The following is another preview from the upcoming Sixtystone release Ghouls. Spoilers for The Bermuda Triangle Sourcebook follow.
Wow. You’re still here, even though many of you know what you’re getting into.
Continuity is a tricky thing with the Cthulhu Mythos. We have thousands of authors, each writing a slightly (or vastly) different version of particular people, places and Things. On the other hand, we have fans, who want you to follow continuity – but their own particular version of continuity that omits the elements they don’t like and includes those that they do. I can’t really blame them, because some of the material out there is really bad, but it does make it difficult to please some people. This makes it quite the balancing act for anyone who’s trying to be systematic about their sources.
As many of you have guessed, this brings us to the old Call of Cthulhu release The Bermuda Triangle and sea ghouls. That’s right – ghouls who just happen to live underwater, for no reason that’s ever clearly explained.
Now, this poses some special problems for the book. On one hand, it’s part of the officially-published material on the Call of Cthulhu game. Further, I can understand why the author created sea ghouls: to avoid having to use Deep Ones, which, if I were in charge of CoC publishing, would be placed under a five-year moratorium. Nonetheless, aquatic ghouls became the one element that most people remember about Bermuda Triangle, and they have earned a great deal of mockery and derision.
Of course, this meant they had to go in my book. Really, I wanted to put them out there for people to make their own judgments and for the sake of completeness. Nonetheless, one still has to deal with the fact that these are, indeed, sea ghouls and make them a section of the book that can be ignored with impunity by those who hate the concept. It also required a paragraph or two justifying the existence of sea ghouls and explaining where they came from, which I present below, in hope that some rehabilitation could occur and that these creatures might become more than a joke. There’s not much, but it’s safe to say that this is probably the most thought anyone’s ever given to the topic of sea ghouls. And if you don’t like it, there’s plenty of non-sea ghoul material in the bookand you can tear out that page when it comes out.
Thus, for better or worse – sea ghouls.
The ghoul cults described by D’Erlette survived the persecutions of 1703, but they would periodically attract the attention of the authorities. One seafaring family associated with the cult took a ship to the New World in 1764 to escape persecution. In their journey across the ocean, another set of long-dormant genes began to call upon them, accelerated by the dreams of Mother Hydra. Soon sets of traits from both ghouls and Deep Ones began to manifest themselves. This was fatal to a large number of the cross-breeds, but some survived and became strong. The eventual battle of the hideously transformed creatures and the sailors ended when the ship foundered off the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Today, a small population of the sea ghouls ekes out a meager living from the shipwreck. Years have winnowed away their numbers, as has the occasional contact with full-blooded Deep Ones who find them to be abominations. It is unknown whether the conditions that created these creatures have ever been reproduced.