Oracles and Betrayals Part One
When the investigators first came to Kadath, they received a vision of a man intent on helping them defeat the terrors rampant in the mining facility. Little did they know that one of their only allies would turn into one of their greatest threats. This is The Oracle’s Betrayal, an expansion for Deep Madness. And here’s an in-depth look at this incredible add-on!
666K – A SPECIAL STRETCH GOAL
So, with a game of this nature and Halloween coming up, some might wonder if we’re going to have any sort of special stretch goal for when we hit $666,000. The answer is, we probably wouldn’t have brought it up if we didn’t! So, when we hit that most diabolical of numbers, a very special guest will be joining The Oracle’s Betrayal: the new investigator Dr. Clarence Branom, the psychologist!
After he has been unlocked, he will appear in every The Oracle's Betrayal expansion box.
DR. CLARENCE BRANOM – THE PSYCHOLOGIST
Dr. Branom has always had a taste for the bizarre and the extreme. Perhaps that’s why he has committed a great deal of his professional career to the study of serial killers and the criminally insane. He finds their aberrations and deviations from the norms of accepted society to be fascinating. And he often contemplates what the world would be like if these warped people were the accepted norms, and sanity was shunned as madness. What would happen then?
Dr. Branom was hired years ago by the Leng Corporation, and his projects were quickly buried from prying eyes under miles of red tape and redactions. He became a ghost in the Corporation. A folk tale employees whispered about over their lunch breaks. But all that time Branom was experimenting. He was studying. And he was unraveling human brains.
Branom pioneered a variety of cutting edge techniques and observations in his studies of the human brain, facts that might not have come to light for years without his complete lack of scruples or oversight. His subjects would vanish once they fell under his care, their lives scrubbed from existence. As such, Branom was free to study them as he saw fit, employing techniques from long-term sensory deprivation to waterboarding to hallucinogenic drugs. But then he met William. And everything changed.
You stare in horror as the poor creature stutters toward you. It writhes and staggers as it approaches, its body twitching in torment. Its head is missing, but somehow it still stands. Somehow it still feels. Somehow it’s still coming.
It reaches toward you, as if begging you to help it. A lump rises up your throat. You know you can’t let it live. But this could just as easily have been you.
You hesitate and the man reaches you, feeling his way up to your shoulder. Its other hand feels for your chest, and then they both slowly creep toward your throat.
“I’m sorry,” you whisper. And then you open fire.
Maybe it was a mercy killing. Maybe it was self-defense. But then why do you feel so dirty?
Victim is the tortured husk of a person that has fallen under William’s domination. William has reaped their consciousness, and now their anguished bodies dance to William’s whims.
When an investigator encounters Victim, she has to kill it in order to survive. But there is something so pitiable about it that when the investigator does pull the trigger she must fight an overwhelming wave of guilt. It’s like she just murdered someone who needed her help. Because of this, every time an investigator kills a Victim they must roll dice to test whether or not they have been cursed. If only she had thought of another way. . .
The man in the deep-sea diving helmet turns to look at you, and you realize you can’t see anything but a strange glow through any of the openings in the helmet. The man, dressed in what seems a strange combination of a diving suit and a doctor’s smock, raises a pair of pliers that are almost as big as he is as he slowly begins to advance.
“Stay where you are,” you warn. He gives you no heed.
There’s a sound to your right. Looking over, you see another diver with a monstrous pair of scissors approaching. Something grinds on the floor directly behind you, and you wheel around to see a third diver who is slowly dragging his instrument across the floor.
“Get back! I’m warning you!” you shout. They continue on, undaunted. You shoot one in the head, and the shot ricochets off the metal helmet.
You hear the squeal of metal on metal behind you. Spinning around you see a fourth man, his instrument raised to the level of your neck. He brings the handles together for one quick, forceful snip, and you stare with detached shock as you tumble past your body to the floor.
Collector serves a dual role for William as both a bodyguard and a harvester. No one knows whether they have heads or not under their helmets. However, regardless of this, they act with an eerie singleness of mind.
It is that unity which is their greatest threat to investigators. It’s not that they share a common goal - it’s more like they share a common mind. When a Collector attacks or is killed by an investigator, the other Collectors on the board gain additional opportunities for action. So the more Collectors there are in the field, the more dangerous each individual Collector becomes. The moral of the story? Don’t stick your neck out when Collectors are about.
You awake with a start. Wait. How did you wake at all?
Looking down, you see that you have been changed. Drastically. You are naked, for one, and every muscle in your body is mutated, bulging, torn apart and reassembled. Talons and spines have pierced through the skin all over your body, and your right hand is completely gone - replaced instead with what looks like a saw made of flesh and bone. You open your mouth to scream, and your entire face splits down the middle.
You see your friends entering the room directly across from you. You cry out to them and stagger toward them, desperate to escape this nightmare. But the closer you get, the more something else takes over. It’s as if there is someone in your head who is not you. Kill them all, that voice says. Bring their fragments to me.
You emit a deep, guttural snarl as you break into a sprint. Raising your newly attached saw arm, you begin to cut.
In a sense, Dissected are William’s self-portrait. They represent William's own journey through self-mutilation in his search for eternal life. Their gaping faces, too, are meant to symbolize an open mind, just as William seeks to offer to the world.
When a Dissected takes the greatest damage is when they are most dangerous. As they are hurt they have the ability to leech life from the investigators around them. In a sense this, too, is a reflection of their creator. After all, if William would go to such extreme lengths mutilating his own body to gain immortality, why would he ever hesitate to mutilate someone else?
TO BE CONTINUED
In our next update we’re going to take one more look at The Oracle’s Betrayal. And this time we’re going to peer into the corrupted mind behind it all: William himself. (We might even have another surprise or two up our sleeves as well.) Stay tuned!
If you're interested in purchasing this expansion, please click the "Manage Your Pledge" button on this page and simply increase your pledge amount. We'll sort out what your extra money is going towards via our Pledge Manage sent to you after the campaign ends.