Age of Cthulhu

Death in Luxor, Pt. 2 Synopsis

The next morning, the party left for Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramesses III. Upon arriving, they met with an old Persian named Abu, the leader of the native workers (in both a managerial and spiritual sense). The investigators weren’t the only ones meeting with the enigmatic Abu, however – the missing intern, Jack Saul, and his fiancée, Bethany Carslile, were also there, ostensibly seeking spiritual guidance.

After a brief conversation, the Old Persian summoned some workers to lead the party to the New Crypt. Saul and Carslile decided to tag along. After a half dozen men slid away the enormous stone block obstructing the tomb entrance, the investigators descended into the darkness. Inside, they found several cunning illusions designed to disorientate intruders, and a remarkable “map room” that seemed to indicate a location northwest of Luxor, somewhere in the Valley of the Kings.

Most importantly, the group found the original location of the keystone Bollacher and Jamison removed. The stone’s function, it would seem, was to block the flow of water from a large stone pipe in the tomb. Though the party replaced the plug, the large burial chamber through the adjoining doorway was already partially filled with water, submerging about a dozen stone sarcophagi in the process.

Opening one of the sarcophagi revealed a disturbing sight – a reptilian creature, the size of a man, desiccated and packed in rock salt. This proved too much for Jack Saul, who was already quite nervous; the man went catatonic upon viewing the hideous creature. Shortly thereafter, four of the creatures – living – emerged from the flooded portion of the tomb and attacked. Despite their monstrous appearance, they were still flesh and blood, and the party easily took care of them (with the help of Tony’s “Chicago typewriter”).

In the confusion, Carslile attempted to flee, but Charlie chased her down and forced her to spill the beans. As it turned out, Carslile and Saul were both part of a secret group of theosophists devoted to keeping the world safe from the horrors beyond time and space. There is an ancient evil awaking in Luxor, and the Old Persian and his men are part of a cult dedicated to making sure that said evil escapes its prison. She also informed the group that myrrh, frankincense, and carob wood were all necessary components in driving back the evil for another thousand years.

Despite having similar goals, Carslile refused to cooperate with the group; she believed that only she and her devotees were equipped to deal with the evil forces at work. Consequently, the investigators took her prisoner, and forced her to take them to her safehouse. There, after a psychic premonition from Odeilia, the group entered into a tense standoff with Carslile’s colleagues. After some skillful negotiation, though, the other theosophists were convinced to ally with the party, and a trussed-up Carslile was unceremoniously tossed into an upstairs bedroom.

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Death in Luxor, Pt. 1 Synopsis

After stepping off the steamer in Casablanca, the party boarded Woodhouse’s plane for the ten hour flight to Luxor. When the plane got close to the city, everyone could see an ominous thunderstorm localized over Luxor. No such weather had been forecasted, and any level of rainfall was extremely rare in that part of the country. Flying through the storm proved as dangerous as it looked; the plane’s left engine was struck by lightning, though Woodhouse successfully landed it without further damage to plane or occupants.

As if the pouring rain wasn’t unwelcoming enough, the corrupt Luxor police met the party at the end of the runway, insisting that their papers were forgeries. The police (or someone manipulating them) clearly didn’t want the foreigners to enter the city, but some appropriate bribery convinced them to back off. They did, however, leave with a warning that they would not be so amiable if they caught the party a second time.

Things did not get better upon reaching Chicago House; Prof. Aaron Bollacher had apparently went on a murder spree just minutes before the party’s arrival, slaying three of his four interns, fellow professor Alex Jamison, and (ultimately) himself. Bollacher’s wife, Rose, was nowhere to be found, and it appeared that one intern, Jack Saul, had left prior to the killings.

The murder site was littered with occult clues. Bollacher anointed himself with myrrh prior to hanging himself, and some sort of incense was burned in the library fireplace. Bollacher cut off the fingers of his victims, using them to write a bloody message on the fireplace (“FLOODING NILE / AWAKEN OLD ONES”) and spell out a series of runes on the floor (“death by drowning”). Additionally, Jamison’s journal detailed how he and Bollacher explored a “new crypt” and brought back a strange keystone; the journal goes on to explain that removing the keystone was a terrible mistake, and the beginning of their misfortunes.

A letter found near Jamison’s corpse hinted at an affair between him and Rose Bollacher, and also indicated that the latter would meet him at the Winter Palace Hotel so they could leave Luxor for good. Ursula Downs leapt to action, taking the car they arrived in to the hotel. The others followed not too long after, as it became clear that the police were about to arrive and find them in an incriminating situation.

The Winter Palace Hotel, due to its close proximity to the Nile, was in danger of flooding from the rain and was subsequently evacuated; the only two people remaining were a desk clerk and Rose “Smith”, who was getting sauced in the hotel bar. After breaking the sad news ever so gently, Ursula urged Rose to return to Chicago House to help unravel the mystery. Soon after, however, several Egyptian men in ill-fitting suits showed up, demanding some statue that Rose had in her possession. When she would not relinquish it, the men attacked with long knives and a disregard for their own well-being.

While Ursula fought off the attackers in the bar, the rest of the party arrived at the hotel in two stolen police cars just in time to see more sinister figures enter the lobby. The investigators rushed inside, surprising two of the men before they had the opportunity to arm a time bomb at the front desk; the rest were easily taken care of after meeting up with Ursula and Rose. A note found on one of the attackers indicated that they needed to obtain the statue prior to the arrival of “C”; interrogating one of the men revealed that “C” is “Carslile” – an individual apparently opposed to the attackers, and a name that Rose only dimly recollected.

After ditching the cop cars, the investigators and Rose high-tailed it to the Ali Baba, a dingy but discrete hotel in the middle of the city. There, Rose showed the group the statue that Bollacher and Jamison found in the New Crypt. The statue itself depicted a squid-like being, and viewing it was mildly unsettling (especially for Ursula, who had a brief panic attack). Though Rose inexplicably did not wish to part with it, Charlie convinced her to do so.

As the session ended, Rose decided to stay at the hotel while the rest of the group headed off to investigate Medinet Habu and locate the mysterious New Crypt.

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Death in Luxor: Introduction

In 1924, the University of Chicago established the Oriental Institute in Luxor, Egypt. Better known as Chicago House, the institute performed architectural and epigraphic surveys of Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramesses III. Under the auspices of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, the epigraphic team and a small army of laborers set about unearthing the temple that had sat undisturbed for over 3,000 years.

Late summer, 1926: The team uncovers inscribed reliefs depicting Ramesses’ defeat of the Sea Peoples. Further excavation yields even greater finds of pottery, hieroglyphics, and more inscriptions. On August 18th, working late into the night, Professor Aaron Bollacher succeeds in translating the inscriptions that he believed would establish the Oriental Institute’s preeminence in the field of archaeology.

By Bollacher’s discovery, the staff redoubles their efforts, poring over inscriptions and ordering round-the-clock excavations. Bollacher calls in old friends and old favors, assembling a team of experts to be flown in from across the pond.

The mysteries of ancient Luxor are stirring.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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