“Well Charleston, I suppose we should talk about this next session,” says Mwimbe when she enters the hospital.
“Let’s try and make sure there is another session. Listen, did you think this was going to happen when I was reading from my books?”
“I did not think it would happen on this scale. But then, I did not sell my soul to the Dark Powers.”
“Neither did I!”
“Yes. You keep loving that rabbit.”
Over in the corral, Jimmy Wright watches Freddie and Sam Mariga enter the hospital. He runs to the rock he keeps his stash of tools under and takes them out. Charcoal. White dust. Some grease.
He uses it to assemble a disguise, hoping to pass as a cultist. After all, he is Jimmy Wright—master of disguise.
[Disguise check, and a Reassurance spend shortly.]
“Brother! We have made a mistake and imprisoned you! We’re very busy, we’re bringing the Great One tonight!” says one of the guards when Jimmy catches his attention.
“Great, that’s great…”
“We have just brought some sacrifices. Would you like the honor?”
He leads Jimmy to a huge altar made of human and animal skulls. Tied to it is an eight year-old boy.
This is a pickle, thinks Jimmy.
[CP: I like how we’re all laughing.
FP: That’s because when Jimmy Wright is on screen, it’s comedy. I’m farce, he’s comedy…you’re some kind of dark psychodrama…
CP: Like Dexter. Lots of interior monologue.
Me: That’s it! YOU’RE DEXTER!]
In the crowd, Parizeau suddenly comes to himself. He is wearing a grass skirt and white and black paint on his body. He realizes that he’s spent the last several days dancing around and probably having sex with people.
“This is awkward,” he says.
Jimmy steps up to the altar. “Don’t worry, kid,” he whispers. He raises the knife. “Wait! I have a better idea! We shall corrupt!”
“I don’t know,” says the cultist who lead him to the altar. “We’ve got a lot of sacrifices to get through. And there’s so many preliminaries…”
“Yes, but what is the purpose of quantity if you don’t have quality? You must prepare the sacrifices.”
“Let me go talk to the high priest,” says the cultist dubiously.
As soon as no one is looking at him, Jimmy cuts the ropes tying the child down. The boy slips over the back of the altar and runs for the forest. Jimmy jumps down, grabs Parizeau, and slips into the hospital.
“Jacques, you are so sunburnt it’s ridiculous,” says Charleston.
“Does someone have a change of clothes?” asks Parizeau.
“I think you might want to keep those. Well Noor, I can’t evade responsibility for this even though it is not my fault. Prepare to summon…The Hunting Horror!”
[PP: Why don’t I just drive them all insane?
Me: Yeah…that ship already sailed…]
Freddie takes post in the window, holding the Enfield, a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. He watches as Jimmy grabs a cigar box and takes a gun out of it.
“Where else would you keep it?” says Jimmy.
“…I’m going to summon the Hunting Horror,” insists Charleston. “He will make the sergeant…retire. During the ensuing chaos, we can free the captives.”
Noor points out that the spell requires a sacrifice of a sentient being. And waiting until darkness.
They huddle. Charleston decides to use the Hoy-Dhin chant to asphyxiate the sergeant, while Parizeau unleashes the Howl of Pan to stun them.
Jimmy watches while the cultists butcher some cattle. The blood pours into pits dug near the altar.
“Oh, it’s for the blood!” he mutters.
Freddie asks Charleston if he still has his machine gun.
“Welll…the gun is more like a pet…”
“Wait. Have you turned your machine gun into some sort of horrible soul-eating machine.”
“No, it doesn’t eat souls. That’s horrifying. Actually, it’s no longer a weapon in of itself. It’s actually a tiny, extradimensional portal. See I got tired of carrying things, because I never have what I need, so I made an extradimensional portal that I could carry around in my vest. Turns out once I opened up the portal, tiny little egg sacs fell out and hatched into spiders. Except instead of legs they have tentacles. Well, this is no good, I said, they’re consuming the flesh of all they encounter. How can I harvest this and make it into an advantage? And I was like, I know! I’ll make a spigot. And I’ll use my machine gun as the spigot. And you can open the spigot and close the spigot. Well, it turns out you can open the spigot, but closing the spigot doesn’t turn out so great. Aaand the butt stock that goes into your arm? Sometimes turns into a carnivorous squid and tries to eat your arm.”
“So I take this to mean that you no longer have a functional machine gun but some eldritch weapon of horror.”
“Well, functionally its a machine gun, so an eldritch machine gun of horror.”
“All right, I’m just going to stand over here and make a Stability check.”
[Couldn’t resist leaving that line in, because FP said it in character. I said it was pretty much the definition of a Mythos shock.]
The cultists gather before the altar, playing drums and flutes made of the bones of their previous victims. Jimmy slips out the door and joins them, still in his disguise.
[…and fails his Stealth check]
Unfortunately he runs into his old friend, the one who “freed” him from the corral. “Hey brothers! Here he is, the guy who told us the RIGHT way to do the sacrifices! And he’s been talking to the Master!”
They lead him in front of the altar and the steaming pools of blood. Captives are being tied to stakes. “Right,” says the former sergeant, “We’ve figured this out: one of us breaks the neck, one of us slices his belly open, and one of us stabs him in the heart. Brother,” he says to Jimmy, “Which one do you want to do?”
From the hospital building, a singing of unearthly beauty begins. “The Master sings!” shout the cultists.
[CP began singing Bohemian Rhapsody, which is appropriate since Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar.]
Jacques runs out of the hospital building at this point, takes a huge breath, and then shouts, a wordless cry of terror and pain—that despite being wordless caries a sense of ceaseless horror and menace.
[Howl of Pan spell—fail your Stability test & you’re temporarily blasted.]
Cultists drop to the ground, howling themselves. A few manage to stay up, including the three “faction” leaders. Freddie takes aim at one of them and cooly blows his head off with a well-placed Enfield shot.
[Picture Freddie cooly standing next to the window, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. It’s one of my favorite images from the campaign.]
Jimmy sprints for the captive pens. “Brother,” says the guard there, “I’ve prepared them all, tied up and everything.”
“Great! Fantastic! You’re awesome! You’re missing out! Let me take over and you can join in while the Master blesses the chief!”
“Thank you brother!” shouts the guard, already running off towards the altar.
Jimmy opens the corral and starts shoving people out. One of them grabs Jimmy. “Thank you, brother! Now I can join the ceremony! We have to stop them, bring them to the altar!” Obviously, he’s suffering from Stockholm…er, Tanganyika syndrome.
Jimmy brings up his pistol and swings the butt at the deluded captive. He ducks away. “Are you not of the body?” he says incredulously.
Back at the altar, black ichor has begun to rain down on the former sergeant. It coats his face and body, blinding him. He begins to scream, but it flows down his throat, blocking his airway.
Freddie shoots another faction leader, who takes a nasty flesh wound but continues marching towards the hospital. Freddie fires again and blows his head off. With his last round, he shoots the sergeant, putting him out of his misery.
With great sorrow, Jimmy spins the gun in his hand and shoots his assailant in the gut.
Freddie, Charleston, Parizeau, Noor and Mwimbe catch up with him and together they dash into the woods. “Follow me!” says Freddie. “I’ve got a compass!”
The next day they reach a small village, the home to several of the freed captives.
After resting for a few days, they resume their journey to Ngorongoro. The weather is very fine, and at night the sky is full of thousands of stars. Jimmy feels that something about them bothers him, but he can’t put his finger on it. Maybe it’s the frequent meteor showers.