A Shadow Over Arkham

Episode 3

In which Jeremiah makes some friends.

GM: The week has been wholly unexciting and unnoteworthy at the University for Ms. Jones; the only bright spot was her receiving a call back from her message: Mr Armitage is duely sorry but his schedule for the week is booked. Instead, he inquires if you would be free the following Tuesday before leaving you to your work.

For the young Heiress, the week has been full of brimming curiosity and long hours in the household library much to the bemusement of her older brother, the bewilderment of the younger sister. At the explanation, he just shakes his head and keeps her company for some of the nights.

For the author, the week is much like the others. It’s easy to put the events from your mind when you get a call informing you of a deadline drawing all the nearer for a rough draft of your next work.

Dawn: Many nights spent hunched over a typewriter burning the midnight oil.

Eventually, however, the Saturday comes. A breezy June day, the sun shining brightly overhead through the windows of the Miskatonic University. A few of those seated within give you glances, but most just look longing toward the sun outside before returning to their varied works.

Margaret: Margaret had sent a message back to Mr. Armitage earlier in the week stating that she would, in fact, be free the following Tuesday. Now, she sits waiting in the library for her companions.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah was eager to get some answers. He looked forward to learning what his old friend had managed to do in that old house of his.

Emily: Emily sits beside Margaret, reading again through the journal the curious, sometimes worrying accounts contained therein, searching for some clue or hidden meaning she may have missed in the writing. A summoned monster was clearly fiction, but there may be some other clue as to why someone would want the leader of their society dead.

Margaret: “Well, it looks like we are all here. I assume we still plan to go to this house?” Margaret inquired.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah nodded. “Of course. We can take my car if you wish, I don’t mind taking us there and back.”

Emily: “Of course.” Emily says without looking up. “Although I admit I am a touch nervous. I’ve not been involved in a murder before.”

Margaret: “I should hope none of us have. But, this is to interesting to ignore. Shall we head that way, or is there anything else here that we need to discuss first?”

Jeremiah: “We could probably finish up the translation on the sarcophugus if you’d like. We’re pretty close to getting it figured out.”

Margarer: “Let’s do that first, then. It may contain important information.”

Emily: “Let us, yes.”

Jeremiah: Jeremiah pulls out the Egyptian translation text he had taken last time and puts it on the table. “I’ve been looking through this all week, so it shouldn’t take too long to finish up.”

Emily: Emily pulls up here chair, attempting to aid Jeremiah in the translation.

GM: It takes an hour to finish the translation of the sarcophogus, leaving you with a faint headache. And as to the results of your translation:

“Seeker of Wisdom, Servant (son)of Yugr (Yoag) Setheth,
Deliverer of the people (slaves) of the water, Bearer of the
spirits of Nar-Loth-hotep,
child of Thoth, Seeker of Wisdom”

Jeremiah: “Well, what do you guys think? Not exactly Shakespeare is it?”

Margaret: Margaret laughs. “No, it isn’t. We may not understand it now, but it may prove useful later.”

Emily: “Curious.” Emily says, leaning back. “Yugr Setheth… I don’t recall any diety like that in the Egyptian pantheon.”

Margaret: “Nor do I. But I’m by no means an expert in this area.”

Jeremiah: “Nor do I.” Jeremiah rubs his temples. “Perhaps there’s more information on the writing inside… but that is a completely different language. We’d need a lot more time to translate any of that.”

Emily: “I suppose if we’re to find answers, we had best start with Mr. Merriweather’s house, had we not?”

Margaret: “Which, unfortunately, I do not think we have time for at the moment. Perhaps we should leave for the house.”

GM: Even if you had all the time in the world, you’ve no idea how to translate the text on the inside.

Emily: Emily stands, sliding in her chair and collecting the journal. “Do you… mind if I hold on to this?” She asks Margaret.

Margaret: “No, by all means. Perhaps you’ll find something I missed.”

Emily: “Thank you.” Emily smiles politely, fitting the book inside her handbag. “Shall we be going? I have a ride waiting, do you… need one, as well?”

Jeremiah: “Well, if there’s nothing else to be done here, why don’t we check out the house.”

Margaret: “I believe I”ll be riding with Jeremiah, as he has a car. If he doesn’t mind, of course."

Jeremiah: Jeremiah nods. “Of course, that’s why I offered.”

Emily: “Lovely, then.” Emily smiles again as she leaves. “We’ll all meet at the house inside the hour, yes?”

Margaret: “Agreed”, Margaret replies.

Jeremiah: Once again he nods and heads out to the car.

Emily: Emily leaves the library/university, boarding her waiting car. The driver makes a quick stop at her family estate where she deposits the journal in her bedroom’s wall safe, simultaniously retrieving a .38 special and placing it in her bag and heading back to the car.

GM: Leaving the library, you three head to your respective rides, beginning a drive through the New England wilderness. There is only a scattering of trees as you drive alongside beautiful the Miskatonic River.

It is, in a word, a wholly unexciting trip. After a few hours, you arrive in the small ‘village’ of Ross’ Corners. It looks to be little more than a few small buildings beside a dusty road, but there’s a gas station and convienience store.

It is at this point that you realize that the only indication of where the home is is the deed.

Margaret: Margaret looks at Jeremiah. “We know the address to this house. It shouldn’t be hard to find. We can reasonably assume it won’t be in the village proper. Maybe we should explore the outskirts of the village?”

Jeremiah: Jeremiah looks over at Margaret. “I suppose we could do that. Or, we could ask for directions in the gas station. Someone must know where the house is. Why don’t we get Emily to pull in here with us and I’ll go in and ask.”

Margaret: Margaret laughs, surprised she hadn’t thought of that. “Asking for directions does seem logical, doesn’t it?”

Jeremiah: “If this house is haunted, it’s bound to have attracted some attention from the local youth.” Jeremiah pulls into the gas station and waits for Emily’s car to arrive.

DFM: Emily spots Jerimiah’s car parked at the station and signals her driver to pull in alongside them.

“Hello!” She shouts excitedly from the back seat.

GM: The gas station is an equally dusty building, looking fairly unimpressive with dirty whitewashed walls. Through the windows, you can make out an older man sitting at the counter

Jeremiah: Jeremiah leans in close and tells her, “Wait here for a moment. We realized we don’t know where the house is exactly. I’m going to run in and ask for directions.”

Margaret: Margaret notices that Emily had arrived. She waved at her.

Emily: Emily waves back, her driver unsure if he should roll his eyes or laugh.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah straightens out his jacket and reseats his hat making himself as presentable as possible. He then steps into the gas station.

First he looks to see if there are any other customers in the station.

GM: Easily done. The building looks is orderly, the older man at the counter looking up from his magazine toward Jeremiah. He doesn’t look impressed. “What can I do for you?” he asks, dourly. There are no other customers.

Margaret: Margaret stays in the car for a moment, then decides it might be best to follow Jeremiah in.

GM: His eyes moves toward Margaret as she enters, the bell over the door jingling happily.

Emily: Emily reclines in the back seat of her car, wishing momentarily that she hadn’t left the journal at home. She engages her driver in idle conversation, mostly about the town and Mr. Merriweather.

Margaret: Margaret stands away, trying to look like a regular customer. She stays near the door.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah walks up to the counter and looks closely at the man. “Hello,” he says, “maybe you can help me. I’m trying to locate a property for my client and can’t seem to find it. I have the address here.”

He pulls out the deed and shows the attendant. “If you could point me in the right direction I’d be very grateful.”

GM: “Mgh,” he says, glancing to the deed for a moment, before pointing over his shoulder. “Go down the road about a half-mile, take a right. Third road off to your left,” he says simply. “You going to buy anything?”

Jeremiah: Jeremiah looks around for a moment and grabs a coke. “Of course. I’m not a heathen, and I appreciate your help.”

GM: He scowls slightly, before taking his money and making change from the till. “And you?” he asks, looking darkly toward Margaret.

Margaret: Margaret smiles at the attendant. “You know, a Coke does sound wonderful.” She grabs one and walks to the front to pay.

GM: He takes the money quickly, handing back the change again before eyeing the two suspiciously momentarily. Make a Psychology check, y’two.

GM: Margaret gets the feeling that more is at work here than the proverbial yankee reticence.

Margaret: Margaret senses something strange about the man, but decides there isn’t much time to think about it. She looks at Jeremiah then walks towards the door.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah, sensing nothing out of place returns to the car after Margaret.

Emily: “Did you find out where it is?” Emily asks from her car, perking up as she sees Margaret leaving the gas station.

Margaret: Once outside, Margaret says to Jeremiah and Emily, “There was something off about that man. It woudl be wise to be careful during our stay here.”

Jeremiah: “He gave us directions, so we should have no problem finding it now.”

Emily: Emily can’t help but feel a twinge of nervous excitement. Conspiracy? Danger? Murder and abandoned, cursed houses?

GM: Presumably, they follow the directions and soon find themselves in front of a house built on a fairly large lot, trees framing it carefully. The gravel driveway crunches beneath the cars’ wheels, a refreshing change from the dirt roads.

The aging building is built atop the hill, visibile from the road. The peaked roof is slightly bowed from age, and the building looks to be fairly ill-kept, but in good condition despite. Jeremiah can’t help but feel it would be the perfect setting for a pulp.

Margaret: Margaret notices that the house looks normal, although it hasn’t been maintained. It certainly did not look frightening from the outside, a fact which she mentioned to Jeremiah. “Perhaps we won’t find anything of note here after all”, she states.

Emily: “Marvelous…” Emily says under her breath, not quite sarcastically.

“Stop back in town to pick up some gas and then wait here, would you?” Emily tells the driver as she steps from the car, looking up at the old house. “Bit of a sad old thing, isn’t it?”

Jeremiah: Jeremiah looks up at the house and smiles. This looks like something from one of his stories. “Maybe we should check it out instead of staring. Let’s go.”

GM: The driver gives his assent before backing slowly from the driveway as soon as she’s stepped out, glancing toward the three from the road momentarily.

Margaret: Margaret gets out of the car and approaches the house, waiting to make sure her companions were following.

Emily: Emily glances around the grounds to see if there are any sheds or axillary buildings besides the main house.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah heads up to the house and stops outside the door. “Well, where’s that key?”

GM: The grass and bushes around the home have grown fairly large without the impediment of human hands.

Emily: Emily removes the key from her handbag, stepping up the cracking wooden stairs and slipping it easily into the rusting lock. She twists it, the door letting out a disquieting clack as the latches twist into place.

GM: Once unlocked, the door opens with a rusty creaking.

Jeremiah: “All right then, let’s see what’s going on here.” Jeremiah steps into the house and looks around.

Margaret: The door opened rather loudly, and it caused Margaret to jump slightly. “Well, shall we go in? There doesn’t seem much a reason to remain outside. We should be careful, however. Who knows what we might find?”

Emily: Emily pulls the key from the lock and places it in her bag again before stepping carefully inside.

GM: Through the light coming through the sagging shutters, you can make out that the floor is warped and stained, presumably from water leaking through the roof.

Rot has eaten away at a couch sitting and matching wing chairs in the room, and the whole of the contents are covered in a not-so-thin layer of dust.

GM: Beyond that, however, there is a faint odor in the air.

Margaret: “It smells odd in here”, Margaret notes.

Emily: Emily pauses, looking down.

“What was that?”

Margaret: “Do you not smell it?” Margaret asks Emily.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah sniffs the air trying to identify the smell.

Emily: “No, not the smell.” Emily says, tilting her head towards the floor. “Didn’t you hear that?”

Margaret: “It is dirty in here, but the odor, seems…different.” Margaret looks at Emily. “I didn’t hear anything…” she quiets down, intending to hear whatever Emily had heard.

GM: You can’t hear anything. Perhaps she’s hearing things.

Emily: “It’s gone now…” Emily says. “But I heard something under the floor. A… bumping kind of sound. Very soft.”

GM: There is a door set into one of the walls, door hanging awkwardly on its aged hinges.

Margaret: Margaret notices the door. “Perhaps…we should go through there.”

Jeremiah: “Well, maybe we should take a look through the rest of the house, but let’s stay together. No sense in dropping through a floor or being eaten by the boogeyman alone.”

Emily: “The door was locked.” Emily things out loud. “So it’s not likely to have been someone snooping. Probably only an animal. Or… something along those lines. It might do to check it out to be sure, though.”

Emily checks the door that’s set into the wall, to see if she can tell where it leads.

GM: Presumably, to the back room; it looks like a regular (aged) interior door

Margaret: Margaret approaches the door and pushes it lightly.

GM: It takes a brief amout of work to open the door, the wood having warped slightly, and once you do open it doesn’t quite close. However, the first thing you notice is the back door, slightly ajar, a shaft of light coming through.

On the ceiling, however, one can dimly make out what looks like an entrance to the attic, and a narrow set of staircases lead down into the attic. The contents of the room, however, are not nearly as aged as the front room.

GM: In fact, it looks to have been recently occupied: the dust has been kicked up in places, there are a few footprints, and the embers of a fire smoulder in the brick fireplace. A ragged blanket sits before the fire, next to what looks to be a can.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah takes a look around the room to see what else there is.

Emily: “Perhaps there is an intruder after all…” Emily says, clutching her handbag a little tighter.

Margaret: “It appears something lives here”, Margaret remarks. “I wonder if that isn’t what we heard?”

Emily: “Perhaps we should find our way downstairs and check?” Emily says glancing warily around the room. “One of use could stay here, in case they return… or try to escape.”

GM: The stairway leads down to pitch blackness; no windows in a cellar

Margaret: “we cannot see down there to examine what be there. Should we venture to the attic, instead? Perhaps we will find some candles.”

Emily: Emily reaches into her bag, pulling out a thick, engraved black case. “I have a light, here.”

Margaret: “Let’s investigate the cellar, then. Assuming the light works.”

Emily: Emily pulls back the switch, pointing the hefty tube into the darkness below.

GM: The beam of light penetrates the darkness, illuminating the stairs and the dirt floor below.

Margaret: Margaret stands behind Emily, who is carrying the portable light.

Emily: “Well…” Emily says, hesitating. “Shall I lead, then? And… should someone remain behind to watch the attic hatch and the front door?”

Jeremiah: “Perhaps Jeremiah wouldn’t mind waiting behind? I will follow you, Emily.”

Emily: “Alright, thank you.” She smiles at Margaret, greatful for any companionship in that dark place. “Be careful, Jerimiah. Fredrick should be returning shortly if you need anything.”

GM: The steps creak as you make your way down them, lit by the unsteady light of the flashlight. As you reach the cool dirt , you glance about, the light darting about the dark room. There’s nothing of note really, just a bearded redhead with a chair leg lifted. Wait, what?!

Margaret: Margaret squints, not able to see very well. The only thing she can see clearly is the back of Emily’s head.

Emily: Emily gasps, stumbling backwards into Margaret

GM: The bearded man runs toward you two, letting out a staggered yell as he realizes that he’s been noticed. Reactions, you two, first.

GM: Emily’s reaction is to raise her arms and try to block/run away while screaming.

Margaret: Margaret gasps, and tries to gain a stance that will allow her to stay stable.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah is reacting slowly apparently and is heading towards the stairs.

GM: …but the man simply runs past the two, clambering up the stairs at a staggering run. Upon reaching the landing, he notices Jeremiah and turns to run to the door.

Emily: Emily trips backwards and falls in the dirt.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah blocks his path and prepares to tackle him.

Margaret: Margaret stands still, unsure of the strange man’s position.

GM: Oh, I actually missed that. Ahem

GM: Emily desperately waves the flashlight around the basement from her spot on the ground, searching for another underground horror.

Margaret: Margaret turns around and goes back up the stairs to see what is going on.

Emily: Emily scrambles hastily up after her, being alone in that basement something she currently finds very disagreaable.

GM: The two downstairs, having seen him run up the stairs, hear another shout followed by a loud, heavy thud followed by the sound of a door slamming.

The bearded man turns slightly toward Jeremiah as he runs toward him, swinging the chair leg. Jeremiah sees a bright flash of light, his head feeling slightly wet and throbbing reminiscent of a particularly bad dive.

Margaret: Margaret notices that Jeremiah is hurt. She runs to hi, to see if she can help.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah sits up groggily and feels his head.

Emily: Emily scrambles up the stairs with Margaret, glancing at the swinging back door. She hesitates, unsure if she should persue the man or leave him run.

Jeremiah: “Ugh, I don’t know what that was all about.”

GM: Taking his hand from the side of his head, Jeremiah feels the warm sticky wetness, the red on his hand confirming that this is not the result of a Good Night. The man, however, seems content to flee madly, the tableleg dropped just outside the door, him not looking back as he runs toward the treeline

Emily: “Hold on, I’m going to see if he’s still out there.” Emily says, heading out the back door and clumsily retreiving the gun from her purse.

GM: You can see him as he flees, stumbling briefly over an unseen root or hole

Margaret: Margaret, although busy patching Jeremiah up, notices the man running away. He seems to trip, but regains his balance and continues to run. “How are you feeling, Jeremiah?”

GM: Glancing toward the blanket, Margaret realizes it could with little work be used as improvisational bandages, and before long she’s done what she can.

Emily: Emily sighs, leaning against the wall of house and putting the gun back in her purse with a shaking hand.

Jeremiah: “Like my head was just slugged by a club.” Slowly Jeremiah makes his way to his feet.

GM: Emily watches as the man reaches the treeline… and vanishes within.

Margaret: “That was…strange, to say the least. I wonder what he was doing here, and why he reacted so violently.”

Jeremiah: “Perhaps we should check out the basement, minus the madman. Maybe there’s something down there to tell us who he was.”

Emily: Emily takes a few moments to collect her breath before returning to the house and closing the back door behind her. “Professor?” She asks as she approaches the room. “Is Jerimiah alright?”

Margaret: “Are you well enough to walk? You may have a concussion. Not that we can do much more than we have. Perhaps we should investigate.”

GM: The door shuts securely this time, and the lock helps ease your mind.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah shrugs. “I’ll be fine. I’ve taken worse, believe me. Let’s get going.”

Emily: Emily removes the light from her purse a second time, switching it on with a barely steady hand. “Should… we all head down this time?”

Margaret: “I believe it would be best if we went together.”

Jeremiah: “Maybe we should. Would you like me to hold the light?” He asks Emily.

Emily: “Ah…” Emily pauses for a moment. “Perhaps that would be best. Then I can… well, I can hold the uh… in case there’s anyone else.” She says, handing Jermiah the light and removing the firearm from her purse a second time.

GM: As the three make their way downstairs, they find the room to contain little of note. Footprints in the dirt, a scuff mark where Emily recently fell. The shelves around the room look to be mostly empty although a few hold jars.

The majority are empty or broken open but a few contain unrecognisable, presumably – hopefully – hold overs from when the house was occupied. In simpler times. As above, dust covers most everything. Thankfully, Emily’s aim isn’t tested.

Jeremiah: “Well, it seems like there’s nothing down here. Should we try upstairs then?”

Emily: “He must have only fled down here when he heard us coming.”

Margaret: Margaret takes a look around. “Indeed there seems to be nothing of note down here. Our time may be better spent exploring the attic.”

GM: The trapdoor in the ceiling takes some working to open, a ladder spilling out toward the floor. Who’s going up?

Margaret: Margaret looks up. "Should we all go?

Emily: “I don’t know.” Emily says. “It may be awfully crowded.”

Jeremiah: Jeremiah moves up the ladder towards the trapdoor. Carefully he aims the light up the stairs into the attic.

GM: The ceiling above looks much like you would expect, although the shingles are rather well intact for the age of the house.

Jeremiah: Putting his head up through the opening and looks around.

Margaret: Margaret moves to follow Jeremiah up the ladder, making sure to give him time to reach the top.

Emily: Emily lingers near the bottom, eyeing the basement stairs warily though she knows no one is there.

GM: All of the sudden, there is a sound. Trampling feet in the attic, loud and heavy, accompanied with a… sound. A sound that sounds alltogether like growling, but deeper. Something is living in the attic. Dodge, Jerry!

Jeremiah: Jeremiah let’s out a yelp and jumps off the ladder to the side so he doesn’t hit anyone.

Margaret: Margaret watches Jeremiah move quickly out of the way. She also hears a very large trampling. She had made it two rungs up the ladder, so she jumps off and moves quickly to the side.

GM: Turning his head toward the sound (and the flashlight) Jeremiah can see… nothing. He hears the sounds but there is nothing up here. However, he dodges, leaping to the side from the ladder, suffering 2 points of damage from the fall.

GM: Before those below can cope with that, the damndest thing happens: The ladder folds up and retracts itself into the cellar, the trapdoor slamming shut. And then the noises come.

Jeremiah: “Oh wow, what was that!”

Emily: “What…” Emily manages, twisting her head away from the basement to stare at the closed attic door.

GM: A heavy growling, snuffling, panting sound, intermixed with something that sounds like an alien, terrible, unGodly tongue.

Emily: “W…what…” Emily stutters, backing away from the attic’s door.

GM: The sounds continue for a few minutes before dwindling off to leave you three in, perhaps, cursed silence.

Margaret: “I…what was that? Jeremiah, are you hurt again?”

GM: When/If Jeremiah stands, his knee aches slightly, but doesn’t feels seriously wounded. It will bruise, most likely.

Jeremiah: “No, I’m not hurt. Just a bit startled. What is that thing?”

Emily: Emily swallows, staring at the tightly shut trap door. “That… that was… unsettling… I think… yes.”

Margaret: “Whatever it is, it sounds horrible. And unearthly.”

Emily: “Perhaps… Perhaps we should find some way to… seal that door? For now?”

Margaret: “We need to learn what it is. And what it is capable of. That man that escaped…if we could talk to him, perhaps we could learn something. However, he seems to have disappeared.”

Jeremiah: “Whatever is in there seems to be sealed in there already. Maybe it has something to do with those runes from the Journal. We should see if we can find them.”

Emily: “Alright…” Emily says, though still unsure. “Let’s… look through the rest of the house.”

Margaret: Margaret begins to examine the windows for anything out of the ordinary.

GM: It’s not easy going, with only the one flashlight amongst them, but it doesn’t take long to find symbols over each of the doors and windows. Including, you note, on the attic and cellar doors.

GM: Shadows still cling to the rooms heavily, with only minimal illumination making it through the shutters.

Margaret: “These look like the markings mentioned in Mr. Merriweather’s journal”, Margaret comments.

Emily: “The journal may have been more… accurate than it originally seemed.” Emily admits. “Did you truly see nothing in the attic, Jermiah?”

Jeremiah: “No, I only heard something rushing at me in the darkness.”

Margaret: “The journal appears to have been quite accurate, indeed. Perhaps it was accurate about other things, as well. I’m not one to be taken in by supernatural explanations, but so far the journal seems to be telling the truth.”

Margaret: "As I recall, Mr. Merriweather wanted us to banish this creature. He also stated we have everything that we need to do that. What could we possibly do that would “banish” this creature?" Margaret removes what she has been holding on to from the small box.

Emily: Emily sits on one of the dusty chairs, unworried about a bit of dust getting on her quite dirty backside. She begins to think, mostly allowed. “If Merriweather truly gave us everything we needed to ‘banish’ this… creature, if it is indeed a thing that can be banished, it must require one of the objects from the box. I would think the sarcophagus would be the most likely, but… there could always be something with the other pieces as well.”

Jeremiah: “Didn’t the journal say something about an object that was in the sarchophugus?”

Margaret: " It did.". Margaret takes the sarcophogus and opens it.

GM: It is still empty.

Emily: “It did, I believe it was implied the amber was consumed in the ritual.”

Emily looks up at the other two. “Perhaps we need another shard of amber to imprison it again? Merriweather made no mention of it, but it surely can’t be as simple as saying the chant backwards.”

Jeremiah: “Yes, but perhaps to banish the creature we need to figure out what the amber was, and how to reverse whatever they did to consume it.”

Adjustments:
-1 Sanity from Jeremiah, Emily, and Margaret
-4 HP to Jeremy, from being hit with a chair leg; First Aid’d
-2 HP to Jeremy, from dodging a hellbeast in an attic

Comments

Navilee

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.