3 min read

MoN 055: Remembrance & Revelation

It turned out that Arthur MacWhirr was dead...

With the strange and monstrous flying thing dead—killed by Gilbert’s incredible shot—the group gathered themselves. The trucks were brought down to the camp, Gilbert’s photo of him with this foot on the dead beast was taken by Jacob—who was convinced it was pointless as the photos would be stolen anyway—and a proper search of the camp was made.

While Kirk, Charles and Jeffrey kept watch, George investigated the mine shaft, the cage and its mechanism. After an hour or so, he declared it safe to use. After a brief discussion, George and Gilbert descended in the cage. The shaft was ridiculously deep—almost 200 feet—and had no side workings of any kind. It ended in a pile of rubble. A careful examination of the bottom of the shaft revealed many cracks in the rock walls and led the heroic duo to determine the whole thing was rather unsafe. Plans were made and discarded to blast their way through. When they returned to the surface, Jacob descended to take some photos.

As Jacob ascended, the three watchers heard barking from behind a dune. Shortly thereafter, a half-dozen or so wild dogs appeared and watched the camp. A distinctly human whistle called the dogs away, and the party was content to let them go.

As night fell, talk turned to what to do next. It seemed the party was at a dead end. They could either try to blow up the mine or continue to wander about the desert. Neither plan seemed destined for success. If only they knew someone wise in the ways of mining or who could shed some light on the mine and MacWhirr’s photograph, they lamented. It was then the group belatedly remembered they had a letter of introduction to Robert MacKenzie—a mining engineer based in Port Headland—from Professor Cowles. Port Headland was but a short(ish) train journey from Cuncudgerie, and they had already passed through the town about three weeks ago. Perhaps Mackenzie may be able to help them!

Galvanised by their belated remembrance, the following day, the group gathered their equipment and began the long, dusty drive back to what passed for civilisation in these parts. 

By the 7th of September, the group was back in Cuncudgerie. While Charles took a long-deserved bath, the rest of the group relaxed. It was decided that some of the group would visit Port Headland and Robert MacKenzie while the rest stayed to keep an eye on the expedition’s gear.

Meeting MacKenzie

So it was that on the morning of the 8th, George, Charles, Kirk and Gilbert knocked on the door of the bungalow belonging to Robert MacKenzie. A tall, well-dressed man opened the door. The group introduced themselves and presented the letter of introduction from Professor Cowles. Robert invited them in, and a long, detailed discussion ensued about the mine they had discovered and the photo they had brought with them. 

It turned out that Arthur MacWhirr was dead, having succumbed to influenza in late 1921. However, MacKenzie knew exactly where MacWhirr had taken the photo the group had uncovered months ago in New York. He could even describe the place in great detail. Annoyingly, it seemed that the group had been quite close to the ruins but had wasted three weeks wandering about the Great Sandy Desert. Robert was baffled by the group’s description of the mine—there was literally no reason to sink a mine in that location. 

MacKenzie also commented that the four investigators were the second such group to ask about MacWhirr and his discovery. A Mr Howston has been to see him two or three years ago. The man had seemed quite friendly but had stolen much of MacWhirr’s remaining papers detailing the ruins. Only a few diary entries remained; the group promptly copied these.

Laying a New Plan

Eventually, taking their leave of Robert Robert MacKenzie, the four returned to Cuncudgerie on the 9th, where they updated their friends on what they had found. It seemed another trip into the desert was in the offing—but this time, the group knew what they were looking for and where it was—McKenzie had given them the ruin’s exact latitude and longitude! If only the group had been to see Robert MacKenize before their trip into the desert, they remarked, they could have saved themselves three weeks of fruitless wandering!

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

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