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Unusual Suspects in Central America ?

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My wife and I spent some time in Belize and Guatemala earlier this year. I'd love to see more of Central America.

The Jaguar definitely has a nice mythical quality to it. There had been a jaguar operating in the area where we stayed in Belize a few months prior to our arrival. One of the staff told me that he heard his dog whining outside one night where he had left it tied up. He ran outside just in time to see the body of the dog being dragged into the jungle - the jaguar had grabbed it by the head! The night after he told us this, the dogs on the property erupted into a frenzy of barking, which led us to think the jaguar was back. There are hundreds of strange noises in the night there.

Other hazards include scorpions, snakes, ticks, and army ants. The army ants migrate from one place to another, and swarm over everything in their path. My host was chased out of his house on two separate nights by army ants passing through. He said there was nothing to do but stay elsewhere until they've passed on.

The Belize hills are very limestony and full of caves. Many caves have been used as sacrifice locations, and were associated with the Mayan underworld (Xibalba). You can see bones, potsherds, and sometimes whole skeletons encrusted with mineral in these caves. Water flows through them freely, so they are part wet and part dry, and can be dangerous in a flood. On a cool morning, if you stand on a hill and look out over the landscape you can see that it's dotted with little wisps of mist rising all over the place - each wisp of mist marks a cave mouth - an entrance to the underworld. This would be a great opportunity to introduce ghouls or some other subterranean creature. Imagine the PCs investigating a cave, then discovering that ghouls live underground. They escape the cave and maybe block it off. Then on the next morning they survey the landscape from the hill where they are camped and see hundreds of wisps of mist rising all around them - they haven't escaped, but are in the thick of it!

One last thing - I don't remember any mention of it in Belize or Guatemala, but El Chupacabra , the Goat-sucker, might make a good beastie if you're looking for something outside of Cthulhu mythos.

Edited by Thalaba

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Yes, El Chupacabra originated in Puerto Rico in the 1990s but has since spread throughout Latin America. If the campaign is set in the 1920s or '30s, the PCs will never have heard the name ... but that's a good thing. No news reports or urban myths to fall back upon, no expectations of the creature's habits or abilities. Instead of saying, "Oh, El Chupacabra" they should respond "OMG, what is that thing?!" Which is how CoC PCs and players should react to monsters. ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra

Edited by seneschal
more info

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Maybe you can tie something like the Nazca lines in with this, since you're taking an alternate earth approach by saying the Indio population wasn't as depleted as in real life. Maybe they are summoning Chupacabres or something even more malevolent. Maybe the lines are pictures of things not of this earth. Maybe some of those cenotes really are entrances to other worlds.

The Aztecs are said to have built at least one temple (probably more, but I'm not certain) so that the sunlight on the stairs looked like a serpent ascending and descending them as the sun moved through the sky. Maybe the PCs see the shadowy serpent shape moving along the stairs and then realize the sky is overcast. (Yeah, I know it's the wrong area for Aztec temples, but there's nothing to say the Aztecs didn't get the idea from somewhere else).

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This is just a thought, but maybe watching Italian cannibal films from the 70s and 80s; or just cannibal films in general. They might give you some ideas for insane primitive cultists. As well as nasty things that can be done to investigators>:>

Edited by Dredj

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This is just a thought, but maybe watching Italian cannibal films from the 70s and 80s; or just cannibal films in general.

A nice idea, but unfortunately Mylady would most probably force me

to visit a psychiatrist if she would find out about me watching canni-

bal movies ... =O

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Maybe all those crackpot '70s theories about ancient astronauts are true, and a semi-abandoned alien starport lurks beneath that vine-entangled Mesoamerican ruin. The air base was put on standby mode, systems and personnel dormant until they were needed. The PCs' mucking around has triggered the wake-up signal. Sigma-Rigel IV says, "Hi!"

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Do you know about this supplement?: http://arkhambazaar.com/games/the-mysteries-of-mesoamerica-cofc-sourcebook

I'm too lazy today to go through the thread and see if anyone else mentioned it.

And, btw, if you haven't seen this, and have an appreciation for silent films, I recommend getting it: http://arkhambazaar.com/films/the-call-of-cthulhu-dvd

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