17 December 2012

Pendragon, AD 494


1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,622 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (3,233 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (3,065 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,928 Glory)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,792 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,691 Glory) (absent)
7. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,650 Glory) (absent)

15 December 2012

Pendragon, AD 493


1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,379 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (2,944 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,856 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,742 Glory) (absent)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,769 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,550 Glory)
7. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,519 Glory) (absent)

02 December 2012

Pendragon, AD 492


1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (3,173 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (2,725 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,583 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,392 Glory)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,746 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Morien of Idmisdton (1,391 Glory)
7. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,358 Glory) (absent)

01 December 2012

Pendragon, AD 491


1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (2,975 Glory)
2. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (2,658 Glory) (absent)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,394 Glory) (absent)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (2,228 Glory) (absent)
5. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,723 Glory) (absent)
6. Sir Gwyn of Tytherington (1,187 Glory) (first appearance)
7. Sir Morin of Idmisdton (1,178 Glory) (first appearance)

04 November 2012

Pendragon, AD 490


1. Sir Nidian of Haxton (2,200 Glory)
2. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1,894 Glory)
3. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1,703 Glory)
4. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1,680 Glory) (absent)
5. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (1,450 Glory)

30 October 2012

The Lamentations of Sir Teryrnor

A makeup session with Sir Teryrnor this afternoon.  We've established that he is at home during AD 489, but why?  His player and I decide to go through the Winter Phase to see if that suggests anything interesting.

29 October 2012

Pendragon, AD 489


1. Sir Nidian of Haxton (1791 Glory)
2. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1769 Glory)
3. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1703 Glory) (absent)
4. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1627 Glory) (absent)
5. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (1307 Glory)

25 October 2012

Pendragon, AD 488


1. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1615 Glory)
2. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1494 Glory)
3. Sir Nidian of Haxton (1474 Glory)
4. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1449 Glory)
5. Sir Uwain de Pieds Larges (1169 Glory)

We open AD 488 with a new knight, Sir Uwain!  Not to be confused with his player's previous character, Sir Owain. Totally different.

The Salisbury crew joins Earl Roderick at court at Winchester this Pentecost. Rumor has it that the Saxons will be held just barely at bay, while Uther shores up his support in preparation for a major push -- hopefully decisive -- in a few years. The immediate problem is that there are a lot of dukes of Britain who have been, if not openly rebellious, then obnoxiously passive about Uther's claims to the throne of the high king.

One of them is Duke Gorlois of Cornwall. Problem #1: The route to Cornwall is controlled by King Cadwy of Somerset, who is caught between Uther and Gorlois and trying to survive as best he can. Problem #2: Uther has promised Pryaetor Syragius that he will send an army, led by his illegitimate son Madoc, to help the Praetor liberate Rome.

The king has offered Roderick a choice: the Continent, or Cornwall. Roderick asks his knights for council. The Salisbury boys discuss and vote, to a man, for Cornwall. They want to be near the center of the decision making, even if it means less glory.

Off to Somerset. King Cadwy is ambivalent, but he allows that he will will give Uther passage to Cornwall if he takes care of a problem for him. What problem? Well, apparently there have been some water leapers harassing Cadwy's fishermen. If Uther can send some men to take care of them, then Cadwy will be able to justify (to Gorlois, and more importantly, himself) kowtowing to Uther.

Uther conveys this information to his nobles. The Salisbury knights are standing guard outside Uther's tent, and cannot resist their impulse to serve their liege lord! They burst into the tent, Howard & Fine & Howard style, and volunteer all over themselves.  Uther is please and amused and accepts their offer.

The next day they are out in the marsh in some borrowed boats. They don't know much about boats, but ... Suddenly, a leaper! They look like frogs with foggy wings instead of front legs, and no back legs. And shark teeth! They fly out of the water and grab one of the knights and carry him a overboard the other side. Drowning, sinking into the water.  The other knights set spears. One of the knights grabs a rope (fortuitously tied to an oar lock) and rolls off the side to rescue his sinking friend.

Harrowing combat. Leapers going over the boats. Knights ducking and dodging.  Someone else gets taken over.  CON rolls to hold breath, then CON-5 rolls. The knights roll a bunch of criticals! Leapers fly over the boats only to split slow-motion into pieces in midair, the knights making dramatic Matrix-esque sword poses as the pieces splash into the water. Soon four water leapers are bobbing upside down at the surface. One swims off crookedly into the swamp, trailing blood.

The knights return victoriously to camp. King Cadwy is pleased. King Uther is granted passage. Uther returns to Winchester to winter and celebrate, and prepare for a visit to Gorlois next year.

Rumor is that Madoc went to Frankland, fought some Franks with the Praetor, and then rebuffed the Praetor's command to follow to Rome. Madoc returned to Britain. If the ties between Britain and Rome were not severed before, they are now.

During the winter phase, Sir Cyfan marries again, and his new wife produces another daughter.

At the end of 488, the standings are:

1. Sir Nidian of Haxton (1791 Glory) (+2 ranks)
2. Sir Lug of Winterslow (1769 Glory) (-1 rank)
3. Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1703 Glory) (+1 rank)
4. Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1627 Glory) (-2 ranks)
5. Sir Uwain des Pieds Larges (1307 Glory)

14 October 2012

Pendragon, AD 487

AD 487

Dramatis Personae (in order of Quality):

Sir Owain of Over Wallop (1507 Glory)
Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1333 Glory)
Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1297 Glory)

Absent this session:

Sir Lug of Winterslow (1545 Glory) (absent)
Sir Nidian of Haxton (1454 Glory) (absent)

We part the curtain over Dark Ages Britain with messengers arriving at the knights' manors -- Uther will be holding Christmas court in Sarum this year, and Earl Roderick requests the knights' presence!

The three knights arrive at Sarum and it is horribly crowded with the retinues and hangers-on of everyone wanting to suck up to Uther.  The knights find their places as best they can.  They hobnob a little bit with people.

Teryrnor attempts to dig for some juicy gossip!  Alas, whenever he walks up to a group of whispering nobles, they change the subject.

Cyfan is a veritable horn-dog, hitting on demoiselles far above his station.  Or rather, attempting to approach them and getting intercepted by handmaidens and turned away.  He is not dismayed.

Owain, the master harper (Play [Harp] 25) wants to play in front of the many worthies and impress them with his skills.  Alas, he does not have the social cachet to get a gig in front of Uther and settles for a lunchtime performance in front of some minor nobles.  Perhaps for the best, as he gets a rather mediocre success.

During the Christmas feast itself, there is much gift-giving amidst the ridiculous number of courses.  Roderick gives his knights some fine clothing, which was much needed.

The climax of the feast involves Uther receiving gift after gift, none more extravagant than those of his son, Prince Madoc.  Uther generously re-gifts much of Madoc's plunder, including a handful of silver pennies to each of our heroes.

Then Merlin enters.  The wily magician flatters the king, but says he lacks one thing -- a thing which will bring peace to the land.  With a flourish, he draws the sword (which the knights saw him get last year) and presents it to the king: "For the High King," says Merlin, "Excalibur, the Sword of Victory!"  Everyone cheers and applauds wildly.

"Surely now," Uther says, holding the sword and admiring it, "no one can stand before me."

"All you need to do," adds Merlin, "is to remain just."  (Ominous pause.)

Uther remarks that he will pay a visit to some of his "friends," implying the vacillating lords of Britain who have been coming up with nothing but endless excuses for not support Uther's wars against the Saxons.

Merlin adds one last thing before the final feast begins.  In front of Uther and all his high lords, he turn to Earl Roderick, gestures to Owain, Teryrnor, and Cyfan, and says, "Watch these men well, and give them rein to help Britain."  (Players get 50 Glory for being so recognized!)


Later, as the feast is winding down and the lords are dispersing back to their lands, Roderick approaches the knights.  He has been requested to accompany Uther to visit the lords of dubious loyalty.  Also, Prince Madoc has mentioned that promising knights of quality are needed to join him in raiding the Saxon-occupied coasts, putting their ships to the torch and generally killing the Saxon pig-dogs.  Unusually, Roderick gives them a choice.  More glory is certainly found in military endeavors, but the chance to be involved in Uther's political machinations could expose them to many potential powerful allies and (from Cyfan's point of view) their highly marriageable daughters.

The knights decide to accompany Roderick (and Uther).

They ride to Lindsey and are called upon to recite the Adventure of Sword Lake.  Duke Lindsey is impressed and throws his lot fully behind Uther.  Uther is pleased, Roderick is pleased.

Uther needs messages taken out to outlying lords.  Perhaps the players would like to volunteer?  Of course they would.  Riding out to Ebaracum, the lord is out fighting Saxons.  The players grab a guide and ride out to look for him.

But … SAXONS!  A small Saxon raiding party ambushes them!  Luckily the sharp-eyed Sir Teryrnor spots them.  The knights charge!  Rolling randomly, Sir Owain is up against a berkserker!  The berserker is afoot, -5 to his Greataxe skill of 22.  Sir Owain gets a +5 for being horsed.  Owain rolls a middling success.  The berserker rolls a 17.  Critical, doubling his 8d6 damage.  Sir Owain's success allows his to get his shield into play.  But it doesn't matter.  Almost 50 damage; poor Owain's head flies across the field as the berserker roars his fury.  Teryrnor and Cyfan dispatch their enemies without issue.  The berserker, outnumbered, runs off.

A moment of silence for Sir Owain, first of the knights to fall in this campaign.  As he was without issue, his player will have to start from scratch with a new knight.

Somberly, the two surviving knights manage to find the King of Ebaracum with news of Uther and the Sword of Victory.  Ebaracum is unimpressed, and tells the knights that he will visit Uther when the Saxons stop attacking Ebaracum.  The knights ride away.  It is a cold and lonely trip back to Salisbury.


During the winter phase, Sir Cyfan manages to find a wife, who immediately graces him with a daughter, but dies in childbirth.  The baby lives.



Sir Lug of Winterslow (1545 Glory) (absent)
Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (1494 Glory)
Sir Nidian of Haxton (1454 Glory) (absent)
Sir Cyfan of Teffort (1449 Glory)


RIP Sir Owain of Over Wallop, 464-487.

08 October 2012

Pendragon, AD 486

Dramatis Personae (in order of Quality):

Sir Lug of Winterslow (Jeremy) (1401 Glory)
Sir Owain of Over Wallop (Norris) 1362
Sir Nidian of Haxton (John) 1348
Sir Teryrnor of Southcott (Dale) 1220
Sir Cyfan of Teffort (Joshua) (1169 Glory)

Sir Cyfan was a new addition to the Salisbury band.

As spring breaks over Britian, Earl Roderick's vassals convene at Sarum for Pentecost court.  Merlin is there, hobnobbing and scheming as usual.  Also present is a guest from the Continent, Praetor Syragius.  He is here to make the procession around Logres and beg for help defending Rome against the barbarians.  Earl Roderick of Salisbury is under command of Uther to show courtesy to the Praetor, or he would probably be pelted with turnips and laughed out -- the current problems with the Saxons are directly related to Rome's refusal to aid Britain 76 years ago ("look to your own defenses," the Emperor wrote to the British Collegium).

When last the Salisbury boys took measure of the mood of the nobles, things were grim -- 485 was a bad year for the Britons.  But now there is rumor of a plan!  Prince Madoc wants to take a select group of knights up to Colchester to pick off Saxon raiding groups.  Glory!  Plunder!

After a few weeks of hanging out at the castle, the Earl summons them in.  Madoc is off to the side in the Great Hall and nods at the knights as they enter.  "As you know, men," begins Roderick, "the Prince plans to take a select group of hand-picked knights to Colchester to harry those Saxon dogs, raid their supplies, and put as many of them to the sword as possible."

The knights smile and shift in anticipation.

"While he does that," continues the Earl, "I need all of you to perform garrison duty in the west."

Well, that is not as glorious, but when your liege says jump ….

The knights pack (i.e., tell their squires to pack everything) and head out to a little manor in the hinterlands.  The lord is three years old, his elderly and boring uncle is regent, and there is nothing going on.  They ride the borders of the land every day, and mostly nothing happens.  Chase a few bandits (they have an infuriating tendency to melt into the population or underbrush), listen to a few peasants complain (they always complain, so they are told to take it up with the Earl).

Then one day, they are helping an old man try to find his pet goat, when suddenly they hear the goat bleat in terror!  A giant steps out and roars at the knights!  They are somewhat stunned but manage to collect their wits and charge!  They ride him down like champions and manage to kill him before he gets a hit in.  As they are cleaning up, they hear clapping and cheering.  It's the old man!  A strange mist swirls around him -- now they can see that it is Merlin!  

"Leave your horses and squires, and follow me," says the magician.  He leads them deeper into the forest, which has begun to take on a barely perceptible glamour.  The trail forks, one leads into the forest, the other goes down towards the shore of a lake.  Merlin points down the forest path.  "There!  Protect me, knights!"  He strides down the lake path and steps onto a small barge.  Out of the forest charges a strange being. It is a man astride a horse, but both man and horse are the same slimy dark green color.  The man wields a sword in each hand -- as the knights gape, other arms grow out of the man's body, wielding swords and clubs.

Some of the knights gather themselves together [making Valorous checks] and attack.  Sir Owain is again reduced to 1hp at the first exchange.  Things are going badly for the knights.  It is making five attacks per round and beings to mow through our heroes.  [As always, I roll everything openly and announce target numbers, so the players know that the danger is real.]  I begin to worry about a TPK, but thankfully someone -- Sir Teryrnor, I believe? -- rolls a masterful stroke and puts the creature down.

Sir Lug binds everyone's wounds; then they follow Merlin's trail to see how fares the magus.  They see him out on the misty lake, standing on the barge.  He kneels.  A smooth, feminine arm rises from the water, holding a gleaming sword!  Merlin takes the sword, concealing it beneath his robes, and murmurs to the being in the water.  The arm disappears beneath the surface and the barge floats, of its own accord, back to the shore.

Merlin steps back onto dry land.  "Well done, knights.  Britain is in your debt.  Let us go now."  He leads them back through the wood to where their squires and horses await.  The knights turn to thank him, but he isn't there!  Perplexed, the knights return to the country manor and continue their garrison duty while the severely wounded rest and heal.

They return back to Sarum at the end of the summer, where the Earl is impressed but upbraids them slightly for waiting until the end of the year to tell him about such a portentous event.

During the winter phase, Sir Nidian and Sir Teryrnor have bad harvests. Teryrnor is able to sell a ring and keep himself in his accustomed maintenance, but Nidian lives as badly as his peasants.  He refuses to squeeze them, which is admirable but has consequences -- most of his best horses die or go lame, and his armor rusts.  Luckily the campaign specifies that this year the Earl will replace any steeds lost -- so Nidian lucked out.

Sir Lug squeezes his peasants twice, and now they are all hard of hearing whenever he is around.  Not insubordinate, technically.  Technically.

Sir Nidian, having witnessed the near-massacre of himself and his friends, becomes concerned about his legacy and decides to marry as quickly as possible.  He finds a merchant's daughter; somewhat beneath his station but hopefully fertile.  The rest of the knights are trying to maneuver at court and woo a nice nobleman's daughter or something.  They are not terribly successful.

At the end of 486, the standings are:

Sir Lug (1545 Glory)
Sir Owain (1507 Glory)
Sir Nidian (1454 Glory)
Sir Teryrnor (1333 Glory)
Sir Cyfan (1297 Glory)

01 October 2012

Pendragon, AD 485 (continued)

AD 485 (continued)

As Spring draws to a close and Sir Owain's wounds gradually knit together enough to allow travel, he and Sir Nidian are joined by two squires, Lug (played by Jeremy) and Teryrnor (played by Dale).

They are still in Sarum after the knighting ceremony, listening to rumors of a large contingent of Saxons having landed in Sussex, when Earl Roderick announces that a summons has arrived from King Uther.  Uther plans a major offensive against the Saxons and all knights are summoned to join him at Silchester.

The military contingent of Salisbury prepares and moves out.  Arriving at Silchester, they find that they are part of the largest army they've seen so far.  But many people are grumbling -- apparently many lords have chosen not to make an appearance, begging off with some excuse or another.  Nonetheless, Uther is determined.

The army winds its way south to Mearcred Creek and encamps.  Across the field they see a Saxon army.  The four heroes are nervous.  Their first real battle!

At dawn the next day, the lines are slowly formed.  The horns sound, and the charge begins!  The Saxons are almost all on foot (luckily for the knights).  The fray is joined!  Swords!  Lances!  Laying about into the enemy!

[I feel like I got a TON of things wrong in the rules for large scale battles.  :(  Hints, advice, links to actual play would be greatly appreciated.]

Some mighty Saxons warriors were dispatched, along with a berserker that came within a whisker of eviscerating Sir Nidian.

Then, just as it felt like things were hitting their stride, the horns were sounded for the retreat!  The knights gradually pulled back, as did the Saxons.  The two sides eyed each other warily as small contingents moved out to gather the dead.  Then Uther's army went back to Silchester, having lost a moderate amount of troops.  The Saxons let them go -- apparently their losses were significant enough to not want to pursue them.  Overall, a push.

Camping back at Silchester, the mood is foul.  News has come of a definitive Saxon victory at Caercolun.  That, combined with the standoff at Mearcred Creek, has made for a tough year.  Britain now has more Saxons than ever, and now they'll be here for the winter and beyond.

As the Salisbury contingent packs for the return trip to Sarum, Earl Roderick rides up and tells Lug and Teryrnor that they comported themselves well on the field of battle, and he has decided to reward them by knighting them.  He briefly apologizes for not doing the full ceremony, but he is just too damn tired.  Arise, Sir Lug!  Arise, Sir Teryrnor!

At Salisbury, the knights part ways and return to their manors for the winter.  We went through the complete landholding system from Book of the Manor.  It was pretty straightforward.  Sir Lug squeezed his peasants for extra cash.  He has Concern (My Commoners) at 2.  Perhaps we'll start a betting pool for when his peasants go into open revolt.

John (Sir Nidian) remarked that the dynastic nature of the game, combined with developing your manor, makes it feel like an RPG with a Civ game element, which is awesome.  I agree.

Overall, a good session.

30 September 2012

Pendragon, AD 485

Marshall Elad of Vagon Castle, where the PCs are training as squires, continued their training. He puts them through their paces and then asks them to go check out a rumor of a bear up near Imber. Elad thinks it's probably just a dog, but you know how peasants are.

27 September 2012

Hey folks!  Been a while.  So here's what I've been up to:

1.  I've been playing a lot of Dungeon Crawl Classics.  I collected the session reports here:


That has links where you can go to read all about how stupid we are.  I had a blast, and then the GM apparently needed a job and had to move to the big city.  Sheesh.

2.  I decided to start GMing Pendragon, specifically the Great Pendragon Campaign.  Here's a copy of the rough session report:

After my Call of Cthulhu (2nd - 6th Edition) game kind of stalled out, and two of my favorite players moved away, and two of my other players revealed that they weren't really that into the game anyway ... it was time to reevaluate.

While running through The Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep is still on my bucket list, I decided to take a crack at one of the other things on my list. Enter the GPC!

I've never GMed KAP before; just played. Only two players could make it, so we took it small and slow.

We're playing by the book, using King Arthur Pendragon: Edition 5.1. Supplement-wise we are definitely using Book of the Manor (2nd Edition), probably using Book of Armies, maybe using Book of Knights & Ladies later but definitely not now, and probably not using Book of Battle.

I walked them through character generation using the Salisbury family history to make some Cymric characters. I love the history tables; not only do they create a sense of grounding for your character but they create connections with the other characters -- "hey, our grandfathers both fought at the Battle of XYZ!" (or whatever).

Spring, 485 AD!

We went through the beginning adventure in the book. Marshall Elad of Vagon Castle, where the PCs are training as squires, continued their training. This "adventure" is really just a method to walk them through the basic mechanics. Which is fine, but Squire Nidian remarked that it was very similar to the beginning of CRPGs. This feeling was enhanced when Elad asked them to go check out a rumor of a bear up near Imber. At least no one was asked to clean out a basement full of rats.

Turns out there was a bear! Nidian, whose family has a proclivity for hunting, quickly outpaced Squire Owain and found the bear! The bear was pretty tough, so Nidian decided to cut and run. He found Owain and they went back together to make short work of the beast. The local priest bound their wounds and got the peasants to clean and dress the bear, giving them its hide as a prize and as proof of their deed.

On the way back they found a pair of bandits beating up a peasant and decided to charge! Unfortunately for Owain, his target rolled a critical and spitted Owain on his spear, taking him to 1 HP. Owain was a mess but they managed to get him back to Vagon.

Back at Castle Vagon, Sir Elad was suitably impressed! Not with Owain getting skewered to within an inch of his life, but with their general leadership and heroism. Owain was bedridden for a few weeks but was eventually able to get up and around -- just in time for a messenger to arrive for the Marshall. They've been summoned to Sarum by Earl Roderick!

At Sarum they hobnob a little with the castle folk, and then Earl Roderick calls Owain and Nidian up in front of the assembly and knights them! Arise, Sir Owain! Arise, Sir Nidian!

We called it a night there. King Uther has summoned Roderick and his knights to aid in an attack on the Saxons!

01 June 2012

Session Recap, 21-Apr-2012


The investigation of the MacAllister building continues. Many of the paranormal occurrences seem to be tied to The King in Yellow, but the play itself is impossible to find. Even information about it is in short supply.

The investigators have some good ideas, such as going out into the artistic community. Only one person, a theater director at small Bohemian theater, has ever head of it -- and only due to a former friend ranting and raving about it shortly before he was committed.

They return to the building that night and continue to explore the mysterious floors that appear only at night. A few experiments are conducted that seem to establish that continuity and persistence of reality is hazy at best -- items left at certain places are sometimes there upon return, and sometimes not. The same door, opened in quick succession, sometimes opens onto two completely different rooms.

They retreat to the local eatery and discuss. Although not directly related to the plot, they learn the tragic backstory of how the father of the neighborhood deli owner was banished from England and brought his family to America in shame. (Backstory listed in the first comment, below.)

Going back into the building the following night, strange things continue to beset the investigators and slowly drain away their sanity. They focus on two things: Finding the missing girl, and trying to discover who or what is behind the play. Many of the strange events in the building have some kind of puppet imagery -- is there a puppet master? If so, who? There is some concern, entirely justified, that finding out might be physically or mentally fatal.

Some specific events:

- A dog, a large mastiff, is found running down a hallway on one of the night floors. It appears friendly. Sir Richard puts an improvised rope collar and leash on it, and takes it out of the building. He lodges it in a kennel. So apparently things can be brought out of the night floors. Are there any consequences to taking things out of the night floors into the real world? They certainly didn't feel any barriers being broken.

- A locked and shuttered window is found in a living room that opens upon a dining room with a similar locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a conservatory with a locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a tea room, and so on. The rooms appear to go on endlessly and clearly cannot be contained within the building's external walls in any way.

- A hole is found in a wall that leads into a large series of caves. George Platt wanders them, marking his path with chalk. Unfortunately his chalk marks appear to be getting altered by someone or something and now he is truly lost. He comes upon a room with a series of alcoves, all containing ornate and unique bottles. A strange sommelier hails him and hands him a bottle with Platt's name on it, and a corkscrew. When Platt takes them, the sommelier collapses into his robes -- his hands, feet, and face were nothing more than crude mannequin constructions, but there was no substance to him. Platt opens the bottle and hears a whisper: "You are the cause of your friends' death." Or maybe it was "friend's death;" it's impossible to know which one for sure. Platt's electric torch starts flickering and he is barely able to find his way out back into the night floors.

- They find an elderly man claiming to be the manager. His name is Henri de Cavaldo Castaigne, and he has never heard of ARTLIFE, Cynthia LeChance, or any of the actual managers. Castaigne has a slight accent and claims to be from a country called "Carcosa." 

- Professor Hawkins finds a large mirror. In the mirror, he is wearing archaic party clothes. Behind him, visible only in the mirror, is a large crowd of similarly-dressed people. At the back of the crowd but standing apart from it, is a huge and tattered figure, draped in yellow robes, whose face is completely obscured by a ragged hood. Is this the mysterious King? What is underneath the hood?

Again a retreat to the outside before dawn. More questions than answers. Luckily they have all the time in the world, right?

08 April 2012

Session Recap, 7-Apr-2012


A few days of investigation and research.  Talking with the apartment manager reveals that all of the tenants -- not just the missing Abigail -- are three months behind on their rent and facing eviction.  Curious.

Interviewing the neighborhood business indicates that the tenants have completely withdrawn from the community.  They have not patronized shops, bought groceries, etc.  Curious.

Sir Richard receives a family request to negotiate a business deal back in Boston and had to leave.  The transient population of Manhattan is safe, for the time being.

The rest of the trepid heroes -- George Platt, Evelyn Joans, and Herr Doktor Professor Victor Hawkins -- decides that a night spent in the missing woman's apartment might provide insight.

14 March 2012

Session Recap, 10-Mar-2012


An telegram from Jackson Elias!  They travel down from Boston to New York to meet him in his posh room in the Chelsea Hotel.  He welcomes them in, and asks them to look into something for him -- he has a friend, a retired police captain, whose daughter, Abigail Wright, has gone missing.  She was a painter, living in a Manhattan in a building for artists.  Jackson would, of course, check it out himself except that he is leaving shortly for Kenya to do more research on his next book.

The party heads out to the apartment building, having gotten the keys from Jackson.  The woman's room is a shambles -- hundreds of random items glued to the walls, carpet ripped up, etc.  They decide to itemize the room's contents and find a few odd things....

04 March 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 19-Jun-1920


NAIROBI (Reuters) -- Five Nandi tribesmen, convicted ringleaders of the vicious Carlyle expedition massacre, were executed this morning after a short, expertly-conducted trial.

28 February 2012

Session Recap, 25-Feb-2012

The party decides to split up. George Platt (private eye) and Sir Richard Sharpe (dilettante, hobo-murderer) head to Woonsocket, the benighted country town.

Professor Victor Hawkins (archaeology, Cambridge) and young Evelyn Joans (plucky reporter) stay in Providence. Hawkins uses his academic pull to secure a private research room at Brown. Luckily it is summer break and he has a high Credit Rating. They then go to the local dog pound and casually secure a dead dog. Like you do. Hawkins wants to experiment on the "essential saltes" theory.

Returning the corpus canis to the university, a long alchemical procedure is carefully followed. At the end of which there is a small pile of blue-gray powder in the room, looking suspiciously like the powder in the many vials they stole liberated from the underground chamber of horrors. Licking his lips, Hawkins performs the hermetic counterpart.

He casts the spell and suffers a mild shock as his mind reels. Then Hawkins and Joans both gasp as they see a smoking pile of powder suddenly form into a dog. Hawkins freezes and gibbers.

The dog totters a bit, then growls savagely, leaps at the catatonic professor, and starts tearing into his throat. Young Miss Joans, not one to wilt in the heat of battle, pulls her .32 from her purse and puts a bullet through it. Then another through its brain once it releases the professor. A confused janitor shows up and the duo bluffs him. How did a rabid dog get in here? What's the meaning of this? Don't you know who I am? Etc.

Our heroes take this whole series of events as an excellent sign.

Meanwhile, in Woonsocket, Platt and Sharpe park several miles out and hike through the backcountry into town. The better to avoid authorities, you see. Sneaking up to the back of the police station, Platt cracks his knuckles, approaches the lock, and critically succeeds. The lock opens to him like a lover and they sneak in, electric torches at hand. Locating their friend's desiccated corpse, they quickly load it into a body bag and then leave.

They then proceed to schlep a dead body several miles through the backcountry in the dead of night. Due to Sir Richard's experience with night maneuvers in the War, this goes off without incident.

Our heroes take this series of events as another excellent sign.

Reuniting the next day, they formulate a plan. Hawkins reduces their friend's body to its saltes. They bottle the residue and then go to the asylum to pay a visit to their "friend." Luckily it is July 4th and most of the employees are out at festivities. Platt, the only American amongst a party of Brits, takes the opportunity to be briefly but obnoxiously patriotic.

They sign in as visitors to the asylum. Dismissing the orderly who escorted them to the padded cell, Platt and Hawkins enter. Joans and Sharpe stand watch. Their "friend" in the cell asks if they've had a change of heart. Platt says yes, and gets out a chloroformed rag and immediately presses it up against the man's face, crushing him in his deadly embrace. The man is straightjacketed and outmatched by Platt even on an even footing, so there is little he can do except squirm until he loses consciousness.

Hawkins casts the reversal. They both gasp and startle as the fiend's body withers into powder. They carefully sweep the saltes up into a little pile and scoop it into an empty vial.

Emptying out the vial of their friend onto the floor, Hawkins again casts the spell, and suffers the consequences. Their friend stands before them in shock. He slowly looks around as realization dawns, and begins to titter, then laugh madly. "Do you have my book?" he asks. "I need my book. There is so much, so much. The beauty, between the spheres. You've heard it [looking at Hawkins]. The burning in your eyes tells me. MY BOOK!"

"Sorry, Brian," says Platt, and chloroforms him. They strip him naked and then put him into the straightjacket, unconscious, and leave him on the low padded bed. They then march merrily out of the asylum and wish the desk clerk a happy fourth. They pause on the way to scatter the saltes into the Atlantic.


- they have almost certainly destroyed a long-dead sorcerer.
- they have an evil book which one party member wants to burn.
- they brought their friend back to life, probably driving him mad in the process and doing little to dissuade him from his obsession with black magic. Luckily he is safely locked up in an asylum where there is no possible way he could ever escape and cause problems for the PCs, ever.
- they are not especially welcome on the Brown university campus.

All in all, a good night's work!

But wait, what's this? A telegram from their good friend Jackson Elias? Ah, good old Jackson, just back from abroad! Let's go see what he needs and toast his good health!

26 February 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 24-May-1920


NAIROBI (Reuters) -- The massacre of the long-missing Carlyle expedition was confirmed today by district police representatives.

19 February 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 11-Mar-1920


MOMBASA (Reuters) -- In response to clues, Miss Erica Carlyle, sister to the American leader of the lost Carlyle expedition, arrived in port today aboard the Egyptian vessel Fount of Life.

12 February 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 15-Oct-1919


MOMBASA (Reuters) -- Uplands police representatives today asked for public assistance concerning the disappearance of the Carlyle Expedition.  No word of the party has been received in nearly two months.

05 February 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 24-Jul-1919


MOMBASA (Reuters) -- Leading members of an American archaeological expedition arrived here on holiday from digs in Egypt's Nile Valley.

29 January 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 03-Jul-1919


CAIRO (AP) -- Sir Aubrey Penhew, temporary spokesman for the Carlyle Expedition, indicated Monday that the leaders are taking ship to East Africa for a "well-earned rest."

22 January 2012

Newspaper Clipping, 05-Apr-1919


Led by the fabulously-wealthy playboy Roger Carlyle, the Carlyle expedition departed this morning for Southhampton aboard the crack British steamship Imperial Standard.

08 January 2012

What You Know About Your Friend, Jackson Elias

Jackson Elias is 38, of medium height and build, and dark-complexioned. He has a feisty, friendly air about him and, as an orphan in Stratford, Connecticut, he learned to make his own way early in life. He has no living relatives, and no permanent address.

Newspaper Clipping, 04-Apr-1919


ROGER CARLYLE, the playboy whom everybody knows -- or knows about -- is quietly leaving New Yawk tomorrow to check out the tombs of Egypt!  You've seen the cuties ROGER has found in the nightspots. Who can doubt he'll dig up someone -- er, something -- equally fabulous from the Egyptian sand?

(Nyarlathotep Papers #3)


I'm firing this back up, but with a slightly different purpose -- it will now act as a repository for clues and other gaming penumbra related to my soon-to-begin Call of Cthulhu campaign.