Tuesday, February 9, 2016
|Camel for scale|
Right, sorry for the long hiatus, I had a kid and all, and you can't really blame me for having, arguably, correct priorities, right? But here it is, our latest session to seek the truth of the Carlisle expedition, or avenge their friend, or sell booze... I can't rightly remember what they're after, only that they leave destruction in their wake and innocence in their sights.
After Regina Shmee shredded the girdle of the dark queen Niticris, the earth trembled and the leaders of the Mosque at which they were currently chilling in began to give them grave warnings. Naturally this meant leaving out the back door. Having parked the car in the front, however, it proved a futile attempt to evade confrontation.
While approaching the vehicle, consequently this is where they left all of their guns, they were cut off by three men wearing robes and inverted Ankhs, you should know the type by now. In a rush of emotion and adrenaline, our crew jumps into the quickly escalating situation. In doing so, Elly attempted to run to the car in order to get some firepower into the fight, however she tripped. After that point, Fimi throws a rock at the attackers only to miss and hit Elly square on the head. Jock manages to get to the car while Regina, Olivia and Colette duke it out with the three unsavory gentlemen. Plenty of grappling and punching and shooting ensues.
And one thing led to another, and the final living member of the ambush slits his own throat on Regina's scimitar. Naturally, our heroes(?) loot the bodies of their attackers (victims?). The leaders of the Mosque identify this small clan as members of the brotherhood and agree to take care of the bodies. Dag nab it, they needed some answers. So, after killing three men, the group decides to head off to the Meuseum to learn a little somethin-something about Egyptian History.
At the museum, they gain audience with a man by the name of Dr. Ali. Now, the good doctor dropped a whole lot of information regarding how the dark Pharaoh was also known as the Black Wind and Nyarlathotep. Apparently this guy named Snefaru defeated the dark Pharaoh and built a couple pyramids to keep him in check. The red Pyramid, made of sand-stone and built solid as more of a ward against evil, and the Bent Pyramid where Snefaru was said to have been laid. This guy gets all hopped and bothered about the brotherhood being real, and he wants to get rid of evil too. Really a stand up guy. So, after a decent amount of information being pooured over the players, they retire for the evening to Yalesha's friends home.
They have a lovely evening and find a "good luck" ward carved on the wall. Our heroes then contemplate the rest of the session on how to tattoo this ward onto their bodies, or carve it into anything that will scratch.
After being given a hunch to look up a Warren Bessart, a broker that worked for the Carlisle expedition. Jock prances into the french embassy and is given a brief description of where he might reside. Thankfully, Yalesha is a crack navigator and gets them to "the red door" in the old city. The red door appeared to be a clothing shop of some sort where our heroes bought, among other things, a sun dress and a pith helmet.
It takes almost no convincing for the shop keeper to give up the location of Bessart.... It's at the back of the shop. They find this guy high as a kite and trying to get money and/or drugs from them. Info dump 2 comes in the form of Warren reliving the experience he had with the expedition. Jack Brady came from the dig one day upset because all the key members of the expedition had gone into the Bent Pyramid and disappeared. The two drank. The following morning the others returned and were super snobby, like they had experienced some cool underground concert and they hadn't. After being warned that the recently re-appearing members of the clear had concerted with dark forces. He witnessed this himself when he walked in on a ritual in the desert with hundreds of people being killed and eaten, all but the five that had gone into the Bent Pyramid. This was too much for ol Warren and he took off and wandered the desert, almost dead. He was found by a man who took him to his mothers home cared for him for two years. This guy was off the deep end. As payment, Jock handed him the strange powder they had almost been slipped at the restaurant.... it turns out to be simply flour, which annoys warren, but he just goes back to his pipe.
On their way out they notice a bunch of cats follow them.
So, the Red Pyramid then? The crew heads off to go exploring, which leads them to the solid pyramid made of red sandstone. It seems like a good idea to most of them to climb it, so they do. All but Colette of course. The oaf is too clumsy to get a good footing. After defacing ancient history for a bit, the group reaches the top and finds what appears to be half of a symbol carved in the capstone. The seal was broken. What was once the symbol of an eye, oddly enough the same ward that was found on the walls of Yalesha's buddies home.
They slip and slide their way down, find a hidden cache of torches and grappling hook and are just about to call it a day... until they see the Bent Pyramid in the distance. Ah, the afternoon is young, they decide to go check it out.
After getting all chatty with a pair of guards at the sight, they get a tour of the front entrance. Boring. This was rumored to be Snefaru's burial. It was not as flashy as ol King Tut's that's for sure. They decide to head home, not even interested in the back entrance to the pyramid that's simply known as a false chamber to thwart grave robbers. That is, until a light flashes from the rear entrance like a well baited hook. It takes less than two seconds for the crew to run to the entrance, rip the plywood boards off and head on in. At first glance it looks like the main burrial chamber, but with two large alabaster pillars towards the back. One of the pillars was ajar, which was weird, since pillars don't open. Anywho, they start to ascend a stone set of zig zagged ramps. The angles in this place were crazy.
They pop into a chamber with a Giant map on one wall, an astrological map on another, pedestals with giant weird looking gems on them, and an oh so tempting throne. Too tempting, for Elly, it would turn out. She shoved her considerable girth through the crowd standing in awe of their find and went all Abu in the cave of wonders. She plopped herself down and froze with a smile on her face. This seemed odd to everyone else. You found me, a voice using Elly to speak says. The Dark Pharaoh has shown himself.
It quickly becomes apparent that things have indeed just got real. Info dump three comes with Elly saying that the return of "his kind" is coming, along with the end of the world. He's gracious and allows them to leave and be with their families for the end. No one bites, they want answers. "You're getting pesky" the evil incarnate being on the throne says. He says that others have tried to thwart him and have failed. He flashes an image before them of the Carlisle expedition being dismembered by a number of monsters in Kenya. This causes Colette to lose her cool and her mind. As option two, Mr. Evil decides to open a portal to ancient Egypt, allowing them the option to live a full life. At first no one goes for it, instead things get heated. Regina and Olivia attack, Fimi starts drawing pictures on the ground in the hopes that it will help somehow. At this point Colette nopes right out and tosses her hat and whole body into ancient Egypt. The portal closes and there she stays.
Two monsters appear out of nowhere and join the fray. They're nibbling on our heroes. Jock, in a foolhardy attempt to save Elly, tosses a lasso around her and yanks hard. Elly/Pharaoh looks at him and zaps him into oblivion with a wave of his/her hand. Jock is dead. Mr. Evil gets a little tired of this, tells them it's futile and leaves offer one on the table "get lost, you're out of your league". He leaves, which is apparent when Elly drops to the floor deader than dead.
Pictures are taken, Fimi and Regina realize they should probably take a little vacation to re-coup. They're suddenly afraid of enclosed spaces. They look over and notice Olivia in the fetal position, crazier than a barrel full of rats. So, they find a nice asylum in Egypt and congratulate themselves on their kind acts. They head off to Yalesha's safe house and decide to chill for a bit, being the only two left after their field trip to the Bent Pyramid.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Fresh from battle, our jolly bunch of investigators found it beneficial to come up with a plan. That plan consisted of getting the sam-hill out of dodge. They had delivered a mighty blow to the London chapter of the Cult of the black Pharaoh, but certainly not a fatal one. With injuries and death a-plenty, they headed back to their hotel.
The next morning they awoke to an empty bed with a letter from Horace Scarth, detailing why he chose to depart from the expedition. Frankly, I believe it was primarily due to the giant skeletal bird and the fact that he was almost sucked into a painting with a bunch of lizard people. Whatever the REAL reason, he was gone from their lives for good. Smallhousen, as you know died and Colette wasn't ding so hot. After Regina convinced Inspector Barrington to purchase her a new firearm, the crazy bunch of hooligans headed for the nearest shipyard to catch a ship Cairo.
Once on bored they were introduced to a bevy of fine individuals that were increasingly eager to join in the excitement. Miss Olivia Pendergast was found obsessively re-arranging the ships library when Elly Mists stumbled in and introduced herself. The two talked briefly and found out that they had crossed paths in London. Miss Pendergast was a a curator for the London Museum of Natural history (or something like that).
At dinner, a Fimi Defonce invited herself to the table where she began to inquire about the Carlyle expedition. Her bubbly personality managed to irk no one, surprisingly. She was the daughter of a famous Belgian detective, and was out to prove her chops to the world by solving a long closed mystery.
Conversations continued, and everyone was just charmed with Fimi, until the attention was pulled to their waiter, a man with a thick french accent and shifty eyes. Jock Botam, thief extraordinaire introduced himself. He pegged them right away as a force to be reckoned with, so he dropped the waiter act and offered to assist them on whatever they might be up to.
The rest of the trip consisted of drinks, libraries, healing and sneaking. Then they arrived at Port Siade.
Fimi, Olivia and Jock had no problem getting off the boat. It quickly became apparent to the rest, however, that they should have filed for permits for their firearms before leaving the country. It took the remainder of Regina Shmee's gin rations to bribe the customs officer into allowing them to keep their boomsticks. They then boarded a train, with Yalesha's help, and headed for Cairo.
For those that don't remember, Yalesha was a dancer at the Blue Pyramid in London. The group saved her from becoming a ritual sacrifice, and in return she agreed to be their guide while in her home country of Egypt.
The train ride was, sketchy, to say the least. The train stopped at strange intervals, and there were a group of men keeping tabs on our, primarily female, bunch of travelers. Once in Cairo, Yalesha found a small hovel of a hotel to stay in for cheap. Though tiny, it was clean, much to the relief of Miss Pendergast.
Night fell and with it the investigators. Into sleep, that is. Fimi decided to take the second watch, during which she heard voices arguing outside the door. She quickly woke Yalesha to translate. The men from the train were seeking the westerners. After waking the rest of the group, it was a miracle the arguing voices didn't hear the innumerable guns cocking in the next room. A knock came. Yalesha insisted it was just the inn-keeper. She was correct. He warned them that someone was out to get them (duh) and that they should be very careful. Regina took this opportunity to show off her new necklace which displayed an inverted ankh and asked if they were wearing something similar. This was not appreciated. The inn-keeper told them they could stay the night at no charge, but that they would have to find a new place to stay from then on.
The following morning they hit the streets and found an English Language news paper. It primarily focused on social events, but proved to be a wealth of information. Also the man in charge loved westerners and allowed them to use his telegraph machine for free. Colette immediately sent a wire to Harriet Oslow in New York telling her that the desperately needed money. Discussions were had regarding Omar Shokti, Willem Besart and Faraz Najir. There was an interesting story about a current Penhew Foundation dig in Egypt, the Clive Expedition. Rumor was that they had found the mummy of the evil Queen Niticris, who reigned alongside the Black Pharaoh in the third dynasty. However it had been mysteriously stolen. Also, the found the local favorite restaurant of the Carlyle expedition; The Turf Club.
Hungry and tires our heroes went in search of the upscale dining facility that they had no hopes of affording a real meal at. After finagling their way into the establishment, they met a fine man by the name of Jasper. It brought back painful memories of their beloved Jasper Eagleton, but this man simply wanted to chat and had no real information to offer aside from what was readily available to them. After they decided to split a salad, they questioned the waiter and mater' de. The Carlyle expedition had indeed dined here quite frequently, until they left for Africa, of course. Before leaving, Pendergast and Jock noticed a barely noticeable powdery substance on the rim of their unused drinking glasses. The two began wiping the substance up with their handkerchiefs. Jock did so to inspect the substance later, Olivia just compulsively cleaned them.
One thing they had learned in particular about Mr. Faraz Najir was that he was one of the few people that saw Jackson elias during his time in Egypt. He apparently sold antiquities. After learning that he was a customer of the local shipping house found in a ledger they ransacked from the Penhew Foundation's chairman, they decided to look him up.
Faraz Najir had a shop on the street of the Jackal. That is, he did, what was left of it was simply ash and rubble, with a single necklace with an inverted Ankh in the wreckage. Locals informed the investigators that the shop had been cursed and a supernatural force burned it to the ground. Najir had opened a new shop further down the street.
It has become almost a sacred ritual for this lot to rough up local shop keepers, so they commenced with the usual accusations and threats. Eventually, once Regina showed off her fancy new cultist necklace, he went completely crazy and started waving a scimitar at them. A crowd gathered and a riot almost started, until the group decided to pull out the strongest remedy to a heightened situation they knew of. Cash. Bribing the poor man who had lost almost everything (including his good looks, half his face was scarred from the fire) the got him to agree to a scret meeting the following day at a local mosque.
Calling it a day, they headed to their new digs, a local family that Yalesha knew had offered to house them and keep their belongings secure. At peace, oddly, they all slept wonderfully and headed out to the local importer where they hoped to find out more information about stuff and sundries and ledgers and business and such.
Jock wasted no time in casing out the joint, attempting to see if it had any gaps in security. It did not. A man offered to answer any questions they might hae, though he appeared to be very busy. Hoping to understand just what the contents of the ledger meant, the man was able to trace certain artifacts to Faraz, Shokti and a Willem Besart. Olivia Pendergast posed as a liaison for the Egyptian museum, and in doing so received a small crate that they asked her to deliver. The crate, according to the slip, contained an ancient Egyptian scroll and two stone scarabs. Her creed was, for perhaps the first time, put to the test.
Surprised and relieved, they found Najir still alive and willing to talk. He escorted them his local Mosque and informed them of the dangers surrounding the Brotherhood and how he believed they were attempting to raise the evil Niticris from the dead. He was convinced that they were after something hidden in the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun, also located in Cairo. As for connections with Jackson Elias, he had sold the man a statue of Ra, as well as sundry information about the brotherhood. Roger Carlyle had used his agent to purchase items as well, a Mr. Besart, who still resided in Egypt, as far as Najir knew, though he couldn't say where. Ripe with information and leads, the gang decided there was still enough time to hit the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun.
In-ornate and smaller than expected, the Mosque stood on the edge of Cairo, just on the outskirts of the desert. Jock went in to case everything out and found the place to be of substantial historical importance. Unable to crack the mystery of what they held with a three minute conversation, he reported to the group that the only option was to lay siege to the place under the cover of darkness. This plan was discussed at length, as was the idea of allowing the Brotherhood to steal whatever was hidden within and just steal it back. Ultimately, Elly came up with an idea that was agreed upon. Just tell them that the brotherhood was after something. An enemy of an enemy sort of deal, you know?
In they waltzed and would have gotten no further than Jock had Regina not shown her fancy necklace and explained that they wanted to help. Escorted to a smaller room at the heart of the Mosque (that is to say, it was an appendage) they met with an older teacher who informed them that the Girdle of Niticris was quite safe. He appreciated their concern and assistance, but he did not believe the brotherhood capable of stealing the artifact necessary to raise the evil queen. Why wasn't the girdle simply destroyed? The man explained that they had tried to destroy it through a number of means, but nothing seemed to work. He then excused them from the Mosque. Or at least he tried, until Regina chimed in that she wanted a go at the girdle. He was reluctant, until she showed him her fancy new silver daggers she had pinched from Gavigan. As he reached for the blades, he felt the remnants of some foreign power stemming from either the daggers or Regina or both. He agreed to give it a shot.
He showed them through several large doors leading well underground where four strong guards and a much older man holding a jeweled scimitar stood guard in front of a gargantuan safe. Once the safe was unlocked Regina was shown the chain mail and jewel encrusted girdle that was the source of a great amount of trouble. With a hack and a slash, the girdle succumbed to the daggers, throwing Regina back and filling the room with light. The guards cheered, and the old man handed Shmee his scimitar as he cried tears of joy. Then the earth trembled, and they were told they were in grave danger.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Scot-free. That's how our team of intrepid heroes (?) got away with robbing the private collection of a Mr. Gavigan of the Penhew foundation. A night of danger and burglary left the the lot of them huddled in their new hotel room with strange scrolls that and a statue that made you tingly when touched. Scarth, the Pinkerton man, convinced his fellow criminals (?) into dropping of their "finds" at the American embassy . But, before that could happen the phone in their hotel room rang. Regina Shmee answered and was informed that 3 men in suites were there to see a Dick Shmee, that being the name they registered under. With the understanding that a bottle of champagne would be brought up to accompany the men, she allowed them to proceed. In a matter of minutes the bullets started to fly.
Regina went to the door upon hearing the knock and was almost immediately knocked to the floor when the door was kicked in. there were indeed 3 men in suites there to see the party, and they had brought along a welcome gift; large clubs with sharp barbs sticking out of the end. Even in the midst of the attack the investigators joked about the sacred ritualistic weapons resembling turkey legs. This only infuriated the men further. Horace Scarth took a knock to the head that put him out cold. a few more shots were taken, and when all was said and done Collette, Dr. Smallhousen and Regina dispatched all but one of the intruders with ease, subduing the last of them fro questioning. All the while Elly Mists slept in the other room... for the entire week. She was very tired.
In an effort to hide the one living, but very unconscious, assailant from the police before they arrived, Collette attempted to stuff the poor man into a closet. However, the latch on the door was broken and he continued to spill into the hallway. So she decided to put him back where she found him, just as Inspector Barrington entered the room. Perplexed, he simply threw his hands in the air and expected an answer. He was no stranger to these people, especially after some of them were involved with the death of a rather famous painter. With a quick explanation and finding murder weapons matching those in the cases he had been following in the last few years, he decided to take them to a safe house and get the full story. He introduced them to his partner, who had been under cover for the past while; a Mister Jasper Eagleton, whom the investigators assumed to be a victim of the same thievery that befell them at their previous hotel.
Once at the safe house, the gang hunkered down and decided to read some sanity shaking books. Smallhousen insisted on seeing to Scarth's medical care in the hospital. Scarth healed, though never fully. The trip was almost starting to feel like a holiday. New friends in a rent free home in England. So, naturally, Regina and Scarth decided to take a trip to the police station to have a chat with the sole living member of the party that attempted to kill them. While Regina intended to talk to the man, Horace was trying to decide how to inconspicuously torture him. It was a real reversal of roles. The man was a real steel trap, though he became visibly irked when accused of attacking them with a turkey leg. It wasn't until Regina mentioned the spice dealer, Tewfik and showed his inverted ankh necklace (that was looted off of a still living guard at the Penhew foundation just before he was kicked to his presumed death into a sewer). Assuming that Shmee just might be an ally, or know SOMETHING that he didn't. he insisted that they speak to Tewfik and alert him to the current predicament. Also, he said he loved the dark Pharaoh and that all yall were going to die. But that's just cultic talk.
Once back at the safe-house, Collette noticed a strange man in a trench coat that had passed the house several times. Enlisting the help of Jasper, who seemed up for anything, really, they apprehended the man and brought him in. Barrington walked in demanding to know what was going on. The man then had his flashlight confiscated and the threat having boiling hot water dumped in his lap presented if he didn't tell them what he was up to. Truth be told it was very little. After the ol scare tactics they released him into the night, sans flashlight and with the hopes that he'd run into some killer fog. Jasper was sent to tail him.
With the threat of youths in trench coats thwarted, attention was returned to the spice dealer, Tewfik. Jasper, naturally, agreed to go with our investigators to visit the shop shortly before closing time. Upon entering the shop and scaring off the customers, they decided to have a little chat. Accusations and threats flew as wildly as bullets on a winter day in the basement of a Harlem antique shop. Tewfik denied everything, maintaining that he was simply interested in his culture. That being said, Regina couldn't help but notice a large mob headed for the shop that was supposed to be closing. Tewfik told them it was the afternoon rush. Then he grinned. Jasper burst in and shouted that it was time to leave. "Arrest him!" shouted the investigators. But there was no reason to so Jasper said no. The hopped in the car and went to a new safe house to mull things over. Barrington agreed to hold Tewfik for questioning.
Faster than you can say "Bob's your uncle" a sting operation was set up a the Blue Pyramid. Rumor was that every new moon a van full of people left the Pyramid and most of those that left were never seen again. Jasper borrowed his brother-in-laws new lorry and agreed to drive the investigators to hell and back, if necessary. So they waited. "Oh, by the way" Barrington interjected, "Tewfik escaped somehow." Not to worry, our investigators found him soon enough, as he escorted a batch of fellows from the Blue Pyramid into the back of his own lorry. The game was afoot! The two vehicles ended up in the Essex countryside. Tewfik and his band of brothers easily sifted past the gate and two gaurds. Jasper, on the other hand, had no such luck.
The gang attempted to smooth talk their way past the guards, but were told that unless they had specific approval from Gavigan, the would not be permitted to enter. A scuffle ensued and Barrington ended up punching someone's head clean off....almost anyway. The other one just ended up shot to death. In any case, the gate was open!
The estate itself was quite large, there was a bridge and mist and other scary elements to add flavor. As they pulled up to the mansion, it was evident that the lights were on but no one was home. Fire light and chanting was present, though a ways away over rough terrain not paved for a truck.
Deciding to explore the mansion before saving potential sacrifices, the investigators quickly found a pair of secret doors in the fireplace! One was simply a priest hole, with little interest. The other, however led down to a basement with a series of cells and a hallway leading to a mysterious room. Two of the cells were occupied with none other than Yalesha, the waitress from the Blue Pyramid, and Jezebel Weinstein, the other compatriot that helped kill the painter! Apparently, prisoners were kept here for weeks before being used for ritual sacrifices. After some deliberation, they released both of them.
The hallway led to a door with an odd glow emanating from the jams. A quick peak revealed it to be an absurd amount of loot that Gavigan must have been hoarding for years. There was all kinds of things, including a ledger with a list of shipments sent and received from all over the world, and a note indicating that Jack Brady and Aubrey Penhew just might be alive.
The time came to either rescue a bunch of people or die trying or kill everyone by accident. Slowly but surely they headed toward the giant bonfire and sound of chanting. A bunch of cultists were dancing around the fire, as they're apt to do. Chained to a giant obelisk are a group of frightened individuals who seem like their evening is about to go very poorly, which is saying a lot for someone chained to an obelisk. Gavagin and Tewfik were also there, in priestly robes of white, overseeing the goings on. Oh yes, there was also a giant skeletal bird is pecking the ground.
The plan became to focus fire on Gavigan and Tewfik, which would prove to be difficult. Yalesha informed the policemen what was going on, allowing Barrington time to inform the Yard and Jasper time to drive the lorry off road and meet up with the investigators on the outskirts of the bonfire. It was quickly decided that Jasper would attempt to run over Gavigan and Tewfik, hopefully cutting off the head of the viper and ending this chapter of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharoah. He hit a bump, however, and crashed into the skeletal bird. This did more damage to the lorry and himself than it did to the bird. Jaspers last few moments were spent being devoured.
In the diversion, Gavigan commanded the faithful to scour the estate and find the rest of the intruders. Dressed as cultists, this allowed our heroes to get closer to their targets. Jezebel fought with a Turkey-leg club, while the rest used guns. In a matter of minutes the dust began to settle. Gavigan and Tewfik were dead, but along with that small victory came the sorrow of further loss. Victor Smallhousen was dead, Regina was injured and Scarth was almost completely insane. Some wounds would heal, but not a chicken-hole to the heart. The police arrive just in time to round up as many fleeing cultists as they could then spoke with the living to figure out what on earth happened.
Barrington expressed thanks for saving these innocent lives, but also recommended they leave the country. No amount of good was going to completely pay for the damage this group caused. The dead were buried, the insane sent home, and our investigators headed for the first boat to Cairo, the next step that the Carlysle investigation took on their way to destruction, and another place where their friend Jackson Elias was seen.