Monday, March 31, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep: The Carlyle Expedition

With your adventure in Mexico long behind you, one story of potential adventure will have to suffice in order to satiate your thirst for adventure. A well known playboy from New York has gathered a crew and headed to Egypt for an excavation. This high-profile expedition dramatically unfolds in the form of news paper clippings over the following months.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Masks of Nyralothetope Prelude: The God of Mitnal

Last Saturday six players, and myself as acting keeper, ran an introductory campaign for the Call of Cthulhu 6th edition Gaming system. The scenario "The God of Mitnal" was used as a catalyst to introduce the system to all of us. This log will serve as an outline of the ensuing adventures. This is a care bones, very few frills account of our first session.

Jackson Ellias, the ever charismatic best selling author is at it again! In an effort to sniff out the truth surrounding a South American cult known as the "Ah Puch" cult, he reached out to a number of acquaintances for help. In a series of telegrams, he communicated the need for two very important things to further his research. 1) He needed information on one "Walter Kimble" and 2) he needed his standard vices; namely Lucky Strike cigarettes and Gin. Little more information was given other than he requested the aid of his friends in Campeche Mexico. And just who were these friends, you ask?

Harriett Oslow: a wealthy socialite with a pension for adventure. Wilhelm Schonewetter: A Dutch meteorologist from the University of Amsterdam. Colette Blue: Renowned archeologist who obtained her Geology degree from the prestigious STFU. Elly Mists: Professor of Anthropology stemming from Knoxville, Tennessee. Dick Shmee, a PE major from STFU. The oldest in the group, he remained true to his name by becoming a Private Investigator . And of course, the good Dr. Epsteen: A medical man from New York, an invaluable addition to a group this rowdy.

The group of unlikely heroes dropped whatever previous engagements they may have had lined up and agreed to meet at a local speakeasy to discuss their plan. This being in the midst of the American Prohibition, there was no actual alcohol to be found on the premises. Except for in the trunk of Dick's car, where there were three cases of Gin. The six became fast friends, pouring over the details of their telegrams. It was decided that they should research this Walter Kimble with the Texas Rangers. This was immediately set about by Dick, who hopped in his truck shouting "I'll meet you in Texas". The rest of the gang hit the books, discovering that Ah Puch was an Aztec god of death, similar to the grim reaper.

After gleaning as much as they could from the local library, the ever generous Harriet Oslow paid for the remainder of the party to travel first class to El Paso Texas. After arriving at the station, Elly and Dr. Epsteen went to the local inn to reserve rooms. It was then their intention to head to the Library in order to dredge up any more information on Walter Kimble. This information, however was most notably gleaned by Wilhelm, Colette and Harriet who went strait to the Texas Rangers. It was learned that Walter Kimble was a wanted man, suspected of gun running and desertion from the US army. Also, Wilhelm was mistaken for a German.

At the library, the others found nothing.

Armed with information on Kimble, some clues into the Ah Puch mythology and about four bottles of Gin, the expedition headed to the docks to set sail to Mexico. Attempting to charge Jackson's publishing house without first checking with them proved to eat up valuable time. But, after clearing things up with one Jonah Kensington, the arrangements were made.

Arriving in Campeche Mexico, the team immediately went to the front desk of the Hotel San Miguel. Dick walked a few paces behind them disguised as a sailor. As night fell, it was learned that few had seen Jackson Elias but that information might be found at the train station, which was unfortunately closed for the evening. The locals were particularly spooked any time the name "Ah Puch" was spoken or an owl screeched. Misty was able to learn from a local in the saloon that local children had gone missing and Ah Puch was to blame.

The evening was otherwise uneventful; except for when Dick followed a local man to the slum he lived in, then scared the man so bad he had a heart attack. After that he robbed the man of the few possessions he had. Dr. Epsteen was called for and the man revived. Dick did the right thing and paid the man a fortune for the rifle he had stolen from him. With that money came the information that a "gringo" had sold him the rifle three months back.

With morning came crowds. The train station was swarming with people. One man seemed to be running the whole show, and it was the man Elias had told them about. Guillermo was a large, brash man. He wasn't about to give them the time of day until the lovely, and equally as large, Colette dropped Jackson Elias' name. Still skeptical, he shuffled the  party into his cramped office. After Wilhelm displayed the telegram they had received, Guillermo gladly gave them the details he had.

Jackson had not been seen for three weeks. He had come back for supplies and to tell Guillermo to expect the arrival of his friends. Guillermo gave them passes to use the flatcar train to get to Jackson's location deep in the jungle. It was a rough ride, but the team was able to get bananas from a local plantation. So that was nice.

Once off the train, it was a long trek through the jungle to Elias' camp. Upon arrival it became apparent that the camp was ransacked. Shortly thereafter, a man with the head of an owl appeared and summoned two skeletal demons, he warned them to drop their supplies and flee. While this scared half the party stiff, the other half opened fire on the creatures. Upon successful capturing, it was obvious that these were mere men, who had been instructed to guard the campsite.

It became increasingly apparent that this Ah Puch cult was nothing more than Walter Kimble running a farce to protect his gun running. The men the team captured were not brave, they gave information readily in the hopes of not being harmed. They informed the group that Jackson, along with a few others was alive and being held captive. The next day they marched everyone right to the site of an ancient Mayan pyramid. Elly attempted to reason with the guards, attempting to do a prisoner exchange. This was not met favorably. Dick managed to shoot a couple of the guards, but not before Elly was taken prisoner. What Elly learned once inside the pyramid was that Jackson and a number of others were held up in the tiny interior, along with thousands of guns and a good amount of booze.

Although captured, Elias and Elly were overjoyed to see each other alive, and Elly presented him with a bottle of Gin she had managed to woo away from Mr. Shmee.

Kimble excahnged words with the group hiding in the jungle, they responded with gunfire. Kimble calmly retreated to the interior of the pyramid with his men. Elly tried to get a glance at the inner workings of the group, but instead found a rag doused in ether pressed against her face.

As night fell, Dick, Wilhelm, Collette, Harriette and Dr. Epsteen snuck up to the entrance to the pyramid. When they found the nerve to enter, they found it mostly empty. No men, few guns and even less alcohol. The prisoners were still there. Groggily they began to wake as Dick picked the lock to their cell door. Just as the lock clicked and the door swung open, Elias screamed "NO, WAIT!". It was too late. As the door swung open it lit a long fuse that attached to a cache of dynamite  attached to the ceiling. Everyone booked it, making it to safety with nothing but superficial wounds.

Kimble had escaped their clutches, but was caught by the Mexican Federal Police not long after. Elias, who was thrilled to have gotten to the bottom of this latest mystery, promised to send them all copies of his latest book. The following morning, a note was left indicating that Elias had paid their stay, and had left early that morning. Something about a new cult he wanted to investigate in Africa.

Part 2 Part 3