The Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep d20

Nebulous

Legend
Adventure #23: Mountain of the Black Wind


Three days after leaving Nduvo, the investigators arrive at the outskirts of the Corrupt Ground where the Carlyle Expedition supposedly perished.

The jungle has been hot, sticky and treacherous, but insects keep their distance from the chameleon, Who. But once close to the Corrupted Ground, a viscous fog curls around the ground, and the jungle sounds fade. Their guide Okumo whispers that it is a cursed place, and the warriors that accompany them are hesitant to even set foot near. The foliage assumes strange shapes and twisted patterns, the vines warped into bulging green and gray shapes almost like rotting tentacles.

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Stepping timidly across thick roots, it is Father Salvatore and Chad Slambody who first see a strange face lurking in the underbrush, nestled among the roots of a dying tree. Edging closer, Chad and Okumo spot several bright green snakes writhing around a statue’s head that gazes out from the shadows.

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Green mambas, Okumo says, but then the snakes suddenly dart forward! Chad destroys one with a quick shotgun blast, but Father Salvatore is struck in the leg by another. He staggers away, screaming, but several more shots later the snakes are dead. However, the corrupt ground is alive with a distant _slithers_, hisses, and the promise of more aggressive reptilians. Okumo insists that nothing should live in the Corrupt Ground, and that this is highly unnatural. The group should leave at once. They agree, and do not search it further.

Father Salvatore is badly hurt by the snake venom, but Okumo is able to brew a tonic to help him, and Lester Cobblebottom applies his medical knowledge to extract the poison. If poisonous snakes were not bad enough, by the next day, Chang and Father Salvatore have also acquired mild fevers, and once again, Okumo tries to brew medicine and salves to ease their discomfort. It is not malaria or anything so serious, but they will feel ill for several days.

A crescent moon is nigh, and from experience (especially with Chang's previous testimony) these cults prefer to indulge their ceremonies under such a furtive light. The first night after leaving the Corrupt Ground, Chad spots dim, bobbing firelight in the distant jungle, but does not alert anyone, and the light soon vanishes. The next morning, Okumo finds tracks and tells them that a large number of people have been traveling in this direction. They begin to follow the loose trail of snapped twigs and trampled plants.

That afternoon, while still quite distant from the black mountain looming over the tree tops, the group hears faint chattering. It is a mish-mash of Swahili and other tongues, but they cannot discern any clear words. They creep forward slowly, while Ma'moud clings fearfully to their Gas Mule/Camel.

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There! A sentry is spotted in the boughs of a yucca tree, nearly forty feet off the ground. A hill rises up before the investigators, and they soon spot another sentry on a rocky outcropping above them. The investigators are huddled together under thick underbrush, and discuss their options. It is finally decided, with a rather ingenious plan on the part of Lester Cobblebottom, that Chad should shimmy forward (naked as his name day) while Chang quietly circumvents the scout on the rock and eliminates him from behind. However, they detect even louder chattering they heard originally. There are more men concealed somewhere else.

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Taking their time, and maximizing the stark shadows from the canopy, Chad and Chang move into position while the others wait. Chang shimmies up another tree to inspect the hilltop and is disgusted to see the remains of a horrid ritual: bones and skulls are lashed together into a grisly shrine. He then spots six more Kenyans trotting behind the hill. He scampers down, and eases up the hill, until he is behind the sentry on the rock. Likewise, Chad Slambody crawls panther-like up the yucca tree, a knife clenched in his teeth and a shotgun strapped to his naked, glistening back. Chad has a clear view of the sentry's undercarriage peeking through his loincloth, and has momentary regrets about having to kill him.

However, that does not stop Chad from rising up, plunging the Tooth of Amon Re into the man's larynx, and watching him plummet to the ground in a spurting trail of blood and smashed tree limbs. Chang does the same, but the sentry is not killed by the initial blow. He falls away, and Chang is forced to swipe several more times before cutting him down.

But by now, the other voices have risen in volume and intensity. Chad begins climbing down, and has nearly set foot on the ground when he sees several men shoving through the undergrowth toward him! He scampers partway up, even as they point and shriek and let loose with crude arrows, which either sink into the tree trunk or are shrugged away by Chad's golden-hard flesh. (DR 2 saved him so, so many times from nitpicking damage)

The others maneuver closer for a clear line of sight to seven or eight men charging across a shallow creek. They're not all Kenyan either: at least one is Asian, and another Arab, and all of them bear sharpened prangas. Chad uses the tree for protection and whips out the shotgun, blasting one attacker in the chest. But it is Chang who evens the odds more than anyone. Even as he scrambles down the hill, he is pulling out a stick of dynamite, calculating how much wick to pinch off, and then it is lit, aimed and thrown into their midst!

A harrowing explosion rocks the ground. A flash of fire and dirt and screams, and five cultists are blown in every direction. Survivors charge up the hill toward Father Salvatore and one of the warriors from Nduvo, while others launch themselves at Lester, Chad, Okumo, and everyone else. Spears fly, more bullets are released, and the afternoon is split by screams of pain. Chang jogs back to the hilltop to assist his friends, but two sharp retorts suddenly ring out! A bullet tears through an arm, and he spins to see two rifle-bearing Arab snipers at the top of a small waterfall.

Father Salvatore slides down on his tummy, using boulders as cover, and manages to snipe back at the two Arabs with his shotgun, plucking them off the rock before they can inflict any more damage. As quickly as the battle begun, it is over. Dust and smoke fill the air along with the coppery taint of new blood, but the party is relatively uninjured (aside from Chang's wounded arm).

Bolstering their courage, they reload weapons and trudge onward, knowing that the worst is yet to come.

By evening, many hours and miles later, they find themselves walking up an incline to the crest of a long ridge. Trees and bushes line the ridge, but before they reach the crest, they clearly hear distant rhythmic chanting. Debating what to do, and a few of them finally crawl forward and peek through, and are dismayed by the sight:

Ten thousand people fill a valley below them.

At least ten-thousand, possibly more. It is almost like a gathering for a festival. Tents dot the valley floor. Groups mill about: African, Indonesian, European and more. Some people are chained to poles, most likely sacrifices for the looming ritual, and Chang at least has seen this scenario three times now: once in the Ju-Ju House in NY, once at Gavigan's estate in London, and once beneath Giza, with the summoning of the Black Sphinx.

The investigators watch for a long time, trying to discern any kind of pattern, anything that stands out as a central base, anything or anyone that might indicate what will happen next, but the general feeling culled from their surveillance is one of waiting. Drums begin beating at a fast tempo from hundreds of drummers, filling the valley with a reverberating thump. They debate entering the valley and joining the cultists, because the investigators do not significantly differ in reappearance. Although predominantly black, many of the participants are still Caucasian.

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They wait even longer, anxious and very, very worried, until night falls, and gloom spreads across the valley floor. The sun sinks behind the mountain, haloing it with a ball of red fire, and then it slowly vanishes as a crescent moon rises. Bonfires are lit, torches flicker to life as anticipation rises, and then the drums come to a halt...

...as a female figure walks out onto a hidden ledge on the mountain itself, a hundred feet above the valley floor, and raises her arms to the blackening sky...


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And there we stopped.
 

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Nebulous

Legend
Adventure #24: The Spawn of Nyarlathotep


Part 1: An Unwelcome Arrival

Savage drums beat within the valley. Thousands of cultists from around the world have gathered for this vile celebration. The investigators watch from the tree line as a half mile away, a Kenyan woman (M'Weru) emerges from a hidden entrance above the valley floor. The chanting and drumming ceases, and rippling anticipation steals over the crowd. The party wants to kill her, (even though they barely know who M'Weru is, but she LOOKS important) but she is out of gun range. Plus, she is very difficult to see in the gloom, illuminated only by bulky torchbearers at her side. M'Weru begins to speak in Swahili, and her voice washes over the congregation with unnatural clarity and strength, as translated to the others by Okumo:


"Hail, the son of the Dark One!
Nyar Shagnath! Tonight is the night of his birth,
and the world shall know FEAR!"


And so on and so forth. Her lunatic ramblings agitate the crowd of thousands, and they begin chanting back at her as the fervor grows. The investigators need to get closer, so with Okumo, the twins, and two other (highly expendable) warriors, they descend the shallow ridge with their Gas Mule lumbering behind with 50 gallons of gasoline in 10 gallon containers. The only one that stays behind is ten-year old Ma'moud, shivering behind a yucca tree with increasing dread.

(GM Note: he is a potential line of continuity if a TPK occurs here, along with Ali Kafour in Cairo).


Their goal: use the mule and Kenyan mooks as cover, and begin tossing sticks of dynamite into the crowd, sowing mayhem, death and confusion until they can get closer to M'Weru. Unbelievably, this is the best idea they can come up with (aside from just blending quietly into the crowd?). The odds are overwhelming, the threat nearly insurmountable, and the clock is ticking down. Something very, very bad is soon to happen.

[GM Note: I actually couldn’t believe they were trying to do this!]

As they maneuver into position, pressing through throngs of bodies, they see miserable sacrificial victims chained to poles. There is no way to save them, and the investigators wonder if killing them first will somehow disrupt the ceremony. But M'Weru has not been idle up on her perch; she is now holding a baby in her arms. Its shrieks echo across the valley as she raises it above her head, and then she casts it from the ledge! The child falls and splatters on the jagged rocks below, and the ceremony begins!

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The child's death is the impetus for the ritual to commence, and cudgels, clubs and hammers begin to pummel the sacrifices. No man, woman or child is safe. The scene is one of unspeakable horror, and investigators are wallowing in the middle of it! Furthermore, clothes are shed, and aside from Chad Slambody who adores the nude body, the others are reluctant to take their clothing off to join the masses, especially Lester Cobblebottom. The ritual quickly becomes one of completely naked abominations. The night erupts into an orgy of blood, and the very sight of these atrocities gnaws at the fragile Sanity of the heroes...

They enact their plan at once. Chad lights a fuse that Chang has prepared with his demolitions expertise, and tosses it as far as he can. The explosion rocks the ground and a plume of fire and smoke shoots into the sky. No one expected that. The group huddles tightly together, moving toward M'weru up on the ledge while hastily lighting more dynamite and trying to throw it from concealment. However, they finally draw attention to themselves, particularly when a madman attacks the still-clothed Father Salvatore, and bashes him across the forehead with a cudgel.

The scene becomes one of complete anarchy.

Screams of the dead, dying and the utterly insane fill the valley. Three more cultists throw themselves at Father Salvatore, brutally bashing him, until they are dispatched with shotgun blasts. Even Lester begins throwing dynamite, but his actions are spotted, and Kenyan cultists launch toward him, but are intercepted by the warriors from Boyova. A frantic grappling match ensues as DOZENS of cultists jump into the fray, while the remaining frazzled investigators stumble into the crowd, hauling the mule and trying to distance themselves from their fallen (meatshield) companions who are pulled to pieces.

It is only through extreme luck and some Action Points that they get away.

But their progress toward the mountain is slow, hampered by uneven ground and throngs of people. Clouds begin to swirl overhead as the combined deaths draw upon the dark power of the ritual. The moon glimmers evilly in the heavens, and thunder rumbles. The group finally reaches a sheer cliff of granite rising thousands of feet, and they see a narrow switchback trail that leads to the ledge where M'Weru was standing. But she is gone. They begin climbing up, but Who the Chameleon becomes increasingly manic, thrashing against the sides of her cage like a wounded animal, when a sudden HUSH falls across the entire valley.

The investigators are too late.

Something is coming.

A rising wind extinguishes torches, bonfires, smoldering corpses and all sources of light, growing in intensity, until the clouds overhead unleash a terrific bolt of LIGHTNING so bright, so fearsome, it cowers everyone to their knees.

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At this point, MaMoud, the loyal Egyptian boy from Cairo, takes off into the jungle (which is quite dangerous in and of itself). Mist pours down from the mountaintop in thick, tenebrous coils, but this is no ordinary mist. It spins and congeals into increasingly solid form, and as the investigators cling to the cliff face, shuddering in the Black Wind that whips across the valley like a sharp knife, the most horrible thing they have ever seen appears over them, straddling the mountain like an unholy giant--

Nyarlathotep. God of the Bloody Tongue.

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A thousand feet high, with black flesh and a horrid red whip tongue, the very air and earth buckles from its evil presence. Flying beasts swoop around its head and torso, and then begin to dive-bomb the crowd of worshipers. The investigators are terrified by this development, but most manage to squeeze their eyes shut and shield their mind from the horror...

...except for Lester Cobblebottom Ph.D. Esquire M.D. The aging antiquarian cannot tears his gaze from the madness given form and substance, and part of his mind is shattered. He begins screaming non-stop, shaking and convulsing and is inflicted with temporary insanity. (GM Note: Lester gets reamed this adventure with madness penalties)

The group keeps pushing up the narrow ledge, pressing themselves against the wall, trying to reach the safety (does that even exist here?) of a narrow cave entrance above them.

Cultists swarm after them by the hundreds, but are forced to file up the narrow ledge. The whole time, Who the Chameleon is going nuts inside the cage, and Father Salvatore finally unleashes her and lets her drop down. The lizard scampers to the valley floor, growing in size even as the bewildered investigators watch, remembering Old Bundari's instructions for his pet:

“She can only be used once!”

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Who is soon the size of a dog and throws herself onto a shocked cultist, tearing into his neck with vicious teeth. Moments later she attains the size of a cow, and soon after she is even larger, her scales gaining a reddish hue, her muscles bulging, her jaw elongating and extending, claws stretching into horribly long talons. She rears up on her hind legs and STOMPS a cultist into the ground, blood blooming around her foot.

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The few cultists that have managed to follow the party are ripped from their precarious perches on the ledge, or scramble back down, screaming. Who bites another victim, pulls him into the air and begins to swallow him.

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The power of the Black Wind is pervasive, and even as she decimates the enemy, smoke begins billowing away from Who. She is dissipating under the black magic of the god, but not before inflicting a terrible toll upon her foes. The investigators use her diversion to good advantage and keep scrabbling toward higher ground, hoping they can outdistance anyone.

Even as this is happening, the ground begins to bubble and froth in the center of the valley. Rocks and dust shoot up, and a stairwell magically unfolds from the earth itself, extending up, up and ever higher, between the legs of Nyarlathotep who watches his worshipers frolic below. Frenzies cultists begin to climb the stairs by the hundreds, heading ever closer to their Black Lord and ignoring any other diversions (such as the investigators).

And in appreciation, Nyarlathotep scoops some of them up in his horrid hands, lifting them high and crushing them in his fist. Blood, gore and viscera rain down from the heavens, showering the others on the stairs in a grisly baptism. Another hand scoops down, grabs a handful of screaming, mad, both lucky and unlucky cultists who are touched by their benefactor, and are tossed into the storm-ridden sky, hurtling miles away into the jungle. Despite this, only a few hundred are killed out of the thousands present. Shantaks swoop down and carry victims off into the sky, and the investigators consider using the magical headband they have, in hope that it might protect them from the creatures.

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They continue up the narrow trail, trying not to look at the horrible God above them, and in due time, they reach the cave entrance and stumble inside as the wind howls behind them...

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Nebulous

Legend
Adventure #24: The Spawn of Nyarlathotep


PART 2: Dark Places

It is very dark.

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Limestone stairs descend into a black pit. Outside, the screams and laughter and peals of agony are slightly muted. The group shuffles down the natural steps, tugging the Gas Mule behind them. Lester is scratching his face, mumbling and wild-eyed (GM Note: He is inflicted with confusion than can happen on a roll of 1, and tonight, the party rolled more 1's than I've ever seen; Chang had 3 in a row!)

Horrible bat-headed sculptures flank an exit tunnel, and a successful Mythos Check compares them to another mask of Nyarlathotep: The Sand Bat of Central Australia.

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A pool of water lies in the next extremely dark chamber, and the only source of illumination they have are weak flashlights. The pool is filled with hungry black leeches, which reminds Chang and Chad of a similar pool beneath Giza.

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Naturally, Chad Slambody is still naked, and the others are in a state of half-clothed disarray, after trying to sneak through the multitude of naked cultists (they got very, very lucky with their rolls).

Chad spots a stalagmite jutting up from the floor in an adjacent chamber, and he sees the light splash across the head and shoulder of an immobile man. Sneaking forward, he gets close enough to suspect that the man is dead, but not dead in a good way; dead in a bad way; a stinking, still-walking, likely to eat-your-brain kind of way. The group has not seen zombies in some time (most have not seen zombies at all, but Chang is familiar with them from as far back as the Ju-Ju House in NY City).

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They decide to burn the thing, and Chad sneaks back, returns with a 10-gallon drum of gasoline, and discreetly plants it near the zombie and leads a trail back to his hiding spot. But another zombie appears! A huge, hulking black man, his eyes white, blood dripping down his jowls. He spots Chad and shambles toward him, but Chad has already lit the gasoline. KA-BOOM!

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One zombie guard is blasted from his perch and plummets into a nearby chasm. The second guard is caught on fire but still charges ahead, until a shotgun and pistol rip his chest cavity to pieces, and it collapses into a stinking heap. Beyond, the party is met with yet another problem:

A rickety rope bridge extends across the chasm where the zombie fell. It can still be seen smoking and flicking at the bottom. Chad works his way across, but there is no way they will risk taking the 500+ lb. Gas Mule on the bridge. It is tied off and left behind while they confiscate supplies from it: namely, Gas, Dynamite and Weapons. (GM Note: Gas, Dynamite and Weapons have helped the party survive as long as they have; and a hell of a lot of luck).

They continue winding through the darkness in a terrified bundle. Their flashlights only let them see shadows up to 60 feet, and these rooms are larger than that. They reach another deep hole stretching through the dark, and see large rats scampering nearby, but it is what waits at the end of the room that sends Chad, Lester, Chang, Father Salvatore, Okumo, and the two Kenyan warriors rolling another Sanity Check:


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A horrific statue of Nyarlathotep in his Bloody Tongue aspect towers over them!

Slathered in blood and symbols, it also doubles as a throne, for a crude chair is carved into it. There is a large iron cage in one corner, enough to contains dozes and dozens of people, and a pile of moldy scrolls in another with large rats nearby. In front of the throne, flanking it on both sides, are two bizarre pillars: one is encrusted with human skulls, the other is made from some weird green stone. (GM Note: I think that by this point even Chang had lost too much Sanity too fast, and is inflicted with something unpleasant, but not permanent).

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It is not until they encourage Lester Cobblebottom (already tenuously close to more insanity) to inspect the bizarre green column of alien stone, that things go downhill for him even worse. He fails a Will Save, and losing more Sanity and rolling poorly on related dice, he is ravaged by both Confusion and a Split Personality! He begins babbling and shrieking, and then takes off running into the darkness.

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Chad and a Kenyan warrior follow him, but seconds after he has started running, Lester spins around and shoots the Kenyan dead! Chad grapples him, wrestling Lester to the ground, who has now taken on the Split Personality of a strong, brave man, which is not supported his puny strength and stature. In his mind, he is trying to be brave and stalwart like Chad Slambody! Although just not so gay. Of course, the others do not know of this inner turmoil, all they know if that Lester has gone mad.

Furthermore, Lester is hearing voices.

Yes, the Green Pillar of alien stone is speaking to him with the incessant drone of thousands of voices chanting in unison, echoing through his fevered brain. When Lester finally calms down, he has a moment of insight and clarity, and deduces that the voices were cultists very nearby awaiting the birth of the Son of Nyarlathotep. The group decides to destroy the two pillars (they positively reek of Evil) and unfortunately for them, the Skull Pillar begins screaming with hundreds of voices and everyone suffers more Sanity Loss. Even Chad Slambody succumbs by this point as the group is constantly whittled down by the Mountain of the Black Wind

[GM Note: he rolls a 6-month long term insanity that we later decide will be NECROPHILIA! Fun!]


The Throne Room is thoroughly searched, the scrolls seized, a golden statue tucked away, and the throne itself inspected by Chang, although he is loathe to go near it. His bravery pays off however. A secret panel is revealed behind the throne, and the group timidly steps into a long corridor that curves and winds upward into the mountain.

Twenty minutes of climbing later, they soon hear the eerie echo of woman in labor. [GM Note: I actually was able to find a creepy soundtrack of a woman in labor that sounds like its echoing in a tunnel]. They hear the commotion and murmur of thousands of bodies and voices, and soon they squirm into a single narrow passage that opens up into a truly massive chamber in the heart of the black mountain.

From here, things get worse.

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GodPhoenix

First Post
Nebulous said:
NECROPHILIA! Fun!]

You just don't normally see those two words right next to each other, do ya?

Nebulous said:
GM Note: I actually was able to find a creepy soundtrack of a woman in labor that sounds like its echoing in a tunnel

You have a knack for finding oddly appropriate sound effects.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Adventure #24: The Spawn of Nyarlathotep (Part 3)

PART 3: Birth (and Death) of a God

The ceiling is over 100 feet high. Six pillars support the roof, but they are not regular pillars, but rather horrid stone tentacles replete with wet suckers.

[GM Note: I had the room built out on a battlemap, but didn’t take pictures. It was pretty big. I think one mini represented 100 people, or something like that].

Thousands of cultists cram shoulder to shoulder into a room that is wider than a football field. To the south, a huge, ragged hole has collapsed the wall, and from here, wide stone steps descend to the valley floor. While the investigators crept through the inner secret corridors, the cultists took the route and up and past their vengeful god. In the center of this chamber (which is seemingly expanded from natural lava tubes) sits a 3' x 7' green stone altar. However, everyone’s attention is focused on the east side of the chamber, a good 500' from the investigators, where a dais rests against the wall, and something HUGE is squatting upon it that looks like a big quivering, ochre balloon.

With the dim light, thousands of swooning cultists, and some pillars in the way, it's really hard to see. The entire group is scared, but they've come too far, through too many hardships and trials to fail now.

Okumo, Chang and Lester stay behind, watching from the shadows of the secret alcove, while Chad and Father Salvatore gear up with dynamite and gas, and quietly blend into the crowd, prepared to sacrifice their very lives for the Greater Good. No one really notices them; they look like every other dirty, disheveled, blood-encrusted maniac. The sound they heard in the tunnel is even more magnified in the Great Chamber: a woman is in the pangs of child birth, and as Chad and Salvatore push through the crowd, drawing ever closer to the fleshy mound on the dais, they see what exactly has happened to Hyapatia Masters after all these years:

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She is enormous, just a quivering flesh-bag for the entity inside her. Her skin is pulled taut, while her head wags off the end. Her lips are crusted with blood and she is crying and laughing and babbling incoherently. A tight line of bodies forms a semi-circle around her twenty feet out, giving her room for the spectacle to come. Chad and Father Salvatore have their work cut out for them, and Salvatore murmurs a quick prayer. 9 sticks of dynamite are already bundled together, and Salvatore quietly uncorks a gas can and weaves a trail of gas through the crowd.

But Hyapatia Masters starts convulsing! (GM Note: The entire soundtrack from the past 2 adventures was from horror movie Slither, and the soundtrack for Hyapatia Bursting was called "Brenda Bursting")

Something massive squirms inside her body, and then two hideous orange eyes roll open within her translucent flesh!

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Hyapatia screams one last time in agony, one last mad shriek after 5 years of incubating the son of the Devil inside her ravaged body, and her head pops open. Brains gush out, the skin-sack splits, embryonic fluids splash forth, and something ungodly wriggles into the world, flailing eyes and mouths and tentacles, a huge orange abomination the size of the entire dais.

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A chorus of praises fills the dark cathedral...

...just as Chad Slambody throws a bundle of dynamite, and immediately pushes back into the crowd of bodies. But Father Salvatore is impulsive, thrashing to the very forefront, levels his shotgun and pumps a round into the dynamite as soon as it lands at the body of the thing. The bundle of dynamite explodes, washing the dais and all spectators with a bloom of flame. Unearthly shrieks spill from the dais as the newborn Spawn of Nyarlathotep, only barely alive in the world of the living, is blasted into a thousand chunky bits of goo and blood and squirmy evil. The shock blast knocks Salvatore off his feet as well as about one hundred other people, and inflicts incredible damage. Some are killed instantly; others are rendered unconscious, and Salvatore is only saved from death by pure luck, despite being struck in the head by shrapnel. Dazed, he falls to the ground, but many cultists spotted him, and their hands grapple the priest from every direction.

From the hidden alcove, Chang, Okumo and Lester (and No-Name Mook) cringe as the thunderous explosion rocks the entire room. Chunks of the ceiling crack and fall and the crowd stumbles backward from the flames. Screams wash back and forth as they shield their eyes from the glare.

But the explosion also ignites the trail of gasoline, and second later, a secondary explosion sends more corpses flying into the air. Once again, dynamite has ruined a perfectly good ceremony of Nyarlathotep (GM Note: and for those surviving cultists from Giza who are also attending here, this is like deja-vu). Chad Slambody, naked and alone, hammers through the crowd. He shakes off several grappling arms and chucks his last stick of dynamite ahead of him, creating even more smoke, havoc and death, and hurtles himself around the conflagration. He is using the confusion to the best of his ability, and being as dirty and naked as everyone else, he meshes into the chaos.

But Father Salvatore is not so lucky. A dozen cultists pull his arms and legs and lift him over the heads while he chants the Lord's Prayer in defiance! He struggles to free himself, but no amount of Action Points can save him from a thousand combatants. He is hauled to three nearby pits previously unnoticed, and Father Salvatore is given a glimpse of three potential fates:

A pit of black and green mambas. A pit of ravenous rats. Or a pit of carnivorous giant ants.


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He is not really given a choice. M'Weru appears, her face twisted with anger, and points to the center pit. Father Salvatore is thrown down into the rat swarm, hundreds of black furry bodies crawling over him, infected teeth piercing his genitals, eating his nose off, gnawing his fingers and toes as he slowly screams his last...and hopefully gets a ride to Heaven, and not the maw of a certain nearby evil god.

But, the others don't know about this. Chad finally reaches the blackened alcove and reunites with his allies, even as thousands of cultists thrash behind them, caught in the chaos the heroes have sown. But their luck may have run out.

The Spawn is dead. The investigators are injured and near Insanity. Daddy has just lost his Son, and is pissed. And the party is still five days outside of Nairobi, with a jungle teeming with insects, snakes, disease and cultists in between them and freedom.

Can they make it with no dynamite and dwindling ammo? Will they escape the Mountain of the Black Wind alive? Will Lester Cobblebottom fracture into a third disoriented personality? Will M'Weru capture and feed them to the rats and ants? Will Chad finally make sweet man-love to Chang before thousands of cultists tear them limb from limb?

Find out next time.

[GM Note: Although it took a long time to write this segment, it was no more than a 4 hour session].
 


Nebulous

Legend
GodPhoenix said:
Snakes...and rats and ants. Why did it have to be snakes...and rats and ants?

Well, the adventure book actually called for a pit of disgruntled kittens, a pit of green healing salve, and a pit of some Swedish massage girls. The snakes, rats and ants are just there because i'm an ***hole. ;)

Looking ahead, there's quite a few chapters left, about 10. I guess making it through twenty four of these so far is pretty good. I'm just glad i wrote it down, there's so much i would have forgotten.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Adventure #25: Escape from the Mountain (Part 1)

Part 1: Old Friends

The Spawn is dead! Chunks of its ravaged body decorate the Ceremony Chamber with radioactive red and orange viscera. Mass chaos ensues as thousands of panicked cultists push for the exit, the long, treacherous stairway leading down to the valley below. But the investigators (along with their ally Okumo and one trembling mook) are huddled in their secret alcove, just as Chad Slambody streaks up to them. He is bloody, sooty, and wild-eyed, but he's alive and doesn't know what the hell happened to Father Salvatore.

They don't wait to find out.

A dozen of M'Weru's undead bodyguards are trundling toward them; fat, stinking black men, their skin sloughing off in wet sheets.

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The heroes run down the tunnel, Chang in the lead, until they reach the Throne Room of M'Weru. They have only two flashlights between them, and naked Chad Slambody doesn't have his gun anymore, discarded somewhere during the confusion. [GM Note- insert jokes about Chad's "suitcasing" capabilities] They run through the cavernous room, backtracking to where they know they last left the Gas Mule. Lester Cobblebottom is somewhat composed now, free of his former madness, but Chad Slambody is concealing a new affliction, one that pulls at his loins, tugs at his testicles, a yearning for men who CANNOT RESIST HIS ADVANCES! The chaos of the past several months has finally deteriorated his senses and Chad seeks solace in what seems rational: sex with the dead!

In their glassy eyes he is perfection; the perfect specimen of Man. [GM note: Leo opted for this particular malady over the boring hypochondria]

However, the foul statue of Nyarlathotep overlooks them all, a 15-foot monstrosity that fills the investigators with dread. A sudden wind whips up inside the throne room, keening through the corners, howling with peculiar similarity to the wind outside the mountain.

The investigators reach the rickety bridge again where they first crossed with a rope and left the Gas Mule tethered on the far side. The beast of burden still sits here, and the heroes cross the chasm one at a time. The bridge sways back and forth in the unnatural wind, and it is extremely treacherous to cross. Hand over hand they navigate the chasm, with boards falling beneath their feet. When it is finally Lester's turn, he ties one end of the rope around his waist and hobbles over the bridge. But it breaks! His feet splinter through the wood and he plunges into the ravine, only to painfully slam against the wall, saved only by the rope anchored under his armpits. The others haul him up even as they hear voices from nearby.

Torchlight begins to flicker elsewhere in the cavern. They pull faster until Lester crests the top, and then they see several fat dead men have reached the far side. Staring at them with soulless white eyes, they approach, but lack the dexterity or foresight to navigate the damaged bridge. Both zombies fall to their second deaths and splatter messily in the darkness at the bottom. The bridge is impassable now, and the investigators cut the last remaining strands and discard the bridge into the chasm.

However, they hear strange shrieks in the darkness, and the scrape of claws on rock. Something else has entered this room, and they don't want to find out what.

Almost to the exit! They reach the bottom of the room that leads up to the ledge where M'Weru first tossed the infant to its death a few hours earlier. Outside, the wind screams with unholy fury, and they hear the screams of thousands of men and women climbing down the stairs from the Ceremony Chamber. Chad Slambody reaches the top first, sprinting ahead...

...and stops in his tracks. Horrified.

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A cyclone of immense proportions twists in the distance, two baleful blue eyes burning within the darkness. Chad shudders and averts his gaze, even as the others clamber up and witness what is waiting for them. Lightning crackles and pounds the earth, arcing from trees and sparking them into blooms of flame. Men and women run shrieking from the magical stairwell, flee into the jungle. And the magical stairwell begins to crumble...

Chaos swirls before the investigators and they are reluctant to step out, so they opt to wait. Chad runs back down to set a trap in the corridor, in case anyone or anything manages to cross the chasm. He hauls gasoline off the Gas Mule and begins to place the fuel in the narrow tunnel, keeping an eye on more torch-bearing zombies gathered at the far side of the crevasse. But then he hears it: bird-like ululating shrieks from deeper in the chamber, and the flap of leathery wings...as something huge and bone-white slithers up behind the zombies, viscous saliva dropping from a fleshless head that resembles a desiccated horse skull.

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Chad (wisely) decides to run. They have few choices now. The winged monstrosity will cross the chasm and be on top of them in seconds, so they clamber out onto the ledge and begin picking their way down the trail, with Lester hauling the terrified Gas Mule. The cyclone finally moves out of sight, but even as they step out onto the ledge, the great magical stairway completely crumbles! The remaining cultists who still have not escaped fall to their deaths and are crushed under tons of rock.

Purple lightning continues to strike the ground, buzzing and arcing over the corpses, many of which were sacrificial victims from earlier, or were killed by the investigator's liberal use of dynamite. The electricity worms among the dead, and then, to the dismay of everyone climbing down the trail, the dead begin to stir!

zombie mob.jpg
 

Abciximab

Explorer
[GM note: Leo opted for this particular malady over the boring hypochondria]

Maybe he's actually a hypochondriac that thinks he has necrophelia.

I'm enjoying this story hour as well as your new one and looking at your minis, props and images, I have to say, you have way too much time on your hands. ;)

I hope it continues.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Abciximab said:
Maybe he's actually a hypochondriac that thinks he has necrophelia.

Haha. Well, in the next sequence i think our poor surviving mook warrior finds out that it's not all in Chad's head!

Abciximab said:
I have to say, you have way too much time on your hands. ;)

I hope it continues.

Yeah, it's been QUITE slow at work recently, so i'm taking advantage of it! I couldn't even guess how many hours it takes to stage the DREAD thread, snap pictures, manipulate images, look for additional images, and then post. If i wasn't having so much fun i probably wouldn't bother! :)
 

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