This man named Archimedes, of the group Iluminati which the Wang’s belong and who sent Theo to us, has requested our presence at an important meeting after New Years. One dealing with matters of the occult and such beings as we have read of and dealt with in the past several months. An English royal named Livingstong, Lord Percy, and his Men will be arriving tomorrow in his own airship to fly us there and back! Imagine, the first flight for all of us.
There, Theo says we will meet 3 of the other 4 groups of Archimedes’ ‘Chosen Men’. Theo says that Archimedes believes machinations mor grand than we know are working against all mankind, and the Iluminati is blind to it. Archimedes swears by the horrific truth of it all. At this meeting he will detail his beliefs and needs us to share all that has happened to us with the others. Especially another English royal, an Earl named Paul Warrington, as well as the very same Richard Rathbone whose path crossed with mine in the investigation which led to my meeting Jack, my release from the police force, and my introduction the the supernatural truths of our seemingly normal world. Knowing he is a part of all this, and working toward mutual ends though separated by great distance from ourselves, is a light amongst so much blackness.
So, go we shall.
The Investigators meet Archimedes and 3 of the other groups of Chosen Men
December 17, 1889 10:00
This man named Archimedes, of the group Iluminati which the Wang’s belong and who sent Theo to us, has requested our presence at an important meeting after New Years. One dealing with matters of the occult and such beings as we have read of and dealt with in the past several months. An English royal named Livingstong, Lord Percy, and his Men will be arriving tomorrow in his own airship to fly us there and back! Imagine, the first flight for all of us.
November 02, 1889 17:06
After a day of slightly more difficult work than he expected, and some greasing of palms, Will came back with the following information.
- A man named Herbert Whitefield is collecting the funds from patrons and making the arrangements.
- Whitefield is the manager of a famous psychic named Paul Lamonde, whom Will has met casually on a couple of occasions. He is a young man, sensitive. His father was felled by Tuberculosis and he was raised by his mother. His abilities were discovered by Whiteflield only a few years ago, but he has alread become quite the public figure.
- Will was fairly sure he was a fraud upon first learning of the man, but after some digging on his own time could find no evidence to back that opinion up. He has since felt the man may be the real thing.
Lamonde has used his abilities mostly to entertain the wealthy and for private interests, like finding lost famiy money and such. Will was even ablet to meet with Lamonde, who was more than happy at the prospect of Will’s attendance with Theo and Jon. He gave Will the following information during their conversation:
The house is in a 3 century old farming community called Corbus Wood, a very religious area. It has had a quiet past but for the witch-trial of a woman named Marianne Lee who was hung for her supposed crimes in 1687, her body then burned. She had birthed a baby boy named Luther only months prior to her trial and death. The child was adopted by the Tannerhill’s afterward. Tannerhill House, the group’s destination, finished construction in 1680, occupied by its builder Quentin Tannerhill until 1700. His wife went insane after the child died. Quentin, believing he continued seeing her spirit in the house, sold the estate.
A David Carrington purchased the property in 1854, it having sat empty for most of the intervening years. He and his wife had 2 children: Jenny (b.1848) and Robert (b.1854). Jenny died in 1858 via suicide by slitting her wrists and is buried in unconsectrated ground next to the graveyard of the Congregational Church (reminescent of Booth, certainly). The family then moved. Wife Agnes went insane after, and in 1875 died also via suicide in an asylum. David himself died just last year in 1888. Son Robert visited the house and reportedly witnessing a child crying in a bedroom. He has since become deeply disturbed by his experience and has personally hired Lamonde for the job of doing something about it. Lamonde then turned it into a weekend excursion.
Jack “Sounds like a cursed family.”
Will “Or a cursed house.”
It being several days until the trip, we began moving on Look to the Future.
So, Will, Jon, Cassandra and Theo travelled by carriage to Tannerhill House. The trip took most of the entire day. They found the house to have quite the “gloomy” facade that Lamonde promised it would.
Another of Stanford's tentacles eliminated, yet the man himself escapes again
November 02, 1889 01:30
Though we were anxious to begin deeper investigation into Look to the Future which was briefly linked to the Twilight during our adventure in Boston, and their connection to New World, order of business turned to the Armitage letters and the one lead within touch upon immediately. So, before returning to NY, a single day’s research by Theo and Will got us started, and Atwater and myself travelled to Arkam for a couple days to pay a visit to one of their meetings. I will summarize that subject in the Armitage Files. The others returned to NYC in the meantime on the 15th.
Atwater and I returned to NY on the 17th. Before I detail our major focus, one thing I shall note which seems of no real importance, but yet something intangible about the news trouble me. I can’t put my finger on it, only say that I have a deep feeling something greater and terrible will come of it in the future:
Awaiting Will at home in his mail was a letter from an acquaintance named Jackson Elias, postmarked Shanghai. He has been doing research on a book in Central America and then at some point “stumbled upon a hornet’s nest” by gaining some kind of information on the Carlysle Expedition, and was now heading to Egypt. In this mysterious letter, Elias also asks Will to find a ‘good investigator’ if he can, for he may need a good investigative team. This was all very cryptic, for Will had no idea why Elias was in Shangai nor the reason for his investigating the Carlysle Expedition.
Something about this is…unsettling. Will felt the same, which is the reason he brought it to my attention first thing the morning after our return, moments after he first read the letter. I am going to review all of my articlels on the expedition.
[We are to pick books of Elias any of us have read, especially Will who has to pick 1 book he actually helped Elias do research for.
Recording missed much of this stuff on Elias.]
After some time getting our own affairs back in order, our next plan was Look to the Future, and by chance I received a letter at the office on Thursday the 24th from a David Lee of the city. He wrote a request for help, though he admittedly felt a bit silly and could not possibly involve the police as he has no hard evidence of criminal activity. He had heard of our previous exploits in Boston at Silver Twilight. Lee’s letter explained that he is a member of Look to the Future, apparently headed by a gifted alienist named Mr. Black. This Black believes in releasing men’s creativity by subjecting one’s mind to certain conditions. Attending meetings would apparently assure one of these great discoveries. He stands at a podium while members meditate on geometric designs, handed out on paper to each member before hand. Black then chants invocations meant to bring about the ‘proper subconscious response’ then the attendees repeat a particular chant. It was a particular word in the chant which caused me to sit straight up instantly, though at the same time was really no surprise: ‘Yogsothoth’! This chant was repeated for an hour or so.
This obvious villain Black surrounded himself with thuggish arabs, and a man named Mr. Stanford!. No sooner had we lost him than another chance was dropped in our laps. The organization ran monthly meetings, regulars seminars and guest speakers who typically try to push the members into joining other lodges, having even mentioned in particular, and multiple times over, the Silver Twilight as a wonderful choice!
Lee wrote that Look to the Future deals in strange items, and that his ‘health is deteriorating, since joining the group. It may be nothing but other members have suffered the same. Black has very secretive ways, and his arab security is close to him, suspiciously close.’ Lee wished us to investigate the organization and either expose any fraud or prove otherwise so he could continue to receive these odd artifacts. Needless to say, all our attentioned seemed poised to turned to the eradication of Look to the Future.
I was able to relate some facts about Look to the Future when the others joined me for lunch at Atwater’s house, facts that I had up to this point held to myself, being of no immediate consequence previously:
- They opened their doors about 1 year ago
- One Byron Slim is the founder, having come from unknown territory west, and New World provided the initial investment to get him started
- The primary aim of Look to the Future is to help businessmen and the like
During our spare time over the weekend we spent time gathering further information on the order, though I sent a written reply to Lee that we would meet with him soon. We discovered the following pertinent information:
- Will talked to several other known members who also mentioned the odd artifacts the order has given to some members. One being a simple frying pan (given to our David Lee no less) with a wooden handle. The amazing thing is that whatever you cook upon it simply slides around and can be slid off the surface. It does not stick. Also, a lighter with a small flint on top with some sort of roller which ignites it. Another is a pencil of sorts, housing a thin rod of led which can be slowly released as one uses it up by twisting part of the pencil itself. Absurdly, we all agreed these items seemed of the future. Even more absurd, but for our previous experiences this year, we were quite serious.
- A Mr. Black actually runs the meetings but is never seen outside of the ritual center, nor has he been seen even at the establishment but for directly before, during, and just after each meeting ceremony. Black and Slim have been seen together.
- Slim lives nearby in a 2 story house with several of his arab guards. It seems to be difficult to tell their numbers, for no one arab is with him for any extended period of time, as if they are being rotated in and out.
I, in disguise as but a street walker, cased the hall on Saturday, day of their ceremony. The hall is an old warehouse, and is guarded almost like a fortress by the armed arabs, though they try not to be obvious about it.
Additionally, Atwater found in discussions with some of his collegues that 3 people who have gone to these meetings over the last year have died. Some strange and unexplained disease from which they could not recover, even in the hospital.
On Sunday the20th, Atwater and Jack accompanied me to interview Lee.
Jack “I think the 3 of us should join this order.”
Myself “Is this going to become our modis operandi? We join evil organizations before destroying them down?”
Myself “Hopefully Stanford doesn’t walk through the door. That would be quite the scene.Perhaps I should be in disguise.”
When we arrived we found Lee a sickly man, cheeks sunken. He was not well, and Atwater instinctively examined him.
Atwater “He has been eating, but is suffering from a total lack of energy. He hasn’t gotten any worse of late.”
Jack “That’s because he hasn’t been going to those meetings.”
He really could tell us no more than in his letter, except that he hasn’t been feeling nearly as bad since he stopped attending.
Myself “And others have suffered from this?”
Jack “People died from this?”
Lee “Died yes, but not from this. They suddenly get a fever and must go to the hospital. They then seem to get a bit better, then take a turn for the worse yet again. After hanging on for a few more days they die. 3 in the last year.”
Jack “That’s not very unusual. There are lots of sicknesses around that kill people like that. What if one of them had been travelling in South America and brought Malaria back?”
Atwater “It’s nothing like malaria.”
Lee “As well, the deaths happened months apart.”
Myself "Is this a social club at all, or just the ceremonies?
Lee “There is a social side, yes. Before the ceremonies. Then Slim leaves and returns soon after with Mr. Black. Slim then leaves before Black stands at the podium and it begins.”
Myself “How long had you been taking part before you first started feeling these effects?”
“I felt it from the very first time, looking back on it now. At that time I thought nothing of it, of course. The next meeting is in a week, I should tell you.” The same saturday of the seance, as it turned out.
Myself “Are there a lot of members who do not suffer any effects?”
“Any member I have spoke to has felt at least somewhat sick after these things.” Atwater offered to see him regularly for the near future.
We all met over dinner at Friday’s that evening, joined by Roosevelt, and we informed them of our exploits in Boston and what he had on our plate now.
Will “Maybe Slim and Black are targetting individuals, whether the choice is by design or by chance. That could be why although everyone feels some minor effect from the ritual, only some end up dead.”
Atwater “Lee hasn’t gotten any worse since he stopped attending. He also hasn’t gotten any better.”
Friday “Speaking for the police, we have come across nothing suspicous about them.”
Teddy “I’m sorry, I really can’t do anyting for you. We can’t just raid this place” he of course jumping straight into the idea of ‘action’.
Myself “We have no intention of simply raiding it. What we could use is any information you can get from your position. Civic records, building plans…”
Teddy “Ah, as far as building plans I can tell you now, no. The plans were quite private. The building was remodelled, by a company connected to New World. The first floor should be one large room, with stairs to a basement or somehing in the rear. This sublevel was not original. What it is, I have no idea.”
Friday “I woud be happy to inteview some of the attendees.” He would do so in the next couple days, and find out the same we already have about the sickness.
Myself “They sem to be sucking energy from the members. I fear to keep someone or something alive, or bring some grotesque unspeakable thing forth.”
Teddy “It appears you will have to risk attenting a meeting.” To my dismay, this seemed to only course of action. Friday volunteered to send his best undercover man to a meeting first. A det. Striebeck.
I also showed the others an ad I had come across in the paper during the day for open minded individuals desiring an experience in the supernatural to take part in a weekend at a haunted house in NE. The ad guaranteed results for the $50 fee.
Jack “Does the fee include transportation? And food?”
Myself “Yes, the carriage and caterring. And the guarantee of seeing a ghost it appears.”
Jack “I say we do it.”
Myself “If so, Jon should as well. The afterlife is right up his alley.”
Jon immediately volunteered for the chance at a ghost.
Myself “Will, you could do a story on it for the paper.”
Will “I was thinking the same. I’m going to research this whole thing tomorrow.”
I will make this tale its own entry, after this one, and move on with the Lee case and Look to the Future. Suffice to say, all 3 returned safely from a harrowing evening.
We decided that Jack being a businessman and union man had an easy in since Look to the Future cattered to business men, as did I with the detective agency and Atwater with his private practice. We three were the perfect half of our group to stay behind and begin, and that solidified how we would split our forces. The question would be, would it be safe to even attend a meeting.
Saturday morning the 26th, Will, Jon and Theo accompanied by Cassandra departed for their haunted sleepover.
Theo of course requested “Jack, stay out of trouble” as we saw them off.
We met with Friday’s man Striebeck the following Sunday and he reported a terrible headache after his attendance at The Future the day before, and strange details of the chanting just as Lee informed us "Sure enough this Black started the ceremony, chanting nonsense syllables which the congragetion repeated some 45 minutes. Black stood changing, gesticulating and making strange noises. The man that seems to really run things is the man Mr. Slim, but he does not stay for the ceremony itself.
Theo “What is the general mood of those there?”
“During the whole thing, some seem bored and others very excited. Afterward, many are lethargic and suffer from headache.”
Theo “Whatt’s the sense of the inside?”
“But for a room behind the speaker’s podium maybe 10’ a side, it is all one large room. If they have anything to hide it’s downstairs. When it was all over, I was invited by Slim personally to dinner, him having noticed I was new.”
AAtwater “Did yo ugo?”
“Yes. He was definately trying to pump me for information.”
The others returned from Corbus Wood.
On Monday, Friday gave us sad news: Striebeck had become very ill, very fast.
Theo “Great Buddha. So quickly?”
Friday “Yes. Not ill like Lee and the other attendees. He has a bad fever, chills, vomitting…”
Atwater “It could be the food at Slim’s dinner this time.”
Myself “Is he in the hospital?”
Friday “Yes. They say he wasn’t poisoned, he’s sick with something they have never seen before.”
We made straight for the hospital, and Atwater made a detailed examination of Striebeck. He said it was certainly an unknown disease.
Jack “He’s turning into a ghoul!”
Atwater “No, it is not ghoul fever. I will try all the tricks I know.” Striebeck seemed to respond positively over the next few days to Atwater’s treatment. Friday was extremely angry, wrathfully so. Not at us, but at whatever was going on at the Future. He insisted we take it down as fast as possible, get him anything he could use to hit it.
Jon “Do we just want to raid it?”
Will “I think breaking in would be foolish, it being one large room with only one entranceway. The only way is to attend. Perhaps we should check on Slim where he lives? At his home.”
Jon “Go straight to the house, break in there.”
Jack “We don’t have time to wait long to make some kind of move.”
Will and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday taking turns casing the house. We quickly picked up on Slim’s pattern of going to the temple at the same time each day. 3 arab guards always accompanied him, while 3 others come from the temple to his house leaving 3 at his residence at all times. He had no visitors at all, not even Black. He must be seen be no one at all but for prior to worship. The house is a 4 square, 2 floors each with 4 rooms.
On Thursday afternoon, Halloween, we made our move while Slim was away at the temple. I was the first to approach the builing, Theo with me. We circumnavigated the house first, seeing through the uncovered windows all 2 arabs: one in the entry room where the stairs up were, sitting in a comfortable chair with a strange looking rifle (it had a handle on top of it, was shorter than other rifles); another was cooking something in a pot in the kitchen; the last came downstairs as we watched, carrying pile of clothes into the kitchen which he dumped into a basket, then proceeded to sit in the living room playing a one-man game of cards. The cards had unusual symbols upon them. Soon the riflebearing guard yelled to him and they switched places, the former guard dozing on the living room couch.
Jack “Me, Wang and Father Jon can take out the guard with the rifle. You other 3 go in by the kitchen. Hopefully we can take them out quietly enough that the arab sleeping doesn’t wake up.”
Obviously, we didn’t follow Jack’s advice.
Myself “We can use the trellice to get into the upstairs and search while they are all downstairs.”
Will “Who should go inside?”
Jack of course volunteered, joining myself and Theo. Will kept watch at the front of the house while John watched at the corner should Slim arrive unexpected.
After climbing up the trellis as stealthily as we could, Jakc and I entered through the window into the second floor hall while Theo stayed at the window in reserve.
We deal the final blow to the Silver Twilight
October 15, 1889 00:25
Returning to Boston on the 11th, it was imperative to finally see the evils of the Silver Twilight to to its end, whether that be the end of the order, or the end of us. We visited the hall during regular hours that evening, and nothing seemed at all amiss at first. Members greeted us as always and small talk was had before we split up amomgst the other patrons. During the next few hours, things took a different turn. Soon, some of the members, especially those initiated into the higher ranks, seemed to be keeping their distance. One in particular, Dr. Edward Collie (who was quite pleased to meet us when we first joined the order and was always in good spirits to see us) was quite different. He was very quiet and unassuming. I approached him with a drink for the both of us.
Ed “I don’t come around here much anymore.”
Myself “Such as what? You look quite nervous.”
Ed “In the last 6 months, 3 members have disappeared. 1..an accident. 2…coincidence. 3…there’s something going on. I think that there are addditional ranks here higher than anyone is familiar with and that they are up to something. There’s an inner circle and the rest of us are just idiots.”
Myself “What are you doing here now?”
Ed “I was hoping to snoop around a bit, find out what’s happening.”
Myself “You haven’t been making this obvious have you?”
Ed “I don’t think so.”
In the next few moments of our conversation, he named all of the same members who we suspected of cult worship.
Ed “Worse than that, I was in the bar room the other day and heard 2 of the members talking. You’re name came up.”
Myself "Mine? In what context?
Ed “Soon as they realized I was there, they shut up.”
Myself “Who was it?”
Ed"It was John Scott and 2 others I have seen him talking to before. They mentioned being worried about you, and then Scott said ‘It doesn’t matter what he knows. They’re finished’. It sounds very dangerous."
I was hoping you wouldn’t come back. Now that you have, the whole room is of a different tone. There is so much tension…"
We finally took our leave and on the way home, talked quietly amongst ourselves.
Jack “Look they already suspect us and are already planning to kill us. I say we just break back in and this time not leave any of their toys behind.”
Myself “We need to break back in anyway. Try to catch them in the middle of something.”
Jack “I don’t wanna catch them in the middle of anything. We should just take their stuff.”
Myself “Let’s go see McElroy. Go over with him what we found out last time before we left town.”
We caught a carriage to the Lt’s home, and he immediately invited us inside.
Mc “I can’t do anything. I can’t just go on your word.”
Myself “I fully realize that.”
Jon “We wanted to inform you we are going to be breaking in again, vandalizing and stealing in order to get you the evidence you need.”
Mc “And I need to cover you for it. I got it.”
Myself “Have you been there yourself recently?”
Mc “Sure, but I can’t help but feel I have been getting the runaround. They always greet me friendly enough, but then attach a couple members to stay with me the entire time I’m there.”
Theo “Keeping you busy.”
Mc “Yes. Here’s what I can do. I can call up some of the riot squad, station them on a bogus complaint nearby and wait for something to happen. If I hear gunshots, see a fire or explosion, I’ll come.”
Mysel “Then we’ll have to make up a story on what really led you there. A cover story.”
Mc “Don’t start the fight. If I come there and you have attacked them, it may you guys who will have to get the manacles.”
Theo “Not if they’re all dead.”
Mc “You can’t be killing people.”
Theo “These men are scum. Summoning things just as you helped us fight in the sewer..or worse. The mob would be child’s play. We never know what may be going on with their kind.”
Mc “I don’t know. I still only trust what I see.”
Myself “Make sure you bring men you trust. Try to gather some from the fight in the sewers.”
Mc “I’ll be sure to make them part of my squad.”
Myself “They’re obviously good and trustworthy men. Strong of minds.”
Jack “Or at least they used to be.”
Theo “True…for now. Maybe not if we keep dragging them into such things.”
We then returned to our hotel for the night.
We made final plans and preparations, informing Archer of our plans over lunch and having a late supper with McElroy.
Mc “By the way, did you hear? Another member has disappeared.”
Myself “It’s not Collie is it?”
Mc “It is.”
Myself “He may be in there, alive still. When was this?”
Mc “He was last seen yesterday evening, coming home from the office. His wife said he never made it home. She waited until this morning to make the call.”
Myself “He may be a sacrifice; and we may be just in time.”
Theo “What time should we go in? An hour after they close?”
Will No. We should be there before they close and case the place. At least a couple hours."
Will had the idea, and it was his we followed.
After the Hall closed very early in the morning we made our final move. Praying we would be in time to save Dr. Collie. A good number had left by midnight, and more by closing time. However, it was evident not as many left as were surely there earlier. Additionally, a short time after closing, about a dozen more men arrived in small groups over a short period.
Myself “Here we go.”
Will “They’re having one of their ceremonies upstairs.”
Cassandra “You want to wait until the ceremony is over? Dawn?”
Myself ""No. They killing will be done."
We snuck to the back as a group, and found the kitchen and rear of the first floor to be dark and apparently empty. The kitchen door was our target, and I picked the lock with ease. It was dead dark inside, but we did see lights on the upper floors. We went, quietly, into the adjacent hall, then made our way through the main hall toward the stairs in the foyer. We were not as quiet as we had wished to be, we must have made some noise. For when our lead men, being myself and Jack, reached the foyer doors we heard movement behind it of someone approaching from the opposite side, and as well we saw a flickering light from underneath. Jon and Theo instinctively moved to the front beside Jack, awaiting whoever was on the other side. Open it did, revealing a man holding a club, with the look of a savage and mindless beast. Theo was ready, and sprung upon the man catching him perfeclty in a silencing neckhold. Jack gave him the rough treatment, this man whom we did not recognize, with a pasty look to him which we have seen once before. The same ‘skin problem’ as John Scott; pale and rough.
I whispered “Knock him out, Jack.” Jack pulled a sap from his wastebelt and deftly clubbed the man unconcious with one swipe. As Theo stood up, he was himself stuck from behind with another club by yet another pale man-7, but the crude weapon broke over Theo’s shoulderblades. We had to make quick work of the guard before he could raise an alert, and Jon, Jack, Atwater, and Theo were up to the challenge, barrelling through the doorway to overwhelm him. They apparently felt that at this point we had no time for finesse. Jack pulled his knife on the man, and Jon drew his blade. Theo performed a jumping kick straight to the man’s throat, causing him to choak from the blow, unable to cry out-10. Atwater struck with his swordcane-8. Jon then finished the man off with a great thrust of his cruciform broadsword. The fight was so quick we barely made a sound, fast Jack even able to grab the man as he fell to the ground to avoid a thud.
From upstairs we heard, doublessly also muffling our actions, loud and continuous chanting. To it we moved. Jon took the lead, Jack beside him. Will and I followed next, with Theo and Atwater guarding our rear.
The chanting, now obviously from the 3rd floor, became more and more audible…and all the more terrilbe for it. The second floor was all empty darkness and we bypassed all its rooms, crossing only to reach the stairway up. The chanting was coming from the area of the altar rooms that were connected to one another via the symbolic portal. Light flickered from underneath the doors, the second seemed quiet. All the chanting was from the first. We briefly discussed the situation, Cassandra pointing out the opportunity to investigate the basement in detail while the cultists seemed otherwise engaged.
Will “I don’t want our friend killed, though.”
Myself “Yes, we don’t want to let Collie be killed if he’s in there.”
I listened carefully at the second room’s door and heard nothing. Looking inside via the keyhole, I could see no one inside either. I carefully cracked the door open and seeing that it was empty, crept inside. Will felt unsure about going in, but I continued with Jack and Jon who made sure no one was hiding behind the curtains. Will volunteered to stay in the hallway, Atwater and Theo stayed with him to watch for anyone leaving the ceremony behind us. I opened the door into the ceremony, knowing the curtain in that room was on the other side. As I presumed, it was still closed, and I was able to peer through into the dimly lit room unseen. Some 20 cultists stood in a semicircle open towards me, another 5 had their back to me and wore much more elaborate garments. 1 man in the middle stood next to the altar. He hung his head back at one point and I was quite certain I recognized him to be a relatively new man to the order. What it seemed to be was an initiation of a new member, and I am sure I heard the name Cthulhu. Who I didn’t see was Collie. Thank the Lord it wasn’t a sacrifice.
Considering the fact that we couldn’t just bust through the door and murder everyone involved, we ventured back downstairs in reverse order, and then into the basement. We encountered not a soul along the way.
Will “We have a few problems, as I see it. First, we don;t know how long the ceremony is going to be. There guards both being down, if they come down and find the guards…”
Cassandra “We need to get rid of the guards.”
Will “And how long is the unconcious guy going to remain so? Plus, we did kill one of the guards, what McElroy told us not to do. I think we fucked up.”
Myself “Let’s get them out of here, maybe in the alley and fast.” Jack and Theo did so with the dead man as we waited, and Will and I agreed on tieing up the man Jack clubbed out then taking him to the basement with us to hide in the storage room. We closed the door to the basement, and now drew our firearms. Jack opened the guardroom door, Theo standing beside him. This time, the room was occupied by 2 guards who were standing just inside. The 2 of them got the upperhand, but Jack reacted faster and they missed their mark. Quickly his knife was out, Jack and Theo went to work. In a few seconds the fight spilled fully into the guardroom, Jack and Theo both striking their respective targets. Jack took a shot to the leg as Jon joined the fray, putting one on the defensive. Theo had now taken a couple good shots, these guards proving to be tougher than expected. Theo retaliated with a great jab to the man’s face, and as he stumbled Jon took the chance and skewered him. Jack and Atwater finished off the other just afterward. Outside with Will and myself, nothing stirred. Checking the study and finding it empty, the altar same as before, stained with old dried blood. The wall with the same atrocious site of Cthulhu striding upon the world in all its horror, crushing mankind underfoot.
The next room was so large, our lights did not make out the other side. Held up by great columns with what at first seemed like stone trees topped by carved branches growing out to become the arched ceilings, but a few more moments inspection and we knew them to be not branches, but tentacles. In the center of the room, a stairway going down deeper into the earth.
Will “I’d rather search this entire level before going down there.” Otherwise the room was empty and finding no other passageways, we took the stairs down. It spiralled down 40’ to a corridor leading into another huge area. 3 of the 4 walls were lined with cells. 1 passage led out. In many of the cells we saw skeletons of unknown age, but one close enough to be shown by our lanterns held a man staring into nothingness. We had found Collie! We began crossing the room, and thankfully Jack was in the lead for he was the first to come to a pit. Will and myself then barely avoided another 2. The floor was coverd with them, very difficult to see in the dark. Suddenly, we heard a crying and terrible gibbering from the pits.
Myself “I don’t even want to look down.”
Jon was brave enough to do so, and we what he saw was similar if not the same to what we saw when we first met Father Jon. The warped versions of what were once people inhabited about half the pits, but Jon’s sould stood firm.
Using the keys from the guardroom once again, Jack opened the cell door. Collie could only mumble gibberish, his mind severely damaged by who knows what he has witnessed in only barely more than a day. Whether he can recover psychologically we will not likely know for some time. We decided it best to leave him in the cell for now and checked the passage. The first room we came to had full shelves of lead bottles with metal stoppers. Over one section a sign read ‘custodes’ and over another ‘materia’. ‘People’ and ‘Materials’. A second room housed torture devices of a medieval character, a pentagram chiselled into the floor, and into the walls across from the entrance were the words to reconstitute essential salts/reduce one into their salts.
Cassandra “Do oyu want to bring any of them back?”
Theo “If one does not do it right, we may bring them back like the ones back there.”
Cassandra “Where’s you sense of adventure?”
Myself “Overidden, by our common decency.”
She offered to do it herself, “Who knows what important people may be here?” but none of us would have any of it. We discussed where to choose to search for hidden passages, and Will suggested the very first room upstairs, next to the guardroom. We picked up Collie on our way back up and in a few minutes I had found what we were looking for, its shape finishing out the pentagram-like shape to the area. What it led to we wanted no part of: another passageway leading at an angle straight into the earth, reeking profusely of ghouls. We closed the area up.
We now had evidence, poor Collie. We could also say that, simply as members, we had stumbled upon the blasphemouos sublevels.
Myself “Did all of those husks of humanity below seem potentially violent?”
Casandra “We could find one that isn’t. Some were obviously snarling and angry. Others though were only weeping.”
Jon, Theo and Jack went back down and brooght back with them a deformed individual, his eye sockets misplaced on his head. As he joined our group, only for a second, a light of intelligence sparked and he looked at us with all seriousness saying “Kill me.” We couldn’t leave him so, even for evidence. We allowed Cassandra to reduce him then and there to his essential salts, which we shall bury in hallowed ground as soon as possible. Back up we ascended, but then saw a light above us, and heard cultists coming down.
I whispered “Into the guardroom.”
We ducked into the guardroom quickly, even Jack and Theo who were in the lead and on the steps made it in time.
Cassandra “Guardroom or study?”
Myself “Guardroom. If would find the guards, we may as well be there to take them on.”
Once we heard them pass, I looked out and know that John Scott and Stanford were both among them, with half a dozen others. They proceeded directly to the stairs and down. We flew upstairs and out of the hall for McElroy, leaving Jack, Theo and Jon to keep an eye on things. Upstairs, it was a completely different sight. Members were about, smoking cigars and talking of the ‘ritual’. There was nothing we could do but simply try to stride on out, mix with them, and walk back out. Amazingly, all the right people, for us, must have been there, for Scott, Stanford and their direct underlings not in sight the others were none the wiser as they only knew Will, Cassandra and myself as members of the order. Our only problem was Collie. Atwater volunteered to wait with him just at the top of the basement steps. As soon as the kitchen was empty for a moment, he made his move and got out the kitched door, meeting us at McElroy.
While we were gone, the others decided to directly watch the top of the spiral stairs in order to watch anyone else coming back up from below. Soon, one of the men who had been with Stanford and Scott did just that, a man named Max Reed, a large burly man and probably a bodyguard of Stanford. Our 3 backed off into the darkness to hide. Reed, howeverr, looked around and began to continue on, but then spotted Theo and then looking right at Jack. Jon was so quick into action that Reed barely knew what hit him. His blade struck twice as Reed barely began to bare down upon Jack and Theo, looking nothing (as Theo described) but confident he would kill both of them. Yet even 2 slices down his back did not stop the madman Reed, for he still stood for combat. Theo and Jack then struck, and still he stood. Reed turned for Jon, but another strike from Theolonius finally brought the giant down, unconcious; but not before he yelled for assistance. More men could be heard from below making their way to the fight. Jon and Jack blocked the stairway, Theolonius off to one flank. The first man to appear around the turn brandished a rifle, and Jon and Jack fired their shotguns. The man fired back but missed Theolonius as he continued upward, another behind him. Jack fired down on the second man, Theo engaging the first as he reached the top of the stairs. Theo struck the man and was missed in turn with the butt of the rifle. The second man now reached the top as a third rounded the turn. Jack dropped his gun and pulled his knife on the 2nd as Jon drew his sword. The 3rd man was not one of those who followed Stanford and Scott down, it was rather another of the pale-skinned men. Next, Theo dropped his opponent with a massive spinkick, crushing his skull in. Jon and Jack combined on the 2nd attacker, both dealing damage. The first paleskin engaged Theo with a knife, cutting for only a minor graze. Jon was unable to get past his opponents guard, but Jack stabbed straight to the cultist’s hear, dropping him. After spinning to his opponents rear, Theo broke the paleskin’s back with a single powerful punch. Another paleskin arrived to the fray and was ganged up on by all 3 of us. Above, they could suddenly hear repeated gunfire and much yelling as we arrived with McElroy and his squad. Theo hit home, as did Jon but the thing fought back, hitting Jon. Another arrived from below now as Theo struck the same as befor a good blow. Jon and Jack flanked the new paleskin and began to beat him down. Theo dodged his opponent’s blow, but Jack was wounded. Theo then finished his off, as yet another confronted Jon. Jack struck true as did Jon, but not enough to drop them. Jack dodged his man, but Jon was clubbed. Yet another ran from below, giving each man 1 opponent. Theo Jon hit their foe, but Jack missed. Only Jon took a wound then before our began to fall back, firing pistols along the way to the steps upstairs. Jack’s first shot was a misfire, and as he struck it in anger it went off (card), hitting one of the paleskins. Jon shot straight at another, grazing him. It went like this to the steps: our 3 backed off then Jon and Jack fired as Theo readied a strike. The paleskins would then approach and attack, at which point Theo would strike. Theo killed the first to reach them after their first volley.
Jack “Whatever these things are, so is Scott.”
Above, we had arrived with McElroy and his dozen men. As McElroy yelled that all were under arrest, some gave in but others immediately attacked. That kept McElroy and his men busy as we slipped through as soon as we could to get back downstairs.
We reached our friends when they were 30’ from the stairway, about 4 paleskins closing in one at a time. Cassandra got behind me, Will and Atwater as we readied to fire. Theo missed the frontmost villain and they pulled back into our line, forming a semicircle around Cassandra. We concentrated on the closest 2. My shotgun blast took down the closest target as the one next to it was hit by Jon and Atwater and grazed by Jack. Will’s shotgun hit that one as well but it kept coming. That one now reached our line, hitting me but only lightly. The next one reached our line as well, but Cassandra had already begun the spell to reduce a living being to its essential salts. She stepped forward and touched it as she finished, and it disintigrated before our very eyes into its salts. Jack pulled his knife to join the melee, killing the badly wounded one. Will’s shotgun gave a light wound to a new one bearing down on us. Then, in the very rear, out of the dark appeared John Scott himself. He released a Fist of Yogsothoth on Father Jon without hesitation. The burst of forbidden power slammed into Jon full force-41 and he fell to the floor as if dead. Atwater sprang to him to help if he could, and found Jon miraculously still alive but in serious condition. Cassandra suddenly charged John Scott as she began casting the salts incantation. I reloaded by shotgun and moved into a position closer to Scott. Theo hit the paleskin now at our line. Will reloaded his shotgun as well and followed me forward. Jack now charged the last approaching paleskin but missed. Jack was struck solidly in return, but Theo blocked his attacker. Scott targetted Cassandra now, and she stopped dead in her tracks, grasping at her chest at some unbearable pain within. Atwater stood and, with a surge of energy (card), charged Scott in a sudden fury at another fallen comrade. Atwater’s medical attention must have been greater than he realized, or Jon received divine assistance from God or Jesus Christ, for he also rose with sword still in hand and charged Scott like an avenging angel(card). Inspired by Atwater’s action, as this all was happening, I unloaded both barrels on John Scott with a cold calm (card). Will did the same, timing our shots simultaneously (card). As our buckshot slammed into Scott, his spell failed and Cassandra was released. Atwater’s swordcane thrust went clear through Scott’s abdomen, followed closely by Jon’s blade. We can’t be sure at what point of the onslaught he was actually killed. We made quick work of the last paleskins. Several police rushed down as this whole fight ended. The officers retreated quickly, after a few got violently ill, at the sight of the beings in the holes. Stanford was no where to be found, and many of the bottles of salts under ‘materia’ were missing now. The people reconstituted from them will no longer make up his next inner circle. The ‘materia’ are probably the grotesque souls in the cell-room. We found a hidden door on one of the cells leading into the ghoul tunnels, likely his escape route.
We did not stop the true leader of the cult, but we did put a stop to it and eliminate a resurrected wizard. The entire rest of the uppercrust of the cult were captured by McElroy and his men as well. Questioning of some prisoners revealed that their final plan is to raise R’yleh from the sea. The stars are coming into alignment for its return, but the Twilight was only a single part. Other actions by the cults of Cthulhu are in operation in Europe and elsewhere. It was but part of a much larger conspiracy which needs pierced and destroyed.
McElroy allowed us to search the entire place first so that none of his men stumbled upon any of the tomes which could drive them insane if they looked upon them. Before I list those found, I will say that something of importance slipped past us. We did not have the time for a detailed search here the first time we broke in, but this time we found a secret small compartment under the bottom shelf of the bookcase in the basement library. It was empty. Whatever was in there was wisked away by Stanford, Jon and Theo believe he was probably spooked into being more careful with it thanks to Jack’s broken window. Here are the writings we did confiscate for ourselves:
- Rituals and Secrets of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight
- Nameless Cults
- Revelations of Glaki
- Cult de Ghul
- Cthulhu in the Necronomicon
- The original letter from McBane to Stanford which Will copied.
We also took for our own the box into which Jon inserted his head.
It is now the next afternoon, and I brought up to the others the possibility of buying the Hall itself. With all the disgusting discoveries there, it may be very difficult to sell and could go for a steal of a price. We will have to follow its process. There is no heir to it, so the purchase will come with everything inside.
The investigation of a ghost leads us through time and place
October 10, 1889 23:15
Once in Salem, we split our investigative forces to cover more ground. Atwater inspected the body, and was sure she died of pure fright. Her notebook, however, was missing. The police insisted there was no such item on her person. Jon and I visited the witch’s graves outside of the cemetary, and disvovered that the small plot is not hallowed ground. If there is indeed a ghost, I though if likely that we may need to relocate them or ritually salt the remains.
Theo, Jack, Will and Cassandra visited the Historical Society and found it to be of 2 stories, and a local museum of occult history in Salem run by 2 old women, likely in their sixties. They both stood behind the counter and immediately requested the 10 cent fee, which they paid, and Will began to converse. Behind them, on the wall, hung a painting titled ‘The Execution of M. Booth’, showing a horrible old hag being led to the gallows.
Will “So this is just a museum of the old town, and about the witches?”
“Just about the witches. We have been interested in the subject our whole lives. We started the society for people that are interested in the witches. Membership is $1.00. If you should wish to join you would be member #3.”
Will “What do you get for it?”
“You get a membership card, and a year’s free admission, and if we ever have a newsletter you would receive that as well.”
Will “Once my friend Atwater shows up we will pay for some memberships.”
They were very excited about the prospece, and they then introduced themesleves by name, Henrietta and Olivia Thatcher.
Jack “What got you interested in witches?”
Olivia “When we were young girls, our mother pointed out an old house on Lyle St. and said it was the house that Mercy Booth had lived in. About 20yrs ago the area was torn down and new buildings were erected.”
Henrietta “On other thing that got me more interested. About 20 yrs ago, I know I saw a ghost in Fairfax cemetary.”
“Yes. It was the day we supervised the workers installing the plaque on Mercy’s grave. I looked up for and saw a blue shimmering figure by the Crawford mausoleum.”
Olivia “There’s no way she saw a ghost. Everyone knows ghosts don’t come out in the day time.”
Will “Have other people seen ghosts?”
Olivia “People think they have seen ghosts there all the time. The ones who have seen it in the daytime? I’m sure they are mistaken. At night, well, possibly, but we aren’t that interested in ghosts. We’re interested in the witches.”
Theo “Do you believe Booth and those women were witches?”
Will “I didn’t think Mercy was so old at that time. I thought she was younger.”
“No, she was old.”
At this point they had a walk around the place, and Will feels that not much that they had as museum pieces was really all that old. The brooms were of more modern make, and the ’witch’s cauldron’ couldn’t have been much more than 5 years old. Jack asked them about it, and they said they accidentally broke the original. How they did not specify. They did, however, have some old paintings and newspapers. Will and Theo of course found information of merit in the local record.
-article from Salem Globe, July 1872: Schill construction companies destruction of Lyle St. homes. Boston Univ. Professor Haggarty, a resident of Salem, discovered a hidden room beneath one house which containing strange writings. The Prof. soon after declared it of no historic value and the demolition continued to its end.
-Periodic stories of people disappearing in and near the cemetary.
We all rejoined one another, and had 3 important pieces: the house on Lyle St, the prof., and the construction company.
Will “Haggarty, we need to talk to. He’s either a moron or he’s covering something up. There’s no way as an expert he would dismiss the find. We also need to find a way into the room and investigate it ourselves.”
Again we split up: Jack, Jon, Theo and myself to Lyle St; Will, Cassandra and Atwater to Haggarty’s residence.
An elderly woman answered the door of the professor’s house, and when told they would like to speak to the him she replied that her husband has been dead for a number of years. He died in 1873, she said.
Will “Do you happen to have any of his research?”
She invited them in “Well, why do you ask?”
Will “I’m a writer for the NY Times.”
“My husband was a teacher and a writer. He was writing a book when he died. Something I think about witches in Salem.” She knew no details though. Will told her he was doing his own research on local witch lore and came across her late husbands name. After some light conversation, Atwater got around to asking how Haggarty died.
“He was murdered. His body was found just outside Fairfax Cemetary. The police said it must have been bothered by wild dogs because there were bite marks all over it. The last night he went to the cemetary for research, he asked if I would go. I wasn’t feeling well, I had been sick, so I didn’t go. Of course, I only think that he would be alive today if I had gone.” After Atwater spoke to her as only a doctor of Atwater’s quality can, she allowed them access to Haggarty’s notes. 3 main facts were gleened:
-Mercy’s coven was accused of over a dozen murders, though no bodies found. Mercy believed to have met with the devil, and witnesses put her in the company of a tall black man. Also, seen walking with a ‘terrible familiar’ by an old man of questionable sanity, “shaped like a barrel with ridges and a starfish where it’s head should be”. Theo believed the description to be of an ancient race from the Mythos who ruled all the earth long before mankind. “It is rumored they were destroyed by beings known as Shaggoths, who then battled with the Deep Ones of Cthulhu, which we have seen face to face, until R’yleh sank. Their last city on land was supposedly in Antarctica, but otherwise they retreated into the Atlantic Ocean. Some say they still exist there waiting for the stars to be right, others that they escaped into the future because they knew the earth to be doomed.”
On Lyle St. we found a community that, while built to be of middle class, was now already a rundown area. On the street we saw a fruitvender, a milkwagon, and another wagon with a waterpump. From it ran a hose into the basement window of 1412 Lyle St. Smelling something fishy, I asked after Jon hailed them “What’s going on here, fine fellows?”
“We come out here ever few months to pump out the sewer drain in this building. Evidently the pipe is cracked somewhere below. After a while the tennants complain of the smell and the landlord is too cheap to fix it.”
Myself “What exactly do you pump out of it?”
“Just raw sewage.”
It did indeed reek terribly but. At first, we noticed to our relief only the smell of sewage. As we waited for the men to complete their task, another scent became apparent. A stronger scent partially cloaked by the sewage but familiar enough to us to recognize. It was undoubtedly and to our great despair, the scent of Ghoul.
The true horror was close at hand. Jon and I did not relish going into such potential danger by ourselves.
Myself “I am beginning to fear a giant hive of ghouls under this entire area of New England.”
Into the house we went, making directly for the basement, wet, cracked and filthy from the draining. The drain pipe was cracked. A search revealed no hidden passages, so we decided to turn to measures of more brute force. After acquiring a sledgehammer, Jon got to work first and we took turns. Soon enough our work revealed an old, long unused room below. The stench of ghould grew exponentially as we worked the floor. Shining my bullseye lantern, we saw a room with walls coverd in mosaic tyles. Jon led the way down, and he and I began a search while Jack stood guard. After a few minutes I found that part of the western wall opened inward with a push. Another room lay beyond, dark, dusty and damp, stinking but without sewage. I shined my light around the room, Jon directly at my side. The light showed an empty and open wooden coffin as well as a table with a single chair. Propped up in the chair sat the dry, desicated remains of a body. The dried tongue was exposed, head hung at an unnatural angle, a black book underneat one skeletal hand beside which lay some kind of skin rolled like a parchment. As I came upon the sight scanning across the room, it caused me more than a start and I dropped my light, lucky that it didn’t break. After I recovered myself we entered, leaving Jack on guard in the outer room.
Jon believes the skin to be human, and written upon it was a contract between Booth and the ghouls-1692. For the ghouls part, they were to make sure her body came to rest here (apparently fulfilled). For Mercy Booth’s part, she promised to deliver to the ghouls individuals unnamed individuals whom they sought. Next Jon inspected the book. It contained the writings, if one could call it writing, of Mercy Booth. It was written in Old English. Jon was able to get the gist of it, sure that it described the disgusting worship of Nyogtha by Mercy and her witches, which included among other blasphemies the sacrifice of children, and her attempts to call upon unnamable things for unexplained reasons. It him a solid hour to decipher what he could.
Not having encountered much on Nyogtha as of yet, Theo was able to fill us in to some extent: The Necronomicon refers to it as The Dweller In Darkness, though that title is also given to Nyarlathotep. Nyogtha is also The Thing that Should Not Be, brother to Nyarlathotep. Summoned to earth in caves and fissures. Supposedly seen by sorcerers, strives for terror and destruction. Only with the looped cross of the vash firosh and the takoon elixir may he be driven away.
As we huddled around the desk, a black whole appeared in one of the walls noticed by Jon as Theo gave his discourse. Out came Jon’s cross and sword. A blue light entered the room through it and enterd the body in the chair. A blue light like that seen in the cemetary.
The spirit of Booth had entered her physical body, and we all instantly prepared for combat. The sight of the corpse fiercely standing in full glory was terrifying, but we all stood firm. It was slow to react so we unleashed our firepower upon her…it. I fired a barrel from my shotgun from 10’ away and though I am sure I struck it, it caused no ill effect. Jack came charging into the room as Theo struck it in the chest-5. John sheathed his sword and drew his shotgun as the creature made its first move. She raised a single hand, and out of it a black…thing…struck our at Theolonius (Wither). Theo struck her again-10 as she left herself open, then following with a supernatural dodge he evaded it, the energy only glancing off of one shoulder-16 but still causing a terrible pain. It did not take us any longer to know retreat was the best option in the situation. Theo made it out first, myself behind, followed by Jon. Jack, near the door still, waited for us to get out before slamming the door behind us. We stopped for a moment, hearing only dead silence on the other side of the door. Barely visible to Theo as I reloaded my shotgun and Jon watched the door was a red color visible through some parts of the mosaic. Jon and Theo began to wipe away at the surface, finding a red band of arabic wrapping around the room. Theo, fluent in Arabic, was able to read it. Even then he could not really understand it, as it spoke of the Lore. Jon stopped him in a hurry after Theo had read one wall.
Jon “That’s a spell to summon Nyogtha.”
Since we did not wish to summon Nyogtha, we decided it was time to go. No sooner had we moved for the hole we had smashed but Jack tripped over a piece of metal protruding from the floor, discovering by accident a man hole cover. A “ghoul hole” as Jack so elegantly put it. Not wanting to risk getting in over our head, we left the house with only the rolled skin-parchment and the book, leaving Booth undestroyed, and rejoined Will, Cassandra and Atwater at the hotel.
After dinner, we spent more time on the texts and newspaperrs we had found. Elder things are said to have come to earth many, many millenia ago and seeded the earth with life in order to create races of slaves;they are worshipped by degenerate cults still. Another race fought them, perhaps the Shaggoths or another known as Yith. They slowly degenerated, and had bread the Shaggoths as slaves who later rose and destroyed them. One of these Elder Things must be the creature of the starfish-head seen with Boott. But who is the Black Man? It reminds one of Dark Pharaoh, which means perhaps Nyarlathotep? We can not know.
We stragegized into the evening. The body in the basement seemed too much for us to handle at the moment.
Cassandra “We have 2 options really. Meet Mercy again, or investigate the cemetary and her grave.”
Jack “I think we should defile her grave.”
Cassandra “I think that’s a great idea.”
That night Jon, Theo and Jack paid a visit to the grave. Of course, there was no, as it is in the Lyle St. basement.
After breakfast we made our way to the cemetary, the lot of us. Walking the grounds for about half an hour, we smelled ghoul from around one crypt in particular. A quick search easily revealed a whole in the ground behind some bushes against the back wall of the crypt. It reaked of ghoul. We, quiet as possible, broke into the tomb and found the bodies missingg. We decided to wire Archer and Friday about it, for them to check as soon as possible if the like was going on in Boston and NY, apart from the Bishop cemetary. Both would take the alert as of the utmost import, and came wired back after dinner with the news we feared: there are many missing bodies. As I feared and wrote so recently, the entire area of New England must be a honeycomb of ghouls.
Will “That’;s horrifying.”
Myself “How to even deal with that?”
Theo “It’s such a huge area. The ghouls must be innumerable.”
Cassandra “The only thing to do is to block up any that we find, or boobytrap them.”
Theo “They can simply come up somewhere else. Futile.”
Over lunch, we came to a plan to attack and destroy Booth:
Theo “Could we get the body out before the spirit came? Then take it back and concecrate the groung.”
Cassandra “It didn’t follow us before, but it might if we did that. And it came as soon as someone touched the body. What about destroying the body right where it sits? Get everything ready…”
Will “Get a plan ready before we touch it and draw her in.”
Cassandra “Surround it first.”
Myself “We must use a conflagration. Make it nasty, quick and all consuming.”
Casandra “While its burning, or after, you’ll have to ritually salt the bones and dowse it with holy water.”
Theo “Jon should know the details of such a procedure of salt and holy water. What do we burn her with? And what’s the easiest recepticle to dowse her with?”
Will and Atwater “Oil.”
Cassandra “Whatever it is will have to burn fast. And bring something like a torch to light it.”
Jack “We need glass bottles, of maybe whale oil.”
Myself “We had barrels of the stuff at Kingsport, but more difficult to come across here.”
Theo “Terrible.” That day is and always will be a massive weight upon our memories.
Myself “We should see if we can’t find a few flares, like we had at the lighthouse. That would be sure to light our flammables fast. We should also dowse the body in the oil before hand, and perhaps a few feet around it.”
We all finished our meal and broke up to collect our necessities. Jon retrieved the holy water and readied the proper prayers; Jack and Theo the oil and necessary salt; while Atwater and Myself acquired the glass bottles. Will and Cassandra were able to procure a few of the flares.
We went to Lyle St. and after Jon detailed the sequence necessary we entered the accursed room. Atwater and myself held a large cask of kerosene lamp oil; Will with the salt; Jack leveled his shotgun, ready to fight in case it came to that, with Theolonius beside him. Jon aimed to fire the flare before delivering the rites to the burning corpse. The holywater in his possession would be the last step once it was all over. Cassandra watched from the doorway ready to assist with magic if possible.
Then, Atwater and I emptied the kerosene onto the remains after piling a ring of debris around it to contain the flow over the floor toward any of us. As we did so, the black whole opened…
We finished in time, and Will began flinging the salt onto the corpse as Jon read. After a moment, Jon fired the flare and Atwater and myself aimed our own fireams as the corpse went ablaze. The ghostly light entered the body nonetheless and it stood up, all in flames. Will frantically flung handfulls of salt onto it as Jon calmly and professionally continued the prayers. Nervous anticipation gripped us all, we could not be certain the fire would be enough to destroy it.
Amongst the flames, her voice rose above in a chant. Theolonius then screamed over the noise of fire and preacher “We need to finish her! She’s summoning Nyogtha! She’s almost halfway through”
I yelled in exasperaton “She just stood up!”
We were lucky. The fire had done its job in time, her body melting away into a disgusting husk. The blew spirit was spat from the muck in the form of her body. SHe clawed at Atwater with her hands, but to no avail. Then she cast an spell, but to no effect. With as wail she fled through the dark hole in the wall. I rushed to it “We need to follow her!”
Will “Do you smell ghoul?”
Wang and Jack led the way, disappearing as they went through.
Jon “Don’t panic, I know what happened. This is a gate. Theo and I read of these in the Necronomicon. They were transported somewhere.”
After a moments pause, I went next followed closely by the others. The instantaneous trip was disorienting and psychologically troubling. We all appeared in a room of large stone blocks, well worked and banded with geometrics and mosaic artwork. 2 exits were visible, one a large open passageway, and another leading to a balcony under a cloudy gray sky. In the center of the room hung the black whole through which we came, visible from only one side. Looking at it gave us all goosebumes, the unnatural thing that it was. No sign of the ghost of Mercy Booth.
The mosaics showed a few different and terrible creatures. One band told a story of barrel-shaped beings warring with a race of octopoid creatures within caverns: Eldar Things fighting something else. Another band showed Eldar Things fighting another, different octopoid creatures. Jon and Theo concentrated on studying the artwork, psychologically damaging as it was, while the rest of us went onto the balcony.
Jon and Theo learned much. The 2nd story told of the Shaggoths warring with the spawn of Cthulhu. In the end, the Shaggoths defeated them when the stars were perfeclty misaligned (for Cthulhu that is), resulting in the sinking of Cthulhu’s city of R’yleh and his falling into dream. The first detaied a their war with and their former slaves, the Shaggoths, following their uprising.
The air outsisde was humid and hazey. There was a sun in the sky, and it looked to be our own sun. The balcony was bordered by a low wall with a decorated metal railing. At intervals sat small statues of creatures from the decorations, one being broken and missing. The statue from Haggarty’s was a perfect fit. Was he here? Why? Did he become a servant of Booth? If so why was he killed? Will and I reached one conclusion: Haggarty’s wife was to be killed, perhaps a sacrifice, and when she didn’t show Haggarty was murdered instead. Through the haze we could see an amazing sight, huge buildings built like spires, connected by impossible arched bridges. The ground was much obscured, though we could see movement between the spires, fields of fern-like vegetation, and hear whistling noises from below. Leaning against the wall, we found a metallic weapon, similar to a rifle. Will and I inspected it, and it appeared broken. It did seem to follow some basic principles of science, and after 30 minutes or so we believed we had repaired it. While we were doing this, a huge creature like a pterodactyl swooped nearby and down into the haze. To our amazement, it carried a huge stone block!
Will “Let’s grab that thing and get out of here.”
Cassandra “We need to hunt Booth down first.”
Myself “How do we fight a ghost?”
Will “She’s not a ghost here, I think.” We then went back inside.
Theolonius “We are in a city of the Eldar Things.”
Jack “They are all dead right?”
THeo “Yes. Unless there is some city under the ocean where they still live, they have been dead for thousands of years.”
The city we were in was certainly the Mountains in Antarctica, only long, long ago, and I recalled the rumors of a lost city there in the newspapers some time ago. The rifle was also in the murals, used by the Shaggoths against both slaves, as a sort of cattle prod, and as a weapon in their wars…A Shaggoth Prod. Jon identified what seemed to be a dial reading a symbol which was likely the number 20, perhaps indicated a number of charges.
Finally we went through the archway and soon enough came to another room. In the room stood Mercy Booth as a young woman, no longer a ghost but now a recognizable living human form as Will had suspected. Next to her, right in front of our very eyes, were 3 massive Eldar Things, one held a Prod.
In a way that is difficult to describe, of piping and whistling noise, they were able to speak our language. One came slightly forward and spoke in Mandarin “What do you humand want here” as the other 2 stood obviously on guard.
Theo “We came for that woman.”
“This woman is under our protection. She came through a gate opened by the Dark Pharaoh.”
Theo "Are you allied with Nyarlathotep?
“The ELdar Things fear no one, bu twe are wary of him.”
Theo “So you protect her because she is with him?”
They seemed to start to argue, doubtless over how to destroy us or let us go.
Will This is our cue to get out of here."
Booth then joined the argument between the Things “No! You can’t destroy the portal, I’ll be trapped here forever.”
Will “Yes, let them trap her here.”
Theo “You can keep her since she loves Nyarlathotep. We will leave and you can close the portal.”
Booth then turned to us “Wait, I can grant you power beyond your dreams. Take me through with you, find me a suitable female for to inhabit and devour the soul of and I will make you my trusted servitors.”
Myself “Sure, like the professor you mean.”
Booth “He was supposed to bring me a body, and he failed. So I had my servants the ghouls kill him. But you, you I could make princes of the earth, under the Great Prince, the Great Pharaoh, Nyarlathotep. For as sure as you stand here he will come back once again. I tried to inhabit the girl, but it gave her frail body a heart attack. I was more than it could bare. But you all, surely could find me a more suitable body.”
We knew it to be ideal to abandon her here, stranding to die ages ago.
One of the Things said in Chinese “Brothers, we need to close the gate as they say. But we need to kill them!”
We quickly decided our best bet was the simplest one, to flee as fast as possible, knowing that even if we made it through, the Things would strive to keep Booth here for the Dark Pharaoh and then close the gate behind us forever.
Theo to the lead Thing “I have seen your kind before. I have met you in the dreamworld once and learned from your kind. (card)” The 2 of them spoke some more briefly, this time on more seemingly friendly terms. The lead Thing now seemed quite disposed to us, as did the second, insisting we were pointless to wast time with (card). Only one held out but was overruled by the other two.
2nd “These harmless creatures are not threat. We should not waste our time with them.”
The lead “This one already knows of us, and did us no harm. We shall let them go.”
Mercy “Yes, let them go and leave the portal open.”
The lead Thing “We do not want to anger the Dark Pharaoh, for he created the gate. We know not if he needs it still.”
It then came down to Will versus Booth to convince them of the fate of the portal, and Will won out, explaining the exposed basement and the fire attracting people to the area. That More and more people will find out about it.
Booth “Die humans!” She quickly went for the table behind her as if she expected something to be there, but there was nothing. She then began chanting the same spell as in the basement, to summon Nyogtha. At that, she was prodded by the Shaggoth! Apparently, they had not use for Nyogtha at the moment. We saw our opening and fled the scene for the gate. Jack was first through, followed by Will. Jon came last, and no sooner was his foot through the other side did it close behind him. It was so close, it took the bottom of the sole of his boot off as it went!
Our last act before returning to our hotel for the night was convincing the owner of the house on Lyle St. to simply fill the basement with cement together with a new sewage pipe to the house, in order to rid himself of the sewage flooding and the expense of constant draining. Will, Atwater and I invited the landlord out to dinner this evening, and he was surprisingly easily convinced, tired of the constant annoyance. It also helped that we were able to pool a good amount of money for him to put toward the project.
Tomorrow morning, we leave Salem for Boston.
We help Archer begin a case, and a revisit of the Twilight Hall provokes a night attack on us
October 08, 1889 18:16
When we arrived in Boston yesterday, Archer was there to meet us and we had lunch with he and officer McElroy, telling them of our investigations since our previous meetings as well as of Donnelly and Bridge. We are creating a quality web of rescourses and allies in the general area now. Archer explained he had handled a couple cases, nothing major, and was about to look into a mystery in Salem he was about to look into.
Archer “I was wondering if you wanted to join me. It’s pretty basic.” The body of a young woman was discovered recently in the Fairfax Cemetary at about 4:45AM by a passing milkman. A moving blue light on the grounds attracted his attention. The victim was a resident of Boston, freelance writer Eileen Hanover. No evidence of violence, COD listed as heartfailure by county coroner. Her mother lives on a country farm in the area, and looked up our office. She feels something is amiss, something unusual is going on and wants us to figure out what happened to her daughter. She gave Archer the Boston address of her daughter’s apartment.
Jack “A young girl doesn’t die of heart failure for not reason.”
Myself “Especially not adjacent to a cemetary.”
Archer asked us if we wanted to go instead.
Will “We could split up.”
Theo “We can let Archer go and start the investigation, talk to the police and authorities. If he finds anything strange he can contact us. Meanwhile, we can revisit the Silver Twilight lodge.”
Myself “I’d like to search her rooms myself.”
McElroy “I assume you will be visiting the lodge tonight. Nothing unusual has been going on in your absence, but now that you are all here I think things are about to pick up. The woman coud have been out for cheap thrills, and got more than she bargained for.”
Myself “Atwater, Will and I will visited her apartment immediately. Archer, take the trip to Salem and look into the matter. Though we might need Atwater to see the body eventually.”
Archer left Boston that evening.
At Hanover’s apartment, the landlord Mrs. Platts answered Atwater’s knock.
“What can I do for you gentlemen?”
Will “We’re investigators. We would like to see Amy Hanover’s room.”
Myself "We are investigating the unfortunate and surprising death of Ms. Hanover in Boston.
Will “Her mother has hired us.”
Platts “I’m sorry, gentleman callers are not allowed in.”
Will “We do have a woman with us.”
At that she let us in “You can see if Rita will let you in, then.”
She let us in, but did not wish to speak to anyone being so upset and very close to Ann.
Myself “We are only here to search her things on behlaf of Margaret Hanover, her mother.”
Rita “Oh, Margaret hired you. I feel so very bad for that woman.”
Will “We are not here to question you in any way, miss. We are only searching for any important evidence.” Will kept her busy, questioning her without the girl really knowing it, while I took a lesurely stroll about the room.
As it turns out, Ann was a freelance writer on the occult. Occult Review just published one of her articles a few months ago, one she was very proud of. Rita said there was a copy here, as well as a notebook of Ann’s, both of which I had already spotted. In looking over her notebook, Will found absolutely nothing of value at first, but we took both with us. My copies of Occult Review being in NY. My search of the room found nothing else of any interest.
A closer look at the notebook after, Will found an entry for Salem. Underneath it: Mercy Booth, 1412L.
Her newest article is a work on witchcraft, touching upon a coven of Salem. 13, so evil that the trial transcripts were destroyed. The leader was the aforementioned Mercy Booth, said by witnesses to be seen with ‘the devil in the guise of a tall balck man’. It says she may have been related to a man named Ludwig Prinn, excecuted in the 16th century Roman Inquisition for devilry. The article then promises more information in a followup article.
That night, we all paid a social visit to the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight, drinking, eating and performing general hobnobbing. Passing off Father Jonathan as Father John. All the while keeping our eyes and ears keen.
A few items of grave interest during the night:
Jon, while he was in the bar room, overheard several members talking over the nature of reality. What they said was terrible and incriminating “But you know the ture purpose of life is to bring the Great Old Ones to their proper position on Earth. And then true reality will prevail”. To which another replies “The way is not prepared. You don’t just call Yogsothoth whenever you wish.” 2 of them then argued over who would rise to be a ‘son of Yogsothoth’, and how it could be any of the Knight of the Outer Void. At this one of them noticed Jon, and they looked down and summoned a servant over. After a whisper in his ear, the servant left the room. John Scott then entered the room as Jon was exiting.
I noticed Scott speaking to a rather nasty looking individual in the foyer. I casually ventured closer, staying around the wall, and heard him say “He dies tonight.” This was after Father Jon’s encounter, so we were obviously concerned Jon was the object of their threat. The ugly man pulled a ruthless looking curved dagger partially from his jacket, only to shot it quickly to Scott, then replaced it.
Atwater kept his eyes on the way upstairs. There was certainly activity upstairs as many came up and down. Theo saw the same but to and from a level downstairs. We made our exit a little after midnight, our plan to make a break in during the hours it was closed (it being open the odd hours of noon-6AM). But this night, we returned to our apartment.
Worried about an attack on Jon, we kept a watch at all hours of the night. Jack, Theo and Jon shared one room, taking turns at watch in that order. Why they allowed Jack to keep watch will remain a great mystery, for his blundering almost cost them. His buffoonery, however, prevailed as usual against all odds.
While on his watch an keeping an eye on the door, he failed to hear both the window slide open and an assassin approach him from the rear while he rested on a chair. However, he had been playing with one of his knives at the time and happened to clumsily drop it on the floor in front of him. As he bent down between his own legs, he glanced beneath the chair and saw the assassin’s legs and feet by the illumination through the window behind. At the same time, the assassin’s first deadly swing cut only the air where Jack had been.
He immedietely yelled “WANG!”
Jon was not deeply asleep at the time and lept from his bed. Theolonius woke as well, but reacted slower from his deeper sleep trying to gather his senses.
The attacker and Jack faced off, the attacker missing whereupon Jack did the same. Jon joined the fight, missing his first sword swing. The assassin then gave Jack a cut-6, and a poison on the blade took quick effect (-2str). Jack’s retaliation struck home-7, Jon and the assassin failing again. Theo then lept from the bed and struck the assassin-7. Jack then missed, followed by Jon’s hit-6. The assassin then fumbled his dagger in the scrape, and Theo took advantage hitting-7. Jack then almost fumbled his own dagger but recovered. Jon hit-3. The assassin recovered his fumble and made quick for the window. Leaving himself open, Jack hit-7 KO’d. Atwater was summoned, but the man was already stable. Our good Dr. brought him around for interrogation before putting a stop to any further effects of the poison in Jack.
When the assassin came to, he did so tied to the chair on which Jack had been sitting on watch.
Jack “Why did you try to kill me.”
“All who profane the Old Ones must die.”
Jack “When did I profane the old ones?” He had been referring to Father Jon, not Jack.
“You, buffoon (this time to Jack), were in the way.”
Jack “I didn’t even know you were here.” The killer probably could have murdered Jon in his sleep and escaped withouth Jack even realizing what had happened!
Will “Who sent you?”
“Not a word shall I speak of the masters.”
Theo “These cultists never talk.”
“Peel the skin from my body.”
THeo “You’d like that, wouldn’t you.”
“Amputate my testicles…”
Jack suggested revisiting the Hall in the evening and letting them overhear that we had convinced the assassin to change sides, hoping that at least that bluff would get him to say something but it doesn’t. The assassin remains silent. After some discussion of what to do with him, Cassandra says “I can make him talk.”
Theo “A cultist?”
Cassandra “What do you want to know?”
Jack “Who sent him?”
Westinghouse “All he knows about John Smith and his age, the member who disappeared a short time ago…”
None of us want to watch what is about to happen, and after John ties him to the bed we leave. Barely a sound do we hear the entire time.
Myself “I think I should pick the lock on a nearby room, rather than use our own.”
We then did so, tied him up in another such room and left her to it. John watched through the keyhole and saw some things I will not repeat here and wish to never hear of again. After some time she returned, telling us the man surely told her all that he knew “These cultists. They think they are ready to endure anything for their gods. But many don’t know what ‘anything’ is”. The man was not of the lodge, but of an order of assassins who worship Yogsothoth. He works directly for a man named Carl Stanford. He of the Twilight. According to the assassin, he is not the 2nd in command behind John Scott, Stanford is the true power. Over 300 years old in fact. He insisted Stanford will come for revenge on us, and “whatever I suffer, you will suffer much worse.” The man said that “Stanford will not just destroy our bodies but eat our souls. That is how he stays young, by devouring souls of the innnoccent.”
Myself “He’s vile.”
Will “So, does John Scott know that Stanford is greater?”
That Stanford is more important makes sense, considering his connection to Look to the Future and its connection to New World Inc. Scott seems to be limited to the Silver Twilight so far as we know, and this area in particular.
Before opening time, we decide to sneak into the lodge.
Myself “Should we talk to McElroy?”
Will “We have no real proof, so we shouldn’t get him involved yet. Let’s tell Archer what we are up to, and if he doesn’t hear from us in, say, 12 hours, go and tell McElroy what we were up to.”
We disposed of the body of the assassin on the way, dumping it in the river. We decided upon entering in the rear of the building, and after a short discussion using a second floor window above the kitchen. Theo climbed up past the kitchen window with a rope, entering at the base of the staircase to the third floor. After securing and lowering the rope, Jack said “No problem, if Wang can do it I can do it.” Of course, his foot went right through the kitchen window with a crash. I immediately picked up a rock and tossed it into the window, hoping it would come across as a childish prank when discovered. We all froze, and only after Theo motioned that all was still quiet as could be within, Jack finished his awkward ascent and the rest of us followed without mishap. The place seemed completely dark and empty, so with lit lanterns we proceeded to the 3rd, topmost, floor. Which we had been told previousy was still under construction. A door to the left led to a long hall with 4 other doors. Another door lie ahead of us. We closed the door to the long hall and investigated the door ahead of us first. Through the unlocked door we quickly go down to brass tax, finding a 3’ tall altar shaped like a 5-poined star in a room with black drapes on all sides. Theo looked through the left curtain and found only a wall, about a foot beyond.
Will “I have a bad feeling about this. I’m not so sure we should be opening the black curtains of an altar room.”
Jack and Theo did so anyway. A mural covered the wall, a baren dead landscape with a door framed in silver as if it were a magic portal on the landscape. It looked quite real and somewhat disturbing, as well as depressing. Like a dead alien world. The mural was signed…Pickman.
Theo “Carchosa perhaps.” John and Theo agreed that the room was most likely for initiation purposes, for a higher level than we.
We then proceeded down the long hallway, takin the first door on the left. With no evidence of sound or light, we entered. No alter, carpeted floor and scarlet drapes all around. No furnishings or decoratives whatsoever. Looking behind the drapes ahead was another muralled wall. On the west wall lie a door. Like door were painted on the other murals as if real. The mural shoed a hill under a full moon sky. A circle of stones atop a mound surrounded a robed figure dancing madly about. Above him, as if moving into the sky, was a huge mass of sort-of-opaque slimy spheres. All about the circle of stones stood numerous humanoid creatures, though all partially decayed. All looked as if they were screaming and wailing in glee. It was utterly horrific, and shocked us all deep within ourselves.
The real door led to a room that seemed to not connect to the hall. Though Will was still wary of opening any of the doors upon the murals, we decided to do so. I picked the lock quite easily revealing a library. 2 pedestals each had a book atop it. One was titled in French Cult de Ghul, Jon and Theo "Published France in 1702. At least 14 known copies speak of all one would want to know of Ghouls (meaning Bishop’s sort) and what they do and worship, and the cults that use or worship them; The other was Cthulhu in the Necronomicon by Dr. Laben Shrewsbury. Theo and Joh: "handwritten notes for an intended book. Each written copy has supposedly varying levels of accurate information. They are incomplete, thanks to the Dr’s disappearance while reading the Necronomicon in Arkham, attempt at annotated notes of Cthulhu references in the Necronomicon. The original should be in Arkam library. The shelves were full of occult tomes, one was of immediate interest called The Revelations of Glache. Theo knew nothing of it, but Jon said it was “written in England, 19th centurey. Several major libraries have copies, in 9 volumes. There are rumors of copies of a few more volumes. Glache is supposedly and alien, possibly a Venusian, who was knowledgable of much about the Mythos. This volume in my very hand is marked as volume 11!”
3 others, with only letters like abbreviations on the binding and apart from the rest of the collecion, read KOTSC, KOTOV, SOYS.
Jack “What the hell are those?”
Upon looking, the first stands for Keeper of the Silver Gate (2 levels of it, this one is the rituals to become one), the second for Knights of the Outer Void (the rituals to become one), the third is Sons of Yogsothoth (the 6th degree of initiation). Job and Theo perused them for a short time.
We decided to leave everything there for now and move on, though we hated to think of them getting away from us, so as not to arise supicion of a breakin.
On our way back to the hallway, Will “What kind of room has no furnishings, just carpet.”
Theo “Does the carpet pull up easily?”
Upon checking, at one side rolled up tightly and against the wall was a large oriental style carpet. Rolling it out revealed a large circlular diagram woven into the middle of it. Jon said he saw that diagram in the Sons of Yogsothoth, showing the initiate standing in the circle with all of the others standing around. So, this is the major initiation room for the highest levels of membership.
Back into the hallway we entered the next room, same size as the previous altar room and also with an altar in the middle. This room and that room are connected by the door which acts as a symbolic portal, leaving their previous selves and being reborn. This altar was not the same as the other, being a pentagon rather than a 5-pointed star. Parting the curtains gave way to yet another mural, also by Pickman. A normal and tranquil landscape, hills, valleys, creeks…with a person in the fore but looking away from the onlooker. Something about it, though, was just off. Though none of us could place it.
Across the hall and into the next room, surely the initiation room for the Knights of the Outer Void. Black as black can be ceiling, white walls, wood floor. Another altar was simply a cylindar a few feet high. A white curtain hung in this room. Behind was a mural of outer space and a single dark planet. The painting seemed to draw one in the longer one gazed on it, and again the feeling of desolation or hopelessness troubled us all.
Will “One more door. We’ve seen all their initiation rooms and the library. What’s could be left.”
Upon reaching the final door, we were quite surprised. Glowing slightly blue upon the door was an eldar sign, which are meant to thwart such evils as the monsters we face.
Theo “That’s very strange.”
Will “Are we going to open it then?”
Myself It should be keeping things out if it is on this side right, bad things."
Will “So it’s not keeping anything on the other side trapped within?”
Theo “Actually it could be working either or both ways.”
Jon “We should open it.” Without another word, he did so. There was an utter lack of corners, all being smoothed over with plaster. The floor was bare wood, with obvious evidence of many drawings in chalk having been wiped away. Looking at them closely, Will felt sure he recognized a pentagram while Theo and Jon recognized signs for warding.
Theo “Ah, it’s a summoning room.” Apparently even our enemies can use eldar signs if need be. It must in case anything they summoned within could not be controlled."
The longer we were in the room, the more the walls made us feal strange and uneasy.
We then made our way back down to the second floor, where we were initiated into the order at the lowest level. A quick search revealed only a library of only mundane philosophy and science and other typical rooms. Hearing nothing below, we passed the ground floor and entered the basement. It was large, the size of about 2/3 of the area of the house, with single door. The walls were of large stone with pillars aiding in the support of the building. There was a lot of ritual and cult accoutraments, mostly things even the lowest initiate would see. More for show for the general attendee to cover the true cultists. The door led to a room taking up most of the rest of the area, and again storage, but of finer quality. Most here was likely used in more of the true rituals of the higher levels. We stopped to listen for a moment, hearing a faint sound like moaning of sorts. Another door had a difficult lock, and as I worked on it the contraption simply felt wrong. I took my time and in a couple minutes, discovered the trick within and opened it. The room beyond was dark, and a breeze eminated from within. It took up the small remainder of the area.
The walls were of large stones, but this time set without mortar. I pinned down the breeze as coming from below the floor, so we began a search of the room for a hidden door. We all took a different wall or part of the floor, with Jon, Theo and Jack watching our rear. Will, Atwater and myself, after finding nothing, switched positions and finally Atwater discovered a false stone hiding a lever. Atwater grasped it, and everyone else left the room. Upon pulling it, with a creak, the 2 stones adjacent to him slid away and let out a gust of air. At this point, we had only a half an hour until we needed to make our exit safely before the lodge opened at noon. The stairs revealed seemed ancient, not like that of the surrounding building but much older, cut into the bedrock. Down and down we went until we reached a corridor. The corridor opened into a room with interior wooden walls, obviousy very recent. The large room appeared empty, one door immediately to our left, plus another door and an open passageway.
Will, who had been paying attention to the shape of things, said “I have a bad feeling about this. This floor might be layed out like a five pointed star. They’re going to summon something terrible down here.”
We first opened the door next to the entrance we came in through. It housed a wooden table with a shotgun on it, and a ring of 8 keys hanging upon the wall. With no other doors out, we left the room.
Jack “A guard room.” But with no guard. Checking if it was loaded, Jack found it to took it as well as the keys. “I’ll put the gun back on our way out.”
Musyself “Fine thinking Jack. We don’t want anyone coming from our rear to be armed with it.”
We found the other door locked, but the fifth key Jack tried opened it.
Jack “Fifth times the charm.”
It showed a small room with a door on the far wall. It contained a desk with a letter, oil lamp and matches upon it, with a rather comfortable chair. I searched the room closely as Jon and Theo looked at the letter, and soon found a small key in the back of the desk drawer. The letter was the most important find of the entire night, and opened up an even larger world of the schemes and works of the cult. Their works may be huge, larger than we alone can deal with. More than ever Archimedes MUST find his other men. I will include only notes here:
-It was from one Duncan McBane, McBane House of Scotland. To Stanford.
-A Miss Santrane.
-A cryptic ‘item’ required by Stanford; 2 Americans digging at the temple site; 2 of McBane’s people have infiltrated the Americans
-McBane’s satisfactory studies with the ‘serpent people’; recommend McBane journey to the nameless city. (Add in later:Wilkerson says that as far back as before Hyborean age, a hero named King Kull almost destroyed an evil serpent peoples). He’s not ready to go to nameless city yet, too much work for the order to be done.
-Ready to carry out further tasks ‘our order may have for me’.
-Santrane converting an order called Thul Budershwaft. Germans too upset with French to listen to her. Suggests Helmut Grossman take over for her, though he has not been to Germany for over 200 years!
-Agrees with Stanford Templars (Templars exist today!? Jon informs us they do, secretly, and they oppose the evil Teutonic Knights. Templars send out individual ‘paladins’ to destroy evil by both straightforward means and assassination;that’s all he knows) are a danger, lacking in general the types to be converted;destroy them; should try to subvert some individuals as spies.
-McBane not familiar with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn nor the Astrum Argentinum. Will pass it along to ‘London Group’.
-a William Seabrook told McBane about an Alistair Crowley, to be eliminated or contacted as he may have occult powers. Could be converted.
-refers to Scott as being in charge of Boston area, and has not seen him for over 40 years. Perhaps they can meet next year.
Other clues from the Catacysm of the Knights of the Outer Void
-Great Old Ones as rulers of the Universe
-Temples of R’yley
and Keepers of the Silver Gate
-dire mention of ‘others’ in Scotland, Louisiana and South Pacific ‘walking the same path’.
This must all be passed on to Archimedes as soon as possible. Could the temple be Galloway or the Clive expeditions? Much to research. It is troubling that he treats a 300 year old John Scott as nothing more than an individual pawn in the greater scheme.
Will made a full copy of the letter, while I used the key I found to open the only other door in the room. Inside was another desk, as well as a bookcase with tomes on mathematics, philosophy and science. On the floor in a corner lie a wooden box, about a foot and a half on all sides. Jon opened it and it appeared empby and black inside. I began to check it for a false bottom, an my hand upon touching the bottom simply vanished through it. I pulled it out quickly, and Jack insisted I not to that again as we have to be going anyway. The bottom must have been a portal of some kind, perhaps to another box. Jon, however, insisted on investigating further and went so far, and so foolishly, as to thrust his head through after a prayer, which he insited gave him a neutral feeling about doind so. When he pulled back, he said he saw nothing but darkenss and a slight rim of feint light above and around him, though he felt completely disoriented as if his head appeared right side up even though he knew his body was leaning downwar.
By this time we needed to get out. We replaced all as we found it and left via the kitchen door in the rear of the building, making immediately for our hotel. We got some rest and waited for Archer to return.
Archer returned this evening and we received a report of his information over dinner:
-The milkman said that the light was not just a light, like a lantern, but in the shape of a person. I must have been mistaken, but there was not lantern near the body, and I never saw the light move away from the spot. It simple disappeared.
-The coroner “Fairfax has always had a reputation for ghosts and goblins. It is avoided at night by many. But, if it wasn’t a matter of personal and professional ethics, I would have said she died of fright.”
-Fairfax is one of the oldest in the area, surrounded by a 7’ high fence of iron. The gate is never locked, many locals have family members buried there. There is a small plot outside the main cemetary grounds. It consists of 13 headstones, too worn to read. One, however, had a bronze plaque upon it reading:
Grave of Mercy Booth
Daughters of Salem Historical Society
-There have been occasional strange disappearanced near the area of Fairfax in past years.
Archer “What will you do? Are you going to Salem or raid the Twilight again?”
Will “We did get paid for the Salem investigation, we can’t just ignore a paying customer. Plus, we did break the window to the kitchen. Even we made it look like…”
Myself “A prank, hoodlums.”
Will “I have a suspicion that they might add security at least for a couple nights.”
Myself “I agree. Leaving will give them a chance to go back to normal when nothing else happens.”
I am now about to turn in for a good nights sleep as the others have done. We will leave for Salem in the morning.
We take a break from horror, without simply wasting the time
October 06, 1889 21:30
We have spent the last 2 weeks here in Arkham as well as NY to rest and recuperate, though it has not been fully idle time.
The morning after we returned here to Arkham, a summons came from Armitage and his group. The men looked pale, for they had already received a second letter. It was discovered by Armitage himself, lying on his desk in the morning while we were away in Kingsport. This time, the paper was of the type Armitage typically uses in his office. The letter reads much more like the sane man Armitage is now, so it is certainly in the nearer future than the first letter. I shall log notes on it in the Armitage Files I have started, separate from this record of mine. Many possible leads of names are here in the letter. The worst of all, a mention of the Tears of Azathoth. It is a forbidden tome, thought to be only myth and tale. However, an odd detail makes it all the more unsettling beyond it’s very name itself: Armitage and his men, as well as Theolonius and Jon, have all heard of the supposed book. None of them, though, can recall where and when nor in what context they ever learned of it. No memory, at all, not a one of them. Neither have they been able to find a reference to in in any of their written sources. That does not sound of ‘so much flim-flammery’ to me, and Theo and Jon are in agreement. There is more to this tome than mere legend.
At first, it seems that the matter has become much more urgent, for the letter mentions events in the month of October. However, Armitage being involved in no such investigations prior to the first letter arriving, nor heard of any of the names mentioned in their context, it must refer to next October, 1890. Additionally, Will noticed the conclusive proof: the letter mentions a precise number of the astronomy club’s newsletters that had been released at the time of the writing, a number which they will not reach for over a year. We therefore should be able to count on having a generous span of time to ponder before rushing into anything.
Armitage and I bring up a worry of ours about time. He is not currently investigating any such thing. If he never gets into the investigation, because we do instead, he will never write the letters. If he never writes these letters they never come back to us and their is no investigation.
We have also decided to open an office here in Arkham, and found a suitable location to rent for a very fair price. Through talking to local officers, some of the group’s associates, and placing an add in local papers, we decided on a man named Jack Bridge. Bridge most impressed us for his action oriented approach. Bridge is in his early 40’s, and so experienced, bushy eyebrows, wide eyes and long ears. The man smokes cigars incessantly, and fiddles with his silver cigar cutter constantly. For a time he worked for the Continental Detective Agency (an offshoot of the Pinkertons, and with a good reputation). We of course contacted his former office with the agency for his reference, and they said he was not a particularly strong operative. He tended to get personally involved in their cases. If he was hired by someone who he felt was the bad guy in the case, he would work against the hiring party behind the scenes. He simply can’t help it, especially when innocents people will be hurt. He was a thorn in the side of the rich in Boston for always taking the side of the little guy, so the agency let him go because no one wanted him assigned to their case.
Bridge felt he needed a new start, and came to Arkham to look into opening his own office. He got on the wrong side of the chief of police, so is not looking to work for someone else.
All this together made the man the best choice for us, by far. He is not schooled in the Mythos, but seems a man who will believe his own eyes no matter what they see, and will not shy from the attack. He prefers a straight ahead approach, ol’ Jack’s kind of man, though he is going to get too old for that sooner rather than later.
We introduced him to Armitage so as to give Bridge contacts for assistance in research and knowledge, as he is not the type of man for that. Bridge will receive 50% of the office’s income with the other 50% to the business himself.
He informed us he already has a couple cases he would like to look into:
-A shopkeeper who is being muscled by a gang of thugs for ‘protection’. Something we see much of in NY.
-A blonde woman came to his room, saying she is being blackmailed over some incriminating loveletters she wrote. She is not about to get married, and the ‘creep’ is holding the letters over her head.
We set up an introduction for Bridge to Frank Donnelly of Kingsport, and Donnelly was very excited at the prospect of his involvement in some private work for us alongside Bridge. We also told them both of Archer in Boston, and will tell Archer of them when we return there, so that each can cooperate with the other should the need arise.
While Theo and Jon stayed in Arkham working with their books, Will (with Cassandra), Jack, Atwater and I spent several days back in NY. Jack left almost immediately and only returns this evening, having spent the time running his business. Will, Atwater and I left after hiring Bridge at the end of the first week. Will finished and turned in his work for the Times, while Atwater stayed busy at his office and home. I touched base with Friday and Roosevelt, but first checked in on the poor Mrs. Timmons for the first time since prior to uncovering the murder of her son. She was doing somewhat better than I had expected, and I am positive it is the little girl saved by Theolonius that keeps her spirits up. The girl has recovered astonishingly well, and may grow up to not even remember that night, God willing. We three returned here last evening.
We leave for Boston first thing tomorrow morning.
The destruction of the McCoy Cthugha Cult under Kingsport
September 22, 1889 02:00
We awoke to Jon and Theo informing us of a reference they found in the Armitage letter, having read it over during the night, to the Kingsport Yacht Club. If we have time while there, it needs looked into as well.
Will did some preliminary research on Kingsport: it consists of 7 districts, so to speak: harborside, the hollow, westside, central hill, downtown, hilltown and south shore. In the library of local history, Will found that the club was founded about 30 years ago by an Orin Gardner. His grandson, Oliver, is the current president…The Gardner mentioned in the letter. The club does not admit women, jews, ethnics and non whites. It’s ideology is wholly for the right of the priviledged and their stations in life.
In the meantime, Atwater and myself made a careful search of Armitage’s house and office, so as to finally and irrevocably rule out his having written the letter during some sort of possession or crazed episode…which our search did. It must have come from the Armitage of our future, as impossibe as it may seem.
Theo and Father Jon spent their time with the Necronomicon and Monsters and their Kynd.
In the late afternoon we meet with Llanford, who wanted to tell us what the group had found regarding the Silver Twilight:
Llanford said he found some references of the Twilight, along with references to a title involved with it called The Keeper of the Silver Gate. An excerpt in a book, supposedly copied from a true ritual book of the order, said "The wailings of the mad are but the birthcries of the new man. The old man gone like dust in the desert wind. Cleansed of the lies of mankind, the new man, the man of darkness, is free to obsorb the beauty fo nothingness. The glory and the stark night of the utter void. As our useless reason disolves rejoice in the knowlegde that others in as diverse places as Scotland and Louisiana and the South Pacific have walked the same path, have drunk the same blood, have revelled in the same prospect of everlasting night as you.
Llanford “Now, if this is true, then this organization is trying to recruit people to…”
Myself “Drive them mad.”
Theo “They think all mankind would be better off that way. What about Stanford, Sanford…John Scott.”
“For some reason, several years ago, Scott’s tomb was open and his body gone. I found an additional reference of the order: “You do not yet know the true gods. Everything you know is a lie. The great old ones, those are the rulers of the universe. Those and others you have not yet heard of will be the objects of you adulation, your emulation, your love. You are the fortunate ones. The time may come if you give your selfless devotion you will worship in the flesh in the temple of R’yleh, whose glory is beyond your comprehension.”
Myself “All this confirms our horrible assumptions. The Silver Twilight are worshippers of the Great Old Ones.”
“The temples of R’yleh, they say…are you familiar with that?”
Jon “We know about that being a lost city.”
“The city of Cthulhu in the south pacific. That’s 2 references to the region. They may be involved in something grander going on there.”
At this point, Wilmarth showed up to tell us what he knows of this fire cult rumor of Kingsport. “There was a cult in Kingsport many years ago.”
Myself “A cult of…what? Cthugha?”
“Well, the people of the surprisingly are somewhat proud of some cult. It even once met at the church. They don’t speak of it much to tourists though one may find rumors. It was at a highpoint in the late 1600’s. That is, until the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Rumors then became accusations which led to many arrests of Kingsport citizens. A real frenzy. By the end, 13 were tried and hung. 1720, rumors of a revival of the cult surfaced. In 1722, the mayor and others surrounded the church after a ‘sickly green glow’ was seen to eminate from it. When those inside emerged, they were but simple townsfolk from all walks of life. More than 3 dozen arrests were made, variously for breaking and entering, unlawful assembly and graverobbing. Fines, imprisonment and banishment were the results. The leaders were literally tarred and feathered, then exiled from Kingsport.”
Myself “So why the rumors now? Where are they coming from? And the specific references to beneath the streets?”
“A man named Frank Donolly, a beatcop, is taking nightschool classes in philosophy at Miskatonic. He has become known to us, and is the one who believes there is a fire cult. In the last year there have been 3 mysterious deaths by way of spontaneous fire.”
Myself “That I am already aware of from the newspapers. It makes me think of the flame vampires from our previous battle in New York that ended in the death of Fava.”
“Being only a beatcop, saying to his superiors that he thinks it’s a cult would only lead to riducule. Here is his address in Miskatonic.”
We briefly discussed sending a couple of researchers ahead to Kingsport while the rest of us stayed behind to look into other matters, but decided it was too dangerous. After dinner, we discusses much that was on our mindns. In the morning we were off to Kingsport, the plan being a seek and destroy mission on any cult of Cthugha, and to perhaps investigate the yacht club very carefully and suriptitiosly.
It is quite a modern town. The harbor is of a fair size and has a quality port, though the traffic, from whalers for instance, used to be much greater. Southshore is the popular section for tourists, with the town being known as the haunt of artists. We found an attorney named Paul Fredricks who is involved in much of the realestate transactions in Kingsport, especially foreclosure. Something was very odd about the man. He is in his early 30’s most likely, rather toothy and bugeyed. He had an old scar that Atwater said looked to be from a severe burn. We inquired on Pickman, telling him it was under the request of Mrs. Pickman of Arkham.
“Yes, I happen to know he had a place on Southshore. The ‘artist colonies’. It burned down prior to his disappearance. I can show you the property.”
“We’ll just take the address and look at it ourselves. Any property of his in storage here that you know of?”
“Not that I know of. I believe it was all sent back to Arkham.”
We travelled immediately to the artist’s colony and it reminded us all of Paris. We saw a few artists painting on easels on the beach despite the chilly air; the women dress a bit more openly, which ol’ Jack seemed to take an easy liking to; and many lively hole in the wall bars and bistros. A definate Bohemian atmosphere as well.
Jack “I need to find myself a…uh…starts with a C I think…”
Myself “A cabaret.”
Jack “That’s it. A cabaret.”
We get out of our carriage at teh property, and it’s beachfront. The similare neighboring houses are spaced out nicely. While we stood, a young girl of late 20’s to early 30’s and dressed to somewhat resemble a gypsy I would say approached us, telling us “This is the old Pickman place. The artist. Did you know him? He was a tortured soul.”
Myself “We knew of him. Did you?”
“Yes. He was a true artist, but his art took him to dark places. My name is Greta Tromboe. I am a poet.”
Myse f"What kind of poetry do you write?"
“From the heart.”
Myself “What sort of meter. A free verse?”
“Actually, a rhyming meter.”
Will “So who was close to Pickman around here?”
“I was myself, and quite a few others. He even did my portrait once.”
Myself “Was it nice, or troubling?”
“I don’t know what he did with it after, but I couldn’t take it. The look on my face…my eyes were filled with such horror and despair…I just couldn’t stand looking at it.”
Theo “What was his problem, do you think?”
“He could see into peoples souls, I believe. The portrait captured not me so much as my poetry.”
Will “You write fairly melancholy poetry then.”
“I do. Sometimes inspired by my dreams.”
Theo “Really? Dreams of terrible things?”
“I don’t know where they come from, but yes. That’s one of the reasons I liked Pickman. His psyche was as dark as my own.”
Myself “I would like to hear more about these sometime. I am in the field of behavioral science and the mind.”
At this point she turned to Jack with an attracted gleem in her eye “Do you like poetry?”
Jack “I’m into poetry. I kinda like epic poetry myself.”
Great “Epic poetry? Like what?”
Jack “Like shakin the pillars of Heaven. When the rains comin down…”
Greta then invited Jack back to here place to read her poetry, and said “there’s no time like the present”.
Jack “How about some dinner later at a local establishment.” She replied in the affirmative and they set a place for 6:00PM. Normally I would be displeased at Jack’s wasting time on a personal matter, but her having a relationship with Pickman could lead to further information.
Jack “Pickman have any enemies in town?”
“No, there were people who didn’t appreciatte his paintings but no enemies. He was one of the community.”
Greta “No, he was standoffish. And he spent a lot of his time alone in there painting.”
Jack “Neverr caused any trouble?”
“No. He wasn’t here that much at first. He lived in Arkham. But after his paintings started to sell he spent more time here. I think to get away from it all.”
Atwater “Who bought his work?”
“He sold at a gallery in Arkham, mainly. Organizations bought much of them.” That may be something to look into. I turned to Atwater and said I suspect we will find out the New World Order corporation will be involved in this.
She repied “New World Order? Oh yes, they were one of his biggest buyers.”
Will “Any of their officials ever vacation here?”
“No, not that I have ever heard of.”
Atwater “Did he have any business associates in town? Any places he frequented?”
Greta “Um, there was an attorney.”
“Paul Fredricks, yeah.”
Will “We met. He told us where this place was.”
“Yeah, it was interesting. This house didn’t burn down until after Pickman’s disappearance.” This was a glaring inconsistency, as Fredricks said it burned down after.
Myself “We were told it happened before.”
Jon leaned to me and whispered “Obviously a fire cultist and needs to be killed.”
Will “Did he spend much time around this attorney?”
“Not a lot but…”
Will “Relative to Pickman’s character.”
“Yes, then, yes. He did.”
Will “Anyone else?”
“There was a particular artist he was friends with. Garret Frost. He doesn;t paint anymore. He is blind.”
Will “How did that happen?”
“It was a couple weeks after the place burnt down, which was about a month after Pickman’s disappearance, he had an accident that he won’t speak of. His eyes are gone, burned out. He just sits inhis rooom in the boardingn house. Staring out the window though he can not see. He was seen with Pickman a lot, for Pickman I mean.”
We parted her company then, Jack confirming his dinner date. We made for the home of Frost, a lowly old rooming house. The caretaker said she does not allow more than 2 visitors in the house at a time, so myself and Atwater followed here directions to his room and knocked. Frost followed with a somber “Come in”. he wore dark glasses and sat at the window.
Myself “We’d like to talk to you about an old friend of yours.”
“I get so few visitors that come in, pass the time.”
“You used to be an artist?”
“Used to be.”
Atwater “What can you tell us about Pickman?”
“Pickman and I were friends.”
Atwater “Would you say close friends.”
“We were frineds. But I think he got involved in things beyond his understanding.”
Myslef “Is that why you’re blind now?”
“I can’t talk about why I’m blind now.”
Myself “It may be of grave importance. Any way I can convince you?”
“Not talking of it is of grave importance to me. But it happened after Pickman’s disappearance.”
Myself “What happened with Pickman and his attorney, and his house burning down?”
“This existence I have is a miserable one but is better than no life at all.”
Myself “Is it because of Pickman and what he was into?”
“Indirectly. I’d rather talk about something else. Would you like to see some of my work?”
Out of a closet he brought a half a dozed stretched canvases. I must admit the art was not very good, they were quite average at best. The subjectmatter was insipid, all seascapes and sunbathers, the town itself, a street in the town. Nothing inspiring made the scenes worthwile.
Atwater made a close inspection of them to look for any small details that may not fit in, but we both saw nothing. The final painting was of a completely different style and we both recognized the glowing ball of fire instantly: a flame vampire of Cthugha in a large underground cavern!
Myself “What’s this one with the fire in it.”
I explained the painting and he answered “Oh, that’s not one of mine. That’s one of Pickman’s.”
“He gave it too you.”
“Yes, once afte we had talked, he said he had gotten deeper than he should have with some disreputable people.”
“How long before his disappearance was this?”
“Only a few weeks. This is one of his slast paintings, my security blanket. When I run out of money, since my own are worthless, this one should be able to get me enough money to live out a few more years of my squalid existance.”
Myself “So what of your predicament?”
“I brough it on myself.”
Myself “How is that.”
“Never you mind. I can’t say. We were friends enough that I looked into his disappearance.”
Myself “As are we. We can’t be so certain he’s dead.”
“Oh I’m sure he’s dead. I’m sure they killed him.”
Atwater “Who are they?”
“The same that did this to me!” and he tore the patch from his eyes.
Atwater “Heavenly God!”
Myself “Have you seen these fire creatures?”
“I told you, I can’t ell you.”
Myself “We have seen them.”
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen or what you know. I can’t tell you anything or they’ll finish the job. They will know. They’re here. I hear them at night, creeping.”
Myself “Well, we are here to put a stop to them.”
“Well good luck to you, but I can’t help you. I can’t help anyone anymore.”
Atwater “How depressing.”
Myself “Good luck to you sir. I wish we could have accomplishied more here.”
Frost “I do too.” I gave him my card, and told him where we would stay the night as we left.
Atwater “He is in danger. He’s going to be killed and that painting taken.”
Then, Frost suddenly opened the door and staggered into the hall behind us. “I’m sorry I forgot my manners back there” and he reached out a hand to shake mine. As I shook it, he passed a note to me.
“Myself “Thank you sir. I may buy a painting from you in the future Mr. Frost” and we made our way down as if nothing had happened. Strangely, when we got to the street our carriage was gone.
Myself “Theolonius!” I called. “Burton!”
Theo, in a few seconds, came out of a small bistro across the street and called to us to join them for lunch. They had only gotten tired of waiting and being hungry. So, we deciced to have lunch.
I excused myself to the facilities in order to get a private look at the note passed to me by Frost. It said “Beware the fire comes in the night. Seek the entrance in Pickman’s cellar”. ‘Thank you, Frost. Back to Pickman’s tonight,’ I thought to myself. After dinner, we called upon Officer Donnelly at his home. He was receptive and willing to talk with us at our mention of our Miskatonic friends. He insisted he has become convinced of a fire cult here, if not 2 or 3 of them. One of which have something to do with the mysterious burning deaths as well as Pickman and his attorney. He is also convinced that the deaths happened somewhere other than where they were found, for there was no evidence of burning around the scene. He has followed a few people in town whom he is suspicious of, and some he has seen go into certain buildings late at night, and not come out even after hours of staking the place out. Additionally there is the McCoy family. “They aren’t New Englanders, they are of Appalacia. There is just something odd about them. No one knows why they moved here. They moved in, bought a house with gold and have lived here ever since, but there is something wrong about them.”
Will “Such as what?”
“Many small things, but there is absolutely no reason that these degenerates…and they really are, not because of their origin, they are truly degengerate human beings…but they have no reason being involved with this attorney.”
Will “What does he have to to with them?”
“Well, they had evidently fallen behind in their taxes, and he went to foreclose. He went out one day, and stayed for 3 or 4 days. When he returned he was suddenly on their side, even providing the funding for their house.”
Myself “When was this in relation to Pickman’s vanishing and his house burning?”
“This was before that, some 2 years ago. And I have witnesses, including a female acquaintence of Pickman, that the attorney introduced Pickman to these people.”
Jon “Sounds like part of a big fire cult!”
“I can not be sure, but Pickman drew a painting of them.”
Theo “Did you see it?”
“It was in the house when it burned down. I stole it from the wreckage, it was in fine shape.”
At this he presented it too us. The McCoy’s looked only partially human, and partially Ghoul of Bishop sort. The background of the scene looked like it was in the woods but for wooden planking underfooot.
Jon “We need to pay a visit to these McCoys.”
“It’s not proof of anything. It’s but the painting of a madman.”
I turned to Atwater here for an aside “This man needs to be working with us in some way. We need to get this man with Friday, or Archer. He is taking to it rather well.”
Atwater “You looking to get out of Kingsport for work?”
“Well, to be honest I wanna be a detective.”
Theo “What is it you go to school for?”
“Philosophy. There is no major in being a detective, I just have to work my way up through the ranks. If I’m going to work with this sort of…wierd….I figured the best thing would be philosophy.”
Myself “We just opened a new branch of our business in Boston. If you would be looking for a position…”
Atwater “We could use someone with your skills.”
Theo “And your open mindedness.”
Myself “And you fast decisionmaking on the nature of a case, whether supernatural or mundane.”
“Well, to be honest I was really hoping to put this cult to an end first.”
Will “We’d like to do that as well.”
The young man new this hwe must bring this to a head, but how to do so?
Frank “If this is rally going on underground, we have to catch them there. So we need to go when they are going to be there. Since we think they are a cult worshipping something, we need to figure out when they are worshipping.”
Myself “We hthink we have a way to get there.”
Frank “If you’re thinking of using their house forget it. Too well guarded.”
Myself “No. We have reason to believe there is an entrance in the cellar of Pickman’s former house.”
“I’ve been through that. We found no such entrance.”
Myself “I will look closer.”
“You were talkin’ to that crazy man weren’t you?”
Will “What crazy man?”
JAtwater “Mr. Frost, with no eyes?”
“Yes, the blind painter. After the house burned, he told me this cock and bull story, no…actually a story that he then later claimed he never told me.”
Theo “What story is that?”
“He was found by people wandering the streets, with his eyes gone. I happened to be the first cop on the scene. He claimed to have gone into a tunel, that Pickman had told him about in his basement, to go looking for Pickman. And that he was captured by masked cultists. They burned his eyes out with a flaming sword.”
Mhyself “We will double check it, nonetheless. You willing to go with us?”
“They didn’t killhim though. They let him go.”
Will “I wonder why that is?”
“They warned him not to speak of it.”
Theo “Why not kill him anyway? Get it over with.”
“I don’t know. And neither does he.”
Myself “We will investigate the premises.”
Jon agreedd he shoudl join us, and Donnely agreed to do so.
Myself " We should tail Fredrick tomorrow, see where he goes and what he does."
Frank “You want to go see him now? Confront him? Or just tail him?”
Myself “Just tail him. First thing in the morning. We should consider breaking into his house while he is at work tomorrow.” It was about time for Jack’s date at this point, so he rose to leaven for the rendevous.
Theo “Need soem backup?”
Jack “It’s a date! I don’t need any backup, Wang” and he left.
Myself “We are susppicous by nature.”
Will and Jon checked on the attorney Fredericks’ house and found it empty with all the lights off, likely he was still at his office. They went next to his office, and he was not there either. They then returned to Donnelly’s where we awaited Jack.
Jack related his dinner story later:
The met at a small establishment almost directly across from Frost’s home. About half an hour into his dinner he, by some miraculous luck, actually noticed something of import. Looking out the front, he noticed Fredricks standing across the street. An old rickety wagon then picked him up, driven by a rough looking man, as if a frontiersman was Jack’s first though. McCoys!
Jack “Something’s going on here.”
Greta “Should I stay?”
Jack “Stay with me, you’ll be saffer.”
They ran for Frosts’s home and the woman let them in, saying no one else had been there. Though she did hear a terrible thump a bit ago. When Jack burst through the door he found it empty, a chair overturned and some obvious signs of a struggle. The paintings were thrown from the closet and the fire painting missing. Just as Atwater was worried would happen. The landlady showed him a backdoor, but it had been forced open. The landlady screamed ‘thieves’ to which Jack replied “Yeah, and they stole Frost!”
Landlady “Poor Mr. Frost! If it were him he’d have unlocked the door.”
Jack went out, and could see wagon tracks in the mud of the alley. We should have stationed Theolonius on the roof to watch the man, but we can never be sure when we ourselves will need allof our rescources. Jack then told Greta he has to bolt back for his friends.
Greta “What about our date?”
Jack “Our date just got that much more exciting. Let’s go!” They both jumped back into a carriage and returned to Frank’s, explaining quickly all that had occured.
Jack “I think Frost is in it with them, or they kidnapped him.”
Theo “I’d guess kidnapping, Jack.”
We all together returned then to the alley, which I examined in detail. I was able to track the mud texture particular to that alley up the street straight into the countryside leading to the McCoy house.
Will “What is she stil doing with you?”
Jack “I fugured she’d be safer with me. Rather than get killed or kidnapped.”
Theo “We should go to Pickman’s now, while there attention looks to be elsewhere.”
We dug our way into the basement and entered by lantern light. But, not before passing out the 9 pieces of blessed ammunition Jon was in possession of. Jack was given the 5 bullets, while the shotgun shells went 1 each to myself, Atwater, Will and Jon.
It took only minutes for me to find the secret entrance, and into a cavern we descended led by Jon. No ordinary cavern was it, however. It had that unsettling aura and appearance we have glimpsed before. As if made in prehuman days by inhuman hands. After a long time of travelling, keeping in the general direction of the McCoy land, we entered a large chamber where, to our great astonishment, a beautigul young girld was chained completely naked to a wall!" She explained her circumstances, the lies of which I will not waste space with for the hones senses of Father Jon sniffed her true identity out in some way none of the rest of could ever understand. As he approached her he suddenly yelled “Back witch, do not try to fool me!”
Jack “She’s a witch!”
Jon “She’s a demon from the pits! She tries to decieve us!” Suddenly he rushed for her. The chains fell at her feet all on their own, and she reached for Jon as well. It seemed to be an attempt at an embrace, but Jon later described the leathery wings that were visible to him spread from her back, and her fanged maw making for a deadly kiss as her devilish embrace engulfed him. From behind me I heard words of an unnatural nature, and I knew that Cassandra (so quiet that we often forget she is with us) was casting a spell on the hellish bitch. Then suddenly, the demon woman looked up and stared direclty at Cassandra for the briefest moment, even in that moment a foul spiteful look of evil upon her countenance, and in that same brief moment we all glimpsed site of her true form. Behind me I heard will gasp, turning his face away. Greta screamed in horror and ran to a far wall, huddling against it. The demon then blinked out of existence in a wail of malevolance and hate that was cut off after barely begun, dismissed (as Cassandra called it) back to her home plain of existance. Jon explained the creature was a succubus, like those from general folklore, likely called here to service by the McCoys via spell as a guard.
The caves continued through narrow corridors and a larger room. We encountered a stange looking spot on the floor, somewhat slimey. Jon his gauntleted hand in it and it burned like acid, forcing him to discard the armor piece. The acid spot was some 30’ across. Trying to traverse the wall would be dangerous, so we spent time assembling some larger stones, Jack and Theo using it all to make a piecemeal landbridge. We all made it across safely.
Suddenly, we heard faint chanting ahead, and saw could still see nothing ahead, until 3 small humanoid creatured came into view flying through the air. The imps, as identified by Jon, came straight to the offensive. I had insissted to no use of firearms to try to retain the element of surprise should we come across the McCoys, so we resorted to blades. One came at each of us toward the front of the line: myself, Jon and Jack Burton. Theolonius was guarding the rear at this time. Jon and I both dropped our torches to the ground, he drawing his broadsword, while I brought my dagger to bare. Jack, knowing well his own speed at the drawing of a knife, waited until the last moment to strike. His draw was indeed like lightning, and 2 fast slices both brought one good hit home-6. Atwater, just behind us, unsheathed his canesword and pierced one of the little devils, but it seemed to do little harm. Their first diving claws hit only Jon-1, before I reacted but missed. Cassandra pulled her own knife on Jack’s-2 after Jack cut it again-7. Jon now swung a mighty blow-15. Jon was barely scratched again, and I struck my own-6. Cassandra got in a good cut-crit. Jon struck out again with his broadsword. Jack then missed the pesky little creature, Jon lashed out-10 and Atwater stabbed-4 which seemed to do no damage at all. Their attacks upon us then failed, I stabbed mine deep-9crit and Jack downright skewered his-13crit sending it reeling. Atwater failed to penetrate their tough skin again, but Jon brought his to destruction at last and it fell into flame and ash. Jack took a minor scrape from his enemy, I struck mine-6 as Cassandra missed. Jack hit again-6, and Jon helped him-6. Atwater was again foiled by its hide. I struck-6, Cassandra hit as well. Jack hit-6, Jon-10, and Atwater again to my own-7. The remaining 2 failed to harm us, Cassandra and myself missed, but Jack cut deep-8. Jon brought it down at last-5. The last one missed as Cassandra and I did the same. Jack and Jon came up from behind it and cut well but the creatures seemed to heal before our very eyes almost all we had done to it. Its hide helf off my stab, but Jon and Jack finally cut almost to shreds before Atwater finished it off. We made sure to cut them all to pieces where they lay.
Within seconds, we could feel a feestering in the few minor Jack and Jon had. Atwater unleashed his medical skill upon us, opening his medical kit and working wonders only he can. None of us had any lasting effects, but for the rest of the night and into the next day Jon did not seem quite so lithe. Jack now has a small scar and an on again/off again but possibly permanent slight soreness in the area he was cut.
We continued on into the dark through passage and room, Father Jon bravely leading the way toward the faint chant. In the next room, not sooner had Jon stepped inside than we hears a quick metallic click. A series of wooden spikes loaded onto a backing of wood dropped from the ceiling above and onto Jon who did not act quick enough. Though he came out battered and bleeding, his medieval armor was all that kept him from serious damage, certainly, possibly even saving his life.
We then came across as room with that strange, indescribable geometry that leaves us uneasy at best, sickly at worst. Apart from the chanting that was nearer now, this would have been the clue that we were almost upon them. A right turn, past 2 other 4-way corridors ended in a doorway, the double doors either broken open long ago or fallen from age and disrepair. Through it was light so we immediately doused our own.
I whispered “Peak in, take a look Jon. They may be about to murder Frost.”
Indeed, a despicable ceremony of the Mythose is what he saw. One of murder and sacrifice.
A central aisle flanked 2 rows of pews, just like a church. At its head stood a dais with altar atop. At the altar it was obviousy Grandpa McCoy, red hair and beard, dressed in a cultic robe of course. 11 others cultists worshipped from the front pew on either side, all McCoys: 4 adult males, 3 adult females, and most unspeakable of all 3 children. Near the daies stood the attorney Fredricks. Upon the altar, as suspected, lay a groaning and bleeding Frost. The man still lived, thank God. They had been cutting him slowly. Bleeding him without killing him for their own demeneted pleasures.
Then a whisper from Pa McCoy to Frost, patting his head like a fathr to a child “Shh Shh Shh Shh. Don’t worry, you’re going to suffer. Only through true suffering can you the Old Ones.”
The chanting began again, so the noise we used as auditory cover for our approach. To our far left in the shadows between the pews and the side wall crept Jack and Theo toward the men, and opposite them myself and Atwater behind the women. Father Jon, at the head of Donnelly, Cassandra and Will, waited for us to finish our approach before coming at them down the central aisle. Cassandra drew 2 daggers, one long and of the kris style. Greta was given my dagger and a revolver by Jon. It was some 40’ from the door to the dais.
The McCoy’s were so enraptured by their ritual even Pa was utterly oblivious to our approach, an we gained full surprise on them.
Theo, one hand on the back of the front pew, sprung over and planted leaping kick on one of the men-15. Jack aimed and fired both barrels of his shotgun at the closest McCoy-14. Cassandra made a mad dash and leap over the pews, stabbing one of the women. Donnelly fired upon another of the women-9 and Greta shot yet another of them. I rose up and unloaded the first barrel of my shotgun into Frederick’s back-10, Atwater’s .45 went surprisingly arry and Jon began his charge down the central aisle making for Pa, ending just short of the dais.
The general combat then started. I fired my final barrel at Frederiks, blowing his robes open from his nude body as he fell lifeless. Marks of torture covered his body (they must have tortured him into madness and their cause). Pa had continued looking on Frost and said to him “We saved you for tonight all this time. I certainly don’t want to have to kill you too soon, but let’s make sure that you don’t survive” and at motioned toward Frost’s abdomen with his dagger, doubless meaning some grotesque act of mutilation. He was, however, startled by Frederik’s death and Jon’s now inimpeaded path upon him and gave a pause that likely saved Frost’s life.
Jon lept atop the dais and slashed at Pa McCoy-9 overtop of the prostrate Frost. Atwater then put a slug into his target-7. The 2 McCoy men closest to the aisle charged up the aisle for Will. In terror he lept aside and their long sinster daggers struck each other-5/6. The 2 remaining attacked Theo, both missing. I drew my revolver faster than ever I have, and yelled to kill them all!. The McCoy women seemed to actually be shaken (card) by my brazen words as I hit the same Atwater did, her closest to us,-6. With a surge of adrenaline I loosed a second shot which killed the bitch. The 2 remaining women turned and missed Cassandra with their own daggers. Will and Donnelly now fully engaged the 2 McCoy men. Donnelly stepped back and fired his revolver-miss. Will did the same but with his shotgun-17 DEAD. Jack pulled his pistol and shot at his previous target-3. Cassansra fought back as if in a blood frenzy, but Greta’s shot at one of her adversaries went wildly high.
I moved to one of the women fighting Cassandra and engaged her with fisticuffs but missed. Pa struck back at Jon twice-miss/10. Atwater moved in with his swordcane to a flanking position with Cassandra-. Jon eschewed a regular attack and disarmed Pa McCoy of his dagger. Will was cut badly-6, Donnelly was missed. Theo was attacked by both other men again, one hitting-8, as they ignored Jack. Theo struck back-8 on the man furthest from Jack, who reloaded his shotgun. Donelly now began his own brawl-miss, while Will stepped back again and fired his second barrel-16 on Donnely’s opponent. Cassandra was then cut by both women-6 total, but she cut well into one of them who looked close to dropping. I was then unsuccessful in my brawling, and Pa went after Jon with his own fists, and mighty ones they were. Pa proceeded to lay 2 haymakers upon our Father-17 total! Jon dropped his sword now, the old man being without a weapon to take advangate, drew his shotgun and let off with both barrels directly into grangpa’s torso-18, but the dog had turned sideways and luckily avoided instant death, though his side was shredded and bloodied. Will was then struck-5 and felt the cut which drew blood, but Theo was missed altogether. Theolonius made a flying leap over the pew and struck out another flying kick-7 to Jack’s target. Donnely slugged his man-9. Jack’s newly reloaded barrels went off but in true Jack style barely hit the man-8 then dashed to the ground in frustration; Will in desparation for his own life turned his shotgun around and flailed wildly with all his might, clubbing the McCoy man in the temple-11crit and opening a gash in the man’s head. Cassandra continued her attack at one of the 2 McCoy women left-6 DEAD and the 2nd-3. Atwater’s clicked haplessly on a dud of a round for the last women, but Greta hit-5. The woman finally began to wobble. I then struck her-5 as well. Grandpa McCoy, bleeding but still fighting, made 2 punches-miss/crit11. Jon suddenly, out of no where, got a calming look on his face, and though he should have been beaten down by now, he continued from this instant as if not fazed in the slightest (card).
Will was cut-3, then Theo was missed and Jack hit-7. Theo hit with a spinning kick-5 to the man furthest from Jack again, Donelly punched-7 and Will clubbed his man again taking him down and in is fright clubbed him again-DEAD. Jack moved in and with drawn daggers missed his elusive target twice.
The 2 women both missed Cassandra, Greta’s shot missed highg but Cassasndra cut twice-DEAD. Seeing pa was much better off than he should have been, I picked up my shotgun and began reloading. Jon bent down, retrieved the sword at his feat, and made a quick stab from low-10crit. Pa then slammed 2 more haymakers into Jon-14.
Atwater then moved toward their fight and fired his revolver at Pa-9 who then yelled in a general fashion “You killed my boys, ya killed my boys!” Jon struck again-3 as the McCoy men hit Jack-4 and Theo-4. Theo’s strike back missed but Jack stabbed deep-7. Donelly moved up to the front and fired from behind on the woman Theo was engaged with-6. Grace missed as Cassandra took the opportunity to begin slaying the McCoy youths who had fled to the sides of the room. I fired one barrel at Pa which slammed into him-19, blood spatter spraying all around him. At that he began praying even as he stumbled. The air near him seemed to partially solidify. Cassandra, who must have glanced up at words he spoke, said “He’s summoning a demon of some sort!”
Atwater fired againinto Pa-6 as Jon cut him-9. The McCoy men were still giving Jack and Theo all they could handle, hitting Jack-3 but missing Theo. Theo then punched his man-8, Donnely missed him again, and Jack hit once out of 2-5. Will fired into the melee at Jack’s man-miss. Greta then began to reload her gun. Cassandra followed at least one of the boys out the doors we entered, the child having fled her wrath.
I fired another barrel into Pa-9, and still up he ran screaming at me “Why won’t you show yourself!”, screaming not at me but into the air at whatever he was attempting to summon. Atwater shot Pa again-13. Jon charged Pa and finally ran him through DEAD. The McCoy men hit Jack-8, who not did not look so well at this point, but missed Theo. Theo hit back-5 and Jack-7. Will shot Jack’s man-crit11. Donelly engaged Theo’s with fists-5 KO’d. Cassandra entered the room and charged the surviving brother-7 DEAD.
Grandpa’s body then began to rise, and we all began furiously reloading. Those who had the blessed ammo prepared it. He stood up, his body shifting and changing into the demon. A gaunt and leather-skin demon, humanoid in form, stood before us. It’s huge gaping maw riddled with teeth ran straight back all the way to its pointed ears, horns sprouting from behind them. We all took positions close around it, careful not to be in line with one of our own, and all fired virtually in usison, Greta diving behind a pew, absolutely horrified:
My blessed shell struck it-11
Jon struck with his own-14
Atwater’s blessed bullet, which he and Jack had split between them, hit-4
Jack fired his own blessed shell-18
Cassandra moved in with her 2 daggers as if to pounce upon the demon.
The demon turned to he who hurt it most, Father Jon. 2 claw attacks both tore into Jon-22total, but thankfully his maw missed
Will now stepped and badly missed with his own blessed shell, and Jon yelled to Jack “Jack, the dynamite!” before leaping at the creature and inserting his shield into its open mouth, prying it open in an amazing display of greatness. Jack made run for it, leaping off the dais and thrusting the 3-stick bundle of dynamite into its mouth, his arm almost diappearing to the shoulder down the thing’s throat.
I cried out “Scatter!” and we did. All except for Cassandra who in her insane rage lept onto its back, thrusting her daggers into its shoulders as the dynamite exploded inside it. We knew then she would die in the explosion, but I can not put into words how we felt when the internal explosion did not blow it to pieces, though it was gravely wounded from the inside out and black ichor along with whatever passes for organs were hanging from the holes in its cavity. What are these things made of?
The blast knocked Cassandra off of it, the creatures unnatural body shieding her from the blast. It turned on her, lying prone next to it. Both its claws cut into her badly but she dodged the bite in desperation. The monster reeled terribly now. Atwater fired his last blessed bullet but only grazed it. Father Jon, on the verge of death now, saw how close we were and charged back in anyway, stabbing and twisting up into its body cavity through its largest wound-17crit. It immediately disappeared in a cloud of dust and noxious fumes, and the bloody battle was over.
Atwater quicky saw to Frost as Jack cut him free. Jon began binding his terrible wounds until Atwater could see to him, Jack and Cassandra who were all 3 by far the worst off. Atwater and Myself escaped quite unscathed by chance.
Frost has been saved, now recovering in the hospital. We came back to Arkham early this morning, the day after the battle, after resting the night at Donnelly’s home. Hopefully, and finally, God willing we can find some rest and recuperation here for a spell. We all desparately need it for mind, body and soul. But after, we must deal with the Silver Twilight.
A foreboding letter of blood and madness is presented to us, with the future Armitage the crazed author
September 18, 1889 23:42
When we returned to Arkam yesterday, the 17th, a card was waiting for us at the desk from a Nathaniel Peasley,PhD. “At the earliest conveniance come to see me at my office”. I knew Peasley to be a professor at Miskatonic, as I had the priviledge of attending classes taught by his father, and know him to be a friend of Armitage. We dropped our things in our rooms and got a carriage to his office at the University. At his office we found him:
“Can I help you gentlemen?”
Myself “Yes. We were told you wanted to see us upon our return to the hotel.”
“Are you Nathaniel Peasley?”
“Yes…AH! You’re the detective fellows. Sorry, I just didn’t recognize who you could be.”
I introduced the lot of us, and it being a small office, but we crowded in, only myself and Atwater being seated.
He began “First, I need to talk to you” meaning Atwater. “Wait, let me ask you gentlemen one question. Do you believe in the supernatural?”
Theo “We literally saw a creature named Cthugha about to come out of a hole in the sky. So I would say yes. Though its been much repressed, strangely, by those who citizens in the park who saw it.”
Myself “Yes, we fully believe.”
Now Nathaniel to Atwater “Have you had much experience dealing with the insane?”
Atwater “I have had much as of late. As has Westinghouse.”
Mysef “Yes, I did study the psychology here and make a habit of the criminal mind.”
“I and a group of friends woud like to retain you to investigate…..a document.”
Myself “What sort of document?”
“I’m not sure I am at liberty to tell you as much as I would like about this until I get the go-ahead from some other friends of mine. First let me ask you if you would be forthecoming in telling me if you have had run-ins with the ‘unexplained’?”
Myself “We have”.
Atwater “Many such.”
“And could you give me some details?”
We started with a telling of Bishop and his ghouls, as well as the Cthugha heatwave.
“And you’re convinced that this actually happened?”
Myself “Yes, we were there. That investigation lasted multiple weeks.”
“May I have one of your cards?”
Mysef “Of course,” I handed him one, “I can send you a transcript of my notes if you desire.”
“That won’t be necessary at the moment. Will you be in town for the next day or two?”
Myself “We could be, if not nearby.”
“Ok. I believe that some friends of mine are going ot wish to meet you, and we are going to see if you would be willing to work with us on something. Therefore, if you would stay in town we shall be in touch by tomorrow.”
We agreed, he thanked us and we took our leave.
I suggested we see Wilkerson immediately, so to his department we went and there we found him.
“My good fellows, come in come in.”
Myself “We just had a short talk with a Nathaniel Peasley.”
Wilkinson “Ah, Peasley.”
Myself “Are you and he on friendly terms?”
“Acquaintances, not really friends.”
Myself “Well, he asked us some strange questions about if we had ever been involved in the supernatural.” Here he paused in thought for a second, so I continued further “He wants to retain our services to investigate something, we are not sure exactly what yet. He is to introduce us to some friends of his, likely tomorrow.”
“His friends,” he said with a somber note, “tomorrow, eh?”
Myself “Yes. Something wrong with that? Should we be wary or decline altogether?”
He thought for a few second again before “Frankly, there’s divided opinion on this. I’ll be there tomorrow.”
Myself “You’re a member of this group?”
“I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the President of the US periodically, when he has a difficult negotiation to do with foreign powers, or the like, will form an interdisciplinary group of scholars to advise him. So, he’ll bring in historians, antropologists, um…specialists in…in political science. As kind of a….to act as a braintrust. Well, and I would not tell this to anyone who has not experienced the things you have. A few years ago, Dr. Armitage stumbled upon a book in the locked section of the library.”
Theo “There’s a tough one to crack, Armitage.”
Wilkinson “It is called The Necronomicon. Then he started finding other references that…he thought that it was just an evil piece of fiction. But then several other professors here at Miskatonic have stumbled onto various pieces that seem to fit with it. And we began to be a little scared that there is possibly a hidden dangerous knowledge that the world at large does not know but that is, frankly, older than mankind. So, what Armitage did is, he took those of us who stumbled upon these things, as I did in my linguistics, and formed an inquiry group. Just like the President has. Now, to the outside world we are known as Armitage’s Inquiry Group. But our secret, and formal title, is Armitage’s Inquire Group of the Great Old Ones.” He paused and gave a slight exasperated sigh, then “I think you should not come tomorrow.”
“I fear for your lives and you souls. We are comrades in arms and I don’t want to see something bad happen to you. I fear this is beyond your depth.”
Theo “I think we are already deep into this.”
Wilkerson “NO, this is something much more. And I fear for OUR lives, I think the whole group is at risk right now. But, if we were to die, there has to be someone else out there that knows the truth. Thta knows something of what’s going on. So no, I think if you come we are putting all of our eggs in one basket. So I say don’t show up tomorrow.”
Myself “Is this a secure room?” I whispered.
I motioned Theolonius, who then explaines his membership in the Illuminati, and his relationship with Archimedes, then briefly told him of Archimedes theories which parellel their own and his search for a group of special men, of which we are supposedly one of them;and that we already work against the forces Armitage first discovered via the Necronomicon.
Wilkinson “We, here at the university, have provided information in the past to some of these groups but are not otherwise connected to them. We have no knowledge of what they are up to outside of that. As a recepticle of knowledge without defense, we are extremely vulnerable and the secrets that we have, being secret, are our only defense. Even Armitage has said that is something we are going to lose if we keep helping these other groups. But, we feel that for the benefit of mankind we must do that.”
Theo then explained more about Archimedes’ knowledge, and the Illuminati’s opposition, on the subject and stressed “This may be the opening we need to get more deep into this rather than the randomness thus far, of taking care of whatever problem falls into our laps. This is getting huge, from what Archimedes says, or will be very soon. A global effect.”
Wilkinson “If this is as big as your Archimedes feels it is, I feel that there are going to be lots and lots of entry points. But it is true that probably no one else could do this investigation as well as you all.”
Theo “You can feel good at the knowledge, at least, that one other sees the bigger picture and is searching for the right men to fight it.”
WIlkinson “I can’t tell you, it’s not my place to tell you what this is about. But if you come tomorrow it will be explained.”
Myself “We will see you tomorrow then.”
Wilkinson “In the meantime, I have some ideas of my own to follow up on, I may have some ideas to tell you tomorrow. If it’s mankind against the screaming horror of chaos, I STAND WITH MAN!”
Myself “As do we.”
Theo “To the end. We have already lost one man, and almost a few others as well, in just one confrontation.”
After breakfast this morning a telegram came for us, to meet Armitage et al at the Orn Library, the main library of the University in which we researched during our first meeting with Armitage. To the meeting we took with us all the forbidden knowledge which we have thus far obtained during our cases. At the scheduled time and place, a group of scholars awaited us. Most looked to be in their 40’s or older, although a few younger. Introductions ensued, and some were smoking cigars already so early in the day:
- The obvious head of the group is the 80 year old Armitage, the head librarian of course, specialist in Medieval Apigraphy, occultism and linguistics. His plans are to retire next year and become directore emeritus of the library, so that he can then head the Inquiry full time.
- Dr. Ferdinand Ashley: age 44, prof of archaeology, specializing in Egyptology. Participated in an expeditioon towestern australia several years ago. When asked what that was about, his reply was a more respectful version of “none of your business”. He is an associate of Rathbone, who Ashley said was present at the tale end of the Australia expedition.
- Dr. William Dire: age 55, prof of geology. Survivor of the first Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition of last year. Believes strongly of secrecy and preventing further expditions there.
- Dr. Tyler M. Freeborn: age 29, ass. prof of anthropology. A bit of an oddity as a socialist and radically so. They continuously try to throw him out of the university but his tenure stops it. Also knows Rathbone well, and is on friendly terms despite political views.
- Dr. Silas Llanfer: age 64, ass. director of Orn library. Set to become head when Armitage retires. He does not really understand or believe in the Mythos, but is entirely loyal to Armitage and would go to hell with him.
- Dr. William Moore: age 49, prof of geology specializing in paleontology. Due to be co-head of a new Antarctic Expedition, causing some heated disagreement with Dire.
- Dr. Francis Morgan: age 44, ass prof of archaeology specializing in the American southwest. He has a trip planned at the end of the semester to the region to investigate the potential occcult in a town called Coppertown.
- Dr. Nathaniel Peasley: age 35, prof of psychology. His father, prof emeritus Nathaniel Wingate-Peasley has been in the sanitarium since his return from Australia Expedition (I had the man as a professor myself). His son is driven by thoughts of revenge for his father’s current state.
- Mrs. Agatha Warren Pickman: age 91. What a surprise this was! I can not verbalize our astonishment. Agatha is the grandmother of Pickman, and the head of the Nathaniel Dirby Pickman Foundation, which provides financial support for Inquiry operations. Named for her deceased Husband. She’s a total pain in the ass, to be crude. She believes her grandson went insane and refuses to acknowledge any supernatural connections attributed to him. She is a fiend for the details of the finances, and while willing to spend the money one better damn well have the receipts to back it up! This one we need to attempt to talk to at length.
- Dr. Warren Rice: age 66, prof of classical languages. Specializing in Semitic and Near Eastern tongues. While a pessimistic man, it makes him pragmatic and willing to go to any length, and do what it takes, to succeed.
- Dr. Efram Sprague: age 46, Essex County medical examiner and private physician. Not associated with the university but nonetheless useful as a medical doctor, akin to our own Atwater for us. Sprague did not attend this meeting.
- Dr. Albert Wilmarth: age 74, prof of English, specialist in NE folkore and Mythos happenings in NE. (He is one to talk to prior to investigations in the area!) He has a delicate condition after something he calls the ‘Vermont Nightmare’, now sends grad students and junior faculty to gather lore firsthand.
- Dr. Wilkerson:
The importance of us meeting this Inquiry Group could be of vast importance to our mutual causes, and Archimedes will be notified by Theolonius of this resource of potential allies soon.
Wilkerson was not present at the meeting, though expected. This caused no small amount of consternation but we continued with the meeting nonetheless. Armitage, Rice and Morgan stand out as the 3 most important members, the real heart and soul and sort of an Inner Circle of the group. They also revealed that they have FBI and Secret Servie contacts who believe on their own, and acting on their own accord keep a low profile of their knowledge and alliance with the Inquire. Armitage must trust us enormously, for he came out with their identities without hesitation: Assistant Director Cleveland Drew of the Secret Service, and FBI Special Agent in charge of NY State Albert Ryan (as Rice says, “A man who knows where enough bodies are buried that Hoover does not interfere” with his personal work). They also have a military allie named Joe “Fightin’ Mad” Maines, Col. in the Marine Corps. He has a desk job in Washington, and because of it had the capability to maneuver rescources. After this meeting, Will and I agreed that our first thought of a use for him may be Innsmouth.
First of all, they insisted on swearing us to secrecy, which we all did wholeheartedly. Then “For Dame Pickman’s benefit, we need to know what your rates are.”
Mrs. P “You’d better not try to take me for a fool, young man.”
Myself “We are way too upstanding for that, ma’am. Typically it must cover expenses and travel, all of which are easy to keep receipts for. Over and above that I would ask $30 a day, and that is total and covers all of my investigators.”
Mrs. P “Now, the probem is we think this will be a long investigation. I can not pay for days when you are not working on this case, if you should work simultaneously with other pressing cases while investigating for us in between. This may end up being quite a longterm agreement.”
Armitage “Let me…let Cyrus Llanfer tell you in his own words.”
Cyrus “Four nights ago, I packed my velise with papers I planned to work on late in my own study, just school papers. When I got home and I opened it, there was a smell of burning and smoke. Upon looking inside I found…this.” Here he gave us an envelope, partly burnt but intact otherwise, as was what was inside. “Now the velise never left my person.”
Myself “You’re sure.”
Myself “Have you read it?”
Myself “Do you have any idea who wrote it, is it signed?”
“It is not signed, but yes we know. We know the handwriting for certain, and there are references in it which cause no doubt. It is Henry (Armitage).” Here we all looked at Armitage.
Armitage “I swear, I didn’t write this.”
Myself “But this is your handwriting?”
“It’s my handwriting.”
Myself “Can you give me some handwriting samples? Just for my own curiosity.”
Myself “This seems so much insane gibberish.” I said this with no sense of insignificance, but great significance of course, mad gibberish being most meaningful to us. "Quite an odd turn of events.:
Moore “I think it’s the result of a nervous breakdown. I’m afraid Henry has lost it. All this looking into the occult. Somehow he created it and it is a symptom of a mental breakdown.”
Myself to Cyrus “What was the smell, exaclty? Just smoke? No other strange smells?”
“Yes, just like regular smoke, burnt paper.”
Lines and smears of dried blood is all over the of the letter, every page of it, though only completely smudging a word or so here and there. Many instances of scratched out words exist, but many can be deciphered. Much of it makes little sense, or of backwards and forwards trains of thought one after another and so quite confusing. As of yet, we have yet to read it in great detail.
Bill Dire “I think that Armitage is indeed the author, but was possessed or otherwise under some sort of influence.”
Theo “But how d id it get into the satchel?”
Dire “I don’t know. But I think Armitage should be monitored at all times.”
Myself “Did did smell freshly burnt? You did say it was smoking.”
“Yes, almost like maybe getting it there is what caused the burning.”
Myself “Precisely my thought.” It is a poignant example of the territory we are in, when my first hunch is that of transposition of solid objects, and I dared not say yet though I was thinking this as well (as were at some point during the meeting Theolonius and Atwater, both told me later): travel back through time! By means of incantation.
Moore “You know we are all aware of times when strange impulses have awakened in apparently normal men exposed to ancient or inhuman bloodlines. To certain prehistoric races, time may flow in a nonlinear fashion. These files could be authentic! And it could be, yes, that the Armitage of the future is contacting the Armitage of now and causing him to write it.”
Theo “Or the Armitage of the future wrote it, and somehow sent it back.”
Moore “Don’t know.”
Peasley “There is no sign of mental problems with Armitage. That is the reason I was the one to have contacted you and pushed for independant verification of the letters contents. There are people mentioned there, things mentioned…and if you were to go and find out if the people and things really exist and discover their involvement in something, then maybe we can do something to keep whatever is going on from happening.”
Theo “Wow. We are going to have to read this very carefully, without rush.”
Freeborn said he feltit was a human conspiracy, that a forger has set out to subvert the inquiry. “Just because we are facing beings with supernatural agendas does not mean they may not use non-occult means to throw us off track. What if this is a forgery just to get us busy on this instead of things we should be paying attention to.” I assured them that my own test of Armitage’s handwriting and other chemical analysises should easily sniff out such a human conspirator, if indeed he or she does exist. Ashley and Morgan possessed no strong opinions. They were befuddled, as were we all.
Armitage “I would be happy for someone to watch me around the clock, to see if I did write these documents or perform any suspicios actions.”
I asked for use of a lab then and there, which they immediately granted, and I went there with Atwater to accompany me. Everyone waited at the meeting until my analysis was complete:
- The splotches included hhuman and rat blood, and an unidentifiable substance that resembled blood but contained no cellular material, mathing no known animal phylum
- The human blood comes from at least 2 individuals, one of which matches Armitage with no doubt
- Within the general grime and dust, existed evidence of pulverized bone, soot, volcanic ash, soil and pulverized concrete
- The ink itself was infused with these materials, as written after the dust from the environment had settled on the paper or while it was in the air. It could be simply from the environment, or part of a spell for time travel. Armitage postulated it could be that it was written in a ruin, a city destroyed.
THeo “It’s troubleing having no idea how far in the future this begins.”
Armigate “Well, it must be within 20 years. I’m an 80 year old man! Doubtful I’ll live to 100.”
Peasley “Unless yo travel forward thwrough time.”
Llanfer “Most say time travel is impossible.”
Peasley “Tell that to my father.”
Myself “What do you mean by that?”
Peasley “We don’t speak of it.” Disappointing how much the group still can not bring themselves to share with us.
As if we did not have enough on our plate, I informing them that we will look into any leads in the letter on our own time, as we continue our own investigations.
Armitage “Do what you will, how you see fit.”
The meeting officially ended there, but as our next move could be one of many, I explained our situation with the Silver Twilight to the group, then, as they are knowledgable on the occult and Wilmarth is a regional specialist. He promised to look into the matter “give us a day and come back tomorrow. We will tell you what we found.”
This Armitage case, as said before, seems to be an investigation that, indeed, will take some time. It will be so piecemeal that it shall be done while doing and even finishing other more immediate investigations. However, that is not to underestimate its potential importance. The 6 of us made for a local spot for a few ales, and gave a once over the letter. While there are some specific and general names, their context is unknown to us at this time. A more thourough reading is necessary, yet even then there will be much that is vague and inactionable. Actually, I feel I should start a separate file on this, apart or in conjuction with this narrative A Record of Strange Events. As well as a consilidation of information and mentionings of any names and events of importance. For instance, all mentions of Azathoth in one list.
Atwater ended with “Well, now that I’m thouroughly confused…”
Like Theolonius and Jon, all in Armitage’s group has also heard of The Tears of Azathoth, and like our men none can remember from where, when or whom they had heard of it. And until it was mentioned or they read it, they would never have conciously thought of it on their own. A disconcerting.
Theo “So what to do now?”
Myself “I would like much to investigate Kingsport and the fire cult supposedly there. Because of its possible relation to Pickman. A Nightgaunt may have taken him there, remember.” There is also Martin’s Beach." And so that is our plan for the immediate future. We will visit Kingsport in search of a possible Cthugha cult. This one will be for poor Fava! The Silver Twilight must be dealt with soon, though. At all costs.
A tragic case hits too close to home
September 17, 1889 00:16
A letter from Timmons the very next morning called me back to NY immediately. The events it would unfold would end our intended rest before we had hoped. She wrote by wire only that her son “is in trouble and needs our assistance”, and of course I could never say no to her. Will and I made the trip. Atwater remained to see to Theolonius’ recovery after the lighthouse battle, and Jack will stay to guard him while he recuperates. When we arrived, upon exiting, I would have sworn and oath that I caught a brief glimpse of Father John in the crowd, as he looked across a crowd at me for but an instant before ducking into the crowd. I exclaimed “Will, did you see that? It looked like Father John! Though I know him to be torn to pieces!”
Mrs. Timmons “Brian has gone insane. I had to have him committed.”
Myself “For what reason.”
“He had grown increasingly moody and withdrawn. He eventually moved away to an old farmhouse near Woonsocket, RI. Now he has gone insane. Can you go to visit him at the hospital and try to find out what has happened?”
I of course said I would do so immediately. I asked how the little girl was doing, she who Theolonius saved, and Timmons said she was doing fine. Even considering adopting her.
I pressed her gently for more details on her son, and she explained that for the last 2 years or so, her son has been investigating his family history. He found out about an ancestor, of whose name she is not sure, who lived on a farm near Woonsocket, RI. He travelled there, bought the farm and lived there. When he came home soon after he had a friend with him, a man named Mr. Banes. After not hearing of him for months he then returned to NY to visit again, this time alone, but Timmons insists something was different about him. She did not press the matter with her son. Back in Woonsocket he then got into some trouble with the law over accusations of graverobbing. She does not believe him to be a criminal of course, and he was committed to save him from prison. For when the police arrived at his farmhouse he “exploded in a violent rage”. Now, he is at a sanitorium in Providence. His doctors declare him prone to sudden outbursts of violence and have given up treatment due to his not being responsive to it. Mrs. Timmons refuses to give up hope, pleading that the son is all she has left with his father dead. I remember his death, he had just visited his son in Providence about a year go and within days of being home, tumbled off the balcony to his death. Now, it may not be an accident, though I said nothing of the sort to Timmons.
She knows absolutely no details of his research. She allowed a search of her son’s bedroom in NY and quickly I noticed a slim black and untitled volume on his bookcase. After our experience with wicked books, it looked suspicious enough.
I said “Something for Theolonius, maybe. We should’t risk looking at it ourselves. Do you mind if we take this with us, Ms. Timmons?”
She replied “Of course not”, so I quickly brushed it into my satchel and a search of the rest of the house came up short of clues. We stayed at my home for the night made and for the station in the morning, but first wired those of us in Arkam to keep them appraised of our intentions and location. A wire back said “Theolonius healing steadily considering condition, still immobile.” It would turn out to be a few days still before he would become truly mobile.
As when we arrived in NY, we both thought we caught sight of Father John out of the corner of our eye as we were about to board, and would have considered it only an illusion of our minds if I did not have such trust in my own senses. Jack also then told of how he thought he saw him as he saw us off at the station. I remarked on usually not trusting Jack’s utter lack of astute observation, since I saw him myself. It would prove to be half an illusion, of a sort.
As a side note, the graverobbing reminds me of the same circumstance in the Massachusetts town of Martin’s Beach. It may be worth investigating later.
The sanitorium is a private hospital just north of Providence. I informed the office of my behavioral sciences degree from Miskatonic and they allowed me to see the Timmons son with no opposition. They said they had no knowedge of his notes and information concerning his research. The doctor said he is very disruptive and violent, the attendants are very unnerved by the mere presence of him and many have threatened to quit if they have to work with him. I asked what their plans are for him long term, and he said they plan on sending him to a larger facility for the insane, locked away for the rest of his life.
We were led down a long white hall to his padded cell. A guard made sure he was secured prior to our entering. He was bound by a sturdy straight jacket of canvas. The room was windowless and but for a cot had no furnishings. Holding his legs bent in front of him, he silently watched us enter. We did so slowly and calmly. I said to him “Timmons boy, it’s Westinghouse from New York. Brian young boy, what on earth happened to you? Your mother sent us.”
Will added “She’s very worried.” I then sat next to him and he said to us without moving or looking at either myself or Will “Good day Mr. Westinghouse.” His tone was flat, uncaring, calm, and I didn’t hold it against him considering his predicament.
I asked “What happened that got you into here Brian?”
“My mother. Obviously she’s a fool. She doesn’t understand the researching that I was doing. She thinks this trumped up charge of graverobbing was true and she had me committed.”
I assured him that was untrue, that she simply did not want him to be in prison, and he said that we must get him out of here. I told him to tell us where all of his information. He replied he did not remember much, being locked up in such a place has effected his mind.
I said “Do the best you can to explain what you were working on. And this graverobbing charge?”
“Now that I don’t know! I was accused but there was no evidence.”
“Accused by whom? Just start at the beginning, leave nothing out even the slightest detail.”
“I hired a man who turns out to be very much a neirdowell named Water Hailey. A local indigent of questionable reputation. I hired him to help keep the place up while I was doing research into my ancestors, as a handyman. Unfortunately there is very little to know. They have been here since the time of the pilgrims, but are somewhat of a boring lot. He’s the one who went to the police and accused me of all sorts of things: devil worshipping, grave robbbery… I have no idea why he did this.”
Will “I have to ask, and don’t take this the wrong way but…were you worshipping devils?”
brian “Of course not!”
Will “As part of your research into your family, was there anything you had found that this gentleman could have misconstrued as being strange and supernatural.”
Brian “I think he’s a devilworshipper.”
Will “He very well could be.”
Myself “Yes, he could be projecting all of his doings onto you to get you in trouble. So you found nothing interesting in you family heritage?”
Brian “Correct. Next thing I know he stole $20 and ran off.”
Myelf “That’s all he stole?”
Brian “Yes, and I thought good riddance to him, so I didn’t bother reporting it. Next thing I know the police show up.”
Will “What grave did they accuse you of robbing?”
Brian “Some grave in the back of the cemetary. It was from before the revolutionary war, desecrated and in one of the oldest parts of the cemetary. The occupant was impossible to tell thanks to the state of the headstone. Very few burial records of course from that time, so no one could ID the body. What kind off body is still going to be intact from then? What kind of bodysnatcher go after a body like that? It makes no sense.”
Myself “Unless something was in the grave buried with the body. And they arrested based on Hailey’s accusation. What would cause them to arrest you with no evidence?”
Brian “If he goes to the police and says ‘that weirdo that bought that small farm out there, not farming just living there, is the one who broke in and robbed the grave, and I know cause I worked for him’ they will come and investigate. And I may have overreacted a bit. could find no evidence they let me go, but next day the men in white coats came and took me away.”
Myself “Is the investigation ongoing?”
Brian “I have no idea.”
Will and I stepped out of the cell at this point to talk in private.
Will “We are going to have to go investigate this ourselves, and we need to take him with us. If we leave him here we could lose him to transfer.”
Myself “Or deeper madness.”
Will “Right, or even crazier. Maybe you can check him out as his psychologist, into your care. Say that his medical doctor is Atwater and he will be arriving shortly.”
I had a good talk with the doctors, and convinced them of Atwater’s being Brian’s medical doctor and myself being his psychiatrist. “Be my guest” he said in the end. That along with the letter from his mother Ms. Timmons was more than enough to persuade them to set him free in mine and Atwater’s care.
We sent word to our men in Arkam to meet us in Woonsocket as soon as Theo was mobile, and procured ourselves rooms in Woonsocket with plans to investigate the farm in the morning. Brian was obviously joyed to be released by his countenance alone, yet very quiet overall. He told that he did try to convince the doctor of his sanity, but it was as if the doctor assumed he was so simply because Brian was in an asylum so he must be insane. Everything he said to the contrary was simply interpreted so as to reinforce their belief. He felt as if he had no hope.
In the morning, after breakfast, Brian made to relieve himself in the bathroom so I followed him ostensibly to do the same but in fact just to keep an eye on him. I payed with the money I good-naturedly pilfered from Atwater’s pocket as we left Arkam, and we made it to the farmhouse. It is quite old and somewhat dilapidatad. Into the back door the kitchen is to the left, cloakroom to the right, a door straight ahead leading to a hallway opening into a foyer for the stairway to the second floor and the front door. To either side of this is the dining room and study, the entrances being only a arched opening. Upstairs Brian said was the master bedroom and a guest room. No basement, and an outhouse.
“Now what did you want to see?”
Myself “All the information you’ve been working on.”
Will “The family history research, but I’d also like to see the grave. We should also try to get a look at the police report.”
Myself “We need to find this Hailey fellow. Is he a native in the town?”
Brian “Yes. Whether he is still here I couldn’t know. All of my research is in the desk. Now if you pardon me I am going to go upstairs and check my bedroom.”
Myself “I will accompany you, so as to search the house before we disturb too much. Will, get youself started on studying the research papers.”
Upstairs, everything seeemed perfectly normal. In the study Will saw a rolltop desk, the lock to which had been forced open, and an old cigar butt on the floor that had burned the rug slightly before going out. A letter was found in the desk, from Brian’s father. It speaks of a “damning” converstion Mr. Timmons overheard during his visit, evidently between Brian and Hailey. His father begs him to “put aside these abominable practices” and end his relationship with Hailey. He says Mrs. Timmons heart has been broken and he asks Brian to return home and cryptically “the police will never know”. Across the bottom, in an somewhat archaic fashion and not the father’s hand, is written ‘right ye be olde foole’.
Will “Westinghouse? Come down here.”
Myself “What would you like to do Brian?”
He stated he just wanted to rest in his own bed, so I recommended a nap while I checked on Will’s calling me downstairs. Will immediately showed me all he had found and I investigated the room intently. The cigar was of the worthless 5-cent sort which one could get at a number of places in any town. “A true cigar smoker would never smoke one of this sort”.
Just here I thought of keeping an eye on Brian’s window, and as I stood up to walk to the back I happened to glance out the back window time and thought I saw movement in the distant woods. I went out the back and had a stong feeling of being watched, and both of us saw something moving in the foliage. Not wanting to risk it, with only two of us present, we went back inside. Will thought of asking a neighbor or passerby to watch the house as we investigated the woods, but I did not think this prudent considering the nearest neighbor was a mile away, and I did not want to leave Brian alone in case that is what an interloper was hoping we would do. We decided to take some time now to open the black book found in Brian’s room in NY.
Opening it revealed a title ‘Thaumaturgical Prodigies in the New England Canaan’, by Reverend Ward Phillips. A thin volume of witchcraft and the like in the New England area. We began leafing through the book and found an old woodcut portrait of a man named D. Timmons, and looked almost identical to Brian. In the text he seemed to be only mentioned briefly: being accused of witchcraft in 1642, but escaped to Rhode Island.
I then heard the back door creak, and we both drew pistols. Will exclaimed in a whisper “Bullocks” to which I replied, with our lacking Theolonius and Jack in a scrape, “bullocks, indeed”. We both crept to the back door on the alert, but luckily the noise was not a prelude to deadly combat. What it had been was Brian, for we saw a figure disappearing into the woods and saw it to be him.
Will said “Shoot him in the leg!” but the man being a couple hundred feat distance it was surely out of my range for such a shot, and for most others I would expect. Will and I both yelled for him to come back, and out of shear duty for the family I almost followed him, but Will’s insistance at the danger delayed us only a few seconds before we both made chase. Withing a minute we caught sight of him, about 100’ away. To our horror he turned and made some sort of symbol with his hands, directed straight at me. My instinctive response was ‘dive’ but it was to no avail. Immediately I could not breath. I heard a shot from Will’s revolver, and with amazing luck considering the boy’s lack of experience, he winged the spellcaster with his .38-8. Brian, or who or whatever it really was (for this could not possibly be Brian Timmons) turned and fled. Will turned to me, who knelt on all four literally coughing up water as if I were drowning, which I was! The spell had conjured water directly into my lungs. Will, through shear instinct, grabbed me from behind and though he squeezed my lungs almost hard enough to crack my ribs. I half-seizured trying to force it up at the same time and coughed up an unnaturally copious amount of water in one heave. I finally caught my breath then, and was fast none the worse for wear. We sped in the direction the sorcerer fled and ended at a small river, unfordable here. We turned back to the house where we checked Brian’s bedroom. There we saw a floorboard pried up, though whatever was hidden there was taken with him, and a note on the bed read ‘thank ye for releasing me from duriance vile. See ye soon, idiots’; a taunt from an evil dog who looks like or inhabits the body of poor Brian, for that must be our assumption of the state of affairs. And we freed the lunatic! Poor Brian we now tragically assume must be dead.
I took time to search the house in greater detail, including the study, directing Will back to the research of Brian’s papers. I found a large antique key rather quickly, but the rest of the house contained nothing of importance. In the papers on the desk, Will came upon pre-revolutionary war documents which revealed horrors in the case we hadn’t expected to find in what seemed like a case unrelated to our latest lines of action. These included a letter addressed to ‘Heir Timmons"…from a German apparently. It read:
I trust this last shipment has been suitable. I am pleased to have been of some service to you and hope it will help you to decide whether to accept my offer of induction into the organization. I expect your response to my offer within the month.
Our hearts sank. Our souls sank. Our minds sank. These unspeakable Mythos entities infest New England at every turn. We can not escape them. Nothing escapes their tentacles, they are ever reaching and ever present.
Next Will found Brian’s journal, recording some of his researches, especially of a Douglas Timmons that was run out of Salem for lothesome practices. He then lived in this very house for many years, but then at some point attacked by locals. He had been here so many years that people who knew him when young had grown old and died while he stayed ever young! He was killed and buried, evidently somewhere near here in a secret grave about a half mile east of the farmhouse. Nothing about the cemetary and grave therein which Brian was framed for exhuming is mentioned. A location of an old tower near the river is, however, about 200 yards from the burial. So, a clue at least to its whereabouts. Likely the tower is gone by now, though a foundation should be noticeable.
Will “It don’t think we should do anything else about this sorcerer until we have the rest of our men. At this point, I think we should go into town and update them. Then talk to the police about information on Hailey, since he’s a local.”
Myself “It should not escape us that the letter was written by a Baron ‘H’, it could be ‘H’ for Hailey.”
On one wall of the room I noticed a loose piece of panelling. We both predicted exaclty what we would find.
Will “There’s a body behind it. I know it.”
Myself “It’s going to be Brian.”
Indeed, poor Brian’s body, may he rest in peace, was stuffed in the wall. He had likely been dead for weeks, doubtless Atwater could have narrowed the timing down more precisely. So, to Woonsocket we went, wishing we had left the wretch in the asylum in his straight jacket. Though he must be powerful, it took 6 police to overpower him. Luckily for us, we number 6 as well.
In town we wired Arkam.
Will “I am not going back to that house or the woods without reinforcements. Should we tell the police about ‘Brian’ being loose in the woods, or leave that to ourselves so that they don’t get uncooperative with us for loosing him?”
Myself “We can tell them there were ruffians and otherwise nasty folk about the property, and neighbors should be careful at night.”
This we did, and after some discussion they allowed us to see the police report on the arrest and graverobbery. It contained no new leads. Though Hailey is a person of interest, they can connect nothing to him. He did indeed turn Brian in, so it is not Hailey who is the sorcerer. He would not have turned himself in!
The police still have no idea of the identity of the body in the grave which Brian supposedly dug up, though we know that it was likely dug up after Brian’s death.
3 days after our return to Woonsocket, our friends arrived late morning and we fill them in over brunch. Three leads we possessed at this moment: The approximate location of Timmons grave; a ruined tower near the river; and by this time, we found that Walter Hailey lives in a cabin in the woods.
Myself “We should first check out Walter Hailey.”
Hailey’s residence is nothing but a shack on the otherside of the river, a half mile upstream from the Timmons farm. It’s a filthy place and was recently falling apart, though had obviously been reinforced of late. An old broken down wagon next to the shed. As we approached, the house even outside smelled of old body odor and cheap cigars, of the sort found on the farm floor.
Myself “Mr. Hailey” I called, and he cracked open the door, sticking the business end of an old shotgun a few inches out at us.
“Get outta here, I don’t want to talk to nobody!”
Myself “We seek your assistatnce, we mean you no harm. There’s a nefarious fellow afoot, and we need your help to bring him to justice or slay him while doing so.”
“I don’t know anybody named Timmons.”
Mysef “I think you do. You left one of your cigar butts on his floor.”
“I don’t smoke cigars.”
Myself “We could smell them a mile away, sir! We only want information, anything you know about him, so that we can destroy him and the evil he represents.”
While Will and I kept him busy talking, Jack, at the back of the group and out of Hailey’s limited sight, left us and snuck around to the back of the house of his own accord.
Hailey “You can’t kill him, no one can kill him.”
Theo “We need to try.”
“He’s already dead! No get outta here!”
Myself"Just help us with information, what we need to know."
“If I help fyou I’m a dead man.”
Will “You may be in danger of that already. The man is loose in these very woods.”
He did not like this revelation and imediately screamed in anger and fright “Get outta here!!” then proceeded to pull back and slam the door on us. In the rear, Jack succeeded in sneaking through an open window. As he backed up from the door, Jack made his move to disarm Walter of his doublebarrel. In this he succeeded by surprise, and hearing the scuffle from front, Theolonius flew at the door foot first, blowing the door almost off it’s hinges.
Walter knelt on the floor screaming and crying in a frenzy “No! dont’t let him get me, don’t let him get me! No!”
Myself “We dont’t want him to get you, settle down.”
Jack “We can protect you.”
Walter “You don’t know this guy, what he’s capable of. I didn’t mean to rob the grave, he made me do it.”
Theo “Tell us the whole story.”
“I was minding my business, just loitering by the cemetary. Timmons came by. Threatened to turn me in for crimes I didn’t commit. Accusing me, said he could prove I broke into the church there, and stole from teh poor box. I never did such a thing in my life, I’,m a hard working man. So, he made me come home with him, he did evil things.”
Theo, from the front door standing watch “Such as?”
“I don’t know for sure, but I heard terrible chanting from upstairs.”
Myself “What did he keep you there for, what did he want from you?”
“He wanted me to dig up the body.”
Will “He needed the old body.”
Myself “A body from the Timmons grave or the other grave?”
Walter “The cemetary grave. He told me the name on the grave. ‘Jason Greeley’.”
Mysel f"What did he want with the bodcy, did he say?"
“He took it to his rom. When he came down, he had a glass bottle full of…”
“Maybe. It was a fine white, like a powder. When I went up and looked in the room, Greeley’s body was gone. Before anything could happen to me, I told the police he robbed the grave. And it was him! I only did what he made me do!” The poor man had certainly suffered mentally and emotinally from the ordeal. I feel genuinely sorry for him, he will never be the same again. His sanity has slipped considerably.
Searching his room, I found some old coins from the before the revolution stashed under his bed. Walter said he stole them from the desk at the farmhouse, having broken in after he locked up Timmons. Also, a handdrawn map showing the cemetary in Woonsocket showing the exact location of the dug up grave plot. So, with no legible marker or records of the plot, the man masquerading as Brian must know it was Greeley’s grave from experience, or magic.
Walter “Now leave me be, leave me be.”
Myself “These kinds of people don’t often like leaving loose ends.”
Walter “Then what should I do?”
Will “You can either stay with us, which will be very dangerous, or go back to town and hope for safety there.”
Though Walter didn’t like the idea of not being able to carry his gun at all times, he chose to make for town. We left him to his own fate, whatever it would be, and went in search of the tower. We told him to take some of the gold coins and make some money off them.
The tower ruins were easy to find, in fact. Just before we found it, ,Atwater said he swore someone was following us in the woods a few minutes ago, and he was hoping to get a better look but then the person was gone. The tower was now just a ring of stone foundation, as expected, varying between a few inches to a few feet hight. We made a search of the area, Atwater keeping a lookout with Theolonius. It took seconds only for me to find the trapdoor within the walls, under inches of dirt slightly different from the rest because of recent movement through the door. We opened it without hesitation. After taking a good look around us, and seeing no one watching us, we all decended into the darkness, lanterns lit. What we entered was a crypt, though empty of bodies, with a stone door on the far wall. We could hear no sound from the other side and it opened easily. A narrow tunnel led to heavy oaken door fixed with an antique lock after a length of 30’. The lock was latched, and Will quickly and smartly thought “Try the key from the desk.” It clicked open and we opened the door. It reavealed a circlular stone room, some 80’ in diameter. On the far side was another set of wooden doors, a long wooden ladder resting on the floor near it. Built into the floor of the room were 10 round iron grates, each about a yard across. We heard breathing and shuffling noises yet saw nothing moving by our lantern-light. We readied for danger, myself and Jack in front and stepped into the room revolvers ready with Theo right behind us. Atwater brought up the rear. We stopped and listened, and could now tell the noises were coming from within the grates. We carefully entered, and looked into the first grate. Within was a horribly deformed man, his eyes revealing a discreat lack of normal human intelligence. It moaned loudly at seeing us. When it did so, noises from the other grates showed the vile truth, they all contained such suffering souls! The moaning became “I’m hungry, feed me.” All naked, completely mad, and now less than human. Many had taken bites out of themselves in their hunger.
I told Theo and Atwater to go back, make sure we were not about to be trapped here. Looking up at the entrance they met another man standing on the ground above, looking down upon them. He seemed to be wearing the frock of the priest.
Atwater “Who are you?”
“A friend, or your worst nightmare.”
Theo “I would prefer friend. What are you doing here?”
“I might be one to erradicate evil, or you. Tell me what happened to Father John.”
Will now showed up “That man was a hero.”
Theo “He died a heroes death, battling a gigantic tentacled beast on the shores near Kingsberry. I am Brother Theolonius Wang. This is Dr. Atwater and Will McNamara.”
Jack now showed up in case of trouble “I’m Jack Burton.”
The man “Who?” Ignoring Jack and moving on he revealed “And I am Father John.”
Theo “Are you related to John Johnson?”
“I am Father Jonathan Johnson. Identical twin to John Johnson.”
Theo “What brings you here, Father?”
Will “Have you come to help us?”
“I am here to kill you for causing my brother’s death.”
Theo “Father John took the brunt of the assault from the Cthulhu spawn at the end, to help save us all.”
He explained he knew the moment his brother died, they had a kind of psychic link. He has always been intuned with the supernatural, and learned some things on what turns out to be Archimedes’ Mythos, turning his life to the church. His brother went the way of psychology and theology, and long ago had a premonition of his own death against a disgusting tentacled creature of the sea. Jonathan got John into the church and the Jesuit brotherhood. Prior to oru trip to Arkam John had sent his brother a letter a saying he thought his end was near. Upon John’s death, he made his way to the area. As it turns out, this John is more of a militant evil-hunter than Father John the psychiatrist, and was the source of the blessed ammunition John had for us once. He is still steeped in theology and religious counseling.
“Theo “Do you know why we are here, in Woonsocket?”
He had a vague idea, having been tailing us for a couple days, and Theo gave him a summary of the case. He entered the tunnels and came to the room.
Jack “Are they zombies?”
Jon “These are dead who have been resurrected from there essential salts. But, whoever did so was experimenting by taking handfulls out so they would come back deformed and feebleminded. Likely to be slaves.”
Jack “So we should just kill them all, it would be better for them.”
Theo “Put them out of their misery.”
Jon said there is a method, an incantation which is quite easy if you know it, to bring a person back via there essential salts and to reverse them back into their essential salts. Here, Theolonius recalled the essential salts we discovered in Bishop’s house, a bottle of which I took, and the passage found with them, which we copied at the time! Jon said that read forward it would bring one back from their salts, and read backward it would reduce one to their salts. Anyone can do this, as it is not truly a spell per se, but it can have a minor effect on ones sanity.
Jack “Still sounds easier to shoot them in the head. You’d have to do that 10 times.” We all loaded our shotguns, and perfomed the grim but necessary work.
After, we opened the unlocked double doors. A small square chamber lay beyond, containing a table, shelves filled with sealed bottles, and an ornate wooden chair of red velvet. Strapped onto the chair by stout leather was a once human body in a disgusting state. Eyes were closed, torn rags hanging from its body covering little. A leg was terribly shriveled, one foot at an odd angle, drool running out of its mouth, one arm crossed in front of its chest was literally attached, skin to skin, to the torso grotesquely. The closer we got, the more grotesqueness we could see.
Myself to the others “Greely?”
Jack “Atwater, check him.”
Reluctantly, Atwater did so after a nervous pause. The thing immediately began screaming and babbling “You awful man Douglas Timmons?” He wailed and cried in complete agony to his core.
Myself “Are you Greely?”
This man suffered at every word, every moment, and it shown indescribably in his voice and manner “Yes, I am Jason Greely.”
Jack “What did you do to this man to make him want to do this to you?”
It turns out he was the organizer of the taking of Douglas Timmons. They captured him as he fled, and Timmons swore that even beyond death he would get revenge on Greely.
“Then, there I was in the nothingness of death, and suddenly he woke me. Brought me back. And, and has done unspeakable things to me.
Theo “We’ll put you back to rest, Greely, if that’s what you desire.”
“Yes, please” he begged.
Myself “Whate are his pans?”
“Only to get revenge on all those involved in his death, and more. He showed great glee in telling me the fate in store for my great great grandchildren. Then he spoke of finding, resurrecting something he called The Beast.”
Theo “Where was he going to get this beast? Or its remnants.”
“He talked of a prophecy in a book called ’Ktabh al Azib (sp)”.
Theo “Did he have the book?”
“No. He talked of a Baron Halktman, who he would join to help do this. And of Egyptians Nofrakha, and a prophecy by some Abdul al Hazred.”
Theo “The mad Arab!”
“Who had written a tome that he desprately wanted to see, he kept calling…”
Myself “The Necronomicon?”
“No, he kept calling it the Al-Hazif.”
Theo “The word is known as the sound that insects and demons make. It is an Arab name of the Necronomicon.”
Jon “Yes, before it was translated into Greek.”
Greely “He talked of the Baron, and the brotherhood of the beast. But the Baron was around during my life, how could he be alive?”
Theo “By his essential salts?”
Will “No way he’s dead. With mention of something like Yogsothoth, he could be an evil entity.”
Greely “He raved about cults all over the world being part of a grand conspiracy. Talked about the Cult of the Bloated Woman, Cult of the Red Tongue, Cult of the Dark Pharaoh. All these things.” Here he screamed in pain and “Please put me out of my misery.”
We promised to reduce him back to his salts, which Jon came back and did later as Theo had our copy of Bishop’s incantation inside the Necronomicon.
We found a book upon the table, made out of an odd leather that was surely human flesh. It was the journal of Douglas Timmons from prior to his death at the hands of Greely’s mob. The full story of his researches into resurrection spell, kidnapping and torturing of babies as sacrifices to Yogsothoth. It actually contains a resurrection spell within it! The debate will be should any mortal have such power.
The entries cover the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Then there is a gap until entries dated this year. It tells several times about getting in touch with NWI, who can lead him to who he’s looking for. Later, he reveals NWI as New World Incorporated. Will and myself both know of this NWI. They are one of the largest corporations in the world, manufacturing steam engines, technology researches, significant holdings in the west for ghostrock searches (Haelstrom Industries being an owned subsidiary), and munitions. They are an international corporation. American but with offices in many other countries including all major European countries, Brazil and China. They are known to be very secretive.
Does this madness and chaos truly reach so upward into society? Beyond cults and madmen? It is a chilling revelation that shakes the foundations of our entire world. Archimedes must be told of the connection!
Theo “Perhaps we should close the hatch while we are here so long, so it seems no one is here if the sorcerer returns.” Jack made to lead the way and practicall ran straight into Dougas Timmons.
“Ye fools, give me back my journal or die!” He cast a spell at fast Jack, who was no more than a few feet in front of Douglas. Fast Jack tumbled away from the arcane blast, dodging it deftly and desparately with his amazing ability of quick reaction.
Jack “It’s all in the reflextes!”
He stood directly in the doorway, allowing us only one or 2 men on him at at time. Giving up the book and allowing his escape was not an option. Father Jon, a fanatical witchfinder and evil killer, drawing his cruciform sword made straight for the sorcerer with all the undue abandon of a Puritan Withfinder and almost missed his mark, but struck Timmons a cut. Jack sprung up to join Jon, quick-drawing his dagger but missing. The natural movement of melee brought the battle slightly more into the room. Timmons loosed another spell, and an impressive one it was. Moving slightly back, he became surrounded by numerous swirling sparks, striking both men close to him and turning the room noticeably more hot. At the opening of a shooting lane, Atwater, who had been readying to fire when giving an opportunity, hit with his revolver-10. At the hit, a spark shot out and struck Atwater on the shoulder-3. Theolonius, though quicker to react than myself, waited for me to fire a blast from the first barrel of my shotgun but miss the mark. Will fired his pistol-5, a spark striking him unerringly in the chest for-7, causing the brave but frail Will to knock over the table and take cover behind it. Finally, Theolonius sprung into action with a leaping roundhouse kick-5 (minimum damage). At the hit, Theo reeled back sweat instanty rolling from his face as he suffered from the extreme heat around the sorcerer-8. Jon changed to a more powerful 2 handed stroke, hitting-7 causing him to suffer a wave of heat as well-4. Jack missed again, and Douglas went for him. He enveloped Jack in his surrounding heat and sparks-15. At this point we all felt the heat-1 (Theo and Jon would later find the spell in research, being called ‘cloak of fire’. It hit the men closest to him the worse, Jack-6, Theo-3, Jon-4. At this point, Timmons looked dangerously healthy. Theolonius struck out-7, and stepped back to open a clear shooting lane: Atwater unloaded a shotgun-24, taking a spark-3. I struck with my second barrel-11. Suddenly the sparks popped out of existence and Timmons fell to the floor. In a rasping, struggling voice he began “Hail Yogsothoth, hail Cthulhu, hail Nyarlatho…” He didn’t get to finish, as Jon with one mighty cut beheaded him. A desperate fight this was, with Jack (exactly 0 fatigue left), and Theo (over half fatigue gone) quite worn out, besides Will having to take cover immediately. If he would have had any minions with him, someone would have died.
We came back with the salt incantation and salted both Greely and Timmons. We spread Greely in the river. Jon urninated with glee in the container holding D. Timmons’s salt, and shook it around before slowly dumping it into the river as well.
That was today. We shall now the night in Woonsocket. In the journal, we also found a reference to an order called the Knight’s of the Silver Twilight. That which we think was a medieval precursor to the present Silver Twilight. A web of connections abounds.
So, what exactly happened with Brian in his last days? Knowing from his father’s letter that Brian was involved in something evil, the theory must be thus: Brian had dug up his ancestor from the revolutionary times. This sorcerer either came back or was brought back to life by Brian in some way. This is the man who came home to NY during Brian’s visit. The sorcerer, once Brian’s use was over, killed Brian and assumed his form and identity through some magical means. Then he hired Walter to dig up Greeley so he could break the remains down into their essential salts. He did this solely because Greeley had been an enemy all those decades ago and he wanted him to suffer a fate worse than death.
I will have to tell Mrs. Timmons of her son’s death inperson, of course. First thing in the morning I will go to NY to see her. When I return it will be back to Arkam for us.
We have plenty still on our plate regarding the Silver Twilight.
This John Scott: how old is he, is he the same man who’s home was attacked and burned down long ago?
What happened to the missing James Clark, member of the Twilight?
Who is Carl Stanford, and is he unnaturally old as well? What’s the dynamic between he and J. Scott?
The Bishop sighting at the Hall.
Now, the Knight’s mention in the journal, linked to a man who worshipped Yogsothoth and the Great Old Ones.
Additionally, there is much to check out in this Mythos infested area. Wild rumor and suspicious stories that previously none would have believed before; but now, we mustn’t afford ourselves any such disbelief. Most of which I recall from my extensive devouring of newspapers, some Will knows from working for the news. Some Theolonius and Jon are privy to thanks to their Illuminati/Archimedes and Jesuit connection, respectively.
-Rumors of a fire cult under Kingsport
-grave robbing at Martin’s Beach
-the story of the old meteorite powder of Clark’s Corner
God willing, what we battled at Innsmouth will be worse than anything we encounter at these places. Our work seems endless. I worry often that we will burn out far before the enemy. May Archimedes find the other’s he seeks.