The group attended the Friday night Silver Twilight party the day after the Gramercy Park shootout. They were determined not to botch their next onsite Hermetic Order investigation again. This night the group was to be officially inducted into the Hermetic Order. After drinks at the bar, the group was led upstairs where they donned black robes. A servant placed a blindfold on each of them and led them forward. They were then stopped and asked to kneel. Their blindfolds were removed. They were before an altar, surrounded by many robed figures. Karl Stanford was sitting on a raised dais holding his silver cane. The ever-present Max Reed stood beside him, staring blankly ahead.
John Scott hovered before the group, standing on a raised dais, holding what appeared to be a silver staff. He spoke with his raspy voice:
“Tonight, the Order is ready to receive new brothers and sisters. The noble purposes of the Order are: charity, brotherhood and enlightenment. Scholarship is dedicated to each rank within our order. These principles of each rank are as such: Neophytes seek a knowledge of the different sciences and scientific thought. Initiates seek the noble cause of philosophy. Masters seek knowledge of true magic.
Are you all here according to your own will?
Entrance to the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight is predicated upon four basic tenets. Once a member of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight you become a member for life. Do you understand? Upon repeating this oath, you are making a commitment to pay your membership dues on time and to act within the bylaws and regulations of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. There are four guiding principles of membership to the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. It is upon these principles upon which you will take an oath.
Repeat after me:
I shall always keep the activities of the Order secret. I will tell no living soul what is discussed in this meeting room now and forever. All words and discussion conversed here must remain within you as an act of will, brotherhood and all that is righteous. There is no acceptance of discussing secrets of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight to anyone who is not a member of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight.
I will live according to the guiding principles of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. Those principles are brotherhood, science, philosophy and magic.
I will always help another member of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight when in need. All members of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight are now my brothers and sisters and one of my family. I, in turn, now have a family of brothers and sisters whom I can call upon when in need.
I will forever seek after knowledge. I commit myself to the erudition of forever seeking further wisdom, learning and scholarship.
Above all else, I will remain loyal to the members and the lodge of The Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. I seek acceptance into the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight.
“Welcome to the Order, Brothers and Sisters!”
After the ceremony, the members returned to the ground level for more lively discussion. Towards the end of the evening, Vincent stole the keys from the kitchen while others created a diversion. During conversation, Karl Stanford, when asked if he knew Professor Peale at Miskatonic, was visibly shaken, whereupon he asked the group if they would join him for a private dinner at the lodge house next Wednesday evening. The group warily agreed. The evening wound down and everyone left around midnight.
The group had resolved to find James Clark tonight, so they returned to the Hermetic Order lodge house at 3 am, using the keys to enter through the back. They discovered a staircase leading from the lodge hall to a series of ceremonial rooms above. At this point, the group began to get an inkling that the Order’s purpose was far more sinister than even they had imagined. A series of chambers revealed what could only be initiation rooms, marked with the cryptic names: “Keeper of the Silver Gate,” “Knight of the Outer Void,” “Son of Yog-Sothoth” and “Wizard.” One wall of each room was covered by a large tapestry that depicted in almost photographic detail, hideous creatures, some serpentine, others man-shaped, cavorting about a central figure that the group identified as the Great Cthulhu himself. Above his head, a large yellow disc radiating outwards, seemed to depict the rising sun. The group was shaken by this, particularly Vincent, who vomited upon seeing it and passed out briefly.
They descended the basement stairs, which led to a series of large caverns under the house. There, in what must have been Karl Stanford’s library, the group found a copy of the Greek Necronomicon secreted beneath the bookcase. The Professor snatched the ancient book, and a large box on the desk and the group delved deeper into the cavern. They entered a massive chamber, filled with covered pits and cells along the walls. In one half-open pit they saw, illuminated by several flashlights, a horrible thing, a partially-formed thing, wailing piteously. In one of the cells, they found a half-starved James Clark, whom they carried upstairs and out the door into the cold Boston night.