Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Reshuffling & Reassignment of Amazing World War One Campaign Elements & Notes Or What Do With A Setback

Well originally this was going to be a post about Gary Gygax's Necropolis D20 book & how to expand it into an alternative WWI supers & Pulp campaign using the Amazing Adventures! Rpg & the Victorious Rpg. But that went out the window because some of my players read Troll Lord's Amazing Adventures! rpg official Facebook group. 

So on phone call later from one of my newer players who isn't crazy about the Gary Gygax  D20  book blah,blah, etc. & I've had to rethink a major portion of this campaign. Well, when your a dungeon master & you need to think outside of the box then you go back to the well spring. In this case I went back to the original concept for part of this WWI campaign the HP Lovecraft story ghost written with Harry Houdini called "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs".

Harry Houdini was pleased with the result of Lovecraft's work 
and collaborated on several other projects with him prior to Houdini's death in 1926.

""Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" (called "Under the Pyramids" in draft form, also published as "Entombed with the Pharaohs"[1]) is a short story written by American fantasy author H. P. Lovecraft in collaboration with Harry Houdini in February 1924. Commissioned by Weird Tales founder and owner J. C. Henneberger, the narrative tells a fictionalized account in the first-person perspective of an allegedly true experience of escape artist Harry Houdini. Set in 1910, in Egypt, Houdini finds himself kidnapped by a tour guide, who resembles an ancient pharaoh, and thrown down a deep hole near the Great Sphinx of Giza. While attempting to find his way out, he stumbles upon a gigantic ceremonial cavern and encounters the real-life deity that inspired the building of the Sphinx."

We're never really told who or what the Lovecraftian monstrosities were within the Sphinx but I've gotta more then a theory from my Uncle's old notes from ""Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" ;

"At length I succeeded in reaching the steps and began to climb; keeping close to the wall, on which I observed decorations of the most hideous sort, and relying for safety on the absorbed, ecstatic interest with which the monstrosities watched the foul-breezed aperture and the impious objects of nourishment they had flung on the pavement before it. Though the staircase was huge and steep, fashioned of vast porphyry blocks as if for the feet of a giant, the ascent seemed virtually interminable. Dread of discovery and the pain which renewed exercise had brought to my wounds combined to make that upward crawl a thing of agonizing memory. I had intended, on reaching the landing, to climb immediately onward along whatever upper staircase might mount from there; stopping for no last look at the carrion abominations that pawed and genuflected some seventy or eighty feet below—yet a sudden repetition of that thunderous corpse-gurgle and death-rattle chorus, coming as I had nearly gained the top of the flight and showing by its ceremonial rhythm that it was not an alarm of my discovery, caused me to pause and peer cautiously over the parapet.
The monstrosities were hailing something which had poked itself out of the nauseous aperture to seize the hellish fare proffered it. It was something quite ponderous, even as seen from my height; something yellowish and hairy, and endowed with a sort of nervous motion. It was as large, perhaps, as a good-sized hippopotamus, but very curiously shaped. It seemed to have no neck, but five separate shaggy heads springing in a row from a roughly cylindrical trunk; the first very small, the second good-sized, the third and fourth equal and largest of all, and the fifth rather small, though not so small as the first.
Out of these heads darted curious rigid tentacles which seized ravenously on the excessively great quantities of unmentionable food placed before the aperture. Once in a while the thing would leap up, and occasionally it would retreat into its den in a very odd manner. Its locomotion was so inexplicable that I stared in fascination, wishing it would emerge farther from the cavernous lair beneath me.
Then it did emerge. . .  it did emerge, and at the sight I turned and fled into the darkness up the higher staircase that rose behind me; fled unknowingly up incredible steps and ladders and inclined planes to which no human sight or logic guided me, and which I must ever relegate to the world of dreams for want of any confirmation. It must have been a dream, or the dawn would never have found me breathing on the sands of Gizeh before the sardonic dawn-flushed face of the Great Sphinx."

What if the operations in & around Egypt in 1908 were actually a cover for the extermination of something very dangerous? Say the last surviving cults of Stygia of the Robert Howard Conan stories. 

Franz StuckThe Kiss of the Sphinx 

Human foes he did not fear, nor any death by steel or fire. But this was a black land of sorcery and nameless horror. Set the Old Serpent, men said, banished long ago from the Hyborian races, yet lurked in the shadows of the cryptic temples, and awful and mysterious were the deeds done in the nighted shrines." -- Robert E. Howard: "The Hour of the Dragon"
What if the ancient priests of  Atlantis &  Stygia awakened in Egypt around 1900 to 1914  & began to reestablish their hold on the country in secret & earnest. Did the German  Intelligence Bureau for the East know some of the horrifying secrets that various rebels were conspiring with?
What if there were much more ancient tombs under the sands of Memphis & Gaza? The Spring rains may have uncovered exactly the sort of occult help that some of the forces were looking for?  

The German mission in Istanbul

How you may ask? Well after the events of  
I3-5 Desert of Desolation  the local time space continuum has cracked because of the occult forces of the tower of Martek. Now these events have drawn several members of the immoral  Æsir to the areas around Egypt because of the cults activities & summoning especially within the Persian and Egyptian satellite states. So whose behind all of this? 
The hooded priest is in  fact another survivor of Atlantis  similar to Robert Howard's Skull Face. 

An Atlantian survivor of the worst kind that interweaves with Robert  Howard's Steve Costigan character.
"The story stars a character called Steve Costigan but this is not Howard's recurring character, Sailor Steve Costigan. The story is clearly influenced by Sax Rohmer's opus Fu Manchu but substitutes the main Asian villain with a resuscitated Atlantean necromancer (very similar to Kull's arch-foe Thulsa Doom) sitting at the center of a web of crime and intrigue meant to end White/Western world domination."
There is evidence to suggest that Kathulos might have actually been a part of a secret order of necromancers from Atlantis similar to Clark Ashton Smith's The Empire of the Necromancers. Possibly echoing lost survivors of ancient Atlantis showing up in later future epochs of Earth such as Zothique.
What the implications of the appearance of such a cult within World War I is pretty horrid. The main Amazing Adventures ! Rpg rule book  & the Manual of Monsters actually has several Egpytian themed horrors build right in. The mummy lesser & greater are a must, the lich is a perfect stand in for a Kathulos stand in, plus there are several boss level Egyptian horrors build right into the book.

Even bringing capes & beings of extraordinary powers to such a fight isn't going to make one ioata of difference. The War goes on next time other fronts! 

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