Posts tagged Trail of Cthulhu

Eternal Lies – Session 25

JANUARY 1, 1935, TUESDAY: Amid the bloody chaos at the Mercy Hill Mental Institution, the Investigators convinced their former guide ABAI to travel to London. Once there, he would wait for them to get him out of the country. James “Tick Tock” Cohan expressed hope for and disappointment in Abai.

At the hotel, Dorothy perused the comic she purchased at Yellowtree Books and was drawn into a state of heightened arousal. Chantelle Perreault kept watch over Dorothy, while Luke Davis and James meditated in their room. In the morning, the group met PROFESSOR ORWELL SANGSTER at Brichester University. They headed into the countryside to find Deepfall Lake, the center of a dense body of local legend. The lake was lined with trees, and on one side, six houses stood. These were built in the 18th century by the followers of a strange pastor named THOMAS LEE. They came seeking something called GLA’AKI, which they venerated, but they soon disappeared. The houses were also the site of a series of disappearances happened in the area in the 1890s, and the houses have been abandoned ever since. Their last owner, GILBERT CELESTE, was accused of murdering the missing people. He was dubbed “The Ripper of the Lake,” and was executed in 1893.

As they approached, Sangster lectured them about the history of the area. He and James parked the car up the road from the houses and kept watch, as the party had noted strange, human-shaped forms moving in the trees across the lake. James noticed the water stirring and smelled a terrible odor coming from the lake. Beneath its surface, he saw the outlines of strange buildings, but these disappeared. Later, a large eye stalk emerged from the water to look at him. The human-shaped figures moved closer. One of them appeared to be missing archaeologist HUSAIN SOLIMAN still strangely transformed.Orwell Sangster fired his gun at Soliman, who appeared to catch a bullet and flick it aside. Soliman told them to leave.

Meanwhile, Dorothy, Luke, and Chantelle went about exploring the derelict houses. Aside from dust and an air of abandonment, they found a scrap of paper wedged between some floorboards. It mentioned “the green decay” and warned its reader to leave. The group also found the remnants of a base camp, probably belong to the Emporium of Bangkok Antiquities. It appeared that a scene of violence had occurred, leaving an outer wall and one of the bedrooms badly damaged. Strange writing lined the walls and stairs. Words had been spread around in a strange green and silver medium: THEY HAVE STOLEN THE BOOKS LAUGHTON SAW THE HELIX TRUTH. In another house, new furnishings had been installed, but peculiarly organized. A neatly made bed was in the kitchen, while an unplugged refrigerator with rotting food rested in a bath tub.

Hearing gunshots, Dorothy, Luke, and Chantelle emerged to find Sangster and James engaged with Soliman and the other strange forms. Terrified, the group got to their car and fled. Suddenly they found themselves driving in a different area, near Brichester and several miles away from Deepfall Lake.

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Eternal Lies – Session 23

DECEMBER 30, 1934, SUNDAY: While visiting the small English city of Brichester, the Investigators received a letter from a woman they’d never met named TRICIA PIPER. In it, she claimed to have psychically glimpsed them. She referred to dangers around them and asked them to come visit her so that she might speak more clearly to them. The Investigators went to find Tricia at her address—a room at the Mercy Hill Mental Institution. The desk staff were not surprised by the Investigators’ arrival. Tricia had said they would be arrive that day.

Ward Attendant TOBY WEAVER escorted the Investigators through the pale green linoleum halls of Mercy Hill’s “new building.” Tricia was waiting for them inter private room. She was a young, pretty woman, serious and preoccupied. She spoke of an intelligence that was using her to communicate with the world. She said it had led her to write down a part of its living testament, but she said that another powerful intelligence was attempting to mislead her. She spoke of how its feral hunger had obscured the hard, clear voice she had heard perviously. She warned the Investigators about the dangers of “the lake.” The Investigators believed that she was most likely referring to Deepfall Lake—a local landmark known to be of interest to the archaeologist HUSAIN SOLIMAN and the EMPORIUM OF BANGKOK ANTIQUITIES, the shadowy institution for which he works. The lake is also rumored to be home to the mythic, inhuman entity known as GLA’AKI. (Presumably related to The Prisoner of Gla’aki—a mysterious force the Investigators have tracked since their stay in Los Angeles.)

The conversation with Tricia was cut short when the injury on James “Tick Tock” Cohan’s finger opened up, revealing a small mouth. The mouth shouted threats and obscenities at Tricia. James and Chantelle Perreault left the room, so Dorothy Howard and Luke Davis could continue the interview, but not much more information was forthcoming. In the hall, James was not himself. His finger was now silent, and to Chantelle, he appeared badly shaken, but otherwise stable. Inwardly, the stress of the last month, combined with the intimate, inexplicable horror he had just experienced, and he seemed, briefly, to lose himself.

Toby Weaver took the Investigators to meet a couple of inmates in the old building as well—one American and one Abyssinian. Both had been committed under strange circumstances. The American was an older, Black woman from Louisiana. Half her hand had been raggedly torn off, and she claimed to be writing a volume under the direction of Gla’aki as well. She expressed contempt for Tricia Piper and warned the Investigators of the dangers seen to be found at the lake. The Abyssinian turned out to be ABAI, the guide the Investigators had hired to take them to Axum. He appealed to James to save him from dark forces, which he said had attacked himself and his employers, members of The Emporium of Bangkok Antiquities.

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Eternal Lies – Session 18

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1934: Early in the day, the Investigators made ready to leave Kolluli. James “Tick Tock” Cohan spoke some more with MUHOHO, who advised him not to place too much faith in Luke. She said that he might be liberated from evil influences, but ultimately it might not be possible. When pressed, she suggested that Luke might be helped by the same practices she’d taught to James.

She and James spoke about GEORGE AYERS, the archaeologist and former cultist, whom the party seek, near the site of his last dig, in Dallol, Ethiopia. She said that Ayers had been remorseful over the death of the people he hired for his dig. They died when a volcano erupted at Dallol. She revealed that she was part of a group of “guardians,” who had triggered the volcano using ritual magic. They’d hoped to imprison whatever Ayers and BARTOLO ACUÑA had been seeking to excavate.

Taking pity on Ayers, as they found him in the desert, the guardians taught him ascetic practices to silence mouths growing on his body. She told James that he might find Ayers in The Dream Scourged Halls, a set of strange rock formations deep in the desert. She showed him where this area was, but warned him that he might be endangering Ayers if he approached. An evil spirit known as the Agony on the Wind might be seeking Ayers, as might its agents.

The Investigators and their companions departed by camelback for the settlement of Dallol. After several grueling hours in the Danakil Desert, the group stopped to rest. Chantelle Perreault found that the heat and sweat had opened a small wound on her body. The party’s guides set up camp, and everyone rested. Chantelle and Luke Davis took turns keeping watch.

During Chantelle’s shift, a STRANGE FIGURE appeared from out of the desert. It seemed to skip through space in a stuttering way. It resembled the robed figure that Luke had glimpsed from the locomotive, when traveling from Mersa Fatma to Kolluli. It was wrapped in rust colored robes, so that Chantelle could not glimpse its face. It approached and removed the covering from the lower part of its face, revealing an impossibly wide mouth. It moved in toward Chantelle.

The rest of the party awoke, and a fight ensued. Dorothy Howard looked for LAZARE, the young guide with whom she’d bonded. She found that he was in motion, leaping onto the strange figure and attacking it with the knife he’d shown off earlier. Several shots were fired, while some of the Investigators’ group fled in terror. Chantelle was able to shoot and spectacularly kill the injured figure. Most of the men who fled were recovered from the desert. One went missing. Lazare showed look how to better point his gun while Dorothy looked on.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24: Lazare was able to scout out a remarkably expedient short cut through the desert, shaving days off the groups’ travel time. They found themselves near the Dallol settlement, where a group of Afar had taken up residence. Most other Afar the Investigators had encountered avoid this group, as their sedentary lifestyle is viewed as aberrant. They are also feared for their celebration of The Agony On The Wind. It may be related to The Liar From Beyond, the entity the Investigators been seeking in hopes of explaining the 1924 Los Angeles massacre. One of the men the Investigators hired showed them a bite scar. He said he inflicted it on himself, while dreaming under the influence of The Agony on the Wind.

There was a debate as to the group’s next steps. Their taciturn older guide OGHAI suggested that they resupply at Dallol settlement, while Lazare believed they should avoid the place and seek out the dig site directly. He insisted he could find water and food for the group in the desert. Knowing that they would have to pass near the settlement no matter what destination they chose, the Investigators chose to stop at the settlement. They decided to send a small group in to trade, including Oghai, James, and a couple of other men, including YONAS, the nervous demolitions specialist.

Oghai suggested that James follow at a slight distance, but it soon became clear that no one in the settlement was alert to their approach. The area was eerily quiet, with a few people wandering silently about, as if in a trance. One was a teenaged girl, who James saw mutilate herself with a piece of glass. An older woman came and took the glass away and began cutting herself. The girl finger painted with her blood one of the salt block buildings next to her. James also passed a very young boy who was curled up sleeping with a dog. The boy was muttering in his sleep about the New Moon.

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Eternal Lies – Session 16

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1934: In Axum, Eritrea, the Investigators were standing outside the home in which the body of archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA had been discovered. Acuña was hanging from the ceiling by his wrists, and his host lay murdered nearby. A crowd had gathered, and members of the local constabulary were questioning the Investigators about their presence there and about the fact that Chantelle Perreault had visited the house on the previous day. Dorothy Howard pointed out to the officers that trucks had just left town, presumably bearing archaeologist HUSAIN SOLIMAN and his companions.

1934 was a strange time in Ethiopia…the things you learn in these games

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1934: The Investigators made their way back to the home of their own host, DESTA EJIGU. They noticed that the residents of Axum were eying them suspiciously and decided to make arrangements to leave town, as the constables had suggested. Their guide ABAI found them a place on a truck that was leaving town soon. Luke Davis sent a telegram to customs officer CARLO SALVATORE, in which he implicated Soliman and his companions in the murders in Axum. Chantelle sent a telegram to her estranged husband, ALEXANDRE, updating him of her movements and experiences.

The truck carried the group back to the port city of Massaua. During the trip, Abai talked with James “Tick Tock” Cohan. He offered James a job with his employers and expressed concern over the intentions of James’ companions. James declined the offer, which might have taken him to England, and he and Abai wished each other well.

Arriving in Massaua, the Investigators parted with Abai. They noticed a general tension between the Italian military authorities and the indigenous people that had not been there before. The Investigators conferred briefly with Salvatore, who told them that Soliman and his companions were being detained for questioning at the airport, thanks to Luke’s telegram. Salvatore also pointed them to a new guide, OGBAI.

Ogbai is older, more taciturn and commanding, but seems knowledgeable and competent. He speaks English, Italian, and Arabic and knows the area around Dallol, Ethiopia. The Investigators have decided to travel there in search of the remains of the 1924-1926 dig led by Acuña and missing archaeologist/cultist GEORGE AYERS.

According to Ogbai’s suggestions, the Investigators caught a boat from Massaua to the smaller mining town of Mersa Fatma. Here they approached the manager of the Compagnia Mineraria Coloniale, RENZO SEGNI. The company is largely shut down, so Segni agreed to let them use a small locomotive to travel through the harsh Danakil Desert to Iron Point, near the small village of Kolluli. Dorothy and Chantelle joined him for dinner at his home, where he insinuated interest in some sort of engagement involving them and his three wives.

Luke conferred with Segni’s capable assistant, SINUHE DJAU, who warned of bandits and of a group of Afar who have put aside a more traditional nomadic lifestyle. They have inhabited a small villager closer to the Dallol dig site, surrounded by what they call the Agony on the Wind.

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Eternal Lies – Session 15

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1934: In Axum, Eritrea, Chantelle went to interview BARTOLO ACUÑA for a second time. It was early morning. As she approached the house at which Acuña was staying, Chantelle glanced through a window and saw an old man looking back at her in fear. He was Acuña’s host, whom Chantelle had glimpsed before. He signaled her with his eyes that something was wrong inside the house.

Chantelle stopped to listen. She heard the sounds of angry men speaking English. Only a few words reached her—something about hanging something. Chantelle could not get a good view without exposing herself, but she guessed that there was a small group of people present. She made a hasty exit.

So many TTRPGs…I love the huge variety of settings and styles

Still acting as tour guide, ABAI led Dorothy and James to Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, (Tsion Maryam). The attached Chapel of the Tablet is rumored to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Virtually no one is allowed access to the Ark, but James’ heartfelt plea allowed him to briefly visit the chapel. (Dorothy’s offer of a sizable donation was declined.) The priest accompanied him, and he found the Ark under armed guard. He witnessed a strange shimmering effect in the air of the chapel.

Chantelle returned to the house at which the group was lodging. Luke had woken just recently to find that the false journal he’d had planted has been stolen. Dorothy told him what she’d witnessed at the house where Acuña was staying. Luke spoke briefly with their host DESTA EJIGU in her garden.

The group shared another meal with Abai, who remained nervous. At night, James made his way to the tents by the Northern Field of stelae. He stole into the large screen tent and found a small typewriter and desk set up near a dinning table. He stole some documents, including an image of a cartouche and a letter from HUSAIN SOLIMAN to SAVITREE SIRIKHAN. James noted that there were other men stationed about, including someone sleeping in the back of the large tent and at least one other man in a small tent. He approached the entrance of an ancient tomb and overheard men talking about leaving Axum.

After James returned to the house, the group compared notes. They heard cries up the street. A crowd was gathering around the house where Acuña had been staying. The archaeologist and his host had been beaten to death. Acuña’s body was left hanging from the ceiling of the house. As local law enforcement agents approached the Investigators, Dorothy saw a few trucks driving away into the night, presumably carrying away Soliman and his companions.

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Eternal Lies – Session 14

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1934: In Axum, Eritrea, James “Tick Tock” Cohan continued to survey the street, while his companions interviewed Spanish archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA inside a nearby house. Tick Tock asked the group’s guide ABAI whether he knew of any strangers in town. Abai passed the question to a local woman, who confirmed that there was a group of foreigners in town, including the large angry man Tick Tock had already met.

the Investigators continued to interview Spanish archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA. He described the Ethiopian dig that he and missing cultist GEORGE AYERS led from 1924-1926. Their entire crew was lost when a volcano erupted near the ancient chamber they’d unearthed near Dallol. Ayers and Acuña were off site, visiting the Compagnia Mineraria Coloniale (CMC) in Mersa Fatma. Once the dig was halted, Acuña returned to Spain in exasperation, while Ayers headed back to Dallol, only to disappear. Acuña told Luke that the only possible remnants of the ancient chamber would be buried with the workers lost at Dallol.

Acuña said he’d fled Spain recently, as Franco asserted power there. He traveled to Eritrea to help remove one of the ancient obelisks here. When asked about Oxford-educated archaeologist HUSAIN SOLIMON, who also seems to be in Axum, Acuña was dismissive. In particular, he objects to Solimon’s ideas concerning door-like carvings in the bases of the some of the obelisks and the idea that they might open onto actual rooms. Acuña alluded to controversy concerning the deities to which the obelisks are dedicated, as well as the chamber at Dallol. Acuña believes the obelisks to have been associated with something called GOL-GOROTH, while the chamber at Dallol and its mouth-like inscription were emblematic of the unnamed PRISONER OF GLAAKI. Glaaki itself is a monstrous being venerated by medieval cults in England’s Severn Valley.

During this conversation, both Tick Tock and Chantelle noticed a strange man with a walking stick. He was standing across the street from the house where the interview was being held. He seemed to be watching, but was at a distance from which he could not be listening to what Acuña and the Investigators were saying. He noticed Tick Tock watching and turned to walk off. Tick Tock pursued, and the man stumbled, dropping a piece of paper. He made his way toward the field of obelisks on the north side of town, while Tick Tock stopped to examine the paper. It was a telegram from a Daniel Lowman in Bangkok, which mentioned the Severn Valley and a mysterious “she,” who seems to be in charge of the foreign visitors here.

The group made their way back to the house at which they would be bunking to compare notes and to eat. Abai joined them, at Chantelle’s request, though he would be sleeping elsewhere. He seemed nervous. He left after they’d eaten and agreed to return in the morning to show them the local sights. Chantelle followed Abai and noted that he seemed to be following a circuitous route toward the north side of town, where the obelisks stand.

Street scene from the area and time period of our adventure

At the house, the group planned their moves for the following day. Tick Tock and Dorothy prepared to go with Abai to visit local churches and to distract him from the activities of the rest of the group. Luke decided to author a fake journal, which would point possible adversaries toward sites that are not significant to their current investigations. He would work overnight and then sleep during the day while the other Investigators were going about their activities. Chantelle made ready to speak with Acuña further and to possibly feed him false information.

Overnight, an alien mouthlike opening appeared in Dorothy’s midsection. It spoke in her voice, but its words were nonsensical. The mouth disappeared, and Luke and Chantelle moved to comfort Dorothy. Their hostess came to see what was wrong and to insist that the men and women not mingle.

Early in the morning, Dorothy and Tick Tock left with Abai to see the sights. They stopped at the Axum Ministry of Culture to register as visitors. They made their way to the Cathedral of Tsion Maryam (St. Mary of Zion) in hopes of glimpsing the Ark of the Covenant, which is rumored to be here, and to keep Abai distracted.

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Eternal Lies – session 13

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1934: In Massaua, Eritrea, the Investigators returned to the Hotel Internazionale. They left a message for ABAI, the guide they’d obtained, telling him they’d be visiting the Italian customs office. There, they met with CARLO SALVATORE, a somewhat corrupt government official and acquaintance of ELMER WICKER. (Luke’s friend/ dealer back in New York.) Dorothy and Chantelle catered to his ego and wallet. After a generous donation, he provided the Investigators with transit papers to carry them throughout Eritrea. He also answered some questions about the archaeologist BARTOLO ACUÑA, who he said was in transit to Axum (or Aksum) with a group of Italian soldiers. He confirmed that Acuña led a dig with GEORGE AYERS at the desert site of Dallol in Abyssinia, from 1924-26, and that the dig ended due to a volcanic eruption.

The Investigators reconnected with Abai, who got them passage aboard a truck headed to Axum, a quiet, ancient town, which houses the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Axum is also home to an expansive field of standing stones—or stelae—along its northern edge. Most of these were erected between the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., and they range in height from 3’ to over 100’. (The longer stones have mostly fallen.) Some of the obelisks depict buildings that are 10-13 stories in height.

Abai told the Investigators they would have to bunk with people in town, but said this practice was not highly unusual. There are no hotels in Axum. As the truck arrived in Axum, the Investigators noticed a group of Italian soldiers leaving town. A few stayed behind with a disheveled civilian who turned out to be Bartolo Acuña. He agreed to be interviewed in the home of his host.

Most of the Investigators went to question him, with Tick Tock staying behind to keep an eye on some other strangers in town. Having sized them up, they appeared to be professional muscle. He approached one, who appeared to be the group’s leader. This man was large and unfriendly. He threatened Tick Tock and moved to punch him. He told him to leave town with his friends.

Meanwhile, the other Investigators found Acuña to be a drunk and a boor, but knowledgable concerning many of their questions. He is affiliated with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, but currently woking for the Italian Cultural Ministry, removing artifacts from Ethiopia. He confirmed that the Dallol dig was cut short by a volcano in 1926. Both he and Ayers avoided the blast, as they were away negotiating with the Compagnia Mineraria Coloniale, (CMC,) an industrial concern that was hauling gear and people for them by train. After the explosion, Acuña returned to Spain, while Ayers lingered in Abyssinia before going missing. Acuña stayed in Spain, until the Civil War drove him out.

Acuña told the Investigators that the Dallol dig had been partially successful. Before the eruption, the archaeologists breached an ancient chamber belonging to an Abyssinian mystery cult, wherein a large, monstrous moth had been impressed in stone. The cult venerated a deity associated with orgiastic rituals. Acuña said he knew were to look, due to a careful reading he made of The Revelations of Glaaki. Acuña said that Ayers had met him through correspondence, after hearing of his ideas concerning the book. The Dallol dig was largely funded by Ayers’ associate RAMON ECHAVARRIA, before his death.

We left off with the Investigators still questioning Acuña.

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Eternal Lies – Session 12

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15, 1934: The Investigators decided to travel to the Ethiopia to investigate some of the leads they’d turned up while in Los Angeles. In particular, they wanted to investigate the activities of two archaeologists: GEORGE AYERS and BARTOLO ACUÑA.

It appears that Ayers was a member of RAMON ECHAVARRIA’S cult. In fact he was part of the cult’s inner circle and was close enough to Echavarria to detect the fact that the cult leader seemed to be lying about the entity that the group was worshipping. Echavarria had pointed to GOL- GOROTH, an alien deity drawn to human depravity, but in truth there was another figure that Echavarria sought to contact. Echavarria referred to it as THE LIAR FROM BEYOND.

Whatever occurred between him and Ayers, Echavarria still approved of his associate enough to fund an archaeological dig at his recommendation. In 1924, Ayers joined Acuña on a trip to Dallol, in Abyssinia, to excavate some ancient ruins. As he was out of the country, he evaded the events that led to the death of Echavarria, along with many of his followers, as well as most of WALTER WINSTON’S group of cult-busters.

Nevertheless, while in Ethiopia, Ayers disappeared. Bartolo Acuña is still active and has re-entered Ethiopia recently at the behest of the Italian cultural ministry. He is there to retrieve an ancient stone obelisk from the ancient town of Aksum.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1934: FRANK KEARNS piloted the investigators to Massaua, known to be the most active Eritrean transportation hub. Acuña is said to be in the area, possibly in transit to Aksum, while Dallol lies deep in the Abyssinian desert. Traveling may be somewhat complicated, due to recent.

After their brush with annihilation, the Investigators are now armed with heavy firearms and have procured some explosives. Just in case. They got three rooms in the whitewashed, futurist Hotel Internazionale, an establishment that caters to Europeans and wealthy Ethiopians. Dorothy bought a lemon while they walked along the Massaua docks. A man who was unloading crates from a boat smiled to the Investigators, and they approached him. His name was JEROME. He seemed to extremely curious about the Investigators, but generally benevolent.

The Investigators visited the Gotti saloon, which was crowded with more Europeans and well to do locals. They eventually hired a guide, who claims to know the countryside, as well as the English, Arabic, and Italian languages. His name is ABAI. Luke ordered espresso, and his companions followed suit.

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Eternal Lies – Session 11

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1934: Luke Davis stirred from a mental haze to find himself, naked in SAMSON TRAMMEL’S study. He was staring at a strange painting of an alien landscape that was hanging on the wall, while Trammel sat on the floor nearby, sketching him. Trammel showed him the bundle of papers and effluvia in which he was drawing. It was stained with what might’ve been blood and other human secretions and bound with hair. Trammel snipped a little of Luke’s own hair and mashed it into what he called his “testament.” He allowed Luke to glance over the pages, which contained peculiar occult meanderings intermixed with business records and correspondence. The information here seemed to link Trammel /or drug trade to locations in Mexico City, Valetta, and Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Chantelle, Dorothy and Tick Tock were locked in a guest bedroom. CAPTAIN WALKER entered and questioned them about who sent them and why. If the Investigators agreed to leave Los Angeles and not return, Walker said he would release them. He cited their powerful friends and his desire to keep the Nectar operation functional. He distanced himself from the religious side of Trammel’s operation, saying he just handled the business. He made it clear that doing so was difficult, given Trammel’s unstable nature.

Luke was brought back to the room, and he and Dorothy exchanged awkward greetings. (At this point, no one in the group was probably finding it easy to look anyone else in the eye.) The Investigators were led outside by one of Trammel’s men. They were given a car with keys. They made haste for the airport, where FRANK KEARNS remarked on their disheveled appearance, before piloting them back to New York.

A mythos themed print by my good friend Gadz

Tick Tock went to church and gave confession to a priest. He felt somewhat comforted. Dorothy spoke with her mother, ABIGAIL HOWARD, and mentioned that she would be traveling overseas with her friend Chantelle. Abigail suggested that Dorothy join the family for dinner. Chantelle turned on her French charm to win the approval of the Howards.

ELMER WICKER delivered The Communion Rites of Victorian Death Cults to Luke. He and Dorothy met up to study it and the UCLA texts. They also had sex.

The Investigators made their way to the Manhattan office of JANET WINSTON-ROGERS. They briefed her on their recent experiences. She asked that they dig deeper, and Tick Tock asked if she really wanted to know the truth about her father, WALTER WINSTON. She said that she did, and that she hoped that Tick Tock would get some answers about his lost friend VINCE STACK as well.

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Eternal Lies – Session 10

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1934: The Investigators decided to visit the mansion of deceased philanthropist/cult leader RAMON ECHAVARRIA once more. They found what might have been strange patterns in the plaster of the walls—similar to the mouth-like manifestations they’d seen at Joy Grove Sanitarium back in Savannah. But these marks were old and might just have been water damage. Wandering the grounds, Dorothy found a garden area that was featured in the pornographic photographs the Investigators had discovered previously.

Recognizing that most of the evidence they’d collected was pointing toward SAMSON TRAMMEL, the Investigators decided to investigate his mansion. Luke and Tick Tock made their way to Pasadena to surveil Trammel’s home by night. They found that the layout corresponded to the blue prints Chantelle had turned up earlier. Posing as stranded motorists, they positioned themselves on the edge of Trammel’s grounds. Tick Tock approached and noticed that a party was going on inside the mansion. The people who were arriving and leaving were a curious mix of the rich and beautiful and the destitute and disposable. Tick Tock also noticed more thugs in zoot suits guarding the place. He found one entrance that was out of sight. It led to a conservatory. The door was locked, and Tick Tock decided to leave it undisturbed for the time being.

Luke and Tick Tock had seen dead bodies being carried out of the mansion. They decided to follow a car that was carrying a body away. It led them on a long drive into the desert. They evaded detection and were able to see two men burying a body, upright, in the rocky sand. They stayed out of sight till the men left. They dug down to the shoulders of the body and examined its head and neck for signs of mouths. They didn’t find any, but noted that the corpse’s face was covered in a dried, translucent paste. They reburied the body and headed back to the Hotel Roosevelt.

If you ever get a chance, check out House on the Rock in Wisconsin…weird stuff

Meanwhile Chantelle and Dorothy tracked down Samson Trammel at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom. He seemed to recognize them at this point. They played to his lascivious appetites and were granted an invitation to his mansion. The group met and made preparations to confront Trammel. Having a sense that they were entering a dangerous situation, many of the Investigators sent word of their plans back to their associates. Dresses and firearms were pulled together, and the group set out for Trammel’s mansion.

Back in Pasadena, the Investigators again found a party in full swing. Guards offered to park their cars in the carriage house next to the mansion, but Chantelle declined, saying the group could do so themselves. At this point, the Investigators caught a glimpse of CAPTAIN WALKER, leaving the upper floor of the carriage house. They could see what appeared to be a small personal residence set up inside. Walker made conversation with the guards and nodded at the Investigators, but did not speak to them.

Inside, the Investigators found a strange mixture of guests. Some seemed to be from other countries, while many were American. Some appeared to be quite rich, while others were very poor. Many of the guests were openly having sexual relations of various kinds. Samson Trammel greeted the group and offered them drinks. While everyone accepted what they were give, no one drank right away.

Luke and Dorothy snuck off while Chantelle and Tick Tock remained with Trammel. They pretended to be in search of a private area to have sex, while they made their way into the kitchen. Following a path they’d noted on Chantelle’s blue prints, they made their way to the basement, where they found another pocket of orgiastic activity. They crept through a wine cellar to a hidden area indicated on the blue prints. Inside, they found a broader, more disturbing orgy in progress.

To the strains of a peculiar ballad, groups of people engaged in depraved acts around a gargantuan, twisted mouth. It was about the size of a car, and from it, extended tongues and other body parts. It seemed to be participating sexually, while exuding a thick organic secretion. This substance was being harvested by blank faced men who were not participating in the orgy. Dorothy and Luke were both deeply shocked by this sight to a degree where they inhibitions crumbled—along with any sense of rationality. Luke went down on Dorothy, who eventually reciprocated with a hand job, as the chaos continued around them. (SAN losses of 19 and 12, respectively.)

Upstairs, Chantelle continued her banter with Samson Trammel, while Tick Tock took a drink. Tick Tock was again seized by the disturbing pleasure of Nectar. Unable to control himself, he again turned to self-gratification. Trammel was amused and attempted to guide Chantelle into his office and

study. There she caught a glimpse of several old books and a strange painting of an alien landscape. Trammel’s conversation become more pointed and menacing, as he pressed Chantelle for information as to why she had come to Los Angeles. He made it clear that he knew the Investigators had come through Savannah from New York. Chantelle pulled her gun on Trammel, who laughed and indicated that other men had guns trained on her as well.

Chantelle gave up her weapon. From the stairs, Captain Walker threw gave her a glance. Trammel had her and the still transfixed Tick Tock escorted to the basement. The party was reunited, sort of, in front of the mouth. Chantelle and Tick Tock were disturbed by what they saw, but remained calm. (SAN losses of 3 and 1.) Trammel asked Chantelle what they should do next.

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