3 min read

MoN 047: Breaking into the Penhew Foundation

As darkness fell and more mist coiled through London's streets, the group made their move...

The next morning, things seemed grim: Charles, his faithful Jeffrey and Ikil were all sorely wounded and in no fit state to galivant off to Essex. Of the group that broke into Empire Spices, only heroic Dr Dudley remained able to continue the fight. But all was not lost: Jacob Rossini emerged from his room (and his epic hangover) to declare himself fit while Alice, Charles' housekeeper, furious at her employer's wounds, seemed keen to take a more active role in proceedings. The fortuitous arrival of Kirk Smith—a friend of Jackson's sent by Carlton Ramsey to lend what help he could—rounded out the new-look group.

Before a plan could be made to go to Misr House, an article in the morning paper entitled "12 Dead in Soho" caught the group's eye. The article sketched out in broad detail how a fire had consumed Empire Spces last night and how 12 bodies had been found in the wreckage. Three of these bodies were found in the cellar, and it seemed likely that these three were Yalesha, her mother and Mrs Miggins. With those three assumed dead, Dr Dudley—riddled with guilt at having come so close to saving them—proposed a new plan: instead of going to Misr House, which would likely be packed full of cultists, the group could break into the Penhew Foundation while Gavigan was elsewhere.

Salivating at the thought of taking the fight to their adversaries, the new group rushed off to Mayfair to watch the Penhew Foundation. A long day, spent both in a nearby cafe and walking the surrounding streets, produced a wealth of information.

In the Dark of the Night

As darkness fell and more mist coiled through London's streets, the group made their move—only to discover none of them could pick or break a lock. Temporarily stymied by a padlock and a high fence, Alice hit upon a new plan. They had seen a nightwatchman enter the building earlier in the evening, and Alice, knowing how gullible most men are, resolved to use her feminine wiles to get him to open the door. In this, she was spectacularly successful, and in short order, the door was open, whereupon she sprayed mace in the good samaritan's face. At this sign, the rest of the group rush the doors and quickly overpowered the already virtually helpless guard.

With the guard taken care of, the group searched the ground floor. Most of the downstairs comprised boring rooms with nothing out of the ordinary. One room—which the group quickly surmised was Gavigan's private office—offered much more of interest. While Dudley and Jacob searched a nearby library, Kirk and Alice searched the office. They quickly found a floor safe stuffed full of bank notes—oddly all signed by Gavigan—and a secret door. 

The secret door initially resisted their efforts to locate its opening mechanism. Before forcing it open, the heroes snuck upstairs, subdued the cleaning lady and gave the museum a once-over. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and so they returned to Gavigan's office. Dispensing with subtly, Kirk smashed the wall down with a crowbar. Beyond lay a dusty storeroom. As Dudley stepped through, he slipped and fell over, knocking his head on a sarcophagus. As the doctor struggle to his feet, he realised the sarcophagus had been deliberately positioned behind all the other things in the storeroom so as to be invisible from the room's normal door. This excited the doctor immensely. He quickly searched the sarcophagus and detected that only two parts of it—the eyes—were dust free. 

A Secret Uncovered

As Jacob Rossini dragged the unconscious guard and cleaning lady toward the foundation's front door—in case anything utterly terrible should emerge from the sarcophagus—Dudley firmly pressed the two eyes. Below him, an electric motor whirred into life, and the sarcophagus slid aside to reveal a set of dark stairs leading down into a hitherto unsuspected cellar…

This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.

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