The Rise of Xnaaki - session 2
by, 4th May 2004 at 06:36 AM (262 Views)
Well, after a few months, I finally got around to completing The Rise of Xnaaki. We had a third player join us, so the investigators had some backup when confronting the forces of the Mythos…
Rupert Law, a MU physics post-graduate student, received a letter from Dr Armitage to look him up on Friday morning.
Dr Crane, hospitalized after his misadventures in Steeplin County got a visit from his assistant. The assistant expressed his concerns and wanted to know how his employer had ended up in such a wretched state. Crane attempted to provide him with an explanation that was partly truthful, but the man’s concern and disbelief only grew. After asking a final time whether he could do anything to help Dr Crane, he left.
Bill Carruthers woke up in the middle of the night. He heard someone calling his name outside, in the streets. After hesitating some time, he went outside, to see whom it was. His apartment building was deadly quiet, as were Arkham’s streets. The night was dark, save for a huge, sickly green-yellow moon. The person calling him appeared as a shadowy figure standing in the middle of the street. The figure and the voice seemed strangely familiar. Bill would not approach the figure any further, so it started to advance on him. He fled back into the building. There, at the top of the stairs in the hallway, was the same figure. When he approached, the figure turned out to be his long-lost father! The man grabbed bill by the shoulders. Suddenly his features melted away to reveal a servant of Xnaaki. The creature buried its teeth in Bill’s shoulder. A sea of tentacles burst from the walls and floor. Bill awoke in his bed, and promptly collapsed back into a dreamless sleep.
Rupert Law looked up Dr Armitage that morning. The librarian asked the student to do him a favor. He knew Law was open-minded and interested in the occult. He also knew the student was of good heart. Through rumors, Armitage had gathered that the well-known surgeon Dr Crane had gotten himself in trouble, together with a police officer named William Carruthers. Armitage asked Law to look both up and offer them his services, making sure that they could finish the horrible job that they were obviously facing. Law agreed.
Later, Bill entered his the police office. He had overslept and was late for work. Detective Harrigan received him in his office and demanded an explanation for Bills absence the past few days. Carruthers told the truth. He told Detective Harrigan about the death of DuPont, the cult of Xnaaki and the Steeplin police’s involvement. Harrigan could not believe his ears. He became furious and gave Carruthers one last chance to explain himself. Bill repeated his story, and was promptly fired. Harrigan collected his gun and badge and asked him to leave.
At that time, Rupert Law had just entered the station looking for Bill. He ran into the freshly fired patrolman in the lobby, and approached him. After some persuasion, Law and Carruthers ended up discussing things over coffee in a diner.
Law and Carruthers looked up Dr Crane in St Mary’s Teaching Hospital and discussed working together. They agreed to meet the next day in Dr Crane’s home (he would be dismissed from the hospital the next day). After that, they went their separate ways.
Law researched several things in the library. He uncovered some facts about the DuPont effigy. He also discovered that over the past 8 years, there had been 14 disappearances in and around Steeplin Lake.
Carruthers went home, and on the way discovered that he was being followed. He got a good look at the man shadowing him. At home, Bill barricaded the door with a chair, and went to bed.
Carruthers woke up in the middle of the night, hearing a something or someone pounding on his door. He had just gotten out of bed and grabbed a gun, when the chair and door shattered. In the opening was a dark figure, clearly the same man that had followed him the day before. Bill did not hesitate and shot the man with his .45. The man grunted, and fell to the ground, in shock. Bill gingerly kicked a gun from the man’s hand, and tried to wake him up. He succeeded and started to interrogate the badly wounded thug. The man would not budge.
Later, Bill was arrested, together with the thug, and spent the night in jail. The next morning, he got to explain himself to Detective Stuckey, who gave him the benefit of the doubt. Carruthers was to not leave town until he was called to appear before Judge Randall.
First thing in the morning, Dr Crane took the manuscript DuPont had given them to Moamar Shalad, of the Oriental Studies Department at MU. The manuscript was in a mix of English and Arabic. Shalad’s interest was piqued, and he agreed to translate it, if he could keep a copy in return. Crane agreed, he would pick up the translation the same day at 9 in the evening.
That morning, the three investigators met at Dr Crane’s home. They discussed what to do while awaiting Shalad’s translation.
Later, Rupert Law dived into the library looking for details on the Xnaaki cult and manuscript. He dug up some shocking information in a book called The G’harne Fragments. Thoroughly disturbed, he decided to report his findings to Armitage.
At Armitage’s home, Rupert was again told to stick with the group and follow through with what obviously had to be done. Armitage was sorry that he was unable to help directly, limited by his position at MU. Rupert left after learning that the next night it would be full moon, their chance to complete the ritual that destroys the stone of Xnalku and imprisons Xnaaki.
That night, the group gathered at Crane’s place to study the translated manuscript. Both Law and the Doctor mastered the Call of Xnaaki and Bane of Xnalku spells. Law learnt the Veil of Azif spell, while Crane studied the Restrain Xnaaki Servant ritual. Carruthers would have nothing of the delving into dark knowledge; his sanity already shaky.
The night ended with all investigators being quite shocked by the things learned, but determined to put a halt to the machinations of the Xnaaki cult. The next day, they would leave for Steeplin.
After a 6-hour drive, the Steeplin Lake appeared on the horizon, the town lying beyond it. The group chose not to go through the town, worried that cultists might spot them. Instead, they chose to trek through the grasslands. Before setting out for the lake, both Law and Crane tried out some of their spells with confusing effects.
At the lake, it was already getting dark. The group decided to hide in the bushes near the small clearing at the northeastern end of the lake, with a good view of the road coming from town. They waited.
After dark, the cultists arrived in two groups, both driving up to the large southern clearing and making their way around the lake to the clearing where the investigators were hiding. The cultists commenced with their evil rituals and chanting…
At midnight, the investigators chose to act. Dr Crane surprised both friend and foe when he fired a shot from his shotgun. Without hesitation, both cultists and Servants of Xnaaki started to pursue the investigators through the woods. They chose to stand and fight. The servants were kept at bay by Crane’s restrain spell, but the cultists attacked with homicidal glee. Cultist chopped down both Carruthers and Law, but not before Carruthers had killed one cultist and wounded another. Crane fled into the woods, uncertain of what to do now.
After much sneaking through the woods, pursued by evil cultists and servants, Dr Crane managed to return to the ritual clearing, and reached his fallen friends. Carruthers had already died, but he managed to revive Law. Together, they called Xnaaki.
What followed was a maddening and horrible experience. With Xnaaki appearing and making his way to the shore, grabbing and eating anything that cam in his path, including the very cultists that worshipped him! While fighting back at tentacles, cultists and servants alike, Crane and Law managed to destroy the stone just before collapsing from their wounds…
The next day, they were wakened by rainfall. Around them, the Steeplin Lake shore looked as if a bom had gone off. Trees, bushes and soil was turned up and thrown about as if by some huge force of nature. Of the cultists and servants there was no trace. Puzzled and uncertain of their success, the investigators left for Arkham, carrying the body of their fallen comrade, William Carruthers.