Portlantic City: Session one rundown, part 2

The quartered doughnuts have been gobbled and the ceiling full of stars has abducted a party member, but the game continues.

This is the second first session run down post. To read from the beginning check out, Portlantic City: Session one rundown, part 1.

Virgil, you okay bro?

Virgil, a little less sane for his travels, is rejoined by the group.

Virgil, a failed salesman and opium addict, is no stranger to high strangeness.

Virgil had been transmitted via the ceiling into a tiny chamber with a door hidden in the west wall of the antechamber.

The chamber is sparsely furnished with only a single, hay filled pallet against the far wall. The walls are covered in a greasy, mildew smelling material and animal bones are strewn across the floor.

Keto thought it prudent to investigate and ended up putting his hand into what was likely corpse juice. His reaction was to order the fragile-minded Virgil to give up his remaining sock.

“But this is my only pair of socks, sir.” Virgil’s voice is shaky and his eyes are ever climbing toward the stars on the ceiling.

Keto snaps his fingers and Virgil reluctantly passes his last sock. Keto is able to successfully remove all of the gunk from his hands.

The group then leaves the small room and goes back to the antechamber to search.

Knuckie the group’s occultist recognizes some of the carvings as belonging to a long-defunct religion (I will have more on this next session).

Eventually the investigators notice a trapdoor in the southeast corner of the room and make Virgil pull it open.

Be aware that the entire time Jenkins has been narrating his version of the adventure into his pocket recorder. The DM is not going to try to recreate that experience because it’s nowhere near as good as the player’s version — If they send some notes over to me, I will be sure to post them.

The sanctuary

The empty square left by the trapdoor glows with an ethereal light, revealing a small, spiral staircase that appears to be made of a delicate crystaline material.

Once the group descends they find themselves in a long, high-ceilinged chamber. Buttresses hold up the walls and ceilings that are made of the same strange material as the antechamber ceiling, a humming, crystal liquid runs down the walls and through tiny crevices in the stone floor, gathering in a small stream that cuts down the middle of the room.

Starry ceilings, shining liquids, it’s all just part of the trip, man.

Pews are lined up on both sides of the stream and at the end of the stream is a large raised pulpit.

The group notices a large cellar door opposite the staircase and finds it locked from the outside. They decide to continue exploring rather than open the door.

At this point, Keto notices the water and examines it. Realizing that it is coming off of the same strange material that caused such chaos earlier, he opts to ask the other investigators if they have anything that can be used to gather some up.

Jenkins has a flask and after choking and crying over trying to drink the whisky within — he stealthily dumps the remainder onto the ground and then hands the empty flask to Keto.

Keto carefully gathers a bit of the water into the flask and caps it, putting it in his pocket.

Virgil decides to continue investigating the water and puts his finger in it. After failing a con save, he falls unconscious and suffers a vivid nightmare of falling through an endless black void.

The group lays Virgil out on a pew and continues investigating, ultimately finding the trapdoor in the pulpit.

They return to Virgil’s side to check on him before deciding whether to continue through the trapdoor or the cellar door.

Virgil regains consciousness

Virgil makes yet another sanity check and again doses himself with some laudanum and the group convinces him to check out the trapdoor on the pulpit.

As the trapdoor opens the group hears a strange muffled whirring cut by the gentle sound of breathing. The hole stinks of mold and water and there is a glow beyond the floorboards bright enough to determine that some large structure is taking up half of the tiny room below.

Overall, the group decides the floor below doesn’t look as if it would hold very much weight so Virgil throws a rock to test the floor.

The rock hits the floor with a wet thwack and tears a hole through the soggy boards. The light glow from below strengthens and the rock eventually hits the ground below the structure with a thud.

The groups approximate reaction upon hearing the screeching from below.

But before the investigator’s eyes can adjust to the light they hear a terrible high pitched noise.

“Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Yasha yells “Nope” and slams the door shut with the help of Knuckie, Virgil, and Keto. Jenkins sulks nearby muttering into his recorder.

The group starts piling things on top of the trapdoor as it rattles and the awful screeching intensifies. The podium and several pews are upended and piled on the raised pulpit.

The group then decides to put some distance between themselves and the pulpit and check out what’s behind the door.

A sweet, gentle boy

Keto shoots the lock off the door because he can and the ricochet just misses multiple members of the group, disappearing into the ceiling.

Virgil is again tasked with opening the door. Keto kneels, his gun cocked and ready.

Yasha, Knuckie and Jenkins are nearby but careful not to step into Keto’s shot.

The door swings open to reveal a hooded figure. The figure is medium height and clothed in a long brown robe. As he steps out into the glow of the sanctuary, the group can see that the robe is brown because it is covered in filth. On his right breast the word “Nate” is embroidered in pink, uneven letters.

Keto in a damned church.

He waves a quill pen at the group and welcomes them to Hepezbah’s garden.

When the group tries to interrogate him about who he is or where they are he responds nonsensically.

Heaven knows why, or by what pertinacious desire, for far-fetched sweets, when, no doubt, there were broad clover-fields, and all kinds of garden growth, much nearer home than this.

Yasha and Knuckie examine the small chamber Nate had been locked in and find a used chamber pot, an inkwell and a stack of papers that appears to be an in-process novel. The title page identifies it as “House of the Seven Gables.”

Keto keeps the gun on Nate as Jenkins — impressed by the articulate prose — attempts to befriend him.

Nate responds by continuing to talk about the garden: “Thither the bees came, however, and plunged into the squash-blossoms, as if there were no other squash-vines within a long day’s flight.”

The group notices that Nate is slowly trying to make his way toward the stairwell and Keto grapples him trying to keep him still so they can continue to interrogate him.

Nate then casts “Create Mist of R’lyeh” and the group is plunged into a dense mist. However through successive checks they are able to find Nate by touch and grasp him.

At this point Keto makes the mistake of shooting him.

Arise lemur, lemur arise

Once Nate takes damage the trapdoor and all the shit stacked on top of it explodes and a tall, sloped creature emerges screeching.

In the confusion, Nate slips away from the group.

Ah shit! It’s a monster!

As the dust settles, the investigators realize they are looking at an non-human creature and have to make a sanity roll.

The creature is a rubbery-skinned humanoid. All visible skin is encrusted in a grey-green mold. It wears a dirty, lemur-style onesie and a top hat. The investigators can see snatches of its odd-shaped head and face framed in folds of blue skin and mold. It wears a pair of oversized, ape-style slippers.

The creature reaches down below the pulpit and pulls a large round object out of the chamber and lobs it at the group.

It is the severed head of Dr. Dresden.

At this point Yasha sighs and points to the obvious, “This is our bigfoot and we probably don’t want to fight him.”

The creature — who Nate refers to as his sweet E’heer as he ascends the stairwell — looks at the group quizzically, tilting its head to the side and making a chirping noise.

The creature seems annoyed but anxious to take off after Nate who is now out of the church altogether.

Through a tense series of rolls group is able to communicate to E’heer that they are on their way out and asks if he has anything for their troubles since they are leaving peacefully and he killed the man that was supposed to pay them.

E’heer gives them some grubby gold coins amounting to roughly $10 and a wet, leather bound book titled “Diary of Reeh’e,” inside is a salacious account of a ghoul furry’s escapades as a horny, horny lemur.

“T-thanks,” Keto says handing the book off to Virgil. He whispers, “We will never read that.”

Virgil raises an eyebrow and tucks the diary into his jacket.

To be continued

This is the end of our party’s Bannock’s Lookout/Church of the Reconfiguration adventure.

Our next session will be a case wrap up and mini-adventure focused on the office environs. If you’re interested in playing this homebrew Call of Cthulhu adventure, check out my RPG page for DM notes and other materials.

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