Madness of the Black Opal
Author(s): David Haddin
Appears in: Strange Tales of Dread & Wonder 2.
Life in an opal mining town in the middle of the Central Australian desert is pretty harsh in the 1920s. But recent events in the town of Cooper Peady -- some four days buggy ride from Adelaide, the nearest (small) city -- seem to have recently also taken on an element of the bizarre. The Investigators become involved when they learn of a cow from Cooper Peady that was recently transported to the Adelaide Plains University's vetinarian department because of strange alterations to its body and (apparently) its mind. Seeking answers they contemplate the long journey into the dusty desert interior ...
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The town of Cooper Peady has become the epicenter of a war between two factions, both of which are trying to summon a terrible alien entity called "Gring the Maddoth". One faction is a group of human cultists lead by wealthy Swedish industrialist Ragnar Jossons. The second interested party is Y'golonac, who is present within the town disguised as Ay Tong, a fat Chinese man who runs the town's only opium den.
Both factions are aware of the other, and are at open war. Most of the town of Cooper Peady has already been sucked into this battle somehow with several already having become collateral damage. To summon Gring, 1000Kg of Black Opal and a large quantity of sacrifices are needed: by nefarious means Jossons has accumulated most of what is needed, but Y'golonac has the last 100kg of Black Opals.
In investigating the various strange and terrible things they find in Cooper Peady, the Investigators eventually discover the extensive Ritual Tunnels where it is planned to perform the summoning. These are actually one small and mostly ruined section of a vast network of tunnels made aeons ago by the Great Race of Yith. To succeed in thwarting the menace, a means must be discovered to stop both groups from performing the ritual needed to bring Gring to this world.
Player Handouts: There are no player handouts.
Locations: Adelaide and Coober Pedy (presumably the basis for the scenario's "Cooper Peady") are both in Southern Australia. There's also a passing reference to the Yithian city of Pnakotus located in North-Western Australia.
Creatures: The Maddoth, Gring, and Magzons are all alien entities introduced in this scenario (with stat blocks). Also Y'golonac, Bunyips, Ghouls, Deep Ones (passing reference), Dagon and Hydra (passing reference), Hastur (passing reference), Great Race of Yith (passing reference), Flying Polyps (passing reference).
Tomes and Artifacts: Black Opal, The Pleasures of Madness (new Mythos tome with stats), Revelations of Glaaki, Twenty-one alien diseases, Blessed Spine, Maddoth's Kiss, Ring of the Heretic, True Thinking Lance.
Campaigns / Scenarios:
The name of the mining town -- Cooper Peady -- would seem to be either a deliberate or accidental mis-spelling of the real-world South Australian opal mining town of Coober Pedy.
Although peripheral to the events in the scenario, a short summary of other Mythos worship in 1920s South Australia is provided.
The scenario also includes statistics for one new Mythos tome, seven new spells, four new Mythos items and three races of powerful alien beings.
This adventure is quite 'high powered' compared to most Call of Cthulhu (RPG) scenarios in that magical and/or alien items are much more prevalent and (in some cases) available to the Investigators. It's also somewhat more lurid and bloodthirsty in tone than most CoC adventures. Keepers who prefer to run a more traditional ('low powered') campaign would probably need to modify the scenario.
Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.