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.