I'll Tell You No Lies

Where is Angus?!

December 7 (Wednesday late evening)

A long gray thread hangs from the empty hook in Professor Clarkson’s secret closet. On the floor beneath the hook are several thick black goat hairs.

Annie finds two books on Locksmithing and Lockmaking in the bookcase, solidifying the fact that the Professor was heavily into locks.

Upon returning to their hotel room, Elmer and Nikoli find an envelope addressed to Elmer Mannerly in the center of the bed. It reads: “You have been selected to interview for a prestigious position with the University of New York Library”. Elmer writes a note and leaves it on the dresser, thanking his “benefactor”.

Annie spends another hour studying Zoroastrian Mysticism Vol III Rifts and Gates and is able to follow the pattern of the text. She recognizes that it begins to talk about a type of portal, but then seems to stray off into unrelated topics, and then begins talking about a different type of portal. She realizes that the entire section is actually still talking about the portal, but using advanced terminology and referencing other works without giving any informative details: (“ephemeral lining”, “phy-recular cruxis”, “manifesting as described by Dr. Phonteus’ 1874 paper”, “reacts in opposition to the results of Huffman’s experiments”, etc.) Realizing she will need to gather additional research materials for cross-reference and spend at least a week or more to understand the text, she takes the book to Nikoli, leaving it on his chest as he slept."

Annie spends a couple hours studying the Lockmaking book from Prof Clarkson’s study. It is a high-level book using advanced locksmith terminology that she is already familiar with. She begins learning more details on the interior structure of different locks which will surely help her lock picking skills once she has finished studying the book.

Douglas is compelled to finish fixing the King in Yellow book, and finally completes it at daybreak. He breathes a sigh of relief as he scribes the final missing piece prominently on the final page of the book: the Yellow Sign.

December 8 (Thursday)

Elmer and Nikoli awake just after dawn and head to a restaurant to catch breakfast while they wait for Annie and Douglas to awake. On their way back to the hotel, they hear the sound of some young boys laughing, and then cheering. This is quickly followed by a loud cracking sound, like that of a whip, and hideous cackling laughter. Nikoli runs toward the alley where the sounds are coming from, pulling his gun. Elmer follows behind. As they round the corner they see 4 young boys on the ground laughing and picking up candy. Over them is a short, 4’ tall old woman with long, scraggly, black but graying hair. She wears a knitted shawl over 1600 German period style woman’s attire. She holds a long switch and is thrashing the boys as they grab and fill their pockets with candy.

Nikoli threatens her, aiming his pistol. Elmer runs to confront her. Her face is gnarled and gruesome, with sharp teeth and bright yellow eyes. She hisses, and turns to run away. Elmer trips her with his cane. Nikoli runs forward and tries to pin her to the ground. He slips as she rolls back and whips the back of his left hand; this leaves a long welt but doesn’t hurt. “You’re Nasty!” she hisses, and runs away.

Elmer helps Nikoli up, and he chases after her. However, as he round the corner he sees no sign of her. “I’m going to find you,” he threatens as he heads back to Elmer.

Elmer instructs the children that when they find candy, they need to take it somewhere else and not just stay there eating it while they are picking it up. A couple of the boys steal away, and the others leave when he mildly intimidates them in a non-hostile way.

Annie and Nikoli take a taxi to the hospital. Nikoli recognizes the cab number is the same as the number on many of the taxi receipts found at Prof Clarkson’s home. Nikoli begins asking the cabbie about their routes and fares, and Annie gets him to explain the initials and costs on the receipts.

Nurse Linda Richards asks Nikoli if Annie is the investor he spoke of. She shows the gold coins to Annie and explains that she only accepted them as payment for the 3 women that had been found at Judge Riddle’s home because one of the Doctors told her they were worth anywhere between $20 to $40 each, and that a collector might even pay up to $50 for some of the coins. Annie offers $210 ($180 to cover the cost of the women’s treatment plus $30 extra). The woman declines, stating that they are worth $240 at a minimum, and she fully expects to have additional money that she can donate to a charity – as the strange man that paid with these coins requested. Nikoli convinces her to sell them for $225: $15 under their minimum value, but $45 that could go towards the charity.

Douglas and Elmer take a taxi to the New York University Library. Elmer begins searching the library for texts on Indian folklore. Douglas approaches the 2 librarians (an older man and a younger man) behind the help desk. They are pointing to and reading a newspaper together. Douglas asks where he can find books on the occult and Indian folklore. He explains that his friend is looking for information on Indian folklore and he is doing research on Zoroastrian mysticism. The younger librarian points him to the 200 Religion section for Zoroastrian mysticism, but tells him that they will likely not find much of interest for Indian folklore. “The Indians don’t like to share their tribal stories with white men. But, we should have some high-level information in the 300 Social Sciences section.”

As Douglas converses with the librarians, they begin referencing articles in the newspaper: “There’s a lot of strange things happening lately.” “Can’t believe how the judge just dismissed the tribe’s complaint regarding the state taking their monthly supplies. But it serves him right for what happened to him.” They point out several newspaper articles that describe the incident with the Indians and Judge Anderson, and other strange things that have happened over the course of the last few days:
Black Wing’s Petition Denied
Food Thieves Strike Judge Anderson’s Home
A Trusted Clerk Arrested
Burglaries in Manhattan
Suspected Gambling House Pays Out Dearly
Kicked to Death By a Horse

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Spiders and Bugs All Around Me
But I can't See Them!

December 7 (Wednesday evening)

As Nikoli and Annie move in front of Douglas to protect him, and Angus runs behind the huge spider and tries to draw its attention. The creature throws a mass of webbing that firmly sticks them all to the ground (including Gladstone).

Elmer runs up and climbs the spider, looking for weak spots. Gladstone breaks free and attacks. Angus and Nikoli shoot at the creature while a man and woman who had the misfortune of coming across the scene run off into the distance screaming frantically.

As Annie wrestles the thing back towards the portal and Elmer prepares to attack, Angus and Nikoli kill the creature with gunfire. It dissolves into a thick black goo.

Douglas saw the others battling what Annie had said was an “invisible monster”, and wondered “how come they can see it, but I cannot”. Then, he saw ichor spraying out from Nikoli’s gunshot wound and realized it must be a massive spider. He immediately panics under the realization, but is held firmly to the ground by the webbing. Annie quickly gives him some whiskey while Nikoli talks him down.

After resting and eating at the Pat Obrien Pub, they all head to Professor Clarkson’s study at the New York University – University Heights Campus. They pass yellow painted graffiti on a wall that reads: “The King is Coming ~ Heed the Signs”

On the door of Clarkson’s study is a note that reads: “No Trespassing by Order of Chancellor MacCracken!”

Inside they find several interesting things:

  • A chalkboard with lots or irregular shapes, lines, calculations, arrows, and strange symbols. Beneath these, a strange sequence of numbers, followed by other strange number sequences, and calculations.

Study_Blackboard.PNG

  • Old newspapers with pages torn out
    • New York Times May 17, 1894: top left corner of page 3/4 torn off
    • The Sun May 17, 1894: top of front page torn off
    • The Triangle May 25, 1898: front page missing
    • New York Times May 21, 1898: top of front page torn off
  • A photo of Clarkson surrounded by several awards:
    • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics ~ Magna Cum Laude ~ University of New York ~ 1873
    • Master of Science in Mathematics ~ Discreet and Analytical Mathematics ~ University of New York ~ 1875
    • Doctor of Mathematics ~ Discreet Numeric and Approximation Analytics ~ Cum Laude ~ University of New York ~ 1877
    • Significant Achievement and Recognition ~ University of New York Mathematics Department ~ 1889 ~ For repeated significant achievements and advancement of the Department of Mathematics pre and post graduate curriculum and research projects
    • Regents’ Professor ~ University of New York ~ 1894 ~ For achievements in the field of mathematics and analytical studies.
    • Distinguished Fellow ~ University of New York ~ 1896
    • Most Innovative Design ~ National Locksmith Society ~ April 1889 Convention
    • Most Jimmy-Proof Cylinder ~ National Locksmith Society ~ April 1890 Convention
    • Most Innovative Design ~ National Locksmith Society ~ April 1891 Convention
    • Best Historic Reproduction ~ National Locksmith Society ~ April 1892 Convention

Pressing on a corner wall reveals a hidden panel with a key hole. The key that Simon gave them opens the door. Inside is a small 4′ × 2′ closet which contains:

  • Two hooks at eye level
    • Left hook holds a black robe with red lining.
    • Right hook is empty
  • Long table
    • 3 folded white handkerchiefs with gold embossed K.V.C.
    • small piece of paper with dates and strange writing
    • Business card for Dr. Michelle Lightener
    • Crystal covered dragon pendant necklace
    • a collection of keys on a wire, and another single key. The collection of keys matches the keys found in the envelope from his home.
    • Pages torn from newspapers:
      • top one is New York Times dated May 21, 1898 with cover page article “University Professor Dies in Flash Fire”: NYT Professor Dies in Fire. The date of May 20 is circled in red pencil, with the note: “Roj 8, Mah 9” and the time “3:30 pm” is circled. The words “Lecture Hall 9” are also circled with the note “Atar/Adar”. There are two articles of interest on this paper; the other is “Hottest Day of the Year”.
      • next one is NYU Student Paper dated May 25, 1898 with second page article “Dr. Baqir Fazar Incinerated”: NYU Fazar Incinerated. The words “during the times between the days” are underlined" and “precisely 3:30 pm” circled.
      • next one is The Sun dated May 17, 1894 with front page article “Jones’s Wood Burned Up”: SUN Jones’s Wood Fire. The date of May 16, 1894 is circled in red pencil with the note: “Roj 3, Mah 9”. Also underlined are “queer behavior of the fire” and “as if God’s own angels were sparing the home by blocking any westward advance of the fire”.
      • next one is New York Times dated Thur May 17, 1894 with page 3 article “Jones’s Wood Swept Away”: NYT Jones’s Wood Fire. The word “yesterday” is circled with red pencil note: “Roj 3 Mah 9”. Also, “one of the fiercest … for many years”. Also, the time “3:45” o’clock is circled with the note: “3:30 am? Noon?”.
        dragon_necklace.jpg

As the others search the room, Nikoli sits in the professors chair and tries to feel any psychic impressions. He is immediately struck by a sense of worry which slowly builds into anxiety. The anxiety continues to build into dread and fear, and more specifically, a fear for his own life. Mixed with this fear is the thoughts of duty and the sense that he must continue, which is soon followed by a calming sensation: “I must speak to my friend again.” As this thought enters his mind, he knows that the friend is a woman. But this calm is quickly swallowed by anxiety and a growing sense of impending doom and fear. The emotional roller coaster repeats itself several times before Nikoli is able to break from the trance.

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Everyone is so charming

December 7 (Wednesday)

Angus:
The men in Prof Clarkson’s home are apparently the newly appointed New York University professor of Mathematics (gentleman with short black hair wearing suit jacket and slacks) and Benjamin (nicely dressed black man). They are looking for Prof Clarkson’s lecture notes and research papers. They assumed the professor’s notes would be at his home since there are no classes right now, but will search his study since they did not find them here.

The chalk board in the study contains mathematical drawing and calculations.
Home_Blackboard.PNG

Angus discovers several items hidden in the study: manila envelope containing an oddly marked-up global map, and business card for Dr. Michelle Lightener; envelope with several keys and a strange symbol and mathematical-looking formula; a Celtic-cross key chain with two keys; one thick and one thin silver band ring; birth certificate for Kenneth Victor Clarkson, death certificate for Miriam Stance Clarkson, and death certificate for Kenneth William Clarkson.

Key_6.jpg

Among the mess of papers scattered on the floor are a collection of taxi receipts:

  • 20 cents with "Cab 9; Location = MI”: Sun Aug 21, Sat Oct 22, Sat Oct 29, Sun Nov 13, Thur Nov 24.
  • 20 cents with "Cab 3; Location = WB”: Sun Aug 21, Sun Nov 13.
  • 20 cents with "Cab 7; Location = WB”: Sat Oct 22, Sat Oct 29.
  • 15 cents with "Cab 13; Location = LM”: Thurs Nov 24.
  • 35 cents with "Cab 5; Location = LM”: Mon Aug 15, Mon Oct 10.
  • 35 cents with "Cab 13; Location = LM”: Tues July 5, Mon July 18, Mon Aug 1, Mon Aug 29, Mon Sep 12, Mon Sep 26, Mon Oct 24, Mon Oct 31, Mon Nov 7, Mon Nov 21.
  • 35 cents with "Cab 18; Location = WB”: Tues July 5, Mon Aug 15, Mon Aug 29, Mon Sep 12, Mon Oct 24.
  • 35 cents with "location = WB”: Mon July 18, Mon Aug 1, Mon Sep 26, Mon Oct 10, Mon Oct 31, Mon Nov 7, Mon Nov 21, Thur Nov 24.

Angus spent several hours searching the house for something that the key Simon had given them would unlock, or anything else of importance, but eventually left to meet the others at the Pat Obrien Pub.

Elmer
As Elmer waits for Detective Collier to leave for lunch, he hears a disturbance from a hot dog vendor that is short-changing customers. He notices a small creature peering at him from beneath one of the cart’s wheels that looks like a small, 2 1/2 foot tall old man. He tries to wave the vendor over to him, but after noticing the cart cannot easily be moved, he heads over to the vendor. At that time the tiny old man pulls something from the wheel which causes the cart to crash over, spilling hot dogs, buns, and condiments everywhere (and scalding the vendor with hot liquid). The tiny old man runs away, and Elmer chases after him – no one else seems to notice the little old man, but are certainly startled by Elmer charging across the street and into an alley.

The tiny old man explains that the vendor “is a bad man; very naughty”. Elmer asks for the wooden pin that he had pulled from the wheel, and the tiny old man tells Elmer that he is “very nice” and that “we might see each other again”.

Elmer helps the vendor repair the wagon, and then rushes to meet Detective Collier as he is exiting the police station. Elmer explains that he is a researcher of Native American Indian affairs and also interested in native wildlife, and was intrigued by what kind of animals could have been responsible in the professors’ and judge’s deaths.

Elmer is so charming that Detective Collier forgets himself and begins disclosing confidential information. He tells him, in an exasperated tone, that the professors were not killed by wild animal attacks, and how it’s so frustrating that someone keeps reporting false statements to the press. After more friendly prodding, Collier discloses that Judge Riddle was also not killed by wild animals, and neither was the man found dead in the Station’s holding cell. He describes the horrific, bloody crime scenes and terrible lacerations that both of them suffered. He is very disgruntled about the Commissioner releasing false information to the press, even if it is to keep the public from panicking. He agrees to allow Elmer’s associates to help investigate Judge Riddle’s home and the holding cell because he can’t explain what could possibly have killed them.

Nikoli
Three women are sitting up in their beds and chatting inside the hospital room. In his standard, charming fashion, Nikoli asks the women questions to determine the Judge’s motives and any clues to his death.

Two of the women are homeless, and one is a prostitute of Madam Lucy’s House. They explain that the judge lured them with the promise of a meal and money in exchange for sex. But when he got them into his home, he knocked them unconscious and they found themselves chained up in his basement.

Bambi Tuchin was abducted on Mon Nov 21; Annabelle Harp was abducted on Wed Nov 23; Missy Stern was adbucted on Fri Dec 2 – the night of the Judge’s death. Missy recounts seeing something hiding behind a couch, and then realized it was a large black cat. But when she asked about the cat, the Judge exclaimed that he had no cat, and then knocked her unconscious.

Regarding the night of the Judge’s death, the girls told a chilling tale: “It was late night, I think. We were all sleeping and were awakened by a strange noise that sounded like howling wind. The sound got louder and fiercer, and then it started to get cold. The ceiling froze over with a sheet of ice, and we could see our breath. And then the screaming and stomping started. It was horrible and seemed to last forever. It was like something huge was stomping on the ceiling, and there was giggling and horrific screams. Then, suddenly, it ended. It started to warm a bit, and the ceiling started to thaw and drip. We huddled together to keep warm. It must have been hours, and we all fell asleep again, waking to think it had been some sort of nightmare, and yet still feeling the cold drip of the melting ice on the ceiling. And then we heard the trap door open again. We were terrified and slightly blinded when the lights came on, but then we saw a young police officer. He told us that everything was going to be alright, to not be afraid, and that he was going to get help. It was only a matter of minutes before several police officers were there.”

Annie and Douglas
The cabbie drops them off at the Museum of Natural History across the street from an entrance to Central Park. He explains that they should follow the path in and pass by two major crossing paths, and soon after should take the path to the right. To their left and up ahead they will see a large hill with a castle on top. If they are nearing the castle, they have gone too far. He charges them 20 cents for the trip.

As they walk through the path, they see that the snow is not so bad here – merely a foot or two deep. In addition, water is running down from the large hill helping to melt the ice and snow. Up ahead, at what appears to be the other end of Central Park, they see the top of a tall Egyptian style obelisk that must be at least 100 feet tall. Continuing on, they soon see a marker for “The Rambles” and take the path, following the directions that Randall Crimini gave them. Upon reaching the area where the professors were found dead, Annie spots tracks in the snow further down the path. She follows the human footprints to a mass of shrubbery where a homeless man is sleeping. “Hey, what do you want! What are you doing in my home!”

Through penny-piece coercement, the man provides details of the day the professors were found dead.

  • A man with a great, bushy, white beard and a black man were pushing a large cart.
  • They unloaded 5 dead men from the cart, placing them near each other some distance away.
  • They pulled out knives and began cutting and tearing at the men’s clothing
  • He looked in the wagon, and found several pairs of goat leggings and long dark gray robes
  • He took the cleanest and best pair of leggings, but did not take a robe because they were all torn up and covered with blood and gore
  • The two men left with the wagon
  • A few hours later he heard horns and loud bells. When he came back to look, he saw several police officers, so he left

When Annie searched the area where the man said the cart had rested, she found a strange and mystical looking amulet. Douglas purchased the man’s goat leggings so they could further investigate them.

amulet.jpg

All
Elmer headed to the hospital so he could speak with the coroner to get the names of the 5 (not 6) professors that had been found dead in The Rambles of Central Park.

Nikoli found Elmer waiting outside, and they were soon joined by Annie and Douglas. Douglas handed the goat leggings to Nikoli, and immediately got visions: he felt cold, especially a blast of freezing cold wind and an incredible numbness on one side of his face; he heard screams of several men in agony, and then felt two sharp daggers or claws tearing into his chest. He threw the leggings to the ground, and had difficulty explaining his experience.

The group attempted to talk to Coroner Oakley, but found that he had left for the day. So, they made an appointment to speak to him the following morning and headed off to the Pat Obrien Pub.

As the investigators were heading to the pub, they heard a loud crackling noise. An electrical charge filled the air and their hair stood on end. As the sound became louder, they began to smell something metallic, and a small spot in mid-air seemed to sparkle and erratically undulate. Suddenly, the spot expanded into a large, swirling vortex of purplish-white gaseous vapor circling inside an oval portal that hung in the air. A long, chitinous leg stepped through the portal, followed by the body of a massive spider. Its body was dark purple with splotches of black. It turned its head quickly from side to side, glancing back and forth at Douglas, Annie, Nikoli, and Elmer. From a side road, Angus watched as the spider suddenly leaped forward, charging at Douglas. Elmer stepped back in fright, while Annie and Nikoli screamed at Douglas to beware. But Douglas simply responded: “What are you guys so freaked out about. It’s just a strange portal or something.”

Obviously, Douglas could not see the horrible beast that was charging toward him.

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The King is Coming - Heed the Signs

December 6 (Tuesday) 11pm

  • The footprints leading away from the graffiti lead to a storage shed. Inside, under a large tarp is the can of yellow paint, brush in glass of turpentine, and a small cedar chest. Inside the chest are:
    • 1 pair of black goat hair leggings
    • 1 black goat hair vest/coat
    • 1 black goat pull-over mask with large curved horns
    • 1 preserved goat head
    • 2 preserved goat legs
    • 200’ long rope knotted at regular intervals
  • Angus returns to the hotel room to find a black raven wing lying in the center of the bed with nothing else disturbed
  • The Gould Memorial librarian is Gretel Fateful. She refuses the amulet and is terrified of Frau Trude who had previously tricked her into helping find a young lady, rip her tongue out, and then get Gretel to agree to “keep it safe for her”
  • Elmer agrees to take the tongue, tastes a small part of it, and then mails it with the box to the U’na Shea O’ Doule in Williams Township, PA.
  • Nikoli and Annie discover two books (with Gretel’s help):
    • Zoroastrian Mysticism Vol I – Dates and Deities
    • Zoroastrian Mysticism Vol III – Rifts and Gates (recently returned by Chancellor MacCracken)
  • Douglas discovers a poor version of The King in Yellow, and is compelled to correct it

December 7 (Wednesday)

  • Douglas discovers a nice tavern just North of their hotel – Pat Obrien Pub
  • The newspaper tells of a prison in police custody was killed in his holding cell. Snow, frost, cracked ribs and sternum, lacerations, and ridiculous explanations from Police Commissioner Ward fill the article.
  • Angus and Annie head off to investigate the Rambles in Central Park.
  • Elmer heads to the police department to speak with Detective Collier, gets blocked, and waits outside the station to catch the detective on his way to lunch.
  • Nikoli heads to the hospital to speak to the 3 women that were found in Judge Riddle’s basement. The receptionist/nurse Linda Richards tells a strange tale about a man who paid for the women’s care with ancient gold coins from Germany and Hungary. They are hundreds of years old, and yet appear to be new.
  • Angus heads to Professor Clarkson’s home and discovers that someone has broken in with a crowbar. Inside, the place has been ransacked. He hears two men in a room and some crashing noises. One leaves to “go back to looking in the kitchen”. As he exits the room, Angus sees an old black man that is well built. Fearing being outnumbered and wanting to get the upper-hand, he punches him in the gut to knock the wind out of him and tells the other man: “stay where you are. I don’t want to have to hurt you two.”

Gold Coins
4 from Frankfurt 1619
gold_coin_1.jpg
3 from Hungarian 1490-1516
gold_coin_2.jpg
5 from Frankfurt 1612
gold_coin_3.jpg

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I just have one more question...

December 6 (Tuesday)

  • Simon gathers meteorological data from the Bridgeport Meteorological Office. It shows the same strange clustering of cold as if from a blast of cold air, but it’s difficult to tell from what direction the blast came.
  • Charles A. Russel, 55th Congress 3rd District of CT, is still packing when Nikoli and Angus enter the train cabin. He makes some small talk, some diplomatic soap-boxing talk, and pledges to support the Portchester Police Station and new School house.
  • Dec 5 NYT tells of Judge Germaine Riddle found dead from wild animal attack and female captives found chained up in his basement.
  • New York Times says 5 professors were killed, but the UNY paper (the Triangle) says that services for the 6 professors will be held on Saturday Dec 10.
  • A Hell-fire and brimstone style preacher is ministering to a group of homeless drunks. A dwarf man hold fliers that he is attempted to pass out to passersby.
  • Angus sees a strange creature watching the priest. At first it looks like a large, black, tail-less cat. But it seems to be a strange humanoid creature with large yellow cat-like eyes and hairless black skin. He hears a voice in his head that says “Don’t see me”, and then the creature scurries off.
  • Nikoli approaches a woman with a young boy who appears to have been whipped all over his body. The child is complaining and doesn’t want to go. The woman says she is taking him away from that terrible man. The child says: “But it wasn’t him. It was the creepy old lady!” When Nikoli asks the woman questions, she says it was a sleep-over and all the children were beaten like this. She broke up with that man for a reason, but he was never this bad.
  • A large tarp covering a wagon reads: “FREE Food, Shelter and Religion”. The side of the flatbed is painted with: “Church of the Heavenly Rest & East 96th Street Mission”.
  • Douglas jokingly tells Annie that they should go eat free food. At that, a sudden gust of wind blows a flyer that wraps around Douglas’ ankle. Elmer hears a giggling sound, and turns to see a small face that looks like an old man peering at them from behind a car wheel.
  • The investigators make their way to Simon’s dorm room. Inside they find both Simon and his friend Randal Crimini (and a large pit bull) whom they grill with questions. Regarding the scene of the dead professors, they learn:
    • There were 5 professors dead at the scene, all lying close to each other.
    • The professors all suffered wounds from what looked like large claws.
    • The wounds on the bodies did not match up with tears on the clothing.
    • Dr. Mumford’s pocket watch was neatly tucked into his left vest pocket, even though his body had been horribly mutilated.
    • Dr. Mumford is left handed, but his pocket watch was tucked into his left vest pocket.
    • One body had half the face showing extreme frost-bite as if it had been lying on the ground, but that body was found lying on its back.
    • Some wounds contained long black goat hairs. Others contained long white Himalayan yak hairs.
    • The weather that night was around 30°. However, only 3 of the 5 professors were wearing coats.
    • When he tried to talk to Detective Collier about the strange inconsistencies, the detective brushed him off.
    • He searched the surrounding area, but there were no signs of any other professors.
    • He helped to transport the dead professors to the hospital, leaving the detective and police there to continue the investigation of the scene.
    • There are unsubstantiated rumors that some of the professors have been involved in sex and drug parties
    • None of the 6 killed professors were married, nor did they have children or well-known close relatives
  • Simon gives the key that Professor Clarkson had given him to the investigators, along with directions to the professors study and his home. He insists that the key must fit a secret door in one of those places, but cannot search with them for fear of being expelled.
  • As the investigators leave and head to the Gould Memorial Library (still under construction), they pass by a wall that they had passed earlier only to find that vandals have painted an ominous warning on it in yellow paint: “The King is Coming – heed the signs”.
  • Annie finds footprints that lead away from the graffiti. They turn turn into another area of dorm rooms.
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Where is Douglas?!

December 4, 1898 (Sunday)

  • Angus is approached by a mail carrier with a letter addressed to him. Inside is a letter to “Hickory” that references an old mob friend and asking him to meet with him tomorrow morning at the Stamford Cheese and Brew House. However, the envelope and letter have many suspicious elements such as “no postmark” and evidence of being opened and resealed.
  • Angus’ has the mail carrier followed and learns that he is staying at the White Rose Hotel, across the street from the restaurant.
  • Annie and Nikoli get a room across the hall from the mail carrier’s room. In the process, Annie learns that the mail carrier is most likely a Simon O’Greer having rented a room earlier that day.

December 5, 1898 (Monday)

  • Annie listens at Simon’s hotel room door and hears suspicious noises. She asks the desk clerk to send up a bottle of wine, “to thank the man for helping her find her wedding ring”.
  • Annie watches through the key hole of her room as the wine is delivered, and sees Simon in the middle stages of disguising himself as an old man.
  • Annie describes the disguise to Nikoli. Nikoli leaves and enters the rendezvous restaurant as it opened at 9am. Annie stays behind, painfully staking out Simon’s room watching for when he leaves.
  • Angus and Elmer arrive at the restaurant at 12 noon and find a table in the corner.
  • Simon leaves as an old man and finds a table next to Angus and Elmer.
  • Annie, unable to pick the high-quality door lock, makes an impressive performance for the desk clerk – distraught and panicked because she has somehow locked her wedding ring inside her room, without having the key to lock the door. As the clerk grabs the spare key to “come to her rescue”, Annie steals the spare key to Simon’s room.
  • Annie investigates Simon’s room and discovers the disguise kit, clothing appropriate for a young man, and:
    • an advanced text book from the Gould Memorial Library of New York University on meteorology.
    • a half dozen mud damaged and partially sealed envelopes, all pre-addressed with the Brooklyn Police Station return address and Angus McAbis c/o Portchester Police Station.
    • a stack of plain paper on the dresser. The top page, when brushed lightly with charcoal, reveals a copy of the letter that was delivered to Angus asking for the meeting.
  • Nikoli recognizes the old man as “most likely a disguised Simon”. He tries to send a secret message to Elmer, via extra hot coffee and a note delivered by the waiter.
  • Elmer exclaims how “that man married my daughter without my consent”; disguised Simon approaches the table and ingratiates himself with Elmer by discussing history; makes some Thieves Cant-ish remarks to Angus, and then suggests that they all go to his room to have “more interesting discussions”. Nikoli tries to delay them; Simon speaks more directly to Angus:
    • “Please, for the love of my father, you have to help me.”
  • The four head back to the White Rose Hotel and Simon opens the door to let them all in.
  • Annie, having been staking out the restaurant from the room, is sitting on the couch enjoying a glass of the wine she had sent to his room and says: “Hello Simon. I’ll take the case.”
  • Simon explains using the textbook and meteorological maps that the blizzard is unnatural. He also explains that his friend, Randall, was at the scene of the professors’ deaths and found many inconsistencies – but the police seem to be covering it up, “just like when Professor Fazar burst into flames in front of the class.”
  • The investigators agree to follow Simon to Bridgeport for him to get more detailed meteorological maps of the blizzard, and then to New York to begin investigating.
  • Douglas finally wakes up at around 1pm and heads to the rendezvous restaurant. Nikoli meets him and leads him to Simon’s room where Douglas confirms Simon’s assertions that the blizzard temperatures, while seeming to follow natural influences, are highly unusual and do not seem to have originated from a natural source.
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Introduction

It has been several months since the investigators returned to Fairfield, and they have all been quite busy with special projects. Mr. Loughman had warned that “the winters are getting colder,” and yet, this year had seemed to be quite normal, so far.

This was true, until the early morning hours of November 26th. On this date, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were struck with one of the most unexpected and tragic blizzards in history. Fairfield seemed to be in the direct path of the storm, which raged for nearly 2 days with wind gusts up to 100 mph. Transportation and long-distance communications were paralyzed by snow drifts up to 20-feet high and downed telephone and telegraph lines.

… to be continued …

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