Monday, October 27, 2014

The Kray as the Hounds of Tindalos

"Through angled space they lope and slither, furtive yet unswerving in their course, aye, and unappeasable; for they are the Hunters from Beyond, concerning that which but little there be that wise men and sages of olden-time dated to set down for men less wise and prudent then they to read.  For even to know them is to have their gaunt and slinking shapes to haunt thy dreams; and even to dream of them is to, as Eibon sayeth, to lure them hither."
"The Necronomicon:  The Dee Translation" -- Lin Carter 

There are many monsters, organizations, or places in The Strange with strong Lovecraftian overtones.   This is part of my motivation for using Delta Green as an inspiration from some of my home campaign Earth.   These similarities are also useful as a way to generate story ideas centered around creatures from the Strange.  To illustrate this I will show you how to use stories of the Hounds of Tindalos as the basis for an adventure focusing on the Kray.

The Hounds of Tindalos are creatures that operate outside our dimensions.   They often hunt down people who have (intentionally or not) stepped outside the bounds of their own dimension.  This may be a traveler between dimensions or someone who simply (?) saw through the barriers of time and space to some remote location.  Once they pick up the scent of someone moving or seeing through the barriers of dimensions, they begin to hunt them down.

The applications to The Strange are clear.  Various recursions are separated from each other by oceans of the Strange itself.  This is similar to the space between dimensions in which the Hounds of Tindalos roam.  This function serves an interesting approach to using the Kray in your adventures.  Their background indicates that the Betrayer allowed the Kray into Ardeyn for some reason -- from where?  There are hints that the Kray may be native to The Strange itself.  A great deal of mystery remains in the motivation for the Kray.

Adventure Idea

"Bewarest thou, then, the of the Liou drug that dissolves all barriers of time and space and permitteth the to peer Beyond, that thou imbibest of it not so freely that though needs must fall prey to the cosmic hungers of the Hounds of Tindalos."
"The Necronomicon: The John Dee Translation."  -- Lin Carter

In this section I will illustrate how you can use stories related to the Hounds of Tindalos to write stories featuring the Kray and featuring key elements of The Strange core setting.  This adventure might fit very nicely into the beginning of The Dark Spiral campaign with a little adaptation.

The PCs learn of a person who was torn apart in bright daylight with several witnesses.  Clearly this event has gotten a lot of attention.  Some media outlets have put this in the bin of "spontaneous combustion"  -- though people knowledgable in The Strange worry that there is more to it.  Some research into the background of the victim reveals that he had been using a new street drug (Dark Spiral?  the Liao drug? or the infamous Black Lotus?).    The drug had allowed him to see into The Strange -- where he caught the notice of the Kray.  This was the equivalent of "pinging" the network -- at least for the Kray.

The players then look into who else may have caught the attention of the Kray.  All of the other people with whom the victim shared the drug have been killed -- though none so dramatically as being torn apart by invisible attackers.  Other were killed in their sleep or simply have not been seen lately (maybe they fled town when they say into The Strange) except for one.  The players have to find and then talk to this last remaining user of the drug.  This is an opportunity for a social encounter as the players seek to find out what the drug user knows, if they have encountered these creatures, what the creatures look like (when not entirely invisible), etc?  The players may even recover the remaining sample of the drug.

You may even have the Kray attack the user while the players are present (just the sort of thing that happens in similar fiction).  You should play up how the Kray flicker in-and-out of phase and move in strange non-linear bursts as they pass between dimensions/recursions.  You can scale this encounter to your group with a combination of Kray Scurriers and Drones (Strange Core pg. 276).

This can serve as the basis for a larger campaign -- who supplied the drug?  Did they want to bring the Krey to Earth?  Did this encounter alert the Krey to the existence of the players?  Are the players the next on the list for elimination?  

This little example illustrates how to tie the Kray together into a single session with an investigation, social, and combat encounter.  If you enjoy session seeds like this, please comment.  Enjoy and stay off the wacky Liao.  

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