Call of Cthulhu : London

Arrival in London

You take passage from New York to Great Britain on the White Star Line ship Olympic, arriving in Southampton on Saturday 21 February 1925. From there it is a half-day train journey to London.

Investigators with Credit Rating 50+ are staying in the Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, adjacent to Green Park. Those on a more modest budget are lodging at the Cavendish Hotel, 0.2 miles away on Jermyn Street.

For there it’s about a mile and a half to the British Museum and the nearby Penhew Foundation. It’s about 1.7 miles east to Fleet Street, and about the same distance in the other direction to Holbein Mews (home of the artist Miles Shipley). So it’s a good central location for the places you are visiting.

The Shipley House

Miles Shipley’s house is at 6, Holbein Mews, near Sloane Square in Chelsea. Sloane Square itself is quite up-market, but towards the river is predominantly a lower middle-class and working class area. The area houses tradesmen, shopkeepers and those with artistic flair (artists, painters and poets), giving the borough a bohemian air.

The Shipley house is in a terraced row of houses and is a two-storey brick building in need of repair:


You were greeted at the door by an old woman (you guess in her 70s) with a stooped frame, kind eyes and white hair. She led you up to the attic room where you met Miles Shipley, a middle-aged man, thin, with unkempt dark hair and dark bags under his eyes.

Shipley shows you his paintings, which have very disturbing subject matter:



An early 20th century tourist poster from Walton-on-the-Naze :

The Naze Tower is the main landmark as you walk north along the coast. Originally it was a lighthouse, which was built up to its present height in 1796. In the Napoleonic Wars and the Great War, it was a naval signal station.

The Pier

The pier, one of the longest in Britain, is visible in the background of this photo:


The original pier was built in 1830, one of the earliest in the country. It was built for landing goods
and passengers from steamers and was originally 300 ft long (91 m), later extended to 800 feet (240 m).
The pier was badly damaged in a storm in January 1871. In 1895, the Walton-on-the-Naze hotel and pier
company (then owners of the pier) opened a replacement pier 500 ft longer (150 m) than the original.
When the new pier opened, an electric tramway was installed to take passengers from the steamers to
the front of the pier.

More photos of Walton can be found here

Mythos Tomes

You possess the following esoteric books :

The Final Confessions of Gaspar Figueroa

Spanish, written by Gaspar Figueroa, 1543. Octavo, handwritten on vellum.

Stolen from the Museo de Arquelogia y Antropologica of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru in March 1921. Later recovered by Raskolnikov from Luis de Mendoza’s meagre bundle of possessions.

Africa’s Dark Sects

English, by Nigel Blackwell, 1920. Sextodecimo, blue pasteboard covers with marbled endpapers and blue-stained page edges.

Recovered from the basement of the Ju-Ju House in New York. Rebecca Shosenberg tried to read it and had a psychotic episode. Bessie Simons started studying it on 1 February 1925. While in London, she has been using reference works in the British Library to interpret and illuminate its contents.

Written by explorer Nigel Blackwell during his travels across Africa, the book is an odd mix of travelogue and exposé of the ritual practices of a variety of African cults. Although the notes of his travels were obviously turned into a book, no publisher is listed on the title page.

Équinoxe Divisé

French, by Ghyslain D’Aramitz, 1807. Octavo, soft calf leather binding, pages untrimmed.

Recovered by Basile Lerouc from the secret room in the basement of the Penhew Foundation. He started reading it on 25 February 1925.

The book is an account of a French merchant, colonial administrator and explorer telling of his experiences travelling around the world, with particular chapters devoted to cataloguing and comparing regional customs and beliefs in Northern Africa, Asia and Europe. D’Aramitz relishes in describing what appear to be outlandish (possibly fictional) practices concerning farming and hunting; however, these are interspersed with dramatic and chilling folk customs that have the ring of authenticity. A number of apparent medieval rituals, stemming from the south of France, are shown to have dark and murderous origins.

Book of Dyzan

English, author/translator unknown, reputedly of ancient origin. Quarto, bound in goatskin, woven papers, distinct smell of sulphur.

Recovered by Jude Gregson from the secret room in the basement of the Penhew Foundation. As it is a handwritten document in some ancient English dialect, he couldn’t make any sense of it.

Mythos Artefacts

Strange and eldritch items you have picked up during your investigations :

From Mukunga M’Dari’s shabby East-Side room in New York

Three vials of a strange amber liquid

Rashkolnikov opened one of the bottles and had a chemist analyse it, but they were unable to determine what it was. Rashkolnikov drank the rest of the bottle, but this did not reveal what the liquid is either.

From the Ju-Ju House

A carved wooden African mask

It has four hideous faces perched atop a thick, corded neck with a basket-like reed, feather and fabric collar which would hide the wearer’s face.

A burnished copper bowl

Etched with unrecognisable runes and signs.

A headband of grey metal

Various cuneiform-like runes are scratched into the surface of this heavy, curiously-warm metal band.

From the secret room in the basement of the Penhew Foundation


Basile Lerouc recovered several paintings which appear to be in an Egyptian style. The subjects of the paintings are (a) a dark winged thing, leprous and scaly; (b) a winged hulking beast, with a dragon-like tail and a fang-ringed jaw, (c) a group of prowling human-like beings, whose eyes are far too big upon disfigured faces, (d) many red-orange coloured bursts of light, gathering around a tall, dark humanoid, who appears to be on fire.

A 16-inch high sculpture of a fat, dragon-like figure

The head is fringed with tentacles. Jack took this. When he picked it up, an odd tingle passed through his arms and torso.

Two ornate silver daggers

Daniel Masters picked these up. He gave one to Frank Johnson.

Scroll written in Old English

It appears to be a poem of praise to the entity known as the Sand Bat. Dorothy took this. There are also two scrolls written in Medieval French, which mention someone (or something) called the Lord of the Woods.

A Small Stone Jar

It contains a quantity of black-grey dust, like ashes. Jude Gregson took this.

From Misr House

The Headdress of Eyes

A golden headdress in which hundreds of small eyes have been fashioned from gold. Each eye contains a precious gem of varied colour. Rashkolnikov is wearing it.

Boats available in Walton-on-the-Naze

Examples of the type of boat that was available in 1925 : Leader, a sailing boat, and Princess, a motorboat. There are fishing boats and pleasure boats.


Tuesday 3 March 1925

By the seaside

Daniel Masters and Cecil Goulding are enchanted by the quaint English seaside town with its long pier and stalls selling popcorn (closed), candyfloss (closed) and seaside rock with “Walton-on-the-Naze” embedded through its length (closed). They manage to find a man hiring deckchairs on this cold and drizzly March day, and content themselves with sitting on the beach under an umbrella.

After a cholesterol-packed Full English Breakfast in his B&B, Arthur Bell joins Daniel and Cecil on the beach, where he sits deep in thought as the rain drums on his umbrella. He frets about whether cultists might be infiltrating his company, Beyond the Seas. His secretary Amelia worries that the stress is getting to him—he seems to be acting a little paranoid. Amelia suggests that she should help with finding Misr House. “Hm, yes, sounds like a good idea,” murmurs Arthur, not really paying attention.

Later in the afternoon, Cecil goes looking for an arcade with coin pusher machines, before realising that these would not be invented until the 1960s. He consoles himself by going to the Bingo Hall, delighting himself in this game of chance which has not yet reached America. Make a hard Luck check to see if you win.

Meanwhile, Jude Greyson spends the morning walking along the promenade and talking to fishermen and owners of pleasure craft, looking for someone who could take them up the coast to the other side of the peninsula. He is in luck, and finds Syed, the son of the owner of a 20’ motor launch, who says he knows the way. Jude gathers up Jack, Bessie Simons, Frank Johnson, Raskolnikov and Amelia, and by lunchtime they are on their way.

Dorothy, Basile and Timothy all have colds and spend the day huddled in front of the fireplace in their B&B, with their feet in a mustard bath.

Gavigan’s Estate

The motor launch chugs north along the coast, past the Naze Tower on its clifftop promontory, eventually turning to port and entering a wide inlet. Rounding the promontory, the boat turns to the south and skirts the eastern edge of the peninsula. The land is thickly wooded, but the investigators spot a rooftop poking above the tops of the trees. They decide to tie up the boat and make their way to the mansion on foot.

Unfortunately they fail their Navigation check wander off course to the north, emerging in a clearing. In the centre of the clearing is an 8’ tall stele made of black stone, in the shape of a needle. It is covered with hieroglyphics. Raskolnikov spots a recurring cartouche containing the name “Black Pharaoh”. Disturbingly, there are four shackes attached by chains to the base of the stele.

The investigators retrace their steps and this time find their way to the back of the mansion.

Misr House

A man comes around the side of the mansion and goes into a shed. Raskolnikov tries to listen outside the shed but makes too much noise. The man comes around the shed to find out who is there and starts yelling at Raskolnikov that this is private property. In response, Raskolnikov shouts back at the man, brandishing his revolver. The man threatens to call the police and retreats into the house.

A few minutes later, three men, now armed with sticks, come out of the house and start looking for the intruder. Instead they find Frank hiding in the trees. Frank punches one of them in the face and it’s all downhill from there. There is gunfire : one of the men is shot dead, the second is disemboweled on the end of Jude’s swords and the third is on the ground, seriously injured and unconscious. The investigators drag them into the shed.

There are shouts from the side door of the house, as the inhabitants, having heard gunshots, call out to their comrades. There is no answer. The door slams shut. Lights turn on upstairs.

The investigators spend the next minutes trying to cut the phone wire to the house. Eventually they get a rope from the shed, throw it over the telephone wire, and pull it down where they can reach it to cut it. They see someone watching them from an upstairs window.

Next the investigators break in through the back door. Jude climbs over the wooden fence, slips back the bolt and picks the lock on the door. Passing through a utility room, the investigators find themselves in the hallway. They advance cautiously, but as they reach the bottom of the stairs, the doors to either side burst open, and four men rush at them, screaming: the valet (armed with a poker), the butler (armed with the metal bar for holding the drinks cabinet shut), the groundskeeper (armed with a three-pronged garden fork) and the Egyptian cook (armed with a large cooks’ knife).

Raskolnikov is an image of cold-blooded death. He pulls out both his pistols and empties them into the butler. Jack goes crazy, firing at the cook, killing him. This triggers a psychotic episode where he believes all his friends are in league with the cultists. He empties his remaining rounds into Jude, who slumps to the ground. Frank sustains a serious wound to his stomach when he is impaled with the gardening fork. The valet and the groundskeeper soon share the fate of their comrades.

Syed administers first aid to Jude, but it’s clear that he is in a critical condition. Frank is bandaged up and says he is well enough to drive. There is a box by the front door with a set of keys hanging on a hook inside. Out in front, under a taurpaulin, a Bentley Blue Label tourer is parked. They take it. Raskolnikov, Bessie and Syed remain behind to search the house.

The car drives a mile or so to a metal bridge, before crossing over to an area of dry land surrounded by a dyke and eventually reaching the front gate of the estate, where a single watchman huddles in a shelter. Seeing the car stop by the gate, he comes over to see who it is. He is shocked to see Frank at the wheel, someone he doesn’t recognise. Frank doesn’t give him a chance to think, punching him in the face. As the man staggers back, Frank yells at him to open the gate! Rolls 01 on Intimidate, succeeding for the first time ever. Too stunned to argue, the man opens the gate and the car drives away into the night.


Chelmsford is a small town with a population of around 20,000.

As Frank drives through the night, Jude lapses once more into unconsciousness. His friends revive him and they make it to Chelmsford and Essex Hospital and Dispensary. Luckily a surgeon is on hand and Jude’s condition is stabilised. Frank also receives medical treatment. Exhausted from their ordeal, they spend the night at the hospital.

Chelmsford and Essex Hospital and Dispensary, New London Road, Chelmsford. This general hospital was erected in 1882-3 as an infirmary and dispensary, and comprised a two-storey administration and ward block with, at the rear, an adjoining single-storey dispensary annexe. Both buildings were of brick, with dressings of stone, and the architect was F. Chancellor. The hospital was reconstructed and enlarged in 1909 by Keith Young, who erected a new, modern ward unit on the site of one of the original wards and greatly improved the sanitary facilities.

Other Chelmsford trivia: In 1899 Marconi opened the world’s first radio factory in Chelmsford. In 1912 he built a new purpose-built factory.

Looting Misr House

After the swift departure of their injured friends, Raskolnikofv, Bessie and Syed are left to search for any hints in the manor detailing about the giant obelisk within the grounds, and why there had been a photo of this very place in the Penhew Foundation. They scan the house from top to bottom, finding nobody…
In the master bedroom, Raskolnikofv discovers an Egyptian style headdress, fashioned from gold and detailing hundreds of tiny eyes, each embedded with a different valuable gemstone. He decides to put this on. In the wardrobe, he discovers many robes, each identical with a long hood and sleeves. Syed is notified and the two adorn themselves as cultists.

Meanwhile, still no trace of any of the female servants is found. The three descend to the main hall, which contains an intricate fireplace alongside two suits of chainmail armour. After a brief examination, they attempt to search inside the suits. The first proves fruitless, but the second opens a small room they remember reading about in Chelmsford’s library.
A priest hole. They assume that the remaining servants would be found here, however this is not the case. They search around, surprised. They exit the small room and wonder if they’d simply missed the switch in the first suit of armour. This suspicion was correct. Upon descending the flight of stairs that appeared, the group found itself in what appeared to be a torture room. Horrific devices adorned the walls, thumb screws, cat’o nine tails, branding irons, the whole agonizing lot. However, as they turned a corner in that room, they found what they were looking for.

Rows upon rows of iron barred cells stood before them, most empty, but the one they had been searching for; two young Chinese women, locked in one. Note that although Bessie has a gentle appearance, Syed and Raskolnikofv were still dressed as cultists. Needless to say, the women were petrified. The group unlocked them and the women sprinted. Content enough to have at least let them go, the group continued searching. Upon the opening of a solid wooden door, they discovered a single male prisoner chained to the wall. This man was of course terrified of their attire, but after a brief conversation and a failed attempt to free him from his shackles, he introduced himself as Kevin.

Syed picks up the sound of four sets of footsteps slowly descending the stairs, and the group closes the door to the small room they’re in and hope for the best. Luckily for them, the opposing team are extremely unobservant and leave without question. Our small huddle of cultists takes their cue to leave and after stripping the room of all its valuables, and picking up another three men, they make a break for the exit. Instead of proceeding out the door they came in from, or actually any door at all, they agree that it is a much better and safer idea to jump out the window instead. After Syed is lowered down, a group of armed men approach her and start attacking. Bessie and Kevin try to pull her back up, while Raskolnikofv empties his two pistols into the men.
After a short combat, the team decides to make a run for it. They head for the trees. Under the shelter of the foliage and a good few minutes running, the group find themselves lost, but assume that they are safe. This is false.

Roll for sanity

The night is dark and cloudy, there are no stars for Syed to orientate herself with, and all is quiet at the exception of the slight breeze. Out of nowhere, the breeze picks up. It becomes rythmatic. A shadow darkens the already pitch black of the swamp. A constant beat, like large, leathery wings. The group dares to look up. This sight, however, is not without consequence.

A humongous worm-like creature, embellished with scales and two gigantic bat-like wings. It bears no eyes, simply one massive mouth to consume its prey. It hovered for a moment over the group, before diving. It snagged up one of the men with it’s tail, and in an instant, it was gone again. The party had been shocked into silence, minus one brave man. Despite Raskolnikofv’s best efforts, all six of his bullets ricochet off the creature’s scaley surface. He reloads his gun in anticipation.

Completely lost, the party stumble back upon the mansion, and once again, the creature is present. It descends upon the party. Once again they are lucky, and only one man is taken. Syed, now aware of his bearings, successfully guides the group through the forest, and they manage to reconvene with his boat. The swamp ends, and freedom is within sight! However, the beating wings have returned once again…

Syed makes a dive for her boat to start it up, and Raskolnikofv takes aim. With one critical shot he pierces the thick suit of scales that the creature bares, but it doesn’t seem to even flinch. The massive beast turns and grabs out for Kevin, and despite his best efforts to escape, the creature had him within his grasp and he was carried away…
The party, exhausted from running and bewildered at the sight they had just witnessed, climbed into the boat, and Syed guided them back to Walton-on-the-Naze.

Saying goodbye to Walton-on-the-Naze

Finally safe, or safe for now, they head to the Chelmsford and Essex Hospital and Dispensary to meet up with the rest of the group. Frank is now doing pretty well, Jack feels much better after a good night’s rest and some calming tea, and Jude is finally stable and just about able to retain consciousness.

The party decides that they would be a lot safer if they didn’t stay in Walton-on-the-Naze, especially since the car they had stolen from Misr house was still parked outside the hospital. They left on the first train up north that morning, and safely arrived in Derby.
The next morning paper detailed a robbery on Misr House, including the deaths of the four servants, but strangely enough, nothing on any of the cultist activity or deaths of three of the assailants.

The group spent two weeks in Selly Oak, most recovering, a couple gathering information or supplies a couple enjoying the tranquility of a suburban town.
After an (almost) complete recovery of the two tanks, the team moved up to Derby, and started putting into motion a plan to investigate Henson Manufacturing, an industry which doesn’t seem the least bit suspicious…


Derby is in the Midlands, on the banks of the river Derwent, population around 130,000. It is one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and is a hub for industry and manufacturing.

You can travel around town by electric tram or by taking a cab.

Henson Manufacturing

Henson Manufacturing is on Uttoxeter Road, on the edge of town on the way to Mickleover.

There are two gates, the Main Gate for vehicles and horse-drawn carts (closed) and a smaller pedestrian gate which is open. A couple of watchmen sit in a booth by the pedestrian gate.

Through the wrought-iron main gate you can see two large brick buildings beyond, and two smaller buildings. Workmen cross the courtyard in small groups, carrying tools or pushing wheelbarrows full of metal parts. The parts seem to come from the Big Shed and are headed for the Workshop.

If you haven’t yet decided where to go for your summer holiday, the Guardian is recommending a trip to the idyllic seaside resort of Walton-on-the-Naze.

Dorothy will read a book while crocheting

The book you are reading is titled, The Great Pyramid in Fact and in Theory by William Kingsland, published by Paternoster House in London. It has a lot of structural details of the Great Pyramid in Giza (lengths and positions of the passages and chambers, angles, ascending, descending passages, galleries, etc.) before going into some esoteric and occult theories.

Kingsland is known to Bessie Simons: he was previously an engineer before becoming an occultist. In 1879 he entered the School of Submarine Telegraphy in London. After finishing school he worked for the newly established Telephone Company in London and later for the Brush Electric Light Company. During the Great War, he joined a Volunteer Regiment to offer his knowledge in signalling. In the 1920s he became active in the Theosophical movement.

Sunday 22 March 1925

Chaudhary’s Warehouse

The investigators spent a restless night at a Limehouse flophouse, during which a thief made off with Jude’s swords. Jude jumped up in pursuit but lost the man in the foggy streets outside. Cursing his luck, Jude and the others regrouped outside the flophouse. It was the wee small hours of Sunday morning, and they decided it was time to make their move on Chaudhary’s warehouse.

The investigators backed their truck up against the warehouse. The lascars dozing outside the gates stirred, and angrily approached the front of the truck, shouting at the drivers to “clear orf”. While Arthur and Cecil argued with him, Jude took advantage of this distraction to slip out of the back of the truck and deftly pick the padlock on the warehouse gate.

Jude slipped inside, followed by Bessie, Basile, Jack and Daniel. Pulling the door closed behind them, they heard some more shouting from outside, followed by the sounds of the truck driving off. They spent the next couple of hours exploring the warehouse, opening boxes and examining their contents : spices and exotic foodstuffs, illicit firearms, opium, antiquities and other possibly-stolen goods, and several boxes of machine parts like the ones they had discovered in Derby. There was also a box of explosives labelled for delivery to “Anton Chekov”.

The Thing in the Fog

Running out of time, and wanting to escape while it was still dark, the investigators found a rope and a ladder which they propped against a wall up to one of the skylights. A thick fog cloaked the outside of the warehouse, dampening all sound. They clambered out onto the roof and lowered the rope down to the waterfront side of the building. Behind them on the warehouse floor, Jude was wiring a fuse to the crate of explosives and unspooling it across the floor.

One by one the investigators made their descent down the side of the building. There was a disturbing movement nearby, a ripple in the fog, but nothing could be seen. Bessie anxiously searched the darkness but could see nothing. Suddenly she felt unable to breathe. It felt like something was blocking her throat. With a rising sense of panic, she flailed in the fog but still couldn’t see what it was. Something was squeezing itself into her mouth. Choking, she slashed helplessly in the air, to no avail. She could feel herself beginning to slip out of consciousness.

Suddenly, a bright light flashed, illuminating the glittering outline of a hideous shape withing the fog. Basile was waving his flashlight. Bessie stared in horror at an amorphous form sprouting dozens of ethereal tentacles. She tried to scream, but was silenced by the tentacle which was filling her mouth and throat.

More lights flashed. The others were now following Basile’s lead, waving their torches and pointing them at the blob. It jerked and recoiled from the light, rising up into the fog, trailing its invisible tentacles behind it. Bessie gasped and fell into a fit of coughing, yeilding to the others as they pulled her by the arm towards the water’s edge. She was guided into some kind of barge tied to the mooring.

As the boat pushed away into the murky water of the Thames, there was a deafening roar of disintegrating glass and metal as the roof of the warehouse exploded upwards, pushed up by the rising fireball within. Bessie watched as fog boiled and the light of the fire briefly illuminated the terrible Thing in the Fog floating in the air above the warehouse. No-one could hear Bessie’s scream above the terrible noise of the exploding warehouse.

A moment later, Bessie was engulfed by darkness and cold. She could no longer see. Everything was confused. As she blacked out, she realised she must have involuntarily jumped into the river…

The Cold Light of Dawn

Bessie blinked against the daylight. The fog had passed along with the night’s terrors. Now she was cold, numb and hungry, but thank God, still alive! She struggled to her feet: her clothes were torn, dirty and soaking wet. She patted her pockets, desperately seeking her precious morse key… gone! Carried away into the river’s dark currents. And her book—also missing.

Angry and despondent, Bessie let her practical side take over to take stock of her situation. It seemed that she had not travelled far. She could see the warehouses of Limehouse a mile or two upstream, still crowned by a plume of smoke from last night’s fire. She thought she could remember how to walk to Arthur’s offices from here.

Tuesday 24 March 1925

The search is taking the investigators to their next destination: Cairo. England has become a bit too dangerous, with the risk of being hunted down by the police as well as by murderous cultists.

Arthur arranged for the group to hide in the hold of one of the regular cargo ferries to Calais, to avoid detecttion by the British customs authorities.

Epilogue: Waiting for the train in Calais

Bessie stood with the others on the train platform, waiting for the 12:15 to Paris. She was wearing fresh, clean clothes, but inside still felt corrupted and violated. Her mind could not so easily forget the horrors she had experienced.

As they boarded the train, she was lost in introspection. Her mind turned back to that night. What had really happened? Suddenly she was confronted with a vision—a leering face above her!

It was a man… Edward Gavigan… grinning above her as he reached down and plucked the book—her book—Africa’s Dark Sects from her coat pocket. “I will take care of this,” he spat, in his clipped English accent. “Though it’s small compensation for all the troubles you have caused me.” He slipped the book into his pocket, then reached inside his jacket to pull out a long, slender knife. “You and your friends are going to meet a Very. Sticky. End.” These last words came out with hard staccatto punctuation.

Bessie was paralysed by fear. Gasping for air, she was overcome by a wave of dizzyness. Was her life about to end, here on a dirty Limehouse wharf? There was a shout from further down the dockside. Gavigan glanced up at the noise, then scowled and melted into the shadows. Bessie fainted back into sweet oblivion.

Was this a suppressed memory? A dream? A vision? How did Gavigan know about the book? Could it be that he had somehow summoned the terrible Thing in the Fog into being? Was he some kind of sorceror? Bessie was lost in her tortured thoughts as the train clacked through the French countryside towards the City of Lights.