Tomes of Terror

Session Fourteen

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more!"

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The investigators set about checking the house from top to bottom. First place visited by Tricia is the attic but there’s nothing out of the ordinary there. Evelyn checks out one of the bedrooms and discovers that it is a hobby room and art studio, packed with sketches and craft works. Eric stands on guard on the stairs where he is able to keep an eye on both floors. Not wanting to abandon his team and the work, Earl manages to hastily patch himself up, inject himself with pain killers and create a Molotov cocktail as well as arm himself with frag and phosphorous grenades; he enters the house through the front door and decides to guard the entrance way.

Tricia and Evelyn enter the last of the upstairs rooms and find themselves in a study; to an observant viewer it would become clear that the numerous items that had been left scattered in the main bedroom had in fact originally come from the study. Now, however, the room is filled with clay tablets written in a strange type of cuneiform, papers with runes and strange scribbles; all the walls bear strange Mycenaean style symbols. Chris is stood studying a book which appears to be an occult tome, with his back to the two investigators; Tricia moves close to him and makes an attempt to communicate with him but the athletics student seems oblivious of the investigators’ presence and he suddenly turns and walks out of the room holding the book and clutching a stone flute. Tricia notices as Chris turns that he is wearing a strange looking metallic necklace with a pulsating purple amethyst. The entranced student leaves the room and heads down the stairs towards Eric.

The CIA operative quickly contemplates his options and decides to try and trip Chris up but fails miserably as he is knocked aside and falls down to the bottom of the steps in a heap. Chris continues at the same leisured pace and finds his passage blocked by Ethan. The injured and dosed up DEA agent is put on the spot and acts in panic, trying to shoot Chris, but the safety catch of his pistol is still on and he too is brushed aside as Chris turns and opens the basement door and disappears down the darkened steps. Evelyn gives hot pursuit while Tricia experiences something of a mental relapse following her earlier trauma; the latter decides that she will not follow the danger and instead will do her bit by destroying all the occult items and articles that fill the study. Evelyn, the FBI agent, runs down the main stairs and leads the way down into the basement, hitting the light switch as she does so; Earl and Eric follow. Edward meanwhile, back in the van, begins to experience severe interference on the camera feeds and audio and decides that he too will head in to see what’s going on for himself.

When Evelyn and her two colleagues reach the bottom of the basement stairs they observe that the cellar room is large and long, filled with planks of wood piled up on the left hand side, several bags of cement on the right, an electric generator with four jerry cans of fuel and a pneumatic drill. To the right, not far from the stairs is a large ragged hole dug into the side of the concrete wall and floor while at the far end of the room there is a large dry clay doorway rendered in an unknown ancient, slightly Mycenaean style, complete with triangular pediment bearing an ornate all-seeing eye crest in the middle; the central portion of this “doorway” is a flat sheet of pulsating purple light that is reminiscent of the strange pendant currently being worn by Chris. The student is walking straight towards the supernatural doorway and Evelyn sprints after him while Earl limps lamely behind; Eric, feeling overwhelmed, hangs back under the pretence of keeping guard. Evelyn manages to catch up to Chris and slams into his back which makes him drop the book; from the floor, Evelyn dives for it but misses. Chris bends down and picks the book up and as he does so Eric shoots him – but it appears that Chris’ odd pendant is protecting him as he is unhurt. He does however, drop the book again and this time Evelyn manages to fling herself on it. In response to the attack, Chris levels the stone flute he is holding at Eric and a white hot beam of fire burns a hole into the staircase where the CIA agent was standing only seconds before. Chris then levels the flute at Evelyn who is still on the floor – he also utters a strange command and a pool of black oil-like substance coalesces by the side of the wooden planks and forms into a vertical column. Eric is horrified by the sight and fire half a magazine of his pistol at the unearthly creature; a couple of shots hit their mark but with no effect while a stray shot clips Earl just as he is about to close in on Chris. The next second the terrifying monster is flick-flacking across the floor towards Chris just as Edward reaches the bottom of the steps. The bizarre viscous life form swipes at the Delta Green team lead with a whip-like tendril before arching like a cobra and enveloping Eric. Edward struggles vainly to free his fellow investigator as the creature smothers and constricts him. Earl, writhing on the floor, seeing this terrible sight, manages to fish out his Molotov cocktail and with excellent precision throws it, unlit, at the black liquid monstrosity, covering it in meths. With great reflexes, Edward aims down at the floor and fires a rapid succession of shots and manages to ignite the alcohol. In the next instant the creature erupts in flames and just as quickly it propels itself up to the ceiling, releasing Eric just before he was about to expire. The badly wounded CIA man, who is now perilously close to dying, seizes the moment and flees, desperately scrambling up the stairs and bolting out of the house – he throws himself into the back of the van and slams the doors shut behind him.

In the split seconds it takes for all this to transpire, Evelyn dives through Chris legs and roles, but the student just turns and points the flute at her – she too is close to being scorched to death in an instant. Sensing the precarious edge of her existence, Evelyn surrenders the book and backs away. Chris, wordlessly bends down, picks it up and turns to the portal and steps through it before anyone can do anything about it. Edward charges across the room over to the generator and seizes two jerry cans at the same time as the black ichor creature drops back to the floor, its flames extinguished, and it spins fluidly across the room over towards the team lead. Edward tries to dodge it but it’s too fast; the next second it has swallowed him, jerry cans and all. In that desperate moment to save all their lives Earl realises that while fists and bullets are useless against the creature, fire is an effective weapon and he has the phosphorous grenade at his disposal. With his dexterity and condition so poor he lobs the grenade over to Evelyn who adeptly pulls the pin and throws it with superb accuracy at the foot of the beast. The grenade detonates in a brilliant flash of white heat that bathes the creature, the generator and the two remaining jerry cans in brilliant fire; all too late Earl and Evelyn realise their mistake and they both make a last ditch dash for the portal behind them. As the four jerry cans’ worth of petrol explode in a powerful all-consuming conflagration Evelyn is able to dive, football goal-keeper like, through the purple doorway while unfortunately, Earl’s much degraded physical state means he is too slow to reach safety. The basement explodes in a sea of fire that evaporates the unearthly creature, Edward and Earl.

Tricia, who is still upstairs in the study destroying much of the evidence feels the building shake as the explosion rips through it. Giving in to her instincts she flees the building in blind panic and heads screaming into the woods beyond, just as the awful tree-monster had only a short time before. Eric, who is barely alive himself, becomes aware of a bright intense light and heat looming over him and he exits the van to find the house a blazing inferno. He manages to make a call through to emergency services and hail medical assistance for himself but neglects to request a fire engine or two. Shortly an ambulance and its horrified crew turn up; they call for fire department assistance and back up while trying to drag Eric into the vehicle just as the anti-tank missile and flame thrower fuel tank left inside the Delta Green van, which is itself now on fire, explodes. Eric and the paramedics are sent flying as the house is utterly destroyed; as the fire trucks and ambulances turn up the last thing Eric sees before falling unconscious is the extremely odd sight of a neighbours’ illuminated lounge and the family inside who appear to be utterly oblivious to the apocalyptic devastation occurring outside.

Evelyn lands hard onto a stone floor. Dazed and confused she picks herself up and peers at her strange surroundings in amazement. She is in a spacious oval room with a white marble floor, black gneiss walls and burning torches. She listens cautiously but hears nothing. She ventures through the dark open doorway before her and finds herself now in a circular courtyard with a large spiral of stone steps ascending upwards and disappearing into the ceiling; opposite is another dark archway. Listening to her instincts she decides to move through the next archway and discovers what appears to be a lobby, possessing a large stone statue on a pedestal with its back to her, and massive wooden doors complete with more strange Mycenaean patterns and symbols. Very cautious, her nerves on edge, Evelyn backs away and decides that the only option is to go up the steps to the floor above. A minute later and she is surrounded by a ring of identical archways, wall hangings with familiarly strange symbols, more steps leading upwards and a low banister. After weighing up the limited options available to her she decides to enter one of the archways and duly discovers what appears to be a dormitory complete with three vaguely Mediterranean-looking bald men. The eldest of the men tries to speak to Evelyn but she understands nothing that he says and backs away in fear, back out onto the second floor landing. The older man follows her out and calls across the hall; a few seconds later another man appears in a doorway wearing armour and holding a sword – the new man utters something to Evelyn who responds by firing a shot into the ceiling. Her actions sends both men scuttling away but an instant later another man, looking like a guard appear, brandishing an awfully familiar stone flute which he points at the startled FBI agent. Evelyn turns and flees up the next flight of stairs in terror.

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