Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cthulhu Gaslight: Slaughter

Cast of Characters:
Thomas Roquefort, American, archaeologist and adventurer, recently arrived in London after an expedition to Egypt
Richard George Thomas Lumley, second son of the Earl of Scarbrough
Jasper Burnside, physician and in the last two years something of a hermit. It's common knowledge that he has lost someone close and there are rumours aplenty for those willing to listen (he's my character)

last time

During the sandstorm, Jasper has a terrifying vision of Fox, who turns into the same darkness as the monster that killed him.

When he comes to again, he needs a moment to realise that he no longer is buried in sand, but instead in a fairly comfortable and pleasantly dark and cool tent. Less pleasant is the fact that he is bound hand and foot. A Touareg enters the tent, take a look at Jasper and leaves again, sending in two women who free him of his bonds and offer him water to drink and wash.

When he has made himself presentable again, the Touareg comes back and escorts him out of the tent, where he meets Thomas and Richard who have had much the same experience. Jasper thinks that he has been unconscious for several days, judging from the colours of the bruise on his wrist.

guests of the Touareg


They are in a Touareg settlement, if that word can be used for such a temporary arragement. There are a lot of tents, people going about their business and the three are watched closely. Their guards lead them to the biggest tent and they enter, finding themselves alone for a moment until Kamal enters, to no-ones surprise.

Thomas is angry at him for abandoning them, while both Richard and Jasper acknowledge that Kamal did his best to persuade them to turn back. Kamal tells them that it is his duty to protect the Book of Toth, as it was the duty of his father, grandfather and their ancestors all the way back to Tezud, the priest who protected the book from the pharaoh Scheschonk and hid it in the desert.

The men in the black burnouses are the heirs of Meheret, a powerful female warrior who tried to win back the book from the priest. Legend has it that she found the place where the book was hidden, but she and her fighters were destroyed when the Fire of Ra was unleashed.

Kamal states in no uncertain terms that he will not let the expedition continue any futher and that he only saved them because he judges them all to be good men who carry no evil in their heart. Otherwise he would have left them to die. Jasper mentions the dagger and the tentacled thing they encountered, but Kamal has no knowledge of such a thing and of the exact purpose and power of the dagger. He mentions that they all have been unconscious for ten days and that they were bound to prevent them from acting out their fevered dreams.

Before they can discuss things further, a shot rings out and thy can hear screams and the sound of hooves from outside, the camp is under attack. Two of the riders break into the tent and in the following fight Richard is almost skewered by their lances. At the same time, two more men, one of them a muscle-bound giant, in black burnouses enter the tent and attack Jasper. Thomas tries to help him and gets into a fight with the giant. Jasper fights with the smaller of the two men.

In the meantime, Kamal and Richard have killed the riders and Richard fires one of their guns at Jasper's opponent, who goes down and is then kicked unconscious (at the very least) by Jasper. Thomas has suffered a serious wound in his left arm from the sword of the giant and collapses to his knees. The giant sees Kamal and attacks him, only to be shot down.

Rhiard and Jasper fashion a tripwire and manage to bring down one of the riders who are still charging through the camp, but they are themselves attacked by a second rider. Richard almost gets dragged to death, but the rider who grabbed him is killed by a stray bullet. Thomas has seen Captain Hayden and the rest of the expedition who are defending themselves from the rests of another tent and the three make their way there. The camp is burning and the Touareg are defending themselves against the attackers who have no qualms about murdering women and children.

It's a massacre, on both sides. The attackers have no regard for their own life and the Hussars in particular take a high blood toll from them. But it doesn't look good for the Touareg and the members of the expedition.The Hussars are almost out of ammunition and almost all of them are hurt, Jasper has his hands full.

Lieutenant Farnsworth volunteers to venture out to get more ammunition and before Hayden can say otherwise, he jumps over the makeshift barrier and the rest can only watch with baited breath while he gathers up weapons and ammunition belts. Weighed down by his loot, he is not fast enough to escape two riders who impale him on their lances and carry him with them. Thomas tries to help him, but cannot do anything. Sir Jeffrey demands that Hayden sends some men to rescue Farnsworth, but Hayden has realised that Farnsworth is already beyond saving, even if he had enough men to spare.

Suddenly, Hayden clutches his arm and Thomas can only just catch him when he collapses. Jasper is just in time to keep him alive, but Hayden loses consciousness, having lost a serious amount of blood. While Jasper is busy with Hayden, the remaining corporal fires his last shot and they are finally out of ammunition. For a moment, they all look at each other and try to find a way to escape what seems like certain death. But the final attack never comes - the camp is eerily quiet.

After a minute or so, Richard and Thomas venture out to look for other survivors while Jasper and the corporal stay with the wounded. All in all, they find eight women, ten children and seven men, Kamal among them. They all gather in the big tent that is still more or less intact and discuss what they are going to do. While they are still talking, they hear one horse coming towards them. Jasper, Sir Jeffrey, Kamal and Thomas join the Touareg guard just outside the tent entrance and see that the horse is carrying a rider who seems unconscious. They can see that he's wearing the red uniform of a British soldier and guess that it is Farnsworth. Sir Jeffrey calls out to him, but Jasper is already wary and is proven right when the rider comes clearly into view. It is indeed Farnsworth, but he has been decapitated.

-----------------------------------------

We did't discuss this in-game, but I assume that the other characters had similar experiences during the sandstorm. At least we all got an email from the GM.

So Kamal is back and I think none of us were very surprised by this. I fully expected to see him again and Jasper, despite Kamal's mysterious ways, has always trusted him more than almost any other member of the expedition.

I once again noticed that serious fights in-game really stress me out. Wich is not a bad thing, but I'm always a bit surprised when I notice just how immersed in the game I become. The GM handled a lot of the fight without dice except for the bit in the big tent and it was intense, at least for me.

And the cut point for the evening was very well chosen. Jasper has a very definite sense of doom and he has a nasty suspicion that the tentacle thing from last time will be back.

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