The Peru Chapter offers a novel Mythos threat in the kharisiri, who serve as the “cultists” of the Nyarlathotep avatar, the Father of Maggots. Originally a small band of 16th-century Spanish explorers seeking plunder, these men attempted to loot the Andean pyramid imprisoning the Father, broke the golden seal, exposed themselves to its infectious, burrowing larva, and transformed into the hungry, half-dead servants of Nyarlathotep. Before the arrival of Augustus Larkin, these fat-sucking Spanish vampires functioned more as mindless predatory servitors stalking the Andean highlands and providing their master with a steady stream of nutritious regurgitated adipose tissue; however, with the advent of a more intelligent Nyarlathotep agent, the kharisiri begin to expand their numbers
With the Father of Maggots returned to his putrid quiescence and friendship blossoming with Jackson Elias, your Players may be ready to return to their own lives and personal adventures. At this juncture, Keepers will be confronted with the question of how to pass the time between Prologue and the New York Chapter. You will find a number of opportunities to consider here. First and easiest, you can simply fast forward to the Jackson Elias telegram and New York, which will probably leave Keeper and players feeling unsatisfied. Instead, you can simply ask your players to provide an explanation of what they have been up to over the intervening years. You could even elicit this
Unlike the rest of the campaign, the Peru Prologue follows a linear track moving from Lima to Puno to the Ruins. Depending on how things develop in Lima, your players may choose to bypass events in Puno entirely. Some random events may serve to punctuate some of the travel time between locations or add some Peruvian spice in the populated locales. As mentioned in our general random encounters discussion, you need not roll on the table, but can simply select your favorite or best-fit event. Instead of using the specific encounter, you could just opt for something similar out of the category, such as a bit of Local Color like some native Quechua-speaking craftsmen
We’ve already introduced the idea that the Peru Prologue can provide some excellent foreshadowing for your Main Campaign. Now we will expand upon that by touching on critical parallels that can result in chilling echoes in your player’s minds as they encounter similar situations and characters. In my opinion, one of the best such examples can be found in similarities between Peru’s Nyarlathotep pawn, Augustus Larkin, and the Main Campaign’s critical, but absent NPC, Roger Carlyle. Doing a little extra work to craft memorable similarities can help your Players develop a more nuanced depiction of Carlyle as they move further into their investigation. Both Carlyle and Larkin originate from wealthy backgrounds with the latter growing
Taking place in March 1921, the Peru Chapter offers an optional prologue to the MoN Campaign providing introductions to our titular Mythos villain and our doomed protagonist Jackson Elias. Easily contained within 3-4 sessions, your players will join an expedition with promises to plunder treasure from a remote temple, but instead find themselves fighting off fat-sucking vampire monsters (lipo-pires?), facing a low-level Crawling Chaos minion, and being lightly introduced (hopefully!) to Nyarlahotep’s Peruvian Mask. I can’t overstate how much I appreciate this new chapter in adding to the overall MoN experience. It adds a delightfully pulpy South American flavor to the campaign, which now excludes only Antarctica from the player’s travels. Does anyone smell a
If you’re planning to run the Peru prologue, consider investing a little time familiarizing yourself with famed explorer Hiram Bingham, who “discovered” (or, rather, made public) Machu Picchu in 1911. The 1954 film, Secret of the Incas, drew from Bingham’s exploits and was filmed in Cuzco and Machu Picchu. This Paramount production stirred interest in South American tourism and is often cited as direct inspiration for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s got some fantastic pulp features. Indy’s franchise decided to return its roots in 2008 with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It may not be the best film in the pantheon, but it does feature Peru and high pulp content.