|Works of Hastur Written and Bound
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 09 March 2012|
There were aspersions on his sanity and tales of his crazy forms of secret worship – though latterly his success with his own basement museum had dulled the edge of some criticisms while sharpening the insidious point of others. Teratology and the iconography of nightmare were his hobbies, and even he had had the prudence to screen off some of his worst effigies in a special alcove for adults only.
–H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, The Horror in the Museum
Sometimes it’s difficult to fathom why anyone would give themselves to the Old Ones freely. Still, despite all the obvious evils and nihilistic tendencies of such service, secret cults and servitors worship these eldritch powers worldwide. Some are drawn to the promise of power, while others seek utter destruction, hoping the Earth will rise from the ashes, somehow better under the rule of the Ancients. Most of those who serve The King In Yellow tend to be socialites, trying just a little too hard to come across as interesting by participating in forbidden arts… Sanity is boring, and all the cool people are going just a little crazy, so why not join in with the fun?
The new “It Girl”
Victoria Glasser (Core Set, 82) used to be such an “It Girl,” enjoying her status in Arkham’s art scene. Rumors are she participated in a ritual called “The Unspeakable Oath” which granted her eternal youth for a terrible price. The artists in her inner circle were inspired to create impossible art that some say conveys insanity in its purest form, allowing madness to spread from mind to mind, through the medium of paint and poetry, and one particularly harrowing play.
Those who speak the oath aren’t expected to last forever, though. Eventually they become empty husks and mental prisoners of the Yellow Sign. And then, others lie in waiting, humble servants hungry for a chance to take their place in the spotlight. And one of these up-and-coming dilettantes is Elise Warren (Written and Bound, 5).
Elise shares a couple of traits with the popular Carl Stanford (Secrets of Arkham, 28). She has the same icons, but more importantly, she has Invulnerability. Even so, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Initially, Elise will have no skill whatsoever, making her just another Terror icon at a story. But as you spread insanity through your opponent’s ranks, you increase her skill, and spreading insanity is what the Hastur faction does best.
Your Lunatics also help Elise undergo her personal growth, and the power she derives from others‘ madness is fairly significant. While two or more insane characters are on the table, she gains greater power than mere Invulnerability; she can’t even be touched by spot removal like that of a Deep One Assault (Core Set, 56). Very few things can touch her apart from mass removal, but that’s why Hastur holds the secrets of Power Drain (Core Set, 40). This leaves her vulnerable only to Attachments as means of disposing of her, but hey, nobody is perfect.
Co-authoring tomes of terror
All these properties makes the Obsessive Playwright (Murmurs of Evil, 26) a good partner for Elise. Putting Attachments on characters who are hard to destroy can be a good idea, and the Revelations cycle of Asylum Packs features a number of Tomes that Elise might want to carry around.
Change is the only constant in Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. It stands to reason that Victoria Glasser will someday face sleight or scandal. When that happens, will Victoria be able to repair her reputation and retain her roost atop Arkham society, or will Elise take over her role as the central figure in the art circles? What Hastur can gain from these ladies has yet to be determined. The future hasn’t yet been Written and Bound.
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.