One of the investigators has a senile, irritating Aunt Joan who has recently died from heart failure. Unfortunately, all the investigator receives from the old crone is her 'Little Treasure' - Baldwin the dog. But Baldwin is no normal dog. Although very small-about Jack Russell sized or smaller-he is extremely mean looking, with eyes, a weasel-like snout, coarse fur and needle teeth.
After a few weeks certain things start to go wrong. Other dogs seem terrified of Baldwin, and his breed (a 'Ti-Hao', if they recall Aunt Joan's description) cannot be found in any reference books. Was Aunt Joan right about his breed? And, most worryingly, why does he fly into a frothing rage whenever brought close to a holy place?
1 Baldwin is a unique dog, born through the mating of a normal bitch and an evil spirit; an incubus, forced on the dog's mother by magic. The cult, known as the 'Tsi-Hao', operated across the globe before the second world war, and Aunt Joan acquired Baldwin from a desperate leader on the run in Singapore about ten years ago. Although not aggressive towards the investigator, he senses the supernatural and reacts to magic by biting and snarling.
2 Baldwin is one of a near extinct breed of dog from China. He was acquired by Aunt Joan from a Chinese 'dog breeder' about ten years ago. On birth, these placid beasts are blessed by the secretive cult that breeds them in the name of He Who Is Not To Be Named. This ritual transforms them into slavering, eldritch monstrosities at certain solar events - or when threatened. Aunt Joan did indeed die of heart failure - Baldwin, in monstrous form, ate it out during the recent conjunction of Mars and Saturn.
3 Despite his mean appearance, Baldwin is a normal, affectionate dog. However, an earlier brush with the Mythos has left a powerful ability attached to him; those around him start seeing visions of various Mythos beasts and gods in their dreams. These visions gradually mount in clarity and duration (over a period of years), until they are strong enough to send a someone insane. These visions finally killed Aunt Joan; after years mumbling about monsters and ghosts, she was found with her normally-dark hair turned white and her face rigid with terror.
Copyright (c) 2000 Rory Naismith