Masks of Nyarlathotep

Lost in the Fog
Too many threads

February 26, 1925

They bumbled about for the next week, unsure how to proceed and recovering from their wounds.

Sean did some sightseeing, when he realized he had seen the same man too many times. The man was middle eastern. When Sean approached him and exchanged some words he simply walked off. Sean ran away. The fact that they were being followed did not bother them in the slightest and was quickly forgotten as a matter of no consequence.

They gathered their report from the Penhew Foundation on Life as a God. The Foundations official report was that the cult activities described in the book bore no resemblance to any factual historical records of fringe religious practices in ancient Egypt. Their hypothesis was that some novice had read some obscure reference to a Black Pharoah in a book somewhere and took that as inspiration to make up his own modern cult. They tried to get the graduate assistant researcher, Roger Eggworth, to come with them for some “private time” but this made him nervous and he wanted nothing to do with such an unusual arrangement and directed them to Mr. Gavigan.

They broke into the Blue Pyramid after it closed on Saturday night, only to find nothing particularly incriminating. To all appearances it was a normal slightly seedy nightclub, but they were able to determine that the owner/manager’s name was Abdul Awisha.

They located the spice shop of Tewfik al-Sayed and visited it. It was a nice upscale spice shop and Mr. al-Sayed an Egyptian shop keeper. He acknowledged he had acted as government liason for a Penhew Foundation expedition many years back. When told they were researching a book about the Black Pharoah and wanted his perspective on Egyptian cults he quickly shot them down indicating he had no interest in being involved in such a thing. Sean was a little impressed by his demeanor, it seemed Mr. al-Sayed was a confident and experienced man of the world (just a hunch impression).

The first few days of the next week were spent researching some of the personalities they had interacted with by pouring over police records and media archives. They found Abdul Awisha had a laundry list of minor offenses and sordid activities all in line with an owner/operator of a seedy bar but nothing occult oriented. Researches into Tewfk al-Sayed turned up nothing more than the records of his involvement in the earlier expedition. Regarding Mr. Gavigan they found an interesting article in an old edition of the Daily Mail dated July 15, 1920.


However, no court records of the charges could be found. None at all… Interesting.

Tex went to Banicker Park to check out the memorial. Bannicker Park is a green area between Bryant, Millwood, Milett, and High Tabran roads in Bayswater. It can be reached from either the Bayswater or Westbourn Park tube stations (it is equidistant from either); the neighborhood is quiet and thoroughly upper middle class. The memorial is striking and a bit out of scale for the small park. The lower section is a platform sixteen feet square and made of fine white sandstone, rising up in three steps to a smaller 12 foot square tier upon which a marble base rests. Atop the base is the obelisk (see below). Each side of the base has been decorated by a bas-relief sculpture depicting the 1916 expedition against the Fur Sultanate and Ali Dinar (in what is now the Darfur region of Sudan). One side includes a short dedication to the troops who died in that campaign, listing the units that took part in that action. Several poorly repaired gouges mar the base. The obelisk itself is 11 feet tall (17’ including the contemporary base), 21 inches wide, and made of grey-black granite. The stone is weathered but generally intact and without significant cracks. The very tip of the stone is chipped off and one of the bottom corners has been repaired with modern mortar. All four sides bear hieroglyphic inscriptions, though the text on two sides show significant weathering. Tex bought a camera, took pictures himself, hired a professional photographer, paid the photographer to develop both sets of pictures, hand copied the runes, meticulously traced the cracks, studied the base, studied the obelisk, searched the grounds, talked to locals, scratched his butt, adjusted his pants, and a few other things. Dr. Kelly had an academic at the Uni translate the Heiroglyphics. The text consists of prayers to an obscure being named Ka-Thigu-Ra; this being might somehow be connected to (or perhaps was a child of) the god Ra. Additionally there are astronomical notations relating to the stars.

They brought Mickey Mahoney in on it. Mahoney did some digging and found a contact in the Metropolitan Police Department who remembered the case and said a judge had sealed all the records. After his arrest Tylesman was ruled unfit for trial and, under the urging of the certain influential individuals, he was indefinitely confined to the Malbray Asylum, a private facility in Hackney. On Friday they determined Dr. Kelly should pay a professional visit to Mr. Tylesman.

Slaughter In Soho
Art Theft

February 23, 1925

The next morning the Vanes locked them up in cells while they took care of Eloise who was back in the form of an innocent 21 year old girl.

Sean talked the Vanes into releasing him and his cousin Anne, but Sir Arthur kept James and Tex locked up as insurance. They discussed what to do. Eloise had not had any scratches bites or injuries, it just happened on the full moon after her 21st birthday and every full moon since. Sir Arthur could not explain it no matter how much they pressed him for a cause. When the topic of religion came up Sir Arthur indicated that the Right Reverend Stratton had been acting unusual towards him ever since the change, but they were friends who went way back and he didn’t think the Vicar was involved.

Sean went to talk to the Reverend and after convincing him that he knew who was behind the murders and the howling every month since, the Reverend finally admitted he had been digging for clues in old church records and had found an old journal from a previous Reverend of the church, part of which was written in Greek. He was still translating the Greek, but so far had figured out that something strange happened to every Vane daughter on her 21st birthday. There had been no daughters in the Vane line for 4 generations. The Reverend was intelligent enough to connect that to the monster that had slain the two villagers, but was not finished translating yet and had no evidence nor solution so had not approached Sir Arthur yet. Sean lost it and went into a rage directed at the Reverend, ending that avenue of investigation. All the events of the past days apparently had caused something in him to snap.

Meanwhile Anne psychoanalyzed Eloise and her bad dreams under hypnosis. She determined Eloise was a sweet innocent girl who knew nothing of her condition as a werewolf but was deeply troubled by horrifying dreams she had every full moon.

Not knowing what to do, and knowing that the wolf was gone for a month, they determined to return to London and promised to help if they could dig up a solution. Sir Arthur and Lawrence Vane were reluctant to just let them leave, but were convinced and they returned to London on Tuesday arriving late. When they arrived an apologetic hotel manager informed James that their room had been broken into Friday night. Examining their things they were appalled to find it thoroughly ransacked and every last bit of evidence they had collected was gone, including the artifacts recovered from the Ju Ju House along with all the weapons and ammunition they had in the room. Only the pieces of evidence Sean had kept with him and the books in the hotel safe were still in their possession. Wednesday Sean visited Detective Barrington about the theft. Barrington was interested and told Sean his life was in danger, somebody was obviously on to them, and advised them to leave England and leave the investigation to the professionals.

Tuesday James observed the Blue Pyramid club and determined it was closed during the day and opened in the evening and late into the night. They also checked in with the Penhew Foundation, they had started on the book, but had had no trouble with break ins. They advised Gavigan to keep the book locked up and he assured them he would.

They determined to figure out what was going on with the painter in Soho and his sweet old lady mother. They picked the lock on the front door after midnight to find a quiet dark house and Sean and Tex explored while Anne and James kept watch inside. The ground floor was unoccupied and they went immediately to the back yard to see what was protected by the tall brick wall, but found only a single lounge chair in a poorly tended garden. Going to the basement they found it was full of ordinary junk with only a single path down the middle to the far side. Returning to Anne and James they were going to leave, but Sean wanted to return to the basement, something was not right. When Sean opened the door to the basement he was quite surprised to see a tall snake man waiting at the top of the stops. The man was covered in scales, had a cobra’s head complete with wide hood and a long snake tail. Sean fumbled for his gun but the snake man waved a hand, said some strange words of magic and his eyes glowed with pale light as Sean’s mind was grasped in an iron grip and he was mesmerized by the snake man sorcerer who whispered “Kill them all”. James had told the others he was going to keep an eye on Sean and followed him to the kitchen towards the basement. As James entered Sean turned the flashlight on him dazzling him, then a shot rang out and splinters flew from the door frame as Sean shot at James. James dove for cover as Tex drew his 45 and moved in, and took a shot at Sean then saw the figure of the snake man in the dark who cast another spell raising his hand towards Tex. Tex’s next shot was directed at the snake man, but was deflected by powerful magic and ricocheted into the wall. James grabbed a pan and tried to beat Sean into submission with it, while Tex struggled with the snake man and was bitten. James eventually brained Sean with the pan, knocking him out and turned towards the sorcerer while Tex started dragging Sean towards the front door yelling for help from Anne who was waiting just outside. The snake man’s eyes flared again as he controlled James mind and said “Kill those tasty morsels for me” and James attacked Tex and Anne with the pan followed by the snake. Anne fired off rounds from her 32 in a panic emptying it with 6 misses. Tex fought off the two attackers, but was dropped unconscious. Anne, facing down the snake and it’s mind slave James, grabbed Tex’s 45 from his shoulder holster and squeezed off one very lucky shot that finally killed the snake man just as Sean awoke from unconsciousness and James reeled in confusion. They had only a moments respite though as out of the dark charged a deranged man with a meat cleaver screaming like a maniac. The painter laid into them with his cleaver, trying to chop Anne into bits (apparently he was quite angry that she had killed the snake man), but he was beaten into submission by the three of them including a viscous pistol whip with Tex’s 45 by Dr. Kelly.

They quickly discussed what to do, surely a neighbor had heard the gunfire and called the police. Tex thought he was poisoned by the snake bite and Dr. Kelly agreed so they stumbled out to hail a cab and head for the hospital. Sean and James quickly explored the house, finding a locked bedroom downstairs, 3 other bedrooms upstairs and a locked door to the garret up top. Smashing in the garret door they found two kerosene lamps lighting the garret where a blank canvas with pencil markings of the start of a painting was set up on an easel beside open painting supplies. Leaning against the wall with 4 tiers of many paintings on canvas. The skylight above was painted over with black paint and there was a closet door. Looking in the closet, there was a single easel with a painting covered by a sheet. Lifting the sheet and shining a flashlight on the painting they saw it was a remarkably detailed painting of an island in a swamp. As they looked, the painting took on 3 dimensional properties and they quickly covered it back with a sheet. James grabbed this painting with sheet, and Sean grabbed a group of paintings from the garret. They raced downstairs and Sean dragged Miles (the crazed unconscious painter) outside while James poured kerosene from one of the lamps on a bed and lit it on fire. Then they both raced inside and grabbed more paintings, returning out from the burning building to hear sirens approaching.

Deciding being caught for assault, murder, robbery, and arson weren’t in their best interests Sean and James left Miles on the street, grabbed what paintings they could and fled into the night.

After avoiding the police they returned to the hotel and investigate the paintings. They were all quite disturbing but one showed cultists with the Bloody Tongue headband they had encountered in New York! James was intrigued by the painting from the closet and examined it closely, Sean wanted nothing to do with it, it made his skin crawl. James peered closely into the painting and it was as if he was peering through a window into another world. As he watched the 3D scene, the water began to ripple and things moved just below the surface. James could feel himself being pulled into the painting, but could not pull away. The forms under the water took on serpentine form, if he watched for just a while longer he was certain he could get an answer. Sean watched James study the painting for several minutes, when he realized James was not responding to his surroundings Sean tipped the painting over on it’s face. As he did he though he saw James’ form ripple as if made of water! James reeled back and sat down as he was released from his fascination with the 3D painting.

Sean and James collapsed onto the couches of their suite and Tex got treated for a snake bite at the hospital with Anne at his side. They had all barely survived a trying night, England was proving to be quite a dangerous trip…

Weekend in the Midlands
The Derbyshire Monster

February 19, 1925

They took the Thursday morning train to Derby arriving late afternoon, then hired a car to Lesser-Edale, an quaint village of 30 houses, one pub, and a mercantile store. At the Laughing Horse Pub they met some of the locals, including Constable Tumwell, a slightly portly fellow with a gigantic bristly mustache and inflated opinion of himself. Asking around about the murders (and buying rounds of drinks to loosen tongues), the Constable indicated it was a closed case, he had shot the wild dog that was responsible and it had slunk off into the hills to die. Some locals teased the good Constable, saying “No dog walks on it’s hind legs” and “you aren’t that good a shot Hubert.” Also, “No dog could tear someone limb from limb like happened to poor Lydia.” They found out that after the attacks 3 months ago that left two dead and one badly injured, no more attacks had happened, though for 3 nights every full moon they could hear howling.

They arranged sleeping accommodations, with James getting a cot in the back room of the pub, Anne being given a spare room with old widow Murphy, and Tex and Sean given a spot in a hayloft. Mrs. Murphy spoke with Anne about the attacks, saying she heard it was a bat winged creature. Asked what she thought it was, Mrs. Murphy claimed it was a demon come to punish the wicked.

They tried interviewing survivors of the deceased. Mrs. Osgood told them how her husband had heard a noise and took his shotgun to investigate the barn. She heard a shot, then a scream, and looked outside to see a huge black beast running away hunched over into the woods. Investigating the woods they found nothing unusual.

Mr. Perkins, the horse dealer who had lost his daughter, was unwilling to talk to them. When James started saying uncouth things about his daughter, the shovel in Mr. Perkin’s hands convinced them to leave. Mr. Parker was obviously greatly affected by his loss. Interviewing the Perkins neighbors, Mr. Tom Corty told them he had seen Lawrence Vane, the 23 year old son of the local noble Vane family, running from the Perkins house the night of the attacks. He said Constable Tumwell and the investigative board from out of town had interviewed Vane and cleared him of any wrong doing. Corty told them Perkins had been in a black mood ever since the murder, and blamed young Vane. He claimed the authorities were covering for the upper class Vane family and that the Labor party should do something about the class injustices.

Marching up to Castle Plum, the home of the Vanes, they found it to be a manor house made from the old keep of a ruined castle whose towers and curtain walls were long gone. James and Anne banged repeatedly on the large main doors, eventually a maid came out a side door to ask them to stop the banging, those doors had not been opened in 270 years (they stuck on the day Charles I was hung, a portent from God). They asked for the lord of the house but the maid was reluctant. Insisting, she took their card and made them wait outside while she retrieved the master. Sir Arthur Vane, an aristocratic looking man of 67 years, came out and proceeded to summarily dismiss them. He had no interest in talking to such rude people, and asked them to leave. James was incensed, expecting his wealth to somehow impress this old world aristocrat.

That night they heard the howling after midnight. It echoed from all around, they could not pinpoint a source. Sean did not sleep well, he expected to get eaten. He felt like livestock sleeping in that barn. The next night they formulated a plan involving a purchased sheep as bait (the sheep was very unhappy with this plan). While Sean and Tex spent the night on the moors with “Dolly”, James and Anne returned to the Vane house in the middle of the night to watch, but were surprised when they realized the howls were coming from the manor house. They returned to town with Dolly.

Saturday they planned to stake out the Vane house with Dolly. Dolly was unhappy about all the strolling about. As Tex and Sean walked Dolly down the road to the Vane manor, a car passed them with a young man driving. He looked at them strangely. Lawrence Vane made an appearance Saturday afternoon at the Laughing Horse. James tried to talk to him, he assured them that the villagers were stupid with their superstitions, that the Constable had the truth of the matter, and that the Vanes had nothing to hide. He was pleasant enough, but firm, and when James asked “So how long have you been killing people?” he became incensed at the insult and left. Returning down the road in his car, he passed Sean, Tex, and Dolly again. Stopping and asking if they were yanks, Tex said “I ain’t no damn Yank, call me that again and I’ll let you have it.” Predictably Lawrence said “So you are yanks, you must be with that rude Wadsworth fellow.” Tex kicked his car and bent the fender while yelling at him. Sean was appalled. Lawrence backed up his car and returned to town to get the Constable. Constable Tumly came and nearly arrested Tex, but Sean smooth talked them out of the situation after making Tex humble himself with an apology and paying for the damage to the car.

Their plan shot, they returned to town with their sheep and Lawrence returned home. Constable Tumly made it clear they needed to leave town. They did, but returned Sunday night from Derby with a rented car and broke into the Vane manor. One light was one in a ground floor room, which they avoided and proceeded downstairs into the old dungeons where there was an old torture room (unused for centuries they hoped) and cells. In one cell they found the source of the baying, a hybrid man-wolf form that threw itself at the bars of it’s cell to try and get at them. Shocked at this, James let loose with his shotgun, but it did not harm the beast only made it angrier. Anne noticed that the werewolf was actually a female! It must not be Lawrence or Sir Arthur, but rather the daughter Eloise!!!

Sean was rattled by the appearance of the beast, and they fled. However, the shotgun blast had alerted Lawrence and Sir Arthur and they appeared at the steps from the basement armed with shotguns. A tense standoff ensued, with Sir Arthur raging “What have you done to Eloise?!?” Anne somehow managed to defuse the situation by offering to help. Miraculously Tex and James agreed to give up their guns in order to talk things out with the Vanes. Anne pointed out that Sir Arthur merely loved his daughter and wanted to save her, as did Anne. Sir Arthur claimed “Eloise killed nobody, it was that monster, Eloise wouldn’t harm a fly!”

Sir Arthur was rattled. He didn’t know what to do. He had to think, but couldn’t right now. He insisted on locking them up in the dungeon for now until the beast was gone at sunrise and they could talk about this under the light of day like reasonable men. James was calculating ways to kill them all, Tex was confused, Sean was rattled, but Anne agreed. The Vanes confiscated their weapons, allowed them chairs and a lantern as he locked them in the torture room until morning. James immediately began formulating a slaughter of the Vanes while Anne argued for a civilized resolution.

They waited for morning to come locked in the dungeons of Castle Plum.

Knocking Around London Town
The wall is how tall?

January 17, 1925

While Anne was finishing up reading Life as a God on Tuesday, the rest went to Scotland Yard where they met with Inspector James Barrington. Inspector Barrington was in charge of investigating the so called “Egyptian Murders” a series of killings of mostly middle easterners. They indicated they were following up on the murder of Jackson Elias, and knew Jackson had visited Barrington while in London. Though they went there to ask him questions, it somehow found themselves telling the Inspector all about the happenings in New York, though they managed to leave out the parts about dead men walking and wails from pits so as to not look foolish. It seemed the Inspector was a little suspicious about holes in their story, but some smooth talking from Sean got him to overlook it. They also could tell that Barrington was sizing them up.

After being interrogated by the good Inspector, he shared information about the visit from Jackson. He said Jackson had claimed the murders were ritual killings by a modern version of an ancient Egyptian death cult known as the Brotherhood of the Black Pharoah. Barrington had interviewed an expert on Egyptology to follow up on Jackson’s claims, but Mr. Gavigan had indicated that there was no modern day equivalent of the Brotherhood and that the pattern of the murders did not match the known rites of the historical Brotherhood. Gavigan suggested that Elias was a sensation seeking profiteer. A favorite London nightspot, the Blue Pyramid in Soho, was an Egyptian themed night club that was frequented by several of the vicitms. Following up on Jacksons suggestions of connections with the Carlysle expedition, Barrington had interviewed Tewfik Al-Sayid, a spice dealer who had once guided an Egyptian expedition for the Penhew foundation and was a frequenter of the Blue Pyramid. Tewfik also denied that a modern day version of the Brotherhood existed, and a police tail learned nothing. One final piece of information that Barrington wondered if it meant anything to the investigators: One of the victims had reportedly cried out “Hotep” an ancient egyptian word meaning “rest” or “peace” according to Gavigan, but it meant nothing to the investigators. They took their leave from the good Inspector who made sure to make a point about not taking the law into their own hands, that anyone who did so would also be a law breaker and here in England they did not differentiate between intentions.

They returned to their hotel that afternoon where Anne had finished reading the Tome Life as a God, They saw clear connections between the cult activity described in the journal and what was described by Inspector Barrington about the Egyptian murders, they resolved to visit the Blue Pyramid night club themselves. First they had drinks with Micky Mahoney that evening at the Waldorf bar. They told Mahoney sordid details of their adventures in New York and he was very excited to print them, he promised to leave their names out along with some details that were left obscured to protect their identities. All he needed was a “lady” to pose for pictures in a skimpy maid outfit, so he left to purchase the services of a “lady” so inclined, while the others headed for the Blue Pyramid in Soho.

Arriving they found it to be a glitzy and busy night spot, with loud Egyptian music, loud voices, and belly dancers. They Egyptian theme was over the top with fake palm trees, statuary, and a gigantic relief pyramid on the stage. They began “casually” dropping the name “Toofek” asking each other “I wonder if Toofek is here tonight” and other such references, but it was difficult given the noise level in the rowdy club. When Sean visited the men’s room to relieve himself, a small Egyptian man next to him became very irate and began yelling at Sean in Arabic. Sean was surprised, but when the man pointed to his shoes Sean saw that his lower leg and shoe had been urinated upon and the man apparently blamed Sean. The guy shoved Sean and grew increasingly angry as Sean retreated from the men’s room where the large bouncers of the club got involved and ejected Sean from the club, Tex and the others following. Sean insisted he had not pissed on the man, though he seemed not entirely sure….

On Wednesday, James and Sean went suit shopping, James buying a sharp new outfit in the current London styles. Sean needed to replace the pants that had gotten slightly soiled when getting in the altercation yesterday while in the middle of his “business” in the men’s room. Later that morning they visited the Penhew Foundation in central London at a Bloomsbury address north of Oxford street and west of the British Museum, roughly between Regent’s Park and the Thames. The building was a sturdy two story building surrounded by a high iron fence. They spotted some men loitering around a delivery truck at the rear and a doorman at the front door. Entering the building they found a lobby with a burly male receptionist behind a desk. There were signs posted about the current exhibits in their museum, and the building was quite elegant with opulent appointments in the Victorian style. Asking to see Mr. Gavigan on the subject of one Jackson Elias they were soon met by the director of the Penhew foundation, Mr. Edward Gavigan. Gavigan was immaculately but stylishly dressed and quite stuffy, and he led them to his well appointed office down the hall. The office was magificently paneled in carved wood, with a massive detailed oak desk, and high backed leather desk chair. There was a small library and a sturdy floor safe whose door was ajar, several guest chairs, a small stocked bar, a filing cabinet, and 4 closets in the back. Gavigan asked about why they were visiting him, and when informed about Elias and his fate he expressed condolences. They asked Gavigan about what he knew of Jackson’s activities in London, Sean noticed a slight tick in Gavigan’s otherwise steel faced demeanor.

Gavigan recounted his conversation with Jackson during their one brief encounter. jackson had asked about the records of the lost Carlyle expedition and what details Gavigan knew about what had happened to the expedition. Gavigan had explained that Carlyle had obtained information from a mysterious African woman about a shadowy time in Egyptian history about which Sir Aubrey had long been interested. During this time a sorcerer was reputed to have rules the Nile valley, and the African woman disappeared with the expedition’s ready funds in the amount of some 3,500 pounds sterling. He related that it was Hypatia Masters who was concerned that the heat and the disappointment would seriously affect the health of Carlyle and herself. She suggested that the party spend some months in the relatively cool Kenyan uplands, which would also afford the opportunity to use some of the new lenses that she acquired for the photography of African wildlife. It was there that the party injudiciously entered dubious territory and paid for that mistake with their lives. The vast share of the records Jakson was interested in were lost there as well since Sir Aubrey (always loyal to Carlyle) took them with him to work on while matters were still fresh in his mind.

When asked about the Brotherhood of the Black Pharoah, Gavigan asked if Inspector Barrington had sent them. He reiterated what he had told Barrington, that there was no known modern equivalent, and the ritual slayings did not match any historical records of religious practices of ancient Egypt. They asked if they could retain the services of the Foundation to research a journal they had found that detailed pracitices of a cult last century and see if it had any connection to ancient Egyptian practices. He indicated that they did indeed have staff on hand for hired research at $15 per day, and introduced them to Roger Eggworth, a graduate student from Oxford who specialized in the pre Ptolemy era in which they were interested. They agreed to do the research starting next Monday. Gavigan then proceeded to show them some of the artifacts recovered by the Carlyle expedition in Egypt, but everyone but Anne grew quickly bored and they took their leave.

That afternoon they took a late lunch at a local pub, checked train schedules to Derby then went to the Soho address of Miles Shiply, the artist painting macabre pictures from one of the newspaper articled Jackson had taken an interest in from The Scoop’s archives. The home was in the middle of a row of townhouses all butted up against each other in great need of repair. It had missing shingles, peeling paint, a skylight, a series of steps leading to a small stoop, several windows on both stories all of which had the curtains tightly pulled. Knocking on the door it was answered by a little old lady carrying a knitting basket peeking around the door. She was quite meek and nervous about the four strangers on her door step. When told they wanted to see Miles, she indicated that “my Miles isn’t much interested in visiting with strangers I’m afraid, and he definitely does not like crowds…” They told her they were admirers of his work and had traveled from America to meet him. She was quite surprised to hear that, and maybe a little afraid. She promised to give Miles their card and contact information, but stressed “I quite doubt my Miles will be interested in meeting with you, but I will give him your card my dear.” With that she closed the door.

Investigating the alley around back they were surprised to find a relatively new 19 foot high brick wall with a single door around the back yard. Returning after dark, Sean was unable to pick the lock on the back yard door and they gave up for the night.

Thursday morning they headed to the station to catch a train to Derby.

Horror at the Ju-JU
And a Reading Cruise to Europe

After the attack on Dr. Kelly they all resolved to stay in random hotels until they left for London on Saturday. It was late Wednesday afternoon and much discussion ensued about the Ju-Ju house. James was quite worried about the danger, but Sean was insistent that they needed to know what it’s connection was. In the end they decided to break in late Wednesday night. They all met at Sean’s garage where he kept his booze supply, loaded up their guns and drove to Harlem in Sean’s car.

Arriving at the alley entrance to the courtyard that held the Ju-Ju, Sean and Tex got out of the car while Anne and James drove off planning to circle the area and pick them up when they exited. Luck was with them as the court was quiet and the Ju-Ju dark. Sean picked the lock and they went in with flashlights to illuminate the scene. It was creepy with all the tribal paraphernalia in the dark. Sean and Tex immediately went into the small back room and searched it, but all they found was a cluttered storeroom with a small desk cluttered with routine letters, bills, receipts, and accounting ledgers. Frustrated and disappointed they didn’t find any smoking guns in the back room they decided it was a dead end and was time to leave. Just as Tex was opening the door, Sean decided maybe they should have a look in the FRONT room and found a trap door under a rug behind the counter. Lifting it revealed a narrow stair leading to a cramped underground passage way heading towards the building next door.

Climbing down the stairs they saw a narrow hall dressed in stone carved with African tribal symbols. At the end was a door of stout oak banded with iron. It was locked with an antique lock that Sean was unable to pick. However the hinges were on this side, so Tex returned to get tools from the car and worked to unhinge the door. This took quite a while, so Anne and James parked the car and joined them.

The door opened into the basement of the building next door, but the stairs up had been bricked off. The basement walls were covered in strange runes nobody recognized. To the left of the door were two poles with leather thongs that looked like they were designed to hold people by the wrist. Along each of the four walls were large African drums. The right side of the room was filled with a large stone plug set into the floor which had chains through pulleys attached to a winch. Across the room was an alcove covered with a curtain.

They entered the room to investigate and Tex headed for the curtained alcove. Just before he reached it, the curtains parted as four walking dead men came stumbling through to greet them. More zombies! Tex peeled off a shot from his .45 at the first one to little effect and was quickly mobbed by them. The others rushed to help swinging whatever weapons they could improvise. Tex was bitten twice and badly injured. As the others got the attention of some of the zombies he was able to flee the room, he was hurt pretty bad. They managed to beat down the dead men until they stopped moving.

Sean investigated the alcove and found a blood red ceremonial robe hanging from a peg, a set of large tiger claws mounted on gloves also hanging from a peg, and a large bundle wrapped in a leopard pelt leaning against the wall. Unwrapping the pelt showed it contained a book (Africa’s Dark Sects!), an African tribal mask of a leering demon face, a burnished copper bowl etched with more symbols similar to those on the walls, a wooden scepter of African design inset with runes, and a headband of grey metal with more runes scratched into it. Sean grabbed the bundle and the claws and returned to the main room.

James tried turning the winch to lift the plug, but it was too difficult. Sean and Tex were able to do it together and as the plug cleared the hole it was covering the sound of a dozen voices shrieking echoed throughout the room. Tex freaked out and covered his ears, so the winch lever was ripped from Sean’s hands and the plug fell back into place. The shrieking stopped. What the hell was that? Time to get out of here, so they ran to the car and fled Harlem. When they reached Manhattan they called the police to tell them they heard screams from the Ju-Ju house in Harlem. The police could deal with it.

They went to a hotel to lay low and recover from their adventure at the Ju-Ju. Over the next two days, Anne made arrangements with her publishe, Jonah Kensington to aid them in their travels as a point of contact here in the states. Jonah wanted her to finish Elias’ plan for a book about what he had uncovered as a final tribute to the fallen author. Jonah gave Anne two contacts Elias had mentioned in London: Mickey Mahoney, a reporter for a tabloid called The Scoop and Inspector Barrington of Scotland Yard. Being careful, they made preparations for their trip on Saturday. Saturday morning Sean was flipping through the paper when he read a small note in the police blotter about a fire that had claimed 10 lives in lower Manhattan. The address was the address of his brothel. He was horrified, but left on his luxury cruise that afternoon with the rest.

They cruised on the HMS Majestic of the White Star Line, sister ship to the Titanic. The ship was luxurious but the weather in February in the North Atlantic was cold. Anne, Sean, and James spent most of the time reading some of the books they had recovered while Tex enjoyed the booze and striking out with the ladies.

Arriving in Southhampton and clearing customs with prearranged firearms visas for the guns they had packed, they took the train to London where Sean had arranged for them to be picked up by a car from his father’s Waldorf hotel in London. They were given a suite of very nice rooms on an upper floor with a view of the city and spent Sunday settling in. Monday they explored the city a bit, made some financial arrangements, and visited the offices of The Scoop in the afternoon. Mickey was there, they found out he pretty much WAS The Scoop. He was a rumpled red haired Irishman in his 40’s. When they mentioned they were friends of Jakson’s, Mickey said he was saddened to hear of his death and asked about it. Mickey and Jackson had been friends and Jackson had visited him last month. He seemed harried and stressed, and asked to go through Mickey’s article archives. There were 3 stories Jackson was particularly interested in (monstrous murders int he Midlands, a strange artist in Soho, and a string of murders of foreigners, mostly Egyptian), but Jackson left for America suddenly and Mickey had no idea if Jackson followed up on any of them or not. Mickey was quite interested in why the investigators had come to London and pressed them for anything he could publish. They agreed to meet with him tomorrow night over drinks at the Waldorf.

Monday they made some financial arrangements and got to know the city.

Theft at Carlyle Manor
And a Car Chase in Manhattan

January 31, 1925

They quickly plotted their heist. Dr. Kelly called in a favor from her publisher Jonah Kensignton, who got them two press passes to cover the Carlyle charity ball for a local gossip rag. Sean and Arthur (the hired safe cracker) used the invites pretending to be a reporter and photographer. Tex thought he could get in as a chauffer for the reporters of the low class rag, but the guards at the gate weren’t buying it and he had to wait outside the grounds. Security was tight for some reason, surprisngly so.

Sean and Arthur kept a low profile. They were able to find the library, but not get private access right away. Sean was able to peruse the books and spotted a collection of poetry by Poe amongst a rack of english and french reference works. That was odd…

When the guests retired for dinner, all the press people were asked to wait in the kitchen where there was some food for them. Sean pretended he had left his notebook int he library and had to retrieve it. A young servant girl named Saxony was assigned to take them there to find it. In the library, Sean started to panic as he didn’t know what to do with the girl. Even though some violent thoughts crossed his mind, he decided to try romance instead to distract her. Boy was he surprised then young Saxony was much much more receptive to the idea than he had anticipated! Apparently Saxony had a “thing” about doing “it” where the rich people lived. While she was attacking Sean, Arthur snagged the Poe book then was ordered into the hall by Saxony. Poor Arthur had to watch out while Sean and Saxony did their “thing” in the library, listening to Sean being forced to call Saxony “My lady” while she called him “Raoul, the gardener.” Saxony really like the way Raoul plucked her roses!

Arthur flipped through the Poe book and found a note with a safe combination written on it! His job just got easier! He kept the note and stuffed the Poe book behind a plant as Sean and Saxony came out of the library adjusting their clothing. They all returned to the kitchen.

After dinner was over they were allowed to mingle again, but only had about 30 minutes before they were expected to clear out. Sean and Arthur returned to the library, but there were two couples there talking cribbage. Sean tried to be rude to get them to leave, but was unsuccesfull. Luckily though, they wrapped up their conversation and left. They still needed to find the safe. Locking the doors, Sean looked behind where the Poe book as found and discovered a panel that revealed a button when swung aside. Pushing the button caused the bookcase to release from the wall with a click, and swinging it out they saw a safe. Arthur quickly spun the dial to the numbers on the paper, the easiest safe cracking he had ever done.

Inside Sean found 4 books of varying sizes and ages. They quickly took the tomes, closed the safe and bookcase, replaced the Poe book and vamoosed. Hiding the books under their coats, they walked down the drive, past the guards at the gate, to Tex waiting in the car and took off back to New York.

Returning to James’ townhouse, they waited for him and Dr. Kelly to return from the party they had attended as an alibi for the burglary. Sean paid Arthur the balance of his fee, and Tex dropped him at the subway. They stayed up late in the night looking over their haul.

One of the books was very old and in a strange language none of them knew. Another was also old, though not quite as old as the first, and written in middle english (readable but difficult), the other two were more recent, one was hand written, the other a collection of macabre poems.

James and Dr. Kelly spent Sunday skimming the two more recent volumes. One was a collection of disturbing poems with a personalized note to Roger Carlyle on the title page. The other was a handwritten diary of a British soldier from the Napoleonic era. Monday, Tex took copies of the unreadable book to a professor Compton at NYU. The professor said he needed to see the original but might be able to help identify the language and time period if given enough time with it. Meanwhile james began arranging for a trip to London for the group. Sean began making arrangements for his brothel while he was gone, and Dr. Kelly went to the university to request a leave of absence for her trip and ran some errands to prepare for the journey.

While Dr. Kelly was leaving her bank, she just happened to notice two rough looking black men closing in on her quickly on the street. Panicking she ran for her car and they gave chase. She managed to get in the car and lock the doors, but one broke the passenger window and reached for her as she took off with squealing tires while the other jumped on the back and pulled a wicked looking African blade from his coat. Dr. Kelly spotted a black Hudson speeding towards her as she pulled out, and a crazy car chase through Manahattan ensued complete with men clinging to her car, breaking windows with wicked knives, and trying to ram her. Eventually she slammed on her brakes just as the guy on the back was starting to climb in the window making the chase car slam into him, but wrecking them both. As two more black men piled from the Hudson Anne fumbled for the .32 revolver in the glove. She managed to shoot down the one who attacked from the drivers side, but emptied the revolver in the process. She fled as other man came scrambling through from the passenger side and almost grabbed her coat. Running down the street screaming for help with the large menacing figure chasing her she thought she was doomed when she spied a police cruiser turning the corner up ahead! What luck! She ran to the police but the chaser had fled down an alley and escaped.

Dr. Kelly was tied up with the police until late in the day. Tex was worried about her. When she returned and told her story, Sean berated her for not being more careful. He had told her that his girl Gloria, who was beaten for information, had told the black attackers at the brothel last week about Sean’s cousin Anne. Not taking the warning to heart nearly cost her a grisly fate.

Meanwhile, Tex took the book to professor Compton who identified it as a rare dialect of Norman French from the early 14th century. Professor Compton was quite intrigued, but Tex refuse to leave the book with him.

They had tickets for a steamship to London on Saturday. It was Wednesday. Talk of loose ends came up, and Sean mentioned the Ju-Ju house. Did they dare?

A Visit From an Old Friend
The Conspiracy Deepens

Sunday evening was slow at Sean’s brothel and speak. When Sean returned to his small room and opened the door the first thing he noticed was the bad smell, then he noticed the man standing in his darkened room. As the man stepped forward Sean flipped on the light and was shocked to see the mutilated corpse of his old friend Jackson Elias reaching for him as it stumbled forwards with a groan. Sean backpedaled out of the room in shock, fumbling for his 45. He shot the zombie to little effect then it was on him biting and tearing. Sean squeezed off another round and began screaming for Tex who should be just down the hall. Tex Stumbled out into the hall pulling up his trousers and about fell over when he saw Jackson ripping gobbets of flesh out of Sean’s shoulder with his teeth. Tex ran forward and began beating the chewing corpse off of Sean and got bitten himself int he process. Sean began battering the corpse of Jackson with his pistol, finally crushing one side of the zombie’s skull with a brutal pistol whip. Jackson slammed against the wall with a spray of brains and brown ichor and slumped to the ground. A couple girls came out of their room and began screaming.

Looking in his room Sean found the cult symbol that was carved on Jackson’s forehead smeared on his mirror in ichor. The back door to his place was unlocked even though he knew he had locked it earlier, but none of the girls had seen anything. It seemed plausible that someone picked the lock on the backdoor and put the zombie in Sean’s room. Someone was sending a message, a deadly one.

Sean and Tex called James and Anne, who came quickly. At first they assumed someone had dumped Jackson’s corpse here to scare them, but after Anne examined the bite wounds they came to the same horrific realization that someone had raised the corpse of their friend and set it on them. Apparently they had made some powerful enemies. They took Jackson’s body back to the Brooklyn Cemetery in the middle of the night. They found that the casket had not been buried yet and was filled with bricks. They replaced Jackson in his casket and returned to clean up the mess at Sean’s brothel.

Over the next few days they tried to reason out what was going on. They went back over the evidence they had collected and spent most of the week asking around about various members of the Carlysle expedition and digging in public records, news archives, and libraries for information on the following personalities:

Dr. Robert Huston: They found that Dr. Huston, a well known psychoanalyst/alienist had studied under Freud and Jung and was popular in the social circles, had treated Roger Carlysle at the request of his sister. Dr. Huston’s medical records had been sealed at the order of the Medical Board, a controversial decision at the time as several members of the board had not considered the controversial techniques of modern alienism to be actual medicine. Dr. Kelly tried to retrieve the records as a fellow alienist researching Huston’s treatment of Carlysle but was stymied by a professional bureaucrat at the medical board. So late on night Sean and Tex broke into the office building and stole the Carlysle records.

Sir Aubrey Penhew: Sir Aubrey was a well known Egyptologist, English nobleman, and founder of the famous Penhew Foundation which supported archaeological studies all over the world.

Hypatia Masters: An on again/off again girlfriend of Carlyle’s, Masters was a successful photographer. Talking with a former friend, James found out she had become pregnant by a scandalous Catholic Marxist but had aborted the baby just before leaving on the expedition.

Jack Brady: Brady was a rough character, a former marine, who had somehow gotten mixed up with Carlyle around the time Roger was expelled from USC. It seemed Roger had helped Brady dodge a murder charge in California, and had been a confidant and bodyguard to Carlyle ever since. Brady acted as foreman on the expedition.

Meanwhile Sean began to realize that the zombie meant they were in grave danger. He took up residence in a seedy motel and convinced Tex to do likewise. That ended up being wise as 5 large black men accosted the place Thursday evening, beating some of the whores for information. Gloria admitted to telling them all she knew about Tex (he was a pilot and stayed at the airport sometimes) and Dr. Kelly, Sean’s cousin. The noose was tightening.

Pulling together timelines and other pieces of the puzzle they soon began to realize that a global conspiracy of some sort was in progress and Jackson had gotten too close and got himself killed over it. Now they were also closing in and their lives were in danger, but they were the only ones who could do something about it. All leads in New York pointed to Harlem and the Ju-Ju house, but they weren’t sure what to do about it. They were sure they needed to find out what was in the books in Roger Carlyle’s safe in his library and plotted to steal them. Sean hired a safe cracker he knew by reputation at a large cost paid by James. Tex gathered information about the estate through public records and with an aerial reconnaissance in a plane borrowed from a friend. He found the estate was on 5 acres of land surrounded by an iron fence, and there were guards and dogs in the yard. They found police records that the place had been broken into by someone shortly after Erika’s trip to Africa. Security had been tightened after that incident. Dr. Kelly, watching the society page, found out Erika Carlyle was sponsoring an invitation only party as a fund raiser for a local orphanage Saturday evening. They didn’t have long if they planned to use the party to gain access to the library and it’s safe. Sean began planning options for the burglary, but as he checked the map for the route to the Westchester estate on the Hudson, he realized the road there passed right by Sing-Sing Prison. This made his skin crawl as it seemed a very bad omen…

A Nice Brunch
And hoods in Harlem

Sean and Tex returned to the Ju-Ju house to harass the old man proprietor. He called for help outside and 4 thugs came and threw them out of the courtyard. They decided to go harass the shop keepers on the street side of the building holding the Ju-Ju, a small mom and pop sundries store. The elderly shop keepers there also didn’t know much about the Ju-Ju house, since it wasn’t on their street. Meanwhile James went around the block and talked to a newstand man who didn’t know much about the Ju-Ju. When they came back all 4 tires on Sean’s truck were slashed. They drove slowly out of the neighborhood on ruined rims.

Elias’ funeral was Saturday at 10 at the small chapel at a cemetery in Brooklyn. It had been snowing and was cold. It was closed casket. The preacher Jonah Kensington arranged gave a nice eulogy, and Jonah, James, and Sean all spoke about the late author. Dr. Kelly was too choked up, and Tex was too texan.

James spotted a man who came in and sat at the back of the chapel while James was speaking. James went to speak to him and he said he was early for the next service. While he did this, Tex went up on the altar and opened the casket, much to the dismay of the others. They were horrified he would do such a rude thing.

Chatting outside about the stranger at the funeral, Sean said he remembered the sign saying the next funeral at the chapel was in 3 hours. That guy was really early. They waited for him and when he came out James called out to him about his early arrival. He ran to a waiting idling car in the parking lot with 3 black men in it. They gave chase, and James exchanged gunfire with one of the passengers, managing to hit a tire. The car sped off sliding in the snow on the flattened tire. They all ran to their cars and tried to follow, but found the car abandoned a few blocks away on a busy street. The occupants had melted into the big city. The car was obviously stolen, it had been hot wired. Returning to the chapel to discuss the incident with the police, they were surprised when the sky darkened quickly, as a total eclipse of the sun occurred.

Sunday James had brunch with Erica Carlysle. He shared some of the info they had and made suggestions the death of his author friend was tied to her brother and pushed rather hard to get access to the books in her brothers safe. Erica was somewhat cold towards him, but cordial enough. She indicated that she had seen the books in question and found them quite foul. She was certain they contributed towards his mental decline at the end and made it clear that she did not think James should follow in her brothers foot steps. She deflected any idea of providing access to the books. She did answer some questions about her brother however. Roger had been seeing a negro woman, whom was supposedly queenly, a priestess of some sort. He would disappear into Harlem for several days at a time and return wild eyed and crazed. Quite embarrassing actually. He had troubling dreams where he said something was calling to him, and Erica sent him to Dr. Robert Huston for therapy. She believes Huston talked him into going to Egypt, and Erica feels guilty about that, but it was the negro woman who caused him to lose his grasp on reality.

Monday Tex and Sean talked to Detective Poole, trying to pressure him into pushing things in Harlem. Detective Poole informed them that the assailant from the hotel who survived had hung himself in his jail cell. With the 3 assailants of Mr. Jackson’s dead, Jackson’s murder case was closed. It was even possible the 3 men that had killed Jackson were responsible for the other 8 similar murders and direction from higher up was to put a lid on it and move on. Poole made it clear his hands were tied unless further evidence of a crime committed by someone other than the 3 dead men from the hotel came up. Tex was furious, but Sean understood. They would have to solve the mystery behind the “why” themselves, the police weren’t going to do it for them. Sean had become used to operating outside the law and taking care of business on his own terms. Looked like this was another one of those times.

The Mystery Deepens
A bewildering maze of clues

James and Sean visited Emerson Imports, an import expeditor on W 47th St. The place was a long narrow warehouse filled with crates. They talked to a Mr. Arthur Emerson who said Jackson had been there yesterday asking questions about any imports from Mombasa. Mr. Emerson indicated that he is the US agent for Mombasan exporter Ahja Singh. Singh’s only known account is a place called the Ju-Ju House in Harlem. Mr. Emerson checked his records and gave the address of 1 Ransom Court, Harlem, and the proprietors name Silas N’Kwane. He said he was certain Mr. Elias had intended to visit the Ju-Ju House. When asked about the Ju-Ju House, Mr. Emerson indicated that it was run by “Darky foreigners and bad to boot”. Mr. Emerson was informed of Elias’ murder and seemed very concerned. Sean left his card with Mr. Emerson.

A call to Harvard connected them with Miriam Atwright, librarian at the Harvard library. Ms. Atwright remembered corresponding with Jackson. He had requested a book called Africa’s Dark Sects. Ms. Atwright indicated that the book had unfortunately disappeared last summer. She remembered it distinctly because the day there had been an awful stench in the racks the day the book was discovered missing.

Dr. Anne Kelly visited here good friend and publisher, Jonah Kensington (also Jaskson’s publisher). She attempted to lie to him about her involvement, very poorly. Jonah grew quite worried for her and strongly suggested she go to the police who had visited him this morning about Jackon’s murder. Jonah was quite disappointed at the lack of trust shown by Dr. Kelly. Jonah indicated that over the past 9 months Jackson had been overseas. He had received correspondence from him from Nairobi and showed Anne the correspondences he had received from Jackson from Nairobi. A short while after receiving these notes he had received a wire for money from Hong Kong asking for an advance. He had then not been heard from until the middle of December from London when he received a telegram saying Jackson had been to Africa, China, and London and had dug up a lot of stuff. The telegram was a little crazy, talking about monstrous conspiracies and Jonah had grown worried. A few days ago a disheveled Jackson had dropped off a set of notes to Jonah’s secretary, Ms. Witherspoon. Jonah was reluctant to share these notes with Dr. Kelly, because they were potentially quite embarrassing to the legacy of Jackson Elias as they showed a poor state of mind and could discredit the famous author if made public. Convinced he shared the notes with Dr. Kelly. They were quite alarming indeed.

Convinced that avoiding the police was a bad idea. All involved but Sean visited the Manhattan police department and met with Detective Martin Poole, the homicide detective on the Elias case. They tried to lie and cover up Sean’s involvement, but Detective Poole had been contacted by Mr. Emerson and had Sean’s business card. This made for a long exhausting night of interviews as Poole was very unhappy at being played for a fool. James, always having had problems respecting authority, got mouthy with Poole and spent the night in lock up. He was extricated by the family lawyers the next day, but then had to endure the usual lectures from his father. The next day Sean came to Detective Poole with his hat in his hand and provided his statements. Detective Poole made it clear that he was a homicide detective and was focused solely on the Jackson murder, he could care less about Sean’s “side activities” of which he already knew. Sean was able to impress the Detective enough with his sincerity that Poole shared with him the fact that Jakson was the ninth victim in the last two years of similar slayings. There was no pattern to the victims, and the darkies in Harlem were being very tight lipped about the matter.

Following up on the handbill, Dr. Kelly, Sean, and Tex made a trip to Arkham to visit Professor Cowles. Cowles was a boisterous Australian professor of Anthropology from the University of Sydney and the Locksley Fellow of Polynesian Escoterica at Miskatonic University in Arkham. Professor Cowles gave a Lecture recently (two months ago) at NYU on “The Cult of Darkness in Polynesia & the Southwest Pacific” He shared the highlights of the lecture and associated slides with his visitors. When asked about connections to other pieces of evidence, Professor Cowles agreed that there seemed to be a rather interesting similarity in legends and myths of widely disparate cultures that indicated a possible unifying hidden truth that was rather frightening to consider. On the way back they stopped off at Harvard and talked more to Miriam Atwright. They spent a day with her helping them research some of the clues they had found. They one thing they were able to find in a long day of research was that the symbol carved into Jackson’s head was ancient in origin, thought to have been an offshoot fo an unnamed cult driven out of dynastic Egypt called the Bloody Tongue. They found references to a Bloody Tongue cult in Kenya.

Meanwhile, James looked into Erica Carlysle, sister of Roger Carlysle. He knew of her already, and knew that she was very rich and very well respected, not the sort of person who one could just drop in on. Asking around, he found that Ms. Carlyle’s interests were frequently handled by a Mr. Bradyley Grey, partner in the law firm of Dunstan, Whittleby, and Grey, West 57th Street. Meeting with Grey, James indicated that he had information about certain books locked up in Roger Carlysle’s safe that might bring to light what had happened to the Carlysle expedition. James also hinted that the white members of the expedition might not be dead. Mr. Grey was not terribly receptive to opening old wounds, and said he would need something substantive before approaching Ms. Carlysle. James tried to convince him to arrange a meeting and Mr. Gray said he would consider possibilities. A few days later James was contacted and indicated that he had arranged a lunch meeting with Ms. Carlysle and Mr. Waldorf for the 25th.

The four old friends reconvened in New York after an exhausting week of activity that had turned up more questions than answers about the death of their friend Jackson Elias.

Note to Jackson From Caesar
OK Jackson, I think we’ve talk to everyone in New York and the surrounding area that either you spoke with or want to before you died. Everyone except Ms Carlyse. But we have an appt set. We’ll get a hold of those books and see what’s so important…..before anyone else does!
We’re the guys that attacked you from the JuJu house? There was 1 old man working there at the time, defiantly from Africa. Doesn’t seem likely, but maybe we should visit that place again, at night.
We have dug up so much information – but where does it all lead? You we’re really into something bad! And we weren’t there to help. Sorry, buddy-o!
I’m going to make an effort to cultivate this relationship with Detective Poole. Yea, Yea, I really said that. Stop rolling over in your grave. Hey man, do you know you we’re the 9th victim that was killed in that way in the past 2 years?? There are some real sick bastards out there! Anyway, Det Poole told me that. He really wasn’t such a bad guy if you we’re straight with him. So that leaves James outa the picture in that regard.
I’m sure we’re missing something. Not putting something together in the right way. I just need to take the time to go over all the little bits of info we have. We’ve shared most of what we’ve found with Det Poole. He just wants to solve these murders. I want to find out whose behind them and why. I’m thinking we’ll be heading out of the country before too long.
Johnas gave us all the notes you left him. That should help us. And we talked with the Professor in Arkum. Strange and stranger. There are some very odd similarities to tribal sects in Australia and Africa! They’re worlds apart and yet so close in their legends. How can that be? I’m sure you would know. Well, anyway, guide us if you can. I really don’t think we can do this on our own.

Your friend,

A Bitter Reunion
The loss of an old friend and the beginning of a mystery

January 11, 1925

It has been 9 months since they had rescued Jackson Elias. James Waldorf received another telegram from Jackson:


He immediately got in touch with the others, including Tex who was in Texas and hopped a train for New York. Some of them remembered the story of the ill fated Carlysle Expedition from a few years ago and researched the old newspaper articles, and a couple of newsreels.

On the 15th James received a call from Jackson at home. Jackson seemed not be his usual jovial self and asked that James and the others meet him at his room at the Chelsea, room 410, 8pm sharp. He said not to loiter and not to act suspicious and then hung up without saying goodbye.

They arrived at the Chelsea, not exactly a top of the line hotel, and proceeded to room 410 at 8pm. Tex knocked on the door but there was no answer. A second knock, and likewise nothing. Sean pressed his ear to the door, but heard nothing. Sean then proceeded to produce a set of lock picks and kneeled down to work the lock. This raised a few eyebrows, but soon Sean had it unlocked and opened the door.

The first thing they saw was a man in a cheap suit standing by the window across the room holding a bloody long knife, an african bush knife. He had greasy hair and a pockmarked face, and wore a headband with a flap of red leather hanging down to his nose in the front. He glared at them. The second thing the noticed was the bloody body in the bed. Sean charged with Tex right behind him, but they were surprised by two tough looking black men dressed similarly to the first man also wielding long knives. The blacks had been hiding to either side of the door. Gunshots rang out from Tex and James, while Sean was cut down by a vicious blow from one of the ambushers. One of the black me was shot dead, the other knocked unconscious while the white guy escaped down the fire escape. James and Tex gave chase but the fire escape, being old and in bad repair, collapsed under their combined weight. All three were injured but the knife man ran for the street and was shot down by Tex. James convinced Tex he needed to vamoose because he had just murdered a man in the alley. They hid the body and Tex fled. James went out to hail a cab for their escape and noticed a black idling hudson driven by a third black man which sped off when he saw James emerge from the alley.

Meanwhile back in the room, Anne and Victoria were horrified to see their friend Jackson Elias dead on the bed. His heart had been cut out and a strange symbol carved on his forehead. He had an expression of insane terror frozen on his dead face. Anne saw to Sean and was able to revive him. A quick search of the room and they gathered up what evidence they could as quickly as possible. Some of the evidence was found stuffed int he pockets of the attackers, apparently they had been rifling Jacksons belongings after killing him. They fled the scene of the crime just as the police were arriving.

Jackson Elias was dead. What had he stumbled upon that cost him his life?


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