That night they sneak down to the waterfront and pull handkerchiefs over their faces to hid their identity. The steam launch is loaded with their luggage, and the non-combatants.
Jimmy scales the warehouse and throws a rope down for the rest of the group. They open a ventilation shaft and lower themselves down. Jimmy notes that the office is on the actual mainland and should be the target of their search—it could potentially have a basement.
[Athletics spend by JP, and everyone piggy-backed on it.]
Francis leads them quietly through the darkness and stacks of merchandise—bags of coffee, crates of spices, crates of various trade goods. It seems rather more empty than they expected—probably a shipment has recently gone out.
They reach the door from the warehouse to the office. A Bengali man is asleep in the doorway. Francis puts him into a sleeper hold, and drags the man off into the darkness. Jimmy worries that his muffled cries might have been heard.
Charleston looks at the door for a moment, and then pulls out one of his many skeleton keys.
[Locksmith use by CP.]
Francis stays in the doorway, while the rest enter the office. Freddie takes out some flashlights covered with red cloth, to hide the light and preserve their night vision.
They find Thakur’s ledgers—shipments to New York, Paris, Shanghai, Australia, India are listed. There seems to be a rather high volume of shipping, most of which ends up in either Shanghai or Calcutta. The invoices are very vague, mostly listing “machine parts” or “artefacts.” And of course quite a lot is written in Bengali, which they can’t read.
Jimmy finds a trap door in the back of the office, under a rug. He heaves it open, and a staircase descends into the darkness.
Charleston, Freddie and Fritz descend the stairs, leaving Jimmy to guard the entrance. He waves at Francis—once again, the team of O’Donnell and Wright are on the job!
The stairs go down about eleven feet and end in a room about fifteen feet on a side. A large black idol of a very creepy worm-like being with multiple arms. Incense burns in front of it.
Charleston recognizes it as the Small Crawler, an aspect of—you guessed it—Nyarlathotep. He also finds a copy of a book written in Hindi. Although he can’t read it, he recognizes it from the symbols on the cover—the Cthaat Aquadingen.
Freddie notices that there are depressions in the ground…roughly six feet long…that look an awful lot like graves. Nearby he finds a cleaver with a dark substance on it.
Fritz finds some incense cones next to the idol. The smell of the burning incense from the idol to be very…disturbing.
[Two-point Stability test by FP.]
Upstairs, Francis is peering into the dark warehouse. Far off, at one end of the warehouse, he sees a light flicker. A little while later, he sees it again, closer, about the size of a torch.
Making a careful calculation, he fires his silenced pistol right where the chest of a torchbearer would be.
He doesn’t hear the shot hit anything, but the flame flares up into the size of a beachball. And then it rushes straight at his head.
[FP: I think I need to roll Stability here…]
Francis screams as the fireball roars right past his head and straight at Jimmy, who ducks. The fireball zooms down the stairs.
Jimmy pops back up, staring at Francis. Suddenly he sees a flash of blue light, and another fireball races towards them from the far end of the warehouse.
Downstairs, everyone jumps back as the reddish fireball erupts in their midst. Freddie and Charleston race for the stairs, but the fireball follows them and engulfs Freddie. He screams in agony as he is immolated, and stumbles into the office, still on fire.
[Six points of Health to Freddie, plus he caught on fire.]
Francis goes to slam the door shut, but the fireball erupts on him just as he closes it. He stumbles back, dazzled and scorched.
Freddie rolls on the ground, snuffing the fire out, but still in agony.
From the door comes the thunk of a fire axe hitting wood.
Fritz races upstairs. The fireball intercepts him just as he clears the trapdoor. Flame erupts around him, and he falls to the carpet, still on fire. Freddie desperately looks around and spies a bucket of sand. He flings the sand on it just as Charleston races up the stairs. The choking sand envelopes the fireball and snuffs it out.
Francis aims at the door with his sawed-off and fires off a blast. He opens a huge hole in the door, and in the guy standing behind it. The blue fireball begins to flow through the hole into the office.
Jimmy, standing near the front of the office complex, hears a key turn in the door to the outside. Several figures with clubs begin to run into the antechamber.
“Come on Freddie,” says Jimmy. He grabs Freddies hand and jumps through a window that opens out…over the harbor. They fall ten feet into the water.
A shot rings out, and Charleston jerks back. The blue fireball forms in the office around Francis, setting him on fire. Fritz jumps through the window and lands awkwardly, knocking the wind out of him.
Francis follows him, plunging through the darkness and crashing steaming into the water, quenching his flames.
Jimmy and Freddie begin to swim towards the steam launch, which contrary to human reason, but according to Freddie’s orders begins to move towards them in the darkness.
Charleston stands near the window, his head bowed. Thugs from the front door and the warehouse move towards him, and the blue fireball hovers eerily in front of him.
He raises his head. The fuse of his dynamite charge is fizzing and sputtering very, very close to the detonation charge.
Charleston flips the charge in the air toward the fireball while doing a backflip through the window.
Charleston falls backward in an arc through the moonlight. The dynamite flies in an arc through the unearthly blue light of the fireball.
Charleston crashes into the water. The dynamite crashes into the fireball.
As he sinks beneath the waves, there is a sudden flash and a shockwave smashes him down. Debris and beams start to rain into the water.
[2 point Explosives spend, 1 point Physics spend to time the explosion, then Athletics tests to chuck the dynamite and make the dive.
Freddie heaves himself onto the deck of the launch. He begins to push pieces of driftwood towards the rest of the group in the water.
The explosion rocks the boat and dazzles him, but now there is suddenly more driftwood.
Jimmy turns back and helps Fritz make it toward the boat. A flow of burning oil cuts him off from the skiff as Charleston drags Francis into the boat.
[Me: Jimmy, what’s your drive? Bad Luck…]
Hyperventilating for a moment, Jimmy plunges under the water and emerges twenty feet later just past the burning slick of oil. Freddie helps him up into the boat.
Noor shakes her head at Charleston. “Why does this keep happening? You blow things up all the time!”
“That’s not true! That’s not true! Sometimes I shoot them!”
“I think you owe me a lot more money,” says the captain of the steam launch to Freddie.