Playlist: Right Back to Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale

Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Wednesday 4th June 1941, 18:46

With the exhausting attempts at summoning transport only possible once a day, Anné began the process of teaching Joe and Marcus the spell, with the intention of having one of them perform the Binding without being wearied by the summoning. It proved difficult to master, however, and the days began to drag by.

While this was happening, Birapeer, Cyril and Gunther went off exploring the island, while Gulbrandsen and his men kept watch on the subdued German and Danish sailors at their anchorage. Rather more interested in fishing, Birapeer only cursed in Punjabi on falling over a piece of loose stone, but Cyril noticed carvings on it and took a closer look. The three realized that they had found some ruins, incredibly old.

The runes were very reminiscent of those on the Peru Gate stone, but Cyril's estimate of the age of the stones put them well before even the Mythic Norse era. They were also similar to those on the runsestone Birapeer had taken from Maurer's body, though the ones here had more of a flavour of protection and invocation, while the runestone referred more to blood and flesh.

Over the next day, with some assistance from Marcus, they traced the outlines of two sets of stone footings; one a dwelling, the other some kind of other structure. In this latter was where Cyril and Birapeer had found the six runestones. Marcus hesitantly deduced that they might fit together in one or more configurations, but it was going to need someone who could read runes and speak Old Norse to be sure.

A strong sense of loneliness and despair, perhaps relating to the island's unhappy legendry, permeated the ruins, and the agents were glad to leave them.

Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Monday 9th June 1941, 10:25

Summoning Circle. Not ominous at all

Eventually, Anné agreed rather reluctantly to try another summoning without the backup of a second caster. Again, the little whistle the summoning required wailed out its bizarre notes, and a huge Byakhee plummetted from the skies, talons extended for Anné's blood. Scrabbling backwards, she pulled her Luger from her holster and snatched at the trigger; but the gun stovepiped, a round jammed in the breech vertically, leaving her helpless.

Across the summoning circle, Thor lifted his rifle and fired, tearing a hole in the thing, and then Joe riddled it with Bren fire, once again proving that these were one of the more fragile creatures of the Mythos. This time, however, as it died, the Byakhee screamed in fury and agony, a shriek in a language nobody understood that seemed to reach between worlds. There was a pause as the team glanced at each other. That was different.,,

Dimensional Shambler

The next moment, four huge bipedal figures faded out of nowhere all around the area. Considerably bigger than human, gigantic, blasphemous forms of things not wholly ape and not wholly insect. Theirs hides hung loosely upon their frames, and their rugose, dead-eyed rudiments of heads swayed drunkenly from side to side. Their forepaws were extended, with talons spread wide, and their whole bodies were taut with murderous malignity despite their utter lack of facial description.

The shock of this unexpected assault was intense but brief. Weapons were already prepared, and a blaze of gunfire erupted. The monsters were clearly somewhat resistant to the bullets, but not enough; Bren and Arclite fire proved effective, but not as effective as the Blevins Enzymatic Carbine. One creature had materialized almost on top of Marcus, and only by subconcious reaction did he discharge the steam gun in time. A blast of superheated steam blended with digestive juices tore into the monster and it practically disintegrated, showering Marcus in black ichor and odd fragments. Spitting out a mouthful, he called "They're Dimensional Shamblers!" which, while academically correct, didn't make much difference to the others at this point.

Thor hurled himself flat as claws tore at him, and Thomiedes sent a bolt from his power staff tearing over his head to push it back. With that, the creatures went down to superior firepower and quiet fell, just as Cyril, Birapeer and Gunther came sprinting back to camp, having heard the gunfire from the ruins.

As they pulled themselves together and reflected on the events, several came to the conclusion that the death-scream of the Byakhee had been addressed to some higher (or lower) power, and that retribution for their continual slaying of the Byakhee might have been send from somewhere. More research was needed!

Cyril had been urging them to get off the island for some time, and this suggestion now recommended itself to more people. The group started preparing to leave, packing their gear into the boats.

As they did so, Cyril picked up an item, headed for the boat and then blinked down at it. It was an Arclite Lightning Gun; but glancing over, he could clearly see that the party's one Arclite was still slung over Anné's shoulder. There had been two; but the other had gone under a train with Jimmy Wispa...

After he pointed this out to the others, he thought of something else, and made a quick search. Charlie Brooks' small pack with his minimal personal effects, was also gone. He stopped a passing Danish hunter. "Do you remember Charlie? Dour, Yorkshire?" The hunter frowned at him. "Charlie who?" he said.

After some questioning, it became apparent that the only Danes or Inuit who remembered Charlie being there at all were the two who had been sucked into Atlantis with the team. None of the others had any memory of him, and all believed firmly that there had only been five of the foreigners from the start. The team's suspicions grew; their actions in the past had made changes, it seemed - but to what extent?

Clotch, Greenland, Thursday 12th June 1941, 13:31

Inuit Umiak

After an uneventful journey aboard the umiaks, the team found themselves back at Clotch, the little fishing village from which they had acquired the boats.

The locals who had travelled with them, while not understanding the ramifications of the paranormal side of the operation, were feeling triumphant; they had fought the Germans and prevailed, and a modest celebration was held that evening.

The next morning, Gulbrandsen, Malik and the hunters from Scorbysund headed off for home, after taking a carefully worded report from the team for transmission to their intelligence contacts. Birapeer and Gunther had joined the locals in beach-fishing, and a respectable catch of cod made a good basis for the feast.


With Joe now equipped with the correct ritual for binding one, Anné settled once more to her whistle and once more summoned an enormous Byakhee capable of carrying them all. Once again, one appeared, and this time was met by Joe's fresh, unwearied willpower. For a moment it seemed as if it was going to tear free and attack, but he narrowed his eyes and bore down. The monster submitted and crouched quiescent on the grass.

Rather gingerly, everyone clambered aboard - it was quite a tight fit, even though Anné's summoning had been for a larger than average member of the species - and, after some discussion, settled on northern Scotland. Anné was very worried about flak and fighters. Joe gave the creature its orders and it leaped into the sky.

Its acceleration was breathtaking. Within seconds the clouds closed over the land below them and they were soaring onto the clear sky. Birapeer's eyebrows went up; what wouldn't he give for this sort of performance in a fighter! Their altitude was such that ice was forming on their external clothes, and breathing was rather difficult.

They'd brought supplies, nervous of starving before arrival, but their estimate of the speed of the Byakhee was definitely pessimistic. A little under ten hours later, the monster angled sharply downwards, punched through the clouds, dropped like a stone towards the rapidly expanding ground and landed with a rush, its powerful legs absorbing the impact entirely.

Stranraer, Western Scotland, 14th June 1941, 04:01

This actually is Stranraer in 1941. No Atlanteans though.

Stiff with cold and immobility, the travellers clambered down, and Cyril lobbed a salted fish to their steed. The creature gobbled it, but didn't look any friendlier. It still emanated an aura of enslaved hatred and resentment. Joe addressed it, telling it to go back whence it came, and it spread its wings and hurled itself vertically into the sky.

The question now was, where were they? Luck was with them, as a quick search discovered a road leading into the town with a signboard reading Stranraer. Carefully they walked into town as the sun was coming up. After a glance at the three Atlanteans, Marcus quietly raided a washing line for some modern clothes, leaving a generous quantity of money in their place, and outfitted the Atlanteans in shirts and kilts; the latter rather more to their taste than trousers with which they had some difficulty. Leandros was pretty much unresponsive by this point, deep in shock, and all three were desperately cold, the two soldiers' armour coated in frost.

Taking nothing for granted, they lurked on the outskirts while Joe ventured into a newsagent, collecting a couple of local papers and directions to the railway station before returning. "What language are they in?" asked Anné only half jokingly. Joe held up the Daily Record. "Looks normal to me," he commented. The news was the usual, somewhat censored and slanted to the positive, wartime fare. Relieved, the team headed to the railway station and began the long journey back to base.

Clemens Park, Surrey, 17th June 1941, 10:00

Clemens Park

After a late-night arrival at Section M's home base, and a good night's sleep, the team found themselves once more seated in Alec Viscount Towton's comfortable study, with Alec and Deadman across the desk. Favourite tipples and smokes were at hand, a clock's slow tick spooned out the minutes and the nightmares of the previous few days seemed very far away.

Alec, Viscount Towton

The debriefing went as it usually did, right up to the point that "Charlie" and "the Blevins" were mentioned. Both Deadman and Alec frowned. "Charlie?" the young nobleman asked curiously, "who's Charlie?"

As the process of comparing the team's memories to the reality of the world in which they now found themselves, the degree of changes appeared both more and less extreme than they had expected. Nothing massive or worldwide appeared to be different; but the burial of the Clypeus Shield under half a house worth of masonry had altered some of the events around the hunt for the Palladion.

"Put away where no-one can ever reassemble it"

Through all these revalations, Alec and Deadman showed surprise, amazement and interest - but did not appear to disbelieve the team's story or identities. After several hours sorting out the effects, they looked at each other. "This confirms what I thought, doesn't it?" said Alec. "Yes," said Deadman. "The Palladion is a wondrous artifact, but even were it not tainted by these blue crystals, it's too dangerous for anyone to have access to. The blue crystals that Nachtwölfe are so fond of using have some fatal flaw that exposes the users to these whispers - by your account, the cause of widespread madness in Atlantis. It should be put away where no-one can ever reassemble it." Alec nodded decisively and made a note. "I'll take care of it," he said firmly.

Over the next few weeks, the team enjoyed a well-earned rest, continuing on their various projects and researches. Cyril spent some days in hospital, having the last bullets removed from his nearly-fatal wounding on Glemt Øe.

Leandros was being treated in a mental hospital under close supervision, and with the cessation of the whispers in his mind was making a good recovery. He and his compatriots were learning English with the assistance of Deadman who, Atlantis obsessive that he was, spent every minute he could spare with them learning about the lost empire.

  Keeper Note: Changes!
The Clypeus was buried under tons of rubble in the Garden Shrine, along with the Guard holding it; therefore

- Section M never sent the team to Italy to recover it; the Train Heist never happened

- Jimmy Wispa is not dead! He never fell off a train in Italy, and was still flying photo-reconnaissance missions over Germany when the rest of the team left for Peru.

- Charlie Brooks is not dead! As no expedition was ever sent after the Clypeus, he was not recruited as a railway expert and continued on to his deployment – in Greece, where he’s serving dourly as a soldier.

- The Shoggoth and Tentacle samples were never given to the boffins, and the Blevins Enzymatic Steam Carbine was never invented. The two the team have are the only ones in the world. Section M (and Professor Blevins) can reverse-engineer it if one is handed over to them.

- Maria Verletti is not dead. She is still a partisan fighting the fascists in Italy

- The tentacle assault on the MV Lesbian and HMS Blencathra never happened. Both vessels are still operating normally.

This, appropriately enough after exactly 50 sessions and around two and a half actual years' play, marks the conclusion of Shadows of Atlantis. For better or worse, the hunt for the Palladion is now complete.

I hope you have all enjoyed the ride, whether as players or lurkers of the web page.

The Allies have been victorious and the Germans have been denied this particular route to power. Regardless; the secrets of Atlantis continue to cast a long shadow on the world—one from which it may never truly emerge... The war is not over, though, and our heroes will be assigned a new mission soon enough!

Session Date: 28th April 2020 - in CyberSpace!