The room itself is very nice. The decor is
somewhat quirky, but consistent, and before I get on to describing the
books, I'll cover what other oddities there were in this room.
There was a human skull on top of the chest of drawers. It had been altered so that the top was hinged, and formed a bowl. Inside the skull was a good supply of hashish.
There was also a curio cabinet. Perhaps a dozen objects were on display. There were statues, figurines, and carvings. On top of the cabinet was a figure carved from solid white marble. It was roughly man-shaped, tall, thin, and lanky, with long arms and claws. From what I've found out, this was clearly an Ithaqua figure. On top on the stand was a label reading, "The Tomb, Castronegro, NM. Phillipo Diaz, Proprietor."
The bookcase contained many volumes of interest, mostly on the subjects of occult and pornography. These books stood out as significant: "Obscure Deities of the World" (in three volumes); "People of the Monolith" by Justin Geoffrey; and "Nameless Cults" which I think Charlie mentioned back at the BOS.
In the desk I found two letters from Lawrence Hubert to Blair. The first referred to the project in New Jersey, and mentions tablets. The second further referred to the Tupsimati. The desk also contained about ten pounds of pornographic art and photos, and some marijuana.
I checked the book "Obscure Deities of the World"
for references to Silla, also known as Ithaqua. He was described
as a god of wind and storms. Legend says he has been banished to
the far north after losing a war with elder gods, and he's now much weakened,
and wanders the wastes pondering his fate. Variously called Silla,
Ithaqua, Tha-Thka, he possesses great webbed feet.
The book "People of the Monolith" is not at all easy to read. The poems are very strange, but seemed worthy of study, so I spent some time reading it. [-1 SAN]
"Nameless Cults" was very interesting, and rather insane. [-d8(1) SAN] It tells of a man called von Junzt, who was connected with various cults and secret societies. It contains a lot of spells, and took me most of a day just to skim it.
Further searching of the room revealed a loose floorboard,
and under it a strange book. It was on plain paper with a dust jacket
that identified it merely as "Journal." It turned out to be the journal
of Blair, written in English. It was very inconsistent, which made
it hard to read. It wandered in and out of madness, from neat to
comprehensible, and some parts were written in ink and others in blood.
There were mad ravings, and coherent sections, and commentaries on the
The airship was intended to fly to the North Pole to unleash "The Master." It also talked of the Tablets of Destiny -- of Babylonian / Sumerian origin, they were prominently mentioned. They were apparently being sought by the cult as a prize for their god.
Just skimming this book made me wonder if I was still sane. The drawings almost leapt out of the page, sometimes depicting something that seemed just on the edge of my perception. [d3(3) SAN].
Still, I continued to read, and it's a good thing I did. Blair mentioned that an airship is being built in Alaska, Japan, and Norway. There was also something about one in Camden, New Jersey, but the cult is not building that one -- but it is still somehow important.
When I came out, it was clear that the others had
suffered in the absence of my leadership. JuJu, who they're now calling
"Darnell LeCroque" for some reason, is badly hurt, apparently run through
by a Gnoph-Keh horn. Gary and Beauregard managed to shoot the creature
some, but lost track of it. The beast is very quick indeed and blends
in well with the snow -- I must bear that in mind! Even though they
just injured it, they must have scared it off, as the dogs are much more
I offered the guys some of the pot, hashish, and porn, but they were too puritan to accept.
At breakfast, Beau said that it wasn't a Gnoph-Keh
that he's been seeing around here, so presumably there's another creature
out there too. I note that we're stuck here for a while regardless
of what happens.
In their searches of the rest of the building, they had found a smashed dirigible model, also navigation maps with a route to the North Pole marked. A trunk contained three hand grenades and several guns, and one of the bedrooms upstairs revealed that someone used to be a collector of arrowheads and pottery and stuff.
I suggested that the remaining three of us (discounting the useless Darnell) take a grenade each. Gary made some Molotov cocktails, which I considered a real hazard. The guy should be taken out before he does some real damage, but I doubt anyone else here wants to put a contract on him. If he puts me in danger, though, he's gone.
The patrol immediately paid off -- Gary found a man
sprawled in the snow, and dragged him back to the HQ. He was severely
underdressed for the weather. Beau wanted to treat him for severe
frostbite, which sounded OK by me, so they put him in one of the upstairs
When the guy woke up a few hours later, he was very insistent about wanting to leave. Just in case he got too insistent, I went to fetch Tom, and came back with him and my trenchcoat. By that time he was screaming about how he had to get out of here, and Beau knocked him out and tied him to the bed.
Gary then tried to wake him up, and declared him conscious but asleep. I told them they needed to guard him, and to call me immediately if he woke. I then returned to my room to read.
My reading revealed that there was some special blessing that Ithaqua had bestowed upon Blair, but there were no specifics. As I was flipping through the pages, the dust jacket fell off and revealed that the book was bound in human skin, and the only thing on the cover was a pentagram. Blair is a really strange guy.
By evening, the wind had picked up and was blowing
hard. Our guest immediately woke up and shouted "That's how it all
started!" He clearly thought we were in with the mob who built this
place, and Beau couldn't correct him in that.
This was getting stupid. I told Beau to untie him, so he cut the ropes. I asked him if he wanted food, but all he wanted was the bathroom. Beau led him there.
Then Beau and him get into this "us vs. them" thing, and I insist over Beau's objections that the guy can use the bathroom. He runs a bath, and we gave him towels, soap, fresh clothes, and a razor. Gary and I waited up there while Beau kept watch.
Gary seemed like he knew what he was doing -- I guess
mounties can keep their man as well as get him -- so I went downstairs.
Just then there was a knock on the front door. While Beau kept watch, I checked around downstairs and then went up to get my stuff.
Gary wanted to hole up in the basement, but no way was I going to do that. He then said we should open the door and molotov it, but all that would achieve is to burn the place down. Beau and I agreed we should leave the door shut.
I figured we could use some more goons, so I went to wake Darnell, but he was completely out of it.
I then fetched the guest -- who wouldn't give his name, but said I could call him "handsome" -- at least he had a sense of humor! Then while everyone was looking out the windows, I turned off all the downstairs lights and turned on all the upstairs ones, to illuminate the outside while not letting anyone see us clearly enough to shoot.
Gary noticed that something was right up against the door, and there was weight against it when he pushed.
I fetched Tom's extra drum.
The guy saw a man crumpled or crouched by the door. "Not one of the men from here," he said, and said something about "all that chanting and stuff." Beau spouted a sample of the Contact Ithaqua chant, but the guy didn't recognize it.
Beau commented that whatever it was out there, it couldn't be a man -- not in this weather. So while Gary went out the back door and worked his way to the front, the other three of of us covered the door from the inside.
Gary called in and said it was OK to open the door, and Beau did so, staying out of my line of fire.
Well what do you know. It was some other guy, frozen in the snow. Just what we need.
Beau then shouted "Maurice! Quick, get him
Gary pulled him in and shut the door. The two of them tried to treat him while I covered the thing. It might look like someone Beau knows, but I wasn't taking any chances. He should be frozen to death -- he is frozen, in fact, but he has a heartbeat.
I said I didn't trust him, and he should be tied up. Beau and Gary then went to work trying to thaw him out.
I kept on reading the journal, and finally finished it. It mentioned a land holding by Blair in British Columbia, and cult activities that had taken place there in the past. It was clear that Blair believed he could do magic -- rituals, spells, and so on. In several places he included those spells in his journal, and if I took the time and effort I could probably learn them.
A little later Rocky stuck his head in my door again and asked if I could sew. Obviously not, I replied, since I had people to do that for me. He then asked me if we were after the same women, and I have no idea what he was talking about. What women?
In the morning I was disturbed by Gary suddenly banging
on my door. I grabbed my trenchcoat and Tom and went with him.
The others had found some old guy -- Zachariah Smith, his said his name was. He said he'd been tied up by some people looking for a group looking for Endurance. Smith's cabin is six or seven days east of here. He's apparently a doctor from South Carolina, and handrolls his cigarettes like I do.
We took him in to see Maurice. The doc says that there's not much he can do, and adds, "Grandma would say he's cursed."
Then we took him to see Darnell LeCroque. He couldn't do anything for him, either, but he said he was healing on his own.
We questioned him about these guys who were after him, and it turned out to be Blair and six Inuit. Smith overheard them talking about what they were going to do to him. They then discussed waiting until the weather cleared, then going after us -- Smith relayed what Blair said, and it was definitely us who were described. They though we were probably in Endurance, apparently.
I immediately decided we needed to leave. We assembled everything we were going to take -- packing the pot and hashish with the food -- and packed three sleds. Smith said he could handle a bolt-action rifle -- he says he fought in the Great War -- and so we gave him one from the basement. I packed all the special items so they could be grabbed with Tom if I needed to get away from the sled.
All the weapons in the basement were disabled, as were the generators, and we also shut down the stove. We then left. Charlie (Poo Yet Tah) took the front sled, Gary the back one, and eventually we settled on Beau to take the center one.
After much travelling we reached what was left of Rocky's bike. It was torn apart and scattered, and all his stuff he left there was basically gone.
There was no way we could leave today, so I rented us all rooms in the sole decent hotel. I stayed in my old room from last time I was here.
We returned to a late breakfast. I asked the
concierge to find us a pilot and plane so we could get out of here.
As we ate, Beauregard told us that he'd quit his job, and Rocky and Zachariah
also agreed to come with us and help with the Camden situation.
Beau explained what had happened to his brother. Maurice had been taken by "it" in Toronto, held captive, and delivered as an insult, and that's why he was never going to get better, just worse. Beau did, however, get some sort of protective thing from him.
The concierge obtained a plane and pilot for us. We'll leave tomorrow at dawn.
We will leave tomorrow afternoon for Boston by train.
The paper had an article about a dirigible expedition
to the North Pole that's being built in the shipyards in Camden, NJ.
It said they planned to land and conduct experiments at the Solstice.
Clearly this is the one we want to target. We'll hit it next, since they won't have time to rebuild the ship between now and the end of the year.
While here, I'll collect my pay and see if Charlie
or Jennifer have anything new for me. Time to kick back for a few
days, relax, and see if I can find an excuse to have some real fun...