Early Morning, August 28th, 1921
Grace Perry, Julius Coffin, and Smith awaken in a field, very cold. They find they are in a shallow pit next to which is a shovel and a wallet from a man named Alan Waybright. Footsteps lead off into the forest from an unknown 4th person. The field is a agricultural field and has been plowed into furrows. A scream comes from off in the woods. Julius, with a twisted ankle, Grace and Smith all head out into the forest away from the scream. There are loud noises like thunder that jump around the forest, accompanied by the sounds of breathing. They are found by a kind, older man by the name of Tom Wilson. Tom takes them back to his cabin and gets them warmed up by a fire and starts to make them some tea. Grace and Julius discover that they have been missing for nearly 7 days and have no memory of that time. Tom says they are just outside Marigold, Indiana. Changing clothes and cleaning up, everyone finds strange things. For the first, there is a star-shaped tattoo in the middle of all their backs. Grace’s hand is wrapped with dirty bandages, her hand having been pierced through by something. Julius has an incision across his abdomen and Smith has a bump on his head and is bleeding (and deaf) in his left ear. Heading back into the kitchen to check on the tea, the teakettle continues to whistle. Checking on Tom, Professor Smith finds him stiff and muscles twitching with blisters forming all over him. He seems to be dead where he stands. Another sound of slightly breaking glass and the stove ignites the wall above and the flames begin covering the walls and ceiling. Rushing out into the night, Grace, Julius and Smith all load into Tom’s pickup truck and drive off.
They decide to drive past Marigold to Chatterton, just to the North. There is a telegraph station and the train runs through there. After wiring off for some money and calling his family to let them know he is okay, Julius allows everyone to purchase some new clothes and they prepare to get a train back to Chicago. A Sheriff Sullivan begins questioning them on the platform while waiting for the train. The Sheriff seems intent on questioning them fully, but before he can do anything another man shoots the Sheriff and runs off into the woods with his family. Julius, Grace and Smith rapidly enter the train and head off toward Chicago.
On the train back to Chicago a very addled man (who introduces himself as Albert Walters) gives them a parcel and seems to babble almost incoherently. Another man enters the car and chases Walters off. Inside the parcel is a statuette of a Black Bird. The rest of the ride back to Chicago is mercifully normal.
August 29th, 1921
The group visits public records and finds the newspaper article that says the Caribbean Queen exploded killing all aboard. They begin researching the wallet they have found that belongs to Alan Waybright. Mary visits Grace and is overjoyed that she is alive. Smith invites himself over to Julius’ apartment (thankfully Charles the cat was taken well care of while Julius was away).
August 30th, 1921
Smith sees a light under the door and jumps up and throws the door to Julius’ bedroom open. Julius awakens standing in front of the black bird. The three visit the morgue but are turned away with the feeling that something strange is going on.
August 31st, 1921
Grace awakens in the early morning and heads out to her den. Turning around she is frightened by a vision of bodies floating in the air, which then suddenly fly violently toward the center of the room as the blue, underwater light flickers around her. A deep, booming voice speaks in an unearthly tongue, “Amna Suktai”. She awakens as if it was a dream. She calls Julius and Smith and they all convene at Grace’s apartment to decide their next move.
I believe this day Grace, Julius, and Smith also visit the widow of Alan Waybright. She is exhausted in her despair. She mentions that Alan had just started up his own business and was much happier for it. Her son stops them outside after they leave and tells them of a visit from an older man and a younger man dressed in a white scarf who came to speak with his dad. His dad was very upset from the visit but never spoke about it again.They visit Holden Construction and speak with a chipper Englishman, Nigel Dickens who speaks very highly of Alan Waybright. He gives the three a letter that Waybright wrote complaining about the business practices of Calverston Construction where he worked on the renovation of the Caribbean Queen before starting up his own business. He also gives them a sheet of paper with a strange sigil on it that Waybright found on the back of one of the large, decorative columns found on board the Queen.
Grace, Julius and Smith bring the sigil to Edward Danvers at Chicago University, a professor of symbology. The sigil he thinks looks like an Asian character but is far more interested in the symbol that they draw for him. This symbol came off the ring of Wylie O’Bannon as he punched a drunken man that evening on the Caribbean Queen. It is a triangle with a wavy line drawn through it.
Julius then travels to Calverston Construction and is horrified by the abrasiveness of Mr. Lyle Calverston, and unfortunately does not get much information out of him. He overhears a conversation mentioning a boat named Abigail’s Wish that is coming in that evening. They check with the Port Authority and find it is coming in later that evening. Sneaking back into the warehouse, they find two dockworkers and a man with a white scarf going through some boxes of African artifacts. The white scarf man sifts through and finds a book that he seems very interested in and says that “Mr. Hollingsworth will be very pleased.”
Grace meets up with the dockworkers later that evening and tries to pry the name of the book out of the dockworkers but they are not very helpful. She does find out that the man in the white scarf’s name is Ricky Vanderhorn.