The Rats in the Walls (H.P. Lovecraft Call of Cthulhu)


Image "Lord Augustine de la Poer", (c) Kamon McCoy 2013

H.P. Lovecraft’s  "The Rats in the Walls" could ea sily be considered one of  his most disturbing stories. This weave, combining his usual themes of genetic degradation and cosmic insignificance with a somewhat unusual Poe-like fascination with the macabre and torture, is considered to be one of the essential works of the master of weird fiction. The story begins in a traditional gothic location, the ancient English castle of Exham Priory, home of the ancient del la Poer clan, and ends in a vision of utter horror. The idea of the del la Poers, past and present, as an antagonist for a group of Investigators could be a treasure trove of ideas. Here’s one of the mad members of that cannibal family, one who perhaps ruled before Exham Priory “had not been inhabited since the days of James the First”, statted for Cthulhu Dark Ages.


Name: Lord Augustine de la Poer

STR: 16

CON: 14

SIZ: 14

INT: 16

POW: 18

DEX: 13

APP: 6

EDU: 13

SAN: 0

Move: 9

HP: 13

Damage Bonus: +1d4

Weapons: Claws 40%, damage 1d6 + 1d4

Bite 30%, damage 1d6 + automatic worry

Frankish Sword 45%, damage 1d6 + 1d4

Armor: 1-point soft leather armor

Projectiles do half of rolled damage; round up any fraction.

Spells: Bind Enemy, Blight/Bless Crop, Cause/Cure Blindness, Cloud Memory, Contact Nyarlathotep, Create Zombie, Dominate, Enthrall Victim, Eyes of the Zombie, Food of Life, Heal, Implant Fear.

Skills: Art 35%, Bargain 25%, Burrow 75%, Climb 85%, Conceal 45%, Cthulhu Mythos 60%, Dodge 30%, Fast Talk 50%, Hide 60%, Insight 40%, Jump 75%, Library Use 55%, Listen 70%, Occult 75%, Own Kingdom 70%, English 80%, Persuade 65%, Scent Decay 65%. Sneak 80%, Spot Hidden 50%, Status 75%, Track 50%.

Lord Augustine is the fourth Baron of Exham Priory, between Aaron de la Poer and Jacob de la Poer. He is a sinister-looking man with a hunched and freakish, almost canine appearance. He carries with him a very stark demeanor, putting himself above others whenever possible. He is a casual purveyor of art, and a religious man with a bizarre obsession with the parts of scripture revolving around the Blood and Flesh of Christ. He attempts to put on a good face for the nervous public, but can rarely contain his intense discomfort around the common folk. Many peasants suspect him of witchcraft and darker things.

In private, he is ruthless and analytical. He is, indeed, a practicing sorcerer, and is attempting to gain a pact of immortality with the Thousand-Faced God. To this end, he has learned a horrifying and profane ritual where he annually gathers a contingency of peasants to live in Exham Priory with him. In truth, this is to capture as many humans as he can to breed and prepare for disgusting rites, ending when he and a chosen few of his selected peasants, friends, and comrades turn their primitive weapons on their former friends and devour them wholesale.

He is a cruel and horrible man and has