• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, June 13, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 28 - The City Beneath The Sands

Leave a Comment
Once again we picked up right where the last session left off, this time with the investigators caught in an ambush by Koori cultists. It was the first of three encounters in what would prove to be a very combat-heavy session that would see at least one casualty amongst the investigators' party.


Showing some uncommon sense they decided to stay in the vehicles (mostly at least) and waited to see what the figures at the top of the escarpment would do. Apart from Rodrigo who immediately decided to start firing his .44! Spears soon started flying down, puncturing the doors of their trucks and smashing through the windshield. Sebastian took a hit to the leg, and angrily returned fire through the window of his truck, badly wounding one of the Kooris.

George and Rodrigo tried to shoot back, but had only a little luck as they were pinned inside their vehicles by the deadly flying spears. Professor Dodge showed some backbone by getting out of his truck and throwing a large war boomerang he had fished out from the back, at the ambushers. It was a good throw and struck one of them senseless back against a large rock.

Hubert took the initiative however, and continuing to show the slightly psychopathic tendencies that had been his signature since Grey Dragon Island, decided the best way to resolve things would be to start lobbing lit sticks of dynamite around. So he raced from his truck to hide behind a couple of large rocks, and did just that.

Luck was on his side, and the dynamite landed between two of the Koori ambushers who looked at it with confused expressions on their faces. A moment later it exploded with terrifying force, showering the trucks with a hail of large stones and dust, the sound ringing in everyones ears.

It took a while for the dust, smoke and debris to clear, but once it had done so the investigators saw that the remaining ambushers had fled into the desert. Their senses still dulled from the dynamite blast, the investigators slowly began to sort themselves out, addressing Sebastian's wound and blasting the rocks out of the way so that the trucks could leave. Dodge suggested they leave the area quickly, and all agreed.

They continued along the track for another hour or two, heading further east into the desert. George picked up the put-put-put sound of a diesel engine, incongruous against the sounds of the desert. They continued on and eventually arrived at the end of the tracks within an area that was obviously inhabited. The scene resembled MacWhirr’s photos, except that the sand had been packed down by foot and tire, and that a good deal of early 20th century garbage had been strewn about. Large stones covered in odd runic symbols stuck up from the sand near the camp.

"Large stones covered in odd runic symbols stuck up from the sand near the camp"
Ahead were some parked trucks and several huts, but as the investigators' trucks approached a rifle shot rang out. Rodrigo and George attempted to signal that they meant no harm, getting out of the truck and walking slowly forwards, their arms outstretched. Rodrigo was met by a war boomerang that came spinning from the camp, clattering forcefully into his chest and knocking him backwards, leaving him bruised.

Rodrigo had had enough, pulled out his pistol, and started firing. George joined in. Hubert, obviously unhinged by now, decided rather optimistically to try and intervene by holding up a white flag constructed from a stick and a handkerchief... at least it made a change from his normal bloody approach.

It didn't work. Rodrigo was struck by a second boomerang. He fired again, his shots putting down a second Koori ambusher. A third had run behind one of the shacks. Meanwhile Hubert had driven his truck right up to the shacks. The third Koori suddenly appeared from round the corner of the shack and attacked the truck with a large spiky club. The club smashed through the window and slammed into Hubert's arm.

Professor Dodge, who had drawn his pistol suddenly became very distracted by the large stones that were protruding from the desert floor. He pulled out a notepad and started making  furious scribbles with an excited expression on his face.

Hubert decided to finish things off, and pulled out his shotgun. He pointed it out of the window and shot the Koori ambusher at close range. She screamed and dived into the darkness of the nearby shack.

George went to see what Professor Dodge was up to. Dodge was in a tizzy of excitement at the strange stones, claiming that this find would make his name. As George looked more closely an odd sense of déjà vu struck him. He traced some of the runes with one finger, feeling that he almost recognised their meaning, when a flash of vision struck him. He had traced these runes before, not with human hands, but with strange claws...

Dodge didn't notice George's far away expression and continued his note taking. Hubert meanwhile had pulled the truck up to the entrance to the shack and switched on the lights. Inside a low wall of sandbags surrounded a deep, dark pit. Electrical wires from the nearby generator ran down into it.

Rodrigo and George, who had returned from examining the stones, peered cautiously into the pit. Makeshift stairs constructed from rubble lead down into the darkness. A faint light could be seen deeper inside, though the details were indistinct. Dodge arrived and like an excitable puppy stated that they must explore. He went to get supplies from the trucks.

The stairs turned out to be nearly 300 feet long. Electric lights, hung sparsely but regularly, illuminating the steps after the first fifty feet or so. The stones were slippy, covered in the excrement from hundreds of bats. At the bottom of the stairs the investigators found a back-up electrical generator matching the one at the top of the stairs along with several 50-gallon gasoline drums. Lying nearby was the body of the last Koori ambusher, dead from blood loss.

The first impression that the group had was of coolness. There was a silence and a stillness beyond life and death. No tomb had ever existed for so long as this passage had, nor had such treasures in it. Beyond the limited lights of the bulbs the investigators could make out hints of great halls and thick dust.

It appeared to be possible to go in any direction, but the lights of the bulbs were irresistible beacons. Everyone noticed that a trail had been pounded through the thick dust along the line of electric lights, and that elsewhere the inches-thick dust lay undisturbed. In the darkness, the investigators could see almost nothing of the extent of area, though George felt strangely at home and he could almost picture the great constructions that lay around in his mind's eye.

Deciding to follow the lights, the group proceeded cautiously. Around them great ramps inlaid with octagonal stones connected the remains of alien buildings and structures. The ramps were very wide. Bordering them, walls and fallen earth seemed to create corridors where there were none before. Curvilinear symbols were carved into most of the structures.

The Lost City (courtesy of ZS3)
Distances and sizes were hard to gauge, but certainly the underground ruins gave an impression of a city more gigantic than anything the investigators had ever seen. In the pervasive alien darkness, the silence had no end. After an hour of walking, maybe two, Rodrigo did detect a sound in the darkness; the unmistakable put-put-put of another generator.

Hubert decided to scout ahead, and taking his flashlight with him he headed further along the line of bulbs. After a few minutes he saw four large bunkhouses constructed from wood. Obviously of modern though crude design, the bunkhouses seemed out of place amongst the alien splendour of the buried city. Unfortunately for Hubert however he was spotted by one of the cultist inhabitants of the bunkhouses, and a shout rang out.

The others ran forwards as the sound of gunfire erupted, and a full on firefight ensued. There were around 12 cultists, who emerged from the wooden structures armed with rifles and pistols. The skirmish was brief but bloody, and Professor Dodge was badly wounded by the enemy's fire. Rodrigo spent another Pulp Point to avoid a bullet (he had now spent 5 in one session!).

The battle of the bunkhouses was put to a dramatic end by Hubert and George. Hubert lit another stick of dynamite, ensuring it had a long fuse, and set it down at George's feet! George glared at his friend, and picked it up, then threw it with good aim into the middle of the bunkhouses. The explosion lit up the area, throwing the buildings of the huge stone city into stark relief for a brief moment, and destroying much of the bunk housing.

The cultists suffered heavy losses, but it was not quite over just yet. One of the few cultists who remained standing unslung an odd-looking brass weapon from his shoulder and fired it at Rodrigo. A huge, sputtering stream of electrical lightning shot out from the end and shot across the darkness. Luckily for Rodrigo the aim was off, and the lightning hit one of the remaining bunkhouse walls, obliterating it in a cloud of hot splinters.

Between them the investigators finished off the cultists. By the time the fight was over however Professor Dodge had died from his wounds, his dreams of becoming famous for his finds now lost forever. The group tended their wounds and searched the area. Beneath the rubble they found a note carrying mimeographed orders from one "R.H.". They read as follows.
"We still have not found our last "2-legged deer". There is utterly no excuse for not being able to find an unarmed human who has neither food, nor water, nor magic. Remind the line-walkers to be alert"
Rodrigo had not spent his time searching the rubble. Instead he had walked over to the final cultist to die, and wrenched the lightning gun from his grasp with a strange grin on his face...

How I imagine Rodrigo will look in the next fight...


Below you can find a video of the first part of the session (due to technical reasons the second half of the session did not get recorded).

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...