Death Scenes

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The aftermath of kills of various Cthulhoidcreatures.

Original by Sandy Petersen

First published in Different Worlds magazine issue 35, July/August 1984, pp.14-15


Death Scenes: Aftermaths of Cthulhoid Kills

Death Scenes Investigators One of the commoner fates of the hapless investigator in Call of Cthulhu is to be slain or devoured by some alien terror. Naturally, this is often a time for sorrow, mourning, and frantic attempts to avoid that same fate for oneself, but it can also be helpful to the survivors. The very manner in which their comrade has met his doom may well provide other investigators with potent clues as to just exactly what they are up against.

Following are a series of 50 scenes, one for every type of monster included in Call of Cthulhu, as well as one for the 11 new deities and alien races included in the Cthulhu Companion. A Keeper may simply read the quote directly, or modify it to suit circumstances. Or he may simply use the information contained to invent his own death scenes. Naturally, not all beings will slay in exactly the same manner, but there will be similarities. In each case, the victim is assumed to be a male investigator.

  • Azathoth: "The entire house was leveled, as though by some vast catastrophe. Even the trees for several hundred yards around were injured and broken. Inside the house's ruins we found his corpse -recognizable only by the twisted gold ring set amidst the ruin of his left hand."
  • Byakhee: "His body lay twisted in the middle of the road. His throat was ripped out, but there was oddly little blood about. The rest of his body was slashed and torn, and his clothes were torn to rags. The corpse seemed strangely shrunken and pale."
  • Chthonian: "There was a great bruise, nearly a foot and a half across, encircling his body. A hole, with ragged edges, was bored into the base of his throat, so deep that I could insert my hand. His whole corpse was coated with a thick layer of putrid slime."
  • Cthugha: "The corpse was burnt to a frazzle. His blackened skull and bones still sat upright on the smoldering car's seat. The forest for an acre about was still aflame."
  • Cthulhu: "All that was visible was a reddish discoloration near the centre of the great green smear across the road. "
  • Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath: "Black pus filled the corpse's face and mouth. Open, ulcer-like sores covered half his body, still oozing a greasy clear liquid. The expression on what was left of his face was indescribable."
  • Deep Ones: "Slash marks were neatly incised across the victim's throat, as though someone had drawn four razor blades simultaneously through his neck. Four similar slashes encircled his arm, which was broken, as though some powerful thing had gripped him there unmercifully."
  • Elder Things: "He had been killed with blunt force, in what looked like a panicked struggle. But the strange thing was that, after his death, his body had been delicately but clumsily dissected, with sections of skin and muscle removed randomly but with surgical precision, seeming using a sharp bladed tool. His pockets and his knapsack had been emptied and the contents scattered about, though nothing valuable had been taken."
  • Father Dagon or Mother Hydra: "The great webbed footprint spread for several feet across the sand. In the middle of the print was our friend's body, torn nearly in half from the crushing weight of the Thing."
  • Dholes: "A great wad of mucus engulfed the entire front half of the car, and a path was visible through miles of forest. But of our friend, there was no sign."
  • Dimensional Shambler: "We heard him scream, and rushed to his room. But when the door opened, all we found was a slight spatter of blood on the carpet and his despairing cry echoing faintly through space."
  • Fire Vampire: "The chair he sat in was untouched, but his skull was charred into an awful grimace, as was the upper half of his body. Weirdly, his arms and legs were untouched."
  • Flying Polyps: "His expression was unendurable, and we covered his face. His corpse was marred with regularly sized circular pockmarks, like hollows in the sand. The flesh seemed slightly desiccated, as though baked in an oven, though it was only slightly reddened."
  • Ghouls: "The corpse was gnawed and chewed, as though by rats. The eyes had been neatly plucked from the sockets, the long bones cracked for marrow, and the back of the skull broken open to get at the toothsome gray matter. His belly was split open and completely gutted. Whatever had killed had viewed his entrails as quite a delicacy."
  • Great Race of Yith: "His body was intact, save that his head was severed cleanly, with surgical precision."
  • Hastur the Unspeakable: "Every bone in his body was crushed to a pulp, and his skin was one massive bruise, with dull purplish blood tinging all his features."
  • Hounds of Tindalos: "He lay flat on his back, a thin bluish slime covering his entire body. His head was severed and sat atop his chest."
  • Hunting Horrors: "The corpse was mauled as if by a wild animal. Erratically, and with no seeming purpose, portions of his body were curiously missing, as though some being, with alien logic, had selectively mutilated him. "
  • Ithaqua the Windwalker: "The body was found frozen solid, buried halfway into the tundra, as though it had been dropped from a great height. When it was unearthed, both feet gave the peculiar appearance as of having been burnt to stumps, though crusts of ice clung to them."
  • Leech of Yoh-Vombis:"The lacerations were mainly self-inflicted. They were mingled with numerous small round wounds, easily distinguished from the knife-slashes, and arranged in regular circles, through which an unknown poison had been injected into his scalp."
  • Lesser Other God: "His corpse lay face down. The back was partially dissolved away, eaten by acid, so that his spine and ribs were laid bare. His ribs were visibly cracked and splintered, and his skull broken, as well as corroded. His face and front were intact, though shoved into the earth as though by some great weight."
  • Mi-Go: "The victim's entire abdomen and chest were scissored open with dozens of tiny cuts and deep incisions. Blood pooled redly through the myriad wounds and the corpse lolled sideways on the ground."
  • Nightgaunts: "He had been carried off. A frantic sound, half-screaming and half frightened laughter, came from the night sky and we recognized his voice as he was carried away, toward that black mountain from which no man had ever returned alive."
  • Nodens: "His corpse was nearly intact, save for the mark of a single blow, breaking his collarbone and neatly sending the splintered end through his heart."
  • Nyarlathotep: "He was sprawled back on his chair, an awful look on his face, with scorch marks over his body. He had evidently been struck by lightning, though how lightning could have entered that windowless room remains a mystery."
  • Nyogtha: "His bed was smashed upon the floor, and he was not in it. A trail of destruction led to the window, where the grisly sight of one severed foot, caught in the jamb, met our eyes."
  • Old Ones: "His body was literally torn apart, though there were no cuts or punctures. His limbs were ripped from the body, and thrown asunder. Strange annular marks were seen on his limbs and around his torso."
  • Sand-Dwellers: "His body looked as though someone with a sharpened garden rake had struck him again and again, without sense nor reason. When we rolled him over, we could see that great hole through his back where whatever had slain him had chewed and clawed its way through to his liver. "
  • Serpent People: "He lay dead, two great punctures in his throat, though only a trickle of blood oozed from them. Around the punctures his skin was so eroded that it gave way under the fingers, permitting a trickle of greenish liquid to drip out. This liquid pained the hands, and was quickly washed off, though a tingle persisted for several minutes. His skin was bluish and his face bright blue, his tongue blackened and protruding, and his eyes unrecognizably black."
  • Servitors of the Outer Gods: "His body was torn and bloodied with strips of skin removed, as though great whips and lashes had beat him with such force as to not only remove the skin, but break the bones underneath. All the whip marks were filled with blood and a thin greenish-clear juice, which stank of swamps."
  • Shantaks: "His head and upper chest were removed in a single great semicircular bite."
  • Shoggoths: "The body was covered with putrescent slime, green and yellow shifting in the night air. The head had been literally sucked off the corpse, with ragged fragments of skin spreading all round."
  • Shub-Niggurath: "His entire body was smeared with a black cheesy material. Instead of a face, the front of his head was now a single suppurating sore, red and blue with glistening serum."
  • Shudde M'ell: "A hole had been bored completely through his torso, and all the blood and internal organs seemingly sucked out. The corpse was buried under at least a foot of stinking clear translucent sIime."
  • Spawn of Cthulhu: "A great spatter of blood and guts lay on the ground, mixed with a pool of green slime. Of our friend, there was no sign, unless the blood and mangled organs signified his doom."
  • Star Vampires: "His body was absolutely white, completely drained of blood, and his bones and back were snapped. Great and deep claw-wounds injured his chest and legs, and he lay in a position impossible to an intact human body."
  • Tsathogghua: "On the ground was a wrinkled bag, withered, hairless, punctured with scores of holes, and empty of all except bones, which rattled bleakly as we poked it. The bag was our comrade's skin."
  • Y'golonac: "His lips and tongue had been methodically bitten out, as were various other parts of his anatomy. The wounds still dripped unclotted blood, though he must have been dead for hours."
  • Yig: "His body was swollen and cyanotic, puffed blue-black as with some fearful poison. Even as we watched in horror, the corpse suddenly split down the middle with a sloppy noise, oozing black poison and viscera everywhere
  • Yog-Sothoth: "The right side of his face and his right arm were withered and wrinkled, no more than half their normal size. The rest of his body was scared and scorched to the point that it was dry as dust. It crumbled at a touch."
  • Yugg: "A film of dried slime covered his clothing, and on his torso there were a number of perfectly circular bite-marks, each evidently made by something with no jaws but with very sharp teeth. In addition, there were several dart-like thorns of an unknown substance shallowly embedded in his skin."
  • Abhoth: "We never saw him again. The only hint as to his fate were rumours of a particularly horrible worm-thing seen in later weeks on the mountain slopes. The worm-thing was reported to have his face."
  • Atlach-Nacha: "The corpse was covered with a thick, yarn-like material, tough as steel, but soft to the touch, and there were two thin needle-like holes in his face. His entire interior seems to have been liquefied and sucked out, leaving only the shell of a man."
  • Cyaegha: "The corpse was nailed upside-down to the front door, the throat slit, and wrists cut open. But no blood marred the clean floor."
  • Ghasts: "The body seemed to have been beaten by heavy sticks and then gnawed by wild animals. Great chunks had been chewed out of his side and arms. Whatever had done the deed must have come by night."
  • Ghatanothoa: "His body appeared to be a thousand-year-old mummy, though he could not have been dead more than a few days. His skin was hard as stiffened leather, and his flesh as hard as stone. A look of utmost horror and fear was on the face, whose eyes were closed tightly shut."
  • Gnoph-Keh: "The body was frozen solid as ice. But the frozen corpse had been broken-the shoulder and left arm had been snapped off and carried away by the unknown Thing in the Snow."
  • Gugs: "His spine was shattered, as from a colossal blow, and a great ragged bite split his body. Tufts of coarse black hair were still spasmodically gripped in his hands."
  • Lloigor: "The body lay face-down in a pool of peculiar blue-green water. He must have died of a heart attack, for no wounds were visible on him. Strangely, the autopsy showed no sign of atherosclerosis."
  • Moon Beasts: "Whatever had killed him had tortured him slowly before he died. There were penetrating wounds on his torso, and burns all over his arms. The fire pit next to him gave mute evidence as to the source of the burns."
  • Zhar: "Only his watch, rings, and the silver plate from his skull remained. Everything even remotely organic had vanished forever."
  • Zoth-Ommog: "His body was peculiarly slouched, as though the entire interior of his torso had been pulped and squeezed together into a single solid mass. A poke showed that his ribs had been pulverized."