WWU Call of Cthulhu

Session 8: Shanghai Pt. 2

I’ve managed to put off doing this particular log for a VERY long time. Fortunately I have the memory of an elephant and can still relate most of it. The group was in Shanghai, in a sketchy hotel (made all the more sketchy by the zombie that Melbourne had created the night before), where they were contemplating their next move. I can’t bring myself to go any farther right this moment…

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Session 7: Shanghai Pt.1

Arriving in Shanghai, the investigators first wanted to obtain a guide and set up a base of operations. They hire Li Wen Cheng, known for our purposes only as “Lee”, a devout christian convert and well educated young man. They decided to begin their search at the Stumbling Tiger Bar in the Lantern District. There they meet Fergus McChum, a squat Chinese-Scots, the proprietor of the establishment. McChum fills them in on a couple different fronts: Ho Fong, he says, is a saddistic and dangerous man. Not someone to be trusted and definately someone to avoid if at all possible. The steamboat known as the Dark Mistress is operated by a degenerate and horrifying crew, flies a Union Jack, and is owned by the wealthy Alfred Penhurst (though no one ever sees this man). A cult known as The Order of the Bloated Woman operates in Shanghai. And lastly he weaved a tale about Grey Dragon Island, a small dot of land off the coast of Shanghai so named because of its persistently steaming volcano. The Isle is avoided by almost everyone, but is occassionally frequented by Ho Fong’s private yaght and The Dark Mistress. Getting all of this information from McChum required a lot of time and bribery, since apparently Jack Brady had saved his life and that meant a lot to him. As a final bit of information, he beleived that Jack Brady had gone to Rangoon to make a deal with Charlie Grey (This information later proved to be incorrect unfortunately). While in the bar, the investigators also met a member of the Imperial Japanese navy, Captain Isoge Taro. Isoge was pretending to be drunk at the time and listening in on Their conversations with McChum. Once they saw through his ruse he became much civilized and demonstrated excellent English; he proposed that they meet on the docks at midnight, as he was very interested in exchanging information about Jack Brady. The investigators decided that it couldnt hurt to make the meeting and see what they could learn. At the docks that night, they caught site of The Dark Mistress Speeding away from port (at a much faster rate than seemed possible for such a craft), but it quickly faded into the darkness. The meeting with Isoge revealed that he was in command of the Japanese destroyer off the coast and had been sent nominally to keep Chinese uprisings in check. On top of this he had heard rumors that an awesome new weapon was being developed by a Chinese faction. The rumors say that an American ex-marine (Jack Brady) is somehow involved. He knows that a fanatic militia is training in an empty warehouse on the south side of the river (along Chung Shan Road) and that Jack Brady has some connection to it as well. The group occupying the warehouse is known as “New China” or the “Firm Action Party”. Isoge describes them as fanatical and highly dangerous. At this point the group decided that it would be a good idea to check the Shanghai Courier for additional leads. This proved to be somewhat helpful, as the Courier did provided a great deal of leads, but many of them ran cold eventually. First the investigated a murder that took place in a flower girl house. This proved to be fairly amusing as Lee was extremely uncomfortable with the situation, especially when Melbourne decided that the best way to get information from the girls was to purchase their “services”. After much questioning and piecing together, the group deduced that the girl had been slain by a Hunting Horror (a hideous bat-winged snake creature often used to assassinate), but also that she was not the intended target. The intended target was Choi-Me Ling, apparently Jack Brady’s girlfriend. She had dissapeared recently and this is where the lead died. Another story in the Courier wrote of 3 monks being attacked by a “mobile fire” (reminiscient of fire vampires). This lead was almost completely useless, but it was learned that the monks were seen speaking with a European (Jack Brady) prior to their deaths. The final lead led the group to a Purple Star Astrologist known as Mr. Lung. This produced a very bizarre “interview” with him, as he led them through many peculiar rooms, all the while acting very strangely. In the end it turned out that he had mistaken them for demons after his soul, the true demon creature was a cat who the investigators had let into the house at the very begining of the tour. When the cat-demon revealed itself Melbourne lapsed into a murderous state and shot Mr. Lung in the head before using the Dread Curse of Azathoth to drive the beast yowling from the house. At this point the players were getting distracted and it seemed about time to stop, but one more thing had to happen. Melbourne snuck back to Mr. Lung’s in the dead of night and turned his corpse into a zombie. The prize was steep (sanity and health) but Melbourne had gained a new servant. His fellow investigators were not too pleased with their new companion, but there was little they could do to deal with it. Heidi was especially disturbed (due to her phobia of the living dead). Now many questions remain: Where is Jack Brady? What is the Cult’s role in Shanghai? Is Melbourne’s mind too far gone to save?

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Session 6: Cario Pt. 2

Armed with the knowledge that a ritual was soon to take place beneath the great sphinx, as well as the general location of an entrance to the complex, the investigtors purchased supplies and set out to the pyramids at Giza. Finding the entrance was not overly difficult, but it was certainly forboding. Moist, dark, and claustrophobic, the irregular drop proved to be nearly 100ft deep and quite perilous even with rope. The catacombs themselves were even more unnerving (strange voices/sounds, oppressive passages, and constantly morphing routes). The group knew they were being stalked by some kind of creature or creatures as they did their best to navigate the dizzying array of passages. Finally their stalkers revealed themselves in a deadly ambush from all sides. The strange beasts had mummified bodies and the skulls of various native animals (crocodile, lion, hippo, ibis, etc). Fire-arms were rather ineffective, but magical blades did the job with ease. After a tense combat (with some near deaths) the investigators came out on top and were able to proceed through the main tunnel. They pressed on til they discovered large underused wooden double doors. The doors led into a titanic hall (the perfect ritual site) with many peculiar features. Perhaps the most disturbing was a huge leech pit (with human corpes), nearly 75 feet square; they knew that the leeches had to be fed great amounts of blood and that they had to be fed often. The gigantic room had several other eye catchers as well, a double seated throne, a dark gaping hole leading into nothingness, a huge stelle, and an elaborate sarcophagus with an enwrapped female. Almost immediately after discovering it, the group set about trying everything they could think of to destroy the mummy they had discovered, reasoning that it was none other than Queen Nitocris herself. They tried a variety of different destructive ploys but none succeeded, even the magical blades proved nearly useless against it. As the hour of the ritual grew near they became more desperate, scouring the massive room for anything they might have missed. They found an ancient symbol which they determined belonged to the Mythos God Nodens. From what they knew of him, it seemed that Nodens just might aid them in their time of need. But first he had to be contacted. Only Herman was able to learn the spell in time to cast it before the cultists arrived. But by seeking help from the great Nodens he put his already fragile mind at risk and nearly lost everything in the presence of the God. He kept this marbles well enough to beg that Nodens help them destroy Nitocris once and for all. Nodens did not speak, but produced an elaborate dagger and imparted (through feeling) that it was to be stabbed into the corpses left eye socket. As soon as he returned to his friends, Herman did as he was told and blasted the mummy to dust. Just in time, because footsteps could be heard fast approaching. The group replaced the sarcophagus lid and hid themselves at the edge of the chamber near the great stelle. Heidi cast a spell to produce a powerful barrier around them as an extra precaution. Cult members streamed out of the Stelle (somekind of teleportation device it turned out) and mummy creatures like the ones that had ambushed them poured out of the gaping black hole. Using binoculars the investigators saw the ritual and its participants quite well. The ceremony proceeded, and the group observed the utter dismay of the cultists as they discovered that Nitocris had become nothing but grave dust. They became enraged and set about trying to find the culprits. Deeming this a good time to make themselves scarce, the heroes made a dash for the stelle, and after a rather unpleasent “ride” to the desert above, made for their transport near the pyramids. Amazingly they managed to avoid the cultists long enough to book passage on a freighter headed towards Shanghai, China. Late that night, Herman was called upon by some peculiar visitors. Small, faceless, black imps which beckoned him from his window onboard the ship. He allowed them in and silently they held forth there clawed hands in supplication. They did not need to speak, he knew what they wanted. And after he relinquised Nodens’ dagger they departed without so much as a whisper on the wind.

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Session 5: Cairo Pt.1

The group was on the run from the Brotherhood as well as the police. They booked passage on a freighter the very next morning headed for Port Said, Cairo. Upon their arrival, they found Cairo to be a swarming metropolis inwhich finding almost anything would be a challenge if not impossible without a guide. Fortunately the group was able to get a (somewhat) reliable one, Ma’Muhd the beggar boy. After getting settled on a hotel (across the street from the Cairo Bulletein) The investigators headed to the Street of Jackals in the Old City to find Faraz Najir, the only lead they had which was tied with the Carlyle expediditon. But Faraz was rather difficult to find. After hours of searching through the labyrinth of the Old City they found only a burnt ruin where his shop should have been. But by questioning the neighboring shops they determined that he was still alive at another address. Checking at the American Consulate they found him registered as an antiquities dealer and were able to track him down from there. Even after finding his new dwelling they had to jump through numerous hoops to have a word with him, until they finally cornered him in a mosque and calmed him down enough to get some information. The learned that he had sold artifacts to the Carlyle expedition through their agent, Warren Besart. These artifacts included a crown said to be the source of the Black Pharoh’s immortality. The group had a lot of leads and avenues of investigation to cover at this point. Each of them will be summarized to avoid making this the longest entry to date. Warren Besart, a nearly mad hashish addict and former contact of the carlyle expedition, told them of the changes in the expedition members and of the aweful things that transpired in the desert. (More information can be seen in the hand out “Warren Besart’s Statement”). This in turn led them to Nyiti of El Wasta, who had a peculiar hieroglyph of protection on a slab of limestone as old as the pyramids. She couldnt explain its relevance in the state she was in, and died shortly afterwards. Nigel Wassif at the Cairo Bulletein warned them of the powerful Brotherhood of the Black Pharoh as well as his suspicions of the wealthy cotton grower, Omar Shakti. Dr. Ali Kafour of the Egyptian Museum provided a wealth of information about the Black Pharoh and the ancient and malevolent Queen Nitocris of that same period. Especially portentuous was the fact that the Bloody Tongue, the Black Pharoh, and Nyarlathotep are all the same being, therefore they’re respective organizations are atleast somewhat unified. Dr. Kafour predicts that Nitocris will be ressurected witht the aid of 3 ancient artifacts (crown, circlet, and girdle). He also (after much persuasion) let the Herman study his translation of Al Azif “The Necronomicon”. This tome proved to be particularly mind-shattering to poor Herman. Visiting the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun, they discovered that the Girdle of Nitocris was kept under the Ulam’s protection (6 old men with scimitars). Examination of the girdle proved it to be indestructible by common methods. An interview with the Clive expedition proved rather awkward and difficult. The members insisted that they had NOT uncovered the sarcofagus of Queen Nitocris and that they were baffled by its theft. The mummy was apparently stolen right out of the tomb, and there was no evidence as to how the theft was executed. The group decided that there next course of action would be to investigate the pyramids and sphinx at Giza on the night of the new moon. To the “shock” of everyone, the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun was vandalized, and the girdle stolen. Achmed Zedavi, in shock from the attack, was able to relate the general location of a secret passage that led under the sphinx. Their course is clear: go to the pyramids, find the secret passage, and proceed carefully.

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Session 4: London Pt. 3

The investigators arrived in the lovely Lesser Edale around midday during light showers, most of the locales had taken shelter in the local pub, The Laughing Horse, and the group did likewise. The villagers were very excited to meet Americans and kept hawking tales about the “creature” that had been plaguing them over the past monthes. Constable Tumwell maintained that it had been a wild dog which he’d shot and which had gone into the mountains to die. The constable seemed to have gotten his desire for the truth confused with this wish to maintain his job and reputation. A local paranoid hunter known as Hans seemed to a take deep interest in the creature, and since he knew the area and the villagers, was invited to join in the investigation. The group later spoke with a number of others who had been mentioned in Mahoney’s article, including a man who had survived a brush with the thing. He said that he had only survived by striking the beast in the head with a candlestick holder (though it took some more prodding to discover that this was made mostly of silver) and that the thing resembled a bear or wolf when it had come upon him. It was around this time that the more jumpy among the investigators theorized that a werewolf was the culprit, and so a good amount of time and money was spend aquiring silver bullets and other weapons. Melbourne scoffed at such precautions. Asking around the families of the deceased; the party heard that Lawrence Vane, recently returned form Oxford and heir to the Vane family fortune, had been spotted in the area on the night of one of the deaths. Herbert Melbourne confronted Lawrence in the Laughing Horse pub that same afternoon and managed to pressure him into a tour of Castle Plum. While Melbourne and the other well to do’s (Heidi and Betsy) journeyed to the castle, Hans and Pangalia shadowed them and planned to explore around the grounds (they had heard of the castle being originally built over/around lead mines).
Once inside the castle, the investigations were rebuked by Lawrence and Sir Arthur (his father), as both strove to make things uncomfortable for their guestes. Eventually Lawrence wandered off from the group as sir Arthur continued the “tour”. Meanwhile, Hans’ and Pangalia’s snooping had paid off; they’d discovered an ancient mine entrance concealed by foliage. Following the shaft, there were many small offshoots and rivets but the two stuck to the main passage. It seemed to abruptly end with a crumbly dirt wall, but the men persistently tore and bludgeoned it until they discovered stone blocks (such as those comprising the castle). Tearing these out, they unearthed an empty cell in the castle’s dungeon! All this time the other three group members were caught in the time wasting vortex that was Sir Arthur Vane as he plodded along on the pointless tour. Hans and Pangalia snuck deeper into the dungeon and found Lawrence bent over an unconcious woman in one of the other cells while he held an empty hypodermic syringe in his off hand. The two did not engage the man and let him lock the cell door and exit the dungeon before they proceeded further. Looking through the other cells bars they witnessed the young woman undergo a hideous transformation into a werewolf! It snarled and tore at the bars trying to escape and reach the two men. About now is when those two decided to book it back down the tunnel and inform the others rather than attempt to deal with the thing on their own. This was also about the time that Lawrence returned to the group in the castle proper and quickly ushered the investigators out into the night (quite rude for an English gent). But this allowed the group to reunite along the main road not long thereafter. They shared what they both had learned, Herman was eager to see this “werewolf” firsthand to disprove what Hans and Pangalia were claiming. But once the whole group returned down the passage to the dungeon cell they found it to be empty (with outward bent bars). Hans quickly snuck down the passage ahead of the rest of the group, shotgun at the ready. He discovered a side passage with the beast feeding on a rabbit (this gave him quite the shock), but he loosed his shotgun on the thing (using silver shot). The she-wolf was torn apart and quickly reverted to her human state, Too quickly for Melbourne to get his proof of its existence. Hans was able to convince Melbourne that the girl had charged him in a fit of murderous rage and that killing her was necessary, the others needed much less convincing as they knew all too well that he was likely telling the truth in the first place.
The group decided that a prompt departure from Lesser Edale would be in their best interests. Hans ended up going along with them for a number of reasons, firstly it was unsafe for him since he had murdered the woman, secondly he had a real passion for digging deep to find the truth; these foreigners had a tale that peaked his interest, and lastly the other group members reasoned that having someone among them who knew his way around a powerful firearm would be quite essential since Hank’s passing. Upon arriving back in London proper, the investigators were greeted by a nasty surprise. Edward Gavigan and 6 police officers were waiting for them at the station! Likely to arrest them for breaking and entering as well as for making off with Gavigan’s property. Some quick thinking got the group (and Gavigan’s valuables) off the train and into the relative safety of the city streets. Panagalia was profiled by the police and inspected by Gavigan, while Hans had a close call with a supspicious lawman, but all escaped unscathed.
Before the police could locate them the group decided to head to the Lime House Docks to checkup on one of their leads. They had to navigate a dense fog vale, and a run in with somekind of “Thing in the Fog” frightened Pangalia back to the car. The warehouse by the docks contained numerous crates filled with oddly crafted valves, struts, strange hand-wired electrical boards, and monstrous and baffling radio tubes. Melbourne knew that the valves and electrical boards were related to “reaction motor control” and that some of these parts were machined from titanium alloys seldom seen outside of a lab. He also reasoned that most of these could be considered “spare parts” since no one piece seemed integral to the whole. All of it was to be shipped to Shanghai. But there was not much more time for speculation as a confrontation with eight cultists was at hand and they’d called the police! A quick and bloody encounter ensued, in which Melbourne nearly lost his life, but thanks to Hans’ shotgun the group made it out in one piece. Heidi had a near death experience as the Thing in the Fog attempted to crush her lungs. At the last second Hans scoured the Thing with his flashlight and drove it off. At this time the group is on the run, they have not decided what their plans are. Most think they should get out while they still can and head for Cairo tomorrow, but Heidi thinks that they should follow the old truck outside of town this very evening and perhaps find more clues. Heidi’s plan would be risky, but might pay off. Either way, the group is in a lot of danger from more than just the police as they left one cultist alive at the warehouse. If he lives he’ll have a tale to tell his fellows.

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Session 3: London Pt.2

After a breif mourning of Hanks untimely disapearence (death), the group ran into a new ally, Professor Herbert Melbourne of Miskatonic University. It turned out that he had a great interest in Elias’ works and was in the same hotel as the Investigators. He was extremely skeptical of almost everything that the others told him, passing most of it off as youngster hog-wash, but he had a real interest in the occult and couldnt pass up on an opprotunity to get involved. The group’s first course of action was to visit Edward Gavigan at the Penhew Foundation to try and find some answers about Elias’ business in London and how the Penhew Foundation was tied in with the Carlyle Expedition. Gavigan was a true English gentlemen, but seemed quite disturbed by the group’s prying about Jackson Elias. He told them what he said he’d told Elias (which wasnt much) and then went on to dismiss theories about The Brotherhood of the Black Pharoh and other “sorcerous fairy tale nonsense”. The investigators were extremely suspicious, Heidi and Betsy resolved to stake out the foundation and perhaps break in later that same night to find out the truth of the matter. They didnt have to wait more than a few minutes before Gavigan was on the move, Heidi trailed him to a London bank, from which he made a sizable withdrawal before returning to his office. Betsy also noticed a truck loading a large crate from the rear of the building, but the two ladies had no way to follow once it drove off. After that they rented a car. At the same time, Herbert and Pangalia visited the spice shop of Tewfik al-Sayed to see if he knew anything about the Egyptian Murders that Barrington was working on. Tewfik proved intelligent and personable, but rather useless in terms of actual clues. He did seem VERY curious as to where the two had heard about The Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh and why they were so curious about it.
At about 8:00 pm that evening, Gavigan left the foundation along with the rest of his staff. The investigators, determined to find the truth, broke in through the back entrance; thanks to Betsy’s skillful locksmithing. Once inside the group determined that a secret room likely existed given that some of the outdoor appliances did not lead inside in such a way that seemed possible; an extra hidden room seemed to be the only explanation, but they didnt know how to access it. They pressed on up to the mainfloor, being as quiet as possible and stopping to listen all the while, which alerted them to the presence of atleast one night guard in the building. They were careful to avoid him while they checked out the storage room behind Gavigan’s office. The storage room was quite plain and dusty, but the perceptive Heidi (with a little help from Betsy) discovered that depressing both eyes of the face on an old sarcophagus twice would open a hidden panel leading into the aformentioned secret room. Pan was unfortunately too large to fit down the narrow opening, so he instead lurked in the stairwell while the others sqeezed down through. Using an old oil lamp, the investigators eagerly searched the strange chamber for clues. They got more than they bargained for. A literal treasure trove of mythos scrolls and tomes as well as many ritualistic reagents and 2 silver daggers were of immediate interest. Later they discovered two important leads: Ho Fong Imports in Shanghai and Randolph Shipping Company in Australia stenciled on two crates. The Ho Fong crate contained a corroded bronze statue of a hideous pregnant and tentacle-laden women. The Randolph crate contained a much smaller (16 inch) bluestone Cthulhu figurine. It is now obvious that things of great importance are going on in both Shanghai and Australia. One final clue remained hidden in some of Gavigan’s paperwork, an unfinished letter to Sir Aubrey Penhew saying that Jackson Elias had been “taken care of” in New York but that Brady was still at large. This information was alarming as it all but proved Gavigan’s involvement in Elias’ murder as well as cult activities. But perhaps even more strangely it seemed to suggest that both Sir Aubrey Penhew and Jack Brady were still alive quite recently (atleast as recently as Elias’ murder less than a month ago). Did that mean that other members of the Carlyle Expedition survived as well? Questions needed answering, but that was the last clue that the investigators were going to get out of Gavigan’s secret room.
After a close call of nearly being discovered by the guard, they slinked past into Gavigans office to examine things further. The office proved devoid of clues, but they were able to releive Gavigan of nearly 500 pounds which he had convieniently (and strangely) withdrawn from his account mere moments after their interview with him and then apparently stowed in his safe. The safe was unlocked and left open, so pocketing the cash was a small matter and done with little hesitation.
At this point the group thought it best to leave the Penhew Foundation with there valuable loot. Herbert retired to the hotel room to read Africa’s Dark Sects, as he was quite worn out and not well suited to the groups next stop that night, the Blue Pyramid Night Club. One person at the club proved exceptionally useful, Yalesha the belly dancer/bar tender. It took some work to get her to open up, but it was worth the extra effort. Yalesha confessed that her boyfriend was one of the 24 murdered, and that she suspected that a new “gang”, The Brotherhood of the Black Pharoh, was responsible. She knew that once a week, a group of about a dozen club regulars led by Tewfik al-Sayed (the spice dealer) left the club at midnight to catch a ride in an old truck that she beleived was bound for somewhere outside of London proper. She had also overheard a man talking about the Limehouse Docks being used for exportation by the Penhew Foundation, this seemed relevant to her because the man who mentioned it was one of the dozen or so who caught the old truck once a week with Tewfik. All in all, this visit had netted the group another 2 solid leads to work off of.
In the morning, the group decided to catch the next train to Lesser-Edale to follow up on the lead provided by Mickey Mahoney’s article about a “monster” slaying and terrorizing the townsfolk there. While on the 6 hour train ride everyone in the group decided to brush up on their mythos. Herbert read the Arabic scrolls (which each detailed a spell), Pangalia read the G’harne Fragments (quite powerful mythos-wise), Heidi began reading the Liber Ivonis (in Russian), and Betsy began reading The Book of Dyzan (her first mythos tome). The next session will begin with the group’s arrival at Lesser-Edale where they hope to discover more about this monster.

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Session 2: London Pt.1
Serpent in Soho

Play began with the investigators attending a brief funeral/memorial service for Heidi’s friend, Jackson Elias. While there they became aquainted with Elias’s publisher, Jonah Kensington. Kensington brought a couple more clues to there attention and dropped a few names which would prove useful in London (Mickey Mahoney and Inspector James Barrington), and even offered to fund them in the future. The group then set out by steamer to London. Heidi took first class and was able to attend the presentation of esteemed professor Cowles. It mostly pertained to an australian death cult which worshiped an entity known as the “Sand Bat” or “Father of all Bats”. Heidi managed to secure a meeting with the professor through his daughter Elizebeth. They talked at length about death cults of the world, and by the end Heidi was invited to join him in journeying to Australia from Mombasa, Kenya in 3 months time for another expedition.
Finally setting foot in London, the group booked a room at the Thames and called it an evening before heading out to visit Mahoney the next morning. Mahoney proved an excellent source of information (even if he embelished from time to time). The group also worked hard to get an interview with Inspector James Barrigton of Scotland Yard. He seemed rather unimpressed by all that they had to offer, but did provide a few more interesting leads about the strange ritual murders that had been going on; the so called “Egyptian Murders”. and mentioned that Elias had tried to bring “The Cult of the Black Pharoh” to his attention before leaving for New York.
The team decided then to follow one of the articles they obtained from Mahoney which detailed a strange artist in the Soho district of London, whose paintings seemed a little too… Mythos-y. Investigating proved frustrating to begin with, Miles Shipley (the artist) was quite obviously insane and Bertha Shipley (his elderly mother) only made things more difficult to examine properly by always observing them. Heidi managed to distract the old woman long enough for the rest of the group to get a look in the basement, which contained a secret bedroom/laboratory. This secret room held many strange chemicals and reagents which none of the group could hope to identify, as well as 3 syringes filled with a viscous green substance. Throughout these investigations, the stink of reptiles became noticeble and large flakes of snake skin were discovered in the secret room. As Bertha was beggining to become more suspicious, Heidi took a chance and slipped off to join the rest of her group in the secret basement room. They continued to search the peculiar area until Hank decided to check inside a stone tub on the far side of the room. It held gory body parts of some unknown women (leftovers from a previous meal?) and drew awe from the investigators. But it did little to prepare them for the awful truth, for during this time Bertha had crept down behind them and made her presence known as she transformed into an dangerous Serpent Man. The creature lashed out and bit Hank in the shoulder before he could properly arm himself (injecting a poison that incapacitated him). It threatened to do the same to anyone that attempted to fight back, but this didnt dissuade the party. Pangalia dodged the creature’s next lunge and came down hard with his boomerang on the thing’s head, but it was still in the fight. At the last moment before it could strike another of her friends, Betsy took up Hank’s shotgun and blew the fiend away, tearing its flesh and leaving it in a crumpled heap on the far wall (this also spilled much of the creatures arcane chemicals, partially dissolving the corpse). The group deduced that the creature had been brewing a potent drug which was the “inspiration” for Mile’s paintings, but also drove him insane and into the jaws of addiction.
At this point the group thought that they were safe, and proceeded to search the rest of the house. They discovered one final painting in a locked closet. It somehow was able to draw Hank inside it, and suddenly he found himself in a massive jungle, losing hope and sanity by the second. The group had no idea how to free their friend, and Hank set out alone into the forbidding environment. Although he fought to the bitter end, Hank was sadly struck down by a band of ruthless Serpent People somewhere deep in the jungle. He will be missed. This session ends with the Investigators regrouped at their hotel room, down one person than they started with.

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Session 1: New York
The Ball Gets Rolling

Heidi White, an antiquarian, received an odd telegram from and old friend, one Jackson Elias. It said that Elias had information pertaining to the Carlyle Expedition (a globe trotting expedition that led to the death of all of its members) And that he needed Heidi to gather an investigation team and meet him in New York city. Heidi called upon her past aqauintances: Betsy (an old friend from boarding school, now a psychiatric nurse), Hank (An old flame of Heidi’s now turned drifter, taking any job that could keep him afloat), and Pangalia (Heidi’s large yet hideously ugly aborigini body guard who had proved quite reliable in the past). Her team assembled, Heidi recieved a phone call from a desperate sounding Elias, who implored her to meet him at his room (410) in the Chelsea Hotel at 8:00 pm. Upon arriving at the room, they found that Elias had been brutally murdered. One of the perpetraitors was still in the room wearing a strange “death mask”. He gave the group quite a bit of trouble before disapearing down the fire escape, leaving Hank dangling from his fingertips at the top. Fortunately there were ample clues to be found at the scene of the crime. Some of which suggested far flung locales including: London, Cairo, Kenya, and Shanghai. All of these places had also been visited by the Carlyle expedition. Following up on one of the clues (a business card) the group visited Emerson Imports and learned of a small shop in a bad side of town which sold African “artifacts” known as Ju-Ju House. Investigations of the place allowed Heidi to purchase one of the death masks that the assassins had been wearing just the night before. The team staked out the area for that evening and after near defeat by a group of knife wielding cultists(which sent Heidi to the hospital) were able to break into the place and discover a secret trapdoor beneath the counter rug. Two of the deadly cultists were able to escape into the alleys however. Pressing on without Heidi, the group passed through a stone door and descovered a cramped and gruesome ritual site. Including a pit covered with a stone plate from which disturbing noises arose. The group had to confront 4 zombies as well as a crazed (though remarkably sickly) high priest. They decided to ignore whatever lay in the pit and looted the shrine’s strange treasures: a book entitled: Africa’s Dark Sects, a burnished copper bowl, a pair of gloves with lion’s claws afixed to them which the high priest used as effective weapons, a long staff carved of baobab wood inscribed with hieroglyphs, and an even more ornate mask of unknown workmanship with no straps or conventional means of keeping it on. No one attempted to wear or utilize any of these strange implements, but abandoned the site and are now resolved to book a steamer to London as soon as possible to backtrack on Elias/The Carlyle expedtion and to find out the truth behind this madness.

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