Instruments: 1d20, 1d6
This is a Second Guess where you have returned to the small town of Kindred Rocks, the place you grew up, after the death of your father. You are presented with two mysteries to solve: how did your father really die? What is the eldritch mystery plaguing the town?
Game Content WarningsThese are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.
Playthrough Content WarningsThese are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.
Word Count: 4380 Played: Nov 25, 2022
A/N: I think you are supposed to add +1 to your goal if you succeed a Goal Check Roll, but I was unclear on the instructions so I didn't do that for this playthrough.
Roll: 11, There is an eerie element to a photo that reveals a secret
Roll: 12, You unearth a sword when digging a flower bed. Who can you trust to help you find it, and who’s blood is it?
Goal Points: 0
It was a long curved blade that I had seen many times before in the old photo on the wall.
I don’t know why I was digging in the garden that day. Maybe I thought the dead flowers were suspicious. Maybe I noticed something in the ground. Maybe it was just dumb luck.
But it was buried about 3 feet down, wrapped in a canvas and stained with dried blood.
My father was in the photo with the sword. He wasn’t the one carrying it, a strange woman dressed all in black held it in one hand. She wasn’t in any of the other photos, and my father had never spoken about her.
He had his hand on her shoulder and she had hers around his hip. But there was one other person with them. Old Saul down by the fishing wharf.
I wrapped the blade in more canvas and tied it with a rope before bringing it down to him.
He brought me into the backroom before we unwrapped it together. He didn’t say anything but threw me out of his shop. I’ll have to return at another time.
Roll: 6 What pleasant surprise do you find in a library? +1 Goal
Roll: 13 There is a ghost in the garden Calling you out by name. What does it tell you? -1 Goal
Goal Points: 0
I set upon researching the sword myself. I looked through all the old books in town: ones for local history, ones for sword types, and even blacksmithing.
It was in a slim dusty volume labeled “Town Census” from around two hundred years ago. One of them listed all the blacksmiths in town at this time and the name Margo Randt had a useful little notation by it. Apparently Ms Randt had developed a new way to smelt the steel from the local area and made a pair of twin decorative swords.
I looked into the swords further and it was exactly as described as the curved blade I found. But now I know there is another.
When I returned home there was a woman standing in my garden. She was dressed all in black. When she turned I could see she was the exact same lady as the one in the old photo.
She called my name and pointed directly at me. I felt my body go cold and start to shake. She called again and demanded I give it back.
I shook my head, she began to scream, and I screamed back and ran into the house. She couldn’t cross the threshold of the home.
She remained outside screaming until dawn. I didn’t get any sleep.
Roll: 12, Repeat
Roll: 4 You discover a shocking secret
Roll: 15, An old teacher describes the bizarre crimes students are committing. Why are you positioned to help with this?
Goal Points: 0
I didn’t have a wink of sleep last night and had to leave the house as soon as I could in the morning.
I went down to the local diner, ordered a black coffee and instructed the waitress to leave the pot on the table. She was hesitant at first but she must have seen how tired I was.
There was a local dish of fish and paprika that was usually served for dinners but they were kind enough to let me eat it for breakfast.
I was lost in thought when an old teacher of mine, Mr Lobelle, slid into the seat across from me. The only thing that remained the same about him was the mole on his left cheek. He looked like he had aged fifty years instead of fifteen.
He needed my help. He said the kids were bringing knives into the school but not to attack one another. They all wanted to carve up the floors in the gym. Every day they would go in and find new marks across the floor.
They weren’t carving their names, or swears, or dicks, or anything that they would normally expect. It was all haphazard lines deep into the wood.
I asked him what he wanted me for. He wanted new locks for the doors and windows installed. I told him I wasn’t with a professional locksmith anymore but he insisted. He looked so old and fragile I couldn’t say no. But I also couldn’t say yes. I told him I needed the approval of the school board or the principal or something. It needed to be above board.
He looked so sad and angry, so I told him to come by later and I would give him one of my old locks. It was just a simple key-lock, but it should work for the time being.
He left and I went back to the house. I started to regret all the coffee because my hands were shaking from the caffeine when I approached the garden. It was starting to rain heavily.
The ghost was gone but there was still the hole where I had found the swords. But the swords came in pairs didn’t they?
I dug up the entire area until I found it. I didn’t care about the rain coming down in droves or the chill that was creeping up my spine.
A smooth black box the size of a person. I thought I would find the woman inside. Maybe holding the other sword. But inside was my father.
The rain was too much. I couldn’t see. Maybe I was wrong. But I didn't have time. The pit was filling up with water quickly and my hands were turning numb. I tried to climb out of the hole but it was too slippery.
I fell back down and into the open box. The water was rising and I was with a corpse. I struggled, slipped, fell, struggled over and over until finally I climbed up and over the edge.
She was waiting for me but I ran back inside again as she began to scream.
Roll: 9 What steps out of a weird vehicle that horrifies you? -1 Goal
Roll: 13 Repeat, Ghost
Roll: 6, Plot twist
Goal Points: 0
The clock struck midnight and the ghost was still wailing. I hadn’t had any sleep in nearly two days and I thought I was hallucinating when I saw the lights at first.
I looked out the rear window down towards the beach and I saw what looked like a configuration of boxes creeping along the sand but when I blinked it was an old car with the headlights flickering.
I got out a pair of binoculars from a drawer to see closer. It was Old Saul but his face looked different for a second. It was as if it had been sliced and cut with a million little scratches, but when I blinked again it was normal.
He had the sword in his hand and he was marching up towards the lighthouse.
The ghost had stopped screaming and I hadn’t even noticed until she put her face right up against the window in my line of sight.
I screamed and fell backwards.
“HE IS COMING FOR YOU NEXT,” she screeched. “HE WILL USE YOU NEXT.”
“NEXT OF KIN, NEXT OF CLOTH, FLEE WHILE YOU CAN.”
I stumbled back and out of the back door and into the rain and down the beach in the opposite direction.
I ran and ran until I reached a road that led into town and ran along the pavement until I collapsed underneath a tree.
Roll: 5 You drink too much, what do you reveal saying? -1 Goal
Roll: 8 You are approached by someone who knew your father? What do they say?
Goal Points: 0
I awoke around noon the next day, lucky to be alive, but soaked to the bone. I was shaking, cold, starving and anything else that might kill a person.
I snuck around near the beach of the lighthouse. The car was gone and there was no sign of Saul anywhere.
The pit had been filled in completely. If I wanted to see my father’s corpse again I would need to redig everything.
I tiptoed back up to the house. The entire place had been turned over and shredded. Everything looked like it had been put through a grinder. Plates were broken into hundreds of tiny pieces, all books shredded completely. The mattress was reduced to a pile of cotton, and bits of spring.
And all along the walls, there were the scratches. Millions and millions of them in all directions. No patterns, no rhyme or reason. Everywhere, even the ceiling.
I couldn’t deal with this. I went down to the local pub, The Broken Globe, and drank and drank.
The bartender was only somewhat sympathetic. They filled my glass despite the fact it was only around 3pm.
They listened to my story about the house. I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I couldn’t explain how it happened.
I should have kept my mouth shut but my vision was swimming. A group of people had gathered around me and I kept talking. I kept blabbering around about the scratches. Then I was out.
I woke up later with a throbbing headache. It was dark and I was in an alleyway and there were small cuts across my knuckles. I don’t think I had been in a fight since they were too symmetrical. All of them were horizontal around ½ an inch long right across all 10 including the thumbs.
I still had my wallet and I wandered over to a park bench and collapsed in it.
A small woman then approached me, as if she knew I would be there. She sat down and offered me a small strawberry candy from her pocket.
The package was sealed so I went ahead and ate it. She didn’t look at me as she spoke but she said it was good that I had the markings.
I had no idea what she was talking about but I nodded along. She said she knew my father and it was a shame what had happened to him.
She also said there were silent protectors. Ones who knew how to keep it at bay and to look for them. Then she got up and left quickly.
I would have thought it was a dream if I still didn’t have the candy in my mouth.
Some kind person took pity on me and dropped me off back home at the lighthouse.
Roll: 10, You climb the lighthouse tower and observe something strange below +1 Goal
Roll: 3, You visit an old tree. Who is this memory linked to?
Mystery Goal: 1
I went to check on the lighthouse today since it’s still my job, I guess. Everything was in working order, but I saw something out in the ocean.
There was a small fishing boat with two people in it. They were holding a large wrapped bag and they dumped it over the side of the boat into the waters.
I don't want to think about what was in it. It could have been nothing. Something for the ocean. Something for the ocean.
I made a little nest out of all the ripped up blankets and cotton left from the mattress. It was horrid to sleep on, but I have nothing else.
I can’t afford to spend my nights in a hotel or anything else in this little town.
I didn’t want to stay in the building during the day. It was too much.
I marched up to the top of the hill, where the old Sycamore tree grew on top of the hill. It had been there for generations and I remember taking Norine up there on our last date.
I paused when I got up to the top. The climb was so much more difficult than I remember. I went around the back to the part that faced the cliff and knelt down.
I had carved our initials into the base of the tree with a small knife. They were still there. But it looked like a blight against the rest of the smooth bark.
The symbols were hard, black, and cracked. I sighed and leaned up against it. The ocean looked so peaceful from up here.
Roll: 3, Repeat
Roll: A dog is found Dead in town, people think you did it -1 Goal
I had one semi-good night of sleep. I bought two blankets from town, one to place on the nest and the other to sleep under. It wasn’t good, but it’s better than nothing. When I get paid next I’ll buy a mattress or something.
The ghost has also been gone for a while. Maybe she wandered somewhere else.
I went down into town again for other supplies and I could feel the eyes of everyone on me. They were whispering and crossing the street away from where I was walking.
I finally got some answers when I went to dinner for breakfast. The waitress wouldn’t look me in the eye when she took my order and all the others glared at me until Mr Lobelle finally came up to talk to me.
I asked him what everyone’s problem was and he said they had found a dog in the fountain. I shook my head, I didn’t understand. He said it was my father’s dog, that I should have been looking after it up at the lighthouse.
I shook my head again and told him there was no dog. There wasn’t any dog house or dog food or even any pictures of it. He gave me a look that would have killed me dead if it could.
I insisted there was no dog and he got up and left my table. I finished my breakfast quickly before leaving.
I went back up to the house again but saw out of the corner of my eye that the tree on the hill was gone.
It was hard to miss, since it was the only one, but there was nothing there where it was yesterday.
I put off cleaning again and went back up that long hike up to the tree. Where once a large proud sycamore grew there was only a shredded stump. Wood chips lay all around it and the stump looked like something had carved it up with millions of little deep cuts.
It looked like the same thing that had gotten to my home.
The only thing that still remained in pristine condition was the carving of my initials. Even Norine’s were scratched away. There was only mine.
Roll: 17, Repeat
Roll: 3 Twist
Roll: 14 You find a locked door with sigils +1 Goal
Mystery Goal: 1
No one will talk to me in town. Everyone thinks I killed that damned dog. I haven’t even seen the dog.
They won’t let me buy food from the grocer. They won’t let me eat at the diner. Fuck!
Even the cops came by and “questioned” with their fists.
I had to pull out the old fishing poles and rig them up on the beach to catch something or else I’ll starve.
What the fuck will they think if they see the house?
I did start cleaning it today. I started with the living room since that’s the place people will see if I have to answer the door.
I moved the bigger chunks into the garden outside and swept what little remained of the rug.
There was an old hatch I had never seen before on the floor. I took a box of matches with me and went exploring down into a basement.
There was so much dust it looked like a blanket of snow covered the entire place.
At least the things in here weren’t shredded and I found some canned goods in storage. Maybe they’ll still be edible.
But there was something else in here. Another locked door surrounded by a bunch of sigils and thousands and thousands of scratches in the metal.
It’s as if someone gave up trying to open the lock and resulted in trying to scrape away the metal.
The sigils lit up when I touched them and faded soon after. It must have been some kind of combination lock.
But more interesting than that, the metal of the door looked like it was made from the same metal as the swords. The same local metal.
Roll: 8, You are approached by someone in the park
Roll: 1, You get Burgled! What do they leave behind? -2 Goal
The small woman had said there were silent protectors here but I didn’t feel at all safe. I went back to the park and sat on the same bench, hoping she would show up again.
I didn’t remember what she looked like since it was dark and I was drunk at the time. Maybe she didn’t exist at all?
But soon an older man came and sat down next to me. He pulled out a newspaper and started to read it before he talked to me.
Maybe he thought he was some sort of amateur spy and this would conceal his identity.
He spoke in a long slow voice.
I demanded to know what was going on but he said it was best that I didn’t know.
I told him I had found the basement.
He said he knew and that it’s trying to break in right now.
I tried to spring to my feet to rush back home but he grabbed my shoulder and forced me to sit back down.
He had the same horizontal scars across his knuckles. He told me if I returned now it would see me and kill me.
I asked what it wanted and he gave me a look then sighed.
I waited at least two hours, wandering around the park, until I headed back up to the lighthouse.
The main house had been completely destroyed again. My new blankets shredded, the wall paper torn to ribbons and the basement door ripped from its hinges.
The basement was just as bad. All the food had been smashed and the floor had deep gouges in it.
There were new deep scratches in the door which oozed a dark fluid almost as if it were bleeding.
I was too afraid to touch it.
Roll: 8, Repeat,
Roll: 13, Ghost
The wailing came back from the ghost. It woke me in the middle of the night. It was louder, and louder this time. I went to the main room and looked out the window to see if it really was her this time.
But the wailing wasn’t coming from the garden. It was coming from behind me.
I turned and she was standing over the trap door. She screamed at me, telling me that it was my fault and a new sacrifice must be made.
She tried to lunge at me but the front door was so shredded by this time that I was able to burst through it easily and out into the garden.
I ran down the hill towards the beach and along the shore for as long as I could.
She didn’t follow me past the garden but I could still hear her screeching.
I walked down the road once again into town at night.
I stopped in the park on that same bench and held my head in my hands and again a stranger took a seat next to me.
It was a young man this time, around my age. He was neatly dressed with pressed pants and thick glasses.
He sighed and crossed his legs before taking out a cigarette and lighting it with a cheap disposable lighter.
He offered one to me and I took it.
We sat there in the dark in silence for a long time before he said there was a hotel room for me that would be safe.
He stood up, placed the key on the bench, and walked away into the night.
There was only one hotel in town and it wasn’t too far.
The room was clean, dry, and warm.
It felt nice to sleep in a real bed.
Roll: 4, A massive storm hits. Where’s the one place you know you can be of assistance? Why are you hesitant to help?
Roll: 3, you visit the old tree.
I went back to the tree in the morning and sat at the stump for a long time and looked out into the ocean. A massive storm was on the horizon and I knew it would hit landfall before the night.
I also knew I had to light the lighthouse early because of it.
I stood up from the stump, kneeled down in front of it where my initials were still carved and traced along them with my finger.
I don’t know what compelled me but I took out a small pocket knife and scratched my own name out.
The tree bled that same ooze like the door. It smelled foul like a corpse.
All this time I had forgotten about my own father’s body beneath the dirt of the garden.
They told me that he had been lost at sea so they buried an empty coffin.
The odor was starting to overpower me so I left quickly down towards the house.
I could bring myself to step over the threshold into the home, so I walked around the long way to reach the light tower.
The door was pristine. The insides were pristine. The glass was pristine.
Everything was exactly how I had left it.
I did the maintenance, flipped all the doo dads, wats its and everything else required to turn it on.
I locked the door and headed back to the hotel.
My room key still worked, the room was fine, and I slept through the entire storm.
Roll: 6, you find something good in the library +1
Roll: 8, you are approached again in the park
Mystery Goal: 1
I went back to the library. There had to be something there. I looked at the census again.
I poured over years and years and years until I found a pattern. It looked like every 25 years, to the day, someone was lost at sea.
People get lost at sea all the time. There were so many deaths. But these all happened on the same day dating back at least 400 years.
I looked in again to local legends and the blacksmith. I needed to know more about the metal she worked with.
One old legend said the metal was unearthed during an earthquake and that it was found in a perfect sphere.
The locals couldn’t figure out a way to use it or break it until Margot discovered some technique that’s been lost to time.
She was said to be buried with the twin sword and the other passed down through her family. The whereabouts of her grave are currently unknown.
I went back to the bench again, hoping to speak to another of their little group.
At first I thought it was the same young man, but he carried himself differently. He wore a jacket with no shirt and flip flops despite the weather.
He sat down, crossed his ankle across his knee, leaned back and put his arm around the top of the bench.
I told him that I needed the second sword. He said absolutely not.
I told him I had to have it and he shook his head.
I demanded a third time and before I could finish my sentence his fist hit my mouth. I fell back onto the hard ground, shocked, and bleeding.
He stood up, shook his fist and said not to come here anymore.
My hotel stay had been revoked. I had to sleep in the lighthouse tonight.
Roll: 5, You go back to the pub -1
Roll: 10 You see a strange interaction from above +1
Mystery Goal: 1
(A/N: I was tired so I decided to end the game early)
The lighthouse was cold, even with all the nest material I had dragged from inside.
But I couldn’t hear the ghost. I didn’t see any other horrible thing, and it seemed the door still held fast for now.
I went up to the top of the lighthouse, hoping I could see something. The storm had shredded more of the town than I had expected. Parts of it looked as pulpy as the insides of the house.
But I could see some people over near the stump of the tree. They had a torch and were scorching the earth around it.
I made a note not to go up near that place again.
I was starting to get hungry. The house had no food. Most places didn’t want me. My fishing lines had been destroyed in the storm.
The only place I could think to go was back to The Broken Globe. It was around noon when I went back.
The bartender didn’t look too happy to see me again but they still served me something. I devoured an entire bowl of bar snacks while I waited for my drink.
They served me the same thing as last time and I sat quietly while all the eyes in the place were on me.
Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. Then another. Then another.
“You’re the reason this is happening,” one voice said and was echoed by dozens of others.
“We need to appease again,” the hands all grabbed me and I was dragged out of the bar, down the streets, and into another black box like the one my father had been in.