3 min read

MoN 22: Ward, Restored

The resultant fire raged for over an hour.

Cooly and calmly, Ikil opened fire. Displaying impressive marksmanship, the bodyguard killed all of the worms before they could reach Dr Dudley. When no more worm-things emerged from the pool, the party discussed what to do next.

Eventually, it was decided to set fire to the pool of fat. Concerns were raised about the lethality of the resultant smoke, and elaborate preparations were made. Using one of the expedition’s ropes Jacob created an extremely long fuse. After the rest of the expedition had retreated to the surface, Jacob lit the fuse and retreated to join his companions.

The resultant fire raged for over an hour. Black smoke poured from the various chimneys dotted about the pyramid and several of the expedition kept a nervous eye on the cliffs above and the valley below. Would the smoke summon more of the kharisiri?

With no more kharisiri appearing, the expedition again descended into the tunnels. With the pool burnt away and seemingly all opposition dead, the expedition had an easy time reaffixing the missing piece of the golden ward into the pyramid’s foundation.

Another wait ensued to see if the ward would stop the fat dripping from the crack in the wall. Most of the expedition settled down to watch and wait. Jezebel and Jackson, however, had different plans and retreated to the fresh air to keep watch on the valley below.

Their caution was rewarded when, about an hour later, four figures staggered up the path toward the pyramid. As the two watched, the first, then the second and then the third figure collapsed and began to rot away to dust before their astonished eyes. The last figure, however, staggered onwards. Jezebel recognised the man as Luis de Mendoza. Hate blazed in his eyes, and he staggered toward the woman. Jezebel let him get within a few feet before firing both barrels of her shotgun into his chest. Jackson also shot—fractionally before Jezebel—and the gun moll had a moment to reflect on the stunning accuracy of this shot before she finished off the hated Spaniard. No matter; Mendoza was done for. As the two watched, his body also began to disintegrate. This horrible—unnatural—sight unnerved Jezebel, and she only clung to sanity by remembering that Mendoza was dead—really dead—this time.

The expedition regrouped. It seemed the ward was indeed blocking the foul influence of whatever was trapped within the pyramid, and that they had succeeded in continuing its menace and destroying the kharisiri threat.

For some of the group, this wasn’t enough. They were here; why not destroy the thing in the pyramid? This proved more difficult than they had thought, however. The stench atop the pyramid was still almost too horrific to bear, and Jezebel failed to fill the crack, sundering the pyramid with rubble.

Next, Jacob tried to destroy the thing by dropping one of Dr Dudley’s flares into the crack. Jacob was stunningly successful—even though he glimpsed the thing within—and was almost killed as a result when a great blast of something noxious and mottled white and black erupted from the pyramid crack. Only a precipitous retreat saved the reporter from being burnt—or perhaps melted—to death by the corrosive stuff raining down over the top of the pyramid.

This last development convinced the expedition that it was best to leave whatever was in the pyramid in the pyramid. It was contained, after all, and they were not convinced they had enough dynamite to destroy the thing.

Thus it was that a week later, the expedition straggled out of the highlands and returned to Puno. After a few days’ rest, they took the train to Lima and, from there, caught a liner back to the States. For all of them, their time in Peru had been less than restful. With the horrors of the expedition behind them, they all returned to their normal—or in some cases not-so-normal—lives…

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

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