yog-Sothoth supposedly dwells in the interstices of the planes that compose the universe…and its main desire is to enter our plane to feast upon the life it contains. Given Corbitt’s entries concerning the future of his “child” as a gate for Ramasekva/Yog-Sothoth, he found this revelation slightly terrifying.

The group reunited in the early afternoon to discuss their findings. Though clearly fantastic, they had begun to fear that Corbitt might be slightly more than a simple madman and resolved to do something about it. Sam put in a call to detective Mickey Harrigan at the Arkham Police Department. He had worked with Harrigan in the past and knew him to be a forthright and honest individual. Harrigan agreed to look into the matter and obtain a warrant to search Corbitt’s home if he could back up their claims about Tomaszewski. 

Our friends retired to the home of Harland Doyle, where they told him what they had learned and the action they had taken. Though Harland wasn’t too happy about police involvement, he eventually agreed that it was probably the best course of action, given the potential (unbelievable) stakes if Corbitt turned out to be more than mad. Apparently the wheels of justice turn quickly in Arkham because, at around 6:30 pm, two police cars and an unmarked sedan arrived at Corbitt’s. As the group watched from Harland’s front room, the men quickly moved to the front and rear entrances and Harrigan approached the front door bearing some sort of official-looking papers.

Corbitt answered the door and Harrigan showed him the papers and continued speaking with him as the policemen went into the home. After just a short while gunshots were heard and one of the police officers returned hurriedly to the porch and reported to Harrigan. Corbitt was soon handcuffed and taken to one of the police cars. Harrigan and the officer went back inside for a while and then two officers drove Corbitt away in one car while two more and Harrigan stayed inside the home. Harrigan could be seen pacing inside for quite some time. At around 8:30 pm, two more unmarked cars and a van arrived at Corbitts. Men in suits exited the vehicle and entered the home. The men and the officers began carrying boxes and other items from the home and placing them in the van and, at some point, the sound of automatic gunfire could be heard from the home. Harrigan continued pacing. At about 10:00 pm, a truck from the Arkham fire department arrived though the firemen standing near the vehicle took no action as the men in suits and officers left the home and flames began to consume it.

Apparently, according to one of the men in suits questioned by Harland during the events of the evening, the home and Corbitt were the source of a terrible infectious disease and the government had taken steps to neutralize the potential threat to Arkham and surrounding towns and cities. The next morning’s issue of the Arkham Advertiser would run a story describing the burning of Corbitt’s home and containing a similar statement from health officials. Harrigan, later questioned on the matter by Sam, seemed shaken and hadn’t much to say on the matter other than “They…they burned down the house…”

Indeed. Well, the citizens of Arkham and environs owe a debt of gratitude to our friends. Infectious disease, if not controlled quickly, can be a very dangerous thing.

It looks as if we’ll continue to follow our group of new friends for a few more weeks. There are more than a few mysteries waiting to be solved in mysterious Arkham and its surrounding towns. In fact, I hear there’s some recent funny business over Innsmouth way…

NB: Armitage and Harrigan were chosen during play as contacts for Quinton and Sam, respectively. During character creation I had the players roll 3d4-2 for each character, the result being the number of generic contacts they had amassed during their lives to that point. Who are they? We don’t know yet but will assign them as the need arises during play. That gives the players a tool for getting help when they need it and gives me a nice way to link their characters into the setting and story as things develop. Additionally, Credit Rating helps determine the status of contacts. If you’ve got a 75% rating then roughly three out of four of your contacts are going to be “reputable”. If you have a 25% it’ll be the inverse. If your rating is very high then you probably know at least one or two very important reputable people, such as the mayor or a prominent banker. If it’s low then maybe you know Danny O’Bannion or similar. Most contacts, however, are in the middle zone…neither terribly reputable or disreputable, but maybe just a slight leaning either direction. This won’t be implemented as an exact equation or anything like that. It’s designed to be an inspiration for character development, not a crunchy game rule that acts as a restraint.

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