Mansions of Madness

The Sanatorium - Part 3
All the pieces fall into place


The group debate what their next steps should be as dawn finally arrives. The good Doctor, despite his paranoia, advices everyone to take a shot of Benzedrine in order to avoid the necessity of sleep. He then wisely sets about administering to the needs of the surviving patients while Eileen shuts herself away in the library to make a concerted effort to translate the Castro manuscript. The Prof and Chet decide to make themselves useful and make breakfast for everyone but are attacked by deranged Blanche, who is fortunately not so deft with a kitchen knife. The prof loses it and near beats the old lady to death while Chet flounders around uselessly with his butter fingers. The Doc rushes to the old lady’s aid and manages to get her away to safety.

There is a brief search of the island once more and an Elder Sign is found riveted to the keel of the wrecked clipper and removed by the professor. Most of the day is spent with Eileen repeatedly trying to make sense of the manuscript and the Doc and Prof attempting to psychoanalyze the special patients. After many hours of unsuccessful attempts the investigators finally make some ground. Eileen learns from the Castro manuscript that “Those Who Wait” appeared in the land of the Pharaohs and visited destruction until they were confronted and destroyed by the priestess Annephis of the Temple of Bast. “TWW” moved by night, fearing Ra, and also shunned the rushing water. Annephis drove the creatures into the Nile using special stones that she carried.

The Prof and Doc spend considerable time with Allen Harding, the mad poet, and learn that he has summoned an entity through the gate on his cell wall and that it intends to devour everyone. Moving on to treat Darlene they manage to regress her through her previous lives and reach her incarnation as Annephis who then tells them they must drive the entity into the sea using the power of the Elder Sign.

Once more it is time to give the patients their medication and the group make the decision to move everyone downstairs for safety and to daub the doorways with the protective Elder Sign. Blanche is resistant to the investigator’s efforts and is forcibly sedated and moved downstairs but upon returning for Carla they find her cell door open and the room empty. Putting two and two together the group rush off to the sacrificial rock. As they approach the ominous place they see Carla being led towards the rock by the insane attendant, Charles Johnson. The group fires shots at Johnson and he calmly turns and walks towards them with his axe. The investigator’s keep firing but keep missing and finally Johnson reaches Chet and raises his axe…………


The Sanatorium - Part 2
The thin veil of sanity begins to tear


The group spends a few moments dithering about lights and locked doors before finding the bottle to venture outside. They decide to postpone visiting the generator and opt for checking up on Ebenezer down at the jetty. Upon arriving there they find the old sailor brutally murdered (they recover an occult symbol from his body) and there’s no sign of the boat or their luggage.

Heading back up to the sanatorium they spend a lot of time deciding on which side of the building they should take to approach the generator. They quickly check in on Darlene and learn that they’ve had a visitor – suddenly they feel safer outside and resume their journey. Rounding the back of the building they discover a dessicated cat and an open doorway into the sanatorium (making a mockery of any door locking activity). They make their way to the outhouse and generator, locate the fuel, discover that an axe is missing, successfully refuel and restart the generator.

About to return to the main building they hear once more terrible screaming and sinister chanting from somewhere on the island as well as a distant red glow. The investigators decide that they will confront the threat head on and travel into the woods towards the source of the terrifying noise. 20 minutes later they emerge from the woods and discover a sacrificial rock complete with the butchered remains of two men – who they learn to be James Shelly (bird-watching student) and Colonel Billings (senile patriot and sanatorium inmate). They then decide to follow the road around the island and back to the sanatorium – looking to discover anything out of the ordinary. The next thing they encounter is James Shelly’s wrecked campsite and the nearby ship wreck (recovering a journal and gun). They then come across a disused lighthouse but are unable to explore all its floors (deciding that caution is the wisest course of action). They then arrive back at the main building.

Once they are back inside the lit sanatorium they decide to conduct a thorough search of the building, starting with the basement. Down below they discover a number of utility rooms, a staff sleeping quarter, and the special patients’ rooms. They find the mad poet, Allen Harding, wounded in his cell, seemingly delirious, a strange and familiar symbol painted in blood on his wall. They successfully treat him for his wounds but their attempts to learn anything from him are futile as he is currently too deranged to undergo the professor’s psychotherapy session. The group then decide to finish up searching the building and locate the laundry room where they discover a dying woman with terrible wounds – all these shocks and the pressure of the situation are beginning to tell on the investigators as Dr Freeman and the professor both begin to suffer from the toll on their sanity (suffering temporary paranoia and a form of schizophrenia respectively).


The Sanatorium - Part 1
"Who are you people?!"


The adventure begins with an innocent invitation from an old university friend of the Professor, the esteemed Dr Brewer, to stay for a week at the sanatorium on lonely North Island. The four investigators are duly picked up from the mainland by the old sailor, Ebenezer, who regales them with his fanciful tales of mermaids and jungle temples. Unimpressed, the group arrive at the island and leave the old salty sea dog to take the luggage up the cliff by himself.

The group are simultaneously attacked and met at the door by two inmates. Apparently the Dr is having a nap and the group are told to wait in the library, but they quickly smell a rat and a quick snoop into the adjoining living room reveals the hideously murdered body of Nurse Ames. Ignoring both the sounds of distant screams, chanting and old Blanches’ instructions, they head up to the first floor and conduct a quick sweep of the living quarters, the highlight of which is the use of their intellect and super-sleuthing skills to inspect a pair of discarded panties and determine that the Dr has been busy with Nurse Ames when off duty.

The group then decides that they will search the offices on the first floor and quickly discover that Dr Brewer has also been hideously sacrificed. The Dr’s office turns up a veritable treasure trove of information about the staff, patients and the good Dr’s research. They also find the Castro Manuscript – but can they find the time and skill to make good use of it?

Bombarded with new information the group heads downstairs at Blanche’s summons with the plan of sedating all the patients and thereby ensuring that they don’t become a nuisance. Some of the group spot a disturbing sight – a male nurse sitting at a desk with his head twisted back – but this fails to impress the jaded investigators and they don’t even bother pointing it out to their colleagues or checking it out (!!!). The group’s ham-fisted attempts at persuading the poor patients to take the strange new pills (being administered by the strange new people) serves only to alienate them from everyone, including Blanche, who they then attempt to assault. Prior to ransacking the patient’s belongings the group are plunged into darkness. They remember that they met a girl in the library and stop in to check on her and learn that she is Darlene, one of Dr Brewer’s “Special Patients”; they also learn that the outage is probably due to the outside generator not being maintained.


The Plantation - Part 3
Session 3

The group decide that they will explore outside further but before they can leave the house Caleb returns. He is surprised and angered to find them still present. He warns them to remain inside the house for the rest of the night before locking himself in his room. The investigators quickly determine that the crafty plantation owner has snuck outside and that the assembled crowd has moved off into the night. They decide to follow but upon opening the front and back doors they come under fire. No sooner has the gunfire started then it stops and they discover that an unearthly large serpent has killed their assailants.

About to resume their journey in pursuit of the cult procession they are confronted by a deranged Elihu who has also made the mistake of asking Elly for a Mint Julep. Under the spell of the love potion he does his mistress’ bidding and stabs Professor Andrews in the arm and immediately attacks the others. Dale manages to land a solid crack on Elihu’s head with his rifle butt yet before the fight can commence further they are saved again by the huge serpent which strikes Elihu swiftly and lethally.

The group quickly race in pursuit of the procession once more via the sharecropper’s village and decide to check on Joe’s cabin en-route. In doing so they are confronted by the deceased boy and his zombie mother and a savage fight for survival ensues. Dale’s cowardice sends him fleeing in terror and he leaves his companions to face the threat alone. The zombie’s inflict terrible injuries to the remaining men and they come close to death. Fortunately they manage to subdue their attackers just in time with well aimed blows and pistol shots.

Bloodied and battered, except Dale (who has returned to face his companion’s ire and insults), the group finally catch up to the procession and follow it into the swamps until they arrive at a large clearing. They behold an awful sight and it is Dale who first realises that what they are involved in has nothing to do with Obeah or Dambala and this is soon confirmed by cries and praise to Yig – The Father of Serpents. The crowd of snake worshippers behold their priest, Caleb, atop of a monstrous granite altar. Amongst them walks Elly, the snake priestess, and the Serpent Man (The emissary). They also see that Joe’s sister, Cassy, is chained to the altar.

As the obscene ceremony commences the investigators witness a number of the attendant cultists suddenly being snatched from beneath the ground. The investigators remember what they were instructed to do by the emissary and quickly decide to follow the path of the hell-holes down into the bowels of the earth. As they filter one by one into the ground the professor and the artist witness the brutal sacrifice of Cassy at Caleb’s hands.

The group finally emerge into a dark cavern and are quickly greeted by screams and cries of distress from somewhere in the darkness ahead. They venture forth, determined to face the danger head on and are met with a terrible sight. In the large central chamber of a massive subterraneous temple they spot the abducted cultists being ripped and torn apart by the soulless reptilian homunculi of the ageless serpent sorceress, S’ssruxxa. Offended by the sight the reporter and artist venture forward but not before the impulsive student fires his rifle at the minor deity. Enraged, she responds with a powerful Mind Blast that sends Dale to the brink of madness. More homunculi emerge to protect their creator and they tear the artist apart before the others’ eyes. They are all about to meet the same awful fate when a surging carpet of snakes suddenly overwhelms the entire chamber and the awful and powerful great old one – Yig, materialises onto the earthly plane.

A titan struggle between the great old one and the minor deity ensues and the surviving group members find themselves transported to a dream realm to witness the mating of Yig with his unwilling bride. The sorceress is killed in instantaneous child birth and before Yig departs with his young he passes judgment and bestows his blessings on the investigators. Chet, the reporter, has been the most loyal and is duly anointed as a follower of Yig and receives power and spells as well as the bonds of protection from the serpent god. The professor has also played his part well and receives a boon. The wayward student however is not so lucky. Yig is undeceived by Dale’s feeble denials and turns the young man into a Child of Yig – a huge serpent. Dale slithers off into the dark depths never to be seen or heard from again.

Chet and Professor Andrews emerge back to the surface and make their way back to the manor house to be greeted by Professor Albert Gist who informs them of everything that transpired that night, including the death of his brother by the arrival of Yig. Buoyed at having survived the terrible night the two investigators take the train back north to safety and to face the unsuccessful enquiries of Dale’s worried parents.


The Plantation - Part 2
Session 2

The investigators repair the bridge and head into the plantation. They observe a large mansion that has seen better days and a run-down hamlet inhabited by share-croppers. They are met at the door by Old Ben the butler and also meet Aunt Bess the Gist nanny and house-keep. They then observe Elly, a very attractive but aloof maid. They meet Caleb Gist and are taken on an extensive tour of the plantation grounds before having a evening meal and enjoying some idle banter. The artist, Hudson, spends much of the next day resting and regaining some much needed health.

During the evening they check out the study and the inquisitive reporter, Chet, closely inspects the books that Albert Gist had shown interest in. Chet uncovers five occult tomes – an original Spanish language book written by a Franciscan monk about the snake worshiping religion of native indian tribes; an english translation of the book; two volumes of Papa Shapo and a diary of Findley Gist that detailed the horrendous experiments he conducted on unfortunate slaves. These books contained spells in relation to Kukulcan and Dambala snake worship and shook Chet’s sanity but also gained him some Cthulhu mythos awareness too.

Dale spots a strange man staring at him from across the garden but decides against approaching him. That night the investigators suffer torrid dreams of writhing masses of snakes and wake in the middle of the night to find an emissary of a snake god in their rooms. The Hougan snake priest appears to be unearthly and informs the investigators that they have been summoned to the plantation to perform the will of the Master. The snake god’s ritual offerings are being stolen by another party and the group is instructed to attend tomorrows ceremony and follow the route back to the offender’s lair and confront them.

The next day the group resist Caleb’s suggestion to leave early and happen to see Joe at the study window. The young boy informs them that his sister is being held under armed guard in their shack when suddenly his mother appears from the tree line and heads towards him. The canny investigators realise straight away that her movement is the same as the zombie they had encountered earlier and whisk Joe inside while the bold and protective Professor steps outside to ward of the undead woman. The old academic lands a series of effective blows with his trusty walking stick while the other two investigators begin to hurl objects at the creature. Being stupid and carried away with youthful vigour, Dale throws the terrified youngster into his mother’s arms. The zombie seizes its prize, turns and heads back into the woods, vainly pursued by the Professor. The group manage to see both the boy and his mother sink into the depths of the river – a scene that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Wracked with guilt the group decide to make amends by freeing Joe’s captive sister but not before they foolishly promise Caleb that they will leave within the next hour. Unfortunately the locals are keeping too keen an eye on them and their movements are detected and their ways blocked. They return to the mansion to find a throng of people milling about outside and tables, food and drink laid out as if for a festival. They spot two strangers amongst the crowd but the reporter is off-form and fails miserably to communicate with them. Meanwhile the Professor asks the wrong girl for a drink and suffers the side effects from a dodgy mint julep. Albert Gist talks them all into staying for the night of the ceremony.


The Plantation - Part 1
Session 1

Albert Andrews – Professor of Psychology, Chet Baker – Journalist, Dale Bateman – Student & Hudson Pratt – Artist, are all traveling from Providence RI to Arkham as the Professor is due to give a guest lecture at Miskatonic University the next day.

As they drive through the town a young black boy darts out into the road and is knocked down. the boy is suffering from an injured leg. Upon talking to him they learn that he is from a plantation down in South Carolina and that his sister has been kidnapped. The boy – Joe, convinces them to take him to Professor Albert Gist who is the brother of the plantation owner – Caleb Gist.

They meet at Professor Gist’s house and learn from the southern gentleman that his wayward brother is dabbling in voodoo-black magic. The student goes wandering on his own round the back of the house and gets promptly clubbed and knocked unconscious. Suddenly shots are fired into the house and an assailant barges in and tries to abduct Joe. The group singularly fail to stop the intruder but fortunately Professor Gist lands a powerful blow and frees the boy. After the attack the police come and statements are taken. Professor Gist persuades the group to accompany him south.

The group travel south by train, all the time aware their every move is being watched by strange southern folk. During the journey a massive zombie bursts into the carriage and begins to systematically throw the investigators out of the moving train window. Fortunately the quick thinking reporter pulls the stop chain, since the zombie succeeds in throwing most of them out; the artist receives a bad head injury – but once again Professor Gist saves the day and lands a powerful blow with a rifle butt and caves the creature’s skull in. Another chat with the law follows but eventually they arrive in Charleston where they spend the night.

The next day the Journalist does some background checks at the library and learns more about the dark religion of the former-slaves and a recent murder of a detective connected to the Gist plantation. Professor Gist’s friend, Elihu arrives with his brand new car and takes the group to the plantation. On the way they stop off at the sheriff’s office in Walterboro and Professor Gist informs the lawman that he is returning home for the next couple of days with the group.

They refuel at the general store and meet Reverend Hilson who is vehemently against the unholy practices that take place at the plantation. He warns the group not to go there. Joe leaves the group and says he will be back in touch and that his shack is the one with the blue door. The group then leaves the store and travel onwards until they reach the bridge and discover that some of the spans have been removed. As soon as the car comes to a halt shots ring out. The artist is hit again and suffers more damage to his tender noggin. Elihu receives a bad hit to the arm. The student returns fire. Suddenly there is silence. Two of the group quickly set about repairing the bridge while the other two cower in fear in the car; clearly things are taking a toll and they are beginning to fear for their safety. Brave Professor Gist ventures forward to discover the origin of the gunfire and discovers the body of the assailant. He is joined by the reporter and student who notice that the corpse is already turning black and the cause of death appears to be two puncture marks on the calf.



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