Friday, March 22, 2013

Call of Cthulhu scenario inspired by DIO's Holy Diver

This was for a contest:  make a video describing an RPG scenario relating to or inspired by a particular song.  I chose DIO's Holy Diver.  After making the vid, I decided to write the scenario out on my gaming blog.  Ok, here goes...

Holy Diver

This is an underwater scenario involving the sunken corpse-city R'lyeh.

R'lyeh is where Dread Cthulhu waits, not dead but dreaming.  Just as Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones will not awaken nor break through into our reality until the stars are right, so obscured is passage to R'lyeh.  The emerald corpse-city has been displaced from our time-space continuum.  No human can reach it... except for one spot.

Off the coast of the Philippines is a body of water known by some occultists as the Midnight Sea.  For some reason, an extra-dimensional gate or wormhole exists at the bottom of it, leading directly to R'lyeh.

Owner and pilot of a deep sea diving vessel called The Tiger (because of its black stripes), Captain Meeno has been down in the Midnight Sea several times looking for diamonds.  On his last voyage, Captain Meeno accidentally found his way to R'lyeh.  He took a few photos before returning home.  Announcing to the world a lost city at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, Meeno began selecting individuals to accompany him in a bit of exploration and treasure-seeking.  Unfortunately, virtually everyone in the scientific world believes this to be a hoax.  There's nothing to be found in the spot where Captain Meeno claims he saw the city.  And yet, there are still a handful of believers... perhaps by the will of Dread Cthulhu?!?

So far, the expedition is made up of...

Bishop Alphonso DiSalva who believes his rightful promotion to Archbishop was blocked because of his association with Ujieffski.  DiSalva is more than a little bitter about being passed over for promotion, so he sees this as his chance to cement his name in history, as well as, prove to the Church that his friendship with Ujieffski is not a liability.  He hopes to find some kind of holy city beneath the waves.

Ujieffski is a mystic with shaved head and overgrown bushy mustache who was also a member of the Catholic Church before the College of Cardinals deemed his visions to be an instrument of the Devil, whereupon he was excommunicated.  Ujieffski and Alphonso DiSalva became lifelong friends when DiSalva was stationed in the Ukraine decades ago.  Ujieffski has been having a singular yet reoccurring vision since Meeno's announcement - an antediluvian city of secrets, dreams, and untold power!

Wilkinson Smythe III... the third member of Captain Meeno's expedition should probably be hand-picked by the Keeper of Arcane Lore himself as that's the most likely entrance for the investigators.

Once aboard, the expedition will undoubtedly have one or two encounters, such as a competing deep sea vessel full of cultists, an unnatural squid / sea monster attack, or some entity swimming up against The Tiger as it moves through the gateway / wormhole.

As for the emerald corpse-city of R'lyeh, well, that should also be up to the Keeper of Arcane Lore.  One thing is for certain - there should be plenty of conflict between members of this expedition.  Bishop DiSalva will want to claim the lost city for his Catholic Church while Ujieffski will receive very strong impressions that the slumbering God within is the only truth of this fragile universe.  Meanwhile, Captain Meeno will be more interested in looting the place.

If this scenario is a one-shot, then why not allow the investigators or Ujieffski to disturb Cthulhu's sleep?  Or maybe this scenario is part of an ongoing campaign - in that case, the ultra-telluric architecture (complete with horrific bas-reliefs) of R'lyeh will undoubtedly reveal clues as to what the Mythos is really about.  It will take a lot of time, energy, and ritual knowledge to awaken Cthulhu.  And don't forget about those cultists who followed The Tiger through the gate.  Not only do they crave whatever valuables are lying around, such as those cyplopean Art Deco seals made of platinum... but for their Lord to rise!

For those interested, here's the Holy Diver video and the song's lyrics below...

Holy Diver
You've been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what's becoming of me?

Ride the tiger
You can see his stripes but you know he's clean
Oh don't you see what I mean?

Gotta get away
Holy Diver

Shiny diamonds
Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue
Something is coming for you

Look out!
Race for the morning
You can hide in the sun 'till you see the light
Oh we will pray it's all right

Gotta get away-get away
Get away,
Gotta get away,
Get away

Between the velvet lies
There's a truth that's hard as steel
The vision never dies
Life's a never ending wheel

Holy Diver
You're the star of the masquerade
No need to look so afraid

Jump, jump!  Jump on the tiger
You can feel his heart but you know he's mean
Some light can never be seen

Holy Diver
You've been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what's becoming of me

Ride the tiger
You can see his stripes but you know he's clean
Oh don't you see what I mean

Gotta get away
Get away
Gotta get away
Get away yeah

Holy Diver
sole survivor
your armor’s clean

Holy Diver



p.s.  Just found out that my entry won third place in the contest.  Sweet!