Trail of Cthulhu: Eternal Lies

Episode 42: Death Sport

Mid November, 1937 . . .

The situation had become dire.

With Professor Marvin Derrikson having given his life to stop the Major Mouth in Bangkok, the rest of the investigators were left to fend for themselves. Julian Alexander and Davis Lockhart were almost mad from their experience and Dr. Ju-no Sinn was left as the only one to assist them in getting out alive. However, whatever happened involved Julian and Davis being captured by the cult and Thwai Udom.

It seemed the cult had other prisoners as well. Dr. Yuri Ivanov and Dr. Nikita Kolokov had traveled around the world only to be trapped by the cult and taken prisoner as well. The cult decided to round them up and place them on what was identified as a boat. None of the men knew each other and barely were aware of their own proximity to one another as their vision was obscured by hoods. Though they were unaware at the time, the group was being taken to Ko Kruk an island off the coast of Bangkok.

Upon arrival, Thawi Udom mentioned they were here to meet ‘the boss’ which they took to mean Savatree Sirikhan. They were marched along a path and eventually each thrown in a separate pit with a locked cage at the top. The men managed to remove their hoods and break free from the ropes that had bound them but they were still trapped in pits and the situation seemed, indeed, bleak.

Eventually Savatree appeared, looking into the pits and studying her prisoners. She had first aid materials lowered down to ensure that everyone was bandaged properly. However, what fleeting thoughts these were regarding the true well-being of the investigators she may have had were soon short lived and dashed.

For the next several evenings Savatree appeared at the outside prison pits and began casting ritualistic magic. The arcane rituals seemed to target the prisoners for one specific purpose: granting them a Minor Mouth on their bodies, making them true servants of the Liar from Beyond or The Thing With a Thousand Mouths or better known as Y’Golonac.

When Savatree was away, the investigators tried to communicate with one another. Whether they were overheard by their captors or not was unclear as they could not see outside of their own prison. They were too concerned about revealing a plan but the four investigators made some brief and informal introductions. But known each was alive and they had common allies was enough to keep them from going made from isolation.

It was on the fourth night of being held prisoner on Ko Kruk and the situation with the Minor Mouths growing more dire that Julian Alexander decided to act. Finding a mouth growing on his forearm (and suspecting the others of suffering a similar fate) he cast one of the horrible rituals he had memorized, the Hands of Power. This transformed his hand into a giant claw and allowed him to climb the pit and mangle the iron grate at the top, allowing him to escape. As he was confronted by a pair of cultists, he made short work of them and went to freeing the others. They each gathered what equipment they could and made more formalized introductions to one another. However, they were soon faced with Savatree, herself.

Coming from an old mansion further through the jungle, barely visible from their position, Savatree emerged with several other cult members. She calmly explained that she had given them ‘gifts’ (with the Minor Mouth on Julian’s forearm and one on Davis’ hand) and that these would serve them well in the hunt she was about to conduct. The hunt, with the investigators as prey, would begin in one hour, the amount of time she was giving them to flee and prepared themselves.

The group fled into the jungle and before long they discovered there were no boats on the island and that the manor was well protected and guarded by Savatree’s cultists. They passed through the jungle, narrowly avoiding traps and other dangers, with Savatree appearing on several occasions to attack, almost killing Dr. Kolokov. However, when they were able to lure her out, Julian was able to attack her with the claw he possessed, eventually killing her.

As they gathered around her decapitated corpse, Dr. Ivanov explained where he and Kolokov had come from and what they were doing. Julian did the same for their group and commented that the growing Minor Mouths on their bodies had to be dealt with. Fortunately, Ivanov was a doctor and may be able to assist with that.

They approached the mansion and after dispatching the guards and killing Udom, they made their way inside to a home of horrors. Finding several individuals, later identified as members of Savatree’s family, they realized the sheer madness of the woman that they had mercifully killed. Eventually, they ran into the sole survivor, Grandmother Ravee, an elderly blind woman who was Savatree’s maternal grandmother.

They learned, through reassuring the old woman that she was safe, that Savatree had killed the entire family over the years. Grandmother Ravee had her life spared by pretending to be senile and being unable to see anything due to her blindness. The investigators detected a certain purity in the woman and recognized her innate goodness of being and knew this woman had to be saved from this nightmare. But they could not leave yet. They had to find the location of Mt Kailash.

Grandmother Ravee showed the investigators where Savatree spent most of her time – the decaying library on the second floor. Inside was a treasure trove of information and numerous scrolls, documents, books and maps dedicated to trying to understand the entity Savatree and the rest of the cult had been venerating. Knowing that they would need much of this, they spent days trying to discover the most important clues.

One of the most important items was Savatree’s Journal, a book that outlined her madness as well as her crimes. In it, she spoke of her Anti-Investigators, a group of scholars that were in her payroll to help track down artifacts and eliminate her enemies. Mentioning that one of these individuals was Luc Fauche, it also implicated Tawny Qualls as a deep agent, meaning that Ju-no’s dire dreams of a traitor were correct.

Maps showed that Savatree had found the location of The Thing with a Thousand Mouths. Mt. Kailash, the target of the investigation for so long, was located in the Himalayas. Savatree’s Anti-Investigators had found nothing because they were not there at the right time of year, a critical and crucial clue that the investigators alone had in their possession.

Finally, they uncovered the most precious of all treasures. Savatree had a copy of the Revelations of Glaaki, specifically a complete version of Volume 12. This was vital but Julian warned, from his research into Ruminations of the Outer Black that dealing with this was extremely dangerous as even reading some of the names inside would run the risk of bringing them to you. This book, while similar to a copy they already possessed, was complete, thus making it the rarest text in their collection.

Eventually, Dr. Ivanov got around to having an open and frank discussion with Julian and Davis, explaining the sire situation with the Minor Mouths on their bodies. He explained that the surgery he would have to perform was needed, but it was not under ideal conditions and would be, quite frankly, horrific. However, they agreed it had to be done. Dr. Ivanov cut off Davis’ infected hand and then carefully cut out the tissue that had been infected from Julian, leaving his arm mutilated.

They ambushed a group that had come by boat and went back to the mainland. Whereas they met up with Phillip Astor Winston as well as Dr. Arthur Paddington and Frankie Fawn, they found no trace of Ju-no Sinn or of Tawny Qualls. More importantly, the chest they had kept everything in had gone missing, so all their important work was now in the hands of evil forces, most likely the Anti-Investigators.

It would be a long trip back to Providence to meet with Janet Winston-Rogers.

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