My good friend
played Arkham Horror as one of his excellent video series this year. Please go and check out all his videos, you will be glad you did!
The following is a fictionalized session report based on my friends adventure. Merry Christmas and happy 2013!!
After saying her final goodbyes to her late employer, Mister Thomas, Minh Thi Phan, found herself desperate to disembarrass herself of that freakish book, that insane attempt at Gothic fiction, “The King in Yellow”. Hearing that Dexter Drake was in town, and having heard the rumor, many times over, that Drake had squandered at least three fortunes in pursuit of false Grimoire, she marched into town to find him. Meeting with uncharacteristic, early success Minh located Dexter Drake almost immediately. Having no experience with men, let alone the rich and famous, poor Minh was barely able to string two words together. No stranger to tongue tied fans, Dexter Drake scooped up the “King in Yellow” and began to sign his autograph on the title page using a grease stick. The stick reminded him of those old tools from his former career as an illusionist extraordinaire. Drake looked up from his reverie to find that his young fan had vanished.
Taking a closer look at the book, Drake scoffed, ever since he had abandoned and given up his Grimoire quest, the damn things had started finding him. Still, he had survived the Great War, he could certainly stare down one more book or two.... besides... he got the sense that something was very wrong in Arkham. Flipping back the rice paper and scented pages, Drake knew he was not going to get any sleep tonight, and he desperately wanted to sleep.
Minh had no time to celebrate her success in finding Mister Dexter Drake and handing the book off to him. Indeed she did not even have time to contemplate her first encounter with a man in a tuxedo and so stylishly moustachioed... but no, her sense was that everything had gotten worse for her, not better. An overwhelming sense which shouted at her to immediately find a place to hide. So she pushed open the door of the General Store and locked it behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief. But as she took her glasses off to rub the bridge of her nose back into shape, she saw it. There was something in the street -LOOKING RIGHT AT HER- this – this thing was all wrong, it was an abstraction, it simply couldn’t be there. She was frozen for a long time, paralyzed, as in a nightmare. Only out of simple habit, she put her glasses back on. The thing was gone. But she knew, poor Minh knew, that if she took her glasses off the thing would be there again.
Realizing that she was making a spectacle of herself she began to peruse the items and traffic of the store. All too soon it was closing time, the girl who worked the register asked to set out a bit early, she had heard of a one night only play – quiet a production and practically free.
“The King in Yellow” she said with a passionate light in her eyes.
“Oh, oh no, you mustn't!” Declared Minh before she could stop herself.
The girl only pulled a disgusted expression and marched out of the store. The manager was more kind, he supposed that Minh could sleep on the bags of oats in the corner if she was in some kind of trouble. She thanked him and, after he left she fell into a restless slumber... with her glasses on...
Doctor Carolyn Fern had been promoted to resident by the unseen board of directors, she was grateful and did her best work, groundbreaking work, in fact, as a dyspeptic. Her patients all spoke earnestly with her about the content of their nightmares. The patients were all too eager to believe that these discussions would lead to their own cure or salvation. Of course, Carolyn realized, early on,that the only real goal was for the doctors at the Asylum and in the field at large to gain insight into the true nature of insanity.
Doctor Fern was quite sure of herself, but she was unprepared for two things. First, she had read many case studies in which a Psychoanalyst had become personally involved with a patient. During her student days she proudly swore to herself that such a fate would never, ever, be a trap for her. She was only part right. One of her patients saw her as an angel, a goddess. His pure faith in her and in her innate ability to heal was something she was unprepared for, and it made her see herself a bit differently. Second, over the past month all the patients nightmares had become interconnected, even uniform.
That was all before her favorite patient turned up murdered. Distraught she turned to the stenography of her final meeting with him. He seemed oddly subdued, but also insistent. Insistent that Doctor Fern examine her heritage, her bloodline, and not give up until she got the real story.
Feeling some sense of obligation to her dead patient and perhaps only true friend, Doctor Carolyn Fern set out for the Library. She could at least make a start there at finding out what Mummy and Dada could have had kept secret from her, if anything. On the way, who should she see, but that Phan woman. Miss Phan was hustling along, in her strange though oft seen gait whenever she moved she gave the impression of being severely wounded. Miss Phan was thick with sweat, even though it was a cool evening, and was clearly in some distress. But, for the life of her Carolyn could not stand Miss Phan whose timidity and maladroit attempt at being a modern woman bordered on rank cowardice. No matter how big the world got there would simply not be enough room for Miss Phan. The Doctor made her way into the library, not once looking back.
Of course, Doctor Fern was a cinch when it came to research, as with all areas of academia. She quickly ran down all newspaper articles related to births, marriages, obituaries and newcomers arriving in the town. She began to piece together her family tree using only the libraries resources. In other words she brought forth none of her personal knowledge, she was, after all, a real scientist. For over an hour she built the family tree and found nothing. But then she came across a duplicate of her mothers birth announcement. She held up the two disparate birth announcements and compared them. One seemed to be correct, the other seemed to be from years later... what could this mean?
All the strangeness of the past year finally caught up with the good doctor, and she steadied herself, with a firm grasp on the libraries work table. Unless she planned on turning back from what she now suspected... her next stop would be the Arkham Graveyard...
Darrell A. Simmons had a single-minded ambition, to be a crackerjack photographer. Ever since he repaired his uncles camera as a boy and took his first shots of his home town, why, he knew this was his how he would make his way in the world. Jimmeny crickets if he didn't get the job as the #1 shutterbug for the Arkham Advertiser right off the bat. Darrell sure was pleased. But after a few years of taking pictures of cars and houses for sale and continuing to live under his parents roof, he began to wonder if he had made the best choices in life.
Then he saw that fateful beast, that hellhound, in the street, in broad daylight, just standing there. People going on about their business as if it wasn’t there. He held up his camera to get the shot of a lifetime, a prizewinning shot. But there was nothing there anymore, the impossible nightmare creature was gone, and all the people on the street were staring at him with gaunt, unfriendly faces.
But Darrell A. Simmons was nobody's sucker. He knew a thing or two about a thing or two, despite what they said at the roadhouse. This was not his first time facing the unknown. Of course, last time he had had the estimable Mister Drake at his side. He used his newspaper to fire off a wire to the man. “It's here again, Mister Drake, or something is. Come quick. Simmons.” Darrell was smart enough to know that he was putting his life on the line, he sure didn't want to shuffle off to the pearly gates just yet... but he also desired to change his fortune, what had he gained being careful and safe all these years? Not much. The pro photographer stepped out onto the street only to see a torrent of mud coming down off Akrham hill. That was not normal, even with all the rain. Everything was out of whack. It was definitely happening again.
As he chewed his gum, he saw a welcome sight, old Dexter Drake strolling along like it was a Sunday afternoon and fine weather too. There was a fine dame with him, as per usual.
“Mister Drake, you got my wire? But how the hell did you get here so fast?” Darrell demanded, pumping the man's arm like he was trying to draw water from an old well.
“Well, it's Simmons, isn't it? I'm sure you have me at a disadvantage, I don't remember getting a wire recently. I hate to tell you but there is – trouble – in Arkham.
“heh, don't I know it D.D., and I'm sure pleased you are here, wire or no wire. Say, your dame has a nice camera there, did you two, uh, did you get any pictures of what we are dealing with here?” Wondered Darrell.
“Mister Drake, who is this man and why does he take me for a two-bit shutterbug?” The woman demanded haughtily by way of reply.
“Regardless, let's sort out our gear, just like on the continent, eh, Simmons.” Mister Drake interjected.
“Anything you say is good enough for me Mister Drake, and that's the truth. Golly, but I'm damn glad you are here.” Announced Darrell to his small audience.
Seemingly from nowhere the man and women produced an array of strange objects that would make a flea market blush. This triggered Darrel to go into the locked drawer of his desk and his foot locker to raid his own hoard. When he returned Mister Drake immediately handed over a decent hunting rifle.
“You may find it is prudent to shoot with this first and that camera second, Simmons.” Drake joked with him, not unkindly.
Just then a man in a yellow suit, who had been hobbling down the street for some time came upon the intrepid band. He wondered if they had seen his book, his script. The kind-hearted Darrell did his best to support the man, even so far as using the Advertiser's resources, but no luck. The man looked at him without comprehension, as he shuffled off in a daze he dropped a script book, the very one he had been looking for, the woman flicked it off the ground, eyed it suspiciously and handed it off to Mister Drake.
“That reminds me, Mister Drake, someone dropped off this queer book, you still collecting those?” asked Darrel holding up yet another tome.
“Hmmm? Lately it seems, I have little choice in the matter – gads! Man, that looks like the French translation of... I mean to say, that's the Livre d'Ivon!” Drake said taking a step back from Simmons.
“I need that for my research!” Inserted the lady doctor when she saw the Livre d'Ivon. Darrell handed over the book with no hard feelings, he had long wanted to be rid of it, as had the person who anonymously pushed it through the overnight mailslot of the Arkham Advertiser.
“Well, if you are going to take a tome of that magnitude on as a burden, Miss, you should take along some protection as well...” Mister Drake then made the lightning sign with his hand, as if this was commonly used, everyday gesture that was well understood.
“I also got this trumpet. I won it in a poker game. I would have pawned it but it gives me that old feeling, you know, Mister Drake. But somehow not in a bad way, more like how I feel on Sunday morning when I make it to church, in the springtime...” Said Darrell with a faraway look in his eyes.
“It's no rifle, but I can take it off your hands, Simmons.” Mumbled Dexter Drake, already examining his new prize.
“Here are some odd geo-crystals which I uncovered in the graveyard,” said the lady doctor, finally relenting to the swap meet, “You stage magicians use those, don't you?”
“hmmm.” responded Drake.
“Anyway, I better tell you what I have seen so far, Mister Drake, I dunno what we are gonna do, but –“
“I don't know if we have time right now, Simmons, I'm just going to have a word with your editor, why don't you nose around, you have the local pulse after all...”
“I'm counting on you, Simmons,” Said Drake as he escorted the lady doctor into the office
“Just like old times,” Said Darrell A. Simmons, to himself.
The couple crossed the threshold of the modest, but tidy, large wooden room that constituted the offices of the Arkham Advertiser. Editor Jeffery Doyle poked his sandy head out from behind a stack of shipping crates from Boston.
“Why, the celebrated Mister Dexter Drake, come to our sleepy, out-of-the-way, humble town,” he exclaimed familiarly, striding over to the pair, “is there to be a magic show, Mister Drake, with your permission I'd be as pleased as Punchinello if you would give us a few words about our own little domain,” he continued grasping the man's hand and even made a smile and even a half-bow towards the magician's lady- friend.
“I find that I have not been touring these past few years, but, you are the editor?” wondered Drake with a grimace.
Jeff Doyle was indeed the editor, having inherited the title. But he could not possibly let Mister Dexter Drake go without getting a few words about the town of Arkham.
“'There's nothing else like it,'” Drake eventually relented.
Editor Doyle thanked his visitor and assured him that he could build a whole piece around that quote.
“Well, if you enjoyed that, perhaps I could be of further service... I saw Simmons, the photographer as I arrived. Has he pitched you a story about some strange events going on here in Arkham?”
“Simmons? Good kid, good kid. Yes, he is out chasing one of his... 'stories'.” Admitted the editor as he offered highballs to his immediate company.
“Well... just imagine how much more engaging and believable that story would be if you had a famous personage listed on the bi-line, rather than, forgive me, a local boy,” related Drake as he casually took hold of the tall glass.
“Now look here... Mister Drake,” said the editor, reluctant for the first time, “are you looking to undercut the boy? I'll ask you to think about what he has going for him, if not the next story...”
“Indeed, it is too much of a shame, but you must think of the Advertiser, you must do what only an editor can do,” sighed Drake after he quaffed his beverage.
“We are mostly dedicated to sales listings, properties for sale, you understand? There is not much to it, you see? So I don't know just what we can offer you by way of compensation so-”
“Whatever the boys standard retainer for a story like this is, that would be fine,” concluded Drake, taking the editors reluctant hand to seal the deal (along with a 5 dollar bill). It took funds to fight the war against the darkness, Drake told himself as he pocketed the bill.
Just then an overseas message came through. “To Doctor Carolyn Fern regarding the existence of Susan Fern and a message from same.” Doctor Carolyn Fern wondered how the wire service knew she was here. The editor explained that he was not a proud man, but he still knew how to run a newspaper properly. It was he who sent word out across the wire that Mister Drake had just arrived at the paper with local beauty, Carolyn Fern. Thus the telegram had found her there.
More interested in the communiqué than in the antics of the little editor man, she read it quickly and then handed it to Drake who, upon scanning its content, let out a long, low whistle....
Darrell Simmons did not often check in at the Curiosity Shoppe... except in times of great need. The gypsy madam who ran the place was a fraud most of the year, but at times like this she was a real godsend. Simmons politely banged at the door for about five minutes before the woman came round and unlocked it.
They made some small talk, but she was no fool, she soon brought out a selection of goods, the real stuff. Simmons was astonished at the wares on offer but settled on a marvelous amulet with the sign of the pentagram. The woman nodded approvingly but still charged him, full price.
The coffee at Arkham's general store was indistinguishable from burnt mud when tested with the mouth, the tongue or the senses of taste or smell. In the judgment of the eyes the coffee fared even worse. But it stubbornly radiated intense warmth from its tin cup, refusing to cool, for hours on end. So Dexter Drake used it to keep his famous hands warm as he sat upon a wooden chair next to the antique stove and flipped through his weighty tomes.
Dexter Drake had ducked into the General store merely as a matter of convenience and luck. The weather seemed threatening, somehow, there was no doubt about that. And the General store was protected from all humidity and chill by that old solider of a stove. His nose in his books and obsessed with his own marginalia, Drake tried to piece together just what the deuce and devil was afoot in Arkham this time. He kept getting distracted by promises of magic and easy dominion, just as the scribes of the book had insidiously intended.
The Manager of General store had been in a good mood that morning when he unlocked the place. He joked with Minh about the cowboy days, when all general stores doubled as wayside inns. For, that was a time of adventure, when a soul never knew where they might find themselves. The old man smiled kindly as if he could picture all those sun-washed days quite easily, in his minds eye.
This endearing moment was cut tragically short when 'Cooter' Falwell, the town basket-case, stormed into what had been the calm warmth of the store. Leaving the door open behind him, with a gale blowing, he fixated at once on Minh and gave the tirade of his career at her. Eyes growing wide the poor girl covered her ears and began to shiver and pray. Even the store was not safe, the hapless girl went a little mad at the invasion of her last bastion and sanctuary. The owner and some folk who had had enough from the madman bodily removed Falwell, warning him to never return.
Minh tried to calm herself and took to chatting with the old pensioners playing checkers around the pot belly stove. They barely acknowledged her, but for a few befuddled grunts. The phone suddenly rang with a jolt and the manager hastened to answer, wondering what could be the matter.
“My wife was in an accident!” he announced and then entreated young Minh to cover for him. He felt certain she was trustworthy and placed a $2 bill in her hands as an advanced payment.
Alone and distressed Minh found herself thinking up ways to get herself arrested, she would be much safer with the police, surely. But poor Minh just didn't dare, and so she adjusted her glasses and set herself to her last bit of reality, her new job...
Minh was not idle during her stewardship of the store. No. In fact, known to no one, (with the possible exception of the late Mister Thomas) Minh Tai Phan was the most astute business professional in all of Arkham. Minh rapidly took an inventory of the entire store but she could take no comfort in her excellent work, for on the dusty shelf that held the towns supply of books for sale she found more occultist works, both the “Eltdown Shards” and “Namless Cults”. The first made her want to open the door and throw it out into the street, but she didn't. The second made her feel sad. Was the friendly manager a secret occultist, just as her last employer seemed to have been?
When she looked up, she saw her savior, Dexter Drake sitting easily near the front windows pouring over several open books. She gingerly carried the stores own unwelcome collection of forbidden materials over and held them out to the handsome but somewhat pale older man. Minh assumed the magician would remember her from yesterday, but he had forgotten already.
“I am already reading several books, young... -er, Miss, I really am not eager to take on more, the weight alone is getting tedious.” He explained.
“But... please... Mister D-d-drake, I don’t – I don’t want these things in here anymore.” She said, sincerely holding out the tomes all the while.
Drake deigned to look at them, “ohhhh, gods. Well I must admit, that you are quite right, these can't be left for just anyone to pick up, how much can I offer you for them?”
Minh assured him that she would cover the cost if only he would be sure and take them away when he left. Drake seemed to brighten a bit at her cooperation and understanding. Minh helped him for an hour or so, there was one mandala that was troubling Drake greatly, and Minh thought to retrieve a great, large magnifying glass. Of course, this was a great help, for the mandala contained patterns within patterns too miniscule for the human eye to trace.
Only a few streets away an intrepid photographer sees a brightening light and is whisked off the face of the Earth. At the hospital the staff is puzzled, then alarmed. No medicines are working today, no bloodflow can be staunched, no fever can be broken. The very laws of anatomy are not what they should be. In a large outdoor Arena, a bizarre play finished its long overture and begins its bizarre first act as the increasing audience stares on unseeingly.
With what Doctor Carolyn Fern had learned from her research, and later from Drake she came to appreciate the larger world of the lingua magika. Still, it seemed ironic that a Doctor of logic and science was in the of a magic shop asking to be shown “the real stuff” from behind the counter. But what she saw glowed and wrote its own instructions directly into her subconscious. With a great deal more confidence and sense of duty, not only to her patient but to her ancestors and human civilization, the modern woman straightened her clothes and stepped into the streets, undaunted.
Over at Gardener’s Place there is a sound like a heavy stone being thrown into a deep still lake. Followed shortly by a sound, a tinkling cascade of glass shards raining down to earth and shattering on impact into staccato echoes. But it is not glass that falls, but reality itself, falling like dead leaves. An enormous gateway made of shimmering plasma yawns and stretches itself wide. Beings slouch through it and into the realm of Earth. These beings cannot taste and appreciate the air of this world that is alien to them, they loll their terrible eyes that bulge from the force and the gravity of this new dimension and stumble forward filled with emptiness and a festering malice. The gateway is swallowing up every sound now, every vibration in the air, and so a deathly stillness falls over Arkham. But this is not the first nor the only gate that has imploded into the world since Doctor Carolyn's patient was murdered by the players of the 'King in Yellow'.
Drake, legs crossed, finishes reading the “King in Yellow”, he slaps the cover shut with a sigh and throws it into the fires of the burning stove. If only he had been a day earlier, and a good deal more clever, Dexter Drake might have pinpointed the dreamer, the one who kept all the gates barred shut every night as he slept. He was worried, no, certain, that the Yellow Players had already done the deed. Their target was surely dead already given how bad it was in Arkham. But he takes some comfort by examining the wonderful trumpet that the boy had traded to him. Oddly it was made from real gold, not any other material. Drake hoped to pawn it soon, but he secretly wished not to come across a pawnbrokers anytime soon. Stretching his legs he examines the General Store's bookshelf for himself. Of course, jammed between two dictionaries there is a dusty manuscript, a true account of some previous troubles in Arkham and how they were settled. Drake recognized the mans name and, paid two dollars for the unmarked book. He also thought of the helpful but timid girl who had assisted him and left her with a $4 tip, and hoped that that would help her along. He had five tomes set up for himself now. He sat down and resigned himself to an hour of wrestling with a guide to the “Nameless Cults”, he had no doubt that the author was more than a little sympathetic to his subject. And yet, carved into the back cover by quite a different hand were some runes along with an inscription 'how to defy the ancient ones'.
“Well,” said Drake, “...that might be useful.”
Doctor Fern had heard on the street that a group of people had headed into the woods and not been seen since. It was the geographically closest leads she had on her docket so she included it in her rounds. She wasn't about to let that shutterbug outshine her when it came to investigating.
She found herself wishing she could get more clues from her late patient as she took the well trod path that led between the trees. She has not appreciated him in life, she had been presumptuous. She was the great healer and he was the needy patient. Now she only wanted to seek his council and share his company once more. As her memory drifted back over those conversations she could hear her friend again:
“Are you ready to begin today’s session, Mister Carter?”
“Certainly, Doctor Carolyn, but how are you today? You seem even brighter than usual”
“This session is not about me, I ask you, are you ready to begin Mister Carter?”
“I am awake, I am in the Asylum (a word synonymous with sanctuary), Doctor Carolyn is here, yes, I am quite ready.”
“'Doctor Fern' or 'Doctor' will do.”
“There is a note here... so, you are being stubborn about your chlorpromazine treatment... you know... not every asylum coddles their wards... you should appreciate that, at least. Am I to be the one to ensure that you are properly medicated? That is not my role. Are you aware that it diminishes me – makes me seem less capable to have my subjects be known as obstinate and uncooperative?”
“I hadn't thought it all out, I just didn’t think the orderly liked me very much. I will certainly... apologize”
“It is not his duty to like or dislike you, it is his duty to ensure that you are medicated.”
“Well, I will witness your medication intake, but this is the last time.”
“I thank you.” With a thrill in his hand and a pill on his tongue, Carter let his nervousness dissolve, in the name of love. Flipping back a sheet of paper Doctor Carolyn Fern continued:
“Always. There is never time for dreams.”
“A recursion or an original nightmare?”
“Ah, well – the usual one yes.”
“The Gates, yes.”
“I have to keep them all closed, locked.”
“But this is not a happy task, you are in a panic all the while.”
“Y-yes, that's true Doctor Carolyn.”
“'Doctor Fern', as we agreed.”
“In this nightmare you are forced into a state of anxiety? You are frightened?”
“We are all frightened of the Gates... but everyone else has, quite sensibly, forgotten them.”
“Are you suggesting that everyone has this nightmare? Your nightmare is ubiquitous?”
“I don't know if I meant to put it that way, Doc- Doctor.”
“How can we all be afraid of them if not through the experience of the same nightmare.”
“I... I'm not sure.”
“Panic interferes with our judgments, our actions. What are you actions in the dream.”
“Only my duty, I have to make sure the gates are... locked? Yes, 'locked' is sort of a good word.”
“What happens if the gates become unlocked?”
“Civilization would destroyed, all humanity slaughtered or unthinkably enslaved.”
“And you, alone, are the person who can prevent this? I have given this some consideration. Do
you know the myth of Atlas, I was thinking you have some sort of 'Atlas Complex'.”
“Ah, yes. *sighs* how wonderful... the titans of old. Not only Atlas, but the charming
Epimethius and subsequently the defiant Prometheus, bearing his own burdens on our behalf, at every
moment the total foresight of what the consequences of his actions would be. The tremendous
will to go forward anyway. How admirable, what an example to us all, still, so many
generations later. But, you must understand, it was not just that humanity did not appreciate
Atlas's sacrifice, it was they – they couldn't even see him or hear him. The marvel of Hercules
was not merely his supernatural strength, but that he could see and hear Atlas... but Hercules cannot hold on forever, and Atlas will never return... who can save us?”
Carolyn Fern snapped out of her reverie and looked up to find a small crowd of rough-looking townies staring back at her.
“She ain’t meant to be here!” announced their leader, a woman with a crooked jaw.
Then there was a stirring amongst the trees. Some odd characters who had covered themselves in absolutely tasteless yellow curtains began to stumble forth, some of them carried along a corpse on a chair. A man amongst the toughs spit, then raised his rifle and felled one of the yellow sheets.
“A pair of you lugs, get her outta here,” the jawed woman commanded.
The good Doctor found herself hustled out of the wood, apparently for her own safety.
The sound of Carolyn Fern's fashionable hiking boots echoed and clacked against the silent darkness. She still didn't know everything but it was high time to rendezvous with the others, it was a time for numbers and the energy of comrades in arms.
But there was a great glob of oil growing upon the path, blocking her safe passage -- and out of that unimaginable blackness, out of the leagues of Tartar-Ur itself, through which an oily river rolls under a gangrenous glare – flopped limply out of the oil and into the world. It was not altogether a vulture, nor a blood-sucking bat, nor the corpse of a human; but something else, something the eye could never clarify into thought.
The poison spawn flopped eagerly, half on webbed feet half on membranous wings, toward the lady doctor, with all the vigorous convulsions of a land bound eel.
But as Carolyn Fern lunged lurchingly toward it, lashing at it with a stick she had discovered, it slid back into thick cover of night with preternatural rapidity. Suddenly it scuttled past and rose up behind her! As Carolyn whirled around, the sinuous, translucent thing looked for an instant to her as if it were all shimmering violet-green above with beating, membranous wings and bluish-scarlet below with webbed and taloned feet. It made a terrible warning screech at her but instead of fleeing, the good doctor seemed suddenly flooded with a fantastic nervous energy! A glyph of the storm appeared waveringly above the back of her hand, like a mirage.
As in a dream she seemed to have preknowledge of what the glyph foretold.
The funneling stormclouds formed a spiral overhead, summoned, waiting.
The woman raised her hand. All the power of nature manifested on the dark street, rendered the spawn into dust. Only the strange fabric that hung over its wings remained. Carolyn Fern collected this trophy as the cloak floated down, before it could touch the Earth.
Darrell A. Simmons awakens tentatively, painfully upon a landscape unknown and alien to him. He had had a dream, he must remember it! Yes! Lost City of Pnakotus, the Archives, all cities are but a... a version of it, a mirror image. If only he could recall the map of it in his mind he could be of great help, no matter what the trouble is.... but the dream fades away gaining him nothing...
Back in Arkham, dazed citizens continue to flood into the outdoor theatre, never noticing that 'the theatre' was merely the town junkyard as ACT II of the charity performance of “the King in Yellow” begins...
Dexter Drake retained an air of quiet dignity as he strode purposefully towards his intended destination. This was a matter of gateways, not just cultists on the move nor the unquiet dead nor some dread abstraction loose in the world of men. It might have been only one those, if he had been sooner and more clever.
Time was certainly an issue, if the gates were open, and who knows how long it would take to close and seal a gate. For some of his heroic predecessors such a task demanded a lifetime of dedication, or a soul, or a graver price. Drake did not shrink from his own day of reckoning, but he did not run towards it either – if these were to be his last moments then there was no need to make a fool of himself.
Carolyn spotted Drake striding along and followed him towards the glow of the gate. In the brief conference she had with Drake he explained about the gates, their dread and also the thin ray of hope they represented. So, the gates were opening, the gates that had been held shut for so long by those who bore that burden. She wondered about her patient, whom she had studied as a bored geologist studies a peculiar rock. Drake told her simply to stay behind as the gate granted his admittance.
But since yesterday, since she had learned her true heritage and the name of her great house which gave rise to a thrill more potent than any mortal fear. Why did her parents did not discuss with her her paternal ancestry, she could never know, but they didn’t raise a coward for a daughter, either.
Arm in arm with this man she had only just met as the light spread over him – “Six hells to spelunk and six gates to close is it? Well, I am first and foremost, a modern cosmopolitan, Mister Drake.”
When the whirling, unspeakable cyclone of images slowed to a blurry wind Dexter Drake seemed to no longer be on the streets of Arkham, but upon a sandy Mesa in full daylight. For all his personal experience and scholarship he never expected another world to be this... mundane. There was sand and wind and light, as he breathed in he realized there was air (though foreign-tasting to him). The lady doctor was beside him, solid and whole. Before he had the chance to say any words a phantasm buzzed into existence before their very eyes.
“I am the ferryman, pay what you will,” it told, holding forth its sleeved arm and a skeletal palm.
“...um,” Drake was loathe to leave a silence in a conversation, but this was all he could get out.
“I am the ferryman, pay what you will,” it repeated with the exact cadence it had just employed.
“I think it expects a tip,” said the lady doctor, and produced her coin-purse, easy as pie. She folded a few bills into its hand. The skeletal fingers enfolded and withdrew with its gratuity.
“Paper? Printed Paper. The pyramid? Latin? American, paper currency. It is paid, it is accepted,” the odd faceless phantom intoned, “...please accept my condolences for your loss.” It floated there solemnly and then slowly disintegrated as the two looked on, mesmerized, unable to look away or speak.
“...Well, tolls and taxes -- not such a strange world as all that, then,” Drake mustered. They walked toward a rock formation on the horizon. The great archive within as yet unknown to them. The pair discovered remnants of a unique item, broken into pieces just lying in the sand but they decided they must get back with a haste and save that dreary town on that blue-green marble that now seemed worlds away.
The store manager seemed relieved when he returned with news that his wife's health was in no danger, after all. Minh grew to trust him a bit after that. It seemed to her that a truly foul evil beast might not be to worried about running a store his wife's health and strangers in trouble. At least she trusted him enough to tell him there was a new danger in Arkham, and that she was mightily scared by it. The man listened to the story, his kind eyes glittering. When she had finished he said that he understood as much as he needed to. Then he kicked aside a rug revealing a trap door cut into the wooden flooring. He lifted it aside with a happy little grunt. This was the man's long disregarded gangster cache. The manager of the General Store gifted her a Tommy Gun from amongst this memorabilia and reveals his troubled past and his brief, youthful stint as gangster. Minh is heartened and drums up the courage to leave but, in spite of her bravery, Minh was only rewarded with the sight of a massive amount of earthworms coming together in the street. She could see them, yes, with or without her glasses. But the worms came together by the thousands in a pool of slime and she knew, she knew they only wished to weave themselves into a larger, horrific, being. Then she noticed ugly men in the street, staring back at her menacingly, despite her massive armament. Minh tried to FOCUS, to come up with a plan. But, she was smart enough to be frightened.
“What is it Minh? Oh, marsh stock, from over in Innsmouth... You had better stay here a while longer, after all. I don't mind the company,” said the manager.
A small movement caught his eye, Darrell A. Simmons suspicion that he had been followed from the real world into this sand strewn hell was confirmed. If he had identified the beast correctly, it was one of the lesser threats, but one that had enjoyed playing with its victims a little too much. It played with their mortal coil. It was probably tracking Darrell for amusement... or because a force was compelling it to. The later would be real bad.
Truthfully, Darrell really did not need to pluck up his courage. If the thing showed itself he planned to use it for target practice, he would feel better if he could kill something. Of course, he was also feeling mighty unsure of his chances regarding any kind of escape from this strange dimension and wanted to blow off some steam.
As soon as he made it to a large rock, he crouched low and lost the beast in the blowing sand. Getting down on his belly he then began inching toward the thing. It only continued to move back and forth, trying to pick up his scent, unaware.
Darrell snaked closer. Yes, it was a Gug. The lumbering thing stopped, as if it sensed something, then moved again. Darrel rose to standing and tiptoed forward, but this time the creature, thick with blubber and a rough-looking hide halted in a dead stop. Deathly still, it waited, thinking the danger would pass.
Darrell Simmons knew this was the right moment for his move. He lunged toward his prey.
But it escaped into a shadow, as if it had never been. But the photographer had yet to be beaten, he kept his rifle at the ready and held his breath. The creature suddenly reared up from a sandy pit. The creature rushed him. Darrell responded too slowly.
A sharp pain cut through his body. The Gug had caught the man. Once it wrestled him to the ground, it used its grimy paws to hold him still then simply reached down with its rotted fangs and ripped his ear off. Feeling an alien sense of pridefulness, it watched for a minute as the human made a final, pitiful attempt to stay conscious.
The Gug tore into the meat and swallowed a few chunks of it. It tasted rubbery and unsavory but the Gug didn't care. This was all just was something to do for amusement, something to dull the long ache of surviving from one era to the next. The Gug stood back from its victim and enjoyed the gratifying scene. A man sprawled in an undignified position, blood soaking into the sands -- sands which the Gug sensed were held sacred by some, but not by any force the Gug would cow to.
After a moment, the Gug decided to pick up the carcass, so it waltzed over to Darrell's unguarded body. But its claws ripped through empty air and dug into the sandy earth. The phantom of Darrell Simmons was gently picked up by the wind and carried into time and space itself. With a few puffs of its muzzle, the Gug slobbered in protest.
It would hunt Darrell again later, if it could not find something more interesting to torment. For now, it wanted to – it was compelled toward the large rock formation.
When Darrell found himself attacked by the Gug – He had thought he was going to win – to roll up his sleeves and crack some skulls But he had had severely limited success. He felt a deep sense of loss as he choked on his own blood and tried to steady his breathing. If he couldn't even beat down a Gug -- was he even worth a damn? As he pondered his own uselessness a man dressed up like a cowboy appeared and stood over him. Asks if he is "OK". The man carries him, gear and all, to the General Store. He has made it back to Arkham, that's gotta count for something. But something is not right either, not right at all. Darrell asks his rescuers to take him to the hospital, but they answer that the hospital is still being built. Darrell slowly convalesces on a cot in the back room of the store, one day he notices that he too is decked out in authentic cowboy duds. With not much else to do, Darrell studies the rifle that his old pal Drake had traded to him. It sure seemed like an authentic cowboy rifle, now that he looked at it properly.
Thanking the people who had cared for him and who had asked for nothing in return, Darrell with his rifle, stepped out onto the cobbled streets of Arkham, 1879. Only to find the Gug standing in the middle of the street in a lazy, but deadly ambush.
Inexplicably, with Doctor Fern missing, the wards of the Asylum are given day-passes. Back in their old, forgotten civilian clothes they are hustled out the main gate. Standing in the wind and rain, they did not feel much like tourists or day trippers. But they had not forgotten their friend Carter, and they had their own insights into who had ritually murdered him. Stomping down the wet streets, using whatever materials they could find, they arrived at the open-air, charity showing of “The King in Yellow”. They began to shout and holler: “He is a hell spawn!” “have you seen the yellow sign?” to passers by. They are successful in causing confusion on the streets but the play does not halt. Despite the ineffectiveness of their efforts, they continue on, into the night. They do not know how else to honor their friend.
In the Arkham night a witch, lovely and youthful looking, keeps watch. There is a shimmering world-gate, in and of itself a cosmic force, let alone what it portended. The witch too, was a force of nature and that is how she would survive the era to come.
She was roused from her musings by the shifting undulations of the cosmic gateway. It sounded like the cheering of orphan children and a blaze of trumpets. Dexter Drake had returned to the world. His time in the archive had not been for nothing. For, not all forces were a poisonous fang to men.
“Hello, my pretty,” Said Drake to the witch.
“YOU!” said the witch, the blood-veins standing out on her neck.
“I don't think I can let you go this time. Such a waste,” tisked Drake.
“Fool. The gorgeous gates and the violent gates have opened, your cause is already lost!” The witch hissed, her visage ferocious, but still quite alluring.
“Oh, you mean this?” said Drake, looking back over his shoulder at the gate. And then, while he could still grasp what he had learned from the archive, he snapped his fingers. The gate shivered and swam into itself until it was a glass ball hanging in the air. Slowly, this wonder floated, drifted down to Drakes waiting palm. Somewhere, monsters who had been resonating with the gate lost their permission to be in the world of the living, they exploded into smoke.
The witch screeched in her vexation.
“Hmm? Because. I am a magician... at last, a real magician," and as he took the briefest of moments to look up at he night sky as seen from earth, he breathed in the familiar air. Isn't that right, Houdini? wondered Dexter Drake as the slippery knowledge of the archive escaped from his mortal mind. Drake let out a sigh of morning for the lost knowledge and for what was yet to come.
“Such a waste,” he repeated as he aimed the carbine at the witch. It was a brisk night in Independence Square.
Under the grey skies of Arkham a gaggle of monsters hiss in protest as Carolyn Fern returns to the world in an explosion of fragrant blossoms. Dawn breaks behind the gate and a thousand kaleidoscope images spin to life. The monsters swoon, they cannot control themselves before the transformation of their violent gate! Oh, how they stare into it! But the woman raises her hand and invokes the name of her ancient bloodline. The gate becomes a whirlwind in reverse and pours itself into the woman's hand. By the time the monsters come to their senses it is already too late for them.
Dexter Drake had needed a drink before, but this was different. He knew he would take no comfort in the good, Canadian whiskey at the roadhouse. He forced himself to walk down the street, he willed himself to act like a civilized man to order the drink. Finally he told himself to swallow it. That it would be good for him. His trip through the world-gates, his brush with great power and knowledge had left him feeling not quite human anymore. But he told himself his humanity, or his sense of it, would return.
He knew he was not lost, he still intended to secure the safety of the world of men. Also, his friend, the lady Doctor, was very much on his mind. He hoped she was not dead, he hoped even more than that. They had gone through the gate home together, hadn't they? His memory was very muddled... but...
He asked around at the roadhouse. Some seemed to detect that Drake was not quite right, not anymore. Soon the bartender parked him on a stool and told him to stay there until he was good and drunk instead of scaring the customers. Dexter took this advice but still he wondered about the fate of his friend...
Carolyn Fern stood on a cobbled side-street. Home again, then? Perhaps.
But a horrifying shapeless mass – like a translucent gelatin hill with a multitude of wakening eyes that displayed neither human nor animal intelligence, eyes that mirrored no thought, only slow malice – the street was very dark, as a madman howled an incantation from atop some far off and unknown, windy hill. The good Doctor could have escaped, this aberration seemed to be taking a long, long while to notice she was their in the street. But, if this was the world, if she was back, as a citizen she couldn't just leave this menace for the next person to find.
Then the mass charged, as if it were thrown forward by a giant and unseen force. It took all it's eyes off her then. There was a phantom of a cowboy, firing a repeating rifle at the outsider. The proto-shoggoth launched a tuber of itself at the cowboy intending to coldly slaughter and devour him. But the attack only landed on the stones with a disgusting splat. The phantom had no substance.
“This is a real nasty one, Doc. Be real careful though, it doesn’t have a real shape as far as I can tell.” Said the phantom to the lady Doctor in an echoing voice.
“Should I know you, phantom?” asked the lady Doctor as she readied her offensive.
“You should, you should. But I don't mind if you don't – WATCH OUT – “ warned the phantom before it flickered back to its own time again.
The shiny hill of death had launched itself again with vulgar noise and rustling. It launched a tuber, but this growth stopped in mid-air a few feet away from hitting the Doctor. Her heirloom necklace was glowing, and their were other magics. As she made the sign of the storm and called down the wrath of nature herself.
Doctor Carolyn Fern headed for the old Miskatonic University. Despite the hour, she yet remembered that the eccentric and aging professors would be met in one of the studies, stubbornly observing their strict habits regarding the intake of alcohol, and to a lesser extent food and the smoke. They were all there: Doctor Wright was trying to outdo Professor Dyer with one of his tales while Doctor Eisman, Doctor Armitage and alumnus Elwood looked on. Wright was just coming too his signature finishing.
“...I won't say anymore – as to the climax of that particular adventure, well – it remains simply too frightful to be considered!” was where Wright wound up. The room was decked out in red plush and there was a roaring fire that the oldest of the men took a particular comfort in. In addition to the high backed chairs and their accompanying arm tables there were a few shelves against the walls, each shelf was near a door and, over the windows there were rather sever looking shutter doors which could be closed from the inside.
Her recent experiences the Doctor finally realized that this place was designed to withstand a siege. She would not have appreciated this in her past life. Also these men, were not just old, they were survivors. Surviving was very admirable, considering all the forces that were awakening out there.
“Gentleman,” said Carolyn Fern, who was like a grandchild to these men.
“Welllll!” guffawed Doctor Wright, immediately finding the strength to rise out of his chair. “Come in Carolyn, come in!”
Doctor Fern smiled sincerely but could not spare these men the truth.
“Give the lady some room, and stop acting so foolish,” Elwood suddenly barked, “she knows, she has seen. Can't you smell the ether? She has been somewhere...”
“ohhh nooo,” Said Doctor Wright, patting her hand with his own, “so sorry, dear. Very sorry. Um, a long time?”
“It was as a dream, so I am not sure how to calculate the time,” answered Carolyn, “But I am back now and there is terrible trouble, your kind of trouble. Our kind of trouble.
“I warned you all, I knew it. The dogs have been barking madly for three days and three nights, barking themselves to death. And yet we are all locked up in here as if walls and wood and fire and knowledge might protect us. You know damn well that action is the only protection,” this from Armitage in his corner chair, they were long ago used to his ministrations.
“Well, we will act now. We will help now, you were right to come to us, dear girl,” said Doctor Wright.
“IS SOMETHING CHASING YOU?” yelped Elwood.
“Of course not,” huffed Carolyn Fern defensively, “I killed what I later learned was a 'proto-shoggoth' in the street on the way here.
The mens faces went pale, and those who were still sitting jumped to their feet. Elwood was struggling to shove one of the heavier bookcases to block one of the side entrances, when he spat: “Proto-shoggoth cannot be destroyed, it can only become, you – you woman!”
Armitage shouldered her aside and threw a handful of dust at the main entrance she had just come through. As it fell it revealed a translucent, undulating massive wall of obese flesh -- the shoggoth had stalked her here.
When a proto-shoggoth falls a terrible shoggoth rises up in its place, bringing its alienation and its dull, cataclysmic hate into the lives of beings of light and warmth! The shoggoth had long ago slain their eldritch masters and it still yearns for them even though the Eons are long and unforgiving. Undoubtedly this shaggoth would lethally assault its masters all over again, should they appear. But, want knows no logic.
Doctor Carolyn Fern had never unleashed the Storm of Souls indoors before. She trusted the old wise men would have the good sense to leap out of the way. One after another her translucent ancestors stepped past her, some pausing to gaze kindly and contentedly at she who was their legacy. She did not know most of them but still she held out her hand to them and wept quietly, she felt such a strong connection to them. She yearned to communicate with them and listen to their tales.
This business of the end of the world was not all slime monsters and murder.
Her ancestors had been more than human in life and their combined power in death was enough to vaporize the emerging shoggoth, probably after its demise, it reawakened on some sickly alien world which it considered a natural habitat.
“But there is no time to rest, or to carefully consider, we must know the lore of the six gates and we must find a way to close them all together and in very short order. Gentleman, your time is finally near,” announced Doctor Fern to the old men.
The Chinese still call it the hell of the drowning waters. The unnatural tide swept into Arkham. The city was used to being threatened by the sea, but this was no natural occurrence.
Photos in the Arkham Advertiser portrayed water levels rising, and quaint locals donning Wellingtons and ponchos amid the tidal fracas. Some poor children waded barefoot through the waters and were never seen again.
The Arkham Advertiser further reported that as much as nine percent of the city was currently underwater.
They called upon the mayor to construct raised walkways and deploy them around the city until this event passed but the mayor dismissed this idea “because these tides haven't yet reached a critical level”.
Dexter Drake sensed danger, yes, by the Holy Trinity, a shaggoth. He feared for the lady doctor and hastily attempts to lure the Shaggoth away with a trick of his.
But a strange flying humanoid who was also on fire was the only outsider to answer Drake's call: “damn it all to hell!” The magician cursed.
“Well, since we are united, how about a nice bedtime story, listen carefully,” said Drake as he pealed back cloth from the primordial and broken ceramics that were the recovered Eltdown shards he began to translate the symbols aloud. The fire vampire cannot attack, cannot retreat, it flies around in circles shrieking its flaming guts out.
Soon an arc of lightning fell to earth and froze there in time. Unable to look away Drake and the fire vampire stared into this reflection of stopped time. The Warder of Knowledge itself stepped out of the arc and its only form was pure, incomprehensible thought invisible to the naked senses but for the pain that its presence wrought. It banished the creature into nothing. It foretold to Drake, in a message from a forgotten dream that threatened to break his mind: The Warder foretold that it will further aid the realm of humanity before returning to its own sphere, but that this aid will not change any outcomes. It also leaves a warning with Drake that he must turn away from his swollen pride and forget all 'magic' as the human mind cannot comprehend its subtleties or predict its consequences, somehow a weight is lifted from the town as the first rays of the new dawn touch upon the still dreary landscape. Drake is eased, when time starts again and he breaths, aching for the good air of Earth. But he feels nauseous too, worried for Fern, and close to madness as he looks over the drunkards and miscreants on the street, some of them barely took notice of the great evil that still stalked Arkham.
As if in response to the successful efforts of the humans and the forces of knowledge, there comes a grotesque roar as monsters flood into the open and even day-lit streets of the city....
Doctor Carolyn Fern and her colleagues at the university, have made a decision. She must follow the path of her destiny and attempt to cast that spell which might allow her to peer into the future … and change it.
In Arkham, the anniversary of the First Witch burning is solemnly observed.
Among those in the know reports circulate of monsters surrounding the town.
A certain creature walks into the void in search of its greater sire.
Gypsy woman closes the curiosity shop and flees, knowing that nowhere on Earth will be far enough this time.
“What is a cowpoke like you doing in a dive like this?” Teased Dexter Drake as he sat down across from the heavily bandaged man and relished in the preparation of a fine cigarette, the tobacco, imported, the paper expensive, rare, subtly tasteful and known only to a few connoisseurs.
The bandaged man, for his part, only grunted. The wounded man looked rather the part as he sat there in the common room of the asylum he wore the gown of the infirmed but was also crowned with that authentic seeming hat.
“Well. The baths here are surprisingly fine...” Drake eventually went on in an attempt to coax Simmons to speech. "Seriously, old man, where did you pick up that hat? That is a serious hat,” Drake was becoming annoyed with the man already but this was mostly fueled by guilt at how he had treated the fellow. He had intended to keep the boy out of the serious fighting, but his intentions seemed to be have benefited young Simmons not one bit.
“I woke up back in the wild west, I was dressed in different clothes...” was all Simmons said.
“Ah,” replied Drake, not unsympathetically. At length he struck a matchstick and used its tiny sulfurous flame to ignite the end of his choice cigarette. He puffed it up and then took a long satisfied pull. With a flourish of the old prestidigitation, he made the match disappear, stick and flame, both gone, but the acrid smoke of it hung in the air and remained.
“The baths here are very restorative,” Drake eventually broke the silence again, “if one should find himself in need of restoring, one could do worse than the baths here at the Asylum. Have you sampled the baths?”
Simmons only shrugged, and the shrug said that whether he had tried them or not was of no consequence and not worth speaking to.
“Doyle says he is using my retainer to keep you on the story,” muttered Darrell Simmons as Drake continued smoking.
"Seems damned ugly of me on the face of it, doesn't it?" admitted Drake. "Would it satisfy you to know that a dollar or two stolen from a mans own brother in arms goes a long damn way with certain skeletal gatekeepers shrouded in monkish robes?"
The bandaged cowboy shrugged again.
But Dexter was becoming quite aware of the thieving rat-thing hiding in the corner. In his fragile state of mind the dark presence of the shadowy minion was just too much to bear, and so, after finishing his cigarette Drake fell into uncharacteristic hysteria. Houdini would not have approved.
For the last time, the Doctor uses those tools which can lead the most disciplined of minds to arcane insights.
First she sees her father as he was in life. And he sees her too in full understanding that she is his own daughter from a future time.
He greeted her very warmly and began to talk a blue streak almost immediately, with many a jest and frequent giddy little laughs.
She knew he was only in his thirties, but his hair was white and the haunted look she remembered was monstrously intensified. He was extremely nervous—at first he couldn't stay still a moment. It wasn't long before she became certain of something she'd never once suspected as a child —that all his breeziness and jauntiness, his jokes and laughs, were to mask the fear, no, the sheer terror, that otherwise might have mastered him entirely. Once she noticed though, the game was over.
"I'm sorry, my dear, we the dead have already done more than was allowed, and the quiet forces, and those who watch, we have all done more than we should. And from the all-seeing mind of the dead we see only the end. I have only one last suggestion my girl! Go and ask yourself for council, go quickly!" he shouted as if from the other side of a tornado as he vanished.
Then the scene changed and there were a series of phantom Doctors, standing at different distances each in their own spectral scenery. The words from them too seemed distorted as if by rushing winds.
"The play Carolyn, can you hear me? The play must cease before it reaches it--" but another phantom of herself spoke more loudly --
"Six gates must be closed and sealed before six open. Do you understand?! Just as our friend Mister Carter tried to warn you about, if you can close six gates in --" but again another message was coming through --
"There are some strange and monstrous experiments going on under the very university. I don't know if --" but again, faster and faster the warnings from the different phantoms came --
"It is the otherworldly Thing which is called by men 'The Severed Twin' -- it cannot be allowed to --"
But this too all came to silence as the screams of the surrounding men of academia started screaming bloody murder. Doctor Carolyn who had come so far in such a short time -- and paradoxically in such a maddeningly lengthy lifetime -- looked around and tried to grasp the crisis at hand but it was too late...
Minh on the way to the Devil's hopyard, see's the wave of destructive force coming towards her. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" she called out, but who she was sorry to or for what wrong she was sorry for could not be told.
Darrell A. Simmons reawakens in the Old West again, exactly as he had before. As if he were dreaming the same dream over again but this time with foreknowledge. This time he would be ready for the Gug. After that, well, maybe he would find a way to send a message to those future folk. Maybe, after he got some living of his own done. The gunslinger days, the dawn of photography. That was something, after all.
Doctor Fern awoke back at that strange library from that dream she had. But except instead of the skeletal tax-man it there was a phantom of her old friend Mister Carter.
"Oh, hello Mister Carter, is this where you've been all this time?" she wondered aloud.
"Yes, Carolyn, and I'm feeling much better know. I can assist you with much more clarity and expertise than I ever did before. The beings who built this place saw fit to make me a sort of... librarian." He answered quite good-naturdley.
"hmmm, but where is 'here'?"
- Last edited Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:32 am (Total Number of Edits: 5)
- Posted Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:43 pm
My dear friend, once again, this is just fabulous!!
Thank you very much for bringing so much colour to my playthrough and for making these characters live. I can only imagine, to how much time and effort you went of writing all of this down. So thanks again for you great job....
Callasmar bar none.Has the best board game videos period!And you my friend have written the best session report yet.I just cant get enough arkham horror! This was an excellent read,and i too can only imagine the time and effort put into this..Merry ho-ho friend! and thanks for this wonderful read
- Last edited Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:50 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:48 am
Thank you all so much for the kind words and encouragement.
I wanted the item exchange scene to be more witty and less cumbersome. The concept of: "you take the rifle, I will take the trumpet and the book" has the potential to be very amusing... but I did not have the craft to bring the scene to life.
Also The Warder of Knowledge is a very serious entity whose mere arrival Lovecraft dedicated an entire short story to. In the scene where Drake encounters him I decided that this would be surreal and dream-like for him, but I failed to deliver readable lines there as well.
On the bright side, I thought the fear of Minh wound up being a great contrast to the heroics of the other characters. I also enjoyed the tragic backstory of Carter and his emotional impact of his death on other characters in the story. I also thought the little hints about evil of the mayor were hilarious. Basically I feel the writing found some emotional foundations for the characters that ultimately made their heroics and their tragic ends more interesting to read about.
And, of course, it was no small pleasure to revisit classic Lovecraft characters as aging academics at the University.
- Last edited Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:08 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:31 pm