Monday Night Madness

Crimson Letters, chapter 17
No good choices...

Wednesday, Oct. 12th, 1921 – Having agreed to trade Cecil Hunter for Antony Flinders, the Investigators retreat from Unconsidered Trifles to acquire the target of their exchange. Edith, finding everyone gone from St. Mary’s hospital, desperately sets off in search of them, eventually ending up at Hobbshouse Manse herself, where she finds both Cecil, and the Horror (in a mirror), before going mad. When the rest of the Investigators arrive at the Mansion, they find Edith dancing in a trance with a badly beaten, unconscious Cecil. She comes to, and they are gratified to discover Cecil still alive, but all are forced to flee when the Horror manifests in an explosion of glass that pursues them out to their cars where they race back to Arkham before the Horror dissipates. Returning to Unconsidered Trifles, they meet the assistant, Mr. Fademan, and are led back into the labyrinth of tunnels bellow the store. The trade goes smoothly, and with the unconscious Flinders in their possession they take their leave, struggling to ignore the screams of poor Cecil as Wick sacrifices him to rebind the book.

Epilogues: Father Ward takes a sabbatical, returning to his favorite seminary upstate in order to get his head straight. Professor Hayward attempts to steal other artifacts to pay off the Atlanta Gangsters, but is caught, arrested, loses his post at Arkham, and sentenced to a year in prison. Anne-Anne Luskstrom focuses on her business, but continues to study her tattoos; this leads to her learning a number of Asiatic languages (though, none of them particularly well). Lacking conclusive evidence, the murder charges against Edith are eventually dropped, but the lawyer fees leave her and her father poorer for it. Edith and Antony continue dating and researching the occult; both join Jonson in the Eye of Amara society, where she reads through all the volumes of the Golden Bough. Mr. Jonson continues his lecturing at Arkham, and his studies with the Eye of Amara, where he fails to read and truly comprehend (for better or worse) their copy of the Sussex Manuscript – his playing of the Accordion marginally improves. Unconsidered Trifles burns down in an unexplained fire not long after the strange events of October, 1921, though Anne-Ann continues to get occasional postcards from Abner Wick, inquiring as to her health and well-being. Dean Fallon, dismayed at their failure to retrieve the manuscript, settles matters with the Hobbshouse estate out of court.

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Crimson Letters, chapter 16
Desperate Action

Wednesday, Oct. 12th, 1921 – The following morning, while Edith is away filling out depositions with her lawyer, the rest of the Investigators discover from the Hospital staff that Mr. Flinders is missing. Going on the warpath, Hayward and Anne-Ann acquire shotguns; while Jonson buys himself an Accordion (he also joins the National Accordion Society while he’s at it). Anne carves crosses into the heads of her shells, and has Father Ward bless them. Thus armed, they drive over to the antiquities store, Unconsidered Trifles, where Jonson uses his Accordion to cover the noise of their attempts to break in. After failing to shoot the lock off the back door, they head around to the front to shatter the main shop window before climbing in. Hayward finds Flinder’s patient robe (he stops to “smell” it, because he is at this point accepted himself as a self-described pervert). Ward thinks he hears faint chanting from below, so they seek out the cellar (but not before grabbing the petrol-can from the garage). The cellar proves empty, apart from assorted store-related items, but they do find a trap-door hidden beneath some crates, and continue further down. This sub-basement, much larger than the one above, is a dark labyrinth filled with bones and older antiquities. They sense movement in the shadows, and realize they are surrounded by dozens of dog-like humanoids lurking mostly out of sight. When one of them makes the mistake of suggesting they retreat for dynamite, the monsters charge, howling. Two or three ghouls seize the stairs, and Jonson fails to dislodge them with his hastily made bone-torch. Hayward goes mad, firing wildly into the crowd, before running, screeching further into the labyrinth in his desperate search for Flinders, friend and foe alike hot on his heels. They soon find Flinders, tied and unconscious to a board hanging over a well, Abner Wick nearby, wearing nothing but an ornate robe, holding a knife as he conducts some strange rite, a strange aura of St. Elmo’s fire floating above (like what they had seen at Hobbshouse), dim roaring echoes coming up from below. Wick greets them pleasantly, until Hayward attempts to shoot him. The other Investigators struggle to throw off his shot (successfully) when they realize there are still many ghouls lurking about in the nearby tunnels. Anne-Ann rips open her bodice to show off her tattoos, and begins dancing, while Jonson attempts to accompany her on his Accordion (badly). A Ghoul seizes his instrument though and starts up a proper tune, while Wick, his interest piqued, agrees to negotiate with the Investigators, rather than have them killed out of hand. He tells them that the Entity trapped in the Manuscript is nearly free, and to seal it away he needs to sacrifice one “familiar with the book.” If they can get him a more suitable subject then Flinders (and if Anne promises he can have her body when she’s done with it) he’ll let Flinders go. Hayward initially offers himself, but after some discussion they agree Cecil Hunter, the mad artist responsible for unbinding the book in the first place, would be ideal. With that Wick agrees to hold off finishing the rite until the Investigators return with the wayward forger, but they’d best not make him wait long…

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Crimson Letters, chapter 15
Going in Circles

Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 1921 – Jonson awakes to find the mad artist Cecil Hunter slapping him awake, wanting something to drink… and his manuscript, of course. Jonson agrees to “take him to his manuscript” but instead attempts to take him back to the Sanitarium. Cecil catches on though, so he takes him to Hobbshouse instead, promising him the Papers are in there… somewhere. Afterwards he goes to the Police station, just in time to pick up Edith as her lawyer is getting her out on bail. Ditching the car somewhere inconspicuous, they visit Hayward and the others at St. Mary’s Hospital, where they end up congregating (and commiserating) in Anthony Flinder’s room. A police officer arrives to take down statements from those injured at the Billington Estate (Animal attack? Or individual? And why were they there, illegally, in the first place?), discovering in the process that the current owner, Ambrose Dewart, has returned home to discover the mess (and apparent theft of his some of his books). Some fast talking persuades the flat-foot it wasn’t their doing, but an animal, and he warns them civil charges may still be filed before taking his leave. Leaving Hayward and Anne to continue their recovery (along with Flinders, still in a coma), Ward fills Edith and Jonson in about the fight at the Billington Estate (and that it was the two from the bookstore, who had claws, that caused their injuries). They swing by Unconsidered Trifles, only to find it closed and locked up. Returning to the Church to switch out Edith’s beat-up car for the church van, they then travel back out to the Billington Estate, where they find workmen changing the locks and making repairs. Leaving Jonson watching from a safe distance (and hidden), Ward and Edith go to the house and speak with Ambrose Dewart. They end up revealing some (but not ALL) of what had transpired, before retrieving Jonson and heading back into town, and discuss how they might break into the antiquities shop (regret is made of the missing PI and burglar characters, not seen now for many, many sessions). Getting bolt-cutters and leaving Ward on watch, they attempt to break into the back, but a bit of bad luck results in being caught by a policeman doing his rounds. Luck and fast-talk persuade him they merely “found” the bolt-cutters, and the true thief ran off. Sans bolt-cutters, they return to the hospital, where they visit Flinders again, pray over him (or just whisper sweet nothings), and are rewarded by his brief mumblings “so much to do, so much to do!” before sliding back into his coma. Edith swipes his library key, and the three visit the Miskatonic University Library to research more about the Billington family. They eventually find a thesis about the rivalry between Rev. Ward Philips and Ailigah Billington over things the former wrote about Ailigah’s ancestors. When weird breezes begin blowing the book’s pages about and they hear chanting and a dim roaring on the wind, they decide they’ve had enough for now and retreat again to the hospital.

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Crimson Letters, chapter 14
Hateful Mondays

Monday, Oct. 10th, 1921 – Jason awakes to find his basement door open and all the stuff he’d piled in front of the basement door shoved aside. Terrified that his books are now on the loose, he heads over to join Ward at the Church. He arrives just as Ward receives a call from Arkham Sanitarium, warning them that mad artist Cecil Hunter has escaped. Meanwhile, the girls wake up over at the mortuary with raging hangovers, and are shocked to discover Anne is covered in weird oriental tattoos (only her head, feet and hands are still unmarked). They attempt to speak with the tattoo artist responsible, but are told at the shop that Pin Liou sleeps and is not to be disturbed, so they drive over to the Library in hopes of answers. Unfortunately they find the Library is woefully under-stocked with books that might help. They reconvene for lunch at the hospital with Hayward, interrupting his sponge-bath. After Anne “exposes herself” to the shocked Professor, he admits he thinks they are “moving.” Afterwards, the young ladies rejoin Ward and Jonson at the Church, and together they all head back to Jonson’s house to investigate the break-in. Jonson spots many scratch marks about the place, not unlike the ones found at the Mortuary break-in. That link settled, they decide to drive back out to the Billington Estate. Exploring the Tower they note an Elder Sign on a stone blocking an opening in the roof. As they are heading back though, they spot a light in the library of the main house. Investigating, they discover Anthony Flinders, standing amid all the missing manuscripts – including the Arkham Witch-trial papers, the document they’d originally been hired to look for! They quickly discern in talking with him he is not himself, but possessed of a rival of both Keziah Mason and the Rev. Ward Philips (given his animosity to the mention of their names, and Father Ward’s looks). Though he threatens Ward with the Curse of Azathoth, they persuade him they can be useful once he reveals his struggle to rebind an Entity partially released from the manuscript’s unbinding. Edith and Jonson head back into town to retrieve supplies while Anne and Ward head down to the cellar to find a few ritual objects. BUT, in town Edith and Jonson are pulled over and Edith is arrested as a suspect in the murder of Prof. Roach. Jonson finishes up the shopping trip by himself and returns, only to discover trouble at the Estate as well. He finds Anne and Ward badly injured, and Flinders unconscious. They tell him of how they heard another car arrive while in the basement, and then a scream from the library. By the time they arrived they found Flinders unconscious and bleeding out, while the two creepy employees from the bookstore, Unconsidered Trifles, were gathering up the Witch-trial Papers. Ward tried to punch one, but found he had fangs and claws, and his hand was badly mauled when he attempted fisticuffs. Anne too was badly slashed, but the interlopers seemed disinclined to continue the fight when she showed off her tattoos. Jonson helps with First Aid and runs them all to the Hospital, where they spend the night concerned as to Flinder’s fate (and possibly their own).

Quotes:
(Jonson) “Books are roaming free!”
(Edith) “Tome free.. We’re Tome free!”
(Anne) “I’m covered in tentacle porn!”
(Ward) “I made my roll. I didn’t know he was a werewolf!”

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Crimson Letters, chapter 13
Bloody Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 9th, 1921 – Edith wakes up alone, her car in a ditch, clothes covered in someone-else’s blood, a bloody crowbar in the back seat. She dimly recalls intending to take Anthony Flinders out drinking and dancing at the Roadhouse, but doesn’t actually remember much of what happened after leaving the Billington Estate. Her car is facing Billington Woods, just outside of town. Worse, all the books that she had collected are gone. She drives down to the Miskatonic to wash off the blood and clean off the crowbar before returning to town. Meanwhile, her fellow Investigators have had a quiet Sunday morning. Father Ward performs Mass and aids in church duties, though his sermon slides into a rant about the End of Days. Hayward rests up in the hospital, making friends with a simple-minded orderly, while Anne spends her morning cleaning up the Mortuary and getting caught up on paperwork. Jonson moves all his books into his basement and barricades the door with furniture. Edith returns home to clean up before scouring the campus for Flinders, but her search proves fruitless. Eventually she returns to the Roadhouse in hopes someone saw them there. Though the back-room speakeasy is not yet open, they mention Lucy Stone was working, and she charms out of them directions to her nearby apartment. She finds Lucy reluctant but persuades her to talk, and Lucy admits she saw the two dancing, but that they left when Edith had had too much to drink. Lucy also has no recollection of attacking Hayward, but remembers being attacked by zombie-Leiter at his house while searching for his hidden cash, and had blanked out for a day or so afterwardsand she is worried she may be going mad, like Leiter’s partner-in-crime, Cecil Hunter. Edith gives her $250 in cash and leaves her at the Train-station in hopes that she can save at least one person from whatever is going on. She then joins the other Investigators to meet at the Dean’s office (in answer to his urgent summons), where they discover Prof. Roach was murdered the previous evening (having been beaten to death with a blunt instrument – rumor has it the police are looking for a female suspect). He lets them loose after scolding them over their lack of results, and they return to bring Hayward up to date back at the hospital. Hayward tells them of his experience with the missing manuscript, as well as his meeting with Roach the previous evening, and recommends they go to the Sanitarium to meet with Cecil Hunter. Using Father Ward’s credentials as a priest and playing off the Asylum’s desperate need to find anyone who might take responsibility for the madman, the Investigators finally meet the deranged libertine artist, who begs they release him so he can finish the “great work,” dropping hints that he and Leiter had nearly set something loose when they had unbound the book. All throughout the meeting they hear someone screaming the next room over, but are startled to discover the neighboring cell is empty as they are leaving (the orderly cleaning it mentioning that its’ former inhabitant committed suicide the previous evening). That night, each attempts to relax in their own way: Jonson dopes himself up on morphine, while Ward spends the night in prayer while sneaking some sacramental wine. Edith and Anne spend the evening drinking absinth while dancing to music on her phonograph, before driving off to find the old Chinaman Pin Liou whom Anne had heard about from her grandfather, in hopes he could supply them with opium. The girls wake up later at the Mortuary the following morning, with Anne’s body covered from the neck down in obscure (and possibly obscene) tattoos.

Quotes: (Jonson) “The screams came from within the WALLS! Not the next ROOM!”

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Crimson Letters, chapter 12
Into Billington Woods

Saturday, Oct. 8th, 1921 – All the investigators struggle with disturbing dreams (Father Ward dreams he is giving mass in Bayfriar Church to a congregation of whispering shadows with flies in their mouths; Anne dreams she is part of Keziah Mason’s Coven, chanting in a graveyard on an island in the Miskatonic, with Brown Jenkins cackling as the dead dig themselves out of their graves; Edith wakes in the Hospital to hear Hayward whispering “free me”, his eyes aglow, lifting his gun to blow his brains out, then she wakes again…; Hayward dreams a memory of him meeting Roach, Leiter & the Dean to discuss who should get to work on the Witch-trial Manuscript, and recalls READING it, if only briefly; Jonson dreams he is walking through an unfamiliar city where all the books are bound in human skin, yet have familiar faces stretched across their covers – when opened there are no letters, only swarms of insects spilling out). When everyone DOES finally wake up (having spent the night barricaded in Hayward’s hospital room), they are there when Anthony Flinders visits to check on his new mentor. Hayward asks Flinders to tell Prof. Roach to come visit him while he convalesces, and the group (minus Hayward) decides to go with Flinders to meet with the taciturn academic. They find the Professor at his office, where he is very disrespectful of the ladies, disparaging of the Dean, Leiter, AND Flinders. He also hints his suspicion that the Dean himself took the manuscript, hiring the Investigators to cover his involvement in its’ theft. He also reveals he knew of Leiter’s gambling problems. The Investigators fail to find the Dean at his office, so they (again, along with Flinders) instead decide to go have a picnic in Billington Woods, and in the process break into the apparently abandoned Billington Mansion to have a look around. Eventually settling in to ransack the library (except for Jonson, who spends the next few hours entranced with the strange visions he’s seeing through the large stain-glass window rather than risk getting close to all the horrible books) the Investigators find and scan through a variety of entertaining tomes (Ward tackles a 1st edition copy of “Thaumaturgical Prodigies of the New England Canaan”, while Anne reads a handwritten manuscript titled “Of Evil Sorceries done in New England of Daemons in no Humane Shape”, and Edith examines a private hand-written translation of the Necronomicon). Edith, for her part, suffers a brief bout of Amnesia, forgetting momentarily who she is and what is going on (this sketchy forgetfulness haunts her for the rest of the night, though the troubles caused by it are not initially apparent). Realizing dusk is upon them, the Investigators hastily leave. Ward returns to the rectory to rest with a nightcap and plan for Sunday’s sermon, while the majority of the others return to their homes for yet more troubled dreams. Edith, however, decides to take a willing Flinders out to the Roadhouse in hopes of a night of drinking and dancing and sin, while back at the hospital Hayward is visited by Roach for a brief visit. Though it is terse , Roach takes a conciliatory tone as he warns Hayward that Flinders is not to be trusted.

Quotes: (Jonson to Hayward) “You ARE the Man of Glass.”

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Crimson Letters, ch 11
House Hunting

Friday, Oct. 7th, 1921 – Jonson awakes that morning in Billington Woods, very hungry, covered in chicken feathers, and with no idea how he got there. Brushing the feathers off he takes the long walk home.back to Arkham. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang receives word from an angry Dean Fallon that Prof. Leiter’s body turned up at a crime scene and wants to know what shenanigans Annie-Anne might be pulling at her mortuary. She in turn shoots back how her place has been recently burgled, and as soon ss the mortified Dean is off the phone, gives the police a call. Not long after, the police arrive, and as the flat-foots take down her statement she meets the estimable (and suspicious) Det. Somerset, who has a look around the Mortuary. Jonson eventually rejoins Anne at the Mortuary (after the Detective has left, and he has had a chance to soak his blisters at home), and finds out what he’s missed in the intervening day of amnesiac wandering. Despite everyone’s objections, the still nearly crippled Prof. Hayward decides to head back to campus to collect academic records on Emilia Court and Anthony Flinders (noting they are both brilliant, but that Flinders has had some probationary incidents) and check in with Armitage to see who last took out the library’s copy of “Thaumaturgical Prodigies of the New England Canaan” before heading off to the Asylum to see who Cecil Hunter is and maybe discover why Leiter was paying to keep him locked up. Armitage tells him that the last person to take out the book was, curiously enough, none other than it’s author, Rev. Ward Philips, more than a century ago. Stopping again at his office before leaving campus though, Hayward discovers Leiter’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy Stone waiting for him, her eyes glowing like embers. He quickly falls to her assault, her words “where is it! Where is my book!” being the last thing he hears before falling unconscious yet again" (though not before getting a single wild shot off with his pistol that shatters a window). Meanwhile, Anne walks Jonson through the damage to the Mortuary and her home, and they examine the damage to the bodies, and what may have caused it (“Robbers? With Dogs?”). Elsewhere Father Ward and Edith Cordova attempt to visit Leiter’s body at the Police station to “bless it,” but after getting the run-around realize they’re looking in the wrong place and return to St. Marys’ and the morgue under Dr. Wheatcroft’s care, where Cordova feeds him a sandwich and persuades him to let her take care of the body yet again. With him safely distracted she and the Father open Leiter’s corpse up and pack it with rock-salt, recalling folklore that salt is a good deterrent for ghosts and zombies. On their way out they see Hayward being wheeled in to the emergency ward. Together again at the Mortuary (minus Hayward of course) the Investigators decide to drive out to Hobbshouse in proper mourning-clothes with flowers to pay their respects to the family of the recently deceased Ephraim Cobb. No family (or anyone at all) is present, but the door is unlocked, so they go in to poke around. Encountering a string of strange thumps and other noises, unusual bouts of weather and bursts of Saint Elmo’s Fire all over the roof (all of which Hayward hears over his radio back in the hospital) the gang flees. The session (and the night) ends with them all barricading themselves in Hayward’s hospital bedroom, with Anne hallucinating Brown Jenkins chittering away madly at her for the rest of the night, and Father Ward suffering from bouts of hysterical blindness.

Quotes: “Best not be drinking when people are speaking in this game.”

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Crimson Letters, ch 10
"But the front door was locked..."

Thursday, Oct. 6th, 1921 –When last we left our intrepid investigators three (Edith, Jonson and Father Ward) had gone mad from reading the Cthaat Aquadingen and left Anne alone on the doorstep of the Bayfriar Church on French Hill near midnight. Meanwhile, Prof. Hayward was waiting in the supposed safety of Anne’s home above her Mortuary. But when he wakes suddenly to realize he is not alone in the house, he knows that to be false. Someone (or something, or somethings?) are ransacking the neighboring rooms. Realizing he left his gun in the guest bedroom, he hides behind a curtain before the unseen invaders enter the study he was resting in. Holding his breath he hears them enter, breaking into the desk and knocking all the books from the shelves. Most disconcerting is that they periodically stop to sniff the air, and give low barks to each other. They fail to notice him however, and slip out the way they came. Waiting a good 20 minutes until all sounds of their activities cease, he comes out to find the entire place ransacked, with claw marks periodically demarcating the worst of the damage. The front door is locked, but the trail of destruction seems to come and go through the Mortuary basement. Hayward retreats to rest (lightly) in Anne’s Grandfather’s bedroom, gun retrieved and in hand. Eventually dawn comes and Anne is rejoined by Father Ward, who had spent the entire night praying in the dark to an empty Church. The two return to her place, as does Edith (who awoke in a ditch with someone else’s blood and viscera under her fingernails, covered in bruises). Shocked by the damage to the house (and the gnawed remains in the mortuary cellars), they still deduce whomever ransacked the place did not find what they were looking for, and from that deduce the raiders were likely after the Witch Trial Papers. While the others rest up for the day or focus on cleaning the house, it is decided that Father Ward will show the Cthaat Aquadingen to Prof. Hayward (as he has an understanding of German), which soon puts him in hysterics. His screams bring everyone running, and they have to hold him down and keep him from biting off his own tongue until he regains a semblance of composure. When evening rolls around, the rest of the Investigators decide to follow Edith on her “date” with Anthony Flinders. Flinders spots them and invites them over, sheepishly admitting his awareness that Dean Fallon had retained their services in looking into [[Prof. Leiter]]’s death. On this and other matters he proves to have much to say, accusing Emilia Court of being Keziah Mason’s descendant (and a Witch), and Dean Fallon & [[Prof. Roach]] of performing the Black Mass together in Billington Woods under the light of the Full (or maybe New) Moon. Hayward is so taken with him he offers Anthony a job as his aid. Anthony eagerly accepts, and pushes his willingness to aid the investigation in any way he can. Later that night, once they return to Anne’s mortuary, Edith calls Emilia Court (after finding a note from her wishing to talk among the mail she’d retrieved from home earlier that day) and makes plans for the two to meet for lunch Friday. Exhausted, they hole up at the Mortuary for the night. The next morning they read in the paper that Ephraim Cobb, a relative of the previous owner of the Witch-Trial Papers, fell to his death at Hobbshouse Manse.

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Crimson Letters, ch 9
Fear the Written Word

Oct. 5th, 1921 –
That morning the Investigators (Edith, Anne, Jonson and Ward) visit Hayward at his room in at St. Mary’s Medical Training Hospital and discuss his recent “encounters” (the gangsters’ threats and the strange burning “eyes” he saw over the city). They then spend a good amount of time concocting an elaborate plan to sneak Hayward out of the hospital so he won’t have to face them again (he is to check out, take a cab to Christchurch Episcopal – Father Ward’s church – where an empty coffin awaits for him to hide himself in until Anne’s aids, Frank and Stan, pick it up and transport it to her mortuary home, where he can then sneak out and slip upstairs to her home). Anne mutters an argument with Brown Jenkins (all in her head) that perhaps she should do something naughty with the Coffin. Leaving Hayward and giving a call to make arrangements, the rest of the Investigators head out to search for Antony Flinders. After asking around, they catch up with him between classes. Finding the Grad-student very attractive, Edith chats him up as the others look on with bemusement, and the two agree to make a date for the following evening. That handled, they swing by the MU Library to speak with Armitage to see if the University has an older edition of “_Thaumaturgical Prodigies in the New England Canaan._” Discovering the University’s copy missing, Armitage assures them he’ll see about finding out who may have taken it. Meanwhile, Hayward checks himself out of the hospital, as planned, BUT decides to stop at a nearby café for some non-hospital food rather than catch a cab right away. He is ambushed while eating his lunch by the mobsters, Oaks and Shaunnesy, who bully him discreetly until he pulls out his gun and “persuades” them that he’s had enough and doesn’t care anymore, he’s on the same side in wanting to deal with Leiter – they’re not friends but rivals, after all – and that they’d best leave off and wait for his call if/when he finds the wayward Professor. Agreeing to his terms, the admiring Gangsters take their leave, and Hayward finishes his meal and continues back to follow the plan unobstructed and without further obstacles. Finished with the library trip, the rest of the Investigators decide to search French Hill for strange phenomena, eventually breaking into the abandoned Bayfriar’s Church to get a better view, and note the boarding-house where Keizah Mason once lived is not far from there. Then, inexplicably, they decide they to search for the Bayfriar Church’s crypts (because, of course, it must have a crypt), and begin exploring the basement, where they find many books. While most are too rotted to read, they find one bound in human skin that seems to be sweating. Filled with horrible woodcuts and written in archaic Latin, they use Edith’s electric lamp for light and collectively listen as Father Ward reads select passages to them. Sometime near midnight they stop, and what they’ve read in the Cthaat Aquadingen sinks in, and all but a mercifully ignorant Anne go mad. As Father Ward slips deeper into the basement, away from the light and people (because too many people will attract the Sea-demons), and Jonson runs shrieking into the night through French Hill’s cobbled streets, fleeing that vile BOOK (for books are the tools used by the Sea-demons to return), Edith snatches up the tome and dashes elsewhere (for the Sea-demons whisper to her none can be trusted with its’ secrets but her), leaving poor Anne waiting on the Church’s steps, alone, to await the sunrise.

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Crimson Letters, ch 8
Look who's coming to dinner...

This session the PLAN was for Anne & Ward to answer Abner Wick’s dinner invitation, for Edith, Wallace & Jonson to use that time to break into Unconsidered Trifles, and for Prof. Hayward to spend the night resting at the hospital. But short two players, Jonson’s player decided he was unsuited to breaking and entering on his own, prefering to spend the session researching in the Eye of Amara’s library, eventually settling on reading the recently released “The Witch-Cult in Western Europe,” by Margaret Murray (which I had great fun describing the contents of, implying all sorts of subtle hints about the Horned God cult to whom Murray argues medieval Witches worshiped, never once pausing to explain this was an actual occult reference, not a mythos tome, that he was reading). Prof. Hayward struggled with strange manifestations at the hospital, hallucinations (?) that seemed like burning eyes leading his gaze to French Hill and to a mansion outside of town. He then narrowly averted shooting the nurse when she came in suddenly behind him (his gun tucked behind out of view and then replaced under his pillow), who promptly upped his morphine dose. The meat of the evening of course was the dinner, where Annie-Anne & Father Ward met at Arkham’s most expensive restaurant, Crawfords, with Abner Wick. There they were reintroduced to Emilia Court (played by Hayward’s player, who I felt needed more play-time than being an invalid in the Hospital). Pacing the evening with the assorted courses served, Wick’s insinuating conversation got across his interests in the case (that he had been a “partner” to Leiter’s side business in selling antiquities, that Leiter had “encouraged” a bidding war over the Arkham Witch-trials manuscript but had died before selling it, that other “parties” were after the manuscript, that such manuscripts were “dangerous” in the wrong hands, and that Wick would pay handsomely for the manuscript “no questions asked”). He also coaxed some missed information out of Court (principally Leiter’s academic rivalry with Prof. Roach and Prof. Hayward – yes, Haywar’d player decided to stick it to his own character). Ward and Wick had some very good banter about death, resurrection, Jesus & the Bible (Ward knew little of Zombies, but argued Episcopalians were not that literal after all and that he’d really rather not think about it thank you very much). Court also mentioned Leiter’s girlfriend Lucy living near the Roadhouse, and Anne kept twitching and having unsolicited conversations with Brown Jenkins (attempting to entice more advice from her delusion). Anne did warn Wick of the “Burly men from Atlanta” who were interested in the case. After dinner (and away from Wick) Court warned the Investigators of her own rival, grad-student Anthony Flinders before they part ways. Ward & Anne then stopped off to check in on Hayward before turning in for the night, noting his mumbling about the lights he saw, and the damaged window similar to the mirror Ward saw in Leiter’s office.

Quotes of the day:
“Stop rolling badly! Stop using up all your luck!”

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