What follows is session 3 of my ongoing Masks of Nyarlathotep game that I am running for four players. Nick Jones – Investigative Reporter. Sam Switch – Mechanic (who has a deep dislike for Henry Ford), Daisy Elizabeth Tillinghast – Cat Burglar (her cover is governess/nanny), John Bigbeautea – Occultist.
Session 3 opens with our investigators milling about in the hut on the floating reed island in Lake Titicaca that Nayra calls home. Nayra tended to Daisy and Sam’s wounds while everyone discussed whether or not to proceed with Auguste Larkin to the ruins. In the end, they elected to meet up with him in the morning and continue traveling with him if no other reason than to keep an eye on him. They firmly believed he was up to no good, but they just couldn’t put their finger on it.
Meeting up with Larkin early next morning the team finds that traveling by mule the remaining distance will take three days and that most of them are rather uncomfortable on the back of the mules. Or is it that the mules are comfortable with them? The first day ended without any issues until the wee hours of the night. Sam, keeping watch by the fire, is oblivious to the sounds of a mule in distress. Fortunately, Nick and John were roused from their slumber by the noise. On further investigation, it appeared that the mule had been attacked by another of those fat sucking vampires. Oddly Auguste Larkin slept through the entire incident.
Day two finds the investigators high on ridge trail when a gunshot is heard to their right coming from a series of fields. Everyone except for Auguste Larkin goes to investigate. Larkin is convinced they need to continue and doesn’t want to dally with the locals’ problems. The investigators find a father and son duo who had been attacked; the son is gravely wounded, lying on the ground. His wounds were consistent with the mule’s wounds from the night before. They render what medical aid they can and leave the father and son to their own devices knowing the likelihood of long term survival is unlikely.
Day three they arrive at the lost temple, but while on the final leg of the journey, they spy two people moving through the tall grass in the valley below. They seem to be traveling in the same direction. The travel a narrow trail along the cliff ridge, the lost temple ruins are below them on a windswept plateau. Making their way down a switchback trail the wind increases as done a howling within the wind. As they descend lower a fetid stench becomes more discernable and the black flies become ever-present. From their vantage point on the trail, they witness two individuals ascend the stepped pyramid one at a time. At the top, they drop to their hands and knees as if praying or making an offering and then descend back down only to lose sight of them behind the complex walls. Once inside the complex walls, they are they quickly fan to investigate their surroundings. To their left, they locate a large pit filled with corpses in various states of decay and mummification. Hints of gold draw their attention and in doing so, a tunnel entrance is located in the pit wall.
A further search also finds an uncovered stone shaft leading down what they hope will be under the pyramid. It’s at this point the group splits in several directions. John, Jackson Elias, and Nick descend down the shaft to find it’s only 15′ down, but then it descends a further 85′ via a 60-degree downward tunnel. At the end, they drop into a 4′ tall, 10′ wide tunnel system. Daisy, on the other hand, opts to enter the tunnel system via the pit. Sam will eventually make her way underground via the pit as well. Larkin, content with remaining topside, sets up camp.
Movement in the tunnel system was slow going, but they know they are in the right spot. They are able to easily locate the intricate gold band that they believe would be all along the base of the pyramid. As they follow the tunnel they quickly come across a skeleton bundled in old blankets. It quickly became evident that something was alive and moving within the skull. Something white, fist-sized, but yet unidentifiable. The skeleton and the “thing” were quickly dispatched and travel continued. They eventually come to a sizeable crack in the tunnel wall that is oozing a thick whit fetid greasy liquid. It’s here they see where their piece of gold banding must be inserted. The only stopping them is the 10′ wide pool of nasty white liquid on the tunnel floor. Something under the surface moved…
Quick thinking and a little bit luck, they are able to produce a WWI trench lighter and able to set the liquid alight. Thick black smoke quickly engulfs the tunnel system and the investigators are rendered unconscious. Jackson Elias remains conscious and pulls them far enough away from the flames to keep them from harm. The smoke quickly dissipates as there is ample air flow. All that remains is greasy black soot on every surface and the husks of three more “things” in the bottom of where the pool once was.
John quickly pulls out the section of gold banding from his backpack and returns it to the wall where it was pried from centuries ago. There is a short and slightly violent quake and the gold is inserted. The crack in the wall shifts and appears to close; the white substance has stopped flowing. They quickly continue back around to their starting point and decide to have a look in a side room. Here they see two figures laying on gross reed mats, deep in slumber. As they watch, right before their eyes, the flesh begins to wither, leaving little more than an old skeleton with bits of dried flesh hanging from the bones. Despite this odd occurrence, the room is filled with bits and baubles of gold, silver, and plenty of modern worthless junk. Larkin’s promise of riches was real.
returning to the surface via the shaft, the investigators find Larkin in a state of shock. Kneeling on the ground, he looks at the pleadingly with black eyes (the whites of his eyes are jet black). In a raspy voice, he says “thank you for setting me free” and he collapses to the ground. His body withers before their eyes.
This concludes the Peru chapter of Masks. Our investigators, including their new friend Jackson Elias, are able each haul out $2000 worth of gold and silver items. Some are Peruvian antiques which makes Daisy very happy! The investigators return to the States and go their separate ways a little richer.
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