3 min read

MoN 061: Exploding Trucks & Public Murder

Vincenzo, looking out of the window, quickly realised that three of the group’s four trucks had just exploded

The group split up: Kirk, George and Charles travelled to Perth to rest, recover and find reinforcements for the struggle. Meanwhile, Alice, Jeffrey and Vincenzo stayed in Cuncudgerie—Jeffrey was badly injured, and Alice was tending to his serious wound. Vincenzo served as security.

Even with Vincenzo watching over the pair, Jeffrey’s recovery did not go smoothly. After an uneventful week, the relative quiet of the night was broken by three near-simultaneous explosions. Vincenzo, looking out of the window, quickly realised that three of the group’s four trucks had just exploded. Miraculously, the fourth remained undamaged. As a crowd of onlookers spilt out of the pub to gawp at the fiercely burning trucks (and to put them out before the fire spread), the trio stayed in the hotel. Vincenzo had spotted a dark figure lurking in an opposite alleyway and suspected a trap. He even shot at the person but missed in the dark.

The next morning, Vincenzo inspected the remaining truck. He noticed that the bonnet was slightly raised but did not dare investigate. Later, when a hapless employee of the pub tried to move the truck, and it exploded, killing the man, he had time to regret his decision—while a mob gathered outside the hotel. Someone seemed to be egging the mob on, and it was not long before they tore into the hotel and hammered down the trio’s bedroom door. The sight of various rifles and a Thompson submachine gun stopped the mob in its tracks, and a standoff of sorts developed. Only Alice’s clever use of almost £300 convinced the angry miners to leave.

Of course, the trio’s position in Cuncudgerie was now untenable, so they retreated to Port Hedland the next day. There, they wired Charles—who was busy relaxing in Perth—and waited for their master to return.

Meanwhile, in Perth

In Perth, matters proceeded far more gently and agreeably. Kirk, George and Charles took suites at the King George Hotel—the best in town—and set about recruiting new members of the group. Kirk was keen to recruit some loyal hench folk of his own, and the arrival of two new friends—Celeste Porter and Orson Razner—fortuitously sent by distant Carlton Ramsey to bolster the group raised their spirits immensely.

One night, the group were dining in the hotel bar when a well-dressed business man Arthur Peters introduced himself to Kirk. He seemed very keen to make Kirk’s acquaintance and practically begged the wealthy “businessman” to attend the next meeting of the Lamplighters. (The group discovered the Lamplighters are an Australia-wide Theosophical organisation that espouses personal development, the betterment of humanity and harmonisation with the spirit realm). Kirk played it cool but did bestir himself to attend the order’s lodge the next evening.

The evening was a strange one; Arthur again seemed absolutely delighted that Kirk had attended, but little of import happened at the meeting. The group—perhaps 60-strong—held a seance led by a wizened old Chinese man—Master Wang. Kirk and his friends suspected the entire thing was a charade and left as soon as it was polite to do so. However, before Kirk had left, Arthur had secured a personal and private meeting with the burly “tourist” the next day in his suite.

That meeting occurred the next day. Only Kirk and Arthur were present, and later, Kirk gave only the briefest and vaguest summary of what the two had spoken about.

By now, Alice’s telegram had reached the group, and a general consensus had been reached that something had to be done about the Wycrofts, for Alice’s missive had named them as the bombers of the group’s trucks and the instigators of the near-riot that had almost claimed the lives of faithful Jeffrey, Alice and Vincenzo.

Investigators, Reunited

The much-enlarged group took ship from Perth and, by the 26th of November, was back in Port Hedland. Reuniting with Jeffrey, Alice and Vincenzo, the group purchased new trucks and supplies. By the 28th, the group—now almost a dozen strong, heavily armed and gagging for revenge—drove into Cuncudgerie brandishing a wide array of weaponry. Without subtlety, guile or deception, they drove through town directly to Wycroft’s shop. A spirited and brief public gunfight broke out when the group surrounded the shop and broke in. In the ensuing violence, all four of the Wycrofts were shot dead, and Celeste and Orson were badly injured.

Searching the Wycrofts’ home, they found no evidence of cult activity. Driving to the Cuncudgerie Grand—their hotel—they found the place locked up, and no one answered the door. By now, it had dawned on many of the group that multiple people had seen them commit multiple murders and that some of the group’s identities were well known in the environs. (If only the group knew someone influential in Australian society who could intercede on their behalf with the inevitable police investigation they lamented, although only Dr George and Charles fully understood the utility of having a powerful patron in society after the events that absolutely did not happen in Lesser Edale). Leaving town seemed prudent; thus, they headed east out into the desert. With Celeste and Orson badly hurt, the group needed to lie low for a week or two and give their new friends time to heal…

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

We play weekly, so sign up to get our session summaries direct to your inbox.