The Roleplaying Diaries of Bryan Stephens
|Game Date||June 2019|
The player characters meet each other through the Gilchrest Trust. They're asked to investigate the disappearance of a young woman of a prominent family. Mr. Silver uses his prominence to approach the family and start the investigation. Meanwhile Ms. O’Kasick and Mrs. McKlintock follow up with the young lady's boyfriend.
The ladies are led to a creepy sounding doctor he's very concerned with young women and their innocence. Unable to get in to see the doctor as a patient, the group waits for him to leave his office to search it. Teasing the clues together they suspect he is headed to an island.
Mr. Silver and Lee the team to their equipment room fit the group including masks. They then drive to the docks and head out to the island. Sneaking up the Doctor’s cultists, they find the group standing around preparing for a ritual. The young lady as well as two other missing women being held in a cage over the water.
Lee attempts to sneak as close as possible to the cage before guns for it. Mr. Silver in the other team members begin shooting at the cultist start the rifles. Lee finds himself fighting the armed cultists and the doctor. After taking them down, Lee braves fire and moves the cage to safely to free the women.
As Lee turned, a fishman emerged from the water. Lee was able to take its Trident from it and stab it as the rest of the group came back to fire. A second fish man arose, but both were driven back to the water. The group trucks to capture doctor is Arcane tome and the girls back to shore. Miss O’Kasick kept the book to study, and the evil doctor was turned over to the authorities.
|Game Date||July 2019|
A few weeks passed and the group members settled back into their normal lives. Miss O’Kasick studies the book during this time and has a bout of brief insanity. Mrs. McClintock found her and got her back to health. Professor Oswald showed interest in the book what's possessive of it.
The group received a request to investigate an occurrence at the home of a very wealthy family North of Arkham. There they find something has destroyed a fountain leaving claw marks in stone. Searching the area, the team finds very odd bunch of small cases one of which broke to release a horrible sulfuric smell. It was clear something was odd about these cases. As they searched, it also became clear one of the workmen had stolen one of these cases and then headed back to Arkham.
Lee drove with the ladies as fast as he could chasing the bus that took the worker back to Arkham. Beating them there. Ms. O’Kasick used her hypnotism on the landlady to gain access to and search his room. There is a found his diary where it was clear he was pining after the daughter of the rich woman. It was also clear he had discovered the case was an egg what's growing. Indeed, there was blood where it appeared paramour has been bitten.
The team called Mr. Silver and Professor Oswald and ask him to come down and then raced to University. Young lady was not at her dorm. And the group ran across campus to find her. Lee ran faster than the other two and saw the young lady the labor professor getting into a car. Lee pulled his 45 and ordered the group to freeze.
The ladies soon arrived while lee held the three at gun point. It was clear something was alive in that trunk. The doctor claimed he was taking this discovery home where he could better review it. Security and the young woman's brother showed up showed up and invited everyone inside to talk. It was at that point Ms. McClintock noted the great shadow night Sky.
A great winged beast swept down and savaged the doctor while everyone ran inside. Lee was face-to-face with some sort of alien being. He fired his weapon futilely. The Beast left the remains of the doctor and destroyed the car taking out of it its young from the trunk. It flew into the night sky.
Lee helps security concoct a story, for the young woman was taken to her dorm and the brother spoke to the ladies later that evening Mr. Silver and Professor Oswald showed up. The brother discussed what they had seen like a night gaunt. It appears he studied such things at the University.
The group decided to immediately return to the rich woman's home. They came with the promise attacks would stop.
Following on the legend of the swamp wizard, they searched the swamp find the hut swamp elementals. Variable to deal with the elementals and the talisman summoning them. There they decided to use the rest of the cases call in the creature. I found the binding spell find the creature. Lee volunteered quite forcefully they just needed cast the spell to bonds creature.
However, staying hidden tonight gaunt Lane took the case and had attached its young to its body I flew back to the Stars.
Tired from being up over a day the group returned to the mansion the questions clean and spend the night before heading back to Arkham and Boston.
|Game Date||August 2019|
The group is invited by Jackson Elias heart and South American expedition for missing pyramid being headed by Dr. Larkin. They make arrangements, and head down to meet with doctor Larkin. Mr. Silver makes sure to check in what's the American ambassador in Peru in the city of Lima when they arrive.
Jackson Elias is posing is Jesse Hughes he is Undercover also with Dr. Larkin is Lewis Jose D’Mendoza. After the initial meeting Elias and most of the group go for a drink. At this first meeting, it is clear the pale man is clearly addicted to some sort of substance. Lee follows Larkin and D’Mendoza. He goes into his hotel henchman continues walking. Lee hears someone following him on the roofs. When his quarry, D’Mendoza, turns down on alley and waits, Lee easily climbs up the roof on the other side of the alley, waiting to ambush the person following him. Sure enough, somebody comes across the roof, and Less fights against the surprisingly tough man. Lee lands a strong hit but it does not appear to stun him. The man opens his mouth and a lamprey like proboscis emerges trying to grab Lee. Setting aside his batons. Lee fires his 45 taking the top of the man's head off. But that wasn't sufficient, as an actual Lamprey like worm comes out and Lee shoots that. Covered in blood and ichor, Lee quickly leaves the roof clothes to hide in and makes his way to the hotel where he tells the team all that just happened.
Meanwhile the rest of the team had heard stories strange vampires usually looking like white men fat out of victims. They wonder if that's what Lee saw.
The next day Mr. Silver and Professor Oswald visit the local University to find out this Lost Pyramid. Calls are they discover the desiccated corpse of an intern and they gain access to a piece of gold a-Rod that appears to have burned the creature who tried to take it.
The Team then breaks into Larkin’s room tell after he leaves. His room is a mess what you would expect from an opium addict. Any notes he has google to decipher. The room across the way appears to be the room of D’Mendoza. Searching it, Mr. Silver comes across a journal in the mirror and has a vision floating pyramid on a train this cannot make sense of. Leaving the group is very concerned mike happened at night and just asleep and Mr. Silver’s Suite. Ms. O’Kasick by the events put yourself to sleep by drinking.
In the middle of the night burst open pale men enter into the room. The team begins to fire monsters coming into the room to the windows and then crashing through the barricaded door. Professor Oswald uses to Golden rod strike which causes corpses to be turned to Ash. What's the monsters including does D’Mendoza dealt with, the group brace to Larkins room to confront him. Larkin isn't a drug-induced stupor. This O’Kasick tries to hypnotize him to discover what he has to say ice turn black terrifying voice spoke from him talking about games and fun characters. Dark and then collapses back in his stupor call the police show up and take the party into custody.
All are put into the same cell along with some drunks. The police all the characters out one by one in order to test their story, but the group has had ample time to all say the same thing. Lee pretends to not speak English. Mr. Silver is of course, screaming for the Ambassador.
The drunks to have their way with the Gringos. Advancing first on Mr. Silver, the largest of the drunks does not even see Lee's Punch coming. Thrown back on to the pallet, the other drugs decide to leave well enough alone.
In the tank it becomes obvious that there is necrosis or gangrene with Larkin. Mr. Silver tells the guards who take him outside and pour water over his head. Dragging Larkin back into the room reaches out with his hands one landing on the face of regard One landing on the guard side sucks the life out of them. His head comes up and his eyes are black voice return.
“I've had enough of this!”
Moving quickly, Lee grabs a pallet and force floor can against the wall. Mr. Silver and Miss O’Kasick grabs the guard bodies talk herded the drunks out of the room. Cutting the key off one of the guards Mr. Silver slammed and lock the door as lead bounded out.
Professor Oswald and Mr. Silver yell for the Ambassador in the Inspector to get in here. As they around the corner, the Ambassador and Inspector see Larkin slamming open the door, sending metal splinters everywhere. Having grabbed the gun from a guard, Mr. Silver fires two shots, hitting center of mass and then straight in the face as the black-eyed Larkin says “Oh, Bother.”
Both guards are dead in the aftermath. After a brief conversation with the Ambassador, the party is told by the inspector “You have trucks needed eight meet them get out of the city and do not come back.”
|Game Date||Sept 2019|
The party rendezvous for the trucks Mr. Elias and heads for Mountain Village get directions to pyramid. We insist on driving one of the trucks. They make it to the village with Miss O’Kasick Lee and Professor Oswald attitude sickness. All choose to use coca leaves to help get them through the effect. After a night at the Village the next day all three are feeling better.
The team begins to talk to the village in order to get and it potentially a guide to go to the pyramid. They notice for different disheveled men watching them from a distance. Elias has a contact what's an old witch in a stilt Hut. They tell her what they've seen, and she says these creatures have not gone into the cities before and that they must put Circle Drive back. Hearing of the men watching them, she sends out the men of the village to find them Mr. Silver and Lee go with them.
Outside set vampires for emerging from the water. Fire to his 303 o three into one. Mr. Mr. Silver more and both fired at 1 on the roof. Professor Oswald Struck One trying to come in the window with a golden rod causing it to pop. In the bodies of the other attackers 3 did not burn. It was clear they would be facing these again.
The party is attacked by some men were selected to guide them to the pyramid. Their first night their llamas were attacked creatures as the party gunned it down. With less supplies, they continue on to the valley with a pyramid. Along the way they rescued a boy being attacked by one of the creatures. Lee bandages him up. Viewing the pyramid with a spyglass they saw two of the creatures vomiting fat. A crack at the top of the pyramid. Once those two it got down a pipe into the pyramid team stock down. Their native guides promise to be two ridges over and spend one night.
Search the area and decide a rope could be dropped down the one pipe but look for other ways in. The growing number of flies in the area spoke to dead bodies. Mr. Silver found a pit full of dead bodies for they can gain entrance but would require going through bodies. Professor Oswald and Ms. O’Kasick scaled the pyramid and look down the crack. Both had trouble later describing what they saw but Professor Oswald came down convinced he was covered in flies laying eggs all over his body. Lee and Mr. Silver physically restrained them on this Ms. O’Kasick put him into handcuffs. Her attempt to remove the memory failed. Elias volunteered to take him back up to the guy camp.
The Team climbs down the hole with the last being Ms. O’Kasick. She had trouble which cause lead to go back up the Rope. Unfortunately, she slips, but the agile Lee catches her and help your back to the bottom.
Exploring the passages, they found the sleeping forms of the man that woman they saw on top of the pyramid. Lee took the gold rod and stuck up on them. Going around the hallway they found where the golden rod needed to be replaced, but it was blocked by a pint of fat. Debating on whether or not set it on fire or climb over it the group decided to climb over it and Lee volunteers forcefully. Lee slipped as he climbed it fell into the fat and Mr. Silver pulled him out by the rope. Lee had one of the worm creatures on him then burned it off for the rod. Cleaned off with a blanket, Lee then climbs the wall again and safely made it into position using his hammer he hammered the rod back into place.
Concentrating on the wall Lee does not sense shift that the rest of the group felt. It is clear to them something had change to the universe. Lee deftly swings back, and the group hightails it out of the pyramid.
Walking back Elias and Professor Oswald possessed bodies struggling to get back to the pyramid but falling apart as it went.
From there things are routine back to the Village and returning to the United States. Kasich my professor read to study the book together. Irish proposed being with someone they studied not to read the book but just for safety sake.
|Game Date||Oct 2019|
Time has passed since the adventure in South America, and everyone has been going about their normal routines. They receive a message from Elias asking them to come to NYC in the dead of winter. Mr. Silver decides to take the car, and the team heads by train from Boston to the City. Unfortunately, they discover Elias has been murdered in a grisly fashion by cultists. The team cannot save Elias but does tangle with cultists. This, of course, leads to questions by the police.
They are invited to the funeral and reading of the will. In addition, they find several notes and Elias journal. This increasingly disorganized writing sends them on the lead of the cult and the Carlye Expedition. It also points to a corrupt police captain who seems to have “solved” the cult murders by pinning it on an innocent man. Mr. Silver gets additional information from a local Times reporter who is interested in the story, and in awe of who is talking to her.
At the funeral, Lee stays by the car, and notices a man taking plate information. Lee jumps and subdues the man to find out who hired him, which is the cult. Lee bribes him with $20 and Gloria makes sure his trip back sticks with her hypnosis
After following the man back to Harlem, they team has a good idea of where to go after the cultist at the Ju Ju house. However, they wait until night to go there. The team happens to see the corrupt police captain go by in his driven car and they follow discretely. He is dropped off outside a precinct. Getting into costume, Lee takes out his driver and The Scarlet Fox gets in the back seat. When he returns to the car, the two kidnap the police captain. They drive him around with the Fox giving him a ring and recruits him into his organization of informants. The captain is quite scared, and they drop him off at outside his home and ditch the car.
The next day, the group is at the will reading, and Elias has left them with money and resources. There are not any ill events at the reading, though the group is on alert.
|Game Date||Nov 2019|
That evening, it is time to tackle the Ju Ju house. Everyone is masked up, as is becoming the norm for this group. Sneaking in, they intercept the caretaker, who is strangely acquiescent to their demands to go into the basement. Lee opens the door to see what they thought were statues at first moving towards them. Making his sanity roll in single digits, Lee calmly closes the door and asks the good Professor for dynamite. Using his talent, it turns out the Professor has plenty, and they toss some into the room.
The “zombies” dead, they can tell some monster is beneath a great stone seal plug. The men lift the plug, hearing sanity destroying screams of a monster they refuse to look at. The ladies toss the rest of the dynamite into the hole and the drop the plug and run.
There is a loud explosion and the whole building is slightly lifted. The masked group exited the building into the face of two police. Lee deftly disarmed them, and the group roared away in the stolen police car, Lee avoiding any issues with the hazardous roads.
After a rough night’s sleep, the next day, Mr. Silver turns over notes and pictures taken by Gloria to the reporter to reveal the cult and help to clear the man on death row.
|Game Date||Dec 2019|
Securing a visit with Ms. Carlye, the Professor and Mr. Silver have a good meeting. She revels secured Mythos Tomes in her possession, which the Professor examines. Mr. Silver suggests she send them to Arkahm because others might want to steal them. Ms. Carlye tells Silver of are lost brother, the doctor who ended up encouraging him instead of helping him, and her distaste for the whole matter. There is good chemistry between the two, and Silver promises to find out what he can. Her best information is an organization in London, who helped her brother set up the expedition to Egypt.
Mr. Silver and Lee break into Carlye’s psychiatrist’s office to get his notes which results in some comedy of errors with Mr. Silver failing his stealth and climb attempts. The two are still able to get what they need and flee the scene. Mr. Silver is worried about the cult still being active. They find a member to interrogate and discover the cult is going to kidnap the corrupt captain. Lee impressed the cultist with an 01 on his intimidate roll. The cultist assumes Lee is part of another cult from Asia. He and Mr. Silver discover that there may be many cults around the working towards some horrible ends. The worry about how best to contact him and warn him. First they case his home, which is better protected that it was, most likely thanks to his kidnapping. They are able to follow someone casing the place to a home, where the cult is squatting to stage an attack. Gloria is sent to make a phone call, summoning the police that the captain is in danger. That call is timed to give the rest of the group a chance to break into the house and catch the cultists off guard just as the sun goes down.
Hitting the home, the team engages in a strong fire fight, taking out the cultists on the bottom floor. Mr. Silver is unfortunately pretty hurt, and he is forced to use luck to gain HP. He maxes out his roll, but Lee is still very alarmed. Then the cult leader casts a spell and throws a vial down the stairs. Silver shoots it, and it explodes mid air on the stairs. Lee charges up and the fight goes on as the gas condenses into a Dimensional Shambler. The beast grabs and eats a cultist in front of the team, who start pouring fire into the monster. Lee, having physically gained control of the cult leader, throws the leader into the monster, and he shares the fate of his minon. Finally, after taking nearly a dozen shots the monster fades back to where it came from. The group staggers outside to Gloria and the car. Lee takes the wheel and the group flees the area. Lee comments he wants to research the Asian cult in case that comes in handy again.
On to London!
|Game Date||Jan 2020|
Having booked a ship across the Atlantic, the group spends time in study, each working on improving some skill in the time they have. Gloria keeps well away from the sides of the ship and hunkers down due to her ongoing fear or water.
The rules in England around guns are odd. Hand guns and rifles are not allowed, but shotguns are (for hunting, old chap). However, Mr. Silver telegrams ahead that he is coming to prepare for a safari, and the large number of weapons they have are for that purpose. Indeed, he has an appointment set up to meet with the same organization who helped Carlyle set up his venture.
Gloria and Iris go to the newspaper that specializes in odd stories to follow up on that lead, while the men go to the expedition Organization. From the paper, there are three leads of odd incidents that pique the groups interest. Gloria gets herself hired a reporter for the newspaper. Then, she goes to meet with the Silver and Lee, while the Professor heads north to visit his family, and Iris gets into contact with her in-laws in Ireland to see about a possible crew for a boat.
While Gloria and Mr. Silver go to the home of a wild new painter to explore buying a painting, Lee heads to Derbyshire to investigate the deaths of several people at the claws and teeth of some sort of animal. The locals are not willing to talk much to Lee. The police say they killed a wild dog and things should be fine now, though since that time a new full moon as not returned. The one man who survived the attack was away at the sea, with his brother convalescing. He refused to come to the phone. The local priest and groundskeeper clearly did not want to talk to Lee, and firmly locked the doors behind him. Lee retired to the pub to spread some tails of fighting monsters, but his race and small stature did not help.
Back in London, the trip to the home of the painter was interesting to say the least. Immediately, the noticed an odd smell, but could not place their finger on it. The man lived with his old mother, an odd lady, who seemed very interested in making sales. Her son was gaunt and pale, looking agitated and anxious. He showed off the paintings he had, which were so strange, the party members had to make sanity roles. One image in particular, matched the vision Mr. Silver had had back in the hotel room in South America. They agreed to buy that painting. Gloria and the old woman went to make tea. In the flicker of the gas stove, the old woman’s shadow was that of a snake. Gloria, now having seen many weird things, kept her cool, and told Mr. Silver. Now they knew that the smell reminded them of: the reptile house at the zoo.
|Game Date||Feb 2, 2020|
Lee joins the group in London. Mr. Silver decided to see about a seaplane for their journey, and they decided on a F-5-L many of which were in surplus after the Great War.
Lee very strongly wanted to kill “the lizard person” having now become used to monsters pretending to be people. Investigation of the painter’s habits showed that he tended to pick up hookers on a schedule and that those hookers tended to disappear. This Saturday is a day he is out, and Lee, playing to type, suggests kidnapping. Soon, they have a shaken man, spilling his guts about his mother being eaten by a snake man. Now he has to feed him/her/it hookers. And the monster gives him doses of drugs to make him hallucinate and paint the odd paintings. This includes one kept locked up and covered. His ravings make it sound like a portal to another world that the snake person uses. At this point, the group of investigators is willing to believe that.
Gloria is dispatched to make a phone call from a pub, to ask the woman about buying another painting, since she was with Mr. Silver in the first place. Silver and Lee wait at the backdoor, with a key, while the Iris is in the rented car, sleeping painter in the back. Sneaking in while the monster is on the phone, Lee enters the room and shoots him/her/it point blank with a shot gun. The likeness of the old woman falls like a skin, and the monster falls dead. They motion in Iris to help search the home, finding the lab used to make the odd drug, 4 doses of it in the basement. In the locked room in the attic, they found the covered portal and removed it. Lee too the body to the car, and as a group they threw the body into the Thames and burned the portal painting. The poor painter they left at a hospital, and made it look as if there was a break in and theft of the valuable paintings.
That just left the mystery of the Egyptian murders. To the investigators, it seemed clear a cult was killing people for some reason. It is amazing how these things fall into place. Gloria and Iris talk to Scotland Yard, and discover the original police investigator disappeared. They promise to give the inspector any information they uncover.
They team is interested in the Blue Pyramid Club, a club that caters to middle east nationals. Considering Mr. Silver’s credit rating, they are easily able to gain admittance. Once in the club, the group splits up to investigate. Lee notices a white man go to talk to the owner. He easedrops, and it is clear this man is wanting to set something up for the investigators. Lee warns the team, and suggests Iris get to know the British Gentleman better, finding his name is Ralphie Cook. Iris nods and engages him in conversation and drinking. It is not long before he is sloshed and willing to leave with Iris. As the team departs it is clear there are thugs in the parking lot.
Mr. Silver and Lee move to get the car and are confronted by the street gang. They go to town, with the more adapt Lee taking them down two to one on his boss, who frankly, would rather be shooting them. Two of the thugs close on the women and Iris’s “date”. Iris uses the drunken man to slow the attackers who try to go after both ladies. Silver goes to help the women, while Lee finished up the gang on them. It moments, all the attackers lay on the ground, and Lee gets the rental car for a fast retreat.
And they Kidnap the Mr. Cook.
|Game Date||May 2020|
Safe in the car, Silver beings to intimidate Mr. Cook, with a knife, a lighter, and a story about native sepoys in the Great War and their interrogation methods. He fails his roll to intimidate but pushes for a hard success. Mr. Cook spills his guts, talking about how Mr. Edward Gavigan is the head of a cult trying to bring about the end of the world. Not sure they were getting everything Gloria used her powers to probe his memories. The man is insane. He tells of the cult working with the Egyptians, but that they were at odds, with their leader a Ms. Zahra Shafik. She controls Empire Spices. The owner of the Blue Pyramid is bullied and paid off to keep things quiet. Things are being shipped from Ho Fang exports, by Penhew that will be sent to Shanghai. He also revels a secret room at the Foundation, how to access it, and that at Mr. Gavigan’s estate at the full moon the conduct rituals and summon dragons. He also mentions Henderson Manufacturing who are making a mysterious device, not too far from Derbyshire.
Having pumped the man for all they could get, Gloria leaves an implanted memory of a great night with Iris, and Lee acts the part of cabbie taking him into a hotel, “passed out” from drinking with Iris. Iris leaves later, walking out the side door. The group heads back to the hotel to meet up with the Professor, tell him what he has missed and get some sleep.
The next morning, Mr. Silver announces that the group needs a better base of operations, and instructs Lee to rent a truck, and a warehouse, while he goes to secure a motorcycle, back up, parts, and tools. The Professor heads to obtain some dynamite “for the expedition” and rolls a 04 on luck, scoring 8 cases. It is about then Lee rolls up with the truck and they take it to the warehouse. The ladies do recon and investigate the Spice Shop. There, Gloria discovers odd spices that can be used in rituals and buys some. Iris takes home hops. No one there seems like a crazy cultist, but who can tell. They then drive by the ship and warehouse, which is in a poor part of the docks. Iris turns on the charm too well, and the man she is talking too tries to take her away. Iris swings her purse and breaks his nose, much to the amusement of his comrades. He staggers back and Iris makes for the car. Gloria guns it, and immediately turns into a traffic jam, but they are not pursued.
The team gets some rest, deciding to hit the warehouse. Lee reminds the group they can pretend to be acting as part of the Cult of the Bloated Woman, which they discovered existed in New York. They decided to make the robbery of the warehouse look like a common robbery.
Infiltration is easy as Iris rolls under 10 to pick the lock. They slip in past the board guards. They find 15 crates with Chinese and English on them, from the Penhew foundation. Opening them, they find the parts of an odd machine, clearly human made, but for what the group has no idea. Lee begs Silver and the Professor not to smash it, asking to take it all. They also find different artifacts, including an Egyptian statue with tentacles for a face which seem to move, and an odd knife. Lee takes out one guard, and then he and Silver sneak up on and take out the others. Tied up, Silver and Lee find another truck to steal, and the spend the evening loading up the crates. Iris, thanks to a hard success on her luck roll, throws in tommy guns they found, and a 50 cal they can mount on the plane. They get everything into the warehouse and call it a night.
The next day, while the women examine the artifacts, Silver and the Professor, driven by Lee, go back to the Foundation to demand to know where they stand on the preparations for their expedition. Mr. Gavigan’s secretary says he is not to be disturbed. Silver makes his own disturbance, again pushing a roll, and the door opens for the group to be able to overhear Gavigan’s complaints about the theft from last night. He does see the group and apologizes. Silver sends Lee to scope out the first floor, and he does find the entrance to the secret room. The trio leave the building and head back. The ladies go to research Henson, while Lee looks at the odd machine. Again, a pushed roll reveals that is an engine of some sort. Maybe there will be more answers at Henderson. The group decides to head out of town to check that site out and will swing by Derbyshire in the next couple of days to deal with the werewolf.
|Game Date||June 2020|
The team came up with disguises for the trip north. Officially, they were headed to Bristol, but really, the group is headed up to the Derby region. Mr. Silver left instructions with the Gilcrest Trust, and left them in forwarding communications.
They took the car, driven by the Professor, with the ladies, and Lee and Mr. Silver came along in the Truck. They checked in at the inn in town. Lee was recognized as the “Chinaman” and again was a big hit with his salacious stories about killing the “snake woman”, with Iris’s help. The rest of the group mingled, with the Professor managing to bore others, but the Charming Mr. Silver regaling the working class patrons with his skeptical, world weary, working man act, as he played up being a manservant to a nut case. Gloria put on her act as a spiritualist and exchanged readings for information from the locals. In all, the team was able to gain useful information, most notably the local manor has a family that suffers under a curse. They have been keeping to themselves. After Lunch, Mr. Silver drove to Plum Castle to drop off a request for a visit by his “employer” and managed to “get lost” on the way back and came up to the Hensen factory. There, he argued with a man speaking such a dialect neither could understand the other, until a Forman came out and gave him directions. “Reoriented” Silver drove back, having scoped out the factory.
Silver returned to the inn, and all players got a good afternoon’s sleep. Leaving during the dinner rush, Lee drops out the window so well, the team does not even see him go (making an extreme success on his climb roll going out the window). Everyone else leaves by normal means, off, as they tell anyone who asks, to scour the moor for monsters. They climb into the Truck and head to Hensen. Using the barn Silver scouted previously, they scan the complex to see three guards, one outside under a light, one with an electric torch and one inside. Lee deftly scales the wall and leaves a rope behind getting to the wall. A hard success on his luck roll means both men come out at the same time and split off. Dropping behind the guard outside (having to use 16 luck to make his roll), and then taking him out, with a roundhouse kick, deftly catching the man’s falling light with another extreme success on a Dex check to catch.
Lee tries to use the light to signal the team, but it alerts the man outside who comes to investigate. Silver slides behind him misses with his punch but pushes his roll to swing around with the butt of his pistol. The guard is still up, and he and Silver grapple, missing each other until Silver scores an extreme success to knock the man out.
Lee sneaks into the factory and easily takes out the last man with a surprise, knocking him out with a blow from under a table. The team was in. They moved to search the building. Lee went to the office to find blueprints, while Iris went to work on the well locked safe. The other three searched the room, finding normal items for a metal working factory. Lee struck gold with the blueprints and took them and left another fake note from the Cult of the Bloated Woman.
Told the roll to unlock the safe was an extreme success, Iris made the roll, and without using luck, rolled it. The group cheered and got to see what was in the safe. There, odd materials, ancient devices, not rusted but fossilized, along with new pieces being crafted. Lee wanted it all. The loaded the truck. After dropping the team off outside of town, Lee took the 5 hour round trip, plus two hours to unload, and secured all the items in their secret warehouse. Lee got back close to dawn, parked the truck and with another insane climb and extreme stealth check, was suddenly in the room with Mr. Silver. Silver just shrugged, said “Welcome, back” and finished getting up. The group had their story straight, and Lee was to act like he was here all night, sick.
During breakfast, as the group grumbled about not having any luck with finding a monster, the local constable came to ask the outsiders questions. Of course, the charming Silver was more than able to sound like he was where he said he was at the moor. The constable also went up to question Lee who pretended to be sick. Rolling his 15% charm, Lee was able to sell being sick (what was with these rolls? – Ed). So convinced, the constable asked Lee to read a poor copy of the translation. Lee went even more pale, dropped the page and acted scared. He stuttered it was about an evil cult that killed children, called the Bloated Women, and that they were angry with Penhew. The officer left, and the group got ready for lunch at Plum Castle.
|Game Date||August 16, 2020|
The group leaves for the Manor to have lunch and met the Vane family at Plum Castle. Lee naps in the car under a blanket while the rest go in. They are met by the son, Lawrence Vane, who takes them to meet the father. The Professor plays up his hunter persona and engages Lord Arthur Vale around hunting of different types of beasts. The Lord Vane poo poos the tales of a werewolf.
Gloria wanders to a library and finds a book on the family history. It purports to tell of a witch in the 17th Century who made a pact with dark forces, than now effects the women born to the family. It was then, Eloise, daughter of the lord came into the library. Gloria talked to her and when she found she could not sleep, she made a stunning hypnosis roll to probe her about her dreams, using her Madam Olivia persona. The young lady began to scream and the family burst into the room. Gloria rolled well again and got her to quiet down. The family escorted her away with practice. Her brother asked the party to meet him at the Mausoleum tonight.
That night, they group parked at a distance and went to the Mausoleum as requested. There, Lawrence took them below the crypt, to cells, where his sister was locked up, partially transformed into some sort of creature. She was screaming, dressed in torn clothes. Gloria attempted to calm her and did, but then, the party heard the sounds of strange creatures, and the young lady was interested in the outside.
Ascending the later, the group was confronted with maybe two dozen sets or red eyes, reflecting the moon light and drawing closer. A voice from the darkness requested talk, and the group talked to the voice. They agreed to lower weapons and let it come forward, to be reveled as a creature who was once a man from the 9th Legion of Rome, Quintus Dias of the IX. As they spoke, he noted he could smell the taint of murder from the group, and that they had touched something from beyond. He assured the party he was not part of the things they pursued, and he promised that they could help the poor thing and let her keep her sanity. The group could see this was the only answer, and they got Lawrence to agree.
As the beasts collected their new member, Lee asked them to look at his dagger. Looking it over, the creatures were able tell Lee it could be turned into a serpent with the right command word, spoken in the language on the dagger. He also offered the group the opportunity to learn a spell, to summon ghouls to clean up after their escapades. While the group expected Gloria and the Professor to jump at the chance, Lee startled them by also asking to learn the spell. Silver was concerned and took Lee aside. Lee said “You have almost died three times already, Mr. Silver. I must take every advantage I can.”
With that the ghouls, for that is what they were, left under a cloud over the moon and were gone. The group saw Lawrence home and went back to the inn to discover that someone, most likely cultists had been at the Inn asking about them. It was time for breakfast, a nap, and trek to Mr. Gavigan’s estate. Lee earnestly hoped that this full moon they were not summoning dragons, but he knew that was a lie to himself.
|Game Date||September 13, 2020|
The party decides to head out early. They pay for two baskets worth of meals, and pay up rooms for a week. Lee leaves a Bloated Woman character behind a dresser, just in case. Heading to the remote manner, Lee is alone in the truck, while the rest are in the car. With all 90s on their navigation rolls, to Lee’s extreme success in navigation and driving, the people in the car grow more and more disoriented as Lee confidently moves deeper into the moors.
The pass a bridge to a guard house, and it is clear the old manor is on an island. They drive past and find a man to buy a boat from. While Mr. Silver is less than his normal self, Iris is able to charm the man well, with an extreme success and they get a boat. All armed to the teeth, they take the boat in the Truck and carry it to the water. The Professor falls in the water with a failed dex check, and slows the party down, but the get to the island by 3pm.
Scouting the area before nightfall, they easily find places to hide. Luck is burned to make sure stealth rolls go off, and they succeed in staying hidden. They watch the cultists arrive and then wait. Once the bad guys start to move towards the ritual circle, Lee fades into the night before anyone knows it, takes out the guard in one blow, and disables the drawbridge. The trap is set.
Once the chanting starts, the party open’s fire. At Lee’s suggestion, the Professor shouts out “Get the Bloody Egyptians” and Silver and Lee open fire on Gavigin and the Egyptian cultists. It is clear that both have magical shields with their artifacts, but with the level of gunfire both are forced to use their “Look out Master” ability with Luck. The lady cultist manages to finish the spell before Lee kills her, and Silver takes the English cult leader down in a hail of bullets. A wave of energy washed over Gloria who knows something has happened.
The cultist panic with some firing back and some running. The others join the fight as well, with the Professor trying dynamite. His first roll fails so he pushes. The dynamite falls short and his push works as he kicks it into a knot. Gloria and Iris prove to be good shots and start hurting cultists. In the return fire, Iris and the Professor are struck and wounded, but not severely.
Cultist with shot guns move from the manner and Lee turns his 303 towards them, starting to pick them off. It is then, that the effect of the spell shows up. From the darkness, a wyrm like dragon appears and reaches down its “tail” to snatch up and eat a cultist. This provoked cheers among the insane and gun fire among the party. Lee and Silver turned their fire skyward, while the ladies fired at closing cultists, the Professor turned to using two sticks of dynamite to attack the cultist coming from the building.
Lee’s shot did almost no damage to the flying beast, much to his dismay. Mr. Silver unloaded into the sky. While he rolled with advantage due to bracing, and the size of the creature meant it was close, he did not need it. On 6 rolls, every single main Tens dice was a 10! 6 Extreme successes with a gun blew through the armor of the beast, shot after shot, tearing through vital parts. It was as if God himself were directing Silver’s shots. The beast was killed and its body fell to earth, crushing those still beneath it. Its alien body started to slowly dissolve in the atmosphere.
The party easily mops up the remaining cultists and search the home. They find some letters including one reveling a member of the Carlyle expedition is still alive and may be working with the cult. They find another missive from a man in Cairo asking for a bust back, as the time for the great rite draws near. And they get any information they can from the guard. They find several tombs in various languages.
They fix the bridge, return to their cars after retrieving the odd headdress Gavigin was wearing and set the manor house on fire. It is a long drive to London. Their plane is ready, but is covered in war paint that looks like tentacles! (this was randomly rolled by Silver). He opts to have it repainted, given Lee a chance to box everything up in the warehouse and secure it. They pay up the warehouse for a year. Mr. Silver opts not to fully update the Trust on all they have.
As the party prepares to go to Egypt, it is clear they trust almost no one.
|Game Date||October 11, 2020|
Shortly after the investigation at the manor, we went by the Penhew Foundation and looked for any information about their underhanded activities. Afterwards, we met up with Lt. Willowby, ex-RAF pilot recommended by the Gilcrest Trust, and flew the Aeromarine 75 to the Riviera for a week or two to rest and recover.
Picking up on the trip on March 1, 1925 they take the eastern route through Cyprus to Port Said at the north end of the Suez Canal. The 75 had some engine difficulties on the flight, but nothing byond Lee's considerable mechanical skill. Leaving the 75 in Willowby's care at the RAF base, we took the train to Cairo.
Arriving at the Cairo train station, Ms. O'Casic's and Mr. Silver's luggage was pulled away. Thanks to Lee and the Professor grabbing the thieves, nothing was lost. After we settled in at the Cairo Continental Savoy, the group split up to the American Embassy and the Cairo Chronicle. The editor of the Chronicle, passed along information on Penhew and it's Clive Expedition in Giza along with their possible connections to a local crime boss by the name of Omar al-Shakti.
Meanwhile, Mrs. McKlintock stayed at the hotel and foiled an attempted burglary. Capturing one of the thieves, Iris had to wait for the rest of the group to return as she didn't speak Egyptian. Ultimately, we let him go with a warning for other thieves.
The following day we headed to the Cairo Museum to talk to the head of Egyptology. Professor Kaffour turned out to be knowledgeable in the underworld of the cults and will be helping us find out what we need to thwart the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh here in Egypt.
|Game Date||November 15, 2020|
Mr. Silver instructs Lee to get the two motorcycles ready and works to obtain another two with sidecars. Lee spends the day working on the cars, with some time to study the strange blueprints. Mr. Silver checks in an bugs him during the day, but he and Iris are working to “hang out a shingle” for wanting to go on an expedition. While they wait, Gloria and the Professor go to research the burnt down antiques shop. The Professor and Gloria are led on a wild day of tourist shops and foods, all clearly supporting family members of the guide. While Gloria enjoys the trip, Professor Oswald grows more annoyed, and finally calls out a shop owner and the guide is detail on fakes. He then bullies the guide about the burnt down shop. While the guide downplays the event, it is clear to the Professor passers by hold a different take. Using bribery to entice the locals, they are led to the Street of Potts, and to a store selling real artifacts.
The owner is burnt on one side of his face, and it is clear they have found Faraz Najar. The two browse the location and the Professor asks about any artifacts from the Dark Pharaoh. Najar goes pale and demands they leave, even grabbing a gun. The Professor notes that he is trying to stop the Dark Pharaoh and persuades Najar to talk. Najar has them meet at a nearby Mosque.
At the holy place, Najar tells his story, how he was helping the foreigners and thought nothing of the legends of the Dark Pharaoh. But, the body of the female mummy went missing, and demons were sent against his shop and burned it down. He wants nothing to do with these people or the Dark Pharaoh any longer. The two thank him and head back in the setting sun towards the hotel. Gloria has no idea where they are, but the Professor heads west to the Tram, stopping to get Gloria something to eat. Along the way, Gloria notices cats are angry at them, but dogs are friendly.
Meanwhile, headed up after harassing Lee, Mr. Silver sees the Dutch Archaeologist, Yon von Huvellan trying to talk down a drink from the bartender. Seeing an opportunity, Silver gets a bottle at the bar and strikes up a conversation. Yon follows Silver’s glass with his eyes, and with an offer of a table and another glass, the two sit down where Silver charms the drunk Archaeologist. It is clear that Yon has found scrolls from hidden temple of Bast he is looking to translate. He notes he cannot sleep, but this is his big chance to get back into the field. He was fired from the current dig the group is interested in.
As the two meet, Iris notes that Mr. Silver has not come back upstairs and heads down to investigate. She sees the two talking, but also notes there are two cats staring at Yon. She orders two saucers of milk and tries to feed the cats. The felines have nothing to do with her and hiss, making ready to attack. Yon startles and throws his empty glass at the cats. Apparently, this is an ongoing issue. Iris reports there are a lot of cats watching the building. Silver takes Yon upstairs to talk him into working for his mission and sends him away with and advance and a promise to return in two days with the scrolls translated. About this time, Lee shows up and it is clear he is headed out for the evening with his boss.
The two suit up in their masks and easily follow Yon through the darkness. Lee wonders what is going on with the cats but does not know about the issues. Yon lives behind a tailor shop. Watching, Silver and Lee are shewed away from the shop. They decide to wait around back an hour. They are worried their cover might be blown when they stumble over cats, one of which attacks Silver, but nothing comes of it. After an hour, they enter the one room apartment to find Yon slumped over a scroll, passed out. Under his cot is disturbed soil where they find the scrolls. Taking them all and securing them, Silver wakes up Yon and uses threats to tell him where he found the scrolls. Lee manhandles the slender man through the streets towards the hidden temple. Both vigilantes notice the large black cat following them on the rooftops. Finally, the less than san Yon leads them to a small, out of the way shrine to Bast. Cats line the walkway to an alter that has clearly been opened. Silver takes the scrolls down, with the cats giving him room, and replaces them in the alter. At Lee’s suggestion, he asks aloud for help. Then turns to walk away.
A voice calls to them from behind, and they turn to see the priestess of Bast. She is a gorgeous 22 year old woman, looking far more western than they would expect. Silver chases away You, noting that this conversation is something he cannot hear. The priestess says she cannot help them directly, as she notes that Silver and Lee “already have a patron” She cannot tell them who their patron is, just that they are “hunters” and someone set them on this path.
She confirms that Al Shakti is behind this cult and if not stopped, he works to awaken the old gods. She is able to say that each of the cults around the world are worshiping masks of the same being, but they are not just masks. Each one is distinct, like an avatar, and sometimes work at cross purposes. If all conduct a ritual at once, say during the eclipse, it could mean world ending deaths. Each group they stop will lessen the effect. Silver and Lee thank her, and they head back to the hotel. Lee tells them if Yon shows, give him a room.
|Game Date||December 20th, 2020|
The morning opens with Lee making an impassioned speech that they should abandon their quest and return to America. He is concerned that they are all pawns, playing a game for the “thing” that spoke to them in South America, siting that they have a “patron” according to the priestess of Bast. Mr. Silver puts that to rest, saying that he knew the risks when he took up his family’s mantel of fighting evil. Mr. Silver sends a message to the British Consulate to try to get Yon out of the country, and Lee tells the staff to keep his wine flowing. Lee insists that it is dangerous to go abroad alone and wants the party to stay together now they have the bikes. The women ride with Lee, alternating one behind him, while Mr. Silver drives the professor. They go back to meet with Dr. Ali Kafour. He informs them that the Girdle of Nitocris is being safeguarded at the Mosque Ibin-Tulum, and he is concerned it will be taken. The team asks Kafur to send them a warning and write for Mr. Silver a letter of introduction.
After leaving the university, the group went to stake out Messer Warren Besart, the French archaeologist who helped the Carlyle expedition. His address turns out to be a clothing store. Iris, Gloria and the Professor go into the store to look around, while Lee goes around back, and Silver watches the bikes. While in the store, the trio attempts to sneak someone upstairs, but the pushed roll fails and the Professor knocks over racks. The store owner moves them away from the back entrance to go upstairs. Meanwhile, the startled Besart climbs down from the second story, right in front of Lee.
Mr. Silver looks up to see Lee walking Besart around the building. The two take him past the startled shopkeeper and rest of the party back up to his room. Silver tells them to watch the rides as he and Lee go to talk to him. Besart tells a wild tale: ”A lawyer contacted me. I agreed to act as purchasing agent for Mr. Roger Carlyle of the United States, who was represented to me as a wealthy American. On written instructions from Mr. Carlyle, I purchased certain artefacts from Faraz Najir, an antiquities dealer, and illegally shipped them out of Egypt to Sir Aubrey Penhew in London. I know the artefacts were ancient, but nothing more.
”When the Carlyle Expedition came to Egypt, I arranged for all their equipment and permits. Their main site was at Dhashur, in the area of the Bent Pyramid.
”One day at Dhashur, Jack Brady came to me and told me that Carlyle, Hypatia Masters, Sir Aubrey, and Dr. Huston had entered the Bent Pyramid and then vanished. Brady was excited and suspected foul play, since the diggers already had fled the site and work had come to a stand-still. We did not know what to do, so we drank.
”The next morning, Carlyle and the others reappeared. - They were excited by some tremendous find, but what it was, they would not say, nor did I learn, for Sir Aubrey was a fiend for secrecy. All of them had changed in some inexplicable way, and a way not for the better; I did not ask further.
”That evening, an old Egyptian woman visited me. She said that her son had been one of the diggers. She said the diggers had fled because Carlyle and the others had consorted with an ancient evil, the Messenger of the Black Wind. She said that she could recognize that the souls of all the Europeans but Brady and myself were lost. If I wanted proof, I should go to the Collapsed Pyramid at Meidum at the time when the moon is slimmest—the night before the dark of the moon. God help me, I went!
”I took one of the trucks, pretending to leave for a night in the pleasure quarter of Cairo. But instead I drove the twenty miles south to Meidum, and secreted myself where she advised. There in the midnight blackness I saw Carlyle and the others disport themselves in obscene rituals with a hundred madmen. The very desert came alive, crawling and undulating toward the ruins of the pyramid. To my horror, the stone ruins themselves became a skeletal, bulging-eyed thing!
”Strange creatures emerged from the sands, grasped the dancing celebrants, and, one by one, tore out their throats, killing all until only the Europeans (and one other robed celebrant) remained.
”Something more loomed out of the sand, the size of an elephant but with five separate shaggy heads. Then I realized what it was—but it is madness to speak it! I saw it rise and in a great ravening swallow as one all the torn corpses and their hideous murderers, leaving alive only five people amidst the stench of the blood-soaked sands.
”I fainted. When I recovered, I wandered into the desert, there further horrors awaited me. Stumbling up a rise before dawn, I saw beyond hundreds of dark sphinxes, rank upon rank drawn up and waiting for the hour of madness when they will spring to devour the world! I fainted again, and this time I left the world for many months.
”A man found me; for two years, he and his mother cared for me—me, a man mindless and returned, I came back to Cairo. But I began to dream! Only hashish helps now, or opium if it can be found. My supply is low again, and my life is intolerable without it. Will you gentlemen please contribute? Only strong drugs keep me from insanity. Everything, gentlemen, everything is lost. There is no hope for any of us. Everywhere they wait. Perhaps you will join me in a pipe?”
Silver and Lee give him some money for dugs and leave him to his stupor. Their next stop is a picnic in the countryside to scope out the Al-Shakti’s plantation, knowing he is at the heart of the cult. They are able to find holes in the defenses, where using a blanket to cover glass shards, they could get into the plantation. It is clear that the workers there seem more like slave labor than regular workers. Lee goes to find a spot to kill the power for the area, and risks using the motorcycle with a pushed roll to succeed. He finds a way to set up a power substation to short and lets the party know. The group stays until after midnight, in the hopes that a group will leave to go after the Girdle of Nitocris, but none leave. They go back to the hotel and get to bed around two am. While most of the party rested, Lee stayed up and only slept some at the hotel.
The next morning they leave early to head to visit the old woman, Nori, Besart mentioned. They find a Mr. Ubad who turns out to be her son. He leads them to her, and she is sorry sight. Her limbs have been amputated, maybe even recently. She lights up and cackles when she sees the party. She points to a wrapped stone in the corner. It is from the Red Pyramid and is part of the broken seal! Immediately, the group knows this can be key to sealing away the evil, much as they did in South America. But first, they have to take care of Al-Shakti and his cult. They leave, and Mr. Silver gives them man hard coinage and entreats him to move his mother away from here.
Taking the broken seal back to Dr. Kafour, they tell him the tale. They show him the bullets that Gloria has altered, and he tells them that ”You are traversing dangerous paths, my dear,” and to Lee “Do not waste these on men.” He says he could have a new seal made, and Silver offers Pound Sterling to help. He tells the party that they will have to protect whomever is resealing the pyramid.
The group goes to the Mosque, and finds that Ibin-Tulun has been converted to a mental hospital. There they have both western medicine, and Muslim spiritual guides. With the letter of introduction, they first talk to Ahmed al-Dhahabi about the Girdle of Nitocrisi and the need to keep it safe. Silver demands nothing more, not even acknowledgement. Ahmed takes them to meet the 90 year old Nessim Efti, a member of the order guarding the mystic item. Lee encourages the group to tell him their story, and he is shocked to learn the Cult of the Black Pharaoh is active once again. He offers support to help Kafour to reseal the Red Pyramid.
|Game Date||January 24, 2021|
Mr. Silver proposes a party, to invite al-Shakti, Clive, and others under the guise of setting up his own dig. This will be for archaeologists in the area. After a failed roll, his push results in much better written invitations in Arabic as well as English.
Understanding the cult is divided into the local and the British factions, the group decides to check out the Clive Expedition. They team takes a ferry along with letters of introduction from Van Hooven. Gloria drinks to pass the time on the water. Once they arrive, it is immediately clear from the sullen nature of the workers that they are quite likely forced labor. Overseers have the mark of the upside down ankh. They team meets with Martin Winfred, an archaeologist who is clearly not part of the cult. Indeed, he expresses surprise they are even digging here. After a while, James Gardner comes to escort the the women and Lee on a tour, while the Professor and Mr. Silver discuss business. They are intercepted by an Englishwoman, Agatha Broadmore, who dismisses their guide and invites them into her tent. She bills herself as a seer, and Lee volunteers that Ms. O’Kasick is a seer as well.
Agatha quickly decides to have a séance. This results in an actual visit from the departed Jackson Elias, who confirms the nature of what they face, including the places they need to travel. Lee steps up to tell Elias they are working on it, and that England is already delt with. He closes with, “We will do it. Rest, Friend”. After the séance the group gathers and compares notes on the trip back, more subdued than on the trip out. Lee notes his resolve is now renewed.
Back in Cairo, part of the city is without power, which covers the Mosque cum Hospital. Sensing foul play, the team investigates, and after a false start, Lee is able to get into the power substation and see how it was extensively sabotaged. He has Gloria take pictures with the idea they might have a story later. It is also clear that several transformers have been destroyed too. It is clear they need to stake out the area. Lee insists that Mr. Silver load the special rounds.
Four of the group stays atop a building across the street, while Lee sneaks to the top of the Mosque. All goes well until he falls trying to get the top of the spire and a guard comes out. Lee hides in the shadows as the guard scans the roof. It is at this point things happen. The darkness of the sky twists and bends, and a shadow comes down the street. Electrical lights fail, and the very fire in torches is snuffed out. The other four drop to the ground. Silver and the Professor try to start the motorcycles, but only one comes alive, and only poorly under the strange influence of the twisting night. Silver and Iris ride to the Mosque and charge in, with the other two running behind, gaining ground as the motorcycle struggles.
Lee surprises the guard and tells him “The Enemy is upon us, brother” and at that moment he sees the lights going out and a shape cut itself from the darkness. With a 00 on his mythos roll, Lee has no idea what it is, other than a creature part serpent and part night. The guard runs in terror, but Lee, again facing a monster alone. It crashes into the roof and rends a hole. Lee does not shudder, but holds his ground easily, and takes aim with his Lee-Enfield, scoring a critical hit to the creature’s head. Silver and Iris are charging up the stairs. Before he can act, the creature takes a bite at Lee, who dodges with an 01, sliding well out of the way and into a new fire position that allows Mr. Silver a clear shot. He fires three shots with one hand and his mystic round with another. Time – slows. Mr. Silver sees the bullet fly, the impact and the cavitation. It pierces the creature which vanishes. Time resumes and two more drop from the sky. Lee fires at one, while Silver uses another mystic bullet on one, and his regular on the other. Again, time slows, and this time, Silver sees a line coming back into him. Gloria arrives in time to see it too, and the line passes through him back at her. The horror of what she has built drives her into a helpless laughing fit. This is how the slower moving Professor finds her.
As this is going on, Iris is also up the stairs, and calmly puts three shots into the remaining beast. At this point, the old guardian Efiti arrives with a sword and asks about the group. Iris, Lee and Silver Reload their guns just in time for two more to drop. One pierces the roof with its body, the other menacing them. Lee shoots the one on the room and then it takes a bite at Lee but misses. The one in the roof suffers from Silver’s normal fire, and the sword of Efiti. It screens into the Professor’s face as it is halfway int the stairwell.
On the roof, Iris shoots the beast three times and Lee follows with another shot, while Silver uses his other hand on that one, and as the last of Iris’s shots land, it dies. As the embedded monster goes to attack the professor, the magic sword and a critical hit from the Professor destroys it. The Professor and Gloria are both covered in fading ichor.
Gloria comes to her senses and Silver asks about the girdle. Efiti leads them to the vault and it is intact. He admits they may not be able to keep it safe, and Mr. Silver suggests that he can get it out of the country to someplace safe.
The party look at each other, wondering what it might be like to get this out of Egypt.
The group debates the danger that Agatha Broadmore, the seer, is in. They are all convinced that she is to be sacrificed as part of the upcoming ritual. They feel it is imperative that she is be rescued in some fashion. Gloria hopes that maybe we can get her to stay after the luncheon. Silver comes up with the plan to try to get her drunk enough to have to stay overnight.
Iris inserts herself into the hotel staff prepping for the party. The party is being thrown by Mr. Silver opens with the US ambassador attending. Soon thereafter, members of the Clive Expedition start showing up. Agatha Broadmore is being escorted by a statuesque blond German archaeologist Fraulein Johanna Specht. The Professor and Gloria move in to attempt to separate the two. Gloria opens with catching up with Agatha, while the Professor charms the comely German with his knowledge about archaeology.
Playing his role of “the help”, Lee overhears Clive tell al Shakti that “We have found it and will bring it to the pyramid”. Both men seem well engaged, and not at odds as the two cult factions were in London. He pauses to scratch a note to Silver in Chinese and continues his monitoring the room, looking for a time to take the note to his employer. Meanwhile,
Mr. Silver and al Shakti meet and talk, with Silver charming the local philanthropist with an outstanding roll. They talk about digs and archology, even mentioning the odd happenings in London with the Penhew Foundation. Lee brings Silver his note, and Silver says he has to go. The two part on good terms, al Shakti not apparently suspecting that Silver brings his doom.
Iris tries to get a drink to get both ladies drunk. but fails her roll miserably. Seeing that, she pushes the roll, testing it herself, and again, it has spectacular failure. Both Fraulein Specht and Iris end up very sick, while Agatha is not drunk at all. However, as the German runs to the bathroom, the Professor goes along, and Gloria keeps Agatha busy. Mr. Silver makes an announcement that the alcohol might have a problem and asks people to stay away from the bar, which does stop some, but not the hard core workers. While Gloria takes Agatha to her ill friend, she is able to convince them both to stay the night, and the Professor gets the staff doctor to check on the ill woman. He asks where to send them, and Clive says they are headed back to Giza.
As Clive goes to leave, he wonders where his staff are. Mr. Silver explains they are sick and offers to put them up at his expense. Clive agrees and says he will send someone tomorrow. Meanwhile, Lee takes care of Iris and using an old Chinese secrete on his pushed first aid roll, get an extreme success and heals all four hit points she lost with a full 4 on the roll.
As Gloria takes Agatha up to her room, Lee gently suggest simply telling her the truth. Gloria agrees and has some success in getting her to believe. She takes the seer to the main suite and engages her with photos and Mr. Silver himself tells her of their history. The Professor enters the room and shows Lee a man watching the hotel. Silver goes to show her and fails, but pushes, knowing he will be seen, and gets an 03, and she believes him and the team. Distraught now, she is tearful and says she just wants to go home. Silver offers to get her out of the country but is unsure how. Lee suggests that they send her out with the Girdle. Iris suggests the 2 or 3 of the guardians might escort her and the artifact out. While they plan, Lee climbs down the side of the building with an extreme success, and sneaks around the building. Two are watching the service entrance and three are watching the front. Lee sneaks up on one, clocking him from behind, and as the man turns, taking him out. He gets the other in a single blow and leaves both bodies lined up as if they were sleeping. The coast clear, he gets with the team and he takes Agatha, while Silver takes Gloria to the Mosque/Asylum through the night.
They talk to Efti and he agrees to a plan to ship the Girdle back to London and to send two guards with them. Silver helps the men get Agatha into a disguise. Efit uses a car and they all head to the train station to get out first thing in the morning. Thanks to an 11 luck roll, the transfer goes off without a hitch. By the time they get to the telegraph office, Silver and Gloria are dead on their feet, though with an extreme success on his CON roll, Lee seems unaffected. He helps get the telegraph off to the Pilot to expect Agatha and her guards. It is not the first time he is putting Mr. Silver to bed. He finds someone at the telegraph office to drive the bike back to the hotel for payment and they drive back. He makes sure the service entrance is still clear and then gets the bikes inside and asleep.
Iris awakes refreshed, wondering what the hell Lee gave her. She and the Professor check on the sleeping archaeologist to find she is still not well. While they are checking, Lee is monitoring the outside of the building. Lee sees James Gardner drive up and enter the building. Lee is seen by the three outside, and he tips his hat to them with a smile while also watching the door. Inside, Gardner asks for the Silver party, and the Professor comes down to greet him. He takes him to take a peek at the sleeping Fraulein Specht, and explains the doctor would like her to stay one more day. Iris shows up and sells Gardner on the idea that Agatha also needs more rest, and he takes her at that word.
When he comes out, he calls over the guards and tells them they have to stay another day. The lead staggers into the café across the street to get something to drink, leaving one to watch the door, and the other to go update the people out back. Lee tries to follow, but is made. He approaches the man and offers breakfast, noting that he understands watching and that his employer is a great guy to worry so much about subordinates. The man accepts and Lee heads into the hotel to get food and drink for three. The thug continues around, and as Lee steps out into the morning, he sees the man running and shouting in Arabic. Lee knows they have found his handywork from last night. Still playing his part, he approaches the two men outside the café with food. This results in one attacking Lee with a knife. Lee blocks the attack with the food try, spilling hot tea and breakfast on the man. Using the metal tray as a weapon, he knocks the man out. With a look of astonishment, Lee dodges the other thug’s fist, while spitting in broken English about how he does not understand what is going on. The thug continues to flail at the dodging Lee, who at first simply punches him. Since the thug is undeterred, and manages to land a couple of hits, Lee’s face hardens and he again uses the tray like a club, knocking the man out. Their leader notices and comes out wondering what happened. Lee spins a story in broken English and then heads back to the hotel, broken tray in hand and heads to bed for a few hours sleep, not knowing that his employer is having a visitation in his dreams.
Lee knocks on Silver’s door and gets no answer. Concerned, Lee spills into the room to see Mr. Silver sitting at his desk with a silver knife in front of him. Lee checks on him and asks what happened and where the knife came from.
”I have been visited by a ‘hunter’, who looked like my grandfather. He left this knife.”. Lee, looking skeptical immediately checked the windows and doors to make sure there was no entry he did not know about. He summons the rest of the group to talk with Silver.
”I was given this knife because I was told me might need it. Someone will retrieve it later.”
The knife itself looks like it is cast in silver form of a knife but never worked. Lee picks it up and it is far lighter than it should be. Silver notes it can kill the mummy if it is stabbed in the left eye. Then the resulting ashes can be dispersed to end the threat. Lee says he will practice with the knife.
Silver has more information from his vision:
”Clive and al Shakti won’t bother us at the Bent Pyramid, but things there will. Gloria, I am afraid that as you place the seal, things will try to kill you, and afterwards, you will be as attractive a sacrifice as Ms. Broadmore.” It is clear that the cultists are going to try with one artifact, and Silver now knows that they will have some success with it. The Professor calls to check on the seal and asks for it to be rushed as the timetable has moved up. The team decides to deal with the cultists and the mummy first, then move to the Bent Pyramid. A grim quiet that falls on the party of heroes. They jump when there is a strong knock on the door. It is the police!
Lee answers and a charming Frenchman detective, Emile Vabreaux. Lee truthfully explains he got food for the men and they attacked him out of the blue, ask anyone at the café. Lee speaks perfect English, something most of the rest of the group has not seem him do for an outsider. He says he is not planning on leaving as Mr. Silver is staying to set up a dig. Vabreaux gets Mr. Silver’s card and depart.
John Silver sighs as the room empties of all by his trusted companion. Lee places his hand on the shoulder of his best friend and squeezes it gently. Mr. Silver smiles slightly and nods. Lee leaves his master alone to ponder. John pulls out his diary and begins write his experience.
Deciding that leaving the hotel was the best option, the team loaded up the rented truck and went out to go for a “dig”. They left instructions for Fraulein Specht to be well and asked for rooms to be kept for their return with time paid up front. Lee left an elaborate set of orders in Chinese, saying that the Cult of the Bloated Woman had secured two of the artifacts, and now wanted the third. The group went to the museum, followed by two men on motorcycles. Lee waited outside while the other four went in.
Feeling mischievous, Lee noted their tail was pretending to fiddle with their motorcycle. Lee waved and started speaking very broken English about helping them fix it. He grabbed his tools and going over made an extreme success to just damage the spark plug. He cheerfully walked away with a ”It work now!”.
Inside, the team planned with Kafour. He would go to the Mosque to work on the seal. He gave the team their dig papers and everything was made official. Most important, he tells them of a secret entrance into the complex. Coming out, Lee told Mr. Silver in Chinese what he had done, and they drove to the ferry, their tail left behind. They did see a started man at the ferry make a call when they boarded.
They group headed down the highway into the desert. Noting a tail, Lee pulls over and opens the hood. The men pull over behind them and offer to “help” coming out holding tire irons and cricket bats. In a hail of gun fire, all but their leader is shot dead. After a quick interrogation by Mr. Silver of the leader, he kills the man with a shot to the head, to the horror of Lee. They put them mean into the car and Lee sets it up to drive down the road. The Professor rigs it to blow up, but Mr. Silver has to shoot it to trigger the explosion. Driving deeper, they park the truck and use the motorcycles by night to observe the Clive camp, which is at the smallest of the 3 pyramids. They head to the secret entrance and Lee and Silver set up a belay system. Lee climbs down, and the two men help get the rest down the 50’ to a sloping tunnel. The carved tunnel intersects natural caverns cut by water and by heat. Gloria feels more an more claustrophobic as they move on. After they pass an intersection, Silver, brining up the back, hears something behind them. He turns to find a man with the head of an ibis. He fires his silenced revolver and kills the beast. Gloria supposes that these must be what the ancients based their gods on.
Hearing a scream in the distance, Lee asks the group to hustle. Keeping their lights down, the Professor and Lee almost stumble into a pool with things moving in it. Above the 75’ across pool is a wide circle with light coming down, and movement. Suddenly, there is a cry of “NO!” and a body falls into the water. It is a man who tries to swim but is immediately covered by giant leeches.
The group doubles back and takes another passage, and this time, it gently slopes up. They see lights ahead. There is a line of 8 robed cultists. They are speaking of another attack on the Mosque according to Gloria. Lee and Silver sneak up on them, but Lee, in his surprise attack rolls 00. Confident in his push, he attacks again, rolling a 98! The cultists are alerted. The Professor fires his silenced gun, wounding one and killing two more with head shots. Lee brains the man in front of him, while the Professor charges forward, saber in hand. In a moment there are seven dead men and one dying. The Professor demands to know where the mummy is and they gesture back the way they came. The Professor then runs the man through. The group puts on the five least bloody robes and heads down the passage, finding they are now in the room over the pit. They drag the bodies to the pit and then explore the room. ROOM DESCRIPTION HERE
The Professor and Lee crack open the outer sarcophagus using crowbars the Professor took from the thugs earlier. ”I knew these would come in handy!”. The inner case is lined with hieroglyphics unknown to the archaeologist, but which Gloria understands are all about preserving the soul. Lee is anxious to kill the mummy, and they open the inner vessel. Lee immediately stabs the mummy in the left eye and the body turns to ash before them. Lee and Silver start to sweep it into a bin.
But, the guardians of the tomb are not yet done. More beast men arrive. A bull, a hippo, a crocodile, a cheetah a falcon headed monsters come into the room. Iris grabs the necklace and readies against the bull, while Gloria faces the crocodile. Silver grabs his 1911s and the Professor readies his shot gun, while Lee sweeps ups the final bits of the ashes. The bull charges Iris, who fails her dodge and push. She is hurled into the air by the onrushing monster, and falls on the stairs, with broken ribs left arm and left leg. Silver fires several times, the gun thundering in the room, striking the bull and crocodile. Gloria rushes to Iris’s side to help her. The Professor fires at close range into the hippo, and with a crit, blows its head off as it goes to bite him. Lee’s head pops up from inside, but he is rattled and misses. But the marksman and Professor are on the job, and soon even the falcon and cheetah are down. Lee rushes to apply first aid to Iris, and has an extreme success, helping to get her splinted with wood from the torches Mr. Silver supplies. They form a stretcher for Lee and the Professor to carry her out on. Lee plans ahead and rigs it with a place to hold a rope to keep her horizontal and strapped in to go vertical. The professors begins to lay dynamite with a slow fuse.
As they are working to get out, Gloria is drawn to the large void. She takes a photo of it, and the light of the flash does not penetrate either. The Professor stops and both stare into the darkness. Lee notices, and sees Gloria move forward towards it. He shouts ”Gloria, stop!” and leaps to tackle her short of the darkness. Seeing that the Professor is as irrational about the phenomenon as Gloria, orders them both to the entrance to the room. Lee and Silver move Iris and the Professor sets the fuse. Thereafter, Mr. Silver brings up the rear, guns in hand.
When they reach the pit, Lee rolls a 01 to get Iris across on the belay system, and then the rest make it. As they prepare to hoist Iris up the hole to the surface, they hear the explosion and feel the hot air woosh through the tunnel. They ascend to the surface as day is breaking. In the distance is a lot of activity. Lee balances Iris on the side car, and gently gets her back to the truck while the other three ride together. Mr. Silver decides to take another Ferry, and it takes most of the day to get back to the Mosque. They explain what has happened, that they have the final artifact to send away and they are able to get medical care for Iris. Lee seems fine pulling another all-nighter.
They prep for an attack, but none comes. Gloria and the Professor are downstairs, while Silver and Lee are on the roof. Lee stays vigilant while his boss naps propped up against the stairs. Lee sees three faceless creatures fly down and land. He covers them with his shot gun and shouts ”Halt!”, which awakens Silver. Silver recognizes them from his vision. They hold out alien hands and Silver returns the knife to them.
The next day, the group rests and recovers. The plan is to guard the mosque at night until the seal is ready. Then Gloria and Kafour will go put the seal in place atop the bent pyramid while the other four guard them. Lee works on a rack to hold extra weapons.
The city is in turmoil and there is martial law. Areas have been attacked, including the hotel where the party had been staying. “Mohmmadists” are blamed, but everyone knows it is
The group takes time for Iris to recover from her injuries, a full four days. In that time, the Professor and Gloria study the chants needed to perform the ritual. Gloria and Dr. Kafour will perform the work, but each will have a back-up, and that is the planned role for Professor Oswald. The two spend time learning how to speak ancient Egyptian.
John Silver and Lee Chan head deeper into the city, ever alert for issues. With a telegram back to their stores in Port Said, they arrange to have weapons shipped to them. Silver uses his credit and rolls a 99. He makes a fast switch of paperwork and succeeds, but not without damage to his credit rating. The weapons secured, the two also get other supplies, noticeably, several sand bags to fill at the pyramid.
Dr. Kafour and his assistant are coming along, as well as Nessim Efit and his people, bringing the total group to 15. Dr. Kafour arranges a Duce and a Half and shows the group papers authorizing the dig. They load the supplies and head into the desert towards the Bent Pyramid. Once there, the four Egyptian guards do not want to accept Dr. Kafour’s papers. Silver and Lee approach and manage the problem with money. Unfortunately, the guards just leave. Mr. Silver muses they are not going to go party, but to alert al-Shakti. They group sets about setting up a sandbag base and then walls using fire brigade chains. They set up their three machine guns on three corners, the west having one on each end, with stations for Iris, Silver and Lee. They leave other weapons in place for a fight, and instruct some of their companions on reloading. Lee blocks the entrance to the Pyramid with the truck. A hard day’s labor of 6 hours and al-Shakti shows up.
They see two trucks coming, with over two dozen men, and their foe in his car. He comes out to talk to the group, and Silver briefly engages in conversation with him but quietly tells Lee to fire. Lee fires an exceptional shot with his rifle, the al Shakthi’s cat bats the bullet away. Now the fire fight is on. The heroes get the better of the conflict, driving the bad guys back behind the dunes. Iris and Lee blow up their cars with carful shots. Some of the men try to come around, but they two are met with hails of machine gun fire. Then it is time for the chanting to start. Gloria and Dr. Kafour start the ritual. It is then that Lee notices the al-Shakti is chanting. The sands shift around the base of the ancient structure, and four dozen clawed creatures formed from the Sand itself. The Professor and Efti’s men fired down their side, while the other three sides faced machine gun fire! Iris quickly took out half her side before her gun jammed. Lee proved to be less accurate and took longer to take out half on his side. Mr. Silver fared worse at first, but again wittled his side down. The Professor, worried about the speed, threw a stick of dynamite down, killing one and wounding the rest, giving his allies time to kill many. Then the creatures were upon them. In close quarters, Mr. Silver demonstrated he close range proficiency. In the fighting, Iris and the Professor were both mildly wounded, but the combined might drove back the creatures. Lee quickly attends to the wounds of the people around him, while the uninjured help with the reloading. They are just in time to stop the charge of the men up the pyramid. The Professor again engages in the sport of dynamite fishing, and the mere humans are quickly dispatched.
Lee, seeing that al-Shakti was still chanting starts to go after him, but then notes his cat was no longer in his arms. Looking down from the sandbags, he sees the cat grown and morph into a skinless monster. Silver fills it with lead leaving it a corpse. The creatures shrinks into a mummified corpse. Lee struggles against insanity at this near miss and chooses to blow it up with a shotgun blast.
Now the end game approaches, as smoke pours fourth from the base of the pyramid “lapping up” the dead bodies around them. It forms into an giant faceless sphinx that starts up the side. Silver looks grim as he pulls out his revolver and its six special rounds. He glances at Lee but is startled as Lee leaps forward and grabs him, babbling in Chinese they have to go home. After repeated threats to his employer and friend, Lee’s has failed – all he wants to do now is get his charge to safety, just as he proposed a week ago. The startled Silver jerks, and the family revolver goes flying. The Professor scrambles after the weapon to save it. Two of the local defenders run down to attack the monster in crazed attacks, buying the group some time in their insane charge. The Professor points the pistol and fires at the beast which is not level with them. Three rounds fly through the creature shocking it. Its faceless gaze locks “eyes” with the Professor, who feels the odd effects of using the weapon.
Seeing that Lee has clearly gone over the edge, Efti’s men grab at him to try to pull him off of Silver, but Lee is one of the world’s best at martial arts. What distracts him is Iris, grabbing his face and kissing him hard (making an extreme success on her Charm). Lee is shocked and Silver gets away. Three men continued to restrain Lee as Silver moves to take the gun back and continue to fire. Lee gets an arm free, almost breaking the arm of one of the men. Going for his knife he is ready to kill the men holding him. Before he can land his knife, Iris is again in his way, holding him, and again with an extreme success on her Charm roll, distracts Lee again.
As this goes on, Silver fires two more shots, killing the great beast which vanishes. Everyone present feels a great relief and it is as if they leave a nightmare. Lee stops struggling and sits with Iris holding him. It is then the ritual is complete, and Gloria and Dr. Kafour come out of their trances to see the scene around them. Iris is not sure if Lee or Iris is insane and Efit tells her what happened. Silver and the Professor charge down to where al-Shakti was, but his footprints vanish in the sand. Unlike New York or London, this time they have an enemy still at large. Efti has the weapons buried in the desert and then everyone begins the long walk home. If Iris leaves Lee’s side he immediately begins to struggle, so she keeps an eye on him. Lee clearly wants to get Silver out of there still, but is better. After a ferry at the river arranged by Dr. Kafour, the Group gets back to the city and prepares to depart Egypt for Africa.
Leaving Egypt, the Mosque cum hospital takes care of any additional clean up. Lee is fitful and sullen, mostly being guided by Iris. The group returns to their plane and Mr. Silver decides to head to Italy for a rest. He has a contact arrange a villa in Tuscany. On the flight, he and Lee have a heart to heart, with Lee begging his employer to end this quest and find a place to hide in Texas. Silver makes a good case that there is no one else who can do what they are doing and that he is pledged to save the world. In his remaining madness, Lee tells Silver that when this is over, if they live, he will leave Silver’s service. This shocks everyone to their cores, perhaps Lee most of all.
Ed Note: Lee’s player, with two bonus die, failed to roll the needed 64 SAN roll, and his Key Contact was eliminated. This caused his player significant distress. It is a great representation of the damage done in a horror game, and a testimony to the Game Master of making the game horrific. Lee’s player said “I would have rather he died”. It is there a pathway to redemption for Lee? As of this writing, that is up in the air.
After landing, Mr. Silver arranges for a private nurse to take care of Lee at the villa, in a private room. He is able to arrange for Dr. Ferdinando Cazzamalli who happened to be down from northern Italy. Dr. Cazzamalli already had an interest in parapsychology and was a perfect match for the mentally wounded Lee. With a combination of rest, medication and an experimental device using ultra-high-frequency waves, he was able to bring Lee back to sanity after a month’s dedicated work.
Meanwhile, Mr. Silver worked to stabilize his credit and got in contact with his accountant, much to his accountant’s relief. Gloria and the Professor both take down time to study the dark tomes they have acquired, and as their minds twist, they each gain reality warping spells. Gloria, seeing that Iris almost died, looks to find a way to protect others, while the Professor lives up to his first name “Hunter” and divines a way to strip the life from an enemy. Iris goes to work tending bar and works on perfecting her skills. In the second month of rest, Professor Oswald heads England to visit his daughter. Silver travels and practices his riding. Iris still tends bar, with Lee now a patron. As it is spring, he searches for and brings her a bouquet of iris for the lady. Lee also throws himself into the strange blueprints, almost crazed in study. They make sense to him, that these are plans for an immense rocket of some sort. He informs the party, noting this is exactly the sort of reason he argued to go home. Iris works on her Swahili in her spare time, and the group maps out the path to Kenya.
Lee shows up at the plane to fly gleefully holding a strange metal tube. He appears to have been inspired by the equipment used by Dr. Cazzamalli. Lee shows the function of his odd device, which turns out to be an automatic lock pick. Twisting the base allows four flexible wires to extend, like metal tentacles. Lee says it will pick locks almost half the time on the first try. Lee spends the flight sketching out new ideas for other possible technology. The flight is uneventful, as they fly along the coasts to get to Mombasa. From there they board a train to Nairobi to find out what happened to the ill-fated Carlyle expedition.
The group is seated in the dining car, eating and watching the passage of the landscape. John Silver, looking out, is suddenly struck that this is part of his vision from back in South America. While his mind is not hurt by this realization, he is taken back into that memory and totally fails to notice the sudden screams of the passengers. The ladies are the first to notice the fires moving atop the train, one blue from behind and one red from in front. As soon as they inform the men, Lee’s first though it their equipment. Taking a look, it seems as if the fires are not all consuming but leaving burning behind. Iris yells to decouple the trains while Gloria pulls the emergency stop signal. Lee grabs two buckets of sand for putting out cigarettes and charges forward, while Iris snaps Silver out of it. The panic of the passengers is great, and the ladies use their psychology and charm to calm the passengers as the Professor grabs sand and heads back. Iris moves towards the bar for a seltzer and the bemused Silver asks where Lee is while grabbing a fire extinguisher. Lee deftly uncouples the cars and at the last moment decides to tangle with the blue fire being. He stays with the dining car and climbs the ladder to charge the beast, throwing sand at it. The creature is in pain and strikes Lee with a spine, burning Lee. Lee Prepares to swing his other bucket around as a weapon.
Down in the car, Silver is trying to follow Lee. The train is coasting to a stop automatically, and the ladies work to get the people out. The Professor leans out to see Lee swing his bucket at the monster, the bucket melting as it strikes, coving the monster in sand. It is not yet down but hurt. Again, it attacks Lee, the heat burning away his sleeves. Lee back off to fire three rounds, but the bullets melt in the heat.
The Professor and Gloria go to engage the one on top while Silver notes the red one is focused on him and runs from the train towards the river. The monster follows faster than he can run, but he uses the fire extinguisher and the monster reels. Iris chases after them.
Meanwhile, the Professor has thrown a bucket of sand at the monster, but it missed. Thanks to an extreme luck roll, the bucket lands upright at Lee’s feet. Gloria charges up and misses with her fire extinguisher, but Lee attacks again and flattens the monster with sand. He falls on top the fire with his body, putting out the last of the flames, but being burned. This time Gloria is able to work the mechanism and put Lee out. She is unable to render first aid and runs for a medic.
Back in the mud, Silver fires again and runs. The creature staggers forward, but Iris hits it with seltzer water from behind, putting it out. As the fire clears, and the panic of the people subsides, the train is put back together. Lee is taken down to rest, and when the train reaches the station, Lee is rushed to a hospital for two days to recover. The rest of the group sets up in Norfolk Hotel and begins the search for the Cult of the Bloody Tongue and the Carlyle Expedition. It fast becomes clear that though the expedition was “wiped out” there were no white bodies. Further, they find leads in the city of people to talk too. Lee goes from hospital first to pray, and thereafter starts to attend daily mass. Still silent, he rigs several alarm devices for their rooms, to secure doors and windows. All wind up with bells, and metal wires similar to the lock picks. It is time to research Kenya in earnest.
It is a new day in a different place, but the same sort of work is needed. Lee is brooding about the dangers they have faced, especially the giant beast they killed in Egypt. Inspiration hits and he wonders if the drug used by the painter, who, after all, painted an extradimensional portal in a painting. He is concerned about the effects on his mental health as well, but also afraid of the next thing they might have to fight. The fire vampire that left him with wounds he is still recovering from was immune to bullets, after all. Lee approaches Gloria, who does have three of the vials with her. She gives Lee one for his promise he will let her have some study time with her arcane tomes, to which he agrees, knowing that will happen the same day.
Iris and Silver both plan different missions into the city. Lee gets with Silver and it is clear he wants to go to protect Iris. Silver agrees he can take care of himself and heads to talk to the British Rifles. Meeting with Captain Montgomery, Silver presents as a wealthy man from Boston, here on his own business, but reluctantly asking questions for his dear friend, Ms. Carlyle, the sister of the unfortunate leader of the same named expedition. He is greeted with the pain of a man put upon “by that harridan” and Silver is able to appropriately sympathize. In their conversation, Silver is able to play on his Charm and war experience as a former flyboy for the Brits into a long conversation.
After talking to this officer in charge, he is able to talk to Sgt. Lenard Binghamton who was a private at the time of the Carlyle massacre. He related that the bodies were torn to shreds and chewed apart. He noted that the bodies were untouched by animals and still there for them to dispose of. The natives were blamed and some rounded up an hung. He also notes that while Lt. Selkirk died in a fire, he does not believe it was a lantern as the official report says. Speaking of official reports, both the Sergeant’s and Lieutenant’s typed statements of the episode are identical, word for word. Silver gives him a card and invites him to visit him at the hotel and makes plans to visit “Nails” in the enlisted Men’s club.
Iris and Lee head for the hotel that the Carlyle Expedition stayed in. She is able to meet with the manager, Reggie Baines, and he is most interested in dissuading her from following that ill-fated expedition as the wilds are no place for a woman. Lee plays his accustomed role of a barley literate servant. Over morning lemonade, she finds out about the attack, and that it was strange. He thinks that there were some white people dead. He also says he shipped many items back for Mr. Carlyle, to the Penhew Foundation in London.
Gloria and the Professor use the day alone in the hotel to study and research their ancient tomes. It is hard work to read and translate their work. They use the suite’s sitting room as a study, books out, comparing them to other references. And time passes.
Gloria is sitting in class, her favorite professor, though with a beard, is teaching them about a black mountain in Africa and a prophecy of a god trying to bring a son into the world. She is trying to make sense of it and looks to other classmates to see if they are understanding. While it makes sense at the time, one of them seems to have a long, dog like face, with a foul smell of corpses. Behind her, her classmate has no face at all, but it seems normal, or at least normal for him. Gloria awakes, having dozed off while reading. The Professor is similarly asleep in his chair. The page she was reading talks about an evil outsider using the flesh of a woman (or maybe even a man) to give birth to a spawn half bread who will mutate and show her true form as she grows up. Coming out of her dream and reading this information pushes Gloria into a bout of disorientation, madness and hallucinations. Gloria is convinced that she is either pregnant with this child, or is this child as she does not know her parents. The distraught woman to cries out pulling at her clothes to see if she has wings.
Young Hunter is on his home estate, as child, being taught by his grandfather how to hunt pheasant. Hunter remembers this time, though his grandfather seems to have a longer beard than he remembers. The hunting dogs are as he remembers, brining back feelings for long lost companions. As they hunt, Hunter gets his first kill, but the duck is long and drake-like, akin to a little version of what they saw over north England. He starts awake to see a page about the old ones who open the way when the stars are aligned. Then he hears Gloria’s cry as she is jumping up.
The Professor tries to calm her down, as Gloria cries out that the creature refuses to impregnate with her. In his own distributed state, he is drawn into her hallucination and argues with the monster. He bolts the door and pushes a chair clumsily against it. Had the two not been in a suite for the rich, it is likely their cries and calls would have alerted staff to intervene. Finally, the madness subsides and the two collapse back into their chairs, looking disheveled, and both taking a long drink, Gloria smoking her cigarettes and the Professor fumbling with a pipe. This is how they other three find them.
Iris and Lee reach the Hotel shortly after Silver, who had just finished directing the desk on the possibility of Sgt. Binghamton arriving. The three head upstairs, briefly saying they had good information to find the door locked and jammed. Lee easily pushes the door open to find the two scholars in their states. Both were unkept, with Gloria’s top in tatters. The Professor had places where Gloria’s makeup, running from her crying, was on his clothes. Silver immediately assumed command to ask what had happened, and neither gave a good answer. Lee noticed the tomes sitting out and grabbed Gloria’s. As he moved to get the other, Hunter leapt to stop him, but Lee easily snapped it away from him, and said
”If you want to fight me for it, I am happy to go a few rounds.”.
The Professor demurred. Silver directed Iris to take Gloria into another room to question her, while the men talked to the Professor. Both revealed something of what they had learned, the Professor being more forthcoming, but neither was honest or clear about their shared hallucination, nor was there any denial of the suspicion that something untoward had happened between the two. The three friends told them to go to dinner, and Iris said she would stay behind and eat in the room.
Silver announces he is headed to the darker streets to a pub to meet with Bertram “Nails” Nelson, and Lee insists on coming. After giving the books to Iris to safe keep, Lee and Silver head to the enlisted men’s bar, The Loyal Defender Pub. Lee and Silver have a discussion along the way, and Mr. John Silver invites Lee to call him by his first name, like they did when they were younger. Lee is able to agree and seems to have a weight lifted from him. Once at the pub, the two easily find Nails and sit with him, brining him drinks. They are upfront and honest when it is clear that he has seen past the veil, as it were. Nails describes a blue fire vampire destroying Lt. Selkirk’s tent. Lee shows the man his still wounded arms. Nails is clear that Jack Brand is not dead, but in Hong Kong, and mentions a bar there, The Yellow Lilly. Lee remembers it as a bar on Wangshing Street, near the Causeway Bay. A place of ill repute that both men were in trouble for visiting as teens, something they have a brief laugh over.
Nails notes that in Kenya things are different. That people “disappear here”, often locals, but sometimes even Asians or whites. He is able to describe the Cult of the Bloody Tongue and relate them to the Nandi but is not sure if they are a tribe or just a cult. Like the sergeant, he notes the bodies were ignored by animals, and says that even the insects stayed at bay. He gives this advice:
”If you are going after them, you are going to needs lots of arms. Lots of arms.”
The two men thank Nails, and John slips him a few bills. Their informant’s final suggestion is to follow up with Johnstone Kenyatta, who he describes as a “Good Witchdoctor”. With that the two men headed back to the hotel. As he sets up the alarms, Lee says that tomorrow, the group has to sit down to discuss learning lore and how they plan to move forward as a group. John agrees, understanding that Lee is right and that with the changes to their relationship, Lee is now a full partner in this crusade.
As promised, Lee orders breakfast for the crew and has them sit down to talk about the use of magic. Lee is clear that he wanted, and still wants to go home, but his place is with his friends, and the goal is to save the world. It is a hard discussion where everyone is willing to sacrifice personal privilege for the greater good.
Gloria knows that the knowledge in the books is needed for them to win, and she is willing to lay her mind on the line. John and Iris are afraid of those consequences, with Iris noting that if they lose someone to an asylum, they are as good as dead. Lee notes that is what Mr. Silver asked him to do, and how is that any different. The group eventually comes to an agreement that John and Iris will ask for the books to be read as needed, and when that happens, Gloria or the Professor will be monitored. Al can agree on this.
Once they agree on that, Lee brings up he has one dose of the drug used by the artist. He says he had glimpses of alien technology in his insanity and while he has a lock pick, he knows there is something like a lightning gun out there. He wants to try a vision and see if he can understand a weapon. Having decided that sometimes the books may be read, the group agrees, and Gloria and the Professor will stay to monitor Lee. Meanwhile, John and Iris will head to talk to Johnston Kenyatta. The two meet with the Nairobi nationalist. After some back and forth, Iris lays their cards on the table. Kenyatta notes they are dealing with ancient forces, the sorts of things his grandfather, a seer, would warn about. He talks about the Cult of the Bloodied Tongue:
“The Cult of the Bloody Tongue was responsible for the massacre of the Carlyle Expedition. Unnatural beasts were summoned from the Other Sides to kill and carry off the victims. Those carried away were brought to the Mountain of the Black Wind, a terrible place shunned by everyone.
“The Mountain of the Black Wind The Mountain of the Black Wind is so called because a dread god inhabits it. Others know the mountain as Mount Satima. Even the greatest of spells cast against the mountain have no effect. Once per year, the Black Wind is unleashed, which brings plague, famine, and disaster.
“To satisfy their god, the cult abducts villagers and sacrifices them. After the sacrifices, the god appears in all its terrible glory, attended by creatures not of this earth. As tall as the mountain itself, the god has no face; only a blood-red tongue hangs down from where the top of its head should be. The mere sight of this hideous god drives men mad. The god’s priestess is called M’Weru. She lives in the mountain. It was she who prophesied the coming of a child of the god, a part human monster, who is soon to soak the land with blood.
“Ancient tales speak of a great sign, the Eye of Light and Darkness, which could forever chain the cruel god within the mountain. No one knows what the sign might be. Some farseeing magicians say that the sign existed until a few years ago, when the god tricked men into destroying it. If the sign can be found, perhaps it can chain the god once more.”
Okomu can draw you a map leading to the Mountain of the Black Wind, though he warns that lurking evil dwells there, against which there is no protection.”
He refers them to the Great Bendari, in a small town and notes
“I sense a great destiny lingers with you”.
John Silver looks at the man, so close to his age and says,
”I am not sure I want that, but it may be there. I hope you have luck in yours as well”.
Kenyatta leaves to make a call, and Iris overhears him in Swahili making arrangements for them to be transported. A very tall black man comes to guide them and the start out.
This part of Nairobi is poor, but its people are cheerful and have not given up hope. Most of the houses are one-room, mud-wall buildings, roofed by bundled grasses and broad leaves. Occasionally, the larger home of some entrepreneur makes a striking contrast. Prosperity is mostly judged by how well one’s roof sheds water; roofs made of shingles, tile, or amalgams of packing crates and hammered-out metal sheets have higher status than those with moldy straw bundles. Eventually, their guide stops before a yellow painted door, turns to look at the investigators, and then steps through. Following, John and Iris they find themselves in a small shed, beside a high-wheeled, yellow Rolls-Royce roadster of indifferent condition. They comment to each other that Lee is going to be sorry to have missed this. Their guide holds open the door and motions them to sit in the car. In a few minutes, they are bouncing along a dirt track several miles outside of Nairobi, scattering bicycles and animal-drawn carts as they go, and leaving a long cloud of dust in their wake. The driving is nothing like having Lee at the wheel. Their destination is a small village, in which Old Bundari lives. Their guide tells them he is one of the most powerful and respected tribal magicians of East Africa.
After an hour or so in the hot and stuffy interior of the car, they drive into a remote village and stop just beyond a circle of huts. The guide gets out, but motions for John and Iris to remain in the vehicle. A young, delicate looking man approaches, and he and the guide talk at length. While the conversation cannot be heard, it appears that their guide is speaking in persuasive tones, attempting to convince the delicate-looking man of something. While the conversation plays out, village children gather around the car and peer inside, their bright round eyes polite but curious. Iris is able to talk to them in their own language and the children laugh and talk aback to her, and she verbally plays with the children, not used to a white woman speaking to them, albeit brokenly. Once the two men conclude their conversation, the guide haltingly introduces the investigators to the young man, Okomu, who asks, in English, why the two wish to speak to Bundari.
They go into one particular hut, shaped like a snail shell. The walls are covered in symbols, and Iris notes that she wishes Gloria could see these. They are lead into the room on Bundari, who is sitting cross legged and in deep meditation. Okomu says Bundari spends much of his time in communion with other worlds and they must wait for him to return. The two westerners sit silently for five hours, during which time, Okomu stretches and massages Bundari’s legs on occasion. After the hours pass, Bundari breaths deeply and opens his eyes. He knows them already, calling Silver “the Editor from Boston with another Face” and Iris “A woman from South, East, North, and West”. He speaks of them as hunters and knows of the quest of the party. Unlike a character in a movie, Bundari speaks quite plainly to the two, telling them what they must do. Satima is the priestess of M’Weru and was part of the Carlyle expedition. She is the being in the prophecy that is the mother of the god to be born or who’s body will be the vessel. He tells them that they must seal the site at the Mountain of the Black Wind, like the did in Egypt, or under the right starts, M’Weru will summon plagues upon the land. To aid the group, he gives them two items “For your wizard”, clearly meaning Gloria. One is a Fly Wisk that can aid her in casting her spells. The other is a chameleon in a cage of sticks. ”She is ‘Who is not what she seems.’ Feed her flies and let her out a the mountain only”. Iris notes that ”’Hoo it is’”. The two are taken back to the hotel, arriving quite late in the evening.
During this trip, Lee undergoes his vision. He practices his meditation for a bit and then deftly injects himself. Gloria then secures him to the bed frame. While under his vision, it is clear to Gloria he is attempting to write, so she frees his hand and gives him paper, where Lee writes various sketches and notes. Lee is fevered and lost to our world for 3 hours. Just making his SAN roll, Lee manages to fully return to reality. When he awakes, he asks for water and works to regain his composure. For the rest of the afternoon, Lee works to organize his notes while nodding off.
Seeing that Lee is OK, the Professor goes to the library while Gloria keeps watch. He easily gains access to the closed off archives and finds a tome far more complete than one he has been studying. This one talks about a Djinn of scorching fire. Looking around, he switches the book out with his old one, and then heads back to the hotel. Gloria has already ordered dinner in, and by now, Lee is quite hungry. The three eat and wait for Iris and John to return. When everyone is together, Lee lets the others tell their stories before he relates his vision:
”I found my mind moving through time on earth. I think I saw the great fire of London. I saw rocket planes, with no propellers, made entirely of metal. It was unworldly, but not as unworldly as what was to come. I heard a voice, faint, like a voice lost in static on the radio. I called back to it, and it drew me towards it. The images flashed stronger, but finally settled me, as if in a dream, in a body, elsewhere.
“I stood on a red desert under a purple sky. A being, humanoid, but clearly not human, stood upon another dune. I tried to move towards it but could not. We spoke of things. Of our fight against things like the dragon, which appeared drawn in the sand before me. The being spoke of being trapped by a man such as I and that his people have existed long enough to see suns burn out. He listed years marked in hundreds of millions. I told him I was seeking a weapon glimpsed in a previous vision. I was able to make drawings appear in the sand of the great rocket I found. I know there is more technology than we understand. The being agreed to show me such a weapon if I would agree to free him. I queried him how could I be sure he was not what we fought? He gave me what I sought with no bargain required as a show of good faith. He does not want to be here when the world passes into its confluence of stars. I felt he wanted to help. He could not name our foe, saying it has so many names, none have power over it.
“We are dealing with beings of great power, far beyond us, or even this being, who has a people like us from another world. I fear that we are all doomed, but, perhaps, these drawings I have now, maybe we can build something to help us fight.”
The group is silent in response, processing Lee’s tale. Lee quietly drinks his tea. The ever practical John Silver says that they will need to start setting up a “Safari” tomorrow as cover heading out. This time, though, there are forces who know that they are coming, and that the safari will be a lie. The team goes to bed aware they face far more danger than before.
The Professor is not feeling his best and wants to spend some time in study to prepare. Gloria asks the rest to go to the paper with her to explore what is going on at Endicott Lodge. There they learn of its dark history. Created by Col. Endicott, it is in a land that used to belong to an evil tribe that has been long wiped out, according to the local Boyoyva tribesmen. She tells scary stories of guests dying, with strange bite marks too small for normal wild animals. It is clear she does not want Gloria to even go. It seems his wife and child caught ill and died their shortly after he built it, leading the party to wonder if there is cult activity.
As the Gloria talks with the woman running the newspaper, Lee and Silver hear hard tromping of someone coming into the newspaper offices and headed their way. Both stand and prepare just in time for a man with an elephant gun to come into the room and fire into the ceiling in anger. He beings a speech but is cut short in the face of three pistols (John Silver of course has one in each hand). Silver tells them man to surrender his weapon, and Lee deftly takes it and sits the man down in a chair. The man turns out to be Col. Henry Endicott, and he is furious at the “lies” the newspaper is spreading about hit Lodge.
Iris charms the man and calms him down, offering to come tell “his side” of the story. The group rents a truck and follows him to the lodge, a long, four hour drive, that even with Lee’s great driving, is bumpy and rough.
At the lodge, they meet the one worker, a local man, Silent Joe, who looks resigned to his lot in life. Iris can tell he is playing dumb, much like she has as a bartender, or how Lee will act. They select rooms for themselves, men and ladies separated and have drinks and a wonderful dinner. Gloria and Iris both notice the high number of empty liquor bottles in the trash. It is clear that the Col. Is under pressure. Iris slips into the kitchen to talk with Silent Joe, letting him know she is on to him. He suggests they all leave in the morning and don’t go outside at night. Joe says that when Penhew and his people came through, they were out one night drinking, and when Endicott came back, he was not the same. He says there is bad juju and they need a good juju man to fix it. The old man they just visited comes to mind. Lee wonders if the ghouls might be able to fix the problem since this was clearly an issue of the life and death cycle being disrupted.
Meanwhile, Gloria helps get the drunken host more under with the use of her hypnosis. He revels that Penhew and crowd said they “Could bring her back” as he sobs. It is clear something horrible and magical happened. The group plans to sleep in the lodge tonight and go on safari in the morning and see what happens. Everyone sleeps with their guns handy.
The next day, they go on safari and they do find some trails, but they do not get a kill. There is some suspicion in the party that Gloria might have spooked a great cat to save it. Endicott is most upset as he is hoping the group killing a cat could be the cover to end the problems. That afternoon they inspect the platform. Lee makes sure the ladder is shored up, to make sure it can be used quickly. The group then does another dinner and after the drunken Endicott is put to bed, they all go into the corner room, with the women in the bed and Lee and Silver take shifts awake. It is during Lee’s shift that he hears an odd rustling outside. He looks out the window and sees something moving outside the fence of the lodge. He gets them all up and points to where he saw it to Silver. However, neither man can see anything out there, but the now wide awake women both see other shapes.
Lee and Silver climb onto the roof to get a better view. They see a humanoid shape of leaves and dirt with burning red eyes outside. Lee hangs back down at the window and asks for his shotgun. The thing starts to climb, and Silver shoots it several times with his pistols, “killing” it. Silent Joe bursts into the women’s room shortly after, shotgun in hand wondering what is going on. Lee’s head pokes back down as he tells the women ”Good News! Bullets do seem to stop these things. Oh, Hi Joe. These things are trying to get in. Better secure the Col. and get ready.” Joe goes to do that while Iris and Gloria start to get supplies to make Molotov cocktails.
The gate opens, and a series of these monsters come through. A tall figure standing next to a smaller one points at the lodge and the animated dirt elementals run forward. Lee and Silver start shooting. Gloria is able to bar the doors downstairs and retreat with the bottles. Silver says that we need to get the mother, who is outside the gate. Lee nods and leaps for the garage nearby and lands badly. He is not too badly hurt, however, and the expert mechanic and driver brings the truck to life with a roar.
Meanwhile, Silver is face to face with an elemental on the roof. Hearing the truck burst out, he turns to jump on its room, a risky proposition. However, with an amazing success, Lee saddles the truck up to the side of the building, and Silver can simply step onto the roof. Riding it like a surfboard, the newspaper owner turned monster hunter, stays on as Lee slides the truck sideways through the elementals, ending up blocking the gate. Silver takes careful aim with that gun and fires a special bullet through the form of Endicott’s dead wife. She vanishes in, destroyed by the magic. The young form looks at Silver, and then to the east. The sun is rising, and as the light falls, the forms all collapse into the dust and dirt they came from.
The group decides to further interrogate Endicott. Gloria hypnotizes him again and digs into what happened the fateful night. The group is not surprised to find out that Penhew and company were engaged in evil things. They boasted in Egypt they had gone back in time to learn dark magic from the Black Pharaoh himself and they could use it to bring back the dead wife and son of the Col. Under regression, Endicott was able to relate the spell used. Gloria recognized it as a Call Binding spell and is sure she can recast it to undo it. She will need her wand of power and around 10 minutes after dark. She is sure this spell did not work correctly, as the men were drunk.
The group talks to Silent Joe and explains to him that they do hunt monsters, and that Gloria has good ju ju. They plan to keep Endicott inebriated through the spell. They prep the platform and get ready to defend it when she casts the spell. As night falls, Gloria gets read, and they all hear the rustle of the elementals returning. As Gloria starts, in insensate Endicott rouses himself, recognizing the spell and is desperate to stop it. Lee pounces on the man and applies handcuffs to keep him safe. The ladder is up, so the creatures have to attack the posts. Lee and Silver fire to drive them down. After the 10 minutes, Gloria completes the spell, and the bound spirits are released. The Hunting Lodge is no longer haunted.
The team starts preparations for a “Safari” to the mountain to deal with the cultists. Okomu, a sorcerer in training with the old man will come along. Silver also plans to recruit “Nails” to come along. It will take around 5 days minimum to get things set up. During that time, everyone has plans. The Professor says the book he stole has information on the fire creatures, and Gloria and Lee are strong supporters of this research. As John cleans and prepares weapons, he supervises the Professor’s reading. Iris takes a couple of shifts as well when Silver is running his errands. This pays off, and the older man is able to recommend the group acquire as man fire extinguishers they can get, which Silver adds to his list. Gloria goes to the library to do some local research and gets with Iris to start learning the basics of Swahili.
Iris is quite busy helping others. In addition to her language lessons and Professor sitting, she goes around as translator for Lee, who is spending money to buy parts to build his “lightening gun”. When not shopping, he is busy putting it together. Iris, the only one not distracted by personal tasks, makes a point to watch their backs. She spies a woman of Indian descent with large gaudy rings on each hand in several places.
For his errands, Mr. Silver first goes to the British Garrison, ostentatiously to use the range, but really seeking some heavier firepower. He works with a Sgt. Buckton and is able to find a piece. He leaves the Sgt. with a fine weapon and ammo, including some bills in the ammo case. Silver is then off to acquire the machine gun. Next up, that evening, with a distracted Lee in tow, Silver talks to Nails and gets him to come to the hotel to dry out and join the mission. Finally, he purchases 12 fire extinguishers from around the city.
As the group gathers towards the end of the week, Iris points out the woman following them. Lee slips away mid conversation and easily finds the woman who is fingering a ring and chanting. Lee tackles her to stop the spell, but up above, heats distortions form. A fire vampire is forming. As Lee manhandles the woman he is the focus of attention. Lee growls at the crowd to look up, able to intimidate them. The screaming draws Silver and the Professor to the window to see the fire vampire form in a burst of flame. Fire strikes the window and rains into the street. Silver avoids the flames while the Professor does not. Lee coldly uses the woman as a shield, and the flames eerily pass around her.
On the streets, two men are on fire, the flames clearly pulling their life forces up to the monster above, who’s name now makes more sense to Lee. He chokes the air to make the woman pass out and gabbing a near by tarp, puts out the fire on both men. Upstairs, Silver gets a fire extinguisher and uses it, while the Professor puts himself out. The monster fires back, and now Silver is on fire. Gloria helps get the him put out while the Professor takes a turn and the monster disappears with the smell of ashes. The front of the building is in flames, and the two men also work on getting the façade out. Lee uses the confusion in the streets to carry his captive into the building and she is then brought before the team to be interrogated. While Silver cannot seem to scare her, the Professor, perhaps more touched by his knowledge of the unnatural, scares her. They have a bane bullet and put that gun to her head. Lee is quite uncomfortable with the possibility that she might be outright shot. Kidnapping is one thing; murder is another.
The woman is Taan Kaur. She owns a tea shop in town, but what she really does is oversee The Bloody Tounge’s actions in the town, while serving another aspect of this dark god the party is chasing, The Small Crawler from India. She mentions being warned of the group’s coming from Egypt, confirming that the escaped dark magician, Omar al Shakti, is indeed after them. Silver calls John Kenetta and that groups sends someone to collect her. The group moves to a new hotel as this one is evacuated, and they take as many fire extinguishers as they can. They then check out Kaur’s shop and find a bloody cleaver and robe as a well as a dark statue to the Small Crawler. They also take a load of tea.
Settled into their new place, at the Hampton House Gloria writes and article on the local fire for the paper. The group is now ready to move on to stop the cultists. This time they know they are headed into great danger and none of them expect to have the element of surprise this time. Lee complete and stores his lightning gun. It is s backpack with batteries with a long tube connected with spiral wires. One side has a place to store his Lee-Enfield Rifle. He wants to make sure it is ready to kill a monster. Gloria readies 10 more enchanted bullets for Lee and Silver to take. She refuses to teach the Professor the spell, but he takes notes as he watches her and thinks he understands it.
Iris lectures on the use of Russian roulette by the Professor, and Lee agrees. Both express concern about what they are willing to do. There is a general agreement that they do not need to kill captives, but both Silver and the Professor with war experience clearly feel there are exceptions. It is not at all clear that the Professor has any intention of behaving differently in the future.
The group gets with the caravan and heads through the jungle towards the third highest mountain in Kenya. With them are Nails and Okomu. They avoid the main route, and go by way of the Carlyle Expedition. They have a crew that even includes a juvenile elephant. Their first stop is the village Ndobu where they rest the first night. Already, they hear reports of sick elephants other animals avoid, a missing hunting party, and strangers coming through. It is clear the cultists of the Bloody Tongue are gathering. The next day they head to the spot of the Carlyle massacre and find strangely transformed soil. The whole area is dead and feels unnatural. They camp at a distance, and Iris convinces five of the group to continued, but they release the rest to return to the village. Adventure was one thing, but facing the clear spot of undeath was another.
The next day they arrive at the mountain and find a narrow path up to a cave entrance, which is clearly a lava tube. Iris sets up their howitzer to cover the entrance and the group heads in. This place is ominous, with no insect or bird sounds. Lee unpacks his gun and they head into the cave and quickly are assaulted by the smell of rot. The passage goes into a large cave, with dead bodies rotting in piles. Across the room is a statue of the Bloody Tongue. Lee goes around a corner and sees humans in a cage, all looking listless and lost. They are mostly locals, but there is also a white missionary. Lee yells for Iris to come and whips out his auto lock picker to open the lock. Somewhat frantic, he calls for Iris again as she runs up. Both get the people out and try to find someone who can help lead them. As the rest of the party examines the statue, the two get the poor souls outside and with the remaining five crew members. After some water and food, they send the whole group, guarded by the other five back to the village. Nails and Okomu stay with the party. While the captives were being helped, the rest of the group finds a secret tunnel behind the horrible statue. The Professor mounts dynamite to it and the entrance and prepares a fuse for their departure. When the captives are on their way, the party regroups and heads down the corridor into a very large room. Now things go from creepy to horrible.
The large room has a 7’ by 3’ glowing blue stone in its middle, and more piles of bodies. Across the room is what was once the woman Hypatia Masters from the Carlyle Expedition. Her face is on a bloated body resting on a dais. Her expression is uncomprehending. Inside her bloat, in what was once her belly are two glowing eyes, shining through translucent skin. These do seem aware. Lee says that is his target and readies his lightening gun. The group starts to move across the cave but see cultists coming from behind pillars and other alcoves. The are many deranged men and women bearing down on the party, most with hand to hand weapons, but some with bows. Silver calls out to move as a group and cover each other, with Nails and Okomu keeping up the rear. He tells Gloria to be behind him to reload. The shooting starts with the screaming of the cultists.
The fight starts with Silver gunning down cultists. Lee has to holster his lighting rod and get out his rifle as the others gun down their attackers. The others fire on attackers as they come. Arrows fly at the party, and Nails is struck in the shoulder. Lee notices a woman at the blue stone, obviously casting and drops to one knee to fire, hitting her squarely in the head. Almost at the same time, Silver, also dropping to a knee, shoots at the women. Neither sets of shots seem to have any effect. The women is surrounded in the same blue glow. Unfortunately, her summons succeeds and above them a monster of them. Lee yells for Gloria that it might now be a good time to release her “pet”. Gloria lets out the strange chameleon, and time seems to slow as they watch it … unfold … into a large upright monster that starts attacking and eating cultists. The priestess takes this time to run from the stone to the bloated woman on the dais. Lee is unable to hit her due to supernatural speed. Once at the dais, it is clear the woman is now drawing power from there.
Everyone fires up at the monster but is it the enchanted bullets fired by Silver that kills it. Everyone dodges away from the falling slime, separating the party. Lee stands and charges at full speed towards the thing that used to be Hypatia Masters. An arrow wizzes by his head and a cultist fails to tackle the nimble man. Iris charges after him, followed by Okaum who cuts down people coming behind them. Lee is faster, and gets to the dais first. The priestess snarls in disbelief at the small man with the odd machine on his back, ”Who are you to go against the crawling chaos of Nyarlathotep?”. Lee coldly answered, ”We are hunters.” and fired his gun. With the sound and flash of a lightning strike, a burst of energy leaps out and blows a hole through the monster before him, ignoring any magical defenses. The foul mother is ripped apart, and electrical bolts throw the priestess backwards, electrocuting her. The unborn god-think slithers forward, dying but still dangerous, causing horror to everyone who can see it. Gloria, already giddy from her “pet” attacking, is triggered back to her book reading, and is convinced that the fetal god is her baby. Lee is blinded and deafened by the effect but is laughing with glee that it worked. Already, he has fevered images of how to improve it, especially the overloading batteries which are now leaking on his back. Iris reaches him to take the smoking unit from him, asking if Lee is alright be he cannot hear her. Neither notice that Gloria is about to shoot at them to protect he “baby”. Fortunately, the wild eyed woman misses, startling Iris as she finishes with Lee. Silver’s head whips around to see the smoking gun in Gloria’s hand and deftly blows it from her grip with a deft shot. Gloria charges towards Lee and Iris as Lee’s vision recovers. Seeing the dying thing moving towards him, Lee pulls his gun with enchanted bullets and fires, killing the creature. The Professor notices that “She who is unnamed” has followed cultists up a passage the seems to be an old vent and out of the volcano.
Iris easily tackles Gloria and Lee helps to shackle and bind the hysterical woman while she is experiencing her flashback. The Professor carries the helpless Gloria and the group retreats from the caves. They light the dynamite and then use the mortar on the entrance. They pack up and quickly catch the refugees, escorting them the rest of the way to the village. A somber Gloria, now again sane, shows little of the mania of the fight, and is lost in thought.
Now the group knows it will be heading to Iris’s homeland, and perhaps to meet with the entity Lee contacted. The powers against them are growing stronger, even as components are defeated. Is it of any comfort that they now know the name this dark god of many forms? What they do know for sure is they have defeated another one of the masks of Nyarlathotep.
Getting their affairs in order, the tired group departs Kenya and starts the long series of flights to Darwin Australia. They first stop in India for four weeks to rest and recuperate. Darwin will be the first stop where they will begin to investigate.
The city is a boom town, with all that implies. At first the women are propositioned by men as the group walks, but Lee deftly maneuvers them aside. Those that run into the bulk of the Professor are not so deftly managed, but are shoved aside nonetheless. The team finds that women are not allowed into the bars, escorted or not. After finally finding some place to gather information, with Iris putting on a drinking display at the edge of the women’s room in back, the men find out that the Randolph Shipping Company is owned and run by Toddy Randolph. This company was the one shipping items to London at the Penhew Foundation and is of key interest. The story they hear is that Randolph did have one Jonny Bigbush, and aboriginal, working for him, but Jonny left. Randolph himself generally can be found drinking in the evening at a pub within waking distance of his warehouse, the Outback Inn.
The group puts into a Hotel and plans to investigate tomorrow. During the night, Lee wakes up with a feeling of direction towards the interior of the island continent. He gets out his compass and takes a bearing, even going outside. Silver awakes and Lee tells him he has an idea on where the entity he met is.
The next day, Silver and Lee visit Randolph Shipping and Lee pairs up with the young aboriginal Billy Burranaglong who is working for Randolph. Silver and the owner talk about shipping needs and Silver notices a crate marked for the Penhew foundation. He is able to accidentally knock over the box. Meanwhile, inside, Lee is pumping Billy for information about Randolph. The owner appears to sleep in the warehouse using a cot. The two get along well, talking about the men they work for where they hear the crash outside.
The spilled crate opens, and Lee races to help clean it up. Inside is a 3 foot tall idol covered in white paint. It is creepy enough to require a sanity roll. Lee adopts the role of a scared man and plays it up. By the time Lee and Billy have recreated the awful thing, Billy has offered to leave a door unlocked. Lee slips him money and offers him a job.
The group hatches a plan with the ladies to sucker Randolph in on his way to drink, so Lee and Silver can sneak into the warehouse. Between Iris’s charm and Gloria’s hypnosis, they make the man think he had a great night with someone not looking like Iris and let him stagger off after pumping him for information.
At the warehouse, the men find two crates, one with the statue and one with a strange device that Lee is immediately obsessed with and calls “Sheila”. They take both items, leaving crates intact with rocks for weight. The group gets back to the hotel, with the Professor helping to carry the machine up. Unwatched by the rest of the group, the Professor has been studying lore in hopes of learning more magic in his quest for power.
Lee gets the strange device active and its eye piece lights up. Lee tries to use a hand mirror to see inside, and this (and his 06 POW roll) saves him as he feels his very soul being drawn into the machine. The next day, he wakes up, with the same buzz in direction as before, and eyes that are red from pooled blood. A subdued Lee announces that “Sheila is a naughty girl” and that no one should try to use it, under any circumstances.
Deciding there was nothing left to learn in Darwin, the group packed up and headed to off to Brisbane on their way around Australia and into more danger and adventure.
The group heads to the Hampton Family Ranch, Iris’s home. They spend a week as she catches up with her family. Gloria manages to become the romantic focus of one of the farmhands after a 00 on a charm roll. After a relaxing week disconnected from the world and its monsters, the group heads out to Sydney.
After getting a hotel, Silver rents a car and the group travels to the suburbs to Sydney University to follow up on Professor Cowles’ letter or introduction for David Dodge, assistant professor to MacWhirr. The hope is being able to read MacWhirr’s diary. Dodge is house sitting and welcoming of Professor Oswald and his crew. He gives them access to the diary and there the Professor reads about a fascinating tale, complete with mysterious attacks, deaths, strange birds and an ancient city in the desert. He mentioned photographs which Dodge tries to help them find. Most important, there are latitude and longitude coordinates for this city in the sands. Lee also note that this is where “his buddy” is.
Silver says they are going on an expedition and Dodge asks to come along. The group leaps at the chance for a local who can help them arrange the expedition into the desert. They pack up the next day and fly to Port Hampton.
The team aircraft lands to some amazement of the locals of the small settlement. The group goes ot Robert B.F. McKenzie, who was a member of MacWhirr’s expedition. McKenzie has seen more than his fair share of strange things and has no interest at all heading out but is in the business of outfitting expeditions. Lee suggest they take a short wave radio and avgas so their pilot can bring the plane to a near by lake if needed. They hire four local hands and settle in for the night. McKenzie makes some negative remarks about taking women, and finds Iris in his face explain how she can take care of herself, her full native accent coming out. McKenzie blanched in the verbal assault.
Outfitted, the next day the group heads into the desert with two trucks headed for the last outpost of civilization, the small town of Cuncudegirie. Along the way, they see the three large birds in the distance, just as described in the diary. After 8 hours of travel, the dusty group gets to Cuncudegirie and set up a camp and look to get final supplies needed and top off gas. The team divides up around the town and uncovers that someone, Possibly Houston of the Carlyle Expedition, headed out into the desert, paid to get a shaft dug, and then sent the workers away. A Martin Wycorft apparently set this up, and the whole group goes to talk to him. Iris stays outside to talk to his three daughters. Wycroft, is a pale man who does not look totally sane. Talking to him it is quite clear that he knows more than he is saying. Even an attempt to bribe him fails. The man is on edge and defensive. They group departs, but Lee remains at a distance to keep watch.
As he is watching, Wycroft and his daughters start loading his car to leave. Clearly, the man is spooked. Lee turns to see a aboriginal approaching him. His visitor seems surprised that Lee even heard him come up. He introduces himself as Johnny Bigbush, the same man mentioned back working for Randolph Shipping. He asks why Lee is interested “In the Dead man” and Lee responds “Because most dead men don’t walk” Lee has an open and honest conversation with Johnny, discussing their mission to hunt monsters and save the world. Johnny shares that Wycroft and the other dead men are looking to awaken something in the desert. He knows where Wycroft is headed, so Lee does not charge them. They agree to meet the next day when the convoy heads out.
Silver wants a look a the now vacant Wycfot store, and Lee is delights to engage in some B and E. They sneak into the house and the two sheds. There is the normal supplies and nothing of consequence, other than a first edition tome Wondrous Intelligences by James Woodville. They take the book and a couple cases of dynamite, as presents to Gloria and Professor Oswald respectively.
Skimming the book as they head out, Gloria finds out it is from the War of the Roses and the author is preoccupied with sex. Some of his descriptions are being in a cone shaped body with a claw in a strange city. She expects that she can learn something form it and set it aside for now. They have a long trip ahead into the great and dangerous desert.
Before leaving, Iris enjoys drinking the sexist men in the bar under the table. One gets handsy, an Lee martial grabs him to the floor. Another man wants to stand, but Silver uses the gun that appeared in his hand to dissuade him from the private fight. Lee complains he could have handled himself, and Iris tells Lee she could have handled herself.
Lee Dreams of the city in the desert and a cloaked figured moving towards him. During the day, he has an unerring sense of where they are headed, like a buzzing in his head. Lee takes the lead truck, with Johnny up front, and Iris with the crew in the back. Professor drives behind. Silver rides “shotgun”, and Gloria is in back on lookout. They see the odd “birds” in the distance, which Gloria is sure are too thin to be natural.
Misfortune strikes the second truck as a tire blows out. It veers dangerously off the road and towards the edge of a rolling dune of sand. The Professor manages to bring them to a halt with a head on strike of a pile of sand. The two truck convoy stops, and under the hot sun, Lee gets to work. He manages to replace the tire and repair the radiator, but the second truck is now going to be a cantankerous beast. The groups remount, but this time in the other trucks, and Lee takes the lead, nursing the damaged vehicle along. He is spending more time at this than looking at the road when Jonny shouts a warning and Lee managed to just not hit a man on a camel.
The man introduces himself as “Derby Dave”, prospector. Derby Dave has clearly seen some things. He warns them group about heading further. His near- fevered speech talks about swarms of bats, strange birds, and that the aboriginals have all left the area. It is late afternoon, so Silver instructs they make camp. Iris and Gloria take Dave and gently talk to him over homemade drinks using Iris’s alcohol supply. With the ladies’ charm, and social lubrication, the weathered prospector talks about what he saw. A great flying creature, like a tube with pulsating form, no wings. Swarms of bats and an odd whistling. Gloria gently uses her hypnosis to quiet his mind and help him deny the truth of what he saw.
Lee approaches Gloria about using another dose of the artist’s drug. Gloria insists they talk with the others. The rest of the group is less than thrilled to discover that Gloria has another dose of the drug. There are harsh looks and tones. With the raised voices, Johnny asks if everything is OK. Silver talks to his friend and expresses his concern for him, but notes that Lee is just that, a friend now, not an employee, and can make his own call. Lee insists on being cuffed to the truck and Gloria administers the dose while she and the Professor monitor. The Professor searches the book they recently found for information about the flying things.
Lee falls into a sleep. His dream trip takes him to the desert they are in, and he faces a giant sand serpent charging towards him. In his dream he runs and runs. The ground trembles and he falls, but now the sand is red and the sky is purple. The cloaked figure emerges. It is the same being from before. Lee asks his name, and can mostly get Kakakatak. Lee’s “friend” tells him that he is trapped in a great city, and that the humans are trying to use him to release a great evil. Kakakatak confirms it is a face of Nyarlathotep. He also says that in the process, these cultists have unleashed other things in their work. Further, the alien notes the giant serpent is some sort of guardian, and that Lee and his friends would do well to stay clear as they are all touched and will bring its attention. As the image fades, Kakakatak says that Lee will not need any drugs to contact him within the city and there he may find ways to build a better lightening gun.
Lee awakens, sharp and on point (06 Sanity roll). Gloria, having spent the night in vigil, is too tired to assess Lee based on his retelling of his insane sounding dream, and she is not sure he is ready to be unlocked, however, the Professor and Iris are sure. Gloria gives to the key to Silver, who looks his friend over and let’s him loose. The Professor shares what he found about the horrid creatures in his book, and the group moves grimly on, except for Lee, who has a sense of eagerness. They spend the next week slowly making their way from camp to camp to get to their goal, the prospecting site. Again, misfortune befalls the rear vehicle which ends in a crash. Lee leaps into action and performs a miracle to fix it. At this point, John Silver takes over driving, with his greater skills.
The day the expect to arrive, the dunes finally give way to actual hills. As the group drives through what passes for a canyon, a bullet bounces off the lead truck. Lee guns is and blows through. Fire also strikes the back truck. Gloria, the Professor, and Iris all pull rifles to fire. As Silver guns his truck, Gloria drops her gun as she tries to fire. However, the Professor (roll 08) and Iris (roll 04) both manage to blow the heads off the two snipers. With the gunfire stopped, Lee adroitly maneuvers his truck to a fast stop, making sure that if his friend and boss messes up, the two won’t collide. They leap out to investigate the two dead men. Both have hides to snipe from and each are tattooed with the sign of the sand bat. One has a journal of crazy speech, talking about Houston and his mission from God. Clearly, they man is insane. The group moves on and arrives the old camp the same day.
The camp has been abandoned and is unused for some time save for one tent. Lee decides to take a “power nap” in hopes of understanding the direction to the lost city as the others look around the camp. There is an unnatural spring emerging from a rock. An old Ford truck looks like something huge had stepped on it and they find bones that Gloria refers too as “Smooshed”. The Professor finds a shake with some unused dynamite. Gloria also finds a circle of tracks with 5 toes that appear and disappear and reappear. Iris finds a shaft and cable mounted to a motor. Lee wakes up, sure of the direction of the City which is down and to the north a bit. He is able to easily repair and gas up the machine over the hole. As they are discussing that, Iris sees a man in the distance surrounded by dingoes. Silver tells the Professor to cover them, and he and Lee leap at the chance to do something familiar. They sneak up on the man, but Silver is stopped by a dingo which seems friendly. Lee goes over the ridge and gets to the edge of a circle of 5 foot tall stones, where the man, who is naked but for his shoes, sits, the not quite wild dogs around him. His skin is burnt and brown from the sun. The man warns Lee away lest his guardians attack, but none of them look anything less than friendly. Silver and Lee approach and talk to the man, with Silver’s ability to persuade. The man is a worker, who tells a tale of Houston, money, betrayal, and murder. Somehow this man has connected with something that created the spring and send the dingoes to protect him. The two men escort him back to the camp.
As they get the insane lost soul, Jeremy Grogan back to his tend. Based on his navigation skills, it is clear to Lee that site they want is 50 miles away, so the group decides to settle in for night. Silver takes the first watch, while the Professor takes second. Lee takes the third and of course this is when the monsters come out.
Lee does not see the creatures approach, but he does hear them. Lee recognizes them from his conversations with Johnny Big Bush on the drive in. They are Servitors of the Bat god. Black shapes that look like a cross between a frog and a bat, that try to grab him with their wings. Lee, awakes the crew with a shout and firing of his shotgun. Silber and Iris both grab their guns and also fire. The combined fire of the three kill the monster.
Before they can even pause, they notice three men running in terror and Lee sees the shape of another creature chasing one. Lee and Silver charge after that man, while Iris and Johnny go after the other two, everyone plunging into the darkness. Iris almost immediately stumbles in the sand, as her target gets further away. However, he too, has a tumble and she is able to catch up to him.
As Lee closes on his fleeing man, Silver shoots the flying creature. Just before it swoops down, Lee tackles his man and places him in a subduing hold. However, now he is face to face with the monster yet again. Instead of hearing his friend’s gun fire, a giant dingo, 6 foot at the shoulder, leaps from behind him to attack the servitor. He and Silver watch as the dingo kills the monster. It looks at them and then runs off.
Back in camp, Gloria and the Professor fail to keep the men from freaking out and there is pandemonium. Grogan is awake but rocking and ignoring Gloria. The runners are returned to camp and as Lee sets his man down, he notices that for once, the body of the creature did not vanish or dissolve. He ops to cut into it to better understand how it works. He is not surprised to find its wings have teeth to suck blood. The Professor and Gloria pour over the tomb they obtained and learn a spell to banish the monsters should they return, though Iris notes that Mr. Silver will most likely have taken care of it in that time. Johnny Bigbush says he has to talk to the elders about this. He heads off into the wilderness after making his goodbyes.
The men are ready to rebel, and John Silver both promises them to double their pay and threatens them based on his capacity for violence. The unrest quelled, the group starts loading up to take the 50 mile trek. As the sun is coming up, the two trucks head across the desert. As they approach their target, John takes a bad bounce and the mini convey grinds to a halt. Lee takes several hours to repair the truck. He and John talk and decide to sneak up on the site. Lee makes a point of taking the distributor caps. A small distance, the two crime fighters leave the other three and use stealth. It is clear this is a significant camp. There are generators and trucks here.
As they survey, Lee gets a vision of another hole at some remove. The two return to the three, and the five return to the many. They pay them men half their wages and send them on their way, deciding they will end up taking the cultists vehicles out of the desert. There is significant discussion between the team, and the group votes to go to follow the vision, 3 to two. As the afternoon grows, the group finds the hole from Lee’s vision: a nearly hidden cave entrance with an ancient pillar with faded writing. Silver is rocked by a reminder of his own vision back in South America.
They rope down the hole, but the women struggle, and both fall. The Professor easily catches Gloria, but Iris falls further, and Lee only saves her at the bottom. After a quick round of first aid, they look at their surroundings. The sandy passage comes down into a long 30’ by 30’ octagonal shaped hallway. They start the long walk. After a mile in , they find an open “vault” in the floor. Deciding that this probably is best shut, they all push hard to close it. Lee hears something rushing up. They struggle to lock it, and Lee ends up kicking it shut (critical Str check) just in time for something to hit it.
Shaken but unbowed, the five friends head down and find a man working on a generator and lights. Lee tries to grab but misses horribly (even on a push), which seems to be a patter underground for Lee. The man points a “camera” at Lee which Sliver shoots with his silenced pistol. The “camera” is a lighting Gun, Lee sees it as the “pistol” when he was shown “a rifle”. As Lee investigates the device, Gloria hypnotizes and interrogates their prisoner who no one is surprised to find is an insane cultist. The crazed man talks of plans to sacrifice others, a machine that robs people of their will, and trapped entity from the past that is forced to give secrets. Lee recognizes the last as his dream contact, Kakakatak. The cultists helps them with a sketch of the tunnels. It is clear there are a lot of people to deal with, including Houston who can cast spells. The group braces for the fight.
After pumping the cultist for information under hypnosis, the group decided to bring him along. They sent him under the effects back to his place in the barracks. Lee snuck into the area and was deftly able to sabotage the generator so the whole team could sneak past in the dark. Gloria tripped in the darkness and caused a firefight among the cultists.
The party moved up the tunnel, seeing mining cart rails connect most of the areas. When they enters into The Purple Dome area, they found it had foul statues, altars, and magic batteries fed by horrible sacrifices. Lee recommends against tampering with them, less they unleash untold energy.
As they move forward, they encounter cultists and thralls coming from Houston's base. The Prof tries to jump a cultist with a gun but trips and falls flat in front of them. Silver shoots the whip out of the hands of the other cultist, and Lee takes down the one the Prof was out. Silver interrogates the one who had the whip about what's ahead. Lee tries to question the one he knocked out after the cultist woke up. That attempt fails and Lee knocks him back out. Lee berates the whip wielder but the other cultist wakes up and tries to shoot someone. The Prof spots it and yells out, and Lee shoots and kills that cultist. The group continues on.
At Houston's base Lee heads in to investigate. On the first floor there is no one. The second floor has prisoners who are clearly alarmed by Lee. Lee decides to leave them be for now, wanting someone with more people skills to help them. On the third floor he finds Houston’s study. A brief search shows Houston’s notes and translations of two large metal books. Worried that this information might be lost, Lee grabs a backpack in the room and collects Houston’s notes to protect them.
Too much time is going by for the group, and they move in. Gloria and the Prof start grabbing any and all notes and information they can from the 3rd floor while Iris goes to the prisoners on the 2nd floor. Iris calms them, and eventually, the Prof uses small amounts of explosives to break the prisoner's cages open. They give the prisoners guns taken from the cultists.
As they continue around to what Lee is sure is Kakakatak’s prison, an invisible creature comes from one of the tunnels and attacks the group. All three try to use the lightening guns taken from cultists. Silver’s shot goes wide, but Lee and the Professor drop prone and attack. The creature responds with a devastating burst of wind that sends Silver flying backwards, knocked out, and shreds Lee and the Professors clothes. Thanks to a significant amount of luck, the burns and scrapes aren't as bad as they first appeared. Lee turns his gun up to full and destroys the creature, a flying polyp.
Finally, the group makes it to the chamber where the Yith prisoner, Kakakatak is held. Lee attacks 2 guards in the area, killing them. After freeing Kakakatak from his cell, the Yith moves to a place to make himself safe. They group makes plans to confront Houston.
The party leaves Kakakatak and makes their way back towards the big dig. Iris charms four of the liberated workers to come along as additional fire power. The women are in the back behind them, with the other three men up front. As they pass the HQ, the Professor makes too much noise, and gun fire starts ringing out. In moments, there are several dead cultists in the HQ. Iris and the Professor sweep the building to make sure there is no one left. The one man, wounded and unconscious is stabbed by the Professor with his saber.
The group walks towards the dig and Lee hears footsteps coming towards them. Lee signals the party to hide, and he and Silver vanish into the shadows. Iris and the Professor also manage to hide, if somewhat less expertly. Gloria was looking down when Lee gestured, and when she looks up, she noticed that she was standing in the hallway alone. Lee snags a man in the darkness, knocking him out, while Silver uses his pistols to take out three more. The 5th man ran but is gunned down. The group rushes down the tunnel until the find a lip. Trying to peek over, there is a hail of gun fire. This must be the place. The Professor puts his hat up on his sword and it is blown off. Lee sneaks around, holding to the shadows.
Inside he see several stone tables aligned as barriers, and several men aligned to fire towards the opening. Both Mortimore and Houston are visible. Houston starts to talk. ”It is obvious you know what is going on here ….” Lee, not wanting the man to cast any spells, turns his lightening gun to 8 and fires. He slips coming out of the shadows, but with luck, it places the blast along a line. There is a blinding flash and deafening roar. Lee feels the gun start to heat up and tosses it ahead of him, a ringing in his ears, and spots before his eyes. He cannot see the bolt of energy cut through the air, people, and stone.
Silver leaps in and pulls Lee to the side. He can see the devastation; a line of destruction, cutting through the stone barriers, frying human flesh, and a hole where Houston stood. The cultists blind fire towards the opening. When they reload, he throws in a piece of dynamite, causing more death and a second, smaller fusillade. As the frantic cultists reload again, the Professor tries his lightening gun, but cuts a line into the ceiling. John Silver, however, goes to town with both guns, taking out the remaining targets.
Behind them, they hear the wind of another invisible polyp. Gloria, with her skilled eyes figures where it is and fires her lightening gun. The monster is fully illuminated, and the ladies and the men in the room are horrified with the visage of the creature. Fortunately, it dies in the explosion, because the four men drop their weapons and run away, and Iris and Gloria start screaming. Iris is sure she is contaminated by parasites and rips her dirty clothes off and starts to use her flask for cleaning. Gloria pulls her pistol and stands against the invisible monsters she is sure are there. The Professor vaults back to them, and calms Gloria down as he physically restrains her. Lee staggers back to Iris and talks her into taking drinks instead of bathing in them, which calms her down.
Lee and Silver clear out the city of any remaining cultists and gather the aboriginals, including the zombies. They seal the entrances, using Kakakatak’s knowledge of the city. They also find the sleeping giant, which Kakakatak said Houston wanted to awaken. Finally, they safely discharge the foul batteries in the Purple Chamber The Professor looks over the women and after a few hours, the women are more subdued, but it is clear Gloria is still unbalanced. When Lee returns, he notes that Kakakatak might be able to help, as he understands minds. The strange creature is able to help Iris, who awakes with even more knowledge of the stranger aspects of the universe. He is able to cure the other men, even the zombies, though the group makes sure they do not see Kakakatak. The creature from the past imparts knowledge on the rest of the group but Silver, who declines.
Kakakatak gives the party a lightening gun each and bids them farewell, sealing the great city behind them. They emerge and take the trucks to drive back to camp. There, they find Johnny Bigbush and follow him to an aboriginal encampment. The meet with the elders and explain what has happened. The Elders promise to go back to singing as they have done for ages, to keep the titian under the sands asleep. They have the poor man trapped in the dreaming and are working to free him. Behind the party as they talk, an aboriginal artist is painting a large wolf. Five of its teeth clearly represent some aspect of each member of the party. The wind in the desert picks up a bit, and the five friends start to think of the far east.
Picture from: https://www.hpcbristol.net/visual/ar04-180
The adventurers fly to the American controlled Philippines in mid July and stay a full month in recuperating and recovering. Gloria is clearly distressed at the fact Silver and Lee were so fast to let a alien mess with her mind, even if it did cure her sanity. Still, everyone is able to get some recovery and then it is on to Shanghai.
The group uses the flight to review their evidence. They have the unfinished letter from Gaffigan. There is a lead on the Ho Fang Shipping company, owned by Mr. Ho Fang and his ships. They have the matchbook from Jackson Elias, to the Stumbling Tiger Bar. The group decides they have been made at this point, and they decide to run some cover for their equipment.
Shanghai is a city on the edge. The city is partially controlled by foreign powers. Revolution is ripe in China and the whole city seems ready to burst into violence. This is before any of the cults or supernatural forces come into play. The group is heading into a very dangerous place.
The team’s plane startles much of the city as it sails overhead and lands in the bay. They dock with the Americans and prepare to enter the city. While Silver leads the group to get established in the Hotel Palace, Lee heads out to find a more secure and secret spot. It is fast to find that to get anything done, the help of local specialists. They find Li Wen-Cheng as their stand up guy. He is able to get the team settled. Finally, they are on the trail of one, Jack Brady, survivor of the Carlyle Expedition.
Meanwhile, Lee meets with shady characters at a local warehouse. When challenged as someone moving in on their turf from Hong Kong, Lee goes into full criminal mode, and challenges the man, saying “I was told you were the man to come too”. Lee is able to secure space after some back and forth, especially with the price paid. Satisfied with the location, Lee make an extreme success on creating occult markings for the Cult of the Bloated Woman inside of several boxes, just incase the locals decide to peek. Satisfied, he heads back to the others. However, passing a peacock house, he notices he is being watched by one of the ladies, who seems out of place.
Lee circles the building and then decides to go in as a customer. He is nearly overwhelmed by the smells and tastes of childhood. After eating, they bring him a woman, more to western tastes, and it is not the woman he saw. He asks for one more Asian, and still not her, and Lee decides to take this one up. After a brief conversation, it seems clear to Lee that she does not know who the lady in green was. He ruffles his clothes and gets some lipstick smeared on his neck and leaves. Lee hears footsteps behind him, but loses them. The jig is indeed up.
While Lee is spending the day doing this, Iris stays at the hotel to get it settled. The other three head to the Shanghai Courier, a local newspaper. Run by a young Anthony Chang, age 24, they talk to home about who he might have known. Several news stories cause the group’s blood to freeze. There are strange happenings that seem to indicate the presence of most, if not all, of the cults they have already fought. This time, things are going to be very dangerous, indeed. The whole party is reunited at the hotel that evening, with some glances and outright questions for Lee.
Silver suggests they follow up on one of the articles that talked about fires on the same street as the Stumbling Tiger Bar, and head to that bar and see what they can find out. There they slide in and Iris immediately charms the bartender, Fergas mcChum, a half native half Scottish man with a scowl. As they talk and seek information, Gloria, having started drinking, gets impatient at the verbal dance and blurts out “We hunt monsters!”. This leads to a more private conversation at the end of the bar, as the Professor gets Gloria to calm down.
Fergus does know Jack Brady, and sees him as a dangerous man, who right now has gone to ground. He does know that Brady is working with a militia outside the city. Meanwhile, Ho Fang is known to send his boat, Luxurious Goddess out to Grey Dragon Island. No one else seems to go there, and the locals keep clear. The group tells him if he hears from Jack to let them know. It seems they have one ally in this city.
Walking home, they are being tailed by a drunk Japanese man from the bar. Lee easily hides and jumps the man from behind and is amazed as the man dodges the attack, holding a gun on Lee. The clearly not drunk man remarks to Lee “I see you have skills”, to which Lee replies ”Yes, and so does, he,” as John Silver cocks a gun pointed at the man. Gloria, still feeling no pain waves and says “Hi!”.
The clump of people move out of the street in an uneasy truce to share information. The man s Captain Isog of the Japanese military intelligence. He is worried about the militia mention by Fergas. The group relates the cults they have fought, describing them as fronts for anarchists and communists, as they do not think the highly westernized Captain will believe the truth. With information exchanged, the group heads back to their hotel, now with two allies in the city. Not bad for the first day’s work.
After a good night’s sleep, the group heads out in the late morning to see Mr. Leung to get fortunes read. Gloria is quite eager. At the recently painted red door, the group sees a Siamese cat trying to get in. It sees the investigators and hisses and runs away. The door frame is peach wood, and has written on either side “The God of Thunder Orders…” “…The Death of Spirits”. It seems clear this man is involved in some occult. Maybe he has real powers.
They knock on the door and can hear someone shuffling inside. Iris shouts out that they are here to get a fortune read, and have money. Mr. Leung comes to the door and lets them in. He attempts to move them all towards amulets on his wall. As if to scan them. He sits Gloria down and keeps glancing at a suspended coin sword over her head. After lighting a brazier and burning ancestor money, he puts in something foul. Lee and the ladies cough but do not have any ill effects. The other to men lose their breakfasts. This agitates Mr. Leung who leaps up and runs.
Lee has had enough and tries to grab the man, but he slips past. Determined he charges after the man and grabs him just as the proprietor pulls a cord and reveals a room of mirrors. It is at this moment that Silver steps up into the room. He sees himself in the mirrors and feels like the life has just run a marathon. He staggers back and Lee, further enraged marches Leung back to Gloria, fire in his eyes demanding to know what he did to his boss and friend. He ties the man to a chair for Gloria to hypnotize. It is clear Mr. Leung does have magic, and a battle of wills emerges between the two. Gloria pulls out her whisk wand and uses his magic to aid her, dominating the man’s will.
As this battle rages, Lee and Gloria fail to hear the window in the kitchen open. The Professor and Iris head to the large kitchen to see the cat. Iris scoops it up deftly and holds it to her. The Professor tells her to wait right there and runs to get an amulet. He passes Gloria and Leung, eyes locked in a silent contest. Taking the amulet, he places it against the cat which screams clawing into Iris and getting loose. The cat transforms into a cat-demon, with sabretooth fangs. Professor Oswald panics and empties his gun into the creature.
Hearing the commotion and screaming from the cat and the Professor, Lee takes the revolver from the dazed Silver and charges into the kitchen to fire an elder sign bullet into the monster. Blue lighting erupts in Lee’s vision to strike the creature, while red lighting emerges from the floor and appears to drag it down to hell. Red light flickers back along the bullet trail to Lee, again showing the price of using this ammo. Lee stoically ignores it all, and observes the smoking foot prints. Iris immediately takes the Professor’s gun, which he is still trying to fire and gets him to Gloria, who has won her fight with Leung. She takes the Professor in hand to help calm him down, while Silver tells Lee to untie Leung and get them out of there. They race from the building and back to their rickshaws and the startled Li Wen-Cheng. Silver puts him at ease as they head for a local restaurant to get a private room to debrief.
As they tell the man what happened, Leung relaxes. He had a horoscope that demons would come for him today, and it was accurate. He is happy to be safe. He relates how the supernatural is increasing in the city as the eclipse approaches, but that the forces are angry now. After the team tells their tale, he understands why the cults are angry. Leung is appalled at what our heroes are doing to themselves to fight this evil. Lee, again, notes, he wanted to go home. After lunch, they get the old man home as the police are leaving and Lee pays off the neighbors, thanking them for their concerns.
Next on the agenda is heading to Lantern Street to investigate the attack in the house of ill repute. Lee sets the Professor up with a woman while Silver and the ladies talks to the House Mother about what happened. Silver introduces himself as a special agent for the police. The Mother takes them to the room it happened in. The room is splattered with blood. The Mother confirms the man with the woman was Jack Brady. As they head down, Professor Oswalds storms down the stairs, greatly alarmed at the impropriety of what the young lady wanted to do with him. They group splits up, with the ladies and the Professor going to see the woman who witnessed the attack in the hospital, while Silver and Lee to the home the other lady witness was sold too.
The man running the home is a sleezy man, with a fake doctor’s robe, and the women done up as nurses. When they mention the name of the woman, he goes into a fit and demands if they find her, they bring her back. Lee has had enough of this man getting into his friend’s face, and slams the proprietor into the wall. With a cry, he summons a heavyset Korean man, who bursts into the room, sees Silvers suddenly pulled twin 1911s and wisely leaves in the face of stern but tired looking American. Once they are sure they have no information to gain, Silver opens the door and tells the heavy to go home for the day and then hands money to the women on the floor. Lee tosses the man through a window and the two Americans leave. Lee comments how glad he is to have been born in Hong Kong and live in America.
At the hospital, the poor women is tied to the bed, babbling incoherently. She cannot tell them much, but Iris suggests they listen to her ranting. It becomes clear to Gloria that she encountered a haunting horror, not one of the sand bats. This was the same monster they remember from Egypt. Wishing they could do more for the young lady, the three leave and meet up with the other two. Hearing the tale, Silver comments that al-Shakti must be here too.
The crew takes their rickshaws back to the hotel. Silver quickly falls asleep, still drained from the magic of the mirrors. As such, he misses seeing several men going into the Stumbling Tiger bar. The Professor remarks, “I am going to need my gun”. Lee leaps from the rickshaw while it is in motion, tossing one of his 1911s to the Professor who snatches it out of the air and rolls to follow the young bodyguard. As the last of the men is closing the door, Lee kicks it open, knocking him to the side. The Professor, slower than the smaller man, charges behind him. Iris calls for the rickshaws to stop and Mr. Silver groggily comes too.
Lee sees 8 men in the room, one already down from the door slamming into him, one already grabbing Fergas McChum, and 6 others. From the bottom of the short stairs, a man rises to strike Lee, but is stopped by a kick square to his chest, knocking him out and into the man behind him as they tumble down the stairs. Four are left standing. They are stunned at what is going on. Lee leaps through the air to land on the other side of them, going to rescues McChum. He shouts in Chinese a threat and the men are unsure. This gives time for Professor Oswald to come in the door. He immediately fires into the crowd, causing one of the attackers to spin around. This gives Lee a chance to jump the cultist attacking the bartender.
Meanwhile, Iris and Silver are out and headed for the door. Gloria, not a great fighter, grabs her camera instead of a gun and goes to document the events. Silver stands in the doorway, a gun in each hand. This is just like fighting the mob in Boston, except mobsters have never been this fanatical. The expert man shoots the remaining men standing, and despite his intimidating pose, he is forced to gun them all down. Lee wrestles the cultist attack McChum away from the bartender and they roll on the ground. The man fights so fanatically, that even Lee struggles with him. Finally, Lee gets the upper hand and the Professor uses is strength to immobilize him. Lee calls for Gloria to interrogate him, and the cultist responds by biting his own tongue in two. Blood pours from his mouth. Professor Oswald, calls for Lee to cauterize it. Lee grabs a poker from the fire and heats it then both deftly and cruelly staunches the bleeding. Gloria arrives and the Professor notes wryly the man will have to write his answers.
At this point, the local gendarmes show up and are appalled by the carnage. They take the group into custody.
At the station, the head of the law enforcement is Detective Sgt Kilpatrick-on loan to the Shanghai Municipal Police from the Royal Irish Police. He goes through the five, one at a time as is typical for investigation. Silver goes first, and he plays the aggrieved rich American to the hilt, demanding the American counsel immediately. Silver simply says that his party were defending themselves against an attack. Sgt. XXX has a similar lack of useful information from the Professor, who goes full Imperial British and demands the British consul and also protests that they were attacked.
More interesting is the conversation with Gloria who negotiates for the return of her camera and asks expounds on her role as a parapsychologist. This results in the Sgt. thinking the group may be crazy. Iris does not help, expounding on all the things that “go bump in the night” and how they hunt them while trying to play on having been married to an Irishman.
The poor man turns last to Lee, who goes into the routine of the aggrieved servant. He is honest that all he wants to do is go home, but his employer is intent on his dilettante ways. Lee does not seem crazy to the Detective, but it does not make the rest of the party look any better.
After 12 hours, Elliot Lucas, Undersecretary to the Ambassador arrives to get them out of jail. Leaving, Lee points out they will need to get more Elder Sign bullets made. It is obvious they are being tailed to Gloria, Iris and the Professor. Gloria waves at the tail. Back at the hotel, Gloria and Iris drink while the rest plan their next step of attack.
The next day, Silver take Gloria and the Professor to the museum to meet with Mr. Mao the curator and look into any occultism references. Mr. Mao is more than happy to help his esteemed guests, though of course he does not believe any of the ancient nonsense. He provides the Professor with letters of introduction to a scholar, Mr. Shag Nirg, a former curator, Mr. Mu Hsien, and a wealthy dillitant, Madam Lin Yu, also know as Madam Swallow.
Meanwhile, Lee and Iris sneak out as the tail follow the other three. They check out the docks that are not far from the Stumbling Tiger, which is closed with the investigation at the moment. The warehouse they want to investigate is built partially over the docs on the Wieig Po river. The place is well guarded, with iron grates over the lower windows. Several workers are moving things about. Lee notices the obvious foreman of the group has a amulet of the Bloated Woman cult. Lee tells Iris he plans to follow him when he leaves, but the man does no such thing. Instead, a 90’ yahat shows up, matching the one from their photo, Dark Mistress. It runs right under the docks to be off loaded in secret. Lee changes plans. He sneaks tells Iris he is going in. She promises to create a diversion if needed.
Back in the city, the group decides to first visit. Mr. Ning. Mr. Ning tells them about the history of the Bloated Woman cult and their foul sacrifices and deeds. He mentions they are in the past, again, a westernized man.
Madam Swallow, her name translated to “Swallow Jade” has a household in the old city. It is clear she has martial trained staff, all polite. She is delighted to accept the company and comes off as simultaneously complimentary and dismissive. After some verbal fencing with Silver, who is not sure if he should be talking or looking to shoot their way out, she makes them well aware she know who they are and why they are here. She confirms the cult of the bloated woman is active. Madam Swallow also mentions that Jack Brady stole one of her books and is in the hills working with a cult of his own. Silver agrees to return it to her if they find it.
With that agreement, she has someone return their missing bullets from the police. She notes, ”They have no idea what these are, of what happens to people who use them.”. She is quite firm in warning that Mr. Ho Fang’s house is well guarded, including by a western magician, Carl Sandford who has set up unnatural defenses. As they leave, she gives them a card for another appointment. Her final warning is that they need to change where they are staying quickly as eyes are upon them. It is late in the day, they go back to the hotel and wonder where Iris and Lee are. As their worry mounts, it is well founded.
Back at the docks, Lee easily boarded the yacht. In the shadows, he sees men who are part monsters. They have stretched faces with too many teeth and bulging eyes. Lee recognizes the “Insmouth Look” from Gloria’s tales. But these are different. They also have strange burns, not from fire or chemicals, but more like from the sun. Lee’s mind turns to what he has learned from Kakakatak and the drawings of the rocket and figures this is radiation. He wonders if that is from the boat or the island.
Lee creeps along the boat and jumps up inside the building. However, here his luck fails and he is spotted. Lee dives into the water and swims as hard as he can, all the time sure a fishman would be behind him. He surfaces and clambers out of the water and back to Iris who was just planning to start her disturbance. They make their way back to the hotel to report.