Down Cthulhu, The Occult Wars
Terror of the Mayan blood god
Expedition specs: this is placed here at the beginning for ease of reference
Fritz hears that a friend, Alexander Bisby, has died. Fritz took him on a hunt during a vacation of Bisby’s a few years ago and they stayed in correspondence. Named Fritz executer. His work was on a lost tribe in jungles of British Hondurus called Quichue. Said was writing a book on it explaining it all; Fritz had heard from him about this, with Brisby saying that Fritz should make sure his book was published if anything should happen to him.
Rick, semester of teaching over, receives letter from Wilkerson at Miskatonic that his old mentor Jonathan Hughes and daughter left on an expedition to Central America and never returned. He, like Wilkerson, had been a mentor of Rick during Rick’s Miskatonic time (concerning cults and arcane lore), but the 2 had a falling out over his daughter Amanda.
Rick Immediately sends news to a contact in Belize to begin preliminary plans for an expedition, and funds for camp gear, rations, fishing tackle, and to secure bearers, guards, mules and animal handler. Also, to gather local info on the failed expedition and look into how far into jungle Hughes seemed to be going, judging by supplies purchased, and start there.
Arranges with his solicitor Cheetham for the wiring of funds and transportation of Rick’s personal gear to the contact with the letter. Rick also requisitions gear from the Iluminati and Adventurer’s club. Through the club, he hires the expedition photographer Horatio.
Next, he sends a letter to the British museum to request partial funding on short notice, asking they pay for the canned food he shipped from England, and the funds forwarded for rations, camp gear and fishing tackle. He pitches it as ’imagine the press, an American University has to ask a Brit to rescue their professor lost in the jungle, and the Museum helps back it!" They agree, also paying for whatever equipment the photographer requires the expedition to pay for. They also want first choice of artifacts recovered, and insist Rick negotiate for that with Miskatonic.
Rick leaves for Boston asap.
They both are on same ship and same train from Boston to Miskatonic See each other in passing at station, each noticing the other’s savage.
At arrival in Boston, Rick wired Westinghouse in NYC:
In Arkam STOP May need your assistance STOP Come if possible STOP Inquire at Miskatonic library STOP
Fritz gets the first taxi.
Fritz gets map of city, secures room at Hotel Miskatonic acquired for him by the estate, and goes to attorney’s office, from whom he got word of the death via heart attack. He’s oily, pencil neck. Fritz skims the paperwork, and sees what seems to be an inordinate number of hours to be paid to the attorney, $10/hr for 46 hours. Fritz raises the issue, and the attorney explains that he has put a lot of time into this over the last couple weeks. “I’ve been taking care of all this while you were not here. Believe me, 46 hours is generous.”
Fritz signs papers.
Tells Fritz he can go home, Fritz stands to get 10% of estate. Attorney says about 200 bucks.
Fritz “Wait, wait. I don’t have to pay the $460 do I?”
“Oh no, that comes out of the estate.”
Fritz asks for address to Bisby’s house.
Then Fritz goes to Bisby’s house, meets loyal butler and maid. They say the attorney is a snake. Butler says he is to inherit 20%, other 3 servants each get 10%. Rest going as an endowment to archaeology department. It seems the estate is worth a lot more than attorney let on. Fritz is worried they’re going to get screwed so tells them they should be careful. He asks if there is another relative, they say Randolph Bisby a cousin. He stood to get no inheritence. They were not on good terms. He was known to have despoiled the virtue of 2 student in one term. Rumor he owed thousands to O’Banion mob. O’Banion considered by many one of most powerful mobsters on east coast, moved into Arkam maybe 2 years ago. Has a nightclub on Front street called the Lucky Clover, likely where Randolph gained his debs. Butler thinks now that the estate ma be going to pay back the debt. Fritz promises his 10% to be divided between each of the servants, assuming they are going to lose the house and so job. Recommends they walk out with something valuable before the filthy attorney or mob gets it. Fritz checks study and finds it very dusty, but recent footmarks and a large cleaner spot on desk where book likely was lying. Finds nothing of value.
Fritz and Mundabi go to the nightclub. Fritz enters as Mundabi blocks the guards attempt at a bludgeon. Fritz hopes to make a deal for money to get down there for the promise of bringing Randolph back alive for O’ Banion. Fritz walks, with a purpose and eyes focused on a man in a suit sitting at a chess board. Fritz recommends a move which the man had missed.
“Clever, I don’t trust guys that are clever.”
“Neither do I. My name is Fritz.”
“You’re new in this town.”
Fritz “I have a business proposition.”
“For me or the boss?”
“Anybody interested. I know some don’t like their names involved in certain things. It involves a Randolph Brisby.”
“Brisby owes the club.”
“So I’ve heard. How interested would you be in getting him back?”
“How do we know you tell the truth?”
Fritz offers his Torah as collateral.
The man sends for O’Banion’s second, named Sills. Flashy dresser, good looking. Sills calls out Goldstein the bookkeeper to ask of value of Torah as collateral. Goldstein says Fritz will do all he can to do as he promises “If he leaves his Torah he’ll be back or he’ll be dead.”.
Fritz “I will do everything I can to bring Randolph back alive.”
O’ Banion agrees, giving Fritz $500 advance to get him started. Fritz promises to sent word of his arrival and when he leaves into jungle.
Rick meets Wilkerson at Crawford’s where he is having dinner with Armitage. Expensive, Medieval historic restaurant of sorts. Wilkerson looks relieved.
“Richard, you’ve come.” Hand shakes.
Armitage “Well, my young man. A pleasure to see you. You have made quite the name for yourself since we your day here.”
Rick has arrived for the 4th course of a 10 course meal so joins. The fish arrives, followed by the prime rib. Then, its down to business.
Rick “Well then, tell me all this business about Hughes and Amanda.”
Wilkerson “Bad business. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going in the jungle, he just disappeared. By the time we wanted to talk to the only man who may have known, prof Bisby, he was dead.”
Rick “Bisby’s dead? What a shame.”
Wilkerson "Well, the man was losing his senses frankly. He was in the jungle for 2 years.:
“I read about that.”
“He had malaria for a spell that took a lot out of him. He was obsessed with the Quicheru tribe. He was positive that it existed from a few references. He told me in confidence that he had found them!
Rick “Bisby had found the Quicheru?”
“Yes. HE claimed it was not rumor. Not their evidence, but the tribe itself, alive.”
Rick “Why didn’t he announce this officially, why wait until the book is out?”
“Because so many didn’t believe him, treated him like an idiot by many ever since he became obsessed with the tribe.. He said the book would show all the proof.”
Rick “Was he working on it?”
“I think it was finished.”
Rick “Does the estate have it now, are they to publish it?”
“I know nothing about that, but ’I’m sure the book is at his house. Bisby, of all things, found some big game hunter to be the executer of his estate.”
Rick “From Africa? That’s strange. When I got off the train here, and I think I may have seen them on the ship once or twice, was a man with a tall tribesman. I’d say Masai.”
“That’s could be him. I know the attorney handling the estate sent for him. Frankly, after the lawyer is finsidhed I don’t thing there will be much of an estate left. Unless your O’ Banion.”
Armitage “Oh that’s right, you don’t know. There are growing crime syndicated in the big cities. We have our own now. The O’ Banion gang out of Boston.”
Rick “What are they in to?”
Armitage “The less we know the better.”
Say drugs is major, and the attorney is one of best in town (probably why Bisby hired him) and the man has gotten a bunch of thugs off of charges. Very clever at that.
Rick “You think he’s going to swindle the estate out from under this hunter?”
Armitage “No, no, not take the estate per se. He’s going to bill so many hours that whatever money is there will be his to take. He’s quite expensive.”
Rick “What does Bisby have to do with Hughes. I now about his search for a temple from the papers.”
Bisby told him of the location of a lost temple of a blood god, Hughes believed the worship of it had corrupted the Mayans. Bisby sent word from Belize to Hughes, after returning from jungle. Hughes wanted to find it. Always looking for that one find to put his name on the map. The 2 probably passed at sea as Bisby was returning home.
Armitage “Took his daughter with him. You had classes with her, as I recall.”
Rick “A couple..:”
Wilkerson “Thank god you’re here man, I have been worried sick. The jungles of South America are no place for a lady.”
Rick “I already have a man in Belize gathering my expedition.”
Wilkerson “Good man, good man. Always one step ahead. The next step should be finding the book.”
Rick “Indeed. The book and all his notes. Quickly, before this foolish hunter signs everything over to the lawyer in case the rat would try to sue us for going through the property.”
Armitage “How do you propose we find this hunter?”
RIck “I’m assuming he’ll go to the attorney, so he may be there now.”
The brandy and cigars come out, then off to the attorney. It is closed by now, however. So we go to the University to search Bisby’s and Hughes’ offices.
Makes a good search of Bisby’s first, finding only a personal journal with a couple useless general references to the temple. Mention Quechiru knowing the route to the temple. "I’m not going there but I can’t wait to tell Hughes. Must have come at end of expedition. Not the travel journal he would have kept on the trail. It also has a record on all the bets he makes. Lots of stuff on his classes, of course. Everyone got passes because the person put in his place after death couldn’t figure out his grading system.
Hughes’ office yields nothing at all; been locked up some 2 years now.
Wilkerson “Neither of you ever saw a map then? Or were told any specifics?”
No, but Wilkerson thinks he left a copy of one behind. To a pub for drinks.
Armitage “Now, here’s the favors I ask. When you get to Belize I would like you to look up a young colleague of ours. Jeremy Morgan. He’s on a privately backed expedition into the jungle. When last we heard, he had returned from the jungle and was in Belize getting ready to go back. He needed to secure more funding and re equip the group. Evidently the co leader of the expedition, Dr. Williamson, did not return with him and is still in the jungle at the Mayan site that the uncovered. Supposedly this site is going to be a really big find. I suspect it might be the same temple.”
Rick “So he’ll know where it is.”
Armitage “Yes, but if its not it’ll be a wild goose chase so far as Hughes is concerned. Young Morgan is a troubled man, let’s say, and I’d just like you to watch out for him.”
“What’s wrong with him?”
“He became ill 3 years ago and published nothing since then. He took a sabbatical and when he came back he went directly on this expedition. Williamson is an eccentric. He has some theories…when you talk about crack pots in the Mayan archaeological field, the 2 names that come to mind are Williamson and Bisby. He wrote a book, Williamson did, its in the library here if you’d like to see it.”
Armitage is willing to go now.
Rick “Go retrieve it, or should we all finish here and make for the library?”
Armitage “Gentlemen, I have a confession to make. I know that brandy is our preferred drink. I have acquired a taste for good bourbon.”
“Yes, and I happen to have a 10 year bottle of a bourbon called Jack Daniels and I’d love to let you sample it.”
Rick “There is no better place I like to be other than in the field than in a library.”:
Armitage “I also have some cigars that I am told were hand rolled on the naked thighs of beautiful Cuban virgins.”
Rick “I’ll pay our tab. Let’s be off.”
2nd favor, Armitage tells Rick that he feels something big is happening in the world of the occult, and tells his tale of the Dunwich Horror. RIck finds the level of horror unrealistic, but believes what he experienced. Armitage gives him papers detailing the experience and asks Rick to deliver it to a man in London named Van Helsing. “He’ll believe it”. Van Helsing also believes something grander is nearing.
Off they go. After drink, Rick does not enjoy the bourbon much though thinks it may be acquired for him, Armitage goes into stacks for the book. After half an hour we go to look for him. He’s in an aisle frantically searching.
Rick “Don’t tell me you’re missing the book.”
Armitage “It’s gone.”
Rick “How could it be gone? What’s the book?”
Armitage “Its called Bat Cults of Mayan Culture. He felt there was a bat cult that corrupted the Mayan’s.”
Rick “Right with Hughes’ thoughts on a blood cult that corrupted them.”
Armitage says hasn’t been taken out in years.
Rick “That Steiner wouldn’t have taken it out, would he?”
Armitage “I don’t see why. Wait a minute, the space is still on the shelf.”
The way the library works, all spaces are pushed together. Especially at the end of the day. This space is not slid together! It must have happened in the last few hours!
We get to searching and Rick sees mud on the floor at the book. He follows it to a window at the rear where there is an obvious bare footprint coming into the building. Billy tracks, finding that the mud circles the shelves as if looking for something, getting closer and closer with each pass, before finding the book finally.
A search of the library yields nothing. Rick examines the window, which is latched, and finds that the screws from the clasp into the pane are cut! The latch is just sitting in place loosely. Someone on the inside set it up for later use, and so that it looked fine.
Next Morning, Thursday
Rick sends priority mail request to Iluminati HQ in NYC with requisition list of weapons and ammo and a few other essentials.
Then he goes to Bisby’s. Meets butler, asks to see study. Butler mentions the german hunter and has nothing but good things to say about him, so far as master Bisby ever spoke about him. Says he went to see O’Banion night before “I do hope he isn’t found floating in the river” says butler.
Lets us into office, tells us of book being gone last night. They let Rick take anything he needs. Tell Rick everyone here loved Mr. Hughes, terrific human being. When Rick says he knew him well and they ask his name, maid slaps Rick in the face.
“That’s for Amanda.”
Rick “I deserve it.”
Maid “You certainly do.”
They say where hunter says he was staying. Rick sends Armitage and Wilkerson to go and retrieve him while Rick searches study. Finds hidden panel on shelf and finds leather bound travel journal. No map, but instructions and landmarks from Bisby’s finding of lost tribe!!!!! Mention in journal of a golden idol spoken of in Wiliamson’s book.
Armitage and Wilkerson find Fritz still in room, Mundabi answering door. Tells of Rick and their common interest.
They show up with Fritz and we all talk and meet. Rick and Fritz first meeting is like 2 long lost brothers reuniting again. Discuss common goals but different foci on trip to come. Agree to be as one.
Rick goes to Hughes’ house, figuring Hughes may have his own copy of Williamson’s book since its on the same topic as his study. In his library, Rick find the book! He also takes 2 other books on archaeology and history of British Hondurus.
Westinghouse and Atwater arrive at house. We take them around to search all we have in case we missed anything. After Bisby’s and Hughes’ he says “Genlemen, I believe we will be attending a séance tomorrow evening.”
In going through Bisby’s appointment book, he visited a medium in the city after he returned. At Hughes’ house, I saw evidence that he had also visited her, but before he left.
The paper says she does séances every Friday night. 6 people maximum. We make our reservations for the next night. There are 3 seats left. She speaks with the dead for loved ones.
Westinghouse lowdown of O’Banion:
Irish mob busted in on Italian mob and annexed Arkam. O’Banion sent in to buy out Portrello peaceably. Refused so murdered a henchman of Portrello, who gave up his rights to numbers and prostitution in favor of tiny operations. O’ Banion expanded, opening the club and stretches now through Miskatonic Valley running numbers. Purtrello continues to reduce, knowing his battle has been lost. Sills handles overdue debts. Without conscious, but rubs too many of the higher ups the wrong way. Owns an expensive steam car.
Other searches by Westinghouse yield nothing else of interest.
Westinghouse, Atwater, and Rick will attend the séance. Fritz will not take part in such a pagan ceremony. He and Mundabi will wait for us at library.
Rick begins reading.
Rick meets with Miskatonic staff with Wilkerson and negotiates the artifact deal for the British Museum as asked.
Billy placed out front as guard.
The place is totally what you would expect. She’s beautiful, hypnotic of tone, raven black curly hair that is perfect. 1 other sits there as we enter, an older chubby Hispanic woman in a black veil. Westinghouse introduces himself, and she does in return as Gladys Gonzales. Husband worked installing newest electric lines and was shocked to death in an accident. Hopes to have a final word with him.
A young man arrives just after we do and sits. Westinghouse introduces himself.
“I’m a flyer, was in Army Air Corps on one of the great lakes.Served as mechanic and pilot. A sweek zeppelin, 2 maching guns.” He’s not doing well, as most don’t trust such a small operation’s safety. Rick asks him where his ship is, and its just outside of city. Rick continues to talk with him: pilot of first US trans atlantic crossing, but not on way back. Caught drunk in England, frowned upon for a pilot, so punished with monitoring tail rudder in the cold to clear ice off on way back. ALso pilot of first trans continent flight to San Francisco; also not pilot on return. Rick tells him to meet us at Crawford’s for dinner tonight. May have business to discuss.
Westinghouse asks about Bisby and Hughes. She seems genuinely hurt by what happened to them, says she felt it all happen. He and Atwater feel she really believes herself. Says she does not only talk with dead, but can also see those far away whom she has met. Both came to me asking about the other. She got through to Bisby for Hughes that he had found the way to the temple. But when Bisby asked about Hughes, nothing.
Westinghouse “Did you try for his daughter?”
“I did, but it couldn’t work. Some people are just not in touch with the powers.”
Final guest arrives, its O’Banion himself let in by Sills, ID’d by Westinghouse, and 2 mugs. SIlls meet Billy out front, says “I can see you’re a killer” and offers him good money if he ever wants a job.
O’ Banion obviously has ‘relationship’ with Madam Z.
When she asks for cash donation, he puts out $100, so Rick puts out $200. Her look tells Rick she’ll be seeing him later, and she promises a private consultation for him later.
Séance starts from madam Z’s left it goes Gonzales, Rick
Raspy voice comes through, its Hughes! Seems the real thing! Though all going on with table and candles et al are fake.
‘found strange artifacts that some local Indians were trading on the streets. Small statues and tablets of the bat god and scenes of human sacrifice. Those who were hocking them claimed they came from a tribe deep into the rainforest. We bought them all. Our guide was a short humpback named Tortuga, good tracker. Spoke several local languages but little English. As moved toward temple, 30 or so Indians all dressed in garb of Mayans from centuries ago appeared. Before anyone could speak, a man in a colorful feathered cloak stabbed Tortuga in the eye with an obsidian spear. Grabbed and Amanda and I was KO. Awoke to smell of charnal house, cloaked man stood over me and mumbled a foreign tongue. Held statue of bat in one hand and obsidian knife in the other. Spoke words of power before stabbing me to death. Last work I heard Teluacetal!’
Z slumps back in her chair and Gonzales shows her true colors “…now you must die!!” Throws fire bomb on table and explodes into fireball badly wounding Atwater who hits the ground, pilot burned good, and Rick takes 17. Madam Z is killed outright. O’ Banion hurt bad too.
Her disguise is thrown off by her reveal, she is actually a young and beautiful Spanish girl. Rick slugs her twice. She burning hands us, Billy charges in and misses. The mugs fire but hit billy once each because of the cover he provides, Sills stops their stupidity. Westinghouse goes under table and trips her. The pilot takes cover. She stands but Rick disarms the dagger and grapples her. She escapes it and runs. Mugs stop her by one grappling, she scratches the other with poisoned fingernails and dies, frothing at the mouth in agony, in a few rounds. Atwater can do nothing to help him. Billy charges but misses. Rick joins the grapple and Billy KO’s her with the back edge of his kukri. Fire brigade steamtruck and cops show up. They would arrest us but they cowtail to O’ Banion. We get away with Gonzales and question her, Westinghouse with some work gets her to squeal:
Yucazato is her master, sent her here because he had a vision of the medium in this city from the bat god that people who would interfere with their plans would be there today. She was sent to destroy you. Came on ocean liner 1st class. She is originally from Rio De Janero (probably once an innocent woman). The cult reaches far. She claims to not know who the lost tribe is.
Westinghouse "What is this bat god’s name?
Westinghouse “Where is the girl, Amanda? The professor’s daughter?”
“She’s the chosen one, she has green eyes.”
Westinghouse “Chosen for what?”
“The next lunar eclipse.
RIck “Where is professor Williamson? One of his books was stolen from the library last night.”
“I know nothing about that. I know of Williamson. He is dead. And soon his partner will die. By day after tomorrow, he will be no more.” Referring to Jeremy Morgan.
Westinghouse “Why are all of these people being killed, because they discovered the lost temple?”
“Don’t you know there’s not a temple. There are Temples.”
Rick “Is there a whole lost city?”
“There are temples.” Then she admits “Those fools will die, the Quichu.”
West “Again, why are all of these people being killed?”
“To raise the bod, you need oceans of blood” then in a voice that is not her own “killll…killlll…killll…” then herself “Master, I didn’t mean to betray you” looking into blank space. She looks at us, then the other voice “come, come to me child and die!” Her hands suddenly free from the restraints she rips down her face with her fingernails and dies in moments.
Rick asks O’ Banion what he can do for us.
“You know, I’m a bad man. But this, this is evil; this is unclean; and when you face evil, all us mugs got to stick together. What do you need?”
RIck “Can you finance further than the $500 you gave Fritz?”
He gives us a further $500. RIck then asks for mugs a guards, he says Silly himself will go along with 2 mugs he can spare. They will each have a .45, a Winchester lever action shotgun. 200 revolver rounds and 100 shotgun rounds. Silly carries only 2 .45’s with 300 rounds. Insists he will be wearing his good suits for the duration. Rick makes sure he has proper attire to change into. He WILL want to whether he thinks so now or not.
This evening, Rick’s requisition of TNT and other various things arrives from NYC Iluminati.
Misktonic, the cult/arcane lore faculty especially, want to know what the hell went on down there themselves, of course. Wilkerson had already been working for funding from them. They are to pay the wages of the bearers, guards, animal handler; and fees for the pack animals.
So, Hughes and Williamson both are likely dead. Amanda alive, being kept for a sacrifice to happen on ?.
Rick wires Juan Pena to find Morgan, tell him of dangers, and protect him.
Rick reads late into the night.
Letter at found at Bisby’s office. His servants say Walter was supposedly quiet a character as Bisby said. Saved Bisby when he was lost in jungle after stumbling upon Bisby. Wanted by Texas and US army, also former US army. Was running guns to tribes in Mexico vs Mexican gov’t.
Rick wires a state department local contact for the army report on Walter Francis Kimble.
The city is a lost pre mayan city, built by gods who taught them everything they knew.
Next Morning, Saturday
zeppelin defense 2, hardness 10, 55hp.
Hull spaces 12
very high for altitude
We can be in Belieze in a little over 33 hours flying straight through. Since Rick has pilot ability, he can relieve in shifts so that we can do so easily.
Quite large. All living quarters in gondola. It is armored.
We are up bright and early, take off by 8AM. Westinghouse, Atwater, Wilkerson, Armitage and O’Banion seeing us off.
Car pulls up at hotel, “Is there either a Mr. Goldstein or a Mr. Rathbone here?”
“That’s Sir Rathbone, and yes I’m here.”
Young guy ‘My name is Jonah Kensington" look of rough dockworker "I’m a publisher in NY."
Needs to talk to Fritz as executor of Brisby, who’s book was to be published by Prospero press.
We explain its loss. He’s willing to pay $100 for return of manuscript. Fritz arrives and Rick introduces. More than willing to give us a $100 retainer for a similar matter.
One of his top authors is in British Hondurus now.
Rick “Who is it?”
Shows us telegraph from him from Belize: wants guns, lucky strikes, gin. Death cult! Info on Bendal Dolum and a Walter F. Kimble. Send help. Meet friends at hotel San Miguel. Ask for Guillermo at port. Tell no others. From: JACKSON ELIAS.
Kensington says was doing some followup on his Death Cults of Africa. Similarities tween the 2 areas beyond what alienists would say were coincidence, thinks both have a single source from prehistoric times.
Received letter yesterday. Was going to get help from executor of will. Then found out that he was going today to Belize I rushed to him “Coincidence seemed to be piling up. I don’t believe in them, something is going on.”
Rick “I completely agree. We will take the retainer.”
Parcel arrives, overnight rushed, from US and Texas on Kimble. OBanion recognizes the Glazier false name as a canadian border smuggler.
Kensington says he can’t go, has a new book he has to get out “The Complete History of Cannibalism”.
Sent descritiosn:_ slender, tall, squints, tends to hold gaze on a person sizing them up, hispanic like tanned skin. Wears old style cowboy hat or sombrero. Loose trousers, dark shirt, handwoven pocho. Revolvler, always wears fancy cowboy boots w/o spurs. Light brown hair. Always operates for underdog. Good grasp of languages (as RIck thought considering his aliases). Against slavery, has problems with the South and Mexican gov’t. Feels Texas should have been involve in overthrow of Santa Anna._
Rick tells Westinghouse to wire Pena for me and tell him to keep an eye out for Kimble and Elias.
Instinct tells us he is not the bad guy everyone thinks he is.
If all goes well we should be there by 5PM tomorrow, and so catch Morgan before he heads back into jungle. Rick will read during all free time during trip.
Travel to Belize
Just off Mexico coast when we hear clanks hitting the armor. 3 airships closing in on us. Stylized symbol of a bat.
Rick is astounded this bat cult has airships.
We have 3, 3lb Hotchkins revolving canons on 2 outer flank turrets and front; of 6 shot gun on each side. ROF 3, DmgVal 1, Rng 2/4.
2 rear 1" gattling guns: DmgVal 1, ROF 3/4, crew 1, Rng 1/2.
1st number is normal rate w/o jamming, 2nd jams if any die rolls a 1 then gunner must attempt to clear jam.
Our man has 3 hired crew. Ship typically needs half its hull number, so 6 for us.
Rick knows the airships coming in and looking through his binos "they probably have 1 front hotchkins and 2 gattling guns to front sides. No rear guns.
Rick starts to ready lengths of rope for he and Billy.
They start to catch up, gattlings fire at long range, we score 3 bag hits, they hit bag once as we slow and ready a special maneuver, to use their momentum against them as we raise slightly and get above the first ship. Fritz fires but misses.
Our Hotchkins fire, hitting their left ship 3 (2 hull and crew) times and the right once to hull once. Their Hotchkins breaks as the breech cracks (card) and both gattling guns jams.
They hit only once but crit, starting fire at level 3 on gondola!
Rick and Billy swing out from left gun swashbucker style, crashing through the windows and into cabin, cutting our ropes free without incident(card).
They wear military uniforms of Guatemala!
Billy kills both crew in the cabin, the pilot stands, draws pistol and misfires Billy as cpt “I’ll put it on auto pilot, kill them!”
The gunners on the left make for the cabin. The first reaches Rick and swings knife 5.
Rick hooks his line onto captains belt. He’s pulled to window but gets it off as he hits the wall almost going out.
Billy rushes the cpt and bullrushes him out the window.
Other gunners run in as well. 3 now on Rick with knives, 2 original gunners on Billy. Rick is hit once 4.
Rick hits for 6. We hear more crew at door to rear of gondola.
Billy hits 17 DEAD, 8.
Billy is hit 3; Rick now surrounded by 5 men: 3/5 others miss.
The door opens. 2 men race in. First charges past to Rick. Billy AoO 12. 2nd stops at Billy and misses.
Rick hits 7/4/miss with surge.
Billy hits 11/9 DEAD.
4 others run from back, 3 stop at Billy, 4th rushes past to Rick (Billy AoO hits 20 DEAD). They can’t attack yet.
One attack on Billy misses.
Rick his hit twice 3/3.
Rick hits 4/7 DEAD. Billy hits 21 DEAD/9.
3 on Billy hit 3/3; Rick his hit twice by 4 men 6.
Our gattlings fire as we pull away and they get to our rear.
They hit us 6 times, all hull hits. Our gattling guns hit 7 times but left one jams. All hits toward the left; jams their lifters, fire breaks out lvl 2, 5 hull hits. Fritz kills a crew. Sills and his mugs put the fire out immediately.
Inside, Billy crits 18 DEAD/miss. Rick takes total defense and they all miss. They all miss Billy too.
Billy hits 11/9.
2 on Billy miss; 3 on Rick miss.
Rick takes full def again.
Billy hits 9 DEAD/10. Billy is hit 3; Rick is missed twice and hit 3. Rick takes full def.
Billy hits 12/7 and steps next to Rick. Billy surges 11. 2 now attack Billy and miss, last misses Billy.
Billy says “surrender” in English and they do. We tie them up.
We get behind left ship as it goes by, turn to side at its rear and fire. Flank gattling crits once to lifters, Front Hochkins three times for crew/2 hull.
Couple guys go outboard to fix lifters and unjam them. Fire is also put out.
Last ship moves into our space and guns blaze. Rear gattings push the envelope and avoid jam, hittting three times: crew, hull, crit boiler hit reducing speed
Flank gattling hits 4 times: 2 hull, crit to screw reducing speed to 1, crit boiler.
Boiler explodes killing 3 crew! Ship speed is 0.
Ship bursts into level 4 fire. Front Hochkins blows up killing the 2 crew on it. Half crew are now dead. Bridge explodes killing half bridge crew. 4 alive now out of 14. A magazine explodes. It’s going down in flames!
Rick speeds to the fight now piloting the enemy ship, Billy fires the Hochkins at the fleeing enemy zeppelin: 2 hull hits, Hochkins blows killing crew.
Our ship runs aside theirs. Flank gattling 2 hits no jam crew/hull. 1 rear on that side 1 hit no jam, blowing gattling gun and killing the 1 crew. Front Hochkins hits three times: eliminates all other guns. Frits crits, starting another fire with his big .50 on gasbag. Fire now level 6.
In next couple round we blow it to heck and it explodes.
We join to transfer crew. Suddenly, a crewman from our ship yells “There’s a bomb on board!” as he tries to cut it loose from back of balloon. 2 crew work on it. Rick makes for it as it blows up! We must have been sabotaged in Arkam. More sections are going off, then they stop. Much of back half of bag is gone. We float literally 6 feet or so above water.
From captured ship, we see men below pointing up and yelling. Rick hears them scream “The bags on fire!” from the explosion. Sills and the mugs say “WE;ve done this before.”
Raging inferno in passage way toward them! Slam door shut "We have to jump for it. Rick takes it down closer to sea level and jump out. We leave the tied up crew and it blows up above us.
We are hauled up into gondola. Pilot says we need to make it straight to coast for repairs.
We do so, putting in at Campeche.
Officials immediately demand our papers etc.
We are each taken separately and questioned. They do not believe us. A $10 bribe stops an impounding but it will be 3 weeks of repairs. We must get the next ship the rest of the way. It coming in early tomorrow and leaves by nightfall. We book passage. Meanwhile, rest and reading.
9PM knock at door, boy with message from night manager. Wants to see us downstairs. Rick and Fritz go down. “An anglo dropped a package off for you.”
It has already been in the papers we are here.
It is a part of the artifact!!!!! One quarter of a disc. There is a letter with it, from Charles Danvers.
Rick studies artifact: solid gold, 7 pounds, recognizes it immediately as legendary tablets of the moon. 4 wedges that fit together into a disc. Together, they will tell you how to find the temple of the moon, pits of Bendal Dolum. And from there, a lost city. There will be found the greatest treasure ever hidden in the new world. Gold, jewels, ancient writings!!
Rick studies it late into the night.
Rick has heard of him, a small time dealer in antiquities. Just barely on this side of the law but fairly well known. Has aided in legitimate recovery efforts for lost/stolen artifacts as well. That he knew Bisby is not surprising.
Studying it gets little thus far, the disc is certainly the moon, the symbol at the center a temple, probably temple of the moon. One conjecture is that Bendal Dolum is in the center on the other side.
Fritz takes first watch in Rick’s room, Billy 2nd, Mundabi last.
On Mundabi’s, someone is opening the window literally an inch every 5 minutes. He starts to stalk toward window. Room is on 3rd floor. This assassin is good. Its pitch dark outside, no backlight at window. Mundabi continues toward window.
Mundabi, as the man skulks toward the desk, hits him for 14. Rick wakes up, turns the light on. The man surrenders in French, and Mundabi cracks him across the jaw with the butt of his spear.
He wears pants, a plaid shirt.
He shrugs when asked why he is trying to steal his artifact. Dressed very rustic. Bear of a man. Not wearing a disguise. Calloused hands. Rick talks to him in French.
A search of his person reveals a great outdoorsman’s knife and 3 telegrams. Claims he is down on his luck, taken to becoming a ‘burgular’.
First: telegraph from LeCloche to beat competition, get merchandise.
Second: Have spoken with D, does not have merchandise, from LeCloche.
Third: If Danvers has it, kill him. If he gives it away get it back. From LeCloche.
Rick backhands him for being a thief, murderer and liar. But, he gave up rather quickly. So he’s a coward as well, or new at the job. He says he is a thief, not a fighter and killer. Not a surprise being a Frenchy.
Seems just a hired doofus. Good sneak, not a fighter.
For 1LB says his name is Jean Murphy. Father Irish, mother French Canadian. Says never heard of Walter Kimble, but has heard of Martin Glazer as a smuggler. La Cloche a bootlegger among other things. Up against another gang, Glazer offered help to both sides, played them off one another. By the end, Mounties had to come in there were so many bodies over bootlegging and gun running. Only Glazer got out of it with any money. All the Canadian gangs have price on his head.
For L8 tells us about LaCloche: one of the great gangsters. Been Jean’s boss a long time. Does little of this, little of that. Wants to drive English out of French Canada. A patriot, but out for money even more.
Says artifact is clue to treasure never seen.
Rick “So we’ve heard.”
For not turning him in, he will tell us all. Suddenly heavy dart hits his neck.
Fritz and Mundabi see man climbing up stucco like a spider. Mundabi jumps up from window lip to lip the next 2 floors. Getting to top as the guy climbs over. Fritz rushes out of the room and onto roof from inside, seeing the man on roof as Mundabi climbs over edge behind him.
Killer raises a blowgun at Fritz but fumbles. We capture him easily. Find a bunch of telegrams in his pocket. Short, thin, pencil stache, failure at attempts at being suave.
All from Candida du MInga about getting the artifact. He works for her. She has a coffee plantation in Guatemala. Knows only that she wants the artifact for fortune and glory. Camp noted on letter is in the jungle, she’s looking for a lost temple. When asked about Williamson, he says they are searching in the wrong place, that they found a pyramid but the wrong one cause Candida says it’s wrong. Candida has 1/4 of the artifact map!!!
Jean asks for $5 for info, and for it he says LaCloche has one too.
Rick “Does LaCloche have a camp?”
“Where is he”
“Coming from Canada. When he gets here he will rejoin Candida. They are partners, you know.”
Assassin “Ah, but she gonna take care of your boss.”
“Not if my boss takes care of yours first. That treasure too big to share.”
THey both know that Hughes and Danvers went in with the piece Brisby gave him, and only Danvers came out. Been hiding ever since. They followed Danvers here for the piece.
Fourth piece still up in the air, but Hughes went in the jungle to find the 4th piece. They say each of their bosses has had their piece for a couple years.
THey say Brisby came out with 3 pieces. No one knows where 4th piece is. They say Brisby cared not for treasure, just writing “damn book”. He does not believe in not treasure, he only found the lost tribe.
Brisby had a right hand man, stole 2 of the pieces and took to The Professor. Soon, the right hand man not her no more. Prof recognized them and needed help. Got some archaeologist explorer to help him names Sam Cartwright. He’s dead now, got drunk, talked a lot, and Candita’s forman killed him and took both pieces to Candida. Sam searched everywhere in Belize for it, and found in an ally cut down for making too much of a fuss. She needed a partner so gave other piece to LaCloche for his help, til they don’t need each other anymore.
Knows nothing of the cousin with the book since they’ve been out of Belize. No one is sure where the Professor has been.
The camp is simply scouring the jungle at this point, hoping to find the pyramid. None of the players know of the tribe.
Where does this go?
Was told by Bisby that he had found evidence of a blood cult/god that had taken over the Mayans. Proof was at the lost temple.
Noon: Rick and Fritz to library. The others watch the prisoners at the hotel. Sills and the 2 mugs watch our perimeter.
Rick notices a tall, thin man, nose sliding down his glasses, white man in dirty and wrinkled white suit, few days growth on face. Standing half a block down and watches us then gives a little shake of his head and walks away. Suddenly stops cold as he sees 2 guys who get stares from those around them. Look like regular folk at first, but a red smear under each eye. They get odd looks from onlookers.
We watch the westerner walk faster back our way but across the street. He looks back and breaks into a run, they follow suit so we rush also.
Rick runs for the fleeing westerner and tells Fritz to cut off the chasers.
Fritz blocks the 2 and they pull out daggers with a black residue on one side (poison). He steps out of the way like he doesn’t know what’s going on as they have no clue who he is, then grapples the man just barely for 7. The 2nd guy tries to slash Fritz as he runs by, but cuts his own man who convulses instantly for 8 and 8 con damage. Fritz grapples for 7. Poisoned villian tries to break the grapple. They scream “Shub Niggurath!”
Rick grabs Danvers, says “I’m Richard Rathbone, this way” and start to lead Danvers into a crowd when Sills and his mugs gun them down. Damn it!!
Rick yells for all to rush “down this alley, now!” and we make a getaway before the cops show up.
Grappler misses Fritz with the dagger, and a cop brings a club down with full force on the natives head killing him.
“Ah senior” helping Fritz up “I can tell from your appearance that you are European. Is this so?”
“This is true.”
“And German by the accent. Passport please.”
A 2nd cop shows up.
Shows his papers to the cops.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to come to the station with us. We have 2 murders you need to explain.”
The rest of us get away. Sills is a bit irritated at being a bit scolded for shooting, so Rick explains that he has to be careful in town etc. Sills settles down. Rick circles back around and sees Fritz taken away but not in handcuffs. Rick follows and it takes about 2 hours to get him out. Murdered men have no passports, not citizens, must have come out of the jungles and had wicked non native weapon. It takes a bribe, which Rick pays, and we are off. He wants $100 but Rick, bringing up the poisoned blades, haggles him down to 50 bucks. It could have been a lot lower without the bullets in the other.
Sills and his men have an ongoing discussion as to who gets the notch. Sills says he’s the boss so… His 2 men first say natives don’t count but Sills says “he’s a cultist” to which Rick says “Cultists always count.”
Back at hotel:
Hughes asked him to come with him to to to lost tribe value. That’s when he told me the other piece is in the lost valley. Brisby could not acquire it while he was there. 3 pieces were there, the 4th in another temple which is too dangerous to enter. They were tired of hiding the pieces to safe guard the horror that can be unleashed in the lost city “The Horror from the Moon” from myth and tradition. Brisby managed to get the 3 in the from the tribe.
Hughes knew who had the other 2 pieces, he thought with the other 2 he could bargain with them. He knows where the pyramid is, there is an expedition that had already uncovered it from Arkam. Williamson’s!!! So Hughes thought its the right place, unlike Candita and LeCloche.
He thinks they are dead.
“Why is it you think instead of know.”
“We were less than a days journey from the valley of the tribe. My hobby is as a lepidopterist. So, it was my practice at camp to leave while dinner was prepared to hunt for butterflies. I heard shots, screams and ran back. By the time I got there the camp was overrun by natives. Looked like Mayans, but had red paint smears under their eyes. Their leader a red skull painted on his face. They destroyed the camp and killed our bearers, took the mules and anything worth taking, the blighters! The professor and his daughter were kidnapped, I assume killed. So I made it out, but they did leave behind the piece I left for you. Hughes threw in the fire to hide it in the ashes where I found it. I planned to save them, when suddenly I was followed, attacked, spied on and chased by natives. Then French Canadians. My apartment was broken into and searched twice in one night.”
He recognizes our 2 captives as burglers of his place.
Rick to Danvers “Who is this ‘Professor’”.
Danvers “I don’t think he exists. I think someone else involved is pulling the strings, playing us all. I think that’s the professor.”
Rick “Why would he or she need so many people involved.”
Danvers “I don’t have any idea. I just knew I had to get rid of it before someone stole it from me. Oh and there’s Santos. Esteban Santos. A Mexican. Scares the life out of me.”
Rick “What does he have to do with this?”
“I don’t know. He knew Hughes and his daughter had come and he was looking for them. He never mentioned the artifact and dingus specifically. When I told him what had happened he left.
Rick “How did he enter this whole affair?”
“There was a knock on my door, and he had eyes that stared right through me, introduced himself and simply asked what had happened. He gave a sigh when I told him what happened and he walked away. He wore a poncho, and a six gun from the American West.” Walter Kimble is an alias of Esteban. He hasn’t seen him since, that was a couple months ago.
We ask LaCloche’s man says he was scheduled to arrive in Belize yesterday. So, by the time we get there, he will be making for Candita’s camp.
Danvers “There is still a big question. Who are the killers with the red paint? Are they Quecheru, did they really pull the wool over Hughes’ eyes?”
Rick “No. It’s not them. It’s either a people who have always lived there or, more likely, a tribe who stumbled across the city and/or temple long after its fall and was corrupted by something there.”
Danvers “So, we take the ship to Belize. It’s going to be crawling with cultists.”
We talk about finding a smaller ship and find a tramp steamer to take us. $10/person for the trip and we deal him down to $74 for his unscheduled stop in Belize. It only has 5 open cabins, so 2 a piece. Perfect. 1 is a missionary and his assistant to convert natives. Another is a man and his wife making for Rio on their honeymoon. The last has 1 guy in it, he’s so thin he looks like a cadaver, Ichabod Crane style. Huge adam’s apple.
Rick to cpt “What do you know about that guy?”
“He’s a teacher at a university on sabatacal. Expert in ancient american cultures.”
“Where is he getting off?”
Rick “His name?”
“Professor George Higgenbothum.”
Fritz crossed paths with him on a ship once. He’s to study the Yanu Mamo, a fierce tribe in Brazil. Fritz says he’s boring and talks erratic like.
2 others have French Candadians! It’s Jean’s other men, they got on this ship to avoid us cause we’re big trouble, and they know the other ship to be full of cultists and Candita’s men. They are ordered to leave them alone until its time to finish them.
Rick “How would you like to sign on withus?” We give Jean $10 bucks and after some scuffling in the room, they are on our side for the trip.
Rick at dinner talks to Higgenbothum, and he is indeed very boring. Really says nothing even Rick doesn’t already know. Asks Rick if he has the problem of half of his class being asleep. Rick says not really. Rick suggests trying to alter his delivery, more enthusiasm, prepare more ahead of class for a logical order and progression to the lecture. He takes it to heart.
He says they have a Christmas break guest lecture series that many students stay or come back early for. He gives Rick an invitation for one of the next couple Christmases. Also says to bring Fritz to speak on flora and fauna of Africa. Great double feature.
Then he says we should stay for the holiday feast where they bring out the preserved bodies of the dead Masters to sit for dinner.
Rick “That’s…a very unusual tradition. No one finds it, creepy, unsettling?”
“Some do, and only some of the former headmasters have done it. The current HM wants to put an end to it, he thinks its the terrible tradition. Oh, and you can meet the ghosts there. The school is haunted.” Then we get back into his boring talk.
Back to our rooms after dinner. Rick and Billy’s has been ransacked. No evidence of culprit.
Jean says its impossible it was them. He goes to check.
In Mundabi’s room, the mexican assassin is lying there with his throat cut. Rick finds that across the hall, the wall and door have blood splatter going crossways, about a man’s height, some blood on the floor. One spot in the center has no blood. So, he was killed in the hallway and pushed into the room. So they were standing face to face.
We get the cpt, everything needs searched. He hands out guns to the crew and orders our hands up and for all of us to wait in the galley while we search the rooms.
He comes back ‘I don’t understand it, no sign of foul play."
Rick “Did you search your crew rooms?”
“No, I will now.” They find nothing.
“On top of which, no one on the ship is 5’ tall (the head spot), but for the wife of the couple.”
Rick wants to search their room again, the husband objects and Rick pays close attention. He’s from Chicago and his voice sounds genuine, not disguised.
We help search now, under superstition. Unfortunately, something is found in Sills room. Contraband sawed off shotguns and a machine pistol. We smooth that over. In the professors room a statuette is found of a horned, goat head skull with a pregnant female human body. He says its simply a fertility goddess form central america called Shub Nigguroth.
In the night, a shot rings out. Rick takes the piece which Billy sleeps with and sends Billy to check it out. It’s from a French room. Billy opens the door and a shot misses him. A guy stands there blood covered, “I kill you, stay away from me, I kill you” and fires a warning shot for effect.
Rick follows now. “What the hell’s wrong with you, man?”
He turns gun on Rick and Billy springs for the man. He shoots at Billy and misses, Billy tries to take the gun. They struggle as the gun empties wildly. Billy slugs him for 12, the gun keeps clicking and we overpower him. The bunkmate is lying on his bunk, throat cut so deeply the head is severed.
He is hysterical. The cpt arrives and he calms down eventually, claiming he woke to blood spewing as Billy kills his friend and squirms through portal. Then, suddenly, Billy came through he door so he shot at him.
Rick immediately thinks, something in the sea is following us. We search the room the next morning an find small, sooty black footprints. Like from the black gang.
Cpt “That’s the odd thing, The whole gang abandoned us at port so we had to hire on a new gang of little natives.” Also coal dust around portal. Until he sees that, cpt thinks the killer went through the door and the Frenchman in his craze made up the portal thing. Rick things some creature is to blame, looking like a human. He thinks of one possibility, a flesh raker. But it has no connection with the Mythos. Capable of sliding through small spaces, and looks like a human but the face is elongated and skin red and scaly. Comes from another dimension so must be summoned. Has to kill 1 person a day to stay! Just like in this instance and always kills by slashing their throats open. Virtually immune to weapons but for ballistic.
So, downstairs we go. Rick asks the captain if there is a way into the water from the steamroom. The escape route is at the end, as small portal and chute for loading to the port in the rear. Rick puts Sills and the mugs on the deck there with the shotguns.
First mate yells down for them to gather around and slides down the ladder. We start to follow. He says 2 are missing “Where are the other 2?”
They speak gibberish, a language from the interior! All natives stripped down to loin cloths! We start coming down, they have all backed off.
Rick “Billy, start searching the rest of the ship.”
Their head steps forward, a white man! “What can I do for you” been drinking heavily.
Rick “One of the coal crew is a vicious murderer.”
“Well let’s search them out then. Is any of you a vicious murderer?” they say no “Well, looks ok here.”
“So you’re the one who summoned it.”
Couple of the crew find 2 bodies hidden in the coal, the 2 missing black gang members!
Rick to the officer “Explanation?”
“I don’t know.”
“Rick “You’re quiet terrible at your job them.”
“Because 2 of them were killed by a leader? I assure you I’m good at my job.”
Rick “At summoning other dimensional creatures, yes.”
“What are you talking about? Let’s go up and discuss this like men.”
Rick to Cpt “Line them all up please.” He orders them to.
Billy returns and says all clear.
Rick starts to search them. Rick starts at the other end, inspecting them closely, working his way to the leader. Room is getting hotter. Fritz notices there is smoke starting to rise from Rick. At the 6th guy, Rick feels burning and blisters forming on himself!
“I say.” A small flame or 2 ignites on Rick, burning. Mundabi dumps a bucket of water on me, then he realizes the fire is burning inside him.
Mundabi cracks the leader in the face with the butt of his spear for 11, suddenly the flames go out. The man looks at Mundabi. Billy moves to Rick and takes the artifact from his satchel and starts running past the line. Rick is sure he’s bluffing.
The wizards yells “He has it, get him!” They all pull daggers and charge Billy (card).
The sorcerer Fist of Yog to Mundabi for 23 and he is bullrushed into the other side of the room and steps back.
Billy makes it to the ladder and readies and attack.
Suddenly, the 8th guy in line shimmers before your eyes and turns into a flesh raker! It shoots right past Rick and charges Billy, hitting with a kife 5 to the arm. They like to play with their food.
Rick draws his Webley MK 1 and fires at the sorcerer 10. Yells for crew to go for black gang. First mate fires at nearest black gang and misses. Mundabi performs a power lunge and crits (card) 45 DEAD!!!!i
The black gang surround Billy and the crew start shooting into them. Mundabi concentrates on the natives as well.
The creature hits Billy 6.
Billy strikes back at the blacks.
The creature misses Billy with a neck attack and screams in anger.
Rick and Fritz (card) do a team shot and destroy it.
Billy crits 2 gangmen 16 DEAD/14.
The rest of us keep firing into them as Billy and Mundabi cut and stab. Near the end Rick enters melee with machete and fist.
Billy takes some good fatigue shots but is none the worse for wear by the end.
Jean and his men take over as black gang. We volunteer to help out as well, with Sills and the mugs.
Cpt asks to talk to Rick “Well, how much of your payment do you want back for having to stoke my furnaces and the danger on my ship?”
Rick says nothing, just pay the regular wage to the mugs and Canadians.
Cpt Jason Q. Willy says “If you ever are in these waters and this coast again and need my help, just call on me. The Star of Cartagena wlll be there.”
Rick “I thank you, cpt.” A new connection is made.
Arrive Belize. Immediately look up my contact Juan Pena. We find one another quickly.
Rick “Juan my friend, its been 3 years.”
Juan “It gives my heart great joy to see you.”
“You’re the only man for me on this job, Juan.”
He suggests a quick bite and beer.
Rick “Of course, let’s talk.”
All of my supplies from England arrived safely, the expedition is set up as Rick wished.
Juan says he is much more familiar to the South than North “so I hired another man Pedro Rojo Pascato.”
Rick “Is he trustworthy?”
“No, there’s something slimy about him. But he knows the area better than most.”
Rick doesn’t like it but gives in.
Juan “He’s just too friendly, you know what I mean.”
Rick “Tries too hard.”
Rick “Cultists in disguise are usually more fair than that. He may be a dirtbag but he’s is likely no cultist.”
Juan did get a medic for the trip “I’ve used him in the past, and he is more than adequate for our needs, but he does not have his license anymore, he lost it. He was drunk while operating.” What is this, the pilot’s brother?
Juan “Anything you need to do before we depart?”
Yes, we need to look up Elias contact at the behest of his publisher.
He says there is a larger boat that can go only halfway, but there is a smaller one too that we could make a run on to the Williamson dig.
“Did you find Morgan before he left?”
“Was he here?”
Rick “Any news of Williamson being dead?”
Juan “No. Nothing like that at all.”
Juan is suspicious of most occult authors, figures they want to become sorcerers or the like.
Says he could have been on Hughes expedition but was with another group at the time.
Did hear of Bisby’s cousin but did not find him in time. He hired a small group quickly and headed into the jungle, travelling light. Went for the Quicheru valley.
Everyone knows of the big camp of Candita and the Frenchmen. They come in for supplies, and they drink and talk. They are spending a fortune to stay out there. Lots of rumors of gold fortunes.
We go to the port to find Guillermo. He says in Spanish “Out of my way, I’m busy.” He’s gruff, says no to speaking English.
Rick “Friends of Jackson Elias, speaking English?”
“Ah” in English “friends of Jackson!” He sits us in his office with a beer and says he must unload a ship but he’ll be back soon. Wait.
He returns. We show him the letter of proof. He offers Xtabentun so we partake. Its incredibly strong.
Elias arrived here a couple of months ago looking for some Mayan ruins “a lot of that recently”. He left with 4 men, 1 mule, and supplies. That’s it. Just over a week later, came back for more supplies and story he made a terrific discovery at a pyramid. Said would tell whole story soon. First, he needed friends from America, there are things ‘I can’t do alone’.
He is apprehensive but gives in on giving us the letter Jackson left for his friend. He’s up there now and hasn’t been back for over a month.
Rick asks of any connection to that site and Williamson/Morgan’s. There’s is about 8 miles further up tributary.
It is obvious what to do first, save the girl about to be sacrificed.
Juan takes us to our hotel. In Rick and Billy’s room is a big man, stetson and winchester in his hands. A bit older and gravelly voiced (think Sam Elliot).
Rick “What can I do for you sir?”
“Sorry to be waiting for you like this, but it is important that we talk tonight. What’s you connection with Kimble?”
“I myself have none.”
“Then why did you inquire about him with the Federal gov’t and Texas?”
“He is connected to a colleague of mine and we wanted to make sure the colleague is safe.”
He thinks we lie to him at first. He describes Kimble as untrustworthy and the fastest gun he has ever seen. They know 6 men that he has killed for sure. 1 manslaughter but he can’t actually say murder.
“Killed a man out in the oil fields once. His partner was working with another merc, his partner took the rap. Some rich guy came in and got him off too.”
Rick “What rich guy?”
“Some guy from NY. I think. I hear the partner is dead now, went off to Africa and got himself massacre.”
Rick “Ah, you mean Brady on the Carlyle expedition.”
“Yes, that’s it.”
Rick “They never found the white men.”
Back to Kimble, more talk on his past: shot an old man some claimed was a sorcerer. The Ranger does not believe in the supernatural. A photographer took a pic of him leaving, though the people in the town swore he had never been there (shows us the photo). He definitely killed that old man.
Rick “Wish I could help you but we have no idea where this man is.”
He is staying 1 floor up for the next 3 weeks before he has to be back.
Rick “We have no idea where he is, truthfully.”
Rick, Fritz, Billy and Mundabi, along with Danvers, 2 porters, and Pedro plus 2 assistants of his push hard, travel light as possible. 8 miles a day on average once we are in the rough jungle. Eat while we walk, sleep under the stars.
Pedro talks incessantly, asks a lot about where we are going, is there treasure.
Rick “I’m here to find 2 friends, the rest is must ancillary.”
Takes about a week, deep in unexplored jungle.
On the 6th night, wake to a rustling to Pedro quietly going through my pack for the book.
He says he thought it was a treasure map,or an account of pirates and blood sacrifices, lost cities!!
“So, you’re only here to find your friends?”
“That’s why I came.”
A discussion ensues. A sly smile, he’s just after treasure and squabbles over percentages. Rick lets it lead no where.
We find the mountain, and the notch in it to go to in order to find the valley. The next day we spend the whole day climbing the hill. We see, behind us, a group of men trailing us in the distance. Fritz think back and recalls some clues that were markings to follow. Someone in our party is communicating with these people behind us.
Rick bluffs that we are going to climb, and we all get roped up. He hooks only the guides ropes to it and kicks Pedro off, his other 2 men following. As they dangle Rick questions them. They deny anything at first, then the last man says they were going to kill us for any loot. Pedro denies anything after kicking his guy in the head. Rick slices the rope a bit and he insists nothing is up, then oh wait they were just going to mug us for loot but not kill us. Finally, he says yes they and their friends following were going to kill us for the treasure. They plea to be let up, they’ll be loyal. Rick tells Billy to cut the rope, he does. They fall to their deaths.
The men following are a few hours away. Then we see the men following burst into a clearing firing as they retreat. A group of mad natives slaughters them, taking a few captive.
Into the valley we go!!
A rumbling and we see a Victoria Falls style waterfall. The entire valley is a paradise. A difficult trail descends.
Fritz realizes its quiet, too quiet. There are warriors around us, lots. They are so stealthy it could be 30 or 100. Like ghost warriors.
Rick calls out that we know Bisby and Hughes, we are looking for lost friends and wish to avenge Bisby. Presents to them the artifact piece.
About 20 spearmen pop up out of no where. The 2 bearers flee and are speared down. They walk lead us, but they do not tie us up nor take our weapons. Now its just the 4 of us. We come to a walled enclosure, large house on a hill in the center of town.
They push on our soldiers, and we go to our knees. Gray haired, scarred and wrinkled chief comes out of the hut and says in English “I am 5 deer, I am chief of this tribe.” Another steps out and stands beside him, sweaty overweight Randolph Bisby.
He talks to the chief in good Quicheru.
Rick can understand him, he’s trying to tell the chief we are all evil cultists who are trying to bring forth the demons that they have tried to keep at bay for so long.
Rick relates what they said. Fritz (card) tells the chief of Bisby’s death at the hands of his nephew. Rick shows the chief our copy of Bisby’s book.
Chief “Then the gods must decide. This man (to nephew) is a for sure the nephew of my great friend Bisby. You could be telling the truth, but you may be lying.”
Rick “What is the test?”
An ancient prayer that you have to recite, you repeat what they say. They take a large hot burning coal and you must hold it clutched in your hand while you do this.
Rick is willing, but Billy insists on taking the pain for him and not letting Rick’s hands be damaged.
Billy passes, just barely keeping it on the last round.
Randolph “No, you must kill them, they are evil I tell you, evil!!!”
The chief asks what we are doing here.
Rick explains all that happened in Arkam. The chief swears, “I’ve made a grave mistake”. He regrets letting the pieces free. He says we must join the other pieces, need them for the ritual to drive them back and to find the city. Says we must get the 4th piece from the temple here and join it with the other 3.
Randolph admits his uncle died of a heart attack during an argument with him over money. He is just here to find treasure. O’ Banion is going to kill him unless he can pay back his debts. We show no remorse for him.
Danvers proves to be very much an ok, but normal guy. He gets scared when non heroes would be scared et al. But, he never flees and does what needs to be done.
At the Temple Next Day
Each of the steps to the temple is 13’ tall.
Mundabi “What was walking up that?”
Chief “You don’t want to know, neither do we.” He explains that at the top is a concealed door. It’s full of traps and magic. If we can find our way to the bottom, there you will find the final piece.
Only the 4 PC’s climb to the top.
Rick inspects the bottom reliefs, one section of blocks is smaller and rough, then finds that one of the carvings nearby releases out revealing a metal lever, which he pulls. The pyramid rumbles then the 1 section of small bricks folds down into a ramp to the top.
About 20 yards to the side, in a half destroyed old hut, there is a metal shaft running into the ground with 6 places where there were now rotten handles. The shaft is lopsided with a huge gear sticking up out of the floor.
Rick “That ramp is not going back down again. Quite high tech for the ancient Mayans.”
Up ramp we go.
Rick feels temple is not older than the Mayans, regardless of what they believe, though early Mayan period.
At top, a stone door has its door lying half on its side in the. Seems securely in place, Rick climbs over it. 10’ wide and long hall like room.
Odd block on floor just inside entrance, odd high steps going up to ceiling with stone rings at the top of each. Trough runs under the block. Block is set into the floor.
Along steps, small tiny holes in the rock. Floor is tilted slightly toward trough. Holes eroded, probably by water, as is floor under holes and trough is also tilted. Its an acid that even burns the rock. The holes to far up wall, it would be like a shower of acid.
Looking under stone, see scrape marks on both sides as if it moved down then gone back up. Directly under block on both sides is a small cut in the stone, puts a small hooked tool inside, hooks a latch and pulls. Small parts of stone fall on either side forming a stop for the block to not depress. Its a huge pressure plate. We go across safely.
On either side are 2 large, high reliefs of gargoyle like creatures, looking mighty lifelike. Just prior to first pairs are broken pieces of wood like a ships wheel to pull up an anchor. Broken rusty chain with each one. Pointy snout, long tongue. Spikes or horns coming out of heads.
Rick investigates to right first one, scrapes at edge of relief and finds that it is filled in to look flush but it is separate from surrounding wall.
Trap door of stone looks too easy of a find. Lever to open it may be the trap. Examine area. At far side are, one on each side, are small stones in floor. Each lifts upward. Below is an iron rod coming out of door into the space. Above on ceiling are 4 stone passes for rope or chain to pass, back to the pulley system.
Rick and Fritz put our block and tackle on the ceiling. We get 2 people per rope and with a pop it is forced open until its upright. We tie it off to the leftover broken wheel machinery. A stone spiral staircase goes down, wrapping around a pillar. As we get further down, we lose sight of the outside walls. The pyramid is hollow.
Partway down find a skeleton, standing, missing head, leaning against the center. Old clothes show it is a native. Bared metal spike is caught on his ribs pinning it to wall. When Rick touches it it snaps back into the wall and it falls off. Sounds like it falls on more bones. Toss torch town, and there are more bodies.
Looking closer on center are tine holes all the way down. They start only about 2 or 3 steps from where skeleton was. Goes around about 3/4 of way around and stop.
Checking, there are more holes lower down under others. Rick assumes a step at the bottom of the line of holes sets it off,so as to catch multiple people. He sends all up before the first holes, and he jumps the last step with holes. Nothing happens so it is the last step with holes. Everyone else follows suit.
Floor ends pointing south. At bottom is huge room. An archway to the 4 sides each into a chamber. Floor is flagstone for 10’ out around steps where there is a band of white stone.
The room is a huge equilateral cross. 6" x3 "diamond shaped depression outside of each alcove/room. Outside white ring the floor is a huge mosaic; scenes of Quicheru myth, as are the walls. At each of 4 corners is a large stone urn.
We to straight ahead, to south room:
checking first diamond depression. Archway is about 1/3 of opening. Blue and green painted walls of aquatic natural scenes and rainclouds. Floor mosaic suggest grasses and water plants, a fresh slight breeze blows from it. Small pond on far side from entrance with fountain, quetzl bird carvings arch above, diamond shaped plaque in the middle of arch where they meet.
Rick recalls from Brisby’s book on the tribe that south is associated with 4, blue, green, turtles, birds, symbolically propitious. Good luck room.
room arch is ochre colored stone, leaping dear on panels, Nantzucc, Quicharu god of moon, on ceiling carrying spear with crescent blade in right and magical torch in left. Black all around him. Center of far wall is a table like ledge with brazers that burst alight as soon as we peer in. Between them a diamond shaped plaque.
West is associated with 6, red, moon, deer and rabbit.
Light color stone, arch of door carved with 2 lizards, star motifs, on center of north wall are 2 foxes flanking stone box with an obsidian dagger atop it.
Associated with 8, black, evening star, storms and trickster animals like fox and lizards. Unluckiness.
Arch made of lighter color than rest, 11 panels of gods, demons and heroes of myth; rising sun in pure gold leaf; walls aligned by jaguars in various poses. Far wall are 2 stone urns about 4’ tall. Propped across them is as stone slab with 2 beatles atop holding between them a stone slab.
Associated with 11; yellow, orange, ochre, sun, and jaguar and beetle.
Enter east first.Straight across to urns. The slag is offcenter, overhanging to right. Urns sealed. Atop slab the beatles hold is a stone diamond.
Stone is made of clay once scraped.
So, Rick figures the weight shifts and clay pots break releasing death. Rick has jaguars brought over to see if they can be naturally used to support but it does not seem like it. Fritz notices that the 2 stalking jaguars, low to the ground, on top of it are 4 indentations in its back. Under feet are oval protrusions.
The one on other side is identical.
Rick fits one atop the other. Now if you slide that under pedestal it is exactly right height to old it up!! Rick grabs the diamond safely.
2nd, south room of luck. To fountain. Big enough one would have to walk in to get to plaque with diamond atop it. Water a little discolored.
Search around pool finds nothing.
Rick gets in, almost to knees is the water. Plaque is about 8’ up. Searching bird statues yields nothing. Rick thinks the luck room may be truly easy, with no trick.
Rick orders a rope tossed and he ties it around himself then starts to climb the birds. A click, birds tilt downward and plaque is now at my level like a gift. Rick takes diamond and counterweight lifts birds back up. Rick gets out of pool.
Now west room. Walk up and take diamond, scythes are released with a click all about the room!!
First round, Mundabi hit 17 and pushed into room 5’, Billy dodges, Rick hops between brazier.
Billy “What do you want of me, sahib?”
Rick “Just get out. Mundabi, come to me.” Rick is watching timing of swings.
Billy starts making way out, moves 2. Mundabi watches for a round, dodging, Rick keeps watching timing.
Billy stops, dodges waiting for opening and is hit 15 but bumped toward door. Mundabi makes for Rick and reaches safety. Rick tells Mundabi to use slag as shield and skirt wall out.
Billy dodges waiting for opening; Rick now thinks he has timing and charges, takes 5 checks, rushing past Billy and safely gets out in a mad dash! “Billy follow behind me!”; Mundabi starts to slowly make his way out.
Billy uses some acrobatics to make it the rest of the way out behind Rick, and rolls out into a standing position outside the door.
Once Mundabi is out, we move on.
Check fox statues first. They look outward. Dagger is part of the top to obsidian box. Box is certainly trapped, indented into ledge it sits on by about half inch so its definitely trapped.
No recourse, so Rick sends everyone out. He lifts lid and ‘click’. A huge slab stars to block the doorway forever. Rick grabs diamond and (card) rushes out the door in the nick of time, sand poring from the roof to fill the room.
All the rooms had the diamond for their motif. We each put one in going south,east,west,north.
Spiral stairs opens now, going deeper down, into the earth. Spiral itself actually lowers about 20’ into the hold, leaving 20’ between top stair and temple top now. The 4 urns in the room are empty, so down we go.
We hear a cackle from above! From the temple top. We continue.
Ends in a wide flagstone corridor going west into an archway chamber of abstract design.
Room is undecorated. 2’ tall 6×4 rectangular dais in center. On a 4’ all plynth stone in the center of the it sits the second piece of the disk! We go right in. Rick to dais, Billy behind him. Fritz just inside the door to the right. Mundabi flanks left into room halfway tween door and dais.
Inspecting dais closely, there is a 1/4" gap tween floor and it. Rick gets up on dais, nothing happens. He assumes a pressure trap. Rick pulls out a bag of dirt he gathered from above and compares the weight to piece we have. Takes some dirt out and makes the switch.
The switch was not smooth enough. There is a grinding and cracking. We all notice the room is sinking now around the dais. We react quickly. Fritz gets out easily, Billy is fast enough he make sit. Mundabi gets right to entrance. Rick is on his way with disc.
Fritz and Billy move a block of loose stone to the entrance in case we need more time. While Mundabi climbs out. Billy Fish puts an old urn on the other side but it just busts.
The stone breaks and cracks slowly giving us an extra round, negating any rolls. Rick gets out just before the stone breaks apart.
We go back up, take the diamonds out and staircase goes back up! Rick keeps diamonds.
Billy leads the way now, after the cackling, followed by Mundabi, Fritz, Rick.
As we are reaching the top we see the face of one of the creatures from the relief. It leaps down, flying in the open dark space. We can’t see it.
Mundabi readies spear, Fritz brings his rifle to the ready, Rick draws Revolver and Khopesh.
A claw comes around the pillar and strikes at Billy. A second flies around the corner to grab Billy but Fritz fires critical DEAD instantly falling below.
The other 2 must be here somewhere.
Billy hits the one on stair ahead 13/13.
2 others fly out of the dark for Fritz and Mundabi. Fritz fires readied shot 18, Mundabi has spear ready and impales 34 DEAD. Fritz is hit claws 8/14. It gets a free grapple but Fritz resists. Billy is missed/11.
Billy hits 7/miss; Mundabi attacks one on Fritz and hits 16; Fritz hits 18 DEAD. Its AoO misses.
Billy is missed/5.
Billy hits 15/8 DEAD.
We get out safely from there. The Quecheru think we’re great heroes now.
They want to feast for 3 days. Rick politely explains the dangerous situation. SInce they’re superstitious, he fully tells them of the evil that may be coming, that we have to leave asap. Additionally he pleads a case for the assistance of warriors to assist us.
They agree if we return to feast, should we live, after we stop the evil.
He is willing to send a 3rd level leader Picachu, 2 × 2nd level champions and 25 × 1st levels!!!
Rick “Far more than I expected, you are a wise and generous chief and I am happy to call you friend.”
We make it to the river and our camp uneventfully. Juan Pena is there, and 4 bodies stretched out on the ground dead, natives.
Juan “You can expect trouble.” While he was checking on Elias’ some natives were sneaking around and Sills and his mugs blew them away. Rick can see they are not Quecheru.
Juan assumes they were up to no good most likely, but shouldn’t have killed them.
Juan found Elias camp. EVidence of struggles but no evidence of death. Obvious trail leading into jungle. It went north, up the river. That’s toward Candita’s camp.
Move our whole camp to Elias camp. On way, Juan picks up a scent of hemp smoke.
Rick “Is that popular here?”
“Only among foreigners.”
Its evening by now.
Rick sends Juan, Mundabi, Billy and Fritz to follow the scent. A small clearing of crushed brush. Fritz checks it out, 3 people stood here, they could see our approach so they were probably watching us. Find empty bottle of cheap scotch too. Juan says that, by the smell, they were surely not natives of Belize, but Gringos.
We follow, it leads to the Elias camp,. bringing the rest of the caravan with us. We are cautious, hear wood chimes nearby then an atonal flute being played, tribal style music. Its low and drifting in from everywhere it seems. Suddenly, an intense red glow bursts to light across the camp, appears to be coming from the ground.
There, a smell of sulfur, and a man like creature with a beaked, birdlike head rises holding a skull which then bursts into flame!!
“Here’s the skull of a tresspaser, I am Apush!!! You will leave all of your food and goods here” or he will eat us all and our children yada yada. Orders us to leave all of our food here. The music ceases suddenly. We hesitate and it orders us to “run you fools” says a name like las demonios that he will call from below but his words are slurred.
2 demons then cove toward us from the jungle, skeletal paint motif yelling “You will die, you will die”.
Flash of light next to us and an explosion, acrid smoke all around, then again on the other side. A rocket shoots across the sky. Mundabi charges the creature at the flash.
The bearers run off. Horatio takes a quick picture and it blinks, they yells “flea for your live!”
One of the demons at our flanks disappears, then we hear a yell and “Oh &%$@”.
The bird head of the the creature is hurled at Mundabi as he runs at it, knocking Mundabi to the ground. It turns and runs into the jungle. It leave glowing lights behind as it runs, each exploding into smoke.
The other flank demon turns to run but it hits a tree KO’d. Billy rushes to find the ‘oh &%$# guy’, Fritz shoots the witch doctor who through the bird hed at Mundabi with his carbine right in the thigh.
They are a white man, an arab and a mexican. We capture them all. They were wearing masks that looked like demons.
We find Chinese smoke bombs in their equipment, the flute, chimes etc….
They say their orders from Apush were to scare everyone away, aka Esteban Santos. They’ve been here 3 weeks. They were just about to leave for their main camp up the river. Esteban’s camp is about 10 miles north from Candita’s camp.
Rick “When is Santos going to arrive?”
“He may be back already, he had to go to town as we ran out of scotch. He moves through the jungle like a ghost.”
We tell them we know of him, and would like to meet him and potentially join forces. They all just want treasure. They say their camp is about a day west, deeper in.
The glow was 2 electric lanterns (enough power left (for 4hrs/6 hrs respectively) surrounded by red glass. We take them. Sulfur smell was a type of smoke bomb. Flaming skull was real skull soaked in Kerosene.
They have 6 smoke bombs that we take.
At Santos’ camp. we can see the remains of a pyramid about a mile in the distance and can make out an armed guard atop it.
Esteban stops us as we appoach camp. Dark cowboy hat pulled low, poncho, little cigar. Jackson is here! Santos claims he just wants the treasure.
Rick and Billy are led to the pyramid, inside, down stone corridors to a room with a newly added gate door of iron. 2 men stand outside, armed. He tells Rick to go inside but Rick calls to Jackson instead. Looks like him and he calls for Rick to enter.
Santos says Jackson was going to be slaughtered by Santos got there first, scared off the natives. Santos knows Jackson things, thinks Jackson needs to get to the temple with the clue to lead us to Bendol Dolum, lost city with the treasure.
Rick gets him to take he and Jackson to Santos office in the pyramid. Crates of supplies, guns, ammo, fireworks, liquor. He offers a drink, Rick accepts.
We talk, he wants to kill Candita’s group and get the 2 pieces. Rick says he has the other 2.
He says there were 2 camps, now both in same place: 2 professors and south americans (Candita).
Why are remainder of Prof’s camps with them? He does not know.
He refuses to let us join. He leaves at nightfall, but we are not under guard.
Billy is inside with Rick, who is exploring temple for anything missed. Jackson is w/ Rick. The rest are outside with our stuff.
Santos thinks Cadita and LaCloche only have 1 piece. We heard they have 2 and Jackson says the same.
A shot rings out outside, shattering Fritz’s mirror as he is trimming his beard. 40 men with rifles enter the camp. A woman comes up, under a flag of truce.
“Tell your leaders I want to parlay with them.”
He sends Mundabi into the temple to get Rick.
They set up a small camp outside of our, where only the leaders of each expedition are to be.
They bring out a sheepish looking Esteban, tied up.
It’s him, Candita and Rick, LaCloche and Elias.
Candita “We all want the same thing, the treasure. I would gladly kill all of you to get it for myself. Turns there may be more to this than we thought.”
Rick “You are right.”
She says they have found several trails leading to where the ‘lost’ temple should be. She sent patrols, they did not return. They found their bodies dismembered in the jungle.
She has 25 men.
Esteban has 25. Says we make a pact to work together until treasure is found and taken.
Rick “That’s asking for trouble.”
Rick to Candita, asks her what she meant by something other than what she thought.
She thinks there is a cult, not a primitive one, with guns. She found bullet holes in some of her men who followed the trails.
She is her to save her plantation, at least $50,000.
Rick “That’s a fortune.”
Esteban and LaCloche say we’ll look at splittin it when we get there.
Rick is apprehensive about breaking up this meeting w/o a clear dividing of the treasure.
They agree to Rick’s terms, since he has half:
Equal distribution of treasure cost
Rick has first dibs on anything with writing upon it
They must assist him on rescuing captives if they and the treasure are exclusive
Rick then asks if any of them can actually put the puzzle together, read the Mayan.
They say now, but Candita thinks she could possibly to it.
So, Ricks wants his choice of the treasure in general an absolutely no defacing of anything ancient unless he says so.
Rick sends one of our natives downriver on a makeshift raft with a note from him to the airship Captain, in case he is now in Belize and repairs. With direction to temple from coordinates of Esteban’s camp Rick gets using his instruments and the stars.
We spend the night examining the disc: Rick, Juan, and Candita.
It takes linguistics, archaeology, and geography. All success, it will take 2 days.
After returning to tents, Rick gets an invite to Candita’s tent where he spends the night. She tells him she had captured Williamson and Morgan, but they they were rescued by several other men she did not know about. She has not seen them since.
Rick thinks it may not have been a true rescue, but men from here to kidnap them for themselves. There is a teek lockbox from which she pulls out a bottle of scotch, but Rick can not see what else is there. Also a wrack of 3 rifles. A winchester, scoped rifle, and shotgun.
Lots of rugged terrain. It will take about 2 days.
We make Fritz, Esteban, Juan, and Rick part time, our scouting group. Rick checks out Estaban’s men and knows the foreman from last time he was here working with Juan!! The foreman thinks 13 would follow him if need be, on Rick’s side, if things go south.
On 2nd day, Fritz hears men nearby trying to be quiet. He goes to check and sees a group of 3 men, but they look and feel……wrong. Fritz shivers just looking at them. They approach as we hunker down. They are dressed like peasants, w/ bandoleers and an ugly machete and an old 1 shot rifle each.
The lead man stops and sniffs, glaring toward out position, he turns and grunts something to the others, and continues on his way crossing our path.ahead.
Fritz lets them go and we all continue.
We reach a cliff. Below, and entire base. Large pyramid w/ ruins around. Lots of tents in front of it. Fritz through binos sees a couple of guards atop the pyramid w/ rifles.
In the camp are central american peasants and natives, both. A cage in the center houses a girl. Fritz calls Rick up, who ID’s her as the daughter. She’s a filthy mess! Still in tattered explorers clothes.
Fritz estimates 30 to 40.
Jackson is called up. He assumes its the death cult. A woman dressed in shimmering robes of gold appears.
We are couple hours until nightfall.
Just before nightfall, one of the beastmen races to camp. The priestess is called and meets him.
He howls after a talk, about 40 of them rush out of the pyramid and race into the jungle but not towards us.
Hmm. Who else are they after? Mundabi heds to the rear to tell the Quecheru to close in and be aware.
Juan is sent to inform the main camp to come up to about half a mile from the cliff.
W/ our main camp,led by Candita, Billy is scouting and sees a trail near our path; but they are gone. Left very recently, perhaps because of our approach.
When Juan hears the noise from the camp, he hears noise all around. He investigates the closest noise and a breastman bursts out at him with a machete like blade like a saw.
HE whips it around the beastman’s neck 3, but it breaks out as 2 more attack. 1 hits 8.
Juan pulls revolver and hits that one 5.
At the camp, they hear the shot ahead.
Mundabi is out with the Quecheru and sees the flash about 50’ away. He heds top the flash with 2 Quecheru, sends to others to hit the camp attackers in the rear.
Billy organizes the camp defense. Candita orders the fires put out.
A volley of shots at LaCloche’s men for 22 hits! 5 men drop.
Mundabi and 2 are intercepted by 3. Takes several rounds and they are dead, Mundabi finishing all 3.
Pena still fighting, shoots same 8. They hit twice 8/4. He then trips w/ whip and misses shot. They both miss as 3rd stands. He hits again 11. 2 hit 6/4.
Mundabi arrives, kills the shot up one. 1 of his Q hits w/ a throw. They turn and miss Q’s. They brawl 9 and 5. A big one enters from the jungle, obviously challenging Mundabi in a gutteral language. Tries to intimidate. He’s about 8’ tall, w/ larger saw toothe machete. The teeth cross over.
He rushes and cuts Mundabi, who returns with hard 2 strikes (card) 2nd for 16 DOWN and bleeding out.
The last 2 attack our Q’s 5/miss. Pena shoots one 10, Q’s hit 10/21 crit DEAD.
3 other beastmen appear now, bigger than others except Mundabi’s dead one. One attacks Mundabi 8.
Other 2 hit Juan 5, last on a Q 8 KO’d, one left hits too 7.
Juan shoots old one 10, our Q kills him. Mundabi hits 16. He hits Mudabi.
They miss our Q. Pena is hit 10/crit. DOWN. Mundabi hits 10, Q hits 6.
Pena yells “RUN!!!” as he self stabalizes and passes out.
Mundabi and last Q run for the camp. The first Q dropped self stabalizes at -9.
They are right behind, killing the Q on the way. Munabi rushes into the camp with them on his heels.
Billy meets him and attacks the 3 beastmen, killing the first. Mundabi throws javelin 9. Th 2 attack Billy, hitting multiple times.
Billy hits DEAD.
Mundabi hits javelin 7. Billy is hits twice for 24 total. It attack Billy misses. Billy finishes him off.
Back at LaCloche’s men, they volley back, killing 3. 27 left charge out and cut LaCloche men to pieces as they try to back and fire, back and fire etc. They drop 3 in total.
The Quecheru now hit them from behind with spear throws while they are finishing off LaCloche’s as Santos’ men turn and fire a volley from their front across the middle of our men. Lots of wounded, 3 dead.
They are ready to shoot back now.
Our Q wait.
Candita’s men now fire on their flank. She loses 4 DEAD.
Santos’ men at their rear, lose 5 DEAD.
10 now left standing, they tend to be the tougher ones however.
Another volley back and forth.
Candita loses 2 more, Santos 3. We kill all but 1, whom the Q’s cut to ribbons.
We stay alert, but no second wave comes. All dead.
Pena gets us moving after we patch up the wounded.
At pyramid, torches lit all night, dozens still walk around.
See a native kneel in front of priestess at temple, suddenly camp looks like an ant hill someone kicked.
Civilized enemy, about 22, get rifles, get onto ruins and getting into positions digging in.
The natives, about 18, drag the woman into the hills behind, into a cave. Just after, Billy gets to the cliff saying rest of caravan is here.
The runner must have been with the beastmen.
Rick sends Billy and Fritz around the left of the temple complex, to find the best approach to cave and clear any guards.
We will mount a main assault on the pyramid to draw their attention while the hero force goes after the girl. That will be the 4 PC’s, 2 champ Q plus 10 Q, Elias, Sils and 2 mugs.
Billy and Fritz slay the 2 guards silently.
Juan is awake this morning, he will lead our 9 men from the rear with 1 wound point left during the main attack.
LaCloche insists on joining us too, as he has no more men to lead. We get around back, and enter the cave as the assault on the pyramid is in full swing.
It forks 30’ in, we see drag marks in the dirt to the left then feint scream. We move fast. A gust from below brings a sour smell to our nostrils. We pass carvings of a bats and bat god. At another fork, Rick smells the 2 paths, it’s from the right. He tells Billy and Fritz to check the path. That’s to the right, but its something heavy like a full sack.
We split: to water is Rick, Billy, half the Q, Elias and LaCloche. Leads to a large underground pool. Half eaten human carcasses in the water. As we check, one bobs over revealing the remains of Jonothan Hughes. HIs bottom half has been bitten off.
Down the shore, we suddenly hear chanting about 50 meters. Man stands chanting, bag next to him. 2 others put up poles with candles atop an they lit them.
Other torches are lit, but the candles give off anti light globes of darkness.
The 2 men aim rifles at us. Something is in the sack, but not moving.
Nothing to do but charge. They fire but miss.
At 30’ Rick fires rifle 14 at a rifleman. He hits Rick 10, Jackson hits 14 pistol DEAD.
Billy reaches the other as he fires, AoO hits 12. The shot misses wildly, and Billy 10 DEAD.
Rick reaches the priest, who turns with a grin on his face and says in Mayan “Now you die”. HIs hands raised, the water bubbles. Halfway down the beach, a huge albino crocodile leaps from the water attacking a Q behind us.
It hits 22, lifting him up in the maw.
SIls shot misses the priest. Billy cuts him down.
The sack is full of rocks, skulls, fetishes, and a gold croc about 2’ long.
All the Q throwing spears miss. LaCloche pulls out 2 pistols. With the first he fires at the croc in a bit of a panic with 2 shots hitting once 7.
Rick “Everybody out of here, run.”
It bites the Q in half, slaps the other with its tail but misses.
2 Q hit 6/6, champ hits 8.
Rick fires rifle crit 25. Jackson hits 10 w/ pistol.
La Cloche fires 2 more, hits once 6.
Billy rushes it, hitting 8/9.
He bites another Q, crit 42 DEAD. Slaps another w/ tail takes him to neg 6.
Billy hits crit (card) 19, Rick fires crit 18. Q champ hits 5 DEAD.
We leave wounded Q here for now.
We run to catch up to Fritz, fast.
Fritz, Mundabi, SIlls and mugs, half Q, come to a large cavern, crystals hanging above. 4 tunnels split off. In the center, a sarcophagus carved out of the floor itself. Inside, a gold statue. As they stand there for a minute, and the mugs are about to investigate the gold, Rick and company arrive at the entryway. Sils can’t open the crystal sarcophagus. He raises his shotgun to smash it
Rick “STOP!! Sils, STOP!”"
“Should I blast it open?”
“No, don’t anything it open.”
Smell comes from all 3 other paths. Noise, chanting, from only one from east and one from west. Fritz takes east, Rick west.
West, another fork, we take south though hear rustling from the other, sounds like bats.
It comes to an opening of a large room. Far across is an altar. Atop is Amanda Hughes tied to it. Standing above her is the priestess in the gold.
Fritz comes to an opening, West North corner, sees same thing. We can not see one another though.
There are about 30 natives in the room. Smell of burning palossantos wood and blood. The altar is made of solid gold. About 30’ from both doors.
Billy charges into the room as Fritz’s shot rings out at priestess 26 DEAD.
Sils men fire shotguns into the crowd 10/10; Sils pistol hits 12. All DEAD, they’re mooks.
Billy kills 1. Rick rushes through to the altar. 6 kills by Q and 1 by Mundabi.
They all throw javelins at mug 2!! 7 hit him for 39 total.
Rick covers the naked Amanda with his jacket and cuts her free “Rick, oh thank God”.
Mugs kill 1, Sils 1, Q’s kill 6, Fritz 1, Billy 2, LaCloche kills 1, Mundabi kills 1.
The last 7 all pulls spears and charge Rick, who covers the girl with a priest’s robe, hitting twice for 8 total. We cut them to pieces. Amanda flings herself arms around Rick with her little strength.
We hears squealing of bats, hundreds come flying into the chamber. We vaguely see something large among them, then 3 huge somethings…..huge bats. Rick and Fritz are the first to notice them within the swarm. Some of us reload. Rick gets Amanda on ground.
Room is about 100’ high on average. The huge bats fly right over Rick. We hear high pitched squeeks. The regular bats are disappearing rapidly, flying out through the other passageway.
First bat, #5, misses grapple on Rick, who is crouched above the girl huddled against the corner of the altar/floor. Sils hits it 9, mugs miss/14. Rick hits 13/9 to his attacker. Billy rushes the altar and leaps atop the stairs w/ the Gurkha battle creed, hits 8, it hits the ground but not dead. Elias misses the one on the mugs, LaCloche shoots same 12. Bat 3 goes for a Champ Q but he resists grapple. Fritz fires at that one, the Sharps .50 goes off with a boom for 52!! DEAD. Bat 2 swoops upon 2 Q’s who 5/miss. It hits one
Mundabi readies to spring on next bat in his area. Last one, Bat 1, swoops down on mugs but misses. Mundabi charges it 12.
Bat 5 at altar, on ground, attacks Billy but misses. 1 mug hits first 17, second hits latest 17.
Billy misses and steps, Rick crits (card) 22.
Elias fumbles, gun badly jammed, LaCloche at same w/ rifle 14. Fritz misses!!
Bat 2 swoops on Q’s, its hit for 5 but it crits a Q 1. Mundabi charges it as it swoops in but misses. Sils hits 12, both mugs miss. Bat 4 goes for alter, but Billy is ready miss/miss. Rick fires. Rick’s shot misses. It tries to ignore Billy but his AoO misses. It misses Rick too.
Elias is clearing gun, LaCloche hits mug Bat DEAD.
Fritz “Billy, head down” fires at alter Bat 42 DEAD.
Bat 2, last one, swoops on Q’s. One hits it 7, it misses. Mundabi misses it. As it flies up then turns, Fritz fires as Sils and mugs all miss, missing. Mundabi hits it for 13 as it swoop in, going for a Q but misses. The Q misses. Fritz fires again at it 32, mug crit 23 DEAD as Sils misses.
Rick makes sure Amanda is ok, officially. The young woman is obviously mentally damaged but not unrecoverable, though very emotionally broken right now. She keeps saying “The monsters, the monsters.” Rick takes a minute to get her calmed down with soothing words and arms.
Rick “What monsters, where?”
“In the cavern below. The ritual was only part. They’re bringing monsters…”
Rick “From where?”
“Elsewhere. To destroy all of Central America. They worship the black goat.”
Rick “What about a Bat god?”
“I don’t think so. The priests, though, where cloaks like bat wings so its possible.”
Rick “How do we get down there, a secret way?”
“A door, behind this altar.”
RIck “WHere did thy keep you?”
“Below. The caverns are extensive. They were speaking in Spanish. They didn’t know I know the language. There is another temple.”
The disc led us here. There may be clues to the temple in here but you may still need the disc. She thinks the lost city we seek may be found underneath, through the tunnels. They were sending supplies and things. They said “Should we send them overland or through the caverns?” There is a woman running this complex who said "It’s faster to go through the tunnels.
So our lost city can be gotten to by the caves as well as overland.
Behind the altar is a stone chest with a lock on it.
Amanda was also in the pyramid.
Rick “SImple complex within it?”
Her “Yes, very simple set up.”
Rick looks at lock on the stone chest, very difficult. His trap sense goes off. At least one trap, maybe as many as 3.
We rush for the outside battle. We hear sporadic shooting as we exit, people all over the pyramid area of ruins behind cover.
We wait for the next round of fire, and charge into the ruins as reloading is happening.
Fritz and LaCloche lay down fire as we charge, Amanda remaining w/ Fritz.
A man above sees us coming and yells down below. 3 men in the rear ruins we are rushing to raise to fire at us.
LaCloche and Fritz both hit one of them as the stand in full view to shoot our chargers. Fritz kills his.
The remaining 2 fire, one on Elias 9, the other fires twice at leader Q 10/miss.
One is attacked by 3 Q’s, leader hits 10 other hit 6/7. 1 Q misses the other while Billy hits 12, Mundabi hits him DEAD.
Fritz and LaCloche ready, scan, for others moving around us.
Man up top barks for orders to others we don’t see yet.
Billy attacks last with us 5/7.
1 man jumps out from each flank after us. Fritz hits one 20; Rick hits him revolver 14.
They close in, Rick’s attacks him and hits w/ machete 7. Other side hits a Q1 7. Q1&2 miss him; Julio leaps with a mid air flip from above into the ruins landing deftly, drops rifle. Fritz fires, he’s difficult to pick up visually, very fast or arcane aided. He lands among 2 Q’s hits w/ open hand 7, slashes on his body as if from sharp fingernails.
2 Q’s finish last original shooter. Jackson misses Julio.
A new cultist appears, LaCloche hits him 16.
One mug hits him 11. He hits Q w/ Rick 3.
New cultist appears, charges Billy 4. Mundabi misses him.
Rick shoots 8 DEAD; other flanker miss/miss; they miss him.
Julio now surrouned by Q’s, looks at one and reaches a clenching fist but his casting defensively fails. 5 and ldr around him 7/7/3/5 and 7.
Elias goes for a brawl on Rick’s Q but misses, he swings at Elias and hits w/ machete. Fritz yells the rest are disappearing into the pyramid!! Some are badly wounded.
Juan pegs one for 13; Esteban kills one; Candita hits one 9; Brit ldr kills one; brit hits one 14; another wounded as well by 1 candita and 1 santos man.
About a dozen got away, Fritz will say about 5 are badly wounded.
One of the leader guys is seen by Fritz, who fires at him DEAD.
Sils yells for the 2 flank Q to move it!
Billy attack’s Rick’s side cultist on the Q 13; Rick hits him 7 machete; cultist on flank Q’s hits twice leaving him with 1 would pt. he stumbles out, the other rushes away. Sils shoots him 5, mugs miss/12.
Lrd Q hits Julio 10, other Q’s hit once 3; Julio hits a Q 10/6, pulls him in close and bites 6. Elias hits flanker 13 w/ pistol; Q misses Rick; Sils hits flanker 14, mug crits 26 DEAD.
Mundabi hits Julio 16.
Rick hits 9 w/ machete; Billy kills him.
Julio leaps away, runs up the pyramid. One AoO hits 5 from Q’s, Mundabi’s hits 17. Rifles blast away as he rushes up.
Fritz’s bullet goes right through him, as do all others that hit him!! No impact at all!! They heal as fast as the ballistic wounds are made.
Everything settles down outside.
Amanda rushes back to Rick’s side as soon as Fritz leads her to the pyramid, where she feels safe. She clings to him for the remainder of our stay here.
Too dangerous to go charging into pyramid, they’ll be waiting for us. We’ll check secret door behind altar for the way in. The main force will stay here, securing the ruin, so they think we are all still up here.
Juan says if we go into altar secret door, we should take provisions for a trip to the city in case we don’t come out here.
Rick asks Amanda if she has ever been taken from pyramid to caves that come out of altar or vice versa.
“Yes.” Says there’s a thing down there. Looks kind of like, to her recollection, a crab with wings and lots of eyes. It terrified her more deeply than anything else that happened here as if she were going to be driven mad at the sight and sound of it. Maria, the leader here, and Julio took her through a maze of tunnels half an hour long to a weird buzzing. it flew out of the tunnel in front of them. It wore equipment like an intelligent being. It communicated w/ Maria in Spanish via a box it manipulated with 4 of its appendages. The buzzing came from it, in Spanish. A translation device of some sort. Sounded artificial. It spoke to Julio too, looked at him and buzzed and the veins stuck out in Julio’s head writhing. he would respond in Spanish with “Yes Lord, it shall be done.”
She sketches a picture of it. Definitely not from Earth.
She describes it as not even animal like.
Rick “Looks plant based perhaps, or maybe even fungus. Impossible as that may sound.”
Most think she’s been so traumatized she is talking crazy.
Each factions is certainly down in manpower by this point of the expedition.After Doctor initial doctor checks:
out of original 30 men: 4 lt’s and 1 cpt: 10 are dead, 1 is at -1, 1 w/ 2 fatigue left, and 1 w/ 2 wound.
25 locals: 8 are dead (4 of those loyal to Rick), plus men at -3; -6 (a Rick loyal); -4; -9; 3 wound dam; and one totally out of fatigue but his wound pt heals. The main Rick Loyal is ok.
25 × 1st: 3 dead, men at -5; -4; -3; 1 totally out of fat. but his 2 wnd are healed; 2 wnd dmg. Both champions and the warband leader are ok.
1 mug has only 2 wnd pt left.
Juan is still damaged from day before, only 1 wound pt. left.
We set up permanent camp; the doctor sees to the wounded for the rest of the day; Horatio starts the picture taking in earnest.
Rick gathers all the leaders and goes to town verbally:
“You all see where we are now that danger has struck? What state you are all in compared to my men? You all had the gall to try to play hardball, imprison my colleague Jackson Elias, a man who trusted you as a friend (points to Esteban Santos)? How dare you.
Look around you. You all had this coming. If you want to survive, this expedition is mine from here on out or you leave. You have about a dozen men left, 8 of which are loyal to me. I am taking charge of them immediately. The other 4 or 5 will help your wound ed. Esteban, I suspect you capabilities in a fight and greatly respect them, but you didn’t play this wisely at the outset. If you are unable to handle this, I invite you to go through Fritz, Billy and Mundabi to get to me. You have your chance now to draw, or help us. Make your choice….”
“Fine, then keep the guns holstered from now on unless you’re fighting for me. I got the disc pieces together, I deciphered them, I read the clues, I will find out where we are going. That’s a whole lot of British in this outfit getting things done. Many of you can attest to the man Julio and his unnatural powers. Something gravely strange is happening here. For that reason, our separate outfits must now be one cohesive expedition, under me and me alone. Disagreements?”
Fritz takes Mundabi, Esteban, Q champ, Q ldr, Sils and Mug. Takes a left at a Y intersection SW, then cuts south ending at a dead end stone wall with a large lever upon it.
Sils tells his mug to pull the lever and the wall opens to stairs going upward from a room. Also a hall to the south and a hall north.
Steps end to landing to more steps. 4 men are at the landing looking upward, ready to shoot. We sneak up on them and Mundabi kills his then springs at the other after Fritz only damages his and kills again. A shot misses Fritz. The last pulls 2 pistols and fires 2 shots at each of us, hitting Mundabi 7/miss and Fritz 4/9.
Fritz steps back, draws a rifle 22. Mundabi attacks the other 20. He tries to club Mundabi with the rifle but misses. The other shoots at Fritz miss/miss/miss/10. Fritz fires back 7. Mundabi hits 12 DEAD. The last fires at Fritz miss/9/9/7. Fritz is hurt, he hits again 16. Mundabi charges the final enemy 21 DEAD.
Up the steps we go, 2 other fire upon us from above. It’s a firefight up and down the stairs. Sils kills one fast with his shotgun; another fires at Sils 3 times as he does so miss/miss/10. Esteban hits next 13; Fritz hits 10 then crit 40 DEAD.
To the top, we get to the pyramid apex and come outside. Rick heads in, taking the other tunnel from the room. It comes to a room with another hall to the west. Room has 10 metal cylinders in niches in the walls. A black box a couple feet or per side with a grill atop, a wire out the rear ending in a spiral plug. There is a spiral hole at the end of each cylinder. Box is made of a strange alloy and indecipherable markings.The writing begins to writhe before my eyes. The box is heavy, Mundabi can move it. There is another cable attached underneath going through a hole in the floor.
Rick inserts it into a cylinder, and we hear from the box the most agonizingly painful yell we have ever heard following a static sound. He notices that the top of the metal cylinder unscrews. Same sorts of markings are upon the cylinders but he never sees the same symbol twice; they are of varying length.
The room has odd pedestals, irregular on the top that would make them uncomfortable to sit on, about 2 feet across. Rick copies the writing down exactly.
Taking the hall out of this room goes west to another room w/ 10 more cylinder niches but no machine. There is a small hole in the floor like for the wire.
One hall north and one south.. To the north, 15 more niches w/ cylinders. Halls going all 4 directions.
West, into a small room w/ steps going up. Up we go, coming out into the temple where we hear the click of a pistol ahead.
Rick “Who is it?”
Rick “Who’s there?”
It speaks an odd language. Then Spanish “Do you not speak the secret tongue? My brothers have abandoned me here.”
Rick “Who are they?”
“The brothers of the black goat?”
“Why did they abandon you?”
“This stairway was hidden, so only one of us was left to guard it. My brothers have abandoned me?”
Rick offers for him to give up alive.
“Without the black goat there is no alive” as his gun is flung down the steps. Then we see a skull appear in the light, blood red hands with claws; face is a skeleton!! Mouth opening and closing.
It’s all paint.Hands dipped in red paint “Beware or I will put the hex on you. The hex of hocus pocus.”
Rick “If you could put a hex on me, you would have been important enough to have been taken away.” He gives up.
Rick ‘Where did your brothers go?"
They were his uncles, priests of the black goat.
Rick “What is the black goat?”
“The black goat of the woods with 1000 young.”
We question him:
They want to bring about the Old Ones so that they will rule mankind.
Rick “What Old Ones?”
“The Old Ones were, the old ones are, the old ones shall be again? Not in the spaces we know, but between them……Yogsothoth knows the gate, Yogsothoth is the gate………He knows where the old ones broke through of old…..”
They are the false gods, he starts listing Cthulhu, Cthogha, Hastur, Yig, Ithaqua, Ahort, Mordigien, Yagolonik, Glaki, Sthoga, Shadema El, Shognarfaugn
“But they all serve the great gods and that is what we worship. The god of life itself, Shub Niggerath!! For shes is not merely life, she is the urge of life, the fertility of life…….the antitheses of Azathoth.”
They want the power ruling under these beings will give them.
He says they have been worshipped forever, the one mankind should worship is Great Cthulhu because he’s here, this is his world. He’s on Earth, no one knows where. But some seek to bring him back.
They don’t worship him, they worship Shub NIggurath and her servants teach us the way. Who are they? The appointed ones.
They are protecting the lost city to keep man from finding it, things man is not meant to know. A place of power, “man should not have power to defeat the great Old Ones.”
He knows nothing of the creature Rick’s old flame spoke of seeing, but then “You speak of our masters”.The Migo, they are from everywhere. They live beneath the earth. They know all and tell us what to do and we do it.
Rick “So they want to bring these great old ones here as well?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then what were they telling you to do?”
“The time of the Old Ones is far away. We worship them but follow the instructions of the MIgo.” Pinkish, 5’ long, crustacion like with wings.
They teach them how to worship Shub Niggurath and paradise at the end of life. When any high priest dies…..he takes us to cylinders and shows us “When a high priest is about to die his brain is placed in one where he achieves nirvana.”
Rick takes him to the other room and shows him the box “What is that for?”
Occasionally the Migo need to communicate with one of them. No man has ever been present for that.
They only ever wish to speak to the newer ones kept in this room.
Oldest is 10 to 15 years old, in older rooms there are ones hundreds of years old.
He knows not where they went. Perhaps the inner sanctum in the temple.
He shows us around at this point but does not take us into the inner sanctum. There is a faint static like pulsing noise coming from down that tunnel.
The other stairways upward lead to quarters and such. It’s dark so far as we can see.
No artifacts here at all, all cult equipment and goods.
We take this wacko up top to be kept as a prisoner.
No other way in here leads to the tunnels to the city, so it must be in the sanctum, the Temple of the Moon.
Down the hall, leads to stairway down and to a platform, steps going up to either side. We take the right, leading to a large long room. Above is a round area with light coming down from above. A hole in the floor as well.
Rick “This is meant for moonlight to come straight down here at the right moment.”
The hole has a notched ridge around it, irregularly placed. It seems to be the same circumference a the disc.
The disc has the same. Rick puts the disc in correctly. When finished, it fits perfectly. Moonlight is nowhere near the hole yet. Rick says leave it there.
There is a door to the left of where we came in, and a very small pasageway beyond it at the corner backtracking.
Turns out to be a large, pill shaped room with a building in the middle. The stairs each come up to one side of the pill. The building has steps going downward where we hear noises, weird chirping and wheezes as well as voices chanting. Fritz rushes up to report.
Rick finds a room at the opposite side of the building from the steps Fritz descended. It’s a shrine. The same symbol on the cultists amulets. 1000 tiles of the exact size and shape of the black goat amulets cover the wall, identical and of fine workmanship, Many are missing, here and there. The amulets are the tiles.
Time to get downstairs quick. It’s 4 PC’s, 6x Q’s plus ldr and a champ, Sils and mug, Santos, LaCloche.
Elias is left to watch the disc. Rick expects something magical when the moon strikes it.
The chanting is ominous, and in a forbidden language.
Rick says he thinks, from words he thinks he recognizes, they are trying to call forth a dark beast of some sort, possibly to serve them.
As we go down, we hear the buzzing described of the crustaceon like creature. Rick and Fritz lead the way, croucing down. Antennae of the creature are looking right at us.
Rick “Blast it”
IT says “Bzzzz, drzzztt, come down and join us” in a buzzing disjointed voice. Fritz fires 24 and is blasted apart. We rush to the bottom to a room. large pit right under the hole with the disc in it. An altar sits further in, atop is chained a native girl, nude. Her blood is streaming down both sides of the altar from being partially flayed. The blood flows down channels to pool at the sides of the altar. Looming over her is another…thing, seemingly floating. Toadlike, in part at least, or squid is it? Or both?; constantly changing shape and appearance, bubbling and tendriled/tentacled, then not, from which came forth an otherwordly terrible piping. We see 6 cultists and 7 more of the crustaceon/fungus things. All right around the altar.
The lead chanter ceases in shock at our arrival. The morphing toad/squid then engulfs him in its…..ugh.
As it does, Rick calls up “No one but Esteban! No matter what you hear!!”
Another tentacle picks up the girl, then a third enters her privates and once deep inside, tears her apart inside out.
The Migo all rush as fast as they can for one of the walls. The cultist pull out their long knives and gather, to defend themselves from the Toad Thing!!! It must have just been called and now is out of control. The toad thing moves to the ready.
Esteban shows up ready.
A cacophony of piping begins things, from the toad/squid thing, hurting our brains and ears in the process. This is constant.
8 pseudopods it unleashes, striking people throughout the room. Rick is missed; 1 cultist hit twice 13, Esteban 8, Fritz 11/4, Mundabi is missed.
Mundabi lunges in (card +2 wpn) and hits 15. Rick shoots 14/surge miss. The bullet barely does anything. Fritz shoots 23; Billy moves in with Mundabi but its does nothing; Esteban’s shots do nothing. The cultists attacks are like toothpick.
It lashes out, each time new tendrils sprout as the old ones go away, striking all 5 cultists.
Rick hits 16, Fritz 21, Mundabi 25. Esteban and the cultists do nothing.
DR is 12!!
Again, the cultists are heavily targeted.
Esteban and Cultists do nothing again.
Rick’s hit does nothing as well, and Mundabi misses. Billy continues only readying to block any attack upon Rick, and take hits himelf. Fritz hits 21.
It lashes out again, now at Rick twice which is intercepted by Billy 11/9; Esteban is hit 9; Fritz is hit crit 19. Drops 1 cultist next; another to 11 wound pts; another 1 wound pt.
Rick misses; same as usual from Esteban and cultists; Fritz hits 22; Mundabi hits 11 and it practically melt apart.
There is a moment’s pause, as both sides look at each other, and the cultists charge.
Rick kills one with a shot. Esteban attacked 5, Fritz and Mundabi are missed. We retaliate and finish them quickly.
Upstairs “The full moon!! Jackson says its shining through!!” We look up. The amulet is glowing on this side. It is like a light source now, shining into the pool. We go to the hole, the water has glowing lines on it in the moonlight. Some go deeper than others. Its a 3D holograph. It shows the way to the city!!
We recognize the mts, this place, another temple 70 miles away, as well as the city.
A secret door, open, is where the Migo ran. Likely, it leads to the tunnel to the city. A corridor leads to steps ending at a huge cave in.
Rick inspects the cave in after he sketches the pool. He moves some of the rocks on the top. A greenish goo flows through the rocks onto the steps. He sops some up carefully, it smells pungient. It seems to roll down the cloth toward his hand, so he tosses it to the rocks. A puddle at the top step gets to the step and starts to descend fast. Another puddle starts to form. It follows us down.
It follows us and stops in the room. It begins to go toward Rick. It moves like mercury. The dust particles in the air, right above it, move with it as if it is distorting gravity. We block its path with lit lamp oil. It stops at the oil, goes left and right, starts to shake. The oil then splashes up and toward us. Another puddle is coming down the steps. Rocks tumble behind it as well. We close the secret passage and hear the rocks give way more upstairs. We make our way up fast as we can closing all doors behind us.
Rick convinces Candita to return to Belize and wait for us.
LaCloche does not want to be turned in to the authorities and wants to make a deal. Rick says we could use the help, so if he stays and helps us, he is free to go when we get to Belize. But, that is his entire relationship with this expedition. He just leaves on his own way once we are back. No artifacts, no nothing. He agrees. He’s pretty scared by the things he is seeing and hearing of what has gone on.
We have an ace in the hole now, they have no idea we are following them now.
Candita’s men will go with her as escort for anyone else still here and wounded who want to return. We will leave our position for the airship pilot to find, should he arrive.
Rick says “Get ready to leave early.”
The Q estimate a little over a week to get to the temple Bendal Dolum. Perhaps another day or 2 further to the city. They are willing to stay with us too.
Rick especially takes a moment, alone, to profusely thank the Q once back above ground. Spends one last night with Candita.
We take the disc of course.
We are on our way. 8 day journey, with some random events like jaguar and such. The temple is under ground, a complex chiseled out of the solid rock of the mountain. From a cliff we see the vast front of the temple for the first time.
No movement. No evidence of habitation from the outside.
We approach the base of the cliff. Billy readies the gear, and leads a successful climb up to a sizable ledge where he finds a well camouflaged steps leading to the entrance. The gates are large, and ajar about a foot. Rick and Fritz peer into the darkness. We walk in, 18 3’ thick gray columns on each side, carved with strange designs out of the rock stretching a hundred feet or more to the ceiling!! This place is truly cyclopean. Incredibly lifelike statues of huge 3 trunk legged creatures as well (dark young). The black goat symbol, glowing that sickly green glow, is carved into the floor.
Rick “Do not step on it.”
We continue down to the end of the long room, leading to an passage out. On each side, halfway down, are doors of a strange iron like metal. Writhing designs upon them. Rick continues into a room, as wide as the other room. It is an altar chamber, a pit in the middle of the room. Steps wrap around the outside descending, carved our of the rock. Fritz and Mundabi are certain it has been recently used. Rick stops and silences everyone for 1 full minute. From below we hear 3 things, voices, treading of feet, and the buzzing of Migo. The smell is the same fungus, moldy smell by the secret door that the Migo fled through.
Time to go down.
Rick leads the way, far far down. Not even sure how far. It ends in a great cavern full of great mushrooms taller than Mundabi. As well as some sort of large eggs like things some 2 to 3’ in diameter, circular in shape. Migo eggs we assume. Billy busts one open to indeed reveal a larval Migo. We kill them all. We see a building off in the distance. A Migo here and there flies in the distance, by the sound of it. Vile chanting in human voice comes from the building. We close in.
A man steps out of the temple, dedicated to Shub Niggurath. He “I’ve waited for you. You destroyed my followers, now you pay.”
Stepping aside comes the huge 3 legged creature from the statues above!!!
It walks toward us calmly, in no rush. It’s enjoying looking at its victims. 4 large tentacles ending in toothy mouths. Gaping orifices at the top of each leg as well. Rick looks around, sees a couple huge stalagmites around, gets us to take cover behind one of them so that it can’t use its size to trample us.
Fritz takes position more to our rear so as not to be attacked. Sils and the Mugs w/ shotguns closer than him.
Rick climbs the stalagmite on our side, gets into a comfortable nook, readying dynamite, going over forbidden lore in his head. He thinks it hates cold, but that is of no help to us. It is also easily angered. Mundabi does the same, ready for a leaping attack. Fritz starts firing. First shot misses, then 19. It speeds up. He hits again 22 then again 20 and again 17. LaCloche hits 15 and 12. Billy fumbles his first shot.
Santos does little damage in 2 rounds as well, same with 1 shot each from Sils and Mug.
It has been chanting the entire way, we now realize. Rick throws dynamite atop it which explodes for what seems no damage at all. Crap.
Mundabi leaping stabs 24.
It attacks LaCloche who dodges 2 attacks on him, but not the 3rd and 4th, doing 30 total and grappling him.
Mundabi hits 17, Sils hit for nothing, the mub grazes it.
Billy grazes with his rifle. Rick’s pistol does nothing. Fritz hits 22.
It turns on Santos an hits once out of 3. LaCloche loses 1 str.
Rick hits 13 with pistol which practically just bounces off; Mundabi hits 19; Fritz hits 28!!; Billy shoots 13. Sils and mug to some damage this time. Esteban does nothing with his machete.
Rick is hit twice 26, Mundabi 12. Lacloche loses 2 more str.
Fritz hits 23; Sils does nothing, mug a few. Mundabi hits 17.
Its DR 12 has sucked but it starts to flee. LaCloche can not get out. He falls limp in its grasp as Fritz kills it. LaCloche hits the ground. Fritz first aids him. He is at his max of neg. 12. DEAD.
We go to the temlpe. The Priest meets us, talks of our defeat of the creature proving he has been fooled. Another has been masquerading as Shub Niggurath. One Haon Dor. While he is explaining, just as he is about to tell us something not to do, his head explodes all over Rick but not after he gives Rick a medallion which he says has the a symbol of Shub on it.
Rick investigates the temple, lots of hideous nasty otherworld horror. CLoser and closer he inspects he has a vision. He is whisked through the cold of space to another planet, where he sees a green veined marble temple; fast succession of flashing images of other world beings around it. A voice in his head in another language, but he understands, says he will die there.
Sun comes up, Rick puts the disc in hole above. Shows the map to Bendal Dolum. 2 days away.
2 Days Later
See the temple, it is just like that of Rick’s vision except overgrown and ancient, not new.
We explore the outside. Lots of language rubbings to take, many inhuman reliefs.
Language is Aklo!! Rick takes rubbings of all he can. Place built by the tree like creatures and other tentacles beasts from the water raising huge blocks of stone. Non human carvers; gigantic pair of red eyes floating above the construction.
Huge over sized skull like moon hangs above the proceedings.
In another building, stone altars, nightmare beasts in a city from the quick flashes in Rick’s dream; drawing of a priest holding a shiny indistinguishable object with one hand to the eyes above.
Finally to the temple top and the face. There is an eye missing.
A Q bursts into vines all about him, then a flowering like mouth, like Jon Carpenter’s The Thing.
After a few seconds, Rick sees the statue has one eye. He takes the medallion the priest gave him and insert sit. The door opens and we get isnide, Esteban barely escaping being grappled by the vines.
Down to a well w/ handholds, 5’ in diameter. After a hundred feet or more, come to a floor. IT’s dead black as if it absorbs light from out lanterns.
Fritz waits, Rick drops a bullet down and it falls right though "Keep climbing, through it. We do, passing through the ‘floor’ is cold.
All follow. Last one is Esteban. He looks up after he goes through, and reaching up he feels it is solid!!
We get to a roof 30’ above the floor, stone cavern.
Fritz ties off a rope to the bottom rung and we descend. Blackness as far as light goes in every direction. The hole we came through is in like a cylinder from the ceiling. We split into 4 groups and move outward. Looking back from about 50’, the lamp we left at the rope is there but the rope is gone and so is the cylinder with the hole out.
NOthing around us for 400’. We all meet back in the center. In one group, we leave the full lantern there and head in one direction.
We walk and walk and walk. We stop after a few hours and eat. We start again, same direction. Another 4 or 5 hours and stop and rest. Sleep with guards.
We wake up adn everyone is asleep, including the final guard of Q champ and leader. We realize we never woke the 2nd shift. Rick and Billy, first shift, both fell asleep. We have no idea how much time has past. We dowsed all lights over night.
Rick says if you must relieve yourself, you must take a light so we see where you are.
We see, prior to lighitn any lights, a red glimmering to our right. We move for it. Mile after weary mile, the light grows brighter until we think its above us. Closer, its about 50’ above the floor. Finally we come to a curved, ever so slightly, wall. The wall goes up past the light further than the light sees. Seems like infinity. There is an archway ot our level under the hemisphere of light.
Beyond is a cave. Rick and Fritz walk right into an invisible wall. On the ground, several skeletons lie there. Human. Others we notice around now.
Nothing of use Rick can see on the wall, so he goes up to the light. The substance is as strong as steel but glows red. No other mechanism hear it. It’s just a light. No heat, does not push it. Does not turn like a dial.
Elias says the force field feels smooth, but like a smooth wall. Not energy. He gets down. So, may be a solid cave wall we can see through. Does not swivel, chisels seem to damage nothing, does not lift.
Sledge has no effect.
We block the light with clothing, all has same non effect.
Scraping it w/ medallion, of unknown incredibly hard metal, seems to damage it. Billy holds the medallion against the wall and Rick hits it w/ the sledge. It sends visible of the chips of the wall flying.
We beat a hole into it, and dynamite it. Success! We feel the air rush in, air pressure change. Passage is open!!
20 feet in it opens into a huge uneven carven haul w/ vaulted archway at the other end. Continuing on, irregular passage leads out. Widens into irregular chamber of a smokey quartz. No lights needed as the quartz glows w/ an internal light deep within. No loose pieces about, but it has been cut up.
Rick puts his foot in and steps. His foot unwillingly slides back out. He takes out medallion with it in front of him but same thing. The quartz floor is like ice. From here, no other exits are noticeable. In barefeet, he can feel it is totally frictionless. It is hard as diamond or harder, so he can’t cut it up to make it rough.
Rick takes 2 bundles of rope and a grapple, and slides all the way across to where there looks like, around a corner, the 2 walls are far enough apart for a passage. He hits head on, seeing a passage due south only 10’ away, which he can easily push off to.
Mundabi goes next misses badly, bouncing off multiple walls ending up. Sils and the Mug bounce all over as well.
Elias meets them next. Several of us have a devil of a time bouncing all over but after several minutes we all make it.
Continue on hundreds of feet. In next room, we take north not south to a Y intersection. Left we go quickly to a room that sickens us. Shrine w/ altar, statue, ceremonial dais like the temple to Shub Niggurath. We desecrate with pick and chisel then backtrack to Y and take the right. Next room is a finished room. Glowing quartz column in the middle; glyphs on the wall. Rick ID’s it as Aklo. He reads it to himself, appearing to be an incantation of some kind. One passage out, north. About 100’ opens out onto the beach of a subterranean lake. Water glows a phosphorescent blue. Obsidian pier into the water, and stone ruins of an ancient port village, 4 – 10’ high dome shaped hutches, circular doorways half way up their walls.
Back to room before Y intersection, we take south. Room has columns of strange glass like solid, reflecting the light in multicolored patterns. They take shape slowly into pics. Vision of a sinister black galley sailing on an ocean and oddly disfigured moon above it disturbs several (sanity).
Rick has a vision: some kind of complex math formula, floating in air and glowing. It then starts to change as if it is being resolved as a calculation. Suddenly the formula swirls together into a symbol. An ominous horror comes over him. I morphs into a dark, black purplish mass with tentacles writhing from it. An overwhelming sense of hopelessness and doom accompanies it.
The mass grows larger and larger, blotting out all else. In front, 4 symbols appear: fire, water, earth and air. Above them a 5th. Like a unification of the 4. All dwarfed by the mass, however. In front of those, a creature appears, horrific classic winged demon. To its side is another, but instead of a left arm has an artificial limb of metal holding a huge cannon like gun. Steam rises from it. On its other side is a succubus, more beautiful than any woman he can imagine.
All images disolve like sand or dirt, sucked into the element images. Then does the same, sucked into the black tentacled mass. That creature, as if suddenly released, springs forth from chains unseen before and encompasses Rick’s entire mind like it engulfs all of creation. Stars blink out.
He writes down all he saw, as well as he can recall it, immediately.
No where else to go, so back to the ocean. Rick explores the village, finding nothing. Eventually, Esteban sees a black galley of the vision floating toward the dock. We gather at the pier. 10 huge oars to a side. Something powerful rows. 10 crewmen on board, dressed like ancient Persia. Turbans have 2 bumps atop, knee high fancy boots, very short feet. Fancy silk garments, carry scimitars. 6 jump off, we can see only the eyes through their veils.
They speak, somehow we speak a language we do not know.
“Welcome strangers, we see you are from the other reality.” They are a trading vessel, pausing for rest. They share their food and wine. They say we are in what visitors like us call the dreamworld. We must simply awake and we will be home. THey don’t know how we can awaken since we had no idea how we got here. They find it strange that our worldly equipment did not change into primitive version. Somehow we traveled here as our physical selves.
They offer to take us to their next destination. We detail our travel here, but he still has not help though the cave with the incantation sounds like the cave of prophesy. He offers to join us to go back to the cave. Rick says the incantation, and the pillar glows stronger. He sees another vision: Earth in space, moon circling. Beside it a flat world, different continents. Above it a moon as well, same oddly shaped moon from previous vision, but dark black. Then a black teardrop leaves that moon and sails through the sky to the real earth, landing in Central America to a black dot. The black then spreads until the entire Earth is black. Vision ends.
Describing the flat world, he confirms RIck’s assumption that it is the dreamworld.
Back to the beach.
All of our guys are sleeping. Cpt pulls out his sword. 2 of his men are there w/ claws out. Cpt undoes his link veil, revealing an ugly man who smiles with fangs “You and your friends are joining us for a voyage.”
Rick “I guess I have no choice.” They carry the others on, and we start to wake up. The wine was drugged. Rick just didn’t drink enough. They warn us not to go below decks to the oarsmen.
The ship goes over a black waterfall, and begins floating across seeming aether, flying. A larval creature as large as the boat, tentacles, claws and spines, is coming for the boat! Just as it seem sit is about to eat the ship, a burst of light from we know not where drives it away. Then we see more. The Cpt. calls the m the mindless larva of the Outer Gods. Each time one gets close, the light bursts again.
Rick asks the Cpt if the ship is firing this light? He refuses to answer. He says the Outer Gods are the mindless Gods who surround the Great Sultan, and will tell us no more.
The voyage seems like months. In reality, we only eat twice; probably more like a day. The ship sails around to the dark side of the moon and near the surface, forests of white fungi, ruins, and white opaque seas. The ship lands w/ a peculiar sucking noise on the liquid. Tentacles rise nearby the ship on all sides. We are riding on a creature it seems.
After several hours, a scaberous wharf of nightmares, several other black ships docked there at a city. Distorted gray towers, bizarre temples and obsene fungi. Creatures move through the streets. The moon Beasts from Rick’s vision, horned men who look only just human, and other horrors.
Esteban and 3 of the Q are not having a good mental time with this, to say the least. The Cpt says the men in the city are of the Planes of Lengh, like he and his crew. A few of them take notice of us after we dock, then a moonbeast attacks!
It takes down one of the Q in its first onslaught. It has DR slashing, only Mundabi and Billy do significant damage.
It rends the first Q to pieces and hits another. Mudabi and Billy hit big again, Fritz does some damage as do 4 Q javelin hits!!
Another Q is rended and grabbed.
Same of our men hit big again, plus Rick hits w/ rifle.
It tears the 2nd Q to pieces, and attacks another Q.
Mundabi drops it DEAD.
While we were fighing, many men from Lengh have surrounded the ship. They speak in a language we do not know, yet understand them here in the Dreamlands.
They walk us about a mile outside of the city, then in a black cave for hours or days even. WE come out inside a crater, outside in the light of day. The men from Lengh return to the cave. There is a rumbling and the cave entrance behind us collapses.
Bty, there is breathable atmosphere here. Ahead of us, in the middle of the crater, is a huge marble temple identical to Bendal Dolum but for the environs, and it is also in perfect condition.
Rick “All right, let’s go. It’s the only place to go.”
As we approach the pyramid, the great door opens and an 8’ plus tall men in robes exits. Cloaked, hooded. He bows slightly and speaks slowly. Greeting each of us by name welcoming us to the moon.
Says he has watched us since our arrival in Central America, and that our arrival ere is no accident.
He is Hoan Dor, of an extinct species on the real world. He is trapped here until death, but needs our help.
He has decided to wield his powers on the lands of earth again, with his magics. He wants to link forever his home to each world.
Mortals from earth must have physically come her, the second part is for us to return. He is the black spot, spreading the globe that Rick saw in his vision.
He wants to send us there.