I'll Tell You No Lies

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.

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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.

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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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I'll Take Door Number Three
Let's see what you've found; a man oozing bloody oatmeal

December 10 (Saturday)

Angus
Angus gets another room and proceeds to pry up a floor board in order to hide the bear-clawed glove relic. Having damaged the floor board, he asks the desk clerk if there is a General Store nearby. After purchasing wood, tools, and other supplies he returns to the room and throws the bolt on the door. First, he replaces the broken floor board and wedges the window shut. Then, he begins pounding rail-spikes into a 4’ long 4×4 board.

While working, the clerk knocks on the door asking what is going on inside. Angus says it is nothing, that he dropped something and has been moving some furniture around, and the clerk leaves.

Angus continues to work, setting a trip-wire just in front of the door and pulleys in the walls and ceiling. He then loosely fastens the spiked board on the ceiling, attaching the trip wire so that it will swing down upon anyone who trips it.

Double-checking the bolt on his door, he lies on the bed and waits for the others to return.

As the sun goes down he starts to hear a creaking sound as if someone is rocking back and forth in a chair. He looks up to see an aged woman with scraggly white hair holding a padded envelope. It is Una Shea O’Doule.

He asks her what she wants, but she is non-responsive and only stares off into the distance.

He takes the envelope and sees it is addressed to her, with return address of “Elmer c/o Loughman’s Fine Shoes”. It has some weight, but he doesn’t want to look inside the torn open envelope and turns to take it up to Elmer’s room and leave it on his bed. Una grabs him by the arm, and stares directly at him.

Suddenly, there is another knock on the door. This time, it is the police. He tries to assure them that everything is okay, but then hears one of them bashing into the door. Fearing the worst, he releases the envelope and runs over to the door just as the officers break it open and stumble inside, tripping the wire and releasing the spiked 4×4 board.

He instinctively leaps at them to knock them out of the way, feels a terrible impact on his back, and falls unconscious.

Annie and Douglas
They take a taxi to the East Bronx Docks where they find a boatman to ferry them across the water to the Riverside Hospital and Psychiatric Ward.

Annie asks about visiting hours, learns that the patients are currently enjoying “Community Time”, but then learns that Victor Clark is not with them. “The doctor has given orders that no one is to see him without his expressed consent, because the patient has become violent and has even began hurting himself.” Annie explains that she is Victor Clark’s niece, and that the doctor said it was imperative that she visit her uncle. When the receptionist calls but cannot reach Dr. Fester (because he’s dead), she agrees to let her see him.

After some banter about the dogs and a little bribery, the guard escorts Annie, Douglas, Edison, and Gladstone to Clarkson’s room: 517.

Inside they find a crazed Ken Clarkson in a straight jacket with a bandaged and bloody left foot. He is clearly manic and deranged, continuously shouting at the window: “Go Away. Leave me alone. I’ll kill you!”

Annie calmly convinces him to trust them and tends to his foot while both she and Douglas ask him questions. He reveals that MacCracken has a secret ritual room at his house where he gives the others drugs and brings in women. MacCracken and the other professors are/were members of The Theosophical Society, which MacCracken has dragged into drug use and black magic. When Baqir burst into flames, Clarkson and “the others” decided things had gone too far, and they formed their own group: The Red Dragons.

Clarkson infiltrated the Theosophical Society, and became concerned because he realized that MacCracken had made a mistake. The ritual was supposed to open a portal that would sign forth a bright light, for fun, but Clarkson realized that it would instead drag a portal from the other side of the world and open it. This portal slowly moved across the earth, opening every few years or so and releasing a terrible monster. All the cultures along the ley line have folklore regarding this terrible creature, except for the Turks and Greek who populated the area where the portal should have opened between the years of 1200 and 1400 A. D. Interestingly, this span of years correlates to the time frame of the Wendigo that terrorized the Indians.

When questioned further, he confirmed several of their suspicions and revealed the location of the unstable portal: the castle on the hill overlooking the Rambles of Central Park.

Elmer and Nikoli
When they reached the Judge’s home, they found a beautiful green Stanley Runabout in the drive and the door slightly ajar. From the doorway they could smell an odor of sewage.

Inside, Elmer found that the bedroom contained an Indian scalp on a wall trophy with a plaque that read: “August 2, 1832 – Battle of Bad Axe ~ Corporal Charles P. Anderson ~ 6th Infantry Regiment – U. S. Army.” The study contained a bookcase full of legal texts (and some very famous literary novels), a typewriter that was last used to type up an injunction, and a desk containing a few torn out newspaper articles and the formal injunction against the Shinnecock people.

Nikoli found that the kitchen contained seven large crates, three of which had been opened. In an adjacent room he found the late Judge Anderson:

Lying face down on the table, in bed clothes, is an older man with dark black hair. His chair and the surrounding floor is covered in urine, fecal matter, and blood. The table contains an opened bag of rolled oats, an opened bag of dried apple slices, an opened bag of rice, an opened bag of dried red beans, and a half-empty bottle of Heinz ketchup clutched in his right hand. The man is bleeding from his eyes, nose, and ears. From his mouth a mass of bloated oats and apple mixed with rice, beans, ketchup, and blood extends nearly 8 inches. On the floor are two empty jars of ketchup and an empty jar of Aunt Jemima syrup. Finger-painted into the ketchup-blood mixture on the table top is the word: “TYRANT”.

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You're Saying Polish Don't Ever Sleep With Russians
Oh, and here's my mythos kitty

December 10, 9am (Saturday)

Angus
Simon was not in his dorm. Angus checked inside, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Although he had left the door to the secret room in the Gould Library unlocked, it was locked when he returned. At the padlock, he entered 75025, finding that each digit currently on the dials was only one number off. Inside he found a fairly sparse room with some chairs on the side, a chalkboard covered with writing, and a long table with an oak box.

Chalkboard:
Secret_Room_Blackboard.PNG

Oak Box is locked with a small padlock that has been naturally worn out (over the course of a few years) so that it readily opens and closes without a key. Inside is a very old glove composed of cracked leather covered with withered and dried vegetation and bear claw tipped fingers. A few long white hairs cling to the dried vegetation and claws. A card inside the box reads: Museum of Natural History ~ New York City, NY ~ Claw Tipped Ceremonial Glove ~ Hamburg Germany ~ Circa A.D. 1600 ~ #27-217 Eu-Ge

Angus takes the box and leaves a note that reads: “Thanks for the glove. Very bad security to leave the lock one digit off of the combination.” After sneaking the box out of the library he heads to the Central Park North Hotel (where Elmer and Nikoli were supposed to secure new rooms). The decor looked like 16th/17th century Austrian. He asked the clerk about Austrian/German 1600 folklore, but learned that the clerk knew nothing of the time period. Angus sent a wire to the owner, saying: “HAVE GLOVE YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN STOP AT YOUR NEW YORK HOTEL STOP

Douglas and Annie

Reporters question them as they leave the hotel. Annie states that she saw a giant raccoon attacking a gas main, which caused an explosion. Douglas announces that he is buying property at well above market prices. They are questioned again in front of Dr. Fester’s home. Annie ignores them, dragging Douglas along past the single police officer that is trying to maintain order. Edison and Gladstone guard the front door while they investigate within.

Annie follows a trail of blood through the icy living room and into the kitchen. Inside she finds a body pinned to the ground with knives stuck in the forearms and lower legs. A bloody knife lies beside the left hand. The body has been whipped savagely across the chest, and the hands and feet whipped until all the fingers and toes have been dismembered. Both index fingers and the left thumb toe are missing. A bundle of thin bloody branches have been tossed against a far wall. Tiny bloody foot prints lead away from the body and into a pantry. From the door, Annie hears voices and some giggling. She opens the door to view a dwarf man and woman playing on a crate. They each hold an index finger that has been made into tiny puppets with sticks for arms and legs, and a long stick in the bottom with which to hold it.
“No, doctor, no. There’s nothing wrong with it,” the dwarf woman pleads, bouncing her finger puppet.
“I’m afraid its infected. It will have to come off,” the dwarf man responds coldly with his finger puppet.
“No, it’s fine.”
“I don’t think so.”
The woman’s puppet shrieks and screams as the doctor laughs menacingly, and then starts dragging the severed thumb toe away from the other puppet.
Both laugh, but then turn to spot Annie. Annie acts as if she does not see them, muttering “who’s in here” as she slowly enters the pantry. The dwarves leave their finger puppets and cautiously make their way past Annie and out of the pantry.

Douglas searches the non-icy upstairs for the bedroom. The study contains a book case with a small collection of books and a table with some newspapers on it, which he does not investigate further. The bathroom has a tub, toilet, sink, hand towel and soap, which he does not investigate further. The bedroom contains a plush king size bed, a nightstand with pornographic paraphernalia, and a fantasy adventure book: The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari. The dresser contains a large, metal box with a fine lock. He carries it downstairs for Annie to open.

Annie opens the box to find a blood stained note book lying atop scores of tiny and somewhat larger objects wrapped with bloody gauze. Most seem old, while three tiny ones and one larger one seem much newer (based on the color and texture of the blood on the gauze). Inside one tiny package is a toe nail that appears to have been roughly ripped from the toe, with small pieces of flesh still attached to the base. Inside one of the larger packages is a pinkie toe that has been roughly hewn from the foot, as if cut off with a butter knife.

The book is hand written with the title: “Special Patients”. Inside are pages and pages of names with tick marks beneath: 10 on both the left and right sides beneath the names. The last name on the last page is “Victor Clark” with 3 tick marks on the left and 1 tick mark on the right.

Annie and Douglas leave, warning the citizens and journalists not to enter. “We saw signs of giant raccoons that ate through the gas lines and then killed the doctor. One is still in there – we saw it crawling across the ceiling in the kitchen!”

December 10, 1pm (Saturday)

Nikoli and Elmer

The Shinnecock Commissioner, Little Wolf Roger Honia, is skeptical. But he begins to warm up when Nikoli and Elmer mention that they have a Senator friend that might be able to help, and Elmer shows him the necklace that Chief Tammamend gave him.

The two Shinnecock Elders are stoic, terse, and skeptical. After several minutes of uncomfortable conversation, they begin to warm up when Nikoli and Elmer start mentioning portals and recent killings. When asked where Elmer got the necklace, he matter-of-factly states that a raven came to him, transformed into an aged Indian man, spoke with him, and then gave him the necklace as a sign of trust. Nikoli explains that he learned a lot about portals from “Charging Bear”.

The eldest, who they assumed to be Chief Black Wing, explained that the Delaware Indians were tormented by a horrible beast for nearly 200 years, between the dates of 1200 and 1400 A.D.

“A tribe was under constant attack by a neighboring tribe, and a young warrior consulted with a Brujo. The Brujo told the warrior he could bring forth a mighty destroyer to vanquish their enemies, at a price. The warrior stole valuables from the rest of the tribe to pay the price, and the Brujo opened a doorway to another realm and summoned forth a terrible beast. The beast consumed the warrior, and the Brujo left with the valuables, never to be seen again.

The beast attacked the neighboring tribe, at first killing only the miscreants and well-known evildoers. However, as the days went on, the beast seemed to kill more indiscriminately. After several days, the beast was rampaging across the land. After killing the entire rival tribe, it began killing members of the other tribe. The beast plagues them for many, many days, but then suddenly disappeared.

However, tales tell that the beast reappeared every few years. It would viciously murder many people, but would always disappear again after 5 or 6 days. This continued for roughly 200 years, until one day around 1400 A. D., a strange man, who was unlike any other white men they had met, appeared in the village. He wore strange clothing covered with greenery with red and white berries, and wore a strange bear claw also wrapped with the greenery. He drove the beast away from the village with a whip and the bear claw. Then, he headed to a strange doorway in the air and leaped into it. We heard him muttering strange words from within, and then the doorway began to close. There was a great wind, and we saw several strange creatures and the beast itself dragged through the portal with the wind. We never saw the man nor the beast again."

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Don't You See?! It's Been Annie and Douglas All Along!
Douglas summons demons, and Annie controls Douglas!

December 9, 5pm (Friday)

Angus and Simon head to the Gould Library. They see that Gretel is not there, and instead the young man from the NYU library is behind the desk. He explains that Gretel bit her tongue terribly in the middle of the night, Wednesday night. She bit the tip off, and then developed an infection. She is at home resting.

Getting no useful information from the man, Angus and Simon begin searching the rooms that are under construction and covered by large curtains. They find nothing of interest on the second and third floors. On the first floor, they find a room that is mostly finished with a large, locked, oak door that has the strange reversed double-mu character from the Dragon and Book pendant.

The door opens to a stairwell down to a landing with another large, locked, oak door. On this one is also the double-mu character and an archway with numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5. A hasp lock is secured with a padlock that has 5 wheels numbered 0-9. On the back of the lock is scratched: F(x).

Angus tries several combinations based on numbers he sees on the various maps, envelopes, and other papers in his possession. None work, so he heads to the Pat Obrien Pub to meet up with the others.

December 10, 3 am (Saturday)

The investigators wake to icy cold, the strange leathery black creature, and horrible stomping and screams from the floor above. Annie and Douglas grab the dogs and head out to investigate. Nikoli and Elmer head out as well. Angus stays behind and phones the desk complaining of noise and asking for a refund.

On the third floor, as they approach the room they see a woman sitting in the hallway opposite the door with a blanket draped around her shoulders. Nikoli sees an old, dwarf-life woman wearing a necklace made of holly that is tending to her – the others do not see her.

Elmer stops to check on her, even though Nikoli says that she is fine: “Are you taking care of her? She’s fine. She’s being taken care of.” Unable to determine if she is actually fine, Elmer picks her up to get her medical attention. He runs into the hotel clerk and custodian running up the stairs in response to Angus’ call. Elmer explains that there was an explosion from a busted gas line. The clerk takes the woman and the custodian hurries to turn off the gas main.

Annie, Douglas, and Nikoli

Annie kicks open the slightly-ajar door. She, Douglas, and Nikoli see a most gruesome sight. The room is coated with ice and snow. The bed has been tossed aside and smashed into the dresser. Dwarf-like creatures are finger-painting with blood: smiley faces, sad crying faces, and an erect penis on the walls. A large goat-like humanoid is holding a man in the air by his tongue and whipping him violently with a handful of thin tree branches.

Nikoli shouts at the creature, asking: “Why are you doing this? What has this man done to deserve this?” Annie accosts the beast saying: “What you are doing is naughty.” Edison is overwhelmed by the scene and struggles to the point of choking himself in order to run away. Douglas releases the dogs’ leashes and stands there, unsure of what to do next. Gladstone sticks by Annie’s side, silent and resilient.

The strange, black, leathery creature leaps down from the ceiling and to answer Nikoli: “He was naughty.”

The goat-like creature rips the man’s tongue out, drops him to the ground, and throws the tongue at Annie, hitting her squarely in the face. The Mythos kitty struggles free from Nikoli, leaps to the ground, and starts ravenously eating the tongue.

The goat-like creature seems confused by Annie’s accusations, and starts stamping on the ground and roaring as Douglas slowly makes his way across the room in order to tend to the dying man. Douglas stops the man from bleeding to death as the dwarfish woman wearing the holly necklace runs over to sit on the man’s lower chest.

“This is not justice,” Annie complains. “He doesn’t deserve to be killed. We have ways of handling things like this.” As Annie banters with the creature, she lowers her hand invitingly and the creature runs up her arm and onto her shoulder.

“Your way does not work,” the creature explains. “There are still so many naughty people. But don’t worry. We won’t be here much longer. Except, this place doesn’t seem very familiar. But anyway, I will take him away, now.”

As the creature attempts to leap from her shoulder, Annie stops him: “Wait! These people don’t deserve this. We need to discuss this.”

The creature responds: “I can’t control him much longer. But, we can wait,” and sits on her shoulder.

The beast stomps, growls, and begins hunching back and lowering its head as if it is about to charge at any moment. Realizing the immediate danger, Annie responds: “No, take him away. But you need to come back, right away. We need to discuss this before he kills anyone else.”

The leathery creature looks at her inquisitively, leaps off her shoulder and runs past the goat-beast while uttering something to it. It leaps onto the window sill and turns once more to look at Annie with a somewhat confused look on its face. It leaps out the window, and the goat-beast follows behind, grabbing the window sill and transforming into an icy cloud as it exits out of the window.

Angus and Elmer

Angus hears Annie shouting at something and decides to head upstairs to investigate. As he runs up the stairwell, he sees Elmer. The two banter as they make their way to the third floor room. As Elmer rounds the corner of the doorway he takes in the entire scene: the room is covered in ice. Douglas is kneeling in a pool of blood next to a nearly naked man who is bleeding profusely from his mouth and from several deep lacerations. Douglas has one hand shoved inside the man’s mouth and the other securely around the man’s throat. Annie is standing near the doorway with a black, leathery, demon-ish creature sitting on her shoulder and speaking softly into her ear. Beyond them is a huge goat-like creature that is roaring and bellowing. And on the walls are smiley and sad faces, painted in blood, one of which seems to be painting itself as he watches.

Elmer’s mind temporarily cracks as he begins to think: “It’s been Annie and Douglas all along! Douglas summons demons, and Annie controls Douglas. Every time there’s been a terrible creature, Annie and Douglas have been there. AND – Annie seems to be able to control these things. What is the creature on Annie’s shoulder? Why is that terrible goat-monster standing at bay? And, why is Nikoli acting like nothing is out of the ordinary? AND – why did Angus suddenly appear on the steps as he was heading back up here? Why is he standing behind him? Are they all in league? Are they all trying to trap him? Is this an ambush?”

Noticing Elmer’s mental collapse and subsequent paranoia, Nikoli starts talking to him. He convinces him to go back to their room where he continues to talk him down.

Annie, Douglas, and Angus

Annie stabilizes the man and Douglas searches the room for any signs of the occult while Angus waits in the hallway. Finding nothing, they carry the man to a taxi to be taken to the hospital, and then head back to find new, non-frozen rooms to sleep in.

December 10, morning (Saturday)

Nikoli wakes early and heads to a butcher to get fresh, bloody liver for his new kitty. He notices that fliers regarding the imminent coming of the King in Yellow have been posted and littered about.

The others awake to lots of commotion in the hotel. Police are swarming around, and the clerk is frantic. He has had enough of the strange happenings, is highly concerned about all the blood in the third story room, frightened by the recent newspaper articles, and generally freaked out by all of the recent happenings. He states that he is closing up and selling his hotel to Whiplash. “Everyone needs to leave right away. I’m selling this place and leaving town.” Douglas convinces him to sell the property to him, instead, and makes some phone calls to put the clerk/owner in contact with his lawyer in order to secure the deal. While hopeful that they will still be able to stay there, they find that the police are locking up the building until the issue that caused the explosion can be found and fixed.

NYT 1898 Dec 10 – Many Interesting Articles

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It was the Best of Times, It was a Mythos Kitty
pondering next steps

December 9, 4-5 pm (Friday)

Annie and Douglas

Annie finds Douglas sitting in front of a pool. He calls it a pond and tells her “we have to watch. It’s going to happen soon.” He mumbles something about none of this being real and that he has to see what happens, so he’ll know. She gives him 30 minutes, but nothing happens. She throws him over her shoulder while he protests, but then says, “Oh, is this the wrong pond? Is that why nothing’s happening? Yes, let’s go to the right one – but we have to hurry or we’ll miss it.”

Annie flags down a taxi and heads to a veterinarian to patch up Jackson, Professor Abarbanell’s dog. Then they head to Pat Obrien Pub to wait for the others.

Elmer

Leaves the taxi and heads back to Abarbanell’s study, intent on forging some documents from Professor Abarbanell to call for government assistance for the Shinnecock people. When he arrives, he finds the door slightly ajar and Chancellor MacCracken within.

MacCracken seems shocked, asking Elmer: “What happened? Where is the professor, and where is his dog?” Elmer plays dumb, saying that he heard sounds and headed up here, passing by a “ruffian” that was rushing away carrying a somewhat large sack. After much questioning by MacCracken, who seemed somewhat confused, Elmer convinced him that they should go together to the downstairs study and phone the police.

When the police arrived, they took statements. MacCracken conferred that he had heard noises, headed upstairs, and found Prof. Abarbanell’s study in disarray with the blood stains on the floor. He said that shortly thereafter, the older man came in and said he had seen a moderately young man wearing nice clothing running from the scene carrying a large sack – large enough to contain the professor. Elmer said that he heard noises, ran upstairs, and found the Chancellor in Prof. Abarbanell’s study acting very suspicious. Elmer’s Statement

The patrolmen became suspicious, and each took another statement from MacCracken and Elmer. They asked a few more questions, asked where Elmer could be reached “if detectives had any further questions” and then dismissed the two.

Elmer phoned the Manhattan 100th Street Precinct to speak with Detective Collier. The Detective was in, and Elmer explained that he was at the scene and Prof. Abarbanell was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital by a NYU student. Collier was shocked by what Elmer told him and confused as to why the Chancellor had simply said that the professor was missing. He agreed that he needed to go to the hospital to speak with the professor. Collier also asked if Elmer’s investigator friend had had time to investigate the Judge’s home, and was disappointed to hear that she had not. “I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to Professor Abarbanell’s study. There’s been so much happening, and so many places I need to go.”

Elmer headed to Pat Obrien Pub to meet up with the others.

Angus

Angus headed to Simon’s dorm and convinced him that they needed to go together to meet with Dr. Michelle Lightener. He called the doctor, was somewhat put-off by the man who answered the phone, but was provided an immediate appointment when he mentioned Professor Clarkson and Simon O’Greer.

Angus disclosed to Miss Lightener that he was part of a group that had been hired by Simon; that they had discovered a secret room in the professor’s study; that it contained a key, her business card, and other objects; and that they believe the professor may still be alive. Simon was shocked, but Dr. Lightener seemed unphased. After much discourse, she revealed that she was a good friend of Prof. Clarkson’s, and that he had told her if Simon came by she was to give him a key, a map, and tell him to go to the Gould Library because there was more information there.

She disclosed that Clarkson asked about folklore regarding “magical doorways”, was interested in folklore of the cultures that lived along a specific line across the globe, and any similarities between the folklore of these cultures along that specific line. She replied that every culture has beliefs regarding ley lines, and portals to other worlds that can open along those lines. In addition, there were certainly similarities between those cultures beliefs:
- Australians have the Mokoi, known to kill sorcerers who used black magic to kidnap and eat children.
- Indonesia have the Rakshasas, enormous creatures with two protruding fangs and sharp claws. They could fly, vanish, and change size at will, hunting and killing evil-doers.
- Hindi (India) have the Kirtimukha, a fierce monster with huge fangs that swallowed those who were evil. The image is placed above temple doors to keep the wicked out.
- Persians have the Daeva, demons that preyed on the wicked. They were eventually censured as being incapable of discerning truth from falsehood, and ultimately rejected and banished.
- Turks and Greeks that occupied Turkey until 1453 have no such monstrous folklore!
- Romanians also have no such monstrous folklore! Although they do have legends of the Blajini and Blajin. Blajini are invisible connectors between Inner and Hollow Earth from which the Blajin will randomly appear. Blajin are “incarnations of dead children not baptized” to whom they offer food and gifts to keep them at peace.
- Austria has several dark characters, such as Frau Perchta: who hands out both rewards and punishments during the winter months. She is best known for her gruesome punishment of the sinful: ripping out internal organs and replacing them with garbage.
- Germans have Krampus, who comes in early December to whip naughty children with batches of thin birch branches; the more evil ones he carries away in his sack or basket to drown, eat, and carry back to Hell. This German folktale, which arose in the early 1600s, is the only one that also recognizes a nemesis for the evil beast. St Nicholas who comes on Dec 6 to drive Krampus back and dispel him.

Dr. Lightener shared additional information:

  • She was the Professor of Diverse Cultural Studies at NYU years back
  • The Chancellor endorsed occult studies of other cultures in the Winter of 1892. It was purely academic at this time.
  • In summer of 1896 he began pushing the studies towards Black Magic.
  • She did not like the direction that the University seemed to be heading in, and after the Dean’s suicide in late July of 1896 she resigned her commission.
  • They should be careful when speaking to Chancellor MacCracken. “He seems to hold his own personal agenda above everything else. I’m not sure he can be trusted.”

Angus phones the Morris Guest House and asks the clerk to tell his friends that he will be at the Gould Memorial Library, and then heads there with Simon. After hours of investigation (details later) he heads back to meet up with the others.

Nikoli

After roughly 45 minutes, NIkoli notices that the perpetual motion machine is actually slowing down – slowly. Realizing he’s wasted a lot of time, he heads back down to the librarian to ask about the “strange rumors” regarding the library.

The librarian tells him that the library went under construction in March of 1893. During this time, most rooms were sealed off for a short time. However, a few rooms were sealed for over 6 months. This led to rumors, which students began printing in the newspaper which at that time was called “The Scholarly Voice”. The specific rooms were the entire basement floor, the second floor “Arts and Recreation room” and the third floor “Geography” room.

Nikoli re-searched the basement, but found nothing interesting. He searched the second floor Arts and Recreation room and found nothing interesting other than reproductions of famous paintings. He searched the third floor Geography room and found the opening line of “A Tale of Two Cities” with strange chevron shapes, and a large bronze coated globe secured to a concrete slab with metal bands bolting it to the floor. A small plaque reads: “Design by K. V. Clarkson 1892”.

As he reaches for the globe, he hears a sparking and crackling sound. As he turns he sees a tiny portal crackling and undulating,
accompanied by the smell of dank, firepit ashes. Suddenly, the portal opens to a couple feet wide and a 4’ long squid tentacle emerges. He runs toward the portal, attempting to dodge the tentacle to grab and close the portal. As he gets near, he hears snarling and hissing coming from the portal. The tentacle is difficult to avoid, and the noise is unnerving, so he backs out of the room keeping an eye on the tentacle. As he nears the doorway, he hears a loud snapping sound as the portal closes suddenly, severing and searing the tentacle. As it flops randomly on the floor, he hears a soft mewing.

Investigating closer, he sees a small, white kitten with solid black eyes trapped in the suckers of the squid-arm hand. As he reaches down to try to free the poor thing, it hisses and displays a frightening, fanged mouth.

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He finds some morning biscuit pieces in his pocket and drops them next to the mythos kitten. They obviously smell delicious, and the kitten starts gobbling them up as Nikoli carefully releases the suckers’ grasps. He soothes the kitten and places it in his inner coat pocket. Then, he calls down to the librarian to find something to wrap the tentacle in.

As he is leaving the library with the 4’ long tentacle wrapped inside of an old curtain and draped over his shoulders, and the kitten tucked away in his coat pocket, the librarian stops him to ask what he is doing. Nikoli is frank, and after the librarian dares to peak within the curtain, he stands dumbfounded as Nikoli proceeds to leave the library in order to meet up with the other investigators at Pat Obrien pub.

That night, December 10, 3 am (Saturday)

As the investigators sleep, Annie is awakened by Edison and Gladstone growling. Douglas awakens as well to see a grotesque, almost skeletal, black leathery creature sitting at the foot of Annie’s bed.

“I do not have much time. He is coming, " the creature says. “I have to thank you. You were right. Clarkson was not safe. But he is safe now.”

“Who is coming?” Annie asks.

Then, the room becomes very cold. All the investigators awake, seeing their own breath and the frost and ice that is forming on the windows. The ceiling becomes covered with frost and begins dripping ice cold water. A smoky cloud begins forming outside the window as the creature says: “He is here. I must go.”

“Is he here to kill us?” Annie inquires.

“No!” the creature responds matter-of-factly. “Don’t be silly,” and then leaps out the window and begins to crawl up the wall to the third floor.

As the ceiling freezes over turning the dripping frost into icicles and the floor and windows of their rooms ice over, they hear a loud thumping sound as of something very heavy leaping down onto the floor above them. This is immediately followed by the shrill screams of a woman followed by more thudding and a man screaming, as well.

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