Returning to Boston on the 11th, it was imperative to finally see the evils of the Silver Twilight to to its end, whether that be the end of the order, or the end of us. We visited the hall during regular hours that evening, and nothing seemed at all amiss at first. Members greeted us as always and small talk was had before we split up amomgst the other patrons. During the next few hours, things took a different turn. Soon, some of the members, especially those initiated into the higher ranks, seemed to be keeping their distance. One in particular, Dr. Edward Collie (who was quite pleased to meet us when we first joined the order and was always in good spirits to see us) was quite different. He was very quiet and unassuming. I approached him with a drink for the both of us.
Ed “I don’t come around here much anymore.”
Myself “Such as what? You look quite nervous.”
Ed “In the last 6 months, 3 members have disappeared. 1..an accident. 2…coincidence. 3…there’s something going on. I think that there are addditional ranks here higher than anyone is familiar with and that they are up to something. There’s an inner circle, and the rest of us are just idiots.”
Myself “What are you doing here now?”
Ed “I was hoping to snoop around a bit, find out what’s happening.”
Myself “You haven’t been making this obvious have you?”
Ed “I don’t think so.”
In the next few moments of our conversation, he named all of the same members who we suspected of cult worship.
Ed “Worse than that, I was in the bar room the other day and heard 2 of the members talking. You’re name came up.”
Myself "Mine? In what context?
Ed “Soon as they realized I was there, they shut up.”
Myself “Who was it?”
Ed “Mr. Westinghouse, it was John Scott himself and 2 others I have seen him talking to often before. They mentioned being worried about you, and then Scott said ‘It doesn’t matter what he knows. They’re finished’. It sounds very dangerous.”
I was hoping you wouldn’t come back. Now that you have, the whole room is of a different tone. The entire evening. There is so much tension…"
We finally took our leave and on the way home, talked quietly amongst ourselves.
Jack “Look, they already suspect us and are already planning to kill us. I say we just break back in and this time not leave any of their toys behind.”
Myself “We need to break back in anyway. Try to catch them in the middle of something.”
Jack “I don’t wanna catch them in the middle of anything. We should just take their stuff.”
Myself “Let’s go see McElroy. Go over with him what we found out prior to leaving town last time.”
We caught a carriage to the Lt.‘s home, and he immediately invited us inside.
Mc "I can’t do anything. I can’t just go on your word."
Myself “I fully realize that.”
Jon “We wanted to inform you we are going to be breaking in again, vandalizing and stealing in order to get you the evidence you need.”
Mc “And I need to cover you for it. I got it.” How blessed are we to have not only Friday in NYC, but to have met McElroy so quickly in Boston? What are the odds? It’s like someone is looking out for us. Such blessings of fate are a comforting though when pondered is that context.
Myself “Have you been there yourself recently?”
Mc “Sure, but I can’t help but feel I have been getting the runaround. They always greet me friendly enough, but then attach a couple members to stay with me the entire time I’m there.”
Theo “Keeping you busy.”
Mc “Yes. Here’s what I can do. I can call up some of the riot squad, station them on a bogus complaint nearby and wait for something to happen. If I hear gunshots, see a fire or explosion, I’ll come.”
Mysel “Then we’ll have to make up a story on what really led you there. A cover story.”
Mc “Don’t start the fight. If I come there and you have attacked them, it may be you guys who will have to get the manacles.”
Theo “Not if they’re all dead.”
Mc “You can’t be killing people.”
Theo “These men are scum. Summoning things just as you helped us fight in the sewer..or worse. The mob would be child’s play. We never know what may be going on with their kind.”
Mc “I don’t know. I still only trust what I see.”
Myself “Make sure you bring men you trust. Try to gather some from the fight in the sewers.”
Mc “I’ll be sure to make them part of my squad.”
Myself “They’re obviously good and trustworthy men. Strong of minds.”
Jack “Or at least they used to be.”
Theo “True…for now. Maybe not if we keep dragging them into such things.”
We then returned to our hotel for the night.
We made final plans and preparations, informing Archer over lunch and having a late supper with McElroy.
Mc “By the way, did you hear? Another member has disappeared.”
Myself “It’s not Collie is it?”
Mc “It is.”
Myself “He may be in there, alive still. When was this?”
Mc “He was last seen yesterday evening, coming home from the office. His wife said he never made it home. She waited until this morning to make the call.”
Myself “He may be a sacrifice; and we may be just in time.”
Theo “What time should we go in? An hour after they close?”
Will “No. We should be there before they close and case the place. At least a couple hours.”
Will had the idea, and it was his we followed.
October 13, early morning
After the Hall closed very early in the morning we made our final move. Praying we would be in time to save Dr. Collie. A good number had left by midnight, and more by closing time. However, it was evident not as many left as were surely there earlier. Additionally, a short time after closing, about a dozen more men arrived in small groups over a short period.
Myself “Here we go.”
Will “They’re having one of their ceremonies upstairs.”
Cassandra “You want to wait until the ceremony is over? Dawn?”
Myself ""No. The killing will be done."
We snuck to the back as a group, and found the kitchen and rear of the first floor to be dark and apparently empty. The kitchen door was our target, and I picked the lock with ease. It was dead black inside, but we did see lights on the upper floors. We went, quietly, into the adjacent hall, then made our way through the main hall toward the stairs in the foyer. We were not as quiet as we had wished to be, we must have made some noise. For when our lead men, being myself and Jack, reached the foyer doors we heard movement behind it of someone approaching from the opposite side could see a flickering light from underneath. Jon and Theo instinctively moved to the front beside Jack, awaiting whoever was on the other side. Open it did, revealing a man holding a club, with the look of a savage and mindless beast. Theo was ready and sprung upon the man, catching him perfeclty in a silencing neckhold. Jack gave him the rough treatment, this man whom we did not recognize, with a pasty look to him which we have seen once before. The same ‘skin problem’ as John Scott; pale and rough.
I whispered “Knock him out, Jack.” Jack pulled a sap from his wastebelt and deftly clubbed the man unconcious with one swipe. As Theo stood up, he was himself stuck from behind with another club by yet another pale man-7, but the crude weapon broke over Theo’s shoulderblades. We had to make quick work of the guard before he could raise an alert, and Jon, Jack, Atwater, and Theo were up to the challenge, barrelling through the doorway to overwhelm him. They apparently felt that at this point we had no time for finesse. Jack pulled his knife on the man, and Jon drew his blade. Theo performed a jumping kick straight to the man’s throat, causing him to choak from the blow, unable to cry out-10. Atwater struck with his swordcane-8. Jon then finished the man off with a great thrust of his cruciform broadsword. The fight was so quick we barely made a sound, fast Jack even able to grab the man as he fell to the ground to avoid a thud.
From upstairs we heard, doublessly also muffling our actions, loud and continuous chanting. To it we moved. Jon took the lead, Jack beside him. Will and I followed next, with Theo and Atwater guarding our rear.
The chanting, now obviously from the 3rd floor, became more and more audible…and all the more terrilbe for it. The second floor was all empty darkness and we bypassed all its rooms, crossing only to reach the stairway up. The chanting was coming from the area of the altar rooms that were connected to one another via the symbolic portal. Light flickered from underneath the doors, the second seemed quiet. All the chanting was from the first. We briefly discussed the situation, Cassandra pointing out the opportunity to investigate the basement in detail while the cultists seemed otherwise engaged.
Will “I don’t want our friend killed, though.”
Myself “Yes, we don’t want to let Collie be killed if he’s in there.”
I listened carefully at the second room’s door and heard nothing. Looking inside via the keyhole, I could see no one inside either. I carefully cracked the door open and seeing that it was empty, crept inside. Will felt unsure about going in, but I continued with Jack and Jon who made sure no one was hiding behind the curtains. Will volunteered to stay in the hallway, Atwater and Theo stayed with him to watch for anyone leaving the ceremony behind us. I opened the door into the ceremony, knowing the curtain in that room was on the other side. As I presumed, it was still closed, and I was able to peer through into the dimly lit room unseen. Some 20 cultists stood in a semicircle open towards me, another 5 had their back to me and wore much more elaborate garments. 1 man in the middle stood next to the altar. He hung his head back at one point and I was quite certain I recognized him to be a relatively new man to the order. What it seemed to be was an initiation of a new member, and I am sure I heard the name Cthulhu. Who I didn’t see was Collie. Thank the Lord it wasn’t a sacrifice.
Considering the fact that we couldn’t just bust through the door and murder everyone involved, we ventured back downstairs in reverse order, and then into the basement. We encountered not a soul along the way.
Will “We have a few problems, as I see it. First, we don’t know how long the ceremony is going to be. There guards both being down, if they come down and find the guards…”
Cassandra “We need to get rid of the guards.”
Will “And how long is the unconcious guy going to remain so? Plus, we did kill one of the guards, what McElroy told us not to do. I think we fucked up.”
Myself “Let’s get them out of here, maybe in the alley, and fast.” Jack and Theo did so with the dead man as we waited, and Will and I agreed on tieing up the man Jack clubbed out then taking him to the basement with us to hide in the storage room. We closed the door to the basement, and now drew our firearms. Jack opened the guardroom door, Theo standing beside him. This time, the room was occupied by 2 guards who were standing just inside. The 2 of them got the upperhand, but Jack reacted faster and they missed their mark. Quickly his knife was out, Jack and Theo went to work. In a few seconds the fight spilled fully into the guardroom, Jack and Theo both striking their respective targets. Jack took a shot to the leg as Jon joined the fray, putting one on the defensive. Theo had now taken a couple good shots, these guards proving to be tougher than expected. Theo retaliated with a great jab to the man’s face, and as he stumbled Jon took the chance and skewered him. Jack and Atwater finished off the other just afterward. Outside with Will and myself, nothing stirred. Checking the study and finding it empty, the altar was the same as before, stained with old dried blood. The wall with the same atrocious site of Cthulhu striding upon the world in all its horror, crushing mankind underfoot.
The next room was so large, our lights did not make out the other side. Held up by great columns with what at first seemed like stone trees topped by carved branches growing out to become the arched ceilings, but a few more moments inspection and we knew them to be not branches, but tentacles. In the center of the room, a stairway going down deeper into the earth.
Will “I’d rather search this entire level before going down there.”
Otherwise the room was empty and finding no other passageways, we took the stairs down. It spiralled down 40’ to a corridor leading into another huge area. 3 of the 4 walls were lined with cells. 1 passage led out. In many of the cells we saw skeletons of unknown age, but one close enough to be shown by our lanterns held a man staring into nothingness. We had found Collie! We began crossing the room, and thankfully Jack was in the lead for he was the first to come to a pit. Will and myself then barely avoided another 2. The floor was coverd with them, very difficult to see in the dark. Suddenly, we heard a crying and terrible gibbering from the pits.
Myself “I don’t even want to look down.”
Jon was brave enough to do so, and what he saw was similar to if not the same as what we saw in D. Timmons’ lair. The warped versions of what were once people inhabited about half the pits, but Jon’s soul stood firm.
Using the keys from the guardroom once again, Jack opened the cell door. Collie could only mumble gibberish, his mind severely damaged by who knows what he has witnessed in only barely more than a day. Whether he can recover psychologically we will not likely know for some time. We decided it best to leave him in the cell for now and scout the passage. The first room we came to had full shelves of lead bottles with metal stoppers. Over one section a sign read ‘custodes’ and over another ‘materia’. ‘People’ and ‘Materials’. A second room housed torture devices of a medieval character, a pentagram chiselled into the floor, and into the walls across from the entrance were the words to reconstitute essential salts/reduce one into their salts.
Cassandra “Do you want to bring any of them back?”
Theo “If one does not do it right, we may bring them back like the ones back there.”
Cassandra “Where’s you sense of adventure?”
Myself “Overidden, by our common decency.”
She offered to do it herself, “Who knows what important people may be here?” but none of us would have any of it. We discussed where to choose to search for hidden passages, and Will suggested the very first room upstairs, next to the guardroom. We picked up Collie on our way back up and in a few minutes I had found what we were looking for, its shape finishing out the pentagram-like shape to the area. What it led to we wanted no part of: another passageway leading at an angle straight into the earth, reeking profusely of ghouls. We closed the area up.
We now had evidence: poor Collie. We could also say that, simply as members, we had stumbled upon the blasphemouos sublevels.
Myself “Did all of those husks of humanity below seem potentially violent?”
Cassandra “We could find one that isn’t. Some were obviously snarling and angry. Others though were only weeping.”
Jon, Theo and Jack went back down and brooght back with them a deformed individual, his eye sockets misplaced on his head. As he joined our group, only for a second, a light of intelligence sparked and he looked at us with all seriousness saying “Kill me.” We couldn’t leave him so, even for evidence. We allowed Cassandra to reduce him then and there to his essential salts, which we shall bury in hallowed ground as soon as possible. Back up we ascended, but then saw a light above us, and heard cultists coming down.
I whispered “Into the guardroom.”
We ducked into the guardroom quickly, even Jack and Theo who were in the lead and on the steps made it in time.
Cassandra “Guardroom or study?”
Myself “Guardroom. If they would find the guards, we may as well be there to take them on.”
Once we heard them pass, I looked out and could see that John Scott and Stanford were both among them, with half a dozen others. They proceeded directly to the stairs and down. We flew upstairs and out of the hall for McElroy, leaving Jack, Theo and Jon to keep an eye on things. Upstairs, it was a completely different sight. Members were about, smoking cigars and talking of the ‘ritual’. There was nothing we could do but simply try to stride on out, mix with them, and walk back out. Amazingly, all the right people, for us, must have been there, for Scott, Stanford and their direct underlings not in sight the others were none the wiser as they only knew Will, Cassandra and myself as members of the order. Our only problem was Collie. Atwater volunteered to wait with him just at the top of the basement steps. As soon as the kitchen was empty for a moment, he made his move and got out the kitched door, meeting us at McElroy’s position.
While we were gone, the others decided to directly watch the top of the spiral stairs in order to see anyone else coming back up from below. Soon, one of the men who had been with Stanford and Scott did just that, a man named Max Reed: a large burly man and probably a bodyguard of Stanford. Our 3 backed off into the darkness to hide. Reed, however, looked around and began to continue on, but then spotted Theo and then looked right into Jack’s eyes. Jon was so quick into action that Reed barely knew what hit him. His blade struck twice before Reed could complete his first step to bare down upon Jack and Theo, looking nothing (as Theo described) but confident he would kill both of them. Yet even 2 slices down his back did not stop the madman Reed, for he still stood for combat. Theo and Jack then struck, and still he stood. Reed turned for Jon, but another strike from Theolonius finally brought the giant down, unconcious; but not before he yelled for assistance. More men could be heard from below making their way to the fight. Jon and Jack blocked the stairway, Theolonius off to one flank. The first man to appear around the turn brandished a rifle, and Jon and Jack fired their shotguns. The man fired back but missed Theolonius as he continued upward, another behind him. Jack fired down on the second man, Theo engaging the first as he reached the top of the stairs. Theo struck the man and was missed in turn with the butt of the rifle. The second man now reached the top as a third rounded the turn. Jack dropped his gun and pulled his knife on the 2nd as Jon drew his sword. The 3rd man was not one of those who followed Stanford and Scott down, it was rather another of the pale-skinned men. Next, Theo dropped his opponent with a massive spinkick, caving in his skull. Jon and Jack combined on the 2nd attacker, both dealing damage. The first paleskin engaged Theo with a knife, cutting for only a minor graze. Jon was unable to get past his opponents guard, but Jack stabbed straight through the cultist’s heart, dropping him. After spinning to his opponents rear, Theo broke the paleskin’s back with a single powerful punch. Another paleskin arrived to the fray and was ganged up on by all 3 of us. Above, they could suddenly hear repeated gunfire and much yelling as we arrived with McElroy and his squad. Theo hit home, as did Jon but the thing fought back, hitting Jon. Another arrived from below now, as Theo struck the same a good blow. Jon and Jack flanked the new paleskin and began to beat him down. Theo dodged his opponent’s blow, but Jack was wounded. Theo then finished his off, as yet another confronted Jon. Jack struck true as did Jon, but not enough to drop them. Jack dodged his man, but Jon was clubbed. Yet another ran from below, giving each man 1 opponent. Theo and Jon hit their foe, but Jack missed. Only Jon took a wound then before our men began to fall back, firing pistols along the way to the steps upstairs. Jack’s first shot was a misfire, and as he struck it in anger it went off (card), hitting one of the paleskins. Jon shot straight at another, grazing him. It went like this to the steps: our 3 backed off then Jon and Jack fired as Theo readied a strike. The paleskins would then approach and attack, at which point Theo would strike. Theo killed the first to reach them after their first volley.
Jack “Whatever these things are, so is Scott.”
Above, we had arrived with McElroy and his dozen men. As McElroy yelled that all were under arrest, some gave in but others immediately attacked. That kept McElroy and his men busy as we slipped through as soon as we could to get back downstairs.
We reached our friends when they were 30’ from the stairway, about 4 paleskins closing in one at a time. Cassandra got behind myself, Will and Atwater as we readied to fire. Theo missed the frontmost villain and they pulled back into our line, forming a semicircle around Cassandra. We concentrated on the closest 2. My shotgun blast took down the closest target as the one next to it was hit by Jon and Atwater and grazed by Jack. Will’s shotgun hit that one as well but it kept coming. That one now reached our line, hitting me but only lightly. The next one reached our line as well, but Cassandra had already begun the spell to reduce a living being to its essential salts. She stepped forward and touched it as she finished, and it disintigrated before our very eyes into its salts. Jack pulled his knife to join the melee, killing the badly wounded one. Will’s shotgun gave a light wound to a new one bearing down on us. Then, in the very rear, out of the dark appeared John Scott himself. He released a Fist of Yogsothoth on Father Jon without hesitation. The burst of forbidden power slammed into Jon full force (-41) and he fell to the floor as if dead. Atwater sprang to him to help if he could, and found Jon miraculously still alive but in serious condition. Cassandra suddenly charged John Scott as she began casting the salts incantation. I reloaded by shotgun and moved into a position on the right wing and closer to Scott. Theo hit the paleskin now at our line. Will reloaded his shotgun as well and followed me forward. Jack now charged the last approaching paleskin but missed. Jack was struck solidly in return, but Theo blocked his attacker. Scott targetted Cassandra now, and she stopped dead in her tracks, grasping at her chest at some unbearable pain within. Atwater stood and, with a surge of energy (card), charged Scott in a sudden fury at another fallen comrade. Atwater’s medical attention must have been greater than he realized, or Jon received divine assistance from God or Jesus Christ, for he also rose with sword still in hand and charged Scott like an avenging angel(card). Inspired by Atwater’s action, as this all was happening, I unloaded both barrels on John Scott with a cold calm (card). Will did the same, timing our shots simultaneously (card). As our buckshot slammed into Scott, his spell failed and Cassandra was released. Atwater’s swordcane thrust went clear through Scott’s abdomen, followed closely by Jon’s blade. We can’t be sure at what point of the onslaught he was actually killed. We then made quick work of the last paleskins. Several police rushed down as this whole fight ended. The officers retreated quickly, after a few got violently ill, at the sight of the beings in the holes. Stanford was no where to be found, and many of the bottles of salts under ‘materia’ were missing now. The people reconstituted from them will no doubt make up his next inner circle. The ‘materia’ are probably the grotesque souls in the cell-room. We found a hidden door on one of the cells leading into the ghoul tunnels, likely his escape route.
We did not stop the true leader of the cult, but we did put a stop to Twilight and eliminate a dangerous resurrected wizard. The entire rest of the uppercrust of the cult were captured by McElroy and his men as well. Questioning of some prisoners revealed that their final plan is to raise R’yleh from the sea. The stars are coming into alignment for its return, but the Twilight was only a single part. Other actions by the cults of Cthulhu are in operation in Europe and elsewhere. It was but part of a much larger conspiracy which needs pierced and destroyed, confirming the information in the letter we found during our last search.
McElroy allowed us to search the entire place first so that none of his men would stumble upon any of the insane tomes, a veritable Treasure Trove. All of the books we saw before were still there! Archimedes won’t believe it until he sees them for himself. Before I list those found, I will say that something of importance slipped past us. We did not have the time for a detailed search here the first time we broke in, but this time we found a secret small compartment under the bottom shelf of the bookcase in the basement library. It was empty. Whatever was in there was wisked away by Stanford; Jon and Theo believe he was probably spooked into being more careful with it thanks to Jack’s broken window. Here are the writings we did confiscate for ourselves:
- Rituals and Secrets of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight
- Nameless Cults
- Revelations of Glaki
- Cult de Ghul
- Cthulhu in the Necronomicon
- The original letter from McBane to Stanford which Will copied.
We also took for our own the box into which Jon inserted his head.
It is now the next afternoon, and I brought up to the others the possibility of buying the Hall itself. With all the disgusting discoveries there, it may be very difficult to sell and could go for a steal of a price. We will have to follow its process. There is no heir to it, so the purchase will come with everything inside.