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The Lion's Den

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CTHULHU FTHAGN | CALL OF CTHULHU | NEPHILIM | MASKS
Australia


Friday, July 17—Arrive at Port Hedlund, Western Terretory, Australia. Ask around about Arthur MacWhirr. Meet a fellow named McKenzie, who knew McWhirr and states that he gave all of Arthur’s notes and photos to a fellow named Hurston. A photo check proves that this is in fact Dr. Huston of the Carlyle party. A quick accounting shows that the party now has evidence of the survival of 5 of the six Carlyle party members beyond their supposed deaths in 1920. (Anastasia Bonet/M’weru seen in Kenya, Hypatia Masters seen in Kenya, Jack Brady rumored in Shanghai, Huston rumored in Australia, and a letter addressed to Aubrey Penhew in England.) MacKenzie invites the party to stay at his house, and offers to make arrangements for an expedition to the outback.

July 18—All members except Dale leave for Port Darwin to do some further digging. Dale stays to keep a watchful eye on McKenzie.

July 19—Arrive Port Darwin. Many rumors of strange bat-cult activities are obtained at a local bar. Alexandra and Sidhartha go to Randolph Shipping, but find that Mr. Randolph is not a patient man. Neville also tries to talk to him, with little more success. The criminal element in the party decides to go back later that night and break into the warehouse.

July 19 (evening)—Alexandra slips off to investigate the warehouse on her own. As the party prepares to split up, Roget is greeted by Adrian Torrence (last seen in Paris on Feb. 23.) Adrian agrees to join in the examination of the warehouse with Sidhartha and Roget, while Daisy, Elizabeth, and Harvey go to the other bar to talk to Mr. Randolph. They discover little other than that his aboriginal employee seems suspicious of them. At the warehouse, Alexandra has barely broken in and begun to look around when she is surprised by Adrian, Sidhartha, and Roget. She quickly hides under the desk. On the loading dock, a box addressed to the Penhew Foundation is found to contain a strange idol, which Sid chops up with a machete. Randolph’s business ledger is found and taken. Records indicate shipments to and from a Mortimer Wycroft in Cuncudgerie. Another box addressed to Penhew is discovered, containing a strange mechanical device of rods, wheels, and mirrors. Alexandra, caught, reveals that she is not just another missionary. The group trashes the warehouse to simulate a burglary, considers adding arson to their list of crimes, but instead high-tails it back to the boat. There, while Roy is struggling to start the engine, a shadowy figure on the dock throws a dagger and hits Alexandra in the shoulder. The boat steams away as Roget fires his rifle at their attacker.

July 20—As the boat pulls out, a more thorough examination of the Device of Rods, Wheels, and Mirrors is made. Sidhartha figures out how to turn it on, and looks through the eyepiece. He is instantly overcome by what appears at first to be a massive seizure. He spends the rest of the night under sedation. During the day on July 20, Sidhartha is seen to make a thorough examination of his cabin, the ship, and his own body. Grimaces and strange gestures accompany his movements. He is not violent, and seems uninterested in eating, drinking, or talking. The boat arrives in Port Hedland and all debark to go to MacKenzie’s house, except Roy.

July 21—Sidhartha is discovered reading every book and newspaper he is able to get his hands on. The party resolves not to let him look at their “personal library” of interesting tomes. MacKenzie informs them that he has made arrangements for their trip to the outback, and has secured them a guide--David Dodge, a friend of both MacWhirr and Professor Cowles. On the flatcar to Cuncudgerie, the party are struck by the total barrenness of the landscape. Arriving in Cuncudgerie after dark, they go to the Bouncing Marsupial bar to meet with Dodge. While waiting for his arrival, Adrian chats with some Kooris about the markings on the mysterious idol at Randolph’s warehouse. He learns little about that, but gains a rumor concerning crazy white men digging holes in the desert. Dodge arrives, and invites them back to his rooming house. While all are getting settled, he shows them Arthur MacWhirr’s diary.


July 22—A voyage is made to Mortimer Wycroft’s outfitting shop, and much camping gear is purchased. His Koori servants seem very lazy, and Mr. Wycroft is unsettling. £150 is spent on supplies for three weeks. David Dodge makes the arrangements for the Daimler light trucks and petrol. Late in the afternoon, another trip to the Bouncing Marsupial allows Emily to go on a fact finding mission. Unfortunately the facts are somewhat blurred due to the amount of alcohol consumed. A fight nearly erupts, but is patted down by the timely arrival of David Dodge, and all return to the rooming house.

July 23—Gear is paid for and loaded. Emily recovers from her hangover. Sidhartha reads in the background. Alexandra goes to the bar to listen to rumors.

Friday, July 24—Departure at dawn. A drive into the desert, rotating drivers.

July 25—A flat tire, and a tiger snake. Danger danger danger. Fortunately Harvey saves the day.

July 26—Cross a road with many tire tracks, follow it for a distance, then lose it before Nimbarra Well.

Monday, July 27—Follow the Canning Stock Road until midmorning, then seize on an opportunity to cut northward sooner than anticipated. Follow an abandoned road into the destroyed mining camp, and meet Jeremy Grogan and his dingoes. Jeremy tells them of his experience with John Carter and the hideous winged creatures with talons like ropes. He is obviously insane. Spend the night, refill water bags.

July 28—Drive toward coordinates, leaving Jeremy Grogan behind. An ambush in a ravine leaves David Dodge wounded, and 7 cultists dead. Abandoning the cars, the party presses on, led by the one surviving cultist. Another firefight outside a tin shack with a generator inside; the noise attracts an unexpected visitor. The attendant whirlwind smashes Roget nearly to death, and beats down on Siddhartha. All finally take refuge in the shack, and find a staircase going down....

WITHIN THE BLACK CITY TIME IS MEANINGLESS...
The city stretches forth like a vast alien landscape, lit only by lines of tiny electric bulbs disappearing into darkness. Akomo kills a maintenence man, and Dr. Doulat takes his lightning gun. A pit of unspeakable horrors is discovered. A house becomes the scene of another bloodbath as miners and slave drivers put up a fight. Fleeing the scene, our heroes find their way to a mysterious mad scientist's lab. Siddhartha accidentally trips an electrical force field and is instantly killed. Mourning is cut short though, as we see that the force field is containing an alien creature of hideous aspect. Neville and Elizabeth both move quickly to try to destroy it, but it contacts the mind of David Dodge and persuades them otherwise. Finally they decide to liberate the creature, and it provides them with some staggering details on the evil plans of Dr. Huston. It also provides them with two lightining guns, before slithering off into the darkness. The team stumbles on through the darkness, finally finding their way to a giant temple structure containing a mysterious purple dome and statues of horrible entities. Neville and Elizabeth attempt to blow this up, and fail. Undaunted, believing in the power of dynamite to solve all problems, the group lays an explosive trap near the exit stairs. Kerosene, gasoline, and gunpowder combine with spectacular results, and Roget lays down his life at long last for his fellows.

Sunday, August 16—What's left, arrives back at the boat to find Roy, Dale, and a new Chinese companion named Moo Goo Gai Pan all waiting at the boat. The decision is made to return to Shanghai. Roget's body, now exceedingly ripe, is buried at sea along with Harriet.