This is a report of a play through of my The Flame From Space adventure for the Cthulhu Hack and other Mythos game systems. This is designed to be an aid for potential games masters who are planning to run the adventure and therefore contains SPOILERS!
If you want to experience The Flame From Space as a player stop reading now or you will spoil the game for yourself and others.
The adventure is suitable for experienced investigators. My party consisted of four players, each with two characters. Three of the players were very experienced Cthulhu players and the forth had only played one Mythos game before.
The top picture to the right shows the assembled party. The setting is 1980s Britain.
The party from left to right:
Angus Taverner, engineer and inventor. Lefty Barker, retired boxer. Alan Fluke, entrepreneur and hedge fund manager. Enigma Creedendce, semi-retired police inspector. Leroy Wilkie, London Underground maintenance technician. Robby Nelson, bus conductor. Gemima Doddlepuck, crazy cat lady. Melissa 'Honey' Jones, PhD student of ancient history by day, stripper by night.
An eclectic mix of individuals thrown together by their need to investigate and battle the machinations of the Old Ones and their servants.
The Adventure Begins
The investigators were driving through Kent one evening when a flaming meteorite flashed across the sky and landed with an explosion in a nearby field.
When they made their way to the impact site the team saw a strange man reading from a book and chanted incoherent words as he confronted a blazing fireball.
Our heroes watched in horror as the fireball suddenly expanded and engulfed the man killing him instantly before, with a roar, it launched itself into the sky and raced upwards soon becoming lost to sight above the clouds.
The investigators recovered the man's undamaged book, a copy of De Vermis Mysteriis, and searched his nearby car where they found enchanted weapons, a strange alien set of lenses, a business card and a letter.
Stopping at a local pub the team discussed their options and Creedence traced the number plate of the car to a Reverend Whipple.
After due deliberation the investigators decided to take a look at Whipple's house on the way to calling on Digby Fotheringhill the next morning.
The investigators discovered that Whipple's house had been destroyed by a fire the day before and so, unable to learn more about the man there, they continued on to Fotherghill's shop where they were greeted by a learned man who was more than happy to talk to them.
Digby told them about Whipple who was it seemed in the same line of work as our heroes. He told them that Whipple was convinced that the world was in danger from Fthaggua who had been summoned to Earth with a ceremony that Whipple had failed to prevent many years ago.
Whipple suspected that the mysterious comet that had recently been sighted by astronomers was Fthaggua's home that had finally completed the long journey from Arcturus.
As they talked over tea and biscuits Digby's shop window exploded from the force of a fireball that smashed its way into the room.
Things were looking bleak as the books and furniture began to ignite and some of our heroes suffered dangerous burns before Digby, with the aid of a soda syphon, destroyed the interloper.
As the fiery creature died some of its memories passed to Alan and Melissa who saw confused visions of a flaming god and a huge, cold, stone structure. Digby surmised these were visions of Fthaggua himself and his giant redoubt on Norby's comet.
The fireballs arriving on Earth were undoubtably Fthaggua's minions- Fire Vampires!
Realising time was short our heroes headed for the Bayfordbury Observatory to speak to Dr Jeffrey Hinchliffe.
They arrived as Dr Hinchliffe was giving a talk about Norby's comet and reviewing close up photos from a satellite that were arriving in real time.
Amidst the blurry photos of the ball of ice and rock that was the comet's nucleus an image clearly showed an immense structure on the surface.
Dr Hincliffe just had time to exclaim "He was right!" before a fireball burst through the wall and consumed him.
The investigators made short work of the Fire Vampire with the extinguishers they'd stocked up on after their encounter at Digby's but weren't quick enough to save Hinchliffe.
Amid the confusion Creedence managed to search Hinchliffe's office where he found a letter from Whipple and a strange whistle.
The team decided to head to the village of Witheringhurst to see what they could find out there.
When they arrived at Witheringhurst the investigators found the entire area cordoned off. There had been a massive fire and the emergency services that had responded were missing. The village was quarantined and the army was patrolling the area to prevent anyone entering until the authorities could determine what was going on.
Undeterred, our heroes sneaked through the surrounding woods avoiding army patrols until they arrived in the village.
The scene that met their eyes was one of carnage.
All the buildings had been gutted by fire. A police car was wedged against a tree with its occupants burned to husks, an overturned ambulance likewise had its crew reduced to ashes and an abandoned fire engine blocked the main street with no sign of the crew.
As the investigators carefully looked around the came across a lone soldier hiding in the village pond. He told them tales of Fire Vampires and burning corpses that emerged from the houses to fight them when the church bell was rung.
Moving back through the village the party was attacked by a swarm of Fire Vampires as the young soldier had predicted but a couple of well aimed shots from his gun set the church bell ringing and, sure enough, burning undead corpses rose from the rubble to grapple with the flame creatures.
Stranger still, as our heroes started the fire engine to use its hoses on the Fire Vampires, its wailing siren summoned its ghostly crew form the ground who also joined in the fight.
The Fire Vampires were soon destroyed an the burning corpses returned to their homes, disappearing amidst the rubble.
The firemen stayed however and took up their places on the engine.
Our heroes decided to use the fire engine as their transport to explore further. Clearly there was something very strange going on here.
Having a choice of two side roads the investigators chose to head north-west towards higher ground.
The soon came to a small clearing in the woods containing a barrow-like structure and a caravan.
Two men opened fire on the team with shotguns from the caravan and a pair of Fire Vampires descended on them as well.
The Fire Vampires were not a problem with the fire engine and its crew helping to fight them. The investigators themselves overcame the threat from the caravan.
Some of the team entered the barrow,
Inside they found a mysterious blue flame that seemed to be softly chanting about Fthaggua and an impossible flight of steps that climbed forever upwards.
Fearing that going up the steps might be a one-way journey our heroes decided to investigate the other road out of the village first and return here later.
The south-east road led to a farm.
The investigators watched from a distance as a team of workers felled trees and took the logs away to the north while others guarded the farm house and the barn.
As night fell the truck from the farm loaded up with four armed people and headed in the investigators' direction.
Surmising correctly that this might be a change of guards for the shrine the team ambushed the truck and captred or killed the occupants.
Then, in a brave move, Angus and Gemima drove the truck back through the farm to see where the logs were being taken.
They drove for about a kilometre to another clearing where a wicker man was nearing completion.
There were lots of cultists milling around, some displaying abnormal abilities and shooting flames from their hands, More Fire Vampires were overseeing things and an imposing man, burning with a blue internal flame, seemed to be in charge.
Angus suggested that a ceremony was being prepared and the best way to forestall it would be to destroy the wicker man ahead of time. Accordingly he lit a fuse to the truck's petrol tanks and fixed the accelerator.
He and Gemima watched as the truck crashed into the wicker man and exploded, setting the effigy on fire and causing consternation among the cultists.
Meanwhile other members of the team were investigating the farm buildings. Detecting sounds from the guarded barn they found it contained captives, mostly children.
Quietly breaking in from the back they escorted the prisoners to the concealment of the surrounding trees without alerting the guards.
There were three adults amongst the prisoners; two investigator friends of Whipple and the local policeman. Although shaken and injured they agreed to escort the children away to safety while our heroes launched an attack on the farm occupants.
The fire engine roared into the centre of the farm complex and the reunited team leapt to the attack along with their firemen allies.
The few cultists that remained by the farm buildings were soon overcome.
The investigators began to search the buildings. They started with the cattle shed because they'd seen lots of people coming and going when they were watching the property. They discovered a recently dug tunnel at the back that led to an excavated basement.
They found alien machinery and a generator that was powering a portal.
The portal was being overseen by apparently intelligent spiders.
The party attacked.
The spiders were soon killed now that our heroes were armed with shotguns captured from the farm guards and Alan used his skills to destroy both the generator and the portal.
Nothing was going to come through now.
The investigators next searched the farm house where they learned of the history of the cult, its warped leader Christopher Tew, a man consumed by the essence of Fthaggua, and his plan to call his master to Earth. A plan that might still succeed.
The team decided to revisit the mysterious steps in the shrine in the woods. They had a sinking feeling that they knew where they led.
A final check on the rescued children and a hurried message to the army using Signaller Saunder's mended radio set things in motion. The army was on its way to put an end to the cultists. Our heroes had done all they could here, now they had to step into the unknown again.
The team set off up the impossible stairs. They climbed for hours before emerging into a stone room in what they knew was Fthaggua's redoubt on Norby's comet.
They explored for a while until they saw a strange creature beckoning to them from outside the redoubt.
Venturing outside our heroes met a member of the Great Race of Yith with a human mind.
The Yithian and investigators worked out a plan. They would set the comet on a return journey to Arcturus. This would enable the Yithian to return to the group of other Yithians who were studying a planet orbiting Arcturus and therefore give her a chance to someday be reunited with her human self and send Fthaggua on a 40 year journey away from the Earth which would at least delay his return if not prevent it.
With the Yithian as a guide the team returned to the redoubt and made their way past roaming Fire Vampires to the navigation contols.
They overpowered the Fire Vampires operating the navigation instruments and set them for the return to Arcturus.
The they started the comet's star drive engines.
Reaching the main control room they were just in time to watch the Fire Vampires shrink and become dormant as the engines powered up.
It was a matter of only a few minutes to lock the controls here and then the team ran for their lives hoping to descend the impossible stairs before they disappeared as the comet's engines finally ignited.
Our heroes made it back to Earth and watched the comet accelerate across the sky as it began its long journey home.
They were elated to have foiled the plans of Tew and his malicious cult but knew that one day Fthaggua would return.