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MoN 059: Back to the Desert

Careful examination of the site revealed snipers lurking under each lorry.

Thus, it was that toward the end of October 1925, the group was again ready to plunge back into the Great Sandy Desert. Of the group that had started this strange investigation back in January only two original members—Dr George Burton and Jacob Rossini—remained, but still, the party was intent on unravelling this mystery.

Kirk was healed and had taken delivery of two Thompson submachine guns, and the group had been bolstered by Karl Lehmann, a wandering German alienist in Australia on a tour. Karl knew Doctor Dudley and had promised to drop in on the group when he could. Their stories of wildly strange things in the desert and their hintings at strange forces as work intrigued Karl, and he eagerly joined the desert-bound expedition.

The Trucks Don’t Work

On the 28th, all final preperations made, the group set off—only they didn’t. None of the expedition’s trucks would start. Investigations revealed all three fuel tanks had been drained and filled with sand! The group’s suspicions immediately centred on the Wycrofts.

Wasting a day repairing the trucks and replacing all the expedition’s equipment—Kirk was convinced some of it had been sabotaged—the party plotted their revenge. Plans inevitably centred on blowing up or burning down the shop. These plans were scuppered when the group discovered—even more suspiciously—that the Wycrofts had left town the day before.

Into the Desert

It seemed certain now that Wycroft—and perhaps his daughters—were in league with John Carver and his minions. It also seemed likely that Carver would know they were coming—Wycroft had two days’ headstart. No matter, the party set off anyway.

Three days later, on the 31st, the party were nearing the coordinates of the shack they had discovered during their last outing. The next day, they drove down the gorge, cutting through the final escarpment beyond which lay dunes, strange stone blocks and the shack which was their objective.

An Exchange of Gunfire

Kirk—canny, untrusting man that he was—suspected an ambush, and he was right. Even though the party remembered the sniper’s nest and approached cautiously and on foot, fate was not kind. They were clearly unused to moving in the desert, and most of them failed to mask their approach.

A desultory exchange of gunfire ensued. Instead of one sniper, the party faced two, and the extreme range of the duel slowed proceedings immensely. However, one of the snipers was soon killed, but this was not without cost to the party—Jeffrey, Charles’ faithful butler, being shot through the shoulder by the unseen sniper.

The unseen sniper, though, didn’t hang about. He made off in the direction of the shack. George, scouting ahead, under the overwatch of the rest of the party, except for Karl, who was tending to Jeffrey’s serious wound, caught up to him and shot him. However, George failed to stop the sniper’s companion driving away in a lorry.

No matter, a few hours later, the party had reached the last major dune before the shack. At a range of about 800 yards—well outside the enemy’s effective rifle range (they hoped)—the group watched the place through their scopes. Four lorries—one of them Wycroft’s were parked about the shed. Careful examination of the site revealed snipers lurking under each lorry. With this in mind, the group fell to discussing how best to assault the place…

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

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