Masks of Nyarlathotep

Backstory
The Story Thus Far...
Pulled together due to the illness of Prof. Rupert Merriweather, our group of investigators quickly discovered there was more to the world than they previously knew.


The Haunting:
Contacted by an acquaintance of the Professor’s, the group were sent to investigate rumours of a haunted house, in Boston, MA. Recent violent tragedies had made the owner reluctant to let the home be tenanted, and he contacted Merriweather to find folks to give the house a clean bill of health. Previous incidents were unearthed, and strange connections made between a previous owner of the home and an unorthodox religious group involved in local kidnappings. Odd sights and sounds were encountered in the home, eventually leading to the discovery of a hidden room in the basement. Despite the best efforts of a swarm of rats, a restless bed, and a desiccated warlock, the group prevailed. The mage, who was the source of the home’s strange phantasmagoria, was rendered into dust.

The Crack’d & Crook’d Manse
Receiving some measure of fame, and a decent fee, from declaring the Corbitt home clean, the group received a missive from a lawyer friend of the Prof. in Gamwell, CT. Mr. Arthur Cornthwaite, a wealthy client of the Dodge Bros. Law Offices in Gamwell had recently disappeared. Being a reliable sort given to extensive planning, a sudden departure seemed unlikely, so the group was asked to ascertain his whereabouts, either living or dead, so the Dodge Bros. could proceed accordingly with his estate. The intrepid investigators, scenting a fat fee to be had, set off immediately for Connecticut.

Engine Trouble
Having failed to acquire a map prior to their departure, the group soon found itself hopelessly lost in a maze of New England back roads. The weather turned sour, making driving and visibility even worse. A flash of lighting saved them from a catastrophic pile-up with a wrecked truck barring passage through a covered bridge. Upon examination, they found the driver of the truck dead and bloodied in the cab, with signs of another passenger fleeing into the woods, along with a series of heavy drag marks. The other passenger was found not far away, badly gored, his body still slightly warm. Identification and note scattered in the rain identified him as a professor from Miskatonic University in Arkham. He had been transporting some sort of machine, crafted by a mentor of Ben Franklin, which had apparent occult ties to a doomsday prophecy.
The group were joined by a local farmer and his son, who were initially suspicious of the group standing about the body of the man. When their truck became mired in the thickening mud they set out together on a trail towards the farmer’s home. The strange drag marks followed the same course, along with some other unrecognizable tracks, and the weary travelers were soon set upon by strange chitinous beasts with spined tentacles and mouths brimming with wicked teeth. The sight was too much for some, who ran screaming into the woods, while the rest relied upon their wits and weapons to dispatch the creatures.
The men were again ambushed and harried by these creatures when they reached a clearing and old farmstead. Noticing a strange glow and low hum coming from the decrepit barn, they split up and planned a two-pronged attack. One team would enter the barn from the outside, the other would use a cellar passage and enter from below. The subterranean team stormed the barn and gave the signal…unfortunately the group outside were already dealing with another ambush, and then had problems with the door. Inside the barn, Lothario Brixton surprised the group with his acrobatic stage-craft, deftly tumbling away from the creatures’ attacks and saving a badly-injured Leander.
Finding that the machine, a clockwork recreation of the dragon of Revelations, was creating a gate to let in these blasphemous “angels,” the group used a key discovered on the professor’s body to silence it. Resistant to all attempts to smash it, it was Douglas’ turn to surprise the group, when he pulled a single pin from the machine and it collapsed in a heap of gears and springs.

The Crack’d & Crook’d Manse (cont.)
After cleaning up and patching wounds at the farmer’s home, the men got some rest before heading on to Gamwell. The Dodge Brothers were conferred with and the state of events made clear. The group took up residence in the Cornthwaite mansion, a once splendid manor now showing signs of advanced neglect. The constant creaking of beams, crumbling of plaster, and an ever-present musty smell held a terrible secret.

After a local photographer vanished from his bed and something was glimpsed moving within the walls the investigators ran to gather supplies. Tipped off by notes and clues they stocked up on salt, purchasing all they could from the local store and bakery, much to the residents’ confusion. Armed with mason jar salt-grenades and a rope, they set to plumb the depths of the house, where the amorphous creature lay. After a series of harrowing accidents and close calls, even being orally violated by the creature, the group were triumphant, and the creature burst and dissolved into the mildewed soil of the basement. The house, now unstable, collapsed abruptly, covering the men in dust as they left to collect their fee and head back to Boston.


Mr. Corbitt
Recovering from their recent misadventures the group met at the current residence of Douglas Fairchild, in an upscale neighbourhood of Boston. Over dinner they noticed the erratic behaviour of one of the neighbours, mild-mannered Mr. Corbitt (no relation?). Noting the grisly contents of one of his dropped parcels the gathering proceeded outside to investigate. Drawing suspicion from a patrolling policeman wasn’t enough to but them off, and the group redoubled their efforts in the coming days. Corbitt’s movements were tracked, his business investigated, and his greenhouse broken into. This latter action had dire consequences for Leander Willis, horribly scarred and nearly killed by the caustic emanations of an odd botanical specimen. Lothario Brixton also found a curious plant that had much different properties, but almost as disastrous effects.
Finding Corbitt’s ties to a disturbed satanic orderly at a nearby hospital the trio decided to break into the Corbitt home while he was away at a Rotary Club gathering. Encountering a strange creature formed of apparently discarded and rejoined body parts they found a series of journals, detailing the death of Corbitt’s father, his wife, his contact with strange otherworldly beings, and the existence of the strange hybrid child he had been rearing. Finding the “child” in the basement panic abruptly broke out. Douglas was overcome by the thing, and lost his foot (and very nearly his life) to it’s sucking, gurgling maw. A conflagration broke out and the group barely escaped notice of the authorities, successfully crafting a cover story at the hospital for the loss of Mr. Fairchild’s foot.
Returning to the scene the next morning the investigators discovered the charred remains of the Corbitt house swarming with military officials and federal agents in dark suits. Corbitt was remanded into their custody and carted away. Several large black trucks were seen leaving with them.

Of Grave Concern
Not content with the mere glimpse of another world, gained through the ingestion of the strange, sweet leaves from Corbitt’s greenhouse, Lothario pilfered the remaining leaves from Leander’s jacket. Journeying through the other world, he came upon a small hut on a vast plain, with a strange, wizened man tending a green fire. Than man’s eyes blazed as brightly as the fire upon seeing Lothario, and noting his unique birthmark. He drew strange sigils in the sand and laid his hand upon Brixton’s head.
Lothario awoke to dulled senses and bone-chilling cold. Finding himself entombed not only in a crypt, but in the body of the inhabitant of that crypt, he began to unravel what was happening. Over the next few days, then weeks, he bounced back and forth between his own body and the animated corpse, trying to uncover what clues he could before the tugging at his mind grew to be too much. A revenant sorcerer had taken his body, having met him in the Dreamlands, and noted his birthmark that denoted dark and powerful origins. A local man, taken to looting the graves of occult individuals, had stumbled upon the sorcerer and been his first victim. That gave the sorcerer the time and power he needed to seek out a more suitable body. The mind transfers grew longer, and the fiend sought to perform a ritual to make the change permanent.
These changes caused friction between Leander and Lothario, as several times he encountered his missing friend, only to be rebuffed, and finally attacked by the corporal hijacker. Lothario eventually puzzled out the wizard’s aim, and his place of ritual, and broke into a historical society in time to save a homeless man bound and set for sacrifice. Discovering the location of the tomb, he promptly caught the next bus there, and stormed the crypt. The corpse mage and his minions were dispatched with surprising ease, leaving Lothario temporarily safe. The late hour ment a long walk through the pouring rain, back to the flop house of Leander Willis, who promptly cold-clocked him on sight.

The Edge of Darkness
Responding to an emergency summons, the investigators gather at the bedside of Prof. Merriweather. His cancer had progressed significantly, and the Professor knew his end was near. On his deathbed, he confessed a horrible secret of his youth. A half-hearted attempt at playing with the occult had summoned a real entity which had killed one of their collegiate club and driven another permanently insane. The creature was bound to the shack they bought for the purpose of their dabbling, but with his death the thing would be set loose. The group set to work researching the event and searching for a means to remove the threat. Stumbling upon note of a spell which could be read in reverse to banish the beast, they concocted a plan to steal a rare tome from the Miskatonic University Library. Leander Willis was nearly bested by the rare books guardian, Prof. Armitage, but was saved by the intervention of one Dirk Lloyd (former pugilist). A translated copy of the spell was later located in the shack itself, and with preparations made, they began the incantation. The creature tried its best to disrupt the ceremony, shaking the house, dripping acid, and sending undead victims against them. After two hours of assault the ceremony was complete and the beast vanished in a swirl of multi-coloured smoke.

Spare the Rod
(cont.)

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The Plantation
Getting to Know Jackson Elias
After wrapping up events in Arkham and seemingly having dealt with Seaton, the group returned to Ma’s Boarding House for some much needed rest. Jackson Elias called to make an appointment to proffer his fee and collect the group’s research. En route to Jackson’s rented accommodations Lothario accidentally stuck a small negro boy who had dashed into the street. The boy suffered a broken arm, and a local constable accompanied Lothario to the hospital to see it tended to while the rest of the group continued on to Jackson’s.


At the hospital, the boy revealed he was called Little Joe, and he had been looking for “Master Elias,” as there was some trouble at the Elias family plantation in South Carolina. The boy had traveled by hitchhiking and by foot, guided by strange dreams to Arkham. Lothario brought the boy to see Jackson, where the rest of the group had just caught him up to speed with regards to their Arkham research.

A lovely southern dinner was interrupted by a pounding at the door, as Rafe Bodeen, sharecropper foreman of the Elias plantation, demanded to see Joe. The brutish man claimed Joe had stolen money and run off, and wanted to see justice done. When the group tried to sneak Joe out the rear door they were fired upon by robed figures hiding in the bushes. A tense battle ensued, including a close-range shotgun fracas in the kitchen which left the room in shambles but spilled no blood, and saw Douglas score a fine blow which shattered Rafe Bodeen’s nose. The assailants soon fled, but pursuit was halted when they group found their tires slashed. One of the fleeing figures was shot in the back before he could reach the getaway car. In his pockets was found ten dollars and a train ticket stub, from Charleston.

cont.

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Masks of Nyarlathotep - New York
Things Heat Up in Harlem

Four Years Later:

(cont.)

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A Farewell to Arms (and Legs)

Here I shall eventually detail the fall of our initial intrepid investigators, those who faithfully adventured aside Jackson Elias up until his untimely death. Crashing a party of dozens of naked and frenzied cultists is never a good idea…

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Party Time!

A new group of investigators is gathered by Douglas Fairchild, now in league with Black Chamber. Funerals for friends are foregone in favour of first-class festivities! Movin’ on up to the east side, to a grand Westchester mansion. Aside from a first-class hangover, what follows the lads home?

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Sailing, Sailing...

A grand sea-voyage aboard the Titanic’s sister ship leads to intrigue of a more mundane nature. Chance encounters involve new players in a deadly game.

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