Harvester of Eyes
He had done it a hundred times, taken eyes. It was so easy by now, he rarely used a spoon or knife, but, with his own fingers, would pilfer those beautiful orbs from the skulls of the deceased...
...He plucked another one from its socket. With a sickening squelch, he grinned. Making a noise, a strange noise for one taking eyes, it sounded as if he had just eaten something tasty.
Who is The Harvester of Eyes?
Brent Laidlaw is a strange man, everyone knows that, but he hardly seems monstrous. Sure, he might be a transvestite, but no one holds that against him. When he walks out his front door in the morning, high heels and pink leather bag, no one looks twice. It's just Brent, that's the way he is. He has a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, he drives an old ,but reliable, car and, oh yeah, he works at the city morgue.
Yeah, cross-dressing Brent is a mortician. That's a creepy profession, I agree, but we all have to make a living somehow. He does a good job, too. All the dead he prepares look so peaceful and serene. Say, why do you want to know so much about Brent Laidlaw? You think he's up to something strange? Ha! Of course he is, look at him, but I'm sure it's harmless and I'm not one to pry into personal lives. I suggest you take your conspiracy theories elsewhere and leave Brent alone. Got it? Good.
...Prying. No, that was no good. Those who pry are those who die. He would have to deal with the snoops, take out the trash, and all that crap. The right one was proving tougher than the left. That's how he always went, left to right. He had never wondered why, perhaps because that's the way we read here. Would he take a Chinese man's eyes right to left? He didn't have an answer for that right now. Did they read right to left in China, he thought he had heard that somewhere?
The Pine Street Cult
Pine Street, yeah, I know of it. That's where that Laidlaw creep lives. Oh? Yeah, I guess they do seem rather secluded and tight knit. I never thought about it. You mean like some sort of mobsters? Nah, not here.
It's a cult. That's right., I figured it out. You all worship that Brent freak and his corpse-humping.. Why don't you just come clean before I expose your disgusting game. Have I - What? Eyes? My eyes? My eyes are fine. I'm going to the cops and there's nothing you can-
On Pine Street they do things a little differently. They are followers of The God of Eyes. Brent is their High Priest, he is the Harvester of Eyes. The God of Eyes claims the powers of foresight and perfect vision, seeing the truth in all things. In exchange for ritual sacrifice of the eyes of the dead, The God of Eyes grants his followers various ocular abilities.
The cult revolves around the reverence of all things sight-based, and they take it seriously. In the strangely bright and surgical-feeling basement of Brent Laidlaw, the Harvester of Eyes, there lives a child of roughly eight-years-old. He is kept safe and fed well by his community on Pine Street. The most striking feature about him is his lack of eyes. If you could ask, they would claim that is the way he was born. The truth is unknown. He is also pale of flesh, and sickly looking, perhaps from a lack of proper exposure to sunlight. He has no real name, though they refer to him as the Child of Eye, and he knows very little of the world around him. Having never lived a different life he is not unhappy, and he thinks he is quite normal and that he is serving his purpose in life.
He is the oracle and divine vessel of The God of Eyes. One day he will guide us all along the path to see the truth of this world. He is the Child of Eye, a sacred symbol of how the gift of sight can corrupt and destroy us. Only The God of Eyes can grant us the sight to see past the cursed eyes of humanity. We must gouge and tear at the misconceptions given to us by Sight. We, the people of Pine Street, are the chosen ones who will walk the world and then give our earthly knowledge to Him, The God of Eyes!
Theres a problem:
The God of Eyes, and in turn Brent, isn't satisfied with just the eyes of the dead anymore. Brent has gone looking for living eyes. It started with a few homeless folk gone missing. They stopped showing up at the shelters, or soup kitchens, no one prominent or especially wacky but people noticed. They just didn't know who was missing. Brent has since moved onto kidnappings and sacrificing living people, tearing our their eyes while alive, to appease The God of Eyes. He believes this will strengthen his sight and hasten the day when The God of Eyes can claim his vessel and enter our world in the body of a sightless seer.
There are a few key players to this twisted dance that must now be made apparent -
Frank Burroughs - Freelance journalist and self-proclaimed snoop - He has gone missing. You see that red text up there? The one that reads 'Thwack?' That's the back of poor Frank's head. He won't be digging up any more dirt on Pine Street, but he is definitely pushing up daisies. His disappearance might not be noted for a while, he often goes deep under cover for the good stories, but this was more than he was prepared for and he will be missed, eventually.
Gregory Thames - Head of the Pine Street Community Watch Program & Aspiring Cult Subordinate - Greg is a tall, thin man, with a nose like a hawk and beady eyes to match. They say he sees everything that happens on Pine Street with his high tech surveillance equipment. In fact, he works for STRONG ARM TECH, the company that has outfitted most of the private home security jobs in the city. A dangerous man to displease, he loves the work that Brent is doing and will back him up until the end... I the event of which he plans to usurp Brent position as Harvester of Eyes.
The Eye Child - The Eye Child, Vessel of the Eyes, Sightless Seer - He lives in Brent's basement, where he is given crayons and stack of papers. He enjoys eating hotdogs,which he regard as a sacred meal, a special treat for when he draws a real nice picture that the others like. Sitting in his sightless world, he doodles upon the floors and walls, and occasionally paper, scenes depicting eyes with mouths eating other eyes or, just as often, scribbles that no sighted eye would have conceived.
And it wouldn't be complete without... Plothooks!
A Vital Clue - Brent, while out harvesting homeless folk for his ocular sacrifices, broke a heel. He managed to subdue the dumpster hermit and hobble home. But it was dark, and the heel was lost. Morning comes, and theres is a snapped stiletto heel and some minor blood splatter in an alley behind Luigi's Fine Italian Dining.
Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder - He who can see is granted the right to judge what he sees. Brent has found a lady friend, one who doesn't mind his odd job and even likes his cross-dressing. Doesn't get much sweeter than that. Trouble is: Brent is a fanatical eyeball stealing cultist. How do you break that news after the corpse prepper job and the fact that you enjoy wearing women's clothing? Maybe he tries to break her in softly, by showing her the Child of Eye and how great his works are... That might not work, so she will probably be screaming and running away from Pine Street right as the Players happen to be in the area. Greg will catch them comforting the women, on his surveillance equipment, and they will become targets of the Eye Cult.
With Strange Eons, Even Eyes May Fly? - The time has come. Fresh from his victory over hobo number seventeen, Brent has finished the Gate of Eyes through which The Eye God will enter The Eye Child. It's a past-paced race against the clock as Brent and the Pine Street Cultists attempt to coax their elder God into our world. With each passing minute one of the Twenty-Five Eyes of Pure Truth explodes and splattered humour around the basement, when all twenty-five eyes have expired, the passing will be complete and the God of All Eyes will make all mortals see their own demise with frightening accuracy.
The word itself connotes something wrong or evil. Natural, freak of nature, nurtured by a mad alchymist or simply the last of its kind. These creatures must be unique and... well, monsters!
Producing physical or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions. Mutants, mythical beasts, humans, flora, fauna, anything goes. Lets expand the boundaries and our established notions of what monsters are and can be!
Check under your bed before turning of the light!
The nasty curse for his followers to cast would be to force people to see visions of the future deaths of their loved ones. (a possible future only but the victims likely won't know that.)
This would work well on multiple levels. In game, its likely more horrifying for the characters to foresee the death of those they care about then of themselves.
Out of game players usually don't worry much about the gm railroading the deaths of their characters (rarely used tactic by any gm) but forcing the death of npc's in a particular manner happens plenty often, making this far more likely to be believed as an absolute future, rather then a possible one.
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? Responses (18)-18
This isn't what you usually see on Strolen. ;)
I really like it, though personally in a modern game, I'd prefer a psychopath to a cultist, and that would fit the Monster quest even better, but that's just my personal opinion...
I think I need to post my inspiration for this piece.
I think I captured the feel of the song quite well in my submission, what do you guy's think?
Sounds like a Koontz thriller. Could be just as easily placed in any setting so the idea core works well. I think because it is in a modern setting there is no need for a why or for what purpose is it happening. It is just, well, monstrous. In a fantasy setting there would be any number of supernatural or magical reasons for it.
Would make a fun thriller but harder to use in an RP.
I agree with Strolen, that this would be a bit difficult to fit into an existing campaign, but I think that it could make a fun stand-alone adventure. The imagery of this one is great, and I can see Brent singing the song you posted.
I likewise would have preferred a madman to a cultist of elder gods, but Brent is allright, methinks.
Nicely done, and creepy as all get out
I echo the others here, this would fit nicely for the one night session format. Nice one.
I like this one as well. Both content and formatting are highly original, too. Nice work. Just about the only thing that annoys is the font-size bonanza, but that is really a minor complaint :)
This has a lot of flavor and makes me wish I was running a Cthulhu-esque game. I like it, especially the dark god aspect.
I think it could work well as either a Koontz thriller or an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Not very often I give a 5.0, but this is well presented and well written, makes for an easy plug in to any horror game out there.
(Eso terrorists and Supernatural it would fit into easily)
It'd be nice to see the god of eyes written up sometime, as it would make for an unique and nasty deity for characters to oppose.
I actually started to go into detail about the God of Eyes and his place in the Ocular Court at one point during the write-up. It was interesting and I still have ideas for it, but it was mostly irrelevant to the submission and didn't fit the style I was going for. I am going to start the God of Eyes write-up soon, because there is interest in him. Thanks.
Why is he a crossdresser? Just because?
I got that detail from the song lyrics:
'I see a garbage can, I pick it up
I look through all the garbage
To see if there are any eyes inside
I'll put 'em in my pink leather bag'
I had made the assumption that the harvester was a male and the pink leather bag added something interesting to him so I went with it.
What does he do with the eyes? I'm picturing an eye-ball studded monster that he keeps in a trashcan somewhere, close at hand, in case he ever has to unleash it at some overcurious snoops.
I love the tone of this - its oddly self referential nature ('You see that Twack up there?')