Session 25| Egypt |Chtonian echoes

 

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Can you say Cuh-tho-nian?

Game system: Call of Cthulhu 6th ed

Dramatis personae

Carl Blackwater | Foreign correspondent | 31 yrs | Martin

Edward Foxworthy | Big game hunter | 34 yrs | Flan

Slim Shady | Attorney | 46 yrs | Djuro

Walter Wannabi | Explorer| 44 yrs | Flan

Preben van Task | Treasure hunter| 40 yrs | Djuro

Herrman Germain | Spy| 42 yrs | Martin

Absent this session

Kent Bengtsson | Aviator | 38 yrs | Berndt (in New York)

H.P Rennfarth | NYPD Forensics Specialist | 27 yrs | Mats (in Egypt)

Link to background stories and portraits

Written under the influence of Elliott Smith


Cairo, Wednesday, March 4th, 1925 | midnight (i.e. very early morning)

Das ist ein groovy party, ja?

Still, shell shocked from the orgiastic ritual beneath the sands, Germain and Walter find themselves back in the desert night near the great sphinx of Giza, among the throng of cultists going back to Cairo or wherever they came from. Walter catch a glimpse of the German he met earlier and decides to strike up a conversation. The fellow countrymen decide to discuss culty things over a bier or two. Walter gets to tag along as well, I mean we are all cultists here, right?

Sprech offers Herrman and Walter a ride back in his Mercedes. Arriving in Cairo Walter suggests that they go for a drink at the Gentlemen Club. I mean, who can sleep after such a glorious orgy? Dressed in djellabas, the men set out for a night in town…

Sprech turns out to be a friendly and likable fellow and it’s hard to imagine him as a die-hard cultist. Despite trying to get him drunk and spill some vital information, the man only reveals that he’s an archaeologist and that he works for the Clive Expedition at their dig site since 5 months, over at Memphis. It also becomes evident that Sprech is a health and physical culture enthusiast. The man is ripped and doesn’t drink nearly as much as the PCs had in mind.

After an hour or so of conversation, Sprech excuses himself as he has to get to bed:

“-Early morning desert run tomorrow you know!”

A little disappointing on the info, but the PCs manage to secure an invitation to visit the Clive Expedition’s dig site, should they be in the vicinity of Memphis.

Picking up the pieces

After what feels like an endless drive through the desert night the rest of the PCs finally manage to hobble back to the hotel, where they crash into bed. Since they suspect that Omar Shakti’s Duesenberg might be a tad conspicuous in the streets of Cairo, they decide to hide the car in an old garage on the outskirts of Cairo. After covering the glorious car under a dirty tarp they all make the last leg of the ride in the old truck.

Cairo, Wednesday, March 24th, 1925 | morning

Damage control

After a late breakfast the next morning, Mohammed is tasked with returning the old truck to Hassan’s Garage for repairs and then search for clues about the missing Dutch archaeologist Janwillem Vanheuvelen, who they have learned was fired from the Clive Expedition on the grounds of excessive drinking and related incompetence. Rumor has it that the man is still in Cairo due to monetary issues (i.e. he couldn’t afford a ticket home). Maybe the man knows something?

The wounded men (Preben and Slim) then calls for a physician to patch them up as good as is possible.

Walter walks to the British Soldier Pub, where he hopes to find some semi-drunk grunt to talk into selling him more ammunition for the Maxim MG. Walter manages to hook up with a not-too-fussy Scotsman who will investigate the “possibilities for a mutually beneficial business agreement”. They agree to meet in the pub the next day – maybe to make a deal.

Chthonian echoes

The PCs suspect that the tunnel under the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun might connect with the cultist temple under the Sphinx. Only one way to find out, right?

Without much ado, Walter, Carl, and Slim decide to return to the mosque to investigate the tunnel. No one is guarding the police barriers, so it’s easy to get into the tunnel.

They follow the circular tunnel for about a kilometer before it turns. Maybe in the direction of the desert and Giza. It’s hard to determine the underground.

Suddenly the men become aware of a weak buzzing sound. It’s almost as if something is in their heads. Then the ground starts to vibrate. First almost un-perceptible, then definitely perceptible. The men decide to haul ass, but about halfway back to the exit, they are hit by a gush of hot air as if a subway train is moving towards them in the tunnel.

Then they see the monstrous thing that comes steaming through the tunnel at a high speed. As there’s no time to get away, the men turn around and fire away at the giant slug-like thing. Luckily, Slim brought the Maxim MG with him. And this time he actually hits! Shooting from the hip, emptying a band of rounds into the thing’s jelly-like flesh, shooting away large chunks of stinky slug tissue.

But this doesn’t stop the assault. Both Carl and Walter is hit by the creature’s tentacles, taking serious damage in the process. Despite this, all three continue the barrage of lead and eventually the thing stops moving, completely obstructing the tunnel. The pressure in their heads vanishes the moment the creature stops moving.

The men exit the tunnel, where curious locals have gathered. As the dirty and bloody foreigners exit the rubble, people make signs to keep away djinni. The fear is however short-lasting when they realize that the men offer them money to dig out the creature in the tunnel. The men also pay a boy from the street to run and get Nigel Wassif from The Cairo Bulletin. There’s a scoop to be made here.

However, before Wassif arrives, police, fire department and medical personnel arrive at the scene and put an end to the digging. In order to escape capture, the PC:s discretely disappear from the scene…

  • Herrman and Slim take up a position in the rented hovel of a house, across the street from the mosque of Ibn-Tulun.
  • Walter is taken to the hospital for medical care, where Edward is also recuperating.
  • Preben and Carl go back to the hotel after having left Walter at the hospital.

Later that evening, Mohammed returns to the hotel with the news that he has found Janwillem Vanheuvelen’s address: Street of the Moths.

Cairo, Thursday, March 5th, 1925 | morning

Seek me here, seek me there…

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The Old City

Rising early, the PCs leave the hotel for a meeting with Janwillem Vanheuvelen. The Street of the Moths turns out to be located in one of the poorest sections of the Old City, and the PCs are quite the attraction, as no tourists ever find their way here.

The address turns out to be a tailor’s shop. As the PCs arrive, they see a proper old gentleman shooing out cats from a well-kept but low-budget tailor’s shop. When the man sees the foreigners, he lights up in a broad smile and invites them into the shop, offering exquisite (but old-fashioned) suits for the effendi‘s.

When the tailor realizes that the PCs are there to meet Vanheuvelen, he becomes surly and points to a red door in the back of the shop. The door is opened by an unkempt and nervous man who introduces himself as Herr Vanheuvelen with a breath that smells of old booze.

 

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The Dutchman

The room is minimal and the air is stale. There’s a small cot, a crude table with books on archaeology and a likewise crude chair. Light is provided by candles stuck in old wine bottles. Suspicious at first, the man lights up when offered food and a drink and not before long, they are in a cheap restaurant, interviewing the Dutch archaeologist.

In pace with Slim filling up Vanehuvelen’s wine glass, the man spills his story:

  • He started working with the Clive Expedition when they arrived in Cairo.
  • He was working with them in Giza when the tomb with the unidentified female mummy was discovered.
  • He thinks that the mummy was a once great ruler named “Nitocris”.
  • He tells the story about how the mummy mysteriously disappeared one night, along with the guards and says that they also found a gold chest containing some very interesting scrolls in good shape.
  • He claims that he was fired based on cut expenses.
  • Vanheuvelen has nothing but praise for the members of the Clive Expedition, especially one Martin Winfield and Johannes Sprech. The other two, Agatha Broadmoor and James Gardner are also both nice and competent, but the Dutchman adds that he feels that their theories about ancient Egypt and the occult are a bit far-fetched.
  • As disappointed as he is with not working with the expedition anymore, the Dutchman also says that he has made another find that will make him rich and famous. In a tiny temple, he has found a set of scrolls containing an unknown tract setting forth ancient Egyptian rituals. The scrolls must be at least 13th century, if not earlier. He’s translating them now and in a few days, maybe a week he will have it finished.
  • The man shows them a hand-written notebook (complete with wine stains), written in Dutch. Herrmann doesn’t understand too much but can deduce that the title is Black Rites of Luveh-Keraph.

As Vanheuvelen tells his story, the PCs notices that on several occasions, cats enter the restaurant and strolls over to him. The man seems scared of the cats and scares them away by tossing things at them. As they exit the restaurant, they observe that a large group of cats (maybe 10-15) has converged outside the place, and they seem to watch and follow the Dutchman as he walks home…

And this is where we had to break for the evening. Don’t miss the next session of our Masks of Nyarlahotep game!

Summary of PC:s physical and mental health

  • Edward – wounded and hospitalized
  • Walter – wounded and hospitalized
  • Carl – wounded, but still active
  • Herrmann – reasonably healthy and still active
  • Slim – wounded, but healing at an uncanny rate and still active
  • Preben – wounded, but still active

Action! Suspense! Bizarre humor! Mystery!

Be sure to follow A Fistful of d20’s continued struggle against the God of a Thousand Faces! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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