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Of Wrath and Blood

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Our group just completed the 'Of Wrath and Blood' scenario by Jon Hook which took almost three 4-hour sessions. Of Wrath and Blood is the unofficial sequel to the classic The Haunting by Sandy Petersen. Before I expound on how things went, I wanted to know if anyone else has run this scenario. How did the story develop for your Investigators?

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Here is the alternate ending for the 'Of Wrath and Blood' scenario that I devised as the Investigators did not initially defeat the ghoul Jean Paul La Croix in his Ghoul's Den but instead fled before the ghoul arrived. The original scenario ends with Walter Corbitt and Jean Paul La Croix being defeated in the Ghoul's Den chamber, so this alternate ending was necessary to resolve things for the Investigators (SPOILERS BELOW).

The Investigators find the Macario twin boys in Jean Paul's Den, but the ghoul himself is nowhere to be seen. Combat with the fiend Walter Corbitt, who had possessed Francesco Macario before the events of The Haunting scenario, lasts only a few rounds as the Investigators are able to dispel Corbitt quickly. As stipulated in the scenario, Jean Paul does not return until the sixth round after the Investigators enter his Den. Instead, the Investigators are warned by Faustino Macario of the "monster man" who comes and goes through the open sewer pipe connected to the chamber.

The Investigators take the boys and begin to make their way through the network of tunnels connecting the Ghoul's Den to the abandoned La Croix family mausoleum. Jean Paul emerges from the sewer pipe, finds the boys gone, and then begins to give chase to the Investigators. The Investigators are able to escape into the mausoleum and then out its doors into the daylight of the St. Michael's Memorial Gardens cemetery.

As the ghoul Jean Paul La Croix is now a loose end and may kill innocent victims again, the Investigators must track him down to deal with the creature. After notifying the Baltimore police and returning the boys to their aunt and uncle, Enzo and Maria Giordano, the Investigators return to the cemetery the next morning. They find that the Ghoul Den has been buried by collapsing the rocky ceiling above, concealing any evidence of the Chapel of Contemplation symbol and altar which was found by the Investigators in the chamber the day before.

The Investigators have the options of staking out the docks where Jean Paul had earlier murdered his victims or waiting at the St. Michael's Memorial Gardens cemetery during the night to see if the ghoul returns to his former home. That day, the Investigators speak to a junior priest at St. Michael's Catholic Church near the cemetery and discover that Father Enrique Domingo (whom the Investigators had previously met early in the scenario) disappeared yesterday after not showing up for evening mass at the church.

A nun also tells the Investigators that Father Domingo had been observed some weeks earlier studying a strange tome (which turns out to be The Cult of Ghouls grimoire found by the Investigators inside the Den's altar the day before) in the church basement's archives, alone at night. The young priest then tells the Investigators about a Father Richard La Croix at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on the other side of town who was also interested in the church's archives, dating back to colonial times. The Investigators had found extensive La Croix family records related to St. Michael's during their visit with Father Domingo, detailing the exorcism of Jean Paul La Croix by Cardinal Edward Talbot and his subsequent "death" in 1805.

The Investigators pay a visit late that afternoon to Father Richard La Croix at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Father La Croix invites them to visit the La Croix family mansion in Baltimore tomorrow evening to meet his family and to discuss their tragic history. The Investigators agree.

The Investigators decide to stake out the church cemetery and spy Father Domingo returning to St. Michael's by myself well past midnight. They manage to surprise the corrupt priest (who had actually been an acolyte of the Chapel of Contemplation all along) in the church basement as he was studying a map of the ghoul tunnels under Baltimore. The Investigators take Father Domingo captive, tie him up in the trunk of their car, and then pay a late visit to the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The ghoul tunnel map shows that there is an entrance to the tunnels underneath this church.

The Investigators visit the empty church, pick the side door lock, and find a hidden trap door in the church's basement. They enter the ghoul tunnels which connect to what appears to be a residence some distance from the church, as well as the Baltimore Public Library among other locations throughout the city. The Investigators push open another trap door from the tunnels and exit into what appears to be the neglected, cobweb-strewn basement of a spacious home. The mansion seems be mostly abandoned with no regular occupants, but perhaps the occasional visitor. The Investigators hear activity coming from the mansion's attic and climb up its ladder to find the ghoul Jean Paul La Croix, who ferociously attacks them!

Jean Paul La Croix is put to rest (this time for real) and the Investigators realize that this attic is where the ghoul's exorcism chronicled in the La Croix family church records took place. The simple bed in the attic is fitted with heavy leather restraints and there are framed pictures of a handsome young man who was once Jean Paul La Croix.

The Investigators find a journal of the Baltimore Chapel of Contemplation's activities and evidence that both Father Domingo and Father La Croix are senior members. Father La Croix was planning on leading the Investigators into an ambush the next evening; the La Croix family mansion has been empty for years and is now used as a hideout by the Chapel of Contemplation cultists. The ghoul was instead surprised in his resting place and slain before he could kill the Investigators with Father La Croix's assistance.

Not desiring to confront Father La Croix, the Investigators dump an unconscious (its very hot in the trunk of the car) Father Domingo in the woods outside Baltimore and then skip town, gathering their luggage at The Grand Hotel in downtown Baltimore and then hitting the road back to Arkham at first morning light. There is always the chance that Father Domingo, Father La Croix, and the Chapel of Contemplation could cross the Investigators' paths again...

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Wow! That's a very cool alternative ending. I can see how your narrative could be broken down into playable scenes for the player's investigators should La Croix not be defeated in the ghoul den. 

I've always loved The Haunting, and Of Wrath and Blood was my homage to to it to carry your initial Call of Cthulhu investigators into a larger campaign world. Indeed, what would happen with further confrontations with the Chapel of Contemplation? 

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4 minutes ago, JonHook said:

Wow! That's a very cool alternative ending. I can see how your narrative could be broken down into playable scenes for the player's investigators should La Croix not be defeated in the ghoul den. 

I've always loved The Haunting, and Of Wrath and Blood was my homage to to it to carry your initial Call of Cthulhu investigators into a larger campaign world. Indeed, what would happen with further confrontations with the Chapel of Contemplation? 

Thank you, I'm glad you liked my extension to your scenario. Our group really enjoyed Of Wrath and Blood. Maybe you could write a Part III, using some of the ideas from my alternate ending? :)

Edited by ColoradoCthulhu
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20 hours ago, JonHook said:

Not a bad idea. I'll think about that. 

The final scenario in The Haunting trilogy could feature a showdown with a resurgent Chapel of Contemplation, as well as delve more deeply into the cult's relationship with "The One Who Waits in the Dark" (i.e., Nyarlathotep). If the Investigators completed Of Wrath and Blood, they most likely possess The Cult of Ghouls grimoire and agents of the Chapel of Contemplation will want it back...

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:44 AM, JonHook said:

I like the idea of a scenario where the bad guys are coming after the investigators to take back what they consider theirs. 

If you are interested in collaborating on a Part III for the Miskatonic Repository, please let me know. I am a published writer and would like to be involved in a scenario project for Call of Cthulhu.

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