Masks of the Dreamer: Howling Wind It’s actually been several weeks since I wrote up my Trail game and we’ve got quite a bit further along than last time. In order to keep things coherent, I’ll describe the ending to Howling Wind and then the next investigation in a separate post! In any event, when the game resumed we had to deal with the approach up the mountain and how the investigators wanted to do things. After some debate, it was decided to flatly ignore most of the other camps and other things from the previous map, going straight for the objective: The Cyclopean Door. Of course there were far worse things than just Migou and warring cultists on this mountain, which was heralded by the arrival of a terrible high pitched screeching wind beginning to “pursue” the investigators. This wind, with accompanying strange blue eyes in the thick snowy blizzard, voices that encouraged the investigators to just lay down and die and *terrible* cold caused them to immediately start hiking faster. With the wind growing more intense and louder with every passing hour, the investigators *narrowly* made it up the mountain and into the main cavern where the Cyclopean Door was located. As an added bonus because they started running soon enough, they managed to get there with Alfonso the Yak still in tow! Inside of this place, the investigators realized that there was a strange circular door up ahead with odd carvings of insectoid like creatures on the walls. The extremely long – over 600′ – corridor rapidly condensed in space and time, allowing them to get all the way down it in mere moments (A highly disorientating effect). Within were two sights of significance to the investigators and particularly Anastasia. The first was Anastasia’s father Yaroslav (bound to a wheelchair after his “accident” some years back), who she had traveled here to find with another member of the Order of Dagon, as well as a mechanical device in the room resembling a long black cylinder freely floating above the floor and extending well up towards the ceiling. Yaroslav feigned surprise when he saw his own daughter and her friends, but once his Order of Dagon partner moved to confront the investigators he had no qualms about shooting the man right in the back. With this out of the way Anastasia had a terse conversation with her father, while the rest of the investigators began to look around the room to discover that this strange cylinder was what the other cultists had referred to as “The Telescope”. The exact way it worked was unknown, but the sextant – yes, the same one that Ian Hawke had taken all the way back at the start – was here and apparently key to getting the machine to show the Order where R’Leyh was. Unfortunately for the Order, Anastasia had the key required to actually operate the thing in the first place thanks to Yaroslav’s meddling (hence him only feigning surprise earlier). Now things got somewhat tense, as Maggie and Eve began fiddling with the telescope, while Keith found spare parts for one of the strange “camera boxes” that the Migou reportedly used. Anastasia meanwhile continued to confront her father and got into a considerably heated discussion (Ah, family). Maggie and Eve, with the key Anastasia had, enabled the machine to function and began to use the sextant on the control panel near the top of the device. Keith repaired the camera box successfully, which is kinda strange how an ordinary person would even begin to know how to repair an alien device… Finally, Anastasia escalated things a bit with her father and then the actual “Telescope” roared to life as Maggie and Eve figured out how to make it work. The strange machine didn’t show where R’leyh was directly, but created an impressive image that when interacted with imprinted the location of a wreck. A U-Boat, somewhere off the coast of iceland and inside it were charts, documents and several strange artifacts. It turns out someone had already figured out where the city of the Dead Dreamer lay: Fortunately the German crew had not managed to successfully get this information back to anyone before their sub was sunk and then lost to the deep waters of the Atlantic. Until now that is. At this point I decided to inject some further drama into the scene by having some of the Esoteric Order of Dagon soldiers turn up and then Yaroslav took the chance to betray the investigators (it’s a bit of a hobby I concede) by pulling a gun on his own daughter. This made for some great tension and drama, especially as the soldiers became rather confused as to who to listen to but then decided to just grab a copy of the telescopes map (which if the investigators had let them would have been bad). Not realizing that Keith’s camera box was an actual lethal weapon, or that Maggie and Eve were armed, they didn’t focus much on the investigators until the familiar sounds of gunfire were heard throughout the chamber. Yaroslav got shot by Anastasia and then used some kind of magic to drain her, while Maggie and Eve generally attacked the Order of Dagon soldiers, stabbing one and shooting another. Keith meanwhile piledrived the remaining soldier and knocked him out cold, thankfully avoiding a lot of return fire. Shoving her father off his chair and then pointing a gun right at him, where Yaroslav dropped a huge bombshell: Anastasia’s mother wasn’t dead! Refusing to answer further questions, Anastasia eventually gave into the desires of her secret drive and shot Yaroslav dead. This caused her to stagger like she had a headache, much to the confusion of the others, but they decided they couldn’t just leave this chamber intact. Taking some munitions, grenades and some unexploded ordinance the other players hatched up a plan to blow the entire place up. Naturally this didn’t have quite the desired effect, with the telescope being entirely undamaged and the other devices equally being unimpressed. The rest of the cavern didn’t come off so lucky and began to entirely collapse, with the investigators needing to pile out avoiding falling snow, rocks and ice. Oddly, Anastasia was insistent on bringing along the body of her father during this process (much to the confusion of the other players) even if it made life much more difficult. In the end though, the investigators narrowly escaped and while they had not destroyed the telescope, they made it all but impossible to reach. Returning back to the capital and thus home was a fairly somber journey, free of most distractions until a terrible fog began to sweep in. Remembering what they heard from the previous survivor of a Migou attack the previous session, the investigators dropped and disguised themselves with snow by covering it over their bodies. Staying as still as possible while the strange creatures investigated, clicking about and stepping so close to one of them Eve could see the things feet, they passed after a few horrifying minutes without seemingly spotting the investigators… But it was only a temporary relief as once one danger passed after only a few more days the howling wind returned and this time the party wasn’t so lucky: It caught up to them. Thankfully for them, it decided to have a chat first and taunt them before rending them to pieces. Here the investigators desperately convinced the creature they were not trying to help bring the dreamer back, but it was only going to be convinced if the players paid a price for this pact: A mark. Two investigators placed their hands within the terrible wind and accepted this beings personal mark upon themselves. With this reassurance in place, the winds died down and they were back to reality once again. Surely nothing terrible could come from this decision? In any event, the investigators trip was soon over and the nightmare here was left behind them. They arrived back in London and found that things had proceeded reasonably normally in their absence for the most part. Well, except for the strange murders that were taking place where people were drained of blood and then strung up from high places with an extremely strange and unusual material…..