Asenath Waite

Asenath Waite is the star of Lovecraft’s tale The Thing on the Doorstep. I might mention in passing that this story means a lot to me – you see, in my very first (and for years only) book by Lovecraft, this tale did not appear. However, it was mentioned in the book’s introduction. This means I was aware of this intriguingly-named tale, but couldn’t read it. Man that sent my curiosity antennae all a-quiver.

 

I finally found, and read, the story, when I was 14 years old (five years after I’d learned of its existence). You see, Lovecraft was diabolically difficult to come across back in those days. Now it’s far easier, partly I believe, due to my own efforts. But look at these terrifying descriptions of Asenath – “that female shell that wasn’t even quite human”. “Tell me why that thing that calls itself Asenath writes differently when off guard.” Lovecraft knew how to ramp up the creepitude.

Anyway Asenath is unsurprisingly effective as a sorceress, but also requires perhaps more planning than any other priest. Her power is to pick UP your acolytes on the Ritual board, and replace them back in your cultist pool, available for use. So let me give you a sample of how to use Asenath. (This isn’t even the most amazing way you can do it – we leave that as an exercise for you to ponder.)

Example – you are completely out of resources, but you have three cultists, and of course, a priest. You send your priest to Kingsport to pick up 3 treasure. Then you send 1 cultist to Boston to grab a blood and a treasure. Now you have 4 treasure. So you place your next cultist on, say, Spectral Horror. Then on your next turn, you place your last guy on Tulszcha Awakening. You end the turn with 1 blood, and nothing else. Next is the Preparation Phase, so you advance your two cultists on the Ritual track, gaining 6 blood from Tulszcha, a monster & chamber from Spectra Horror.

Next round, you begin with a monster, a chamber, and 7 total blood. You only have your priest and 1 puny cultist, since your other two are on the Ritual track. As your first action, you place your cultist on Dunwich to get a magic. Then your second action is to use your priest to activate Asenath Waite. Suddenly the two (useless) cultists on the ritual board return to your pool and you have 2 actions left for the turn. AND a spellbook, 7 blood, and a magic to spend. You are likely in line to unlock at least one elder sign this turn! And should still have plenty of money left.

All thanks to your new fiancée, Asenath Waite

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