Sam, Jezebel and Rupert sat around the dining table in Rupert's old home on Chestnut Street. It was early December and the first time the three of them had been together since those fateful events in September at the old Corbitt House in North End.
A Horrible Sight
As they finished eating, Rupert looked up to see one of his neighbours pulling up in an expensive automobile. Mr Corbitt—the neighbour—was well-known to Rupert as a keen gardener and successful businessman. Mr Corbitt got out of his car carrying two packages. As he climbed the steps of his home to the porch, Corbitt fumbled with his key and dropped one of the packages. A white thing—that Rupert swore was a child's hand—rolled down the steps. Corbitt quickly grabbed up the macabre item and rushed into his home.
Horrified and more than a little shaken, Rupert threw up. Jezebel immediately tended to her man, and when Rupert had composed himself, he shared what he had seen. His two companions were horrified at the brave biologist's explanation of his sudden illness. A lively debate ensued. Calling the police was quickly suggested and discarded as an option. Jezebel, in particular, seemed keen to march over the road and "sort out" Mr Corbitt. Cooler heads prevailed. Or at least they thought they had prevailed.
A Plan Hatched
Hatching a plan, the three sprung into action. Jezebel plated up some of her "delicious" meatloaf, which Rupert and Sam had unaccountably not finished. The plan was simple: Jezebel would distract Corbitt while Sam and Rupert slipped quietly into his house to search the place.
Crossing the road, the three split up, but not before bumping into another neighbour taking his dog for a walk. As Sam and Rupert struggled through Corbitt's hedge and crept through his back garden, Jezebel knocked on the front door.
After a short delay, Corbitt came to the door. At the muffled sound of his movement and their conversation, Sam and Rupert effected an entry into Corbitt's cellar through a locked external door. (Sam had cleverly thought to bring a screwdriver and unscrewed the door from its hinges). The two began to quietly search the cellar.
A Plan Forgotten
Meanwhile, upstairs, Jezebel had bluffed her way into the house using her considerable charms and wiles. While Corbitt was distracted getting a dustpan and brush—Jezebel had "accidentally" dropped the meatloaf—she whipped out her trusty shotgun. At the sight of it, Corbitt panicked and ran. Jezebel opened fire, but her first shot went wild.
Giving chase, Jezebel caught up with the businessman as he flung open his back door. She tried to knock him unconscious with the butt of her weapon, but the shotgun accidentally went off, gouging a hole in the ceiling.
In the cellar, the sounds of struggle—and the now-familiar clamour of gunfire—spurred Rupert and Sam onwards in a desperate attempt to find evidence to justify their home invasion and (they assumed) the violence being wrought upstairs. Not for the first time, Rupert wondered what he found so beguiling about the wild woman sharing his home.
By now, Corbitt—uninjured but terrified—had made it onto the street and was shouting loudly for help. Lights were coming on in other houses as Jezebel sprinted after him while desperately reloading her shotgun. As Corbitt turned at bay on the steps of the next-door house, Jezebel again caught up with him.
Murder Most Obvious
The couple living in the house—Margaret and Philip Samson—had come out onto their porch, having just called the police to report the sounds of gunfire. Corbitt sought safety with them, and—momentarily—Jezebel checked her more murderous thoughts. Instead, she shouted that Corbitt was a murderer and that the police would sort it all out—by now, she could hear rapidly approaching whistles and sirens.
At this, Corbitt smirked at her, and this drove the woman wild with anger. Sensing he would get away with whatever diabolical things he had been doing, she levelled the shotgun at him and blew a huge hole in his chest. Blood and gore splattered the Samsons as Corbitt was thrown backwards by the force of two 12-gauge shells to collapse dead on his neighbour's front porch.
Meanwhile, back in the basement, Rupert and Sam had found a laboratory filled with curious equipment, various cut and dried plants and other, more disturbing, things. Sam had found a refrigerated cupboard filled with unwholesome specimens. Rupert identified these things as human sinew, blood vessels and muscles. The sight was horrible. However, by now, even the two intrepid investigators could hear the sound of the police arriving. Believing discretion was the better part of valour, the two crept out of the basement and replaced the outer door on its hinges.
When they finally made it back onto Chestnut Street via a circuitous route, chaos—once again—reigned. The first police on the scene had taken Jezebel into custody while several others were cordoning off his house. Lights burned brightly in all the nearby houses; it seemed the sound of gunfire had roused the entire neighbourhood!
Jezebel Gets Arrested
Jezebel was quickly taken away in handcuffs. Both Sam and Rupert gave witness statements to the police, but both professed no knowledge of recent events. As events were winding down for the night, two policemen rushed from the house, clearly in distress. One threw up in the bushes while the other backed away from the building. At this, Rupert thought he could hear crashing and banging around inside the house but could not be sure.
A guard was placed on the house, and the next day, the police came again to remove evidence—including much of the laboratory equipment Rupert and Sam had found.
Rupert Goes Mad
Rupert was now consumed with curiosity and spent two long days examining the house through a set of powerful field glasses. Eventually, two nights later, his tenacity was "rewarded". More banging and crashing—now clearly audible—sounded from within the Corbitt home. As Rupert watched, an indescribable abomination burst from the front door. The thing was roughly spherical, but it had dozens of tiny human arms and legs grafted onto its oozing body. The sight drove Rupert instantly mad. Sam who—mercifully did not have field glasses—saw less of the creature, but what he saw blasted reason from his mind. He collapsed unconscious in a swoon.
This was bad timing for Rupert—driven mad by what he had seen—suddenly realised that both Sam and Jezebel has been out to get him all along. They only wanted him for his house! Quickly, Rupert began tying Sam to a nearby chair. As he did so, the tough carpenter regained consciousness. A short brawl broke out, which only ended when Sam accidentally thrust a chair leg through Rupert's neck, nicking an artery.
The insane biologist collapsed to the floor, his life's blood spurting into his parents' threadbare carpet. Realising what he had done, Sam worked feverishly to stem the bleeding and save his friend. As Rupert slipped closer to death, Sam continued to work on his friend, eventually stemming the wound…
About this Session Summary
This post is a prelude to my 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. We decided to run some “origin” sessions for some of the main characters, and this is one of them. Session summaries are posted in (game world) date order, so it will be some time before we get to the main campaign.
This session summary comes from the classic Call of Cthulhu adventure "The Haunting".
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This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.