“The hallmark of Lovecraft’s work was the sense that ordinary life was a thin shell over a reality which was so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.”
THE TERRIBLE TALE OF MISTER VANDERSTOWE
Three months ago, wealthy local businessman J. M. Vanderstowe perished in a plane crash over the Appalachians. The wealthy recluse left no heirs to his large estate. His assets were turned over to a board of trustees from his extensive corporation. Unknown to the general public, Vanderstowe was a passionate collector and student of the Occult. Over the years, his money and international connections permitted him to gather a priceless collection of artifacts, relics, and curiosities from all over the world. The exact contents of Mr. Vanderstowe’s collection have remained a guarded mystery, but speculations abound.
The executor of Vanderstowe’s estate, Seth Applegate, has arranged for a small, private auction for noted collectors, scholars, and museums known for their interest in the Occult. The auction is by invitation only, and will be held at a site that will only be revealed a short time before it begins at midnight.
SESSION THREE: Return to the Corbitt House JULY 3, 2013
Arriving back at the house, our Heroes discovered that Applegate had provided all their requested equipment and supplies in a large white box truck that was parked in the front yard just off of South Brady Street. They gathered at the Corbitt House at 0900 hours only to find that Helena had overslept. Although it took her nearly an hour to arrive, this gave Hobo With A Shotgun, Lisette, Adolphus, and Marcus enough time to unpack and sort through the equipment. After Helena showed up, the investigation began anew.
First, they discovered the dead man (who had appeared suddenly in a ball of fire) laying right inside the door. Although he had disappeared from the yard earlier the day before, he was now naked, laying in a pool of his own blood. It was obvious that his body cavity had been opened and all of his internal organs removed. Lisette touched the corpse’s foot only to reel backwards in shock and terror. She had seen a flash of a reptilian eye wreathed in flame within her mind’s eye. This is the second time she has seen this vision, and both times it was disturbing.
At this point, Hobo thought he saw a dark form near the stairs. Hobo’s Second Sight kicked in and he saw a dark shadow of a man with bright red eyes. The man seemed to shout to him: “Geeet Ouuuuut!”
Marcus and Hobo With a Shotgun rushed up the stairs. Adolphus and Helena remained to aid Lisette. Marcus started kicking in doors while Hobo covered him from the hallway.
Marcus entered a bedroom that contained a bare bed frame, and a dresser. Marcus searched the dresser and found a business card. While handing the card to Hobo, the bed frame lurch across the floor and knock Marcus out the window with great force!
Marcus flailed wildly as he fell, amazingly only having the wind knocked out of him when he hit the ground. Hobo started shooting the bed frame, and Adolphus ran upstairs to see what was going on. Meanwhile, Lisette was outside on the porch recovering with support from Helena. Needless to say, the investigation was becoming chaotic. When Lisette was well enough, they went to help Marcus who was still laying on the ground, stunned.
At that point, a gentleman from the DuBois municipal authorities arrived to serve papers on the house. He saw the body laying in the open doorway, and freaked out. However, Lisette flashed her badge and convinced the man to leave. He tried to, but the paradox kept turning him around unwillingly and sending him back towards the house. He was soon in the grip of madness, standing in a catatonic stupor with his mouth gaping wide open.
The scene contained to be chaotic for our heroes with things happening like falling dominoes that kept attracting their attention. The investigation started to fall apart, either from a lack of planning or panic under pressure…
In the upstairs hallway, Hobo With A Shotgun started looking for secret doors that might explain the sounds of footsteps. By knocking on the walls, he discovered that the entire one side of the hallway was hollow. He could not find a doorway to enter the passage, so he created his own by blasting away with his shotgun. Looking inside through the hole, he saw that at each end of the secret passage there were hatches in the floor.
Adolphus found a strange book that he started to read, but then quickly decided against reading it when he thought he hear a deep, gravely voice whispering the words from the book into his mind. He soon explained to the others that it was a book dedicated to magically controlling rats. The book was bound in a blue leather-like material. Although the cover of the book was blank, the spine was clearly marked with the words: RATTUS NORVEGICUS.
Soon after, Hobo and Lisette investigated the last bedroom to find the Macario’s bedroom with a bloody butcher knife laying in the middle of the floor. The bedroom was an ordinary bedroom, with a double bed, bookshelf, and window view, apparently the room of Vittorio and Gabriela. More crosses and many candles were here, and a rosary and breviary rested on a table beside the bed.
And at about the same time, Marcus and Helena were downstairs. Marcus heard something in the hallway, and opened fire. He unloaded his machine gun into the wall, tearing through the infrastructure to see some kind of thin, monstrous being on the other side leering at him. He could see that it was hit at least three times but then the thing moved with amazing speed into the room and attacked him. It swiped twice, tearing into his Kevlar vest. Helena shouted, and stabbed at the creature with her fencing foil, but the monster disappeared from sight. Her foil hit Marcus in the chest, but did not pierce his vest. Then the monster was back, clawing at her from behind. She dodged out of the way, and the thing disappeared again.
SESSION FOUR: “IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT” July 3, 2013
Our heroes continued to investigate the Corbitt house. First, Marcus found that when he had fired wildly into the wall after hearing footsteps, he not only hit the monster but also killed the gentleman from the Insurance Company. Marcus checked the man over, finding that his wounds were fatal. Marcus showed very little concern or remorse for killing the man, and continued with the investigation. Helena, as well, did not seem very concerned with the man’s murder.
Upstairs, Hobo and Lisette discovered that one of the hatches opened to a storage area containing documents about the Church of Contemplation, and the other led down into the basement. They also found an ornate butcher knife that had seemed to move on its own. The group decided to complete the investigation for now, and gathered in the front yard to discuss their plans. Marcus remained inside, rigging up booby traps. Marcus was separated from the group.
Marcus was kneeling in the hallway finishing off another booby trap when he heard shuffling coming from behind him. He turned to see a large beast that resembled an ape mixed with an insect. It was a Dimensional Shambler, a Dimension-hopping humanoid with rough, leathery bodies and huge claws.
Marcus fired on the creature, hitting it but it kept coming. It clawed at him, gouging his shoulder and knocking him to the group. At that moment, The Hobo With A Shotgun rushed down the hallway from outside and recklessly began firing at the monster from behind. The shots ripped into the monster, tearing it in half and causing it to collapse with a sickening slurping sound onto Marcus. The thing was dead, and it faded quickly.
Leaving the house behind, Lisette and Helena went to the corner of East Long and Church to investigate the site of the Chapel of Contemplation. Meanwhile, Hobo and Marcus went to get some food and adult beverages at a local bar called The Hitching Post.
Meanwhile, Lisette and Helena arrived at the derelict property that stood at East Long and Church to investigate and found a strange symbol daubed on the wall in fresh white paint. Exploring further, the rotten, earth-covered floorboards they stood on collapsed, sending both women tumbling into a dark and forgotten basement. Crippled with pain and plunged into almost darkness they lay and soon phoned for help. Slowly, their eyes adjusted to the darkness and they found that they were facing rusted ceiling to floor bars, behind which lay two smallish human skeletons. Fighting off some half-seen assailants above who were setting board into place to seal them into the basement, they explored the basement further and as it was growing dark, emerged carrying an old book in Latin – De Vermis Mysteriis, and several files containing church records. Lisette found that shot and killed a man dressed in a black suit and immediately recognized the man as one of Applegate’s Men In Black Suits from the day before. She departed after surrendering her service weapon to her fellow Officers from the Sandy Township Police department, as well as, giving a full report as to what had gone on leading up to the shooting. She tried to leave out as much of the paranormal events as possible, trying not to sound like a crazy person to her co-workers.
The Session ended with our Heroes setting up a meeting with Applegate for later that night.