Darkness on Cold

Part Four

Boston Occult Society: Field Operative's Journal

(Fall, 1929)

Recorded by Walter Ashleigh

Wednesday, September 18th, 1929

    Tonight was the full moon, coincidentally.

    I decided that with the rest of the idiots out of the way, I could make some real progress in investigating the cult.  The obvious place to start was with those men who keep following us around.  I approached the first one, gave him $5, and took him to lunch.  Then I collected the second one, who turned out to speak English.  I told them that I wanted to make a deal with the Silla cult.  One of them said that for another $5, he'd tell his boss, but he denied he knew anything about the cult.  Lunch being over, they left and I went back to the hotel to relax.

    Later in the evening, the bellhop delivered a message to me.  It said ten o'clock, and gave an address.  I took my pistol and went to keep the appointment.
    It was very dark in that area of town.  The address turned out to be a small house, with one or two rooms probably.
    The door opened, and a hand motioned me inside.  It was dark in there, but I could feel I was being patted down.  I handed over my pistol.
    A candle was lit, and I could see that I was in a room full of people, at least ten or more.  The light was dim, and I couldn't see the walls or any faces.  The one face I could see was covered with a hood.
    "Sit!" I was commanded, so I sat down on the wooden floor.
    They all started chanting, and at this point I could tell they all were men.  I couldn't understand the words.  The chanting went on for some time... a very long time... it was interminable.  I completely lost track of time.
    Finally the chant came to a culmination, and then faded away.
    The room had become very cold. and I was suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.  Before I could do anything, it was over.  The candle was blown out, the door opened, and people began leaving.  In three to four minutes, everyone had gone.
    Nothing else was going on.  I left and closed the door behind me.

    About half way back, I realized I'd left my pistol behind, so I went back for it.  When I got to the house, there was no-one there.  I couldn't feel anything near the door, so I reluctantly wrote off my gun as lost, and returned to the hotel.

    That night I had very bad dreams.  I dreamt that someone very frightening was coming, but I couldn't tell who.

Thursday, September 19th, 1929

    When I awoke, I felt a little disturbed, like perhaps a touch of madness was creeping in.  That feeling was quickly dispelled by coffee and breakfast.  I did check at the front desk, but no-one had returned my gun.

    I then went shopping for guns.  I wasn't followed this time, oddly enough.  I didn't buy anything at this point, not feeling threatened.
    After lunch, I again noticed I was being followed.  I caught up with my shadows, and asked about my gun, but they claimed no knowledge of the weapon or of the events of last night.  I let them resume their task.

    At dinner, a message arrived.  The bellhop delivered to me my gun, and a note that said simply, "Again tonight?"

    So I went again, and exactly the same thing happened.

    On my way home, though, I began to think that perhaps I was beginning to get it.

    That night I had very bad dreams.

Friday, September 20th, 1929

    Again, I feel somewhat disturbed this morning [-4 SAN].  To settle my mind, I walked over to the meeting-house during the day.  It turned out to be a run-down wooden shack in the slums.  I returned to the hotel and remained through dinner, where I received a note, "Again?"

    I took my gun with me, handed it over, and asked for it back later.

    This time I felt like I'm really "getting it."  We were calling to someone, asking them to come (Ithaqua?  Gnoph-Keh?).  I sensed that they needed something from me, as if I were being asked to give something up.  I tried to chant along with them.  I actually got a sense that I gave them what they were asking for.
    It started to get colder and windy inside this crowded room, and we built the chant to a crescendo, but whoever we were calling to didn't come [-5 SAN, -1 MAG (temp)].

Saturday, September 21st, 1929

    Today I wandered on down to the Department of the Interior and looked at the maps.

    At dinner a message arrived.  This time it consisted of only one word, written in a script I've never seen before, but in the same hand as the other messaged.  I'm sure it says "Silla" (or "Ithaqua", same thing).  I practiced writing it until I could produce it reliably.

    At 10pm, I went to the house again.  This time they didn't even pat me down -- clearly i was regarded as a regular.

    The same things happened again.
    I felt the same "asked" sense, and realized that I had a choice to give or not.  I chose to give [2 MAG].
    This time the wind came, very cold, and suddenly someone stood up and started moving around.  The chanting stopped, and the original guy who spoke said something in Inuit, and the person responded to him, also in Inuit.  The leader asked more questions, and received more responses.  After a minute, someone else asked a question, and received a reponses.  Another long pause, and then someone else did the same.  This went on for several minutes.
    Then, in the candlelight, someone stepped forward behind the standing person, and swung an axe into his head.  He tumbled forward, knocked out the light, and everyone ran.  I ran from that room too, and then returned to the hotel.

    We called on Ithaqua, he inhabited a body, we asked our questions, and then we killed him.
    I slowly realized that I could now probably lead the chant myself [-1 SAN].

    This is how the chant goes:

(Here is contained the full text and instructions for Contact Ithaqua.)

Sunday, September 22nd, 1929

    Today I received no message, but went back to the house anyway.  There was more light in the room tonight, and I could see that there were only two other people there.  Both were dressed warmly and with hoods.  One was sitting quietly against a wall.  The other was closer to the center, and when I opened the door he waved me in and told me to sit.
    He then asked me what happened last night.  I explained it as I had come to understand.
    He said, "Tonight, it's just you and I."  He began chanting, a bit different, but I could follow it and did so.
    The chant had been going on for an hour or so, whhen the one against the wall stood up and walked over to me.  Continuing to chant, the hooded one motioned me to stand up, and handed me a large ornamental knife.  Between words in his chant he told me "Stab him," and then between words in the chant, "Again..."  "Again..."
    The bleeding body I had stabbed repeatedly toppled over.  The man stopped chanting, reached down, and pulled the food off the dead person, saying "Very good."  He left, leaving me there.
    The body was of a white woman.  She was dead.

    I took the bloody knife and returned to the hotel.  Fortunately no-one was watching the hotel, and so I could get up to my room and clean up [-1 SAN].

    This is what the knife looks like:

(Here is presented a detailed drawing of the ornamental knife.)

Monday, September 23rd, 1929

    I took my clothes out of the hotel and threw them in the river.  For now I was carrying the knife on me -- later I would keep it with my journal, hidden carefully.

    I sat down to lunch and read the paper.  To my surprise there was nothing special of note, nothing about a murder or missing woman.  I resolved to make a habit of reading the paper at lunch, to cover my interest in this one occasion.  That afternoon I remained at the hotel.

    I realize that I must have changed somehow.  People are avoiding me, and don't want to talk with me.  The bellhop doesn't even wait for his tip.  No-one is being friendly anymore.

    At dinner, I received a note.  This one said to meet at 6:30, at a different address.  Of course I complied.
    This location turned out to be a native american club.  Standing out front was the one who had followed me and spoke English.  I noted that he was definitely not the "hooded man" from yesterday.  He told me to go inside, and sit at the third booth on the left.
    After a while, someone brought some beer.  I drank and waited.  A voice from the second booth said, "Don't turn around.  Where is the rest of the expedition?"
    I said that they had gone to look for Gnoph-Keh fossils, and that they expected to take ten days out and ten back.
    The voice asked what a Gnoph-Keh was, to which I replied that it was a six-legged beast, related to Silla in some way.
    The voice said, "If they make any overt move against Silla or the cult, leave a message with the barkeeper here -- one word -- 'Ithaqua'."  Otherwise I was to be contacted.
    I waited a while, finished my beer, and left.

    Time passed uneventfully.  The house at 10pm was deserted.  I ran errands, checked provision supplies, and so on.

Saturday, September 28th, 1929

    At dinner, the manager of the hotel stopped by my table and asked me when Barrow would return.  Apparently he had paid these rooms through only until the end of the month, and the manager needed payment for a month, either for a room or for the entire hotel.

    I wired the Boston Occult Society, and received the reply that they would cover a month for me, then I should find cheaper accomodations.

    I will send the journal up to now to the BOS via registered mail.  I am sure they will be interested in the contents, especially the chant to summon Ithaqua.