Masks Of Nyarlathotep

I was home this weekend and while rummaging around  in the attic I came across some write-ups I did of the Masks Of Nyarlathotep campaign I ran a couple (well perhaps a little more than a couple) of years ago.  For posterity and perhaps for those currently running the Campaign at the moment who are interested to see what can happen ( I know I was!) I’ll upload the chapters here.   Its not complete but I might try dig up the ‘missing’ chapters, from what I remember this has the best bits anyhow.  The Egypt section of Masks is some great gaming…    SPOILERS AHEAD KIDS!

Jan 8 1925

Fr. Richard Parks received an intriguing telegram from one Jackson Elias, his friend and renowned author on the occult. It read:

“HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING CARLYLE EXPEDITION STOP NEED RELIABLE INVESTIGATIVE TEAM STOP ARRIVE JAN 15TH STOP”

Fr. Parks made contact with another friend of Elias, the lawyer Edwin August, between them they assembled the required investigative team. They contact Dr. Simon Caltrow, psychologist, researcher and son of the well-known archaeologist William H. Caltrow. Ms. Melissa Beaumont, dilettante, singer and heiress of the Beaumont estate. Ms. Pepe Duville a leading Parapsychologist with a strong background in the occult.

After initial introductions and briefings they commenced their research into the Carlyle expedition. The most important items of information gleaned at the time were the identities of the party (being: Roger Carlyle, Hypatia Masters, Dr. Robert Huston and Dr. Aubrey Penhew) and that the expedition met a grisly end in Nairobi, Kenya. Apparently this was at the hands of some local tribesmen. Further research revealed that the bodies of the expedition were never found.

On Jan 15th Elias contacted Fr. Parks and requested a meeting at his hotel for 7pm that evening. Jackson did not seem his usual self on the phone.  After waiting in the hotel until 7.30 for Elias to show the group suspected something was amiss and gained entry to his hotel room. The scene that greeted them was ghastly. Elias was maimed on the bed with a strange symbol carved in his forehead. After the initial nausea had passed the group searched the room for clues as to who would have perpetrated such a hideous act. The only things they found were a letter from someone called Fariz Najir in Cairo to ‘Mr. Carlyle’ offering him some curios of interest and a book “A history of the warfare of science with Christendom” which caught Fr. Parks’s eye.

When the police arrived, Lt. Martin Poole of the NYPD interviewed the P.Cs. He informs them that this was not the first murder of its kind “a cult killing”. He advises them not to leave town. To attempt to raise their spirits the team go out for a drink.

Over the coming days Mr. August attempted to find out more about the cult killings through his friend and former client ‘Lucky’ Marceno, but to little success.

Dr. Caltrow and Fr. Parks investigate Elias’ publisher Jonah Kensington who helpfully provides them with the Nairobi correspondence from Jackson. They sensed however that he was holding back something and so assured him of their dedication to finding Jackson’s’ killer. Eventually Kensington ceded and presented the investigators with the London correspondence from his personal files. These notes were almost incoherent rambling on Jackson’s part. Much of the time over the next few days was spent deciphering it.

Ms. Beaumont and Ms. Duville attempted to get in contact with Erica Carlyle via their societal connections, however she proved a difficult woman to pin down. Her mansion was not accessible without an appointment. Ms. Duville checked out the library for references to the tribes mentioned in the newspaper cutting but none of the information seemed to lead anywhere.

Fr. Parks discovered a flyer in the book he took from Jackson’s room. It was advertising a lecture by Professor Anthony Cowles on “the cult of darkness”. A visit to the Professor was added to the agenda. However it has become apparent that Ms. Carlyle was hosting a birthday party at her mansion for a friend of hers. Ms. Beaumont managed to acquire invitations for herself and two guests (Fr. Parks and Dr. Caltrow). Meanwhile Edwin and Pepe continued their investigations on the expedition.

At the party the investigators found Erica unwilling to discuss her deceased brother. They also met her bodyguard, Joe. They did manage to raise her curiosity enough to be granted a more formal meeting the following day.

At that meeting they learned that Erica held no hope that her brother might be alive even after the investigators tell her of Jackson’s strange message. They asked about the books mentioned in Jackson’s notes and she denied any knowledge of them. Trying a different tact they asked about the mysterious African woman who accompanied the expedition. Erica said she had no time for her and didn’t even know her name. What she did know was that once she turned up Roger had changed. His nightmares started at the same time too. She claimed “that Negro woman” had been driving Roger over the edge.

Fr. Parks confronted Erica about the books implying she might have been hiding something from them. Eventually she allows the investigators to take a look around the library. In a hidden safe the investigators find 4 books of an occult nature. The investigators spend some time examining the books before deciding to head to Miskatonic to see professor Cowles. At first the visit seemed fruitless. The professor knew Carlyle only be reputation and he had no correspondence with him. However the professor did provide the investigators with a copy of his lecture notes. The cults spoken of within had some semblance to the things the investigators had read in the manuscripts from the Carlyle library, particularly the cult described in the tome ‘Life as a god’.

After some consideration and preparation the investigators decided their first port of call would be to Cairo and to the shop of Fariz Najir.

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