- ’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.