Nogoloth: The Drakemorton Hole

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of Mini Six characters (and their attendant flavor) that he whipped up for his nascent Lovecraftian Fantasy setting, Nogoloth. Consider these a test to see just how well Mini Six produces characters appropriate to such a milieu.

On the outer fringes of the city of Oustminnish stands the decayed and crumbling Drakemorton estate. Once a grand and bustling manor built by Captain Dominic Drakemorton more than a century ago, the estate has fallen further and further into disrepair – and disrepute – as the old Captain’s heirs have grown decadent and squandered the fortune Dominic amassed throughout his storied career. Bereft of its army of servants and caretakers, the family’s holdings rest now in the distracted hands of the last surviving Drakemorton scions: the mad Benicia and her unsettling twin brother Felix.

Behind the manor house itself there are several outbuildings including a mausoleum and disused crematorium. Within the weathered marble burial chamber there is a strange, heavy slab – cemented in place for three generations – that has recently been chiseled free and cast aside as through by an inhumanly powerful hand. Exposed beneath where the slab once lay is a large hexagonal hole down which well-secured iron rungs descend at slightly more than comfortable intervals. The hole itself is smooth and regular, as though bored by some impossibly gigantic machine of a sort that has never been seen in Nogoloth.

The Drakemorton Hole cuts deep into the earth, an eerie and stygian blackness closing quickly about any who attempt to plumb its depths. Whether the shaft itself is truly as extensive as it seems or the way down only feels excruciatingly long due to the preternatural gloom and dampness that attend its descent is impossible to say without further detailed, scientific exploration. What the urchins of Oustminnish – who have endeavored to seek the bottom of the cavity at my own request – have reported is that a growing sense of doom began to wash over them after little more than ten minutes’ descent, resulting in a retreat to the relative comfort of the surface.

These same somewhat unreliable sources further claim that dropping a stone down the shaft produces no sound of impact even after several long minutes of waiting. It is most unfortunate that young Jabben Scarth, the boldest of the children, has failed to return from his third excursion to the Drakemorton Hole. As an orphan with none to mourn him, his disappearance has gone largely unreported. For my own part, I feel some small sense of guilt at seeming to have sent the child to an unfortunate fate. But there are none for me to recompense, so I content myself with having lit a candle to the boy at the altar of Ste. Rixende.

Of the Drakemorton clan, little more than rumor an innuendo is readily available to the casual inquirer. It is said, though, that Benicia is quite insane due to her never-ending quest for arcane knowledge and the blasphemies she has surely read in the accursed tomes that line her library walls. Felix, though he is more immediately accessible and outwardly sane, is known to have begun showing the first hints of the Oustminnish Look within the past few years and is no longer seen at the society functions he used to attend with regularity.

Neither Drakemorton heir has ever married and neither has produced issue – a small mercy for which the more sanguine people of Oustminnish thank Ulris, Ursanne and all their sainted sons and daughters.

Benicia Drakemorton
Might 1D+2 Agility 3D
Wit 4D Charm 3D+1
Skills: Crafts 4D, Occult 6D, Language:Star Tongue Of The Elds 5D
Perks: Aristocrat, Sorcerer
Complications: Quite Insane, Really
Gear: Grimoires & Artifacts
Static: Dodge 9, Block 5, Parry 5
Body Points: 26
Armor: none

Felix Drakemorton
Might 4D Agility 2D+1
Wit 2D Charm 3D+2
Skills: Sword 5D, Stamina 5D, Lift 5D, Dodge 3D+1, Stealth 3D+1, Business 4D+2, Society 4D+2
Perks: Aristocrat
Complications: The Outsminnish Look
Gear: Pearl-Handled Sword Cane (+1D)
Static: Dodge 10, Block 12, Parry 15
Body Points: 36
Armor: none

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0 thoughts on “Nogoloth: The Drakemorton Hole

  1. G-man

    Ah, V.P., I know my fawning over your Lovecraftian material might be getting old, but I just can’t help myself . . . the atmospheric writing in this piece is of the highest tier! No fan-fic crap flowing from the pen of the Venemous One!

    This touches on a cornerstone of gothic darkness: the degenerate family, living out their squalid lives on the shoulders of a once-great line. You could have a whole campaign series based just on this premise. The GM comes up with a family name, a crest, and a suitable gothic-type location, as well as some deep dark secret(s). The players all create different family members, and then commence to scheme, poison, cajole, murder–even seduce one another until the final, apocalyptic climax (the house sinks into the tarn, the old crypts beneath the foundation yield unending ranks of the ragged dead, etc., etc.) Sort of like Paranoia without the lasers.

    Seriously, as much as I like your Meso-American setting (and I like it a lot!), this Nogoloth stuff really is cooking on all burners . . . I don’t think a lot of Dark Fantasy material of this type has been produced, though clearly it fills a niche. You should make a whole PDF of adventures and setting material.

    And involve me as a co-writer. Or at least a ‘creative consultant.’

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Fawn away, daddio! I sure don’t mind. Unless you’re actually being sarcastic and I’m failing to notice, that is 🙂

      I like your ideas for the Paranoia-style Gothic Family Disaster game, G-Man. It would take a special group of players to make it sing, but I think it’s a most worthy concept. Write it up in more depth, dude!

      Speaking of degenerate families, have you encountered the card game Gloom? It’s not quite the same concept, but it’s close. And it’s delightfully Gorey-esque in its presentation, to boot!

      I am, of course, delighted that you’re enjoying the Nogoloth stuff so much (and ol’ Tlactoztlan, too). It might be a bit early for me to start making grand plans for my fumblings at this sort of thing – but I’m still being drawn into Nogoloth enough that there’s a solid chance you may get to see your entreaties to the darkness answered eventually.

      And I can guarantee you’ll get at least some credit if it comes to pass. Maybe even more… if the stars are right 🙂

      1. G-Man

        No sarcasm here, V.P. Though I’m certainly not above general wise-assery, this is pure adulation.

        I’ve never played Gloom before, but the write-up looks pretty awesome. Somehow, I can get behind a game with the goal of lowering the self-worth of your character! I agree that the gothic-family approach would only work with the ‘right’ group of players. Tragedy and noir elements aren’t usually escapist and/or fun.

        Just point me to the right Elder One to sacrifice a goat to so I can get my hands on a Nogoloth PDF!

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          I didn’t think you were pulling my leg, G-Man. But it seemed like it was worth it to check before my head got too big 🙂 And believe me, I adore the adulation!

          If you can get your hands on a copy, I definitely recommend giving Gloom a go. It’s quite fun indeed.

          I’ll have to check my ctholodex to tell you just which non-euclidian thing needs a sacrifice. I’ll get back to you 🙂

  2. G-man

    Oh, and the narrator of this one is a bastard. Using urchins for Delving into Eldritch Secrets. No child labor laws in Nogoloth, obviously.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Oh yes. It’s a hard-knock life for the urchins and orphans of Nogoloth, what with unkind folks like this narrator out there. Then again, he at least would argue that the payment he provides is far more than the little blighters could hope to earn picking pockets and stealing apples…

  3. Goblinkin

    I’m with the G man, I think you certainly need to get this concept into PDF form and starting gettin it out to the masses.
    I’ve always been a fan of clarke Ashton smith and what you’re writin really fits that bill of Lovecraftian horror mixed with degenerate, dark fantasy.
    Love it. Love it. Love it!
    I think I can see a party of scholar-adventurers and their team of hired swords descending into he pit, each night returning to their base in the rotting mansion where the antics of the twisted twins slowly destroys their minds. I imagine the sister as a skeletal thin, drug addled seductress (ala Kate moss) while her brother is only one step away from a total, sword-swinging, mad-chanting crazy loon.
    Love it

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Oh you guys! If you keep pushing me I might actually do this (and no, I’m not trying to be coy) 🙂 Actually, here’s the deal I’m making with myself. I have to finish Tlactoztlan (8 more posts max, possibly fewer) and give it a proper PDF treatment before I can make this Nogoloth stuff my focus. But I will keep at it at least as long as it interests me. I should also finish up the ol’ Demons of Adad Untash and PDF them, too. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not promising anything just yet. But I’m not not promising something 🙂

      One question for you (and G-Man, and anyone else who wants to weigh in)… what would be the preferred system for a Nogoloth PDF? I’ve poked at the setting with several different systems and I don’t feel that any particular one sings the tune wildly better than any other (I’m most emphatically not a “system matters” kind of guy, after all). I can do much of the work “systemless” of course, but I feel like there ought to be stats in there somewhere. Just wonderin’.

      I really like your vision of the explorers and their being caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak, Gobbo. It’s the next step from the initial reporting of the Drakemorton Hole to those savages we call PCs.

      1. G-man

        I’m pro-BoL (hey! that’s a football pun!) all the way, but I think BRP and LL would be good options, too.

        You want to handle it like the old Thieves World and use multiple stat-blocks?

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          I do love my old Thieves World boxed set something fierce, and I have often been of the mind that the world is poorer for the distinct lack of multi-system books/settings/modules/etc. So that might indeed be the way to go. That route might require some notes on how to approach things like magic and power levels in the various systems. But that shouldn’t be too much trouble, all things considered.

          Hmmm. More pondering is necessary.

  4. Goblinkin

    I do think it lends itself slightly more to LL. But just about anything would do.

    In response to you BoL demons: all I can say is “more”.
    I really want to find out how Drusz and the others turn out

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      LL is definitely tempting, in part because it kinda started this whole thing and in part because of G-Man’s suggestion of the artifact-based magic class. Then again, I do find myself shying away from class-based systems for much these days (other than the occasional writeup for the blog). So I’m just not sure. In any case, we’ll see what comes to pass. The system is the least important thing, after all 🙂

      BoL will continue to get much love and though the final disposition of some Sumerian-esque heroes isn’t necessarily in the cards, completing the Demons of Adad Untash writeups definitely is.

      “But why no answers on Dusz and co.?” I hear you asking. The answer is that as I move into banging out the Demon Lords of the setting, I’m inclined to shy away from the hero-centric fiction that’s powered things thus far. It’s one thing to show the “heroes” squaring off against the demonic mooks and winning, but it’s another thing entirely to have them face down the truly big bads.

      Basically, I don’t want to “ruin” the usefulness of the demons by having Dusz, Giszeah and the rest beat ’em up. At least not in the official writeups. The Demon Lords should be like Asmodeus and the rest from the old Monster Manual – sitting there waiting for each unique group of players to come take them out 🙂