The next morning, the group reviewed their findings. Learning more about Larkin and his strange, drug-addled state Amelia packed her capacious handbag and rushed off to see him (accompanied by George).
Meanwhile, the rest of the group performed various research in the local area. Dudley and Ikil visited the library’s university to learn more about the legends of the fat-sucking vampires, while Jacob returned to the museum to collect his developed film. There he discovered that the laboratory had been broken into overnight and his photographs stolen. The intrepid reporter thoroughly searched the darkroom and discovered that his were the only things missing. Clearly, something was afoot.
Amelia and George quickly arrived at Hotel Espana and went directly to Larkin’s room. Forcing her way inside, Amelia confronted the sleep-addled Larkin. The fiery and tempestuous woman did not believe he was clueless about Mendoza’s “condition”. Larkin denied all knowledge of strange doings on Mendoza’s part. He even denied not knowing where he had got his hideous tattoo. Disbelieving him, Amelia threatened serious bodily harm to the expedition leader if he didn’t come clean. As she drew her shotgun, horrified, George drew his trusty Webley revolver shouting at Amelia to stop.
Before Amelia could make good on her threats, however, a strange change came over Larkin. He stood up, all signs of illness and weakness gone. Terrifyingly, his eyes turned jet black, and he rebuked the feisty woman in a voice redolent with power. As Amelia raised her shotgun, terrible pain shot through her body, and she staggered back horribly shrivelled. Instinctively—and perhaps enthusiastically—she fired both barrels of her sawn-off shotgun into Larkin. The blast knocked him down, shredding much of his chest. As he slipped into unconsciousness, he spoke once more in his new, powerful voice, saying, “We will meet again”.
Amelia’s triumph was short-lived. As George desperately gave first aid to the dying man, the calls of “Police, police” rose up from the street. With no option but to run, Amelia fled. When the police arrived, George was arrested and dragged off to the police station. However, his efforts had not been in vain, and Larkin yet clung to life.
George’s efforts had saved Larkin—at least for now—and the wounds the archaeologist had suffered did not match those of a handgun. These facts, combined with the intervention of Jackson, Ikil and Dudley, spared George a stay in prison. He was released again but warned in no uncertain terms that the police had their eye on him.
More strange news greeted the group’s inquiries over Mendoza’s body—it had been stolen the night before. The police seemed reticent about the details, and thus—wisely—the group dropped their inquiries.
Of Amelia, there was no sign.
After a brief discussion back at Hotel Maury, the party decided to continue the expedition and commandeer Larkin’s trucks (and all the gear he had gathered) that were due to arrive tomorrow.
Into the Highlands
The following day, the 21st of March, the group gathered outside the hotel. Just after 8 am, three trunks pulled up. A brief exchange ensued; the drivers initially refused to proceed without Larkin, but some fast talking and a small sum of dollars soon resolved the situation in the expedition’s favour.
The party trundled south down the coast and east toward Puno for the next three days. As the trucks made their way into the highlands, several of the expedition suffered the effects of altitude sickness.
Late on March 24th, the expedition’s small convoy of trucks reached Puno. Quickly, the group secured lodgings in a local hotel—Ikil insisting they book out of the entire floor “for security”.
Out and About in Puno
Waking the next morning, the group set about getting their bearings. Jackson set off early to find a local wise woman—Nayra—of his acquaintance who he thought could help them locate the lost pyramid. Meanwhile, the others shopped for essential last-minute supplies. George curiously returned to the hotel bearing three sticks of dynamite which he avowed were essential gear for an archaeologist. “If it’s good enough for Troy, it’s good enough for a pyramid”, he muttered under his breath when asked what he was planning to do with them.
Surprise greeted the group that evening. As dusk fell, a bedraggled and dusty Amelia presented herself at the hotel. (The group comprised most of the westerners in the city and had been easy to find). Having fled Lima after the shooting, she had hidden in the docks before taking a ship south. Confusion about a route, train times, and the like had delayed her, but she had finally caught up with the rest of the expedition.
After a brief examination, Doctor Dudley could tell something horrible had affected her—she seemed wizened and withered by her brief fight with Larkin, and he could not immediately ascertain what was wrong…
This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.
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