Cthulhu Redux (Masks of Nyarlathotep)

Sand and Silliness

we were exceptionally giddy and immature at ou short session yesterday, but we had a great time and nobody died.

Our team took off to me Nyiti of El Wasra, a tiny village a few hours drive outside of Cairo. The small village had several women named Nyiti, but fortunately we bumped into her son who was half-scooped away by some hideous scars left by some horror left to our imaginations.

He took us home to his jawless and wacked out mom, who displayed a moment of clarity to give us a rose stone tablet with an inscription of the eye of Osiris/Horus connected to the inverted ankh, a known symbol of our dreaded foes.

We remembered the stone color seemed to match the Red Pyramid, which we recalled was built as some sort of magical protection thang. So we assumed the inscription has a protective bent. We noticed it appears to be only half of the tablet, though. So, we rushed to the pyramid to locate the other half, but failed. We now think someone, perhaps the Carlyle expedition has the other half. Who has it? Where? What does it do? Details details.

We also embarked on a mission to halt the ressurection of Nitokris in the Giza pyramid. Based on the Action News report of Jim Gardner who suspected there were hidden tunnels at Giza, and the mysterious disappearance of the sarcophagus of Nipplekris, I mean Nitokris, we deduced the body was diverted via tunnel somewhere deep underground where this unholy ritual to raise her will occur.

So we stumbled fortunately upon a secret opening climbed and used magic to get in. Inside we encountered a maze of tunnels and killed some black-robed cultists including two humans and some terrible human-animal hybrids. Humanoids with the following heads were slain by our forces: bull, croc, ibis, hawk, and ocelot. Will blinded a couple and we stole their black robes in hopes of blending in somewhat. We journeyed down a large corridor down some steps and stopped for the day, because a big boss fight/ nazis opening the Ark of the Covenant thing seemed next.

Things are about to get real up in here.

Nyarlathotep, we presume?

Josh was taking some notes, but I have a few quick highlights to share before I forget:

1. Nobody died or went insane. (Correction: nobody’s character went insane. I’m pretty sure this confusing, nerve-wracking campaign is driving me as a player insane.)

2. We met the Dark Pharoah (Nyarlathotep, who made Josh and I poo our pants) and showed us horrific visions. He also called us pathetic mortals or something similar you might expect from a movie in the X-men series.

3. The Egyptian Taliban was unable to protect whatever they were guarding to prevent the resurrection of Nitocris. They did not tell us what it was or take us up on our repeated and respectful offers to help guard it. (We learned later from Kev that we should have demonstrated we had magical powers . . . but given the Nazir was talking all Islamic and about demons, and we being white and non-muslim and all, we never considered it.)

4. There is division and treachery among members of the Clive Expedition who dug up Netrocris (funded by the Penhew Foundation). Jim Gardner is a good guy. Clive and Martin Winfield are bad guys.

5. We were annoyed by lots of cats and a hot woman who might have been Bast, the Egyptian goddess of cats. They wanted something the Clive Expedition had stolen. Because we hate the Clive Expedition (Penhew Foundation), we gave it back to her . . . after Ali Kafour translated it for us and revealed nothing Mythos-related.

6. We snuck into a rug merchant’s and beat up a drunk Dutchman who had worked for the Clive Expedition. His name (for our purposes) is Eddy Van Halen. Before taking his beating, he told us some useful information. Will’s country boy eventually game him a pistol-whipping lullaby.

7. Warren “Potsie” Bessart is French and was Carlyle’s old agent. He is a serious hash junkie, but told us some useful crap. (See leads and theories in the Forum tab). We left him strung out in a shitty neighborhood in Cairo.

8. Victor’s sanity is now down to 45, and Dr. Schmidt’s is somewhere in the 30s. At this rate, we’ll both be totally insane in 2-4 more sessions.

9. We safely tucked Sandy and Frenchie away from danger at the hotel when we met Nyarlathotep.

London to Cairo by way of France

Wed. feb. 13, we went back to question Barrington about the Penhuw foundation and yet again he had nothing to tell us, and there was no mention about the illegal passports we sent him, we leave in a huff.

Dr. Schmidt, Victor, and Jeremiah head to the penhew foundation under the pretense of having an appointment with Gavigon, but he is not there having gone on a long weekend, next available Feb. 19. The following Tuesday.

On the way back to our hotel Dr. Schmidt notices we are being followed and as we pull over the cars stop the men getting out firing upon us quickly, after an intense gun fight and two men attempting to stab Dr. Schmidt and Renault, Dr. Schmidt who was seriously injured, our party makes its way back to their hotel, Renault pulls in an alley in the back as Ernie is bleeding profusely and overcome with pain decides to self-administer himself with some morphine to dull the sensations. In the night as we slept a fire “mysteriously” broke out and the hotel was forced to evacuate, after then we went to Cambridge to rest.
The following morning Feb. 14, Victor decided to make a call to Barrington insinuating that he took part in the fire at our hotel. Victor seemed rather curt with the inspector though his raised voice could be heard over the line until victor abruptly hung up on him.
Miss Bartlett called him back with a more soothing and more pleasant tone and choice of words and he admitted that “Barrington seems ok at initial glance, heard leads about the blue pyramid, thinks something is wrong with Tufik despite no signs of illegal activity, He ended saying he would share information, but would not reveal anything to compromise his investigation”

Our time in London over we head to france to study that which we acquired at the foundation, spent 45 days studying in which we found:

10 poems praising the black pharaoh, telling of his horribleness, naming him as Nyarlathotep, the god of the bloody tongue.

1 tale of the sungod Ra

1 recipe to create powder of Ibn Ghaz, makes visible the unseen

How to prepare a bladed weapon to forever remain sharp and be painful to unearthly beings

How to send dreams

Nothing is learned about the statuette or mirror

Upon finishing our stay we head to cairo, and in Apr. 4, 1924, we arrive in the port of Sayeed, just north of Cairo

A young boy Hakeem, offers to be our guide and takes us to a fine hotel, then the street of jackals to meet with Faraz, whose initial shop was burnt out 5 years earlier. Finding his current shop we see he sells nothing but junk.

At first he is confused when we mention his old shop then turns downright angry when we give him the letter we had. The sight of money is enough to calm him down though.
The next day we meet with Faraz at the mosque where he tells us Carlylse sought the reign of the black pharaoh, never met carlylse only was contacted through an agent by the name of Warren Besart.

Sold him items such as a drum, strange circlet, rumored to be crown of B.P., large grey gem, statue of B.P., multiple scrolls.

He got these items as well as the scars on his face from Omar Shakti, a very dangerous merchant, who is very involved with the cult of the B.P., something akin to living fire was sent by Shakti, to deal with Faraz.

The brother hood stole some mummies, and seeks something from Ibn-Tulan, mentioned we should check out clive expedition, a group of Europeans, still in Egypt.

Checking in with the counsel of antiquities, where the expeditions are registered, we found out the clive group is in Memphis, and Carlylse was at Giza, Sakura, and Dashur, The bent pyramid is at Dashur (and looks like wills penis)

The Clive expedition is also sponsored by the penhew foundation!
They consist of Henry Clive, Martin Winfield, James gardeler, Johanes Sprecht, Agatha Broadmore, and formerly Janwillen Van Huvelin.

The next day we meet Dr. Meyer at the museum who is at first confused by what we wanted to meet him for and sends us to Dr. Kafur, who was slighted by Aubrey Penhew, because he didn’t seek him in regards to the bent pyramid, and as such doesn’t seem to like the penhew foundation.

Brings up Sniferu, who ended the reign of the 2nd pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty, Nefran’ka, who was a powerful sorcerer that brought madness and death, city of pillars worshipped a foul and evil god, the black pharaoh, and soon there became no distinction between the two.
Bringing back up Aubrey, he mentions that he seemed different in person, less friendly, and rudely rebuked the Doctor.

At first mention of the bloody tongue he began speaking vaguely, and when we finally mention some of what we know he smiled slowly.

Some of the things he brings up include, great evil, magic, fantastic creatures, space and time, inquiring if we might think he’d be crazy speaking of such things.
He believed Nefran’ka was real, Midon and Dashur may have been built to contain evil, Dashur to protect Egypt.

The 6th dynasty, was ruled by the cruel queen Netacris, who was in cahoots with the B.P.; some of the things that represent them were snakes being a small representation of a huge beast, and a voice that carried on a black wind.

A prophecy speaks of “the B.P. will rise fingers and toes after the great one, 20 centuries after Jesus”

The clive group is at Giza and found a mummy, which may be Netacris, and now the mummy is rumored to be stolen, many evil reasons of which there would be to do so.
He is unsure why the one member was let go, but he is still in Egypt.

The Mosque of Ibn is south of old city, rumored to contain an object of great power to resurrect Queen Netacris

The Dr. would like any object we find associated with the Dark Pharaoh.

London, Take 2

We began by discussing a few things we learned from “Life as a God”—that the staff is used to invoke Niambi (as we already suspected) and there is an entity or person called the Black Pharaoh who figures into all of this.

On Wednesday, February 6, Sandy and the good doctors went to case the Penhew Foundation. The trio found a grand and elegant Victorian building, featuring Italian marble and opulent woodwork. The building is surrounded by other offices (solicitors, shipping office—hours 8:30-5:30), and is slightly less tall than other buildings nearby. Upon entering the main door, there is a security guard. Up a flight of stairs there is a receptionist’s desk, behind which are hallways and doors. After playing the dumb American reporter, Sandy learns that Gavigan’s office is likely down one of the hallways. Upstairs is an exhibit hall with Egyptian artifacts, such as pottery, knives, tablets, cat sarcophagi, scarabs, statuettes, and mummies. There are 3 closed doors in the hall on each side of the room, a down staircase and a service elevator. 3 of the rooms are file rooms and the other 3 are exam rooms.

Following the back stairs down past a “Staff only” sign, Sandy found herself at the end of what appeared to be Gavigan’s hallway. There is also an exit which leads to a delivery area behind the building (which Dr. Greene had already scouted). In the area, there are 2 Middle Eastern guys smoking, and a gate with a door in it.

Other party members scouted out the spice shop. I’ll leave it to them to summarize their activities (I wasn’t around to take notes).

That evening, the gang decided to break in to the Penhew Foundation. Reinald called to cancel his date with Tewfiq.

All but Reinald and Dr. Ernie snuck around to the back of the building. Reinald and Ernie stayed out front to create a diversion—Reinald pretended that Ernie stole his wallet and started an altercation that, rather than distracting the security guard, merely created a crowd. The rest of the group broke in the back door…only to find a security guard, who the party stabbed and dragged into the staff room. A noise came from the front of the office; Victor and Sandy followed the noise…only to find a cleaning lady, who Victor dispatched. At least now the party had the keys to all the doors!

Greene and Stone scouted out the upstairs area without finding much. Victor and Sandy found Gavigan’s office. In the office were 3 closet doors; the closets contained clothes and some storage of small boxes, pottery shards, and ID cards. Sandy closely examined the back of the closets and found a false panel leading to a storage room. The room contained boxes, crates and old furniture, as well as a mummy case in poor condition, with jeweled eyes. On the floor near the mummy case was an area that looked less dusty. After pressing the eyes, a whirring noise began, and a staircase into a basement was revealed.

The party went into the basement and found a treasure trove—a bookcase, various artwork (statues, paintings), as well as 2 crates. One crate was table-sized and bore the label Ho Fong Imports, 15 Kao Yang Road, Shanghai China Attn: Ho Fong. The other crate was 18-20 inches, and was addressed to Randolph Shipping Co., Port Darwin, N. Terr., Dominion of Australia, personal to Mr. Randolph. Also in the basement was a cabinet with powders and herbs. The party found tins of food, bottles of water, a revolver, money, candles, matches, and various passports with Gavigan’s picture but other names. Finally, the party found an ornate chest containing 2 silver daggers, a stone jar with powder inside, and 15 scrolls. The party took the money, passports, revolver, bullets, a tentacle-y statuette, books, 15 scrolls, the chest, and the jar.

And then the party realized that they had no getaway car. So Sandy and Ernie (?) went out to find one; Sandy used her mechanical knowledge to start the stolen car, and the party got away with the loot.

On 2/7, Sandy photographed the passports, developed the pictures, and sent the original passports to the police. Some of the party went to the spice shop; Reinald went in to talk to Tewfiq, and after watching the shop for a while, the party discovered that Tewfiq seemed to live next door. Later, they broke into the apartment and found Middle Eastern decorations, including a curio with statues of Egyptian-looking gods. Also in the apartment was a roll top desk containing records and invoices. There was an ornate, asymmetrical mirror with human figures on the frame; the surface of the mirror appeared to ripple. The desk had a secret compartment that contained a black silk robe, a necklace with an ankh, a crumbling scroll, a skull cap, inverted ankhs, sandstone vials, and 2 scepters. We took what we could, and photographed the rest.

A lot of stuff went down at the night club, but again, Sandy wasn’t there, so I don’t know what all happened. The rest of us slept on the boat.

We tried to leave, but were stopped because we didn’t fill out the proper departure paperwork. When we went back to fill it out, we saw the same turbaned man we injured in NY. We got out of England as fast as we could and went to LeHave to regroup.

On 2/11, we went back to the UK and landed at Southampton. We took the train to London and rented 2 cars. Staking out the night club, we saw a smoking Abdul but no Tewfiq. He was also gone from the shop.

On 2/13, we headed to Southampton to the boat to sail to France, find a quiet spot, and study up.

At least this is what I have in my notes. Feel free to correct with your own recollections.

Masks, Session #2 (London)

We picked up in the aftermath of the battle at the Ju Ju House, and were able to extract ourselves from the horrors we’d seen without any police interference. Last session we had taken possession of a number of different artifacts: lion claw gloves, feather shawl, horrific African mask, a scepter, a copper bowl, gunmetal circlet, and a copy of Africa’s Dark Sects, and we wanted to take time to research these items with local experts, but had a few pressing engagements first.

Top of the docket was the funeral of Jackson Elias, which was sparsely attended. We feared we might be attacked by remnants of the African cult we fought in the Chelsea Hotel and Ju Ju House, but no trouble flared up. We were heavily leaning towards finishing up our American leads and then sailing for Kenya, but Jonah Kensington shared the names of two leads that Jackson was working in London in the last trip over before his untimely death. Given this, our group made the decision to travel to London before heading to Egypt or Kenya. Before London, we still had work to do Stateside however.

While in New York, Victor and Sandy visited Erica Carlisle’s suspiciously fortified estate where she was preparing for a big party the next day. She gave us a little information about members of the Carlisle expedition and a mysterious “negro woman” she blamed for her brother’s downfall. She nipped Victor’s fast talk attempt to acquire the books mentioned in Jackson’s letter in the bud, but Sandy was able to appeal to her sense of compassion at the recent loss of our friend and her honest and up front approach was more successful. Erica Carlyle loaned us the three books she’d found in her brothers safe:

a. The Pnakotic Manuscript
b. Selections de Livre d’Ibon
c. My Life as a God

So, now we have four interesting books and a load of different artifacts that we needed to understand. Plus we had a couple leads we needed to follow up at Harvard and Miskatonic . . . so those world class academic institutions sounded like great places to get answers about what we’d discovered.

Just after a Frenchie and Jeremiah returned from their 2nd trip to Emerson Imports, where they learned the Ju Ju House exclusive supplier in Mombasa was a man named Ahja Singh, we said farewell to the bright lights of Broadway, and headed back to Massachusetts.

Sing-songy Australian Professor Cowles lectured us excitedly about the Cult of the Sandy Bat and their bizarre practice of making human sacrifices run a gauntlet of cultists beating them with poisoned clubs featuring embedded bat fangs . . . all while singing a song. The cult wanted to awaken a sleeping sub-aquatic god who’d been defeated battling the Rainbow Serpent. We were distracted by his radiant daughter Ewa. He knew nothing of Africa, couldn’t really remember Jackson Elias very well, and basically gave us a second cult to feel creeped out about.

Visiting the Widener Library at Harvard, we confirmed with the anti-social and hideously unattractive librarian there that the missing book that Jackson Elias had been looking for was Africa’s Dark Sects. The copy we’d discovered in the basement of the Ju Ju House had a Harvard Library stamp inside, so not much of a revelation there. We were surprised to learn that a stinking smell was produced at the time the book went missing. [This sent meta-game signals to everyone in the group familiar with The Dunwich Horror and Wilbur Whately.]

We went about the tricky business of beginning to study the books we’d recovered, and tried to tap resources in several different departments and institutions for help unlocking truth and possible powers in our recently acquired artifacts. We learned a little more than was obvious when we recovered the objects in the basement of the Ju Ju House. The inscriptions on the “copper” bowl and the grey circlet were not markings any of the scholars we went to could identify, metallurgists had trouble aging and even identifying the types of metals involved . . . and the apparently copper bowl was probably not copper or any other metal known to our expert. The scepter we’d found was African (duh) and the markings in the non-Egyptian / Zambesi cartouche found on the scepter referenced the African creator god Nyambe (?sp) and was made of baobab.

What happened next was truly ludicrous and amusing. Members of our group starting trying on the artifacts and attempting to unlock powers of the items. EG4 put on the feathered shawl and tried to shoot lightning bolts and attempted to fly . . . without success. Sandy put on the circlet to find that . . . the metal was cold. Our yokel Jeremiah tied on the lion’s paws gloves, and they fit snugly. Mob doctor Ernie Schmidt decided to put on the African mask. DING DING DING. The mask fused to his face and the pupils of the mask widened while he staggered. The rest of the team tried to pull the mask off him and someone (who shall remain nameless) even struck Ernie in an effort to free him. After a short while, Ernie passed out and the mask fell off his face. He’d seen indescribable chaos and was still reeling.

Unable to unlock the powers of these items other than the ferociously terrifying mask, we set sail for Southampton and went about studying the books that we’d discovered. During our trans-Atlantic, slowboat journey, we were unable to make much headway with our diligent study of the books. Aside from Africa’s Dark Sects, we could not see a direct connection of these books to Jackson Elias. My Life as a God had obvious references to inverted ankhs, Dark Pharoah, bloody tongue, human sacrifice, and absolute madness, and tied closely to the Carlyle Foundation and the cult that murdered Jackson.

Arriving in London, Victor and Sandy paid a trip to our rare and ancient books expert in Cambridge, but gained no additional insight into any of these books at all. When we took our ancient and unusual artifacts to the British Museum, they did not generate any interest on the part of the tedious museum officials . . . which we found utterly baffling. They suggested making appointments and charging us a consultation fee and seemed generally bureaucratic and disinterested by what we thought were wondrous treasures.

We took the opportunity to contact the first of Jackson Elias’s London contacts . . . Inspector James Barrington of Scotland Yard. Barrington was very stand offish. When we explained that our friend had been murdered by an African gang in New York, and we had reason to believe that it had something to do with the inquiries he had been making in London, Barrington was not forthcoming about conversations Elias had with him. With persistence and the ability to contend with the tedium Barrington inflicted upon us, we were able to learn that Jackson Elias suspected the Penhew Foundation’s director Edward Gavigan was responsible in some way for the ‘Egyptian murders’ happening in London. Jackson had noted a pattern of Egyptians being murdered in London and brought it to the Yard, who felt it was no business for a private citizen to investigate these matters. Mind you, the Yard itself still had no idea about what was happening but completely dismissed that Gavigan and Penhew Foundation could possibly have anything to do with what was happening. Is Barrington in Penhew’s pocket or just an incompetent a-hole?

Stereotypically Irish, tabloid newspaperman Mickey Mahoney was our other contact. He liked the hard drinking Jackson Elias and shared a bunch of clippings that Jackson had requested on an array of different events going on in London. Jackson had also given his paper The Scoop leads on the Egyptian murders and mentioned something about the Blue Pyramid nightclub being a place of interest in the investigation. Mahoney said Jackson discovered a cult called the Brotherhood of the Dark Pharoah, which Jackson asserted had ties to the Penhew Foundation.

At this point, our group went a little Scooby Doo and split up. Shaggy, Thelma and Scooby went to check one of the clippings about an artist named Miles Shipley who was painting horrific scenes that seemed to jive with the dreams of Carlyle and those found in My Life as a Good. Some thought the subjects of the paintings were horribly mutilated in the same fashion as the Bloody Tongue murder victims in New York. The other members of our group headed over to the Blue Pyramid . . . only to have to wait for the rest of the team anyway before being able to get in.

At the Shipley residence, EG4, Jeremiah and Ernie asked to see Shipley’s paintings. The painting depicted reptile men in marshlands. The sights made them feel woozy and gave them the sensation that they were being drawn into the painting. Before they could recover, Miles began throwing paint at them, while his “mother” attacked with crotchet needles and transformed into a serpent creature. The boys survived the short battle essentially uninjured and only a little shaken mentally from the experience. They uncovered no information or evidence to definitively tie this encounter to Jackson, the Brotherhood of the Dark Pharoah, or the Cult of the Bloody Tongue.

At the Blue Pyramid, Frenchie used his seedy knowledge of the Arab world to poke around the topic of the killings, and dropped hints about possible employment. He was coldly rebuffed. One of the bellydancers took a liking to Jeremiah and secretly invited him to meet her outside. She revealed her boyfriend had been killed by the Brotherhood of the Dark Pharoah and she wanted vengeance (of course). The Blue Pyramid was not a safe place to be asking questions, she noted. She identified a man named Tewfik al-Sayed (?sp) and said members of the Brotherhood would often meet at the Blue Pyramid and leave together suspiciously for late night trips out of town.

At this point, it was time to break. We believe Jackson Elias was correct and want to discover how the Brotherhood is connected to the Penhew Foundation. To connect the murders and the Dark Pharoah cult to Penhew, we aim to get a visual ID of Tewfik under a completely unrelated business pretense. We will try to learn where he lives and then search his home while he’s gone. In addition, we want to follow him and others from the Blue Pyramid on one of their late night runs. It probably makes sense to get a visual of Edward Gavigan, too.

Masks, Session #1 (New York)

At long last our team kicked off Masks of Nyarlathotep last night. We assembled our 6-character team, having done some advance research into Jackson Elias, as well as the events and personalities of the Carlyle expedition. So, after receiving a nervous call from Jackson himself, we arrived at the Chelsea Hotel where we were to meet him and headed up to the room.

After knocking at the door, we heard suspicious, scrambling sounds within the room and Jeremiah Stone, our broad shouldered Vermonter country boy and Reinauld de Marchand, French arms smuggler helped the door off it’s hinges. Inside, we saw a flash of a figure disappear out the window and encountered two hostile men with long knives and one with a pistol. Jackson Elias was face down on the floor in a pool of blood. Revolvers and pocket automatics were drawn, and members of the team poured into the room. The armed men were black and wore turbans decorated with animal bones. Note the use of the past tense. The team brought these goons down quickly with gun play and the only survivor was the figure who sped down the fire escape and into a waiting black sedan before the team could catch him. A lucky shot grazed him.

We quickly searched the room, Jackson, and his assassins before the police arrived. This turned up a treasure trove of confusing clues. Lt. Poole of the NYPD and his team detained the team for questioning and were fascinated to learn that Jackson was a writer whose subject matter was deadly cults and noted they’d had a large number of deaths in recent months where the same symbol found carved on Jackson’s forehead marked the victim. This scene was the first time they have found an assailant. Poole and his team were so thrilled with the break in the case that maybe they were lenient on Sullivan Act violations on the part of a few team members.

We bore the horrible news to Jonah Kensington who was devastated, but very helpful. With prompting he shared notes Jackson had taken while in Kenya and also a very telling page written while he was in London. He is making funeral arrangements for our fallen friend.

We began the session with knowledge of the Carlyle Expedition’s members. One area of particular interest was the files of Dr. Huston, the psychologist. Seeing Jackson’s note about his own dreams and his intent to check doctor’s notes of Huston taken on Roger Carlyle confirmed we had to get these notes. Psychologist Edward Greene and mob doctor Ernie Schmidt were able to negotiate bureaucracy to review Dr. Huston’s patient notes on Roger Carlyle. The good doctors came back with fantastic stories of Carlyle’s lunatic dreams and a suggestion that Dr. Huston was blackmailed into joining the Carlyle expedition. Maybe Carlyle was more of a maniacal driving force in the expedition than we’d earlier thought. Our gut instincts were that James Bond-style villain Sir Aubrey Penhew was the evil mastermind . . . but maybe Carlyle’s more than just another gullible, deep pocket. Is Hypatia Masters “the priestess/Anastasia/M’weru”?

What we’ve seen now suggests to us that the principal members of the Carlyle expedition could all be alive. We saw reports that Brady was in Hong Kong, which could help explain Jackson’s matches (or are they from Chinatown?), and the ship picture showing a Chinese junk in the background. So, Hong Kong looks like a future destination.

The note from Faraz Najir in Egypt suggested he was negotiating the sale of ancient curios to Carlyle, which can’t be a good thing. What evil relics did he sell him? Who was his “agent”? Carlyle’s dreams of inverted ankhs, flawed pyramids, and mentions of godhood smack of Egypt, too. Cario is certainly in our plans. We know the team stopped here, and why else did Carlyle bring on a famed Egyptologist? Jackson Elias’s notes suggest a careful review of the Carlyle group’s Cairo itinerary.

Beyond this, we have information about the Bloody Tongue cult which is based in Kenya . . . and recurring mention of a place called the Mountain of the Black Wind near the Aberdare Forest. The New York branch is who murdered Jackson. Where else might this cult extend? Someone named Johnstone Kenyatta is someone we need to see while in Nairobi. Right now, this seems like the most significant place of activity. It’s where everyone disappeared, home of the cult, and it’s a geographic point we could explore. So, the team is keen to get here . . . visiting Cairo as a way point.

We found a card for Edward Gavigan, who now heads the Penhew Foundation. We know Carlyle stopped to pick up Sir Aubrey in London and they did a little research. There’s not as much compelling evidence to spend time in London as there is to visit Cairo, Nairobi, and Hong Kong. London is on the way, however, and we are all very suspicious of the Penhew Foundation. It would be a total fishing expedition at this point.

There was such an overload of clues that we had trouble processing them and needed to take some time to review and form a plan of attack. What should we investigate first? Being pulled in so many directions, we decided to stay simple and stick to a plan of pursuing a few leads locally in New York (Emerson Imports and Erica Carlisle) as well as back in Mass (Widener Library at Harvard and Australian Dr. Cowles at Miskatonic).

Monsieur de Marchand and Jeremiah paid a visit to Emerson Imports to inquire about Silas N’Kwame. They learned that Jackson had made a similar inquiry and intended to meet with Silas N’Kawme at a Harlem occult shop called Ju Ju House. Could this be a local safehouse for the Bloody Tongue in New York? The bastards behind Jackson’s death would have to pay.

In the mean time, Jackson’s notes mentioned the importance of mysterious books in a safe in Roger Carlyle’s family home. So, book thief Victor Hamilton and scandal sheet photographer Sandy Bartlett contacted Erica’s attorney Bradley Grey in hopes of setting up a meeting with the powerful heiress. To gain Erica’s attention, the two devised a plan. Sandy had a friend from a couple papers call Carlyle business offices and Grey’s firm to ask some probing questions about rumors of Roger Carlyle having received stolen rare occult books. Following on the heals of this, Victor and Sandy introduced themselves as private investigators hired to recover stolen occult books belonging to a private collector . . . and noted that they had reason to believe these might be in Roger Carlyle’s safe. Victor and Sandy noted that they remember the unfortunate attention Roger’s death had caused the family and hoped to discretely broker the return of the stolen books to their proper owner . . . before vicious newshounds ran an ugly article drawing unwanted attention to the Carlyles. Grey was able to secure an appointment for Victor and Sandy to meet with Erica in a few days.

The team regrouped. Drowning in clues at this point, the team felt like things were progressing very well and began putting theories together. Before proceeding, the team agreed that a full force visit to the Ju Ju House was in order. The whole team packed up and headed out to Harlem. Spotting a nearby Baptist church, the team stopped in and spoke with the Rev inside. Hoping the Rev. might harbor hostility to the occult heathens trafficking in false idols and witchcraft, the team tried to gain an edge. The Rev. was less concerned than was hoped and deemed the place a harmless shop that sold relics from the motherland. So, we went in with nothing but strong suspicion that the Ju Ju House and Silas N’Kwame were tied to the turbaned Africans who killed Jackson.

Inside the shop, the team encountered elderly Silas N’Kwame who denied he ever spoke with Jackson Elias and revealed the slightest of flinches and a stonewall response when we mentioned Jackson’s murder and made references to the bloody tongue. The team got a little aggressive searching the shop and N’Kwame shouted out. Team members watching the door observed armed hostiles approaching. The team found a trap door and incapacitated N’Kwame while knife wielding men with those familiar turbans entered the shop. Gun play erupted, resulting in fatalities among the cultists and a few largely minor injuries to members of the team.

All went down the trap door down to a locked door. With a key found around N’Kwame’s neck, we gained entry. Inside, the team found a chamber etched with strange symbols and decorated with occult African trappings. From behind a curtain a shaman and zombies poured out to attack the group. Two other zombies operated a mechanism and began to raise a large stone cover to a pit . Horrific shrieks and the foulest odors emanated from within the pit. At once, the team immediately made it a priority to prevent this lid from being raised and letting whatever was inside to get out. In the ensuing battle the team was battered, but managed to overcome their adversaries without any of its members dying and without the pit residents escaping. The dice were very kind and tactics sound.

After the battle, the team located a number of artifacts that will need to be researched. Quickly gathering these clues, the team evaded police and made their way back home to consider options.

So, on the horizon for inter-session and next go . . .

a. Meeting with Erica Carlyle in hopes of obtaining books in Carlyle’s safe (referenced in Jackson’s notes)
b. Attend Jackson Elias’s funeral
c. Return to Massachusetts to meet with Miriam Atwright at Harvard and Prof. Cowles at Miskatonic
d. Research Ju Ju House artifacts
e. Decide whether to go to Egypt, Nairobi, London, or Hong Kong next.

After the Telegram

*After the Telegram arrives, you group investigates several things. Victor personally knows Jackson Elias and Jonah Kensington (Jackson’s publisher). Below is the information you have or are able to uncover:

What Victor knows about Jonah Kensington:
Jonah owns and is chief editor for Prospero House, a publisher of books having occult or fantastical themes, fiction and non-fiction alike. The offices of Prospero House are located on Lexington Avenue near 35th street. This modest concern does not aim for best-sellers, an almost unheard-of concept, but rather for books which deserve to be published because they will interest select readers for generations to come. You met Jonah several years ago in tracking down some books for a client. You immediately liked his pursuit of knowledge and he saw in you a young rakish version of himself…and a kindred spirit to Jackson Elias. Suspecting the two of you would hit it off, it was Jonah who introduced you to Jackson Elias

What Victor knows about Jackson Elias:
Jackson ELias is 38, of medium height and build, and dark-complexioned. He has a feisty, friendly, slightly devil-may-care attitude. As an orphan in Stratford, Connecticut, he learned to make his own way early in life. He has no living relatives, and no permanent address.

You like him, and value his friendship, even though months and sometimes years separate one meeting from the next. You’d be upset and probably crave vengeance if anything happened to your friend. The world is better for having Jackson Elias in it.

His writings characterize and analyze death cults. His best-known book is Sons of Death, exposing modern-day Thuggees in India. He speaks several languages fluently and is constantly traveling. He is social and definitely enjoys a drink or two. He smokes a pipe. Elias is tough, stable, punctual, not easily intimidated and not afraid of fisticuffs if it comes to that. He is mostly self-educated. His well-researched works always seem to reflect his first-hand experience. However when working on an active project you have found him to be secretive with most people, and he never discusses a project until he has the final draft in hand…although he does seem to value your advice and has, on occasion, shared some writing with you for an opinion.

The subject matter of his books is not your typical fare but you’ve read some. His books normally illustrate how cults manipulate the fears of their followers and how insanity and feelings of inadequacy characterize death cultists, feelings for which they compensate by slaughtering innocents to make themselves feel powerful or chosen. He goes on to explain how cults draw the weak-minded, though cult leaders are usually clever and manipulative. When fear of the cult stops, the cult tends to diminish or vanish altogether. A skeptic, Elias has never put stock in claims of the supernatural, magic or dark powers that cults leaders claim shall claim the hearts, minds and even the souls of those who oppose them.

Books by J.E. (all of these were published by Prospero Press of New York City and all were edited by owner/editor Johah Kensington. You have copies of all of these books, most are even comically autographed for you by J.E.):
Skulls Along the River (1910) – exposes headhunter cult in the Amazon basin
Masters of the Black Arts (1912) – surveys supposed sorcerous cults throughout history
The Way of Terror (1913) – analyzes systematization of fear through cult organization
The Smoking Heart (1915) – first half discusses historical Mayan death cults. Second half instances present-day Central American death cults
Sons of Death (1918) – modern day Thuggees; Elias infiltrated the cult and wrote of his experiences
Witch Cults of England (1920) – summarizes covens in nine English counties; interviews practicing English witches
The Black Power (1921) – expands on The Way of Terror; includes interviews with several anonymous cult leaders

What is generally known about the Carlyle Expedition:
The Carlyle Expedition was a relatively well publicized event (at least in New York papers, but even in Arkham and Kingsport, articles appeared in local papers), mostly due to the involvement of Roger Carlyle; a New York millionaire playboy who inexplicably turned from the life of wastrel and dilettante to finance and head of an archaeological expedition to Egypt. It seemed more of a social engagement, stories of rich, white Americans jaunting about the globe- then a true scholarly event. That was, until the entire expedition went missing in March of 1920 in Nairobi, Africa. Also publicized was the search party dispatched by Roger’s sister Erica. The search party eventually reported that the entire expedition had been horribly massacred. Blame was quickly pinned on some local tribesmen, resulting in several of them being hanged for the crime. (even if you didn’t know the above, it’s easy to discover with some minor research at the Newspaper, especially with Sandy’s contacts in the press). Additional information you can easily gather with just a day or two of research:
- The expedition left from New York in 1919, went on to London, Cairo, Mombasa and finally onto Nairobi where the entire party disappeared.
- Other members of the expedition included Sir Aubrey Penhew (54, a wealthy and noted Egyptologist), Hypatia Masters (27, a beautiful socialite and accomplished photographer and linguist), Dr. Robert Huston (52, fashionable psychoanalyst and dream interpreter) and Jack “Brass” Brady (36, Carlyle’s bodygaurd).
- There was a rumor of a major archeological find in or near Cairo but the expedition members did not confirm this with reporters.
- The bodies of the massacred expedition were rumored to be pulled apart as if by animals, although the bodies were oddly preserved and showed no signs of animal teeth marks.
- The signs were actually discovered of the whites in the massacre, they were presumed to be carried off by animals.
- The expedition went missing near a high Kenyan peak the locals call the Mountain of the Black Wind
- There was report of involvement of a local pagan cult (called the Bloody Tongue) in the massacre, but officials denied the existence of said cult

With that knowledge you group begins some preliminary investigations, the results of which are below:

1. Victor hasn’t heard from JE in some time, several months in fact.
2. Victor wasn’t certain what JE was working on but assumed it had to do with his usual subject material of death-cults.
3. Victor phone JK and inquires about JE without hinting that he had heard from him. JK tells you he thinks he is currently in London (“you know how hard it is to keep track of that scurvy wastrel”) working on his next book (another book about a death-cult). He does expect him to be arriving in New York relatively soon but does not have any details on exact dates and he thinks he’s managed “to stay out of any damnable mess”. He goes on to say to Victor, he always enjoys his visits and to give him a little notice and he’ll make reservations for some good steaks and better brandy. (Victor gets the impression that he is holding something back but he doesn’t seem to be lying).

Carlyle Expedition
1. Sandy is able to uncover several articles, they are attached (Dave has these via e-mail, I will have hard copies at our session)
2. What you know/can learn of the various people you mention:
a. Roger Carlyle: Millionaire party-boy who turned his life around after the sudden death of his parents in a car accident. Other than several fluff news pieces that detail some of his more wild partying moments, mostly just drunken shenanigans, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about him. Graduated from Groton University. Has a sister Erica who in addition to being the heir to the Carlyle fortune, is the current head of the Carlyle business holdings.
b. Dr. Robert Huston: Fashionable New York City Psychoanalyst. Dr. Greene knows of him for studying directly with both Freud & Jung in Vienna, and relatively well-known in mental health circles as a proponent of psycho-sexual development (a fairly shocking topic to be discussed at the time). Dr. Schmidt can offer that Dr. Huston is a bit of a socialite himself often seen dining with well-known wealthy clients, especially wealthy women who find the possibility of discussing psycho-sexual theory tantalizingly dangerous (teehee teehee). After the reported massacre of the expedition and Dr. Huston was declared dead there was some minor controversy about his records. Old line physicians argued that they were not medical records and that psychoanalysts were charlatans and con men. The courts eventually decided the records were indeed medical records and as such they were confidential. The records were turned over to the Medical Affairs Board of the State of New York.
c. Miss Hypatia Masters: A wealthy NYC socialite, heiress to the Masters armament fortune. She was known as an excellent photographer and had a few (well-received) showings. Well educated in Europe (at both Swiss and French academies) she spoke several languages. A minor dark social mark, she had a brief relationship with a Raoul Luis Maria Pinera, a know Catholic Marxist but they eventually split. It is rumored she was dating Roger Carlyle, but they mostly just seemed to be friends. Most accounts indicate she was going along on the expedition as the photographer, but it’s not certain.
d. Sir Aubrey Penhew: (this information is provided primarily by Professor Clarke or other British contacts that Victor has) but as he was a decently well-know public figure, none of this is too difficult to discover. It only takes a few days for friends to research your questions and respond) A Lieutenant with the Yorkshire Guards, brevetted as a Colonel in the British Army Intelligence and then retired due to injury. The Penhew family are able to trace their nobility back to William the Conqueror (excerpts from Who’s Who, Burke’s Peerage confirm this. Although it also mentions a previous black sheep many years ago. One Sir Blaize Penhew who was beheaded for treason and black magic whose crimes nearly cost the family it’s lands and title). Graduated with honors in classic studies from Oxford (Prof. Clarke finds no documentation of disciplinary issues and remembrances of any former professors report him to be an excellent student, generally extremely likable and with only a touch of arrogance that often accompanies titled nobility). After graduation he spent several years in Egypt and is credited with several important branches of Egyptology and several important archeological discoveries, particularly at Dhashur. He is responsible for setting up the Penhew Foundation which has underwritten many important researches at home and abroad, and is responsible for the education of several brilliant penniless scholars. He is extremely wealthy (both by birth as well as bushiness ventures such as his very profitable holding company in America) and is known to have several residences, several of them mansions, all over the world. Although he has a fairly well-know public presence, little is know of his personal life. He is a bachelor without known family or heirs other than the Penhew Foundation. There was a general consensus that he was a well-respected and knowledgeable egyptologist and his presence on the expedition would be invaluable to the team. The Penhew Foundation continues to carry out Sir Aubrey’s wishes in his absence.
e. Jack “Brass” Brady: Dr. Schmidt’s mob connections don’t reveal much. He was often seen with Roger Carlyle and most believed him to be Roger’s friend and bodyguard. For the expedition he seemed to be an operations manager of sorts. Dr. Greene, with his military connections, discovers he was a Marine Sergeant who served in China and, eventually, on the Western Front, receiving a bronze star and other commendations. He was eventually honorably discharged
3. Other research
a. Emma Jean (Victors contact at the MU library) reports that they have copies of all of JE’s books. You spend several hours going over the ones you had not read thoroughly already. You find no other mention of “The Mountain of the Black Wind” or “The Bloody Tongue” in JE’s books
b. Emma Jean also reports that she found several references to local names of mountains in Africa with “black” or “wind”, there was one near Nairobi- Mt. Kenya that is said to be know as “The Mountain of the Black Wind” but cautions that many local names exist. She finds no references to “The Bloody Tongue” in African studies literature (although she admits she’s much better with her European studies).
c. The only information you find as to what the expedition did in London was to do some research and meet up with Sir Aubrey Penhew

Telegram from Jackson Elias

Western Union delivered the following telegram to my character.

Date: Jan 2 1925 725P
Location: LONDON



The Reeling Midnight
Forming the Scooby Gang

Our adventure begins with five strangers ending up at the same party. For some like the well-to-do Victor Hamilton it isn’t unusual for others like the towering working class Jeremiah Stone it was an odd invitation. The party was in full swing, Sandy Bartlett met the charming and flirtatious Zoltan Varga and enjoyed his company before meeting up with her good friend Ginny Yeates to discuss Eugene Wilcox and his recent odd behavior Edward Greene made a new friend in the talkative Glenda Barr. Dr. Sam Matabe and Jeremiah met at the bar (full of illegal alcohol) for a strong drink and some pleasant conversation. Victor intrigued at how he was actually invited to the party spoke with the flamboyant Countess Ariadne Varga and acquaintance Stewart Portman but was left without answers.

The appearance of Gerrhardt Wvinch made the evening more interesting. He approached each of the group individually introducing himself as a psychic and asked them to join him in the conservatory at 11pm. In the Conservatory Gerrhardt suddenly seemed nervous and distracted, he asked the group to stick together and to go office 210, 313 Smith Street at 8pm tomorrow evening and inexplicably left the room. Confused the group began introductions and asking a number of questions. Before any answers could be discovered a gong sounded and the entire party was called to the Foyer. There, with a bit of the sense for the dramatic, the Countess descended the grand staircase and offered a toast to her guests, to which her guests responded well and resumed the festivities. Sandy’s friend Ginny did catch a glimpse of the elusive Eugene Wilcox and he ascended the stairs entwined about the countess. Distressed she and Sandy made a plan to speak with him later. Tragically that would never happen.

Short minutes later there was a gunshot from the Countess’ bedroom. The group ran to investigate accompanied by the distraught Zoltan Varga. Jeremiah assisted in breaking down the door only to discover young Eugene lying dead on the floor with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot would to the head, and the countess, apparently having fallen out of the window, lying in the bushes below. Victor discovered Stewart Portman attempting to flee via a window and detained him. Questioning of the Countess revealed that young Eugene had apparently suddenly began to threaten the Countess in the bedroom and produced a gun. Terrified the Countess tried to escape via the window when suddenly Mr. Wilcox turned the gun on himself, the shock of which caused the countess to loose her grip and fall. After a brief encounter with the police and Detective Ray Stuckey, the group was allowed to leave the scene.

The next day the group met and discussions continued to try to figure out how they were all connected. They kept their appoint at 8pm and met Mr. Joe Jospehs and his team. Joe went on to explain that he was putting together a network of individuals who might assist him in gathering information about the strange and unusual. He shared with them some information about the dark things that exist in the world and explained that they were somehow being drawn into that world because of their special abilities as “dreamers”, individuals who have a special connection to the dream world (and can be adversely affected by it in turn). He introduced the other members of his team; Violette Townsend gifted with the ability to sense other gifted individuals, Cheveyo Sumatzkuku the frail Native American with a warrior spirit and Mae Whitlock the enigmatic grandmother who everyone calls “Nan”. Not surprisingly the group had many question but Joe answered all in turn as honestly as possible and eventually won over the group. He also explained that Nan would be doing some training for each of them, training to keep them safe from the nightmares they had been experiencing. He encouraged them to continue to investigate the Vargas and suggested they speak further with Gerrhardt, who was also part of Joe’s network.

Later that evening they met with Gerrhardt. He explained he had been investigating the Vargas for a few weeks and suspected that they might be involved in some con but had not yet discovered what that con might be. He also explained that he had attempted a seance at the Countess’ request and had had a strange result which caused some memory loss and it was reported he was making strange noises. Furthermore, last night he sensed a terribly dark presence in the house, it had frightened him which was why he left so abruptly. He offered to hold another seance to see if additional information could be obtained. The group gathered around the candlelit table and joined hands. Gerrhardt called to the aether…suddenly he began yelling saying “I am the mother, you must leave this place…Atlach-Nacha reigns here!” In the briefest of instants Sandy and Jeremiah witnessed Gerrhardt’s face contort into something otherworldly with glowing red eyes and large fangs, fangs which Gerrhardt sank into his own shoulder. The group discovered Gerrhardt’s convulsing body on the floor near his chair. They administered brief first aid with Dr. Matabe and Jeremiah eventually taking him to Arkham General hospital (where Dr. Matabe did not make any friends and was summarily ejected from the emergency services ward.)

Continuing the investigation the group eventually discovered the Countess visiting the grave sites of two recently deceased young men, young men that the group discovered had been found dead in unusual circumstances. Library research and discussion with various contact revealed little information of value about the name Atlach-Nacha. With suspicions high but little else to go on, the group returns to the Varga estate for the weekly Friday party

The party in much more sedate and certainly less well attended. Zoltan seems distracted and annoyed, unlike his usual charming self. The Countess is even more flamboyant, flirtatious and gregarious. As the group mingles they notice that Zoltan is keeping a close eye on the Countess eventually leading them to argue, an argument which progressed to yelling, running up the staircase and slamming the bedroom door. Unbeknown to the host Victor had scaled the outside wall and had managed to secret himself inside a wardrobe…a wardrobe already occupied with was possible a dead body in a bag. With the majority of the group left at the bottom of the stairs observing the retreating Vargas and Victor now trapped in the wardrobe in the very room the Vargas went, things are getting interesting.

Suddenly the yelling turns to screams and shattering glass, the maid runs out of the room and down the stairs screaming “she’s killed him”. Rushing to the bedroom the group discover Zoltan lying on the floor with a horrible wound to his throat, trying to breath but making terrible gurgling noises. Edward runs to the broken window and peers out only to be struck from above and thrown to the ground below. Weapons are drawn but nothing else is seen in the room…but there is a scuttling noise on the roof. This is confusion, Edward yells up from the ground that he saw something climb onto the roof. As a plan is being formed there is more shattering glass and screams from below in the foyer. Jeremiah advances and sees an unimaginable horror. The countess has transformed into some horrid amalgamation of human and spider. She has both human limbs and spider legs, now jutting out the side of her body at unnatural angles. Her head has grown to twice it’s side and instead of a human face, there are the hairy pedipalps and huge fangs. As ungainly as the monster looks, it is incredibly fast. Jeremiah levels his shotgun and injures the beast but also draws it attention and it rapidly closes the distance to the second floor, now screaming “my babies, my babies!”. A battle ensues ending with Victor skewering the creature as it attempt to make it’s way into the attic. However, the house is now ablaze from Dr. Matabe’s modified Molotov cocktail. Filling with flames and smoke, huge spiders with human faces fall from the ceiling calling for their mother. The group attempt to defend themselves and flee the fire so they retreat into the bedroom. Sandy is overcome with fear and becomes hysterical. Thanks to the combined efforts of Dr. Matabe and Edward in the bedroom and Jeremiah and Victor on the ground below, Sandy is safely incapacitated and lowered to the ground. Full engulfed in flames the group makes a hasty retreat before the police arrive.

Session 1: The Midnight Reeling

Report to Joe Joseph’s and Division E filed by “VH”.
Tuesday 18 November 1924

Having received an anonymous invitation to a party in Arkham hosted by the Varga family (a name heretofore unfamiliar to me), I decided to attend on a lark. The events that occurred there on my two visits to 863 Halsey Street, and in the weeks prior to my ever crossing the threshold there, were unusual enough to merit filing of this report.

My first visit to the Varga Estate, a mansion that had seen better days, was at 8 p.m. on Friday 7 November 1924. A seemingly mute, ill-mannered servant collected invitations and kept watch on the door. Her lack of training and breeding was unmistakable, though not forgivable. Undaunted by this rude underling, I entered the home.

The party was festive and well-attended by the bohemian set in Arkham, as well as a number of well-heeled and unattached party guests. These parties were apparently weekly affairs, and among the guests in attendance, I recognized an Arkham book collector named Stewart Portman, who is known for his arrogance and pathetically wolfish appetite for young ladies.

Touring the house, I encountered a few young gentlemen downstairs in the basement and politely accepted their offer of a cigarette. The one gentleman, who introduced himself as Eugene Wilcox, seemed agitated and inexplicably drew a derringer from his pocket and recklessly waved it about. At that time, I departed company with Mr. Wilcox and a young man named Gordon Checkley and headed back upstairs to repose in the rather disappointing Varga library.

While in the library, I was introduced to a GW (known to Bureau). GW invited me and a select group of others to a small gathering in the conservatory at 11pm. Speaking with other guests, I met for the first time EG, AB, JS, and SM and learned they comprised the other select guests invited. Prior to the 11pm start of this meeting, GW exited the conservatory having performed a seance for two disappointed young ladies named Lucy and Lorraine. GW appeared upset and hastily slipped an address into my hand and asked the group to stay together and visit him at the provided address at 8pm the next day. GW then left.

At this point, a gong was sounded from another room in the residence and the guests gathered in the foyer while the the hostess for the party, who called herself Ariadne Varga, made a staircase entrance and offered a bacchanalian toast to the evening. She went upstairs with young Eugene Wilcox on her arm. Obliged to my hosts, I warned Miss Varga’s uncle Zoltan that I had earlier seen Mr. Wilcox carelessly handle a pistol. Zoltan Varga appeared concerned and left the room, presumably to see to his niece’s safety.

Shortly after, we heard the report of a firearm come from upstairs. Along with JS, AB, EG, and SM, I moved upstairs to investigate the commotion. There, I observed Stewart Portman attempting to escape out a window very near to wear the shot had emanated. I asked him to remain, but he was most insistent on exiting through the window, so I enlisted JS’s assistance to detain him. There I searched him, confirmed he was unarmed, and briefly inspected him for any visual or olfactory evidence of having discharged a firearm. He did not appear to be our shooter, so I questioned him about what he was doing and observed. Portman confessed to JS and I that he was listening at the keyhole of Ms. Varga’as bedroom hoping to lewdly overhear any amorous sounds between her and Mr. Wilcox. As police sirens approached, we released Mr. Portman expecting he would now remain in the house, like any gentleman would, until the police arrived. Instead, Portman exited the residence.

Inside Miss Varga’s boudoir, SM and EG were already on the scene inspecting the corpse of Eugene Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox was lying face down with a bullet exit wound through the top of the back of his head. Visually following the trajectory of the bullet consistent with the premise that the gun having been discharged from inside his mouth, I found a patch of blood, skull, and brain matter which seemed to corroborate this theory. SM preserved the crime scene and AB collected sample of an odd fibrous substance surrounding the door. This web-like substance would later dissolve and SM’s attempts to analyze the results would turn up inconclusive.

After peering out the bedroom window, EG exited the residence and walked to the area below the window. Ariadne Varga was supine on the ground regaining her poise. She explained that Mr. Wilcox had turned the pistol on himself for no apparent reason and committed suicide. According to Miss Varga, she was startled and mistaken fell 15 feet out the second-story window.

Led by Lt. Detective Ray Stuckey, the Arkham police arrived. Stuckey took the statements of our team members and also of Stewart Portman, who reported his car missing. Mr. Portman was vocal and frustrated that the Arkham PD there at the homicide scene chose to investigate a young man’s death than find his stolen car. The Arkham PD treated Mr. Portman respectfully, but continued their investigation.

The next day, the team went to the rendezvous arranged by GW and met JJ, N, C, and V, who recruited AB, JS, SM, EG, and I as consultants.

Police confirmed the coroner’s findings that Eugene Wilcox had shot himself with his .25 derringer. Given Mr. Wilcox’s gleeful state mere moments ago, our team found this conclusion unsettling and consulted with GW.

GW explained his nervousness moments before the murder and can provide greater details of what happened that night and during his consultation with our team. Based on the events of his consultation with our team, our team believed that young Eugene Wilcox had seen a vision (whether real or hallucinatory) in the room with Miss Varga that forced him to commit suicide. EG offered information to the group about what he’d felt during GW’s consultation, which along with AB and JS’s experience suggested something barely imaginable was happening. The team entertained the outlandish theory that Wilcox (whether due to hallucinogenic medicine, hypnotism, or supernatural energy) was being forced to see Miss Varga as a terrifying human-spider creature called Mother and Atlach-Nacha. He collapsed from an inexplicable injury and SM acted quickly to treat, stabilize, and then transfer GW to hospital in Arkham.

Our attempts to uncover any information about Atlach-Nacha were unsuccessful.

AB and SM visited 863 Halsey during daylight hours to speak with Zoltan Varga. EG drove a trailing car with JS and I. Upon arriving at 863 Halsey, we observed Ariadne Varga enter a taxi, so we followed her. She stopped at a florist where she exited with flowers. The taxi then took her to Christ Church Cemetery in Arkham’s Southside. She stopped and placed flowers on two freshly dug graves belonging to Roger Hudson and Bradford Gallagher Taylor.

AB obtained obituary information on Hudson and Taylor, who bore striking resemblances to Eugene Wilcox. All were local young men who died young in town. They were estranged young men who very much fit the profile of guests invited by the Varga family to their parties. A heart attack was consistent with our theory of an overwhelming fright and the fire, we presumed, could be used by killers as a means to hide a true cause of death.

Receiving invitations for the next Varga party on Friday 14 November 1924, the team was appalled and emboldened by the poor taste of the Varga family in hosting a party just a week after a similar event where a young man had died.

The team attended the party planning to prevent Ariadne Varga from causing another young man’s death. The team was alertly waiting in the residence for Miss Varga to select her companion for the evening, so that we could converge in her bedroom, uncover the manner of her killing these young men, and act decisively to save the victim. Before a companion could be selected, Zoltan and Ariadne got into an argument which they took upstairs behind the closed doors of Ariadne’s bedroom. During this argument, the two dropped pretense of assumed Hungarian accents and soon the sound of Zoltan’s screaming brought our team into Ariadne’s room.

Zoltan was found lying on the floor, with large wounds suggesting an impossibly mammoth spider bite. These bites were not entirely inconsistent with mysterious wounds sustained by GW during his consultation with the team. Ariadne Varga was not in the room.

EG rushed crossed the bedroom door threshold first and noticing a window shattered to suggest forced exit, he quickly moved to peer out the window. He was attacked by a gigantic spider leg which caused him to fall out the window into the shrubs below.

JS charged into the room and fired through the walk/ceiling of the house in the presumed location of the gigantic spider. SM urgently and unsuccessfully tried to save Zoltan Varga’s life. Within moments, the sound of shattering glass and splintering wood erupted throughout various points in the house. A large creature that appeared to be a conglomeration of Ariadne Varga and a giant spider ascended the staircase killing a woman with vicious spider legs. [See attached photo taken by AB] The team engaged the giant spider which spoke with a horrifying voice about protecting its “babies”. JS’s effective shotgun fire, AB and EG’s pistol fire combined with SM’s improvised molotov cocktail and my use of cane helped kill the creature.

SM’s cocktail ignited a house fire that quickly began to consume the house. Smaller sized spider/human hybrids began to descend from the ceiling screaming “mama” and converging on the now dead Ariadne/spider creature. AB found this very unsettling and EG and SM worked to calm her, while JS and I helped prepare and cover an escape from the burning building. While hastily finding a means of escape, I opened an armoire in Ariadne’s room and a heavy canvas sack presumably filled with a human body fell out. The team evacuated with the sack, which was left safely on the roadside as police sirens approached. The team withdrew before police arrived.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.