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Masks – Unexpected help

England, Hitchcock Manor, 22 February 1925

– “Quick ! Follow me ! And do not, I said : DO NOT look behind you.”

John
couldn’t help himself. As he turn around, he felt more than he saw a
cold shadow spreading around the flooded room. Slowly rising from the
mud he woke into, a colossal snake was rising to the roof, dripping mud,
algae and whatever was decomposing in these foul waters. Grotesquely,
this creature had a human face that looked like the face of the spice
shop owner Tefwik.
– “Wha.. How .. Why !?”- “No time ! Come ! screamed Gavigan”

Tefwik’s
face split in two, revealing a protrusion of tentacles, mandibles and
other unnamed appendices. John was paralyzed by the grotesque and
terrifying sight of the creature slowly leaning to him, unable to giggle
a toe. He could smell the foul and putrid stench of the abysmal cloaca
ready to swallow his body and its soul, and yet his body wasn’t
responding.
Suddenly, he felt pulled back, and
dragged in the mud against the flow, then saw the door close itself
thanks to the undertow. That somehow rebooted his mind, and he soon
could started to flee as anyone should reasonably do facing such a
monstrosity. Grabbing his pistol, he shot some round behind as him and
Gavigan were struggling to progress among the floating detritus. They
heard loud banging noises on the door they left. John took a look at Sir
Gavigan. He was dressed like the day they met him at the Penhew
foundation, the exact same costume. As they reach the stairs, John
noticed the entire manor was flooded. They could try to reach a window
and jump outside, but there was a strange glowing fog that felt almost
tangible outside. Sir Gavigan turned to him.

– “We need power objects, artifacts, relics, anything of power !”
– “hu… I dunno ! The attic ?”- “lead the way, this is your dream !”

John
climbed the stairs, followed closely by Sir Gavigan, just in time to
hear a loud cracking noise in the corridor and a wave of mud coming
toward them. He took position and let Edward pass him, then emptied his
round in the mud, to no avail.
– “Here ! I found something !”
Following
the voice, he ran in the fist room with the broken door and saw the
most incredible gathering of magic tools. Everything was as he has ever
imagined, whatever loosely related to the occult it was : walls and
walls of leatherbound grimoires and massive books piled in dust covered
huge shelves, chandeliers, ritual knives, cauldrons, African masks,
bones, marking on the floor, robes, bottles of glowing fluids… They
even was a living black goat munching a tapestry covered in occult
markings !
Sir Edward was already reading from a heavy black grimoire in his hands.

– “Elhoim sabbaoth Nephren-Ka… Grab the sword ! Et Nyarl Ft’hagn sibbo Neth Ka..”
John
dropped his now useless gun and grabbed the sword, which started to
glow and suddenly burst into flames ! Gavigan started to levitate and
runes appeared all around him in the air, shining brightly like his
sword. John heard the sound of the creature approaching and turned
around turned around to face the door, raising his now blazing magical
sword.

As his brother William said, there is a time to think. And there is a time to act.

Pencil doodle on A6 sketchbook
Excerpt from an ongoing run of Call of Cthulhu Campaign : The Masks of Nyarlathotep (London arc)