CTHULHU WITHIN: SHADOWS OVER BYHAVEN

This is the second post of my notes on converting the original Enemy Within campaign to Call of Cthulhu. This covers the beginning of the campaign in Shadows Over Bögenhafen*. For the first post in the series, see this link.

Warning. Spoilers for the Enemy Within campaign follow.

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.

– Robert W Chambers, The King in Yellow

Casper Lovell [Kastor Lieberung] is a member of the Yellow Hand [Purple Hand] based in Graveswood [Grissenwald]. There he has been working closely with Eleanor Herten [Etelka Herzen] to track down an important mythos artefact, the Crown of Hastur [the warpstone meteorite].

Having received correspondence regarding an inheritance, he is sent to the town of Byhaven [Bögenhafen] to collect the windfall, which will be used to fund an expedition to recover the Crown. En route to Byhaven he is to visit an old observatory at Kingdom Lodge [the signalling device in Death on the Reik] that may be connected with the artefact. After Byhaven Lovell intends to return to Graveswood and join Herten on the expedition to search for the Crown.

Lovell is delayed by a number of suspicious mishaps during the early stages of his journey to Byhaven and becomes concerned that someone is following him and sabotaging his mission. He is, in fact, being pursued by the hitman Alphonse Gravano[Adolphus Kuftsos].

Mythos Car Chase

Attempting to make up time and concerned about a possible pursuer, Lovell is speeding down an isolated back road towards Kingdom Lodge, when he almost collides head-on with the investigators’ car. Both vehicles swerve off the road. The investigators suffer only minor injuries, but their car will not move. Lovell’s car tumbles down a hillside. Inside it the investigators find Lovell’s dead body. Lovell bears a striking likeness to one of the them. He is carrying correspondence regarding the inheritance in Byhaven, a note with the address of Kingdom Lodge and a copy of The King in Yellow. He also has in his possession a set of unlabelled keys, which are to Herten’s home in Graveswood. (Cf Shadows Over Bögenhafen, p49.)**

The investigators need to find help and shelter. Kingdom Lodge is the only nearby dwelling. It is a sprawling, crumbling old house clearly built up in several phases over a long period. At one corner there is a windowless stone tower. This is the former observatory of Charles Navarre [Dagmar von Wittgenstein] that Lovell was seeking. Scaffolding surrounds the tower and some of the house. The house is being renovated, but the builders are concerned that it is haunted.

This part of the adventure can be played according to the section of Death on the Reik that concerns the signalling device (pp30-34), with the building workers standing in for the dwarfs.

After this the investigators have leads directing them to Byhaven and should choose to head there. The journey is run as in Shadows Over Bögenhafen (pp50-57)***, with Alphonse Gravano pursuing them and ambushing them at Whitebridge [Weissbruck].

In Byhaven, the PCs discover the inheritance is a hoax. They encounter a vagrant called George Johnson [Gottri Gurnisson], whose mutilated corpse is found floating in the docks shortly after. They learn that there have been a number of similar instances. Detective Wright [Sergeant Richter] believes he has a serial killer on his hands.

The investigators also see adverts for a distinctive lost dog. The adverts are unremarkable except for the outsized reward on offer by the pet’s owner, a wealthy retired physician called Dr Walter Malthus [Doktor Malthusius], who is devoted to the animal.

As the PCs investigate around the docks, they come to the attention of local organised crime and encounter the gangster Frank Baumann [Franz Baumann].

The investigators see the missing dog by the docks and chase it. The dog disappears through a whole in a fence into an abandoned tenement. Inside the PCs find the hidden temple of the Ordo Septenarius.

The rest of the adventure follows Shadows Over Bögenhafen (pp79-101)****. The investigators uncover the plot of John Nixon [Johannes Teugen] and his pact with a native of K’n-Yan [Gideon]*****, and foil their efforts to summon Hastur. In the course of their investigations the PCs find correspondence connecting Nixon with Herten at a Graveswood address. After the adventure, they should follow up that lead.

INDEX OF NAMES

Alphonse Gravano [Adolphus Kuftsos]
Byhaven [Bögenhafen]
Casper Lovell [Kastor Lieberung]
Charles Navarre [Dagmar von Wittgenstein]
Detective Wright [Sergeant Richter]
Dr Walter Malthus [Doktor Malthusius]
Eleanor Herten [Etelka Herzen]
Frank Baumann [Franz Baumann]
George Johnson [Gottri Gurnisson]
Graveswood [Grissenwald]
John Nixon [Johannes Teugen]
Kingdom Lodge [the signalling device]
Whitebridge [Weissbruck]
Yellow Hand [Purple Hand]

FOOTNOTES

* Or The Enemy Within and Shadows Over Bögenhafen in the original GW edition.

** Or p45 of The Enemy Within in the GW edition.

*** Or pp46-53 of The Enemy Within in the GW edition.

**** Or pp23-45 in the GW edition.

***** Alternatively the Man in the Pallid Mask could take the role of Gideon.

The next post will describe the second part of the campaign, ‘Death on the Ice’.

Title art by Les Edwards. Internal art by Mike Perry et al. Used without permission. No challenge intended to the rights holders.

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