Saturday, 28 March 2020

CoC12: Black Pharaoh Bites the Dust

Friday, February 1st, 1924. With a couple days to kill until their stakeout, the party decided to stay out of trouble and hang out at the office of The Scoop. How well do you think that went?

Investigators:


  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Michael Hunt- 45 year old dilettante in search of diversions
  • Dr. Thomas Thompson- surgeon and occult enthusiast


Mickey received a call from one of his contacts: a suspicious truck has been sighted outside the Penhew Foundation. He convinced the party to go check it out.

They ended up stealing the truck and taking it to Hyde Park. It was full of various types of contraband, from Mythos statues, to Tommy Guns, Mustard Gas Grenades, Heroin...

After stuffing their pockets with goodies, the investigators exited the back of the truck and... were immediately confronted by a pair of Bobbies out on patrol. Mike shot one dead, but the other escaped. Mike also shot a lady witness out walking her dog!


The Investigators checked out of their hotel and into another one in the same area to avoid complications.

In the morning, Inpector Barrington called them in their new Hotel, inviting them to come meet him at Scotland Yard and discuss a lead. The party were suspicous, but Thomas and Gretta went to meet him. He implied that he knew about yesterday's events and that they would hang if they couldn't help him finally solve the Egyptian Murders. They told him about the stakeout tonight at the Blue Pyramid. He kept Thomas in custody and agreed to meet them there.

That night, the investigators staked out the club in a van with half a dozen police officers. The truck came as promised and picked up a couple dozen cultists. They drove to an estate in Essex by the North Sea. Barrington instructed the investigators to break in and get evidence that the police could use as probable cause to storm the estate.


They ended up impersonating a group of cultists, arrived late to the ritual. They crossed over on the cultist ferry boat, knocked on the door of the estate house, and were served drinks. The party ended up finding a hidden entrance to the basement treasure trove of the Black Pharaoh Cult leaders, but were set upon by the cultist household staff. After a close quarters fight, they found leads to cultists in other countries and evidence that some of the Carlyle Expedition members may indeed still be alive!

Thomas proceeded up the hill to observe the Ritual. It was some heady stuff even for the experienced MD, but things really got wild when a winged creature flew in from outer space and started eating willing cultists. An exhausted female cultist told him to climb on it's back so that he can be taken to meet the Black Pharoah in Azathoth, but our hero demurred and returned to the mansion.

Our heroes were leaving just as the police arrived, having thought that an illegal smugglers aircraft was landing. They shot their way through the crazed cultists and secured the facility. At this point, the Inspector congratulated the Investigators, but suggested that they leave London ASAP and don't return.

In the Sunday Morning's papers, there was a writeup of the events, but Edward Gavigon's name was conspicuously missing from the list of cultists. As the party was packing up to go, a fearful looking middle eastern woman bumped into them in the street. "They have taken Yalesha!" she said. "You might have brought down the cult, but their leaders, Edward and Tawfik have escaped! They will take her to Cairo where they can properly avenge themselves on her!" she shuddered, before running off.


Sunday, 22 March 2020

CoC11: Mists of London

Israel is in Corona Virus lockdown, so this session was run via video chat on the Zoom app. The video-chat has it's challenges, but I think we all needed an escape from current events...

Thursday, January 31, 1924. The Investigators have one more lead to follow-up in London. Will this finally lead them to the cultist conspiracy that brought them all the way across the Atlantic?

Investigators:
  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Michael Hunt- 45 year old dilettante in search of diversions
  • Gloria- 70 year old medical doctor

The party visited Detective Barrington in Scotland Yard. A lot came out of the conversation:
  • The Egyptian Murders, as they are called, have claimed 24 victims, 17 of them Egyptian
  • He met Jackson Elias- didn't like him. He claimed the Cult of the Black Pharaoh was responsible for the murders
  • He met Gavigan, who denied such a cult still exists
  • You can meet Egyptian locals at the Blue Pyramid club in Soho. Police stakeouts didn't yield any useful leads
  • Gretta could tell he was holding back more information

The party decided to check out the Blue Pyramid. The waitress left them a note to come back tonight and talk to Yaelesha. They spotted a dapper gentleman in a fez who was speaking in whispers to an acquaintance.

When they returned that night, they Alan thought he spotted Gavigan in the crowd. On a dark, foggy street, Gretta was attacked by a tentacle fog thing. The party managed to scare it off with a couple Electric torches. They heard fleeing footsteps, but didn't manage to apprehend anyone.

Returning to the Blue Pyramid, now packed with people, Michael managed to contact Yalesha. She met him out back, saying that she wanted revenge on the Cult for her boyfriend's death, and hinting that Michael might become her new boyfriend. She let him slip some money in her thong, which is not bad for a first date!

Yalesha said that once a month a large number of Pyramid customers pile into a truck around midnight. She doesn't know where they go, but she knows it is cult related, probably outside London. The night of February 2nd is the next such date by her calculation!

The next day, Friday February 1st, the party told Mickey Mahoney about their close call. He fished out the following article from the recent archives:

Thursday, 19 March 2020

CoC 10: the Eye of the Beholder


Following on the heels of last session, the investigators are back in London, doing what investigators do. This time they followed up on the lead about otherworldly art...

Investigators:

  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Dr. Milka- 26 year old medical doctor. She has trouble finding steady employment and so is willing to look outside the standard hospital jobs
  • Xanathos- Drifter with a mysterious past

January 30th, 1924, the party visited the Soho apartment of one Miles Shipley and his elderly Aunt. She showed them his horrifying paintings of other planes and planets and times. Much sanity was lost by all.
Eventually the party convinced her to show them Miles' masterpiece, hidden in a cupboard. Dr. Milka was entranced and sucked into the painting where she got to see dinosaurs(cool!) and get sacrificed to the dark god of the Snake-People(less cool!).

The party fought the aunt, who turned out to be a powerful Snake-People sorcerer. After a tough fight, they were victorious and captured Miles and the strange drug he is addicted to.

They returned to The Scoop and made some money on the story.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Call of Cthulhu 9: the Wolf Within!

The Clue

January 27th, following up on clues from Session 8, the investigators traveled North to the village of Lesser Edale in Derbyshire to investigate the reported deaths there.

Investigators
  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Xanathos- Drifter with a mysterious past

It's been a couple weeks since the session, and my memory is a bit foggy, but it was a highly amusing session, at least for your humble Keeper.

Here are the highlights of the investigators' escapades:

  • Insulting the local Constable
  • Beating up an innocent clergyman
  • Almost getting lynched by the townsfolk, women and children included
  • Being thrown in the castle dungeon with a comatose lass from the decadent nobility
  • Performing a Mythos ritual to obtain a prescient vision of the
    Byakhee
    party being torn to bits by the lass-turned-werewolf
  • Summoning a Byakhee from Outer Space to break them out of prison
  • Fleeing town in the middle of the night in the local constable's police car

Much fun and sanity-point loss was had by all!

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Call of Cthulhu 8: London!

Following Session 7, the party travelled by Steam Boat to Southampton and then train on to London, arriving January 25th and checking into the Savoy hotel near Waterloo Bridge.


Mike bought a local tabloid called The Scoop, with stories of Lizard People and three headed babies. They noted that the publishing house is located on Fleet Street, not to far from the Hotel.

Party Members:

  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Michael Hunt- 45 year old dilettante in search of diversions
  • Rachel Hemingway- Journalist and Writer 

On the morning of the 26th the investigators decided to check out the Penhew Foundation, near the British museum, as it appears in multiple clues. The foundation is dedicated to research in the area of Egyptology. They ended up perusing the Library and finding a surprising monograph citing multiple primary sources indicating that prehistoric Egypt was ruled by a magic-wielding king called the Black Pharaoh.

They interviewed Edward Gavigan about the Carlyle Expedition and Jackson Elias, claiming to be there to complete Jackson's book posthumously. Gavigan shared what knowledge he had, but mentioned that the Foundation's late namesake, Sir Aubrey Penhew, took all the expedition's records with him to Africa. He then spent the afternoon giving the party a tour of the Foundation's collection.

When the party started asking uncomfortable questions, and Mike refused to be evaded, they were shown roughly out of the building. Mike forced his way back in and made a diversion while Gretta and Allen snuck into the supply room. They found a secret room with spell components and mythos artifact shipments to Ho Fong Imports in Shanghai and Randolph Shipping Company in Port Darwin, Australia. They stole some books, spells, and two silver daggers, before breaking out and fleeing into the night.

In the meantime, Michael and Rachel regrouped at the Hotel and went to visit Mickey Mahoney at The Scoop. He turned out to be a collaborator of Jackson Elias. He didn't know much about Jackson's scoop, just that he was nervous and left London in a hurry. He showed the party three news articles that had interested Jackson. Rachel ended up selling him a story from their adventures in New York.







Monday, 23 December 2019

Rules for Zombie Dreidel



So here's a little Hannuka themed game, born while sitting around a table at a Hannuka-themed Bat-Mitzva party with members of my gaming group. It's inspired from Steve Jackson's Zombie Dice. It makes for a light holiday-themed party game.

Rules

The Original d4
You are Macabees, resisting the Greek(Seleucid) conquerors. Each time you roll the dice, you go to battle!

Equipment

You will need a pile of 8-10 dreidels, and a writing implement/smartphone to track everyone's score.

Winning

Whoever gets to 8 points first wins!

Your Turn

Turns go around the table. On your turn, roll 3 dreidels like dice, representing the next 3 Greek warriors facing you!

  • Gimel- you defeated your opponent, get 1 point
  • Hey- you scored a hit on your opponent, get 1/2 point
  • Nun- you and your opponent are still facing off
  • Shin(or Pey)- your opponent scored a hit on you
Put your points on one side, and the hits against you on the other. The Nuns go back in your hand. If your opponents score 2 hits on you, your turn ends and you lose any points you gained this turn!

If you survived your first turn, you must choose to either
  1. Tactical Retreat- write down the points you gained this turn, and pass to the next player
  2. Continue Fighting- leave the Gimels, Heys, Shins you rolled on the table. Pick up the Nuns you rolled and more dreidels from the pile for a total of 3 and roll again!
The real Hannuka battle is one of willpower!

You can choose to keep pressing your luck and Continue Fighting until you win with 8 total points or you get two hits against you, in which case you lose any points scored this turn. My personal advice- quit while you're ahead! Remember, the real Maccabees won with Guerilla tactics!

Have a happy holiday and don't eat too many Sufganiot!

Monday, 9 December 2019

Call of Cthulhu 7: Front Page News


January 18th, following up on last session, the party decided to give a second look at the artifacts they got from the cultists.




Party Members:
  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist and occult enthusiast
  • Allen Challenger- Antiquarian and dealer in forged artifacts
  • Michael Hunt- 45 year old dilettante in search of diversions
  • Artie Gumshoe- streetsmart private eye
  • Dr. Warren Bedford- Professor of European History
  • Rachel Hemingway- Journalist and Writer

 Mike was brave and decided to try on the High Priest's garments. Upon putting on the Wooden Mask, his pupils grew and he fell down with a sort of seizure. He had a vision of Yog-Sogothoth which left him shaken with horrible knowledge. The only thing that saved his sanity was Dr. Von Flue's immediate ministrations. He was left with psychosomatic limb loss effecting his trigger fingers for the next couple months.

Besides that, they figured out that the copper bowl is used for a Send Dreams ritual, and the sceptre is a sort of magic-enhancing wand.

On the 19th the investigators took a couple taxicabs to Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn for Elias' funeral. All of New York's upper crust had turned out to see off the best-selling author.

Lietenant Poole met them and told them to keep a look out and perhaps go out of town for a while. Some nasty people are looking for them, perhaps in connection to something belonging to the cultists.

A blonde reporter asked Mike to meet later in a local Tea Room and he assented.

The party noticed some cultists spying on them. They shot up their car, making a big scene at the funeral, but the cultists got away.

Allen Challenger & Gretta tried intimidating Erica Carlyle but her bodyguard intervened.

Dr. Bedford tried shooting a gravedigger so he could reanimate Elias' corpse but ended up getting murdered by a cultist.

The party recouped and drove to the Tea Room to await the rendezvous with the blonde reporter. She ended up sweet-talking Mike and getting all the juicy gossip about the Elias murder.
 
On the 20th, the party found Mike and Gretta's photos on the front page of the New York Times. A rather embellished account of the party's misadventures was included. Now the cultists know who they are!

They visited Jonah Kensington, publisher of the late Jackson Elias. Jonah shared a note from Elias as well as some of his notes:






 


The party spend the rest of the day preparing for their voyage to Southampton tomorrow