Madness at Arkham

Blood in the Cellar

The group spent the month of November 1928 hiding in Arkham, studying the dread Necronomicon and contemplating their next move. They had destroyed the Silver Twilight’s headquarters in Boston and had reduced the wizard John Scott to dust. All this came at a steep price: several members had nearly died in the assault and all were badly shaken by the experience. The Professor had begun keeping strange hours and could often be heard speaking or chanting nonsense through the locked door of his room. Everyone was on edge.

Near Thanksgiving, the Professor received a letter from David Lee, an old friend from New York. Lee related that he had joined the group Look to the Future in New York and hoped that his old friend would help him to understand the strange goings-on there. Of course, the group already knew of the Silver Twilight’s connection to Lostalus Black and Look to the Future. They gathered the group together, fetched Vincent and Little Orchid from their respective hospital rooms, packed their tomes, weapons and equipment and headed off to New York.

When the arrived in New York to meet Lee in the restaurant of a mid-town hotel, a light snow was falling. They had already decided that they would infiltrate Look to the Future the next day to see what dirt they could dig up on the organization’s motives and goals. Although they were no longer being paid to investigate the case, they now believed their lives to be in serious danger. They would need to go on the offensive against a shadowy group with half-guessed motives and unknown strength. The Professor clutched the cursed Necronomicon wrapped in an unassuming leather bag, to his chest. There was no going back now.

The next evening they attended Look to the Future’s monthly meeting and were cordially welcomed by a man named Bryan Slim. In the corner of the crowded room, they saw Karl Sanford chatting amiably with some businessmen. The group tried to avoid his gaze and waited for the evening’s events to begin. Soon, a man that Lee identified as Lostalus Black entered the room, which all at once fell silent. He stepped up to the podium. “Tonight, we focus all our psychic energies on one task: to propel our brethren to the future!” The group clapped loudly. “Who will step forward to claim this honor?” Alistair and Little Orchid stepped forward to the stage and as instructed, the crowd continued the same repetitive chant for over half an hour until there was a sudden pop and Alistair and Little Orchid disappeared from view.

Alistair and Orchid found themselves in Manhattan, but they soon learned that it was the year 1994! The pair entered a large department store and stole a small device with buttons and some sort of screen to bring back with them. They were suddenly transported back to 1928 to the amazement of the crowd. Everyone in the room was slightly dizzy, but this soon passed.

At this point, the group spied Lostalus Black and Bryan Slim disappear behind a curtain on the stage and decided to follow them. The Professor approached the guard onstage and made a few gestures and said the word “Kyiarcho” three times rapidly. He then asked the guard to look the other way for a moment while he and his friends walked through the door behind the curtain. The group descended to the basement. David Lee said he would meet them back at their hotel later…

They sneaked along a corridor and stopped when they heard chatter in Arabic around the corner. The Professor boldly stepped around the corner and repeated the word Kyiarcho as before and commanded a guard to shoot his partner. He did as commanded. The rifle report echoed into the hallway beyond and suddenly an alarm sounded. The group could hear boots coming from both ends of the hallway. An intense melee ensued, leaving a number of guards dead after a brief standoff.

The group knew they had only moments before their escape would be cut off, but they pressed on into the compound, locating a room housing a large machine of some kind. Slaying the guard in the room, the group spotted a sheet of paper on a table with the following message:

REPORTING.
BELPHEGOR REPORTS NO SUCCESS
IN FINDING THE DISK IN
SCOTLAND. HE AND THE KNIGHTS
OF THE OUTER VOID MAY BE
FORCED TO SLAY MORE INTRUDERS.
INFORMATION RECEIVED INDICATES
THAT THE ARC OF VLACTOS MAY BE
FOUND IN CALIFORNIA. STILL NO
FULL RESULTS FROM EASTER
ISLAND.
FINISH.

Although the Professor had used his “Kyiarcho” spell to trick the reinforcements that everything was under control, they knew this subterfuge would only buy them a few minutes at most. They decided to run for the exit…but not before stopping by the only corridor they hadn’t checked. Pausing at the door, the heard Bryan Slim speaking in Arabic with several men. The Professor confirmed that Slim had ordered the men to remain at their post and kill anyone entering the door. The group in turn ordered their own mind-controlled guard to enter the room blasting, which he did. The group stood outside and covered their ears. When the shooting stopped, they opened the door and saw that all the guards were killed in the melee. They entered the blood-spattered room and headed for the door on the other side, which opened onto a hallway with three doors. They could detect a powerful, organic stench wafting from the first and decided not to enter. The second room had the words “E.Coli” stenciled on the door and they bypassed that one, too. They entered the final door. Inside, they saw Bryan Slim, surrounded by a swirl of intense purplish light, shouting “Nyarlathotep! Nyarlathotep! Sernomai Kaos! Sernomai Kaos!” Behind him, they saw a row of the same futuristic rifles that the guards carried. They paused briefly and then opened fire, emptying their clips in terror and killing Slim instantly. At that moment, the figure of Lostalus Black emerged from the swirl of shimmering light and smiled.

The group slammed the steel door behind them and ran. Each one heard his or her name whispered in Lostalus Black’s voice before they escaped to the rooms above, to light and sanity.

The meeting room above was cold and empty. David Lee was nowhere to be seen. Inside the podium on the stage, they found a sheaf of papers. One set was made up of pages torn from a book called “In Old California.” The following passage was underlined:

A renegade missionary named Whateley visited
and remained with a small tribe of Indians
known as the Hotethk from 1837 to 1843,
when he disappeared. Shortly thereafter, the
Hotethk tribe itself disbanded, its elders evidently
having vanished or died. This tribe was
notable for its especially savage pagan rites,
which Whateley seems to have encouraged. He
either brought to or found with the Indians a
peculiar structure which he called the Arc of
Vlactos, and which he believed had connections
to non-Christian sky demons. The only other
known facts about the Hotethk are that they
practiced the creation of Kachina dolls to house
demons’ souls, and that they worshiped gods not
mentioned elsewhere in California, such as the
serpent-god Yigg and the horned god Shoob
Niggeratt. The Hotethk dwelt in Devil’s
Canyon, in the Mojave Desert.
— Excerpt from In Old California, by A. Smith,
no publisher, foreword dated 1884.

The other sheaf of papers included what appear to be a set of instructions for using objects called the “Rlyeh Disk” and the “Arc of Vlactos” to invoke some major magical ritual, perhaps designed to wake the demon-god Cthulhu from his slumbers. Research would be needed.

The group stumbled into the New York evening, covered in blood….

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