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TRAIL OF CTHULHU

1
The Murderer
of Thomas Fell
A man close to you—father, business partner,
informant, friend—has gone missing. The search
begins at his house... which is not as it seems.
Following the trail of this missing man leads you on
a startling and perilous adventure. Finding him may
change your life, and his, forever.
Tonight you meet the murderer of Thomas Fell.
2
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
3
Credits
Publisher: Simon Rogers
Written by: Will Hindmarch
Art and Layout: Jérome Huguenin
GUMSHOE Guru: Robin D Laws
Playtesters: Alex Jeffries, Scott McKillican, O’Rourke Nirvan Wynn,
Michael Marshall, Amy Poynter, Will Ludwigsen, Scott McClellan, Ed
Cain, Don Rochester
Trail of Cthulhu was written by Kenneth Hite, based on the GUMSHOE
system by Robin D Laws
Trail of Cthulhu was created by arrangement with Chaosium, Inc.
© 2008 Pelgrane Press Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Published by arrangement with Chaosium, Inc. Trail
of Cthulhu is a trademark of Pelgrane Press Ltd.
4
An Introduction
GUMSHOE is the game engine humming inside a collection of
sleek, focused horror and investigation RPGs. It is a precision
instrument, designed to tell stories through roleplaying by giving
players a greater degree of control over the moments when their
characters succeed. In part, it does this by removing the random
element in investigative scenarios and replacing it with that core
element of all good gameplay: decision making.
In a GUMSHOE scenario, the question isn’t whether you
can find the clues in some kind of randomized equivalent of a
pixel hunt. Rather, your characters—presumed to be capable
investigators—are assured to find the clues they need. The
question becomes whether you can piece those clues together
in time to solve the dramatic, and often horrific, mysteries your
characters confront.
Whether you’re looking for a game centered on bold detectives
scouring dark places for the truth behind occult crimes, or
you want to recreate the sweaty desperation of survival horror
movies, in which ordinary people face extraordinary terror,
there’s a GUMSHOE game to create the perfect experience.
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
In the tradition of the RPG classic, Call of Cthulhu, comes
fan-favorite author Ken Hite’s adaptation of the game for the
GUMSHOE system: Trail of Cthulhu. If you’re reading this, you have
some idea what this game is, or will soon. Probably you enough
about the Cthulhu mythos tales of H.P. Lovecraft to understand
that the perils of following the trail of Cthulhu are madness and
death, and that it’s the selfless bravery of the investigators who
dare to face the withering
existential truths of the
cosmos that makes them
heroic.
What you may not know,
yet, is what makes Trail
of Cthulhu distinctive,
beyond just a new kind of
game rules and a ten-year
time shift to the 1930s.
Beyond the specially
honed investigative
rules common to all
GUMSHOE games, this
game features simple
new ways to humanize
investigator characters
and detail their motives
and personalities. In
game terms, these are
their Drives, Pillars of Sanity, and Sources of Stability.
Trail of Cthulhu also supports two distinct styles of play, so you
can face Lovecraftian horrors exactly the way you want to. In the
Purist mode of play, investigators are fragile, wary souls whose
sanity is finite and always in peril of being blasted away to nothing
by the unearthly truths to which they expose themselves. You
can also play Trail of Cthulhu is the Pulp style, throwing punches
at sinister cultists and emptying Tommy guns into the drooling
maws of mythos creatures. Each style of play is a simple matter
of degree, so learn one simple set of rules and you’re ready to
play either way.
You’ll need the Trail of Cthulhu rulebook to play this adventure,
but you’ll find the format of GUMSHOE adventures is so clear
and concise that you can appreciate this scenario even if you
haven’t yet read the rulebook.
THE ESOTERRORISTS
You might be afraid to face the Esoterrorists. You should be. But
they must be stopped. It’s up to you.
The bold and intriguing debut of the GUMSHOE system, The
Esoterrorists is a complete investigative horror game from RPG
mastermind, Robin D. Laws. As part of a global conspiracy
called Ordo Veritatis, your expert detective character pursues
and confronts occult
terrorists wherever
they lurk. If you don’t
stop them, they’ll shape
reality to their insane
whims, warping the
world into a vision of
horror in which the
viciously mad are kings
and good people live in
fear.
Your weapons? Cunning,
reason, courage, and
the truth. Use the clues
you discover, combined
with your knowledge
and exposure to
occult truths, to solve
the mysteries of the
esoterrorists, fight their crimes, and avenge the dead. Sometimes
that means outwitting the enemy, sometimes it means shooting
him dead.
The Esoterrorists is a razor-sharp roleplaying game of mystery
and the occult, with concrete guidelines to get you designing
your own compelling investigative scenarios right away. Inside
you’ll discover the secret ambitions of the loosely-aligned
5
cults of the Esoterrorists, horrors to confront, more than 35
investigative abilities to hone, and a complete, advanced scenario
of geopolitical terror called “Operation Slaughterhouse.”
FEAR ITSELF
In the tradition of
the greatest slasher
films and survival-
horror tales, Fear Itself
pits ordinary people
against extraordinary
horrors in scenarios
in which few—if
any—characters will
survive. Explore a
modern world of
gritty, desperate
confrontations against
an alien menace from
the Outer Black. And
escape, if you can,
with your life.
Fear Itself puts
players in control of
characters very much
like themselves, then plunges them into the kinds of brutally
terrifying survival-horror scenarios that make you afraid to walk
home alone afterwards. An ideal platform for one-shot games
of relentless, unforgiving terror, Fear Itself is the gutsy, gory
instrument of fear you’ve been looking for.
If your characters escape murder and madness long enough
to survive, Fear Itself easily unfolds into a series of compelling
adventures in which your ordinary characters become
extraordinary over time—and get their chance to make the
monsters of the Outer Black afraid of them.
THE BOOK OF
UNREMITTING HORROR
Intelligent. Insidious. Inhuman. These are your new nightmares.
The Book of Unremitting Horror is a bold and mature menagerie
of terrifying, grotesque, and cunning new monsters for any
GUMSHOE game. No simple catalog of simplistic beasts, this is
a detailed examination of horrors more sophisticated than simple
vampires and zombies, exploring not only how these creatures
behave but what they want, how they think, and why.
Beyond that, each
monster is presented
through the lens of
legendry, rumor, and
hearsay. Read the
accounts of brave,
poor souls who have
faced these things
before. Learn what
to look for, what
evidence they leave
behind, and how best
to fight them. And
when to run.
Don’t just shop for
new creatures to
chop to bits. Take
your antagonists to a
new level of terror.
Remember what it was like to be afraid of monsters. Remember
what monstrous really means.
MUTANT CITY BLUES
In a world not so unlike our own—except that super-powered
vigilantes and criminals are real—someone must keep the peace.
Someone must solve the crimes perpetrated by and against those
with mutant powers. You are that someone. Using your own
unique powers, drawn from more than 95 choices including
Regeneration and Self-Detonation, you follow the clues and
uncover the mysteries of Mutant City.
With a default play mode casting characters as expert investigators
in the employ of the Heightened Capacity Investigative Unit
(HCIU), Mutant City Blues plays as a provocative, super-powered
police procedural. With its detailed history of emerging mutant
powers and the effect they have on the world, Mutant City Blues
is also flexible enough to accommodate your own unique brand
of crime-fighting.
Any city—your city—can become Mutant City. This complete
roleplaying game from acclaimed designer Robin D. Laws, gives
you everything you need to play out intelligent, thrilling police
tales with a stunning super-powered twist.
6
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
Introduction
to the Adventure
This adventure is designed to show
off integral parts of the GUMSHOE
game system that powers Trail of
Cthulhu, but also to give you a taste
of the many kinds of thrills waiting
for you in future adventures for this
game, from investigative suspense to
perilous violence to eldritch madness.
At the same time, this adventure pays
weird homage to the noir classic The
Third Man, by centering the tale on an
absent man—a man the players will
help bring to life through their own
roleplaying and the actions of their
characters. Like The Third Man’s Harry
Lime, Thomas Fell should be a figure
the characters thought they knew...
until their investigation revealed things
about him that they might never have
suspected. The climax of the story
hinges on the dramatic entrance of
Thomas Fell and the revelation of his
dreadful fate.
For the sake of manageability, The
Murderer of Thomas Fell puts the PCs in
a closed environment, so you don’t
have to worry about a sprawling city-
wide investigation or the possibility
of characters hopping on a train and
riding away from the scenario. (Trail of
Cthulhu makes it easy to play out such
large-scale investigative tales, but this
short adventure assumes you don’t
have the time for that.)
Within this closed environment,
however, the players have a great
amount of freedom to investigate,
attack, retreat, regroup, and roleplay.
The choices they make will contribute
to everyone’s mental image of Thomas
Fell, as well as his actual game
statistics, thereby setting up the players
and their characters alike for his
shocking appearance at the end of the
story. (See “The Truth About Thomas
Fell” on p. XX to see how.)
Using This Story
This scenario is designed to be played
as a stand-alone or one-shot tale—a
taste of Trail of Cthulhu before you
create characters of your own. That
makes this a good scenario to play at a
convention or as a first foray into the
GUMSHOE system.
This isn’t to say you can’t easily adapt
this story for use in an ongoing Trail
of Cthulhu series. “The Murderer
of Thomas Fell” makes a fine
introductory story, or a prologue to a
ongoing series, if you want to follow
up on the exploits of these characters
or make continued use of the artifact
described herein. See the section
called “Aftermath,” at the end of this
story, for more on that.
To make this part of a Trail of Cthulhu
series that’s already begun, simply
don’t worry so much about the
personal connections between the
players’ characters and Thomas Fell
himself. Your series’ characters are
probably already intrepid investigators
with their own reasons for looking into
the mysterious disappearance of a local
antiques dealer. Here are some easy
ways you can set up Thomas Fell, and
thus this story, in an ongoing game:
· l.sc:t I|ou»s lcll »s » ¡l»,c:
character’s contact.
· l.t:ocucc I|ou»s lcll i. ». c»:lic:
story as a witness or expert
consultant on an unrelated case.
Then have the characters hear
from Kenneth or Roger, Thomas’s
sons, that Thomas hasn’t been
seen in several days and his house
dark. “Will you go with us to look
around his house?” they ask.
· ·ct I|ou»s lcll u¡ c»:l, i. ,ou:
series as a Source of Stability for
a player character, especially one
with points in Archaeology, Art
History, or even Occult.
The only downside to using this story
in the midst of an ongoing series is that
you may not get to take advantage of
the opportunity to have the players
define Thomas Fell through their own
roleplaying.
Reading This Story
Throughout this story, you’ll find
text describing the story’s settings,
characters, monsters, and events.
Some of this text is suitable for reading
aloud to your players. Don’t. This text
is meant to be inspirational, giving
you a concrete details you can use in
your own descriptions and account of
events.
Reading directly from the text feels
stiff and overly formal most of the
time. Worse, when you read from the
text, the players can tell when you’re
winging it and when you’re not. This
might tip them off to details that are
important, versus details that are red
herrings or just for color. Rather than
giving them these meta-clues, if you
will, stick to paraphrasing the text you
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
7
Introduction to the Adventure
The first part of the story puts the
characters in Thomas Fell’s house,
parts of which have been replaced,
impossibly, by jutting boulders and
tangled jungle trees. There they seek
evidence of his whereabouts and any
clues that might suggest just where
the hell the kitchen has gone. This
part’s scenes occur when the PCs visit
particular parts of the house but once
the scene “Cellar,” is complete, the
story moves irrevocably into its second
part.
The second part of the story begins
when an ancient artifact in the cellar
mystically transports the PCs to the
remote and alien mountaintop where
Thomas Fell’s expedition of occultists
and archaeologists met its awful end.
There the characters struggle to find
Thomas Fell and make sense of all
available clues in the hopes of finding
a way home. At the same time, they
strive to avoid being bitten and turned
slowly to stone by the strange and
lethal creature that dwells upon the
mountaintop. These scenes occur
either when the PCs physical location
or your sense of drama dictates that
they do.
This story offers numerous
opportunities for embellishing detours
and short tangents, but the barest
spine of the tale is quite simple. To
complete this scenario, the characters
must:
· lc su¡c:.»tu:»ll, t:».s¡o:tcc to
the bizarre mountaintop ruins
· Discovc: t|c .»tu:c oi t|c »:tii»ct
that brought them there
· loc»tc I|ou»s lcll... ».c |ill
him to secure escape from the
mountain
Along the way, the characters have
opportunities to learn the truth about
Thomas Fell’s doomed expedition to
the mountain (which may be of use
Driven mad by Mythos revelations he
has discovered while researching the
stones, Thomas tried to kill the rest
of his expedition to keep them away
from his fragment of a broken standing
stone, which allows them to teleport
back to his house. He succeeded in
killing one of his comrades and fatally
wounding another; the other two
fled into the mountaintop’s strange
wilderness, where they were attacked
by the egg-tending beast that dwells
inside the rocks there. They remain
alive, for now, as they are gradually
encased and penetrated by ribbons
of stone that will store them for the
monster and its young to eat later.
Meanwhile, using a spell engraved
on a mountaintop stele, Thomas has
absorbed the stone fragment into
his body, and it’s the only hope of
getting off the mountaintop. His
plan is to capture at least one more
off the monster’s eggs to take “back
to the world.” His plan beyond that
is sketchy and irrational: he believes
that he needs to bring these eggs
to other teleportation destinations,
hatch them, and train them to serve
as protectors. Anyone who gets in his
way must, in his mind, want to exploit
the teleportation stones for their own
purposes; killing such persons will save
lives, he thinks.
If the player characters want to see
home again, they must get the stone
fragment out of Thomas Fell, which
requires cutting him open and tearing
it free. Fatal, to be sure. This is the
price, however, of achieving the
scenario’s victory condition: escape
from the mountaintop.
The Spine
This adventure consists of two main
parts, each set in a different part of the
globe and each containing scenes that
can be played in just about any order.
find in this book, glancing at it before
you describe the setting and actions
unique to your version of this story.
Your focus, after all, should be on the
players and the tale actually unfolding
around them—not the version of the
story we predict here.
This adventure demonstrates all the
parts of a scenario described on page
192 of Trail of Cthulhu.
The Hook
Thomas Fell has gone missing. For days
no one in town has seen him. He hasn’t
answered his phone. He hasn’t picked
up his mail. His house has been dark.
Where is he?
The scenario begins with the
characters assembled on Thomas Fell’s
front porch and unlocking the door to
his house.
The Horrible Truth
Thomas Fell has departed his home
through the use of a mystic artifact—a
standing stone in his cellar which
interacts with other alien standing
stones to magically teleport persons
across the globe. He has used the stone
in his cellar once already, without
telling anyone, and collected a strange
stone artifact—egg-shaped and etched
with glyphs—on his journey. (This is
rather what it appears to be: an egg.
Inside is a fearsome alien predator.)
Thomas’ scheduled trip is part of
an expedition funded by Jan Joyce-
Cleveland, but it began somewhat
sooner than expected, when Thomas
and the four expeditionary partners
he hired (with Joyce-Cleveland’s
money) met at his house to plan out
the trip. The teleportation effect,
accidentally triggered, relocated them
to a mysterious mountaintop deep in a
remote and dangerous mountain range.
8
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
the characters while they wander the
mountaintop, but this undercuts the
final reveal of Thomas at the end of the
story; it’s best if the PCs don’t know
Thomas is still alive until after they’ve
learned that he is the one who has
turned on the expedition members.
Leave them wondering where Thomas
is and just who has killed him for as
long as possible.
The Mouth in the Stone is a fearsome
monster, vaguely cunning but no more
intelligent or sinister than any earthly
predator. It reacts to the presence of
the investigators by stalking them and,
if possible, securing them as a source
of food with its petrifying bite. The
timing and appetite of the creature
is entirely a matter of Keeper fiat. It
attacks when you think the adventure
needs a dose of desperate peril or
gruesome violence, or when you need
to conveniently remove an NPC that’s
bogging things down.
Neither of these antagonists, therefore,
is working actively against the PCs. The
primary opposing force generating the
conflict in this story is the characters’
predicament: they are trapped in a
hostile place. Everything—the threat
of the creature, the lurking danger
of Thomas Fell, the possibility of
starvation or a fatal fall—should be
empowered by the antagonism of the
environment itself.
Special Game System: The
Truth About Thomas Fell
Who is Thomas Fell? That
depends. Who do the PCs think
he is?
Thomas Fell’s personality, abilities,
and background reflect the way the
players roleplay their characters and
what they presume their relationship
with Thomas was like. By reacting
Part Two:
The Mountaintop
Once the characters have activated
the stele in Thomas Fell’s basement,
the story moves to this second part,
a survival and investigation situation
in which the goal is to locate Thomas
without being slain by a fearsome
monster first. This part of the story is
set in a remote Andean mountaintop,
transformed into a temperate, alien
refuge by ancient and forgotten
mysticism.
By locating and following clues based
largely on Evidence Collection,
Outdoorsman, Art History, and
Interpersonal Abilities, the characters
are able to discern just what is
necessary to escape the mountaintop.
The clue chain takes the characters
across various optional encounters
centered on the scenes of multiple
attacks and dying survivors, where
they may learn clues that prepare
them for their final encounter, before
culminating in the discovery of Thomas
Fell at a bizarre shrine. There they are
faced with the moral dilemma at the
heart of this story: who will be the
murderer of Thomas Fell?
All along the way, the characters have
opportunities to use their General
Abilities as they flee from or fight an
unearthly monster: The Mouth in the
Stone.
Antagonist Reactions
There are two antagonists working
against the PCs in this scenario:
Thomas Fell and the supernatural
creature called the Mouth in the Stone.
Thomas Fell reacts to the arrival
and investigations of the PCs by
withdrawing from them and remaining
hidden for as long as possible—that
is, until you’re ready to trigger the
final scene of the story. If it suits your
purposes, he may track or shadow
should you choose to turn this one-
shot story into the beginning of an
ongoing campaign), and the fates that
befell his colleagues.
Meanwhile, the players use their
character’s abilities to add personality
and details to the persona of Thomas
Fell, with the help the Keeper, as
described in the special game system
on p. XX.
Overview
Part One:
Thomas Fell’s House
This first part of the scenario is a
collection of simple investigative
scenes designed to reward almost any
manner of investigative approach and
give the players a chance to get into
character (or show off their skills)
before the mayhem begins. As such,
the clues available in many of these
scenes are attainable with a variety of
Investigative Abilities. Be flexible. It’s
more important for the characters
to learn how to gain clues in these
scenes than it is for them to properly
assemble them.
Most of the clues revealed in this first
part are leveraged clues, useful
when the characters locate survivors of
Thomas Fell’s expedition in Part Two.
Likewise, this is where the players
are most likely to detail Thomas Fell’s
character with their own actions.
Pacing in this first part is vital—don’t
let the PCs get bored enough to leave
the house. When one of them tries
to do that, it’s your sign to trigger
“The Stone Activates” clause in the
scene “The Cellar.” This immediately
transports the character to Part Two.
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
9
Overview
Library Use + Bargain: “We’ve
seen Hanson’s journal, Thomas. I saw
your notes back at the house. We know
about the stones and those creature’s
eggs. If we agree to bring the eggs
back, will you take us home?”
Letting the Players In On It
Do the players know they’re defining
Thomas Fell with their actions? The
default assumption is that they do
not. This minimizes the ability of the
players to abuse the mechanism.
On the other hand, if you’re running
the kind of game in which the players
are able to add details to the setting
by asking about them—e.g., “There’s
probably a box of cigars in here,
right?”—and they’re not throwing the
whole game experience out of whack,
then you should let them in on the
game system so they can specifically
add details to Thomas Fell as a means
of adding reflective details to their
own characters. For example, Roger’s
player might suggest that Thomas
Fell failed out of medical school and
was always a little jealous of his son’s
success, just as a means of explaining a
bit of Roger’s arrogance.
Only you know your players well
enough to judge the right course of
action, here. We certainly don’t.
Essential Traits
While Thomas’ interests and
personality quirks are subject to the
inputs of the players, a few essential
traits must be in his repertoire in
order to make this scenario unfold
with a bit of logic. At least as of
the moment when the PCs finally
encounter Thomas Fell, he must have
the following traits or Abilities:
· lis ·».it, is c:occc to .ot|i.g»
rating of 0. Thomas is irretrievably
insane, broken by his exposure to
Mythos spells and the effects of
the one he cast upon himself. His
Sanity was probably never very
So, an Academic, Technical or possibly
even a General spend in the first part
of the scenario can reveal a piece of
information about Thomas Fell—the
prerequisite clue—that can be
leveraged in the final scene with an
Interpersonal Ability.
Here are a few examples of
Investigative Abilities the pre-
generated characters possess and
how they might be leveraged with an
Interpersonal Ability in the final scene.
Remember, these are examples, not
restrictions:
Art + Flattery: “Dad, you remember
how mad I got when I was having
trouble with figure drawing in school?
I was furious because I wanted it to be
easy, but it wasn’t. You told me, ‘things
are often hard when they’re worth
doing.’ I know it’s hard for you to put
down the gun, Dad, but... it’s the right
thing to do. You taught me that. You
know it’s the right thing to do. You’re
smarter than this.”
Latin + Assess Honesty: “You
taught me the Hippocratic Oath in
Latin because you said, if I really meant
it, I should learn it twice. You believed
in me for learning it, and following it,
didn’t you? ‘Do no harm.’ You’re not
going to shoot me, are you, Dad?”
Evidence Collection +
Interrogation: “You put two rounds
into that man’s back, Thomas. You
shot a man in the back! What the hell
is wrong with you? What were you
thinking? How did you expect to get
out of here without your partners? Tell
me!”
Occult + Intimidation: “You read
the stones, didn’t you, Thomas? You
used them. So you know how to get
us home. Now you listen to me: your
boys will die here, starved or eaten,
unless you tell me how to get us out of
here. You tell me, or we die and you’re
finished in ‘back in the world.’”
to the players’ cues (intentional or
incidental) you ensure that their
choices have meaning and that Thomas
has a personal connection with the
characters when they finally meet.
For example, if Kenneth’s player
makes it clear that Kenneth finds his
father to be a harmless old kook, you
have a scrap, a datum, to absorb into
your characterization of Thomas. He
is, on some level, a gentle and perhaps
even eccentric fellow—when he’s not
crazily murdering. Maybe he continues
to wear and adjust his glasses, or
straighten his bloodied tie, or speak
with a start-and-stop shyness. If, on
the other hand, Knox’s player suggests
that Thomas was a stubborn bastard,
you should play him as a stubborn
bastard, at least in his dealing with
Knox. Remember, no one behaves the
same way with everyone.
Beyond that, and more specifically,
the spends players make in Thomas’
house should influence his abilities, his
interests, and his vulnerabilities—the
things which affect him, even through
his madness. Players may make spends
with almost any skill in this way just to
detail Thomas’s character. As a rule of
thumb, no player may make a second
spend on Thomas’ details until every
other player has made his or her first
spend to do so.
This sets up Thomas to react to
leveraged clues in the final scene of
the story, essentially creating the
possibility for every Investigative
spend describing him to turn into
a leveraged clue, as described
on p. 194 of Trail of Cthulhu. If it’s
an Archaeology spend that reveals
Thomas’ secret library (in the scene
“The Den”) is hidden by a latched door
behind an etching of Knossos, then
using symbolism or archaeological
references may get his attention in the
final scene, enabling an Interpersonal
ability to penetrate his mad thoughts
and reach the mind within.
10
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
Thomas Fell gives each player another
way to define to individualize her
character.
Kenneth Fell
Occupation: Artist
Drive: Ennui
Broke, bohemian, and haunted by
a sense of powerlessness, you are a
true artist. Not in the sense of the
Masters, but in the real-world sense
of the working, toiling creator, living
in squalor but proud that at least you
don’t have to demean yourself with
embarrassing, soulless work. You can
count on your fingers the number of
pieces you’ve sold—some sculpture,
some paintings—but every one has
gone to people with decent taste and
good money; people you can respect
yourself for selling art to. By eating
tins of beans and living in your studio
with a communal bathroom down
the hall, you even manage to live
for several months off a single sale.
Somebody, you might make it big. But,
you realize, probably not. You get by.
Nature is one avenue of inspiration for
you, particularly the way the world
sculpts itself. Volcanoes, desert bluffs,
ocean-side cliffs and other natural rock
formations captivate you. These are
what you paint and sculpt, sometimes
realistically and sometimes not.
You are the younger of Thomas Fell’s
two sons. Your older brother is Roger,
a doctor. He’s the respectable one,
the success story. He took after your
father’s academic side, the rational
side, and got through medical school
with discipline and more than a little
arrogance. You can’t really relate to
that. Ambition, arrogance, duty—
these are admiral traits, but they
belong to other people. You’re more
sensitive, observant, and sympathetic;
you tell yourself that these are what
make you a good person, even though
using this story for a convention game,
the information provided herein is
all the players have to go on when
imagining Thomas Fell, or when
discussing him in-character.
If you’re using this story to kick off an
ongoing Trail of Cthulhu series, consider
extracting some of these characters’
relationships and experiences with
Thomas Fell and assigning them to the
characters your players presumably
make for themselves. Although Thomas
Fell’s personality and history should
remain close to what’s described here,
give him siblings, friendly rivals, ex-
wives or whatever else is necessary
to build a compelling dramatic
connection between him and the
players’ characters.
Whether you’re using pre-generated
characters or not, it’s important that
every player’s character have some
personal history with Thomas Fell built
into her backstory, even if that rapport
isn’t so important that Thomas Fell
is one of their Sources of Stability. In
fact, for characters you expect to carry
over to follow-up stories, it’s best if
Thomas Fell is not a Source of Stability,
since his death is all but guaranteed.
Perhaps the characters know Thomas
from a function at the Joyce-Cleveland
estate, or perhaps they’ve met him
through dealings with Makepeace
or Detective Wright. Any of the
relationships established with the pre-
generated characters can be dialed
down to something less than Source-
of-Stability levels.
A prior connection to Thomas Fell
helps not only to heighten the moral
dilemma at the end of this story, but it
gives each player material to draw on
when roleplaying the search for their
missing friend. Are they afraid for his
safety or afraid that he’ll make some
great discovery without them? Do
they blame Thomas for their troubles
or expect him to save them all? Each
character’s unique relationship with
high to begin with.
· lis ·t»|ilit, is low, |ut .ot go.c.
It’s this semblance of normalcy
that enabled him to get the jump
on his expedition partners. His
exact Stability must be determined
by you, the Keeper, to reflect the
difficulty and tone of the final
scene as you want to present it. It
can also be fudged to reflect the
inputs of the players, who may
suggest something of Thomas’
Stability prior to this expedition.
· I|ou»s :c»cs ».c w:itcs ». ».cic.t
language that none of the PCs do,
and it is in this language that the
Mythos secrets on the stelae are
carved. Perhaps it’s an ancient
Incan dialect or a bizarre derivation
of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Whatever it is, this language is the
barrier that stands between the
characters and the ability to use
Mythos knowledge or spells in the
final scene. You want to allude to a
greater, unknown horror, not get
bogged down in the minutiae of
how Thomas’ ill-fated spell works.
· li:c»:us, ·cuiili.g ».c Wc»¡o.s.
Thomas needs a rating in at least
one of these Abilities sufficient
to be a threat in the final scene.
More than likely, his advantage is
not his expertise in any of these
Abilities but, rather, his shotgun:
a Winchester pump-action with 5
shots. It deals +1 damage.
(If it’s helpful for exposition purposes,
Thomas Fell used to hunt quail with
Makepeace. From this he’s picked up
a rating of 8 in Firearms; enough to
be dangerous in the final scenes of the
story.)
Player Characters
To get you playing the game right
away, you have here five pre-generated
characters, each with its own personal
connection to Thomas Fell. If you’re
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
11
Player Characters
the money is good and it’s important
work but... you don’t really like
doing it anymore. You have to check
the chart to remember your patients’
names sometimes. You’re a little tired
of seeing the same cases again and
again—tennis elbows and stomach
aches all the time.
You are the elder son of Thomas Fell.
Your little brother is Kenneth, the
“artist.” How does he manage to live
the way he does? Eating beans from
the tin and sleeping in his hole of a
Roger Fell
Occupation: Doctor
Drive: Duty
A husband and a doctor, you consider
yourself an upstanding citizen and, one
day, a family man. You work hard, you
make good money, you support your
wife and don’t mess around. What else
is there?
For you, medicine is a profession,
not a calling. You help people because
you’re not healing the sick. You two
don’t talk much.
Your dad is a kindly old coot, prone to
getting in over his head, especially in
regards to business. He’s owed money
in the past, but not to especially bad
people, and he’s been taken by forgers
and deadbeats before. Fingers crossed,
that’s as bad as it is this time, and
he’s just laying low, trying to figure
out how to make some money to pay
back some debts and keep his antiques
consultancy and dealership in business.
You don’t know what you’d do if he’s
really in trouble. Surely you’d do
anything to find him, but you’re not
sure what you’d do if something were
to happen to him. You’ve come to
dad’s house because you’re genuinely
worried about him.
Pillars of Sanity:
· I|c gooc.css ».c |o.cst, oi t|c
natural world
· I|c :cli»|ilit, oi |uu».|i.c`s
predictable selfishness being
undermined by generosity
· I|c ¡owc: oi »:t to iu¡»ct t|c
heart and mind of any person, if
done right.
Sources of Stability: Thomas Fell
(your father, who is difficult but
reliable), Jeannie Corman (your
on-again-off-again girlfriend), Hans
Siegler (a friend and artist whose work
you admire and emulate)
Investigative Abilities:
Architecture 2, Art 6, Art History 4,
Craft 4, Credit Rating 1, Flattery 4,
Geology 2, Occult 1, Photography 2,
Reassurance 4
General Abilities: Driving 4, Filch
5, Firearms 2, Fleeing 12, Health 9,
Psychoanalysis 8, Sanity 9, Stability 10,
Sense Trouble 5, Stealth 5, Weapons 2
What the Characters Know About Each Other
The following information should be paraphrased to all the players, probably
through straight narration, before the story begins, so that everyone
understands what their characters know about each other:
This concern for Thomas Fell’s wellbeing started with Jan Joyce-
Cleveland, who grew worried when the men hired to plan the expedition
with Thomas never reported. Worried, but not yet willing to declare Thomas
missing (for her own reasons), Joyce-Cleveland called Knox Makepeace,
who Thomas had considered bringing into the expeditionary team, but then
decided against. Makepeace and Thomas are old friends and colleagues, so
Joyce-Cleveland hoped they might have been in contact recently.
Makepeace, however, had already been worried about Thomas. The last time
they saw each other, Thomas was acting strangely—paranoid, disinterested in
work beyond his “current project” and quick to anger. They’d met for lunch,
and it had ended with Thomas leaving in a huff. So, when Thomas’ current
financier Joyce-Cleveland called on Makepeace to ask him if he’d seen
Thomas, Makepeace got worried and called Thomas’ old friend, Detective
Norman Wright, for his professional opinion.
Detective Wright got in touch with Thomas’ two grown sons, Kenneth
and Roger, as part of his casual pre-investigation. When Detective Wright
mentioned that he wanted to go by Thomas’ house to poke around, both
sons volunteered to come along—out of guilt. Neither had spoken with
their father, Thomas, for several months. That he could go missing and they’d
not be among the first to notice is embarrassing for them both. Though it’s
possible that they know their father better than anyone else, they probably
know the least about his work, and his sometimes close contact with
antiquities of questionable legality.
Phone calls lead to more phone calls, and soon everyone back along the chain
of worry is on the sidewalk outside Thomas Fell’s house, each looking to find
him for their own reasons. So it is that these five souls meet in the space left
behind by Thomas Fell.
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
12
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
that he’d go missing for a few days?
You called around to dig up some
information and ended up getting the
attention of his sons—more trouble
than you meant to stir up, but what’s
done is done. If they can help you solve
the case of the missing antiquarian,
that’s just fine.
Pillars of Sanity:
· I|c i..»tc gooc.css oi ¡co¡lc.
Crime makes people bad, which
leads to more crime, but people
are inherently good.
· l»t:iotisu. Auc:ic» is ».
exemplary nation, admirable and
true.
· lovc io: ·|ic»go, ,ou: |ouc tow..
A hard-working, American town.
· l»w. W|c. ¡co¡lc »|icc |,
society’s codes, we can be a great
people.
Sources of Stability: Captain
George Gough (your precinct captain,
a weathered old dog of a man who has
kept his sense of humor through dark
times), Thomas Fell (a good local soul
who helped you handle the estate sale
when your parents died—you’ve since
become friends)
Investigative Abilities: Assess
Honesty 6, Cop Talk 4, Credit Rating
3, Evidence Collection 4, Forensics 2,
Interrogation 6, Law 2, Outdoorsman
2
General Abilities: Athletics 12,
Driving 4, Firearms 14, Health 11,
Mechanical Repair 4, Sanity 12,
Stability 8, Scuffling 10, Sense Trouble
14, Stealth 6
Jan Joyce-Cleveland
Occupation: Dilettante
Drive: In the Blood
General Abilities: Driving 2,
First Aid 20, Fleeing 10, Health 10,
Psychoanalysis 10, Sanity 12, Stability
7, Scuffling 6
Detective Norman Wright
Occupation: Police Detective
Drive: Curiosity
You’re a local police detective, in it for
the mysteries. A fan of detective fiction
and puzzle games of all sorts, you
love a good question and the search
for a good answer. Your devotion to
your job, then, isn’t out of revenge
or a need to judge people, but a self-
indulgent interest in solving crimes
rather than fighting criminals. You’re
a capable cop, and you’ve fired your
gun, but your wits are stronger than
your fists and you know it.
You met Thomas Fell a couple of years
ago, when he helped you out on a case
of missing antiques from a robbery-
homicide case in town. Thomas posed
as a buyer for the thieves in a sting
operation you designed. You felt like a
real policeman, that day.
Since then, you’ve been friends with
Thomas because of your shared
enthusiasm for the stories behind
things—the tales of how objects come
to be in the hands of their current
owners, for example. He’s a curious
man selling curios, and that leads to
good conversations. Still, you don’t
spend that much time with him, just
a visit to his house now and again, but
if he’s in a rough patch, you’ll return
his favor by using your job to help him
out. You wouldn’t break the law for
Thomas Fell, but you’d devote on-duty
time to making sure he’s all right.
When Makepeace called and went so
far as to say he was missing, well, you
were intrigued. Thomas is no misfit,
so he can’t be in too much trouble.
But what has he gotten himself into
studio—he has no self-respect and no
ambition. It’s pathetic, but you can’t
spend your life trying to change him.
Some day he’ll outgrow his artistic
fantasy and get a real job. Life is work,
after all, whether you want to do it
or not. You need money to live and
keep your family well. Unless you’re
Kenneth, and then you don’t have to
worry about anyone but yourself.
Your father understands this to a point.
He works hard, but he doesn’t show
the best judgment. He gets distracted
by art and antiques that appeal to him
but don’t have sufficient resale value,
letting his fun get in the way of his
work. In this way, he’s almost exactly
halfway between you and your brother.
It’s most likely that your father isn’t
missing at all, but rather has no paid
his telephone bill or been checking
the mail or something. Still, if the old
man fell down in his house and hurt
himself, that’d be your fault, in a way.
You haven’t checked up on him in a
while, like a good son should. If he’s
not okay, you know you’ll end up
blaming yourself. And Kenneth.
Pillars of Sanity:
· I|c |c»ut, oi Goc`s c:c»tu:cs,
especially the human form
· l|,sic»l l»ws ».c t|c v»licit, oi
scientific knowledge
· I|c li¡¡oc:»tic O»t|» icw cut,
bound people can save lives
Sources of Stability: Muriel Fell
(your wife of 8 years), Thomas Fell
(your father, who is a stubborn
headache sometimes but your father all
the same)
Investigative Abilities: Accounting
2, Assess Honesty 2, Biology 4, Credit
Rating 4, Forensics 4, Languages
(Latin) 2, Medicine 4, Pharmacy 4,
Reassurance 2
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
13
Player Characters
may become emotional and personal,
and that’s no help. Unless you can use
them to get Thomas Fell out of the
woodwork.
Pillars of Sanity:
· Acst|ctics ».c |ig| »:t|c»ut,
benefits mankind
· l»uil,. ·ouc i»uilics »:c g:c»tc:
than others. A great family can lead
and inspire.
Sources of Stability: Grover
to some hiding place? You funded
them, so whatever is happening, it’s
happening on your dime.
Damn it all, though, Makepeace went
and called a police detective. Now
you may have to pay him off if the
provenance or proper ownership of
the stele comes into question—or
the fact that you hired men to loot
antiquities. Even with the law being as
sketchy as it is, you’d rather have kept
the police out of it. And now that Fell’s
sons are involved, the whole business
(Jan is specifically named to be gender-
neutral. Whether the name is short for
Janice or is a male name of Norwegian
descent is up to you, the player, to
decide.)
The Joyces and the Clevelands have
long been wealthy. Some families are
just more capable than others, and it’s
the responsibility of such families to do
things like solve the world’s mysteries
(but not necessarily publicize them),
protect the world’s treasures (but
not necessarily share them), and give
the little people a chance to support
themselves. Long have the Joyce-
Clevelands been globe-trotters and
collectors of fine antiquities, and long
has each generation sought to outdo
the previous’ collections in terms of
rarity and mystery.
You heard word of Thomas Fell
through Knox Makepeace, who has
helped your father acquire some of his
antique and archaeological collections
over the years. Fell is a believer in the
occult, like you, unlike your father. You
sent Thomas Fell a stone stele, etched
with alien markings, from your father’s
estate while he was out of town. Your
hope was that Thomas Fell would be
able to tell you what the object was
and where it came from—and he did
that quickly. He said Peru. So you cut
him a check big enough for him to
hire some men and go off in search of
similar objects that you could bring
back to impress your father... and
possibly convince him that some of
his collection has properties more
fantastic than he believes.
Thomas Fell hired four men—
diggers, drivers, explorers—and was
having meetings to plant their trip,
but then they all stopped writing or
calling. No sign of them. They didn’t
board a plane or a train (and Thomas
had said “Oh, I don’t think we’ll be
flying there,” the last time you spoke
to him), so where did they go? Have
the stolen the stele and secreted away
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
14
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
Sources of Stability: Thomas Fell
(your friend and colleague in the
commercial antiquities business,
he’s the one you turn to when issues
of the occult come up, because he
believes in that sort of thing), Dorothy
Chapman (your secretary, who handles
your paperwork and appointment
schedule—a real savior), John Allen
Ward (a black-market antiquities
dealer from whom you’ve bought the
artifacts that have earned you respect
and authority in the field)
Investigative Abilities:
Anthropology 2, Architecture 2, Art
History 4, Astronomy 2, Bargain 2,
Credit Rating 4, History 4, Languages
2, Library Use 4
General Abilities: Conceal 10, Filch
10, Firearms 5, Fleeing 20, Health 7,
Preparedness 6, Sanity 7, Stability 10,
Stealth 5
wealthy man, in his line of work, if he
was willing to tell better stories about
the antiques he sells... and if he was
willing to sell more illicit pieces. Still,
his conscience is admirable, and useful
to you as a fill-in for the space where
your conscience should be.
Beyond that, you’re friends with
the man. You’d be heartbroken if he
decided to finally take your advice,
get involved in something a little
shadowy, and end up getting hurt. If
this is somehow your fault, you’ll feel
awful. But keep it yourself. If his sons
or Detective Wright can blame you,
somehow, they probably won’t let you
claim any of Thomas’ fine collection.
Pillars of Sanity:
· listo:, is » guici.g io:cc, stuc, oi
it saves humanity from strife and
repeated mistakes
· A:tii»cts oi |isto:, ».c t|c »:ts |»vc
a value beyond simple money; they
belong in wiser hands show they
can be appreciated
Joyce-Cleveland (your investment-
banker father, and the reason why
you’re rich), Thomas Fell (your secret
investment project, the quaint antique
expert who’s going to certify your find
and help you make your own fortune)
Investigative Abilities: Accounting
1, Art 4, Credit Rating 7, Flattery
4, Intimidation 4, Occult 2,
Outdoorsman 6, Photography 2,
Reassurance 4
General Abilities: Athletics 12,
Firearms 10, Health 10, Preparedness
12, Riding 4, Sanity 8, Stability 12,
Weapons 5
Professor Knox Makepeace
Occupation: Professor
Drive: Antiquarianism
You know better than most folk just
what history is worth—intellectually
and financially. It’s not right to leave
artifacts in the hands of those who
won’t care for them or appreciate
them, regardless of inheritance,
cultural associations, or weak
international laws. If a Wall Street
collector is going to provide a good
home for that Greek amphora, and let
you study it and record its history, then
the object is better off in his hands.
And your time is valuable. You should
be paid for finding good homes
for these works. The lawmakers in
Washington don’t quite appreciate the
antiquarian perspective, so you’ll bend
the law if you must.
You went to graduate school with
Thomas Fell and have been a business
acquaintance, and sometimes
partner, with him for years. You’re
two sides of the same antique coin:
you, the purveyor of rare antiquities
with questionable provenance, him
the expert in determining that
provenance. Thomas could be a
In the Event of Fewer Players
If you don’t have five players in attendance when you play out this scenario,
the players may be left at a considerable disadvantage. The characters
presented here were designed to interact with the clues in this story in
particular ways, and were created with a number of built points based on the
assumption that four or more characters would be in play. Without some of
the investigative abilities linked to each character, people’s fun might seem to
be at risk.
Consider one of these solutions to the problem:
First, substitute other investigative abilities for certain clues, if necessary.
Alternately, put a book or two into Thomas’ den that can help out in later
scenes by supplying, for example, a few points of Geology or Biology to the
investigators if Kenneth or Roger is missing.
Second, consider playing the leftover characters yourself, as NPCs. You might
only need to do this long enough to relate some key exposition in the first
half of the story, thereby turning unmanned characters into useful experts,
and have those characters be left behind when the teleportation effect occurs
in the scene “The Stone, Activated.” If you like, these NPCs might travel with
the PCs into the second half of the story, where they can be savagely attacked
by the mountaintop monster or brutally murdered by Thomas Fell whenever
it’s dramatically appropriate.
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
15
Thomas Fell’s House
adventuring gear (kayaks, backpacks,
climbing tools, etc.).
Architecture reveals the house to still
be stable; there’s no danger in taking
the stairs up to Thomas’ den or down to
the cellar.
Art History or History notices that
Thomas has dug out many of his Pre-
Columbian American artifacts from his
office and placed them throughout the
house, on the mantle, on window sills,
etc.
riddled with obsidian-like rocks.
Stairs lead up from the front room of
the house to the second floor, which
no consists solely of Thomas’s den (and
secret library). Stairs lead down from
the kitchen to the house’s cellar, which
consists of the cellar proper and the
storage room where the stele is located.
Evidence Collection finds Thomas
Fell has recently been receiving
mail from companies specializing
in outdoorsman equipment and
Part One:
Thomas Fell’s House
The House
Scene Type: Introduction
This first scene is meant to introduce
the PCs to each other and to the
bizarre situation within Thomas
Fell’s house: The kitchen and master
bedroom are missing. Where they
should be is, instead, a stretch of alien
stone—solid, smooth, the color of
cement, and bristling with brown
clinging vines—and the trunk of a
huge, dead tree stretching from the
soil piled in the center of the house,
up into the space where the master
bedroom should be. It’s as if the inside
of the house has been swapped out
with a patch of some strange, rocky
wilderness.
(In truth, that’s exactly what’s
happened. These are the same kind
of unearthly rocks that make up the
mountaintop in Part Two. The)
The kitchen walls have been removed,
revealing the exposed frame of the
next rooms over (living room, dining
room). Its ceiling is likewise gone,
apparently taking the floor and all
possessions of the master bedroom
with it. The walls of the master
bedroom are still present—pictures
still hang on nails hammered into floral
wallpaper—but vines have already
begun to spread from the rocks to the
house and stiff, dead tree branches
have torn through the plaster under
the wallpaper.
A fine dust is inside the house, as if
someone has been tearing out plaster
or sawing stone. It’s all throughout the
still, dead air.
Even casual digging around reveals that
the kitchen’s tile floor is still present
under about two feet of loose black soil,
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
16
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
rocky location very much resembling
the stones in the house. Several
photographs focus on a tall obelisk
covered with strange glyphs.
One of these photographs shows
Thomas and four other men—two
nondescript white men, a tall man
with a serious mustache, and a young
Asian man—standing in the living
room in front of the strange rocks that
have displaced his kitchen. (Core clue)
Art History or Art notices an odd
mix of styles in the obelisk in the
photos: it has an almost Egyptian shape
but is strangely adorned with Pre-
Columbian, Incan-looking glyphs.
Library Use can make sense of his
organizational method and sort out
where his attention was when he was
last in this room. Thomas was focused
on maps of South America, with a
handful of circles drawn over points
along the whole length of the Andes.
Books on Mesoamerican art and
culture are open all throughout the
room, as are texts dedicated to stelae
and standing stones all over the world,
from Stonehenge to Egyptian obelisks.
Art History and History recognizes
his focus on standing stones as well.
Accounting recognizes that
Thomas has tapped his savings to
buy expeditionary gear (via mail
order but not yet arrived), plane
tickets, a shotgun, and to get $2,200
converted into various South American
currencies. It also reveals that Thomas’
savings have been recently bolstered,
substantially, by checks from Jan Joyce-
Cleveland.
Evidence Collection finds all the
plane tickets revealed by Accounting,
unused and still in their envelopes.
Destinations include Ecuador, Chile,
and Peru. There are tickets for five
travelers in each case.
A hidden door leads from behind a
burning fireplace punctuates one
wall. It smells like a used bookstore in
here. The floor is covered in stacks of
paper—newspapers, invoices, maps,
condition reports on various artifacts,
correspondence, etc.
Use this scene to foreshadow the feral,
isolated, and animal-like behavior
they’ll see in Thomas later on. This
room is his lair, where he nests amid
papers gathered from all over.
Thomas’ camera is here, loaded and
ready to be used. It’s sitting on a
stack of photographs depicting some
No additional clues remain to be found
here, though photographs and prints
on the walls and antiques all over can
be used to reveal bits of Thomas Fell’s
personality.
The Den
Scene Type: Core
Thomas Fell’s den is a hardwood-
paneled room made up almost entirely
of bookshelves, framed maps, and
decorative antiques. It’s cave-like
and dark, all of its windows hidden
behind bookcases. A small wood-
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
17
Thomas Fell’s House
The Cellar
Scene Type: Core
Thomas Fell’s cellar is located below
the front room of the house and is
little more than an unfinished space
with walls made of the house’s
foundation and a ceiling made of the
exposed supports of the floor above.
Cobwebbed pipes run along the
ceiling. There’s a drain in the stone
floor. Old luggage is stacked in one
corner, next to a rusted bicycle. A
ragged wooden door occupies a rough
gap in one wall. Architecture reveals
that the room on the other side of the
door would be directly beneath the
kitchen. (Beyond this door is the stele
and the scene “The Stele.”)
The standout feature of this room is a
birdcage hung with metal wire from
a pipe on the ceiling. Inside this cage
is an ovoid rock, about the size of an
ostrich egg, with raised bands all along
it, resembling foreign runes perhaps.
Anthropology can make no sense of
these markings, but tellingly so—they
may be naturally occurring. Geology
decides that it would be quite unlikely
that they are naturally occurring unless
something is inside the stone, to create
those ridges.
Getting the stone out of the cage
requires a 1-point spend of Athletics
(to force the door) or Crafts (to
finesse it). Other abilities may be
allowed as well. A PC carrying the
stone—which is, of course, the egg
of the alien monster called the Mouth
in the Stone—is likely ignored by the
creature in the scene “The Creature
Attacks.”
The Stele
Scene Type: Core
On the other side of the ragged door
is a small storage room, dank and
crowded. Filling the space is a four-
is the discovery of Thomas’ diary,
which includes photographs of, and
his personal notes on, each of his
expeditionary partners:
· Franco Gruber: German
archaeologist specializing in Incan
sculpture; has been to Peru on
seventeen digs. His English is poor.
· Jules Farquarson: French-
Canadian transportation and travel
expert with contacts throughout South
America.
· Wu Han: Chinese mountaineer
and digger-for-hire. Working cheap in
exchange for his shot at the Andes.
· James Kellerman: American
game hunter, trapper, and general
outdoorsman. “Between that handlebar
mustache and the revolver he’s always
got, you’d think he was a cowboy.”
This information can be useful for
dealing with Kellerman or Gruber in
Part Two by inspiring players to pursue
lines of questioning or offer up spends
in associated abilities to leverage clues
out of these guys.
bookcase in this room to Thomas’
secret library, behind the fireplace.
A two-point spend is required to
find this secret door, but just what
ability is necessary to find it is up to
the Keeper to decide, depending on
which characters are in the den and
what abilities the players are focusing
on during their investigation. The
point, here, is to reward players for
actively bringing their own abilities to
bear, thereby teaching them how to
be proactive investigators and use the
GUMSHOE rules to their advantage.
Alternately, you could offer the two-
point spend to a player who has not yet
had a chance to shine by selecting one
of that PC’s abilities.
For example, Anthropology might
recognize a statuette of Anubis is facing
the wrong way on a shelf and discover
it swivels, unlatching the hidden door.
A Craft spend might realize that this
room is too short to account for the
space on the second floor of the house,
suggesting there’s a closet behind the
fireplace. Architecture might be
spent to realize that, while there’s a
fireplace here along the wall, there’s
no visible chimney along the outside of
the house.
The Secret Library
Scene Type: Bonus Information
Little more than an unfinished room
the size of a walk-in closet, Thomas’
secret library is dusty and stuffy. One
wall is the exposed-wood outer wall of
the house, the other is the chimney of
his den’s fireplace. A naked light bulb
dangles from the ceiling. A handful
of books are here—all of them rare
occult texts of questionable academic
value but a rarity that makes them
worth money—as well as a small
roll-top writing desk and wooden
chair. Pictures of Thomas’ two sons as
children hang on the walls here.
The prize for finding this room
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
18
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
are mystically transported along with
the characters to the mountaintop
monument and Part Two of this
adventure.
kitchens to the Peruvian mountaintop
where Thomas Fell has gone. While the
PCs are still in the house, it activates
again, and anything in contact with the
dust in the air (definitely the PCs) is
fair game for displacement to Peru.
First, the stone thrums like something
electric. It vibrates. A delicate red arc
of lightning reaches out and touches
the closest character, even if it must
pass through floors or walls to do so.
That character vanishes in a blinding
white flare of light, leaving behind a
few strange rocks and bits of clinging
vine. A moment later, all other souls
in the house are struck by similar arcs,
and vanish.
The sensation is, at first, like burning
oneself on the stove—a sudden
recoiling gasp. Then: falling. Then:
impact.
A dining-room chair, a lamp in the
living room, and any other objects
you feel would be amusing or helpful,
foot stone, etched with strange glyphs,
standing in a nest of shredded papers
and broken-down wooden-crate
fragments. Anthropology recognizes
the glyphs as being vaguely like Incan
writings. Art History recognizes the
stone as a fragment of a larger standing
stone, resembling something like a
Viking stele or Incan road marker.
Geology is unable to identify the
kind of rock that makes up the stone.
Art and Craft see the etchings are
exquisitely crafted with painstaking
detail.
Accounting discovers a packing slip
within the dismantled crate, revealing
that the stone was shipped to Thomas
Fell by Jan Joyce-Cleveland just over a
month ago.
If any character touches the stone,
and the PCs have split up to search
the house, consider “cutting away”
to the characters in another part of
the house, giving them a last chance
to wrap up their investigation, and
leaving the characters in the cellar
hanging in suspense. Then describe
“The Stele Activated” from the
perspective of the characters not in
the cellar, with arcs of red lightning
reaching up through the floors and
into their feet, thereby capturing the
sudden, bizarre surreality of their
situation.
The Stele Activated
Scene Type: Core
This scene occurs either when
a character touches the stele or
whenever you, the Keeper, sees fit.
It is essential that this scene occur
before any characters successfully
leave Thomas Fell’s house, as this scene
begins Part Two of the story.
The stele has been operating erratically
since Thomas first attempted to use it
with a botched Mythos spell. As such,
it now periodically reacts to vibrations
in the house, haphazardly teleporting,
for example, helpless souls and
How the Stones Work
Simply put, they work dramaturgically.
In the world of the game, they operate by transmitting objects across the
mystical conduits of ley lines. Successful teleportation depends on a complex
set of metrics based on the intersections of ley lines and sympathetic
connections between the “departure” stele and the “target” stele where the
teleported object(s) are intended to arrive. The whole process is controlled
through sorcery and witchcraft requiring the Cthulhu Mythos Ability.
The stone fragment that Thomas Fell has embedded in his guts is broken
off the stele in his basement, so using it teleports objects back to his
basement. The stele there, in his basement, is carved with glyphs to give it a
sympathetic connection to the monument on the mountaintop, so those two
stele are forever connected. (Whether they are connected only to each other
is up to you.)
In truth, there is no empirical system behind the operation of the
teleportation stones. They are plot devices designed to force tough choices
onto player characters. The most obvious: what are you willing to do to get
back home? The stones function or malfunction as you need them to. Chalk it
up to Unknowable Ancient Powers. The truth is the teleportation stones run
on your own narrative impulses.
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
19
The Mountaintop
Travel across the top of the alien rocks,
avoiding the canyon routes, is possible
only if you want it to be for the sake
of speeding up the action or rewarding
proactive characters; alternately,
movement might require a Difficulty 3
Athletics test.
Otherwise, travel across the top of the
rocks is presumed to be impossible
because it undermines the labyrinthine
atmosphere of the alien mountaintop
in favor of niggling, mundane details
intervening scenes.
A fall from the mountaintop is fatal,
and anyone peering over the sheer
edge, down the smooth face of
the mountain, can instantly see it.
Abandoning their circumstances in
favor of a brave descent and death in
the Andes snow is no viable escape.
Fortunately, there is no wind coursing
through these narrow canyons to push
anyone off the mountainside.
Part Two:
The Mountaintop
The Geography of the
Mountaintop
The characters have no map to guide
them on the mountaintop, so they
may be largely at your mercy as they
follow narrow canyon floors from one
scene to the next. On the other hand,
they may actively search for a way to
visualize their surroundings and plan
a course through the canyons, rather
than wandering hopefully or following
blood trails from one sad scene to
another. Thus, you’ll need a sense of
the mountaintop’s simply geography.
Picture an archetypal mountain shape
with the top sheered off, creating
a flat, almost circular plateau. This
plateau is littered with gray, alien
stones pressed together in strange
patterns, creating a labyrinth of
narrow, irregular canyons, like tangled
corridors criss-crossing the plateau.
Some of these corridors let out at the
edge of the mountain, which drops
away dramatically into snowy, hostile
stretches of frigid mountains. Every
corridor is draped and adorned with
thick, clinging vines the color of
coffee. In some places, these vines
must be pushed aside to make it
through the narrow canyon-corridors.
The south edge of the plateau is a
wide clearing punctuated by a huge,
vine-encrusted obelisk (see the scene
“The Monument”); it’s here that
the characters arrive. On the far
north edge of the plateau is a similar
clearing, occupied by a primitive
shrine made of stacked stones and
squat stelae; it’s here that Thomas
Fell is researching the mystic powers
of the teleportation stones (see the
scenes “The Shrine” and “The Killer”).
Between these two clearings, in small
clearings at the intersections or dead-
ends of various canyons, are all the
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
20
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Mouth in the Stone is protected
by a pebbly hide of pliable silicon,
highly sensitive to vibration (and
thus sound) and light. It has no eyes
or other sensory organs, and only
its flat tail and mouth give its body
appreciable features. It’s insides
are little more than a geo-organic
engine, digesting biological material
for energy. Some of this material is
regurgitated, wrapped in soft flakes
of its own hide, and kept as eggs in
which a new Mouth gestates until the
egg is cracked from the outside. A new
Mouth begins existence as a famished
alien appetite the size of a dog and
doubling in length each day until it is
roughly the size of a great-white shark.
The Mouth’s mission on Earth, in
the minds of its ancient summoners,
is to patrol and defend the grounds
where the mystic stelae are kept. Eggs,
buried beneath rings of standing stones
across the globe, wait to be hatched
and bound through sorcery on similar
missions. The Mouth’s instinct on
Earth, however, is simply to eat all
comers and lay eggs. One day, perhaps
an eon from now, perhaps tomorrow,
it will hatch them.
Petrifying Bite: The Mouth in the
Stone bears an alien germ between
its teeth. This mystic germ replicates
rapidly upon contact with blood,
transmuting aerial particles and skin
cells into a completely inorganic
compound as hard as rock. This stone-
like substance grows out from the
area of the bite, both into the victim’s
body and across its flesh and clothing.
This growth renders victims unable to
move, while the germ preserves their
bodies for later consumption by the
Mouth.
In game terms, the compound slows
and eventually traps a victim, reducing
Athletics and/or Fleeing by one point
every ten minutes. Alien germs keep
a subject nourished on its own flesh
and liquids for a number of days equal
character has seen before. Thin
veins carrying a clear sticky sap
run along the thickest vines, which
isn’t something the character has
ever heard of before. They’re as
much like roots as vines.
· Occult or Anthropology sees a
pattern in the rocks and canyons,
as if they form the shape of some
Mesoamerican glyph. (Only
Cthulhu Mythos can truly make
sense of the glyph, however, which
is either an Aztec approximation of
some summoning symbol or a link
to any follow-up adventure you
like.)
New Creature:
The Mouth in the Stone
Little more than a mouth on the end
of a lithe, eel-like body, the Mouth in
the Stone does nothing except stalk
and eat and lay eggs. Brought to Earth
from a distant and virtually featureless
alien moon by ancient witchcraft
and the teleportation powers of the
mystic stele, this creature obeys few
of our planet’s biological properties.
The Mouth in the Stone functions
on a metabolism that measures time
in millennia rather than days. It is as
much a geological phenomenon as it is
a biological thing.
Capable of traveling through topsoil
or solid rock with ease through a
combination of an ammonia-scented
excretion and a kind of geomantic
warp, the Mouth in the Stone is often
seen only as a stony proboscis ending
in a ring of black obsidian-like teeth,
slick with grainy slime. It typically
hunts by lurching out and biting its
prey once, to slowly petrify it with
its germinating bile, but it is willing
to bite and shake a target until it
comes apart and can be swallowed
immediately.
about handholds and jumping
distances. Say it’s due to the jagged,
cutting edges at their peaks, leaving
little space to grip or balance one’s self
without causing bloody gashes (worth
1 point of damage) across one’s hands
and feet.
Just inches above the top of the
corridor-like canyons, the freezing
winds that should be expected at
this altitude are found to be howling
and fierce, as they should be, so that
attempting to climb up out of the
maze is like trying to crest a mountain
in your shirtsleeves. Treat characters
in the extreme cold beyond the
mountaintop’s strange temperate
zone as hurt until they return to the
temperate zone.
Clues
The following information on the
mountaintop and its layout can be
gained by proactive characters who
make 1-point spends or succeed on
actions using the relevant skills:
· A Diiiicult, + Athletics test is
necessary to reach the top of the
alien rocks and get a look out
across the mountaintop. This
reveals the two clearings to the
north and south, as well as a view
of the red train car (from the scene
“Train Car”) to the east and any of
the other odd objects you choose
to include from the “Victims of the
Monster” scene.
· Geology recognizes the region
beyond the plateau as the
Cordillera Blanca (“White Range”)
of the Andes, in the Ancash area
of Peru. (If spends were used to
discover Thomas’ secret library,
this vista is instantly recognizable
from his books.)
· Outdoorsman and Biology
can make no sense of the clinging
vines—conspicuously so. They do
not quite resemble any vines the
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
21
The Mountaintop
monument from Thomas’ photographs.
Its raised markings, vaguely Incan,
resemble those carved into the stele in
the cellar.
The ground is gravel. The rocks give
way to three canyon-like corridors
(north, north-east, and north-west),
cluttered with vines. A frigid wind
blows in from the cliffs behind them,
uncomfortable but not dangerous.
Thomas Fell’s kitchen is here, too—a
strange sight in the midst of alien rocks
and vines. Its walls are strained but
intact. Its cabinets have vomited out
dishes onto the gravel-covered ground.
The refrigerator leans like a drunk
against the island in the center of the
kitchen. The ceiling, and the floor of
the master bedroom above, forms a
kind of bizarre roof, capped with a
bed, dresser, and ottoman.
And that smell... like musk or urine,
beaded up like the rock is sweating it
out.
Sense Trouble: You smell something.
Ammonia? There! Something, the
color of lime, in little drops on that
rock, like condensation on a glass.
The Monument
Scene Type: Core
It is no great fall to the ground after
the teleportation, but there is a risk
of injury. Any character who fails a
Difficulty 2 Athletics test loses 1 point
of Health to injured ankles, scrapes or
bruised bones.
The characters have arrived in the
southern clearing, scattered around
the foot of the large quasi-Egyptian
to the victim’s Health, even after the
victim is completely encased in stone.
The Mouth uses this ability to store
food, eventually biting through the
compound to eat the flesh within.
Game Statistics
Abilities: Athletics 11, Health 21,
Scuffling 25
Hit Threshold: 3 (big)
Alertness Modifier: +2 (only
against creatures standing on exposed
rock, not soil)
Stealth modifier: +2 (invisible
when in stone)
Weapon: +4 (teeth)
Armor: –5 vs any (tough, rocky hide)
Stability Loss: +2 if attacked
directly, +2 if seen emerging from
bare rock
Investigation
Biology: The stone “growing” on
the victim is like a resin or calcifying
agent, except it doesn’t seem to be
organic, which doesn’t make any sense.
Spars, or more like ribbons of stone
are growing like icicles into the body.
The damage is already irreversible,
and will eventually kill the subject for
certain. (Medicine)
Geology: Stone doesn’t do this.
Whatever kind of rock this is, growing
on the body, it isn’t... earthly. It’s
growing as fast as coral, but it’s more
like granite. The rock this “beast” ran
to is solid granite, too, with no cracks
a creature could get through. There’s
no way an animal could move through
that. (Forensics)
Outdoorsman: Damnedest thing:
the tracks lead right to this scuff on the
rocks, these grooves, like something
rough wore down the rock face.
Regarding Stability
This story is designed to severely tax the characters’ Stability, as a means
of ensuring that Trail of Cthulhu’s central theme of mental fitness eroded by
horrific events is immediately visible. In all likelihood, most of the PCs will
be devastated by the attacks, revelations, and actions they are called on to
perform in this story; the other PCs probably die. Encourage the players to
embrace the atmosphere of terror and anxiety, to play up their characters’
withering Stability by describing specific examples of their fear that the other
characters can see. (You can find some specific examples in the sidebar on p. 72
of Trail of Cthulhu.)
Don’t internalize the fear in this short story; put it out there for all to see.
Remind the players (and, thereby, their characters) that they are alone,
and have no onlookers to impress or hide their emotions from. When a
character’s Stability takes a hit, the other characters should see it—people
scream, shake, cry, curse, and plead.
Even if you’re playing this story in the Pulp style, don’t let the players off
the hook. Their characters may react with more resolve or vengeful ire,
but they must still react. Even heroically confident types might damn their
circumstances, declare “My God!” or stop to catch their breath and assure
themselves while they reload.
You have many more opportunities to check for Stability loss than the few
that are specifically detailed in this scenario. Keep an eye on p. 71 of Trail of
Cthulhu for examples of possible Stability tests during this adventure.
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
22
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Outdoorsman recognizes that
Wu Han was in no way equipped
to be out here—he’s wearing good
boots, but has no backpack, canteen,
or anything. He’s dressed for day-to-
day living.
A 1-point Evidence Collection
spend gets a character a confident
hunch that Wu Han did not lie in his
dying message—people never do.
Victims of the Monster
Scene Type: Alternate Cores (2)
This is really two scenes, one for each
of the remaining expedition members
who fled Thomas Fell’s attack at the
Monument. The information that’s
possible to retrieve from each scene
is the same. The reason there are two
survivors is so that you, the Keeper,
have some flexibility when revealing
information in each instance of this
scene. You might want to have the
first victim be dead already, allowing
only hints of the monster, or you may
want the testimony of one survivor
to be punctuated by a sudden attack
by the Mouth. You might simply want
each survivor to respond to different
Interpersonal abilities, to give more
characters chances to shine.
The attack split up these survivors,
so they each suffered their attacks
separately and are now languishing
in slow petrification in two different
parts of the mountaintop canyons. It’s
quite possible one of them has already
died, if that suits your purposes.
In addition to giving characters a
chance to investigate evidence of
the Mouth of the Stone, each of
these victims is able to reveal the
following clues (requiring a 1-point
Interpersonal spend where noted):
· ;·o:c cluc, I|ou»s lcll |»s go.c
mad from exposure to the stones.
He killed Farquarson and attacked
Wu Han shortly after they arrived.
Train Car
Scene Type: Alternate Core
Over the years, attempts to transport
various teleportation stele or their
fragments have resulted in odd
things being transported to the
mountaintop. Things like Thomas
Fell’s kitchen and this red, metal train
car, wedged into the rocks.
Other possible examples of
teleported objects you might scatter
throughout the mountaintop to
mystify or amuse your players include
the tail section of a light cargo plane,
a half-petrified camel, a sleigh,
about half of an automobile, and the
very top of a church’s bell tower.
A suitably rationalized Investigative
ability spend—especially Occult—
can grant a character the sudden
realization of how these things got
here: At one time or another, they
were each within proximity of some
teleportation stone, somewhere on
Earth, when that stone was activated.
The blood trail leading away from
the Monument ends here. Inside the
train car, behind its shut sliding door,
is the corpse of Wu Han, who has
bled to death from injuries inflicted
by Thomas Fell. Painted on the floor
in his own blood is this final message
from Wu Han:
· ;·o:c ·luc, ªI|ou»s lcll |illcc
me.” The message has been
smeared as if someone tried one
good swipe to erase it, but the
blood was already too dry.
Forensics or Medicine reveals
Wu Han died of blood loss resulting
from three slashes across his side and
stomach, probably from a straight-
razor.
Evidence Collection determines
with confidence that Wu Han’s body
has been searched once already. His
hands are covered in his own blood.
Amidst the broken dishes is a body,
crumpled and bloody, its face
shocked and pained. This is one of
the nondescript men from Thomas’
photograph. (Specifically, it’s Jules
Farquarson, though the investigators
recognize him only if they’ve been to
Thomas’ secret library. Otherwise,
this is deducible after all the other
expedition members have been
found.)
Evidence Collection identifies the
means of death as numerous small
stab wounds to the back, like from
a folding utility knife. Forensics
recognizes spatter patterns suggesting
not just stabbings but slashes: there’s
blood on the dishes here not from the
victim on the scene.
Additionally, Evidence Collection
uncovers a blood trail leading from
the kitchen into the tangled roots
and vines of the surrounding, surreal
jungle. Evidence Collection or
Outdoorsman can be used to track
this trail, which leads to the scene
“Train Car.” Outdoorsman also
reveals a trail leading along another
route through the rocks, this one
to the “Victims of the Monster”
locations.
Geology reveals unsettling details
about the rocks here: they don’t
belong in frozen mountains. They’d
make more sense in the sea. They
are smooth like obsidian, colored
like limestone, and punctuated with
ribbons porous like dried sponges,
not at all like the snow-capped peaks
visible beyond the cliffs, and not at all
like the mountainside supporting this
strange, temperate plateau. And why
isn’t there any snow up here?
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
23
The Mountaintop
intersection of two canyons. Inside,
the cave is dark and reeks of rot. The
floor is solid rock littered with loose
bones and naturally mummified flesh
encased is cocoons of rock. These are
the remains of the Mouth’s ancient
petrified victims, sucked dry of meat
and juices.
Beyond this grisly chamber is a
crack in the rock leading to another
chamber. Crossing this savage ossuary
requires a 3-point Stability test, and
leads to “The Nest.”
This is an ideal place for the Mouth to
attack, lunging from the stone floor in
a shower of brown, rotten bones.
The Nest
Scene Type: Bonus Advantage
This chamber—little more than a
large crack in the rocks—has a floor
of collected sediment gathered around
a pile of smooth, ovoid stones like the
one found in Thomas’ cellar. These
are the eggs of the Mouth. There are
a dozen eggs here, each about the size
of an ostrich egg or football and each
weighing about ten pounds.
See the scenes “The Cellar” and the
entry for the Mouth in the Stone for
more information on clues in this
scene. See the scene “The Creature
Attacks” for the effects of carrying one
of these stones.
The Shrine
Scene Type: Core
On the far northern end of the
mountaintop, some ancient peoples
have erected a shrine of stacked alien
rocks and woven vines. At the heart
of this shrine is a stele carved with
ancient Mythos secrets in several dead
languages. The words on this stone
shine in the sunlight like they were
glass. The stone is hot to the touch,
smeared with bloody fingerprints, and
emits a low, electric hum.
· ;1 ¡t., I|ou»s cocs.`t sccu to |c
afraid of the monster. He said it
wouldn’t attack someone with one
of those “eggs” either.
· ;1 ¡t., I|c c:c»tu:c »tt»c|s :ig|t
out of the rock. If you smell
the stench of animal urine, it’s
probably near by.
The Lair
Scene Type: Side Challenge/
Obstacle
This shallow cave is discovered at the
· ;·o:c cluc, I|ou»s |»s wit| |iu
the stone necessary to travel back
to the stele in his cellar. He said
anyone who could get their hands
on it could compel the stones to
transport people.
· ;·o:c cluc, I|c ¡ct:ii,i.g ¡:occss
is achingly slow. “I should’ve died
of thirst days ago, I figure.”
· ;1 ¡t., lcllc:u». c:o¡¡cc |is gu.
when the monster attacked. It’s out
in the canyons not far from here.
(It can be found automatically once
this clue is obtained.)
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
24
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Killer
Scene Type: Core (Climax)
This scene, which may overlap the
scene “The Shrine,” if you decide
Thomas Fell is present when the
characters reach the shrine, is the
climax of the adventure. It’s a simple
scene, playable in any number of
ways. Let the approach of the players
determine the final tone, here. (Be
aware, however, that if Thomas Fell
attacks the PCs outright, he may be
critically injured in the resulting fight,
which can diffuse the tension when it
comes time to cut the stone from his
gut since “he’s dying anyway.”)
When Thomas Appears in this scene,
he is half-naked, gray with grime, and
illuminated from within by glowing
red runes carved into the stone he has
absorbed into his body. If necessary, he
may explain how he has become “one
with the stone” with a bit of villainous
soliloquy.
Thomas gives up fighting once he is
seriously wounded (see Trail of
Cthulhu p. 63). For dramatic purposes,
he automatically succeeds on all
Consciousness rolls so that he is able
to deliver essential exposition. Should
he somehow be injured to the point
that he is technically dead (Health –12
or lower), he lingers on the edge of
death, conscious and lucid, claiming
“It’s the stone, I think... keeping me
alive!” This is fine, as it won’t let the
characters off the hook—the only way
home is to murder Thomas Fell.
Leveraged clues or Interpersonal
ability spends (2 points’ worth) may
be used to reduce the stakes of the
Stability test for killing Thomas by
coercing him into putting down his
shotgun and standing his ground—
making it clear that he is choosing to
force a life-and-death issue. Thomas,
mad and obsessed with the stones in
the shrine, won’t go back home. “Why
go backward when I can go forward,
Fell. More than that, it is meant to
make the players and their characters
think they are too late—Thomas Fell
has already teleported away without
them. They seem to be stranded here.
This scene transitions directly into
“The Killer” when you think the
dramatic timing is right to introduce
Thomas Fell, who is still on the
mountaintop with the characters.
(He’s still looking for the Mouth’s lair,
so he can bring its eggs to other lands.)
When the time comes, Thomas returns
to the shrine’s clearing and finds the
PCs going through his things.
The Creature Attacks
Scene Type: Antagonist Reaction
Whenever you need a dramatic punch
or a dose of desperate action, have the
Mouth in the Stone lurch out from
some nearby rock and attack the PCs.
Most of the information you need to
describe the attack can be found in
the monster’s write-up on p. XX. The
Mouth is just as prone to dramatically
strike out and bite off the head of a
half-petrified survivor in the scenes
“Victims of the Monster,” if you like.
Witnessing such an attack risks a
4-point Stability loss.
The Mouth attacks a character
carrying one of the eggs only if all
characters are carrying eggs. The
Mouth is mystically compelled to want
its eggs to be carried away for hatching
in other rings of standing stones, but is
simultaneously instinctively compelled
to horde its eggs for hatching by itself,
later. It balances these impulses by
attempting to feed on subjects without
its eggs first, and attacking egg-carriers
only if no other targets are available.
If this is a one-shot adventure for you,
don’t be afraid to have the Mouth
devour a PC or two. Death is expected
in Cthulhu adventures.
· ;·o:c cluc, ·cvc:»l oi I|ou»s
Fell’s personal effects are here: his
jacket, his pocket journal, a blood-
encrusted straight-razor, his shoes,
a photograph of his boys as young
men.
· ;·o:c cluc, I|ou»s` ¡oc|ct |ou:.»l
reveals his accelerating madness.
His writings become more fevered,
less orderly, and less scientific,
culminating in his eager report
of his meddling with the shrine’s
stele: He has successfully cast a
spell and is ecstatic about it. He has
“absorbed” the “mystic traveler’s
keystone” and may now “travel
freely from stone to stone, it
seems!”
· ;·o:c cluc, I|ou»s |ou:.»l »lso
reveals that he is in search of
additional “eggs” to take with him
on his journey.
· Evidence Collection or
Outdoorsman reveal that
someone has been living here,
apparently eating vines and
drinking sap, for several days.
· Anthropology recognizes the
style of this shrine as similar to an
Incan traveler’s shrine, but the stele
more resembles a Viking cross-
roads marker. The etchings on its
surface are much more orderly and
complex than those on the stele in
Thomas’ cellar; they are likely a
complete text, rather than simple
signage or ceremonial writings.
· Occult use surmises that this stone
is another “transmitter” for objects,
but it’s easy to determine that it
doesn’t seem to work with simple
contact. The etchings on the stele
must be a spell and, if so, the stele
is probably “hot” because it has
already been cast.
This scene is meant to foreshadow the
madness and dangerousness of Thomas
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
25
The Mountaintop
fates of their previous characters
only by pursuing clues with their
new characters. They may work with
Detective Wright while investigating
the murder of Makepeace. They might
be part of a city-wide search for a
kidnapped Joyce-Cleveland. The could
find themselves facing off against a
stele-using cult of traveling looters led
by an insane Kenneth Fell.
Once this story ends, all of the
survivors are yours to play with.
Aftermath and Sequels
Any characters who survive can of
course continue on in other stories
now that they have been exposed
to the truth of the stelae. To mix
traditional investigative scenarios
into the potential globe-spanning
adventures possible with the
teleportation stones, consider the
following options:
· I|c sto.cs t|cusclvcs |ccouc t|c
subject of follow-up investigations, as
the characters seek to recover them
from wicked cultists, greedy black-
market art-brokers, and lost cities
throughout the world.
· I|c sto.cs |ccouc t|c uotivc |c|i.c
various thefts and murders as the
characters pursue another organization
looking to recover the stones for their
own nefarious purposes.
· I|c c|»:»ctc:s ciscovc: t|»t uost
of the teleportation-stones across the
globe are smashed and ruined, useful
now as guides only to the possible
locations of ancient mysteries and
lost cities, which must be reached
through traditional travel. In this case,
the stones serve only to introduce
the characters to the world of the
occult—and whatever Mythos spells
you choose to hide in the mountaintop
shrine the characters now have ready
access to.
An alternate, more complex style
of follow-up tale turns this story’s
introductory PCs into NPCs. Your
sequel adventures cast the players’
new, personalized characters as
investigators looking into the
disappearance of Jan Joyce-Cleveland
(for example) or artifacts appearing
on the black market thanks to Knox
Makepeace (for example).
Whatever it is that draws these new
investigators into the mix, the players
find themselves learning the ultimate
to new places and new sights?” he says.
“Why not see where else these stones
can take us?!”
If forced, he challenges the characters:
“If you want this stone, you’ll have
to kill me. I won’t go back to my
pathetic little house when there’s a
whole world to see.” He Scuffles in
his own defense, and is willing to kill,
but is probably outmatched by the
characters.
One of them must step up, then, to
slay the man and take the stone. This is
a scene of pure roleplaying, in which
the relationships the players devised
for their characters finally resolve in a
difficult choice. Make sure they have
time to debate amongst themselves
and play out each PCs reaction to the
situation, but not so much time that
their debate stalls. The Mouth in the
Stone draws near if they dawdle.
In the off chance that the characters
choose to travel somewhere new with
Thomas Fell, you have a few other
options for ending the story:
· I|ou»s lcll tclc¡o:ts wit|out
them, leaving them stranded on the
mountaintop to die—a sad ending that
ironically betrays the title of the story.
· I|ou»s lcll tclc¡o:ts t|cu »ll i.to
the ruins of some vast and impossibly
alien city, perhaps on an alien world.
The characters find themselves
surrounded by standing stones... and
enormous tentacles stemming from
a great, hovering, quivering mouth
above them. They are all consumed by
this enormous maw, including Thomas
Fell. Perhaps their ghosts appear in a
follow-up tale.
· I|c c|»:»ctc:s »ll tclc¡o:t »w», wit|
Thomas Fell into a deferred climax,
their destination never revealed, unless
you choose to bring these characters
back (possibly as NPCs) in some
follow-up tale.
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
26
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
The Investigator
TRAIL OF CTHULHU
27
The Murderer of Thomas Fell
28
TRAIL OF CTHULHU

TRAIL OF CTHULHU

The Murderer of Thomas Fell
A man close to you—father, business partner, informant, friend—has gone missing. The search begins at his house... which is not as it seems. Following the trail of this missing man leads you on a startling and perilous adventure. Finding him may change your life, and his, forever. Tonight you meet the murderer of Thomas Fell.

1

TRAIL OF CTHULHU 2 .

3 . Amy Poynter. Don Rochester Trail of Cthulhu was written by Kenneth Hite. based on the GUMSHOE system by Robin D Laws Trail of Cthulhu was created by arrangement with Chaosium.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Credits Publisher: Simon Rogers Written by: Will Hindmarch Art and Layout: Jérome Huguenin GUMSHOE Guru: Robin D Laws Playtesters: Alex Jeffries. Ed Cain. Will Ludwigsen. Scott McClellan. Scott McKillican. Inc. Published by arrangement with Chaosium. Trail of Cthulhu is a trademark of Pelgrane Press Ltd. © 2008 Pelgrane Press Ltd. O’Rourke Nirvan Wynn. Inc. All Rights Reserved. Michael Marshall.

Your weapons? Cunning. sometimes it means shooting him dead. 4 .P. In part. designed to tell stories through roleplaying by giving players a greater degree of control over the moments when their characters succeed. and that it’s the selfless bravery of the investigators who dare to face the withering existential truths of the cosmos that makes them heroic. and avenge the dead. with concrete guidelines to get you designing your own compelling investigative scenarios right away. Whether you’re looking for a game centered on bold detectives scouring dark places for the truth behind occult crimes. this game features simple new ways to humanize investigator characters and detail their motives and personalities. so you can face Lovecraftian horrors exactly the way you want to. Inside you’ll discover the secret ambitions of the loosely-aligned TRAIL OF CTHULHU comes In the tradition of the RPG classic. these are their Drives.An Introduction GUMSHOE is the game engine humming inside a collection of sleek. so learn one simple set of rules and you’re ready to play either way. Beyond the specially honed investigative rules common to all GUMSHOE games. to solve the mysteries of the esoterrorists. is what makes Trail of Cthulhu distinctive. fight their crimes. warping the world into a vision of horror in which the viciously mad are kings and good people live in fear. and often horrific. investigators are fragile. it does this by removing the random element in investigative scenarios and replacing it with that core element of all good gameplay: decision making. In the Purist mode of play. Use the clues you discover. It’s up to you. The bold and intriguing debut of the GUMSHOE system. Rather. combined with your knowledge and exposure to occult truths. fan-favorite author Ken Hite’s adaptation of the game for the GUMSHOE system: Trail of Cthulhu. courage. throwing punches at sinister cultists and emptying Tommy guns into the drooling maws of mythos creatures. Robin D. Pillars of Sanity.You should be. In game terms. The question becomes whether you can piece those clues together in time to solve the dramatic. mysteries your characters confront. yet. You can also play Trail of Cthulhu is the Pulp style. It is a precision instrument. Sometimes that means outwitting the enemy. Probably you enough about the Cthulhu mythos tales of H. you have some idea what this game is. But ESOTERRORISTS You might they must be stopped. your characters—presumed to be capable investigators—are assured to find the clues they need. focused horror and investigation RPGs. Trail of Cthulhu also supports two distinct styles of play. or will soon. Laws. Lovecraft to understand that the perils of following the trail of Cthulhu are madness and death. the question isn’t whether you can find the clues in some kind of randomized equivalent of a pixel hunt. The Esoterrorists is a complete investigative horror game from RPG mastermind. In a GUMSHOE scenario. Call of Cthulhu. If you’re reading this. As part of a global conspiracy called Ordo Veritatis. reason. The Esoterrorists is a razor-sharp roleplaying game of mystery and the occult. wary souls whose sanity is finite and always in peril of being blasted away to nothing by the unearthly truths to which they expose themselves. You’ll need the Trail of Cthulhu rulebook to play this adventure. beyond just a new kind of game rules and a ten-year time shift to the 1930s. If you don’t stop them. and the truth. your expert detective character pursues and confronts occult terrorists wherever they lurk. THE be afraid to face the Esoterrorists. or you want to recreate the sweaty desperation of survival horror movies. there’s a GUMSHOE game to create the perfect experience. and Sources of Stability. but you’ll find the format of GUMSHOE adventures is so clear and concise that you can appreciate this scenario even if you haven’t yet read the rulebook. Each style of play is a simple matter of degree. What you may not know. in which ordinary people face extraordinary terror. they’ll shape reality to their insane whims.

MUTANT CITY BLUES In a world not so unlike our own—except that super-powered vigilantes and criminals are real—someone must keep the peace. thrilling police tales with a stunning super-powered twist.” FEAR ITSELF In the tradition of the greatest slasher films and survivalhorror tales. Laws. With its detailed history of emerging mutant powers and the effect they have on the world. You are that someone. gives you everything you need to play out intelligent. and a complete. With a default play mode casting characters as expert investigators in the employ of the Heightened Capacity Investigative Unit (HCIU). you follow the clues and uncover the mysteries of Mutant City. how they think. Remember what it was like to be afraid of monsters. Learn what to look for. poor souls who have faced these things before. The Book of Unremitting Horror is a bold and mature menagerie of terrifying. Mutant City Blues is also flexible enough to accommodate your own unique brand of crime-fighting. THE BOOK OF UNREMITTING HORROR Intelligent. Any city—your city—can become Mutant City. These are your new nightmares. 5 . this is a detailed examination of horrors more sophisticated than simple vampires and zombies. and hearsay. and how best to fight them. Remember what monstrous really means. Insidious. with your life. Mutant City Blues plays as a provocative. unforgiving terror. advanced scenario of geopolitical terror called “Operation Slaughterhouse. gory instrument of fear you’ve been looking for. super-powered police procedural. exploring not only how these creatures behave but what they want. drawn from more than 95 choices including Regeneration and Self-Detonation. what evidence they leave behind. If your characters escape murder and madness long enough to survive. Explore a modern world of gritty. Fear Itself easily unfolds into a series of compelling adventures in which your ordinary characters become extraordinary over time—and get their chance to make the monsters of the Outer Black afraid of them. No simple catalog of simplistic beasts. if you can. Fear Itself is the gutsy. horrors to confront. then plunges them into the kinds of brutally terrifying survival-horror scenarios that make you afraid to walk home alone afterwards. desperate confrontations against an alien menace from the Outer Black. Read the accounts of brave. Inhuman. And escape. Beyond that. and why. Take your antagonists to a new level of terror. and cunning new monsters for any GUMSHOE game.cults of the Esoterrorists. Using your own unique powers. Fear Itself puts players in control of characters very much like themselves. grotesque. And when to run. Fear Itself pits ordinary people against extraordinary horrors in scenarios in which few—if any—characters will survive. This complete roleplaying game from acclaimed designer Robin D. Don’t just shop for new creatures to chop to bits. An ideal platform for one-shot games of relentless. Someone must solve the crimes perpetrated by and against those with mutant powers. more than 35 investigative abilities to hone. rumor. each monster is presented through the lens of legendry.

from investigative suspense to perilous violence to eldritch madness. giving you a concrete details you can use in your own descriptions and account of events. so you don’t have to worry about a sprawling citywide investigation or the possibility of characters hopping on a train and riding away from the scenario. Here are some easy ways you can set up Thomas Fell.) Within this closed environment. stick to paraphrasing the text you 6 . retreat. as well as his actual game statistics. if you will. if you want to follow up on the exploits of these characters or make continued use of the artifact described herein. The Murderer of Thomas Fell puts the PCs in a closed environment. Like The Third Man’s Harry Lime. “The Murderer of Thomas Fell” makes a fine introductory story.. (Trail of Cthulhu makes it easy to play out such large-scale investigative tales. for more on that. and events. characters. Worse. you’ll find text describing the story’s settings. especially one with points in Archaeology. but also to give you a taste of the many kinds of thrills waiting for you in future adventures for this game. Reading directly from the text feels stiff and overly formal most of the time. in an ongoing game: character’s contact. or a prologue to a ongoing series. the players have a great amount of freedom to investigate. versus details that are red herrings or just for color. See the section called “Aftermath. simply don’t worry so much about the personal connections between the players’ characters and Thomas Fell himself.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell Introduction to the Adventure This adventure is designed to show off integral parts of the GUMSHOE game system that powers Trail of Cthulhu. regroup. but this short adventure assumes you don’t have the time for that. Rather than giving them these meta-clues. This isn’t to say you can’t easily adapt this story for use in an ongoing Trail of Cthulhu series.” at the end of this story. series as a Source of Stability for a player character. thereby setting up the players and their characters alike for his shocking appearance at the end of the story. Art History. attack. The choices they make will contribute to everyone’s mental image of Thomas Fell. Don’t. For the sake of manageability. This might tip them off to details that are important. At the same time.) story as a witness or expert consultant on an unrelated case. by centering the tale on an absent man—a man the players will help bring to life through their own roleplaying and the actions of their characters. and roleplay. (See “The Truth About Thomas Fell” on p. This text is meant to be inspirational. when you read from the text. The climax of the story hinges on the dramatic entrance of Thomas Fell and the revelation of his dreadful fate. To make this part of a Trail of Cthulhu series that’s already begun.Your series’ characters are probably already intrepid investigators with their own reasons for looking into the mysterious disappearance of a local antiques dealer. until their investigation revealed things about him that they might never have suspected. Thomas Fell should be a figure the characters thought they knew.. The only downside to using this story in the midst of an ongoing series is that you may not get to take advantage of the opportunity to have the players define Thomas Fell through their own roleplaying. the players can tell when you’re winging it and when you’re not. XX to see how. this adventure pays weird homage to the noir classic The Third Man. Then have the characters hear from Kenneth or Roger. “Will you go with us to look around his house?” they ask. or even Occult. and thus this story. Some of this text is suitable for reading aloud to your players. however. Reading This Story Throughout this story. monsters. That makes this a good scenario to play at a convention or as a first foray into the GUMSHOE system. that Thomas hasn’t been seen in several days and his house dark. Using This Story This scenario is designed to be played as a stand-alone or one-shot tale—a taste of Trail of Cthulhu before you create characters of your own. Thomas’s sons.

(This is rather what it appears to be: an egg. Inside is a fearsome alien predator. relocated them to a mysterious mountaintop deep in a remote and dangerous mountain range. The Spine This adventure consists of two main parts. impossibly. should be on the players and the tale actually unfolding around them—not the version of the story we predict here. without telling anyone. which requires cutting him open and tearing it free. He has used the stone in his cellar once already. His plan is to capture at least one more off the monster’s eggs to take “back to the world. they strive to avoid being bitten and turned slowly to stone by the strange and lethal creature that dwells upon the mountaintop. the characters must: the bizarre mountaintop ruins that brought them there him to secure escape from the mountain Along the way. after all. He hasn’t picked up his mail. The first part of the story puts the characters in Thomas Fell’s house. and train them to serve as protectors. He hasn’t answered his phone. Thomas tried to kill the rest of his expedition to keep them away from his fragment of a broken standing stone. Meanwhile. Thomas has absorbed the stone fragment into his body. as they are gradually encased and penetrated by ribbons of stone that will store them for the monster and its young to eat later. Driven mad by Mythos revelations he has discovered while researching the stones. for now. but it began somewhat sooner than expected. the other two fled into the mountaintop’s strange wilderness. he thinks. when Thomas and the four expeditionary partners he hired (with Joyce-Cleveland’s money) met at his house to plan out the trip. For days no one in town has seen him. This story offers numerous opportunities for embellishing detours and short tangents. These scenes occur either when the PCs physical location or your sense of drama dictates that they do. The Horrible Truth Thomas Fell has departed his home through the use of a mystic artifact—a standing stone in his cellar which interacts with other alien standing stones to magically teleport persons across the globe. they must get the stone fragment out of Thomas Fell. If the player characters want to see home again.” His plan beyond that is sketchy and irrational: he believes that he needs to bring these eggs to other teleportation destinations. which allows them to teleport back to his house. in his mind. This adventure demonstrates all the parts of a scenario described on page 192 of Trail of Cthulhu.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Introduction to the Adventure find in this book. by jutting boulders and tangled jungle trees. the story moves irrevocably into its second part. killing such persons will save lives.” is complete. There they seek evidence of his whereabouts and any clues that might suggest just where the hell the kitchen has gone. 7 . parts of which have been replaced. each set in a different part of the globe and each containing scenes that can be played in just about any order. glancing at it before you describe the setting and actions unique to your version of this story. This is the price. and collected a strange stone artifact—egg-shaped and etched with glyphs—on his journey. but the barest spine of the tale is quite simple. using a spell engraved on a mountaintop stele. the characters have opportunities to learn the truth about Thomas Fell’s doomed expedition to the mountain (which may be of use The Hook Thomas Fell has gone missing. to be sure. There the characters struggle to find Thomas Fell and make sense of all available clues in the hopes of finding a way home. hatch them. and it’s the only hope of getting off the mountaintop. Where is he? The scenario begins with the characters assembled on Thomas Fell’s front porch and unlocking the door to his house. want to exploit the teleportation stones for their own purposes. This part’s scenes occur when the PCs visit particular parts of the house but once the scene “Cellar. At the same time. To complete this scenario. They remain alive. He succeeded in killing one of his comrades and fatally wounding another. where they were attacked by the egg-tending beast that dwells inside the rocks there. Your focus. The teleportation effect. accidentally triggered. Fatal. Anyone who gets in his way must. His house has been dark. of achieving the scenario’s victory condition: escape from the mountaintop. The second part of the story begins when an ancient artifact in the cellar mystically transports the PCs to the remote and alien mountaintop where Thomas Fell’s expedition of occultists and archaeologists met its awful end.) Thomas’ scheduled trip is part of an expedition funded by Jan JoyceCleveland. however.

before culminating in the discovery of Thomas Fell at a bizarre shrine. If it suits your purposes. as described in the special game system on p. he may track or shadow Special Game System: The Truth About Thomas Fell Who is Thomas Fell? That depends. Pacing in this first part is vital—don’t let the PCs get bored enough to leave the house. where they may learn clues that prepare them for their final encounter. the clues available in many of these scenes are attainable with a variety of Investigative Abilities. Who do the PCs think he is? Thomas Fell’s personality. Art History. the characters are able to discern just what is necessary to escape the mountaintop. with the help the Keeper. vaguely cunning but no more intelligent or sinister than any earthly predator. Antagonist Reactions There are two antagonists working against the PCs in this scenario: Thomas Fell and the supernatural creature called the Mouth in the Stone. it’s your sign to trigger “The Stone Activates” clause in the scene “The Cellar.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell should you choose to turn this oneshot story into the beginning of an ongoing campaign). When one of them tries to do that. XX. Overview Part One: Thomas Fell’s House This first part of the scenario is a collection of simple investigative scenes designed to reward almost any manner of investigative approach and give the players a chance to get into character (or show off their skills) before the mayhem begins. The Mouth in the Stone is a fearsome monster. Likewise. The primary opposing force generating the conflict in this story is the characters’ predicament: they are trapped in a hostile place. It’s more important for the characters to learn how to gain clues in these scenes than it is for them to properly assemble them. Leave them wondering where Thomas is and just who has killed him for as long as possible. a survival and investigation situation in which the goal is to locate Thomas without being slain by a fearsome monster first. this is where the players are most likely to detail Thomas Fell’s character with their own actions. abilities. Part Two: The Mountaintop Once the characters have activated the stele in Thomas Fell’s basement. Meanwhile. It attacks when you think the adventure needs a dose of desperate peril or gruesome violence. Outdoorsman. Most of the clues revealed in this first part are leveraged clues. As such. but this undercuts the final reveal of Thomas at the end of the story. the characters have opportunities to use their General Abilities as they flee from or fight an unearthly monster: The Mouth in the Stone. and Interpersonal Abilities. It reacts to the presence of the investigators by stalking them and.” This immediately transports the character to Part Two. By reacting 8 . the possibility of starvation or a fatal fall—should be empowered by the antagonism of the environment itself. This part of the story is set in a remote Andean mountaintop. it’s best if the PCs don’t know Thomas is still alive until after they’ve learned that he is the one who has turned on the expedition members. alien refuge by ancient and forgotten mysticism. The timing and appetite of the creature is entirely a matter of Keeper fiat. is working actively against the PCs. and background reflect the way the players roleplay their characters and what they presume their relationship with Thomas was like. There they are faced with the moral dilemma at the heart of this story: who will be the murderer of Thomas Fell? All along the way. the story moves to this second part. therefore. transformed into a temperate. Everything—the threat of the creature. and the fates that befell his colleagues. or when you need to conveniently remove an NPC that’s bogging things down. The clue chain takes the characters across various optional encounters centered on the scenes of multiple attacks and dying survivors. securing them as a source of food with its petrifying bite. the players use their character’s abilities to add personality and details to the persona of Thomas Fell. until you’re ready to trigger the final scene of the story. By locating and following clues based largely on Evidence Collection. the lurking danger of Thomas Fell. useful when the characters locate survivors of Thomas Fell’s expedition in Part Two. Be flexible. Neither of these antagonists. Thomas Fell reacts to the arrival and investigations of the PCs by withdrawing from them and remaining hidden for as long as possible—that is. if possible. the characters while they wander the mountaintop.

these are examples. Beyond that. I should learn it twice. or straighten his bloodied tie. didn’t you? ‘Do no harm. and following it. Roger’s player might suggest that Thomas Fell failed out of medical school and was always a little jealous of his son’s success. For example. Dad. Maybe he continues to wear and adjust his glasses. Essential Traits While Thomas’ interests and personality quirks are subject to the inputs of the players. For example.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Overview to the players’ cues (intentional or incidental) you ensure that their choices have meaning and that Thomas has a personal connection with the characters when they finally meet. If we agree to bring the eggs back. If it’s an Archaeology spend that reveals Thomas’ secret library (in the scene “The Den”) is hidden by a latched door behind an etching of Knossos. a gentle and perhaps even eccentric fellow—when he’s not crazily murdering. on the other hand. enabling an Interpersonal ability to penetrate his mad thoughts and reach the mind within. ‘things are often hard when they’re worth doing. but.You’re smarter than this. then you should let them in on the game system so they can specifically add details to Thomas Fell as a means of adding reflective details to their own characters.. as described on p. Thomas. As a rule of thumb. will you take us home?” Letting the Players In On It Do the players know they’re defining Thomas Fell with their actions? The default assumption is that they do not. If. 194 of Trail of Cthulhu.You know it’s the right thing to do. Knox’s player suggests that Thomas was a stubborn bastard. a few essential traits must be in his repertoire in order to make this scenario unfold with a bit of logic. but it wasn’t. Here are a few examples of Investigative Abilities the pregenerated characters possess and how they might be leveraged with an Interpersonal Ability in the final scene. his interests. His Sanity was probably never very 9 . Technical or possibly even a General spend in the first part of the scenario can reveal a piece of information about Thomas Fell—the prerequisite clue—that can be leveraged in the final scene with an Interpersonal Ability. right?”—and they’re not throwing the whole game experience out of whack. broken by his exposure to Mythos spells and the effects of the one he cast upon himself. At least as of the moment when the PCs finally encounter Thomas Fell. Only you know your players well enough to judge the right course of action. This sets up Thomas to react to leveraged clues in the final scene of the story.’ I know it’s hard for you to put down the gun. to absorb into your characterization of Thomas. We certainly don’t. just as a means of explaining a bit of Roger’s arrogance. it’s the right thing to do. starved or eaten.. didn’t you. he must have the following traits or Abilities: rating of 0. then using symbolism or archaeological references may get his attention in the final scene. at least in his dealing with Knox. or we die and you’re finished in ‘back in the world. Remember. and his vulnerabilities—the things which affect him. Now you listen to me: your boys will die here. I saw your notes back at the house. if Kenneth’s player makes it clear that Kenneth finds his father to be a harmless old kook. Thomas.” Latin + Assess Honesty: “You taught me the Hippocratic Oath in Latin because you said. here. you remember how mad I got when I was having trouble with figure drawing in school? I was furious because I wanted it to be easy.g. and more specifically. “There’s probably a box of cigars in here. if you’re running the kind of game in which the players are able to add details to the setting by asking about them—e. On the other hand. the spends players make in Thomas’ house should influence his abilities.You believed in me for learning it.’You’re not going to shoot me.’” Library Use + Bargain: “We’ve seen Hanson’s journal. So. Players may make spends with almost any skill in this way just to detail Thomas’s character. Thomas is irretrievably insane. no one behaves the same way with everyone. unless you tell me how to get us out of here. This minimizes the ability of the players to abuse the mechanism. a datum. on some level. you have a scrap. an Academic. essentially creating the possibility for every Investigative spend describing him to turn into a leveraged clue.You told me. are you. or speak with a start-and-stop shyness. So you know how to get us home. Thomas? You used them. even through his madness. Dad?” Evidence Collection + Interrogation: “You put two rounds into that man’s back.You tell me. He is.You shot a man in the back! What the hell is wrong with you? What were you thinking? How did you expect to get out of here without your partners? Tell me!” Occult + Intimidation: “You read the stones.You taught me that. no player may make a second spend on Thomas’ details until every other player has made his or her first spend to do so. Remember. you should play him as a stubborn bastard. We know about the stones and those creature’s eggs.. not restrictions: Art + Flattery: “Dad. if I really meant it.

unknown horror. it’s best if Thomas Fell is not a Source of Stability. probably not.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell high to begin with. Not in the sense of the Masters. Thomas needs a rating in at least one of these Abilities sufficient to be a threat in the final scene. you tell yourself that these are what make you a good person. In fact. If you’re 10 . soulless work. exwives or whatever else is necessary to build a compelling dramatic connection between him and the players’ characters. the success story. observant. and got through medical school with discipline and more than a little arrogance. but in the real-world sense of the working. give him siblings. but it gives each player material to draw on when roleplaying the search for their missing friend. you might make it big. since his death is all but guaranteed.You want to allude to a greater. Somebody. who may suggest something of Thomas’ Stability prior to this expedition. his shotgun: a Winchester pump-action with 5 shots. Any of the relationships established with the pregenerated characters can be dialed down to something less than Sourceof-Stability levels. the rational side. Ambition. Whatever it is. He’s the respectable one. some paintings—but every one has gone to people with decent taste and good money. (If it’s helpful for exposition purposes. or perhaps they’ve met him through dealings with Makepeace or Detective Wright. Kenneth Fell Occupation: Artist Drive: Ennui Broke. Although Thomas Fell’s personality and history should remain close to what’s described here. But. sometimes realistically and sometimes not. Whether you’re using pre-generated characters or not. enough to be dangerous in the final scenes of the story. friendly rivals. you realize. duty— these are admiral traits. These are what you paint and sculpt. particularly the way the world sculpts itself. Thomas Fell used to hunt quail with Makepeace. Volcanoes. his advantage is not his expertise in any of these Abilities but. ocean-side cliffs and other natural rock formations captivate you. If you’re using this story to kick off an ongoing Trail of Cthulhu series. you are a true artist. Are they afraid for his safety or afraid that he’ll make some great discovery without them? Do they blame Thomas for their troubles or expect him to save them all? Each character’s unique relationship with Thomas Fell gives each player another way to define to individualize her character. even though Player Characters To get you playing the game right away. but they belong to other people. and haunted by a sense of powerlessness.You can count on your fingers the number of pieces you’ve sold—some sculpture.You can’t really relate to that. toiling creator.) using this story for a convention game. it’s important that every player’s character have some personal history with Thomas Fell built into her backstory. this language is the barrier that stands between the characters and the ability to use Mythos knowledge or spells in the final scene. a doctor.Your older brother is Roger. You are the younger of Thomas Fell’s two sons. rather. consider extracting some of these characters’ relationships and experiences with Thomas Fell and assigning them to the characters your players presumably make for themselves. arrogance. By eating tins of beans and living in your studio with a communal bathroom down the hall. A prior connection to Thomas Fell helps not only to heighten the moral dilemma at the end of this story. desert bluffs. each with its own personal connection to Thomas Fell.You get by. the Keeper.You’re more sensitive. and it is in this language that the Mythos secrets on the stelae are carved. His exact Stability must be determined by you. It deals +1 damage. even if that rapport isn’t so important that Thomas Fell is one of their Sources of Stability. living in squalor but proud that at least you don’t have to demean yourself with embarrassing. More than likely. Perhaps it’s an ancient Incan dialect or a bizarre derivation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. the information provided herein is all the players have to go on when imagining Thomas Fell. to reflect the difficulty and tone of the final scene as you want to present it. not get bogged down in the minutiae of how Thomas’ ill-fated spell works. people you can respect yourself for selling art to. you even manage to live for several months off a single sale. It’s this semblance of normalcy that enabled him to get the jump on his expedition partners. Nature is one avenue of inspiration for you. It can also be fudged to reflect the inputs of the players. He took after your father’s academic side. From this he’s picked up a rating of 8 in Firearms. or when discussing him in-character. language that none of the PCs do. and sympathetic. Perhaps the characters know Thomas from a function at the Joyce-Cleveland estate. bohemian. for characters you expect to carry over to follow-up stories. you have here five pre-generated characters.

Sense Trouble 5. and it had ended with Thomas leaving in a huff. who Thomas had considered bringing into the expeditionary team. for several months. you support your wife and don’t mess around.” How does he manage to live the way he does? Eating beans from the tin and sleeping in his hole of a 11 . so Joyce-Cleveland hoped they might have been in contact recently. they probably know the least about his work. Makepeace. Sources of Stability: Thomas Fell (your father. Makepeace and Thomas are old friends and colleagues. Phone calls lead to more phone calls. What else is there? For you. Detective Norman Wright.You two don’t talk much. and he’s been taken by forgers and deadbeats before. Reassurance 4 General Abilities: Driving 4. Though it’s possible that they know their father better than anyone else. Geology 2. you don’t really like doing it anymore. but then decided against. disinterested in work beyond his “current project” and quick to anger. That he could go missing and they’d not be among the first to notice is embarrassing for them both.You’re a little tired of seeing the same cases again and again—tennis elbows and stomach aches all the time. Stability 10. The last time they saw each other. Psychoanalysis 8. Fleeing 12. Fingers crossed. You are the elder son of Thomas Fell. a family man. but you’re not sure what you’d do if something were to happen to him. Neither had spoken with their father. and his sometimes close contact with antiquities of questionable legality. when Thomas’ current financier Joyce-Cleveland called on Makepeace to ask him if he’d seen Thomas.You’ve come to dad’s house because you’re genuinely worried about him. Health 9. and soon everyone back along the chain of worry is on the sidewalk outside Thomas Fell’s house. Pillars of Sanity: natural world predictable selfishness being undermined by generosity heart and mind of any person. When Detective Wright mentioned that he wanted to go by Thomas’ house to poke around. Joyce-Cleveland called Knox Makepeace. Credit Rating 1. both sons volunteered to come along—out of guilt. Firearms 2.You have to check the chart to remember your patients’ names sometimes.. Your dad is a kindly old coot. prone to getting in over his head. probably through straight narration. So it is that these five souls meet in the space left behind by Thomas Fell. however. but not yet willing to declare Thomas missing (for her own reasons). trying to figure out how to make some money to pay back some debts and keep his antiques consultancy and dealership in business. medicine is a profession. Stealth 5. before the story begins. Detective Wright got in touch with Thomas’ two grown sons. Jeannie Corman (your on-again-off-again girlfriend). Art History 4. Hans Siegler (a friend and artist whose work you admire and emulate) Investigative Abilities: Architecture 2. Surely you’d do anything to find him. Weapons 2 What the Characters Know About Each Other The following information should be paraphrased to all the players. Filch 5. Kenneth and Roger.. the “artist. you consider yourself an upstanding citizen and. who is difficult but reliable). especially in regards to business. not a calling. Sanity 9. Roger Fell Occupation: Doctor Drive: Duty A husband and a doctor. as part of his casual pre-investigation. You don’t know what you’d do if he’s really in trouble. Art 6.You help people because the money is good and it’s important work but. had already been worried about Thomas. Makepeace got worried and called Thomas’ old friend. if done right. and he’s just laying low. for his professional opinion.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Player Characters you’re not healing the sick. but not to especially bad people. Flattery 4. you make good money. Occult 1.You work hard. who grew worried when the men hired to plan the expedition with Thomas never reported. so that everyone understands what their characters know about each other: This concern for Thomas Fell’s wellbeing started with Jan JoyceCleveland. Thomas. one day. He’s owed money in the past. Photography 2. Worried. Thomas was acting strangely—paranoid. each looking to find him for their own reasons. They’d met for lunch. Your little brother is Kenneth. Craft 4. that’s as bad as it is this time. So.

Biology 4. but you’d devote on-duty time to making sure he’s all right. Medicine 4. Sanity 12. In this way.You’re a capable cop. Sanity 12. but your wits are stronger than your fists and you know it.You need money to live and keep your family well. Scuffling 10. A fan of detective fiction and puzzle games of all sorts. Scuffling 6 that he’d go missing for a few days? You called around to dig up some information and ended up getting the attention of his sons—more trouble than you meant to stir up. Still. so he can’t be in too much trouble. You haven’t checked up on him in a while.You felt like a real policeman. letting his fun get in the way of his work. You met Thomas Fell a couple of years ago. then. when he helped you out on a case of missing antiques from a robberyhomicide case in town. but people are inherently good. Credit Rating 3. Forensics 2. Firearms 14. which leads to more crime. Still. Assess Honesty 2. and you’ve fired your gun. American town. He works hard. a weathered old dog of a man who has kept his sense of humor through dark times). Evidence Collection 4. if the old man fell down in his house and hurt himself. He’s a curious man selling curios. Stability 8. He gets distracted by art and antiques that appeal to him but don’t have sufficient resale value. Reassurance 2 Since then. and then you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. in it for the mysteries. Your father understands this to a point. A hard-working. whether you want to do it or not. Pharmacy 4. First Aid 20. Interrogation 6. Outdoorsman 2 General Abilities: Athletics 12. that’s just fine. Sources of Stability: Captain George Gough (your precinct captain. Languages (Latin) 2. Thomas is no misfit. who is a stubborn headache sometimes but your father all the same) Investigative Abilities: Accounting 2. after all. Jan Joyce-Cleveland Occupation: Dilettante Drive: In the Blood 12 . Pillars of Sanity: Crime makes people bad. Fleeing 10.You wouldn’t break the law for Thomas Fell. we can be a great people. Cop Talk 4. that day. admirable and true. If he’s not okay. society’s codes. you know you’ll end up blaming yourself. It’s most likely that your father isn’t missing at all.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell studio—he has no self-respect and no ambition. Some day he’ll outgrow his artistic fantasy and get a real job. in a way. Mechanical Repair 4. Thomas Fell (your father. exemplary nation. Driving 4. Thomas posed as a buyer for the thieves in a sting operation you designed. but if he’s in a rough patch. you don’t spend that much time with him. just a visit to his house now and again. Health 11. but a selfindulgent interest in solving crimes rather than fighting criminals. you were intrigued. But what has he gotten himself into General Abilities: Driving 2. for example. When Makepeace called and went so far as to say he was missing. he’s almost exactly halfway between you and your brother. like a good son should. you’ve been friends with Thomas because of your shared enthusiasm for the stories behind things—the tales of how objects come to be in the hands of their current owners.Your devotion to your job. Sense Trouble 14. Stability 7. Thomas Fell (a good local soul who helped you handle the estate sale when your parents died—you’ve since become friends) Investigative Abilities: Assess Honesty 6. Life is work. that’d be your fault. you love a good question and the search for a good answer. you’ll return his favor by using your job to help him out. Credit Rating 4. Forensics 4. but he doesn’t show the best judgment. but what’s done is done. Unless you’re Kenneth. but you can’t spend your life trying to change him. It’s pathetic. Health 10. If they can help you solve the case of the missing antiquarian. but rather has no paid his telephone bill or been checking the mail or something. Law 2. And Kenneth. Psychoanalysis 10. isn’t out of revenge or a need to judge people. and that leads to good conversations. well. Pillars of Sanity: especially the human form scientific knowledge bound people can save lives Sources of Stability: Muriel Fell (your wife of 8 years). Stealth 6 Detective Norman Wright Occupation: Police Detective Drive: Curiosity You’re a local police detective.

I don’t think we’ll be flying there. unlike your father. Even with the law being as sketchy as it is. protect the world’s treasures (but not necessarily share them). No sign of them. it’s happening on your dime. from your father’s estate while he was out of town.” the last time you spoke to him). A great family can lead and inspire. Damn it all. They didn’t board a plane or a train (and Thomas had said “Oh. the player. like you. Now you may have to pay him off if the provenance or proper ownership of the stele comes into question—or the fact that you hired men to loot antiquities. And now that Fell’s sons are involved. though. drivers. Unless you can use them to get Thomas Fell out of the woodwork.You sent Thomas Fell a stone stele. to decide. So you cut him a check big enough for him to hire some men and go off in search of similar objects that you could bring back to impress your father.) The Joyces and the Clevelands have long been wealthy. He said Peru. Some families are just more capable than others. Fell is a believer in the occult. Long have the JoyceClevelands been globe-trotters and collectors of fine antiquities. and it’s the responsibility of such families to do things like solve the world’s mysteries (but not necessarily publicize them). You heard word of Thomas Fell through Knox Makepeace.Your hope was that Thomas Fell would be able to tell you what the object was and where it came from—and he did that quickly.. but then they all stopped writing or calling. Whether the name is short for Janice or is a male name of Norwegian descent is up to you. so where did they go? Have the stolen the stele and secreted away to some hiding place? You funded them. so whatever is happening. and that’s no help. who has helped your father acquire some of his antique and archaeological collections over the years. Makepeace went and called a police detective. and long has each generation sought to outdo the previous’ collections in terms of rarity and mystery. and possibly convince him that some of his collection has properties more fantastic than he believes. the whole business may become emotional and personal. etched with alien markings. Thomas Fell hired four men— diggers. you’d rather have kept the police out of it.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Player Characters (Jan is specifically named to be genderneutral. Pillars of Sanity: benefits mankind than others. explorers—and was having meetings to plant their trip.. and give the little people a chance to support themselves. Sources of Stability: Grover 13 .

Stability 12. Art History 4. Art 4. his conscience is admirable. Thomas could be a In the Event of Fewer Players If you don’t have five players in attendance when you play out this scenario. Filch 10. Library Use 4 Professor Knox Makepeace Occupation: Professor Drive: Antiquarianism You know better than most folk just what history is worth—intellectually and financially. It’s not right to leave artifacts in the hands of those who won’t care for them or appreciate them.You might only need to do this long enough to relate some key exposition in the first half of the story. and sometimes partner. If his sons or Detective Wright can blame you. where they can be savagely attacked by the mountaintop monster or brutally murdered by Thomas Fell whenever it’s dramatically appropriate. Intimidation 4. John Allen Ward (a black-market antiquities dealer from whom you’ve bought the artifacts that have earned you respect and authority in the field) Investigative Abilities: Anthropology 2. And your time is valuable. as NPCs. Consider one of these solutions to the problem: First. Fleeing 20. and useful to you as a fill-in for the space where your conscience should be. you’re friends with the man. Sanity 7. people’s fun might seem to be at risk. you’ll feel awful. Occult 2.You’d be heartbroken if he decided to finally take your advice. Thomas Fell (your secret investment project. Preparedness 12. in his line of work. and were created with a number of built points based on the assumption that four or more characters would be in play. if he was willing to tell better stories about the antiques he sells. the quaint antique expert who’s going to certify your find and help you make your own fortune) Investigative Abilities: Accounting 1. Credit Rating 4. Activated. Without some of the investigative abilities linked to each character. because he believes in that sort of thing). Riding 4. Preparedness 6. with him for years. and have those characters be left behind when the teleportation effect occurs in the scene “The Stone. the players may be left at a considerable disadvantage. get involved in something a little shadowy. somehow. Alternately. Second. Sanity 8.” If you like. You went to graduate school with Thomas Fell and have been a business acquaintance. Dorothy Chapman (your secretary. Beyond that. so you’ll bend the law if you must. Pillars of Sanity: it saves humanity from strife and repeated mistakes a value beyond simple money. he’s the one you turn to when issues of the occult come up. or weak international laws. Health 10. Stability 10. History 4. If a Wall Street collector is going to provide a good home for that Greek amphora. The characters presented here were designed to interact with the clues in this story in particular ways. put a book or two into Thomas’ den that can help out in later scenes by supplying. and end up getting hurt. consider playing the leftover characters yourself. But keep it yourself. thereby turning unmanned characters into useful experts.You’re two sides of the same antique coin: you. Astronomy 2.. Bargain 2.You should be paid for finding good homes for these works. Architecture 2. Health 7. Languages 2. these NPCs might travel with the PCs into the second half of the story. If this is somehow your fault. and let you study it and record its history. and the reason why you’re rich). the purveyor of rare antiquities with questionable provenance. then the object is better off in his hands. who handles your paperwork and appointment schedule—a real savior). regardless of inheritance. Still. a few points of Geology or Biology to the investigators if Kenneth or Roger is missing. Stealth 5 Sources of Stability: Thomas Fell (your friend and colleague in the commercial antiquities business. Flattery 4. for example. they belong in wiser hands show they can be appreciated General Abilities: Conceal 10. Photography 2. Firearms 10. The lawmakers in Washington don’t quite appreciate the antiquarian perspective. Firearms 5. they probably won’t let you claim any of Thomas’ fine collection. substitute other investigative abilities for certain clues.. 14 .TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell Joyce-Cleveland (your investmentbanker father. Outdoorsman 6. if necessary. cultural associations. Credit Rating 7. Weapons 5 wealthy man. Reassurance 4 General Abilities: Athletics 12. him the expert in determining that provenance. and if he was willing to sell more illicit pieces.

the color of cement. climbing tools. which consists of the cellar proper and the storage room where the stele is located. there’s no danger in taking the stairs up to Thomas’ den or down to the cellar.). which no consists solely of Thomas’s den (and secret library). The walls of the master bedroom are still present—pictures still hang on nails hammered into floral wallpaper—but vines have already begun to spread from the rocks to the house and stiff. Its ceiling is likewise gone. Architecture reveals the house to still be stable. Where they should be is. that’s exactly what’s happened. (In truth. dead air. backpacks. rocky wilderness. as if someone has been tearing out plaster or sawing stone. Stairs lead down from the kitchen to the house’s cellar. up into the space where the master bedroom should be. Art History or History notices that Thomas has dug out many of his PreColumbian American artifacts from his office and placed them throughout the house.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Thomas Fell’s House Part One: Thomas Fell’s House The House Scene Type: Introduction This first scene is meant to introduce the PCs to each other and to the bizarre situation within Thomas Fell’s house: The kitchen and master bedroom are missing. These are the same kind of unearthly rocks that make up the mountaintop in Part Two. dining room). riddled with obsidian-like rocks. a stretch of alien stone—solid. 15 . on window sills. dead tree stretching from the soil piled in the center of the house. A fine dust is inside the house. instead. It’s as if the inside of the house has been swapped out with a patch of some strange. apparently taking the floor and all possessions of the master bedroom with it. smooth. etc. Evidence Collection finds Thomas Fell has recently been receiving mail from companies specializing in outdoorsman equipment and adventuring gear (kayaks. and bristling with brown clinging vines—and the trunk of a huge. revealing the exposed frame of the next rooms over (living room. The) The kitchen walls have been removed. Even casual digging around reveals that the kitchen’s tile floor is still present under about two feet of loose black soil. It’s all throughout the still. etc. on the mantle. Stairs lead up from the front room of the house to the second floor. dead tree branches have torn through the plaster under the wallpaper.

There are tickets for five travelers in each case. and to get $2. and Peru. and animal-like behavior they’ll see in Thomas later on. Incan-looking glyphs. Books on Mesoamerican art and culture are open all throughout the room. Destinations include Ecuador. a shotgun. all of its windows hidden behind bookcases. Art History and History recognizes his focus on standing stones as well. It also reveals that Thomas’ savings have been recently bolstered. Several photographs focus on a tall obelisk covered with strange glyphs. plane tickets. (Core clue) Art History or Art notices an odd mix of styles in the obelisk in the photos: it has an almost Egyptian shape but is strangely adorned with PreColumbian. etc.200 converted into various South American currencies. isolated. and decorative antiques. loaded and ready to be used. by checks from Jan JoyceCleveland. A hidden door leads from behind a The Den Scene Type: Core Thomas Fell’s den is a hardwoodpaneled room made up almost entirely of bookshelves. unused and still in their envelopes. This room is his lair. framed maps. as are texts dedicated to stelae and standing stones all over the world. Thomas was focused on maps of South America. The floor is covered in stacks of paper—newspapers.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell No additional clues remain to be found here. Evidence Collection finds all the plane tickets revealed by Accounting. Thomas’ camera is here. One of these photographs shows Thomas and four other men—two nondescript white men. A small wood- 16 . Accounting recognizes that Thomas has tapped his savings to buy expeditionary gear (via mail order but not yet arrived). Use this scene to foreshadow the feral. substantially. a tall man with a serious mustache. correspondence. Library Use can make sense of his organizational method and sort out where his attention was when he was last in this room. It’s sitting on a stack of photographs depicting some rocky location very much resembling the stones in the house. maps. from Stonehenge to Egyptian obelisks. invoices. burning fireplace punctuates one wall. Chile. where he nests amid papers gathered from all over. It’s cave-like and dark. though photographs and prints on the walls and antiques all over can be used to reveal bits of Thomas Fell’s personality. It smells like a used bookstore in here. with a handful of circles drawn over points along the whole length of the Andes. condition reports on various artifacts. and a young Asian man—standing in the living room in front of the strange rocks that have displaced his kitchen.

here. behind the fireplace. (Beyond this door is the stele and the scene “The Stele. James Kellerman: American game hunter. to create those ridges. Filling the space is a four- 17 . Getting the stone out of the cage requires a 1-point spend of Athletics (to force the door) or Crafts (to finesse it). the egg of the alien monster called the Mouth in the Stone—is likely ignored by the creature in the scene “The Creature Attacks. which includes photographs of. the other is the chimney of his den’s fireplace. The Cellar Scene Type: Core Thomas Fell’s cellar is located below the front room of the house and is little more than an unfinished space with walls made of the house’s foundation and a ceiling made of the exposed supports of the floor above. next to a rusted bicycle.” This information can be useful for dealing with Kellerman or Gruber in Part Two by inspiring players to pursue lines of questioning or offer up spends in associated abilities to leverage clues out of these guys. unlatching the hidden door. depending on which characters are in the den and what abilities the players are focusing on during their investigation. is to reward players for actively bringing their own abilities to bear. suggesting there’s a closet behind the fireplace. Architecture reveals that the room on the other side of the door would be directly beneath the kitchen. A two-point spend is required to find this secret door. of course. Thomas’ secret library is dusty and stuffy. dank and crowded. has been to Peru on seventeen digs. trapper. Inside this cage is an ovoid rock. about the size of an ostrich egg. Alternately. but just what ability is necessary to find it is up to the Keeper to decide. there’s no visible chimney along the outside of the house.TRAIL OF CTHULHU Thomas Fell’s House bookcase in this room to Thomas’ secret library. Cobwebbed pipes run along the ceiling. There’s a drain in the stone floor. Working cheap in exchange for his shot at the Andes. Wu Han: Chinese mountaineer and digger-for-hire.”) is the discovery of Thomas’ diary. A handful of books are here—all of them rare occult texts of questionable academic value but a rarity that makes them worth money—as well as a small roll-top writing desk and wooden chair. The prize for finding this room The Stele Scene Type: Core On the other side of the ragged door is a small storage room. each of his expeditionary partners: Franco Gruber: German archaeologist specializing in Incan sculpture. A PC carrying the stone—which is. Anthropology can make no sense of these markings. but tellingly so—they may be naturally occurring.” The Secret Library Scene Type: Bonus Information Little more than an unfinished room the size of a walk-in closet. thereby teaching them how to be proactive investigators and use the GUMSHOE rules to their advantage. A ragged wooden door occupies a rough gap in one wall. His English is poor. The point. Architecture might be spent to realize that. The standout feature of this room is a birdcage hung with metal wire from a pipe on the ceiling. “Between that handlebar mustache and the revolver he’s always got. Old luggage is stacked in one corner. and his personal notes on. Other abilities may be allowed as well. For example. A Craft spend might realize that this room is too short to account for the space on the second floor of the house. A naked light bulb dangles from the ceiling. and general outdoorsman. you could offer the twopoint spend to a player who has not yet had a chance to shine by selecting one of that PC’s abilities. Jules Farquarson: FrenchCanadian transportation and travel expert with contacts throughout South America. Pictures of Thomas’ two sons as children hang on the walls here. One wall is the exposed-wood outer wall of the house. while there’s a fireplace here along the wall. Anthropology might recognize a statuette of Anubis is facing the wrong way on a shelf and discover it swivels. you’d think he was a cowboy. resembling foreign runes perhaps. Geology decides that it would be quite unlikely that they are naturally occurring unless something is inside the stone. with raised bands all along it.

The most obvious: what are you willing to do to get back home? The stones function or malfunction as you need them to. revealing that the stone was shipped to Thomas Fell by Jan Joyce-Cleveland just over a month ago. Then describe “The Stele Activated” from the perspective of the characters not in the cellar. As such. and vanish. sees fit. is carved with glyphs to give it a sympathetic connection to the monument on the mountaintop. A dining-room chair. giving them a last chance to wrap up their investigation. etched with strange glyphs.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell foot stone. and the PCs have split up to search the house. so using it teleports objects back to his basement. bizarre surreality of their situation. The truth is the teleportation stones run on your own narrative impulses. as this scene begins Part Two of the story. The Stele Activated Scene Type: Core This scene occurs either when a character touches the stele or whenever you. for example. How the Stones Work Simply put. all other souls in the house are struck by similar arcs. the stone thrums like something electric. The stele has been operating erratically since Thomas first attempted to use it with a botched Mythos spell. (Whether they are connected only to each other is up to you. It vibrates. even if it must pass through floors or walls to do so. Anthropology recognizes the glyphs as being vaguely like Incan writings. in his basement. and any other objects you feel would be amusing or helpful. a lamp in the living room. They are plot devices designed to force tough choices onto player characters. kitchens to the Peruvian mountaintop where Thomas Fell has gone. Then: falling. The stone fragment that Thomas Fell has embedded in his guts is broken off the stele in his basement. the Keeper. That character vanishes in a blinding white flare of light. they operate by transmitting objects across the mystical conduits of ley lines. haphazardly teleporting. First. If any character touches the stone. Accounting discovers a packing slip within the dismantled crate. resembling something like a Viking stele or Incan road marker. In the world of the game. Art and Craft see the etchings are exquisitely crafted with painstaking detail. and anything in contact with the dust in the air (definitely the PCs) is fair game for displacement to Peru. The stele there. leaving behind a few strange rocks and bits of clinging vine. Art History recognizes the stone as a fragment of a larger standing stone. Then: impact. there is no empirical system behind the operation of the teleportation stones. standing in a nest of shredded papers and broken-down wooden-crate fragments. The sensation is. at first. It is essential that this scene occur before any characters successfully leave Thomas Fell’s house. helpless souls and 18 . so those two stele are forever connected. it activates again. they work dramaturgically. The whole process is controlled through sorcery and witchcraft requiring the Cthulhu Mythos Ability.) In truth. Successful teleportation depends on a complex set of metrics based on the intersections of ley lines and sympathetic connections between the “departure” stele and the “target” stele where the teleported object(s) are intended to arrive. While the PCs are still in the house. Chalk it up to Unknowable Ancient Powers. consider “cutting away” to the characters in another part of the house. A moment later. and leaving the characters in the cellar hanging in suspense. like burning oneself on the stove—a sudden recoiling gasp. it now periodically reacts to vibrations in the house. are mystically transported along with the characters to the mountaintop monument and Part Two of this adventure. A delicate red arc of lightning reaches out and touches the closest character. with arcs of red lightning reaching up through the floors and into their feet. thereby capturing the sudden. Geology is unable to identify the kind of rock that makes up the stone.

alien stones pressed together in strange patterns. A fall from the mountaintop is fatal. The south edge of the plateau is a wide clearing punctuated by a huge. avoiding the canyon routes. hostile stretches of frigid mountains. travel across the top of the rocks is presumed to be impossible because it undermines the labyrinthine atmosphere of the alien mountaintop in favor of niggling. On the far north edge of the plateau is a similar clearing. creating a flat. in small clearings at the intersections or deadends of various canyons. Otherwise. like tangled corridors criss-crossing the plateau. they may actively search for a way to visualize their surroundings and plan a course through the canyons. creating a labyrinth of narrow. Between these two clearings. Travel across the top of the alien rocks. In some places. On the other hand. Every corridor is draped and adorned with thick. and anyone peering over the sheer edge. is possible only if you want it to be for the sake of speeding up the action or rewarding proactive characters. movement might require a Difficulty 3 Athletics test. occupied by a primitive shrine made of stacked stones and squat stelae. Thus. This plateau is littered with gray. down the smooth face of the mountain. alternately. Picture an archetypal mountain shape with the top sheered off. there is no wind coursing through these narrow canyons to push anyone off the mountainside. it’s here that the characters arrive. can instantly see it. you’ll need a sense of the mountaintop’s simply geography. Fortunately. these vines must be pushed aside to make it through the narrow canyon-corridors. which drops away dramatically into snowy. it’s here that Thomas Fell is researching the mystic powers of the teleportation stones (see the scenes “The Shrine” and “The Killer”). so they may be largely at your mercy as they follow narrow canyon floors from one scene to the next. irregular canyons. are all the intervening scenes. clinging vines the color of coffee. vine-encrusted obelisk (see the scene “The Monument”). mundane details 19 . Some of these corridors let out at the edge of the mountain.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Mountaintop Part Two: The Mountaintop The Geography of the Mountaintop The characters have no map to guide them on the mountaintop. rather than wandering hopefully or following blood trails from one sad scene to another. Abandoning their circumstances in favor of a brave descent and death in the Andes snow is no viable escape. almost circular plateau.

This reveals the two clearings to the north and south. This mystic germ replicates rapidly upon contact with blood. cutting edges at their peaks. the Mouth in the Stone does nothing except stalk and eat and lay eggs. in the minds of its ancient summoners. They’re as much like roots as vines. wait to be hatched and bound through sorcery on similar missions. It’s insides are little more than a geo-organic engine. Petrifying Bite: The Mouth in the Stone bears an alien germ between its teeth. Alien germs keep a subject nourished on its own flesh and liquids for a number of days equal Clues The following information on the mountaintop and its layout can be gained by proactive characters who make 1-point spends or succeed on actions using the relevant skills: Athletics test is necessary to reach the top of the alien rocks and get a look out across the mountaintop. digesting biological material for energy. buried beneath rings of standing stones across the globe. transmuting aerial particles and skin cells into a completely inorganic compound as hard as rock. It typically hunts by lurching out and biting its prey once. highly sensitive to vibration (and thus sound) and light. Just inches above the top of the corridor-like canyons. perhaps tomorrow. is simply to eat all comers and lay eggs.) Outdoorsman and Biology can make no sense of the clinging vines—conspicuously so. while the germ preserves their bodies for later consumption by the Mouth. (If spends were used to discover Thomas’ secret library.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell about handholds and jumping distances. In game terms. the compound slows and eventually traps a victim. and kept as eggs in which a new Mouth gestates until the egg is cracked from the outside. Brought to Earth from a distant and virtually featureless alien moon by ancient witchcraft and the teleportation powers of the mystic stele. to slowly petrify it with its germinating bile. Thin veins carrying a clear sticky sap run along the thickest vines. and only its flat tail and mouth give its body appreciable features. but it is willing to bite and shake a target until it comes apart and can be swallowed immediately. the Mouth in the Stone is often seen only as a stony proboscis ending in a ring of black obsidian-like teeth. slick with grainy slime. Geology recognizes the region beyond the plateau as the Cordillera Blanca (“White Range”) of the Andes. 20 . as if they form the shape of some Mesoamerican glyph. leaving little space to grip or balance one’s self without causing bloody gashes (worth 1 point of damage) across one’s hands and feet. One day. Say it’s due to the jagged. as they should be. Some of this material is regurgitated. both into the victim’s body and across its flesh and clothing. however. The Mouth’s mission on Earth. eel-like body. Capable of traveling through topsoil or solid rock with ease through a combination of an ammonia-scented excretion and a kind of geomantic warp. in the Ancash area of Peru. perhaps an eon from now. wrapped in soft flakes of its own hide. Eggs. Occult or Anthropology sees a pattern in the rocks and canyons. A new Mouth begins existence as a famished alien appetite the size of a dog and doubling in length each day until it is roughly the size of a great-white shark. this vista is instantly recognizable from his books. Treat characters in the extreme cold beyond the mountaintop’s strange temperate zone as hurt until they return to the temperate zone. This growth renders victims unable to move. which is either an Aztec approximation of some summoning symbol or a link to any follow-up adventure you like. (Only Cthulhu Mythos can truly make sense of the glyph. reducing Athletics and/or Fleeing by one point every ten minutes. however. It has no eyes or other sensory organs. the freezing winds that should be expected at this altitude are found to be howling and fierce. this creature obeys few of our planet’s biological properties. is to patrol and defend the grounds where the mystic stelae are kept. They do not quite resemble any vines the New Creature: The Mouth in the Stone Little more than a mouth on the end of a lithe. It is as much a geological phenomenon as it is a biological thing. which isn’t something the character has ever heard of before. so that attempting to climb up out of the maze is like trying to crest a mountain in your shirtsleeves. The Mouth in the Stone functions on a metabolism that measures time in millennia rather than days. it will hatch them. The Mouth’s instinct on Earth. This stonelike substance grows out from the area of the bite. character has seen before.) The Mouth in the Stone is protected by a pebbly hide of pliable silicon. as well as a view of the red train car (from the scene “Train Car”) to the east and any of the other odd objects you choose to include from the “Victims of the Monster” scene.

their characters) that they are alone. uncomfortable but not dangerous. forms a kind of bizarre roof. and the floor of the master bedroom above. The refrigerator leans like a drunk against the island in the center of the kitchen. (Forensics) Outdoorsman: Damnedest thing: the tracks lead right to this scuff on the rocks. (Medicine) Geology: Stone doesn’t do this. You have many more opportunities to check for Stability loss than the few that are specifically detailed in this scenario. In all likelihood. but there is a risk of injury. and actions they are called on to perform in this story. Regarding Stability This story is designed to severely tax the characters’ Stability.) Don’t internalize the fear in this short story. not soil) Stealth modifier: +2 (invisible when in stone) Weapon: +4 (teeth) Armor: –5 vs any (tough. like something rough wore down the rock face. Their characters may react with more resolve or vengeful ire. the other characters should see it—people scream. The Mouth uses this ability to store food. most of the PCs will be devastated by the attacks. scrapes or bruised bones. Even if you’re playing this story in the Pulp style. Its cabinets have vomited out dishes onto the gravel-covered ground.. as a means of ensuring that Trail of Cthulhu’s central theme of mental fitness eroded by horrific events is immediately visible. which doesn’t make any sense. monument from Thomas’ photographs. The Monument Scene Type: Core It is no great fall to the ground after the teleportation.. Spars. vaguely Incan. When a character’s Stability takes a hit. resemble those carved into the stele in the cellar. A frigid wind blows in from the cliffs behind them. There’s no way an animal could move through that. don’t let the players off the hook. scattered around the foot of the large quasi-Egyptian 21 . The ground is gravel. except it doesn’t seem to be organic. eventually biting through the compound to eat the flesh within. Game Statistics Abilities: Athletics 11. too. and have no onlookers to impress or hide their emotions from. Even heroically confident types might damn their circumstances. The characters have arrived in the southern clearing. It’s growing as fast as coral. declare “My God!” or stop to catch their breath and assure themselves while they reload. Remind the players (and. cry. capped with a bed. and will eventually kill the subject for certain. beaded up like the rock is sweating it out. Its walls are strained but intact. Health 21. Any character who fails a Difficulty 2 Athletics test loses 1 point of Health to injured ankles. like musk or urine. with no cracks a creature could get through. it isn’t. thereby. like condensation on a glass. or more like ribbons of stone are growing like icicles into the body. to play up their characters’ withering Stability by describing specific examples of their fear that the other characters can see. Encourage the players to embrace the atmosphere of terror and anxiety. Thomas Fell’s kitchen is here. cluttered with vines. And that smell. earthly. but it’s more like granite. Keep an eye on p. Scuffling 25 Hit Threshold: 3 (big) Alertness Modifier: +2 (only against creatures standing on exposed rock. The rock this “beast” ran to is solid granite. (You can find some specific examples in the sidebar on p. these grooves. curse. the color of lime. 71 of Trail of Cthulhu for examples of possible Stability tests during this adventure. revelations.. Ammonia? There! Something. shake. growing on the body. +2 if seen emerging from bare rock Investigation Biology: The stone “growing” on the victim is like a resin or calcifying agent. rocky hide) Stability Loss: +2 if attacked directly. in little drops on that rock. Sense Trouble: You smell something.. Whatever kind of rock this is. dresser. The ceiling. the other PCs probably die. and ottoman. 72 of Trail of Cthulhu. even after the victim is completely encased in stone. and plead. Its raised markings. north-east. and north-west). The damage is already irreversible.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Mountaintop to the victim’s Health. The rocks give way to three canyon-like corridors (north. too—a strange sight in the midst of alien rocks and vines. put it out there for all to see. but they must still react.

a half-petrified camel. His hands are covered in his own blood. Evidence Collection determines with confidence that Wu Han’s body has been searched once already. Inside the train car. though the investigators recognize him only if they’ve been to Thomas’ secret library. probably from a straightrazor. And why isn’t there any snow up here? Train Car Scene Type: Alternate Core Over the years. or anything.) Evidence Collection identifies the means of death as numerous small stab wounds to the back. In addition to giving characters a chance to investigate evidence of the Mouth of the Stone. The information that’s possible to retrieve from each scene is the same. colored like limestone. a sleigh. about half of an automobile. Other possible examples of teleported objects you might scatter throughout the mountaintop to mystify or amuse your players include the tail section of a light cargo plane.You might simply want each survivor to respond to different Interpersonal abilities. Forensics or Medicine reveals Wu Han died of blood loss resulting from three slashes across his side and stomach. The reason there are two survivors is so that you. not at all like the snow-capped peaks visible beyond the cliffs. each of these victims is able to reveal the following clues (requiring a 1-point Interpersonal spend where noted): mad from exposure to the stones. Victims of the Monster Scene Type: Alternate Cores (2) This is really two scenes. its face shocked and pained.” Outdoorsman also reveals a trail leading along another route through the rocks. Evidence Collection uncovers a blood trail leading from the kitchen into the tangled roots and vines of the surrounding. crumpled and bloody. They are smooth like obsidian. to give more characters chances to shine. so they each suffered their attacks separately and are now languishing in slow petrification in two different parts of the mountaintop canyons. behind its shut sliding door. but the blood was already too dry. one for each of the remaining expedition members who fled Thomas Fell’s attack at the Monument. He killed Farquarson and attacked Wu Han shortly after they arrived. wedged into the rocks. surreal jungle.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell Amidst the broken dishes is a body. Things like Thomas Fell’s kitchen and this red. This is one of the nondescript men from Thomas’ photograph. but has no backpack. it’s Jules Farquarson. The Outdoorsman recognizes that Wu Han was in no way equipped to be out here—he’s wearing good boots. which leads to the scene “Train Car. Geology reveals unsettling details about the rocks here: they don’t belong in frozen mountains. Additionally. have some flexibility when revealing information in each instance of this scene. when that stone was activated. (Specifically. canteen. Otherwise. Painted on the floor in his own blood is this final message from Wu Han: me. who has bled to death from injuries inflicted by Thomas Fell. It’s quite possible one of them has already died. He’s dressed for day-today living. Forensics recognizes spatter patterns suggesting not just stabbings but slashes: there’s blood on the dishes here not from the victim on the scene. Evidence Collection or Outdoorsman can be used to track this trail. somewhere on Earth. this one to the “Victims of the Monster” locations. this is deducible after all the other expedition members have been found. the Keeper. and the very top of a church’s bell tower. allowing only hints of the monster. A 1-point Evidence Collection spend gets a character a confident hunch that Wu Han did not lie in his dying message—people never do.” The message has been smeared as if someone tried one good swipe to erase it. or you may want the testimony of one survivor to be punctuated by a sudden attack by the Mouth. they were each within proximity of some teleportation stone. and not at all like the mountainside supporting this strange. metal train car. if that suits your purposes. attempts to transport various teleportation stele or their fragments have resulted in odd things being transported to the mountaintop. and punctuated with ribbons porous like dried sponges. is the corpse of Wu Han. like from a folding utility knife. The blood trail leading away from the Monument ends here. 22 . temperate plateau.You might want to have the first victim be dead already. The attack split up these survivors. They’d make more sense in the sea. A suitably rationalized Investigative ability spend—especially Occult— can grant a character the sudden realization of how these things got here: At one time or another.

The words on this stone shine in the sunlight like they were glass. The Lair Scene Type: Side Challenge/ Obstacle This shallow cave is discovered at the 23 . and leads to “The Nest. The Shrine Scene Type: Core On the far northern end of the mountaintop. There are a dozen eggs here. the stone necessary to travel back to the stele in his cellar. At the heart of this shrine is a stele carved with ancient Mythos secrets in several dead languages. Inside. The floor is solid rock littered with loose bones and naturally mummified flesh encased is cocoons of rock. out of the rock. some ancient peoples have erected a shrine of stacked alien rocks and woven vines.” when the monster attacked. (It can be found automatically once this clue is obtained. rotten bones.) afraid of the monster. If you smell the stench of animal urine. The stone is hot to the touch. smeared with bloody fingerprints. sucked dry of meat and juices. It’s out in the canyons not far from here. See the scene “The Creature Attacks” for the effects of carrying one of these stones. Crossing this savage ossuary requires a 3-point Stability test.” This is an ideal place for the Mouth to attack. “I should’ve died of thirst days ago. These are the remains of the Mouth’s ancient petrified victims. the cave is dark and reeks of rot. each about the size of an ostrich egg or football and each weighing about ten pounds. and emits a low. electric hum. The Nest Scene Type: Bonus Advantage This chamber—little more than a large crack in the rocks—has a floor of collected sediment gathered around a pile of smooth. He said it wouldn’t attack someone with one of those “eggs” either. He said anyone who could get their hands on it could compel the stones to transport people. ovoid stones like the one found in Thomas’ cellar. it’s probably near by.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Mountaintop intersection of two canyons. Beyond this grisly chamber is a crack in the rock leading to another chamber. lunging from the stone floor in a shower of brown. I figure. These are the eggs of the Mouth. is achingly slow. See the scenes “The Cellar” and the entry for the Mouth in the Stone for more information on clues in this scene.

The Mouth is mystically compelled to want its eggs to be carried away for hatching in other rings of standing stones. he may be critically injured in the resulting fight. This scene is meant to foreshadow the madness and dangerousness of Thomas Fell. don’t be afraid to have the Mouth devour a PC or two. and attacking egg-carriers only if no other targets are available. but the stele more resembles a Viking crossroads marker. If necessary. This scene transitions directly into “The Killer” when you think the dramatic timing is right to introduce Thomas Fell. rather than simple signage or ceremonial writings. For dramatic purposes. It’s a simple scene.”) When Thomas Appears in this scene. Leveraged clues or Interpersonal ability spends (2 points’ worth) may be used to reduce the stakes of the Stability test for killing Thomas by coercing him into putting down his shotgun and standing his ground— making it clear that he is choosing to force a life-and-death issue. he automatically succeeds on all Consciousness rolls so that he is able to deliver essential exposition.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell Fell’s personal effects are here: his jacket. however. Death is expected in Cthulhu adventures. which can diffuse the tension when it comes time to cut the stone from his gut since “he’s dying anyway. his shoes. claiming “It’s the stone. and less scientific. less orderly. later. Anthropology recognizes the style of this shrine as similar to an Incan traveler’s shrine. Thomas gives up fighting once he is seriously wounded (see Trail of Cthulhu p.. Thomas returns to the shrine’s clearing and finds the PCs going through his things. who is still on the mountaintop with the characters. culminating in his eager report of his meddling with the shrine’s stele: He has successfully cast a spell and is ecstatic about it. (He’s still looking for the Mouth’s lair. playable in any number of ways.) When the time comes.. The Mouth attacks a character carrying one of the eggs only if all characters are carrying eggs. 24 . his pocket journal. here. If this is a one-shot adventure for you. have the Mouth in the Stone lurch out from some nearby rock and attack the PCs. Most of the information you need to describe the attack can be found in the monster’s write-up on p. he may explain how he has become “one with the stone” with a bit of villainous soliloquy. for several days. Occult use surmises that this stone is another “transmitter” for objects. it seems!” reveals that he is in search of additional “eggs” to take with him on his journey. he lingers on the edge of death. won’t go back home. but is simultaneously instinctively compelled to horde its eggs for hatching by itself. It balances these impulses by attempting to feed on subjects without its eggs first. a photograph of his boys as young men. I think. it is meant to make the players and their characters think they are too late—Thomas Fell has already teleported away without them. as it won’t let the characters off the hook—the only way home is to murder Thomas Fell. if so. The etchings on the stele must be a spell and. 63). is the climax of the adventure. that if Thomas Fell attacks the PCs outright. “Why go backward when I can go forward. so he can bring its eggs to other lands. keeping me alive!” This is fine. His writings become more fevered. apparently eating vines and drinking sap. Let the approach of the players determine the final tone. They seem to be stranded here. He has “absorbed” the “mystic traveler’s keystone” and may now “travel freely from stone to stone. reveals his accelerating madness. The Killer Scene Type: Core (Climax) This scene. Witnessing such an attack risks a 4-point Stability loss. The Creature Attacks Scene Type: Antagonist Reaction Whenever you need a dramatic punch or a dose of desperate action. gray with grime. he is half-naked. the stele is probably “hot” because it has already been cast. mad and obsessed with the stones in the shrine. More than that.” if you like. (Be aware. and illuminated from within by glowing red runes carved into the stone he has absorbed into his body. XX. a bloodencrusted straight-razor. The etchings on its surface are much more orderly and complex than those on the stele in Thomas’ cellar. Should he somehow be injured to the point that he is technically dead (Health –12 or lower). Thomas. The Mouth is just as prone to dramatically strike out and bite off the head of a half-petrified survivor in the scenes “Victims of the Monster. conscious and lucid. but it’s easy to determine that it doesn’t seem to work with simple contact. Evidence Collection or Outdoorsman reveal that someone has been living here. which may overlap the scene “The Shrine. they are likely a complete text.” if you decide Thomas Fell is present when the characters reach the shrine.

Perhaps their ghosts appear in a follow-up tale. quivering mouth above them. leaving them stranded on the mountaintop to die—a sad ending that ironically betrays the title of the story. then. I won’t go back to my pathetic little house when there’s a whole world to see. An alternate. Make sure they have time to debate amongst themselves and play out each PCs reaction to the situation.TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Mountaintop to new places and new sights?” he says. useful now as guides only to the possible locations of ancient mysteries and lost cities. hovering. including Thomas Fell. 25 .. They might be part of a city-wide search for a kidnapped Joyce-Cleveland. of the teleportation-stones across the globe are smashed and ruined. Whatever it is that draws these new investigators into the mix. In this case. and lost cities throughout the world. In the off chance that the characters choose to travel somewhere new with Thomas Fell. the stones serve only to introduce the characters to the world of the occult—and whatever Mythos spells you choose to hide in the mountaintop shrine the characters now have ready access to. “Why not see where else these stones can take us?!” If forced. their destination never revealed. and enormous tentacles stemming from a great. all of the survivors are yours to play with. greedy blackmarket art-brokers. you have a few other options for ending the story: them.. which must be reached through traditional travel. The could find themselves facing off against a stele-using cult of traveling looters led by an insane Kenneth Fell. This is a scene of pure roleplaying. perhaps on an alien world. the players find themselves learning the ultimate fates of their previous characters only by pursuing clues with their new characters. They are all consumed by this enormous maw. various thefts and murders as the characters pursue another organization looking to recover the stones for their own nefarious purposes. as the characters seek to recover them from wicked cultists. They may work with Detective Wright while investigating the murder of Makepeace. The characters find themselves surrounded by standing stones. he challenges the characters: “If you want this stone. and is willing to kill. Thomas Fell into a deferred climax. but is probably outmatched by the characters. personalized characters as investigators looking into the disappearance of Jan Joyce-Cleveland (for example) or artifacts appearing on the black market thanks to Knox Makepeace (for example). The Mouth in the Stone draws near if they dawdle. to slay the man and take the stone. consider the following options: subject of follow-up investigations. but not so much time that their debate stalls. you’ll have to kill me. in which the relationships the players devised for their characters finally resolve in a difficult choice. One of them must step up. more complex style of follow-up tale turns this story’s introductory PCs into NPCs. the ruins of some vast and impossibly alien city. Once this story ends.Your sequel adventures cast the players’ new. Aftermath and Sequels Any characters who survive can of course continue on in other stories now that they have been exposed to the truth of the stelae. unless you choose to bring these characters back (possibly as NPCs) in some follow-up tale. To mix traditional investigative scenarios into the potential globe-spanning adventures possible with the teleportation stones.” He Scuffles in his own defense.

TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell 26 .

TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Investigator 27 .

TRAIL OF CTHULHU The Murderer of Thomas Fell 28 .

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