Monday Night Madness

A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.8
Another trap?

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, jazz accordionist & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Rufus Ellison, guilt-ridden Paleontology student.
  • Ripley Cliffe, confused Psychology grad-student.
  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, troubled F.O.C. Geologist.

The gang having split up for the evening, the undergrads return to their dorms before curfew and the Grad students join Mr. Meyer in continuing their investigations further into the night. Just’s rest in Hell’s East is plagued by nightmares of Octavia being menaced by Lazlow in the Vermont forest, but in the dream she is a fly caught in a web, and Lazlow is a spider. Ripley sits with Aldus, reading him the diary of Daphne Devine. Rufus and Meyer return to Prof. Harrold’s home, finding him in residence and just getting ready for bed (sporting bathrobe and fez, and with lit pipe in hand). They bring to his attention Blaine’s “suicide,” as well as Bernard’s purchase of explosives and accelerants, and Harrold promises to bring it to the attention of the Dean of Students first thing in the morning. He also persuades Meyer to meet with him for dinner at the dorm Cafeteria the following evening to further discuss matters. They return to stake out the Library where they are joined by Earl (who’d snuck out of his dorm), but their evening goes uneventfully. Not so for Ethan, who is woken up to take a call from Rod, who begs him to meet at Hangman’s Hill in half-an-hour, alone, or “the blood will be on your hands.” Ethan makes it in time (after sneaking out and sprinting across Arkham), and Rod reveals the truth, that he and the others are not whom they seem (his true name being Keith Cliff), revealing the Mi-Go conspiracy to send agents who’ve brains have been switched out (including his own), as well as the reason for his rebellion (the murder of his family). Just as Keith finishes naming the true names of his fellow agents and gives an overview of the plan for Friday night (to steal books from, and set fire to, the library, and to abduct/steal the brain of Dr. Learmonth), Lazlow/Jarvis appears from thin air with a strange contraption in his hand. Keith fires at Jarvis and the two attempt to flee in the confusion, but Keith is shot in the leg with Jarvis’s “Electricity Gun,” and commits suicide rather than be taken back to face his inhuman masters. Ethan gets back to his room just after Earl, and fills him in. In the morning the gang meet up after breakfast at the hospital to meet Aldus as he’s released, and Ethan again shares the story of his harrowing evening with Rod.

Quote (Aldus , in response to the suggestion that they attempt to warn the Library): “What should we tell them? That aliens are attempting an interdepartmental loan?”

After discussing some rudimentary plans, the gang separates. Mr. Meyer, Earl and Just head out to purchase firearms (Meyer takes the time to make his shotgun a sawed-off, while Earl and Just manage to get their hands on some .38s). Earl also takes the time to get a corsage for his date with Cecily. Meanwhile Aldus, Rufus and Ripley approach Prof. Wilmarth to fill him in on new developments and get his help in persuading Armitage of the coming danger.

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.7
Another lead dead?

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Rufus Ellison, guilt-ridden Paleontology student.
  • Beryl Ankins, Elderly blind Psychology Professor.
  • Octavia Franklin, dour Archaeology student fated to be a crazy cat-lady.
  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, troubled F.O.C. Geologist.

Ethan leaves Wilmarth’s office in a daze, unable to recall what was said, much less what his own name is, or who his companions are. But he smiles shyly and follows their lead. He follows them to a restaurant, a place with a sign reading “Garden Café” where they are joined by three others, equally unfamiliar. He smiles and nods, struggling to acquire their names without letting them know he has no idea who they are. To do otherwise might be construed as rude. Slowly their names are required: Earl, Aldus, Rufus, Just, Octavia, Mr. Meyer and Ripley Cliff. Ripley Cliff? It turns out most of his companions don’t know him either, but that he is Prof. Baryl’s grad-student. Apparently after hearing Wilmarth’s story earlier she decided to recuse herself from their “therapy,” and had passed their observation on to poor Ripley. They then discuss various facts they’ve discovered, such as the particulars of Wilmarth’s story and how it eerily clarifies some of the odder passages in Anvelina’s notes, and the Vermont newspaper article Meyer discovered Rod reading which covers a tragic murder of a family that had been camping back in 1921. Much debate is had over whether or not to acquire some dogs, and how they might persuade the campus to let them keep them. Earl brings up the enzymes mentioned in Anvelina’s notes, and suggests looking about the Science buildings for missing equipment. They also reconsider Pasquallium in the context of Wilmarth’s story, considering that perhaps that is the substance his “aliens” come to Earth to mine, though Meyer is suspicious of the English Professor and his knowledge of the ore. They continue to debate over their sketchy evidence, until Ethan and Aldus overhear some girls in passing mention Blaine has just committed suicide, and the gang decides to break into groups for a little more investigation. Rufus and Ripley join Meyer to go track down the suspicious Prof. Harrold (who they had seen arguing with chief librarian Armitage previously), while Aldus, Just and Octavia return to the library to spy on the other expedition members they always seem to encounter there. Ethan (who has remembered who he is by now) joins Earl in a search of the Science buildings for missing equipment. Rufus, Ripley and Meyer find Harrold isn’t home, but given Blaine’s apartment isn’t far they decide to go there, and after persuading the landlord to let them in on the pretext they had to recover some papers he’d been working on for the school, they gain entrance. Within they ransack the place quickly and quietly, recovering a few letters, some books on the Occult, and most surprising of all, Daphne Devine’s diary, before discreetly taking their leave. Meanwhile Ethan and Earl have little luck discovering anything useful at the Science Annex, except somehow, and much to his surprise, Earl finds he has made a date with a girl he met in the Botany lab, Cecily Frank, for the following evening. Back at the library Just, Octavia and Aldus note the targets of their attention have moved upstairs in their researches, but as they espy them so they are observed by Laslow, who smiles just as a bookshelf collapses on Aldus, requiring his swift relocation to the hospital. As curfew approaches the underclassmen retreat to their dorms (though Earl makes plans to sneak out later to meet with Rufus and Meyer at the library at 10:30), while Rufus and Meyer make another stab at seeing if Prof. Harrold is home, and Ripley stays at the hospital to watch over poor Aldus Huxtable.
Quote (Mark): “Can his (Huxtable’s) tweed save him now?”

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.6
New Allies in Adversity

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Rufus Ellison, guilt-ridden Paleontology student.
  • Beryl Ankins, Elderly blind Psychology Professor.

The day following Anvelina’s death, Professor Baryl is asked by the Dean of Students to give grief counselling to the students who witnessed her apparent suicide at St. Marys. Thus Ethan, Earl and Huxtable (in his finest tweed) are joined by Rufus Ellison (the unfortunate student behind the wheel of the car that had put her in the hospital) to discuss their feelings about the incident. Huxtable is sad for his tweed coat, which he had used to cover her body, while Rufus is convinced it was MURDER! In reference to that suspicion the more experienced of the Arkham Irregulars pass around the notes of hers that they’d found at the scene, and make plans to stake out the Library that night (though Rufus seeks reassurance from Prof. Baryl that all their plans are kept in confidence). After attempts to identify a “Gustav” amongst the student body fails to turn up any leads, Ethan, Huxtable and Rufus (escorted by Prof. Baryl) go to St. Marys to look around and ask questions, while Earl heads downtown to check out if anyone has been buying dynamite at local hardware stores recently. The team at the hospital discover her room window had a lock on it (raising the question, who left it unlocked?); the hospital staff believe she stole the key, more evidence to them she was suicidal. Earl fast-talks the proprietor (saying he’d heard a rumor that one of the student body was preparing a very ill-advised prank) to reveal that Bernard Whateley had purchased dynamite and kerosene just recently. Everyone meets back up for lunch at the Garden Café, where they ask Prof. Baryl to look into records for any students named “Gustav.” Ethan is called to the side by another professor, Albert Wilmarth, who asks him about another student, William Noakes, who had been on the recent trip to Cobbs Corners with him, and invites Ethan to come speak more in his office at 4pm to share his story. After rejoining them at the table, Huxtable mentions that Wilmarth apparently had his own troubles in Vermont two years back (though he knows little of the details). After lunch Baryl & Ethan decide to return to the hospital to take a look around for the missing key (to see if it had fallen outside –no success), while Rufus, Earl & Huxtable drive back to look around where Rufus had collided with Anvelina in the first place in hopes of discovering what she had been running from. They note the knocked over watering can but little else (though Huxtable identifies the home as belonging to Prof. Harrold, and also that Blane’s apartment is around the corner). They then decide to head over to the registrar’s office to see if they have any records of a student named “Gustav” (which they do not). The all reconvene at Wilmarth’s office and tell the Professor Ethan’s view of the queer events that he encountered in Cobb’s Corners, and what has happened since. Prof. Wilmarth ponders for a bit, then decides to share his OWN horrific experience of what lurks in the rural territories of Vermont…

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.5
Death from above!

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Anvelina Smith, Metallurgy major following the family tradition.

It being about dinner time Ethan and Earl decide to leave their library research for a bite to eat, putting a little peer-pressure on Huxtable to join them. Running into Anvelina on the Quad they invite her along as well, and they all head just off campus to discuss what they’ve discovered at the Garden Café (though Earl, quite taken with her, fidgets embarrassedly and struggles to hold up his end of the conversation). She persuades Ethan to talk about the curious events regarding the Cobbs Corners expedition (something he, like all those who returned are reluctant to do), while she reveals her curiosity in Pasquallium and what she’d learned from talking with Prof. Learmonth. Huxtable and Anvelina compare notes over the strange personality shifts in others from the expedition, specifically Clarissa and Prof. Flannagan. They decide to return to the library to see if any of the others are still there. They are not, having also headed out for dinner it seems, so the men stay at the library to continue their research while Anvelina heads back to her dorm in hopes of catching up with Clarissa. She spots her leaving to meet up with several of the other students from the Cobb’s County expedition before they all head off campus. Managing to follow undetected, she eventually stalks them to Prof. Harrold’s home. Slipping up to a window to eavesdrop, she overhears the Professor and the students plotting something involving dynamite, gas cans, brain cases, surgery, and other, stranger, more horrific (if hard to understand) things. In her bewilderment she trips over a watering can, and as those inside react, she attempts to crawl away. Not quickly enough, as Laslow opens a window and spots her (though for some reason the Professor refers to him as Lawrence). Getting up, she dashes into what appears to be an empty street, but is hit by an oncoming car. With what consciousness she can muster she begs the concerned driver to rush her to the hospital before the others can catch up with her, and she is whisked away to Saint Mary’s. Once there she persuades them to send a message to the library (“tell Huxtable and the others that I won’t be able to make it to our Calculus study group due to my ‘accident’”), before she is finally checked in. The others don’t get the message until library closing time, and head over to the hospital. As they are walking up, Anvelina is awoken in her recovery ward by a nurse shouting at her to get to the window and the fire-escape. She can clearly see smoke and fire racing down the hallway behind her, so she grabs her notes, pops open the window and steps out onto the fire escape, only to find there isn’t one. To their horror Huxtable, Ethan and Earl watch as she plummets from the top floor to her death. Her notes, however, drift to their feet, leaving confusing hints that imply her death may not have been in vain.

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.4
“Your fellow students are a little… peculiar.”

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, troubled F.O.C. Geologist.
  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Octavia Franklin, dour Archaeology student fated to be a crazy cat-lady.
  • Anvelina Smith, Metallurgy major following the family tradition.

Shocked at Ethan’s sudden disappearance, Huxtable returns home to his dorm-room to ponder. Poor Ethan, having been accosted by the landlord at the Witch House, is saved by Meyer’s timely arrival. In private Ethan tells Meyer of the peculiar events at the Museum that transported him into his room, and Meyer tells him of the earlier break-in. The two split up (with Meyer admonishing Ethan to “please, stay out of my room in the future”), Ethan splits off to find and reassure Huxtable, while Meyer takes a stroll through the campus. Later that evening they are reunited, along with all the other Arkham Irregulars, at an Ice-cream Social meet-and-greet on the Quad (joined by new face Anvelina, who has decided to escort Octavia to protect her from Just’s perpetual advances). Meyer brings Octavia up to speed about the peculiar events connecting his room at the Witch House to the Museum, and they all agree to meet up to check the Museum out the next morning. After the social finishes up Ethan and Huxtable head off to the library, joined by a reluctant Just after he is turned away by the girls (Octavia having been persuaded to join Anvelina to try out some of her home-made hooch). The party at the library arrive just in time to see Rodrick Block, Louis Gibbons, William Noakes, Jason Trent and Terrence Laslow loitering outside Dr. Armitage’s office while inside Armitage and Prof. Harrold argue over whether or not his students may be allowed access to the Restricted Collection for a research project. Laslow and Just exchange words, Laslow teasing him about seeing Octavia in the Library all the time, and that he might just sweep her off her feet, but further exchanges are interrupted with Harrold’s exit from the office. As the Professor and students are leaving, Meyers manages to persuade Harrold to pause for conversation and the two end up splitting off from the others for a quiet drink and conversation at Hibbs Roadhouse, where the two chat about the events of the trip and Meyers confides in the Professor of some of the strange events going on. Back at the library Armitage comes out to chase off stragglers, only to find Ethan, Huxtable and Just, giving them a chance at introductions before the Head Librarian warns them the library is about to close (and tells them they can’t have chosen a better role-model then Aldus Huxtable). Later that night Just is tormented by horrid dreams of a monstrous Laslow transforming into some kind of insect-monster while stealing away Octavia. The following day the Irregulars meet to explore the Museum as planned, but are unable to duplicate Ethan’s feat of teleportation from the Witchcraft diorama to Meyer’s room. Those who hadn’t seen it before are afflicted with strange forebodings as they examine Pickman’s landscape painting, while several notice the unusual size of the Innsmouth bracelets on display, Later, while Anvilania is waiting to see her favorite Professor (“Ashley Learmonth is so dreamy!”), she overhears him discussing Pasquallium Ore with several students, whom she notes (with a tinge of jealousy) includes Clarissa Thurber, Harrold Higgens and “Little Rod” Block. As they leave (and Anvelina notes that Clarissa has “really let her looks go”) she sidles up to the professor and quizzes him about Pasquallium as a possible research project, only to be told his great disappointment – that it seems to be only available from meteorites as an extraterrestrial mineral. Meanwhile, several others of the Irregulars swing by to see if the folklore books they have been after have finally been returned, and note the students from the previous evening busily reading (except for Laslow, who seems quite bored). Curious, Meyers spies that Rod seems quite upset about something in old issues of a Vermont newspaper, while Trent seems shocked about what he’s reading in histories of the American Revolution, and Gibbons seems obsessed with reading medical texts. Laslow seems quite disinterested, instead enjoying giving the Investigators creepy glances…

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.3
Back in School

The Arkham Irregulars

  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Beryl Ankins, Elderly blind Psychology Professor.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
Much discussion was made on the frequencies of Ice Cream socials at* Myskatonic University*, and its’ influence on mental (and physical) health.

With school finally in session the Irregulars hit the books in earnest. Huxtable speaks with Professor Harrold about Professor Flanagan’s unusual behavior of late (including his seeming disinterest in Football, a subject previously much obsessed about, and Aldus’ continued disbelief that he was so easily replaced by a cat). Prof. Harrold tells him to not be such a gossip and gives him extra homework (write a paper contrasting Scottish and Salem witch-trials by Monday). Ethan spends his leisure-time exploring the area around campus and where he works, as well as scouring the Orne Library for art collections and nature studies (in hopes of finding out more on the strange Rat creature he’d spotted near the Maclearan Farmhouse). Later in the week Aldus spots Flanagan “watching” football tryouts (he is also reading), and seems rather annoyed when Aldus comes to speak with him and they have a rather awkward conversation about cats and the suggestion that his home has a rat problem (which Aldus doesn’t remember seeing any signs of). Ethan and Earl talk a bit about the “incident” at the Maclearan Farm and Ethan shows him his sketches of the weird rat-creature. Disturbed by the image, Earl goes to speak with the administrators to see if he can’t get Ethan some help (and maybe get a different roommate). Prof. Ankins is recommended, and they make plans to invite Ethan to an Ice Cream social for a chat. Tired out from all his research on Witchcraft, Aldus decides to crash the Social as well, and is similarly disturbed when Ethan shows off his sketch, as well as describes the incident in the fog. Aldus remarks on his suspicion that this may be related somehow to Prof. Flanagan’s acquiring a cat for his rat-troubles. After a humorous aside about perhaps going on a Myskatonic Malt-crawl (since a Pub-crawl is out of the question), Aldus offers to help Ethan recover his reputation and volunteers to have a picture taken of the sketch and show it around professors and students familiar with Zoology. In the ensuing days most have nothing useful to say (except that Aldus’ friend would make a good illustrator for Pulp magazines such as Weird Tales), except that it is reminiscent of the work of Richard Pickman. This leads Aldus and Ethan to poke around the Museum to examine the one painting they have of his. They also note a diorama of the trial of Keziah Mason, and while struggling to identify some strange markings copied on the wall, are startled when Ethan vanishes, seemingly sucked into the sigil. Deciding he must be going mad, Aldus hustles off to speak with Prof. Ankins, while – after a seemingly endless and strange experience of having transformed into a weird geometric shape in an alien dimension – Ethan finds himself deposited in an unfamiliar bedroom, a quick search of which gives evidence it belongs to none other than his associate Mr. Meyer! Noting the oddly angled ceiling and a rather large rat-hole in the corner, Ethan attempts to leave, but is caught by the landlord and accused of being the same thief that had broken into Meyer’s room the week before!

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.2
A Vague Unease

The Arkham Irregulars:

  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, troubled F.O.C. Geologist.
  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Beryl Ankins, Elderly blind Psychology Professor.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upper-classman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Octavia Franklin, dour Archaeology student fated to be a crazy cat-lady.

The first third of the session involved digging into the nuts n’ bolts of taking classes and establishing their current Academic Standing (ala the Myskatonic University handbook). With that we discovered Ethan is getting a job at Jaywil’s Books, Aldus is taking a seminar on Witchcraft with Professor Harrold (when not indulging in off-campus activities with the shooting club or participating in swim-meets with the varsity swim-team), Earl spends much of his free time arguing with the debate club or playing scandalous Jazz with his accordion at various cafes off campus, Just joins the varsity track team to shore up his shattered reputation (which was shaky even before the events of Episode 1 happened – as an aside he has been invited to hang out with the Bohemian set), and Octavia attempts to drown her sorrows in her studies, her only non-class activity being the Archaeology Club.

With only a week to go before classes begin, the Arkhamite Irregulars focus primarily on sorting out their affairs as they prepare for the new semester, glad that the outgoing Myskatonic U. Expedition to Antarctica is replacing them as the main topic of gossip. As Meyers continues to study Thaumaturgical Prodigies at the Arkham Historical Society he meets with Ethan at his dorm room to discuss sketching what they saw in the woods (while his roommate Earl tries to ignore what is being discussed in favor of practicing his accordion). Meanwhile Just continues to discuss his anxieties over his relationship with Octavia with his therapist Prof. Ankins (who tries to probe him about the events at Cobbs Corners, to little success). Later that week Aldus Huxtable also visits Ethan, in hopes of discovering why Flanagan’s demeanor has so changed…

Quote (Huxtable): “This gangly pile of tweed comes in…”

Ethan tells him his story, and Earl finally takes an interest. Meanwhile, Meyers runs into Octavia at the library and they share some notes about the strange events, not noticing who might be listening, and she promises to keep an eye out for the books he is hoping to borrow there. She also realizes he is staying at the Witch House (Kezah Mason’s home), and warns him of its’ reputation and of how a student recently died there. That night he is tormented by vague nightmares, and when he awakes he finds his room a mess. Worse, his sample of Pasquallium Ore is missing. He speaks with his landlord and the police are called, but little else can be done. Near the end of the week Aldus tracks down Just to ask him what he can tell him about the trip to Cobb’s Corners, but all Just will tell him is:

Quote (Just): “We all came out wrong…”

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 2.1
Return to Arkham

The Arkhamite Irregulars:

  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, troubled F.O.C. Geologist.
  • Aldus Huxtable, Professor Flannigan’s house-sitting grad-student.
  • Beryl Atkins, Elderly blind Psychology Professor.
  • Earl Franklin Morgan, upperclassman & Ethan’s new roommate.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Octavia Franklin, dour Archaeology student fated to be a crazy cat-lady.

Returning to Arkham, the four (Just, Octavia, Ethan & Gerald) find themselves called to carpet by the Dean of Students (except for Gerald, who gets a stern talking to by the College President himself) over their episode of public drunkenness, and are warned they are on probation as of now – especially Ethan, for running about drunk with his rifle in hand. Mr. Meyers pushes his luck in trying to explain the extenuating circumstances, pointing out Blaine had left the whisky, but the President turns it around, pointing out that he admitted to drinking it, and he was responsible for looking out for the other students. Warning him he’d best vacate his guest lodgings in the next few days and that his employers would be receiving a formal complaint Gerald is summarily dismissed. With two-and-a-half weeks to prepare for the start of the next semester, the three students throw themselves into preparation, and as the weeks go by come to realize they have acquired something of a scandalous reputation. Just decides to seek therapy and ends up on Prof. Atkins’ couch, gushing about his messy love-triangle with Octavia and missing student John Jeffrey (carefully avoiding discussing the events that occurred in Cobb’s Corners). Beryl turns his successive interviews on its head, revealing the root of his issues actually relate to his growing anxiety over his up-and-coming brother Leopold joining him at Miskatonic University and their life-long rivalry for the support and affection of their family (especially now they have been made room-mates at his dorm-room at “Hell’s East”). Meanwhile, at the West Hall Ethan makes the acquaintance of his new room-mate Earl, who in turn does his best to not get to familiar with Mus latest gossip-magnet, preferring instead to focus on his side-job as an accordionist for a local dance-hall. Octavia does her best to ignore the whispers at Dorothy Upman Hall, preferring to throw herself into preparatory research for her upcoming classes at the Orne Library, where she is surprised to find many of her fellows from the Vermont Expedition have also returned early, and are now also involved in research in the library. Shy and mono-focused, she does her best to avoid them, though she gets some strange, almost intense looks from the otherwise lackadaisical Terrence Laslow. Aldus Huxtable is quite surprised by the early return of Prof. Flanagan, who promptly evicts him from his house-sitting job and sends him packing back to Derby Hall, where he briefly meets Mr. Meyer, himself being evicted as his business in helping with the expedition is officially at an end. Gerald encounters Ethan when they both drop by the Orne Library in search of books on Vermont Folklore, and are mutually disappointed to find all the books on such have been checked out. Taking his leave of the University Gerald seeks accommodations elsewhere (unwilling as he is to leave town until he figures out what is going on). Finding Hotel Miskatonic too expensive, he takes lodgings at the Dombroski residence and pursues various local bookstores for books on Vermont folklore with some success, eventually finding his way to the Arkham Historical Society and their copy of Thaumaturgical Prodigies in the New England Canaan.

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Interlude

Not much to report for the interim session. Given three players had lost their characters (I’m sorry, “mysteriously collected without explanation”), we decided to gather anyways and make both replacement – and backup – characters for Episode 2 (which was a lot of fun for them, especially thanks to the restrictions that they’d need to forge connections with previous characters – Aldus Huxtable, for example, being Professor Flannagan’s grad-student aid, and “Just” Churchill’s younger brother – and familial rival – Leopold being particularly inspired).

After we finished up characters I pulled out a copy of Chaosium’s original 1987 version of Arkham Horror for folks to drool over. Being mainly familiar with the more recent Fantasy Flight version, they were quite delighted to find how simple and quick it played (though, to be honest, character creation left us little time to finish the one game we started). Even so they are all looking forward to give it a proper shake-down next time we find we have a break between Episodes.

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 1.4
Come the Gathering Fog

Our Investigators:

  • ’Just’ Justin Churchill, Biology major and bird-enthusiast outdoorsman.
  • Gerald M. Mayer, F.O.C. Geologist and corporate chaperone.
  • Leopold Flanagan, tenured Professor of Religion & expedition chaperone.
  • Adeline ‘Sunshine’ Fredrick, cheerful Anthropology major.
  • Bernherd Whately (of the Arkham Whatelys), Varsity Football hero and Chemistry major.
  • Ethan Froam, dilettante student artist on hard times.
  • Octavia Franklin, dour Archaeology student fated to be a crazy cat-lady.

Octavia awakes from a disturbing dream to Adeline’s screams outside. As the others gather to stare at the skeleton uncovered in the flowerbed by recent rains, Just goes to comfort her given her fear that the bones may belong to missing fiancé John Jeffery. At Blaine’s suggestion the students call the Sheriff, who seems strangely unsurprised at the appearance of a corpse on the old Maclaren Farmhouse (Mr. Meyers suggest it is merely because he is a private man, a fact supported when the Sheriff lets slip he suspects it is his sister’s body and that he will have words with his brother-in-law about how she got there).

Quote (Prof. Flanagan): “(Looking at the bones initially and begins to lecture) This is a clear example of the Anthropological development of… (pauses as realization sinks in, stares & gasps, shouts)… oh my God! Bones!”

Once the bones are removed and the Sheriff takes his leave Blaine apologizes for holding the expedition back over his own anxiety given the tragedy of last year’s events. Therefor he has decided to lead the Survey team out to Broken Hill where promising results had been found the last time he was here. In the meantime, Professor Flanagan will continue to chaperone the folklorists until he can catch up with them later.

The Anthropology/folklore team has little success initially, given most of the farmers they chat with are busy repairing the damage from the storm the previous day. Eventually though they make it out to the supposed “witch,” Agnus Bellweather. The kindly old woman, sitting on her porch with her black cat “Beltane,” has a number of stories to tell about the peculiar nature of the valley, Indian massacres by evil spirits, and more. Meanwhile Blaine leaves the Survey group to set camp and begin their dig while he heads back with the vehicles. The Archaeology students soon realize they are in over their heads as they find an Indian mass-grave and, at Higgin’s suggestion, hold off on doing further digging until Blaine returns to give further direction. Mr. Meyers is especially pleased with his discovery of a small fragment of Pasquallium (a rare ore FOC hoped to find in the area), but acquiesces to putting things on hold for the time being.

That night each group settles down as the fog comes in, getting a bit drunk on Whisky provided by Blaine (tucked in with their camping supplies in the case of the Survey team at Broken Hill). As everyone else at the Broken Hill camp stumble off to sleep Mr. Meyers stays up a bit for a smoke. Spotting strange lights moving in the mist, he only finds it curious until Rod’s sleeping bag is suddenly dragged off into the fog. Pandemonium explodes as he starts shouting and various others awake and try to flee, only to fall unconscious and be swiped away by crab-like claws. Meyers ends up back to back with Ethan and his trusty rifle. A lucky shot gives the creatures hidden in the mist pause, giving them a chance to flee. Just and Octavia also manage to escape to the woods. All four eventually manage to find the authorities in the way of either Sheriff Spencer or Deputy Cutter. Unfortunately because of the smell of Whisky on them (and their ravings), the Arkhamites are promptly arrested for public intoxication and thrown in jail for the night.

The Folklorists at the Farmhouse, similarly intoxicated, have a quiet night until something is heard on the roof. Blaine and several of the other students go out to investigate, and eventually call back that they need help, stating that a cat has gotten stuck up there! Flanagan toddles out to see the other students asleep on the ground, but as the fog thickens he too passes out. When Blaine again calls out to the few remaining in the house, he claims one of the others have twisted their leg, so this time sweet, helpful Adeline trots out to help, and joins the others in innocent slumber-land. Lastly Bernherd hears Blaine calling him, asking for help with the ladder to fetch the cat, and he – not to be outdone – joins them to help, with similar results.

In the morning Blaine arrives at the jail and nearly persuades Deputy Cutter to turn the imprisoned surveyors over, especially when he calls in several of their fellows they claimed had vanished in the night, but the arrival of Sheriff Spencer and a very angry Professor Harrold put a stop to that. Harrold takes custody of the hungover team-members and marches them to the car to drive them to the train-station in disgrace. He leaves them on the train back to Arkham, insisting they will have words once he is done wrapping up matters in Cobbs Corners.

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