Masks of Nyarlathotep

Session 2: Friday, Jan 16 to Saturday Jan 17

Friday, jan 16, 1925:
Henry Ernst and Bradley Stockhelm drive around town attempting to find the Stumbling Tiger Bar. After an uneventful trip to Long Island only to find a quiet house, the pair try their luck in China town. By chance, they find someone who knows of the bar, and that it is, in fact, in Shanghai.

They drive to Emerson imports and speak with Arthur Emerson, the proprietor. Indicating that they are agents of Jackson’s estate, Emerson reveals that Jackson Elias was interested in the Mombasan exporter Ahja Singh, and their importer, the Ju-Ju House. The pair make an impromptu inspection of the place, and determine it is above board.

Regathering at the Madison Townhouse, the party is met by Lt. Martin Poole, who has discovered a business card for the Penhew foundation at the scene of the crime. Madison sweet talks her way into him revealing that this is the 9th such murder in the last two years, and that the symbol is tied to some kind of African death cult. The victims have been from all walks of life, and social status.

Saturday, Jan 17th 1925:

Nikolai Dmitrivich Khilkov, Bradley Stockhelm, Professor Reginal Belham, and Henry Ernst pay a visit to the Ju-Ju house and meet Silas N’Kwane, the owner. It takes a while to find it, as they ask around Harlem. It is at the terminus of a dirty alley, fronting into a courtyard srrounded by crumbling tenements. The store is filled with African curiosities including masks, weapons, and fetishes used in tribal magic. It is odd to see so many white folk in the shop, but Silas answers their questions about his goods and where they come from. He claims not to know Elias. Things get a little heated when the party put on some pressure, and he is nervous when shown the symbol that was carved on Jackson’s forehead.

Belham attempts to cast some tribal magics, and the party decides that they’ve probably got what they can at this time. Out on the street, Belham makes a purchase from a corner dealer, and passes him a few extra dollars for ore information. Apparently, every Saturday night there are a great number of people who go into the Ju-Ju house, and do not come out again til the next day. The store isn’t big enough to hold them all.

The party returns to Madison’s and reports. Henry and Bradley decide to stack out the j-Ju house and see what happens tonight. Catching a cab to Harlem around 5pm, Bradley hides in the courtyard and Ernst takes up a position on the street. The temperature is freezing, but they tough it out until 6 when they witness a crate being delivered. It goes into the ju-Ju house with 4 men, but only 1 comes back out. The pair hold their positions until 9 o’clock, when Bradley decides to investigate.

Attempting to break in, Bradley accidentally smashes the front door glass and finds the store empty. Henry joins him, and they search the store. Under a rug behind the counter they find a trap door leading into darkness. Filching some tribal masks to find their faces and some candles, the venture down.

At the end of a corridor lined with symbols they find a strong door, but it is unlocked. Stealthily, Bradley opens the door and they look into a large room. It contains many African drums, a large circular stone attached to a rope and a winch, and a curtained alcove. There are two unconscious black men tied to poles here, as well as 4 other men who seem to be filling symbols on the wall with red chalk.

Deciding on a daring rescue, Henry and Bradley burst in. Bradley quickly lays one man low with his luger, and Ernst goes fisticuffs. They easily get the better of the 4 men who are both surprised, and have no firearms. 2 are killed outright.

Searching the place, the pair finds Atwrights missing book, a scepter, a mask, a pair of lion gloves, a ceremonial feathered shawl, a copper bowl, and a metal headband. Removing the mask from a life-like mannequin, Henry sees the thing seemingly come to life and attack him. Bradley comes to his aid, but their blows seem to do very little to it. Shaken, they push the thing back and flee, leaving their would be rescuees behind. They place a phone call to the police, spinning a tale of two men being dragged into the ju-Ju house, and take a taxi back to the vicinity of Madisons townhouse. By way of the river to ditch Bradleys gun.

The party reviews the items recovered, and Belham renders himself unconscious by reading the words “Nyambe, My power thine” from glyphs on the scepter. Symbols on the headband and bowl are undecipherable. Belham wakes up in about an hour, unaware of what happened.

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