Friday, July 22, 2022

Pulp Cthulhu - The Two Headed Serpent (Bolivia Part #2)


Oz the All Knowing (Mystic / Entertainer) 
Nigel Thorne, VC, DSC (Thrill Seeker / Explorer)
Zeke Broda (Grease Monkey / Mechanic)
Ivy Guinness (Outsider / Nurse) 

Concerned their presence may be a danger to the aid camp, the party parts ways with Dr. Gomez and heads to the scene of the recent battle, looking for clues. While passing through the battlefield around the ford, Zeke has the party stop for awhile so he can get one of the abandoned trucks running.  They then drive across the ford and after short search find their first clue; the remains of a large, alien concrete slab destroyed by an artillery shell. It had covered a 40’ diameter well or pit, which under the layers of moss and lichen is covered with strange writings and carvings of unknown origin. The pit is likewise clad in this strange concrete. And has a stairway winding around the perimeter and descending deep into the darkness.  The party enters the abyss warily, and after some 1000 feet come to the bottom. Their flashlights illuminate a series of murals painted on the walls, showing that this location is one of five identical places, at the centre of which was marked a location of some importance. Also shown are strange serpent-men, some using whips to direct hairy giants to build a cone shaped temple. One serpent person is shown holding a scepter and wearing an ornate snake crown. Oz spends some time examining these carvings closely, and learns both some things better left unknown, as well as a smattering of the ancient language scattered among the murals and on the capstone. 

Finishing with the murals, the party begins its trek back up the stairs. And just as they reach the top, a large amorphous shape looms over the edge of the pit, blocking the light of the stars. The light of Nigel’s flashlight reveals a black, protean being; a lump of with hundreds of rudimentary legs. The sight causes Ivy to scream in terror and lunge back down the dark stairs, while the others are horrified to see their bullets have no effect. Nigel makes a small fire of scotch and bandages on the stairs, which makes the creature hesitate. So as the fire burns down, Zeke leaves a lit stick of dynamite. Everyone retreats deeper into the pit as the dynamite explodes and showers them with rubbery, singed flesh. And leaves a gap in the stairs. This Nigel jumps across, hauling a rope with which he pulls the rest of the party across (including the still visibly shaken Ivy) to the surface where they set up camp for the rest of the night. 

Dawn the next morning. The party strikes out to the NW, plotting a course based on their seized map and the information from the mural. After some hours of following pitted, winding tracks, they come upon another of the cement capstones. This one intact. They do not disturb it, instead striking off to the SW to look for another and hopefully thereby pinpoint the centre of the pentagram and the temple. After more slow driving, they come over a low hill and break into open land. In the near distance they see hints of another capstone. But approaching it is a small party of Bolivia soldiers. These spot the truck and unshoulder their weapons. Nigel immediately drops the clutch and slams the accelerator to the floor,  barrelling down the hill at high speed. A few shots ring out, but the fool-hardy aviator slams the truck into the Bolivian sergeant and then into a large dog-creature accompanying the soldiers. The remaining soldiers are cut down by rifle fire and machete blows from the rest of the party. The party loots the bodies of more rifles, ammo, and dynamite. But to their horror they find the sergeant is not a man at all. The collision has torn away his skin, revealing scales and cold reptilian eyes.  The ‘dog’ likewise exhibits a strange mix of mammalian and reptilian features, as well as venomous fangs. 

The party once more ignores the capstone, hurrying off to find the temple. But leave a false map behind to throw off any pursuit. More slow driving brings them to a clearing in the forest. In it sits a strange structure; a conical helix some thirty feet tall, like the tip of a massive stone screw protruding from the ground. Oz climbs the corkscrew exterior but discovers no entrance or clues. The other search the base and likewise come up empty handed. Ivy, however, notes that based on the way the turf and vegetation have been torn away from the base, the ‘screw’ emerged from under the ground only recently. Probably not more than a week ago; which matches with the destruction of the first capstone from artillery fire and release of the guardian from he pit. They surmise that more of the pits needs to be broken open to get access to the temple … 

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