Jothulu

Session #6

Quick version before I go to bed, feel free to edit.

Party

Percival Owens, the Mortician
Tad Thorton, the Football Star
Laura Aldridge, the Waitress

Result

Percival survived unscathed
Tad survived unscathed
Laura survived unscathed

Since it was a small party tonight, the players wanted to minimize danger and focus on smaller, safer spots around the town. They thought to research the water staff at the museum, only to find it locked up from both inside and out. None of them were charming enough to get much out of the campus administration, learning only that the curator was in fact inside. To make matters worse the brother of the Chinese waitress, another student, tried to pick a fight with Tad.

Defeated, they decided to visit Quiet Brook’s antique shop. While there was little to hold interest, there was a medallion that looked very similar to the water staff. As Laura was able to detect the presence of magic in it, the party bought it for the large sum of $75. This proved to be a good purchase, as it turned out to be an “earth wind earth water self heal” that after some experimentation was revealed to grant the wearer with night vision (at the cost of daylight blindness) while worn.

They next decided to research at the university library, particularly the origins of the city crest: well known to the intrepid group to actually be a seal covering one of the demi-gods. Percival discovered that the image was brought west from settlers trying to escape religious persecution (they were believed to be demon worshipers) whose lineage and tribulations date all the way back to the Salem witch trials. There were four family names involved in this: X (the gypsy fortune teller and her daughter, Jacquelyn), Anderson (the wealthy mansion who’s occupant owns most of town), X and a fourth, unknown name (this fourth name was revealed by the DM to be not important to the current goings on.)

The college library yielded other treasures. Laura learned that the water staff is something called the Key of Khampet Rak, a little heard of Egyptian god. Tad discovered that there’s probably a sixth book, since there are six main spheres of magic element: further, this number may actually be eight or ten. What these missing elements may be were unclear.

While they’d hoped to visit the city clerk for more records on the Quiet Brook seal and its founding families, night was descending. They finished things up at the gambling parlour, where despite losing a fair bit of the weekly stipend they earned the potential for great info gathering in the future. They met an archaeologist who described how the museum curator was busy working with some archaeology students, every night, on some sort of major Egyptian exhibit featuring many relics. Instead of gambling, Laura was able to segway her waitress experience into a new job at the illegal speakeasy, where she hopes the information gathering will be better among the area’s elite.

The White Hats learned a few things this adventure:

  • Hobb’s book (brown) isn’t just spells, but a partial and out-of-order history of the elder gods. Gaining all six (ten?) books will clearly detail the scope of events.
  • The brown book also reveals that the demi-gods can be killed; the ghosts protecting the seals went the self sacrifice route, but that isn’t the only way to go.
  • If the party wants to risk it (and it’s a lot, these are influential people) Laura’s new job might help you cheat in gambling, if a scheme were devised and characters had appropriate skills. Even so, I’d personally suggest only attempting it the one time.
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Session #5
Once More, Into the Woods

Party

Percival Owens, the Mortician
Tad Thorton, the Football Star
Laura Aldridge, the Waitress
Jesse Amaroso, the Pawn Broker

Result

Percival survived unscathed
Tad survived unscathed
Laura survived unscathed
Jesse survived unscathed

Going to the gun store to stock up on ammunition, the party ran into a distraught Jacquelyn trying to buy protection. Thankfully on better terms with the White Hats than her mother, she told them she had a prophetic dream. Somewhere in the woods, one of her ancestors was inexplicably alive…though was talking through a “puppet” of some sort, and did not have much time. The dream said that this ancestor could teach the binding ritual to close off the magic seals.

Driving yet again to the possessed forest surrounding the pool house, they heard strange noises as if someone was trying (and failing) to emulate animal sounds. This turned out to be treants, and they turned out to be not an official follower of the “water minion,” but simply a magical by-product: dangerous to mere mortals but largely inconsequential to the grand scheme of things. During a hard fought battle with four treants the heroes were surprised to see the waitress from the Chinese restaurant – the one originally intended for sacrifice in session #2, the one Jacquelyn was supposed to save – barely alive and being controlled like a mystical marionette, launching fireballs into the trees.

Worried that this was an agent of the fire minion fighting the water minion, they discovered that it was a mutual relationship between the waitress, who willingly offered her physical form, and the ghost of Jacquelyn’s ancestor: who long ago sacrificed herself to to close this seal. When it was learned that she couldn’t walk too far away from the seal, the party realized she was talking about the pool house.

The White Hats learned a few things this adventure:

  • The five spell books each have a signature color. Old Hobb’s “Immortality” book is brown, and the book with the seal binding ritual is green. Some players thought they remembered the book in the magic store being blue, but we’d have to check to be sure. We have no idea about the last two books.
  • There are four locations around Quiet Brook where lie magical seals to imprison the evil. One is at the house in the woods, presumably in or under the pool. One is almost assuredly in the police headquarters. Each seal seems to have an invisible voice, belonging to the ghost of someone who sacrificed themselves long ago in order to close off the seals. If given access to a mortal vessel they can speak much more clearly, interact with the environment and fight quite well, though apparently an unknown “price” must be payed by the target. Guesses to other seal locations – who’s evils are still bound, in theory – might be in the university museum or the wealthy mansion we can’t get into.
  • There is only one elder god, the ‘Cthulhu’, who’s true name can shatter one’s sanity. Under each seal is one of his ‘minions,’ or demi-gods. One is water, another presumably fire, so we’re assuming the other two are wind and earth (we’ll use wind here because it’s the element in science and spell creation, not air.) We know the names of these minions as well, Joe just needs time to come up with them.
  • The treants, and possibly all “plant” monsters opposed to the pure water ones, are not true servants of the water minion. They’re more like wild animals, growing up from the excess of magical water around the seal. Focusing on them is like trying to deal with the drifting sparks of a campfire.
  • Evidently tricking the fire and water factions into fighting each other isn’t a great idea: it will end up making both sides stronger somehow. Probably because it escalates the return of Cthulhu.
  • The party can now learn spells, through the copied research notes of Old Hobb’s Brown Book. Laura now has Knowledge: Magic and theorizes that using the Brown Book could potentially alter the spell, since each magic tradition is supposedly pretty different: the same elements through another book might give a varied result?
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Session #4
Return to the Woods

Party

Percival Owens, the Mortician
Tad Thorton, the Football Star
Laura Aldridge, the Waitress
Jesse Amaroso, the Pawn Broker

Result

Percival survived unscathed
Tad survived unscathed
Laura survived unscathed
Jesse went insane, contracting Halucinatory Psychosis, Phantom Pain, Somatoform Disorder (Boils and Warts), Pica (Metal Eating) and Narcolepsy.

Despite having plans to visit the indian reservation, the White Hats were contacted by the Mayor the following morning. He reminded them that their priority was to find police chief Hobbes’ corpse, and that if they wanted to continue to enjoy government offices and funding, then they’d better do so in short order. He sent campaign contributor Jesse to keep an eye on them.

First the party visited Graham’s house, as Laura had stopped by the previous night and seen the missing police car there. She distracted him (while he constantly asked her to “pledge her devotion”) as the others searched Hobbes’ vehicle, finding a secret compartment filled with guns, ammo and cryptic notes similar to his earlier journal. Graham offered the White Hats full use of his old truck whenever they wished, if they’d but pledge their devotion and loyalty to him. They’re not sure what weight such statements hold. Laura said “you know I’m always devoted to you Daddy” in the hopes that naming Graham 1 would void any potential contract with Graham 2.

They decided to investigate Hobbes’ house next. While Percival began using the notes to translate the journal, Jesse used Tad to try and distract a genial Mrs. Hobbes while Laura snuck around searching. She found a nonchalant zombie Hobbes making a sandwich, and after a nervous game of cat and mouse the party opened up a dialogue with him. He agreed to “play dead,” giving the Mayor the body he’d been looking for, as he could simply return home afterward.

Hobbes told them the little he knew about the events of the police station, and promised to help in the future if the party returned his notes: he was desperately trying to finish the immortality spell the correct way before his body decomposed. (They spent eight full hours copying all the notes before returning them.) He may be able to teach the foreign language or possibly magic, if he honors his part of the bargain and remains in town.

The party free of responsibility, Laura was insistent that she return to the house in the woods to look for the magic staff. Besides developing a perhaps unhealthy obsession with mythos magic, she felt personally drawn to what she felt was a water artifact. This proved to be at least partially true, as the sunken staff had constantly been fountaining out a magical water that caused the surrounding vegetation to grow thick and wild. The party was surprised to find the bridge repaired, cars in the driveway, and dozens of couples making out at a second party. The hedonism was so strong that orgies had started forming here and there. Certainly, this was not the sight the party planned to see.

Being younger looking, Tad and Laura entered the party and made their way to the pool at the far end, while the older gentlemen Percival and Jesse searched the house and kept their eyes on things. Laura was able to conquer her fear of water (thankfully not nearly as strong as her father’s) and enter the pool, submerging and retrieving the magic staff. This immediately caused the water to stop pouring from it and caught the attention of several couples who began surrounding them. Laura kissed Tad, hoping this would hide them in plain sight, and it seemed to work against all but the very closest party goers.

This is when their attack began, slow but inevitable like a wave, and very soon every person in the mansion was coming after our heroes: grabbing and trying to “kiss” them as before. (It should be noted that taking tentative steps at the beginning of this area, the kissing looked normal and none of their eyes were black, so the White Hats thought it perhaps safe like the police station was.) The treants were still in the wooded parts of the map and the staff didn’t seem to evoke a response from limited testing, so revolvers were drawn. Bullets proved particularly effective, causing them to “bleed” water, but firing into a rushing crowd that large was destined for failure. After some terribly tense moments they were able to jump into Jesse’s truck and escape over the bridge.

The White Hats learned a few things this adventure:

  • There are at least five different magic schools, and at least one book for each (Hobb’s research are notes, not a spellbook, though the book in the magic shop looks an awful lot like it could be one.)
  • The “water possessed” monsters are weak to guns (piercing?) and all but immune to bashing; slashing wasn’t tested.
  • Hobb’s immortality attempt had seemingly nothing to do with the events at the police station. The voice appeared shortly before, urging him to sacrifice himself, which made him rush through the last of his immortality research and make a mistake. The other cops went crazy from the voice; one trying to kill himself heroically, one going insane and shooting that first, and the last just carved things into himself till he bled out.
  • Graham is very friendly and asking people to simply pledge their devotion to him: the words so effortless and passing, they wouldn’t seem to form a contract by any human definition.
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Session #3
Exploring Town

Party

Percival Owens, the Mortician
Wesley ? , the Film Major
Laura Aldridge, the Waitress
Tad Thorton, the Football Star

Result

All team members survived unscathed

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Session #2
College Party

Party

Arthur Doyle, the History Major
Laura Aldridge, the Waitress
Tad Thorton, the Football Star
Wesley ? , the Film Major

Result

All team members survived unscathed

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Session #1
Police Station Investigation

Party

Derrik Conrad, the Reporter
Graham Aldridge, the Fireman
Percival Owens, the Mortician

Result

Derrik went insane, contracting ? and ?
Graham was devoured, by an ancient evil
Percival went insane, contracting multiple personality disorder

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