Author(s): Oscar Rios
Appears in: Dead Leaves Fall and Other Halloween Horrors
"Stalwart and able bodied people are needed to assist in the cleansing of the villa of Sextus Fluvius Thalna. Generous payment offered for each of the three nights of Lemuralia. Contact Oscarios Tabularius, at the Trajan bath house two days before Lemuralia."
Rumors have it that a young quaestor with an eye towards moving up the Cursus Honorum intends to cleanse the Fluvius villa, known as the "House of the Lemures" and one of Rome's most infamous haunted houses, as a way to win favor (and votes) with the people of Rome. He’s hired a professional psychopompus ("ghost buster") to drive the spirits from the Fluvius villa once and for all. This might prove a difficult task, even for Oscarios Tabularius, Rome’s most famous soul conductor. But the questor is well funded, and the psychopompus is hiring assistants: he’s offering 500 sestertii a day, for each day of Lemuralia, per man or woman willing to assist him. You can earn 1500 sestertii for just three days work? That is more than most people make in a year!
- review by Skyman and NeferSutekh at Yog-Sothoth.com
- Reviews by Skyman and NeferSutekh, with Feedback from Scenario Authors
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
The villa of Sextus Fluvius Thalna is indeed haunted and a very dangerous place during Lemuralia: its builder conducted strange, mind-shattering geometrical experiments that breached a hole in this world and allowed a horror from outside to cross over into this one each Lemuralia.
- Rumors and Research (not presented as handouts, but could be printed/copied and cut out for use as handouts)
- Rome, Haunted Villa
- Lemurs (not hostile by default)
- Lumens (not hostile by default)
- AKA: Will-o-Wisps, Jack O'Lanterns, Pine Lights, Witch Lights, Corpse Lights, Fairy Lights, or Fox Fires
- Spawn of Abhoth
- Hound of Tindalos
- Tindalosian Hybrid
Tomes and Artifacts:
- The Villa's Bizarre Architecture (probably destroyed by end of scenario)
- Elder Sign (symbol) (probably used to close a gate by end of scenario)
- Enchanted Spatha (long sword), puglio (large knife) and metal banded club; can harm immaterial creatures
- Mola Salsa cakes (a kind of ghost-busting "comfort food")
Campaigns / Scenarios: Invictus
- Societas Cryptaegidis (The Hidden Shield Society), see The Legacy of Arrius Lurco from Miskatonic River Press, page 12
List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.
Trivia: The investigators' employer, Oscarios, is named after the scenario's author.
Setting: Imperial Rome. As a basic haunted house story, it could in theory be set almost anywhere or anytime by re-writing the details.
Special Notes: No maps of the hyper-dimensional villa were included, but might have been a nice touch. Keepers so inclined could try producing such maps before the scenario begins (the fact that the place was constructed using non-Euclidean and hyperdimensional geometry might make this an interesting challenge).
Dependence on Halloween: Somewhat heavy, in the form of "Lemuralia" a different but thematically similar holiday from ancient Rome. The holiday serves as an anniversary for spooky things to happen on, and folk traditions surrounding the holiday can be used to stop them from happening; the scenario could be rewritten to another such holiday, but the scenario includes plenty of detail on how the holiday is celebrated in this context, and there's probably not much sense in altering the date unless the scenario were being relocated to another region or era with different traditions.