Shadows of the Great Old Ones

The Auction
Sept. 18, 1927

The investigators followed up on notes left by the late Prof. Porter to contact a long-time friend of his in New York, Colonel Francis Wellington. Retired from the British army, he settled down in New York. After years of his time abroad in Africa, returning to his home country of England he found his life insufferable there and sought a new life in America. He requested the company come visit him in New York to listen to a proposition of his.

When they arrived at the hotel he was staying in, Wellington talked of a special auction from Frederick Albert Ausperg. Established long ago in Vienna, Austria, after the war Ausperg relocated to New York and re-established himself as a premier auction house that specialized in rare collections. The following evening Ausperg would be hosting a special auction for several items notable for their roles in the occult and supernatural history. Wellington proposed that the group along with his ward, Miss Rosie Franks, act as his agents secretly bidding on auction items he desired. He would extend a line of credit to obtain these lots items. To sweeten the deal, Wellington offered a retainer for their services and a cash bonus if they could obtain the items he wanted while not spending the majority of his money.

The investigators agreed. The following late evening at the house of Ausperg, the auction was preceded by a late buffet dinner, champagne, and chamber music provided by a string quartet. Among the auction guests were a variety of American and European members of high society. The first half of the auction went without incident, however during the second half a horrible murder occurred.

A servant responsible for preparing the auction items was torn limb from limb and one of the lots, a brass head, was missing. Clues indicated the murderer used a dumbwaiter to reach the auction vault on the 2nd floor from the cellar. Sadly another body of a servant was found in the basement along with bloody footprints leading from the dumbwaiter to the outer yard.

An impromptu investigation was started before the police came. The company determined that the dumbwaiter could only reach the 2nd floor if called by pushing a button on the top floor. After clearing the servant staff of wrongdoing, it was suspected that one of the auction guests must have pushed the button and set the series of horrible events in motion. Through thorough investigation and interviews, the group was certain that one guest was involved.

Unfortunately their prime suspect, Klaus Hunderprest had the backing of incompetent police. Clearly he did not kill the poor servant, tearing the body into bits. Nor did he have the missing supernatural artifact in his possession. The police were convinced that the responsible party forced their way into the cellar and somehow gotten to the top floor unnoticed, taking the dumbwaiter back down, and escaping with the brass head. Incensed, the party had to watch as all the auction guests were allowed to leave later in the evening, including Klaus Hunderprest.

Not wanting the criminal to slip away, the investigators followed Hunderprest to his residence. Quietly observing the dilapidated apartment building where he lived, they decided to act and see if they could recover the brass head. Breaking into his apartment, they found an abandoned tunnel with a ladder running deeper in the the bowels of New York. Carefully pressing further, they came across Hunderprest along with three other figures sitting around the brass head in what appeared to be a derelict section of the sewers.

To their horror, the beings accompanying Hunderprest appeared to be rotting corpses that were animated with unnatural life. The retort of gunfire echoed in the brick chamber as the investigators struggled in an open melee against Hunderprest and his undead comrades. Terrifyingly as Hunderprest and the other beings were shot and killed, large parasitic worms with spindly segmented legs and a mouth of flailing tendrils ripped from the spines of the fallen bodies. Some escaped into the sewer lines, but others were crushed under foot, their high pitched wails not only ringing in the ears of the company, but also within each of their skulls.

Recovering the brass head, the group returned to Ausperg and notified the police. Ausperg was grateful to have the stolen property recovered and the standing of his auction house returned. The police were quick to pin the murder on Hunderprest, as clearly the man was mad and had dug up and displayed several corpses within the sewers connected to his basement apartment. The investigators decided not to press the police further in resolving the matter, realizing the truth would likely be met with disdain and claims of utter madness.

One small item of note. Several weeks later Clarence Cooper obtained a parcel in the mail. A simple note from one of the auction guests along with an old pamphlet.

Dear Mr. Cooper,

I have heard of the stalwart efforts you and your companions made in recovering the items stolen from Ausperg’s collection. I commend you and feel rather embarrassed at my bravado that evening which was nothing but braggart comments making me appear a buffoon. I sincerely hope that this document may aid you in your studies and your blossoming career in archaeology.

With Warmest Regards,

Sir Martin Murray
_____________________________________________________

Prodigies of the New-England Canaan

A colonial US pamphlet, circa early 18th century. Author Rev. Ward Phillips. It is an exceedingly rare pamphlet depicting attacks by the Devil on a particular area of New England. This is similar to other works (such as Cotton Mather’’s Wonders of the Invisible World), however it has a ring of truth and a more ominous meaning in the described events. It is a true Mythos book.

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The odd disappearance of Bob Dalewell
June 14, 1927

Weeks later, their next investigation led them to Fairview, Maine. Based on correspondence and newspaper clippings, they had learned that a college student, Bob Dalewell, and some of his classmates has disappeared. They were doing an amateur excavation of an old indian mound, discovering a small stone rune with strange writings and an odd bronze relief. They had disappeared with only one student being found wandering the woods weeks later. All of these events had transpired nearly a year ago.

Investigating further, they had found that the cabin was that of Bob Dalewell’s passed uncle, James Dalewell. Fifteen year prior James had gone insane and killed some migrant farm workers. Further research discovered that an exceedingly rare tribe of native americans practiced ritual sacrifice within the New England region and that some mound structures were a focal point of these activities. The investigators realized that Dalewell very likely had stumbled across such a ruin.

Finally visiting Fairview and interacting with the locals, many expressed the view that people should just forget what horrible things happened there. The group pressed on and searched through the remains of the cabin to find the stone and bronze relief within the burnt rubble. Heading further into the woods they came across the mound. The structure had a hole dug within the side of it and a narrow passageway leading further inside the earthen mound. Inside a large chamber, another hole was dug up in the corner. This passageway lead to another chamber further underground, however this was lined with cut stone. Clearly some other set of ruins.

There they were confronted with a large tentacled creature. All of them felt a tugging within the confines of their mind to follow it through a warren of tunnels that connected to the stone chamber. A frenzied battle ensued with the creature being slain and dissolving into a large puddle of ooze. Fearing others would be drawn to the ruins, the investigators sealed up the lower chamber with dynamite and fled with their lives.

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A gathering of mourners.
June 4, 1927

An eclectic group of people which had a relation to the late Prof. Charles Porter assembled in Haven Bay, Maine at the request of his layer which oversaw his estate. Mr. Sydney Smith instructed the group that he was in possession of a sealed package, a letter, and a key, all of which Mr. Smith had no knowledge of their contents or purpose. His instructions were simple, to give the key to the group and request that they read the letter. In a separate room the group learned that they should take the key to Prof. Porter’s residence within Haven Bay where they would find a trunk. He requested they go through the contents of the trunk and then return to Mr. Smith to obtain the package.

At the residence of the deceased they found a trunk that held all manner of odd photographs, letters, and documents. All of them suggesting of a great conspiracy and of creatures of immense evil and power, hinting at a secret knowledge that would shake the foundations of science and theology. Now that they were all able to see the different snapshots of evidence Prof. Porter had culminated, they were asked to publish a manuscript that he had written. Fearing that they would think he was mad, after seeing the various documents he held, he had hoped they would see he had written the truth. The manuscript in question was in Mr. Sydney Smith’s possession.

Returning to the law office of Mr. Smith, they were aghast to find him killed in a brutal manner as his corpse was literally pulled apart. The office was in shambles and the sealed package was missing. After several days investigation, they came to a run down apartment on the harbor. Inside the basement flat they found a cultist flanked by two newly undead servants. A vicious fight ensued with the cultist escaping into the sewers and his undead minions killed. Searching the apartment, they found what appeared to be the burnt remains of Prof. Porter’s manuscript.

The police investigation was brief. They concluded the two bodies within the flat were the murderers of Sydney Smith. Their accomplice was still at large, but for the local police, this was a satisfactory conclusion to the investigation. The group knew otherwise and decided to study the trunk contents further, and find out what secrets were held within. If needed, they knew they could approach Prof. Porter’s old colleagues at Haven Bay University, Prof. Helmsfield and Prof. Madison.

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