Eldritch Descent, or Things Which Should Not Be

Session 1: The Crimson Letters
An exploration of Arkham and its inhabitants

While walking across campus late one night, Peach noticed a light on in a building. Climbing the stairs to investigate, she could have sworn she heard other footsteps in the stairwell….Finding the source of the light, she discovered a young woman standing over a body!

Simon Clough was awoken late at night, or perhaps more accurately early morning, by an insistent knock on the door. It was his wife’s uncle, Bryce Fallon, the faculty dean at Miskatonic University. Fallon told him the University was in need of his…services. The body of Charles Leiter had been found on campus, and the University would prefer this be kept quiet.

A few days later….

Karl Davis met with Dean Fallon, who contacted him about a job. While inventorying the papers of the late Dr. Leiter, Harland Roach, of the History Faculty, discovered that the Arkham Witch Trial Papers were missing. Hoping to avoid legal entanglements with the Hobbhouse Estate, Fallon was contracting Davis to locate the missing papers.

Davis began by interviewing Harland Roach and Emilia Court, the graduate student who found Leiter’s body. Roach gave him the keys to Leiter’s cottage, saying he already looked there. Court suggested a “creepy undergraduate” who was obsessed with the Papers, Anthony Flinders. David decided to check out Leiter’s cottage.

Meanwhile Peach, curious about the odd state of the body, looked for any probably cause of death in the medical library. Failing that, she looked in the occult section. The only thing she found was the idea of demon possession. She contacted someone else on campus who knew about “these sorts of things”, an undergrad by the name of Anthony Flinders,who suggested, among other things, that they go check out Leiter’s cottage….

And Dr. Clough performed the autopsy on the body. While “sudden cardiac arrest” was not wrong diagnosis (which Fallon had asked him to put on the death certificate the night the body was discovered), it was not the whole picture. The optic nerves had been burned and the eyes were whitish-gray masses of coagulated tissue. Also, the gut flora also seemed to be all dead. While doing this, the morgue seemed a creepier place than normal. The lighting was inconsistent, flickering on and off. There was the insistent sound of footsteps from the next room, wherever he was. And were those…voices?

At Leiter’s cottage, Davis looked for any clues. Failing that he started tearing the place apart. While doing this, he did not hear the car pull up, and was interrupted by two thugs. Taking him for the late Dr. Leiter, they began demanding their money. Playing along, Davis learned that Leiter owed these mobsters in Atlantic City a considerable sum of money. The hoods realized their mistake halfway through beating Davis halfway to death.

As they left, Peach and Flinders came in through the back door. Davis, thinking quickly, got the drop on them. With his gun pointed at them, things were tense for a moment but quickly defused as they realized their common agenda. Together, they found scraps in the fireplace and a letter on the doorstep

Meanwhile, Dr. Clough was dealing with unexpected visitors. First, an attractive blond woman, claiming to be a friend of Leiter’s, asked to see the body to pay her last respects. Politely turning her away, Clough went about hanging a sign to discourage unauthorized visitors. Unfortunately, Oaks and Shaunnasy were not so easily discouraged. As they demanded to see the body, the lights went out. Seizing the opportunity, Clough ran out, losing the mobsters in the maze of the basement. With a sigh, he decided to go for a walk.

Meanwhile, Davis, Peach, and Flinders stopped in for a drink at Hibb’s Roadhouse, where their conversation was overheard by a man at the bar. Dr. Clough, intrigued by the investigation into Leiter’s death and the papers, struck up a conversation with them. As they all compared notes, they noticed two familiar mobsters talking to one of the waitresses, who Clough recognized as a friend of the late Charles Leiter’s named Lucy.

Interrupting, Davis walked over to the mobsters. They explained that they needed to confirm Leiter was dead. Since Davis was “such good friends” with Dr. Clough, they “encouraged” him to convince the doctor to let them see the body. Davis agreed, saying they’d meet them at the the morgue in the morning.

As they left the bar and went their separate ways, Davis decided to head back to Miskatonic. Harland Roach was still in his office, and so he waited. Davis followed Roach as he left, and watched from outside as Roach entered an apartment. After Roach left, Davis went in, kicking the door down. Inside, he found that the apartment belonged to Cecil Hunter, and came across several strange pages. He took them to Clough’s residence, but before he knocked, he decided to go to Peach instead.

The papers revealed a connection in the family histories of Simon Clough and Goody Winthrype. They would eventually learn that this was also connected to his wife, Ruth Winthrope. Meanwhile, Clough began having strange dreams….

The next day, they all met the mobsters at the morgue, where Dr. Clough produced the grotesque body of Charles Leiter. It appeared to grab one of the mobsters and rise up off the slab, attacking Davis.

Or maybe Oaks just caught the things arm and panicked? Then, as he moved away he pulled the body with him and it fell into Davis? It all happened so quickly….Although there were now two bullets in the head.

Going to the asylum, they met a quite insane Cecil Hunter. Amidst all the rantings, they learned that he forged papers for Leiter. When the produced the forgeries Davis found in his apartment, he was terrified ranting about “flawed geometry” and Goody Winthrype. There was apparently something in the Witch Trial Papers that unhinged Mr. Hunter.

But what? And where are the paper? Hunter said Leiter kept them with him. But then what did Roach take from the apartment? And who is this Abner Wick? And what happened to Anthony Flinders and Lucy Stone? And what killed Charles Leiter?


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