Our next adventure opened with the PCs licking their wounds from the loss of Frederick Goodwin, Jared Silverstein, and Sarge. Although they had saved the Grand Coulee Dam from the Taleisin Circle and their plot to blow it up, unsettling news had surfaced – a tabloid newspaper was reporting giant spider sightings in the woods of northeastern Oregon, and had published a blurry, out-of-focus picture that looked suspiciously like a spider demon.
Thessaly contacted Brian Gall, eagerly inquiring about the sorceress the PCs had encountered at the dam. When she heard the name “Morgan Lafayette,” she began asking Gall a bevy of questions, keenly interested in every detail. She requested that Gall let her know if he or the rest of the group ever crossed paths with Lafayette again, and Gall agreed to do so.
Scarcely a week passed when Nunez called the PCs to order again in the briefing room. He told them he needed their help with a mysterious murder case that had surfaced recently. A husband and wife were found dead in their Boston home, the wife of multiple stab wounds, while the husband seemed to have been bludgeoned to death, his body lying slumped beneath a granite countertop. What set the case apart from any other unsolved murder was the fact that occult diagrams had been drawn all over the walls in black paint, as well as the message: “NO DREAMS CAN’T SLEEP CAN’T WAKE UP CAN’T RUN THEY’RE EVERYWHERE WATCHING EVEN NOW IT’S ALL WRONG I CAN HEAR THEM IT’S ALL WRONG NOT LONG NOW IT’S ALL WRONG CAN’T SLEEP CAN’T SLEEP CAN’T SLEEP…”
The PCs headed to the crime scene to begin investigating at once. An examination of the wife’s body turned up multiple deep stab wounds in her back. A butcher’s knife was missing from the kitchen and was found discarded on the floor several feet away, covered in dried blood. The husband’s fingerprints were found in the handle. His body showed deep bludgeoning wounds to the head, skull, and brain. In fact, his skull has been shattered at one point in the front right area and the brain was exposed. The would was full of little granite fragments.
The PCs canvassed the rest of the house and turned up quite a few clues. Red and green fibers were found on he front door latch, although the PCs weren’t sure what fabric they belonged to. The paint had been bought the day before at Home Depot, and the brush had the husband’s fingerprints on it. The door leading to the office had both the husband’s prints and another in identified set of prints. Finally, in the fireplace they found a book, badly burned and unidentifiable. They tried to use photoshop to enhance photos of it to learn some of its contents, but without the expertise of Ned Icecave, they were unable to make any progress. Finally after much debate they turned the book over to Thessaly, who claimed to have some magical means of determining what the book was, but at the cost that they must allow her to accompany them the next time she wanted to, no questions asked. Reluctantly, the PCs agreed, shipping the book over to her for analysis.
Searching for leads, the PCs decided to ask the crowd of assembled neighbors and onlookers if they had seen anything suspicious.
Lance Boone and Joel Gregory questioned the crowd and was able to identify an old lady, a Ms. Stevens, who said she had a lead for the investigation. Unfortunately, before he could question her, an indigent-looking man approached amidst the crowd and accused Gregory of killing his brother, reaching into the waistband of his pants for a gun! Unfortunately for the hobo, the PCs were much quicker on the draw. Gregory barreled into the man, while Boone disarmed him of his pistol, the pair putting him under arrest and taking him back to the nearest police station for questioning.
The interrogation was done, as usual, by Malcolm Reading, but the answers the man gave were perplexing to say the least. Although he spoke clearly and lucidly and was insistent that Gregory had killed his brother in a traffic stop gone bad, there seemed to be no record of his brother ever existing, and the man was unable to produce any identifying details that lead anywhere. Gregory had no recollection of the alleged slaying, and it seemed as if the man had been fabricated out of whole cloth. After a lengthy and circular interrogation, the PCs decided they were getting nowhere, and turned the man over to Boston PD for booking.
Meanwhile their investigation was bearing fruit elsewhere – Thessaly had indeed determined the title of the book – Azathoth and Other Horrors, and told them that the nearest intact copy could be found at the Miskatonic University Library rare books collection. The PCs decided to send Brian Gall and Joel Gregory to go to the University and try to recover the book.
When they arrived at the university they spoke to the curator, Dr. Henry Armitage, who agreed after some negotiation to allow them to photocopy the book in return for a photocopy of Alexander DeLong’s copy of De Vermis Mysteriis. When he went to go get the book from the rare book collection, however, Brian Gall slipped out after him. Gall returned about twenty minutes later with the book in hand, telling Gregory that they had to flee the university immediately. As the pair left, they heard the sound of sirens rising in the distance, and the session adjourned for the night.