We awoke to Jon and Theo informing us of a reference they found in the Armitage letter, having read it over during the night, to the Kingsport Yacht Club. If we have time while there, it needs looked into as well.
Will did some preliminary research on Kingsport, which consists of 7 districts: harborside, the hollow, westside, central hill, downtown, hilltown and south shore. In the library of local history, Will found that the club was founded about 30 years ago by an Orin Gardner. His grandson, Oliver, is the current president…The Gardner mentioned in the letter. The club does not admit women, jews, ethnics and non whites. It’s ideology is wholly for the right of the priviledged and their stations in life.
In the meantime, Atwater and myself made a careful search of Armitage’s house and office, so as to finally and irrevocably rule out his having written the letter during some sort of possession or crazed episode…which our search did. It must have come from the Armitage of our future, as impossibe as it may seem.
Theo and Father Jon spent their time with the Necronomicon and Monsters and their Kynd.
In the late afternoon we meet with Llanford, who wanted to tell us what the group had found regarding the Silver Twilight:
Llanford said he found some references of the Twilight, along with references to a title involved with it called The Keeper of the Silver Gate. An excerpt in a book, supposedly copied from a true ritual book of the order, said “The wailings of the mad are but the birthcries of the new man. The old man gone like dust in the desert wind. Cleansed of the lies of mankind, the new man, the man of darkness, is free to obsorb the beauty of nothingness. The glory and the stark night of the utter void. As our useless reason disolves rejoice in the knowlegde that others in as diverse places as Scotland and Louisiana and the South Pacific have walked the same path, have drunk the same blood, have revelled in the same prospect of everlasting night as you.”
Llanford “Now, if this is true, then this organization is trying to recruit people to…”
Myself “Drive them mad.”
Theo “They think all mankind would be better off that way. What about Stanford, Sanford…John Scott?”
“For some reason, several years ago, Scott’s tomb was open and his body gone. I found an additional reference of the order: “You do not yet know the true gods. Everything you know is a lie. The great old ones, those are the rulers of the universe. Those and others you have not yet heard of will be the objects of you adulation, your emulation, your love. You are the fortunate ones. The time may come if you give your selfless devotion you will worship in the flesh in the temple of R’yleh, whose glory is beyond your comprehension.”
Myself “All this confirms our horrible assumptions. The Silver Twilight are worshippers of the Great Old Ones.”
“The temples of R’yleh, they say…are you familiar with that?”
Jon “We know about that being a lost city.”
“The city of Cthulhu in the south pacific. That’s 2 references to the region. They may be involved in something more grand going on there.”
At this point, Wilmarth showed up to tell us what he knows of this fire cult rumor of Kingsport. “There was a cult in Kingsport many years ago.”
Myself “A cult of…what? Cthugha?”
“Well, the people of the town are surprisingly somewhat proud of some cult. It even once met at the church. They don’t speak of it much to tourists though one may find rumors. It was at a highpoint in the late 1600’s. That is, until the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Rumors then became accusations which led to many arrests of Kingsport citizens. A real frenzy. By the end, 13 were tried and hung. In 1720, rumors of a revival of the cult surfaced. In 1722, the mayor and others surrounded the church after a ‘sickly green glow’ was seen to eminate from it. When those inside emerged, they were but simple townsfolk from all walks of life. More than 3 dozen arrests were made, variously for breaking and entering, unlawful assembly and graverobbing. Fines, imprisonment and banishment were the results. The leaders were literally tarred and feathered, then exiled from Kingsport.”
Myself “So why the rumors now? Where are they coming from? And the specific references to beneath the streets?”
“A man named Frank Donolly, a beatcop, is taking nightschool classes in philosophy at Miskatonic. He has become known to us, and is the one who believes there is a new fire cult. In the last year there have been 3 mysterious deaths by way of spontaneous fire.”
Myself “That I am already aware of from the newspapers. It makes me think of the flame vampires from our previous battle in New York that ended in the death of Fava.”
“Being only a beatcop, saying to his superiors that he thinks it’s a cult would only lead to ridicule. Here is his address in Miskatonic.”
We briefly discussed sending a couple of researchers ahead to Kingsport while the rest of us stayed behind to look into other matters, but decided it was too dangerous. After dinner, we discussed much that was on our minds. In the morning we were off to Kingsport, the plan being a seek and destroy mission on any cult of Cthugha, and to perhaps investigate the yacht club very carefully but suriptitiosly.
Kingsport is quite a modern town. The harbor is of a fair size and has a quality port, though the traffic, from whalers for instance, used to be much greater. Southshore is the popular section for tourists, with the town being known as the haunt of artists (was Pickman ever here? Is he perhaps now?). We found an attorney named Paul Fredricks who is involved in much of the realestate transactions in Kingsport, especially foreclosure. Something was very odd about the man. He is in his early 30’s most likely, rather toothy and bugeyed, with an old scar that Atwater said looked to be from a severe burn. We inquired about Pickman, telling him it was under the request of Mrs. Pickman of Arkham.
“Yes, I happen to know he had a place on Southshore. The ‘artist colonies’. It burned down prior to his disappearance. I can show you the property.”
“We’ll just take the address and look at it ourselves. Any property of his in storage here that you know of?”
“Not that I know of. I believe it was all sent back to Arkham.”
We travelled immediately to the artist’s colony and it reminded us all of Paris. We saw a few artists painting on easels on the beach despite the chilly air; the women dress a bit more openly, which ol’ Jack seemed to take an easy liking to; and many lively hole in the wall bars and bistros. A definate Bohemian atmosphere.
Jack “I need to find myself a…uh…starts with a C I think…”
Myself “A cabaret.” I know Jack well.
Jack “That’s it. A cabaret.”
We got out of our carriage at the property, and it was beachfront. The similar neighboring houses are spaced out nicely. While we stood, a young girl of late 20’s to early 30’s and dressed to somewhat resemble a gypsy approached us, telling us “This is the old Pickman place. The artist. Did you know him? He was a tortured soul.”
Myself “We knew of him. Did you?”
“Yes. He was a true artist, but his art took him to dark places. My name is Greta Tromboe. I am a poet.”
Myself “What kind of poetry do you write?”
“From the heart.”
Myself “What sort of meter. A free verse?”
“Actually, a rhyming meter.”
Will “So who was close to Pickman around here?”
“I was myself, and quite a few others. He even did my portrait once.”
Myself “Was it nice, or troubling?”
“I don’t know what he did with it after, but I couldn’t take it. The look on my face…my eyes were filled with such horror and despair…I just couldn’t stand looking at it.”
Theo “What was his problem, do you think?”
“He could see into peoples souls, I believe. The portrait captured not me so much as my poetry.”
Will “You write fairly melancholy poetry then?”
“I do. Sometimes inspired by my dreams.”
Theo “Really? Dreams of terrible things?”
“I don’t know where they come from, but yes. That’s one of the reasons I liked Pickman. His psyche was as dark as my own.”
Myself “I would like to hear more about these sometime. I am in the field of behavioral science and the mind.”
At this point she turned to Jack with an attracted gleem in her eye “Do you like poetry?”
Jack “I’m into poetry. I kinda like epic poetry myself.”
Great “Epic poetry? Like what?”
Jack “Like shakin the pillars of Heaven. When the rains comin down…”
Greta then invited Jack back to her place to read her poetry, and said “there’s no time like the present”.
Jack “How about some dinner later at a local establishment.” She replied in the affirmative and they set a place for 6:00PM. Normally I would be displeased at Jack’s wasting time on a personal matter, but her having a relationship with Pickman could lead to further information.
Jack “Pickman have any enemies in town?”
“No, there were people who didn’t appreciatte his paintings but no enemies. He was one of the community.”
Greta “No, he was standoffish. And he spent a lot of his time alone in there painting.”
Jack “Never caused any trouble?”
“No. He wasn’t here that much at first. He lived in Arkham. But after his paintings started to sell he spent more time here. I think to get away from it all.”
Atwater “Who bought his work?”
“He sold at a gallery in Arkham, mainly. Organizations bought much of them.” That may be something to look into. I turned to Atwater and said I suspect we will find out the New World Incorporation will be involved in this.
She repied “New World? Oh yes, they were one of his biggest buyers.”
Will “Any of their officials ever vacation here?”
“No, not that I have ever heard of.”
Atwater “Did he have any business associates in town? Any places he frequented?”
Greta “Um, there was an attorney.”
“Paul Fredricks, yeah.”
Will “We met. He told us where this place was.”
“Yeah, it was interesting. This house didn’t burn down until after Pickman’s disappearance.” This was a glaring inconsistency, as Fredricks said it burned down prior.
Myself “We were told it happened before.”
Jon leaned to me and whispered “Obviously a fire cultist and needs to be killed.”
Will “Did he spend much time around this attorney?”
“Not a lot but…”
Will “Relative to Pickman’s character.”
“Yes, then, yes. He did.”
Will “Anyone else?”
“There was a particular artist he was friends with. Garret Frost. He doesn’t paint anymore. He is blind.”
Will “How did that happen?”
“It was a couple weeks after this place burnt down, which was about a month after Pickman’s disappearance, and he had an accident that he won’t speak of. His eyes are gone, burned out. He just sits in his rooom in the boarding house. Staring out the window though he can not see. He was seen with Pickman a lot, for Pickman I mean.”
We parted her company then, Jack confirming his dinner date. We made for the home of Frost, at a lowly old rooming house. The caretaker said she does not allow more than 2 visitors in the house at a time, so myself and Atwater followed her directions to his room and knocked. Frost followed with a somber “Come in”.
He wore dark glasses and sat at the window.
Myself “We’d like to talk to you about an old friend of yours.”
“I get so few visitors that come in, pass the time.”
“You used to be an artist?”
“Used to be.”
Atwater “What can you tell us about Pickman?”
“Pickman and I were friends.”
Atwater “Would you say close friends.”
“We were friends. But I think he got involved in things beyond his understanding.”
Myself “Is that why you’re blind now?”
“I can’t talk about why I’m blind now.”
Myself “It may be of grave importance. Any way I can convince you?”
“Not talking of it is of grave importance to me. But it happened after Pickman’s disappearance.”
Myself “What happened with Pickman and his attorney, and his house burning down?”
“This existence I have is a miserable one but is better than no life at all.”
Myself “Is it because of Pickman and what he was into?”
“Indirectly. I’d rather talk about something else. Would you like to see some of my work?”
Out of a closet he brought a half a dozed stretched canvases. I must admit the art was not very good, they were quite average at best. The subjectmatter was insipid, all seascapes and sunbathers, the town itself, a street in the town. Nothing inspiring made the scenes worthwile.
Atwater made a close inspection of them to look for any small details that may not fit in, but we both saw nothing. The final painting was of a completely different style and we both recognized the glowing ball of fire instantly: a flame vampire of Cthugha in a large underground cavern!
Myself “What’s this one with the fire in it.”
I explained the painting and he answered “Oh, that’s not one of mine. That’s one of Pickman’s.”
“He gave it too you?”
“Yes, once after we had talked, he said he had gotten deeper than he should have with some disreputable people.”
“How long before his disappearance was this?”
“Only a few weeks. This is one of his last paintings, my security blanket. When I run out of money, since my own are worthless, this one should be able to get me enough money to live out a few more years of my squalid existence.”
Myself “So what of your predicament?”
“I brough it on myself.”
Myself “How is that?”
“Never you mind. I can’t say. We were friends enough that I looked into his disappearance.”
Myself “As are we. We can’t be so certain he’s dead.”
“Oh I’m sure he’s dead. I’m sure they killed him.”
Atwater “Who are they?”
“The same that did this to me!” and he angrily tore the patch from his eyes.
Atwater “Heavenly God!”
After a few silent momemts things calmed down.
Myself “Have you seen these fire creatures?”
“I told you, I can’t ell you.”
Myself “We have seen them.”
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen or what you know. I can’t tell you anything or they’ll finish the job. They will know. They’re here. I hear them at night, creeping.”
Myself “Well, we are here to put a stop to them.”
“Well good luck to you, but I can’t help you. I can’t help anyone anymore.”
Atwater “How depressing.”
Myself “Good luck to you sir. I wish we could have accomplishied more here.”
Frost “I do too.” I gave him my card, and told him where we would stay the night as we left.
Atwater “He is in danger. He’s going to be killed and that painting taken.”
Then, Frost suddenly opened the door and staggered into the hall behind us. “I’m sorry I forgot my manners back there” and he reached out a hand to shake mine. As I shook it, he passed a note to me.
“Myself “Thank you sir. I may buy a painting from you in the future Mr. Frost” and we made our way down as if nothing had happened. Strangely, when we got to the street our carriage was gone.
Myself “Theolonius!” I called. “Burton!”
Theo, in a few seconds, came out of a small bistro across the street and called to us to join them for lunch. They had only gotten tired of waiting and Jack being hungry… So, we all deciced to have lunch.
I excused myself to the facilities in order to get a private look at the note passed to me by Frost. It said “Beware the fire comes in the night. Seek the entrance in Pickman’s cellar”.
‘Thank you, Frost. Back to Pickman’s tonight,’ I thought to myself.
After dinner, we called upon Officer Donnelly at his home. He was receptive and willing to talk with us at the mention of our Miskatonic friends. He insisted he has become convinced of a fire cult here, if not 2 or 3 of them. One of which has something to do with the mysterious burning deaths as well as Pickman and his attorney. He is also convinced that the deaths happened somewhere other than where they were found, for there was no evidence of burning around the scene. He has followed a few people in town whom he is suspicious of, and some he has seen go into certain buildings late at night, and not come out even after hours of staking the place out. Additionally there is the McCoy family.
“They aren’t New Englanders, they are of Appalacia. There is just something odd about them. No one knows why they moved here. They moved in, bought a house with gold and have lived here ever since, but there is something wrong about them.”
Will “Such as what?”
“Many small things, but there is absolutely no reason that these degenerates…and they really are, not because of their origin, they are truly degengerate human beings…but they have no reason being involved with this attorney.”
Will “What does he have to to with them?”
“Well, they had evidently fallen behind in their taxes, and he went to foreclose. He went out one day, and stayed for 3 or 4 days. When he returned he was suddenly on their side, even providing the funding for their house.”
Myself “When was this in relation to Pickman’s vanishing and his house burning?”
“This was before that, some 2 years ago. And I have witnesses, including a female acquaintence of Pickman, that the attorney introduced Pickman to these people.”
Jon “Sounds like part of a big fire cult!”
“I can not be sure, but Pickman drew a painting of them.”
Theo “Did you see it?”
“It was in the house when it burned down. I stole it from the wreckage, it was in fine shape.”
At this he presented it too us. The McCoy’s looked only partially human, and partially Ghoul of Bishop sort. The background of the scene looked like it was in the woods but for wooden planking underfooot.
Jon “We need to pay a visit to these McCoys.”
“It’s not proof of anything. It’s but the painting of a madman.”
I turned to Atwater here for an aside “This man needs to be working with us in some way. We need to get this man with Friday, or Archer. He is taking to it rather well.”
Atwater “You looking to get out of Kingsport for work?”
“Well, to be honest I wanna be a detective.”
Theo “What is it you go to school for?”
“Philosophy. There is no major in being a detective, I just have to work my way up through the ranks. If I’m going to work with this sort of…wierd….I figured the best thing would be philosophy.”
Myself “We just opened a new branch of our business in Boston. If you would be looking for a position…”
Atwater “We could use someone with your skills.”
Theo “And your open mindedness.”
Myself “And your fast decisionmaking on the nature of a case, whether supernatural or mundane.”
“Well, to be honest I was really hoping to put this cult to an end first.”
Will “We’d like to do that as well.”
The young man knew we must bring this to a head, but how to do so?
Frank “If this is really going on underground, we have to catch them there. So we need to go when they are going to be there. Since we think they are a cult worshipping something, we need to figure out when they are worshipping.”
Myself “We think we have a way to get there.”
Frank “If you’re thinking of using their house forget it. Too well guarded.”
Myself “No. We have reason to believe there is an entrance in the cellar of Pickman’s former house.”
“I’ve been through that. We found no such entrance.”
Myself “I will look closer.”
“You were talkin’ to that crazy man weren’t you?”
Will “What crazy man?”
JAtwater “Mr. Frost, with no eyes?”
“Yes, the blind painter. After the house burned, he told me this cock and bull story, no…actually a story that he then later claimed he never told me.”
Theo “What story is that?”
“He was found by people wandering the streets, with his eyes gone. I happened to be the first cop on the scene. He claimed to have gone into a tunel, that Pickman had told him about in his basement, to go looking for Pickman. And that he was captured by masked cultists. They burned his eyes out with a flaming sword.”
Myself “We will double check it, nonetheless. You willing to go with us?”
“They didn’t kill him though. They let him go.”
Will “I wonder why that is?”
“They warned him not to speak of it.”
Theo “Why not kill him anyway? Get it over with.”
“I don’t know. And neither does he.”
Myself “We will investigate the premises.”
Jon agreedd he should join us, and Donnely was up for it.
Myself " We should tail Fredrick tomorrow, see where he goes and what he does."
Frank “You want to go see him now? Confront him? Or just tail him?”
Myself “Just tail him. First thing in the morning. We should consider breaking into his house while he is at work tomorrow.” It was about time for Jack’s date at this point, so he rose to leave for the rendevous.
Theo “Need some backup?”
Jack “It’s a date! I don’t need any backup, Wang” and he left.
Myself “We are suspicous by nature.”
Will and Jon checked on the attorney Fredericks’ house and found it empty with all the lights off, likely he was still at his office. They went next to his office, and he was not there either. They then returned to Donnelly’s where we awaited Jack.
Jack related his dinner story later:
The met at a small establishment almost directly across from Frost’s home. About half an hour into his dinner he, by some miraculous luck, actually noticed something of importance. Looking out the front, he noticed Fredricks standing across the street. An old rickety wagon then picked him up, driven by a rough looking man, as if a frontiersman was Jack’s first thought. McCoys!
Jack “Something’s going on here.”
Greta “Should I stay?”
Jack “Stay with me, you’ll be safer.”
They ran for Frosts’s home and the woman let them in, saying no one else had been there. Though she did hear a terrible thump a bit ago. When Jack burst through the door he found it empty, a chair overturned and some obvious signs of a struggle. The paintings were thrown from the closet and the fire painting missing. Just as Atwater was worried would happen. The landlady showed him a backdoor, but it had been forced open. The landlady screamed ‘thieves’ to which Jack replied “Yeah, and they stole Frost!”
Landlady “Poor Mr. Frost! If it were him he’d have unlocked the door.”
Jack went out, and could see wagon tracks in the mud of the alley. We should have stationed Theolonius on the roof to watch the man, but we can never be sure when we ourselves will need all of our rescources. Jack then told Greta he has to bolt back for his friends.
Greta “What about our date?”
Jack “Our date just got that much more exciting. Let’s go!” They both jumped back into a carriage and returned to Frank’s, explaining quickly all that had occured.
Jack “I think Frost is in it with them, or they kidnapped him.”
Theo “I’d guess kidnapping, Jack.”
We all together returned then to the alley, which I examined in detail. I was able to track the mud texture particular to that alley up the street straight into the countryside leading to the McCoy house.
Will to Jack, nodding toward Greta “What is she stil doing with you?”
Jack “I figured she’d be safer with me, rather than getting killed or kidnapped.”
Theo “We should go to Pickman’s now, while there attention looks to be elsewhere.”
We dug our way into the basement and entered by lantern light. But, not before passing out the 9 pieces of blessed ammunition Jon was in possession of. Jack was given the 5 bullets, while the shotgun shells went 1 each to myself, Atwater, Will and Jon.
It took only minutes for me to find the secret entrance, and into a cavern we descended with Jon taking the lead. It was no ordinary cavern, however. It had that unsettling aura and appearance we have glimpsed before, but that is difficult to describe. As if made in prehuman days by inhuman hands. After a long time of travelling, keeping in the general direction of the McCoy land, we entered a large chamber where, to our great astonishment, a beautiful young girl was chained completely naked to a wall! She explained her circumstances, the lies of which I will not waste space with, for the honed senses of Father Jon sniffed her true identity out in some way none of the rest of could ever understand. As he approached her he suddenly yelled “Back witch, do not try to fool me!”
Jack “She’s a witch?!”
Jon “She’s a demon from the pits! She tries to decieve us!” Suddenly he rushed for her. The chains fell at her feet all on their own, and she reached for out for Jon as well. It seemed to be an attempt at an embrace, but Jon later described the leathery wings that were visible to him spread from her back, and her fanged maw making for a deadly kiss as her devilish embrace engulfed him. From behind me I heard words of an unnatural nature, and I knew that Cassandra (so quiet that we often forget she is with us) was casting a spell on the hellish bitch. Then suddenly, the demon woman looked up and stared direclty at Cassandra for the briefest moment, even in that moment a foul spiteful look of evil upon her countenance, and in that same brief moment we all glimpsed site of her true form. Behind me I heard Will gasp, turning his face away. Greta screamed in horror and ran to a far wall, huddling against it. The demon then blinked out of existence in a wail of malevolance and hate that was cut off after it had barely begun, dismissed (as Cassandra called it) back to her home plain of existance.
Jon explained the creature was a succubus, like those from general folklore, likely called here to service by the McCoys via ritual as a guard.
The caves continued through narrow corridors and a larger room. We encountered a stange looking spot on the floor, somewhat slimey. Jon set his gauntleted hand in it and it burned like acid, forcing him to discard the armor piece. The acid spot was some 30’ across. Trying to traverse the wall would be dangerous, so we spent time assembling some larger stones, Jack and Theo using it all to make a raised path. We all made it across safely.
Suddenly, we heard faint chanting ahead, though we could still see nothing ahead, until 3 small humanoid creatured came into view flying through the air. The imps, as identified by Jon, came straight to the offensive. I had insissted to no use of firearms to try to retain the element of surprise should we come across the McCoys, so we resorted to blades. One came at each of us toward the front of the line: myself, Jon and Jack Burton. Theolonius was guarding the rear at this time. Jon and I both dropped our torches to the ground, he drawing his broadsword, while I brought my dagger to bare. Jack, knowing well his own speed at the drawing of a knife, waited until the last moment to strike. His draw was indeed like lightning, and 2 fast slices both brought one good hit home-6. Atwater, just behind us, unsheathed his canesword and pierced one of the little devils, but it seemed to do little harm. Their first diving claws hit only Jon-1, before I reacted but missed. Cassandra pulled her own knife on Jack’s-2 after Jack cut it again-7. Jon now swung a mighty blow-15. Jon was barely scratched again, and I struck my own-6. Cassandra got in a good cut-crit. Jon struck out again with his broadsword. Jack then missed the pesky little creature, Jon lashed out-10 and Atwater stabbed-4 which seemed to do no damage at all. Their attacks upon us then failed, I stabbed mine deep-9crit and Jack downright skewered his-13crit sending it reeling. Atwater failed to penetrate their tough skin again, but Jon brought his to destruction at last and it fell into flame and ash. Jack took a minor scrape from his enemy, I struck mine-6 as Cassandra missed. Jack hit again-6, and Jon helped him-6. Atwater was again foiled by its hide. I struck-6, Cassandra hit as well. Jack hit-6, Jon-10, and Atwater again to my own-7. The remaining 2 failed to harm us, Cassandra and myself missed, but Jack cut deep-8. Jon brought it down at last-5. The last one missed as Cassandra and I did the same. Jack and Jon came up from behind it and cut well but the creatures seemed to heal before our very eyes almost all we had done to it. Its hide helf off my stab, but Jon and Jack finally cut almost to shreds before Atwater finished it off. We made sure to cut them all to pieces where they lay.
Within seconds, Jack and Jon could feel a festering in their minor wounds. Atwater unleashed his medical skill upon us, opening his medical kit and working wonders only he can. None of us had any lasting effects, but for the rest of the night and into the next day Jon did not seem quite so lithe. Jack now has a small scar, as well as an on again/off again but possibly permanent slight soreness in the area he was cut.
We continued on into the dark through passage and room, Father Jon bravely leading the way toward the faint chant. In the next room, no sooner had Jon stepped inside than we hears a quick metallic click. A series of wooden spikes loaded onto a backing of wood dropped from the ceiling above and onto Jon who did not act quick enough. Though he came out battered and bleeding, his medieval armor was all that kept him from serious damage, possibly even saving his life.
We then came across as room with that strange, indescribable geometry that leaves us uneasy at best, sickly at worst. Apart from the chanting that was nearer now, this would have been the clue that we were almost upon them. A right turn, past 2 other 4-way corridors ended in a doorway, the double doors either broken open long ago or fallen from age and disrepair. Through it was the light of the ritual, so we immediately doused our own.
I whispered “Peek in, take a look Jon. They may be about to murder Frost.”
Indeed, a despicable ceremony of the Mythose is what he saw. One of murder and sacrifice.
A central aisle flanked 2 rows of pews, just like a church. At its head stood a dais with altar atop. At the altar it was obviousy Grandpa McCoy, red hair and beard, dressed in a cultic robe of course. 11 others cultists worshipped from the front pew on either side, all McCoys: 4 adult males, 3 adult females, and most unspeakable of all 3 children. Near the daies stood the attorney Fredricks. Upon the altar, as suspected, lay a groaning and bleeding Frost. The man still lived, thank God. They had been cutting him slowly. Bleeding him without killing him for their own demeneted pleasures.
Then a whisper from Pa McCoy to Frost, patting his head like a fathr to a child “Shh Shh Shh Shh. Don’t worry, you’re going to suffer. Only through true suffering can you the Old Ones.”
The chanting began again, so the noise we used as auditory cover for our approach. To our far left in the shadows between the pews and the side wall crept Jack and Theo toward the men, and opposite them myself and Atwater behind the women. Father Jon, at the head of Donnelly, Cassandra and Will, waited for us to finish our approach before coming at them down the central aisle. Cassandra drew 2 daggers, one long and of the kris style. Greta was given my dagger and a revolver by Jon. It was some 40’ from the door to the dais.
The McCoy’s were so enraptured by their ritual even Pa was utterly oblivious to our approach, an we gained full surprise on them.
Theo, one hand on the back of the front pew, sprung over and planted leaping kick on one of the men-15. Jack aimed and fired both barrels of his shotgun at the closest McCoy-14. Cassandra made a mad dash and leap over the pews, stabbing one of the women. Donnelly fired upon another of the women-9 and Greta shot yet another of them. I rose up and unloaded the first barrel of my shotgun into Frederick’s back-10, Atwater’s .45 went surprisingly arry and Jon began his charge down the central aisle making for Pa, ending just short of the dais.
The general combat then started. I fired my final barrel at Frederiks, blowing his robes open from his nude body as he fell lifeless. Marks of torture covered his body (they must have tortured him into madness and their cause). Pa had continued looking on Frost and said to him “We saved you for tonight all this time. I certainly don’t want to have to kill you too soon, but let’s make sure that you don’t survive” and at motioned toward Frost’s abdomen with his dagger, doubless meaning some grotesque act of mutilation. He was, however, startled by Frederik’s death and Jon’s now inimpeaded path upon him and gave a pause that likely saved Frost’s life.
Jon lept atop the dais and slashed at Pa McCoy-9 overtop of the prostrate Frost. Atwater then put a slug into his target-7. The 2 McCoy men closest to the aisle charged up the aisle for Will. In terror he lept aside and their long sinster daggers struck each other-5/6. The 2 remaining attacked Theo, both missing. I drew my revolver faster than ever I have, and yelled to kill them all!. The McCoy women seemed to actually be shaken (card) by my brazen words as I hit the same Atwater did, her closest to us,-6. With a surge of adrenaline I loosed a second shot which killed the bitch. The 2 remaining women turned and missed Cassandra with their own daggers. Will and Donnelly now fully engaged the 2 McCoy men. Donnelly stepped back and fired his revolver-miss. Will did the same but with his shotgun-17 DEAD. Jack pulled his pistol and shot at his previous target-3. Cassansra fought back as if in a blood frenzy, but Greta’s shot at one of her adversaries went wildly high.
I moved to one of the women fighting Cassandra and engaged her with fisticuffs but missed. Pa struck back at Jon twice-miss/10. Atwater moved in with his swordcane to a flanking position with Cassandra-. Jon eschewed a regular attack and disarmed Pa McCoy of his dagger. Will was cut badly-6, Donnelly was missed. Theo was attacked by both other men again, one hitting-8, as they ignored Jack. Theo struck back-8 on the man furthest from Jack, who reloaded his shotgun. Donelly now began his own brawl-miss, while Will stepped back again and fired his second barrel-16 on Donnely’s opponent. Cassandra was then cut by both women-6 total, but she cut well into one of them who looked close to dropping. I was then unsuccessful in my brawling, and Pa went after Jon with his own fists, and mighty ones they were. Pa proceeded to lay 2 haymakers upon our Father-17 total! Jon dropped his sword now, the old man being without a weapon to take advangate, drew his shotgun and let off with both barrels directly into grangpa’s torso-18, but the dog had turned sideways and luckily avoided instant death, though his side was shredded and bloodied. Will was then struck-5 and felt the cut which drew blood, but Theo was missed altogether. Theolonius made a flying leap over the pew and struck out another flying kick-7 to Jack’s target. Donnely slugged his man-9. Jack’s newly reloaded barrels went off but in true Jack style barely hit the man-8 then dashed to the ground in frustration; Will in desparation for his own life turned his shotgun around and flailed wildly with all his might, clubbing the McCoy man in the temple-11crit and opening a gash in the man’s head. Cassandra continued her attack at one of the 2 McCoy women left-6 DEAD and the 2nd-3. Atwater’s clicked haplessly on a dud of a round for the last women, but Greta hit-5. The woman finally began to wobble. I then struck her-5 as well. Grandpa McCoy, bleeding but still fighting, made 2 punches-miss/crit11. Jon suddenly, out of no where, got a calming look on his face, and though he should have been beaten down by now, he continued from this instant as if not fazed in the slightest (card).
Will was cut-3, then Theo was missed and Jack hit-7. Theo hit with a spinning kick-5 to the man furthest from Jack again, Donelly punched-7 and Will clubbed his man again taking him down and in is fright clubbed him again-DEAD. Jack moved in and with drawn daggers missed his elusive target twice.
The 2 women both missed Cassandra, Greta’s shot missed highg but Cassasndra cut twice-DEAD. Seeing pa was much better off than he should have been, I picked up my shotgun and began reloading. Jon bent down, retrieved the sword at his feat, and made a quick stab from low-10crit. Pa then slammed 2 more haymakers into Jon-14.
Atwater then moved toward their fight and fired his revolver at Pa-9 who then yelled in a general fashion “You killed my boys, ya killed my boys!” Jon struck again-3 as the McCoy men hit Jack-4 and Theo-4. Theo’s strike back missed but Jack stabbed deep-7. Donelly moved up to the front and fired from behind on the woman Theo was engaged with-6. Grace missed as Cassandra took the opportunity to begin slaying the McCoy youths who had fled to the sides of the room. I fired one barrel at Pa which slammed into him-19, blood spatter spraying all around him. At that he began praying even as he stumbled. The air near him seemed to partially solidify. Cassandra, who must have glanced up at words he spoke, said “He’s summoning a demon of some sort!”
Atwater fired againinto Pa-6 as Jon cut him-9. The McCoy men were still giving Jack and Theo all they could handle, hitting Jack-3 but missing Theo. Theo then punched his man-8, Donnely missed him again, and Jack hit once out of 2-5. Will fired into the melee at Jack’s man-miss. Greta then began to reload her gun. Cassandra followed at least one of the boys out the doors we entered, the child having fled her wrath.
I fired another barrel into Pa-9, and still up he ran screaming at me “Why won’t you show yourself!”, screaming not at me but into the air at whatever he was attempting to summon. Atwater shot Pa again-13. Jon charged Pa and finally ran him through DEAD. The McCoy men hit Jack-8, who not did not look so well at this point, but missed Theo. Theo hit back-5 and Jack-7. Will shot Jack’s man-crit11. Donelly engaged Theo’s with fists-5 KO’d. Cassandra entered the room and charged the surviving brother-7 DEAD.
Grandpa’s body then began to rise, and we all began furiously reloading. Those who had the blessed ammo prepared it. He stood up, his body shifting and changing into the demon. A gaunt and leather-skin demon, humanoid in form, stood before us. It’s huge gaping maw riddled with teeth ran straight back all the way to its pointed ears, horns sprouting from behind them. We all took positions close around it, careful not to be in line with one of our own, and all fired virtually in usison, Greta diving behind a pew, absolutely horrified:
My blessed shell struck it-11
Jon struck with his own-14
Atwater’s blessed bullet, which he and Jack had split between them, hit-4
Jack fired his own blessed shell-18
Cassandra moved in with her 2 daggers as if to pounce upon the demon.
The demon turned to he who hurt it most, Father Jon. 2 claw attacks both tore into Jon-22total, but thankfully his maw missed
Will now stepped and badly missed with his own blessed shell, and Jon yelled to Jack “Jack, the dynamite!” before leaping at the creature and inserting his shield into its open mouth, prying it open in an amazing display of greatness. Jack made run for it, leaping off the dais and thrusting the 3-stick bundle of dynamite into its mouth, his arm almost diappearing to the shoulder down the thing’s throat.
I cried out “Scatter!” and we did. All except for Cassandra who in her insane rage lept onto its back, thrusting her daggers into its shoulders as the dynamite exploded inside it. We knew then she would die in the explosion, but I can not put into words how we felt when the internal explosion did not blow it to pieces, though it was gravely wounded from the inside out and black ichor along with whatever passes for organs were hanging from the holes in its cavity. What are these things made of?
The blast knocked Cassandra off of it, the creatures unnatural body shieding her from the blast. It turned on her, lying prone next to it. Both its claws cut into her badly but she dodged the bite in desperation. The monster reeled terribly now. Atwater fired his last blessed bullet but only grazed it. Father Jon, on the verge of death now, saw how close we were and charged back in anyway, stabbing and twisting up into its body cavity through its largest wound-17crit. It immediately disappeared in a cloud of dust and noxious fumes, and the bloody battle was over.
Atwater quicky saw to Frost as Jack cut him free. Jon began binding his terrible wounds until Atwater could see to him, Jack and Cassandra who were all 3 by far the worst off. Atwater and Myself escaped quite unscathed by chance.
Frost has been saved, and is now recovering in the hospital. We came back to Arkham early this morning, the day after the battle, after resting the night at Donnelly’s home. Hopefully, and finally, God willing we can find some rest and recuperation here for a spell. We all desparately need it for mind, body and soul. But after, we must deal with the Silver Twilight.