Age of Cthulhu

Won't You Please Come to Chicago, Pt. 2 Synopsis

As the spiral staircase wound downward, far beneath the city above, the masonry of the Twilight Lounge gave way to older stone chiseled by unknown hands. After a descent that took several minutes, the party found themselves in a dark hallway with rooms on either side. The room on the left was sparsely furnished, and contained three hairless and pockmarked men who attacked the investigators aggressively. The rooms on the right, however, appeared to be someone’s private chambers, and were richly appointed with antique furniture and nautical paraphernalia. In addition to some bizarre religious texts and an imposing portrait of a 17th century naval officer, the group also found a mind-shattering wooden box that somehow contained a portal to another place (or time); after some careful experimentation, this item was left behind, though Robbie did take the leather-bound notebook found on top of it.

Further down the hallway, the group passed a stone altar with a bas relief behind it. The relief depicted a creature similar to that which the party faced at the end of their Luxor adventure, though many, many times larger. Above and behind the odious creature’s head was a depiction of some sort of disc, carved with a stylized image of an eagle. Past the altar, in the middle of an impressively large and cavernous vault, the investigators found another staircase that led to an even deeper level of the complex.

Upon stepping from the staircase into another large chamber, the group split; while most went off to find the source of a regular, metallic clanging coming from a far corner of the room, Jo and Mark investigated a faint light coming from a doorway to the right. There, they discovered a ritual chamber of sorts, complete with torture implements, a magical incantation chiseled onto the far wall, and bottles filled with a strange blue-grey powder. While this was going on, the other group discovered that the floor of the large chamber contained an array of iron lids, similar to large manhole covers. Peering into one uncovered hole, Ursula Downs found a disfigured humanoid figure – with the same skin condition as the men that attacked the group earlier – at the bottom of a pit. The creature reacted with fear and alarm to seeing Ursula by moaning and gibbering loudly, and suddenly similar noises erupted from every one of the closed pits in the room. Presumably, each of the fifty-or-so pits in the room contained a similar abomination.

Though the inhuman cries continued, the group reconvened in front of a dungeon cell that contained a weak, malnourished, and mentally disturbed Helen Stromboni – the source of the clanging sound they heard earlier. After Jo released Helen from her shackles, Robbie picked up the barely conscious woman and the group prepared to depart. However, on the way back, they were confronted by a man in a pinstriped suit – the gangster Giovanni Merluzzo himself! Oddly enough, he looked exactly like the man from the portrait upstairs, with the exception of his blotchy, pockmarked skin. Merluzzo attacked – as did his minions, who were lying in wait – and an arcane spell hurled Ursula Downs across the room. In the end, though, Merluzzo’s bag of magical trickery was no match for the players’ superior firepower, and the gangster’s reign of terror was over.

As the party carried Helen back to civilization, several questions still loomed ominously: Who was Giovanni Merluzzo? What was his agenda? And, based on religious texts found in his office, are there others who share his goals? The uncomfortable answers to these questions may be closer than the investigators realize…

Won't You Please Come to Chicago, Pt. 1 Synopsis

After the events in Luxor, the investigators took some time to sort through the personal effects of their fallen comrade, Anthony Stromboni. There they found a letter, written just prior to Tony’s death, explaining that he was sent to Luxor to retrieve the Cthulhu statue from the Chicago House expedition. Once Tony returned the statue to his employer, a gangster named Giovanni Merluzzo, the man would release Tony’s sister, Helen, who was being held against her will.

Although Charlie Frost decided to bow out in order to pursue full-time alcoholism, the rest of the group agreed that they would head back to Chicago to try and save Tony’s sister. Once there, Woodhouse reunited with an old war buddy and scientist named Algernon Grindell Lovelace, and the group spent the night at his meager lodgings.

The next day, having no clear idea how to track down Merluzzo, the party decided to investigate Tony’s last known address for some sort of lead. Upon arriving at the run-down bungalow, it was clear that there was someone else already in the house. After some cautious investigation, the group discovered an orphan boy, about twelve years old. The boy said his name was Jo, and that Helen Stromboni often showed him kindness by feeding him and letting him sleep there. He, like the rest of the group, was concerned about Helen’s current whereabouts.

While this conversation was taking place, four men dressed in trench coats and fedoras not-so-subtly entered the house. The men were unarmed, but they did not hesitate to charge the investigators. There was a brief skirmish, and toward the end, a mysterious gunman aided the party from outside the building. A cursory examination of the bodies by Dr. McCoy showed that the men were completely hairless and suffered from a strange combination of skin disorders that left their skin pockmarked and blotchy.

After the smoke had cleared, attention turned to the gunman outside. After some brief moments of mutual distrust, the man introduced himself as Mark “The Line” Mulligan, an ex-cop and private investigator. Mulligan had a vendetta against the mob, and Helen’s disappearance was one lead he was following up on. The shamus was also able to provide some useful information to the group; namely, that Merluzzo’s base of operations was a high-class brothel called The Twilight Lounge. Since it was the middle of the day, the group agreed that it was probably the best time to investigate this location.

Upon arriving at the Twilight Lounge, located in an old hotel in a dead neighborhood, Jo was able to pick the lock to the back door. After clearing out a small group of mob thugs that were hanging around the first floor, the investigators split up between the building’s cellar and its upper floors. While the second floor held the private rooms used by the prostitutes, it was ultimately the locked third floor that held more interesting (and sinister) findings. There, Ursula, Woodhouse, and Algernon found a series of rooms used for various rituals, a small occult library, and a magically-sealed door that no one dared open.

Findings in the basement were similarly eerie, as Mark and Robbie found a hidden hatch in the floor that led to some sort of sub-basement. With no sign of Helen in the rest of the building, could it be that she is down there somewhere? The investigators begin the long descent into the darkness…

Death in Luxor, Pt. 3 Synopsis

At the safehouse, the theosophist devotees explained what they knew of the situation: a great, cosmic evil was about to awaken in Luxor, and if it was allowed to do so, it would surely spell the end of mankind. The majority of their order was searching the Valley of the Kings for a hidden tomb where the something called the “Great Green” was imprisoned, but to no avail. Carslile and Saul had been tasked with finding more detailed directions at Medinet Habu, where they first ran into in the investigators.

One of Carslile’s crew, named Theo, explained that the carob sticks, oil, and incense were somehow required for a ritual designed to banish the Great Green, but Carslile was secretive and kept the specifics to herself. Ursula and Charlie went upstairs with the intention of interrogating Carslile, but this was cut short by a viscous, stinking mass of protoplasm oozing up out of a sewer grate and attacking the occupants of the safehouse. Carslile was freed and offered a small amount of magical assistance as the group escaped via motorcar and the rooftops. Not all survived, however; two unnamed theosophists and the unconscious Jack Saul fell prey to the horrible creature.

With no choice other than to press forward, the group drove to the Valley of the Kings. There, they discovered the theosophist camp in shambles, and some mutilated corpses. After retrieving a wooden box that contained more carob sticks, myrrh, and frankincense, the party navigated its way to an imposing doorway in a narrow canyon. Leaving Theo to guard the entrance, the investigators entered the tomb, which was filled with a burning, crimson miasma. The chambers in the tomb were small and mostly empty, but careful searching produced a silver censer on a chain, hieroglyphic instructions for banishing the creature, and a hidden passageway leading deeper into the mountain.

In the large hidden chamber, the group was confronted by a terrible sight: a massive stone disk set in the floor was barely containing some tentacled horror from clawing its way up into our world. Several in the room went mad from the sight of it, but all rushed to action. Tony ran to meet the creature head-on, his Tommy gun blazing, but was met only with “crushing” defeat. Ursula gestured at the monster with the carob sticks, but it seemed to have no effect. Meanwhile, gunshots heard from behind foreshadowed some other horror about to make an entrance. Things were not looking good.

However, the party’s fortune changed when Dr. McCoy burned incense in the censer, causing the beast’s tentacles to become disoriented and erratic. Ursula and Odelia, armed with the carob sticks, rushed forward and stabbed the foul appendages with impressive results – the limbs fell uselessly to the tomb floor. Though more of the reptilian creatures from Ramesses’ tomb joined the fray, Charlie, Woodhouse, Robert, and Carslile kept them at bay.

At this point, however, the magical defenses in the tomb finally gave out, and the Great Green began to clamber out of its subterranean prison. With only one shot at saving humanity from utter annihilation, Odelia lunged at the creature’s hideous face, stabbing it with the carob sticks and dooming it to another thousand years of imprisonment. Odelia herself was also lost to the darkness, and the temple began to collapse. Fighting back the few remaining creatures, those investigators living and sane enough to do so fled the temple just in time to avoid its complete destruction.

Outside, the night sky was calm and clear.

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.

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.

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.

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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