I'll Tell You No Lies

Smoking is Hazardous to Your Health
but it could also save your life

December 13, 1pm (Tuesday)

Investigators debate how to deal with the portal. They know how to close it, and have everything they need, but it means that one of them might need to sacrifice themselves – entering the portal to close it from the other side, possibly ending up trapped in some other world. Perhaps, they could get someone else to do it?

- The Shaggai just want to go home, so they probably won’t be willing to help.
- They sufficiently scared Simon and Jennifer to get them to stop messing with Mythos stuff, and they are both weak willed and would likely have difficulty willing it back
- They might be able to talk Clarkson into doing it, but they would need to get him released from the asylum and then hope he is still sane enough to pull it off

In the end, Nikoli convinced the others that he was the best choice. The buttons on his jacket are made of metal from the area, and he has personally been in areas along the ley line. Oh, and his gun was manufactured there, as well.

4 pm

Douglas spent many hours searching for holly and mistletoe with berries, his progress slowed by his own personal insistence that they could not actually be found in Central Park. In spite of his own negativity, he collected enough to create a whip and sufficiently protect one of them (Nikoli), with a few extra evergreen and berry-covered holly and mistletoe branches left over.

5 pm

As the investigators head into Central Park and towards Belvedere Castle, a dwarf appears and begins asking where they are going, and why Nikoli is wearing that stuff. Elmer tries to delay the creature, but only succeeds in alarming it to go get others.

Two more dwarves appear in front of them and ask where they are going and what they are doing. Annie and Douglas answer vaguely, throwing the questions back at the dwarves as Nikoli quickens his pace.

As they reach the top of the path just before the front door of the castle, the dwarves become frantic, insisting that the investigators “can’t go in there”. As the investigators push pass them, one runs off saying he’s “going to tell”. Nikoli, Annie, and Douglas head into the castle while Elmer stays outside to try and distract the dwarves and slow down the Krampus, should he appear. As he feared, in the distance he sees a fog bank appear and begin moving quickly towards the castle.

In response, Elmer begins spreading the remaining evergreen, holly, and mistletoe branches across the doorstep, pours lamp oil on the door, and begins trying to light it on fire.

5:30 pm

Nikoli races down the stairwell to the basement where the unstable portal hangs in the air. As he descends the stairs, he hears the cracking of a whip, and children crying in pain. He sees the terrible dwarf woman, Belsnickel, standing over 2 young boys and 1 young girl, whipping them mercilessly as they cry out in pain: “Please, mister. Help us. It hurts so bad. Please, make her stop.”

Remembering that the whip should not hurt until the next day, Nikoli ignores them and runs towards the portal to stabilize it with the dagger. The dwarf woman charges at him, tripping him to the ground and wrestling his arms.

Annie runs after Nikoli, but as she approaches the opening to one of the rooms, she hears a dog barking and men laughing and placing bets. The dog sounds very much like Edison, and the men are exclaiming how this is such a cool new place to hold the dog fights. “Yes, and we’ve got that bitch’s dogs, too. Let them go.”

As she runs passed the room, she turns to see a group of men standing around a pit. She can hears Edison growling and Gladstone yelping as the men shout, “Yeh, kill each other.”

Realizing that, not only should her dogs be safe back in the hotel room, there is no way they would just attack each other, she ignores the scene and continues after Nikoli.

Seeing Nikoli on the ground, she races towards him but is blocked by one of the dwarves. Easily pushing passed, she reaches towards the dagger. Nikoli feigns another attempt at stabilizing the portal, instead pushing the dagger towards Annie’s hands. The feint works, and the dwarf woman clutches Nikoli’s arm firmly as Annie stabs the dagger into the ground to stabilize the portal.

Nikoli struggles to push his way forward, but the dwarf woman holds him back. Annie grabs both Nikoli and the dwarf woman clutching his arm, and tosses them both into the now stabilized portal.

Douglas runs after Nikoli and Annie, but upon reaching the stairwell discovers it is covered with crawling insects of all types: beetles, millipedes, roaches. As his momentum carries his foot onto the first step, he hears a disgusting crunching sound and hears shrill screams and sobs of pain. Some of the insects look up, and their faces turn into the faces of his recent associates that have died: Johnny Ruines and Dr. Scott Everest They cry out: “No, Douglas, please. Stop. Oh my God. Stop, you’re crushing us.”

Douglas steps back in horror as the insects begin crawling up his legs. Their faces turn into those of his grandparents, other distant relatives, his brother that rescued him from the river, and childhood friends. “Please, stop. Oh my God. You’ve crushed Auntie Merril.”

Douglas flees back down the hallway, out of the castle, as he tears off his coat and beats at the bugs to knock them off.

Elmer lights the door on fire, and then hears Annie and Douglas pleading with him. He looks up to see them standing just inside the castle: “Calm down, Elmer. We know you’re in there somewhere. You’ve been cursed, but you don’t have to do this. You can fight it. You don’t have to kill us, too.”

Elmer stops, confused and trying to sort things out. Annie continues: “It’s just like at the hotel. Do you remember? When Nikoli calmed you down? You don’t have to do this. Calm down and come back with us. We can help you.”

As Elmer looks down, he sees that his hands have become large, hairy, and clawed – his legs are long and goat-like. He recalls the scene at the hotel where he saw Annie and Douglas from the hall. But then, the image switches to him seeing them from inside the room while Nikoli stands in the hallway. He can hear Nikoli trying to calm him, and there is a terrible taste of blood in his mouth.

“If I’m the Krampus, then I’ll stop myself!” Elmer grabs a handful of holly berries, crushes them, and brings them towards his mouth to swallow them and kill himself. However, the juice does not burn him. As he ponders this, Annie pleads once more: “Please, Elmer. We love you. Calm down and come back to the hotel with us.”

“This is not Annie, and I am not the Krampus,” Elmer concludes. Their images fade as he sees Douglas appear in the hallway, running out of the castle in a panic.

The Krampus-fog draws closer, and Black Pete emerges shouting: “What are you doing?” Elmer and Douglas push the evergreens, holly, and mistletoe into the fire and begin chanting:


May the log burn,
May the wheel turn,
May evil spurn,
May the Sun return.

The fog approaches, but then backs away from the burning door and evergreen smoke. As Black Pete shouts, “You need to stop them,” the fog begins condensing into the Krampus beast.

Time is Up!

Nikoli pulls the gun from his pocket and concentrates on a familiar place near Austria. His confidence increased by the other portals he has closed in the last few days, he finds it easy to focus on pulling the portal back to its original ley line. As he concentrates, he can feel the portal weakening. On the outside, strong winds begin rushing towards the portal, pulling the creatures back along with them.

Annie starts grabbing the dwarves and tossing them back through the portal. One runs up the stairs too quickly, so she heads towards the girl dwarf that seems somewhat oblivious to the chaos around her. “What’s going on?” the girl asks, and then pleads: “No, I want to stay. It’s so much fun here.” Annie likes this girl, thinking she is quite innocent and harmless, and asks: “What’s fun?” The girl replies, “Playing pranks.” Annie responds by letting go and allowing the winds to pull the girl back into the portal.

Douglas sees the Krampus forming and Elmer rushing towards it to attack. “Elmer! No!” he thinks to himself as he runs back inside the castle and pulls the burning door closed with his cane. As he does so, he hears a terrible howl from the Krampus creature, and envisions Elmer being horrible mutilated.

Elmer musters up his courage to confront the materializing beast. He takes a deep breath of the evergreen smoke, and rushes forward. As the Krampus becomes corporeal, he grabs the side of its neck with his holly-berry juice coated hand, pulls the creature’s head towards himself, and exhales the smoke into its mouth. As the Krampus becomes solid, Elmer sees that its eyes are wide as it stumbles backwards. He feels a sizzling, popping sensation on his hand from the berry juice bubbling and caustically burning the Krampus’ neck. The beast lets out a terrible howl which, although terrifying, only serves to strengthen Elmer’s resolve. He charges forward mindlessly for a few steps, and then pulls back to threaten the beast: “That’s right! My blood is toxic to you. I cut myself just before this. And if I grab you again, you’ll die!”

The beast seems quite confused, and somewhat scared. It steps backwards, feints striking with its bundle of ruten, and howls again.

Suddenly, a terrible wind begins rushing towards the interior of the castle. As the Krampus is pulled away, it strikes at Elmer, who drops to the ground, narrowly avoiding the possibly deadly attack.

Nikoli feels the rush of violent winds around him as he concentrates to return the portal to its original location, and eventually passes out. He awakens on a snowy bluff beside a forest. As he tries to regain his bearings, he sees a large black cat approaching, ridden by what appears to be a doll. She asks where her necklace is, who is he, and where is Douglas and Annie.

After his initial shock, Nikoli realizes this is not only just a Mythos creature, but the infamous Frau Trude, otherwise known as Mother Hulda, that the other investigators have told him so much about. He agrees to “ride her cat” to where he can get a boat home, and engages her in conversation along the way.


Historic Timeline – timeline of important events regarding this adventure
New York Times papers – important news articles published after the end of this adventure
Epilogues – general and investigator prologues

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"I may be old, but I can still take care of a tree-raccoon"
Now, where has Nikoli gotten off to?

December 13, 3am (Tuesday)

MacCracken reveals that his partner is the Chief Custodian, Ben Cooper. He states that he and the other bug had come to the University and were studying, and that one day he heard MacCracken dying. He found him in his kitchen where he was eating breakfast, and his heart had stopped. MacCracken was a good man, and this was an ideal opportunity. So, he took over MacCracken’s body to not only keep a good man in this position but to also make it easier for them to continue their studies. His partner found a black man dying in the streets, and took his body. The bug hired him on as the Custodian so he could get into anywhere, anytime, and no one would ask questions.

Douglas and Annie arrange to meet the new MacCracken in the morning so he can take them to see if his friend is still alive. On the way home, Jennifer awakens, and decides to go home, agreeing to explain to Simon and the others that they need to stay out of these sorts of matters.

7 am
As Nikoli and Elmer are leaving the hospital, they hear a car crash and people shouting outside. A golden portal hangs in the air, with what appears to be a large tree root slowly extending from it. A large crowd has gathered, and three men are getting dangerously close to the root.

Nikoli sits on the curb, closes his eyes, and attempts to force the portal closed. By the time he opens his eyes in response to more shouts and screams, he sees three terrible double-bifurcated maws at the end of long tentacles attacking the nearby people. He is instantly drawn back to an early childhood trauma, runs back inside the hospital, and falls unconscious: Nikoli Watched a Snake Eat his Kitten as a Small Child

Elmer convinces everyone to back away from the root which is now rolling and untwisting into 3 separate roots. When the roots/tentacles fail to find victims, the creature they belong to pushes its way through the portal.

With Nikoli gone, Elmer is on his own to take care of the horrible 12’ tall creature that has emerged from the portal in search of food. Seeing no butcher shops or stray animals around, Elmer looks to the electric lamp posts in front of the hospital. He rips and cuts the wires from a lamp post as the creature searches about, somewhat blindly. After suffering several shocks, Elmer successfully separates the electric wires with the goal of setting a ground trap for the beast. Unfortunately, he does not have time as the creature charges him and attacks with one of its toothy tentacles. The attack misses, and Elmer nimbly uses the tentacle to leap onto the wrinkled shoulder, and finally onto the head of the huge beast. Elmer places the wires on either side of its head delivering a shock. The creature rears up, throwing Elmer to the ground, and bolts back into the portal.

Elmer instructs the onlookers to get the police and watch the portal while he goes to find his friend. He finds Nikoli after a long search, back in a hospital bed, deranged and speaking Polish to the nurse attending him. After convincing the nurse that it was not his previous injuries, but the trauma of witnessing a car crash that caused him to pass out, the nurse agrees to allow them to leave.

9 am
After Elmer disturbs Annie’s and Douglas’ sleep to ensure they will be leaving early in the morning, Detective Collier arrives to discuss some matters with Annie.
- He went back to Sean O’Brien’s home and found abnormally large beetle dung. He has already called Riverside Hospital and O’Brien will be transferred back to St. Barnabas Hospital.
- He heard that she was at Pat Obrien Pub last night, and wants to know what she saw there. Annie confirmed that she had already done testing and found that the food was drugged.
- They attempted to find the student, Ethan, responsible for the drugging at the NYU student party. His dorm was a frightening scene, with strange symbols painted in yellow paint along with disturbing phrases such as: “kill them all”.
- He has a suspicion that Chancellor MacCracken killed Abarbanell. The coroner confirmed there was bruising around Abarbanell’s mouth and on his throat.

Douglas begins ranting about bugs, and that the real killer “is right here”. Annie explains that this is just another technique they use to solve crimes. They already know who the killer is and she will provide him with a full report when they have closed the investigation. Collier winks knowingly, saying he will tell the other officers to keep back from Ethan for now.

Their discussion is disturbed by the desk clerk informing Collier that there is a phone call for him. “It’s tragic,” the desk clerks says. “It’s Miss Keeler. They think she might be dead. She was hit by a car. Their on the phone and need to talk to you.”

11 am
The investigators, Edison, Gladstone, and Biali take a taxi to NYU and head to Chancellor MacCracken’s office. On the way, Annie explains the events of the previous night to Elmer and Nikoli, although Nikoli seems very distracted by the well-being of Biali.

Upon arrival, they find MacCracken still resting and weak. He leads them across the campus and to the custodian’s home. Being too weak to walk well, Annie carries him

As they near, the dogs become agitated. Suddenly, a tall black man leaps from behind a tree and threatens them with a shovel. As Elmer explains that “they can forget the new plan, and go back to the old one,” MacCracken says, “It’s true. It’s really me. Annie – hold me.”

Annie and Elmer had described the bug creatures to NIkoli, and explained that one was "inside MacCracken’s head, but it didn’t prepare him for what he witnessed next. He heard a sickening squishing and sloshing sound as MacCracken’s hood fell back and a large, disgusting fly-like creature pulled itself out of the back of MacCracken’s head and leaned over his shoulder. Bloody ooze dripped from a hole in the back of MacCracken’s scalp, and ichor dripped from the long proboscis that began twitching as nasty guttural clicking noises issued from the creature.

His mind was a fog, barely registering the words from the caretaker, as he was taken back once more to the traumatic episode where his kitten had been eaten by a snake when he was only 3 or 4 years old. Only this time, the true memory that he had suppressed for so long, came back to him: Nikoli Ripped his Kitten in Half and Broke its Leg Trying to Rescue it

The Caretaker explained that he and the old MacCracken had buried the items only last night, in the garden. He dug up an oak box saying that he wanted nothing to do with the items inside. When MacCracken asked why, the Caretaker said: “It’s evil black magic.”

Inside the oak box was a large leather-wrapped bundle. Inside the leather was a burlap wrapped object and a long and thin satchel. Inside the burlap was an ornate Egyptian dagger with winged pommel and jeweled top. Inside the satchel was a blood-soaked scroll describing a ritual for opening a portal.

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The Student Becomes the Master
Never underestimate an angry young girl!

December 13, 1am (Tuesday)

Nikoli and Elmer

Elmer rides with Nikoli to the hospital. He explains that Nikoli was injured in a car accident. The hospital patches him up, but he is still severely wounded. Elmer stays with him through the evening; the two planning on leaving in the morning.

Douglas and Annie

Annie drags the survivors from the pub. While they are being loading into taxis to go to the hospital, she puts psychotropic substances in the food and drink. When the police arrive she tells them that someone put drugs in the food and that everyone inside went crazy and started killing each other.

A seasoned officer went inside to confirm the story: he was met with the most graphically disgusting scene of dismembered body parts, blood, and gore assembled as if people were still sitting at the tables, at the bar, and even at the piano – but major parts of their bodies were missing. Upon leaving, he confirmed that they must have all went mad and warned the junior officers against going inside. Instead, he sent one to get the photographer and began organizing the others.

2 am

Douglas and Annie head to Simon’s dorm and find all four students inside, studying the correctly translated book versus the poorly translated one, making notes, and planning. They convince the students to stay out of matters because they were handling it. Annie becomes strangely impressed with Jennifer Coplin, the girl who had witnessed Fazar’s incineration and the demon-bird attack on Abarbanell, and invites her to come along while they investigate the Chancellor’s study.

Annie warns Jennifer to watch, but stay clear of any danger. “If anything bad happens, run and hide and let us take care of it.”

2:45 am

The Chancellor is not in his study. Annie attempts to teach Jennifer how to pick the locked desk drawer, but ends up having to rip it out instead. Inside is a small bag containing a single bullet shell, a newspaper article propped up, and a mason jar with something large and black shoved inside of it. As she hands the jar to Douglas and begins telling them to go to nearby offices to make it look like a group of students had done some random vandalism, the study door opens and MacCracken enters.

MacCracken is incensed, shouting: “what are you doing? Put that down! What did he tell you?” Annie had leaped behind the desk, so MacCracken shoots Douglas as he attempts to dive for cover. Jennifer, enraged, charges across the room and deals several devastating blows to MacCracken. Douglas climbs to safety beneath the desk while Annie charges MacCracken who has now shot Jennifer in the arm.

As Annie disarms MacCracken, Jennifer deals a devastating blow to his legs. As MacCracken pulls a knife and slashes Jennifer, Annie attempts to disarm him again. Meanwhile, Jennifer deals another devastating punch to the throat, knocking MacCracken unconscious to the floor.

During the fight, Douglas opens the mason jar, and a frail and weak Shaggai-Shan bug begins to crawl out. Freaked out, Douglas tries to shove it back into the jar, but the struggling bug knocks the jar over and continues crawling out. Douglas, seeing that MacCracken is subdued, climb out from under the desk to get Annie’s help.

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adulthumanbotfly.png

3 am

Annie tends to Douglas while Jennifer searches MacCracken’s pockets (and slaps him around a bit more). Suddenly, Jennifer hears a sickening ripping and squishing sound and turns to see another Shan ripping itself out of the back of MacCracken’s head and leaping onto her back shoulder. As it grabs her firmly and starts thrusting its proboscis at the back of her head, she picks up the gun and attempts to shoot it.

Douglas runs over, pulls his sword, and skewers the thing. It seems un-phased, and stabs into the back of Jennifer’s head cracking the bones at the base of her skull. Jennifer grabs MacCracken’s knife and severs mostly through the proboscis. Annie scoops up the frail Shan, shoves it into her inside coat pocket, and runs over to help. As Jennifer tries to cut the thing loose, Douglas and Annie rip it in half. Unfortunately, the remaining half is still alive and attached to the back of Jennifer’s head.

Suddenly, Jennifer feels a stabbing sensation, and then an overwhelming urge to turn and attack “the other girl”. Just then, Annie rips the other half of the creature out and begins stomping the pieces into a black, mushy pulp. Jennifer feels a tremendous electrical shock inside her head, sees a flash of bright lights, and falls to the ground unconscious.

Douglas scrapes the Shan pulp into the mason jar and seals it. As he does so, he sees that it is already starting to congeal and regenerate.

Annie searches the study thoroughly, but finds no signs of any secret compartments or rooms – no sign of the dagger. She takes the bug out of her pocket, lays it next to MacCracken’s head, and urges to forward.

The bug slowly crawls onto the back of MacCracken’s head and stabs its proboscis into his brain. After a few seconds, MacCracken’s eyes open and he weakly says: “Thank you.”

Annie and Douglas begin questioning the bug to see if it knows where they can find the dagger. Unfortunately, it has no idea what they are talking about. But it does share the following information with them:

  • “All we want to do is go home.”
  • “We were brought here to perform a task – remove the brains from some mindless creatures.”
  • “Your people shot us, hacked us to pieces, burned us in the streets, and dissolved us with acid.”
  • “At first I thought you were all evil. But over many years of study, I’ve learned. While some of you are evil, most of you just make bad decisions.”
  • “I started the Theosophical Society to do research. It was never meant to get involved in magic or drugs. Professor Fazar was one of its members.”
  • “I came here with another. We studied, and I was close to figuring out how to open a portal home. But then, the other one came. He’s crazy. He killed Abbott and took his body. Then he argued with me, saying you were all evil and that we should bring back an army to destroy you all. But all we wanted to do is go home. He shot me, shoved me in a jar, and took my place.”
  • “I don’t know if the other one is still alive. Do you know? Are there any more of us?”
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New York Gets Its First Drive-Thru Restaurant
specializing in frozen treats, but closed for repairs

December 12, 7pm (Monday)

Investigators learn that Dean Austin Abbott supposedly committed suicide, instead of dying from pneumonia as was publicly reported. MacCracken and Ward discussed the plan to cover up the suicide since it would be bad press for the University – even Abbott’s family were not told. MacCracken stated that Abbott stuck a gun in his mouth and shot himself in MacCracken’s study while the Chief Custodian was present. The Chief Custodian was very stand-offish when questioned, but then confirmed that “everything happened exactly like the Chancellor says.” Another professor, Randal Gray, entered the room shortly after hearing the gunshot. He did not see the Custodian, but did see MacCracken kneeling over Abbott’s body. Abbott was holding a gun and his hands were covered in blood. Detective Collier saw the hole in the back of Abbott’s head, and the Coroner’s records were kept hidden from the public. Unfortunately, Randal Gray died just a few days later when a 3rd story balcony railing came loose and he fell to his death. Collier confirmed that the railing nails had pulled out of the mortar, causing the railing to fail. This all happened roughly 2 and a half years ago: around late Spring or Summer of 1896.

Annie convinces Collier to come back with them to Fairfield so she can teach him to be a better detective. She also arranges for the Belgium police officer (Noah Edwards) to delay his return journey so he can bring back a trained police pup.

10pm

Annie research reveals that the chemicals found in MacCracken’s secret ritual room are:

  • Pink Powder – Sweat of Apis: amphetamine and ecstasy mixture
  • Blue Powder – Blood of Min: highly concentrated Viagra equally effective on both males and females

She moves on to studying the The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

11pm

The investigators are awakened by the sounds of children playing in the playground. Nikoli and Elmer head down to provide schooling. Elmer decides to leave it to Nikoli and head back upstairs. The man in the second floor room starts a yelling match with Annie regarding the noise – the kids say the man is naughty, Nikoli agrees, but Annie insists that “people just become cranky when they can’t sleep; it doesn’t make them naughty.”

After much silliness which forces Nikoli to take a firm hand, the kids suddenly state: “we have to go. We don’t want to miss this. He’s probably going to kill lots of people this time.” The children transform into dwarves and begin running off after a low-lying fog cloud heading North. Nikoli shouts up to Annie: “Krampus. North. Now.” and chases after them. He eventually finds a taxi and, after several minutes decides to use Astronomy to determine the path of the fog cloud.

Elmer learns from the desk clerk that a young man had left a message for Angus. The young man said that he, Randall, and the girls were heading to Pat Obrien pub right now and that they would probably need Angus’ help. He said it was urgent, that he should expect a fight, and to put a few evergreen branches around his shoulders and waist. Elmer convinces the desk clerk to gather some evergreens and mistletoe while he collects Annie, and Douglas. After having trouble finding a taxi, getting soaked by a close-call with the speeding red car, then having to change, they finally begin heading towards the pub nearly 20 minutes later.

11:30pm

Nikoli’s taxi arrives at Pat Obrien pub which is already frozen over. Randall, Jennifer, and Missy stand at the frozen door trying to pry it open while Simon stands waist deep in a slow bluff with a vest, a couple evergreen branches over his shoulders, and waving a stick and shouting tauntingly. Nikoli asks the driver to get out. Thinking Nikoli was asking him to help open the door, he obliges and is shocked when he turns around to find Nikoli getting into the taxi, revving the engine, and then slamming the car into the brick and mortar building. The bricks cracked and caved in, the door busted open, and the front windows shattered.

Inside, Nikoli saw Black Pete leaping towards and out of a side window and Krampus following behind. Nikoli shouted taunts, and then leaped out of the car to confront Krampus outside. Black Pete urged Krampus that they had to go because they had to get back. But both Simon and Nikoli were shouting and taunting the beast. Nikoli further admonished the beast, telling Krampus he was bad, needed to go sit in the corner, and that Annie was going to talk to him. The name seemed familiar to the beast. It furrowed its brow, growled some undecipherable words, and charged Nikoli. Nikoli was knocked back nearly 10 feet with a massive gash across his belly.

Elmer, Annie, and Douglas arrive in time to see the students dragging Nikoli off of the snow and onto the road. Elmer begins burning the evergreens and mistletoe to cover the area with their aroma. Douglas bandaged up Nikoli, finding he was unconscious and near death, but not in danger of dying. Annie headed inside the pub.

The interior was a bloody and grotesque scene of dismembered body parts; flesh, tendons, and bloody sinew strewn about and hanging from broken tables, chairs, and light fixtures. More than a dozen lie dead and dying among the gruesomeness which, of course, had only a minimal affect on Annie’s sanity. After tending to a man who would have certainly died from a table leg that had pierced completely through his side, the dwarf woman with necklaces of woven evergreen, mistletoe, and holly stood before her. Annie asked: “How do we stop this thing. It isn’t right.” The dwarf woman answered: “We can’t. It’s too late. It’s rampaging now.”

Annie was only able to save three of the people and the pub cat, Mr. Pickles.
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Midnight Aftermath

Douglas and Elmer flagged down taxis to take the injured to St. Barnabas Hospital. The students seemed mostly un-phased by the incident, and only concerned for Nikoli’s well-being and asking where Angus was.

Simon: “I wish Nikoli hadn’t have done that. I was standing in the snow bluff and was wearing evergreen branches inside my vest. The beast couldn’t have hurt me. And this was an evergreen stick I rubbed down with mistletoe. And the others had sticks as well. I know we could have killed it if it would have just charge me in the snow.”

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MacCracken!

December 12, 11:50 am (Monday)

MacCracken’s Study

Douglas thoroughly inspects the walls and discovers a small, pinkie-sized round hole roughly 2 feet above the ground, left of the window. His finger is too large to fit inside, but the hole leaves a black residue around the tip. Poking with a small pocket knife reveals that the hole angles down, and after a few inches ends at a metal object. He infers this is a bullet hole with the bullet still in the wall, and determines that the gun must have been fired from within the room and to the left of the desk (when facing the window).

MacCracken enters and seems shocked to see Douglas there: “You! Why are you here?!” Douglas reminds him that he set an appointment, and then begins talking about a donation to the University. MacCracken is receptive, and Douglas agrees to make a large donation to be put forth the construction of a new Law Department building, commissioning of additional Law professors, commission of a new Head of Law Department (to replace Abarbanell), and even a scholarship program to promote more applicants.

Before leaving, Douglas asks about “secret occult groups” to make it clear that his name absolutely cannot be associated with such. However, he is actually very interested and has done a lot of study himself regarding mythos creatures, rituals, and portals. MacCracken responds that Douglas must be talking about the “Theosophical Society”, and they are harmlessly researching such topics, but he might be able to put Douglas in touch with them.

Douglas leaves his business card, telling MacCracken the best time to call his financial folks would be around 6pm. He then stops at the receptionists desk and convinces her to let him use the phone to call his financial folks and inform them of the upcoming deal.

Douglas heads to McSorley’s Ale House, spends several hours drinking, and then heads back to the Central Park North hotel. He sees 2 police officers sitting in the lobby and, figuring they were there to talk to Annie, quickly passed them by and headed up to his room to take a nap.

MacCracken’s House

Somewhat isolated with no other homes nearby. The living room and bathroom areas seem mostly clean and tidy. The bedroom, study, and kitchen are covered with dust and apparently haven’t been used in years. The bedroom has moth eaten clothes in the closet and stanky clothes in the dresser. The kitchen has a rotting smell, and the ice box contains black sludge that used to be food. The study contains dust covered books,a desk with a dust covered newspaper, and a garbage can containing a newspaper.

Papers are dated Wed November 30th 1892, and Mon November 28 1892.

MacCracken’s Storm Cellar

Contains empty shelves, empty wine rack, and sand-filled tub containing mummified tubers. A metal-reinforced door with fancy internal lock leads to a large ceremonial area.

6 sex-stained bedrolls and pillows lies against the near-left corner. 6 chairs line the left wall. A small table with an incense burner and cast of a goat-head with pentagram on the forehead. A small chest beside the table contains 12 small boxes of incense cones, and two small metal snuff boxes: one contains a pink powder and small silver spoon, the other contains a light blue powder and small silver spoon.

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Beneath these are folded papers showing chemical diagrams and describing how they should be mixed: Elixer of Min.

On the wall adjacent the door is a large chalkboard that has been roughly erased. Careful examination reveals a circle with N/E/S/W marked. An ‘X’ has been marked at N/NE/SE/S/SW/NW. To the right of the circle is a crude 4-line star with an elliptical to the right and beams shooting from the star, through the elliptical, and out. Beneath this is the date Nov. 26 3:30 am : Khordad-Tir 12 noon Perfect Light. Beneath this is 6 lines of erased text that are not legible.

In the far right corner is another table with an oil lamp and a cloth covering a wooden box. It contains a Letter from Museum to Prof Fazar in April, and is designed with a depression to hold a dagger – but no dagger. Careful inspection reveals 2 long white hairs, 2 short black hairs, and several small bits of dirt.

On the right side of the room, perpendicular to the door, is a long, flat, sacrificial table with blood-letting groove and two hooks with small metal buckets. A goat-head mask sits on the table atop a leather-bound book. The book describes rituals such as: Fealty to the Goat, Balancing Heart and Ma’at, Dimensional Tunnel, and others.

goat_mask.jpg

Behind the chalkboard is a 3’ square opening that leads to a secret room. Inside is a table and chair. On the table are a thick hardcover book sitting atop a thick pamphlet style book, and beside these are two letters: Letter from Crowley to MacCracken on Magic, Letter from Crowley to MacCracken on Abramelin.

Annie takes the two books: Buch der wahren Praktik and The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, and restores the scene, including replacement books, so there is very little chance of anyone being able to tell that they were there.

December 12, 6pm (Monday)

The investigators meet Detective Collier and Noah Edwards in the hotel lobby and head up to their room to discuss matters in private.

Collier hands Nikoli a letter he got from the clerk at the Morris Guest House: Letter from Psychical Research society to Nikoli

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There's no denying it, muffins are delicious!

December 11, 6 pm (Sunday)

The majority of the crowd flees towards the only exit, which is still barred shut.

A few of the crowd run towards the far corner of the block house, while some others run to hide in the other far corner among the large casks and food tables.

One creeps forward to grab the gun that had fallen from the now dismembered student.

The smaller bat-things swarm above the crowd, shooting red beams from their foreheads at seemingly random targets. The moderately large bat-things aggressively confront those swatting and throwing things at the smaller bat-things, also shooting red beams from their foreheads that appear to do more damage than those from the smaller ones.

The largest bat-thing surveys the chaos and focuses on a couple students swatting and throwing things at one of the dog-sized bat-things.

Nikoli runs to the door, throwing it open and trying to calm the oncoming crowd. As the crowd knocks over and tramples some of the other students, he helps the would-be victims to their feet and out of the way. He sits and concentrates, trying to remember the lessons that Charging Bear taught him about how to close portals and draw their mythos creatures back into them.

Douglas runs to the stage to survey the area. Seeing that the large bat-thing is about to charge a couple students, he takes the goat-head mask from the actor standing at the rear of the stage and throws it to draw the bat-thing’s attention. As it turns, shrieks at him, and begins to charge, he firmly stands his ground and beckons the thing forward while the two students escape.

Annie leaps onto the stage, and addresses the crowd in a commanding voice: “They are just birds. The large one is trying to protect her young. Calm down, stop threatening them, and leave in an orderly fashion!”

Elmer runs to hide under the stage and Annie sends her dogs to hide and guard Elmer. When Elmer hears Annie shouting and calming the crowd, he crawls back out, spies a young man shakily holding a gun pointed at the large bat-thing, and heads over to talk him down. Successful, he tells the man to guard the exiting crowd, convinces him to hand over the gun, and then returns it to the dead body on the ground – and compulsively samples the freshly dead flesh.

Nikoli continues to concentrate on closing the portal while Elmer heads over to the exiting crowd to help maintain order. Annie lures a dog-sized bat-thing to her with the remains of a breakfast muffin, calms it, and begins petting it gently while speaking to the large bat-thing.

Douglas continues to calmly urge the Mother Bat-Thing forward, also offering a breakfast muffin. She cautiously moves forward, shrieks, hisses, checks on her child, and then samples the muffin.

As the horrific creature stands menacingly in front of them, Douglas and Annie maintain their calm to demonstrate that they are not threatening. Finally, Douglas throws a muffin through the open portal. The Mother spies them both intelligently, nuzzles the younger one off of the stage, and then flies up to the portal and shrieks. The young ones that had gathered on the Block House walls responded by flying back through the portal, soon followed by the dog-sized ones. The Mother turns to look at Douglas and Annie, lets out another shriek, and then flies back into the portal herself.

With the majority of the students having already exited, and the remaining making their way through the door, Douglas turns towards the actor still standing at the back of the stage.

""Stop messing around with this stuff!"
“What were those things?! We all saw them, but they’ll call us crazy. But I know what I saw.”
“You didn’t see anything.”
“It’s just a play. Magic isn’t real.”
“Yes, magic isn’t real. But you need to stop messing around with this stuff. None of this happened. You didn’t see anything.”
“I did see it. And it’s real. But magic isn’t real.”
“No, magic isn’t real.”
“Someone brought drugs. The drinking, and the drugs. That’s what happened.”
“Yes. Now, you have to go home.”

The young man walked off the stage, picked up the goat-head mask, and began drinking heavily from the casks while watching the sparking and undulating portal in the sky.

Nikoli finally successfully focused an image of the portal in his mind, and concentrated on closing it. As if in response, the portal began sparking and then suddenly snapped shut with a thunderous clap.

The young man took another long draught, and then walked out of the Block House telling Nikoli on his way out: “Someone has to tell the police. Magic isn’t real. Someone brought drugs, but nobody knows who did it.”

8 pm

The investigators return to their hotel rooms.

Douglas sets up a meeting with Chancellor MacCracken for tomorrow at noon. He also calls and leaves a message for Senator William H. Graham asking him to look into helping the Shinnecock Indians.

Elmer calls and order supplies to be sent to the Shinnecock Reservation: crates of rice, wheat, lamp oil, blankets, and first aid supplies. The cost is more than he had expected, but undaunted he dips into his personal savings.

December 12, 11:20 am (Monday)

Douglas arrives at New York University. The receptionist tells him to go ahead up to the Chancellor’s office. When he gets there, the Chancellor is not present. He cursorily searches the bookcase, chalkboard, and desk. The bookcase contains administrative type books, but nothing more of interest. The chalkboard contains strange symbols, not occult and not of any language that he knows, but also contains some math followed with dates: Nov 26 circled but crossed out, and Dec 25 prominently underlined beneath it. The desk contains two drawers on each side and a short center drawer. The bottom right drawer is locked.

Not wishing to be caught rifling through the Chancellor’s drawers, Douglas further searches the bookcase for hidden objects and the walls for hidden panels. The bookcase contains nothing of interest. The walls are surprisingly bare of anything: no pictures, degrees, certificates, or decorative pictures.

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Should we kill them? Do you have a gun?

December 11, noon (Sunday)

The investigators setup a press conference at Douglas’ new hotel, the Little Duchess. Reporters from the New York Times, The Sun, and The Triangle show up. Nikoli and Elmer pretend to be out-of-town reporters.

Annie explains that raccoons hate the smell of evergreen, mistletoe, and holly, and that residents should burn these in their fireplaces. She mentions it would be good to also burn some Yule Logs throughout the city, to drive the raccoons back. She also explained that the raccoons are attacking because they are scared, and that if anyone sees a raccoon they should not approach, go in their homes…“and call the police,” the girl from the Triangle added.

The reporters didn’t seem fully convinced, and Nikoli attempted to play “tough reporter”, which also didn’t help as he expected. However, things turned when Douglas mentioned that Annie was an expert in animal behavior and worked with the Williams Township folks when they had the trouble with cougars. The male reporters both remembered hearing the story, Nikoli offered that he was convinced, and the session seemed to end well.

1 pm

The investigators followed Nikoli to the castle, where they followed the blood trail on the carpet to the far room. Beneath a large rug, they found a trap door that led to a 30′ × 30′ basement. The room was coated with ice and frost, with large pools of blood on the floor, streaks of blood on the walls, and remnants of clothing threads and hairs stuck in the bloody patches.

In the center of the room was a large, 7′ × 4′ portal floating several inches from the floor and facing just right of true north – roughly 8° off, which aligns with magnetic north. Likewise, a compass-like ritual circle was painted on the floor, also aligned with magnetic north. The circle, lines, symbols, and letters were all painted with blood and currently sealed beneath the ice sheet on the floor.

Summoning_Circle.bmp

Nikoli threw a snowball through the portal, and also pushed a broken lamp through, and in both cases the portal responded by shooting out a blast of ice and frost.

4 pm

The investigators took a taxi to the North West corner of Central Park. A tall hill with a large, stone blockhouse sat atop a large hill at approximately the location indicated by the King in Yellow flyer.

The entered the park via a freshly cut path that led to a preserved goat head atop a stake – the same goat head they had seen in the chest at the warehouse. Further along, they found a goat leg on a stake pointing them West, and then another goat leg on a stake pointing them North. This lead to long, disintegrating stone steps up to the blockhouse. A knotted rope had been tied at the top and hung down, obviously to help climb the steps.

The door to the blockhouse had a metal viewing plate, which slid open when Nikoli knocked on the locked door. Nikoli held up the King in Yellow flyer, and a man inside responded: “Password”. Annie, quickly studying the flyer, yelled out “Cleft”! The viewing plate slid closed, the door opened slightly, and the man told them to enter quickly.

Inside was dozens of people, many dressed in long robes, but some dressed in normal clothing. A tall, satyr was walking among the people, and came over to the investigators when he saw them. He asked why they were here, and proclaimed that he was the Black Goat of the Woods. Annie scoffed, and Douglas asked why they were confusing the King in Yellow with the Black Goat. As the satyr explained that he was there to “help save these mortals from the fate of this play” and that “the King in Yellow is evil”, a young man approached the group with a small book in his hands. The man was crazed, saying that they had it all wrong. He was supposed to be playing “the man”, but they wouldn’t listen. After a short interaction, Douglas and the man were fully engaged discussing the book and the upcoming play, and the satyr wandered off.

The man, Ethan, said he had a vision and went back to the library, and found the book with all the changes. Douglas did not remember returning the book to the library, and yet it was not in his coat, and the book that Ethan held was the one Douglas had edited. Ethen explained that he had had dreams, and that he met the King in Yellow. “I saw him. He picked me up. And, oh my God, it’s you,” he said, looking at Douglas. “You’re the one he told me about.”

Douglas and Ethan discussed stopping the play, taking over the play in order to do it right, and Ethan suggested killing the other actors. “Maybe that’s what he meant!” Ethan said. “I didn’t understand, but he said I had to give you a message.”

Douglas was discussing how they could “fix” the play, while Annie tried to get Douglas and the others to leave. Ethan continued, “It didn’t make sense at the time, but maybe that’s what he meant. He said I had to give you a message. He said to tell you: You have to do it quickly, or you may too die. But you must be careful. He doesn’t work alone. He has what you need. But he has what you need to know. He does not trust the other. And he does not know. Should we kill them? Do you have a gun?”

As Annie finally convinced Douglas they should leave, Douglas tried to pry the book from Ethan’s hands. Annie grabbed Douglas to pull him away, while Elmer started whispering to Ethan that he should make things right. “You need to take them out, one by one,” Elmer whispered. “You can play their parts. You know how the play is supposed to be.”

As the satyr stepped onto the stage to give his prologue:


“My children! My children! Gather around, for the time has come. … But first, I must warn you. Doom upon all who are about to witness this play, for it is well-known that most who have viewed the play in its entirety have been driven completely mad. Humans, by their nature, are weak willed and foolish, unable to restrain their inquisitiveness, for which they deserve to suffer their fate. If only more were willing to come to me, to learn the wonders of the Black Goat of the Woods, perhaps they could be saved. BUT ALAS, here comes our folly now, even as I speak.”

And a couple girls were chatting loudly, to the annoyance of those nearby:


“You know that if Science is real then magic is real. Scientist say that you can’t really prove anything, you can only disprove theories. So, science can’t prove that science works, and it can’t disprove that magic doesn’t exist. So, if science is real, then magic must also be real.”
“Wow, that’s so cool!”

A loud sparking sound, metallic smell, and electrical charge filled the air. Twenty feet above the crowd, a large portal suddenly opened and a mass of small, black bird/bat like creatures with long pointed tails and red dots on their foreheads issued forth. These were followed by larger versions of the same creatures, roughly the size of small dogs. The crowd started screaming, and one man pulled a gun and started firing indiscriminately at the bat-things. Just then, a huge 7’ tall creature with 12’-15’ wingspan and long, pointed tail emerged from the portal and descended on the man, ripping and shredding him to pieces.

Ethan dropped the book, and Nikoli quickly scooped it up. Elmer’s mind went blank for a moment and he charged forward towards the creature, stopping himself after a few steps and regaining his composure. Annie threw Douglas to the ground shouting: “Summon Night Gaunts” as Gladstone cried and tried to run off; one of the bat-like creatures had landed on his face which, in addition to the massive chaos, proved too much for Gladstone’s nerves.

The smaller bat-things seemed confused, flying around and between the crowd as the people responded by striking and throwing objects at them. In response, the bat-things were shooting red beams out of their foreheads, causing their target to shriek in pain and mindlessly flee.

As the investigators gathered their wits amongst the chaos, they saw the dozens of people that were charging away from the stage, screaming in a panic, and threatening to trample over themselves and the investigators in their attempt to flee the area.

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The Translation is Terrible, the Playground is a Mess, the Castle is a Folly, and the Dogs are Becoming Out of Hand

December 10, 10pm (Saturday)

Douglas arrives at the new Brothel location. The girls are excited to see the puppy and assume he has brought it for them. Annie arrives with the two crates containing three more puppies, blood splattered and muddy. The girls get her a change of clothes: a beautiful low-cut dress with stockings, fur-topped socks, and heart-pattern-adorned white gloves. Annie sports the outfit extremely well!

The two head back to the hotel with three of the puppies, acclimate them to each other, and then go to sleep.

11pm

Nikoli is the first to recover from the shock of the horrific tongue scene. He stirs Elmer and Gretel, and then heads down to get extra cots so Gretel can stay the night and recover. On his way back up he hears light pounding sounds coming from down the third floor hallway, but ignores them to head back to their room.

Gretel begins asking Elmer odd questions; if he knows where Simon is, if he knows where Clarkson is, if he knows about Prof Abarbanell, and if he has spoken to Prof Kilgaarden. Elmer is slightly evasive, but answers in a leading fashion. Gretel eventually discloses that Simon and Randall had approached her earlier this morning, and were acting suspicious. They asked if she knew anything about 17th century Austrian and German folklore. When she told them they should speak with Prof Kilgaarden, they said that they already had. Then they asked if she knew of an author by the name of Phebius Smith. She did not remember the name at the time. They asked a couple more questions, and then looked at each other slyly – Simon said: “that’s all we needed to know, we should get the others now,” and the two left abruptly.

It was only later that she remembered Phebius Smith. He was a student of Prof Kilgaarden predecessor, Prof Hoffman. Phebius had more money than wits, and had written a terrible translation of a book in the library on a Secret Society of Austria/Germany. Prof Hoffman gave Phebius a passing grade regardless, mostly to get him out of his class which Phebius had already taken three or four times. But then, Phebius’ parents had the book published and distributed to almost all of the North Eastern Universities. The book printing stated it was “Endorsed by Prof Hoffman”; this enraged Hoffman who took a long trip to visit the University in order to find the book and remove the endorsement.

Gretel fears that the students are in great danger. They seem like they think they know something, and if they are using this terrible translation, they could be getting into a situation that they are not prepared to handle. “They could be in great danger. There is something terrible out there!” Gretel tells Elmer. “And it’s not raccoons!”

December 11, 2am (Sunday)

The investigators are awakened on several occasions by pounding and scraping sounds from the floor below. Then, they are awakened by creaking and squeaking sounds coming from outside the window. Edison begins howling, and Mythos bites Nikoli and mews at him while pawing at her ears. Annie and Elmer look out of the window. Annie sees two children swinging on the rusted swing set and one child on the dilapidated roundabout. Elmer sees the swings and the roundabout moving, but no children. Annie shouts out the window to “keep it down”, and the children move to the spring riders. Nikoli and Elmer head to Angus’ trapped room to get lumber to secure the toys against the wind.

Angus’ room door has been repaired. Inside, the wood has been neatly stacked against a wall. The rug has been pulled over, the floorboard properly repaired with fresh varnish drying.

When they reach the playground, both Nikoli and Elmer see two young boys and one young girl playing on the spring riders. As they attempt to discover where the children’s parents are and reason with them to not be playing this late at night, another hotel patron begins shouting roughly out of the window.

Elmer threatens the children with schooling, and Nikoli surmises that these are ghost children, and tells them that he has lots of experience with teaching children like them. One of them runs off. He tells the other two he will speak to the hotel owner about fixing the playground toys so they don’t make noise, and he will meet them tomorrow night – but he will expect them to do some studies before playing. The children say that Nikoli and Elmer seem Nice, but they don’t need schooling. They say that the hotel patron that was yelling seems Not Nice, but Elmer explains that he is just tired and upset.

7am

Elmer wakes up early to head to the library to find the original German version of the text the Phebius had so poorly translated. The young male librarian seems genuinely happy to see him, and helps him find not only the original Orden des die Krallen der Heiligen, but also the terrible translation Order of the Hallowed Claw, and another book on German folklore, Folklore von Deutschland. He brings them back to the hotel, where Douglas is able to easily translate them.

Nikoli speaks with the hotel clerk (Harrison Kirby) about repairing the playground. Kirby says he has never heard complaints from guests about children playing in the dilapidated playground, until last night. And, the complaint was that two men were out there making a lot of noise. After much discussion, Nikoli convinces him to grease down the equipment, and then either replace or remove it when Spring comes.

Nikoli then takes a taxi to the Central Park Rambles so he can take a look at The Castle. While chatting with the cabby about an easier path to the castle, the cabby tells him that Central Park has not been taken care of in years. Of course there are other paths to the castle, but they are overgrown and dangerous. And, the castle itself is probably home to wild creatures, perhaps the same raccoons that have been terrorizing the city. When Nikoli says he is not afraid of any raccoons, the cabby tells him about the five businessmen that were attacked by raccoons Saturday night and admitted to the hospital: “two men were together when attacked, and three were attacked separately i different areas. The Police Commissioner is supposed to give a statement this afternoon. They’re saying the raccoons have been driven off to the West Bronx, but that doesn’t explain the deaths in the homeless quarter on the other side of Central Park. Word is that a Preacher man was killed in his home, and two homeless men and one woman were killed in the streets. The folks are saying they saw a terrible beast, but it was probably just large raccoons – you know how shadows and the dark can play tricks on the eyes. They’ve all headed to The Mission for safety, and Miss Keller is doing her best to accommodate them all. But I hear she’s really torn up, too. She was real good friends with the Preacher man.”

Nikoli thanks the cabby and heads into the Rambles. After some ways he sees the castle up on the hill, and climbs the path to it. After circling the building which sits on the side of a rocky cliff, he checks the large padlock on the only exterior door of the castle. It is open, but wedged with a small piece of wood to make it appear locked. He removes the lock and opens the door to discover an entryway that has is covered with dust and dirt – most especially near the door. He carefully inspect the long stained and dirty carpet that runs from the door and further into the castle. He discovers obvious signs that a wide center path of the rug is missing the same layer of debris that the edge of the carpet holds from a lengthy time of disuse, and also holds several streak-like brownish stains. Satisfied that this proves someone has been in here recently and might have been trying to cover up evidence, he heads back to the hotel to inform the others.

10am

Elmer and NIkoli have awakened Annie and Douglas and shared their findings. Douglas begins reading the poor translation of Order of the Hallowed Claw and is shocked by how terrible the translation is … “And why would the author include the original text with his translation to the right of it? Was he some kind of idiot?”

Both Nikoli and Elmer knew that Gretel had already answered that question, and the answer was: “Yes.”

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Every Dog Has It's Day
That lump on your tongue, it will have to come out.

December 10, 8pm (Saturday)

Nikoli and Elmer

As Nikoli searches the room for whatever Angus had hidden, Elmer begins to hear the chair creaking and sees U’na Shea O’Doule rocking in it, holding a large envelope. Inside is the letter Elmer had sent her along with the box that contained the tongue – but the box is empty.

U’na says she would like to help Gretel, but she must return home before sunrise and she is not sure when she would be able to return again: “I found you because you found me. And you found me because I knew how to find Angus”.

Nikoli and Elmer take a taxi to the Gould Memorial Library where they meet up with the young man (acting librarian) from the NYU library. He remember them both, and after some discussion gives Elmer librarian Gretel Fateful’s address.

Gretel answers her door with a garbled voice. She remembers them both, invites them in, and offers them tea. The swelling of her tongue has subsided, but now she suffers from a lump in the back of her throat, trouble swallowing solid foods, and everything tasting spoiled. Nikoli surmises that perhaps the tongue is inside Gretel herself. They inspect her and find that is truly the case. Elmer convinces her that they have medicine back at their hotel that can help her, and she agrees to go with them.

They take her to Angus’ room, where she becomes somewhat frightened by the state of the room and the strange woman sitting in the chair: “What is this place? What are you doing? And who’s that?” Elmer calmly and factually explains that the tongue she got from Frau Trude is probably cursed and growing inside her own mouth, and that the old woman can help to remove it. Gretel’s mind reels with paranoid thoughts, and she panics and attempts to flee. But Nikoli grabs her shoulder and talks her down. Still wide-eyed, she asks Elmer: “is this magic?” He answers coyly saying that she is a learned person and that they would never expect her to believe in foolish superstitions. She replies: “Yes, I am learned. It this real magic?” to which Elmer simply answers: “Yes.”

Nikoli leads her to the bed while U’na walks towards Elmer.
“Can you help her? Elmer asks.
”Hold her down. U’na replies.

U’na first brushes Gretel’s hair and kisses her forehead to console her, then slowly opens Gretel’s mouth and reaches inside. Gretel instantly begins choking and struggling violently as the black tongue begins flailing inside of her mouth. U’na grabs the tongue and begins ripping it out of Gretel’s mouth. The scene is horrific: the sounds of tearing flesh, the violent thrashing of the tongue, the long purplish-black veins tearing out of the back of Gretel’s real tongue, and the sudden snapping, popping, cracking sound as U’na grabs the tendril-like veins with her other hand and rips the tongue from Gretel’s mouth with a small spray of blood.

U’na places the tongue in the box and walks out of the room as Elmer and Nikoli try to calm themselves while also helping Gretel to recover from the ordeal.

Annie and Douglas

When Annie learns of Douglas’ new business deal, she becomes upset. When she learns that he also gave them half of his cash for “moving expenses”, she becomes even more agitated. When she then hears that he also purchased the blankets that her dogs are lying in, she becomes livid. “It’s okay,”, Douglas reassures her. “We can use these blankets to bribe some homeless people later,” which makes perfect sense to Annie and calms her down.

They decide to arrive at the Dog-Fight warehouse early, doing so at 8:30 pm – a good 30 minutes before the fights are supposed to begin. The door is answered by a lame, hunchbacked man with a cataract eye and terrible personal hygiene. He explains that they might be in luck, because last week several of the members were talking about bringing in puppies for a “puppy fight” tonight.

Inside they find a large central area walled off with boards, steel sheets, and old blankets. Inside is a large 2’ deep pit surrounded by a 2’ steel enforced wooden fence. On both ends are gates with portcullis style doors for releasing dogs from cages placed against the gates. Traces of dried blood surround the area and fill the pit.

As people begin arriving, Annie becomes even more disgusted. She insists of Douglas that he do something, but Douglas reminds her that while many feel that dog fighting is immoral, it is not illegal. So, they can’t threaten them with criminal penalties because these people aren’t really doing anything illegal.

A few men enter carrying crates and shouting: “Any more puppies? We’re gonna have a puppy fight tonight!” which is met with cheers from the crowd already assembled. One of the men brags: “I’ve brought a tiny pup, but I’ll pull him out before he gets too injured. This will help to toughen him up.”

Annie is frantic because she wants to stop this, but isn’t sure what she can do.

  • “Maybe Douglas can circle around, talking to the businessmen and threatening them with exposure. No, only a few would leave. And I have to stop this, tonight!”.
  • “Maybe Douglas could summon the Bug Beast, or the Nightgaunts. No, there’s no way to be sure we could control them. They could kill innocent people.”
  • “Maybe I could light a fire, as a distraction. No, it could get out of hand and the caged and leashed dogs could die in the flames.”
  • “Maybe I could get the black leathery creature. These people are bad. But, if it brought that beast…No, that would be evil.”
  • “Damn it! I need help! I have to do something. These poor animals!”

Distraught and confused, Annie wanders away and exits the warehouse. As she paces outside, she sees the male and female dwarvish creatures she had seen at Dr. Fester’s home. She approaches them, explaining her dilemma. “There are bad people inside. They’re making animals fight each other, but the animals don’t want to. And they’re making little puppies fight as well. And they’re killing rats, although I don’t really like rats, but they’re forcing them to do it.”

After the creatures ask a few clarifying questions and ask her what she wants, Annie answers: “I want you to let the dogs loose and cause a menace that will frighten everyone and make them leave.”

“We can do that,” the dwarvish creatures answer, “if they are really doing these bad things!”

Annie leads them into the warehouse, where the first dog fight has already begun. Almost instantly, the male dwarf leaps into the pit, whispers something into one of the dogs’ ears, and then helps to catapult it out of the pit. The dog leaps onto one of the owners and begins tearing into him. As a nearby man attempts to help, the dwarf catapults the other dog out of the pit and onto that man as well.

The cages behind the crowd suddenly start to open and other dogs rush out and begin attacking. The scene is indeed horribly menacing and frightening, and the crowd becomes frantic. Annie shouts to Douglas asking him to “save the puppies”. Douglas runs over to the crates and finds that they are too heavy for him to carry out. He opens the one with the young pup, tucks it under his coat, and runs out of the warehouse.

The large brutish man who runs the fights moves in, pulls off one dog, snaps its neck, and tosses it aside. Annie moves in front of the man, feigning fright and using her fighting skills to prevent the man from killing any more of the dogs.

After several minutes of chaos, a few men and dogs lie dead on the ground with almost all of the crowd having dispersed. The large, brutish man who runs the fights and Annie are being circled by 3 snarling dogs. Behind the dogs are the male and female dwarvish creatures, hopping up and down and laughing: “Naughty, naughty, naughty”.

Annie runs through the circle as the brutish man tries to call her back, concerned that the dogs will attack her. They do not, and keep their eyes firmly fixed on the man.

As Annie grabs the two unopened crates of puppies and runs out of the warehouse, she hears the sounds of the man and dogs fighting behind her.

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Excuse me, I'm doing a survey. Are you being good?
Douglas buys a brothel

December 10, 2pm (Saturday)

Annie and Douglas

They ask Clarkson more questions regarding the ritual. Clarkson reveals that they all stood in a circle while MacCracken walked chanting an incantation which he read from a scroll. They all repeated as MacCracken finished the circle and began chanting the final words, which they all repeated as well. Then, the portal appeared on the ground and started to rise. Clarkson rushed MacCracken, but it was too late. “A blast of icy wind and snow shot out freezing Dean, and Rupert, and Stephen. And then, the beast came out, slashing and clawing and slaying and ripping and tearing and snarling and slashing and clawing and snarling. The blood! There was so much blood! And MacCracken just walked out. He just slowly walked out, while the beast raged and killed and snarled and slashed … I hid in the corner, and it didn’t kill me. I don’t know why. I should have helped them. I should have tried to help them. But there was so much blood. And that terrible monster was slashing and clawing and snarling and slashing…and there was so much blood.”

When asked to clarify what tools MacCracken was using, Clarkson said he held a dagger – an ornate dagger – from the museum. Fazar had gotten the dagger from the Egyptian museum, but then he died. Kilgaarden is the new Professor of Cultural Studies. He has to have it. He must be one of them. You have to be careful if he’s one of them. But he has to have the dagger."

On their way out, Annie and Douglas distracted the receptionist long enough for Annie to take the admitting paperwork from Clarkson’s file. They then accidentally knocked the files off the desk, flinging paperwork everywhere – including some forms which flew out of the door and were taken by the wind. Clarkson’s paperwork confirmed much of the information they had already learned, but did provide one more interesting detail: the fact the Commissioner Bryce Ward personally admitted Clarkson to the hospital.

3:30 pm

Annie and Douglas

Annie insists that they must investigate MacCracken’s home, but that Douglas needs to make sure he will not be home when she does so. They devise a plan whereby Douglas will setup a meeting with the Chancellor; but before they do so, they must find out the Chancellor’s home address. They decide the best course of action is to ask a telephone operator where the Chancellor lives.

The nearest phone from the docks is a 20 minute walk due West at the Black Bull Hotel and Tavern. The place is a dive, with bugs crawling not only along the tables and counter tops but directly out of the bartender’s clothing and hair as well. Unfortunately, the phone does not work. Also, unfortunately, Douglas is approached by a seedy character asking if his dogs fight. Misunderstanding, Douglas says that they typically fight creatures much more dangerous than other dogs. As Annie returns, the seedy character tells her there is a dog-fight tonight at the Lord and Taylor Warehouse about 10 minutes walk South of the docks. Enraged and disgusted, Annie maintains her cool and says: "We’ll be there!

A block or so down, Annie and Douglas inquire of two scantily clad women standing outside of Madam Lucy’s House if they could come inside, not for any services, but just to have a room to rest in. The madam, Lucy, is very nice and brings them inside. Annie gets a room while Douglas asks to use her phone to call a taxi. Instead, he asks the operator the location of MacCracken’s home. Settling for talking to someone at the New York University, he inquires as the MacCracken’s address stating that he has legal papers that must be delivered as soon as possible. The clerk on the other end, after speaking with MacCracken, tells him that the Chancellor is planning on working at the University for the next couple days so it is better to send the papers directly to the University.

Madam Lucy questions Douglas, and is less than satisfied by his answers, but does offer to call a taxi for him. The taxi will take roughly 45 minutes to arrive, and as she is leading him to one of the girls to take him to Annie’s room, the girl tells Lucy that Annie has request an additional blanket … for her dogs. Lucy says that all the blankets are dirty, and Douglas opens his wallet, exposing lots of cash and saying he will gladly purchase a blanket.

With dollar signs in her eyes, Lucy takes Douglas back to her office and begins discussing a possible business transaction. Several minutes and a few phone calls later, Douglas’ accountants and lawyer have secured purchase of a hotel much further inland, moving trucks, and a legal agreement that guarantees him a reasonable and fair percentage of profits. To help with local expenses he hands Lucy $25, leaving roughly $20 in his wallet.

Lucy is skeptical, somewhat more assured after speaking with Douglas’ representative on the phone, even more assured when he hands her the $25, and finally fully convinced when two moving wagons appear in front of the brothel.

“This is good! Douglas thinks. ”Now these young women, instead of being prostitutes, can lead better lives as legitimate hotel workers: maids and cooks and such. Surely, Annie will understand. She did say we needed to buy property in New York; and, we’ll be getting a percentage of the profits!"

6:00 pm

Nikoli and Elmer

Nikoli investigates the area around the table where the Judge lies dead. He finds eight small blood blobs on the edge of the table that seem to streak down the side, and then small blobs that could be tiny bloody footprints leading away from the table.

Elmer calls the police, and then takes Nikoli outside where they begin chatting with the taxi driver while they wait for the police to arrive.

Two officers arrive, one young cadet and one more experienced but highly prejudiced against Indians. Elmer takes the experienced officer inside and shows him the dead Judge. The officer closes the door quickly, and Elmer proceeds to show him the kitchen. “If Indians had done this, they would have certainly taken away the supplies,” Elmer explains. The officer calls the station from the phone in the study, and then he and the cadet take statements from Elmer and Nikoli. He explains that they can be on their way, and that he will call them if they have any more questions.

7:00 pm

Nikoli and Elmer

A small, black, leathery creature runs across the road in front of the taxi as they are passing through the rundown section of East Manhattan. Nikoli and Elmer jump out of the taxi and follow the creature as it enters the window of a small shack-type home. Nikoli peeks through the window and sees a hunch-backed dwarfish man sitting at a table eating beans out of a can, and the creature sitting in the corner watching him intensely. Nikoli motions to the creature, and it runs across the room and leaps back out of the window. It pulls a scroll-like paper from it’s thigh and uses its fingernail to draw a line as if crossing something out.

They ask the creature if it had anything to do with the Judge’s death. It answers that it did not, that “the others” must have done something, but that the Judge was naughty. It then runs across the yard and enters another home which is somewhat nicer. Nikoli follows and peeks in the window to see a man sitting on a couch and reading a thick book – the creature is nowhere to be seen.

Nikoli peeks his head in and begins asking the man if he has been good, and is shocked to see that he is a preacher. The preacher begins proselytizing, warning Nikoli of the dangers of alcohol and insisting that he can help him. The preacher seems legitimately concerned about Nikoli, telling him that he can help him, that he can provide him shelter at his church a block South, and that he can get warm food at the Mission a block North. Nikoli refuses, and walks off.

As Nikoli and Elmer head back to the taxi, they see the creature leap out of a far window of the home, pull out the scroll-like paper, and use its fingernail to draw a checkmark.

7:30 pm

Nikoli and Elmer

As they enter the Central Park North Hotel, the clerk pulls Elmer aside, obviously disturbed. Elmer asks if the others have arrived yet, and the clerk tells him: “There’s been an incident”. He explains that his friend was acting oddly, so he was forced to call the police. Apparently he had boarded the room shut and constructed a lethal trap. When the police broke in, they triggered it; he rushed to knock them out of the way, but was lethally damage by the trap. By the time medics arrived, he was unconscious and unresponsive.

Central Park North Clerk’s Statement

The room is a shambles. The window has been boarded shut. Pulleys and latches have been hammered into the walls and ceiling. Wood planks, sawdust, nails, large spikes, and tools litter the floor. The officers asserted that the room must remain sealed and undisturbed until a detective arrives to fully investigate the room.

Elmer assured the clerk that they were working with the police, and they would be doing the investigation. The clerk added that he told the patrolmen about the box that might contain “the glove”, and they looked around the room but didn’t find anything.

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