Mythos Society Guide to New England: Bonus Monster - The Demonic Horse!

Clint Staples

Since the Mythos Society Guide to New England was released, each week I have statted out some content based on it for The Call of Cthulhu RPG, 6th Edition. You can find the index of this content here.

 

Today I wanted to take a single, very brief entry from Chapter 7: Mysteries of the Diverse States of New England and flesh it out a bit. The entries are organized alphabetically state-by-state,so if your investigators are in 'x' location in one of the states of New England, you can look it up on a map, see what is nearby, and have a look in Chapter 7 to see what entry might be there. This one is one of the shortest, because there was little further information available on it, from John's Island, a tiny island just off the rugged coast of Maine.

       John’s Island: A treasure of the pirate era is said to be buried nearby with a demonic horse as its guardian.

 

Now the statted out demonic horse I promised has a number of options that a Keeper can chose from, depending on her needs of the moment. In the above instance, preternatural swimming seems like a good idea. Since a pirate treasure is mentioned, and there are numerous references to witches as the guardians of such riches, this demonic horse might be the familiar demon servant of a witch like Goodie Hallet, possibly an undead one, bound by her ancient pact to protect cursed gold. These two details well together, because witches were sometimes said to be able to follow ships at see, mounted on a terrible horse with glowing eyes that would swim along in its wake.

 

The treasure might be whatever the Keeper choses: actual gold - cursed or not, or something more dire like the body of her pirate lover nailed to the bedrock of an submerged cave, complete with his swords and pistols, which now are embued with terrible power. Of course, the witch's grimoire might also be nearby.

 

Perhaps the investigators might cross to John's Island by rowboat, only to find it swathed in an eldritch fog. The sound of hoofbeats, the shining lantern eyes of the demonic steed herald its attack. When the creature is driven off, the investigators must deal with it following them to shore. Later that night or the next, one of their number is visited by a nightmarish vision of the Dreamlands which might contain a cryptic clue to the existence of the treasure or the evil of the witch. The investigators must then return to John's Island to put an end to the demonic horse and its mistress. 

 

Other possibilities:

The demon horse of John’s Island could be an undead creature, perhaps once the loyal mount of an evil man, or a truly hellish being sent by the Devil or Nyarlathotep to a favored servant. It might be the steed of a Horseman of the Apocalypse, or a resource to be bound by an investigator, enabling travel to the Dreamlands. Whatever its nature, it is a massive black horse of fiendish aspect, with glowing eyes, and carnivorous appetites.

 

STR 40

CON 25

SIZ 35

POW 20

DEX 15

Move 14 [+ possibly one of Swim 10/ Fly 12]

HP 30

Av. Damage Bonus: + 4D6.

Sanity Loss: 0/ 1d6 to see a Demon Horse.

Weapons: Bite 75%, damage 1D8+Damage Bonus

Kick 85%, damage 1D10 + Damage Bonus

Rear/Plunge 55%, damage 2D8 + db

Trample 50%, damage 2D6 + db

Armor: 6 point of demonic hide.

Skills: Dodge 65%, Hide in Shadows 75%, Listen 60%, Spot Hidden [unaffected by fog or darkness] 70%.

Spell Like Abilities [The keeper should choose those that he likes]

Compel Rider – Instead of attacking the demon horse can compel a single target to mount its back, at which point it will gallop off tirelessly for hours or days over land, sea and sea, effectively running its rider into exhaustion. The Demon Horse must succeed at a POW vs. POW check to compel. Each 1d6 hours, the rider may make  a POW x1 check to dismount wherever he happens to be.

Breathe Fog – Instead of an attack the demon horse can expel clouds of fog from its nostrils, creating an expanding foggy area. This begins as a 10 foot radius circle, but each round the demon horse Breathes fog in the same place, the cloud expands by another 10 feet in radius. Anyone in the fog, other than the demon horse, has -20% on Fighting, Spot Hidden,

Preternatural Swimming – The demon horse can swim faster than crocodile.

Flight – The demon horse can fly by running across the sky, possibly treading the fog it breathes.

Nightmare – Once the demon horse has seen a person, it can invade her dreams, leeching her of vitality. Any time the victim is asleep, roll The demon horse’s POW or less on d100. On a success it comes to attack the sleeper with a POW. vs. CON check. If it succeeds, it inflicts a nightmare that drains the sleeper of 1d3 CON, which will also reduce their HP.] These CON return at a rate of 1 CON per night. If the victim is attack on successive nights, it may be ridden to death. As an alternative, you might choose to inflict one set of poison symptoms from p. 58 of ‘The Call of Cthulhu RPG’, 6th Edition.

Dreamlands Travel – The demon horse can travel from our world to the Dreamlands at will, or perhaps only at dawn, dusk or midnight. A powerful dreamer, or sorcerer could compel it to carry a rider, but should beware if it has ‘Compel Rider’.

Preternatural Vigour - the demonic horse recovers from injury extremely quickly, perhaps restoring itself to health each dusk, or healing 1d10 HP per hour, at the Keeper's discretion.