XX Horror

Transmissions 1 and 2

The events of July 10, 1933 were weird. And marked a turning point in the history of our World.
July 3 was the date of the disappearance of Elsa Cuthbertson. That was a mundane problem that came to the characters’ attention on July 10.

Cliffhangers:

- Martha and Annette throwing of a tail by Kittrige on their way to the Kingsport Yacht Club to track Eleanor Grace
- Rose and Angus trying to trail Horace Walsh: it is apparent he has gone inland, into the woods
- Alice has gone to the NELAA meetup deep in the woods. Soon after discovering that her husband spent a night lost in the ominous forests of the area near Dunwitch, she hears a large explosion from the very area where her betrothed went wandering

Document 1

Dated: January 13, 1936
A bizarre document covered with pulverized stone, ash, and strange fluids.
Covers a number of topics in a scrambled manner: Tears of Azazoth, Moebius Wasps, destruction of New York, Oliver …., Austin Kittrel, and Horace Walsh.

Events

  • Rose gets the documents
  • Angus wheedles a strange mobius amulet from S. Rodin
  • Martha lounges in the cafe with M. Novak and learns of the disappearance of Eleanor, and she also experiences a weird loss of 1/2 and hour from her life
  • Alice helps Mrs. Pickman hypnotize Dr. Armitage, who is delirious and wandering
  • after dumping the documents (addressed to Armitage’s home at 18 Applethorn Lane, but appearing at 18 Thornepole Lane, Rose’s home) Rose lurks outside, where she is ambushed by Walsh, who warns her to stay away from 18 Applethorn
  • Martha runs into Ms. Pickman at the Women’s Dorm. She, like Martha, is trying to find Eleanor. Martha shows her the mobius wasp hair clip belonging to Eleanor and Pickman invites her to the Armitage house
  • Angus’ questions about the mobius get him in the sphere of Tyler Freeborn and Francis Ashley, junior members of the Armitage Inquiry: something weird happened in Western Australia that necessitated the squelching of Tyler Freeborn’s discoveries of an unknown material culture in the area, tens of thousands of years before the immigration of the Aboriginals
  • All the PC except Rose end up at the Armitage house in the middle of the crisis: the documents are in Armitages hand but he has no memory of the persons mentioned in it or of writing it. Some say it is a hoax being played on the professor, some suggest the professor is having a mental breakdown, and some suspect extraterrestrial interference.
  • Ms. Pickman keeps the members of the inquiry in line while the newcomers undertake some investigative tasks

Document 2

Dated: December 21, 1934.
The writing is cleaner, more linear, reads like a diary entry rather than bizarre ramblings written in blood and ichor.
- Mentions strange events at an abandoned hospital, the ramblings of a paranoid encyclopedia salesman, and observations about NELAA, the New England League of Amateur Astronomers

Events

  • before getting the documents, Alice spends the evening creeped out by an out of town mobster
  • Horace Walsh is in town, paying off cops, collecting money for bootleg booze, and dragging along gear for making improvised liquid explosives
  • She crosses with the Armitage plot when she visits Dr. James the chemistry professor. The two dissident geologists are gossiping about Dr. Armitage’s ravings and the discovery of anachronistic insect specimens some 60 million years old in 10,000 year old strata.
  • the morning after the weirdness of the 10th, Alice comes across document 2 in a collection of her fiance’s things
View
Transmission 2&3 : All Tied Up

The Moebius Wasps

July 5, 1933
- Creepy exploitative sorcerer brings deb to out of control party at the Yacht Club
- Oliver Gardiner, sensing an incipient occult threat to Elsa gifts her with Moebius Wasp hair clips
- Kittridge tries to do some essence-stealing magic on Elsa, the wasps permit her to escape
- Gardiner suspects foul play out on Kittridge’s boat and is alarmed by the disappearance of Elsa, he decides to find out what happened on his own.

July 13, 1933
- Following clues from Document 1, Martha and Annette are in Kingsport
- They bluff their way into the club. Gardiner is reluctant to let them in
- Martha finds out about the presence of Kittridge and Elsa at the party, and finds the Red Box in which the wasp jewels were held
- Out in the car, the duo witness the contretemps between Gardiner and Kittridge
- Determined to do the right thing, Anette brings the box back and comes upon Kittridge casting a lethal spell.
- She rescues Gardiner while Martha undergoes strange time dilations. Gardiner rushes back in to finish off Kittridge with a pistol borrowed from the security guard.
- The heroes chase the 2 men into Kittridge’s personal party boat. The security guard faints with horror at what he sees. Kittridge got the drop on Gardiner and shot him. But Elsa has been waiting for revenge on the man who attempted to ensorcel her. Seeing Gardiner fall, she phases down into the cabin and seizes Kittrell, and once he has been hauled into her plane, she injects something into his torso. When he phases back into reality, there is no visible wound.
- Elsa’s appearance has been transmuted: she is surrounded by the spectral aura of a colossal red wasp. Her face has take on the bronzed, chiselled look of the fabled K’n-yan, a vanished Mesoamerican civilization.
- The crime hinted at in Document 1 has been revealed to the investigators. Kittridge is held for attacking Gardiner, who is in shock from a severe bullet wound. These NPCs can be dealt with. But the mystery is solved, if not the overall explanation for the time dilation and the strange documents.

Back in Arkham
- the two badasses — Rose and Angus — are trying to piece together the real-world facts behind weird notes in Armitage’s house
- using flattery and sauciness, Rose makes her way into the hotel room of mobster Horace Walsh. She finds a soapstone effigy of a long cod-like fish. Associated with Innsmouth.
- Stephane Rodin bumps into the duo as they argue about the implications of the thing they have seen. The smart ass Angus later sics the Bible salesman on him.
- Three persons mentioned in Document 2
a) Olie Olson: mentioned as an “agent” in the doc/actually a soda jerk whom Armitage has interviewed about some folklore and Oral History, but knows nothing
b) Phil H: mentioned in the doc as an “Encyclopedia” salesman/ actually pushing Bibles but planning to visit Armitage and others in the university area to push educational books: rants about Masons, Jews, and the Helping Hands brotherhood but knows nothing
c) Thomas Ongine: they never get to him
- The duo know that these people are somehow linked to the 1928 raid on Innsmouth and an 1850’s event in Dunwitch but none of them knows anything about Armitige or the events hinted at in the documents
- the two arrive to meet a lucid Armitige arising from a long sleep. He is determined to do something.
- then, the man who was supposed to be watching over him jerks awake with a new document in his lap, unaware of how it got there

There was lots of character development from the duo.

View
Transmission #4
Murder in Arkham

Fallout from Document #3

The Crime

Status: SOLVED

Sequence of Events

  1. 8/Aug/Morning: Walsh gang tries to intimidate Hughes into revealing the names of those he was speaking with and about whom they spoke. They have a rough description of Rose but not Angus, and are determined to find all of the people discussed. [Armitage, The Helping Hands, The Masonic Lodge, Thomas Ongine]. Hughes doesn’t give them anything. They grab his client list and other documents and give him time to reconsider co-operating.
  2. 8/Aug/Afternoon: Walsh gang pops into Aymes’ Guns & Ammunition Works on a matter not directly related to Hughes. [Players could investigate this side angle if they wish]
  3. 8/Aug/Evening: Walsh gang returns to the Works [part of the side angle mentioned above]. Hughes, inspired by the detective antics of Rose and Angus, has been trailing them! He is spotted, they question him, torture him to get all relevant details about the people discussed and a description of Rose and Angus. Then they kill him.
  4. 9/Aug/Afternoon: Phil Hughes’ body is found at Aymes’ Guns & Ammunition Works. Decapitated. Poisoned or strangled before beheading
  5. 10/Aug: Walsh gang tracks down Rose and Angus, attempts to recover Walsh’s Totem, shoot up the place, flee town

Final Report

Victim: Phil Hughes
Perpetrator: 3 members of the Walsh gang
Location: Aymes’ Guns & Ammunition Works
Motive: Get information, eliminate person who could identify them, anger at being discovered
Opportunity: The victim involved himself, followed them to an enclosed space at nighttime, stumbled into their hands
Means: [TBA]
Mythos Angle: [TBA]

Normally, the conclusion of an investigation requires discovery of the Means. I didn’t insist on that this time. But in the metagame — refreshing Pools by completing investigation of the crime — players will have to specify the Means and Mythos Angle before they can close the case. Think of it as a game of clue: Mr. Krebbinder did it with an Etheric Ray Pistol in the City Morgue, with the added Mythos Angle of with Help from Leng-style Sorcery or with the aid of a discorporate ghost.

Players are encouraged to find out the Means and the Mythos Angle of this crime before Document 4 shows up in your lives. But don’t feel compelled to do so.

Session Recap

Fr. Duree

- Poking around the campus and dealing with his suspicions
- Rice confirms Fr. Duree’s suspicions that Ashley is not to be trusted
- Unusual mathematical textbook is recovered from the Orne Library. Lanfer (resentful about being left out of the revelations of Doc 3) points out that Ashley was the last person to sign out the book.
- Ashley’s notes in the book are related to the author’s metaphysical speculations and not the substance of the work. Of great note is the Aramaic “I am the Alpha and Omega” phrase on the opening page. Ashley’s discussion of time as a folding Mobieus strip is suggestive
- Father D. has uncovered definite clues about the real-world references in the document and clues to conflicts between inquiry members. Rice is considering who to shut out of further information
- Rice regards Ashley as untrustworthy, Ashley dislikes Rice’s arrogance and his Eurocentrism in matters historical, Lanfer feels marginalized by Rice
- no action by Ashley on his previously stated plans to destroy strange artifacts that may be attracting occult weirdness to Dr. Armitage

Ms. Pickman:

- brought in the eccentric Lady Corinthia
- Lady C. brought in a strange animal-headed icon she purchased in a shady deal on the New York dockside. It is a wasp-headed deity, with a strangely individual human visage under the stylized insect feature.
- Ms. Pickman can only think of Caribbean and Yucatan insectile deities, like the mosquito-headed Hurukan, who inspired the name for the tropical storms of the region
- she called in Angus to consult as to its provenance. Angus, being a conniving fellow with lots of antique paraphernalia lying about, brings a stylized metal reed boat along. He puts it together with the statue and convinces Lady C. that he could learn more about the object, given time to study it.
- Help from Annette allows him to walk out of the place with the statue
- the discussion with Lady C. brings out her eccentric “hyper-diffusionist” theory of cultural transmission. She has long held that the pyramid-building civilization of Meso-America were started by Egyptian colonists. Drawing from the racial doctrines of the Theosophical offshoot Ariosophy, she holds that the ascended White Masters of the Himalayas passes a seed of their wisdom to the rulers of Egypt, just as they did with the Persians, the Brahmins of India, and the Indo-European invaders. They in turn brought a new civilization to the Americas. The disturbing insectile appearance of the god unsettles Lady C. a little but she is enthused.

Rose’s Underworld

- Rose is dealing with an issue in her community
- Betty P. the bag lady has become aware that a do-gooding charity doctor has been providing abortions to poor women in the area, and that this will bring some unspecified doom to the people.
- Betty P. goes to suss her out, confirms her suspicions, and hands her over to the cops.
- She becomes aware of the fallout from Hughes’ murder when she sees a 3 employees of the Chinese restaurant hauled in on suspicion.
- She goes over to Angus’ to propose finding out what exactly happened to Walsh.

Angus & Pesticides

- so, a huge collection of bug stuff to deal with the threat of wasps
- and a really exotic statue, Egyptian, of uncertain period
- they are discussing going back near Dunwitch to look for Walsh’s body
- then, 3 of Walsh’s goons corner them in the building where Angus has his office and store-rooms.
- the standoff doesn’t go well for the Goons, they shoot up the place with Rose sustaining minor injuries around her eyes
- the goons let out that they got Hughes to finger her and Angus
- they demand the Totem that the two stole out of Walsh’s room
- they let loose with firearms and take off

Ms. Pickman & Oliver Gardiner

- Annette is picking up the thread from the previous investigation
- he admits to giving the Red Wasp gem to Elisa to shield her from any mojo that Kittrel might be wielding. Out of patrician condescension he didn’t inform her of this.
- he has a plan to retell the events of that fateful night in mundane terms and get Kittrel convicted of attempted murder
- given the fact that Gardiner is recovering from a gunshot and is heavily morphined-up, Annette hypnotizes him

  • the Gardiners have for generations been keeping a lid on any occult weirdness in New England
  • he feels his greatest failure was to prevent the outrages at Innsmouth that led to the quarantine in 1928s
  • they were among the “First Families” that ran the witch burnings around Arkham and Kingsport around 1690
  • the Pickmans were, along with the Whatelys, victims of the burnings, although the Pickmans have over the decades excised their names from official histories of that time
  • some of these details are recorded in a ledger at the Kingsport Yacht Club
  • Annette wants it

Cheeze it — the Cop!

- Detective discovers Hughes’ body and its bizarre state: poisoned/strangled, then decaptiated, the body left without any attempt at concealment
- Quickly rules out that the 3 Chinese-American suspects
- Investigates Hughes’ boarding house and discovers that 2 persons [Rose and Angus] had been seen visiting Hughes in preceding weeks
- The room was tossed before Hughes’ murder and some of his professional items, including a travelling salesperson’s all-important client list and log book, are missing
- Questioning Rose and Angus confirms that they were there and did talk to Hughes
- Rose proves that yes, she did buy a Bible from him.

Document Review

INVESTIGATED

“The Buzz”

Ashley admits to hearing something awful before the disaster that devastated the Australia expedition of 1928

“The Book/Call Number”

An exotic book of mathematical logic discussing the implications of the Mobius strip. Ashley has taken interest in its metaphysical speculations

“The Bizarre Murder”

A murder matching the one described in the document has occurred, including a decapitated body, the involvement of three “swarthy” persons, a factory foreman, a missing notebook.

UNINVESTIGATED

“American Preservationist League”

An anti-immigration political party featuring a Jarhauz.

“Yeti in the Orne Library?”

No-one’s seen it yet. No-one’s seen it.

View
Transmission #5
What We Did on Our Summer Holidays

The Preliminaries are Complete, We Pause Before the Crisis

The Crime

Status: SOLVED (see Transmission #6)

Sequence of Events

  1. Players followed their own agendas
  2. a crime has happened

Final Report

Victim: Miskatonic U — Tears of Azathoth book stolen
Perpetrator: Cyrus Lanfer
Location: The Orne Library, 1908/same, 1933
Motive: Protecting Dr. Armitage
Opportunity: Lanfer was Armitage’s assistant and could
Means: Simple misdirection: the volume in question was placed in various positions on Lanfer’s desk for 1/4 of a century to keep it away from Armitage and any other curious persons.
Mythos Angle: Armitage’s increasing obsession with this Mythos tainted volume drove his good friend to hide it from him. But he could not bring himself to destroy this precious volume.

The next crime is about to unfold. To win the refresh you so desperately need, the party MUST acquire all the facts pertaining to the case: the Victim, the Perpetrator, the Location, the Motive, the Opportunity, the Means, and the Mythos Angle. Motive and Means were skipped last time but they won’t be in future. These two aspects of the crime will require some digging. The Mythos Angle can be discovered fairly quickly — if the player is willing to pay 1 non-renewable sanity to put the pieces of the dread puzzle together.

Session Recap

Ms. Pickmann

- Poking around Kingsport to check the fallout of the events at the Yacht club.
- Oliver Gardiner is recovering from the gunshot wounds
- mini scene took about 1/2 an hour
- did the Clarice-meets-Hannibal thing and interviewed creepy sorcerer Austin Kittrel in jail as a result of a previous investigation by the crew.
- agrees to share information about the Red Wasps

The Author

Interacted with a doctor friend who was doing charity work in depression-era Arkham and had been conducting abortions as well. Said doctor had been shopped to the police by Rose Smith.. This one-on-one scene lasted about 20 minutes.

The Rest of the Crew

Once those personal inquiries were taken care of, those characters had independent action threads while 4 other players began their own scenes. Much cross cutting occurred over the next 2 hours. Rose & Angus raced into the hills near Dunwitch to see what happened to the body of a Walsh. Another PC — a cop — was heading to the same area to chase down some gangsters. This was co-incidental to the PCs but engineered by the players in director stance.

Note: there are real mysteries to solve AND a vast occult conspiracy unfolding. That is a heavy enough cognitive load for the players to manage. I have been explicit with my “screw the in-character/out-of character knowledge” attitude. There have been some real gross-out surreal mystery moments despite this baring of the devices of story-making. A very simple description of a 15 million year-old fossil strata discovered up in some Homo Sap. remains from 50 thousand years ago, and featuring the impression of a wrist watch really creeped out the crew.

The crew in the hills had their sanities compromised but not blasted as they faced down some bloated, pustulent undead minions. Meanwhile Annette Pickmann was kidnapped while trying to approach maddened Miskatonic professor F. Ashley on the verge of trying to burn the archeology wing down. Her storyline hooked up with that of Fr. Duree investigating his suspicions about the aforementioned professor. All the while Maude was pursuing private personal questions about past disturbing events and the strange medical threat that the jailed doctor saw hanging over the very woman who had turned her in.

Stuff that is on my mind:

- Lady Corinthia
- Angus & Pesticides
- the exotic statue from Egypt
- and a really exotic statue, Egyptian, of uncertain period

Document Review

Fully Investigated

Weirdness #1: The Tears of Azathoth

- a real volume of powerful sorcery

Weirdness #2 The Basel Codex

- a real and precious Mayan codex

Weirdness #3 The Future Threats

- the deaths of Freeborn, Ms. Pickman, the Swiss book dealer and illness of the secretary

OTHER UNINVESTIGATED LOOSE THREADS

“American Preservationist League”

An anti-immigration political party featuring a Jarhauz.

“Yeti in the Orne Library?”

No-one’s seen it yet. No-one’s seen it.

View
Transmission #7/Document 5
Everything That Rises Must Converge
View
Transmission #6
Don't look in that book

The Preliminaries are Complete, We Pause Before the Crisis

The Crime

Status: SOLVED (see Transmission #6)

Sequence of Events

  1. Players followed their own agendas
  2. THE crime was solved (theft of a book), as was a crime (the murder of Betty Pedrag)

Final Report

Victim: Miskatonic U — Tears of Azathoth book stolen
Perpetrator: Cyrus Lanfer
Location: The Orne Library, 1908/same, 1933
Motive: Protecting Dr. Armitage
Opportunity: Lanfer was Armitage’s assistant and could
Means: Simple misdirection: the volume in question was placed in various positions on Lanfer’s desk for 1/4 of a century to keep it away from Armitage and any other curious persons.
Mythos Angle: Armitage’s increasing obsession with this Mythos tainted volume drove his good friend to hide it from him. But he could not bring himself to destroy this precious volume.

Session Recap

Angus and Maude

- Aunt Pickman is definitely upset over the document fortelling her murder
- Her niece and Angus meet up with a book dealer holding the Basel Codex
- He shows them the Codex and they learn the mystery of the Elder Sign (and get brains fried)
- They show him the Egyptian statue
- The very weird Lady Corinthia is on the verge of laying down the money to (1/4 of a million in today’s money) to acquire the volume for the Orne Library

Maude

- Interacted with Tyler Freeborn, whose death is foretold in the last document.
- She works on a translation of an article about the Codex, along with the secretary whose illness is foretold in the document.

The Priest, Ms. Smith & the Cop

- Betty Pedrag shows up mutilated
- Turns out that the tough Dr. Montgomery hired to shadow her as she did medical work in the slums has a bit of a temper: Able Fuschak went berserk when he found Betty P. snooping on the Doctor and went berserk.
- Given that he is the nephew of a notorious bank robber there will be repercussions.
- Both the cop and the criminal want payback on Dr. Montgomery
- In any case, the criminal decides to track down the missing book.
- As she is striding towards a confrontation with the thief, Cyrus Lanfer, Fuschak is on HER trail.
- Officer Winter’s investigations into the Pedrag murder get him on campus just before the attack, and he manages to put a bullet in Fuschak before he ambushes Smith.

Betty’s Funeral

- damn, I loved sitting back and watching that madness

Father D

- The padre arranges a funeral for Betty
- He also inquires as to the Tears of Azathoth and the Index of Prohibited books.

Stuff that is on my mind:

- what is the Swiss dude going to do?
- what is R. Smith going to do with Dr. Armitage and the Tears of Azathoth?
- WhTF are these cylindrical winged guys in the Basel Codex?
- WhTF is the dude who can scan your body while talking to you over the phone?
- are the Fuschak gang going to make an appearance
- will the crew continue to succeed in driving the time dilations away?

Document Review

Fully Investigated

Weirdness #1: The Tears of Azathoth

- a real volume of powerful sorcery

Weirdness #2 The Basel Codex

- a real and precious Mayan codex

Weirdness #3 The Future Threats

- the deaths of Freeborn, Ms. Pickman, the Swiss book dealer and illness of the secretary

OTHER UNINVESTIGATED LOOSE THREADS

“American Preservationist League”

An anti-immigration political party featuring a suspect named Jarhauz.

“Yeti in the Orne Library?”

No-one’s seen it yet. No-one’s seen it.

View
Transmission #7
as on a darkling plain, where ignorant armies clash by night

We Are Collateral Damage

The Crime

Status: SOLVED (see Transmission #6)

Sequence of Events

  1. Players followed their own agendas
  2. THE crime was solved (the sinking of a barge), but a new crime was discovered (Dyer’s theft of the original transmissions), and a new character (Aaron) is in mortal peril.
  3. People are still in danger but the Pools have been refreshed

Final Report

Victim: Austin Kitrell
Perpetrator: By water, Deep ones; by air, agents of the Great Race Kingsport Yacht Club, October 1933
Motive: Obtain the Red Box stored on Kitrell’s leased boat
Opportunity: Kitrell in jail, stars are right, the police security on the crime scene at the Yacht club has been lax.
Means: The agents of the Great Race used lightning guns (resulting in burns), and the Deep Ones tore at the sides of the ship. They made off with the Red Box. At dawn the next morning, a chance encounter between smuggling boats of the Marcuzzos and the Walsh gang resulted in a firefight, with the surprising obliteration of the Walsh gang’s boat. Where the Box is now has not been established.
Mythos Angle: The crime was done by Mythos creatures and human pawns manipulated by the psychic great race.

Session Recap

Rose and Alice

- Kitrell is desperate to find out what happened to the Red Box on his boat.
- He wants to escape this world before some unknown catastrophe sweeps over it
- He wants to take Alice with him
- Rose is curious as to what happened to her when the time sickness knocked her out, and she woke up without the Tears of Azathoth in her possession. Trust was violated.
- She is also suspicious about Lanfer’s motives for hiding the book for so long.
- To follow up on these leads

The Guys

- the boys are in the smoldering ruins of Lars F_____ house, in the wake of a lightning strike that killed the independent scholar
- 3 members of the Marcuzzo gang show up to get Lars’ report about a strange red piece of wood with Egyptian heiroglyphics on it (which match the heiroglyphics on Document #5)
- Elio is no fool: he knows the cop is wise to the weird and lets him know that weird lightning strikes have been messing up his life
- Rose and Alice overhear Winters’ call into the station, sus out his locale and head over

Welcome to the Faculty

- New hire Aaron ____ finds himself at a card party at the house of Dyer. His partner for bridge is the drunken Doctor. Dyer is gambling recklessly and at the conclusion of the game almost lets slip an anti-Semitic slur. The dissenters’ religious toleration is part of the Miskatonic’s Unitarian heritage, but a stain of WASP snobbery is just as much a part of the University’s culture.
- Freeborn, the Communist anthropologist, sees this as an opportunity to win an ally in his personal agenda against Dyer. He meets Aaron and reveals to him a transcript of Document #5. He points out the figure of Nyarlathotep standing next to the red Hierophant from the Tarot. (A similar constellation of figures is on the piece of wood Lars F_____ was looking at at Elio Marcuzzo’s request [also why does a linguist have mobster pals?])
- The two of them agree to check out other documents on campus. They arrive minutes behind Dyer who has removed the safe from the Inquiry’s office with an acetyline torch! They trail him via motorbike down to Ioannes, a seaside town midway between Kingsport and Innsmouth and base for Walsh’s smuggling operation.
- a deranged old Swedish sailor accosts the two, and he is bearing a hook on his hand in a strange echo of the contents of Document 5
- this takes place while Aaron notices Dyer in a confab with Walsh’s much younger wife, Dyer handing over the safe, trying to make his exit, and then getting dragged to a cellar by a brute
- cliffhanger: Aaron jumping through the window while Freeborn unloads a pistol on the sailor

They Cover the Waterfront

- down at the KYC: Rose and Alice sneak off into the building to “use the ladies’” and they break into Oliver Hamilton’s office. There, they liberate some old records documenting the Hamiltons’ long history of persecution of witches and dissenters.
- they are interrupted by 2 Deep Ones and much desperate fleeing ensues
- as Angus, Duree, and Winters survey the sunken wreck of Kitrell’s boat they are overwhelmed by a wave of nauseatingly disfigured crabs creeping out of the wreckage
- the 2 Deep Ones cannot find their first prey and rush to the docks
- the fleeing characters are accosted by 2 members of Walsh’s gang bearing strange guns and speaking with the weird static-y voices that characters have been hearing for past weeks
- the two possessed gangsters run out to get the Deep Ones, who have been dispatched by Angus and Winters: satisfied that the Deep Ones are dead, the possessing intelligences depart their hosts in a flash of lightning, leaving two disoriented members of Walsh’s gang behind
- whoever these possessing intelligences are, they have been flitting between hosts and assuming different disguises to stymie Walsh/Zora’s activities and to get a hold of the Red Box that was stored on Kitrell’s boat

Stuff that is on my mind:

- what is going to happen to Aaron, Freeborn and Dyer?
- what is the neurologist Davis doing down in Ioannes with the man who just betrayed the Inquiry to a gangster’s wife?
- what exactly happened to the Red Box when the Walsh gang’s boat exploded during a firefight with the Marcuzzos? Part of it has been recovered (the fragment in Lars F’s possession at the time of his electrocution

Stuff we have figured out

- will the crew continue to succeed in driving the time dillations away? you did for a while but now they are back in spades — Rose just got hit again as the electrical dudes escaped
- WhTF are these cylindrical winged guys in the Basel Codex? — the Elder Race uncovered by Dyer in his 1931 expedition to THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS!
- WhTF is the dude who can scan your body while talking to you over the phone? — apparently the electrically-gifted psychic lightning dudes (the Great Race)

Document Review

Fully Investigated

Weirdness #1: The Heirophant

- some sort of dread deity with a red hook or flail
- the jackal near him is Nyarlathotep, his herald

Weirdness #2 The Marcuzzos

- a straightforward a crime syndicate linked to the New York mobs
- long-running feud with the Walsh gang
- curious as to the meaning of the red pieces of wood pulled from the wreck of a Walsh boat

Weirdness #2 The Walsh gang

- linked to the weird town of Ioannes
- link to the strange aquatic monsters or “Deep Ones” and have been interbreeding with them
- gang is still going strong despite death of the founder
- why were they so concerned about happenings around Dr. Armitage’s house and the Wasp-infested old house out near Dunwich?

UNINVESTIGATED LOOSE THREADS

“Madame Claudia”

Fortune teller, alluded to in other documents

“Cecil Davis”

Pioneering neurologist, inheritor of the Herbert West archives, down at the seaside.
Remember some of the quotes from Doc. 6: “Separation epithelial tissue between skull brain roasting smell inside perineum thought cancer burrowing burning lashing slashing inner betrayal hungry again already.”

“American Preservationist League”

An anti-immigration political party featuring a suspect named Jarhauz.

“Yeti in the Orne Library?”

No-one’s seen it yet. No-one’s seen it.

View
Transmission #8
Occam's Razor Cuts Deep

Sharpening Occam’s Razor

The Crime

Status: Complete (see Transmission #7)

Sequence of Events

  1. Cleaning Up Situation in Kingsport
  2. Rose Has Another Fainting Spell
  3. Race Back to Town
  4. Interviewing O. Olsen — Long Live Livonia!
  5. Visiting Dr. Armitage
  6. Arresting Dr. Armitage

Final Report

Victim: Ed Gain, the driver of Ms. Pickman and bodyguard to Armitage
Perpetrator: H. Armitage
Motive: Desperate need for a human sacrifice to drive empower the Red Box
Opportunity: Gain had discovered the sacrifice room, attempted to flee
Means: The Red Hook of the Time-lost Armitage
Mythos Angle: Red Armitage can must fuel the Red Box with sacrifices.

Session Recap

Document Review

Investigated

Weirdness #1: Livonian Knights

  • A historical crusading order in the Baltic. Successful in converting local pagans to Christianity without the ethnic cleansing practiced by Teutons on the original Prussians.
  • Olsen is from a Scandinavian family with some Livionian heritage, alive in old folksongs and tales passed down.
  • Strange mention of the knights journeying to G’nac.

Weirdness #5: Emrys Dorian Wynn “Mediataions On an Attic Figure”

  • obscure Welsh Romantic poet.
  • his book can make one more attuned to the powers of hypnotism, and the subtle connections between myths of dying and the nightmarish rising gods

Uninvestigated

Weirdness #2: International Logospheric Union

  • Bernard Petrovich
  • Jukka Lavi
  • the Seven Deadly Finns

Weirdness #3: The Nophru-Ka Panel

  • 14th Dynasty Egypt

GM’s Prep Notes

Victim: Ed Gain, the driver of Ms. Pickman and bodyguard to Armitage
Perpetrator: H. Armitage
Motive: Desperate need for a human sacrifice to drive empower the Red Box
Opportunity: Gain had discovered the sacrifice room, attempted to flee
Means: The Red Hook of the Time-lost Armitage
Mythos Angle: Red Armitage can must fuel the Red Box with sacrifices.

The Clues to the Crime

“Armitage’s House”

  • Architecture reveals that Armitage’s house has an extra room
  • And there is a chamber in it
  • Behind a bookshelf

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Ted/Angus
  • Ability = Architecture

“Armitage’s 1908 Past”

  • Interrogation will point out that Armitage did become obsessed with a time-control spell in 1908
  • Siberian Shadows: a text that he had but put aside

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Kate/Rose
  • Ability = Interrogate

“Armitage’s Alibi”

  • Armitage has no idea of where he was on the night of October 15th

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Alex/Martha
  • Ability = Assess Honesty

“Poetry on Armitage’s Shelf”

  • A copy of Wynn’s chapbook is on Armitage’s study
  • It is Romantic poetry
    “Oh dying god, in time dissolvèd swoon
    Hight Adonis, Christos, midnight-worshiped Gloon”
  • mentioned in shuddered whispers w. Nayarlathotep, Cthulhu

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Alex/Martha or Sara/Alice or Padre
  • Ability = C. Mythos

Metaphysical Poetry

*"Invocation of Non-Linear Time"

  • Rosicrucian Rose: the poetry of W.b. Yeats
  • Time as dimension outside of flow

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Erica/Alice
  • Ability = Occult

Stothart’s Strange Visit to the Cop Shop

  • comes by to check on Dr. Armstrong, the abortionist
  • weird
  • he also consulted with Armitage

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = ?/?
  • Ability = Cop talk

Olson’s Alibi

  • Olson took the day off
  • Olson had a visit from Armitage in a fugue state
  • Something about a sword

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Kate/Rose
  • Ability = Intimidate

The Writing on the Wall

  • There is the Diels fragment in German
    “Die Zeit ist ein Kind,
    dass sich seinen Spielsteine
    hin- und her- setzt”
  • In German, splattered in blood

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Peter/Duree
  • Ability = Language

The Day of the Threshold

  • All-Souls Night, Nov. 2
  • 2 weeks before All Souls’ night a burning wheel rolled down hill into the quad
  • a limen, or threshold of time
  • Kelto-Gaelic ceremony going back centuries

Mechanics

  • Player/Character = Peter/Father or Ted/Angus
  • Ability = Anthropology
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Interlude: Miscellany of Horripilation!
Between documents in martial lawed Arkham

A List of Events

Dealing w. the Military

• Detective winter told military guy about weird things.
• know detective Winters talked to the General about the plans to destroy the hotbed of evil.

Violence on Campus

• Eliza tried to hypnotize Annette, but Annette resisted, at which point Eliza said something about Annette being better than common stock and that she’d be higher caste when she was assimilated.
• First attempt foiled, the wasp woman then tried just telling Annette to take her to the documents, which Annette shakily agreed to.
• Annette was held hostage by Elsa Howard.
• They got to the documents, which the linguist guy was looking over, and Eliza drew a sword on Annette and demanded the documents or the girl gets it.
• At which point Marco’s policeman burst out of cover and blew Eliza’s head off with an lighting gun.
• Winter fried her with the lightning gun.
• He also killed the bad lady with the lighting gun while protecting the Armitage files.
• Saved the guy who had the documents (Aaron).
• Marco looted Eliza’s sword, and Annette grabbed a weird pendant off Eliza’s neck.
• Then Marco dumped Eliza’s body out the window in hopes that her missing head would be attributed the the lightening storm outside.

Glorious, Glorious Livonia Forever ! [Eniski, Eniski Liboniuym Eruspaniko!]

• Father righteous talked to the leader of that place with the sword for Ollie.
• The Priest took the young man and got him involved in the crazy order with the holy sword.
• Whom accepted his fate.
• Ollie got the sword after they convinced the leader of Ollie’s lineage.

Flying Dutchmen?

• Annette went to visit her aunt to touch base and ask about her lineage; her aunt dropped the bomb that they were descended from the Rotterhaends.
• Annette revealed that the Armitage documents said her aunt was going to be murdered, at which point her aunt freaked and said they had to move until Annette promised she would keep her safe.
• Annette convinced her aunt not to run away from the apocalypse.
• She needed copies of the documents.
• Then Annette went to the library where the Armitage documents were to get a copy of the section saying her aunt was going to die so she could share it with her aunt.
• Annette charmed her way to the private detectives guarding the library, and them got ambushed by the wasp woman.

NYC Stormfront

• Rose got a copy of the Tears of Azathoth by staying in a dream with Armitage as the red hook too long.
• Went to New York with Ashley to see weird images on hash with his school buddy. [The Nephru-Ka Panel, supervised by Ahmet Ertegon]
• Rose smoked some loco weed with a couple of scholars looking at this weird ancient screen and got some crazy insights.
• Decided to stay in the eye of the storm.

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Doc #7: The Moebius Syllables
Ai Ioa Io Oooo Ia Ou Oa Ioi Aoai Au Ai I A O Oooo O Ia Ou Ua Oau

The Syllables

The Crime

Status: Complete [In 1 session, that’s the way I like it!]

Sequence of Events

  1. Let’s Make a Deal (Angus & Peasle Sr.)
  2. Let’s Play Cards (Lanfer, Aaron, Rice, Freeborn)
  3. Let’s Go to a Club (Rose and Ashley)
  4. Let’s Talk to Auntie
  5. Let’s Go to New Jersey/Let’s Get Mobbed by a Deranged Priest and his Protege
    (in which Rose learns that Ashley has been seeing Martha on the side)
  6. Let’s Go to Prison
  7. Let’s Go to Campus
  8. Let’s Go Visit Dr. Rice
  9. Let’s Go Visit Dr. Davis
  10. Let’s All Congregate Around the Time Traveller’s Cylinder in a Frenzy of Panic!

Final Report

Victim: Dr. Cecil Davis (his lab was ransacked & Modena Grimoire stolen, MG actually property of Mrs. A. Pickman
Perpetrator: Dr. W. Rice (suspect has left town)
Motive: Dr. Rice needed formula for “Red Powder”: needed for the women carrying Moebius wasp larvae
Where: Dr. Davis’ office @ Miskatonic University
When: The Mid-November ice storm
Opportunity: Rice was in the company of Ms. Pickman as she toured campus gathering possessions loaned to Miskatonic U. He availed himself of easy access.
Means: He had a key (and thereby hangs a tale).
Mythos Angle: The Modena Grimoire references a red powder integral to the “alchemist’s” travels. Davis was exploring a red mycotoxin used to manipulate insects into self-defeating behaviours. Once insects were consumed by predators, the fungus got spread in the droppings of the predator. Possible applications on human nervous system. But what predator would consume the befuddled human victims? Thereby hangs a tale.

Session Recap

Document Review

Investigated

Weirdness #3: Gainesville Cylender

  • Owned by E. Flowers in Jersey
  • Why did Martha want it, ask Ashley to get it?
  • Associated with time-travelling Great Race, calls aliens and the mad into its proximity

Weirdness #4: Modena Grimoire

  • record of an “alchemist” from future showing up in mid-18th century Modena
  • belongs to Mrs. Pickman
  • mentons a fungal powder used in alchemy, which powder was investigated by Miskatonic U professor C. Davis

Uninvestigated

Weirdness #1: International Logospheric Union

  • disappearances?
  • other weird activity in Millbrook neighbourhood

Weirdness #2: Millbrook Business Improvement Association

  • MBIA?
  • Dr. Brophy and Leon Godtland
  • Related to abortionist?

Weirdness #5: Cannibalism

  • weird mentions
  • no concrete evidence

Starting Situation Matrix

This is how I establish starting situations for characters and plan for the crime & clues that the characters will be confronted with

Character Focus: Annette

Starting Situation: Angus
(PC) Ability Clue: Anthropology
(PC) Drive: Antiquarianism
(Annette) NPC Cross: Lady Broughton
(Annette) Pillar of Sanity: FAMILY

= Nathaniel P. Sr. is out of the Sanitarium and only the cash of Lady Broughton can help him

Starting Situation: Aaron
(PC) Ability Clue: Cryptography
(PC) Drive: Scholarship
(Annette) NPC Cross: Cop NPC [morphed into the Pinkerton agent]
(Annette) Pillar of Sanity: EPICURIANISM

= Llanfer asks for a game of cards and has some coke to share

Starting Situation: Annette
(PC) Ability Clue: Hypnosis
(PC) Drive: In the Blood
(Annette) NPC Cross: Dr. E. Sprague [from Rose, never happened]
(Annette) Pillar of Sanity: EPICURIANISM, FAMILY, LOVE OF HOME TOWN

= start her in some red-hot night club, bring in Ashley

Starting Situation: F. Horatio
(PC) Ability Clue: First Aid
(PC) Drive: Duty
(Annette) NPC Cross: [Cop NPC]
(Annette) Pillar of Sanity: LOVE OF HOME TOWN

= H. Armitage confessing to unnatural hungers

Starting Situation: Winters
(PC) Ability Clue: Evidence Collection
(PC) Drive: Duty
(Annette) NPC Cross: Ms. Pickmann
(Annette) Pillar of Sanity: FAMILY

= some kind of theft that involves Ms. Pickmann. Does she involve Winter?
[this stayed in the background]

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