Tuesday, September 20th.
Martha Hopwood bends over to decode the book she stole from her father, the title of which is, “The Journal of Time Traveler Prime, by Dominic Channing.” Over the course of the evening Martha rapidly begins her translations:
- 1912, February 23rd, Braunschweig, Germany. I think this is the time that I started from but it’s getting hard to tell. Even my notes seem…out of time. People are all gathered to see me off. I can’t tell if I am scheduled to leave or if I am watching myself go. My head hurts and I heard some thumping in the closet. Are they here? Have the Hounds found me at last? I saw them kill the clerk in the candy store (I don’t remember when!!). He died, screaming with pustules all over his body.
- 1862, Apopka, FL, Seen the temple, they are busy building and have newfound resources. I have spoken with a man named Chester Taggart, a friendly chap but very guarded. He mentioned that the Library is active and the Stone has begun talking to the people. They speak about a Reaping that will happen sometime in the 20s, the last one in this Age of Man. What happens after?
- ??, ?? I don’t know where I am but I think I just saw the Master of the Ants. An old man sitting by a stream that flows the wrong direction. He chants and looks at me as if I am a dead man. He may be right. I can hear the clattering everywhere I go now. I ask the man questions, to give him my reverence but he continues chanting and staring at me. I fear the day he stops his chanting. I feel safe here but already things are fading and I travel onward.
- 1894, June 10th, New York City, I handed off the note to Dufrane. The date of the Reaping is in the early 20s. The Great Masters will be coming. It will be our last chance. September, I think it is, although it could be slightly earlier. I find time travel to be quite exhilarating! I have yet to see the disorientation described in the manual but I will steel myself for when it comes. I feel I am being watched.
Julius and Rose are huddled in the underground library surrounded by books with dangerous sounding names. There is a Latin copy of the Necronomicon, even! Julius and Rose venture out to speak with the creature that was once Dominic Channing. The creature drops from the ceiling behind him and Rose, trapping them against the water. He asks Channing a series of questions with dubiously helpful answers:
Why are me and Grace here? “Reaping”
Have you heard of the Yith? “Great Race of Yith”, “Made me?”
What can we do for you? “Vera?”
Did you write a book about 35 years ago? “Prime”
Look at the tattoo “Star”
How are the Ignotus and the Adherents involved, Points to himself, “Ignotus”
What is the Reacher? “Salvation”
Vernon Gabrieux, a polite jailer, tells Martha what the Reaping is. It is a sacrificial bunch of people arranged for by followers of the Great Race Yith to allow their dark masters to jump in to. In response to her question from the Journal, he tells her Dufrane receives dreams from the Master of the Ants. Julius remembers a reference idea to ants in Professor Smith’s suicide note. As Gabrieux begins to leave the rest of the party jumps out and, at Julius’s behest, begin to shoot him down. They shoot him repeatedly, chop him up into different buckets and leave him out for the Channing monster to feed on. Grim work, but very likely to prevent Gabrieux from returning. Ever.
Heading upstairs they find the house eerily silent. They head upstairs and search Vera’s bedroom. Aside from the needle and vial in the wooden box by the side of the bed they also discover a letter in Vera’s bag:
I feel like you are the only one I can talk to. Mr. O’Bannon is a cretin and treats me like scum. I suppose that is what I am. Scum. What’s more, a coward. I wish my father dead and yet I sit above him while he slumbers, helpless as a child. As helpless as I was as a child. Even with him comatose I cannot shake him from my mind. Him and my dear mother. Your kindness to me is something I cannot fathom a way to repay. It gives me a measure of comfort to think that he will wither away his days a mindless husk. The Reaping was to herald his return and I must rejoice in knowing that I have damned him to his purgatory. May he rot in hell. May hell rot around him. My dear Wesley will never know what I have had to do to keep him safe. I will do whatever it is to keep him safe.
While the rest of the party is dealing with strange creatures and chopping up Vernon Professor Summerfield manages to hitch a ride back to Chicago with a friendly truck driver. Reaching the University of Chicago he heads to the anatomy lab and manages to secure a 5-year-old girl’s eye floating in a jar of murky formalin. He begins the preparations of the ritual to travel back in time which involves the eye being ground into paste and made into a candle.
Wednesday, September 21st,
Everyone sleeps in. A telegram arrives from Chatterton that announces Richard Monteith has committed suicide. A note found scribbled quickly on his body simply says, “I looked out the window.”
Proceeding to a remote area outside of Chicago, Professor Summerfield proceeds with the ritual, Piercing the Fourth Veil. The ritual is extensive and requires Summerfield to draw a Gorgon’s Eye in calves blood upon the ground (a hexagon within a double circle). Primitive and black words are spoken and a rift opens up pulling all the party through with a yank. Passing between times is a horrific experience and it leaves both Rose and Martha nearly unconscious on the other end.
Summerfield recognizes the place immediately. It is the base of the mountains East of Catacamas. The Lassiter Dig lies just up the road. Answers beckon!