Friday, 27 January 2017

Sharp Little Needles Kickstarter



When did we last clean the self promotion trumpets?

Anyhoo, if you're one of those crazy people who scan Kickstarter daily looking for new Cthulhu material to back you may have spotted something intriguing in the pile. Stygian Fox Publishing is crowdfunding Fear's Sharp Little Needles, a collection of modern day horror mini scenarios for Call of Cthulhu 7e.

Stygian Fox's last effort along these lines, The Things We Leave Behind, was very well received. Pookie, reviewer of all things Cthulhu and some things that aren't, called it "the first great release for Call of Cthulhu 7e" with nary a dud to be seen in its six scenario collection.

Fear's Sharp Little Needles is going a hell of a lot further than Things We Leave Behind, with a spine-chilling twenty one shot scenarios at time of writing, with more being added as each second passes. That's not including a much longer stretch goal scenario by Jeff Moeller, designer of note and editor of Things We Leave as well as Little Needles.

Who can you expect to see in Little Needles? Well, the likes of Oscar Rios, Brian Courtemanche, Chad Bowser, Adam Gauntlett ... and a hell of a lot of other superb writers, but I'm going to stop right there because if you want to know more there's a Kickstarter Page you really should be looking at right now.

I could launch into a whole bit but I'm not going to do that. What I am going to do is share with you a taste of the one that got away. For lo, I submitted two scenario ideas to begin with, and one did not get through. [I may have submitted a third since then. Sue me. I'm greedy.]

The one that did not get through is:

The Huiquing’s Cargo

A 1980s era container ship known to have been captured by pirates beaches itself offshore with a cargo of human remains in its refrigeration compartment; one of the dead in the hold was a Daughter of Atlach-Nacha being smuggled to the Americas, and the would-be spider priestess’ aborted transcendence transforms the Huiquing into a Dreamlands nightmare ship. Inspired by the real-life case of the Hai Sin which, in a breaker’s yard in Guangdong, China, disgorged a cargo of bones and flesh hidden in its refrigeration unit.

You may recall me mentioning the Hai Sin before.

Atlach-Nacha is a monstrous entity which weaves its enormous web across a deep chasm underground; legend says that when the web is complete, the world will end. Some of its tunnels lead into the Dreamlands.

Its Daughters are human women chosen to be its companions, and marked by a spider bite. This lesser servitor is dragooned into service by the Great Old One's human servants, and after a period of vigorous brainwashing and horrible arcane rituals the woman eventually transforms into a giant spider and travels deep below to join her monstrous parent.

The base idea comes from a simple premise: accidents and death happen to everyone, including minions of the Old Ones. The question is, what happens next?

In this instance the snakeheads who attempted to smuggle the Daughter into the United States, presumably to kickstart some kind of cult, are forestalled by pirates who capture the Huiquing and murder everyone aboard, including the Daughter.

Picture that moment. The surviving crew and smuggled cultists, herded into an airless container. They fight for breath as the oxygen depletes, first trying to claw their way out, then implore, then expire. As the Daughter struggles to breathe her transformation triggers, and the spider within starts to emerge. Too little too late; her husk dies, but in doing so she creates a connection between the Huiquing and the most nightmarish aspects of Dream, in a desperate attempt to reunite with Atlach-Nacha.

Imagine what happens next to the pirates, then picture that gutted cargo ship drifting without crew, without direction, finally beaching itself. The Keeper gets to decide exactly where, of course. It might as easily be off North Africa as the coast of Florida.

Tell you what. The Little Needles rules specify that a scenario can be no more than 2500 words long. If at least two of you reading this pledge to that Kickstarter, and say so in the Comments thread, I'll write a 2,500 word short scenario based on the pitch The Huiquing’s Cargo and post that scenario here for you to enjoy.

Can't say fairer than that, can you?


  1. I'm interested in your 2014 post on Beebe. How can I email you for more info?

    1. I sent you an email; let me know if you didn't get it.

  2. Pledged. Though to be honest I had already done so ahead of reading this post, so I don't know if that counts. :-)

  3. Hi, i didn't get to see this scenario for the book as i left it up to Jeff. Could you resubmit to me on Facebook? I really like the idea, especially as it isn't Euro or US centric.