Session 7 | New York | Stealer of Souls

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There is no life in the Void. Or…?

Game system: Call of Cthulhu 6th ed

Dramatis personae

Justin Case | NYPD Detective | 32 yrs | Djuro

H.P Rennfarth | NYPD Forensics specialist | 27 yrs | Mats

Carl Blackwater | Foreign correspondent | 31 yrs | Martin

Edward Foxworthy | Big game hunter | 34 yrs | Flan


New Character

Slim Shady | Attorney | 46 yrs | Djuro

Link to background stories and portraits


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Slim Shady. Attorney-At-Law at your service.

Slim Shady is…(story to come)

Stealer of souls

New York, Sunday, January 18th, 1925 | about 9 p.m

I could sleep for a thousand years…

The session started with the PCs gathered in the dingy laundry-turned-makeshift-home on a Harlem backstreet. Patching up wounds, resting, some even resorting to booze to calm the nerves. Always interested Carl Blackwater sits down to keep up on the news. In the newspaper he spots an interesting article in the business section – it concerns a business deal involving the Carlyle Estate, mentioning Ms. Carlyle’s attorney, a certain Bradley Grey. Might be a lead.

The Black Sphinx

Meanwhile, Case, Foxworthy and Rennfarth discuss the black sphinx statue that they saw in the Ju Ju shop. It sticks out as odd, being the only Egyptian item in a shop full of African stuff. On a whim, they decide to check out the shop again to see if the statue’s still there.

Spotting no movement, the three amigos sneak out into the alley using the laundry’s back door. The door to the African shop is marked with a sign: “Crime Scene. Do not enter.” Case picks the lock, letting Rennfarth and Foxworthy into the shop. Rennfarth and Case stay near the exit while the big game hunter delves deeper into the shadows. The black sphinx sits just where it was last time. Suddenly, Foxworthy hears something, like someone sneaking or shuffling. The sound comes from behind the drapes behind the counter. Moving there quickly, Foxworthy finds himself face to face with a decomposed but still moving thing, dressed in fisherman’s attire, still sporting a rubber fisherman’s hat! Foxworthy stumbles back but quickly comes up with a fiendish plan, running on the outside of the counter to the opposite side, luring the zombie-thing behind the counter where it falls into the hole in the floor where the hatch down to the cult temple used to be!

Accompanied by the living dead’s wailings, the scurrilous companions grab the sphinx and head back to the laundry.

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The Black Sphinx

Poring over the statue, even Foxworthy*, who’s the most knowledgeable in things African cannot determine anything about its origins. Black, extremely smooth and dense stone with hieroglyphs carved around its base. Even to the untrained eye, the glyphs look crude and different from the ones commonly seen in museum exhibits. It’s obviously Egyptian, but other than that – nothing.

*Foxworthy’s player is actually a trained archaeologist with a special interest in Egyptology, so I knew they would go for the sphinx…

Teamwork and favors

Suddenly, there’s a bang on the door. Outside, Mr. Giuseppin stands outside wringing his greasy hands, accompanied by a distinguished man in a very expensive tailored suit, with a cashmere coat hanging over his shoulders. Behind them is three menacing looking men, also in fine suits, with telltale bulges under their jackets and one carrying a violin case.

The landlord introduces the obvious leader as Mr. Sangiovese, an associate of his. Upon request, the other men are presented as Mr. Sangiovese’s “uncles”, despite being younger than him. Mr. Sangiovese asks to come in as he has “an offer” for them. His dead fish eyes reveals nothing.

After som bickering at the door, Misters Sangiovese, Giuseppin and “uncle Frank” is let in while the rest takes post outside.

After commenting on the PCs interior decorator, Mr. Sangiovese sits down on one of the few chairs and lays out his case in a heavy New Yorker Italian accent. In short:

  • He knows that the police PCs are personae non grata in the police force at the moment. He knows the feeling. Pigs.
  • He knows that the PCs have been successful in combatting the Africans, his “business competitors”, and says that his enemy’s enemies are his friends. Teamwork, right?
  • He also now knows where the PCs are holing out, since Mr. Guiseppin works for him, and wouldn’t it be a shame if the address came out to, say, the Africans? Great shame.
  • In other words, he would like to propose a deal where the PCs help him out with some “domestic problems” in exchange for his silence.

After presenting his case, Mr. Sangiovese carefully wipes his hands as if having touched something very gross and bids his farewell, promising to be in touch about “that favor” shortly.

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Mr. Guiseppin

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Mr. Sangiovese and a few “uncles”

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Left to right: Luca “88 Magnum”, Mr. Sangiovese, “Vito the Sledgehammer”, “Handsome Frank” and “The Swede”

The Stealer of Souls

After the visit by the “Italian businessmen”, Detective Case wants to try the African mask a second time. He has now learned a new incantation, scribbled in the book “Africa’s Dark Sects” and he thinks those words are what the bearded being asked for last time he tried the mask. At last, the secrets of the mask will be revealed!

Not.

Case puts on the mask. Foxworthy and Blackwater see it fuse to his face and witness him convulse, still standing, staring wide-eyed into nothingness. After half a minute Case collapses to the floor, the mask falling off spontaneously. The brave police detective’s face is frozen in terror! Blood vessels in the eyes have burst, making the eyes all reddish and there’s a trickle of blood from his left nostril as well as a great deal of drool coming out of his mouth. He is mumbling something unintelligible sounding like: “Asha, asha, asha…”

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“It was just a dream. It must have been…”

Keeper note: Case’s player managed to roll really bad here, first rolling a bad result on what the mask did, then missing his San roll, thereby losing 65 SAN points in one go, instantly kicking him down to SAN zero!  I can’t discern what happened to poor Case here as my players read this, but his mind has been shaken to its very foundations, leaving him an empty shell of a human…

Not much left to do but to tuck poor Case in and finally get some sleep as everyone is dead tired after having been active for almost 24 hours. Although they do not sleep very well, hearing Case’s occasional screams: “Asha! Asha! Asha!”

New York, Monday 19th, 1925 | about 8.30 a.m

The Psych Ward

The first thing the next morning, Rennfarth notifies the Police Chief about what has happened to Case. It is decided that they should take Detective Case to the New York State Psychiatric Hospital, to Professor Hans Schmiedke whose assistance the police department usually relies on in cases where mental issues are involved.

At the hospital, another figure also turns up. The police chief has asked Slim Shady of the law firm “Shady Law Ltd.” to attend. Mr. Shady has been Case’s attorney on many occasions and is now there to ensure that Mr. Case’s rights are preserved.

After a cursory examination, Prof. Schmiedke quickly concludes that Case is in dire need of in-hospital treatment and the mad police detective is admitted into their care. It is decided that his affairs are to be overseen and monitored by his attorney. The attorney is immediately intrigued by what has befallen Case and volunteers (well for a nominal fee at least) to assist the PCs in legal matters in relation to the case, which they happily accept. He is, after all, a bit of a socialite in New York high society and knows some powerful people and he is well versed in the workings of the law.

Guns, guns, guns

Meanwhile, Foxworthy goes to his favorite arms dealer in New York to replace his lost elephant gun. He completes his purchase with extra boxes of ammunition.

Columbia University Department of Arts & Archaeology

Since they can’t figure out the Black Sphinx statuette, the PCs takes photographs of it and brings them (and the statuette, hidden in the car) to see Dr. Brantenberger at the archaeology department at Columbia University. The good archaeologist is known as one of the best Egyptologists in New York. Dr. Brantenberger is delighted over the photos and says that the sphinx is indeed an unusual one, as are the glyphs engraved on the base. However, he cannot tell any specifics before having time to consult his books and colleagues. It ends with the PCs leaving the statue at Columbia for 24 (48?) hours in order to have it properly examined.

Robert Huston’s medical files

Having promised to help with the case, Shady arranges a lunch meeting with Judge Carruthers in order to obtain a warrant for the release of Dr. Robert Huston’s files on Roger Carlyle. Carruthers is hesitant to open up the old case, but having heard Shady out, he agrees to Shady’s suggestions. The PCs pick up the papers and go straight to the Medical Board, where they get the files without much hassle.

After having studied the files, they conclude:

  • Huston treated Robert Carlyle on behalf of his sister Erica, who already knew the doctor.
  • Robert Carlyle had been having nightmares about an Egyptian-looking dark figure. As a consequence, he had been sleeping bad and his sister sent him to Huston.
  • The repeating dream involved said dark godlike figure and a strange asymmetric pyramid – again the Egyptian theme.
  • The files mention someone called M’Weru, Anastacia and My Priestess. These names appear to relate to the same person.
  • Carlyle did not consider the dream to be a dream, but rather a call from a god on the other side, which of course was refuted by Huston as a sign of psychic issues.
  • The files also suggest that Carlyle had a catch on Huston. Something secret that Carlyle knew about Huston, that Carlyle threatened to expose if Huston did not go with him.

Keeper note: Handout #24 – added  to Dropbox

The PCs conclude that they really must meet up with the elusive Erica Carlyle. Partly in order to present the idea that her brother isn’t dead (and maybe get her patronage for their investigations) and partly because they have indications that Robert Carlyle’s occult books are still in the Carlyle mansion library.

The attorney happens to know Erica’s lawyer, Mr. Bradley Grey, and sets up a lunch meeting at a fancy restaurant to try to get access to her upper-class party this very evening.

New York Library

While Shady is having lunch with Bradley Grey, Blackwater and Foxworthy goes to the New York Library to do some news clip research on M’Weru and what might have happened to Dr. Huston that Roger Carlyle was blackmailing him about.

The M’Weru trail gives nothing, but they find a short newspaper clipping that mentions the suicide of a certain Miss Imelda Bosch, who was Dr. Hustons ex-girlfriend and who apparently ended her own life after Huston broke up with her. As he was a famous psychiatrist, the suicide of his ex-girlfriend would, of course, be a scoop for the tabloids. This might be the reason for Carlyle’s blackmail.

Keeper note: Handout #24a – added  to Dropbox

Lunch with Bradley Grey

After convincing Mr. Grey that he represents some foreign investors having business interests with the Carlyle financial sphere, Grey agrees to meet for lunch at the Ritz. Shady manages to convince Grey (critical Persuasion roll!) into arranging a meeting with Miss Carlyle, as he has vital intelligence on a recent big business deal that is to be concluded soon, and it is imperative that he meets her in person on behalf of his employers. Shady suggests that they can meet tonight at the party at her estate and even manages to convince the lawyer to arrange for four invitations to the party as he must bring his associates as well. Grey agrees to send the invitations to Shady’s downtown fancy offices ASAP. Good man.

Tuxedo or Evening attire?

The PCs meet up and share what they have found. They also realize that they must hurry to rent some decent evening wear for the party!


And here we had to stop for the evening. To be continued.

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Session 7 – Stoneheart Valley/Sleeping place of the Feathered Swine (Lost Lands)

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Eat. Grow. Burrow. [by Logan Knight of Last Gasp fame]

Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete

Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God & Necromancer Games

Dramatis Personae

Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor 3 [Death domain] | Berndt

Haxxel Rosethorne | Wild Elf Duelist 1 | Berndt

Hoder | Ogre Fighter 2 [Brute variant] | Flan

Fenrir the Vain | Human Barbarian 1 [Thane variant] | Flan

The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer 2 | Martin

Make Me | Human Paladin 1 | Martin

Rektolas | High Elf Fighter 1 | Mats

Nitrolas | High Elf Magic-User 1 | Mats

Meatshields & NPCs

Men-At-Arms | Darkwolf | Fuldo | Garfield | Garfunkel

Torchbearers | Ranulf | Wee Dingwall

NPC | Runar Asbeard

Absent this session

Angelina d’Monica III | Human Assassin 3 [Acrobat variant] | Djuro

Alba Dayanite | Half Elf Psychic 1/ Magic-User 1 | Djuro

Session Seven – Children of the Worm

WARNING! Will contain traces of spoilers. And pieces of people.

This session saw three new PCs – Haxxel Rosethorne, a wild elf Duelist (who replaced Hrunkah the half-orc thief). He was joined by Rektolas the high elf Fighter and Nitrolas the high elf M-U (all 1st level).

Also, all characters except Alba leveled up!


We began in media res, outside the loathsome cave of the Feather-Pig. Having explored (and nearly died in) the side tunnels last session, the PCs found Elspeth Montesquieu and decided to take her to Crimmor for treatment and also to bring the rest of the PCs back to the cave before venturing further into the cave complex.

Preparing to enter the caves, the PCs heard a loud noise in the woods over to the west. Something was coming directly at them. Fast. Something large and very heavy! As the ground began to tremble under trampling huge feet, the PC party scrambled into the cave for cover, just in time to see three large and angry trolls enter the clearing outside the cave. One of them looked very similar to the one they killed and decapitated a few days before. Looks as Kagrigor the Troll wasn’t as dead as they ass-u-me-d. And he’d brought some help – Ma and Coosin! The trolls starts taunting the chicken hoomanz to come out and fight, but the PCs (wisely) stay inside the cave. At that point the trolls begin to throw large boulders at them and an exchange of missiles begin, without doing any real damage to anyone.

Trapped in the cave, there’s no other option but to explore deeper into the darkness. The meatshields are left in the first cave to keep an eye on the trolls. The main tunnel leads to a narrow cave with a wet and slippery floor, sloping towards a dark yawning hole in the center. Due to his bad sneaking skills, Blitz tells Hoder the Ogre to carry him to the other side of the chasm. Unfortunately, Hoder makes a wrong step and slips, gliding down the slope and into the hole, dragging Blitz with him. Hoder tries to use Blitz as a crutch to stop the glide, but this only results in Blitz helmet being pressed down on his head. Hard. They both disappear screaming into the dark hole… Luckily, the rest of the crew make it past the crevice unscathed. Past the cave is a winding tunnel, going down and then up. There’s a narrow side tunnel leading to Elspeth’s hiding place, the stone wet with blood-mixed water.

Meanwhile, Hoder and Blitz have landed on a heap of smaller pebbles, breaking their fall gently. Above, they can see the other PCs (laughing!) through the hole in the cave roof. Before climbing back up, they decide to scout the area a little. A narrow tunnel leads down 15 feet to a larger cavern, smelling of rotten hair and sour skin. Upon concentrating, they hear the faint sound of slow and heavy breathing. They are not alone! Hoder and Blitz decide to withdraw and climb up to the rest of the crew.

The reassembled party sneak further into the winding tunnel. After a while it opens up to a large blue-lit cavern with stalagmites. The stony ground is slick with blood and there are grisly heaps of body parts in various states of decomposition. Four bloated and vaguegly humanoid creatures are gorging themselves on the rancid flesh and entrails, the sound of their frenzied feeding echoing off the stone walls. The creatures immediately feel the PCs presence and attack!

The battle is short and extremely brutal. The creatures try to grab the PCs and rend them apart, but some dark work with hard steel put them to the ground. The PCs notice that their bodies ooze unusually large amounts of greenish, bile-like goo, which they instinctively try to avoid. Having averted the creatures, they search the cave. The blue light comes from a large pearl in a pond of clear cave water. After chickening around a while, Fenrir (?) ventures into the water and grabs the pearl. Upon inspection, it’s full of small holes where tiny translucent crabs can be seen scurrying around. A keeper! They also manage to salvage some gear from the heaps of body parts. The poor people in the heaps don’t need it no more, right?

Next, the PCs continue down a tunnel leading south-east. The walls of the cave take on an organic structure and each step feels nauseating. After some 15 feet another smaller cavern opens up, it’s wall adorned with four holes, about chest high. Being the smallest guy, Blitz crawls into the holes where he finds some ragged clothing, coin and gear. There’s also three of the dwarven iron spheres hidden here. Suddenly, a creature attacks from the final hole, trying to drag Blitz in. It is disposed of quickly, though.

The PCs proceed into a small tunnel to the south, opening up into a smallish cavern where two of the creatures are busy vomiting green bile down the throat of a still living but grotesquely swollen man. His legs have been torn off and the hands are just shrivelled claws of dry skin and bone. Another human male lies on his back, even more shrivelled and bloated. Our heroes attack without thinking, killing the two vomiters and a third creature that was lying in ambush on a stone platform. The man on the floor asks them to free him of his misery, which they do, along with the other man. It turns out his name was Wilhelm Esmond-Womald. In his pack they find some more usable gear, including a bag of Red Spice (a narcotic) and a wizard’s spellbook with some previously unknown spells.

It turns out that the cavern is a dead end, forcing the PCs to backtrack and go into another tunnel, that leads to the large cavern (where Hoder and Blitz ended up after their fall). A huge swollen beast is hibernating in a nest of semi-decayed feathers, it’s skin dotted with fluid-filled cysts, of which a few have burst. Beside it is a broken glass vessel.

The PCs decide to try to take the contents of the cysts, maybe they can sell it to Unraga Praag? Haxxel volunteers to operate, since he’s very agile. He makes a makeshift protective outfit (gloves, hat and a scarf over the nose and mouth). They manage to detach one cyst, getting it into a glass jar, but the next one pops splashing Haxxel with green goo in the face! Immediately, he feels that something is tingling and as if something is trying to burrow through his skin on the cheek and below the eye. Not wanting to end up like the ones they’ve seen in the cave, a dagger is heated red and Haxxel cuts away the affected parts under great agony. Hard core, but then he’s a Wild Elf Barbarian! They continue, managing to sample some more cysts without further accidents.

There’s also a narrow tunnel leading west from the chamber. Squeezing in there, they find a cave full of Drooping Moonshade magic mushrooms and beyond that a dead end tunnel with a strange black metal armor of unknown design.

Here we had to end the session, already well over the time slot.

What’s with the weird armor? Are there any other exits from the cave? If not – how to handle the troll situation? To be continued…

Recap of Session 7 – “Age of the Raven”

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Dramatis Personae

Slingbill | Human Monster Hunter | Mats

Sigurd Slapptask | Human Bounty Hunter | Flan

Quatsing | Caliban Avenger | Martin

Ernie ”MacWyvern” Lint | Elf Survivalist | Berndt

Iznogoud | Caliban Dashing Rogue | Djuro

Absent players this session

Slingbill | Human Monster Hunter | Mats

Sigurd Slapptask | Human Bounty Hunter | Flan

Session Seven – Monsters in the Cellar

The session began taking up the thread from last session, where an intense battle had taken place on the ground floor of the D’Tarascon Mansion. The enemies had been defeated and some of our heroes were quite wounded. After some binding of wounds and a short rest, the rest of the ground floor was serched. In the large country style kitchen, some horrible monsters attacked but were driven back. One fled outside and presented an opportunity for target practice. The party then proceeded by searching the upper floor. They fought and killed yet another of the monsters in the bathroom, but the second one managed to escape through the privée. In the kitchen downstairs, the PCs found a stairway to the basement and went down to investigate. After searching the water-filled basement, they find Pierre D’Tarascon’s workshop and laboratory (Marcel et al’s grandfather). In a hidden niche is a magic key to the locked bronze doors. McGyver takes six magic tomes from the library. Behind the bronze doors the players find a basin with swirling colours, clearly some magic deviltry. Ernie goes bazonkers and tries to push Sigurd into the hole. Sigurd manages to dodge and tries to grapple Ernie and throw him back. Sigurd misses and Ernie manages to push him into the colour pool, making Sigurd instantly to disappear! Ernie jumps after. Woot…??? The remaining three heroes searches the east wing of the complex. Slingbill falls into trap and get badly damaged (major chest wound, should be dead but spends 1 hero point to downgrade lethal wound to major). Iznogoud and Quatsing drags him up with a rope and tries to heal – miss. Then they manage to give him a healing potion, and he’s stabilized at 1hp, no major wound effects left. They go back to the well and leave Slingbill there while Iznogoud and Quatsing explore the southern part of the complex. Turns out to be a temple to some weird deity. They find a very round and smooth secret metal door behind the huge statue of the deity. When opened, air flows out (pressure seal, high tech). Behind the door there’s a tunnel cut into the cliff, which leads to a system of big caves. There is a tunnel to the north, where our heroes find another temple with a strange black meteorite stone egg on an altar. They then search further south, and find a large cave with a large black pool of perfectly still water. Near the water’s edge, they also find a broken black egg… Suddenly, they are attacked from behind by a proto-corrupted weird aberration. A short fight ensue, but our two heroes manage to fell the beast. Then the water starts to stir and a huge aberration rises from it. Our heroes flee, fighting more small aberrations blocking their way, but manages to get out of the caves and close the pressure sealed door. We leave off when Iznogoud and Quatsing are back in the pool room with wounded Slingbill. And no sign of Ernie or Sigurd…