Tomes of Terror

Session Eighteen

Step Through The Mirror

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The two reporters and Tricia exhaust their conversation with Miss Emery and head back to the motel to gather their thoughts – rechecking her Eagle Bond notes, Tricia realises that Professor Fairbanks is married to Alice Fairbanks and they have two young children – they also live a short distance away. The trio jump in a car and drive over to South Garrison Street where the Professor’s nondescript middle class suburban house sits. They approach the house, which has no cars parked out front, and knock on the door but there is no response; going into the back garden and peeking through the French windows reveals an orderly and well maintained household – Tricia investigates the mailbox and finds that only the day’s mail in present and it hasn’t been collected yet. With no one at home they decide to knock on the neighbours’ doors; Condita tries the house to the left and the door is answered by a cautious middle-aged woman who tells her that she saw Alice Fairbanks yesterday evening. Tricia has a bit more luck when he calls on the house on the right which is also answered by a middle-aged woman, but one who is more forth-coming and friendly – the neighbour reveals that she has spoken to Alice recently and that the Professor is currently away on a conference.

It becomes clear to the investigators at this point that the professor isn’t around and that it is probably best to gather further information about him and to follow up on the Steve Woodman lead they obtained the day before. Condita tries to call Didier a couple of times but is unable to reach the spyhunter. She does however manage to get hold of the creepy Carl Munk – unfortunately the nocturnal creeper is unable to offer much light on either the professor or Woodman. Finally Condita manages to get into contact with Didier – the computer genius is able to check the university network and tell the investigators that the next English class for 301 (which Woodman is a part of) is at half two in the afternoon in lecture hall number 2. The trio head back over to the English Department building and wait outside the lecture hall; the first person to turn up is however, Miss Emery, who is perplexed to find her recent three strange visitors waiting there. Fortunately the group is able to convince Fairbanks’ stand-in that they are all genuinely interested in seeing an English Lit lecture with a view to enrolling. They are allowed to enter the hall and attend the lecture on the understanding that they can only attend; shortly after they observe Steve Woodman turn up slightly late. After the lecture Steve leaves the hall and Lloyd and Tricia rush of out after him; Condita takes one for the team by staying behind to discuss the lecture with Miss Emery. Outside Lloyd manages to catch up with Steve and convince him to submit to an interview for a newspaper article; Steve leads them to the Student Union where he answers the two investigators’ questions. Woodman reveals that Professor Fairbanks has been missing from his own classes for the last week and has generally been late for most lectures and at odds with his usual chirpy self. He also reveals that Chris Henson was a very kind hearted and genuine jock who had also become strangely detached and obsessed with one of the old books in the restricted section. Woodman had little time for Chris’ girlfriend, Eve Williams, who he saw as a pretender and a wannabe.

Later that evening the investigators return to Fairbanks’ house and Lloyd knocks on the front door. Alice Fairbanks answers and Lloyd manages to successfully pass himself off as a new colleague of Gregory Fairbanks. He says that Gregory was supposed to pass him some material prior to going off on conference. Alice invites him into the house where he observes the two boys playing a games console in the living room. After some brief chit chat in which Alice reveals that Gregory is currently in Atlanta, Georgia until Sunday, and that he has been behaving slightly odd over the last few weeks – often spending all evening and much of the small hours locked away in his study Lloyd asks to see the study under the pretext that he suspects that the material he is seeking to have been left there – this seems perfectly reasonable to Alice and she leads the undercover reporter upstairs to a small study which has many of its surfaces littered with loose paper sheets, many of which have been screwed up. Lloyd wisely declares that the notes are what he’s been looking for and collects them all up in a bag before leaving with them.

The trio return to the motel and spend the rest of the Wednesday evening going through the bag of notes. They quickly discover that most of them appear to be copies from an occult book, bearing latin and arabic writing and occult symbols – in all likelihood the notes have come from the Necronomicon. They also find a piece of paper that bears the address of a Damon Drake. It is at a place called Lucerne House and appears to be in Arkham.

Fleeing for her life with a stolen mirror, Evelyn runs down a series of winding alleyways in the company of the sorcerer’s monks. They manage to lead her safely out of the city and into the grass lands beyond just as the city guard seal the large gates. They rejoin with the golem they left here and the four of them, with cart and mirror head back on the long and arduous journey back to the black tower. Along the route they observe a disturbance in the nearby jungle before a group of hideous hairy yeti-like creatures emerge and make their way towards the group. The monks tell Evelyn that these creatures are the ferocious Voormis and instruct her to keep pushing the cart while instructing the golem to head the creatures off and handle them. The last sight of the golem is of it swinging away and firing a flame flute before it is overwhelmed by a swarm of the furry monsters. The golem’s sacrifice means that the rest of the group manage to make it to the black tower just before dusk. The FBI agent is so tired that she once again fails to observe the large statue standing in the centre of the tower’s lobby.

After a night of dreamless sleep due to extreme exhaustion Evelyn is taken back up to the sorcerer’s thrown room where he appears to be busy studying some of the numerous stone tablets he has on display there. The FBI agent observes that the mirror she took from Cerngoth is now mounted on a stone plinth at the back of the room. Chris Henson is sat on a nearby bench wistfully playing with a small pet lizard. The sorcerer eventually turns his attention to the half-mad Evelyn and congratulates her for retrieving his mirror; he does however point out that she failed to give the box to the grand inquisitor who is now angry that an assassination attempt has been made against him and is now probably on his way to the black tower with an army. The sorcerer instructs Evelyn that she is to carry out a new task for him unless she wants to be killed. He tells her that he will send her to the land of his god and that once there she is to paint his sigil in the summoning circle and use the Liber Ivonis (which he gives her there and then) to cast an incantation that will activate the portal. Evelyn’s grip on reality is slipping but she has enough wits about her to ask how she will get back to her own world. The sorcerer tells her that a nearby glowing pond is a route back to her world; he then departs to make the preparations for the transportation ceremony. While left to her own devices in the sorcerer’s room Evelyn decides to talk to Chris and tries to learn the circumstances of what happened in Arkham and the theft of the books. It becomes apparent that Chris has no intention of returning to his old life and instead wants to remain in the company of the sorcerer and become his apprentice. He tells Evelyn that he fell under the spell of the Liber Ivonis from handling some stone fragments that were stored in the Restricted Section. He does not know anything about the Necronomicon other than that Professor Fairbanks often showcased the book in lectures.

Later that day Evelyn is taken down into a large chamber underground, beneath the black tower. The room is a large circular room with an altar and the mirror placed in the middle. A congregation of monks begin to chant while the sorcerer starts to perform a spell. To Evelyn’s horror a procession of monks willing take their turn to lay on the altar while the sorcerer sacrifices them with a ceremonial blade – a scene that costs her dear in sanity; While this occurs the mirror grows steadily violet – with all six monks sacrificed and the portal activated the sorcerer commands Evelyn to step into the mirror, which she duly does.

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