||by Sean Branney and Darrell Tutchton
played in July of 1984 in Denver and environs
Investigators attempt to follow a sinister character from the basement of a rented house to a mountainside at midnight on Friday the Thirteenth.
Playing this first game in the live-action style was a revelation to many of the people involved. As a player, I will never forget actually searching the creepy abandoned shed and finding the map, especially the moments when Joe Bacon climbed up into the rafters of the structure. I will also never forget the discovery of the dead body in Fred Coppers basement, because I physically felt what I judged to be about 10 CoC sanity points leave my body.
We were searching the basement which had formerly been Randolph Mortimers lair, and discovered a small square hole in one wall, about six feet off the floor, which had been closed with a piece of mattress foam rubber wedged into the opening. Removing the foam rubber and peering into the darkness inside, I believed I could make out some shapes in the space beyond, and saw a light bulb hanging from a wire from the ceiling of the space. Looking around the perimeter of the hole, I saw a light switch, and flipped it, but the light did not come on. We speculated that perhaps the bulb was burned out, and someone got a replacement bulb from Mr. Copper. Getting a boost from a chair, I crawled through the hole, then asked one of my companions, Mark Drudge, to hand me a flashlight. The floor of the space was dirt, at an irregular slope, and there were cobwebs falling into my face. I crawled my way over to the dangling light bulb and reached up to begin unscrewing it, so I could replace it. But the moment I touched it, it flickered on. Startled, I let go of the bulb, and it immediately went dark again. I realized that it was just not tightly screwed into the socket, and called out to my companions, "Its just unscrewed," looking back at them over my shoulder. I turned again to look at the light bulb, and screwed it firmly into place. Just as I did so, and the light came on to stay, I turned and looked down. There, just a few feet in front of me, was the hideous, melted corpse of a man, suddenly revealed in the glow from the bulb that was still clutched in my fingers. It was so surprising, and its discovery so serindipitously staged, and its appearance so gruesome, that I was genuinely shocked. I physically felt the sanity drain out of me. Luckily it was a temporary loss, and within moments I was shouting to my companions to crawl through the hole and join me. We pulled the wallet out of the corpses pants pocket, and discovered numerous incriminating items in that tiny room which sent us to our next step in the investigation.
Although the Crystal of Ghatanothoa was invented by the Keepers, Ghatanothoa himself is a foul entity who appears in the story "Out of the Eons," by Lovecraft and Hazel Heald. This dreadful Gorgon-like entity, so foul that all who look on him are horribly paralyzed, also appeared in "The Thing in the Pit," by Lin Carter, and in stories by Colin Wilson.