- 1 Session 1
- 1.1 Chapter One: Tide of Serpents
- 1.2 Chapter Two: Masquerade Ball
- 1.3 Chapter Three: Feeding Time
- 1.4 Chapter Four: Miscreants and Miscreation
- 1.5 Chapter Five: It's Good to be the King
- 1.6 Chapter Six: Knocking on the Gates
- 1.7 Chapter Seven: Feeding the Hand that Bites
- 1.8 Chapter Eight: Brood Fresh
- 1.9 Chapter Nine: The Sleeper Awakens
- 1.10 Chapter Ten: All Things Must End
- 2 Session 2
- 2.1 Prologue
- 2.2 Chapter One: Calvin Comes To Town
- 2.3 Chapter Two: The Madness Continues
- 2.4 Chapter Three: Strength in Numbers
- 2.5 Chapter Four: Lodge Members Held for Questioning
- 2.6 Chapter Five: Waves of Madness
- 2.7 Chapter Six: After the Storm
- 2.8 Chapter Seven: True Terror Begins
- 2.9 Chapter Eight
- 2.10 Chapter Nine: The Key and the Gate
- 2.11 Chapter Ten: End Game
- 3 Spanish Session
- 3.1 Chapter One: Los Sueños en la Casa de la Bruja (The Dreams in the Witch House)
- 3.2 Chapter Two: La Extraña Seducción (The Strange Seduction)
- 3.3 Chapter Three: La Leyenda del Escarabeo (The Legend of the Scarab)
- 3.4 Chapter Four: El Despertar del Faraón (The Pharaoh's Awakening)
- 3.5 Chapter Five: Bienvenido Sr. Whateley (Welcome, Mr. Whateley)
- 3.6 Chapter Six: Adiós Sr. Whateley (Goodbye, Mr. Whateley)
- 3.7 Chapter Seven: Gilman y su Rey (Gilman and his King)
- 3.8 Chapter Eight: Los Tres Ejércitos del Rey (The Three Armies of the King)
- 3.9 Chapter Nine: El Principio del Fin (The Beginning of the End)
- 3.10 Chapter Ten: El Fin de los Principios (The End of the Beginnings)
Chapter One: Tide of Serpents
"…we find that the Mayan calendar, which ends famously in the year 2012–far enough off we needn't worry, eh?–ah. Yes. The Mayan calendar remains a fabulously accurate measure of the movements of the heavens." Amanda dutifully writes "movements of the heavens" down in her notes. Professor Walters drones on. "Curiously enough, when we consult the Mayan calendar to see what this month has in store, we find a celestial phenomenon noted that has not appeared in at least five hundred years and will not appear again before the–ahem–end. It is written thus in the Mayan." A new slide appears, all carved stone ideographs. Amanda writes "unusual celestial phenomenon" down and yawns. "Well, none of you can read Mayan, I don't suppose, but I can! Happy day. This month we can be expected to witness the 'Rise of Quetzalcoatl,' the Feathered Serpent. Now. There is no known star to which this corresponds, so what, precisely, are we to expect? Miss Sharpe?" Amanda looks up, startled, then down at her notes. She finds that she has drawn coiling, sinuous serpents all over the yellow paper.
Michael straightens his tie. "Louie, he's down here." He starts down the alley, leading with his shoulders and his jaw. When Michael McGlen moves like that, strong men get out of his way if they know what's good for 'em. "Listen here, fella. O'Bannion don't like getting played for a-" Michael reaches out and grabs Frankie's shoulder. Frankie's two large in debt and two weeks behind and just leaning against the wall in this alley like Michael couldn't find him? Frankie's also deader'n a doornail. "What the deuce? Hey Louie! Come look at this!" It's Frankie, all right, but he's all bloated up and his tongue's hanging out. There's something sticky on his sleeve. Michael rolls it back and finds two neat puncture wounds about the size of a dime on his arm. "Louie?" Michael hears a body hit the floor and reaches for his Thompson. "…Louie?"
Sister Mary is on the train, watching the gabled roofs of Arkham grow ever closer. She is eager to do the Lord's work in this new place and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities she will find there. But still, somehow,she is worried. When she arrives at the station, Mary gathers her things. Her bible–old and leatherbound, her first bible–falls open. She lifts it and reads aloud: "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." She smiles and tucks the book under her arm. She's always enjoyed Genesis.
"Ashcan" Pete wakes from another nightmare to the sound of barking. He reaches out to quiet the dog and realizeshe's alone. The barking is coming from down near the river. Pete climbs to his feet and goes to see what in tarnation's got Duke all worked up now. "Aw, leave off, Duke," Pete says when he gets close. "Snake like that's more afeared of you than you is of it, anyhow." He reaches down and touches Duke's head. "Aw, shoot. River done rose?" Then he stares. The moonlight gleams on what he thought was river water risen up above its banks, a shining, shimmering wave moving towards the heart of Arkham. Pete keeps staring and Duke keeps barking as the awfulness of what he's seeing slowly sinks in. A tide of serpents is flowing into Arkham.
Chapter Two: Masquerade Ball
Chapter Three: Feeding Time
"Ashcan" Pete wiped the sleep from his eyes. After the last few weeks, it's been harder and harder to keep going. The battle with the snake people, the horror of friends turned to enemies and back again, the whispers following his fight with the horrors too numerous to count. Laying back down, Pete scratches Duke's head. "You and me dog. We's all right. Mebbe tonight we get a good nights sleep." No sooner than he lays down, Pete watches as a shadow detaches from a tree, and reaches for him. "Ashcan" picks up his walking stick, swings for the fences, and knocks the shadow into the bushes. "I am sick and tired of dealing with this stuff. You and me dog are gonna hop the train into Dunwich." Pete turns to grab his pack and sees the shadow rising up again. He picks up his stick and walks toward it with a gleam in his eye.
Jim Culver snaps his trumpet case closed, and heads for the door at Velma's. He's got a train to catch, finally get out of this mixed up town. Just last week he ended up fighting with some thing that nearly took his head off. Enough of this, he thinks, I got to get me out of here. Walking down the street, Jim keeps seeing small groups of people with hoods drawn heading toward downtown. I want no part of this. Jim picks up his pace and runs right into a pair of the hooded strangers. Looking up they ask, "Are you here to honor the lord of N'Kai?" Jim stands up to run, as two more men emerge from the alley holding a struggling young woman. They yell, "What are you two waiting for? Grab that musician and head to the cave." The pair standing next to Jim grab him by the arms, and pull him into the night.
Diana Stanley ties her pack closed. Tonight is the night she has planned for. Try to sacrifice someone to this toad, she thinks, I will stop you. She tightens her robe, and slips out into the night. Heading down towards the Silver Twilight Lodge, she runs her plan over in her mind. Distracted by her heroic thoughts, she misses two men step in behind her. As she walks they catch up and grab her by the shoulder. "Evenin' Diana. Where you headed this time of night?" "Tony, David I didn't expect you to be part of this ceremony." "What ceremony? We were told not to let anyone near the lodge tonight." "Well I wouldn't expect you to be told..." Her voice trails off as two midnight tendrils whip out of the alley, snagging both men by the neck. She turns and flees to sound of screams in the night.
The bass notes still ringing in the air, Marie Lambeau steps off stage. She left it all up on the stage, and now she needs a drink. Sitting at the bar, nursing a scotch, she watches the crowd mingle and move. The air feels tense tonight, she thinks. The doors burst open and liquid darkness moves in the room. The inky shape oozes across the floor, and slithers up the end of the bar. No one in the room has noticed it yet, and it is moving slowly down the bar. Nonchalantly Marie stands up and walks out the back door. Once out the door, she hails a cab and heads for Ma's Boarding House. That nice fella Michael McGlen'll know what to do.
Changing out the bulb on his flash, Darrell Simmons mutters to himself. I have seen some crazy things, but nothing is like that stuff I saw on the train ride over here. Dunwich is a far hike just for a photo, yet Darrell jumped at the chance when his editor asked for shots of the newly opened train depot in Dunwich. The ride over was fairly uneventful, an older lady went missing, something was found eating a passenger, scuttling noises turned out to be beetles with human faces feasting in the baggage car, you know normal stuff. Hopping off the train, Darrell saw a shadow duck into the depot. I know it was right here, Darrell thought as he scouted the building. Concentrating so hard on looking low, he missed the inky darkness drop from the ceiling. With a thump, it lands in front of him. Startled Darrell took a panicked picture, and falls backward. The formless thing grabs the gentleman who had been standing next to Darrell, and dashes out into the night.
Chapter Four: Miscreants and Miscreation
Chapter Five: It's Good to be the King
Rita shoulders her backpack and heads up the university stairs. The play the University is putting on is giving me the creeps, she thinks as she walks towards her lecture. Ever since it started there has been graffiti everywhere, this weird looking yellow symbol. Everyone in town is buzzing about the lead actor, a Mr. Aster or was it Mr. Hastern, she couldn't remember. All Rita knows is she hasn't gotten a wink of sleep after reading the manuscript, and her dreams are full of a man in a mask. Weird thing is, she can't remember his face when he takes the mask off, just that she knows he did. Oh man I'm gonna be late, Rita thinks as she picks up the pace. Distracted by her tardiness, she runs straight into a hunched figure clad in tattered yellow robes. "Get out of here you dirty hobo," Rita yells. As the figure turns, his face is a mask, and the mask is the same as the one in her dreams. Rita stares in horror as he begins to remove the mask. All she can hear are the words Dim Carcosa.
Sitting by the docks, "Ashcan" Pete sits in the shade of a tree. He hasn't had an easy time, each day reminding him why he tried to leave this wretched city. Funny thing is, last time he hopped a train to Dunwich, he ended up back in Arkham. Reckon it's bout time me an' Duke find a place to hole up for awhile, he thinks. Calling in his dog, Pete ambles off towards Ma's Boarding House to sit tight and wait for all this nonsense to calm down. As he walks off, a flyer blows up off the street into his hand. Glancing at it, all that appears to be on it is a strange yellow sign. Enough of this weirdness, I don't care what this means. I just want to be left alone.
Walking down these long hallways is enough to give me a heart attack, thinks Carolyn as she finishes her rounds at Arkham Asylum. Every so often a patient jumps up and grabs at her as she walks by. So many afflictions, how can we hope to save them all? She pulls out her keys and unlocks the door leading to her office. As she walks in and flips the light she notices her desk is turned over. She races to the opposite side and sees all her notes are gone. As she turns, her foot catches the cord on the lamp, and she falls to the floor. Putting a hand on the upturned desk to help lift her up, she sees a carving has been etched all over the desk. That was the sign my last patient in Providence told me about. Carolyn stands up and heads for the door, determined to get to the bottom of whatever that sign means.
Taking a slug from the bottle at his hip, Wilson sizes up the town he has come to hate. When I heard there was work here, I thought that sounded pretty darn good. Man was I wrong. I been chased by things I thought were only fairy tales, and I fought off things with more eyes than fingers. Only fella I met here worth talking to was Pete, and who knows where he and Duke got off to. Wilson hops on his motorcycle and makes ready to leave. A passerby catches his arm, and hands him a ticket. "What's this for," he asks. "Well you fixed my fence so well, this is a reward for you. The famous King In Yellow play is being performed tonight at the University, and I got you a ticket." "That's mighty kind of you, but I ain't a play-going fella most of the time." "Nonsense, I insist you go. I will see you there at 8 sharp." Wilson looks at the ticket and tries to figure out the weird shape on it. Why not, I guess I can go see a show before heading out.
Chapter Six: Knocking on the Gates
Chapter Seven: Feeding the Hand that Bites
Chapter Eight: Brood Fresh
Chapter Nine: The Sleeper Awakens
Chapter Ten: All Things Must End
The road of the league has been long and hard. Every step of the way has been fought for, tooth and nail. Shadowy figures, snakes in the guise of men, monsters without shape or number, infesting spidery broods, sanity shattering plays, tentacled horrors and things beyond the comprehension of mortals. It has led up to this. A showdown of legendary proportions, one that promises to leave the town of Arkham changed forever. Many investigators have played their part, and many have been lost along the way. This battle is a testament to the strength of conviction. Each investigator has a story, each investigator is a hero.
"Ashcan" Pete stands over the body. Another friend fallen. This fight has taken its toll. Pete's eyes seem to be looking at something beyond the contents of the room. He is beyond sorrow, beyond exhaustion. So many horrors faced, too many. The streets are filled with people running for their lives. Madness has gripped the city. "Ashcan" knows what the madness is. He has seen it coming for a long time. The nightmares are no match for the horror that he has faced in the streets. They now just show the next abomination, the next battle. He has embraced the nightmares, used them to his advantage. The apocalypse is here, and he is in the middle of it. Calling to Duke, "Ashcan" walks out of the room. He hefts the sword he took during a battle with flying creatures, and walks out to finish the fight.
The streets are flooded with people. They push and shove, but somehow Wendy walks past them without so much as a nudge. The moon stares down on the town of Arkham, eerie with its red glow. Wendy pauses as she glances up, the face of her father flashing before her. Disbelief flooding her, Wendy goes towards the man she hasn't seen in many years. The crowd shifts around her blocking her view. She slips between them, but when she gets through, her father is nowhere to be seen. Eyes downcast, Wendy spies a small slip of paper on the ground. Picking it up she sees that it has part of the symbol on her necklace. "Tonight will be tough, tougher than any you have seen before. Keep hidden, and stay safe. I love you, my little girl." Wendy touches the necklace, and a smile creeps across her face.
Pulling his coat tighter, Wilson heads in the direction of the river docks. Last he'd heard there was plenty of work for a guy who works hard, and doesn't ask too many questions. After all the awful things that have been going on, Wilson is looking to lose himself in work. A passing stranger bumps hard into Wilson as he walks by, nearly knocking him down. "Watch it pal!" yells Wilson. The man turns, and for a moment their eyes lock. Wilson feels the edges of his mind waver. The man turns back and hurries down the street. Shaking off the cold grasp, Wilson heads back down the road. He just can't shake the feeling of evil he got from the stranger. As the screams begin behind him, Wilson turns and breaks into a run. This town will be the death of me yet...
The train's rattling makes it difficult to pen this, but I feel I must chronicle the events leading up to my appearance in the town of Arkham. My name is Calvin Wright. I was, until recently, a high school teacher. I had a home, a career, and a family. Now all I have is what I managed to shove in my rucksack and dash out of town with. My town is gone, the very air tainted with the stench of evil and corruption. Something came in the night, and took my Ella.
I woke to the sounds of her screams. I dashed about my house, but could not find where the screams were coming from. I ran back to our room, and saw her in the reflection in the mirror. My gaze was ripped to where she should be, but my eyes could not find her. Looking back at the mirror, I sat paralyzed with horror as a hideous beast faded from view with her. I ran to the nursery, but found myself back in my own room. Every time I tried to leave, I ended up back in my room. Clutching my head I fell to the ground and passed out.
When I awoke, the house was silent and still. I called out for Ella. No answer. I ran to the nursery, and found it utterly empty. The room was as bare as when we moved in. I walked back to my room sobbing. I couldn't feel the floor under my feet. Then I heard the sounds outside. Terror fueled howls and horrible growls resounded through the night. I crept to the window and peeked outside, and the visions before me almost rendered me unconscious once more. Hideous monsters, with the same grim visage as the beast that stole Ella, were running through the streets. Each had hands that ended in long claws, maws dripping with gore. These creatures had come to feed, and we had no defenses.
I grabbed some clothes, shoved them in my sack and snuck out the back door. I headed north through the woods, until I reached a nearby town. I went to the authorities, and told them everything that had happened. They laughed! I could not believe that these men would be so callous as to ignore another human beings plea for help. They said they would "get around to it." I begged them to send someone to my home. I pleaded, and railed against them. They threatened to throw me in jail. They dismissed my accusations as the ravings of a lunatic. I have never been so enraged. I left the station with murder in my eyes.
As I was leaving, a man grabbed my sleeve. "I know you was telling the truth." Startled, I looked at him imploringly. "They came to my home too. Two nights ago they came and they took the town. I hear they are from Arkham." Arkham. The very name sends chills up my spine. "I know what you need to fight them is in Arkham. You go there, you might get your Ella back." Her name tortures my soul. The tears begin flowing, and I falter. A thought jumps through my mind, I never told him her name. I look up, but there is no one there. I look about the street, around the station, but see no evidence of the strange man.
Compelled, yet horrified, I find myself heading to the train station. Arkham is where I am headed. So I find myself here, on this train bound for a city I have never been to. The other passengers seem quiet, as if ensnared in a spell. As long as they pay me no mind, I shall do the same. My stop is rapidly approaching, and I can't help but wonder if I shall find my Ella, or my demise.
Chapter One: Calvin Comes To Town
My arrival in Arkham is almost trivial. No horrors are waiting for me upon my exiting the train, no madmen walk up to me and spout nonsense, no sense of dread other than that I fill myself with. I make my way out of the station and begin to inquire about a place to stay while I conduct the search for Ella. I ask a young lady who had been on the train if she might know a place. She said that she was headed in the direction of Ma's Boarding House. Apparently she has also lost someone, her sister, and has come to Arkham to find her. I share with her my story of Ella going missing, replacing the ghouls who destroyed my town with a wandering band of thugs. She offer her condolences and we journey to Ma's.
The boarding house appears to be adequate. The caretaker, an older woman who insisted we address her as Ma, showed me to my room. I threw down my ruck sack and began contemplating how to begin the search for Ella. I pray that she is safe wherever she may be. I can't allow myself to remember the beast that held her as they faded before my eyes. Suddenly my door bursts open and a rough looking man barges in. He bellows at me, "What are you doing in my room?" He appears intoxicated, and smells like he has been swimming in the sewer. I begin stammering my reply, when he falls face down on my floor. Ma appears behind him, and rolling her eyes, asks if I will help haul the now unconscious man back to his room. "Poor man, ever since he lost his friend to that thing, he has been hitting the bottle pretty hard. Claims a river monster came up and grabbed his friend. Course we all think he's been touched in the head, but I never turn away someone in need." We drag the man into his room and heave him on the bed. As I turn to leave, I notice a very large weapon sitting next to the door. Startled I look to Ma for an explanation. "McGlen's a kitty cat if you're his friend. Course I've always been a friend of his. Can't say much about them that weren't." With that, Ma heads off down the stairs, leaving me to head back to my room. I make my way into my room and sit down on the bed. "What am I going to do?" I ask the room at large.
"For starters you can go with me to the police station, sugar." Jenny, the woman from the train, walks into my room, and holds out her hand. Taking it, I stand and follow her out into the town. We head up the roadway towards the police station. Jenny tells me more about her sister. The final note regarding men in cloaks, monsters lurking about the woods, and hoofprints made by an enormous goat are enough to give me the shivers even in the bright sunlight. She tells me that she is meeting a private detective at the police station. He might be able to find her sister and my Ella. Outside the station a scruffy looking man sits with his dog. He appears to be staring at something in the distance, and as we walk by, he never blinks. Inside Jenny meets up with a man by the name of Diamond. She explains everything to him and then mentions myself. I recount my story to him, once again replacing the terrors from my memory with mere men. He listens and when I am finished he pauses, "Is there anything you aren't tellin' me?" How could he know, I begin to hope that he might have seen the creatures himself. "Reason I ask, you left town in a hurry. Local ruffians might take someone, but the police, thick as they are, would investigate it. So why come to me if it is just some street thugs?" I open my mouth to explain, when the man and his dog burst into the police station. "You!" He points at me, and begins to walk towards me. "You are the one in my dreams. The creatures are chasing you. Even now they are on their way." With that prophetic statement, he is grabbed by two police officers. I ask them to hold up, and I ask the man what he means. "I'll tell you more, if'n you spot me a meal." Jenny and Mr. Diamond smooth things over with the police officers, and the four of us head to a nearby diner.
Entering Velma's, we find a table and sit down. The man introduces himself as Pete, his dog is introduced as Duke. He begins telling us of his dreams. Each tale fills my soul with horror, and I dread the mention of my part in these abominations. "The colors are real bright, and I'm almost blinded by them. I stand up and see this nice little town. Library on the corner, kids running about, you know nice. I start to walk into town, when I see's 'em. Thick beasties, long arms ending in sharp claws. They start loping into town, snatching up people. Biting 'em, ripping in to 'em. I try to run forward, but my body won't move. I swear I tried to save 'em. I swear I did, but I could only watch as they was all ripped to pieces. As they begin moving into the houses, I see a guy head off into the woods. I watch him head out like the hounds of hell are on his heels, which givin' what was behind, I suppose is right. I woke up down by the river. Duke was lickin' my face to wake me up. Duke is the only thing keeping me around anymore." Pete says this last with tears in his eyes.
I am filled with utter terror as Pete recants the tale of the attack on my home. Mr. Diamond looks around to see if anyone is listening in. Fortunately for us, there aren't very many people in the diner. An older lady with a red hat sits reading from a large tome at her table, a man in full top hat and tails sits quietly nursing a glass of wine, and a few dock hands sit trading stories at the far end of the restaurant. I listen as Mr. Diamond tells us of his encounters over a statue, the likes of which brought him to the town of Arkham. As his tale unfolds, the man in the top hat walks over to our table. He introduces himself as Dexter Drake, a magician of some renown. He asks if he may join us and our discussion. Slightly confused, we make room for him at our table. He begins telling us of his time touring the country as a magician. All of us are befuddled as to why he is telling us this, until he begins telling of a book. The book he entitled The Necronomicon. The very name reeks of evil, and saying it seemed to draw the warmth from the room. He then tells us of the powers he witnessed, and the draw towards the town of Arkham. He intended to find out more from the proprietor of Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, yet when he arrived, it's doors were barred and the store dark. All of these elements seem to be happening too close together. I feel the room getting smaller, and I can no longer seem to keep my eyes open.
Chapter Two: The Madness Continues
I reawaken in a doctor's office. A young man, I assume to be the physician, is ministering to another young lady seated on the other side of the partitioning curtain. "Is it tender here sister?" The man presses on the woman's shoulder, and she winces in pain. "I guess so. Next time you see someone in trouble, you go for help. I have bandaged you up a couple of times now." I must have made some noise at this, as the man turned back to me. "My name is Dr. Lee. Your friends say you passed out at Velma's. Care to elaborate on what a healthy young man is doing that would cause him to pass out at a diner?" I scratch my head, wince at the unexpected pain, and begin to explain. I tell him of the attack on my town, cursing the men who took my Ella, and begin speaking of the chance meeting of newfound friends. The more I speak, the more the woman in the next bed grows restless. "Doctor, I really must insist I be allowed to leave. The work of the Lord does not wait for anyone, and I fear the longer I am here, the forces opposing me grow." Smiling he gives the young lady a scrip and sends her out to the front. "Sister Mary is one of the hardest working people in Arkham, and that is coming from a doctor." I ask after my compatriots, and am told they are awaiting my convalescence outside. The good doctor pronounces me fine, and sends me out to the waiting area. As I exit, I spy Jenny talking with Sister Mary. As I walk up the conversation ends and they both look my direction. "How are you feeling, sugar?" I wave off the concern, and inquire as to our next step. "Joe is on it. He says he has some people he knows. A visiting professor, someone he heard was in town. Don't sweat, I know Joe." Still feeling apprehensive, we head out into the waning afternoon sun making our way back to Ma's.
Night falls, and my fears grow. Each creak, every rustle sends chills up my spine. Cursing myself for cowardice, I make my way down the hall towards McGlen's room. I knock lightly on the door. "Come in." I open the door, and poke my head in. "Can I help you?" I introduce myself, and reference carrying him down the hall. I tell him my story, a story I find grows in horror with each retelling. I then tell him that I fear for my life, and would appreciate his protection. "Well, I ain't much for protecting people. I'm more in for hurtin' them. You see my partner Louie and I..." McGlen recants the tale of his partner disappearing into the river, and the fruitless search for his body afterwards. I listen, but keep glancing at the window. I hear the sounds of movement under it. McGlen stands and walks to the window, seeing my nervousness. "Ain't nothing out there. Just somebody's dog or somethin'." As he looks out the window, he back pedals nearly knocking me over. "**** it, I swore I was gonna kill that thing once and for all. Grab your coat, we're going hunting." I run back to my room, confused and terrified. I can't go outside to hunt whatever it is McGlen has seen. I am no fighter, I haven't a weapon. I was imploring him to protect me. McGlen pops in my room, and seeing my fear tells me to stay put. He has a score to settle. He heads out into the night, carrying his gun. I cower under my bed, hoping nothing enters my room.
Day breaks upon me. I wake under the bed, still in the clothes from the night before. I rub the sleep from my eyes, and open my door slowly. It seems I have escaped unscathed from whatever horror McGlen saw. I proceed down the hall and knock on his door. No answer. "He's not back yet." Ma pokes her head out of McGlen's room. "I do a spot of cleanin' for him now and then. Big lug always seems to find trouble." She heads off down the stairs as Jenny emerges into the hallway. "Mornin' Calvin. Sleep all right?" I quickly tell Jenny of the events of the night prior. "Well nothin' we can do about it now. I guess we can ask Joe about this McGlen fella." We go downstairs, eat the breakfast that Ma has spread out, and head out into Arkham. Apparently, Jenny has a meeting with Joe at the local university. Some professor she is supposed to talk to.
We enter the building with only a modicum of difficulty. The hallways are long and seem to have turns almost at random. We eventually find the correct door, and knock upon it. The door opens on Joe, an older man with large bushy sideburns, and a younger woman with glasses. "Welcome, you must be Miss Barnes. My name is Harvey Walters. This is one of my prize students Amanda Sharpe. I don't believe I have met your associate." I step forward and proffer my hand, which the professor shakes heartily. "Thank you for joining us. I was catching up Amanda and Mr. Diamond here on some findings I unearthed at the library over the past few months. Given the odd circumstances about the town and its surrounding areas, I have been investigating a few disturbances. It seems the number of missing people has gone up dramatically in the last 3 months. The disappearances seem mostly concentrated in heavily wooded areas. Rumors abound as to what is causing them, but the police have yet to arrest a suspect or suspects in these cases. I have been harboring some suspicion of a growing group in Arkham. The members of which bear some resemblance to the Cult of the Hundred." As he begins to detail the activities and habits of this order, Jenny becomes visibly more distraught. "Joe, these are the people that took my sister. Joe, these are the no good lowlifes that made off with my sister!" Joe stands and takes Jenny into his arms. She pushes him away, "I don't need a hug, I need a drink." With that Jenny heads out the door. Joe goes after her, leaving me with the professor and the student. I ask the professor about the members of this group, trying to discern if they could have any bearing on the abduction of my dear Ella. He seems unsure of the details, but mentions it could be. He says that he will look into it for me. I thank him and make my way towards Ma's. I hope that whatever has Jenny's sister has the keys to finding Ella...
Chapter Three: Strength in Numbers
As I approach my humble accommodations, there appears to be a crowd gathered outside. I ask the group what is going on, but no one seems to know precisely what happened. I make my way to the front of the crowd, only to find McGlen being put into handcuffs. I push forward and ask the police officer why McGlen is being taken. "This clown is behind those disappearances. I found him in the woods carrying a **** machine gun!" I try to explain to the officer that McGlen is innocent, but I get pushed out of the way. The car pulls away and McGlen is taken to jail. "Seems a shame. Cops got nothin' to pin on him but for his gun and being in the woods. I'm gonna miss that big lug." Ma heads back into the boarding house, head held low. I head inside and up the stairs to my room. I can only hope that Jenny and Joe have found something...
The evening passed quickly, dinner provided by Ma. I spent most of the time in my room, worrying over the return of Jenny. The night grew long, and my fear begins to overtake my thoughts. What if she is hurt, kidnapped? What if those creatures did make it here? What was that noise? Why am I am here? How am I going to find Ella? These thoughts dance through my mind, refusing me the solace of slumber. I toss and turn for what seems an eternity. The moon staring down on me through the window seems to have a grimace, its ever growing face seems pained. Tonight it is at half strength, though its light is shining full force upon me. A knock upon my door sends me under the covers. "Who is it?" I fear the answer. No response. The rapping resounds again. "Who is it?" I hear muffled voices in the hallway, "McGlen, it's about Louie." I go to the door, "My name is Calvin Wright. Mr. McGlen was taken by the police earlier today." The voices, though muffled by the door, seem disturbed by this turn of events. I hear them argue, then the footsteps retreat down the hall. I listen to the footsteps fade away, then open my door. The hall is empty. I approach Jenny's room. Though it is unbecoming of a man to interrupt a lady's slumber, I fear I must know if she is safe. I knock softly. No answer. I knock a bit harder, and begin to worry. I knock fairly loudly, loud enough I fear I may disturb my fellow boarders. The doorway creaks open, and a sliver of Jenny's face appears. "Yeah?" I say that I am merely checking to make sure she is safe, and excuse myself. I head back to my room, and sit on the bed. I lay my head upon the pillow, and find myself asleep as soon as I do.
Morning breaks, though I do not rise. Dreams flit through my brain as if chased. Images I can barely understand rush past my eyes. Creatures made of tentacles, men and women engaged in unspeakable acts deep in the woods, a silver key spinning about a gargantuan gate, icy winds buffeting a group of people who seem armed to the teeth, mad shadows capering in the moonlight, a child's face, a gilded sword, mouths opening and consuming each other, and above it all laughter that borders on madness. I thrash in my bedclothes, but can not awake. I feel these images seeping into my very core. I am very very cold, and wet, and the images flee before my rising consciousness. Jenny stands above me holding a pitcher. "What in the hell are you blathering about? Tentacles and blood? Horns and ice?" It takes me a moment to focus. "Nothing, nothing. Horrid dreams." Jenny seems to accept this. "I'll be waiting for you downstairs. Joe has some information that might be of use to you." I nearly break my leg leaping out of bed. I throw dry clothes on and dash downstairs.
Joe sits nursing a cup of coffee chatting with Jenny, Ma, and the professor from the day before. "What is it? What did you find out?" Joe smiles and sets down his cup of coffee. "Ease up there, you'll hurt yourself. I was talking with the prof here, and he found an entry in a book. Something called Unowss, Uneawss, something cult." I turn to the professor, who is chuckling over Joe's pronunciation. "I believe the name you are attempting is Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Roughly translated as Nameless Cults, it details a number of cults around the world, as well as some of their activities. After re-reading the copy held at the University, I found a number of entries pertaining to disappearances in relation to wooded venues, as well as a number of entries on towns being attacked. Both seem to point to a specific group, the Cult of the Hundred. I am as yet unsure of their influence or penetration of Arkham, and advise against pursuing them until I can ascertain the exact group." I nod dumbly, shocked that the professor can speak so openly about a group who openly consort with beasts. He seems remarkably calm for a man discussing the potential for a group of people who are kidnapping and murdering. "You all right?" Jenny places her hand on my arm, the contact seems to make the horrors easier to digest. I must try to be as strong as she is, though she must be beside herself with worry for her sister. I look to Joe and ask what our next move will be. "Well, I have a couple of things to check out. Why don't you and Jenny join the professor here, and head up to the University." Jenny looks skeptical, but I agree without questioning it.
Lost amongst the books and scholars of the University, I feel I will be safe from the predations of my imagination. Having decided on a course of action, we break up and go our separate ways. Jenny and myself accompany Professor Walters to his office, and Joe heads off into the town proper. The sound of the bells and seeing all the students generates a sharp pang of loss in my heart. It was only a week ago I was teaching at my beloved school. Going home to my Ella and our son. A tear escapes my eye, and runs down my face. I fear the pace we are setting will be too slow to rescue my love, and my former life. The professor calls my name, and I snap out of my reverie. We enter his office, and I am awe struck by the towers of books he chooses to surround himself with. Piles easily six feet high, each precariously balanced. I spy Miss Sharpe moving past the stacks near the rear of the room. She comes forward and shakes my hand. We discuss what needs to be found, and the easiest way to find out the information. Jenny and I pair up and begin searching the spines of the tomes for specific titles. Miss Sharpe and the professor begin going through the books Miss Sharpe set aside the night before. I will spare you the tedium of Jenny and I searching the stacks, and merely say it produced little fruit. What little we did manage to find was quickly picked clean of information by the two scholars. The bell tolled thrice, and Miss Sharpe departed to work at the bank. Precious little was found after that, and nearing dusk, we left the office of Professor Walters.
Chapter Four: Lodge Members Held for Questioning
Near famished, we proceeded to Velma's Diner. The roadways were almost empty, and the shadows from the setting sun were long before us. Out front Pete sits idly scratching Duke. Seeing us approach, he stands and greets us. The nights have been hard lately, and Pete looks like he has hardly slept. He and Duke follow us inside, and I am surprised Velma merely greets Duke with a pat on the head. It seems Duke and Pete are welcome here, a fact for which I am sure Pete is gladdened. We sit and shortly after Velma brings over four plates of food, and even a small plate for Duke. Looking surprised, Velma merely dismisses my questioning look. "A friend of Pete's is in need of eats. This one is on the house. Times ain't so tough I can't help those that are needing." With that she heads back towards the kitchen. We eat our dinners with gusto, and thank Velma heartily as we proceed out the door. The Professor bid us good evening and headed back to campus, Jenny, Pete and myself strike out towards Ma's. We make it a block or so, when we are joined by McGlen. All of us are shocked by his appearance, as the last we had heard he was headed directly to jail. "Seems another couple of folks were taken after they brought me in. Sheriff finally listened to my story when that happened. They let me out, gave me back my stuff, and I headed up to Ma's. She told me you would probably be up at Velma's, seein' as how you weren't eatin' dinner with her. So I came up here to see what you guys managed to find out." McGlen's story, while convenient, was readily accepted by Jenny. Pete introduced himself, and the four of us proceeded to the boarding house. The stars shine out overhead, and we cluster together. Even though we are in the depths of February, the cold is kept at bay by the sun. Once night falls, the chill creeps in. No snow graces the ground, and I thank the heavens for the small warmth that persists.
We near the lodge of the members of the Silver Twilight Order. McGlen regales us with a story of a scrap he was in with some of the members of the lodge, taking great pains to mention his daring in the brawl. We laugh at his descriptions, and almost miss the girl running towards us. Her cries are octaves above comfort, and she is running flat out as if the gates of Hell have opened behind her. McGlen intercepts her and she rails against his grip. No sooner does he grab her, then the winds begin to pick up. The temperature drops, and the girl quiets immediately. A short ways behind her are two men, dressed in exquisite robes. "Thank you kind sir for catching our poor Elsie. She shouldn't be out in this cold." The men go to grab the girl, and she hides her face in McGlen's coat. I ask the gentleman what manner of business they are conducting at night with a child, in such wonderful robes. "Good sir, the manners of the Lodge are not ours to divulge. If you please, we will take Elsie off your hands and be on our way." Their words are kind enough, but send shivers up my spine. McGlen looks reluctant, but hands the girl over to the men. The instant she is in their grasp, the winds die down. We glance at one another in the suddenly still air. The two men guide the girl, who has now gone silent, towards the lodge. I step forward and raise my hand to grab the robe of one of the men, and a third steps in my path. "Good sir, perhaps it was time for you and your compatriots to be on your way. We must attend to our poor Elsie." The man's voice is steel, and his eyes intense. I look back to the others, confusion on my face. Jenny comes up and grabs my arm. "Come on Calvin, let's leave these nice men alone." She leads me away, and I can't help but feel a coward.
We return to Ma's, a pall over us. Jenny goes up to her room, McGlen to his. I remain in the common area with Pete and Duke. I must have dozed off in my chair, as I awoke to a dark empty room. The night is silent, and I feel a great sense of unease fill me. I stand and cross to the window. The moon shines down on the wooded area behind Ma's. The woods do nothing to settle my unease, and staring into the shadows between their branches chills my blood. I intend to go to my room, but find myself standing in front of Jenny's room. I raise my hand to knock, but the door opens before I can announce myself. Jenny nearly runs into me as she comes out into the hallway, "Calvin, what are you doing in the hall in the middle of the night?" I tell her that I don't rightly know the answer to that question myself. I ask her the same, "I think I may have something on where my sister is. Joe mentioned some meeting place down by the river. They only meet in the dead of night, and I figure I can sneak about easier than Joe can." The thought of Jenny skulking about the river docks in the dead of night is not one I care to ponder. I offer to accompany her, and insist when she first refuses. With this, we head out into the darkness.
Chapter Five: Waves of Madness
Chapter Six: After the Storm
Chapter Seven: True Terror Begins
I sit here penning this, shivering with fear. The events leading up to this have been harrowing at best. I have seen terror on a scale more massive than my comprehension would allow. My story was in danger of vanishing entirely, and if not for the intervention of key members in Arkham, I would not be here to write this. I have fled Ma's after creatures came in the night and savaged a fellow boarder. I am now on the run with McGlen and Jenny. All three of us are beyond scared, but I feel that Jenny is the only one among us who refuses to let the fear overtake her. I have frozen in fights, stunned into paralysis by the terrors I have witnessed. McGlen has been wounded on numerous occasions, I am still amazed by his recuperation after each fight.
The last horror was unleashed by the Cult of the Hundred. It was they who stole Jenny's sister, and it was they who tried to unleash the goat with a thousand young into our world. Their plans were foiled due to our intervention and that of a rival cult. A secret society hidden deep within the Silver Twilight Lodge, unbeknownst to even most of the lodge members, threatened to unleash the god of the cold white silence. The battle culminated between these entities and their followers. I fear we were only able to stabilize the forces involved, and force both groups to retreat only to return once they have regained their strength.
New shapes emerge from the darkness, the foul servants of dark powers. We barely defeated the minions of the Cult of the Hundred and the twisted members of the lodge, and now new figures race to fill their place. Evil creatures lurk about campus, and the sounds of chanting emanate from the Science Building. Awful quakes and tremors have reverberated about ever since those warped monsters appeared at the Science Building. Ghastly beings now seem to be flowing forth from the Witch House, and shambling forms have twice been repelled by McGlen and Jenny.
A new cult has risen from within the town of Arkham. These deviant beasts seem bent on destroying the world. They shake the very foundations of the world, and seem oblivious to the thought of their own demise should the world collapse. I was able to take part in a small way, in thwarting their latest efforts, but I fear they have had much more time to prepare for their master's arrival than the cult of the Hundred had. I pray that the next horror won't be the end of me. I can no longer sleep without nightmarish visions racing about my brain. "Ashcan" Pete and I have had many talks, between fights. I fear he may be the only one who understands my visions, but has no concept as to how to cope with them. Dexter Drake was my next option, but he has vanished on a mission of his own devising. He muttered something about a Whateley, but the name meant nothing to me.
I have slowly begin to accept that Ella is lost to me forever. Her face is difficult to picture in my mind, it must fight with the horrors I have seen. My child will never grow up, never get the chance to enjoy the world. I fear that I will grow up, and yet never enjoy the world again. I have lost that which is most dear to me, and now I am being pursued by creatures and cultists, visions and nightmares. I can't afford to be maudlin, there is still much I must do.
New faces have been seen about the town. Faces unfamiliar and claiming to be from the city of Dunwich. They claim things are worse there, but I fear I can't allow myself to believe it. If the conditions in Arkham seem appealing after the trials I have seen, then I fear I never wish to set foot in Dunwich. A man by the name of Jim Culver has brought us tales of bands of undead. We have filled him in on the hooded figures and the shadowy members of the lodge. We have both shared the quakes that are rocking Arkham. We have stood against monsters terrible and overwhelming. We have snuck past things that haunt my dreams. These are the end times. These are the things that go bump in the night. I fear nothing we are doing is helping, and death will be my only reward.
My scribbling now fills my notebook. Near every page has my scrawl upon it, and every word reeks of the horrors I have seen. We have fought long and hard, and I fear it is all for nothing. The quakes which rocked our city have returned, and the shambling hordes appear once more. Our new allies, while relatively fresh, already seem haunted by what they have seen. Twice I have been saved by one of the fresh faces, and twice have I wished they had let me die. Ella is gone. I have digested this, and find myself no longer able to summon the courage I once had in abundance. This mindless evil has consumed everything I love.
I do not fear my own death. It is that which is worse than death that I fear. The nightmarish forms that stumble before me bear resemblance to townsfolk I have seen before. Names called out bear no results, and any attempt to reason with these people is met with tooth and nail. They strike out at us, no semblance of humanity left in their eyes. This is but one fate worse than death I have seen.
I haven't slept in days. My eyes grow weary and close but for a moment, yet they pop open again immediately horrors dancing before them. I have turned to Pete, asked him questions I knew he would not be able to answer. Questions about my dreams, the visions in them becoming more and more real. Scenes from some hellish world, lit by screams and madness. With ever increasing frequency these visions are becoming my reality.
The night passes by in flashes. The face of Dr. Lee. Snippets of conversation. A great creature sending forth hundreds of young. The city crumbling to dust. Men face down, blood flowing from their wounds. Jenny holding me up. The stars moving in the night sky. Chill winds blowing against my bare skin. The door to my room broken asunder. Ella's face twisted in pain. My students lying before me dead. Being carried by Michael across the streets.
I wake in a strange room, dressed in bloodstained clothes. Jenny is asleep in a chair beside the bed, McGlen standing in the corner. I begin to sit up, and immediately regret it. Dr. Lee appears and administers a shot which fills my veins with ice. The room dissolves once more into blackness.
I hug Ella tight. I can't believe we are having a child. What will we name him? Or her? I hug her close and whisper "I love you." I have never been so full of joy. Tears fill my eyes and I can not express how happy I am.
I see myself walking into the lodge, wearing an unfamiliar coat. My head is held low, and I shove my way past the man who comes to see who I am. I advance towards the stairs, and head downward. The scene goes blurry and I am in front of a doorway. I touch the door, and find it hot to the touch. I open the door and enter a nightmare. Men in robes stand around the young girl from the night before. She is bound on an altar, screaming in an unknown tongue. The voice emanating from her fills my mind with terror. I move forward and draw a pistol as I cast off the coat. I watch myself gun down these men as if possessed. I cut the ties binding the girl, and the voice goes silent. The room swims, and a horror rises from beneath the floor. I push the girl behind me, and leap gun blazing and knife drawn at the monstrosity.
I cradle the newborn in my arms. Ella and I made this tiny person. He has her eyes, and I have never felt more protective of anything in my life. This is my son. Ella is in bed next to me, still a bit dazed from the medication and the strain of childbirth. Even exhausted, she is beautiful. This is my family. The words seem pale in comparison to the love I feel in my heart. I will do anything to protect these people.
I see a woman walking down an alley clutching at her chest. She is breathing hard and seems haunted by what she has left behind. I move to help her, and find that I can not move. She moves only a few more steps before a ghostly apparition freezes her in her tracks. She stares at the shape, and I will myself to move with all my might. The apparition vanishes, leaving the woman dazed with the disappearance of the specter. Two men head down the alley, the woman turns and aims a pistol at them. They look at each other and laugh, heading towards her. She pulls the trigger, and seems genuinely surprised as one of the men goes down.
I first see her as she calls my name. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. "Your room is down this way sir." She guides me to my new lodgings. The words barely register, the beating of my heart drowns them out. I follow along dumbstruck, and she leaves me in front of a door bewildered as to how to find my way back to the lobby. Across the hall, a man adjusts the hinges on a door. "New here? Her name is Ella. My name is Wilson. Wilson Richards. Your name is?" I introduce myself, but my mind is miles away. Ella. My heart swoons.
Consciousness calls and I surrender to it. Only blackness greets me. I fight to open my eyes, and they weakly stretch open. I find myself lying face down, cobblestones in front of me. I begin to take stock of my surroundings, and find myself alone. For the first time since coming to this accursed place, I am alone. I force myself to my knees, and nearly pass out once more. The street swims in front of my face. I wait for it to stop, and take stock. I have the clothes on my back, and that is it. No weapons, no allies, no items save my notebook and pen. I stand, weak kneed and wobbling. There is no one on the streets, even though the daylight is bright. I glance about frantic.
"Calvin! What the hell are you doing?" Jenny yells. Startled I look about, but can not see her. "Jenny! Where are you?" I hear the sounds of combat around me, but can not see their source. I feel a hand slap me across the face. Now I can see. I wish I couldn't. Twin entities stare down at our small party. McGlen is shooting at a giant slug covered in spikes, while Drake shoots gouts of flame towards a worm-like creature sticking out of a massive hole in the ground. "Fight, Calvin! We need you help!" I shake off the visions and throw myself into the fray.
Chapter Nine: The Key and the Gate
Chapter Ten: End Game
I walk away from the horror, the madness, the never-ending fights. I am done. I no longer possess the spirit nor the means to overcome these abominations. They are evil manifest. The powers they wield are more than I can overcome. I will never see Ella again, my son is gone forever. My only hope is blissful nothingness when I die. I have stared into the abyss, and it did far more than stare back. It has taken everything from me. I have nothing left...
...Except the people fighting next to me. Michael, Jenny, Vincent, Amanda, Mary, Marie, Bob, Mark, Gloria, Jim, Harvey, Dexter, Pete, Joe. Some faces new, some have been by my side for the entire ride. I look at them and see their determination. They have given their all, and everything has been taken from them as well. They fight on. Harvey is a man well into old age, he fights on. Jenny fights for her sister, Michael fights because it is the only thing he feels good at, Mary fights for her beliefs, and for them that is enough. They fight and they will die. Yet they fight on.
I look at myself, I am no fighter. I am a coward. I have walked away from the fight. I walk away from the robed figures that steal innocents. I walk away from the beasts in the woods. I walk away from the rotting bodies of friends past. I walk away from the tentacled creatures that gnaw at the foundations of the world. I walk away from the horror that was born on Wizard's Hill.
The skies open up and rain falls. Bolts of lightning strike the ground at my feet, and I keep walking. I do not fear my death, I welcome it. Let the heavens swallow me whole. The visions that plague me swim through my brain and flicker nightmares before my eyes. I no longer care. I walk on. A man runs up to me, blood pouring down his face from a wound above his eyes. "Yog-Sothoth is the key and the gate. All answers are within him." I shrug off the lunatic. I make it no more than five steps and my skull feels like it has ripped open. I fall to my knees, screaming at a world gone red.
The pain is gone so suddenly I find myself lost. I glance about, and am horrified by what I see. I am home. My house. I run to my room, it is empty and still. I should have known better. "Calvin?" I hear a voice that can't exist. Ella is calling my name. "ELLA!" She appears ghostly before me. I reach out to touch her, my hand goes through her. "Calvin, the answers you seek will be found in Innsmouth. The Deep Ones are moving against the forces that sought to break into Arkham. Your presence was needed, so I was taken. You can't give up yet, remember how much I love you, Calvin..." With that she is gone, and I am alone in the storm.
Lightning flares in front of my eyes, blinding me to the world around me. They took her, but she still lives. I almost walked away from Ella. I had nothing left to give, so I let them take everything from me. Now I have Ella, and I will not lose her again. Let the monsters come. Let them come in the thousands. I will free my wife even if I must do so over a mound of corpses. Let the blood flow, let the storm rage. I go to Innsmouth to end this.