Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lovecraft, Houdini, and the Hundred-Handed-Ones

In my most recent Scion session, the plot demanded a big nasty the PCs couldn't hurt, but could circumvent via trickery. I chose a Hekatonakhiere, partly because it gave me an opportunity to steal a bit from a story HP Lovecraft once ghostwrote for Harry Houdini. If you haven't read the story "Imprisoned With The Pharaohs", stop reading now and follow the link. Either that or live with having the short story being spoiled a bit first.

And so I describe it (the hundred handed one) as 40 feet tall, multi-limbed and multi-headed, with a long serpentine tail twisting and disappearing over the ridge. It's trundling along the top of the ravine, decimating an army, shapeshifting new limbs and attack modes as it needs them. Overall, it was being very colorful, and stunting spectacularly.

The PCs debate strategy for a moment, and then one shouts out an Overt Order at the thing, telling it to leave here as fast as it can.

In response, it springs back on it's tail, no doubt coiling just behind the ridge the way a cobra might. The "body" they'd been observing towers above the battlefield for a moment, and then it becomes apparent that the tail is but a wrist and forearm. The thing they'd watched assault their forward lines was but a single hand of the beast.

It's two-mile long body climbs out of the ravine, and marches off - for an action or so. The characters now had a mere 5 ticks to brainstorm a much more creative solution to a much larger problem than they'd anticipated. It was fun watching them sweat.

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