While Helena was in the Emergency Room, Lisette began in earnest her study of the church records found in the basement. This is a summary of her findings:
Two letters we of particular interest were found within the files, too. The letters follow:
February 3rd 1858
The secrets of the Divine Principle cannot be spread haphazardly about the world. Please respect the wishes of our esteemed founder, return to the fold and restore the integrity of the True Church. True and deep communion with The Divine Principle can be found only through the Shining Crystal. You cannot operate independently. Without true communion religion is empty and false. Do not speak against the interests of the Starry Wisdom Church again. Do not create further conflict. If you fancy any possibility for your restoration you will respond within one week. Do not forget that your power is pale next to Ours. Your chapel exists only by Our tolerance.
This is the second letter:
October 19th 1868
Dear Rev. Michael Thomas,
It is my understanding that Dr. Flagg has spoken to you of my wish to visit the Chapel of Contemplation ( Church of Our Lord Granter of Secrets) next month for a period of study and reflection in preparation for my ordination in the Church of Starry Wisdom.
It is with the greatest sadness that I witnessed the passing on of my father, Reverend Samuel Akeley on October 5th. Responsibility for the immortal souls of the congregation weighs heavily upon my heart and I cannot in all honesty put full faith in the Congregational Protestantism in which I have been raised and ordained. It is with profound gratitude that I look back upon the teachings, wonders and revelations of Dr. Flagg during my visits with him at his vacation house in West Townshend, for it was through his generous exposition that my false world view and faith was shattered and true faith born in its place. Mankind at large truly is lost, being cut off from the Divine and I have come to see the Church of conventional Christianity as a pale shadow, almost a mockery of the Divine Truth, with false prophets at its head. With Dr. Flagg’s generosity I have come to know the Divine Principle myself directly through and as He Who Waits in the Dark and through communion with the Outer Ones. It is to the Starry Wisdom Church, perhaps the sole heirs of the wisdom of the Magi, that I owe the greatest gratitude and to which I offer my life in service.
I sincerely hope that you will accept my request for a visit of study and contemplation of one month before I move onto the Mother Church in Providence. I look forward to visiting Otoscin and enjoying your fellowship. I look forward to meeting you and to receiving your response. May we be among the Million Favored Ones!
Lastly, Lisette looked through the remaining Chapel records, and was able to piece together the following information:
The so-called ‘Chapel of Contemplation’ was a secretive sect. The cult apparently used something called ‘The Shining Trapezohedron’ to commune with an entity referred to as ‘The Haunter of the Dark’. Although the cult was publicly denounced by the other local churches, it nonetheless grew to have a membership of around 200 members. Mysterious disappearances in the area brought the cult under public scrutiny. After run-ins with both local citizens and the municipal government, the church closed in 1877 and 181 people left the area for unknown reasons. However, there was veiled evidence that they were dealt a more summary kind of justice than banishment. This information links up somewhat with the information discovered by Helena at the beginning of the investigation.
Helena discovered an old book in a wooden crate within The Corbitt House. She took the book to skim on her own that evening, but took pictures of the dogearned pages for her assistant and interns to research. Brendan Aerhart, Justine Shannon, and Victoria Badger all began researching the text and the photos right away. They were able to combine efforts to come up with the following details:
The Black Book, a nickname for the manuscript, was written by Friedrich Wilhelm von Junzt in 1795. It’s true name is Unaussprechlichen Kulten. The author took a short time off and then returned to begin writing a new manuscript to include additional details to the Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Six months following, Friedrich Wilhelm von Junz was found in his room behind a locked and barred door. He had been strangled, his notes torn and scattered around him. The contents of the new manuscript remained a mystery because his friend, Alexis Ladaeu burned the new manuscript and its notes before committing suicide by slashing his throat with a butcher’s knife.
The first edition of the German text appeared in 1839 in Düsseldorf. The English edition was issued by Bridewall in London in 1845, but contained numerous misprints and was badly translated. A heavily expurgated edition was later issued in New York by GG Press in 1909. Original editions in German have a heavy leather cover and iron hasps. Few copies of the earliest edition still exist because most were burnt by their owners when word of von Junzt’s gruesome demise became common knowledge. An edition is known to be kept in a locked vault at the Miskatonic University library. The rest as rumored to have been hunted down and collected by members of the Church of Starry Wisdom.
Within his book, von Junzt discusses his findings regarding worship patterns across the world by several cults. Part of this volume deals with commonly known secret societies, like the Dark Brotherhood and the Cult of Cthulhu. The text contains information on cults that worship pre-human deities and includes hieroglyphs relating to the latter. There is also information on more recent cults: the worship of Cthulhu, theTcho-tcho cults of Leng, the people of the Black Stone, the Hyborian Age, and the worldwide sects of Ghatanothoa. At certain points, von Junzt’s rational presentation of these cults breaks down into disjointed ramblings.
Brendan Aerhart, Justine Shannon, and Victoria Badger were all able to decipher the dog-earned pages in The Black Book, as well. In a rather lengthy series of photos, texts, and voice messages all three explained that the pages were each spells constructed in poetry similar to The Golden Dawn or Wicca grimoires.
First Marked Page: A summoning spell called “The Dark Man’s Maw”
Second Marked Page: A binding spell called “Lurker In The Darkness”
Third Marked Page: A spell of to length life and perhaps bestow immortality called “Blood Red Quill”
Unfortunately, the three researchers were involved in a terrible car accident driving home from their office. All three were transported to UPMC hospital in critical condition in the wee hours of the morning on July 3, 2013.
Read more about the events from “The Terrible Tale of Mister Vanderstowe” here.
Pastor Thomas Michaels was until recently the leader of the Spring Avenue “Church of His Lord And Master” in DuBois. He served a small congregation of 54 church members since 2007. However, he was arrested on Wednesday May 1, 2013, and was released on bail three days later. Michaels was stepped down as Pastor due to the controversy and was replaced by local philanthropist Seth Applegate. Applegate has served under Michaels for several years as an Assistant Pastor and Church Elder. Michaels now spends his days within the Spring Avenure Church, serving as a board member and Church Elder.
“The first building used for religious purposes in the DuBois area was a tavern in Luthersburg in 1825. There were no hymn books or Bibles and all services were held at night by candlelight. This was the first structure known as The Chapel of Contemplation. When the Chapel burned to the ground under strange circumstances, it was rebuilt in the city of DuBois. The second Chapel of Contemplation was erected at the corner of East Long Ave. and Church St. in 1874. All that remains of the second chapel is a vacant lot with a burned out ruin which has been overgrown with weeds. The second Chapel burned to the ground on June 16, 1888.”
Both Chapels featured the symbol of the All-Seeing Eye or Eye of Providence rather than traditional religious symbols.
The Eye of Providence is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is sometimes interpreted as representing the Eye of God watching over humankind in Divine Providence.In the modern era, the most notable depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill.
Imagery of an All-Seeing Eye can be traced back to Egyptian mythology and the Eye of Horus. Buddhist texts like the Mahaparinibbana Sutta also refer to Buddha as the “Eye of the World.” It is frequently used to depict the image of God in Caodaism.
In Medieval and Renaissance European iconography, the Eye (often with the addition of an enclosing triangle) was an explicit image of the Christian Trinity. Seventeenth-century depictions of the Eye of Providence sometimes show it surrounded by clouds or sunbursts.
A D&D Blog by a Fledgling DM
Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games
Illustration, Architecture, artwork and some doodles
Author | Editor | Father of Thor | Veteran | Military Spouse
A place to discuss our lives and loves over a cup of tea
Bringing the Fate RPG to Faerûn
Our Adoption Journey
Advice, tips and insight from a veteran Dungeon Master.