The Outlaws of Down Cthulhu

Mountains in Flames: Temple of the Fire Vampires

July 17

We head up into the hills. Red Throat, Klaus Apache pal, comes as well. He guides the burrow.
In evening, we rest, before we get into the rough country tomorrow. He stops us at a good cave for resting.
We leave 2 guards at the mouthof the cave, and 2 inside awake. 1 at back end of the cave, 1 near the horse area, its a large side alcove.

During the first watch, Johnson puts his hand in the licks of the fire. Jake leaps up from not quite asleep and pulls his arms out but they’re alread burnt.
Ron rushes in, Nick too telling Jesse to stay put. Dog is now doing the same.
Jake holding Johnson “Put the fire out!” Nick begins to do so as Ron gets Dog away. He isn’t burnt yet.
Dog turns and grabs at Ron, grasping his throat “The fire monster!! Aaagghh.”
Will rushes over and spashes water in Dog’s face.
Bracada helps nick hold Johnson down.
Ron miraculously breaks free!
Dog yells “Don’t hold me back, Jack. Stop holding me back!”

Dog is mass jumped by a lot of us.

Nick returns to the front, and Jesse thinks he saw Red Throat messing with Dog’s canteen earlier. He was just near it, moving some stuff that I saw, but now I think he was up to something.
Billy suggests killing them all.

Dog and Johnson fail to snap out of it, we have to tie them up tightly.
Back to our guard positions.
In the rear, Ron hears a noise from further in. He sees a vague figure approaching.
He calls to it “Hold”. Small person, about 5’2". It doesn’t stop, so he fires rifle crit 29 DEAD. A swarm of them come pooring out. We wake at the shot.
Ron draws and begins firing. It’s an unhealthy sound as the bullets go in.
Ron lets them drag him away in a net, wanting to see where they take him.
Others chuck spears at those rushing for the gunfire. Jake and Billy at the head, Chief and Penn with them as Jake yelled for him to follow. Luke, the npc’s, Will and Anne stay at camp.

We fire back. Jake drops 2 and wounds 2. Chief finishes one of them off. Billy blazes away wounding 4 of them. The ranger wounds 1. They hurl their last spears at us hitting only Penn.
We fire again, we drop a few more.
That’s 8 dead, they flee. We reload and give chase.

We hear yelling and laughing ahead. The cave goes deeper to a place where the walls, floor and ceiling are finished stonework, strange symbols on the walls.
One of the men with Ron starts to spasm and falls down. He splits as the other watch at the film. The 2 halves are still alive!! Some of others carry the 2 halves in another direction, each half growing something out of it.

We come to steps going downward and descend. The open into a large rectangular chamber, carvings on them seem to squirm and wriggle. A broken obsidian obelisk lies in the middle of the room.
The men we were chasing are amongst the rubble and charge as we enter.
We fire first, dropping 5. Chief drops one as they engage him and rush past. He gets AoO on 2 others hitting 1.
2 engage Billy, 1 on the ranger, 2 on Jake.
The ranger, with close combat shot, kills one as Jake and Billy attack with daggers.
One of Jake’s steps over to Penn.
The ranger drops another as Chief kills his, steps to one of Billy’s and engages it.
That one turns to chief.
Ranger out of rounds pulls his dagger as well.
It takes a few more rounds still to finish them off.

3 passages lead out, Chief after a minute thinks they went to the right with Ron. A short passage leads to a room, circular flaming pit. The room is full of steam.
4 fungi men appear, dressed in robes. Priests? 2 around either side of the pit, threatentingly wielding long sticks with symbols at the head. Something large looms behind them. Humanoid, very tall, cone shaped head with a ropy strand of some sort hanging from its pinnacle.
Chief moves forward, engaging both priests on our left. Jake steps back and fires upon the creature. Billy and Penn each fire upon another priest both DEAD. Chief and Billy’s rip a clip drops one of Chief’s.
Jake slip hammers and drops the creature like a bad habit with one crit.
Chief tears up the last priest. We reload.
One exit, to our left. ALong the passage there is another hall cutting left, and doors at the end of this one. Chief checks the marks and says they turned left. It leads to a 4 way intersection. Chief leads us right into a room with a fountain. On opposite side is an exit into another room with an underground stream and a huge white tree.
Hanging from the tree are half dozen creatures, from 1’ to 7" tall, hanging from the tendril at the top of their heads.
Ron is here as well, a horde of his kidnappers as well about to tie him to a cross covered in old dried blood. He sees us.

We also hear running footsteps behind us. Chief runs headlong into 4 just inside the door.
Ron, obviously counting on us finding him in time, uses their turned attention to climb up the cross and into the tree (card) then plugs one of them below. Jake in the doorway kills the one chief hit and damages another on the right flank of the tree. Ranger moves in on teh right, Billy left, and they fire. Billy drops one.
11 throw their spears at Ron. 1 hits home.
The rest rush us.
Only 2 are left up front after 2 rounds.
The rest throw at Ron again, hitting 3 times.
Mad Dog rushes into the room!! He had woken up, and followed the gunfire as fast as he could. He goes right at the men to the trees left. He fires a barrel of his scattergun DEAD
As we fire, a few more rush Penn, a gang climbs into the tre after Ron.
Ron hits one 15. We drop all but 3 remaining, 1 on Dog, one on the ranger.
We begin firing into the tree.
Dog finishes his last man, and grabs the legs of the lowest enemy in the tree. He pulls him down, ripping him in half at his artificial middle!! as Jake and Billy start dropping foes in the tree.
After we finish them off, Ron gets out of the tree.

We hear horns blowing from the halls. No time to return, we have to use the ranger’s dynamite now. We put all 6 around the tree, Ron helps set it and we take off. It blows the tree off its roots. The creatures mew and drip goo as we leave.
We need to get back for extra ammo so we head straight for camp.

We tell everyone what happened as we load up with ammo, weapons and dynamite. The anthropologist joins us. The whole gang comes down. The npc’s stay put at camp. The ranger stays with us though.

The anthropologist is astounded at the carvings. We start looking for enemies. First we come to a large bunk room. 50 or more have partial fungi men growing. So, they split in half and the halves grow into full bodies. We cut them to ribbons.
Then we come to a kitchen and dining room. 2 giant coneheads wait for us here. We blow one to hell in a coupel rounds, while the other grags Dog and pulls him into a grapple. Once the first is down after smacking Ron a couple times for hefty damage, Jake shoots Dog’s and Ron stabs it.
Penn and Billy fire into the grapple as well, all 3 with Precise Shot. Dog struggles but we bring it down.
Reloads.
A few more turns further, we come to big doors blocked by 10 of the little guys. They warn us to come no further, their king is behind this door.
Benjamin rushes forward to them stops, turns and yells “No! Do not slay a new race!”
The gang steps to the front, Dog suddenly unloads his scattergun staggering him. He turns to the others “My friends I will protect you!”
We firestorm killing them all and blowing the doors in. Penn is in some awe.
Jake “Reload.”

We enter the king’s chamber. Empty throne, 1 large door and 2 smaller doors. We go throught he large door first into a 20×25 room. A hall cuts back at our left, an unfinished cave, and a well in the middle of the room.
Back to teh small doors. The first is an empty apartment. The other houses one of the little things “I am the king.” He’s crying.
Will “Fungi can cry?”
“Our race has been here for millions of years, my line goes back unbroken before there were even humans. I recognize that kidnapping and crucifying people to our eldritch gods is wrong, Let me live, and I will leave with the rest of my people, if any survived, and go deep into the earth never to return again.”
Jake “Dog.”
Dog feels bad suddenly about ending a species.
We are shocked.
Billy finishes the king off.

We smell teh same smell of the shaggoth from down the well!
Apparently, no water in the well.
Where is the fountain getting water from?
We go back to the stream. We search the rest of the place, all empty.

Back to camp at the cave. We will remember to report this Investigators about the writings, and shaggoth.

July 18

We get some real rest, sleeping in the next morning, not leaving until after lunch. We tell Luke and Will to check Red Throat’s stuff as soon as they get the chance for any drugs and such. And everyone “keep your canteens with you”.
Unfortunately, he wears his pouch at all times.
So, we confront him instead. He said he gave them “cure”.
Luke “For what?”
“Crazy.”
He says we must have watcher while using Bachana.
Jake knows it as something most indians are deathly afraid of, the plant’s song will supposedly drive one mad. But, if already cut, it is safe for its herbal properties.
He says it was mistake, he did not know they would drink before sleep. Thought to guide them on spirit trip to cure them of craziness.
He has 3 more, it’s very rare. You grind it up, put it in water. Whle under its influence you are dangerously attracted to fire and become crazy. But if you fall asleep you’re fine. Either way, gain d8 sanity. You can make spirit journeys, speak with the dead, percieve the invisible world, visit the dreamlands.
Jake asks if we can have some, and he gives us one. Great to use on a person with 0 sanity.

Deeper into the rough country we go, into the Sierra Madre’s. We come to a large forest fire!! We retreat. We see some of the natives who have set the fire, started in almost 2 dozen places at once just when we were approaching. We have to move fast!!
Luke is slowest at reacting on horseback, and is caught in the rear. He rides out of the smoke toward us, Ron is at our rear and rides towards him. Just as he gets beside him a shot meant for Luke that may have taken him down, and sounds like a buffalo rifle, hits Ron.
We take cover quick as wel can and dismount, getting them behind cover as well. Jesse pulls out his buffalo rifle “I’ll be right back.” He head off.
Jesses sets in a position but can’t sight the sniper, but a shot is fired at him but misses. The cat and mouse continues. Again he outspots Jesse but hits his cover. More hiding and spotting. Jesse is shot at again, but missed again.
This time Jesse spots him several minutes later and fires, hitting true 18 DEAD with the enemy aiming at him simultaneously.

After about 30 minutes, Jesse returns triumphant.
Soon, we can get around the fire. We stop at a pristine looking pool at night, and a cave with primitive stone wall at the outside.
Klaus does not know who this once belonged too.
There are half dozen skeletons at least 100 years ago lie inside. They look like primitive society type things. Older than modern native culture.
At the back of the cave, some kind of writing on the wall and a stacked row after row of mummies. Another place to tell the Investigators about.

Also, 5 panels on the wall with pics .
1) Star above with men and women worshipping it from below by a large building below a notched peak. Klaus say that is El Pico Dentato, right where the enemy lives.
2) Terrible burning wheel; connected to teh star by a long twisting line
3) people are consumed by smaller versions of the wheel of flame
4) a hero with a large knife stands among native priests. One feeds the hero what looks liek bachana, the other poors something into his ear from a vessel
5) the hero is at the castle and has cut the line tween the star and the wheel; it is disappearing. Something we may have to do later.

We camp here. Uneventful night.

July 19

Outside, Red Throat lies dead by the pool of water. The bachana is still on his person. Someone has poisoned the pool or it was already bad water.
No one else drank anywater from it yet.
As we are readying to leave, and old woman with a walking stick creaks into camp.
She says the great spirit told her to come and find us, she is a brewha. Her face is 2/3 painted red.
Klaus says to ignore her, just a senile old b&$#.
Jake “What can you do to help us old woman.”
“Offer me tea” and she sits down.
Jake isn’t sure if we have tea, but of course Luke has some. He makes her a cup.
She drinks and claims she had a dream; that men would come seeking the skull of a great warrior and his treasure of gold. And the great fire monster, the god of fire, would appear, and burn all creation. This will happen on the northers slope of el pico dentado, at the Red Castle.
Jake “Is this where Chiriba lives?”
“Yes. The fire monster comes, and only a great hero can stop it.”
WIll “What is this skull you’rt talking about?”
“YOu will find us at the red mountain.” She speaks some strange tongue then, including the word Cthulhu. “They come, the great old one come” meaning Cthugha. But, Wichuri can stop him." From her medicine bag she removes a smelly white pulpish stuff. That is Wichuri, she begs us to take it and use it.
NIck “HOw?”
“Like this” you put it in your ear. Gives you clear vision, to see all that is unseen, the connections tween people and creatures, the earth and the stars.
Jake “What about the bachana?”
“You must use it with wichuri. Then” chopping motion.
She gets up and wanders away.
Jake “Thank you crone.”
Will “That was weird.”
As she walks away, she reaches the top of the hill and crests it, she seems to disappear before she should have walked out of sight.
Jake “Good thing you had that tea, Luke.”

We move out.

Klaus says we are only about 10 miles away. We approach by midafternoon and can smell burning.
We creep up, getting close to nightfall. At the edge of a clearing we spy an old tiered pyramid, a flat roof about 100’ around. Natives stand atop it with torches, some mexicans, some white men. Others walk across our field of view with torches as well heading for the wide steps up to the top. On edge of the platform at the top we see a skull atop a huge pile of gold ingots. A bonfire rages in teh middle of the roof; thick metal rods, red hot, are pulled and they burn each other with them in their ecstasy.
Appears to only be steps on this side.
Jake “Well, everybody ready.”
We need a brewha for the ceremony.
Warren comes forward and says “I am a brewha.”
That’s right, he is a bit of a spellcaster. The magic killed my mother and sisters, so he has learned it to fight back.
Jake “It’s on you then.” He knows the rituals, he can do it. We’re not sure if we can trust him though.
John steps forward “I can solve this easily. The voice of god does not speak lightly.” He pulls his bowie knife and tells us all to surrender, we’ll go to the cult and join the cult of truth.
We put our hands up, Jake bluff him out and fast draws. Billy notices and draws, putting a bullet through Johnson’s jaw shattering it as Jake puts one directly between his eyes DEAD.
Jesse will cover us from down here, it’s a healthy bit over 100’ shot to the top.

We turn to attack quickly, since our ambush has been ruined.
Kaus pulls his shotgun out, aims it at Warren and pulls the trigger.
CLICK/CLICK” “Oh F&%#& I have failed the master!”
Dog fires both barrels DEAD.
Ron jumps in front of Warren.
No one else is a turncoat.

They are ready for us, 15 ranks of three down the steps in our way. Dog, Dyo and Chief charge as we unleash from the treeline onto the steps; Anne follows behind the chargers and to one side, to fire her pistol upward.
Jesse however fires at their top. The men on the top have rifles and fire back, those on the steps have bow and spear.
A flaming body runs off the side of the pyramid tumbling to his death in the first half minute.
We hear cries of pain as well as ecstacy continue from the top.
The fight wages on, and Luke has to crawl away wounded into full cover.
Some people are up there who don’t want to be tortured, others up there do, it seems.
Dog, Dyo, and Chief work their way up the steps, rank by rank, as we take foes down within their ranks blocking their path.
Jesse has basically picked off a rifleman per round on the top.
Later, Jake has 5 skilled rifleman firing at him, and he ducks out for full cover. Bracada, Ron, and Billy charge up the steps as our 3 melee are nearing the roof.
Jake and the ranger, both low on fatigue, run to either side of the steps taking cover at the base.
The fight gets to 1 man on the steps.
A group of their prime rifleman move in to block our melee from reaching the top and fire into melee. Chief is hit, maneuvers and they hit their last man 3 times DEAD.
Our melee engage at the edge of the roof, the ones behind shoot now at the edge rifleman. Jake and Penn begin to climb the steps. Anne tumbles into their ranks at the top with daggers read to draw.
A fantastic sniper and the priest, now showing up to fire, bring Bracada down!
Agonizing screamd still coming from around the fire.
Jake kneels and fires on the sniper DEAD!
Billy unleashes lead, finishing off one of Annes she damages with her daggers.
Jesse kills from the jungle line.
Luke fires a desparate shot out of the junge and fires his rifle upward miss
Chief crits with his tomahawk DEAD then hits another with his knife.
Dog has picked a man u[p, and is about to toss him over the edge.
Only 7 left now, plust the priest. 2 attack Anne, 2 on each of Dyo and Chief. Dog’s fails to grapple him in return.
The priest yells “You shall not pass!” and bursts in flame, fire vampires popping from him like popcorn. He is left standing, wielding a flaming sword, transformed.
He’s in horrible pain, flesh fried. He is also large size.
Dog hurls his man downward off the ledge. He bounces down 4 ledges DEAD. Dog moves to the platform
Dyo kills 1; Billy fires on the priest 14 and 12; Nick fails to pass the dR of a fire vamp; Will misses another as does Penn; Jake almost kills one with slip hammer; Chief hits his man twice. The Beverly brothers move to the base of the steps.
The priest picks upa large rock, which becomes flaming, and hurls it at Ron, going right past Jake’s head; the fire vampires all settle around Dyo.
Will fails to bypass the DR, Nick misses; Penn draws his pistol and double taps a FV finishing Jake’s. Dyo has trouble getting through the DR in melee. Billy starts to reload.
Jake slip hammers a FV DEAD; Ann still fighting and wounding, Ron hits one DEAD; Dog bullrushes another off the ledge, sending him hurtling off hte ledge so far he misses the first and almost the next ledge before he hits, but lives; Chief misses twice!
The priest leaps down onto the steps with a flaming sword next to Penn and Jake. He slays Penn with 1 mighty blow!
Bracada has self stabalized!
The FV miss Dyo again.
Dog steps over to the last on a tired Anne and grabs him from behind easily into a full Nelson, Anne kills him with bowie’s knife; Will hits the priest, Nick misses. Jake moves down a few steps out of the priest’s reach and fires 19, a shot disarming the blade! It bounces all the way down the steps in front of Nick and Will.
He turns toward Jake and his fallen blade, and Billy gets an easy shot in on him. Jesse hits the priest 8.
We see now another high priest at the very back of the temple now, who walks into the light, surrounded by a field of energy: the true high priest!!
The last 2 priests are still fighitng Dyo and Chief.
Dog charges into the field and bounces off 5. Jesse hits the priest 20; the Beverlys both miss him; Billy fires into the FV killing 1, and hits Anne’s priest; Jake hits the priest 18; Ron hits cultist vs Dyo. Anne kills 1 of the mexican priests with Bowie.
Jesse starts to lead Warren up the steps to do his ritual!
The guy Dog tosses comes around the corner toward the Beverlys.
The Flaming Priest hits Ron with his fist 12.
Jake hits the flaming priest 20; Nic crits the running cultist DEAD. Dyo hits his cultist crit DEAD. He advances up with Dog.
Billy fires at the last FV DEAD but misses the flame priest. Ron slip hammers the flaming priest 16. Dog is trying to figure out the shield.
Jesse hits the flaming priest 14 DEAD; Dog pulls his scattergun and pops in 2 juju rounds
Jake “Jesse, great shot, get up here!”
Chief heads over to the shield.
2 more rounds, Warren arrives. Jake checks Bracada, finds him still alive, but Penn is dead.
Jese and Billy glance into the poral as Warren yells “Don’t look into the vortex”. Its a flaming vortex.
Jake “He’s not bringing Cthugha through, we know that for sure.” A large spectral tentacle begins slithering in the air, moving for him.
Dog fires double juju rounds into the portal. It pops. Jake and Billy’s readied actions fire at the priest, and Chief hits him from the side opposite Dog. Billy hits twice, Jake once DEAD!! The portal fizzles to a close immediately!!!
Warren suffers 2 con damage.
All is quiet.
Jake “Fine fighting, boys.”
We rescue the last few sacrificial victims still alive, but they are horribly burned. 1 so bad, she wishes only for death. Jake puts her out of her misery.
We will take Penn’s body back with us, to arrange for it to be sent north to the Ranger HQ. Bracada is out of the adventure as well.

July 20

First, into the temple. There is an entrance here at the top. The inside feels warmer than it should be, immediately.
Chief is patrolling the perimeter, Jesse spots from the roof. Will and Luke will also stay out to look after the wounded.
So the others 6 from the gang to in.

Some time after we go in, Chief spots an injun, surely one of Churiba’s, stalking around. He has a rifle with him, he is looking for a sniping spot. Chief ambushes him and cuts him to ribbons.

Inside, we go down a turning staircase, it feels like we are going deeper than the pyramid itself is tall. It leads to a long pillared temple room, full of gold artifacts!!
We plunder, while Mad Dog keeps watch on the 2 other passages out.
Soon, he sees gangs of red eyes from both directions stalking in toward us.
Then, a shimmering flame appears near the altar, and moves to it.
Mad Dog lets loose, blowing one to smithereens. They charge him.

Jake and Billy each hit with a blessed round, but both for minimum! Then it attacks Anne!! But misses with its 2 attacks. Nick and Ron then fire at it as well.
They cut into Dog good, but he grabs one and crushes it to death, then proceeds to hit a Mo Fo with another Mo Fo.
Another ghoul enters the fray as well.
Ann ducks, rolls out of the fray and misses with a shot. Jake hits it 17 with a blessed again; Billy hits twice 12 blessed, his last.
It turns, and goes after Billy, hitting once 10 and 4 fire.
Jake finishes it off.
Dog is getting cut to shreds, but has killed several already.
Nick turns and drops a ghul, Ron moves closer and hits one.
Anne moves forward and kills one too.
Dog clubs one of the 2 left, more are coming again. He kills it. 3 others move in, and 2 come out of no where from behind us to the sides of the altar, rushing to Anne.
Dog is leeking blood.
NIck drops one on Dog, Jake kills 2, Dog kills another. Ron rushes to leap atop the last on Dog with his knife, gun empty.
Billy doubletaps to help Anne killing one. Anne finishes the last off.
The last turns to Ron now. Dog is not in good shape but it missed completely. Another comes down the steps behind us by the altar.
Jake and Billy reload. Nick hits the new one but it keeps coming. Ann draws and fires as it moans “Get the woman, get the woman” Dead. Ron kills the last on Dog.
Nick starts reloading, as does Dog.
4 more coming from the altar side.

Ron charges into one side with his knife rather than reload. We fire and take them all down along with Ron’s charge.
They keep coming and coming in gangs of around a half dozen. WE keep mowing them down.
After a minute or 2 straight, it is obvious this could continue for far too long. We retreat back upward and out, closing it up behind us.
We plan to wait a day or 2, come back once they are gone from the temple, blow the 2 tunnels they were coming down from then loot at our leisure.

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