Monday Night Madness

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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A Time to Harvest, Episode 1.3
Bridge over troubled waters

The 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.

Feedback? Had a complaint about how the scenario splitting the party, leaving little for the survey team to do while players in the other group get to gallivant about town talking to people.

Everyone at the farm awakes to Just’s scream as he shakes himself from his troubling dream, but he doesn’t share, and no one presses him. Even though it is Sunday Blaine doesn’t give time off from their duties, so – despite clouds coming in – he again breaks everyone into their assigned tasks and heads out with the Geological/ Anthropological survey team, leaving it to Prof. Flanagan to shepherd the Anthro/Folklore team in town. Flanagan decides attending local services at the First Baptist Church of Divine Ascension is the only proper way to start their day, and after a rousing sermon of fire-and-brimstone they speak with Reverend Wilson to get advice on who might be good to interview.

Quote: “roll for salvation!”

The Reverend confides in passing his concerns over moving to Cobb’s Corners a few years ago – the fact that the local children keep encouraging his son to sneak out at night (no matter how frequently he beats him) being a sign of local moral degeneracy. Afterwards they travel to several farmsteads, hearing of Old Woman Bellweather (a suspected Witch) and Emily Brathewaite (a mute simpleton of a young woman who has disappeared, again). Early in the afternoon a farmer they seek to interview chases them off his farm with a shotgun, shouting that their meddling will stir up ghosts of the dead Indians in the hills and cause trouble for the town, so they head back to town for a late lunch before the weather finally breaks in a torrential downpour. Meanwhile the Archaeology/Geology team has little success at the dig-site, made worse with the oncoming storm. Blaine leaves them at the truck to go see if any of the local farms will give them shelter. After waiting for a few hours they give up on waiting for him and have Joe start up the truck to head back to the farmhouse. While crossing the bridge the river washes out the supports, dropping both truck and passengers into the waters below. After some troubles with jumping and swimming (wherein several of the Arkhamites nearly drown), they get to the shore, by which time neighbors have heard the commotion and come running. Soon the Sheriff arrives, with Blaine in tow, as do the Folklore group, and between the three cars they manage to tie on ropes and pull the truck out (though not before someone spots something in the waters and Blaine “slips,” knocking Gerald in, resulting in Gerald seeing something pink and strange and tentacular up close and personal just before Rod saves him from drowning). Once Joe checks over the truck and makes sure its’ in working order, the Arkhamites all return to the Maclaren Farmhouse to dry out and eat dinner (while driving back, as Gerald chews Blaine out over his mishandling of affairs and Blaine retorts a general dismissiveness and snark to the company executive, Prof. Flanagan notes the shy Jason Trent again looking out the car window with a weird smile). After dinner, Blaine excuses himself for a walk as the weather has cleared up some. Trent does so as well, but again finds Adeline keeping him company as he attempts to enjoy the solitude of dusk. While the others are out Higgins blows his top and states emphatically his unhappiness with and concerns about Blaine. As they finally settle down to sleep, almost all of them suffer from horrid, haunting dreams which –when several finally decide to share over breakfast the next morning – they are shocked to find are very similar. As they are digesting this they hear a scream from outside and in rushing out find Adeline looking down at the flowerbed, where the recent rain has washed away enough to see human bones poking up from underneath.

Quotes (Meyer): “Our expedition has been sent to get rid of all the students not liked on campus.”

(Adeline & Just): “We’re C’th-fodder!”

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A Time to Harvest, Episode 1.2
Settling In

The 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.
  • “Adleine ‘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.

The Arkham expedition heads on in to Joe’s Grill and are just placing their orders when Sheriff Spencer and Deputy Cutter come in. The Sheriff sidles up to the bar, gets a cup of coffee, then reads them the riot act, informing them at length that he will have none of the shenanigans that happened last year. With that he tips his hat and leaves. Deputy Cutter sticks around though, apologizing for his boss and asks if he can join them, offering to give them a tour of the town afterwards. They agree and get to talking with the handsome young deputy (several noting an awkward exchange between him and expedition leader Robert Blaine in regards to the missing members of last year’s expedition). Gerald tries probing deputy and Jim’s wife, Ann, in regards to the missing students, to little avail, but Just takes interest in Ann’s son sketching weird trees in the corner and enjoys (?) a rather odd conversation with young Jason because of it (including the youngster razzing the deputy for getting too old). After their late lunch, true to his word Deputy Cutter gives them the tour and introduces them to many locations and locals about town, including (but not limited to) the Librarian Mable Carruthers and her niece, Amanda Wells, Rev. Wilson, Karner’s Goods grocery story, Dr. Perry’s Office, and the War Memorial (with its fully functional canon!). He warns them to avoid Jimmy Maclearan (a notorious drunk and the Sheriff’s brother-in-law who lost his farm –the same one they’re now staying at – after his wife died) and Richard Wendell (the nosy reporter whom they met earlier). Afterwards he drives back with them to the Maclearan Farmhouse, and sticks around to share a little whisky from his flask (on the down-low! No telling his boss!) while they share ghost stories. When his turn comes around, he tells them of how the neighborhood kids dare each-other to stay in the house because they believe Maclearan’s wife still haunts the place. After he leaves they settle down for the night, and Just and Octavia (along with a few others) are haunted by curious dreams, which they keep to themselves upon waking. After breakfast Ethan has a very peculiar “vision” of a strange bipedal rat slaughtering a hare while transiting from the outhouse earlier, decides to keep the experience to himself, but spends his off-hours over the next day or so sketching the creature. When they are all ready Blaine breaks them all into two groups. The Anthropology & Folklore team drive into town with him to question the locals, while the handyman, Joe Harlow, drives the rest to a dig-site he’d picked out to survey. The town-team hears little of interest save a story about a ghost-hound that haunts one of the neighboring hills, while the other group finds little outside of a single Indian arrowhead. Regrouping that evening at the Farm, the Arkhamites are concerned about the incoming storm (given all the work they’d done), but settle down as best they may, despite the heat. Most sleep uncomfortably, and while both Just and Ethan wake briefly to note Blaine stepping out, only Ethan thinks he hears a strange buzzing noise in the distance, like bees. As the night wears on, Octavia and Just are again haunted by strange dreams…

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