Tomes of Terror

Session Twentyone

Pursuit into the wilderness

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Lloyd is still at the scene of whatever has transpired on South Garrison Street on Friday morning; using his journalistic skills he decides to question the various people milling around the cordon. Looking around he spots a hodge podge of locals and a couple of fellow journalists and a local TV crew. Going up to a young woman Lloyd learns that the second house being investigated by the police belongs to the Brown family, which consists of Julia, who’s a friendly and active member of the neighbourhood, her husband, Mark, who is a carpenter, and her 14 year old daughter, Tabitha. Another local who lives at the end of the street recounts that he saw a VW camper van and a grey Honda Civic parked out front of the Fairbanks and Brown houses early in the morning and that he saw a wiry looking man fleeing the latter before jumping into the van and both vehicles then sped away at high speed. Shortly she hears the local news team give a report that a suspected abduction has occurred on the street and that a casualty has been taken to hospital.

After putting down the phone from talking to Det Stubbs, Condita realises that perhaps it is best not to hang around the hospital reception. She observes an ambulance drive by without its sirens on which tells her that someone died on Fairbanks’ street. The police turn up and she high tails it out to her car and makes a conference call to Tricia and Lloyd. After learning the scant facts about what has happened on South Garrison Street Condita then makes an anonymous call to the Arkham PD and informs them that she’s seen the camper van and Honda Civic at Lucerne House.

Condita and Tricia meet up and head out to Lucerne House. The park up and skirt around the edge of the woods and observe that there are no apparent signs of life before venturing up to the house itself. Tricia calls Bryce Cavendish in Boston up and asks him to run a number of checks on her behalf including another phone tracker report, vehicle ownership report and CCTV camera footage. She then creeps up to the house and smashes a pane in the French window and lets herself in to the deserted house. At midday the disturbed PI checks every room in the house and discovers many minor things about Damon Drake and the inhabitants of the untidy and poorly maintained mansion – but in the upstairs tower room she finds scrawled notes of cryptic and foreign writing as well as occult symbols. Unfortunately, Tricia’s phobia of basements prevents her from checking that out so she has to summon Condita to the house to carry out the task. A short time later the two women observe an Arkham PD car pull up and that is their queue to flee from the building and into the woods. They eventually reach their car and drive back into town and to their motel where they collect up Lloyd who has a fruitless time trying to identify who the casualty from South Garrison Street is.

After a brief discussion the trio decide to attempt calling Professor Fairbanks again; Lloyd rings the number and after a couple of rings a somewhat creepy male voice answers – Lloyd tries bluffing the man on the phone by pretending to be from the university but fails to convince. The sinister man promises to find Lloyd and kill him before he hangs up. While the trio now wait for a call from Bryce over the searches and reports they requested they go through the notes that they recovered from Lucerne House and Condita, who has some archaeological knowledge, discerns that some of the strange symbols resemble writing but quite unlike any known culture or age – furthermore the symbols and writing seem to be the incantations for a spell. Tricia’s phone duly rings at 3pm and Bryce reports that the camper van and Honda Civic belong to Damon Drake and that the Polo is owned by Professor Gregory Fairbanks. The phone trace on Fairbanks’ cell phone shows that it is reported moving out of the north-west corner of Arkham and moving along the freeway towards New York State; the group quickly realises that the destination is in all probability the Adirondack national park.

Wasting no further time the trio gather all the equipment they think would be useful and jump into Tricia’s Aygo and head out of town and follow the route of the cell phone trace. Condita calls the Adirondack national park police department and tries to convince them that they need to stop Drake’s campervan and Civic; unfortunately the police aren’t interested in hearing such things from non-law enforcement sources. Condita refuses to be frustrated and then makes a call to Det Stubbs and once again reveals all – Stubbs says that as what’s going on is out of state there’s not a lot he can do but he will make enquiries. The Arkham Advertiser editor, John Macrone, calls and asks where his story is – guiltily Lloyd and Condita promise to send him the report via e-mail immediately and begin to construct it in the back of the car. A short time later, at 7.30pm, they reach the edge of the Adirondack national park and stop off at a gas station where the clerk reveals that he saw the camper van and Civic and that the strange duo that came into the store asked for directions to an old abandoned saw mill at a place called Graces Point. The trio jump back into their car and head into the park in the direction of the new location as night descends.

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