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Campaign Log: The Masks of Nyarlathotep (SPOILERS)


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2/24 Character Creation & The God of Mitnal

My players met to learn the game (some have never played an RPG before) - we made characters using a mix of the Pulp Rules and the 7E Regular Rules and played through The God of Mitnal from the Masks Companion.

Character Creation
  • Jade Bond - 25 year old woman with a mysterious past, who knows her way around a gun.
  • Pela Rusalski - 29 year old photographer, activist and alcoholic with a streak of adventure.
  • Ailis Shelley - 36 year old author of Egyptian Lore.
  • Donovan Wells - 32 year old British stage actor known well in both NYC and the UK.
  • Joseph Oda - 33 year old hard boiled police detective from Chicago.
  • Nosaj - 28 year old Navajo shaman with a knack of the esoteric arts.

 

June 7 - 15, 1924
Jackson Elias, noted author & adventurer contacted the investigators, asking them to assist him in the Yucatan with something associated with both Walter Kimble, known & wanted gun runner, and the Ah Puch cult. Ailis and Joseph researched the cult while the others gathered supplies and then they all traveled to Campeche, Mexico. After everyone became acquainted, the group followed Elias’ instructions to meet Guillermo, the local RR stationmaster. Elias had left further instructions with Guillermo and directions to his camp in the Rainforest. Guillermo promised to secure some supplies for the journey the next day. After a long train ride and a warning from a superstitious local woman about the god Ah Puch being active in the area, the group began another long trek through the jungle with Jade and Pela leading the way. Several hours later, the group found Elias’ camp - ransacked. Moments later a figure appearing to be Ah Puch appeared, but when Joseph almost shot it, it was revealed to be the work of 3 of Walter Kimble’s flunkeys who confirmed that Elias was being held at their pyramid camp further in the jungle. Arriving at the camp, Pela and Nosaj found Kimble and his lieutenant asleep, a stockpile of guns and Elias and some others in a cell. After breaking into the cell, Kimble got the jump on them - until Jade and Donovan went to see what was taking so long and go the jump on Kimble. The group negotiated the captive’s release and made off with some guns as well. Elias thanked them but hurried off to his next adventure.
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3/19 New York - Part 1

January 13, 1925
Six months after their adventure in the Yucatan, the group received another telegram from Jackson Elias stating that he was following leads about the ill-fated Carlyle Expedition. The members of the group who were not already in NYC traveled to the city - Nosaj boarding with Donovan, Pela renting a room at the Chelsea Hotel, and Joseph securing travel and lodgings through Elias’ publisher, Jonnah Kensington.
 
January 15, 1925
Jade woke from a disturbing dream to Elias calling and asking her to assemble the group at the Chelsea Hotel tonight at 8PM - and not to be followed. Expecting the unexpected, the group gathered their armaments and some belongings and met - only Elais wasn’t there to meet them. Donovan inquired at the front desk and learned Elias was in room 410 but no one answered when they rang up. He left a note with the female desk clerk letting Elias know that the group was waiting for him in the lobby. Jade, Pela and Joseph decided to go up to his room - and found a cold draught coming from under his door. Jade picked the lock and was surprised when a large machete swung through the door and cut her. 3 cultists (2 black/1 white) in robes and disturbing headgear were ransacking the room - which was covered in Elias’ blood as he lay disemboweled on the bed with a symbol matching the cults’ headgear carved into his forehead. Jade and Pela blew away the 2 black cultists, but the white one escaped down the fire escape into a waiting black Hudson sedan (lic plate SK something) that sped past Donovan who was exploring the outside of the hotel. The group, hearing gunshots, fully assembled in the room and gave it a quick search finding: a business card for Edward Gavin at the Penhew Foundation in London, a postcard addressed to Roger Carlyle (c/o Dustan, Whittleby and Grey) from Faraz Najir in Cario, an empty matchbox from the Stumbling Tiger bar in Shanghai, a blurry photograph of a yacht bearing the letters DAR---- at a harbor in Shanghai, a business card for Emerson Imports in NYC with the name Silas N’Kwane written on the back, a letter from Miraim Atwright of Harvard U, and a flyer for a lecture given by Prof Cowles at NYU. They retired to Joseph’s hotel nearby to look at what they found and make a plan. The group, save Joseph, tried to catch Prof Cowles at NYU only to find that his lecture was the night before and he had returned to Miskatonic U in Arkham Mass. The group retired for the night with Pela staying at Jade’s apt.
 
January 16, 1925
Elias’ murder was front page news and Lt. Martin Poole made a public request to speak with Donovan who was recognized from the hotel. Poole arrived at Donovan’s apt to question him but was met with some resistance as Donovan and Nosaj told him half truths about the night before. Poole asked them to remain in the city until further notice. Donovan left word with Prof Cowel’s secretary at Miskatonic U and was promised to receive a call at 3 - then he and Nosaj fruitlessly retraced their steps at NYU the night before. Joseph, seeing the paper, called Jonnah Kensington who asked the group to meet at Prospero House later in the day. Ailis spoke with Miriam Atwright and found that Elais’ had hoped to acquire Africa’s Dark Sects, a rare and scandalous self-published book by Nigel Blackwood - however it was stole from their library a few months before Elias’ request. She also tried to speak with Bradley Grey, the Carlyle family lawyer but was shut down fairly quickly. Jade spoke with her contact, Michael, at Emerson Imports and learned from Arthur Emerson that Elais had stopped by the day before researching exports to Mumbasa (Africa). Emerson Imports ships between Ajah Singh in Mumbasa and the House of JuJu in Harlem run by Silas N’Kwane. While Pela bought supplies, Jade canvased the House of JuJu and found an uncooperative N’Kwane. A moment of clairvoyance led her to knock him out, steal the key around his neck and explore the hidden basement below. She found strange African carvings on the walls of a tunnel that led to large chamber containing drums, a stone circle attached to a pulley system over which leather straps dangled. In a side room, 4 mutilated zombie like creatures chased her out. The group reconvened at Prospero House where Kensington explained that Elias had gone to Nairobi to research a possible blood cult that may have killed the Carlyle Expedition, only to discover that at least some of the expedition were possibly still alive and natives were afraid of a cult that worshipped a bloody tongue god. He sent his notes to Kensington and asked for more money to fund his way to Cairo then eventually London - where he wrote a crazed telegram talking about worldwide conspiracy theories. He arrived in New York and dropped off his London notes which were scattered and crazed - then was murdered. Kensington implored the group to sort out who killed him and continue his final work so it could be published in his memory. Being close to 3PM, Donovan left the group to return to his apt for his phone call with Prof Cowels only to find his door open and his rooms ransacked.
Edited by ShaunR
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3/24 New York - Part 2

January 16, 1925 (cont)
Donovan was soon met by Lt. Poole who stated that some of his story hadn’t checked out and since there were 2 gunshot victims found along with Elias’ body -- and Donovan had a gun on him AND a bag with a tomahawk in his apt -- he took Donovan to the station for questioning and held him overnight. Ailis headed to the NYU Library to research the symbols that Jade had found in the Ju Ju House basement and the the symbol carved into Elias’ head. She found that the symbol on Elias was associated with The Cult of The Bloody Tongue - an African cult based out of Kenya that had migrated over from Egypt. The other symbols eluded her. Pela went to Harlem to interview Thomas Witherspoon - who’s car was used as the getaway for Elias’ killers. Witherspoon was fairly uncooperative but confirmed that the car had been stolen earlier in the evening on the 15th. She also spoke to some locals outside his building who warned her not to mess with the ‘gang’ that had taken the car - and to stay away from “Fat Maybelle’s”. Jade, Nosaj and Joseph visited the House of JuJu again - but it was closed. A young African man let them in for a few minutes but quickly hurried them out (Silas was nowhere to be seen). Jade had another vision of the man in the store in ceremonial dress presiding over large group of dancing naked cultists. Pela joined them and they decided to stake out the House of JuJu from the roof of a neighboring building. After several hours a white van w/o license plates backed into the alley and 4 black men unloaded 2 very large wrapped parcels. The van drove away and the 4 men took up positions in they alleyway as if they were homeless. Jade and Pela decided to stay watching the store while Joseph and Nosaj went in search of Donovan. They found an unmarked policeman watching his building but snuck in the back. They found the apt ransacked and Nosaj’s bag missing. They snuck out and picked up Ailis form the library. On the way back to the stakeout, they picked up some coffee at the corner store and asked about Fat Maybelle’s - they were told it was a local speakeasy that opened at 10PM. Joseph and Jade stayed behind to watch the store while Pela, Nosaj and Ailis checked out Fat Maybelle’s. Pela flirted with one of the customers and the group decided to follow them as the whole joint slowly emptied out around 11:30 or so. They followed them back to the steakout and joined Joseph and Jade. They watched as a long line of people entered the House of JuJu, eventually including the 4 ‘guards’ who had been watching the alley all day. Joseph and Nosaj snuck in and found boxes of clothes and a box of cultist headgear. Joseph stripped down and posed as a cultist - dancing across the ceremonial chamber where a man and the woman front desk clerk form the Chelsea Hotel now dangled from leather straps over a large stone tablet as the man from the store in a feathered robe, and wearing lion’s claws and guarded by 4 disembowled zombie-like creatures conducted the group. Joseph made it into the curtained alcove, took Africa’s Dark Sects and an African style wooden mask from their resting places - noted the strange markings on a copper bowl that he left behind - and danced back to the tunnel where Nosaj waiting. They ran back to the group, called in an anonymous tip to the police and fled to Joseph’s hotel.
 
January 17, 1925
The next morning, Donovan was released from the NY Police and joined the group at Ailis’ apt in Greenwich Village. The papers mentioned a raid on a Harlem Sex Orgy but mentioned nothing about murders. Ailis began to read through Africa’s Dark Sects. Donovan read about a fundraiser in Yonkers being held by the Carlyle Corporation on Monday - and talked his way into an invitation (with guest).
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