I finally got a chance to try out the Pathfinder character that Ruthanna Emrys' subversive Lovecraftian paradigm put in my head: Hogarth Orne Who Will Be Called LEVIATHAN, a elderly Deep One Hybrid, an Innsmouth-folk on the edge of metamorphosis, so to speak, & an Occultist besides, so I could raid the Mythos for knick-knacks & spell concepts. Started off with the crystal skull of a K'n-yan alchemist ("the shpells are holographically encoooded in the cryshtal matrix!") for Transmutation & a complicated Elder Sign for Abjuration spells, halfway between a cenobite's puzzlebox & Lyra's alethiometer. I spoke in a blubbery fishman accent, exclaiming frequently out of character "don't worry, I'm a real person!", convincing everyone I was something horrifying in a rubber suit. Hogarth is a "Brackish One," from a very ancient colony of Deep Ones, now thriving in a land-locked sea amidst Pre-Cambrian fauna. Mike was in town from California, & he offered to run a one-shot, & I was happy to take him up on it. Megan, who I haven't seen since I ran Lasers & Feelings, was with him, & my co-worker Kirsten came over before hand to hang out & talk about RPGs, since this was her first time playing. My character was rich with hoary, incorruptible gold plundered from under the waves, & so he'd hired their characters as bodyguards: Kirsten's kick-in-the-door half-elf gunslinger Kayla & Megan's half-orc warpriest of beauty, Shay, with the catchphrase "that's a red kettle!" Shay was out to find peace with the orcs of Belkzen & Kayla was the daughter of an elf princess but they shared a father...& now, a boss! Burke showed up just as we started, with no time to wiggle his backstory in, but Gordon FizzChizzlewit the gnome investigator was actually a huge help, thanks largely to his comprehensive knowledge of heraldry.
The session was a lot of fun: it kicked off with an auction, which was a perfect fit for my wealthy occultist. More than just bodyguards, Shay & Kayla were partners with me, distracting (& in Kayla's case, even seducing) my rivals at the auction & keeping me from making any surface world social faux pas. Things were going great, until a very expensive deed got snatched. Luckily, we snatched it back without killing the kid, & the mystery began...leading us to be hired by a Suspicious Noble to clear out his ancestral home. (Yes, the Suspicious Noble was secretly a vampire, of course he was, we're in Ustalav!) So, no longer allowed to soak in my tub of tepid water, we set out on our odd quest to "ask the gravedigger what he saw," & then return a locked box to the Master Bedroom & light a fire in the hearth. & yes, of course I picked the lock & saw that it was gravedirt, I told you: I was playing an occultist. & yes, when the psychopomp harlequin pointed at the corpse, I danced with it, & yes that's what Mordicai would have done too, but it worked didn't it? Allowing us to speak with dead & ask it some questions, ultimately leading us to battle squatting orcs (getting rather carved up in the process) before confronting the nightmarish ghost of the old lady of the manor & having our benefactor reveal his undead nature & asking us to help him break his curse by redeeming the family lands. A heck of a prelude & a shame they live on the wrong coast, but next time they visit maybe we can return to Whisperwall Manor!