Resting during the day, the group barely showed themselves at the pub. However, as dusk fell at the end of another dreary, drizzle-filled day, the investigators staggered downstairs to eat and drink their fill. Tonight, they would be prowling about the village again in search of the famed Beast of Edale! Bill, the landlord of the Laughing Horse, begged them not to go out again; he was worried for their safety—they had, after all, run up rather large bar bills.
Still, the heroic tourists could not be deterred.
Finishing their final stiffeners to keep the cold and drizzle at bay, they grabbed their (many) weapons and strode off into the fog. Quickly, they made their way through the quiet village toward Castle Plum. That damnable howling filled the air. Jeffrey realised that the howling seemed muffled somehow and that the creature doing the howling was not moving. The group decided to investigate the family mausoleum gambling that they might find something interesting within.
Quickly, they reached the crumbling old granitic edifice and forced their way inside. It was dank and cold within, and the group quickly got to searching. They discovered odd claw marks on the inside of the door and discovered the mausoleum was a two-storey affair; the older bodies being interred deep below ground. After thoroughly searching the mausoleum and opening some of the coffins to investigate the skeletal remains within, the group—led by the heroic archaeologist George—descended to the lower level.
Here, among the grime and gloom of ages past, the intrepid reporter Jacob found a loose paving stone. Beneath it, a tunnel hacked into the rock descended into a natural cave. With the secret trapdoor open, the howling, which had been muffled while the group were below ground, grew loud. Perhaps the group neared the end of their hunt!
Excited, George led the way as the group descended a rickety and rusty old iron ladder affixed to one wall. In the cave, they made another discovery: another narrow passageway led away towards the castle. In turn, this passageway ended in an old brick wall. The howling and snarling seemed to be coming from directly behind the wall. George discovered a secret mechanism to open a door in the wall, but Ikil suggested instead that George remove a brick so he could safely shoot the creature.
As George got to work, the howling and growling from the other side of the wall intensified. Then, the wall suddenly swung inwards, and the beast was among them! Hunched with grey skin, long claws, hoof-like feet and a feral, animalistic look about it, the beast was a terrifying sight. George was paralysed with fear while Charles just started screaming. Both Ikil and Dudley recognised the thing—or at least its type; it strongly resembled some of the things they had fought seven years ago in a certain forest in France.
Ikil got one shot off—which injured the creature before it ripped large chunks of George’s throat out. George collapsed, and then the creature was on Ikil, savagely worrying his neck. Jacob and Dudley were faster than Jeffrey, and they quickly bludgeoned the creature to death. Ikil—badly injured—was still on his feet, but George was near death, and only Dudley’s swift intervention saved the archaeologist.
As Dudley worked on George, the thing transformed before the group’s horrified eyes turning back into its true form—Eloise Vane!
Talk turned to what to do. It dawned on the group that they had just killed a member of the British aristocracy. Dr Dudley, unhinged by what he has seen, suggested killing the rest of the Vane family to obliterate the line and the curse, while Charles seemed quite keen to set the castle on fire. Cooler heads prevailed, eventually. Hiding the body and cleaning up as best they could, the investigators staggered from the mausoleum and limped back to the pub.
Their state aroused some excitement. Bill was horrified by what he saw. Believing their story of being attacked by the Beast out on the moors, he summoned Constable Tumwell.
Questions and Answers
In turn, the next day, on the 11th, as the group rested and recovered from the horrors of the night before, Constable Tumwell summoned the Derby constabulary.
That night, Laurence—looking pale and haggard—visited the pub. Only Jacob was in the bar: Charles had taken to his room with Jeffrey while Dudley treated Ikil and George’s life-threatening injuries. The clever reporter repeated the story of being attacked out on the moor, but Laurence seemed suspicious. Even a late-night drinking session could not allay the young aristocrat’s suspicions. Jacob came away from the encounter more than a little worried about what the young aristocrat and, more importantly, his father might do.
The Police Arrive. Charles Departs
The Derby Constabulary arrived early on the morning of the 12th. Taking statements from the investigators able to give them, they launched a search of the moors. Unsurprisingly, they found nothing.
Meanwhile, back at the pub, Charles was hatching a plan of his own. Although the police had asked everyone to stay put, the antique dealer felt a hankering for London’s bright lights (and Alice)—and a different hotel as he feared what the Vanes might do. With his faithful Jeffrey, he made his way to the train station…
This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.
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