This is part 2 of the Call of Cthulhu adventure recap of The Secret of Castronegro. Read part one of the adventure here!
When we last left off our team of made up of antiquarian/private eye Clarance P. Fogbottom III, Boston University alienist professor Sara Spiegel, her drug dealing sister Eleanor, and drug addicted pro golfer “Slim” Pickens had left Boston and were searching a creepy town in New Mexico for evidence of the disappearance of some folks. The team had basically found a lot of clues including the fact that there was an old Wizard with 2/3rds of the town being related to him. Fogbottom had stepped in a bear trap, and they all eventually found an old barn in the middle of nowhere that’s door was chained and padlocked.
After a bunch of dicking around for fear of what was inside the scary barn in the middle of nowhere that was excessively secured, Elenore picked the lock on the barn door to discover…. some old crates in an otherwise empty barn. The ladies were feeling more brash and decided to open the crates to discover that there was nothing in them. Then they figured to move the crates and found a trap door!
At this point the player that was playing as Slim (the drug addicted pro golfer) left the game, so Slim essentially became a group controlled NPC. Being level headed investigators led by the morally questionable Fogbottom, they sent Slim down first and the team followed. The plan was that if Slim saw something horrible he was to toss his lantern at it and run like hell. That worked out in the team’s favor, because when he rounded a corner in the underground hallways he saw a huge frog creature playing some crazy flute. This wasn’t enough to turn him completely insane, but he did go a little crazy.
Fogbottom was right behind Slim, but because of the way the hallway turned he didn’t see the creature. He did, however, see Slim throw his lantern, so that meant one thing, run the fuck away. Fogbottom bolted, pushing his way past the women in his flight for freedom. The ladies fled after him.
Slim was left alone and his lantern had completely missed the creature. He turned around and was shrouded in a dark fog, but he managed to break through it and he too made it out of the barn alive.
The team’s choices for what to do next at this point were to limited to two. The first was to pack up and head the hell out of town, which was sensible, but not fun. The second option was to investigate the mansion of the head bad dude, hereby known as Evil Wizard.
Only Slim had witnessed some genuinely crazy ass shit first hand and the others hadn’t, so they figured they hadn’t witnessed enough to make a decision to book it out of town. Slim was a little off balance from his frog monster encounter and was willing to stick around, but he was now a shot gun wielding drug addict with an itchy trigger finger. The perfect cannon fodder. After loading up on ammo, making sure everyone had at least one weapon, and bringing a lot of gasoline (the monster investigator’s best friend), they headed on over to the creepy estate.
Before they could get past the main gate the investigators were beset upon by a pack of guard dogs. The team wasted no time and began to shoot the fuck out of them. Normally violence to animals is sad and disturbing, but these things were a bit off and had almost human like features. Plus it was nice to finally unload on something in the game after not shooting for over an hour of play time. Not shooting or killing in an RPG can be torture for some people.
Getting into Evil Wizard’s mansion was easy after that. The team cautiously looked around and found that it appeared to be decrepit and mostly abandoned. While certainly creepy, it wasn’t the house of horrors that they had expected. As they investigated the old manor they spread gasoline everywhere they went. They were no fools and figured that burning down the place was a great last resort option.
The team finally got to the basement with Slim in the lead, of course. Inside the basement was a room that appeared to be a laboratory with suprise, the Evil Wizard doing some sort of work inside. He looked up at the investigators, smiled, and warmly welcomed his uninvited guests. Slim was not going to have any of that bullshit, so he began to deliver justice, shotgun style. Unfortunately for Slim, he was suffering from the symptoms of withdrawal, so he missed both shots.
In response to Slim’s unique form of hello the Evil Wizard raised his hand, which had a finger with a shining silver ring adorning it. Slim suddenly became completely immobile. Witchcraft was at work!
That’s when Clarance P. Fogbottom the III raised his revolver, heroically yelled, “Time to die, fiend!” and fired. He hit Evil Wizard once and missed a second shot. The ladies started blazing with their guns and the Evil Wizard hit the ground dead(?).
Before the investigators could breathe a sigh of relief or try to cure Slim of his paralysis, some weird creature came out of nowhere and tried to hit Fogbottom with some magics. Fogbottom avoided it easily, but he knew when enough was enough and it was time to get the hell out of there.
Now we did a bit of a cheat here. Originally Fogbottom rushed to the body of Evil Wizard and tried to take the ring off his finger, only to find that it was stuck on somehow. The Dungeon Master or Game Master or Trapper Keeper or whatever they’re called in Call of Cthulhu made me aware that he had accidentally left out a detail that the ring started shining once Evil Wizard “died.” That allowed me to retcon Fogbottom’s actions, as Fogbottom would have thought that the ring was sending out a distress call, and being more inclined to cowardice, he would have chosen to flee.
And flee he did! Despite his aversion for heroics Fogbottom is a good dude at heart, so instead of just leaving the still frozen Slim there to die, Fogbottom punched Slim in the face as hard as he could as he ran by him. That did absolutely nothing, Slim just stood there, frozen from the spell. Figuring he gave it his best shot, Fogbottom ran up the steps, pushing his way past the ladies. If that’s one thing Fogbottom is good at, it’s pushing past ladies in order to save his own skin. The two sisters decided to bolt too and they were right on Fogbottom’s heals. Once the non-frozen investigators got outside Fogbottom flipped a burning cigarette at the house slow motion movie style and the mansion lit up like a Roman candle with their companion still inside.
On the ride back to the train station Fogbottom kept repeating, “We did the right thing. It was the right thing to do. It was the right thing. The only thing.” Yeah, this incident this might mess with his brain a bit.
And Evil Wizard? My guess is that he’s still alive. And if he’s not the rest of his cult sure is! And what’s even better is that Fogbottom left his calling card all over town, so they know his name and where he lives.
And that wraps up this adventure! Want to see more? Would you have done differently? Or do you have adventures on your own that you want to share? Leave any great Call of Cthulhu moments in the comments and I’ll post them in an upcoming post if I get enough of them!