Cthulhu by the Bay

Like a Lamb of Judah - Session 3

The next day the investigators meet at the Pinkerton agency and head to the church in order to question Reverend Harcourt Pitman. While at the church, the investigators are able to gain access to the records room where they discover a number of large payments made from the church accounts to the The Argonaut Bookstore.

After the service, the investigators ask Rev. Pitman about the tracks around his house and about the brooch found at the Lawson home. The reverend tells the investigators he has no knowledge of either.

Outside the church, the investigators notice a man watching them across the street who one of the investigators recognizes from a photograph as Mr. Lawson. When the investigators give chase, Mr. Lawson takes off running. The investigators follow him into an alley where he pulls a gun on them and tells them to get lost. After the investigators back out of the alley, Mr. Lawson dodges through the backdoor of a shop adjacent to the alley and leaps into his black, Ford automobile.

The investigators report the incident to the local sheriff, Sheriff Ansel Andersen, and head back to the library, where they discover another article reporting strange sightings in the town after dark. The investigators spend the night watching the local cemetery, where Vincenzo and Gunther encounter something grizzly around the remains of a local dog near the entrance to the well.

The next morning, Monday the 6th, the investigators get called into the Pinkerton office where their supervisor, Bernard Corbin, informs the investigators that the San Francisco police called to let him know that Mr. Lawson is a retired Pinkerton investigator and that he had asked about information regarding the First Congregational Church of Sausalito a few weeks before Edith Lawson’s disappearance.

Later that day, the investigators go by The Argonaut Bookstore and discover that Rev. Pitman has been purchasing occult books over the years from the local book dealer for large sums of money. They end the day by obtaining equipment to further explore the cemetery well the next day.

The next morning, Tuesday the 7th, they head to the cemetery and descend into the well. Leah Xia stays at the top while Gunther Orne and Vincenzo LiVolsi drop down into the well by rope. At the bottom, they find a number of disturbing remains, some of which they are certain to be human. The first tunnel they take leads to a dead end; however, while exploring the second tunnel, they find a .38 revolver. Before returning they are attacked by a pair of gruesome creatures, one of which badly injures Vincenzo LiVolsi. The investigators end the day by taking their injured party member to the local hospital.

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Like a Lamb of Judah - Session 2
Session 2

Friday morning, Quinlan tells Leah he is not feeling well, so Gunther and Leah set out for Sausalito. Wanting to speak to the Reverend again, they drop by the church and schedule a meeting for 1 p.m. with the reverend before heading to the cemetery to do some investigating.

At the cemetery, they find Doris Tailor’s grave undisturbed, but they also find a deep, open well. In the dirt around the well, Leah finds odd hoof-like tracks and Gunther hears strange noises, so Gunther decides to go back to town and buy some rope to go down into the well. At the bottom, he finds various decomposed remains, and a network of dug-out tunnels. Coming from one of the dark tunnels a scratching and meeping noise reverberates. He follows the sound and it disappears down the tunnel, so he turns around and heads back. When he reaches the rope, he hears the sound again louder from the tunnel. Whatever it is followed him back. He heads back into the tunnel, and when he turns the corner, something white with a dog-like maw leaps out and snaps at him. He fires his pistol, and the creature runs. Gunther flees running through the caverns screaming.

After several minutes he comes to and hears his partner calling from up above. Finding his way back to the rope and the exit, he begins to climb out of the well, but loses his grip halfway up. He falls to the ground and loses consciousness. Not knowing what else to do, Leah tries to climb down, but she also loses her grip and falls. The two lie unconscious at the bottom of the well.

When the investigators don’t show up at the church at 1:00, the reverend contacts the sheriff and asks him to find out what happened. He also calls the Pinkerton agency. The agency sends Vincenzo LiVolsi, another agent, to investigate. Arriving in Sausalito, he finds the investigators at the bottom of the well. After pulling them to the surface, the trio heads to the hospital in S.F. where Gunther receives treatment.

The next day, the investigators head back to the church, but they discover that the reverend is in San Francisco for the day. Leah and Vincenzo suspect the secretary is putting them off, so they go by the reverend’s house. The butler corroborates the secretary’s story. However, while leaving the house, Gunther notices a suspiciously similar track to that which they saw at the cemetery. They follow the tracks and find it leads them to a locked cellar door around the back of the house. With that in mind, Vincenzo decides he’d like to check out the church for similar tracks. Meanwhile, Gunther and Leah head to the local library to see if they can dig up some information on the church.

At the church, Vincenzo is unable to find more tracks. However, at the library, Leah is able to find information regarding the founding of the church and Doris Taylor. She also finds a newspaper article that shows animals have been disappearing all over town.

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Like a Lamb of Judah

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Thursday, December 2, 1926

A Reverend Harcourt Pitman of the First Congregational Church of Sausalito contacts the Pinkerton Detective Agency about a member of his congregation who is missing—one Edith Lawson. The agency in turn sends Gunther Orne, a detective; Leah Xia, a parapsychologist; & Quinlan Rutherford, an archaeologist from San Francisco to investigate.

Rev. Pitman explains that Lawson is a respected and valuable member of his church, and he fears for her safety because she’s been missing for just over two weeks. He also tells the investigators that he fears her husband might be at fault due to the fact that he is a known drunk and philanderer who does not go to church.

The investigators ask Pitman if Edith had any friends in the congregation and he directs the investigators to Grace and Aurora Blake who sing in the choir with her.

The investigators talk to Sheriff Ansel Andersen, and he corroborates the information Rev. Pitman shared. He tells the investigators that Harriet Taylor, a local merchant, was the last person to see Edith Lawson.

The Blake sisters tell the investigators that just before Edith’s disappearance, she exhibited signs of distress, which became visible at both the choir rehearsal and performance on the weekend before she became missing; however, she did not say anything regarding why.

When the investigators go to the Lawson house, no one is home, but the door is unlocked. The investigators let themselves in and inspect the house. In the house they find a Bible verse, Jeremiah 11:29 scribbled on a piece of paper next to Edith’s bed and an old moss encrusted brooch under a potted plant on the patio. Quinlan identifies that the brooch is very old.

After leaving the house Aurora Blake confirms that Edith had mentioned something about Jeremiah 19:11, and the choir director, Gavin Reese, gives the agents the address for a jeweler, Truman Boyle, who identifies the brooch as having belonged to a Doris Taylor who died 20 years prior. He tells the investigators the brooch was buried with her!

By this time, it has gotten dark, and the investigators decide to find lodging for the night in order to start their search anew in the morning.

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Colour of His Eyes - Session 3

(Unfortunately, I could only capture the first half of this session on video, as Google Live Hangouts does not provide a way to resume recording after a pause. Therefore, this video captures the session up until the break.)

Dr. Garrick having been moved to Doctor’s hospital to be treated for his gunshot wounds, the investigators make their way back to Park Hill Sanitarium, where they discover that “something” that can only be described as a nebulous and amorphous cloud of light blasted through the wall of the sanitarium, killing an inmate in the process. The phenomenon then continued to move through the hall to Dr. Garrick’s, still unoccupied, former cell on the Low Threat Ward. After realizing the Doctor no longer resided at the hospital, the entity left the way it came in.

Investigating the grounds outside of the hole in the wall of the sanitarium, the investigators determine that whatever attacked the hospital left no tracks, which corroborates the reports of the few witnesses, who claimed whatever it was seemed to float through the air.

Having exhausted the trail at the sanitarium, the investigators head over to the Mechanics’ Institute, where they are asked to buy a 6-month membership for $3. At the Mechanics Institute, they find Larry Jackson, working in the basement. When they try to ask him about his and Dr. Garrick’s plans for the telescope, he tells them he doesn’t want to talk about it at work and asks them to come to his house later in the day.

Later that night at his house, Larry explains to the investigators the story of how Dr. Garrick and he had found the telescope in the basement of the Mechanics’ Institute while cleaning out the basement several years previously. According to the journal that accompanied it, the telescope had originally belonged to an Englishman named Raymond Campbell, who was a member of the Institute from 1868 to 1871 when he died.

Larry and Dr. Garrick together had moved the telescope to the Lick Observatory, of which Dr. Garrick was also a member, where together they assembled the massive, cyclopean telescope according to the esoteric and eldritch instructions in Campbell’s notes and blueprints.

Upon completion at the observatory, Dr. Garrick was the first to look through the powerful lenses of what he considered to be the most powerful telescope in the world. Unfortunately, that was the last thing Dr. Garrick ever saw, for while looking through the powerful lenses, he screamed out in pain. When he took his eyes away from the eyepiece, his eyes had acquired the phosphorescence, and he was completely blind.

Larry explains that the phosphorescence caused Dr. Garrick great pain, and it was this pain that led to his incarceration at Park Hill Sanitarium.

After being debriefed by Larry, the investigators then head over to Doctor’s Hospital in order to further interrogate Dr. Garrick about his escape from the sanitarium and the various attacks he committed. At the hospital, the nurse informs the investigators that the doctor forbade anyone from visiting the bullet-riddled Garrick, who is now in intensive care. Furthermore, two police officers guard the entrance to his room.

The investigators begin to plan how they might create a diversion that will allow them to enter the room surreptitiously; however, before they can put their plans into action, they are startled by a blood-curdling scream from down the hall. When they turn to look, they see an amorphous mass of light attacking a nurse, draining her of her life force. People on the floor begin to scream and flee in panic. The two policeman stationed at Garrick’s door engage the cloud and fire several ineffective shots through it. Meanwhile, our investigators scramble into Doctor Garrick’s room and begin to wheel the patient out of the room and towards the elevator. The amorphous, living globule of light, however, traps them at the elevator and attacks Silas Turtledove McCloughlin III. The investigators flee the scene, leaving Dr. Garrick behind to his death. The flesh on Silas’s face, hands, and upper body is badly scarred. Montana drags his wounded comrade down the stairs and finds an orderly who begins to tend Silas’s wounds.

When Montana returns to the elevator there is no sign of the phenomenon and Dr. Garrick’s desiccated corpse lies on the gurney where the two men left it. The light has finally vacated the poor man’s eyes.

Silas spends the next few days in the hospital recovering from the attack. During that time, the city returns to normal as the uncanny events begin to fade into oblivion. However, a couple of days later, Silas and Montana notice in the paper that another peculiarly desiccated body is discovered in an alley in Chinatown. The two men immediately head out to investigate. At the scene of the crime, the only evidence they find is an unusually large sewer drain. When they try to leave, however, their departure is arrested by an elderly Chinese street magician who seems to have knowledge about what attacked the man in the alley. He tells the investigators that the local opium gangs that run the streets of Chinatown have created a labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city, in which they create their poisonous concoctions and that the monster the investigators seek has taken up residence in these darkened halls, as it has an aversion for light.

The scene closes with the elderly man telling the investigators that they could seek the knowledge of sorcerers who live the north of San Francisco around a large mountain near the Oregon-California border—Mt. Shasta. He indicates these beings have knowledge that can stop the nemesis the investigators face.

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The Colour of His Eyes - Session 2

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After being rebuffed at the Doctor’s Hospital Morgue, Montana contacts his old associates, Rachel and Artie, and asks them to meet him at a restaurant where he fills them in on the peculiar events that have transpired concerning his previous acquaintance, Dr. Robert Garrick. While debriefing his comrades, he is overheard from a nearby table by private investigator Silas Turtledove McCloughlin III who has also been hired by Charlotte Wilson to work on the case and find out what had happened to her son, Orderly Alexander Wilson.

From there, the party decides to check out the alley in the lower Heights where the paper had reported the previous day that two transients had been killed in a fashion that mirrored that which had been described at the Park Hill Sanitarium.

At the alley, the party discovers from a local transient woman and a newspaper salesman that their quarry had attacked the two homeless men with his glowing eyes before stealing their clothes and money and running down the street to hail a cab. While at the paper stand, they also see a newspaper article that says another murder happened the previous night at the Lick Observatory. This fact throws a wrinkle in the case since the murder at the observatory occurred at 9 p.m. the previous night, whereas Dr. Garrick did not leave the hospital until around 11 p.m.

After tracking down the cabbie, the investigators determine that Dr. Garrick went to a local pawn shop.

Garrick’s trail having grown cold, the investigators decide to drive out to the Lick Observatory and see what they can find out. Silas calls his driver, Charles, and he brings the car.

At the observatory, the investigators learn that Dr. Garrick has already been there, and left a trail of chaos in his wake. A Dr. Preston at the Lick Observatory tells the investigators that Dr. Garrick had come earlier that evening asking about his notes and telescope. Dr. Preston informed him, however, that the telescope had been returned to the Mechanics Institute, where it had originally been found. Dr. Preston also remarked upon the unusual welding goggles Dr. Garrick had worn.

Dr. Preston explains to the investigators that Dr. Garrick had discovered the telescope’s Garrick_s_Telescope.jpgschematics and parts while cleaning out the basement of the Mechanics’ Institute, of which he was also a member. He asked the Institute if he could borrow the telescope in order to reconstruct it at the Lick Observatory, and the Institute happily complied. It was after the completion of the strange device that Dr. Garrick’s curious ailment set upon him, for when he looked through the massive contraption for the first time, he was stricken blind within moments, and his eyes acquired the strange phosphorescent glow, which had plagued him ever since. Furthermore, doctors and scientists had been unable to determine what caused the doctor’s blindness. The best conjectures were that he had experienced some kind of exposure to radiation.

At any rate, Dr. Garrick had left the observatory in a huff, and had bolted when a security guard recognized him. Before leaving, the investigators inspect Dr. Garrick’s previous quarters and find a piece of paper above a high shelf with his writing. The paper shows notes Garrick had made concerning the telescope. Rachel and Montana are able to identify occult symbols from the lost nation of Mu interspersed with the mathematical calculations.

The party concluded that having been told the telescope had been relocated to the Mechanics’ Institute, that would be the best location to look for him. The investigators arrive at the Institute around 2 a.m. in the morning, but Montana notices a car with some engineering papers inside parked on the street nearby. Meanwhile, Rachel and Silas listen at the front door and hear men talking inside.

Artie climbs up a fire escape behind the building and discovers an open window on the second floor. From there, the party enters the building and makes its way down to the basement, from which the men’s voices come.

In the basement the party finds Dr. Garrick and his former colleague, Larry Jackson, preparing the telescope for reassembly, while discussing plans for alterations to its design.

It occurs to Rachel that if the light from Garrick’s eyes is lethal, then a mirror might be able to protect them, so Artie sneaks back upstairs and finds a mirror in the women’s bathroom.

Sneaking back down the stairs with the mirror, he enters the room and tries to fast talk Garrick and his associate by pretending to be a member of the Institute, putting the mirror back in storage. Garrick sees through his disguise, however, and reaches to remove his protective eyewear.

Silas observes Garrick reaching to remove his goggles and fires a shot, but Garrick dodges out of the way, rises, and aims his phosphorescent eyes at Artie with the mirror. The mirror blocks most of the light’s energy from Artie, but his exposed fingers begin to smolder, grey, and crack beneath Garrick’s searing gaze. He drops the mirror, and runs into the boiler room, closing the door behind him.

Meanwhile, Montana fires off a shot, hitting Garrick in the arm, after which Garrick collapses. Silas fires two more shots into the incapacitated Garrick who is lying on the floor, and takes his friend, Larry Jackson, into custody. After determining that Garrick is still alive, although barely, Rachel is able to curb his bleeding just enough to keep him alive long enough for the investigators to transfer the bullet riddled Garrick to the hospital.

The next morning, the investigators awake to the discovery that the Park Hill Sanitarium had been attacked the previous night by an unknown entity, leaving one person dead and several wounded.

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The Colour of His Eyes - Session 1





On the morning of Monday, November 23rd, 1925, Montana Chiriaco picked up the Examiner in San Francisco to discover that noted astronomer and friend, Dr. Robert Garrick, had killed a nurse and maimed an orderly while breaking out of Park Hill Sanitarium.

At the sanitarium, Montana learns from Dr. Garrick’s psychoanalyst, Dr. Albert Van Hyne, that Dr. Garrick was in the Low Threat Ward because of his model behavior preceding the previous night’s outbreak. Moreover, the Dr. tells Professor Chiriaco that ever since the onset of Dr. Garrick’s blindness, his eyes have emitted a strange, unsettling phosphorescence.

Lastly, Dr. Van Hyne describes the bizarre condition in which the nurse’s body was found—a shrivelled, gray, dessicated husk that weighed only a fraction of its usual weight with gray, dry and cracked flesh. The orderly’s wounds were of the same nature.

With this information on hand, Dr. Chiriaco makes his way to Doctor’s Hospital where he manages to talk to the maimed orderly, Alexander Wilson. Alexander tells him that the usually subdued astronomer began yelling that something was coming for him when he started banging on his door. According to Wilson, Garrick tore the bandages from his eyes and the queer light that emanated from his orbs wounded him and killed Nurse Burroughs.

Stumped for a lead, Dr. Chiriaco goes to the hospital cafeteria where he purchases a new paper, in which he sees that two transients were killed in an alley not far from the sanitarium, and their bodies bore the unusual features Doctor Van Hyne had attributed to the corpse of Nurse Burroughs.

Determined to get access to the body of the deceased nurse, Montana asks a cafeteria employee where he can find the hospital morgue and makes his way to the basement. There, he overhears two hospital employees discussing how Dr. Cleggman is on his way to Autopsy Room 4 to conduct his examination of the nurse from the sanitarium.

Stifled by locked doors, Montana apprehends Dr. Cleggman on his way to the autopsy room, but the medical examiner proves to be impervious to Chiriaco’s wiles.

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The Westchester House
Wherein a well-known, reclusive heiress hires the investigators to examine spirit manifestations in her eccentric home

In 1922, Montana Chiriaco, Rachel Hemingway, and Artie Gumshoe traveled to San Jose California to investigate fraudulent hauntings at the Westchester House related to an art theft that occurred in 1906.

While investigating the disturbances, Rachel and Montana stumbled across a peculiar antique tome in the Westchester library. Having solved the mystery behind the disturbances of her house, Mrs. Westchester was happy to allow the investigators to borrow the tome indefinitely.

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