Trail of Cthulhu: Eternal Lies

Game Master James Keegan

In 1937, a team of investigators are assembled by the heiress Janet Winston-Rogers to look into her late father's past and a things left undone back in 1924...
Trail of Cthulhu System Cheat Sheet

The case so far:

Prelude and Savannah:

The investigators were gathered by Janet Winston-Rogers, heiress to the Winston Pharmaceuticals business to look into events in 1924 when her father, Walter Winston, was an armchair occultist battling what he considered to be some supernatural threat. Following a series of increasingly desperate letters from a man named Douglas Henslowe, the investigators go to Savannah, GA to interview the man himself.

At Joy Grove Asylum, the investigators meet Henslowe after a few disturbing incidents. Douglas Henslowe reveals that he, Walter Winston, the "fixer" Vince Stack, the reporter Katherine Clark and F. C. Kullman, an expert on the occult, traveled across the country combating a perverse cult which venerated something Winston called "The Thing With A Thousand Mouths", often with orgiastic rites fueled (chemically and financially) by drugs.

A confrontation ensued at a barn outside of Los Angeles in 1924, leaving Vince Stack, Katherine Clark, F. C. Kullman, the cult's leader "Echavarria", and many other rank and file cultists dead either from fire, bullets or the grotesque deity the cult managed to conjure. Henslowe and Winston both fled, as well as the ritual's apparent subject- a man named Edgar Job.

Henslowe made his way back East to Savannah and began a long period both in and out of Joy Grove. He confides in the investigators that he recorded all that he remembered from the '20s in a journal, buried at the family estate.

An interview with Edgar Job confirmed the events as Henslowe remembered- including the horrific summoning. Job also went into detail about the cult's extensive drug use, "crazy sex parties" and how Echavarria would consult "old books" for things to say while they all fornicated. After drawing him out a bit, despite Dr. Keaton's misgivings, Job talked about how he was inducted into the cult by a George Avery or maybe Ayers while he was a student at UCLA. Echavarria promised them power when "Gol-Goroth" or the "Fisher From Outside" came, including Job specifically- even going so far as to place a spell of some kind on him on the night of the confrontation. Job survived by stabbing Vince Stack to death and fleeing the scene. Echavarria apparently met his end that night and Job believes he had a mansion in the hills somewhere around LA- possibly in Pasadena or Highland Park.

Leaving the asylum, the investigators visit the sinking Henslowe estate on Moss Island Peninsula. Despite the groundskeeper's unfriendliness, the darknes and the rain, they solve the riddle left for Walter Winston and find Henslowe's journal buried in the family plot along with a safe deposit box key for the First Bank of Long Beach (where the '24 investigators' materials should still be found) and a mysterious stone carved with warding glyphs.

Thugs attempt to run the investigators off the road on the way back to town and then attempt to give them a beating at the airfield later the next day- a mix of white and asian men, the leader of which spoke some strange language full of vowels.

Los Angeles:

According to Doctor Udko: "From there, we've done some footwork here in Los Angeles, managing to pry the safe deposit box contents from Roosevelt's goons at the FDIC, canvassing UCLA for information about George Ayers- another highly placed member of the cult who appears to have disappeared in Ethiopia on an archaeological dig, discovering Echavarria's full name and tax rolls. That lead us to an Abraham Buchwald- that's his name on the ledger there- he was Echavarria's accountant and he tracked the man's "Nectar" trade, selling drugs to sybarites across the country. I think the actor Richard Spend's sister- what was her name, something Jewish?- clarified that her brother used the stuff and he died at the barn summoning that night. We had the address for the farmland where it took place, so we took a look at it. Burned down, bullet holes, the whole thing. At the construction plot next door, they said the place gave them the creeps and the foreman was being shifty."

"That's where we got the address for this Jack Pizner, PI. He had payed the foreman to keep an eye on Echavarria's plot and to call him if anyone like us called to ask about what happened in '24. So we.... may have broken into his office yesterday, where a very close call with the police ensued. Our hand has been tipped a bit, but we may be able to corral this person into a situation where we can get some real answers out of him. He had descriptions of us already, very unflattering language. Likely a very hostile man with deep seated issues, misanthropic if you ask me."

Echavarria's accountant, Buchwald, seemed to indicate that the late cult leader had been misleading his flock prior to the '24 summoning, but about what and how remains uncertain. Looking through Ayers' things, the investigators found an itinerary for an expedition to Ethiopia to dig up information on this Thing With A Thousand Mouths in addition to unpublished and unpublishable articles about the horrible God the cult worshipped. With his itinerary, the investigators could follow him into Ethiopia to discover his fate.

In Pizner's office, the investigators found a phone number belonging to a man named Samson Trammel, a resident of Pasadena. Trammel was licensed to sell real estate in southern California through 1925 and so far seems to be a model citizen according to the tax rolls and law enforcement.

While Freddy, the PI, ran surveillance on Trammel's mansion the rest of the investigators canvassed the neighborhood, finding the new money neighborhood to be largely made up of people pathologically concerned with their own business. Genial Booker, the gardener for the family next door to Trammel, was amenable to discussion after a little cajoling. Booker alleged that he witnessed people coming and going at the Trammel mansion at all hours and Samson Trammel himself crawling through Trammel's garden and masturbating one night. The next day, the gardener heard a hissing and spitting in his own garden and found a malformed fleshy mouth in the ground by the bushes, very much alive. After fleeing the mouth, Booker threw his religious mother's crucifix down the mouth's gullet and it turned to stone. The investigators took the thing off his hands.

After watching the property and noting many serious looking Mexicans standing around unobtrusively, Freddy decided to follow one of these men home to East LA. Though the tail wasn't particularly useful since Freddy doesn't speak Spanish, he was accosted by thugs at his car before he fled back to the hotel.