The Rise of Nyarlathotep

Episode 18
Not all Lawyers are evil
April 7th

The Investigators left the Shipley house in a rush, but after they awoke began discussing their adventures so far and where to go next. They met up with David Whitaker who thought their story of someone being caught in a painting as a bit far fetched.

Dr. Norman Addams met with a contact of his, a former student, one Miss Willow Rosenburg on her lunch break in the City. Miss Rosenburg was 24 and worked for a law firm, but on her free time she was a psychic detective. She had her nose into Occult London, better than some. She was a bit exuberant and though a true believer, was still woefully unknowable about the Mythos and true evil. She definitely knew a number of true and fake tarot readers, psychics, and magicians, but most pertinent to the investigators was that she had been following leads on cultists attacking people. Though not exclusively, many are of Egyptian descent. They are known for attacking with clubs with a single spike. Dr. Addams asked her to keep looking into all things Egyptian, but to be careful.

Monsieur Dupond sent off the ripped painting to be restored. It will come back with no obvious damage, the mystical nature has been ruined. Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond began researching how to summon Oliver Arterbury from the painting.

April 8th

Monsieur Dupond spent some money to hire a good, but discreet law firm to look into the Penhew Foundation. They discovered that their books look clean, almost too clean. The only anomalies that they found were that there were some shipments, especially to Shanghai through the Eastern Sea Shipping Company, that lacked descriptions. Given how meticulous everything else was, they looked suspicious. Plus at least one seems to line up nicely with a shipment they discovered in Ho Fong’s warehouse. But they also learned that the Penhew Foundation is the sole heir of the Penhew money and is run by a man named Edward Gavigan. For 20 years, the Penhew Foundation has funded Egyptological studies and excavations. The two most notorious that they helped fund was the ill fated Carlyle expedition and the recent discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

April 9th

While the law firm was researching the Penhew Foundation, the investigators went to the offices of The Scoop, one of the many papers of London, but one that loves to focus on mysterious murders, scandalous sex scandals, and weird events (along with the news that everyone expects). There they met Mickey Mahoney, the owner. He had met Jackson Elias and knew he was onto a story about a Cult in London that had high connections, but he went to New York and died before he got the story. Mr. Mahoney showed them some of the articles that he remembered Jackson Elias had looked at.

Episode 17
The Paintings Come Alive!
April 3rd

When we last left off our adventurers, they had been jumped by Cultists of the Pharaoh of a Thousand Ravens. Jacques Tabarin Dupond had received a call from Dr. Norman Addams early in the day, but Monsieur Dupond had a prior engagement. By the time Monsieur Dupond showed up, the cultists were all unconscious in the alleyway behind the King Richard’s Flagon. Without a blink in their eyes, they hopped into car that Dr. Addams requisitioned from the University and drove off. They arrived at the house of Miles Shipley around 10 o’clock at night. The house was a two story wooden house built in the mid 1800s. It might have been a nice house once upon a time, but like the other houses of the area, it was pretty run down by the mid 1920s. Paint was peeling, concrete steps were crumbling, and wooden rails were missing. There was an old skylight on the right side of the house and light was shining through a curtained window.

Dr. Addams walked up to the front door and it was opened by a kind, old woman who they quickly realized was Miles Shipley’s mother. After Monsieur Dupond put on his French charm, Mrs. Shipley let them in the house to show them the paintings. She went to see Miles to let him know guests had arrived and to clean up. Then she showed up with some tea. Only Dr. Addams took some tea, the others politely refused. Miles Shipley came out. He was jittery and sweated a lot. Obviously hadn’t slept in awhile, but once it was mentioned that they were interested in his paintings, he was able to control himself. They were shown into the Garret, a large room with an easel in the center of the room with a half finished picture that interested Oliver Arterbury greatly. It showed a snake slithering into the jungle, but the snake was moving with nothing painted yet behind it. There were 10 finished paintings hanging on the walls. Most were of just horrific creatures and images, but Mr. Arterbury noticed that they all had one thing in common. There was a serpentine image in everyone. One painting in particular of Africa interested Dr. Addams. It was a mountain in Eastern Africa with african people praying to a god hidden into the mountain. Dr. Addams dug deep into his knowledge of the Mythos and saw the mountain shift into a man or a woman or both who’s head is replaced by a bright red tongue. Then it shifted back to the mountain, then to a bloated woman with tentacles, and then back to the mountain. His ability to deal with madness is almost legendary even after drinking tainted tea. While the other two had Mr. Shipley’s attention, Monsieur Dupond noticed that there were two doors. One was locked and likely a closet, the other led to a basement. Monsieur Dupond bought this painting, because it was clear that it related to the quest that they were deep into. He noticed that Mrs. Shipley when they left, was too nice. It was clear that she wanted them out of the house. Afterwards they drove to a late night pub where Mr. Arterbury got a chance to meet these two experienced travelers who have seen far worse than they care to remember.

April 6th

They decided at the pub to further investigate this artist, mostly because they thought that Mrs. Shipley was definitely hiding something. They went back to the house, but this time to scout it out for a couple of days. They noticed a few things. Mrs. Shipley during the sunniest part of the day was outside laying in a hammock among the trees of the backyard. There were two doors in and out of the house, but Monsieur Dupond also noticed a coal shoot. One night, they saw Miles Shipley bring home a woman that he didn’t seem too interested in. They waited for her to come out to follow home, but she never did. So during the day on Tuesday, they snuck into the basement through the coal shoot. They had to climb through some boxes and broken chairs to a pathway that led from the wall to the stairs. They climbed up the stairs to where the paintings were stored. They ignored everything except the closet which they unlocked. Inside was a single easel with a covered painting. Dr. Addams quickly pulled off the cover to see the painting underneath. The painting was magical.

The entire painting was set on a beach next to a marsh or swamp. On the left side there was a shack, that has a sign out front, like a bar on the backstreets of London, with some light coming from a window. Above the shack was a moon, a full moon, that is dripping on the shack with silver rain drops. There was also a shooting star streaking across the sky. There was a woman running towards the shack with a dog on a leash. They could actually see her run, moving across the painting. On the right side, at the edge of the beach and next to the water, were humanoid snake creatures eating the flesh out of shells. The meat is a fluorescent blue. One of the snakemen looked up at the woman running away and another was looking straight at the adventurers looking at the painting with hunger in their eyes.

Both Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond were able to resist the lure of the painting. Mr. Arterbury was unable and was literally sucked into the painting to see the snakemen turn and begin to eye him as food. He ran with everything he had and was able to get to the shack. Inside, was almost an even more bizarre scene. In the bar were Roman legionnaires, musketeers, and samurai all sitting at table drinking their preferred drink. The bartender motioned for Mr. Arterbury to come closer.

Back in the house, shocked to see their companion lost into a painting, Monsieur Dupond drew his knife and cut the painting. Then the painting lost all motion, but then they heard the scream of a woman. Shortly afterwards, they hear a door slam. Both of them ran and crashed through the window, as they saw Mr. Shipley lose her face and become the head of a cobra angry.

Session 16
An Artist in Bethnal Green
April 3rd

It was a long trip from Shanghai but Dr. Norman Addams decided to relax by visiting one of his old contacts, one Arthur Framingham, owner of East End Occult Books in Whitechapel. It was an old place, full of books and articles of knowledge. Walking in felt liked walk in to the late 1800s. They were talking about current events and about this odd artist that had a galley show in the City and that a few prostitutes seem to have gone missing. Though no bodies have been found, people are talking about the Ripper and the Curse of King Tut. Then in walked an artist, a painter by trade, who had bought a painting at a showing by Miles Shipley at the aforementioned gallery show. Not mean people were interested and most walked out disgusted. All of Miles Shipley’s paintings were disturbing, but one peaked Oliver Arterbury interest. It was a picture of a pyramid with dark pharaoh at the base with dead minions at his feet. In his hands was a khopesh that was dripping blood. Ravens were flying around the pyramid and above the pharaoh’s head. From one of the dead bodies out came some snakes. This painting caused Dr. Addams a shiver, because he has seen the person in this painting ….. in the war. In Military Hospital #5.

Arthur Framingham rang up on his telephone, the only modern device in the shop, an old acquaintance, one Jacob Burns. Mr. Burns has helped give insight in many of a rare acquisition. He told Mr. Framingham that he could give him a line on Miles Shipley, but they would have to meet him at the King Richard’s Flagon a number of blocks north towards Bethnal Green. When the left the bookshop, they all noticed that they were being followed. They grabbed a cab and took the long way to the pub. From Mr. Burns they discovered that Mr. Shipley lives in an old decrepit house deep inside Bethnal Green and that Mr. Shipley is known to have been seen with a couple of girls. Though that is not uncommon. Oliver Arterbury noticed after they had been at the pub for awhile, that a couple of the people they noticed earlier was staking out the pub. They asked the bartender if there was a back way, but Arthur grabbed a firepoker and Oliver took a large mug. The mug particularly served them well as they were attacked by cultists in the back alley. Dr. Addams welded his can expertly, though himself took a few good blows, and assisted by Oliver’s mug, they took out two cultists immediately. Then two more showed up that were the ones that Oliver saw up front. Arthur quickly realized that the fights in the movies aren’t like the fights in real life as he attempted to hit the cultists with the firepoker, eventually giving up and trying to grapple. It became a comedy of errors until Dr. Addams whacked the bandit unconscious. They noticed that all of the cultists were heavily scarred and that all of them had a raven branded on their forehead. Mr. Arterbury realized that he had heard of the cultists and that they are rumored to follow an ancient Egyptian pharaoh known as the Black Pharaoh or the Pharaoh of a Thousand Ravens. The cult has been in London for at least the past 3 years. Dr. Norman Addams realized that their arrival in London is known by their foes …..

Session 15
Where Jack Brady is finally met
March 4th

As the investigators run from the sounds of Dr. Addams’s screams of what are chasing them, they burst out into the courtyard. They see two sets of guards, one patrolling in front of the mansion and another set arguing with prostitutes at the front gate. They abandon their original plan of flushing out with the refuse, but instead flee towards the gate. Bullets fly pass David Whittaker who had no shame in fleeing from that which he doesn’t understand. Phillip Gibbs got grazed by a couple of bullets. Neither Dr. Addams nor Jacques Tabarin Dupond who was carrying the unconscious Mei-Ling were able to run fast enough. Monsieur Dupond was scratched and bitten from behind, but knew better than to look at what was behind him. Dr. Addams screamed in horror as the tentacles phased through him tickling his inner organs. The only thing that saved him from becoming a drooling broken man was the brandishing of his sword cane, which gave him just enough resolve to run away, but not before he was bloodied and had the skin ripped off his back. The guards next to the gate see the Ultraviolet Devourers coming after the investigators and only barely hold on to their sanity. After dropping their weapons, they were able to keep their wits to swing punches at Mr. Gibbs who they just grazed and Mr. Whittaker who they clocked behind the head almost knocking him out. As they struggled to get out the gate, Monsieur Dupond comes running full speed at the gate kicking it open with all the strength he had left. As they scrambled to the streets, Mr. Whittaker looked around to see if they were still being chased. He sees the tentacle flying fish like creatures and sees them shirk from the street light lamps, though the realization of the horror causes much mental strain. They saw a car in the street that blinked once. Recognizing the man inside, they piled the unconscious and weary and drove off.

The man in the car was in fact Jack Brady. “I owe you a big debt for saving the life of Mei-Ling, but I can’t fantom the horrors she put up with.” Monsieur Dupond talked the most in the car with him as they drove to the Shanghai Museum. There was much to talk about and not much time to do it. Mr. Brady was very clear that this would be the only time they ever meet. It was too dangerous to do it again, for everyone’s sake. He talked about Roger Carlyle’s Negro girlfriend was the one that introduced him to the knowledge of this dark god who manifests into many forms and into many names. It was her that spurned him to organize the expedition to Egypt where they intentionally uncovered something that was best kept underground. Mr. Brady knew then that he had to get Roger Carlyle away from this. He was mad and had to be drugged. He got him smuggled from Mombasa and intended to go to Shanghai. Mr. Carlyle had lost too much sanity and was committed to a sanitarium in Hong Kong. From the rest of the expedition went to Kenya where all the expedition was sacrificed to this dark god, except, he suspected Penhew, Huston, and Patty Masters. He knew for certain when he saw silhouetted by moonlight a pale, but unmistaken Audrey Penhew aboard Ho Fong’s Yacht.

Once they got to the Shanghai Museum the investigators met up with Dr. Mu Hsien whom they had met a few days before. In the early hours of the morning, they talked about the interconnection of all these cults, all dedicated to one aspect of this dark god. All the signs suggest that something horrible is going to happen on January 21st, 1926. Though no astronomers appear to have link to this date, every cultist that Brady has talked to knows that this is the day the dark god will come back to this world. Dr. Mu has only had time to translate part of the 5th scroll of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, but that was the most important. This copy of the scroll has both origins of the Order of the Bloated Woman and how to bring her to this world to rule, but also how to stop her. There is a ritual called The Eye of Light and Darkness that is capable of sealing gates to other worlds, the worlds where Nyarlathotep resides.

David Whittaker then suggested that they go to house of Isoge Taro to ask for assistance of getting out of Shanghai quickly and without pursuit. Under the cover of the Japanese military they were taken to a ship that took them to Tokyo. From Tokyo they took another ship to Eastern Russia and from there trains to Moscow and eventually to London. After almost a month of travel, they arrived in London on April 1st. For better or worse, Jacques Tabarin Dupond read the entirety of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan and gained a greater glimpse of the evil that they are trying to stop. Dr. Norman Addams teeters on insanity, but has forced himself to hold it together for at least one more adventure. Phillip Gibbs arrives in London with his stash of opium depleted. He can’t handle what he has seen without it.

Session 14
Breaking and Entering
March 4th

After a very late night, where the investigators burned down Ho Fong’s main Shanghai warehouse, they slept in late having breakfast served to them by the hotel. The morning newspapers had the fire on the front page. The police are looking for a European who vaguely matches Phillip Gibbs who was reported at the scene looking suspicious. David Whittaker went over the log books that he found at the warehouse. Nothing concrete, but he did find shipments of “art objects” and “books” to various places most notably to the Penhew Foundation in London and to Ahja Singh in Mombasa, Kenya. Though there were other shipments to Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, those two rang loud bells and trace back to the murder of Jackson Elias in New York. The oddest entry was for multiple shipments of mining equipment to a Mortimer Wycroft of Cuncudgerie in Western Australia. Nothing previously found has any connection to Australia than a vague image in a dream by Dr. Norman Addams. Mr. Whittaker also went and visited Isoge Taro with some of the pieces of the strange equipment found in the warehouse. Captain Isoge pulled out a engineering plan of a rocket, something that his source had picked up. The similarity to the pieces to this plan was unnerving. Mr. Isoge felt that this information was very valuable to his government. The reference to AP remains mysterious.

Jacques Tabarin Dupond on the other hand that morning received an unsigned note from the front desk that read: “I saw you in my dreams, if you can rescue her, I will be willing to chance a meeting, even though my life would be in danger by doing so.” This was of course believed to be the infamous Jack Brady, but it was disturbing to Monsieur Dupond that his dreams may have been more than a dream.

David Whittaker then spent most of the rest of the afternoon scouting out Ho Fong’s mansion just outside of the International Settlement to decrease any interference by the Gurkha. He then started to form a plan to break in, if someone else could come up with a distraction. The mansion had high walls, but nothing a ladder hidden in an alley couldn’t solve. Had barbed wire, broken glass, and broken off spear points on top, but nothing a blanket couldn’t cover. Then the problem to escape was potentially solved by his discovery of a shack that houses the gardener that has a outhouse, dumping pit that probably goes to the sewer.

While Mr. Whittaker was scheming the plan to break into Ho Fong’s mansion, Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond were brain storming a distraction. After some discussion of luring Mr. Ho out into public for a gathering or even that Monsieur Dupond might arrive and announce himself and become the distraction, it was felt that those options either cost too much or were too dangerous. So they went to the Silk Butterfly House to see about hiring some prostitutes for a fictitious party at Ho Fong’s mansion. They approached Madame Gee and Dr. Addams flattered her with the money that could be made by providing flower girls at such a high profile event. She offered both of them tea and girls, though they only partook of the tea. Then Monsieur Dupond had one last, slightly strange, request. He wanted the girls to bring fireworks to shoot off at their approach to the mansion around 10:30 at night

So with a plan in place, the investigators headed to the mansion to put the plan in action. They placed the ladder they had stashed in an alley way along the backside of the mansion’s walls, David Whittaker then laid a trap where he soaked the blanket with oil and put two hooded lit lanterns underneath it. If the blanket would to be pulled off, the plan would be to set a fire and cause burns. Dr. Norman Addams scaled down the wall with grace, using his sword cane to brace his landing. Mr. Whittaker and Monsieur Dupond both fell hard twisting their ankles. Dr. Addams noticed the Inner Court that was surrounded by a small stone wall, four to five feet high, with a wooden door that lead into it. The door was easily unlocked and the investigators entered the mansion unseen as fireworks were exploding on the other side of the mansion. Monsieur Dupond knew from his dream within a dream that he knew that Mei Ling was hidden in a room with no windows. The garden was beautifully maintained with a sand ocean surrounded by manicured bushes and trees. Though there were rooms across the garden, the investigators focused on the northeast corner where they saw part of the mansion that had no windows. They saw a bronze statue of Buddha through a translucent paper wall, but saw no obvious entrance beyond. Exploring to the room to the south, they saw a woman, who did not even notice their entrance, bobbing back and forth eating something still alive. Realizing that there must be a room at the north east corner of the mansion, they went back and examined the Buddha statue in detail. Monsieur Dupond noticed that there was a thin line around the next of the statue. He then tried to rotate the head, which caused the statue to slide across the ground opening up a short hallway. Unbeknownst to the investigators, they were noticed going into this room. The hallway had two alcoves, but as soon as Monsieur Dupond walked down the hallway and looked back, he saw the same shadow of a statue he saw in his brief stint inside Jack Brady’s mind. They walked into a large room where they saw the giant 8 foot statue of the Bloated Woman which they all feel look straight at them, but they have seen and felt worse and all shrugged off it as just the light from above catching the crystals the statue. Monsieur Dupond looked up to see where the light came from and saw that the faint light of the room came from shimmering characters that were the Bloated Woman in classic Chinese. He became mesmerized, feeling himself sucked into another world. He walked down a hallway to the the Bloated Woman where they embrace with her tentacles caressing him. He realizes what is happening and screams, falling to his knees as he gains a grip again in reality. They also saw a locked teak cabinet and Mei Ling locked in her glass torture chamber. They got Mei Ling out who was in poor shape, naked, starved, and festering with wounds from rat bites. She was in no shape to resist and didn’t even register that she was freed.

Dr. Norman Addams then noticed that Ho Fong and one of his guards was walking him back to his room. David Whittaker saw that a room south of the Inner Court that shut, seemingly by itself. Thinking that someone had noticed them, decided to change plans and burst out through the front door. So he fired his gun at Ho Fong and his guard causing them to duck into another room, and they ran past. Dr. Addams made the mistake of looking behind him and saw the Sorcerer who they have encountered before materialize behind them. He had a glass prism that shone with the colors of the rainbow. Throwing the prism down, it smashed and the light began to coalesce into three shapes. Hideous creatures that looked like a mutation of an anglerfish and a piranha with tentacles flickering in the pale light of the hallway. The investigators run even faster, because Dr. Addams has seen these creatures before ……

Session 13
Burning down the Warehouse
March 3rd

The investigators decided to split up in the morning to cover more ground. Thankfully, it was daylight and nothing horribly nefarious went wrong. Phillip Gibbs and Dr. Norman Addams went back to the Shanghai Museum to try and catch up with Dr. Mu Hsien, a specialist in Occult Chinese lore. Dr. Addams was too spooked from his dream to get Dr. Mu to open up. They met up with Mr. Mao who was coordinating an exhibit of 4 terra-cotta warriors that were discovered recently from the end of the Warring States period. Mr. Mao mentioned that a few odd and mysterious artifacts were also found which were given to Dr. Mu to investigate.

Mentioning the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, caused Dr. Mu to show a brief moment of fear. Talking as one academic to the other, he was able to get Dr. Mu Hsien to trust him some. The investigators were able to learn more about the Order of the Bloated Woman. The order has existed for a couple of thousands of years, but as they found out talking to other scholars, resurfaces in strength from time to time. Dr. Mu was able to confirm that they are resurfaced in the strength in 1917 and have gotten stronger since. Though he does not know the significance of that date and it escaped Dr. Addams brain. They are a violent cult known for cutting the arms off of victims and letting them bleed to death. Dr. Mu believes that the woman that the cult worships is in fact worshipped in different forms through out the world thought that connection is not widely suspected. He believes that to summon their goddess, the Order of the Bloated Woman needs to poison or rapture the sky. Many instances of rapturing the sky in works attributed to the Order correlate with astronomical events. Dr. Mu also informed the investigators that the “odd and mysterious” artifacts were not that mysterious to him. They were figurines of the Bloated Woman and the oldest known version of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. This excavation took place in 1922 and may open up more secrets of the Order of the Bloated Woman. Dr. Mu told them that if they are planning to poke the hornet’s nest, that they should not contact him ever again at the museum. They were to leave a message for Mr. Feng Wu-pei at the Shanghai General Delivery.

While more information from the Shanghai Museum was acquired, Jacques Tabarin Dupond and David Whittaker went to Ho Fong’s Main Warehouse to investigate it more. They watched as a load of textile crates were unloaded and saw that there were few opportunities for entrance. There were the main doors to the offices and large warehouse doors that appeared only to be opened when product was being unloaded. They also noticed guards, heavily armed guards. There were a couple carrying Tommy Guns, the rest carried pistols. Mr. Whittaker noticed something odd though. A skiff was noticed to being carrying a couple of small crates which then went under the warehouse. When it came back out, it was missing those two crates. After spending the morning and afternoon observing, Mr. Whittaker and Monsieur Dupond headed back to the Astor Hotel to inform the others of what they learned.

Late that night, the investigators stole a boat and headed under Ho Fong’s Main Warehouse to find the secret opening. Monsieur Dupond discovered that there was a paper lantern with oil and lots of greasy rags in the boat. They floated past the guards that walked right over them but failed to look down. It took them awhile, but found a small enclave was not under the warehouse, but rather under the offices instead. Two 3’ by 7’ doors were discovered which were clearly designed to be opened from the inside. The investigators then discovered that they needed the boat both to have someone go create a distraction and stand on the boat to attempt to open up the doors. Phillip Gibbs volunteered to swim out and sneak past the guards with the lantern, oil, and rags. Many years of needing to sneak around to get the story paid off. Mr. Gibbs was able to get up to the street level and around to the south side of the warehouse. It took a few minutes to the fire started and by then, two of the guards just rounded the corner of the building from the north. They started shouting and firing off shots. One stayed to deal with the fire that was just started, the other ran off after Mr. Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs had a head start, but the Chinese guard was able to keep up only for a few minutes before he collapsed along a side of a building breathing heavily.

Meanwhile David Whittaker was able to unlock the doors from the outside through a novel technique that he learned as a private detective needing to get into places people didn’t wish him to be in. They crashed opened, but the fire obviously created a big enough distraction to make it unnoticed. The investigators climbed up into a storage room that housed many smaller and a couple of large crates. Jacques Tabarin Dupond with help moved one of the crates to block the door from the storeroom that led into the main part of the warehouse (now on fire). Rifling through the crates they discovered paintings of disturbed and horrified minds, grotesque artifacts from China, Polynesia, and Australia, and a large stone statue of a nude woman with the giant head of a fish. Dr. Norman Addams was able to discern most of the artifacts, but the statue of the fish woman was the most intriguing because that cult is not known around the Pacific Rim, but rather from the Atlantic coastlines. There were six crates only labeled with “AP” on each side. When these were opened up, all were mechanical parts to something that was not at all obvious. Dr. Addams knew something was familiar, but couldn’t place it until he accepted the truth of his dream with Nyarlathotep and realized that these are all parts to the rocket he was shown as part of the end of the world. The investigators decided to take one crate of parts to investigate, the others were dropped into the ocean or left to burn. Though they needed to get out quickly, Mr. Whittaker decided that it was imperative to find out more information, so he quickly ran upstairs and rifled through ledgers and papers rapidly grabbing what seemed of interest. He also broke into a locked safe finding a great deal of money, quickly stuffed into his pockets. In those ledgers were references to items shipped to and received from the Penhew Foundation (London) and Ahja Singh (Mombasa).

Session 12
Dream haunt the investigators
March 1st

Jacques Tabarin Dupond noticed a shadow from the past, a former soldier from Military Hospital #5 who was there to witness the attempt by a cult to summon The Pharaoh of the Thousand Ravens. It took a few moments, but Monsieur Dupond recognized Phillip Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs moved to Shanghai to escape the horrors of the past only to have them resurface again. His curiosity got the better of him and began asking questions.

David Whittaker went to visit Isoge Taro to discuss Ho Fong’s Warehouse in greater detail. Meanwhile, the other investigators decided to investigate the The Fire on Chin-Ling Road. They traveled by rickshaw down to the Garden of the Purple Clouds of Autumn. The garden was surrounded by an 6 foot wall of well carved granite. Inside were three buildings, one of which was only slightly burned, the other two were destroyed. The bushes, trees, and gardens were also obliterated by the fire. The found out that the fire appeared to the monks as a dragon of fire that leapt from one building to the next. One of the dead scholars tried to escape and the dragon consumed him. They found out that Jack Brady had been asking the dead scholars about the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. Shortly afterwards, another man came by asking about the previous man, and it was after he left that the Garden of the Purple Clouds of Autumn. The monk after being reassured by Jacques Tabarin Dupond that he wasn’t insane, also divulged that one of the scholars pointed Jack Brady to the Shanghai Museum.

The investigator arrived at the Shanghai Museum late in the day. The museum was full of exquisite Chinese potter, screes, statuary, and scrolls from pre-Manchu era of China. After a few minutes of looking at the collection, they are approached by Mr. Mao, the assistant curator of the museum. He informs them after they inquire about the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, that they should speak of one of the scholars at the museum that focus on the occult. He gave them a list 6 scholars. Only Dr. Tang was in the building when they show up. He wasn’t able help much given that he is a scholar of Shang turtle shell divination. Dr. Tang directed them to talk to Dr. Wu or Dr. Yuan.

Being stymied and not able to talk to any more scholars, the investigators left the museum after leaving messages to Dr. Wu and Dr. Yuan that Dr. Norman Addams would call upon them on the morrow. They traveled up North to the Shanghai Musuem, where Phillip Gibbs along with Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond scoured the library for other newspaper articles that were similar to the fire at the Monastery. They found a fair number (two or three a year) that had suspicious or weird occurrences of fire. One in particular stood out, a boat from Wang Exports sank. Shortly afterwards Ho Fong bought up Wang Exports and now had access to a sizable textile exporter.

The night of March 1st

After a long day, the investigators went back to the Astor Hotel, while Phillip Gibbs went back to his house near the British Embassy. Mr. Gibbs slept peacefully, Dr. Norman Addams and Jacques Tabarin Dupond did not.

Monsieur Dupond had the following dream:

“You see a Caucasian sorcerer chanting in Chinese in front of an alter of an 8’ tall bronze statue of a bloated tentacle woman. You then see Jack Brady sleeping and then begin to shake, sweat, and scream. You then zoom into his mind, and see a naked Chinese woman trapped in a glass box with seven glass sliding openings. You see a box of gigantic Shanghai rats on top. You see one of the glass openings being slid open and the rats begin to chew on the woman who can’t move but screams in horror and terror. You hear the man say “Look upon them my dear and try to find it within yourself to be more cooperative. Is Jack Brady worth such a devotion.” The last thing you see as you wake up with sweats, is the dream zooming away from a giant estate and then fading away. You’ve never seen the estate, but it is still familiar.

You wake up clutching the token given to you by the old Chinese doctor."

Monsieur Dupond woke up shaken, but realized that he might have seen something very useful. Being awake, he went through his suitcase of artifacts, discovering that the partial scroll to contact the Pharaoh of Thousands Ravens was missing.

Dr. Addams had the following dream:

“You fade into black and begin walking down a sandy road. You see Arab men walking along side carts, clearly on their way to the market. It feels odd, like this might not be the 20th Century. You see an encampment up ahead. Ravens circle overhead. You enter an encampment, Beduin perhaps, and feel compelled to walk up to a tent. The flaps open of their own accord, and you see a cloaked man sitting on pillows being fanned by three scantily clad Arab women. He speaks in a husky deep voice.

‘Dr. Norman Addams – you and your friends are fools if you think you can stop me. Your last attempt was a temporarily set back, but this time, my fingers have reached across the globe.’

He then pulls back his hood and you stare directly into his eyes. What you see is horrible. You see a rocket filled with explosives flying over an ocean blowing up. You see a bloated tentacle woman laughing manically. You see a desolate landscape, littered with aboriginal people, that zooms into an ancient, non-human city. You see a great temple in Africa, with black people shouting the phrase Bloody Tongue over and over.

As you slump over in fear of the powerlessness of the task, Nyarlathotep just laughs. The tent becomes pitch black except for a faint glow around the god. He then opens his cloak and out come horrific creatures that look like hybrid of anglerfish and piranhas with tendrils and stalks trailing off of it.

You wake up screaming. Realizing that you are clutching a piece of an ancient parchment that was found over 7 years ago on the battlefield of the Great War."

Dr. Addams did not fare well, he now longer believes that intellect can understand the world around him. It is too vast and too much. He was so shaken by his inadvertent communion with Nyarlathotep that he started drinking brandy with his morning tea.

March 2nd

The investigators went back to the Shanghai Museum to talk to Dr. Wu and Dr. Yuan. Dr. Wu’s speciality was on Taoist and Buddhist summoning scrolls. He knew of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan and that they date from the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C. He then suggested that they talk to Dr. Liu and Dr. Zhou. They talked next to Dr. Yuan who mentioned that the last reference that he knew of sunk on a boat of pirates in 1826. The pirate in question was a former first mate of Cheung Po Tsai. Many of the pirates of many eras seemed to have been followers of the Order of the Bloated Woman, including the fearsome Fukien pirates. Cheung Po Tsai when he changed allegiance to the Chinese government in 1810, was hunted down pirates, especially those that were part of the Order of the Bloated Woman who he thought was an abomination against his goddess Tin Hau. He then recommended talking to either Dr. Zhou or Dr. Mu. Dr. Zhou gave them information about the Order of the Bloated Woman who has been worshiped in one form or another since at least the end of the Warring States period. Apparently there seems to be a resurgence of the cult in recent years, but Dr. Zhou doesn’t know any specifics. They talked briefly with Dr. Liu but she just confirmed everything else everyone said. They tried to talk to Dr. Mu, who a couple of people recommend, but he was too busy. Dr. Addams just didn’t have the strength of mind to convince him. Maybe another day.
Session 11
Shanghai begins to open her secrets.

h5. February 25th

After the investigators left the Shambling Tiger Bar, they headed back to their hotel for a short rest. Jacques Tabarin Dupond talked to the concierge to be woken up shortly before 11:30 PM. A bell man warned them that stalking the streets of Shanghai at night can be dangerous. As they set to head into the night, they grabbed tools they are now all too familiar with, guns, knives, and sword cane. The walk to the British Consulate took them about 20 minutes, though the view across the bridge was beautiful even at night. When they arrived, Monsieur Dupond they saw a man being beaten by three Chinese men, but the other investigators were also at the top of their game. David Whittaker noticed four more hiding in alley ways or in building overhangs while Dr. Norman Addams noticed that one of the men in an alley way held a scroll, while all the others held clubs, sticks, or staves. Mr. Whittaker snuck away and hid into an alley way, while Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond walked up to the man being beaten, who they quickly realized was Fergus Chum, the bartender of the Stumbling Tiger Bar. Monsieur Dupond shoved one out of the way, knocking some teeth out as he elbowed him in the face. Dr. Addams then swung his cane at another breaking his jaw instantly killing him. A thug walked past Mr. Whittaker, but he waited, not wanting to reveal his location at that moment, so the Chinese man swung at Monsieur Dupond missing. Another twirling a three-sectional staff clocked Dr. Addams, cracking a few ribs. The man with the scroll case, pulled it out and started chanting in Chinese about a calling upon the power of the Fire Dragon. Mr. Whittaker then sprang his plan. Firing shots from his gun into the dark, he shouted “There is a man with a gun! Run!” One Chinese thug ran away, the other three involved in melee started to back away. The man with the scroll just kept chanting. Monsieur Dupond then threw his African dagger at him, piercing his belly. The sorcerer just smiled, wiped his blood on the scroll, and then the scroll burst into flames. The flames began to swirl, snake like, until it formed a 10 foot long serpent. Then it shot straight at Monsieur Dupond and Dr. Addams, scorching both of them badly with unholy fire. They have seen too much recently to be fazed by this event, but for Mr. Whittaker, this was the first real supernatural event he had ever witnessed. It shook him up pretty badly.

After the investigators realized that even after almost two months of uncovering the mysterious of the darkness that is enveloping the world, no one had bother to learn the rudimentary basics of first aid, Dr. Norman Addams and Jacques Tabarin Dupond limped back to their hotel with Fergus Chum slouched over their shoulders, barely have stayed conscious from the beating he received. Meanwhile, David Whittaker decided to follow the sorcerer losing him somewhere around the Shanghai Museum. He then decided to focus on tracking the blood that was caused by the knife wound and after searching for a long time in the dark, found that the blood led to a large mansion surrounded by a thirteen foot wall topped with spear heads. He saw the sorcerer get inside through the guards, because they obviously knew who he was. Mr. Whittaker realized that the Chinese characters signifying this house were the same ones that were on the crates that travelled from New York to Shanghai along with the investigators. Back at the hotel, Monsieur Dupond realized that they were in no shape to question Fergus Chum in either his condition or theirs. He went downstairs to talk to the concierge about finding a doctor at this late hour. Being a man of his social standing, why was never asked. A half hour or so later, the concierge returned to his room with an old Chinese man. After apologizing for not being able to find an European doctor due to some incident at the British Consulate, this man was all that he could find on such short notice. The old Chinese doctor felt that the hotel room was not conducive to healing and forced Monsieur Dupond to rearrange the room before he would heal anyone. He then stripped the two injured investigators down and begin lighting incense on their bodies along their meridians, increasing their flow of healing energy. Though the healing burned and hurt, it miraculously began to heal them. Fergus Chum would live, though, the bruises, welts, and broken ribs would take weeks to fully heal. Dr. Addams felt the power of the Fire Dragon that burned his skin lessen. This Chinese doctor explained that they angered a powerful sorcerer who was able to call upon the Fire Dragon. The power of the Fire Dragon burns, but it can be used for rebirth and healing, or for destruction. They need to be more careful. Instead of a business card, he handed Monsieur Dupond a token. One one side had the character for medicine and on the other character for Chan, which was presumably his name. After a very long day, having just arrived in Shanghai, the investigators sleep well into the morning.

h5. February 26th

After eating a cold breakfast that was served hours ago, Jacques Tabarin Dupond began questioning Fergus Chum. Fergus was incredibly frightened over the events of last night, but it was the final proof that he needed to trust the investigators. “Jack Brady is in some kind of trouble,” he pleaded. “Please help him. The man saved my life. I don’t know where he lives, because I think he is keeping that a secret to protect me. What I do know is that I think he has been up to something, and it has put his life in danger. See these newspaper articles, I think they are all tied to Jack Brady. Especially the one about the flower girl house. He confided in me that he really liked a girl there.” Monsieur Dupond decided that it was worth his funds to keep Fergus Chum safe. He had an aunt that lived outside of Shanghai in the country side that he could stay with for awhile. The Shambling Tiger Bar would fall into ruin, but his life was worth more. For once, the investigators decided to rest and pause for a bit before inquiring more into finding Jack Brady, but they now had some leads.

h5. February 27th

David Whittaker took the day to talk with Isoge Taro, believing that now maybe some information could be exchanged. Mr. Isoge was not unpleased to see this American again. Mr. Whittaker told his tale of the man who could summon fire, though it had to have been a flamethrower or fireworks, because a summoned fire serpent is just not possible. Drawing the connection between the crates and the house seemed innocuous to Mr. Whittaker, it was disturbing to Mr. Isoge who informed David that Ho Fong is one of the most powerful men in Shanghai, nearly untouchable. His interest in Ho Fong was information that he had that suspected that Mr. Ho was building a weapon of some kind, in secret. This was something that the Japanese government felt was not in their best interest to have happen. Mr. Isoge did not have much information yet, but did finally get a man inside Ho Fong’s warehouse which is on the docks south of the Japanese Quarter.

February 28th

After a day of rest, and smuggling Fergus Chum out of the city, the investigators decided to follow up on one of the leads they were given. After an English breakfast at 10 AM, they headed back over to Lantern Street where they traveled 7 more blocks along a street dedicated to bars and other places of entertainment, to get to the Silk Butterfly House. After they knocked, it was some time before anyone answered the door. When it was, three hastily dressed Chinese women answered the door. After some awkward flirtation and small talk, Dr. Norman Addams asked about Choi Mei-Ling. One of the girls, Silk Flower, said, “Oh you mean Quivering Jade.” Just then Madame Gee walked down the stairs and looked pissed. The girls immediately shut up and moved out of the way. After yelling at them to look more presentable, Dr. Addams was able to calm her wrath enough to be invited in for tea to discuss partaking of her girls. When Madame Gee was asked by the Doctor that he was requested Quivering Jade as he had heard good things. The Madame said she was sold to a Taoist doctor down the way. “She wasn’t worth the trouble and didn’t bring in enough money,” Madame Gee remarked. “Glad she’s out of my hair, now are you interested in my girls, or are you wasting my time. With the attack and people coming around asking questions, business has not been good. And I lost one of my best girls, Magenta Joy, who is now in the hospital.” While the other two enjoyed a late morning romp, Jacques Tabarin Dupond got Silk Flower. Instead, he flirted with her to get her to open up and tell him more about Mei-Ling. Monsieur Dupond found that Quivering Jade was sold one day before the attack. The real reason was that the American she was seeing, started having people showing up asking questions. Madame Gee would have none of that. Unlike what they heard down stairs, she was in fact one of the most profitable girls in the Silk Butterfly House. Though she knew the American as John, after Monsieur Dupond described Jack Brady, he was pretty confident it was the same person. He told her to stay here and instead was paying her for her discretion. Jacques then went to look at the room where the murder took place and wish he hadn’t. It was covered in blood and guts from the ceiling to the floor and on all the walls. Bed, desk, and chairs were all in pieces. The window was hastily boarded up, because what ever came in here was not much larger than a large dog, but obviously came and went via the window. Monsieur Dupond was on the cusp of understand what could have done this, but held onto his sanity a bit longer. Dr. Addams on the other hand has embraced the Mythos with a fervor and realized that this was related to the creature that killed Samuel Paletta, but now understands that Hunting Horrors come in different sizes and different number of wings, though it is very common that witnesses still rationalize as seeing a large bat. Afternoon, the investigators head further up Lantern street to the Taoist “doctor” who had a shop full of pickled dragon feet, incense, and charms. He was pissed that his purchase ran away from him. Dr. Addams noticed bruises on his face and welts on his legs. After reassuring him that they were not his enemies, got him to open up that some thugs beat him up, inquiring about where the girl went. They must have believed him, because they let him live. Could these thugs be of the same ilk as the ones that attacked Fergus Chum. If so, they maybe on a collision course with one of the most powerful man in Shanghai.

Session 10
Off to the Stumbling Tiger Bar in Shanghai

Starting off in New York, our intrepid adventurers were joined by David Whittaker who was hired by Erica Carlyle to investigate the rumors that members of the infamous Carlyle Expedition my in fact be alive. She had invested interest since Roger Carlyle was ruled legally dead and she was declared the sole heir to the Carlyle fortune. He had worked off and on for the Carlyle executors for almost a decade. Mr. Whittaker was originally hired in 1918 to investigate the debaucheries of Roger Carlyle after he moved back to NY after spending three years getting gentlemen’s resignations from a succession of prestigious universities and began spending large amounts of money. Suspicions focused on an East African woman by the name of Nichonka Bunay that Mr. Carlyle appeared to be seeing exclusively. Nothing concrete could be determined, other than her name appeared to be a nom de plume. Miss Bunay did accompany Mr. Carlyle on the expedition.

Mr. Whittiker noticed on the train ride across the United States that there were two crates labeled Fong’s Exports guarded at all times by one of two men, Chien Ho Fan and a Caucasian, both of whom spoke Chinese. Both crates were loaded onto the same boat that the adventurers were taking. Monsieur Dupond paid for everyone to have nicer accommodations which no one was silly enough to refuse. It made the voyage significantly more comfortable. A few times that any one got sick, they were tended to by the Ship’s Doctor. Monsieur Dupond began reading one of his tomes, People of the Monolith beginning his decent into understanding of the Mythos, but also into madness. Then the Professor got curious and read it too, making connections that Pharoah of a Thousand Ravens is just one aspect of a monster that has had many forms through history and time. Could the Cult of the Bloody Tongue be one of those aspects? Clues to lie back home in London.

February 25th

They arrived in Shanghai after a very long trip that saw them both in Honolulu and Hong Kong. Mr. Whittiker almost had his firearm confiscated, but Monsieur Dupond stepped in and was able to get it waved through as his bodyguard. After checking into a hotel in the International Quarter, they headed to the Stumbling Tiger Bar. There they met Fergus Chum who was very reluctant to talk, but they found out that Jack Brady is still alive and still in Shanghai. Professor Addams bought a drink for a German ex-pat from Cologne and stuck in Shanghai. David Whittiker followed Isoge Taro and made a connection after hearing a conversation referencing Jack Brady. Fergus slipped Monsieur Dupond a note to meet him at midnight outside the British Consulate.

Session 9
The Cult is Disrupted
January 25th

After the harrowing events of the previous night, both Samuel Paletta and Jacques Tabarin Dupond took some time to recuperate and relax. Monsieur Dupond was able to calm Agent Paletta’s nerves over a nice dinner of lobster bisque. Dr. Norman Addams on the other hand who’s stability was slowly slipping into madness poured over Africa’s Dark Secrets, a tome he found and became obsessed with reading. Dr. Addams learned many things, finally realizing that the rituals and symbols of the Pharaoh of Thousand Ravens had many things in common with the Cult of the Bloody Tongue. Uttered silently among the words was a name never before heard, but that made immediate sense, Nyarlathotep. In that tome, also was a ritual that would create the unholy creatures they saw the night before, shambling animated corpses that some call zombies. That evening, when Monsieur Dupond realized that Dr. Addams had not slept or ate, got him to close the book and get a few hours of sleep before they heading to Harlem. The Monsieur did notice as the book was closed that there was another business card from the Penhew Foundation, this time with a number handwritten on it.

The three investigators traveled by car to the JuJu House, to hide in the abandoned pawn shop to observe. They discussed what to do, trying to string previous revelations together, to determine the best way to disrupt the cult ritual that was planned this night of the Eclipse. The investigators then saw Silas N’Kwane open the door for Mukunga around 12:30 AM. After about 10 to 15 minutes they then heard a rather heated discussion in Nandi of which no one understood, obviously between the Silas and Mukunga which ended with the English phrase uttered by Silas of “the ritual must go on.” About 15 minutes later, cultists started to arrive at the JuJu House. The surprising thing was that although this is an African cult, not all of the cultists were Black. A half of dozen or so were white men, one of which they recognized, a Dr. Mordecai Lemming. Dr. Lemming was a false lead, a fraud, maybe he was just keeping the police intentionally off the right track. After about 1:30 AM, no more people showed up. Only then did Samuel Paletta and Dr. Norman Addams hear some very faint drumming begin.

Listening to their inner drives, Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond muttered something about “this is France all over again” and decided to head into the JuJu House with Agent Paletta who felt compelled to rescue the sacrificial victims. While Sam used the JuJu House to call the police, later calling Lt. Martin Poole convincing him of the seriousness of the situation, which the local dispatch just didn’t get. He then lit any lanterns he could find. While this took place, Jacques and Norman traveled downstairs to the room in the basement. Along the walls, most of the grotesque masks that they noticed last night. In their place they saw clothes. They knew that participating in the ritual did not end well for them, so this time they just observed. Cracking open the door, they saw the ritual over hours gain in fervor and intensity. At one point, Mukunga took the lion claw on his arm and marked the two victims, scratching their chest to make them bleed. As they waited for the police to arrive, Dr. Addams reflected more and more on the tome he read, realizing more about the creature in the pit that the two victims were going to be fed to. The Chakota is a child of the Bloody Tongue, who eats those that are given to it in sacrifice. It, as it has no gender, eats the husk of the body but keeps the souls intact for eternal torture. Those souls then manifest on it’s tentacles forever in torment. As the two victims were just about to be fed to the Chakota, the police bust in led by Agent Paletta. In the initial moments of chaos, Monsieur Dupond ran up to the winch that was used the heavy stone lid to the pit of the Chakota and cut the rope to keep it from opening quickly. Sam Paletta ran to intercept Mukunga, but was a fraction of a second too late. Mukunga was able to moments before he was shot at point blank range with a shotgun, lift his scepter to the sky and chant the name of Nyarlathotep among other words in Nandi. Above the investigators, the ceiling began to crack and a huge worm serpent with only one wing coming out if it’s spine fell to the floor. Then the chaos truly began. Police and cultist screamed and ran, some being eaten before they could do either. In the midst of one policeman being consumed by this Hunting Horror, Dr. Addams was able to free and get the two captives to safety. Mukunga, though not afraid of the creature that he summoned, decided the best course of action was to run. Agent Paletta fired again, hurting him even worse, but he was still able to stay conscious. Monsieur Dupond fired a shot which took Mukunga down. Jacques ran from the room, grabbing the scepter as he went by. As the room began to empty, the creature from beyond began climbing it’s way out as the lighted lanterns fell to the ground below setting the place on fire. As it did so, it grabbed Agent Paletta with it’s tail. Sam fought to get free, but as the creature got to what was left of the first floor, swung Sam against the wall causing him to go unconscious. As the creature few into the darken sky, Jacques and Norman stood out in the snow, watching their friend rise into the sky and be dropped into the Hudson not being able to say a thing. The magnitude of their investigations hitting them full force in the face. As their resolve strengthend, it was time to travel to Shanghai to see if Jackson Elias’s notes about Jack Brady were true ….


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