This is a replay for the Call of Cthulhu scenario The Necropolis, written by Leigh Carr, published by Chaosium in Gateways to Terror.

The Necropolis Replay – Call of Cthulhu (Gateways to Terror)

This is a replay of the Call of Cthulhu scenario The Necropolis, written by Leigh Carr, and published by Chasioum as the first scenario in the Gateways to Terror book. You can find the written replay and review on You can purchase Gateways to Terror on DriveThruRPG, Chasioum’s website, Amazon, or your friendly neighbourhood game shop.

This narrative replay is for Call of Cthulhu scenario, The Necropolis, the first of three scenarios in Chaosium’s Gateways to Terror book. If you’re a player, or just don’t want to know everything about the scenario ahead of time, you can read or listen to the first, spoiler-lite section of my review of The Necropolis here, and you can purchase Gateways to Terror on DriveThruRPG, Chaosium’s website, Amazon, or your friendly neighbourhood game shop.

And now, onto The Necropolis.




Spoilers Call of Cthulhu




As the dust and booming echoes settled, the explorers realised they were truly trapped.

The archaeologist, the professor of languages, the dilettante, and the veteran had ventured into the Egyptian Valley of the Kings in search of an ancient tomb. After finding the tomb, local labourers excavated and lifted the stone slab covering the entrance. The party excitedly rushed in, and the labourers promptly dropped the stone slab back down.

Lighting matches and candles, the darkness fled to reveal the narrow stone passage confining the party. The faint voices of the labourers could be heard through the stone slab, but the voices simply faded away as the labourers abandoned their employers. Noticing sigils etched on the inside of the stone slab, the dilettante recalled from his dabbling in occultism that they were likely wards to protect against grave robbers. The professor then found limestone fragments on the floor, which the archaeologist said must have been from an undocumented prior excavation.

Knowing the deep rumbles in the stone over head and the thinning air portended a short life-expectancy if they staid put, the party ventured forth down the passageway. Foreshadowing, via hieroglyphs lining the passageway depicting a dark Pharaoh and his darker deeds, did not go unnoticed or unheeded by the professor, and the party decided the ex-soldier should take the lead from then on.

The explorers pushed through a narrow archway into an antechamber crowded with treasures: boats, furniture, gold and silver, and all manner of goods big and small crowding the walls and corners, creating crawl spaces and nooks in the shadows. The archaeologist recognised that the objects were pointedly not Egyptian, while the dilettante noted that someone had rushed through the chamber, breaking whatever was in their path. On one side of the room was a sealed passageway flanked by spooky animal-headed statues, and on another side a broken through archway into an annex chamber.

Ignoring the statues for the moment, the group entered the annex, finding it covered in grand murals and containing more artifacts, as well as a desiccated corpse sprawling before a small shrine. The poor fellow had died violently, and small bite marks covered the bones. Pawing through the dead man’s possessions, they found enough gold to last a life time, a passport and journal, and a stick of dynamite which the dilettante quickly took into his care. The passport and journal identified the skeleton as that of a German explorer who had been trapped in the tomb, just as the current explorers were. His last entry said that he could hear noises behind the walls.

Properly worried, the dilettante left the annex to check the statues, finding them to actual be mummified corpses with their heads replaced with those of animals, a realisation he did not appreciate. To replace some of his lost courage, he took a huge axe from one of the statues.

Meanwhile, the archaeologist and professor inspected the murals and shrine, finding more depictions of the black-robed pharaoh inflicting unspeakable horrors upon enemies and allies alike, along with some ghastly ritual weighing organs and deceased animals representing ancient Egyptian gods. Both explorers let out cries of revulsion, bringing the dilettante back into the room, who had the misfortune of suddenly comprehending that the Black Pharaoh was one of Nyarlathotep’s many forms. With deepening unease, he could not recall when or where he had learned that name.

They then heard a muffle scraping from the other side of the sealed archway between the statues, followed by crashing and shuffling. Panicking, our heroes valiantly scuttled into whatever dark corners they could among the piled treasures, while the veteran readied his revolver. His experiences in the Great War steeled his nerves for many things, but unfortunately not this.

The seal exploded in a shower of stone and plaster, and through the dust strode in a hulking man, wrapped in stained and weeping bandages, wielding a massive sickle-bladed Kopesh, with the head of a wolf. The sight of it sent the veteran into hysterics, and his frenzied shots went wide as the beast descended upon him, rending him in half with a single slash of his oversized Kopesh.

As the beast greedily tucked into his feast, the archaeologist sneaked past the creature and into the now opened chamber, finding it to be a burial chamber cast in darkness, and could only barely make out a large broken-open sarcophagus and another archway out of the room.

The professor tried to follow suit, but an errant slab of the late-ex-soldier flopped into his path, nearly causing him to cry out. Steeling himself, he edged around the remains of his former comrade, and slipped into the burial chamber.

Not wanting to be left alone with the beast after it finished licking up what was left of the veteran, the dilettante also starting sneaking towards the burial chamber. Unfortunately, he was not as successful as his compatriots and knocked a rowboat off its perch, sending it sliding into the chamber, both drawing the beast’s ire and also blocking his escape.

As the abomination stood to its full height, the dilettante knew he stood no chance even with his big ol’ axe, and so decided to take the bastard down with him. Letting the axe clatter to the floor, he took out the stick of dynamite, and knowing nothing about explosives, struck a match. While his plan was to give himself at least enough time to hurl the stick and run, he was not so lucky, and lit the fuse right at its base.

Off in the burial chamber, the archaeologist and professor stumbled under a sudden shower of rubble and red mist, their ears ringing with the deafening thunder, screeching beast, and grinding of stone overhead. The tomb collapsing around them, the professor dove into the sarcophagus, while the archaeologist sprinted into the next chamber, taking a second to note the limestone jars that would no doubt have been useful had circumstances been different, before scrambling under an upturned ornamental boat.

Stone blocks crashed through the chambers, shattering priceless artifacts and filling the air with choking dust. But when the cacophony ended with only the slight groaning of settling debris and the muffled snarling of a once-again trapped abomination, the two explorers found themselves uncrushed and still breathing! Their exuberance soon died away, as the professor found the sarcophagus once again sealed shut by the fallen ceiling, and the boat sheltering the archaeologist snuggly pressed down into the stone floor. No matter how much they pushed, their tombs were well and truly sealed, and as their oxygen ran out, at least they went out hearing the beast’s last whimper, knowing it shared the same fate.


Thank you for reading. If you would like to see how The Necropolis goes for your group, you can purchase Gateways to Terror on DriveThruRPG, Chaosium’s website, Amazon, or your friendly neighbourhood game shop.

Before you go, though, maybe take a look at some more scenario replays?
MJRRPG: Branches of Bone
Seeds of Terror: The Mummy of Pemberley GrangeEndless LightOne Less Grave, Hand of Glory
Chaosium: Amidst the Ancient TreesThe NecropolisWhat’s in the Cellar?The Dead Boarder
Japonism: Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs?
Bibliothek 13: A Cup of Horror

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