Game Master Daniel Penfold 351

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





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Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Barney slashes out again with his sharp hunting knife.

1d100 ⇒ 90 (35%)

1d8 + 1d4 ⇒ (5) + (3) = 8

His blood loss beginning to frighten him.

Seeing that Barney is taking a pounding from Mendoza, Jackson fires at Mendoza

revolver:60%: 1d100 ⇒ 42

damage: 1d10 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

Henry, back to you

Jackson's shot flies through the air and strikes Mendoza between the eyes, he falls, however you can see that his wounds are slowly starting to heal back up.


"Nice shot, Jackson! Arthur, light de Mendoza up!"

Maintaining his aim on Larkin, he again fires at the man.

Firearms (pistols), 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 72

Firearms (pistols), 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 56
Disadvantage Die: 1d10 ⇒ 7
76% total

Firearms (pistols), 70%: 1d100 ⇒ 50
Disadvantage Dice: 2d10 ⇒ (10, 3) = 13
100% total.

Two of Henry's shots go wide, the remaining one hits Larkin.

Do you want to roll some damage?

damage: 1d8 ⇒ 6

With Henry's final shot a surprised expression crosses Larkin's face , his spell dies as the bullet passes through his brain. His eyes change from black to a light blue, he just has time to say "Thank you!" before Larkin dies.

What do you want to do next?


None of my shots hit - with the Disadvantage dice, my totals were over 70.

Ah I see missed that. For sake of expediency and to keep the story moving we'll say you did hit on this occasion

What are you doing next?


"Let's burn this pool of...whatever, then put the seal back in place. We'll go back for that loot, then, and get out of here."

"Oh, and make sure we burn Mendoza."

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

"Let's burn the pool, and the bodies first so I can get too the seal. Hope my blood won't cause any problems with replacing the gold". Barney quickly grabs a torch, and sets the body of Mendoza aflame.

"This one first, as he doesn't seem to want to stay dead. One of you guys set the pool on fire. Larkin seems to have gotten into something he wasn't too proud of, so let me search him first before we add him to the pyre".

Barney stands and the blood wells from beneath his shirt. "Then hopefully I can get one of you to bind this wound, so I don't bleed out. You might need me to carry some of the loot".


Henry takes another torch from Arthur, and lights the pool on fire. He then hands the torch back to Arthur and attempts to wrap Barney's wound.

First Aid, 30%: 1d100 ⇒ 22

You burn the pool and Mendoza's body, like the bodies of the kharisiri they turn to flaky ash.

You manage to bind Barney's wound

Can you make a mechanical repair roll to fit the seal back in place?

I would allow electrical repair or a dex check if you don't have mechanical repair


Henry attempts to put the seal portion back into place.

Dexterity, 60%: 1d100 ⇒ 63

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

"Wait... Let me hold that part while you try to press the rest back into the depression".

Assist??? Extended task???

1d100 ⇒ 28 Dexterity 65

Henry and Barney with Elias and Arthur helping you manage to place the seal back in place. There is a flash of light and a brief howl of frustration from behind the ward and then it all goes silent.

You see the bodies of Larkin and de Mendoza effectively dissolve into dust, similarly as you make your way back out of the pyramid you see that all the other kharisiri have similarly dissolved.

You are able to take $2000 dollars worth of trade goods (small trinkets such as brooches/necklaces) should you wish to do so (and Jackson certainly does.


You leave Peru and head home. Elias writes up his experiences in a book called The Hungry Dead, although he omits some of the more bizarre elements. He does further investigation into cults and Larkin's background in particular. Over the next four years he keeps in touch with you all, sending you letters and suggesting he might need your help again in the future.

You gain the following Sanity back

1d6 for defeating Mendoza

1d4 for defeating Larkin

1d8 for restoring the ward

We will now be moving on to the next chapter (where the campaign really starts) The next chapter is set in New York in January 1925 and we will be introducing 2 new investigators at this point. I will post up the introduction to this chapter together with the initial documents later today

January 3rd 1925 is a cold day. You have received a telegram from your old friend Jackson Elias asking you to meet him in New York on the 15th January at the Hotel Chelsea, room 410 at 8pm.

You recall that Jackson Elias is an African-American man of medium height and build. He has a feisty, friendly air about him. As an orphan in Stratford, Connecticut he learned to make his own way early in his life. He has no living relatives and no permanent address.

You like him and value his friendship, even though months and sometimes years separate one meeting from the next.

His writings characterise and analyse death cults. His best known book is Sons of Death, exposing modern day Thuggee cults in India. He speaks several languages fluently and is constantly travelling. He is social, enjoys an occasional drink and smokes a pipe. Elias is tough, stable and punctual, unafraid of brawls and officials. He is mostly self-educated. A sceptic, Elias has never found incontrovertible proof of supernatural powers, magic or dark gods. His well-researched works always seem to reflect first-hand experiences. Possibly his greatest flaw is that he's secretive,and never discusses a project until he has a final draft in his hand.

All of his books illustrate how cults manipulate the fears of their followers. Insanity and feelings of inadequacy characterise death cultists; feelings for which they compensate by slaughtering innocents to make themselves feel powerful or chosen. Cults draw the weak-minded, though cult leaders are usually clever and manipulative. When fear of a cult stops, the cult vanishes.

Elias' published works include:

Skulls Along the River (1910)- exposing headhunter cults in the Amazon basin.

Masters of the Black Arts (1912) surveying supposed sorcerous cults throughout history.

The Way of Terror (1913)- analysing systematisation of fear through cult organisation.

The Smoking Heart (1915) - the first half discusses historical Mayan death cults, the second half concerns present day Central American death cults.

Sons of Death (1918) - modern day Thuggees. Elias infiltrated the cult and wrote a book about it.

With Cults of England (1920)- summarises covens in nine English counties; interviews practising English witches.

The Black Power (1921) - expands upon the Way of Terror and includes some material on Asian and African death cults; includes interviews with several anonymous cult leaders

All of these books are published by Prospero House of New York City and were edited by owner/editor Jonah Kensington

Cucumber Tree and Spazmodeus- feel free to introduce your characters at this point.

A note to all from this point on the campiagn becomes much more free form with multiple clues/places of interest, making use of the clues link is strongly advised

Documents have been updated in the documents folder.

What do people want to do?

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

After the adventure in Peru, Barney decided to read some of his new friends books... however they kept bring back memories of the weird situations in Peru, and he found that the books gave him nightmares, so he gave up. Still after some time to separate himself from the incidents he was more than happy to answer the call of his old acquaintance.

...After all somebody has to save the world from indescribable horror...

Arriving in New York a few days ahead of the meeting, Barney remembers why he stays down at his home in Houston during the winter, and ends up purchasing a heavy coat and scarf to tour the city for a bit before the meeting. He hadn't been here except for a casual overnight for business meetings since his high school field trip, and was eager to enjoy what the city had to offer despite the frigid temperatures.

Going to wait until everyone has had a chance to post before we move on.


It had been four years since their adventure in Peru - a place Henry had avoided since. Still, when Jackson's telegram found him in Rio, he found himself fervently wishing that this would be a nice, simple trip.

He hadn't been home to the states since the end of the War, and he had plenty of time to think on the journey there. A meeting in New York meant he'd be fairly close to home, and he might see about checking in on his parents to see how they were doing.

Of course, he'd been so long away that he had forgotten how cold it was in New York in January. January was summer in most of South America, and the parts it wasn't were still fairly warm. Purchasing a heavy wool coat, scarf, and gloves, he found himself a fairly inexpensive hotel to check into, then set about walking the town. As he walked, he saw a huge mountain of a man walking down the street. Unless he missed his guess...

"Barney Lipscomb, is that you?"

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

I hope that's not anybody I owe money to.

But even as the big man turns to see who addressed him the voice's familiarity hits home.

"Henry! Henry Chandler"!

The big man moves forward to engulf the man he had shared so much horror with in a bear hug.

"It's great to see you healthy and hale. I bet you're here for the same reason I am. Let's find a spot out of this blasted cold... hopefully with something to warm us from the inside. I'm buying".

You head to the nearest bar and reminisce about old times.

As you sit in the bar you see a familiar face, Arthur Chester joins you and buys you both a drink.

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

Jake Westfield got out of the cab in the drizzle, turned up the collar on his trenchcoat and put on his hat. He leaned back and paid the cabbie.
"Thanks Jake!" The cabbie called back, thick with the Bronx accent. Jake gave his familiar grin as he waived goodbye.
Seeing the bar near at hand, he hurried to the door and pushed through, the bell ringing tinnily in the dim light.
He stopped for a moment, admiring the classic bar layout with its tables, chairs, rack upon rack of bottles and glasses, its brass fittings and dim lighting... This would be perfect for a detective thriller... he thought to himself.

Anyone observing Jake at this moment would see a handsome, friendly man, stylishly dressed and clutching a brass headed walking cane. But many people would also see him as the star of a recent string of silent westerns.

Checking his watch, he thought he had time for a quick drink. Taking a chair, he ordered a scotch on the rocks. Laying his hat on the table he lit a cigarette with a sigh of satisfaction.
He took out a well thumbed copy of The Smoking Heart by Jackson Elias and started reading through it again. He hoped he would be able to talk to Jackson again about filming the story, but that mysterious telegram he received suggested something... else.

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

Drawing on his cigarette, the tip glowed briefly before he expelled a cloud of smoke.
Rereading the telegram, he thought it excessively brief.
And yet, the words stirred a memory of a news story of years ago. Something overwrought, but tragic.

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Barney looks at the new arrival, and leans over to Henry whispering. "Say does that guy look familiar to you? He's reading one of Jackson's books. What are the chances of that being a coincidence"?

He then walks up to the bar for another round, seeing the man open a familiar looking telegram as he approaches. He turns to address the new stylish arrival.

"Hi Friend. Couldn't help but notice that you seem to be a fan of Jackson Elias. He happens to be a personal friend of myself and the gentlemen over there". He nods his head in Henry's direction.

"If you're not awaiting anyone, feel free to join us at the table".

He then nods at the mans obvious good taste in cocktails.

"Any friend of the brown liquor is a friend of mine".

Virile Male Western Movie Actor SAN 49(50) | HP 11(12) | Move:8 | Status: OK
Barney wrote:
"Hi Friend...."

Jake looked up with a smile.

"Well hello!" He said, standing up to shake the hand of a fan.
Barney wrote:
"Couldn't help but notice that you seem to be a fan of Jackson Elias. He happens to be a personal friend of myself and the gentlemen over there. If you're not awaiting anyone, feel free to join us at the table".

Jake looked surprised.

"Well, don't mind if I do! Barkeep! Another round of what everyone is having!" He said, picking up his stuff and going over to their table.
"You all know Jackson?" He said, sitting down and offering everyone else a cigarette from his pack.
"That is a hell of a coincidence; I have an appointment with him in an hour or so.
"Did you all get a telegram too?"
He asked, holding up the scrap of paper.
Barney wrote:
"Any friend of the brown liquor is a friend of mine".

"Well then; a toast to new friends!" He said grinning. He raised his scotch in salute.


Henry waves off the cigarette, but he raised his scotch in salute and took a sip. "We met Jackson a few years back on a trip to Peru. He sent me a telegram, too. Barney? Arthur? You guys get one as well."

This had better not involve those damn kharisiri.

Sylvia frowned at the telegraph in her hand. The Carlyle Expedition? Why would Jackson have any new information about that, and what could he want to discuss with me?

Arriving early to the appointment, she ducked into a nearby bar to get out of the cold. Glancing around, she overheard several gentlemen nearby reminiscing about time spent with Jackson in...Peru?

"Excuse me. I couldn't help but overhear you talking about Jackson Elias. Did he request to meet with you all as well?"

Going to let a bit of conversation go on between you before we move on to the next scene.

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

"Welcome!" Grinned Jake, standing up to greet the newcomer.
"Jackson... You know him too? Just how many of these Telegrams did he send?" He asked, gesturing to the bartender for another round for everyone.

"I have no idea." Sylvia shakes her head and takes a seat. "I thought I was the only one; meeting you all here is pure coincidence."

"I've been corresponding with Jackson for some time, ever since he came to consult with my colleagues and myself at the hospital. We've only met once, but I consider him a friend. How do you all know him?"

Male Human (Scottish American) Bounty Hunter

Barney makes quick eye contact with Henry and Arthur, before addressing the question.

"Oh we go back away. Most recently we had quite an adventure with him in Peru, and have only seen birthday and Christmas cards since then. I guess he couldn't go without seeing for us another day".

He then stands and respectfully pulls over another chair for the new arrival, and reaches out his hand in greeting. "I'm Barney, this here's Henry and Arthur, and our new friend here is Jake. Welcome to the first meeting of the Jackson Elias fan club. What are you drinking"?

Sylvia shakes Barney's hand. "I'm Sylvia, it's a pleasure to meet you. Peru, huh? That certainly sounds more interesting than my correspondence." She laughs. "Then again, he did pose some very interesting questions in his letters."

"Oh, and I'll have a gin rickey, please."


Henry had absolutely no intention of mentioning kharisiri or anything else about it, so he is readily in agreement with Barney's quick glance. "I suspect he might be working on his next book, and he's looking to bounce ideas off of us. We have a wide variety of experiences, after all, which makes for a lot of different viewpoints."

"That would make the most sense. He's always working on one book or another." She takes a sip of her drink. "So what do you all do for a living? I'm a doctor myself."

Going to move things on a bit.

You spend the next couple of days in the cold winter of New York City. On the morning of the 15th you each get a telephone call. It is Jackson. He asks you to meet him at the Hotel Chelsea, Room 410 at 8pm. He appears cryptic and anxious and even frightened which is very uncharacteristic of him.


Henric hangs up the phone after speaking to Jackson. Jackson sounded scared. I'll bet those damn kharisiri are back. He then goes out and buys a lighter so he has it on him for the meeting, and makes sure his pistol is loaded and in its holster.

At 7:55 pm, he arrives at the lobby of the Hotel Chelsea, looking around for anyone acting suspicious.

Sylvia frowns as she gets off the phone. I wonder what's wrong? She wishes she could get there earlier, but a shift at the hospital would keep her busy all day. It would be all she could do to get there at 8pm.

As soon as her shift was over she headed to the hotel. With some effort she managed to arrive just a few minutes before the appointment, and saw Henry walking in ahead of her.

"Henry? I assume Jackson called you as well?" She looks around to see if any of the other telegram recipients are in the lobby.

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

Jake slowly hung up the phone after Jackson's cryptic call. Usually you can't shut him up... He thought.

A little before eight, he took a cab to the Hotel Chelsea and strode into the lobby. He wondered idly if any of the others who received telegrams were invited as well...


Glancing, he sees Sylvia, the doctor from the other day. "Yes, Sylvia, I did. Do you have a lighter?"

Just behind Sylvia, he saw Jake coming into the lobby and waved him over to ask the same question.

"A lighter?" Sylvia is obviously confused by the question. "No, I'm afraid I don' now really the best time for a smoke?"


"It's not for a smoke. You'll probably want to buy one after this meeting. Trust me."

Henry seems very grim about something.

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

"Did someone want a smoke?" Jake asked with a grin. He offered everyone a Lucky Strike, lit one for himself with a wooden match and offered to light yours as well.
"I know I was hoping Jackson would speak to me of my offer to make a film of that Expedition story he was working on, but that can't be why ALL of us were invited. What were you here for?" He asked, breathing out a grey cloud.

You all meet up and head upstairs to room 410. The door is closed and there is no light coming from under the door.

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

Jake rapped at the door with his cane.
"Jackson. Jackson! We're here now!"
Wondering if Elias had fallen asleep, Jake gingerly turned the knob and eased the door open.

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