An unnatural artefact for the Delta Green RPG.
An Unnatural skill roll or previous experience with The Dark Man identifies this black iron pot with handles and feet as an unnatural artefact, capable of transmuting fluids and concoctions. The cauldron holds up to four gallons of liquid, weighing 32 pounds total if filled with water, and can be used as a makeshift campfire. The cauldron is pitch black and has unsophisticated images of devils and fire carved into its sides.
Researching the history of the cauldron reveals it has roots in the legends of the Western European witch cults and their devil-ish patron, The Dark Man. However, anthropologists and archaeologists will find that certain graven images on the cauldron also resemble the tribal god of the so-called “Bloody Tongue” cult in central Kenya and the “Howler in Darkness” of upper Wisconsin folklore, who stalks the woods near Rick’s Lake. A chemical and biological analysis of the cauldron’s interior will find traces of human salvia, unknown substances similar to opiates, some sort of octopus tissue, psychoactive compounds, and things mainstream science has never encountered before.
A person familiar with Unnatural lore may use the cauldron to perform feats of “alchemy” – this requires boiling some combination of human blood, the flesh of unnatural entities , alien materials, expensive chemicals, acids, oil, crushed insects, poisons and rare herbs in the cauldron for one hour while singing prayers to The Dark Man. Collecting enough useful ingredients for the cauldron requires killing monsters, spending lots of money (an Unusual expense) and at least one murder – if not access to an alien world or the Dreamlands. The alchemist/operator must also spend 12 WP, lose 1D8 SAN and successfully roll their Unnatural skill to complete the process. The Unnatural roll gains a +20% bonus if the operator has Science (Chemistry), Pharmacy or Occult skill at 80% or better (more than one skill at 80%+ gives multiple +20% bonuses). Failing the roll means the potion is flawed and either does not work or has side effects for the consumer (i.e. 1D6 damage, 1D4 SAN loss, disease, exhaustion, temporary insanity, -20% penalties to physical actions). Critical failure on the Unnatural skill roll attracts The Dark Man himself to…”evaluate” the alchemist.
The resulting “potion” produced by the cauldron has seemingly random effects – The Dark Man chooses what the brew shall do. The first six to ten such potions made will be extermely useful and harmless to the consumer – they will do exactly what the consumer wants. The next batches of potions will have steadily worse side effects…
The Night-Walk Cauldron also attracts the creatures known as “Raktajihva” – horrid avatars of the Bloody Tongue, who disguise themselves as normal human beings until moonlight or murderous sadism tears off the human face to reveal the blood red tentacle emerging, slick with gruesome tainted blood-salvia. The Raktajihva may be post-human entities adrift in time, our descendants from the future where the stars have come right and we learned new monstrous joys from the resurgent Great Old Ones. Could the Night-Walk Cauldron be the source of the apocalypse?