[COC7e] S09 | Not 100% Evil

Not 100% Evil or The Cat and the Painting
Session 9 (August 2, 2020)
Attendees: Nik, Derek, Gerald, Ginger

Diary of Derek Moriarty
May 18, 1927

I've lost track of time in my wishing to visit Ooth Nargai. Nodar has 12gp from us. We have two doses of dream drug left. I have a spear from Krannan and the Dream Dagger.

To Do List:
Read Chat Aquadingen for info on protection from Yibb's sight
Take the clock to the moon
Learn Cat language
Learn about the White Savage
Can Magic be used to teleport or summon Ghouls
Try to alter Dreamlands: colour of a leaf, size of a pebble
Seek out King Kuranus (from England) in Ooth Nargai for healing
Need Ankhs in Dreamlands and in waking world

We (Nik, Gerald, Ginger) head back to the library with Nodar and then to a jewelry shop in Ulthar on the Street of Merchants. We have retrieved the 12 gold. Ginger buys an Ankh pendant. 2gp left. Derek gets a second Ankh. Nik tries to charm the jeweler after we've completed our purchases. He learns that a full suit like what the jeweler wears would cost 150 gold. Nik continues and barters our completed transaction down to 10 gold for 5 Ankhs.
We return to the library to meet Gerald. Glad he knew where to find us. He asks us for 3 gold to bribe Tokar. I immediately feel guilt for we should have saved more gold only to find out Ginger 'lost' the two we had left.* Something about less than mirthful trickery. We're broke.
Nik offers Tokar an Ankh but is muffled and pulled back by the rest of us. Tokar says that Ghoul summoning is not possible however travel and gates can be made via the skill of Dreaming.
So Gerald needs this spell translated. I think it might be in Hyperborean which I recently started learning, albeit slowly. I wonder if being study partners with Nik helps or hinders the process? Maybe we should start a Hyperborean club. Call ourselves the Atlantis Aces or something.
Anyhow, I lift my head realizing I was lost in thought and see Nik bargaining with Tokar..... Without anything to offer. It's a strange sight. If he succeeds here, who needs currency!

(Derek stays in library)

Nik and Ginger go see Krannan who gifts them a gredanza (for winding things up). This could be of practical use, good thinking guys! Nik must meet them at some point because he's not in the library with me. They go to the ball-playing shop and pawn the gredanza for 3gp. Nik stays outside mesmerized by the balls above the door.

(All back at the library)
Nik mumbles something about bronze balls and Ginger something about cups.... I think. My head was in a book. Gerald finds out the spell he has is "Dust of Yog-Sothoth" which requires mummy dust and our infernal power (8 magic points) to become less sane and less visible. He generously shares that with the group. Sothoth.... Clock... Hmmmm.... I can't quite remember.
Gerald mentions this dude Blakely who was a student of Pickman, an artist. We discover he was also known as Rhydaguard who made paintings you could sleep near and be transported inside them. We decide not to follow the Pickman quest in favour of going to Celephais.
No, wait, the group is now debating the subject for awhile. We feel a great existential pull toward this Pickman quest and through force of will ignore all wisdom on the subject.

Next thing we know we've lost a week exploring Celephais. Wow, what a place. We eventually get to the palace. No entry. From what I've heard, this is very British. We check out the gardens and find a shrine to the cats. Ginger squeaks with joy. I cool off in the fountain. Ahhhhh. Nik distracts a guard while I slink off to hide in the shrine.

Inside the shrine is a large tabby cat on cushions. Ginger approaches him in humility and talks to him. I don't hear or understand what's said as I prostrate myself.

We learn the cat is McCavity (Michael Timothy Moriarty for whom the town is named) and he knows my grandfather. Apparently we're cousins and he's willing to accompany us to see the King.

McCavity has some scars and a limp. Battle scars are a sign of respect among cats. I take a moment. I’m related to a cat and a spider. Nik engages my feline cousin in information gathering. McCavity notes that James is villainous but not 100% evil. We gain 5gp from the cat’s register? (my notes unclear where it came from) McCavity helps us learn that the King is in New Cornwall at his Summer home four days SouthEast of here. Gerald has some gruel. We start our journey to the Summer home and he has a sudden panic attack about Gregori’s urgent request. Something about finding Pickman. McCavity takes our 5gp, 5 ankhs and my spear. I never really like to leave the Dreamland but we do what must be done. Gerald lingers behind a bit. **Bubastus** We awaken.

Blakely was unconscious at St. Mary’s in Boston and had his lungs filled with salt water. He had left his girlfriend Penny to live in a more thrifty place. He’s not been finishing his art commissions. Now he’s in a coma at his girlfriend's place.

We decide to go back in time before the event. Gregori makes fun of my very grounded desire to not enter the despicable Clock any more than required. Tom knocks me out and I wake up in Boston two days prior to the event. I take some time to visit my buddy Eddie Shore, introducing my friends to him and he tells us the tale of losing the Stanley Cup to those dirty Ottawa Senators. The fights, getting ejected from a game, how invigorating the hits and roughing of hockey make him feel. I’m astounded but don’t talk to him about our recent strange encounters. It’s nice to have a normal conversation. We talk about our mutual friend in Canada but he takes me aside for a moment before we leave and tells me there was a strange man at the final game in Ottawa named Russell Williams. He shivers when he mentions the name.

We bid Eddie adieu and head to Blakely’s crapartment. Nik visits him alone catching a glimpse of an ornate painting by a lake (broken forgotten temples and a mountain). They make friendlies. I offer my thoughts to the group. It seems to me that Blakely must fall asleep beside his completed painting and drown in it. Ginger mentions that the lake might be fresh water which puts a hole in my theory. The painting is not halfway finished yet. All hail Gus! We head off to Freja’s for some dream drug and ankhs.

There is one other man in Freja’s. He’s 6’ tall, dark and lean. I have a physical encounter with him and find his name to be Adrian Stimson - friend of Blakely. He’s seeking an Elder Sign to bind undesirables. He is in agreement that Blakely has been entering the Dreamlands but doesn’t realize it. Ginger and I realize that “Elder Sign” was mentioned in the Book of Eibon. Spell+Theme=major ward against great old ones and elder gods.

Adrian is trying to acquire one of the paintings Blakely sold called R’Leh at Dawn. Something about the tomb of Cthulhu. He needs it for his own work. I spot a couple ankhs - a white metal one I purchase for myself and I snag one with seven gems for Ginger.

We learn there are four other paintings (one to another friend of Adrian with the name of Baldridge). We purchase more paints as a gift for Blakely and return to his rancid domicile. There we discover the receipts for his recent sales.

January 12, 1927 - New York at Dusk - Roger Baldridge - $300
January 12, 1927 Elder Yoggoth - Mr. & Mrs. Biggs - $100
February 28, 1927 Fate - Reggie van Strattler - $225
April 26, 1927 - R’leh at Dawn - Evelyn Bancroft - $75

Apparently Evelyn and Adrian are not on good terms.

I look at the centrepiece painting Blakely is working on and feel my marbles shake. Gerald becomes enthralled with it, going so far as to lick the sides of it. Where in the pippy longstockings is this… Hmmmm…. Oh no! It’s the Peaks of Throk in the horrible Underworld. Gerald recounts from his studies that “Beneath the Peaks of Throk an odd man……. Related the story of Gattaman, great lake….. ‘Is coming.” That’s all I caught as the painting distracted me..


Find the paintings! Buy or steal.
Save Blakely…?

Notes → My appraisal +5
* trying to trick the game master



Bronze balls, cups, and cats, oh my!

Kersus's picture

You should definitely come for a visit.

Kersus's picture

Rollin rollin rollin.... Rawhide!