Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Masks of Nyralathotep 4: Turkey-holed

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.