Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CoC #26: Masks of Nylarathotep #6 Misr House

March 15, 1925,  2am

After following a truck leaving the Blue Pyramid led them to an island estate, a running gun battle force the investigators to hide in a small wooden area near the manor house.   In response to the gunfire, the truck they had followed drove back down to the gatehouse.

Doc Millheim and Steven O'Hara were on the left flank of the group and they watched a peculiar thick fog work its way across the island on an otherwise perfectly clear night.  It held its shape surprisingly well as it drifted between the woods and the manor house.  Steven, in his weakened state, decided to dash out in front of the fog, stepped into a gopher hole (failed Dex check), and fell face first into the ground,with a twisted ankle to boot.  Doc Millheim raced out to rescue his little buddy, picked him up in one fell swoop and headed towards the manor house.    The fog still managed to envelope the pair, tripping up Doc and even pulling him away from Steven, like a fish hook in the mouth.  The fog forced its way into the good doctor's mouth and began suffocating him!  Lucky for him, Steven was able to regain his composure and save the doctor, each reaching the the back corner of the house to ensure some distance from the magical fog.   These two found a back entrance for the kitchen, and for a large part of the early morning hours, rummaged through the kitchen and pantry looking for oil to make some form of bombs.  They were far more successful at evading the denizens of the estate than setting up explosive devices.

Joshua Wanisko (an NPC investigator) also ran off into the fog, unexpectedly, but no one knew where he ran off to.

Inspector James Barrington, Professor Bob Wintermute, and grad student Anthony Parks all decided to make the long, diagonal run to the front doors of the manor.  Wintermute was fine, Barrington's 55 year old lungs got him severely winded, but it was Parks who slipped on the stone driveway and fell face-first on top of it.  Everyone finally regrouped at the doorstep.

Egyptologist Randall Ward stayed in the woods, a .22 rifle in his hands to cover the approach from the gatehouse.  He watch the truck leave the manor, but a few large fellows jumped out the back and made a slow walk back up to hill.

Before Millheim and O'Hara burst open the kitchen door, Steven emitted a fairly loud "Help!" which caught the attention of Wintermute.  He tried to advance along between the front of the house and the fog, to get around to the back of the manor, but tendrils came lunging out of the fog and Bob could only high-tail it out of that area to the safety, but full exposure of the side of the building.    No sooner did he catch his breath, but he was wracked with unspeakable pain all over.  It took all his effort to hold onto his shotgun, stagger back to one of the windows, and smash it.  He sat on the rather large stone window ledge with one eye on the dining room inside and one eye on the fog as it went by.  Once the fog dissipated he tried to run around the side of the building only to see a large stone obelisk atop a hill in the distance, and a finely dressed British gentleman in tweed walking down from that hill.   Wintermute decided to high-tail it out of there and sprinted past the back of the manor and towards the shore.  There he simply dove prone into the dirty, wet sand, and prayed to any benevolent soul for a sweet release from this hell-hole.

While this was taking place, Barrington and Parks had ventured inside, Parks knocking on the door before entering.  This alerted the cultists inside, but the investigators stayed a step ahead of them, always knowing where the cultists where without alerting them of their location.  Finally, they ventured back down to the main hall, where Parks decided that if they were make a final stand against evil, this humongous fireplace would make a great spot.  Lo and behold, they found a secret door next to the fireplace and hid behind it just before the cultists entered the room.  Once the sound outside dissipated, the duo came out of the "priest hole" and fully searched the upstairs, netting NOTHING.

For Randall Ward, he would have watched the comedy of errors at the manor if he was not so focused on the men walking up the road from the gatehouse.  He was waiting for them to get within reasonable range to shoot them, but someone/something almost snuck up on him from behind!   A gentleman in a suit, wearing a fez, stabbed him a knife.  He almost cast a spell, but Randall fired a glancing shot at him.  The second shot missed, allowing the fez-wearing man to cast another spell.  The last thing Randall Ward remembered was the flat of this man's hand reach out and touching Ward's forehead, then blackness.

Back along the shore, Bob discovered a small pier with a smallish yacht moored to it.  Despite all his nautical knowledge related to destroyers and cruisers, he managed to cast off in the darkness of the ocean.  All he could see were the storm clouds magically form over the island, focusing on the obelisk,  The two pair in the house ventured out of their hiding places in the house, hopefully to find the people they were desperately trying to avoid.  They heard the thunder, saw the clouds, and could make out the cultists.  Despite their interruption, the cultists were going to have a ritual that night no matter what.  The man in tweed order the cultists to shackle three of their own to the obelisk, as well as one capture Joshua.    The remaining cultists continued their chant and the whole group could watch being best described as gods descend from the clouds and ravage the sacrifices in way that should not be described on this blog.

The five remaining investigators (including Wintermute) only shook their heads as the ritual took place.  (It should be noted here that not only did everyone make their SAN checks for minimum loss for watching the ritual, but they all made their SAN checks with one loss apiece for seeing GODS.   Not bad for potential loss of 26.  Even DocMillheim's 24 SAN survived.

Bob escaped into the inky blackness of the night.  Doc Millheim decided to take a picture of the ritual, and while the flash of the camera did not bother the gods (there was lightning and thunder as well to contend with), the cultists began chasing Millheim and O'Hara around the island.   They worked the coastline, ultimately finding a rowboat and desperately heading off into the darkness. Ultimately they reached the "front" of the island where the bridge and gatehouse were.  As the tide was subsiding, the crashing waves beneath the bridge turned to rock and the rowboat hit one, and capsized in two foot of water.

For Barrington and Parks, seeing the cultists chase after other party members gave them the impetus to quickly but unassumingly walked down the road to the gatehouse.   Halfway there, they encountered a completely befuddled Randall Ward, who knew nothing of what was going on.  When they finally reached the gatehouse they were met by four agents of Scotland Yard!  

Inspector Daniel Bragan, a subordinate and confidante of Barrington, kindly acknowledged and informed all three of them were under arrest, for suspicions of numerous crimes.

The investigators are spread among the four winds, arrested, capsized, lost at sea, and a victim of an unspeakable act.   How can anyone piece this back together?  Come back for Episode #27:  Masks of Nylarathotep #7:  The Aftermath of Misr House.

The next entry should help explain why all these illogical acts took place, but I'll use a statement I made as I recorded my recollection on my way pick up my daughter from Grandma's house and head home:  "I don't know if the cultists were just inept, or the investigators were just really, really good at hiding."
Not from my group, but stolen from

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