Realms of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep

Horror at Ju-Ju House
Well, it was a total party kill. For a party of one!

January 16th, 1925

After the excitement of the previous evening, our investigators began their research in earnest. A glance through the newspapers showed scant coverage of Elias’s murder, but Reid did note that Erica Carlyle was planning a benefit at her home to raise money for single mothers and their children. With an entry fee of only $25, the group thought that it might be worth attending … if only to case the joint.

Meanwhile, our group headed down to Emerson Imports to speak with the owner and manager Arthur Emerson. He confirmed that Silas N’Kwane is one of his clients, the proprietor of the Ju-Ju House, a small shop in Harlem.

The team traveled there to ask N’Kwane some questions, but their interrogation was interrupted by the arrival of Mukunga M’Dari, whose presence both disturbed and frightened the team. Retiring to a nearby coffee shop, Reid, Kugler, and Fitzgerald watched the outside, while Morgan tried to get a closer look.

Morgan first checked out an abandoned pawn shop that faced the Ju-Ju House, but found no signs of recent activity. However, while looking around the outside, he noticed a moving curtain in a high window, then saw human shapes moving beyond it. He then saw two shadowy forms cross an alley mouth across from him, followed by footsteps from the other end of the building. He crouched low, fixing a set of brass knuckles to his fist, and waited for the first one to step around the corner. When he did, he saw a flashing blade slicing down towards him, and ducked beneath it, rolling to the side. He stood to throw a punch at his assailant, when the second attacker thrust at him … and then darkness.

Meanwhile, the team in the coffee shop began to get concerned over their partner, and followed his route into the alleyway. They saw the, now opened, pawn shop door, and saw just a hint of red blood splatter against the wall. They knew that the men at the Ju-Ju House had something to do with it. But where was Morgan?

Circling to the rear entrance, Fitzgerald rigged an electric battery to the door handle, then they pounded on the rear door for all it was worth. When one of the cultists came to investigate, he was thrown to the floor by the shock, where he was quickly subdued. The team then headed inwards, and found a trap door that lead to a dark basement. They could just make out the ritual carvings in the walls as they made their way to a stoat oaken door, bound with iron. They opened the door, and were greeted by a nightmarish scene: N’Kwane, M’Dari, and the remaining cultist were marking the corpse of Morgan with ritual cult symbols. A group of walking dead mechanically rotated a winch that was raising up a heavy stone block. And from beneath the block arose an earthly cacophony of moans, screams, and cries.

Gunfire, fisticuffs, eldritch energy, and the cultists lay dead on the floor. Reid sealed the pit shut by cutting the winch line loose, and several new artifacts were discovered…

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Meeting Jackson Elias
Whispers behind door. Knocked. No answer. Went home. Campaign over.

Okay, so it was a little more exciting than that…

January 15th, 1925

Our daring heroes were contacted by Jonah Kensington, and hired to be the watchdogs over his prize author, Jackson Elias. They arrived at the Chelsea Hotel, and made their way up to room 412. However, upon arriving at the door, the characters over-heard the sound of shuffling feet just inside. Kugler was the first to open the door, and was greeted by the sight of Elias’ corpse, cut to ribbons on his bed. His stomach had been slashed from stem to sternum, and the walls were coated with his blood. Standing over the rapidly cooling corpse were two men, wearing African tribal masks and wielding long bush knives.

Murder scene

One of the men fired at Kugler, who returned a quick shot, and took down the first assailant. His partner threw his long knife at Kugler, but the throw went wide, and the attacker smashed out a window and started down the fire escape. Reid tried to close with him, but a third attacker, lurking just behind the door, tried to take him down. Luckily, Reid was too quick for him, and stunned him just long enough for Maloney and Morgan to make short work of him.

Carriage and Kugler then headed to the window, and tried shooting the fleeing attacker, who was rapidly making his way down to a waiting Hudson Roadster. Unfortunately, the alley proved too dark to get a clear shot, and it looked like he was getting away. At least, until Morgan took a flying leap out of the window and landed on top of the idling car! Maloney more prudently decided to take the stairs, and jumped up on the driver’s side running board of the moving vehicle. He then wrested control of the car away from the driver, and steered it into a concrete wall, killing the driver and seriously injuring the passenger, but escaping from harm themselves.

A quick search of the attackers and the hotel room led to a whole host of clues being discovered, which revealed some of what Elias’ expected. The group attempted to interrogate the sole survivor, but unable to speak his language, they were unable to get any information from him. He was then turned over to the police to face his judgement.

Returning to Kensington’s office, the PCs informed him of Elias’ demise, and pressed Kensington for more details. Kensington turned over what notes Elias’ had entrusted to him, and promised the group to fund any research required to find out what Elias knew.

Our boys then hit the streets, and were able to make the following connections:
  • A message is waiting for Professor Cowles at his office on the Miskatonic campus.
  • Dr. Robert Huston’s medical records were transferred to the Medical Affairs Board, near Park Avenue and 61st Street.
  • Kugler and Carriage tried to get an audience with Erica Carlyle, but were unsuccessful. They were informed to come back a week from Tuesday (January 27th, 1925).
  • Reid and Morgan broke into Emerson Imports, where Morgan viciously attacked an otherwise innocent security guard, and found links to a Silas N’Kwane at a place called the Ju-Ju House in Harlem, and his possible supplier in Mombasa.
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