This is a summary of the Call of Cthulhu Game played at CERN Games Club on 20 and 27 March 2022.
The game is set exactly 100 years ago, in March 1922.
Elaine Gibbson, an academic in London, received the terrible news that her father had been murdered in Scotland, on the outskirts of the town of Gregor, on the shore of Loch Feinn. Her father was a paleontologist working for the British Museum, following up on his theory that some form of prehistoric life—most likely a plesiosaurus—had survived and was living in the loch. His investigations were being obstructed by the local MacAllan clan, who own most of the land around the loch. In his last letters before his death, he said that he felt he was being followed by the MacAllans.
Elaine told this tale to a group of her friends and contacts and together they set off for Gregor to investigate how her father had met his death.
Elaine’s father, Professor Willard Gibbson, had somehow linked the mysterious standing stones around the loch to the hypothesised lake-dwelling creature. The investigators decided to follow up this line of research. They approached Paton MacGuffin, a farmer whose property abutted the lake shore, and hired his rowing boat to visit an island which had one of the standing stones that Prof. Gibbson had been so interested in. Mr. Dewar, an aeronautical engineer, was able to verify that the stone was giving off a strong magnetic field.
Sherlock Johns, a private investigator, was a fearless man of action who decided to swim across the loch and explore the opposite shore, land belonging to the MacAllans. The other investigators decided not to follow this foolhardy venture and returned to Paton’s farm and from there to Gregor.
The next night, Saturday, the investigators approached Sean MacAllan in the Rose of the Highlands pub. Elaine attempted to charm him and persuaded him to take her back to his home—but it was clear that his intentions were not honorable. The rest of the investigators followed and watched as Elaine was taken inside the MacAllan farmhouse. They decided she needed rescuing, so put together a plan. In the tool shed outside the farmhouse there was a jerry can of kerosene. This they poured over the thatched roof of the shed and set alight as a distraction. The investigators took advantage of the resulting chaos to hide at the rear of the house while the MacAllans desperately tried to put out the fire with buckets of water filled from the animal trough.
Oliver, a petty thief and fence who helped Sherlock as a streetwise informant, tried to enter the farmhouse from the back. The door was bolted from the inside. He tried to climb to an upper window which was open, but fell and injured his ankle. His cry of pain alerted Elaine, who had been locked in the upper bedroom. Elaine tied together the filthy bedsheets, squeezed through the small window, and descended safely to join the others. She reported that in the kitchen, she had seen the feet of a man tied to a chair. She couldn’t see his face as there was furniture blocking her view, but she thought it must be Sherlock! (Indeed, he had been captured at gunpoint during his reconnaissance of the MacAllan farm).
Oliver snuck around the front of the building and in through the front door, hoping that the fire was still sufficient distraction. But he was seen by one of the MacAllan men! He slammed the door shut and threw the bolts. He rushed to the bound man—it was Sherlock!—and cut his bonds with his pocket knife. Sherlock had been punched and physically abused but was still able to walk. Oliver and Sherlock rushed towards the back door. One of the windows smashed, and a shotgun barrel poked through. There was a loud gunshot and Sherlock was lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
Meanwhile, around the front of the farm, Blair Reaper (a journalist/photographer) decided to try to create more chaos by releasing the long-haired highland cows from the cowshed. He was also seen as he entered the shed from the front. He squeezed through the cows to the rear of the shed and fired his pistol in the air. The cows began to stampede out of the door of the shed.
One of the MacAllans was trying to get to Blair but was impeded by the herd of cows. Blair sneaked back out the door but was unlucky, tripping and falling prone. As he got to his feet, his adversary had made his way around the cows and was upon him. Desperately, Blair fumbled for his photographic flash to blind his opponent, but found the man standing next to him, pointing the shotgun at his chest. “Dinnae move!” he shouted. Blair hesitated for a second, then quick as a flash, went for his revolver. That proved to be a fatal mistake. The MacAllan pulled the shotgun trigger on Blair at point-blank range, hurling his body backwards before it fell limply to the ground.
Meanwhile, Oliver had left the farmhouse by the back door. Elaine asked, “where is Sherlock?” “Forget him, he’s finished.” grunted Oliver. “It’s time to get out of here.” Unwilling to leave her friend to his fate, Elaine rushed back into the farmhouse to try and save Sherlock. Sean MacAllan was in the kitchen. He pointed at the body on the ground and ordered the womenfolk to “Fix him up. He’s not to die now, but in the proper way.” The women started to clean and bandage the wound.
Unable to do any more, the survivors fled.