Heroically, Dr Dudley led the way down the dark stairs into the hidden cellar below the Penhew Foundation. He felt brave—bolstered as the group was by the arrival of Dr George, who had finally thrown off the effects of a bad glass of sherry to dash across London to join his friends.
As Dudley played his electric torch over the subterranean room—which seemed to be part-study, part-storeroom-part workroom, Kirk found a light switch.
There was much to investigate in the room, and the group got cracking. Kirk found some invoices dealing with a company based in Derby called Henson Manufacturing and interesting correspondence in and under the desk while George examined the various books and scrolls filling a crammed bookcase. He also found a jar of black and grey dust which defied identification. However, Dr Dudley recognised the stuff as being exceptionally similar to the dust he had found in a certain abandoned farmhouse back in 1923.
The books were also interesting. Most were just deranged ramblings, but three seemed to be altogether different. Reeking of age—and in some cases other things—the three had the weight of ages upon them and an aura of repressed malignancy. The party stole all three, along with a selection of scrolls, later discovering their titles—the Equinoxe Devise, the Book of Dzyan and the Liber Ivonis. A dozen of the scrolls held poems praising such odd entities as the Bloated Woman, the Sand Bat, the Bloody Tongue and the Lord of the Woods, while five were written in ancient languages—Arabic, Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics—that no one could read.
That left two crates—one suspiciously mummy sized. Both were destined for far-off lands if the addresses on them were to be believed. Both—when they were eventually opened—were discovered to hold horrible statues of grotesque things. The small one held a 16-inch high statuette of a fat, dragon-like figure whose evil-looking head was fringed with tentacles, while the other held a human-sized brass statue of a bulbous thing wearing an Asian rice hat; a snake pit of tentacles seem to burst forth from beneath the hat. Clearly, neither could be left in the hands of Edward Gavigan or be allowed to reach their recipients. The small one was portable, while the bigger one was not. However, luck was with the heroes: continuing their exploration of the cellar, they found another secret door that led to the foundation’s furnace room. While the brass statue would not fit in the furnace, its head would, and so after cranking up the furnace, the characters thrust the statue’s head inside and left it there to melt.
With his final act completed, the group made their exit from the Penhew Foundation. Picking up Jacob (who had heroically been watching the nightwatchman and the cleaner) as they left, they quickly made their way to the Thames. Kirk wanted to throw the small statuette into the Thames, where it would be lost for all time. However, luck was not with the strapping chap. First, he threw the statuette from the Embankment into the Thames but forgot it was low tide—the foul thing just plopped into the glistening, glutinous mud. Resolving to do the job properly, he headed over to a bridge and dropped the hateful thing over the side—straight onto a barge passing underneath. As Alice remarked, “We can’t even throw things away.”
As the barge disappeared into the thick fog and cloying gloom, the group made their way back to their lodgings. They had discovered much and had much to think about. Where would they go next? From what angle would they approach the clues they had found? How would they next strike at the cult, and just what was going on?
This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.
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