Sunday, 1 September 2019

Call of Cthulhu Session 3: the Subterranean Pyramid

After Session 2, Dr. Milka and Mike Hunt woke up in the morning in their jungle camp to the sound of a passing train. Rising to investigate, they found their friend Daniel Sephenson had arrived, and with backup!

The Investigators:

  • Dr. Milka- medical doctor with a shotgun
  • Michael Hunt- 45 year old dilettante in search of diversions
  • Daniel Stephenson- Boston Dilettante looking to use his education and skills from hunts in Africa to make his way in the world
  • Miss Lily Walker- private eye
  • Dr. Jack Pearson- professor of Anthropology
  • Detective Donato dos Reis- hardboiled Brasilian police detective
  • Dr. Gretta Von Flue- Parapsychologist
The party began going over the campsite again in the daylight, as well as the Mayan monolith from last session. Dr. Gretta recieved a vision of a Mayan ritual atop a pyramid. With the last bloody Human sacrifice, a wave of energy pulsed through the Jungle and with a sigh she knew "the Gate is Sealed!" This vision cost her some sanity points, but gained her some points in Cthulhu Mythos.

Following the instructions of the crony they had captured the night before, our investigators headed down the narrow path through the jungle, towards "Senor Esteban".

Cresting a ridge, they were met with a vista into a wide valley, thick with growth. They espied a small pyramid about 5km away, half collapsed into the tall vegetation. 

Continuing along the path they ran into a gory sight: an eight-limbed figure dried out and strung up on a tree. It took the party's collective skills to cut down, investigate, and dissect the figure. They determined that it was made from Human parts sown together to form some sort of mystic ward. They attempted to replace the ward, but without much luck. As they continued on the trail, they felt mild tremors from deep below the ground.

Reaching the pyramid, the party quickly encountered a pair of local-yokel guards. They fast talked them into thinking that they were gun-running partners. They were brought around to the East side of the pyramid where Senor Esteban's men are encamped. There are signs that they have been excavating the ruin.

Arturo Lopes, Esteban's Number Two, treated our investigators with suspicion, but they reached a sort of standoff with him. Donato would come to meet Esteban while the rest of the party were left to drink Tequila under the watchful eyes of his well-armed men.

Donato was led past the guards by Arturo into the pyramid, winding deeper and deeper into a reverse-pyramid underneath the ground! Reaching what must be the apex of the inverted subterranean pyramid, he found a small room, most of which was occupied by a roughly circular pit bored deep into the ground.  Crouching with his ear to the pit was a man, dressed as an experienced explorer, but with a crazed, disheveled look to him. After Arturo called to him, Senor Esteban a.k.a. Walter Kimbel arose. "Every day I can understand them a little more" he mumbled excitedly. "Soon we will be able to complete the ritual!"

Arturo tried talking to Kimbel about our investigators' guns, but the man was too far gone, preferring to crouch at the pit and listen.

As Arturo prepared to lead him out, a pistol held to his back, Donato managed to grapple him, avoid the point-blank shot(DM's shoddy diceroll) and throw the man into the pit. This woke Kimbel from his trance. He drew a knife and attempted to stab Donato, but he too was sent flying into the pit, a look of mixed terror and ecstasy in his eyes.

Meanwhile, the sound of the gunshot upset the guards outside. They disarmed the rest of the party and led them to a cell in the pyramid where they met Jackson Elias and two local boys. Jackson told them that Kimbel is insane, having gazed too many times into the Crystal Skull of Ah-Puch.

As word spread that "Senor Esteban" and Arturo are dead, their remaining men quickly began looting the site and fleeing into the jungle.

Donato eventually managed to find his comrades and Lily picked the lock to the cell. Jackson Elias quickly led them back to the room with the pit and recovered the relic, a beautiful but ancient crystal Owl Skull. He had Lily take lots of photos with the pyramid, the skull, and the smuggled guns for his next book.

Dr. Gretta stared into the eyes of the skull. She found herself communing with "Ah-Puch" telling her to perform the ritual to free him and break the seal. Her sanity suffered some more and she found that she had learned a new spell "Summon Burrower from Below".

The party left the place with their lives and a few crates of contraband rifles to boot. Back in Campeche the next morning, they found that Jackson had disappeared but left them a letter.


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