February 28, 2012

The Once and Future Vice-President

A Ripped From the History Books scenario premise for Trail of Cthulhu

It is 1936. Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace, hailed for his New Deal innovations, is easily the most mystical of cabinet secretary in US history. A self-proclaimed spiritual seeker of Theosophist bent, he openly connects his occult beliefs to his liberal politics. He even convinced fellow mason Franklin Roosevelt to pluck the Great Seal, with its eye and pyramid design, from obscurity to a new spot on the back of the dollar bill.

Neither man knows it yet, but in four years Wallace will become Vice-President. Someone who does know this is the New England dowser and sorcerer Eliphas Haslam, who has learned to perceive non-linear time. Using spells of soul migration acquired from Joseph Curwen, the terminally cancer-ridden Haslam aims to possess a new body before his old one dies.

Both he, Wallace and at least one of the PCs are on the guest list of a seeker’s conference outside Arkham. The action begins when a car crashes into a telephone pole outside the resort hotel where the conference is convening. Haslam, the sole passenger, is dead inside the car—but impossibly, seems to have been dead for hours!

The horrible truth is that Haslam managed to anchor his soul in his dead body long enough to reach the conference and migrate his soul to another of the guests. (The spell only works on hosts who have opened themselves to occult perception—which includes not only every participant at the conference, but any PC with a rating in Occult or Cthulhu Mythos.) He’d hoped to take Wallace’s body, so he could ride it to the coming Vice-Presidency, then kill Roosevelt and become President. But, despite the setback, the weekend is young, Wallace is still at hand, and Haslam may yet body-hop his way to the White House.