As they sailed towards Boston, they pulled out computers and did some research. Turns out on New Year’s Eve of 2007, right at midnight there were a dozen deaths in town; the very young and the very old. Subsequent research found it was not a cancer cluster or anything, so since deaths did not continue, the anomaly only warranted a brief mention.
Hollister was a county, and also a town. The deaths were in town, surrounded by farms, dairy and otherwise.
Researching the Roby case, the murder was October 14 2008. Those working the case were Detective Sergeant Lorimer and Detective Stephens. There were two victims, the father Herbert and his daughter Georgina. The father was killed with a puncture, and exsanguinated, though almost none of his blood was on the scene. Half Georgina’s rib cage was missing, her blood was everywhere, but it appeared to be a different murder weapon. Both required massive strength. A door was shattered off its hinges on an upstairs balcony, and another in the doorway to the study where the two victims were found. Alexander Roby was the only one home, and he claimed he did it.
However, as there was no murder weapon and he lacked the strength necessary, and he was out of his mind, the legal apparatus got him a plea bargain for two years evaluation to see if he was competent to stand trial, and swept the whole thing under the rug. Seems rubber stamps would be enough to keep it under the rug, so why the pressure to complete the evaluation and potentially get Roby moved to another facility?
They rented a van, piling Anna in to drive, with Genevieve, Adrian, Snowfall, Kinsleton, Lydia, Burr, and Roby inside. Genevieve used her interrogation skills to try and engage Roby, who was in heightening levels of discomfort, edging into pain, as he could feel the real world and it was not Carcosa. The medication was wearing off.
She did get a garbled reference to “Jennings” and when they asked at a gas station there was a Jennings farm nearby.
As an expert in mythos issues, Kinslton knew that they’d need some kind of focusing device, and for something of this magnitude, something big (like the stone heads of Easter Island for R’lyeh.) Maybe a gazebo, or plinths, or something. So when he did an aerial recon and saw nine granite standing stones knocked down and half hidden under twisted bushes on a big dead spot of ground, he knew they had their focus. He flew down and directed them by back road. They reached the site, reading off the plinths; each one had a phrase that was part of a ritual, that the caster could activate once the plinth was loaded with energy and properly positioned. This could serve as a dimensional beacon, a focus to coalesce another world in this one. If it was standing up and powered and then released at just the right time.
What were they trying to do? What went wrong? The Great Old Ones have many personas and faces. Hastur was different in some ways from his avatar the King in Yellow; the King belongs in Carcosa, but Hastur does not. Still, for just a moment, Hastur touched down on earth, claiming a toll of souls and sending madness and writhing mutation through the summoners, some of whom survived (like Edwards.)
And these crazy assholes were going to try AGAIN.
Roby crouched, eyes twitching around the sky, mumbling snatches of a ritual to summon a byakhee; he was NOT happy to be gagged. They realized one was drifting in the Mists of R’lyeh high above, standing guard, bound to the site.
The incoming baying of farm dogs persuaded them to leave before Genevieve could look back in time, to see what made this place desolate, its ground spongy, death and weirdness radiating from the permanent scar in the Veil. They retreated to the van, and from there figured they had all Hollister had to offer them; back to Boston.
By this time Genevieve was getting numerous calls from Dr. Brewer, which she did not answer.
THE POLICE INVESTIGATION
They did some more research and phone calling from the van on the way back to Boston. Once there, they tracked down Detective Lorimer, because their background on him indicated he came from Kingsport and considered Chief Crane a mentor. When they got back to the station, he didn’t want to talk to them, so they name-dropped Crane, he made a call, then let them in and showed them the evidence from the Roby murder two years ago.
New pieces included a tape of Roby’s confession, with a transcript. He was obviously not in his right mind entirely. Also a carved whistle maybe eight inches long, fancifully fashioned after the shapes of a byakhee.
They also discovered that Grahame, Alexander Roby’s brother, inherited most of the estate. He would inherit more if Alexander was permanently out of the way. Still, the police concluded that his distaste for scandal far outweighed his greed in this matter.
THE ROBY HOUSE
They talked to Lowell, the butler at the Roby house. Lowell indicated that Grahame did not want to meet with them and found the whole matter profoundly distasteful, but Lowell was to show them the crime scene to satisfy their curiosity or whatever. He also indicated that Dr. Brewer had called several times asking him to tell them to call him, if he heard from them.
Genevieve finally called Dr. Brewer, told him they were doing unconventional things and needed time. He nervously agreed to grant it, understanding that the situation was unusual. She pushed back to ask why this was coming back up in the legal system; he noticed that was odd too, that was one reason he invited her to consult. As far as he could tell, Judge Tercell, who would be overseeing the trial, was not particularly motivated. The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Claire Blanche WAS motivated. In checking to find out more about her, all Dr. Brewer found was that she was being pushed by a shadowy lawyer, Emery Silvers.
Genevieve peered back through time and witnessed the brutal byakhee attack that slew the two victims in the room.
They also talked to Lowell about Alexander’s state; he had deteriorated mentally in the fall of 2007, to the point where his fiancee broke off her engagement. At that point Grahame hired a private investigator who followed him for three weeks getting more information on his friends, then suddenly fired the investigator; Lowell doesn’t know why. Lowell did offer them a flash drive with the detective’s reports.
The investigators wanted a copy of Alexander’s book of poetry, but Lowell was not willing to part with it. They could look at it, but not take it with them. It was a jumbled mess, talking about how this was the first two acts and the third, that may or may not be written, was of walking in Caracosa. That we would think we were the first, but we would not be, and would have to learn that for ourselves. All manner of nonsense, about making the Yellow Sign with a fist in the air, plain enough to Bespeak the End of Day, some sort of prognosticatory ritual. The dreams were in German, the commentary and instruction in English. The whole book was under 100 pages.
They retreated, realizing by the end that Lowell found the whole affair distasteful and tragic, but was actually interested in helping them as best he could—probably more than his master would like.
Reviewing his files, they found Tuck identified three main confederates that gathered at a residence in Downtown Kingsport, sometimes staying all night. It was Bacon’s residence.
- Lawrence Bacon. Middle class, about 55, 6 ft., graying hair, beard, heavy build, antiquities dealer.
- Malcolm Quarrie. 35, upper middle class, 5’10, black hair, clean shaven, slim build, scientist. Worked at Miskatonic U, respectable anthropology teacher, not married.
- Edwards. About 40, upper middle class, 5’8, brown hair, neat beard and mustache, average build, profession unknown, short term lodgings in artist colony. Visited the library.
Alexander Roby himself stayed in temporary lodgings and only went out to visit the library or Bacon’s residence.
Appended at the end was a reference to the report Tuck gave Grahame in person that led to his firing. No information was included.
TO KINGSPORT FOR BACON
They gathered on the yacht. As they headed to Kingsport, they checked on Emery Silvers, the rogue lawyer pushing on this case. He did not have much online or physical presence, he was a handsome dignified lawyer without partners or employees. He did note he was a member of the Silver Twilight Lodge. He was based out of Boston.
Research into Quarrie indicated he surrendered his position at Miskatonic U around the time of the Hollister incident, and he was abroad; a former student’s Facebook indicated he got a postcard from Milan, Italy.
They were met in Kingsport at the dock by Chief Crane, and after a brief commiseration, he handed them over to Officer Steve, who would drive them around. They asked where they could find Bacon’s shop; it wasn’t listed, only those who knew about it could find it, but Steve was a good cop who knew his beat, and he knew where the shop was. By now it was after dark, but they wanted to visit anyway.
Officer Steve parked several blocks away out of sight, and they approached on foot. They found a locked door, with a knob lock and two deadbolts. Genevieve strolled through those, and they opened the door to find a mesh cage; Bacon could stand in this protected space and hand things out through the door slot. If invaders came in, they were trapped in the cage with him. Shivering a bit, Genevieve disabled the alarm and lock and opened the cage, so they could enter the stinky dark shop.
They found shelves stuffed with occult books. Downstairs, they found a big iron safe, as well as shelves packed with naughty items, some with spirits bound to them. There was a gaping hole in the wall behind a stove, and carved in the stone floor in front of it a ward against ghouls, powerful Mythos warding.
Genevieve cracked the safe by touch, and found a starkly alarming cache of books, and a bell with a stand.
Meanwhile on the top floor someone was moving around, then playing accordion for a while. Eventually the mysterious figure stopped, and muttered as he took an umbrella with his coat, and went out. Lydia teleported herself and Kinslton outside, so they didn’t have to go through all the locks, and Kinslton pursued in raven form.
The man was careful in doubling back and running errands, watching for pursuit. Then he headed to the artist colony of Southside, the back streets. He towered over a bum, and began to cast a spell, tearing the life force out of the victim.
Kinslton knew he had to interfere, so he dropped out of the sky and attacked. The wizard was knocked down, but hit Kinslton with a Dread Curse, killing him outright—
INTERLUDE WITH THE ORACLE
In a dark swarming place, Kinslton hung alone in empty space as the arch-demon approached and explained open space was premium in Hell. The Oracle decided to save him instead of just taking the body, because the Oracle wanted continuing help from Kinslton’s friends, and this arrangement wasn’t so bad. So, he healed the aggravated wound, and returned Kinslton control of his body.
Kinslton dropped to the pavement outside Bacon’s store, slathered with blood and ichor, vomiting out wriggling bits of flesh. Apparently when the wizard was killed, he turned into some formless monster, and the Oracle used Kinslton’s body to kill him (even though it took a while to do it right.) This may be the worst way to eat Bacon.
CLEANING OUT THE BACON HOUSE
Alarmed by his condition but relieved he was basically alright, Lydia got the two of them back in the building, where he told his story. They continued their search upstairs, finding a mass of hex boxes (boxes designed to trap cursed items so they can’t function) filling a bookshelf upstairs.
Burr called her people, who could take the hex boxes and any other dangerous items—just not right away.
So, Genevieve rented a box truck, which they filled with the library items they wanted and the magical items and dangerous books and hex boxes, then drove and unloaded onto the yacht.
Roby, in hand but insane. Edwards, trapped in a space time trap for one more day. Bacon, killed and eaten. Quarry, still at large. Other members: unknown. This cult may be tiny, but it was punching way above its weight. And all is not yet revealed.