The date is January 7, 2017. Henry is in his pajamas eating cereal and watching TV. The show he is watching is interrupted by a breaking news story regarding the implosion of the McAllister building in Lawrenceville early this morning. According to the story all the appropriate permits were obtained by the owner of the property, ArtLife.
Darrek, still in his bathrobe, goes outside to grab the morning paper and suddenly finds himself in the Hive Arcana. He quickly walks outside and then finds himself in his and Emily’s bedroom. Henry hears him and runs upstairs, confused. Darrek is quite shaken and strongly desires a stiff drink. Both of them get dressed. Henry is stunned silent to see Darrek come downstairs wearing jeans, a Pink Floyd Tee shirt, Doc Martens, and a flat cap. He pulls on his peacoat and the two head to the Hive Arcana.
As they drive towards town, both of them spot elaborate graffiti of the Yellow Sign everywhere and spine-chilling phrases such as “The King cometh. It is a frightful thing to fall into the hands of a living God!” and “Strange moons circle through the sky, but stranger still is lost Carcosa.”
Danny and Mack are drinking coffee at their new apartment in the North Side. Danny receives a phone call from Agent Barnes, asking for a sit-down meeting with the group. After seeing the news about the McAllister building, they decide to go to the site to check things out before meeting Barnes and the rest of the group at the Hive Arcana. As they head out, they also spot the graffiti in their neighborhood, including Yellow Signs and the questions, “Have you seen it?” and, “Have you found it?”
Arriving at the former McAllister building, they question the foreman, who tells Mack that some weird guy named “Fowler” who is the owner of ArtLife ordered the implosion and said that when the new building “arrives” it will be fit for a king.
In the South Side, as Matthew and the rest of the crew wake and head outside, they also see the elaborate graffiti of Yellow Signs interspersed with phrases such as, “Die thou unsung as tears unshed,” and, “Songs that the Hyades shall sing shall flap the tatters of the King.”
When everyone arrives at the Hive Arcana, Agent Barnes thanks them for coming and shares that she is hoping they will assist her in investigating an unusual murder case. The victim is none other than Abigail Wright, who was discovered gutted in an alleyway with her attacker sitting next to her, laughing hysterically. Her attacker is named Allison Lewis and is currently being held at WPIC. Just before the attack, Allison placed a call to 911. When emergency personnel responded, they found her covered in Abigail’s blood ranting nonsense.
Barnes goes on to say that there has been a rash of murders across the city. All of the victims appear to be connected: they are all parents of art students who have all disappeared. Also, many of the missing students worked on the Halloween parade funded by Fowler and Bouchard. She calls WPIC and clears the group to talk to Allison, and the group heads there immediately. As they walk, Mack and Danny fill the rest of the group in about talking to the foreman at the site of the former McAllister building.
Walking into WPIC, all go through security. Darrek recognizes the guard from when Emily was being treated there and greets him. They are given nametags to wear and escorted via the elevator to the secure ward where Allison is. After staff shows them to her room and they are left alone with her, everyone can immediately sense that Allison is infected with Lyssicus.
Allison tells them that the former tenants of the McAllister building want the Night Floors back and are planning a ritual sacrifice to bring them back. She makes references to a, “once upon a time mad house,” and becomes agitated and begins screaming, “The Queen did it!” when pressed for more details. The group are then asked to leave by WPIC staff.
As they do so, they run into Michele, who is surprised to see them. She mentions that Raphael is semi-coherent, and also began screaming, “The Queen did it!”
Leaving WPIC, the group heads to the ArtLife offices. No one is there. Between Matthew and Henry and their skills with lockpicking, they are able to get inside and begin to search the offices. Reviewing their records, they find references to a “South Fayette purchase,” and discover dossiers on each of them. Henry goes pale when he finds a dossier about Sam, which mentions his important role in bringing about Carcosa. Shaking, he shows Darrek the file. Darrek takes some time to comfort Henry before looking over the information.
They also discover a package wrapped in brown paper with a yellow bow addressed to Blake Investigations. Matthew opens it, and discovers a spinning Yellow Sign, and a piece of paper with, “Surprise!” written on it.
Suddenly, the group is attacked by several Byakee and Hounds of Tindalos. Henry casts a spell and encases the hounds attacking him and Darrek in spheres of solid air. Darrek then casts a spell at the hounds attacking Yun-Xun and Hilda. They disappear suddenly with a loud, “POP!”
Yun-Xun kills a hound, while Matthew, Hilda, Danny, and Mack take care of the remaining Byakee.
The group then heads to the site of the former Mayview state hospital, thinking that it is the reference made by Allison to a “once upon a time madhouse” and in the ArtLife files to the “South Fayette purchase.” They find nothing nothing unusual. Frustrated, they decide to take a dinner break before heading to Fowler’s estate.
After dinner and drinks at Industry Public House, they arrive at Fowler’s mansion. It looks like it has been abandoned for decades and feels highly unsafe to be inside, when just a few months ago the property was in immaculate condition.
Searching in Fowler’s bedroom, they find a hidden panel and discover a lavishly decorated office. The lights flicker an eery orange color. Looking around, they find invitations on yellow paper for something called, “The Consecration and Groundbreaking Ceremony” which is taking place on Friday January 13th at midnight. They also find a large parchment style map entitled, “City of Yhtill.” Looking at it, they realize that it is super-imposed on top of a map of Western Pennyslvania. “Camilla’s Manse” is marked in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, and “Cassilda’s Palace,” is noted in the area where Mayview once stood.
…and then comes the attack.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Memorable Quotes and Great Moments
“Yeah…so, don’t go through any more doorways without pants on.”-Henry
Re: The graffiti
“Is there anyone in our group who is able to interpret these sayings?”-Mack
“There are days that I really miss alcohol, and today is one of those days.”-Darrek
“I could probably get you some weed.”-Henry
Re: Seeing Darrek wearing jeans and a tee shirt
“Does he have weaknesses?”-Mack
“Well, he’s a herald…so NO.”-Henry
“If he’s arrogant, that means he’ll make mistakes.”-Mack
Looks hard at Mack “Yes. Yes it does.”-Darrek
“It’s anything-goes Saturday! I’m dressed casual, Yun-Xun’s taking charge, the sky is falling, and everything’s fucked!”-Darrek
Re: The South Fayette purchase
“So like the Louisiana purchase but more boring?”-Mike D.
Re: The Hounds of Tindalos
To Darrek “And you’re always telling me that cutting corners is a bad thing!”-Henry
“Alright. Let’s go blow up that guy’s house.”-Yun-Xun
“Matthew’s too classy to take a dump in a box.”-Jason
To Julie “That should be a quote. C’MON!”-Jason
“We should stop and get dinner. You can’t fight evil on an empty stomach.”-Henry
“That’s where I turned up after I got kicked out of the crazy house.”-Darrek
“Right next to that used rubber?”-Matthew
Turning red “Yeah…that wasn’t here when I was, obviously.”-Darrek
“Oh, look. It thinks it’s a pub. How cute.”-Darrek
“I just want to remind all of you that I was the one who advocated for burning his mansion down before, but you were all like, ‘Nooo!’”-Henry