Masks Of Nyarlathotep (part 5)

Where our players take a trip beneath the great pyramids and for a short while gain a new ally.

Giza

As the attackers approached they split in two groups. Two of the men assaulted Fr. Parks, the remaining three charged the tent. Inside the tent Edwin, William and Francis were awakened by the commotion. Only Edwin saw the shadows cast by the approaching assailants and scrambled for his weapon.

Fr. Parks fired his hold out pistol, taking out one of his attackers with a clean shot. The second man lunged for the priest and caught him across the chest with his blade. Fr. Parks stumbled but caught himself and wielded his now useless pistol like a club.

Even as Edwin and William drew their weapons, swords pierced the light canvas of their tent. Francis received a deep cut on his shoulder. Again the swords plunged through; Francis again was stabbed, this time in his back. Edwin fired his shotgun, a cry of pain confirming he had hit something.

Back on the dune the duel between the black clad Arab and the priest raged on. The battle seemed to be going the way of the former, Fr. Parks was struggling with his wounds. Back at the tend the tide started to turn both Edwin and William taking out one of the attackers each, it was not long after that the last one fell. Soon after Fr. Parks managed to reload his weapon and shot that last man.

A quick check over the belongings of the dead men revealed an assortment of lethal weaponry and that each one had a medallion with an inverted ankh: The symbol of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh.  It became apparent that the Jeep had also been sabotaged; thankfully it was hasty work and was easily overcome. Fr. Parks and Mr. Drake were brought to hospital to have their wounds seen to and the others took a well deserved rest at the hotel.

Next morning Edwin and William had an unexpected guest at the hotel he introduced himself as Leon Duval a detective with the Cairo police. Leon had several questions about Omar Shakti whom the investigators had recently contacted. While the trio exchanged information, Fr. Parks and Mr. Drake returned from the hospital. After an initial tense exchange with the newcomers they told Leon what they knew in return for his help.

Moments after this decision had been reached the groups planning was interrupted by a very agitated Janwillhem Vanheulen. He pleaded with the group to return the Black Rites scrolls to the place he had found it.

Janwillhem did not calm down until the group relented and agreed to travel with him ti the old city to return the scrolls. He revealed that he had been approached by a very beautiful lady who demanded he return the scrolls. When he tried to reason with her she had ‘changed’ appearance and intimidated him. Since then he had been plagued by cats who hiss and scrape at him. Janwillhem was obviously at his wits end.

At the small temple, deep in the old city, Janwillhem placed the scrolls back in the secret compartment below a statue of Bast and fled into the city. The investigators stayed to investigate the temple. After some fruitless searching a woman entered the temple, although she was clearly a little surprised to find the investigators there she told them that her mother had told her of the place and that she had come to offer a prayer for her missing cat.

Feeling a little uneasy in that strange temple with its darkened alcoves and mysterious cats, the investigators decided to return to the hotel. Leon decided to scout out the mansion of Omar Shakti There he found little activity but overheard two workers talking in hushed voices mention that something was going to happen later that night.

Leon returned to the hotel and relayed this information. After much discussion and debate the potential to find valuable clues in Shaktis house warranted a little breaking and entering that night.

As they approached they discovered huge numbers of fellhadin workers walking the road to the mansion. They stowed their jeep in a nearby side road and followed on foot. The strange procession eventually led to the mansion, the huge cast iron gates swung open and several covered jeeps turned onto the road along with several more workers. The investigators decided to abort the search of Shaktis house in favour of finding out where all the workers were bound for. The column of robed men grew as it proceeded to its destination; soon it was apparent that something very big was happening. Then, in the distance the great pyramid of Khufu rose over the trees making their destination apparent.

The investigators could follow no longer as they entered the open Giza plateau. The cultists walked to the sphinx and as they gathered a chanting could be heard. Translated from the Arabic it was “ Mighty is the god whose breath brings death and whose touch brings madness”

Even as the chanting finished the great Stele in front of the sphinx shimmered and became translucent. The cultists one by one walked into its glow and disappeared. Even though shaken by this sight the investigators followed, waylaying a few straggling cultists and taking their places.

Through the stele the investigators found themselves in a small enclosed stone room with a single corridor leading out of it. Down the corridor the flickering torches of the cult procession could be seen. Adjusting to their new surroundings as they went the investigators pressed on. The wide corridor branched at several points into wider ones.

Fr. Parks and Edwin August took one of the branches in the hopes of bypassing the cultists, taking the precaution of marking their way as they did. After an eternity trudging through the eerie darkness they found it was a dead end and had to retrace their steps.

Meanwhile Leon, William and Francis pursued the cultists on the main trail unsure if it was safer to follow the cultists light or chance the dark tunnels. Francis, leading the trio, heard heavy breathing from behind. Looking around he saw, looming over Leon, a giant of a man with a the head of a crocodile on his shoulders. Momentarily losing his mind raced away up the tunnel towards the cultists. William, wondering what had spooked his friend looked around too and soon joined Francis.

Alone and frozen with fear Leon listened to the dull footfalls and heavy breathing, unable to do anything but continue his walk. His common sense made him break into a run abd reaching his companions who had stopped just short of the unholy pilgrims , turning to see what his stalker looked like saw only an empty tunnel.

Edwin and Fr. Parks were within sight of their companions and upped the pace to rejoin them. As they walked they noticed images carved on the wall of such a dispicable nature that their minds, mercifully, did not retain the detail for long.

The cultists entered a widened are  of the tunnel leading to some huge steps. The unspeakable chanting had begun anew. One last turn of the main tunnel remained,  the investigators knew that the wrong decision would mean that they would likely never see the light of day again. Francis, Leon and William followed the cult. Fr. Parks and Edwin , having the groups only remaining light, took the offshoot of the main path.

Looking up the stairs the intrepid trio observed a gigantic room with pillars seemingly reaching up to infinity, the room packed with cultists.  They doubted the wisdom of their choice and hastily spoke of returning the way they had come. The thought of having  to return empty handed after having come so far kept them to their course.

In the damp side tunnel Edwin and Fr. Parks shivered as a cold breeze pased over them, suddenly their light extinguished and they were left in total darkness. Unable to proceed they had to feel their way back along the slimy wall to find the main tunnel.

Leon walked up the huge steps slowly, close behind him William and Francis. Leon saw a raised dais with a sarcophagus sitting 0n top of it. He had been about to proceed further when he saw the creatures with the heads of animals and bodies of men that flanked the room on all sides. Crocodiles, ibises, falcons, hippopotami and other animals revered by the ancient egyptians  in an abominable cross with human men. His steps faltered. Seeing the same things William fled back to the relative safetly of the bottom of the stairs.

Edwin and Parks arrived back at the same time, ever brave the good priest walked up to where Leon stood frozen. They and hundreds of brotherhood members looked on as Omar Shakti stood up beside the sarcophagus. Then Fr. Parks saw the same creatures that so terrified Caltrow, he let out an unintended exclamation. Fortunately the cultists could not hear him over the terrible chanting, however one of the Crocodile men did and turned focusing a single reptilian eye on the priest, causing him to to flee.

Leon still remained, entranced by the bizarre scene, He saw Shakti push the sarcophagus lid off  letting it fall into the cultists below. He watched as a beautiful  woman wrapped in the bindings of a mummy rose from the tomb and took Shaktis hand. The policeman had known Shakti was involved in some shady dealings but nothing could have prepared him for what he now witnessed, or what came next.

The mummy-woman and Shakti added their voices to the chanting, from the far wall of the temple something massive  moved in the darkness. In a few earth-shaking steps the Black Sphinx had entered the main hall. It bellowed, its five maws dripping vile saliva. Leon Duvals lips curled in a  madman’s smile.  The Sphinx charged forward , killing cultists in its way as it pursued the uninvited guests it sensed.

The other investigators, momentarily stunned by this beasts arrival nonetheless had enough wits about them to flee blindly back down the tunnel,  the now crazed ,sobbing Leon did not. Cultists pursued the remaining 4 investigators with wicked looking spiked clubs back to the room they had arrived in.  They realised did did not know how to return to the Stele through which they had entered.  As cultists flooded the room the words “Nyarlathotep” came unbidden to the lips of Fr. Parks.

On the plateau of Giza only 4 of 5 fled the ancient Sphinx, the only unanimous thought on their minds that it was time to leave the land of the Pharaohs.

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2 Responses to Masks Of Nyarlathotep (part 5)

  1. wayne says:

    This was a great session i recall. And prob the best whole section of the campaign as we played it( Egypt in general i mean). I have distinct memory of the way you did the Croc Headed Beasts, in some tunnel, u just describing general shape and telling me “somethings” behind you. And i do recall having genuine chill for my characters plight… 🙂 When i ran campaign, this was as far as guys got…nasty…

    • tygerkrash says:

      yeah, as I mentioned this was my favorite… The next bit is ‘the mountain of the black wind’ in kenya which wasn’t too bad either. I’ll probably get round to transcribing it and uploading it after confess

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