The Monster Hunters of Down Cthulhu

Trieste

We now carry the pieces of the Simulacrum in 3 large cases. We continue to garlic the seems of all windows and doors to our hotel rooms, and keep fresh garlic filling the cases which house the Simuacrum pieces. Wilberforce continues to travel with us to document our adventures. At 7:54PM we arrive in Trieste. We note a group of arab businessmen at the station, but not from out train. A heavily cloaked passenger gets off of our train, leaving in a different direction from us. Geste “Fennelik”. A wind is blowing through the city, howling and absolutely bone-chilling, debris flying all over.
Trieste 1890

Reviewing our information from Smith, we know we must seek out one Johan Winkelman at the museum. Wilberforce “What hotel should we stay at?” Jeremy “Well, since Paul’s paying, the best in town. Eh, Mansauce?” Paul “So long as they have lesser accomodations for the help.” We stay at the nicest in the city, the Savoy Excelsior Palace, for 5L/night per person. We hire a carriage to the Savoy, Schuyler passing out along the way. As we disembark, Jeremy notices a man nearby paying way to obviously no attention to us, obviousy doing a poor job of surreptitiously spying on us. Also, the arabs get a carriage and give their driver the same destination as we just after we instruct our driver. Coincidence? We mention the wind to the driver and he says it’s the “Bora”. It blows most of the winter, very forceful and cold but a typical winter phenomenon. As we pull away, the ‘spy’ is taken by a figure stepping out of the shadows and is enveloped in the black cloak of Fennelik…his first victim in Trieste.
At Savoy, we arrive with the arabs close behind and unload our luggage. The Turks, more specifically, talk (Schuyler able to understand) only of standard subjects for a tourist but for “What part is here? What part do you think will play?” Could they speak of the Simulacrum or would this be a red herring? Wilberforce says he’ll stay at the hotel when we go out and do stuff whenever we want a guard for the Simulacrum. We get 3 rooms, one part in each: Paul/Jeremy/Wilberforce with the torso, Wilhelm/Red Cloud with the leg, Schuyler/Geste with the head.
We sup at the hotel restaurant after locking up our rooms and eat heartily. We meet 2 other men supping, who overhear us speaking English. One approaches us. Paul “Yes, yes you can have my autograph”. Him “It’s good to hear the mother tongue. Here among the barbarians of Europe. I am Major Mortimer Feather” obviously of money. Paul and Schuyler have heard of him through the Adv. Club, and Red Cloud. They have been in the Mid and Far East. Reputation as explorers and rapscallion treasure hunters as well, selling there treasures to museums and such for the highest bidder Schuyler “What brings you to Italy?” “We are on our way to Egypt.” Schuyler “We have associates there as we speak”. “We go there to look someone up. Mind if I sit down?” We invite him to join us and he calls his friend over: fairy handsome, mid 30’s with an obvious military demeanor and packing a sidearm as well as a large knife. Red Cloud and Schuyler recognozes it as an authentic Bowie. Red Cloud “How did an English gentleman come across such a knife?” “This knife” as he takes it out and puts it on the table “This knife was a gift to me from a friend who is unfortunately now some 8 odd years passed. I was there when Custer defeated the Sioux but died in doing so. It was a gift from California Joe. I was a military observer of the Indian Wars for the Queen.” Geste “So who do you look for in Egypt?” Feather “Someone who will be very happy to see us though he does not know us. His name is Rick Rathbone.” Paul “Ah, Rathbone. I know him from the Adventurer’s Club.” Feather “Well it’s really Dr. Tarr here who seeks him out. We have something he may want. Among the tombs of Egypt there is a particular lost tomb. Rumors abound in the exporer community that Rick and his friend Fritz have a map that will lead them to the area. Knowing Rick, if he gets within a hundred miles of the treasure he’ll smell it out. We happen to have a map of the tomb itself.” Schuyler “that would be a boon”. Feather “Indeed, it could save lives. So we seek to catch up to him.” Red Cloud “Hopefully he is not too far ahead.” Feather “We are meeting a great hunter in Alexandria to help us, as the desert is not a terrain we are very experienced in. If Dr. Tarr’s information is right, Rick may be biting off more than even he can chew. At least we can warn him and a good enough adv. to be worth Tarr’s 4th book.” He writes like Watson, with Feather as the Holmes-main character though the brains and brawn are reversed. Feather’s instincts in action are amazing though Tarr is the ‘brains’. The hunter’s name is Cpt. Thomas Spalding. Tarr “Fritz will know Spalding.” We have a good evening with Tarr and Feather, who seem likable rogues. They would rub Paul, so serious about fighting evil, the wrong way over the long haul though. We turn in for the night.

Feb. 20

Wilberforce and Wilhelm need woken up, and they awake in a fog with a splitting headache, lethargic and sick. Both down a couple cha. Red Cloud “Too much wine last night.” Jeremy “Better check yourselves for wounds”. Nothing is apparent though, and we make for the museum to find Winkleman. Wilhelm, who speaks Italian, will do the talking when English is not possible.
Museum employee, Wilhelm translating “What can I do for you?” We tell him who we seek and he replies “You want to see Heir Winkelman? Out in the garden.” Jeremy “Is there a problem with Winkleman?” Red Cloud “He seem surprised.” Guy “Well, he hasn’t had any problems for quite a while.” Jeremy aside to Paul “That’s cause he’s dead, I expect.” He points us to the garden. Wilhelm “Is he dead?” “He’s been dead for many years, his grave in the garden.” He tells that he was a German art historian and archaeologist, a pioneering Hellenist and called the Prophet and Founding Hero of modern archaeology, 1st to apply systematic study to Greco-Roman art. He was murdered here in Trieste on June 8, 1768 by a man named Francesco Arcangeli for some medals he received as a gift of honor by Maria Theresa, the last of the House of Habsburg. The garden must be a beautiful and relaxing place in the spring and summer. Many pieces the museum own are from Winkelman. We check out the grave but there is nothing of importance.
We hed for the library to research Winkelman further, Red Cloud along with Geste stand watch for the Turks or other potential trouble. There is an entire section of Winkelman’s complete collection! Some handwritten papers included. Wilhelm discovers in a letter to friends, he writes of a melancholy which has overtaken him, and he travels to Trieste to rid himself of his burden. Winkelman had befriened a worker at the hotel, to whom he willed much of his ‘estate’. Also a reference to a diary, purchased by a Giovanni Termona. Jeremy speaks to the librarian and asks him about Termona. They’re a well known family of scholars, still living in Trieste. Antonio Termona still lives in the ancestral home, he is able to show us where on a map. Only a few blocks away, actually. Jeremy “maybe Simon and Red Cloud should sneak it.” Wilberforce “You’re first attempt at the Termona’s is going to be breaking and entering?” Now evening, we make our way there just to scope it out. Typical city-villa, probaby a garden in an internal square, and neighbor buildings are right up against it. Jeremy “Should be easy to sneak into if need be.” Back to hotel for late supper. A commotion as the Turks enter, one of them wounded by a cut to the side and another favoring a similarly wounded arm. Remark to a hotelman that they were out siteseeing in the poorer parts of town and were beset by brigands. Policia are called, Turks say it happened so fast but they were scared off by the Turks yelling and people showing up. 4,5,or 6 of them. Tall or short, leader thin but maybe fat… Obvious tall tale in other words.
We find out the Turks are in room 206, and Schuyler thinks we should spy on them. One adjacent room is empty, all others around them are occupied. Jeremy picks the lock to the door like a pro. Schuyler “Excellent job”. Schuyler climbs from the balcony to the Turk’s balcony and listens in. "Shit this hurts. I think those bastards used a poisoned knife on me “Well there not going to ever again. Who do you think they were?” “I think they were after the same thing we are.” “Do you really believe part of it is here?” “Salim thinks so, and he’s not often wrong. He knows what he’s talkin about. Even if not, do you wanna cross him.” “No. Cross Salim and you end up with your skin flayed.” “What about those idiots upstairs (us). Seem to be running around in circles today. Justinian, will you follow them again tomorrow?” “I shall, but someone else was following them too. What if it’s the policia? They have secret informants out there. We don’t want trouble with them. And we wanna get home in one piece.” “By all the Old Ones, I don’t like this mission.” Schuyler thinks to self: Old Ones! “I think we need to tell Salim we need more agents. We need to make do. You don’t want to report failure to Salim. We must make do”. Wound-in-the-side “I’m only half as good as usual with this wound.” “That’s ok, we can still handle anything we come up against”. Wound again “There were only 3 tonight, next time there may be more”. “Well, I do not think we are there main targets. I think it’s the idiots.” “I can’t figure out what this scholar they seek has to do with this. What were the idiots doing there? And in that garden.” “I don’t know, site seeing!” “They’re after the Sim..” “No! Not even here can you say that.” “What good is one piece going to do them, they don’t have the rest. Salim would not even have found out about it without Mekhmet telling him.” “But he’s no longer with us.” “Salim is going to let his son in.” “I know how to handle it, let’s kill them all tonight, slit there throats in there sleep. Then we can blame our ‘failure’ on some cultists.” “And if we get caught? We don’t have the connections here like at home, we can’t make people disappear. You can’t just kill people here. If you weren’t so slow to get wounded…” They decide not to kill us and keep with there current plans.
Back in our room, Jeremy sets up a simple deadfall alarm on our balcony door and windows. Wilhem “I will do more research tomorrow.” Red Cloud “Should we follow who follows us tomorrow? I’d like to capture that Turk who is following us and interrogate him.” Schuyer “You’d probably be to obvious to follow someone.” Geste “Perhaps you, Schuyler.” Jeremy “Someone may be trying to poison us here as well, after what happened to Wilhem and Tom this morning.” Red Cloud “If it happens again, they must have people in the kitchen”. Geste “Tomorrow, Jeremy should disg. self and follow the Turks.” We sleep for the night.

Feb. 21

Red Cloud wakes up last, with same symptoms, suffering 6cha damage! Jeremy gets his disguise going and heds downstairs early to follow the Turks. Schuyer “If they stay longer than we do, you should stay with them.” Geste “You want a bodyguard, Wilhelm?” Wilhelm “I’ll be fine.” Schuyler “Paul should talk to the scholar Termano.” Red Cloud, Gest and Schuyler accompany him.
The Turks spend much of the day at the hotel salon having Turkish Tea and spending time taking turns visiting a few local prostitutes up in there room, though one leave behind out group to follow us. He decides to also keep his eyes open for any clues to a potential poisoner.

  • Note: Morning papers report of local laborer found night before with throat cut.

The rest of our group leaves together. Soon, a beggar leaps from an alleyway, looking at us through bleary eyes, then moans. No tongue! He reaches out with his arms, and both are stumps, healed by time. He tries to communicate with his moans. Schuyler “What do you want, money?” He shakes head no. “Are you looking for us in particular?” He nods yes and leads us into the alley. We spend a few comedic minutes trying to communicate. He goes to end of allie and begins to point across street to our Turk pursuer, who looks away (card to forget) just in time to not see it. He then point to another pursuer who goes running off. Red Cloud “We’re being followed, we know.” He nods yes. Red Cloud “Are you working for an allie or do you just know this by yourself”. He was a hero, and one of our pursuer-groups did this to him. His former allies are dead, all done by cultists. Tries to draw in the mud with his stump, but letters totally incomprehensible. He is desperate to communicate. Wilhelm starts to go through the alphabet but the man almost freaks out with frustration. Geste “Write the alphabet and he/we can point to letters to spell out our communication.” Finally he spells L-O-I-G-O-R. Loigor, and he slumps exhausted. Points again E-L-D-R-A-C-E. Geste “An Eldar Race”. He acts out his wounds, a cult of an eldar race did this to him. The pursuer who ran off is one of them, red hair but for one lock of black hair did he have. They captured his group and mutilated them, left alive to suffer his deformities. 2 have died since. Wilhelm ponders, "I seem to recall Van Helsing speaking of Loigor. They are either 2 symbiotic races or one with 2 forms. One an invisible vortex of wind and consciousness. The other appears as a creature resembling a 20’ long draconic serpent. They’re all unforgiving and cruel, emanating an atmosphere of gloom. Been on earth since time immemorial, using inhumanly cruel discipline to keep servants in line. Schuyler “Did you actually encounter a Loigor?” He did, just one. The cult works for it, and many of them reside in the caves. His group specialized in hunting Loigor for the Iluminati, and gives us areas to avoid where Loigors are known to exist: Wales, Iraq, Rhode Island. The Loigor were extremely powerful just before the Hyborean Age. After Kull destroyed the serpent men, his Atlantian descendants did in the Loigor. Now they hide in caves under the earth as a dying race, though still working to bring back there great god. Schuyler “Maybe they create this terrible wind here.” The guy, a German, says they are the cause but it is not intentional. A side effect of there presence. Schuyler “Would you like to get back to Germany?” He would but knows the cult will never let him leave. He warns us they will try to destroy us all, but he’d love to get back to his sister in Dusseldorf. They are very powerful and we should not be seen with him, so he can’t help us. He goes away and we’ll have to try to find him when we leave if we want to send him home. We decide to stay together with Wilhelm.
-At the scholar’s house, we spot the cultist getting pulled into the alley he peers out of against his will. Wilhelm and Geste sees it is one of the Turks, the one who was following us.
-Meanwhile, at the hotel, a ragged boy gives the Turks a message and they leave, followed by Jeremy. They approach there friend following us, and Jeremy sees us get to the scholar’s house. The 4 leave the trailer and hed down a side street. He follows them, going around a block to a neighbor to the scholar’s house. One climbs to the roof and comes back down shortly. Tells the others something he saw (they obviously know this area). They go down an alley, sneak up on a man standing at the other end, and ambush him. It’s the cultist. They take him with a knife to his back through alleyways to the hotel and their room. Jeremy remains on watch in hotel lobby for rest day, but the Turks stay put.
-Back at Termona’s house, Paul, Schuyer and Wilhelm knock while Simon and Red Cloud wait nearby. and a man, right arm an empty sleeve. Wilhelm introduces us “We are looking for a historic journal purchased by one of your ancestors, of an historian named Winkelman.” In the rear, the Turk appears to be gone or well-hidden. Termona invites us in and has a servant get tea. “True, we have been interested in historic trinkets for some time, me and my family. What is it exaclty you are looking for?” Wilhelm “The journal of Johan Winkelman.” Termona asks for some credentials, and Wilhelm shows his doctorate and Paul his passport “No one has been able to read it as it is in code. Wait here, I’ll get it.” Comes back “If you think you’ll be able to decipher this, by all means take it. But I’d like you to come back if you do. A local man named Montinelli has been working on it, but has more eliminated patterns it certainly lacks.” It looks like a letter substitution code but no luck by anyone. He can’t give us any more details on Winkelman. We depart and Schuyler says “I can take it to the Secret Service office here, see if they can help us.” Paul “Did anyone notice what I did? His empty sleave kept moving slightly. Not often, but every once in a while it would twitch an move like something were in it.” Schuyler “Oh no, like a tentacle? Bending where an arm should not be bending?” Paul “Now that you mention it, yes!” Oh damn it!
At US field office, they say the place to take it would be Rome, they can get an agent to take it. Geste “We may have to work on this ourselves somehow.” Schuyer “I think that would take even longer. I’ll take it myself, this is too dangerous.” Geste “I’ll go with you in case of trouble.” They get the first tickets out of town.

The rest get fresh garlic for the night, and stop at a telegraph office, sending work of Loigor to Archimedes and to send a response, then for dinner at a restauraunt and get back to hotel after dark. Paul finds Wilberforce asleep in a chair. They check the case and the torso is missing. Wilhelm and Red Cloud see their case open in the middle of the floor and the piece missing. In the last room, the case open. On the bed the pieces are lovingly layed out together in place. Jeremy checks the windows, the latch on every one to open air, not balcony, was broken. Red Cloud “Fennelik”. Jeremy “Or Loigor”. We wake Tom up and he says he doesn’t understand. “All of a sudden I felt very tired, then heard a noise at a window. Right in the middle of the…air… just after dusk was a figure floating there with burning red eyes.” The garlic is gone from the windows. “Everything went black from there and I remember nothing til now, but a dream of an evil, evil man leaning over him caressing his face.” We are doing his work for him, assembling the source of renewed youth for him. The question is, will we be able to defeat him when he comes for them all, assuming we find them? We could stop with what we have, but we also know others, cults, seek the pieces for some unknown purposes.
Jeremy tells us what happened with the Turks and their prisoner. Since they still do not know we know they are following us, and they are opposed to the cult as well we do nothing with regards to them for now. Jeremy “Since they took and likely interrogated the cultist, his brethren will be looking for him. We know they are cruel and insidious, and may come at us in forse, assuming it was us.” Red Cloud “Unless it was them who jumped the Turks, they may or may not know about them”. Red Cloud “Fortunately, with only one guy on us and him taken by the Turks, they may not even know the journal is not here.”

Feb. 22

Wilberforce is struck again with the sickness! What is causing this? None of us have any marks upon us. A reply arrives via from Archimedes, brought via messenger boy from the telegraph: Other than what Wilhelm already knew, it says there were definately aliens on our earth. Chief among them Ctonathoa. Existed as vortices of power in there natural state. We think came from another galaxy eons ago. Beware sleeping within range of a Loigor, for they draw nourishment from their victims in the form of psychic energy. Eventually they will wear you down, could be within miles. The effect is commonly called ‘Sleep Siphon’.
Downstairs to breakfast, the Turks are there as well…all 5. Jeremy decides to break into their room while they are all gone. Paul and Wilhelm stay at breakfast, Red Cloud acts as a lookout for Jeremy. In the room, Jeremy finds it seemingly empty of a captive. He opens a couple of large chests and within one finds a somewhat ripe dead body, but the skull lacking a face or hair. It does however still have the clothes on, that of the cultist from the day before.
Downstairs in the meantime, Wilhem sees in the paper reports of a few murders, serial style. Looks like Fennelik to us. Then the Turk facing away from us, a short fat man, turns for a moment and we see his face. It is the face of the cultist who was spying on us! A skin-mask with the black and red hair! But not a mask, it has replaced his own face.
Wilberforce “so now what do we do today?” Jeremy “We should go and invensigate Montinelli.” We all leave and about half way there we see police gathered on a nearby street with a crowd looking on. We go check it out and see them take a wrapped up body away. Jeremy asks someone in the crowd what’s going on. A woman answers in englixh “I saw the body it was horrible. Some poor begger.” Wilhelm “Oh no.” Jeremy “Was he missing both hands?” Woman “And his feet. There were cuts all over his body, and burns.” Jeremy “So they took him and tortured him even more.” Red Cloud “Probably for talking to us.” We hear a cop say “It looks like it took him hours to die.” A few crowd members recognize him as the crazy beggar who couldn’t talk.
Wind continues to blow as we move on toward Montinelli’s. We notice we are followed by a Turk and another seperate person. We are all being watched by 2 fascistas.
Montinelli’s is a seedy looking place. We knock and hear pounding like a a stick on the ground from the other side. A man with a walking stick and missing a leg answers “Can I help you?” Jeremy “We are here by recommendation of Senior Termano. We want to know of your work on the diary”. Jeremy and Wilhelm notices the same odd movements in his leg as in Termano’s arm, while Paul barely realizes the man is missing a leg at all. He says “It’s a simple code, yet i have not been able to crack it.” Red Cloud “Why not then?” Montinelli “I tried to use letter frequencies and such for the substitution, but I believe every so often he randomly changed it, sometimes right in the middle of text. It would be a painstaking process for most any scholar.” He as able to get the 1st page but it was typical diary entry stuff, then the second page was immediately a mystery. “Well, thanks for stopping by gentlemen”. Red Cloud “How long did it take you to get the first page?” Montinelli “A couple weeks”. Red Cloud “Do you have this first page? May we copy it?” Paul thinks we should not automatically trust the rendering he gives us. We go to telegraph, wire to Schuyler clue to code he mentioned. Get reply back “Progress being made. Tougher than looks”. Wilberforce “What do we do now?” Red Cloud “We have lots of time. We can research the amulets from Winkelman, and Wilkelman himself further.” Jeremy “I think the medallions.”
Wilhelm gets to researching: Though there were 5 medallions found on Winkelman upon his death, and though the woman who gave them to him said there were only 5 and only 5 were left to the museum, people who met him leading up to his death said there were 6. Before Arcengeli was executed, heard to say in courtroom to someone “I have failed in my mission.” But he was assumed only a homosexual like Wilkelman and his hotel friend were as well. Such things were not spoken about. Wilberforce “So, it appears there was a 6th amulet he was killed for. So where did it go? Yet the murderer said he failed, so maybe he took the wrong one.” Red Cloud “We must go to the museum again”. We go straight there, but examining them shows them to be the authentic amulets given to him, the correct 5, so far as Wilhelm and the museum can tell.
We go back to the hotel, where the policia wait for us “Seniors, come with us please. You’re under arrest for murder.” Paul “That’s absolutely bizzar, I’ll have none of this.” Jeremy “Whoa, I was only hired on as an assistant by Earl of Mansauce. I have nothing to do with this.” Essentially he bluffs his way out of it and is pushed off to the side. Wilhelm, who was lagging behind with his handful of books, looks too inconspicuously scholarly (card) and they ignore him outright as he steps off to the side. Red Cloud “What murder?” Cop “There was a body found in your room, we were tipped off by the maid. A dismembered man with his face peeled completely off his skull. We suspect you of the murder of the beggar and the other recent murders.” They figure on the convenience of solving all of them in one action. Jeremy steps back in “we were all in the hotel here last night”. Cop “Well, you may not have killed the beggar, or the others, but you must have killed the man in your room we found in your tub.” Red Cloud remembers the trunks were part of the Turks luggage, not the hotel property. He suggests(card) that the Turks did it. Cop “I don’t like Turks any more than you do, but you need more than just that.” Red Cloud tells him they have followed us since we arrived and got into a fight in the streets since they have been here. He suggests they check the Turks room. We notice 3 of the Turks in the cafe laughing at the situation. Red Cloud “Why would a highly public English Earl come to town with a bunch of friends and start murdering people?” Jeremy goes straight upstairs and there are guards outside our room the body was found. He goes to the Turks room and listens at the door, hearing nothing. He picks the door and enters. It is empty and he opens the trunk, now full of clothes and only faintly stinks of the dead body. Their tub is cleaned but slightly stained red around drain. Jeremy checks out the hall, sees one well-to-do Italian gentleman lock his door and go down the steps, then locks door behind him and goes back downstairs, joining us again. Wilberforce to cop “Last night at dinner we overheard them talking communist dogma.” Cop “Communists!” He turns to a deputy and orders his men to immediately arrest the 3 Turks in the cafe. “Excuse me Senior you’re under arrest.” Turk “What for.” Cop bashes him over the head with the butt of his carbine “For being dirty communists!” The police go check out the room and return “My apology seniore’s. There is conclusive evidence in their room that that is where the murder was committed. It is obvious the filthy communists attempted to create a diplomatic incident with England by having us arrest an Earl of England for a crime he is innocent of. My apologies again” as they lead the Turks out…roughly. Jeremy “Only 2 of them left.” There remains the Turk who has been following us and the one with a new face. We get to sleep.

Feb. 23

Paul affected by the Loigor’s again, Red Cloud recovering well.
Jeremy “Simon and Schuyler, just sitting in Rome with nothing to worry about. Probably drinking good wine, letting someone else do the work while they relax and we suffer every night.” More info on Loigor awaits us: only sleeping humans effected, and the Loigor must know where they are sleeping so they are aware of our location. It is completely purposeful. There must be 2 or 3 of them depending on exactly how many people each Loigor can target.
Wilberforce “So what next?” We are lacking anything specific to do, so Red Cloud suggests Wilhelm gets to researching Fennelik/Simulacrum further. Red Cloud “Maybe we should try to lure the remaining Turks into a trap.” We decide for Paul to leave and see if he is followed. Several blocks later we see he is followed by 2 people, then they disappear for a moment and return with 2 more, then proceed to attack Paul. Probably the cultists the Turk’s killed. Paul pulls out his sword and makes some fancy intimidating moves, succeeding at making them all shaken. Then a second group rushes from a dark ally as we are running to the fight ourselves. One of the new arrivals takes down a cultist and the 10 of them proceed to beat the snot out of the 4 cultists. They wear the armbands of the fascists, they think our attackers are commies like the Turks. One cultist “Why do you beat us?!” A fascist “Shut up you fuckin’ communist” as he hits him with a club between his legs. It’s over quickly. The fascist leader says “Senior, we don’t much like foreigners here, but as foreigners go the English aren’t bad, and commies are always worst.”
Wilhelm discovers an obscure reference to a group called “The Brothers of the Flesh” who worship a being calld The Skinless One who appears to them as a muscular 8’ human without skin, sometimes with a 3rd eye in the center of his forhead. The Simulacrum has something to do with their worship. Supposedly, through their worship they have the ability to exchange body parts with the living. Or even steal from the dead. Like a face or voicebox, same as attacked Katarina. Usually done when person is alive. Not an exchange but a theft.
We get back to hotel before dinnner and find Schuyler and Simon waiting with the translated diary (see handout). A chilling account of Winkelman and Loigor, the amulet hidden and the caverns, and a dark ritual. Arcangeli was a member of a local cult seeking arcane artifacts of all kinds. Seems the amulet remains where Winkelman hid it, for he did not think he could recover it without being seen. Jeremy “Where could he have hidden it.” Paul “I have a feeling it is hidden somewhere around his grave.” Wilberforce “Perhaps”. Simon “Where could he have hidden it and why?” Schuyler “Maybe he gave it to the waiter and his family has it today. Handed down.” The Bora is blowing stronger than ever, taking down electric lines forcing the use of gaslight. In the diningroom, a we attend a nice gaslight dinner. As we eat the fish of the 3rd course, we begin to feel as if we are sinking but realize it is our tablel rising. It falls with a sudden boom. Everyone looks over and we play it off. Geste “A Loigor under our table, in wind form?” The chicken comes next, and as Paul cuts in it squirts out maggets, more than should fit in his chicken. Paul “Check please.” He spits out the food in his mouth and it’s maggots too. Everyone else looks upon him as if he has lost his mind. He shakes his head and they immediately disappear. He still doesn’t eat any more of the chicken. The meat comes next and red wine. As the waiter starts to pour, Wilhelm’s starts to fill by itself with what is obviously blood. It reaches the top and overflows. Red CLoud “Fennelik is fucking with us.” Schuyler “He’s probably laughing from somewhere.” Paul “I know this bull, I’m drinkin’” and he does but his glass rises into the air and crashes against the wall. Suddenly there is no blood. All a hallucination. Simon goes for the beef, and the knife burns arctic cold in his hand. He tries to hang on and it rises into the air. Geste holds on and actually leave contact with the floor and makes a coupld stabbing motions then fumbles from his hand to the floor. Geste falls back into his seat, about a foot off of it. Red Cloud suggests sleeping somewhere else to avoid the Loigors. As we stand up to leave, a pale man dressed in black slips into the kitchen. Paul “We should catch him”. We follow but he has disappeared and all employees insist they saw no one.
We hed out for other sleeping arrangements, Wilhelm carrying the diary. Soon, we hears whispers of his name but no one there while we await our luggage. Suddenly while no one else is in view, the temperature drops noticably, even in the cold. Wilhelm is thrown against a wall and a voice in German says “Wilhelm, diary” 3 times. In the carriage, his satchel feels suspiciously light and the diary is gone. We all look in case it is another hallucination but we all see nothing. Geste “Forget this, we need to get rooms and not even worry about the garlic.” Wilhelm feels his 2nd satchel and it is heavy, inside is the diary. Hmm. We get to a cheap hotel and get rooms. We walk into Paul’s room and the gaslights go out. Red Cloud pulls his knife and coup stick as the room begins getting colder and colder, we can see our breath in the faint light from outside. The room gets extremely cold, fast. Paul draws his saber and Geste his longsword. Geste “Paul and Red Cloud draw your weapons, you other 3 stand behind us, pull a gun if you have one”. Paul “Already did”. Geste is slammed in the face by a pillow floating, which explodes in feathers then getting swirled through the air like a cyclone. One of Paul’s suitcases bursts open and his tuxedo leaps out and begins dancing around the room. Red Cloud gets his long hair grabbed and is pulled across the room backwards. The lights all come on, then some sputter and go off then others. Furniture begins to rise and move through the air about the room. Paul stabs his suit to no avail. Schuyler “That’s the suit you wore to Cantwell’s.” Geste is frustrated “We need to go out and find something to kill.” The door opens with a bang and the winds blow us out, tumbling into the haul as the door slams shut. A neighbor comes out “Don’t slam your door so loud” and goes back into his room. Paul loses a point of sanity over it. We realize Wilhelm is still in the room! Geste opens door: room is still in disaray but calmed down. Paul suit lies with a slash in the belly, Wilhelm sits in a chair opposite a man in another chair.Wilhelm turns to us and says “Meet our visitor and the cause of all this commotion.” The small pale man who left through the kitchen. Wilhelm says it’s Winkelman, the ghost of! Paul “You filthy Jew, what are you doing here?” He becomes almost completely solid as he begins to talk but his voice sounds as if from a long way away and he struggles to do so. “German, Latin, or Greek”. Wilhelm “German”. Winkelman “I can’t stay long, I must go back to my suffering.” Jeremy “Where are you suffering?” He pulls his scarf aside and we can see the huge gash of his slit throat, maggot strewn. Schuyler “What are you here to tell us?” Geste “Where’s the amulet?” He says he will take us to it, and it needs to be taken to the things in the cave. He knows nothing about the Simulacrum but that if there is an item that was in this town the Loigor likely have it. “They love such things and they may even trade the amulet for the leg, for the amulet is dear to them. I want you to give it to the Loigor. The filthy cultists only murdered me so they could gain favor from their masters. I don’t care who takes it to them so long as it is not them.” Schuyler “What do they want to free from it’s cold arctic prison?” Him “Ithaqua, the Great Old One.” Red Cloud “Then why would we want to give them the amulet?” Him “Their plot is thousands of years in the making. They need much more than the amulet. I was mad to ever start to research the Loigor and Thoqua. It led to my doom and eternal damnation.” Schuyler “In your diary The Tablet of ? is what?” Him “I can not speak of it. It is a forbidden book.” Schuyer “What are the creatures you spoke to in Reginsburg?” Him “Loigor also, who live outside the city. Again, deep underground. They are like maggots of the earth.” Red Cloud “Must we go to the caves in Austria?” Him “No, Loigors have a lair in the caves here, outside Trieste. Come with me, I will take you to the diary.”
We follow him and he moves quickly, enough so that we must rush to follow. Wilhelm ponders “If we must trade the amulet, I wonder if in 20 or 30 years another group of heroes will have to get the amulet to stop the Loigor’s plan?” He leads us to a boarded up villa, passing straight through the door. It’s a quiet and dark section of town, and so deadly cold no one is out. Simon and Red Cloud break the door in easily, Geste passing right through Winkeman with his momentum, who is waiting inside the door. It is an odd cold within, different from outside, makes us even colder and we smell death. As Geste passes through Winkelman, he feels an overwhelming sense to keep the amulet from the cultists. Lacking a light source, we head into the dark. Villa looks like it must have been a hotel at some point, a counter and reception desk rotting and covered in cobwebs. Winkelman leads us downstairs to the cellar, to the far wall of large cut stones. They are cut like steps, sloping up to the ceiling. Odd, we wonder why. He points to the earth of the cellar floor next to the wall and we assume we must dig. Lacking the equipment, Paul and Red Cloud hed back to the hotell for Wihelm’s ‘vampire kit’. We dig and find a stone, which we pry around then lift away. Inside is a mass of rotten leather, what used to be a bag and within is the gold medallion, a chilling visage with strange writings (see handout;), images seeming to move almost like a hologram. When Geste picks it up he feels a brief electric-like shock and a blast of frigid air sweeps past us all as if from the medallion, which Geste does not feel at all. Geste “I feel a desire to destroy this thing”. Red Cloud “Drop it in the bag”. Perhaps it protects the owner from cold. Geste hears a howling far off in the night, but no one else hears it. Red Cloud points behind Geste “look, look at his shadow” which is writhing a bit, not quite the form of a man, raising a clawed hand. He says “It’s the shadow of a Wendigo!” Schuyler “What? What does that have to do with this?” Geste “Don’t they have to do with cold?” Red Cloud “They are beasts of the Great Old One Athoqua, trapped in the frozen north somewhere. He sends his Wendigo down to destroy. I have been marked as an enemy, for I have killed one with Jake Washington. You (pointing at Geste) are marked as I am now. He will seek to find and kill you as he seeks to find and kill me. You and I are very different, but we now have a bond, we are brothers of the blood against Athoqua the Windwalker.” The cold is not bothering Geste at all while he has the amulet. He dons it and Winkelman says “Do not forget my quest. Fairwell” and he fades away. Geste “I have 2 ideas. We gather all our equipment and make for the caves. Or, we go to the tentacle-man’s house, the first one, and deal with him.” Schuyler “If we do that, we should take out his friend with the missing leg as well.” Paul “Let’s deal with the tentacles first”. We go to our hotel, fully equip, and immediately make for Termana’s house. Jeremy “Wanna go in right through the front?” He checks it but it’s locked so he picks it. Pitch black, but upstairs we hear chanting! Red Cloud “Draw weapons, the chanting will cover our approach”. Upstairs, we see flickering firelight from under the door. The language us unknown to us, and makes our skin crawl. Wilhelm peaks through the keyhole and sees several people, seemingly in a circle, including one across the room with a mass of tentacles writhing in place of his arm. The first one is only about 4’ in front of the door. Schuyler “Let’s break up this shindig. Try to obstain from gunfire unless necessary.” The door is unlocked and we open the door. In the midst of their circle of 5 is a pedastal with a glowing orb upon it. Next to it, straight ahead from us with one cultist between, is Termana with his arm of tentacles. He stares at the orb as if watching something, and for a second we think we see the villa we previousy came from. Jeremy “You’re a day late and a dollar short.” We charge cathing them offguard.

Geste makes for Termana with his cruciform sword-15, Paul to the cultist just inside the door stabs him straight through with his saber-12 DEAD it’s Montinelli, Red Cloud makes his way across the circle to a cultist behind Termana with his warclub and bashes his skull in-15 DEAD. He cleaves the one to his flank-13 DEAD. Wilhelm watches the hallway, with Jeremy wathing the stairs Jeremy at the ready, like Jeremy not caring if someone hears gunfire since he’s not a melee guy. Schuyler enters and moves on a cultist to the left of the door and the general melee begins. Geste hits Termana-10. Termana successfully casts defensively, using slithering, terrorific words. We do hear the words Cthulhu and R’yleh as the bodies of his 3 dead cultists rise as undead. They do so slowly, allowing Wilhelm to easily ID them as zombies. Red Cloud, now with 2 zombies on him, misses badly. The last 2 cultists attack, backing up 5’ from Geste and both cast Fist of Yogsothoth upon him. He saves against the first automatically(card) and makes the reflex save against the other as well, taking 17pts of damage. Paul attacks his zombie-12, Schuyler strikes one of the casting cultists and misses badly. Geste hits Termana-12 DEAD. Red Cloud missed and hit-3 by zombies, Paul is missed. Red Cloud hits a zombie-15. Jeremy steps into the room and fires his derringer at the other caster-miss. Wilberforce enters the room, pulls a hammer out of his pocket and swings at Paul’s zombie from behind-miss. One cultists steps back from Schuyler and casts, his arms morphing into snakes some 10’ long. They strike, each crits-17 total, fails one poison save for -2 str. The free caster looks straight at Wilhelm, who he assumes is the leader, and makes to cast. Wilhelm would fail the save, but (card) the caster sees him as too unassuming and goes for Wilberforce instead, losing sanity and falling to ground temporarily insane. Schuyler hits snakearms-3, Paul hits zombie-10. Geste attacks the cultist who just took out Wilberforce and hits-10. Red Cloud is missed by both zombies, Paul is hit-6. Red Cloud hits-19, Wilhelm moves in with his hammer and hits Paul’s zombie-6. Jeremy fires at Schuyler’s caster-miss. Snakearms hits Schuyler twice-6 total (makes both saves). Other caster, out of room to maneuver, casts defensively on Geste, who makes reflex taking 15. Schuyler hits snakeman-6, Paul hits his zombie-14. Geste hits his caster-12 DEAD, all 3 zombies miss, Red Cloud hits-14, Wilhelm hits Paul’s-4 DEAD, Jeremy moves to the orb and grabs it. Snakearms misses, Schuyler crits snakearms-18. Paul moves and attacks the zombies on Red Cloud that is unhurt-16, Geste attacks the same-14. Schuyler “I’m fighting a guy with snakes for arms, here! All the tough guys stick together, I see how it is!” Red Cloud it hit-5 and missed by the other. Red Cloud finishes one zombie, cleaves the other-18 DEAD. Jeremy flanks with Schuyler, Wilhelm draws his revolver and hits snakeman-9, Jeremy pulls his dagger and flanks snakeman-2 DEAD. Jeremy to Wilhelm “Yep, yep. We show up and save the day.” Wilhelm “These guys need us.” HaHa.

Our first encounter with true magical spellcasting caused sanity checks, Red Cloud losing a few (he is a primitive afterall). Schuyler makes his checks for the snakeman, avoiding a snake phobia. We make a thourough search of the house:
Notes that allow us to understand that these guys basically worship the Lloiger. Their physical changes were caused by the creatures. The Lloiger want the medallion, have been searching for it for some 150 years.
Paul recalls a quote from a book he has read mentioning Lloigar. They exist in 2 states, a serpent and a vortex. They can grow to colossal. 3 colonies believed to exist: Wales, Rhode Island, Iraq. Much depression where they live, as we have experienced mental losses of our own during sleep. Very powerful, we don’t want to fight them. They don’t seem to be on the side of Great Old Ones in general, but for their god Ithaqua.
So, we can perhaps trade the medallion for the Simulacrum piece. They need the amulet for Ithaqua, but their plot to bring their god back has been long in the making, unlikely the medallion is will be a turning point for them so, as bad as it sounds, we will have to give it to them in favor of the more immediate danger.
Sleep for the night, changing hotels in hopes of losing the Lloiger effects.

Feb. 24

Get train to caves next morning, actually a tourist attraction.
Guy on train smells of rot but its not Fennelik, quick bestial look at us (a la Bilbo). Geste, Schuyler and Red Cloud follow; fight on top of train car; the thing is vulnerable to piercing, taking double the attackers strength bonus to dam (incl. melee smash and the like). Bad guy knocked off the train.
We have no idea who this thing was.
10 AM train pulls into station, about a mile from town, mile and a half from the cave. Being off season, only 1 tour a day, at noon. Old Luigi rides us to nearby town where we rent horses. Another group of 6 men departed train here as well, as well as a few individuals. Simon points out one of their hands seemed to be without fingers, a tentacle perhaps. Wilhelm says a half a dozen or so got off on the other side of the train and rushed into the woods.
Rent 5 horses, and mule for Jeremy. Freezing cold today. Reach caverns without incident. We buy tickets. Gold toothed ticket master smiles at us, name is Carlo. Leads us down trail to narrow gauge rail that leads into cave. Enrico, burly and bushy beard, leads the tour from front of trolley like car. Seats 12 max. Chain driven pulley runs the car down the track. Periodic electric lights.
First, jumped by 6 who got off train. They want medallion. They’re Lloiger cultists. Combat ensues. Another group fires into fight from darkness.
We move on, beyond where people normally go. Hear gunshots from behind toward entrance.
Find slide going down to Lloiger pool. We take Simulacrum right leg and leave medallion. Cultists attack as we make our way up slide but we escape. Rush back to outside into a gun battle between other 2 groups. We rush to horses and ride away leaving them to kill each other as a local police patrol arrives.
Ride to the town where we rented horses and get rooms, we will get train the next day back to Trieste to make orient express departure.
Bottle of wine sent to us at dinner, something rattles within. Overnight, terrible shriek in Simon’s room. Dead body falls upon him as he lies. Wilhem wakes up to see the person fall and another killed at window. They are Lloiger cultists. We think Fennelik killed them.

Feb. 25

Back to Trieste, feel like being watched whole time. Depression hitting us hard. Wilhelm psych’s us over 2 days so we are willing to leave.

Feb. 27

8:14PM leave on Express. Fat old gentleman sends us bottle of his personal desert wine from south of Bordeux. Labelled in French “As a dream of the sap”. Waiter pours for us, sipping the vintage first for us and approving with enthusiasm. Dinner concludes and we go to bed. Night conductor knocks….
Dreamland visit!

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