Masks of Nyarlathotep

Masks of Nylarlathotep, Session 5

January 20th

Session starts with Evelyn reminding Prof Forthright to do up the front of his dressing gown. Again. The party are sitting in the library going through the items discovered in the basement of the Ju-Ju House.

Africa’s Dark Sects: Lots of stuff. With quotes. Check the wiki when Paul updates it.

Ceremonial Mask: Definitely from the Congo. Made of an impossible light wood and is remarkably sturdy. The face is nothing like any figure from the region.

Copper Bowl: Etched with unrecognisable signs and sigils.

Carved sceptre with Egyptian hieroglyphs: baobab wood. Egyptian hieroglyphs read:

Nyambe thy power mine

Note: Nyambe is the supreme god in African versions of the Egyptian ancient religions.

Grey metal headband with runes: Nothing found.

Priest clothes of flamingo feathers and kingfisher feathers: Nothing found.—

The Party at Erica Carlyle’s

We dress up as servants (the horror) and attempt to sneak in as servants.

Library

Failed luck and found shit.

Second chance find a copy of Poe in the wrong place. Following code in the inside jacket:

Safe Numbers: R15 L14 R13 L12

Surprised by a security guard who didn’t like Prof Forthright being in the library.

Looking behind one of the large paintings of a horse, there is a safe. The safe is opened!

The only thing inside are four books:

- The Pnakotic Manuscripts
- The Selections d’Livre Ivon
- People of the Monolith
- Life as a God

Forthright comes up with a cunning plan to remove the books from the manor. He takes a cushion, removes the padding which he hides under a sofa. He spills booze on it then places the books inside. He then takes the cushion out in an pretence to “clean it”.

The Others

Get caught by a security guard also.

Evelyn gets Erica to take her to her rooms.

Evelyn steals a lot of stuff from Erica. Jewellery, valuables, etc.

Evelyn steals Erica’s Diary.

John Ryan and Evelyn make their excuses and leave.

The Books Discovered at Erica Carlyle’s Manor—

The Pnakotic Manuscripts

Middle English. Pentagram on the binding. Pencil notation in the first half of the book. Translation of older documents originally in Greek. Haphazard collection of myths pre-man.

The Selections d’Livre Ivon

French version of the Latin.

People of the Monolith

Life as a God

Erica Carlyle’s Diary

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Masks of Nylarlathotep, Session 4
Or, In the Depths of the Ju-Ju!

January 20th

Attack on the Ju-Ju House

We arrive at 3am. People are watching from the 4th floor up. John Ryan takes the tire iron from the car to open the door at the back of the tenement into the abandoned pawn shop (had to clarify).

Shop is old and mouldy. A light source is apparent under the Ju-Ju House door.

4am: A large number of people leave the Ju-Ju House. Lots of handshakes and friendliness. Mostly black with about a quarter poor whites. We recognise some of them as people who murdered Jackson Elias.

Chase after the murderers. Car drives off. Same licence plate as NYL7.

Visit to Lt Poole

7am: Recount all the details to Lt Poole. He is super excited. Promises to raid the Ju-Ju House.

Raid organised. Silas arrested. As he is being dragged away, Dwayne’s character manages to slight of hand the old man’s key around his neck.

Forthright finds a trapdoor behind the counter. He cunningly hides it from notice by standing on it. Police eventually leave. Upon encouraging Dr Forthright to move, a massive keyhole in a trapdoor is discovered that looks promising. The Iron Key opens the trapdoor! Tight and distressingly narrow stairs lead 20 feet down a narrow tunnel. Stairs end in a long corridor that stops at a stout door. Arcane African symbols are carved into the walls of stone.

Chamber past the door with high ceiling. Arcane symbols throughout. Torches (unlit) on the walls. An alcove is shielded by a curtain. Drums all around the edges of the room. There is a stone lid on top of a stone well with a winch.

Behind the curtain are stood four people. They are corpses. They have the symbols on their foreheads. Zombies!!! They move toward us, shambling.

Massive fight. Lisette rolls an African drum accidentally into Mitch.

Mitch goes down.

Dwayne tries to cover a zombie in a curtain. Didn’t work.

Eventually the shambling dead are subdued.

The following items are looted discovered:

  • Alcove has high priest robes of flamingo and kingfisher feathers. Glove like garment with lions claws.
  • Book entitled Africa’s Dark Sects stamped from Harvard Library.
  • African devil mask. Of a style from the Congo.
  • Burnished copper bowl.
  • Carved scepter with Egyptian hieroglyphs
  • Headband of grey metal.

Dwayne raises stone lid. HUGE cries come from within the well.

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Masks of Nylarlathohep, Session 3
Or, Can you Eat That?

January 19th, NYC

Newspaper: Obituary contains Jackson Elias. Funeral today, St Mary’s Cemetery 2pm.

Ju-Ju House

Small room 20×20 filled with fake African tribal artefacts. Drums, ivory, stuffed animals, etc.

Small black gentlemen wearing a tie and vest. Balding and old. Has a large iron key around his neck.

Uncomfortable vibe throughout the establishment. Egads! It’s a trap!

People are starting to surround Evelyn and make her uncomfortable.

People coming in. Denies knowing Jackson. Doesn’t know the card. Does know Emerson Imports.

Clearly chased out. People in the tenement buildings watching us. Clearly we are being very watched.

Licence plate of those following us : NYL7

Jonah Kensington

Prosper House, Publishing House. Some editors, etc.

No-one at the reception desk and the office is super busy and bustling. Jonah runs to answer our ringing.

Jonah was being kept in the loop. Elias was looking into the Blood Cult as part of the research for his next book.

Shares letter from Elias

- Nairobi, Aug 8, 1924
- Not all members of the expedition are dead
- Cult angle supported by locals.

Many notes in a folder (type up later)

Wire from London where he sounds insane.

- Mad monstrous plans
- Unbelievable things

Took the freighter Phal-arope from London to NYC. Met with Jonah and and handed over fractured and messed up notes. Jonah was concerned enough to want to commit him. Mentions one of the members of the expedition – the psychoanalyst.

Jonah can’t make an appointment to see Erica Carlyle for us.

She is hosting a party at her house. Can we wrangle an invite. 21st on Wednesday.

The Party at Erica’s

Bradley Grey – Erica’s Lawyer. Chief confident, partner at Gunston, Whittleby and Grey. Controls the shift the Carlyle fortune to Erica.

Publicist Albury White who handles Erica’s affairs.

Buy her lunch. She agrees to try to set up the meeting to make Erica sound better.

Jackson Elias’s Funeral

Couple hours of speeches. Terrible catering. Wrapped up by 5pm. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Ju-Ju House Raid

20th January, Snowing, heading to raid the Ju-Ju House.

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Masks of Nylarlathotep, Session 2
Or, Hey Man, Got a Light?

January 16th

Interview with Erica Carlyle

West Chester County Estate 1/2 hour north of NYC on the Hudson.

12ft high iron wall with ‘spikey bits’ with a giant gate. Through the gates is a well manicured lawn. Three storey mansion.

Gatehouse with 2 security guards, heavily armed.

Painful and can’t get to her

Harvard

Arrive after a long drive from Erica Carlyle’s

Widener Library

Miriam Atright. Portly, 50 yo, librarian type.

Elias was looking for the book*Africa’s Dark Sects* by Some Guy. Foul smell lingering after it went missing. Otherworldly. A mess had been made and an audit was completed.

Leads us to alternatives in the collection. Nothing too special stands out from the collection.

Look for symbol in particular – rune is ancient driven out of dynastic Egypt. The Cult of Bloody Tongue. Centred in Kenya.

Evelyn gets rooms at Hotel Pleasant.

Miskatonic University

January 17th

Prof Anthony Cowles

Get instructions to see Professor Anthony Cowles. Red beard, red hair, portly and animated.

- Gist of the Lecture:
- Sorcery being real
- Important to be open minded about monsters and underground cities
- Especially in Indonesia and Australia

Summary:

1. Bat cult existed in Australia. Father of All Bats. Human sacrifices to summon FoaB. Australia wide. Leaders could be winged snake form. This cult become dormant hundreds of years ago
2. Aboriginal song cycle speaks of ancient walls and elder gods. Father of all Bats resides here
3. Four overexposed glass slides of large stones. Bat cult deaths associated.
4. Tale from NT. Sand Bat has battle of with river snake where sand bat is defeated.

MU Library

No book.

New York

January 18th

Emerson Imports

Hall of Records: Registered to Arthur Emerson.

In industrial part of town. Building is a long narrow warehouse with loading docks. Piled high with freight with upstairs offices.

Silas N’Kwane is the owner of the Ju-ju House in Harlem (1 Ransom Court, NYC).

Emerson knows Jackson Elias. He was asking about the Ju-ju house. He had been looking for connections to Mombasa. Emerson gets stuff from Ahjasingh in Mombasa. Gets knick-knacks from Africa (random kitch stuff).

Ju-Ju House

Small shop in an high density building. African carvings out front. Crumbling tenements around an alley way with a small court. Display pieces of African art in the front.

Shop is closed. Men out front. Mentions Jackson Elias and gets shown the way to a dark alley by two Negros. Clearly linked to the Cult of the Blood Tongue.

Forthright passes Stealth

Leads for next session

- Jonah Kensington
- Silas N’Kwane
- Erica Carlyle

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Masks of Nylarlathohep, Session 1
Or, This Might Sting a Little

In the last five years, Forthright has retired to his manor in Manhattan, NYC. He has taken a number of the investigators from the Dr Leiter episode with him for company. The current date is January 13, 1925.

The Jackson Elias Affair

On the morning of the 13th of January, 1925, John Ryan receives a telegram from Jackson Elias:

HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING CARLYLE EXPEDITION STOP NEED RELIABLE INVESTIGATIVE TEAM STOP ARRIVE JANUARY 15 STOP SIGNED JACKSON ELIAS

Telegram prompts a flurry of investigation and research. Library is searched for newspaper articles on the Carlyle Expedition.

BIG APPLE DATELINE
ROGER CARLYLE, the playboy whom everybody knows — or knows about — is quietly leaving New Yawk tomorrow to check out the tombs of Egypt! You’ve see the cuties ROGER has found in the nightspots. Who can doubt he’ll dig up someone — er, something — equally fabulous from the Egyptian sands?
— New York Pillar/Riposte, April 4, 1919

CARLYLE EXPEDITION EMBARKS FOR ENGLAND
Led by the fabulously-wealthy playboy Roger Carlyle, the Carlyle Expedition departed this morning for Southampton aboard the crack British steamship Imperial Standard.
Contrary to earlier reports, the expedition will perform researches in London under the auspices of the Penhew Foundation before continuing to Egypt next month.
Readers may recall the enormous party which Mr. Carlyle, now 24, gave at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel upon reaching his majority. Since then, scandals and indelicate behaviour have become Carlyle’s trademark, but he never has become tarnished in the eyes of Manhattanites.
Members of the expedition have been reluctant to reveal their purpose in Egypt.
Other Expedition Members
Renowned Egyptologist Sir Aubrey Penhew is assistant leader of the team, and in charge of excavations.
Dr Robert Huston, a fashionable ‘Freudian’ psychologist, accompanies the expedition to pursue parallel researches into ancient pictographs.
Miss Hypatia Masters, linked in the past to Carlyle, will act as photographer and archivist.
Mr Jack Brady, intimate to Mr Carlyle, accompanies the group as general factotum.
Additional members may be secured while in London.
—New Your Pillar/Riposte, April 5, 1919

CARLYLE DEPARTS EGYPT
CAIRO (AP)—Sir Aubrey Penhew, temporary spokesman for the Carlyle Expedition, indicated Monday that the leaders are taking ship to East Africa for a ‘well-earned rest’.
Sir Aubrey debunked rumours that the expedition had discovered clues to the legendary wealth of the lost mines of King Solomon, maintaining that the party was going on safari “in respite from our sandy labor.”
Roger Carlyle, wealthy New York leader of the expedition, was unavailable for comment, still suffering from his recent sunstroke.
Discussing that unfortunate incident, local experts declared Egypt entirely too hot for Anglo-Saxons at this time of year, and suggested that the young American had not been well-served by his democratic enthusiasm, rumoured to have led him to personally wield pick and shovel.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, July 3, 1919

IMPORTANT VISITORS
MOMBASSA (Reuters)—Leading members of an American archaeological expedition arrived her on holiday from digs in Egypt’s Nile Valley.
Our Under-Secretary, Mr Royston Whittington, held a welcoming dinner for them at Collingwood House, where the wit of Sir Aubrey Penhew, expedition co-leader, was much in evidence.
Accompanying Sir Aubrey are two Americans, youthful financier Roger Carlyle and medical doctor Robert Huston.
The party leaves inclined tomorrow, for Nairobi and hunting.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, July 24, 1919

CARLYLE EXPEDITION FEARED LOST
MOMBASSA (Reuters)—Uplands police representatives today asked fro public assistance concerning the disappearance of the Carlyle Expedition. No word of the party has been received in nearly two months.
The group includes wealthy playboy Roger Carlyle and three other American citizens, as well as respected Egyptologist Sir Aubrey Penhew of the United Kingdom.
The expedition left Nairobi on August 3, ostensibly on camera safari, but rumour insisted that they actually were after legendary Biblical treasures.
Carlyle and his party reportedly intended to explore portions of the Great Rift Valley, to the northwest of Nairobi.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, Oct 15, 1919

ERICA CARLYLE ARRIVES IN AFRICA
MOMBASSA (Reuters)—In response to clues, Miss Erica Carlyle, sister to the American leader of the lost Carlyle Expedition, arrived in port today aboard the Egyptian vessel Fount of Life.
Several Kikuyu-villager reports recently have been received concerning the putative massacre of unnamed whites near Aberdare Forest.
Miss Carlyle declared her intention to find her brother, regardless of the effort needed. She brought with her the nucleus of a large expedition.
emailing agent to coordinate supply and other activities with Colony representatives, Miss Carlyle and the remainder of her party depart for Nairobi tomorrow.
Her companion, Mrs Victoria Post, indirectly emphasised Miss Carlyle’s purposefulness by recounting the riggers of the voyage aboard the Semite ship.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, March 11, 1920

CARLYLE MASSACRE CONFIRMED
NAIROBI (Reuters)—The massacre of the long-missing Carlyle Expedition was confirmed today by the district police representatives.
Roger Carlyle, New York’s rollicking playboy, is counted among the missing.
Authorities blame hostile Nandi tribesmen for the shocking murders. Remains of least two dozen expedition members and bearers are thought found in several concealed grave sites.
Erica Carlyle, Roger Carlyle’s sister and apparent heiress to the Carlyle family fortune, led the dangerous search for her brother and his party. She credited Kikuyu tribesmen for the discovery, though police actually found the site.
Among other expedition members believed lost are Sir Aubrey Penhew, noted Egyptologist; New York socialite Hypatia Masters, and Dr. Robert Huston. Many bearers also reported dead.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, May 24, 1920

MURDERERS HANGED
NAIROBI (reuters)—Five Nandi tribesmen, convicted ringleaders of the vicious Carlyle Expedition massacre, were executed this morning after a short, expertly-conducted trial.
To the end, the tribesmen steadfastly refused to reveal where they had hidden the bodies of the white leaders of the expedition. Mr Harvis, acting for the Colony, cleverly implied throughout the trial that the massacre was racial in motivation, and that the fair-skinned victims were taken to a secret location, there to suffer the most savage treatment.
Miss Erica Carlyle, defeated in her efforts to rescue her brother, left several weeks ago, but is surely comforted now by the triumph of justice.
—New York Pillar/Riposte, June 19, 1920

Books: Edited by Jonah Kensington.

15th January, 1925. Jackson Elias calls.

Chelsea Hotel, room 410 at 8pm.

No answer to repeated knocking.

Night manager summoned to open the door. Gasps at the entrance.

Three individuals in the room. Blood everywhere. A large negro attacks the night manager with a panga machete. Another negro and a white guy standing over the body of Jackson Elias who is carved up.

Dwayne shuts the door. The attackers then pull a chest of drawers in front of the door and get out the window on the fire escape. We eventually burst in and proceed to shoot and wound one of the Negros.

John Ryan leans out the window and shoots and misses.

Evelyn and Dwayne check the body. Entrails laid out in a pattern. Also a pattern carved into the forehead.

Fellow running away at the bottom of the stairs opens the door to a car. Black Hudson Touring Roadster. The second one is getting down to the bottom. NY Licence.

Forthright seriously wounds the second.

Mark on his head was from the cult of the bloody tongue. From Kenya.

Police arrive and lock down the room. They go through the room in great detail.

Lt Martin Poole (smart dressed police lieutenant). Tells us that there has been a number of murders of this nature amongst the black community. The pattern.

  • Ninth victim in the last 2 years
  • No connections
  • All different groups all over the city (poor, wealthy, white, black, etc)

To investigate later: Erica Carlyle

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The Death of Dr Leiter, Part 3
Or, How do you spell Effete?

In the Morgue

Something leaves the corpse of Dr Leiter. We Locked up the doors to the room to regroup.

Calvin finds a lightbulb and large flashlight. We gird our loins and shine the light through the window in the door. Both corpses are on the floor. Body of the gangster has been ripped apart horribly.

To cover our tracks we put Leiter in the cubicle again and put the gangster in a new hole – hoping to befuddle anyone who might find it.

Abner Wick

Newspapers: Poor people are drinking too much and strange lights floating around the Witch house, and Hobhouse Manse.

In the morning we decide to visit Abner, purveyor of antiques and obscurities. Large, fleshy and somewhat effete, 40 year old. Owns Unconsidered Trifles in a side street of the better quarters of Arkham.

469a02458ade01028e350ab60f96796c.jpgAbner proves to be an obstinate and annoying fellow, although he has fine taste in Papua New Guinean Penis Gourds. While the discussion was going on, Evelyn discovered a huge labyrinth under the shop with the entrance around the back. Being presented with the evidence of Abner’s depravity, John Ryan punches him hard. Despite being portly and effete, Abner dodged the attack and struck back with a solid blow to John Ryan’s stomach. Evelyn Cooper pulled out her shotgun from her voluminous bustle and blew Abner away. Turns out he is all rubbery and not human at all!

While exploring we are attacked by horde of evil alien like dudes. Fortunately we all escape being et and manage to lock them in the underground passages.

While searching we find a lockbox in Abner’s quarters. Contains old looking papers. Flicking through them they are from the witch trials. Personal documents from that era (something not right about them – headache inducing), arithmetical writings and diagrams. We also find a modern journal of the personal thoughts of Abner Wick. First entries are investigations, grows increasingly mad, now ‘have acquired papers’ etc…

The papers that are found are part of the Hobbs Estate papers (based on a check).

Dr Henry Forthright finds a copy of the book of Liber Ivonis!

Return everything to the Dean who seems super happy to have everything back.

Hobbhouse Manse

2000px-Goetia_seal_of_solomon.svg.png

Building looks abandoned with broken furniture and dusty smell. Find a symbol that looks quite similar to the Seal of Solomon chalked into the floor of the living room.

Drag marks near the seal. Blood stains near drag lines. Obvious signs of a horrible blood sacrifice.

Post-script

The Dean, after receiving the papers, suffers a horrible and inexplicable end. We all suspect the Hobbhouse Estate Papers.

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The Death of Dr Leiter, Part 2
Or, care to have a bite?

Current clues:

  • Atlantic City poker chip
  • Matchbook with the name ‘Lucy’ written in (also lipstick)
  • Half finished forgery of medieval manuscript from Dr Leiter’s house
  • Letter from Arkham Sanitarium regarding a Mr Hunter

Went to visit Arkham Sanitarium following the clue discovered amongst Dr Leiter’s papers. A letter had been found asking Dr Leiter to visit the sanitarium in order to consult with doctors regarding a C Hunter, who was a guest of the facility. Under the pretence of sorting out Dr Leiter’s affairs, we were given access to the poor chap who appeared to be in a terrible state of delusion and delirium.

While interviewing Mr Hunter, a loud knocking sound was heard through the walls from the cell next door. Upon investigation it was discovered that the room was completely empty. At this time large bite marks appeared in the flesh of Mr Hunter, who soon expired. Poor chap.

Leaving the sanitarium we headed to Hibbs Roadhouse to see if we could find a Lucy working there. We did. She was a lovely young lady in need of some money. She confirmed that Dr Leiter and Mr Hunter were indeed forging documents and selling the copies on the black market. She also told the story of a trip to Atlantic City with Dr Leiter where he gambled far too much money and took out a loan with some gangsters.

Weirdly enough, the gangsters turned up as we were attempting to leave whereupon the proceeded to attempt to extract the debt out of us! The impertinence. They refused to believe the Dr Leiter had passed so Professor Forthright conjured a plan to get away from them.

Dr Henry Forthright’s maid, Evelyn Cooper, had spoken to the professor about Dr Leiter speaking to her from the morgue table. Forthright (rightly) assumed that he was a zombie and could be used to scare off, or even better, eat the gangsters.

Upon visiting the morgue, the good doctor lived up to expectations and proceeded to attack the entire party.

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A Murder at the University
Or, Take Care Where You Step

First session.

Dr Leiter, a lecturer in ancient history and specialist in old manuscripts, has been found dead at his desk. He had recently been asked to look over the Hobbs (?) Library, a collection of old manuscripts from the early day’s of the Boston Colony.

He was found dead by his assistant, whose name I have forgotten.

There are papers from the Hobbs (?) library missing, and this is a bad thing.

A search of his office yielded:

  • a gambling disk from Atlantic City
  • a matchbook from Hibbs Roadhouse, with the name Lucy and a lipstick kiss
  • a weird experience with the mirror, which was broken
  • scorch marks

Fairly quickly it was determined that Dr Leiter was involved in forgery!

Examined the body in the morgue. It spoke to Evelyn Cooper, who didn’t like it very much.

Etc…

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Welcome, and Notes about Getting Started
In which the Keeper discusses divers matters

Greetings, one and all to our Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Masks of Nyarlathotep Game!

We’re going to be starting in September of 1920, using one of the new scenarios in the back of the 7th Edition Keeper’s Rulebook. No naughty peeking!

The initial scenario starts in New England, and revolves around Miskatonic University in Arkham.

I would like you to think of how you might like your character to know a certain Jackson Elias – a middle aged author, specializing in books about death cults both historical and modern. He’s a stand-up sort of guy, always has time (and resources) for his friends, quite adventurous, but probably too curious for his own good.

Have a think about what sort of characters you might like to construct. Note that this is Call of Cthulhu: you don’t necessarily need to have a combat monster of a character, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a little old lady or aging professor type – although it’s also fine to have a more rough and ready character.

It’s also a good idea to have some concept about how the group is integrated together, whether it be through social, family or professional connections etc.

Call of Cthulhu can be a deadly game for your PC’s. Be prepared for character death. You might find yourself playing a number of different characters during this campaign.

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