Chill/Cryptworld: L’Marais

Wherein, in honor of the upcoming release of Cryptworld, your humble narrator presents a trio of unlikely heroes (or likely victims) and the Thing that they will face. These gaming constructs were built using an old copy of Chill (and Chill Things) I happened to have handy, but they should work just fine with Cryptworld when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright…

The wind was howling on the bayou, and the window panes of Armand’s little shack rattled like dice in a cup. The lights flickered occasionally, and the foetor of the marsh hung just about the edges of the place.

“You know, dey say it nights like dis L’Marais come looking for blood…” Emil said after exhaling a long plume of smoke from his fancy little cigarette. “He come up out de swamp an’ rip a man limb from limb. Then he make they arm ‘n leg do the rest ah him dirty work for a year an’ a day.”

“Shut up, Emil. You’re just trying to spook my brother. And drop the lame-o coonass accent, too. It’s insulting,” replied Edie, fiddling with her new camera.

“Woman, do’n talk at your mari like that…”

“Seriously, Emil. Drop the accent.”

“Ok, ok. I’m just trying to have a little fun. There’s nothing to do out here!”

“We’re only here ’cause you went and killed that pawnbroker. We have to lay low, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. He was reaching for his gun, so I had to shoot him, ok? And this bayou is the perfect place to dump a body.”

Armand shifted slightly in his armchair. He wished his sister had never married the little man. She used to be prettier, he thought. Before LaCroix had gotten his filthy hands on her.

“It’s ok, ma soeur, I had a dream last night…”

“Can it, Armand,” Emil hissed. “If I can’t tell my spook stories, then you don’t get to go on and on about your goddamned dreams. Yeah, yeah, I know you dreamt we’d win State back in high school, but that doesn’t mean you can see the future. Did you ever dream you’d get kicked out of the army? Did you ever dream you’d wind up living in a goddamned shack in the bayou? Did you ever dream…”

Armand stood up quickly at the sound of a heavy, thudding knock on the door. He knew what was on the other side. It was just like he dreamt it. And that meant the little man wouldn’t trouble his sister anymore.

“Who the hell can that be at this time of night?” Emil hissed. “If you called the cops on me, Armand, I swear to God…”

“It’s not the cops, Emil. Armand wouldn’t sell us out like that, would you, mon frère?”

“Of course not, ma soeur,” Armand answered as he walked towards the door. “But I do think it’s for you, Emil.”

The Characters

Emil LaCroix / 34 / 5′ 5″ 150 lbs
STR 56 DEX 58 AGL 48 WPR 50 PER 38 PCN 58 LUCK 54 STA 60 Unskilled Melee 52%
Lockpicking (S) 73%, Gambling (S) 71%, Filching (S) 73%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Edie LaCroix / 27 / 5′ 4″ 120 lbs
STR 52 DEX 58 AGL 54 WPR 50 PER 56 PCN 50 LUCK 62 STA 64 Unskilled Melee 55%
Modeling (S) 71%, Photography (S) 76%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Armand St. Cyr / 33 / 6′ 4″ 220 lbs
STR 66 DEX 60 AGL 58 WPR 64 PER 46 PCN 62 LUCK 32 STA 52 Unskilled Melee 63%
Boxing (S) 78%, Mechanics (M) 91%, Rifle/Shotgun (S) 75%
Art: Clairvoyant/Prescient Dream 54%, Sense Unknown 12%

The Thing

STR 75 DEX 50 AGL 50 WPR 60 PER 35 PCN 70 STA 100 EWS 120 FEAR 6 ATT 2 (3)/62%
Movement: L 180′ A N/A W 90′
Disciplines: Breath of Pestilence, Change Weather, Darken, Deadly Remains, Ghostly Lights, Swarm, Wave of Fog
IPs: 840

L’Marais (more properly, L’Homme des Marais, The Swamp Man) is a foul thing indeed. It resides in the bayous and swamps of rural Louisiana, where it waits to feed on the blood and bone of its victims. L’Marais is composed of both plant matter and human body parts – the remains of murder victims dumped in the swamp. It normally has two unarmed attacks in a round (grab & crush limbs) but if it succeeds with both against one target it gets an extra armed attack – its dreaded rend.

Though L’Marais is unquestionably evil and will gleefully pursue any human being, it is not without a sense of honor. It always strikes out against criminals and murderers first. Some say that a killer who speaks of L’Marais on the night of the new moon will draw its ire all too quickly.

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2 thoughts on “Chill/Cryptworld: L’Marais

  1. G-Man

    Ah, this is great . . . I’m getting a real EC comics feel from this one. V.P., when are you gonna pen some short-story length fiction for the masses? You’ve got the whole pulp thing down, brother. And the dialogue . . .

    One thing I remember clearly about my CHILL boxed set was the dice. They were red and blue percentiles, and they were awesome–nice heft, great quality. No little crayon needed for those babies!

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      You’re too kind, G-Man, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. That EC Comics feel was certainly in my mind as I was writing this one up. Maybe it’s the font on the cover for Cryptworld that put it in my mind?

      As to me and short stories, well, we’ll see if I can find the time (and the sustained interest) eventually. Honestly, it’s the interest part that’s always been my problem with writing. I love the kind of short little bursts and thumbnails I get to do here. Making these things a proper length just seems so difficult when I… look! A squirrel!

      But seriously, though, thank you for the kind words, amigo. They mean a lot coming from someone with your credentials.

      Oh, and I agree wholeheartedly about the dice from the old Chill boxed set. They were mighty indeed.

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