Madness at Arkham

A deal is proposed

After they had brought Clark to safety at Boston Memorial, the group retired to its hotel to sleep. Professor Woodhouse remained awake skimming through the purloined Necronomicon and muttering to himself. For an old man, he had remarkable stamina. The group awoke in the early afternoon and headed over to Boston Memorial to interview James Clark, who had regained consciousness. Under hypnosis, he recounted how he had taken a bus to the Hermetic Order late one night to be inducted to the upper echelons of the order. His memory was hazy, but he recalled a group of robed figures softly chanting what sounded like a medieval monastic hymn. He remembers being touched by Karl Stanford’s silver-tipped cane and then…At this point in the story, he began screaming “It’s outside! It’s outside the window! The wings!” and then could remember no more.

They spied Sergeant Logan Terry lurking outside the hospital room. He gave a transparently false reason for being there and hurried away. Vincent followed him down the hallway where he overheard him speaking on a payphone: “Yeah, they’re here. Yeah, he’s here too. Relax, I’ll take care of everything.” Vincent followed him back to the Hermetic Order lodge and searched his car, where he found a shotgun and some cocaine in a small pouch. He took the shotgun, found a payphone and informed the police that he had seen a police officer consuming what looked like drugs outside the Hermetic Order lodge. They then reunited James Clark with his family and advised them to leave town for a while——advice that they eagerly accepted.

Back in Arkham, they decided to meet with Professor Ambrose Peale at Miskatonic to inform him that they had solved the case. He revealed that he belonged to the group “The Order of the Templars at Miskatonic” referred to in the Scottish letter the group had found in the Order’s basement yesterday. The Professor said that they were all in grave danger and that the only thing they could do would be to go on the offensive against the Hermetic Order and that bringing down John Scott would be the key. Peale offered all the resources the Templars could muster and agreed to give the group the evening to consider their options before meeting tomorrow to come up with a plan.

A few blocks away at the Firm’s Arkham headquarters, the group sat around the meeting room’s large mahogany table, a family heirloom shipped to Arkham at great expense by Alistair Falconer. They each had a drink in hand and sat silently. The steady sound of rain was disturbed by a knock at the door. Outside, through the window, they saw Karl Stanford and Max Reed waiting on the landing! A sudden panic set in as the group retrieved its handguns, sat back at the table while Vincent admitted both men. Stanford walked in an said in a soft voice: “Please remain outside, Max.” Stanford walked in and sat at the table. “So, it is something of a disappointment to meet you all again under these circumstances. I very much admire your reckless courage! I am astounded, and I do not astound easily. I do hope I can convince you to take me into your confidence. But first we must settle our accounts. To be blunt: I will require you to return the item you stole from me. In exchange, I will let you live. Please let me know if this deal is satisfactory to you by 8 o’clock this evening. And let us not have any heroics, or I may need to call upon…outside aid.” He quickly rose and walked out the door. The group sat in shocked silence before Rod Hardin said: “So what do we do now?”

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