CALL OF CTHULU- THE MASKS OF NYARLHOTEP

Game Master Daniel Penfold 351

A play through of the Masks of Nyarlhotep campaign for Call of Cthulu.

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notes/clues


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"What did you want to see me about?"


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

Jake approached with a friendly grin.
"Good morning to you sir! I'm Jake Westfield." He said, glad handing the man.
Charm 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 27
"I am sorry to inform you that Mr. Jackson Elias was murdered yesterday; and we were interested in clearing up any unfinished business he had with your establishment."


"Also, have you had any contact with people wearing red flannel headpieces?"


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

After the previous days trials, and his lack of sleep and hangover from the day before, Barney sleeps the sleep of the dead, and is still trying to clear the cobwebs as they meet the man. He is content for now to simply listen.

I started keeping notes on what we're finding in the notes/clues tab. Please feel free to contribute. Lots of moving parts here and it might keep us from having to backtrack too far for posts.


"Mr Elias dead, how terrible! I remember him coming to visit a few days ago. He was interested in one of the people I import goods from, an exporter from Mombasa called Ahja Singh. His only account is to a building in Harlem called the Ju Ju House.

As far as I can understand it Mr Jackson intended to visit Ju Ju House to speak to the manager Silas N'Kwame."

As Emerson mention N'Kwame's name he shudders somewhat

Psychology rolls from those who have it.


Psychology, 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 86


Sylvia, you think he is telling the truth.


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

Jake offers the man a cigarette and a light.
"Inport goods from Mombasa? That's in Africa right? Anything interesting?" Jake asked, curious.
He looked back at the rest of his companions at the name 'Silas N'Kwame'.


Male

Henry shrugs. He didn't know much about Africa, having grown up in America, fought in Europe, and then spent the years since the war in South America. He made note of the name Silas N'Kwame, though. Might be important.

Psychology, 10%: 1d100 ⇒ 55


Sylvia adds the name 'Silas N'Kwame' to her mental list of people to talk to. "Would you be able to tell us where this Ju Ju House is? And did Jackson happen to say anything about why he wanted to talk to N'Kwame?"


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Does Barney know if Jackson had any living kin to contact?

"I guess if Jackson doesn't have any kin we know about, some of us should check into funeral arrangements"?

Psychology (25%): 1d100 ⇒ 86


"Yes Mombasa is in Kenya. I don't now exactly what they contained, they were labelled cultural artefacts. As far as I know Ju Ju House is some kind of African art emporium. The address is 1 Ransom Court in Harlem. If you go there be careful, there's something not right about N'Kwame. I'm afraid Jackson didn't say much about why he wanted to talk to N'Kwame- he muttered something about Carlyle once."

Barney as far as you know Elias had no next of kin. Henry you think that Emerson is telling the truth, there is clearly something that unsettles him about N'Kwame.


"I suppose I can take care of the arrangements. If nothing else I know the mortician we use for the hospital, and can get in touch with him." Sylvia sighs. The talk of funerals vividly reminds her of Jackson's mutilated corpse.

Shaking her head as if to clear it, she looks at Emerson again. "Thank you very much for your time; you've been very helpful. May we call on you again if we have further questions?"


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

"Thank you Sylvia. I would very much like a chance to pay my last respects. I fear that our next destination might be the Ju Ju House... no"?


"Certainly, happy to help, any way I can."

Where to next- are you arranging the funeral or doing something else?


Male

Once they leave, Henry pulls out the piece of paper on which Jackson had written, 'Silas N'Kwame'. "We seem to be following the same threads as Jackson, at any rate. We could detour up to Harvard University to see what book Jackson was looking for from this Miriam Atwright, instead. We should handle the funeral arrangements first, though."


You head to the police morgue, where you discover that Jackson's body has already been released to the undertakers. Lt Poole advises that they are still pursuing leads at the moment but unfortunately the cultist they captured was found hung in his cell before he could be questioned. The arrangements for the funeral have been made by Jackson's publisher, Jonah Kensington of Prospero House and will take place on January 17th at 2pm in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn. The will is due to be read 2 days later and you have all been named as beneficiaries.


"Oh. That's good. I'm glad...I'm glad someone was able to take care of the arrangements. Although I can't imagine why he would have named us. Unless...do you think maybe he left us something relating to what he was working on?"

Sylvia shakes her head. "Pointless to speculate I suppose. Thank you Lt. Poole for all your help. While we're here, would it be possible for us to talk to Captain Robson? Or better yet, Hilton Adams?"


"I'm afraid Captain Robson isn't in the city at the moment, he's on an undercover mission on the Canadian border to do with bootlegging and can't be contacted. If you want to see Hilton Adams I can get you visiting orders but he's in Sing Sing so it'll be a trek for you. There's also a reporter sniffing around the story, a Rebecca Shosenburg of the New York Times. She is working closely with Adams' family and like me she thinks there's a connection to the previous murders."


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

I got a little confused. What is the time of day?

"Well we have a lot of questions and very little answers. What say we split up and investigate some of these clues, then meet back up at Jackson's funeral if not before then. I'll check out the Ju Ju House if someone would like to come with me".


It's mid morning


Sylvia once again thanks Lt. Poole for his help. "It may be a trek, but it could be worth it. I'd greatly appreciate those visiting orders."

Once outside discussing their next moves she hums thoughtfully. "I'd rather not split up if we can avoid it. We know how dangerous these cultists are. At the very least we should all be present before investigating the Ju Ju House; Emerson doesn't strike me as a man who scares easily. That he's so nervous about this N'Kwame...there's something going on there. I agree we should check it out sooner rather than later, but let's all go together."


So what's the plan- are you separating or sticking together and where are you going?


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

Jake frowned, then nodded at Sylvia.
"'Fraid Sylvia's right about splittin' up. Chances are if we stumble over them cultists again there'll be a sight more than one or two. We should stick together."

Jake advocates to investigate the Ju Ju House together. After a brief stop at his hotel room.


You head into Harlem. Crowded tenements surround Ransom Court and many windows overlook it. Ransom court is a cluttered alley off of West 137th street. The short alley opens into a 20 foot square court. The only doors from the court are those of Ju Ju House and the back door of an abandoned pawnshop.


"Lovely place, isn't it," Sylvia mutters. She spent time in tenements before, helping educate people on proper hygiene and preventative medical care. Under the circumstances however, the whole scene feels sinister. The many windows feel like eyes crawling over her skin, and she can't help but expect to see cultists around every corner.

She shivers and clutches her handbag, (which still conceals her small gun), a little closer.

Be brave, Sylvia. For Jackson.

"Well, I suppose there's nothing else to do but knock. Shall we?" Unless her companions have some objection, she heads to the front door of the Ju Ju house and knocks firmly.


Male

On the way down to Harlem, Henry makes sure his gun is fully loaded and ready to go. He seems to expect this to turn violent, and the neighborhood doesn't make him feel any more comfortable. "Reminds me of some of the tenements in Rio."

He goes up to the door with Sylvia, and allows her to knock.


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Finally rested and restored a bit mentally since he's accepted Jackson's death... if not the circumstances surrounding it, Barney stands by a little out of the doorway, and waits for a response.

Are there any windows on the side we're approaching? Fire Escapes? Roof access? What are the surroundings like? Is anyone watching us?.

"Maybe we should have cased the place a bit before barging in"?


There is one shop window that looks into the shop, there is no fire escape or roof access. I am going to assume you case the joint before you head to the front door.

As you spend about 30 minutes watching the business you see only a few people wandering in and out of the emporium. They seem to be mostly African American and seem to spend about 10 to 15 minutes in the shop before leaving again, occasionally with a parcel of some description.

There are three people of note that you see.

One is a smartly dressed white man in his mid 20s (Spot Hidden rolls). He is inside for only a few minutes and can be seen tucking something into his inside jacket pocket as he leaves.

The second is a short elderly African American man with very little hair, dressed in an old fashioned suit. He goes in and does not leave.

The final visitor is of a muscular shaven headed African man. He heads in, again seems to spend a few moments in the emporium and then leaves.


At Barney's suggestion, Sylvia hangs back a bit so they can keep an eye on the place before knocking. She checks out the people who enter the house. Any of them suspicious? Anyone that looks like a possible cultist?

Spot Hidden, 45%: 1d100 ⇒ 7


Male

Spot Hidden, 51%: 1d100 ⇒ 24

Henry watches the customers carefully, looking for any signs that might link them to Jackson's killers.


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

"Well, we better be about it then." Said Jake, glancing around. "We wait much longer we're gonna get more attention than we want in this neighborhood."
He adjusted his trenchcoat, making sure it hung loosely enough to cover his Colt .45 Peacemaker in it's gunslinger rig. He hoped he wouldn't have to draw it; it worried him that he didn't really know how he would react in a dangerous situation without a script.


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

"OKay what is our strategy? Do we simply ask for Silas? If they ask why we want to see him do we want to purchase something, or need his advise for something? What pretense is there for our visit. Want to make sure we have our stories synchronized before we go in".


Male

"When we go in, we say we attended Professor Cowles' lecture the other night and were curious about possibly related death cults. We had heard from a friend of ours who writes about them, Jackson Elias, that Mr. N'Kwame might have some items that once were used by such cults, and wanted to know the history of them."


"One problem with that suggestion; if this N'Kwame had something to do with Jackson's murder, we can't say anything that makes it sound like we talked to Jackson after the lecture. No, I think it's best not to mention the lecture at all. The second part is sufficient; that we're curious about African death cults and our friend Jackson had mentioned the Ju Ju House might have collected some related artifacts."

She sighs. "Then again, if he did have something to do with Jackson's murder, by asking about death cults at all we're making it fairly obvious we're on the trail. But I can't think of any other way to get the information we need, short of breaking in after hours to search the place."


Sylvia and Henry you can both see that the smartly dressed white man is carrying a gun. Sylvia you notice that the shaven headed African man has beneath his clothing a sash that looks very similar to those worn by the cultists you encountered yesterday.


"Well things definitely aren't all they seem here. One of those people had a gun, and that last visitor had the same sash as the cultists. We need to be very careful."


What do you want to do?


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

Jake grinned.
"We're just asking a few questions about completely legitimate business concerns. Nothing to be concerned about; as clearly everything is perfectly aboveboard.
"I mean, if something were to HAPPEN to us, well, I know that I am enough of a celebrity that a great deal of press interest would be attracted. Too bad for criminals, who try to keep their activities out of the papers."

He touched the brim of his hat and got out of the car.
"So let's ask."


You enter the Ju Ju House. The shop front consists of a display window and a glass door. Both are curtained so that the interior of the shop can't be seen. In the display window are pieces of African art. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, closed for lunch 12pm to 1pm. Closed on Sundays.

The shop interior is a mere 15 feet by 20 feet. The shop is dirty, dusty and piled with African tribal artefacts and bric a brac such as devil masks, leather headed drums, stuffed model giraffes, carved wildebeests and so on.

Behind the curtain hangs a thick black blanket which seems to separate the main area of the shop from presumably a living area. The shop has an uneasy, oppressive feel to it.

The only person in the shop is an elderly African American man, skeletally thin with skin the texture of a walnut. He has a fringe of thin white hair and is missing many teeth. He wears a bright red shuka (a Masai blanket worn wrapped round the body) and sandals.

"Greetings, welcome to my humble shop sirs and madam. Is there anything you are looking for particularly that it will be my humble pleasure to provide."

Occult, Anthropology or Spot Hidden rolls please


Forgot to add - image folder updated.


Spot Hidden, 45%: 1d100 ⇒ 47

Sylvia is extremely uneasy in the shop. The musty air makes her want to cough, and the devil masks seem to be leering at her. Oh I do not like this place.

But they're here for information. "Um, hello. We've developed an interest in African death cults. Our friend Jackson Elias had mentioned that your shop might have some related artifacts. Is that true?"

She keeps a careful eye on him as she speaks, wanting to see how he reacts to the mention of death cults, and, even more importantly, the name Jackson Elias.

Psychology, 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 43


Sylvia, you spot a large key, hanging from a leather thong on his neck.

"Death cults? How awful, I'm afraid I don't know anything about that. Jackson Elias?, I am humbly sorry, I am afraid that I do not recognise the gentleman's name, it is not familiar to me."

[i]Sylvia, you recognise that he is lying particularly about the death cults, and the mention of Jackson seems to leave him slightly worried.


Sylvia's eyes narrow. He's lying. He knows something about death cults, and he recognizes Jackson's name. Something's wrong here.

Aloud, she says, "Oh that's a shame. I guess Jackson must have been mistaken. Perhaps he got the Ju Ju House confused with another art emporium." Glancing at her companions, she adds, "Unless you want to do some shopping, we should probably go and not take up any more of this gentleman's time."


Male

Spot Hidden, 51%: 1d100 ⇒ 68

"That's a shame. Jackson seemed pretty confident. Do you happen to know of any other shops in the city that might have information about what we were looking for?"

Psychology, 10%: 1d100 ⇒ 14


Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Barney makes sure the man gets a glimpse of his gun.

"Are you sure? Think long and hard about your next answer, cause it might be your last. My friend Jackson is dead... he wasn't mistaken... and I intend on finding who killed him. I can assure you that cooporation from you will go a long way towards my actions over the next few minutes".

Intimidate (25%) 1d100 ⇒ 45

Sigh. I believe this game system is put all your points in a couple of skills so that you might be able to actually do something every now and then.


Henry, you spot the key too.

You think that the shopkeeper knows a great deal more about what happened to Jackson.

At Barney showing off his gun the shopkeeper screams.

"Thieves, Assassins

At this point he tries to run away.


Sylvia's eyes go wide at Barney's threats. What is he doing?! While she agrees that Jackson definitely wasn't mistaken and that N'Kwame knows more than he's saying, threatening to kill N'Kwame in broad daylight in a public shop is likely to get them all arrested.

She grabs Barney's arm firmly to prevent him from drawing the gun. It might be too late, given that N'Kwame is already fleeing, but she still tries to calm him down. "I'm terribly sorry, like he said Jackson was murdered recently and we're all on edge about it. I can assure you that we didn't come here to rob or kill you, we just wanted to ask some questions. We'll go now, I am so sorry, I swear we didn't mean to cause any trouble."

Persuade, 30%: 1d100 ⇒ 16


"Very well, you may leave."

At this, unless you resist, he ushers you all out of the shop, shuts the door, turns the sign to 'closed' and you hear the distinct sound of many locks being turned.


Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK

"Let's get outta here." Jake said, hustling the others into the car before the cops could come. He drove out of there and back to his hotel. At the bar he ordered food and drinks for everyone.
Taking a glass of scotch, he tossed his hat on the rack and took a swollow.
"What the hell was that all about Lipscomb? You skipped right over a bunch of questions we could'a asked easy. Instead you tried to scare a guy who, if he's involved with the guys we're after, ain't gonna scare easy." Jake asked, jabbing a finger in Barney's direction.

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